Today, Eric Lundgren turned himself in to the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution, where he will spend the next fifteen months isolated from society, the internet, and his business. His crime? Helping recyclers restore Windows onto Dell laptops.
Earlier this month, our friend Eric Lundgren was sentenced to prison for duplicating OEM Dell restore CD’s. After losing his last appeal, Eric now faces 15 months in Federal prison and a hefty $50,000 fine. Eric argues that he was just trying to keep PC’s out of the landfill—and since Dell offers up those restore discs to freely download, he thought he was on the right side of the law.
Welp, he thought wrong.
So what role does Microsoft have in all of this? And why do they care so much about a restore disc? We took a trip to Eric’s recycling facility to hear his side of the story and find out.
As Microsoft faces tough questions about how it handled the case of Eric Lundgren, facing 15 months in prison for duplicated restore discs, U.S. PIRG and iFixit noted the tough environment for repair and Microsoft’s role in other repair disputes, and called for Microsoft to come to the table to move repair forward.
Greenpeace released its 19th Guide to Greener Electronics, a report that grades companies based on sustainability efforts. And, according to Greenpeace, most of the world’s renowned tech companies—including Samsung, Google, and Apple—have lots of room for improvement when it comes to greener tech.
Manufacturers are pushing the envelope to smarten up our products—whether those products need to be smart or not. Just because we can connect things to the Internet doesn’t mean we should. After visiting CES, it taught me that I don’t enjoy shouting at my appliances by a first name: “Alexa, brew my coffee,” “Alexa, buy me detergent,” “Alexa, bake the salmon.” It makes me feel like a lazy overlord—and I’m still not convinced of its wider usefulness. All the same, CES featured just that, and tons of other Alexa-powered products.
Last month U.S. Rep. Paul Cook of California introduced the “Secure E-Waste and Export Act” to prevent counterfeit parts from making their way into U.S. military hardware. The bill will ban the export of all used, non-working electronics from the United States. But China is already one of the world’s biggest generators of e-waste, so it’s difficult to see how this will make any difference. It’s an unnecessary bill. But it’s also an environmentally destructive piece of legislation.
iFixit’s pretty fond of this big blue marble that we call home. We’re also pretty fond of electronics. So, in honor of Earth Day, here’s four really easy things you can do to save the earth—and save your electronics from the landfill too. What’s the big deal about electronics, you might ask? By weight, electronics require far more resources than any other product. So it makes sense to keep electronics around for as long as possible.
This Earth Day we’re partnering with those cool cats at Kuttlefish to challenge you to turn your e-waste into something extraordinary. So grab those old USB cables, busted MP3 players, and dusty printers—then channel your inner MacGyver and upcycle away! You could have a shot at winning an All-new Pro Tech Toolkit, a 64 Bit Driver Kit, iFixit t-shirts, or a gift card from Kuttlefish.
On Monday, Apple held one of its regular keynotes—an event usually dedicated to new products and upgraded specs. But Apple execs led the event with something a little different this time: its new recycling robot, Liam. So, what’s our take on the new disassembly superpower? Our co-founder Kyle Wiens recently published an article with Wired.com—breaking down why Liam is a step forward, and how the recycling robot is likely to fall short.
It’s our mission to teach the world how to repair everything they own. But a successful repair often hinges on consumers having access to quality replacement parts. And all too often the right parts just aren’t available—to anyone. No part, no repair. No longer. iFixit is partnering with ERI—the largest recycler of electronic waste in the world—to make repair possible for gadgets of all kinds. Together, we’re working to keep as many electronics as possible in use and out of landfills.
According to a new EPA report, Americans increased their overall production of municipal waste in 2013 to 254 million tons of waste—or 4.4 pounds per person per day. But e-waste was one of the few categories where recycling rates increased significantly—by ten percentage points in just one year. So, good job everyone: fewer electronics are winding up in the trash heaps. But we’re not done yet. Recycling is just one piece of the larger moving puzzle that is sustainable resource management.