Gadolinium, praseodymium, cerium, samarium, lanthanum, neodymium. These are just a few of the 17 elements known as rare earth metals. So what do these elements have to do with the flooding in Thailand? Are the current high prices based upon a natural disaster or because of the limited supplies of rare earth metals?
About the only thing you can guarantee in the event of a natural disaster is that it will be accompanied by complete chaos.
With all this talk in the media lately about the possibility of a “double-dip recession”—that is, a return to hard times just as we thought we were climbing out of the last economic trough—I’ve lately begun thinking about how we perhaps need to begin rethinking our metrics as a society.
I recently saw a new listing for a refurbished product, which stated it has Windows 7 Home version for a really low price from a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher or MAR, which are authorized to provide genuine Microsoft software. It also said: “blazing fast 1.4 GHz Pentium M processor! All for a low price of ….”
As we come up again to Earth Day, I sometimes wonder if we got it wrong for the younger generation. America’s habit of turning Earth Day into some sort of celebration prevents it from seeping into everyone’s daily life. What I mean is that our economy survives by celebrating holidays throughout the year. Did you know that the Halloween celebration has currently passed the December holiday season as the top event for consumer spending? Other than tax day in April, Earth Day/week has become the same sort of bland celebration as the other holidays.
For the last year, I’ve been blogging about the reuse of computers in corporate America. However, when we talk to individuals in these Fortune 1000 corporations about purchasing used and refurbished computers, the majority of them still will not entertain the idea.
Looking back on 2010 and reflecting on the year, I see some good trends occurring in the marketplace with regards to reuse of technology by corporate America.
One of the best ideas I’ve heard in recent days has been the proposed tax write-off for all business capital goods purchased in 2011. Microsoft should be praying that it happens, so that businesses can finally begin spending the massive pools of retained earnings they’ve been hoarding, and move further toward Windows 7.
I was all set to pick up from my last item and talk about what makes up the corporate computer, but last week I attended a briefing during my first-ever visit to the state of Washington, and I feel I just need to vent a little about the two new standards in this industry, R2 and e-Stewards. (Get a comparison of ISRI’s R2 standard and BAN’s e-Stewards Standard here.) I won’t mention the name of the giant software company I visited, because you can probably guess which one it might be.