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Fairphone is producing the first smartphone in the market to open up its supply chain with transparency about how it is produced, distributed and disposed of when its first and second phases of life come to an end. Fairphone - ChinaWhile you are reading these lines, the team in the Netherlands and the UK are squeezing their brains to find the best materials (conflict-free, less pollutant); a group of sharp researchers are looking into the potential footprint of the handset, and an independent company is carrying out a social assessment at their partner factory in China. "The most special thing about the Fairphone is that all parts are for sale via the website; everything from th e battery to the camera motherboard and all the other parts that can possibly be replaced. It includes a manual that helps users to repair it themselves. Our adopted manifesto is 'If you can't open it, you don't own it'."
Across the US, from Maryland to Seattle, work is underway to construct user-owned wireless networks that will permit secure communication without surveillance or any centralised organisation. They are known as meshnets and ultimately, if their designers get their way, they will span the country.Dan Ryan is one of the leaders of the Seattle Meshnet project, where sparse coverage already exists thanks to radio links set up by fellow hackers. Those links mean that instead of communicating through commercial internet connections, meshnetters can talk to each other through a channel that they themselves control.
Slat’s idea consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Working with the flow of nature, his solution to the problematic shifting of trash is to have the array span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel as the ocean moves through it. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from smaller forms, such as plankton, and be filtered and stored for recycling. The issue of by-catches, killing life forms in the procedure of cleaning trash, can be virtually eliminated by using booms instead of nets and it will result in a larger areas covered. Because of trash’s density compared to larger sea animals, the use of booms will allow creatures to swim under the booms unaffected, reducing wildlife death substantially.