Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tracking Kids to School

Image credit: William Murphy
Skipping school… a lot of children are doing it. You may have even caught your child once or maybe have the memories of when you skipped. But do you really know how often your child has skipped? Several people believe that a pattern of skipping school is often the first sign that a teen is giving up on their education. Current laws demand that parents are notified of school absences, impose fines or even jail for parents of children who skip often. Although when a child has their mind set on skipping they will find a way to hide it from their parents. A city in Brazil may have the ultimate tool to help relieve a parent’s worry of their child skipping. In a Brazilian city, Vitoria da Conquista, 20,000 grade school students are wearing uniforms embedded with radio frequency sensor (RFID) microchips as part of their dress code. RFID is the use of a wireless non-contact system that uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object, for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking. This device is similar to the ones used for pet trackers. The microchip is embedded either under the school’s coat of arms or in one of the sleeves. The chip provides data to a central computer programmed to send updates to parents about their child’s whereabouts thru text messaging. After 20 minutes of a no-show, parents will receive an alert that their child still has not arrived yet. The city officials hope that all their public school students will use the high-tech shirts in 2013.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Leaders in San Antonio Recycling

Corona Visions Inc. an e-Steward Enterprise company and TechnoCycle an e-Steward Certified company have join forces in the 30,000 square foot facility located in San Antonio Texas. Both companies carry the “e-Steward logo” which insures your company that you could not be in better hands for all your electronic recycling needs.

Corona Visions Inc and TechnoCycle carry the only global comprehensive shield from the significant threats presented by e-waste pollution, data loss.

Corona Visions Inc. and TechnoCycle are leaders in providing e-waste Enterprise Stewardship Compliance and e-waste certified disposal recycling service. TechnoCycle is certified to the e-Stewards and R2 electronic recycling standards- ensuring industry best practices in Data security, Environmental compliance and Logistical Management.

TechnoCycle also carries the OHSAS 18001 compliance and was certified to ISO 14001, demonstrating high standards in health and safety and environmental compliance.

Corona Visions Inc. and TechnoCycle ensure data security through onsite and offsite data erasure and shredding. Both subscribe the highest standards of environment compliance- no landfill or illegal exports of e-waste and logistical management with a professional team of consultants available to design custom recycling plans to meet end-of-life technology needs for companies of all sizes.

Corona Visions Inc. and TechnoCycle can help your company become Compliance: In the United States now we have over two-dozen states that have adopted e-waste laws, and more laws are being developed at both the state and federal level. The U.S. Federal Electronics Challenge tells it’s partners that by using Stewards recyclers “ you will meet federal requirements to employ environmentally sound practices with respect to disposition of electronic products” E-Stewards Enterprise status means you meet and exceed all state laws and will be well prepared for any forthcoming federal legislation.

Vandell Norwood of Corona Visions Inc and Mike Buckles of TechnoCycle, are committed to provide their customers with the highest standards of secure and responsible disposal of electronic waste.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

E-Waste: Fastest Waste Stream
The fastest waste stream is electronic equipment. Year after year, new technology equipment comes out in the market to support our needs. According to E-Steward, “300 million computers and one billion cell phones are produced every year”, with each and every single one containing toxic materials. Within 2-3 years these electronics will become obsolete. Manufacturers are just now starting to pay attention to the idea of eliminating toxic materials in their products but still people need to be concerned about their electronic waste because of the toxins.

The toxic materials are attached to non-toxic materials and when burned at a low temperature they create the most toxic substances known to mankind. Without the right designs of the equipment, recycling the electronic equipment requires intensive labor and costly technologies to safely separate materials. Electronic toxins can cause cancer, reproductive disorders, endocrine disruption, and several other health problems. Even though the toxic element can change form they never disappear and other toxic chemicals do not break down so they gather in the food and biosphere. This problem has fallen on others because too few care where their e-waste is ending up.

The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that have not approved an international treaty controlling trade in hazardous waste from richer to poorer countries, called the 1989 Basel Convention.  The entire European Union has enforced it with the U.S., Canada, Japan and some others actively opposing this ban. The reason behind opposing the treaty is because there is money in exporting the toxic e-waste even when its export is a violation of the laws of the importing countries.
In the United States, 11-14% is estimated to be sent to recyclers with the high possibility the electronics will not be recycled but shipped overseas instead and the remainder of e-waste is dumped or burned in landfills and incinerators. These disposal methods fail to reclaim valuable materials or manage the toxic materials safely contaminating our soil, water, and air.  According to E-Steward it is estimated “70%-80% of the e-waste that is given to recyclers is exported to less developed countries.” In those exported countries the workers are paid low wages and with a weak legal system not able to protect the environment, workers and the communities.
In these underdeveloped countries ancient technologies such as open air burning and riverside acid baths are used to extract a few materials. The rest of the toxic materials are dumped where ever it is convenient to do so. A large amount of hazardous e-waste from the United States is sent to U.S. prisons as well. The e-waste that has been sent to the prisons is processed in less-regulated environments without the worker protections. (Some have a solution to the e-waste by sending equipment and parts for reuse to other countries but several falsely label scrap as reusable when often importing countries are left with unusable equipment.) Released in 2005 a report and film by BAN The Digital Dump: Exporting Reuse and Abuse to Africa showed Africa seeking working equipment, but instead received unusable equipment. BAN also bought hard drives that were imported into Africa with massive amounts of private data freely available for criminal utilization.

 The Government Accountability Office which is the U.S. Congress watchdog wrote a report “Electronic Waste: EPA Needs to Better Control Harmful U.S. Exports through Stronger Enforcement and More Comprehensive Regulation” which describes the crisis as the inadequacy of legislation to control e-waste exports and the lack of EPA enforcement. The responsible thing to do is find a recycler with the right credentials, who has a watchdog auditing them and feel comfortable with the fact you are not dumping your problem on another, a recycler like San Antonio’s Corona Visions and Technocyle

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Corona Visions Inc Partnership

Two e-Steward companies have joined forces. Corona Visions Inc. an e-Steward Enterprise company and Technocycle an e-Steward Certified company share the 30,000 square foot facility located in San Antonio Texas. The e-Steward status means they meet and exceed all state laws and insures companies and residents that no e-waste will be shipped overseas or end up in a land fill. These two companies ensure others the best practices in Data security, Environmental compliance and Logistical Management and are committed to provide their customers with the highest standard of secure and disposal of electronic waste. Corona Visions Inc. and Technocycle are“Zero Waste” recyclers, providing a landfill free environmental service. CVI only works with certified recyclers like Technocycle with the credentials of e-Steward, R2, OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001, and Basel Action Network (BAN), the world’s only organization focused on confronting the global environmental injustice and economic incompetence of toxic trade. This means Corona Visions will recycle 100% and 0% goes overseas or to landfills.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Android: No Touch Required

A smartphone so smart no touching is required! Xperia Sola from Sony is the latest Android smartphone. Its a pretty standard phone with “3D surround sound”, if not consider the fact that you don’t have to touch it.  Xperias key feature is “floating touch” navigation, which enables web browsing without touching the screen. The motion control like technology is used by hovering their finger above the screen acting as a curser. The phone also comes with two SmartTags, which allows users to upload apps and change their devices’ settings, they can be personalized to activate up to 10 different commands such as turning your Wi-Fi on and open your albums then share on any screen in any room, launch Google news or apps in the living room, and turn the alarm on in the bedroom. Xperia Sola is compatible with AT&T’s 3G network, however no announcements yet if the phone will be coming to the states this year. How Sony did this is a mystery.

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Silk Spider Web- Great Heat Conductors

 Silicon, aluminum, and iron are usually the best heat conductors, until the testing of the Silk Spider Webs took place. According to a study, Silk Spider Webs are better heat conductors than the average minerals. The webs conduct 1,000 times more than silkworm silk and 800 times more than organic tissues.  On a scale of higher heat conductors, Silk Spider Webs are right up there along with silver and diamond. Usually the heat thermal energy is lost when being stretched. The spider silk is a remarkable exception and actually increases the conductivity by 20%. The flexibility and great heat conductor maybe found in some of our heat-dissipating electronics in the near future. We will be conserving in many ways just because it is an organic material and technology is only going to expand more and more. We will be able to find the spider silk not only in our electronics but in clothes and everyday appliances.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Plastic Waste
 Plastic can be a good thing. Plastic is part of our everyday life. Diabetics use plastic for their disposable syringes; arthritis patients use plastic for their hips. Although plastic can help us it has become a huge problem with our world today as waste. With the low cost and ease of manufacture and consumption of plastics it has increased dramatically and led to numerous ecological and economic concerns. When plastic reaches our water it becomes a threat to the animals. In the North Pacific, there is an area the size of Texas, possibly twice the size, called the “trash vortex” which contains plastic materials.

 It is estimated in this area there are six kilos of plastic for every kilo of natural plankton. The trash vortex slowly swirls around, packed with dead fish, marine mammals, and birds. Most of the plastics will not break down in the lifetime that hasn’t even been created yet. There may be a solution for the plastic waste. Yale University's “Rainforest Expedition” is a program that studies rainforest life. Recently, students and professors within the program have discovered a fungus in the Amazon Rainforest that breaks down and utilizes the common plastic. Several of the organisms found, have the ability to degrade plastic in both solid and liquid form. The fungi were also able to degrade the plastic in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. This study is huge in solving our waste problem.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

3D Glasses
Cinemizer OLED are new multimedia video glasses. The glasses are equipped with a pair of head-tracking modules, flexible stereo headphones, and a joystick. The Cinemizer attracts gamers, architects, and educators that can utillize the glasses in the classroom. Also, they are perfect for 3D movie experience. The Cinemizer OLED glasses work with tablets, Smartphones, and game consoles as well. As an architect, they can be used with an app on their tablet along with the joystick. The user can navigate through an office already built in the 3D world. You can walk through the virtual rooms and different floor levels using the joystick for direction. The architect is able to design structures, pick colors and placement of furniture and fixtures. The lighting and shadows are displayed in real time with other people walking around giving the user a more realistic experience without having to actually step foot in the building. These multimedia glasses are available for pre-order for the summer deliveries through, setting your wallet back about $850.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Computers For Children
Here are a few systems that help allow them to enjoy technology the way you do. Child Pad is a 7” Android tablet designed by Archos just for kids. There are 28 pre-loaded kid apps with access to a Kids App Store having 14 friendly categories and over 10,000 apps to choice from. Child Pad has parental controls and safe web browsing to monitor the children. The tablet has a microUSB port front-facing camera, and a 4GB internal storage. If that isn’t enough for them, there is a microSD slot that gives an extra 32 gig. These Child Pads have different models such as a special edition “Alvin” version, which comes pre-loaded with bonus chipmunk wallpapers and special themes.

The next step up from a tablet is a PeeWee PC notebook for the kids. The PeeWee Pivot 2.0 features
a 10.1- inch touch screen that rotates 180 degrees. The notebook allows wireless connection through wifi or Bluetooth. It comes with two USB 2.0 ports, stereo speakers, and for those clumsy individuals a waterproof keyboard. It also features a durable casing with a detachable handle.

Last, Kids CyberNet Station is an all-in-one PC intended just for kids. The difference from the Kids CyberNet Station and a regular PC is there are several pre-installed applications for kids, Peanut Butter Software, and a colorful keyboard and mouse. Peanut Butter Software allows children to use the computer without corrupting the system. Designed by a father of 3, Peanut Butter software is a usable software solution for toddlers and young children including a Peanut Butter Mouse that allows dual mouse control to help guide your child in navigating the computer. The Kids CyberNet Station comes with wifi, Windows 7 operating system, and a DVD RW.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Guinness Book of World Records: Ball of Lights

Guinness World Records Logo
Corona Visions is trying to get the word out about the importance of electronic recycling by using the Guinness Book of World Records. They are accepting all kinds of strands of lights to roll up in a ball that they call Buzz. Everyone is fascinated by the idea and the record gives Corona Visions a chance to tell about the horrible toxins in electronics and the consequence of throwing them in the trash; where they end up in landfills or developing countries. So please do not throw your lights away! Drop off strands of lights like: Christmas lights, Halloween lights, porch lights, etc. at your only responsible electronic recycler, Corona Visions Inc. So head on down and help Corona Visions put San Antonio in the Guinness Book of Records for having the largest “Ball of Lights!”

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