The Toxic Waste on Your Desk

Recently a very public spat between Apple and the Computer Take Back
Campaign highlighted the importance of an oft-ignored aspect of
computing: e-waste.

The Campaign targeted Apple’s poor iPod recycling program — well,
there just wasn’t one, actually. They highlighted the fact that most
used iPods just end up in the trash.

Small as this device may be, it still contains significant amounts of
dangerous substances like lead and mercury. This isn’t unusual as far
as computers go in general, though. Even cell phones with their
batteries removed are considered toxic waste.

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When Things Stop Working

I hate it when a service from a business that I’ve come to depend on just inexplicably disappears.

It seems to be happening more and more and it’s usually a service I use on the web. I shouldn’t be surprised, though. Many businesses treat their web site as an afterthought in their business plan.

An online business service is too often viewed as less important than one in the “real world”.

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The Mouse Does Suck

Graphire 6X8 bluetooth tabletPicked up a Wacom bluetooth tablet in NYC. I’m in a constant search for a quality “mouse” and, by that, mean some device that will improve my accuracy controlling my mouse pointer on-screen. I’ve been getting frustrated lately with how sloppy a mouse can be.

I’ve only been using it for about a week, but already I’m pretty stoked. Because of its absolute-positioning system I find it’s easier to get around the screen quickly. And it is much more accurate than a mouse. In fact, using the mouse now feels like I’ve got kid gloves on and it can be frustrating.

The drawback, of course, is that the tablet can take up quite a bit of desktop space and, depending on its orientation, I sometimes get mixed up as to where I am on screen.

The new Tiger OS X kinda choked on the tablet at first – a new bug Apple introduced, apparently – but now that it’s working, handwriting recognition is pretty good. Better than the Palm, at least, and almost on par with the old Newton. Oddly, handwriting feels a lot like the Newton.