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+ - Recycling is Dying 1 1

HughPickens.com writes: Aaron C. Davis writes in the Washington Post that recycling, once a profitable business for cities and private employers alike, has become a money-sucking enterprise. Almost every recycling facility in the country is running in the red and recyclers say that more than 2,000 municipalities are paying to dispose of their recyclables instead of the other way around. “If people feel that recycling is important — and I think they do, increasingly — then we are talking about a nationwide crisis,” says David Steiner, chief executive of Waste Management, the nation’s largest recycler.

The problem with recylcing is that a storm of falling oil prices, a strong dollar and a weakened economy in China have sent prices for American recyclables plummeting worldwide. Trying to encourage conservation, progressive lawmakers and environmentalists have made matters worse. By pushing to increase recycling rates with bigger and bigger bins — while demanding almost no sorting by consumers — the recycling stream has become increasingly polluted and less valuable, imperiling the economics of the whole system. “We kind of got everyone thinking that recycling was free,” says Bill Moore. “It’s never really been free, and in fact, it’s getting more expensive.”

One big problem is that China doesn't want to buy our garbage anymore. In the past China had sent so many consumer goods to the United States that all the shipping containers were coming back empty. So US companies began stuffing the return-trip containers with recycled cardboard boxes, waste paper and other scrap. China could, in turn, harvest the raw materials. Everyone won. But China has launched "Operation Green Fence" — a policy to prohibit the import of unwashed post-consumer plastics and other "contaminated" waste shipments. In China, containerboard, a common packaging product from recycled American paper, is trading at just over $400 a metric ton, down from nearly $1,000 in 2010. China also needs less recycled newsprint; the last paper mill in Shanghai closed this year. "If the materials we are exporting are so contaminated that they are being rejected by those we sell to," says Valerie Androutsopoulos, "maybe it’s time to take another look at dual stream recycling."

+ - E3 2015: A Lot of Nostalgia for Old Games

_xeno_ writes: E3 2015 saw a lot of game companies banking on nostalgia, but much less hype for new games. While the biggest thing coming out of Microsoft's press conference was undoubtedly the Hololens, the biggest buzz from E3 was probably Sony's announcement of Square Enix's announcement of a remake of a two decade old game (Final Fantasy VII), seconded by the announcement of a sequel to a fifteen year old game (Shenmue). Nintendo announced mostly new sequels as well. Ultimately, though, it isn't surprising that the biggest buzz is around old games. Old games are a known quantity, while truly new games are — well, new. Who knows if they're going to be the next classic or not?

Comment: Re:Minesweeper (Score 2) 76 76

Seriously, no joke. The Win10 version of games are horribly resource hungry for fuck knows what reason.

They are in Windows 8.1 as well. I tried playing Microsoft Sudoku on my Surface Pro 3, but - no joke - it forced the fan on and reduced the battery life to the point where I just gave up playing it.

I'm not sure how Microsoft fucked up their Metro - er, "universal" - versions of their games, but they did.

Comment: Blame Maven (Score 4, Insightful) 130 130

This is a problem that Maven has created, mostly.

What the summary doesn't mention is that "large repository of open source software" is a Maven repository. Maven allows you to specify dependencies for your Java project.

The problem is that you have to specify a specific version of whatever you use. So let's say you use OpenFoo 1.1 and that at the time you write your code, the latest version of OpenFoo is 1.1.3.

Now assume a horrible vulnerability is discovered in OpenFoo 1.1.3, so they release OpenFoo 1.1.4 to fix it. Well, your Maven POM says you require OpenFoo 1.1.3, so until you go in and manually change that, you will only ever use 1.1.3. There is - by design - no way to say "I want the latest 1.1 version." You can only describe a single, specific version.

So it's no surprise that Sonatype will see a ton of old Maven projects continuing to download outdated Maven artifacts. There's no way to say "I want the latest version of a specific branch" you can only specify a single version. Which means that a project that hasn't changed in years will still pull in the old versions of the libraries, even if it would work with the later versions.

Comment: Re: Fallout, Dishonored yes/DOOM meh (Score 2) 113 113

Define "mod-friendly." My guess is "not very" but there's this:

The most interesting wrinkle? âoeDoom Snapmap,â an in-game level editor designed, says Bethesda, to let any player craft complex maps or fiddle with the game rules on the fly. When youâ(TM)re ready, you just push a button to play, or share your creation with anyone in the world.

The reason I say "not very" is that presumably that's intended to satisfy modders due to an otherwise complete lack of modability.

Of course, that may be designed to bring something like mods to consoles in a way that Microsoft and Sony will allow, so who knows.

Comment: Re:Apple Developer Program now all inclusive (Score 1) 415 415

Then that's new since they originally moved it to the App Store, because I remember having to enter a credit card number to be allowed to download the "free" download. I don't remember whether or not the Apple Account I created was for that or not (pretty sure I needed it earlier solely to get access to Apple's Developer Program through my employer), but I do remember being forced to enter a credit card number despite Xcode being free.

Comment: Re:Can I even stream? (Score 1) 181 181

Odd, that's what the Comcast rep told me that last time I looked into getting faster Internet. Are you telling me that Comcast lied directly to me? Because as far as I can tell through their website, it's true, the only way I can get the faster tier is to upgrade to "Triple Play," it's just not offered any other way. And in order to use "Triple Play" you have to use their Xfinity box. I specifically asked if I could keep my cable modem and they flat-out told me "no."

Comment: Re:Can I even stream? (Score 1) 181 181

That's all I can get without doing the "Triple Play" bullshit where I'd have to get TV and home phone service too, as well as install their own router and in-home wifi Xfinity thing.

So, yes, it's effectively all they'd offer me. Getting a faster speed would require me to rent a cable modem from them despite the fact I already own a DOCSIS 3 capable modem and have a working wifi router.

Comment: Can I even stream? (Score 2) 181 181

No, of course I can't watch it, I don't own an 8K TV or let alone a 4K TV.

But what I'm more curious is: can I even stream it? Because I'm stuck with Comcast, so I'm limited to something like 20Mbps download speed. ("Something like" because that's the maximum, not the guaranteed, which is 0Mbps. Yay monopolies!) 4K video on YouTube apparently requires more than that!

So forget watching it, I can't even stream it in real time.

And I live in an area where there "is" competition. I could also get the same 20Mbps speed from RCN, plus Verizon offers FiOS in the area! But not to me, despite it literally running down the street I live on.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile, Firefox 38.0.5 included even more bl (Score 1) 91 91

Unless you have NoScript installed, then it does literally nothing.

Half the point to the original Phoenix browser was to allow shit like Reader Mode and Pocket to be offered as optional addons.

Firefox seems to have entirely forgotten this.

Comment: Re:And the Firefox bloat continues to swell (Score 2) 91 91

Firefox is multithreaded. Apparently it's using 86 threads right now as I type this.

I haven't a clue what those threads are doing since nearly everything clearly takes place in the UI thread given the number of times the browser freezes to deal with JavaScript, but - it's got a whole lot of threads for some reason.

Comment: Re:And the Firefox bloat continues to swell (Score 1) 91 91

This sounds like a feature nobody actually gives a damn about.

This sounds like a feature almost no one can even use.

I'm curious how many Slashdot readers even have a VR headset. I sure don't nor do I have any interest in getting one. It's one of those things I might be interested in "some day" but at present, I've done an Oculus Rift demo before. It was neat but it didn't make me think "I need to get this!"

This seems like a feature that not only does no one want, that nearly no one can even use.

Maybe hold off on the VR support until there's an install base? Or anyone actually wants such a thing?

Comment: Re:Apple Developer Program now all inclusive (Score 1) 415 415

These days I'm pretty sure it's just "download it from the App Store" - to the point where I'm not sure you even can download it any other way.

But that does mean you need to a valid Apple Account and it also means you need a valid credit card. It was fun convincing someone to let me "use" a corporate credit card to download a free copy of Xcode.

Comment: Re:Apple Developer Program now all inclusive (Score 1) 415 415

That's almost a requirement for iOS development (although you can install home-written software on your own stuff, I think),

Nope! You need to pay them to do that, and there's a limit to how many devices your organization can install apps to. I'm not sure what the limit is for the base plan since I only have ever used the Apple developer program through my employer. But there's a whole process to get a device "provisioned" to be able to run apps you're developing and there's a limit based on your plan with Apple.

The early bird who catches the worm works for someone who comes in late and owns the worm farm. -- Travis McGee