I have never really thought about electronic waste until this topic was discussed in class.  Even with cell phones, laptops, printers, etc being used everyday in large quantities, nobody really thinks about where all of this ends up when we need to get rid of it all.  The amount of electronic waste is absolutely ridiculous. Over 20 million tons of electronic waste is produced every year and when these electronics end up in landfills, their toxic materials find their way into soil and water.  Toxic materials such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and polybrominated flame retardants are found in cell phones and other devices. Despite the harmful effects of these toxins on the environment and the people handling them, nearly 60% of e-waste ends up in landfills and in the developing world.  

Most of our e waste ends up being sent to Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.  Here, it is dumped into places where inexperienced workers handle the waste in unsafe ways.  


It is silly that there are millions of people who need cell phones and are forced to get by without them.  Meanwhile, the average American cell phone user holds on to the same phone for only 18 months on average. Part of the solution would be to spend more time fixing the electronics that we already have instead of getting rid of them.  That way, we could provide more jobs to people willing to fix the electronics, and we do not waste as much. Another part of the solution would be to work on opening up more recyclers that can handle the waste properly and safely. This is a serious problem, and with the population and use of electronics expected to increase, it is important to get this situation under control and manageable.




Intro To The Digital World

Technology is extremely important in the world of music.

We use technology to make sending and receiving information as efficient as possible.  Utilizing technology allows us to make sure that as many people as possible can hear a new song or album.  In order for that song to come out of your phone speakers, it needs to go through a process of transducers and transmitters.

A simple example of a transducer would be that which is found in a dynamic microphone. The design consists of a diaphragm, which will vibrate when sound waves come in contact with it. A small magnet creates a magnetic field that encompasses the voice coil, a piece of wire that vibrates with the diaphragm. When this coil moves, the changes in the magnetic field transform the sound waves into an electrical signal.

The dynamic microphone is a wonderful example of an input transducer. These electric signals are transmitted to a transmission channel. The transmission channel would be the satellite or servers that carry the signal. The signal is then sent to a receiver. This would be your phone if you’re on Spotify or another streaming service. Finally, your speakers will act as an output transducer and will play the music.

This process is how we convey most information.  Whether it be television, music, or other applications.