Stuff that matters

Take Note 7

2.5 million exploding Samsung phones just got recalled. Now what?

Motherboard’s Jason Koebler points out that the massive recall of exploding Samsung devices is a major environmental problem, as well as a major embarrassment for the company.

The phones will be “safely disposed of” and not repaired or resold, which means a whole lot of the rare materials that were mined and refined for your swiping pleasure (as high as 500 pounds of raw materials per phone, one expert told Koebler) will be lost, along with all the energy it took to produce the phone.

And to think all this could have been avoided if Samsung had made those faulty batteries replaceable, or not been struggling to keep up with a market that demands newer, faster, sleeker, better gadgets every 12 months.

We have our own qualms with electronics recycling. This week, we took a hard look at Apple’s Renew program and the ways it falls short of its promises. The fact is, we’re much better at building technology than we are at deconstructing it, at least for now. Read our full story.