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San Francisco To Stop Buying Apple Computers 392

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-not-easy-being-green dept.
New submitter djnanite writes "Following on from the story that Apple has exited the 'Green Hardware' certification program, the BBC reports that City officials in San Francisco plan to block local government agencies from buying new Apple's Macintosh computers. Will they be the first of many, or will cheaper products override people's conscience? 'Other CIOs in government and educational institutions, where Apple has a strong presence, could find themselves asked to drop MacBooks and iMacs. The federal government, for example, requires 95% of its laptops and desktops be EPEAT-certified.' Apple defended the move by saying their products are environmentally superior in areas not measured by EPEAT."
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San Francisco To Stop Buying Apple Computers

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  • Well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LiroXIV (2362610) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @02:29AM (#40611479)
    Environmentally superior = You don't have to repair it (cause you can't)! Just buy a new one!
  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @02:46AM (#40611563)
    Because a city government choosing to avoid a particular tech product for environmental reasons is news for nerds AND news that matters? It is a rebuke of Apple's move, one that might be repeated in other cities across the US. It is also interesting because it represents an opportunity to get linux into government offices. If Apple wants to avoid the official certification, then there is room for competition. As an added bonus, less tax dollars spent on hardware.
  • Wait... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jethro (14165) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @02:47AM (#40611565) Homepage

    You're implying that Apple are the cheaper products?...

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @02:48AM (#40611573)

    Or obliviously blinding? (Gotta be one of the two! :D )

    Anyway, the deal is that apple is used to living in the reality distortion bubble.

    The reality that their design choices have political consequences, and that these consequences should and will have effects on the salability of their offerings is not respected, because they are used to altered reality where their design choices are fawned over and lauded as innovative and amazing.

    In this case, we have a clearly foolish decision (ignore the EPEAT requirements for service and recycling), so that they can enforce an ideological position (our way is best, and we won't compromise. You should just change your requirements, because our products are just so awesome that they floor the competiton in every imaginable metric, including environmental friendliness!) that is sure to come back to haunt them. (Strict fed reqs regarding EPEAT compliance means no apple products purchased, and existing ones are phased out for compliant replacements.)

    I am actually enjoying the spectacle of reality creeping into the fantasyland antics at apple. Hopefully they will learn their lesson that projecting a false reality hs consequences that they can't just wish away, and come away wiser for it.

  • Re:conscience? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Intropy (2009018) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:22AM (#40611725)

    Most recycling starts out cost prohibitive because it's inefficient. The profits come from subsidy. The glue makes it even more inefficient, and so the required subsidy is bigger if they're going to bother.

  • Re:conscience? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dynedain (141758) <slashdot2@nospAm.anthonymclin.com> on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:50AM (#40611837) Homepage

    On the flip side, the significantly larger quantities of aluminum (as opposed to plastic) probably offset the glue removal in the cost balance equation.

    EPEAT defines specific processes for recycling and doesn't acknowledge other alternatives or new technologies. Even with the glue, the brand new Macbook Pro I'm typing on right now is more recyclable than any laptop which uses screws to attach batteries to the chasis.

    LEED (green building construction) is a much better model for certifications like this because it's flexible. No one single "dirty" technique would cost you certification. Instead, you earn points for doing a myriad of different things for cumulative score used for certification.

    Adhering to strictly-defined standards results in stagnant products and services, since the government is rarely pressured to update their certification requirements.

  • Re:False Dillema (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JanneM (7445) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @04:11AM (#40611897) Homepage

    In my experience Apple gear is no more nor less likely to break than other good-quality stuff. Most of the internal components are the same after all. But the recent stuff is harder to repair of course; significantly more so than Lenovo for instance. Have to love a company that actually puts disassembly and repair manuals for their products on the web for anybody to view.

  • Re:Oh my god (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LourensV (856614) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @04:38AM (#40612025)

    You COULD use a magnet to separate the metal from the rest but not all metals are magnetic and this will STILL leave you with a mess of non-metal that would take a legion to sort by hand.

    I wholly agree with your post, but I have one addition/correction. It is in fact possible to separate out non-magnetic metals from the waste stream (or in fact anything that conducts), using a clever device called an eddy current separator [wikipedia.org]. It uses a varying magnetic field to induct an eddy current in any conducting bits of trash, which in turn creates an EM field. The two fields repel, and the conductive part is flung away from the non-conductive thrash. Here's [walkermagnet.com] a link to a company that makes them with a bit more explanation.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:08AM (#40612141)

    The June 2012 changes to the EPAT verification criteria require them to permit on-site compliance audits by third parties.

    I'm thinking someone with a long history of working for Samsung has enough familiarity with the electronics industry to be a qualified third party auditor, then quit the auditing company and go back to work for Samsung.

    This seems to be an attempt to look in Apple's manufacturing shorts to see how their assembly lines are run.

  • Re:conscience? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:10AM (#40612145) Homepage

    ...they'll do it in China, where labor costs are low and the special solvents aren't banned yet.

  • Re:conscience? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by makomk (752139) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:40AM (#40612289) Journal

    According to an AC comment on the previous discussion about this by someone who claimed to have access to their internal servicing documents, Apple just replaces the whole keyboard, upper case and battery assembly on the new Macbook Pro with Retina Display as a single unit. Apparently they can't unglue the batteries either.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @06:39AM (#40612529) Homepage

    that actually started the day Jobs died. That company was 100% him. When he left the first time, they went into the toilet with stupid moves quite rapidly. Jobs came back with his iron fist and brought them back.

    It seems the current executives threw out his playbook and are doing really stupid crap like suing everyone for everything. There is nobody leading that company that gives a rats ass about the companies image or it's longevity. Jobs and Woz started the company so they cared more for it than anyone else on the planet.

    now you have a CEO that cares only about his bonuses and the size of his parachute. Apple will start going away from the direction it had and back to, "maximize profits at all costs, we must make the board and stockholders richer at the cost of the company."

    A lot of people hated Jobs, but the man had the balls to tell the board to go Screw themselves and had a drive and vision that the current one does not.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by domatic (1128127) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @08:08AM (#40612945)

    Suing everybody for everything is very much a Jobs initiative. In his biography, he infamously pledged to spend Apple's entire fortune to "destroy" Android for "stealing" "his" ideas.

  • Re:False Dillema (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @08:35AM (#40613199)

    Extended warranties are a joke for sure. All the money saved from never buying them is more than enough to replace whatever breaks. Also, if you buy your laptop with a credit card you most likely have insurance for 1-2 years that you don't even know about. Check out your credit card's fine print!

  • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by greg.sanders (2473330) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @08:41AM (#40613261)
    Very true. I was on the receiving end of cease and desist papers from Apple for some silly desktop themes that may have looked somewhat similar to Apple interfaces. During Job's tenure. There's a long history of using lawyers to protect what Apple considers its own.
  • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @11:50AM (#40615453) Journal

    I'll grant you that, yes, Jobs had a penchant for telling the board to fuck off. And you know what? They all made a shitload more money for it.

    When the last generation of MBPs hit the market, I was interested; had I not just bought a new laptop right before they came out, I'd probably have a 17" MBP right now. Their current lineup? No, thank you; the most compelling thing in that lineup is the current Air; it *should* be the RMBP, but they went and fucked that one up with too much solder and glue. I'm in the market for a laptop again and just got a raise that increases my monthly salary by about the cost of a base model RMBP, but have no interest in their current offerings. Maybe they still have some of last-gen's 17-inchers around? And Lion? Lion is a freakin' joke, next to Snow Leopard; it'll be a sad day when the security patches for Snow stop roling in.

    All Apple is doing right now is taking steps to pump their stock as high as possible so the execs can take the money and run, leaving a pile of rubble behind.

    I'll admit I was never a huge fan of Apple, even before OSX and iCrap (i'll never like the iPod in its current incarnation, or the iPad as long as it's as locked down as it is -- the iPod Clasic and Nano are alright, I guess), mostly due to their marketing, which is often times misleading, at best. But, working on a Mac 40+hr/wk for the last two and a half years has changed my perspective, at least, of their technical offering. I still don't think the hardware is worth the price (I haven't seen any of this superior engineering or better quality that I keep hearing about, I've seen as many Mac hardware problems as I've seen PC hardware problems, and I've seen far fewer Macs) but the OS, at least Snow Leopard, does have its good bits and there's a bit of decent software that's OSX-only. I started coming around, to the point that, despite the mediocre quiality I've observed their hardware to be, despite the pricetag, because I have come to like the platform, I had placed Apply at the top of my "buy" list. Then, with Lion, the dropped down a slot, and, with their current hardware lineup, they now find themselves near the bottom, about to once again be removed from the list.

    Pity. They were doing so well for so long.

    Hell, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the execs do have a long term plan. Maybe they just want to get out of the desktop market? Let me posit, for a momint, that this is the case. If they simply announce that they're exiting a market that is currently growing and profitable, their shareholders will eat them alive. However, if they make that product line unprofitable, shareholders will begin to demand that they drop it. Think about it, the next version of iOS won't need a computer *AT ALL*. That's the last piece of the puzzle, once that's in place, Apple won't need to sell computers to support the iCrap line; since that's where the money is, why would they want to support a desktop OS, too?

    I really do hope Apple rights their ship, though. I've come to like this platform and it would be sad to watch it disappear.

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