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豆知识 2011-09-25&10-01 电子设备的故事 (1/3)

时间:2012-04-19 05:55来源:互联网 提供网友:gmeng   字体: [ ]
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    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

 The other day, I couldn’t find my computer charger. My computer is my lifeline to my work, my friends, my music! So I looked everywhere, even in that drawer where this lives. I know you have one too, a tangle1 of old chargers, the sad remains2 of electronics past. How did they end up with so many of these things? It’s not like I’m always after the latest gadget3. My old devices broke or became so obsolete4 I couldn’t use them anymore. And not one of these old chargers fits my computer. Urgh! This isn’t just bad luck. It’s bad design. I call it “designed for the dump”. 

 
 
 
“Designed for the dump” sounds crazy, right? But when you’re trying to sell lots of stuff, it makes perfect sense. It’s a key strategy of the companies that make our electronics. In fact, it’s a key part of our whole unsustainable materials economy. “Designed for the dump” means making stuff to be thrown away quickly. Today’s electronics are hard to upgrade, easy to break and impractical5 to repair. My DVD player broke and I took it to a shop to have it fixed6. The repair guy wanted 50 dollars just to look at it. A new one at target cost 39 bucks7
 
 
 
In the 1960s, Gordon Moore, the giant brain and semiconductor8 pioneer, predicted that electronics designers could double processor speed every 18 months. So far, he’s been right. This is called Moore’s Law. But somehow the bosses of these genius designers got it all twisted up. They seemed to think that Moore’s Law means every 18 months we have to throw out our old electronics and buy more. Problem is, the 18 months that we use these things are just a blip in their entire lifecycle. And that’s where these dump designers aren’t just causing a pain in our wallets. They’re causing a globe toxicant emergence10. You see, electronics start where most stuff starts, in mines and factories. Many of our gadgets11 are made from a thousand different materials, shipped from around the world to assembly plants. There, workers turn them into products, using loads of toxic9 chemicals, like PVC, mercury, solvents12 and flame retardants. Today, this usually happens in far-off places that are hard to monitor. But it used to happen in my home, in Silicon13 Valley, which thanks to the electronic industry is one of the most poisoned communities in the U.S.

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1 tangle yIQzn     
n.纠缠;缠结;混乱;v.(使)缠绕;变乱
参考例句:
  • I shouldn't tangle with Peter.He is bigger than me.我不应该与彼特吵架。他的块头比我大。
  • If I were you, I wouldn't tangle with them.我要是你,我就不跟他们争吵。
2 remains 1kMzTy     
n.剩余物,残留物;遗体,遗迹
参考例句:
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
3 gadget Hffz0     
n.小巧的机械,精巧的装置,小玩意儿
参考例句:
  • This gadget isn't much good.这小机械没什么用处。
  • She has invented a nifty little gadget for undoing stubborn nuts and bolts.她发明了一种灵巧的小工具用来松开紧固的螺母和螺栓。
4 obsolete T5YzH     
adj.已废弃的,过时的
参考例句:
  • These goods are obsolete and will not fetch much on the market.这些货品过时了,在市场上卖不了高价。
  • They tried to hammer obsolete ideas into the young people's heads.他们竭力把陈旧思想灌输给青年。
5 impractical 49Ixs     
adj.不现实的,不实用的,不切实际的
参考例句:
  • He was hopelessly impractical when it came to planning new projects.一到规划新项目,他就完全没有了实际操作的能力。
  • An entirely rigid system is impractical.一套完全死板的体制是不实际的。
6 fixed JsKzzj     
adj.固定的,不变的,准备好的;(计算机)固定的
参考例句:
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
7 bucks a391832ce78ebbcfc3ed483cc6d17634     
n.雄鹿( buck的名词复数 );钱;(英国十九世纪初的)花花公子;(用于某些表达方式)责任v.(马等)猛然弓背跃起( buck的第三人称单数 );抵制;猛然震荡;马等尥起后蹄跳跃
参考例句:
  • They cost ten bucks. 这些值十元钱。
  • They are hunting for bucks. 他们正在猎雄兔。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 semiconductor Uzuwq     
n.半导体
参考例句:
  • In the beginning,engineers hoped to use semiconductor lasers.在开始时,工程师们希望能够利用半导体激光器。
  • The main agent of the company brand semiconductor sales.本公司主要代理各品牌半导体销售。
9 toxic inSwc     
adj.有毒的,因中毒引起的
参考例句:
  • The factory had accidentally released a quantity of toxic waste into the sea.这家工厂意外泄漏大量有毒废物到海中。
  • There is a risk that toxic chemicals might be blasted into the atmosphere.爆炸后有毒化学物质可能会进入大气层。
10 emergence 5p3xr     
n.浮现,显现,出现,(植物)突出体
参考例句:
  • The last decade saw the emergence of a dynamic economy.最近10年见证了经济增长的姿态。
  • Language emerges and develops with the emergence and development of society.语言是随着社会的产生而产生,随着社会的发展而发展的。
11 gadgets 7239f3f3f78d7b7d8bbb906e62f300b4     
n.小机械,小器具( gadget的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Certainly. The idea is not to have a house full of gadgets. 当然。设想是房屋不再充满小配件。 来自超越目标英语 第4册
  • This meant more gadgets and more experiments. 这意味着要设计出更多的装置,做更多的实验。 来自英汉非文学 - 科学史
12 solvents 034b168fe60271d2a244d289076119b4     
溶解的,溶剂
参考例句:
  • It is resistant to borohydride reduction in alcoholic solvents. 在醇溶剂中,它不能被硼氢化物还原。
  • Strains require special treatments for removal such as spotting with organic solvents. 要清除这些着色物质,需要特殊处理,例如:滴加有机溶剂。
13 silicon dykwJ     
n.硅(旧名矽)
参考例句:
  • This company pioneered the use of silicon chip.这家公司开创了使用硅片的方法。
  • A chip is a piece of silicon about the size of a postage stamp.芯片就是一枚邮票大小的硅片。
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