Read About China’s “Apocalyptic, Toxic” Stranglehold On The iPhone’s Rare Earth Elements

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There are seventeen rare earth elements in the periodic table: fifteen lanthanides, plus scandium and yttrium. About nine of those elements go into every iPhone sold… and if China were suddenly to disappear from a map tomorrow, Apple would lose about 90% of those elements.

Those nine rare-earth elements are used in all sorts of things to make your iPhone, including providing the LCD display, help polish the glass, build the speakers, make the phone circuitry and even allow your iPhone to vibrate on silent mode. But they are also an environmental nightmare to actually claw out of the earth, which is why China — which doesn’t care much about such issues — has a stranglehold on them.

Apple’s Using A Lot Of Excess Cardboard To Ship Their Lightning-To-30-Pin Adapter

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That's a lot of cardboard.
That's a lot of cardboard.

The new Lightning-to-30-pin adapter is a tiny thing, just a little dongle that routes signals from your old iPhone dock or connector to the appropriate pins in the new Lightning adapter. It’s smaller than the size of a matchbook.

Despite this, however, reader Doug P. emailed us with an image of how much packaging the adapter comes in: not only is Apple’s retail packaging for the adapter six times bigger than the adapter itself, but the shipping box it comes in looks like could easily hold up to thirty adapters without their packaging.

Apple’s EarPods Packing Is So Environmentally Friendly It Turns To Mush In Water [Video]

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Once it's gone, it's gone.
Once it's gone, it's gone.

Apple’s efforts to be greener mean it boasts some of the most environmentally friendly gadgets on the planet. The new iPhone 5, for example, is one of the greenest smartphones money can buy. Apple also tries to make its packaging green. In fact, the packing for its new EarPods is so environmentally friendly that it turns to mush when you submerge it in water.

The Best Travel Gadgets [Best Of]

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It’s August, which means two things. One, there’s no news to report on, which means that most of a gadget blogger’s workday is taken up with siestas and refreshing beverages. And two, it’s vacation time! That’s right: The whole northern hemisphere likes to take a break at exactly the same time, all the better to enjoy congested roads, overpriced plane tickets and overcrowded hotels.

To ease your pain, we’ve put together a list of the best travel gadgets. You may not enjoy spending a hot and stuffy month with your in-laws, but at least your tech won’t let you down.

BikeCharge Aftermarket ‘Hub’ Lets You Charge Your iPhone With Pedal Power

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Simple, and easy to install. Photo London Cyclist

 

 

There are a few ways to keep your phone juiced as you ride. Those with foresight will have specced a wheel with a dynamo hub and USB adapter. Those who live in sunnier climes might opt for a solar panel. ANd those who lack both good weather and good planning skills can grab the Tigra BikeCharge, an iPhone charger that will fit any bike.