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Digital Makeover: 5 Reasons You Should Fix Your Gadgets, Not Replace Them

Battery won’t hold a charge? Screen is cracked?These things can be fixed. Our friends at iFixit tell us why we should learn to repair our stuff.

Unless you’ve just woken up from a coma, you’ve probably heard that Apple recently announced the iPhone 5. Lots of people will be lining up the night before the September 21st release to get their grubby hands on the glossy screen—us included.


Our motivations are a little different than the average Joe: Here at iFixit, we get new gadgets to tear them apart and teach people how to fix them. We won’t shame you for wanting something new and shiny. But if your old phone is no longer up to snuff, you don’t necessarily have to shell out your hard-earned cash for a new one. Battery won’t hold a charge? Screen cracked? Camera stopped working? All of these things can be fixed.

Today’s task is to learn how and why to fix your gadgets instead of replacing them. Repair will save you money, of course—fixing a "red ringed" Xbox 360 costs just $30, less than one-sixth of the price of a new console. But here are five other reasons to fix your stuff.

1. It’s easier than you think.
Does the thought of prying apart your iPhone make you weak in the knees? We have step-by-step guides and instructional videos to walk you through everything from changing an iPhone battery to changing the oil in a tractor. If we don’t have a guide for it, the repair gurus on iFixit Answers can help you out.

2. Knowledge is power.
Learning that you don’t have to live with broken stuff makes life better. You, too, can be free of stuff that squeaks, wobbles, or flickers when it shouldn’t. Repair doesn’t just give you control over your stuff, it connects you with it—you learn what makes it tick. Plus, you’ll never be overcharged for a simple repair again.

3. You prevent e-waste.
About 75% of end-of-life gadgets in the US end up in landfills, incinerators, or e-waste dump sites around the world (pdf). The gadgets that are recycled are usually shredded, then sold as raw material. But recycled plastic and rubber can’t be used to make new computers—the mix of dyes and plastics means it can only be "downcycled" into park benches and freeway dividers.

4. You conserve mining and manufacturing efforts.
Mining is hard on the earth. In just the last month, there have been two big wastewater leaks: one at a gold and silver mine in the Philippines and one at a zinc mine, which contaminated an Amazon river tributary. Manufacturing has real human costs: the labor disputes at Foxconn manufacturing plants are infamous. When you fix your old stuff, you’re not contributing to the mining and manufacturing of new stuff.

5. You get more out of your old stuff.
Are you maximizing the potential of the devices you currently own? Could you get the same new, shiny feeling if you downloaded some free apps for your phone? Could you double your computer’s storage space by adding a second hard drive?

Repair is good for your brain, good for your wallet, and good for the planet. So go fix something.

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Articles
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture
NASA

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They worked behind the scenes, but now they're getting the credit they deserve as their accomplishments are brought to the forefront. Their amazing stories were detailed in the book "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race" by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later turned into a movie. (Darden was not featured in the movie, but was in the book). Johnson has a building at NASA named after her, and a street in front of NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters was renamed "Hidden Figures Way."

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Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

They found that kids who had more than one hour of screen time a day without parental supervision had lower levels of development in their brain's white matter, which is important when it comes to developing cognitive skills, language, and literacy.

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Health