Not sure which forum to place this topic in, somehow this one seemed appropo. This past weekend, I discovered that all of the local Goodwills have been told to no longer accept computers and their peripherals. This means all of it... monitors, printers, the whole smack. Not even software. The reasons I was given had to do with identity theft (reasonable) and the PATRIOT act (unreasonable). Somehow, when I tried to delve deeper into this, the manager must have assumed I was a moron and kept going back and forth between the two reasons (Keep in mind, I carry a copy of the US Constitution in my Palm).
Now, one of our local news channels (FOX 30) is going to run a piece that says that buying used computers might be illegal.
I know that the crowd here is a reasonable bunch. The problem is, many computer owners are just average folk. With many areas clamping down on computer disposal (some states are either looking at or have already instituted recycling fees), chances are pretty good that when it comes time to dispose of that Whizpopper P-166 (or perhaps a choice G3 B&W... naw, Mac users aren't like that), they will cloak it in the trash. With more thrift stores refusing to take them, with news outlets painting the selling of used hardware as a black market, and with many areas no longer accepting curbside pickup (or even recycling), it seems possible (possible, not necessarily probable) that the day could come when we, Nerdkind if you will, might run out of resources.
More insidious, though, is the possibility that families that might not be able to afford even a basic systems will be denied the possibility of obtaining them second hand. This is good news for Dell, eMachines, Gateway and, yes, Apple. It's bad news for working class families that would like to have access to the Internet.
That this could happen frightens me. What next, state registration of computers? Oops, shouldn't have said that...