Digital Artefact Status: Work In Progress

It has now been multiple weeks since I started work on my Digital Artefact about the process of building a PC and some of the issues involved with cryptocurrency and the effects of e-waste and honestly progress has been, limited. Since beginning the project I have realised that the final submission (if in video format) should only have a length of around 7:30, absolutely cutting my dreams for three different videos all of which would run for between 5-10 minutes. I recently found out though that I could change the structure of the assignment and add the parts about selecting components for the PC and then actually building the PC as extra videos that are unmarked so I plan to do them in that format while having the talk about issues be submitted as the actual assessed material. The reason I have still decided to continue with the videoing of purchasing and building the PC is because it is something that interests me and it seems to me that most similar videos already on the internet fail, to a large extent, to explain it to an uninformed audience in a way that makes sense.

So far I have got all the material for the selection of PC parts video which shows some of the websites that can be used to buy from and explains what different specifications on the parts actually do but have yet to edit the video (mostly because there was an issue with audio recording and I may need to layer a new audio track recorded afterwards over the top). While I wait for the parts to arrive so I can film putting the computer together I have started research into cryptocurrency and e-waste for the marked component, I hope to have a solid enough understanding of it by Thursday next week for my in class presentation on the project since it will be the major topic I talk on.

So far in my research for the third component (marked component) I have started to research the impacts of e-waste, the scale of the issue and what the plans are for the future in certain Countries. Waste from Electronics and Electronic Equipments (WEEE’s) represents the widest source of wastes with the highest growth per year worldwide with up to about 50 million tonnes being dumped per year (Up to 2014) with an estimated growth rate of between 3-5% annually (Cucchiella et al., 2015). Many Countries are beginning to look into recycling options for much of this electrical waste with special focus on the plastic and metals not only because this often toxic waste is filling up space at an extremely fast rate but also because they are easily recyclable and the metals can often be quite valuable. The EU specifically has done research into the value of reselling many of these more valuable materials found in different electronics with the most valuable being platinum with an average value of 37,607 Euro per kilo (followed by gold at around 34,000) (Cucchiella et al., 2015). Even since the early 2000’s e-waste has been a major issue of debate in Countries such as America where in 2005 more than 1.56 million metric tonnes of e-waste was discarded, most of which was dumped in landfills due to no alternative method at the time (Kahhat et al., 2008). Many avenues of encouraging people to recycle electronic parts are being discussed in many Countries, especially in Asian countries where there have been rising concerns about the health consequences that e-waste presents, especially to people at higher health risk such as pregnant women and children (Heacock, Kelly and Suk, 2016).

Cryptocurrencies are another major point that I wanted to talk on, beyond describing what they actually are I want to look into management, use of these currencies, what effects they have on everyday life and potentially look into what the future may hold for them. I have only just begun my research into cryptocurrency in the previous few hours before writing this so I am still not sure of specifically what I hope to talk about in the video component on crypto in my final DA. One of the major points that have interested me in my brief research on the topic is the security surrounding cryptocurrencies like preventing people from tampering with the system itself or from making mutually inconsistent statements to different people, for example trying to convince two different people that you have sold them the same “coin”. Since the method used to ensure security around cryptocurrency cant be physical in nature it makes heavy use of cryptography, which is also the basis of cryptocurrencies themselves, and is a research field that makes use of difficult math equations in an often extremely subtle manner (Narayanan, 2016), which as much as I would love to go into, I currently know nothing about.

References

Cucchiella, F., D’Adamo, I., Lenny Koh, S. and Rosa, P. (2015). Recycling of WEEEs: An economic assessment of present and future e-waste streams. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, [online] 51, pp.263-272. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032115005808 [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Diaz, L., Lister, T., Parkman, J. and Clark, G. (2016). Comprehensive process for the recovery of value and critical materials from electronic waste. Journal of Cleaner Production, [online] 125, pp.236-244. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652616301299.

Heacock, M., Kelly, C. and Suk, W. (2016). E-waste: the growing global problem and next steps. Reviews on Environmental Health, [online] 31(1). Available at: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/reveh.2016.31.issue-1/reveh-2015-0045/reveh-2015-0045.xml.

Kahhat, R., Kim, J., Xu, M., Allenby, B., Williams, E. and Zhang, P. (2008). Exploring e-waste management systems in the United States. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, [online] 52(7), pp.955-964. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921344908000360.

Narayanan, A. (2016). Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies. [ebook] Princeton University Press, pp.1-2. Available at: https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=LchFDAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=cryptocurrency&ots=ArmIgV1OnE&sig=DOX3RrBy6qILbI6QzZl_bCOa5kI#v=onepage&q=cryptocurrency&f=false [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

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