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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Microsoft extends support for Windows 10 to prevent e-waste

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Friday, January 12, 2024   

Tech giant Microsoft has responded to concerns about the environmental impact of discontinuing support for Windows 10 by offering extended security updates.

The move is expected to help states such as North Carolina avoid a massive increase in electronic waste, as people ditch their old PCs for newer models.

The decision comes in response to more than 20,000 petition signatures collected by the Public Interest Research Group.

Lucas Gutterman, director of PIRG's "Designed to Last" campaign, said when support for Windows 10 is set to end in 2025, up to 400 million devices could face obsolescence.

"And that means people either need to dispose of those PCs and replace them and buy a new one," he said, "or they'll be left unsecured against potential attacks from folks that are exploiting that older operating system."

Gutterman said the extended security update program, set to begin in 2025, will come with additional costs for individuals, schools and businesses.

It's estimated that about 50,000 tons of computer equiment is already discarded in North Carolina each year, along with more than 30,000 tons of television sets.

Gutterman pointed out that this move by Microsoft represents a step in the right direction to reduce the environmental impact of outdated technology. However, he said he believes further measures should be taken to address the issue, such as automatically extending support.

"It's not just Microsoft. It's not just Google. It's not just Apple," he stressed. "The entire industry really needs to have things that are designed to last, and it does seem like they are listening to folks that stand together and ask them to do that."

According to PIRG, the manufacturing of these devices has already resulted in about 46 million tons of climate pollution, or the equivalent of adding nine million cars on the road for a year.


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