You may have heard of or read about “Project 1 Phone,” Globe Telecom’s campaign to “turn” old cellular phones into classrooms. It will not actually take apart a mobile phone and use its spare parts as building materials.
What Globe will do is sell usable parts to raise funds to build schools in Aklan. The project not only aims to promote proper disposal of electronic waste, some of which may be toxic, but also recycling.
Devices and accessories brought to designated collection centers will be handed over to TES-AMM, a leading electronics waste recycler which will recover precious metals and plastics from the gadgets and properly dispose of non-usable items.
The project is commendable as, I am sure, there must be quite a number of unused electronic items in storage, at the rate people change phones and gadgets for newer models. It is getting more and more difficult to find takers of old cell phones.
But the project reminded me of a news report I read a while back that said eBay was recovering a lot of sensitive information from mobile phones offered for sale on the online trading site. People were eagerly getting rid of old phones, but apparently forgetting they had stored bank account numbers and personal identification numbers (PINs), compromising text messages and photographs and a slew of other personal information that should not be available to strangers.
Even personal e-mail can be easily read, as mobile devices tend to open without need of passwords the addresses that are accessed often.
I mentioned this to Globe which agreed that, while it is not going to resell the collected gadgets, there is rather a need to advise donors to clear all personal files by returning them to factory settings.
I have neither seen nor heard the new Globe announcements, but I strongly advise people, who plan to donate old stuff to the campaign, to make sure their gadgets have been returned to factory settings. Even if you are simply giving away or selling your old phone to a relative or a friend, make sure it is returned to factory settings.
You may not be a celebrity whose personal life is of interest to hackers, extortionists and other criminals, but you certainly would not want to make your bank accounts and other financial records available to anybody, even to close family members.
Plant-lovers, who may be missing the convenience of the Manila Seedling Bank that provided for all their gardening needs, should visit the Flower and Garden Show Festival on Nov. 13-23 at Quezon Memorial Circle, Commonwealth Avenue entrance, in Quezon City.
The festival Ancient Arts in Modern Times is part of the series of activities to mark the 75th founding anniversary of Quezon City. It is organized by Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines Inc. headed by Vic Derona; Cactus and Succulent Society of the Philippines Inc. headed by Becky Buenaventura; and Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Manila, headed by Dr. Divina Lupe Lazaro. Overall chair is Dorie S. Bernabe.
The festival will showcase bonsai, suiseki (natural stone formations), ikebana floral arrangements, dish gardens, ornamentals, herbs, medicinal plants, cacti and other succulents. A commercial section will offer a wide variety of items for garden enthusiasts. Many people appreciate plants as gifts.
Other features are daily lecture-demonstrations, on-the-spot painting, flower arrangement, and dish gardening contest among high school students.