Archive for December, 2011


Advertisement for the Filbert 2790, the phone of 1911.

During the winter of 1911, magazine advertisements were recommending that bewildered American men who were shopping for Christmas presents, should buy their wife a Bell company telephone (image featured above):

Man, Get Her a Bell Telephone

That you Fondhusband?  This is Clause, – S. Clause. Wondering what to get your wife for Christmas? Suppose we have a telephone put in for her?

You and I know its wonderful usefulness in the rush of everyday business, but in the home – why man, I’m surprised you’ve been without it so long.  It’ll make life much more pleasant for your wife and she’ll always have things ready on time.

Take down your Bell Receiver and get Filbert 2790 this afternoon. The service costs a trifle, you know, and it’s paid for monthly.

Filbert 2790

To any 21st century “Fondhusbands” still struggling to purchase their wives and families the perfect Christmas gift we say: what have you been doing for the last month? And, as it turns out, 100 years later buying the latest electronic is still in fashion.  According to one list, electronics are actually dominating the best selling gifts this holiday season.  The list includes: the 4th Generation Apple iPod, the Palm Pixi Plus Verizon Cell Phone, the Apple Macbook Pro and the Amazon Kindle.   In fact, only two of the ten gifts are not electronic: the Burberry Brit and Love by by Sex in the City (we were surprised by this too.. apparently people really love their cologne) and the Amazon Gift Card (which is probably used for buying e-books for tablets… hence, this is essentially a debit card for electronics and is therefore, basically an electronic itself). This year it seems that Santa’s sleigh will be packed with some high tech gifts, making it a very 21st century holiday season.

To paraphrase a mentor of Spiderman, “With great gadgets comes great responsibility”.  Just remember, when you’re clearing the way for your new techy presents, be sure to properly dispose of last year’s electronic goodies – or you may get coal instead of the iPhone5 in Christmas 2012.  As we’ve reported in the past, the e- waste problem can zap holiday spirit.  About 400 million tons of e- waste is created every year, resulting in devastating health effects on entire communities.  Given the shorter and shorter lifespan of electronics – i.e., how frequently we replace them (especially around the holidays) – it is likely the amount of e-waste will increase in the future. Unless, we do something about it.  Is it too early to start talking about New Year’s Resolutions?  For now, visit to learn how you can sell your old electronics for reuse or recycling.  Do it before Christmas and use the cash towards holiday shopping. Tis’ the season to update your wife’s Filbert 2790.

Advertisement for the iPhone4s, the phone of 2011. 
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The McKinsey Quarterly recently released a survey (“A Rising Role for IT”) aimed at learning more about the role of IT in large organizations. When executives were asked to name their priorities for the IT department, the responses were ranked:

(1) Improving effectiveness of business processes

(2) Improving efficiency of business processes

(3) Reducing IT costs

The problem with these three priorities is that implementing any one may often come at the expense of the of the other two. Improving efficiency and effectiveness will typically cost you money, improved efficiency may reduce the overall effectiveness of your processes, and so on.  But what sets our solution apart is that it can offset your IT costs without detracting from the efficiency or effectiveness of your business processes. In fact, our service can actually help with these first two priorities.

We have found that the money our clients receive for their old devices can help them upgrade technology without incurring too heavy a cost. If you turnover your devices before the “Terrible Two’s” (second hand value for mobiles typically plummets two years after its release) you put yourself in a position to receive meaningful value back – a strategy that can help your organization increase the rate of its device upgrades. With newer and better equipment you and your organization are in a more favorable position to address all of the priorities listed - efficiency, effectiveness, new products/services, security, etc.

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What do diapers, Aladdin and an orange juice squeezer all have in common? 

It’s December, which means it’s time for the obligatory end of year list documenting the Top 10 of something.  In honor of this tradition, YouRenew sorted through the phones, laptops and calculators to document the ‘Top 10 Strangest Items Received in the Mail’.  None of the senders were paid to recycle, but all of them will forever be immortalized in YouRenew’s Hall of Fame for People Who Need to Be Asked, “Really?”

Top 10 Strangest Items Received in the Mail
A countdown from least to most bizarre.

#10 Prototype Nokia Phones (never made available to customers)  – not much to say on this except, keep reading, it’s about to get weird.

#9 Apple knockoffs: fake iPods, iPhones, etc. — We know these are fake because when we ask for Siri, we get her voicemail.  (lolz!!)

#8 Land-line phones — basically antiquated.

#7 Large C & D Cell Batteries — some of the most useless batteries around. Thanks.

#6 Inkjet Printer — slightly more useful than the batteries. Note to sender: please send us the ink now.

#5 Pocket Calculator — c. 1970.  You think we’re joking, but we’re not.

#4 Wrist watches — including this $1.5 million beauty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, now we’re joking. YouRenew has yet to receive a wristwatch worth more than 50 cents.

#3 Orange juice squeezer — great addition to the office kitchen.

#2 Packing material in the form of: an unopened pack of Lay’s Kettle Cooked Maui Onion chips and an (unused) diaper.YouRenew Operations Technician, Jason Weber, who helped compile this list, had this to say about the diaper, “I’m not sure if their intent was a symbolic statement, but the phones were definitely ‘refuse’.”

#1 Disney VHS Movies — it is incredible that more than one person has thought of sending Disney in, in particular. What is the thought process that has led so many to the same conclusion? Can anyone explain?  At one point, the (sadly) underused YouRenew VHS (to repeat, VHS… as in, a tape you put in a VCR player) Library stocked, among others, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.

Thank you to our more creative customers for making this list possible.

Happy Holidays from YouRenew!

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