The Right to Repair movement has introduced dozens of state-level laws that would force companies to support independent repairs by making manuals, parts and diagnostic codes available, and by ending the illegal practice of voiding warranties for customers who use independent repair services, but these bills keep getting killed by overwhelming shows of lobbying force from members of the highly concentrated manufacturing sector, particularly Apple, whose CEO, Tim Cook, warned investors in January that the number one threat to Iphone sales is that customers are choosing to repair, rather than replace, their mobile devices.
Last week, the FTC held a workshop on how a national Right to Repair regime could function, under the banner of Nixing the Fix; though most of the material presented at the workshop will be familiar to anyone who's followed the debate at the state level, the fact that the hearing happened at all is a hopeful sign, the first step on a long journey to a nationwide Right to Repair rule.
Wiens of iFixit and US PIRG’s Proctor spoke in favor of fewer restrictions imposed by manufacturers when it comes to product repairs, as well as increased education for consumers and repair shops. Manufacturers have access to specific instructions and specialized tools, the argument goes, making it difficult or nearly impossible for consumers and repair shops to fix the products they own.
Jennifer Larson, the CEO of the Minnesota-based IT hardware reseller Vibrant Technologies, said at the workshop that she’s “lost millions in revenue—I can’t even quantify over twenty years how much I’ve lost,” due to repair barriers that prove to be too costly and time-consuming for the clients she sells servers to. She hears from angry clients who are upset they have to buy brand-new machines, after unsuccessfully attempting to update firmware, and can’t sell equipment back to her. “The business has changed from whole servers to having to part them down, so you have chassis in landfills,” she said.
Could Feds Force Companies to Support Your Right to Repair? [Lauren Goode/Wired]
View this post on Instagram You don’t wanna miss *tomorrow’s post* it’ll be good. But for now this experimental piece inspired by John Cage. Been washing my hands so much in the basin—made me think of Water Music. My classic CR-78 and metal meets water. Our world, our habitat is a giant experiment! In geological […]
I have always been intrigued by the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab Kit that was only sold for a year, starting in 1951. The kit included a Geiger counter, a Wilson cloud chamber, a spinthariscope, a electroscope, and a comic book in which Dagwood splits the atom. It also came with three sources of radiation […]
Matt Ruff is one of science fiction and fantasy's most consistently brilliant and innovative authors, whose recent work includes The Mirage (an incredible alternate history in which the Global War on Terror is kicked off when Christian crusaders from the blighted, tribal USA fly a plane into the United States of Arabia's Twin Towers in Dubai, giving the hawkish CIA chief Osama bin Laden the chance to launch the all-out war he's been champing for), and Lovecraft Country (an anti-racist reimagining of Cthulhu set in Jim Crow America where the real horror is white supremacy -- now being adapted for TV by Jordan Peele). In his new novel, 88 Names, Ruff adds to the canon of MMORPG heist novels (Charlie Stross's Rule 34, Neal Stephenson's Reamde, and my For the Win, to name three) with a unique take that he dubbed "Snow Crash meets The King and I."
Odds are, you picked your home as the best location to hang up your business outfits so you could relax and enjoy your off-hours in peace and comfort. Unfortunately, worlds are now colliding. In many cases, your home is now also your place of business. And trying to finish reports or make calls doesn’t always […]
You probably have a lot of items in your home that you’d hate to lose to theft or damage. While certainly no one ever hopes to fall victim to a natural disaster or home invasion, you need to be prepared just in case it does happen. When it comes to choosing a reliable renters insurance, […]
Stuck at home? Us too. And all anyone can think about is food. Stuffing your face for hours on end is definitely not a good way to stay healthy right now, but if you’re going to do it anyway (let’s be real—your original stash is already gone), why not improve what you’re snacking on? No, […]