Grandson of legendary John Deere engineer defends right-to-repair and condemns Big Ag for "taxing customers"

Willie Cade's grandfather Theo Cade was one of John Deere's most storied engineers, with 158 patents to his name; he invented the manure spreader and traveled the country investigating stories of how farmers were using, fixing, modifying and upgrading their equipment; today, Willie Cade is the founder of the Electronics Reuse Conference, having spent a quarter-century repairing electronics, diverting e-waste from landfills and rehabilitating it for use by low-income schools and individuals.

California Farm Bureau sells out farmers, hands John Deere a monopoly over tractor repair

Farmers are the vanguard of the Right to Repair movement; accustomed as they are to fixing their own equipment (you can't wait for a repair tech when the tractor doesn't work — as the saying goes, you have to make hay while the sun shines), they were outraged when companies like John Deere started using DRM to pick their pockets, creating tractors whose engines wouldn't recognize a new part until they paid a tech a few hundred dollars to drive out in a day or two and key an unlock code into the tractor's keyboard.

In Ron DeSantisland, Disney will host "the largest LGBTQ+ conference in the world"

So much for Ron DeSantis' tough-guy act against Disney, in which the petty governor crowed about "punishing" the company that opposed his Don't Say Gay bill. His bigoted retaliation antics — dissolving Disney's Reedy Creek Improvement District — turned out to be a bite with no teeth, leaving "most of the district's special powers intact," according to Tampa Bay Times. — Read the rest

Russians take $5m worth of farm vehicles from Ukraine dealership, only for them to be remotely disabled

$5m worth of new farm vehicles somehow made their way from a Russian-occupied city in Ukraine to Chechnya. Whoever expected to enjoy the plunder sadly found that the vehicles were inoperable, having been remotely disabled by the manufacturer.

Some of the machinery was taken to a nearby village, but some of it embarked on a long overland journey to Chechnya more than 700 miles away.

Read the rest

How does new music sound on an 8-track tape?

8track image

I'm fascinated by old technology. I once commandeered a disused typewriter from my friend's apartment just to have one. My obsession with retro-tech isn't from some misplaced, ironic hipster veneration of all things old, mind you. I love contextualizing myself in the era where said technology was cutting edge. — Read the rest

The end of Mills College and its massively influential experimental music scene?

Oakland, California's Mills College, a small liberal arts women's college with an all-gender grad program, announced that it will close its doors in the next few years due to financial challenges. This marks the end of this institution of higher learning but also the silencing of an incredibly-influential experimental music scene that really defined the genre over the last 60+ years. — Read the rest