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.
As I wrote last week, the California Farm Bureau (which lobbies for the state's farmers) struck a deal to gut the state's Right to Repair legislation, a move that will cost farmers their right to fix their own tractors and other heavy equipment.
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.
John Deere has turned itself into the poster-child for the DMCA, fighting farmers who say they want to fix their own tractors and access their data by saying that doing so violates the 1998 law's prohibition on bypassing copyright locks.
Tim O'Bryant, aka Cotontop3, is a logger in Mississippi who vlogs daily. In this episode, he uses the pincers on his log loader to toss leftovers from log bucking, which takes a surprising amount of dexterity.
John Deere is notorious for arguing that farmers who buy its tractors actually "license" them because Deere still owns the copyright to the tractors' software; in 2015, the US Copyright Office affirmed that farmers were allowed to jailbreak their tractors to effect repairs and modifications.
Rick Friday has been the editorial cartoonist for Farm News for 21 years, with a weekly slot in every Friday's paper.
This past weekend, O'Reilly Media held its annual geekfest FOO Camp at their Sebastapol, CA headquarters. Google co-founder Larry Page had himself flown in by helicopter for the afternoon. The chopper landed about 20 feet from where dozens of folks were camping in tents. — Read the rest
NBC News reports that the medical professionals to attended to Donald Trump on his mystery 2019 trip to Walter Reed hospital were given nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) before they treated him. Two doctors refused to sign the legally-binding documents and others were found. — Read the rest
In 1829 a group of convicts commandeered a brig in Tasmania and set off across the Pacific, hoping to elude their pursuers and win their freedom. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the mutineers of the Cyprus and a striking new perspective on their adventure. — Read the rest
TikTok, the social media app from China-based Bytedance, plans to sue the Trump administration in a challenge to the president's executive order that bans the service in the United States.
Your guesses in the BBS, please.
To be fair, it would not be wholly inaccurate to describe the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone as an autonomous anarcho-syndicalist collective. But sadly, strange women in lakes and handing out swords might in fact be a better system of government than the one we tend to see promoted on Fox News.
Impeached U.S. President Donald Trump spoke today with Russian crimelord Vladimir Putin today, ostensibly to mark the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, but one wonders what other information may have been exchanged, don't one.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is technically a Republican, in as much as calling himself a "Republican" helped him to garner votes in the western part of the state, which is less Deep Blue than the Metro Boston Area. But as far as I've ever been able to tell, Baker has never demonstrated any capacity for principles or beliefs beyond "being governor." — Read the rest
KUOW, a public radio station in Washington state announced on Twitter that it will no longer air live Trump briefings because the gentleman in the oval office is a prevaricator:
— Read the rest
"KUOW is monitoring White House briefings for the latest news on the coronavirus — and we will continue to share all news relevant to Washington State with our listeners.
Farmers are increasingly sick of high-tech tractors that are expensive to buy and usually impossible to fix yourself due to their integrated digital technology. According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, "Tractors manufactured in the late 1970s and 1980s are some of the hottest items in farm auctions across the Midwest these days." — Read the rest
Captain Elle Ekman is a US Marine Corps logistics officer; in a New York Times op-ed, she describes how the onerous conditions imposed by manufacturers on the US armed forces mean that overseas troops are not permitted to fix their own mission-critical gear, leaving them stranded and disadvantaged.