Friday, January 10, 2020

Four Recent Articles

Is repair going mainstream? Here are four recent articles:

1) The New York Times on how our military can't repair its own stuff:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/opinion/military-right-to-repair.html
We've been framing Right to Repair as a sustainability and resiliency issue for communities and individuals; this op-ed in the New York Times frames it as a military readiness and national security issue.
In reality: any community — domestic, military, etc.— that moves away from understanding the things it uses and relies on is at systemic risk. And you have to wonder what it takes for the military to go public with an issue like this. This isn't a rogue captain posting an op ed in the NY Times. It's clearly sanctioned.

2) The Wall Street Journal encouraging buying long-lived and repairable goods:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-umbrella-that-lasts-forever-how-much-would-you-pay-11578078532?emailToken=81eb8c25ff23701c740f9eb16d38fced/wUyOiLhOkNfpIEY91+Pu5uOp+9iKSiklT/aC9ju8KRrQDMBaEnf2qTipMqBRLEQa3RQMo/bYO6ZcI0yxaMqOiRD91zioaTtDC9liVy9JRPc5dPRHvJtl/jkzroWbVIW&reflink=article_email_share
Good to have this article in the conservative mainstream press. Our variation on this message is: once you learn to repair something you own you essentially bestow it with a lifetime warranty.

3) The Minneapolis Star Tribune notes old non-computerized tractors are now a hot commodity:
http://www.startribune.com/for-tech-weary-midwest-farmers-40-year-old-tractors-now-a-hot-commodity/566737082/
John Deere has long been an opponent of Right-to-Repair, they've gone as far as arguing in court that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) allows them to assert that when you buy a modern tractor from them you're no longer purchasing a tractor, you're only purchasing a license to operate the tractor. (Interestingly: Canadian farmers are not subject to the DMCA and are still allowed to repair their own John Deere farm equipment.)

4) Forbes on how subsidized phones for low-income people are infected with malware:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2020/01/09/us-funds-free-android-phones-for-the-poor---but-with-permanent-chinese-malware/
We've seen these symptoms at Fixit Clinic but weren't sure it was built-in malware, it's reassuring to get independent verification. As software and hardware merge we're seeing more issues around digital inclusion, digital literacy, digital equity. Should low-income people have to accept less privacy?




No comments:

Post a Comment