Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #righttorepair

Most recents (24)

This week on my podcast, I read my @Medium column, "About Those Killswitched Ukrainian Tractors," in which I am a buzzkill about that feel-good story of a Ukrainian John Deere dealership bricking $5m worth of tractors stolen by Russian looters:… 1/ A vintage John Deere tractor whose wheel hubs have been repl
If you'd like an essay-formatted version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:… 2/
In case you missed the underlying story, here's a quick recap. Russian looters, abetted by the Russian military, stole $5m worth of tractors and combines from a Deere dealership in Melitopol, Ukraine. 3/
Read 65 tweets
With respect @KateKurera, the only thing I don't like about your speech was the bit about "big corporations".

I don't like it, because all corporations, when successful, will become big.
Those that ride the #repairability wave have many $$ advantages.
A good solid for #repairable devices is of financial management: Roughly 30-40% of a given products' revenues come in the form of lifecycle maintenance.

In the coming decade, that margin will increase to 50-60% due to futureproofing and modularity among other things.
What's missed by financial managers though, is that this revenue is not free. It has two costs, one indirect:

First, the cost of staff to maintain said equipment - if your products fail "too infrequently", you're forced to use contractors (seasonal variability of need).
Read 11 tweets
Today's Twitter threads (a Twitter thread).

Inside: The cruelty isn't the point; and more!

Archived at:…

#Pluralistic 1/ A roast turkey on a countertop wearing an 'I voted' sticker
Tomorrow (Mar 10), I'm on a #RightToRepair panel in honor of the special "War on Repair" issue of @Make: magazine:… 2/
The cruelty isn't the point: The point is power.

3/  Image: Gerry (modified)
Read 19 tweets
Today's Twitter threads (a Twitter thread).

Inside: How and why to break up Big Tech; The Dawn of Everything; and more!

Archived at:…

#Pluralistic 1/ Image: Macmillan https://us...
Thursday (Mar 10), I'm on a #RightToRepair panel in honor of the special "War on Repair" issue of @make: magazine:… 2/
How and why to break up Big Tech: My new Locus column, "Vertically Challenged."

3/ Image: Anthony Quintano (mo...
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A historical accident made Massachusetts a lab for studying how tech can serve monopolies, and the moves, countermoves and counter-countermoves show how businesses, tinkerers, governments and the public can liberate themselves from seemingly all-powerful monopolists. 1/ A Monopoly board upon which a wheelbarrow token has landed o
If you'd like an unrolled version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:… 2/
It all starts with #RightToRepair. Companies love to monopolize the repair of their products. If the only place to get your broken stuff fixed is at its manufacturer's authorized depots, the manufacturer can move all kinds of value from your side of the deal to their own. 3/
Read 92 tweets
John Deere was once an American icon, beloved by workers for good wages and job security, and by farmers, who co-innovated new agricultural techniques and technologies. Today, it's a case-study in the horrors of finance capitalism. 1/ A vintage John Deere tractor whose wheel hubs have been repl
If you'd like an unrolled version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:… 2/
Today, the company is rotten to the core. Despite skyrocketing profits, the company has continued to grind down its workers, sparking a strike by all 10,000 of its workers. 3/
Read 19 tweets
Today, @APerzanowski publishes "The Right to Repair: Reclaiming Control Over the Things We Own," from @CambridgeUP. It's a fitting followup to "The End of Ownership," the book he and @lawgeek published in 2016.… 1/ The cover of Aaron Perzanowski's book, 'The Right to Repair.
If you'd like an unrolled version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:… 2/
The #RightToRepair movement has gained momentum over the past decade, cutting through questions of IP law, environmental survivability, consumer culture, tinkerers' rights, consumer protection, fraud, information security and more. 3/
Read 13 tweets
Just reading at the moment - The Right to Repair - Reclaiming the Things We Own @APerzanowski…
#repair #righttorepair #intellectualproperty #consumerrights #competition
'Legislation and regulation are part of the solution, but fixing our culture of repair will demand lasting changes to our behaviour as consumers and citizens'. @APerzanowski (p 268)…
#repair #righttorepair #intellectualproperty #consumerrights #competition
'Protecting and restoring repair will require us to rethink product design, recalibrate market incentives, and shift the social norms of our consumer culture to better reflect the value of repair' @APerzanowski (p 13)…
#repair #righttorepair
Read 13 tweets

I will have a working Gaggia Baby for the sum total of €50.44 🎉

Currently it looks like this!

In the thread: the detail of how to do a repair like this, and why #RightToRepair matters...
First, why do all of this?

I have been the happy owner of a Gaggia Classic for years (it's fab), but need a 2nd coffee machine for somewhere else. The original Gaggia Baby is like a Classic with a plastic case

I bought this for €10, sold as defective, on Kleinanzeigen
Second, what was wrong?

Upon opening the machine (4 screws - easy) it was clear there was some severe corrosion at the *top* of the machine

4 t-shaped plugs connect power to the boiler - one was melted through, 3 seriously corroded
Read 14 tweets
Rather than just a repair issue, this has been a fascinating insight into design of electric products, and points of failure

Somehow the person who owned this machine managed to get water into the top at the front - not something the designers ever thought would happen...
This has meant a part - the switches to turn the machine on - failed

Even getting switches out of the machine is not simple, while replacing anything else on a Gaggia espresso machine is easy
Getting spare switches is - you guessed it - also not so straightforward, because those aren't the part that normally fails (pump and boiler are)
Read 5 tweets
"LaserWriter II" is Tamara Shopsin's fictionalized history of Tekserv, NYC's legendary Apple computer repair store. 1/ The cover for Tamara Shopsin's 'LaserWriter II'
If you'd like an unrolled version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:… 2/
It's a vivid, loving, heartfelt portrait of an heroic moment in the history of personal computing: a moment when computers transformed lives and captured the hearts of people in every field of endeavor.… 3/
Read 26 tweets
The DMCA was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1998. It has a weird history. Its inception came from Bruce Lehmann, Microsoft's chief copyright enforcer, whom Clinton tapped to serve as his Copyright Czar. 1/ EFF's DRM banner: a monstrous, rotting padlock.
This was back in the "Information Superhighway" days, when Al Gore was holding hearings on the demilitarization and commercialization of the internet. 2/
Lehmann presented Gore with a proposal that was so utterly bonkers that it made subsequent net.lunacy ("series of tubes," etc) look reasonable by comparison.… 3/
Read 59 tweets
Farmers call for ag equipment manufacturers to let them fix their own tractors has gotten louder and louder. And now, @JohnDeere shareholders are adding voice to the mix. That's a big deal — let's talk about how we got here. 🧵 1/…
For decades upon decades, farmers have taken pride in their ability to use their own ingenuity get the job done when problems spring up. That includes fixing equipment as soon as it breaks. 2/
But as modern software worked its way into modern ag equipment, new software tools were required to fix tractors and combines. In the @uspirg report Deere in the Headlights, I documented how farmers can't get access to those necessary tools. 3/…
Read 10 tweets
Intuitive Surgical shut down a da Vinci robot in the middle of a procedure, forcing the surgeon to switch to open surgery with the patient on the table -- so alleges a new lawsuit, Axios reports.… #robotics #righttorepair #robots #competition #health
Health systems filed two separate class action lawsuits against surgical robot maker Intuitive Surgical.… They allege that the company used its market power to force them to sign restrictive repair contracts and buy replacement parts at high prices.
Read 4 tweets
The Biden administration teased a sweeping antimonopoly executive order last week, including a #RightToRepair provision that was to be aimed at agricultural equipment - a direct assault on the corporate power of repair archnemesis @johndeere. It…

1/ A John Deere tractor in a field. In the foreground is a trus
(If you'd like an unrolled version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:)…

But it turns out that the executive order goes far beyond tractors and other agricultural equipment - it also applies to consumer electronics, including mobile phones, and this is a HUGE FUCKING DEAL.…

Read 24 tweets
#RightToRepair is a no-brainer. You - not manufacturers - should have the right to decide whom you trust to fix your stuff, even (especially) when that stuff is "smart" and an unscrupulous repair could create unquantifiable "cyber-risk."

1/ A vintage John Deere tractor whose wheel hubs have been repl
And yet...DOZENS of state #R2R bills were defeated in 2018, thanks to an unholy coalition of Big Ag, Big Tech, and consumer electronics monopolists like @WahlGrooming. That supervillain gang reassembled to fight and kill still more bills in 2020/1.…

It's part of the long trend in which all levels of government make policy based on what serves the interests of the rich and powerful, not the people they serve.

Read 15 tweets
While #DigitalFeudalism is practiced by many Big Tech companies, Apple pioneered it and is its standard-bearer. The company rightly points out that the world is full of bandits who will steal your data and money and ruin your life, and it holds itself out as your protector.

1/ A tapestry illustrating a manorial lord threatening agricult
Apple is a warlord whose fortress has thick walls and battlements bristling with the most ferocious infosec mercs money can buy.

Surrender your autonomy by moving to Apple's fortress - where they choose your which apps and where you get repairs - and they'll defend you.

This arrangement (which should really be called "digital manorialism" because feudalism involved providing men-at-arms to the monarch) has the same problem as all benevolent dictatorships: it works well, but fails badly.…

Read 25 tweets
Apple: #RightToRepair

Waarom alleen wij uw kapotte iPhone mogen repareren? Voor heel veel geld, voor een studente?

Nou, euhh, omdat dat euhh 'veilig' is.
Uw naaktfoto's kwamen online? Door onze reparateurs?

Sssstt. Hier is vijf miljoen, maarre: mondje dicht!
Read 5 tweets
In 2018, dozens of states introduced #RightToRepair bills. These bills are wildly popular among voters, but wildly unpopular among monopolists ranging from @Apple to @Microsoft to @Google to @GM to @JohnDeere to @WahlGrooming. Every one of these bills was defeated.

1/ A 2010 photo, 'Agbogbloshie e-waste workers completing a bur
(If you'd like an unrolled version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:)…

Repair advocates regrouped for 2021. 27 R2R bills have been introduced at the state level. Every single one that came up for a vote was defeated, thanks to aggressive lobbying by an unholy alliance of the country's largest, most profitable, least taxpaying corporations.

Read 44 tweets
Heard about the #RighttoRepair? New UK measures are a start but we need a REAL right to repair.

We're NOT done yet!

Sign our petition for
💪 rights for community repair groups and DIY-ers
⬇️ lower VAT on repair
📱include mobiles and computers…
In the US, the new administration is making strong moves in favour of repair. The European Commission committed to more this year.

The UK government, @beisgovuk @DefraGovUK must make strong commitments to longer-lasting products and repair. Good for the planet and job-creating.
The UK parliament called for a comprehensive, right to repair enshrined in law last year via @CommonsEAC. (Government largely ignored. All we got were European measures required by the Brexit agreement.)

Sign our petition to keep pressure up…
Read 4 tweets
It's been nearly two years since the @FTC's #NixingTheFix workshop on how corporations have sabotage our #RightToRepair. Finally, the Commission has issued its report, and it's hugely vindicating for R2R advocates.…

1/ EFF's Right to Repair logo: a green flag with a crossed hamm
If you don't have time to read the 56-page report, check out @Ifixit's cheat-sheet, which highlights the salient points, namely:…

* Companies routinely violate federal law by voiding their customers' warranties in retaliation for seeking independent repair

* Anti-repair tactics more heavily harm Black people and communities of color

* The pandemic made independent repair sabotage even more important

Read 11 tweets
As far back as 2015, the agribusiness monopolist @JohnDeere was taking steps to ban farmers from fixing their own tractors, arguing that copyright law made trafficking in tools to effect these repairs a felony.…

1/ A vintage John Deere tractor whose wheel hubs have been repl
The company took this to the US Copyright Office, saying that farmers couldn't fix their tractors because they don't OWN them, despite paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for them - software in tractors means they can only be licensed, not owned.…

Deere bolstered this argument with a paternalistic warning that farmers are just not qualified to service tractors, prompting electronics specialist Willie Cade - grandson of a legendary Deere engineer - to speak out against the company.…

Read 20 tweets
A new feature by @a_greenberg for @wired on the bizarre fight over diagnostic/control tools for McDonald's soft-serve machines is a fantastic, fascinating look at the intersection of #RightToRepair with hardware hacking, corporatism, and franchising.…

1/ A Kytch control box on a circuit board inside an unspecified
McDonald's ice-cream machines are notoriously finicky, so much so that people make bots to determine whether your local McD's machines are busted (5-16% of these machines are broken at any time)

2/ A McDonald's tweet reading "we have a joke about our so
There's a reason these machines go down all the time: they are absurdly mechanically complex, designed to do overnight repastueruizations on leftover ice-cream mix, unlike less complex machines that have to be drained and cleaned every day, at high labor and wastage costs.

Read 22 tweets
Caveat emptor! We've got a couple of hair/beard trimmers around the house that have turned out to be pretty useful during the lockdown for home haircuts. They started to get a little dull, so I bought a whetstone and sharpened them - it's pretty straightforward.

But here's the gotcha: one of our @WahlGrooming trimmers - the 9899L - sprang apart as soon as the screws were out and there was no obvious way to reassemble it; after looking for a tutorial of a manual, I called the 800 number.

I spoke to a very helpful and patient customer service rep...but what they told me convinced me that I would never buy another Wahl product.

It turns out that by design, you can't sharpen the blade of this clipper - you're expected to throw it away when it gets dull.

Read 12 tweets

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