Last month U.S. Rep. Paul Cook of California introduced the “Secure E-Waste and Export Act” to prevent counterfeit parts from making their way into U.S. military hardware. The bill will ban the export of all used, non-working electronics from the United States. But China is already one of the world’s biggest generators of e-waste, so it’s difficult to see how this will make any difference. It’s an unnecessary bill. But it’s also an environmentally destructive piece of legislation.
It’s the night before Christmas Eve and you’re frantically stitching new PJs for Jonny, or maybe it’s the day before the school play and you’re working on Little Red Riding Hood’s cape, or maybe you’re enjoying a little quiet afternoon sewing, when suddenly everything stops—the needle, the hand wheel, your heart. You’re in a jam—or at least your project is. Fear not, we’ve got some tips for you from our friend Rob Appell—host of Man Sewing and sewing machine repair expert.
Everyone knows Pokémon GO wreaks havoc on your daily battery life. But that hasn’t stopped people from playing it. And since we’ll probably still be dodging mobs of Pokémon hunters six months from now, I started wondering: What kind of impact will months of Pokémon hunting and hatching have on your battery in the long run? (Spoiler alert: The impact is pretty significant.)
A tinkerer, a security researcher, and a digital rights watchdog just filed a lawsuit against the United States government, challenging the country’s most embattled copyright law: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Passed nearly two decades ago, the law governs the space where traditional copyright and modern technology collide. The lawsuit, filed today, contends that Section 1201 of the DMCA violates free speech under the First Amendment.
As a teardown engineer at iFixit, it’s my job to be prepared for whatever Apple’s cooking up in Cupertino. So I’ve kept an eye on all those headphone jack rumors. Of course, we’ll know for sure if the headphone jack is gone when we get our hands on the iPhone 7 this fall. But for right now, everybody has an opinion. So here’s mine: Removing the headphone jack and consolidating its function into the Lightning port will lead to more broken Lightning ports.
At Fixit Clinic, we celebrate successful repairs by ringing a bell and shouting “Fixxxxed!” It may seem campy to celebrate each successful repair in this way—and with a 70% success rate on repairs, we do a lot of celebrating. But after over 170 Fixit Clinics across the US—in the San Francisco Bay Area, Minneapolis, Boulder, Austin, San Diego, and Orange County—we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s all part of creating a participatory and festive atmosphere around repair.
Want to make sure you get the most out of your sewing machine as it ages? Then keeping it regularly maintained is crucial. Sewing machines are delicate, complicated creatures—but with a little TLC, your machine will last longer, sew better, and require fewer repairs. We asked sewing machine repair exert Rob Appell what owners can do to keep their sewing machines in tip-top shape.
We talk a lot about why it’s getting harder to fix electronics. Not just because of how those devices are designed, but also because a lot manufacturers don’t want anyone to know how to fix them. And those companies can issue legal threats to keep repair information out of public view. It looks like Louis Rossmann, an independent Apple repair tech from NYC, is fending off a legal attack from one of those companies.
Grieving is a weird process, and part of mine involved spending time with my dad’s old bike. The thing was a mess. The tires were brittle and crumbling, spokes askew, rims warped. All the shiny bits were coated in rust. The headset was seized as the packing grease had petrified into a crust. Spiderwebs shrouded every nook and cranny. It looked ready for the junk heap; it hadn’t been touched in nearly 30 years. Fixing it meant the world to me.
Nest Labs, pioneering overlords of our smarthome future, is about to do something pretty inhospitable to customers. On Sunday, they will pull the plug on Revolv—a home automation hub that Nest acquired almost two years ago. If you own a Revolv, your home will shut off. Your lights will turn off. Your doors will stay locked—or unlocked. All that automation that you painstakingly set up? It’s quitting. On Sunday, Nest will brick people’s smart homes—and owners can’t do a thing to stop it.
People don’t want to own anything anymore. They much prefer licenses that let them use it. At least that’s what lawyers from The Software Alliance and the Motion Picture Association of America told the Copyright Office. Through an unlikely sequence of events, I found myself sitting across the table from them late last month at a series of “roundtables” on copyright law. Unlikely, because I’m a repairman. Copyright law should have nothing to do with me. But it does.