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.
Big Bird and the gang instantly transport me back to my childhood—in footie pajamas, singing along to Sesame Street’s familiar theme song. Since its premiere in 1969, Sesame Street has taught millions of kids around the globe to count, read, and sing. But Sesame Street also teaches kids something that can’t be taught in schoolbooks—the value of caring for themselves, their community, and the world. What better way to teach some of life’s greatest lessons than through repair?
This week, we got a little treat from HP—a tablet that they actually want you to fix yourself. HP is billing the Elite x2 1012 G1 as a tablet designed for serviceability—complete with online repair documentation and readily available parts. Naturally, our interest was piqued. So, we did a quick teardown in the name of repairability. Spoiler alert: we were impressed.
iFixit is known for fixing electronics, but we want to help people fix everything—whether or not it has a motherboard. After all, everything breaks eventually. Recently, we challenged folks to fix their camping and outdoor gear at a pop-up repair clinic we hosted with our good friends from The Mountain Air and Patagonia. Check out the pictures on our blog.
Google’s Pixel C launch received such a resounding “meh” that we initially skipped a teardown. But the Pixel C returned to headlines once Google dropped the price, offering the Pixel C as an Android N developer machine.The Android/Chrome convergence is coming, so maybe we should take a peek at that hardware after all.
Last week, we told you about how we found Apple’s nasty tamper-resistant screw—better known as the pentalobe—somewhere we never expected: on the Huawei P9. Before the P9, we’d never seen a pentalobe outside of Apple’s ecosystem. But, apparently, when it rains pentalobes, it pours pentalobes. Because we’ve just had another reported pentalobe sighting in the wild—this time on the new Meizu Pro 6.
We tinker with computers for a living—which means, we’ve seen more circuit boards and electronics kits than you can shake a spudger at. But we’ve never seen a printed circuit board quite like this before. Delightfully old school by design, Circuit Classics was engineered by Star Simpson and inspired by the work of tinkering legend and author Forrest M. Mims, III. Circuit Classics brings Mims’ beginning electronics projects off the page and into a real-life electronics kit.
We don’t want to compare apples to oranges here, but this P9 feels very iPhone. From the opening procedure to the battery adhesive strips, right down to the pentalobe screws on either side of the charging port. Yeah, you read that correctly—Huawei is using the worst screw ever, patterned after Apple’s five-pointed screw. It has a shallow draft and rounded lobes, making it easy to strip.
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in an HTC Vive—join us as we escape into virtual reality. Excuse us for being a little rhapsodic, we just really like VR technology. Which means it’s our lucky day: Hot on the heels of the Oculus Rift launch, HTC answers back with their first-gen VR headset, the Vive. We see your Vive, HTC—and we raise you a teardown!