We take freedom—both free as in speech and free as in beer—pretty seriously around these parts. So, we ring in Independence Day with a little something we like to call Liberation Week. Last year, as part of the festivities, we gave away 1,776 Liberation Kits. This year, we gave away 15,000 in just a couple of hours. Liberation Kits let people swap out iPhone security screws with standard Phillips screws, so they can open up their phones whenever they feel like it. Ain’t freedom sweet?
The Senate has made a strong positive step towards making sure that people have the right to unlock their cell phones.
If you haven’t picked up the new copy of Popular Mechanics, here’s another reason to do so: our co-founder Kyle Wiens contributed an article to the print edition! The article, “Why We Fix,” is a dyed-in-the-wool tinkerer’s explanation of why we do what we do—why repair, for us, isn’t just an action: it’s a state of mind and an amazing challenge. Pick up the magazine on any newsstand.
Hey, so guess what? We took apart the new-for-2014, $100-cheaper MacBook Airs, and found almost nothing new inside. Our spudgers get misty anytime a new device ends up on the teardown table, but this Air iteration was too uninteresting to warrant a full-blown (or even a half-blown) teardown. The sole change between last year’s and this year’s models: the 100MHz-faster processors—lovely Haswell units labeled SRT16T. We wrote a full set of repair guides for both new models anyway.
I admit it. I’m one of millions of Americans sporting a slick, wafer-thin cell phone. And, like so many others, I’m rarely (if ever) without it. But if we all knew a little more about our beloved smart phones—found out where they come from and how they’re made—we might discover a tarnish in the gleaming surface of our phones. Our smartphones actually aren’t all that smart: they’re harming workers, poisoning critical ecosystems, and challenging the premise that technology makes the world better.
There are a lot of reasons why I’m involved in repair culture. Repair makes me feel empowered, it helps me learn engineering, and it connects me to my things. But one of the best parts about being a participant in repair culture is getting to talk to fantastic people all over the world. You may be amazed at how vast and diverse repair culture is. You may be amazed at how many hackers, tinkers, reusers, and recyclers there are—people who are interested in making the world a better place. And in my job, I’m lucky enough to connect with all of them.
Are you going to Macworld? Because we are, and we’d like to meet you there. Macworld—held from March 27-29 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco—is the ultimate conference for Apple fans. It also happens to be one of our very favorite events—and this year we’ll be out in full force. We have three official Macworld events scheduled on Thursday, March 27th. Then, later that evening, we’re heading over to Techshop for an iFixit meet-up party. We’d love to see you at any, or all, of the events.
Hey, what are you doing on Thursday? Because you should cancel whatever lame dinner plans you have and come hang out with us instead. Join resident repair guru Gwendolyn Gay and iFixit co-founder Kyle Wiens for our first ever live Q & A with iFixit on Thursday at 4:30 PM PST. We’ll talk about anything you want to talk about. How to fix your washing machine, Apple, smartphone durability, your Right to Repair…whatever—if it’s repair-related and you’re interested in it, the topic is on the table.
When there’s a laptop on every desk and a smartphone in every pocket, it’s easy to forget that about one-third of the world’s population doesn’t have access to the internet. About 1.2 billion people around the globe don’t even have access to reliable electricity. So, the amazing educational resources that come hand-in-hand with technology are cut off from many of the world’s children. OLPC makes a rugged laptop that gets these kids online and learning; we are helping them repair it.
Hey, are you a hardcore Windows fan? And a hardcore fixer? We’ve got just the thing for you. We released an iFixit app for Windows 8 and 8.1. Get thousands of iFixit’s trusted repair manuals right on your Windows device. On the app, you can browse through our collection of teardowns, find repair instructions for your laptop, learn to sew a patch your jacket, and more. Our clear step-by-step instructions and in-guide videos will keep you on track during even the most complicated of repairs.