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…the 5th of November.
Well, the Fifth of November isn’t just for the rebels anymore. This British holiday has been adopted by activists, hacktivists, and ordinary joes who want to remind the government that it serves the people—not itself. It’s a rallying cry for the underdog. A reminder that if we stand together, there is no force in the world powerful enough to push us back down.
This 5th of November, iFixit is teaming up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to empower technology users (AKA everyone) to take their digital stuff back from government interlopers and corporate money mongers.
What are we reclaiming? Common sense and fair use. iFixit is fighting for your right to repair your stuff. And the EFF is fighting to protect your right to use that stuff without the NSA—or anyone else—peeking over your shoulder.
If you’re not familiar with the EFF, they’re the do-gooders who protect your online free speech, digital privacy, and fair use. They even give report cards for internet companies, so you know who has your back.
“EFF’s mission is to protect your digital freedom, including your right to repair and tinker. But the freedom to tinker doesn’t mean much if you can’t exercise it, and that’s where iFixit comes in. iFixit knows that if you can’t fix it, you don’t own it. We are proud to work together as guardians of fair use and common sense,” said Corynne McSherry, IP Director, EFF.
This 5th of November, we’re holding a fundraiser for the EFF. Support the EFF to keep the internet free and open, and get the tools to keep your hardware working. Now through Friday, purchase a Pro Tech Toolkit for $59.95 and $10 of your purchase will go directly to the EFF. They’re even throwing in some stickers.
After a spate of discouragingly unrepairable devices, we’ve finally landed on something to buoy our spirits: Google’s newly-released Nexus 5.
No iOpeners or heat guns were necessary to open up this bad boy. We removed the Nexus 5’s back panel with just a bit of careful prying, giving us easy access to all its internal goodies. That accessibility should come in handy when it’s time to perform repairs or switch out an ailing battery. And speaking of batteries! In stark contrast to the ghosts of devices past, the Nexus 5’s minimally-adhered battery should only take a moment (and maybe a spudger) to replace. The rest of the phone’s design follows a similarly modular framework, earning the newest Nexus an 8 out of 10 on our repairability scale.
Sometimes we sound like a broken record when it comes to terrible repairability, and we get it—seems like there’s a lot of product bashing going on lately. Yet for every fixable Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, there’s a Surface Pro—or in this case, an iPad Air—to saturate the market with unrepairable devices.
With the release of every shiny new generation of iPad, a certain percentage ends up looking like this. And then what? With a hard-to-repair device, the fix is either expensive or impossible. It hurts the consumer, sucks for the environment, and contributes to the device’s untimely demise. That’s “no bueno” on many different levels, if you ask us.
So, today it’s the iPad Air’s turn. Just like last week’s 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display, things took a turn for the worse. The battery is now a 2-cell unit and the adhesive is even harder to remove. The changes to the new iPad are bad for repairability, but not quite bad enough to halve its score from 2 to 1. It was an extremely close call, though. We wrestled with the decision for quite a long time before reaching our conclusion.
It’s no secret that iFixit’s mission—to teach everyone to fix every thing—is a bit … ambitious. We envision a better world, one where everyone everywhere knows how to fix their stuff. Well, staying put in California has been limiting our ability to do that.
So naturally, we called up our buddies in Germany and (in true iFixit-fashion) we solved the problem.
We are proud to announce iFixit Europe!
iFixit European headquarters is located in Stuttgart, Germany, a stronghold of tinkerers and inventors. From its central location right in the heart of Europe, we are shipping tools and parts to 28 European countries.
To be honest, we’re a bit jealous over here in the States. ‘Cause word has it that our German friends are giving out gummy bears with every shipment.
Help us Make Repair Global
A group of community volunteers has helped us translate iFixit’s interface into French, German, and Spanish. We’re working on Dutch, Italian, and Polish next—and we need your help.
I knew little about the “Maker” movement when I first stepped into the World Maker Faire in New York last month. It felt kinda like going to Disneyland and not knowing about Mickey Mouse. From the first moment I walked into this celebration of creative tinkering, I was awed and overwhelmed by wandering robots, a life sized game of mousetrap, and machines I couldn’t even begin to describe or comprehend.
Suddenly, I spied a banner that read: “Zero to Maker.” I knew where I needed to start.
A neophyte maker, I met a new hero. David Lang, author of Zero to Maker, was giving out his introduction to the Maker movement—a crash course Maker ideology, jargon, and (most importantly) enthusiasm. Best of all, the book is David’s story of going from zero to maker.
Being a fixer at heart, I was amused by David’s experience trying to fix his Magic Bullet blender. Enjoy the excerpt below—it mentions iFixit, so I was morally obliged to share. And check out David’s book on Amazon: Zero to Maker: Learn (Just Enough) to Make (Just About) Anything. Read the rest of this article »