Best Of The Web
“It happens to the best of us: You’re walking down the street and idly pull out your phone, only to helplessly watch it slip from your fingers and land on the sidewalk with a sickening crack. The screen is busted. What is the next step? Given how expensive smartphones are these days, it’s likely you’ll take yours somewhere to get it fixed, rather than replace it entirely.
But what should be a logical and easy thing is in fact quite complicated. Many modern digital devices are difficult to repair — and this is by design. What’s more, companies like Apple will often void consumer warranties if their devices are fixed at a local mom and pop shop rather than by their own company’s professionals. This annoying reality has given rise to the idea of a “right to repair”: a movement designed to give consumers the ability to both fix and fiddle with their devices. At its core, the right to repair movement has emerged because the digital era has fundamentally challenged what it means to own something.
During a recent FTC panel called “Nixing the Fix,” advocates argued that modern tech companies try to discourage customers from fixing their devices using deterrents like stickers that warn the device’s warranty will be void if the sticker removed. But they also open and repair devices using specialized tools that ordinary people or repair shops just don’t have access to. All of this makes it much more likely that users who can’t afford “standard” repairs will simply ditch older products for new ones. Inevitably, this has environmental consequences, and contributes to a culture of disposability and planned obsolescence.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Venice's misfortunes never seem to stop. The popular tourist destination has been hit by the worst flooding in 50 years this week, resulting in damage worth hundreds of millions of euros. Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said a state of..."
"Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) must be feeling pretty good this week, if by "good" one means "proven right in an allegation anyone of good conscience must always hope will be proven wrong." Omar caught flak earlier this year for calling White House..."
"It was when I found myself perched on our rooftop at dawn in my pajamas, coating the asphalt shingles with Mongolian Hot Oil, that I first wondered whether I had lost perspective. The woodpeckers had forced my hand. Every morning that June, one..."
"Forty-nine years after she died of a heroin overdose at age 27, rock’s doomed diva is on the road again. “A Night With Janis Joplin,” a musical homage to the psychedelic era and its favorite blues singer, returned to its Bay Area roots in mid..."
"The Democratic candidates for President are promising a smorgasbord of new taxes, but why wait until 2021? Last week Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and Virginia Congressman Don Beyer unveiled the Millionaires Surtax Act, a plan to soak the..."
"The streaming wars were already heated, but a new combatant is entering the arena: the Walt Disney Company. Mickey Mouse may be a friendly corporate icon. But the new Disney Plus streaming service could have a decidedly unfriendly impact..."
"Netanyahu’s last resort in a bid to avoid facing a courtroom would be requesting a pardon from President Reuven Rivlin, pending the recommendation of the attorney general. A knowledgeable source close to the senior echelons of the state...."
"There’s a TikTok that’s just a boy saying, “I may be ugly, but at least I’m also … dumb and annoying.” Then he dances while Ariana Grande’s “Successful” plays. It’s extremely funny, and a little bit sad, and I think about it every day. Kids on..."