4. Excludes motor vehicle manufacturers, manufacturer of motor vehicle equipment, or motor vehicle dealers and medical devices or a digital electronic product or embedded software found in medical settings.
For all the bravado about standing up to powerful interests, this shows you who the most powerful interests are in that space.
We excluded autos because the Massachusetts auto right to repair bill (most recently updated in November) covers this, and there's a nationwide MOU. Tesla is the only manufacturer that has not signed this MOU.
There is a lawsuit around that ballot initiative, and iFixit and EFF just filed an Amicus on Monday supporting the law. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/06/eff-files-amicus-brief...
Sometimes it's better to fight the giants one arena at a time.
What about farm vehicles?
What about "digital electronic product"? Doesn't that exclude phones and laptops?
There's no comma after that phrase indicating that it's a separate item in the list.
I believe that is intended to be read as "digital electronic product or embedded software found in medical settings."
After all, the description of what the bill does apply to is "digital electronic equipment". Interpreting it to apply to "equipment" but not "products" doesn't really make sense.
What you said does not make any sense. What's the problem if the law is overlapping ?
Instead of fighting the auto industry giants over this bill, they left them out - that way they can focus on fighting the info industry giants.
The auto industry giants are still being fought - just not over this bill.
I think that if the laws overlap it will be opposed by multiple industry giants and will be harder to pass. At least that’s what it seems from the post above.
Am I being a bit naive to think that this has more to do with public safety? In theory, there is some increased level of regulation/review of the car and medical device manufacturers that limits the risk these repairs aren’t done to an appropriate standard? You can make a trade-off between standard of repair and price for your iPhone that only impacts the device, but cars and medical devices not properly repaired could impact a life.
You’ve used a grey argument. Apple themselves have argued that one of the reasons they have to limit repair is for public safety (someone could have a battery explode if they pierce it, for example), whereas we could also argue the other side: that if someone modifies their own medical device and gets hurt because of it that they legally only hurt themselves because they had the right to make that choice.
IMO it comes down to this: do we advocate for laws that give companies the ability to decide what is right/safe for the public, or do we advocate for laws that reflect trust in the individual?
> IMO it comes down to this: do we advocate for laws that give companies the ability to decide what is right/safe for the public, or do we advocate for laws that reflect trust in the individual?
This is a really great way to put it, and it applies broadly to so many fundamental disagreements in the tech world.
I firmly believe it’s better to trust the individual—so I think users should be able to sideload iOS apps (only if they want to) and install their own root certificates. Others think individuals can’t be trusted, and so we should let tech companies dictate what is safe for everyone else.
While Apple has made that argument, their devices are not primarily intended to support life, and the vast majority of failures due to bad repairs don't kill people.
And often with medical devices, they may often be supporting the life of someone other than the original purchaser and sole maintainer.
> that if someone modifies their own medical device and gets hurt because of it that they legally only hurt themselves because they had the right to make that choice.
Well, while this applies to medical devices, worth noting this doesn't apply to cars, for which safety inspections have existed in many states for quite a while.
These laws obligate the manufacturer to release maintenance and repair manuals, like the ones they provide to the authorized service centers; and ban all litigation related to someone providing unauthorized services, etc...
Depending on the law, it may also require more documentation, ban on total lockdown of devices and obligation to sell spare parts(but you often can buy genuine spare parts through service centers)
Right to fix also doesn't cover warranties, as you will loose your warranty when doing it yourself.
For cars or medical equipment - that's clearly political influence, masquerading as "public safety".
There's nothing stopping me from modifying my car to be very dangerous right now, without even affecting my warranty. The difference - I cannot install a third party keyfob, because the protocol is locked down.
The kind of medical equipment that hospitals require, already comes with multi-decade support. And your CPAP device can be serviced by someone without manufacturer specific training(that costs a fortune, for little practical value).
> Right to fix also doesn't cover warranties, as you will loose your warranty when doing it yourself.
The Magnussen-Moss warranty act of 1975 states (IANAL) that a repair cannot void the warranty unless the manufacturer can prove that your repair caused the damage in question.
This is the wrong place to regulate that. If buildings need to adhere to certain fire safety requirements, you have a law that says people modifying the property need to follow those requirements. You don't make a law that says only the original builder of the house is allowed to repair the house.
Let's interpret this the right way: this doesn't mean "we're not going to handle motor vehicles or medical", it means "motor vehicles and medical are out of scope for this measure." They can be handled separately, and that's reasonable given the greater safety concerns of those industries.
Right to repair started out as a demand by farmers to be able to repair their John Deere's.
This "greater safety" concern is nothing but masquerade.
The best way to kill something is by saying "yes, we'll get to that next, don't worry!" and then never get to it.
it can go both ways. Yes you're right, but making huge changes that disturb every industry makes a hell of an opposition to fight.
Plus it gives Apple an out as soon as they release a car, which is extremely weird.
If that metric is true doesn't that already give google, lg, samsung, ... an out ? "manufacturer of motor vehicle equipment" is sufficiently large to include everyone we want that law for.
If I loosely quote Louis Rossmann, one of the issue of right to repair is that more and more companies (Apple leading the trend) are using slightly modified chips from manufacturers, and them make then sign contracts that prevent any part selling to anyone.
So technically even you can replace those chips, you can't buy them.
And next Apple if putting serial numbers to prevent that even if you get the part, you will have a non-functional device.
This bill does not appear to address that.
Besides, the "information they need to repair" is also where the devil will be. Companies like Apple provide instructions on how to unscrew the laptop cover with a screwdriver (literally), but won't provide any data sheets.
> So technically even you can replace those chips, you can't buy them.
They don't even need to resort to this. If the chip requires programming, they keep the chip protected from read and the code locked and bingo: you can buy an identical one but it won't work without the original code. Pretty much any digital product in existence works like that today. One could have the entire BOM of an iPhone available, but without their iron level firmware, all programmable chips would just sit there doing nothing thus making the device unusable.
That is largely Apple-specific, as most other OEMs use off the shelf chips. Even in that case though, the distribution doesn’t exist for many components to be available to individuals or repair shops, since the component makers only want to deal with their couple dozen big customers directly.
On that note, Rossmann is a curious character. He openly and variously despises Apple’s hardware choices and policies, yet to my memory, that’s his shop works on. Are the economics of repairing Apple products that strong or is the man is a true masochist?
Watch some of his videos. He has a lot of insight about the subpar quality of Apple devices, about the outrageous lies of Apple Genius Bar quoting people thousands of dollars for repairs that take him 5-10 minutes, for apple’s efforts to make the devices non serviceable, withholding schematics, controlling access to replacement parts etc.
Here’s a televised CBS report.
He is extremely good at repair while despising the company’s despicable practices - and warns people about them.
He runs a shop that supports many employees and himself, so, yes, the economics obviously work in his favor. One doesn’t need to like the choices of a company to offer to service their products.
If my memory is correct, he explained that this was where most of the market was (especially on the neighborhood of NYC he lives in), and it was easier to fix a bunch of Apple models, rather than thousands of different Android brands/models.
He stopped working on iPhones because of the BS.
Apple had to cut the time to buy AppleCare+ in China down to 7 days simply due to the fact people were swapping parts in iPhone and return for exchanges.
And I am not entirely sure if it is a good idea Apple sell these parts for repairing. Which Apple will definitely do so with their hardware margin. i.e They will sell you the Display Screen with Glass for $300+. At this point you might as well go to Apple and fix it.
I had always wish the Services Strategy of Apple was to raise the price of iPhone and Mac by $100, move those to Services Revenue and included AppleCare+ by default. Also lowering any replacement and fixing price rather than try and gouge their customer at their Genius Bar. Which is increasingly a thing since 2015.
Getting third party fixing also have risk when your Data aren't fully backed up. Which is something likes to push for their iCloud Services.
Amend the bill to include all consumer electronics manufacturers must provide replacement parts for all their new products for twenty years. The churn of slightly different pieces in next years models should fall off a cliff when warehouses need to get built to hold everything.
What is needed is much less, a simple requirement not to stop other from providing the part is enough.
In the vast majority of cases it is not apple the one producing the chips so it would not really make sense to buy it from apple.
There is even the more severe case where the manifacturer disappeared and no factory with similar technology exists. How is Apple or whatever company supposed to produce that chip?
The essential of right of repair is "do not make second hand markets and resellers illegal".
We should probably first do realistic estimates on how much that would increase prices for those products.
20 years is a long time and I wonder how much use a 20 year old iPhone for example even has.
20 years is a bit much IMO...5-10 tho, that sounds at least reasonable.
I disagree, five to ten years is far too short.
I have a couple of audio devices that are ~14 years old and working perfectly fine. If either of them broke then I'd want to repair them (unless of course the fault was fabulously catastrophic). Once upon a time even affordably priced equipment lasted way more than 5-10 years. Maybe it's a generational thing, due to my being on the wrong side of 50 :), but stuff used to be built to last for affordable money. Hell I'm still wearing the Seiko mechanical auto-wind watch I was given for my birthday in 1983, and it still (mostly) tells the right time and day.
Twenty years should be a minimum.
I’m open to considering the nuance here.
For a washing machine or refrigerator, I’d say twenty years is the minimum. For a phone or computer? I’d say at the very least five, but preferably ten years from the last sale of a new, used, or refurbished device sold by them or their authorized resellers. Require security updates for at least twice as long, or when the manufacturer can prove all devices are out of use.
As long as it’s 5-10 years after the date the company last sold the device as new.
Normally the next step would be a vote on an identical bill in the state’s Assembly.
But Thursday is the last day of session for the NY legislature, and the bill has not yet escaped committee, making a vote by the full Assembly unlikely.
The battle for fair repair in New York will continue into next year’s session, with a strong record of success.
So eventually... maybe.
We aren't even at the half way point of the year and this is already the end of the years session? In a large state like NY? How does anything get done? This isn't some small town in the middle of nowhere.
> We aren't even at the half way point of the year and this is already the end of the years session?
We have a part-time legislature. The other half of the year lets our politicians earn a living outside politics (as well as politick--it's an election year.)
Our Governor is powerful. If an emergency arises, I believe the Assembly and Senate can be called back into session. But that's rarely required.
The majority of US states only meet a few months a year. Many have two year sessions that start in odd-years, so things that don't get completed in 2021 can get picked up again where they left off in 2022.
You'd be surprised both how much they're expected to get done in a few months, and also how little some state legislatures actually pass. State and Federal agencies serve a huge role in the US, partially for this reason.
Texas is every 2 years from what I understand.
There’s actually a problem here in washington state, and I’d guess in other states as well, that most of the legislators are real estate agents. They’re one of the few common professions that can afford to take off months at a time and still make significant income the rest of the year.
Louis Rossmann is more skeptical:
Right to Repair bill PASSES in NY state senate! What now? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX6BVQe6Tq4
TL;DR: Low probability than anything will happen before next year
From someone living in NY and having watched bills like this... Last time this came up it silently died without a vote. This vote is probably symbolic and it will languish in the Assembly forever. It is nice they voted for this overwhelmingly but it has not been "passed" as a law. It just passed step 1/3
If NY really wants to cut e-waste they should require removable batteries in cellphones and laptops.
The move to non-removable batteries always seemed like a thinly veild money grab to me.
Politicians use e-waste as the reason use for these RTR bills, but my concern is simple.
I'm tired of my closet of broken devices. I don't like spending money on a new item when I was happy with the old model.
I am tired of not seeing all the trouble codes on my car when it breaks down.
I don't like spending money on electronics because a company won't let me fix their product, restricts information, or spare parts.
I came from a family that was too poor to buy new, and repair was just expected.
My work want to force me to update my PERSONAL phone because apple do not support very old Iphone anymore. ( they gave me another phone for work stuff, 2FA and what not... )
this old phone works really well still. I do not conduct any work related activities on it. But they see it as a attack vector I guess?
If you don't do any work-related activities on it and you have a work phone, how/why are they requiring you to get a new personal phone?
If one does do work things on their phone and, especially if you have MDM installed, it is of course reasonable to require you to be on a current OS. And Apple is pretty good about length of support but it's not forever.
I'm tired of my closet of broken devices, too. But I'm also tired of my closet of perfectly working devices, which the manufacturer just up and decided to no longer ship software updates for. Hardware that's totally functional as the first day I bought it, except 1. with software that no longer does what it's supposed to because backends have been turned off, and 2. the device will be 0wned instantly if I ever connect to the Internet.
We need mandatory bootloader unlocking for products that the manufacture finds unprofitable to ship software updates for.
It makes everything disposable. I’ve seen a few 200 dollar health devices that fail quickly because they use cheap cr 2032 batteries that can’t be accessed.
I miss the days of clip in batteries. I still have a 2013 laptop like that.
Agree. Non removable batteries is an aesthetic approach to consumer devices. It has no place in industrial applications. An analogy would be a decorated plastic bag selling seeds at hardware store, Or a brown ugly burlap selling seeds to landscape contractors. One is for consumers. The other is for the expert.
But this would force your laptop to be a whole 1.8cm thick! Unthinkable!
You joke, but LG makes a <3lb (1.36kg) 17” laptop. That’s impressive. (I can’t vouch for its quality, I don’t have one).
Samsung makes a 15.6” laptop that weighs 2.6lbs, which is extremely practical. I’m planning on getting one. I wouldn’t be if it had the bulk and weight of a removable battery.
Standardized would be nice too. I have at least 3 laptops that could be put to good use but the batteries are no longer available, 2 of them don't even work with the plug unless there's a battery in there for some god awful reason.
The cells in the packs can be replaced.
Really? Never thought of that, is that a DIY thing or would I need to take it someplace?
Non-removable batteries are annoying, but they allow you to make devices which are much more compact, or which have a larger battery at the same size.
The battery in e.g. an iPhone 6S takes some work to replace, but it's still quite easy for a repair shop to do, so that seems like a very reasonable trade-off to me.
What about non-removable batteries that are also glued in? With a excessive amount of glue?
Making them doubly non-removable?
That is a totally different story! No, I for one am not okay with that at all.
There is the valid argument, of sealing it in, for water protection.
I am still looking for a new phone, which removable battery.
I think right to repair bills could be important, but I think they should also cover cases where the physical device is fine, but the company is no longer running a service, or sending security updates. In these cases, "repair" should include the ability to run different firmware etc.
... different SaaS service, including any security keys?
Not really related but ifixit really is fantastic. I’ve fixed so many things I had no business being able to fix on my own thanks to their guides and videos. I wish more people would turn to their site before throwing stuff away.
Take their guides with a bit of a grain of salt. Having gone through Apple ACMT training back in 2015, many of the iFixit guides have recommendations or procedures that do not follow official Apple guidelines. In most cases it doesn't matter, but it can come back to bite.
For example there are torque specifications for some of the screws in the trashcan Mac Pro. I doubt getting the torque wrong would cause any issue, and Apple is probably being a bit pedantic. However, iFixit's thermal paste application article specifically recommends spreading thermal paste with your finger, which is a TERRIBLE idea and goes directly against Apple repair procedures.
So use common sense when working with iFixit guides, they should not be considered replacements for official Apple repair guides, though they are far better than nothing, which is what Apple provides to the general public :).
I don't give a shit what Apple thinks, and wouldn't bother seeking their opinion. I've replaced probably every part in an old MacBook Air I have and the non-Apple online documentation has been really good.
All that being said, thermal paste is pretty poisonous, I'd never even considered someone would just splodge it on with their finger.
I've had great success with iFixit guids too. 2 iPhones and a iPad. But I've been a bit weary of doing that since last time I got a screen where the connection wires that came with it weren't quite right and caused the iPad to get hot enough to burn skin and cause heat warnings from the OS. In that case, it was possible to reuse the original connector to fix the issue, but my trust in third-party parts diminished quite a bit.
I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories, but I do wonder about the idea that by making the power source impossible to remove, the phone can be a surveillance device even when the user thinks it's powered off.
I wonder what the minds of HN think about this scenario. Is the move towards non-removable batteries perhaps related to this?
I also wonder about the movement away from physical headphone jacks....I imagine bluetooth is easier to hack then a physical cable.
Edit: thanks for engaging on this. You helped me discount this theory.
Let’s just engage this for a moment.
The first thing to ask if we think that the non removable batteries is related to surveillance is how a non removable battery would help surveillance. And it’s hard to see how it would. The vast majority of people would leave their removable batteries in the phone with it on anyways, since they don’t expect the surveillance. The next level of paranoid people would switch off the phone, in which case it wouldn’t matter if the battery was removable or not. The only crowd it would affect is the people who are paranoid enough that they would additionally also remove the battery. But if they are so careful, if they do have a phone with a non removable battery, then they have a simple alternate solution of simply locking up the phone in a lockbox and not taking it into the room you’re having the discussion (or taking it around with you if you’re worried about tracking).
Insisting on non removable batteries will give you an extremely minor benefit (people who are careful enough to want to remove their batteries for privacy, but not dedicated enough that given a non removable battery, they will still keep their phone around and won’t find an alternate solution).
So really, it doesn’t make sense at all.
Further, there’s a completely explainable, and frankly predictable, trajectory and goal that led to non removable batteries. The same goal that led to other changes such as the removing of the headphone jack, etc.
"a completely explainable, and frankly oredictable, trajectory and goal that ked to... changes such as the removing of the headphone jack, etc." Bad taste? Narcissistic corporate executives... with impractically bad taste?
:-) Yeah, no need to go to a conspiracy theory with no rational basis or factual evidence when stupidity,greed, incompetence or a combination thereof will explain the result. It seems to me that these kinds of theories only build up the power and influence of those petty industrial tyrants to the detriment of all.
Still, cold comfort to those of us who have lost the replaceable battery option and dread the day headphone jacks disappear forever.
>Let’s just engage this for a moment.
If you want your cell phone to disappear from the airwaves, fold it in a piece of foil. Quite cheap and infeasible to overcome.
There are more realistic things like that, e.g. foil-protected credit card / access card wallets that prevent accidental contactless reading.
That's unlikely because people would notice the devices working while off. Your power draw comes from two sources unless you run games and heavy apps: display and radios - and there's enough interest and measurement happening there that people would notice radios activating when they shouldn't.
There's also lots of interest in tracking device communication and I really expect someone to notice a randomly appearing device where there shouldn't be one.
The attack scenario is, that the mobile just listens to you via the microphone and saves it - and later when normaly turned on, sends away all the data. All of this on a very low hardware layer, so no need for complex cpu operations or engage with the OS(in case of turned "off"). So very low power demand.
And it would also not show up, in anyone doing radiotraffic/wlan analysis.
So it would be indeed very hard to spot. (don't have the sources, but I think on some defcon was a talk with proof of concept about this)
So if anyone thinks, he is a specific target of some powerful intelligence agency, (like someone strongly engaged with the opposition in Hong Kong) - I think they definitely should consider this scenario as a possible one (but I don't know how likely it actually is, probably not high, if your are not considered a leader).
But that this change for non-removable batteries in general was made, so that even the paranoid part of the population can be tracked non-stop by the global Illuminati ... is indeed very much tinfoil area.
But the part about your phone maybe spying on you, when you think it is off:
Well, Snowden actually said, they can do it.
Designwise, it's about waterproofing.
You have to undersize parts for a watertight fit, which can result in undesirable characteristics when deformation or dropping of a device does happen. There's also an increasing tendency to use the outer shell of a device as a heat-sink/radiator. Adhesives enable this type of design but make it darn near impossible to maintain.
I'm not going to say there isn't a mustache twirler somewhere with surveillance plans of grandeur... but unfortunately the truth may be closer to it's cheaper to buy a tube of glue than to get a tub of small, self-tapping screws.
That's just my 2 cents from having torn things apart and put them back together to varying degrees of success.
I'd be ok with certain smart phones as the exemption, but not electronics in computers, home electronics, cars, tractors, etc.
And if it's truly about waterproofing, the companies better include water damage in their measly warranties.
Can someone please explain exactly what regulations are being proposed and what manufactures will be required to do? Are manufacturer going to be, for example, required to manufacture electronic parts for every old model and keep them available for 10 years as was suggested in one comment? I'm sympathetic but there is no way this is going to work. There are literally thousands of different models of phones, for example, made every year. Ask yourself if it is it really practical to require manufacturers to keep generating parts for every old model? And then multiply that problem countlessly for every other electronic product out there.I don't think this is an area for regulation This is a recipe for shutting down the tech hardware industry. This is an area for customer pressure not regulations. This will be a hugely burdensome on manufacturers and will greatly reduce the amount of innovation and new products. And shut many new products out of the marketplace.
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