Apple Says Nebraska Will Become A 'Mecca For Hackers' If Right To Repair Bill Passes

from the nebraska-cornhackers dept

It looks like Apple decided to drop in on flyover country in hopes of thwarting a "Right to Repair" bill pending in the Nebraska legislature. It did not go well.

[T]he prospect of a Cupertino-based megacorporation losing business to local repair shops isn't a very sympathetic argument at the Nebraska statehouse. And so Apple has tried a slew of other tactics, according to state Sen. Lydia Brasch, who was recently visited by Steve Kester, an Apple state government affairs specialist.

"Apple said we would be the only state that would pass this, and that we would become the mecca for bad actors," Brasch, who is sponsoring the bill, told me in a phone call. "They said that doing this would make it very easy for hackers to relocate to Nebraska."

Apple probably expected its heavy-handed (and stupid -- more on that in a bit) "suggestion" to be taken more seriously by podunk legislators in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately for Apple, Brasch isn't just a legislator in a state mainly known for corn and football-as-religion.

Brasch is not only an Apple customer, but she's a farmer who has had to deal with plenty of repair-blocking BS from companies like John Deere. She also has a background in computer science and an apparent tendency to not let corporate lawyers talk down to her.

Not only did Apple pick the wrong legislator to threaten, its threat is incoherent. I've spent most of the last 15 years in the Midwest and, trust me, it would take far more than a right-to-repair bill's passage to make Nebraska a mecca of anything. (Beyond college football, he said to head off the Cornhusker faithful most likely already demanding a retraction…)

Then there's the thing about "hackers." There's more than one type of hacker, but Apple dropped it as a pejorative term in hopes of conjuring images of hoodied figures sitting in dark rooms with the local SWAT team on speed dial and deploying some sort of encryption… you know, the evil kind.

All sorts of nonsensical arguments are already being raised in response to a handful of right-to-repair bills around the nation. The corporate version of "you'll shoot your eye out" has been deployed to portray DIY repair jobs as hospitalizations waiting to happen.

The idea that it's "unsafe" to repair your own devices is one that manufacturers have been promoting for years. Last year, industry lobbyists told lawmakers in Minnesota that broken glass could cut the fingers of consumers who try to repair their screens, according to Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of Repair.org. Byrne said she will also testify at the Nebraska hearing and "plans to bring band aids."

Apple's take is this: the "hacker mecca" thing plus a very short parade of not-all-that-horribles.

Brasch said the representatives made two other main arguments: They said repair could cause lithium batteries to catch fire, and said that there are already enough authorized places to get iPhones repaired, such as the Apple store.

Define "enough." As Brasch points out, getting her devices repaired "conveniently" involves setting up an appointment at the nearest Apple store, which is 80 miles from where she lives. Apple certainly doesn't mind taking money from rurally-located customers when selling devices. But it's not nearly as willing to make repairing their purchased products actually convenient.

And it's not just Apple. Other phone manufacturers have spoken to Brasch in an attempt to get her to drop the legislation, or at least rewrite it in their favor.

"They said just take out the 'phone' part of the bill and we'll go away," Brasch said. "That's tempting, but we need to repair consumer technology too."

Brasch's bill sprung out of her frustration with repairing her farm's equipment, which has been made increasingly difficult by John Deere's refusal to allow anyone other than repair shops it makes to profit from touching its products. Phone manufacturers have the same attitude. They express faux concern about consumer safety while preventing consumers from having any control over how their purchased devices are repaired. The concern most of these companies have for their consumers only extends as far as their ability to purchase add-ons, new products, and inconvenient repairs at non-competitive prices. The battle is over bottom lines, not consumer safety, no matter how it's spun and no matter how many hacker-based horror stories are spun.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 6:51am

    "state government affairs specialist"

    why regulation tends to not work

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:55am

      Re:

      It is much more nuanced than your simplistic view would have it, if the politicians represent the electorate, regulations can be good, but when they represent corporations, they tend to be bad. The problem to be solve is how to get people who will represent the electorate into political office, and that will remain a problem so long as political parties dominate politics.

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      • identicon
        Agammamon, 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:23am

        Re: Re:

        Politicians represent whoever can get them re-elected best. No more, no less.

        And this whole 'corporations vs electorate' schism is crap. Corporations are made of people. Same as every other group - even groups of one.

        And every group uses whatever levers of power it can get its hands on to try to change the legislative environment to its benefit.

        Sometimes you agree with those changes - because they benefit you - and thus they are 'good' and sometimes you don't.

        The solution here is not 'to get the right people in charge' - because there aren't any. The solution is to limit the amount of power these people have to screw things over.

        Keep in mind that Apple and Deere can only do what they're because of special dispensation given to them by the government.

        Absent regulation, there is no mechanism for Apple to force you into using its designated repair facilities - anything not prohibited is allowed, after all - you would be free to tinker to your heart's desire without worrying about the cops busting your door down.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 9:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Politicians represent whoever can get them re-elected best.

          Currently, due to the money needed to compete with adverts etc., that is the political parties and the corporations who can fund them.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 9:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You mean currently due to the electorate not holding their feet to the fire and constantly calling to Mamma Gubmint to save them from the big bad corporations?

            The ONLY thing government regulation does is remove "The Peoples" chair from the bargaining table. I think SOPA, TPP, TTIP, and several others like it are positive proof of this.

            Big governments and corporations sit behind closed doors to negotiate things. Notice that there is no place for "the people" in any of that.

            The government has blessed many businesses with all sorts of power to prevent you from properly OWNING you electronics. DRM and your inability to skip past advertisements is a BIG part of that. When was the last time Government had your back when one of the big boys was fucking you over?

            Never... that is when. Take the fines against Vizio... the Government gets the fines, and the fines were low enough to continue to justify the spying and no one at Vizio goes to jail. Sony placed malware on computers without the consumers knowledge and no one went to jail. Meanwhile a few people are in jail just for gaining access to 1 "important" persons email.

            There is simply no end to stupid people like you that think government is here to save you, when all they are going to do is "trick" you into thinking they are helping when all they are doing is controlling things with your ignorant and sycophantic blessings to boot!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 1:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You mean currently due to the electorate not holding their feet to the fire and constantly calling to Mamma Gubmint to save them from the big bad corporations?

              I guess the folks in Bophal were silly to run to momma gubmint over that pesticide plant.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster

              Oh, wait, the regulators were paid to look the other way.

              Or how about Columbia meat packing in Dallas, that dumped pig blood into the river? Yeah, Big Momma passed a law in Texas forbidding photography using drones. Three guesses who lobbied to get that law passed, and in record time too!

              So, going with your stated position, I guess citizens shouldn't go to gubmint about things. Just grab that trusty old blunderbuss and "go take care of bidness."

              HEY! Is that a MILKWEED I see in your lawn!? Let me get my blunderbuss and we'll "talk".

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Agammamon, 21 Feb 2017 @ 5:15pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AC Bophal

                Did going to the government do anything in the Bophal case? No. Because, as you yourself point out, the regulators were paid to look the other way.


                So, it looks to me that there's no use for government regulators as no matter what you do, they're in cahoots with 'the corporations'.

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            • identicon
              Thad, 21 Feb 2017 @ 4:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Gubmint?

              Clearly you are a serious person with serious ideas.

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        • identicon
          Thad, 21 Feb 2017 @ 4:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Corporations are made of people. Same as every other group - even groups of one.

          No, a group of one is, by definition, made of a person, not people.

          Also, it's not a group.

          Absent regulation, there is no mechanism for Apple to force you into using its designated repair facilities - anything not prohibited is allowed, after all - you would be free to tinker to your heart's desire without worrying about the cops busting your door down.

          And absent regulation, there is no mechanism to prevent Apple from locking its workers in a building without bathroom breaks for 80-hour work weeks.

          Some laws and regulations are good. Some are bad. Most people would file this under "no shit."

          In fact, I'd venture so far as to say that, in general, regulations that benefit individuals at the expense of corporations are good, while regulations that benefit corporations at the expense of individuals are bad. Why, that schism doesn't sound like crap at all.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Agammamon, 21 Feb 2017 @ 5:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Absent regulation you would continue to work with someone who did so to you?

            Absent regulators you're just helpless? You can't unionize? Colletive action? You know, the things your ancestors did *in the face of government (and private) efforts to allow their enslavement*?

            Absent government, you would just meekly submit?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 5:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Collective poverty. I want some of that!

              /s

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Thad, 22 Feb 2017 @ 9:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Absent regulators you're just helpless? You can't unionize? Colletive action? You know, the things your ancestors did in the face of government (and private) efforts to allow their enslavement?

              Do you know why people unionized?

              To pass regulations, you dink.

              Child labor laws? Ever hear of those? OSHA standards? Are these things ringing any bells?

              You know, the things your ancestors did in the face of government (and private) efforts to allow their enslavement?

              That's cute how you're pretending you've got some knowledge of history, while failing to realize that I'm not referring to a hypothetical.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire

              That's what happens when there are no labor laws, Aggie.

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    • icon
      TechnoMage (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:44am

      Re:

      I'm pretty sure your local river hasn't caught on fire recently unless there was an oil spill. That used to be a thing because of much crud/oil/etc was in the rivers... You might have heard of the Mahoning River and let alone the Cuyahoga River that only caught fire 8 or so times before the EPA, clean air, & clean water acts were passed... Edit before submission: Wiki says at least 13 -fires- on the river

      Simplistic views of "Regulations" like some 10th grader who just for the first time both read Ayn Rand and got high... is as stupid now as it ever was. (I won't say which party is worse for this in the US for this POV, because both have Corporatists in them that spew this nonsense b/c of legalized bribes campaign donations to try and make more money for the Corps... but that is another issue entirely) But just like the 'concept' of "government regulations that set a -max- quality of steel to be used in the railroads", most concepts about "how 'pure evil' regulations are" are based on false pretenses.

      People holding signs in the "tea party" era saying: "keep your government hands off my medicare" are perfect examples of uneducated viewpoints like yours.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 9:41am

        Re: Re:

        "Simplistic views of "Regulations" like some 10th grader who just for the first time both read Ayn Rand and got high... is as stupid now as it ever was."

        Complete Straw-Man argument. Being Anti-Regulation does not mean Zero-Regulation. It's like saying everyone that is Pro-choice is okay with babies being aborted 100% throughout the pregnancy including well past viability and not all are like that. Or like saying everyone that is Pro-Life would not allow for an abortion period when some are okay with abortion in cases where there is a danger to the mothers life.

        In general regulation is just bad because it takes YOUR LIBERTY AWAY. Yes I think taking away peoples liberty to dump toxins in the environment is a good thing. But letting them tell everyone what they have to do AND HOW they have to do it is where it becomes nothing but a burden? For the same reasons TurboTax lobbies for complicated tax laws, and why toy manufactures want lead testing on toys to a degree that they can afford it but mom and pop toy makers cannot afford them. The same reasons why the FCC creates and blesses the Telco Oligarchy. The same reason the FTC allowed Zero Rating in their pseudo "net neutrality" rules.

        It's all just a game to trick people into thinking they work so they will sign on for form. No one alive can truly understand how much better it could be because they live in constant fear of the Corporate Boogeymen! We have not had a free market for most people that are alive now. Copyright and Patents no longer serve the public good, they only serve their corporate masters and you don't even hear any elected officials paying any mind to them.

        through "regulation" government has more access to your bank than you do. through "regulation" you cannot technically live without breaking the law in one fashion or another. through "regulation" you only get what government thinks you should have. through "regulation" you cannot even sell lemonade in your front yard. through regulation, you cannot give away free food to the poor that you just prepared. through regulation, the police can take your money if they want too. through regulation you cannot even do certain things on your property because "someone else" thinks it looks ugly and they should have a right to tell you what to do so they don't lose value in their property. through regulation, someone can use CPS to steal your child because they have money and connections and you can have them taken away if you just let them play across the street in a playground, or if one of your electrical receptacles is not protected in a way that an agent deems appropriate. through regulation, the police can knock your fucking house down and your insurance company does not have to pay for it, leaving you with no other recourse than to sue the city.

        I am getting sick of it... sure there might be maybe 5% of regulation that really makes sense, but I mostly run into the 95% that tells me to just bend the fuck over.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 4:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In general regulation is just bad because it takes YOUR LIBERTY AWAY.

          Yeah, I aught to be able to do what ever I want to do. This whole government regulation thing got started with that illegal emancipation proclamation.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Thad, 21 Feb 2017 @ 4:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          sure there might be maybe 5% of regulation that really makes sense, but I mostly run into the 95% that tells me to just bend the fuck over.

          In fairness, bending the fuck over is the easiest way to pull statistics out of your ass.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 6:51am

    More power to this Nebraskan legislator, and correct me if I'm wrong, but a state law on this matter wouldn't actually overrule the DMCA and its DRM provisions would it? No matter what they pass, some one could still get sued by Apple or John Deere for repairing their own stuff and the state law wouldn't save them in court, would it?

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    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:02am

      Re:

      State laws like this could provide ammunition to permanently amend the DMCA such that it cannot be used to prevent repairs.

      That could get us a step closer to fixing the DMCA such that it cannot be used as a way to prevent third party compatible products. (like ink cartridges, or garage door opener controls, etc.)

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 9:10am

        Re: Re:

        Why in the world is using the DMCA to prevent 3rd party repairs on a product under warranty legal to begin with?

        IANAL, but "bricking" a product violates the implied warranty of fitness for use at the advertised purpose (as it was advertised as a phone, not a paperweight), and you can neither:

        • Disclaim this implied warranty while providing a written warranty of any kind (this is 15 USC 2308(a)) -- further more, if you try, that disclaimer is void as per 15 USC 2308(c)
        • Make it so that the warranties (written and/or implied) on the product are contingent on the use of a branded service or product (this is the "tie-in sales" prohibition in 15 USC 2302(c)) -- this requires a waiver from the FTC to violate, including FTC findings that the warranted product will function correctly only with the tie-in product or service and that such a waiver would be in the public interest

        The first prong of the waiver test is trivial for bricking cases -- but I fail to see how bricking a device due to a third-party repair is in the public interest. (Repairing something seems to flunk points 4 and 5 of the "is this in scope of the DMCA?" test from Chamberlain v. Skylink, even if the device in question contains copyrighted software.)

        If Apple did get a FTC waiver for their iPhone-bricking antics, I'd love to see the Federal Register cites for it, because it'd be illuminating as to what Apple did to argue around the public-interest prong. If they didn't...well, I suspect that's good grounds for a court case (with class action potential, even, although that's not necessary, considering the ideal remedy here is an injunction not damages).

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        • icon
          Almost Anonymous (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 3:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Why in the world is using the DMCA to prevent 3rd party repairs on a product under warranty legal to begin with?"

          I'm not sure if this answers your question exactly, but it may get you down the road aways:

          Companies put small bits of proprietary hardware/software in places they don't necessarily need to be, then claim that reverse engineering violates the DMCA, which *very* literally speaking, such act probably does, because the DMCA is worded very poorly.

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    • identicon
      Agammamon, 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:25am

      Re:

      It should save them in *state* court. As in to bring suit you would now require it to be in a Federal court - bringing suit in a state court would come with its own ready-made defense.

      And its a lot harder to get a Federal suit started.

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  • icon
    nerd bert (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 6:54am

    John Deere to the rescue!

    Who would have thought that John Deere, of all companies, would be poster child of companies that would deny you the right to actually own and do with what you want for something you've purchased?

    In a completely honest way, I'm glad that we've got a non-tech company that's taken point on this. It makes it much easier to explain to the neighbors why they should care about this issue by telling them that they can't service their lawn tractor anymore if John Deere gets its way.

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    • identicon
      musterion, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:08am

      Re: John Deere to the rescue!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      musterion (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:13am

      Re: John Deere to the rescue!

      Why would John Deere do this? Who runs the company now? Is it someone with a farm background, or some idiot with an MBA from Stanford, or Wharton? That will tell you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:51am

        Re: Re: John Deere to the rescue!

        it depends on how you look at things.

        Some might say it started with William Hewitt, who was president from 1955 to 1964. His education was in economics. but he did have experience at another tractor company before Deere.

        More likely the real change started with Hans Brecherer in 1990. While he started at Deere in the 60's he was an MBA guy that worked mostly in marketing.

        Next was Robert Lane in 2000 who's early career was in banking.

        The current CEO is Samuel Allen, who is considered to be the one responsible for the success of the "intelligent mobile technologies". I think his education was Industrial Management from Purdue and he started at Deere as an Industrial Engineer in the 1970's.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Almost Anonymous (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 3:47pm

        Re: Re: John Deere to the rescue!

        Because money. If you have to go to an authorized dealer for every repair (and if you haven't noticed, authorized dealer rates are almost always MUCH higher than the guy down the road that repairs lawnmowers) then John Deere gets that much more money, probably in licensing fees and also because the authorized dealer will only buy the parts from John Deere.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 6:58am

    "They said that doing this would make it very easy for hackers to relocate to Nebraska."

    And I also hear the Nebraska Right to Repair bill is earmarking money for a hacker gated community, hacker bike sharing program and hacker farmers market in order to further spur their hacker economic recovery plan.

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  • identicon
    theOtherDude, 21 Feb 2017 @ 6:59am

    Good News

    I would think Nebraska becoming a Mecca for nearly anything would be good news. If it becomes a mecca for highly skilled technical resources, well sit back and wait for the innovation and in coming economic boom. Seems to me this is more of an argument for the bill then against it.

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    • icon
      Oa.sys (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:00am

      Re: Good News

      It continually astounds me just how good big tech companies are at shooting themselves in the foot to try and make their shoes fit better.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 6:59am

    #NebrHACKska

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:07am

    MECCA...
    HACKERS...
    What's next, "Terrorists"?

    Apple, the Right-to-Repair FUD machine.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:09am

    I had to read the title a few times to realize they did not intend the statement to be a good one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:11am

    What's the problem? I've repaired iPhones myself a number of times. From screens to buttons. I just replaced the Home button on a iPhone 5S last week. Of course the TouchID part no longer works as that's part of the security of the phone. If anyone can just throw in their own button and change the code of the button to patch the phone, you've just got around Apple's security though the Home Button. So I see Apple's point on this in this kind of area. Also phones locked down. If you don't have the security code, Apple shouldn't make it easy on you. I have my Grandma's iPad Mini and it's locked up. She didn't lock it or know who did and so can't use it. I can't get past the activation lock. She doesn't have the Receipt for it to take it to a Apple store for them to unlock it. But Apple shouldn't allow 3rd party's to get around it or we're right back to people getting mugged for iPhones as Security is once again worthless.

    Some of the other excuses Apple is using like Exploding battery's though is pretty LAME. What are they trying to do exactly as you can already replace screens and buttons by yourself or a 3rd party.

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    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:29am

      Re:

      Right to repair has never meant having to cough up individual secrets like encryption or activation keys to unverified people. And that is a fairly easy thing to narrowly address, if it even needs to be addressed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:05am

      Re:

      If they were concerned about people getting mugged for phones, why did they quietly remove the easy way to run the number to see if the phone had been reported stolen?

      You'd think they mighty walled garden would ship with a app where you press the button and it asks the mothership is this phone reported stolen. People buying 2nd hand phones would be protected as the number of stolen phones would drop because we trained them to press the verification button before purchasing it. If its been reported stolen, it could also throw out the GPS coords so that the police could follow that lead to the really dumb thief who stole a device that tells the world its stolen & denies them making money from the device.

      Ooooh the battery could explode!!! And that is only helped along by more glue & other 'features' designed to make it harder for people to replace a battery on their own. Of course if Apple switched to a user replaceable battery the offical part would be 25x the cost & have some secret chip no one could legally replicate to ensure profits. Imagine the outcry if there were locked down tires, wiper blades, etc. on cars.

      They can claim all sorts of things about how its all to protect consumers, and yes there will all ways be crap replacement parts, but its profits. They hold you beholden to them & reserve all of these rights but none of the responsibilities once a 'Genius' decides your cracked screen wasn't a material fault because the hidden sticker says it was water damage & has voided them having to fix it.

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      • icon
        GristleMissile (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:35am

        Re: Re:

        "Imagine the outcry if there were locked down tires, wiper blades, etc. on cars."

        You mean there aren't yet? BRB, starting a new business. I'll be the Keurig of the automotive world.

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    • identicon
      Sok Puppette, 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:10am

      If anyone can just throw in their own button and change the code of the button to patch the phone, you've just got around Apple's security though the Home Button.

      What the hell are you talking about? One presumes that the button sends a scan of the finger to some more central part of the phone. Unless the button itself is verifying the finger, replacing the button should have no security effect.

      Fingerprint scanners, including Apple's, are trivial to bypass from the outside, anyhow.

      But Apple shouldn't allow 3rd party's to get around it or we're right back to people getting mugged for iPhones

      As opposed to people ending up unable to use their iPhones because they've lost the passwords. Either way, you lose the phone.

      People get mugged for shoes and handbags, too. Should those be glued on?

      It should always be possible to wipe and reset a device without knowing any passwords or having any fingerprints or showing any receipts or whatever. Not to get into it and see what's on it already, but to restore it to a usable blank state.

      ... and getting past the lock screen is a nonissue for phone theft anyway, since you can't change an IMEI without replacing the core of the phone. If your device gets stolen, the network can blacklist it. That may or may not be a good thing, but it means that we would not be "right back to people being mugged for iPhones" if it were possible to factory reset and reuse a device in your physical possession.

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    • identicon
      Agammamon, 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:27am

      Re:

      You might have given yourself a nasty cut from the screen glass!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:14am

    O Noes!

    But what if someone tampers with their phone and the battery blows up on an airplane full of people? Can we take that chance?

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  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:15am

    Sorry Folks, but they are correct to worry.

    In my mis-spent youth, I used to hop on my bicycle and ride down to Allied to pick up a Sams Photofact on the family TV; then pop the back off, plug in the cheater cord, and start looking for blue tubes (orange good, blue bad). Power down, pop 'em out, back on the bike and over to radio shack. Pop 'em in the tube tester, buy the ones I needed, get the replacement caps, back home and voila, family TV repaired.

    My slide into the horrors of hacker life had begun. Next I was rebuilding car engines, transmissions, building electronic circuits - and finally into programming. True hacking at its worst.

    Hell, I still do my own auto work, thus depriving the dealer of excessive profits from $99 oil changes, $199 brake jobs... This hacker lifestyle has just ruined me.

    And yes, I work on my John Deere myself.

    Damn 64 year old hacker. I'm Never gonna learn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:20am

      Re: Sorry Folks, but they are correct to worry.

      Hell, I still do my own auto work, thus depriving the dealer of excessive profits from $99 oil changes, $199 brake jobs... This hacker lifestyle has just ruined me.

      That's clearly "stealing" from the dealers. Like copyright infringement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:33am

      Re: Sorry Folks, but they are correct to worry.

      But how many suffered because there was no 'exploding parts' warning on a bottle of No-Arc?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Howard II, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:42am

    Injuries

    Last year, industry lobbyists told lawmakers in Minnesota that broken glass could cut the fingers of consumers who try to repair their screens

    Well, how many people get cuts and busted knuckles working on motor cars? Even on stuff that the owner's manual tells you how to do?

    Should I be speaking to a lawyer about suing FCA?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:47am

    "according to Gay Gordon-Byrne" Must... resist... temptation.

    Lets see. $2500 to replace the cracked intake manifold(400+) from the Ford dealer which was only going to be replaced with another poorly designed unit, or... $249 from the aftermarket which addressed the cracking water passage and 4 hours of my time and another 50 in gaskets, misc, beer.

    What the hell does a "hacker" care if there is a right to repair bill? That was the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I cant believe they went there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    W, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:53am

    Repair = lost sale

    It's not just that they don't want you to repair it yourself because it would be cheaper than if a 'licenced repairshop' does the job. They don't want you to repair it at all.

    They want you to buy a new one.

    A repair is just a 'lost sale'...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 4:28pm

      Re: Repair = lost sale

      A repair is just a 'lost sale'...

      Unless, of course, they can make as much on repairs as they would on a new sale.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:55am

    Apple was started by a couple of DIYers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2017 @ 12:48am

      Re:

      Apple, like Microsoft, was started by a DIYer, and an entrepreneur that saw a business opportunity, and in both cases it is the entrepreneur that became famous, while the technical genius remained in the background.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    David (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:59am

    I built my first computer in 1982 and have owned many since. Not one has ever seen the inside of a repair shop once the warranty has expired. I'm better qualified to repair them than the idiots I've talked to at Dell and Apple.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 21 Feb 2017 @ 1:19pm

      Re:

      You are destroying U.S. jobs. Copyright and sales restrictions will stop you from making idiots unemployed. If we stop the necessity of constantly reinventing the wheel and of not letting competency play into the decision of who does which job, we would have to rethink society since idiots will be out of a job and still will need to eat.

      Do you want communism to win?

      Your attitude has no place in an idiocracy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Blaine (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:00am

    Hey Apple...

    'Mecca For Hackers'

    You spelled 'Makers' wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 21 Feb 2017 @ 12:09pm

      Re: Hey Apple...

      Uhm no? A "maker" creates something from scratch. A "hacker" uses an existing device in creative ways not intended by the manufacturer.

      Repairing Apple devices would seem to fall in that category. You are supposed to spring the money for a new one (whether or not Apple gives you a new one or the old one in repaired state).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Blaine (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 1:05pm

        Re: Re: Hey Apple...

        That may be what those words mean to you, but they mean different things for different people. For me, they are interchangeable depending on what I'm doing.

        People *make* all kinds of things using other things as components.

        While my Grandma could make a Raspberry Pie from scratch, my soldering skills will never make me a Raspberry Pi.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:07am

    Then there's the thing about "hackers." There's more than one type of hacker,

    No, there really isn't. That's a bit of pointless culture-warring from the FSF over something that's already been settled in the public consciousness decades ago. A hacker is a computer criminal, and that's the only thing anyone associates with that term, outside of a very small band of folks who might as well be still fighting the Civil War for all the good it does.

    Even "ethical hackers" (ie. pentesters and security researchers) are people who do the same things as hackers (break into computer systems) but with authorization or for good purposes rather than nefarious ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:32am

      Re:

      Right, so when the majority of people decide on a definition for something that also decides the reality of the situation. Got it. That must be why all those companies are so dedicated to convincing people that climate change isn't a thing. If enough people are convinced, and only a very small band of folks who might as well be still fighting the civil war still think it's a thing, then it stops being a thing! Genius!

      If the majority of people don't know about a distinction, then they aren't actually distinct! Brilliant!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Eponymous Coward (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 1:51pm

      Re:

      Bullshit, that girl in Jurassic Park was a hacker. If she didn't know Unix, they all would have died. That, sir, is a hero-hacker.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:14am

    If they wanted

    If they wanted to Apple could kill any and all repair shops dead with one stroke.

    Simply implement lifetime warranties on all their phones, for any type of damage.

    Customers would be crazy to pay for fixes that Apple would deliver for free. Apple would get to feel confident that everyone with a fixed phone has a proper one.

    Wait, what, you're saying the whole point is that Apple wants to charge an arm and a leg for fixing out of warranty phones??

    So then this isn't about protecting customers after all is it? As I've shown Apple could to THAT very easily.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 9:39am

      Re: If they wanted

      No, it's not about the price of out-of-warranty repairs. It's about selling extended warranties and new phones every refresh cycle. Out of warranty damage = new phone = $$$. Extended warranties are almost pure profit because the ratio of buyers v. users is so high. The major reason for that is the cost of any repair needing to be done after regular warranty expiration. If people can repair their phones themselves or via 3rd party shop, the reason for extended warranties dries up and so does that very lucrative cash flow.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 8:32am

    industry lobbyists told lawmakers in Minnesota that broken glass could cut the fingers of consumers who try to repair their screens

    You want to know that last time I cut my fingers? It was when I leaned over to grab the paper that just came out of my printer. The lesson here is that only people specifically authorized by the printer company should be allowed to operate them. Otherwise people may cut their fingers.

    (But seriously, cutting your fingers is the best they could come up with? Not even something serious, but your fingers?)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bruce C., 21 Feb 2017 @ 9:23am

    "Brasch said the representatives made two other main arguments: They said repair could cause lithium batteries to catch fire, and said that there are already enough authorized places to get iPhones repaired, such as the Apple store."

    So how is this different from factory defaults? We already know that the risk of batteries catching fire is not exclusive to self-repaired phones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 9:31am

    If Apple really told Nebraska they'd be the only state with the "right to repair" law on the books, they'd be mistaken.

    California has one at the very least. And there are other states where the precedent has already been set with the right to have cars repaired anywhere the owner wishes, AND require the dealerships and mfg parent companies to furnish the diagnostic codes to 3rd party repair shops. This cannot legally void a warranty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 9:35am

    Whatever happened to just voiding your warranty?

    Am I dating myself? Back in the "good old days" anyone could repair anything they wanted and the only thing Manufacturers could do to dissuade you would be to void your factory warranty.

    Or did I not read carefully enough and this is what this legislation is trying to change?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 10:57am

    If Nebraska becomes a hacker mecca,

    it would probably double the states GDP. Just saying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 11:05am

    SMH...Ouch, stop, the stupid it hurts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jinxed (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 11:29am

    I hope every state passes a similar, but tougher, bill of right to repair.

    The last time I tried to change the air filter, the car slammed down the hood, locked itself, and the onboard computer said, in a nice female voice, "You can look, but cannot touch. For repairs, contact your local dealer. Have a nice day."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 1:47pm

    If only the right to a convenient repair facility also applied to women's reproductive health.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mononymous Tim (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 2:14pm

    Byrne said she will also testify at the Nebraska hearing and "plans to bring band aids."

    Hahahahahaha!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stan (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 3:36pm

    phones and farm equipment

    "... industry lobbyists told lawmakers in Minnesota that broken glass could cut the fingers of consumers who try to repair their screens..."

    I predict that John Deere lobbyists will show up with pictures of severed fingers from when farmers tried to fix their own mowers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DB (profile), 21 Feb 2017 @ 3:37pm

    Tie this in with typical phone warranty coverage

    Apple (and most others) use 'water damage indicators' that turn pink. If it's pink, they deny warranty coverage.

    The indicators turn pink immediately with water, but they also turn pink from just the humidity of a being carried in a pocket for a few months.

    If only Apple has the information to diagnose and repair their phones, there is no legal way to challenge their "pink means no coverage" policy. You can't have a third party repair place document that a part failed with no evidence of water damage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jackn, 21 Feb 2017 @ 6:36pm

    omg

    The Bonfire of the insanities.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2017 @ 7:35pm

    TOP THREE PUBLIC ENEMIES (according to United Corporations of America)

    3 - GNU/Linux
    2 - Pirates
    1 - Hackers

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Lord Lidl of Cheem (profile), 22 Feb 2017 @ 2:06am

    Last year there was Mr Robot, this year get ready for... Mr Tractor

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2017 @ 5:27am

    I don't own a phone, I don't own a tractor. Obviously any person who possesses an Apple or John Deere piece of product doesn't either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Steve Swafford (profile), 23 Feb 2017 @ 7:22am

    I laughed at myself

    I found that since I live in Nebraska, when called a flyover state because people fly over us to get to somewhere important, that I wouldn't care. I laughed at myself when I read this that I kinda cared a little lol. I also bristled a little having my legislator being called "Podunk" lol. We do love our UNL football but calling it a religion might be a little much. I love you guys and not flipping out over this, you did make me laugh a little by getting me to react in a way that I didn't expect but I am flipping you off at them moment :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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