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You should have this basic right to repair. If you are unable to repair it and even break it further, it will cost you more for the company to repair it. This right should have the right to have the repair company to connect it and scan it, for a nominal fee, and tell you what is broken and what they would charge. You can then decide. With the complexity of modern devices, you may have to go to another company with similar data assessent equipment to cary out the repair. Modern circuit boards are a sea of small surface mounted parts on both sides...



Forcing a company to have a diagnostic tool or team to identify a problem you might not have them fix is silly IMO. So is forcing their hand on creating a repairable product.

I don't expect Microsoft to be able to easily identify obscure hardware issues with a design like my Surface Book 2. I do expect them to create a hardware product that doesn't break easily. Supplying the specs is a big benefit in my purchase decision. But not something I think should be required since it will undoubtedly give competitors more of an edge in their own development.

The onus is on me to purchase a product that matches my needs.


This. I totally want to buy repairable products, and do when I can, but I don't wish to force other consumers to pay extra to cover the expenses of a feature I want.


By that logic cars shouldn't have to abide by crash safety regulations. If you want a safe car, buy a Volvo. Everyone else can drive deathtraps that burst into flames if they're so much as dented.


Safety is important. Forcing a design of a product to your objectively high standards is not.


Saying safety is important or repairablity is important are both subjective value judgements. I see zero reason why your estimation of the value of a safe car should force me to subsidize that safety when I buy a car, any more than me valuing a repairable design should force you to subsidize the extra documentation.


Your selected example has a negative externality of being deadly to bystanders if driven on a public roadway, and a more measured man might make some stipulation about such a vehicle only being driven on private land, but this is fundamentally how I feel. If I want to die in a flaming wreck, or if I want to accept a chance of dying in a flaming wreck in exchange for a discount on material goods, I don't want well-meaning bureaucrats to gavel about telling me I can't do it because they know what's best for me. We all make tradeoffs and take chances in life, and you wouldn't like me telling you which tradeoffs and chances to take, so why should you get to tell me which tradeoffs and chances to take? An appeal to numbers (democracy -- that thing that got Hitler elected) won't get very far at changing my mind, nor will an appeal to the ideal social contract conceived of by an entity whose intelligence approaches the hypothetical limit (for more than one reason, but most simply because I generally accept the orthogonality thesis).


> Your selected example has a negative externality

So does planned obsolescence.

> If I want to die in a flaming wreck, or if I want to accept a chance of dying in a flaming wreck in exchange for a discount on material goods, I don't want well-meaning bureaucrats to gavel about telling me I can't do it because they know what's best for me.

The well-meaning bureaucrats aren't out there to take away your freedom. They're there for all the other people - people who aren't anywhere close to being perfectly rational market players engaging in fully voluntary exchange of goods. History teaches us that if the market can get away with unsafe goods, not only it will, but those goods will become the only thing available to people without lots of discretionary income (i.e. most of the population). The only way to prevent this is by not allowing the market to even go there.

> We all make tradeoffs and take chances in life, and you wouldn't like me telling you which tradeoffs and chances to take, so why should you get to tell me which tradeoffs and chances to take?

Again, you're technically in control of which side of a tradeoff you pick, but you aren't in control of how the sides balance out. It's easy for the market to price the tradeoff in such a way that most people are forced to take the option that's harmful to them, or society at large. I might not like you telling me which tradeoffs to take, but I would appreciate if you were able to take some of the things forced on me and turn them around, or at least back into real tradeoffs.


>The well-meaning bureaucrats aren't out there to take away your freedom. They're there for all the other people - people who aren't anywhere close to being perfectly rational market players engaging in fully voluntary exchange of goods.

I never claimed to be a perfectly rational market player engaging in a fully voluntary exchange of goods. Any human claiming to be fully rational lacks a healthy amount of introspection, and we're almost all faced with the prospect of starving if we don't partake in the exchange of goods. I want choice despite these shortcomings, and I don't have any desire to deprive others of choice if they're less rational or more desperate during their decision making processes.

>History teaches us that if the market can get away with unsafe goods, not only it will, but those goods will become the only thing available to people without lots of discretionary income (i.e. most of the population).

If those goods are banned, the alternatives will cost more. Who am I to tell somebody who can't afford a car with airbags that they shouldn't have the option to buy a car without airbags? You rightly point out the wretched state of the world with dispossessed masses of people, but then you deny those dispossessed masses the ability to make their own decisions about what to do with those few possessions they do have.

Edit:

> I might not like you telling me which tradeoffs to take, but I would appreciate if you were able to take some of the things forced on me and turn them around, or at least back into real tradeoffs.

Cost saving quality cuts are a real tradeoff -- they make goods and services available to those who would otherwise not be able to afford them.


> If those goods are banned, the alternatives will cost more.

That does not necessarily follow. They may very well cost the same or slightly more. Even in competitive markets, the assumption that price of a product is very close to the minimum possible costs of manufacturing does not hold. Real markets are nowhere near that efficient. There's lots of wiggle room in prices.

My overall point here is that removing some options isn't about taking away people's freedom to choose; it's about preventing the market from offering a rigged choice in the first place.


Isn't not being able to replace / recycle the batteries in products a negative externality?


Without mounting an argument that others have to buy such products due to market forces, no, because the issue only affects the consumer and not those around them. A lack of security updates and no way to roll your own is more in the ballpark, since your IoT-whatever could be borged into a botnet and used to cause further damage, but even that seems like a reach compared to the danger of an exploding automobile.


forcing their hand on creating a repairable product.

I don't believe any of the proposals mentioned by the OP nor the comment you're replying to are suggesting this.

Supplying the specs is a big benefit in my purchase decision. But not something I think should be required since it will undoubtedly give competitors more of an edge in their own development.

Competition is what I value about markets. Preventing anti-competitive behavior is a big thing I value about regulation. These seem like reasons for, not against, right-to-repair.


> Forcing a company to have a diagnostic tool or team to identify a problem you might not have them fix is silly IMO.

As a counter point, OBD-2 works and everyone can use it.


As a counter to that point - unless you're willing to spend mega-$$$ on a high-end scan tool, you won't be able to read all of the OBD-2 codes.

Even with such a scan tool - there may still be certain codes that are "manufacturer only" readable.


The more I learn about this the more disappointed I am. In my own experience the standard codes have always been enough to show me what needed fixing. I'm not a mechanic though so my range of experience with it isn't that large.


This is not so easy. The Surface Books are made with a number of snap together modules, via fine cable runs and multi-pin connectors. Each part is made with care and subjected to detailed tests, that include a term of power-on burn in for the major parts with infra-red smart vision that looks for any hot spots (that might lead to failure). Then they are assembled with in progress tests at some points until the final productis made and it is tested after they add the SSD with all the operating system installed. There are assorted areas partitioned on the SSD that might hold an OS recovery partition, as well as other software provided by others as choice ware (since so many people like this so called bloatware not installed). Then it will be placed on a burn-in rack at a higher temperatrure than room temp and some sort of test program will be run on a recurrent basis. Those that pass are packed and shipped, those that fail are analyzed for faults and any faulty part replaced and it is re-tested. A lemon with recurrent faults will probably be gutted to find the part with an enduring fault. Once in the field, it is rare for part level test and repair to be done. Those boards are marked as scrap with dye?? and sold in the scrap boards auction in schenzen. Buyers buy these boards and perform some analysis of them, or simply remove certain high value parts and sell them to other repris shops. Often many parts are tossed because these parts lack detailed information on them abd are not worth salvage. There are board maps online, so higher value parts like inductors, crystals, GPS etc have known locations and are removed and segregated for sale to hobby shops etc.

https://hackernoon.com/the-gladiator-pit-of-hardware-startup...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leFuF-zoVzA&feature=youtu.be...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUQzAhOVj70


Forcing a company to have a diagnostic tool or team to identify a problem you might not have them fix is silly IMO. So is forcing their hand on creating a repairable product.

That's not as self-evident as you imply. We force manufacturers' hands in so many other ways. We force automobile manufacturers to abide by crash safety and emissions regulations. Electronics manufacturers have to abide by lead-free solder rules and FCC regulations to ensure that their products don't cause harmful interference. I don't think that forcing repairability is as much of a stretch as you think.

At the very least, we should ban EULA provisions that restrict the user from reverse-engineering the product.


Comparing safety regulations to enforced development guidelines? Do you not see the distinction of why the latter is ok?




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