Fight to Repair Daily: August 19, 2022

Hacker Sick Codes says cybersecurity in agtech is no game after viral John Deere tractor hack

“There are issues that need to be addressed … they’re [John Deere] the leading cybersecurity ag company at the moment and I’m still hacking them,” said the independent researcher Sick Codes. “I wonder what everyone else is doing. Some of the other companies, nobody’s looked at them, I wonder what surprises are out there.”

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The explosion in ag tech meant a lot of companies were racing to develop new products, but Sick Codes said many were not actively investing in security. 

“Threat hackers know that agriculture is an under-secured industry, they know it’s a ripe target for ransomware,” he said. 

“There’s a bit of an arms race going on … you’ve got to bring security to the table early before things go wrong.” (ABC)

Right To Repair: What It Really Means For Users And Companies

What does the right-to-repair movement and legislation mean for users and companies on the whole? Well, for users, the benefits are massive. Having an older phone that may simply need a new display would simply require going into a repair shop, paying a bit of money, and getting a new screen installed. Doing this would allow the user to continue using their phone without needing to buy a brand-new device. Companies, of course, may argue that in order to provide sleek designs and more features, some components would need to be permanent fixtures. However, with laptops such as Framework, which are slim and compact while also allowing for a fully repairable and customizable product, sleek and slim designs can be achieved without losing reparability. Companies may lose out on some profits due to consumers not needing to buy a new product every time something stops working, but they could make up the losses to a small extent by selling the official replacement parts. (

The Fate of Video Game Preservation Is in Your Hands

“Games today are just the latest incarnation of a long tradition chipping away at different genres, forms, and approaches to the development of interactive media,” says Doug Brown, director of the Games Academy at Falmouth University. “A tradition whose analogue gaming roots extend back further than most literature.”

Whether we should preserve Neolithic dice is not up for debate, so why is the importance of video game preservation so difficult to quantify in the mainstream, despite the precedent of similar efforts in other media? (Wired)

Turns Out, You Own Nothing

Heated seats put me to sleep, quite literally. But it was impossible to sleep on the news a few weeks ago that BMW had started rolling out subscriptions for seat heating in some vehicles in South Korea. It’s not clear when exactly BMW started offering this, or in which countries outside of South Korea this $18-per-month service would be available, but the article in The Verge rightly noted that the “auto industry is racing towards a future of microtransactions.” Shortly after, Tesla said that new Tesla orders would require a subscription for navigation services.

So, what do we actually own when we buy a new car these days? Or, any piece of hardware for that matter? It’s a question I posed to law professor Aaron Perzanowski, who has written two books on this very topic: The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy, with Jason Schultz, and The Right to Repair: Reclaiming The Things We Own. Our conversation has been edited for clarity and length. (Wired)

Why Government Is Pushing For Common Chargers Across All Portable Electronic Devices

The government has cited consumer protection and reducing e-waste to be major reasons for the intent of introducing common chargers across all devices. The government feels that a common charger for all portable devices will lessen the burden on consumers to carry multiple chargers, as well as it will help reduce original equipment manufacturers charging heavy amounts for different chargers.

Nidhi Khare, Chief Commissioner, Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) told Business Standard earlier, “We will be presenting the problem of many consumers that even if they have different devices of the same brand, they need to buy separate chargers. Similarly, if they are using multiple mobiles of different brands, they still have to get separate chargers. This has become a cause of harassment to the consumers.”

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