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Today in Repair

June 15, 2022
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Companies Should Be More Repair Friendly – Rely on Warranties Less

Being pestered to buy pricey extended warranties is one of my (many) pet hates. After splashing out on a fancy new energy-efficient washing machine, I expect it to last a good few years. If it breaks before then you better believe I'll be demanding a repair or replacement.

So when registering my appliance with Hoover, its incessant prompts to 'enhance' my protection by paying £5.32 a month (£63.84 a year) were irritating to say the least. My machine needs to last only two years and one month before it is cheaper to pay the repair bill rather than buy the extra cover — and I really hope it can manage that!

So the only thing it seems I'll miss out on by forgoing the firm's enhanced protection policy is accidental damage cover. I'm quite clumsy but confident even I will struggle to accidentally damage an integrated washing machine.  Unless I perhaps rammed it with an ironing board? But in that event, cosmetic damage such as dents and scratches are on a long list of exclusions not covered. (

☠️ Why Meta Is Killing the Portal Line for Consumers

If you’re an end-consumer who relies on Meta’s Portal or Portal+ video-calling devices to communicate with your friends and family, work remotely, and Zoom or Netflix, you may want to brace up. Information suggests that Meta is planning to discontinue its Portal line of products for consumers and instead focus on its business clients.

But why is Meta discontinuing Portal? What are the implications for users like you? Will you still be able to use your Portal devices, and will there still be support? Or is Portal shutting down completely?

You’ll still be able to make video calls with your Portal devices. However, the discontinuation of the consumer product line will shrink the Portal video call user base. And with solid competition from the likes of Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo Show, it is only a matter of time before more Portal consumers port over to other Portal alternatives. (

Repairing That Old Smartphone May Be Worth It

For years, consumers faced with replacing an older, perhaps obsolete electronics product such as a laptop or mobile phone would weigh the cost of repairing an out-of-warranty product against a costlier but newer replacement product. Oftentimes, buying the newer product is chosen because the existing product can only be repaired through the manufacturer’s authorized repair facilities, who can set whatever price they want for the repair as well as control the distribution of replacement parts.

This form of planned obsolescence is the target of pending legislation in New York State that would guarantee consumers would be able to repair electronic equipment, whether it be smartphones, computers, or other equipment, at a fair price by repair shops, including mom-and-pop outfits. The bill, designated New York Senate Bill S410A and awaiting the signature of New York Governor Hochul, would require manufacturers to provide owners and independent repair businesses with fair service information and affordable replacement parts. (Design News)

Proposed Freedom to Repair Act Seems Unlikely to Make Streaming Piracy Worse

Passed almost a quarter of a century ago, the DMCA prevents citizens from repairing many of their own electronic devices. The proposed Freedom to Repair Act 2022 seeks to fix this problem by allowing circumvention in strictly limited circumstances. This week the proposal was labeled "pro-piracy legislation" but is that a fair assessment or an expected overreaction?

When Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, section 1201 outlawed circumvention of technological protection measures controlling access to copyright works. The base concept is relatively simple. When technological systems are deployed by copyright holders (or on their behalf) to protect access to their copyrighted works, in most cases these systems cannot be circumvented without violating the DMCA. Section 1201 also prohibits trafficking in technology or services that facilitate the circumvention of such systems. (

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