When a “Right to Repair” argument makes itself

Photo by 1lenore

Apple paid millions after iPhone repair techs posted a customer’s nude photos to Facebook —The Verge

I wish the best for the affected person(s) in this situation, as personal (nude) photos were viewed and then uploaded to their very own Facebook by “repair technicians.” Apple and a few other companies usually stand against Right to Repair, but in this fine example it’s obvious there is little or no safety around restricting consumer repairs.

On the FB thread via The Verge someone replied:

Shouldn’t the phone be wiped before someone repairs it? Sprint used to do that before T Mobile bought them —Andrew

Some clarification is warranted to understand how a typical repair works (desktop, laptop, et al.).

Starting with the customer

Let’s say I’ve dropped my iPhone resulting in a shattered the screen. When attempting to send the iPhone to Apple’s repair center you must turn off “Find My.” An iOS agent with AppleCare will guide you to Settings -> Name -> Find My to shut off the service IF you can access the exact device. Otherwise iCloud.com is most likely the sure way to have the device “removed from your account.” Find My is also their way of enabling “Activation Lock” for the device. Without the correct Apple ID (and password) the iPhone would be rendered useless.

Tip: Always keep an additional number as a “Trusted Phone Number” if you can:

On its way through the mail to the repair center

With Find My being turned off the iPhone is prepared for send off. Usually via UPS drop off or a mailed box to your location, the customer ships it off for repair – turnarounds lasting anywhere from one to three weeks.

Where the customer sometimes goes wrong

No, the customer is not always right. A snippet straight from Apple support:

  1. Back up your iOS device. To protect your data, erase your iOS device.
  2. Remove your iOS device from your Apple ID device list.
  3. Remove the SIM card from your iOS device if it uses one, and keep it in a safe place. If your iOS device doesn’t use a SIM card, contact your wireless service provider to suspend service if necessary.

Note “to protect your data, erase your iOS device.” This is critical to any repair process as the technician is likely to have access to the device’s storage and internals. You’re actively putting your data into their hands.

Curiosity of how much data a tech has access to?

When I’d remove malware from PCs sometimes customers would ask “where did the malware come from?” The short answer is “I don’t fully know, I can tell you it came via delivery of the web browser, possibly a misclick on a malicious ad or infected website.” The long answer is: I don’t fully know because in order to find out its exact delivery and how this machine acquired malware would involve looking at your habits on the computer – what websites you visit, their History, all applications you have installed and what network(s) you were using at the time and the dates.

Repairing a PC involves great moral as when you’re copying or inspecting someone’s documents and pictures you cannot look at them – Just make sure they transferred and are intact (not corrupt). And in this particular instance of the Pegatron tech they did more than verify contents, they outright viewed them… and this is wrong.

Is this really an argument supporting Right to Repair?

It’s not as if Apple has enough documentation out there for all customers to repair their devices themselves, whether software or hardware customers are left to AppleCare and third-party fixes. The customer clearly did not delete their data and the tech took advantage of the situation.

Yes. This scenario supports Right to Repair as this demonstrates moral negligence of the technician and the fact Apple relentlessly battles against Right to Repair and unsanctioned third-party support. We can promote better standards in privacy by not sending our entire devices off to remote repair shops. We can meet our technicians face-to-face, or perhaps takeout the storage device? There are a number of reasons behind why this supports Right to Repair. Not to mention the-mostly-fixed cost of the repair and maybe having to already be subscribed to AppleCare. Double-whammy!

The overall image of repairing an Apple device depicts customers assuming only Apple may repair the device. Apple has “special setups,” etc, etc. Sometimes the customer feels they are unable to master it themselves.

I feel it is okay to have your particular setups as it is your project, your invention, your product, but don’t come down on those hacking their products.

However, the customer should know what they’re getting into when acquiring an Apple product.

For that? HACK THE PLANET!

Do whatever you want with your devices. No company should have the ability to dictate what you do with it once it’s in your possession!

HACK THE PLANET!

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a good day.

Managing with the pain

For the last few weeks I have been dealing with more pain than usual… due to a bicycle accident. Still lugging my body around, making to and from work is doable, running errands is doable, but only after a certain time–that time is getting over the pain.

It went from waking up every other day to every day with pains and it’s starting to slow some of my projects down. While I refuse to give up on them, it’s definitely taking a toll for which I’m not sure how much of a toll.

But we all know laying around too much may and can be a bad thing, so that I will not do!–I will keep on taking this stupid medication and hopefully… things will heal as expected.

If I seem secluded, I am! I am grumpy! I am hurting!

Thank you for reading!

Donating is always a good thing, helps me continue to try projects -> click here.

Present moment in progress!

They’re finally here! The Unusual Buddha stickers, “Caution: Present moment in progress”

If you’re curious about meditation, which I partake in, and would like some guidance The Unusual Buddha’s website is a great place to start. A few blog posts to help you get the gist and 1 on 1 classes are also offered. I really, really need to get to reading his book. No, this is not a sponsored post, just showing some love!

The quality of these stickers exceeded my expectations. I figure, you know, it’s just a sticker feeling like plastic–it’ll do its job, “to stick.” Nope, I am sure these will last for quite awhile.

I put one on my ebike.

Great stuff!

https://theunusualbuddha.com/ – YouTube, Posdcasts, etc

I feel I write more when I stick to myself… kinda

What a title, not usually my norm, however it does state my exact thought.

Cat on keyboard
What I deal with while computing

While some people crave and thrive on social environments, I tend not to… not because I hate people, but because it takes a lot of mental energy (which eventually leads to being physically draining) to mingle. While I do enjoy being in social situations, connecting with new people and learning new things about existing people, at the end of the day it sometimes leads to an exhausting decompressing state.

A craved decompression–where I can be alone with select people, movies, music or just plain ol’ surfing the web … or doing nothing at all but looking at a wall and pondering all things in life.

Yellow River Roll
Yellow River Roll (last week’s lunch)

Today, or in this past week I have felt a shift. I feel as if I’m able to start writing/recording more often while maintaining social interaction and it not feeling overwhelming. Ironically someone has offered help in editing footage, publishing and syndication–I tell you, this will relieve some of the stress of worrying about the after stuff. Just maybe I will be able to focus on more of what I currently consider to be “the fun.”

Shifting from work at home to not work at home

2020 was an interesting time for workplaces. Many people were (are they still?) flocking to work at home jobs, filling in many areas people thought couldn’t be accomplished. A lot of people realized how easy, and not easy it is to work from your own home and this lead me to get out of it.

For several years I worked in general support, tech support and “home security” which lead me to become easily exhausted with “people.” When you’re handling thirty-to-fifty calls per day you’ll be done with the phone at the end of the day. I kept separate headsets for this reason, 1 for customers, 1 for personal – and I never let the personal one hear a customer voice as to not “taint” the headset.

Tips for working at home

It is not easy, but I’ve did it for years and want to let people know just in case you’re wondering.

  1. Your family will never be quiet enough
    1. This means you need to have a quiet place, live by yourself or have the capacity to soundproof the room you’re in.
    2. Get a “busy” light for your door. Jabra sells them and… you can pretty much DIY.
  2. Do not cheap out on hardware.
    1. I highly recommend commercial headsets, Jabra being one (no, I’m not sponsored)
    2. PC Parts?–Buy 2 of everything.
    3. Mechanical keyboard, NOT membrane.
    4. Have a backup modem/router.
  3. Separate the space
    1. IF you have the room, one space (room) should be for work and the other for not work, ever.
    2. This means have separate computers, separate chairs, etc.
  4. Put a sign on your front door stating do not knock, send a text.

There is less luxury working from home

There, I said it. If your employer is a typical slave driver they will expect and demand more from you because you are home. Installing invasive software onto your computer (this is why you should have separate computers), monitoring you more than normal and hounding you just for having Internet issues.

Conduent was a company I worked at for a very short while which insisted looking in at your home office (via webcam). Sure, they sent you an iMac to work, but it did in fact come with many, many strings. And, getting it back to them was just as tedious as I thought it’d be–being threatened with a “legal team” because I refused to tote it across town to the nearest UPS drop-off – No, I am not carrying an iMac cross town. I explained to the assets person I do not have that type of transportation. Essentially, they were making pay to have it sent back, no… no, thank you, but no. The other terrible experience with this company is how disorganized it truly was–this person did not have access to my address at all, nor was I submitting it through email.

Support.com Inc, another infamous company known for their fraudulent software and not paying their employees made a habit of targeting low cost areas. This was because they could underpay the employees, get the most work out of them, and I mean overload them with many, many tasks and never work with them on raises. I knew a guy who had been there for three years and never received any raises. They truly expected you to simply quit so they could bring in the next warm body.

On-top of the odd workplace at Support.com, they put in a “reimbursement” on your cheque, but that meant nothing when you were still paid peanuts. So while you were employed by them, they expected you to pay for all the hardware out of pocket. I expect this type of deal as a contractor, not as an employee.

Both of these companies …were interesting, to put it politely.

It’s good to get out

Coming back to the social interaction bit, it is a good change to be slightly interactive with people throughout the day. The desk life treated me well and maybe one day I’ll go back to it, but for now I am content in expanding my skill sets outside of the computers and keeping it only as a hobby (and some side work).

Thinking more on it, I believe “getting out” as helped bring me back to writing and recording. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve released a podcast episode or have put out a full, (not random) random post such as this one. Come on, I’m even doing small movie reviews…what’s gotten into me!

I hope you have a good day and thank you for reading! Feel free to email me if you want, [email protected]

TL;DR: I’ll be publishing more often.

“Robot and Frank” (It’s free)

Released in 2012 yet still feeling like a 2021 movie, Robot and Frank surely hit all the right angles. From emotional pull to outright standard behavior of a “robot.”

Poor Frank couldn’t be trusted in good faith by his community due to his shoplifting habits, but his latest gift (the robot) will soon make things interesting.

Available for free:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1990314/