This week, Bloomberg's Adam Minter covers an important new front in the battle to repair your stuff. Seems the CTIA (a cell phone group, similar to the Anti-Gray-Market-Alliance) is seeking sponsors for a bill to keep a geek from unlocking a chip so you can use your cell phone with a different carrier.
The cell phone unlocking is an important story. IFIXIT.org has previously sounded the alarm about your right to fiddle around with your used gadgets. And everyone should get to know the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). Very smart, following the core (first use doctrine) for longer than anyone.
Most Poor People are not a threat to most Rich People. The two percent get along great with 90% of the 98%. It is the rapidly rising poor, the ones who have figured something out, and are on a trajectory to compete with the rich, that get smacked. And there's no bigger threat than dirt poor geeks reverse-engineering, copying, innovating, and remarketing materials in competition with Big Electronics. This is where Sony meets its Terry Gou, where HP meets its Simon Lin, where IBM meets its Steve Wozniak. The first born of the emerging markets have a pesky way of becoming rivals to capitalist monarchies.