On November 3, Massachusetts voters will get to weigh in on Question 1, a proposal on the ballot that would make the data on a car’s computer available to third-party repair shops. This would change the status quo—where only dealerships are allowed to access that data—and present a big gain for proponents of the Right to Repair movement. The RTR folks argue that consumers should have the ability to fix, alter, and otherwise access the inner workings of the technology they purchase, whether that’s a car, a vacuum cleaner, or an iPhone.
This week, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about Question 1, the current state of right-to-repair legislation in the US, and what this ruling could mean for those of us who don’t live in Massachusetts. In the second half of the show, we’ll share our own stories and experiences with repairing our own gadgets and gear.
Read the text of Question 1 and the arguments for it and against it at Ballotpedia. Also see op-eds from The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald. The University of Vermont’s policy on residence hall Ethernet ports.
Mike recommends pan de muerto, which you can buy from a Mexican bakery or just bake yourself.
Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
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