John Deere agreed to allow farmers to fix their own tractors

Farmers in the US will now be able to fix their own John Deere equipment or head to independent repair shops without intervention from the agricultural equipment manufacturer.

Addressing a long-standing complaint from farmers, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and John Deere signed a memorandum of understanding on Sunday that ensures farmers and ranchers have the freedom to repair their own farm equipment.

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It’s good that this is getting recognition and one of the more egregious offenders in the field is shifting position. But I’m skeptical. You can drive a tractor through this loophole:

The deal also protects equipment from changes that could compromise safety.

This same copout was featured in the modified right to repair bill that the NY governor insisted the legislature re-legislate after having previously passed something markedly more consumer-friendly.

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Yep,
This like many other repair agreements is poison pilled.

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I have ready stories of farmers, who have hacked/jailbroke the tractors already.

Some are even selling the info online.

I contend that when it comes to software hackers will almost always bust the encryption, jailbreak the code, or embarrass the enterprise that thinks they can prevent it. For example the anonymous hacker group:

I’ve also always thought that while the politicians think they are in control it of the world in reality computer folks are.

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Same here. While I’m normally loathe to link videos, VICE News did a ~piece on the subject almost 3 years ago detailing the lengths to which farmers are having to go to perform maintenance on equipment whose core diagnostic and and control functions are behind encryption paywalls. If the ring kissing for servicing were reasonably equitable I suspect that this would be a non-issue, however much like a certain brand based in Cupertino servicing is not only unequitable but restricted in an attempt to extract greater revenue in the form of sales of assemblies and systems if not entirely new equipment.

Another s*it move is the auto manufacturers that want to charge money for extras on subscription basis. This is just one example:

There are others. I’m certain hackers will remedy this situation, too.

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The various rhetoric thrown up by commercial interests in opposition to right to repair as well as many nonsense fees and rentals (ala the BMW example) are largely in defense of rent-seeking - one of the classic hazards of commerce.

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Some car manufacturers are locking the vehicle owners out of being able to even access areas of the car like under the hood. Here is a pic from a Mercedes.

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The HVAC industry (Large Tonnage) is going that way. One of our competitors will not sell us a subscription to the software on the newer machines, that software costs 15,000 a year per seat.

I love those shows like FBI, that use a perp’s GPS to find him, regardless of any security or use on their part.
Of course, I love it, too when they say “No, it’s too old to track.”. May I always drive cars that are too old.

Here’s another technology aimed at the criminal using an automobile.

Law enforcement can just stop your car from operating if they want to. Pretty soon you’ll be traceable wherever you go if it isn’t true already.

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As can your lender.

Cell phones (vis-à-vis the Stingray) and ALPRs are doing a bang-up job of that already.

Would love to run a ALPRs system and report the driving habits of our public officials.

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I gather that homebrew ALPR is well within the capabilities of the moderately determined hobbyist.

They would “Do as I say, not as I do”. Or “Nothing to see here” or its a security concern & keep it from being used on them.

There’s roughly F-all anyone can do about public photography. That being said I would exercise discretion when it comes to openly publishing any such data collected via said photography.

The other interesting fall out of locking the hood, is that it moves your window cleaner refill port to the outside of the car. Would hate for anyone to mess with what is in your window washer reservoir. Go to rinse a bug off your window and ink sprays across the front of your car as your driving 80 on the highway. Making matter worse, incident could happen months after someone messed with it.