We Need the Right to Repair Our Gadgets ( )

In a way, we already are. Household recycling not conspicuously done by consumers and businesses curbside is increasingly being done on the backend at the landfill. Since households are kind of terrible at putting the right things in the bin and the separation tech is increasingly automated, pulling from the general waste stream seems to be the direction of the future. Cities can potentially recover more valuables and it opens up capturing new sources of value sooner than conventional curbside recycling.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see curbside bins disappear within another decade.

1 Like

And if there was no manual, there were trusty Sams Photofacts. Dang, I used to love those…

Well, vinyl records are making a bit of a comeback.

1 Like

I’m truly surprised at the response to this article - I put it up as I thought it would be of interest and clearly it is. Of course the other demon out there eluded to in the article in DMCA.

@JAGMAN & @wandrson
You 2 quit screwing around back there!
This topic was about repairing our own stuff, not mining asteroids!
You wanna get flagged?!?

@Photomancer Thank you for turning this topic right around! It nearly went off the rails…
TLAs are where it’s at, for my $1. FLAs can go back to whatever hell decided they NEEDED 33%more characters than TLAs to serve essentially the same function: confuse the outliers.
Demons. Indeed.

1 Like


This topic was about repairing our own stuff, not mining asteroids!

You switched tracks with your talk of landfills - and I CAN edit the topic title to accommodate. Watch…

You wanna get flagged?!?

There are two of us, so you want to get your skeptical M&M ass chased around Makerspace at Open House? We will get hungry sometime… :yum: :hamburger:

JAG “Get Eaten” MAN

Edit: I EDITED the hell out of this topic thread subject - go me


@JAG Changing the title is a neat trick, … ;_0 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

Can someone stay on target and talk about repairing our landfills? We have a - Look a shiny squirrel over there!


@JAGMAN Changing the title is a neat trick,

Yes David - it involves a clever technique called “typing”…

My new policy of dealing with flags for off-topic is to expand the topic subject.

Easy AND nefarious. :smiling_imp:

JAG “If Only You Knew The Power of The Snark Side” MAN

EDIT: P.S. Now investigating the formation of a new Sarcastic Smartass Interest Group


Don’t forget “Trust Level 3” exploitation of said technique…

PS I thought this whole thing was the Sarcastic Smartass Interest Group Experiment…

I’m just gonna leave this right here…


And here is a somewhat recent example of how it is done using plants / bio-nanotechnology:

JAG “There’s Gold In Them Thar Plants!” MAN


Most of the posters on this thread have TL3 (it was changed back I notice) and David is probably close to acquiring that level in the next few weeks and then he too can join the Snark Side.

PS I thought this whole thing was the Sarcastic Smartass Interest Group Experiment…

Experiment, yes. An interest group is a another level beyond. (but not much)

JAG “Land Snark” MAN

1 Like

I’ve heard of indicator plants used for prospecting, and various stupid plant tricks (like, getting plants to create circuit board traces), but I don’t recall hearing about trying to get plants to create nanoparticles of gold.



How does 2kg of gold end up in a metric ton of human waste ash?
That’s a lot of Goldchager at .1gram/bottle…

BTW, that’s a placeholder question; insert any of the other assertions made in the article, e.g. 16.7grams of silver per metric ton of sludge, etc.

That video would have led me to think that makerspaces would have “Disassembly Committees,” and libraries of internal workings. DMS, though, isn’t so much about hacking existing devices, as it is creating our own devices, pretty much from scratch (and, therefore, the finished product is not too complex). Our attempts at hacking have mostly resulted in frustration, largely due to the reasons given in the video; modern goods are too complex, obscure and cheap to make modification practical.

That reference in the article apparently was to a region with a lot of manufacturing waste.

Some of that is from medicines. Some is just waste leaching out from our trash. More than that, I’m not certain.

Alright - back on topic.

“Because computer chips” is indeed a stumbling block for most. But I think that barrier is going to come down in the near to intermediate future. What got me thinking about this eventuality was this article. A private security firm - that presumably has limited resources - was able to dissect the secure chip, analyze it with a microscope, and using some optical trickery was able to extract the firmware. It’s possible that I’m behind the times on shoestring-budget espionage techniques, but I’ve always thought of those techniques as being solely the realm of multibillion-dollar industrial conglomerates and state-sponsored intelligence agencies, not small-ish private firms with (presumably) commercial-grade equipment almost anyone can buy.

Now imagine these techniques applied to more consumer-grade hardware. I doubt an ECU, video content-descrambling chip, or printer cartridge “authenticator” is going to go to the extremes that the lockmaker did in the article; they won’t let you siphon off the firmware via a handy RS-232 port, but odds are you won’t need to slice the chip and use optical trickery to make it give up its secrets. Once that firmware is out, it can be reverse-engineered then altered just enough to make it immune from copyright protection.

On the hardware side, it’s not hard to imagine emulation for proprietary parts should the OEM’s get greedy. Suspect that one could deadbug a cheap microcontroller in place of a number of proprietary designs. If you need something exotic, a FPGA could perhaps be fashioned or maybe something along the lines of an Arudino or Raspberry Pi.

Yes, the DMCA will stop commercialization of some of these techniques. But the information always leaks out somehow.

Reverse engineering is not as necessary today because so much software is open source. For example, I once had to decompile malloc and free in a compiler’s runtime library to make it quit doing some obnoxious things like fragmenting memory and trying to be helpful and dumping a list of memory blocks when it detected the heap was corrupt. Today, source code for the library is usually included as SOP.

Yep. DeCSS is a case in point.

Official Drink will be Cutty Snark