‘Worst of CES’ Awards Announced by Right-to-Repair/Privacy Advocates


The Register reports on a unique response to CES:
Six right-to-repair advocates assembled on Friday morning to present Repair.org’s second annual Worst in Show Awards, a selection of the “the least private, least secure, least repairable, and least sustainable gadgets at CES.”

In a presentation streamed on YouTube, author and activist Cory Doctorow presided over the condemnation session. He said that he has been attending the Consumer Electronics Show for decades and vendors will gladly enumerate the supposed benefits of their products. “But what none of those people will ever do is tell you how it will fail,” said Doctorow. “And that’s kind of our job here today, to talk about the hidden or maybe not so hidden and completely foreseeable failure modes of these gadgets.”

Kyle Wiens, co-founder of iFixit, gave the new Mercedes EQS EV the award for the worst product in terms of repairability. Showing a slide of the warning screen the car presents to its driver, he said, “You cannot open the hood of the car. It is locked, warning of accident, warning of injury if you open the hood. Mercedes’ perspective is, ‘Hey, this is an electric car. There’s nothing the owner needs to do under the hood of this car.”

Wiens said this is not the first time Mercedes has gone down this road, noting that a few years ago the company removed the dipstick from its C-class vehicles, arguing that only an authorized technician should change the oil.

“So this is everything that is wrong with the future,” he said.
Some other higlights (via the Register)… Nathan Proctor, national campaign director for public interest non-profit USPIRG, gave the “worst in class for the environment” award to Samsung’s new NFT Aggregation Platform, which he described as “a way to buy, sell and display your NFT artwork from your huge ginormous OLED Samsung TV.”

Proctor added “If you don’t know what an NFT is, I am honestly jealous of your life,” calling it “sort of like a Beanie Baby craze for crypto tech bros — if Beanie Babies required massive continual energy consumption on a warming planet to remain corporeal.”

And the Community Choice poll for Worst in Show went to John Deere — presumably for fighting right-to-repair laws in every single state legislature — while the tractor companywas also recognized by Paul Roberts, founder of securerepairs.org, for its industry-lagging bad outreach to the security community.





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