Repair

FTC tasked with drafting new right to repair rules

Apple, like many large tech companies, is not particularly fond of the idea of third-party repair offerings. Part of that comes from the fact that the company itself offers repair services. Some of it is a requirement for genuine parts (that might not always be available for third-party repair shops). And in the end, it means a lot of lobbying by Apple and those other companies to try and stop right to repair efforts across the globe.

MacBook Pro schematic leak has been an unexpected help to Apple-authorized repairers

Independent Apple-authorized repair shops are taking advantage of the stolen MacBook Pro schematics to recover lost data for customers, according to a new report.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

A ransomware group recently stole MacBook schematics. The stolen PDFs contain wiring diagrams. This is helping repairers recover lost data for customers. Apple doesn't provide these schematics to repairers.

Stolen Quanta docs benefit Apple repair shops

As recently reported by The Record, ransomware group REvil ahead of Apple's April 21 “Spring Loaded” event released schematics for upcoming MacBook Pros, stolen from Apple supply partner Quanta Computer, demanding that Apple buy back the available data by May 1.

→ How to turn your old MacBook into a glowing light

Aside from corroborating earlier rumors which said that an upcoming MacBook Pro refresh would ditch the Touch Bar and revive an SD card slot along with MagSafe magnetic charging, the hacking group actually did Apple repair professionals an accidental favor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRvojCLKWik

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Specifically, the leaked schematics are helping Apple-sanctioned repairers with computer data recovery, Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of the Repair Association told Vice:

Our business relies on stuff like this leaking. This is going to help me recover someone's data. Someone is going to get their data back today because of this.

And this:

Armed with a schematic, you cannot build a phone or a MacBook. The diagram is basically, this part connects to this part. You don't know what the parts are or what they do. You just know that there's a connection.

One thing is certain: the stolen docs contain no trade secrets, says YouTuber Justin Ashford.

Authorized repair shops vs. Apple

Ashford summed it up nicely:

Apple is acting like they haven't been using the same circuits for years. There are so many things that are identical from phone to phone that are just kind of moved around. This whole thing about arguing about trade secrets is horse shit.

Indeed, the stolen files are a bunch of PDFs that illustrate layouts of logic boards, wiring diagrams and stuff like that.

Ashford continued:

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me legitimately what having a wiring diagram ahead of time does to hurt them, especially since they used to give it away. I'm going to use it and I'm going to help people with it.

Although Apple is working hard to eliminate its whole carbon footprint by 2030, the Right to Repair movement has blasted the company for keeping documents like product schematics away from its authorized independent repair businesses.

Image Credit: iFixit

How to avoid lens flare when using your iPhone camera

evening sun from Pixabay

Have you noticed spots or lines in the photos you capture with your iPhone camera? Maybe you picked up the iPhone Pro Max for the beauty of the camera and pictures it takes. But are disappointed with those imperfections in your pictures. Or perhaps you’ve just recently noticed these blemishes in your photos. Either way, what you’re experiencing is likely lens flare.

Lens flare is basically caused by light reflections on your camera lens. So you may see it when snapping a photo of the sun peeking through your window or coming up over the horizon. While many photographers use tools to capture lens flare for a dramatic or artistic effect, most of us find lens flare ruining our pictures.

Here are several suggestions for how to avoid lens flare with your iPhone camera.