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I． Project Introduction
NuCypher is the data privacy protocol layer of public blockchains and DApp. This project uses proxy re-encryption and blockchain technology to provide distributed key management and encrypted access control service, thus offering DApp and its developers the method to store, share and manage the private data on public blockchain in security.
II. Project Evaluation
1. Market analysis ，Total scores 0.7 ，Scoring 0.56
1.1 Market Profile
In recent years, the damage caused by various network threats is worsening, driving the growing needs of information security products and services. The key is the last barrier to protect information safety, so the key management service (KMS) is essential to blockchain industry. Traditional centralized KMS service providers are: Amazon Cloud HSM, Google Cloud KMS, Microsoft Azure Key Vault and True Vault etc. Inappropriate trust level needs to be set up to these centralized service providers while using their services. This may not be appropriate to safety-critical application and is vulnerable to nodes attacks. Unencrypted symmetric key will never be exposed to server as using proxy re-encryption technology. Even it is hacked, hackers can only get re-encrypted key, which also protects file access indeed. The emergence of NuCypher KMS provided a solution without trust required. This feature has huge potential for the internet environment market with frequent occurrence of security issues.
According to the score logic of model algorithm: very small market 0-2 (below 1 billion), small market (at 1 billion), medium market 5-6 (10 billion), big market 7-8 (100 billion), very big market 9-10 (above 1 trillion), this scores 8.
1.2 Competition Situation
There are mainly two kinds of competitive projects of NuCypher KMS:
According to the score logic of model algorithm: very high level of competition 0-2, high level of competition 3-4, medium level of competition 5-6, low level of competition 7-8, very low level of competition 9-10, this scores 9.
1.3 Risk Evaluation
1.3.1 Competitive Risk
The importance and urgency of information security made higher profit margin, thus much of the capital were distributed in this field. Giant companies, includes Google, Microsoft and Amazon etc. have made distribution in the field in advance and they are unlikely to give up their own-earned benefits. Information security field is capital and technology-intensive industry, where major companies have incomparable advantages as intensively cultivating. This is a challenge for NuCypher's early start.
1.3.2 Technical Risk
Since blockchains technology is developing continuously and cryptology is in continuous evolution, R&D team cannot guarantee the absolute safety at any time. The platform is vulnerable to cyber attacks which causes all digital currency to be stolen, lost, disappeared, destructed or devaluation.
1.3.3 ICO's Unknown Risks
Since there are no any details about ICO published so far, NuCypher is exposed to the risk on this point. For example, in the event of excessive amount raised, NuCypher will be discounted in terms of investment value. After all, NUCypher is protocol type project, with reasonable fund raising ranging from U.S.D 20 million to U.S.D 50 million.
According to the score logic of model algorithm: very high risk 0-2, high risk 3-4, medium risk 5-6, low risk 7-8, very low risk 9-10, this scores 5.
2. Token Status ，Total scores 0.8 ， Scoring 0.16
【Token name】: NKMS
【Total tokens 】: TBA
【Crowdfunding amount】: TBA
【Receiving tokens】: ETH
【Pre-sale time】: TBA
【Public offering time】: start public crowd funding after main network is on-line
【Whitelist】: join telegram, subscribe to mailing.
【KYC/AML】:Investors will be identified in accordance with the time sequences of joining the official telegraph group and mailing list.
【Whether to lock】:TBA
【Distribution of tokens】: Pre-allocation pool with small proportion (cooperative partners' pre-allocation tokens for the commitment of long running one or more nodes), the specific proportion is to be disclosed.
Token distribution mechanism, lock up status by team and fund utilizing have not been released.
According to the score logic of model algorithm: very small reasonable degree of token mechanism 0-2, small reasonable degree of token mechanism 3-4, medium reasonable degree of token mechanism 5-6, greater reasonable degree of token mechanism 7-8, greatest reasonable degree of token mechanism 9-10, this scores 2.
3. Technology Analysis，Total scores 1.5 ，Scoring 1.2
3.1 Technology Highlight Total scores 1 Scoring 0.8
3.1.1 Proxy Re-encrypted Technology
The important core technology about NuCypher is proxy re-encrypted technology, which can achieve private information sharing in way of asymmetric encryption by the third party. This brings two direct benefits: 1. The difficulty of encryption is strong enough, the sharing process of this private data can be secure enough as long as the third-party agent is out of trouble; 2. Users can control whether to share their own data by means of authorization, which increases the flexibility of data access.
3.1.2 Mechanism Design in Security
In NuCypher design mechanism, all processes of re-encryption and decryption shall be implemented by miners, so it appears to be of essence on how to select reliable miners and ensure key security. For this purpose, NuCypher designed a series mechanisms to prevent miners from cheating and to protect the safety of encryption mode, it is generally to increase the cost of cheating to miners.
Collateral Mechanism of POS Algorithm:
NuCypher adopted the consensus algorithm of POS. POS has obvious benefit that the enough tokens must be put in nodes as collateral, thus to operate the mining of encryption and decryption as well as to be rewarded correspondingly. With the collateral, miners will pay the price and costs if cheat. This is the most direct and effective restriction mechanism.
Pseudo Anonymous Mechanism:
In the whole process of encryption and decryption, the system deals with anonymous for all re-encrypted keys. This is for concealing what on earth is encrypted and whether it is worth anything during the operation by miners. This prevents some restless nodes from cheating with other nodes due to the combination of benefits. It is very essential to the security of system.
Segmentation of Key Proxy:
If a certain node is not encrypted based on set strategy and need enciphered data again immediately. In that case then, there is a risk of cheating by miner because you do not know what on earth is happening. Therefore, NuCypher came up with the segmentation of key proxy. To put it simply, one task is split to different miners and data readers, and they shall cooperate with each other to complete the task.
3.1.3 Incentive System of Self-censorship
NuCypher designed a sort of mechanism similar to sting operation, called the rule of challenge protocol. If the system send the "false" data to miner for encrypted on purpose, and miner disclose the "false" data, then miner will be proved cheating on one hand, meanwhile, no user will suffer the loss on the other hand, as this is false data. Most of all, anyone in the network may act as this challenger under sting operation. Once you doubt that miner is cheating and you succeed in the challenge, you will get collateral tokens by miner as a reward.
3.1.4 Incentive System of Self-censorship
NuCypher's another interesting property is that its security will be improved with the increasing number of participants in network. It achieved the same result by different methods as Zilliqa is getting faster with the increasing number of miners. As the security risk of whole network comes from the possibility of node cheating, then the more participants on network, the less the risk of conspiracy cheating by nodes. Enough nodes may significantly improve the security and censorship-resistance in the system. Meanwhile, the existence of challenge protocol as the self-censorship mechanism also would increase the number of supervisors as participants grow in number.
3.2 Code Updates
Github is the most visited web with the most active base of "nucypher", which checked in code for 1618 times in total, including 5 branches in 2 versions. 5 participants in development, 26 times diverge, 1 follower, 1 collector, 19452 times taken as reference. As you can see from the code update on Github, the overall update frequency and extent is in medium level, the fundamental framework and core function are still being developed. However, we need to be clear that NuCypher is not the underlying public blockchain but protocol layer. So the lack in the progress of development and frequency is acceptable.
According to the score logic of model algorithm: unpublished code 0-4, code in medium condition 5-6, code in good condition 7-8, code in best condition 9-10, this scores 7.
3.3 Development Difficulty
NuCypher was not developed on new blockchains but based on Ethereum, and it can be used by DApp from other blockchains. In addition, in order to ensure NuCypher to most remain unaffected by the performance bottleneck of Ethereum, NuCypher KMS will not interacted with underlying blockchains unless data owner start new access strategy. It is critical that the project take the semi-credible centralizing surrogate from fully credible re-encrypted technology of blockchains, thus greatly improving the security and reliability of the system.
NuCypher technology uses the project ZeroDB of open source end-to-end encrypted database as reference, with being fully verified on technology, and it is comparatively mature technology. The control service of cloud data access provided to enterprises have applied DEMO (non-blockchains products), while NuCypher has issued threshold proxy re-encrypted version Umbral, which has been verified to re-encrypt through a set of nodes to ensure the security of key segmentation mechanism. In addition, the test network of this project will pop up online in several weeks, so it could be concluded that this project is at high maturity level of technology with less difficulty on development.
In respect of project operation, there is broad market space for KMS on big data, Internet and blockchains, along with much of application context. Furthermore, the major cost is the development costs in early stage, the maintenance costs in later stage is relatively less.
According to the score logic of model algorithm: development with very high difficulty 0-2, development with higher difficulty 3-4, development with medium difficulty 5-6, development with less difficulty 7-8, development with very less difficulty 9-10, this scores 7.
4. Project Status ，Total scores 0.5，Scoring 0.25
NuCypher team seed round (PE): Total U.S.D 750,000 was raised on August 9, 2016, with investors as following: Ycombinator, Mission and Market, Fusion Fund and Base Ventures.
Token in pre-sales phase: total U.S.D 4.4 million was raised on December 12, 2017. Lead investors: Polychain Capital, Semantic Ventures.
Although the project initiator has started development in 2015, NuCypher have not announced specific ICO date, the overall progress is slow. But NuCypher's cooperating party has nearly 11 projects, related fields covering decentralized data base, medical field, Internet of Things and digital assets etc., including popular projects such as Bluzelle, Origin Protocol and other recent popular items. NuCypher has high level of recognition and advantage on technical practicability and ecological construction.
According to the score logic of model algorithm: very low degree of achievement 0-2, lower degree of achievement 3-4, medium degree of achievement 5-6, higher degree of achievement 7-8, very high degree of achievement 9-10, this scores 5.
5. Team Member Total ，scores 1.5 ，Scoring 1.05
5.1 Founding Team
MacLane Wilkison Co-Founder and CEO
As the software engineer and the former investment banker of Morgan Stanley, he provided M&A and financing services to science-and-technology, media and telecommunication enterprises in his career of transnational financial service, with having the certificates of CISSP, CFA and FRM.
Michael Egorov Co-founder and CTO
He is the physicist and scientist of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, with having the PhD degree of philosophy and physics. Bronze medalist of International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) in 2003. Held the post of senior engineer in LinkedIn, as well as the advisor of Bluzelle and Datum from 2014 to 2015, with 5 years’ experience as a software engineer.
David Núñez, PhD (Cryptograpther)
Dr. Núñez is the expert in proxy re-encryption. Before joining NuCypher in full-time position, he was the postdoctoral researcher in NICS Laboratory. NICS laboratory, which is staffed by 20 researchers, was established by University of Malaga, focusing on studying in security field.
The founder has the certification of CISSP, which is the most authoritative, professional and systematic information assurance certification in the world. He is the CTO with having 5 years of experience as a software engineer. Dr. DavidNúñez is the expert in cryptography and the core team member, who is excellent both in professional and working experience. Although the core team of this project is arranged with clear division and records, most of team members are technical developers. It hasn’t seen any promotion staff working in this team and the telegram is mainly operated by CEO and CTO, which is not good for project running.
Dave is the professor of security computing research group. Giuseppe is the expert in proxy re-encrypted technology, which is the technology adopted in NuCypher. John is serial entrepreneur with having thirty years of experience in managing high-growth software company. Tony is the vice-president of Equinix, the author of data center in next generation and the former director in the Global Data Center of Morgan Stanley. The advisors of this project have the strength to offer sufficient counseling and guidance on encryption and management.
As the project ZeroDB is undertaken by this same team, so this team has got plenty practice on data encrypted and proxy re-encrypted development, laying the solid foundation for project completion.
According to the score logic of model algorithm: very weak team strength 0-2, weak team strength 3-4, medium team strength 5-6, strong team strength 7-8, very strong team strength 9-10, this scores 9.
6. Institutional Investors ，Total scores 1.5， Scoring 1.2
Bluzelle (decentration database), Origin Protocol (sharing economy protocol), Datum (data market), Fluence (decentration database), Wolk (decentration database), IRYO (medical treatment), Wholesome.io (medical treatment), Medixain (medical treatment), Spherity (Internet of Things), Coval Emblem Vault (digital assets), ZeroDB
Of which, Bluzelle is planning to take NuCypher as its access control, and NuCypher's CTO is one of technical advisors of Bluzelle. While ZeroDB (https://github.com/zerodb) is the project of open source end-to-end encrypted database. NuCypher was established after the further development of the key technologies in the project. Both came from the same company and share the same development team and website.
There are many partners. NuCypher, with independent ecological system, has partners from many encrypted technology fields including decentralized database, data market, sharing economy protocol, medical treatment, Internet of Things and digital assets etc., and has developed its own ecological system.
It is thus clear that many institutional investors of blockchains are in favor of this project, especially Kenetic Capital and HASHED, who have gotten recognition and influence in token field. Kenetic Capital had invested ETH and bitcoin etc. well-known projects, HASHED had invested EOS and keyber network etc. The fact that these well-known institutions joined the investment is the largest confirmation to project initiator.
According to the score logic of model algorithm: very weak strength of institution 0-2, weak strength of institution 3-4, medium strength of institution 5-6, strong strength of institution 7-8, very strong strength of institution 9-10, this scores 9.
7. Drawing Attention，Total scores 1.0， Scoring 0.3
We collected some data from social platform and the results are as follows:
According to the score logic of model algorithm: very low level of activity 0-2, low level of activity 3-4, medium level of activity 5-6, high level of activity 7-8, very high level of activity 9-10, this scores 3.
8. Rating Info ，Total scores 1.0， Scoring 0.8
We collected the scores to Nucypher from the following four rating agencies. The average score is 8.425 after converted to a decimal system.
According to the score logic of model algorithm: very low score 0-2, low score 3-4, medium score 5-6, high score 7-8, very high score 9-10, this scores 8.
9. Social Response，Total scores 2.0，Scoring 1.4
Scoring 1.8 As a protocol layer to data protection, NuCypher KMS has good prospects and advantages on both directivity and technology implementation, it is very nice.
Scoring 2.6 The project team is technical-weighted as a whole. It hasn’t seen any promotion staff working in this team and the telegram is mainly operated by CEO and CTO, which is not good for project running.
Scoring 3.7 There are many partners. NuCypher, with independent ecological system, has partners from many encrypted technology fields including decentralized database, data market, sharing economy protocol, medical treatment, Internet of Things and digital assets etc.
Scoring 4.5 The technology of blockchains is still immature. The critical point of project completion is to get consensus. This project is low at the level of community activity.
Scoring 5.7 The development idea of technology was clear. Open-source technology was implemented in mid-late period and adopted innovative mixing techniques to realize chain cross.
Scoring 6.5 Based on EOS.IO structure, pop up from the main net of EOS, and verified a certain risk existed before getting excellent performance.
Scoring 7.6 Although the market space is big, BAT and Google etc. magnates enter market in case, the market space will be squeezed.
Scoring 8.5 The project is still in initiating stage and token have not been launched.
Scoring 9.9 It has advantage of backwardness, move innovative technology as compared to other competitive products.
Scoring 10.8 The R&D of blockchains is strong, deep in technology accumulation. Technical staff are good in experience background.
III. Review Summary
As a protocol layer to data protection, NuCypher KMS has good prospects and advantages on both directivity and technology implementation. Team, application context, the progress of development and mechanism design all made this project mature. In terms of investment value and commercial value, it is worthy of investing. However, its ICO scheme was slow to announce and it shall be aware of unknown risks, such as unreasonable ICO scheme due to immoderate financing.
This project has fewer competitors in the circumstance. It has strong technological strength and was invested by well-known institutions, worth looking forward to the prospect.
According to a report published by ESET today, cybercriminals only made modifications to legitimate open source Monero mining software and exploited a known vulnerability in Microsoft IIS 6.0 to secretly install the miner on unpatched Windows servers.
Although ESET's investigation does not identify the attackers, it reports that the attackers have been infecting unpatched Windows web servers with the cryptocurrency miner since at least May 2017 to mine 'Monero,' a Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency.
The vulnerability exploited by the attackers was discovered in March 2017 by Zhiniang Peng and Chen Wu and resides in the WebDAV service of Microsoft IIS version 6.0-the web server in Windows Server 2003 R2. Therefore, hackers are only targeting unpatched machines running Windows Server 2003 to make them part of a botnet, which has already helped them made over $63,000 worth of Monero.
The newly discovered malware mines Monero that has a total market valuation of about $1.4 billion, which is far behind Bitcoin in market capitalisation, but cybercriminals' love for Monero is due to its focus on privacy.
Another reason of hackers favouring Monero is that it uses a proof-of-work algorithm called CryptoNight, which suits computer or server CPUs and GPUs, while Bitcoin mining requires specific mining hardware.
In mid-May, Proofpoint researcher Kafeine discovered cryptocurrency mining malware, called 'Adylkuzz,' which was using EternalBlue exploit-created by the NSA and dumped last month by the Shadow Brokers in April-to infect unpatched Windows systems to mine Monero.
|Is it possible for an 83 year old to have a well-reasoned attitude towards the internet, or are all people that old hopelessly analog and therefore irrelevant||I would hope so! But I imagine it would take some time—there's a lot of context he's missing that we have, and vice versa. I'm sure that there's a lot that I could learn from Mr. Billington. Maybe I should drop by his library sometime and see if he'll show me around!|
|Why should I tailor my design to the .1% of the market who cares about repairing their design, instead of the 50% of the market who would rather have an extra 1mm shaved off the case, or who would rather save $.50 due to a more efficient factory assembly methodology?||Just because the first owner doesn't fix it, doesn't mean no one will. Eventually, 100% of the products you design will fail. The battery will wear out or someone will drop it. The need for repair is just about as inevitable as taxes. Products that have long lives have much higher resale value. Toyota trucks sell for a significant premium over Ford trucks of the same year with the same mileage. And people care about how much they're going to be able to get for their used product a year down the line, even if they're not interested in ever fixing it themselves. Large purchasers are increasingly paying attention to design lifespan. I know purchasers at very large organizations that are horrified by the prospect of a glued in battery with a 2-3 year life. They have to get a better return on their investment than that.|
|Hey! I wrote a repair guide for a Fender guitar amp for you guys for my technical writing class at Cal Poly SLO! My question is what sort of compromise could you foresee that would both allow use consumers to do what we wish with our products, while still protecting the intellectual property of the numerous companies we purchase our products from?||For those who are interested, here's their Fender repair manual. Great job!|
|The question is what intellectual property needs to be protected? There are already lots of laws that protect Fender from you starting a competitor and using their patented designs or trademarked logo and case styling.|
|In the case of electronics, all the design engineers I know tell me that by the time a product has shipped, they assume that it's obsolete. They know their competitors will be taking it apart and analyzing it.|
|Sharing information needed for repairs doesn't really make it any easier to clone a product. A number of manufacturers—Dell and HP, for example—provide service manuals on their website already. And iFixit's Apple service manuals didn't prevent (or factor in at all with) their lawsuit against Samsung.|
|My opinion is that the laws we have are substantially the result of a) unintended consequences of the fight against media piracy; b) Cell carriers using the law to enforce a monopoly; and c) a strategy of planned obsolescence.|
|Now that's it's illegal; what are the chances of getting caught? Is it easy for phone providers to track down an unlocked cell phone? Will they actively go after people? Or do you think it's going to be more like illegal torrenting where they'll go after the big fish (ie people marketing unlocking/jailbreaking services) and maybe cherry pick a few unlockers here and there to make an example out of them?||The odds of them coming after you or me are very low. I'm not sure that they could detect remotely whether a phone has been unlocked—it would probably come down to how accurate their database is and whether there is data sharing between the carriers.|
|It's the folks making the unlocking software—like geohot and the iPhone dev team—as well as refurbishers and resellers. Companies like Recellular unlock millions of cell phones per year. If they can't do that, the used phone market will be significantly disrupted. It will become extremely expensive to buy unlocked phones, and your old locked phone won't be worth nearly as much.|
|It's crazy that intellectual property law is interfering with the free market of physical products like this. It's farcical. Imagine if Ford cut a deal with a toll road company and didn't allow you to drive your car on another company's roads!|
|We need to find ways of educating policy makers about the impact of applying policies designed to prevent piracy to physical hardware.|
|How do you think the rise of 3D printing is going to affect your iFixit business? Do you believe scanning the 3D models of little plastic pieces be subject to DMCA takedowns? And if so, would you consider addressing that on your fixthedmca.org site?||I'm really excited about 3D printing. We haven't seen a ton of practical 3D printable repair parts, but that day is coming.|
|The legal issues around printing 3D parts are pretty different from the copyright concerns around unlocking (circumventing encryption) and access to service manuals and diagnostics. With printing objects, you run into problems with 3D patents and trademarks. If it's legal for a third party to make a replacement handle for your refrigerator, it should be legal for you to 3D print one. But that's by no means certain, and I think it's going to be a significant fight in the coming years.|
|There have already been some DMCA takedowns of 3D files, but IANAL and I couldn't say exactly what the implications are.|
|A major challenge for small companies like ours is uncertainty. Let's say I create a 3D file of my door handle, post it to iFixit, get sued by a major manufacturer, and my lawyers tell me I have a strong legal case for fair use. Going to trial could cost millions of dollars—money the manufacturer may be willing to spend, but that we wouldn't be able to afford.|
|This is a big reason why you don't see very many people standing up to the OEMs. It's also why it's critical that we financially support fantastic organizations like the EFF, Public Knowledge, Free Press, and others who are willing to fight long fights on behalf of us consumers. Free markets need clarity.|
|That said, iFixit is totally happy to host any 3D models of spare parts people want to throw up on our servers, as long as the files were independently created.|
|As a Cal Poly SLO Electrical Engineering student who built a 3d printer this summer, I support IFixit hosting models.||Let's get started uploading some models, then!|
|Everything that you guys take apart and breakdown.. do you pay for those out-of-pocket, or are they given to you by the manufacturers? How do they feel about you doing that?||Great question. We buy everything at retail, just like Consumer Reports. Since we're rating the repairability, it's important that we get the same hardware that you would buy at the store.|
|That gets a little expensive, particularly with out-of-contract cell phones (we'll be taking apart the Blackberry Z10 soon), but it's worth it. You can't tell how hard it'll be to repair something without taking it apart, and we've taken it on as our sworn duty to educate people before they find out the hard way.|
|We posted a tablet repairability matrix the other day.|
|Well, I feel like that is likely ALREADY the case with many cars. They all have lots and lots of chips in them. How many of those chips are we allowed to access, inspect, etc., without violating something like DMCA?||It totally depends on whether they're encrypted.|
|Legally, can you modify the code on the chips?|
|Practically, will anyone do it?|
|Right now, we're focused on the first issue—guaranteeing your right to tinker. That's why we need to repeal Section 1201 of the DMCA.|
|But for repairs, the time to reverse engineer those chips is so significant that you would never be able to do so in the process of fixing a car. For many repairs, access to service documentation and diagnostics are critical. That's why Massachusetts just passed Right to Repair legislation requiring service information be made available. Independent auto mechanics were worried they wouldn't be able to stay in business.|
|I think we need Right to Repair legislation for electronics as well as autos.|
|You guys are great! A Maker Manifesto for all! I'm tired of the consumption based, throwaway society we have today. We need to get corporations to relinquish this tight-fisted control over everything they manufacture for "sale" (quotes to indicate that they say "sold", even though the consumer often own much of what was purchased) that encourages, no - demands, that merchandise gets thrown away and replaced new to maximize profits. What do you see as the best avenue, personally and as citizens, to encourage people, the government, and companies to pursue the ability to repair our merchandise?||Help us build a free repair manual for everything! Join the thousands of people all around the world contributing to make iFixit the largest repair manual in the world. We're building a coalition to fight for access to unlocking tools, service manuals, diagnostics, and everything else we need to repair products. If the people of Massachusetts can stand up for their local auto repair shop, we of the internet can certainly stand up for the right to open our electronics.|
|Sign up at fixthedmca.org and let people know you want DMCA 1201 repealed.|
|I own a small business that's an authorized dealer of a major carrier's products and contracts. When I order, e.g., a 16 GB iPhone 5, I pay the full retail price, $650. One of my stores then sells it for $200, as per the carrier's requirement. When someone then proceeds to unlock that phone and activate it on, say, Cricket, I lose $450. The carrier only pays me a portion of the contract if it's kept for at least six months. Were you aware of this? Do you agree that anyone who acts in a similar manner is effectively stealing $450 from me? How can one own an item that he hasn't fully paid for yet (assuming that a device isn't entirely bought until the discount received on it has been compensated via contract)?||The customer has to pay an early termination fee, I assume. Who gets that money?|
|Do you ever break a item while disassembling it? e.g. If you cracked a Ipad digitizer as you removed it while doing a break down. Edit:spelling.||Yes. Specifically with the iPad, it was glued together. It took us breaking about five iPads before we developed a technique for opening iPads without harming the glass. Even then, we kept fiddling and improving our methodology.|
|How do you guys feel about "anti-fixer" hardware like security screws or Torx?||I don't really think Torx is anti-fixer—it's a pretty standard tool, there are good technical reasons for it (screws don't strip as easily), and the patent on it has expired (way back in '91). Security bits and tools like Apple's Pentalobe driver are just consumer-hostile.|
|I had to open up my coffee maker to unclog it and they had flathead screws with a little bar in the middle - you'd need a flathead screwdriver that kinda looked like a two-pronged fork.||I have a friend who just spilled liquid on her MacBook Air this afternoon and needs to open up the case to dry it out. But she doesn't have the right sized pentalobe bit already, and it's going to take a few days to mail her one.|
|Random idea: Mail Pentalobe drivers to libraries in major metro areas, so people can locally access them without the hassle?||There's a growing group of tool libraries where they do just that. I think it's a fantastic idea—we recently wrote a story about the West Seattle Tool Library, which is very successful.|
|You guys are awesome! You helped me start my business in fixing and unlocking devices. I have already emailed my representatives (all of them), signed the petition, and spread the word about how bad the DMCA is. Thank you for your efforts. As for questions, how many DMCA threats do you receive? If so, from what kind of companies? Do they concern you at all?||You'll be surprised to hear this: iFixit has never received a DMCA complaint. But there's a good reason for that—all the content on the site is originally created, either by us or by our community members.|
|We haven't gotten permission from any OEMs to rehost their service information (yet), but it's something that we're working on.|
|With the recent screenshots of xbox durango, do you think that we are moving toward a time where the used game market will cease to exist?||You bought it, you should own it. That applies to music you buy from iTunes, or from Steam, or from the secret XBox market of the future.|
|But the trend right now is away from ownership, and towards licensing. Apple is very careful to never say that you own the music you download from iTunes.|
|There's a fantastic group of people working to guarantee your rights to resell the things you buy called the Owner's Rights Initiative. They won a huge victory in the Supreme Court this week in the Kirtsaeng v. Wiley case, verifying that it is legal to resell products in the US that were made overseas. Seems commonsense, but those are the sort of basic battles we have to fight.|
|If that verdict had gone the other way, we might be talking about whether it's legal to resell your old cell phone—now that would have been a step backwards.|
|Are you giving away free 6inch rulers? because they are $2.99 and redditlove322 gives $5 off.||Yes.|
|Why isn't the problem the breaking of a contract?||The customer is not actually breaking the contract, they're exercising an option in the contract to end the monthly service in exchange for paying an early termination fee.|
|Your problem is that the carrier wrote the contract, and likely also wrote the business contract with you. Your contract sounds one-sided—the fair thing would be for you to receive a portion of the termination fee to repay you for your subsidy. You're getting squeezed on both ends.|
|Why isn't there a way to sort the amount of devices on your website by their repairability score?||Because we haven't gotten to it yet! But that's a great idea. Our tablet repairability page is our first stab at something like that.|
|I have used your website to repair a Macbook Pro. I redirect people to your site for a lot of their Apple (and console) problems. I love the idea of a centralized repository of all this knowledge. Is it possible to expand this to cover all devices? If unlocking under contract cell phones is legal. What incentive do mobile carriers have to incentivize high end cell phones?||Yes, we're working hard to do it. The problem is that we can't take the manufacturer service manuals and post them on iFixit because of copyright law. If it was legal, we'd have service manuals for everything! So we have to write everything from scratch. You can help—take some photos the next time you fix something and post the seed of a new repair manual. Locking phones isn't required to keep you on a carrier. You already have a contract! The early termination fee should cover any costs to them from your subsidized handset.|
|What's in it for you?||We want to fix the world. I'd like to live in a place where people cared about their things, and products were designed to stand the test of time.|
|I agree that this should never be an issue and shouldn't be something that we should have to fight for. Everything should be unlocked by default. But you guys are doing amazing things in this fight, so mad props to you.||The problem is that software (intellectual property) is infecting hardware, and so the laws that have allowed us to modify and tinker our hardware for hundreds of years are woefully out of date. It won't be long before you can't buy any durable good that doesn't have some software involved.|
|, ifixit.com is an awesome idea and site and I recently used it to upgrade my aging macbook, saving hundreds of dollars by not buying a new one.||Great idea! What do you. think. of. these. guides?|
|Have you ever considered expanding ifixit beyond apple products and game consoles? Or expansion beyond electronics.. say into DIY car repairs?||IFixit is a wiki, and you can add repair manuals for anything you like! So get cracking.|
|Hi there as a small cellphone and computer shop in my town I like to thank you guys for your work and I support as much as I can when I can ( buying parts and tools. Even if can find it little cheaper somewhere Els. I to support your amazing website ). It helped me many times when I have a rare or unusual item in my shop. How did it all started ?||Here's a short summary of how we started iFixit back in 2003: Link to www.ifixit.com|
|Are there any ways that manufacturers are making it easier to repair devices?||I think Dell deserves more press than they've gotten for the XPS 10. It's clear that serviceability was a design priority throughout, and it's a great device. I have the trackpad + battery dock, and it's a great product.|
|They color coded the screws, used easy tabs to get into the case, and made the battery very easy to remove.|
|Did you guys sell your tool kit to Best Buy, I saw a similar kit in geek squad to what I have at home?||Not yet, although we'd love to sell tools through them. You can buy them from Amazon online as well as direct from us. Radio Shack is selling our tools at a few stores—if you don't see them in your local store, ask them to stock them!|
|Hi guys, love your site 'cus I'm a fixer. _^ I've rebuilt many an engine for myself and friends. The best way for a friend to get me to fix their stuff is to say : "It's OK, don't worry. I'll just get a new one." LOL That pushes my buttons and I'll have it fixed pronto! I'm wondering about the (maybe few) positive outcomes of regulation. I'd love to hear your take on modifications to devices that then negatively effect other people. I know many guys who modify the emission control system on their cars in order to get better mileage or have better pick-up. This gives all of us a worse environment. Sometimes people misalign their headlights and/or put in super-bright halogens. These blind me when approaching at night. Also, what if someone modified their electronics in such a way that throws off a ton of RF noise, thus disrupting the electronics of others (phone, Bluetooth, WiFi). Mufflers on motorcycles that are just TOO loud are another example. These issues are more troublesome in cities where we live close to each other. This would probably require many more "spot checks" by authorities to be sure that your device/caboat/etc was in compliance. They do this now for people who mod their street-legal cars, but they will typically just target the low-riders or the Asian imports that are altered. I'd hate if this practice was extended to the whole population. We would creep closer toward a police state. So what is your stance on regulation (and its enforcement) for beneficial things? Where do we draw the line and how do we be sure people comply?||This is a great question, and I'd like to have a conversation about this separately. Please ask our repair tech community over on meta.ifixit.com and see what they think. They might have a more nuanced perspective on this than I would.|
|What has been the most difficult project for you? Not standing up to the DMCA, or any kind of campaigning stuff - I'm asking about phones/consoles/etc.||The hardest part for us is figuring out how to make servicing glued devices economical. The solution involves new tools, techniques, and instructions. We've thrown away entire repair manuals and started from scratch because we thought the procedure was too difficult for people to use. Our iOpener is a really cool new tool for opening glued tablets, and took about a year of tinkering to perfect.|
|Would you please give us a bitcoin address where we can PAY OUR SUPPORT ??||We should set something up for fixthedmca.org. We could be the first bitcoin-funded PAC! I'm sure that would ruffle some feathers.|
|Is the Surface Pro really that bad?||Yes. But don't take my word for it—CNET / Techrepublic also took it apart, and came to the same conclusions that we did.|
|From their report: "[Microsoft] took one of worst tablet design elements (a glued on front panel) and married it with one of the worst laptop elements (an over abundance of screws) to create a device that’s more difficult to crack open than even the Apple iPad."|
|Just wanted to say Thanks for making such great tools. They guides are pretty awesome too, but the tools are sweet. Just got my Magnetic Project Mat and I love it. Any way you want to sponsor an IT guy and give me a bunch of tools? Keep up the great work!||Shameless plug: I love my Pro Tech Toolkit, and the Magnetic Project Mat has changed how I fix things.|
|Unrelated, but would love the question answered. GF would love to move back to SLO. Any chance I could get a job?||We do have a couple positions open in SLO.|
|Not really a question directed to you, but just on the topic in general. In the US, are you not allowed to unlock your phone? Here in Ireland we simply go to our network's shop, give them our phone and a day later, it's unlocked and ready to use on any network, free of charge.||It's newly illegal as of January of this year. Thanks, Mr. Librarian of Congress!|
|In some countries—including Brazil—it's illegal to sell locked cell phones. I guess we're a little less secure in our capitalism than they are.|
|I can't thank your site enough! I use it to fix all of my electronics and customers computers. Before i even open a device, I take a look at your site and check to see what cables I have to be aware of, so I don't break any when taking apart the thing. Have you thought about opening a physical location and selling your merchandise and maybe offer computer servicing?||We have thousands of technicians who contribute to iFixit and run local repair businesses. I'd never want to compete with them—they're a lot better at fixing things than I am!|
|Do you have the stats from that old satisfaction survey on peoples favorite star wars film?||Yes, I've got that around somewhere. I'll have rummage around the dusty regions of my drive platters for them. I'm pretty sure Jar Jar lost.|
|You guys stole a friend of mine's photo of an Xserve without attribution (it was CC just requiring credit). He emailed you about it several times with no response. What fuck?||I don't know anything about that! Have him send it again to support at ifixit and we'll get right on it. iFixit is community driven, so it could have been a contributor. But we're eager to fix it!|
|Hey Kyle, I know it's not the reason you're here, but are you going to do a teardown of the new 27" iMac?||We've got a repair manual well underway. Stay tuned.|
|Love the website and love the prices, but when will you have more of these in stock?||Probably not soon. Best to find a water damaged one somewhere and salvage the part.|
|An IMEI blacklist has now been released by checkesnfree, but no database to check purchase date of phones to confirm the 1/26/13 cutoff. As a repair shop how am I supposed to know when a customer bought a phone, or whether they are lying to illegally unlock a phone? Is it really fair for us to have them sign a waiver to pass the blame off to the customer in case of a lawsuit?||Good question, and I have absolutely no idea.|
|> Is it really fair?|
|Nope. But then, who said the law was supposed to be fair?|
|What are your opinions on E-waste?||We've written extensively about e-waste (see the Wired articles I linked to above, as well as iFixit.org). It's a huge problem, and the best solution is to make our products last as long as possible.|
|Locking phones limits their ability to be reused, and the practice is responsible for hundreds of millions of phones going out of use prematurely. Locking hurts resale prices, it hurts consumers, and it hurts the environment.|
|Well If I can buy a car and make mods to it or buy a computer and mod it. I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to mod a phone or anything else. Good Luck guys!||Thanks. The issue is software infecting the hardware world. If they put an encrypted interface to your car, it would be illegal to unencrypt it and modify it, thanks to section 1201 of the DMCA. That's gotta change.|
|The post-'96, pre-late-2000s cars hit the sweet spot: they had OBD II ports, but were devoid of crazy electronic nannies and gremlins. My DD is a '98 Accord, and that's almost as good as it gets.||+1.|
|My 68-year-old mother replaced the battery in her MacBook Air by herself a couple of days ago thanks to you guys. You rock!||Awesome! Got any photos?|
|We collect repair stories over here.|
|MJ is the best host you have had on iFixit. Hands down.||Thanks! Here's MJ's take on the cell phone unlocking situation.|
|Just last Friday I used your website to fix my Galaxy Nexus (grandfathered in to unlimited data) with nothing more than eye glasses screwdrivers and some guitar picks. Thank you for saving me from a 5fb download limit or having to pay $600 for an unlocked phone. You guys rock!||Link to cdn.memegenerator.net|
|If youre asking, you already know the answer.||Shhh.|
|Just wanted to say thanks for the wealth of information you provide. When I taught my ACMT course in Las Vegas I recommended your site over Apples GSX for out of warranty repairs. Used it myself frequently and will continue to even though I'm no longer a technician.||Thanks! And please, help us get better. There's an edit button on every step and we need all the people with technical expertise we can get.|
|Hey, I did work for you guys through my college class (ENGL 149 at Cal Poly SLO) and because of my work I actually got a job! I just wanted to say thank you very much <3. Here's the page I worked on: Link to www.ifixit.com. I'm the hand model <3.||Awesome! What job did you get?|
|Hey guys! its Caleb from hackaday. I just wanted to say you've come a LONG way over the years and I'm happy to use you as a resource when people ask me about gadget repairs. Keep going!||Thanks, Caleb. The community deserves the credit—they're the ones who have expanded our manuals so dramatically. I'm constantly amazed at the cool repair how-tos I find on the site.|
|I just want to tell you that I love your website and that you have saved me hundreds of dollars in repair costs for my Apple products via ifixit.com. Thanks!||I paid patalbwil to say that.|
|Just wanted to say 'thanks' for everything you guys have done and are continuing to do. I started a Mac repair business over three years ago and I couldn't have done it without all of the amazing guides on iFixit.com. Keep up the good work!||Awesome, that's great to hear. We love helping people start businesses.|
|Pass it along—teach someone how to fix something over on iFixit.|
|Probably too late, just wanted to say thanks for ifixit. I've bought a few tools there, fixed my xbox controller, and I'm in the process of fixing my ps3 laser.||You're very welcome! I'm not responsible for most of that—it's our global community that wrote those guides. It's incredible how much knowledgable people are willing to share.|
|I met iFixIt at Bay Area Maker Faire in 2011 and 2012 and want to thank you for who you are and for all you do to make a DIY-er's life easier. Let me know if you need a spare pair of booth hands for 2013.||I don't think we'll be exhibiting this year so we can focus on our online work, but we're happy to support anyone who wants to represent repair at the faire. It's a great show.|
|As a fellow Calpoly CPE, how well would you say that Calpoly prepared you for the 'real world'? (Also, will you ever go beer tasting with Collin?)||Our work is pretty broad—we're taking apart hardware one day, hacking code the next, and writing op-eds for Wired the next. So it was very useful, but we've had to teach ourselves a fair amount along the way.|
|So they can turn a profit, yo. All the products for those tear-downs don't come cheap. Plus you get a high quality screen + get great customer support.||There's a pretty broad spectrum in quality between parts out there. We test every single screen we sell and stand behind our parts with long warranties.|
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