Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Jul 2017 17:07 UTC
In the News

"We must reinstate the reparability of all products put on the market," said Parliament's rapporteur Pascal Durand MEP: "We have to make sure that batteries are no longer glued into a product, but are screwed in so that we do not have to throw away a phone when the battery breaks down. We need to make sure that consumers are aware of how long the products last and how they can be repaired".

Parliament wants to promote a longer product lifespan, in particular by tackling programmed obsolescence for tangible goods and for software.

This is a very noble goal, but I am afraid that in many product segments, this ship has sailed. Does anybody honestly expect, for instance, smartphone makers to go back to screwed cases and removable batteries? I would love if they did, but I just don't see it happening.

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RE[2]: EUaste
by atsureki on Thu 6th Jul 2017 00:22 UTC in reply to "RE: EUaste"
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"Whenever the EU sets its sights on electronics, I'm on high alert. It was their 2006 lead solder ban that condemned every single Xbox 360 and PS3 to eventual hardware failure from cracked BGAs. Out of fear of toxic e-waste, they created an order of magnitude more e-waste everywhere in the world, and now they're trying to mandate longer lifespans for electronics when they've been responsible for sabotaging the same?

EU rules are the quintessential Y problem. They could have mandated better reclamation, refurbishment, and recycling programs back in 2006, which would have put us well on our way to solving a real problem that still exists, but they decided they knew better than electrical engineers and created new problems instead. I hope they can acknowledge their mistakes, learn from them, and mandate the what while staying way the hell away from the how.

This is complete nonsense. The Xbox 360's failure rate had multiple causes, one of which is rumoured to be that Microsoft chose the wrong type of lead-free solder [1].

What is this meant to refute?

While other design flaws contribute to the 360's exceptionally brief working life, the PS3 and other hot-running, BGA-mounted chips from the era, like PC graphics cards, have the exact same problem, which lead-tin solder would not have caused. That Microsoft used the "wrong" lead-free solder is not a meaningful accusation if the "right" lead-free solder was not known to the industry.

All of this happened because the EU was afraid of e-waste with lead in it, so instead of creating a real plan to address e-waste, they banned the lead and created far more e-waste, which still isn't being handled properly. That approach only makes sense to someone who views all electronics as following the same cycle of obsolescence and replacement, with no understanding of the unique character and capabilities of specialized computers like game consoles. You know, a bureaucrat.

Hopefully this time they leave the rules very, very general so engineers can be responsible for coming up with the right solutions.

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