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Gadget teardown company iFixit pushes self-repair manifesto

iFixit loves opening up iPads, Kinects and Google TV, but hates that so many electronics products get tossed

By , Network World
November 09, 2010 10:21 AM ET

Network World - iFixit, a company focused on helping people fix electronic devices from the Apple iPad to Microsoft Kinect to Google TV,  is mad as hell about all the discarded products that pile up in landfills around the world and has issued a manifesto urging consumers to repair their own stuff and hang on to it longer.

The Self-Repair Manifesto reads that repair is better than recycling, saves the planet, saves you money and teaches engineering, among other things (read the whole thing here). The manifesto also argues for the right to open up and repair a device without voiding the warranty.

Also read: 2010 IT industry graveyard 

"Our relationship with our stuff has spiraled out of control," writes Kyle Wiens, co-founder of iFixit. "We buy things, use them for a short while, and then replace them with the next model. Manufacturers build products that break quickly so we are forced to buy another.That ends now. It’s time to take a stand! If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it."

Wiens says he shares in the blame, along with the technology media industry, for relentlessly pushing people to buy the latest and greatest devices

"Every story showcasing a new smartphone leaves a trail of non-newsworthy, boring old electronic waste behind," according to Wiens. "That waste is real—I've been to the fields where children burn electronics—and it is dramatically impacting our environment."

iFixit, which funds its business by selling parts and tools, is offering manifesto posters to the first 1,500 people who Tweet about it, and is including posters on its next 5,000 parts orders. It’s also encouraging those with the poster to send photos to iFixit so that it can display them in a Flickr pool.

Earlier this year, iFixit launched an effort to spread the word about fixing electronics by starting a "Wikipedia" for tech repairs

iFixit certainly isn’t alone in its quest to make the technology industry greener. Even though Verizon is pushing one smartphone after another at us, the company recently did announce a recycling/trade-in program. There is also some talk of the United States coming up with a federal law for electronics recycling

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Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.

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