Desperate John Deere tractor owners are downloading illegal Ukrainian firmware hacks to get the crops in / Boing Boing

Desperate John Deere tractor owners are downloading illegal Ukrainian firmware hacks to get the crops in

This is what comes of treating your customers at once like indentured servants and vampiric prey. While John Deere doesn’t have a monopoly, their name is synonymous with the industry and their market share is staggering, especially in the US. Knowing their claims to hardware ownership would yield little, they seize on the disastrous DMCA to claim ownership at all times on every thing that makes a tractor anything other than a hunk of steel and plastic.

Farmers are let with nothing but bad choices. They can pay endless fees to have minor repairs performed, they can break the law, or they can go belly up. Given such a false choice, they turn to Ukrainian hacks. Nevermind that many of the people who employ such hacks don’t know how to evaluate the safety of the software they’re taking on; they should have known their place and made sacrifice at the alter of John Deere.

Source: Desperate John Deere tractor owners are downloading illegal Ukrainian firmware hacks to get the crops in / Boing Boing

When Keeping It Right Goes Wrong

The results of the experiment continue to surprise and delight: unemployment is down to 3.7%, private sector earnings are up 1.5% to $891/week, 47,000 new jobs were added to the economy in the past year, and the state just declared a $1.8B budget surplus, even as Forbes ranked it 9th in its table of best states for business.

But this is all the more remarkable when compared the fate of the Republican-run, austerity-fuelled neighboring states, where a succession of GOP governors and state houses have slashed taxes on business and the wealthy, eliminated social spending, and attacked trade unionism. They are running deficits, the people there are earning less than their Minnesotan cousins, they’re adding fewer (and worse) jobs, and posting less growth.

Source: The Minnesotan left-wing economic miracle continues, while neighboring Republican states slowly collapse

TSA’s new “pat-downs” are so invasive, airports are pre-emptively warning cops to expect sexual assault claims

[It’s]¬†about to get much worse. Under new TSA rules, screeners will be able to lovingly cup and fondle your genitals and “sensitive areas” during a secondary search. The new guidelines call for searches so invasive, local TSA outposts have been told to notify local cops to expect accusations of sexual assault from fliers.

Source: TSA’s new “pat-downs” are so invasive, airports are pre-emptively warning cops to expect sexual assault claims