The situation is a heavy machinery example of something that happens across most categories of electronics, from phones, laptops, health devices, and wearables to tractors and, apparently, trains. In this case, NEWAG, the manufacturer of the Impuls family of trains, put code in the train’s control systems that prevented them from running if a GPS tracker detected that it spent a certain number of days in an independent repair company’s maintenance center, and also prevented it from running if certain components had been replaced without a manufacturer-approved serial number.

The problem was so bad that an infrastructure trade publication in Poland called Rynek Kolejowy picked up on the mysterious issues over the summer, and said that the lack of working trains was beginning to impact service: “Four vehicles after level P3-2 repair cannot be started. At this moment, it is not known what caused the failure. The lack of units is a serious problem for the carrier and passengers, because shorter trains are sent on routes.”

Very good article, I'd recommend reading it. I hope the court rules against NEWAG and sets a precedent for right to repair.

top 5 comments
sorted by: hot top controversial new old
[-] grey@discuss.tchncs.de 0 points 6 months ago

Man, just go back to normal trains and now computers with attached trains. Can't hack or remotely kill what doesn't have a computer in it.

[-] RubberElectrons@lemmy.world 1 points 6 months ago

Erm... There's a lot going on inside an electrically powered train. Even a diesel engine has a computer managing fuel flow and diagnostics.

More importantly, you need networked computers to handle automatic train safety systems, a requirement in the EU from what I understand, after several notable rail crashes up to the 70's.

[-] FiskFisk33@startrek.website 0 points 6 months ago

Modifying the software of a device YOU OWN, should never be illegal in and of itself.

[-] Engineer@discuss.tchncs.de 0 points 6 months ago

Absolutely. Maybe an exception for video game multiplayer cheating, but that's the only thing I can think of. Any other situation I can think of just enriches the computer to the massive detriment of the user.

[-] Akrenion@programming.dev 1 points 6 months ago

Force modified clients in a seperate lobby. Mods can be fun and extend shelflife of games immensly.

this post was submitted on 14 Dec 2023
2 points (100.0% liked)

Right to Repair

1169 readers
1 users here now

Whether it be electronics, automobiles or medical equipment, the manufacturers should not be able to horde “oem” parts, render your stuff useless if you repair it with aftermarket parts, or hide schematics of their products.

I Fix It Repair Manifesto

Summary article from I Fix It

Summary video by Marques Brownlee

Great channel covering and advocating right to repair, Lewis Rossman

founded 10 months ago