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Take Back Control 拿回控制

Digital devices are challenging the nature of ownership. It’s time to fight back.
数码设备正在挑战所有权的本质,是时候反击了。

【1】OWNERSHIP used to be about as straightforward as writing a cheque. If you bought something, you owned it. If it broke, you fixed it. If you no longer wanted it, you sold it or chucked it away. Some firms found tricks to musclein on the aftermarket, using warranties, authorised repair shops, and strategies such as selling cheap printers and expensive ink. But these ways of squeezing out more profit did not challenge the nature of what it means to be an owner.
straightforward:[ˌstreɪtˈfɔ:rwərd] adj. 直截了当的;坦率的;明确的
cheque:[tʃɛk] n. <英>支票 “check”的变体
chuck:[tʃʌk] v. 扔;抛掷;撵走;咯咯叫
muscle in:<俚>硬挤进;侵入;干涉;强夺
aftermarket:['ɑ:ftəˌmɑ:kɪt] n. 后继市场;零件市场;售后市场
warranty:[ˈwɔ:rənti] n. 保单;根据;保修期
squeeze:[skwi:z] v. 挤压;塞进;压榨;设法腾出
过去,所有权就像开一张支票一样直接。如果你买了什么东西,你就拥有了它。如果它坏了,你就修好它。如果你不想要了,可以卖掉或扔掉。有些企业找到窍门,挤入售后市场,推出保修、授权维修店,并使用一些策略,例如出售廉价打印机和昂贵的墨水。这些方法榨取着更多的利润,但没有挑战到作为一个所有者意味着什么的本质。

[2]In the digital age ownership has become more slippery. Just ask Tesla drivers, who have learned that Elon Musk forbids them from using their electric vehicles to work for ride-hailing firms, such as Uber. Or owners of John Deere tractors, who are “recommended” not to tinker with the software that controls them. Since the advent of smartphones, consumers have been forced to accept that they do not control the software in their devices; they are only licensed to use it. But as a digital leash is wrapped ever more tightly around more devices, such as cars, thermostats and even sex toys, who owns and who controls which objects is becoming a problem. Buyers should be aware that some of their most basic property rights are under threat.
slippery:[ˈslɪpəri] adj.滑溜的;狡猾的;不可靠的
The road was slippery after the rain.
下雨之后道路很滑。
tractor:[ˈtræktɚ] n.拖拉机;牵引器
tinker:[ˈtɪŋkə(r)] vt. 修补;调整;改进
advent:[ˈædvent] n.出现;到来;基督降临节(圣诞节前的四个星期)
smartphone:['smɑːrtfoʊn] n.智能手机
leash:[liːʃ] n.(牵狗用的)皮带,链条,绳索
thermostat:[ˈθɜ:rməstæt] n.恒温(调节)器
在数字时代,所有权变得更不可靠。就问问特斯拉公司的司机们吧,在埃隆•马斯克的禁止下,他们不能使用电动车来为像优步这样的叫车服务企业工作。或者是问约翰•迪尔拖拉机的物主,这些人被建议不要鼓捣那些控制他们的软件。自从智能手机问世以来,消费者就被迫接受这一点:他们不能控制自己设备中的软件,只是得到了使用软件的许可。随着数字拴绳日益紧密地缠绕着更多的设备,例如汽车、恒温器,甚至性玩具,谁拥有以及谁在控制着哪一些东西,正成为一个问题。买家应该意识到,他们的一些最基本的财产权利在受到威胁。

Lost property 失去的财产

[3]The trend is not always malign. Manufacturers seeking to restrict what owners do with increasingly complex technology have good reasons to protect their copyright, ensure that their machines do not malfunction, uphold environmental standards and prevent hacking. Sometimes companies use their control over a product’s software for the owners’ benefit. When Hurricane Irma hit Florida this month, Tesla remotely upgraded the software controlling the batteries of some models to give owners more range to escape the storm.
malign:[məˈlaɪn] adj. 有害的;恶性的;有恶意的 v. 诽谤;中伤;说坏话
malfunction:[mælˈfʌŋkʃən] n. 故障;失灵 v. 发生故障;不起作用
uphold:[ʌpˈhoʊld] vt.支持;维持;赞成;支撑
hack:[hæk] v.(尤指为获取机密信息)侵入,非法进入(他人的计算机系统)
remotely:[rɪˈmoʊtli] adv.遥远地;偏僻地;冷淡地;极小地
upgrade:[ˌʌp'ɡreɪd] vt. 升级;提高;改善 adv. 向上地 n. 升级;上坡
这种趋势并不总是有害的。技术日益复杂,制造商们试图限制物主对技术的使用。这些制造商有充分的理由保护其版权,确保其机器不发生故障,维护环境标准,防止黑客入侵。有时,公司会用他们对某产品上的软件的控制权为物主的利益服务。本月,当飓风艾尔玛袭击佛罗里达时,特斯拉远程升级了控制部分型号电池的软件,使得物主有更大的范围避开风暴。

[4]But the more digital strings are attached to goods, the more the balance of control tilts towards producers and away from owners. That can be inconvenient. Picking a car is hard enough, but harder still if you have to unearth the specs that tell you how use is limited and what data you must surrender. If it leads to more built-in obsolescence, it can also be expensive. Already, items from smartphones to washing machines have become exceedingly hard to fix, meaning that they are thrown away instead of being repaired.
string:[strɪŋ] n. 线;弦;一串;字串 v. 串起;收紧;悬挂;系;扎; 连成一串
tilt:[tɪlt] n.倾斜;倾侧;尝试 v.倾侧;使倾向于;使向…倾斜;偏向
inconvenient:[ˌɪnkən'viːniənt] adj. 不方便的
unearth:[ʌnˈɜ:rθ] vt.发掘;揭露;从洞中赶出
spec:[spek] n.规格 v.按特定标准设计并制造
surrender:[sə'rendə(r)] n.投降;交出;屈服;屈从 v.投降;交出
obsolescence:[.ɒbsə'les(ə)ns] n.淘汰;过时;陈旧
item:['aɪtəm] n.项目;一件商品(或物品);一则
exceedingly:[ɪk'siːdɪŋli] adv.极其;非常;很
但是,数字链越多,控制的平衡就越倾向于生产者而远离所有者。那可能很不方便。选一辆汽车已经够难的了,如果你还要界定规格——关于使用限制的范围以及哪些数据你必须交出去,那简直是难上加难。如果这导致了更多的商品内在陈旧性,也会很昂贵。如今,从智能手机到洗衣机,零部件都已经变得非常难以修复,这意味着它们会被丢弃而不是被修复。

[5]Privacy is also at risk. Users were appalled when it emerged that iRobot, a robotic vacuum cleaner, not only cleans the floor but creates a digital map of the home's interior that can then be sold on to advertisers. Standard Innovation, a maker of a connected vibrator called We-Vibe, was recently ordered to pay customers $10,000 each after hackers discovered that the device was recording highly personal information about its owners. And farmers complain that, if crisis strikes at the wrong time, John Deere’s requirement that they use only authorized software, which funnelsthem to repair shops that may be miles away, can be commercially devastating. Some are sidestepping the curbs with hacked software from Eastern Europe.
appalled:[əˈpɔ:ld] v.<美>使惊骇,使充满恐惧 adj.惊骇的;丧胆的
vacuum cleaner:n.真空吸尘器
vibrator:[ˈvaɪˌbretɚ] n.振动器,振荡器
funnel:[ˈfʌnl] n.漏斗 vt.& vi.把…灌进漏斗;使成漏斗状;成漏斗形;使汇集
He funnelled his hands.
他把手弄成漏斗状。
devastating:[ˈdevəsteɪtɪŋ] adj.毁灭性的,灾难性的;惊人的,可怕的
sidestep:['saɪdstep] v. 向旁侧避让;回避
curb:[kɜːrb] n. 路边;克制;勒马绳 vt. 抑制;勒住
隐私也在面临危险。iRobot,一种机器人真空吸尘器,不只能清理地板,还可以创造一种可出售给广告商的家庭内部数码地图,用户们对它的出现很震惊。标准创新公司是一个名为“维依”的连接振动器制造商,黑客发现该设备在记录用户高度私人化信息后,这家公司被要求赔偿客户10000美元。农民还抱怨说,如果危机在错误的时机来袭,依照约翰•迪尔的要求,他们只能使用授权的软件,这使得他们只能去十分遥远的维修店铺,带来毁灭性的商业后果。一些人在规避东欧对黑客软件的限制。

[6]Such intrusions should remind people how jealouslythey ought to protect their property rights. They should fight for the right to tinker with their own property, modify it if they wish and control who uses the data that it hoovers up. In America this idea has already taken root in the “right to repair” movement; legislaturesin a dozen states are considering enshriningthis in law. The European Parliamentwants manufacturers to make goods, such as washing machines, more fixable. In France appliance-makers must tell buyers how long a device is likely to last—a sign of how repairableit is. Regulators should fostercompetition by, for instance, insisting that independent repair shops have the same access to product information, spare parts and repair tools as manufacturer-owned ones— rules that are already standard in the car industry.
intrusion:[ɪn'truːʒn] n. 闯入;侵扰
jealously:['dʒeləslɪ] adv. 妒忌地,猜疑地;小心守护的
Gloria eyed them jealously.
格洛丽亚羡慕地望着他们。
legislature:[ˈledʒɪsleɪtʃə(r)] n.立法机关;立法机构;立法部;(特指)州议会
enshrine:[ɪn'ʃraɪn] v.把(法律、权利等)奉为神圣;把…庄严地载入
European parliament:[ˌjʊrəˈpiən ˈpɑrləmənt] [经] 欧洲议会
fixable:['fɪksəbl] adj.可固定的;可确定的;可安装的;可装置的
repairable:[rɪˈperəbl] adj.可修理的
foster:['fɒstə(r)] v.培养;促进;鼓励;助长
这样的入侵提醒了人们应该如何小心保护他们的财产权利。他们应该为处理自己财产、如果想要就可以对其作出调整的权利而斗争,并控制那些利用这些物品大量获取数据的人。在美国,这个想法已经在“修理权”运动中扎根,十几个州的议会正在考虑将之纳入法律。欧洲议会希望厂家将洗衣机之类的商品造的更易于修复。在法国,家电制造商必须告诉买家,一个设备能使用多久——其可修补性的一个标志。监管机构应该采取一些办法加强竞争,例如,坚持独立维修店有着和制造商一样的产品信息、备件和维修工具,这些规则在汽车工业中已经成为标准。

[7]Ownership is not about to go away, but its meaning is changing. This requires careful scrutiny. Gadgets, by and large, are sold on the basis that they empowerpeople to do what they want. To the extent they are controlled by somebody else, that freedom is compromised.
scrutiny:[ˈskru:təni] n.监督;细看,细阅;仔细的观察
His private life came under media scrutiny
他的私生活受到媒体的密切关注。
gadget:[ˈɡædʒɪt] n.小玩意;小配件;小装置
by and large:大体上;总的来说,大体而言;大致如此
empower:[ɪmˈpaʊə(r)] vt.授权;准许;使能够;使控制局势
compromise:['kɑːmprəmaɪz] n. 妥协;折衷;折衷案;和解 v. 妥协,和解;让步;危害
所有权不会消失,但是其意义在变化。这就要求仔细的审查。一般来说,小玩意的出售基础是:买主有权用它们去做他们想做的事。到了它们被另一个人控制的程度,这种自由也就不复存在了。想想你买一个产品,但它的实际控制者却另有其人,而那个人还可以借这个产品不断获取你私人化的信息,心里实在很不爽啊。虽然在法律上,软件这类的资产购买者只拥有使用权,但是商家利用自己的控制权去进一步榨取消费者的利益,就是另一回事了,尤其当这种控制权侵犯了消费者隐私的时候,我们必须提出抗争。

关键字:所有权 ownership
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