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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.

【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

[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.
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

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

[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

[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.
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

[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.
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

[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
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

关键字:所有权 ownership