We are one RFID away from a dishwasher that rejects third-party dishes on pain of a 5-year prison sentence

If you really want to go dystopian, no reason to stop with the dishes, you can DRM the food itself. Make home gardening illegal. Lock your food to your customers phenotype, let other vendors sell to other phenotypes with their own uniquely locked food. It’s not only illegal to share food with a differently “region-locked” individual, it will make you sick.

Tinker with the ingredients and recipes of the food to influence your customers behavior. GMO techniques become an extension of the kitchen, which are then an extension of the advertising department. Profit!

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“This parody of one situation by analogy to a different hypothetical situation is broken because it doesn’t describe a literally true situation”



The linked article makes a decent case for why they might add RFID chips for reasons other than DRM. In that case, they’re stating that it will allow the blender to do a better job of blending by knowing which container is attached. They’re also using it to make it safer to use by refusing to turn on if the lid isn’t in place, etc. Unless they’re providing a manual override of some sort, then I can definitely see an argument that this system could be used to lock out third-party attachments or containers.

I guess in a roundabout way I’m saying “Not all RFID”?

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One can easily imagine a “branded” fridge sold as a loss-leader by a particular grocery delivery chain. They could keep track of what you needed and automatically put replacements in your regular delivery. Once that is common enough, general use refrigerators could become rarer and rarer.

RFID tags on clothes, with the car instructions included. With the dishwasher refusing to start because you have “incompatible” clothes in the machine.

I could also see KitchenAid adding RFID to their mixers. Make them only work with their accessories (admittedly, I only have one third party mixer blade, and I don’t know of other third party accessories).

The selling point would be similar to Vitamix- adjust speeds available and ramp them so they’re appropriate to the accessory, and prevent “improper” operation.

Yeah, because why would you connect a printer to a computer!?

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I loved this article the first time, too!

There are consumables associated with dishwashers.

Also; analogies. How the fuck do they work?

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But … but … I have a KitchenAid food processor (aka The Kitchen Robot) that won’t turn on if either the bucket or the lid aren’t properly seated. There’s no RFID required. It’s just plastic clicking to plastic. Why TF is a chip required for this sort of thing, when this minimum 30-year-old design accomplished exactly the same thing…?


If it’s just the one RFID chip then it’s going to be a pretty small dishwasher with only the one item you can wash in it…

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I find the safety claims less convincing than the reconfiguration ones. I suppose if you’re going to add the RFID anyway, you might be able to reduce your bill of materials somewhat by removing a mechanical safety mechanism in favor of an electronic one.

It’s possible that we’re focusing on the wrong aspects here. Whether or not the features added by this technology are valuable to the end user is irrelevant. I think @doctorow’s position is that the law is preventing us from being able to make that choice, sometimes after the fact.


Why does anyone buy John Deere farm equipment in a free market?

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Yeah, srsly. I know.

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Well, that kinda makes sense.


I already am convinced that car manufacturers are moving towards an engine encased in a block of Lucite, with ports for adding and removing fluids, and no other user serviceable parts at all. How else can you explain having to lift the engine out (or cut into the wheel well) to replace a worn out alternator? The people who own Deere tractors have discovered what most shadetree mechanics already know, that without an array of proprietary computer diagnostic tools, sometimes you can’t fix what ails your machine. I’m not too fond of the IoT, especially the ‘limited license not ownership’ thing.


That’ll be unnecessary once everything goes electric. I personally wouldn’t even want to work on an electric car. Not that there’s much you can do anyway. But at least there are fewer things to go wrong.

I was going to say the detergent pods would be equally easy to DRM.


Even if they don’t manufacture the products, there are still licensing deals they can hammer out. Tie-ins with Amazon and other home delivery subscription services.

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HP produced a printer that used a consumable (ink) with a marketing strategy of lowering the printer costs and reaping profits on the ink (similar to Gilette and other businesses who take a loss on a product to profit off consumables). HP was in a position to want to clobber competitors since that’s where their profit came from. HP’s horrible, was abusing a law to create a monopoly on their consumables for profit, and the DMCA certainly sucks balls, but this is not how dishwashers work at all. I do not buy Whirlpool dishwashers for cheap that consume Whirlpool dishes. I’m not sure, but I don’t think there is a dishwasher company that markets dishes at all, and given the realities of dishes often outlasting dishwashers, they’d be in no position to even want try that crap with the DMCA since it’s irrelevant to their business model, and nobody’s ever going to buy all new dishes to suit a “smart” dishwasher*. I think your greater point is good. The DMCA is not something that deserves anything but scorn. But the dishwasher analogy is so incredibly bad and confusing that it’s actually distracting from the real issue rather than shedding light on why it’s a real issue.

* Unless the “smart” one picked up the dishes after the meal, rinsed them, put them in the washer, washed them, then unloaded them with invisible robot hands, and found the flatware that the kids put in weird places in the couch - and then, frankly, I’d be incredibly happy to be forced to live with only Whirlpool dishes, TBH, because that should be a thing.