Nobody Cares: Technology-only Edition

Dakota Tebaldi

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Most of the time the machines are not broken. The employees are too lazy to clean the damn things so they claim they are broken. How is iFixit going to fix outright laziness? 🤔
They clean them every single night, I can promise you that as a former employee. Maybe there is some nasty-ass store somewhere that doesn't; but that's a real issue if true because after all, the machine is essentially full of milk (or something that's very very close to milk) and the lid is just sitting on the top like a pot lid, it isn't sealed or snapped down or anything. So if they didn't completely flush and clean that thing out out every night it would soon be highly noticeable to anyone walking into the store.

But, you're definitely right that most of the time they're not broken.

What they are is locked by the software, whenever an "anomaly" is detected; but very often that "anomaly" is something like a temperature that was one degree too high for a couple of seconds, or the agitator motor got a little hot, or there was an air bubble in the system, or something like that - non-issues, very transient, they probably corrected themselves within seconds. But the PROBLEM is that nobody who works at any McDonald's can unlock a software-locked ice cream machine. Unlocking it requires a special code from a Taylor (the company that makes the machine) authorized service technician. So every time the machine locks, the store manager has to order, and pay for out of the store's own budget, a service call from a technician to just come out and enter that stupid code. It's basically a racket and, as you can imagine, too many of these service calls in a month starts to get really expensive, versus the amount of money the store makes from selling ice cream. Enough that eventually a store manager might just decide "f- it, we'll wait til next month", and empty and take the machine offline.
 
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They clean them every single night, I can promise you that as a former employee. Maybe there is some nasty-ass store somewhere that doesn't; but that's a real issue if true because after all, the machine is essentially full of milk (or something that's very very close to milk) and the lid is just sitting on the top like a pot lid, it isn't sealed or snapped down or anything. So if they didn't completely flush and clean that thing out out every night it would soon be highly noticeable to anyone walking into the store.

But, you're definitely right that most of the time they're not broken.

What they are is locked by the software, whenever an "anomaly" is detected;
The question to me is why would a huge corporation like McDonalds sign such an agreement?
 

Argent Stonecutter

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Because they don't much care about franchisee budgets.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Most of the time the machines are not broken. The employees are too lazy to clean the damn things so they claim they are broken. How is iFixit going to fix outright laziness? 🤔

I am so thoroughly fed up with this kind of bullshit.
This has nothing to do with lazy employees, because other fast food chains are using Taylor machines as well with no problems at all! The thing is that these machines are basically the new wurlitzers, if you are a McDonald's franchisee, you have no choice in terms of the ice cream machine, the only allowed option to take is Taylor! BTW this is only a problem in America, nowhere else on the planet.

And then it's either call the authorized service guy, which will charge you shit loads of money, or live with it. Even the FTC was investigating by the way: McDonald’s McFlurry Machine Is Broken (Again). Now the FTC Is On It.

There's also a developer, who created a live map about all broken machines in AMERICA: mcbroken - always around 10-12% are broken all the time, while other chains also using Taylor don't suffer this fate. This site is updated several times a day.

The thing is that this machine comes with several manuals; but the manual the store gets does not include the list of error codes and their meaning, nor the information how to enter the hidden parameters menu. These are in the service manual only, available to certified technicians. About 25% of Taylor's revenue comes from the service division.

I mean there was even a third party product for some time called Kytch, whose whole purpose was to decipher the error codes. Of course franchisees went crazy about this, and it was an instant hit, because it helped to solve the problem. McDonald's then crushed their business using copyright claims, and Kytch sued them for that. Internally McDonald's blacklisted it, telling franchisees using it will void the warranty on the ice cream machines.

Even more so, McDonald's then created their own Kytch device replacement, which only does half the job Kytch did. On purpose. The company, which officially created this device, is Powerhouse Dynamics. Powerhouse Dynamics is owned by Middleby, who owns Taylor as well. Who would have thought that...


Here's Johnny Harris, who made a whole video about the whole shebang, including the secret service manual and many more facts about it. He's also arguing that for standardized mass industrial products, like this ice making machine, the standard failure rate is targeted at 99.99966%. This would be 3.4 failures in 1 million opportunities, but with 15% failure rates this is intentional by the company.

 
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Noodles

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The question to me is why would a huge corporation like McDonalds sign such an agreement?
Probably because some bean counter in personnell looked at rhe numbers and said, "It takes one employee making $12 an hour, 60 minutes to fix this machine, and these cones sell for .99, and we make .50 profit and on average, we don't sell 24 cones in an hour, so having an employee fix the machine is costing us more money than we make. But repairs is another department, so we can outsource this deal tonthat department and keep my department in the green, so let's do that.

Also probably something in there about, "If an untrained employee drops something bad in the machine while repairing it, McDonalds can be sued for a million dollars, but if a Taylor technicial does it, then Taylor gets sued for that million dollars.

Most likely, someone at McDonald's corporate is getting kickbacks from Taylor.

(Numbers are made up for explanative purposes)
 
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WolfEyes

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They clean them every single night, I can promise you that as a former employee. Maybe there is some nasty-ass store somewhere that doesn't; but that's a real issue if true because after all, the machine is essentially full of milk (or something that's very very close to milk) and the lid is just sitting on the top like a pot lid, it isn't sealed or snapped down or anything. So if they didn't completely flush and clean that thing out out every night it would soon be highly noticeable to anyone walking into the store.

But, you're definitely right that most of the time they're not broken.

What they are is locked by the software, whenever an "anomaly" is detected; but very often that "anomaly" is something like a temperature that was one degree too high for a couple of seconds, or the agitator motor got a little hot, or there was an air bubble in the system, or something like that - non-issues, very transient, they probably corrected themselves within seconds. But the PROBLEM is that nobody who works at any McDonald's can unlock a software-locked ice cream machine. Unlocking it requires a special code from a Taylor (the company that makes the machine) authorized service technician. So every time the machine locks, the store manager has to order, and pay for out of the store's own budget, a service call from a technician to just come out and enter that stupid code. It's basically a racket and, as you can imagine, too many of these service calls in a month starts to get really expensive, versus the amount of money the store makes from selling ice cream. Enough that eventually a store manager might just decide "f- it, we'll wait til next month", and empty and take the machine offline.
How about the anomaly where the machine doesn't have any ingredients in it or not even plugged in? That's where the too lazy to clean the machine comes into play. ;)

Let's get up to speed:
The Real Reason McDonald's Ice Cream Machines Are Always Broken

Because Taylor makes a specific machine that's only given to McDonald's, called the C602 model.

This specific model has a very extensive cleaning process. So when McDonald's employees tell you the machine is down, it may just be getting cleaned. You might think, who cleans a machine in the middle of the day? Or even, those employees are lying, no one is actually cleaning the machine — which might be closer to the truth. Not because the employees don't want to serve you ice cream or don't want to clean the machine, but because the machine is supposed to clean itself.

The Taylor ice cream machine takes four hours to clean and sanitize itself — and the process needs to be completed every single day. During these four hours, the machine, of course, cannot make ice cream. However, the employees know this, so most of the time they clean the machine at night.

The night shift employees turn the machine's cleaning function on, leave, and then the morning shift employees come in to find a (hopefully) clean machine waiting for them. But sometimes they aren't that lucky.

Instead of finding a clean machine ready to serve ice cream, the employees find a machine boasting an error message telling them that it didn't clean properly and will need to be cleaned again. The kicker? The error message doesn't say what went wrong, just that it needs to try cleaning again.

These machines can have a ton of different errors, according to Johnny Harris, a YouTuber who read the entire Taylor machine manual. So by not telling the user what the error is, the user is forced to try the cleaning process again with no knowledge of how to fix it. So, it's likely that after the next four hours, another error message will appear.

This vicious cycle will continue until the employees finally give up and call a technician. Now, this is the part that's going to start sounding like a conspiracy theory, but we promise (we hope) it's not. The only technicians that McDonald's franchisees are allowed to use to fix the Taylor Company machines are Taylor Company technicians.

Some people go as far as to say that Taylor designs these machines to be faulty, so it can charge extra for more repairs. While that can't be proven, it is true that Taylor rakes in a large amount of extra cash for performing these repairs. In 2018, the company's own acquisition review stated that 25% of revenue came from "recurring parts and services business."
Reading the beginning of the article puts it all into perspective.
 

WolfEyes

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Probably because some bean counter in personnell looked at rhe numbers and said, "It takes one employee making $12 an hour, 60 minutes to fix this machine, and these cones sell for .99, and we make .50 profit and on average, we don't sell 24 cones in an hour, so having an employee fix the machine is costing us more money than we make. But repairs is another department, so we can outsource this deal tonthat department and keep my department in the green, so let's do that.

Also probably something in there about, "If an untrained employee drops something bad in the machine while repairing it, McDonalds can be sued for a million dollars, but if a Taylor technicial does it, then Taylor gets sued for that million dollars.

Most likely, someone at McDonald's corporate is getting kickbacks from Taylor.

(Numbers are made up for explanative purposes)
Pretty darn close. Take a read of the article I posted above. Something about a lawsuit but not for injury. Kytch is sueing Taylor and the FTC is looking real hard at them as well.

So... keep checking the mcbroken site. Sadly, the only one in my town is listed as broken.
 

Kamilah Hauptmann

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I guess in June of 2024 I'll be moving to Firefox usage completely (except for a few work-related tasks).

Chrome's new adblock-limiting extension plan is still on. The company paused the rollout of the new "Manifest V3" extension format a year ago after an outcry over how much it would damage some of Chrome's most popular extensions. A year later, Google is restarting the phase-out schedule, and while it has changed some things, Chrome will eventually be home to inferior filtering extensions.

Google's blog post says the plan to kill Manifest V2, the current format for Chrome extensions, is back on starting June 2024. On that date (we'll be on "Chrome 127" by then), Google will turn off Manifest V2 for the pre-stable versions of Chrome—that's the Beta, Dev, and Canary channels. Google says, "Manifest V2 extensions [will be] automatically disabled in their browser and will no longer be able to install Manifest V2 extensions from the Chrome Web Store."
Google's sales pitch for Manifest V3 is that, by limiting extensions, the browser can be lighter on resources, and Google can protect your privacy from extension developers. With more limited tools, you'll be more exposed to the rest of the Internet, though, and a big part of the privacy-invasive Internet is Google. The Electronic Frontier Foundation called Google's description of Manifest V3 "Deceitful and Threatening" and said that it's "doubtful Mv3 will do much for security."
But it could hasten a downward usage trend with Chrome.
 
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Noodles

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> Protext privacy from extensions

I wonder what effect this will have on things like Rakuten, where you get discounts but basically in exchange for some data. Like them or not, a lot of people use them.

And yeah, like that article mentions, Google is the biggest privacy invader on the web. Anytime they mention they want to "protect user privacy" my brain instantlynreads it as "we want to cripple data gathering by our competitors."

Privacy is good, but I have no confidence in Google's claimed altruistic motivations.
 
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Uh boy.

After an event organizer, Eduards Sizovs, was accused of making up fake female speakers to attract high-profile speakers to an online developer conference called DevTernity, several of the event's top-billed speakers promptly withdrew.

"You are charging attendees money and they might be making their purchasing decision based on the list of speakers shown to them on the conference website," wrote former Google developer advocate Kelsey Hightower in a post on the social media platform X confirming that he can no longer participate. "This is misleading at best."

On Monday, Sizovs confirmed that the conference, DevTernity—which sold tickets for as much as $870 a pop and anticipated 1,300 attendees—was cancelled.
The controversy arose after Gergely Orosz, the author of a popular tech newsletter called Pragmatic Engineering, first posted the allegations on X on Friday. Orosz alleged that out of three women—Kristine Howard, Julia Krisina, and Anna Boyko—scheduled to speak at DevTernity, Krisina and Boyko were fake profiles created by the event organizers to make the event look diverse in order to "successfully attract some of the most heavy-hitter men speakers in tech."

"To spell it out why this conference generated fake women speakers," Orosz alleges, it was "because the organizer wants big names and it probably seemed like an easy way to address their diversity concerns. Incredibly lazy."
Yeah, "lazy" is how I'd describe this...
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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This is one of those cases where it becomes difficult to call it lazy just because of the effort that had to be involved. Like, you can't tell me that inventing fake profiles for fake female devs and even running a whole darn phony Instagram account was less work than it would've taken to just, y'know, invite a couple of women to the conference. :D
 
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This is one of those cases where it becomes difficult to call it lazy just because of the effort that had to be involved. Like, you can't tell me that inventing fake profiles for fake female devs and even running a whole darn phony Instagram account was less work than it would've taken to just, y'know, invite a couple of women to the conference. :D
I'm tellin' ya, it takes a lot of work being a woman. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be being a fake one.
 

Knutz Scorpio

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I hate Microsoft!

Just spent the better part of my work day trying to fix a Profile Error, turns out it wasn't with windows but MS Edge, started by the annoying update that put a web search bar in the middle of my screen. Disabled Edge in startup, problem(s) went away, fuck you Microsoft.
 
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Noodles

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I hate Microsoft!
started by the annoying update that put a web search bar in the middle of my screen.
Microsoft: PPLZ USE BING PLZ

Seriously though, I kind of like MS a lot and use Bing, but that search bar thing was so annoying and instantly disabled. It's really hard to defend how aggressively stupid some of these pushes are to try to get people to switch.
 
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Ever need some moderately obscure part? A friend needed a 120 v to 12 v 2 amp AC out adapter. Amazon does not seem to have that. The next thought down the line is Jameco electronics. They are a consumer / hobbiest provider of electronic parts. They had one. Then there is Mouser Electronics. Sales directly to consumers have to be a miniscule part of their business. I needed a very specific knob for my oven I got through them. It can be difficult to narrow down and find what I want since they have over a million items. They have something like $4 billion in annual revenue. I think it is pretty cool they will send me the obscure $10 part I want. Here is an example of the search screen for the adapter I mentioned.

 
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Kamilah Hauptmann

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lol, I was reading an article on Vice when I encountered an autoplay ad that would not let me scroll past to continue reading. New form of enshitification.
 
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