BTW, one thing I didn't mention because I didn't know about it: There's a tiktok meme going around that the "pill" I mentioned is a morning-after pill. Since this got big, lemme just confirm: NO IT IS NOT, PLEASE DON'T EAT IT
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not only will it not WORK, it's a moisture-absorbing material to keep the test from being thrown off by too much liquid. So it's basically the same as those desiccant packets you get in a lot of electronics, the ones that are covered in "DO NOT EAT".
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when I called it a "pill" I mean "pill-shaped", but that was some bad phrasing given that hoax meme.
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Anyway there's an alternate universe where I tear down one of these and find, instead of a test strip, a tiny frog in a little self-contained aquarium, and I think that's the image we should all take away from this.
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I'm seeing a lot of people replying to this without reading to the corrections later on, so this is probably not worth explaining (if you're mad at me after 25 posts you're not gonna change your mind when you get to post 57). I'm sorry about the thread's tone.
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It seemed dismissive and flippant to a lot of people, which wasn't intentional. I do a lot of tech teardowns here, but usually I'm doing it to less important stuff, like computer mice or telephones and the like.
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The tone I take with them is usually like "let's see what silly stuff they jammed into this thing, and what weird ways they made it work!" I'm doing it because I find it interesting to see how things are built and how they work.
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the thing I didn't consider with this thread is that while doing it that way is fine for something like a keyboard, doing it for a medical device like this, especially one that's sex-specific? It sounded like I didn't care about the issues related to the device.
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so a lot of people got the impression that I was a techbro being like "PFFT, WASTING GOOD SILICON ON SILLY WOMEN'S PROBLEMS! WE SHOULD INSTEAD USE THOSE CHIPS TO PLAY VIDEOGAMES AND CALCULATE PRIME NUMBERS!"
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again, not intended that way AT ALL, but at the same time it's not like I'm blameless for how it came across. I should have thought more about how this would come across, especially once it got retweeted out of my particular follower-bubble.
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So it's something to keep in mind for the future, when I'm talking about things like this which stray outside of my usual "some weird/old computer thing" teardowns. This one definitely has wider social implications I should have thought more about before tweeting as usual.

5:58 PM · Sep 4, 2020

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hey look, some good news:
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Replying to @Foone
This is one of your best threads ever! If you start tearing down more medical devices I bet you’ll find a lot more are just reading an old-fashioned analog test result.
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Replying to @Foone
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Replying to @Foone
This shows empathy and care. But also, people are looking at the Twitter feed ready to grill someone from the confort of their homes. This is Twitter, it is a sort of "how dare you" place.
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I saw a looooomg twitter thread on which email sign offs were offensive. Mainly the discussion was about ‘Best,’. A ‘how dare you’ place sums it up well.
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Replying to @Foone
Not that it matters for a moment, but I didn't read the thread in that way. Thought it was brilliant contribution to important conversation about pathologisation of women's bodies and commercial exploitation of the uncertainties and anxieties that surround pregnancy.
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If it's misogynistic to call these a scam for reading on the user's behalf, wouldn't it be more misogynistic to say "women can't be trusted to read their own pregnancy tests" (forgoing the mention of data on how often these tests are misred). Assuming competency is better, IMO.
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Replying to @Foone
I didn't get that impression at all. Love your work, and by bringing up this perspective you show more than clearly that there was no ill intent. Keep being awesome 🥰
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Replying to @Foone
Yeah, you were just being you: I suspect the people who follow you for teardowns appreciated it but once it got out of the bubble, people didn't know "you" and your "idiosyncrasies" and got the wrong end of the stick.
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Replying to @Foone
This read, to me, like a scientist mainstay: you assume everyone else is a scientist (not wrong, but imprecise) and that everyone else has that baseline scientific competency, including accurately reading transducers. In that world, these are a scam. Undeniable good intentions.
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those positive lines can be insanely faint and hard to read even in great lighting dude, the real world isn't a lab. they're not a scam by a long shot
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