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Modern Cars

05/08/2017 7:53 AM

As nobody has posted much in Transportation for a while, I thought I’d have a rant about something. Why do many new cars, specially the more up-market ones, have pushbutton start rather than by a key? Up until the 60s cars had pushbutton start, then key start came in. I can’t remember whether steering locks came in at the same time, or whether some early ones had key start, remote from the column, so no steering lock, but both were an improvement IMO. Do car makers think we’ve been nostalgic for pushbutton start all these years, and they’re doing us a favour bringing it back?

Of course on modern cars there’s a fob that goes into a slot on the fascia, enabling the electronics and allowing the car to be started. I assume there’s still a steering lock, operated electromagnetically as the fob slot is remote from the steering column. But the electronics can be hacked remotely, allowing thieves to drive away. It’s reported that in London you can’t get insurance for a posh car, and the police routinely stop them as they think there’s a good chance it’s been stolen. At least with a mechanical steering lock you need the key to drive it, even if you’ve hacked the remote central locking and got into the car.

And is there a risk of a lost contact causing the steering lock to engage as you’re driving along?

Sounds like a backward step to me, on a par with space-saver spares, run-flat tyres etc.

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#1

Re: Modern cars

05/08/2017 9:00 AM

I believe the primary reason for today's push button start is simple marketing. Many people think it looks cool.

I do see two minor advantages to the push button. The security advantage I see with moving to today's version of the push button start is that there isn't an obvious indication (ignition lock) where one can easily jumper wires to hot wire a vehicle. The other minor advantage is the lock wear out problem no longer happens. This is the failure when one had too many other things attached to a key for a long period of time causing the lock to wear out.

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#53
In reply to #1

Re: Modern cars

05/09/2017 11:53 AM

My concern: when push button start first came out was when Toyotas were running amok. Switching a key off is a pretty simple thing to do, but it is not obvious what pushing the start button would accomplish in a runaway car.

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#56
In reply to #1

Re: Modern cars

05/09/2017 12:31 PM

Buttons wear out, too, especially if the shaft and button are not machined accurately. I drove a Plymouth Valiant for years with push button shifting, and there were lots of problems. Fingers don't always engage the button directly and, also, if one has some type of goop from food, drink or work on your fingers, that transfers to and around the button. Just my take.

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#2

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 9:20 AM

I just bought a 1 Series BMW which has a push button start. There is no slot for the key fob as long as you are relatively close to the car it will start. So it means I can leave my key in my coat pocket and just push the button to start the engine. It also means the scenario of lost contacts will not happen.

I'll have to do a test to see if I start the car then walk away with the fob does the engine stop? Don't know the answer to that yet.

There is one major drawback with the keyless start, I've been starting cars with a key for over 20 years and I still reach for the key to start this car! I've only had it 6 weeks so give me another 6 years and I might break that habit.

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#25
In reply to #2

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 4:00 PM

I'll have to do a test to see if I start the car then walk away with the fob does the engine stop? Don't know the answer to that yet. A bit worrying that you need to do the test to find out! I can imagine you driving, key in pocket, to a station with your wife, so she can take the car back. You get out, forgetting to give her the key (easy to do) and disappear into a crowd. Be good to know what the car will do . If it keeps running till she gets home, she'll probably be able to stop it but not start it again. Seems to me some of these "advances" raise more potential problems than they solve.

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#28
In reply to #25

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 4:16 PM

Welcome to Futurama, the State of the Confusion.

Soon the only people that will be able to decipher the squiggle talk of the latest generation will be bar code readers (not the same as bar code talkers).

A bar code reader walks into a bar...

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#70
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Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 4:32 PM

My wife drove our new Nissan Altima home from the dealer with me following in the old car and I had the fob in my pocket. When we got home she asked me what the display meant when it said, "No fob detected." So my guess is for Altimas that you could keep going until you turned the engine off and then not be able to restart it. ;)

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#71
In reply to #70

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 4:44 PM

Seems like that could evolve into a personal problem.

I just keep my wifey at home by leaving her car in the garage. She forgets it is there (slightly blonde of her), then the battery runs down, and I have to jump start it next time I want to take it for a spin. The charge is restored by the time I arrive at a destination, so I can get home again, jiggity jig.

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#72
In reply to #70

Re: Modern Cars

05/10/2017 3:58 AM

Yes, and in my scenario #25, if she stopped at a shop on the way home (or worse, happened to stop the engine in the middle of nowhere for some reason) she'd have a problem.

And how do these things work with stop-start (at traffic lights etc) feature? If the fob's not there, does it stop but not restart?

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#3

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 9:31 AM

".... or whether some early ones had key start, remote from the column, so no steering lock ....". Some of the cars my Dad had when I was a lad definitely had the keyswitch on the dashboard, remote from the column.

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#21
In reply to #3

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 2:47 PM

Thought so but couldn't remember for sure. I drove a couple of Escorts and Mk 2 Cortinas in late 60s/early 70s which I didn't think had steering lock.

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#42
In reply to #3

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 8:42 AM

Still have one of those cars-my first car. I'm just waiting for the next regressive step in starting a vehicle, push pedal on the floor, common in 30's and 40's trucks for sure. A straight mechanical link to the starter. And really, really nostalgic would be to bring back the crank but that one may not go over so well today.

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 9:38 AM

I can just imagine somebody trying to crank their Tesla.

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#44
In reply to #43

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 9:54 AM

May be a good call in extremis (with a bit of help from Trevor Baylis ).

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#55
In reply to #43

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 12:31 PM

Those would have a big plastic butterfly wing key on the back you wind up first.

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#62
In reply to #55

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 1:06 PM

What? Where can I get one of those for my pickup?

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#97
In reply to #43

Re: Modern Cars

11/14/2017 4:03 AM

As this thread has kicked off again - that reminds me of the story about a gang of Irishmen on a building site trying to tow-start a compressor.

(no offence to the Irish intended, I believe most of the thick Paddy jokes originate in Ireland)

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#98
In reply to #97

Re: Modern Cars

11/14/2017 5:40 AM

Just to balance up any delicate souls, here's a counter-thick-Paddy joke:

Paddy goes for a job on a building site. Foreman says "I'll have to give you a quick test first, can you tell e the difference between a joist and a girder?".

"Sure" says Paddy, "Joyce wrote Ulysses and Goethe wrote Faust."

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#99
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Re: Modern Cars

11/14/2017 9:42 AM

In an Irish village, Mrs. Mullaney sees little Timothy crying in the street. "Whatever's the matter Timothy?" she says. "Oh, Mrs. Mullaney, it's awful, my mother has just died." "That's dreadful Timothy, have you been to see Father Murphy?" "Oh Mrs. Mullaney, at a time like this sex is the last thing on my mind".

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#101
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Re: Modern Cars

11/14/2017 10:16 AM

Codemaster,

Please adhere to CR4 rules:

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This includes crude jokes. Thank you!

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#45
In reply to #42

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 10:07 AM

That brings to mind another point. In UK, where most cars have manual gearbox, there was a fashion in the 50s for column change (as I'm sure you know). It had a fairly complicated linkage and didn't give a positive feel. Most drivers didn't like it, and makers reverted to floor-mounted gearstick. Of course in the 60s most cars had front, inline engine, gearbox and propshaft, so the gearbox location was ideal for the stick to go straight in.

But nowadays most medium sized cars have transverse engine/gearbox, the gearstick is in usual place, but now remote from the gearbox, needing a complicated linkage! They must have improved something, because the feel is fine, you wouldn't know it from a direct-in layout.

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#46
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Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 10:14 AM

I remember having a Ford Cortina with column change, only 3 speed for some reason. It also had a T handle type handbrake that pulled up from under the dash somewhere. With nothing coming out of the floor, it also had a bench front seat which was great.

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#47
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Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 10:31 AM

That would be a Mk 1 Cortina I think. I had a couple Mk 2s which had floor change.

The bench seat was a good feature, but not practical with floor change, about the only advantage of column change. I had an Austin A90, 1955 model with split bench seat. Great car, but a slight problem with bench seat was you tended to slide over to the passenger's side if you took a right-hander a bit too quick! If I remember right it had retractable arm rests which helped.

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 10:37 AM

It was a Mk.1. The seats were definitely a bit slidey, no armrest in the Cortina. I think it was pre seat belts as well.

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#49
In reply to #42

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 10:49 AM

How about a power assisted crank? The fob could activate a servo assist as the starter and that way you wouldn't break an arm if you forget to set the servo operated timing retard lever on the side of the steering column to start timing.

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#84
In reply to #42

Re: Modern Cars

05/16/2017 2:32 PM

How about semaphore-type indicators?

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#85
In reply to #84

Re: Modern Cars

05/16/2017 3:05 PM

Metaphor type indicators would be another traffic circle to our congestion.

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#86
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Re: Modern Cars

05/16/2017 3:37 PM

"But Ethyl, I was sure this was the shooting at random lane." Random has opted to stay off that road for obvious reasons.

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#67
In reply to #3

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 1:47 PM

Mine too, but I cannot be certain that engine starting was also on the key too, but I think it was though!!

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#68
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Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 1:54 PM

Brings a whole new meaning to the Beach Boys tune:

tack it up - The Beach Boys

not so much the "tack it up," but a lot of the "buddy gonna shut you down" part.

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#69
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Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 2:19 PM

What a great piece of music......

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#4

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 9:35 AM

I bought a new Mazda a year and a half ago. It has a fob, which I need to open the doors and to start the car. There is no special spot in the car for it; I keep it in my pocket.

The fob has a small removable key to give to a valet parking attendant so that he can drive the car without having the fob and the rest of my keys. The small key goes into a slot on the steering column in the usual manner.

I'm not sure how 'hackable' the fob is. My guess is that the signals are encrypted and that both the car and the fob use internal memories to verify the codes, so just having a fob signal reader probably does not give a thief enough info.

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#22
In reply to #4

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 3:03 PM

A friend had a BMW which had a slot for the fob, but as you say, not all cars have that system.

Re hackable, RaMConsult's post #5 describes a trick I had read about in the newspaper.

I much prefer a mechanical steering lock. Am I right thinking electronically-controlled cars still have a steering lock? Nobody's commented on possible risk of power causing it to lock while driving, perhaps that's being paranoid, but if it did it could ruin your whole day!

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#32
In reply to #22

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 12:40 AM

I agree, and have the same opinion regarding emergency brakes. I have to admit that in over 50 years of driving, I don't remember ever using the emergency brake in an emergency, but I do use it always to park the car.

What happens in a car where the emergency brake is actuated by a pushbutton or other electric means, if the power fails?

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#36
In reply to #32

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 6:06 AM

That's right, I thought about parking brake later. I've never heard of an electric steering lock or parking brake failing on while driving, but I have heard of an electric parking brake failing on when stopped, meaning a wheels-up tow job.

I suppose a system could be designed so that when doing more than say 10 mph something prevents (or reduces the risk of) it happening. But that would be to a layer of complexity to cure a problem that needn't exist in the first place.

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 7:25 AM

Some cars (was it Citroen?) had the opposite problem with electronic handbrakes failing so that, when you returned to your car, you would find it somewhere at the bottom of the hill.

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#40
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Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 8:06 AM

You pays your money and takes your choice

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#37
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Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 6:47 AM

My first car, a 67, er 69. er 72, the title said 69 at least, VW Baja Bug. This was in the mid nineties and the car was a conglomeration of multiple different Beetles at this point. I remember coming up to an intersection and the light went red. I hit the brakes and my foot suddenly went to the floor. Master cylinder seals blew out. I yanked up the hand brake, which of course locked up the rear tires and I slid through the intersection sideways. Thankfully, the one other car had already cleared the intersection at that point. Yeah, that was a memorable moment

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#87
In reply to #37

Re: Modern Cars

05/16/2017 3:57 PM

"My first car, a 67, er 69. er 72, the title said 69 at least, VW Baja Bug. This was in the mid nineties and the car was a conglomeration of multiple different Beetles at this point."

I'll just leave this here for reference...

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#57
In reply to #4

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 12:36 PM

Some of the newer Mercedes and other luxury cars, FOBS, are coded for more than one driver's setting. That means the seats, the heat and cold, the radio station, etc., all revert back to the setting for that driver. My mechanic's wife dropped and cracked one, and it set him back $1500...

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#59
In reply to #57

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 12:49 PM

That's ludicrous! ...Just like the several hundred dollars most companies charge for a chip-embedded key.

Even at low volume production, $20 should cover the hardware, and $50 should be a reasonable fee for programming it.

Heck, if she cracked the case, half that fee should pay for CNC milling of a new one from a block of plastic, or 3D printing a new one...

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#64
In reply to #59

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 1:08 PM

Or just solder the wires back on the battery holder, do a bit of UV cure poly from a tube, and you are back out on the Indy.

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 1:17 PM

I have repaired at least a couple of Car fobs by replacing the worn-off carbon contacts with a tiny disk of silver solder foil. The first of those was several years ago...

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#73
In reply to #57

Re: Modern Cars

05/10/2017 4:18 AM

I saw a short story on TV that featured that. Someone was killed by re-programming their key fob so that the seat crushed them against the steering wheel.

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#5

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 10:30 AM

Some of the totally keyless systems are susceptable to an interesting form of the "man in the middle" attack. Thief1 trolls around with a receiver listening for the relatively weak intermittent signal from the victim's fob, when it's received it's immediately rebroadcast at a much higher power to the victim's car which opens and starts as Thief2 gets in and drives it away.

Of course the car companies started working on defeating this particular attack, but as we all know, the hackers will immediately start working on defeating it. Two factor authentication, electrical (the fob) and mechanical (the key), is much harder to defeat.

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#34
In reply to #5

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 4:25 AM

The papers this week reported increased incidents of thieves using signal extenders to allow them to open cars whilst the owner had the key fob indoors.

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#39
In reply to #5

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 7:56 AM

From this article on how easy it is to hack a keyless car:

"...with equipment costing about $25, hackers could easily open car doors remotely from up to 1,000 feet away, start the cars' engines and drive away."

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#6

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 11:19 AM

That's why we have insurance...

Five oohh got me....

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 11:46 AM

That's why we pay so much for insurance....

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#13
In reply to #7

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 1:42 PM

No it's the injury lawsuits that are driving the cost of insurance up...and healthcare costs are driving the cost of injury up....

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 1:47 PM

Same end results as before: Operation a success, patient still dead.

Did I hear the distinct thumping of a dead horse being flogged in the background?

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#89
In reply to #13

Re: Modern Cars

11/09/2017 12:09 AM

....and lawsuits are driving up the healthcare costs.

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#90
In reply to #89

Re: Modern Cars

11/10/2017 2:50 PM

It's not the lawsuits, it's the insurance industry itself that's making healthcare so expensive.

But don't take my word for it, listed to Adam Conover explain it:

YouTube: Adam Ruins Everything: Why Hospitals are so expensive.

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#91
In reply to #90

Re: Modern Cars

11/11/2017 4:51 AM

I think I've seen this before, but it was titled differently.... something like

"It's not our fault. Blame Insurance, Evil Doctors, Greedy Patients, anyone but us", brought to you by the American College of Trial Lawyers.

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#92
In reply to #91

Re: Modern Cars

11/11/2017 11:22 AM

Right.

But we also have to place some blame on judges and juries that approve the huge settlements, without realizing that every large settlement nudges up the cost of insurance for everyone.

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#8

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 11:55 AM

Maybe so, have push-button start, but maybe it needs an automatic ejector seat for the unidentified car thief (the car then returns back to the "barn" in autonomous mode).

Sort of like the one man horse one used to hear about.

Another option would be to secure the suspect with straps to the seat, then autonomous drive to the nearest police district station, and set off the car alarm with a specified series of beeps and whistles that translates to "Here I am, and I have the suspect already secured. Come and make the formal arrest now."

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 12:33 PM

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 1:24 PM

Was that straight out of "RoboCop", or maybe a Schwarzenegger movie? "Total Recall"?

Having that on the fence at the perimeter of my front lawn would be a good start? I can just see those lawsuits come rolling in...

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#20
In reply to #9

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 2:16 PM

Opening scene of Robocop, prior to the opening credits. In the theaters they had just started the practice of running commercials prior to the movie. They kept the house lights lit but dim during this to give the impression that it was just another commercial.

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#81
In reply to #9

Re: Modern Cars

05/11/2017 4:47 AM

And there are the real versions...

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#83
In reply to #81

Re: Modern Cars

05/11/2017 11:10 AM

That sort of borders on the more cruel and unusual punishments. Good on them!

I still say drag hand a horse thief (or a bicycle thief) through a spiny cactus patch.

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#100
In reply to #9

Re: Modern Cars

11/14/2017 10:15 AM

I still think Magna-Volt is a bit over the top. There was some dude walking by our house last night about 22:00 hours in the alley, shining some little green light. I told the dogs to get him if he came over the fence, and he mouthed off, so I went into the house and got my property manager. A tactical Benelli 12 ga. shotgun. One shell racked in, and not another word was heard.

I called police for a followup, and they told me I was within my right to protect my boundaries, as long as no lethal force was deployed while not under direct attack.

I told them thanks, and asked for a light for my cigar.

Wife thinks I am mad as a hatter. I assured here she is correct in that assertion where it comes to protection of our home.

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#10

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 12:48 PM

Still waiting for the finger print push button like on the iphone. Or Password start.

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 1:32 PM

What every car needs is my new system from Knock'em out® Industries. It uses infrared Smell-a-Vision to identify the owner, and if not the owner, it uses the Magna Volt (patent expired) system with a few improvements, such as automatic ejection of the would be interloper (mechanic, spouse, girl friend, girl friend's Ex, etc.) after administration of sub-lethal current and voltage that paralyzes the suspect for a period of up to eight business days.

If the interloper is gassier that the usual owner, then it can cause a false positive identification, so the system uses a special ignition system to ignite the flatulence then re-start the Smell-a-Vision sequence, after the fan runs for a few seconds to clear out any cinders, smoke, and singed hair residues. Sometimes scorched clothing items from the previous purge will also trigger false positives, especially if owner is a chain smoker.

This has been an update from Fakey-Fake News (FFN) Marketing Division.

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#30
In reply to #10

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 6:47 PM

Over on a couple of electronics forums where I hang out they get a thread one or two thread a year from someone waiting tadd that feature to their vehicle for anti theft purposes.

The threads tend to be fairly interesting until one of the more realistic minded members like myself starts asking what the make model and year of vehicle is. Every time it's the equivalent to someone coming here and wanting to add that sort of system to a 1980's Chevy Cavalier.

The frigging numeric keypad or fingerprint scanner would be more valuable to steal than the vehicle they want to put it in.

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#35
In reply to #30

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 4:27 AM

My car has a numeric keypad that can be used to override the immobiliser if the key fob fails for any reason.

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#14

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 1:46 PM

In 2008, I was able to buy my car with manual window operators. Not sure if that is an option anymore?

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#60
In reply to #14

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 12:57 PM

Those used to operate my air conditioning..

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#16

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 1:47 PM

Immobilizers have been common in the U.K. for decades, the modern keyless entry and start systems are supposed to act as an immobilizer. I think the car manufacturers have made it too easy for these systems to be bypassed.

I think the solution is bio-metric or at least personal passwords that can be customized by the owner. They could be programmed to limit distance or speed allowed by valets or mechanic shops.

This would be easy for manufacturers to do in design and development. But then again there are so many things I think they should be doing. Like, why don't new vehicles come with devices to hold GPS or mobile phones? Why do I have to go to a shop to get trouble codes read? Why can't I connect a computer to my own car and download information it records of my driving and anything else it might record?

Further on this rant, why the first purchase after getting a new mobile phone be a protective case? We have been making water resistant electronics for many decades and they had g-shock digital watches in the 80's that could survive being wrapped around a hockey puck.

The solution? Consumers must demand more from manufacturers, they must demand a quality product and require that immobilizers fitted at the factory on new vehicles be sufficient to prevent thieves from bypassing them with tools that they supply!

Drew K

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 1:56 PM

Drew: You missed the segment (Jimmy Kimmel, I think), where the customers were at the return desk of the local COSTCO, and a sign was hanging up over the counter,

"You get what you got, and you don't get upset."

Bottom line, we get what they hand out, or we don't get. Hey it used to be one drop, and the phone was dead. Now you get up to five, depending on what the phone lands on/in. If you drop it in cow flop, it does not count.

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#18
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Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 2:05 PM

Read the entire second article I read and tell me what you think. Couple that with all the data our mobile phones gather on us, add that to google, facebook, even CR4 probably collects and uses data on what we do here.

Drew K

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#23
In reply to #18

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 3:39 PM

If you are talking about post #16, I agree fully. Why can't they do a better job that is more pertinent to daily life? Cell phone holder/charger is one. Some form of key-less entry (other than number pad?), and key-less control of the vehicle (starting, etc.) without submitting blood, an eyeball, etc. Why not voice control? What if you had laryngitis that day? There would have to be an alternate route.

I like scream control. She gets in car (in the movies), can't get the key in the ignition, and fumbles around until the monster/killer "gets" her. What is up with that? Let's take that out of the plot. She gets in through her key-less entry. She screams really loudly, and desperately. The car starts and autonomous mode kicks in until she is clear of the monster/killer. She is now restored to calm, as autopilot can now tell by the low level of voice stress, and control is handed off, safely.

As far as gathering data on our devices. No one is going to see or hear anything that has not been seen or heard since the dawn of time. Now some of that stuff will be activity that is criminal in nature, and IMHO, it is better to cut through the red tape, and get them off the streets. Judges could order retroactive search warrants if an automatic system triggers on one of the "usual" suspects. I believe, however, that data collected needs to have a "shelf-life", so this thing does not get crazy, but any acting judge should be able to "freeze-frame" the data indefinitely if criminal activity is suspected, observed, or proven, in order to support the State's case against the persons of interest.

It might make people think just a twinge longer about saying what they were going to say, or acting the way they were pre-meditating, if they knew the other end of that was going to be a stay in the cross-bar hotel.

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#50
In reply to #23

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 11:10 AM

All I should have to say is 1984. The real problem is it is so easy to manipulate large populations with the sort of data that they can obtain from our phones, computers and now vehicles. Many people I talk to say it's harmless, it's ok to let Amazon know what I look at on the internet because then they can show me stuff I want to buy that I might not find on my own. They say you can just say 'no' to buying things you see in ads, you can keep your wallet in your pocket at the mall, you don't have to put things you didn't go to the store for in your shopping trolley. What I ask them in turn is, have you ever put something in your basket that you had not gone to the store for? Everyone says 'of course', then I ask why?

I try to explain and convince them that the stores spend a tremendous amount of money researching everyone's shopping habits and do every little thing they can to get you to put something, anything in the basket they didn't go there for. By now we should all know that stores put milk and eggs in the back so you have to walk past all the pretty, shiny well located items with big smiling faces and bright colours. You also know about the last minute items by the checkout stations, but what you may not have heard is they realized that they have started scattering those last minute items all over the store because a study showed that you are more likely to put random items in your basket the longer you are in the store so they put more random items all over the store for you to find.

Now, apply that to the govt. If the stores can affect your shopping habits by studying your behavior and mining all the data they can from you using their in store wifi don't you think the govt. can use similar techniques to direct your attention away from things they don't want you concerned about? Income disparity, health care, education costs, political term limits and cronyism...

Europe has much better privacy protection laws than America, when was the last time an American website warned you about cookies? Are there any regulations limiting what data they can ask you to sign away your rights to? Is it ok for you to sign away your privacy just to join a social media site? Zuckerberg made himself a millionaire selling your privacy with your permission because lobbyists have convinced the govt to write laws that give corporations more rights and freedoms than the citizens.

sry for the rant :-/

Drew K

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#58
In reply to #50

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 12:37 PM

"If the stores can affect your shopping habits by studying your behavior and mining all the data they can from you using their in store wifi don't you think the govt. can use similar techniques to direct your attention away from things they don't want you concerned about? Income disparity, health care, education costs, political term limits and cronyism..."

Uh.... they were doing all of that long before the internet and wifi ever existed.

In fact, it's been around since before electricity and running water and roads.

Everyone knows about it, yet they do nothing because either they are too lazy to care and do anything or are getting kickbacks from some aspect of it or a combination of both.

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#93
In reply to #50

Re: Modern Cars

11/13/2017 4:01 AM

Have you ever read Azimov's Foundation series? It postulates exactly that, a science of making small changes to steer a population in a given direction.

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#94
In reply to #50

Re: Modern Cars

11/13/2017 8:11 PM

Some of it doesn't even require devious intent to do harm.

A while back I was reading about some major companies working on technology for cell phones that would assist in fact checking and clues for believability. Whether talking to someone of multiple people face to face, or on a phone call or watching a video, the tech would verify claims in real time and monitor nonverbal cues for indications of truthfulness or deception and provide a subtle but easily notable indication of how believable the message is.

I am so happy this tech has not yet reached consumers in any pervasive way.

Remember how many phone numbers you used to know off the top of your head? 60, 70, over 100? Phones remember those for us now. How many do you recall off the top of your head now? 10? 20? No, come on, real phone numbers, not the one from that song, and not the Empire Carpet jingle number.

Could you still do that if required, sure. But, you don't. And if believability tech that was truly good and not a gimmick were introduced and widely adopted, we would naturally begin to lean on it. And we would stop that critical process of sorting believable from unbelievable....and once you can be told what to believe....

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#95
In reply to #94

Re: Modern Cars

11/13/2017 8:33 PM

It seems that for most people, that process of sorting out believable from not, either has died, or perhaps never existed.

Years ago, whatever you saw/heard on one of the three TV channels' news programs was highly believable, and nearly always truthful, so there was essentially no need for such a skill.

I no longer know if there exists a believable News Source. ...Possibly NPR and/or the BBC?

The internet, of course is worse! I'm a fairly well educated (7 years in college), reasonably intelligent, and quite experienced individual, yet I frequently have great difficulty deciding what to believe. How can a less educated etc. person be expected to decide?

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#96
In reply to #95

Re: Modern Cars

11/13/2017 8:54 PM

How can someone less educated/less experienced be expected to decide?

I expect them to decide, approaching 100% of the time. Furthermore, I expect people with less knowledge to do so more quickly and with less debate/doubt.

How often are they right? I'd have to have some idea of how often I am right to even begin to judge....and seeing how there is no solutions manual for the news, the uncertainty in the evaluation of my own ability to sort news fact from news fiction will likely remain too high for utility as any yardstick by which to judge othet truth sorting.

There is some decent stuff on the BBC and NPR, but there are also hard core slants pervasive in the reporting. I don't think it is so much on puropose to push an agenda, more like an entrenched paradigm that has the staff believing they have a very clear and correct view of some specific aspects of the world...and other views are folly or malicious.

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#102
In reply to #96

Re: Modern Cars

11/16/2017 9:04 AM

"Furthermore, I expect people with less knowledge to do so more quickly and with less debate/doubt."

Sounds like you are advocating the Dunning-Kruger effect(wikipedia) as if it were a desired outcome. Quick decisions with little room for doubt are fine for trivial matters(1), but when it comes to trying to separate facts from fake news, quick decisions without checking references can lead to disastrous effects(2).

Notes:

  1. Such as "which of my work shirts should I wear to work today? Eh, just grab the first one you touch when reaching into the closet, they all match with the black work pants."
  2. An example that thankfully did NOT lead to an actual disaster is the famous Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax(wikipedia)
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#103
In reply to #102

Re: Modern Cars

11/16/2017 12:31 PM

You mean you have not heard of the highly energetic "new water"? It is dihydrogen monoxide chemically, but burns with an intense flame, and can easily melt ceramic such as firebrick.

Dr Ohmasa in Japan, you find your own link, I am off to lunch.

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#104
In reply to #102

Re: Modern Cars

11/16/2017 10:27 PM

"... Sounds like you are advocating the Dunning-Kruger effect(wikipedia) as if it were a desired outcome. ..."

Well, not so much a desired outcome as the nearly inevitable conclusion.

.

This mix of Dunning-Kruger and DHMO strikes me as a bit unusual. You aren't just mining up terms from my past comments are you?

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#105
In reply to #104

Re: Modern Cars

11/17/2017 9:16 AM

"Well, not so much a desired outcome as the nearly inevitable conclusion."

And I, being the wide-eyed optimist, feel that we should try to defy fate and prevent the "nearly inevitable" by trying to educate the masses and raise their understanding so they will not be making snap decisions based on bad data.

"This mix of Dunning-Kruger and DHMO strikes me as a bit unusual. You aren't just mining up terms from my past comments are you?"

Understandable assumption, but no, I was not mining buzzwords from you. The idea of uneducated people making quick desisions with a sense of confidence while educated people decide slower and with more self-doubt. *IS,* in essence an example of Dunning-Kruger in action, and I normally use the DHMO Hoax as an example of people making snap decisions without even understanding the question(1).

Notes:

  1. I could have used a more recent example, from Jimmy Kimbal's show, to explain it, but that one feels WAY too political to though around lightly. I'll put it in a reply to this post, so if it gets nuked by an admin my main post will be safe.
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#106
In reply to #105

Re: Modern Cars

11/17/2017 9:35 AM

Kimbal went out into the streets outside his studio to ask self-identified Trump supporters if Hillary Clinton should be impeached, and if so, what she had done to deserve impeachment. This is a trick question because of the following:

  1. Hillary currently holds no public office, she is a private citizen (aside from having Secret Service protection for life, due to her previous position as First lady), so there is no post to impeach her FROM.
  2. The things that get brought up as reasons for impeachment (e-mails, Bengazi, Nuclear One) are not valid reasons for impeachment, and also are easily debunked. (she was following all the rules about e-mail servers in place at the time, the Republicans are trying to use an Ex Post Facto law to attack her; She was Secretary of State during Bengazi, her powers to alter the outcome were limited; Nuclear One was the sale of a nuclear plant on American soil from a Canadian company to a Russian company. Hillary was not directly involved in the sale approval, her staff was pouring over the documents and provided her with an Executive Summary. There were SEVERAL agencies that each had to approve the sale before it could go through, the State Department was just one face in the crowd. The former owner of Nuclear One sold his stock three years before the company was sold to the Russians, and one year before Clinton became secretary of state, so his financial interest in the sale was LONG in the past. And finally, NO uranium left the country as a result of this sale. Owning the plant is a business contract: the owner gets to extract x amount from the profits, and the owner is paying for any maintenance, repairs, or fees that exceed the plant's ability to pay.)

In that street interview, they only showed one person who realized it was a trick question, the other people were tying their minds into illogical knots trying to make what the GOP has accused (unsuccessfully) Hillary of into something that would lead to impeachment of someone who is not holding any elected position.

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#107
In reply to #106

Re: Modern Cars

11/17/2017 9:44 AM

Insane, but brilliant, compared to those that frequently cannot remember the name of the VP, or the present Sec. of State.

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#108
In reply to #106

Re: Modern Cars

11/17/2017 10:57 AM

It's Jimmy Kimmel, not Kimbal. For those who are interested in seeing this absudity, here is the YouTube clip.

This should not be considered any kind of survey. We don't know how many people immediately caught the trick in this question. Nonetheless the level of bafflement from those selected for this video is funny.

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#109
In reply to #108

Re: Modern Cars

11/17/2017 11:15 AM

So I forgot how his name is spelled or pronounced. The last time I watched him regularly, the show ended with the chant "ziggy-zoggy ziggy-zoggy hoi hoi hoi!"

(Yeah there was something after that, but that was another era, and besides, the show was satire, we were all chuckling saying to ourselves, "Yeah, this is about as crude and moronic as men get portrayed in modern culture.")

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#110
In reply to #105

Re: Modern Cars

11/18/2017 5:59 AM

My expectations about current realities doesn't indicate my preferences about educating the masses.

I do believe that what typically holds people back from gaining more knowledge (becoming more educated) has more to do with a lack of sufficient desire (comfort/complacency) than lack of opportunity...at least in the 1st world.

Anyone with internet access has enough to study for a lifetime using

Ocw.mit.edu

Scholar.google.com

Numerous other sites that provide opportunity to learn at pretty much any level in various ways.

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#111
In reply to #110

Re: Modern Cars

11/20/2017 10:05 AM

"Anyone with internet access has enough to study for a lifetime using..."

But there's the rub, as they would say in a Holmes novel, not everyone HAS good internet access.

Broadband coverage is very spotty and inconsistent outside of the big cities:

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/broadband-speeds-availability.html

And computer and internet access in public libraries is a bit of a luxury in rural areas, especially when the libraries themselves are being closed down to "balance the state/local budget."

America may be a First World(1) nation, but there are large sections within it that are more like the Third World than the First.

Notes:

  1. I'll follow your use of the "pop culture" definitions of [ 1st World = Industrialized nation, 3rd World = Primitive, starving nation ], however, you should realize that these terms were coined during the Cold War, and had different meanings that only partially overlap with the pop culture definitions. The First World was NATO member nations and their allies, the Second World was the USSR and its "satellite states," the Third World was the 'neutral countries,' nations that had not 'taken a side.' There was a significant overlap in the categories "not taking a side" and "not industrialized enough to be considered a strategic asset."
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#112
In reply to #111

Re: Modern Cars

11/20/2017 10:10 AM

Then we should say, "anyone with access to CR4 on the internet"... and be done with the other frothing about on the subject.

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#113
In reply to #111

Re: Modern Cars

11/20/2017 4:41 PM

I realize there are people who don't have access to decent internet....which is why I wrote "anyone with internet access".

Unfortunately, meaningfully improving the education of the population is not so simple as merely getting everyone high speed internet....unless of course you consider being informed the latest pop culture trends to be an education.

I suspect that the number of those with internet access who utilize that tool regularly to educate themselves beyond in the moment fact look-up or social media buzz is quite small. I don't have any hard data to support that point. It is merely conjecture about which I hope I am wrong.

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#114
In reply to #113

Re: Modern Cars

11/21/2017 12:26 AM

Access to knowledge is useless without comprehension.

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#115
In reply to #114

Re: Modern Cars

11/21/2017 12:35 AM

...and motivation!

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#118
In reply to #115

Re: Modern Cars

11/21/2017 10:43 AM

...and access to parts, and materials with which to experiment.

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#116
In reply to #113

Re: Modern Cars

11/21/2017 8:56 AM

I wasn't saying that internet access ALONE was the solution, I was pointing out that the LACK of broadband access to rural areas hampers the ability of the self-motivated out there to educate themselves with the websites you recommended. We can give them a map of the Interstate highways (websites that can help them educate themselves, links to online colleges), but that does not help them if they lack a car (Broadband access).

(To aid our non-American members: the American Interstate Highway network is a "Limited Access" road; only motorized traffic (cars, trucks, motorcycles) are allowed on it. Pedestrians, bicycles, golf carts, etc. are prohibited. It's a little different from, say, Italian traffic laws that start with "all things have a right to the road(1).")

Notes:

  1. Then again, Italy probably has better nationwide access to Broadband speeds than the US does.
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#117
In reply to #113

Re: Modern Cars

11/21/2017 9:05 AM

I'm also a little disappointed with your attempt to "move the goalposts" here.

YOU were the one who brought up the "anyone with access can learn from these sites" comment. I pointed out that access is not equally available nationwide, then you come back with the "people aren't motivated to use these sites even if they have access."

If we are trying to find solutions to these problems, we need to look at the problem one piece at a time, and see where we can improve things. If you are just moving goalposts and coming up with whataboutisms, then I am left to think you are just 'blowing dog whistles' and not actually being serious about helping.

(self marking as Off-Topic because I'm calling out potential political 'controlling the conversation' tactics.)

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 2:08 PM

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#24
In reply to #16

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 3:49 PM

Well, you can connect to the obd2 yourself

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Modern Cars

05/08/2017 4:13 PM

That is a steal at $19.99, but I was hoping they would throw in a Bass-O-Matic to sweeten up the deal a little.

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#51
In reply to #24

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 11:19 AM

Yes, that looks like a good device, if it works. Reading the reviews many people had problems with it. Others that amazon showed were cheaper or more expensive but none I looked at were the type of thoroughly tested product you would expect from the manufacturer.

My point was, why do I have to go through the hoops to get this data? Why can't they just supply a USB port I can connect to with a common connector used in millions of products?

Drew K

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#52
In reply to #51

Re: Modern Cars

05/09/2017 11:23 AM

Why do car sellers push the lease deals when you just want to buy a car? If you do.

I have never leased, and do not intend to.

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