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16 Cell Phones In Parallel Net Access

CmdrTaco posted more than 14 years ago | from the well-its-better-then-sneakernet dept.

News 137

Blackbox writes "This site answers the age old question: "What do you get when you run 16 mobile phones in parallel?" The answer is of course a 150 kbit/s connection to the internet for your car! Check it out at:
The megacar or Tom's Hardware"

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The story behind MegaCar (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 14 years ago | (#970260)

Michael: Listen, KITT, we've had some great times and all, but I think it's time for both of us to move on...

KITT: It's that tramp, MegaCar, isn't it? You've been driving around on me!

Michael: No, KITT, it's not like that! Honest!

KITT: Fine, Michael, trade me in. But don't come crawling back when you realize you miss bullet-proof glass and 240mph turbo-jets.

OLD! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#970261)

Haven't I seen this before? Lesse, ah, here we go. Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday March 16, @09:00AM EDT from the sign-me-up dept. peter royal writes "MegaCar is a high-class Brabus 5.8 outfitted with a 153kbit/s wireless internet connection. It is 16 9.6kbit/s GSM modems in parallel, with a Linux box acting at the router." Just when you thought you'd seen everything. the site has gotten an overhaul sice then, but this is a couple years old at least. anyone know what year this was originally posted?

Re:OK, so what happened? (1)

fishfooddelux (202004) | more than 14 years ago | (#970262)

And that's 572 reasons to go to Yemen and... -7 for Cuba.

Re:ISP's supporting this? (1)

gswallow (115437) | more than 14 years ago | (#970263)

Nah, you just get 16 different IP's from 16 different ISP's and run eBGP between all the links! That way you're never down!

Re:Good grief... another stupid idea (1)

pen (7191) | more than 14 years ago | (#970264)

If you have to ask that question, you're not a nerd.


Check the URL (2)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 14 years ago | (#970265)

I mean, even the URL points out that the story is from March 15, 1999.

Re:Er..dupe? (1)

PerlGuru (115222) | more than 14 years ago | (#970266)

Yes sir... I do believe it was on Slashdot about a year and half or so ago.

When will it stop? (1)

lobos (88359) | more than 14 years ago | (#970267)

I guess I don't get it. A major portion of the articles posted on Slashdot are quite a few days old if not several weeks. Stories are rejected when they are submitted at times when they are actually news and just end up rejected. Later, someone posts the same story a couple days later (or even a few weeks later) by someone else. What in the world is going on? What's the point of me coming to this website when I've already heard about most of the stuff days or weeks ago? This post about the "16 Cell Phones In Parallel Net Access" in Megacar is only about a year old. Get it together and cut this crap or change the "News for Nerds" slogan. It's getting lame.

Toms Hardware (RANT) (1)

IceFox (18179) | more than 14 years ago | (#970268)

Back in the days I remember going to Tom's hardware. First it was just for overclocking. Then to every bit of hardware. I could allways count on the latest intel price roadmap. This is back in the day when Tom accually did the web site. Before it had a million adds and. I have known about this "car" thing for a long time. When I saw that Tom was going to do that and let others take over Toms Hardware (Don't get me started on the book...) I knew that the day of "Toms Hardware" had come and gone. Granted they still post articles, but they do nothing more then a million other little hardware sites do. Back in the day when it was only Anon and Tom. They were allways trying to up each other. And we all got more information because of it. This is one site that did not improve with popularity.

Good grief... another stupid idea (4)

Sodakar (205398) | more than 14 years ago | (#970269)

Am I the only one who finds these "advances" to be completely silly? By the time one can implement this cost-effectively, a newer technology with 40 times the bandwidth will be in place.

Diamond's Shotgun technology comes to mind... "Get ISDN speed with 2 modems!" (or just get DSL for the same cost.)

Never mind that Japan already has enough bandwidth on their mobiles to send video, and they're thinking of providing DSL-speed access to PSX 2 users via mobiles...

Not that I ridicule them for trying... But it's really just a "cool, we did it" type of project, and unless there is a revolutionary, cost-effective way to minimize hardware, it's just going to remain as it is - a "cool project"... Oh well.

In other news, I've found a way to stick 16 M&M's together and eat them more efficiently -- the only problem is that the labor involved to stick them together is insanely expensive....

Sorry, I guess I'm just overly jealous of my cousin's new video-phone in Japan... drool

Re:Stale (1)

inetd (21373) | more than 14 years ago | (#970270)

This is VERY stale info. The megacar came out ~3 or so years ago. around the time of sun's javacar.
the damn thing uses CDPD for christ's sake

Speedy connection ;-) (1)

AntiSycophant (204597) | more than 14 years ago | (#970271)

This is just sad... 16 cellphones can get a better connection than I do.
I'd sure hate to be driving behind somebody using 16 cellphones at once though!

Re:Excessive? (1)

tensionboy (115662) | more than 14 years ago | (#970272)

a slashdot post that says 16 cell phones is excessive is on the same level as a post trying to relay that the sun is hot.

And how old is this article? (1)

electricmonk (169355) | more than 14 years ago | (#970273)

Did anyone else look at the URL and realize how old the Tom's Hardware article is?

Re: A Beowulf cluster of TVs? (3)

BigBlockMopar (191202) | more than 14 years ago | (#970281)

What'll be next, a Beowulf cluster of TVs?

Too late. I've already done it.

I collect early TV sets, mostly from the 1950s. Every year, I host Academy Awards and Emmies parties at my house. A bunch of my friends come over, and we watch the show on a collection of about 12 1950s-1960s vintage TV sets.

Oh yeah, and in the middle of all of that is my Sony Trinitron.

Lemme tell you, twelve early TV sets, some with as many as 44 tubes, makes a hell of a lot of heat and uses a shitload of power. Extension cords, coaxial cable, RF distribution amplifiers and splitters, crank the air conditioner...

Sadly, I don't yet have a Philco Predicta, so it's not all it's cracked up to be. If ya got one, working or not, as long as it wasn't stored underwater or something, I'll buy it off ya.

I forsee a problem already.. (4)

citizenc (60589) | more than 14 years ago | (#970282)

I mean.. driving along, and downloading pr0n and mp3s at 150k/sec at the same time?

I can see the news report now: "In other news, a local man was killed in a one-car accident, when he apparently lost control of his vechicle, and crashed it into a tree. Sources at the scene report that the man's body had only one hand on the steering wheel.."

Re:A Beowulf cluster of cell phones? (1)

Pope Slackman (13727) | more than 14 years ago | (#970283)

>What'll be next, a Beowulf cluster of TVs?

They've had that for years!
I'm sure you've seen those big matrices of TVs,
with each individual TV displaying a segment of
the picture to make one large image...



Flash site? (1)

Greg@RageNet (39860) | more than 14 years ago | (#970284)

No I don't want to install shockwave, thank you very much. Bah.

-- Greg

Hohohoh (1)

absurd (146685) | more than 14 years ago | (#970285)

Looks like CmdrTaco has been Trolled =D. This story is megaold. Dementia perhaps? Anyway, seems like slashdot is losing it's dynamic nature and becoming an institution. Rob, if you are reading, you really should start thinking something new. World these days changes sooo quick. Don't let the dollars fool you, put those marvellous brains of yours to work again. Slashdot is crumbling...

Hrm? (1)

boinger (4618) | more than 14 years ago | (#970286)

you could do well with this to have a web server and a web cam serving up images for various purposes.

For instance, umm, okay, I'm not sure how that's useful.

But it's neat anyway. so there.

Re:This is depressing (1)

Quietust (205670) | more than 14 years ago | (#970287)

Look on the bright side: your home access is probably nowhere near as expensive, unless you've got some ridiculous ISP which charges by the minute (i.e. more than $1 per minute).

Re:Stale (3)

jslag (21657) | more than 14 years ago | (#970296)

This is VERY stale info. . .the damn thing uses CDPD for christ's sake

Right, where as the current standard for wireless data in the US is... oh, wait... still CDPD (or PPP over CDMA / TDMA, which is worse).


Headache (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#970297)

Wouldn't 16 cell phones cause a little bit of a headache if strapped to your head?

*ancient* (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 14 years ago | (#970298)

I read this on Tomshardware at least a year and a half ago, and I thought it was silly then, too.

- A.P.

"One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

Re:Wait for 3G... (1)

Matt Ownby (158633) | more than 14 years ago | (#970300)

Is 150kbit/sec really that cool in this case? I am reminded of the dial-up modem "shotgun" technology sold by vendors such as Diamond. These shotgun modems basically allowed you to use two modems simultaneously to achieve double the bandwidth that you would with a single modem. So presumably instead of 56k you'd get 112k. I have a friend who tried these shotgun modems out and to his dismay, his latency had not decreased.
I suspect that latency will be quite high with these Beowulf cell phones (or whatever you want to call them). And to me, low latency is nearly as important as high bandwidth (which is why I've never been intrigued by some of these satellite internet solutions). (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 14 years ago | (#970301)

If anybody cares, kimble (security guy) is the one who owns this car.
If you don't mind the flash check out his site it has some rather funny flash animations up. [] []

Re:A Beowulf cluster of cell phones? (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#970308)

I'll be able to watch 16 different MST3K episodes at the same time!!!


This is a repeat-- link below. (4)

raygundan (16760) | more than 14 years ago | (#970309)

Here [] is the link to the previous (nearly identical) article on Slashdot from a long time ago.

Oh great... just what we need... (1)

tssm0n0 (200200) | more than 14 years ago | (#970310)

I thought all these jackasses yacking away on their cell phone was bad enough, now they're gonna be using 16 phones at once...

Obvious story title: (3)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#970311)

"Information Superhighway Collides with Real Highway"


NT server eh? (3)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 14 years ago | (#970312)

Nice car, but according to the diagram it runs NT server!
I'd hate to see it... "crash".

Just because it's cool... (1)

knife_in_winter (85888) | more than 14 years ago | (#970313)

Does not mean it's really cool.

I have two words for you:

eye strain

I don't know about anyone else out there, but I have a really hard time reading a book or working on a laptop in a car while it's moving. I mean, I can do it; I just cannot do it for long. I doubt anyone else will really be that keen on actually trying to do work or whatever in their car.

Imagine trying to code or read your favorite sites while someone is agitating your monitor. First, you get annoyed. Then you get a headache. That car better have some *serious* suspension.

So if the passengers want to surf the web, grab mp3s or porn or whatever, that's fine. Everybody knows what they like and what they like to do.

The driver, however, should be doing one thing. That's right: driving. Need to consult a map, listen to music? That's all cool. But don't give me this crap about driving and surfing at the same time. That's just irresponsible. Yes, just like driving and drinking, driving and talking on a cell phone, driving and applying makeup, driving and reading a book, and so on.

Nothing can possiblai go wrong. Er...possibly go wrong.
Strange, that's the first thing that's ever gone wrong.

Drive a *big* and *old* car. (1)

BigBlockMopar (191202) | more than 14 years ago | (#970314)

You mean I have to watch stupid people with 16 phones to their heads as they're driving down the highway?

No. But the same idiots who think they can safely drive while dialing a telephone in freeway traffic will be the same idiots who will be trying to type while they drive. Now, that's a scary thought, but entirely within the realm of realistic thinking.

I commute 3 hours every day, and I get to watch people doing crossword puzzles in the newspaper as they drive! (No kidding. I've seen that once.)

More commonly, I see people reading the paper or a magazine, or putting on lipstick (guys too!), or shaving, or combing their hair or... Not to mention the thousands of cars I see every day where the driver is on the phone. Every day, I see someone trying to write down a telephone number or something with one hand as they drive.

And ya know what? I drive a 1976 Dodge Ram. It's big, it's heavy, and it's entirely made of steel.

The 4,500lb mass of my vehicle wins over stupidity of the driver in the opposing vehicle. Every time.

Take that, ya silly little RAV-4. You, idiot in the CRX, I'm coming for you next...

Re:Wait for 3G... (1)

_Stryker (15742) | more than 14 years ago | (#970315)

As someone who works with the standardization of 3rd generation mobile systems (specifically I am a 3GPP delegate [3GPP website] [] ), I can tell you that those speeds will only be available for indoor type connections, like inside the lobby of a hotel or the waiting area in a train station. The speeds decrease as you move to pedestrian, moving car, train, etc.

Re:This is a repeat-- link below. (1)

BubbaFett (47115) | more than 14 years ago | (#970316)

Kimble [] also (apparently) posted to the previous article [] (at the bottom). The first MegaCar was built for him.

ISP's supporting this? (4)

bgarcia (33222) | more than 14 years ago | (#970317)

Even if you can afford this car, don't you also need an ISP who has the hardware/software to multiplex the 16 separate phone connections back into a single connection?

I didn't see this part of the project discussed at Tom's Hardware. I would think that this would be the major stumbling block.

Is that monitor transparent? (1)

dmccarty (152630) | more than 14 years ago | (#970318)

I thought I had it bad trying to look in the rear view mirror when I had someone in the back seat. Try seeing anything with a 19" monitor in the way!

Re:This is depressing (1)

Rand Race (110288) | more than 14 years ago | (#970319)

Hell, my home itself is probably less expensive than the car.

I've said it before and I'll say it again; If I'm payin' 100k+ for a car it will have a prancing pony on it.

EGADS! (1)

softsign (120322) | more than 14 years ago | (#970320)

Can you imagine the EM radiation emanating from that car?

That setup can't possibly be good for anyone - least of all the driver.


Re:Good grief... another stupid idea (3)

zorgon (66258) | more than 14 years ago | (#970321)

...really creative and unique, but WHY?

Well, I hate to say it, but if you have to ask that question, you're not a hacker.
What was itMaster Y0d4 said in TESB?

Do. Or do not. There is no why.

(or was that try)

Fuck megacar, I want... (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 14 years ago | (#970322)

... MegaWeapon [] !!!!

Your Working Boy,

O.S.S. (1)

thesparkle (174382) | more than 14 years ago | (#970323)

Hate the NT server, hate the Flash 4 garbage, hate not seeing what kind of car they put this in.

Skip the bs and show me how to turn my pickup into an O.S.S. - Open Source Sled.

Mega Car, Mega Yacht, Mega Plan. Kimble is the man (1)

nordstar (172734) | more than 14 years ago | (#970324)

The mega car is the invention of a hacker turied somewhat playboy (kimble) he has alot more pictures of the car up at his main site

Re:Old News! (1)

bumbaclaat (203121) | more than 14 years ago | (#970325)

Yes I remember this story. Isn't there something newsworthy to post today?

Here's in depth article on it: (1)

toppk (135746) | more than 14 years ago | (#970336)

over here [] . Okay, so it's a little bit old, but at least no one remembers.

Re:This is a repeat-- link below. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#970337)

Bah, since when have the /. authors actually read their own site? Usually, someone else posts it the second time, though...

Nice work, Rob!

CDPD? (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 14 years ago | (#970338)

Posted by 11223:

Is it just me, or is that roughly the same speed as CDPD technology, only a whole lot more expensive? People need to learn how to spend their money, like giving it to me if they have nothing better to do with it.

Re:This is a repeat-- link below. (1)

paRcat (50146) | more than 14 years ago | (#970339)

Thanks for reporting this grave injustice. How could anyone be so low as to post an article twice? And within 4 months of each other! If you ask me, slashdot just isn't delivering the journalistic fortitude that they advertise. I think I'm going to ask for my money back.

This is the answer to... (2)

Webmoth (75878) | more than 14 years ago | (#970340)

This site answers the age-old question: "What do you get when you cross someone with too much time (i.e., a Silicon Valley engineer-cum-internet-startup) with someone with too much money (i.e., a Silicon Valley engineer-cum-internet-startup)?"

The answer of course is the aforementioned acheivement.

How about.. (1)

bmetz (523) | more than 14 years ago | (#970341)

"What do you get when the same person posts the same story twice [] one year apart?"

The answer's simple: A redundant website!

Re:Hohohoh (1)

Ageless (10680) | more than 14 years ago | (#970342)

ARGH! Why the hell is it that EVERY SINGLE TIME a story accidentally gets reposted someone says Slashdot is dying. This was originally posted over a year ago. Do YOU remember every single thing you said or did last year? Do you do some type of search to make sure you don't repeat jokes or quotes before you say em? NO! Slashdot isn't dying... people just makes mistakes now and then. Sheesh.

They should call it the "Losermobile" (2)

cprincipe (100684) | more than 14 years ago | (#970343)

Honestly, if I had the money to drop on a car like this, I'd go out and buy a Viper and not even care about the internet connection because I'll be too busy driving along in orgasmic bliss.

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

Re:NT server eh? (1)

Cannonball (168099) | more than 14 years ago | (#970344)

It gives a whole new meaning to "Blue Screen of Death" doesn't it?

Re:Parallel Bandwidth | Mobile | COST (1)

Beguile (75476) | more than 14 years ago | (#970345)

Twice the speed of traditional ISDN isn't quake playing speeds?? No, your right, it's quake SERVING speeds...

Re:Drive a *big* and *old* car. (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 14 years ago | (#970346)

Definitely. Even scarier is there is a laptop case that can mount to the steering wheel and put the laptop in a useable position. *shudder*

Sorry, don't remember who makes it.

Radiation or whatnot (1)

AntiSycophant (204597) | more than 14 years ago | (#970347)

You're right, your body would be subject to very large doses of radiation(? like a microwave kinda thing I believe) if you used those 16 cellphones very frequently for internet purposes. So surfing the net could cut down your life expectancy ;)
Definitely would be safer and faster (and probably cheaper in the long run after those phone bills) to just buy a laptop and pay for a wireless connection through your ISP.

Old news (1)

dashmaul (108555) | more than 14 years ago | (#970348)

While very interesting, this news is VERY old. q1 of 1999. course i still want 1 in my car.

Re:Parallel Bandwidth | Mobile | COST (1)

jaga~ (175770) | more than 14 years ago | (#970349)

i think he was referring to the latency, not the bandwidth

Wow! (1)

Ranger Rick (197) | more than 14 years ago | (#970350)

That has to be one of the most annoying flash sites I've seen in a long time!



96K, no custom hardware and 1/8 of the GSM cost... (1)

jaclu (66513) | more than 14 years ago | (#970351)

Well 150k is a nice one, but 16 times GSM rate wouldn't be very cost efficient ;)

My solution would be to put two CardPhone 2.0 (43k2 a pice) in my laptop, and just use the built in linux feature "Serial Line load balancing"

Then I wouldn't even need that stupid car ;)

The nice feature with the CardPhone 2.0 (Nokia) is that it will bundle 3 14k GSM slots but the operator only charges you for the first.

If the operator doesn't supports 14k data, you will only get 28k (3*9)

So this setup would only be 2 times GSM charge

I use mine quit a lot when I'm working, and must say that 43k2 isn't all that bad for a laptop on the road. Now I'll just have to get another one and try ;)

Mass miscommunication? (1)

mizhi (186984) | more than 14 years ago | (#970352)

Just think... 16 cell phones in a car. Imagine the traffic accidents that will cause! :-)

A Beowulf of cellphones??!? (1)

pb (1020) | more than 14 years ago | (#970353)

Now that's some weird, wild stuff right there.

Forget the in-car mp3 player, I can stream them and waste bandwidth!

Um... what is this "tape deck" you speak of? And what do you mean I have to *pay* for local cellphone access?

pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

Parallel Bandwidth | Mobile | COST (2)

Dungeon Dweller (134014) | more than 14 years ago | (#970354)

Wouldn't it be cheaper just to subscribe to wireless access with your local ISP? There are existing wireless systems with pretty good bandwidth that don't require line of sight, and daggon if they don't have to cost less than 16 cell phones.

On the other hand, it is cool...

Still, this isn't a quake playing connection, this is a, I'm downloading pictures off webpages connection.

yeah, good point (1)

quadong (52475) | more than 14 years ago | (#970356)

What the hell was that anyway?

Bill... (1)

cfelde (201705) | more than 14 years ago | (#970360)

I sure wouldn't like to be the one to pay the phonebills ;)

Er..dupe? (1)

Garpenlov (34711) | more than 14 years ago | (#970362)

Far be it from me to question the editorial decisions of slashdot, but isn't this super-old? I mean, hasn't it already been on slashdot quite a while ago? It wasn't mentioned as a repeat, or old...

Re:I forsee a problem already.. (2)

Phexro (9814) | more than 14 years ago | (#970364)

sorry to nitpick, but the connection is 150kbit/sec, not 150kbyte/sec. with 150kbit/sec, you will pull about 15kbyte/sec - 18.75kbyte/sec, with some lost due to tcp/ip overhead.

what's more interesting is how it would handle the loss of one or two cell channels due to poor coverage/signal quality.


The mobile Internet cars of the present (2)

doomy (7461) | more than 14 years ago | (#970365)

Kimble [] made his first /. with his excellent personal site with a nasty flash cartoon of Bill Gates and his destruction. Over time we've seen him and his company [] flashed all over /. on a number of occasions. Also (If i'm not mistaken), he used to be a /. user not too long ago. Excellent work I should say and wish him the best. Everthing seems to be going mobile nowdays, you can find almost anything that has been made mobile enabled. Take for instance ordering pizza [] on a mobile phone! Cool stuff. Wap is the way to go! Enjoy.

Re:This is a repeat-- link below. (1)

tssm0n0 (200200) | more than 14 years ago | (#970366)

Here [] is the link to the previous (nearly identical) post on Slashdot from a few minutes ago.

Re:Er..dupe? -yes, *yawn* (1)

c o r e (102785) | more than 14 years ago | (#970367)

Methinks there's a bug in the posting code here:

news = Old_news;

It's cool a second time anyhow....


What about Palm Pilots? (1)

lennon (200343) | more than 14 years ago | (#970368)

If they would connect a few Palm Pilots (or even better Handsprings) together they would not need a high end flat panel computer :)

Cancer risk! (1)

MtnMan1021 (47935) | more than 14 years ago | (#970369)

Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are known to cause genetic mutilation and at certain levels can act as a carginogen. It has been advised that cell phone users who use their cell service a lot should wear headsets insead of basically positioning your brain in a high flux e-field. if you look at the megacar webpage, it appears that the antennae of the system are close to the passengers' heads. imagine the radiation and emfs generated! i'll pass. 150kbps isn't much good if your brain is mush (or worse)...
----- --- - - -
jacob rothstein

Re:Cancer risk! (1)

MtnMan1021 (47935) | more than 14 years ago | (#970370)

"...genetic mutilation..."

well, that too, but i meant mutation. damn fingers never type what i mean.

----- --- - - -
jacob rothstein

Re:Good grief... another stupid idea (1)

styopa (58097) | more than 14 years ago | (#970371)


It seems that every day someone with an extremely creative mind and a lot of ambition uses it to create something extremely useless. Kind of reminds me of that article on Dot Matrix Printer music, really creative and unique, but WHY?

Perhaps some good will come out of this though. If enough people in the US start trying to do this then maybe the cell phone companies will start to get us up to where Japan in terms of bandwidth. Or maybe they will just milk everyone for money.

Re:Parallel Bandwidth | Mobile | COST (2)

griffjon (14945) | more than 14 years ago | (#970372)

Nope. None of the wireless providers I've talked to support mobile use of wireless networking--most require a stationary antenna for the implementation and then small antennas on each device which can be mobile within a very small area (for driving purposes).

Further, wireless internet tends to require LOS line of sight to a tower.

Or, you could just use a Ricochet... (1)

vought (160908) | more than 14 years ago | (#970373)

This is fairly interesting and all, I mean the guy obviously has waaay too much time on his hands, but it seems to me that someone intent on actually getting work done in a mobile environment (like a train) would use a Ricochet...128kbps, wireless,and roams at 70mph.

Interesting technology brief here []

I'll bet some of you smart folks could even get them working with Linux.

Re:Good grief... another stupid idea (1)

brandon (16150) | more than 14 years ago | (#970374)

A stupid idea? NONE of you must have even looked at the site. The car has about 6 LCDs, one of which is a 19inch! It has 1 GPS, 2GSM devices, full video conferencing. It has a DVD player. What do you mean stupid idea?

Turthfully, that may be the way of the future. It's a little tight in the car, but hey! Look what it has. It's a dang nice car, not sure what type(s) they install it in.

Sadly, it has a NT server in it. (doh) That I'm sure can be fixed. However, the setup they have in that car is incredible. You have to be crazy to pay how much they are asking, but it's still a "cool car". I would like having a car to watch dvd's on a 19 inch LCD. Or video conference with friends while I'm driving. The 16 cell phones is what they need in it to do full video/audio conferencing. It's pretty incredible. It's like having your own moving conference room. It's mostly built for people in the back seat, so just get a driver. If your going to spend that much on that car, a driver is worth it.

Anyway, it's not a dumb idea at all. It's pretty incredible to see what kind of hardware they have in a car now.


Re:Good grief... another stupid idea (1)

brandon (16150) | more than 14 years ago | (#970375)

Oh, besides my favorite 19inch LCD, are the 6x9 inch LCD's in the back of the driver and passenger's headrests. It's pretty cool how they fit them in. The front passenger has a 8x11 inch LCD that is build into the glove-box cover.

The amazing thing is how nicely they have been designed into the car, and how stream line they look.

Goto and take a look, it's very impressive.

... and no GPS?! (1)

russiste (180524) | more than 14 years ago | (#970376)

The car has 16 mobiles phones and costs 295K US$ though no mention of any GPS-related equipment.

Great, now you can videoconference and access the internet while being lost and having no way out... oh, well you could always try to use google to find where you are by typing the names of some things that you see around... ll+oh+oh+a+guy+on+a+bicycle+just+passed+ by


... and YES GPS (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 14 years ago | (#970377)

According to the website, there is a GPS system in the setup... it's only mentioned under the Photos section on the diagram of the car tho... weird...

Price (1)

oh shoot (79863) | more than 14 years ago | (#970378)

16 cell phones, at $.37/minute (the rate I pay) would cost $5.92/minute. Wouldn't a long cat5 cable be cheaper?

Of course, this does have a side effect: Using this setup, the internet really does cause your mind to rot.


Megacar is sooo old... (1)

ender_wiggins (81600) | more than 14 years ago | (#970379)

I heard about this about 2 years ago.... Whats the big deal?

The SMS thing.... (1)

thefatz (97467) | more than 14 years ago | (#970380)

Thats cool, just think.... SMS to car, Driver watch out deer in road! Just as the driver looks down to read the sms message....BAM! Opps did I do that?

This is depressing (1)

BlergEatKitty (140654) | more than 14 years ago | (#970381)

My home access isn't as good as the access in the megacar. Pitiful. And sad, no?

Stale (1)

natenate (172771) | more than 14 years ago | (#970382)

This is rather old. Tom's Hardware had a story about it back when Tom used to actually have valuable info (at least a year ago). Come on /.

Beowulf (1)

adubey (82183) | more than 14 years ago | (#970383)

Image a cluster of th... er, nevermind.

Wait for 3G... (2)

suwalski (176418) | more than 14 years ago | (#970384)

Just wait for 3rd generation. Of course, 150kbit/sec connections are cool, but look at the cost of running 16 cell phones simultaneously!

Check out Nokia's 3rd Generation Site [] . Although I can't find the link off hand, I remember reading that its net access should be able to handle about 2.5 megabits/second, which is great for a cellphone or laptop/palmtop connected to it!

According to this site, we can expect to start seeing this around 2001/2002.

Lots support Multilink (2)

swb (14022) | more than 14 years ago | (#970385)

All you need is multilink PPP support from your ISP. Most ISPs that support ISDN will support this since its typically what's used to aggregate ISDN channels. Although you may have to whine a little to get it enabled for an analog dialup account or pay extra for the feature if its not enabled by default.

I've done it before to the dialup server at work, although I've never had a machine with more than two modems going at once. I just wish I could get a hotel room when I'm on the road with three lines -- I'd lug along an external in my laptop case and enjoy ~60Kbps instead of the ~20 I end up getting.

A few rhetorical questions: (1)

DigitalEntropy (146564) | more than 14 years ago | (#970386)

Some states are thinking of banning simultaneous car and cellphone usage, because of the increase hazard the users are to the general public. Would this experiment qualify? Hell, I'd hate to be on the receiving end of a ticket for using one cellphone illegally, imagine sixteen!
Also, lets say you're not currently connected. What if someone calls you?
Could you get frequent driver miles for this?
Do your chances of getting cancer increase exponentially with each additional cellphone? ("Don't worry about firin' up the grill Betty! I'll just get online, and you lay them steaks on the hood of the car!")
While they're at it, let's put these things into motorcycles, ATVs, VW Beetles, and any other vehicle which could not possibly have a logical use for internet access. (too late)
Or, rig the thing so that when the airbag goes off, the car instantly emails copies of your last will and testament to all of your next-of-kin.
What's next?
A straw that can simultaneously be placed into 16 cups?
A toilet with 16 handles?
Gene-splicing/mods to produce humans with 160 fingers?
Tax collections 16 times a year?
Or worse yet, another gene-splicing/mod that gives the woman a menstrual cycle 16 days out of the month!

More is not necessarily better.


Just in case one phone's radiation isn't enough (1)

Lightborn (7556) | more than 14 years ago | (#970387)

now you can fry yourself at 16 times the rate (and don't bother telling me that phones don't put out enough radiation to be harmful, I won't believe you.)

On a usability note, I have enough trouble getting one cell connection during the day downtown some days - I don't think I could ever get 16. Besides that, a few cars like this and pretty soon the cell network gets filled up like never before.

Re:Good grief... another stupid idea (2)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 14 years ago | (#970388)

[i]really creative and unique, but WHY? [/i]

Are you serious, what if Robert Moog or Steve Wozniak thought like that? The only problem I see is that slashdot has too few articles for its huge readership leaving tens of thousands of cynics concentrated on a couple projects when they should be out there poo-pooing the entire world.

So you think this car is hot ?... (1)

Pacorro (16464) | more than 14 years ago | (#970389)

Wait until I get some photos of my volkswagen bug running a 24 node beowulf cluster. Sure, is pretty useless because only the driver can get inside, and I dont have a valid reason for a cluster like this, so I'm running multiple instances of the seti@home client on this baby. My bug is going to find intelligent life in outer space!

Why bother? (1)

Jage (164751) | more than 14 years ago | (#970390)

Why bother, because you can already get 144kbit/s with GPRS, using just one GSM phone... Or at least in Finland, that is. I believe they've launched/launching GPRS already/shortly.

Not exactly news ... and theres a catch .... (1)

michajoe (124916) | more than 14 years ago | (#970391)

The story WAS news here in Germany about a year ago when the story surfaced. Turns out that a german ex-cracker, Kim Schmitz, switched sides, "turned pro" and started an IT security consulting firm [] . Apparently business was good and he had himself a new car made, including the drop down TFTs and the 16 cell phone "cluster".

The catch is: this baby cost $250K ...

What IS new is that they now formed a company to market the car (and mobile internet access solutions).

Bingo (2)

Dungeon Dweller (134014) | more than 14 years ago | (#970392)

Yeah, it's a fat pipe, but not the kind that one would play games on due to the extremely high latency that such a system would entail. Each one of those lines has a nice separate address, nice separate lag. Supposing that you want to be treated as one IP, you need a server on the other side that supports that. Otherwise, you have a lot of small pipes. TCP/IP was built for systems that do this sort of stuff, but major bogging would kill this for any kind of gaming.

Uh: Am I the only one who saw the... (1)

djimmah (158242) | more than 14 years ago | (#970393)

NT Server in the trunk? Great, this will give BSOD a whole new meaning. Now my car can be as reliable as my computer. Does this mean I have to pull over every thirty minutes to reboot the car?

Re:A Beowulf cluster of cell phones? (1)

ONK THE CAVEMAN (204948) | more than 14 years ago | (#970394)

onk wants beowulf cluster of onkettes

What really happens... (1)

trazom28 (134909) | more than 14 years ago | (#970395)

when you run 16 cellular phones in parallel? You get a really, *really* fscking big phone bill, that's what :p

Forget a beowulf Cluster (5)

Life Blood (100124) | more than 14 years ago | (#970396)

Can it turboboost?

I'm downloading your porn for you now, Michael

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