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Tanker Truck Shut Down Via Satellite

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the let-me-do-this-to-fellow-commuters dept.

Wireless Networking 529

unassimilatible writes "Satellite Security Systems, in cooperation with the California Highway Patrol and InterState Oil Company, demonstrated the first wireless remote shutdown of a fully loaded, moving gas tanker truck. Described as "a viable solution to the challenge of controlling rogue hazardous waste vehicles that could pose a threat to homeland security," satellite communications were used to disable the truck in seconds, 530 miles from the demonstration site. But that's not all. California Assembly Bill (AB) 575 (PDF link) would require truck disabling devices, global positioning or other 'location reporting systems' on all hazardous material haulers. With all of the police pursuits in California, can mandatory GPS and disabling devices in all vehicles be far away?"

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GNAA Announces responsibility for kernel backdoor (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405683)

GNAA Announces responsibility for kernel backdoor
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Lunix is Free Software. Now, just because it's Free, doesn't necessarily mean it's free. Think "free" as in "free speech," not "free beer," as we in the Free Software/Open Source community like to say. In a nutshell, software that is free as in speech, like Lunix, is distributed along with its source code so that anyone who receives it is free to make changes and redistribute it. So, not only is it ok to make copies of Lunix and give them to your friends, it's also fine to tweak a few lines of the source code while you're at it -- as long as you also freely provide your modified source code to everyone else. To learn more about free software and the major software license it is distributed under, called the General Public License (GPL), go here [com.com] .

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So much for homeland security (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405688)

Imagine the US gets attacked by an organised force. Suddenly, the enemy has the full ability to completely disable the transport infrastructure. Not only that, with a minimum of their own vehicles they can have a replacement that they fully control within days.

This sounds to me the beginning of the end

Re:So much for homeland security (2, Funny)

KDan (90353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405751)

Sounds more like increasing homeland insecurity to me. Which seems to be pretty much in line with what Bush has been up to so far.

Daniel

Re:So much for homeland security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405877)

These are California Democrats that got going, not Bush.

Re:So much for homeland security (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405777)

Also, what's stopping a terrorist to disable the disabling device ? And toast the GPS unit ?

Don't get me wrong. This tech has good uses, but none of these uses solve the Homeland Security problems.

Re:So much for homeland security (0)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405790)

Someone want to tell me why remote shutoff control doesn't sound safe? Image a 30 ton truck full of gasoline or liquid oxygen rolling down I5 at 70 MPH and some 16 year old hacker in norway playing on his computer decides to f#ck with it. Tanker truck engine dies, truck smashes into Silicon valley traffic, tumbles, explodes and kills 200 poor defensless Mercedes drivers. All in the name of national security, right?

Don't question me. You unpatriotic commie.
[/rant]

Re:So much for homeland security (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405815)

Not only that, but one would think that the first thing a terrorist would do after taking the truck would be to break the antenna.

They can't possibly require a working signal to work or these things would have serious problems with tunnels and such.

This seems like yet another feelgood measure that doesn't actually do much to make anyone safer.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405803)

...you stop the truck!

Re:So much for homeland security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405855)

Suddenly, the enemy has the full ability to completely disable the transport infrastructure.

There was something akin to this on Serial Experiments Laim. A hacking group called the Knights were able to cause the auto-drive functions on cars to malfunction. This, when coupled with a a synchronized shutdown attack on the traffic signals, caused a lot of problems.

I foresee a future headline... (1, Insightful)

StoatBringer (552938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405690)

"Tanker truck remotely shutdown on railtracks, thousands die in ensuing fireball." How can they be sure that shutting a truck down isn't going to cause a disaster/pileup?

Re:I foresee a future headline... (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405802)

They aren't going to just randomly stop a vehicle. In all probability, a police vehicle will already be in pursuit, and will order the stop at an appropriate time (i.e. not when the tanker truck is halfway across the tracks)

Re:I foresee a future headline... (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405856)

..... but what if some l337 h4x0r script kiddie manages to break into the system? It's wireless, therefore it's vulnerable, whatever anyone says.

Re:I foresee a future headline... (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405808)

We get Fox there first to film it and if it goes bad we don't tell anyone that the truck was shut down. So if all goes well we get good press and if all goes pear shaped we say 'hell, look at this disaster... we need a device that can stop this by shutting down rogue trucks before they can cause this sort of incident!!!'

Just another day at rumour control...

Re:I foresee a future headline... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405882)

You've been watching too many movies. Put the remote down and go out into the big room with the blue ceiling.

In Soviet Russia (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405691)

The satellites shut down... oh never mind.

Well there goes the end of the car chases on Fox. (4, Funny)

matthew.thompson (44814) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405692)

What are they going to use for "The world's stupidest car chases" now?

Shutdown? (1)

indianseason (712295) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405693)

I just hope the software is not made by microsoft. Or the shutdown will easily become " the first case of a truck being crashed by satellite"

Re:Shutdown? (3, Funny)

Oncogene (708031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405770)

That'd be insult to injury. A BSOD right before the blinding flash.

And when the bad guys get it? (1, Interesting)

Trinition (114758) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405694)

Maybe I've watched one too many movies, but am I the only one concerned about what happens when the bag guys get ahold of this and are able to shut down any hazardous truck they want?

Re:And when the bad guys get it? (2, Funny)

WegianWarrior (649800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405713)

Forget about the bad guys - what happens when a geek hacks this, reverse engeniers it and put it out as a open source project =) ?

Re:And when the bad guys get it? (1)

SlashDread (38969) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405734)

Then the bugs inside will actually be fixed, instead of exploited by said bad guys.

"/Dread"

Re:And when the bad guys get it? (1)

altmel (704332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405850)

And said bad guys will see every possible bug.

Re:And when the bad guys get it? (4, Funny)

slobarnuts (666254) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405744)

Steven Seigal movie in the making.

(FBI Agent)Theyve got a hold of the GPS TRACKING and SHUTDOWN system.!

(FBI agent #2) OMG they are going to shuit down every tanker on the railway tracks!

(Head GPS controller calls)

(FBI agent #3) OMG every tanker in the US is heading towards a RAILWAY track!

(Rail Controller calls) OMG There is Train heading toward every intersection in the united states!

(FBI Agent) Call in Stevey!

Re:And when the bad guys get it? (1)

lewp (95638) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405759)

I didn't see a copyright notice on that idea, now it's mine. Also, you didn't finish your plankton.

Re:And when the bad guys get it? (2, Funny)

Oncogene (708031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405745)

Heck, what if the wackos in the state government get it?

A while ago, the governor of South Carolina decided that he wasn't getting enough press during election time, so he started a mini-battle against the DOE and their nuclear installation (SRS) located in the south-west portion of SC. He decided that no more nuclear waste would be allowed to enter the state [for harmless processing] and eventually ended up sending the state's military against the Fed's mixed caravan of the military and HazMat vehicles. Literally. The state guard was in the middle of the road, blocking the Feds.

It wasn't enough that we had a huge amount of nuclear materials traveling through the state. We had it just sitting there, begging for some nutjob with a car to ram into it.

With a vehical disabling function, this bullshit can happen anywhere.

Re:And when the bad guys get it? (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405787)

So instead of getting one of those devices that turns red lights to green, I could just block all the side roads along my way with dead trucks :) Traffic chaos for everyone else and clear roads for me :)

Re:And when the bad guys get it? (1)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405827)

Maybe I've watched one too many movies, but am I the only one concerned about what happens when the bag guys get ahold of this and are able to shut down any hazardous truck they want?

On the other hand it could be useful, were the a gas tanker being driven by a cyborg killing machine sent back in time. Who'd make a movie with a plot like that though?

I don't really think it bad (4, Interesting)

Walkiry (698192) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405698)

Road transport is already highly controlled, specially for hazardous materials. Things as (the terms might be off since I'm a Spaniard and I'm not sure how it is exactly in English) the driver's log book, tachometer register and tracking, and so on. Neither of these have made their way into "normal" vehicles (your car or mine, that is).

American Fascism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405700)

Great, so when FEMA declares a state of emergency after the next "terrorist" attacks, they'll have the ability to shut all our cars down as well so we can't try to escape from their Rex84 detention camps or death squads.

Bertrand Russell said that scientific fascism is basically impossible to break out of, once installed somewhere. With things like this, its not hard to see why. Another reason I'm never going to set foot in america.

Re:American Fascism (1)

Jameth (664111) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405823)

If this stuff is your reason for not coming to America, you don't realize how good most of America is. This stuff actually is rare in the US, and it often gets some press. The US isn't as bad as the past year implies.

Remotly driving cars (0)

Lucky Tony (608908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405701)

What about remotly driving cars? That would be a much more useful tecnology than remotly shutting them down. Probably much more difficult to implement though

Another reason why I'll never live in California (0, Offtopic)

Oncogene (708031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405702)

Making GPS and disabling devices mandatory in all vehicles is nice idea on paper, but I don't like all the ways the system could be abused. And screw Homeland Security while I'm at it.

Re:Another reason why I'll never live in Californi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405735)

In Bush's America, Homeland Security screws you!

note to readers (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405778)

the above comment is THE ONLY TIME THIS HAS EVER BEEN FUNNY. EVER. do not try to disprove this, it's just the way it is. now move on.

Re:Another reason why I'll never live in Californi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405807)

The idiot generically whined: "Making GPS and disabling devices mandatory in all vehicles is nice idea on paper, but I don't like all the ways the system could be abused. And screw Homeland Security while I'm at it."

name a single fucking thing that cannot be abused.

guess what fuckhead, even if we assume what you said is true, cars can and are abused many many times every day in numerous ways including killing people.

you act like a retard NRA gun-nut who thinks a safety catch is an evil government conspiracy to take away all your rights.

that's what this idea is - a fucking safety catch for tools that are being used in a deadly way.

OnStar man (1)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405704)

While not manditory, the foundations for this are already being setup by the continued expansion of the OnStar (and maybe others?) systems. Given that, I think that the paranoid "slippery slope" underpinnings of the article poster to be a bit melodramatic. I know that they've also been working on various EMP systems to try to shut cars down remotely.

I can see Constitutional Appeals (1, Interesting)

slobarnuts (666254) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405705)

If it becomes mandatory, while driving is a privilidge not a right, one does have the right to their own property, essentially that would put our property at the will of the state. I can see it being a good selling point for cars though, much better than those tracking devices that require police to be in the vicinity. I am not sure whether that GPS tracking case has been ruled on by the supreme court yet, but i do know that some suspected murder led police right to the body by the use of a hidden GPS. Privacy issues as well.

it is interesting though i do like the idea, there has always been those security systems that you can dial by mobile phone and have it disabled. OneStar or whatever is it called on Cadillacs have the same feature. They have been doing it in Australia for a while, i am not sure of the states.

i know there will people who say im full of crap in this post, i dont care, it is my .02c

Re:I can see Constitutional Appeals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405762)

If they make a commercial version of this, they will advertise it with something to the effect of "If your car is stolen, it can be shut down by satelite. Anywhere, instantly"

Re:I can see Constitutional Appeals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405793)

And .NET will make sure it gets painted in a different color. Or was that ad only shown in Europe?

In the UK we already have this.... (2, Funny)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405817)

In the UK we already have 2 effective systems for disabling road vehicles.

One is called Road Tax and the other is the 3.80/gal fuel price.

on star system (1)

snooo53 (663796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405836)

I believe the On star system doesn't completely shut down the vehicle... it just limits its speed if the vehicle is stolen to something rediculuosly slow. The idea being that it's easier and safer to catch the thief.

hackers? (1)

koi88 (640490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405706)

What happens if the system is hacked? Disabled trucks/ships/planes crashing into cities?

Re:hackers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405813)

what happens if someone walks up to your and kills you?

fuck! better not go outside ever again!!!!!111oneoneoneoen

Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405708)

What will happen if terrorists hack that system and shut down moving trucks in inner citys, causing major accidents?

Hazardous Waste is a far cry from everyone (4, Informative)

Ececheira (86172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405709)

Trucks that get Hazmat certification already are very highly regulated, far more so than normal trucks and passenger cars.


Requiring them to have onboard GPS with remote deactivation makes sense here, and I don't think that just because hazmat tucks have it that it will be forced upon everyone. Commercial traffic, especially hazmat, has far less 4th amendment protections than your average joe.

Re:Hazardous Waste is a far cry from everyone (2, Insightful)

setmajer (212722) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405828)

Requiring them to have onboard GPS with remote deactivation makes sense here, and I don't think that just because hazmat tucks have it that it will be forced upon everyone.

Don't be so sure. It's already on the table [slashdot.org] in the UK. It started out as just a way to collect use fees on high-traffic roads turing peak times, but is slated to expand into a means to enforce all traffic regs.

Can't happen in the U.S. you say? Maybe not, but photoradar had no trouble jumping the pond.

Note, too, that GM's OnStar already does the tracking bit, BTW. So does your cell phone (has to for 911 service). Even if you don't have OnStar or a cell phone in your car, do you use EzPass or similar? They can't track you from very far away, but they can see when you've gone through a toll both and can spot you from a hundred or so yards out with a reader.

The question really isn't whether law enforcement has the capability to track your car (or phone). They do. 'Get over it,' as McNeally says. The questions are who can use that capability, under what circumstances they should be able to use it and what sort of safeguards there are to prevent unauthorized use.

And with GPS and shutdown devices in all vehicles (1)

beef3k (551086) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405715)

will there be hacked vehicles with these devices removed available for illegal activity, completely taking the unsupecting police by surprise, at least for the first few weeks? Surely.

Re:And with GPS and shutdown devices in all vehicl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405825)

but thankfully you've alerted us all to this possibility.

I guess now you've shared your wisdom we won't get caught off-guard and all will be well.

Land of the free ... (1, Insightful)

cnf (96794) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405716)

Land of the free and home of the brave ?

One would have to be pretty naive to beleave that ...

America is one of the least free places in the western world!

And yet, they feel they have to help the rest of the world be free...

Americans shout words they dont know the meaning of ...

When will they come off their ego trip, and realise they are just an enslaved population, following their governments every whim ?

Re:Land of the free ... (0)

Zemran (3101) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405761)

And yet, they feel they have to help the rest of the world be free...

When did that start? I am still reading about the occupation of Iraq in my papers... American policy, both internal and external, is about control. The government wants to control the people both at home and abroad. Give them democracy so that they can vote for who we say they can vote for... That is not freedom by any stretch of the imagination. Saddam Hussein also held elections just like we intend to. He chose who they could vote for, now we chose who they can vote for. Those people know that democracy really means the right to vote for who they want to vote for.

This idea is about more control. I do not think that this technology will arrive in the short term but I think that soon all new cars will be fitted with such a device 'for your own safety'. Then like seat belts, the laws will follow to say that it is illegal to tamper with or not use it.

My advice, keep that old car running and in good order.

Re:Land of the free ... (1)

Jameth (664111) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405875)

I think you miss a lot about American policy. One thing about America is that I can do whatever the fuck I want, and it's not illegal. Heck, it's often not even frowned on.

And, yes, I know some states still have sodomy laws and so-such. Those are basically ignored and are slowly being removed.

The point of the American philosophy is that, when stuff really gets bad, we'll rebel and overthrow the government. And, until then, we'll continue to do as we please.

Just don't judge the US based on a few random laws and policies which are broadly detested by the populace.

Re:Land of the free ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405772)

You have an excelent point, however the people don't follow the governments every whim. Unfortunately millions of us protest every move, rally at the gates of the whitehouse, picket against the president, etc. etc.
It's not that the people follow the governments whim at all, it's that the government doesn't fucking listen to us. They just nod, smile and go about what they were doing.

The only thing that will really get this country to cease it's foolish bull shit is force. Sadly, none of us are willing or able to risk our lives and families supporting a Coup de Tat.

However I could never hold it against anyone pointing out the evils of this nation, in fact I fully support the basis of your complaints. The more people like you stand up and complain, then your governments will hopefully take notice and join sides against this new force of evil (US). I just hope they put a stop to the war machine before it's too late.

Re:Land of the free ... (1)

bigkahunafish (708759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405821)

If the government did listen to every whim of the people, then our government would ultimately fail.

The role of government is to protect and serve its people, sometimes to do this, it must go against what the people think they want.

Its like parenting, a parent must do whats right for the child, even against the childs wishes. Giving in always to childrens folly would be the downfall of both parent and child in the long run.

Considering the topic at hand, I think this technology is good, but with any technology, it has potential for abuse. The modified Murphy's Law would be
" If it can be abused, at some point it will be."
I would advise caution with such technology. Therefore placement on vehicles would be ok, as long as it is reversible (so that if it happens in error, it can be reversed fairly easily by trained individuals) While this indeed would allow criminals to override it, it would buy authorities time to get there and end the situation at hand.

Nothing amazes me these days... (1)

supersam (466783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405717)

Well maybe if the post would've been about a satellite being shut down by a tanker truck, I might've sat up and taken notice.

Power Steering (1)

jason.hall (640247) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405718)

I just hope I'm not in front of a vehicle that has just been shut down. Without the engine running, there's no "power" in power steering. Yeah, you can still steer, much it's a lot harder.

Re:Power Steering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405731)

These systems are a little smarter than this. Instead of just cutting the engine power, they simultaneously cut electrical and fuel power to the engine, disangage the clutch and force the brakes on full, all within a few seconds. There's no trouble with steering, as within a few moments there's no need to steer anywhere.

Re:Power Steering (1)

Ibix (600618) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405768)

These systems are a little smarter than this. Instead of just cutting the engine power, they simultaneously cut electrical and fuel power to the engine, disangage the clutch and force the brakes on full, all within a few seconds. There's no trouble with steering, as within a few moments there's no need to steer anywhere.

That should make life interesting if our terrorists are in a hurry (the government might shut them down any second) and cornering at any speed.

Yours pessimistically,

Ibix

Re:Power Steering (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405774)

The brakes would not last long either :( out of control truck on its way down a hill without steering or brakes... great idea...

Re:Power Steering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405845)

I hope you are.

you should be able to cope with this anyway. it's called awareness of surroundings and careful driving and is usually a requirement for passing a driving test.

Re:Power Steering (2, Informative)

Alioth (221270) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405849)

It's perfectly possible to "shut down" a vehicle without stopping the engine. Simply have the "shut down" system set the engine power to idle and automatically apply the brakes. An idling engine still produces power for the accessories (power steering pump).

Also, a truck braking system is a lot different to your car. I often drive a fairly small truck (only 7.5 tonnes) but the braking system is radically different from that of your car. They are AIR BRAKES. Air brakes will fail safe - loss of pressure in the resevoir will cause the brakes to apply, unlike car brakes which "fail unsafe" where loss of vacuum to the servo will make braking considerably harder (OK, they don't stop working completely, but an elderly woman in a Buick wouldn't be able to apply enough foot pressure for an emergency brake application if her engine quit. If she has manual transmission though, the engine being driven by the wheels will still provide enough vacuum). Unlike your car's servo assisted brakes, which are hydraulic brakes assisted by vacuum off the engine manifold, air brakes will provide many braking applications before needing the resevoirs charging, and if the resevoir pressure gets too low, the brakes automatically apply anyway.

personal location reporting systems (1)

asmithmd1 (239950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405720)

Through the end of the year you can use a personal locating system for free at uLocate.com [ulocate.com] They have feature like the ability to set a virtual fence around an area and get a text message or email if a phone goes in or out of the fence. You can see the location of all the phones in your account from any Java enabled phone

Tin-Foil hat time? (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405726)

If you are really paranoid, you can always go back to a low-tech solution: Walk.

Re:Tin-Foil hat time? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405752)

Walking does not use up non-renewable resources and has therefore been laeled unpatriotic and unamerican. Please sit still until you're collected by Homeland Security Forces.

At least say something obscure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405781)

like the lowtech solution: big wheel bikes, or pogo sticks, or pogo balls (now that would have been obscure), or rollerblade, or the steve urkel car.

just on a troll.

Just two thoughts.... (1)

oolon (43347) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405727)

What happens if the bad guys get hold of the technology and shutdown all trucks for the Chaos. Or purhaps use it to disable trucks carring high value items so they can be robbed.

Whats to stop the "Criminal" them just ripping out the black box before driving the truck way? "Criminals" don't obey laws (hence being criminals) so won't mind being illegal and not having the shutdown circuit!

James

And the land of the free? (3, Insightful)

Lispy (136512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405732)

Sorry. As a german citizen I always saw the USA as an example of freedom. Whats going on in the last few years is seriously disturbing, though. I hope Europe doesnt jump on the train again. I wouldnt love to see this kind of Orwellian politics over here as well. If this really takes off please rebel against since this trend really cuts into privacy and freedom rights of everyone of us...

Re:And the land of the free? (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405771)

On second thought I might just stick with my 1984 Fiat X1/9 [google.de] for a while. No GPS, no electronics whatsoever.

Re:And the land of the free? (-1, Troll)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405799)

There's nothing funnier than a German lecturing anyone on democracy or human rights.

Re:And the land of the free? (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405867)

Yeah, sorry. Im 27 years old. I was raised with, what used to be, american values of freedom of speech and thought. We used to be allies during cold-war. Remember?

Re:And the land of the free? (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405868)

??? why? because he is right or because you are bigoted? Most Europeans (except the British) have first hand experience of war and real lack of freedom. From that experience they have a far deeper understanding of the real issues involved.
The US has great claims to freedom but in reality has few real freedoms compared to Europe. Most Americans are keen to rant on about the 'constitution' as if they have the only one. Yet how many understand the ECHR ? Freedom of speech existed in Europe (e.g. Speakers Corner in London) before America existed and when someone tried to put back the clock there was a war.

That is why countries like France and Germany do not want to go to war for oil. Countries like the US and Britain think it is a good idea to invade a defenceless country and even worse, try to make out that those that do not want to kill defenceless people are cowards...

I read it as "shot down" (1)

amuck (529908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405733)

I had a vision of the moron ahead of me in traffic talking on his cell phone disappearing in an expanding cloud of hot gas and molten metal.

Re:I read it as "shot down" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405794)

Tetsuoooooooooooooooo!

Kanedaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

speed limit (2, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405738)

at least we might finally get rid of the idiotic speed limit concept : if it's that important not to drive that fast, then we should have our car slowed down remotely instead of having some policeman whinning avout a "danger".
I once got a fine, by snail mail, one month after driving a 100km/h on an highway because some Belgian cop decided to put a 50km/h speed limit fine 10 meters OVER the lane.
I argued that the traffic was dense, so this only meant everybody was driving that fast but this just didn't help.

Now, once we get some very personal speed limitation, I hope they'll take our car engines into account : some get damaged quicker at 120km/h than at 128km/h... might be a resonance issue but if they waste my engine with an unadapted control device, they'll have to pay.

I however guess that we'll eventually get some custom processing which may allow awaken BMW drivers to speed up at night on straight highways if there's nobody in a 10km radius. If not, then it only means such laws are meant to milk the drivers with idiotic fines...

Re:speed limit (1)

Oncogene (708031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405763)

Custom processing? No, no. We can't have that. That would be intelligent.

Re:speed limit (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405789)

Unless I patent it, I guess you're right.
Imagine this : patenting an idea, making it a law.
Each time someone pay a fine, I get royalties.
We're not far from it.

Re:speed limit (1)

Oncogene (708031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405835)

Go for it. It'd probably hold up in California.

Software Crash (0)

puff-d-dwaggie (599561) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405748)

Umm,
Can you say Software Crash? I knew you could.

"Get Moose and Squirrel!"

Solving the wrong problem, largely (2, Interesting)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405760)

Obviously there will be many comments along the lines of "bad technology will cause more problems than it solves".

In the case of bulk industrial transport, it's painfully obvious that what's needed is not just more automation, but a shift away from roads and onto rail.

Rail is much safer and better controllable than road traffic. No-one would argue against remote control (at least emergency override) of train traffic, indeed I believe this had been standard operating procedure for some time in many countries.

When will law makers get it? (5, Insightful)

Chris_Stankowitz (612232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405764)

Criminals don't acquire anything using the same means as law abiding citizens and companies (i.e: Guns, drugs /perscription or otherwise/, and in this case hazourdous material. Although this could be used to stop hijacked trucks, it won't stop the guy with a *van* full of materials that was stolen.

You can't legislate away these kinds of problems.

/me slaps forehead and sighs

Re:When will lawn mowers get it? (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405840)

I mean, if its working for a truck it could also work in a lawn mower. ;-)

Sorry for the cheesy comment but I read lawn mowers first and couldnt resist! ;-)

When will morons get it? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405844)

A proposed solution to a specific problem that doesn't solve _all_ problems is no less appropriate for solving that one problem.

If I were you I'd give that forehead a harder slap.

Sky Teamsters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405765)

With the ability to bring national trucking to a halt, the satellite has applied for Teamsters membership.

Traffic lights and remote disabling.... (1)

DingoBueno (461129) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405780)

I'm a little concerned about all of this remote control stuff. Some things were just not meant to be accessible via the web, you know? Now some asshole in Michigan can change traffic signals [slashdot.org] with a remote you can get on ebay, and next year the other guy he cut off will be able to pay him back by shutting down a truck on some bridge with his cell phone.

The world is dangerous. Some guy might drive a truck into a building, but chances are you're not gonna get enough advance warning to trigger a remote shutdown. But if all vehicles wind up with these devices, there's gonna be a period of trial and error when the authentication's not perfect or there's buffer overflow in some satellite control code somwehere that's gonna shut down an entire state.

When are we going to implement this on airplanes? After 9/11, you know, we can never be too careful. Remote shutdown is a must have...

The point is, these systems are bound to be exploited, and when they are there's gonna be hell to pay, because it's going to do more harm than good.

good point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405820)

i can just imagine some nervous Nuke plant secuirty guard pissing himself trying to dial into this company "SHUT IT DOWN", and they like "ok what is truck # on the back of truck". "hold on let me run after it and write it down"

Shades of Minority Report (1)

BlackHawk (15529) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405783)

Remember the scene in Minority Report, after John Anderton is on the run, where the authorities take control of the maglev car he's riding in?

The logic is flawed (4, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405785)

Your a terrorist. You want to steal a tanker truck full of some toxic chemical and blow it up/release it in a city , whatever. Do you

A) Break into a truck depot at some obvious time (where there just happens to be a truck full of something nasty) and put the pedal to the metal
and hope no one stops you before you reach your target. Or

B) Steal a truck WEEKS in advance , have time to throughly remove any id , electronic shutdown aids, put fake plates on , respray, fill with a chemical
of your choice and drive normally into the city unrecognized?

Terrorists might be evil but generally they're NOT stupid. The is just more balony about "stopping terrorism" that we've had
consistently since 9/11 and I for one am sick of being treated like some wide eyed brainless child who's supposed to accept all these removals of libery
with a thumbs up and a "god sake america!"

As if a terrorist would not turn off this device! (1)

Kosi (589267) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405786)

This does not make any sense. A terrorist or criminal would certainly disable this device asap, like a car thief disables the alarm system. So, then what's the real use of such a system except being one more step towards 1984?

Kosi

This is not news. Welcome to 1997. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405797)

I can't fathom how this is news. Several companies have had the ability to remote shutdown there trucks for a long time. (over hours? pull off at the next stop, you are going to fast, motor dynamically governed to 45mph, you stopped to long to hit the head, etc) The tracking and logistics required by federal law, is nothing compared to what some of these goomba trucking company owners go thru to put there drivers in misery.

Right... (4, Insightful)

GypC (7592) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405806)

Like California can really afford this.

*eyeroll*

To the paranoid... get over yourself. Like they're going to track you down and shut down your car and arrest you for the CD full of pirated MP3s in your stereo.

If they know who you are, it's easier to just send the cops to your house. This is useful for hijacked hazmat vehicles and maybe eventually for stopping high-speed chases or tracking fleeing felons. Not for keeping tabs on everyone... not even California has enough state employees for that kind of volume.

Yes, it can be far away (1)

Jameth (664111) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405811)

"can mandatory GPS and disabling devices in all vehicles be far away?"

Yes, yes they can. People are very protective of their cars in the US, kinda like their guns, and we all know what Charleton Heston has to say about how you take his guns away.

Besides, despite some recent concerns, the US has a relatively good record of respecting privacy.

Real safety. (1)

Matrix2110 (190829) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405814)

Yeah, I gonna feel real safe plowing into that big rig that was disabled using this technology.

Get a clue people, just because it is possible does not mean it meets the reality check.

A simple truck disabling disabling devices (1)

Koos Baster (625091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405837)

I guess a tunnel will shield signals to and from a satelite, right?!

--
Paranoia:
Who messed with my anti-paranoia shot?!?

Switch the rig (2, Insightful)

pvera (250260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405839)

Hijack the HAZMAT truck and switch the semi to one excempt from the remote disabling requirement. They need to do it so the whole rig is disabled, just killing the semi is not enough.

Re:Switch the rig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405879)

Not a reasonable solution either, how's this kill-switch-on-the-trailer supposed to work? Lock down the spring brakes? That's easy enough to disable, and if I'm a terrorist, I probably don't care if the brakes on the trailer don't work. Safety isn't really a #1 concern for a terrorist.

As I posted earlier, as a trucker, I can tell you there's no viable way this system would work in a real-world scenario. Remote-killing the trucks is simply impossible, the satellite signal is easy to block, it gets blocked often by normal operation (trees, mountains, fuel islands, tunnels) and an X-minutes-of-signal-blockage-shuts-down-the-truck solution won't work either; What if there's a traffic jam in a tunnel? You want a dead truck blocking the tunnel?

This is just the gov't trying to make people feel safe, when they're really powerless. Bottom line is you've got to stop pissing off everyone on the planet if you want to feel safe. Halliburton can't protect you from the consequences of their profiteering.

Now we just (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405843)

have to wait for theMIRT to start carrying "emergency vehicle remote shutdown devices"... Forget just being limited to making red lights green, now we can keep all the other cars off the road...

The problem with this. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405857)

As a trucker, I'll weigh in on this. The systems on trucks are generally Qualcomm satellite systems. The problem with that being it relies on a line-of-sight link with the satellite. Going up a mountain, pulling under a fuel island, all sorts of normal operation things cut the signal. Lots of guys put trashcans over their dishes at night so dispatch won't bother them while they're sleeping.

So this fancy-shmancy Homeland Security plan can be defeated with a trashcan. Satellite signal blocked = No shutting the truck down remotely. And I know what you're all thinking, "What a redneck, we could just make it where X minutes of signal blockage shuts down the truck!" Right. And if there's a traffic jam in a tunnel, you'll just exacerbate it by having a dead truck there? This is just another of the gov't's "Big Ideas That Will Not Work."

It's easy to block those satellite signals, and it's not reasonable to put a timer on it so that X minutes of no signal == shut down truck.

Ok, so how often does this happen? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7405859)

This looks like a geek project leader with too much money to spend. Maybe I don't read the papers too carefully, but how many cases of hazardous, runaway vehicles threatening Homeland Security have there been since that ISB (Insanely Bad Movie) Speed.

Even the stupidest terrorist is going to figure out how to cut the wires connecting the GPS device and the motor, so this obviously is not a counter-terrorist measure.

They'll pitch it as an anti carjack law (4, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405864)

Sure. They'll pitch this as an anti carjack, kidnap, child abduction law to get soccer mom buy in and then they'll just make it a required part of the annual safety inspection for new vehicles. As old vehicles go out of service there will be little need to grandfather them in.

Step 2 is constant motion monotoring to insure speed limit and red light compliance. This will be pitched as a cost savings measure since fewer cops will be needed. You'll simply get a bill in the mail each month for your driving usage and overage a.k.a. speeding/violations.

Step 3 is a comprehensive shut down program. Unpaid fines, lapsed insurance, orders of protection, domestic violence, etc. Will all be used to trigger the vehicle's shutdown.

Way to paranoid. (0, Flamebait)

Jartan (219704) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405871)

We're talking about dangerous materials trucks people not your hillbilly cousin Jonny in his pickup. It's not exactly like we have to protect the privacy of people carrying what are essentially large bombs on wheels roaming across the country.

The people who expect some sort of editorial integrity from Slashdot really piss me off admittedly. Slashdot is not a news service it's just a blog. That being said though the blatant cut-and-paste-dont-even-read-it policy has got to go. Don't post stuff thats blatant sensationalism right out of someones email to you. You think the links cool then fine post it with your own blurb.
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