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Sony Launches Three Linux-based In-car Navigation Devices

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the help-in-getting-around dept.

Portables 172

An anonymous reader writes "Sony has introduced three Linux-based in-car navigation and entertainment devices in Japan today. The NV-XYZ 33, 55, and 77 feature 3D map navigation technology, media players, hard drives, GPS, and PC connectivity. They are based on MIPS processors and a Linux 2.4-series kernel. They also appear to use a GateKeeper copy protection scheme, which may prevent them from being used with Linux desktops and normal media files." Still, the 3-D representations of actual buildings on the maps is pretty impressive.

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Frosty (1)

Sarojin (446404) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393875)

Claimed for LODE radio hour, #LRH on EFnet

GPL my car! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9393878)

Now all we need is to get Honda to GPL their engineering specifications.

Re:GPL my car! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9393935)

Well a start would be for the government to get off its ass and finally open OBD-II specs. Then the computer overclockers and car tuners could joing forces as one!

Re:GPL my car! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394019)

Shutup Faggie, the GPL is unconstitutional and un-American. You should be rotting in a prison somewhere.

Re:GPL my car! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394041)

I am. Its neat where you can get Internet access these days.

But does it run... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394086)

...on alternative fuels?


Re:GPL my car! (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394147)

Other than a few odd bits of firmware their engineering specifications are already Open Sourced and come free with every car, although perhaps a bit patent encumbered.

It's your responsibility to be able to understand the source though. They don't have a responsibility to tutor you on it.

Dare I say, RTFM?


test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9393881)


"Other media files"??? (2, Funny)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393882)

What does "other media files" mean? An in-car entertainment device with DRM or what?

There are other alternatives, the last thing I need is a 3d representation of the buildings...

"Hey honey check out that building on the screen about 50 feet away..."


Re:"Other media files"??? (5, Funny)

bigben7187 (754240) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393908)

"obstacles in linux may be closer than they appear, obstacles in windows may be even closer"

Re:"Other media files"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9393977)

Thats the dumbest joke I've heard in a long time. But it still amused me. Mod parent up!

Re:"Other media files"??? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9393910)

Yeah, but the nice cloud scene makes it worth it. And how are they going to know if there are road cones like depicted? It would be neat if they could find that stuff out (so on a long trip you can look at what a road construction area looks like at a rest stop prior to driving through). RFID the cones? Hell, with the british thinking of RFIDing all the cars, you could get a pretty good map of transportation blocks and such in a city. Neat stuff (and creepy if that comes to pass).

Re:"Other media files"??? (5, Insightful)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394003)

the last thing I need is a 3d representation of the buildings...

I wouldn't say that's the last thing one would need. If you're looking for a place you've never been to before, and the building happens to be distinctive (but you don't know it yet), then seeing it identified on the 3D map can help you find it in real life. It can also help you make a quick decision to take the empty parking space just before you get close enough to read the door number.

Alternatively, the realistic display can be used to rehearse your route on a quick virtual drive. Personally, I remember directions much better if I've been there just once, and a quick virtual drive might just be all I need to avoid having to look at the map while actually driving.

There are other alternatives

Of course there are. You can take a taxi.

Re:"Other media files"??? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394208)

In Japan they street addresses are the exception rather than the rule, or at least were in the '80s. The "addresses" they do have only get you to an area or maybe block. You need the map to find the building or you end up asking people for directions. Many ads, yellow pages listings, business cards, etc. have one-block ads.

Re:"Other media files"??? (4, Informative)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394006)

Adobe Systems on Thursday said Sony has agreed to support Adobe's PDF document format and the Linux version of its reader software in the consumer electronics company's car navigation system.
The Adobe technologies will be embedded in the Sony HDD AV Navi XYZ system, which is available only in Japan. The system will give drivers access to tourist books, maps, and other content delivered over the Internet.

Adobe, based in San Jose, Calif., claims to have distributed more than a half-a-billion copies of its PDF reader to date. The software is used on numerous desktop and mobile device operating systems and platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, UNIX, Linux, Palm OS, Pocket PC and Symbian OS.

Re:"Other media files"??? (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394046)

But acroread looks like a piece of shit in the AA'ed, theme-able environment of today's desktop (dashtop?) linux! :( When are they going to release a new reader? Kghostview or ggv are replacements that are more than capable to replace acroread. Although I myself recently had a problem in which I couldn't get a PDF to look/print correctly in viewers other than in Windows...

Re:"Other media files"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394173)

Although I myself recently had a problem in which I couldn't get a PDF to look/print correctly in viewers other than in Windows...

This is going to inflame some of the zealots here on /. but when I get a crappy looking PDF with jagged text that doesn't look right I know it was not made on a Windows based system. Not saying non-Windows based systems are bad but that some of the methods of making PDFs on them do not produce PDFs that look nice on all systems.

Re:"Other media files"??? (2, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394228)

Adobe, based in San Jose, Calif., claims to have distributed more than a half-a-billion copies of its PDF reader to date.

I can imagine that probably 80% of those "distributed copies" of Acrobat are to people who already "have" Acrobat Reader.

We have a product based on PDF reports, and we link to Acroread in order to display these reports. We have *constant* problems with Acrobat acting flakey, getting pissy, and in general being cranky.

When this happens, we uninstall Acrobat Reader, download a fresh copy, and re-install.

It's sick how often we've had to do this... sad that they brag about this!

Re:"Other media files"??? (2, Interesting)

JPriest (547211) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394058)

I wonder how they manage to have 3D representations of buildings and map out what laned are left turn only etc.?

It would have to download cities as you enter them because there is no way it has that much HDD space.

I am also pretty sure it only supports larger cities, unless Japanese tour busses are not really for tourists, maybe they are just here to take digital pictures for 3D maps. Think about it.

Re:"Other media files"??? (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394161)

According to the article, these navigators include "proprietary Windows software" to export maps and other data. Some Japanese navigation systems include hard drives with as much as 16 GB of data -- and this is for a country that's as large as the United States' original 13 colonies.

Once you throw in 3D representations of buildings and lane markings, there's got to be at least 30 GB of data available for this device.

Re:"Other media files"??? (3, Informative)

Almost_anonymous_cow (671896) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394272)

30gb? I hope not. It should be rendering the buildings on the fly doing something as an extrusion of the building of so many feet based on an attribute. The only thing that would take up 30gb is the textures if they use pictures for the textures of the buildings themselves. Vector shape data doesnt take up much space and the data related to the shapes wouldn't need to be big, just name/address/phone number if its commercial, symbol to use to draw, base height and extrusion height.
For the city I work in of about 100k people you could store all the parcel (entire county), streets, shoulders, sidewalks, driveways, buildings, waterlines, sewer, storm, powerpoles, hydro, traffic signs and other features in probably less space than 5gb. When the city was smaller about 50k or smaller all that could be stored on 1gb.
The hard part is just getting all the data behind the secnes working. How many lanes which direction is the lane, is it left turn only and then keeping the data up to date. Vector shapes are easy to create and get its the data behind them that becomes a problem. Course this is coming from somone whos public works GIS dept is still working on trying to correctly address 50k+ buildings after 15 years with no real funds to do so.

Re:"Other media files"??? (1)

Drawkcab (550036) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394182)

Japan would be easier to map out than the US. There are more people packed into a denser area. Crude 3d info about buildings doesn't have to take up vast amounts of space.

It is quite an impressive feat of data collection though, even if it only covered one major city like Tokyo (and it goes beyond that). Cartographers already need to have people drive through a city recording streets and distances. With clever enough software and some cameras mounted on a car, you could get a crude 3d map of a city by systematically driving through it. You might need the human drivers to track lanes, one way streets, and confirm street addresses though. This is just an incremental improvement over the kinds of data already in GPS navigation systems and online maps, but its quite a visually impressive one.

Re:"Other media files"??? (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394327)

Well if you had ever been to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania you would know why 3D maps are needed. On a traditional map it might look like two roads are close and parallel when in fact they are seperated by 100m of elevation!

windows... (3, Funny)

Ronin_19 (750401) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393885)

They first tried using windows but it crashed.

Re:windows... (1)

cryms0n (52620) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393981)

(Lone drummer in the background)

*Bum-dum* *Chisssh* /Try the veal.

Re:windows... (1)

the_y_man84 (786048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394187)

No, the tried netBSD first, smaller is better

Resemblance? (4, Funny)

nukey56 (455639) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393887)

Does this remind anyone else of Crazy Taxi?

Re:Resemblance? (1)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394005)

Take me to the KFC!

i wonder (3, Insightful)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393896)

how long it will take them to "remember" to release the source to the modified gpl programs that they will be using.

Re:i wonder (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9393959)

I'm guessing it probably operates through a framebuffer. Even if it were X, that doesn't mean that it needs to open the source for just an app. The GPL Library license allows the app to remain closed.

Re:i wonder (1)

Zugot (17501) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394113)

I'm not a GPL expert, but they only have release the source to this for paying customers. And what use is the software without the data?

Re:i wonder (2, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394127)

I think people may in general read more inteo the gpl-demands than is actually the case.

Assume that they have their own application on top of a normal embedded linux system.

First, they are not obliged to release a single line of source from their own app.

Second, for all the gpl software theyy use, they are only obliged to give source to their customers, and only on request. They can easily fulfil both letter and intent by, for example, have a pre-adressed postcard in the back of the owner's manual to request the source, which will then be sent in the form of a CD. /Janne

Re:i wonder (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394229)

Sorry to disapoint you but we already have :)

here []

Re:i wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394326)

Doesn't work with lynx. Hire a new webmaster, you stupid bastards!

They did a fine job (4, Interesting)

achurch (201270) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394234)

with PS2 Linux. Granted it's a different subcompany, but what makes you automatically assume they won't comply with the GPL?

Re:i wonder (4, Informative)

LuxuryYacht (229372) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394273)

Download available here: YZ 77_XYZ55_XYZ33.html

Crazy! (1)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393898)

Wow, talk about the future! I'm suprised Windows never got to one of these devices before Linux did, really! Most in car stuff (if not modified by the user) is ran by some Microsoft-related product. It's still kind of steep in pricing, but it'll definetly come in price sooner. I wonder what competition's devices will be like? All we can do is wait!

Re:Crazy! (1)

genixia (220387) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393972)

Not really. After all, we all know about all those Windoze-powered hard drive in-car mp3 players right?

Can you name any?

Can you name any that made it to market before the linux-based Empeg? (Don't waste too much time on this one...)

Re:Crazy! (2, Interesting)

generic-man (33649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394091)

Clearly you forget the Microsoft AutoPC [] , which never really caught on. Clarion wanted over $1,000 for a car-stereo-sized PC that you could customize with very expensive software add-ons.

Oh! 3d GPS (5, Insightful)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393900)

In the board room:

"We can put in a really cool way to navigate in this 3d rendered navigator.. we will call them.. STREET SIGNS.. so people can look at the buildings and then check the street signs for their current course"

Uh, what is the point of a 3d rendered navigation system? Unless it's doing a better job than my eyes, I don't see the use at all.

Re:Oh! 3d GPS (3, Insightful)

log2.0 (674840) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393926)

Perhaps you could virtually "drive" a few blocks away and see if there are any obsticles in you future path... Just knowing the way you want to go makes driving easier. The 3Dness would help you to visualise whats coming up. Although I kind of agree that a 2D map is good enough...but flashy 3D things are nice :)

Re:Oh! 3d GPS (2, Interesting)

VanWEric (700062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393927)

In boston, there are no street signs. Street names change without warning, and drivers are constantly pushing you around. As a non-native, I am hopelessly lost driving in that city. Anything that would reduce that feeling would be very welcome.

Re:Oh! 3d GPS (4, Insightful)

hrieke (126185) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393930)

It's Japan. So, if you've never been there, and had no idea that there really isn't any logical progression of building / house numbers, trust me in that street signs can only take you so far.

Having buildings & landmarks show up on the screen certainly would help people find their way around (eps. police, fire).

Linke wise london (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394007)

Anyone whose ever tried:sic to drive through london will know that the road signs are next to useless, and the wide pavements are a great way to avoid going around the one-way system? yet again.

Re:Oh! 3d GPS (2, Insightful)

netsharc (195805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394065)

That's true, I remember reading a blog entry, the writer said the back of business cards usually have a map, it tells you which train station is the nearest and the route to the place from that station. People inviting you give out a map as well, an example of this is in Lost in Translation, Charlotte faxes Bob a map of how to get to a place where she was going to meet some friends, the place turned out to be a strip-joint!

One might also point out (1)

achurch (201270) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394258)

that most Japanese streets don't have names--only the highways and major arteries have names, and the rest are just "the third left after Akishima Station on Edo-kaido". It is incredibly difficult to find your way to a given address without a map.

Re:Oh! 3d GPS (4, Insightful)

DNAspark99 (218197) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393943)

... what is the point of a 3d rendered navigation system? Unless it's doing a better job than my eyes, I don't see the use at all.

That's just it - it *can* do a better job than your eyes, especially in an area you've never been before or othewise have no previous knowledge of actual destination location. With this, it can highlight your path and virtually aquaint you with the area beforehand, so you'll allready have an idea of things like where to park the car, and what entrance way to use. Once again, technology steps in to illuminate the path of the totally clueless.

Re:Oh! 3d GPS (3, Interesting)

hawkeyeMI (412577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394222)

Add a full-windshield heads-up display, subtract the rendering and let it match the scenery to a database - voila! ultimate guidance system. It could flash imaginary arrows and highlight things. When you're low on gas it could put a big red box around the nearest gas station in sight, or provide big red arrows to show you where to go, or even tell if you've been ignoring it too long and there are none within the range of the gas you have left :) Looking for someplace to eat, or little Johnny *really* has to go? It can show you where to find a restaurant of the type of your choice or find the nearest rest stop.

I give it another ten years before this kind of equipment (not the article, but what I mentioned) becomes affordable in the US.

Re:Oh! 3d GPS (2, Insightful)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394027)


Some cities have helpful street signs that actually tell you what the next cross street is. Some cities don't, and you won't find out that you're in the wrong lane until you're right at the intersection. This is when the worst drivers make a right turn from the left lane, and endanger everybody else. The good drivers, on the other hand, waste time finding a way to U-turn.

Now, if only we had a device that could tell you to change lanes before you're at the intersection...

Re:Oh! 3d GPS (4, Interesting)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394067)

Next they need to add is heads-up display. By projecting this on the window sheild so you can look thoughit it will really help to tell when to turn.

Then we all can use those really dark window tints!!

Re:Oh! 3d GPS (2, Interesting)

Bushcat (615449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394100)

In Japan, in any given block the buildings tend to be numbered in the order in which the block was originally populated. So if you're standing in front of 3-10-17, all you know about 3-10-16 is that it's within 200 meters or so in any direction. Only major roads have names, minor roads do not. Dead ends are typically not marked as such. Finally, just in case this all seems trivial, there are buildings totally surrounded by others, with no street access. And this is in a "sensible" city. Some were designed with the entire road system deliberately designed to confuse potential enemies.

So basically, you need all the help you can get.

3-D World Interface (3, Interesting)

Scottm87 (689558) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393903)

I used to visit [] a lot, and this is similar to the products they offered. There were always performance problems. The technology in this system looks much more advanced. The question of how to collect all the necessary information is still important, esp. in a physically larger country like the United States. It doesnt seem like it would be economical unless there is a large surcharge on the product to pay for all the necessary work to map a large portion of even the cities in the United States.

Re:3-D World Interface (4, Informative)

Scottm87 (689558) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393915)

oops, is the actual address.

$300 wasted? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9393912)

Great, just when I spend $300+ on a GPS unit for my laptop and a WIFI antenna for my JEEP f***ing Sony has to make a sleeker help me god if Sony ever releases another toy like this right after I drop the cash....itz over...

What I want to know is... (-1, Redundant)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393913)

Can we put our own distros on the computers, see what they can really do?


NYYankee161st (785590) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393917)

Hack the planet!!!!!!!!! Take down the gibson!!!!

p.s. Cowboyneal likes cocks in anal cavity

3D is a nice touch (5, Informative)

fembots (753724) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393919)

According to the article's image, this 3D approach has two advantages - advertising and landmark spotting.

Since human is good at recognizing patterns and objects, a 3D image of a building/landmark will greatly improve your chance of making that critical turn.

Good linux mapping software (1)

Locke355 (692507) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393925)

I was looking into putting a linux box into my car, and make something similar. I couldn't find any good mapping programs for linux that covered the USA, and also gave driving directions. Are there any?

Re:Good linux mapping software (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394207)

I couldn't find any good mapping programs for linux that covered the USA, and also gave driving directions. Are there any?

The blessing of Open Source is that you can write it yourself.

Start, ummmmm, compiling.


Why do the Japanese get all the cool gadgets first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9393928)

We do have money in Europe and the US too. Give us some of your leet phones and car gadgets :). Its not fair.

GTA? (5, Funny)

jals (667347) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393929)

Looks like the maps for the first Grand Theft Auto. Does the thing also identify where Spray and Bomb shops are?

But will it play (1)

neomac (97478) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394211)

Tux racer?

Hmm GG slash dot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9393950)

Just slap the word 'linux' on it and it gets front page coverage

oh look my penis has linux installed! *big front page post*

Re:Hmm GG slash dot (5, Funny)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394141)

oh look my penis has linux installed! *big front page post*

Must be a small distribution. Maybe you mean Minix?

Well, now we know... (2, Funny)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393956)

who SCO's next "victim" will be...

Turning Point for Linux (3, Insightful)

DarkHazard (713597) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393965)

Perhaps this could be a proof of Linux use in the consumer electronics market. If Sony continues to develop products with Linux integration, the market should follow.
After all Sony has been an innovator in the past and this should be no different. If Linux were to become a big thing in Japan then it would also become a big thing in America.

Re:Turning Point for Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394071)

How much proof does Linux need? Do we need to start beating people over the head with every electronic device that has Linux?

I say no. This is the way the Linux revolution is supposed to work. Engineers put Linux in their devices and upper management never knows. Noone knows, thats the point. Its like electricity or water, you shouldn't have to care about it unless it breaks.

Dashwerks Telematics Server... (4, Informative)

bergeron76 (176351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393967)

Dashwerks is about to release our flagship telematics server. It's a very similar product, however, ours originates in (and is) open-source. It's been seen on here before [] (back in 2001).

win ce would be better (4, Funny)

oldgeezer1954 (706420) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393976)

At least that way I could constantly reboot the thing while I'm tied up in traffic and fool myself into thinking I was being productive.

This isn't a sig... The weekend is almost here and heck yeah I'm posting from a win xp box today. Lighten up, life is too short:)

Amod dowHn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9393979)

An advantage to 3D buildings... (4, Insightful)

Dieppe (668614) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394012)

One advantage I see to 3D buildings might be driving in fog... or smog. They need to incorporate it with a HUD, I think, to really be worthwhile... and then have hazard avoidance to apply brakes in case of a car or other barrier in front of the car..

Well, like a pedestrian or something.

But imagine it on a HUD with the buildings perfectly matching what you see outside...

Well, for $2k I'll use my eyes.. but fog.. you know... FOG! :)

Re:An advantage to 3D buildings... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394178)

Oh great, so now we'll need to get checked out on instruments too.

How many hours under the hood before you can upgrade your license from VDR to IDR?


Re:An advantage to 3D buildings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394264)

Karr had this in Knight Rider 2000.

More Info From Sony's Site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394018)

More info, lots of pictures. ;) In Japanese Here []

Re:More Info From Sony's Site (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394036)

Add-ons and traffic info (5, Informative)

Bushcat (615449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394030)

Add-ons include a rear-facing camera as a reversing aid for those defeated by mirror-based technology, and a Level 2 & 3 VICS antenna.

VICS supplies real-time traffic congestion, accident and time-to-destination information through roadside or overhead radio beacons dotted all over major roads. VICS-aware navigation systems can then automatically re-route around problem areas.

Apart from the very cute display, Sony is playing catch-up here, though the home cradle is nice: maps can be updated via an internet service that starts in July.

Some systems receive traffic updates via PHS and cellphones in addition to, or instead of, radio. Subscription services provide frequently updated information on speed cameras, mobile speed traps and other inconveniences.

VICS [] .

I want to do this (1)

Murf_E (754550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394040)

What would it take to make a PC fit in a DIN or 2 DIN hole in your car, stick in an 80 or so gig drive and you would have the ultimate deck, now how would you make a linux distro to run that and display on some LCD or DMD screen, I guess you would need a good amp as well Its worth a though I guess

banners (5, Funny)

zlel (736107) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394053)

Will Sony also be selling ad-space on the buildings in their 3D maps? No pop-ups please!

yay linux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394079)


Now while im driving, i can struggle for days with obscure command line functions, trying to find that one rare module that will allow my software to not only compile, but to actually work! ... then try for days to somehow get the obscure, non-user friendly interface to actually give me the data i need in a readable format! .. then spend days searching for open source maps that actually cover the area im in!

ahh screw it, by then most of us would have driven into a telephone pole anyways, get me my paper map!

Besides, imagine all the air pollution this would create! Reaallly! - no one out there would ever shut off their car and risk the device draining their battery dead ... loosing their 'uptime' without rebooting! After all, 'uptime' is far more important than usefullness!

I am actually quite happy for this. (5, Insightful)

jb_02_98 (636753) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394202)

I don't mean to start bashing with you, but I do have a few comments. First off, I have used linux for a long time, and I still like using command lines more that graphics, even though I have been able to configure a system and leave the client alone for a year or more and they never have problems... hey, they don't even have to touch the command line.

The software compiling... well... it looks to me like the software is already with the unit, much like a differant OS in some computers. It seems to be preconfigured with everything needed, so the software is taken care of.

The interface is part of the software. I use blackbox, because I like it. They are probably just using a simple interface that doesn't do much except show their software... hey, it is there software.

THe maps are part of the software as well... Looks like the reasons to complain are dieing off...

The 'uptime' is a good thing... I don't want to worry about my navigation system dieing on me while traveling. I have lived out in the boonies most of my life and being in a large city might make things a bit more difficult for me. I'm sure if it can handle being on longer, it can also handle being restarted more gracefully, especially since the OS won't change... its part of the system. The uptime is equally as important. If I can't use the system because it isn't functioning is a lot differant than if I can't use the system due to a lack of features... One I can learn to get around, the other will stop me one hundered percent.

The system is linux, it will work. Not because it isn't windows, but because linux can be built to do the job a lot better than windows can be added to. One would be a custom fit, the other would be a jury rigged solution.

I don't know if you were being humorous or not... but I figured I would throw in my opinion. :-)

Re:I am actually quite happy for this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394226)


my first ignorant bastard sucked in, exposing himself for the useless linux fanboy he is! Look at him torture himself, pretending to actually enjoy putting himself through hell to get the simplest thing done!


Legality of TV-based devices? (4, Informative)

Samah (729132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394126)

Well I don't know about other countries, but in Australia it's illegal to operate a mobile phone while driving (unless it's hands-free), and I believe it's also illegal to have a TV or similar device in a car in view of the driver (ie. they can be in the headrests for the back passengers).
The ability to watch TV on these devices is going to cause some serious legal issues if they ever take off here (unlikely).

luxury upon luxury (4, Informative)

davejenkins (99111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394162)

For people living in and around Tokyo, a car itself is a luxury-- just as it would be for someone in Manhattan. You cannot buy a car without proof of parking space (usually $200-400/month).

With that market, expensive add-ons to pimp out your ride are very appealing. Those who go to the trouble to own a car (when you really don't need one in the city) are obviously very into that car as a status symbol. Combined with the absolute need for mapping systems (the grid is purposefully convoluted), and Sony should see some good sales.

No one here uses CD players in cars-- they all use MD players, but are quickly moving to HDDs that interface with their iPODs. DVDs are a nice way to spend the time while waiting in traffic or waiting for friends to arrive (I usually wait 30 minutes somewhere when meeting friends).

Re:luxury upon luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394201)

No one here uses CD players in cars

Just because there is a subset of car freaks who spend all their money at Super Autobacs does not mean that no one here uses CD players in cars.

Most people use CD players in their cars.

But what does the open source community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394171)

gain from this? A corporate giant has used software that they didn't have to pay for, possibly modified it slightly (so other people can't benefit from it) and then is selling it along with a custom app and will probably make millions from it.

What use is the GPL if massive corporations can benefit from it and save money, and yet not give anything back to the community?

This is not ment to be a troll, but a serious question.

Re:But what does the open source community (1)

News for nerds (448130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394357)

Dunno merit in l33t "OSS community" itself much, but competition is good thing for all people in the society anyway. One day when you need a WinCE device, you may be able to purchase it for cheaper price if Linux gains some ground against it.

Nifty. (3, Interesting)

mr. methane (593577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394194)

The closest I've seen to this is in Nissan/Infinity cars, which has a "looking down from an angle" view of the map, instead of the traditional "view from directly overhead".

Still, one of the big annoyances with these things is updates. If you live in a mature city with rare changes in roadways, it's great, but if you live in an area which is still rapidly developing, there tend to be a lot of roads that pop up seemingly overnight (i.e. I noticed a shopping center on the way home last night which was an empty lot a week ago!)

w00t (3, Funny)

javert (265031) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394197)

Carmaggedon, here we come!

And the funny thing is... (1)

bruthasj (175228) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394215)

Their use will be outlawed in most countries and states within a few years because of studies that show you drive like a drunk watching the thing the whole time.

GPS mapping for Linux PDAs ? (1)

Sam Nitzberg (242911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394227)

Just wondering if anyone here has dealt with this...

I have two PDAs (IPAQs) running Linux. Does anyone here have experience running mapping software (pref. with gps support) for handhelds with Familiar Linux?

Also, what map source do you import?

Many thanks-


Now what would be impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394231)

Is some kind of digital overlay connected to your windscreen. It could be 40% translucent or similar, and it would generate a 3D image to let you know where your are and where you have to go.

Sounds sorta futuristic, but I don't think it's that far off.

Honey whats that noise? (1)

SirStanley (95545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394242)

that weird clunking noise is the VM causing our HDD to thrash. Better take it to Van Reil Automotive.

Re:Honey whats that noise? (1)

SirStanley (95545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394248)

*Van Riel my bad.

MIPS based Linux? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394276)

Does this mean I can ditch the bastard WinCE on my old IBM Workpad z50, and d/load & install Linux on it? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Infiniti G35 (2, Informative)

IceFox (18179) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394292)

My 04 Infiniti G35 came with a navigation system that offers a birds eye view which I find more appealing. I am able to much more quickly grasp where I am and where I am going. Although not the best photo (google image search for better ones) here is one: here []

-Benjamin Meyer

I hope (3, Funny)

daishin (753851) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394301)

That they have it so as youre driving you can pick up power ups, and when you get a hitchhiker you have to take them to their destination on time, this reminds me of something

Old joke. (1)

JazzXP (770338) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394304)

But does it run.... oh, wait!

support (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394309)

Support ethnic cleansing in Palestine []

3 Billion American Dollars cant be wrong.

Sponsor an Israeli occupier today!

aw crap... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9394317)

how long do you think it will be before the governments get pissed about video playing capabilities... I mean, they got pissed when people were watching porn on the car DVD players (article) [] ...but that was in the back seat... this thing rides up front. I hope these don't come to the states (legally) because there are going to be SO many accidents!!

Mapping software (3, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 10 years ago | (#9394332)

I'd just like to see *somebody*, anybody, release a decent trip planning package for Linux.

I used to hold out hope for Delorme [] , but since they discontinued support for Mac [] and went pure Windows I've given that up. There was a glimmer of a chance for change [] , but that was dashed upon the rocks of /. apathy [] .
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