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Spies Riding Shotgun

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the i-called-it-first dept.

Privacy 353

Slashdot has covered before the proliferation of black boxes - event data recorders - in modern automobiles, that automatically record data about what the car has been doing and make it available after the fact to police, insurance companies, and people suing you - just about everyone except you, in fact. We'll add to that with yet another story about the computerized spy riding shotgun in your new car.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Oh, for Christ's sake, michael! (1, Insightful)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876870)

You know, michael, you're beating a dead horse down the road. Hell, you even admit it yourself -- and then you still have to post another story on the subject, just to inform everyone that "you called it first". I mean, it's not as if this topic hasn't been discussed on Slashdot thousands of times before. Again and again, someone reports of the "terrible news" that new cars are being fitted with black boxes.

And now, i can already see the flamewars erupting all over again. Some people crying out "1984!" and others saying that the first are stupid. It's nothing new. Neither is this story. Was it really necessary to report this? Do we really have to go through these flames all over again, if they will not add anything new to the story anyway?

PATHETIC (2, Insightful)

starman71taylor (189083) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876944)

Your castigating him is bordering on the absurd. For your stated reasoning, of being "concerned about a flame war". What in the fuck does that have to do with a REAL NEWS STORY that yes, has been reported here and other places before, have to do with your retort. Simply stated, you don't care about people watching, monitoring, controlling your driving habits etc. People who care are alarmed by this development....as you should too, if your head was a little more concerned about the ISSUE rather than some childish "flamewar". PATHETIC.

Re:PATHETIC (0, Flamebait)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877070)

What in the fuck does that have to do with a REAL NEWS STORY that yes, has been reported here and other places before, have to do with your retort.

Oh, nothing, except for the fact that it has been reported on Slashdot so many times already that it's hardly news! In fact, it's been reported so many times that posting yet another story on the same subject is already beginning to resemble the story of the boy crying wolf. And all that comes out of this is idiots (like you and me) flaming each other over things that have been discussed so many times before. Now, do you think they really care about this issue? The odds are that some of them do, but most of the readers will simply forget about it in 3...2...1...forgotten.

Re:Oh, for Christ's sake, michael! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10876947)

Yes, it's necessary to report this. As often as possible. If no one reports it, then soon no one will be aware of it happening. One might argue that we already know, but the fact that we've already forgotten that the guy replacing Ashcroft is the same torture guy that called the Geneva Convention "quaint" is proof that our memories are very poor. So, yes, it's necessary to report the ongoing use of event data recorders in consumer products and their use against consumers as often as possible.

Re:Oh, for Christ's sake, michael! (1)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877130)

If no one reports it, then soon no one will be aware of it happening.

Good point. But there's always the threat that if it's reported as a "possible threat to privacy" too often, people will/might stop perceiving it as a threat and only shrug slightly when they see yet another "horror story" and forget about it.

Re:Oh, for Christ's sake, michael! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877163)

Yes, it's necessary to report this. As often as possible, so that /. gets as much attenion as possible. If no one reports it, then soon no one will be aware of it happening, and /. might not make bucket loads of money. One might argue that we already know, but the fact that we've already forgotten that the guy replacing Ashcroft is the same torture guy that called the Geneva Convention "quaint" is proof that our memories are very poor, so theirs plenty of oppurtunity for /. to rake it in. So, yes, it's necessary to report the ongoing use of event data recorders in consumer products and their use against consumers as often as possible, how else would we serve you all those Microsoft (who we hate) ads?.

oh please oh please oh please oh please.... (1)

Ads are broken (718513) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876877)

frost33z?

[OT] The Complete Rules to Calling Shotgun... (3, Funny)

PissingInTheWind (573929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876888)

... and the subsequent amendments [nildram.co.uk] .

Re:[OT] The Complete Rules to Calling Shotgun... (5, Funny)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877010)

Being as how everyone is created equal, men have the same right as women to the front seat of the car. i.e. women don't own the front seat.

Man, this guy is obviously single.

Re:[OT] The Complete Rules to Calling Shotgun... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877166)

Maybe he's just not a weak-kneed doormat.

Re:[OT] The Complete Rules to Calling Shotgun... (2, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877176)

Giving in to someone you like is not weak-kneed. If anything, it's wonderful.

Duped amendment (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877014)

Needs refactoring: amendments XXVI and XXXXIV are the same.

Dear RIAA and MPAA: Ride This This You #$%^@## (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877025)


P2P Lives [nullsoft.com]

Seditiously as always from an undisclosed, secure bunker
OUTSIDE of the United Gulags Of Amerika,

Kilgore Trout, CEO

Looking forward.. (4, Funny)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876889)

..to the day when my every every bowel movement is recorded for the enjoyment of future generations.

"You can't shut it off, and you can't manipulate it," I had that trouble when I had a Ginseng and Viagra chaser.

It's been done ... (1, Troll)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877138)

Karma burn in 5..4..3..2..1...BOOM! [ratemypoo.com]

What? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10876909)

This is news?

Slow news day or what?? (-1, Redundant)

anerd2 (832483) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876918)

Dredging up old stories...
Wasting time of the readers again...
Self glorification of an editor...


come one slashdot, try reporting some real, new, news!!

Re:Slow news day or what?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877233)

It's odd this gets modded redundant. To use an argument someone else used in defense of posting old news (which was modded up):

"Yes, it's necessary to report this. As often as possible. If no one reports it, then soon no one will be aware of it happening."

i.e: So long as redudant news keeps being posted on the front page, it's "necessary" people keep reporting it as old news.

Welcome (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10876924)

I, for one, welcome our transistor overlords dressed in black.

Re:Welcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10876968)

Somebody read the last story's first post...

This is terrible! (5, Funny)

TheOtherChimeraTwin (697085) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876936)

This is an absolute invasion of privacy! Imagine: recording every questionable driving decision you make. I wonder where I can get one for my daughter's car?

Re:This is terrible! (3, Informative)

jim_deane (63059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877194)

If your question is at all serious, there are products that you can use.

For instance, The CarChip [ambientweather.com] .

My personal belief is vehement opposition to this kind of monitoring. Nevertheless, it is available. If she's driving a car you own, you can install it without any problem. If the car is hers, you might want to check with an attorney before installing any monitoring/spying equipment.

Jim

Re:This is terrible! (2, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877267)

I wonder where I can get one for my daughter's car?

In that case you'll want it for the back seat. Or you can just put in a web cam.

Pure Speculation (2, Insightful)

Mike Rubits (818811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876952)

I was expecting actual abuses of the system, but half of the article is about the things that can potentially happen? Sure, the Earth can implode tomorrow, but those aren't getting front page stories on Slashdot.

Are there any cases where this has been abused? Why not post those?

Re:Pure Speculation (1)

Monte (48723) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876967)

Some car-rental companies sneak riders into their contracts saying that you have to pay extra $$$ every time you excede the speed limit. Then they use black boxes and GPS, download the data after you turn the car back in,and WHAM! Big surprise when you check your credit card bill.

At least this was the case a couple years ago, dunno if it's still going on.

Re:Pure Speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10876989)

So, you're saying that some companies charge you if you use their property to break the law? What's your point exactly?

Re:Pure Speculation (2, Insightful)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877129)

Gee, its almost as if you were not supposed to drive them in an unsafe manner. Those bastards, trying to make sure you don't damage their car.

What? (2, Insightful)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877202)

Some car-rental companies sneak riders into their contracts saying that you have to pay extra $$$ every time you excede the speed limit.

So they charge you more when you signed the contract agreeing to the conditions. Always read everything before you sign. If you do not agree with the conditions don't sign it. Take your business somewhere else. They are not violating your rights in any way, shape, or form.

I love my car.. (4, Insightful)

EngMedic (604629) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876960)

I drive a '92 Honda Civic CX (nobody has them, they suck that much). It's a total hunk of junk, but i love it. It does precisely what i tell it to (at speeds of under 60 mph -- it don't accelerate too well), gets 35 mpg, and takes me from point A to point B. Now i have another reason -- because it's not looking at what i'm doing.

Re:I love my car.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877112)

Ah, but you have forgotten about the odometer -- i.e., the sinister spy in your dashboard !!!

Re:I love my car.. (1)

trewornan (608722) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877158)

Disconnect the speedometer and the odometer stops racking up miles. The oldest trick in the book.

Re:I love my car.. (1)

Joe Random (777564) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877199)

Ah, but you have forgotten about the odometer -- i.e., the sinister spy in your dashboard !!!

Just run the car in reverse for a while and it'll take the miles right back off. Oh, but beware of large plate-glass windows overlooking picturesque ravines.

Re:I love my car.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877222)

That doesn't work dumbass.

Re:I love my car..either you need a new car or ... (1)

Herschel Cohen (568) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877218)

When it turns to dust, perhaps your next ride will be on mass transit or perhaps the personal transporters.

Finally something good enough to get America over its love affair with the car.

Personal black boxes arent automatically bad. (2, Insightful)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876962)

In a fiction series I read recently (Hominids / Humans / Hybreds by Robert J. Sawyer), in the Neanderthal world, everyone had an implanted companiion that recorded everything their host did, and uploaded it to an Alibi Archive. Essentially, everyone had a personal blackbox that they could look through later, or that could be used against them in criminal proceedings.

One of the effects this had was that no one would be able to make false accusations against you, because your alibi archive would vindicate you instantly. It also meant that no one could really get away with crime.

Of course, that view of things was largly utopian. The general arguement against this sort of tech in reality is that humans tend to be corruptible. So I dont think that trying such a concept for every person is ideal.

However, for things like using a car, I dont see it as a problem. As long is the recording media is practically impossible to tamper with, (in so far as any attempt to alter the contents would be detected as an alteration). And also, the laws would need to be written such that they could only demand to see very specific time segments in the recording. Assuming that only yourself and government authorities could access it, it would solve alot of problems.

- No one would drive like an asshat if someone would compell them to prove that they werent.

- You would have ironclad proof against bogus tickets and insurance charges.

- The only thing you really give up for the two previous items is the ability to lie about the above two.

Then again, I dont drive at all, so its all a non issue to me.

END COMMUNICATION

Re:Personal black boxes arent automatically bad. (1)

CrackerJack9 (819843) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876978)

I didn't realize they could be used to say, "While driving between the VASCAR you averaged 44 mph".

That would be scary if they could, but I think their use to refute bogus tickets is a little overratted.

You know what? (4, Insightful)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876996)

I NEED the ability to lie about the above two. Why? Because I live in New York City, where speed limits are set arbitrarily low in really stupid places for the express purpose of allowing cops to pick up people for speeding and feed the city coffers.

If anything, this technology SHOULD allow one to completely eliminate speed limits from the books. Exceeding the speed limit DANGEROUSLY can be called "reckless driving," so why do we have have to have extra laws for it in addition to reckless driving violations? For one reason only: those who make the laws realize that one can drive fast without driving dangerously, but if they let us do that they'd never make any money.

Driving at 85 mph in the rain on a twisty road in the middle of the night with cars on it? Yes. Your ass should be prosecuted.

Driving at 80 mph "in a 50" in the middle of the night, with not a cloud in the sky, on a completely empty, straight road? No.

Re:You know what? (2, Interesting)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877193)

"Driving at 80 mph "in a 50" in the middle of the night, with not a cloud in the sky, on a completely empty, straight road? No."

I wish I could do that here. Unfortunately the roads here aren't even safe when there are no other cars on them. Deer are a real problem here (to the point that it doesn't really have an effect on your insurance premium. The companies just go "oh, another one" and hand over the cash without really penalizing you.)

So speaks the guy who has totaled 2 cars (one of which was only doing 20mph at the time. seriously) from hitting deer. And I've lost count of how many I've managed to avoid.

Re:You know what? (2, Insightful)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877241)

So, your theory here is that laws are relative and that this has not been taken into consideration by the people in charge.

Which makes the laws bogus.

Which means you should lobby to get the laws fixed.

Which is an entirely different problem than what's being discussed here.

Re:Personal black boxes arent automatically bad. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877006)

What it comes down to is that everyone speeds.

On one hand, I wish they would enforce it. So that the speed limits would go up, because if they gave out a ticket every time someone sped, the people would riot.

And on the other hand, I think it'd be idiotic because the damn gubbmint would end up addicted to the ticket revenue.

This is the same argument as DRM on computers.

I buy a physical device, I should be able to utilize it in whatever manner I choose. If I do something stupid with it, say, AND cause someone's injury or death, I should be well punished.

As John Stuart Mill said, "In all such cases there should be perfect freedom, legal and social, to do the action and stand the consequences."

Black boxes arent automatically bad-Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877027)

"You would have ironclad proof against bogus tickets and insurance charges."

That's not all you would have proof against. There was a police chase in which a member of the housing authority police got involved. On his way towards the chase, he was involved in an accident. Who's fault was it? We would never know without the black box in the car.

Re:Personal black boxes arent automatically bad. (1)

LaCosaNostradamus (630659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877228)

The only real test of these systems is what happens when one of your state Senators is in an accident. If all of a sudden his blackbox is reported as "unavailable", then you can figure out what to do with yours yourself. Hints: blowtorch, hammer/chisel, hand drill, etc.

I would quite like one (3, Insightful)

edittard (805475) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876973)

Bearing in mind that I 1) don't drive like a twat 2) hate people who do, I would quite like one.

Re:I would quite like one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877191)

In my experience most people who are convinced they "don't drive like a twat", always stick to speed limits, etc, are in reality a menace on the road.

I think I will just keep my littlle sports car (0)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876981)

Makes my glad to drive an 1985 Alfa Spider. I highly doubt the computer has enough memory to store that kinda information. Infact I think the performance would see big imporvement if could retain information for a longer period the Variable Valve timeing control might be allot smarter if it could keep track of conditions for at least 5 min. I wish the car did* know I was in a race and could keep thing adjusted according rather then droping the cam back to normal just becase I got out of the throtel to take a curve.

Re:I think I will just keep my littlle sports car (1)

Shadwell (709447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877058)

I hope you don't drive the way you spell.

Re:I think I will just keep my littlle sports car (0, Offtopic)

oexeo (816786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877266)

> I hope you don't drive the way you spell.

I hope you don't drive as badly as your as your sig is shit

As long as they come with an off switch. (2, Interesting)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876983)

I see nothing inherintly bad with this technology itself. In fact, it could prove quite useful at times. But it is vitally important that buyers be informed of these systems, and they must be equipped with an off switch.

Does anyone know if all existing systems such as On-star can be turned off easily by the driver?

Re:As long as they come with an off switch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877003)

So I could switch it off at the precise moment that it might become useful to the innocent old dear I'm about to run down by driving like a dickhead?

Re:As long as they come with an off switch. (3, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877080)

So I could switch it off at the precise moment that it might become useful to the innocent old dear I'm about to run down by driving like a dickhead?

So, your assumption is that if I want a little privacy, I must be about to commit a crime. Why not insist that I have video cameras installed in my home in case I should decide to commit date rape some evening?

Re:As long as they come with an off switch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877020)

Does anyone know if all existing systems such as On-star can be turned off easily by the driver?

Yes. The cars are fitted with a convenient ignition key for precisely this purpose.

Re:As long as they come with an off switch. (1)

thorndt (814642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877059)

After RTFA, the answer to your question looks like "no" you can't turn it off (as long as the car's on). I'm speaking of the black boxes. As for On-star: they claim that 1) you have to subscribe to their service before any monitoring CAN occur. But, if you subscribe, they always monitor that black box. More important though, is the answer to the question: "who owns this black box data?" This is still up in the air.

Re:As long as they come with an off switch. (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877115)

After I've disconnected the antenna, and put a lockbox around the I/O connector, I do. Anyone else can ask permission or show a court order to search the data.

Re:As long as they come with an off switch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877127)

On-star's functionality can be turned off, but the GPS device embedded in it can't. It has to be removed to be disabled.

Re:As long as they come with an off switch. (1)

ssand (702570) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877183)

I think an off switch would defeat the purpose. Poor drivers who acknowledge that they are poor drivers, will turn it off, while drivers who know they obey the traffic laws will more likely keep them on.

Re:As long as they come with an off switch. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877232)

Yeah, just like people who use envelopes to send mail must be up to something criminal.

Good citizens only send mail on postcards.

There are no rights violated here! (2)

dada21 (163177) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876986)

You knowingly are purchasing the vehicle as-is. If you are unsure of what they are putting in there, then don't buy it. No violation was performed.

If government forces these items on us, then we should fight that monopoly force called government. If a private manufacturer wants to push us on it, we can tell them to shove it and not buy their product.

Re:There are no rights violated here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877038)

That's why I drive an old Ford. There is no black box to come haunt me.

Ok, there are spies. Now what? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10876987)

Sorry to AC, but submitted for your consideration:

1) Who owns the info? You're in a crash*, can you seize the info form the other guy's car to prove your innocence?
1a) How? Go to the junkyard and rip out his computer?
1b) Should we all carry OBD2 down-loading recorders? Scene of the crash, you barge into the other car, plug in and download while the tow-truck is still attaching to drag it away?

2) If you're in a crash*, how do you protect your rights of posession to the data? (You must agree that at the very least, posession of the car implies posession of any/all devices therein, so any data stored within those devices MAY have vague posession-rules, but holding the black box in your hands at least allows you control of that data...)

3) How do I safely rig something to destroy or scramble my car's computer? As a last-ditch effort to protect my privacy, shouldn't I have a "Destroy" button somewhere? I'm thinking thermite, but maybe a strong capacitor might be better, both carry risks, but not as much as the data falling in the wrong hands BEFORE my lawyers have a chance to see it...) No news is better than bad news?

*They're all "crashes" /.ers, there's no such thing as an accident. Someone's always going too fast.

They're out to get you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10876991)

Let's see. We have no problems with black boxes on planes, and yet we're worried about black boxes in cars. Are airline pilots as paranoid as road drivers?

National Motorists Association (4, Informative)

Leebert (1694) | more than 9 years ago | (#10876993)

This article quotes Erick Skrum of the National Motorists Association. It's a great political organization that fights multiple battles of interest to motorists, including black boxes.

Consider joining the NMA: http://www.motorists.org/ [motorists.org]

Insurance (5, Insightful)

Sgs-Cruz (526085) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877029)

What worries me the most is the small savings you get on your insurance for installing a tracker unit that gives the insurance company the right to track you (your speed, time of day, location, etc.). At first it'll be a small savings, then, most people won't care, and everyone will have one, and then it'll basically be a large fine if you don't have one. I guess I'd better continue with my plan of biking everywhere; it's better for me anyway :)

Re:Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877152)

What amuses me the most is that they'd trust the data from any system that I had my hands on for any length of time.

Electric mother-in-law... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877040)

All they need to do is add a speech synthesizer and a place to deposit 1/2 your income, and its like marriage in a box (and yes, I do realise this box has nothing to do with sex, which makes the simulation even more accurate).

No paranoia here! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877043)

I don't have to worry about Orwell's "1984" because I drive a car from 1984!

Kill the Electronic Cops in your car... (1)

ReeprFlame (745959) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877046)

This device has been on cars for the past year or so. It only tracks speeds [from what I am told] and is for when you crash. I just hope I don't get speeding tickets in the mail for going 100 down the Interstate!

Drivecam (5, Interesting)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877047)

Oh, well, I suppose anything is better than what happened to this guy. [topspeed.co.il]

It's a Drivecam video - it records the last 30 seconds or so of driver video and only saves it if an accident occurs. The guy was probably kicking himself for installing it. It probably killed whatever insurance claim he had.

Re:Drivecam (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877110)

Im guessing it also has a front-view camera, otherwise that would just be stupid.. so anyone have the front video? - Did he actually make it out alive?

Re:Drivecam (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877149)

He looks like he probably only got some minor cuts from the shattered glass. The rear window area got crushed so the glass probably shattered before his head went though. You can actually hear the guy utter, "shit!" at the end. He knows exactly what happened :)

Re:Drivecam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877197)

> "Tony Hawk is a Vulcan liar!" -Don Vito, Viva La Bam It's not Vulcan! you idiot

Re:Drivecam (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877260)

Thats his head that went through the rear passenger side window. I can't imagine that being a simple and painless task, breaking a window like that.

But props for the guy for not putting both hands on the wheel when he realized he was in trouble. It takes a special brand of redneck to accomplish that. Even more bonus points for what appears to be a Dale Earnhart shirt.

From TFA (2, Interesting)

ryanjensen (741218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877063)

Or take the driver who races his Miata one weekend and files a warranty claim the next. What are the chances that his data recorder will rat him out to the manufacturer who then voids the warranty?

So, he knowingly voided his warranty by racing his Miata. He then tries to defraud the manufacturer by filing a false warranty claim (he no longer has a warranty) and HE is the victim? Give me a fucking break.

For those of use who do not intentionally void our warranty, "black box" recording devices should be seen as a positive: overall, the manufacturer will save on fraudulent warrantee repairs, and warrantee coverage can improve.

Re:From TFA (2, Informative)

loraksus (171574) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877103)

Haven't seen the purchase agreement for all cars, but generally they don't say that racing will void your warranty.
And accelerating to the maximum speed, especially on cars with a rpm or speed limiter isn't abuse.

Now all the geeks think (2, Funny)

fine09 (630812) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877066)

How can I hack it? I would love to be able to see what type of data is available in that box.

Someone please tell me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877075)

What happened to Suprnova.org [suprnova.org] ???

Don't mod this down, or the MPAA will win.

Re:Someone please tell me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877190)

> Don't mod this down, or the MPAA will win.

I think it's to late in this case

Re:Someone please tell me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877262)

Don't know but try youceff or torrentbits.

rat yourself out (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877085)

Amendment V [findlaw.com] :
[...] nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself [...]

But we're already compelled to give DNA, urine and tissue sample evidence, so paying for, maintaining and powering devices we own just to spy on us seems inevitable. That crazy old Constitution, with its quaint notions of human rights.

Re:rat yourself out (1)

MmmDee (800731) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877268)

But we're already compelled to give DNA, urine and tissue sample evidence...

According to the definitive source, CSI, you can be "compelled", but not forced (though I suppose the semantics of the word could be open to interpretation--Webster says, "to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly"). Often it's in the interest of the innocent to exclude themselves as a suspect by quickly volunteering specimens. Sort of flies in the face of "innocent until proven guilty", but we're talking about the real world and being expeditious. Oh, IANAL.

Already seen an ad similar... (1)

tchernobog (752560) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877087)

Ehi, wait, that's just like in Robocop!
Zzzzaaap!

Look, this isn't a problem... (0, Flamebait)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877095)

For us at least:

If you're reading slashdot you're probably technically-minded. You can build things. Rather than mucking about with trying to hack the black box, I present- THE KIT CAR.

Not only do you get to customize every single detain of one of these vehicles to your own tastes, and not only do the often cost considerably less than a car off the lot but consider the following:

1. You know exactly what your car's electrical system is doing and how it works. If you only want 3 circuits (and plan to use hand signals to turn) you can have only 3 circuits.

2. You can avoid emissions and horsepower limitations (these are imposed at the federal level on manufacturers - build for yourself and you're not regulatable.)

3. You can be selective about the equipment. Not a fan of seatbelts? Don't install them. Don't like the idea of an airbag in the face making you loose control of your car after the first bump in a possible 10 car pile-up? Don't install it. (Drive at your own risk.)

4. It need not look like a jelly bean.

The list goes on, but you get the idea. Just like your software, if you don't want someone sneaking features in - build it yourself.

Lets get all excited (2, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877109)

Now that someone may be able to verify if we were all obeying the rules we were supposed to while driving. How come no one complained when the speed limits were put in place? How come no one rejects car rental policies when they read them, opting for the bus instead of their draconian conditions?

How dare they monitor the speeds we drive, or where we go, in fact how dare they do it now with police and speed cams. This is a total outrage. I am so outraged I cant even be arsed to write the rest of this post because I must devote all my brain power to the massive invasion of my privacy thats happening at every level in Slashworld.

Re:Lets get all excited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877282)

So you'll have no problem with wearing a GPS-equipped anklet at all times so that someone may be able to verify that you were obeying the rules all the time, not just while driving, right?

CLUSTERS IN MY ANUS (0, Troll)

beowulf_fag (833012) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877116)

Imagine a beowulf clusters of these things.

Just erase it. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877120)

Just erase it. Take that ol Porsche, and put it up on blocks in the garage. Run it backwards. This will not only move the odometer backwards, it should erase the events on the black box recorder that happened during these miles. Sounds like an original idea, right?

Your Rights Online? (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877140)

If you are online while driving down the highway, you have bigger issues than the car rental agency seeing how fast you were driving.

I know its been suggested before, but would it be so difficult to change the title of this section?

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877225)

I know its been suggested before, but would it be so difficult to change the title of this section?
How about just preventing michael from posting stories to the section?

Disabling? (2, Interesting)

Rii (777315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877162)

"You can't shut it off, and you can't manipulate it," says General Motors safety engineering spokesman Jim Schell.

What would happen if I took a nice, powerful magnet and stuck it to the side of their box?

privacy issues? big woop (1)

ntxb229 (542609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877171)

Why the big fuss about privacy issues with this? It's not as if IM is a secure medium to start with. So what if someone reads the conversation I had with my buddy about how drunk I was last night. It's not like they setup a proxy between my web browser and my online bank page. I just don't get it.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm trolling but I just don't get why people make a fuss about privacy issues on something that really wasn't private to begin with.

woops! (1)

ntxb229 (542609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877187)

I posted that under the wrong article. Sorry about that.

A rather important point.. (1)

iantri (687643) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877188)

These data recorders keep data for a period of a few seconds, and it is written over again from the beginning.

So, what is the problem here?

The only thing I can see is that if you are responsible for an accident, this will prove it.

Big Brother can't go seeing where you've been to..

See what you Stupid Bush Voters have done? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877205)

Of course Kerry-who actually won the election-would have fully restored all our civil liberties ,punished Micosoft and made Napster free again.BUT NO! You moronic Christian Taliban have to vote for BUSH! And now the CorpRepublican Fascists are going to spy on us in our enviormentally responsible Priuses as we listen to NPR Air America and the Gay station on Sirius.
You Go Michael!
I am appalled at the stupidity of this country and might move to Canada or Cuba where people are free.
Mod me up to 5 insightful.

Seat belts usage? Re: cars.com story (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877210)

For one, how do they know if you're using your seat belt or not? Or maybe they were joking.

Second, in some state(s) it's illegal not to wear your seat belt, and they can pull you over for that without any other reason. Extreme: Annual checks of black box device to ensure you are wearing your seat belt.

Let me get this straight (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877213)

*If* you crash, this thing will tell the insurance company, police, etc how fast you were going and give them a profile of your driving (hard acceleration/braking, sharp manoeuvres, etc), right?

So, don't speed, drave safely, and you have nothing to worry about then, right? It *can't* track you and report on where you are/where you're going, it can only record how you've been driving. If that really is a problem, then you shouldn't be driving like that anyway.

Just don't ever do anything wrong (3, Insightful)

g0hare (565322) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877226)

As long as you never ever do anything wrong, and never make a mistake, you'll be fine. If you're not guilty why do you care if everyone is watching you?

Re:Just don't ever do anything wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877249)

If you're not guilty why do you care if everyone is watching you?

Ask Rush Limbaugh. He maintains he didn't do anything wrong, but he still wants the medical records that might prove that kept sealed.

Ask Bill O'Reilly. He maintains he didn't do anything wrong but apparently paid a hefty sum to a woman who apparently had audio tapes of him-- we'll never know because their agreement is confidential.

Lots of "innocent" people have things to hide, it seems.

Just rip them out (2, Interesting)

Ajmuller (88594) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877247)

Why not just rip the black boxes out? has anyone ever tried this, I would go out in my garage right now and rip the damn thing out but I only have old cars that almost certianly don't have boxes.
Would removing the black box cause the car to stop functioning? I mean, we could just replace the box moments before returning it to the service facility. In fact, don't even remove the box, just pull the cables assuming they are not hard-wired. if they are snip a wire or two and make it look like it was damaged.

My VW (3, Insightful)

Magickcat (768797) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877252)

I have a 2003 Volkswagen Golf, and have read that the data recording box in it records the number of time the ABS is engaged, fuel emisions, average speed and trip distance, number of times the seat belt isn't worn by the driver - pretty much everything.

What I hate about it is that the car demands it's service with a flashing light and tone, only a Volkswagen mechanic can turn the alert off. The dataport is hidden behind a removal panel below the radio, and there's no way in hell that my independant mechanic can get the thing to stop beeping at me because I didn't volunteer to be overcharged by a VW mechanic.

Personally, I think that all the information on black boxes should be accessible to the driver, and additionally, that there should be a standard interface port and protocol so that all mechanics can access the black box. I also think that the exact information being collated should be revealed before you purchase the car.

I'm happy if police can access the information in the case of a serious crash, but I don't want the information being provided to manufacturers without knowing exactly what my car is telling them. I don't have anything to hide about my driving habits etc and I am a safe driver and don't speed, but I resent not being able to choose my own independant mechanic without a great deal of inconvinience, and I don't like not knowing exactly what my car is recording.

black boxes are creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10877263)

The idea of a black box in my car just creeps my out. Before I buy my next car I'll ask and make sure it doesn't have a black box in it. In fact, I would pay a premium for a black box free car.

A good checklist of cars fitted with blackboxes (1)

dazza101 (828114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10877265)

If you want to know which cars are currently fitted with "black boxes" there's a reasonably comprehensive looking list on the Harris Technical Services website: http://www.harristechnical.com/cdr.htm [harristechnical.com] . Of course the real question is who is working on a hack to enable us to turn these babies off?
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