Too Much Automotive Bullshit

I’ve ranted on and on about how I hate the intrusion of technology into the simple act of driving, but my ire is approaching volcanic levels.  Try this little snippet (via Insty, thankee, Squire):

While it’s often easier to sync your phone to a vehicle, it doesn’t allow the company you purchased the vehicle from to maximize its data harvesting capabilities. It also lets you circumvent their operating system to a large degree and any apps that might be tied to commerce, which is why automakers are now trying to sweeten the pot. The ultimate goal is to basically convert your vehicle into something that can sweep up just as much information about you as your smartphone — if not more.

“If you’re using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, then you’re kind of limited [for use of applications]”, Alexander Schoenhals, a Mercedes-Benz engineer working on third-party apps, explained.

Do they even realize how sinister this all sounds?  Every time I read shit like this from MB, BMW or VW, I want the 8th Army Air Force group to be re-constituted just to fly over and bomb their fucking factories into rubble (and repeat with Detroit on the return leg), simply to weed this bullshit out and force the aforementioned data harvesters to start from scratch all over again.

I’m unlikely to buy a new car anytime soon, if at all — more likely, I’ll be driving New Wife’s Fiat 500 forever, once my non-technological Tiguan has breathed its last drop of 89 octane unleaded.

But mark my words;  I will never drive some information vampire like the modern breed.

I’d rather find a way to get my hands on something from the pre-technology era (1970s) like a VW Thing, a Jeep CJ5 or others of that ilk (other suggestions in Comments), and deal with their discomfort and unreliability.

As for modern car manufacturers:  fuck ’em, and the motherboard they’re surfing in on.  I want no part of their shit.

Remote Silliness

It’s a well-known fact that if a criminal scrote wants to get into your car, he will.  But why make it easier for him?

Got a car with keyless technology? It’s twice as likely to be stolen: Insurer reveals changing face of motor theft as brazen criminals shift tactics.

This is one modern geegaw I’ve never understood the need for, let alone wanted in my car.  What is so difficult about inserting a key into the ignition and turning it, that you have to make it “wireless”?

Of course, there’s this:

  • Price of electronic starter fob when added to your car’s selling price:  > $300
  • Price of metal key:  ~$1.

Fuck ’em.  If I ever get a new car (highly unlikely), the first thing I’ll have done is get the fob disabled.  And if it can’t be disabled and is the only way to start the car, I’ll get another car with a fucking metal key.

This has nothing to do with a resistance to change;  it’s resistance to pointless, expensive and unnecessary change.

Next:  electronic handbrakes.


I read this guy’s story with something akin to dread:

And that’s when I realized that little by little, my phone had gotten the best of me.

I’ve often prided myself on one of the few people not shackled to my phone, but after reading this guy’s story, I chided myself for my arrogance.

As much as I hate to admit it, my phone is now an integral part of my existence, as much as my glasses or my car.

We’ve been one-carring it since the beginning of the week — first, my car had to (finally) get completely fixed after my collision with the highway crocodile a few weeks ago, which meant that while New Wife was driving to and from work, I sat at home, isolated.  Then I had to get some errands done (Rx refills etc.) so I had to drive her to and from work for a day.  Then, just as we were going to pick up the Tiguan, I got this call:  “My check engine light just came on.”

So we picked up my car and dropped hers off, to get the oil changed as well as getting whatever the warning light entailed seen to.  All manageable (except the total repair cost for the two cars — I’m going to have to sell a gun or two, and I’m not kidding), but having one car was an inconvenience, really.

However:  had my phone disappeared on me during this time, that would have been simply catastrophic.  Calls to the auto repair shop, calls to New Wife to organize pickup times… the list of critical calls was far longer than I was comfortable with.  And don’t even ask me how I’d have got through to anyone without my phone’s contact list.

Like many people nowadays, we don’t have a landline phone in the apartment.  But I’m starting to rethink that — or else I’m going to get a no-contract burner phone for emergencies.

This modern life is bullshit, and it sucks green donkey dicks.

There They Go Again

Apple was never shy to overprice their under-performing computers, but this has to take the cake:

‘Apple Computer A’, the prototype for the tech giant’s first ever computer, is up for sale – and could sell for more than half a million dollars at auction.  Considered ‘lost’ until recently, the prototype was hand-soldered by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976, the year the company was established.  The ‘rare’ and ‘historic’ item is essentially a circuit board covered in chips and wires, embossed with the words ‘Apple Computer A ©76’.

Steve Jobs would be proud.

Moi? Never!

From MicroSquish’s Terms of Agreement / Code of Conduct:

a. By agreeing to these Terms, you’re agreeing that, when using the Services, you will follow these rules:

i. Don’t do anything illegal. [check]
ii. Don’t engage in any activity that exploits, harms, or threatens to harm children.  [check]
iii. Don’t send spam or engage in phishing. Spam is unwanted or unsolicited bulk email, postings, contact requests, SMS (text messages), instant messages, or similar electronic communications. Phishing is sending emails or other electronic communications to fraudulently or unlawfully induce recipients to reveal personal or sensitive information, such as passwords, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, passport numbers, credit card information, financial information, or other sensitive information, or to gain access to accounts or records, exfiltration of documents or other sensitive information, payment and/or financial benefit.  [check]
iv. Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity).  [ummmm…]
v. Don’t engage in activity that is fraudulent, false or misleading (e.g., asking for money under false pretenses, impersonating someone else, manipulating the Services to increase play count, or affect rankings, ratings, or comments).  [check]
vi. Don’t circumvent any restrictions on access to or availability of the Services.  (I dunno what that means, so probably [check].)
vii. Don’t engage in activity that is harmful to you, the Services or others (e.g., transmitting viruses, stalking, posting terrorist or violent extremist content, communicating hate speech, or advocating violence against others).  [oops]
viii. Don’t infringe upon the rights of others (e.g., unauthorized sharing of copyrighted music or other copyrighted material, resale or other distribution of Bing maps, or photographs).  [check]
ix. Don’t engage in activity that violates the privacy of others.  [check]
x. Don’t help others break these rules.  [oh fuck off.  I can’t help what other people do.]

I’m not sure about the “pornography” one — to the best of my recollection, I’ve never posted any porn.

Unless it’s “art”, of course.

As for the “graphic violence” and “criminal activity”, I’ve never done that either, although I’ve certainly highlighted it (e.g. Dept. of Righteous Shootings).

However, when it comes to “advocating violence against others”, I gotta fess up.

Oh well.  Nobody’s perfect.

‘Twas Ever Thus

Via Ace:

  • A non-Apple hardware site reviews Apple’s Mac Studio. (Hot Hardware)They do like it, but if you go to page two you can see a PC configured at the same $2000 price point simply wipes the floor with the Mac. Yes, the Mac Studio is small and elegant and quiet and sips power, but it’s fast only in two specific cases: When compared with out-of-date Apple hardware, and when tested on Apple proprietary video codecs.

Yeah, Apple has always tilted the playing field when it comes to processing speed and overall performance.

I’ll never forget being the only PC user in a Mac-obsessed company (I should have known about that before I joined, because it was an IT company).  Time after time I’d send a data report to someone, only to be told that their little Mac toy had choked on all the data — and this was when I was using a PC 386 with a 450MB hard drive, FFS.

Right now, of course, I could probably get away with using a Mac, seeing as most of what I do is this blog and searching for guns, smut and cars on Teh Intarwebz, but I’m too old and impatient to change.  (And for those who think I hate Apple unreasonably, allow me to point out that my very first personal computer was an Apple IIe — then the top of the line — and it couldn’t handle even one of my small spreadsheets — in VisiCalc — without choking.  As soon as I could, I swapped it for an IBM PC — yes, pre-AT even — and it handled the same spreadsheet without blinking.  I never went back.)

That disparity in performance has never changed.