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Comment Re:Are these sponsored stories? (Score 1) 143

I'd like to know what fantasy universe we're role playing if you think that people don't still grow up with drunk driving.

My advice is to go for a 5 mile walk along streets with traffic between the hours midnight and 2am on a Friday night/Saturday morning. I'd say to bicycle it, but I'm not trying to get you killed, just scare some sense into you.

Comment Re:Great. Another internet-to-CANbus bridge (Score 1) 143

Asserting I don't know things is an argument you lost as soon as you made it. You don't know what I do or don't know.

Presume I do know about proprietary codes. Could my statements still be true? Yes. Indeed. As a programmer who has works with these codes, I know it is complete hogwash to just wave your hands like that. Could a malicious person screw up your car through the OBD port? Yes. Can they screw with the safety systems? No. I'm sure there are ways they could cause you lots of problems, but your brakes and airbags will still be working.

You don't seem to realize that the brake and airbag computers are physically separate devices. It doesn't help your position to just presume that the proprietary codes can alter those systems. If you were more familiar with the technology, you'd understand that all the active diagnostics are in the Engine Control Module and Powertrain Control Module, which are probably the same physical device, and that device can't actuate the brake or airbag systems; all that plugs into it is the sensors to tell it when the ABS or traction control engages, and a flag that says the airbag state.

And no, traction control does NOT involve powering the wheels. If you're in gear, the engine has to change speed for a different amount of power to get delivered to the wheels. There is nothing in the wheel that has any sort of gearing that would allow for the traction computer to change the wheel power delivery separately from the engine, and the engine responds much more slowly than the traction system. And the traction computer is still running with the ECM unplugged. I could go to the top of a hill, unplug the ECM, and as long as the battery is connected I could roll down the hill and slam on the brakes, and the ABS would work perfectly. The same computer does the parking anti-roll.

The idea that the ECM could actually turn off the brake power is funny. For bonus points, find a repair manual for your vehicle, discover where in the engine the power brake boost is sourced, and then ask yourself if it makes sense that it could be disabled while the vehicle is in gear and moving. I'll give you a hint:
It uses engine vacuum. Power brakes have mechanical assist. If the engine is in gear and the vehicle is moving, there will be power brakes, even with the battery disconnected. If you have an electronic brake-assist computer, you can lose that if the battery is disconnected, but the ECM can't disconnect the battery. But even if it could take that extreme step, you'd still have power brakes anytime you're in gear and moving.

I did not say anything about firewalls, so I'll assume the whole passage accusing me of believing in magic ones was just a fantasy interlude, except to reiterate that the brakes and airbags are NOT controlled by the ECM computer that is the one that shuts down a couple minutes after you turn off the car.

get a clue.

The one thing we agree on.

You claim a bunch of specific facts that if true, would support your arguments. However, they're false. All the ECM gets from the brakes and airbags are sensor readings. There are no actuators connected between the safety systems and the engine computer.

I do apologize for the typo where I wrote ODB instead of OBD.

Comment Re:Give me a raise (Score 1) 300

I dunno why you want to beat it into the ground that you have poor taste and dislike books popular with nerds. You haven't been able to articulate any sort of reason to even be communicating an opinion. You give a conclusion, but don't support it at all. Just pure negative assertion, with no attempt to add value. You really are just trying to be "hip" by hating literature! ROFLCOPTER

And I really, really doubt you read all of Rand's works. People who dislike an author, who are not professional editors, only read a small number of books by that author. Whining about the supposed low quality of an author's entire body of work would require reading not only good books, but books you think are awful. You'd be reading an incredible amount of crap. And there are so many more books than there is time that a reader could read them! I don't think you really considered what it says about your taste that you claim to be expert in the entire bodies of work of multiple authors who have no worthy books at all.

You must be the biggest Rand fan in the world if you actually sat through all of those. We The Living was a masterpiece, which is probably why nobody talks about it; it doesn't fit into American political conflicts. But she wrote some real stinkers too. There is no way that a non-fan read it all.

Now to throw down the gauntlet: name two authors that you do read, and the best example from each of their bodies of work. Show us what a more distinguished reader, who rejects pap like Kim Stanley Robinson, turns to.

Comment Re:"Hack" the ODB II feed (Score 1) 143

It would be very difficult to do without detection. A common thing with these sorts of readings is to display them on a graph. If there are flat tops it isn't going to be believable. Another thing is that expected fuel economy is often calculated based on the engine data; if you're reporting low RPMs for the same distance traveled then it will be claiming you get some really high fuel economy that the vehicle isn't capable of. And if the GPS and car are reporting vastly different max speeds, the low RPMs is just another clue as to what you did to trick it. I haven't used this device, but on my OBD dashboard app it shows both speeds.

It might work in some cases of exceptionally stupid parents, but I think in most cases it would be detected after awhile. Spoofing the GPS inside the dongle is a harder task, of course.

And the lack of DRM has nothing to do with operating systems; they certainly run an OS on the ECM. It has to do with the access method requiring physical access.

Comment Re:Great. Another internet-to-CANbus bridge (Score 1) 143

The OBD-II port allows access to the life-safety systems of the car. It is a private unsecured network that performs no authentication.

These dongles allow arbitrary access to the car bus, limited only by their buggy software. They shouldn't even be manufactured.

You are wrong. On the internet. Shame, shame.

Arbitrary access to the car bus is provided by the port that you plug this device into. The device listens to that bus and takes actions outside of the car network. Arbitrary access to the car network existed already.

Also, the only part of the "life-safety" system you can access is the airbag status. The "life" and "safety" things in the car computers are the airbags and brakes. Those both have their own isolated subsystems. You cannot mess up the "life-safety" systems in the car through the ODB-II port, you can only read the status. The things you could change, if a device changed operating mode to the diagnostic mode, are just things that would make your car run like crap, or shut off. Yeah, if you plug this thing into your car, and the software gets cracked, trolls could disable your vehicle. Why should manufacturing stop? If your doorknob was built with a lock that some people could pick, bad people could steal from you. Does that mean that locks shouldn't be manufactured? No, it means you have to choose what product to use, and some people will make poor choices.

My car is old, a 2000, but even with the car off and the main computer without power, the traction computer is still on and functioning. The anti-lock brakes are on the same computer as the anti-roll parking mode, and the traction assist for ice and snow. I could totally fry the main computer that connects to the ODB-II port, and I'd still have traction control. And if the vehicle is in gear and moving, I'd still have power assist to the brakes even if the engine had stopped firing because of a computer problem.

Comment Re: Love it! (Score 1) 143

Yeah, kids would also need to learn to program a software defined radio, and spend their allowance on the electronics to build the defeat device. If he's really that motivated to get off the grid, and able to take multiple difficult planned steps over time to achieve it, maybe she's a good influence after all, and just let her stay over late on the weekend?

Comment Re:Are these sponsored stories? (Score 1) 143

If the insurance company wants the data, they would just mail them out honestly, offer a discount for people who use it, then raise rates across the board by the same amount as the discount. The vast majority of customers will be using it, and the average is all they care about.

This product is about selling a false sense of control to parents, which is exactly what it is supposed to be. No conspiracy needed.

Comment Re:Good for them (Score 1) 181

Summary is that re-offend rates were 32% for non participants & 23% for participants.

This is an uncontrolled study, so it is not very meaningful. The participants were self-selecting, and likely those already more motivated to straighten themselves out. You cannot confidently say that the program did any good at all.

The same can be said of the NY program; the participants are self-selecting. Maybe that is just what those least-likely to re-offend want to do with their time inside, if given the chance. I don't believe that, I think there is real value in the program, but I don't think you're going to be able to do a study where the volunteers all get sent to prison in order to make sure that you have the right demographic mix for the study. This is a type of human situation that just isn't going to have high quality research results. The best you can do is to do something you think will help, keep good records, and decide afterwards if it helped or not. Hopefully the records are good enough to use numbers in the analysis, though if there are any contested points about the research then the related numbers will just be garbage; there won't be the opportunity to fix it, because of the problems with the study group.

Comment Re:Good for them (Score 1) 181

I work for a tech company. I don't think anyone has ever been asked if they had a criminal record during job interview in the 100+ people hired over the years.

Asked? Heavens no. The background check takes care of that. They only ever ask you to fill out the "have you had any felonies" form if they know you did and want to catch you lying.

It is common to give everybody the form, so that if something comes up later that didn't make the initial background check you can measure them for honesty whenever new information shows up, without any additional notice or disclosure required.

Comment Re: Good for them (Score 1, Interesting) 181

In my experience, if somebody has something on their record then the goal is to evaluate their accuracy of disclosure, sense of responsibility, and relevance to the job.

If somebody was convicted of a crime and they're still making excuses, then I don't care if the crime related to the work or not; they're probably not going to have a good work ethic. I don't care what their other job skills are if they don't have that.

If they can do the whole song and dance deferentially, then it can move forward to "does the crime relate to the job?" If not, then they can move forwards and join the normal first round interviews. I'd say less than 5% can describe what they were convicted of without minimizing, misleading, justifying, etc. I can usually listen to them for 5 minutes, and before even looking at the background check I already know it is going to say something much worse than what the applicant implied. And if it was a theft crime, they're deeply into negative trust territory at that point. I mean, check the bathroom for TP after they leave. Make sure the emergency exit door alarm isn't turned off, too.

Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you actually have a shot at it.