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Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 339

You don't need lossless audio in a car; there's no way you can actually hear the difference, because the listening environment in a car (any car) is lousy: even parked in your garage the interior is too complex. On the road, road noise (even in a high-end luxury car) will overwhelm any tiny difference you might be able to hear. And I seriously doubt you can actually tell the difference between lossless and a high bitrate Ogg in a blind test.

As for real handbrakes, my new Mazda3 has one. Of course, it's a sport compact, not a luxury car, so it aims at a different market. But it manages to have loads of tech features while still having a real handbrake.

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 339

Singapore is not comparable, it's only a city. You'd need to compare it to, say, NYC, which itself has excellent public transit.

Australia does not have good public transit. Try taking public transit between any two cities there. Within cities, sure, but we have that here in the US too: NYC, Chicago, DC, Boston, etc. all have generally good public transit, usually with subways. Getting between cities is another matter. In Europe, they have excellent rail all through the continent. In the US, we have mediocre rail in the northeast corridor and that's about it (there's very expensive and very slow rail between select other destinations).

I've never heard of China being all that great for nationwide infrastructure either. They're trying though, with some efforts at bullet trains, but currently it's just one or two select routes.

Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 339

It depends on the "gee-whiz" toy(s). Some of them are more useful than others, and more valuable to me than others. One "toy" might not be worth getting a new car or paying a pile of cash for it to be added as a factory option, but a whole slew of them all put together in one nicely-bundled package might.

I forgot the other big reason to favor new cars these days: fuel economy. Compared to cars made 10 years ago, today's newest models have fantastic fuel economy (relatively speaking of course), especially considering how much they weigh (because of safety features and crashworthy construction) and how much power they produce. A new car probably gets 20-30% better fuel economy than a similar model from 10 years ago. The biggest advance is probably GDI (gasoline direct injection), but a bunch of other improvements have helped too: electric power steering, aerodynamic improvements, much better automatic transmissions, etc.

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 339

I can't imagine sports scores being useful either. What a waste of time.

The ski report thing sounds just plain ridiculous. I like skiing, but I don't plan a ski vacation from my car; I'm going to research that stuff from home.

Movie listings could be useful (maybe you're in town and you and your date get the urge to see a movie), but the problem there is that you can just look that stuff up on your phone using Flixster or some similar app, for free. And of course, the same goes for sports scores and ski reports.

Comment Re:Sure it's expensive (Score 1) 157

Have you never been around a cat? Cats don't ever leave their poop out in the open, unless they're senile. It's instinctive for them to bury it. It pisses off some people with gardens (they'll bury their poop in the garden because the soil is loose), but you never have to worry about stepping on cat turds on sidewalks or in the lawn.

Comment Re:Car makers LOVE dashboards that go obsolete fas (Score 1) 339

What do you suppose the resale value of a car is that is 3 years old, has less than 40,000 miles on it, but can't run the latest dashboard operating systems or applications?

Very, very high. Have you not looked recently at the values of used cars? They're holding their value better than ever; there's lots of cars for sale with 100k miles on them at pretty significant prices, and they look like they've been barely driven. The crappy economy is partially driving this too; people are economizing, so that's pushing the cost of used stuff up.

Comment Re: It's not for them (Score 1) 339

You're a moron if you really think you can see through a metal trunk to see your neighbor's kid (or perhaps an animal) behind you. Thousands of kids get run over every year; that's why rear-view cameras are mandatory on all new cars starting in 2018.

You sound just like the stupid old codgers who thought that turn signals weren't necessary.

Comment Re:What I want (Score 1) 339

Hey, I'm sure there is a great reason why the HVAC controls need to be integrated into the radio and have components of the system put in like tetris blocks all under the dash. I'm guessing it has to do with the $2000 technology package that adds the value of a $200 double din radio.

My new car's technology package cost more like $3k, but the HVAC controls are all self-contained, and are not part of the infotainment system at all. The $3k was for stuff like radar cruise control; the infotainment system is standard.

Comment Re:Cars like pc's/phones/tablets (Score 1) 339

Makes me glad I got a Mazda instead of a Ford. The infotainment system actually works decently well (and a new firmware update is supposed to fix the problems it does have). There's no "FM1" "FM2" etc., just "FM" with as many "favorites" as you want to save in there, and you can certainly scroll both ways through the sources. It is a bit annoying that the USB drive is near the bottom, but it's actually pretty easy to log in as root on the system and modify this.

Comment Re:Backup camera (Score 1) 339

The problem with an aftermarket camera is the display: you need something to view the backup camera with. An aftermarket display is probably cheap, but now you have some aftermarket display suction-cupped to your windshield, or hanging from your mirror, with cords dangling. A factory system is built in, doesn't make your car look like an electronics lab, and comes on automatically when you go into reverse and doesn't require taking apart your dashboard to try to make it look decent.

I'm sure that there are car stereo installers who do this

At today's skilled labor rates, that isn't going to be cheap, unless it's a really shitty job. Carmakers have a huge advantage in this stuff because they can install it almost for free while the car is under construction, instead of someone having to take hours and pore through wiring diagrams just to install a single item, when installing it at the factory takes a few seconds.

Comment Re:A HUD is usefull... (Score 1) 339

It seems unlikely to me. As much as people pay for cars, they don't want to see advertisements. They put up with ads from other things usually because they're free.

Of course, this doesn't explain cable TV, but even that's dying; there's a new tech news story every month about "cord cutters".

Finally, the government probably would never allow it.

"Just think, with VLSI we can have 100 ENIACS on a chip!" -- Alan Perlis