why would any automobile manufacturer in their right minds allow the customer to flash their own firmware?
Because that has nothing to do with their liability. As long as they make the lamest attempt to prevent modifications, their PR department and legal team will both simply say "the customer had made unauthorized modifications to the car". The most common reason to lock stuff down is to create a captive market that they can sell to. Tens of thousands of people are driving with tweaked computers in their cars, yet all of the "car software bugs" you see on the news are on unmodified vehicles.
My first 2014 Mazda 3 was so buggy that they gave me a new one. Some of the bugs had safety implications - it caused me to be unable to see the speedometer and gave me false GO TO THE DEALER NOW, YOUR CAR IS HORRIBLY BROKEN messages.
Unfortunately, most of the stuff mention in the OP aren't controlled by the ECU. Windows, lights, starter, really anything other than the engine aren't controlled by the ECU. The climate system is wired to it, but only so that the ECU can adjust the radiator fans to handle A/C load.
BTW, I'm certain of this because I just used the ECU/engine from a WRX to build a custom car.
The calculations are simple when you assume the cloud will fail and your infrastructure will not. A real tradeoff calculation has to include estimates of the reliability of both scenarios. The answer to "Is it really a good trade off?" will be entirely based on estimates and opinions. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that the math does not spit out "no-brainer".
Some cloud providers will even give you SLAs with real money behind them. So, they could conceivably come up with a no-brainer deal where the cloud provider guarantees your $80,000 every day, whether it's from having your business up and running or writing you a check.
I worked at a call center with an analog PBX and a whopping staff of fifty, with four T1's for connectivity. One day I was testing some telephony integration of the software I maintained and had the system call my cell phone. The caller ID came up with the four-digit extension of the caller. It turned out that we could set anything as the caller id number.
Being ugly isn't a protected class. If it were, then the modeling industry would collapse. Feel free to discriminate on the basis of beauty.
If you want to only hire whites, why? There is no justification for it that doesn't trace back to blatant racism. Same with hiring only blacks. You already live in a country where you can't "do whatever you want". From the obvious big stuff like you can't kill people, to smaller but pretty universal things like you can't take other people's stuff (under most circumstances). Then you get down to more touchy subjects like you can't kick out a tenant that doesn't pay without a certain period of notice. All the way to things that many people disagree with, like you can't legally quote a poem in an email without attribution and royalties
A lot of people agree with what you said in the above post, but most don't. To paraphrase your point - our country, our choice, if you don't like the laws that are on the books, feel free to lobby against them or leave. But don't feel that you are automatically right because you own the company. That attitude is likely to get you into a lot of trouble (environmental laws, employment laws, sexual harassment, etc.).
But thanks to Affirmative Action, I must now toss, say, 50 of those resumes because we have too many of the particular gender/race combos from those resumes
Doing this is illegal. It's not what Affirmative Action means, it's how other racists want it implemented. I have no idea why people still think this way since it was over thirty years ago when the courts clearly stated that a racial quota is illegal.
What if there is no damage coming?
Then the answer to the question "The real question has always been how much do we spend in order to prevent the damage that is coming" is "nothing". That doesn't make the statement false. It's wasted effort to determine of it was man made in either case.