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Comment Re:Running Very Lean Re:Same old snake oil (Score 1) 379

Agreed, and the other issue of running super lean is increased NOX emissions. They don't say anything about emissions in the article but NOX after treatment devices for upcoming regulations are $$$ in the US (and abroad, I suspect) and can add substantial cost to the vehicle.

Some efficiency improvements sacrifice emissions, unfortunately. With that being said, I am still optimistic on what they are trying to do.

Comment Re:Potential side-effects (Score 1) 478

The problem with typical aftermarket tuning is that it maximizes one function typically to the detriment of others. This itself isn't really a big deal except that it can affect compliance with legislated requirements for safety/fuel economy/emissions or OEM requirements for durability/warranty/etc.

When a vehicle has been reflashed for huge performance gains that affect durability, what happens when something on the vehicle fails?

What about reflashing for fuel economy gains to the detriment of emissions?

These are just a few examples of why OEMs maintain control over this stuff. I can see how it is annoying because I am an enthusiast too, but I thought I needed to chime in to represent the OEM perspective.

Comment Re:That's no right (Score 1) 478

A couple of things:

1. If an independent shop clears a diagnostic code using his generic tools but the code is "still there," it is likely that the condition causing the diagnostic to fail is "still there." Corollary: just because the code disappears for the meantime doesn't mean it is gone for good, the diagnostic may not have had a chance to run since the clear.

2. ECUs use security (DRM is not really the right term) to protect certain functions pertaining to emissions, safety, performance, etc. It is in their best interest to keep a lock and key on this stuff for legal and compliance reasons.

Comment Legislation not the answer (Score 2, Insightful) 478

The REAL problem isn't that the car repair info is hard to find, the problem is that every manufacturer has a different methodology and toolset to service vehicles. How can an independent shop be expected to have all of the hardware/software/expertise to diagnose vehicles? They can't!

What is really needed is improved efforts on commonizing service approaches. Before that can be done however, the underlying components need to fall in line. This is happening with the roll out of common communication busses (ie CAN), diagnostic communication services (iso-14229), and open Electronic Control Unit platforms (ie: AUTOSAR).

The OEMs are already taking steps that will facilitate easier service and support. It is in their best interests to do so because it lowers their cost to do business. Legislation won't likely speed that up process but probably hinder it by distracting their limited resources.

Comment Re:DRM when your life is at stake? (Score 1) 403

I don't think their actions are as insidious as you make them out to be.

Why would a business want to make their product harder to service? Wouldn't that give them a reputation for high cost of ownership? Wouldn't a higher cost of ownership drive (excuse the pun) customers to purchase competing products?

It isn't in a car company's best interest to screw their customers.

I know this is slashdot and DRM is bad, but what are VALID reasons for having secured functionality hidden away from the customer? How about ensuring:
- government mandated emissions controls aren't disabled
- fuel economy functions are not disabled
- safety related functions are not modified
- traceability information isn't altered (prevent swapping stolen parts)

In my opinion people should have a right to competitive service, but don't attribute the "DRM" usage to negative intentions. /disclosure: I work in the auto industry, we aren't ENTIRELY evil


Submission + - Good Beginner's Book for Object Oriented Design?

An anonymous reader writes: What are the best books for someone new to object oriented programming and design? I have a decent amount of experience in structured programming. Is there a good language neutral book, and are there any good books specific to C++, C#, and/or Java? I want something that focuses on real world design issues, not just the particulars of a language.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus