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Comment Re:Wrong Motivation? (Score 1) 297

Trucks were exempt from OBD2 for some years; my friend had a powerstroke and they partly co-operated with the car standard, depending on year. He now has a Dodge with a Cummins and he had to exchange his ECU harness with a later year's to get the ECU to accept a new map.

My 1999 Volvo is fully compliant, and the OBD2 plug is under a clearly-marked cover just in front of the center armrest/cubby.

I dunno anything about Autoingenuity. I'm just getting into the whole gestalt as I just bought the car and I'm trying to trace an intermittent ABS fault. I'm using an Elm-5 USB cable to my laptop on which I'm running OBDWiz software for the moment; there are F;/OSS projects for Linux, but I haven't tried them yet.

All of the self-contained readers I've run across use secrecy out of fear of losing control of trade secrets, I guess, although some cheap ones simply tell you to google the trouble codes.

Comment Re:Wrong Motivation? (Score 1) 297

*We haven't already reverse engineered the existing systems...*

I bought a connector cable with a chip that lets me connect my 1999 Volvo which is typical of the cars using OBD2 to my computer so as to read out and record parameters from the ABS, climate-control, radio, emissions, safety, and engine and transmission data.

ALL of the OBD2 codes are available to me to view or change as I prefer.

This is similar to the first system the US government mandated. The first system allowed special plugs for each vehicle. The OBD2 and later laws make it easy to program the ECU and other systems. The automakers wanted a to keep their proprietary systems, of course, but that is no longer possible as the codes *have been reverse-engineered.*

Comment Wrong Motivation? (Score 1) 297

If these "black boxes" were installed (hidden away) in all new cars for years -- then why is the new law needed?

Since 1996 IIRC all new cars sold in Merika had to be equipped with a *Uniform Plug Interface* called OBD2 so independent mechanics and civilians could access the CPU and associated subCUs and sensors' information, and reset dash warning lights. They were in no way hidden away -- in fact, the position of the access plug is specified quite clearly in the reg so it will be easy to find.

ECUs that recorded events and kept a history in non-volatile memory had been in use for a long time but required proprietary connectors and software to access.

The courts have ruled in various ways over this; this new law seems to allow the use of data recorders dedicated to courtrooms instead of diagnostics.

And that's the problem, as I see it.

I use an OBD2-USB cable to use my computer to download (and potentially to upload changes to) this information.

The proposed law is quite different: It would allow the courts to impose self-incrimination.

The good part is this new device will be reverse-engineered, no matter what kind of protections are installed.

Comment Re:AMD? (Score 1) 160

Yep. Intel needs them to appear to have competition so various governments' antitrust investigative units will keep their hands off Intel's business practices.

OTOH, this is (to me) an obvious long-shot that AMD can survive long enough to see and perhaps help ARM do to Intel what Intel did to Sun, IBM and other high-end chipmakers. Perhaps they (AMD) can find funding to last the time it will take for ARM to defeat x86-64.

Or perhaps it won't take very long at all, considering I could replace my ancient desktop/server/backup (Pentium-M 1.6GHz) with a modern, energy-efficient one running ARM-64 and Debian or Ubuntu, were it available.

Comment Give them a chance, too (Score 4, Insightful) 255

I might find this useful if I could choose which retailers to include or exclude. No NewEgg? Add it. Don't like Amazon? Delete it.

Someone (not google, apple nor microsoft) should act as a clearing house for payment for these custom searches as these very "well-qualified sales leads" are much more valuable to a retailer than random Ubuntu-sent queries through a private Amazon acting as a commercial clearinghouse.


Comment precisely (Score 1) 193

Although /. page layout doesn't place highly-rated stories first. The calendar does that.

Slashdot's moderation seems to be slowing the decline into group-think but I still feel like I'm falling when I read /.comments -- which is getting less often.

Get Off My Lawn! (Grumble, grumble)

Comment Focus Circle (Score 2, Informative) 565

A pad or phone is usually held closer to the eye than a screen on a laptop or desktop is placed. At normal distances, (say, two feet) a 20-inch 1080x1920 monitor's dot pitch is barely visible. A 5-inch monitor held 6-inches from the eye will need exactly the same resolution to appear as clear.

On the larger end, the lack of computer sales volume seems to have led manufacturers to limit cheaper large-screen offerings to HD -sized playback; one can still find professional large-screen monitors with enormous resolutions for photo- and video editing at very high prices. ,

Comment Re:A memory doesn't have to stay at the same place (Score 1) 185

Short term memory seems to be electrical and long-term chemical. This article seems to support this hypothesis, showing the connection between statically-charged connections between molecules within the synaptic structure.

Whether the location of the electrically-bonded connections changes or not, the chemistry will reconstruct the electrical charges of the original memory. more or less.

Comment Ohm I God! (Score 5, Funny) 599

Volt meets Resistance. I couldn't resist.

On a serious note, GM does not have a good record with respect to embracing effective change. Its management is still intellectually corrupt, except it is no longer led by executives who came up through sales/marketing and now has had government surrogates put in their places.

GM has never had a working grip on the obvious, and I'm old enough to remember when GM-made cars were more than half of the world's output. They no longer have a monopoly, nor the world's biggest dealer network, and only, apparently, one profitable brand of auto -- Cadillac.

So, as I told a friend who had inherited money in 2001 -- "Sell GM short. They're going down."

It's true again, How long must GM wait before it can return to the courts for relief?.

Comment Re:Since we're talking about Linux Mint 12... (Score 1) 396

Funny, that! I switched away from Gnome in Mint 11 due to stability issues!

I installed Crunchbang-XFCE last week am in complete heaven! It is Debian stable well-configured and does precisely what I want it to and nothing more; it looks decent to my eyes and it does not crash nor lose its volume control; it remembers its dock apps when restarted and offers quicker access to apps and documents with a customizable menu function activated by the mouse or keyboard shortcuts.

It acts like blackbox with docks and panels and, like BB is fully customizable.

Did I mention it has not hiccupped in a week of thorough testing/normal use?

Comment Re:Since we're talking about Linux Mint 12... (Score 1) 396

I'm a Mint user, not a developer, so this is conjecture and uninformed opinion only --

The use of Synaptic is thought to be too hard for newbies to grasp, so other apps were developed, like the Mint Software Center, or whatever it's called and GDebi. These latter two are what the Mint team expect you to use, so the more comprehensive app is, while not hidden, not so easy to find.

If you use XFCE, you can make your own menu and put Synaptic at the top if you like.

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