[200q20v] OH brother

Brett Dikeman brett at brettd.dsl.speakeasy.net
Fri Apr 20 12:58:02 EDT 2001

On Fri, 20 Apr 2001, copley one wrote:

> Someone posted somewhere about Audi adding Onstar to U.S. vehicles.
> That's the worst news I've heard all week - I'm not sure how excited the
> dealers will be to service vehicles that have recent DE or other track
> time. For example, a service writer may have differing opinions on
> whether or not I should have driven most of the NHIS road course in 3rd
> gear (occasionally bumping that 99 mph limiter...)
> Too much damn data. Looks like I can never buy a new car, either that or
> Chris Miller will have to figure out a way to disable the whole thing.

I think you're combining OnStar, "flight recorders" in GM vehicles, and
fleet engine recorders.

For example, Corvettes, the first to get such a recorder, record about 30
seconds(maybe it's a few minutes, don't remember) in a rolling fashion.
The unit lacks the memory capacity to record  any further back.  As new
data comes in, old data is thrown out to make room, so to speak.  The
recorder is ONLY for accident reconstruction.  It doesn't get beamed by
secret space aliens off your car using the ezpass transponder.

Engine recorders DO record long-term usage data to determined abuse
of the engine and when the vehicle should be serviced.  They're used
by companies like Fedex that have hundreds of thousands of vehicles.  Do
you drive a fedex truck?  Nope.

OnStar allows you to push a button and get directions.  It is simply a
limited capability, monopolized cell phone whose mother dresses him funny.
It's got a GPS unit so they know where you are, and a little bit of logic
that handles situations where the airbags go off, etc.

The three are, as far as I know, unlinked, unrelated systems that
sometimes aren't even  installed in the same vehicle(ie, corporate versus
individually owned vehicle. Onstar is usually an option, or can be
deleted from an order; the GM flight recorder module could probably be
removed, unless there's  some sort of immobilizer that requires it be

I find myself reminding people who come up with bizzare
conspiracies about data collection/spying, that the government is about
the most screwed up organization from an data management perspective.
You have to fill out half a dozen forms when you move, because none of
the organizations share information. Take a trip to your local DMV and
try and then try to tell me with a straight face that "th' gov'ment" is
secretly coordinating information from different sources to spy on the
public.  The government spook agencies have numerously screwed up("what
nuclear tests?") despite billions of dollars per satellite.  The
government isn't alone; anyone who  has worked in a large corporation
knows that sometimes even the most basic stuff, like a company phone
directory, is completely screwed up.

Next thing you know, we're going to be hearing about "precious bodily
fluids", communists...and don't forget flouride!

(who is amazed nobody has bitched about SpeedPass/Ez-go tags in a
while, especially since CT just installed a set of antenna modules
above the roadway at 1000 foot intervals right before, and past, a truck
weighing station on I-84, westbound; can't miss 'em.)

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