Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

Mazda Switches To USB Keys 623

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-thats-just-wierd dept.
kv9 writes "The new Mazda Sassou while being 'cool and promoting a positive state of mind' has a most important feature, that every geek will love. Instead of the classic key it uses a usb flash drive for starting up. The key can also be used to transfer things like driving instructions or music to the car's hard drive."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mazda Switches To USB Keys

Comments Filter:
  • by hqm (49964) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:47PM (#13457395)
    Now you don't have to lose your keys, just have to get them in salty water, or rub your feet on the carpet and touch them, or ....
    • by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:54PM (#13457503) Homepage Journal
      I have a PNY Attache.

      I've gone swimming in the lake with it in my bathing suit pocket, worn fuzzy sweaters on thick carpet, and accidentally slammed it against some concrete (swinging it on a cord when the cord broke).

      The thing is really durable, and I'm certainly not gentle with it.

      Still works beautifully. YMMV.
      • by ari_j (90255) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:58PM (#13457540)
        How about running over it with a grain truck when the ambient temperature is -40 (celsius or fahrenheit, your pick)? I can do that with my keys right now and they still work.
        • by Anonymous Custard (587661) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:05PM (#13457634) Homepage Journal
          How about running over it with a grain truck when the ambient temperature is -40 (celsius or fahrenheit, your pick)? I can do that with my keys right now and they still work.

          At -40 I'd be more worried about that little car even working than about crushing your keys.
        • by Evil Adrian (253301) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:10PM (#13457690) Homepage
          Why are you running over your keys? Are you stupid? Or are you just making a stupid argument for argument's sake?

          Who has ever run over their keys, incidentally? Seems like the keys need to be IN THE CAR IN THE FIRST PLACE for the thing to even be running to run something over.

          Your post angered me. Almost irrationally so. But I think I'm right.
          • by ari_j (90255) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:19PM (#13457788)
            You may find this shocking, but this is a problem that occurs due to the existence and proximity of other vehicles. As to the likelihood of this happening, I can't say that it's high. Or even measurable. However, it does exist. Say that you drive up to your house and walk across your cement driveway to the front door, shivering and hurried due to the extreme cold. There is probably also some wind. Yes, wind. Lots of wind. So you're fighting the wind, the cold, and hypothermia by this point, and you are carrying in groceries, a briefcase, and your gym bag. Your keys fall onto the driveway. You live in a secluded spot (secluded mostly due to the climate, if you can imagine that) so your front door is never locked, and you don't need the keys to get inside. You don't even know you're missing them until after you put the groceries away, and by then someone else has pulled up onto the driveway in a truck, running over your keys in the process.

            You're right that this is an excessively rare occurrence, but you are not right for the right reasons. You assume that either there is only one vehicle in all the world or that it requires stupidity to run over a car key. Neither assumption is valid, but your anger is. :)
          • by jellomizer (103300) * on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:22PM (#13457822)
            Who has ever run over their keys, incidentally? Seems like the keys need to be IN THE CAR IN THE FIRST PLACE for the thing to even be running to run something over.

            You work in a place with construction. You have your keys in your pocket but your hands a numb because of the cold. You try to put your car keys in your pocket but miss. They fall in the snow which muffles the sound. You get into the construction vehicle put it in reverse and you drive over your keys, after you have feeling in your hands maybe after 5 minutes you realize that you don't have your car keys so you start looking for them. You will walk in the tracks of the truck because it is easier walking and you happen to find the glint of your keys for your car you pick it up. And at the end of the day you put it in your car and it works.

            I am sorry but your post angered me. Almost irrationally so. But I think I made a good counter argument.
    • Key Loss? (Score:3, Funny)

      by sedyn (880034)
      Wouldn't key loss, and hacking issues be absolved by biometrics?

      And as for damaging a biometric key, I think in this case the user has bigger problems... Well unless they need to drive to the hospital without a thumb.
    • by Saven Marek (739395) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:04PM (#13457618)
      ...or take them to work. many many it workplaces ban the bringing of usb keys into the premises just as they do cell phones and ipods because of being a security risk.

      so you can't drive this car to work people
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:47PM (#13457396)
    Sounds like a Japanese sneeze.
  • Houston, we've got a vector [techtarget.com]. Good thing it's just a concept car.
  • Start the clock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Limburgher (523006) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:47PM (#13457399) Homepage Journal
    How long before someone hacks it to:

    A: Start multiple cars that they own

    B: Start other people's cars

    • That was my first thought too. I mean seriously, somewhere right now there's a guy getting a freaking HP calculator to host his website. It'll take about 10 minutes for this to get cracked.
    • How long before someone hacks it to:

      A: Start multiple cars that they own

      B: Start other people's cars

      Not that long. By having USB devices to start cars, soon hackers will be doing more than writing viruses and "testing" websites. They will be stealing your car.

      But this is a larger problem than meets the eye. If software is used to start a car, how long until government gets creative? What kinds of algorthims can be put in the car computer?

      • If there is a gas outage, the new flash only allows the ca
      • How long until my car decides I am driving to fast, and calls the police to mail me a ticket. Before you write this off as never_gonna_happen, consider that many highways now have radar guns attached to cameras, and they mail out tickets in the mail.

        It's important to note that this sort of thing is far more ubiquitous in Europe than it is in the US. The US laws about entrapment, personal property, and privacy tend to preclude these sorts of measures.
      • by Bagheera (71311) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @05:52PM (#13458824) Homepage Journal
        Not that long. By having USB devices to start cars, soon hackers will be doing more than writing viruses and "testing" websites. They will be stealing your car.

        Assuming, of course, they can get past the physical layer to actually access the ignition system. This is a USB to start the car, not to open it. Since the other site was alread /.ed, I don't know what they're actually planning.

        Fact is, they need physical access to steal your car, and it's not difficult to implement the system so making a "copy" of the key would be very difficult.


        But this is a larger problem than meets the eye. If software is used to start a car, how long until government gets creative? What kinds of algorthims can be put in the car computer?

                * If there is a gas outage, the new flash only allows the car to be driven 100 miles per week, then you can't start it until next week?


        And they'll upload this into your physical device how, exactly?



                * Since there is an algorithm that makes each car unique, how long until the car broadcasts its VIN number to anyone who wants to listen? Will cops knock on your door because you parked in a mall, next to a store that had shoplifters?


        That's seperate from a USB car key, now isn't it. Putting a transponder on a car is ALREADY being done. That's essentially what a FastPass is now. Ping it, and it gives you a serial number.


                * How long until my car decides I am driving to fast, and calls the police to mail me a ticket. Before you write this off as never_gonna_happen, consider that many highways now have radar guns attached to cameras, and they mail out tickets in the mail.


        You mean like an automated radar system that takes pictures and sends you a ticket? Old news. Plus (as others have noted) some rental car companies already do that with GPS now.



          * And how long until a bank robber and hacker changes your flash to mask the car that robbed the bank. Imagine the extra people the police will need to hire to straighten out the messes. And imagine how many more tickets they will need to write to pay for those new employees.



        How, exactly, do they change MY flash to mimic their car? How is it going to take "extra people to sort out the mess" when this magic transponder is tracking two cars at the same time, one of which is obviously mine because it's the one parked at my house, while the other one obviously ISN'T mine because it was busy robbing a bank at the time.


        The only good thing for software like this is we can keep track of kids. We can program cars that are started with certian USB keys, that the car will stop if it drives to a certain area. For example, we can have zones the car is not allowed to enter. We can also have software on the computer, to know what family member has the car, and where they are. Maybe we can even set up cars, so if the 16 year old daughter is going out with her friends, that the radio really listens to what is going on in the car to make sure she is not picking up a 18 year old drop out weed head. And if we hear something we don't like, we can drive to where the car is with out shotgun and have an old fashioned lynching.


        Ok, repeat after me. "USB is not GPS." If you're going to get paranoid, at least keep your technologies straight. You're essentially ranting here and it doesn't wash. Numerous manufacturers already use microchips in their keys to effectively make sure they're the right key for the car. This USB key is really nothing more then adding some accessible memory to an existing technology.

        Insightful?

        Paranioid.

        Mazda's doing something reasonably cool here. There's nothing wrong with it.

  • Security? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlackCobra43 (596714) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:47PM (#13457405)
    How secure is this compared to a traditionnal key?

    Really, "keygens" could be given a whole new meaning...
    • Better than most. (Score:5, Informative)

      by tgd (2822) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:56PM (#13457520)
      Most car models that don't have a radio immobilizer of some kind (which is most cars) only have maybe 30 different keys for the whole model production. A lot of repo guys have key rings with all the standard keys for high-repo models.

      I've actually found a color/key collision before when I was a kid. My mom and I almost drove off with someone else's car until we realized it was WAY too clean to be our car and we were in the wrong one.

      Thats also why you can go online and order key dupes using the number stamped on the key or in some cases the VIN.

      (Not many people seem to know all you need is the VIN and a contact at a dealer to get a key, as well... and the VIN is visible on modern cars through the windshield)

      There is no real security with cars. If someone wants it, they can take it.
      • by LightningBolt! (664763) <.moc.oohay. .ta. ... iltlobgninthgil.> on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:24PM (#13457835) Homepage

        Not many people seem to know all you need is the VIN and a contact at a dealer to get a key, as well... and the VIN is visible on modern cars through the windshield

        To be more specific, you need to have a sketchy contact at a dealer. In real terms, this translates to "anyone in sales or financing".
      • Re:Better than most. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by lostchicken (226656) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @05:36PM (#13458672)
        On the Lexus (at least on my IS), while there are only a few mechanical keys that are in circulation, each key needs a radio transponder in it that's interrogated to start the car. The ID is specific to the key, but you can tell the car (through a bizarre song and dance involving turning the key a couple of times and pumping the accelerator) to allow a new key to pair with the car.

        So, you can add a key to the car, but you need at least one key to get the thing in the programming mode. They don't store that code anywhere, so if you lose all four keys it came with, you have to buy a new ECU. Really, really expensive. Also hard to steal.
    • Re:Security? (Score:5, Informative)

      by owlstead (636356) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:17PM (#13457774)
      There are many USB tokens on the market. Probably a few of them will handle 2048 bit RSA keys. This is as strong asymetric encryption as you'll ever need.

      What you do is you send a challenge (random bytes) from the car to the token. It encrypts (read: signs) the challenge with the private key. Now the encrypted challenge can only be decrypted by the public key. The car does this and if it finds the challenge it knows that the token has the secret private key of the public/private key pair.

      These chips can keep the private key pretty safe, so safe that it is really, really hard to get it ever out of the chip, even in a big lab. And with USB it is pretty easy to put some MB's or GB's next to it.

      All this said, such a key would be easy to loose (forget you put it in a computer somewhere), and USB has not such a strong connector (even if better than most computer connectors). I hope they used one that was designed from scratch. It's not so much the security that I worry about.

      • Re:Security? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ZakMcCracken (753422)
        Public key cryptographic security would probably be overkill for a simple one-to-one transaction like this one.

        What is likely to have been engineered, rather, is that a short secret (~128 bits) has been stored on the key and on the car, both with physical security (as in a smartcard). Then, the car can authenticate the key using a simple challenge / response protocol based on secret key cryptography.

        The short secret itself is probably generated from a master secret, a key derivation algorithm and the car's
        • Re:Security? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by owlstead (636356)
          Yep, that would work. As long as the keys are safe, you wouldn't want anyone be able to copy the keys. Besides stealing the car, their would be no prove that someone did not have access granted or not (fraud).

          The protocol is not that much of an issue (as long as it is chosen with care). The other practical considerations are much more important. Even RSA processors are not that expensive anymore, but I agree that it would be overkill for this kind of "problem".
      • Wrong. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Poromenos1 (830658)
        Yeah, I had that idea too. Read this [blogspot.com]. I was surprised that noone had thought of it. I recently read "Applied Cryptography" (an excellent book) and it had the exact same thing as an authentication protocol, and below it it said "It is foolish to encrypt arbitrary stringsnot only those sent by untrusted third parties, but under any circumstances at all". So much for my bright idea.

        The solution he proposes is that "Alice makes some computation based on the random numbers (both the ones she generated and the on
      • Re:Security? (Score:3, Informative)

        by patio11 (857072)
        You've got it backwards (public key encrypts, private key decrypts) but are otherwise correct.
  • Oh great. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GMFTatsujin (239569) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:47PM (#13457406) Homepage
    Considering that my USB key just died yesterday after about a year of use, taking lots of yummy files with it, my heart THRILLS at this news.
  • Reliable? (Score:3, Informative)

    by EvilSporkMan (648878) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:47PM (#13457407)
    Every USB drive I've ever owned has started to get a little flaky after a bit, and I don't abuse them (except the first one). It'd be a bummer if I couldn't start my car because my USB drive had bad sectors.
  • Concept car only. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CerebusUS (21051) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:47PM (#13457408)
    Cool idea, but wake me when you can actually buy one.
  • but your Mazda 3 has one as well.

    Will I get calls from my friends to help them get the spyware and viruses off of their car now too?
  • Locksmiths everywhere will be out of business unless they start carying USB Flash drives. Won't it be fun when someone writes a program that will program all possibly key codes onto a 10 Gig flash driver or something and these cars just start dissapearing? I can't wait to be the first in line to buy one of these!
    • by nyrk (779328) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:54PM (#13457496)
      This already happens in a way. In high school it was pretty well known that most toyota keys would work on most toyota cars. I had a toyota pickup, and even though the keys were not the same, I was on one occasion able to enter, and start up a friend's truck. He happened to be walking on the sidewalk, and I drove past him as I was moving it to the back parking lot. That took a while to explain. Later though, he did help me when I locked my keys in my truck.
      The point is, just because you see a failure mode in it doesn't mean that that he old way didn't have the a similar one
  • by Tuxedo Jack (648130) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:48PM (#13457424) Homepage
    What if someone uses something like Ghost to dupe the USB key to a key of their own? Unless this is a chip-based key, it won't be secure at all - and I don't know about you, but I don't want someone going to Best Buy and buying a $20 USB key to dupe my car key onto.
    • by Piquan (49943) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:53PM (#13457491)
      As opposed to today, where they can go into any hardware store and buy a $1 blank and $3 service to dup your key onto another key?
      • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:18PM (#13457782)

        Today I can borrow a key for a few hours and go get a copy made, or I can make an impression of that key in just a minute, cast a model, and spend a few hours with my dremel tool making a duplicate that may or may not be good enough. I can duplicate a USB key in just a few minutes while you're in the bathroom. This just makes it even easier for someone with common off-the-shelf technology to make a copy. It has added functionality, but it is also less reliable and may be a vector for computer viruses to infect your car. Personally, I'll stick with an old fashioned key and a hidden kill switch.

      • As opposed to today, where they can go into any hardware store and buy a $1 blank and $3 service to dup your key onto another key?

        Will that work with any new cars? The last three cars I've owned all had keys with chips in them. Lose the key and the dealer charges between $100 and $200 to replace it.

        I'd imagine that the USB key would work somehow similar. Maybe it could encrypt the contents using some unique hardware ID associated with the key. If you lost it, you would have to go to the dealer to ge

    • Aren't there secure USB key standards, where only authenticated software can even retrieve the data? I'm sure something like that can be done.

      I think it could be used to implement a "use twice" key, so that if the valets try to use it on a joyride, the owner would know.
  • by sTalking_Goat (670565) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:48PM (#13457428) Homepage
    and only the most mundane parts of concept cars ever make it into production. Nothing to see here.
  • My USB keychains fail at least every six months. If my car does that there will be hell to pay.

    Very bad idea, Mazda.
    • You know, its good to see that you and other people on this site have the same problem. What really disturbing is I can't find any review site that has done a failure rate analysis... Like its not a problem..
  • by dave-tx (684169) * <df19808+slashdot@ g m a i l .com> on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:49PM (#13457440)
    The key can also be used to transfer things like driving instructions

    Sorry, but I don't want to be on the freeway with someone who needs instructions on how to drive.

  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:49PM (#13457442) Homepage
    Aand.. what happens when you accidentally drop your usb "key" in the fishtank?
  • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:49PM (#13457444) Journal
    The key can also be used to transfer things like driving instructions or music to the car's hard drive.
    So when the drive crashes, what happens? Are the vehicles owner permitted to make "archival" copies of the drive content? What sort of information are kept on these hard drives? Can the content of the drive be used against the owner in some way? Questions, so many questions...
  • Security (Score:3, Interesting)

    by linguae (763922) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:49PM (#13457447)

    Woohoo, my first first post

    Anyways, back on topic, I think that the idea of using a USB key that holds directions and other information, as well as starting the vehicle, is a nice and innovative idea. However, the article nor the specifications state anything about where the information about starting the car is stored on the USB drive. My only potential worry about this is the failure of the USB port or computer inside of the vehicle (you can't start your car manually), and whether or not we'll see "Mazda bootkits" widely available online by crackers who now have something else to break in to.

    Still, it is quite innovative.

  • by Iriel (810009) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:50PM (#13457459) Homepage
    I guess that this system is going to have to rock solid. Otherwise, I'd hate to see the day that all these cars are shut down (or worse) by starting their car with a USB key infected with a Mazda.b worm from their PC.

    "And I thought I was just loading some new tunes!"
  • by mungtor (306258) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:50PM (#13457460)
    RFID would be the way to go. I though that somebody (Mercedes, Lexus?) had one of their uber-expensive cars set up so that you carried an RFID chip in a credit card in your wallet. When you pulled up on the doorhandle it checked your ID and unlocked. Automatically locked when you got more than 20 feet away, and only had a push-button for a starter.

    Or, it could have all been a dream.
    • That's Lexus, and it really is cool. Just walk to your car and open the door... Once you push the start button it naturally adjusts the seat, mirrors, steering wheel and radio stations automatically. The 'key' is large though, definitely not credit card sized.
    • by Nos. (179609)
      The Cadillac XLR [gmcanada.com] is the first vehicle I know of that had these features.
    • Renault (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      All current renault cars use a key of this type: it's and rfid card that you put in a slot or, depending on the model, keep in your pocket.
      I have the model you have to put in a slot and it has worked reliably for the last two years.
    • by SFEley (743605) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:08PM (#13457665) Homepage
      It's not an "uber-expensive" feature; my Toyota Prius has it, and the car only cost $25,000. The RFID key's not a credit card, it's a fob on my keychain, but it's extremely convenient not to have to pull anything out to unlock my car or start it.
    • RFID really isn't expensive. Plug for the company I used to work for: Affordable RFID kits [intersoft-us.com]. If you call the owner, he's a great chap and happy to answer any questions you might have.

      Rich

    • by ptbarnett (159784) * on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:46PM (#13458116)
      My Acura RL has this feature, although it's not uber-expensive.

      The dongle is about the size of a standard remote, and has the same buttons on it (lock, unlock, open trunk, panic). The difference is that while carrying it in my pocket, putting my hand on the inside of the door handle unlocks the car. Touching a raised dimple on the outside of the door handle locks the car.

      Other features:

      • The trunk can be opened in the same fashion: just lift up on the release above the license plate while the remote is in your pocket or purse.
      • The car will not lock when the remote is inside the car. The trunk will not close and lock if the remote was dropped into the trunk.
      • The remotes are coded #1 and #2. Depending on which one enters the car, it chooses one of two sets of driver seat position, side-view mirror positions, steering wheel position, radio station presets, cell-phone hands-free directory (it uses Bluetooth to communicate with my phone, but doesn't have access to the phone's directory), and navigation system settings.

  • by WombatControl (74685) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:52PM (#13457483)

    Rumor has it that Mazda will introduce the new flash-drive technology on the 2006 Mazda 3.1. In the future they intend to make a version that can start via a network and is outfitted for carpooling - the Mazda 3.11 for Workgroups - until they get an 8-cylinder version, the Mazda 95.

    (And while I may poke fun, I'm a happy owner of a 2005 Mazda 3, which is a damn good car - especially for the gas mileage...)

  • SCIF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Copperhead (187748) <talbrech.speakeasy@net> on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:53PM (#13457488) Homepage
    My office is a classified environment, and USB drives ain't allowed in the door. Where am I supposed to put my keys?
  • by Skynyrd (25155) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:53PM (#13457489) Homepage
    "Mazda switches to USB keys"

    Um, no.

    Mazda put a USB key in a freakin' concept car. There's no USB keys in any Mazda at any dealership now. It might happen some day down the road.

    "Switches" my ass. "Tries out"? "Messes about with"?

    Come on guys.
  • by spyrral (162842) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:55PM (#13457511) Journal
    ...you mean Mazda experimenting with using USB drives as a key in a concept car, then yes.
  • Will any USB drive work? That'd be great for self-duplicating keys, not so great when someone finds one of my 'put the carkeys on every usb-stick-I-own' drives and then steals my car.

    Can I hook up my Maxtor 200gig drive? If more than one car key is on it, will all get scanned? Will this enable a library of keycodes that'll allow any compatible car to get boosted? Is the stored data that starts my car based on some published algorithm that is more secure than passwords on .doc files or Rot13?!

    Is it possi
  • ...then you'd see that it said Mazda is testing a USB key in a concept car. Concept cars are prototypes of what the auto companies think cars MIGHT be like in the future. Many "features" in concept cars never actually make it into production. So despite the title of this article, Mazda isn't switching to USB keys - they're using it in a test vehicle that may never even see the light of day.
  • How about bluetooth ingition systems? Then we can start our cars remotely, someone can jump into it, and drive it off. All this can be done without us even being in line sight of our vehicles. Sure it sounds dumb, but it's high tech!
  • by devnullkac (223246) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @03:56PM (#13457527) Homepage
    The USB drive may simply be an add-on to the "keyless" ignition of the 2004 Prius: RFID authenticates with the ignition system when in close proximity. This way you've got a neat storage doodad, but the car will still run if your virus-ridden laptop reformats the USB drive.
  • by bhima (46039)
    Make it a diesel and 30% more effcient and call me in morning
  • So soon we will see the first Linux distros for Mazda appear? Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these? Or a botnet? That would be something!
  • I can see it now... some strange futuristic mutated derivative of Defcom's "Capture the Flag"...

    "Gentlemen, start someone else's engines!"

  • I don't know about most people, but my everyday keychain weighs a bit with only 5 or 6 keys on it. Is the physical interface between the key and the ignition going to be able to support that weight, or will it just be a few weeks before your USB ignition is broken from the strain and your key falls out every time you hit a bump or go around a corner?

    I'm sure most of the slashdot crowd has seen a USB port that's been strained a little too much and is a bit flaky because of it.
  • Just like rotary engines...they're not as efficient or powerful and require special mechanics, but they are COOL! Zoom, zoom my ass.
  • by leshert (40509) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:39PM (#13458008) Homepage
    Given the ratio of usb-drives-I've-owned to usb-drives-I've-killed-presumably-from-ESD (which currently sits at 1:1), I'd be more worried about non-physical threats to the integrity of the device.

    Last time I zapped a usb drive, I drove home and burned a CD from the backup I'd made. That might be problematic in this case.
  • whoo! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zebra_X (13249) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @04:55PM (#13458220)
    planned obselecence reaches a new milestone. really how long is that key going to *really* last. 10 years? i don't think so...
    • Re:whoo! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by The Cisco Kid (31490)
      Yeah but its easy enough to make a backup.. In fact.. Hrm.. Your corner hardware store is going to need some new tech at its key-copy counter.. (At least for the non-geeks that need their keys copied)
  • by fbg111 (529550) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @05:08PM (#13458380)
    Now, jamming chewed bubble-gum into your hated enemy's car keyhole takes on a new and devious meaning...
  • by libra-dragon (701553) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @05:27PM (#13458587)
    Take a look at any usb port and notice how scratched up the surrounding area is. This connector is an abomination. It seems I'm always putting the usb plug in upside down. Of course I can't be sure if it's upside down or just misaligned... Looking at the plug for the logo doesn't seem to help much --I had a laptop that had the ports upside down.

    I doubt anyone can blindly plug in a usb device and achieve better than 90% accuracy. As for the keys to my current car it's ambidextrous, although not the case for my previous car. My proposal for USB 3.0 is to use the connector from an Atari 2600.
  • by Cyberllama (113628) on Thursday September 01, 2005 @11:24PM (#13461006)
    You just dump the contents to your hard drive and copy it to a new USB flashdrive . . . No more trips to the hardware store.

The F-15 Eagle: If it's up, we'll shoot it down. If it's down, we'll blow it up. -- A McDonnel-Douglas ad from a few years ago

Working...