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Software Bug Transportation Upgrades

Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't 305

Posted by timothy
from the 5g-at-95-mph dept.
New submitter kjbullis writes with this snippet from Technology Review: "When Toyota recalled over two million cars last week because of flaws with antilock braking systems and other problems, the fix was simple — a few software updates .The implementation of that fix is far from simple. Every one of those cars has to be taken into a dealership to have the new software installed, an expensive process that can take months. Cars that haven't been fixed could, in some cases, suddenly stall and crash. There is an alternative — the same sort of remote software updates used for PCs and smart phones. Indeed, one automaker, Tesla Motors, already provides what it calls 'over-the-air updates,' which allowed it to execute a recent software fix without requiring anybody to bring in their cars. But other automakers are dragging their feet, both because they're worried about security and because they might face resistance from dealers."
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Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

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  • Umm safety? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fsck-beta (3539217) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @03:57PM (#46298563)
    Because a bad update on the phone won't cause a high speed fiery wreck.
    • Re:Umm safety? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by camperdave (969942) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:03PM (#46298623) Journal
      Also a phone has communication capabilities built right in. A car... not so much.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mythosaz (572040)

        Which modern car do you think doesn't?

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by mythosaz (572040)

          The parent is +5 insightful and my post is trolling?

          Most every car today comes with some form of remote data receive ability, from full on cellular data all the way down to lowly RDS.

          • Re:Umm safety? (Score:5, Informative)

            by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @05:14PM (#46299401)

            Most cars today don't come with enabled cellular radios (or cellular radios at all for that matter). The luxury ones (like Tesla) do. The others, not so much. The subscriptions are expensive.

            RDS? For transmitting what song is playing on FM stations? Hooking that up to do firmware updates on a car's computer sounds like a great idea!

            • by mythosaz (572040)

              The mechanism to receive firmware patches doesn't need to be particularly fast nor does it need to bidirectional.

              It's obvious that there's no link between *whatever* receivers new cars have (and how many of them have XM?) and the mechanism to deliver updates, so it's largely moot, but the idea that nearly all new cars don't have a device that receives data is absurd.

              • by gl4ss (559668)

                *nearly all new cars don't have a device that receives data is absurd.*

                nearly all new cars _globally_ lack such a mechanism for receiving data that could be feasible used for OTA updates.

                sure, it would cost just 40 bucks per car to add the hardware necessary, but the cellular plan contracts etc would make it complicated for car manufacturers, so they only do it for luxury cars(which are friggin NOT "most" cars)

      • Re:Umm safety? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Immerman (2627577) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:24PM (#46298879)

        Well the hardware's cheap, and considering the miniscule data usage I'm pretty sure they could work out something with cell companies - the "phone" wouldn't even need to be on but for a few minutes a month. Wifi support would probably be even cheaper, if not quite as convenient.

        I suspect security and inertia are a bigger issues - auto manufacturers have got to be aware of how atrocious their security is, but at present it needs physical access to attack - and if you've got physical access all safety bets are off anyway. I doubt any company wants their cars to be the first to to be used as Anonymous assassination tools, that's the sort of publicity that could decimate their business.

        • Re:Umm safety? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Thursday February 20, 2014 @05:54PM (#46299805) Homepage

          I develop data loggers that use mobile data networks and it really isn't easy to set this kind of thing up. You need special hardware like automotive grade SIMs that can withstand extreme temperatures. Getting network support isn't either either because no one provider covers all areas, so a roaming SIM or multiple SIMs are needed. There are companies that can provide that capability but it isn't cheap, especially if someone takes a holiday abroad on a network you don't have a deal with.

          I'd be interested to know how Tesla solved all these issues. The fact that their cars are high end helps, as I'm sure it wouldn't be a viable option on cheaper cars.

          • Re:Umm safety? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @08:18PM (#46300859)

            Keep in mind that this isn't an application that needs great service. Your data rates do not have to be Netflix via high-speed broadband in every County. They just have to be quicker then driving the car to a dealership and waiting for the service tech to get around to setting shit up. For example, if you simply include an ethernet jack on the dashboard you've got a much better system then the one Toyota's using.

            According to Wired:
            http://www.wired.com/autopia/2... [wired.com]
            The Tesla can either use it's own 3G connection, or use your home WiFi.

      • by Kookus (653170)

        Many cars come with onstar capabilities. which means they have a phone in them.

        • Many cars come with onstar capabilities. which means they have a phone in them.

          ... and it's a serious pain in the ass to disable. At least, in my truck it is (have to remove the gauge cluster to get to the module).

    • Re:Umm safety? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tiberus (258517) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:06PM (#46298657)

      Hmm, but, you have to weigh that risk (and okay, I'm assuming software updates won't occur while the car is moving) against the risk of not updating a vehicle. Yes it's a numbers game and their are vested interests both ways (e.g. I have a vested interest in your car getting a safety update).

      • Did you weight the risk of a malicious attack on your car via its over-the-air update capability?

      • I have a vested interest in your car getting a safety update

        This statement sums up exactly what's wrong with society today, IMO.

        Believe me, dude, that's a slope you don't want to go slipping down. Because I could respond with, "I have a vested interest in making sure my neighbors aren't cooking meth," implying that they (which implies all citizens) don't have a right to be free from unlawful search and seizure in their (our) own homes.

        • The *manufacturer* has a vested interest in making sure your car has a safety update--it's a bit different than just the neighbor's concern. Think about it. If you make a product that *will* kill a few hundred people over its lifetime unless you fix it, and only half of the owners will bring it in for an upgrade, wouldn't you rather be able to push the upgrade out?

          An auto-upgrade is a major safety feature. Is there a security issue? Yes. But not an unsolvable one.

          Every manufacturer will switch to auto-

          • The *manufacturer* has a vested interest in making sure your car has a safety update...

            That's adorable. The manufacturer has a vested interested if the recall/update costs exceed the projected liability costs from wrongful death/injury suits and/or negative publicity / shareholder response. /cynical

            Every manufacturer will switch to auto-upgrades when the first one loses a massive tort case over failure to auto-upgrade.

            That simply will not happen - or not in any of our lifetimes (which, of course, may be determined by the lack of auto-update...)

          • If you make a product that *will* kill a few hundred people over its lifetime unless you fix it, and only half of the owners will bring it in for an upgrade, wouldn't you rather be able to push the upgrade out?

            And where does that stop? Google took a similar attitude with Chrome, except that the updates they push don't distinguish between closing security vulnerabilities, adding functionality, changing the UI around, and breaking stuff because yet again they didn't test properly and pushed out an update that regressed something important. Chrome is now the most buggy software on my computer.

            Cars are not toys. Shipping this kind of product with a bug that "*will* kill a few hundred people over its lifetime" is basi

        • by geekoid (135745)

          ", "I have a vested interest in making sure my neighbors aren't cooking meth," "
          You do.

          " implying that they (which implies all citizens) don't have a right to be free from unlawful search and seizure in their (our) own homes."
          it does not. It implies that under some circumstances you can take some action i.e. lawful investigation.

          I do have a right to be sure vehicles have a minimum safety standard.

          By your argument, I should be able to careen down the road at 100 miles an hour, drinking whisky and driving the

          • Re:Umm safety? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Aaden42 (198257) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @05:14PM (#46299387) Homepage

            I do have a right to be sure vehicles have a minimum safety standard.

            This seems easy to fix. Most (all?) states have some sort of annual safety inspection requirement for keeping a car on the road. Generally these safety checks include connecting to the car computer’s diagnostic port to read emissions related information to ensure the car complies with the pollution requirements that applied to its model year.

            Add as a requirement of those checks that plugging into the computer also checks software versions and compare that against a list of updates the respective manufacture has deemed critical for continued safety. A passing safety inspection requires that the car’s systems be up to date with all critical software updates.

    • by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:09PM (#46298687)

      Of course it does. Happened to me. Since my Nexus 4 updated to KitKat, I sometimes lose 3g signal. So there I was on the highway, trying to send a text, when, again, whatsapp refuses to send my message. I get frustrated, connect the phone to my laptop, fire up ADB and, lo and behold, the car crashes. It's ridiculous. I'm going to fucking sue Google.

      • by slapout (93640)

        They'll just tell you that it's a software problem and that you should sue WhatsApp/Facebook.

    • by thue (121682)

      Obviously the update should not be applied while the car is turned on... car companies are not that stupid.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:47PM (#46299127)

        Oh no, I need to get the hospital quick. "please wait while your car is being update... installing update 1 of 35... time remaing 1 h 16"

      • Obviously the update should not be applied while the car is turned on... car companies are not that stupid.

        Just so we're clear... you're saying that the companies that brought us such gems as the Corvair, Pinto, Daytona, Monza, et. al., aren't stupid? Or just not stupid enough to send OTA updates while the vehicle is in drive?

        How would that work, anyway?

        • by geekoid (135745)

          YOU send the update and store it in memory. When the car is turned off, apply the patch.
          Personally, I would also maintain a log of any period where the car is off for more then 2 hours and try to apply my patch then.

          Or if they hire actual software engineers, it would install and as pointer were released it would start pointing to the new install.*
          We do know how to do live patching of devices.

          *yes, that was a VERY simple description and only used to make a point.

    • by plover (150551)

      Just because an update came over the phone doesn't mean it will crash your car. A bad dealer update could cause the same problem.

      The main difference is the update mechanism may have a security flaw. But really, if your car can already get on line for any reason (traffic, directions, reservations, etc.) it already has a significant attack surface. This is just one more application that could let an attacker have his way with your vehicle.

    • Considering how many people text while driving, it might PREVENT one!
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        Considering how many people text while driving, it might PREVENT one!

        I don't think I'd like an update to happen while I'm away from home, let alone moving. If I'm at home and the car fails on the installation update or to work afterwards I have my bike and public transportation options. When I was 400 miles from home and needed car repair I was stuck in a hotel for 3 days, the novelty, even of having a loner car, wore off pretty fast.

    • Safety + security indeed, which in this case are one and the same. Imagine someone manages to spoof an OTA update for your car, and it is a trojan horse causing your car to go into a serious wreck etc... Potential side effects could be devastating.
    • by AK Marc (707885)
      You don't update the phone during a call. You load the update and apply next reboot. Reboot the car when parked for the night. Problem solved. Why would you assume the worst with one and the best with the other? It makes you look biased or dumb (or both).
  • by Forbo (3035827) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @03:59PM (#46298587)
    ...but I'd rather not add any more attack vectors than absolutely essential.
    • by tiberus (258517)

      Can't saw I'm a big fan of adding cellular or WiFi to a car for this purpose but, how hard would it be to "have an app for that" connect your phone via USB and wala you have control and choice. The app notifies you of an update, etc. Of course you'd also incur the liability for having not installed a software update that has been made available.

      Granted no matter what method is chosen, there will be risks and issues. Pretty sure their is something better than what we are doing or not doing now.

      • Pretty sure this could be done via the ODBII connector with the right kind of bluetooth dongle.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mrchaotica (681592) *

        Or better yet, why can't the manufacturer just email everybody a flash drive containing the update which they can then stick in the car's USB port at their leisure? No phone necessary, no possibility of wireless hacking, and the owner can apply the update at a time when it's convenient for them (avoiding the possibility of a bad update stranding somebody in the middle of a road trip or something).

        Sure, the cost is probably higher than OTA updates, but it's lower than dealer updates and it maintains the manu

        • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:50PM (#46299163) Homepage Journal

          Or better yet, why can't the manufacturer just email everybody a flash drive

          Channeling Morbo...

          EMAIL DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOODNIGHT!

          • Or better yet, why can't the manufacturer just email everybody a flash drive

            Channeling Morbo...

            EMAIL DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOODNIGHT!

            Then fax it to them.

          • Sorry, "snail-mail." Apparently I've been at work too long...

        • by Rogue974 (657982)

          1) Wait until USB updates for cars are the norm
          2) Send USBs that infect the cars with viruses and then they will crash at predetermined time
          3) Send blackmail notices that arrive when a certain number of cars throw themselves off the highway at high speed actives
          4) Profit

          Or

          1) Wait until USB updates for cars are the norm
          2) Put USB sticks in mail to rich people who's cars you want to boost
          3) Wait until they plug it in and have the car unlock itself and then start up at a time you want to boost it, like

      • by cfulton (543949)
        The above is the best of all the ideas. Puts the onus on the owner. Makes it much harder to push a fake update and allows the car company to always be up to date; it being the owners responsibility to apply the update. I like it.
      • by gaudior (113467)

        Why not simply have that option in the car? This is all those fancy new cars with video displays, right? You just get an option that says, "There are updates available for this vehicle." Just like most software these days.

        I wouldn't want this tied to smartphones, because many people do not have them. My next car will probably have some of these new 'features' , because you won't be able to buy a car without them. But I don't have a smart phone anymore, and I won't be getting one.

      • and wala

        And voila.

        Yes, it's still bad to try to write a word you've only heard before. If you guess wrong, you tend to look amazingly stupid....

        Second time in two weeks I've seen this particular error - what's with guessing the spelling of "voila" recently? Was it used in a movie?

    • by Mashdar (876825)

      In Soviet Russia, computer crashes you!

    • I agree with you there.

      Why would you want to make it possible for people to attack your car remotely?
  • Reboot at 70? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by some old guy (674482)

    Please wait while Windows restarts your......KER-BAM!

  • brick your car (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:04PM (#46298633) Journal

    Although it doesn't happen as often these days, I do remember OTA updates bricking my phone in the past, and PCs under my care are still occasionally screwed up by "drive-by updates" in the middle of the night. For something like a car with the potential for property damage or stranding me and mine far from civilization, I'm pretty sure I don't want automatic OTA updates, even if they could arrange that the car not be moving during the time. I want to know exactly what problem the update is solving, the likelihood I will experience that problem, whether the update and backout procedures have been vetted, and the post-update test procedure. I make a living with my camera, and I don't blindly install firmware updates for it either.

    • Given that most newer cars have some sort of LCD screen interface either for the HUD or the GPS/radio, it seems like it would be (relatively) trivial to run an update prompt through that, including either a short changelist or a reference number to look it up online. My bare minimum requirements would be some sort of screen to give feedback from an update, whether it failed, succeeded or gave some sort of error.

      • And when it was coded just a hair wrong, and fails in a way that wipes your control subsystems, because of an unexpected register state, well, ooooooooooooooops.

        • by ColaMan (37550)

          , because of an unexpected register state, well, ooooooooooooooops.

          oooooooooooops indeed, that'll be at least 50 milliseconds while the system watchdog reboots into previous firmware version.

          These are not the people that do your phone updates. These are people that deal with real-time embedded systems that are safety-criticial. There will be something like a hardware watchdog set that is used for the next 100 times of vehicle operation that triggers the 'fail safe' option of returning to the previous firmwa

    • by SQLGuru (980662)

      I seem to recall a couple of updates that got yanked after their initial release because they were bricking devices. The bug was fixed and they were re-released, but it still happens way too often.

      I would suspect, thought, that a car would auto-download the update but only apply when the user accepts it. Even if you turn off the car, they can't start applying an update without alerting you that the update could take X minutes --- time that you wouldn't be able to use your car.

  • Tuesday updates (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tomhath (637240) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:05PM (#46298641)
    I'd rather not have a car manufacturer get into the mindset of assuming problems like that are cheap and easy to fix (so they can scrimp on testing)
    • Not to mention the secondary cost, lets assume testing is the same on both situations, a car goes out to the manufacturer, update is applied, update botches, car software system is bricked. The dealer can pull a spare hard drive or whatever it is stored on out of the back, get the car up and running etc... Now OTA update botches, does the dealer make a house call to swap out the car's storage, or do they pay for a tow truck? When an update fails and the device is rendered unusable... getting a car to the lo
  • Consider that updates are done via firmware that is downloaded and stored on computers at local dealerships (They aren't downloading the updates for every single car they update).

    How difficult would it be for any moderately skilled hacker to compromise those machines to side load along with the updates?

    So the idea that the dealer is somehow safer, is purely insane.
    • by bobbied (2522392)

      \So the idea that the dealer is somehow safer, is purely insane.

      Not really. Where I get there is an attack vector there, it is a whole lot more indirect than just messing with the car. Are suggesting that somebody might try an attack that involves hacking into the dealer's diagnostic equipment to replace the firmware files with hacked ones so that the dealer will propagate said hack onto customer's cars to do some bad thing to somebody? Seems that there are a whole lot more convenient ways to go about this to me, so Yes, I feel safer having the dealer update my car's

    • That's not my primary concern. My primary concern is bricking.

      Dealer bricks my car, they already have it and can install a new ECU. I brick my car and it's a costly tow truck trip to the dealer.

  • - because your phone comes with built-in wireless networking but your car doesn't?

    - because your phone isn't a 4,000-pound hunk of metal and glass frequently moving at a hundred feet per second in public?

    Just a couple thoughts...

    • by bobbied (2522392)
      ADD the following to this...

      - Your phone only is intended to last about 2 years, manufactures don't support these devices beyond this time because you are expected to replace it. Cars are expected to have 5x that lifespan (if not more) and ARE supported.

      - A malfunction in a critical system in a car can easily kill somebody and cause property damage, a malfunctioning phone just becomes a useless object (i.e. a brick) when the firmware update gets scrambled.

      - Cars are "critical infrastructure" for most pe

    • - because your phone comes with built-in wireless networking but your car doesn't?

      - because your phone isn't a 4,000-pound hunk of metal and glass frequently moving at a hundred feet per second in public?

      Just a couple thoughts...

      Remember when mobile phones were the size of a suitcase?

  • I have a Toyota, it's traction control and all associated assists are acting crazy under certain circumstances (Check Engine light on due to stupid sensor in exhaust pipe + wet road) but i wasn't notified of any recall.
    Could this be just for cars that are still under warranty ?
    If that's the case, from where i can download the updated firmware and how do i install-it ?

    • by Drew M. (5831)

      Toyotas generally disable the traction control when there is a check engine light. You need to get a code reader to read out the error from your car so you can fix the problem which you seem to describe as a bad O2 sensor. A software update will NOT help you. You have a hardware problem.

      • I know this isn't a car forum, by my 2010 Toyota RAV4 lost its traction control one night. Anti-Lock works, as does the hill assist. But starting on a green light on a slick road, nope. Wheel will keep on spinning as long as I keep the throttle down. It's not supposed to do that. I took it to the dealer and they found nothing wrong in the diagnostics. I even went so far as to disconnect the battery for 30 minutes hoping it would "reset" whatever stuck logic was in place. Nope.

        At least I can drag race now :-

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      You don't, or at least you will be better off going to the dealer.

      Doing the firmware updates to your car yourself IS possible, but usually this involves buying the necessary tools and software from the manufacturer or a third party who has reverse engineered the tools. I can tell you that all these tools are pretty expensive and unless you are able to spread the cost out over a fleet of cars it's going to be cheaper to let the dealer do it.

      For example, I was trying to get additional keys made for my Hond

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:23PM (#46298859)

    Having OTA capability encourages vendors to push out incomplete/buggy firmware ("we can always fix it later") and to push out updates without properly testing them ("if it breaks something, we'll just fix it and re-send"). Suffice to say we definitely do not need these kind of perverse incentives on cars.

    And that's without even getting into the trouble that a malicious user could potentially cause if they managed to hack the OTA process and sent out spoofed updates to vehicles...

  • Rebooting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SoundGuyNoise (864550) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:23PM (#46298863) Homepage
    When you're running late for work, you don't want to wait for your car to reboot to install a software update.
    • On the other hand, when I'm running late to work "Sorry, car rebooting" seems like an excuse that would confuse my boss into accepting.

      Actually, come to think of it, that might work already...
  • by slapout (93640)

    Tech Support: Hello, this is tech support, how may I help you.

    Customer: Yes, I'm trying to install this update on my car and it's not working.

    Tech Support: Have you tried turning it off and on again?

    • You do realize that a number of cars run Microsoft embedded.
    • by bobbied (2522392)

      You forgot the following:

      Tech Support: Can you please supply your VIN so I can cross check your support level...

      Customer: Oh yes, let me read that off the door it's...... (customer reads and confirms the VIN)

      Tech Support: Thank you for your VIN, I will verify your support level now..

      Customer: Uh, Ok, but my car is broken and I got to get it fixed before the day care closes... How long will this take.

      Tech Support: It shouldn't take too long, but our computers have been rather slow today.

      Tech Suppo

  • Bricked phone: A pain in the ass.

    Bricked car: A major pain in the ass.

    Car that suddenly decides to brake (or not to) for no reason: A deadly accident waiting to happen.

    Besides, it took the dealership several hours to get my car's systems to accept a (official) retrofitted parking sensor kit. Automotive engineers don't seem to value ease of use in their non-user-facing software features.

  • But other automakers are dragging their feet, both because they're worried about security and because they might face resistance from dealers.

    Given that the level of security on OBD2 ports has been utter crap for about two decades now, I doubt the automakers' major concern is security. Even with well-publicized stories about car hacking, auto companies seem to persist in the belief that it will never be a major, widespread threat. It's probably dealer pushback that has them concerned - having a car dealership is a license to steal, and I imagine dealers are very resistant to any change that threatens their ability to charge $500 for 15 minutes' w

    • It's not a question of the security on the OBD2 port. In most modern cars all the computers internally are networked together; so, the center console computer can actually talk to the PCM. It's theoretically possible to have any one of the computers push an update. My suspicion is that they're not allowing OTA updates to reduce risk.

      Yes, I know anyone can buy an OBDII interface, I have one. Requiring a piece of "special" hardware to connect to the computer for updates both limits who can do it and req

  • You have to remember Dealers pay to play and they have contracts with auto makers on what kinds of service they'll perform under warranty and that the manufacturers will always support their interests. It's expensive when an auto maker has to change things in the field but it's a revenue stream for dealerships who charge all of the labor hours + service fees right back to the manufacturers but it's symbiotic and they both milk the customer either coming or going.

    Remember when Chrysler and GM went bankrup

    • Yeah... all those new models built by the same company who built that piece of shit of yours that you need to keep getting fixed.

  • If it's OTA and my car gets bricked, is the manufacturer going to send a tow truck to my house and take it to be repaired? This would be a major unplanned inconvenience for me.

    If i have to take it into the dealership anyhow, and it gets bricked, it's already there and in capable hands of being fixed. If I time the update with other maintenance like oil changes, then it's all done at the same time.

    The Tesla model could work perfectly well, just like i've never had my home router brick when doing upgrades,

  • There are way too many issues that this can cause for me to ever want a car that can do this. Here's a few:

    Hacking. What's to keep a system like this secure? What happens if some criminal organization for bribing owner to pay them to "unlock" your car? Or a crazy person or group from changing the firmware to lock the brakes when the car hits 50 mph? Or just some 9 year old kid from doing this for the hell of it. And any number of other possibilities.

    What happens if the process is interrupted in the middle

  • A lot of people don't trust their car manufacturer to be in charge of firmware pushes. That makes perfect sense. Maybe the best approach, would be utilizing special software on existing smartphone platforms. This solves many issues at once. Car owners don't have to worry about their car "phoning home" or the dealer pushing "fixes" without their knowledge, while simultaneously giving the car owner, and the dealer the advantages of a remote software update. If you want it, you can install the dealer's sm
  • When a mechanic makes a change to my car, that mechanic is quite legally responsible for the change. That includes some amount of testing. When automatic updates occur, the user has always been responsible for testing it.

    There's a big huge enormous line between money/business/phone/convenience/toy and car/safety/life/injury/toy.

    In any event, in any device, in any change, some human needs to be responsible for it. When it comes to my car, that someone can't just be me. When it comes to my sister, it can'

  • There are already a number of manufacturers that allow updates to the on board computer using a USB drive. Ford allows you to update the My Touch system via a SD card. The onboard computer can also connect to the internet via a cell phone or satellite connection to retrieve data. Since the computers are all networked together in the car via CANBus, it is certainly conceivable that the PCM or ABS controller could be updated indirectly via a push from the "entertainment center" computer. They just have to

  • Some 6 months after I bought it HTC decided to not produce any more updates - the bullshit excuse was that what I had was optimal. The reality was that they considered it end of life and so could not be bothered -- they got the money from the sale, so why bother ? Well: it will cost them since I won't buy another HTC.

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