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Transportation Government

Car Glass Rules Could Impair Cell, GPS and Radio Signals In CA 762

An anonymous reader writes "The California Air Resources Board (CARB) just passed a new regulation that requires glazed glass in automobiles that is supposed to reduce the need to use air conditioning. The catch is that the same properties that block electromagnetic sunlight radiation also block lower frequency electromagnetic radio waves. That means radios, satellite radios, GPS, garage door openers, and cell phones will be severely degraded. Even more surprising is that it requires this glass even for jeeps that have soft covers, plastic windows, and no air conditioning.'"
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Car Glass Rules Could Impair Cell, GPS and Radio Signals In CA

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  • Re:You mean ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stile 65 ( 722451 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:50PM (#29797769) Homepage Journal

    Passengers can also use cell phones, you know. Some people carpool. Also, I don't know about you, but I like to listen to the radio while driving.

  • Re:You mean ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spectre ( 1685 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:53PM (#29797845)

    Never owned an Oldsmobile then? Many of them have the FM antenna embedded in the windshield glass.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:04PM (#29798041)

    Yes your post is funny and all, but you realize that at highway speeds rolling the windows down is LESS eco-friendly than running the A/C, right?

  • Re:You mean ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by nacturation ( 646836 ) * <> on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:05PM (#29798059) Journal

    Try the rear window. Those defroster lines that "don't work"? Yeah, that's your radio antenna.

  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:06PM (#29798079) Homepage

    Low-E glass was introduced in 1979. I.e., any patents that may have been around for it at the time no longer exist.

    There probably are "newer, better" types of Low-E glass that are still patented, but Low-E glass in general is not.

  • Re:! surprising (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:11PM (#29798165)

    There are 13 states with medical marijuana laws, and the US government just revealed new policy discouraging putting resources into prosecuting people who violate federal (but not state) marijuana laws

  • Re:You mean ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by KillerBob ( 217953 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:17PM (#29798277)

    GPS, AM, FM are on different frequencies. You must live a sheltered life and not have had the opportunity to see many antennas and compare them.

    Actually, I worked in military communications, and have *built* AM/FM transmitters and antennas, as well as cellular networks. I can tell you from experience that while they work on different frequencies, it's entirely possible to connect an appropriate antenna to a wiring harness to bring the signal inside what's effectively a Faraday cage.

    Many many passengers talk on cell phones to get directions. Some even answer the driver's cell phone. You must live a sheltered exist with few friends who would do that for you.

    I turn my cell phone off when I'm driving, actually. Probably has something to do with that military background, and that desire to have all of my focus on driving when I get behind the wheel. *shrugs*

    There is a general trend away from purpose built GPS navigators and toward GPS applications on smart phones. You must live a sheltered life with little contact with the technical world.

    See above. And you must have lived a very sheltered life to have not come in contact with cars that have in-dash navigation systems....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:19PM (#29798321)
    Totally off topic, but I Am An RF Engineer, and you bothered me.

    Umm, glue it/tape it to the surface of the vehicle. Who said an antenna has to stand upright?

    Let's see now... Maxwell []?

    (The first sentence of that article should be enough.)

  • Re:You mean ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by dhanson865 ( 1134161 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:31PM (#29798539)

    No. It blocks mostly in the non visible wavelengths. You won't have any trouble seeing through the car windows.

    Solar radiation, or solar energy, is made up of three components: ultraviolet radiation, visible light and near-infrared radiation. Near-infrared radiation makes up 53 percent of the solar spectrum, visible light 44 percent, and ultraviolet 3 percent.

    So if you block 80% of the infrared and you are blocking 60% of the total energy you are only blocking something like 20% of the visible light.

  • by pdtp ( 719844 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:45PM (#29798819)
    and see the nice little FAQ they have. [] Will my GPS still work? Yes. Many automobile manufacturers currently equip their vehicles with external antennas to ensure proper functioning of factory installed GPS devices. For aftermarket GPS devices, deletion windows, or areas without reflective coatings, will be created in the windshield and the location of these windows noted in the owner’s manual. ARB tests showed that placing the GPS device or the external antenna within the deletion window allows the device to operate as effectively as in a car with no reflective glass.
  • Re:You mean ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:47PM (#29798851) Homepage

    Indeed []


    The ideal warm-weather windshield: reflects UV (and anything higher), transmits visible, reflects near-IR, and transmits mid/far-IR.
    The ideal cold-weather windshield: reflects UV (and anything higher), transmits visible, transmits near-IR, and reflects mid/far-IR.
    The ideal general-purpose windshield: reflects UV (and anything higher), transmits visible, reflects near-IR, and reflects mid/far-IR.

    UV: Generally bad. Not much heat (and needed for vitamin D synthesis) but causes skin cancer and ages many (if not most) materials.
    Visible: What you can see. Obviously, you want as much of this as you can.
    Near-IR: A significant amount of solar energy that you can't see but will still heat up your car significantly.
    Mid/far-IR: Heat radiating from surfaces on Earth (i.e., the inside of your car losing heat)

  • Re:Or any committee (Score:4, Informative)

    by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:55PM (#29798989) Homepage

    The "stupid" banks were being forced to make low-quality loans due to the CRA, which was supposed to prevent something called "redlining"

    No, they weren't. Stop lying.

  • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:59PM (#29799063) Journal

    Really? California has always had a separate standard for pretty much everything, and you can buy pretty much any car in any state with the "California Emissions Package". In California that this "option" is required of any new car purchased there.

    The car manufacturers have, by and large, been making "California" versions of their vehicles for years. Some other states (like Maine) mandate the same package rather than going to the effort of developing their own standards.

    So California is legislating, in effect, for themselves and a handful of other states. But certainly not for the nation.

  • by name_already_taken ( 540581 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:01PM (#29799099)

    >But should be up to the customer.

    No. It should be up to society. Some people are just too thick at act responsibly. And car manufacturers are hardly going to build cars for 'a few stupid idiots' - they will design a car and market it hard, and try to sell as many as possible. Regulating will take away the option to make cars suitable for the dumb.

    That's not how we do things in the USA. People are free to buy the products they want - and it is their responsibility to select appropriately. If you live here and you don't like it, I suggest you leave and go somewhere where freedom is frowned upon, like the UK for example.

    I drive very few miles. I drive a vehicle that does about 10MPG. I chose it because it's very very safe, extremely comfortable, and it was inexpensive compared to many other options. Because I drive very few miles, even at 10MPG I am using far less fuel and producing far less emissions than my neighbor who drives much further every day in their fuel efficient vehicle.

    We don't need jerks like you mandating what everyone does just so you can feed your own self-righteous sense of self worth.

  • Re:Or any committee (Score:4, Informative)

    by blueg3 ( 192743 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:02PM (#29799117)

    Studies have found that there is no statistical difference in forclosure rate between CRA-regulated banks and unregulated banks. Notably, the investment banks that sell credit-default swaps are not covered by the CRA. Banks were making many subprime loans, including ones with predatory terms (which increases forclosure rate), for profit, not because of the CRA.

  • by bylo ( 1211278 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:12PM (#29799289) Homepage

    > any patents that may have been around for it at the time no longer exist.

    Those patents still exist but they've long since expired ;)

  • Re:! surprising (Score:3, Informative)

    by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:21PM (#29799431) Homepage

    However, less need for AC only means that the venting controls will mix less or more fresh air across the diffuser/exchanger in order to maintain a comfortable temperature.

    Bullshit. Less need for A/C means the steady state load for the system is smaller, which means smaller A/C systems can be installed, resulting in better fuel efficiency. See this report [] for their conclusions.

  • Re:Or any committee (Score:3, Informative)

    by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:28PM (#29799537)
    Studies have found that there is no statistical difference in forclosure rate between CRA-regulated banks and unregulated banks.

    What "unregulated banks"? The ones not making the loans?

    Notably, the investment banks that sell credit-default swaps are not covered by the CRA.

    Right. The ones not making the loans in the first place aren't covered by the CRA. The ones making the loans were, and were forced into making them if they wanted good "community" numbers so they could open new branches and other things that were regulated under CRA.

    If you prevent the unregulated banks from buying the bad loans, then the bad loans stay with the regulated banks and we still have the problem, just different banks.

    It all goes back to Frank and others (including Obama) responding to "community activists" complaining that people who had no credit or bad credit and no income couldn't buy the same homes that those with good credit could. How unfair! When you legislate that poor credit risks get loans, too, you push the problem onto the banks, and have no reason to complain when the banks fail due to failed loans.

    As for "predatory", well, nobody forces anyone to take a variable rate loan with a huge balloon. At least, nobody forced ME to take such a loan when I bought my house, even though it was offered to me. It really wasn't rocket science to know that I'd be facing a REALLY big payment I probably couldn't make when the balloon came due, even if I was paying more all along by having a higher interest rate. It really wasn't that hard to figure out.

  • To elaborate: (Score:5, Informative)

    by weston ( 16146 ) <westonsd&canncentral,org> on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:44PM (#29799813) Homepage

    The parent is correct, but a bit terse. I thought I'd elaborate a bit:

    "Federal Reserve Board data shows that:

    * More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.
    * Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.
    * Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics."

    - []

    The stats don't back up the idea that any public institution or law bears the brunt of the responsibility for problematic lending.

    It also doesn't make much sense. Take the fingers pointed at the CRA. It didn't force banks to make risky loans. They could deny an application based on income, credit rating, or any other relevant factors. What it *did* force them to avoid was "red-lining": denying loans based on the current living location (used as a proxy for the applicant's race). A person's race and living location might have some correlation with risk of defaulting, but as we all know here on slashdot, correlation is not causation, and a responsible financial institution would deal with the more directly relevant information: an individual's income/asset information and their credit history.

    Here's some other links: [] [] [] [] [] [] []

    Wikipedia also has a summary [].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:47PM (#29799865)

    You should check your facts before you spout this hysterical nonsense. The auto industry has been making CA versions of cars for years now. It hasn't impacted the rest of the market in a noticeable way. CA has all kinds of crazy emissions laws, and the rest of the country is considerably more lax.
    Up here in OR smart consumers make a point of checking to see if the car is a CA model before they buy it (used), because we don't want or need the extra crap that is required there. As for any new car from a dealership, unless it's overflow from a CA dealer, it won't have any of the extra crap on it by default, including this glass.
    Further, you seem to have a flawed idea of how cars are actually built. The lines that manufacture cars are capable of making minor and even major changes between options packages and models all without a hitch, they've been doing it for decades. This glass, and all the extra shit CA requires is just one example of why they do this. Mainly though the practice started due to options packages and model differentials. Different parts for different packages are integrated into the smart lines and the system allows for on the fly changes as required. This is why you can get a Passat with a w8 engine from the same line that makes the Passat GL with a 1.8T engine. Even thought the W8 requires a separate, and longer subframe and a different drive train. It's a modern system, but it's not magic.

  • Re:! surprising (Score:3, Informative)

    by phantomcircuit ( 938963 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:04PM (#29800067) Homepage

    Have you driven in California lately? The highways are significantly overburdened, the country roads almost all haven't been repaved in so long that they are little more than a series of patches, the only roads in California that are any good are the ones that are being fixed by home owners associations.

    The schools in California are terrible, their only saving grace is that they teach evolution, now if only they would teach English.

    Yes the police are a necessary part of any government; it's to bad we spend many times more on prison guards than we do on police officers.

  • by JesseMcDonald ( 536341 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:12PM (#29800185) Homepage

    Since you have to pay for the glass up front, but can distribute the cost of the fuel over the entire 12 years, you have to take interest into account when determining the ROI. Specifically, you would need to save about $290 over 12 years, minimum, to break even on a $250 up-front investment at the extremely conservative savings-account return of 1.30% APR.

  • by Something Witty Here ( 906670 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:16PM (#29800241)

    My VW has special glass that prevents the interior from
    heating up and it works *great*. Park the thing on blacktop
    all day in the hot summer sun and the interior barely gets
    warm at all. Orders of magnitude more comfortable than cars
    with regular glass. I assume the glass is low-e although VW
    didn't describe it as such.

    The glass is no darker than normal factory tinted glass.
    The garage door opener remote works fine.

    For those of you whining about the heavy hand of government,
    there are many far worse problems than requiring decent
    glass in cars. Many of these problems are discussed in
    slashdot so you ought to be aware of them.

    > we do not have thermostatic regulators on cars that vary
    > the work of the compressors

    Maybe yours doesn't but mine does.

  • by scollard ( 1610757 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:59PM (#29800827)
    My Mercedes already has glass like that and it doesn't pose a problem with any of those electronic gadgets. Plus, there is a couple of "clear" areas on the windscreen where you can stick the antenna's if needed.
  • Re:Or any committee (Score:3, Informative)

    by BlackSnake112 ( 912158 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:00PM (#29800833)

    But the parent's point about the banks making loans to people who never could have afforded them is still valid. The government put pressure on banks to hand out loans to people who could not afford them. Then those bank sold those loans as fast as they could. Often the buyer did not know they were buying a bad thing. The general thinking was that real estate was a sure thing (remember the 1980s real estate boom).

    And what studies are you referring to? I saw on TV (CNN ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX) just about the same news piece about the banking failure. All said that the bad loans (people not paying the mortgages) were underlying cause of the housing market bust. Why were people not paying their mortgages? In reality, if you make between 30k-50k a year, you should not be living in a house that sells for 500K+. The old rule was take your income times 2.5 and that is your max amount you can afford. So if someone makes 50k a year, then the high end of a house is 125k. I saw people making less then that signing mortgages for 400k-900k. The loan got approved they said. When the balloon interest rate kicked in, they suddenly cannot afford the payments.

    When mortgage shopping, do yourself a favor and price out a fixed rate mortgage as well. You'll notice the payments are different. Then look at you payments 3-5 years down the road. The fixed rate which is still the same payment, might be less then that balloon interest payment.

    I know people flipping houses also caused the crash. If someone who makes 50k can have 5-6 mortgages on different properties, the system is screwed up. That should have set off alarms that something is wrong.

  • by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:54PM (#29801441) Homepage Journal

    To counter this dodge, the fees are VERY steep (and in some cases it is just plain forbidden) if you attempt to bring a car into California and register it with less than 7500 miles on it. Heaven help you if your tags run out on the prior state before you hit 7500 miles.

  • Re:! surprising (Score:3, Informative)

    by MidnightBrewer ( 97195 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:18PM (#29801679)

    Because private industry has been doing a great job with health care so far? I have lived in two countries with some form of socialized medicine (Germany and Japan), and it was both competent, transparent and above all, affordable. In no country with socialized medicine do you have several million people a year declaring bankruptcy, or hospitals being shut down due to the influx of uninsured Americans clogging their ERs and bankrupting them as well.

  • Re:! surprising (Score:5, Informative)

    by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:20PM (#29801705)

    What about market failures. The insurance industry is always rife with them, for instance flood insurance, or, as you point out, health insurance. The FDIC (another insurance system) is even heralded by conservatives as the most successful government run program in existence.

    The USPS can take any random sheet of paper across the country to a specific person for less than the price of a coke, with door-to-door service.

    The federal government also does well busting up trusts.

    But you're clearly right, free-markets* always** exist*** and work****

    * Enjoy your cheap tainted meat!

    ** Microsoft is clearly on it's last legs.

    *** Recall the horrors of the "company store"? WalMart would love to pay it's employees in WalMart script.

    **** Remember when a poorly regulated free market destroyed the US economy? It was last year. See also, 1987.

    Government control is bad, unregulated markets are bad. I don't understand how anyone can believe that free-markets are always the answer any more than people believe government is always the answer. At least the religious right has a history of dogmatically believing in things that evidence has disproved. Why so many libertarian FSM-touting people persist on this board, I'll never understand. Pure capitalism imploded before pure communism did. The countries that are currently doing well have a mixture of capitalism and socialism, a little heavier on the socialism than the US. But obviously, we must push to one extreme!

  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <> on Monday October 19, 2009 @10:25PM (#29803353) Homepage Journal

    The poster is indeed wrong that the CRA was the problem, but what you and other left wingers gloss over was the point that Fannie Mae was at fault.

    Fannie could write commercial paper to lend based on the implicit guarantee by the US government. So Fannie did exactly that, and really went crazy with it. This money, they used to lend to people with questionable ratings and at interest rates that were, in effect, a subsidy.

    Banks, of course, were not "forced" to make the same sorts of loans. They had the choice of either not writing the same junk and lending to the same people as Fannie, or losing the entire mortgage business to the government.

    Conservatives did rail on about this for a long time. First off, of course, was the government subsidy of the mortgage business distorting the housing market. But even worse, is that the high returns caused by MBS drowned out investment in other sectors, for decades, so, thanks to the government program, America invested in building houses while other nations built things like manufacturing centers, etc. But of course, those warnings were dismissed and repeatedly by the left using its usual ad-hominem attacks. Opposition to Fannie Mae was mean spirited, racists, etc... Of course, left wing policies have so screwed up minorities in the USA economically that one should argue the left is racist, but I digress...

    In any case, the fact of the matter is, if you have a government subsidizing a quasi public institution, you create a bubble for it, screw up investment in the economy at large, and of course, Democrats, undeterred by the total destruction of our housing market, are about to do it to health care.

    It's just stupid.

    Or is it?

    Frankly, I would be willing to bet that the left -deliberately- ignores dangers created to the private sector by the federal programs because if the private sector is destroyed, we can all be socialized. It's like, all you hear from the left is this rhetoric about how free enterprise is evil,

    So, in my mind, I would think you lefties would at least be honest revolutionaries and say that yes, your programs will eventually replace the private sector with the public sector and you are in favor of it. It's what you want, why lie about it?

  • Re:! surprising (Score:3, Informative)

    by phoenix321 ( 734987 ) * on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @06:50AM (#29805707)

    That's why there has to be a well-regulated militia: the police will not help you in all scenarios and in some, they're going to make it worse.

    You can outsource protection, upholding of society, but be careful, because you soon pay protection money, all the time.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.