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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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  • ! surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:47PM (#29797747)

    Even more surprising is that it requires this glass even for jeeps that have soft covers, plastic windows, and no air conditioning.'"

    You must be new to bureaucracies.

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

      by Zcar ( 756484 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:50PM (#29797777)

      Or to California. Really. Expecting something to come out of the California government to make sense?

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

        by EraserMouseMan ( 847479 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:07PM (#29798091)
        or government in general...

        Seriously, does anybody really think that government is made up of the country's smartest people? That being said, why do some people think it's a great idea vote people into office who will tax us to come up with these half-witted "solutions" that don't even make any noticeable difference?
        • Re:! surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Korin43 ( 881732 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:18PM (#29798289) Homepage
          Because the evil idiots in government are better than the evil idiots who run scary corporations! *ignore the fact that they are the same people*
          • Re:! surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

            by cabjf ( 710106 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:22PM (#29798373)
            At least there's a benefit for shareholders in the scary corporation scenario.
            • Re:! surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

              by UltraAyla ( 828879 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:10PM (#29799255) Homepage
              yes, because roads, schools, and police aren't beneficial at all. grow up.
              • Re:! surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:33PM (#29799643) Homepage Journal

                When seconds count, the police are always minutes away.

                Last time I got burglarized, there were PRINTS ALL OVER THE PLACE that were too large to have come from anybody that lived in my house. The cops didn't bother to even lift them to see if they belonged to a known fucking criminal.

                As far as I can see, police have no benefit unless it's a drastic situation. They rarely follow traffic laws that they're supposed to be enforcing, and they selectively enforce those, as well. There are the few good officers out there, and they actually try to do a damned fine job, but the majority are just useless.

                And don't even try to report a CRIME IN PROGRESS (Ponzi Scheme) and have the evidence to go with it, even despite the fact that at least one court ruled that said company was an illegal pyramid scheme (nevermind the fact that unsolicited sales in parking lots is prohibited in CA, some of the same people sucked in got fines in court for it.) They simply do not want to hear about it.

                • Re:! surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:52PM (#29800725)

                  I see your burglary and raise you an armed robbery.

                  I was robbed at gunpoint several years ago. Within 15 seconds of the asshole leaving, I called 911 and was immediately connected to a 911 operator. Within 90 seconds there was a police officer on the scene. Within 3 minutes the place was swarming with cops. Within 6 minutes the asshole was sitting in the back of a car in handcuffs. Did I mention this was in the middle of a snowstorm. With 10 inches already on the ground?

                  Having said that I have been harassed by the police on multiple occasions because I looked like someone who might have drugs on them.

                  People are people, and they will always act like people, even if we give them special titles like Police Officer. Just don't confuse people being people with THE GUBBERMINT IS INCOMPETENT, because only people can be incompetent.

                • Re:! surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @08:12PM (#29802241)

                  omfg the man is totally out to get you dude.

                  Heres a hint: If you were robbed and the total loss was $50, I'm going to be fucking pissed if they spend $15k investigating it using my tax dollars rather than doing more important things.

                  How do you know the prints were bigger? Seems to me like they'd have to look all over the house and dust for them for you to know they were bigger. Of course, the reality of it is they were probably a friends, and the cops really only need to check specific places, where the criminals come in.

                  They don't dust your piano for prints when they check the glass on the broken window glass and find them there.

                  I too have been a victim, while I thought the cop and detectives that investigated were being very lax, after talking with them about what they were doing it became clear real quick that they had a good 20 years EACH more experience than I, and knew where to not waste time doing stupid shit. They caught the guy during one of the times it happened to me, with my help, people are far more likely to talk to a neighbor than a cop, its amazing how much YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF. The other instance resulted in a leather jacket and ~$30 taken from my unlocked car. It would have been a complete waste of time AND money to investigate it, however they are aware of it so if a string of break-ins occur they can work with the pattern.

                  You can report police who violate traffic laws, of course you'll probably end up reporting an officer that was going to a crime and didn't have his sirens on so he/she didn't alert the person he was coming or a hundred other reasons that you know nothing about since you obviously aren't a cop.

                  Cops don't investigate ponzi schemes, its not their arena, try the FBI or your SBI instead, those are the people who handle that sort of thing. Again however, I'd rather have them going after real criminal organizations rather than some ponzi scheme taking advantage of idiots like yourself. Truth be told, it probably wasn't a ponzi scheme, judging by the way you are using the word I'm betting you actually don't know what it means.

                  People who whine like yourself are the kind of people that make the rest of the world think people from California are complete morons who expect someone else to take care of them, sadly, I do think someone else needs to take care of you, at least until you get out of high school.

                  As the GP said, grow the hell up, the man isn't out to get you.

              • Actually, the government does a LOT more than roads, schools, and police. I think if it were that simple, we wouldn't all be up in arms about the government and what they are doing.

                I think, perhaps, its time you grow up and start thinking about the real role of government nowadays and quit taking notes from your 7th grade civics class. The role of government in ordinary lives is FAR larger than it has been at any point in our country (sans WWI and WWII). I got news for you kid, it ain't just roads, s
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                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

              • Re:! surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

                by Z34107 ( 925136 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:07PM (#29801583)

                yes, because roads, schools, and police aren't beneficial at all. grow up.

                Hmmmm? Why is "OMG ROADS" the grown-up response to "Government in general does a lot of terrible, wasteful things?"

                At the Federal level, very little goes to roads, schools, and police. At the local level (at least where I live) those are the first things cut because cutting them scares up support for new taxes.

                So, yes, roads, schools, and police are beneficial. Nobody said that they weren't, and that doesn't explain how anything coming out of California makes a lick of sense.

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

          by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:23PM (#29798409) Journal
          Like someone once said: If a person wishes to rule, that person should in no way be given any power.
        • Or any committee (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tjstork ( 137384 ) <> on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:36PM (#29798647) Homepage Journal

          Seriously, does anybody really think that government is made up of the country's smartest people?

          The private sector could easily do something this stupid. It's just that, we have only one government, and in the private sector, stupid businesses are supposed to fail, unless they happen to be banks.

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

      by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:56PM (#29797879) Homepage

      The thing is, Jeep (and others, like GEM) are appealing to CARB for a waiver, and will probably get one. It was an oversight, not something deliberate.

    • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:59PM (#29797939) Journal Jeep has air conditioning: the TD2-50 A/C system

      (using it is pretty easy, too: take off the top and both doors, then go 50mph).

  • You mean ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bryanp ( 160522 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:48PM (#29797751)

    ... people will have problems using cell phones while driving?

    Oh darn. That's just horrible.

    • 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, Insightful)

        by dwillden ( 521345 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:52PM (#29797815) Homepage

        Also, I don't know about you, but I like to listen to the radio while driving.

        Every car radio I have ever seen had an EXTERNAL antanna.

        • 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.

          • I wondered why General Motors dropped the Oldsmobile brand.

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

      by El Gigante de Justic ( 994299 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:51PM (#29797795)

      Unfortunately, instead of meaning people will stop using their phone, they'll probably just fumble around with it more instead to restart their calls.

          Or they'll resort to texting which (supposedly) doesn't require as strong of a signal as voice calls.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Culture20 ( 968837 )

      ... people will have problems using cell phones while driving?

      When Arnold says he'll "take swift action" [] he MEANS IT!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Brittany Lafoy [] probably cares. The story doesn't say if she had a phone with her or not, but imagine if she had been trapped in her car for two days, with a working cell phone that was unable to make calls because the windows blocked her signal. It's not unreasonable for an external areal to break off in a crash, so that's not a 100% solution either.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuoteMstr ( 55051 )

      Err, haven't you ever pulled over after hearing the phone ring to take an important call? Haven't you ever used a hands-free set? (My car has built-in Bluetooth.) Haven't you ever tethered your phone to your laptop as a passenger and gotten work done on a long road trip? How many people's lives have been saved after they were able to cell 911 while trapped inside a car after an accident?

      We can talk about banning the use of cell phones while driving, but cheering measures that effectively jam all cell phones

  • by danking ( 1201931 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:50PM (#29797767)
    My question is, who owns the rights to this technology they are going to enforce everyone to have?
  • by Spectre ( 1685 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:51PM (#29797799)

    I know when they passed legislation requiring motorcycle helmets to be worn, they didn't specify "where", so people were strapping one to their knee or hanging it from an elbow.

    Perhaps you can do the same thing, and sell glazed drinking glasses, stick one in your cup-holder, you're golden?

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:51PM (#29797811) Homepage Journal

    The CARB should be barred from mandating equipment, and simply mandate emissions standards. Who cares why your car gets good or shitty mileage? Let's just see them have mandated emissions and, if necessary, mileage; we already have both, of course. But at the same time, the CARB has done amazing things for California's air quality; there's more Chinese pollution in LA now than the local stuff. Which highlights the NEXT phase of the problem... but we're not done here, yet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuoteMstr ( 55051 )

      I agree. I'm all for environmental regulations, but they have be structured correctly. Mandate results, not particular technologies.

      Remember the ban on incandescent light bulbs? It wasn't a ban on a particular technology, but a mandate for a certain level of efficiency. Manufacturers stepped up to the plate [] and did what nobody expected: gave us improved incandescent bulbs that met the specifications! That's how it should work.

      It'd be really easy to quantify the benefit that's expected from Low-E glass, too:

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:53PM (#29797841)
    I think that I smell a market for some bendy bit of wire that sits on the outside of the car and funnels the radio waves to the inside compartment . I might call it ...

    [places pinky finger to mouth]

    An .. Aerial !!!!

  • by Tobor the Eighth Man ( 13061 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:56PM (#29797883)

    I've spent the past several years designing and prototyping a new type of eco-friendly air conditioning for automobiles that solves both these problems. By using the intrinsic velocity of an automobile and cutting-edge gas dynamics, I've discovered that the inside of a car can be cooled merely by adding an additional aperture to the side of the vehicle. This aperture can even be temporary, thanks to an innovative sliding glass mechanism that preserves visibility and allows a variety of different settings to suit the user's preference. A slight decrease in aerodynamics and therefore fuel efficiency, as well as a tendency for papers to blow around in the back seat, is the only downside.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Bring back vent windows! They were very effective in the days before AC, and I miss them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kamokazi ( 1080091 )
      Wow, that sure beats my 'Ventilation Hammer' idea!
  • Fuel Economy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NinjaPablo ( 246765 ) <ninjapablo&smashtech,net> on Monday October 19, 2009 @02:59PM (#29797951) Homepage Journal
    So to reduce fuel consumption, they're enacting a law that is going to force people to roll down their windows to get cell, radio and GPS signals, therefore increasing drag and fuel consumption? Yay!
  • I must be an idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kenp2002 ( 545495 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:00PM (#29797953) Homepage Journal

    I must be an idiot but my radio antenna is outside my car connected with a cable to my radio. Why would glazed glass be an issue. not only that but unless your car is made of plastic isn't the frame of the car in fact a passive antenna since it isn't grounded? (I could be wrong here, too many years since school). Feel free to correct me but since the windows are not contigious isn't this an issue of weaker cell phone signals and with more states passive anti-cell phone while driving laws isn't this a moot issue?

    I must be old and cranky or just plain stupid but how is this a bad idea? A cooler car, less gas burned in AC, and potential to stop an alien laser weapon long enough to duck before it melts through the glass seems like a good idea. While we are at it can we require bulletproof glass to boot in the wind shield and rear windows since they always seem to get shot up in the movies but no one ever takes a shot from the side...

  • by divisionbyzero ( 300681 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:02PM (#29797993)

    It has everyone complaining about the stoopid government but did you notice that this was printed in a Detroit newspaper? Gee, I wonder why people in Detroit would care about a new type of glass in a car window that adds extra cost to a vehicle? You just got played due to your knee-jerk anti-government attitude. Regardless of whether you agree with the manufacturers or the government you should realize when you are being manipulated by the media.

  • Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c ( 8461 ) <> on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:05PM (#29798047)

    > Even more surprising is that it requires this glass even
    > for jeeps that have soft covers, plastic windows, and
    > no air conditioning.

    The alternative would be to leave a loophole in a rule intended to be followed by automotive corporations. Historically, that hasn't worked out so well.


  • BTW (Score:3, Funny)

    by kenp2002 ( 545495 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @03:06PM (#29798067) Homepage Journal

    Did you know that some of that old glazing material was Abseto in old homes... I wonder what crap they want put on our windows now; that in 30 years we'll find out causes cancer, autism, allergies, Liberal Rage Disorder, NIMBY Rightwing Syndrome, a taste for Bud Light, and a yearing for Married With Children reruns...

    I am a firm beliver in colored glass+copper foil+lead with two sheets of clear wire reinforced safety glass on the outside.

  • Your government is defective. Huge budget deficits, stealing from local cities and counties and flawed regulations being rammed through the legislative process.

    Living here, I vote we rip up the state's constitution and start fresh. The first step is ousting the assholes currently in charge.

  • 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.
  • by dirkdodgers ( 1642627 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:05PM (#29799167)

    If the state of California believes they need to regulate negative externalities resulting from the operation of internal combustion engines, then they should tax the operation of internal combustion engines across the board.

    Instead, we have an authoritarian government telling us what light bulbs we can screw in, what size of televisions we can own, and now the brand of auto glass we use.

    What we have here is government singling out specific groups, behaviors, and industries with coercive power in a manner that is anathema to individual liberty.

    Economic liberty is a civil liberty.

  • by MoFoQ ( 584566 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:29PM (#29799557)

    CARB "scientists" aren't really considered as scientists by real scientists.
    Shoot, even one of the "scientists" from CARB faked his credentials [].

    CARB's also behind MTBE which nationally was mandated by the Federal Clean Air Act of 1990 but was predated by California's own state law, California Clean Air Act of 1988.
    And as early as 1986, there was a scientific report that stated that MTBE was a "bad cookie" (finding the exact copy is a tad difficult but it is referred by the USGS in a 1993 report [])

    A major local (to the Bay Area) opponent to CARB is Dr. Bill Wattenburg [] (an older version of his site is here [])

    And apparently, CARB wants to require particular" paints [] (PDF) and barring any scientific/engineering breakthrough, that probably means dark colored cars (black, dark blues, etc.)

    And dang, CARB's budget for 2009-2010 is over 600 million [], just the imagine how many teachers would have been spared lay-offs...or how many professors, TAs, faculty at UC/CSU schools would have been spared from furloughs.

    Not to forget the CARB vs Diesel fiasco []

  • by midicase ( 902333 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:42PM (#29799771)

    I wonder if this is going to affect ezpass toll systems, which use battery powered RFID transponders: []

  • 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.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!