Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Manual everything

Here is an article my cousin sent me recently about how people can hack a car's keyless entry system.  While the thieves' technological route of doing so is novel and creative, I wasn't surprised by it.  To me it has never seemed like a good idea to entrust the basic functions of your car, or any other important system you rely on, to remote-operation devices.  Keyless ignitions in particular have always seemed like a horrible idea to me.  As often happens, you're gaining some supposed convenience by sacrificing control over your own affairs.  On the other hand, if you opt to do more things for yourself, you will feel and in fact be more empowered, and leave fewer things open to outside tampering.  That's why, when given a choice, I will always opt for manual transmissions, real physical key-operated locks, even roll-down windows.  Such stripped-down features also drive down gas consumption and often car price.  The problem is that, in the US at least, these options are often no longer available to us.  Anyone who has gone to a car dealership and asked for a car with the theoretically available manual transmission option will understand what I'm talking about.  When the new "normal" is power-everything, TV screens in every seat, and a bunch of other flashy, needless features, it can be next to impossible to get something more simple--it can even end up costing more, since they need to special order it.  As I mentioned in a recent post, when you're living in a crazy society, it can be lonely, even impossible, to be normal yourself!

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