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Locked out of my own ridiculously expensive car because their network went down? No way.
I already think cars are over-computerized, since it makes it very difficult to repair or tune them. I had a friend who swapped chips in his Ford Econoline van so it would pass emissions inspection, then perform the way he wanted it the rest of the time. My vehicle, which I love, is a Ford Transit Connect minivan, and I have co-opted the computer by plugging a dongle into it that Bluetooths into my phone, so I can monitor everything the computer does. That’s how I have adjusted my driving to get 35 mpg out of a minivan. But computerized to the point that if someone else’s network hiccups I can’t even unlock my doors? If that can happen, you do not own your vehicle.
I know about IoT and SAAS. I write manuals for software that controls medical devices. Those infusion pumps cost a lot, and the software that networks them does a lot of great stuff, like complying with Gummint-required electronic medical recordkeeping and preventing operator errors. But if the software goes away the pump doesn’t become a doorstop. It could still be used, pretty easily, to control an infusion to someone in a disaster situation where there was no network, or even no power while the battery holds out. That seems ethical to me.
Personally, if I pay for something, I think I should own it. (And be responsible for it, which is why I like tort reform.) I resent it when the only way I can get something I need is by subscribing to it or leasing it, and I particularly resent it when this isn’t clearly a part of the deal. I will happily drive my 10-year-old car and use my old computers with the no longer supported software that still works, thank you very much.Published in