Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Apr 2010 12:20 UTC
Editorial Car analogies are quite popular on internet discussion forums, and ours is no exception. The problem with these analogies, however, is that they are usually quite flimsy, and a recent popular one is no exception. A number of people are now arguing that computer makers' move towards closed platforms (Apple, Sony, and so on) is akin to people no longer being able to service cars on their own. This analogy, which looks sound on a superficial level, breaks down when you spend more than five minutes contemplating it.
Thread beginning with comment 417883
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

The EU may be different but one easy example over this side of the pond; Smartcars. If you buy the desile which is available in Canada, you can not have it serviced by anyone in the US. Smart sells different computer codes to the two different geographic locations and those codes are required to connect into the diagnostics computers. I believe they are trying to make it illegal to maintain and mod your own car through the DMCA also. Even getting what codes are available is a very expensive proposition for auto shops so it's not like the corner carage is going to be able to service your car; usually, you gotta go back to the dealership.

The SmartCar example is frequently discussed on the Off The Hook radio show as it's primary host is a US citizen that has to drive up to Canada to get a desil Smart serviced. A regular guest host has discussed accessing the diagnostics computer and how auto companies are trying to lock small garages and owners out of cars by lobbying for DMCA protection of the computer access codes and command sets. Car manufacturers would love nothing more than locking you out of your car and into there dealership support contracts.

Reply Score: 2