I know quite a few people here have worked on large software projects, but I'm curious -- Has anyone worked on projects with "kill dates" built into the project? I don't mean something like a campaign that runs for X days/weeks/months, but real kill dates where even while the project is being developed, the end of life is already known -- without that being communicated to users until a set date.
I suspect that there's likely some nastiness built into the software, and that if it were decompiled, organised, and understood, there would be some outcry.
I'll skip the conspiracy facts.
Oh, heck. Let's roll with one.
Published in Wired:http://www.wired.com...t-nightmare-farmers/
And a snippet from there:
Aside from using it, there’s not much you can do with modern ag equipment. When it breaks or needs maintenance, farmers are dependent on dealers and manufacturer technicians—a hard pill to swallow for farmers, who have been maintaining their own equipment since the plow."
"[DIY repair] is cheaper than calling out the technician. But that information is just not out there," Dave explained to me.
The cost and hassle of repairing modern tractors has soured a lot of farmers on computerized systems altogether. In a September issue of Farm Journal, farm auction expert Greg Peterson noted that demand for newer tractors was falling. Tellingly, the price of and demand for older tractors (without all the digital bells and whistles) has picked up. “As for the simplicity, you’ve all heard the chatter,” Machinery Pete wrote. “There’s an increasing number of farmers placing greater value on acquiring older simpler machines that don’t require a computer to fix.”
The problem is that farmers are essentially driving around a giant black box outfitted with harvesting blades. Only manufacturers have the keys to those boxes. Different connectors are needed from brand to brand, sometimes even from model to model—just to talk to the tECU. Modifications and troubleshooting require diagnostic software that farmers can’t have. Even if a farmer managed to get the right software, calibrations to the tECU sometimes require a factory password. No password, no changes—not without the permission of the manufacturer.
John Deere, in particular, has been incredibly effective at limiting access to its diagnostic software. Which is why I wouldn’t have been able to tweak the programming on Dave’s tractor, even if I had been able to hack together the right interface. John Deere doesn’t want me to. The dealer-repair game is just too lucrative for manufacturers to cede any control back to farmers.
Does anyone think consumer vehicles are much different?
Oh, what's that sound? The squirting of milk into a steel bucket? I think I hear some cackling as well...
I dunno, the control software of a car is a VERY exacting piece of kit which is the entire reason we have cars that can get 20+ miles to the gallon and still have decent horsepower. It takes very brave (or stupid) people to think is a good idea to mess with that, and I'm not one of them. I'd never support making modding illegal, but I don't blame the manufacturers getting upset about it.
Unfortunately, "improved fuel efficiency" in modern cars is a near total fabrication. Or at least in the US. Regulatory authorities actively work against the industry to create less fuel efficient cars, and then set idiotic emissions standards that are ineffective and that only create more emissions. You can't make this stuff up.
Check out Eric Peters
for all kinds of crazy information on that. It's simply unbelievable, yet he has all the facts to back it up. Just nutty. You might have seen him on news programs - he covers the automotive industry (probably in too much depth for some people). FAIR WARNING:
If anyone actually checks out Eric Peters commentary on what happens in the industry, be prepared to start screaming, cursing, and breaking things. It will seriously piss you off, as in homicidal rage I just came to because I nearly drown in a pool of blood surrounded by uncountable dismembered bodies pissed off. And, for everyone else, he'll just piss you off period.
A fun exercise is to check identical models of cars in Europe and the US for mileage. It's silly. :
But, back to chips...
There are a few people out there creating mods and add-ons for vehicle computer systems. Many are actually outside of the system, but modify and control communications (and more) and then relay that to other systems in the vehicle to create improvements. The external devices are so far removed from any ability of the manufacturers to retaliate, that we won't see them retaliate for at least a couple more years.
Unless they want to go full
This issue is going to spill into a lot more areas and very quickly.