Apple’s CarPlay Is a Useful Extension to Your iPhone When Driving

Let’s face it; it’s not safe to use your phone when you’re driving. In many cases it’s illegal, and it can be deadly. While Apple has recently added a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature to iOS, you may actually need to use some of the features on your phone when you’re behind the wheel.

You’ve long been able to pair a phone to a car via Bluetooth to make and receive calls. But Apple’s in-car system, CarPlay, takes this much further by offering a range of apps that can make your driving easier and more efficient. I tried it out on my new car; here’s what I think.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Tesla Model 3 unveiled: But It’s not a Clean Car, no Matter What Elon Musk Says

Late Thursday night, Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk took the stage at the Tesla Design Studio to reveal the Tesla Model 3. “It’s very important to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport,” Musk said. “The last time there was this level of carbon concentration in the atmosphere was 11 million years ago.”

“Beyond global warming there are 53,000 deaths per year from auto emissions,” Musk added.

As much as I admire what Tesla is doing, the above is just bullshit. Electric cars – unless they are used in countries whose electricity comes from renewable energy – don’t reduce carbon dioxide, or auto emissions, they merely displace the pollution to the place that electricity is generated. In the US, much of the electricity people use is made from coal or oil. The only country where nuclear power is used for a majority of electricity is France (around 70%), but there is still the problem of nuclear waste.

Until renewable energy is ubiquitous, all these cars do is shift pollution to new locations. Sure, it’s better to get them out of cities, but if electric cars are to become common, every country in the world will need to ramp up their electrical production. Some countries can do this with renewable energy, many if not most cannot.

Oh, and apparently if you buy this car, you get a $7,500 tax credit from the federal government; or 20% of the cost of the car. So Tesla is sucking at the teat of big government, and, if the figure of 130,000 Model 3s ordered yesterday is correct, then this is costing taxpayers about $1 billion. All this for cars being bought by people who, for the most part, could afford to pay full price. That’s a pretty good scam Tesla has going… (Yes, the tax credits will decrease over time, but not until the US government has paid $1.5 billion toward Tesla cars.)

Source: Tesla Model 3 unveiled: 215-mile range, 0-60 in under 6 seconds, delivered in 2017 | Ars Technica UK

Why Driverless Cars Will Screech to a Stop

Every driver makes hundreds of daily driving decisions that, strictly speaking, break driving laws (for example, crossing the yellow line to pull around a double-parked vehicle). What company is going to program its driverless cars to break the law?

Will insurance policies for driverless cars cover the car itself? Or will they cover the owner of the vehicle? Or perhaps the technology company that controls the car’s routes? Who will be responsible if there is an accident? The individual owner or the the vehicle manufacturer? Or the company that designed the navigation system?

This is probably the biggest issue that will prevent or slow down the use of driverless cars. Unless they can ride on rails, there will be accidents, and there will be questions of liability.

(Via Why Driverless Cars Will Screech to a Stop | Observer.)

Volkswagen says 800,000 European cars have false CO2 emissions levels too | Ars Technica

“VW is reporting that around 800,000 cars, mostly with 1.4-litre diesel engines, may have an issue with their carbon dioxide emissions as well. The two main cars affected are the VW Polo and Golf, but some cars from the Audi, Seat, and Skoda brands are also included. VW says that some 1.4-litre petrol engines may also be affected”

When the scandal first broke, I was worried, because I have a diesel Seat Ibiza (Seat is owned by VW). But then VW put up a website where you could check your VIN to find if your car was affected by the cheating software, and mine was in the clear. It turned out that the 1.4-liter engines, such as my car contains, weren’t affected.

Well, now we know that Volkswagen has probably cheated with every car they have sold; not just with nitrous oxide levels, but also with CO2 levels.

I wonder what effect this is going to have on my car, and my wallet. I don’t think the government here in the UK will make car-owners pay a higher road tax; the tax is based on CO2 levels, and we bought the car with the understanding that its level was as announced by the manufacturer. But I have a feeling that VW is going to have to compensate car owners, since this means the car is burning much more fuel than it should.

Liars, cheaters, and scumbags.

Source: Volkswagen says 800,000 European cars have false CO2 emissions levels too | Ars Technica