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DRM Power Software Transportation Your Rights Online

DRM To Be Used In Renault Electric Cars 231 231

mahiskali writes with this interesting news via the EFF's Deep Links "The new Renault Zoe comes with a 'feature' that absolutely nobody wants. Instead of selling consumers a complete car that they can use, repair, and upgrade as they see fit, Renault has opted to lock purchasers into a rental contract with a battery manufacturer and enforce that contract with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that can remotely prevent the battery from charging at all. This coming on the heels of the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership IP Rights Chapter leak certainly makes you wonder how much of that device (car?) you really own. Perhaps Merriam-Webster can simply change the definition of ownership."
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DRM To Be Used In Renault Electric Cars

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  • Re:Not entirely new (Score:5, Informative)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @02:54PM (#45424666)

    First off, that's what you get for buying a Volvo.
    Second, you can reset the computer yourself. It's not that hard. Use the interwebs and all will be revealed. I had to deal with that mess on a friends 2007.

    Now if you replace the engine or transmission... yea, you need to get some software off the piratebay to program the computer correctly. Done that to. That sort of crap should be illegal.

  • by MtHuurne (602934) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:02PM (#45424760) Homepage

    What I heard is that Renault realized that the cost of the battery is one of the main problems in electric car adoption, both because it is expensive and because it is unclear how its value will depreciate over time. Therefore, instead of letting people buy the car with the battery, they sell the car much cheaper without a battery and the battery can be leased. At least here it is clear the battery is not sold, unlike many products with DRM.

    I haven't looked into this further, but a possible reason for refusing to recharge would be if someone stopped paying the lease of the battery but didn't return it. Or if the battery pack got stolen from the person who leased it.

    Of course some people don't like the idea of any kind of kill switch existing at all, which I can understand. It is a sign of distrust and it is also a potential mode of failure (both technical and administrative). But making the battery a rental was done for a good reason here, not just out of corporate greed or control freaking.

  • by jimbolauski (882977) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:18PM (#45424956) Journal
    Here are just a few of the electronic parts in modern cars
    Fuel Injection - the computer can monitor O2 and fuel precisely resulting in much better efficiency.
    ABS - a computer senses when your car is skidding and rapidly pumps the brakes so you can still steer.
    ESC/Traction control - when loss of steering or wheel spin is detected it will automatically start braking to enable steering and stop the skidding
  • by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:56PM (#45425444) Journal
    To be clear, before you quote any industry averages, you need to realize that those were achieved not by producing more efficient vehicles, but by ceasing production of less efficient vehicles. What street legal, gas-only, 4 wheel vehicle exists on the market today that can get better than 50MPG? In the 1990s, there was the Geo Metro [wikipedia.org], weighing in at 42MPG; now we have hybrids on the market that can't touch that [greenhybrid.com]. Of the 19 hybrids listed in the chart on that page, 12 get WORSE gas mileage than a 1990's gas-only beater; the other 7 are made by Honda and Toyota. Where are the gas-only cars that get that kind of mileage today? Hell, where are the domestic hybrids that can do the same? Don't get my wrong, I'm not bashing imports at all; I love my Corolla, I just want to know when the fuck we're going to catch up to 20 years ago.
  • by jd2112 (1535857) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @04:09PM (#45425584)
    Check again. Most new cars get 30+ highway mpg today, often with engines capable of over 300 HP. In the 80s that kind of horsepower was usually reserved for heavy duty trucks and exotic sports cars.
    Smaller less powerful cars often reach 40 mpg highway, despite being significantly heavier than their 80's counterparts.
  • Re:Defensive move (Score:5, Informative)

    by almechist (1366403) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @04:53PM (#45426048)

    I can use medicine longer than is safe (expired) and kill myself and a lot of people. Do you propose to embed DRM on it? There is no need for remote capabilities for that, just add a timer and disable it after their secure time of life. The problem with this case is not only the remote capabilities, but that they don't sell you a battery, they rent it to you, not a problem they give you an option to buy one or others are able to provide the same rental service and by definition of DRM I am pretty sure this will be something like "only Renault can provide that service"

    There is not a single drug that has been proven to become unsafe after it's passed the expiration date - or any other date, for that matter. After expiration a drug may become less effective, i.e. you may not be getting the full dose as labeled, but the medicine isn't going to suddenly start to have different pharmacological effects, dangerous or otherwise, just because of the passage of time. There was at one time a single known case where a drug was thought to possibly degrade into a potentially harmful substance, but it was subsequently proven that the drug in question, tetracycline, remains safe even after expiration, and in any event tetracycline is only sold for veterinary use these days. So no, you won't kill yourself or anybody with expired meds, that's basically an urban myth, although big pharma would no doubt love for everybody to continue to believe it.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @11:12PM (#45429379) Homepage Journal

    To many claims being made here, by you and others, with no qualifications whatsoever.

    In '76 I bought a new car - my first one ever. 76 Chevy Nova, 6 cyl 3 speed. The damned thing was advertised as "fuel efficient". 18 mpg off the showroom floor, combined city and highway driving. The BEST I ever got with it on the highway was about 20 1/2 mpg. I did some research, did a couple of minor mods, and improved that fuel mileage about 3 mpg. After my efforts were completed, the BEST I ever got was 24 mpg on the highway - overall lifetime fuel mileage for the car was right at 20 mpg.

    In recent years, I've owned several cars that got 29 to 31 mpg, and one that got 36 mpg consistently. I've not owned or driven anything that competes with my motorcycle, which got 53 mpg out of the showroom in 1983.

    Fuel mileage in vehicles that are meant to get good mileage has gone up - but not nearly as much as it should have. Cars SHOULD be getting close to 50 mpg, and they would be, if customer demand actually demanded it.

    The FACTS ARE, when Congress began mandating fuel economy goals, they screwed up by allowing trucks to be exempt. Enter the SUV. The American consumer demanded his power and luxury with lots of leg room and head room, so he paid a premium to have a luxury car mounted on a truck frame. That is why we STILL have personal vehicles running up and down the roads, getting 20 mpg and less.

    It would be simple matter for Congress to revisit fuel economy, and remove the exemptions for "trucks", or to modify that exemption. Slap all non-commercial "truck" frames with a ten thousand dollar excise tax, and at the same time require their fuel economy to improve to a minimum of 25 mpg. We would see a hell of a lot of more fuel efficient cars being sold, and a lot less 15 to 20 mpg vehicles on the road.

    The higher demand for fuel efficiency would at the same time encourage manufacturers to research even more economical drive trains.

    The wife had a Toyota Camry that flirted with 40 mpg. Never quite got it, but it was really close sometimes. That is what we should ALL be driving, unless we have a genuine need for a larger, more powerful vehicle. In which case you pay the excise tax on it, and recoup the taxes in your business.

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970