Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stop, thief!

Just as cars seem to be getting smarter than we are, along comes a software developer to show them who’s boss. With a few jabs and thrusts to the keyboard, voila! By hacking into Suri voice recognition software, this guy can start and stop his car – and pop the trunk and hood.

Could computer nerds be the next unstoppable generation of car thieves? Nowadays there are more computers in one car than there are in the basement of the average 15-year old boy. Once, all these kids wanted to do was get their driver’s licence. Now it seems computers and smartphones are the rite of passage de jour.

The old-school car thief used a slim jim and maybe knew to hot-wire a car. Now they can use a smartphone or an iPad. The more computer chips there are in your car, the easier it will be to hack into. Which will make car thieves even more brazen and powerful than they already are. Could a computer hacker in, say, Japan, one day be able to steal a car in Canada? It’s a possible, scary scenario.

At one time, drivers just wanted a car that was good on fuel and easy on the environment. But cars are so loaded down with personalized audio and GPS systems and all other kinds of toys, you gotta wonder.

Recently the local constabulary kicked off the holiday season’s “Lock it or Lose it” campaign at Yorkdale mall, one of the larger temples of conspicuous consumption in the GTA. That is to say, if you don’t lock your car, you lose it … and/or whatever’s inside it. Locking a car almost seems feeble and futile in this computer hacker age, but it's all we've got.

Would we be further ahead if we just “lost” some of the electronic goodies? Maybe these dubious devices should go the way of the 8-track. You’ve got to wonder if that’s also hiking up the sticker price and weighing down the car.

Now, that’s an idea worth stealing.

No comments:

Post a Comment