Engineered audio in cars


The sounds a modern car makes are deliberate, designed, and a deception: the clicking of the turn signal isn't a mechanical tick-tock; it's an MP3 of a mechanical tick-tock, played back through hidden speakers. The engine's rumble is tuned with active noise-cancelling that mutes the tones that jangle the ears.

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Colorado lawmakers' license plates exempt them from speed cams & parking tix

In an amazing coincidence, Colorado lawmakers ended up with license plates that didn't show up on speed cameras, meaning that they got to get away with thousands of dollars' worth of moving violations without ever paying fines. The DPW won't try to collect on the fines, because that would be hard.

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Whisper-thin gas-pump credit-card skimmers


A pair of crooks in Oklahoma made more than $400,000 with a whisper-thin gas-pump credit-card skimmer that they installed in Wal-Mart gas stations, using rental cars while they were doing the installation. Kevin Konstantinov and Elvin Alisuretove allegedly harvested their skimmers every two months or so, creating bogus credit cards with the data and then withdrawing cash at ATMs or sharing it with crooks in Russia and the former USSR. Brian Krebs details the technology, as well as a series of next-gen gas-pump skimmers that use tiny, unobtrusive Bluetooth bugs to harvest credit-card data.

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At VW's request, English court censors Usenix Security presentation on keyless entry systems for luxury cars


Flavio Garcia, a security researcher from the University of Birmingham has been ordered not to deliver an important paper at the Usenix Security conference by an English court. Garcia, along with colleagues from a Dutch university, had authored a paper showing the security failings of the keyless entry systems used by a variety of luxury cars. Volkswagon asked an English court for an injunction censoring his work -- which demonstrated their incompetence and the risk they'd exposed their customers to -- and Mr Justice Birss agreed.

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Beep Beep (his horn went beep beep beep)

Today's jam is "Beep Beep," by the Playmates, which charted in 1958 with the tragic tale of a Nash Rambler and a Cadillac locked in competition. I dare you to listen to this without bouncing in your seat -- and without humming it afterwards.

Beep Beep

Frankenstein rat-racer tee glows in the dark


Spotted at Comic-Con: Captainyolk's Big-Daddy-Roth-alike Frankstein-in-a-rat-racer tee. Glows in the dark! $25 on Etsy.

Frankenstein Hot Rod Glow in the Dark Tee Shirt

TSA orders airport valets to search parked cars

A woman who valet-parked her car at Rochester airport returned to find a notice informing her that the valet had searched her car, on orders from the TSA. The TSA does not search cars in the other garages, and they do not provide notice to valet parkers that their cars are subject to search. The TSA says it searches the parked cars because they are stored close enough to the terminal that a bomb could do serious damage.

John McCaffery, TSA, said, “No, those vehicles that are in the garage, short term long term parking, even if they carry pretty large amounts of explosives, they would not cause damage to the front of the airport. But for those who use the valet, the car could be there for a half hour or an hour so there is a vulnerability.”

News10NBC went to the valet parking and one of the attendants showed us the notice they put in the cars.

We asked, “You're required, they tell you, you have to search the car?” Valet Parking Attendant Frank Dettorre said, “I have to do it.”

My prediction: the TSA will erect a sign at the valet drop-off saying, "By valet parking, you agree that we can search your car." And that will be the end of it. Because in the 21st century, posting a notice of your unreasonable conduct is the same as getting consent for it.

TSA searches valet parked car [Berkeley Brean/WHEC.com]

Iron Orchid: tricked-out 1935 Ford coupe


Coop snapped this shot of the gorgeous "Iron Orchid," a masterfully decorated 1935 Ford 5 Window Coupe, built by Dave Shuten of Galpin Auto Sports. I don't give a darn about cars, but this one? Hubba hubba. (here's another view).

The Iron Orchid, built by Dave Shuten.

CCTV footage shows crooks using some kind of universal keyless entry fob

CCTV footage from Long Beach, CA shows crooks robbing cars after opening them with some kind of keyless entry fob that appears to defeat the cars' built-in cryptographic security. The fobs evidently don't work on all models, and may require operation from the passenger side. It's not clear what method the fobs use to attack the locks. Any guesses?

Adding to the mystery, police say the device works on some cars but not others. Other surveillance videos show thieves trying to open a Ford SUV and a Cadillac, with no luck. But an Acura SUV and sedan pop right open. And they always seem to strike on the passenger side. Investigators don't know why.

"We've reached out to the car manufacturers, the manufacturers of the vehicle alarm systems: Nobody seems to know what this technology is," Hendricks told us. "When you look at the video and you see how easy it is, it's pretty unnerving."

Police admit they're 'stumped' by mystery car thefts (via /.)

OccupyGezi: the People's Bulldozer



Two photos from the OccupyGeziPics Tumblr show the "people's bulldozer" in action -- apparently a mechanical digger commandeered off a building site by protesters in Besiktas (one of my Twitter followers reports a rumor that it was a youth gang, and not portesters, though of course, youth gangs may be protesting too), and used to attack police barricades.

Well-styled vehicle


(Click to embiggen)

Here's a mystery Internet image depicting a vehicle that has been decorated in such a fashion as to inspire equal amounts of fear, awe and admiration. I am delighted.


Update: Oh, my dear sweet Zoroaster, it's for sale. From the comments, Jana Marie Miller writes,

It is the 1986 Ford WOW Van. Sign in other photo says:

The WOW Bus
25 Thousand Pieces $640 Worth of Glue
2000 added pounds - two years and
600 hours to do!
1986 Ford School Bus GOOP Glue - Buy it at Home Depot
Pieces came from garage sales - the 
Public-dumpsters - garbage cans Why? cause i am a wacko - Thats 
why in Guinness book - insured for $3.5 
million dollars For sale - $130 million

http://www.seriouswheels.com/cars/top-1986-Ford-WOW-Bus.htm


(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Beautiful vintage jetpack-futurist car


On Super Punch, set of photos of a beautiful, enbubbled, betailfinned Los Angeles land yacht spotted on the 101. Hoo-ah.

Saw a this on the 101 in Los Angeles today. It was caravanning with a bunch of classic cars.

Enraged man goes on bulldozer rampage over fence-placement


Barry Swegle of Port Angeles, Washington lost his temper with his neighbors last Friday and used his logging bulldozer to destroy four homes, as well as vehicles and utility poles. He was reportedly angry over the siting of a neighbor's fence-line, which impeded his ability to maneuver his earth-moving and construction vehicles. The International Harvester TD-25 rampage only lasted a few minutes. No one was hurt.

Jesse Major, a 19-year-old student who said his grandmother lives in one of the damaged homes, said Swegle is known in the neighborhood because he sometimes digs seemingly random holes with a bulldozer late at night.

Man damages 4 Washington homes with bulldozer [Seattle Times]

(via JWZ)

Former Tory mayor admits to beating up woman who videod him parking illegally

Brian Coleman, a former Conservative mayor and concillor has admitted to assaulting a constituent who was video-recording him while he parked illegally to use an ATM. Coleman had been unpopular for passing strict parking rules, and the woman whom he assaulted was a local parking campaigner.

Coleman, of Essex Road in Finchley, was ordered to pay £1,385, including a £270 fine, prosecution costs of £850 and £250 to the victim as compensation.

Ms Michael, 50, a mother-of-two, who suffered injuries including scratches to her wrist and soreness to her shoulder and chest, called on Coleman to resign.

She said: "[I was] looking at my phone and all of a sudden he's upon me, it was pure shock.

"I think he's bullied and intimidated people for a long long time and I think he has now got what has been long overdue."

Barnet Councillor Brian Coleman admits parking row attack [BBC]

Lincoln Continental


Three ads for tailfinned Lincoln Continentals are a reminder that one of the best ways to make something amazingly beautiful is to make a million mediocre and terrible things and wait half a century (or more) until the good ones have risen to the top. The suicide door was incredibly dumb, but it sure looked nice, at least when designers lucked into (or were canny enough to create) a pleasing form for them.

Lincoln Continental - Sunday Sample