Appeals court rules Batmobile is a "character" and is copyrighted by DC

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Judge Sandra Ikuta wrote the opinion for the 9th Circuit panel that heard DC Comics vs Mark Towle, in which the comics company was suing a guy who sold expensive kits to make your car look like the Batmobile. Read the rest

Not just emissions: manufacturers' dirty tricks fake everything about cars

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VW's diesel firmware detected when it was undergoing emissions testing and changed the engine tuning to produce 1/40 of its normal toxic output, fooling regulators. But though they're the only ones who've been caught using firmware to game emissions testing, they're not the only ones with something to hide. Read the rest

In Volkswagen emissions fraud scandal, proprietary software is the real villain

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“Proprietary software is an unsafe building material. You can’t inspect it.”

Columbia University law professor Eben Moglen made that observation 5 years ago. It's timely today, as the Volkswagen emissions fraud scandal--enabled by proprietary software--worsens. Read the rest

VW con produced as much extra air pollution as all UK power generation, industry, ag & vehicles

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Volkswagen's intentional fraud resulted in an extra 1,000,000 metric tons of air pollution being spewed into the skies over America; if they'd extended the con to Europe (where there are far more diesels), it would have been orders of magnitude worse. Read the rest

Extreme offroad minivan jumping looks like dangerous fun

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This is a thing that people do. No wait, this is a thing that men who are completely insane do. But it's very entertaining stuff on YouTube, so I hope they keep doing it.

Read the rest

VW's car DRM let it get away with cheating on its diesel emissions testing

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The EPA has accused Volkswagen of rigging its software to cheat the agency's diesel emissions standards so that its cars could be on the road while spewing 40 times the legal limit for diesel emissions. Read the rest

Silicon Valley is raiding tech academia: “Uber would like to buy your Robotics Department”

The National Robotics Engineering Center, part of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon. Credit Christopher Payne for The New York Times
Silicon Valley is raiding technology departments of universities around the U.S.—can tech academia survive?

Car information security is a complete wreck -- here's why

Sean Gallagher's long, comprehensive article on the state of automotive infosec is a must-read for people struggling to make sense of the summer's season of showstopper exploits for car automation, culminating in a share-price-shredding 1.4M unit recall from Chrysler, whose cars could be steered and braked by attackers over the Internet. Read the rest

Insurance monitoring dashboard devices used by Uber let hackers "cut your brakes" over wireless

UCSD computer scientist Stefan Savage and colleagues will present their work at Usenix Security: they were able to disable the brakes on a 2013 Corvette by breaking into a Mobile Devices/Metromile Pulse dongle, used by insurance companies to monitor driving in exchange for discounts on coverage. Read the rest

Chrysler has to recall its cars due to security vulnerabilities

Chrysler, whose Jeep Cherokees were demonstrated to be vulnerable to Internet-based attacks on their steering and brakes (as well as radios, air conditioning and other systems) has recalled 1.4M cars due to software vulnerabilities. Read the rest

Watch this motorbike engine disintegrate a millimeter at a time

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Says Sploid, “This is so much cooler than seeing something poof and disappear away because we get to watch it slowly disintegrate into nothing.

You're inflating your tires wrong. Here's how to do it right, and save up to $500 a year.

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Your tires? I want to PUMP! THEM UP!

Hackers can pwn a Jeep Cherokee from the brakes and steering to the AC and radio

A zero-day exploit for Jeep Cherokees allows hackers to control everything from the engine to the air-conditioning over the Internet, overriding the driver at the dashboard. Read the rest

Not a bug

[source] Read the rest

Brand new van wrapped to look like an old rustbucket

A customer commissioned Glasgow, Scotland vehicle graphics company Clyde Wraps to make a 2014 Volkswagen van look like it had been devoured by rust. The vehicle is actually covered in beautifully designed vinyl stickers of corroded car parts. Read the rest

Robot kills worker at Volkswagen factory in Germany

Robots work on vehicles on the production line during assembly at Volkswagen AG's Seat automobile plant in Martorell, Spain. [Reuters]
A technician was killed by a robot at a Volkswagen plant near Kassel, Germany.

Motorcycle helmets that look like shaved heads

Designer Jyo John Mulloor created these custom motorcycle helmets to look like the bare heads of the riders underneath. Read the rest

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