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People are used to making car payments but the tradition is you eventually stop making them, at which point – finally – the car is yours. Keep it, sell it, trade it. And drive it as and how you like.

Tesla – and it’s not just Tesla – wants to end that tradition and make the payments and so their control over what will no longer be your car – ever – perpetual.

Via “updates,” ongoing.

Just like the phone you don’t own.

You think it’s yours, because you went to the store, bought it and have physical possession of the device. The physical phone, itself. But the phone only continues to work so long as it receives those ethereal updates. Once these cease or the phone’s electronic guts are no longer capable of digesting them, it becomes a paperweight and you must buy a new phone.

But the more directly analogous business model that Tesla, et al plan to emulate is that pioneered by Bill Gates of Microsoft – the man who isn’t a doctor but plays one on TeeVee. He figured out long before he got into the Needling business that there is lot more money to be made getting people to pay for software – over and over – rather than just selling them the CD or the suite.

The latter used to be the way one bought various software programs, such as those for making spreadsheets and so on. Once bought, they were yours. The problem being, ownership bad. Because ownership means you control what you bought and thus are free to use whatever the item is as you prefer, without any strings attached. There is also the possibility of giving away what you bought to someone else, free of charge – or even selling it to them and making money on the deal for yourself.

Rather than more money, for Bill.

Very bad, indeed – from the point-of-view of someone like Gates and the people he is affiliated with.

It is probably not coincidence that these same people are now pushing for ongoing Needling. Not just this once; not just for this sickness. The idea behind the “mask” is to force through the idea that everyone must submit to being Needled regularly, for every sickness deemed “a matter of public health.” Which will eventually encompass a list as long as the list of things we’re forced to pay taxes on. For the sake of the further enrichment of people like Gates and the Pope of Science, Tony Fauci – at the expense of our further enserfment.

They’ll get more money – and more control.

From what used to be our cars, too.

In addition to paying for the device – the physical thing that sits in the garage – you will also be paying to maintain your subscription to the invisible etherware that controls the thing, thereby maintaining the true owner’s control over the thing and so, over you.

The car will continue working so long as you continue paying. And, of course, obeying. The mechanism for that will be what is already built into almost all new cars – that being the capacity to note your driving habits as you drive – and to transmit them over the ether – live, via satellite (like Elvis in ’73) connected to GPS or Internet 5G WiFi.

If you don’t “buckle up,” if you do “speed” – if  you accelerate (or brake or change lanes) too “aggressively” – as defined by them – they will know because the car – their car – told them so. They will then decide whether to mulct you, perhaps by automatically debtiting the account you’ll be required to set up as a condition of being allowed to operate their car (you will be a user rather than the owner; consult your End User License Agreement) or they will simply brick the car, which may (and some already do) have the built-in ability to self-park, whether you want to park or not.

There is no Off button, either.   

Even if you behave, you’ll still be paying – eternally. Or at least, for as long as you retain conditional possession of the vehicle that is dependent upon perpetual ethereal Updates, which come with the subscription you’ll be paying, eternally, in order to keep them coming.

Tesla – one of the first to actually stick its customers in this manner – doe-eyes that it is merely offering these Updates as “options” for certain features and is marketing them as a way to make these certain features – like Full Self Driving Capability – more affordable, by putting people on a monthly subscription – just $199 rather than $10k for the option, folded into the car’s sticker price. How nice!

But when the cost of an option is folded into the sticker price, you have the prospect of eventually paying it off. When it is a subscription, it is ongoing.

You never pay it off.

You also cannot give it to someone else, or even transfer it to someone else – well, not without them also paying for the subscription. People have bought second-hand Teslas they thought were equipped with certain option-apps (in these mobilized cell phones, many of the options aren’t physical, or the physical ones are controlled by ethereal electronic ones) but found out, post-transaction, that they had been bricked because the subscription had lapsed.

Not very nice.

But very profitable.

This is what comes – or rather, is coming – of turning cars into cell phones. A thing that once liberated now used to control and to enserf. No wonder the prices of used cars that  you own once you’ve paid for them are skyrocketing.

. . .

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  1. I always check new and used car dealers lots for used cars only. Recently, at a local Toyota dealer, I saw a 1999 Honda Civic, no rust (in the pics I saw anyway) with only 50k miles on it for $6k or so. I wanted it badly. It was posted for about an hour and I called and asked about it and they said it was already sold. I refreshed the page 15 minutes later and it was taken down.

    I’m probably one of the few Millennials that want a brand new 1990-2000s style and technologically ‘advanced’ RELIABLE car instead of these new-fangled, bells-and-whistles contraptions that beep at you and need updates or $500 here, $800 there fixes.

  2. A subscription based car? No thanks, I’ll pass. I’ll keep my quite old car for a while.
    They want to emulate the software/cloud model. You want MS office? Get Office 365 and pay annually! (even if one does not use most of the additional stuff like Skype and One Drive). Luckily, there’s Libre Office, which can handle most of the stuff most people do on MS Office.

  3. Gee, can’t wait until the dildos begin “subscribing” to…say, toothbrushes. Hell, they already do it with razors via “shave clubs”, so why not toothbrushes? Remember, if it CAN be done, it MUST be done.

    • What about the subscription to *YOU* ?
      Oh, that’ s right.; It is called a “vaccine.”
      Be sure to get your “booster shot,” or your body quits working, and you *die*.

      Cash cow in perpetuity for Big Pharma, and a wet dream for authoritarians.
      BillG wins the Daily Double, being as how he is evidently a control freak who thinks he is entitled to boss others around, due to his “superior intelligence” (wrong!), and heavily invested in pharmaceuticals.

      Being a horse’s ass sure pays well. But I am betting most who post here, plus a whole lot of other folks, nave got some sad news for the little donkey. Namely, we don’t want what you are peddling, and are likely to go to great lengths to avoid having it forced upon us against our will.

  4. You’ll own nothing and like it, consumer.

    Don’t think about it. Just consume product and get excited for next product.

  5. Well, we all know what it is when you rent a supermodel.

    Same thing, just with cars.

    Oldest profession, indeed.

    You get what you pay for, I guess.

    Not my cup of tea, personally.

  6. Make it STOP!!

    One reason, among many, that I love Linux: The updates are optional.

    Also, the software is free, as in “costs nothing”, as well as in “you can do whatever you want with it”.

    Microsoft and Windows, like Apple, have just become more and more functionally tyrannical as time has progressed. It blew my mind the other day when my GF wanted to make a profile on her Win 10 laptop for my step-daughter. They wanted you to register the account and have a Microsoft email account!

    I told her that it takes about 5 seconds to make a new account on my Linux laptop, on the COMMAND LINE.

    I absolutely HATE, positively LOATHE, with A PASSION, these inscrutable business models. I don’t care how lucrative they are. Cutting out people’s kidneys would be lucrative, too. >:(

    • I’ve always entertained switching to Linux ‘cuz of its free and open nature. The only thing that kept me away was the lack of intuitiveness and compatibility with my favorite software/games. However, I may end up taking the plunge, since Billy Boy wants to hack our individual lives.

      • Oh, Bluegrey, I don’t know what games you play, but you certainly should!

        Also, it’s not so much that it’s not intuitive, it’s just different (sometimes). You probably didn’t learn Windows in a few days, either. Besides that, many of the new Linux distributions are every bit as user friendly as Windows, only without the BS. Really, the only thing somewhat inferior about Linux is the printer interfaces, as the printer companies don’t pay it much attention.

        There is so much variety with Linux, keep in mind. If you don’t care for one distro, there are many others to suit your needs, as opposed to Windows, which releases one new (and incrementally worse) version every few years. This is the TRUE strength in diversity. 😉

      • Have you tried Linux Mint? The learning curve in that distro is quite low IMHO.

        Regarding games, Linux has come a long way; now a lot of games can be played natively. Software, it depends which one it is.

      • I installed Linux Mint on one of my computers last year – it connects to Steam, and quite a few games have Linux ports (though not all). Best way to dip your toe in the Linux waters is if you’ve got a second computer. Take the plunge. Mint is quite easy to use, and getting better all the time.

    • “They wanted you to register the account and have a Microsoft email account!”

      Well, MS is saying so far that with the next iteration of Windows (11), those using the home edition will have to create a Microsoft account; no workarounds this time.

      Oh, and they significantly raised the bar regarding HW requirements. Now they want computers equipped with a security chip called TPM, and it has to be version 2.0 (or a CPU capable of providing that via firmware). Their pretext is “more security” (wouldn’t it be that they want to force digital IDs? One of the topics at the WEF Cyber Polygon July 9 2021 exercise was the need for adopting Trusted ID single sign-on for accessing the internet public and private websites. That TPM stuff can store among other things biometrics).

      If this keeps after Win11 is released, it will make quite a lot old (technologically speaking), yet perfectly functional computers “obsolete”. A perfect opportunity for Linux

    • BaDnOn, last week I installed a new Dell Windows 10 Pro machine for live streaming at our church. A few seconds into the setup routine I was stuck until I told it what Microsoft account to use. This is for my “convenience,” of course, but I wish I could just set the [insert un-church-like modifier here] thing up to get my work done, and decide how much of their convenience I want later.
      Dell says I can upgrade to Windows 11 for free when it comes out, but I think I might pass.

  7. ownership bad‘ — EP

    Except for the one-percenters. The spectacular orgy of currency printing occasioned by the pandemic created more plutocrats in a shorter time than ever before in human history.

    Faceborg, for instance. The owner, one Mark Z, watches his billions pile up like the advancing numerals on a 7-Eleven gas pump. Clueless chumps who use his app — who own nothing — ARE the product. Human cattle, as it were, but capable of typing — thanks to public skools. Me literate! Me emote! Me ‘friends!’

    Likewise, government tax farmers exert effective control over every privately-‘owned’ property in this nation. Pay the rent, or you get evicted.

    Ownership, comrades — good for me, but not for thee.

    Watch what they do, not what they say.

  8. I’m really not sure how this plays out. I mean most millennials and younger are used to just paying a subscription to everything and knowing that at some point their tech will become obsolete. But i just can’t see people taking kindly to a 5 or 6 yr old car that bricks not because there is anything wrong with the car itself, only that the computer can no longer handle downloads and because of that ceases to operate the vehicle. I don’t believe that plays out too well. i also have some faith in the free market. Someone will create a way to overide the software at some point. Hell i just did it with my tacoma. It was either pay toyota a monthly subscription to use their remote start app or buy a remote start online and install it myself and the added bonus is my aftermarket remote start doesn’t shut off the second the door is opened which to me defeats the whole purpose of using the remote start. The point of it being so you don’t need to walk into an extremely hot or cold car.

    • This is being played out right now with John Deere and a “right to repair” movement. John Deere claims, via it’s proprietary electronics system, which has to recognize the serial numbers of replacement parts in order for them to work in a piece of equipment, that only a John Deere technician is authorized to make repairs.

      There are some hackers out there than are able to override the John Deere electronic system and John Deere is not happy about it. John Deere wants to be able to brick the machine if you try to perform your own repairs.

      • Dealer parts only, installed by dealer only technicians?
        That will go over like the proverbial fart in a spacesuit.
        Can you say NAPA? Pep Boys? etc, etc.

        Many years ago, VW was very strict (probably still are) about how independent repair garages could advertise. “Service for VW vehicles” was acceptable, whereas “VW service” was not. the implication being of course, that “VW service” implied that it was affiliated with VW. But as far as I know, VW never attempted to shut down independent repair garages, machine shops, and parts suppliers.

        That would have been a stupid move, and VW was no doubt smart enough to see that. The more VeeDubs on the road, the better for VW. Doesn’t really matter who keeps them running, as long as they run. Particularly for the “peoples car,” or the model T before it, being able to keep it on the road, and do it without spending a fortune, is of primary importance.

        I expect the same would apply to farm machinery and construction equipment, where repairs might well be required in remote locations, and time is always of the essence.

        “Nothing runs like a Deere?” Pissing away that reputation would be a losing strategy, in my opinion.

        Luxury cars might be a different proposition. I expect very few Porsche owners, and virtually zero Ferrari owners, service their own vehicles. When you get down to Jaguar territory, however, there used to be at least some enthusiasts with the knowledge and inclination to turn a wrench. In today’s world, that may, or may not be, possible.

        With the ubiquity of OBD ports, just having the tools to diagnose a fault is an expensive proposition. I was told by an independent who specialized in German makes that the annual software updates for OBD cost him approximately USD$10,000 per manufacturer, per annum. So, for his business, that included VW, Porsche, Audi, Benz, and BMW. They don’t call it “Bring More Wallet” for nothing.

        The earlier model EFI systems were much simpler, and diagnosis and fault repair was still within reach of the average individual. Reading the codes on the Intel processor which runs my 1989 F150 requires only a voltmeter and the manual which details the meaning of the codes. It is all digital, of course. Attach the meter probes, count the pulses, read the codes. I’ve done this, purely out of curiosity, but the microprocessor is still going strong (knock wood) 32 years after I bought the pickup brand new in ’89.

        • Turtle,
          VW tried suing me for trademark infringement. VW was in the name of my shop (it was already in the name of the business when I took over ownership) All I did to please them was add a period after the “V” and the “W”, V.W., don’t really know if it pleased them or not, they haven’t fucked with me since. Another thing, I told them I ain’t paying them the $3500 they wanted.
          I found the loophole right on their own website. It stated that they’re not trying to put independent shops out of business, they just didn’t want anyone diluting their brand. They wanted me to cease and desist, check, I’ll do that. Change the name, check, I did that. But nowhere did the website say I have to pay $3500. Their lawyers agreed. I found a forum where other shops had the same thing happen to them, except they all caved and paid.

          • >It stated that they’re not trying to put independent shops out of business, they just didn’t want anyone diluting their brand.
            Yes, exactly.
            The case with which I am familiar dates to Albuquerque, NM in the early 1970s. There was an independent shop, run by a German fellow named Hermann Elfner, who originally did business as “Elfner’s Volkswagen Service.” VW came after him for that, so he changed the name of his business to “Elfner Motors,” with the sub heading “service for Volkswagen Vehicles,” after which he had no further problems with VW, AFAIK.

            • I am probably the only reader who patronized that shop in SE Albuquerque (a yellow metal building as I recall). He was a gentleman, and he fixed my “repairs” as needed without commenting on how awful my 14 year old mechanics skills were.

              • In that case, you probably remember Charles _______, Hermann’s employee, who drove a red dual cab VW pickup. My own was a 1960 single cab, for which I upgraded the 1966 (1300cc) engine. My younger brother had a black beetle, also modified (more than my PU).

                If you were into modified VW engines, you probably knew Bob Morgan. There was also a shop on San Pedro NE, directly across from the fairgrounds, which remanufactured VW heads. I gave them a fair amount of money until I ditched the stock oil cooler for a Hayden which mounted on the firewall. Problem solved.

      • This just seems like a really bad idea on their part. Real nice way to lose customers if they are not allowed to repair on their own or allowed to hire who they want to repair their equipment.

  9. On a similar note, I went to Buffalo Wild Wings. They kept pushing for us to download their app. After we placed our order our waitress told us we had to do it to pay the bill. I again told her I was not interested. A few minutes later, she told us that we’d have to pay via text message and that I “need” to give her my phone number.

    I started getting up to leave and said: “Well, you’d better cancel our order because that’s not going to happen.” She immediately (and shamefully) backpaddled and said that “for now” they can still accept a credit card in the normal manner, but her manager would be really mad at her if she can’t get me to download the app or get my phone number. She soon learned that when you work for tips AFTER the “service” is provided, it’s not wise to piss-off your customer.

    I won’t be going back to that shithole again!

    • Yeaaaars ago, back in the 1980s (the original heyday of PCs) Radio Shack was very obnoxious about asking for detailed personal information for the smallest purchase. “Insensitive, lacks interpersonal skills” barely described those clerks. But, of course, they were just following (corporate) orders.

      Hey Fokker, all I wanted today was a package of AA batteries. I *don’t* need, and will not put up with (if I can help it), the Grand Inquisition from a nosy parker corporate drone in order to buy them. I avoided Radio Shack whenever possible, which was most of the time, and I *never* gave them any personal information. I really don’t care what your boss told you to do. you are welcome to keep your nose out of my bidness.

      Radio Shack exists today as a mostly online company. If you go to their website and search for stores, you find very few, and a significant percentage shown pop up as “XYZ Electronics, authorized Radio Shack dealer.” There are exactly three of such “authorized dealers” in the great state of New Mexico, and zero actual Radio Shack stores. Albuquerque, the birthplace of the personal computer, has none. AZ has one Radio Shack Express, in Gilbert, and two “authorized dealers.” The map of RS locations is completely blank for the San Francisco Bay Area.

      Californians will note that Fry’s Electronics, which started in the Bay Area as a sort of “super Radio Shack” went out of business last year. Over time, Fry’s became more of a discount appliance store, as computers became more like appliances, but in the long run, even that did not work for them.

      Lesson 1: Change with the times, or die.
      Lesson 2: Be responsive to your customers, or they will leave.
      Lesson 3: Franchises only work if corporate obeys Rules 1 & 2.

      Are there still electronics stores? Yes, both physical and online.
      Physical stores which sell electronic parts exist where there is a market to support them.
      There is a quite good electronics store in Riverside, CA, the next town up Hwy 91 from where I live.
      For online purchases, I have had good experiences with New Egg, and they do have the possibility of will call, if you live within driving distance of their (one!) warehouse (no showroom).

      I would consider both of these to be “local businesses,” with one physical location. The “corporate retail,” or “franchised retail” model for physical goods is hanging on, but is definitely on the wane.
      There is a fancy retail center on the south end of Corona (The Crossings, for those who know western Riverside County) with plenty of space for lease.

      So, what about restaurants? I suspect the heyday of corporate restaurant chains may also have reached its peak, but likely will not decline as quickly as physical goods sellers. The reason for that, of course, is that people need to eat, and, particularly for “fast food” outlets, their main selling points are a) availability (a.k.a. “location,” just like gasoline stations) and b) uniform (even if substandard) product.

      In fact, one could regard “fast food joints” as “fueling stations” for humans. You eat whatever is available (87 octane McBurger, perhaps) then get back on the highway, never to return. You can get away with *a* *lot* if most, of your “customers” are one time “marks” to be relieved of some cash in exchange for a few calories of (few would call it)”food.” More like “feedstock for feces.”

      • I never bought anything from best buy again after a clerk would not shut up about their stupid fucking warranty for a computer or something. Not to mention all the other worthless add-ons they try to thumb-screw you into buying. Good luck trying to ever use the worthless warranty as you go through customer service hell. I’m actually surprised theyre still around. I wont go to a new car dealership for the same reason. What should be a 20 minute transaction takes three hours

    • Oh I agree with you, ML. I would have beyond aggravated. I HATE it when businesses ask for my personal information or require me to do their job for them. I stopped going to Bath and Bodyworks and a few shoe stores because every time I checked out they wanted my phone number or email. I would smile and just reply I am not interested. Most of them would cease, but you always had a few who wanted to push the point and couldn’t comprehend the meaning of no, which just makes me bitchy and forces me to ruin their day (and mine)!

      I have started to become a fan of the self checkout, because I am not forced to round up to the next dollar to donate to some charity that I don’t want to or if I would like to sign up for rewards or a credit card. I also can verify that the store is charging me the correct price, which I noticed is next to impossible to see when a cashier is ringing you up now.

      • RG:

        Dealing with live cashiers is most annoying (Walgreens comes to mind). However, I bet that the self checkouts are now using facial recognition cameras and matching up your image with your credit card info (and of course your purchases).

        My favorite is when I’m at the self checkout being an unpaid employee and there’s an actual paid employee staring at me the whole time doing nothing.

        • They may have facial recognition, but I pay cash. 🙂 I don’t even use a debit card. I keep enough in the bank to pay the bills….groceries, clothing, restaurants, etc. all paid in US dollars. This way I don’t have to worry about them asking me for my zip code to verify my credit card or link any transactions to me. It can be a little rough, because one’s project has to be precise, but I can only spend what I have and no more.

          • But if they really can identify your face, they know who you are, and where you have been. That, in itself, is valuable information, to someone. Hello, John Anderton. Nice to see you again.

            It is worth keeping in mind that what we know as the Internet was originally called ARPANet. ARPA is now known as DARPA. Does the phrase “Total information awareness” ring a bell?

            • I guarantee the local farmer’s market does not have facial recognition. 🙂 Aldi or Lidl may, but I guess that is a risk I take. This is the very reason I put make up on when I go out…..just in case.

              Although, I am not quite sure why they would use it. I can just imagine some supervisor reviewing the tape footage saying “this chick, here, paid cash, but she bought an aloe vera plant, three bags of organic tortilla chips, and six cans of Simply Nature organic black beans. We think she has a sunburn and is going to make nachos.” Is that worthy information to anyone? Believe me, my NSA record is beyond boring.

              • > my NSA record is beyond boring.
                LOL. I am counting on the same thing, and so is my sister. She has a “history” of living out beyond the power lines, where the coyotes are the loudest sound you are likely to hear, and the Milky way is actually visible.
                Old saying:
                If you think you might want to break some “big” rules, be sure to obey all the little ones…
                I have a first cousin who lives at a rural address in Georgia which is known to USPS, but not to Google Maps. Not just, “the Google cars don’t go there,” but “Google Maps does not recognize the address. Wish I could say the same, but I live in town (SoCal).

          • PS:
            If forced to wear a face mask,
            is what a choose, and always with wraparound mirrored sunglasses. I do my best *not* to speak with store clerks when thus costumed, and will *never* make small talk, no matter how hard they prompt me to do so. I am socially hostile, not “socially distant,” under these circumstances, although in normal circumstance I tend to be quite friendly, although a natural introvert.
            So, no facial recognition, no voiceprint.
            I *like* my Black September costume. 🙂
            They chose to play a game. I choose to raise the bet.

      • RG,
        If the cashier is an attractive lady and asks for my phone number, I ask her if she’s going to call me and ask me out.

    • I’ve had, so far, two “interactions” with AGWs who mistakenly thought I was talking on a cell phone while driving (I was leaning my head on my hand, elbow propped on the window sill). I patiently explained to both of them that I do not carry a cell phone. The first cop was somewhat surprised, but very pleasant, and we had a nice chat about this & that, no problem.

      The second incident was a different story. Basically, the AGW did not believe me when I told him I do not carry a cell phone. He asserted, “Well, you must be the only person in the world who doesn’t.” I remained calm, and said, “That may be so. Nonetheless I am not carrying a cell phone.” He did not know what to make of this. (I am not so stupid as to offer to let an AGW search my vehicle. No chance, ese. Nothing to hide, just as matter of principle. No search without probable cause.) Apparently attempting to save face, he puffed up like a toad, drew himself up to his full height, and retorted, “Well, if you’re lying to me , you’ll have to answer to Saint Peter.”

      I managed to keep a straight face (unlike most folks I’ve told the story to: it generally gets a laugh.) I thought to myself, “Well, I may very well have to answer to Saint Peter, but, if so, this would be the *least* of my worries.” Besides which, I was telling the truth.

    • I’m honestly surprised more businesses, particularly chains, haven’t done this already. Asking for the customer’s information does allow for direct marketing access to potential customers, who are more likely to return when incentivize, but there’s also protection for the business against people who might refuse to pay, argue about the bill or just dine-n-dash and there’s less chance of having that argument turn into negative media attention. That’s especially useful if you’re doing business in an area where low cash value theft laws are no longer being enforced.

      • Sorry, you do not need my “personal information” to sell me prepared food, whether to eat in or to go. I will treat any such request as an egregious and unacceptable attempt to invade my privacy, and will never do business with any food service establishment which attempts such a stunt.

        I will stay calm, and they can jolly well mind their own business, which will never include my patronage.

      • In Lowes they used to ask for your phone number at the checkout line.

        Bored Drone: “Phone number?”

        Me: “No. Thanks. I have one.”

        They never know what to say. It’s not like they could actually type my phone number with those fingernails anyway.

  10. To get around the computer issue you mentioned above, use Linux. Yes, bite the bullet and learn how to install Linux (there are tutorials all over the web). You own it, you control the updates (unlike Mickeysoft) and you don’t have to pay for it, especially in perpetuity. I’m running on a Windows 7 machine that I refuse to “upgrade” to Win10, and even Win7 has the odd automatic update applied without my consent (gee, I thought they stopped supporting Win7, hmmmm….). But I do have Linux on a few USB drives, ready to install whenever I feel it’s time to do so.

    Re: Musk – I wonder how long it will be before Tesla drivers file a class action regarding the lies and empty promises he’s made over the years.

    One thing I looked into recently is the idea of kit cars. Believe it or not, there are still kits being sold that you can build yourself. I wonder if that’s one way around the problems you raise above, at least as long as they’re still legal?

    • They will leave kit cars alone unless they become a popular escape. Sort of like the “gun show loophole”. Fortunately(?) there are decreasingly few humans with the ability to build or restore a car. Intelligence and skills have been destroyed in a generation by electronic soma.

      What I expect is that those of us who do have the skills, and teach them, and can resell our products will be under increasing assault.

      • Pure speculation, but it is possible they could allow sales of kits, as a “hobby,” even allow them to be registered normally, but prohibit resale of the completed kit, probably using “safety” as the excuse.

        Either that, or require insurers to charge outrageous premiums for resold kit cars, again for “safety” reason, no matter what the insurer’s actual claims experience had been. Can’t have little Janey Public driving an “unsafe” “amateur built kit” car, even if it *is* terminally “cute.”

        I don’t know the rules for so-called “experimental” aircraft, but there is probably a parallel there.

        • The rules for experimental aircraft is a good analogy. There are few rules per se about selling your experimental. BUT since they treat you (the builder) as a manufacturer you are fully liable when (as with pretty much all planes and vehicles) some mishap happens and our legal system allows you to be bent over and vaxxed/booty raped. I expect that is already the case.

          I expect restorations to be different- probably they will start enforcing IP law against 70 year old Fords and Chevy owners who restored or modified a branded product without hive approval.

          • Don’t know where you live, Ernie, but here in California, owning an “antique” motor vehicle (which according to CXA DMV is anything over 25 years of age) does not exempt you from smog laws. For that, you have to go back to pre 1975.

            My understanding is that kit cars are classified for clean air regs purposes according to the year of manufacture of the engine. So, if you build a kit car from scratch, and power it with a mid 1960s engine, you are exempt from smog

            *Any* mods to vehicles subject to smog inspection are illegal if you fail smog test, and I can attest they do go after older models rather aggressively. “Filthy polluters,” (not!), obviously.

            But for older models, anything goes. There are enthusiasts who restore old Minis, but there is at least one company which imports old British market (RH drive) models from 1960s and swaps in a larger Japanese engine, which is totally legal.

            My brother Keith, who lives in the state of Washington, built himself a hot rod from a 1932 Ford chassis, powered by a 1960s big block Chevy. A *BUILT* big block, normally aspirated, which formerly lived in his 1971 Camaro, and before that his ’66 Chevelle. Sold the cars, swapped engines before sale.

            As far as I know, Keith’s ’32 Ford, Chevy powered hot rod would be perfectly legal in California. In fact, I have seen *blown* hot rods on the streets & highways hereabouts, all duly licensed and inspected. We don’t have annual safety inspections here, unlike some other states (Texas, et al).

            I honestly do not expect those laws to change, because the number of vehicles affected is very small, and probably getting smaller by the year. Today’s soy boys mostly have no interest in automobiles, and probably regard them as “bad,” if hey think about hem at all. JMO.

            Laws may be different wherever you live, I don’t know.

  11. Every business wants to be the cable company. Everyone who subscribes to cable (or Internet, or cellular phones), pays a monthly fee. Everyone feels like they’re getting screwed but they pay it anyway. Customer surveys rank cable and phone companies near the bottom, yet people keep paying. When push comes to shove and there’s competition, most people don’t switch.

    Every business wants to be a bank. Everyone has to have a bank account. Most people have to have a credit card. Many people have automated their pay check and basic bill paying to automatically deposit and withdraw from a checking account. Changing banks is a big hassle, so most people won’t do it.

    Every business wants to be a defense contractor. Instead of spending millions of dollars on marketing, just schmooze a few politicians and they’ll get your company in a spending bill. Overpromise and underdeliver and you’re pretty much assured a perpetual cashflow without producing anything but reports.

    Every business wants to be a pharmaceutical company. Actually they want to be a cocaine dealer, but that’s still considered distasteful, so they’ll settle for patentable substances that don’t cure, just perpetuate sickness.

    Every business wants to be Facebook. A few years ago they all wanted to be Hollywood, spending a few million dollars to generate hundreds of millions in revenue (and yet somehow still lose money). Now they don’t even have to spend money up front, the bulk of the content is generated by users. If there’s nothing worth looking at on FB, it’s because you’re not following the right people, not because the platform sucks. Then just sit back and collect the ad revenue.

    Every business wants to be Apple. More a marketing miracle than tech company these days, still exploiting past glory.

    Every business wants to be Berkshire Hathaway. Well, every CEO wants to be Warren Buffett, but you get the idea. Only be in businesses that are monopolies. Hide behind regulatory capture.

    Keep in mind, I’m talking about the big, publicly traded companies. They all march in lock step because the Wall St fund managers will run them into the ground if they deviate from whatever psychopathic tendencies the Wall St investment banks are into this month. “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.” as Carlin said.

  12. Perhaps free market innovation can someday “fix” this problem, by creating privately owned software to override the corporate software. A hack that would be most welcome.

  13. Used autos are increasing in value for another reason, chips in them.

    A lot of catalytic converters worth from 100 to 200 dollars each breeds a new brand of thieves.

    Some crazy Russian hackers will ransomware the entire industry, nobody will be able to drive. If you won’t be able drive your tractor out in the field because of digital piracy, it can become worse than bad.

  14. I received a survey a few days back from Toyota as I own two of them. The survey was all about tech and paying for it. One price up front? Annual or semi annual? Monthly subscription?

    My answers to the questions were no on all of it and in the “what don’t you like” about the idea section I said everything. I hate the tech and the subscription of any kind idea. But I’m just one dissenter swimming in a sea of dipshits that probably feel it’s wonderful.

    Once Toyota, Fiat and Mazda are coaxed–fully–into the charade there’s nowhere to go. They are the last holdouts but the peer pressure through gun barrels is so strong that it’s on a matter of time until they’re all on board. The glimpse’s of freedom on this planet are shrinking by the minute and most love their slavery.


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