The Department of I Told You So

34
2017
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CNN – that TeeVee show with a smaller audience than Joe Rogan’s podcast – had an interesting story (for once) the other day. It was interesting – per usual – chiefly for what was not covered.

The story was about those Dastardly Rooskies – the usual – and their “plundering” of Ukie John Deere tractors, harvesters and other equipment. This being different than the “liberation” of Iraq some years back. At any rate, the “plundered” tractors didn’t work – because John Deere disabled them.

Without ever laying hands on them.

The CNN story did not get into that – into what it implies – even cursorily. Instead it went on at length about it being done and how grand that was, a just-desserting of those awful Rooskies.

“The equipment now appears to be languishing at a farm near Grozny,” the CNN piece explains. “But the contact said that ‘it seems that the hijackers have found consultants in Russia who are trying to bypass the protection.’ ” 

Nothing at all about what such “protection” means.

Since CNN didn’t, let’s do.

It means that if John Deere – or GM – wants to do it, John Deere (or GM or any other purveyor of connected equipment) can render its equipment – or what you thought was your vehicle – inert, whenever it wishes. 

It is interesting in this respect to note that CNN also did not cover the briefly urged shutting off of Teslas in the hands of Rooskies. Something Tesla has already established it can do anytime it decides to do it.

Defender of the Faith will say: But John Deere, et al, would never disable what you assumed was your tractor (or GM what you thought was your car) since you hold the keys and paid the fees . . . except for good reasons, such as theft, say.

Do you trust any corporation as far as you can throw it?

These being the same corporations that were used by the government to effectively do what the law couldn’t – at least, not without actual laws having been passed. The reference here being to the imposition of the Face Diaper and then, the Holy Jab(s). Also – in a few cases – the Holy Pass (i.e., your Proof of Jab, in order to be allowed within restaurants, pubs and so on).

Do you suppose there is any chance these same corporations might use their power to disable what you thought was your equipment/vehicle if the government says there is a “pandemic” – Mark II – and that it is necessary to “lock down” the population? Or perhaps if you commit public Wrongthink, as by posting something online questioning whether a man who “identifies” as a woman actually is a woman?

These same corporations – many of them snuggling the Chinese Communist Party and its social credit scoring regime of population control – would never use their power to cajole Americans, similarly.

Would they?

You, the private individual, have the power to stymie such corporate machinations. Pick up the phone and give the tree an earful. Sarcasm off.

Meanwhile, keep on hummin’ that Bobby McFerrin song . . .

Don’t worry! Be Happy! 

. . .

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34 COMMENTS

  1. This makes me love my 1974 ford 2000 even more. But wait! What if Russians steal it in the dead of night?! I won’t be able to phone in a shutdown from JD headquarters!
    I love the ease of operations of hydrostatic drive and a lot of the other features you get with modern equipment, but this has gotta stop at some point. I’m amazed anyone even buys crap that they can’t work on themselves especially in farming.

  2. I’m curious if there would be a way to remove/ disconnect the antenna that newer vehicles use to do software updates and if so would the vehicles still function normally without contact with the OEM? My stuff is so old it’s safe from that, as for computer software I’m pretty well using old bought and paid for or open source software backed up and offline.

    PS- And word on when reply’s to other reply’s are offset like they used to be up until a couple days ago?

  3. ‘the “plundered” tractors didn’t work – because John Deere disabled them’ — eric

    This incident gave Europe’s ‘crats a brilliant idea:

    ‘On July 6, all new vehicles sold in Europe – including the UK – will be equipped with a speed limiter.

    ‘The new speed limit assist system “uses a forward-facing camera mounted on the car and the vehicle’s satnav system to identify the speed limit and, if the car is exceeding it, to restrict the fuel flowing to the engine until the vehicle is at the limit speed,” British automobile magazine Autotrader said.

    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/content/news/mandatory-speed-limiters-on-uk-cars-from-2022

    Spot the unintended consequences — if existing vehicles are free of this noxious nanny tech, what’s gonna happen to their price?

    You get one guess. 🙂

  4. The biggest problem with software, is this: You never own it!

    No matter how much you pay for it!

    What you are paying for with ANY software, and I mean any software, whether its on your computer, your car, your “smart” phone, your tractor, embedded in a device etc etc IS A LICENSE to use software. Not to buy it, ever! The only way to own software is to create it yourself, and even that is limited because you’re probably using some code that someone else owns. Its also the reason you can’t modify it either.

    The software owner can revoke that license for just about any reason. Have you read all the writing in the contract? Of course not, but there is probably something that they can use to stop you from using it.

    In the days before the internet a software license was hard to revoke. Once it was installed you generally used it until the hardware it was on no longer worked, so if you managed to use it 20 years, great! They didn’t have a kill switch that made it stop working on a certain date and even if it did, you just reset the date on your computer to before that date. I can still use the software on my Apple II from 1983 with no problem. But if I want to use an old version of Skype on an imac from 2008, nope not going to happen, Microsoft turned it off and it won’t even open.

    Many kinds of software are now subscription based. You keep paying monthly if you want to keep using it. Adobe is one of the big ones with that (I used to be a graphic designer). You used to pay about $600 for a copy of photoshop, so yes not cheap. But you could use it for as long as you wanted, so there are some really old versions still in use out there (I still have a copy from about 2002 I sometimes still use on an old imac).

    Now you can’t even buy it that way, they won’t sell you that one time license anymore for $600. Monthly for about $50 now, stop paying it stops working. So its $600 a year no matter what. Most graphic designers would use a version for about 4-5 years before updating to a newer version because it was $600 a pop.

    It’s another example of the non-ownership society in action. Never get off the treadmill even for a second. This type of crap shouldn’t be tolerated. I will never use Adobe software again,
    and not just because its too expensive now.

    • Hi Rich,

      Indeed, this business of perpetual rental is how people are being enserfed. It serves the dual purpose of providing these “license” holders with a perpetual revenue stream and, secondarily (and thereby) preventing or at least limiting the accumulation of capital by people who buy into this business. The “business model” is being expanded to encompass vehicles – which they intend to make very difficult to ever own by making them so expensive and so short-lived (battery packs, over-complexity) that most people will be making endless monthly payments, swapping out vehicles every so often.

      They have been trying to do the same to private home ownership via property taxes, which operate as a form of rent in perpetuity. Also serving the purpose of limiting saving (capital accumulation) and compelling the victim to stay on that treadmill, until he’s no longer physically able – at which point, liquidate his remaining assets and shunt him off to a Mortuary Waiting Room (the “senior living” place).

      Ah, the American Dream!

  5. The Russians can go to tractor dot com and pick out good used John Deeres that won’t be digitally encrypted. You just can’t go steal a 250,000 dollar tractor, that’s against the law. Not theirs to start with, put it back.

    500,000 to 800,000 homeless veterans throughout a year in any given year, 100,000 permanently homeless.

    33,000,000,000 for Ukraine to continue to oppose the special operation Putin engineered.

    33,000,000,000/500,000 = 66,000 USD per homeless veteran, 800,000 homeless veterans could be paid more than 40 grand each. 100,000 permanently homeless veterans could receive 330,000 dollars each.

    33 billion to spend to have more conflict is wrong, isn’t doing anybody any good.

    The US gov needs to re-evaluate its priorities.

  6. Speaking of which…

    Have you noticed that the Corporate World cancelled Russia much sooner and much farther than any government did? Just saying.

  7. I remember seeing a documentary about right to repair mentioning farmers curcumventing john deers DRM with russian black market software in order to fix their own machines. Whatever this propaganda is supposed to prove that equipment will be up and running if someone over there wants to get it going. Software hacking and piracy are practically cultural cornerstones in aisia. Everything the west invents gets dissected, reverse engineered and replicated for pennies on the dollar over there.
    If I had any equipment or vehicles capable of updates from the cloud I’d disable that in any way possible like I do with my computer/devices. It’s just another vector for planned obsolescence and nefarious 3rd parties. If your computer controlled devices work well DON’T upgrade them. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  8. Smart Farmers are already Aware of the problems with “Proprietary Software”and the Prices of Used, Mechanical-Injection Diesel Equipment is rising steadily, even for non-running units.
    Eventually, like with Cars and Trucks, the .gov will “Ban” older Vehicles that do not have a ‘backdoor kill switch’ feature.
    We Shall have to be ready to ‘Deal with this” in the same way as if they try to “Ban Guns”.

  9. And, from day one, any vehicle with On-Star has the same feature. Like the Captain told Luke in Cool Hand, “It’s fer yer own goood.” And I agree with Luke when he replied, “I wish you’d stop bein’ so good to me, Captain.”

    • On-Star? Johnny come lately.
      I was extremely interested in Lojack… until I learned that the tracking codes would be given to the police, but not to me, and in fact were never under my control. And the police could order them from the manufacturer without my agreement if they felt like it.
      Screw that to the wall.

      • Hi Henry,

        There’s an axiom I hew to, which is: If it’s not under your control, someone else is controlling you. All of the electronica of the modern era is being used to control people, many of whom don’t realize it and many of whom do not care. The rest of us are dragged along, as by a rip tide.

        • I have tried and tried to point this out to my students. They do not believe me even after I show them. For example: control h on a Chromebook shows their usage history. I even pointed out that that probably stands for “control human”. They still keep right on going to sites and playing games instead of doing their assignments. Dumbness reaches down fathoms!

  10. John Deere has become the new Belarus- only unlike Belarus, JD is building the dysfunctionality into their tractors on purpose!

    • ‘John Deere today is where IBM was in 1981’

      “… ‘We’re going to build a tractor with all off-the-shelf parts and it’s going to be easy to repair,’” said Clemmons. “So, we did it.” In 2014, he worked with Saul Berenthal, a Cuban-born software entrepreneur, to develop an open-source tractor for small-scale farmers there. It relies on a Honda engine, universal parts, and has a design that is easy to modify. The tractor, called the Oggún, […]

      the fully assembled tractor, which resembles a bright red go-cart, is more of a platform—a starting point that farmers, local mechanics, and other tinkerers can modify to suit their needs.” …

      https://civileats.com/2022/04/27/right-to-repair-open-source-tractors-john-deere-oggun-farms-profitability-technology/

      Although the link (via SurvivalBlog) was a bit watermellony/electric-hype-ish, the product seems veerrry interesting. It reminds me a bit about how many people here wish for something like that in an automobile.

  11. Notice how that the equipment left behind by the US military doesn’t have this remote turn off feature. Or any disabling features before leaving it behind. Hell the military doesn’t even seem to bother removing vital components before leaving it. If their logistics reason were even legitimate they could at least put a bullet through the ECU or take it with them.

    If it did then the military industrial complex would have some trouble selling new more expensive stuff to the military to replace it. They’d have to settle for direct replacement.

    • “Notice how that the equipment left behind by the US military doesn’t have this remote turn off feature. Or any disabling features before leaving it behind.”

      I wouldn’t presume to know what features it’s got. If anything, it’s likely to feature active, survivable remote-control functionality that permits the IDF to control the whole stay-behind fleet, wreaking havoc at will that can be blamed on “ISIS,” etc.

  12. Since the Psychopaths In Charge are constantly reminding us how vulnerable we are to Russian cyber attack, one might suspect the Russians will have little trouble cyber attacking any John Deere out there. CNN gloating over a fight that isn’t yet finished.
    “Do you trust any corporation as far as you can throw it?”
    I absolutely trust them, to do whatever the state that created them tells them to do. Or else the state uncreates them. Possibly a bit of accidental genius in Musk buying Twitter out right, making it no longer a corporation, but privately and wholly owned by Musk.

    • Even if it has one private owner, Twitter will likely remain a corporation registered with the gov’t. I don’t see a character like Musk operating it as a sole proprietorship or an LLC/LLP.

    • John, very good point. And who’s to say they didn’t commandeer the tractor hoping Deere would disable them, while they packet sniffed the communications links? So then spoof the Deere servers and disable every green tractor on the planet. For the LULZ, of course.

  13. wow. That story should be shown to all farmers. wonder if they could get together enough to influence or change this?
    Pretty sure anything is hackable, even if it means going back to analog everything.

    • Farmers already aware of this, as they cannot work on their own tractor, but must call a company mechanic to come out and fix it. two trips by the mechanic, one for testing, one for parts. So a couple of hundred bucks before the work begins. No to mention that time is critical in farming. Agriculture does not wait for your convenience, or for a company mechanic.

      • John, I’m aware of the current plight of farmers Re: proprietary devices.
        My point was the news of the tractors being turned off remotely.
        Could/will the farmers revolt over these proprietary devices?

  14. ‘”When the invaders drove the stolen harvesters to Chechnya, they realized that they could not even turn them on, because the harvesters were locked remotely,” the contact said. — CNN

    This incident has lit up the three functioning brain cells of Def Sec Lloyd ‘Raytheon’ Austin.

    Since many of the US transporters and mobile missile launchers sent to Ukraine ultimately will be seized by the Russians, obviously they need remote kill switches so ‘we’ can disable them.

    If only someone had thought of this before ‘we’ fled Afghanistan and left tens of billions worth of valuable pelf to the Taliban!

    America: fighting smarter, not harder! Go team!

    • I think all the hardware left behind in Shitganistan was left accidentally on purpose. Now the MIC gets more money to replace it all, not to mention the tsunami of weapons and such being shipped to Ukraine. The Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed, etc. executives are probably checking out new retreats in Colorado right now.

      • ‘Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed, etc. executives are probably checking out new retreats in Colorado right now.’ — Mike+in+Boston

        The Uniparty’s Military-Industrial complex is cranking out billions worth of weapons — many of them unusable by the Ukies; many undeliverable after bridges, railroads and depots were bombed.

        Those that do get delivered will require bribes paid to the Ukrainian mafia and oligarchs. Then they’ll get seized by the Russians and used against the Ukies.

        It’s a self-licking ice cream cone, until it melts into a sticky mess on the floor.

        This is how Nancy Pelosi defines ‘victory.’

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