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An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
Pray tell; were should computers be?
Also improving the desktop and improving other types of computers are not mutually exclusive.
MeeGo conference: Intel's and Nokia's visions of MeeGo
Posted Nov 17, 2010 23:50 UTC (Wed) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
Posted Nov 19, 2010 12:14 UTC (Fri) by wookey (subscriber, #5501)
Those car computers are increasingly getting wireless interfaces (not entirely a good thing) and will no doubt be online too soon.
As to the 15 billion - as several people have pointed out this is no exaggeration. Once you include every car-charging point, smart meter, smart device (in white goods and heating), every wind turbine, security camera, utility monitoring point (power, gas, water) as well as everyone's personal and work gagetry, and all the vehicles, there are going to be a _lot_ of devices on the net. (and enormous opportunities for hacking and cracking).
Posted Nov 19, 2010 16:39 UTC (Fri) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
Posted Nov 24, 2010 16:12 UTC (Wed) by n8willis (editor, #43041)
Posted Nov 24, 2010 16:25 UTC (Wed) by nye (guest, #51576)
So the fuel injection system gets to watch The Simpsons? :P
As someone else said upthread, "I think you are conflating 'computer' and 'display screen'".
GP was talking about the computers that actually *control* the car, not extra devices that you can add in for entertainment but aren't intrinsically *car* computers.
I think he was intending simply to point out that nobody is proposing running an entertainment system on the computers that control critical operations, so including them in the count is arguably unfair.
Posted Nov 24, 2010 19:15 UTC (Wed) by n8willis (editor, #43041)
And there's not a bright line separating the "entertainment" front-end from the the location/safety/other systems -- they are all interconnected. Your audio player must be able to override a music stream to play an alert when the proximity sensor detects that you're backing up into another car. Your hands-free phone support allows you to keep your fingers safely on the wheel, but it has to overlay video message pop-ups onto the same screen displaying your turn-by-turn navigation, which also has to overlay a message when the tire gauge detects low pressure. The same networking stack that delivers IP radio also must route sensor data to and from the roadside assistance service. You disconnect all of those systems and you don't have a working system at all.
8 years, dealer upgrades
Posted Nov 24, 2010 19:46 UTC (Wed) by dmarti (subscriber, #11625)
What the dealers need is an in-car platform for selling upgraded entertainment devices that locks out the aftermarket. So you wire in some safety-critical systems to the same network, then you have an excuse to make it dealer-only.
Posted Nov 24, 2010 20:59 UTC (Wed) by n8willis (editor, #43041)
What percentage of car owners ever replace their factory head unit? Most of the people I know don't have an aftermarket audio unit; they definitely don't install RSE video units in great numbers.
There are a lot of makers that sell-up their higher-end models by advertising things like Alpine/Monsoon/Whoever speakers & head units, plus satellite radio compatibility. I suspect that they get a non-zero chunk of the satellite and navigation monthly service fee as revenue, too. Over 8 years, that ongoing revenue stream is better than whatever their margin is on a particular head unit. Plus by maintaining good working relationships with the head-unit OEMs, they get year-after-year business on the new models. Ticking them off by locking out 3rd-party upgrades can't be worth that.
Anyway it seems like car makers and head-unit OEMs *are* interested in some standards; that's what MOST is for, and XM/Sirius makes lots of add-on units to retrofit different brands.
The interesting thing to me was when Rudolf Streif said that carmakers are wanting to leverage their IVI systems as "app platforms" like the smartphone market is giddy on. There may not be a ton of possibilities for driver-facing apps (though I'm sure the 4square types are already dreaming up something useless), but rear-seat gaming is sure to garner some sales. Anyway, it almost necessitates a replaceable "IV unit" to upgrade processing power and network standards. That would be a real big change. In any case, the IVI working group already talks about separating vehicle sensors and data from the head unit, connecting them instead on existing bus standards like CAN.
We'll all see who's still impressed with the locked-in, Ford-only nav unit they can get today ... when 2017 rolls around.
Posted Nov 24, 2010 19:56 UTC (Wed) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
For that matter, the average desktop computer probably has a dozen parts which are computers in the traditional "car computer" sense, and it would be nuts to consider running Linux on them (or having the main system take over their functions). You're not going to run MeeGo on your optical mouse, or have your optical mouse provide light-sensor data to the CPU; similarly, the IVI system is not going to handle all of the processing needs within a car.
There are two simultaneous processes going on: people are putting recognizable computers (operating system, multiple independent programs, user interaction, system image with processes and dynamic memory allocation and such) in more places; and people are replacing physical mechanisms with software implementations on special-purpose hardware (with general-purpose processor architectures). Both of these lead to there being lots more computers in the world, but it's the first and not the second that's relevant here.
Posted Nov 24, 2010 21:13 UTC (Wed) by n8willis (editor, #43041)
Besides, if the central IVI box that is connected by CAN bus or whatever to the ECU, the sensors, the security system, etc. *is* running MeeGo, when those other systems are essentially microcontrollers, how is "the computer" *not* "running MeeGo"? Do you say that your desktop box "isn't running Linux" because there's someone else's code running in the BIOS, the hard disk firmware, DVD drive, and Ethernet ROM?
Posted Nov 24, 2010 22:01 UTC (Wed) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
Posted Nov 24, 2010 23:07 UTC (Wed) by dmarti (subscriber, #11625)
Posted Nov 29, 2010 15:28 UTC (Mon) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
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