cars

Are black boxes in cars a violation of privacy?

Episode 952

Mike from El Segundo, CA

Mike hears that black boxes are now being put on cars. Can they be used to spy on the motorist? Leo says that it could, but there's cameras everywhere, so it's not like the government can't follow him if they really want to anyway. The boxes are more likely for diagnostic information to repair a car. That capability has been in there since the 80s. But they can also be used for accident investigation. The question though, is what are the rules?

Should I pay more for an optional navigation package in a new car?

Episode 951

David from Ann Arbor, MI

David is buying a new Chevy Volt car and it has an optional navigational package. It's about $1,000 and has an upgraded sound system. Is it worth getting considering smartphones have GPS?

There are pro's and con's to both options. The advantage to having the navigation system built in is that it will have a nice, big screen, and Chevy says Siri integration is coming. The disadvantage to it is that it may be more difficult to use, and updating the maps is cumbersome. It will require updating them through a USB stick or a burned DVD. Those updates can also be very expensive.

Are Car Enthusiasts of Today the Computer Enthusiasts of Tomorrow?

Episode 875

Leo does The Tech Guy radio show from his Tech Guy Labs in Petaluma, California, where scenes from American Graffiti were shot. This weekend is American Graffiti Days, and there are classic cars everywhere! Leo makes the analogy between car enthusiasts and computer users. We're moving toward a time where needing to know the complicated inner workings of computers won't be necessary, and those who do understand those things will only be the enthusiasts. We're already seeing this with devices like the iPad becoming mainstream computing platforms.