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closed-source concept car - Accretions

Fata Morgana
2004-03-06 10:38
closed-source concept car
Public
quixoticquixotic
Volvo has developed a concept car "for women, by women." The most ridiculous thing about it, beyond even the seat covers that you can change to match your outfit, is that the hood can only be opened by a Volvo mechanic. Even if the designers never looked under the hood of their own cars, I don't understand why they would take such an important piece of functionality away. What if I want to check my fluids, or give or receive a jump start? As jacobiwan put, it would have been much better for them to make simple maintenance more user-friendly, perhaps by minimizing the tools needed for an oil change or laying everything out in a clear way. At least they make the windshield washer fluid accessible.

I hope this doesn't set a precedent. I shudder to think of a world where cars are "closed-source" and getting your car repaired or even opened ("cracked") at any place but a certified (=overpriced) repair shop is an infringement on the car manufacturer's intellectual property rights. It's bad enough in software. :~)
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Gaia
temperategoddss
2004-03-06 19:01 (UTC)
(no subject)
I've never heard of something so impractical and fucked up and misogynistic as that. Any woman who buys it will be a complete sell out, in my opinion. Hehe... in my oh so humble opinion *coughs loudly*.
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2004-03-06 19:10 (UTC)
(no subject)
Luckily, they're not actually going to sell this one. But the design ideas from it may make their way into other cars.
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janviere
2004-03-06 20:40 (UTC)
(no subject)
I hate when "female" means "fluffy and stupid".

I found this: http://www.carkeys.co.uk/features/product/2212.asp

They seem to highlight four differences between men and women: women are afraid to open the hood of a car, women are a different size, women can't park, and women go shopping a lot. My stepmom would be overjoyed if they made a car with enough room to store a purse next to the driver, but it looks like they think women want to keep a purse in the seat behind them.
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Ping
zestyping
2004-03-06 20:40 (UTC)
(no subject)
I shudder to think of a world where cars are "closed-source" and getting your car repaired or even opened ("cracked") at any place but a certified (= overpriced) repair shop is an infringement on the car manufacturer's intellectual property rights.

This is so much worse than that. This is a car that's closed-source specifically because the designer thinks women are too helpless or stupid to fix them.

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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2004-03-07 00:24 (UTC)
(no subject)
Indeed. And I've heard that the design team actually was almost entirely women - men could only contribute when they were asked.
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Becca
rebbyribs
2004-03-06 22:47 (UTC)
(no subject)
I think concept cars are desdigned to apply a certain principle to all aspects of car design, even when it seems ridiculous, and then the good ideas are applied to production cars.

It seems to me like the easily-accessible windshield washer fluid reservoir and washable, changeable seat covers are good ideas that would be good to incorporate into production cars. I think it's nice to have an oil guage also so that you don't have to go under the hood and check the oil level with a dipstick - it's a little inconvenient and sometimes messy.

I think it's strange that it's acceptable for women to want things to be user-friendly and require little effort, whereas men are supposed to want difficult cars, computers, etc. to tinker with.
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Ping
zestyping
2004-03-06 23:38 (UTC)
(no subject)
I think it's strange that it's acceptable for women to want things to be user-friendly and require little effort, whereas men are supposed to want difficult cars, computers, etc. to tinker with.


Out of all the subdisciplines of computer science, HCI has the most women. Funny, huh?

Further to Morgan's earlier comment about productive vs. reproductive fields of study — among computer scientists, HCI is often treated as a lesser subdiscipline of CS because it's too touchy-feely. I bet if you took a survey of CS students, HCI would be labelled the most feminine of all the subdisciplines. Yet, as far as i know, the most famous and outspoken HCI practioners are almost all men.
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2004-03-07 00:29 (UTC)
(no subject)
HCI gurus are to HCI what master chefs are to cooking. :~) I sometimes wonder at my disinterest in other areas of computer science. Is it because I'm female? What does that mean, anyway? It's funny that while I ended up in a traditionally female-light field, I'm interested in the most female-heavy end of it.
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Olego
olego
2004-03-07 00:04 (UTC)
(no subject)
This sounds like a car I'd love to bang with a wooden baseball bat, in front of the designers. If that car doesn't promote the stereotype, then I don't know what does.

Firstly, how are cars designed for men? They are designed for transportation: they have seats and they have storage. Of course, seats that fold are nice; there are dosens of models on the market that do that. Next, seat covers: it's a good idea to make covers that are washable; but advertising it as something of which all women have been deprived, isn't. And lastly, what a dumb idea it is to SEAL the hood? Do "women" suffer from knowing that it's possible to open it? Is it such a bad idea that you can't check oil (most cars make it pretty simple to see where to pour that), window washer (that's a piece of cake), coolant (just wait 'til it's cool and open)? Or what, if you're male then that's a piece of cake, but if you're a female then you shouldn't have to worry about those things? And what if you have a family, should that be your personal car, even though it'll annoy everyone else?

Yea, I really dislike it. :-)
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fanlain
fanlain
2004-03-07 08:30 (UTC)
well...
like, there's stuff under the hood?!

i think we should progress toward redesigning lipstick to fit a man's needs.

:OP
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fanlain
fanlain
2004-03-07 08:26 (UTC)
just drug out womanhood..
"If the car says nothing, then everything is fine," said Ms Temm optimistically.

i would personally advocate giving this woman a yearly supply of downers to control her optimism...
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shallwedance_
shallwedance_
2004-03-07 12:26 (UTC)
(no subject)
Oh... my...

Skipping lightly over incredible insult this is to womankind (Did female engineers design this thing? If so, I'm aghast for my profession.) which has been well covered, I will share a little anecdote: My calculus teacher had a friend (yes, it's one of those friend-of-a-friend stories) who was a bit of a mechanic. This was back in the day in the 1930s, by the way. One day he was driving along the road when he heard a loud noise from underneath. He stopped and took a peek. A hole the size of a fist had been knocked into his oil reservoir. So, he did the only thing he could: he took off his pants, stuffed them in the hole, refilled the oil, and drove home.

Cars nowadays are already getting pretty complex. I shudder to think what will happen when they become more electrical than mechanical. Right now, you can open a book and figure out what each bit does. When you have to take an electrical probe to ferret out where the trouble is... I am not CS or a circuits guy; debugging my car is not my idea of a relaxing afternoon. Making maintenance easier (which should include not sealing the hood), however, does seem like a good way to go. I would really like to be able to check my fluids in one glance, check my brake pads without taking off the wheels, have reminders for when to change rotate the tires, change the oil, etc.

< cynicism > However, it's not really in the industry's best interest to make easy-maintenance cars, is it? They must make a packet from their dealership repair shops, seeing what they charge for parts and labor. < /cynicism >
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nikita
hukuma
2004-03-07 23:28 (UTC)
(no subject)
The decision to make the car 'closed' is controversial under the best of circumstances, but saying that this is a feature "for women, by women" really takes the cake.
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