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That ownership thing again (12 Sep, 2017)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:26 am
by aardvark_admin
This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2017/0912.shtml

What are the legalities of doing an "unofficial upgrade" on your technology-based device, so as to unlock the extra functions and features that the more expensive version offers?

Since you're doing nothing other than inserting a code, surely you're not actually altering the firmware or the hardware so how can this be illegal?

And once the hacker community starts unlocking the extra battery capacity and other features of the more expensive Tesla models which may lie dormant in the cheaper ones... what will the company's response be and will this become a safety issue that requires special certification to get a WOF?

Re: That ownership thing again (12 Sep, 2017)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:53 am
by hagfish
This reminds me of the stink many years back, with people using the Pencil Trick to their Athlons.

My guess is the Tesla tweak simply recalibrates 'zero' from maybe 40% charge to maybe 20% charge. Regularly deeply discharging a Tesla battery pack would likely degrade its life-span, but as a one-off, it's a better option than being submerged in salt water for a fortnight.

These hacks get into a grey area where EULAs and 'terms and conditions' stray into the area of 'law'. Lawyers love grey areas.

Re: That ownership thing again (12 Sep, 2017)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:21 am
by GoGijoe
The Tesla "Hack" isn't much of a hack, they change the charge capacity cut off limits for the battery's which is ultimately detrimental to the life of the battery's.

the battery's have a charge cut off of 4.1-4.2 volts each and a nominal of 3.8 or so, the life span of a 4.2 /4.3 volt charge cuts the battery life cycle time by as much as 2/3rds
all they are doing is altering the limits to whats allowed, with potentially huge downsides to the life span of your battery.

Re: That ownership thing again (12 Sep, 2017)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:56 am
by phill
https://www.wired.com/2015/01/let-us-hack-our-cars/

cars have been there for awhile
i think the only thing stopping them is the loss of sales from persecuting the small guy
ie .. no one has dared to be first to take someone to court for fixing their own stuff

i also wonder how much you could change under open source agreements

Re: That ownership thing again (12 Sep, 2017)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:12 pm
by roygbiv
I suppose the old rule exists in that when you shell out your hard earned to buy a new whatsit, if you twiddle with the thingies then you will invalidate the warranty.
This is most valid with electronic gadgets. An addendum to this rule may well be that you had to update the firmware regularly in order to maintain the warranty, this would particularly harsh for most non-techo or luddite punters.
Or, you could buy a second hand whatsit on Trademe with no warranty and rise to the challenge of your knowledge and thingie fixing skills.
:)

Re: That ownership thing again (12 Sep, 2017)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:20 am
by elbrownos
GoGijoe wrote:The Tesla "Hack" isn't much of a hack, they change the charge capacity cut off limits for the battery's which is ultimately detrimental to the life of the battery's.

the battery's have a charge cut off of 4.1-4.2 volts each and a nominal of 3.8 or so, the life span of a 4.2 /4.3 volt charge cuts the battery life cycle time by as much as 2/3rds
all they are doing is altering the limits to whats allowed, with potentially huge downsides to the life span of your battery.

That's not the case.
The S60 and S75 both have a 75 kWh battery (for production reasons) but the S60's battery is software limited to 60 kWh.