2011 March

Range Rover Welcome Pack uses an interesting but scary USB trick. #rangerover

As they normally do, Land Rover sends the personalized Roadside Assistance card shortly after taking delivery of a vehicle.  This time it arrived in a sliding package with an interesting addition.DSC_2327

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On the right is the standard Roadside Assistance card, actually the back of the card. 

On the left is the new addition (or new for me at least).

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Offering to allow me to create a photo mosaic, I figured it was either a program on the USB key or just a bunch of pictures – similar to how they’ve been doing their press packs lately.  So I plugged it in and saw an unexpected sequence – running Windows 7, I saw the Run box appear, text was entered automatically (http://vcgw.net/****/*******, I substituted the asterisks) and then my browser appeared on the web page listed on that card.  What I found odd was that there was no prompt, no autorun box(which is actually blocked) – just a Run dialog, text entered and a browser window.  So I dug a little deeper into Device Manger:

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And there it was under HIDs – USB Input Device.  I hadn’t seen one of these before but it’s a very interesting idea – it pretends it’s a keyboard and just enters in the commands directly as if they were being typed.  And while being neat, this could also be very, very dangerous – it’s like letting someone sit right at your keyboard.  And yes, I did have to plug it in but what if someone was able to hack that intermediate address that the USB device plugs in and instead of it redirecting to www.landroverusa.com/welcomerr it automatically brought up something much more malicious?  The actual companies being marketed have to trust that the vcgw.net domain stays legit because if they go out of business and someone plugs this into their computer, who know where it would take them and without any prompting.

Upon further searching, it looks like American Express & others have used the same device for their marketing as well – all with the vcgw.net redirection service.

Again, neat idea but maybe a little over done.

Jaguar Land Rover Careers YouTube Channel has some cool videos! #jaguar #landrover

While searching for something else, I found the Jaguar Land Rover Careers YouTube Channel.  They have all sorts of videos up there that I haven’t seen before – some are just the normal marketing videos, but others are actually pretty interesting, covering new technologies.  They’ve been up for a year but most only have a few views.  They don’t have real descriptions or anything informative but they are interesting to watch – just not sure how anyone will find them.

 

 

 

Land Rover video shows Range Rover LCD IP doing more then it currently does. #rangerover

When I did my first rant on the TFT-LCD Instrument Panel on the 2010+ Range Rover a few weeks back, my major complaint was the lack of additional functionality that we could get if they’d add in music and/or nav info in that center between the “gauges” area.  While checking out other videos from yesterday’s post on the Jaguar Land Rover Careers YouTube Channel, I found this Range Rover – Go Beyond video:

 

And right about 20 seconds in, we see this:

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Right there, between the gauges, in the normally completely blank area on my North American spec 2011 Range Rover – we see audio system info.

So I ask, Land Rover, Please!  Or at least, Why?

What a difference a bend makes… #rangerover

I’ve had what I thought was an odd and isolated issue with the Surround Camera System in my 2011 Range Rover – from time to time and mostly at night, the reverse camera will go completely blue.

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I’ve also seen it on the surround cameras too.  So I went to my favorite Range Rover Forums (http://rangerovers.net/forum/) and did a search.  Apparently it’s not as isolated as I thought and this post from a Range Rover Sport owner, aptly named it the Blue Screen of Death.  He even made a video:

 

In that post there is some great information and real Land Rover documentation on the issue.  The thing that really got me after reading everything is how much of an impact excessively tight cable bends can have on this system.  Here are some examples:

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I do completely realize that there are tolerances to everything and the cabling used here must not be the most resilient.  It’s just a little disappointing from a company that talks about the engineering that went into their iPod interface cable:

The dedicated iPod®/iPhone® point was designed with Apple, Inc. exclusively for Land Rover, to ensure the device won’t come loose from the socket, even in extreme driving conditions. iPod® and iPhone® are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

http://www.landrover.com/us/en/rr/range-rover/explore/hse/

Sorry, just another rant and I will continue to say, my current Range Rover configuration has to literally be one of the best vehicles currently on the road – see even after all that I still love you Land Rover.

Parts 1 & 2 of the new Evoque design video – I still think it’s a modern production Range Stormer! #rangerover

So this is part 1 of a series of videos Land Rover Range Rover will be releasing showing the Range Rover Evoque process from behind the scenes.

For once, I don’t think Gerry McGovern actually used the word “desire” which was starting to really sound like a marketing gimmick.  But I do think he said a few things that made this post inevitable.  First the whole thing at about 2:40, the falling roof & rising beltline/waistline and how it’s “something we’ve never seen before” “exciting, dramatic, totally unique shape”, just have to call back to a post a did:

Is the Range Rover Evoque, the 2010 production version of the Range Stormer?rrstormerhero4[1]

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I know it’s just me, but for all they deny how the Evoque had nothing to do with the Range Stormer, I just have to respectfully disagree.

Then he goes on to say:

This isn’t supposed to be meant as an entry-level vehicle.  This is somebody who wants Range Rover, who wants the qualities that are intrinsic to Range Rover but they want it on a smaller scale.

I just don’t get that, it’s clearly an entry-level vehicle, and I’m not saying $20,000 entry level but it is an entry-level Range Rover.  It’s just hard for me to see someone in the market for a Range Rover going to the dealership and changing their minds from even a Sport to switch to an Evoque.  And don’t get me wrong, it’s growing on me with everyday, can’t wait to actually drive one.  I just think if you do want a Range Rover, there are more reasons then just the premium interior.  When he says, “smaller scale”, it sounds like they just needed to call this small car a Range Rover, no matter what so it sells better.  And it will be the entry-level model to get a new crowd in the door and they will sell a lot, can’t wait to see them on the road. 

And this is just my normal rant, I know they have to do whatever is necessary to sell more vehicles,