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February 18, 2020 54 mins

Dashboard-mounted cameras, also known as dash cams, are relatively inexpensive to buy, easy to install and practical to own. Join Scott, Ben and Kurt as they discuss some of the more rational reasons to own a dash cam, like saving you from insurance scammers, hit-and-run drivers and parking lot vandals. And, as you might expect, they also have a bit of fun talking about some of those crazy dash cam videos out of Russia!

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to Car Stuff, a production of I Heart Radio's
How Stuff Works. Hi, and welcome to Car Stuff. I'm
your host Scott Benjamin. I am Ben Bolan, and I
am Kurt Garren. And today, Oh you know what, actually,
before we even get into our topic, yeah, as I
was going to jump right in there both feet. But
but I think there's something that we had talked about

(00:22):
on the last show that I think we still have
to address, and that is your brand new car. Pen
you're in you're new to you car, right, my new
to me car, So tell us what it is. And
you've been in this thing for about a week, so
tell us a little bit about it. Did we did?
We mentioned that did we meant not talk about this
people week? So we we've talked about what it was,
but you were a day away from picking it up.

(00:42):
So I took possession on a seventeen Ford Escape, a
little over sixty thous miles on it. But I got
a great deal. So I I am currently seller trying
to sell my Monte Carlo. That's a whole different bag
of badgers, But so far I really enjoy it. You
know how it is if you've owned older cars for
a while, first off, Also, never buy a brand new

(01:04):
car if you've driven around older cars for a while.
It feels like the freaking future when you hop into
anything that's built. More recently, I was looking into escapes
because I did a fantastic, blazing road trip from Atlanta
to New Orleans and back in a Ford Escape. There

(01:24):
was a hybrid, and to be honest, I probably killed
the hybrid uh with a little bit of a lead foot.
On the way back to Atlanta. I shaved a probably
about an hour off whatever the average drive time would be.
You're gonna say your life, Well, I I may be
shaved a may have shaved a few days off my
girlfriend's life. She was not happy with my driving the

(01:46):
scary trip. Well, we had places to be, yeah, I had.
I had an appointment in Atlanta at that time. Anyway,
But this car, this car is need and it's weird
when you start driving in um you know again in
newer vehicles. Is the first car I've ever had that
has a backup camera that I'm like, maybe learning to trust,
but I still have to you know, I still have
to pop my hand over the shotgun seat and do

(02:08):
the turnaround. You're living in the future. Man, because I've
I've you know, driven relatives cars that have backup cams
and they've only been around for like ten years now,
but none of my cars have ever had them. But
but that is definitely a futuristic thing, and it's tough
to it's tough to get accustomed to trusting that is.
I don't think I will. I'm gonna be honest with you,
I think I'm always going to have to do a

(02:30):
physical eye check. I don't use it, but I want
to make sure curtaining experience with a backup cam very little.
Maybe in a rental car, yeah, every now and then.
But do you trust it? No, Because when you look
at the screen, I just I can't get used to
what I'm seeing exactly, Like looking to the right and
the left. You have to just you have to be
familiar with the visual that the screen gives you in

(02:53):
order to get a good feel about what's to the
right or left of the car. And you can see
behind you, great, but then this little fish i'de off
to the sides. Yeah, you don't get a good sense
of distance and size or even if what it is.
It's always good to look like there's nothing coming from
the left except a greyhound. It's just and you're like, oh,
that's not a dog, that's a that's painting on the

(03:14):
side of a bus. If I yeah, if I had
a it's a terrible joke. You're working life. So if
I had if I had like a kid or a
new driver, and I was, uh, letting them learn that
sort of stuff, then I would probably do the old
you know, parking lot of a school on a weekend
kind of thing and be like, all right, just turn

(03:36):
on that back camera and just go in circles. Well,
use that to drive. So aside from aside from the
backup camera, what's your overall impression of this thing? I mean,
is it you It's like it's like future. Oh you
do love it? Okay, So you're not like it, are you?
Are you still reminiscing about what it was like to
drive the money car lot? Yeah? I kind of thought
you would. Absolutely, So anything that you're looking forward to, Oh,

(03:58):
have you jumped it yet? Have you jumped? I jumped?
Come on, you've had it like two weeks now. What's
going on? Uh? Yeah, not yet. OK. I'm doing a
lot of I broke out my old map where I
have the you know about this, and it's gotta have
these concentric circles where I mapped out how long it
takes to drive somewhere and back. So that and I've

(04:19):
had this since I started driving, so that I could
figure out, you know, if I have forty eight hours
and I cut in like of that forty eight hours,
I cut in six hours of sleep every twenty four hours,
then how far can I get? How far can I
come back? Right? How how obviously want to get in
that time? We'll see, man. It's also it becomes, uh,

(04:40):
it transcends habit into addiction. But I've got some cool
day trips lined up. I've got one really close by
the way. This weekend as we're recording it. I'm taking
some of our colleagues up to a Hindu temple in Georgia.
It's it's pretty neat, it's legit, man, And also, you know,
I'm still a cheap skate. It's also free to go.

(05:00):
So it's like if you ever, you know, Scott, if
you want to you want to get the kids some
culture on a on a little day trip, It's it's
very reasonable to get there. And they've got a got
a cool temple. They've got a they've got a can
I say kick ass? They have a kick ass gift shop,
A little snap shot. The only thing they ask is that,

(05:22):
you know, you have to not wear shoes in the temple.
You have to not speak in the temple, a rule
that is regularly disregarded by children. I should I should mention.
And the third one, the third rule, which might be
a little weird, is they they ask you not to
bring meat onto the premises. And it's worded in such
a way that, like you ever read laws or rules

(05:45):
and you think, what the heck happened? I feel like
some somebody must have run in there just like covered
in barbecue sauce and ribs or something. Because they're very
hardcore about the meat thing, and that's literally the only thing.
They're very hardcore. Surely can bring beef turkey, and it's
got to be exception to the will ask cured meat
this weekend. I will ask to dried meat, and you

(06:06):
can put in your pocket. It's gotta be all right.
Oh yeah, I'm like, oh me, this is just my pocket, jock.
It's just this pepperoni way that it came with the pants. Yeah. Um,
but yeah, long answer, short man, yeah, I am really
happy to be back on the road. Is are there
other cars that I would you know that that I
would want? Well, sure, they're always going to be other

(06:27):
cars I got. I got close to, I got close
to making some less well informed decisions, let's say, because
you know how it is, like it's an emotional decisions sometimes, yeah,
and you're making it. Whenever you're making a big purchase.
You know, there are all kinds of psychological factors that
come into play where you think, for instance, I'm just
I'm making up numbers, right, But let's say you're gonna
pay You're getting some super high end car and it's

(06:49):
like eighty thou dollars, and then you see another car
and it's thousand. But by the time you're already spending
eighty grand, you're like, well, how much is it? You know,
what a price can you put on happiness? Right? And
go back and you try to persuade your significant other
that you're not crazy. You know, we've all been in
some variation of sure. So it's here's the thing, though,

(07:12):
we've also been whenever we buy a car new to
us or brand new, new or used whatever, we always
know that there are some owner modifications we have to
make right. It could be something as simple as, you know,
getting some tuning done, getting some wheels that you prefer.
It could be oh god, like, what's that stuff? I

(07:32):
hate rain X? You know, like it's time to put
the rain X on and Scott Scott on the sea. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
you know, all all those little things. But one thing
that I've been considering, and I am not alone in this,
one thing I've been considering adding to this new car
would be dash camps front and back, nicely done. I
would as well enjoy a dash cam. I don't know

(07:55):
if I wanted all the time though, And I've got
kind of a few stipy lations that would have to
be in place, I guess before I ever purchased one.
Maybe we'll discuss those at some point. But what about you, Kurt,
do you think you would ever go for a dash cam? Yeah,
especially after doing a little research for this conversation here, Yeah, exactly.
And we're going to talk about some interesting things in
this kind in this podcast that maybe people haven't really

(08:18):
considered when they're looking at the dash came because I mean,
we've we've all seen dash cam footage that's you know,
either one it's either hilarious, right, or you're watching something
that is well, it's practically like tragedy unfolded in front
of you. If you happen to see one that's like that.
You see some interesting things like newsworthy things you find, um, well,
you know what, maybe maybe we should just let some

(08:39):
of these go until we until we actually get to them,
because there's some there's some other twist to this whole
thing that I find fascinating in some ways that you
can use dash cams either to your advantage or maybe
even to your disadvantage as well. Will discuss. But we've
probably we've got we wanted to do a show on
dash cams for a long time. It's not like their
brand new technology of course. And I know we've talked

(09:00):
about you know, dash camp footage that we've seen, you know,
some some funny some unique things that we've seen or
just in passing, you know, nothing really in depth, but
um we have really talked about like you know, who
needs them, or how much they cost or what they
do or you know, the real the intent behind them,
the real purpose behind them. So there's a lot of
angles here that we just have never covered over the

(09:22):
over the past years. I mean, I know we've we've
again just touched on a few things, but we've never
really talked about them in one complete show. And I
think with Kurt here and with Ben here and myself,
we should be able to have a pretty decent discussion
about what we've seen, what we know about them. Um.
I don't know if this is necessarily the place, and
I hope I'm not reigning on anybody's parade here when

(09:42):
I say that, I don't think we're gonna, like, you know,
recommend one specific model for you to get that that's
the best one or anything like that. This technology changes
relatively quickly, just like you would expect. There might be
some that are that are recommended by certain websites like
c net or you know, any consumer consumer guide or
you know places like that that might say the is
the best one right now for the its price point,
and that's fine. We can talk about those. And there's

(10:04):
such a variety of price point, Oh there really are. Yeah.
That's another thing is is the incredible right of prices.
I think Kurt and I were talking off air about
the gap between the lowest and the highest price one
that I was able to find. It's it's uh, it's immense,
it's a huge difference, but what you get is also
completely different, So we can we can dive into all this,
but I think that it's something that's it's worthwhile talking

(10:25):
about because it seems like we would all benefit from
something like this, I mean almost everybody. And Ben you
had mentioned to me off air as well that UM
and and a Kurt that you almost see this as
becoming like maybe a UM have required feature on cars.
Absolutely that is mandated, right, And the reason yeah, yeah,
And the reason I feel that's a solid bed is

(10:47):
because of the rise of onboard camera technology that we
already have for you know, parking assistance, like a rear
view camera. Right. Also in terms of insurance and determin
need liability, it's it's a no brainer for insurance companies.
The way that I would see it happening is I

(11:08):
would see I would see certain models or types of
dash cams being incentivized by private insurance companies. So it's
just like a lot of these uh, insidious kind of
overarching systems. It rarely starts out as something you have
to do. It starts out as something you can opt into.

(11:28):
For a discount, right and then a few years later
the discount becomes less and less important because the true
cost of insurance in everybody's head is the cost of
insurance that you pay when you have a dash cam.
Because of course you would why wouldn't you, of course
normalize it. That's what I think is happening. It's going

(11:49):
to become normalized technology. I think, yeah, I really think so.
I mean, but right now, I think about who needs
these right now? For for my short list of people
that needs them, and it's probably includes everybody really, but
for now, you know, truck drivers, fleet owners, bus drivers,
anybody that drives for maybe a shared ride company like
Uber or Lift. You know those drivers they need them.

(12:11):
They point them the opposite direction to uh point inside
the vehicle for safety, so they use them as well
taxi drivers of course. Um. And then the general idea
is that you know, you get this camera that that
records a wide angle of view. A lot of times
you'll see the the angle as one of the selling
features on the on the cameras typically like a hundred
and seventy degrees, So you get a wide angle and

(12:33):
it's just a constant recording of of what's happening in
front of the vehicle or wherever that lens happens to
be pointing, if it might be pointing inside the vehicle,
as we said for a share driver. But you also
could have multiple cameras on the car. You could have
all all different variations of this. But you know, so
these views are all from you know, one or more viewpoints.
And as Ben said, this could be extremely valuable for

(12:55):
insurance companies if they decided that, you know, if you
have a dash cam on your car, we're gonna get
of view a bit of a cut rate on your
premium for the next six months or the next year
or whatever, as long as you keep that on and
make that available to us if there is an accident,
if there is a problem, and uh, and of course
you would agree. You have to agree to that, you know.
I guess once that's all in place, you can again

(13:15):
count on that benefit coming through, even though you have
to invest in the technology to begin with, or if
you're lucky enough, maybe you've got a car that already
has this built in, because there are cars that have
systems built in that will do this already. Now I
would have to assume that this encompasses almost any car
right now that is claiming to be driverless, any car
that is claiming to have an autonomous mode. Because the

(13:38):
one in particular I'm thinking of is one that we've
seen in recent news and maybe the two of you
have also seen this. But there's something in the Tesla
models that's called Centry mode. If you heard Tesla center mode. Okay,
so this is uh something that uses the Tesla cam
videos I guess as a dash cam footage, and Centry
mode is something is a mode that you can put

(13:59):
the car in that again uses the cameras. And there
are eight cameras in total on the new Tesla model,
so there's a lot of them. I mean they're forward facing,
rearward facing, you know, left right that you know, it's
it's they're all over the place. These these cameras. You
can look up the locations if you want, but they
capture video of vandals that might be up to no
good around your vehicle. And it does this in a

(14:21):
pretty cool fashion. I think. Um I've watched some people
try to trigger the system. You know, just see what
it takes to activate this system, because you have to
put your car into centry mode. It's not going to
automatically do that, and you do have to they say
install the dash cam, but it's not really installing, it
is just more like having access to it. So there's
very specific steps you have to go through in order

(14:41):
to set up your Tesla cam system in order to
make it work this way. But if you have a
Tesla car that was built after August of any of
these models, the Model three, the Model S, or the
Model X, you will have that feature available to you
as of February of two thousand nineteen, so you can
activate this, but again you have to go through the
process us to be able to do. It's very effective,
but it does activate all these cameras when there is

(15:04):
a presence noted around your vehicle that looks like they're
up to no good. And it's funny to watch, you know,
the videos, and you can watch them on YouTube or
whatever video platform you want, but you'll see an owner
trying to trigger his own sentry mode, you know, trying
to trigger the camera, and sometimes it works, sometimes it
doesn't work. So it's kind of comical, you know, like
what works, Like, all right, I'm I'm pretending as if
I'm walking through a parking lot next to my car,

(15:26):
and you know, he said his driveway doing this like
I'm walking next to the parking a parked car here
doesn't turn on, but he'll stop and look in the
window of the car and it will turn on. It'll
activate it. And one of the most clever things about
this is that the cameras pick up you know, all
of them activate, and you know, it picks up audio
and everything. The really cool part about this is that
it's always recording anyway. So if you've got it in

(15:47):
the centry mode. Let's say that an action happens, like
someone bumps into your car in the parking lot and
they leave. You know that it happens a lot. You know,
they'll open the door into it or park you know, parking,
they may bump your bumper. What's really cool about this
is that the recording is actually beginning there. The recording
that you're accessing is recording ten minutes before the action

(16:09):
was detected. So it's because it's continually going, it recognizes
that moment when something happens, that's the moment that it
actually activates and turns on. But you get video and
audio from ten minutes prior to that because of the
continuous record, which is smart. You know. I like that
because we've all been at least adjacent to a situation
where we see a bumper, like a little a little

(16:32):
bit of paint has lost on one bumper another it's
a parking lot. Someone misjudged the distance or something, or
someone was jerk with a shopping cart. I saw something
years ago on the internet and this was a true story.
So somebody got their car hit and then they came
out of you know whatever story they were in, and
they see this little like piece of notebook paper on

(16:56):
the windshield. And this person said, Hi, I'm sorry bumped
into your car. I don't have any money, uh, and
I'm not gonna give you any of my information. But
somebody saw it happen. So I'm writing this note and
I was like, Wow, that's it's pretty cold. That's pretty cold.
A sociopath is out there in the parking lot of

(17:17):
the bed bath and beyond or whatever. Also, you know,
you're captured on on surveillance cameras. You're gonna get caught.
My conscious wouldn't allow this. Yeah, there are people out

(17:39):
there who will rationalize doing completely irresponsible things. And that's
why I think it's better for everybody if we all
have dash cams as stick because I do have some concerns.
But um, to step back. You know, one thing we
didn't say the way that a way that a dash

(17:59):
cam is to biically gonna work. It's gonna be uh,
it's not going to be as fancy as the testlas
centry mode that's like very high end. Instead it's going
to be something like a small thing mounted on your windshield,
often with a suction cup, right um, and some you
can use permantent adhesive on. But it's a commitment, especially

(18:21):
if it breaks or you want to upgrade. To your
point Scott about how fast the technology is evolving. And
then it typically records on micro SD card, right yeah,
some sort of internal or external type of storage. And
then you have to be careful because in many of
these devices the footage will just be collected until that

(18:44):
card is at capacity, and then it'll just loop and
start erasing everything. Yeah, it starts to rewrite the old
files and so old videos are often recorded over unless
you stop them. If there's an event to some sort,
you know, an accident or you know, in occurrence of
whatever that you want to see like maybe maybe we
were driving home and you know, a deer in in
front of you, in front of your car and it
was so close you couldn't believe it. But then you

(19:05):
want to check the footage of being home to see
how close it really was. Just you know, something cool
like that might have happened, or you might have witnessed
an accident and you want, you know, that person to
uh have some sort of benefit from your foot at
your file footage. You know, you can you can offer
that to them if you wanted to, or you know,
it could be something that you're involved in as well.
It could be that it could just be a picturesque drive.
Maybe you want something kind of cool to upload if

(19:27):
you're driving the Tail, the Dragon or something like that,
some really interesting road or um, you know, some somewhere
like that. Now we've we've seen, you know, people use
go pros for this for a long long time, but
it's slightly different. The go pros just record until the
battery is dead or you know, the space is filled up.
And their thirsty beasts, Yeah, they really are. I mean
we've had experience with them in the road rally that

(19:47):
we did, but we were continually changing batteries and locations
and moving it all over the place, and we had
we had several of them going all at once. That
was kind of a different thing. It's not it's not
like a purpose built dash cam that is mounted in
one spot all the time. It never moves, it's got
power from the from the car systems. You know. It's
it's like an accessory that's running all the time. It's
just a it's a different beast, really, But I will

(20:09):
tell you this, I was surprised to find that you can.
He wanted to. You know, everybody's got a smartphone in
their pocket, right and chances are you've got an old
smartphone that's sitting in a desktore somewhere. Likely you can
turn that old smartphone into a dash caam if you
want it. There are apps that are available that you
can use to you can download the and use your

(20:29):
smartphone as a dash cam. And it does have a
lot of features that you would expect in other dash cams,
only the storage is a little bit different. The way
the files are saved and rewritten are different on some
I know that you know that doesn't apply to every
single app that might be out there, but it will
give you things that you didn't expect to have on
a smartphone type device like this, Like you know, we're
a little time stamp that the image you'll also tell

(20:50):
you, you you know, critical information like your speed, your located,
your maybe your location probably if you have GPS involved,
but um, it could also show you you know which
direction you're at. It just it could be a lot
of valuable information for you if you need it in
let's say a court case, because you can take footage
from dash caams into a courtroom situation and show them
They've been used many, many times to prove innocence in

(21:14):
a lot of cases. Ah, yes, yes, because we're also
interacting with the world of scams here, right, Yes, So
we've got to think about it this way. All right.
So you're you're the esteemed Kurt Garin, and you are
driving down the streets of Mumbai or something, and you've paused, Kurt,
You've stopped maybe at a stoplight or stop sign or something,

(21:38):
and then out of nowhere, someone runs towards your car.
They slam their hands on the hood and then they
throw themselves on it, then throw themselves back on the ground. Uh,
and then have some accomplices who are ready to go
to court and say that you hit this person. They
saw it right. Yeah. Luckily for you, you have a

(22:01):
dash cam. It's right there, uh, in the vicinity of
your rear view mirror. And that dash cam, let's say
you have a sixteen gigabyte SD card. It's been recording
for up to two hours, and so you can say,
all right, that's fine, buddy, I will see you in court.
And then, like you said, Scott, you can play the
footage of you at a full stop when this guy

(22:23):
runs up and then you know, fakes his injury or
fakes this accident. And as ridiculous as that sounds, how
many videos of that have we seen in the last
week when we were researching this. This is a real thing,
that Kurt. That's probably the reason that we see a
lot of cameras in certain areas of the world. I
think so too. I mean, how many how many times
did we see the scenario that that Ben was talking

(22:43):
about play out in the videos that we watched, you know,
the compilations of a dash camp footage, Yeah, there are there.
It's different this scenarios. But there was a guy. There
was a guy that I saw running dive onto someone's
hood and he and this is the worst one I saw.
He repeatedly mashed his own head into the windshield until
the windshield broke and then he fell on the ground.

(23:04):
So this guy was really into it. I mean, he
was going for big money. It wasn't just you know,
you knocked me down and I'm a little hurt. It's
it's I've got a cut on my head. Now you
have me hard enough and fast enough. But the footage
shows that the guy, you know, the driver had stopped
long before the man even you know, was near the
veal ten feet in the car. He dove onto the
hood and then smashed his head into the windshield three

(23:25):
or four times and then rolled onto the ground. And
that happens over and over and over again. It happens
with You'll see bicycle riders doing trying to pull the
same scam. Of course cars will try to pull the
same same scam. And and Kurt, you and I talked
about this before. This is this is a big time
insurance fraud, right yeah, yeah, yeah. There's a couple of
different ways that they can do this. There's um there

(23:47):
actually I've looked this up. There there four main types
of staged accidents that scammers will try to pull on
you on the road that can be thwarted with the
dash cam. No, I remember we talked to years and
years ago about common accident scams. But this list maybe news.
I suspect, I strongly suspect, as some golden oldies on that,

(24:08):
I think that it does. Yeah, these are now these
are staged accidents. You gotta remember this. But I guess
the golden the golden lining and this silver silver I'm
terrible with these things. That the silver lining on this cloud,
this puffy cloud. Yeah, you had a real hard time
with leading a horses somewhere. But okay, whatever, it's the
idea that the good part about this is you can

(24:30):
have a dash cam and uh and get out of
any of these situations if you happen to have this recording.
Now here's the problem. Yeah, still a lot of people
don't have dash cams, right, I mean, they're not mandatory,
no one, So it's an expense. Well, no one in
this room has one, yet I am getting something. I
honestly think that it's not a bad idea for you know,
all of us to get one. And probably I might
even look into the one from you know, my wife's car,

(24:52):
my daughter's car, just because of what we've seen. But
these four types of scams, these four accidents, um they
actually named them. There's the drive down on, which involves
a scammer who motions for a victim to move forward
or to you know, merge into a lane, or to
go ahead. Like you've all seen this right, you stop,
someone kind of motions you through, you start to go, well,
they would then begin to go as well, and then

(25:13):
the person that you know they have motioned would wreck
into them. That would be the problem. You would be
your problem. They would be the merging victims problem, because
the scammer would deny motioning them forward at all. They
would say like no, I never did that. I don't
know what happened. He just cut right into me. But
you would be able to spot that on a good
quality dash cam. There's the panic stop. I think this
is one that we're all familiar with from those videos

(25:35):
that we've watched the compilations. Uh, this is one where
someone in front of you just jams on the brakes
for no reason. It could be a green light. They
slam on the brakes and you're you just smash right
in the back of and partially what happens here, it's
not just you know, like they slam on the brakes
and hope someone isn't paying attention. They're watching the rear
view mirror for somebody to either look down or to

(25:57):
look out the window to the left or right, maybe
maybe maybe hold up a phone like this. Yeah, yeah, exactly,
they are. They're watching for something like this to happen,
like for you to just for a second not pay attention.
That's when they apply the brakes, and that's when you
smash into, making it your fault of course. Uh, it's
dirty games. Also sometimes they'll even back up into you.

(26:17):
There's no one else around, so you've seen that then, right, yeah, okay,
so what happens, Well, they're trying to get you to
where you're in them by repeatedly hitting their brakes, and
then if you're paying attention, they'll just ease back into you.
See on the dash cam you actually see the reverse
lights as they back into you, which is super frustrating

(26:38):
that it happens, But it seems like a lot of
times the second that the driver gets out of you know,
the victim gets out and points at dash cam or says,
I have a dash cam the car that's in front. Besides,
they're just going to take off and and they leave you.
Of course you've got their license plate information, You've got
now maybe even a physical description of them if they
get out of the vehicle. Um, you know, and you're

(26:58):
able to see that on the that at footage. But
it's it's invaluable because otherwise I guess who's at fault
in that situation. All they have to do it's just
that he said, she said situation in court, right, and
given the location of the damage, it's gonna be the
person in the car, in the rear car exactly right.
And but unless there's a witness. Unless there's a witness,

(27:19):
but there's sometimes there's cameras everywhere, so you never know
if you're going to back into somebody and make it
look like a rear under though you're pretty desperate, you
know your stam has gotten to the desperate levels. Good point,
you have just touched on something that I feel. Okay,
we're in the middle of our list here. Two more.
But um, a lot of times, what will happen when

(27:40):
something like this happened, especially the pedestrian accidents that we
talked about before, Suddenly out of nowhere, there are many witnesses, right,
you know, they look like about the same age and
you know, the same group of people as as the
person that's wrong. Yeah, but they'll step out from the
shadows and there's like three witnesses. They've got, you know,
phones in their hand. They take and still photographs of

(28:00):
their friend who was on a skateboard seconds ago, laying
in front of your car, you know, saying that they
were just hit. But they weren't even hit at all.
They just laid down in front of you. So they
these witnesses appear and you know, you get out again
and show them. I've got a dash cam. A lot
of times they will just take off running and I've
seen it many times on these dash cam videos on
both sides. And the other thing that happened, right, yeah,

(28:24):
the other the other thing. The other thing that that
occurs is they may have even you know, somebody that
comes by and says, hell, hey, you know what, I've
got a repair shop nearby. Um, I can I can
hook you up with you know, um just a cash deal,
So why don't you just come over and pay me
five dollars cash and I'll replace that bumper and you know,
no insurance will get involved that kind of thing. So
that happens. And then there's other another scam where people

(28:46):
pull up like suddenly, what do you know, there's a
tow truck right there, happens to be two cars away
from the car that you just hit, and they stop
and offer their assistance. And it's the same situation. Now
they've got your car where the the the other car
and they're saying, well, why don't you just pay for
the tow to this shop and we'll figure it out,
and it ends up being like a cash transaction. Never
never let that happen. But um, there's so many different

(29:08):
levels to these scams. It's unbelievable when you really think
about it. I had two more real quick ones if
you don't mind, but these are these are the stated accidents.
There's also the side swipe, which is you know, we
can all picture this too, I think, and it's one
we've talked about Ben the old side swipe. Yeah, this
is when there are two turn lanes like picture two
left turn lanes, and the scammer will take the outside

(29:30):
lane and as the victim starts to make the inside turn.
The scammer just waits for them to get a little
bit too close to that outside lane, which often happens,
you know, right front of your car, and they will
they will side swipe you. And then they'll say or
they'll move their car so that your car side swipes
their car is more accurate to say, so that you
hit maybe the back quarter of their views exactly right,

(29:52):
and then they will speed up and and you know,
sometimes you know, of course, cause this accident to happen,
and then of course say that you know, you you
came over too far into the outside lane, it was
your fault at Sarah. But dash cams will take care
of this as well. There's another interesting thing there too
that makes that scam believable, and it's that a lot
of people, when they're taking turns on a double turn lane,

(30:14):
whether right or left, a lot of people are really
garbage about staying in their own lane. Anyway, Yes, and
I don't understand why. It's one of those many, many
things that I will not hesitate to go. A little
road rage Judge drew its jud jury execution happens daily,
doesn't it, I mean, it really does. I mean, just
it's it's just it's so elementary. Well, it's usually the

(30:35):
outside person cutting in right, it's usually going too far,
you know, lanes in the intersection, you know, because they're like, oh,
it's easier to make the right on red here. But
then I'll just sort of, I don't know, I just
sort of wobble my car into the lane that I
would ideally have liked to have been in at some point.

(30:56):
That's that's that's really hoping. That's that's putting a lot
of faith in and the fact that somebody's gonna allow
you into because a lot of people that are aggressively
defending that for whatever reason, they're aggressively defending that fifteen
feet of pavement in front of their car. I don't
know why, but but it happens. Hey, what's number four?
The number four? Oddly enough, it's named my favorite dance movie,

(31:17):
The The The Swoop and Squat. Oh yeah, I'm just kidding.
I don't. I don't dance, Scott, I kind of. You know,
It's been said around the office that I do have
a bit of a dancer's body, and I don't know
if that's true or not. I think it's because going
back to the same bolt stuff from previous episode. I
think it's because of the energy you put into your

(31:37):
daily running. It must be, yes, your training. It probably
is my training. Yeah, I'm pretty intense. Um. And you
know you see pop, you can see that. I mean,
you've seen how how I eat. You know I eat
a lot. I mean, so you know it's just fuel
for the machine. Well, also, you know this the swooping squat.
I don't know if you know this. Kurt uh Scott

(31:59):
is the what was it it was? He is the
champion of the sup swooping squat in southern northwest Ohio.
It's a very small region, but one I'm the best.
That dance is really so that's where if you're gonna
do the swooping squat, that's where you go. That's where

(32:21):
you have a have a satin jacket with that embroidered
on the back. It's very classic because again it's a
very discreet part of Ohio. So sorry, man, what's number four? Okay,
this has gone silly enough. I guess the swooping squat.
This is another um of course, another stage accident, and
of course this involves where the scammer passes the victim
and emerges ahead of them while applying the brakes, and

(32:44):
then the victim can't react in time and then rear
ends the scammer. Now that this sometimes will be played
out with two cars to to scammer cars, which is
I find I find kind of extra elaborate, really um,
And this is when the first car has passed the victim,
the sec car then pulls ahead of both of them
and then slams on the brakes, then making the middle

(33:04):
car then have to slam on their brakes and that's
where the accident happens. And then the first car that
caused all this leaves, And of course there's no blame
to be had in that right because hey, I had
to stop fast as well because that car was stopping,
so they had an extra level to this whole thing.
But that has also been captured by dash cams many
many times in the past. You can watch examples of
all of these happening on dash cams, which I find

(33:27):
really fascinating because you can just watch these things unfold
once you know what to watch for. And you know,
I don't know for sure, but have you ever felt
like you've been like kind of part of something like that?
I mean, you're in traffic and someone is just breaking
completely irrationally. Someone is you know, almost it feels intentional
that they're trying to get you to ram the back
end of their car and you're trying to be careful,

(33:48):
and it just feels like that. Yesterday I had a
very close moment on the freeway, which is terrifying. Someone
came to a near dead stop, I mean from freeway speeds,
almost dead stopped to get over a lane for no
good reasons. It was unbelievab. There's that there's that like
three or five seconds where you are just confident that

(34:09):
you're not only gonna hit that bumper in front of you,
and that luckily didn't happen. And then you look behind
you and you're like, oh, that guy's gonna hit me.
It's gonna it's gonna happen. Here it comes, and then
it doesn't, and you're just like so happy when all
that has passed, but also angry at that person because
you know, what, what kind of fool does something like
that on a freeway. But again, you know, there's moments
like that when you think, all right, if something bad

(34:32):
did happen, I would have been in a much better
condition going into court trying to fight this thing if
I had footage from a dash cam, and furthermore, I'm
just gonna hoppy horse. This is second because I'm setting
something up here, Guys. Furthermore, if everybody has a dash
cam because it's mandatory, then you will have multiple reports

(34:55):
of anything like that, even if it's not a scam,
even if it's someone who was just januine when lee
a bad driver because they're a dumb person, you just
you're just really terrible. Yeah, yeah, yeah, even then, there
will be multiple angles. It will be impossible to try
to spin a different narrative. I'm setting that up because

(35:16):
I would like to take a moment if it's okay
to talk about my pressing concerns, my anti dash cam
oh philosophy. Do I feel like we need to say this?
So not only will not only will this sort of
technology in my mind, become mandatory in the near to
mid future, but also cars will The trend of cars

(35:39):
being connected to the web is unfortunately going to continue. Right,
everything your phone can do, your car can do, and
then your car will be able to do more. You'll
be connected, especially like you said, Scott, with the rise
of autonomous vehicles will be connected in these massive citywide
regional grids, right, and that will happen way before we

(35:59):
get any kind of federal level thing, of course, because
technology always outpaces legislation. The problem with this is that
we will have very few privacy like actionable privacy guarantees,
and this stuff will start running through Like as soon
as these dash cams are connected to the cloud, right,

(36:22):
they'll be on all the time. Why wouldn't you turn
it off? Right? It may be illegal top rated vehicle
without a working dash camp at some point where am
I supposed to smoke by crack? Right? Where is Scott
suppose to smous? That wasn't mean that someone in the
back of the room didn't hear that. It was like
it's short for Scott ethan No, no, really like what

(36:43):
I mean? So the stuff that you do in your
private car is then going to be public knowledge or
that's the problem right right right? Uh? And that could
go with you know, that's gonna be tied to GPS
data as well. Um, it's not I'm not of course,
I'm not saying that anybody is uh smoking drugs or

(37:03):
that they're doing illicit stuff automatically for yourself. Okay, sorry
Scott Athan, but I will say I will say that
it is a terribly misleading argument for anyone to say, well,
if you're not doing anything wrong, what are you still
worried about when you're not doing anything more? That's just
that's that's disingenuous. It's misleading, and there is there are

(37:28):
potential there are potentially profound privacy concerns when it comes
to dash kims Hi. Okay, I've had this argument for
a long time about the you know, I understand the
the thought behind this too. You know a lot of

(37:48):
people are is like, well, I'm I'm not doing anything.
I'm not I'm not saying anything interesting enough on my phone.
Why would anybody really care about listening in I don't.
I don't care. Anybody can listening if they want to.
It's boring, right, it's not the point. The point is
that somebody is listening into a private conversation on your
private phone. That's the problem. And if it becomes like
this with dash cams inside your car, um audio inside

(38:10):
the car, because you know, the audio is another element
of this whole thing, and then you know, early on
I tell you this is one reason that I probably
wouldn't want to get a dash cam in my car now.
I I do think I want one that has video,
but I don't think that I want one that has audio.
And there's a couple of reasons. One is because my
taste in music might suck. And you know, any type

(38:32):
of video that might appear might have some terrible music
applied to it, you know, which we've all seen that too,
Like you like, have you ever seen those videos? And
it's like a great video, something's really cool is going
to happen, but you're like, what is that person listening
to voodoo music or something? I don't know what's going on? Russian? Yeah,
Russian dash cam music. That's what. It's terrible. It's terrible stuff.
How many just like inane conversations have you heard on

(38:53):
these as well, Like people just talking with their girlfriend
or their husband or their wife or whatever about whatever,
you know, like one of the grocery store and then
something happens and they both go oh my, you know,
or whatever happens in front of them. You know, it's
it's it's adds a little bit of drama, sure, but
you got to listen to them just chat chit chatting
before and that's a private conversation that's now public right right,

(39:14):
they're saying stuff like, well, you know that that other
yogurt just gives me the gas I got, I got,
I can't, I can't sit in the room. Holy hell,
what is that guy in the BMW? And suddenly bam, yeah,
and then something happens, and you know that's the trouble, right,
I mean that you get that that five or ten
seconds of conversation that you wouldn't necessarily want anybody to hear,
but it adds to the video. It's part of the video.

(39:35):
And then the other thing is like, I don't know
about you. Sometimes, like when that happened yesterday, that an
event that that near accident, all filters are off at
that point when I'm when I'm speaking, I'm I was angry.
He might just consider that. You know. There's also some
sometimes when something that you say could be misconstrued or

(39:56):
applied to whatever. You know, like they might hear you
say something aggressive or angry about that driver or whatever.
And if you think that they're not going to go
back that far in the footage, you're wrong. They're gonna
take all of that and maybe even more. They might
take additional footage from you for a court case, the
entirety of the two hours on that on that sixteen years.

(40:17):
Here's one example that I can point to in particular
that the showcases this, UM, there's a there's a guy.
This is a very recent case, and I know there
have been other ones, but this is a recent one
that happened in UM. I'm scanning the notes to South Wales,
South Wales. So this is a guy. His name is
Scott Curtis. He's forty five years old from South Wales,
and he just received a jail term for two years

(40:38):
and six months based on footage from his own dash camp.
So his own dash cam convicted him and he was
apparently Scott Curtis was up to no good. He's a
drug dealer and he was jailed by his own you know,
caught by his own dashboard camp. He was recorded saying
as he sold, he sold gear, which gear means, I
I guess, um, in pairs it's meth amphetamine. Gear is

(41:02):
particularly meth ampheta. He was, He was, yeah, he said,
well I didn't know either. I didn't. I guess Kurt
knew that. Kurt, why don't you call it gear? Did
you know that, Kurt anyway? Because I say gearhead all
the time, I think it's just a different meaning, I guess.
But but he was saying something. I mean, he said

(41:22):
a few real damning things here and is he said
something like he doesn't do valium, but he said he
does sell gear as what he sold. What he said, Um,
you know, they suspected him of selling this, but his
he was caught throwing little baggies of heroin and cocaine
out of his car in some car chase. Uh, then
they caught him, you know, he claimed it wasn't he

(41:43):
wasn't doing anything wrong. Of course, they see that he
has a dash caam, so they go to the dash
cam footage. They take it as audio as well, and
they go back two hours in the footage and it
shows him like I think, he's like polishing the hood
of his car and he's talking to someone on the
phone and you can hear it outside and again he's
talking about you know, like he doesn't sell valium, but
he does sell gear and he's talking about other other

(42:03):
um class A drug deals that he had done from
this yellow forward focus that he was driving. And uh
and apparently like once he was shown this, he said,
you know, I've still was made here. He was still
maintaining his innocence in court even and they said, look,
here's here's the footage, here's what we've got, and he
just completely admitted to the whole thing went away for
two and a half years. But again, that's one case

(42:24):
where you know, as a lot of lawyers have said,
you know, these dash cam footage, you know, these these
files can cut both ways. It can help you or
it could really hurt you in some cases. You know,
if it shows you've been driving aggressively up until the
point of that accident, and then you're trying to say
this accident was caused just by another bad driver, they
may have, you know, a different opinion if they look
at that. I'm also wondering, now that you mentioned it

(42:47):
for audio enabled dash cams, I'm wondering if the content
there could be pulled without an accident occurring, you know
what I mean, Like maybe somebody's got a messy divorce proceeding, yeah,
or maybe somebody is, uh, they're doing some financial crimes.
I don't know, they're having a conversation on the phone

(43:08):
that gets picked up. Like you said, we'll take your head.
We'll think about this also. Like let's say that you know,
we talked about uber and lift drivers and you know
drivers that are just shared right maybe taxis or something.
They've got the camera lens facing backwards, but they've also
got audio once they can record what's happening. It's for
their own safety, really, and I understand that it makes sense. However,
it's also illegal unless you're telling them that you're recording them.

(43:29):
You know, they can see the video. They can you know,
maybe you've even got a little sign. But it might
have to might have to say recording audio as well,
because you might pick up their private conversations and then
be able to use that against them somehow, or use that,
you know, in a different way, or might become public.
Now they that's different in every state, right right, George's

(43:49):
one party. Well that's a good that's a good point.
I mean, so so it varies state by state, but
I mean there's there's so many different concerns here with
audio and video and and what you're picking up and
what you're using it for, and also when at what
point do you have to give someone your private footage
that you you know you've taken or how far back
can they go in that footage? You know what I mean?

(44:12):
That's there's a lot of gray area here, which is
another reason to be concerned about the use of the cameras.
And you guys are automatically calling me tinfoil, hattish and crazy. No,
of course not, of course, now we do that? Wh
do that off, Mike? Now, you know what, I think.
I've only had a couple more things here and then
we'll maybe wrap it up. But I did want to

(44:32):
say that there are some some brands out there that
are expensive, and there's some brands out there they're inexpensive.
We haven't really talked about the disparity and price yet,
and I will tell you that you know, you can
pick you can pick one up from like some of
the big names that you would expect, like Garment or
Cobra or Pioneer, and I think there's even some called
like there's one called falcon I which has some real
high end equipment. Is Ken would um lots of different

(44:53):
makers and lots of different features you can look for.
But when I said, you know that Kurt and I
were talking about the disparity and prices, you know that
the difference in like the from Low to High. The
cheapest one that I found online that you can buy.
I couldn't hardly believe this when I found it. You
can buy a seven twenty DP full HD car camera
recorder that has a hundred and seventy degree wide angle

(45:15):
and night vision h claims hdm my hookups for three
dollars and sixty four cents. I know, I know, and
I got to believe that that is probably not a
high deaf image that you would would be able to
use in court. I bet it's pretty low rez. I
don't think that it's going to be as fantastic as
it may makes itself out to appear in in this ad.
For three dollars and sixty cents, there's just no way. Yeah,

(45:38):
I gotta be honest with you, man. If the point
of a dash Kim is the stop scams, that sounds
like you're injury into one. But then I was surprised
on the other end of the spectrum. You know, you
do the sort feature and you get the most expensive one,
and you do get to a company that I mentioned
just a second ago, falcon I, and falcon I has
a completely different set of clientele. I believe they've got

(46:00):
the fleet owners. So these are people that are adding
um DEF cams to their fleet of trucks, like maybe
semi trucks or you know, cross country shallers. These will
have multi camera capability. They have passwords, sign ins that
the drivers don't have access to. Um it has streaming
capability so that you know, they can be viewed from
anywhere the owner chooses, you know, like if they're back

(46:22):
in the office or at home or wherever, they can
watch what the drivers are up to. WiFi capability all
that we're talking in the neighborhood of like twelve hundred dollars.
But the cameras they may be equipped with, like you know,
anywhere from three to eight cameras. UM Again, they have
a lot of added complexity to the system as well.
I mean they're they're not uh, you know, the three

(46:44):
dollar camera that we're talking about here, UM at the
cheap end. These are the real, real expensive ones, and
there's everything in between. And I kind of found that
UM the best ones the ones that are mostly recommended
by the current list lists for you know, the best
value for your money, the best you know, the best
optics at night, that type of thing. The ballpark price
here seems to be right around two and fifty dollars.

(47:07):
That seems to be like a topic, like a really
good quality one brand name, one that has a good image,
it's got good reputation, good ratings. You can get them
for fifty dollars that are still decent, but they won't
have the options that the ones that are to fifty
will have. And I mean this is like with anything else.
You can go to the extremes, you can go to
the three dollar one, you can go to the twelve
hundred dollar one if you want, but somewhere in the

(47:29):
middle is usually the best, best deal for you. It's
so weird too, because, as you said, this field is
still evolving very quickly with the technology, right, and it's
converging with other technologies, cloud connections, so on. Uh. But
I don't think we mentioned how new dash cams are,
Like dash cams really started mainstreaming for civilian drivers in

(47:51):
two thousand and twelve. Yeah, that is nuts, because you know,
we've seen so many dash cam footage clips from police cars,
police police if you use these for seems like ten
twelve years. Some of the best television in American history
is composed almost entirely of footage from police dash caam.
I watch I watch hours of that every week. I

(48:12):
think it's so it's so entertaining to me. I love
because it's it's all police chase is captured on some
of these dash cams, and some of that footage is
just unbelievable. It's it's it's amazing to watch. But you
can get similar footage. I guess if you're here, you're
up to it. Then if you're out jumping your foard
escape someday, I do expect that you'll have a dash
cam in place when you do that. And Kurt A,

(48:33):
you're gonna get a dash cam, do you think eventually? Yeah?
What do you think I capturing? Your gonna be chasing
down bikers on the road, doing a little intimidation tactics.
You're you're like the opposite, right, yeah, I play? Yeah,
I know you do. I do want to know where
you go to jump your cars though, Oh there are
there are places all over thanks to the fine services

(48:56):
of the City of Atlanta. Uh, you know what I mean,
you can jump your car almost the big thing is
whether you can land it. That's crazy. The Department of
Transportation is building ramps for us. Now, yeah, yeah, it
just seems like it anyway it does. Um I would say, also,
this is a serious question. Do you think we could

(49:17):
get a price break if we all went in, like
if we if we each got one front, one rear
camera and then we'll be buying six Uh I'm not
going to go with that four dollar And you know
that's that's something too, like you might be able to
buy a set up that has a front and rear, which,
by the way, it makes for really great footage, you know,

(49:37):
if there is, there's a lot of footage online, so
if you if you haven't done this yet, I can't
imagine that many listeners have these, but check out dash
cam footage. Most of it is going to come as
as Kurt said, from Russia. Check out the Russian dash
cam footage. There's other there are other players in the game,
but Russia is by far and away the best when
it comes to dash cam footage. Primo Russia, and it's

(50:00):
just the wacky stuff seems to happen there. Yeah, Russia
is to dash cams as as the United States is
the baseball. There are other people doing it, but there's
one country that clearly is the best. I feel like
I'm prepping for the s a t here when I
hear a question like that. You know, you can see
some you can see all kinds of things. You can

(50:22):
see meteorite, you can see a meteor shower. Yeah, Kur
was just talking about this. That was that's one of
your favorite ones, right, the meteorite strike in Russia. Yeah, crashes,
you can see some air disasters happen unfortunately in front
of you. There's lots of natural disaster footage, Bridges collapsing,
that type of thing. Um. Just there's a multitude of

(50:42):
things you can you can look for, but they all
come up under the keyword of dash cam footage. And
it's something worthwhile to watch, just to kill a little
time if you need to. Uh, It's it's entertaining. It's
also a little scary and it may even kind of
shock you into wanting to get one of these for yourself,
just to protect yourself. When you really start to look
at some of the scams that are pulled and some
of the uh, the dire consequences that could result if

(51:05):
these people didn't have a dash cam, you know that
they could have be in real serious legal trouble. Better
safe than sorry. And then also I would I would
consider for anyone who is just concerned about documentation in general. Uh,
I do want you to know it is not illegal
to have your dash cam running if you are pulled
over by law enforcement or anything like that. So, um,

(51:28):
you know it's it's it keeps everything transparent. There's plenty
clips of that online too. Yeah. I think we're at
this stage. We're at kind of a sweet spot because
once this stuff comes becomes cloud connected, guys, I'm gonna
freak out. I'm gonna I am going to freak out
and go a little bit like uh, conspiratorial, and I'll
probably I'll probably try to find some way to disconnect

(51:51):
mind from the web. We'll just hang onto that escape
and you'll be okay, right, yeah, I hope. So yeah,
it's kind of like, um, when we were lost in
that great North American quiet own or something, we had
to use your old tomahawk. Yeah, yeah, that's right. It
was a garment, Yeah, an ancient garment u um GPS
device and it worked perfectly. It really got us out
of a jam. Yeah that place. And now is the

(52:12):
time to buy your dash cams and then save them
for when you can't find one that doesn't automatically connect
you to the NEDA a good idea. Yeah, alright, no,
I'm in. I'm in. My new business is going to
be vintage dash camps. Wait aren't you also stockpolling light
bulbs for some reason? Yeah? Yeah, yeah, Okay, Well, I

(52:32):
mean you don't like that information? Oh sorry, sorry, No,
you're fine. I like the teaser. We don't know where
you store them. No, that's that's critical. Yeah, that's mission
critical for me in that bunker. Okay, Look, I'm leaving, alright,
I mean I wouldn't hear from other people. Find us

(52:53):
on Facebook, find us on Twitter, find us on Instagram.
Let us know your experience with dash cams. No, obviously
we're not saying driver as a criminal. Obviously we're not
saying anything derogatory about the fine men and women in
law enforcement who are literally risking their lives every day. Uh.
But law enforcement caught onto dash cams way before the

(53:14):
civilian world did, and they did so because there's a
reason they work. They can save money. More importantly, they
can save your life. Yeah. They protect them, right, They
protect them against many many legal battles that would have
been lost had there not been uh kind of that. Well,
the only blinking eye, right, and that's that's like, it
just shows you what's there, simply that no more. I mean,
you get you get the audio, you get the video.

(53:34):
It's all laid out right there, and let the judge decide.
And I guess I save your life. I mean, you
can save you from a life in prison. Well that's true,
yeah too, yeah, all right, well alright, so I think
we've got the social media taken care of. But if
you want to check out our archive of information or
archive of shows, you can do that at iHeart dot com,
where you can go to Apple Podcast you can leave feedback,
hopefully positive feedback, but you can leave any kind of

(53:56):
feedback you want there at either one of those. And uh,
as always, we were trying to grow our audience. So
you know, anytime you hear something you like, maybe tell
a friend, you know, get somebody on board listening to
car stuff. And if you do so, Ben will send
you a special gift in the mail. And now I'm
just kidding, No, that's true. No send us your address.
Uh no promises that you will enjoy said gift, nor

(54:18):
any promises as to the monetary value of said gift.
But yeah, yeah, hit us up, uh and maybe we'll
have like a drawing. No, Scott, you painted us into
this corner. Now, now we're doing I'm not giving away
anything from my desk. I love everything on my desk.
All right, all right, Well I think that's about it. Well,
thanks everybody for listening. We appreciate it, and we'll catch

(54:39):
you next time. Car Stuff is a production of I
Heart Radio's How Stuff Works. For more podcasts from my
heart Radio, visit the i heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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