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Glitch Prevents Cars from Changing Radio Station

When he drives his Mazda hatchback, Seattle local Dave Welding is accustomed to listening to talk radio station KUOW, the local NPR affiliate. As a matter of fact, it’s all he can listen to. His car’s radio is literally stuck on the station.

One Sunday, while listening to the station, his car’s connectivity master unit (CMU) was somehow “fried” by the station’s signal, according to Welding. Now, not only can he only listen to that one station, but none of the functions of the CMU work, including navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, the clock, or other vehicle statistics. Welding says his screen is constantly turning off and on, starting and restarting.

According to a Reddit forum for Mazda enthusiasts, a similar phenomenon has happened with other local Mazda owners, all of whom were also KUOW listeners. Welding said when he contacted a local dealership, he was told that a new CMU costs $1500, and they don’t have any in stock.

In an effort to solve the problem a Seattle Times columnist spoke to several experts, including computer science professor Dan Tappan of Eastern Washington University. Tappan theorized that the problem might’ve happened because the station sent image files without a file extension. Without the file extension, the computer doesn’t know how to treat the file, and locks up, unable to do anything at all. In other words, a little bit of extra data, meant to enhance the listening experience, instead renders the whole unit unusable.

Welding has since covered the CMU’s distracting screen with cardboard, and is thinking of somehow decorating it with “something calming.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Likewise, it is easy for believers to make careless mistakes and get sidetracked from doing God’s will. We can get “stuck” by a decision or a choice that we make and fail to live the way God intends for us.

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