Ford Sync review and comparison

Ford continues to improve Sync, its comprehensive in-car infotainment system; the latest version is easily worth ponying up for, despite various flaws.

Source: Ford Sync (With MyFord Touch) Review & Rating | PCMag.com

So I was in a friends Ford Explorer 2015 and I used this Sync system. It had some helpful and unhelpful things if you are thinking of choosing a car based on its electronic features.

First I should say that nothing in my opinion beats the Lexus Enform system. It is beautiful and with lots of features. I also like the Chrysler Uconnect, which was fairly easy to use. The BMW system is complex but it is logically designed. In last place was this MS Sync powered system which was confusing and not very responsive.

It didn’t help that my friend’s car didn’t have navigation. The error message when you hit navigation said “insert SIM card”. Not the best message to give the average person. It should say instead, this feature is unavailable. Or even better, don’t offer a feature in the interface that you don’t have. It is a waste of time and energy.

As far as the Sony powered sound system the Ford had and was controlled by this system. It was average at best. No amount of adjusting the sound really fixed the hollowness of the speakers. But that isn’t the fault of the Sync system that is can’t fix a lack of good sound options. What was the fault is that the system was pretty stupid in how it dealt with light.

As you know if you have any car from probably 2005 and newer, is that there are sensors for light on the car that try to adjust the car based on the amount of light they receive. So if you go in a dark tunnel, many cars will automatically turn on the lights and dim the in dash LCD and interior lighting. The problem with the MS sync system is that because the day was overcast or shadows from trees on the road, it kept switching from being brightly illuminated to dark contrast. It was irritating when the dash stay dark even though it was fully light outside. This isn’t just an inconvenience in adjusting the sound/temperature it was also affecting the dash that tells your speed. A dangerous oversight in my opinion.

Does it connect a iPhone and play? Yes. If you care about sound quality you probably aren’t buying a Ford. The voice control isn’t very smart. It wouldn’t recognize anything I clearly said to it. It probably was because there were other people talking in the car. It is a disappointing system. I would not recommend you by a Ford if you like electronic conveniences.

The danger of installing “free” programs from the Internet

BrowseSmart is an adware program, that displays pop-up ads and advertisements on web pages that you visit. The “Ads by BrowseSmart” advertisements will be shown as boxes containing various coupons that are available, as underlined keywords, pop-up ads or advertising banners. What is BrowseSmart? BrowseSmart is advertised as a program that displays coupons for sites …

Source: Remove “Ads By BrowseSmart” virus (Easy Removal Guide)

Many websites like CNET or so on offer “free” programs. These programs come bundled with software that are designed to make money for the company that added them to the site. I had a customer download one of those files and when they installed it, they also had installed this BrowseSmart program. This program like many unwanted programs is designed to download other unwanted applications and also change how your browser works. It randomly changes links and has pop up windows with advertising. Not software you want on your computer.

This was cleaned by Sophos easily. It required a reboot of the computer but then it was gone. Sophos has been fantastic. I have everyone I know using it and only once have I had to use a competing product to clean something it found. It found a malware rootkit that it said would have to be deleted manually. The instructions for it were complicated and time-consuming so I used Malwarebytes and it removed it.

I shared earlier an article that the reason that email spam is decreasing is because criminals are focusing more on malware. Programs that infect your computer and attempt to make money in various ways. This malware can generally be easily cleaned and protect you using a good Endpoint protection program. Since the threats now are more than just viruses, endpoint protects more than used to be protected. It is great that as the threat is increasing, security is also increasing. Since I mostly help people with Windows computers I personally use a Mac at home with Sophos. I only encounter a virus when I go to a webpage that has one. If there was some way to filter viruses and malware on an ISP level that would take out much of the danger. Its strange isn’t it? President Obama said Internet access is a right and a utility like electricity. However would we allow bad electricity that could damage our equipment and data? It’s strange that ISPs say that they have no responsibility for filtering yet inject ads in the data-stream thereby showing that they can filter at the data level.

It’s clear that ISP’s are doing what is beneficial to them. Short sighted behavior increases complexity and costs for everyone.