Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas & New Year 2008: A Time for Reconciliation and Renewal

Celebrating the true meaning of Christmas

Given that Christmas and the New Year holiday season are just "around the bend", this may be a most propitious occasion to share some personal feelings, after having conducted some serious and protracted "soul searching ":

The climate is simply not as fun and enjoyable as it used to be.

As some of my closest friends and colleagues in this industry have known for some time, I've become somewhat jaded towards some recent and unhealthy trends emerging online over the latter portion of this year.

Some have been of the form of certain "content" appearing on the Internet consisting of:
  • alleged "performance" videos serving as "hit-pieces" and masquerading as reviews
  • certain discussion forums on which opinions proffered by individuals all-too-often appearing to have hidden agendas [ultimately to promote potentially illicit and/or patent-infringing products to the US market or gray market products on lowest price]
  • cowardly forum posts [from those] who need to hide behind fake names or who act as grossly-immature "loose cannons" having more invective than any useful/informed knowledge while typically sporting [fashionably] despicable message signatures replete with product and/or individual character assassination(s)
  • cowardly forum posts by proxy/anonymous/shill users [who use their anonymity in a most cowardly fashion] to conduct their "hit-pieces" as part of a sleazy and ill-conceived "marketing campaign" to make a quick buck (ultimately at the expense of the unsuspecting consumer and the industry at large) pointing to websites with hidden domain registrations for unauthorized "dealers" attempting to sell "illicit" and/or "unauthorized" products [routinely] below MAP guidelines established by the manufacturers to protect [their] legitimate authorized retailer and distribution networks.
  • the use of outright stolen material, copied content or writing and reviewing styles [without permission from the original author] for exploitive and imitative knock-off design
Note: If the domain registration is with an inexpensive registrar (like Go-Daddy) and is either registered as private, hidden, incomplete/bogus, otherwise unknown or by proxy (like Domains by Proxy), be very cautious. Unscrupulous organizations and/or individuals with criminal backgrounds can hide behind such domain registration types.

Online tools for doing so is located below:
The collective fallout from all of this corrosiveness and negative karma is bad for the entire industry.

This is especially [true] for the "good guys" who are continuing to do the right thing [and have been doing so for years] and who don't put mere profit ahead of everything else (like integrity).

I used to regard U.S. national politics of the 90's as being a "blood-sport" (much as the politics of personal destruction is still as pervasive today, I am afraid) and so it is my feeling with the overall jammer [and to a somewhat lesser extent, the detector] industry.

Perhaps its high time that we relegate this situation (both in Washington and in our own industry) to the scrapbook of history of things that looked-better-on-paper than in actual execution.

On certain levels it is becoming more difficult for even someone as well versed in the subject as myself to fully recognize and understand the truth and get to the bottom of some things in this often negative and routinely destructive climate, despite the increased access to "raw" and "unfiltered" information that the Internet provides.

If it is difficult for me, it's damn-near impossible for the "layman" consumer.

Absolute truth is often the first casualty in any "warfare" or a propaganda/smear campaign intended to manipulate and persuade, as opposed to inform and educate.

Unfortunately, this industry [and that includes radar detector manufacturing/retailing] has had a collective of "historical" baggage which has been serving to undermine the ability of this industry to inure and grow [to the benefit of all its participants] and to provide effective solutions efficiently to us drivers, for the future.

As part of my New Year's Resolution and with the help of our fellow Speed Trap Hunter members, of which some of you may already be, I hope to improve this climate in whatever ways I/[we] can.

In the final analysis, we would all be the ultimate beneficiaries of such an outcome. (are you listening Washington?)

In my book, knowledge without understanding and perspective is of little value.

Sure, we can look at one thing and come away with many different opinions, that's what makes us collectively great, but we must all share this one essential opinion: each of us can be agreeably disagreeable to another.

With the right to freely express one's opinions, comes the moral obligation to use our sacred right responsibly and ethically.

Our mission, at Speed Trap Hunter, is to create and foster this unique and healthy dynamic.

Please consider joining us, and becoming a force for positive change or, at least, consider the overall tone of your messages on any forum (to which you are a member) before pressing the post button by asking yourself, how would you feel if you were on the receiving end of the message that you are about to post.

As it is Christmas (and especially since our collective society, of late, has a propensity for political correctness and moral relativism—where there is a lack of absolute moral clarity), please accept this humble Christmas gift (brief online video presentation).

Merry Christmas and have a safe an prosperous New Year!

And may GOD continue to bless us all.

Veil Guy

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Driver's Guide to Police Radar (Everything You Need to Know About Speed Enforcement)

If you want to protect your driving record, then this new book, Driver's Guide to Police Radar, is a must read!

In keeping with the Mission Statement of the Speed Trap Hunter forum, I would like to inform my fellow Speed Trap Hunters of a newly published book which has just become available to the general public in its first printing, Driver's Guide to Police Radar (Everything You Need to Know About Speed Enforcement), written by Craig Peterson and available to the public on his website and at Buy Radar Detectors.

Some of you may be already be familiar with Craig's site, which has been providing online guides and reviews (most for free) of automotive electronics, traffic enforcement, and automobiles for many years.

His connection to the traffic enforcement industry (both to a number of leading radar detector and countermeasure manufacturers as well as the manufacturers of traffic enforcement equipment and to a number of the traffic enforcement departments) has been long-established and spans several decades.

For the first time in history, we drivers can refer to one resource which details:
  • Historical account of police radar evolution as well as what's in store for us in the future
  • Advanced police radar features and how your driving record can be affected by their use
  • Common mistakes of police radar (often due to operator error)
  • Police LIDAR (commonly referred to as police laser) speed enforcement
  • Police radar in the city versus police radar on the highway
  • Time distance computers (including VASCAR, ENRADD, Aerial) and why radar detectors provide zero protection from this speed enforcement technology
  • Police radar (and laser) countermeasures and "jammers"
  • Original guide on how to properly choose a radar detector
  • Original guide to getting the most out of your radar detector
  • Exclusive field test report on various top-selling police radar guns
  • Exclusive and detailed specification guide to police radar and police laser models as well as a list of the most likely models we'll encounter on the road
There is no better single source of information available on this complex (and often mis-understood) subject in such a "bite-sized" and information-condensed package.

By reading Craig's definitive book, even a complete "lay" person, can quickly become an "informed" driver.

I have had the privilege of being one the very first individuals to have read his latest work and feel that anyone who is interested in really learning about the many aspects of traffic enforcement (so that you can be prepared for the potential "hazards" to your driving record) would be well advised to pick-up a copy.

The knowledge and clarity you gain from this publication will pay dividends for years to come and will likely spare you the pain and costs of future speeding tickets and will make you a better and safer driver.

It's fortuitous that Craig also happens to be a fellow Speed Trap Hunter forum member!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

This Christmas [Shopping] Season: Caveat Emptor

Now that we have entered the high-season for shopping for driving safety tools such as radar detectors, laser jammers, and related accessories, I think it is important to point out to the unsuspecting shopper looking to make a purchasing decision primarily on price alone that your purchasing decision which may save you a little on the front-end may cost you big-time on the back-end.

All of the leading radar detector manufacturers (which sell through retail channels) such as Beltronics, Escort, and Whistler have established MAP pricing and an authorized dealer program.

Purchasing a product online [below MAP] means that you are purchasing your products from unauthorized dealers who either may be selling "gray market products" or outright counterfeits.

Beltronics' and Escort's Official Statement:

Please be aware of the following risks if you purchase [Escort or Beltronics] products from an unauthorized reseller:
  • Possible exclusion of [Escort/Beltronics] warranty due to:
  • Purchase of stolen merchandise
  • Inability to validate the original purchase date and ownership with the original sales receipt AND the transfer of ownership with any subsequent bill of sale
  • Item shipped to you may be counterfeit, forged, or refurbished goods
  • Item may ship with serial numbers removed or modified
  • Item may appear new but contain internal water damage or damage from improper use
  • Item may never ship - contact with the seller may be difficult or impossible
  • Price may be inflated, incorrect, or changed after you place your order
  • Inferior product may be substituted for the advertised [Escort/Beltronics] product
The list is the same for both companies, but may not be complete: Unauthorized Dealer List

Whistler Group takes a similar position:

BUYER BEWARE! Please be aware of the following risks if you purchase Whistler products from an unauthorized reseller: Subject to exclusion of Whistler warranty due to:
  • Purchase of stolen merchandise
  • Inability to validate the original purchase date and ownership with the original sales receipt
  • Item shipped to you may be counterfeit, or refurbished goods
  • Item may ship with serial numbers removed
  • Item may appear new but contain damage from improper use
  • Price may be incorrect, or changed after you place your order
A partial list of unauthorized dealers is provided on their site, as well.

Unlike other consumer electronics, radar detectors and laser jammers are specialty niche products which require competent sales and service organizations to enable you as the consumer to make informed purchasing decisions.

Organizations which must resort to discounting and/or competing solely on price are likely the least adept at either (sales or service).

Furthermore since they are often "profit-through-sales-volume" driven, your interests are not likely high on their list of priorities. Oftentimes at such retailers/web-sites I see products for sale (to the unsuspecting consumer) which have demonstrated or been proven to be completely ineffective at meeting their stated/advertised claims (such as radar jammers/radar scramblers).

Sticking with authorized retailers ensures that you will have the most updated and fresh products.

Some retailers of "bulk" or "overstock" items likely have made bulk purchases that may be a year (or more)
old so that product that you may receive, while technically "new", is actually old/stale inventory that may be outdated and is not updateable from the manufacturer given the nature of your purchase.

In just a year's time Beltronics has updated their STi Driver with a "33.8" fix, Escort has updated their Passport 9500i with a "signal ramp" fix, and Whistler has provided a Rev C update to their Pro 78 and XTR 690 radar detectors.

Only the highest quality dealers would even be knowledgeable of such nuances which have a big impact on performance and your ultimate ownership experience.

Be wary of sites which link to such retailers as your interests are certainly not theirs.

At the end of the day, your driving record [or that of the recipient of your gift] is not worth the risk of "saving" a few bucks.

Of course you can purchase the products directly from some of these manufacturers which provide direct online sales (as does Valentine Research), but if you are considering enhancing your purchase with appropriate bundling or getting some independent and experienced advice from those who actually live with selling and using these products, there are two stand-outs of online dealers in the U.S. worth noting:
Each of these dealers gives something back to our industry, by providing quality purchasing guidance and support of products only demonstrated to work as advertised.

They have resisted the temptation to selling products which either don't work as advertised or are being sold in this country illegally or in violation of patents or trademarks, merely for making a quick profit (at your expense).

Their selling proposition is NOT price alone. On the contrary, unlike quick-buck artists, these guys are in it for the long haul.

Happy [and safe] shopping this Holiday Season.

Veil Guy

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Must Read: Driver's Guide to Police Radar

Sometimes controversial, always entertaining

After many years of a book-publishing respite (and some coaxing from yours truly), Craig Peterson has finally written a follow-on to his first book (a cult-classic), Fast Driving (Without Tickets) , detailing his extensive knowledge of traffic enforcement technology and techniques and how to successfully mitigate them.

His latest book in his continuing series is entitled: Driver's Guide to Police Radar.

Although the title suggests otherwise, Craig's book provides an authoritative look at the operation of all the latest speed/traffic enforcement technology including police radar, police laser, and time-distance measuring devices along with the effective countermeasures—invaluable information not readily known to the driving public.

This book should provide accurate and detailed answers to most questions you've probably had about speed/traffic enforcement but were afraid to ask LEOs (and they would be reluctant to answer).

If it turns out to be anything like his first book, Driver's Guide to Police Radar is destined to become another instant classic.

This book is also available from

Veil Guy