Older OnStar systems that operate on the analog cellular network will no longer work as of January 1, or next week. Now why would OnStar ever want to send its most loyal, early-adopting users out to sea without a paddle? They wouldn't — but it's not like there are many other options, at least at this point.

You may have heard about the analog network shutdown that is happening on February 19, 2008. Basically, because of the lack of use of the analog network, the FCC is shutting it down and selling it to the highest bidder. Two of the big boys using the analog network is older cellular technology and old cable television technology.

Most cellphones no longer support analog at all, and the ones that do also support digital networks by being dual-band, so they are still functional. Cable operators will be providing adapters for those TVs that still rock analog signals. Onstar, on the other hand, is out of luck because the integrated systems aren't so easy to convert over to digital.

It's not just with OnStar either. Mercedes-Benz's TeleAid, Toyota's older Lexus Link systems are out of luck as well as some burglary alarms that communicate with a command center will no longer work. Best advice is if you have an older system that is capable of communicating elsewhere, check to see if it runs on the analog or digital networks. [Gizmodo]