An appropriate and timely update.
An appropriate and timely update.
…According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, diesel trucks with disabled emissions controls are far more widespread than you might think and emit more pollution than the diesel engines that got Volkswagen such hefty fines.
According to the EPA’s Air Enforcement Division, the use of aftermarket emissions defeat devices by diesel truck owners rivals that problem. In a report first obtained by The New York Times, it estimates that 550,000 medium trucks have had their emissions systems tampered with over the last decade—fully 15 percent of the diesel trucks on US roads…
…Specifically, the EPA says it’s only counting tampering where all of a truck’s emissions controls are removed, as opposed to mods that leave “emissions controls hardware intact and operational.”
…The EPA report says that 570,000 tons of excess NOx and 5,000 tons of excess diesel particulates are the result over the course of these trucks’ lifetimes. Or to put it another way, “due to their severe excess NOx emissions, these trucks have an air quality impact equivalent to adding more than 9 million additional (compliant, non-tampered) diesel pickup trucks to our roads.”
Pleased to see EPA differentiates between gonzo drivers looking to turn their diesel pickups into power hogs regardless of how they get there…vs. the case I imagine is at least as frequent of folks simply trying catch a bit more reliability, easier starting, better fuel economy than the sometimes mediocre design and craftmanship allocated for in truck manufacturers’ budgets.
” Research at a secretive Army germ warfare lab about 50 miles from Washington, D.C. that works with tularemia, which spreads more easily than anthrax, has been partially restarted after a federal inspection found two failures in containing unnamed germs or toxins.
No one was exposed to any germs or toxins at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Maryland, according to the institute commander…
” “Our concept is to start with a small group of people, secure approval for a limited number of studies, and then gradually expand,” said Col. E. Darrin Cox, the new commander of the institute…
” In 2009, research was suspended after the discovery that more than 9,200 vials, about one-eighth of its stock, wasn’t listed in the institute’s database.
They’re back! Of course, a sinister creep like Trump would OK resumption of this slimy research. Warms the cockles of every heartless rightwing fanatic, acquiring another illegal means to kill lots of people.
Exactly, the sort of war crime potential that makes Trump voters giggle and fart.
Warning sign on the road to Fukushima
❝ The utility that ran the Fukushima nuclear plant acknowledged Tuesday its delayed disclosure of the meltdowns at three reactors was tantamount to a coverup and apologized for it.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) president Naomi Hirose’s apology followed the revelation last week that an investigation had found Hirose’s predecessor instructed officials during the 2011 disaster to avoid using the word “meltdown.”
“I would say it was a coverup,” Hirose told a news conference. “It’s extremely regrettable.”…
And it only took five years and information released in an investigation to prompt a moment of honesty.
❝ TEPCO instead described the reactors’ condition as less serious “core damage” for two months after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, wrecked the plant, even though utility officials knew and computer simulations suggested meltdowns had occurred.
An investigative report released last Thursday by three company-appointed lawyers said TEPCO’s then-President Masataka Shimizu instructed officials not to use the specific description under alleged pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office, though the investigators found no proof of such pressure.
The report said TEPCO officials, who had suggested possible meltdowns, stopped using the description after March 14, 2011…Shimizu had a company official show Muto his memo and tell him the Prime Minister’s Office has banned the specific words.
Government officials also softened their language on the reactor conditions around the same time, the report said…Former officials at the Prime Minister’s Office have denied the allegation…
Deny, deny, deny. Political hacks, corporate hacks, still rely on the Big Lie to cover their tracks. If you do a crappy job at preserving the safety of ordinary citizens, you lie and deny – unless you can find someone else to blame.
Demonstrators march in Baltimore, Maryland May 2, 2015. Thousands of people took to the streets of Baltimore on Saturday as anger over the death of young black man Freddie Gray turned to hopes for change following swift criminal charges against six police officers.
All of which points out the contradiction of American politicians and newspaper flunkies celebrating uprisings during the Arab Spring – but, when the same violence is visited upon communities in the United States controlled by racist police departments – shock and amazement fill the newspace.
No one recommends crime and arson as an antidote to racism, political and social repression. It still takes a special hypocrite to act surprised when violence is part of the response to decades of violence imposed by government.
The Los Angeles Times was the first newspaper to publish a story about an earthquake on Monday – thanks to a robot writer…Journalist and programmer Ken Schwencke created an algorithm that automatically generates a short article when an earthquake occurs.
Mr Schwencke told Slate magazine that it took around three minutes for the story to appear online.
The LA Times is a pioneer in the technology which draws on trusted sources – such as the US Geological Survey – and places data into a pre-written template.
As well as the earthquake report, it also uses another algorithm to generate stories about crime in the city – with human editors deciding which ones need greater attention.
Other news organisations have experimented with algorithm-based reporting methods in other areas, particularly sports.
The generated story does not replace the journalist, Mr Schwencke argued, but instead allows available data to be quickly gathered and disseminated.
“It’s supplemental,” he told the magazine.
“It saves people a lot of time, and for certain types of stories, it gets the information out there in usually about as good a way as anybody else would.
Maybe so. It’s as elemental as the sparse data served up by some wire services. At worst, probably not as useless as the crap offered up by so-called local TV. Which is generally the property of some amorphous conglomerate hundreds of miles away with no “local” ownership.
At its best, this could be as useful as an up-to-the-minute neighborhood weather report. Especially if there actually is a follow-up article written by a sentient being.
BlackPOS reported, last March
A cybercrime firm says it has uncovered at least six ongoing attacks at U.S. merchants whose credit card processing systems are infected with the same type of malicious software used to steal data from Target.
Andrew Komarov, chief executive of the cybersecurity firm IntelCrawler, told Reuters that his company has alerted law enforcement, Visa and intelligence teams at several large banks about the findings. He said payment card data was stolen in the attacks, though he didn’t know how much…
On Thursday, the U.S. government and the private security intelligence firm iSIGHT Partners warned merchants and financial services firms that the BlackPOS software used against No. 3 U.S. retailer Target had been used in a string of other breaches at retailers – but did not say how many or identify the victims.
Credit card companies, banks and retailers say that victims of any fraud resulting from the theft of their payment card data bear “zero liability” and will be credited for fraudulent purchases made on their accounts.
“Our rules say five days, but most consumers get (their money) back within 24 hours,” Visa spokeswoman Rosetta Jones said…
Komarov, an expert on cybercrime who has helped law enforcement investigate previous attacks, told Reuters on Friday that retailers in California and New York were among those compromised by BlackPOS…
Komarov said he has not directly contacted those merchants. Security experts typically report cybercrimes through law enforcement rather than going directly to victims because the process can be time-consuming and victims are often suspicious when they first learn of attacks.
BlackPOS was developed by a hacker whose nickname is “Ree4” and who is now about 17 years old and living in St. Petersburg, Russia, according to Los Angeles-based IntelCrawler.
The teenager sold the malicious software to cybercriminals who then launched attacks on merchants, said Komarov, who has been monitoring Ree4’s activities since March.
Komarov declined to specifically identify the sources of his intelligence, though he said he has been monitoring criminal forums where Ree4 sells his software and posted an excerpt of a chat with a client on the IntelCrawler website…
Officials with the Secret Service could not immediately be reached for comment.
If you’re of the geek persuasion, RTFA for details of the hack. Interesting stuff.
Once again, defeating Windows Security seems to be profitable for criminals.
Queen Elizabeth II has pardoned Alan Turing, the father of modern computing, who was convicted of “gross indecency” for being gay, 61 years after he poisoned himself.
The Queen granted Turing, whose theories laid the foundation for the computer age and who broke the code which helped the Allies outfox the Nazis, an official pardon on Tuesday.
Turing, whose work on artificial intelligence still informs the debate over whether machines can think, was punished by Britain in the 1950s, when homosexuality was still a criminal offence.
“Turing was an exceptional man with a brilliant mind,” Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said in a prepared statement released on Tuesday.
Describing Turing’s treatment as unjust, Grayling said the code breaker “deserves to be remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science.”
Turing’s contributions to science spanned several disciplines, but he is perhaps best remembered as the architect of the effort to crack the Enigma code, the cypher used by Nazi Germany to secure its military communications…
Even before the war, Turing was formulating ideas that would underpin modern computing, ideas which matured into a fascination with artificial intelligence and the notion that machines would someday challenge the minds of man…
Turing made no secret of his sexuality, and being gay could easily lead to prosecution in post-war Britain.
In 1952, Turing was convicted of “gross indecency” over his relationship with another man, and he was stripped of his security clearance, subjected to monitoring by British authorities, and forced to take estrogen to neutralise his sex drive – a process described by some as chemical castration…
Overdue doesn’t begin to describe reversing the crimes the UK committed against one of the best scientific minds that ever lived. Of course, there still are some — here in the US as well as in Britain — who would repeat those contemptible crimes given the opportunity.
Which would probably get them a “reality” TV series.
Residents in Marseille, France have officially asked for a Batman to come help them with skyrocketing crime.
The mock petition, titled “Will it take Batman to save Marseille?” has thousands of signatures and a Facebook page for the group has more than 4,000 fans.
Europe’s current “Capital of Culture” is also considered “Europe’s most dangerous place to be young.”
More than a quarter of the 800,000 population is living below the poverty line, and there have been 13 gang-related killings so far this year. In 2012, authorities intercepted around 300 Kalashnikovs.
The French city’s quest for Batman comes following the death of pensioner Jacques Blondel, 61, who was shot dead trying to stop a robbery by first knocking the thieves over with his car then confronting them with a baseball bat.
The petition says increased police presence in the city hasn’t been effective at curbing crime rates, and accuses politicians of empty rhetoric and sound bites.
“A Batman for Marseille aims to encourage Marseille residents to take their own security and not simply outbid opportunistic communication and political meningitis,” the petition says.
Holy maquisards, Batman!