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New anthology Seat 14C tracks 22 passengers on plane that jumps 20 years into the future.
Speakers include Rodney Joffe, Neustar SVP and Fellow, Charlie McMurdie, Senior Cybercrime Advisor, PwC; and Brian Foster, Neustar SVP Information ServicesLONDON, UK AND STERLING, Va. -- April 12, 2017; Neustar, Inc. (NYSE:NSR), a trusted, neutral prov...
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Enlarge / STERLING HEIGHTS, MI - AUGUST 26: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne speaks at an event celebrating the start of production of three all-new stamping presses at the FCA Sterling Stamping Plant August 26, 2016 in Sterling Heights, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)Bill Pugliano reader comments 89 Share this story On Thursday the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Fiat Chrysler (FCA) diesel vehicles were found to have "at least eight" instances of undisclosed software that modified the emissions control systems of the cars.

The vehicles implicated in the EPA's Notice of Violation (NOV) include 2014, 2015, and 2016 diesel Jeep Grand Cherokees, as well as Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3.0-liter diesel engines.

The allegations involve 104,000 vehicles, the EPA said. The EPA says it's still in talks with FCA and hasn't ordered the company to stop selling affected cars yet, nor is it officially calling the software a "defeat device" just yet until FCA provides a more detailed explanation. In a press conference, agency officials said that the undisclosed software was discovered after September 2015, when the EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) began doing additional testing on vehicles in the wake of the Volkswagen Group scandal. VW Group was discovered to have almost 600,000 diesel vehicles on US roads with some kind of illegal software on them.

The software allowed VW Group's cars to pass emissions testing under lab conditions but would reduce the effectiveness of emissions controls under real-world driving conditions, causing the cars to emit nitrogen oxide (NOx) far in excess of federal limits. According to the EPA, FCA's undisclosed software works similarly, too.

EPA Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles told press Thursday morning that the "software is designed such that, during the emissions test, Fiat Chrysler’s cars meet the standards," for NOx emissions. However, the "software reduces the effectiveness of emissions controls when driving at high speed or for long durations," she added. These kinds of workarounds are not uncommon for car makers to use and are not illegal if they're properly disclosed and approved by the EPA.

But efforts to meet emissions standards have driven automakers to install undisclosed devices illegally for decades.
In fact in the 1970s, Chrysler—along with GM, Ford, American Motors, Nissan, and Toyota—was reprimanded by the EPA for installing defeat devices in its cars to "defeat the effectiveness of emission control systems under conditions not experienced during EPA’s certification testing." In some instances the defeat devices helped the cars start more easily in cold weather, in others, time-delay switches cut the emissions control systems while the cars shifted from low to high gears. In Europe, too, rules allow diesel vehicles to cut the emissions control system under certain conditions like cold weather.

Automakers have toed a line, though, using emissions control software where "cold" weather means as high as 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Giles noted during the EPA's press conference that the agency has tested other diesel vehicles since the Volkswagen scandal was made public and found no violations. "It is by no means impossible to make a clean diesel vehicle that meets our standards," she said. In a statement (PDF), FCA said it would continue to work with the EPA to resolve the issue. "FCA US diesel engines are equipped with state-of-the-art emission control systems hardware, including selective catalytic reduction (SCR).

Every auto manufacturer must employ various strategies to control tailpipe emissions in order to balance EPA’s regulatory requirements for low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and requirements for engine durability and performance, safety and fuel efficiency.

FCA US believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirements." FCA added that it had spent "months providing voluminous information" to the EPA and other regulators.

The company said it had also made proposals to fix the issues, including "developing extensive software changes to our emissions control strategies that could be implemented in these vehicles immediately to further improve emissions performance." FCA has not yet been sued, but the EPA says it could be "liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief for the violations alleged in the NOV [Notice of Violation]." Correction: This story originally said the EPA found the software on the FCA diesels was illegal.
In fact, the EPA is still determining whether the software itself was illegal. However, Fiat Chrysler violated EPA rules by not disclosing the software.

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Diamonds. Bitcoin. Pork. If you think you’ve spotted the odd one out, think again: All three are things you can track using blockchain technologies today. Blockchains are distributed, tamper-proof, public ledgers of transactions, brought to public attention by the cryptocurrency bitcoin, which is based on what is still the most widespread blockchain. But blockchains are being used for a whole lot more than making pseudonymous payments outside the traditional banking system. Because blockchains are distributed, an industry or a marketplace can use them without the risk of a single point of failure. And because they can’t be modified, there is no question of whether the record keeper can be trusted. Those factors have prompted a number of enterprises to build blockchains into essential business functions, or at least to test them there. Here are five ways your business could use blockchain technology today. Making payments Bitcoin introduced the first blockchain as a tool for making payments without going through the banks. But what if you work for a bank? Strangely, many of the features that made bitcoin distasteful to the banks are making the underlying blockchain technology attractive as a way to settle transactions among themselves in dollars or sterling. It’s public, so banks can see whether their counterparties can afford to settle their debts, and distributed, so they can settle faster than some central banks will allow. Ripple is one of the first such blockchain-based settlement mechanisms: Its banking partners include UBS, Santander, and Standard Chartered. But UBS and Santander are also working on another blockchain project called Utility Settlement Coin, which will allow them to settle payments in multiple currencies, with Deutsche Bank, BNY Mellon, and others. If these systems catch on, it’s surely only a matter of time before such blockchain payments trickle down to compete with traditional inter-bank transfer mechanisms such as SWIFT. Identity of Things On the internet, famously, no one knows if you’re a dog, and on the internet of things, identity can be similarly difficult to pin down. That’s not great if you’re trying to securely identify the devices that connect to your network, and it’s what prompted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to fund a project by Factom to create a timestamped log of such devices in a blockchain, recording their identification number, manufacturer, available device updates, known security issues, and granted permissions. That could all go in a regular device-management database, but the DHS hopes that the immutability of the blockchain will make it harder for hackers to spoof known devices by preventing them from altering the records. Certifying certificates It’s not just devices that can be spoofed, but also qualifications. If you were looking to hire someone with blockchain expertise, and the applicant told you they had a professional certification, what would you do to check the certificate’s validity? Software developer Learning Machine hopes candidates will present their certificates in its mobile app, and that you will check their validity using Blockcerts. This is a way of storing details of a certificate in the blockchain, so that anyone can verify its content and the identity of the person to whom it was issued without the need to contact a central issuing authority. The certificates can be about educational qualifications, professional training, membership of a group, anything, so if your organization issues certificates, you could issue them on the blockchain, too. Learning Machine and co-developer MIT Media Lab have published details of Blockcerts as an open standard and posted the code to Github. Diamonds are forever Diamonds, they say, are forever, so that means whatever system you use to track them is going to have to stand the test of time too. Everledger is counting on blockchain technology to prove the provenance and ownership of diamonds recorded in its ledger. In fact, it’s using two blockchains: A private one to record information that diamond sellers need to share with buyers, but may not want widely known, and the public bitcoin blockchain to provide an indisputable timestamp for the private records. The company built its first diamond database on the Eris blockchain application platform developed by Monax but recently moved to a system running in IBM’s Bluemix cloud. Diamonds are eminently traceable as the uncut ones have unique physical characteristics and the cut ones are, these days, typically laser-etched with a tiny serial number. Recording each movement of such valuable items allows insurers to identify fraud and international bodies to ensure that trade in diamonds is not funding conflicts. Everledger CEO Leanne Kemp believes the system could transform trade in other valuable commodities, too. The company has identified luxury goods and works of art as possibilities. And finally, the pork But what about the pork? It may not be worth as much by weight as a diamond, but in China at least, it more than makes up for that in volume. And because pork is not forever, being able to demonstrate that a particular piece of it is fresh and fit for consumption can be vital. Pork is one of many products for which fine-grained tracking and tracing of inventory can be helpful, and happens to be the one Walmart is testing blockchain technology with. It’s using IBM’s blockchain to record where each piece of pork it sells in China comes from, where and how it is processed, its storage temperature and expected expiration date. If a product recall becomes necessary, it will be able to narrow down the batches affected and identify exactly where they are or, if they have already been sold, who bought them. The project may extend to other products: The company has just opened the Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center (WFSCC) in China to work with IBM and industry partners to make food supplies safer and healthier using blockchain technology.
Neustar Expands its Footprint Outside the USA with New Westminster OfficeOctober 18, 2016 – LONDON and STERLING, Va. – Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR), a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information services, today announced that it has expanded its EMEA headquarters to a new office location in central London (Westminster). From October 2016, the new Neustar office in St. James’s Park will be focused on delivering security and marketing solutions to customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa and has capacity for approximately sixty Neustar employees responsible for sales, marketing, account management and support. Neustar logo The new office in the high tech, circular building at 21 Palmer Street covers 6,426 square feet and marks the expansion of Neustar’s presence outside of the United States. Neustar’s other global locations, include San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, Tokyo, Hamburg, Melbourne, Costa Rica, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Neustar’s previous UK presence was near Heathrow, to the west of Greater London. “In Europe we are experiencing rapid growth, which reflects an increase in opportunities for our businesses in EMEA. This is all good news and means we need to open a larger head office in the region. As all our other global offices are in excellent locations, it made sense for us to choose a premier position in central London from where we can effectively service our EMEA client base,” said Brian Foster, Senior Vice President of Information Services, Neustar. For more information please visit: Neustar offices: https://www.neustar.biz/about-us/contact-usNeustar MarketShare offices: http://www.marketshare.com/contact-us About NeustarEvery day, the world generates roughly 2.5 quadrillion bits of data. Neustar (NYSE: NSR) isolates certain elements and analyzes, simplifies and edits them to make precise and valuable decisions that drive results. As one of the few companies capable of knowing with certainty who is on the other end of every interaction, we’re trusted by the world’s great brands to make critical decisions some 20 billion times a day. We help marketers send timely and relevant messages to the right people. Because we can authoritatively tell a client exactly who is calling or connecting with them, we make critical real-time responses possible. And the same comprehensive information that enables our clients to direct and manage orders also stops attackers. We know when someone isn’t who they claim to be, which helps stop fraud and denial of service before they’re a problem. Because we’re also an experienced manager of some of the world’s most complex databases, we help clients control their online identity, registering and protecting their domain name, and routing traffic to the correct network address. By linking the most essential information with the people who depend on it, we provide more than 12,000 clients worldwide with decisions—not just data. More information is available at http://www.neustar.biz Neustar Media ContactClinton KarrClinton.karr@neustar.biz(415) 590-4611
Enlarge / A scene from Digital Homicide's Starship: Nova Strike.Digital Homicide reader comments 37 Share this story A game developer has been banned from Steam after users claimed that it had attempted to sue 100 users of the platform for $18 million (£13.8 million)—for the crime of leaving bad reviews. Digital Homicide, which has released dozens of small games mostly available for a couple of quid each, had its titles removed from Valve's popular digital distribution platform on Friday night.
Its boss James Romine was granted a subpoena by a court in Arizona apparently allowing him to demand the release of "identification and associated data" of anonymous Steam users. The lawsuit listed in turn the misdemeanours of dozens of John/Jane Does, which include counts of "harassment," "stalking," and "cyber-bullying." In a brief email sent to Vice's Motherboard at the end of last week, Valve's marketing veep Doug Lombardi confirmed that "Valve has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers." However, Romine hit back over the weekend, accusing Valve of failing "to provide a safe environment" by not dealing with a high volume of abusive comments from Steam users, and showing "a reckless disregard for for the wellbeing of their community for profits." Romine said: We submitted numerous reports and sent multiple emails in regards to individuals making personal attacks, harassment, and more on not only us but on other Steam customers who were actually interested in our products.

The lawsuit that was submitted in regards to a handful of Steam users has been labelled by the media and now by Doug Lombardi's statement as 'being hostile to Steam users' in general which is incorrect. The lawsuit recently filed is solely in regards to individuals where no resolution was able to be obtained from Steam to provide a safe environment for us to conduct business. He went on to point out a number of examples of the admittedly bracing abuse he and his company had received. Steam Predictably, users haven't taken kindly to the lawsuit, and aggressive comments on the developer's Steam group have been pouring in. Enlarge Steam This is not Digital Homicide's first brush with controversy.

Earlier this year, the studio pursued a separate, yet-to-be-settled lawsuit against the semi-celebrity game critic Jim Sterling, demanding $10 million (£7.7 million) in damages for a series of bad reviews of its games going back to 2014. Romine's GoFundMe account, set up to fund the suit, has made just $425 of his $75,000 goal, even though he claims he "received a pile of feces in the mail" and that he had had messages saying things like "Your wife is a whore," and "I hope you die in a fiery car crash." This post originated on Ars Technica UK