Thursday Morning: Things Are Gonna’ Change

After Tuesday’s primaries and last night’s Democratic candidates’ debate, surely something will change in messaging and outreach.

And surely something will change on the other side of the aisle given the continued rampage of ‘Someone With Tiny Hands.”

Calls to mind an animated movie popular with my kids a few years ago.

Moving on…

Volkswagen and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

  • USDOJ subpoenaed VW under recent banking law (CNBC) — This is the first such application of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (Firrea) since it was signed into law in 1989 in response to the savings and loan scandal. The law was used to target bank fraud in subprime mortgages after the 2008 financial crisis. (Caveat: that link at CNBC autoplays video. Bad practice, CNBC very bad.)
  • VW’s US CEO Michael Horn departs with marked haste (Bloomberg) — Huh. Interesting timing, that. A subpoena and an exit inside 48 hours? The phrases “mutual agreement” and “leave to pursue other opportunities” are very telling. IMO, Volkswagen Group’s response to the scandal has been lackluster to obstructionist, and Horn might not want to be the automaker’s sin eater here in the U.S.
  • Not looking good in Germany for VW, either, as prosecutors expand their investigation (Business Insider) — 17 employees now under scrutiny, up from six.
  • VW’s South Korean offices raided (Reuters) — Wondered when South Korea would catch up after all the recenty happy-happy about clean diesel passenger vehicle sales.

I feel like I’m telling a child Santa Claus is a lie and the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist, but it’s important to this scandal to grasp this point: There is no clean diesel technology. There is no clean diesel technology coming any time soon. Invoke a little Marcus Aurelius here and look at this situation and its essential nature, by asking why VW cheated and lied and did so for so long.

Because there is no clean diesel technology.

And the clock is tick-tick-ticking — the court case in California gave VW 30 days to come up with a technical solution. Mark your calendar for March 24, people.

A – Apple, B – Bollocks, C – Cannot…

Panopticonic POV

  • Defense Department used surveillance drones over U.S. for a decade (USA Today) — All legit, though, nothing to see here, move along. Disregard the incomplete list of flights, just trust.
  • What will happen when your neighbors can buy a StingRay on the cheap to listen in on your cellphone calls? (Bloomberg) — Worse thought: what if they’ve already built one?
  • If you’re a commercial trucker, chances are anybody can track you (Naked Security) — Read this, especially the pointers at the bottom of the article. (Personal tip from me: If you’re a female trucker, use a gender neutral name or initials in the workplace. Insist your employer respects this practice.)

That’s enough damage for one day. Things have got to change.

19 replies
  1. lefty665 says:

    “There is no clean diesel technology. There is no clean diesel technology coming any time soon.” Repeat!
    Clinton was back to her sleazy crap on legislation last night, new stuff as well as repeating her phony auto industry bailout slime. Looks like that dishonesty pissed Sanders off enough that he pushed back pretty hard. The Hispanic questioners were refreshingly direct, and followed up with Clinton a couple of times with “You didn’t answer the question”.
    Questions for the lawyers out there about Hillary’s emails. I’ve heard gossip from the legal community that the Feds don’t tend to offer immunity unless they’ve got a grand jury sitting and that they intend to indict someone. Also, that the FBI is profoundly pissed about having their carefully put together case on Petraeus trashed and that has consequences with Hillary. Any of that likely?

  2. bloopie2 says:

    Great post today, rayne.
    Today’s technology enables us to do things remotely. I don’t have to be face to face with someone, to communicate. I don’t have to be in my office, to do work. But every time I utilize this “benefit”, an equal and opposite “detriment” shows up – I and/or my communications can be tracked. Read the Stingray article – it’s scary as all git out, because although your phone itself can be locked down, the signal it sends out over the air can always, always, be intercepted. “What fascinates Rigmaiden the most—and what sometimes makes him want to go live in the woods again—is how no matter what happens with Apple’s battle, the cell phone network problem may be with us for as long as there are networks. “This isn’t something that can really be fixed,” he says. “It’s just built into the way communications work. You can always zero into one signal among many signals, if you have enough data. You don’t need to hack anything—just analyze the signals in the air.”

    • lefty665 says:

      bloopie2 @3 “…just analyze the signals in the air.” My old Dad always told me “If you don’t want me to listen to something, don’t transmit it to me”.
      We’ve got this little radio we carry around with us all the time and it is constantly squawking. How quaint that we call it a “phone”. If somebody we send the signals to wants to it’s not hard to turn it into a tracking, listening and video device. It’s just a variation on monitoring its use as a “communications” device.

  3. bloopie2 says:

    Oh, things are gonna change, that’s for sure; so fast you can’t keep up. This, from Michigan State University researchers. Does this mean we shouldn’t use the fingerprint feature? And what is it with all these creepy Michigan people, anyway?
    Fingerprint sensors used to secure smartphones can be fooled with something as simple as a inkjet printer, researchers have shown. A Samsung Galaxy S6 and a Huawei Honor 7 were unlocked successfully using a fingerprint printed using a standard inkjet printer loaded with special ink and paper. The researchers took scans of several fingers and simply printed them in 2D on paper using conductive ink – ink which conducts a charge – and special paper that is typically used for printing electronic circuits and other charge-carrying systems. For law enforcement agencies, it could represent a fast and effective way of unlocking a suspect’s smartphone without resorting to backdoors.

    • martin says:

      quote”And what is it with all these creepy Michigan people, anyway?”unquote
      Glad to see I’m not the only one that wonders that. Had a creep that worked in a thrift store come unglued on me two days ago, because I tried to help him move a bed I wanted to buy. I ask him “Is there something in the water here that turns all you fucking people in this county into flaming assholes?” And he’s not the first one. In the last year I’ve had at least 6 run ins , with dudes around here that almost became violent. Not to mention those who were just plain rude, like to checkout people. And it’s not just men. Creeps is an understatement. Lake county is loaded with them.

      ok..rant done.

  4. Peterr says:

    (Caveat: that link at CNBC autoplays video. Bad practice, CNBC very bad.)

    CNBC: Bad practice? Very bad? But we can charge our advertisers MORE for an autoplay ad. How can that be bad? We’re just letting the invisible hand dip deeper into those advertiser’s pockets.

  5. harpie says:

    “Disregard the incomplete list of flights, just trust.”
    Well, isn’t that our nation’s motto…In Dod We Trust ???

  6. wayoutwest says:

    I have to agree that there is no ‘Clean’ diesel technology nor is there ‘Clean’ gasoline technology and actually there is no ‘Clean’ solar or wind technology only less polluting or carbon generating machines.

    The only clean technology is the one that isn’t used, reduction in consumption of polluting energy sources is clean and sustainable. Our civilization depends on more consumption and pollution to grow and few people seem willing to give up any of that consumption, hence the feel good marketing of lies about ‘Clean’ energy.

  7. martin says:

    Omg. I can’t believe you linked to a song by Ray Davies. The same Ray Davies I PUNCHED back stage at Memorial Hall in Sacramento CA, in 1967. The same monster ego Ray Davies creep that was badmouthing American bands. The same Rad Davies who was leader of the scum sucking band, the Kinks, who we upstaged at the San Francisco Cow Palace the next weekend, by performing their hit of the time, BEFORE they were slated to perform. They refused to play unless they got top billing over the Beach Boys. They lost. It was the best comeuppance I’ve every had. 50k people went crazy when we kicked off their hit record….and played it better and longer than the Kinks ever could. We knocked them out..

    Of course, I hated the stupid tune. And thought they were buffoons. Because they WERE.

    ok.. sorry. I couldn’t resist.

  8. mzchief says:

    Those “surveillance” drones happen to be designed to carry arms. The missiles of the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator ( ) and the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper ( ) can be with or without a warhead so does that make them “unarmed”? A missile without a warhead is no less lethal or potentially environment-poisoning than one with a war head ( ) given the use of either depleted uranium shielding ( ) or nanofuels ( ). Hope FOIA ninjas are busy doing a thorough ferreting of this.

    • martin says:

      quote”Hope FOIA ninjas are busy doing a thorough ferreting of this.”unquote

      Spare me. Where were you when the Intercept was “ferreting” the very bowels of the Drone program..hmmmm?

  9. Ian says:

    In addition to the two references listed for the FBI actually having access to the Apple phone-even as they say they cannot get past the various barriers–the ACLU had posted on March 7,2016 under the headline:
    One of the FBI’s Major Claims in the iPhone case is Fraudulent by By Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Technology Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project- MARCH 7, 2016 | 3:30 PM
    The advisory was to the effect that when Apple say they “auto-erase” something they don’t actually mean that they merely mean they “Auto De-index it” [if you will]–& the article describes a physical hardware method of causing that,.
    The links is:

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