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Transportation

Opel Dealers Accused of Modyfing the Software of Polluting Cars (deredactie.be) 147

An anonymous reader writes: Belgian public broadcasting station VRT has discovered that GM Opel dealerships in Belgium seem to be updating engine management code when Zafira cars equipped with the 1.6 litre CDTI diesel engine are brought in for service. After the software change, the nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions drop sharply, at the cost of reduced power output. Bern University of Applied Sciences and environmental lobby club DUH previously found this model to pass European emissions standards only when the rear wheels are not rotating. When the rear wheels are made to spin along, NOx emissions increase to several times the limit set by European regulations. General Motors denied using defeat devices as well as the update program that seems to be taking place. However, an anonymous mechanic at an Opel dealership states that GM started pushing updates shortly after the Dieselgate scandal broke.

Comment Re:SIP Replacement? (Score 1) 282

RedPhone is only for Android although iPhone compatible version exists. But this is not what I was talking about.

The problem is that there is no telephony system that you can use cross-platform, that is open source and the clients are easy to install and use for the average user.

No other heavily-used protocols have this problem, FTP, HTTP, SMPT, DNS, Torrent, Cloud Storage, VPN, SSH all have cross-platform, free and open source clients that are easy to set up and use for the average user. Telephony is the handicapped service on the internet

The main problem, as I see it, is the SIP protocol and the design mistake of relying on IP addresses in the application layer.

Comment SIP Replacement? (Score 4, Interesting) 282

One of the big pieces of the puzzle that needs to be solved is a replacement for the SIP protocol.

Almost no one has a public IP address directly on their workstation at home and it is preventing free open source telephone to be widely adopted.

What is needed is a telephony protocol that and can easily be proxied or tunneled and/or that does not need extra measurements for surviving NAT.

Comment Who in their right mind ... (Score 1) 399

... is using bash scripts to generate web content in 2014?

Look, there is a bug, obviously, but to say that it is "remotely exploitable" is a half-truth, and that it is "on level with or worse than heartbleed" is nonsense.

There are a lot of things that need to "line up" in order for this to be remotely exploitable.

Comment Re:Russian Programmer's are Brilliant! (Score 1) 157

I've been hearing all this about the much vaunted chops of these Russian coders, but frankly I don't ever see it.

There is also the possibility that the project was sabotaged by an external actor.

Maybe it is a coincidence but the one who profits the most from this failure is the same as has been working hard during the last 10 years to get rid of the Galileo program and is also the same nation as is known for being the most technically capable in electronic warfare/hacking.

Comment Re:I don't like the control it takes away from you (Score 1) 865

Personally, I'm neutral. On one hand, the Prius and Nissan keyfobs that just sit in a pocket are cool with one less thing to flip open. On the other hand, having to stick the physical key in the vehicle with a very low power transmitter handling the passive anti-theft access gives a bump in security.

There's no transmitter in my key. You're thinking of the RFID keys, which are pretty good security: coupled with a decent quality alarm with multiple immobilizers it makes a car pretty much unstealable unless you have a flatbed.

But there's no reason you can't simply put the RFID into the alarm keyfob instead of the key. In fact, most of the pushbutton starters I've seen in recent years work exactly like that -- there's an RFID in your keyfob, and if you don't have the keyfob in your pocket (or within a few feet of the car), the car simply won't start. If the car gets out of range of the keyfob, it'll trip the fuel line immobilizer.

Comment Re:Hybrids, diesel and Prius (Score 1) 93

Modern car diesels are just under 40% efficient. The biggest diesel ship engines can just make 50% efficiency.
The current Prius petrol engine is 38.5% and the next model will be over 40%. Petrol engines are making good progress in efficiency, diesel engines less so.

A ship engine isn't a fixed RPM diesel generator, it's a variable RPM diesel engine.

What I was talking about, you need to be comparing against a diesel-oil power plant, which can exceed 70-80% efficiency. Still not as good as hydroelectric (which can exceed 95%), but aside from tidal and hydro power plants it's by far the most efficient method of generating energy that we have. It's also worth mentioning that a diesel engine can run on basically unmodified cooking oil (look up biodiesel). I sincerely doubt that your Prius would enjoy being fed that stuff.

Comment Re:Efficiency (Score 2) 93

A fixed RPM diesel is *significantly* more efficient than a car engine, on the whole. We're still not approaching the 90% that GP quotes as the efficiency for an electric, but it's enough of an improvement to still waste less energy despite the losses inherent in transmission lines.

The long-distance transmission of energy, incidentally, is where the real loss in the electrical grid comes into play. That's not really an issue when you're talking about hybrid drive vehicles. Still, I've wondered for years why car manufacturers don't design a pure electric car (plug-in), and fit it with a fixed RPM generator for extended range instead of trying to design a hugely convoluted hybrid drive train that can receive power from both. (and no, Top Gear doesn't count).

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