Daimler allegedly sold more than a million cars with excessive emissions in Europe and the United States.
FRANKFURT: German officials probing carmaker Mercedes-Benz, which is owned by Daimler, have found no signs so far that the carmaker made use of illegal software to manipulate emissions, a government spokesman said on Friday.
Daimler said based on current information available to the carmaker they would fight allegations about using an illegal software defeat device with all legal means.
The Stuttgart-based carmaker was summoned for a meeting on Thursday to address allegations that it had sold more than a million cars with excessive emissions in Europe and the United States.
German magazine Der Spiegel on Friday said, without citing sources, that officials from Germany’s vehicle certification authority KBA believe Mercedes-Benz may have diesel cars equipped with an illegal defeat device, and that KBA is optimistic it can deliver proof.
Upon being asked about the article in Der Spiegel, a KBA spokesman said, “We need to wait for the results of investigation to be published.”
The U.S. tech industry has warned that a temporary entry suspension on certain foreign nationals introduced on Friday by the administration of President Donald Trump will impact these companies’ operations that are dependent on foreign workers.
The Internet Association, which has a number of tech companies including Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft as its members, said that Trump’s executive order limiting immigration and movement into the U.S. has troubling implications as its member companies and firms in many other industries include legal immigrant employees who are covered by the orders and will not be able to return back to their jobs and families in the U.S.
“Their work benefits our economy and creates jobs here in the United States,” said Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman in a statement over the weekend.
Executives of a number of tech companies like Twitter, Microsoft and Netflix have expressed concern about the executive order signed by Trump, which suspended for 90 days entry into the U.S. of persons from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – as immigrants and non-immigrants. The Trump administration has described the order as a move to prevent foreign terrorist entry into the U.S.
Tech companies like Uber, Apple, Microsoft and Google are in touch with employees affected by the order, according to reports. Uber is working on a scheme to compensate some of its drivers who come from the listed countries and had taken long breaks to see their extended families and are now unable to come back to the U.S., wrote CEO Travis Kalanick, who is a member of Trump’s business advisory group.
“As an immigrant and as a CEO, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world,” wrote Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, in an online post over the weekend. “We will continue to advocate on this important topic.” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote in a Facebook post that “Trump’s actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all.”
The tech industry is also concerned about further moves by the government on immigration policy that could place restrictions on visas for the entry of people who help these companies run their operations and develop products and services. The H-1B visa program have been criticized for replacing U.S. workers.
Microsoft’s Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said in a note to employees on Saturday that the company believes in “a strong and balanced high-skilled immigration system.”
In a statement sent to The Wall Street Journal, a LeEco spokesperson stated that it is currently investigating why its stock price had dropped close to eight percent on Tuesday, and thus made the decision to halt trading. The spokesperson added that the company is “in the process of planning major matters, which are expected to involve integration of industry resources.” Exactly what types of changes are in the works are currently unknown.
Less than two months ago, LeEco was holding a big press conference in San Francisco, announcing its official launch of products in the US. That included its Le Pro3 and Le S3 Android smartphones. However, the press conference was an odd affair, full of unconnected buzzwords and demos of products like an Android-based bicycle that may now never come to market.
Since then, rumors about the company’s financial issues have continued, even though LeEco announced it had raised $600 million in new financing. Last week, sales of its phones began in the US at its own LeMall website, along with Amazon, Target and Best Buy. However, the company could decide to make an early exit from the US market as part of its upcoming changes.
“We have never seen a technology become ubiquitous so quickly [as Docker],” RedMonk analyst James Governor declares. Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has also joined the Docker fray, telling investors that Docker is the “single biggest topic that comes up among … [Red Hat’s] leading [customers].”
Yes, Docker interest is off the charts. As Apprenda executive Chris Gaun puts it: “Everything else looks tiny in comparison.” Whether or not you’re aware of it, developers have very likely spun up Docker in your organization.
Yet the question remains: When will Docker be used in production? Developers have driven Docker adoption because it streamlines development and vastly simplifies deployment. But the immature nature of security and container management solutions around Docker have kept it largely a dev-and-test affair.
That may be changing. According to a recent O’Reilly Media study, 40 percent of respondents already run Docker in production. Docker has 75-plus paying enterprise customers for its data center product, which was made generally available in February, and almost 6,000 paying customers of Docker Cloud, the company’s hosted service.
It seems safe to assume that Docker isn’t being used to containerize existing enterprise applications. Instead, developers are bringing in Docker for new application deployments, greenfield opportunities that aren’t dependent on yesterday’s infrastructure. As RedMonk analyst Fintan Ryan has said:
Where we are seeing a massive difference with the use of containers is around greenfield projects. These greenfield projects generally have as close to a blank slate as you are going to find in the enterprise, and with them containers are going into production incredibly quickly — much faster than before.
Indeed, former Appfog CEO Lucas Carlson believes Docker containers are suitable for such cloud-native applications only: “[T]he benefits of containers can only be achieved when the applications run within containers have been built-for-cloud.”
Not everyone agrees with that assessment. On the contrary, Docker CEO Ben Golub told me, “there is ample evidence to show that Docker is being embraced by early majority/pragmatist organizations,” among them Fortune 100 pharmaceutical, retail, health care, manufacturing, and media companies. Some specific customer examples:
ADP is moving its core application to a solution based on Docker Data Center and Docker Swarm
Goldman Sachs is moving 90 percent of its applications to Docker over the course of the next 12 months
The General Services Administration is basing its entire next-generation platform (which tracks $1.7 trillion) on Docker
Multiple U.S. Department of Defense agencies are running truly “mission-critical” apps on Docker
Others include a variety of DockerCon speakers from Barclays, ING, Electronic Arts, Fox, and Oxford University Press, all of which talked about how they’re using Docker in production. While there have been concerns about orchestration, security, and networking, Docker Inc. and the surrounding ecosystem have rapidly filled in the gaps, and Docker is poised for enterprise adoption.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter much: Developers are writing the future with Docker containers, whatever the near-term roadblocks to world domination. Yes, Docker may be used to package legacy applications, and management and security will continue to improve as vendors rally around the standard.
Docker’s speedy adoption, however, isn’t about legacy migrations. It’s about building and deploying applications in the cloud, as well as the developers who live there.
This story, “Docker, not production-ready? Not so, says Docker” was originally published by InfoWorld.
Ali al-Amin says he does not intend to drop charges against his estranged Australian wife over attempt to seize children
The father of two children at the centre of a botched child recovery operation inLebanon has said he is in no hurry to resolve the case and does not intend to drop charges of attempted kidnapping against his estranged Australian wife.
Speaking inside the Baabda palace of justice, a defiant Ali al-Amin contradictedstatements made last week that he was open to compromise on the charges laid against Sally Faulkner.
The judge, Rami Abdullah, adjourned the case until Wednesday to allow talks to continue.
Faulkner, from Brisbane, flew to Lebanon this month with a news crew from theChannel Nine programme 60 Minutes in an attempt to seize the couple’s children from a street in south Beirut.
Tara Brown, the correspondent for 60 Minutes, and Adam Whittington, the founder of Child Abduction Recovery International, are among seven people also facing charges over the operation. The others include the 60 Minutes cameraman Benjamin Williamson, producer Stephen Rice, and sound recordist David Ballment.
Amin suggested on Monday that if he agreed to drop charges against his ex-wife, he would also make it more likely that the 60 Minutes crew, Whittington and two others involved in the operation, would be freed too.
“They are trying to push for that if Sally gets bail, they all get bail,” he said. “I said then I will charge everyone involved and I say it today. It will take some time. I am in no hurry.”
Amin appeared confident and unhurried, in contrast to Faulkner who seemed tired and distressed when she was brought before the judge. Brown also appeared briefly in chambers.
Abdullah said a hearing for the group had been postponed because another case had taken precedent. Under Lebanon’s inquisitorial judicial system, pre-trial hearings can be part mediation sessions and part interrogation.
Amin took five-year-old Lahela and three-year-old Noah to Lebanon almost a year ago. Faulkner, who was separated from Amin, then involved a child recovery team, which arranged to seize them.
The operation was successful, but the team behind it was quickly seized. All involved, including Faulkner, were arrested.
Whittington’s lawyer said he was expected to have presented documents to the court that showed 60 Minutes had paid him in two tranches.
A lawyer for 60 Minutes, Kamal Abou Daher, admitted that Channel Nine had paid for the story, but attempted to draw a distinction between the legal fight for custody of the children and the abduction itself.
“Ali’s lawyers said it and you heard yourself, they are not in a hurry,” he said. “This changed after the last hearing.”
Speaking inside his chambers, Abdullah said he had no preference for how the case progressed from here. “Of course, if everything is negotiated it is better,” he said. “However that is up to the parties.”
On Sunday, the 60 Minutes host Ross Coulthart said the programme’s detained crew members were “said to be in good spirits and coping well”. Brown has said she was being “well-treated in a women’s detention centre”, he said, while her male colleagues were held separately.
On Monday, prominent Channel Nine journalists rallied to support Brown and the rest of the crew before the hearing.
60 Minutes’ apparent decision to cover the costs of the child recovery operation has faced intense scrutiny, but a number of Australian journalists have now come to the show’s defence.
On Monday, Tracy Grimshaw defended the crew in an article for the Australian, saying they were not “tabloid cowboys”.
“They are not a threat to society. That’s probably the biggest Captain Obvious statement you will read all day. They are good people who care about what they do, who love their families and friends and are loved very much back,” she wrote.
Vice-president’s public remarks show continued strain between the countries in the wake of Iranian nuclear deal
The US vice-president, Joe Biden, has delivered an unusually sharp critique of the government of Binyamin Netanyahu, saying the Israeli prime minister is leading Israel in the wrong direction through his policies, including settlement building.
Biden described the Obama administration’s “overwhelming frustration” withIsrael, adding that “profound questions” existed about how the country could remain both Jewish and democratic.
Although Biden’s comments, made in a speech to the Jewish American group J-Street, also criticised Palestinians for the failure of the last round of Middle East peace talks, his remarks about the Netanyahu government were particularly pointed.
“I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past several years – the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalisation of outposts, land seizures – they’re moving us and more importantly they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction,” Biden said.
His remarks appear to have scotched the notion that relations between Israel and its most significant backer – which have been unusually strained – were returning to normal after the deep frictions over the Iran nuclear deal.
Biden insisted, however, that the US remained committed to Israel’s security.
“No matter what political disagreements we have with Israel – and we do have political disagreements now – there is never any question about our commitment to Israel’s security.”
Biden’s comments will concern senior Israeli politicians. They have been fretting over what stance the US might take over a mooted resolution at the UN security council, being pushed by Palestinians, seeking to condemn Israel’s continued construction of illegal settlements.
Although Biden’s remarks echoed both public and private comments in recent months made by senior American officials, their high-profile nature is significant, not least because they come in the midst of stalled negotiations between the US and Israel over a military aid package with demands from Israel for more aid than the US is willing to give.
“Israel will not get everything it asks for, but it will get every single solitary thing it needs,” Biden remarked.
The US vice-president also added his voice to the increasing number of international figures warning that Israelis and Palestinians were heading towards a “dangerous” one-state “reality” – and the effective death of a two-state solution.
In March, Biden met both Netanyahu and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. He said he came away from that trip discouraged about prospects for peace anytime soon, adding it was the US’s obligation to “push … as hard as we can” towards a two-state solution despite “our sometimes overwhelming frustration with the Israeli government”.
Biden added: “There is at the moment no political will that I observed from either Israelis or Palestinians to go forward with serious negotiations.
“Both sides have to take responsibility for counterproductive steps that undermine confidence in negotiations.”
Biden also singled out Palestinian leaders, including Abbas, for declining to condemn specific acts of terrorism carried out against Israelis, in a nod to the seven-month wave of Palestinian stabbings and other attacks. He said he didn’t know whether Monday’s bus explosion in Jerusalem was a terrorist attack, but added that the US condemns “misguided cowards” who resort to violence.
“No matter what legitimate disagreements the Palestinian people have with Israel, there is never justification for terrorism,” Biden said. “No leader should fail to condemn as terrorists those who commit such brutalities.”
Israel said on Monday it had unearthed a new cross-border tunnel dug by Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip, the first such discovery since the 2014 war, but played down the prospect of renewed conflict.
Since being blindsided by Hamas tunnel raiders during the war, Israel has, with U.S. help, stepped up work on technologies for spotting the secret passages. Some Israelis who live on the Gaza frontier believe militants are digging fresh tunnels and worry the counter-measures will come too late.
The tunnel made public on Monday was discovered days earlier but kept under wraps by Israel as it probed what it said were hundreds of metres (yards) of shafts on the Israeli side of the border near southeast Gaza. The network was then razed.
“We have neutralised the tunnel in Israeli territory, rendering it unusable for infiltration by Hamas terrorists,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner, a military spokesman.
Asked how the tunnel was discovered, he declined to give specifics, citing only “a combination of technology, intelligence, engineering capabilities and boots on the ground”.
“We estimate that this tunnel was mostly built after Protective Edge,” Lerner said, using Israel’s term for the Gaza war, during which it lost 12 soldiers to Hamas gunmen who burrowed across the border on four occasions.
Hamas, which has largely held fire since the war, implicitly claimed the tunnel as its own.
“What the enemy announced is only a drop in the sea of what the resistance has prepared to defend its people and liberate its sacred sites, its land and its prisoners,” Hamas’s armed wing, Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, said in a statement.
Israel has signalled the mere existence of a tunnel – as opposed to its use for an attack – may not be a casus belli.
“We do not seek conflict, but if Hamas tries to provoke the State of Israel and disrupt the lives of residents of the Gaza periphery communities, it will be dealt a very strong blow,” Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a statement on Monday.
The Gaza war killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and devastated parts of the enclave. Gaza medical sources and U.N. officials say most were civilians, a figure disputed by Israel, which lost 67 troops and six civilians to the fighting.
The Gaza periphery is now mostly quiet, except for occasional Palestinian rocket attacks Israel says were carried out by Islamist groups that view Hamas as too lenient.
Despite the apparent role of Israeli technology in discovering the tunnel, officials say a more reliable counter-measure, comparable to the Iron Dome interceptor for rockets, is still not in place.
Michael Widenius, the creator of the MySQL database and a vocal opponent of Oracle Corp’s USD 7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems Inc, has handed 14,000 signatures opposing the deal to regulators in Europe, China and Russia. Widenius, one of the most respected developers of open-source software, left Sun last year to set up database firm Monty Program Ab, which competes directly with MySQL. The European Commission initially objected to Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, saying it was concerned Oracle’s takeover of the MySQL database could hurt competition in that market. But the Commission signaled in mid-December that it would likely clear the deal after some of Oracle’s largest customers said they believed the takeover would not hurt competition. Since then, Oracle has said it expects to win unconditional EU clearance to close the deal by the end of January. Widenius, who delivered the signatures on Monday, said he would continue to gather signatures until the commission makes a final ruling, which is due by Jan. 27. “Our signatories don’t have faith that Oracle could be a good steward of MySQL,” Widenius said in a statement. Still, Beau Buffier, a partner in the anti-trust practice of law firm Shearman & Sterling, said signature drives carry little weight with the commission. He said regulators generally want each person who weighs in on pending cases to provide specifics on how an acquisition might affect their particular business. “What you would need is detailed statements from significant developers,” he said. More than 5,000 signatures are from self-employed developers and more than 3,000 from employees of companies and other organizations using MySQL, according to Widenius. He did not disclose the names of the people who signed the petition. The signatures were gathered during the first week of the campaign and were delivered to the European Commission and other European institutions, including the European Parliament and the competition authorities of the 27 member states, as well as to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service. Officials with Oracle, the world’s No. 3 software maker, and Sun, the No. 4 server maker, declined comment. The acquisition will transform Oracle from a maker of software into a technology powerhouse that sells computers and storage equipment preloaded with its programs. Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison is betting the combination will give his company an edge over rivals such as IBM Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co, Microsoft Corp and EMC Corp. Sun bought MySQL for USD 1 billion in 2008.