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Germany

Why Dieselgate Was Really An IT Problem

If cars are supercomputers, why are we not programming them for fewer emissions and speed?

In Cologne on Nov. 22
In Cologne on Nov. 22
Adrian Lobe

MUNICH — Three years after the Dieselgate scandal erupted, the conversation about banning diesel cars drags on. It all started with an illegal emissions-defeat device that Volkswagen and other car manufacturers installed "as standard" in diesel vehicles, and whose software manipulated exhaust gas values. When politicians today discuss "hardware retrofits' and "software updates," it indicates that they consider vehicles as a functional equivalent to computers. Yet, they don't take that computerization of society to its logical conclusion.

Smartphones, door systems, refrigerators, and cars — all are computers. A modern vehicle contains an average of 100 million lines of code. By way of comparison, the Hubble space telescope functions with just about 50,000 lines of code. A car is a super-computer with wheels, on which the driving application, among others, is pre-installed. Politicians must, therefore, understand the diesel emissions scandal as what it is first and foremost: an IT problem in which the code plays a key active role.

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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