Indeed, while the market was predicting revenues of $16.34 billion for the three month period, Intel says it actually brought in revenues of $17.1 billion. That’s up $730m on revenues in the same quarter a year ago. Full year revenue for 2017 came to $62.8 billion. What many wanted to know, however, was just what Intel was doing about the Spectre and Meltdown issues that had been identified earlier this month. Three flaws, independently discovered by different teams of researchers including Google’s Project Zero group, could have a significant impact on computer and server security. By exploiting them, hackers could access data in supposedly secure parts of the system, for example. Krzanich opened the Intel earnings call with security at the top of the agenda, saying that the company was working “around the clock” to address the issues. Software fixes, however, aren’t sufficient the chief executive admitted, saying that Intel was “acutely aware” that it needed to do more. However, he also had information on just what that would be.Changes to processor architecture are in the pipeline to permanently bypass the Meltdown and Spectre loopholes. However, it’ll take a little time to get them ready, and Intel says that the updated chips won’t be available on the market until later in 2018. It’s unclear what ranges Intel is prioritizing, since the security flaws affect so many models. Nonetheless, it’s not hard to see this as a potential win for Intel in the long run. While Q1 may end up taking a hit since that’s when the Spectre and Meltdown situation was revealed, for many the only way to fix it – without the performance hit involved in the current patches – will be to buy new chips altogether. If Intel can prevent those customers from jumping ship, and minimize whatever sweetening of the deal is required, it could see a much faster turnover in processor lifecycle than it might have originally expected. For the moment, though, it’s software fixes to the rescue. They’re hardly finalized either, with Intel forced to recommend holding off on the previous batch of patches for certain processor families after users observed greater than average reboots as a result. Story TimelineIntel reveals Meltdown and Spectre fix slow-down costHere’s how Intel’s Spectre and Meltdown patch affects server CPUsIntel’s Spectre and Meltdown advice just changed over reboot issuesIntel messed up its chance at redemption from Meltdown, Spectre Intel plans to have versions of its processors directly addressing the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws on the market later this year, the chip-maker has confirmed today. News on the processor update came during the earnings call with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, after the company announced better-than-expected results for Q4 2017.
So everyone’s going into foldable phones, even Apple it seems. But while Apple’s take isn’t due until 2020, or maybe even until much later, the news will undoubtedly make you wonder what the fuss is all about. And if the only examples of foldable phones you’ve seen are the ZTE Axon M and the even older Kyocera Echo, you will definitely be puzzled at the excitement it’s generating. Here are some of the reason why foldable phones and tablets are really the future and why you shouldn’t be holding your breath just yet. Expanding views, maximizing spaceFold it any other way, foldable phones and tablets is really about the screen real estate. A phone that unfolds into a tablet means you have double the screen space. On the other hand, a phone that folds down to half its size means you need less space to store your phone. Tablets might even be able to fold out into a bigger canvas.Smartphones have pretty much reach the apex of screen size. Any bigger and they cease to become usable phones. That’s why manufacturers are so obsessed with bezel-less screens, trying to reclaim even the smallest millimeter of space to increase the total screen area without increasing the phone’s size.Everyone wants larger screens. No one, however wants larger devices. Foldable phones and tablets offer the best of both worlds, presuming they’re done properly.AdChoices广告Conforming to our needsSmartphones have become so important in our lives that we are more likely to change ourselves to fit the device, be it fashion or habits. We are pretty much at the mercy of what form factors and sizes companies push on us (ironically citing consumer demand) and we move our life around those. But no one size fits all and smartphone size preferences are no different.Foldable devices would at least give us some reprieve. Of course, we’d still be limited to a few fixed size configurations but, in the future, even those might give way to deformable, not just foldable, devices. Want a bigger screen? Simply unfold your phone rather than having to switch devices. Want to squeeze your device into your slim pocket? Simply fold it up and go. Devices will finally be able to change to fit our needs rather than the other way around.Pushing boundariesFoldable devices inspire the imagination and get creative juices flowing not just because of the near-impossibility of the hardware. They also tickle our fancy because of the almost magical things we might be able to do with these kinds of devices. Yes, they will still be touch-driven, maybe even stylus-driven, but they would still go beyond the user interfaces and interactions we currently have. We could have two different screens at the same time, seamlessly interacting with each other. Or have one gigantic screen instead.That said, we also hit upon one of the big hurdles to this foldable future. The ZTE Axon M comes close to that dream but is tripped up by more than just a thin bezel in the middle. Our software, be it Android or iOS or even Windows, is far from ready for a dual-screen reality. Considering it took almost a decade for mobile platforms to accept go beyond the “one screen per app” model, it might take just as long for them to catch up with this upcoming trend.Beyond current capabilitiesOne reason why platform makers aren’t in a rush to prepare software for that future is because they know the hardware isn’t even ready yet. Foldable devices are really pushing everything we know and have, both software and hardware, beyond their limits. Samsung and others have been working for years on foldable displays, and they’re not even close to getting it right.And the display is just one, but an important, part of the equation. We will eventually reach the point where we’ll have to make other non-rigid components. And then we’ll hit on the most volatile and most explosive of them all: the battery.Awkward first stepsFoldable devices are coming. They are inevitable though some will come later rather than sooner. The market wants it thought the market isn’t sure it’s ready to pay for it just yet. The first ones, however, will probably be disasters. They’ll be a far cry from the ideal future that manufacturers themselves have tried to paint. Some will be sold, many will be scrapped. Some might even give up. Hopefully they won’t, because foldable really is the future. It’s just a matter of how soon we’re willing to make it happen.
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract valued at nearly $1 billion to develop a hypersonic missile for the US Air Force. According to the Department of Defense, Air Force Life Cycle Management received three offers to develop the technology, though it didn’t reveal the two other entities. The agency also revealed a second contract for nearly $12 million awarded to Applied Technology for a ground-based EO/IR direct imaging system. According to the Defense Department, the contract awards $928,000,000 to Lockheed Martin, which will work in Huntsville, Alabama, on designing, developing, engineering, testing and more a “hypersonic conventional strike weapon.” The contract is indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, the government revealed.Officials call the contract the result of a “competitive acquisition,” naming Eglin Air Force Base as the source of the deal. “Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds will be obligated at the time of award on the first task order,” the Defense Department explains. Additional details about the project weren’t provided. However, news about the contract follows warnings that both China and Russia are developing their own hypersonic missile technology. Hypersonic missiles are of concern due to their anticipated ability to evade the nation’s missile defense systems. AdChoices广告The US Air Force is also behind the $11,991,712 contract awarded to Applied Technology for the aforementioned direct imaging system. While Eglin Air Force Base in Florida has its eyes on the hypersonic missile, Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is interested in the electro-optical/infrared system. This project is scheduled for completion in 2021.SOURCE: Department of Defense
UPDATE: We’re just tossing that last photo aside in favor of the video above. It would appear that there’s at least one (and probably a whole lot more than one) good-as-real copy already in the wild running whatever software you like. At this point it’s anybody’s game or guess, really.We’ll see the real, real, actual real deal when it’s time for Samsung’s event. That event will take place on August 9th, 2018 in New York City. We’ll be ready to roll with all the up-close-and-personal hands-on looks and review right at the moment you want them, then and there! Samsung’s taking a rather radical turn with the color scheming of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, it would seem. As we saw in the first official preview of the Galaxy Note 9, there’ll be a yellow S Pen. That yellow S Pen looks to be paired with a blue smartphone – imagine that! As the leak from Evleaks on Twitter today suggests, there’s a rather easy way to connect the color of the S Pen to the color of the device: the device’s wallpaper. The front side of the device, a frontside that’s now more fully covered by display than it’s ever been before, that frontside – there’s the yellow. Let the mixing and the matching commence.Another set of images – these ones a bit more pre-release and/or clandestine in nature than other leaks – shows the device’s front and back in test device stylings. This device is more than likely meant for some in-the-field testing and/or accessory-maker fitting action. Not many details are here that we’ve not seen before – but more physical photos mean more proof of previous rumors.AdChoices广告And of course, you can already buy a fake one… 😅 (video source https://t.co/uiifB4dsKV) pic.twitter.com/qckpkAv2wl— Steve H. (@OnLeaks) July 17, 2018 Today a couple of major leaks of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 basically revealed the entirety of the company’s secrets. True, we do not know how the S Pen is charged, and, true, we’re not one hundred percent sure of the version of Android the phone will have right out the gate. But I mean, look, what’s leaked has been everything else there is to have beyond hands-on experience and a physical unit. Story TimelineGalaxy Note 9 “official” image: Shocker or Non-shocker!Galaxy Note 9 launch date: when the re-imagined S Pen arrivesGalaxy Note 9 price and color leak: it’s mixedGalaxy Note 9 leak: who needs notches, elevating cameras
Delta has announced plans to launch the first biometric terminal in the United States, an optional experience offered to international travelers at Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal F in Atlanta, Georgia. Customers won’t be forced to use this technology if they’re uncomfortable with it, but rather will have it as an alternative option to reduce the amount of time spent waiting. The new terminal is being launched in partnership with the aforementioned airport, the TSA, and US Customs and Border Protection, the airline has announced. The biometric option will arrive some time later this year, allowing international customers on Delta, Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Air France-KLM to scan their face as part of the travel process.Assuming a customer is eligible and choose to use Delta Biometrics, they’ll utilize facial recognition as part of a new process to check in for their flight, check in bags, skip handing over ID at the TSA checkpoint, board their flight (assuming it is in Terminal F), and pass through CBP when returning to the United States.The system has already been tested on Delta employees, revealing that using biometrics rather than traditional ID saves up to nine minutes of time per flight. Whether that is enough to convince customers otherwise hesitant about such technology is up for debate.AdChoices广告Delta Air Lines COO Gil West said:Launching the first biometric terminal in the U.S. at the world’s busiest airport means we’re bringing the future of flying to customers traveling around the globe. Customers have an expectation that experiences along their journey are easy and happen seamlessly — that’s what we’re aiming for by launching this technology across airport touch points.SOURCE: Delta
The MacBook Pros with Apple’s controversial Touch Bar strip isn’t exactly new but there are some issues that only crop up after prolonged use. While wear and tear are only natural in the course of a mechanical product’s life, a $2,000 product should probably last longer than a year.The issue affecting this line of MacBooks has been christened “flexgate” but not because the MacBook Pro itself flexes. It refers instead to the bending of the flexible ribbon cables that connect the display to the display controller located beneath the Touch Bar. Unlike other MacBooks that used thick cables that ran through the hinge, the TouchBar MacBook Pro’s very thin cables wrap over the board, ensuring that they are subjected to bending stress every time the MacBook Pro lid is opened and closed.Compounding matters is Apple’s decision to make those cables part of the display rather than the previous modular design. What that means is that when the cables fail, owners will be forced to replace the entire display rather than just the cable, resulting in three-digit figures. And judging by the number of reports, ranging from “stage light” effects to completely unusable screen, it’s not something that is affecting only a small number of owners.Apple speed, or lack of it, in responding to the growing number of complaints feels like rubbing salt on affected users’ wounds. It wouldn’t be too much of a big deal if it were an isolated case. As iFixit points out, the problem stems from Apple’s decision to prioritize a thinner design over something more structurally sound. And like the case of bent 2018 iPad Pros, Apple might even claim it’s a normal manufacturing side effect, except one that will cost consumers hundreds of dollars to correct. There’s a reason why Apple’s products are highly prized despite being highly priced. The company is famous for its attention to detail and near-perfect balance of form and function. Lately, however, questions have been raised about whether the company still has what it takes to keep up that image. Because from ugly antenna lines to bending phones and tablets to fragile and expensive laptop screens, Apple seems to be making too many compromises for the sake of looking good.
One of the things that irk some users the most about notches is that they are pretty much dead space that eats into the screen. Not that there would be much screen space around it otherwise. Somewhat ironically, Samsung’s punch hole displays have sparked some creative ways to use that space, one of which is a battery indicator. A new Notch Pie app tries to do the same for phones with waterdrop notches but it takes a bit of work to get it right. Perhaps “a bit” is an understatement. It actually takes a lot of work to perfectly position the indicator under the notch. You can thank the variety of notch shapes and sizes for that.Even if you can drag and drop the circle during initial setup, which you can’t do, you’d have to still tap on the direction buttons to make sure the indicator is exactly where it’s supposed to be. Sadly, it seems it’s not possible to simply just tap and hold to move the circle. You’d have to tap on the buttons repeatedly to get it right.You also have to do the same for the overlay that will actually indicate the remaining charge of the battery. It’s pretty much all manual at this point, including adjusting the thickness of overlay.AdChoices广告 If you do manage to get it, you’ll have a pretty circle around that notch denoting your battery levels. That is presuming you didn’t opt to mask the entire notch anyway. The app will supposedly work with any phone with a notch and maybe some that don’t. Notch Pie is currently available via XDA’s own app repository though it at least doesn’t require root to use.
Story TimelineCortana and the Windows 10 search bar are getting divorcedCortana doesn’t need smart speakers to win insists Microsoft exec Chatting with Cortana and other virtual agents looks set to get a lot more useful, with Microsoft announcing a new breed of intelligent agent at Build 2019. The software behemoth showed off its latest conversational interface at the annual developer event, debuting a completely fresh way of training – and interacting with – assistant technologies. Traditionally, virtual agents would be trained on a set of skills or abilities. As a human user talks with them, and makes requests, the virtual agent compares those queries with the talents it has been educated to enact. It’s enough for the basics, but it’s still hardly witty conversation, nor especially useful. The agents are limited by their programing, and how that programing can be combined. At its most basic, that cam mean an agent that can’t track one interaction to the next, forgetting the prior discussion at each stage. More damaging, though, is the fact that such traditional agents typically can’t combine multiple skills together for a result that’s greater than the sum of its parts. It’s there, among other things, where Microsoft believes it can carve out a niche. AdChoices广告Its conversational AIs are a lot more flexible than the voice interfaces we’re familiar with now. For a start, there’s memory: the agent can remember what was jus being talked about, and so infer meaning from one stage of the request to the next. If you were working with a document, for instance, you could potentially ask “Hey Cortana, show me all Word files from March 2019,” and then follow up with “only those over a megabyte.”It’s not just memory of conversations, though. The new virtual agent framework also supports multi-domain and multi-agent experiences, combining different agent platforms and ecosystems into one. Different skills and back-end services can be woven together in the background, delivering more capable and more contextually-aware agents to users. It needn’t even be limited just to Microsoft, either: external services can also be tapped into. Microsoft hasn’t done all this on its own, mind. The company acquired Semantic Machines last year, a conversational AI specialist working on speech and text training for agents. The startup caught Microsoft’s attention in part by its so-called Conversation Engine. That promised to tease semantic intent from voice and text, then automatically build a self-updating and learning framework by which the nuances of the conversation could be analyzed and understood. The future, Microsoft suggests, is one where every organization has its own roster of agents to call upon. Not only that, like the most capable teams those agents would be able to seamlessly collaborate and interoperate. With products like Cortana-powered “Surface Buds” rumored to take on AirPods, complete with a smarter AI whispering in your ear, that could well give Microsoft a significant edge. The proof of that pudding is in the tasting, of course, and for that we’ll have to wait. Microsoft stays that the new conversational engine is going to be integrated into Cortana, as you’d expect, but also made available to external developers via the Microsoft Bot Framework and the Azure Bot Service.
Fully-electric, there are twin motors – one for each axle – that together deliver 483 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. A 115 kWh battery would be good for around 380 miles of range, Nissan suggests. Despite its ability to drive itself, the IMs is also focused on keen human drivers. AdChoices广告Nissan isn’t sparing the hyperbole. “This bold Nissan IMs concept represents the birth of an entirely new segment of vehicle – an elevated, electrified sports sedan,” Denis Le Vot, senior vice president of Nissan North America, said of the car. Perfect front-rear weight balance, advanced air suspension to keep the IMs level in the corners, and beefy wheels for extra traction, the concept car could keep up with the best of the sports sedan category in twisty mountain roads, Nissan promises. Step in through the huge door opening – helped by the rear-hinged back doors – and the value of the EV drivetrain makes itself clear. By pushing the motors to the edges, and slinging the battery under the floor, the cabin itself can be used more flexibly. Unlike with most cars, in the IMs there’ll be arguments about who gets to sit in the middle rear seat. Nissan calls it a 2+1+2 layout, with a “Premier Seat” in the center of the second row. Fold up the outbound seats, and there’s a sizable throne for more luxurious travel. It gives a clear view through to the glass dashboard, which blends a digital touchscreen and AI assistant behind the full-width display. When you’re in control, meanwhile, there’s an angular steering wheel and a double-stacked display for instrumentation. A transparent screen with core data is overlaid on a secondary panel with more information. The car’s intelligence could intuit your needs – trying to figure out where you’re driving to, and offering navigation information proactively – or you could use voice or touch controls to control the system. There’s certainly a question to be addressed about the auto industry’s progression toward autonomy: what happens to people who want to drive themselves? Rather than exiling such drivers, Nissan has a vision of them saving their time at the wheel for when the roads are rewarding. The rest of the time, you retreat to the “Premier Seat” and allow the computers to deal with the humdrum commute and any congestion encountered along the way.As a concept car, of course, this IMs isn’t headed to showrooms any time soon. Still, Nissan is using the vehicle to explore how electrification could be rewarding for those who might not traditionally be found behind the wheel of an EV. That bodes well for anyone who associates electric with unentertaining. From the outside, the matte gray paintwork and crisp angles already set the IMs apart from Nissan’s production cars. It’s an evolution of the automaker’s V-motion design language, one forced to reconsider its core themes when the traditional grille is no longer present. Instead, the V-shaped theme shifts to the headlamps. The IMs has thin, squinting lamps that bleed into the front fenders, the edges almost architectural in the way the car’s sides extend beyond the hood line. The light bar continues across the width of the hood, an illuminated brow atop the glowing Nissan logo. It’s not just for the visibility of a human driver: the lights front and rear also communicate to other motorists. Nissan envisages the IMs as being capable of fully autonomous driving, at which point the lighting turns blue to show the car is driving itself. Light patterns flow from the front to the rear of the IMs, to keep pedestrians and other drivers aware that the AI is in charge. With SUVs and crossovers increasingly popular, is there still a place for the sports sedan – or room for it to reinvent itself? That’s the question Nissan is asking at the Detroit Auto Show 2019 with the Nissan IMs concept, an “elevated sports sedan” that weaves electrification, luxury, and performance into one striking car. Nissan IMs Concept Gallery Story TimelineNissan IMx autonomous EV concept is a “virtual” power stationNissan IMx EV concept gets green light for production2019 Nissan Leaf Plus brings 226 miles of e+ range
The New York Times: V.A. Medical System Staggers As Chaos Engulfs Its Leadership The Baltimore Sun: Baltimore VA Hospital Hosts Baby Shower For Veterans Who Are Expectant Or New Mothers This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. In other news — One sign of the changing demographics of veterans could be seen this past weekend on the second floor of the Baltimore VA Medical Center on Greene Street: a baby shower. Dozens of new and expectant mothers played games and listened to speakers Saturday afternoon amid pink and blue balloons, gift bags and birthday cake. The gathering celebrated the birth of 56 babies born to local female veterans over the last year, and also served to raise awareness of an emerging field of services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, designed to cater to women who have served in the military. (Rentz, 5/5) At first, it was one doctor quitting the tiny Ukiah Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Northern California. Then another left, and another, until of the five doctors there a year ago, only one remained. The Veterans Choice Act, passed by Congress amid scandalous stories of hidden waiting lists at Veterans Affairs hospitals, allowed more veterans to get care from private providers, but it created an avalanche of paper at Veterans Affairs facilities as outside doctors sent in information on patients. Veterans Affairs doctors had to enter so many medical records manually into the aging department health records system that it crippled their ability to see patients. (Philipps and Fandos, 5/4) VA Has Been ‘Hemorrhaging’ Career Officials And Doctors For Months As Chaos Ripples Throughout Agency “I’ve never known the enthusiastic mass exodus of an organization’s most knowledgeable and experienced personnel to be an indication that all is well,” said John Hoellwarth, a spokesman for Amvets. The VA has been struggling with its leadership at the same time there’s been a push to move toward privatization, and the officials on the ground are overwhelmed and understaffed.
Amazon offers a 12-pack of Philips A19 60W LED Light Bulbs for $19.79 Prime shipped. Regularly around $28, today’s offer is $3 less than our previous mention and within $1 of the Amazon all-time low. Although not quite a good as our 4-pack mention earlier this week on a cost per bulb basis, you’re getting the Philips brand name here and Prime shipping. These bulbs are made for nearly 11,000 hours of use, which is good for 10-years. Rated 4.3/5 stars. more… Source: Charge Forward
Tesla Model 3 Versus Chevy Bolt: Which One Is For You? Source: Electric Vehicle News CarGurus Mostly Impressed With 2018 Chevy Bolt EV Jalopnik reviews the 2018 Chevy Bolt EV and marvels at how familiar it all feelsFor Jalopnik writer Patrick George, what stood out most about the Chevy Bolt EV was that very little stands out. The electronic gear shifter is similar or identical to many other GM vehicles. The car is fun to drive without even trying to be. The exterior is a “quasi-crossover hatchback” that doesn’t look large but is surprisingly roomy.More About the Bolt EV and Model 3 Jalopnik First Drive: Model 3 Performance Is The Best Tesla Yet I loved the Bolt’s big, bright digital dashboard and the huge touch screen inserted tastefully into the dash. The latter looks really nice, with classy fonts, eye-pleasing graphics, quick responsiveness and menus that are easy to navigate.But the Bolt interior does not impress, with the reviewer calling it “a cut-rate knockoff of the BMW i3, without any of the coolness.” The seats aren’t very comfortable, and there are too many hard plastics.The Model 3 may be ultra bare-bones, but at least it’s a premium-feeling place to spend time. The Bolt’s economy car roots really come through on the inside.Finding a working public charger near him was also difficult. While this was a frustrating experience, George notes that it will be a short term issue for buyers. Most owners will be able to “charge at home, at their office if they’re lucky, or they’ll have spots near either they trust for charging.”The reviewer recommends GM lowers the price or improves the interior once the EV credit expires. But overall “the Bolt is a win” for EV adoption in the same way as the Model 3.Even if the Model 3 does some radical things with its design and interior, at the end of the day it’s trying to drive like a normal, range-anxiety-free car would, and the Bolt is attempting the exact same thing. I think that normal-ness is what the EV market needs most right now.This is just a short overview of an excellent extensive review. Check out the link below for more.Source: Jalopnik The electric Chevrolet can also be driven like any other car. The range of 238 miles EPA is far above most direct competitors. After a week of typical city driving, George “barely made a dent” in the battery.In fact, even the cost of the car is pretty normal. The Bolt starts at $37,495 after freight charges are applied. For a buyer that can take advantage of the $7,500 federal tax credit, the price of the vehicle can fall below $30,000. That’s before even considering state rebates or dealer discounts. This places the car well below the average new car purchase price of ~$32,000.Jalopnik also appreciated the unlimited 4G LTE WiFi, making use of the strong connection to check up on e-mail and edit some blog posts.One feature of the Bolt that is not at all “normal” is the regenerative braking. Driving in L “enables full regenerative braking and true one-pedal driving.” The reviewer also made good use of the regen on demand pedal, calling it “a great little benefit.”The Chevy Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3 both doing the same thing in different waysJalopnik recently raved about the Tesla Model 3 Performance, calling it “the best Tesla yet.” Most of the risks that car takes are wildly successful. Yet George seems to prefer the layout and UI of the Bolt to that of the Tesla Model 3. The reviewer felt Tesla is trying too hard “with its phone-app door unlocking, buttons to unlock doors, ultra-minimalist interior and many key functions relegated to a touch screen.”The Bolt takes the opposite approach. Anyone could get into this EV and figure it out.… Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 23, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News
With the new year, Tesla is already switching Model 3 production to the European and Chinese versions of the vehicle as it is about to make a big entry in those important markets. more…The post Tesla switches Model 3 production to European version, first Chinese Model 3 spotted appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
BYD profits in Q1 amounted to $111 million. $215-245 million is expected in the first half of this year.Source: Electric Vehicle News
This recent Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance post asks “what would get more companies to self-disclose bribery?” The article discusses several answers (publicize declinations, start a leniency program, lower the amount of fines), but the best answer is depicted in the picture (with an FCPA compliance defense being the red arrow).There currently exists an informational gap between those with evidence of FCPA violations (i.e. companies and their counsel who conduct FCPA internal investigations) and the government agencies (DOJ and SEC) who enforce the FCPA.Although – as highlighted in this recent post – approximately 60% of recent FCPA enforcement actions are the result of corporate voluntary disclosures, it should be an uncontroversial observation that many more FCPA violations (at least based on current enforcement theories) are happening in the global marketplace on a daily basis.This observation is based on my nearly ten years of FCPA practice experience (and will be recognized as a self-evident truth by other FCPA practitioners) as well as my frequent conversations with FCPA practitioners. While I am not suggesting the following is empirical evidence, the general thrust of comments I hear from FCPA practitioners is that approximately only 50% of FCPA issues in public companies are disclosed to the DOJ/SEC and that very, very few FCPA issues in private companies are disclosed to the DOJ. The follow-up question I then ask is – in the situations in which the company has not voluntarily disclosed, has the DOJ/SEC ever found out about the problematic conduct at issue. The universal response I have received is no.Put this all together and the resulting landscape is that there are many FCPA violations occurring (at least based on current enforcement theories) that are not disclosed to the enforcement agencies. Because the violations are not disclosed to the enforcement agencies, there is no enforcement action. Because there is no enforcement action, the individual engaging in the problematic conduct are not being held accountable. Because the individual engaging in the problematic conduct is not being held accountable, FCPA enforcement is not as effective as it could be.The DOJ (and SEC) clearly recognize the gap that exists and in recent months enforcement officials have tried to articulate policies that can help close this gap (see here, here, and here for summaries of recent speeches).As highlighted in this prior post, the policies articulated by DOJ officials are sensible (voluntarily disclose, cooperate, and identify culpable individuals).Problem is, this is the same policy the enforcement agencies have been talking about for nearly a decade and its seems not to be closing the gap that exists between evidence of FCPA violations and prosecution of FCPA violations, including individuals. Indeed, as highlighted by this prior post, 82% of corporate SEC FCPA enforcement actions since 2008 have not resulted in any related enforcement action against a company employee and 75% of corporate DOJ FCPA enforcement actions since 2008 have not resulted in any related enforcement action against a company employee.An FCPA compliance defense will not close this gap completely, but it will help bridge the gap.As stated in my 2012 article “Revisiting a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance Defense.”“An FCPA compliance defense will better facilitate the DOJ’s prosecution of culpable individuals and advance the objectives of its FCPA enforcement program. At present, business organizations that learn through internal reporting mechanisms of rogue employee conduct implicating the FCPA are often hesitant to report such conduct to the enforcement authorities. In such situations, business organizations are rightfully diffident to submit to the DOJ’s opaque, inconsistent, and unpredictable decision-making process and are rightfully concerned that its pre-existing FCPA compliance policies and procedures and its good faith compliance efforts will not be properly recognized. The end result is that the DOJ often does not become aware of individuals who make improper payments in violation of the FCPA and the individuals are thus not held legally accountable for their actions. An FCPA compliance defense surely will not cause every business organization that learns of rogue employee conduct to disclose such conduct to the enforcement agencies. However, it is reasonable to conclude that an FCPA compliance defense will cause more organizations with robust FCPA compliance policies and procedures to disclose rogue employee conduct to the enforcement agencies. Thus, an FCPA compliance defense can better facilitate DOJ prosecution of culpable individuals and increase the deterrent effect of FCPA enforcement actions.”Are the enforcement agencies capable of viewing an FCPA compliance defense, not as a race to the bottom, but a race to the top? Are the enforcement agencies capable of viewing an FCPA compliance defense as helping them better achieve their FCPA policy objectives?Let’s hope so, because the gap is problematic.Might a compliance defense result in 1 or 2 fewer corporate enforcement actions per year? Perhaps, but against this slight drop in “hard” enforcement would be an increase in “soft” enforcement of the FCPA (see here and here), and indeed because the gap would be narrowed there would be more “hard” enforcement of culpable individual actors.See here and here for prior posts on the same topic.
FCPA Professor frequently publishes statistical information relevant to all matters of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement including individual enforcement actions. Thus, I took note of Arent Fox’s recent publication with a catchy title “C-Suite at Risk: A Study of Individual Liability Under the FCPA.”While I find the study professional and well-presented, I do find the study lacking in terms of what I believe are the most important statistics relevant to individual FCPA accountability – statistics that paint a materially different picture from Arent Fox’s conclusion that “the C-Suite has been and will continue to be in the DOJ’s crosshairs.”Generally speaking, the Arent Fox publication focuses on raw individual data without acknowledging that the chances of a company employee being prosecuted (criminally or civilly) for an FCPA violation are extremely low even when the business organization resolves an FCPA enforcement action . When I discussed this fact with one of the study’s lead authors, M. Scott Peeler, he compared it to his work studying the causes of wrongful convictions in New York: “[w]hile some argued that the number of individuals determined to be wrongfully convicted is infinitesimal when compared to the number of people who’ve gone through the criminal justice system, the impact on those people is extraordinary and the causes and trends must be studied.”Fair point perhaps – but I still find Arent Fox’s publication lacking in certain key respects.For starters, and as highlighted in previous posts here and here, there is a clear “clustering” dynamic when it comes to both DOJ and SEC individual FCPA enforcement actions.Specifically, approximately 50% of the individuals charged by the DOJ with FCPA criminal offenses since 2006 have been in just eight core actions and approximately 65% of the individuals charged by the DOJ since 2006 have been in just fourteen core actions. In short, a relatively small number of actions (mostly against individuals associated with small privately held business organizations (see here for the prior post – as relevant to Arent Fox’s publication do these organizations even have “C-Suites”) make up an unusually large percentage of individual enforcement actions. Because these are core actions, these small number of actions impact several of Arent Fox’s qualitative statistics regarding location of alleged improper payments and industries involved.Regarding SEC individual enforcement, approximately 45% of individuals charged by the SEC with FCPA civil offenses since 2006 have been in just seven core actions. Again because these are core actions, qualitative statistics are impacted.The Arent Fox publication appears to paint a picture that individual FCPA enforcement is historically robust, but when measured against the backdrop of corporate enforcement actions, the opposite is true and individual FCPA enforcement is at historic lows.For instance, as highlighted in the above-linked prior posts:since 2006, approximately 80% of DOJ corporate enforcement actions have lacked any related DOJ FCPA charges against company employees.since 2006, approximately 80% of SEC corporate enforcement actions have lacked any related SEC FCPA charges against company employees.Compare the above numbers to the following:between 1977 to 2004, approximately 90% of DOJ corporate FCPA enforcement actions RESULTED in related FCPA charges against company employees.between 1977 and 2004, approximately 60% of SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions RESULTED in related FCPA charges against company employees.Why the change? Read the article “Measuring the Impact of NPAs and DPAs on FCPA Enforcement.”Indeed, as highlighted in this previous post SEC individual FCPA enforcement between 2012 – 2017 was generally below historical averages and further relevant are the following statistics: 10 out of the last 11 (91%) corporate FCPA enforcement actions brought by the SEC have lacked any related FCPA charges against company employees and the SEC has not brought an individual FCPA enforcement action in nearly one year (see here).A final point to consider is that the Arent Fox publication appears to link – what it claims is more robust individual FCPA enforcement – to the Yates Memo released by the DOJ in September 2015 (see here) in which the DOJ supposedly renewed its commitment to individual accountability. Granted, the Yates Memo is not yet three years old and thus its full impact may still be forthcoming. Nevertheless, at present actions speak louder than DOJ words and the following statistic – not mentioned in the Arent Fox publication – is very relevant.Since the Yates Memo, the DOJ has brought 27 corporate enforcement actions. However, 22 of these actions (82%) have lacked any related DOJ FCPA charges against company employees. Even so, when I discussed this point with Peeler, he referenced the section of the publication finding that the number of individuals charged by the DOJ with FCPA violations last year was the second highest number since the passage of FCPA.True that, but to suggest that the Yates Memo had a role in this assumes causation and demonstrates the logical fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc (in other words, since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X). Moreover, it ignores several facts and other things about many 2017 individual enforcement actions. For instance, a high percentage of 2017 individual DOJ enforcement actions (5) were against individuals associated with Rolls Royce, a company under scrutiny since 2012 – long before the September 2015 Yates Memo. Another individual enforcement action (Baptiste) was in connection with an undercover sting operation. Yet another large clump of individual enforcement actions (7) were against individuals associated with small privately held companies and I bet the farm (well, if I actually had a farm) that those companies have never heard of the Yates Memo.In short, the Arent Fox publication is worth a read, but so too are the many posts linked above which paint a materially different picture regarding individual FCPA enforcement. FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. 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