Vehicle-to-vehicle communication rule finally proposed by the government

Nearly three years after it was first mooted, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Tuesday that will mandate vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication systems in all new cars and trucks. Once the rule is finalized, car makers will have two model years to begin including V2V systems, with some added leeway for product cycles. V2V-equipped cars will communicate with each other at short ranges to prevent the kinds of accidents where current advanced driver assistance systems, most of which depend on line of sight, aren’t effective.

V2V, and the related vehicle to infrastructure (V2I), relies on the Dedicated Short-range Radio Communication (DSRC) wireless protocol to communicate between devices at ranges of up to 984 feet (300m). Vehicles will be able to send out standardized “basic safety messages” that trigger driver alerts or even emergency avoidance actions to prevent crashes. (For a more detailed explanation of how V2V works, check out this piece from Ars’ Sean Gallagher.)

Recognizing the immense implications of an insecure protocol, the notice asks industry and the public for input on the proposed security specifications and proposes that “vehicles contain “firewalls” between V2V modules and other vehicle modules connected to the data bus to help isolate V2V modules being used as a potential conduit into other vehicle systems.” Privacy is also given due attention, and the proposed rule would prevent cars from sending out identifiable data like a vehicle’s VIN or a driver’s name or address.

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UPDATE 1-Stone Energy files for bankruptcy to carry out debt cutting plan

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billion in debt by transferring control of the offshore oil
producer to its noteholders in…

Private equity firm Warbug Pincus raises $2 billion China fund

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4 Canadian Values That Have Guided My Success

What a time to be Canadian, eh? Our rowdy neighbours to the south are not only putting on a spectacle, but they’re also giving us one more reason to be feeling proud and patriotic.

All this crazy American fanfare has truly made me more grateful than ever to be Canadian–but I’ve always tended to favour our home and native land over world domination.

Over the years, as I’ve launched multiple businesses in this market, I’m often asked why I build companies directly targeted at Canadian consumers. Most of my brands have been by Canadians for Canadians with little opportunity (or interest) in expanding over the border.

It has been more of a personal decision than a business one, based on my philosophy around building brands and cultures. I don’t need to be a “unicorn” (VC speak for a $1B plus venture). To me, success is building a sustainable business, that becomes a brand cherished by consumers and an organization where employees get as much as they give, and therefore love to work at. And I certainly don’t need 300 million potential customers to achieve that. The size of the Canadian market, coupled with the generally positive and welcoming attitude of its constituents, is just fine by me, thank you very much.

And I know I’m stating the obvious to my fellow Canucks, but there are a few tried-and-true Canadianisms that have served me well, both professionally and personally (and perhaps that Internet troll of a U.S. president-elect might consider trying them):

Being nice is always the right thing. Nice guys may sometimes finish last, but they sleep better at night. I have found over the course of my career that doing the right thing, is very often not the easy thing. And at times when clients/partners/vendors are acting in ways that I consider hostile or unfair, I consider it a personal challenge to rise above it and be kind. But when I do, not only do I feel better (because being angry just doesn’t feel good), but I save my energy for things that really matter, burn less bridges, and often open up new opportunities.

Saying sorry is a good thing. Even if you’re just saying it to keep the peace. Some people (aka me), can be very stubborn at times. We all want so badly to be right. But at what cost? Is it worth jeopardizing relationships and partnerships? I have found that showing accountability for your actions opens up the door to communication. It drops the barriers that keep us in “fight” mode and opens up the door to conversations, and ultimately, solutions.

Diversity is not only nice to have, it’s a must-have. It makes the world go round. It makes us and our children more empathic, engaging, and enlightened. It is something to be leveraged not limited. I feel so blessed to have grown up in Toronto and to have had exposure to people from a variety of religious and socio-economic backgrounds. It has enriched my life and I believe it is one of the factors that has helped me create successful Canadian brands. Because I get people. I know what they like to read and how they want to read it.

And finally, size matters, but big isn’t always better. What you do with smaller budgets can be more creative and profound than unlimited funds. Doing amazing things for the Canadian economy, local workers and minority groups can be a lot more meaningful than riding the wave in Silicon Valley and owning your own emu. (I don’t know why I said that, but really rich people tend to do really weird things.) Through my entrepreneurial journey I’ve spent much of that time as the underdog, working of miniscule (aka no) budget and small, but mighty staff resources. And yet it’s forced us to be creative and efficient, which has ultimately led to some beautiful ideas.

Those are my two cents, or should I say toonie, on living (and loving) this True North, strong and free. Now if only we could just get some of that California weather…

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Brookfield set to enter group annuity business: market in 2017 could double to $5 billion

On Thursday, newly formed Brookfield Annuity Holdings goes live, making it the latest player to enter the group annuity business, an area of the financial world that allows defined benefit pension funds to de-risk their operations.

The wholly owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management was incorporated in August 2015, received its federal approval last August and has received a licence to operate in some provinces. It will have a national presence when approvals are received from other provinces.

But unlike the seven other insurance companies who also provide group annuities, the new entrant will be a single product company: its business starts and ends with group annuities, a contract that allows the pension fund to outsource the management of the investment risk, the longevity risk and the administration to an insurance company — for a fee.

“The Canadian market is about to take off in our opinion, and we wanted to take advantage of that,’ said Paul Forestell, chief executive at Brookfield Annuity and a former Mercer Canada executive.

In Forestell’s view, the same factors that caused U.K. pension funds to embrace group annuities — and lead to two new entrants there, Rothesay Life and Pension Insurance Corp. — are at work in Canada. “Companies have closed their DB plans to new entrants, there are less and less active employees and the chief financial officers have decided they don’t want to be running a large mutual fund on the side but rather offload that to an insurer,” said Forestell who heads an eight-person team.

“Everybody, and I agree, believes next year will beat this year and last year easily, given that there will be a lot more interest,” he said. “Things are lining up well for our entry to the market.”

Other executives in the group annuity business are also expecting strong business conditions. While the final numbers for 2016 are not yet available, the expectation is that it will be a banner year — the fourth in a row for growth in the business that transfers longevity and investment risk to an insurance company from the pension plan sponsor. After 11 months, sponsors have purchased $2.4 billion of annuities — or about $200 million below the peak of 2015 — with $900 million worth of business written in the past two months.

Marco Dickner, leader of retirement risk management at Willis Towers Watson, said the “economic environment has been favorable. If it stays that way not only is it good for pension plan financials but also for risk transfer,” he said. Dickner estimates between “$4 billion and $5 billion” of group annuities could be written next year.

He argues higher interest rates may contribute to making group annuities more affordable “through both lower premiums and improved plan funding.” Combine that with the continued improvement in the funding status of pension funds, strong equity markets, the arrival of new players (RBC Insurance entered the market in 2015), on-going market innovation and the overall de-risking desire by plan sponsors, the fundamentals are all pointing in the right direction.

In a recent note Brent Simmons, senior managing director, of defined benefit solutions at Sun Life Financial said the recent 50 plus basis point gain in Canada 10-year and 30-year bonds, translates into a 5 per cent decline in the price of a group annuity. “We expect these higher interest rates to drive demand even further,” noted Simmons.

Financial Post

bcritchley@postmedia.com

Interested in serving Trump, Scaramucci looks to sell SkyBridge

NEW YORK (Reuters) – SkyBridge Capital, the hedge fund investment firm founded by outspoken industry defender Anthony Scaramucci, is for sale, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Trump Meets With Silicon Valley Tech Titans At His Manhattan Tower

By Gina Cherelus and Dustin Volz

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Donald Trump and some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives met at his Manhattan tower on Wednesday, a summit convened to smooth over frictions after both sides made no secret of their disdain for each other during the election campaign.

The meeting was expected to focus on economic issues and skirt the numerous disagreements the tech industry has with Trump – including on immigration, the trade relationship with China and digital privacy – in favor of a focus on shared priorities, sources said.

“There’s nobody like the people in this room, and anything we can do to help this go along we’re going to do that for you,” Trump told the executives gathered in a conference room on the 25th floor of Trump Tower. “You call my people, you call me, it doesn’t make any difference. We have no formal chain of command,” he said.

Trump added: “We’re going to make fair trade deals. We’re going to make it a lot easier for you to trade across borders.”

Three of Trump’s adult children, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, sat at the head of a large rectangular table as the meeting began. Their attendance may fuel further concern about potential conflicts of interests for Trump, who has said he would hand over control of his business empire to his children while he occupies the White House.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence was also in attendance. Guests sat in front of paper name plates and bottles of water sporting the Trump brand logo.

The meeting between tech luminaries, including Apple Inc’s Tim Cook, Facebook Inc’s Sheryl Sandberg and Tesla Motors Inc’s Elon Musk, took place as Trump has alarmed some U.S. corporations with his rhetoric challenging long-established policy toward China, a main market for Silicon Valley.

A senior Chinese state planning official told the China Daily newspaper Wednesday that Beijing could slap a penalty on a U.S. automaker for monopolistic behavior, a warning delivered days after Trump questioned acknowledging Taiwan as part of “one China.”

The official did not identify the automaker.

The tech summit is being billed as an introductory session, said sources briefed on the talks.

Several company executives thanked Trump for hosting the meeting during introductions attended by reporters. Sandberg said she was most interested in discussing job creation.

Other expected participants include Alphabet Inc’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft Corp’s Satya Nadella, and Ginni Rometty from IBM, sources said.

Twitter was not invited to the meeting because it was too small, a transition spokesman told Reuters.

Cook and Musk will join Trump for a separate meeting after the other technology executives leave, a spokesman for Trump’s transition team said.

The CEOs of Airbnb and Uber were invited but are not attending. Uber’s Travis Kalanick will instead be traveling in India all week, according to a person familiar with his plans.

Bezos said in a statement the meeting was “very productive” and that he “shared the view that the administration should make innovation one of its key pillars, which would create a huge number of jobs across the whole country, in all sectors, not just tech – agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing -everywhere.”

’SOME HESITATION’

Trump clashed with Silicon Valley on several issues during the election campaign, including immigration, government surveillance and encryption, and his surprise victory last month alarmed many companies that feared he might follow through on his pledges. He has said that many tech companies are overvalued by investors.

“You look at some of these tech stocks that are so, so weak as a concept and a company and they’re selling for so much money,” he told Reuters in an interview in May.

Those concerns have not been assuaged in recent weeks as Trump has threatened to upset trade relationships with China and appoint officials who favor expanded surveillance programs.

“For some of the companies, there was some hesitation about whether to attend” because of sharp political and personal differences with Trump, one tech industry source said.

More than 600 employees of technology companies pledged in an open letter on Tuesday to refuse to help Trump’s administration build a data registry to track people based on their religion or assist in mass deportations.

Silicon Valley enjoyed a warm rapport with President Barack Obama and heavily supported Democrat Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign.

Schmidt was photographed on election night at Clinton headquarters wearing a staff badge, and Musk said in interviews before the election that Trump’s character reflected poorly on the United States.

Despite those tensions, Trump named Musk to a business advisory council that will give private-sector input to Trump after he takes office on Jan. 20. Uber’s Kalanick was also appointed to the council.

From the employees of the 10 largest Fortune 500 tech companies, Trump raised just $179,400 from 982 campaign donors who contributed more than $200. Clinton raised $4.4 million from the employees of the same companies, with more than 20,400 donations, a Reuters review of contribution data found.

Trump publicly bashed the industry during the campaign. He urged his supporters to boycott Apple products over the company’s refusal to help the FBI unlock an iPhone associated with last year’s San Bernardino, California, shootings, threatened antitrust action against Amazon and demanded that tech companies build their products in the United States.

Trump has also been an opponent of the Obama administration’s “net neutrality” rules barring internet service providers from obstructing or slowing consumer access to web content. Two advisers to his Federal Communications Commission transition team are opponents of the rules, as are the two Republicans on the FCC.

Last week, the two Republicans on the panel urged a quick reversal of many Obama policies and one, Commissioner Ajit Pai, said he believed that net neutrality’s “days are numbered.”

 

(Additional reporting by David Shepardson, Andy Sullivan, Grant Smith, Heather Somerville, Steve Holland, Jim Finkle and Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Alistair Bell and Grant McCool)

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

BRIEF-Eastern Virginia Bankshares and Southern National Bancorp of Virginia merger deal termination fee set at $7.5 mln

* Southern National Bancorp Of Virginia merger deal
termination fee set at $7.5 million – SEC filing

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