Story TimelineROLI Seaboard RISE ReviewROLI Seaboard RISE 49 brings four octaves of MIDI controlRoli Blocks make electronic music creation modularROLI BLOCKS Review: Modular music system has room to grow ROLI‘s touch-sensitive BLOCKS have quietly added Android support today, with the portable modular music-makers showing up at Google’s I/O 2017 keynote. The BLOCKS were launched last year, though initially only as an iPhone accessory; indeed, Apple sold them through its own stores. The rubbery top on each block acts as a pressure- and gesture-sensitive controller. By swiping and tapping, various different sounds and drum beats can be created. Two add-on BLOCKS add dedicated controls for loops and other live performance adjustments. However, since none of the units – which clip together magnetically, using pogo-pins along their edges to connect – have their own onboard synth engine, they rely on a connected device for the actual sounds. That’s meant, for mobile purposes at least, only iPhone and iPad users have been able to play. ROLI has said before that it’s been looking at Android, but the variety in devices – and how they handle things like peripherals – has proved a limitation. Instead, BLOCKS have remained a gadget for iOS (and Windows/Mac) users. That all changes today, with the release of ROLI’s synth app NOISE for Android. Quietly slipped into the Google Play store this morning, the “unreleased” app – which its creators warn may well have some issues still – lists the Samsung Galaxy S8 as the only Android smartphone it currently works with. It connects over Bluetooth with the handset, creating a MIDI link.However Google’s pre-I/O keynote DJs were using BLOCKS – along with Seaboard RISE 49, the company’s pressure-sensitive, rubber-keyed keyboard – with what looked to be Pixel phones. They were hooked up with USB cables, in fact, suggesting the system may have been jury-rigged somewhat, though alternatively the DJs may have been relying on external power. ROLI uses JUCE for its apps, the same engine that can be found powering Korg, Akai, and Max MSP software, That was recently updated to JUCE 5, adding Android app development support among other things, a change which could mean more synth and similar software for Android phones and tablets moving forward. Since ROLI hasn’t been the only company to eschew the platform for the confusingly broad range of abilities of Android devices, it’s a big step for filling in gaps in the app catalog. For more on the ROLI BLOCKS, check out our original review testing them with the iOS NOISE app. Like that, the Android version is a free download and you don’t need the BLOCKS hardware in order to test it out: you can just use your fingers on your phone’s touchscreen to control the light-up pads. MORE Google Play
If you walk into a store, only to hear the latter half of an interesting song playing over the store’s speakers, you can identify what it is using the app Shazam. This same kind of functionality has now been been launched for cars, though not by the company behind Shazam. Called Blippar, this app can tell you the make and model of any car using a smartphone’s camera. That may sound a bit useless, since most cars have this information on the truck, but Blippar adds some extras into the mix. Blippar comes from the company by the same name, and it aims to make it easier for consumers to identify the cars that strike their fancy. The app supports all cars on the US market that were built after the year 2000, and it is said to have a 97.7-percent accuracy. The app taps artificial intelligence for its abilities, promising performance above what a human could offer. Story TimelineThis app replaces the Galaxy S8 navigation buttons with Pixel onesBelkin Wemo Bridge adds Apple HomeKit to smart plugs, switchesMagikarp Jump app is super quick fun [iPhone / APK download] You don’t have to be near the actual, physical car to use the app, which is where its usefulness starts. If you spot a car in a magazine, for example, Blippar can determine its make, model, and year. From there, Blippar says the app has an ‘AR experience’ that includes a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s interior, as well as information like its cost and how customers rate it.The company plans to add more features in the future — it hasn’t detailed what we can expected — and you can download the app now on Android and iOS. As well, Blippar says its car recognition API is available to developers around the globe for integration into their own services or apps. As some usage examples, Blippar says its API could be used for things like getting info about used cars, directions to a car dealership that’s nearby, and more.SOURCE: Blippar
Story TimelineiPhone 8 dummy hints at what could beThe iPhone 8’s Touch ID will be right in the OLED report claimsGalaxy Note 8 specs tip the big war with iPhone 8Latest iPhone 8 leaked schematics show no fingerprint sensor While Apple has not yet confirmed the possibility that they’ll release three new iPhones in 2017, chances are they will. Tips have been made, rumors have circulated, and leaks have leaked. That said, keep a grain of salt handy for everything that comes before Apple’s inevitable 2017 iPhone event, including the following. According to the folks at iDrop News via Benjamin Geskin, Apple’s next major smartphone will have a size somewhere in-between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Instead of matching the iPhone 7 Plus, as was once assumed, this new iPhone 8 is pictured here right in the middle of Apple’s current two iPhone models. If Apple’s history holds strong for the future in other size changes, this year will reveal the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, too. If that’s also true, it won’t be out of the ordinary to find that both the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus essentially match sizes with those of their most recent predecessors.iPhone dimensions:• iPhone 7: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm• iPhone 7 Plus: 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm• Potential iPhone 8: 143.59 x 70.94 x 7.57 mmAs such, the image you’re seeing above might well also be a close depiction of the iPhone 7s, the iPhone OLED Pro Edition 8, and the iPhone 7s Plus. Of course the jury is still out on what the most powerful of these three devices will be called, but there’s a good chance it won’t have a name as long as what this paragraph presents.If Apple does release a smartphone with a display like this, it’ll go directly to war with what one of the creators of Android presented earlier this month. The Essential Phone, as it’s called, also has a display that covers nearly its entire front side. Have a peek at our recent iPhone 8 vs Essential Phone article to see these titans battle it out – with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 in for the long haul, too! Today a set of specifications has leaked giving the dimensions of the next big iPhone. This iPhone 8, as it’s being called, could also be referred to as iPhone OLED, iPhone Pro, or iPhone Edition – whatever you want, since no real confirmation of its existence has been made by Apple as of yet. What we’ve got today, thanks to these dimensions, is the ability to compare this generation’s iPhone to the next.
Apple has pushed out an update for GarageBand that adds, among other things, support for the Touch Bar found on the new line of MacBooks. It’s easy to see how the Touch Bar could come in handy during editing, particularly for quickly navigating through a project. That’s not the only change coming to the software, though — it has also received a new design that Apple calls ‘modern.’ Story TimelineiPhone repair made easier by Apple soonApple let me down: 3 things I wanted to see at WWDC 2017iOS 11 features Apple didn’t talk about at WWDC 2017 GarageBand, of course, is Apple’s low-barrier software for creating music, podcasts and more. The software was recently made free for all Apple users, even those clinging to their dated machined, and it can be downloaded from the Mac App Store. Users have been requesting the addition of Touch Bar support for a while, and now it has arrived.The new support comes in GarageBand version 10.2, which also has a new ‘modern design’ that is said to offer better ease of use. Version 10.2 also brings three new drummers that, says Apple’s software changelog, play Pop, Songwriter and Latin percussion. There’s also a new drummer loop that can be used in audio projects; it is customizable via the performance controls.Finally, the new update also allows users to add new tracks to their projects from the iOS version of the software on iPad and iPhone. You must be using Mac OS X 10.11 or later in order to run the newest version of GarageBand.SOURCE: iTunes
According to Luna Display, its dongle works with any Mac running at least macOS 10.11 El Capitan; the company suggests devices no older than a 2012 model. As well, it is compatible with any modern iPad running a minimum of iOS 9.1 — it can be used with the iPad 2 or later, the iPad Mini, and any of the iPad Pro models.The use of an iPad Pro as a wireless display transforms the Mac Mini into something akin to a portable system. The iPad presents the Mac’s interface when using Luna, and of course reverts back to its own iOS environment when the Luna app is closed. This provides access to the best of both worlds from one highly portable display.The system supports the iPad’s touch display, but users can use the Apple Pencil or a mouse and keyboard combo. The team tested its system with the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, though the smaller 11-inch and older 10.5-inch will also work. AdChoices广告Luna provides an instructional guide on setting up the products here. The process is fairly simple, involving a quick stop in the Mac Mini’s “System Preferences,” as well as downloading the Luna Display iPad app. Both devices will need to be connected to the same network. The Luna Display dongle is available now for $79.99 USD. Luna Display has demonstrated its wireless second display technology being used to turn a new iPad Pro into a Mac Mini display. The system involves a small dongle that connects to a Mac over WiFi; it successfully presented the Mac Mini environment on the full iPad Pro display. Luna describes the experience as like having “a whole new Apple product.”
M Laptimer is BMW’s telemetry-recording software, linking with the company’s cars and storing race day details for later review. It’s already been able to automatically figure out when you start and finish a lap, overlay your route onto a satellite map of the track, and give you metrics – like engine speed, gearing, and other factors – as you drive around. With the GoPro integration, meanwhile, there’s a whole other level of information thrown in. The app can start and stop the GoPro recording itself, and synchronizes the footage with the rest of the telemetry. So, you can not only see what speed you entered a corner at, and in which gear, but – depending on where you’ve mounted the camera, of course – whether you were following the best line, too. The M Laptimer app is a free download for iPhone, though your car will need to have the BMW ConnectedDrive option installed. Then, the two connect either via USB cable or Bluetooth, and link through WiFi to the GoPro itself. Once that’s done, everything is managed from the car’s infotainment system, rather than encouraging you to look at your phone. To avoid distraction, the preview of the video is only shown while you’re stationary, so that you can angle the camera appropriately; that stops playing once you’re underway, so that you can focus on the track.NOW READ: 2016 BMW M2 first-driveIt’s not the first time we’ve seen BMW work with the camera company. Back in mid-2014, select BMW and MINI cars gained the ability – courtesy of their companion iPhone apps – to remotely start, stop, and preview GoPro recordings through the infotainment system. That integration, however, lacked the telemetry sync of the new system BMW demonstrated today with the help of a shiny blue, brand-new 2016 BMW M2.Update: BMW says that the GoPro integration will go live in an app update this Summer. At that point, the iDrive screen will give access to the name of the currently connected camera (useful if you have more than one mounted to the car), a live preview image, WiFi and battery power status, and the ability to remotely turn off the GoPro altogether. The M Laptimer app records details on throttle, speed, brake input, steering angle, engine RPM, fuel level, and g-force during the drive. Meanwhile, there’ll be six presets for camera modes: Leisure Drive Facing Out, Night Driving, Sport Drive Facing Out, Drive Camera Facing In, Winding Road Time-lapse, and Straight Road Time-lapse.It’ll work with the HERO3 or later cameras. Story TimelineGoPro Developer Program wants to make action cameras a platformFisher-Price is making kid-safe baby moments with GoProSennheiser has a fix for bad GoPro audio For most, GoPro is the consummate track-day camera, but along comes BMW with an even more polished integration between action-cam and “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” The German automaker has cooked up a new version of its BMW M Laptimer app complete with full support for GoPro cameras, courtesy of the GoPro Developer Program announced this morning.
Leaks, being leaks, don’t always get things right. Sometimes, there are conflicting sources. Other times, there are updated pieces of information. And then there are times they still get things wrong all the way to the end. When 91mobiles showed of the usual set off renders for the Galaxy S10+, or Galaxy S10 Plus, it was met with some amount of scrutiny and disbelief. Now its updated its images not just with some corrections but also with a new piece of information. The first thing people might have noticed had upon seeing the Galaxy S10 Plus is the cutout on the top right corner. Not a notch or a circle but a rather sizable pill that two front-facing cameras call home. The second would be the unreasonably thick bezels around what should be a sleek 2019 flagship.Only one of those has been “fixed” by new renders coming from OnLeaks, the same source of the previous renders. The bezels are considerably thinner now, especially at the sides. Despite the huge cutout for the cameras, there’s still some bezel top and bottom.The biggest change, however, is on the back. There are four cameras now instead of three. And the LED flash and sensor have been moved and redesigned to make room for the newcomer. The entire camera array now uses up almost the entire width of the phone. Good thing Samsung wasn’t doing a penta-camera thing like HMD Global.AdChoices广告This update to the photos are arguably better. That cutout will probably still turn off many Samsung fans unless the company does some Super AMOLED magic there. And more doesn’t always translate to better as far as cameras go, especially when you start running out of space to place them in a presentable way.
Embr Wave looks like a watch, or an activity monitor – but it’s not. It does not have step tracking, and it won’t give you notifications from your phone. It can connect to an app on your phone, but for one reason alone. This device can make your wrist warm, or it can make your wrist cold, and that’s it. This device will cost you $300 USD. Does it work?The device works – insofar as it gets cold when you press the cold button, and warm when you press the warm button. There’s a set of LED lights in the device that shine blue or red depending on the state of the device. The device has a very nice chainmail strap that makes for a comfortable experience.In uncomfortably cold or hot environments, I found that the applied warm or cold energy made me feel a little more comfortable. Once the heat or cold was done affecting my wrist, I once again felt as uncomfortably warm or cool as I did before I pressed the button. Wrap-upI don’t think you should spend $300 USD for an Embr Wave. Not unless you’re a professor at a university or a teacher at a highschool and happen to be teaching a course on relative human comfort with regard to local environment. The results of the study cited above are exciting. They suggest that, at some point in the future, there’ll probably be a viable solution to the problem outlined above. They suggest that the Personal Comfort System (PCS) could, at some point, provide the same (or better) levels of comfort that a high-powered personal fan offers now, but with far lower energy consumption requirements.But for now, it’s an early adopter situation, and you should probably save your cash. But keep your eyes on the folks at Embr – they’re on the forefront of this PCS space for real. The original problemIf you’ve got three hundred dollars burning a hole in your pocket, maybe you’d like instead to have that cash cool down your brain? That’s the intent of the Embr Wave. This device is meant to be a personal thermostat. The device was originally part of a student project hatched by Materials Science and Engineering students at MIT back in 2013. They were inspired by a lab that was so cold, they needed to wear sweatshirts to stay comfortable. In the words of the creators of this device, the problem was as follows: “They realized how little sense it made to air condition a huge lab space to the point where people were cold—especially one that sat empty most of the day.” They went on to suggest: “What if we could just heat and cool people directly? Everyone would be comfortable, and we’d use less energy.”*SIDENOTE: If you’re interested in why laboratories are more often cold than warm, take a peek at our report on a study called “Warm Hearts and Cool Heads: Uncomfortable Temperature Influences Reliance on Affect in Decision-Making”.The SolutionThe solution, they decided, would be targeted heating and cooling. The device that’d make this happen would be a wrist-based heater/cooler called Embr Wave. This device does not change the core temperature of the wearer. Instead, it’s meant to “make them feel much more comfortable in uncomfortably hot or cold settings.”So you make sure the device is charged up, and slap it on your wrist. When you find that you’re uncomfortably cold or warm, you press the control rocker button to either cool or warm. The device sends a rush of cool or warm thermoelectric energy through an aluminum plate unto your wrist. The solution is to make the wearer feel warmer by around 4.5-degrees F, or cooler by 5.8-degrees F, over the course of 3 minutes of heating or cooling. Those quantifications come from “research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley.”**With National Science Foundation funding and in collaboration with Dr. Hui Zhang, principal researcher at UC Berkeley, the team conducted research on… 23 people. That’s from the research paper called “The Effect of a Low-Energy Wearable Thermal Device on Human Comfort” authored by Wang, Zhe & Luo, Maohui & Zhang, Hui & He, Yingdong & Jin, Ling & Arens, Edward & Liu, Shichao. (2018). You can find this paper over at Escholarship dot org right now.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The vote doesn’t stop an expansion of coverage to the state’s uninsured since the panel could make an alternative recommendation. But it indicates that Gov. Rick Scott faces considerable pushback from his own party regarding his support of this provision of the health law.The New York Times: Medicaid Expansion Is Rejected In FloridaRebuffing Gov. Rick Scott’s support of Medicaid expansion, a Florida Senate committee on Monday rejected the idea, all but ending the possibility that the state would add more poor people to Medicaid rolls (Alvarez, 3/11).The Wall Street Journal: Florida Lawmakers Balk At Health ShiftThe vote doesn’t halt the Medicaid expansion in its tracks, as the panel could still make an alternative recommendation about expanding Medicaid, and other lawmakers could also propose their own bills. But it is a sign that Mr. Scott will continue to face high obstacles from members of his own party. The governor, a leading critic of the 2010 health-care law, changed his opposition to taking federal dollars to expand the program after reaching an agreement with Washington officials to let the state contract with private insurance companies to manage the care of new Medicaid enrollees (Radnofsky and Campoy, 3/11).Health News Florida: Senate Panel Says No To Medicaid Expansion, Wants ‘Florida Plan’The Senate’s special committee on the Affordable Care Act voted along party lines Monday to reject Medicaid expansion, with members saying they want to develop a Florida-specific plan. The vote was 7 to 4…Negron offered an alternative — which members of the committee dubbed the “Negron Plan” — that would offer 1 million low-income uninsured in Florida a basic plan tied to a health-reimbursement account (Gentry, 3/12).The Washington Post’s WonkBlog: Florida Senate Panel Rejects Medicaid Expansion – But It’s Not Dead YetIt was a huge coup for the Obama administration when they won Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s endorsement of the Medicaid expansion. In his state alone, the Obamacare program could cover 1.3 million people. But the governor wasn’t the only endorsement they had to secure: The Republican-controlled Florida legislature would also need to sign off on the expansion. And as of Monday afternoon, they don’t appear inclined to move forward: Committees in the Florida House and Senate have rejected the Medicaid expansion as proposed by Gov. Scott (Kliff, 3/11).Meanwhile, debates over whether and how to expand Medicaid continue in other states -The Wall Street Journal: Private Medicaid Plans Get PushA pair of states are proposing to use new Medicaid funding to help the poor buy private health insurance, a new twist in how to implement the 2010 federal health-care law that is winning support from some Republicans (Campoy and Radnofsky, 3/11).The Associated Press: Medicaid Discussions Continue Among Miss. LawmakersThe Mississippi Hospital Association announced Monday that it’s working with Gov. Phil Bryant’s office to address budget constraints resulting from the Affordable Care Act amid Bryant’s ongoing opposition to the federal health care overhaul. Claude Harbarger, leader of the MHA Board of Governors, said he is grateful that Bryant is willing to work toward a solution. He said the state’s hospitals are already losing millions of dollars as they begin to implement the Affordable Care Act (Tillman, 3/12).Also in the news, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pitches the Medicaid expansion to city leaders -Modern Healthcare: Sebelius Urges Expansion Of Medicaid ProgramsThe Obama administration sought to recruit city leaders Monday in the ongoing battle to expand Medicaid nationwide. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged attendees at the National League of Cities’ annual legislative forum to join in the administration’s ongoing push to convince Republican governors to expand their Medicaid programs, as called for by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. … Sebelius characterized governors who are refusing the expansion as “playing politics” because they were opposed to the underlying 2010 federal healthcare overhaul. That law envisioned using a national Medicaid expansion to provide coverage to about half of the 30 million people who were expected to gain insurance under its provisions (Daly, 3/11). Florida Senate Committee Rejects Medicaid Expansion
Cleveland Clinic Announces Plans To Trim Budget $330 Million As It Prepares For Health Law Funding Cuts This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The clinic will offer a voluntary early retirement package to about 3,000 employees.Akron Beacon Journal: Cleveland Clinic Warns Of Possible Layoffs The Cleveland Clinic notified employees Wednesday that a plan to cut $330 million in expenses in 2014 will likely include layoffs. As part of its cost-cutting strategy, the Northeast Ohio health-care giant is offering a voluntary early retirement package to about 3,000 employees by late October, spokeswoman Eileen Sheil said. The Cleveland Clinic is Northeast Ohio’s largest employer, with about 44,000 employees. Hospitals throughout the nation are taking steps to reduce costs, citing lower payments from Medicare and Medicaid and expected changes from federal health-care reform, commonly called Obamacare (Powell, 9/18).Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland Clinic To Cut $330 Million From Next Year’s Budget, May Cut Jobs Cleveland Clinic Chief Executive Toby Cosgrove told employees this morning that the health system may have to eliminate jobs to meet a target of cutting $330 million from its 2014 budget. The Clinic will first offer early voluntary retirement to about 3,000 employees, who will be notified in October. It’s not clear if any further cuts in staff could be avoided if all these employees choose to retire, however. About 60 percent of the hospital system’s costs are in labor, salaries and benefits, said spokeswoman Eileen Sheil, and “there’s only so much you can do with non-staff cost cutting. “Healthcare reform has really changed things, and the burden of cost is going to be falling on patients,” she said. “We want to make sure we can keep care affordable” (Zeltner, 9/18). Reuters: Cleveland Clinic Announces Job Cuts To Prepare For ObamacareThe world-renowned Cleveland Clinic said on Wednesday it would cut jobs and slash five to six percent of its $6 billion annual budget to prepare for President Barack Obama’s health reforms. …The clinic is Cleveland’s largest employer and the second largest in Ohio after Wal-Mart. It is the largest provider in Ohio of Medicaid health coverage for the poor, the program that will expand to cover uninsured Americans under Obamacare (Palmer, 9/18).In other health law implementation news -The Wall Street Journal: Should Young Adults Stay On Their Parents’ Health Plan?When Rob Wyse’s 22-year-old daughter received the offer letter for her first post-college job this summer, after the congratulations the family had a decision to make: Should they keep their daughter on the family health-insurance plan or tell her to get her own? (Wieczner, 9/18).Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Left Out – Health Reform Bypasses Some Immigrants, Resort WorkersUndocumented immigrants cannot apply for any federal subsidies through health exchanges across the U.S., so many will continue to go without health care until they have an emergency. Then they’ll get care in the most expensive setting — a hospital emergency department. The Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimated in an April report that about 180,000 undocumented immigrants live in Colorado (Kerwin McCrimmon, 9/18).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Security Specialists Say Obamacare Glitches Not Caused By Online Attack The New York Times reports that the technical problems plaguing the federal exchange websites are not the work of hackers. Meanwhile, Politico looks at the playful security questions that some state exchanges are using.The New York Times: Problems At Health Care Web Site Not From Online Attack, Experts SayAs the federal government struggled on Wednesday to explain the technical problems experienced by would-be users of the health exchange Web site, www.healthcare.gov, computer security specialists say they had ruled out a cyberattack known as a denial of service, or DDoS, attack. Those occur when attackers fire huge amounts of traffic at a Web site until it collapses under the load. Such attacks typically entail hundreds of millions of data requests to a site per second. The federal health care site experienced 4.7 million unique visitors in the first 24 hours. New York State’s site experienced 30 million Web requests, which could have been fueled at least in part by a New York advertising blitz on sites like CNN.com, media coverage, and links from news sharing sites like Reddit (Perlroth, 10/2).Politico: Obamacare’s Funny BoneObamacare may be full of glitches, but who knew it had a sense of humor? Forget those staid online security questions about your mother’s maiden name or the street where you grew up. New York’s health insurance exchange — known as the New York State of Health (get it?) — asks: “What band poster did you have on your wall when you were in high school?” Connecticut’s health exchange wants to know how many bones you’ve broken (Kenen, 10/2).
The Washington Post: Post Analysis: Health Plan Choices And Premiums Increase On Healthcare.gov The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans. … An analysis of the data by The New York Times suggests that although consumers will often be able to find new health plans with prices comparable to those they now pay, the situation varies greatly from state to state and even among counties in the same state. (Pear, Abelson and Armendariz, 11/14) The New York Times: Where Federal Health Exchange Rates Will Rise (Graphic) The New York Times: Cost Of Coverage Under Affordable Care Act To Increase In 2015 In about a fifth of the counties in states using the federal insurance exchange, premiums for the lowest-priced silver plans will increase by 10 percent or more. But rates for the same plans will decrease in all of Maine, Montana and New Hampshire, and most parts of Mississippi and South Dakota. (11/14) People shopping on the HealthCare.gov marketplaces that reopened Saturday have more options this year than they did last year, but the options usually will be costlier. Twenty-five states using the federal enrollment portal on average have higher premiums this year for the most popular level of health insurance plans — called “silver” plans — while nine states on average have lower prices this year for that level of coverage, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal data. New plans are typically slightly more expensive than existing ones, the analysis showed. (Keating and Millman, 11/15) Costs For Many Marketplace Plans Are Increasing In Sophomore Season The Washington Post reports that on the health law’s marketplace website, 25 states have plans with higher premiums on average for the most popular plans. Nine states have lower prices this year. Elsewhere, The New York Times reports that unless Americans switch health law plans, they could face big increases next year. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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 on medical research — Dr. José Baselga, the former chief medical officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, resigned under pressure on Wednesday as one of the editors in chief of Cancer Discovery, a prominent scientific journal, after he failed to accurately disclose his conflicts of interest in dozens of articles in medical journals. The American Association for Cancer Research, which publishes the journal, said a panel of experts and the group’s board of directors had concluded that “Dr. Baselga did not adhere to the high standards pertaining to conflict of interest disclosures that the AACR expects of its leadership.” (Ornstein and Thomas, 12/19) ProPublica and The New York Times: Top Cancer Doctor Resigns As Editor Of Medical Journal Stat: University Of California Squares Off Against Major Publisher Elsevier There’s a high-stakes fight in California that could shape the way that academic research gets read and published far beyond the West Coast. The battle is pitting the University of California system against Elsevier, the Netherlands-based publisher of academic journals. At issue is how open-access research gets paid for. (Robbins, 12/19) Under Pressure Over Conflicts Of Interest Controversy, Sloan Kettering’s Chief Medical Officer Resigns From Scientific Journal The American Association for Cancer Research said that Dr. José Baselga “did not adhere to the high standards pertaining to conflict of interest disclosures that the AACR expects of its leadership.”
Expect lower investment returns around the world, says CPPIB chief Canada Pension Plan ekes out 1.1% return during market’s worst volatility since the financial crisis More Sponsored By: The head of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said Thursday that investors are likely to see weaker returns in the future amid a “pretty sluggish period” that has struck most global economies.“I think we’re going to see much lower return on assets going forward than we have since the global financial crisis and the recovery,” said Mark Machin, president and chief executive officer of the CPPIB, in an interview with the Financial Post. “So I would see returns coming down around the world.”The CPPIB reported on Thursday net assets of $368.5 billion for its quarter ended Dec. 31, up $200 million from the end of the previous quarter. The pension fund also said its investment portfolio posted a net return of 1.1 per cent for the three months, which included the period of volatility that struck the markets in late 2018.“It was a solid quarter given a pretty weak market environment,” Machin said. “The fact that our portfolio held up pretty well during that shows that diversification works.” CPPIB among investors buying Ultimate Software for $11 billion CPPIB poised to be first global pension fund to issue euro green bond CPPIB plans safer investing structure for hike in Canada Pension Plan contributions The pension fund also reported its investment portfolio notched 10-year and five-year annualized returns of 10 per cent and 11 per cent, net of all its costs.CPPIB announced a number of investments during the quarter, including paying $670 million with a partner for a controlling stake in a hydro-power company in Brazil, which was one of the few countries “desynchronized” from the global economic slowdown, Machin said.The complex situations involving Canada, China and the United States are contributing to those growth issues, Machin said, although he remained optimistic about a resolution.“It’s a very significant drag on global growth right now,” he added. “Because uncertainty holds people back from making investments in their businesses, and may hold people back from hiring people, and it holds people back from taking risk in their business.”CPPIB invests the funds of the Canada Pension Plan, and the board began receiving additional CPP contributions in January, when measures to bolster the plan kicked in.The pension fund also issued its first Euro-dominated green bond last month, a €1-billion sale of 10-year fixed-rate notes. CPPIB said the issuance “will enable us to invest further in eligible assets such as renewables, water, and real estate projects, and to diversify the Fund’s investor base.”January’s issuance follows CPPIB’s first-ever green-bond sale last June, which the board said was a first for pension funds.“I would imagine we’ll continue to use that market,” Machin said Thursday.CPPIB signed an agreement during its third quarter, alongside the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, to buy 49 per cent of a 309-kilometre toll road in Mexico for an initial $314 million. The fund said there is also the possibility of a second investment of up to $218 million in the road.CPPIB already owns 40 per cent of the privately-leased section of Highway 407, another toll road that runs 108 kilometres from Burlington, Ont. in the west to Pickering, Ont. in the east.SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and a subsidiary of Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial S.A. own 16.77 per cent and 42.23 per cent, respectively.However, SNC-Lavalin said last August that it had hired CIBC Capital Markets and RBC Capital Markets as financial advisors to help the company with a possible sale of 6.76 per cent of the 407, which would reduce its stake to around 10 per cent.Since then, shares of SNC-Lavalin have dropped more than 35 per cent, with the company recently cutting its earnings forecast and being pulled into a political firestorm tied to the company’s lingering corruption and fraud charges.Machin declined to comment Thursday on whether or not CPPIB would be interested in the stake in the 407 floated by SNC-Lavalin.“We’re happy investors in the 407,” Machin said.• Email: email@example.com | Twitter: Twitter Reddit Share this storyExpect lower investment returns around the world, says CPPIB chief Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Geoff Zochodne February 14, 20194:30 PM ESTLast UpdatedFebruary 15, 20198:20 AM EST Filed under News FP Street advertisement Comment Featured Stories Recommended For You’We were experiencing headwinds’ — Canopy Growth stock heads south on poor sales ramp-upDefining the future of Canadian competitiveness: How partnerships between industry and educational institutions can help lead the way forwardTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016 Email Join the conversation → CPPIB CEO Mark Machin warns of weaker investment returns in the days ahead.Cole Burston for National Post Facebook What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation 1 Comments ← Previous Next →
Source: Electric Vehicle News Above: In the third quarter, the #1, #2, and #3 best-selling electric cars in the US were all Teslas (Source: Citron Research via CleanTechnica)Verdict: The chart above says it all. To punctuate this point on the earnings call, Elon Musk declared, “[It’s] very difficult for other companies to compete with Tesla because we are the most efficient car and [have] the lowest cost batteries… I do encourage our competitors to really make a huge investment, we’ve been saying that for a long time… [but] the fact of the matter is, we made the investment in the Gigafactory and other companies didn’t.”===Source: Citron Research, Tesla, CNBC, CleanTechnica*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Tesla Q3 Conference Call: Ride Real-Time With Us On Profit Wave FIVE REASONS ANDREW LEFT COULD BE RIGHT ABOUT TESLAOne of Wall Street’s most famous short sellers, Andrew Left of Citron Research, has been trying to make a mockery of Tesla for years. Five years ago Left crowed, “By the time this [Model 3] product is even approaching market, there will be multiple other 200-mile range plug-ins that have been out for years.” In turn, Left bet heavily against Tesla — sure that the electric automaker was doomed. Then, it all changed.*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.Check Out These Stories: Above: Tesla’s Model 3 (Image: Tesla)When Tesla surprisingly pushed their Q3 earnings forward, Left got religion. He wondered, “Does anybody think that Tesla decided to move up its earnings release date because of bad news?” His come-to-Jesus epiphany was revealed in a shocking report, that left Left (no pun intended) a sudden believer in the automaker. Looking back, was there any truth to Left’s newfound contentions (and confidence) surrounding Tesla?Contention #1: Left argued, “While the media has been focused on Elon Musk’s eccentric, outlandish and at times offensive behavior, it has failed to notice the legitimate disruption of the auto industry that is currently being dominated by Tesla. What has changed? Plain and simple — Tesla is destroying the competition.”Verdict: You decide. Tesla’s Shareholder Letter states, “Q3 2018 was a truly historic quarter for Tesla. Model 3 was the best-selling car in the US in terms of revenue and the 5th best-selling car in terms of volume.” Furthermore, “Due to the ingenuity and incredible hard work of our team combined with an innovative vehicle design and manufacturing strategy, we have achieved total auto gross margin of ~25%.” Tesla Q3 2018 Earnings Report: Record Revenue, Turns Profit Let’s Take A Deep Dive Into Jim Chanos’ Tesla Short Seller Stance Above: Over the years Tesla has struggled to turn a profit — that is, until now (Source: Wall Street Journal)Contention #4: Left contends, “No OEM is even close to having Tesla’s level of connectivity and ‘upgradeability’ in its cars. Tesla is dominating the industry with no advertising, no unions, no dealer network. It has 1,100 charging stations and a Gigafactory.” He adds, “No tequila, flamethrowers, or short shorts – just a revolution in the transportation industry.”Verdict: Forget the sideshows. Tesla announced the unveiling of, “Version 9.0 of our vehicle software, which marks our biggest software upgrade.” In addition, there are now “351 [store and service] locations worldwide… [and] a total of 1,352 Supercharger stations.” And don’t forget Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Shanghai which should “bring portions of Model 3 production to China during 2019.”Contention #5: Left writes, “Rumors of the Tesla killers have been as constant and unfounded as Bob Lutz’s call for Tesla’s bankruptcy.” He adds, “There is NO Tesla killer. Competition is nowhere to be found… Tesla appears to be the only company that can actually produce and sell electric cars. If you would have shown us the below chart five years ago there is no way we would have ever believed it. It looks like it is the competition that is taking the Ambien.” Above: A look at US passenger car sales in Q3 and the dominant position of Tesla’s Model 3 (Source: Tesla)Contention #2: Referring to the Model 3, Left argued, “it is not just pent up demand from people on the reservation list… [more] people are spending more money to be a part of the ‘Tesla Revolution.’ TSLA is not just pulling customers from BMW and Mercedes but also from Toyota and Honda. Like a magic trick, while everyone is focused on Elon smoking weed, he is quietly smoking the whole automotive industry.”Verdict: Left seems to be onto something. Tesla revealed during earnings, “Model 3 is attracting customers of both premium and non-premium brands… Based on trade-ins received from customers since the start of Model 3 production, more than half of those trade-in vehicles were priced below $35,000 when new. It is clear that customers are trading up their relatively cheaper vehicles to buy a Model 3.”Contention #3: Left said, “While the media parades around short sellers (yes, Citron has been one of them) attempting to make a piñata out of Tesla and Musk… Tesla [and Musk] will, finally, after 10 years of unprofitable existence, have the ability to prove that it can be a sustainable, highly cash flow generative entity.”Verdict: This is proving to be correct. Tesla’s earnings blew away Wall Street’s expectations. Finally profitable, the company announced, “we achieved GAAP net income of $312 million… and we had free cash flow (operating cash flow less capex) of $881 million.” Furthermore, “as we have transformed from a 100,000 per year unit carmaker into a ~340,000 unit per year carmaker, our earnings profile has flipped dramatically.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 25, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News
Source: Electric Vehicle News 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric First Drive: The New Normal Autoweek says the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric has outstanding range and is “beautifully normal.”We’re seeing a trend here. Practically every first drive of the Hyundai Kona Electric speaks to its normalcy. Autoweek goes so far as to say that it will work to put “another crack in the future of gasoline powered vehicles.” What makes it stand out? Why does is come across as so normal? Let’s dive in deeper and answer these questions.Additional Hyundai Kona Electric Coverage: As we’ve already shared, the Kona Electric features a 65-kWh battery pack that offers 258 miles of EPA-estimated range. This is significant since it tops the Hyundai IONIQ Electric by ~125 miles, the Nissan LEAF by ~100 miles, and even the Chevrolet Bolt EV by about 20 miles. Only Tesla vehicles offer more range than the Kona Electric (and they’re not cheap). To top it off, the Kona gets a rating of 132 mpge from the EPA. Moreover, the battery pack employs an up-to-date temperature management system, however, our own Tom Moloughney learned that, sadly, the battery heating my not make its way into North American models. We can only hope that this news doesn’t prove true.Autoweek says that while the range still can’t match that of most ICE cars, it’s really a big deal for EVs and is one of the primary reasons the publication (and several others) have resorted to the use of the word “normal” when describing this new entrant. In addition, the Kona Electric’s powertrain cranks out 201 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque, making it a peppy crossover that never feels underpowered. Not to mention the reality that the torque is instant in electric-powered vehicles, which means that most drivers will “feel” every bit of that oomph in typical daily driving.While like most all EVs, the Kona Electric features regenerative braking, Autoweek says the pedal feels normal. This, added to the fact that you can choose from four different levels of regen based on your personal preference and driving situation. Handling is also “normal,” if not better than the common crossover. This comes as no surprise since most electric vehicles utilize a strategic “skateboard” battery pack placement, which distributes weight evenly throughout the underside of the vehicle. This makes for a low center of gravity that helps keep the car composed around corners. It’s important to note that Autoweek wasn’t impressed with the EV’s tires, but that’s a problem that can be easily resolved.In terms of the cabin, the Kona Electric provides ample comfort and is really not any different from a typical highly rated subcompact crossover. It offers a respectable amount of second-row passenger space and decent cargo volume. The new small crossover EV also comes packed with a wide array of standard equipment, including a handful of desirable advanced driver assistance technologies, like blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and forward collision avoidance.In the end, Autoweek suggests that the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric does a fantastic job of showing that electric cars can easily provide what is needed for mass adoption. We can only hope that at some point in the not too far future, EVs like this will be manufactured in larger quantities and become readily available in the U.S. Still, despite people’s criticisms of Hyundai and other companies for holding back these electric vehicle pursuits, this is obviously a great entrant and surely a step in the right direction.Efforts by Hyundai (and Kia) are obviously much more of a reality than that of other companies that either continue to make announcements with nothing tangible to show (Volkswagen), start a company touting EVs and then fold due to a lack of funding and resources (Faraday Future and Lucid), or bring electric vehicles to market that are simply not up to par and don’t offer much in the way of all-electric range (Mercedes and BMW). We won’t even dive into the newest pure EV offerings like the Jaguar I-Pace or Audi e-tron.While we as EV fans and supporters want to see these Korean automakers take the plunge much more readily, we shouldn’t discount the fact that they are jumping to the forefront and producing compelling electric vehicles. All in good time … we hope.Details as reported by Autoweek:ON SALE: Early 2019POWERTRAIN: Electric motor, direct-drive with reduction gear, FWDOUTPUT: 201 horsepower, 290 lb-ft of torqueCURB WEIGHT: 3,850 lbs (est)FUEL ECONOMY: 132/108/120 mpge(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)PROS: Excellent range and otherwise beautifully normalCONS: Holding down a shift paddle to achieve maximum brake regen is annoying and unnecessaryWhat are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.Source: Autoweek Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 9, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Hyundai Kona Electric A Better Deal Than A Tesla? Hyundai Kona Electric: Compelling EV That U.S. May Barely Get to Know
StoryKing County Metro will soon begin testing long-range battery-powered buses that can travel more than 140 miles on a single charge, the latest milestone toward a zero-emission fleet.The latest models can travel nearly six times farther than the fast-charge buses Metro currently has in its fleet. At that distance, the battery-powered buses could satisfy about 70 percent of Metro’s bus routes, reducing air and noise pollution throughout the region.“Leading the transition to zero-emission transit requires ingenuity and partnerships – and we have both,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are challenging manufacturers to create reliable battery buses that meet our service needs on long routes with steep hills. This test is the next step on our path to a clean, quiet fleet powered by renewable energy.”Manufacturers will provide 40- and 60-foot battery-powered buses for the performance test. The buses will initially be operated out of Metro’s South Base in Tukwila. Metro has committed to prioritize deployment of new zero-emission buses on service operating from South King County, improving air quality and public health first in low-income and communities of color, which are most vulnerable to the public health impacts of air pollution.King County Metro earlier this year became the first transit agency in North America to install a high-powered charging station at a base facility where recharging is combined with cleaning and maintenance. Short-range buses at Metro’s Bellevue Base can now fully recharge in much less time, which has made operations more efficient.Metro is now building the infrastructure needed to recharge both short- and long-range buses to achieve its goal of operating a zero-emission fleet no later than 2040. King County is working with local utilities – Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy – to ensure that the batteries are charged with clean, renewable energy. King County Makes Largest eBus Buy Ever: 120 Buses by 2020, 73 From Proterra New Flyer Is First With Altoona Tested 60-Foot Articulated Electric Bus The ultimate goal is to become 100% zero-emission by 2040King County Metro announced that it will perform tests of various long-range electric buses, searching for the best solution with more than 140 miles of range, which would satisfy about 70% of Metro’s bus routes.The company already uses Proterra buses (short-range with ultra-fast charging capability) and now tests four New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE buses: two 40-foot and two 60-foot.The buses need not only cover the distance, but also handle steep hills.More about electric buses Source: Electric Vehicle News Demonstrating a strong market demand for quieter, cleaner battery-powered busesTwo decades ago, King County Metro pushed the manufacturing industry to produce diesel-electric hybrid buses and now operates the largest fleet of its kind in the nation. Now it is using its purchasing power to demonstrate that there is strong market demand for quieter and cleaner battery-powered buses.“Before committing fully to manufacturers, we first must take steps to test the performance of this fast-moving technology,” said Metro General Manager Rob Gannon. “Our goal is to trade up for a cleaner future that supports the health of the communities we serve.”In July, the authors of a comprehensive study praised King County’s leadership in the transition to zero-emission fleets, quantifying the benefits of battery-powered buses: lower maintenance and operational costs, reduced noise pollution, and less greenhouse gas emissions.King County Metro was recently named the best large transit system in North America by the American Public Transportation Association, which cited the agency’s accomplishments in transitioning to clean, renewable sources of energy.Source: King County Metro via Green Car Congress Albuquerque Plans To Reject And Return BYD Electric Buses Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 23, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News
There are no screaming exhausts to be found here. More like soothing peace and quiet within the Model X.The Tesla Model X 100D isn’t the fastest version of the electric SUV, but it’s a better bang for your buck compared to the P100D. It’s got more range too. In fact, this version of the Model X goes up to 295 miles per charge. Besides that, it’s no slouch on the performance side, with 0 to 60 MPH coming in just 4.7 seconds. Sure, it’s not as quick as the Model X P100D, but it would be our choice if buying a Model X.Grab a look at the Model X POV drive in the video above. Fear not. No whinny superchargers here. But what you will get is an excellent feel for the SUV in a way that only AutoTop is able to capture so well.Video description:2019 Tesla Model X 100D POV Test Drive by AutoTopNLAuto-Top is an honest and pure car filming and testing company.We’re not interested in eco & green (unless it’s like, really superfast). Screaming exhausts, whining superchargers and blowing turbo’s is what we want to hear! We review all sorts of performance cars. In the different playlists you can enjoy exhaust sounds, acceleration tests (0-100, 0-200) with launch control, onboard cams and the revving sound of each car. Exotic cars, hot hatches, power sedans. We have it all! More Model X Watch Tesla Model X P100D Destroy Dodge Hellcat 1/8-Mile Drag Strip Black Tesla Model X Looks Menacing On ADV.1 Advanced Wheels Watch Tesla Model X P100D Obliterate Audi RS4 In Drag Race Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 14, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News The longest range version of the electric SUV gets tested.AutoTopNL is known for these unique point-of-view test drives, but it’s known to be fond of electric cars or electric SUVs. However, when it’s a Tesla, AutoTopNL is game.As AutoTopNL itself states:We’re not interested in eco & green (unless it’s like, really superfast). Screaming exhausts, whining superchargers and blowing turbo’s is what we want to hear!