Wacom Bamboo Ink stylus released for Windows Ink

first_imgIn the demonstration video above is the Bamboo Ink in motion. It’s being shown working with the apps mentioned in this article, and the three individual nibs for the device are shown, as well. This is one of two styli revealed by Wacom today, the other prepared for iOS – not just iPad, but iPhone, too.The Lenovo device shown in the video is the Lenovo MIIX 510, by the way. That’s a pretty awesome device in and of itself. Have a peek at our Lenovo MIIX 510 review for more information. Wacom suggests that they’ve partnered with Microsoft on the Bamboo Ink. This new stylus works with Windows Ink – meaning it’ll interact with any device thats Windows Ink enabled. This device comes with three different fine nibs for three different sorts of writing and drawing experiences. Users with this device will be able to launch pen-enabled apps with the stylus like Sticky Notes or Bamboo Paper. Using this device with Bamboo Paper allows the user to synchronize their experience across devices. Using Wacom’s Inkspace service, saved projects will exist on Wacom’s servers (in the cloud, so to speak) where they’ll be stored ready for access on any device with Wacom’s Inkspace apps. Users will be able to purchase the Bamboo Ink for approximately $80 USD starting this week. Wacom dot com, USA-based Microsoft Stores, and Best Buy online and offline will have this stylus available starting on June 1st, 2017. This week the folks at Wacom have two new stylus releases in store for their “Bamboo” line. These devices look similar but act very different – in how they interact with their chosen devices, that is. The Bamboo Ink smart stylus works with Windows Ink, while the Bamboo Sketch smart stylus works with iOS devices of several sorts – not just iPad Pro. center_img Story TimelineWacom’s Intuos 3D tackles 3D design and printing from all anglesWacom MobileStudio Pro Windows 10 tablets have 3D camerasDuet Display Pro turns the iPad Pro into a Wacom CintiqWacom Cintiq Pro hits back at Surface Studio with better pensWacom Intuos Pro, Intuos Pro Paper, and small Bamboo Folio unveiledAcer Chromebook Spin 11 launches with Wacom tech, 360 hingelast_img read more

Xperia XZ1 Compact renders are thick like nobodys business

first_imgWould-be owners will probably overlook that, given how it is, at least, a compact flagship with flagship specs. That is, if the leaks and rumors do pan out. Inside will be a Snapdragon 835 with 4 GB of RAM, with a 4.6-inch display, most likely Full HD, sitting on top. Sadly, the 2,600 mAh battery is going to be paltry, especially with such specs.One other disappointing tidbit about these renders is what they aren’t showing: a fingerprint scanner on the back. There has been at least one leak that seemed to imply that Sony has relocated the sensor from the power button at the side to a more conventional rear placement to get around potential patent issues in the US. It seems, however, that there won’t be much of a change this year. VIA: 91mobiles 9.4 mm or 0.37 inches. That’s how thick the “compact” flagship will be, according to 91mobiles and @OnLeaks. The latter’s track record, unfortunately, does make it sound to be likely. That’s tablet-thick by today’s standards. It might have been OK a few years back, but unless you’re a feature phone, a rugged phone, or a tablet phone (a.k.a. phablet), that’s really pushing it this year. Then again, last year’s Xperia X Compact was actually 9.5 mm thick, but we all know by now how poorly it sold overall.The Xperia XZ1 Compact, however, is none of the above and is, in fact, supposed to be a smaller version of the high-end Xperia XZ1. And by “smaller” they probably meant “chunkier”. Thanks to its smaller dimensions (129.5 mm x 64.5 mm x 9.4 mm), the Xperia XZ1 Compact will actually look thicker compared to other smartphones this year.center_img It seems that Sony is going to play the contrarian this year in terms of smartphone designs. While everyone is scrambling to banish bezels from their phones’ faces, Sony is still sticking to lots of them in its upcoming Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact. With the latter, however, it seems to be going above and beyond the call of duty. While the trend for the past years have been to make phones impossibly thin, based on these leaked 3D renders, Sony will make the Xperia XZ1 Compact uncharacteristically thick instead.last_img read more

Amazons AI is powering scary police facialrecognition systems

first_imgRekognition was launched back in 2016, as a way for companies to tap into machine learning systems for photo and video analysis. Part of its AWS platform, the artificial intelligence can dig through content in bulk, not only recognizing individuals but also identifying the emotions they’re showing, among other things. One possible application, Amazon suggested at the time, was that companies could use facial recognition to automatically check in employees entering a building, comparing ID badges to the people wearing them. However, according to the ACLU, Rekognition’s talents are also being pitched in ways that prompt privacy concerns. Amazon has been marketing the technology as a law enforcement service, the civil rights organization says, having obtained documents detailing ways the AI has been deployed in several US counties. The Washington County Sheriff, for instance, and the City of Orlando have both been running Rekognition-powered systems since 2017, it’s said. In Washington County, Rekognition is the heart of a mugshot ID database. Law enforcement there has apparently fed more than 300,000 mugshot photos into a database, and Rekognition can sift through that to compare images of people obtained from police stops or surveillance footage. An earlier possibility, which Amazon has since removed, was using bodycam footage to tap into the facial identification system too. AdChoices广告In Orlando, meanwhile, there’s a face recognition system operating in real-time already. Users with access to the service can hunt down “people of interest,” it’s said, in footage sourced from “cameras all over the city.” “People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government,” the ACLU argues. “By automating mass surveillance, facial recognition systems like Rekognition threaten this freedom, posing a particular threat to communities already unjustly targeted in the current political climate. Once powerful surveillance systems like these are built and deployed, the harm will be extremely difficult to undo.”That spread already looks like it could be underway. According to the obtained records, law enforcement agencies in Arizona and California have discussed Rekognition’s abilities with representatives from Washington County, for example. The ACLU is calling on a total ban by Amazon on supplying the technology to governments.Of course, Amazon itself is using systems like this for its own means. The recently-opened Amazon Go store in Seattle allows shoppers to fill their basket and leave without making any sort of payment: the transaction is all cleared based on Amazon identifying the user by face, and monitoring what they take. Previous reports suggest Amazon could open six new stores this year. Amazon has quietly been pushing its Rekognition AI system to police departments, using the deep learning technology to power real-time facial recognition. The company has already deployed Rekognition-powered services in a number of US states, it’s reported, automating the identification of “people of interest” from multiple cameras spread across cities. last_img read more

Facebook bans 3D printed gun content removes blueprint links

first_img3D-printed firearms can be created using printers available to consumers, involving hardware pieces that can be purchased online and at many physical stores. Blueprints are readily available online, as well as videos offering instructions and demonstrations of printed firearms.These DIY guns are problematic for numerous reasons. The materials used to create them are unsuitable for firearm use and may result in the weapon exploding after being fired multiple times — some demonstrations have shown the weapons breaking during the first shot, potentially injuring individuals nearby.As well, these blueprints make it possible for individuals to create guns that are untraceable and unknown to the government, and that may not set off metal detectors. In a statement to CNBC, Facebook said that it is removing content that shows how to 3D print guns. “In line with our policies,” the company said, “we are removing this content from Facebook.”The company will release an updated policy that makes it clear that this content is banned. Until then, it remains unclear whether the restriction could lead to accounts or pages being suspended.SOURCE: CNBC Facebook is cracking down on content that instructs the public on creating firearms using 3D printers. Blueprints for these weapons have been available online for years, raising concerns about safety and the technology’s ability to circumvent existing gun laws. Facebook confirmed the removal to several media outlets today, saying the content is against its Community Standards.last_img read more

How do I get a free Google Home Mini from Spotify

Story TimelineSpotify finally arrives on Wear OS with standalone appSpotify packs in new features for Premium user drawSpotify support is coming back to some Roku devicesWaze Audio Player beta arrives with Pandora, Spotify, Stitcher and more This week the folks at Google and Spotify teamed up to deliver the Google Home Mini to families across the United States. This plays in well with Google’s plan to get the Google Assistant in every single home in the world, starting with these United States of America. Spotify is also glad to partake, without a doubt, as their partnerships with Google have kept them in the limelight even more than they’d been over the past several years as a premiere source for streaming music around the world. As it is with all things Google, you might notice a little bit of oddity when it comes to services. Why would Google work with Spotify to give out a free Google Home Mini when they’ve not done the same with Google Music? How about YouTube Music? Why just give away a Google Home Mini to Spotify Premium Family members? The answer is simple: They want to draw in people who are sort-of in the Google ecosystem, but don’t likely already have a Google Home product and/or the Google Assistant in their home. If Google gave out free stuff to people that already subscribed to their services, they’d simply have a whole bunch of Google users stacking up boxes of Google stuff. You give away free stuff to draw in new users, not to keep the users you’ve already got. Per-month subscription costs and laziness do that job just fine.AdChoices广告How do I get a free Google Home Mini from Spotify?Users that have or will soon have a Spotify Premium for Family account can partake in this program to get a Google Home Mini. Devices must be redeemed through the Spotify Family portal before the 15th of January, 2019. Users must apply to get a free Google Home Mini before the 31st of December, 2018. Users can head over to the Spotify Family portal right this minute to tap the “Get Started” button and redeem. read more

Samsung One UI Android 9 Pie beta and launch dates announced

first_imgThe much-criticized Samsung TouchWiz UX is dead. And soon, so will the short-lived “Samsung Experience”. At its now famous Samsung Developer Conference, the Korean manufacturer announced its upcoming One UI, the user experience that will, among other things, also run on its foldable smartphone. This UI will be based on Android 9 Pie, whose beta testing phase will start very soon. Amusingly enough, most people will still probably call it “TouchWiz” anyway. Some users, even long-time Samsung fans, might not be so receptive of the new look, at least based on early feedback from leaked firmware. The consolation is that One UI will also be bringing Android 9 Pie to Samsung’s phones. Sadly, the two are of course bundled together so you can’t have one without the other. There might still be some time for Samsung to make changes, especially once it gets the beta program underway.That’s coming soon to the Galaxy S9 and S9+ sometime later this month. The beta program, however, will be limited to China, France, Germany, India, Poland, South Korea, Spain, the UK, and the US and interested participants will have to sign up using the Samsung Members app or, in the US, the Samsung+ app. No specific date has been given but the final version should be out for the Galaxy S9, S9+, and Galaxy Note 9 by January. Presuming nothing untoward happens again like last time. Its new UI is called “One” for a variety of reasons, mostly revolving around themes of unification and focus. There is, for example, a heavy emphasis on only focusing on one thing at a time. But, at the same time, this One UI is designed to be the single user experience across Samsung’s Galaxy phones, both the normal single screen phablets and its upcoming foldable phone.And, as always, Samsung has taken great pains to differentiate itself from stock Android. Although it does adopt Android 9 Pie’s round corners, it actually goes overboard and uses them everywhere. Curiously, Samsung is also unifying the color of your phone with the color of the UI, theming the interface to match the color of the phone by default, almost like what it’s doing with the screen off memo ink color for the Galaxy Note 9’s S Pen.center_img pic.twitter.com/OtoTFpQ6h4— SAMSUNG DEVELOPERS (@samsung_dev) November 7, 2018last_img read more

2018 MercedesAMG GT C Roadster First Drive A silver bullet

first_imgEven with police presence, the twists and long sweeping turns throughout our drive across Arizona was proved the perfect foil for Mercedes-AMG’s most eye-catching car. With the ticket out of the way, we charged forward to one of the best section of the road, Route 89A, with more spiraling bends, deep canyons, and wide turns toward the old mining town of Jerome.In my co-driver’s defense, the GT C Roadster begs to be driven hard and we did exactly that. With 550 horsepower and 502 lb.-ft of torque under the hood and just itching to come out and play, you’re bound to slip and get swept away in the moment. The hypnotic AMG Performance Exhaust does nothing to dissuade you, either, especially when the top is down. It’s pretty much like the weather in Phoenix, where the temperature comes in two settings only: hot and hotter. In Mercedes-AMG’s case the two exhaust modes are loud and louder.You rouse that extra aural pleasure with a button on the center console. It hums along to just the right tune and, when you lift off the throttle, spurts out multiple snaps, crackles, and pops. I found myself downshifting early, not from any mechanical or driving need, but simply because it’s gleefully fun. Speaking of shifting, the seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission – complete with roadster-specific gearing ratios and calibration – does an exceptional job, especially in Sport+ or (exclusive to the C and R) Race mode. 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine also powers the “regular” AMG GT version with 469 HP and 465 lb-ft. of torque; the AMG engineering wizards tune it for 515 HP and 494 lb-ft. for the GT S Coupe, and finally a whopping 577 HP and 516 lb-ft. for the green-monster GT R. Story Timeline2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet and S63 AMG Cabriolet First Drive2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 Review – Silicon Valley on wheelsMercedes-Benz AMG GT R will leave you green with envy2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 Review: More modern, less muscle2017 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet Review: Interstellar luxuryMercedes-AMG GT R sets Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time recordMy Top 5 Track and Performance Driving Events of 20162017 Mercedes-AMG E43 First Drive: AMG for all2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 sedan, coupe and cabriolet first-drive I spent the bulk of my time behind the wheel plying the paddle shifters myself and in Sport+ mode, and couldn’t help but be impressed with the near-instant upshifts and the rev-matching on downshifts. The 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine also powers the “regular” AMG GT version with 469 HP and 465 lb-ft. of torque; the AMG engineering wizards tune it for 515 HP and 494 lb-ft. for the GT S Coupe, and finally a whopping 577 HP and 516 lb-ft. for the green-monster GT R. In a nutshell, the GT is fast while the GT S is, insanely, faster. We the majority of our 300+ mile drive in the GT C, it was plenty of time to see what the variable adaptive suspension has to offer, while exploiting the five drive modes (Individual, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race).Speaking to Jorg Letzel, Product Management at Mercedes-AMG, he confirmed that the GT C Roadster and GT R in fact share the same transmission. “There’s a longer first gear for better acceleration,” he explained, “with a shorter 7th gear in order to reach high speed even further, with the same high speed shifting time.” Letzel also elaborated on the changes that take place when switching drive modes from Sport+ to Race: “the sound of the exhaust system, shorter shifting time, [and] throttle response time is more sensitive and the steering stiffens up.” Depending on the driving mode, “starting from drive mode Comfort to Sport+, the spoiler pops up at 120+ km/h and under 80, it goes down. In race mode, the spoiler pops up at 70 km/h and down below 30 km/hr.” Probably wisely, Mercedes-AMG doesn’t automatically turn off all the driver aids even in Race mode. “ESP remains on while maintaining Sport+ handling and the harshest dampening suspension,” Letzel says. Even so, when you switch on Race mode everything is noticeably more direct, and the car feels like it reacts instantaneously. After a full day of driving you really start to understand the differences between the five modes, like the steering becoming much heavier in Race than it is in Sport+.Rear-wheel steering is optional on the GT Roadster – it’ll also be optional on the GT S Coupe in the near future – and comes standard on the GT C Roadster and GT R. It’ll also be packaged in the AMG Dynamic Plus Package. The active rear-steering unit turns the rear wheels up to 1.5 degrees: at speeds below 62 mph, the rear wheels turn in opposite directions to the front which essentially shortens the wheel base. Conversely, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front at speeds above 62 mph, for better stability: in effect, AMG is mimicking a longer wheelbase car. You really get a sense of how quick things happen when you’re passing slower-moving vehicles on windy two-land roads: pop out to the left lane, throttle to pass, and then cut neatly back in to the right lane. It’s compellingly precise, and has you hungering to run into traffic if only to pass them. Race mode’s other big feature is launch control. Hold down the brake pedal with one foot, slam on the gas with the other, and then wait for the rev counter to hit its threshold – which you can actually modify using the paddle shifters – then release the brakes. We didn’t time our 0-60, but the spec sheet suggests it takes just 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 196 mph for the GT C. The GT takes 4 seconds dead, and has a maximum speed of 188 mph. Peak torque is available from 1900 rpm, through 6000 rpm and then some. 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine also powers the “regular” AMG GT version with 469 HP and 465 lb-ft. of torque; the AMG engineering wizards tune it for 515 HP and 494 lb-ft. for the GT S Coupe, and finally a whopping 577 HP and 516 lb-ft. for the green-monster GT R There’s no shortage of luxury elements, either, from the carbon fiber trim to beautifully stitched leather and well-placed knobs and switches for the key functions. Mercedes’ newest COMAND infotainment system is front and center, well positioned to be used by both driver and passenger. Even with the top down, the Burmester audio system is more than full-throated enough to keep you entertained, should the GT’s own soundtrack not be enough. For chilly days, Airscarf – vents around the neck blowing out warm air – is more than sufficient to keep your warm even with the top down.Unlike some droptop rivals, there’s no hydraulically sprung roll bar that thrusts out in the event of a rollover. Instead, AMG uses a static roll cage which is lighter. If I had a complaint, it’s that the thick A-pillar intrudes on your forward view at times, particularly when you’re hunting for the apex during a hairpin turn. With two bodies inside there’s not much room in the cabin for much else, so expect to pack light for a weekend getaway. There’s enough space to fit a couple of duffle bags, though for golfers, the designers and engineers came up with a trunk where, with the quick removal of a cap, you can fit longer-than-average clubs.Wrap-upThe AMG GT C Roadster and GT C Coupe is Mercedes’ silver bullet against the likes of the Audi R8 V10 Plus, Aston Martin DB11, and Porsche 911. Expect to pay $124,400 upwards for the GT Roadster, and $157,000 for the GT C Roadster when they arrive in dealerships this summer. As for the hard-top, the AMG GT Coupe will be $112,400, rising to $132,400 for the GT S Coupe, $145,000 for the GT C Coupe, and finally $157,000 for the AMG GT R Coupe.To be frank, at this sort of level – and with this sort of competition – you can’t really make a wrong choice. After all, there’s no “bad” car in this segment, only a matter of personal taste. With its combination of fierce performance and seductive design, I suspect Mercedes-AMG will have no shortage of interest when the order books open later this year. Photo credit: Vincent Nguyen Luckily, my fun in the sun with Mercedes-AMG’s new GT C Roadster in Arizona didn’t come to a premature end when my driving partner got a speeding ticket. The topless Solarbeam Yellow GT cruiser shot out as though the canyon had just given birth to it… and that happened to be the exact spot where we drove past the state trooper. I sat quietly in the passenger seat as he explained to the officer, “it’s this stupid car, it feels like it’s going 60…” only to have the officer reply “you’re really flying, I clocked you at 90 mph.” 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine also powers the “regular” AMG GT version with 469 HP and 465 lb-ft. of torque; the AMG engineering wizards tune it for 515 HP and 494 lb-ft. for the GT S Coupe, and finally a whopping 577 HP and 516 lb-ft. for the green-monster GT R Honestly, Mercedes-AMG’s GT is possibly the purest of the Gran Tourismo cars I’ve driven. True to form, the front end is stretched out extra-long, though the engine itself is pushed toward the center of the car. If I didn’t know better from real-world experience, I’d suspect that the rear end would kick out more often than not. To my surprise, in both normal and spirited driving, the back never once misbehaved. Not that it can’t or won’t happen, mind: push hard enough – especially with the ESC turned off – and it’ll turn into a Ken Block-drift-happy machine. Thanks to the electronic limited-slip rear differential, wheel-spin rarely happens; it also allows for faster cornering and sharper turn-in and -out while keeping the car stable and planted. It doesn’t hurt that the GT C is much closer to the GT R in its rear track. The wider rear fenders look better, but they also allow for a 2.25-inch wider axle. That means Mercedes-AMG can fit 305/30/ZR20 tires, instead of the 295/30/ZR20’s it uses on the GT.As for the convertible, going topless in the GT Roadster adds another 55 pounds in weight, but that’s not all bad. Indeed, a little extra weight over the back wheels doesn’t hurt stability. The soft top itself swiftly opens and closes even while the car is moving, in less than 11 seconds. When up, wind and road noise is kept to an impressive minimum courtesy of three layers sandwiched together, even at speeds likely to be frowned upon by state troopers. Design ElementsWhether you have the GT in coupe or convertible form, the new Mercedes-AMG is genuinely gorgeous, and frankly unlike anything else in the segment. I had the opportunity to pick the brain of Vitalis Enns, head of Mercedes-AMG interiors and exteriors, over dinner, and he was pretty insistent that the key to the car – and its style longevity, like the Mercedes grand tourers of old – is simplicity. “Keeping the design timeless means work with proportion, light, surfaces and volume,” he explained to me. “You don’t add lots of details, as soon as you add details and lines, it becomes fashionable. And fashion is, after three years-time, you want to get rid of it.” This is especially true when you’re spending $160,000 and up on a sports car. The rear arch, for instance, isn’t defined by lines but instead by how the light falls upon it and thus forms the shape of the car. On the front, Enns pointed out, the hard crease of a shut line is nonexistent and, instead, the GT plays with volume and clean surfacing for a more elegant, elongated hood. As for the grill, that flares open so that the car appears lower to the ground: the result is an aggressive, prowling stance. “The front is the fascia of the car, and the face is the first expression, this is where you get the eye contact,” Enns says. Instead of going with a more traditional V-shape, Enns flipped the design into an A-shape fascia which, with the LED lights on the sides, lends the appearance of the grille floating. Additional black elements below give the impression that the front is even wider. It’s known as the “Panamericana” grille, delineated with thick vertical slats where the single chrome bar and Mercedes’ emblem once was. Short overhangs and a long hood stays true to the classic GT designs, flowing back into a high beltline. A dark hood purposely lowers the profile visually. The GT C adds a pair of vertical air outlets on each side, similar to those on the GT R, as well as a horizontal slit between the taillights. For Enns, these are the elements that the roadster a true GT: “a very high beltline, a very low rear, strength from the body side, muscular [rear quarter panel], and a very, very low rear.”With the engine shoved so far beyond the firewall, you can’t help but feel snug inside the cabin. Perhaps intimate might be a better word to describe the feeling. It’s not cramped, though, and I never felt uncomfortable during our 300-mile road trip. The AMG performance seats are supportive and handsome, while between them is a hulking center console, forced upon the interior due to the mid-engine placement. On the plus side, that does mean there’s enough room for a pair of cup holders.last_img read more

OneMap Alliance targets single HD map for driverless cars by 2020

first_imgHD maps, or high-definition maps, have emerged as one of the core requirements as driverless vehicles get to grips with public roads. Where existing digital mapping data has core roadway information, HD maps can be exponentially more precise in their detail. That can include lane-by-lane positioning, the exact specifications of where turn lanes begin and end, and details on the gradient of the road surface in three dimensions. Although most autonomous cars have some combination of LIDAR, radar, sonar, cameras, and other sensors to locate themselves in the road and identify other traffic, that HD mapping data is also necessary to pinpoint exactly where the vehicle is and how it will navigate to another location. No single company has been responsible for generating such maps. In some cases, autonomous car developers have been gathering the data themselves; elsewhere, third-party map providers have stepped in with higher-resolution information. The OneMap Alliance is an example of the latter. Made up of HERE Technologies – the company formerly owned by Nokia, but acquired by a consortium led by Audi, BMW, and Daimler – together with NavInfo of China, Increment P (IPC)/Pioneer of Japan, and SK Telecom of Korea, it will combine its data into a single, harmonized form. That’s expected to be of particular interest to car companies wanting to cut out map provider and compatibility headaches. AdChoices广告“By sourcing from the OneMap Alliance partners, automakers get to leverage a map that is fully harmonized across regions, offering the same high quality for their vehicles in the U.S. as it does in Europe and Asia,” Ralf Herrtwich, SVP Services at HERE Technologies, said of the collaboration. “This simplified way of sourcing the map will also help reduce automakers’ development time and unnecessary costs.”The data itself will be delivered through HERE’s HD Live Map, which the company says is already on track to cover more than 620,000 miles of roads across North America, Europe, South Korea, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates by the end of this year. More than just a digital version of paper maps, it’s also a platform by which that mapping data can self-heal over time. Fed information from the cars actually using the roadways, it can identify lane changes or junction layout alterations, areas of roadworks, or other discrepancies between what has been mapped and what vehicles are actually encountering. Automakers and parts heavyweights are already rising to that challenge, indeed. Earlier this year, tier one automotive supplier Bosch bought a stake in HERE, with plans to use components like the cameras, radar systems, and other sensors it sells to car companies to feed data back into the HD map’s self-healing AI. The Alliance’s goal is that, by 2020, it will have a consistent HD map, spanning multiple regions worldwide. That will be useful not only to fully autonomous cars, but also for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) which will offset some of the driver’s responsibilities even if it doesn’t replace them altogether. A new collaboration between digital map-makers, the OneMap Alliance, has set itself the challenge of developing a global HD map for autonomous cars by 2020. The project – which is also inviting other companies to get involved – hopes to offer automakers and other companies developing driverless vehicles a single, consistent HD map across different regions. center_img Story TimelineHERE and Mobileye team on self-healing maps for self-driving carsInside Intel’s big plan to seize the wheel in self-driving carsLG, HERE join forces on self-driving car techlast_img read more

2020 Cadillac CT4V and CT5V pair sports sedans with Super Cruise

first_imgSports sedans with heritageThe performance duo come as Cadillac celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of the V-Series. What started with the original CTS-V, a 400 horsepower, manual transmission sedan like none in Cadillac’s history, has spread to include both dedicated “V” models and V-Series trims. Most recently, the 2019 CT6-V promises an all-wheel drive option in the V-Series line-up, debuting Cadillac’s new Blackwing 4.2-liter twin-turbocharged V8 and promising an estimated 550 horsepower. Still, with Cadillac’s sales being saved by crossovers and SUVs right now, you’d be forgiven for wondering why the automaker is still pushing sedans. According to Cadillac, they’re still the company’s gateway to luxury drivers, not to mention the China market. There’s also a cohort of people who still won’t consider a crossover, the automaker says.That’s not to say that these particular V-Series are focused on going around a racetrack as fast as possible. “We know that not all of our customers are concerned about track time, and don’t place a premium on it,” Ken Morris, VP of Global Product at Cadillac, said of the cars. Something along those lines will be coming soon, Morris teased, but for now the CT4-V and CT-5V will slot in as new trims above the Sport trim. Sitting alongside them, though, will be Cadillac’s electric vehicles: the automaker is leading GM’s renewed push into electrification. Will there be a Cadillac V-Series EV? Right now nobody is saying, though given the performance on tap from electric drivetrains, it’s hard to imagine the automaker resisting the urge to expand its performance brand. Pricing for the 2020 CT4-V and CT5-V will be confirmed closer to their respective releases, early next year. For now, Morris says, we can expect a roughly $7,000-8,000 premium over the standard Sport trim of each. Aesthetically, both cars share similar hallmarks. Dark exterior accents sit alongside the traditional V-Series mesh grilles. At the rear, there are quad exhaust tips and a unique rear spoiler. The CT5-V gets a special rear diffuser, too.Inside, there’ll be a unique instrument cluster with performance-focused details. A V-Mode steering wheel control is also included, for quickly accessing the most potent settings. 2020 Cadillac CT5-VThe new 2020 CT5-V builds on the standard sedan, which Cadillac unveiled earlier this year. It replaces the regular engine with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, with 355 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. 90-percent of torque arrives from 1,800 rpm, the automaker says. A 10-speed automatic will be standard, and there’ll be the choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. An eLSD – electronic Limited Slip Differential – will be standard too, capable of infinitely adjusting the clutch engagement between the rear wheels within 0.15 seconds. Brembo performance front brakes will be fitted. 19-inch wheels will be standard-fit, with summer-only run-flats on the RWD. All-season run-flats will be offered on the AWD. The car will have Magnetic Ride 4.0, the latest iteration of the clever adjustable damping system that has been a hallmark of V-Series cars for some years now. There’s faster damping response, and a four-fold improvement in relative motion sensing resolution. Its settings will be adjusted through the Vehicle Control Mode system, complete with customizable V-Mode, which will adjust things like steering brakes, and sound performance. Cadillac will be able to dynamically adjust brake pedal feel, too. A five-mode Performance Traction Management system, meanwhile, will change the settings for tire slip, yaw rate, slip angle, transmission speed, and more. In a first for V-Series, there’ll be Launch Control too. 2020 Cadillac CT4-VUnlike the CT5-V, which is based on a sedan we’ve already seen, the CT4 is making its debut in V-Series form. A regular version of the four-door will follow in due course. That won’t get the V-Series car’s 2.7-liter turbo four, which Cadillac expects to offer 320 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Again, a 10-speed automatic is standard, and there’ll be RWD and AWD options. A mechanical limited slip rear differential is used, while the RWD car gets Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and the AWD uses ZF MVS passive dampers. As per the CT5-V, there’ll be Vehicle Control Mode with customizable V-Mode.18-inch wheels are standard, with summer-only run-flat tires on the rear-wheel drive car. All-season tires will be offered on the all-wheel drive version. Super Cruise and moreSuper Cruise has arguably been the jewel in Cadillac’s tech crown for some time now, which has made it all the more frustrating that the automaker has so-far only offered it on the CT6. With the arrival of the CT4-V and CT5-V, however, that will change. Come the 2020 calendar year, Super Cruise – with its combination of super-precise lane-keeping, adaptive cruise control, and hands-off driver monitoring – will be offered as an option on both. It’ll sit alongside a suite of standard active safety tech, and a long list of further options. There’s a rear camera mirror, for instance, beaming a view from the back of the car to the display. The CT5’s brand new electrical architecture has been used by both V-Series cars, paving the way to faster data transfer, better security, and an improved infotainment system. It also allows Cadillac to deliver over-the-air software updates, something sorely missing from the company’s line-up until now. Story TimelineCadillac will lead GM’s all-electric reinventionThis is the first Cadillac EVCadillac readies EV future with car name shake-up There’s good news today if you’re a fan of potent American luxury sedans, with Cadillac pulling the wraps off not one but two new V-Series cars: the 2020 CT4-V and 2020 CT5-V. Expanding the line of Caddy’s most sporting models, the pair promises up to 355 horsepower and high-tech features like Super Cruise. 2020 Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Gallerylast_img read more

Court Backs Obama Adminstration Crackdown On Drug Company Execs

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Court Backs Obama Adminstration Crackdown On Drug Company Execs The Wall Street Journal: Court Backs Crackdown On Drug OfficialsA federal appeals court backed the Obama administration’s drive to levy greater punishments on pharmaceutical executives tied to corporate wrongdoing, saying the administration could effectively derail the executives’ careers by barring them from doing business with federal programs including Medicare (Kendall, 7/27).last_img read more

Republicans Take Aim At Planned Parenthoods Record Taxpayer Support

first_imgAlso making headlines, a group of House Democrats are pressing the White House to retain funding for mental health, and some of New York’s members of Congress are pushing to include cancer care in the 9/11 health program.Fox News: Planned Parenthood Receives Record Amount Of Taxpayer SupportPlanned Parenthood reported receiving a record $542 million in taxpayer support in fiscal 2012, marking a steady increase in government funding despite Republican-led efforts at the state and federal levels to cut off that stream. The funding figures were included in the abortion provider’s annual report released Monday. The numbers showed roughly 45 percent of Planned Parenthood’s budget now comes from taxpayer dollars. Pro-life groups quickly seized on the report to renew their calls for Congress to “defund” Planned Parenthood. “Americans are sick and tired of underwriting the nation’s largest abortion business,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. Republican Tennessee Rep. Diane Black said the report “underscores the pressing need to cut off all federal funding for Planned Parenthood” (1/8). The Associated Press: Vt. US Rep. Welch Seeks To Ease Health Care CostsVermont U.S. Rep. Peter Welch says he wants to use the federal health care reform law to help control health care costs. Welch, a Democrat, outlined his plans Tuesday during a visit to a Montpelier doctor’s office. Welch is a member of the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal health care policy (1/8).CQ HealthBeat: Retain Funds For Mental Health, Democrats Urge White HouseThree House Democrats are gathering signatures on a letter that calls on the Obama administration to preserve mental health funding in its fiscal 2014 budget proposal. In the letter, Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, Grace F. Napolitano of California and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas describe the “five large scale shootings” that have occurred since 2007, including the deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in December. They also note that, from their understanding, the individuals behind the killings all suffered from mental illness, substance abuse disorders or a combination of the two (Attias, 1/8).CQ HealthBeat: New York Lawmakers Continue Push To Include Cancer In 9/11 Health ProgramA study calling into question the link between cancer and exposure to debris at Ground Zero hasn’t changed the opinion of three House lawmakers from New York City that the connection exists. Democratic Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, along with Republican Rep. Peter T. King, have fought for the last two years to have cancer treated under the health care program Congress created in 2010 for those sick or injured from working or living near the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (Scholtes, 1/8). Republicans Take Aim At Planned Parenthood’s ‘Record’ Taxpayer Support This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Prominent Republican Leaves Immigration Overhaul Talks Over Immigrant Health Care

first_imgProminent Republican Leaves Immigration Overhaul Talks Over Immigrant Health Care This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. On Capitol Hill, Rep. Raul Labrador says he disagreed with others in the talks about health provisions for immigrants who are here illegally now but would gain legal status under the bill. Also, CMS announces that it cannot stop sequestration cuts to Medicare’s reimbursement for cancer drugs.The New York Times: In House, Immigration Spurs Push By G.O.P.Late Wednesday, a bipartisan group of representatives who had been meeting to write a broad immigration bill announced they had completed their negotiations. But a prominent Republican in the group, Raúl Labrador of Idaho, said he was leaving. Mr. Labrador said that he disagreed with the other lawmakers over health care provisions for illegal immigrants who would gain legal status under the measure (Parker and Preston, 6/6).Medscape: No Stopping Sequestration Cancer Cuts, Says CMSThere is no stopping the cuts to Medicare’s reimbursement of cancer drugs mandated by the federal budget sequestration, according to a June 3 letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to members of the US Congress. The cuts have infamously caused cancer clinics across the country to turn away Medicare patients. The letter from CMS to members of Congress who had appealed for a workaround of the cancer-specific cuts was first reported yesterday by the Huffington Post (Mulcahy, 6/6).last_img read more

First Edition July 25 2013

first_imgFirst Edition: July 25, 2013 Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.center_img Today’s headlines include reports about WellPoint’s second-quarter profits and the Insitute of Medicine’s findings about geographic varitions in Medicare spending. Kaiser Health News: IOM Finds Differences In Regional Health Spending Are Linked To Post-Hospital Care And Provider PricesKaiser Health News staff writer Jordan Rau reports: “Big health spending variations throughout the country are largely driven by differences in the use of post-acute services such as skilled nursing homes and home health care by Medicare beneficiaries, and by higher prices that some hospitals and doctors charge commercial insurers, according to an Institute of Medicine report released Wednesday” (Rau, 7/24). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: WellPoint Sees Small Employers Dropping Health Coverage; Schizophrenia, Suicide And One Family’s Anguish; Current Insurance Costs For Individual Policies Vary WidelyNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Jay Hancock reports on news from WellPoint: “As the nation prepares to roll out the next phase of Obamacare, the second biggest medical insurer said Wednesday that it expects to lose members in health insurance plans sponsored by smaller employers. At the same time, WellPoint expects membership gains in self-insured employer plans and in the kind of individual plans that will be sold in subsidized exchanges starting Oct. 1” (Hancock, 7/24).In addition, WNPR’s Jeff Cohen, working in partnership with KHN and NPR, reports on a family that had to confront schizophrenia and suicide: “Homer Bell was 54 years old when he committed suicide in April in a very public way — he laid down in front of a bus in his hometown of Hartford, Conn. It was the culmination of three decades of suffering endured by Bell and his family because of his illness, schizophrenia” (Cohen, 7/24).Also on Capsules, Julie Appleby details a GAO report examining variations in individual insurance policy costs: “Now, the Government Accountability Office is weighing in with its own analysis of how much it costs now for policies offered in each of the 50 states. The report released Wednesday is based on prices reported by insurers to a government database and shows that consumers face a wide range of premium prices, deductibles and annual exposure to out-of-pocket costs, often depending on their age, health history, family size and where they live” (Appleby, 7/24). Check out what else is on the blog.Kaiser Health News: Letters To The Editor: In Defense Of Shorter Shifts For Interns, Medicaid Managed Care Oversight, Emergency Room Frequent Flyers And Other TopicsLetters to the Editor is a periodic KHN feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection (7/24). Here are readers’ thoughts on specific stories.The Wall Street Journal: New Health-Care Law’s Success Rests on the YoungInterviews here with more than two dozen single workers of modest income between 24 and 31 years old suggest that insurance plans will be a hard sell. Subsidies for 26-year-old workers range from $118 a month for someone earning under $16,000 to less than $1 a month for one earning $26,500, according to an analysis of insurance data (Weaver and Radnofsky, 7/25).The Wall Street Journal: Low-Cost Insurance Offer Limits Federal Subsidies For Portland BuyersFederal subsidies in the new health-care law will help offset the cost of insurance for lower-income buyers. But in the Portland area, the subsidies will be smaller than expected because of the low prices offered by a regional insurer. The subsidies are based on the cost of the second-cheapest midlevel plan, as well as annual incomes (Weaver and Radnofsky, 7/24).Politico: Race May Sway Virginia Medicaid ExpansionYou won’t see it listed on the ballot, but a major piece of Obamacare could be decided by Virginia voters this November. The fate of the Medicaid expansion in Virginia could hinge on whether Democrat Terry McAuliffe or Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli — who boosted his national profile with his fight against the health care law — moves into the governor’s mansion next year. And the preliminary skirmishes already have drawn tea party attention (Millman, 7/25).NPR: Full-Time Vs. Part-Time Workers: Restaurants Weigh ObamacareMany businesses that don’t offer health insurance to all their employees breathed a sigh of relief earlier this month when they learned they’d have an extra year to comply with the new health care law or face stiff penalties (Ydstie, 7/24).The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog: Our Data On Health Premiums Has Been Pretty Bad. Not Anymore. On Monday, the Government Accountability Office sent back a thick stack of insurance data, broken down by state, explaining the cost of health insurance. Analysts there used data from HealthCare.Gov, a new site created under the Affordable Care Act where insurers post their offerings and how much they cost. The database, the GAO analysts admit, isn’t perfect. About 20 percent of insurers don’t post their plan data, which means we’re missing about one-fifth of the marketplace. There’s no enrollment data, which means some of the options listed may not have any subscribers. Still, this is probably the best data set we have on insurance premiums so far (Kliff, 7/24).The New York Times: Don’t Shift Payments by Medicare, Panel SaysAdjusting Medicare payments to reward doctors and hospitals in regions that provide high-quality care at low cost would be a bad idea, the National Academy of Sciences said Wednesday. After a three-year study, the academy’s Institute of Medicine rebuffed arguments by members of Congress from states like Minnesota and Iowa who say Medicare has shortchanged their health care providers for decades (Pear, 7/24).Los Angeles Times: WellPoint Earnings Jump 24% In Second-Quarter As Medical Costs DropWellPoint Inc., the country’s second-largest insurer, beat Wall Street expectations with a second-quarter profit jump of 24% as lower medical costs partly helped the Indianapolis company post strong results. “We are pleased with our second-quarter results and encouraged by the positive momentum we have across the organization,” said Joseph Swedish, WellPoint’s chief executive since March (Lopez, 7/24).The Associated Press/Washington Post: WellPoint’s 2nd Quarter Profit Soars 24 Pct; Insurer Details Overhaul Growth PossibilitiesShares of WellPoint Inc. hit an all-time high Wednesday, after the nation’s second-largest health insurer trounced second-quarter earnings expectations and detailed how it expects to benefit from the health care overhaul and other growth opportunities over the next few years. The Indianapolis company’s stock had already climbed 44 percent so far this year as of Tuesday, as investors have grown more comfortable with both the insurer’s current performance and how the overhaul will affect it (7/24).The Wall Street Journal: Meet The CEO With Most At Stake In Health LawNow four months into his stint atop the second-biggest U.S. insurer, Mr. Swedish is working to deliver. It is a tall order for the veteran hospital leader, 62 years old, who hasn’t been an executive at a health plan before. Much of the federal overhaul law goes into effect next year, and WellPoint may be the company with the most at stake. “It’s a revolutionary time in health care,” Mr. Swedish said in an interview. “We’ve got to get this right” (Mathews, 7/24).Los Angeles Times: Kaiser’s Rising Premiums Spark Employer BacklashFor years, Kaiser Permanente has won accolades for delivering high-quality care at an affordable price. The Oakland company’s unique HMO model kept a lid on costs, and big employers flocked to enroll their workers to the point that Kaiser has become the largest health plan in California, grabbing more than 40% of the market (Terhune, 7/24).The New York Times: Mental Health Cuts In Utah Leave Patients AdriftStill, the changes have shaken providers and recipients of mental health care in Utah while testing the resilience of its safety net as hundreds of Medicaid patients try to find new psychiatrists and counselors and wonder who will fill their next prescription. Some patients said they felt whipsawed by the shift, and were reluctant to part with counselors or support groups they had known for a decade or more (Healy, 7/24).Politico: Marco Rubio Wants To Be Lead Sponsor On Anti-Abortion BillSen. Marco Rubio said unequivocally Wednesday that he hopes to be the lead sponsor of a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks. “If someone else would like to do it instead of me, I’m more than happy to consider it. But I’d like to be the lead sponsor,” the Florida Republican said. “I feel very strongly about this issue. And I’d like to be the lead sponsor on it if we can find language that we can unify people behind” (Everett, 7/24).The Washington Post: Lawmakers Won’t Weigh In On Chartered Health Plan SettlementHow do you spend $48 million in unbudgeted taxpayer money without getting an OK from elected lawmakers? In the District of Columbia, there’s pretty much only one way, and that’s the way Mayor Vincent C. Gray is proposing to settle a high-stakes dispute with D.C. Chartered Health Plan. Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro confirmed Wednesday that the plan is to pay the District’s share of the settlement — a little over $35 million, with federal Medicaid dollars accounting for the rest — out of the city’s contingency cash reserve (DeBonis, 7/24). last_img read more

Risk Corridors Become Key GOP AntiHealth Law Talking Point

first_imgDuring a hearing of the House Oversight And Government Reform Committee, Republicans tagged this provision as an insurance industry bailout despite Congressional Budget Office projections cited by Democrats that it ultimately will collect billions of dollars from insurers rather than paying them money.  The Washington Post: Republicans Take Aim At Health-Care Provision; CBO Chief Forecasts Reduced Unemployment Congressional Republicans took aim Wednesday at a provision of the health-care law that they claim amounts to “an insurance company bailout,” using a House oversight hearing to push for the measure’s repeal. In a separate House committee hearing, Democrats countered what has emerged as a key GOP talking point by eliciting testimony from the Congressional Budget Office director that the Affordable Care Act would reduce unemployment over the next few years by boosting overall demand for goods and services (Branigin, 2/5). Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Hill Republicans Hammer Health Law’s ‘Risk Corridors’Republicans labeled the provision a bailout for insurers despite projections it will raise $8 billion. Kaiser Health News staff writers Julie Appleby and Mary Agnes Carey look at the latest GOP attack on the law (2/5). The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: CBO Estimate on ‘Health Corridors’ Doesn’t Change GOP ConcernsRepublicans lawmakers weren’t swayed by Tuesday’s Congressional Budget Office report that seemed to exonerate the “risk corridor” provision in the Affordable Care Act – a provision many Republicans have called a bailout for insurance companies. The CBO estimated the government would actually collect about $8 billion rather than pay money to insurance companies. Previously, it had projected no returns for the government. At a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday, Republicans continued to press for legislation to undo the provision, which had been designed to reduce the financial risk to insurers who sold health care plans on the new exchanges (Corbett Dooren, 2/5). NPR: Obamacare Opponents Open New Front For Debate In ‘Risk Corridors’Some Republicans have begun to demand the repeal of a key feature in the president’s health care law, which protects insurance companies taking part, in exchange for agreeing to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. But according to Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf, the so-called “risk corridors” actually benefit the Treasury, rather than costing taxpayers money (Welna, 2/5).  ‘Risk Corridors’ Become Key GOP Anti-Health Law Talking Point This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Flurry Of Bills Target Ongoing Troubles At VA

first_img 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 chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans committees said Thursday the future of an over-budget VA hospital under construction in Denver is unclear because the Veterans Affairs Department hasn’t come up with an acceptable plan for funding it. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida also criticized the VA for not punishing those responsible for the overrun. The rare joint statement shows how unhappy Congress is with the project and with the VA’s response. (Elliott, 5/15) Flurry Of Bills Target Ongoing Troubles At VA From taking back bonuses to enacting collective bargaining rights, The Washington Post rounds up changes lawmakers propose for the Department of Veterans Affairs. And The Associated Press reports on the debate over the Denver VA hospital construction project that has run out of money. The Associated Press: Lawmakers: Future Of Over-Budget Denver VA Hospital Unclear center_img More than a year after a scandal erupted over the cover-up of long wait times at VA care facilities, the effort to reform the agency is a long way from finished. The flurry of legislation that started shortly after the cover-up was exposed continues, often with VA employees the target. The bills reveal differing congressional philosophies but don’t always break along party lines. And the first law to emerge in the wake of the scandal is now the subject of a constitutional challenge. (Davidson, 5/14) The Washington Post: VA Remains Work In Progress Year After Scandal Broke last_img read more

NIH Wooed Alcohol Industry To Foot Bill For Study That Could Show

first_img The nematode worm known as C. elegans is only a millimeter long and leads what appears to be a fairly dull existence. It eats bacteria, wriggles around and reaches adulthood in three days. “It consists basically of two tubes, one inside the other,” the English biologist John Sulston wrote in a memoir. Although some colleagues thought he was wasting time, Dr. Sulston for years spent up to eight hours a day peering through microscopes at these worms. His findings on the genetics of worms won him a Nobel Prize for physiology in 2002. (Hagerty, 3/16) Jill Sherrill stepped on the scale at her gym and blanched. Her weight had slipped, again. In the previous 10 months, Sherrill, who is 5-foot-5, had lost 22 pounds without trying. Her friends had urged her to consult her doctor about worsening digestive problems, but for a variety of reasons Sherrill had opted to treat herself. But on that day in August 2015, the reading — 112 pounds — “scared me to death. I thought, ‘Oh, my God, I’m dying,’ ” she recalled. (Boodman, 3/17) This spring, the National Institutes of Health will start recruiting participants for one of the most ambitious medical projects ever envisioned. The goal is to find one million people in the United States, from all walks of life and all racial and ethnic groups, who are willing to have their genomes sequenced, and to provide their medical records and regular blood samples. (Kolata, 3/19) It was going to be a study that could change the American diet, a huge clinical trial that might well deliver all the medical evidence needed to recommend a daily alcoholic drink as part of a healthy lifestyle. That was how two prominent scientists and a senior federal health official pitched the project during a presentation at the luxurious Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., in 2014. And the audience members who were being asked to help pay for the $100 million study seemed receptive: They were all liquor company executives. (Rabin, 3/17) In intriguing research, a team of scientists may have discovered the earliest age at which a person can reason logically: 12 months .For decades, psychologists have considered language a necessary and essential indicator of inferential thinking — the complex ability to “read between the lines,” to reason one’s way to a correct interpretation of an event when the evidence is not obvious. As recently as 2014, experiments by prominent developmental psychologists suggested such thinking began between 3 and 5 years of age. (Nutt, 3/17) The New York Times: Federal Agency Courted Alcohol Industry To Fund Study On Benefits Of Moderate Drinking After a flurry of similar news coverage was widely shared this week, NASA put out a statement on Thursday to set things straight: Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly are just as much twins as they were before Scott went to space. “Scott’s DNA did not fundamentally change,” the space agency said. “What researchers did observe are changes in gene expression, which is how your body reacts to your environment. This likely is within the range for humans under stress, such as mountain climbing or SCUBA diving.” (Victor, 3/16) The Wall Street Journal: Sulston’s Work On Lowly Worm Led To Major Role In Mapping Human Genome Pop quiz: What’s the third most common cancer?If you’re stumped, you’re not alone. The answer is colorectal cancer, a type of cancer that can be silent. Yet it’s the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. March is Colorectal Cancer Month, so it’s a good time to brush up on your knowledge about symptoms and screenings. (Blakemore, 3/18) Laura and Josh Ledbetter know they have only have a few years left, at the most, until their 5-year-old son, Grayson, dies. A year ago, Grayson was diagnosed with Alexander disease, an extremely rare type of leukodystrophy that destroys the white matter that protects the nerve fibers in the brain, resulting in debilitating mental and physical delays, and in most cases, death by age 10. It’s a disease so rare that only about 500 cases have been reported since 1949. (Moss, 3/17) In the days since Stephen Hawking’s death, obituaries have described him as being “confined” or “chained” to a wheelchair, as someone who “overcame” his disability and succeeded in spite of it. None of those things are true. Stephen Hawking had a disability, and Stephen Hawking used a wheelchair. His work was possible because of those things, not in spite of them. (Roy, 3/16) NIH Wooed Alcohol Industry To Foot Bill For Study That Could Show Benefits Of Daily Drinking The fundraising may have violated National Institutes of Health policy, which prohibits employees from soliciting or suggesting donations, funds or other resources intended to support activities. In other public health news: colorectal cancer, Stephen Hawking, the human genome, second-hand marijuana smoke, maternal health, and more. Lawmakers in California will begin debate next month on a bill that would require doctors to screen new moms for mental health problems — once while they’re pregnant and again after they give birth. But many obstetricians and pediatricians bristle at the idea, saying they are afraid to screen new moms for depression and anxiety. “What are you going to do with those people who screen positive?” said Dr. Laura Sirott, an OB-GYN who practices in Pasadena. “Some providers have nowhere to send them.” (Dembosky, 3,19) Los Angeles Times: Erasing Stephen Hawking’s Disability Erases An Important Part Of Who He Was The New York Times: The Struggle To Build A Massive ‘Biobank’ Of Patient Data center_img The Washington Post: Alexander Disease Afflicts Their Little Boy, And A Family Fights Back NPR: Marijuana’s Secondhand Smoke Poses Risks To Heart And Lungs The New York Times: Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly Are Still Identical Twins, Despite What You May Have Read Kaiser Health News: Docs Worry There’s ‘Nowhere To Send’ New And Expectant Moms With Depression Columbus Dispatch: Report: Racial Disparity In Homelessness Not Just Result Of Poverty Black people are dramatically overrepresented in both the national and local homeless populations, and the inequity is too vast to chalk up to poverty alone. That’s the key finding in a report released last week that examines the relationship between race and homelessness in the United States. (Price, 3/17) As the elderly population in the United States grows, an increasing number of people require extra help in their daily lives. Because of this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment for home health aides will grow 40% between 2016 and 2026. …Luckily, there are federally and state-funded programs across the country that allow elderly individuals like [Celina] Raddatz’s mother to use Medicaid funds to hire their own personal caregivers – including family members. (Monahan, 3/18) The inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCartney concert a few years ago in San Francisco. “People in front of me started lighting up and then other people started lighting up,” says Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco. “And for a few naive split seconds I was thinking to myself, ‘Hey, they can’t smoke in AT&T Park! I’m sure that’s not allowed.’ And then I realized that it was all marijuana.” (Ortega-Welch, 3/19) The Washington Post: Can A 1-Year-Old Reason Like A Scientist? Yes, New Research Concludes. The Washington Post: Colorectal Cancer Month Draws Attention To Deadly And Silent Disease WBUR: More Than A Job: Home Care For A Mom With Alzheimer’s Disease The Washington Post: Swallowing Hurt, Her Digestion Was Bad, And Doctors Didn’t Know Why This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

The Honor 20 Pro will borrow a key feature from the Huawei

first_img What is the Honor 20 Pro?Honor is a bargain hunter’s phone brand. It makes phones at all prices bar those hovering around iPhone XS money, and in each cost category Honor tends to offer more tech per penny that almost anyone else.The Honor 20 Pro is one of the priciest models the brand has made to date, much like the Honor View 20.It has a less controversial finish, a new triple camera array and a smaller screen. The appeal is much the same though; you get a lot of phone for your money.However, it’s currently hard to recommend thanks to the recent US legal action against Huawei, which also affects Honor. We can’t be sure the phone will be getting updates beyond August. That’s why this review doesn’t have a score. Honor has, however, said this phone will receive the Android Q update later in the year. Honor 20 Pro — DesignThe Honor 20 Pro has the kind of higher-end design that phones sport before they tip over into prices we would have found unthinkable a few years ago.It’s metal and glass, but only the back is particularly curvy. The front glass is flat aside from its “2.5D” smoothed-off edges.Such a look may be less immediately impressive than the Huawei P30 Pro’s, but there are benefits. A flat screen does not condense reflections into a small area like a curved one.I switched to the Honor 20 Pro after using the OnePlus 7 Pro. The OnePlus looks and feels more expensive, but many of you may get on with the Honor better. It’s a relatively pocket and hand-friendly size.Honor has also inadvertently toned down the finish this time. The Honor 20 Pro has a shiny finish, but a layer below the rear glass scatters light so you don’t see reflections of your face as clearly.It looks great. And there are no chevrons, which I initially found hard to stomach in the otherwise excellent Honor View 20, this phone’s predecessor.I also find it hard not to be impressed by the sheer amount of storage in the Honor 20 Pro. It has 256GB, the same as the SSD in the MacBook Pro I used daily.Go wild, download as much Netlix and Spotify content as you like, or try out that huge data-hungry game you think may well be dreadful. There’s no burden aside from that placed on your data or home internet allowance, as it’s hard to use up all 256GB.There’s what looks like a classic odd Honor hardware addition too, an IR blaster. This lets you control your TV with the phone, although there’s no preinstalled app and the popular AnyMote app reports the Honor 20 Pro does not have an IR blaster, suggesting it may be disabled. It could also theoretically be an ambient light sensor, but blocking it has no effect on display brightness.And the finger scanner? Most Honor phones have scanners on their rears. The Honor 20 Pro has one on its side, a style Sony made (slightly) popular.I prefer the rear style, but this is a very good take on a side-loaded scanner. It’s well-indented so you can feel where your thumb needs to go without having to look. The pad doubles as a power button. And you don’t need to press it to take the Honor 20 Pro out of standby. Just rest your thumb on the pad and you’re usually sent to the home screen in a fraction of a second.However, there are no fingerprint scanner gestures. You can’t bring down the the notifications bar with a pad swipe, as you can in some phones.The Honor 20 Pro does not have a headphone jack either, now the sad standard for high-end phones. You do get an adapter in the box, though.Honor 20 Pro — ScreenThe Honor View 20 was the first phone I used with a punch hole screen. It seemed exotic back then and the Honor 20 Pro has more-or-less the same take on the concept.A little black ring at the top left of the screen accommodates the selfie camera. Annoyed by that blob in display? Your other options at the price are phones with a notch or a motorised front camera.A punch hole seems more reliable than a motorised camera, and cheaper, but it’s no friend to ultra-wide video. It takes a chunk out of cinema-aspect video made to fill the screen. However, most online video is still optimised for 16:9 widescreen. Unless you crop into the footage, 16:9 video won’t touch the punch hole anyway.The display quality is excellent. It’s a Full HD-grade screen, but it makes me wonder why a display this size really needs any higher pixel density.It looks sharp until you look closer than most ever would, the display is fairly bright and reacts quickly to changes in ambient light. The Honor 20 Pro is far too saturated for my tastes when first switched on. This is only because it defaults to its “vivid” colour mode. You can switch to the “normal” mode in settings, for a more balanced character.This is still more saturated than classic industry standard sRGB. But that looks anaemic to everyone but miserable old puritans these days.Honor 20 Pro — SoftwareHonor calls its Android software Magic UI. Right now, in May 2019, it’s almost identical to the EMUI of Huawei phones.In 12 months’ time that may have changed. But for now this software is very similar to that of the Huawei P30 Pro.The apps menu looks perhaps a little stilted next to the Google Pixel 3a XL’s. You may want to move away from the default theme, as it’s not one of Honor’s best. It looks a touch garish. And years on I’m still not a fan of this software’s approach to the app drawer, being that there isn’t one unless you dig into settings to add the apps screen.I’d suggest doing so, but friends who have ended up with Huawei and Honor phones have disagreed.Personal inclinations have a particularly strong influence on how you’ll perceive an interface. But the Honor 20 Pro handles the less subjective basics well.Magic UI is responsive, there’s no obvious lag. You get a “flagship” phone experience with the Honor, and you have a right to expect it. This phone isn’s exactly cheap.Its actual hardware is solid for the price. It beats the Pixel 3a XL, but not the OnePlus 7 .You get a Kirin 980 CPU, the same used in most expensive Huawei phones at the time of the the Honor 20 Pro’s launch. It has four Cortex-A76 cores and four A55s. The more popular Qualcomm chipsets now use “Kryo” cores, but the faster of these are actually based on the Cortex-A76 seen here.Honor seems to have blocked Geekbench 4 installs on this Honor 20 Pro review unit. This is likely an attempt to avoid comparisons with the new crop of mid-price phones that use the Snapdragon 855. Judging by the many other Kirin 980 phones I’ve used in the past, an 855 CPU phone like the OnePlus 7 will achieve a score around 10-15% higher.As the Honor 20 Pro is one of the slightly more affordable phones with a high-end CPU, this disparity does not matter hugely. There’s another difference to note too.The Honor 20 Pro has a much weaker CPU than the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 , and here the gulf is huge. A 10-core Mali-G76 graphics chipset is the Kirin 980 GPU. The OnePlus 7 has an Adreno 640, which is almost 40% more powerful.The Kirin 980’s GPU was already less powerful than the last generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. If you’re into console emulation, or want future-proofing for games two years down the line, the OnePlus 7 and Asus ZenFone 6 beat the Honor 20 Pro.However, right now it’s actually tricky to find conventional Android games that really show up this difference in performance. Ark: Survival Evolved is one of the best examples, and it struggles a little when maxed-out here.Honor 20 Pro — CameraHonor and Huawei like to get tech early, and really pile it on when they get a chance. The Honor 20 is packed with rear cameras. There are four of them.However, think of this as a triple camera array with a skin tag that happens to take photos. The fourth one is a dedicated macro shooter. I love this concept, as a lot of the best phone cameras don’t actually let you get that close to your subject.This one isn’t much use, though. It has a fixed focus lens, with a focus distance of around 4cm. But the only way to tell if the subject is in the right spot is through the preview image, which is tricky at the best of times and a gamble on a bright day when the display has to compete with a lot of light.The Honor 20 Pro macro camera needs focus peaking, where the in-focus parts of an image are outlined in white (or another colour) to show they are crisp. And even if you do nail the focus, details in the image never look sharp as the macro has a low-res 2-megapixel sensor.I find you somtimes get better results using the normal camera and judicious cropping. Hopefully Honor and Huawei will explore this macro concept in future phones though, as it’s an interesting one.The Honor 20 Pro’s other cameras are a holiday snapper’s delight. It has a 3x 8-megapixel zoom, 48-megapixel main camera and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide. It’s just what I have hoped for: a cheaper take on the Huawei P30 Pro camera.Everything’s a little cut-down, of course. The zoom is 3x rather than 5x, the wide takes slightly worse-looking images and has a fixed focus. The P30 Pro can actually take macro-style shots with its wide too.Most important of the lot, the Honor 20 Pro has the 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor, a very high-res but presumably fairly low cost chip, considering the £279 Motorola One Vision has it too. This sensor sounds better than it actually is, but thanks to the Huawei/Honor image processing and software flexibility, it’s the best application I’ve seen of it to date.Honor handles its 48-megapixel camera better than the OnePlus 7 Pro, and better than the Asus ZenFone 6.For example: this sensor is designed to capture 12-megapixel pictures, but phones tend to let you take 48-megapixel images too. This is usually a bit pointless. What extra detail there is often seems the result of processing. The Honor 20 Pro does a much better job. Sure, its 48MP AI Ultra Clarity mode doesn’t match the P30 Pro’s full-res mode, but it does make car number plates that are a small mush of pixels at 12MP readable at 48MP.Unlike the OnePlus 7 Pro, full res images get proper dynamic range enhancement too.To get a feel for the Honor 20 Pro’s normal image quality, I went on a shoot with it and the Pixel 3A XL. It caused waves recently as it has the same sensor as the pricey Pixel 3 XL.These two phones’ styles are quite different. The Honor images look more processed. They are smoother down at pixel level, but there’s a lot of like about the extra punch and colour clarity the final JPEGs have. Purists might prefer the Pixel, but in fine-grain natural textures the Honor can actually beat the Pixel at times, retaining more of a sense of the sea of stalks in a field of long grass.Use the 48MP AI Ultra Clarity and the processed look recedes a bit too, as there’s no more downscaling involved.You can also use the Honor 20 Pro’s great night mode with all three of the primary cameras. Not used an Honor/Huawei night mode before? It takes 5-7 seconds to capture an image, but you can do so handheld as it combines a bunch of quick exposures rather than using a single long one.Auto mode night shooting is fairly good, but the Night mode improves dynamic range and reduces noise, with a slight reduction in sharpness in most cases. It’s a fair trade-off, and one you see in the Huawei P30 Pro too.The Honor 20 Pro is also the first phone I’ve used with an f/1.4 lens. This is a dramatically wide aperture that lets in more light than just about any other phone, and that aperture is all the more impressive given it sits in front of a fairly large 1/2-inch sensor.However, I can see why other phone-makers have not used this lens to date. At night it reacts rather wildly to strong light sources (street lamps, essentially), causing light smears and arcs across the image. I tried wiping down the lens covering on several occasions, as a greasy lens can cause such effects, but the unwanted light bloom was still there.The sky is filled with UFOs: unexpected flare objectsIt suggests the optical quality of the f/1.4 lens isn’t the best. But the effect can actually look rather neat in some situations, and the Honor 20 Pro’s night mode is able to render slightly better fine detail using its Night mode than either the OnePlus 7 Pro or Asus ZenFone 6.Some other common Huawei/Honor issues remain too. Images without a skyline to act as a brightness reference can often benefit from an exposure reduction of up to 1.5 to 2ev. That’s a lot: the Honor 20 Pro is a bit obsessed with bright images, but trees and leaves look better with the correct exposure. You can tweak this with the exposure slider the appears when you choose the focus point.Here are some sample images taken with the Honor 20 Pro:Zoom lenses have a neat effect other than the zoomed view: a neat flattened perspective you can’t get by moving closerThe subject isolation of the Aperture mode set to f/0.95 is off the charts 5x zoom shots don’t bear cropping, but they do help you keep away from beesAnother example of the zoom’s cool-looking flattened perspectiveDynamic range boosting is excellent, like other top Honor and Huawei phonesThe ultra-wide gives buildings an imposing “looming” characterOne other complaint; the camera housing sticks out to an almost alarming extent. You’ll graze the glass cover if you are not careful. And dust gathers around its border within hours even if you are.There are a couple of video compromises too. The Honor 20 Pro shoots video at 4K resolution, but only at 30fps, not 60fps. However, this 30fps does use software image stabilisation. I’d argue that 60fps 4K modes aren’t particularly useful unless they have decent stabilisation.The Honor 20 Pro also lets you skip between 1x, 0.6x, 3x and 5x views mid-capture. It’s on-the-fly editing, a pretty neat extra.Its front camera has the same 32-megapixel sensor we saw in the View 20. This is one of the better selfie cameras at any price, as it appears to use invisible pixel binning to make your snaps clear no matter the light conditions. Why “invisible”? The final image files are still the same resolution, but the quality of the low-light selfies suggest sensor pixels team up behind the scenes to increase the sensor’s sensitivity.Honor 20 Pro — Battery LifeThe Honor 20 Pro has a 4000mAh battery. You get quick charging, but no wireless charging, and stamina is at the same excellent level I’ve come to expect from top Honor and Huawei phones.I spent one day of testing in Valencia, and then travelling back to London. That was a 6:45am start (in UK time), a 12am finish, and a lot of Google Maps navigation, podcast streaming, TripAdvisor-ing and photo-snapping in-between. It still had around 20% charge left by the end.On a lighter day, a breezy Sunday when I just streamed a couple of podcasts and used the phone to Citymapper-navigate to meet a friend in London, it finished the night with a whopping 58% charge left. At 4pm the next day it was still at 20%.You can rely on the Honor 20 Pro to last a full day of fairly heavy use, and I have noticed no overly aggressive power management techniques. It doesn’t close down audio apps as you listen, which has happened in previous Honor/Huawei phones.Should I buy the Honor 20 Pro?The Honor 20 Pro is an excellent phone that combines some high-end specs with a price less intimidating than the Huawei P30 Pro’s or Samsung Galaxy S10’s.If you want maxed-out gaming power, you’re better off with a OnePlus 7. And the Asus ZenFone 6 has both more power, a larger battery and more eye-catching motorised camera.However, we’d rather take the Honor 20 Pro on holiday as a camera-replacer. Its zoom and wide cameras are good, and Honor squeezes more out of the 48-megapixel main camera than either OnePlus or Asus.Rather useless macro camera aside, the Honor 20 Pro gets it “just right”. It has the right hardware, isn’t worryingly large, lands at a fair price and looks more tasteful than some Honors.However, at the phone’s launch it’s hard to recommend any Honor phones, thanks to the potentially catastrophic effect of Huawei’s Android blacklisting.VerdictA great phone with terribly unfortunate timing 6.2-inch display, FHD+ Kirin 980 Four rear cameras 4000 mAh battery Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think – send your emails to the Editor. A ’hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only – it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy. center_img Key Specifications First Impressions The Honor 20 Pro is an excellent phone that combines some high-end specs with a price less intimidating than the Huawei P30 Pro’s or Samsung Galaxy S10’s.If you want maxed-out gaming power, you’re better off with a OnePlus 7. And the Asus ZenFone 6 has both more power, a larger battery and more eye-catching motorised camera.last_img read more

Green Deals 4pack Retrofit Recessed LED Lights 1450 more

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Otronics (99% positive feedback) via Amazon offers a four-pack of 5-inch Retro-fit Recessed 5000K LED Lights for $14.45 shipped when promo code PE58DFL3 is applied during checkout. That’s good for nearly $20 off the regular going rate and the best offer we’ve seen. If you’re looking to start 2019 off with some more energy-conscious lights consider upgrading to these LED alternatives. Perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. Just unscrew your existing fixture and these kits will slide right in. Rated 4.5/5 stars. more…The post Green Deals: 4-pack Retro-fit Recessed LED Lights $14.50, more appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

AllNew 2019 Peugeot e208 Revealed With 211Mile Range

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News Peugeot Presents New ‘e-MOTION’ Electric Brand Signature The supermini brings improvements on all counts and introduces a first-ever electric variant.Less than a month after Renault introduced the fifth-generation Clio, another French marque is unveiling its all-new supermini ahead of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show debut where the two will clash.Redesigned from the ground up, the Peugeot 208 is arguably one of the most attractive models in Europe’s crowded B segment. It’s more than just a pretty face as PSA’s overhauled subcompact hatchback has gone through skin-deep changes and added an electric variant too. 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered PHEV Concept Revealed 3 photos More Peugeot News As indicated by numerous spy shots showing partially camouflaged prototypes, the 2019 Peugeot 208 takes after the stylish 508 fastback when it comes to the exterior design.Gas, diesel and now even electric – But only electric here on InsideEVsPeugeot is eager to show the fully electric e-208, with 136 hp and instant torque of 260 Newton-meters (192 pound-feet) on tap. It sits on the related e-CMP platform and has enough electric punch to hit 62 mph (100 kph) from a standstill in a decent 8.1 seconds when in sport mode. Alternatively, there’s a normal mode for day-to-day use, and an eco mode when you want to maximize efficiency to get the highest possible range.You’ll be happy to hear the 50-kWh battery pack is installed underneath the cargo floor, which means it won’t negatively impact the luggage area. The e-208 offers the same 220 liters (7.76 cubic feet) of volume as the conventionally powered model and has enough juice for 340 km (211 miles) as per the more realistic WLTP or 450 km (280 miles) using NEDC.When it comes to recharging the battery, it takes eight hours when using a 7.4-kW charger or 5 hours and 15 minutes when feeding on an 11-kW charger. Where available, the new e-208 can recharge 80 percent of its battery in only 30 minutes thanks to 100-kW rapid charging. Peugeot guarantees the battery pack will still have 70 percent of its capacity after eight years or 160,000 km (99,420 miles).Peugeot will sell the revamped 208 in Access, Active, Allure, GT Line, and GT trims, plus the zero-emissions e-208.For more on the other versions of the new 208, head over to Motor1 by clicking here.Here’s a look at the electric version: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 25, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News First Leaked Images Of Peugeot e208 Electric Car Slip Outlast_img read more

Watch Tesla Model 3 Sentry Mode Catch Thieves On Camera Video

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 12, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News The footage of the break-ins was shared exclusively with the Now You Know YouTube channel, who have shared it with the world. Unfortunately, the faces of the perps have been digitized. Therefore, any armchair detectives out there are unlikely to solve these particular crimes.When armed, Sentry Mode is in a “Standby” state. However, if the car’s cameras catch someone suspiciously close, or the vehicle is leaned on, it saves the footage the car’s cameras have been capturing ten minutes prior to being set off. The front touchscreen shows a message warning would-be thieves they are on camera. If someone breaks the window, as happened here, it is supposed to then move to “Alarm” mode. Additionally, it should begin blasting out Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue” at max volume. Then, it sends the owner an alert through the Tesla app.Why No Alarm?Apparently, the ne’er-do-wells in the clip above have a pretty soft window-breaking touch, as the alarm does not go off when they break the glass. Score one for the bad guys. Still, their faces were apparently captured quite well, as was the vehicle they arrived in. When the authorities finally catch up with them, it’s quite possible these vehicle break-and-enters will be added to their list of crimes.As Tesla stated when they rolled out the feature, “…no alarm system can prevent against all vehicle thefts, break-ins and threats…” Certainly, they were right about that. If the detection of window breaking isn’t quite up to snuff, it is possible that the automaker can improve the system with an over-the-air update.Hopefully, the next time we have this type of video to share, we’ll have news of an arrest.Source: YouTube Tesla Model 3, Model S, & X Dashcam With Sentry Mode Updated Tesla Model 3 Sentry Mode Drains How Much Of Battery: Video A Sentry Mode first?Tesla rolled out Sentry Mode just about a month ago. Now we have the first footage of it capturing actual thieves in the act. In the video above (you’ll have to fast-forward to the 11:37 mark) the crooks are caught sneaking up on two different vehicles, breaking the small rear window, and making their escape.More Sentry Mode Info Does Tesla Sentry Mode Even Work? It’s So Loud! Videolast_img read more