Moto X4 leak shows a very shiny midranger

first_imgThe Moto Z2 Force is definitely Motorola’s star for this year, but not many will be able to afford it. There might be some who might not care for a shatterproof but easily scratched screen or Moto Mods they may never use anyway. For those users, Motorola might have something prepared this August 24 in the way of the Moto X4. With just days left to spare, a new leak comes out finally showing what the smartphone will look like, glossy black back and all. By the end of the year, Motorola would have had a dozen distinct smartphone models on its portfolio. Some are completely new letters of its alphabet, while others are variations of lines that have existed before. The Moto X4 is one of the latter, named that way for being the fourth gen “X” model, and it seems that it was designed to make anyone who looks at it know that.The leak pretty much confirms renders that have been leaked before, though perhaps a bit shinier than what those images suggested. It’s unlikely to be premium glass though, considering this isn’t a mid-range phone. Not being part of the “Z” family, the Moto X4 lacks the dots to connect to Moto Mods, but it also allows the back to curve at the edge. The iconic Motorola “bat wing” logo also seems painted on rather than the usual dimple.The dual camera design is a bit interesting. It has a noticeable bump like Motorola’s other smartphones, but doesn’t resemble the Moto 360’s “flat tire” design found on, say, the Moto Z2 Force. Instead, it was crafted in such a way that you could almost see an “X” thanks to how the light lands and reflects on its surface. Those cameras will supposedly be made up of a 12 megapixel and 8 megapixel combo.The rest of the Moto X4’s specs might otherwise be ordinary. It will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor with 3 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, though there will also be a 4 GB RAM and 64 GB option in some markets. The Moto X4 could sell for around $400, if and when Motorola decides to bring it to the US.VIA: +Jerry Yinlast_img read more

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ESPN mobile app gets Watch tab and better personalization

first_imgESPN has released an update for its iOS and Android mobile app that brings a new ‘Watch’ tab for livestreaming events. The update ultimately improves discoverability and personalization within the app, making it easier for users to find and watch what they like best. The app is now sitting at version 5.10, and it likewise sports a greater number of on-demand content, namely ESPN3 replays. In addition to the personalization tweaks, the new app is increasing discoverability by giving non-authenticated users access to a 10-minute livestream preview, as well as info on upcoming schedules and top live content recommendations. Finally, the app has increased the amount of on-demand content users have access to via the addition of replays from ESPN3; these join the long-form videos and game highlights.Talking about this, ESPN’s SVP of Product & Digital Media Ryan Spoon said:Today’s ESPN App update is a continued step forward for our video experience. Over the last few months, personalized and live video has made its way to the App’s home screen – and billions of videos have been viewed. Today, video gets its own home with a new ‘Watch’ tab. It’s a curated experience that showcases live video, replays, video clips, and content collections. Considering the vast collection of games, shows and clips, it’s an example of something only ESPN can do.SOURCE: ESPN Media Zone ESPN announced the new update earlier today, saying that the big change here is the improvement in both discoverability and personalization. The home screen, once users update, now presents videos and stories that are tailored to the user’s favorite teams. This itself builds upon the personalized live streams that arrived on users’ home screens in the 5.9 update.last_img read more

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Google yanks YouTube from Amazon Echo Show citing ToS violation

first_imgAmazon’s screen-toting incarnation of Alexa has just gotten less useful. Well, depending on what you were using the Amazon Echo Show for. If you were mostly using it for watching YouTube videos, which, admittedly, is an odd case for a more or less stationary and limited tablet, then you are in for a rude awakening. Both companies have confirmed that, yes, YouTube has been pulled out of the Echo Show without prior warning to users. And, yes, both companies are blaming the other for it. To be fair, the Echo Show isn’t exactly a general purpose tablet that happened to just be permanently mounted to a stationary frame. It is, first and foremost, just a visual face for Alexa and a way for Amazon to display shopping images and, secondarily, video calls.That you could watch cooking demos and instructables is almost like a side effect of having a screen that can access the Internet. Now that use case has just been cut down nearly at its roots, with Google removing YouTube from the device. It’s reason? A violation of YouTube’s terms of services.According to Google, Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show is broken. It doesn’t offer the same level of features and control that YouTube officially offers on other platforms and devices. On the Echo Show, users can simply search and play videos and nothing else. That’s as much as what Amazon wants you to be able to do on the Echo Show.According to Amazon, Google pulled out YouTube without explanation and without prior notification. Google says it has been in negotiations with Amazon for a long time, trying to, and obviously failing, to reach an acceptable agreement. It’s a he said, she said war that, unfortunately leaves users, not the companies, as the casualties.VIA: The Vergelast_img read more

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Whatsapp exploit can give a glimpse of your sleep chatting habits

first_imgBefore sounding the alarm, it should be noted that the exploit is actually very superficial on some level. It can’t give others access to your messages and other information that you have chosen to withhold from the public. And the vulnerability seems to also only work if the targets are already in your contacts list. Meaning whoever is spying on you is someone you probably already know.What the exploit does reveal, in just 4 lines of Javascript code wrapped in a Google Chrome browser extension, is your online status. If you didn’t configure your settings right, it will also reveal your “Last seen” time as well. And yes, these might seem like very mundane information, but, to an enterprising mind, it could be a data treasure trove begging to be mined.The vulnerability was publicized by Robert Heaton, famous for his other disclosures of privacy vulnerabilities involving social networks like Facebook and Tinder. The scenario he paints is almost comical but nonetheless plausible. By gathering data over contacts’ online and, if lucky, last seen statuses over time, one can establish not just use pattern but even sleep pattern. This is especially relevant considering how users these days usually only go offline when they sleep (if at all). The data can even be used to correlate who talks to whom, though it’s a less exact science.This issue stems from a rather simple fact that users’ online status is publicly available to any other contact. While there is some privacy control over the last seen status, there is nothing similar for plain online/offline states, making it almost too easy for anyone of your contacts to start stalking you on WhatsApp.SOURCE: Robert Heaton WhatsApp, despite its claims to privacy and end-to-end encryption, has never really recovered from the scandals that plagued it, especially after its acquisition by Facebook. This recently discovered vulnerability doesn’t help it either, especially when it can, amusingly or not, be used to establish infidelity. All that from an exploit that allows others to see your online and last seen status, which can eventually be correlated to your sleeping patterns and who you might be chatting with.last_img read more

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7 signs of Apples iPhone power management in action

first_imgApple found itself in hot water with slowing iPhones, and today’s apology for how it communicated the iOS power management system is its attempt to patch things up with frustrated users. Battery chemistry may be inescapable – it’s a fact of scientific life that lithium-ion batteries will age and get less effective – but iPhone owners weren’t impressed at hearing some of the slowdown symptoms they’ve observed were intentionally added. So, just what does Apple’s power management system look like in action? Like anything with a li-ion battery, the iPhone is at the mercy of impedance. As a battery ages, its impedance increases, and that affects how much of a charge it can hold, and how quickly it can supply that charge to the device it’s powering. In the case of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE, users were complaining that their phones were unexpectedly shutting down, right when they were using them. Turns out, the higher power demands of some more system-intensive tasks were outstripping what the older, higher-impedance batteries could deliver. That triggered a safety shutdown of the iPhone. Apple’s fix – first added to iOS 10.2.1 in January 2017 – was a power management system that managed things like processor loading, sometimes delaying processing in order to avoid a shutdown situation.What’s also clear is that this power management isn’t going anywhere. Apple may have apologized for how it communicated the launch of the system, but it’s not planning on making any changes to how it actually handles reducing battery performance as iPhones age. Indeed, it’s doubling-down on plans to continue rolling the system out to newer devices: the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus came under the power management umbrella with the release of iOS 11.2, and it’s fair to assume the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X will eventually too. AdChoices广告With that said, it’s worth knowing what, exactly, Apple’s power management system looks like when it’s actually taking affect on your iPhone. That way, if you see some of these particular symptoms, you might get some insight into whether you’re having a software problem or whether it’s a sign of a battery that could be worth replacing under the newly discounted, $29 out-of-warranty program that will run through 2018. According to Apple, these are some of the “more extreme forms” that you could spot taking place:• It takes longer to launch your apps• The frame rate while scrolling is lowered, so it won’t look as smooth• The backlight dims (though you can manually increase it in Control Center)• The speaker is quieter (Apple says by up to -3 dB)• The frame rate in some apps is gradually reduced, so they may not seem as smooth• Apps running and refreshing in the background might need to be reloaded when you switch back to them• The camera flash is disabledIt’s important to note that the power management may not be permanent. That’s because it’s dependent on a variety of factors, not just the age of the battery. If, for example, your iPhone battery is low and the current temperature is low – toward the end of the day in winter conditions, perhaps – then the power management changes will be temporary.If, however, it’s the chemical age of the battery which is giving iOS concern, the power management changes are unlikely to be switched off. To do that, you’ll need to change the battery in the phone. At the same time, there are some areas of performance which Apple says absolutely won’t be impacted by its power management. Cellular call quality and networking performance shouldn’t be changed, and neither should your iPhone’s GPS accuracy or that of its other location systems. The iPhone’s sensors – like its gyroscope, accelerometer, and barometer – are unaffected, as is Apple Pay. Finally, the photos and videos you capture won’t be at any lower quality. Should you be observing any of those issues on your iPhone, it’s fair to say that Apple’s power management system isn’t to blame. Sometimes just doing a full reboot is enough to clear up any minor gremlins, like network connectivity, but other times a full restore is required. If in doubt, it’s best to contact Apple Support. Story TimelineApple’s good reason for slowing old iPhones won’t helpApple faces lawsuit over purposely slowing down older iPhonesApple has been slowing old iPhones and South Korea wants answersApple sued for slow iPhone planned-obsolescence in Francelast_img read more

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Galaxy Note 9 may replace your PC with just a USBC cord

first_imgStory TimelineGalaxy Note 9 could have new 10nm 8GB LPDDR4X RAMSamsung teases Galaxy Note 9’s big batteryAll Galaxy Note 9 preview videos out at once: Battery, Storage, SpeedFortnite for Android might be a timed Galaxy Note 9 exclusive There’s a feature in the Samsung Galaxy S9, most recently, which allows Samsung phones to be their own miniature PC replacements. It’s called DeX, aka Dockless Desktop, and it’s actually pretty neat. It wasn’t perfect the last time we took a closer look at it*, but it was certainly on the right track. Now, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, there’s a real possibility that DeX will become a whole lot easier to get into right out the box. Have a peek at our feature from JC Torres: Galaxy Note 8 and DeX – one month later: I almost ditched my PC. With the Galaxy Note 8, users needed to roll with a special little dock to get DeX running. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, that’s no longer a requirement. Or at least that’s what WinFuture’s Roland Quandt suggested this afternoon. Now, to make proper use of the DeX desktop experience, one should really have a keyboard and a separate mouse – but they’re not absolutely necessary. The dock will probably still work, and the dock will probably still be ideal. But this newest Galaxy Note 9 DeX system requires only a USB-C converter to HDMI. The connection is made with an external display just like a PC, but with USB-C instead of an HDMI-to-HDMI cord.It’s likely the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be promoted as an amazingly efficient machine, as previous DeX phones required the dock in order to stay cool while in DeX mode. With the Galaxy Note 9, that’s apparently not necessary. This means the battery stays cool, the processor stays cool, everything stays cool.AdChoices广告The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is suggested to be appearing on the 9th of August, 2018. Therein, Samsung will reveal the Galaxy Note 9 and will put the device up for preorder within the following week. The device will then go on sale, according to rumors, on the 24th of August, 2018. Pricing of the device was tipped earlier this week to be anywhere between $1000 and $1300 USD (or thereabouts). That’s the least of the versions of the device to the most extravagant, mostly based on internal storage. This device will appear in at least three colors and will be available in most countries around the world.last_img read more

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2018 Acura TLX V6 ASpec First Drive Millennialminded

first_imgOther changes include a new front fascia, side-sill garnishes, a rear fascia with new diffuser and 4-inch round, exposed tailpipes, and a rear spoiler. The shark-gray 19-inch wheels are handsome, while the A-Spec badging is fairly subtle. I suspect most people will opt for black or one of the silvers, but the Still Night Blue Pearl is new to the 2018 car (and exclusive to the A-Spec) and looks fantastic in sunlight. What you don’t get is any change to the engines, transmissions, or body frame. Power from the 3.5-liter V6 stays at 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft. of torque. The TLX A-Spec does stiffen up the damping rates a little, add larger stabilizer bars, a quicker steering ratio, and throw on Michelin 245/40R19 tires with wider contact patches and stiffer sidewalls, but they’re subtle improvements nonetheless. Indeed, the change you’ll probably notice most often is the increase in engine sound in the cabin. Acura is upfront about the fact that it’s electronically assisted – it’s tough, after all, to bring in the welcome soundtrack of hard driving while simultaneously keeping out less appreciated elements like road noise – and has doubled-down on the system for the A-Spec. Whereas the regular car uses only the front speakers for its enhancements, in the A-Spec the rear speakers join in too. While I know purists decry the practice, Acura’s artificial enhancement is better than most I’ve heard. There’s a healthy growl under hard acceleration, but without making conversation in the cabin impossible. Moving between the A-Spec and the V6 Advance, the latter’s soundtrack seemed lackluster in comparison. The A-Spec also has a marked improvement in steering feel over its sibling. There’s a welcome precision to the system, even if the chunky steering wheel itself is unnecessarily chubby at the 9 and 3 positions. Switch to Sport+ mode and the 9-speed automatic holds more tenaciously onto its lower gears, a welcome thing indeed considering the i-VTEC engine’s peak power doesn’t arrive until you’ve coaxed it up to 6,200 rpm. The whole thing is smooth and easy to drive; certainly on the user-friendly end of “sports sedan” spectrum, and it takes a determined right foot to unlock the full performance. Acura’s big change to the dashboard is in its infotainment system, with the promise of swifter performance and a cleaner UI. In practice, it’s better, though it’s still not the best. Arguably the most obvious change is the glass-topped capacitive touchscreen, which is smoother under your fingertip and feels more responsive. The performance improvements are all down to software, rather than hardware upgrades. Unfortunately, Acura tells me there are no current plans for existing TLX owners to update their own cars to the newer version. It’s a shame, because it’s definitely perkier, though the interface design itself still underwhelms with its somber colors and dated graphics. At least the practicality side has taken a big step forward. As before, you get two displays – one larger, up near the top of the dashboard to keep your navigation information closer to your eyeliner, and the second, smaller touchscreen in the center console for navigating multimedia and HVAC settings. Acura has been a little more consistent in what gets shown on what display now, meaning the standard-fit Android Auto and Apple CarPlay get to dominate the upper screen while the lower one stays dedicated to the car’s core features. It works, though it does mean you have to navigate your smartphone-projected UI with the dial in the center stack, rather than reaching out and touching it. Sadly the ergonomically-pleasing trackpad shown off in the Acura Precision Cockpit concept still hasn’t made it to the road. There’s no head-up display option, and the LCD squeezed in-between the analog dials ahead of the driver is on the small side. Overall, the cabin feels sturdy but not entirely inspiring. Acura’s leather and Alcantara seats are comfortable and supportive, and detailing like the contrast stitching is neatly done, but the dashboard controls still feel more plasticky than I’d prefer. It’s a testament to Honda that it has so comprehensively closed the gap in interiors between cars like the Civic and Accord and what Acura is doing; that simply raises the bar for its premium cousin. On the tech side, it’s a mixed bag. There’s now surround-view camera vision for a 360-degree perspective of the car, and wireless phone charging in the center console, on the V6 Advance trim and up. Yet there’s no 4G LTE WiFi hotspot option, and only a single USB port. What you do get as standard is AcuraWatch across all model-year 2018 TLX. That includes autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and road departure mitigation. It’s a huge amount more safety technology than rival cars offer even as paid options. Indeed, it’s value for money where the 2018 TLX really shines. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder starts at $33,000, a $1k increase over the old car but with a lot more standard kit; the V6 starts at $36,200, while the V6 Tech trim is $39,900. Contrary to what you might expect, the V6 A-Spec is actually based off the Tech trim – though it adds ventilated front seats, wireless charging, and front/rear parking sensors – at $42,800, while the V6 Advance is $43,750. Any V6-engined car can have Acura’s excellent SH-AWD system with its torque-vectoring for $2k. “We are recalibrating the brand, if you will, back to its roots of Precision Crafted Performance,” Acura’s Ikeda says of the 2018 TLX. “We are a performance brand, that’s where our roots are … that’s where our heritage is.” It’s not unambitious in its rivalries, either: according to the automaker, TLX buyers will be cross-shopping with Audi’s A4, Mercedes’ C300, BMW’s 330i, Lexus’ IS Turbo, and Infiniti’s Q50. What the Acura lacks in brand cachet compared to the Germans, it makes up for in standard equipment. Some will be happy with that compromise; others will have their heart set on putting a BMW on their drive, and be willing to sacrifice luxury kit in order to do so. Personally, I prefer how the A4 drives, and while Acura points out that only the TLX offers an enthusiast-favored V6 in that bracket, the counter-argument is that turbocharged four-pots have gained traction not least for their economical gains. Acura isn’t confirming EPA economy for the 2018 car yet, but the outgoing V6 SH-AWD comes in at 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. The 2.0-liter A4 quattro beats those by 2-3 mpg. Is the 2018 Acura TLX competitive? Yes, certainly. It’s not the clean sweep the automaker might be hoping for, but after a wavering focus it’s a welcome thing to see Acura rediscover some of what made it appealing when it launched three decades ago. Now, it just needs to expand that driving focus and enthusiasm across the rest of its range. Acura is three decades old, and with the 2018 TLX it’s looking for like-minded Millennials. Latest in the automaker’s line-up to bear the redesigned corporate grille, the new TLX also debuts an A-Spec version that builds on that nose-job with a sharper, more aggressive body kit. Acura‘s target is clear: it wants to be the sports sedan of choice for youthful drivers wanting bang-for-their-buck that the Germans just don’t deliver. There’s plenty said about the value of a “halo car” like the NSX, but according to Acura it’s not just lip-service. “When people are on our website, looking at the NSX, the number one car they go and check out after is the TLX,” Jon Ikeda, VP and general manager of Acura America. “We need to make sure that our sedans, that they’ll be looking at, have that connection.”That means making the whole car more memorable. Everything from the A-pillar forward is new sheet metal. The bold new grill takes its cues from the 2016 Acura Precision Concept, replacing the plastic beak of old with a gaping trapezoidal grin. On the A-Spec TLX, it’s finished with matte black diamond mesh and a black chrome surround; not everyone who saw it like it, true, but I’d rather Acura push the envelope rather than play it safe – and invariably bland – as it has in the past.center_img 2018 Acura TLX V6 A-Spec Gallerylast_img read more

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2018 Ford F150 pickup bestseller gets tow and mpg boost

first_imgThe entry-level 3.3-liter V6 has been updated, with torque up 12 lb-ft. over last year to 265 lb-ft. Its economy has nudged up, too, with Ford saying it’ll do 2 mpg better in 4×2 configuration overall, while the 4×4 version gets a point improvement in the city and combined. Still, if you want the best numbers, then you need an EcoBoost.Ford offers three of those on the 2018 F-150. The 2.7-liter offers the same 325 HP as before, but torque is up 25 lb-ft. to 400 lb-ft. On the 4×2 model, you’re looking at 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. The 4×4 does slightly worse, with 19 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined. As standard, it’s paired with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission.If it’s maximum towing you’re interested in, mind, you’ll need the larger of the EcoBoost pair. Ford’s second-gem 3.5-liter turbocharged engine is now rated for 13,200 pounds of towing capacity – best in its class, Ford crows – and offers a diesel-besting 470 lb-ft. of torque. It’s almost 1,000 pounds more towing ability compared to the outgoing model, indeed, though there are no economy improvements unlike with the smaller EcoBoost.That’s not to say Ford is eschewing diesel altogether. Come the spring, the 2018 F-150 will be offered with a homegrown 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbo diesel V6. No word on power or economy for the new engine, mind. It’s not Ford’s only unusual powertrain decision either, with plans for an electrified F-150 hybrid in 2020.NOW READ: 2017 F-150 Raptor ReviewMeanwhile, 2018 also brings some added extras for the pickup. There’s a new adaptive cruise control system with support for bringing the F-150 to a complete stop, as a paid upgrade, along with pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection. A 4G LTE modem with WiFi hotspot is offered as an option too, along with a B&O PLAY audio system. Throw in some styling tweaks, and you’ve got Ford’s play for the 2018 truck segment. Pricing for the updated model hasn’t been detailed yet, though it’ll arrive in dealerships this fall. Ford is pushing fuel economy and towing capabilities with the 2018 F-150, insisting that the aluminum-bodied truck can offer the best of both worlds. Detailed today, the updated F-150 can credit Ford‘s second-generation EcoBoost engine for the economy improvement. That finally nudges city miles per gallon into the twenties – albeit only just.last_img read more

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2018 Nissan Leaf EPA range reveals good news and bad

first_imgStory Timeline2018 Nissan Leaf revealed: 150 miles range, and we’ve driven itNissan Leaf NISMO and Serena NISMO concepts to debut in Tokyo Nissan’s 2018 Leaf has just received its official economy figures from the EPA, and there’s good news and bad for the electric car. Revealed back in September 2017, the new Leaf promised to be more powerful and increase range compared to its popular predecessor, as well as boost the amount of technology available in the cabin. At the time, Nissan said the 2018 Leaf should run 150 miles on a single charge. According to the official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) numbers, in fact, that was ever so slightly conservative. The 2018 Leaf’s official range there is 151 miles. Of course, with a 40 kWh battery, the increase in distance that the Leaf should run doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The previous car was offered with 24 kWh and 30 kWh battery packs, with 84 mile and 107 mile ranges respectively. However, that increase for the 2018 Leaf does come with a downside.MPGe – or miles per gallon equivalent – has fallen compared to the older cars, presumably because of the extra weight involved in that beefier battery. The new 2018 Leaf is rated for 125 MPGe in the city and 100 MPGe on the highway, for a total of 112 MPGe combined. AdChoices广告In contrast, the old 24 kWh Leaf was rated at 126 MPGe city, 101 MPGe highway, and 114 MPGe combined. The 30 kWh Leaf did 124 MPGe city, 101 MPGe highway, and 112 MPGe combined. Whichever the car, you’re looking at 30 kWh per 100 miles of energy consumption. Nissan does have an even larger battery on the roadmap, though that’s not expected to arrive until 2019 at the earliest. It’ll offer 60 kWh, suggesting a total range of around 200 miles. At that point it’ll start to be competitive with Chevrolet’s Bolt EV and the Tesla Model 3, though both of those rivals will go significantly further on a full charge (though also cost more, too). It’s that price-per-mile balance that Nissan is seemingly targeting. The 2018 Leaf EV kicks off at $29,990 for the entry-level Leaf S trim, rising to $32,490 for the Leaf SV, and $36,200 for the Leaf SL. There’s a $885 destination charge on top of that, certainly, but federal and state incentives could take a sizable bite out of the overall cost. Considering 150 miles is probably comfortably into the “safe zone” for many drivers otherwise experiencing range anxiety, that may make give the 2018 Leaf the edge it needs. last_img read more

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McLaren BP23 hybrid is a 243 mph 3seat HyperGT

first_imgWhat we do know is that it’ll be fast – very fast indeed. At least 243 mph, indeed, thus exceeding the top speed of the McLaren F1. Final performance numbers will, again, be shared closer to launch. However, the BP23 won’t be some stripped-out racer. Unlike the McLaren Senna, the automaker’s recently-unveiled road-going race car which leaves carbon-fiber and metal exposed in the name of shedding weight, the new car should be the most luxurious the company has ever made, it says. That’s fitting for the latest addition to the McLaren Ultimate Series, but there’s one specific cabin detail which we’re particularly enthusiastic about.AdChoices广告That’s the fact that the new Hyper-GT will be a three-seater. Like the F1, it’ll have a central driving position, with the driver’s seat pushed forward ahead of two, flanking passenger seats. We’ll have to wait until the end of the year to see the final car, and production isn’t expected to begin until the end of 2019. No point getting out your credit card, though. McLaren says that the entire BP23 production – just 106 cars – have already been allocated, with the automaker’s special-operations team, MSO, working with each customer to tailor their car to their specific requirements. Each will be priced at £1.6m ($2.2m) before tax. McLaren’s current line-up of supercars certainly isn’t shabby, but aficionados of the automaker have a special spot in their heart for the McLaren F1. The iconic road car broke speed records back in 1998 and set new heights in engineering with its lavish use of carbon-fiber and more. Now, the company is bringing some of that F1 magic back, in the shape of the McLaren BP23 Hyper-GT. So far all we have are a few details and teasers of the car, but it’s still enough to get very, very excited. The BP23 name is, currently, only a codename; McLaren says that the final name will be announced closer to its release, though it won’t follow the same alphanumeric pattern of the current Sports Series and Super Series cars.It will be a gas-electric hybrid, pairing electric motors with a gasoline engine. That’s something McLaren has done before with the P1, its limited run of 375 hybrids that were produced between 2013 and 2015, and which sold for $1.35m apiece. That car combined a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 with an electric motor for a total of 903 horsepower, though it’s unknown at this point what sort of system McLaren has in mind for the new BP23. center_img Story TimelineMcLaren MSO X is road-legal bespoke madness inspired by GT4McLaren Senna detailed as British supercar taunts physics2018 McLaren 720S Review: Beware the Britishlast_img read more

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Pablo Escobars brother pours fuel on the flamethrower feud with Elon Musk

first_img Editors’ Recommendations It sounds like utter madness, but you can now buy a flamethrower drone Tesla will have ‘autonomous robotaxis’ in 2020, Elon Musk says Insiders claim the Tesla Model S nearly became the long-rumored Apple car Elon Musk’s Neuralink wants to start operating on human brains next year 6 questions we have about Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain interface technology Dan Baker/Digital TrendsRemember Elon Musk’s “Not a Flamethrower” from last year? Pablo Escobar’s brother Roberto recently launched his own eerily similar product, a device he said looks almost identical because Musk stole the idea from him and then beat him to market. He told Digital Trends that he expects Musk to pay him $100 million for the idea or else he’ll take Musk to court. Escobar, brother and former accountant of the infamous drug lord, told us that he made a deal with the Tesla and SpaceX CEO to launch the device under the Tesla umbrella. In exchange, Escobar said Musk was supposed to pay him 20% of the profits.“Then he changed the name to ‘Not a Flamethrower’ to avoid any type of deal we had,” Escobar, who is also the founder of Escobar Inc., said. Last February, Musk said he changed the name because many customs agencies would not allow him to ship anything labeled “flamethrower.”Apparently, some customs agencies are saying they won’t allow shipment of anything called a “Flamethrower”. To solve this, we are renaming it “Not a Flamethrower”.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 2, 2018Escobar didn’t provide us with any proof of the deal, but if Musk doesn’t pay up, he’s prepared to take the issue to the courts.“That 20% is now worth about $2 million,” Escobar said. “However due to his slander, and due to his non-payment, we are requesting $100 million.”“I do not mind [becoming] the new CEO of Tesla if we win a judgment in the courts,” said Escobar. “I am sure that I could run Tesla into profits.”According to him, Tesla engineers visited in mid-2017 where they discussed a toy flamethrower that could be used to “burn money.” Nothing came of that particular conversation; however, in early 2018 Musk launched “Not a Flamethrower” through The Boring Company, which angered Escobar.center_img Dan Baker/Digital TrendsNow he wants Musk to give him $100 million in cash or Tesla stock for the alleged theft of international property.For some perspective: Musk only made 20,000 flamethrowers, which at $500 a pop means he only made about $10 million on the device, minus the cost of actually making the product. That’s a bit less than the $100 million Escobar is asking for.Escobar Inc’s flamethrower has an exceptionally similar design to Musk’s and also retails for $500, although it’s on sale now for the low price of $250.For what it’s worth, Digital Trends reviewed The Boring Company’s flamethrower in September. It wasn’t a bad way to cook your food.“It is very clear that Mr. Musk has done wrong here, we are assuming that he will settle with us at any moment now. Our flamethrower is a far superior product as evidenced by videos that are now going viral, his is simply not cutting it,” Daniel Reitberg, COO of Escobar Inc., told Digital Trends. “That is what happens when you try to copy someone. It looks good, but the functionality is just not there. Some people may think that is small, but imagine what else Mr. Musk may be doing behind the whole world’s back?”Escobar added that thing Musk isn’t doing is running Tesla well — and he has some business insights to share from Colombia.“Nobody is using Tesla here,” Escobar said. Dan Baker/Digital Trends“I heard some people in Mexico use it to transport drugs with autopilot,” he added, though he didn’t provide any evidence.As for what Musk should do about it, “I think Elon needs to clear all of his business issues and take Tesla and his life more seriously,” said Escobar. “But start with sending me $100 million.” This isn’t the first time Escobar has demanded cash from a major tech company: he demanded one billion dollars from Netflix over the show Narcos, which he claimed was somehow inspired by his brother’s life. He eventually gave up that quest in January 2018.We’ve reached out to The Boring Company for comment, but they’ve yet to respond. However, earlier today Musk issued his own comment of sorts via Twitter: “It’s Not a Flamethrower, Mr. Escobar.”It’s Not a Flamethrower, Mr Escobar https://t.co/TXH02nixIc— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 11, 2019Regardless, Escobar said he expects to receive his $100 million.“We are not going to settle for anything less than that,” he said. “We will take shares. Tesla Inc shares are OK.”last_img read more

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Digital Trends Live Facebooks cryprocurrency Walmart deliveries and more

first_imgOn this episode of Digital Trends Live, host Greg Nibler is joined by Senior News Editor Mathew Katz to discuss the biggest news in tech, including Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, J.J. Abrams’ $500 million deal with WarnerMedia, Walmart’s grocery delivery service, new A.I. that can detect manipulated photos, and more.We then talk to Netta Dor Shalgi, founder and designer of G-RO,  about the company’s new carry-on luggage, which uses innovative standards to meet the traveling challenges of the 21st Century. Karen Panetta, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Fellow and dean of graduate engineering at Tufts University, then joins us to talk about the health of our oceans, and new ways to create a better oceanic ecosystem, from garbage cleanup to power generation.Finally, Howard Nuk and Dennis Miloseski, co-founders of Palm, discuss their latest stand-alone smartphone, and how smaller devices can be a fit with active users and teens. Editors’ Recommendationscenter_img Digital Trends Live: Tesla taxis, NYC auto show, and Sony’s 8K TV Digital Trends Live: Google and Huawei, Alphabet’s meatball drones, and more Digital Trends Live: Facebook F8 wrap-up, iPhone 11 mock-ups, and more Digital Trends Live: Pixel 4 images, Samsung’s Wall TV, Uber’s skyports Digital Trends Live: Alexa knows where you live, lab-grown meat, and morelast_img read more

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Federal Government Insurers Partner In Fight Against Health Fraud

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. Federal Government, Insurers Partner In Fight Against Health Fraud HHS and private insurance companies will share raw data and investigations to try to stop billions of dollars in fraud.The Associated Press: Gov’t Stepping Up Fight Against Health Care FraudStepping up their game against health care fraud, the Obama administration and major insurers announced Thursday they will share raw data and investigative know-how on a scale not previously seen to try to shut off billions of dollars in questionable payments. At a White House event with insurance executives, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the new public-private partnership will allow government programs and the insurance industry to take the high ground against scam artists constantly poking the system for weaknesses (Smith and Alonso-Zaldivar, 7/26).NPR: Feds And Health Insurers Partner To Fight FraudThe Obama administration is enlisting new allies to fight health care fraud: insurers. Today the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice announced a partnership with more than a dozen health insurers and industry groups to nip fraudulent schemes in the bud, instead of tracking down bad guys after the fact (Rovner, 7/26).USA Today: Companies, Government To Share Health InfoIn the past, privacy laws have prevented such a partnership, but the Department of Health and Human Services and the insurers will scrub out patients’ personal information from the bills to address privacy concerns. They can then look for fraud trends and use those to stop recurrences (Kennedy, 7/26).Reuters: Government Signs On Insurers To Fight Health Care FraudSpeaking from the White House at a table surrounded by leaders from many of the country’s biggest health insurers, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder launched the new initiative, which builds on past efforts to root out crimes that cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars every year (Ebrahim, 7/26).Medpage Today: HHS, Private Groups Team Up In Fraud FightThe partnership will allow public and private groups to share information as well as best practices to help detect fraud and prevent payment of fraudulent bills, HHS said in a statement, noting that the goal is to stop health care scams that “cut across a number of public and private payers” (Frieden, 7/26).last_img read more

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States Consider Licensing Dental Therapists To Fill Cavities — And Care Gap

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. States Consider Licensing Dental Therapists To Fill Cavities — And Care Gap A shortage of dentists spurred Minnesota to license dental therapists, and several other states may follow suit, USA Today reports. Meanwhile, a health plan in rural South Dakota and Minnesota is hiring Native American healers as consultants.USA Today: Dental Therapists Aim To Fill Dental-Care GapWith a growing number of people on medical assistance or without insurance needing dental care and an insufficient number of dentists, “The need for dental therapists is huge,” says (Megan) Meyer, among the first nine graduates of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry’s Dental Therapy program in 2011. The school’s second graduating class of nine students received their degrees earlier this month. … Although Minnesota is currently the only state to license dental therapists, a number of others, including California, Kansas, Maine and New Hampshire, are considering such midlevel providers (Healy, 1/2).The Associated Press: Sanford To Hire 2 Native American HealersThe country’s largest rural, nonprofit hospital system is hiring two traditional Native American healers to train medical staff in the Dakotas and Minnesota in an effort to better serve the American Indian patient population. Sanford Health is in the process of hiring a Lakota/Dakota and an Ojibwe to serve as consultants as part of a three-year $12 million Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services award, said Read Sulik, Sanford’s senior vice president for Behavioral Health Services. “Being where we’re located in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota, we realized we serve perhaps the largest American Indian population in a health system outside of Indian Health Services of probably any other system in the country, given where we’re located across the northern Plains,” Sulik said, noting that Native Americans as a group have some of the biggest health disparities in the country (Eaton, 1/2).last_img read more

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What Do Moms Librarians And Local Officials Have In Common

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. What Do Moms, Librarians And Local Officials Have In Common? News outlets report on how a range of organizations and professions could play a role in advancing the Obama administration’s effort to get more people to enroll in the health insurance that will become available as a result of the health law. Politico: Obamacare: Because Mom Said SoAll those groups trying to get the “young, invincible” 20-somethings to sign up for Obamacare health insurance have identified a secret weapon. Mom. Advocacy groups from “Moms Rising” to AARP are working to reach the healthy, young adults who don’t think they need insurance — and their mothers who think they do. The groups plan to use everything from paid advertising — to guilt (Kenen, 6/29).The Associated Press: Librarians To Help With Health LawThe nation’s librarians will be recruited to help people get signed up for insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Up to 17,000 U.S. libraries will be part of the effort to get information and crucial computer time to the millions of uninsured Americans who need to get coverage under the law (Johnson, 6/29).The New York Times: Local Officials Asked To Help On Health LawThe White House is recruiting mayors, county commissioners and other local officials to promote and carry out President Obama’s health care law in states like Florida and Texas, where governors are hostile to it. The effort comes as the administration is intensifying its campaign to publicize new health insurance options and to persuade consumers, especially healthy young people, to sign up for coverage when open enrollment starts on Oct. 1 (Pear, 6/29).The Hill: Report: White House Looks to Local Officials To Promote ObamaCareThe White House is turning to local officials to help educate the public on the benefits of health care reform as the law takes effect, the New York Times is reporting. Faced with opposition from Republican governors in states like Texas and Florida, the White House is hoping that going around those officials will help educate the public on the benefits of a law that remains murky for many Americans (Jaffe, 6/29).Politico: 5 Messaging Challenges For ObamacareObamacare won’t have a shot at success unless millions of people sign up for insurance — the healthy as well as the sick. For that to happen, the White House and its allies will need to make the case that coverage is worth it for the estimated 50 million people who haven’t been able to afford or access insurance. Supporters are planning to spend tens of millions of dollars to persuade people to get covered under new health insurance options and explain how to sign up. … Here are five of the messaging challenges they face (Millman and Kenen, 6/30).last_img read more

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Obama Campaigns For Health Law In Advance Of Oct 1 Launch

first_imgPresident Barack Obama is slated to speak about the health law again today, this time at a Maryland community college, in an effort to “cut through all the noise.” Meanwhile, the White House stressed that next week’s launch of new online insurance exchanges will include glitches — but that the exchanges will open whether the federal government is shut down or not.Politico: A Final Pitch For ObamacareIt began earlier this week in a public conversation with former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative’s conference in New York, and Obama promises to borrow a note from Clinton’s lecture style Thursday by delving into a detailed explanation of how the new health exchanges work. In between, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) seized national attention with a 21-hour Senate floor oratory aimed at calling attention to quixotic GOP demands that Obama hamstring his own health care law in exchange for Republicans voting to keep the government open and pay the nation’s debts. “The president will cut through all the noise coming out of Washington,” a White House official said of the short trip to the Largo, Md., campus, which is a 14-mile car ride from the White House (Allen, 9/26).CBS News: Obama Continues Touting Health Law As Kickoff Approaches With just five days to go before the Affordable Care Act hits another major milestone, President Obama is keeping up his efforts to raise awareness about the health law’s benefits and counter the ongoing conservative campaign against it. The president will deliver a speech at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md., on Thursday, according to the White House, “to lay out one of the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America: having access to affordable health care that you can count on” (Condon, 9/26). The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama To Promote Health Law, Urge Public To Get Insurance Through Exchanges Opening Next WeekPresident Barack Obama is promoting the benefits of his health care law before new insurance exchanges open for business next week. The White House says Obama will explain Thursday how Americans can comparison shop for insurance that meets their needs. He plans to tell an audience at a community college in Largo, Md., that they’ll have lots of options, including plans that are affordable on a variety of budgets (9/26).Politico: W.H. Lowers Expectations For Obamacare Launch Americans probably won’t flock to sign up for Obamacare coverage in October or even in November — and the White House doesn’t expect them to, a top Obama adviser said Wednesday. Enrollment will go through lots of ebbs and flows over the six-month enrollment period rather than remaining steady, communications adviser David Simas told reporters during a 45-minute interview at an event sponsored by Third Way, where he downplayed the Obama administration’s expectations for the law’s rollout starting next week (Cunningham, 9/25). Dallas Morning News: White House: Health Insurance Enrollment Will Have Glitches, But Won’t Be StoppedThe White House on Wednesday said that next week’s launch of the health insurance exchanges won’t go forward without snafus — but that they will launch whether the federal government is shut down or not. “Newsflash: There will be glitches. When glitches occur, we will fix them,” said David Simas, special assistant to the president. “But the phones will be opened and manned, government shut down or no government shut down” (Lindenberger, 9/25). The Associated Press/Washington Post: Health Care Rollout Would Proceed If Government Shuts Down, Uninsured Would Still Get CoveredA partial government shutdown next week would leave the major parts of the law in place and rolling along, according to former Democratic and Republican budget officials, as well as the Obama administration itself. Health care markets for the uninsured would open as scheduled on Tuesday. Deleting the money to implement the law, the GOP’s dream scenario, would indeed cripple Obamacare. But that’s much less likely to happen than a government shutdown. Obama wouldn’t allow the ruin of his hard-fought namesake legislation (9/26). Obama Campaigns For Health Law In Advance Of Oct. 1 Launch 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

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First Edition April 1 2014

first_imgFirst Edition: April 1, 2014 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including an array of stories as the health law’s enrollment period comes to a close:Kaiser Health News: Burnt Out Primary Care Docs Are Voting With Their FeetReporting for Kaiser Health News in collaboration with The Washington Post, Roni Caryn Rabin writes: “Physician stress has always been a fact of life. But anecdotal reports and studies suggest a significant increase in the level of discontent-especially among primary care doctors who serve at the frontlines of medicine and play a critical role in coordinating patient care” (Rabin, 4/1). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Insuring Your Health: Community Health Centers May Provide Services For Those Who Remain UninsuredKaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: “If you’re uninsured, you may have run out of time. Yesterday was the formal deadline to sign up for health insurance on the marketplaces or face a penalty, unless you were already “in-line” for enrollment. Still, people who missed the cutoff or couldn’t buy insurance have options to get the health care services they need. But doing so may not be simple or assured” (Andrews, 4/1). Read the column.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Healthcare.gov Woes Frustrate In-Person Helpers Around The Country; For California’s Uninsured, A Rush To The FinishNow on the blog, Kaiser Health News provides a collection of updates on enrollment developments from a variety of states: “Last minute health insurance shoppers nationwide turned up in record numbers online Monday, and they also showed up in person at clinics, county health departments and libraries to sign up for Obamacare on the last official day of open enrollment. Here are dispatches from public radio reporters in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Houston — three of the 36 states that are using healthcare.gov — and Minnesota, which has one of the most troubled state-run marketplaces” (4/1).In addition, Anna Gorman reports on enrollment information from California: “Uninsured Californians flocked to shopping malls, beauty salons, clinics and libraries Monday to meet the deadline for enrolling in health coverage. The website of the state-run insurance exchange, coveredca.com, was so inundated that officials directed some consumers who began online applications to return later to complete them. The state was seeing a ‘huge surge’ in last-minute applications, with more than 150,000 people signing up in the last week, Peter Lee, executive director of the exchange said Monday. More applications were started on Sunday than any other day since Oct. 1, when open enrollment began on the nation’s insurance exchanges” (Gorman, 4/1). Check out what else is on the blog.Kaiser Health News: For A Family With Job-Based Insurance, Premium Subsidies Fall Far Short Of PromisesWriting for Kaiser Health News, Kathie Platt explains her family’s first-hand experience with health insurance: “On Monday, the first open enrollment period for the new Affordable Care Act will close, and the opportunity to sign up for health insurance will not reopen again until November. For our family, President Barack Obama’s promise to make health insurance “affordable and available to every single American” has not come true” (Platt, 3/31). Read the story.The Associated Press/Washington Post: Deadline Brings High Interest For Health InsuranceThe last-minute rush was expected to significantly boost the number of Americans gaining coverage under the new law, and government officials told The Associated Press late Monday that they were on track to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance by the deadline. But the months ahead will show whether the Affordable Care Act will meet its mandate to provide affordable health care coverage or whether high deductibles, paperwork snags and narrow physician networks make it a bust (4/1).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Obama Sees Health-Care Sign-Ups Nearing 7 MillionLast Thursday, the White House announced that more than six million people had signed up for private health coverage through state and federal insurance exchanges. That figure surpassed the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s revised estimate that six million people would enroll, down from its initial forecast of seven million. Monday is the final day of enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. If an insufficient number of people sign up, or not the right mix, the law won’t work effectively because insurers may end up with too few healthier members to offset the costs of less-healthy enrollees (Favole, 3/31).Politico: Obamacare Enrollment Period Ends With Massive SurgeThe first open enrollment season of Obamacare ended at midnight Monday, a day that saw millions of Americans click onto Obamacare sign-up portals, dial into call centers and stand in long lines at assistance sites nationwide. The huge surge made it increasingly likely that enrollment would hit 7 million, the finish line that seemed out of reach during much of the often rocky six-month period. Shortly after 10 p.m., the Associated Press cited two sources that said sign-ups were “on track” to hit 7 million. Administration officials wouldn’t confirm the number but said that signs were pointing in that direction (Kenen and Cheney, 4/1).The Wall Street Journal: New Technical Woes Hobble Health-Insurance Sign-Ups At Zero HourNew problems in the federal health-insurance website stymied some of the hundreds of thousands of Americans trying to sign up at the last minute, prompting health plans and officials to brace for the complex task of enrolling people after Monday’s official deadline. The HealthCare.gov site for 36 states that have about 33 million uninsured people went down shortly after midnight Sunday and remained unusable until about 7:45 a.m. EDT Monday, a person familiar with the matter said. It was hit by a second problem around noon EDT that prevented new users from creating accounts, while some people who already had accounts were unable to log in, this person said (Ante and Radnofsky, 3/31).The New York Times: Health Website Failures Impede Signup Surge As Deadline NearsA frenzied last-minute scramble to sign up for health insurance overloaded phone lines and temporarily overwhelmed the website of the federal marketplace on Monday, as hundreds of thousands of people around the country raced to beat the deadline to obtain coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Pear, 3/31).The Washington Post: Healthcare.gov Stumbles On Deadline Day As Consumers Race To Sign Up For InsuranceThe first six-month window for Americans to gain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act closed on Monday with large numbers of consumers speeding to get coverage at the last minute. Some of them encountered obstacles as HealthCare.gov, the main enrollment Web site, faltered on and off throughout the day (Goldstein and Sun, 3/31).NPR: Cause For Hope And Frustration In the Shadow Of ACA DeadlineAs the Affordable Care Act’s midnight deadline draws near, there has been a surge in last-minute signups. The heavy traffic has caused both glitches in the website and optimism from some forecasters (Horsley, 3/31).The New York Times: Last-Day Rush Causes Another Malfunction Of HealthCare.govFor a second time on Monday, the federal website where consumers can sign up for medical coverage under President Obama’s health care law unexpectedly stopped taking applications. It is the last day of open enrollment for the year (Joachim, 3/31).Los Angeles Times: California Gives Further Reprieve For Obamacare Sign-UpsOverrun by last-minute demand for Obamacare coverage, California gave many consumers until April 15 to enroll as thousands of people across the nation endured long lines and website troubles. Despite the problems, the late surge in sign-ups was a substantial boost to President Obama’s signature law, particularly after such a disastrous launch in October (Terhune, Levey and Karlamangla, 3/31).Los Angeles Times: Celebrities Assist White House In Final Obamacare PushWith hours before the deadline to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the White House pulled out all the stops – fueling its final drive with celebrity tweets, an appearance by Vice President Joe Biden on the Rachael Ray show, and a push in key states by allied groups such as Organizing for Action and Planned Parenthood (Reston, 3/31).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Q&A: Status Update As Health Law Marks A MilestoneLike so much about the government’s health care overhaul, Monday’s deadline to sign up for coverage in 2014 didn’t turn out quite as planned: Many people still are eligible for extensions that will let them enroll. The change of plans shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given the disastrous HealthCare.gov rollout last fall, the mass policy cancellation notices that shocked even the president, and other set-in-law deadlines that turned out not to be not so firm (4/1).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Fights Over The Health Law Aren’t OverThe rollout of the government website for signing up for insurance was a disaster. The president was embarrassed and angry over what many in the West Wing lamented as a self-inflicted wound. Republicans were lobbing attacks that even the White House conceded were legit. But now that the website has seemingly delivered close to – if not more than – the seven million enrollees needed by the deadline, the White House can breathe a little easier. Not for long, however (Lee, 4/1).The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: How The Administration Could Miss A CBO Obamacare TargetThe large media focus in the first Obamacare enrollment period has been on whether the administration would hit CBO targets for exchange enrollment. The CBO has said it expects 6 million people to enroll through exchanges in 2014 – more than 6 million have signed up, so that target looks in reach if enough people pay their premiums. But about one-third of those exchange signups were previously uninsured people, according to the report findings. It also found about 4.5 million adults had newly enrolled in Medicaid; 9 million people, most who were previously insured, have signed up for individual plans off the exchanges; and fewer than 1 million people who had their coverage cancelled remain uninsured (Millman, 3/31).The Washington Post: Gansler Renews Attack On Brown’s Handling Of Maryland Health Insurance ExchangeThe latest development in Maryland’s race for governor was something you don’t see every day: A candidate handing out his rival’s campaign literature. But Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) wanted to make sure reporters got a good look at the brochure of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) on Monday so that he could properly attack it. In the glossy piece, Brown says that under his leadership, Maryland is “leading the nation in implementing President Obama’s health reform law” (Wagner, 3/31).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Md. Board To Discuss Future Of Health ExchangeA Maryland board is scheduled to discuss what the state will do about its badly flawed health exchange website. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Board of Trustees has a 5 p.m. meeting in Baltimore on Tuesday, when it could officially decide to use technology from another state that has had a more successful exchange rollout. Maryland is one of 14 states with its own exchange (4/1).The Wall Street Journal: GOP Budget Expected To Expand Medicare ProposalHouse Republicans are expected to unveil a budget Tuesday that seeks to make their proposed revamp of Medicare more politically palatable, while at the same time moving to expand its reach. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) is expected to unveil a budget that would give people age 55 and younger a choice between keeping traditional government-run Medicare or receiving a subsidy to buy private health insurance, lawmakers said (Peterson, 3/31).The Washington Post: For 17th Time In 11 Years, Congress Delays Medicare Reimbursement Cuts As Senate Passes ‘Doc Fix’The Senate voted Monday evening to pass a so-called “doc fix” bill approved last week by the House, the 17th time that Congress has acted since 2003 to temporarily delay cuts to doctor reimbursements under Medicare due to a structural problem in the formula used to determine funding levels. Senators voted 64 to 35 to pass the bill, which delays the cuts for one year in a vote that came after House Republicans used a rare voice-vote to get the measure through the lower chamber due to uncertainty over whether the bill had sufficient support to pass (Lowery, 3/31).The Wall Street Journal: Senate Passes ‘Doc Fix’ LegislationThe Senate on Monday passed a bill preventing Medicare-payment cuts to physicians for 12 months, sending the measure to the White House for President Barack Obama’s expected signature. The “doc fix” legislation, already passed by the House last week, cleared the Senate on a 64-35 vote, with 46 Democrats, 16 Republicans and two Independents supporting the plan (Peterson, 3/31).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Gets Bill Giving Docs Temporary Medicare FixCongress once again has given doctors temporary relief from a flawed Medicare payment formula that threatened them with a 24 percent cut in their fees. A 64-35 Senate vote Monday cleared the measure for President Barack Obama’s signature, which was expected as early as Tuesday (4/1).Politico: Senate Backs One-Year ‘Doc Fix’ PatchThe latest “doc fix” prevents a 24 percent cut in physician pay and comes after a battle on Capitol Hill over whether to permanently repeal the formula — and the politically dicey question of how to pay for that — or patch it for another year. The bill also delays for a year the ICD-10 implementation of new medical codes (Haberkorn, 3/31).The Washington Post: Dave Camp To Retire After His Current TermCamp said in a statement that his decision “was reached after much consideration and discussion with my family. Serving in Congress is the great honor of my professional life. I am deeply grateful to the people of the 4th Congressional District for placing their trust in me. Over the years, their unwavering support has been a source of strength, purpose and inspiration. During the next nine months, I will redouble my efforts to grow our economy and expand opportunity for every American by fixing our broken tax code, permanently solving physician payments for seniors, strengthening the social safety net and finding new markets for U.S. goods and services” (O’Keefe and Kane, 3/31).The Wall Street Journal: Michigan Rep. Dave Camp Won’t Seek Re-election In 2014House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) announced Monday that he won’t seek re-election in 2014, ending a 12-term congressional career that made him a leading proponent of tax reform and a powerful voice in federal health, welfare and trade policy. The announcement turns the spotlight on what was already an expected change of leadership at the powerful tax-writing committee. Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) has already been seen as his likely successor as the panel’s chairman after this year, when Mr. Camp’s chairmanship expires under the GOP’s term-limit rules. … Even if the plan dies this year, it could help frame future debates over the issue. But while Mr. Ryan has expressed enthusiasm for the Camp plan, he is considered more likely as chairman to give priority to overhauling entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid (Hook and McKinnon, 3/31).Politico: Dave Camp Won’t Seek ReelectionHe is the 23rd House lawmaker to announce he or she will leave this Congress. Other prominent Republicans calling it quits include Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings of Washington state, Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon of California and Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers of Michigan. Senior Democrats forgoing reelection include Reps. Henry Waxman and George Miller of California and John Dingell of Michigan (Sherman and Bresnahan, 3/31).The Washington Post: Democrats’ Support For Obamacare SurgesDemocrats are rallying back behind the 2010 health-care law and boosting President Obama’s ratings for handling the law’s rollout, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll (Clement and Craighill, 3/31).The New York Times: ‘Imperial Presidency’ Becomes A Rallying Cry For RepublicansThe phrase is part of an effort by Republicans to nationalize a series of concerns about the Obama White House, and the role of government, into a pithy, compelling expression. The “imperial presidency” mantra not only captures existing voter frustration over the Affordable Care Act and turns it, Republicans believe, into a broader referendum on the president’s entire administration, but also reflects an underlying conservative philosophy about the appropriate role of government (Parker, 3/31).Los Angeles Times: Democratic Turnout Seen As Key To Party’s Retaining Senate ControlBecause of the states up for grabs this year, “we’re playing defense, they’re playing offense,” said Joel Benenson, Obama’s chief pollster. Moreover, anger at the party in power has proved a powerful motivating force to get people to the polls. With Obama in the White House and his signature healthcare law a rallying point for conservatives, Republicans can count on their core voters showing up. A recent NBC/Wall St. Journal poll found Republicans significantly more likely than Democrats to express high interest in the fall election (Memoli and Lauter, 3/31).The Wall Street Journal: Humana Names Brian Kane Finance ChiefBrian Kane, 41 years old, will join Humana after spending nearly 17 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was responsible for leading financing transactions for a number of companies across multiple industries. Mr. Kane’s health- insurance work has included coverage of the national and government-focused managed care organizations (Kell, 3/31).The Wall Street Journal: Sales Soar For Pricey Hepatitis Drug SovaldiA hepatitis C pill from Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD +3.37% that costs $1,000 a day is on track to notch among the biggest sales ever for the first year of a newly approved drug, showing just how hard it is for insurers to curb the use of pricey life-saving medicines (Rockoff, 3/31).The New York Times: Judge Won’t Block Rules On Abortion Drug In ArizonaA federal judge in Tucson has refused to block some of the strictest rules in the nation on the use of abortion drugs. The rules, which were approved by the Arizona Legislature in 2012 and will take effect on Tuesday, restrict the use of a medication to induce abortions during the early stages of pregnancy to the first seven weeks (Schwartz, 3/31).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Judge Won’t Block New Arizona Abortion Drug RulesThe most stringent restrictions in the nation on the use of abortion drugs were allowed to take effect Tuesday by a federal judge’s ruling in the latest in a series of court fights over Arizona abortion laws. U.S. District Judge David C. Bury on Monday refused to stop the new rules just hours before they were to take effect. Opponents of the rules said they would continue to challenge the restrictions in court (4/1).The Washington Post: Creigh Deeds Vows To Keep Working On Virginia’s Mental Health SystemReferring to newly passed reforms as “modest,” state Sen. Creigh Deeds said Monday that he plans to keep the pressure on his colleagues to fix Virginia’s long-troubled mental health system. “My scars aren’t going away,” Deeds (D-Bath) told an audience at the National Press Club on Monday. “Believe me, I’m not done” (Shin, 3/31).The Associated Press/Washington Post Senator: ‘Real Work Lies Ahead’ On Mental HealthDuring this year’s legislative session, Deeds, who was the Virginia Democratic nominee during the 2009 gubernatorial campaign, helped push through several changes to the state’s current mental health system. Most notably, the General Assembly approved legislation that extends the time allotted for finding a bed for those under an emergency custody order to 12 hours. If no private beds can be found after eight hours, a state hospital will now be required to admit (3/31).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.last_img read more

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Bipartisan Duo Channels Baseball With Their Proposal To Protect Patients From Surprise

first_img A new website launching first in Kansas City aims to help consumers buy medical care the same way they might buy flights and hotel rooms: online, with upfront pricing. And, like some of the deals advertised on travel sites, some of the prices can be steeply discounted, like $29 for a teeth cleaning with X-rays, or $79 for a 60-minute MRI. (Marso, 5/15) The Wall Street Journal: White House Wants Patients To Know Health-Care Prices Up Front In other news on health care costs — The Hill: Work On Surprise Medical Bills Goes Into Overdrive This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Kansas City Star: Discount Medical Shopping Site Launches In Kansas City NBC News: Dem, GOP Senators Say They Have A Fix For Surprise Medical Bills Days after President Trump called for action last week, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) on Tuesday released a draft bill to tackle the problem, a sign of momentum on the issue. A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the upper chamber, led by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), plan to release their own legislation this week. (Sullivan, 5/15) center_img CQ: Bipartisan Senators To Offer Another Surprise Medical Bill Plan The Trump administration has been working behind the scenes for months on a strategy to force greater price disclosure across much of the $3.5 trillion health-care industry. The push relies on existing administrative tools, according to people familiar with the discussions. Those include Labor Department powers under the law that sets minimum standards for private-industry health plans and current hospital-payment rules under Medicare. (Armour, 5/15) Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have joined forces to propose a law they say will help fix a problem experienced by at least 40 percent of Americans — surprise medical bills. Surprise medical bills are frequently the result of patients receiving treatment from a health care provider that they didn’t know was not covered by their health insurance. In a bill they will introduce to the Senate Thursday, co-sponsors Democrat Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Republican Bill Cassidy of Louisiana want to make health care providers negotiate these out-of-network charges with the insurance companies before billing the patient. (Bomin and Gosk, 5/15) The measure comes from lawmakers including Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., who last year offered different ways of stopping patients with insurance from getting bills for out-of-network medical care received during emergencies or from a provider they did not realize was out-of-network. “We have worked for almost a year with patient groups, doctors, insurers and hospitals to refine this proposal,” Cassidy said in a statement. “This is a bipartisan solution ensuring patients are protected and don’t receive surprise bills that are uncapped by anything but a sense of shame.” (McIntire, 5/16) Bipartisan Duo Channels Baseball With Their Proposal To Protect Patients From Surprise Medical Bills Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) will co-sponsor a measure that would set up an independent-arbitrator system to make a ruling if hospitals and insurers can’t work out who picks up the extra costs. “It’s called baseball-style arbitration. It’s been piloted and used well in New York,” said Hassan. The bill is just one of several expected over the next few weeks that deal with surprise medical bills, an issue that got a recent boost from President Donald Trump. More coverage: Check out KHN’s special series on surprisingly high medical bills. last_img read more

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Apple TV just got a PlayStation and Xbox flavoured upgrade

first_imgApple has added support for the popular Xbox One and PlayStation controllers to its TV OS, as a part of its ongoing bid to break into the home gaming space.Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the move at the company’s WWDC 2019 conference on Monday. The move means the new version of TV OS will support both controllers. This will let users navigate the Apple TV’s menus and play games using them.This will be a huge boon for gaming on Apple TV. The company’s existing remote was a little squished and made playing anything but basic games laborious.The move is part of a larger update to TV OS. Apple also rolled out new multi-user support. The feature works the same way it does on competing services, such as Netflix.It will let people set up multiple user accounts on Apple TV OS products, each profile will have its own set of recommendations tailored to them.“Now everyone in the home gets their own what’s next list,” explained Cook.The news is part of a wider move by Apple to expand its gaming portfolio. Apple Arcade was unveiled alongside the company’s Apple TV Plus at a seperate event in March.Apple Arcade is a gaming subscription service that will feature over 100 new ‘exclusive’ games. Numerous big name developers, including Sega, Konami, LEGO and Platinum Games are working on titles for the platform.Apple isn’t the only tech giant working to expand its gaming portfolio. Google unveiled its own Stadia game streaming service earlier this year. Google Stadia will let you stream triple A games over the cloud at 60fps in resolutions up to 4K, according to Google. The platform also supports the Xbox controller.Microsoft is working on a similar cloud streaming service to Google Stadia codenamed xCloud. An early demo showed the service streaming Forza over Microsoft’s Azure cloud.Related: Google Stadia vs Microsoft xCloud This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.last_img read more

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iPhone XR Price Slashed Save Over £112 on Amazon Prime Day

first_imgThe iPhone XR is the best all-round iPhone you can buy. Already offering good value for money, it’s now been cut in price by a whopping £112 — so we recommend snapping it in the Amazon Prime Day sales.Want to stay up to date with Amazon Prime Day 2019? We’ve got you covered. For more amazing offers, follow us @TrustedDealsUKWe may earn a commission if you click a deal and buy an item. That’s why we want to make sure you’re well-informed and happy with your purchase, so that you’ll continue to rely on us for your buying advice needs. The iPhone XR offers a powerful processor and marathon battery life. Now Apple’s “affordable” smartphone is available at a 15% discount.The iPhone XR is the most popular of Apple’s recent smartphones, and it’s not hard to see why — it’s got the best battery life of any iPhone, boasts the same top-of-the-range chipset as the premium iPhone XS, and it’s got a very capable camera too. In fact we rated it as the best all-round iPhone you can buy. iPhone XR DealApple iPhone XR (64GB) – BlackSave yourself over £112 this Prime Day on one of Apples most latest and greatest smartphones – the iPhone XR.Amazon|Save £110|Now £639View DealNow £639|Save £110|Amazon This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.center_img Now it’s available for just £636.65, a 15% saving from the £749 RRP. That’s an incredible saving on a phone that already offers good value for money relative to other iPhones. It’s rare to see such a saving on any current-generation iPhone, so don’t pass up this fantastic limited-time opportunity.Compared the the other devices in Apple’s range, perhaps the most impressive feature of the iPhone XR is its enduring battery life. We found that after a long day of hard usage there was still 30% left in the tank. Even an hour of Netflix only took 4-5% off the battery, so it could be a great choice if you’re an avid video streamer. The only disappointment here is that there isn’t a fast charger included in the box as standard.The chipset in this device is the A12 Bionic, the exact same one you’ll find in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. It can handle anything you throw at it, scoring very highly in all of our benchmarking tests, so this device is a great option for mobile gamers and should comfortably last you several years before you notice any lag when performing tasks.Related: Amazon Prime Day Smartphone DealsDespite the recent trend towards multiple shooters, there’s only one camera on the rear of this phone — but rest assured, it is a very good one. Software enhancements further improve the performance: Smart HDR adds vibrancy to your images, and low-light performance is impressive too. Video recording is excellent, offering 4K and slow-motion options alongside excellent detail and stabilisation.One area of common criticism is that the iPhone XR’s screen is not up to the same standards as the very best around. The display panel, which is LCD rather than AMOLED, has a resolution of 1792 x 828, compared to the 1125 x 2436 pin-sharp iPhone XS screen. In our review we still found the screen just fine, and it didn’t significantly detract from our enjoyment when using the device. iPhone XR DealApple iPhone XR (64GB) – BlackSave yourself over £112 this Prime Day on one of Apples most latest and greatest smartphones – the iPhone XR.Amazon|Save £110|Now £639View DealNow £639|Save £110|Amazon Amazon Prime Day Deals Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

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