Month: July 2019

F8 2018 day 2 puts new Facebook AI in the spotlight

first_imgLast year, for example, Facebook revealed it had been researching some tech you’d more commonly associate with science-fiction movies. “Project: Hear With Your Skin,” for instance, was all about delivering language through skin contact. A second project explored using mind-reading to type, rather than using a physical keyboard or voice recognition. For F8 2018, the tech is a little less esoteric. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the fore, along with Facebook attempting to build out its collaborative toolkit with other developers. Arguably the biggest news is the open-source PyTorch 1.0 AI framework, which Facebook says will be released in the coming months. The original version of PyTorch was released roughly a year ago, but this new version will be swifter to take experiments to deployment. It’ll be the centerpiece of a new AI-focused site, Facebook.ai, which launches today. It won’t be alone, however. ONNX – or Open Neural Network Exchange – is being updated to support more tools, including conversion to Core ML, Baidu PaddlePaddle, Qualcomm SNPE, Google’s TensorFlow, and Microsoft’s Cognitive Toolkit, among others. AdChoices广告For those who don’t want to go as deep as the AI basics, there’ll also be new specific tools across vision, language, and learning. Come June, there’ll be a new ResNext3D model for comprehending video, while Translate for machine translations is being open-sourced too. Some of the upcoming additions have seriously interesting implications across AR and VR. Facebook DensePose, for instance, can generate a 3D surface that can be applied in real-time to footage of human bodies in motion. You could, for example, overlay a completely different outfit onto a real-world character in an AR game. That, Facebook says, should be released as an open-source library in a matter of weeks. House3D, similarly, will be released as a virtual environment in which robotic systems could be more rapidly trained to understand their environments. A new StarCraft bot has been developed to operate successfully in the popular video game; Facebook says it plans to release the rule set it developed for that, which could end up making for more engaging NPCs in future. All the same, Facebook isn’t immune to the fears about where artificial intelligence might develop. “As we work to shape the future of AI with our research and our open development tools,” the company’s Jerome Pesenti writes, “it’s important to apply questions of ethics, fairness, and trust to every effort in this field.” That’ll include making sure that a diverse workforce is on hand to identify any systemic or institutional bias, in addition to new research and privacy reviews. A Fairness Flow tool has been developed to measure how algorithms interact with specific groups of people. Story TimelineFacebook’s making chips! Or at least researching siliconFacebook Messenger adds English and Spanish translation featureFacebook smart speakers with M assistant may launch overseas first Mark Zuckerberg may have spent much of the Facebook F8 2018 opening keynote on handling the social network’s privacy fallout, but day two sees the tech – and AI and machine learning – come right to the fore. The second day keynote at the social site’s annual developer event is, arguably, always more interesting from a geeky perspective.last_img read more

Google Project Maven AI contract wont be renewed in 2019 report

first_imgGoogle won’t continue working with the Department of Defense on its Project Maven once its existing contract runs out, at least according to a new report. The work, which involves providing artificial intelligence to analyze drone footage for the government, has been highly controversial and included many employees quitting in protest. The information comes from Gizmodo, which reports that it got word from three sources who attended a meeting for Google employees where the decision was announced. The announcement was reportedly made by Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene, who said Google won’t renew its project contract after the current one expires next year.The sources claim that Greene explained the company’s decision a bit, saying that it had decided to work with the Defense Department at a time when it was heavily pursuing government contracts. However, had it known the level of controversy and backlash that would result, Google wouldn’t have proceeded with the contract at all, at least according to the sources.As well, the report claims that Google will be unveiling a new set of ethical principles some time next week, those related to artificial intelligence. However, Gizmodo says it has viewed emails that contrast those claims.According to the report, the emails revealed that Google worked with its partners to create machine learning algorithms for the US government, and that there was a goal in place of creating a system capable of performing surveillance on an entire city. As well, the report claims that the emails show Google’s higher ups as “enthusiastically supportive” of the company’s Project Maven involvement.Under its contract, Google is providing AI technologies to the DOD to help the government analyze drone footage. News of the company’s involvement with the Pentagon sparked a heated outcry from advocates, academics, the general public, and even many of Google’s own employees, some of whom later quit as a form of protest. SOURCE: Gizmodolast_img read more

Yandex Russias Google finally launches its own phone

first_imgConsidering how big Google has become, it’s not a small feat to be labeled to be its equivalent and rival. At least in a relatively smaller, regional market. But that’s exactly what Russia’s Yandex has been called, offering nearly similar services as Google designed for Russian consumers. All it’s missing is a smartphone. Actually, it’s no longer missing that because it has just announced the Yandex.Phone, a device that may have been three years in the making, starting with a lawsuit. Google was just recently fined in Europe for its bundling of Search and Chrome as part of its certified Android package but its headache in the region started way back. In 2015, Russia’s Google filed a complaint with the country’s antitrust body over the same thing, claiming that Google’s unfair business practices was ruining Yandex’s business since the two offered the exact same apps and services. Long story short, Google lost that legal battle, which may have become the precedent for EU case against it.Over the past years, Yandex has slowly been building up its technologies and products to further push Google out of the Russian market. Its latest was Alice, its own AI assistant that, of course, only works in that territory. This year, the company has taken it to its logical conclusion: its own phone.Almost ironically though not unexpected, the Yandex.Phone is an Android phone, running Android 8.1 Oreo even. But more than just a phone, the company’s spiel revolves around its services, from the aforementioned Alice AI assistant to Yandex.Maps navigation to Yandex.Music streaming. If the Pixel phones are the gateway to Google’s apps and services, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Yandex.Phone comes with everything Yandex has to offer. One rather curious tidbit is that their official images of the phone show Google Play apps pre-installed, something that Yandex fought tooth and nail against.As a smartphone, however, the Yandex.Phone will pale in comparison to any Google Pixel. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of expandable storage. The 5.65-inch LCD screen maxes out at 2160×1080 pixels and is protected by a nearly six-year-old Gorilla Glass 3. Then again, at only 17,990 RUB ($270), it definitely undercuts any Pixel in price as well. Story TimelineRussia fines Google $6.75M over pre-installed Android appsGoogle to no longer require bundled Android services in RussiaAlice is Yandex’s own voice assistant, speaks excellent Russianlast_img read more

Nokia 9 MWC teaser confirms pentalens punch hole cameras

first_imgGranted, it’s not as crazy as the buttonless Meizu Zero and Vivo APEX 2019 Concept phones. Instead, the Nokia 9 is expected to be camera-crazy, with the world’s first smartphone with more than four cameras. And now, HMD Global’s reported official MWC 2019 teasers pretty much confirms it.HMD seems to have intentionally made it too dark to see but if you tweak brightness and contrast a bit, you will see part of the penta-lens setup hiding in the shadows. Yes, it’s only four cameras shown because the fifth one plus another sensor is covered by the test on one side. If this invite is the real deal, it’s pretty much the official confirmation of what we’ve been hearing for the past few months.What we’ve heard so far points to a true Nokia flagship. That includes specs like a Snapdragon 845, a 5.99-inch 2960×1440 AMOLED screen, 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, and Android 9 Pie. One thing that these teasers add to the list something we haven’t heard of before. It turns out, HMD Global might jump on the punch hole design and put one on the Nokia 9 PureView’s face. An alternative explanation would be that HMD Global will unveil a second phone, the Nokia 6.2, that has also been rumored to have a punch hole selfie camera.How the five cameras will work is still nothing short of a puzzle at this point. In less than a month, however, we’ll finally get our answer as HMD Global unveils the Nokia 9 PureView to the world on February 24. HMD Global has been raking in praise and sales of its Nokia-branded phones but, truth be told, it’s still missing one thing. HMD Global has yet to launch a true flagship model and its long-awaited Nokia 9 PureView could very well be it. And thanks to a teaser for MWC 2019, we know now how much more waiting we have to do before we see one of the craziest phones this year.last_img read more

Download Allo history before the app shuts down

first_imgSave Your Allo History and FilesTo download your history inside Allo, open the app. Inside the app you’ll need to head to the side menu – that’s three horizontal lines as a button. Tap settings, tap Chat, and select the option in which you feel more comfortable. You can choose to Export messages from chats, which will include messages in text form without attachments, without photos, without videos. You can also choose to Export stored media from chats. That’ll include photos, videos, and other files you’ve attached to chats. Users such as yourself will be storing files inside your phone, so make sure you’re storing them in a place you’ll remember. All your messages will be stored in a single CSV file, and your media attachments will be stored in a separate ZIP file. Inside the CSV vile you’ll find the date, conversation name, conversation ID, sender, message type, and message content. Content can include text, image, audio, video, file, and sticker formats. AdChoices广告Delete Your BackupIf you’re in the mood to destroy your data instead of saving your data, you can do that too! Open your Allo app, tap the menu button, tap Settings. Inside Settings tap Chat backup, then tap MORE – the three vertically aligned dots button, then select Delete Backup. If you’ve got your backup file in Google Drive (which is entirely possible, whether you know it or not), you’ll need to go to your Google Drive, then Settings (the gear icon), tap Settings, tap Manage Apps, tap Allo. Select Options, and tap DELETE HIDDEN APP DATA. Story TimelineGoogle Allo finally gets a web app, but it’s kind of pointlessGoogle Allo for Web finally becomes a little more usefulGoogle Allo may not be around much longer Tomorrow the app Allo shuts down, and you’ll need to download your history immediately if you’d like to keep it. Users won’t need to worry about doing the same for the Google app Duo chat, for now, but Allo is absolutely a goner, and it’s gonna be gone by this time next week. The shutdown happens starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 12th, 2019. Today we’re going to discuss how to download your history from Allo from inside the app.last_img read more

2019 Audi A6 gives luxury sedan a huge tech injection

first_imgFrom the outside, the shared DNA with the A8 is clear. The grille has grown, and the crease-lines sharpened; it’s a half-inch wider than before, and slightly longer and lower. Audi says the car is also more slippery through the air, too, with a drag coefficient of just 0.24. That doesn’t just help with economy, but how much road noise makes it through to the cabin, too. The body shell is a mixture of steel and aluminum, focusing on both a reduction in weight and an increase in rigidity. It’s also more spacious inside, with more head, leg, and shoulder room in the rear, and a broader trunk that can now handle two golf bags horizontally, even though its 18.7 cu-ft capacity is unchanged. Story TimelineAudi MMI update integrates design and technology in one place2019 Audi A7 Sportback First DriveAudi V2I toll payment tech integration arrives in select models this year Despite all that, Audi promises a more engaging drive versus the old A6. Standard progressive steering tightens up as the steering angle increases, while there’s dynamic all-wheel steering too that allows both the front and rear wheels to turn. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front, tightening up the turning circle; at high speeds, meanwhile, they turn in the same direction, optimizing stability during lane-change maneuverers. Four suspension systems will be offered, kicking off with conventional steel springs. Then there’ll be sport suspension, suspension with damper control, and then finally the most expensive adaptive air suspension with controlled damping. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive will be standard, along with two transmissions depending on engine: either an eight-speed tiptronic that adds a self-locking center differential to the AWD, or a seven-speed S ironic that has Audi’s newer ultra technology for swifter activation of the rear wheels. AdChoices广告Two engines have been announced to begin with, though only one of the pair is likely to make it to the US. Europe will get both a 3.0-liter TFSI turbocharged V6 gas engine with 340 HP and 369 lb-ft. of torque, and a 3.0-liter TDI diesel with 286 HP and 457 lb-ft. It’s likely that North American drivers will only get the gas model. Both engines use 48V mild-hybrid systems that allow the car to coast with the ICE off between around 34 and 99 mph, as well as handling the start-stop feature. Inside, the A8 influences continue. The new A6 is marked by long, unbroken horizontal lines that maximize the sense of cabin space. All-new seats can optionally be had with ventilation and massage, and there’s an ionizer and pollutant filter for the HVAC system that can also be had with two fragrances. An optional panoramic glass sunroof is also available, as is a heated windshield. The dashboard gets the twin displays we’ve seen Audi use in the A8, with a top 10.1-inch MMI touch response display and a lower 8.6-inch touchscreen that together handle HVAC, multimedia, navigation, and communications. A head-up display is optional, as is a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit display included in the MMI navigation plus package. Natural language voice recognition uses a combination of local and cloud-based processing, so that it can respond even if the 2019 A6 doesn’t have a data connection.Car-to-X intercommunication uses other networked Audi vehicles to deliver traffic and hazard information. Shortly after the new A6 launches, Audi will add an on-street parking service, too. The new Audi connect key can optionally replace the regular key, and allow the car to be unlocked with an Android smartphone. Bang & Olufsen audio is another option. As for driver-assistance, Park assist will give the A6 the ability to navigate itself into a parking space or garage, even if the driver isn’t behind the wheel. There’s crossing assistance and adaptive cruise control which can keep the A6 in lane. Audi will outfit the car with as many as five radar sensors, five cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors, and a laser scanner, depending on configuration. Sales of the 2019 Audi A6 are expected to kick off in Germany come June 2018. Pricing has not been confirmed at this stage, nor when exactly we might expect to see the new sedan hit US shores. Audi’s high-tech reinvention of its luxury sedan range continues, with the 2019 Audi A6 the latest to break cover. Making its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show 2018 next week, the new A6 brings the German automaker’s full-size sedan into its eighth generation, borrowing gadgetry from the larger and more expensive 2019 Audi A8. 2019 Audi A6 Gallerylast_img read more

Mercedes XClass with 6cylinder and permanent allwheel drive debuts in Geneva

first_imgThat engine is a 3.0L six-cylinder diesel engine with common-rail direct injection. It makes 258hp and 550 nm of torque. That torque is available from 1400 to 3200 rpm making for improved off-road driving in difficult conditions. The engine uses a single-stage turbo with variable turbine geometry.Power goes to all four wheels via a Mercedes 7G-Tronic Plus transmission that doesn’t interrupt power during gear changes. Mercedes says that means better handling on uphill gradients and when driving off-road or towing a trailer. The X 350 d 4MATIC has five driver selective DYNAMIC SELECT settings. Those include comfort, ECO, Sport, Manual, and Off-road.Mercedes also notes that the truck has a 4L low range with reduction gearing of 1:2.9 and a 100% diff lock for the rear axle if needed. The truck has 222 mm of ground clearance. It can ford water up to 600mm deep.It appears that a raised suspension is optional. The truck comes in Progressive and Power equipment lines. Mercedes is also offering new wheel designs and accessories starting in March. The Mercedes X-class is the cool Mercedes truck that we can’t get here in the US. A new version of that truck is debuting at the Geneva Motor Show and it will have a larger engine and permanent all-wheel drive. The vehicle is called the X 350 d 4MATIC and Mercedes says that provisional economy figures are 9.0l/100km.last_img read more

The HarleyDavidson LiveWire electric motorcycle just got a price

first_imgIt won’t be the last, either. Harley-Davidson says that the LiveWire will be the first of a new electric portfolio of motorcycles, each capitalizing on what makes EV bikes so persuasive. For now, preorders of the LiveWire have opened up at US Harley-Davidson dealerships. It’s priced from $29,799, and deliveries are expected to begin this fall. An electric Harley-Davidson might sound like blasphemy, but the iconic motorcycle-maker is embracing the EV future with the new LiveWire. Now opening up for preorders as of CES 2019 today, the electric motorbike has finally had a price tag attached, though the size of it might make you wince. Harley has been teasing an electric motorcycle for some years now, and for good reason. Whether it’s Millennials or just the fact that the market for high-ticket, big-engined bikes for long-distance cruising has shrunk, the market for the company’s current models has been struggling. Enter the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, then, and though purists may be horrified, there’s actually a lot to like. For a start, it’ll be fast. Very fast indeed. Just as electric cars typically wow with how they deliver an instant rush of torque, so the LiveWire’s power from its H-D Revelation electric powertrain will arrive at 100-percent as soon as you twist the throttle. The result is 0-60 mph in under 3.5 seconds, not to mention an easier drive experience too. Since there’s no gearbox or clutch, you just turn the throttle and go. Regenerative braking will top off the battery as you slow down. AdChoices广告That’s important, as electric motorcycles can’t carry as much power as their four-wheeled brethren. Harley-Davidson suggests riders will see an estimated 110 miles of “urban roads” on a full charge of the Panasonic battery pack. . The H-D Revelation drivetrain itself is low down in the chassis, for better handling and an easier motorcycle to balance when stopped. Anti-lock braking – enhanced for cornering – and traction control will be standard, as will H-D Connect. That allows the LiveWire to communicate, via an embedded 4G LTE connection, with a new app. In that app, there’ll be a display of charge status and an easy way to locate the nearest charger. There’ll also be tamper alerts and location tracking, in case someone tries to move the bike or unplug it, along with service reminders and other notifications. It’ll be supported in more than 50 countries.The two biggest questions, of course, are around sound and price. On the former, while it won’t have the traditional Harley-Davidson engine sound, it’ll deliver what the company describes as “a new signature Harley-Davidson sound as it accelerates and gains speed” which “represents the smooth, electric power of the LiveWire motorcycle.”center_img Story TimelineHarley-Davidson Project LiveWire electric motorcycle revealedHarley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle has no clutch and no Harley rumblelast_img read more

2019 iPhone cases will highlight what Apple will try to hide

first_imgSome precise 2019 iPhones cases 👀 pic.twitter.com/JbE6OgKY04— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) June 13, 2019 It seems that square camera bumps are in. At least if you ask Apple and Google. Although Huawei can perhaps be credited/blameed for starting that trend but few probably expected the two biggest tech companies to follow. And even fewer probably expected both Apple and even Google would put the unusual design on the corner. And yet that is exactly what will happen in a few months though Apple is believed to use some magic to make those two to three cameras nearly invisible. Unfortunately, case makers will put the focus back on them instead. When Apple was first rumored to jump on the triple camera train, many probably expected it’d just continue to use the same design it introduced in the 2017 iPhone X. And then the rumors and confirmation that the 2019 iPhones will be adopting a square bump started coming in. What’s slightly stranger is that, unlike Huawei, it decided to arrange the lenses in a triangular formation.There is word that Apple will at least try to make the cameras inconspicuous, as if it were possible. But whatever it will do might be undone by case makers. Ben Geskin posted three sample 2019 iPhone cases and they all have on thing in common. They all make the formation of those cameras stand out.center_img Apple’s alleged new design is already gaining massive criticism and these cases don’t help its cause. Some have questioned why not just use one big hole for the entire camera bump rather than separate holes for lenses, sensors, and flash. The reason might be to protect every inch of the phone except for the parts that shouldn’t be blocked.AdChoices广告Apple won’t be alone this year in making unpopular designs. Google is adopting the exact same design on the Pixel 4. And while Samsung’s changes are less drastic, the little things it is removing or not putting are starting to feel like pin pricks for some fans.last_img read more

Android Q Beta 5 rollout paused has bad news for thirdparty launchers

first_imgOne of the newest and probably most controversial things coming in Android Q is the full gestural navigation system. Google makes it no secret that it will break apps that use left or right or both sides for menus and introduced a new “peek” system to put a band-aid on that problem. That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg.Google warns that third-party launchers won’t be supporting those new gesture systems. It turns out that Google built that into the Pixel launcher, which means third-parties won’t be able to use them by default. Google will address that after launch so, in the meantime, third-party launchers will default to the regular three-button navigation system.That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. Apparently, early adopters are being greeted not by a shiny new Android Q but problems instead. Google has paused the over-the-air updates to address those issues.AdChoices广告This isn’t the first time that an Android beta has brought problems, which may be understandable given its beta status. However, with just a month left before its scheduled launch, it shouldn’t be causing installation problems at this point. The date for Android Q, whose sweet name still has to be revealed, is closing in fast. Android Q is just around the corner and a new beta started to roll out. Unfortunately, it seems that the new version may have brought along not just new features but also some headache for users and heartache for developers. Now Google has yanked Beta 5 out to prevent spreading the damage even further.last_img read more

Convention News Dems Embrace Health Law

first_imgConvention News: Dems Embrace Health Law This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. In speeches from the podium and in the buzz from the convention floor, it was apparent on the first day of the Democratic National Convention that delegates and speakers aimed to reclaim the health law as an important accomplishment of the Obama administration. Politico: Dems Wear ‘Obamacare’ ProudlyDemocrats gathered in Charlotte this week are fighting to reclaim the term “Obamacare” from the health reform law’s opponents — a symbol of their determination to embrace the health care law and defend it from Republican attacks (Haberkorn, 9/4).Politico Pro: Dems Evoke The Sweep Of Health Care HistoryIt’s been a while since Democrats have talked about President Barack Obama’s health care law as a huge accomplishment — the cherished goal that every president since Franklin Roosevelt (or, in some versions, Theodore Roosevelt) had failed to achieve. On Tuesday night in Charlotte, N.C., that historic “sweep and scope” was back. “Seven presidents before him — Democrats and Republicans — tried to expand health care to all Americans. President Obama got it done,” San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro said in his keynote address. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick called Obama “the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single American after 90 years of trying.” Even Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — Obama’s old chief of staff — got into the mood (Nather, 9/4).The Hill: Sebelius: ‘ObamaCare Is A Badge Of Honor’Democrats put healthcare reform front and center on the opening night of their convention Tuesday. Kathleen Sebelius, the administration’s top health official, said she is proud of the Affordable Care Act, borrowing the “ObamaCare” moniker that the administration has sought to reclaim from Republican critics. “For us Democrats, ObamaCare is a badge of honor,” Sebelius told the crowd. Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel also praised Obama’s “courage” in pursuing the politically costly healthcare law. Sebelius and Emanuel followed several speakers who also praised the Affordable Care Act — specifically provisions that expand women’s access to contraception and other preventive services. “This president made it illegal to discriminate against women” by banning insurers from treating pregnancy and domestic abuse as pre-existing conditions, Sebelius said (Baker, 9/4).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Better Off? Obama’s Biggest Fans Get To ‘Yes’ Citing Osama bin Laden, Health Law, AutosThe question left some Obama campaign surrogates flustered this past weekend. Ask the delegates and you get a list of Obama successes: He ordered the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. His health care overhaul insured millions more Americans. Pell grants, which help pay for college tuition for 9 million students, are on the rise. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is law. But the realities of a slow-moving economic recovery temper their enthusiasm (9/5).The Associated Press: Arizona Woman Speaks About Impact Of Health Care Reform At Democratic National ConventionAn Arizona woman spoke at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina about the impact of health care reform on her family. Stacey Lihn addressed the convention Tuesday night in Charlotte and spoke about her daughter Zoe, who was born with a heart defect but can now get the care she needs (9/4).Kaiser Health News: ‘Obamacare’ Plays Starring Role In First Night Of Convention Several speakers cited the 2010 health law as a signature achievement of the Obama administration Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. This video sample includes Stacey Lihn, the mother of a child with congenital heart disease, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and first lady Michelle Obama  (9/4).Fact checking by several news organizations pinpointed efforts to overstate some things and omit others – The Associated Press: Some Obama Programs Embellished By DemocratsSpeakers at the Democratic National Convention portrayed President Barack Obama’s presidency in glowing terms Tuesday evening, but sometimes left out important details or embellished his record. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: “Instead of sending your checks to your insurance companies, your insurance companies are sending a check to you. …If you already have health insurance you like, you can keep it. “THE FACTS: Under the new health care law, insurers must issue rebates if they fail to spend at least 80 percent of premiums — Sebelius incorrectly said 50 percent — collected on medical care and quality improvement. But mostly it’s the employer, not the worker, who gets the check (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/5).The Washington Post: Fact Checking The Opening Night Of The Democratic ConventionThe Democrats launched their convention with a series of speeches that put the best possible gloss on the president’s economic record and took various shots at GOP nominee Mitt Romney. First Lady Michelle Obama, who like Ann Romney gave a mostly personal testimonial about her husband, did not give us much material to fact-check. But here’s a round-up of other notable claims Tuesday evening (Kessler, 9/5).The Washington Post: Factcheck: Sebelius’ $6,400 Number Has IssuesKathleen Sebelius in a speech to the Democratic convention asserted that the Ryan plan for Medicare would cost seniors “as much as $6,400” extra a year. But there are serious problems with that number, as the Factchecker explains in this video (Kessler, 9/4).last_img read more

Medicare Advisory Group Recommends 1 Increase In Hospital Rates

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 head of the group that advises Congress on Medicare issued the draft recommendation, which will be voted on by the full board in January.Modern Healthcare: MedPAC Mulls 1% Bump In Hospital RatesHospitals should receive a 1% increase in their inpatient and outpatient Medicare payment rates, according to draft recommendations released Thursday by the head of Congress’ primary Medicare advisory group. Glenn Hackbarth, chairman of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, issued the draft increase based on his staff’s conclusion that patients’ access to care and the quality of care have generally improved, while the number of hospitals has continued to increase and costs have slowed. The rate increases, on which the full commission will vote in January, are based on current rates and do not account for the effect of a looming 2% cut to all Medicare providers from a separate deficit-reduction deal that is scheduled to begin in February (Daly, 12/6).CQ HealthBeat: MedPAC Considers 1 Percent Payment Increase For HospitalsThe Medicare Payment Advisory Commission on Thursday in a draft recommendation called for a modest 1 percent increase in inpatient and outpatient hospital payments in 2014, at a time when providers are dreading the impact of possible Medicare cuts under sequestration or as a result of budget negotiations. A staff analysis used for the draft recommendation found that Medicare paid two percent more to hospitals in 2011 compared to 2010, as well as a continued shift to services provided in an outpatient setting rather than in hospital beds. The quality of care is generally improving as well, the analysis said. But commissioners continued to chafe at a fee-for-service system that they say too often rewards volume over quality and efficiency. “I believe $117 billion in spending on acute care is too much,” said Scott Armstrong, president of Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, Wash., referring to total inpatient Medicare costs in 2011 (Norman, 12/6). Also in Medicare news, senators are seeking more payments for rural hospitals.CQ HealthBeat: Senators Want To Revive Medicare Programs For Rural HospitalsThirty-one senators are pushing to reinstate expired programs that increased Medicare payment for some rural hospitals as part of legislation that would block scheduled year-end cuts to Medicare physicians. The bipartisan group asked leaders of the Senate Finance Committee to continue the programs, which expired Sept. 30, through the end of fiscal 2013. “Rural hospitals face a wide array of financial difficulties and operational challenges under the current Medicare Prospective Payment System,” the group wrote in a letter to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and ranking Republican Orrin G. Hatch of Utah. “The network of health providers that serves rural Americans is fragile and more dependent on Medicare revenue because of the high percentage of Medicare beneficiaries who live in rural areas” (Ethridge, 12/6).Meanwhile, MedPAC also urged Congress to repeal the rate formula used to figure doctors’ payments.Medpage Today: MedPAC To Congress: Repeal SGRThe Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) said once again that it supports repealing the sustainable growth rate formula that establishes physician pay under Medicare. Congress should also rebalance payment across specialties so that primary care providers are on equal footing with specialists, the commissioners said in their meeting Thursday. The body, which advises Congress on issues affecting Medicare, made the same proposal last year in an October letter to lawmakers. … The recommendation to repeal the SGR came in the form of a “chairman’s proposal” presented during the meeting. A final vote on the recommendation will come during the commission’s next scheduled meeting on Jan. 17-18 (Pittman, 12/6).  Medicare Advisory Group Recommends 1% Increase In Hospital Rateslast_img read more

Shutdown Commentaries Compromise May Take Nick Out Of Health Law The Party

first_imgThe New York Times: The Senate Tries To End The Crisis But the tentative agreement includes two problematic provisions related to health care reform. One would require the Department of Health and Human Services to verify that people receiving subsidies for insurance have incomes low enough to qualify. The other would delay for a year an insurance-company tax imposed by the health care law, which gives the tax proceeds to insurance companies covering high-risk patients through state exchanges, reducing their financial burden (10/14). The New York Times’ Taking Note: The Party Of Gimme Republicans insisted on winning something in exchange for performing those two necessary acts [of reopening the government and staving off a default]. Democrats refused to let that happen, informing Republicans that if they wanted to negotiate, it would require both sides to give up something substantial. Preventing default doesn’t count. It’s amazing that after weeks of listening to President Obama make clear this principle, Republicans still don’t get how important it is. In the days before the shutdown, Democrats rejected every demand the House made to damage health care reform in exchange for keeping open the government. Eventually, the House dropped its health-law demands, but remained locked into the notion that they had to get something out of this crisis, to “put points on the board,” in Speaker John Boehner’s extremely unfortunate phrase (David Firestone, 10/14). Los Angeles Times: A Health Care History Lesson For The GOP Two different narratives have been at play in Washington lately to explain what caused the government shutdown. In the first, House Republicans are to blame for trying to hold Democrats and the president hostage over a law that was duly passed by Congress. In the other, Democrats are to blame for their rigid refusal to compromise on Obamacare. But there’s a part of the story that seemingly has been lost in history: Democrats have already compromised on health care reform by adopting Obama/RomneyCare in the first place (Jane Mansbridge, 10/15). The Wall Street Journal: Strange Political Devices Democrats are smelling blood amid the latest polls, and one of their political goals is getting the GOP to ease the sequester caps. … [S]ome conservatives have become so politically disoriented by this debate that they are now opposing tax cuts too. The issue is the tax on medical devices that is one of the smaller funding sources for Obamacare. There’s bipartisan sentiment for repealing it, but some conservatives are now saying no. Repeal would amount to “corporate cronyism,” said Michael Needham of the Heritage Action political committee. … A think tank that really believes that repealing a punitive tax on business is “corporate cronyism” isn’t conservative and it certainly isn’t thinking (10/13). The Washington Post: Obama Can’t Waste This Moment Democrats have been much tougher in this round of negotiations than they were in the past not only because the GOP vastly overreached in trying to gut Obamacare, but also because they know how important it is to insist that budget cutting and deficit reduction not be the sole priority of the political class. Rep. Paul Ryan (who was, by the way, the other member of the Republican ticket that lost last year, partly because of his budget ideas) hoped to steer the talks in this direction. But Democrats have made it clear that it’s not 2011 anymore (E.J. Dionne Jr., 10/13). Politico: A Subtle Solution To Debt DilemmaThere is a logical compromise staring both parties in the face. … In exchange for raising the debt ceiling and opening the federal government, Obama should offer to cap the annual growth in federal health care spending at inflation, plus 1 percent or 2 percent. … The key is that such a deal would give both sides what they want. Obama keeps his health care law, and Republicans get to say they prevented it from bankrupting the country. And after all, if Obamacare’s boosters are correct that the law will significantly restrain future health spending, it’s a compromise that will cost the president nothing. If, on the other hand, the ACA cost projections prove overly optimistic, then legislators will have to tweak the law — and Medicare and Medicaid — to impose additional spending discipline (Charles J. Wheelan and Russell J. Muirhead, 10/14).Politico: The Case For Hostage TakingThere is little incentive for Democrats to trade significant entitlement reform for tax increases when mandatory spending increases outlays without the need to pass legislation with a majority of Congress. Once the money is spent, the GOP can only borrow to delay tax increases or acquiesce and increase taxes now. Republicans’ focus on defunding or scaling back Obamacare — an unpopular entitlement program — rather than entitlements generally, namely Social Security and Medicare, has raised questions about their true objective. But critics forget that spending is fungible. For any level of taxation, growth in one program crowds out spending on other programs. Cost reduction is simply a matter of priorities. Republicans value preserving Medicare and avoiding tax increases over expanding Obamacare (Edward Conard, 10/14). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Shutdown Commentaries: Compromise May Take Nick Out Of Health Law; ‘The Party Of Gimme’last_img read more

Consumer Advice Handling Surprise Medical Bills And Picking A Health Plan For

first_img Choosing health insurance for a family used to be easier, with fewer options and fewer households where parents were each covered by their own workplace plans instead of picking a joint one. But now more and more families must make a choice at every open enrollment period about how to cover the kids due to the advent of surcharges and exclusions for covering spouses who have the option of their own workplace insurance. (Pinsker, 9/22) Fox News/Nerd Wallet: Balance Billing: How To Avoid This Common Medical Expense Trap This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Imagine receiving a hospital bill for tens of thousands of dollars despite having the best health insurance you can afford. This scenario happens to even the most diligent health care consumers more than you’d think. Often, the culprit is balance billing, which occurs when patients are charged for the difference between what a provider charges and what the insurance will pay. It often happens after a hospitalization, where insurance covers most services, with the exception of one doctor. … Here’s how you can defend yourself from balance billing or avoid it in the first place. (Glover, 9/23) center_img Consumer Advice: Handling Surprise Medical Bills And Picking A Health Plan For Kids Two outlets examine common coverage issues for consumers. Reuters: How To Pick A Health Plan For The Kids last_img read more

Trump says not nearly enough progress in talks with Mexico tariffs to

first_img advertisement Recommended For YouBeyond Meat’s forecast sends 2019’s IPO darling to new heightsDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016The storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them through Twitter 1 Comments June 6, 20197:21 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Bloomberg News What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation More President Donald Trump said “not nearly enough” progress was made in talks with Mexico to mitigate the flow of undocumented migrants and illegal drugs, raising the likelihood that the U.S. will follow through with tariffs next week.U.S. and Mexican officials wrapped up discussions on Wednesday at the White House and Trump said talks are set to resume Thursday.Immigration discussions at the White House with representatives of Mexico have ended for the day. Progress is being made, but not nearly enough! Border arrests for May are at 133,000 because of Mexico & the Democrats in Congress refusing to budge on immigration reform. Further…— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2019“If no agreement is reached, Tariffs at the 5 per cent level will begin on Monday, with monthly increases as per schedule,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “The higher the Tariffs go, the higher the number of companies that will move back to the USA!”The peso fell more than 1 per cent against the dollar as the currency reeled from the U.S. tariff threats and more pessimistic assessments from ratings companies. Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday cut Mexico’s outlook to negative from stable, and then Fitch lowered the nation’s sovereign rating to BBB from BBB+.A Mexican delegation, led by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, met at the White House for about 90 minutes with U.S. officials including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan. Trump, who’s traveling in Europe, wasn’t at the meeting.Related Stories:UPDATE 2-Mexican president thanks Trump for tariff comments as peso strengthensPompeo to meet with Mexico’s foreign minister to discuss immigration, tradeMexican peso will dance in July to rhythm of USMCA and TrumpEbrard, in a press conference following the meeting, said they didn’t discuss the tariffs during the meeting but focused on migration. He added that he didn’t know how long negotiations would take.“We are optimistic because we had a good meeting with respectful positions from both parts,” Ebrard said. “We had an opportunity to explain our point of view.”Trump last month announced a 5 per cent tariff on all imports from Mexico unless the country takes “decisive measures” — as judged by his administration — to stem migrants entering the U.S. He said the tariffs would begin June 10 and scale up incrementally until they reach 25 per cent on Oct. 1. Mexico is the second largest source of U.S. imports after China.Trump said earlier in the day he thought Mexico wants to reach an agreement. “I think they want to make a deal and they sent their top people to try to do it,” he said Wednesday in Ireland.Ebrard highlighted some differences. While the U.S. is looking for measures to take effect “immediately,” Mexico wants to take steps that are longer term and “not just punitive.”The White House has so far been vague about what Trump, the self-avowed “Tariff Man,” expects Mexico to do to avoid the duties. But White House trade adviser Peter Navarro offered what appeared to be an opening salvo in negotiations earlier Wednesday, saying tariffs may not have to take effect if Mexico could meet three conditions, including keeping U.S. asylum seekers in that country.“The most important thing is for the Mexican government to take the asylum seekers,” Navarro said in an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg TV in Washington.The number of apprehensions and people denied entry along the U.S.-Mexico border has been rising steadily. More than 144,000 people were apprehended after illegally crossing the southern border in May or were refused entry to the U.S., Customs and Border Protection announced on Wednesday. That’s the the most in a single month in at least five years; the number has grown every month since January.Most of the apprehensions are families or children traveling alone, pressuring a U.S. immigration system that has struggled to humanely detain and care for them.The White House has said it’s an emergency and demanded that Mexico accept the asylum seekers, step up patrols of its own southern border and strengthen checkpoints along the route migrants travel.Republican lawmakers have warned against the Mexico tariffs and are pushing for a deal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump should delay any tariffs until he can personally make his case to lawmakers.The tariff threat also cast doubt on the future of Trump’s update of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a key accomplishment of his first term. The new trade pact, called the U.S.-Canada-Mexico agreement, was already at risk of stalling in Congress. The Trump administration wants it passed by summer.Pence has previously failed to thread the needle when acting as the president’s surrogate in important negotiations. The vice president led talks with congressional Democrats earlier this year to end a government shutdown, only for Trump to tweet later that there was “not much headway made.” The government remained shuttered until Trump relented on his demand that Congress provide more money to build a border wall.Bloomberg.com Join the conversation → U.S President Donald TrumpReuters/Carlos Barria Comment Sponsored By: Email Trump says ‘not nearly enough’ progress in talks with Mexico; tariffs to begin Monday if no deal The White House has so far been vague about what Trump expects Mexico to do to avoid the duties Share this storyTrump says ‘not nearly enough’ progress in talks with Mexico; tariffs to begin Monday if no deal Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Featured Stories Josh Wingrove, Justin Sink and Anna Edgerton Reddit Facebook ← Previous Next →last_img read more

WatchIts time to push back and impose sanctions on Chinese products says

first_img Facebook Reddit Email Comment Peter MacKay, Partner at Baker & McKenzie, talks with Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn about what should be Canada’s strategy going forward as it continues to face trade disputes with China. Recommended For YouU.S. adviser Bolton travels to Japan, S.Korea amid trade disputeDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016The storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them through More Larysa Harapyn center_img July 3, 201911:27 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Join the conversation → 14 Comments Twitter Share this storyIt’s time to push back and impose sanctions on Chinese products, says Peter MacKay Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn It’s time to push back and impose sanctions on Chinese products, says Peter MacKay Former Minister of Foreign Affairs talks about what should be Canada’s strategy going forward in trade dispute last_img read more

Watch The Jaguar IPace Invade San Francisco

What’s The Best Jaguar I-Pace Highway Speed For Long Trips? Source: Electric Vehicle News Jaguar Will Electrify U.S. With National I-Pace Campaign Video description:Get up close and personal with the all-new 2019 I-PACE at the Jaguar Electrifies Event Oct. 3-7 in San Francisco. Watch Jaguar I-Pace Accelerate To 125 MPH If you’re an I-Pace fan, make sure to RSVP to get a little wheel time on their special closed course. In any case, there will be cars to inspect and other things to keep you busy, including the Jaguar Formula E  I-TYPE, the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy racecar, Smart Mirror Touchscreens, and DJI Mavic Air Drones. It all goes down between October 3 to 7 at the San Mateo County Event Center.The tour also will have stops in Los Angeles, South Florida, and New York City.If you do go, feel free to tell us about your experience, either in comments or on the Jaguar I-Pace portion of the InsideEVs Forum. Source: YouTube, Jaguar Check it out in San Mateo over the next three daysThe Jaguar I-Pace is coming! While we expect it to begin to find its way into the garages of owners sometime before the end of the year — the closest estimate we could shake out of the company — it will begin a national campaign called the Jaguar Electrifies Experience, starting tomorrow in San Francisco. Well, to be more exact, San Mateo to the city’s south. As you can see by the video above, with that long line of the brand’s all-electric crossover crawling down crooked Lombard Street, that the British brand’s invasion has already begun.More about the Jaguar I-Pace Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 2, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

Porsche Mission E Grand Tourismo prototype shown charging at 250kW 2x Tesla

first_imgSource: Charge Forward We’ve all been waiting for faster charging, because until now, Tesla’s been at the top of the heap with its ~120kW Superchargers which have pretty much plateaued since their debut 5 years ago. Porsche of course has been touting its 800V 350kW charging system for its Taycan and Mission E prototypes… more…The post Porsche Mission E Grand Tourismo prototype shown charging at 250kW (2x Tesla) appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Audi and Umicore tests closedloop process for recycling EV batteries

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicles Magazine Source: Audi Audi and Umicore, a materials technology and recycling group, have successfully tested a closed-loop approach for recycling components of high-voltage batteries. The companies’ research has shown that 95 percent of raw materials contained in batteries – including cobalt, nickel, and copper – can be recovered and reused for new products.In a closed-loop recycling approach, elements from retired batteries are transferred directly into new products. The goal is to ensure the security of supply and shorten delivery cycles by eliminating waste and increasing efficiency. Umicore has begun applying this approach to the high-voltage batteries used in the new Audi e-tron, hoping to learn more about the purity of recovered elements and recycling rates.“We want to be a pioneer and to promote recycling processes,” said Audi Board Member Bernd Martens. “This is also an element of our program to reduce CO2 emissions in procurement.”last_img read more

Red Tesla Semi Spotted In Motion Video

first_img Tesla Semi Juices Up From 5 Superchargers At Same Time: Video Tesla Semi caught in the wild.Posted by Aiyman Hadi on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 Key specs:Acceleration 0-60 mph with 80K lbs load – 20 secSpeed up a 5% Grade – 65 mphMile Range – 300 or 500 milesPowertrain – 4 Independent Motors on Rear AxlesEnergy Consumption – Less than 2 kWh / mileFuel Savings – $200,000+Expected Base Price (300 mile range) – $150,000Expected Base Price (500 mile range) – $180,000Base Reservation – $20,000Expected Founders Series Price – $200,000Founders Series Reservation – $200,000* Prices displayed in USD. International pricing will vary.Source: Teslarati Source: Electric Vehicle News Check Out This Tesla Semi Hauling Lone Model X The red one is back black.The Tesla Semi was recently caught in the wild, driving without a trailer near the Tesla Factory in Fremont.This is the red wrapped truck, which previously was matte black. The second one (unveiled in 2017) was the silver Semi. According to the reports, the red attracts a lot of attention, more than when it was black.Tesla Semi Red Tesla Semi Spotted Originally, Tesla said that the production of the Semi will start in late 2019.Here is video from Aiyman Hadi:(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v3.2’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 3, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more