Fitbits Ionic smartwatch is here but will it be enough

first_imgIndeed, the smartwatch industry seems to be doing something akin to floundering these days, suggesting that this may not be enough to pull Fitbit out of the slump its found itself in. Nonetheless, Fitbit is pressing on, launching what might just be the most anticipated smartwatch of the year in the Ionic. Fitbit leads off its announcement by focusing on the Ionic’s many fitness-focused features. Users will have access to Fitbit Coach and an automatic running companion based in its GPS capabilities. The Ionic will also allow for better heart rate tracking thanks to enhancements Fitbit has made to PurePulse, and a new Sp02 sensor will allow users to track blood oxygen levels, which opens up the potential for tracking things like sleep apnea in the future.At the moment, there don’t seem to be very many apps available for the Ionic, and that’s because it isn’t running an established smartwatch OS like Android Wear. Instead, the Ionic is running FitBit OS, which means that apps will be available through the Fitbit App Gallery. Though the Gallery is a little slim to start, it’s launching with apps from Pandora, Starbucks, Strava, and AccuWeather. More apps will come online after launch, and in September, Fitbit will launch an SDK that developers can use to begin crafting apps for the Ionic.AdChoices广告Fitbit says that the Ionic is the first device it has designed fully in-house and that it’s the “strongest and lightest GPS watch” it has ever developed. The Ionic comes with a quoted 4 day battery life, but of course, your mileage may vary depending on what you’re doing. All in all, it sounds like a pretty decent package, but with a price tag of $299.95, it’ll cost a little more than some other smartwatches on the market.The Fitbit Ionic is available for pre-sale today on Fitbit.com. It’ll hit other retailers tomorrow before launching sometime in October at retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Macy’s, and Verizon. The watch will be available in three colors – silver with a blue/gray band, smoke gray with a charcoal band, and burnt orange with a slate blue band.It sounds like the Ionic won’t disappoint as a fitness tracker, but the rather small App Galley might hold it back from becoming a true competitor to other smartwatches like the Apple Watch. We’ll see soon enough, as launch day is probably less than two months out at this point. In the meantime, head down to the comment section and let us know what you think of the Ionic! As expected, Fitbit has announced its first-ever smartwatch. Dubbed the Ionic, this new smartwatch keeps Fitbit’s fitness tracking business at the forefront while offering all of the functionality we’ve come to expect from other smartwatches, making it a pretty tempting device for those who wear a smartwatch on a daily basis. The only question now is whether or not anyone will buy it. Story TimelineApple is now a better wearable seller than Fitbit [Updated]Fitbit smartwatch – still on track, says CEOFitbit smartwatch release date range revealed as financial storm continuesFitbit smartwatch leaks, and we’re not loving the designlast_img read more

Facebook Live starts rolling out own screensharing feature

first_imgDesktop screen sharing is nothing new. In fact, there are more or less established workflows and software for doing that on live streaming platforms, especially the likes of Twitch.tv. The most popular is OBS, short for the Open Broadcaster Software. But being the most popular doesn’t exactly mean it’s the easiest or the most pleasurable to use. In this case, it sometimes means “necessary evil”.Facebook is trying to remove the middle man by baking screen-sharing functionality directly into Facebook Live. At a click of a button the desktop/browser Live app, you will be directed to install a browser extension that currently only works on Chrome. Once installed and running, you will be able to choose whether you want to share your entire screen, a browser tab, or even just a specific app. That’s all there is to it. But the simplicity and convenience does come at the cost of control and features. OBS, for example, lets you stream your webcam in a corner of the screen, useful for recording your reactions when playing a game or when doing interviews or tutorials.Still, Facebook Live’s screen-sharing is still totally new and, in fact, unannounced. It is bound to grow a few more features, though hopefully Facebook will keep those within a reasonable amount.VIA: The Next Web Video live streaming is often thought of these days as a way to broadcast events, gathers, and whatnot on social media. The idea, however, stems back to the days when streamers showed off their desktop screens, either to broadcast games or content creation. Somewhat giving a nod to its roots, Facebook Live is now reported to be rolling out a feature that will let users share their screen without the need for a third-party software, taking it one step closer to becoming an all-in-one live streaming solution.center_img NEW! Facebook screen sharing option on FB Live via https://t.co/Luozcvmz9G (desktop / laptop) pic.twitter.com/1CN2nsaUrT— Matt Navarra ⭐️ (@MattNavarra) October 17, 2017last_img read more

Worlds steepest funicular railway carries people up 4773degree incline

first_imgSOURCE: NewAtlas To make the ride more comfortable for the passengers, the round cars tilt as the train travels up the incline keeping passengers upright. The entire track is about a mile long and there are two cars each capable of carrying 136 passengers per trip. The cars travel at a slow and steady pace of 22 mph and it takes four minutes for the cars to make the trip that includes 2,500 feet of elevation change. The trip starts at an altitude of 562m and ends at an altitude of 1,306 m.The train travels through three tunnels and a bridge that spans 1,640 feet. There are four of the round cars on each train. One point of the track does have dual tracks to allow the trains to pass each other, while most of the track allows only a single train.A portion of that bridge span goes across a river. The log structures near the beginning of the track appear to be there to stop any rocks or falling debris from hitting the trains. The tunnels are very narrow, but are lit and have stairs in case of emergency. The steepest funicular railway in the entire world entered service last weekend in Switzerland. A funicular railway is a type of railway that uses trams and a cable to get up and down a steep incline. The new railway connects the mountain village of Stoos to the valley below.last_img read more

Google Assistant just learned how to gently wake you up

first_imgAlarm clocks are a necessary evil. No one likes being startled awake by a blaring, buzzing, beeping monstrosity. Starting the morning with a pounding heart isn’t on anyone’s agenda. Depending on how many mornings in a row you’ve been hearing that sound, it could be enough to cause an eye twitch or two. Google won’t subject its users to this, though; it has taught Assistant to wake you up gently. How? With your favorite music. Forget setting a bedside alarm clock to a local FM station, Google Assistant can now wake you up with whatever song you request. To use this ability, Google Home owners (or anyone using an Assistant device) merely needs to say, “Hey Google, set an alarm for TIME that plays SONG,” of course saying the actual time and music for the alarm.Not a Google Assistant user? Amazon’s Alexa alternative got music alarm support back in December.In addition, Google Assistant has been updated with new abilities related to media consumption. Users can now tell Assistant to remind them to watch a specific show at a specific time, and likewise ask which channel a specific show airs on, as well as what time it will be aired.AdChoices广告Netflix casting in particular has gotten more personal thanks to close work with the streaming company, Google explains. Netflix subscribers can link their account to Google Home / Assistant and then use Assistant to trigger playback of content on Netflix. This includes support for Netflix profiles.Rounding out the update is a treat for Google Play Music users. Assuming you’re on the streaming platform, Google Assistant can now access your uploaded and purchased music and play it upon request.SOURCE: Googlelast_img read more

HTC Exodus Blockchain phone launching with CryptoKitties this year

first_imgStory TimelineHTC Blockchain phone “Exodus” could be greatHTC Exodus blockchain phone: this is what it means In any case, the Exodus website now says that the phone will release in early access in Q3 2018. What early access might mean and who qualifies for a first look is up in the air, but we can probably expect wide launch to follow shortly after. There still aren’t any real details about the specifications of the Exodus, and indeed, the website looks mostly the same as it did when the phone was first announced back in May.In an interview with The Verge, HTC’s Phil Chen said that the phone will be comparable in price to the Sirin Labs Finney. Considering the Finney clocks in at $1000, it sounds like we can expect iPhone X-level pricing for the Exodus, which is a fairly big risk for a company that’s currently struggling to find an audience. More specific pricing details will follow closer to the end of Q3, Chen said.Chen also lowered the bar on what to expect from the Exodus. While the end goal is to create a truly decentralized phone where you own all of your identity and all of your data, Chen says such a device is still a ways off. In the meantime, the Exodus will act as a hardware wallet that makes use of decentralized apps. Chen also hopes to figure out a way to perform efficient mining on smartphones at some point down the road, but we probably can’t expect that from the Exodus either.HTC, however, did announce a new partnership with CryptoKitties. The game, which is built on blockchain technology, will allow you to collect, breed, and even sell one-of-a-kind creatures called CryptoKitties – in short, it’s an experiment with blockchain gaming, and it could pull in some of the folks who are interested in blockchain but aren’t crazy about cryptocurrency. CryptoKitties will eventually debut on Exodus, but it’s also available sooner on the HTC U12+. Finally, you can sign up for email alerts about the Exodus beginning today, so if you want to learn more about HTC’s blockchain phone in the future, it might not be a bad idea to head over to the Exodus site and do just that. HTC is pressing on with its blockchain-based phone, codenamed Exodus. First revealed earlier in 2018, we now know that the phone will be launching in “early access” later this year. That, unfortunately, is about the only new thing we’re learning today, so a lot of important details about the phone are still a mystery.last_img read more

Pictar Pro grip turns your smartphone into a makeshift DSLR

Smartphone cameras these days can almost rival DSLRs in many ways, especially with their more convenient portability and general purpose functions. There are still, however, things that a dedicated camera will always be able to do better, like offering tactile and more precise physical controls and having a viewfinder that works under the brightest of days. Rather than spend twice on a smartphone and a camera, miggo is offering a more practical alternative: the Pictar Pro Advanced camera grip that transforms your iPhone or Android phone into one. We’ve all seen accessories that promise to make your smartphone into an honest to goodness camera. Some do it through lenses, other through cases. miggo’s Pictar is different. It utilizes your smartphone’s already capable cameras and lenses but instead adds a grip with the wheels and buttons that pro photographers love. That idea sold well both on Kickstarter two years ago and even after the campaign ended. Now miggo is back with a pro version that adds a whole lot more.You’d be surprised at how many features you can cram into a handy grip that only occupies half your smartphone’s body. In this round, the Pictar Pro gains four larger control wheels and buttons, including one for exposure compensation, multi-state shutter release, zoom rocker, and a smart wheel that can cycle through different modes. The grip also features built-in wireless charging so you won’t have to worry (too much) about your phone dying in the middle of a shoot.The most interesting innovation in the Pictar Pro, however, is the Viewfinder. Yes, you can attach a viewfinder to make it easier, even possible, to take your best shots even when you can’t make out your phone’s screen because of the bright sunlight. What it does is to shrink the camera apps preview into a small window that you could then view through a smaller, distraction-free and glare-free screen. Just like a real camera!Part of the magic that makes the Pictar Pro possible is the Pictar App. In addition to providing pro-level camera controls, it can also recognize the smartphone being used and adjust its settings accordingly. And, yes, it is also responsible for that almost magical viewfinder feature. Best of all, you don’t need to do much to get started. Just slide the phone in, start the app and you’re good to go.Despite all those features, the Pictar Pro retains its predecessor’s handy design and improves on it. A cold shoe connector lets you add a mic or a flash to really look and sound like a pro. It also supports a tripod attachment so you won’t grow gorilla arms. The grip is also designed to fit all sizes of iPhones from the 6 to XS to whatever comes next, including Plus size models, as well as Android phones. All that for only $119 on Kickstarter if you’re fast enough, $129 to $189 depending on your reward options, and $245 if you wait until it hits the market. read more

LG G8 ThinQ price leak raises the stakes

first_imgLG has recently reported a not so small loss in its mobile business but while that’s not going to put the entire company out of business, it still doesn’t look good. At MWC 2019 later this month, the Korean OEM will have a chance to redeem itself, at least in the public’s eyes, with the debut of the LG G8 ThinQ as well as the LG V50 ThinQ 5G. With the stakes already high, however, LG may have decided to raise it even higher by raising prices to match its rivals. To some extent, it’s actually surprising that LG managed to hold off this long. In part thanks to Apple, smartphone prices have been climbing higher and higher each year, and there doesn’t seem to be any stopping it. In contrast, while not going as low as, say, OnePlus, LG has managed to stay at most $150 cheaper than its closest competition.According to a leak on Reddit, the LG G8 ThinQ will carry a retail price of $1,199.99 CAD. Now before you have a heart attack, there are two things to note here. One is that the SKU is listed to be 128 GB, which is twice the storage of the $750 LG G7 ThinQ launched last year. Second, LG is also more likely to sell it in the US for around $899, which is about the same price as last year’s LG V40 ThinQ.While the price hike, as mentioned, is perhaps overdue, the question now is whether it will be warranted. LG is known for making no-nonsense, well-balanced, incredible smartphones that look great on paper but don’t rack up the sales numbers year after year. The LG G8 will have to prove itself very different to be worthy of an increased price tag beyond just the specs upgrade and the new front-facing 3D time-of-flight camera. Story TimelineLG V50 ThinQ 5G to launch together with LG G8 ThinQBad LG phone sales figures are good for AndroidLG G8 ThinQ to have front-facing 3D time-of-flight camera from Infineonlast_img read more

Maserati Ghibli GranLusso Promises More Luxury

first_imgThe GranLusso version gets badges at the base of the front fenders along with body color side skirts to identify the version of the car. The rear bumper of the car is new and gets a body color rear extractor. Maserati says that the revised body parts make the GranLusso more aerodynamic in addition to looking better.Other than the refreshed exterior styling, the GranLusso also gets Adaptive full LED headlights with glare free Matrix High-Beam for looks and improved illumination. The car also gets ADAS functionality for autonomous driving. There is no mention of exactly what powers the car in the release, presumably it uses the same powertrain as the normal Ghibli.That would mean a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 engine making 345 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That engine can push the normal Ghibli from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 166 mph. The car is still able to muster 19 mpg combined fuel economy.AdChoices广告 Maserati has unveiled new images of the Maserati Ghibli GranLusso luxury sports car. The vehicle made its official world debut at the Chengdu Motorshow in China on August 25. The new ride will be available internationally and gets a refined design and technology inside. Part of the redesign is the new front bumper with chrome inserts and a front grill with chrome bars. If you are wondering, the next step up the Ghibli line is the S version also powered by a V6 making 410 hp. The S Q4 is the same car with an AWD system in place making the same power as the normal S. A diesel version of the car is offered with 250 hp or 275 hp diesel V6 engine. Rumors continue to suggest that Maserati has an electric car in the works due on the market by 2020.SOURCE: Maseratilast_img read more

Ford CoPilot 360 aims to keep the masses safer behind the wheel

first_imgSOURCE: Ford Ford says that its Co-Pilot 360 system is the most advanced among full-line brands. The system rolls in automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot information system, lane keeping system, rear backup camera, and automatic high beam headlights. The system will roll out on new Ford cars, SUVs, and trucks including the F-150, 2019 Edge and Edge ST this fall.The standard automatic emergency braking system is designed to help drivers avoid collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians that might accidentally cross in front of the vehicle path. Ford says that tech will be standard on 91% of Ford vehicles in North America by 2020. The blind spot system warns of traffic in blind spots with a light on the side mirror. Cross-traffic alert warns of traffic behind the car when the driver backs out of a parking spot or driveway. Lane keeping has three functions. It can notify drivers straying out of their lane with vibration via the steering wheel. It can also provide steering torque to steer back into the center of the lane. It also monitors driving pattern and will deliver audio warnings if it detects an inattentive driver.The auto high beam headlights will turn high beams on and off to allow drivers to see better at night without running the risk of blinding oncoming traffic. Ford says that it will add new tech to the Co-Pilot 360 package in the future. Ford has announced Co-Pilot 360 and claims that the new suite of safety systems for passenger cars and trucks is the most advanced system out there. Ford plans to roll out Co-Pilot 360 in key global markets starting this fall. The stated goal of the system is to help customers drive more safely and confidently in congesting and amid growing distractions behind the wheel.last_img read more

One Mix 3 convertible mini laptop grows up with larger screen

first_imgAlthough they will never become mainstream even to the extent Netbooks once were, mini laptops from the likes of GPD and One Netbook have found their faithful niche market. This year seems to be poised to be quite an interesting one given what’s reportedly coming. It seems, however, that most of the players have outgrown the 7-inch form factor as one of the big three, One Netbook, is now also jumping into the 8-inch territory. Story TimelineOne Mix 2 Yoga takes another stab at 7-inch convertibleChuwi Minibook to jump on 8-inch convertible laptop trainGPD Pocket 2 Max laptop ventures into 9-inch territory It might not be as big as GPD or Chuwi but One Netbook quickly made a name for itself with the One Mix Yoga pictured above. It was the first of its kind to feature the convertible form factor, ala a Lenovo Yoga, in a 7-inch mini laptop size. Now along with the other two, the One Mix 3 is getting bigger with an 8.4-inch 2560×1600 “2K” screen.The rest of the specs aren’t bad either. It seems that this year’s batch will all be using an Intel Core m3-8100Y with at least 8 GB of RAM and NVMe PCIe SSD storage. The One Mix 3 will still have a pressure sensitive stylus that, curiously, is noted to be compatible with an “original surface 4,096 pressure stylus pen”, presumably referring the Microsoft’s N-Trig stylus.While larger than its predecessors, the One Mix 3 is also thinner. It seems that the keyboard keys will be the same size but the space between them could make for more comfortable typing, hinted by the picture below (One Mix 3 in black). Don’t expect any touchpad though given it’s not large enough to accommodate one.There is no word when the One Mix 3 will come out but it will be facing some tough rivals in this tiny market. GPD is coming out with not one but two mini laptops, a 9-inch Pocket 2 Max and an AMD Ryzen-powered Win Max. Chuwi has also decided to join the fray with its own 8-inch convertible, the Chuwi Minibook. Suffice to say, you won’t be lacking in choices if you’re looking for a larger than pocket-sized laptop, presuming you’re fine buying from these brands.last_img read more

Apples WWDC 2019 will be a featurefest iOS and macOS updates leaked

first_imgStory TimelinemacOS 10.15 “Sidecar” feature can use iPads as external screensApple removes Screen Time rival apps, cites privacy concernsWhat if Apple stopped selling MacBooks? As always, we expect Apple to announce the next iteration of iOS at WWDC: iOS 13. Along with it will come a number of new features, including a Dark Mode that can be enabled from the Control Center and a few UI tweaks to the widgets screen. We’re also hearing today that Apple will implement a gesture keyboard of its own, giving users a first-party alternative to keyboard add-ons like SwiftKey.This information comes from Bloomberg, which spoke to sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans but asked to remain anonymous. Those sources also claim that the Health app will be getting a new home screen that better tracks daily activity and even surfaces metrics on hearing health that take into account the typical volume of your headphones and the noise in the world around you. Screen Time will be getting new features that give parents better control over who their kids can contact and when, while Books will be getting a progress tracker and a reward system to encourage people to read more.iMessage, meanwhile, is said to be getting support for display names and profile pictures, and Maps will make it easier to save and navigate to frequent locations. Add to that improvements to the Mail, Home, and Reminders apps, along with a multi-user mode on the HomePod (at long last), and iOS is due for a lot of different upgrades at WWDC.AdChoices广告The list of improvements to macOS isn’t nearly as long, but there are still some big features on deck. Chief among them will be the ability to run iPad apps on MacBooks and Mac desktops, which is a feature that’s been mentioned in numerous reports already. Apple may use WWDC to launch a new Apple Music Mac app while also bringing the Podcasts, Find My iPhone, and Find My Friends apps over from iPad. Bloomberg also notes that Apple is considering launching both a new Mac Pro and a new HDR monitor at the show, so it sounds like WWDC won’t be solely about software.Finally, we come to the changes in store for Apple Watch and watchOS. In watchOS 6, Apple is expected to launch a standalone version of the App Store for the Apple Watch, allowing users to rely less on pairing to their phones. We’ll also see a dedicated Voice Memos app make the jump to Apple Watch, so you’ll be able to create notes and reminders simply by speaking into the device. Apple Watch will be getting two new health apps centered around pill reminders and menstrual cycle tracking, along with at least six new watch faces.Bloomberg’s report on what’s coming up for iOS, macOS, and watchOS is very extensive, so be sure to give it a read through for all that’s on the way. As always, take what you read with a grain of salt, as Bloomberg’s sources claim that Apple is still deciding on what to ship this year and what to push back. While that suggests we’ll see all of these features at some point, we may not see them all announced at the same time. WWDC 2019 starts on June 3rd, and we’ll be covering the show as it happens right here at SlashGear. Stay tuned for more. WWDC 2019 is on the horizon, and though it isn’t going to shock anyone to hear that Apple is planning to announce some software upgrades at the show, today we’re learning just how extensive those upgrades could be. As it turns out, Apple is looking at making a lot of improvements to its existing apps and operating systems, and the list of changes on tap for iOS is particularly long.last_img read more

Cadillac XT6 threerow SUV will begin brand reboot in Detroit

first_imgIt’s been a tough year for the automaker’s range, certainly. Back in May, for example, Cadillac confirmed that the ATS sedan would be discontinued after the 2018 model year. The ATS coupe, meanwhile, made it through to the 2019 model year, but there were no further promises about availability beyond that. Those cuts were just a foreshadowing of bigger changes still to come, mind. Earlier this month it was confirmed that the Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan, which went on sale to great fanfare in January 2016, was also to be discontinued. Production will cease at the end of the 2019 model year. In its place, Cadillac has vehicles more attuned to the current tastes of American motorists. While its sedans have struggled, Cadillac’s crossover SUVs have seen healthy demand. The Cadillac XT5, released in early 2016, set a template for that, and was joined earlier this year by the new, smaller XT4 crossover. Now, a bigger version is coming. The Cadillac XT6 will be a three row model, according to Automotive News, and debt on January 13. It’ll be positioned in-between the XT5 and the Escalade. That’s no accident. The three-row SUV space is a lucrative one, popular among families, and picking up sales there should be much easier for Cadillac than attempting to coax Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz drivers out of their German luxury sedans and into something American. As for styling, the expectation is that Cadillac will continue its design language from the XT4. That angular aesthetic was inspired by the Cadillac Escala concept of 2016, which at the time was tipped to preview how a super-luxe version of the CT6 might look. Instead, it seems, the concept sedan’s vaguely Art Deco design will be magnified for a big crossover. Sales of the Cadillac XT6 are expected to kick off in mid-2019. It’s likely to benefit from Cadillac’s investment in driver-assistance technologies, including providing a potential new home for Super Cruise, the hands-free adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping system that until now has been exclusive to certain CT6 trims. Cadillac confirmed earlier this year that Super Cruise would be spreading to other models from 2020. Cadillac plans a new, three-row crossover, the Cadillac XT6, to help rebuild its range, after the struggling automaker took an axe to its line-up in a series of shocking cuts recently. The new XT6 will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show 2019 in mid-January, as Cadillac attempts to coax further sales out of one of the more popular categories. last_img read more

Consumers Employers Reconsider Insurance Costs

first_imgConsumers, Employers Reconsider Insurance Costs This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Individuals and businesses are weighing the pros and cons of buying health coverage as a result of the advent of high-deductible policies, as well as the provisions of the health law set to take effect in 2014.San Francisco Chronicle: Patients Negotiate For Care With CashPalo Alto resident Ed Lee routinely negotiates for his own health care services, everything from the cost of a scan to an urgent-care visit – often securing discounts of 30 to 50 percent off the original charges. ee, 61, a self-employed public relations expert in the semiconductor industry, started bypassing his health insurance and paying out of pocket last year when he realized that premiums and deductibles were costing him more than $12,000 before his insurer paid a dime. With that decision, Lee became part of a new breed of health care consumer — people who pay such a large portion of their health costs that they’re questioning the value of insurance. And because they’re footing so much of the bill, they feel they owe it to themselves to get a decent price (Colliver, 8/27).Modern Healthcare: Most Employers To Continue Offering Health Care Plans In 2014: SurveyThe overwhelming majority of employers say they will continue to offer health care plans after core provisions of the health care reform law take effect in 2014, but most say they will need to make plan changes later to avoid a new excise tax on the most costly plans, according to a new survey. Eighty-eight percent of employers surveyed by Towers Watson & Co. said they have no plans to terminate coverage in 2014 or after for full-time employees, while 11 percent were not sure. Just 1 percent said they planned to terminate coverage for some employees (Geisel, 8/27).last_img read more

Small Businesses Continue To Mull Health Laws Implications

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. NPR reports that some say the health law is having a chilling effect on hiring by small businesses. In Virginia, the Governor’s Small Business Summit is focusing on what might happen once the overhaul is in full force. NPR: Is Obamacare Hurting Hiring By Small Businesses?The Affordable Care Act, which has become known as Obamacare, will require small businesses with 50 or more employees to offer health care coverage to their workers. Some have suggested that could be discouraging hiring by small businesses (Ydstie, 6/6).Richmond Times-Dispatch: Governor’s Small Business Summit Focused On Health-Care LawWith less than seven months to go before the federal health care law goes into full effect, small businesses are still grappling with the law’s implications. Most speakers at the Governor’s Small Business Summit on Wednesday indicated they did not agree with the insurance reforms under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but tried to offer guidance (Gorman, 6/6). Small Businesses Continue To Mull Health Law’s Implicationslast_img read more

State Highlights Measure To Cap Medical Malpractice Awards Headed For Mo Governor

first_img The Connecticut Mirror: Still On Hold: A Solution For Long DSS Call-Wait Times The Associated Press: Missouri House Sends Medical Malpractice Caps To Governor The Wall Street Journal: Colorado Family-Planning Program May Be In Jeopardy A lawmaker’s push to increase Texans’ access to raw milk stirred controversy on Tuesday, as dairy farmers, doctors and consumer advocates gathered at the Capitol to debate the merits of unpasteurized milk. House Bill 91 by state Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, would allow licensed farmers to sell raw milk at farmers’ markers and through direct delivery to consumers. The proposed legislation would not allow the sale of raw milk in supermarkets. While raw milk is currently legal in Texas, it can only be sold at farms. (Hershaw, 4/21) A measure to reinstate limits on lawsuit awards for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases is heading to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk three years after the state Supreme Court overturned lower caps. The Missouri House on Tuesday voted 125-27 to approve a measure that limits noneconomic damages in malpractice cases. It’s a change supporters have been calling for since the state’s high court eliminated caps in a 2012 decision that hospital and doctor’s groups warned would increase insurance costs, stall expansions of hospitals and deter doctors from practicing in the state. (French, 4/22) The New York Times: Louisiana Moves Ahead With Abortion Regulation Rewrite Doctors in Kansas City rake in more money from pharmaceutical companies than physicians in any other U.S. city, according to a survey by BetterDoctor.com. The San Francisco-based company, a web and mobile-based physician search service, found that Kansas City doctors were paid an average of $2,945 by drugmakers, the most in the nation. (Margolies, 4/21) During the past five years, Colorado’s teen pregnancy rate plummeted 40%, a dramatic reduction that public health officials attribute to an unusual contraception program financed by investor Warren Buffett. Now the future of the program, which made birth control devices available to thousands of Colorado women at reduced costs, is in jeopardy. It is set to expire this summer and some state lawmakers are balking at using state money to continue the project. (Frosch, 4/21) 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 Washington Post: Maine Wants To Help You Get Fertility Treatments — Unless It Was An STD That Made You Infertile Republican Rep. Matt Dean, who chairs the House Health Care Finance Committee, joined MPR News’ Tom Weber to talk about his bill to end MinnesotaCare. (4/21) center_img The Kansas Health Institute News Service: Survey Spotlights Drug Company Payments To Kansas City Doctors Minnesota Public Radio: Rep. Matt Dean Wants To End MinnesotaCare Modern Healthcare: Future Of Dual Eligible Demonstrations Questioned Due To Low Enrollment State Highlights: Measure To Cap Medical Malpractice Awards Headed For Mo. Governor; Colo. Family-Planning Program At Risk News outlets cover health care issues in Missouri, Colorado, Kansas, Connecticut, Minnesota, Louisiana, Maine, and Texas. There are growing worries about the future of an ambitious federal demonstration aimed at improving coordination of care for millions of low-income and disabled Americans who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Health plan leaders and state officials expressed concern during a webinar event on April 16 that current federal-state demonstrations in 11 states may not yield the cost savings the Obama administration and the states hoped for – at least in the projected time frame. (Dickson, 4/21) Here is the good news: Maine lawmakers want health insurers to start paying for fertility treatments. Many more hopeful Mainers might soon be able to have children. Here is the icky news: Only married people would qualify, and only if they hadn’t become infertile because of a sexually transmitted disease. So far, 13 states have laws requiring insurers to cover assistive reproductive therapies according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. (Guo, 4/21) Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has rewritten the state’s abortion clinic regulations, a move that abortion-rights supporters say was unnecessary and intended to hinder the operation of clinics. (4/21) The Texas Tribune: Lawmakers Push For Consumer Access To Raw Milk It took an average of 54 minutes for callers to reach a Department of Social Services worker by phone last month. That’s an improvement over February’s 70-minute average, and one of the lower average monthly wait times in the past year. But client advocates say it’s far too long for people to wait for help with health care coverage, food stamps or other programs that provide for basic needs. (Levin Becker, 4/21) last_img read more

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and features exposed in major leak

first_img This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. For a while, we’ve tracked the prospect of a Galaxy Watch 2 arriving from Samsung later this summer, but for now we’re going to have to settle for another sequel smartwatch.SamMobile says it has been sent images of the Watch Active 2, the first of which was only released in April this year as an affordable alternative to the Galaxy Watch.Just like it’s predecessor, the Watch Active 2, rocks a premium-looking design without the rotating bezel. It remains to be seen whether Samsung is done with the deisgn/UI feature or whether it’s keeping that for the Galaxy Watch series.According to the report, the device will come in multiple variants. SamMobile says there’ll be 40mm and 44mm size options. There’ll be an LTE variant this time around, the source said, as well as the Wi-Fi-only device. The LTE model is set to have a 340mAh battery, while the Wi-Fi model will only have 237mAh. It’s also set to get a new version of the Samsung One UI, bumped up from 1.0 to version 1.5, the report said.The video published by SamMobile also shows the watch has a pair of buttons on one side and a speaker grille on the other side of the watch. The presence of the speaker suggests you’ll be able to make calls directly from the watch, as there’s a microphone too. The imagery also reveals a new circular rim surrounding the heart rate monitor.Related: Best fitness trackersSamsung’s first Galaxy Watch Active provided a cheaper entry point than the flagship Galaxy Watch. In his review, Alex Walker-Todd said the “new wearable signifies a shift in its approach to smartwatches and showcases new fitness technologies all at the same time.”He called it a worthy successor to the Gear Sport, with an attractive design and new features that made it well worth the £229 asking price.It’s not clear yet whether Samsung is still bringing a Galaxy Watch 2 to market. SamMobile’s source intimated that there wouldn’t be one. 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. 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

EA Access for Sony PS4 finally gets its release date

first_img 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. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Electronic Arts has confirmed its EA Access game subscription service will finally arrive on Sony’s PS4 console in July. The gaming giant confirmed in May that the service was coming, but now we know the precise date for the launch: July 24.The long-time Microsoft-exclusive service gives gamers access to tons of high-profile vault games like Burnout Paradise, Battlefield V, FIFA 18, Madden 19 and Battlefront II. The subscription fee also gives members access to first play trials for games like FIFA 20 and Madden 20.  Additionally, there’s the bonus of 10% savings on all game download purchases made via the portal.Like the Xbox platform, it will cost games $5/£4 a month or $30/£20 for the entire year. Unfortunately, if you own both consoles, you can’t transfer your subscription between the two platforms. Each membership is device specific.Related: PS4 vs Xbox 2The launch on the PS4 has been a long-time coming. Sony rejected its presence way back in 2014. It’s unclear what’s changed in Sony’s eyes, but the improved library probably has something to do with it.At the time the company said: “We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect. We don’t think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer.”EA currently has a holding page for the PS4 launch up on its website, which features a countdown clock until the launch. Gamers can sign up today and get an email when the subscription becomes available. 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. 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.last_img read more

Tesla Market Cap Surpasses Daimler

first_imgTesla’s market value is now higher than DaimlerStep-by-step Tesla becomes bigger and bigger company, which sells more cars (and more of its other products too). It is reflected by the market capitalization (share price times the number of issued shares).Most recently, the value of Tesla exceeded the value of Daimler, despite Daimler being way bigger in terms of… everything – volume of sales, profits, history. However, not the size or current results are a determining factor in market cap.Market cap:Tesla – $63.18 billionDaimler – $61.27 billion The most important factor that influences share value is the belief of the future outcome. Tesla, as a technological company and biggest manufacturer of all-electric cars, is expected to grow strong in the future, which pulls the market value up.This is why from a market perspective Tesla can be more valuable than Daimler, Ford or BMW.Source: Google Finance, Electrek Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 5, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Tesla Now Worth More Than Ford Tesla Passes BMW In Market Cap To Become World’s #4 Most Valuable Automakercenter_img See Also Source: Electric Vehicle News EVTV: Jack Rickard Says Tesla Stock Will Hit $950last_img read more

Vital Public Service Announcement Your Model 3 Does Not Love You

first_img Litter Of Kittens Found Hitching A Ride In Chevy Bolt EV Grandmas React To Tesla Model 3 Test Ride It’s not you, it’s the Model 3This past week, my wife and I were at a Tesla Gallery where she took the Tesla Model 3 for a test drive ahead of her purchase. The experience went well and she absolutely adored the car. I was eventually able to convince her to give me a few minutes behind the wheel as well. So generous of her. But that’s not what this vital public service announcement is about.More Incredibly Important Info About EVs Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla To Add Toilet Humor And Romance Mode As I was driving the car back to the gallery, I noticed a pair of young men taking turns bending over the rear of another Model 3. Standing next to them was a Tesla employee looking thoroughly confused while watching something on his phone. I initially assumed they were checking out the width of the vehicle. Or perhaps they were examining the usable trunk space. So I thought nothing of it and parked our car two stalls over.Our gallery associate then began to show us some additional features of the OS and navigation we had asked about. At some point during his demonstration, I looked into the rear-view mirror and saw the group was now standing behind our test drive vehicle. They seemed to be wrapping their arms around the rear of our car. At this point I had a pretty good idea of what was going on.Friends don’t let friends hug TeslasA week or two prior a post had been going around the web that the Model 3 had a secret pulsing “heart” easter egg. This could supposedly be found by wrapping your arms around the car to give it a “hug.”When we got out of the car, I looked back at them and grinned.“You are probably wondering why we’re hugging the car.” One of them said to us as we exited, “Well we saw a video that if you hug the car just right, a secret port opens. It shows a beating heart. We can’t seem to get it to work.”I had to be the bearer of bad news. “Yeah, I saw it too.” I told him, “It’s fake… the Model 3 has no heart.”I could see the disappointment on his face. But hopefully I helped save him any future embarrassment. In fact, this was not the first person I had to tell this to. A friend of mine had sent me a picture of the alleged heart port about a week prior, telling me to give the car a hug for him once we picked up ours.I’m not surprised people took the post seriously. Tesla is a frequently playful company and loves to include fun software and secret modes on their operating system. But software and games are one thing. Adding a motorized port onto every Model 3 just for a gag about the Model 3 having a pulsing heart? Not likely to ever happen unfortunately.If for some reason you still don’t believe me, check out the video above by teslaOS.Also, you absolutely can’t charge your EV by putting it in the microwave. I don’t think that one has gone around yet. But I wanted to nip it in the bud now. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 9, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Tesla BMW Nissan Stores Top Ranked As Most Helpful To EV Buyers

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News This Nissan Dealership In Colorado Knows How To Sell LEAFs PlugStar Hopes To Train Dealerships To Sell Electric Cars “Success selling EVs depends upon many of the same salesperson behaviors that customers find helpful when shopping for traditional automobiles. However, because EVs rely on technology new to many customers, the salesperson must also be able to introduce and explain the operation of EVs and the features and benefits of EV technology.Compared to the salespeople for other brands, Tesla salespeople were more likely on average to help customers understand garage charging options, or to describe how to use national charging networks. BMW salespeople were more likely to explain EV incentives and rebates, or to mention how vehicle range changes based upon driving conditions. Nissan salespeople were more likely to ask how the vehicle would be used to determine whether the battery range would be adequate, or to describe one-pedal driving convenience.Included in the study were brands selling Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) (Tesla, BMW, Nissan, Jaguar, Chevrolet, Honda, Audi, Hyundai and Kia) or Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) (Volvo, Mitsubishi, Mini, Chrysler, Toyota, Cadillac, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Subaru). Models were chosen from vehicles promoted on manufacturer websites. Two brands, Audi and Subaru, showed EV models on-line which were not yet present at their dealerships, so dealerships selling those vehicles were only able to accept orders.”Fran O’Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Company LLC said:“Imagine what it would have been like to sell a gas-powered automobile in the early 1900s. Customers back then were buying their first car, and salespeople would have had to explain the basics, such as how to operate the vehicle or where to find fuel while travelling.” Similarly, industry research today finds that two-thirds of EV customers are first-time EV buyers. “EV sales are growing rapidly, and salespeople today play a critical role helping these new customers understand how EV technology will benefit them,” 2019 Pied Piper “PSI for EVs” Industry Benchmarking Study Brand Rankingscenter_img Some brands care much more about customers interested in plug-insAccording to the latest 2019 Pied Piper “PSI® for EVs” U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study, Tesla‘s dealerships (in the case of Tesla there are no dealers but stores/galleries) were ranked highest in terms of being most helpful to customers interested in plug-in electric cars.Tesla scored 118 points (18 over industry average), which is interesting especially because the brand was last in the general 2018 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index. Moreover, Tesla intends to close many of its stores, focusing on on-line sales.“Over the next few months, we will be winding down many of our stores, with a small number of stores in high-traffic locations remaining as galleries, showcases and Tesla information centers.”The two next brands are BMW (111) and Nissan (107), followed by Volvo (105), Mitsubishi (104) and MINI (102). The brands with lower results are more likely to encounter problems with utilizing the full potential of plug-in models.The high position of BMW suggests that many plug-in versions of conventional models (even those low range PHEVs) bring some benefits for the future. To some degree, it’s also the case for Volvo.See Also Hyundai Dealers Reportedly Price Gouging On Kona Electric Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 4, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more