Google makes 1bn nonprofit pledge to retrain global workforce

first_imgGoogle has pledged a billion dollars in nonprofit grants over the next five years, part of a push to help reskill workforces around the world. The news, announced in Pittsburgh, PA today, sees Google roll out three initiatives as it tackles evolving job roles – prompted, in no small part, by its own developments and products. Google employees, meanwhile, will be committing 1 million volunteer hours over the next five years, “to help organizations working on the front lines of these issues,” Pichai says. For Goodwill, that will take the form of 1,000 Google staff doing career coaching over the coming three years. However, each commitment will be different, and might include technical support for nonprofits or staffing science fares. Google’s role in the evolving landscape for jobs – both in the US and internationally – has proved a controversial one. Developments like self-driving cars and machine learning, while technologically impressive, might also have a significant knock-on impact to jobs, particularly for contract workers who already deal with a high degree of uncertainty in their employment. First up, there’s Grow with Google. That’s described as “a new initiative to help Americans with the skills they need to get a job or grow their business,” and will offer tools spanning everyone from high schoolers, small businesses, developers, job seekers, and startups. “We understand there’s uncertainty and even concern about the pace of technological change,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said of the project. “But we know that technology will be an engine of America’s growth for years to come.”Google has apparently been testing out its Applied Digital Skills training, part of Grow with Google, with around 27,000 middle and high schoolers. It aims to give a core understanding of digital essentials, like spreadsheets and email. There’ll be a new G Suite Certification to put on a resumé, too. In the new year, meanwhile, there’ll be an IT Professional Support Certificate program. Google is sponsoring 2,600 scholarships through non-profit organizations, which will take eight to twelve months. A Google Developer Scholarship Challenge will be free, meanwhile, and offer 50,000 scholarships for people specifically wanting to get into developing for the web and Android. As for the $1bn, that’s part of a new commitment by, the company’s philanthropic arm. One of the first recipients will be Goodwill, which gets $10m for its Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator, a new project that will offer 1.2m people digital skills training from 156 locations across every US state. last_img read more

AMD Athlon 200GE brings Zen cores to lowend PCs

first_imgWith AMD’s Ryzen facing off with Intel’s Core processors, the Athlon is now being prepped to handle its rival’s low to mid-range products, especially those that go into laptops and even tablets. In other words, AMD’s Athlons will be competing in the same market as Intel’s Celerons and Pentiums. Almost like the old days but on a lower rung of the ladder.The Athlon 200GE, for example, is the cheapest Zen-based processor to date. Only $55. Before you let your jaw drop, you should probably know the sacrifices AMD had to make to bring the price down. Like having only 2 cores (with 4 threads) instead of the lowest Ryzen (Ryzen 3 1300X) with 4 cores, 4 threads. It also only has a 35W TDP, which may or may not actually be a good thing, depending on what it’s being used for.It does have, however, Radeon Vega graphics built-in. Only 3 compute units (CU), though. But, over all, AMD the whole system-on-chip, which has a non-overclockable 3.2 GHz frequency, will be powerful enough (and power efficient enough) for basic computing tasks, including some light gaming and HD movies. Given the figures, it seems almost like the perfect fit for mobile PCs.The AMD Athlon 200GE will go on sale on September 18 for the aforementioned $55 price tag. There will also be an Athlon 220GE and Athlon 240GE coming next quarter, with details still to be released. AMD has also announced an Athlon PRO 200GE version with the exact same specs but with special features designed for commercial customers and OEMs. If you think you haven’t heard anything about AMD’s Athlon brand in a long while, you’re probably not alone. Once the premiere line of AMD processors, the Athlon has taken a step back and practically disappeared, especially with the introduction of the new Zen CPU architecture and the Ryzen processors. AMD, however, isn’t done with the brand yet and is pushing it back into the spotlight with the Athlon 200GE, its first Athlon to use Zen cores and an integrated Radeon Vega GPU.last_img read more

Microsoft ToDo remembers it has a web app updates all platforms

first_imgBefore there were all these hip productivity to-do list apps, there was the list-lover’s heaven known as Wunderlist. Microsoft gobbled it up and, just like the Sunrise calendar, made it no secret that it would be shutting the service down once its replacement was well on its way. That replacement is Microsoft To-Do, which doesn’t seem to get as much attention as Microsoft’s other apps. In fact, it’s only now that Microsoft is reminding people that it actually has a Web version of the service, after giving it a facelift. Microsoft has also just recently pushed updates to its apps on other, more advertised platforms. On iOS, the app lets users move between lists using swiping gestures. On Android, users can undo removing a task from a list, in case it was done accidentally. Both are getting improved syncing and performance with shared lists.Microsoft To-Do is still far from replacing or even just placating Wunderlist users’ hearts. And at it this rate, it’s going to take more than a while. On the flip side, that probably means Wunderlist will be around a bit longer on life support. Some might argue that Microsoft To-Do is available on the platforms that matter, at least for Microsoft. That means Android, iOS, and, of course, Windows 10. Some might argue (to the death) that macOS and Linux do matter. More importantly, the Web is all that matters for some. Fortunately, Microsoft has an answer for those. It just forget to remind users about it.Microsoft To-Do’s web app isn’t knew, just lesser known. Almost all of Microsoft’s updates have been for the mobile or PC version of the service. What better time to remind the public of its existence than with its first update in a long time. And it’s a big one at that. In addition to a redesign that makes it look like, the web app is getting a Planned smart list features that shows your upcoming tasks for the next five days. And, for the first time, this feature is available first on the web, with mobile and PC coming later.center_img Our web app has a new look! With our new design, it’s easier to visually organize your lists by color. And our new Planned smart list gives you an organized overview from My Day to the next 5 days and even later.— Microsoft To-Do Help (@MicrosoftToDo) September 11, 2018last_img read more

Range Rover Sport is the first vehicle to climb Heavens Gate

first_imgThey say that getting to heaven is a lot of hard work. While not exactly the literal heaven, the hard work that went through this Dragon Challenge stunt is no metaphor. Heaven’s Gate is a natural rock arch that sits atop China’s Tianmen Mountain, and getting there runs the risk of dying along the way. Not just because of the extreme difficulty of climbing up 999 steps, but also of the dangers on the road leading to those steps.That road curves and turns along the mountain edges like a white dragon wrapping itself around the mountain range. The turns are sharp and sit atop vertical walls. One wrong turn could lead to a disaster. Buses carrying tourists only turn those corners under 40 kph for that reason. And they definitely don’t drive like a race car.And then there are the 999 steps. Short steps are fine for an SUV. But 999 steps on stairs inclined at a 45-degree angle? Panasonic Jaguar Ho-Pin Tung, who made this historic drive, says his Formula E and Formula 1 experiences, or even his 24 Hours of Le Mans victory, had nothing on this.AdChoices广告Of course, the story has a happy ending and a shaking but euphoric Tung hopes off the Range Rover Sport, victorious and, at the same time, incredulous. The odds were stacked against them but he and the Range Rover Sport not only made it in one piece but also made history. And you can bet that this won’t be Land Rover’s last breath-taking Dragon Challenge either. Cars are meant to drive on roads. Some are built to drive on treacherous ones. None, however, are meant to climb, yes climb, stairs, especially deadly steep stairs. Land Rover, however, just proved to the world that it has a car that can do both. The Range Rover Sport PHEV has just made a world record by not only driving through a dizzying 99 turns but also climbing the 45-degree 999 steps up the natural rock arch that is known as Heaven’s Gate.last_img read more

Windows 10 will now warn users if their version will soon be

first_imgWith Windows 10, Microsoft has started a new “Windows as a Service” thrust that pushes updates and fixes not in service packs but as rolling updates. New major versions, on the other hand, come twice a year with big new features. The intention is to make sure users always get the latest bug fixes and features without having to wait too long, giving the semblance of a fresh and active operating system.Not all users are buying the marketing though. Over the years, Windows 10 updates have proven to be problematic, rolling out worse bugs than they fix. Some have purposely held back from keeping their systems up-to-date, which also does have negative consequences. Now it seems that Microsoft is tightening the noose on such users.Windows Latest reveals that the Windows Update page in the Settings app now includes a warning if the version of Windows 10 is about to reach its end of life. That currently applies to those running on Window 10 1803 which is set to become unsupported on November 2019. In fact, those machines might be updated to more recent versions by force.That might be good if Microsoft can guarantee that those systems won’t break with a more recent Windows 10 version. Given how it has broken compatibility with some peripherals in some updates, that probably won’t be the case. Windows 10 users might be up for a rough ride in the months ahead because of it. Even before it had a chance to fully roll out, Windows 10 was already lambasted for how it nagged users to upgrade to Microsoft’s latest but not so greatest. That may now be in the past but it seems that Redmond has found another way to notify users that the version of Windows 10 they’re on will be reaching its end of life. What it doesn’t make apparent is that it may automatically update such users to the latest version, whether they like to or not.last_img read more

RHA Wireless Flight Adapter grants Bluetooth audio to anything with a 35mm

first_imgStory TimelineRHA SA-850, SA-500 and MA-350 ReviewRHA Dacamp L1 portable DAC headphone amp launches at IFA 2016 Not only is this adapter good for people with devices that don’t support Bluetooth, but it’s also good for people who often find themselves on long-haul flights, just as the name suggests it is. The Wireless Flight Adapter comes with dual 3.5mm inputs that are modular, so they can be used with in-flight entertainment systems. When you’re using a device that only has a single 3.5mm jack, you can retract one of those inputs in the housing so it doesn’t get in the way.RHA’s Wireless Flight Adapter is charged via USB-C and with a full battery can support up to 16 hours of playback. With that in mind, it should have enough battery life for all but the longest possible direct flights, but it’s worth pointing out that the adapter can also be used while it’s plugged in and charging.The adapter supports Bluetooth 5.0, aptX, and aptX low latency, and can broadcast simultaneously to two pairs of headphones at once. It has a 10 meter range as well, so you can get pretty far away from it before the connection begins to cut out. In addition to folks who make a habit of taking long flights, the Wireless Flight Adapter could be a good buy for those who own a Nintendo Switch, as that doesn’t support Bluetooth headphones despite the fact that Joy-Cons connect to the console via Bluetooth.In fact, one of the images on RHA’s listing for the Wireless Flight Adapter show it being used to connect wireless headphones to a Switch, so it’s clear that the company understands where it can fill a need. The Wireless Flight Adapter is available today from RHA’s website for $49.95. If you’re the owner of a quality pair of Bluetooth headphones but you own devices that don’t support wireless connections through Bluetooth, then RHA has the perfect device for you. Today the company introduced its Wireless Flight Adapter, which takes any device with a 3.5mm jack and makes it compatible with your Bluetooth headphones.last_img read more

Health Policies Will Play Role In Debates Political Theater

first_imgHealth Policies Will Play Role In Debate’s Political Theater This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. As new polls show a narrow margin separating them, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will face questions on their plans for Medicare, Medicaid and overhauling the health system during tonight’s debate. The focus will be on domestic policy, and at least 15 minutes will be dedicated to health care.   The Wall Street Journal: Race Tightens In 2 States As Ohio Gap WidensBiting into President Barack Obama’s lead over the past three weeks, Mr. Romney trails the president by a single percentage point among likely voters in Florida and by two points in Virginia, the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist Poll surveys show. Both races are statistical dead heats, as Mr. Obama’s leads fall within the surveys’ margin of error. But Mr. Romney trails by eight percentage points among likely voters in Ohio (Murray, 10/3).The New York Times: Claims Likely To Surface In Debate And Facts Behind ThemBoth candidates agree that the health care program for older Americans, the single-biggest contributor to projected deficits, cannot continue growing at current rates. They disagree on how, and how much, to curb it. Mr. Romney favors shifting from the open-ended, fee-for-service Medicare program to one giving each beneficiary a fixed annual amount to buy private insurance or a Medicare option. … Mr. Obama, who says Mr. Romney would “voucherize” the program, instead backs marginal changes, including lower payments to providers of health care like doctors and insurers (Calmes and Harwood, 10/2).The Associated Press: First Debate Sets Up Moment Of High-Risk TheaterThe central role of the economy in this election is evident in the topics selected for the first three of the night’s six debate segments: The Economy I, The Economy II and The Economy III. The last three segments will focus on health care, the role of government and governing (Hunt and Benac, 10/3).On the lighter side – Kaiser Health News Capsules blog: “Health Savings Accounts”? I Have Bingo! There’s no better way to help you stay focused on the questions and answers than with a good, old fashioned game of BINGO. Or in this case, DEBATE-O. The game card below is filled with terms that the two candidates might use to describe their own plans and to attack their opponent’s plans. Each time you hear a word or phrase that’s on your game card, click on it (10/2).last_img read more

Unjustified Repeat Tests Common Among Medicare Patients

first_imgDartmouth researchers found that up to half of older adults who had a heart, lung, stomach or bladder test had the same procedure repeated within three years despite guidelines against routine testing, leading to unnecessary costs.Reuters: Repeat Testing Common Among Medicare PatientsIn a new study, up to half – or more – of older adults on Medicare who had a heart, lung, stomach or bladder test had the same procedure repeated within three years. Those tests typically aren’t supposed to be routinely repeated, researchers said. For some of them, such as echocardiography and stress tests for heart function, there are recommendations specifically against routine testing (Pittman, 11/19).Modern Healthcare: Repeat Testing Common With Medicare Patients: StudyThe study [in the Archives of Internal Medicine], which was led by Dr. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Research, analyzed testing patterns for a random sample of 5% of Medicare patients, and also looked at the proportion of repeated tests in the 50 largest metropolitan areas (Kutscher, 11/19). Medpage Today: Repeat Testing Common In Older Patients[T]he rate of repeat testing varied widely from place to place, suggesting doctors in some regions are more likely to order repeat exams … The finding has “important implications not only for the capacity to serve new patients and the ability to contain costs but also for the health of the population,” they argued. Although the risks of the tests themselves are not great, they could substantially increase rates of incidental detection and overdiagnosis, Welch and colleagues concluded (Smith, 11/19).Medscape: Medicare Patients Often Receive Unjustified Repeat TestsIn an accompanying commentary, Jerome P. Kassirer, MD, from Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, and Arnold Milstein, MD, MPH, from Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, write: “After decades of attention to unsustainable growth in health spending and its degradation of worker wages, employer economic vitality, state educational funding, and fiscal integrity, it is discouraging to contemplate the fresh evidence by Welch et al of our failure to curb waste of health care resources”  (Kelly, 11/19).In other Medicare news — Bloomberg:  Hospital Medicare Cash Lures Doctors As Costs IncreaseThomas Lewandowski, a Wisconsin heart doctor, was faced with a dilemma after his Medicare payments were cut and his overhead costs soared: Fire half his staff to keep his practice open, or sell it to a local hospital. He decided to sell, becoming one of more than 6,000 employees at Thedacare, which runs five hospitals and numerous clinics in northeast Wisconsin. It’s a decision being made increasingly in the U.S., creating a new dynamic that threatens to raise the price of health care (Pettypiece, 11/19). Unjustified Repeat Tests Common Among Medicare Patients This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Health Law Rebates Paid By Insurers Tally 500 Million

first_imgAbout 8.5 million Americans will receive rebates. The Obama administration says that means insurers are getting more efficient. The Wall Street Journal: Insurers Issue Rebates Under New Health LawInsurers will rebate $500 million to consumers who purchased health insurance under a provision in the new health-care law that requires companies to spend a certain portion on premiums on consumers or refund the money. About 8.5 million Americans will receive the rebates with an average rebate of about $100 per family, the Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday. That is about $50 less per family than last year, when the new provision took effect (Schatz, 6/20).Bloomberg: Health Law Rule Saves Consumers $3.9 Billion In PremiumsConsumers avoided $3.9 billion in health insurance premium increases in 2012 partly because of the U.S. Affordable Care Act’s limits on what UnitedHealth Group Inc., Aetna Inc. and other coverage plans can charge, the government said. … The 2010 health law, an attempt by President Barack Obama to make medical coverage more widely available and affordable, forbids most insurance plans from keeping more than 20 percent of premiums charged for profit and overhead (Wayne, 6/20).The Associated Press: Health Insurance Rebates Decline This YearHealth and Human Services’ Gary Cohen says the lower rebates mean insurance companies have learned to be more efficient, and consumers are saving up front (6/20).Politico: Insurers Will Pay Consumers $500M Over Obamacare RulesA state-by-state breakdown of where rebates are headed suggests recipients in Washington state will see the biggest checks, with 3,000 consumers due to receive rebates of more than $500 each. Rhode Islanders will see the least per person, with an average of $43 in rebates slated for 1,265 plan holders (Cheney, 6/21).Reuters: U.S. Health Insurers To Pay $500 Million In Rebates This SummerAetna Inc, the third-largest U.S. insurer, said that MLR rebates represent 0.2 percent of the premiums it collected in 2012. “We are delivering savings to our customers through competitive pricing, rather than waiting for a rebate check,” Aetna spokeswoman Cynthia Michener said in statement (Humer, 6/20).Modern Healthcare: Medical-Loss Ratio Rules Have Saved Consumers Billions, But Will It Last?The health reform law’s provision requiring insurers to spend at least 80% of their premium dollars on medical expenses was a major factor in helping consumers save $3.9 billion in premiums last year, according to an analysis released today from the CMS (PDF). But whether that will translate into lower premiums for 2014 is up for debate (Block, 6/20). The Hill: HHS: ObamaCare Policy Has Saved Consumers Nearly $5 BillionThe Obama administration has consistently and aggressively promoted elements of the law that have had an immediate impact, as it tries to reverse negative public opinion and sell a skeptical public on the law as its major provisions are about to take effect (Baker, 6/20).Baltimore Sun: Health Insurers To Pay RebatesTens of thousands of Marylanders will get rebates from their health insurance companies this summer … The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that 149,961 Maryland residents would get rebates. The rebates, which average $143 per family, will go out by Aug. 1. The rebates will be given out as a check in the mail, a lump-sum reimbursement to the credit or debit card account the customer used to pay premiums, a reduction in premiums or an employer using the rebates to improve health coverage (Walker, 6/20).MPR News: Health Insurance Rebate Coming To Some Minnesotans A health insurance rebate could be coming to 9,161 Minnesotans. … If insurers spend too little on health care, they must provide rebates to consumers. The rule was championed by Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken. Minnesota consumers will receive about $1.4 million for an average rebate of about $303 each (Stawicki, 6/20). CT Mirror: Connecticut Insurers To Rebate $5.6 Million To Customers Under Obamacare RuleMore than 47,000 Connecticut residents will get rebates from their health insurance companies … The rebates will average $168 per family and will go to people who get their insurance through the state’s individual and small-group markets. Overall, Connecticut insurers will pay $5.6 million in rebates (Levin Becker, 6/20).In other news – MedPage Today: Health Insurers Improve Claims ProcessingThe percentage of claims incorrectly processed by health plans fell for the third straight year to 7.1 percent in 2013, according to the American Medical Association (AMA). The error rate of commercial health plans in the National Health Insurer Report Card has dropped significantly since the 2011; that year, the report found that more than 19 percent of all medical claims were incorrectly processed. Last year, the AMA found about 9.5 percent of claims were incorrectly processed. The AMA released the report Monday at its annual meeting (Pittman, 6/20). Health Law Rebates Paid By Insurers Tally $500 Million This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

First Edition March 25 2014

first_imgFirst Edition: March 25, 2014 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including stories previewing today’s Supreme Court action regarding the health law’s contraception coverage mandate.Kaiser Health News: Insuring Your Health: How Do Marketplace Plans Differ From Others; Will Cost-Sharing Subsidies Affect My HSA; Who Pays The Penalty For An Adult Child?Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: “The open enrollment period ends March 31, and people continue to have many questions about how the health law and the exchanges work” (Andrew, 3/25). Read the column.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Insurance Agents Key To California Success Enrolling Asian-AmericansNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, KQED’s Lis Aliferis reports: “While Latino enrollment has lagged in California’s insurance marketplace, Asians have signed up in numbers outstripping their representation in the pool of eligible people. According to new Covered California data, the overwhelming majority of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese enrollees are buying plans through certified insurance agents, as opposed to community groups or the Covered California website” (Aliferis, 3/25). Check out what else is on the blog.The New York Times: A Final Push For Health CareIt’s last call for health insurance. A new insurance company in Colorado dispatched a throng of models dressed as cocktail waitresses onto the streets in recent days, offering nonalcoholic shots of juice to lunch-hour crowds in Denver. The models, in form-fitting dresses and high heels, handed out fliers reminding people of the fast-approaching March 31 deadline to sign up for health care coverage this year under the federal law (Abelson and Thomas, 3/24).The Wall Street Journal: Some Leeway on Coverage DeadlineSome states are worried that lingering technical problems may prevent people from completing the sign-up process, especially if a surge of enrollees clogs sites in the final days. Consumers have until March 31 to sign up for insurance coverage and avoid facing a financial penalty for 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. On Monday, Minnesota said it would extend a completion deadline for anyone who starts the process of enrolling in a plan by midnight on March 31 but doesn’t finish it. Maryland and Nevada also have extended the deadline for people who can show they began to sign-up before the end of the month (Corbett Dooren, 3/24).Politico: Honey, I Shrunk The MandateFiled for bankruptcy in the past six months? Had medical bills you couldn’t pay in the past two years? Been a victim of domestic violence? Received a shut-off notice from a utility company? If you don’t want to buy insurance under Obamacare, you don’t have to. No penalty. The individual mandate may be the most despised part of Obamacare, but the reality is that it’s much smaller than people think. It’s riddled with exemptions, hardships and other loopholes that allow millions of people off the hook for enrollment by March 31 (Norman, 3/25).The Washington Post: At Supreme Court Today: Health-Law Cases Mix Questions Of Religious Freedom Worker RightsThe Supreme Court on Tuesday prepared to hear a second challenge to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, this time to decide whether employers must provide their workers with insurance coverage for contraceptives even if the owners say it would violate their religious principles. What is likely to be the signature ruling of the court’s term presents the justices with complicated questions about religious freedom and equality for female workers. It could have long-term implications for what other legal requirements companies could decline because of religious convictions. And it asks a question the court has never confronted: whether the Constitution or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that protects an individual’s exercise of religion extends to secular, for-profit corporations and their owners (Barnes, 3/25).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Justices Tackle Health Law Birth Control CoverageSupreme Court justices are weighing whether corporations have religious rights that exempt them from part of the new health care law that requires coverage of birth control for employees at no extra charge. The case being argued at the Supreme Court on Tuesday involves family-owned companies that provide health insurance to their employees, but object to covering certain methods of birth control that they say can work after conception, in violation of their religious beliefs (3/25).Los Angeles Times: Religious Case At Supreme Court Could Affect Obamacare And Much MoreA challenge to part of President Obama’s healthcare law that hits the Supreme Court on Tuesday could lead to one of the most significant religious freedom rulings in the high court’s history. … At issue in Tuesday’s oral argument before the court is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide workers a health plan that covers the full range of contraceptives, including morning-after pills and intrauterine devices, or IUDs (Savage, 3/24).The New York Times: Ruling Could Have Reach Beyond Issue Of ContraceptionThe Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments in a case that pits religious liberty against women’s rights. That issue is momentous enough. But it only begins to touch on the potential consequences of the court’s ruling in the case, notably for laws banning discrimination against gay men and lesbians (Liptak, 3/24).The Wall Street Journal: Health-Law Contraceptive Case Skews Ideological Lines On High CourtTuesday’s Supreme Court case over whether religious objections trump the federal health law’s contraceptive requirements seems at first blush to be a typical conservative-liberal struggle over social policy. But behind the battle is an ideological role reversal: The legal doctrine conservatives are citing to limit government burdens on religious expression was written by the Supreme Court’s liberal champion, the late Justice William Brennan. The jurist who rolled it back in the early 1990s was Justice Antonin Scalia, a contemporary conservative icon (Bravin, 3/24).NPR: Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Case Goes Before Supreme CourtThe U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in the latest challenge to the Obama health care overhaul. This time the issue is whether for-profit corporations, citing religious objections, may refuse to provide some, or potentially all, contraceptive services in health plans offered to employees. It is a case that touches lots of hot-button issues (Totenberg, 3/25).Politico: Contraception Coverage Heads To SCOTUSObamacare goes back before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, in a closely watched challenge that mixes controversies over the health care law, contraception and religious freedom. The justices will hear two related cases seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that nearly all companies with more than 50 employees provide various forms of birth control in their employee health plans at no charge. The outcome won’t topple the whole health care law, but it could become a political thorn in the side of both parties before the November midterm elections (Haberkorn, 3/25).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Latinos Being Left Behind In Health Care OverhaulThe nation’s largest minority group risks being left behind by President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Hispanics account for about one-third of the nation’s uninsured, but they seem to be staying on the on the sidelines as the White House races to meet a goal of 6 million sign-ups by March 31 (3/24).Los Angeles Times: Health Insurance Basics Stump Many Obamacare Shoppers, Survey FindsAmid the final frenzy for Obamacare enrollment, a new survey shows that many consumers may be ill-equipped to shop for health insurance. A study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 42% of people surveyed could not describe a deductible and 39% didn’t understand the relationship between a premium and deductible (Karlamangla, 3/24).Los Angeles Times: State To Send Voter Registration Cards To Obamacare ApplicantsHeading off a lawsuit over compliance with a federal voting rights law, California officials have agreed to help millions of state residents register to vote. Under a deal announced Monday by several voting-rights groups, the state will send voter registration cards to nearly 3.8 million Californians who have applied for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Merl, 3/24). The Washington Post: Californians Who Used Health Marketplaces Receive Voter Registration FormsCalifornia officials have started sending voter registration forms to 4 million people who shopped on the state’s new online health insurance marketplace, as part of a legal settlement with voting rights groups that are urging states to make it easier for people to sign up to vote as they enroll in coverage (Somashekhar, 3/24).The Washington Post: McAuliffe Offers New Budget, But House Lawmakers Aren’t BuyingGov. Terry McAuliffe tried to shake up Virginia’s deadlocked Medicaid debate Monday by proposing a new budget that would expand the health-care program and shower a projected $225 million in related savings on teachers, state employees, pre-kindergarten programs and other Democratic priorities (Vozzella, 3/24).The Associated Press/Washington Post: McAuliffe Proposes 2-Year Pilot Medicaid ExpansionGov. Terry McAuliffe proposed a two-year pilot of an expanded Medicaid program Monday in a bid to persuade Republicans to end an impasse over the state’s budget. The new Democratic governor announced the plan shortly before the General Assembly returned to Richmond for the start of a special session. A few hours later, the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee voted to reject McAuliffe’s proposal. The Democratically controlled Senate took no action (3/24).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Obamacare Bumper Sticker Pokes Fun At Tea PartyOFA has begun mailing a bumper sticker with the slogan “Don’t tread on my Obamacare” and the logo of a coiled stethoscope—in the place of a rattlesnake—to people who have connected with the organization’s FacebookFB -4.90% page and provided their mailing address. The initiative, aimed in part at boosting OFA’s mailing list, also appears to be a jab at the tea party, whose members have commonly flown the yellow Gadsden flag—with the slogan “Don’t tread on me”—at their rallies (Ballhaus, 3/24).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: AFP Airs New Anti-Obamacare Ad In MichiganAnother day, another ad blasting Obamacare from the conservative Americans for Prosperity. The latest television spot in the group’s $30 million media blitz is airing in Michigan, where the U.S. Senate race pits the former secretary of state, Republican Terri Lynn Land, against Democratic Rep. Gary Peters (Reinhard, 3/25).The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: New Anti-Obamacare Ad Makes Misleading Claims This 30-second ad from the pro-GOP group Americans for Prosperity claims it’s not about politics. But it’s really all about making life difficult for Democrats. In fact, the ad goes by so quickly that viewers may have little time to process the information offered in the ad—except that the Affordable Care Act is really bad for Americans. The Truth Teller team has produced a video (above) which provides instant fact checks as the actress hired for the ad speaks her lines. More detail about the claims is provided below (Kessler, 3/25).Los Angeles Times: Backers Of Malpractice Cap Ballot Measure Submit SignaturesProponents of a measure to raise the cap on some medical malpractice damages submitted signatures Monday afternoon to qualify for the November ballot, paving the way for a costly initiative fight. The measure would change a 1975 California law that has limited pain and suffering damages in malpractice cases to $250,000 (Mason, 3/24).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.last_img read more

Viewpoints VAs Lessons For Private Health Care Court Should Protect Abortion Clinic

first_imgViewpoints: VA’s Lessons For Private Health Care; Court Should Protect Abortion Clinic Buffers This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Reuters: VA Scandal Is No Mark Against Big Government This is the full quote from … former neurosurgeon Ben Carson: “What’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the healthcare provider.” Perhaps, as a brain surgeon, Carson is given special treatment when he visits the doctor. But the rest of us endure “layers and layers of bureaucracy” whenever we try to access the healthcare we have so expensively bought. One reason American healthcare is two-and-a-half times more expensive than in comparable countries is because of the “layers and layers” of insurance sales agents, ID checkers, referral faxers, hospital debt collectors from insurance companies and all the other expensive bureaucrats with no medical knowledge who are employed to administer and police the system (Nicholas Wapshott, 6/3). The Wall Street Journal: Health Care Is Our Other Afghanistan Mr. Obama cannot be blamed for the unworkability of the VA health-care program. Government never will be able to satisfy demand for a valuable service given away free or nearly free. That would be true even if the department did not suffer all the infirmities of a politicized bureaucracy captured by organized labor. As long as the system takes anything like its present form, Secretary Sisyphus will have endless employment. But you’d expect the president, since domestic policy and health care are so close to his political heart, to be more on top of matters. It’s hard to escape the impression, as with Afghanistan, that the administration has become lost in its own disingenuousness (Holman W. Jenkins Jr., 6/3). Des Moines Register: Putting The VA Scandal Into Perspective Although Eric Shinseki has resigned as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the crisis is so deep that it will take many years to fix. But the scandal is not something new that has just burst onto the national scene. And the problems are not confined to veterans hospitals. The problems are going to spread to civilian hospitals and clinics. More than a year ago, I wrote that we needed to pay attention to the shortage of doctors in the United States. The shortage was not a secret then, and the problem hasn’t gone away (Steffen Schmidt, 6/3). Los Angeles Times: Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones Should Be Protected By The Supreme Court Within days, the justices of the Supreme Court will hand down their ruling on the constitutionality of buffer zones at abortion clinics, and I hope they will remember that these zones came out of a desire to prevent violence and harassment, not to hinder free speech (Carla Hall, 6/3). The New Republic: The Latest Obamacare Glitch And Why It’s (Probably) No Big Deal A new Affordable Care Act controversy may be on the way. It seems a substantial fraction of people who bought private insurance through an Obamacare marketplace submitted personal information that’s inconsistent with federal records. … The problems could very well [reflect] clunky program design, poor implementation, or some combination of the two. But the “vast majority” of people with these applications appear to be getting the proper amount of financial assistance, senior Administration officials tell The New Republic. The government just hasn’t been able to verify their status (Jonathan Cohn, 6/3). last_img read more

Private Insurers Clamp Down On Drug Prices

first_imgMore health plans are refusing to cover certain brand-name drugs unless drugmakers offer discounts for them, reports The New York Times. Meanwhile, drug companies are trying to change a federal program designed to allow certain hospitals that treat large numbers of the poor to buy drugs more cheaply, but which critics say allows them to use those savings to pad profits.The New York Times: Health Insurers Pressing Down On Drug PricesDetermined to slow the rapid rise in drug prices, more health plans are refusing to cover certain drugs unless the companies charge less for them. The strategy appears to be getting pharmaceutical makers to compete on price. Some big-selling products, like the respiratory medicine Advair and the diabetes drug Victoza, have suffered precipitous declines in market share because Express Scripts, the biggest pharmacy benefits manager, recently stopped paying for them for many patients (Pollack, 6/20).Kaiser Health News: Drug Discount Policy For Hospitals, Clinics Under ScrutinyA federal program designed to allow certain safety net hospitals and clinics to save money on drug purchases is under fire from critics who say the facilities are using that money to pad profits rather than help patients. The 340B drug pricing program lets thousands of hospitals, community health centers and family planning clinics buy outpatient prescription medications from manufacturers at an estimated 25 to 50 percent discount. Participants can then charge higher rates to insured patients and keep the additional revenue” (Carey, 6/23).In other marketplace news, KPMG is boosting its health care consulting practice – The Wall Street Journal: KPMG Expected To Announce Deal To Boost Health-Care PracticeKPMG LLP is buying Zanett Commercial Solutions, a Cincinnati-based technology-consulting firm that will help the Big Four accounting firm beef up the services it provides to health-care clients. The deal is expected to be announced Monday. Financial terms aren’t being disclosed (Rapoport, 6/23). Private Insurers Clamp Down On Drug Prices This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Medical Tourism Is A 68 Billion A Year Industry And More And

first_img Modern Healthcare: High Prices Test Private Equity’s Ability To Close Healthcare Deals  Now that healthcare consumerism is replacing traditional retail storefronts with dental and urgent-care clinics, the sector has drawn ravenous interest from private equity. But a new analysis finds some would-be buyers are getting discouraged by increasingly high prices. One in 4 respondents to West Monroe Partners’ recent survey on 100 private equity groups and strategic healthcare buyers said their top challenge in completing healthcare mergers and acquisitions is a shortage of attractive targets. The biggest reason? They were too expensive. (Bannow, 7/11) About 14 million people spent $68 billion on medical tourism in 2016, according to consulting firm PwC. A growing number are Westerners headed to developing countries for cosmetic surgery or dental work, procedures that are less expensive and invasive than major operations and often aren’t covered by insurance. PwC predicts that by 2021 the medical tourism market will reach $125 billion. The growth will be built not on nose jobs and dental implants but on costlier and riskier procedures with longer recovery times, such as knee replacements and heart surgeries. Startups from Berlin to Bangkok are trying to do for medical tourists what Airbnb or does for the general public. Instead of searching for a place to stay, users type in a medical procedure and get a list of clinics or doctors in nations that offer the surgery—scroll and click on a link to make an appointment. (Altstedter, 7/12) When Rob Lazerow, a managing director at the Advisory Board Co., recently met with the executive team of a large health system, he noticed a construction project had been downsized from the prior year. The organization decided to replace its aging facilities with smaller structures, which would potentially allow it to fine-tune its staffing model and reduce its inventory of excess supplies. (Kacik, 7/11) Medical Tourism Is A $68 Billion A Year Industry, And More And More Startups Want In Tech companies are looking to emulate Airbnb or, but for people looking for medical services in a different country. In other industry news: cost control has become a top priority for health system executives, health care acquisitions are proving too expensive for private equity firms, and Amazon wants to nudge even further into the health care landscape. Modern Healthcare: Cost Containment Is A Top Priority Among Health System Executives center_img Bloomberg: Startups Look To Mainstream Medical Tourism  Bloomberg: Amazon Has Global Aspirations For Medical-Supplies Marketplace Inc. has global aspirations for its medical-supplies marketplace, according to a job listing posted on its website, highlighting the e-commerce giant’s sweeping ambitions to disrupt health care by selling products to hospitals, doctors and dentists and offering prescription drugs. The world’s biggest online retailer is looking to hire someone to lead outreach to medical-products manufacturers and service providers, who will focus on building the business in the U.S. and then expanding it globally, according to a new job post. Amazon started the Amazon Business marketplace in 2015, with health care among the industries it listed as potential customers — along with factories, offices and universities. The new job posting emphasizes that what works for most businesses isn’t working for medical-industry clients. (Soper, 7/10) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

A vital App Store update is coming in iOS 13 and iPadOS

first_img This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Apple might finally be bringing a delete option to the App Store, according to these videos from iPadOS and iOS 13 beta releases.Apple introduced us to iPadOS and iOS 13 at the WWDC 2019 keynote on Monday and the operating systems are coming with some huge updates.Related: iPadOS Best FeaturesThe iPad is finally getting its own dedicated OS and the iPhone is getting some exciting new features including faster performance, ‘Sign in with Apple’, dark mode and even fine-tuned Memoji customisation.One update nobody saw coming was Apple bringing a much-needed swipe to delete option to the App Store. Usually, you would have to tap and hold an icon on the home screen and then tap the ‘x’ in the corner to remove an app from your iPhone. This is a useful little option that will make finding and deleting apps possible right within the App Store.Related: iOS13 brings dark mode, faster performance, Memoji makeup and moreThe iPadOS feature was first spotted by Brian Stucki. Stucki shared a video from the beta demonstrating the changes on his Twitter account on Thursday. “iPadOS lets you delete apps from the update list, before or after an update is completed. This has been on the wishlist for years”, he wrote.Fellow tweeter @chrisvega also spied the feature in the iOS 13 beta.Related: Which iPad should you buy? So far, the response from iOS users has been largely positive. Replies to the video seem genuinely excited about the direction Apple is headed with the upcoming update.“It really feels like Apple added all the power features they usually leave out for the sake of simplicity. Reminds me of androids flexibility. Love iOS 13 so far”, tweeted @BDoma.If you’re keen to check out the new delete button for yourself you can head over to Apple’s iOS developer website right now to download the iPadOS and iOS 13 betas. 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

Hudsons Bay chairmans buyout bid pits retail against real estate

first_img 1 Comments The success of Hudson’s Bay Co. executive chairman Richard Baker’s $1.3 billion bid to take the department store operator private hinges on whether an independent valuator will view the company more as a retailer and less as a real estate owner, say corporate governance experts and analysts.Much of Hudson’s Bay’s value is locked up in its real estate. Were the company to sell off some properties to raise cash, it could fetch more than what Baker offered, but would then be forced to pay rent to run some of its stores.Baker’s buyout consortium, which already owns 57 per cent of Hudson’s Bay, has made a $9.45 per share offer for the remainder of the Canadian company, a 48 per cent premium to the price at which the stock was trading before the announcement. Activist investor blasts Hudson’s Bay Co chairman’s offer to take retailer private as ‘woefully inadequate’ How Hudson’s Bay can avoid becoming the next Sears Hudson’s Bay posts wider-than-expected loss on fewer stores, lower sales at Lord & Taylor However, some of the minority shareholders, including hedge fund Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC, say they value the company’s assets at between $28 and $33 per share. Hudson’s Bay shares ended trading on Friday at $9.73, above the $9.45 offer price, as investors bet on a sweetened bid.The big valuation gap is due to disagreements over how much of Hudson’s Bay’s prime real estate can be divested while keeping it operational. Selling off property raises cash but also makes it more financially burdensome for the company to rent the space for the stores it operates. As a result, it would likely close stores, and its retail footprint would begin to shrink.“There is judgment to be exercised on the valuation, which can always be challenging,” said Catherine McCall, the executive director of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, an organization representing institutional shareholders in Canadian public companies.Hudson’s Bay operates 39 stores under its Saks Fifth Avenue brand, 133 stores under its Saks OFF 5th brand, more than 40 stores under the Lord + Taylor banner, 90 Hudson’s Bay department stores, as well as 37 stores in Canada which the company plans to close this year under the Home Outfitters brand.Hudson’s Bay’s trophy asset is the Saks Fifth Avenue building in Manhattan, which this year completed a US$250 million renovation.The consortium has offered a third of the previous real estate estimate because the company would have to all but liquidate to achieve all the real estate value Hudson’s Bay chairman’s buyout bid pits retail against real estate Critical balance of how much property can be sold off while still allowing stores to remain operational Reddit Hudson’s Bay’s most recent public estimate for the value of its real estate was in September 2018, when CEO Helena Foulkes pegged it at $28 per share. Baker has offered about a third of that because he argues that the company would have to all but liquidate to achieve all the real estate value.Toronto-Dominion Bank, which has been hired by a Hudson’s Bay board committee to independently evaluate the take-private deal, will recommend whether the company should accept the offer as fair, or reject it and try to negotiate further.The board committee excludes representatives of Baker’s buyout consortium and is granted power to prevent any deal, even if the prospective acquirers otherwise control the company. In an illustration of this, a special board committee sank the hopes of Nordstrom Inc’s founding family group last year to take the U.S. department store operator private, after it rejected their US$8.4 billion offer.The methodology Toronto-Dominion Bank uses to value the bid for Hudson’s Bay will be key to the outcome and will be scrutinized heavily by shareholders. The bank will likely be assessing how comparable companies’ shares trade, research similar deals and consider how much a financial buyer like a private equity firm would pay, said Andrey Golubov, a professor of finance at the University of Toronto.“It’s not done just to justify the offer. That said, valuation is not a science,” Golubov said.Hudson’s Bay declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Baker’s buyout consortium. Spokespeople for TD Bank did not respond to requests for comment.The consortium’s acquisition would still face hurdles Jessica DiNapoli and Harry Brumpton Join the conversation → Were the company to sell off some properties to raise cash, it could raise more than the consortium’s offer, but the company would then have to pay rent to run some of its stores.Peter J. Thompson / National Post Recommended For YouStocks fall on trade, earnings caution; oil dropsSoybeans at more than one-week low on crop-friendly U.S. weatherWall St slightly lower after mixed results; Netflix tumblesEuro dips on report on ECB inflation goal, dollar flatSouth Africa cuts rates but strikes cautious tone Facebookcenter_img More Share this storyHudson’s Bay chairman’s buyout bid pits retail against real estate Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Sale lease-back arrangements in which retailers sell their properties and become tenants have become increasingly popular in the past few years as the downturn in brick-and-mortar retail brought about by the rise of internet shopping has put pressure on retailers to raise cash.However, some retailers resist them because they view the rent obligation as burdensome, a stance that often attracts investor criticism. Another department store operator, Macy’s Inc., for example, was pressured by hedge fund Starboard Value LP three years ago to do more to cash out on its real estate.Even if Toronto-Dominion Bank blesses an offer from Baker’s consortium and the board committee negotiating a deal approves it, the acquisition still faces some hurdles.A majority of the shareholders who are not affiliated with the buyout consortium have to vote for it; they account for about 21.5 per cent of the company’s shareholder base. Opponents could still challenge the deal in court when the company seeks approval for it before a judge under the Canada Business Corporations Act.But successful legal challenges of deals that have followed the process for management buyouts outlined by the Ontario Securities Commission, as Hudson’s Bay is seeking to do, are rare.“Most of these deals get done once they get board approval and a transaction agreement gets signed,” said Jeremy Fraiberg, chair of the mergers and acquisitions group at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. Reuters Comment Twitter June 24, 201912:21 PM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing Emaillast_img read more

Fastned tests fast chargers at German supermarkets

Source: Fastned Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine European fast charging network operator Fastned has partnered with German supermarket chain REWE for a pilot that will test the interest of EV drivers in fast charging while shopping for groceries.The partnership will start with a pilot at four REWE Region Mitte supermarkets around Frankfurt, and the companies intend to expand it to additional locations.Fastned’s stations are powered exclusively by sustainable energy from local sources.“REWE [has] an extensive network of suitable locations, and sustainability is part of their mission,” said Michiel Langezaal, CEO of Fastned. “We are confident that we can provide a valuable service to customers of REWE and grow the number of fast charging stations in the future.” read more

New electric moped combines scooter design and comfort with ebike convenience

first_imgSource: Charge Forward With new electric bicycles entering the market seemingly continuously, it is becoming harder to standout. And while some manufacturers are competing on price to create the most affordable e-bikes, others are competing on design and features. And that’s where SURU comes in.The Canadian company introduced an electric moped that combines the best of motorcycles and bicycles to create a unique personal electric vehicle. more…The post New electric moped combines scooter design and comfort with e-bike convenience appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

What Does This Oil Analyst Have To Say About Tesla Elon Musk

first_imgOIL ANALYST CONSIDERS THE INDUSTRY IMPACT OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES, TESLA AND THE ‘ELON MUSK EFFECT’When will rising EV sales begin to cut into global demand for oil? It sure ain’t happening yet – as we discussed in an earlier article, over the past few years, the increasing popularity of trucks and SUVs has canceled out the gas savings from EVs a thousand times over.*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.Check Out These Stories: Is Big Oil Adapting To Make The Transition To Electric Cars? Big Oil Makes A New Attempt To Kill Electric Cars Above: A Tesla parked in front of oil wells (Image: Tesla Owner)However, those who earn their daily bread from hydrocarbons are far from dismissive of the long-term threat. The electric wolf may not be anywhere near the door of the house that oil built, but it can be clearly seen hungrily prowling on the horizon. These days, oil industry observers are paying close attention to the progress of Tesla and other EV-builders.One analyst who’s keeping a wary eye on the new technology is Stephen Schork, who has spent more than 25 years in the world of commodity and derivatives trading and written extensively on related subjects. Mr. Schork knows whereof he speaks, and he’s been predicting that alternatives to oil would curb demand in the long term since at least 2016..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Above: Oil analyst Stephen Schork discusses the oil industry and subsequent news surrounding Tesla (Source: Fox Business)In a recent interview with Fox Business, Schork sounded, if not an alarm, at least a note of caution. Towards the end of a highly technical discussion about the outlook for oil prices, he said, “My overarching concern right now is the economic development. Tesla put 150,000 new Model 3s [on the market]. That’s 150,000 cars that don’t consume gasoline. And it’s not just Tesla – Porsche, Audi, BMW are all coming out with all-electric vehicles in 2019. So the inelasticities of demand in this market are fundamentally changing.” The moderator added that people tend to dismiss EVs until they drive one. “The torque is incredible…and it’s really a great driving experience,” she said, as Schork nodded in agreement.Mr. Schork is far from the only petro-pundit to be concerned about the electric future. Several industry execs have recently conceded that the day of peak oil demand could be upon us sooner than previously predicted, and Shell, BP and Total are hedging their bets by investing in EV charging companies. Other players are taking a more combative approach, investing in the political process to try to stop, or at least slow, the Tesla-led transport revolution..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Above: Back in 2016, Oil analyst Stephen Schork was already talking about the ‘Elon Musk effect’ on the oil industry (Source: Fox Business)The dynamics of the growing EV market vis a vis oil demand are complicated, to say the least. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no clear correlation between oil prices and EV sales, which have grown every month for the past two years, even as gas prices have been at historic lows. However, there’s no doubt that cheap gas has whetted consumers’ voracious appetite for trucks and SUVs, which so far remain a mostly unelectrified segment (except, of course, Tesla’s Model X and Jaguar’s I-PACE). If global demand for oil does begin to drop, gas prices are bound to fall further – that’s how markets work. Shifting demographics also affect the equation, and political developments are a huge wild card, so, while the arc of technological change is bending slowly towards electrification, it’s anybody’s guess what the timeline is going to be.===Written by: Charles Morris*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Source: Electric Vehicle News Former EPA Head Says Big Oil Is Peddling Misinformation About EVs Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 9, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Daimler and BMW to invest a billion euros in ridehailing JV to

first_imgSource: Reuters The combination of autonomous vehicles and ride-hailing services is expected to be an extraordinarily disruptive development. Someday, providers of Transportation as a Service (TaaS) could be sitting atop the value chain, while traditional automakers end up as producers of a commodity product.Automakers aren’t sitting idly by and waiting for the market to develop. Just to mention two of the interesting things going on: Tesla is widely believed to be quietly working on the Tesla Network; and GM has invested in ride-hailing company Lyft and launched its own car-sharing service, Maven.Now BMW and Daimler have unveiled a joint ride-hailing, parking and EV charging business that seems designed to compete with mobility services such as Uber and Lyft. The two luxury automakers plan to invest over one billion euros in the 50/50 joint venture, which will incorporate Daimler’s Car2Go car-sharing brand and BMW’s DriveNow, ParkNow and ChargeNow businesses.According to Reuters, the new JV will have five components: Reach Now, a smartphone-based route management and booking service; Charge Now for EV charging, Free Now for taxi ride-hailing; Park Now for parking services; and Share Now for car-sharing.“These five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously,” said BMW Chief Executive Harald Krueger.“Further cooperation with other providers, including stakes in startups and established players, [is] also a possible option,” added Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche. Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

Murray pulls out of Davis Cup duty and leaves Britain looking bare

first_imgDavis Cup Shares00 Jon Brodkin Wed 30 Jan 2008 19.57 EST Davis Cup Share via Email Andy Murray First published on Wed 30 Jan 2008 19.57 EST Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Since you’re here… Share via Email Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Read morecenter_img Tennis Share on Facebook Topics The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Share on Facebook Andy Murray has withdrawn from Britain’s team to play Argentina in the Davis Cup next week, dealing a huge blow to the squad’s hopes of winning the World Cup first-round tie. The British No1, who is ranked 12th in the world, has a right-knee injury and is unwilling to risk aggravating it by playing in Buenos Aires. Britain’s chances of defeating Argentina now seem highly remote because the next highest ranked player in the team is Alex Bogdanovic at 187.Murray said the knee problem had flared after he came back from the Australian Open this month. “Following the intensive off-season training my right knee, which has a bipartite patella, started to act up again when I returned from Australia,” he said. “We had a scan done this week and following discussions with my team we have decided that it is better not to play in the Davis Cup tie against Argentina. Support The Guardian Murray pulls out of Davis Cup duty and leaves Britain looking bare Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp “I am very disappointed not to be joining my Davis Cup team-mates in Buenos Aires because I love playing for my country and have always enjoyed the team atmosphere of the Davis Cup. My knee is still bothering me and the experts have advised me that going from hard courts to playing five-set matches on clay and then back to indoor hard courts could increase the chances of further injury. I don’t want to take that risk.”Murray said last month that he was determined to play in Argentina on Britain’s return to the World Group after a four-year absence but mooted the possibility of curtailing his Davis Cup career after that to reduce the stress on his body as he tries to climb the rankings. “When it’s an away tie, the last thing I want to be is on the tour and travelling here and there all over the place,” he said then.His fitness trainer, Jez Green, explained: “Andy’s workload in the off-season was incredibly high and put a lot of stress on the right knee. Changing surfaces three times in such a short time span would be a great risk to further injury.”Britain’s captain, John Lloyd, reacted with disappointment to Murray’s withdrawal from the tie, which begins a week tomorrow. “I’m really sad for Andy because I think he’s missing out on an unbelievable occasion where he could have gone up against some of the world’s best in an environment which is going to be hostile – to put it mildly – and prove what a good player he is,” he said. “I’m sorry he’s not going to be here and I’m sad for the team. Our chances are now not exactly rosy but we’ll do the best we can.”Murray is anxious to prevent a recurrence of last year’s problems which caused him to miss the French Open and Wimbledon. “Last year was very difficult with my wrist injury,” he said. “I learned about the importance of looking after my body and I don’t want to make any mistakes going forward. Taking this preventive measure is a very difficult decision but, because I didn’t play a full year last year, the next two months are very important if I am to maintain my chances of challenging the top players.” Reuse this contentlast_img read more