Story TimelineVerizon defies net neutrality, makes own video service free of data capsZuckerberg responds on India internet, remains mum on Net NeutralityFCC says AT&T, Verizon are violating net neutrality with sponsored data plansNet Neutrality – Why it should matter to youFCC drops net neutrality investigations into AT&T, VerizonJohn Oliver just made it easier to contact the FCC about net neutrality The most important news today – the most important topic for the Internet, on the Internet, is about Net Neutrality. Today the biggest and most influential websites on the internet are pushing the FCC together to stop the FCC from giving in to pressure to end Net Neutrality and destroy the open web. If Net Neutrality is killed, readers like YOU will experience web speed throttling, widespread website censorship, and the inevitable rise of micro-fees for access to individual services. Today is the “Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality” and there’s a whole lot of action going on. Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Etsy, Twitter, Vimeo, GitHub, and Reddit are participating in this push to demand the FCC stay strong on Net Neutrality rules. This list also includes companies like the ACLU, OKCupid, Deviant Art, Discord, and the Creative Commons. A website has been set up to allow anyone to take action directly at Battle For The Net right this minute. This site makes it EXTREMELY EASY to send an email to the FCC demanding they keep Net Neutrality rules in place. It takes LITERALLY less than 5 minutes to make it all happen. Another way to make your voice heard on keeping the Internet open is to comment on this thread on Reddit. As to co-founders of Reddit suggest, “Comment on this post with why net neutrality is important to you! We’re visiting D.C. next month, so if you’re an American, add your representatives’ names to your comment, we’ll do our best to share your stories with them on Capitol Hill!”To find your state representatives for congress and the senate, head over to Common Cause and match your address to your elected officials. This also allows you direct access to contact information for those officials.Super simple, super important! Also in the mix is Fark, GreenPeace, FourSquare, Dribble, Medium, Rock The Vote, and Pinterest. This list includes SoundCloud, Spotify, ThinkGeek, Weebly, Tumblr, and one whole heck of a lot more companies that you’ll undoubtedly recognize. This is just as big – or bigger – than the 2012 2012 SOPA Blackout.
Google Docs was knocked out earlier today for some users in multiple regions around the world. This down time was classified by Google as a mid-level issue – a Service Disruption – rather than a full Service Outage. At the time this article is set to be published, most users will be well on their way back to full service, all around the world. Story TimelineGoogle Docs adds new templates, voice typing, research toolGoogle Docs now offers voice commands for editing, formatting textGoogle Docs outline tool parses your docs for fast accessGoogle Docs and Sheets get third-party Android add-onsGoogle Docs, Sheets, and Slides finally embrace iPad split-viewGoogle Docs adds MLA and APA citations to make student life easierGoogle Keep, Google Docs team up to keep your work flowingGoogle Docs phishing scam squashed, but don’t let your guard downGoogle Docs headaches? This update might just have fixed them NOTE: There is no reason to suspect that any Google Docs files have been destroyed, lost, or damaged in any way. Despite the pile of documents being burned at the head of this article, no such burning seems to have occurred at Google. Your files are safe, up there in the cloud!UPDATE: A Google representative added the following – “Quick heads up that, per the G Suite Status Dashboard, the problem with Google Docs should be resolved. We’re also updated our Docs Twitter handle to reflect this. On a note of clarity – this issue solely impacted users of Google Docs (i.e. not Drive, Sheets, Slides, Hangouts, etc.) as has been reported.”The first report today from Google on this issue included the standard fare: “We’re aware of a problem with Google Docs affecting a significant subset of users.” Google also included word that they’d be updating Google Docs users by 4:30 Central Time about when service could be expected to return in its full capacity. Google also included the ominous – but expected – warning like so: “Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.” Despite this, Google released an update on the situation at approximately 5 minutes before 4 PM, a full 35 minutes earlier than expected. Google’s full response at that time was: “Google Docs service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change.”Google Docs developers also released a message about future users of the service, once the service returned to full power. If a user finds themselves face to face with a problem that does not appear to have to do with an outage, the page Known Issues should be the first place to look for an answer.Outside of Google Docs, no other G Suite app or service has had any known service disruptions or outages today or for the past week. Users can also check the G Suite Status Dashboard for notes on outages as Google acknowledges each of them. And thus ended one of the shortest disruptions in service for any app ever – clearly!Update: Google Docs is back online, as of 2:10PM PT. Google made the following comment:“The problem with Google Docs should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”
According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple is experimenting both with gesture controls and with curved OLED displays. To hear Bloomberg’s sources explain it, it sounds like these gesture controls would be an extension of existing 3D Touch functionality that’s present in current iPhones. In addition to detecting the amount of pressure you apply to the screen, as 3D Touch does, this new feature would also account for your finger’s proximity to the screen.We don’t get any specific examples of how iPhone users might use gesture controls, but there’s good reason for that. Bloomberg’s sources say that an iPhone boasting gesture controls could still be two years off at a minimum, so for now, it sounds like it’s a feature that’s still at an early point in development. Apple, for what it’s worth, may ultimately choose not to pursue gesture controls at all, so there’s no guarantee we’ll ever see them in the first place.Curved OLEDs, on the other hand, are nothing new, at least as a concept that could one day be applied to smartphones on a large scale. We’re already seeing some smartphones that utilize curved OLEDs, such as Samsung’s flagship phonse, which curve along the edges. Apple is considering a different type of curve, however – one that curves “inward gradually from top to bottom,” according to Bloomberg’s sources.AdChoices广告Like gesture controls, an iPhone sporting a curved OLED is still at least a couple of years out, and that’s only if Apple decides to move forward with the idea. In the short terms, these sources claim that Apple will launch more OLED iPhone models, with two slated for reveal later this year. We’ll see how this particular report pans out in the fall, but for now, jump down to the comments section and let us know what you think of an iPhone with a curved OLED display. Story TimelineFoldable iPhone could upend smartphones in 20202nd gen iPhone X price will be this lowSmugglers used drones to send $79m worth of iPhones to China You’ve probably noticed by now, but a lot of today’s flagship phones have very similar feature lists and specification sheets. As a result, many manufacturers are looking for ways to make their phones stand out from the crowd. This isn’t limited to just the realm of Android, either, as Apple is said to be considering two big features for future iPhones that could help differentiate them in an increasingly crowded market.
Last month, Samsung unveiled its new 970 Pro and Evo SSDs and now they’re starting to show up for sale online. Several models are offered under the two lines ranging from 250GB to 1TB, most of them in the “Evo” lineup. Now that the products are showing up for sale, consumers have noticed one big, quiet change: they don’t cost as much as Samsung said they would. When announced last month, Samsung said the 970 Pro lineup would start at $329.99 USD and the 970 Evo lineup would start at $119.99 USD. However, a look at the launch prices show the 970 Evo starting at $109.99 instead of $119.99 and the 970 Pro starting at $249.99 instead of $329.99.The larger capacity drives come with a fairly substantial price decrease. The largest Evo capacity, 2TB, is now $799.99 instead of $849.99. The 1TB model also had a fifty-dollar decrease, while the 500GB model dropped from $229.99 to $199.99. The 1TB 970 Pro model, meanwhile, is $499.99, a drop from its original $629.99 price.The price drop was done without any official notice and it appears to be a permanent change reflecting growing competition. Last month, Western Digital unveiled an SSD drive lineup, one directly contrasting Samsung’s own offerings. The WD Black 3D NVMe will be available in capacities ranging from 250GB to 1TB with the starting price at about $120 USD; with its price decrease, Samsung’s own 250GB model is now ten bucks cheaper.AdChoices广告SOURCE: PC Gamer
Unless it’s 3D content specifically crafted for VR, content on the Web will always be 2D. That poses some practical problems when browsing using VR headsets. Of course, there’s the problem of having a floating window in front of you. The bigger issue, however, is input.Until the day we can type in VR with all our fingers, text input will always be tricky. Mozilla’s solution is simple really: use your voice. We’ve become so familiar with voice-controlled smart assistants that speaking to your VR headset won’t feel weird at all.There are not a few content made for VR on the Web but finding them isn’t exactly easy. To save you time and effort in asking, Firefox Reality will immediately surface such kind of browser-based content when you open it up. Mozilla promises more such content will appear as they work with more and more creators of VR games, videos, and more.AdChoices广告Firefox Reality 1.0 is now available on the three biggest VR platforms: HTC Viveport, Oculus, and Google Daydream. More than just yet another web browser for VR, Mozilla promises to bring its brand of open source and privacy-focused culture to a still growing platform that was once expected to be the next wave in computing. Virtual reality is all about immersing yourself in a made-up world that looks (in theory) like you’re really in it. The last thing you need is a flat floating rectangle that shatters that illusion. That said, if you ever need to access the Web, that’s exactly the only way. Mozilla, however, says it doesn’t have to be a painful and disconcerting experience. With Firefox Reality now in its version 1.0 stable release, one of the world’s biggest web browsers is taking a step towards blending the 2D web and the immersive web.
The future of the smartphone rests in the hands of the Samsung Galaxy S10. There, in the year 2019, Samsung’s set up a number of tests – so to speak. With each different Galaxy S10 model, Samsung’s testing what works. Each different model has a set of specifications for which users around the world will vote with their cash. Story Timeline3x Galaxy S10 features just leaked: Camera, Battery, ScreenGalaxy S10 screen sizes, front camera glow ring leakedGalaxy S10 leak shows fancy new screenAnother Galaxy S10 model tipped (that makes 5)Galaxy S10 details drip in Samsung supply chain slip-up Vote 1: Galaxy S10 LiteThe Galaxy S10 Lite will likely have a flat display – that’s unlike anything Samsung’s put into a major smartphone (AAA release) in the last several years. If it were up to me, I’d always have a flat display – the edges just don’t do it for me. Especially when it comes to the Galaxy Note series with the S Pen stylus – always with the sliding off the edges and such. The Galaxy S10 Lite might also be the only Galaxy S10 with a headphone jack. If it is, then a Galaxy S10 Lite buy would be a vote for headphone jacks everywhere. If not, then… probably Samsung knows the headphone jack is here to stay.Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite:• Display: 5.8-inches (flat)• Back Cameras: 2x lens• Front Camera: 1x punch-hole lens• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9820• Fingerprint Sensor: Side-mounted• Connectivity: 4G LTE• Back: GlassAdChoices广告Vote 2: Galaxy S10 (Edge)The Galaxy S10 (not lite, not Plus), will be a vote for the edge display, also known as Samsung’s Infinity Display. All three Galaxy S10 models (pre-5G) will have holes in their displays. The Lite and S10 will have single circles, while the Plus will have a more pill-shaped hole, all for front-facing cameras. If nobody buys a phone with a hole in its display, no more hole-toting displays will be made – but good luck with that!Galaxy S10 will probably have one front-facing camera and three back-facing cameras. The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus will probably have ever-so-slightly more extensive camera abilities – not necessarily better standard out-of-box camera performance. But we shall see!Samsung Galaxy S10 (Edge):• Display: 6.1-inches (curved)• Back Cameras: 2x lens• Front Camera: 1x punch-hole lens• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9820• Fingerprint Sensor: Ultrasonic in-display• Connectivity: 4G LTE• Back: GlassVote 3: Galaxy S10 PlusA buy of any one of the Galaxy S10 models is a vote for that screen size. Galaxy S10 Plus will have a bigger display than all previous Galaxy S smartphones – while its body will be roughly the same size as a Galaxy Note 7. It’s gonna be wacky. And it’ll be a vote for mega-giant displays everywhere.The Galaxy S10 Plus will probably be the most expensive Galaxy S10 ever – at least until the Galaxy S10 5G rolls out. If you’re not a fan of ever-increasing AAA smartphone prices, you might want to stick with the Galaxy S10 Lite. Don’t let the “Lite” fool you – it’ll be more powerful than the Galaxy S9, just not quite as feature-packed as the Galaxy S10 or S10 Plus. You’re still getting a top-tier Galaxy S smartphone.Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus:• Display: 6.44-inches (curved)• Back Cameras: 3x lens• Front Cameras: 2x punch-hole lens (pill shaped)• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9820• Fingerprint Sensor: Ultrasonic in-display• Connectivity: 4G LTE• Back: GlassBig MoneyThose with the big dollars will drop their cash on the 5G Samsung Galaxy S10 that’ll come later in the year. Somewhere around the 2nd quarter of the year – March, April, May, somewhere around there. This is when the major carriers will be ready to roll with their 5G network rollouts – at least enough to release a phone, or a hotspot, or more than a couple products.The big money Galaxy S10 will have some other features not on the rest of the devices, but this will be less about voting with your cash and more about matter-of-factly releasing the first major 5G phone. So feel free to save up your cash for that, but know this: the real votes are hitting early. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (Beyond X):• Display:• Back Cameras: 4x lens• Front Cameras: 2x punch-hole lens (pill shaped)• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9820• Fingerprint Sensor: Ultrasonic in-display• Connectivity: 5G• Back: CeramicSamsung Galaxy S10 Bolt (Verizon):• Display: 6.7-inches (curved)• Back Cameras: 4x lens• Front Cameras: 2x punch-hole lens (pill shaped)• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9820• Fingerprint Sensor: Ultrasonic in-display• Connectivity: 5G• Back: CeramicNOTE: Most details above come from leaks and anonymous tipsters familiar with the goings-on of Samsung’s near-future releases. Until Samsung reveals the devices, no details are official!Galaxy S10 Release DateThe Samsung Galaxy S10 release date will likely hit on or around March 8th, 2019. This will come not long after the next major Samsung event, one that’s rumored to come on February 20th, 2019. On that date we’re expecting to see the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10 Plus. The Galaxy S10 5G model(s) will probably be revealed after this event, some time before the 2nd quarter of the year.
Mouse support with #WVD on iOS coming soon. pic.twitter.com/S4nL2IgFz0— Scott Manchester (@RDS4U) January 2, 2019 The software isn’t exactly new. Launched in preview last year, Windows Virtual Desktop is practically just a multi-user Windows 10 desktop running remotely on Microsoft’s Azure cloud.What’s new, however, is mouse support on iOS as shown by MS Remote Desktop Service Group Manager Scott Manchester. That is a pretty big thing considering how mouse-unfriendly iOS is, even when running remote desktops like this. Ever since the debut of the iPad Pro, Apple has been talking about how its tablet could pretty much replace the long-standing definition of what computers are. But while countless of iPad Pro owners have been able to indeed do work or live completely off an iPad Pro, it’s just a fact that not all the “pro” software one needs is available on iOS. That argument might soon be moot, however, and you might soon be able to do everything on an iPad. Unfortunately, it will be Microsoft who will have the last laugh thanks to its Window Virtual Desktop. Not all Bluetooth mice would be supported though. The demo makes use of the Swiftpoint GT which was made exactly with that scenario in mind. In fact, the mouse already works that way with the likes of Teamviewer, VMware, Splashtop, and Parallels just to name a few. So, in a way, that’s not so special either. More mice are expected to be supported later on.AdChoices广告It does mean, though, that an iPad can now really become the only device you need to take with you. Provided you’re able to connect to the Windows Virtual Desktop from anywhere, of course. Probably not the use case Apple had in mind.
If, for some unknown reason, you’ve not been keeping up to date on your “massive diamonds through history” news, you might not have heard of the Cullinan Diamond. Unearthed back in 1905, in the Magaliesberg Mountains in South Africa, it was a hefty 3,106 carats in total before it was cut into nine different stones. Two of those ended up lodged inside the British Crown Jewels. For Rolls-Royce, then, the message is that Cullinan will be a diamond in the rough (terrain). While an SUV might not be the first sort of vehicle you’d expect from the automaker, it promises to be just as refined – and excessive – as anything else from the company. Indeed, it’s based on a familiar platform. That’s the “Architecture of Luxury,” the somewhat whimsically named aluminum space frame that Rolls-Royce based the all-new Phantom on last year. Although it may be a part of BMW Group, the platform is completely unique to Rolls-Royce. Rather than a monocoque construction as is commonplace in cars, it’s designed to underpin a variety of body styles and propulsion types, whether gas or electric, while being around 30-percent more rigid than the company’s old spaceframe.Cullinan will be the second vehicle to make use of it, following the new Phantom, and is a good example of just how flexible the system is. After all, while a Phantom might be at home on city streets, it’s unlikely to roam to the desert, arctic tundra, or rolling canyons that the SUV has been tested in so far. After that, the same architecture will underpin the next Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn cars from Rolls-Royce, as well as any coachbuilt projects it undertakes for particularly wealthy clients. Before that, though, we have an outlandish SUV. Cullinan will go up against rivals like the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini’s Urus, each offering a different perspective on the high-end truck segment but competing simply by virtue of their price tag and exclusivity. We should see what Rolls-Royce has achieved sometime in 2019. Story TimelineThis is the Rolls-Royce SUV: Project Cullinan prototype previewedRolls-Royce Cullinan SUV appears in new spy photosRolls-Royce SUV caught testing in the wild Rolls-Royce’s ridiculously luxuriously, deliciously excessive SUV will officially be called the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the automaker has confirmed today. Announced three years ago as Project Cullinan, it seems the uber-truck felt the name – inspired by the largest flawless diamond ever discovered – was particularly fitting, and so will stick for the showroom.
Study: Hospice Use On The Rise, But After Late-Stage Aggressive Care A study released Tuesday found that, although the number of elderly people who died in a hospice setting is increasing, it usually came late in the process and after highly aggressive care near the end of life.USA Today: Hospice Care Used More, But Often Too LateTwice as many elderly people died in hospice care as in a hospital or nursing home compared with a decade ago, but hospice is often treated as a last resort — and used too late to benefit patients and their families, says a study released Tuesday. The researchers examined Medicare records for 840,000 people 66 or older who died in 2000, 2005 and 2009 (Lloyd, 2/5).Politico: Study: Boost In Hospice Visits By Way Of The ICUAt first blush it looks like great news: More Americans are choosing to die with hospice instead of spending their final days tethered to machines in a high-tech modern hospital. But a deeper look at the data finds a countervailing trend. Yes, more people are getting hospice care — but they are getting it for only a few days and often, only after highly aggressive care near the end of life, including multiple hospitalizations and stays in intensive care units (Kenen, 2/6).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Aggressive Care Still The Norm For Dying SeniorsAlthough federal data show that fewer Medicare beneficiaries are dying in hospitals, new research suggests that doesn’t mean they’re getting less aggressive care in their final days (Tran, 2/5). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
State Highlights: Ohio Readies Funding For New Medicaid Computer System This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. A selection of health policy stories from North Carolina, Ohio, Maryland, Arkansas, New York, Colorado, South Dakota, Florida, Kansas and California.North Carolina Health News: State Medicaid Director Carol Steckel ResignsCarol Steckel, the state’s Medicaid director, is leaving after eight months on the job. Her departure is the latest in a string of high-profile departures from the Department of Health and Human Services, which has been plagued of late by personnel issues (Hoban, 9/23).The Associated Press: NC Medicaid Director Leaving For Private SectorThe director of North Carolina’s Medicaid program announced Monday that she is leaving, eight months after taking the job. Her departure calls into question the future of a proposal to shift operations of the government health care program for the poor toward the private sector (Robertson,9/23).The Raleigh News & Observer: NC Medicaid Director Resigns After Eight Months On JobLegislative leaders from both parties expressed concern over Steckel’s decision. The leading House budget writer said he hoped the resignation would slow the momentum toward transferring Medicaid to commercial insurers. And the House minority leader said it was further proof that the General Assembly needs to investigate turmoil at the department and its management of the $14 billion Medicaid program (Neff and Bonner, 9/24).The Cleveland Plain Dealer: State Board Approves Funding For New Medicaid Computer System, Financial Perks For Omnova MoveThe Ohio Controlling Board on Monday approved $116 million for a new Medicaid eligibility computer system as well as state financial incentives for a number of private-sector projects in the Cleveland area. The new software system, designed to handle changes made under the Affordable Care Act, will replace the state’s 32-year-old computer system used to determine Medicaid eligibility, Ohio Department of Medicaid spokesman Sam Rossi said. He said the old software is inaccurate 60 percent of the time, forcing county caseworkers to override the system by hand (Pelzer, 9/23).Columbus Dispatch: $116 Million OK’d To Replace State Medicaid Computer SystemThe state Controlling Board approved $116 million in mostly federal funds to replace a 32-year-old computer system that determines eligibility for Medicaid and other government programs. With Medicaid expansion possible as state lawmakers return to action, spending requests related to the state-federal health-insurance program are getting scrutiny. Pressed by Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Port Clinton, on whether the new computer system would be able to handle the estimated 275,000 low-income Ohioans that will be added to Medicaid if an expansion is approved, Department of Administrative Services officials assured him it could (Siegel, 9/24). The Associated Press/Washington Post: Company Objects Over Being Disqualified From Bidding For Arkansas Medicaid ContractThe head of a Maryland company disqualified from bidding on a Medicaid contract in Arkansas complained Monday that the state relied too much on the knowledge that Louisiana had terminated a similar contract and didn’t take into account the firm’s performance in other states (9/23).The Wall Street Journal: Amid Push for Clinics, Some Patients Prefer HospitalsHealth care officials are searching for funds to open smaller clinics as hospitals close. But another obstacle might prove equally hard to overcome: New Yorkers like their local hospitals. Clinics are typically open during business hours, not evenings and weekends. It often takes weeks to get an appointment. Health-care experts say clinics are sometimes perceived as less trustworthy than imposing brick hospitals that have been in the neighborhood for decades. Smaller clinics staffed by local residents create privacy fears in tightly knit cultural communities (Kusisto and Fox, 9/23).The Wall Street Journal: Brooklyn Grapples With Struggling Hospitals And Demand For Health CareA new vision for Brooklyn health care was unveiled two years ago with much fanfare: Several struggling hospitals would merge with others, a state panel proposed, and less-expensive outpatients clinics would spring up in their place (Kusisto, 9/23).Kaiser Health News: Colorado Floods Isolate Hospital At Foot Of RockiesAs snow begins falling in Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, the town at its doorstep, finds itself newly isolated. The only year-round road into or out of town now is the Peak to Peak Highway. It traverses a jumble of mountains all the way — not the kind of road an ambulance can scream along at 60 miles an hour (Whitney, 9/24).The Associated Press: South Dakota Clinic Billed As Affordable Health Care Is Expanding Into AberdeenA nonprofit organization that provides affordable health care at 18 medical and dental clinics in South Dakota is expanding into Aberdeen. Howard-based Horizon Health Care Inc. has been awarded an $810,000 federal grant to open the clinic and will receive additional funding to operate it, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Mengenhausen told the American News of Aberdeen (9/24).Health News Florida: Biggest Bid-Winner: Sunshine State Health PlanSunshine State Health Plan, a subsidiary of Centene Corp., won more contracts than any other company in the bidding for a slice of the Florida Medicaid program as it shifts its entire enrollee population into managed-care plans. The Agency for Health Care Administration released the list of bid-winners for the general Medicaid-enrollee population — mainly mothers and children — late Monday afternoon, ending a nervous wait by companies, their investors and Wall Street analysts. Billions of dollars are at stake (Gentry, 9/23).Kansas Health Institute: Work In Progress: KanCare Problems Persist For ProvidersKanCare apparently looks different [in rural Smith County] than it does in Topeka. … Brownback officials have tended to paint a rosier picture, particularly when describing the program to the broader public. Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer when asked recently about some of the problems said the KanCare initiative was going “better than expected” (Shields, 9/23).California Healthline: San Diego County’s 10-Year Public Health Initiative Shows Early ProgressThree years into a 10-year plan to alter the landscape of public health, the county Health & Human Services Agency is preparing to present its third annual report to the County Board of Supervisors about the progress of Live Well, San Diego! Live Well, San Diego! is a comprehensive public health initiative that involves widespread community partnerships to address the root causes of illness and rising health care costs (Zamosky, 9/23).
Rural residents paid slightly higher premiums for exchange health plans than their city counterparts, reports Modern Healthcare. Meanwhile, Vermont’s GOP leaders say they want the state’s health insurance exchange to succeed, but residents are fed up with problems.Modern Healthcare: Rural Residents Pay More for Exchange Plans Than City DwellersRural residents paid slightly higher premiums on exchange plans in 2014 than their urban counterparts, according to a new analysis of plan filings. The average monthly premium for the second-cheapest silver plan, which is designed to cover 70% of medical costs, was $387 in rural counties, compared to $369 for urban counties. But those in states with a large percentage of rural residents, regardless of where they lived, saw significantly higher premiums this year. For states with less than 5% of residents living in rural counties, the average premium was $402. But for states where more than half of the population lived in rural counties, the average monthly premium was $452 (Demko, 8/5).The Associated Press: Vermont GOP Leaders Want Health ReformThe three top Republicans in the Vermont Legislature said Tuesday they want the state’s health care exchange to succeed but state residents are fed up with the problems the system is having and more options should be considered to ensure those problems are fixed. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning and House Minority Leader Don Turner spoke a day after the administration of Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin announced the state is reducing its ties with CGI, the company that developed the problem-plagued Vermont Health Connect website (Ring, 8/5). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Rural Residents Pay More For Exchange Plans
For The Health Sector, Monday Was Marked By Takeovers And Acquisitions The Wall Street Journal reports that pharmaceutical companies showed that they remain willing to merge with other companies, as Teva Pharmaceuticals acquired Auspex Pharmaceuticals and Horizon Pharma announced that it would purchase Hyperion Therapeutics. For the second time this month, Amgen has lost a battle over its effort to block a biosimilar version of its Neupogen drug, a $5.7 billion seller that is used to fend off infections during chemotherapy. This time, the FDA denied a citizen’s petition the biotech filed arguing that Sandoz, which plans to sell a biosimilar, violated federal law by failing to provide it with needed information by a specified deadline. (Silverman, 3/30) It’s the busiest day for takeovers in the health-care industry. UnitedHealth Group Inc. struck Monday’s largest purchase — $13.2 billion for drug-benefit manager Catamaran Corp. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries made a $3.1 billion splash back into dealmaking with Auspex Pharmaceuticals. Horizon Pharma agreed to buy Hyperion Therapeutics Inc. for $866 million to treat lucrative rare diseases. And Fujifilm Holdings Corp. is acquiring Cellular Dynamics International Inc., a maker of human cells, for $239 million. (Lachapelle, 3/30) M&A has helped drive the rally in biotech stocks in the past few years. And while many investors have grown concerned that valuations are getting too lofty, pharmaceutical companies showed that they remain willing to pay up for their targets. On Monday, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced that it would acquire Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc. for roughly $3.2 billion at a 42% premium to its closing price on Friday. Horizon Pharma announced that it would purchase Hyperion Therapeutics for $955.7 million in cash, at a price just 7.6% premium over its closing price Friday but roughly 55% above its price one month ago. The deals announced Monday show how M&A is both reshaping the pharmaceutical industry and rapidly responding to it. Midsize and large pharmaceutical companies have struggled to refill their product pipelines as many of their biggest cash-generating drugs come off patent. (Farrell, 3/30) On the regulatory and legal front – This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Bloomberg: Busiest Day For Health Care Deals Is Set To Spawn More The Wall Street Journal’s Pharmalot: Amgen Loses Another Round In Its Battle To Fend Off A Biosimilar Rival The Wall Street Journal’s Moneybeat: What Biotech Bubble? Specialty Pharma Stocks Pop Again On Merger Monday GlaxoSmithKline Plc has agreed to settle a lawsuit by Johnson & Johnson accusing it of using false advertising at the start of the U.S. allergy season to grab market share. Glaxo received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell Flonase over the counter in July, setting the stage for greater competition. J&J units McNeil-PPC Inc and McNeil Consumer Healthcare filed the lawsuit on March 12, accusing Glaxo of making unsupported claims about Flonase at the expense of McNeil’s drugs Benadryl and Zyrtec. (Raymond, 3/30) Reuters: J&J, Glaxo Settle U.S. Lawsuit Over Allergy Meds
Senate Panel Adds $1 Billion To VA Funding For Private Care For Patients The funding boost was not publicized by leaders of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. In addition, two members of the House are hoping to stop VA researchers from running tests on dogs. Representatives from both parties want to protect dogs from medical research at the Veterans Affairs Department. Disturbed that the department has subjected some dogs to lobotomies and spinal cord research, two dog lovers in the House, Nevada Democrat Dina Titus and Republican Dave Brat from Virginia, have introduced a bill (HR 3197) to prohibit any medical testing there that causes dog pain. It’s a multi-front attack. The two earlier this year got an amendment added to a spending bill (HR 3219) that would have barred the VA from spending money on dog research. (Sipkin, 12/4) CQ: Mystery $1 Billion For Private Care Emerges In Veterans Bill CQ: Lawmakers Press VA To End Medical Testing On Dogs Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee members may not have known they plunged an additional $1 billion into a private care access program for veterans during a markup Wednesday. The boost to private medical care would be directed to the Veterans Choice Program, a temporary program rolled out in November 2014 designed to help patients who have to wait too long or drive too far to a VA-run facility. The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee confirmed late Thursday the $1 billion was included when asked about it by CQ. (Mejdrich, 12/1) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Mercedes-Benz Delivers First GLC F-Cell Plug-In Hybrid The new GLE PHEV should enter sales from mid-2019 as a 2020 model year under the new EQ Power badge for Mercedes plug-in hybrids Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 28, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Mercedes-Benz tests the new GLE PHEV at the trackThe upcoming new generation Mercedes-Benz GLE plug-in hybrid is expected to have up to 100 km (62 miles) of all-electric range under the WLTP test cycle.The longer range will not be the only trump card as the German manufacturer makes efforts to improve performance too. Here is the latest video from a test run at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrids Mercedes-Benz GLE Plug-In Hybrid Expected To Go 62 Electric Miles (WLTP) Source: Electric Vehicle News Comparison Of New Mercedes-Benz EQ Power Plug-In Hybrids
Has Formula E Created The Ultimate Racing Rules Package? Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 11, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Mercedes has taken a very different approach to its Formula E preparations than fellow 2019/20 entrant Porsche, sending HWA on a fact-finding mission one season in advance. Four disastrous races in, what has it learned? Source: Electric Vehicle News Mercedes-Benz Reveals Formula E Concept Livery For the 2019/20 season Mercedes – and fellow manufacturer Porsche – will finally join FE. Mercedes will have a second high-profile global championship, running alongside its Formula 1 behemoth, and FE will be bursting with entries from many of the most famous marques from motorsport history.But while Mercedes and Porsche both announced their intentions to join FE in the same period – in late 2016 and mid ’17 respectively – they have taken very different approaches to their preparations for their full works entries. Porsche claims it “never” considered running a feeder team ahead of season six, but Mercedes-affiliated HWA gained the 11th berth for the current season. HWA will run the Mercedes FE race squad from next season and has always maintained that the current campaign would be a learning year to make sure it was fully prepared.But the first four races of the 2018/19 season has been a very trying time for HWA.At the first round in Saudi Arabia, things actually got off to a good start when ex-McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne shone in the gloomy qualifying session to take fourth on the grid. But he went backwards in the race and finished 16th, while his team-mate Gary Paffett, the reigning DTM champion, retired after contact with a wall.Things got much worse in Marrakech where both drivers suffered technical issues ahead of the race, then collided at the first corner and had to retire as a result. In Santiago, Vandoorne again stood out in qualifying to start fifth, but lost a likely points finish as he crashed out at the halfway point of the scorching event. Paffett did make the finish but was a lap down after suffering further technical problems.Last time out at Mexico City, both HWA drivers made it to the end of the race for the first time this season, but were down in 16th and 18th, and Vandoorne was on the receiving end of two penalties for fanboost-activation infractions.Stoffel Vandoorne, HWA Racelab, and Gary Paffett, HWA RacelabPhoto by: Alastair Staley / LAT ImagesThat is not the glittering set of results one might expect of an eight-time DTM champion.“Everybody was always hoping for more, but we’re pretty much exactly seeing what I’ve always said and what I’ve always told people,” says HWA team boss and CEO, Ulrich Fritz. “You don’t get here and just smash everybody, there are highly professional teams in the paddock who have been doing this for years now.“It would be not humble enough to say you can just jump them and fight for victories. I think the base product is maybe also not at a level where we can compete for victories on a regular basis. But it’s good enough to score points and if we put our things together, if the drivers put their things together, then I think we’re in for a strong result.”So HWA is, sort of, where it expected it to be. Not winning, but also not doing quite as badly as the results table indicates. Indeed, as Fritz points out, had Vandoorne finished sixth in Santiago – where he was running before his crash – HWA would have scored eight points and be above NIO and Dragon in the teams’ championship.It must be taken at its word when it says this year is fundamentally about learning the ins and outs of FE ahead of Mercedes’ arrival. So what, then, has it discovered from the four tough lessons that have played out so far this season?“We’ve learned a lot,” says Fritz. “We’ve really learned about the competitiveness in Formula E, [and] we’ve really learned on the technical side that you need to take so much attention to detail because really small small things can turn out in a DNF or whatever. Which just [can be] followed by a chain of strange and difficult events. That is just something I happened to see only in Formula E.”Stoffel Vandoorne, HWA Racelab, VFE-05 Gary Paffett, HWA Racelab, VFE-05Photo by: Zak Mauger / LAT ImagesFE’s closely competitive nature is often highlighted as a reason to watch and get involved in the championship. The spread of winners so far this season – four drivers from four different teams have triumphed so far – bears that out. But it also means Mercedes can be right in contention from the off if the powertrain being developed at its Brixworth engine base is as good as the manufacturer’s pedigree suggests it should be.Let’s assume the Mercedes entry starts at the foot of the 2019/20 table alongside Porsche for the first round. Based on FE’s current qualifying rules, the four drivers from those two squads would be running in the fourth and final group and would have every chance of repeating BMW Andretti’s feat from this season’s opening round in Saudi Arabia – immediately going from last to first…But before we get too carried away, HWA has learned the hard way how little things can cause big problems in FE. After pointing out the possibility of encountering a “chain of strange and difficult events”, Fritz cites a specific example of a lesson it had to go through that will surely be one Mercedes won’t have to learn next season.“Such an unfortunate chain of difficult events was just in the race [in Santiago],” says Fritz. “Gary’s temperature was a little bit high and he was then asked by the engineer to switch the positions on the steering wheel. And by switching these positions on the steering wheel, he somehow went through the 225kW mode, which ended up in a drive-through penalty because we got this [power] overshoot. Only for 0.3s, because it was just flipping it through, but it happens.“You learn a lot from those things. [In Mexico] the switch was completely new and different. But we need to take what we get from our manufacturer [Venturi] and obviously things like that haven’t happened to them in the past four years, so we experienced it for the first time and we jointly worked on it, and we just made it better. That’s just a small example, but it goes from A-Z.”Gary Paffett, HWA Racelab, VFE-05Photo by: Alastair Staley / LAT ImagesFritz says HWA is “learning on a 360-degree approach and package”. This means it has sussed out the best way to set up its garage (or tent, depending on which city FE is visiting), how to arrange its engineers, and improve the performance of its mechanics.Just knowing how best to use “the time you get after the [freight] boxes are open” has been valuable knowledge HWA has gained for Mercedes – although in this area it had to endure another tough lesson. In Marrakech the squad was fined €5000 for an organisational team member arriving too early before the race day curfew had ended, setting up to work on his laptop, unaware that by opening the garage he had broken a rule even though it had nothing to do with the team’s cars.The first third of the 2018/19 season is already in the book, and while there aren’t too many pleasant memories for HWA to look back on, there’s plenty of races left for it score points and grab the high-profile results its lineage and employee talent is capable of achieving. It will work closely with Venturi to make progress with its customer powertrain – although Fritz points out that “we aren’t a manufacturer, [so] we aren’t allowed to do a lot, [and] secondly it’s a little bit late anyway and you have homologated parts”.But Venturi’s form in Mexico – where Felipe Massa qualified third and Edoardo Mortara finished in the same position – should at least give HWA encouragement that its powertrain is capable of a podium. Fritz, who was speaking the day before the most recent race, clarifies that it is the combination of the whole HWA package that means it is unlikely – although not fully out of the question – for it to score a win, and it’s not down to problems with the powertrain it has purchased.“I wouldn’t really push that down to the powertrain or whatever,” he says. “For me, the package is not only the drivetrain, it’s also not only the car – it’s also the software behind it, the engineering behind it or whatever. And we need to learn a lot for that. So, all in all, we don’t have the package at the moment to win races here against very strong competition.”Stoffel Vandoorne, HWA Racelab, VFE-05Photo by: Alastair Staley / LAT ImagesNow that its show car has been unveiled, Mercedes’ FE marketing and full season-six preparations are going to go up a level. It has already received its test and development chassis from FE supplier Spark, although the car had yet to hit the track when Fritz spoke in Mexico.But the development work for the 2019/20 packages is already well advanced. Only last week the DS Techeetah squad completed its first of 15 days of manufacturer testing at the Calafat circuit, where Mahindra Racing was also present. Mercedes and the rest, including Porsche, will start putting the miles on their season six powertrains soon – if they haven’t already.Where Mercedes and Porsche have taken a second different approach ahead of their full FE entries relates to their respective driver line-ups. Porsche has already confirmed Neel Jani will be one of its season six racers, whereas Mercedes won’t announce its driver plans until after the summer.“It’s too early to think about it, but on the other hand we’ve come here with a driver line-up we believe can be a competitive one,” says Fritz. “To make decisions into one or the other direction after just four races – where in most of the races we haven’t managed to give the drivers the package they deserved – would be too early and therefore this is absolutely not on our discussion list at the moment.”With its haul of DTM titles, all of which it scored with Mercedes, HWA’s capabilities will shine through eventually, even if the FE points table currently looks pretty disastrous. Its reach now extends throughout motorsport, from its customer GT racing programmes to Formula 2 and Formula 3, and still in the DTM with R-Motorsport and Aston Martin.That adds up to quite a machine, which Mercedes will benefit from in the next FE season. So even if HWA’s electric adventures have been point-less so far, there’s nothing to suggest it will stay that way or hinder the might of its manufacturer in season six. Formula E RC Cars Battle On The Streets For Our Hearts: Video Earlier this week Mercedes teased its fans by showcasing a concept livery on its Formula E show car at the Geneva Motor Show. While the colour scheme itself was underwhelming, the fact that the manufacturer is now in a position to build up its marketing might around FE demonstrates once again that the electric championship is approaching an exciting new phase.More Formula E News
Since 2016, German parts maker ZF has supplied technology for French EV maker Venturi’s team in the FIA Formula E racing series.ZF has developed an electric drive for the team, which includes a 250 kW electric motor with a specially designed transmission ratio and power electronics. ZF says this drive enjoys much higher energy conversion efficiency than volume production applications, and it plans to incorporate these new developments in its electric drives for street vehicles.For the racing vehicles, ZF used a lightweight metal alloy for the transmission housing and carbon in the power electronics. Dry sump lubrication increases the energy conversion efficiency in the transmission’s reduction gears. The ZF team used silicon carbide in the power electronics, which it says can be designed ten times thinner than current silicon types, leading to lower internal resistance. The results, ZF says, are increased battery efficiency and range.The parts maker hopes that concepts it initially developed for racing cars will gradually find their way into volume production applications, including a special winding design for electric motor stators. ZF specifically hopes to introduce silicon carbide into volume production for power electronics in three to four years.Jörg Grotendorst, Head of ZF E-Mobility, said, “A lot of the experience we’ve gained from the racing application will impact on future ZF products.”Source: ZF Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine
Anker’s eBay storefront offers its Powerhouse 400Wh 120000mAh Portable Generator for $349.99 shipped. Discount reflected in-cart. Regularly $500, today’s deal is good for $120 off and the best available. The Anker Powerhouse delivers everything you need to enjoy power on-the-go with out having to use a gas generator. Its 120000mAh battery provides juice to four USB ports, an AC outlet, and more. It can power a TV, mini fridge, MacBooks and other devices. Ever since I positively reviewed this model last year, I’ve used it to power up drones away from home and run my projection system outdoors. Rated 4.1/5 stars. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Anker’s Powerhouse 120000mAh Portable Generator is $350 (Reg. $500), more appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Vote, motion for reconsideration, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.VoteFCPA Professor has been selected as one of the best legal blogs by the Expert Institute. If FCPA Professor adds value to your practice or business or otherwise enlightens your day, you can vote for FCPA Professor as the best niche/specialty blog here. It only takes a minute and your vote is most appreciated.Motion for ReconsiderationUnhappy with U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton’s (D. Conn.) recent interpretation in U.S. v. Hoskins (see here) of the FCPA that Congress actually enacted, the DOJ recently filed this motion for a reconsideration. The motion is based almost entirely on the DOJ’s views on the FCPA’s legislative history, demonstrating once again the importance of the FCPA’s legislative history (see here).Reading StackSpeaking of the recent decision in U.S. v. Hoskins, this King & Spalding alert states:“[T]he Government argued for an accomplice theory, consistent with the Resource Guide to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. That guidance, first released in 2012, posed just such a hypothetical scenario:Moreover, even if [defendant] had never taken any actions in the territory of the United States, they can still be subject to jurisdiction under a traditional application of conspiracy law and may be subject to substantive FCPA charges under Pinkerton liability, namely, being liable for the reasonably foreseeable substantive FCPA crimes committed by a co-conspirator in furtherance of the conspiracy.The District Court rejected that theory, based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Gebardi v. United States, which established that whenever Congress has intentionally excluded certain individuals from liability for a specific law, this congressional intent must not be circumvented by prosecuting such individuals based on accomplice liability.While the District Court rejected accomplice liability as an additional basis for FCPA jurisdiction, it remains to be seen how other courts will address this question, and whether the DOJ and the SEC will revisit their guidance on the matter. Given the rarity of written judicial opinions interpreting the FCPA, this ruling is likely to have an outsized impact on future FCPA enforcement actions.”For additional reading on how the FCPA Guidance is an advocacy piece and not a well-balanced portrayal of the FCPA as it is replete with selective information, half-truths, and, worse information that is demonstratively false, see here.*****An informative read here from the FCPAmericas blog titled “Localizing Compliance Programs in Latin America.”“The compliance programs for Latin American subsidiaries of foreign companies often consist of translated versions of the program used at headquarters, without any (or just minor) adaptations. Oftentimes, this practice has the potential to negatively impact the ability of the program to operate at optimum levels and can lead to problems. Here are five practical steps that companies can take to maximize the efficiency of their compliance programs in Latin America.”*****An interesting read here from Robert Appleton titled “Despite Prosecutions, Corruption Levels Stay the Course.”“In light of this [increased corruption enforcement] activity [around the world], one might expect that corruption levels would decrease. But they have not. Why hasn’t it happened? The focus of this piece is to propose some possible explanations for this anomaly.”*****A good weekend to all.
In teenagers as in stars, the first years of life are times of great change. A massive protostar that lies about 4250 light-years from Earth has undergone a dramatic evolution over the course of just 18 years, a new study reveals. In 1996, when scientists used a radio telescope to observe a star-forming region dubbed W75N(B), one of the objects in that cloud—called VLA 2—had very little structure: Its magnetic field wasn’t oriented in any particular direction, and the ionized material streaming from the star—its version of solar wind—spewed outward at similar speeds in all directions. But observations last year hint that the protostar’s stellar wind was flowing more quickly from the object’s poles (relative speeds depicted in bluish ovoid in image above), and its magnetic field had become aligned with that of the larger cloud of gas and dust that surrounds it, the researchers report online today in Science. Material flowing out from the equatorial regions is slowed substantially as it runs into the doughnut-shaped disk of dust and gas that surrounds the protostar, the researchers explain. Over the next few hundred thousand years, W75N(B)-VLA 2 will evolve into a star about six times the mass of our sun, team members estimate. Another protostar forming in the same cloud of material, dubbed W75N(B)-VLA 1, sported an organized magnetic field in 1996 and therefore is farther along in its stellar evolution, likely because it’s more massive. Continuing observations of the handful of massive protostars in the cloud will shed new light on the earliest stages of star formation, enabling researchers to fine-tune their models of how such stars evolve.