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  • Nike debuts iPhone 7 cases that make your phone resemble sneakers

    first_imgNike has offered iPhone cases for some time now, but these are much more interesting and unique than simply having the brand’s swoosh logo. Both the Roshe and Air Force 1 cases feature the exact tread designs from each shoe’s outsole, making them recognizable to sneaker fans and providing a nice grip texture.The Roshe case comes in either bright red or mint green colors, while the Air Force 1 case is only available in blue. Each case is priced at $35 in the US, and there’s no word from Nike yet on if they’ll come in different colors or phone sizes down the line.For sneaker fans, or those who view Nike’s iconic designs as works of art, there’s probably no other choice when it comes to outfitting your iPhone 7.SOURCE Nike (Roshe, Air Force 1) When it comes to the iPhone 7, owners have a near limitless selection of cases for their device. But for die-hard sneakerheads, there might now be a single option. Nike has announced a pair of hard-shell cases for the iPhone 7 that feature the sole designs of the Roshe and Air Force 1, two of the company’s most iconic sneakers. They only come in iPhone 7 sizes, unfortunately, but their plastic material promises to offer decent drop and scratch protection. Story TimelineThese Nike sunglasses cost more than the Oculus Rift and HTC ViveApple Watch Nike Plus first-impressions and hands-onNIKE Air Mag 2016 with power laces released in photos and videoNike Hyperadept “self-tightening” shoes coming next monthApple Watch NikeLab limited edition tones down the colorlast_img read more

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  • Sorry FCC theres a good reason Apple cant turn on iPhone FM

    first_imgPai’s argument does touch on a legitimate issue, that smartphones which at one point would have had FM radios by default often now leave the hardware disabled. Whether that’s because manufacturers don’t believe buyers actually want that functionality, or for slightly more nefarious reasons since they’d rather push them to paid music services, is a matter of debate. However the FCC chairman’s demand is based on a faulty assumption. In a statement from Apple, MacRumors reports, the company points out that its most recent models don’t actually include any FM radio hardware. That would, unsurprisingly, make it tough to activate.“Apple cares deeply about the safety of our users, especially during times of crisis and that’s why we have engineered modern safety solutions into our products. Users can dial emergency services and access Medical ID card information directly from the Lock Screen, and we enable government emergency notifications, ranging from Weather Advisories to AMBER alerts. iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models do not have FM radio chips in them nor do they have antennas designed to support FM signals, so it is not possible to enable FM reception in these products” AppleApple cites its iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, which cover new iPhone releases back to 2016. Of course there are plenty of older iPhones in circulation still, and previous teardowns have suggested that, unlike the newer models, they do have FM radio chips. That led Daring Fireball to do a little further digging.What he discovered was that “there is an FM radio chip in older iPhones, but it’s not connected, and there’s no antenna designed for FM radio.” Again, the FCC chairman’s misconception comes down to a shortage of technical data: it takes more than just the FM radio chipset itself to make a functional FM radio. “The chip is just part of a commodity component part,” Daring Fireball’s John Gruber says, “and Apple only connected the parts of the chip that the iPhones were designed to use.”Pai has made FM radio support a recurring theme in his comments about the mobile industry. Back in February, the FCC chairman said he wanted to see every smartphone produced not only include such hardware but have it activated, too. However, he said he would not make sure a specification obligatory through regulations, given that would arguably be a free market issue. As this week’s controversy demonstrates, a shortcoming of technical awareness can easily derail the conversation. The FCC has been criticized for how it responded to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Mari, with skeptics suggesting that Pai’s aversion to regulations has hamstrung any impetus to hold hearings about post-disaster planning as they could result in legal requirements for the communications industry. The FCC might want Apple to enable an FM radio in its iPhones so that they can be used during emergencies like the recent devastating hurricanes, but the Cupertino company has a good reason why that’s not going to happen. FCC chairman Ajit Pai made his appeal earlier this week, insisting that “it is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put safety of the American people first.” Unfortunately, it seems Pai didn’t do his technical homework first. last_img read more

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  • Elon Musks multiplanetary vision includes our own Blue planet

    first_imgElon Musk just held a press conference revolving around his “multiplanetary species” campaign and, while a large part of his presentation recapped SpaceX’s adventures and misadventures, the ambitious luminary didn’t fail to impart some extraordinary plans as well. By now, it is no secret that he plans to set up camp on Mars and even on the moon. But it seems that Musk’s dream of making life multiplantery will also come back full circle to make life here on Earth just as spectacular. Amusingly, Elon Musk’s talk takes just as long. You can watch it in full below, with Musk coming on stage around the 26 minute mark. Musk has been known to make comments and commitments that even some of the industry’s top names have considered to be the ravings of a madman. His latest update on SpaceX mandate to get humans on Mars sooner rather than later is bound to get just as much criticism. In fact, he might have just increased the number of critics, pulling in from a slightly different industry.The SpaceX and Tesla CEO believes that, by now, we should already have had a base on the moon. It won’t be as sophisticated as his Martian plans, but it will also simpler to get there and back. Owing to fuel efficiency, physics, and the fact a rocket will no longer have a payload on the return trip, Musk proposes that a first stage rocket can launch from the Moon and make it back to Earth without needing to refuel on the Moon.Getting back from Mars, however, is a different story. Not only do you need to refuel from a tanker in space, you will also need to refuel before leaving Mars. That fuel will come from chemical processes that utilize carbon dioxide and water that is already present on Mars. That is why SpaceX’s first two Martian missions will be for surveying the resources and hazards in order to study the feasibility of building a propellant depot, which is critical to what’s to come next.Musk believes that all the pieces, including reusable rockets and the BFR, will already be in place by 2022, when it plans to launch at least two cargo missions for that purpose. Should that prove to be successful, SpaceX will take advantage of the Earth-Mars sync that happens every two years and will launch four missions in 2024. That includes 2 crewed missions, which will take what he believes the first humans on Mars. These missions will be finding the best sources of water and finally laying the building blocks for a Martian power plant. Over time, that single station will grow into the Martian colony of Musk’s dreams.But while keeping his eyes on the prize beyond the skies, Musk also has plans for those left behind. He muses that life can be so much better if the same technology we use to get us to the Moon and Mars can also be utilized to get us to places here on Earth. In short, he proposes using those same BFRs to ferry people across the globe, the same way planes already do. Except those long distance trips could take less than half an hour instead of half a day.last_img read more

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  • Amazon Alexa now recognizes your voice

    first_imgStory TimelineAmazon’s new Echo brings multi-room audio and a stylish new designAmazon Echo Spot alarm clock is smart and semi-sphericalGoogle “Manhattan” tipped to be an Amazon Echo Show rivalAmazon Echo Show price cut after losing YouTube The Alexa voice recognition is rolling out from today, though you’ll need to do a little more to get it working than just wait for your Echo to be silently upgraded. First you’ll need to set up an Alexa voice profile, which involves training through the Alexa app. You’ll be asked to choose an Alexa-powered device to train with, and then once you’ve read out ten sample phrases the profile is complete. Everyone in the home using Alexa should do the same thing, teaching the assistant who to expect to hear from. After that, voice profiles will work with several different features. In Alexa calling and messaging, for instance, your Echo will automatically recognize who is asking for a call, and then identify them by name for the person being called. If you’ve received a message, you can automatically hear your own messages without having to identify yourself. Similarly, sending a message will identify the contacts assigned to that voice profile. In Amazon Music, if you have a family plan subscription, each person with their own account will have their own personalized music recommendations. Alexa will automatically choose the right library when you ask her to play music or play a station. As you might expect, Amazon is also using Alexa voice profiles for shopping. Currently, you can opt to set up a security code which needs to be read out to confirm any voice order. With voice recognition, however, that code can be bypassed, with Alexa only placing the order if she recognizes the person making it. MORE All the new Echo models Amazon just announcedFinally, there’s support for voice profiles in the Flash Briefing. Alexa recognizes who is asking, and will automatically skip any stories from their feed that they’ve already heard. As always, Amazon plans to update what voice profiles can do in the background. Hopefully that will include things like recognizing who is speaking and offering up their calendar, or details on their commute time, as Google Home can do. MORE Amazon Amazon’s Alexa is learning voice recognition, with the Echo smart speakers set to spot who is talking and offer up personalized replies. The functionality has remained one of the most-requested for Alexa, with users’ eagerness only fueled by Google adding support for voice recognition to its Google Home several months ago. last_img read more

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  • Xiaomi Mi Note 3 surprisingly gets high scores on DxOMark

    first_imgSince Xiaomi’s phones have never officially touched markets in the West, its camera prowess has never really put to the test. So it’s not exactly usual for DxOMark to put Xiaomi’s phones through its battery of benchmarks but now that it did, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The Xiaomi Mi Note 3, the late 2017 flagship, has achieved a rather high score that puts it nearly on par with the last year’s Google Pixel and even this year’s HTC U11. The Mi Note 3 is a mid-range phone, which makes its grade even more impressive. As far as smartphone specs go, it has a regular 5.5-inch Full HD display, powered by a Snapdragon 660, with 6 GB of RAM and 64 or 128 GB of storage. Of course, the cameras are the main focus of DxOMark’s review, and there it has a 12 megapixel f/1.8 sensor paired with a 12 megapixel f/2.6 telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom.It might not look like much compared to the 16 and 21 megapixels in most smartphones these days, but megapixel count isn’t everything. For still photography, the Mi Note 3 does well outdoors under bright light and decently enough indoors and under low light. Curiously, it doesn’t have an auto HDR function common among smartphones these days, so you will have to manually turn that on.DxOMark has added new zoom and bokeh criteria for its tests and here the Mi Note 3 does the job well. The 2x optical zoom offers great detail, whether outdoors or even indoors. And the bokeh effect, while strong, is pleasant and accurate, a lot better than other mid-range phones in the market.What brought the Mi Note 3 down is its video score, faltering on texture detail and, unsurprisingly, low light scenarios. But with an overall score of 90, the mid-range Mi Note 3 is able to rub shoulders with higher-end smartphones from both last year and this year. If only it were available in the US.SOURCE: DxOMarklast_img read more

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  • Microsofts cheaper Surface could be right around the corner

    first_imgEvidence seems to be mounting for a new, less expensive Surface. Rumors have been swirling for a few months at this point, and now, it seems like we may be closing in on release. Not only did a mysterious Surface device recently make a pass through the FCC, but now Microsoft is possibly prepping retailers for a launch that could be coming up quickly. Over the weekend, a Reddit user by the name of “UniversalACAdapter” (which is an excellent handle) posted something very interesting to a subreddit dedicated to Surface products. It’s merely a two sentence long snippet of a document, but what it says essentially lets the cat out of the bag.“New Microsoft Hardware Display and Type Cover set on Friday, 7/13. Adding Phantom to all stores,” the document reads. Though it’s short, it suggests that Microsoft will have in-store advertising ready for stores by Friday, July 13. These displays will be advertising a new Type Cover and new hardware from Microsoft, which went unnamed in this leak.The Type Cover, of course, is the detachable keyboard for the Surface. It’s a reasonable assumption, then, that this unnamed Microsoft hardware is indeed a new Surface device. It’s been rumored that Microsoft wants to have this new Surface on shelves in time for the back-to-school rush, so a mid-summer release makes a lot of sense.Elsewhere in the thread, a different Reddit poster named “aninsideman” published alleged specifications of this new Surface. That person claims that the new Surface will have a 10-inch display (which explains the need for a new Type Cover, as existing ones wouldn’t fit it) outputting at 1800 x 1200 resolution. We also hear this smaller Surface will support both USB-C and microSD.Interestingly, the new Surface will only start $400 – its long-rumored price point – but various configuration will make the price go up from there. The base model will have 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage available as well. There will also be two LTE models available: one with 8GB RAM/128GB storage and another with 8GB RAM/256GB storage. Finally, we hear that the new Surface will offer up to a Pentium Gold processor from Intel, but more specific details weren’t shared.Obviously, we should take all of this with a hefty dose of skepticism. There was nothing accompanying the leaked document to suggest that it’s legitimate, and a Reddit user sharing a list of specs isn’t exactly a reliable source. Still, this isn’t the first time we’re hearing about some of these specifications, which does lend a little credibility to these claims. In any case, the date revealed in the leak means that we don’t have long to wait until we find out if this is all true, so stay tuned. Story TimelineNew Surface tablets, Xbox Two tipped with tiny detailsNew Surface tablet makes a pass through the FCClast_img read more

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  • Androids best launcher just jumped the shark

    first_imgStory TimelineUsers finding new Android experience with Rootless Pixel LauncherBest Android launchers to make your mobile life easier and snazzierSony developing new Android launcher to replace Xperia HomeDiscord’s Games tab is a launcher, news feed, and friends list all in one With that, Apex Launcher did truly jump the app shark. If you’re in a situation in which you’re updating automatically, you might want to turn that OFF for a while – at least until the folks behind Apex Launcher change a tune. Unless you enjoy re-doing settings and watching Apex Launcher turn into an app-pushing platform. You’ll be in strange company over on Reddit, that’s for sure.If you’ve updated without wishing to do so, you could potentially head over to APK Launcher and grab Apex Launcher 3.3.3 and go wild. Therein you shall find the last updated version before the 4.0 that’s been released this week. You take full responsibility for the download and loading of said app, of course, so do as you please! This week the folks behind Apex Launcher just completely lost their minds. Or they completely lost their minds if you ask their many thousands of users, many of whom just dropped majorly negative reviews on their app on the Google Play app store. This isn’t entirely without precedent, but it’s a good time for a reminder. When you update your Android launcher, you’re going to want to be careful not do erase user settings in the process.center_img The update is called the Apex Launcher 4.0 “huge” upgrade, and it cuts some functionality and erases all settings – for SOME users. It seems odd, but it would appear that not all users experienced the same loss-of-life when updating to the newest edition of Apex Launcher. Based on our attempts with several different smartphones, it would appear that Apex Launcher’s move from version 3.3 to 4.0 does indeed remove pre-set settings. Preferences for certain types of feature implementation is reset, and the end user needs to re-flip all the switches. That’d be a bummer on its own, but not something worth losing one’s mind over. It was the addition of an ad-like platform to Apex Launcher that made users flip directly out. This new service included the following message:“Partner with Us — Millions of people use Apex Launcher on their Android devices everyday. Our app recommendation platform will help your app reach the right audience at the right time.”last_img read more

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  • Xiaomi Mi Max 3 the Battery King cometh

    first_imgXiaomi did something uncharacteristic lately. Within 24 hours before its official event, it has practically revealed everything there is to know about the Mi Max 3. It’s a strategy LG regularly employs for its flagships but unusual for Xiaomi. Not that we’re complaining because now we know just how massive the phone is to fit its equally massive battery. But while the price tag is fortunately not that big, US consumers are again left wishing for good things they still can’t have. The Xiaomi Mi Max 3’s size is almost like just a side effect of its primary feature, that 5,500 mAh battery. There’s no denying that’s one of the largest you’ll find in the market, barring lesser known phones from the likes of Oukitel. That battery is big enough to even charge other devices, thank to the bi-directional USB-C connection. And with Quick Charge 3.0 support, you don’t have to worry too much about charging the phone itself.With such a large battery, you’ll need a large body and, fortunately, that large body isn’t going to waste. Xiaomi slaps on a 6.9-inch 2160×1080 Full HD+ screen. No notches here, just one, giant, unbroken slab of glass. Underneath is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 partnered with either 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage or 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.Unfortunately, Xiaomi had to cut corners somewhere, though it will never admit to that. The Mi Max 3 “boasts” of a dual camera with 12 megapixel and 5 megapixel sensors on its back and an 8 megapixel camera for selfies. And, of course, you have some camera AI to help make those camera’s output look better. All of that for only 1,699 RMB ($252) or 1,999 RMB ($297), depending on the memory configuration. The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 will land in Black, Gold, and Blue color options, though international market availability is still up in the clouds.last_img read more

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  • BlackBerry KEY2 LE gets best of KEY2 for under 400

    first_imgThere’s also a dual rear camera array, combining a 13-megapixel sensor and a 5-megapixel sensor. It means the KEY2 LE still offers the portrait mode photos from the KEY2, in addition to things like phrase detection autofocus and 4K 30fps video capture. The front camera, meanwhile, clocks in at 8-megapixels and can record 1080p 30fps video. Of course, a more affordable phone has to make some sacrifices. The first of those is the physical design: rather than the metal of the BlackBerry KEY2, the KEY2 LE uses polycarbonate along with a soft textured back panel. That does come with an upside, mind: at 150.25 x 71.8 x 8.35 mm and 156 grams, this is actually the thinnest and lightest entry in the KEY series so far. Inside, too, there’s been some trimming. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset, slightly slower than the Snapdragon 660 in the KEY2, but more notably you also get 4 GB of RAM rather than 6 GB. There’ll be two storage options, either 32 GB or 64 GB, though either way you get a microSD card slot. With a slimmer device, it’s no surprise that the battery has been shaved down a little too. The BlackBerry KEY2 LE gets 3,000 mAh to play with, TCL saying that should last up to 22 hours of use, along with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 to get you up and running faster again. Around 36 minutes on charge is enough for up to a 50-percent top-up, apparently.Still, even with 500 mAh less than the KEY2, we’d expect the relatively conservative processor and compact display to pay dividends when it comes to the KEY2 LE’s longevity. That’s something TCL has really been acing with its KEY series, after all. The KEY2 LE will also learn from your typical usage patterns, and throw up a proactive warning to recharge in advance if you’re likely to run short later in the day. If you still demand a physical keyboard with your smartphone, but need Android on a budget, the new BlackBerry KEY2 LE announced at IFA 2018 today might fit the bill. Taking TCL’s generally well-received BlackBerry KEY2 and trimming it down for a more affordable price point, the new smartphone starts at under $400. Story TimelineBlackBerry KEY2 US launch: all the details available hereBlackBerry KEY2 Review: Growing keys, shrinking audienceBring back the BlackBerry slider In another welcome split from the KEY2, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE will be available with some color involved. Three options will be offered at launch – a blue called Slate, a gold called Champagne, and a rather fetching red called Atomic – and end up being much more striking than the KEY2’s sober silver and black as a result. Otherwise, you get a 3.5mm headphones jack, WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, an FM radio, USB Type-C, and NFC. TCL’s BlackBerry preloads on top of Android 8.1 Oreo are included as well, such as the BlackBerry Hub, DTEK security suite, and various privacy aids. There’ll be single- and dual-SIM versions, too, including in the US. All in all, this is a welcome variant on the KEY2, keeping much of what made that phone popular but making it far more attainable. The BlackBerry KEY2 LE goes on sale in September, priced at $399 for the 32 GB model and $449 for the 64 GB version.center_img Despite the price cut, you still get the essentials of what makes the BlackBerry brand still appealing. Up top, there’s a 4.5-inch 1620 x 1080 display covered in Gorilla Glass, while underneath it is TCL’s latest hardware keyboard. That has QWERTY keys that are almost 10-percent larger than those on the original BlackBerry KEYone, the company points out.It also packs the Speed Key that was launched on the KEY2. That acts as a shortcut to apps, features, and services regardless of where you are in the OS: you can hold down the Speed Key and tap any other button on the keyboard, and immediately jump to that. The fingerprint sensor is integrated into the spacebar. BlackBerry KEY2 LE Gallerylast_img read more

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  • YouTube Music and Premium get special student pricing plans

    first_imgYouTube has added YouTube Music and YouTube Premium plans targeted at college students. Eligible students receive a discount on subscriptions, offering them an ad-free experience with the plans’ extra features and lower rates. The new option better enables the service to compete with the likes of Spotify and other competitors that already offer student discounts. YouTube Music provides subscribers with access to the platform’s various music content, but with the added benefit of offline downloads, the ability to listen to the video in the background, and an ad-free experience. YouTube Premium is slightly more expensive and brings those same features, as well as several others.YouTube Premium includes ad-free videos in addition to ad-free music, the ability to play any video in the background rather than just music videos, plus any video download for offline playback. The Premium plan also provides access to YouTube Originals content.YouTube Music ordinarily costs $9.99/month and YouTube Premium costs $11.99/month. Both are steeply discounted for eligible students at $4.99/month and $6.99/month, respectively, though YouTube is offering students the chance to lock in Premium at $5.99/month by signing up before January 13, 2019.Eligibility is key to getting the discounts, which are limited to students attending an accredited college or university full time in the United States. YouTube plans to expand the special pricing plans to students in other countries at some point, however. Students can find the new plans here.last_img read more

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  • Will selfdriving taxis watch you with AI eyeballs

    first_imgHumans are a strange lot. We’ve created many incredible things during our collective presence on this planet, yes, but we’ve messed a bunch of stuff up, too. Humans can be as destructive as innovative, but the big difference is that anyone can be destructive. It takes very little thought to mess things up.Remember the hitchhiking robot and its decapitation in Philadelphia?The situations in which we (we meaning humanity as a whole) mess with and otherwise destroy things depends greatly on the state of any given environment, though. Because humans are social creatures, we’re aware of others’ awareness of us, as well as what those people may be thinking and how those perceptions could affect our personal existence. We adjust our habits or actions in light of both strangers’ awareness and our own awareness of their awareness…even if we don’t realize we’re doing so.The human driver is the presence triggering some level of self-policing in taxi riders. What will happen when that human driver is removed?Researchers with Newcastle University conducted a study last year that looked into littering and the instances in which people are most likely to litter. As you may expect, people are less likely to litter if there are other people around to see their actions — being observed acting in a way that violates a social expectation (in this case, littering) deters people from acting out.Humans are more likely to be cooperative and to behave according to social rules if they’re being watched…but not necessarily by humans. The study above found that simply printing pictures of eyes on leaflets or signs reduced instances of littering much in the same way having an actual living, breathing human around would.It’s not hard to imagine that self-driving taxis would suffer a level of vandalism and destruction regular human-driven taxis don’t — isolated within a moving vehicle, one that may not have clear windows, and without any fellow humans would remove the sense of being watched, leaving the rider perfectly alone with his or her own potentially destructive thoughts.Of course, these future autonomous taxis will probably have more than a couple varieties of deterrents: perhaps a security camera that monitors everything you do, the threat of paying handsomely for any damage you’re proven to have caused, and the public shame of being blacklisted from a particularly popular mode of transportation. Perhaps these taxis will be able to self-evaluate themselves and determine whether they’re in satisfactory condition to pick up a new passenger, or whether they need to return home for a proper evaluation and sanitization.“The human driver triggers some level of self-policing. What happens when that driver is removed?”Humans are crafty, though, and it’s just as easy to imagine people finding ways to game the system. Who cares about potentially paying damages if you’re registered with a limited-funds prepaid credit card and under a fake name? Some folks won’t even think of consequences like that, acting purely off impulse. As well, every instance in which a car has to be temporarily taken off the road to be cleaned or evaluated is an extra expense for the company — and therefore all users — and deterring such destructive behaviors is ideal.Could a simple pair of life-like eyeballs, perhaps with an AI foundation, be the solution?Being alone in a car and feeling alone in a car are two different things. If cartoonish printed eyes on a sign can deter littering, can a pair of life-like eyes somewhere inside an autonomous car keep bored or otherwise destructive people in check? And if so, where’s the presumably fine line between simply feeling passively observed and feeling uncomfortably surveilled? Would a single eye-ish design in the dash, behind which lies an ordinary security camera, be enough to make someone subconsciously aware of someone else’s awareness without inviting claims of police states and 1984? Or could we be looking at a future where life-like robot ‘drivers’ take up space in the car, frowning at the trash passengers toss on the ground and tsk-tsking as riders scratch their names in the back of the seats?The answer, of course, is who knows. Perhaps all it will take is a customer profile with a verified government ID on file and the threat of a police report to keep future riders in line. Or, in a less draconian fashion, manufacturers may choose to distract their riders into peaceful obedience with on-board VR headsets and built-in movie projectors.Maybe I’m being pessimistic and assuming the worst about people. Maybe I’m being too optimistic assuming something as simple as robotic eyes can keep people honorable.What do you think? Drop us a comment! I was talking with some people recently about self-driving cars and how one day you’ll be able to pull your phone out of your pocket and order a taxi, and it’ll show up just like an Uber car, only without the driver (in fact, Uber’s working hard to ditch all of its human drivers). Autonomous taxis are potentially great: they’ll be cheaper because there’s no driver to pay, they’ll be more efficient and, in some instances, less creepy and uncomfortable. The conversation got me thinking, though: how will the owners of these autonomous taxi fleets deal with human nature and its tendency to destroy stuff?last_img read more

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  • The 2018 Lexus LS 500h plays hide the hybrid

    first_img 2018 Lexus LS 500h Gallery Rather than forcing the driver to manually switch between drive modes, meanwhile, the shifting device has its own AI. That tracks things like acceleration, deceleration, and lateral G, and adjusts gear shift patterns according to what it sees of the driving style and road conditions. A manual mode allows the driver to take charge with paddle shifters – a first for a Lexus hybrid.The comparisons between the LS and the LC don’t stop there. Both are built on the new Lexus Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L) platform, which the automaker says has been designed with spirited driving in mind. Lexus Dynamic Handling is onboard to control brake, steering, and stability settings. Space has been freed up by a new battery design, with Lexus switching to li-ion from the nickel-metal hydride of the old LS 600h. That’s smaller, but has higher power-density. Lexus isn’t talking about actual economy figures yet, but says the new LS 500h should best its predecessor there, too. NOW READ: 2018 Lexus LC 500h first-driveInside, the higher quality cabin we saw in Detroit has been carried over. That means laser-cut wood, different layered grains, and inset metal strips, along with hand-pleated door trims and artisan glass. Front and rear seats get heating, cooling, and massage, while there’s an optional rear seat package that adds an extending-leg ottoman. Lexus is making the most of the new car’s extended legroom: its 123-inch wheelbase is actually 1.3-inches longer than that of the old LS 600h L. No word on pricing at this stage, but the 2018 Lexus LS 500h will go on sale later this year. Together, they’re sufficient for 354 HP. That means a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds, somewhat less than the 4.5 second time the regular LS 500 manages with its 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6. Still, you’ve got the cleverness of Lexus’ Multi Stage Hybrid System to consider. As we’ve already seen in the LC 500h coupe, that puts a four-stage shifting device into the engine, immediately behind the power split device and on the same axis as the engine crankshaft. It’s what gives the LS 500h the feel of a regular transmission, thanks to a simulated shift control that mimics a 10-speed gearbox. The result, Lexus promises, is an absence of CVT “rubber band” feel, which many hybrids can suffer from.center_img Lexus already wowed us back in Detroit with the reveal of its all-new LS flagship sedan; now it’s the turn of the 2018 LS 500h hybrid to steal the show. Launched today at the Geneva Motor Show, the new sedan picks up Lexus’ torch of big, luxury cars with electrified powertrains. In this case, it’s the combination of a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine and a pair of electric motors. last_img read more

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  • Google Maps AR What we want to see

    first_imgGoogle just reinvented how we navigate our way around unfamiliar places. It’s called Google Maps AR and it’s solves all sorts of problems we currently experience when travelling with a GPS. You key in your destination, but instead of looking down at your screen, AR Maps is activated when you hold your phone up, as if to take a photo. AR Maps kicks in with a new street view mode, activating the camera and superimposes massive arrows and banners screen to direct you to your end point. If the Business Insider’s first-hand experience is representative, twirling around flipping your device to calibrate your position a thing of history. The app is able to process real-time footage quick enough to give you instant directions – you won’t find yourself wandering aimlessly before Maps recalibrates and directs you another way. It’s certainly a step in the right direction. It certainly holds great promise, but it’s still a while till Google releases it for the masses, so here’s a list of ideas that really show the potential of the AR Maps technology. It may be wishful thinking, but hey, it’s still in development. Tourism ModeGoogle Maps is a must-have if you’re on tour or exploring somewhere new, which is why a tourism, or exploration mode could be a great idea. Here’s the pitch: A toggle on the AR Maps that enables recommendations and interesting facts about the area and buildings you walk by to pop up on the display. It would make a handy tour guide and the app even more engaging. We know, you’ve probably got alarms sounding off in your head – it’s an advertising bait. Brands are going to want their ads popping up all over AR Maps. But if you’re out shopping anyway, who wouldn’t mind a sick deal appearing on your screen. We suggest placing this in a second toggle just to enable ads and promotions. This could radically change advertising for high streets all over the world. Really quick calibrationYou know that silly ritual of exiting a building or the subway, whipping out maps and having to swirl your phone around for a while just for Maps to calibrate? Or worse, make actual twirls yourself like a ballerina thinking that’s going to help with tuning? Yes, we don’t want that anymore, but unless Google really cleans calibration on AR Maps, it could be a lot worse. Imagine the graphical issues AR Maps could face if calibration takes its time; directional arrows pointing to walls or mistaking roads as buildings. There’s a whole list of memes waiting to be created. For AR Maps to really take off, it needs to be reliable, and also not make us look silly. SafetyDespite prompts instructing users to focus on the path, users are still inevitably going to be spending considerable amounts of time trudging along, taking reference from their little screens. This puts them in danger as it drastically reduces our awareness to our surroundings, which may cause us to ignore road signs, traffic lights or incoming traffic. This could be fatal. AR Maps needs to be built with this in mind, ideally informing users when there is a crossing ahead, and to put their phones down and check for traffic. Safety first. Give it to the world: Open-sourceJust imagine if third-party developers could get their hands on AR Maps’ technology and incorporate it with their own apps and tech. We’re talking a whole new wave of AR gaming where developers can bring players out and about and interact with real-world surroundings. Education apps could also be made more immersive, not to mention travel apps and shopping apps. There’s so much potential here. Google Maps is doing already offering this, go on Google! Innovating with all our precious dataAnd should all of this take off and bring Google even more success, we can only expect its AR technology and mapping to improve leaps and bounds. After all, this is a lot of information we are offering Google. Our cameras will be constantly active, providing real-time updates and images of areas previously unmapped by the search engine. This is gold-mine data that we would hope to see being used to enhance the tech we already have, and lead to crazier innovations to make life easier. Footage of all the nooks and crannies of obscure cities and towns should help the accuracy of Maps for even better AI-smarts and faster calibration while we’re driving. The reality of 360-degree views of specific locations could also become more of a reality now that Google can receive an endless stream of images of places around the world. These are just some of the hopes and innovations right at our doorstep that we hope Google pursues with all our data and footage. After all, in today’s age of digital paranoia, giving any company this much data would be quite the leap of faith.last_img read more

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  • The 5 most important cars of the Detroit Auto Show 2019

    first_img2020 Toyota Supra“Icon” gets thrown around plenty these days, but it’s hard to argue that Toyota’s Supra doesn’t deserve it. With more than two decades separating the last coupe to bear the badge, and this new 2020 Supra, automotive times have clearly changed. What’s important is how the new Supra attempts to straddle old and new. Yes, as a collaboration with BMW, there’s some very obvious parts-bin raiding from the new Z4. Then again, Toyota could probably do worse than to grab switchgear from the Germans. The styling outside is pure Toyota, though, and the designers haven’t played things safe. That’s not going to be to everybody’s taste, but in the modern sports coupe segment there’s nothing to be gained by trying to please everyone and only ending up milquetoast as a result. Where the 2020 Supra really stands apart is in its balance of attainable performance. Significantly cheaper than a 2020 Z4 M40i, but only a little slower, it’s an important reminder that the Supra was always about being more affordable than its rivals. As a halo for Toyota, meanwhile, it’s a much-needed nod to the fact that the company can make more than just EVs and hybrids. AdChoices广告2020 Mustang Shelby GT500Does the most powerful production Mustang really need explaining? With the GT350 already setting a benchmark for muscle car potency, the Ford Performance team needed to do something special to elevate the 2020 GT500 even further – not to mention make it worthy of the iconic badge. Enter a supercharger and some very conspicuous aero work. The 5.2-liter V8 wasn’t exactly a weakling, but strapping a supercharger to it should elevate power to over 700 hp. That’s enough to put legitimate supercars – Ford’s own GT included – to shame. With grunt like that on tap, it’s perhaps no surprise that there’s no manual option, only a well-reinforced Tremec 7-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Straight line performance is all well and good, but the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 needs to be quick in the corners, too. That’s where the eye-catching aerodynamics tech weighs in, joining huge vents and grilles to make the new GT500 one of the most distinctive Mustang models in recent memory. All we need to know now is how much it will cost. 2020 Kia TellurideThe midsize 3-row SUV segment is an increasingly crowded place to be, so you might wonder what chance Kia’s new 2020 Telluride has of standing out. The largest vehicle the automaker has made to-date, on the fact of it the Telluride has a surprising amount of overlap with other vehicles in the Kia line-up. After all, if you need to transport the whole family, there’s already the Kia Sedona minivan to seat them. Where the Telluride stands out, though, is in its relentless focus on exactly what the US market wants. Kia says it designed the SUV with North American drivers in mind, and that approach pays dividends. So, you get beefy, reassuring styling, which Kia says is intended to harken back to the earlier days when SUVs were designed with a set-square. There’s not just seating for eight inside, but easy to maneuver tilting and folding seats that make the cabin more flexible. Meanwhile lashings of standard active safety technology and the expectation of a typically-competitive Kia price tag should help the 2020 Telluride stand out from the pack when it arrives at dealerships later this year. Infiniti QX Inspiration ConceptConcept cars and auto shows go hand in hand, but some are more compelling than others. In the case of Infiniti, part of what makes the QX Inspiration stand out is what we already know about its “Inspiration” label. Namely, that concepts bearing that badge very often end up thinly-translated production models a few years later. For the QX Inspiration, that’s important because it’s the automaker’s first all-electric crossover. Part of Inspiration’s overdue shift to electrification, a move that will include various levels of hybrid, too, it paves the way for a distinct new design language along with e-AWD that’s still engaging to drive. The production Infiniti QX – or whatever the EV ends up being called – won’t have the lavish interior of the concept car, but the core message that a readily-hidden electric drivetrain allows for a more airy, flexible cabin gives Infiniti plenty of scope to experiment. Underneath, meanwhile, Infiniti is playing up the value of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance electric technology it can tap into. It’s a momentous year for the Detroit Auto Show. Last to face the bitter chill of January in Michigan, before moving out of the shadow of CES to the summer in 2020, this year’s show also saw the return of much-beloved nameplates and dawning new ages for others. Muscle cars at one extreme; category-shaking EVs at the other. Read on for the top five cars of the Detroit Auto Show 2019. 2020 Cadillac XT6In some ways, the 2020 XT6 is more of the same from Cadillac. After all, the automaker has no shortage of SUVs and crossovers in its range, and they’re undeniably holding up Cadillac’s sales while sedans struggle. Viewed in that light, a new 3-row model that fits between the smaller XT5 and the larger Escalade makes nothing but good sense. It’ll also fill the gap between now and the Cadillac we’re arguably more excited about: the upcoming EV which will be the first to debut GM’s new all-electric platform. Caddy showed off some slick renders of that crossover, but it’s still likely to be a few years yet before it’s ready for launch. What could’ve been an SUV-by-numbers placeholder, though, is at least a little more interesting than that. Cadillac’s Sport-badged XT6 will have AWD as standard, torque vectoring, and be tuned for more enthusiastic drivers. More, in short, than just an appearance package that dumps the usual chrome for gloss black trim. If you’re going to drive a stopgap, you might as well have one that’s a little more fun from behind the wheel.Looking for more news from the Detroit Auto Show 2019? Find all our automotive coverage – including news, reviews, and technology deep-dives – in the SlashGear Cars hub.last_img read more

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  • Medicare Advantage Enrollment Goes Up As Premium Costs Decline

    first_imgMedicare Advantage Enrollment Goes Up As Premium Costs Decline A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the enrollment increases were also due in part to seniors’ reduced access to supplemental coverage as well as greater comfort with managed care. Bloomberg: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Rises 10% On Lower PremiumsEnrollment in U.S. government-backed Medicare plans run by insurers led by UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) rose 10 percent to a record this year as lower premiums enticed people to sign up, a study shows. The average monthly charge for the 13.1 million people on Medicare Advantage fell $4 to $35, and is down from $44 in 2010, the Kaiser Family Foundation said today in a report (Wayne, 6/12). The Hill: Report: Enrollment Up, Premiums Down For Medicare AdvantageThe 2010 healthcare law contained cuts to Medicare Advantage that were strongly opposed by Republicans and insurance companies. The program offers care to seniors through private insurers that contract with the Medicare agency. … The program now covers more than 13 million beneficiaries, or 27 percent of the Medicare population, the report stated. … The law’s cuts to the program are expected to save $136 billion over 10 years (Viebeck, 6/12). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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  • AOL Blames Health Law For Change In Retirement Benefits Without Details

    first_imgAOL Blames Health Law For Change In Retirement Benefits, Without Details AOL owns websites such as Huffington Post. The Washington Post: AOL Chief Cuts 401(k) Benefits, Blames Obamacare And Two ‘Distressed Babies’AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong on Thursday offered a number of unusual explanations for why his company pulled back its 401(k) benefits for employees this year. The first reason: Obamacare. The second: two women at the company who had “distressed babies” in 2012. … “As a CEO and as a management team, we have to decide: Do we pass the $7.1 million of Obamacare cost to our employees? Or do we try to eat as much of that as possible and cut benefits?,” said Armstrong in the CNBC interview (Yang, 2/6). Bloomberg: AOL Blames Obamacare For Plan To Reduce Retirement BenefitsArmstrong didn’t specify how the health-care law had increased costs for New York-based AOL. … In a memo to employees, Armstrong said he had mentioned high-risk pregnancy “as just one of many examples of how our company supports families when they are in need.” He said AOL aims to be “open and transparent about the choices we make” (Harrison, 2/6).NBC News: AOL Alters 401(k) Matching Contributions, Blaming ObamacareStarting in 2014, AOL will distribute the 50 percent company match on up to 6 percent of employees’ pre-tax income in a lump sum after the end of the year, instead of paying the benefit throughout the year as it had done previously. That means workers who leave AOL before Dec. 31 won’t get the year’s company match at all (Belvedere, 2/6). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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  • First Edition May 15 2014

    first_imgToday’s headlines include highlights from Wednesday’s Senate confirmation hearing — the second one — for Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the White House pick to become the next Health and Human Services Secretary. Kaiser Health News: Old-Fashioned Company With New-Fangled Problem: ObamacareIdeastream’s Sarah Jane Tribble, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, reports: “AmeriMark, like most businesses, has been coping with rising health insurance premiums for years. This year, the company’s initial estimate from a broker was a 30 percent increase in premium prices if they stayed with the same insurance provider. Lyons said they shopped around, chose a new company and altered benefits, including increasing the deductibles and co-pays. Such changes in plans have become increasingly common nationally as annual increases in health care premiums have become normal” (Tribble, 5/14). Read the story.The New York Times: Another Breezy Hearing For Obama Health PickSylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of health and human services, appeared Wednesday to be on a swift path to confirmation after she sailed through another cordial congressional hearing without promising significant changes in federal health policy or regulations. Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, who presided over the hearing as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said that he would seek a vote in the committee next week (Pear, 5/14).Los Angeles Times: Obama Health Nominee Wins Bipartisan SupportLast week, Burwell garnered support from Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Richard Burr of North Carolina. Burwell’s hearing also signaled an unusual reserve by GOP lawmakers, who in recent years have used almost every opportunity to attack the health law and push for its repeal (Levey, 5/14).The Associated Press: Health Secretary Nominee Faces Cordial SenatorsSylvia Mathews Burwell, the White House budget director, pledged under questioning from Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to try to recoup any federal taxpayer dollars that have been misused on failed health law sign-up websites in states including Maryland and Oregon. She promised to try her best to be responsive to senators who complained that her predecessor, Kathleen Sebelius, was not. She also defended the administration’s record of making unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act, such as delaying the requirement for employers to offer health coverage or pay fines. “What was intended was trying to implement the law in a better way that’s common sense,” Burwell said (5/14).The Wall Street Journal: Health-Care Nominee Promises to Review State ExchangesAlthough Senate Republicans used the hearing to attack the health law, they had mostly kind words for Ms. Burwell, who currently serves as Office of Management and Budget director. She is expected to be confirmed by a majority of Senate Democrats and some Republicans. Facing questions that spanned Medicare Advantage, Alzheimer’s research, and powdered-alcohol, Ms. Burwell sought to assure the committee that she would be responsive to their questions. In a sign of her bipartisan support, Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.)—a fierce critic of the health law—introduced her to the committee and praised her competence and character (Radnofsky and Hughes, 5/14).Politico: Sylvia Mathews Burwell Aims To Get Misspent Funds BackThe Obama administration’s new pick to run Obamacare said she would use “the full extent of the law” to recover any federal funds that have been misspent on the state Obamacare exchanges that have failed. “Where the federal government and the taxpayer has had funds misused, we need to use the full extent of the law to get those funds back for the taxpayer,” Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Wednesday in her confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee (Haberkorn, 5/14).The Associated Press: Appeals Court Hears Health Care Tax Credit CaseA federal appeals court heard arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit claiming the Obama administration’s health care reform law provides tax subsidies only to people who buy insurance through state-run exchanges. Four Virginia residents are challenging an Internal Revenue Service regulation that makes the subsidies available to low- and moderate-income residents regardless of whether they buy policies through state exchanges or one established by the federal government. Virginia is among 34 states that chose not to establish its own health insurance exchange (5/14).Los Angeles Times: Democrats Should Run On Obamacare, Bill Clinton SaysBill Clinton encouraged Democrats to run on President Obama’s healthcare law Wednesday, saying it was bringing down the cost of healthcare in the U.S. and that with 8 million people enrolled, “we’re rockin’ along pretty good here.” Vulnerable Senate Democrats, including in Clinton’s home state of Arkansas, have distanced themselves from the legislation in their reelection campaigns, but Clinton said they should highlight popular aspects of the law while assuring the public that they are focused on fixing the issues that remain (Reston, 5/14).The Washington Post: Bill Clinton Urges Dems To Defend ObamacareSpeaking at the Peterson Fiscal Summit in Washington, Clinton said he realizes that some Democrats may have to campaign against the health-care law, or at least keep a distance from it. “There may be some places where the well may be so poisoned that they have to do it,” he said. But by and large, he said, nobody-even Albert Einstein-could have perfectly managed the rollout. The law is popular even in places where it might not be, like his home state of Arkansas, Clinton said (Goldfarb, 5/14).Politico: Bill Clinton’s Advice To Midterm DemocratsBill Clinton has some advice for Democrats who he said might have to run away from Obamacare “where the well has been so poisoned.” “I wouldn’t do it, but there may be some places where the well’s been so poisoned that they have to [run from Obamacare],” Clinton said during remarks at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s Fiscal Summit on Wednesday (McCalmont, 5/14).Politico: Marco Rubio Cites Abortion To Defend Climate CommentsMarco Rubio said his liberal critics show their “hypocrisy” when they cite science and label him a climate-change denier when they decline to embrace the science of human life beginning at conception. In an interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday afternoon, the Florida senator brushed off a backlash labeling him as a climate-change denier by aggressively accusing left-leaning critics as hypocrites given their abortion rights positions. He said emphatically that the “science is settled” that life begins at conception but that liberals “will never admit” to it (Everett, 5/14).The Associated Press: Lung Cancer Screening Could Cost Medicare BillionsA new study estimates that it would cost Medicare about $2 billion a year to screen certain current and former heavy smokers for lung cancer. Researchers found that annual lung scans and follow-up tests and treatment would add $3 a month to Medicare premiums (5/14).The New York Times: Advocating Pill, U.S. Signals Shift To Prevent AIDSFederal health officials recommended Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk for AIDS take a daily pill that has been shown to prevent infection with the virus that causes it (McNeil Jr., 5/14).Los Angeles Times: Study Of California Hospitals Shows A Third Of Patients Have DiabetesThe disproportionate numbers of diabetic patients — overall, only 11.6% of Californians in that age group have diabetes — have resulted in significant added hospital expenses, study authors said. The average cost of hospitalization for a person with diabetes was about $2,200 more than that for a person without the disorder, said study lead author Ying-Ying Meng, a researcher at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (Brown, 5/15).Los Angeles Times: Official Says County Health System Needs 700 New Nurses To Boost CareLos Angeles County health officials said Wednesday that they need to hire more than 700 new nurses to shore up and sustain the county’s medical system in the new Obamacare world. The Department of Health Services presented a report to the Board of Supervisors on a hiring plan that was included in the county’s proposed budget released last month (Karlamangla, 5/14).Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader/USA Today: Mo. Lawmakers Pass 3-Day Abortion Wait PeriodMissouri could become only the third state requiring women to wait 72 hours to have an abortion under legislation passed Wednesday night. Following a tense debate, the state House voted 111-39 to send House Bill 1307 the abortion measure to Gov. Jay Nixon. Lawmakers ensured the passage of the legislation earlier this week when Senate Democrats cut a deal with Republicans to stop filibustering the bill in exchange for stopping other controversial bills (Shormanb, 5/15). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. First Edition: May 15, 2014last_img read more

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  • Porto vs Liverpool Live Stream How to watch the Champions League live

    first_img 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. Porto vs Liverpool Live Stream: How To Watch the Champions League quarter-final live online. Our guide brings you the channel information, kick-off time and a prediction for the CL QF second leg on Wednesday night.Liverpool stand on the verge of a semi-final berth against Barcelona following a convincing 2-0 win over Portuguese champions Porto in the 1st leg of the Champions League quarter-finals at Anfield last week.The Reds – five time winners of the European Cup – travel to Portugal for the second leg on Wednesday night hoping to avoid any trickiness en route to the mouthwatering last four clash.Porto face a tough ask against the current Premier League leaders and will be hell bent on revenge following a 5-0 home drubbing in the last sixteen during last year’s tournament.Read more: Eleven SportsLiverpool come into the game riding high, having regained top spot in the Premier League on Sunday against Chelsea. The club has no new injury worries going into tonight’s clash. Porto, who dispatched Roma in the previous round, are locked in a title race of their own, level on points with Benfica going into the final stretch.So, the stage is set for two giants of European football to do battle once again, with Messi, Suarez and co waiting in the wingsPorto vs Liverpool: Kick-off time and how to watchBT Sport has exclusive rights to show the Champions League in the UK. Coverage starts at 7:15pm on BT Sport 3, with kick off starting at 8:00pm UK time.If you’re a BT Sport subscriber you’ll be able to watch on your TV set, or via the BT Sport app and the BTSport.com website. The came is also live on the large screen app for Apple TV, Samsung TV and Xbox.Here are some quick-links you need to get started:BT Sport | WebBT Sport | iOSBT Sport | AndroidFailing that, we fear you’re out of luck. UEFA won a recent injunction against illegal online football streams, meaning that UK ISPs will be required to crack down on pirate Champions League and Europa League feeds. We wouldn’t recommend going down this route anyway, as not only does it fall foul of the law, but it can open you up to all kinds of malware and other digital nasties.Read more: Best VPNIf you haven’t yet signed up for BT Sport, it’s surprisingly affordable – and you can find out how to do so here. Note that it can take a few hours for channels and streaming access to activate after signing up, so act fast to avoid disappointment.Sign up to BT Sport todayDo you think Porto can avenge the first leg loss? We don’t. We’re going with another Liverpool win. Share your predictions with us @TrustedReviews on Twitter. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.last_img read more

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  • China dangles a potentially harmful new threat in trade war

    first_img Sponsored By: WASHINGTON — Facing new trade sanctions and a U.S. clampdown on its top telecommunications company, China issued a pointed reminder Wednesday that it has yet to unleash all its weapons in its trade war with the Trump administration.Chinese state media warned that Beijing could cut America off from exotic minerals that are widely used in electric cars and mobile phones. The threat to use China’s rich supply of so-called rare earths as leverage in the conflict has contributed to sharp losses in U.S. stocks and sliding long-term bond yields.For months, the world’s two biggest economies have been locked in a standoff over allegations that China deploys predatory tactics — including stealing trade secrets and forcing foreign companies to hand over technology — in a drive to supplant U.S. technological dominance.The Trump administration has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and is planning to tax the $300 billion in imports that have so far been spared. And it escalated the stakes this month by putting the Chinese telecom giant Huawei on a blacklist that effectively bars U.S. companies from supplying it with computer chips, software and other components without government approval.The U.S. claims Huawei is legally beholden to China’s ruling Communist Party, which could order it to spy on their behalf. Washington has offered no evidence that the Huawei has done that, however.Huawei is trying to beat back one punitive U.S. measure in federal court. In a motion filed late Tuesday in eastern Texas, the company argued that a 2018 law that bars it from selling telecom gear to U.S. government agencies and contractors should be struck down as unconstitutional. The move for summary judgment in a case filed against the U.S. government in March says the law violates a constitutional prohibition against “trial by legislature” of individual entities. Congress thus acted unconstitutionally when it “adjudicated Huawei’s guilt and blacklisted it,” the motion argues.Related Stories:EXPLAINER-U.S.-China trade war: the levers each country can pullEXPLAINER-U.S.-China trade talks: where they are and what’s at stakeWRAPUP 6-Trump says China trade talks ‘back on track,’ new tariffs on holdAn attorney representing Huawei in the U.S. case, Glen Nager of Jones Day, asserts that Congress alone cannot constitutionally impose punishment on an individual company — which the punitive law does in singling out Huawei by name.The law “is intended to drive Huawei out of the U.S. — i.e., to banish it,” Nager argued. It “stigmatizes Huawei as a tool of the Chinese government” with no right to a fair hearing, he added.Steven Schwinn, a professor at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, suggested that Huawei’s arguments fall short constitutionally, and “given that this relates to national security, we can expect the courts to be fairly deferential to the government.”The nationalistic Chinese newspaper Global Times warned that China has plenty of ways to retaliate against the United States, including the threat of cutting off supplies of rare earths. China last year produced 78% of the world’s rare earths, according to researchers at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.If the U.S. fails to exercise restraint, it will see that “China is far from running out of cards, and we have the will and determination to fight the U.S. to the end,” the paper’s editorial said. An official of China’s top economic planning agency did not rule out using rare earths as a countermeasure against “the U.S.’s unwarranted suppression.”President Xi Jinping visited rare earth-related businesses in southeastern Jiangxi province earlier this month. He called rare earths “an important strategic resource” while stressing the importance of owning independent core technologies, the state-run China Daily reported.China has used rare earths as a cudgel before. Five years ago, the World Trade Organization slapped down China’s attempt to restrict the export of rare earths, rejecting its claim that it just wanted to protect the environment and conserve supplies. Instead, the move appeared to be aimed at hurting Japan with which Beijing was having a diplomatic tiff.Scott Kennedy, director of the project on the Chinese economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Chinese might benefit even less if they try to weaponize rare earths again.“It’s not the threat that it was … when the Chinese threatened to cut off the Japanese,” he said.First, users of rare earths have stockpiled the minerals for a “rainy day.” Second, they also have figured out how to “use less rare earth to achieve the same results” in such products as lasers and magnets. And third, different minerals and chemicals are increasingly being used as rare earth substitutes.Kennedy predicts that once investors have “realized the threat wasn’t as dire, markets would bounce back.”Still, he isn’t optimistic about the U.S.-China trade negotiations, which broke off May 10 after an 11th round of talks failed to produce an agreement. U.S. officials accused the Chinese of reneging on agreements they’d made in earlier rounds.“The Chinese first are going to have to signal they will talk,” he said. Then they will have to go back to where they stood before they backpedaled on earlier concessions. “I don’t see any body language from the Chinese that they’re about to do that,” Kennedy said.——Wang reported from Beijing, and Bajak from Boston. Associated Press video producer Olivia Zhang in Shenzhen, China, and writer Christopher Bodeen in Beijing contributed to this report. 0 Comments Reddit Facebook May 28, 201910:41 PM EDTLast UpdatedMay 30, 20196:36 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Twitter Share this storyChina dangles a potentially harmful new threat in trade war Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Paul Wiseman, Frank Bajak And Yanan Wang What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Join the conversation → In this Monday, May 20, 2019, photo, shoppers visit a Huawei store in Beijing. Chinese tech giant Huawei has filed a motion in U.S. court challenging the constitutionality of a law that limits its sales of telecom equipment.Ng Han Guan / AP ← Previous Next → Email China dangles a potentially harmful new threat in trade war Featured Stories Comment advertisement Recommended For YouSlack’s direct listing reference price is set at US$26 by NYSE for Thursday debutTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016The storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them through More The Associated Press last_img read more

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  • Audi etron Launch Delayed Over Software Issue

    first_imgCustomers will wait at least 4 weeks longer for the e-tron.Audi started production of the e-tron in early September and as we will soon enter November, one would ask where are those cars? Well, some are crowding the parking lot at the factory.Reuters reports that the Audi e-tron is four-week delayed because of a software bug. A software bug is something that should be the easiest problem to solve (compared to replacement of some parts), but as it turns out, it requires some approvals (we guess it could have something to do with energy consumption or safety).“The spokesman said Audi’s e-tron midsize SUV faced delay because the carmaker needs new regulatory clearance for a piece of software that was modified during the development process.” Audi e-tron All-Wheel Drive Capabilities Tested: Video Audi Aims For Max Production Of e-tron By End Of Year Earlier this year, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag was reporting that delays could be up to several months, as well as that batteries from LG Chem turned out to be more expensive than anticipated.“The e-tron delays were first reported by German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, citing sources close to the company. The paper said delivery could be delayed by several months.The paper also said Audi was locked in price negotiations with LG Chem, the South-Korean supplier of batteries for its electric vehicles, which wants to increase prices by about 10 percent because of high demand.”Source: Reuters Audi e-tron newscenter_img Audi e-tron 55 quattro: Videos Galore From Paris Motor Show Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 22, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

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