android oneandroid security patchEssential Phoneessential phone software update First Published: July 3, 2019, 9:51 PM IST | Edited by: — The July 2019 update for Android Pie is now available for the Google Pixel lineup and the Essential Phone, which always precede Android One in the rollout of an update. The July update, as expected, did not bring anything ground-breaking, but does include a couple of nifty updates that will make the overall experience much nicer on the compatible devices.July’s security patches are now available for Open Market customers. Check your Essential Phone for the latest pic.twitter.com/hc9WxrtFd8 — Essential (@essential) July 1, 2019Alongside the July 2019 Android security patch that is always so crucial as the frequency of cybercrime increases, the Pixel 2 smartphones and the entire range of third generation Pixel devices (including the recent Pixel 3a lineup) gets refinements in audio reception. This will seemingly help the smartphones in better detection of the ‘OK Google’ keyword that enables the Google Assistant, and would also help in improving the audio reception of the smartphone that helps in music identification.Another key update is a fix to the Android bootloader, which was causing some devices to sporadically freeze while booting up. The July update marks the lead-up to the global rollout of Android Q, which is now only a few months away from being seen on Google’s own devices. With Android Q in sight, it is unlikely that Android Pie will get any significant new overhaul. However, the security patches are of tantamount importance, and we recommend you to keep checking for the updates on whichever device you own.
Much like the rest of India, actors Kangana Ranaut, Richa Chadha too had a gala time celebrating Eid on Wednesday, which they did on the set of their forthcoming film Panga.Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, the film’s director, took to Instagram on Wednesday to share an image of Kangana and Richa hugging as they laugh for the camera, and a boomerang of the three of them doing the perfect ‘aadaab’. Sharing the boomerang, Ashwiny wrote, “After really tough shooting days. Today we want to have some fun along with completing our scenes and cherish these moments for life. #eidmubarak #pangastories.” Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari.Kangana Eidkangana ranautPanga First Published: June 6, 2019, 9:34 AM IST Both Kangana and Richa look radiant in the image. While Kangana wore a printed sharara with a short kurti, deep blue dupatta and stunning chandbalis, Richa wore an all-white embroidered chudidaar-kameez.Kangana, Richa and Ashwiny’s first collaboration, Panga is slated to release on January 24, 2020.Follow @News18Movies for more. “In the story of our lives. There will be some who will connect and stay with you for life. Richa and Kangana are two such humans who are beautiful off screen and onscreen a total energy of talent. It’s been my pleasure to direct both of them together in one frame. Waiting to show their camaraderie on screen. Its indeed been a silent smile and everyday gratitude to have awesomeness in my journey of making films. #Panga is special. And they are going to make it even special. Looking forward for you to watch them on 24th Janurary 2020 and looking forward to cherish this relationship for a lifetime. Its a film wrap for @therichachadha,” she captioned the image of the two actors.
New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that the party’s newly-elected 52 members in Parliament will fight every inch of the way like “a pride of brave-hearted lions” to protect the Constitution and the country’s institutions and there will be no walkover for the BJP.Addressing the meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party in the central hall of Parliament, Gandhi cautioned the lawmakers that it will “be like the British period, when not a single institution supported the Congress party” and asserted “yet we fought and won and we are going to do it again”. “We are 52 members and I guarantee you, it does not matter what institutions are standing against these 52 members. It does not matter who is standing against these 52 members. These 52 members are going to fight the BJP every single inch, without giving this much and that applies to the members from Rajya Sabha as well,” he told the MPs, adding the Congress party will fearlessly do its duty as the leading opposition party in Parliament and outside.The Congress Party may have just 52 Lok Sabha members, but we will work together like a pride of brave hearted lions to protect our Constitution & Institutions & to fearlessly do our duty as the leading Opposition party. The BJP will have no walkover in Parliament. pic.twitter.com/Rx8aUZcqn3— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 1, 2019 Gandhi’s pep talk to the Congress lawmakers comes as it struggles to come to terms with its second successive crushing defeat in Lok Sabha elections and is facing a leadership crisis after his decision to quit as party president.The MPs at the meeting unanimously elected Sonia Gandhi as leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party and she has been authorised to decide the leaders in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.”The Congress Party may have just 52 Lok Sabha members, but we will work together like a pride of brave hearted lions to protect our Constitution and institutions and to fearlessly do our duty as the leading Opposition party. The BJP will have no walkover in Parliament,” Gandhi later said on Twitter.Stressing that the Congress will rejuvenate, he lauded each of the MPs who have won this election and said they would go down in history as the ones who not just fought against a political party but also against every institution.”You fought a very good election, obviously, because the people who won the Lok Sabha this time need to understand exactly what they fought. You are probably the first people in this country’s independent history, who have fought an election not against a political party but against every single institution in this country. “There is not one institution that did not fight you and tried to stop you from coming into Lok Sabha and you fought every single one of those institutions and you forced your way into the Lok Sabha. And that is something you should be extremely proud of,” he said.Gandhi told the MPs that they have to understand that they are fighting for the Constitution of the country and the right of every single individual, regardless of the skin colour, religion, gender or state. “Who is fighting against you, you have to understand that also. Hatred, cowardice and anger are fighting against you. Lack of confidence, lack of self-belief is fighting against you. The people who are opposing us in Parliament House, they use hatred, they use anger to fight us. “Throughout the election, there is only one way to fight hatred and anger. There is no other way and that is the love and the affection and the compassion of the Congress Party. “That is why the BJP sits and says that we want ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ because without the Congress they have a free run and no one to counter them. There is no opposition against the BJP other than the love and the compassion, the affection of the Congress Party. And that is what you have to understand,” he told the new members.He asked them to be more aggressive and said they “may have to shout a little more, as they will get less time in Parliament like the last time”.”Last time, if the Speaker used to give us five minutes, this time it may be two minutes, but in those two minutes, we will put forth what the Congress Party believes, we will put forth our defence of the Constitution,” he said.Gandhi also said it would have been better if some of the old faces would have won.He said there were 5-10 people in the last Lok Sabha who gave tremendous support, but lamented that they did not win this time. “But they are ideologically with us even though they are standing outside the House. For me, they are standing with us inside the Lok Sabha.”Gandhi also thanked all the Congress workers “who fought for the idea of India and defended it” and said “it is an opportunity for us to introspect, to look inwards, to try and see as to what went wrong, to try to rejuvenate ourselves.” “I have no doubt that the Congress Party is going to rejuvenate. I have to thank all of you specially the seniors who are here. You have given a tremendous service in fighting for the Constitution and now you are fighting every single institution.”There is no institution that is going to support you in this country, not one is going to support you. It is like during the British period, when not a single institution supported the Congress Party yet we fought and won and we are going to do it again,” he told the MPs. BJPcongressconstitutionlok sabha First Published: June 1, 2019, 6:57 PM IST
Jaipur: The Congress-led Rajasthan government has dropped Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay’s name from a scholarship test for the secondary school students, triggering a fresh controversy.The government’s move came close on the heels of one describing RSS ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as ‘Son of Portugal’ in the social science book for class 10. The state government dropped Upadhyay’s name from the scholarship test, arguing that the previous BJP government had named the test after the RSS ideologue without any reason. The former BJP government had added the name of Deendayal Upadhyay with the talent search test for no reasons, therefore the name has now been dropped, said state Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara.The test is conducted for students of classes 10 and 12 and successful ones in the test are awarded scholarships by the Rajasthan Secondary Education Department.The move prompted the state’s former education minister Vasudev Devnani to accuse the government of targeting RSS ideologues repeatedly.”There are many schemes and programmes in names of various Congress leaders but removing the name of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay from the scholarship test reflects the narrow-mindedness of the Congress government, said Devnani.He said the Congress was taking decisions like removing names of RSS ideologues from various programmes and revising the curriculum of school text books out of sheer “humiliating rout” in the state in the recent Lok Sabha elections.”Pandit Deendayal Uadhyay is among the great personalities whose contribution to democracy will continue to impact future generations. The government’s decision is absurd and uncalled for,” he said. Devnani had also cornered the state government earlier for dubbing Veer Savarkar as ‘Son of Portugal’ in class 10 social science text book, saying that even erstwhile Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had called Savarkar a classical revolutionary”.”Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi recognised and hailed the legacy of great freedom fighter Veer Savarkar. The then government had issued a commemorative stamp on Veer Savarkar in 1970, he had said.The Ashok Gehlot government has approved of the Veer Savarkar description as son of Portugal, contending that it was done on the recommendation of a panel of academicians. Ashok GehlotChief MinisterDeen Dayal UpadhyayGovind Singh Dotasara First Published: June 5, 2019, 8:16 PM IST
Mumbai: A court in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district granted bail on Wednesday to Congress MLA Nitesh Rane and 18 others, arrested for assaulting an engineer of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).Rane’s lawyer Sangram Desai said the accused were granted bail against a surety of Rs 20,000 each. The court directed all the 19 accused to visit the police station concerned every Sunday for two hours and cooperate with the probe, he said.The judge also said that Rane and others must ensure that such incidents do not occur again, advocate Desai said.Rane and others were arrested on July 4 after they were caught on camera abusing NHAI deputy engineer Prakash Shedekar and pouring a bucket of mud on him in Kankavli town, protesting against pothole-riddled roads and slush on the Mumbai-Goa highway.They were booked under IPC sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 120-b (criminal conspiracy).Nitesh is son of former Maharashtra chief minister and sitting Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane. Congress MLAcrimeNarayan Ranenational highways authority of india First Published: July 10, 2019, 7:49 PM IST
A few years ago, the Coolest Cooler burst onto Kickstarter and quickly raked in more than $13 million to bring it to market. While lengthy delays turned into a controversial project, a new type of cooler just landed on a crowdfunding platform with its own goal of reinventing the humble food and drink chiller. And this one promises to be with customers in just a few months.This time around, however, it’s taking a somewhat different approach. While the Coolest Cooler focused on party features like in-built Bluetooth speakers, the GoSun Chill’s innovation involves its method of keeping food chilled. Rather than relying on anything as boring as ice, it uses brushless compressor motors and lithium-ion batteries for cooling. You can charge it using a power cord, or — more impressively — using solar panel charging to keep your beverages icy. Where else could you use the sun’s rays to cool things down? Heck, you can even use the excess power from the detachable 144wh Powerbank to charge your devices multiple times.“Portable fridges have demanded large power needs and must be plugged into a running vehicle — typically trucks — or a generator,” Patrick Sherwin, CEO of manufacturer GoSun, told Digital Trends. “GoSun’s engineers brought together an efficient brushless compressor with a compact, high output battery pack to create a cooler that never needs ice. With the flexible solar panel or solar table, you can continue to power the GoSun Chill, so you don’t need to resupply throughout the day.”GoSun isn’t known for its coolers. Its best-known products are the opposite of a cooler: Its solar ovens, which have shipped more than 30,000 units, including 1,500 to the American Red Cross. Pushing the fuel-free frontier, GoSun now wants to offer the next step in what it says as its dream of an outdoor kitchen. “The GoSun Chill provides both cooling and power for devices, plus it is compatible with our latest hybrid solar and electric oven, the GoSun Fusion,” Sherwin continued.Although GoSun Chill is cool (no pun intended) from a technological point of view, there are other reasons to consider it, too. While it’s similar in size to a standard cooler, the 40-liter cooler can fit 40% more food and drink inside, since there’s no ice using up valuable internal space.As ever, we offer our usual warnings about the risks inherent in crowdfunding campaigns. However, if you’re happy to take the risk, head over to Indiegogo and pledge your cash. Prices start at $549 for the early bird model with solar panel, while a version without the solar tech comes in at $479. Shipping is set to take place in August. The best solar chargers for your smartphone or tablet Beat the summer heat: Walmart cuts 51% off the Honeywell portable air cooler June Oven Review Amazon trims prices for Greenworks pressure washers and yard tools for one day The best coolers for 2019 Editors’ Recommendations
This appears to be a move on DJI’s part to ensure that its customers’ drones are equipped with the necessary information for regulations in their own country. The activation requirement will kick off the end of this week and will apply to anyone who updates their drone with the new firmware, with the only exception being the A3 and N3 standalone products. This requirement also applies for those who use any of the DJI GO or GO 4 mobile apps at any point in the future.The move, according to DJI, is to make sure ‘you will use the correct set of geospatial information and flight functions for your aircraft, as determined by your geographical location and user profile.’ Nothing about the existing safety-based flight limitations will change, the company explains. The necessary activation will be available after logging into the DJI mobile app and is required even if the customer has previously registered their product with DJI.Those who fail to update their new firmware/software will have certain limitations applied to their drone, including a maximum 30m / 98ft height and 50m / 164ft radius for operation. As well, DJI warns that the camera’s ability to live stream video will be disabled, crippling the product’s usability. SOURCE: DJI DJI has announced that drone operators with one of its aerial vehicles will experience restricted operation if they update to the latest firmware or software but fail to properly activate the product afterward. This is part of a ‘new application process’ the company detailed over the weekend, saying that it applies to all of its customers except those located in China. Failing to update will cause camera streaming to be disabled and more. Story TimelineSeagate DJI Fly Drive brings 2TB and a drone-friendly microSD slotDJI and Hasselblad team for a 100-megapixel camera droneA tiny new DJI drone is tipped by an invite release
That because, while there are no new features, there are several patches which address security issues discovered in iOS 10. In the Contacts app, for instance, a remote hacker with nefarious intentions could cause software to crash or arbitrary code to be executed, because of a buffer overflow issue in how member was handled. Similarly, memory corruption was blamed for a potential exploit to the iOS kernel that could lead to code being run with system privileges. As is increasingly the case in our connected world, some of the potential exploits could be enacted remotely. One WebKit patch, for instance, would allow “maliciously crafted web content” to run code without the user intending to, thanks to a variety of memory corruption issues. Another patch addresses a situation whereby a hacker within wireless range could potentially execute arbitrary code on the device’s Wi-Fi chip.In all, there are 24 listed patches and fixes that Apple has addressed in iOS 10.3.3. While the likelihood of a device actually falling foul of one of the identified loopholes is questionable, nonetheless the advice is that it’s safest to keep your iPhone or iPad running the very latest version of iOS in order to stay most protected. In this case, iOS 10.3.3’s patches are generally applicable back to the iPhone 5 or later, iPad 4th generation or later, and the iPod touch 6th generation. For actual new features, mind, all eyes are on the next version of Apple’s mobile platform. iOS 11 is currently in public beta, though the full general release isn’t expected until later in the year. That will include significant improvements in multitasking, including more flexible split-screen layouts and drag-and-drop, together with more advanced access to the underlying file system iOS uses. In short, for iPad at least, it looks set to further close the gap between tablet and notebook. In the meantime, you can download iOS 10.3.3 by heading to the Settings on your iPhone or iPad, then choosing the General option, and then Software Update. From there, iOS should automatically find the new version and offer to download and install it. It’s worth being on WiFi when that happens. MORE Apple Apple has released a new version of iOS 10 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, including a number of security patches affecting Safari, Messages, and more. The update, iOS 10.3.3, weighs in at 138.5 MB, and is as always a free download. Apple‘s advice is that iPhone and iPad users should install it as soon as possible.
This rings rather familiar – though what we’re reminded of likely has very little to do with this situation. When the Pixel 2 was first launched, the Pixel 2 XL had some display issues that seemed to sort of… fade away after a few weeks. It does not seem as though the same thing will happen this time around. Story TimelineGoogle Pixel 2 Motion Photos magic revealedAndroid P on Pixel 2 might have automatic color adjustmentPixel 2 panorama bug still unfixed, workaround available Here’s just one example of what I described as “devastatingly and embarrassingly laggy” on my Pixel 2 XL.And it happens all the time and not to just the Camera (the Camera is just an example).@MKBHD’s examples with animations were very tame compared to the crap I deal with. pic.twitter.com/qhShInB4YS— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) August 9, 2018 In a string of messages posted over the past couple of weeks, Artem described and showed video of the sort of lag users were reporting happening to their Pixel 2 XL units. Have a peek at that video below, and click in from there to Twitter to see the rest of the string if you do so wish. It’s from here that the story gets extra intriguing. Over the last couple of weeks there’s been a bit more than a normal amount of a rumbling about the Pixel 2 XL and it’s apparent slowdown issue. Not all Pixel 2 XL units have the issue, but a significant number of them do find themselves the subject of this slowdown. Fortunate for those few users with this issue, one of their ranks happens to be a rather prolific Android journalist by the name of Artem Russakovskii of Android Police. Google’s been to visit him personally to see what’s up. Anonymous tip: Google has at this point identified three possible causes of @ArtemR’s (and others) Pixel 2 XL lag issues, one of which would require hardware replacements.— Stephen Hall (@hallstephenj) August 16, 2018 Google contacted Artem at some point between the 9th and the 11th of August to mitigate the issue. Or to solve the issue, hopefully. They provided him with a replacement device and suggested they come visit him to analyze the device in-person.OF NOTE: This was a great move on the part of Google PR. They know good and well that the Android community at large pays very close attention to issues like this. They know that simply asking for the unit back in the mail wouldn’t have shown nearly as much good will as coming to Artem to look at the issue right in front of him.A Google Android engineer and Google PR representative visited Artem on the 13th of August, 2018. Right after they left, Artem posted a message:Just in case you can’t see the image above – the gist is that the Google Engineer and Google PR looked at the Pixel 2 XL for two hours and were surprised at how laggy and not-normal the device was. They’ve told Artem that they’re going to analyze the data they’d found – having likely used a PC to download data as tests were run. Fast forward to today and managing editor of 9to5Google Stephen Hall revealed he’d received an anonymous tip on the situation. He’d heard that Google went ahead and found three possible causes for the Pixel 2 XL lag, one of which “would require hardware replacements.”
With the release of the Apple Watch Series 4, Series 3’s price is cut a significant amount. Gen 3 can be attained from $279 USD (for the cheapest version, that is,) while Series 4 starts at $399 USD. “The Series 4 isn’t the kind of refresh that justifies upgrading from the last generation, especially given the $399 and $499 starting prices for the standard and LTE models, respectively,” said Brian Heater with TechCrunch. “But there’s certainly enough here to keep the Apple Watch at the top of the smartwatch heap.” Stick around for SlashGear’s full review of the Series 4 Apple Watch and each of the new iPhones (XS, XS Max, and XR) coming up soon! The new Apple Watch has a larger display than the previous model. Gen 3 had either a 740 or 563 sq mm display, while Gen 4’s models are 977 or 759 sq mm. As it is with most devices, you’ll only really notice the difference if you’ve experienced both. The new watch’s display size alone doesn’t necessarily provide a lot more functionality – it’s the new norm.“Off your wrist, those changes are hardly noticeable,” said Scott Rosenfield on Wired. “The watch still looks like a watch. But in practice, the larger screen feels as significant as going from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6.”SEE UP CLOSE: Apple Watch Series 4 hands-on: Simply MesmerizingGen 4 has a new set of chips inside, including the Apple S4 chip + W3 wireless chip. That’s one generation newer than the Apple Watch Gen 3, and provides the additional power needed to handle the new hardware features in the new watch. This includes such gems as an electrocardiogram sensor, a second-gen optical heart sensor, and the sensor combo needed for fall detection.This new model has a “50% louder speaker” and a newer version of Bluetooth. Where Gen 3 had Bluetooth 4.2, the newest model has Bluetooth 5. It might just be the tiniest of changes that make the biggest difference. “The other key upgrade beyond the design … is more hidden in the heart of the Apple Watch 4 – there are sweet touches like a (virtually) clicking Digital Crown that feels like it’s clocking through lists on the wrist,” said Gareth Beavis of TechRadar. “It even makes a slight noise, and the whole system is incredibly pleasing.”Apple Watch Gen 4 has right around the same battery life with which its predecessor performed. “During my regular mixed usage, I got about a day and a half of battery life, same as on my Series 2 watch,” said Edward C Baig of USA Today. “I’d love more, but I am used to the routine of pretty much charging a watch every night.”Both Gen 3 and Gen 4 had the option of working in a wifi-only environment or with an LTE mobile data connection. This newest version is just a hair thinner than its predecessor at 10.7 mm (Gen 3 was 11.4 mm).This newest version of the Apple Watch has a clearer purpose. Maybe even a more solid statement of intent. Not least of all because Apple’s solidified its marketing for the Apple Watch, Apple Watch Series 4 seems to be the best one yet. “With apologies to the new iPhones, the Apple Watch Series 4 was the most impressive thing Apple announced last week,” said Dieter Bohn of The Verge. “After using it for the past week or so, I think it lives up to the hype.” Early Apple Watch Series 4 reviews seem to agree that the device is different from last year. Early reviews seem to agree that Apple Watch Series 4 is one of the best, if not flat-out the best smartwatch in the world right this minute. The element that doesn’t seem to have been agreed upon by all early reviewers is this: Should you buy? Story TimelineApple Watch Series 4 revealed officially: Features, Release Date, PriceApple Watch Series 4 ECG and fall detection detailedApple September 12 event wrap-up: new iPhones, Apple Watch, and moreApple Watch Series 4 ECG: What you need to know
The service fills a void that some may disagree exists. YouTube is the most popular platform for uploading videos, but a short clip seems less than substantial enough for Google’s offering. Short video clips are very similar to GIFs, both typically offering very brief emotes or similar content. Short videos can offer something GIFs can’t, though: audio. The feature greatly improves the experience for certain expressions, eliminating the need to add subtitles. The quality is often better, as well. Giphy is referring to these videos as “micro-entertainment,” citing them as part of the future it anticipates.The new platform is a soft-launch, the company told The Verge. The company unveiled the Grand Prize Winner of its first Giphy Film Fest, too, called “WASHED UP.” Other short videos are live on the platform now and can be found by sorting based on categories that include Animated, Narrative, and more.AdChoices广告Users have the ability to share a short video by copying the link and pasting it elsewhere. All of the new short video content is aggregated under the company’s Giphy TV page. Videos will be available in both standard and high definition, as well as on desktop and mobile. Popular GIF platform Giphy has expanded beyond its staple product with the introduction of short videos. The service is best known for offering a huge library of GIFs; it’s integrated with a number of mobile apps, including Facebook Messenger. The new support brings short videos to the platform, as well, enabling users to share clips up to 30 seconds in length.
Boeing has taken the wraps of its latest Transonic Truss-Braced Wing, a new configuration that the company says offers an unprecedented efficiency at Mach 0.80 speeds during flight. The new design paves the way for faster flights at higher altitudes, though the entire development process is still in its conceptual phase. Among other things, the wing is ultra-thin and braced with a truss, which helps support the extra length. This is the latest version of Boeing’s transonic plane concept, one that features a 170-foot wingspan braced with trusses, hence the design’s name. When the plane is flying at Mach 0.80, the new type of wing would provide an unprecedented degree of aerodynamic efficiency, the company said in an announcement today. The truss component makes this ultra-long wingspan possible, also opening the door to faster speeds than previous Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) designs. Originally, according to the company, the TTBWs were designed for flight speeds of Mach 0.70 to 0.75. A faster Mach 0.80 speed is made possible by a modified wing sweep and truss optimization. The new wing sweep angle, meanwhile, makes it possible for the truss to more efficiently carry lift, the company explains, resulting in “significantly improved” performance coupled with a more integrated design. AdChoices广告All of this has been made possible, in part, by NASA Ames Research Center’s wind tunnels, where Boeing has performed extensive testing. The space agency and private aerospace company have been working together on the transonic concept for almost a decade under a program called Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research. Story TimelineBoeing, SpaceX delays have NASA scrambling for crew contingency planAmazon leases another 10 Boeing 767 jets for Prime Air fleetThe Boeing 777X just got its record-breaking GE9X engines
YouTube drew attention to the matter in a post on the Google Support site, where a Google employee pointed toward a couple issues in relation to YouTube’s policies. Among the post is a paragraph about risky pranks, which violate YouTube’s policy on harmful and dangerous content. That fact isn’t new, but YouTube says it is clarifying the matter.“YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks,” the post states, “but we need to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous.” Such content includes things like the recent spat of Bird Box-inspired challenges, which encourage individuals to put on a blindfold and then engage in activities while unable to see. In an extreme example, one person caused a car wreck by driving blindfolded for this challenge. Past dangerous challenges have included the salt and ice challenge, which resulted in some kids suffering serious injuries.This doesn’t mean all prank and challenge videos are banned, nor all the videos related to any particular prank. Someone who engages in the Bird Box challenge in a safe, amusing way would still be able to share their video, for example, though some content may end up age restricted based on what it presents. Some people are willing to engage in extreme — sometimes dangerous — challenges and other activities in hope of going viral on YouTube, something the platform has explicitly banned. In a recent update, YouTube called attention to “dangerous challenges and pranks,” stating that content encouraging these activities is in violation of its policies and will be removed.
Story TimelineMaserati Alfieri concept coupe is “door to future”Maserati electric sports car a possibility in near future, says FCA CEOMaserati says it will begin producing an electric model by 2020 What you might be surprised by, however, is that it’s not so much a technical complication but an emotional one. As Bigland puts it, a significant part of Maserati’s appeal is its engines, and their unusual origin. “We’ve had a unique affiliation with Ferrari where the primary engine provider for Maserati is Ferrari,” Bigland explained. “And that differentiates within the marketplace, because you’re not going to find a Ferrari engine in anything other than a Ferrari.” Even with Ferrari spinning off from FCA as its own, independent concern, that partnership with Maserati continues. However, Bigland conceded, there’s no denying that internal combustion faces significant challenges as environmental requirements evolve, potentially squeezing niche automakers which once could count on the emotional appeal of a big capacity, roaring gas engine.AdChoices广告“With respect to how the regulation is changing around the world, more towards electrification, we’ve definitely spent a lot of time discussing that,” Bigland told me, “and how – if – we were to bring an electric, full-on battery-electric Maserati to market, would it still be a Maserati?” Power or driving dynamics certainly needn’t be the limiting factor. We’ve seen fully-electric and hybrid sports cars set records for performance after all; most recently, Tesla shook the supercar world with the promise of the new Tesla Roadster doing 0-60 mph in under two seconds. According to Bigland, it comes down to one big question.“We concluded that yes, it still could be a Maserati. It could still have all of the great performance of a Maserati, all of the great handling of a Maserati, all of the blend of features and benefits that make a Maserati unique,” he explained. “But clearly the aspect of sound that is coming from the combustion engine is the one we’ve discussed a lot about.”“So does this then have to have a unique Maserati electric sound?” Bigland speculated. “Does it not have any sound at all? What do we do about that sound question? But I think on all of those other attributes there’s no question that we could do it.”The “right” soundtrack to electric vehicles is a tricky challenge. On the one hand there’s the emotional connection that many drivers have with the noise a V8, V10, or V12 makes. That could be artificially created, of course, though enthusiasts have generally reacted negatively to “enhanced” engine noise even in actual gasoline vehicles, never mind fake ICE sounds being piped into an EV’s cabin. Meanwhile there are also safety concerns. Since they’re generally so much quieter than ICE vehicles, electric cars can creep up unexpectedly on pedestrians or other road users. Right now, in the US, the NHTSA requires all hybrid or fully-electric vehicles to make a noise of some sort when traveling at speeds under around 19 mph. While a switch from Ferrari engines to near-silent electrification would be a big change for Maserati, it’s not like the automaker hasn’t had to evolve in recent years as the industry changes. The company launched its Levante SUV recently, after all, helping it hit a 2016 sales record overall, and Bigland says it’s currently on track to beat that again in 2017. An electric Maserati might be a break with a tradition, but if it ends up looking like the Alfieri that has already been connected with the automaker’s EV plans, it could end up being a financially rewarding one. When the “cutting edge” in automotive is electrification, what do you do if you’re Maserati and your brand is wrapped up tight with the appeal of gasoline engines? That’s the challenge facing the Italian automaker as it continues to carve out a space in the luxury performance high-end, and the question I posed to Reid Bigland, Head of Maserati and Alfa Romeo, this week at the LA Auto Show 2017. As you might expect, the answer is complicated.
Story Timeline2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster First Drive: A silver bullet2018 Mercedes-AMG GT First Drive: Porsche’s nightmare2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is Porsche’s 630hp nightmare Some of the more popular features are carried over, too. The “M” manual transmission mode is included, locking the gearbox to the paddle-shifters. Beefier composite brakes are also standard, with 6-piston fixed calipers at the front and single-piston fixed calipers at the rear. They’re finished in red, with AMG lettering. Ceramic composite brakes are offered as an option – you get AMG Carbon Ceramic lettering to show people you dug deeper into your wallet – with AMG promising they’re not only more effective but less susceptible to fade over extended use. They also tip the scales at around 40-percent less than the conventional brakes. The soft top is a triple-layer fabric supported by a magnesium, steel, and aluminum frame. It gets an integrated aluminum cross-member for extra rollover protection. LED headlamps are standard, as are 19-inch wheels at the front and 20-inches at the rear. Inside, MB-Tex manmade leather and DINAMICA microfiber seats are standard, though Mercedes has a wide range of leather and microfiber to choose from if you prefer. As standard, the AMG GT S Roadster gets the AMG Silver Chrome trim package, but a piano-black version, matte silver fiber-glass, carbon-fiber, and matte carbon-fiber are all optional. AMG Performance seats are standard, with AIRSCARF neck heating courtesy of vents in the headrest. Check off the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package option, meanwhile, and you get an AMG Performance steering wheel in microfiber, dynamic engine and transmission mounts, and a different sport suspension profile. There’s also a wider peak horsepower band in the “M” and “Race” drive modes, stretched to 6,000-6,500 rpm. In all, it brings the AMG GT family to twelve, including the upcoming AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. Pricing for the new roadster will be confirmed closer to availability. Mercedes-AMG’s family of potent AMG GT cars is gaining a new member, with the 2019 AMG GT S Roadster offering a third droptop version to better hear the V8. Expected to arrive in the US late this year, the new car is expected to do 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, balancing the affordability of the entry-level Roadster and the performance of the flagship in the process. As a result, it slots in-between the existing AMG GT Roadster and the AMG GT C Roadster. It has more horsepower and torque than the former, and grabs the fancier suspension of the latter. However, the AMG GT S Roadster doesn’t get the rear axle steering, though there are five drive modes – with Race added – as opposed to the entry-level car’s four. Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster (Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 11,5 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 262 g/km); Exterieur: AMG solarbeam, AMG Carbon Paket Exterieur; Interieur: AMG Performance Sitze in Leder Exklusiv Nappa/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz mit Kontrastziernaht gelb // Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster ( fuel comsumption, combined: 11.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 262 g/km); exterior: AMG solarbeam, AMG Exterior Carbon Package; interior: AMG Performance seats in Exclusive nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black with yellow contrasting topstitching Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster (Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 11,5 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 262 g/km); Exterieur: AMG solarbeam, AMG Carbon Paket Exterieur; Interieur: AMG Performance Sitze in Leder Exklusiv Nappa/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz mit Kontrastziernaht gelb // Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster ( fuel comsumption, combined: 11.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 262 g/km); exterior: AMG solarbeam, AMG Exterior Carbon Package; interior: AMG Performance seats in Exclusive nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black with yellow contrasting topstitching Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster (Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 11,5 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 262 g/km); Exterieur: AMG solarbeam, AMG Carbon Paket Exterieur; Interieur: AMG Performance Sitze in Leder Exklusiv Nappa/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz mit Kontrastziernaht gelb // Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster ( fuel comsumption, combined: 11.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 262 g/km); exterior: AMG solarbeam, AMG Exterior Carbon Package; interior: AMG Performance seats in Exclusive nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black with yellow contrasting topstitching Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster (Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 11,5 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 262 g/km); Exterieur: AMG solarbeam, AMG Carbon Paket Exterieur; Interieur: AMG Performance Sitze in Leder Exklusiv Nappa/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz mit Kontrastziernaht gelb // Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster ( fuel comsumption, combined: 11.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 262 g/km); exterior: AMG solarbeam, AMG Exterior Carbon Package; interior: AMG Performance seats in Exclusive nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black with yellow contrasting topstitching It’ll keep running on to an estimated top speed of 192 mph, Mercedes-AMG says. That’s courtesy of a handmade AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, which musters 515 horsepower and 494 lb-ft. of torque. The latter arrives from as low as 1,900 rpm, and continues up to 5,000 rpm. It’s paired with a seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT dual clutch transmission. AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with an Adaptive Damping System is also standard, along with an electronically-controlled rear axle locking differential. Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster (Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 11,5 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 262 g/km); Exterieur: AMG solarbeam, AMG Carbon Paket Exterieur; Interieur: AMG Performance Sitze in Leder Exklusiv Nappa/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz mit Kontrastziernaht gelb // Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster ( fuel comsumption, combined: 11.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 262 g/km); exterior: AMG solarbeam, AMG Exterior Carbon Package; interior: AMG Performance seats in Exclusive nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black with yellow contrasting topstitching Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster (Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 11,5 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 262 g/km); Exterieur: AMG solarbeam, AMG Carbon Paket Exterieur; Interieur: AMG Performance Sitze in Leder Exklusiv Nappa/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz mit Kontrastziernaht gelb // Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster ( fuel comsumption, combined: 11.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 262 g/km); exterior: AMG solarbeam, AMG Exterior Carbon Package; interior: AMG Performance seats in Exclusive nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black with yellow contrasting topstitching Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster (Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 11,5 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 262 g/km); Exterieur: AMG solarbeam, AMG Carbon Paket Exterieur; Interieur: AMG Performance Sitze in Leder Exklusiv Nappa/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz mit Kontrastziernaht gelb // Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster ( fuel comsumption, combined: 11.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 262 g/km); exterior: AMG solarbeam, AMG Exterior Carbon Package; interior: AMG Performance seats in Exclusive nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black with yellow contrasting topstitching
At the Augmented World Expo (AWE 2019) Qualcomm revealed their Qualcomm Snapdragon Smart Viewer Reference Design. They suggested that this was made “With device OEMs and technology ecosystem partners in mind,” and that this device was “designed to help decrease product development time of both AR and VR Smart Viewers.”This device has pathways to all the following features that make it pretty top-notch as far as XR viewers go. Virtual Reality headsets, Augmented Reality headsets, and the like.Smart Viewer Reference Design (headset) Features:• Display (JDI) with 72Hz refresh rate, 2k resolution PER eye• 6DoF controllers• Eye Tracking• Hand Tracking• Movement tracking (body tracking, no external sensors needed)• Standalone mode• USB-C host modeAdChoices广告USB-C host mode requires a PC or a smartphone for processing power. Standalone mode uses the XR1’s compute power, with Qualcomm Kryo CPU, Qualcomm Adreno GPU, Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, and Qualcomm AI Engine. It’s not clear just yet what operating system makes this mode possible.Qualcomm made something like this before. Back in March of 2018, they revealed their Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 VR dev kit. That was the VR-centric version of what they’re delivering here in 2019. Here in 2019, it’s both VR and AR, in one device, powered by PC or smartphone, depending on reality required. A Smart Viewer is also slightly less bulky, it would seem.“By distributing the workload and tapping into the compute power of host devices via tethering to users’ smartphone or PC, the reference designs’ additional features like eye tracking and 6DoF controllers unlock a deeper level of XR immersion,” said Hugo Swart, head of XR, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. There’s a cool headset capable of both AR and VR, and Qualcomm’s at the helm. They’ve created this “Qualcomm Snapdragon Smart Viewer Reference Design” as a sort of guide for other manufacturers to make their own, to sell to you. As such, you probably won’t be using this headset specifically, but the resulting headsets made by brands you’ve heard of before. Cross your fingers for soon. Story TimelineHoloLens 2 tipped to use Qualcomm XR1 VR chipVuzix M400 AR glasses revealed with Qualcomm XR1Qualcomm and Lenovo reveals the world’s first 5G laptop Above you’ll see a video about the XR1 platform. That’s the processor architecture (and stuff) that’ll go inside this Qualcomm Smart Viewer Reference Design. Again, a reference design is like a piece of hardware that brands can use as basic blueprints for their own, very similar products. Below you’ll see another video from Qualcomm showing the future of their products in this universe. This video shows “truly mobile XR” which is extended reality – virtual reality and augmented reality in a single headset. Both realities are powered by the processors (CPU, GPU) of a PC or a smartphone. We’ve spoken about the likes of the Snapdragon XR1, aka Qualcomm’s play for affordable standalone AR and VR (XR). They’ve been pushing for this future for a while, as I’m sure you’re aware at this point – let’s hope we see some affordable solutions in the real market soon.
First Edition: January 28, 2013 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Today’s headlines include reports about how the health law’s implementation could impact the marketplace. Kaiser Health News: Independence Of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Challenged In Some StatesReporting for Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with USA Today, Jenni Bergal writes: “The 2.3 million elderly or disabled people living in nursing homes or assisted living centers might not know it, but they’ve got an advocate – someone who’s supposed to be looking out for their health, safety and rights” (Bergal, 1/27). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Retiring Medicare Actuary Reflects On The Politics Of Spending And Why He Almost QuitKaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey, working in collaboration with Politico Pro, reports: “Richard S. Foster is retiring this week after 18 years as the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. His duties included projecting Medicare and Medicaid spending and the cost of health care legislation to help policymakers weigh the impact on the federal budget. Some of those estimates got him into hot water with members of both parties” (Carey, 1/28). Read the story. Kaiser Health News also tracked weekend health policy headlines, including reports about the strategy that emerged from the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee as well as the continuing position on entitlements (1/27).The New York Times’ Political Memo: Obama Focuses On Status Quo, Not Left, In Battle With GOPThat partisan gibe was telling. He defended two programs, Medicare and Medicaid, begun nearly a half-century ago, and a third, Social Security, that dates from the Great Depression. The federal welfare commitments that Mr. Obama praised in observing that “a great nation must care for the vulnerable” also date back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s time. Yet all those benefits are in the cross-fire of the president’s continuing fiscal battle with Republicans in Congress. That is not because of a shift in philosophy by Mr. Obama or his party, but rather because of the looming cost of the retirements of baby boomers and of the persistent ideological boldness of partisan foes (Harwood, 1/27).Politico: The Quiet Liberal Plans For Entitlement ReformAsk liberals about GOP demands to rein in Social Security and Medicare spending, and many say this: no way. But the truth is, there are a number of ideas to do just that already sitting on the shelves of influential liberal think tanks around Washington (Nather, 1/27).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Health Insurance Exchanges: A New Way For Individuals And Small Business To Buy CoverageHealth insurance exchanges will change the way people buy coverage and will help millions of uninsured people get a private plan. Nearly 49 million people are uninsured in the United States, but the numbers vary dramatically by state. Exchanges will be the most visible part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law in everyday life. Open enrollment starts Oct. 1, less than 10 months away (1/27).The Associated Press: Consumer Alert: New Health Care Markets On The WayBuying your own health insurance will never be the same. … remember that nothing in life is free and change isn’t easy. … Starting Jan. 1, 2014, when coverage takes effect in the exchanges, virtually everyone in the country will be required by law to have health insurance or face fines (Alonso-Zaldivar, 1/27).The Associated Press/Washington Post: New Lingo For Consumers: Health Care Overhaul GlossaryPresident Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law has spawned its own jargon. With the law finally about to take full effect, consumers might want to get familiar with some of the terms (1/27).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Health Care Among The Early Leaders As ‘Obamacare’ Starts To Become A RealityHealth care stocks have started off the year on a tear. The industry group that includes health care providers, drugmakers and biotechnology companies has advanced 7.3 percent this year, making it the second-best in the Standard and Poor’s 500 index, trailing only energy companies. Even drugmakers, traditionally considered a safe-haven play, are outperforming the market (1/27).Los Angeles Times: Under Healthcare Overhaul, Will Small Businesses Benefit? In a perfect world, Irvine businessman Scott Griffiths says, he hopes to continue offering health insurance to the 42 employees at his chain of high-end men’s hair salons. But with the full effect of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act approaching, small businesses like his are facing numerous questions and concerns about the future of employee health insurance in California and what it will mean for them (Zamosky, 1/26).The Wall Street Journal: Questions Remain On Expanded MedicaidAdvocates for the poor are making their case that New Jersey should expand the ranks of people eligible for Medicaid in what could be the next big decision on how the federal health insurance overhaul plays out in New Jersey. They say it will save state taxpayers money and give far more low-income people health coverage. But doctors are apprehensive, and hospitals aren’t pushing hard for the change, which some anti-big-government groups oppose deeply (1/28).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Analysis: Is It Fair To Penalize Smokers And Overeaters? Yes, Say Experts. Here’s Why.Faced with the high cost of caring for smokers and overeaters, experts say society must grapple with a blunt question: Instead of trying to penalize them and change their ways, why not just let these health sinners die prematurely from their unhealthy habits? Annual health care costs are roughly $96 billion for smokers and $147 billion for the obese, the government says. These costs accompany sometimes heroic attempts to prolong lives, including surgery, chemotherapy and other measures (1/26).The Wall Street Journal: Device Makers Add Fees To Cover Health TaxSome medical-device companies faced with a new tax meant to help finance the health law are hoping someone else will pick up the tab: their hospital customers. Companies including feeding-tube supplier Applied Medical Technology Inc. and respiratory-valve maker Hans Rudolph Inc. quietly added new surcharges or warned hospitals of price increases to cover the new 2.3% tax on device sales that went into effect Jan. 1, according to letters and invoices from nine manufacturers sent to hospitals that were reviewed by The Wall Street Journal (Weaver, 1/25).The New York Times: A Flood of Suits Fights Coverage of Birth ControlIn recent months, federal courts have seen dozens of lawsuits brought not only by religious institutions like Catholic dioceses but also by private employers ranging from a pizza mogul to produce transporters who say the government is forcing them to violate core tenets of their faith. Some have been turned away by judges convinced that access to contraception is a vital health need and a compelling state interest. Others have been told that their beliefs appear to outweigh any state interest and that they may hold off complying with the law until their cases have been judged. New suits are filed nearly weekly (Bronner, 1/26).The Wall Street Journal: Harkin’s Exit Heralds Scramble For Senate SeatMr. Harkin has endured major political upheavals through the decades, arriving in the Senate during the conservative Reagan era and more recently helping to advance the 2010 health-care overhaul, the Affordable Care Act, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s presidency that is widely embraced by liberals (Hughes, 1/26).The Wall Street Journal: Get Developmental CareMany kids struggle with developmental problems at some point in their childhoods, and getting care for them can be costly and confusing. If your child isn’t babbling or sitting at nine months, for instance, struggles with stairs or speaks unclearly at age three, you might be worried about a developmental delay. Help is available to enable your child to catch up, but parents will need to navigate a complicated zone where health care rubs up against education—and kids sometimes fall through the cracks (Johnson, 1/27).The Associated Press: Aging America: Elder Abuse, Use Of Shelters RisingThe woman, in her 70s, is trying to explain how she wound up in a shelter that could well be where she spends the rest of her life. While the woman was living with a close family member, officials at the Shalom Center say, her money was being drained away by people overcharging for her grocery shopping, while her body and spirit were sapped by physical neglect and emotional torment. … The Shalom Center offers shelter, along with medical, psychological and legal help, to elderly abuse victims in this northern Cincinnati suburb. It is among a handful in the country that provide sanctuary from such treatment, a problem experts say is growing along with the age of the nation’s population (Sewell, 1/27).The New York Times: More Using Electronics To Track Their HealthWhether they have chronic ailments like diabetes or just want to watch their weight, Americans are increasingly tracking their health using smartphone applications and other devices that collect personal data automatically, according to health industry researchers (Freudenheim, 1/27).The New York Times: An Oil Boom Takes A Toll On Health CareThe patients come with burns from hot water, with hands and fingers crushed by steel tongs, with injuries from chains that have whipsawed them off their feet. Ambulances carry mangled, bloodied bodies from accidents on roads packed with trucks and heavy-footed drivers (Eligon, 1/27).Los Angeles Times: St. John’s In Court Fight Over Failed Nurse Recruitment EffortNow the hospital is pursuing a court fight over this costly failure, saying it was the victim of fraud, bribery and unfair business practices. But the legal battle may also yield unflattering details about the inner workings of one of the area’s best-known hospitals, which recently saw a high-profile management shake-up (Terhune, 1/25).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.
State Roundup: Inmates Sue Calif. Counties Over Prison Care A selection of health policy stories from California, Oregon, Michigan, Kansas, Massachusetts and New Jersey.Los Angeles Times: California Scores Poorly On Posting Health Care Prices, Report SaysCalifornia consumers don’t have easy access to prices for medical care, according to a national report card that gave the state a letter grade of D for its dismal showing. Overall, 36 states received grades of D or F in the report issued Monday by two nonprofit healthcare groups that analyzed government efforts to make pricing information widely available to consumers (Terhune, 3/18).The Associated Press: Counties Now Facing Inmate LawsuitsCalifornia has spent billions of dollars and endured years of federal lawsuits to improve conditions in its state prisons, but the problems it has been trying to correct are now trickling down to local governments as county jails deal with thousands of additional inmates. Law firms advocating for inmates’ rights have sued or threatened lawsuits against a handful of California counties because of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to send lower-level offenders to local jails instead of state prisons as a way to comply with a federal court order (Thompson, 3/19).The Lund Report: Shields And Holvey Want Unlawful Trade Act To Cover Insurers Sen. Chip Shields, D-Portland and Rep. Paul Holvey, D-Eugene, rolled out legislation last week that would open up the insurance industry to torts under the state’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act and allow the attorney general to sue insurers for fraud. … Shields said the special exemption allows insurance companies to act with impunity and reduces their incentive to pay out claims as warranted. If they commit fraud, they cannot be sued by the attorney general under any tort or statute (Gray, 3/19).The Associated Press: Michigan Reveals Goals For State Autism ServicesState health officials laid out long-term goals Monday designed to improve access to services for the estimated 50,000 people living with autism spectrum disorders in Michigan, including more early screening and the creation of a state resource center to provide families with information about services. The Autism Spectrum Disorders State Plan revealed by the Michigan Department of Community Health and Autism Council identifies gaps in the availability of services and makes recommendations for how to improve the lives of adults and children with autism spectrum disorders (Durkin, 3/19).Los Angeles Times: Two Former CalPERS Officials Indicted On Fraud ChargesThree years after a major influence-peddling scandal rocked California and the nation’s largest public pension fund, a federal grand jury indicted two former top officials on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges (Lifsher, 3/19).The Lund Report: Troubled Oregon Counties Turn To Cigarette Tax For Public HealthPortland City Commissioner Steve Novick told the House Revenue Committee Friday that the state of Oregon trusts local governments to do a lot of things — arrest people, put them in jail, set zoning ordinances, raise property taxes, even generate income taxes (Gray, 3/19). Kansas Health Institute: Senate Panel Advances HIE BillA Senate panel voted today to advance favorably a bill that would shift regulatory power from KHIE, Inc. to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. KHIE is the entity created in 2010 to oversee the digital exchange of patient records. State officials have said they could regulate the exchange networks without requiring additional funding. The shift also has been endorsed by the KHIE, Inc. board of directors (Shields, 3/18).Medpage Today: Mass. Health Plans Aim To Slow Rising CostsThe state — policymakers, insurers, and providers — is taking steps to rein in cost. Gov. Deval Patrick (D) signed into law this summer a bill aimed at doing just that. Among its many provisions, the law tries to move providers away from a fee-for-service model, creates an independent Health Policy Commission, and sets a target growth rate of 3.6 percent in 2013. Patrick told attendees at the Association of Health Care Journalists’ annual meeting here that the state “will crack the code on cost containment.” In 2008, Blue Cross Blue Shield created an “Alternative Quality Contract” which provides a global payment to providers to care for the insurers’ members (Pittman, 3/18).California Healthline: Concern Over Mental Health Provider ShortageLegislation introduced last week would expand the scope of practice for nurse practitioners, optometrists and pharmacists. Separate legislation looks to expand scope of practice for physician assistants, as well. The bills hope to address the dearth of primary care providers in California by allowing some mid-level health care providers to do more. With the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medi-Cal and introduction of the state exchange starting in 2014, there is expected to be a much greater need for primary care services. Some mental health providers are citing a similar access concern for mental health professionals (Gorn, 3/18).California Healthline: Legislature Will ‘Look Carefully’ At UC Medical System After ReportCalifornia state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), chair of the Senate Committee on Health, said state legislators will look into allegations of mismanagement at University of California medical centers that have put patient safety in jeopardy. A new report from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 contends that the UC system’s five medical centers are understaffed and patient care is suffering. … The report says frontline providers in hospitals and medical centers are understaffed, sometimes leading to dangerous situations threatening patient safety (Lauer, 3/18).Medpage Today: One More Compounding Pharmacy Recalls DrugsIn a move that is reminiscent of last fall’s fungal meningitis outbreak, a New Jersey compounding pharmacy is recalling all its products after fungal particles were found in bags of magnesium sulfate intravenous solution. The FDA said Med Prep Consulting of Tinton Falls, N.J., recalled all lots of all products after a Connecticut hospital observed the particles in the solution. As well, the FDA said in a release, the firm has temporarily halted production, including processing and shipping drugs, under an order from the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy. There have been no reports of patients being infected, according to Janet Woodcock, MD, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (Smith, 3/18). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Viewpoints: Indian Health Hit By Budget Cuts; Health Care Doesn’t Work Like Normal Markets; Gov. Rick Scott Paying A Price For Medicaid Expansion The New York Times: The Sequester Hits The Reservation The Congressional Republicans who brought us the mindless budget cuts known as the sequester have shown remarkable indifference to life-sustaining government services, American jobs and other programs. So what do they make of the country’s commitments to American Indians, its longstanding obligations to tribal governments under the Constitution and treaties dating back centuries? Very little, it seems. The sequester will impose cuts of 5 percent across the Indian Health Service (3/20). Los Angeles Times: Health Care Reform And The Incentive To Keep Spending Reforming the health care system is largely about fixing the incentives it provides for doctors, hospitals and patients to overspend. For example, the “fee for service” payment model that Medicare relies on encourages physicians to do as many things for a patient as they can bill for — the more services provided, the higher the compensation. That’s a model that profits from sickness, not health (Jon Healey, 3/20). The Houston Chronicle: Health Care Is Not A MarketHere’s a simple solution to our health care mess. Eliminate all the insurance companies, government subsidies, and other intermediaries and let people purchase medical services directly from a provider of their choice at the going market rate. Believe it or not, this is actually a popular concept on the Republican far right, and not just from Ron Paul. … Republicans still struggle to promote a credible ownership culture largely because we refuse to wrestle honestly with the hard-cases; the situations in which market forces fail to allocate value effectively. Medical care is probably the most frustrating example since it stubbornly resists market solutions and affects everyone deeply. Health care is not a market (Chris Ladd, 3/21).The Wall Street Journal: About That ‘Scalpel’… President Obama often claims he wants to cut the budget smartly, using a “scalpel” — not a meat axe, machete, cleaver or chainsaw, to list a few of his favorite metaphors. He’ll need a more inspired term to describe what he’s now doing to Medicare Advantage, perhaps napalm or WMD. The Affordable Care Act drained $306 billion from this growing version of Medicare that 29 percent of seniors use to escape the traditional entitlement and obtain modern private insurance, but the Administration is imposing the cuts in ways that are even more harmful than the law requires. The post-election timing is no accident (3/20). USA Today: Republicans Bleed Slow-Moving ObamaCare The House (continuing resolution to keep the government running) left out nearly a billion dollars in funding for insurance exchanges as well as funds for the IRS to prepare to enforce the law’s tax rules. According to Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., this will delay “implementation of the Affordable Care Act. … Without IT infrastructure to process enrollment and payments, verify eligibility and establish call centers, health insurance for millions of Americans would be delayed.” Instead of repealing ObamaCare, an unlikely event with a Democratic Senate, Republicans aim to bleed it to death. The move fits with a pattern the GOP has followed since the law passed in 2010. Even as Republicans fail over and over again in high-profile efforts to simply destroy ObamaCare, they are succeeding with delaying tactics that may combine to turn the law’s implementation into a fiasco (Kavon Nikrad, 3/20). Bloomberg: How Changes To Obamacare Can Cut The Deficit Republicans in Washington have repeatedly called on President Barack Obama to make changes to the Affordable Care Act as a part of their efforts to deal with long-term budget deficits. Although complete repeal of the law is desirable, such an outcome is impossible in the near-term. This raises two questions: Should changes to the law be part of current budget negotiations? And, more important, what form should these changes take? The answer to the first question is yes (Lanhee Chen, 3/20). Bloomberg: Entice States To Expand Medicaid, Though Not At All Costs Arkansas and a few other states are proposing to go a huge step further and use the federal Medicaid-expansion funds to give new enrollees “premium support” to buy individual policies on state insurance exchanges. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe says this would satisfy Republican legislators’ philosophical preference for private insurance over government programs. Presumably, it would give them a rhetorical path to accept billions of dollars in new federal Medicaid spending without seeming to compromise their anti-Obamacare principles. It’s not clear, though, how the states could manage this in a way that would preserve the program’s efficiency and taxpayer dollars. (Yes, Medicaid is efficient, delivering a high standard of care at rock-bottom cost.) Unless Arkansas and its counterparts include credible measures to ensure that private plans don’t squeeze beneficiaries’ health care, Sebelius should draw a line — the tradeoff won’t be worth it (3/20). Arizona Republic: Affordable Care Act Already Improving Ariz. Health CareThis week marks the third anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. For Arizonans, that means a health care system that is stronger than it was three years ago, and a future that looks even brighter. Arizonans who have health insurance now have more security thanks to new insurance-market reforms and consumer protections put into place by the law. Preventive services like mammograms and flu shots are newly available for free to 1.4 million people with private insurance plans. About 65,270 Arizona Medicare beneficiaries with the highest prescription drug costs have saved an average of $689 on their medications. And Arizonans are now protected from some of the worst insurance industry abuses, like lifetime coverage caps that could cut off benefits when people need them most (Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, 3/20). The Wall Street Journal: Rick Scott’s Slide Two new polls show Florida Gov. Rick Scott skating on thin ice with approval ratings in the mid-30s. Suffice it to say the future doesn’t look bright for the Republican. … Meanwhile, most of his reforms (e.g. requiring workers to contribute three percent of their salaries to their pensions) have been too timid to rally conservatives to his side. The legislature is now forging ahead with a more aggressive plan to shift new workers to defined contribution accounts. Republican legislative leaders have also rejected his plan to procure “free” federal money by expanding Medicaid. Notably, his waffling on the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion — in an apparent effort to cozy up to Democrats — didn’t achieve his desired results (Allysia Finley, 3/20). The New England Journal of Medicine: Budget Sequestration And The U.S. Health Sector The inability of the Congress and President Barack Obama to agree by March 1 on a plan to reduce the budget deficit is triggering $85 billion in across-the-board cuts in most federal agencies and programs for the final 7 months of fiscal year 2013. These reductions will have adverse effects on many important governmental functions and activities affecting both the health sector and the health of Americans (John E. McDonough, 3/21). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Wall Street Journal: Kathleen Sebelius, Meet Oliver North Major news outlets in recent days have reported that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is raising money from the private sector — including from health care executives — for use by a private entity that is helping to implement ObamaCare. … Is Ms. Sebelius raising funds for a private entity and then coordinating with that entity to do something Congress has refused to authorize, or for which it has refused to appropriate funds? And is she raising money from organizations she regulates, in violation of ethics laws? (Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., 5/22). The New York Times: Aftermath Of An Unfounded Vaccine Scare Britain is experiencing serious outbreaks of measles that look to be a delayed consequence of a failure to vaccinate infants and young children more than a decade ago. A prime cause of that failure was ill-founded fears among parents that a widely used vaccine to combat measles, mumps and rubella might cause autism. Because they shunned the vaccine, their children, now in their teens, are suffering the consequences (5/22). Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Mandatory Vaccinations Deserve Vigorous DebateThe debate over the mandatory influenza vaccinations of employees is worthy of a vigorous public airing. Controversy has been growing nationwide over the plight of employees, particularly health care workers, being dismissed from jobs due to their refusal to accept this unwanted intrusion into their personal health care decisions. I fully recognize this argument pits two groups advocating against each other over a position based on rights. Employers demand flu vaccinations of employees, with extremely limited exceptions, as a fundamental right of an employer. Those who object stand on individual liberties to make their own personal health care decisions without the threat of dismissal (Jeremy Thiesfeldt, 5/22). The New York Times: Kill Bill According to statistics United Republic assembled, the prescription drug industry spent $116 million lobbying for legislation to prevent Medicare from bargaining down drug prices — legislation that enabled drug companies to make an additional $90 billion annually. That amounts to an extraordinary 77,500 percent return on investment. Oil companies, in turn, had a return on investment of 5,900 percent, and multinational companies, 22,000 percent (Thomas B. Edsall, 5/22). The New England Journal of Medicine: The Gross Domestic Product And Health Care SpendingAn examination of data from the past 60 years for the economy as a whole and for health care expenditures indicates that there has been a robust relationship between the two. … Some observers place great emphasis on the particularly slow growth of national health care expenditures in 2010 and 2011. How useful is the experience of growth over a period of 2 years in predicting the growth rate over the next 20 years? The answer seems to be not at all. … [T]he rate of growth of national health care expenditures in the past appears to have been substantially related to the growth of the GDP. There has been some slowing of the growth of health care spending relative to the GDP, but it began not just a few years ago, but in the 1990s (Victor R. Fuchs, 5/22).Columbus Dispatch: Obamacare May Lead To ‘Skinny’ Policies Would you like to have a “skinny” health-insurance policy? Probably not. But if you’re employed by a large company, you may get one, thanks to Obamacare. That’s the conclusion of Wall Street Journal reporters Christopher Weaver and Anna Wilde Mathews. They report that insurance brokers are pitching and selling “low-benefit” policies across the country. You might be wondering what a “skinny” or “low-benefit” insurance plan is. The terms may vary, but the basic idea is that policies would cover preventive care, a limited number of doctor visits and perhaps generic drugs. They wouldn’t cover things such as surgery, hospital stays or prenatal care (Michael Barrone, 5/23). JAMA: Public Health Regulation As A Public ProcessMedia coverage of new public health regulations often seems to follow a template: The [regulatory agency]’s plan to implement [public health regulation] is causing controversy among [businesses affected] and [individuals who object]. … But there’s another way to think about how policy is developed to improve health: as a dynamic process open to a range of policy alternatives (Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, 5/22).JAMA: Encouraging Smokers to Talk With Their Physicians About Quitting Over the next few months, physicians may see an increase in patients asking for help in quitting smoking. Why? The Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently launched the second stage of its national media campaign, Tips from Former Smokers (Tips). Some of the ads include a new call to action with the message, “You can quit. Talk with your doctor for help.” This “talk with your doctor” initiative provides physicians with a golden opportunity to help more patients quit smoking (Dr. Tim McAfee, 5/22). The Lund Report: Physician, First Do No Harm — To YourselfStudies confirm most doctors are overworked, exhausted, or depressed. The tragedy: few seek help. I ask the group, “How many physicians have lost a colleague to suicide?” All hands are raised. “How many have considered suicide?” Except for one woman, all hands remain up — including mine. “Physicians have the highest suicide rate of any profession,” I explain. “In the United States we lose over 400 physicians per year to suicide. That’s the equivalent of an entire medical school. Even that’s an underestimate because many physician suicides are incorrectly identified as accidents” (Dr. Pamela Wible, 5/21).MinnPost: Failed Virginia Bill On Miscarriages Reveals Ignorance About Women’s HealthAs I’ve written here before, the medical ignorance of some politicians — particularly in regard to women’s reproductive health — is a continual source of astonishment. … While searching through the legislative history of Virginia state Sen. Mark Obenshain, now running on the Republican ticket for his state’s attorney general position, reporters found that he had authored a bill in 2009 that would have required all women in Virginia to report miscarriages to police or risk legal penalties, including as much as a year in jail (Susan Perry, 5/22).Bloomberg: Better Death Records Can Lead To Longer Life Here’s a morbid thought atop a morbid thought: Two in three deaths worldwide — some 35 million a year — go unregistered. And in many cases when deaths are recorded, reliable information on what caused them is lacking. Why does this matter? Without such records, public-health authorities can’t tell enough about what’s killing people to minimize the dangers they face (5/22). Oregonian: Portland And Its Aversion To Fluoride Reflects Oregon’s Unusual PoliticsIn 2011, the board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District voted to begin fluoridating water for about 850,000 customers in and around San Jose. Anti-fluoride activists grumbled but realized they didn’t have the resources to take their fight to the public. That’s sure not what happened in Portland, which once again showed that this far northwest corner of the country is willing to go where other parts of the country rarely tread (Jeff Mapes, 5/22). Viewpoints: Sen. Alexander Sees Reflections Of Oliver North In Sebelius’ Quest To Raise Funds; Vaccine Scare’s Legacy