A short while after the page was restored, Twitter had issued a statement explaining that “human error” had resulted in the accidental deactivation of the page. The human error was said to be the result of “a Twitter employee,” raising questions about how much power a Twitter employee has over someone’s account and why they were able to suspend the page. In due time it was revealed that it was a contractor, rather than an employee, who had suspended the page. The reasons for that person’s actions weren’t known, though, and many wondered if it had been a rogue act, a way to leave the job with a bang, so to speak. As it turns out, that is correct.The contract responsible for the account deactivation is Bahtiyar Duysak, who at the time was working as a contractor for Twitter under a work and study visa in the US. In an interview with TechCrunch, Duysak explains that he was working in a customer service role in a division at Twitter that receives reports from users.It was near the end of his last shift that Duysak received a user report about Trump’s account, and as a final act of sorts, he “put the wheels in motion to deactivate it,” not believing it would actually happen. It did, however, several hours later, sending the Internet into a minor tailspin. Duysak ultimately called the action a mistake, though many have hailed him as a hero for what he did.SOURCE: TechCrunch Earlier this month, Trump’s Twitter account was briefly deactivated, making it impossible to access it or any of its content. The suspension was a brief one, lasting only 11 minutes, but they were enough to inspire both rants and praise. Some had speculated that the deactivation was the result of a rogue employee, but extensive details on what went down were never given.
Story TimelineAndroid P notch options get a bit oddAndroid P dark and light theme to get a manual toggleAndroid P rootless custom themes: Google says no It follows Android P Beta 2, which Google released back at the beginning of June. This time around, the company says, we can expect a lot more stability and “near-final system behaviors,” together with the API level 28 official Android P APIs. As you might guess, therefore, there’s a lot here for developers. Indeed, Burke is pitching this particular release as an important one for developers hoping to make their apps compatible from day one with Android P, once it is released in full. Today, it means support for multi-cameras, new phones with notched cut-outs at the top of the screen – a design Google itself is expected to adopt with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL – and enhanced notifications. There are also changes to Android’s privacy restrictions.Of course, that doesn’t mean end users hoping to get an early taste of the upcoming version won’t be jumping on the new beta, too. For now, you’ll need a Pixel smartphone – either a Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, or Pixel 2 XL – in order to join the beta. If you’ve already joined, then you should get an update that the Beta 3 release is available. Those Android device-makers participating in the Android P Beta program, meanwhile, will be updating with Beta 3 releases “over the coming weeks,” Burke says. Currently there are eight handsets that are officially taking part in Project Treble. That includes the OnePlus 6, the Sony Xperia XZ2, the Essential Phone, and the Nokia 7 plus. What we still don’t know is just what Android P will officially be named. Plenty of rumors have circulated about the sweet-themed release name – including Pumpkin Pie, Pistachio Ice Cream, Pancake, and Pop-Tart – but so far Google has remained tight-lipped about the final nomenclature. Still, with the number of pre-release betas dwindling ahead of the official launch, we won’t have long to wait. Google has released Android P Beta 3, the latest preview of its upcoming update for Android smartphones. The new release “takes us very close to what you’ll see in the final version of Android P,” according to Google’s Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, which is still on track to be pushed out later in the summer.
Google has quietly launched a new web app called Google Canvas, a tool for drawing directly within a browser. The web app has an interface that resembles Adobe’s mobile drawing apps, including simple tools on the left side of the screen, a blank canvas, and an undo button. The app is free to use and can be launched using Google’s own Chrome browser. Though drawing-based note-taking apps are readily available on mobile devices, they’re less accessible on desktops, often requiring third-party software that disrupts one’s workflow. Google Chrome Canvas offers itself as a solution, making handwritten note-taking and drawing as simple as clicking on a shortcut button.The Canvas tool can be found by visiting “canvas.apps.chrome” — users are prompted to sign in with their Google account, which saves copies of their work. This synced work can be accessed on multiple devices, assuming the same Google account is used.The tools are basic and won’t be replacing any higher end drawing or note-taking app; users get a pen, pencil, marker, charcoal, and an eraser. Drawings can be directly exported as PNG images. As well, users can open an existing image to import into Canvas. The web app worked perfectly with both a mouse and a stylus when tested.AdChoices广告According to Chrome Unboxed, which first spotted the tool, the app is showing up as a pre-installed offering on some Chromebooks using dev channels. Anyone can visit the app by clicking the link above, however. Story TimelineChromebook Family Link continues Google’s Digital Wellbeing thrustSQLite “Magellan” bug affects Chrome-based browsers, thousands of appsGoogle Chrome will soon say “no changing browser history”
SOURCE: Motor1 Early next year Ram will roll out a refreshed version of its popular 1500 truck and recently the prototype of that truck was spied wearing very little camo. The only thing that Ram has taken pains to cover up on the truck was the center of the grille. That grille center appears to be fatter on each end than it is in the middle and overall the truck looks very cool. The nameplate with the truck model and the engine designation is on the side of the hood where you might normally see a hood vent. Typically we expect to see this model designation on the front fender of the truck. While the portion of the grill is covered, most of the front is sans camo giving us a good look at the new truck.The headlights are changed from the previous model but have that signature Ram look to them. The front has lots more chrome overall. It’s not clear at this time if this particular truck is an uplevel version, but we assume it is. Base versions might have more black plastic than chrome. We will have to wait until the truck debuts for more detail on that.The back end of the truck has some significant redesigns going on with revised brake lights and a new tailgate with a chrome handle and more chrome on the bumper. Again it’s unclear of those chrome touches are limited to higher-end models or for all 2019 Ram 1500 trucks.The 2019 Ram 1500 will get an aluminum hood and tailgate with a steel frame carrying over. The 1500 is expected to get official at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show and then go on sale later in 2018.
The Android Q Beta 1 has been released, with Google pushing out the first preview version of its upcoming major Android release. As always, those with Google’s own Pixel phones are first in line to get a taste of the as-yet-unnamed OS upgrade, which is likely to be a centerpiece of the company’s announcements at Google I/O 2019 later this year. It means that owners of a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, or an original Pixel or Pixel XL are able to join the new beta. There’s also a version of Android Q for use with Google’s Android Emulator, allowing developers without a physical device to get started coding for the new OS as well. As always, this is an early version of the code not expected to be released fully until later in the year. However there’s already plenty for developers – and risk-taking early-adopter users – to get their teeth into with the Android Q beta. A considerable focus this time around has been placed on user privacy. For instance, there’s now greater transparency and control for users over the data that individual apps will have access to. There’ll be new limits on access to files in shared external storage, for example, as well as the ability for users to lock down location sharing with an app only when that app is in the foreground. New restrictions have been implemented on what activities can be launched in the background without user interaction, too. Policies around access to device hardware identifiers has been changed, too. That could well limit whether apps can get things like the phone’s IMEI, serial number, MAC address, or other data. Meanwhile, there’s more granular control for users over location privileges around things like WiFi, Bluetooth, telephony, and camera metadata. Other changes in Android Q relate to new form-factors. Devices like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X represent the start of foldables becoming more available, and Android Q will have specific APIs for devices with changeable form-factors. Google had already discussed some of how that would apply to applications, but now developers will be able to test their apps in environments where screen sizes and shapes aren’t fixed, and where transitions between, say, external displays and internal displays are commonplace. There’ll also be new APIs for sharing, connectivity, media, and biometrics. In short, there’s a lot going on here, but it’s primarily being targeted at developers rather than end users. While some of the latter will undoubtedly be interested in trying Android Q out as quickly as possible, the advice is – as always – to run beta code on a non-essential device, just in case. After all, buggy software on your primary phone can be a frustration if you suddenly can’t use it when you need to. Update: You can find the images of the Android Q beta here for flashing manually. Be warned, though: devices flashed manually won’t get OTA updates to later beta releases, or indeed to the final version. Google I/O 2019 is scheduled to take place from May 7 to May 9. SlashGear will be there to bring back all the details of the Android Q updates likely to arrive ahead of the OS’ full release, which – if previous timelines hold true this year – we’re expecting to be released in Q3 2019. Story TimelineAndroid Q features Face ID, app updates rollback, and background location accessAndroid Q Dark Mode could save battery but it won’t matter muchAndroid Q Beta program will include more phones than last year
Alfa Romeo has announced that it has launched its new high-end performance SUV called the Stelvio Quadrifoglio in Asia at Auto China 2018. The new performance SUV is the first to wear the Quadrifoglio badge and is a benchmark in the SUV market. This is the SUV that Alfa used to crush the class record for fastest lap at the Nürburgring. The lap time around that world-famous track was 7 minutes and 51.7 seconds. Power for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is from a 2.9L Bi-turbo V6 engine that makes 510hp (rated for 505hp in the US) and 600Nm torque. That engine was developed with input from Ferrari.Power goes through an 8-speed transmission with special calibrations to allow gear shifts in 150 milliseconds in Race driving mode. Paddle shifters inside the car are integrated into the steering column.Alfa says that the SUV can reach 100 km/h in 3.8 (0-60mph in 3.6 seconds) seconds and has a top speed of 283 km/h (176mph). The engine has cylinder deactivation tech to improve fuel economy and has a sailing function in Advanced Efficiency driving mode.AdChoices广告Power reaches the ground via an all-wheel-drive system with Alfa Active Torque Vectoring as standard. Alfa Active Suspension is also standard. Standard brakes are the Alfa Integrated Brake System and Brembo Carbon-ceramic discs are an option. Pricing is unannounced at this time. SOURCE: FCA
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is a really cool device. But with all its successes, it just doesn’t feel like the finished product yet, never mind the ongoing manufacturing woes. We’re not too sure how many of us can look past its awkward aesthetics or the practicality of carrying a chunky brick of a phone around. You’re getting a lot of phone here, but $2,000 is still a massive asking price. This is certainly still a niche market. If anything, the folding phones of 2019 are a statement that the technology is entirely possible and is deserves development and time. Samsung, along with Huawei and line of manufacturers in line, are making the case for bigger screens in smaller bodies. Multi-tasking, entertainment and – eventually – durability are all compelling reasons why we could do with folding phones. But for now, patience. Snapdragon 855, 12 whopping gigabytes of RAM, the stellar cameras of the Galaxy S phones, and a unique and vibrant screen that’s best in class (when it works, that is) – it’s got everything. This list alone may be reason enough for some of us to pick one up, despite the technology being in its infancy. Imagine the bragging rights.Multi-tasking on steroidsAmongst the long list of cool things Samsung shown off during the Fold showcase, it was multitasking. The large 7.3-inch screen fits up to three applications at once. You can launch an article on one half and use the other half to simultaneously jot down notes and have messages open for quick glances. The Fold effectively uses the luxurious about of screen real estate available and with all the apps open, it feels like very little is put to waste. This is how you do it, iPad. Gaming and entertainmentPlaying games on a phone was never ideal. Stubby fingers get in the way while controlling characters. Words are often difficult to read. Instantaneous access to a massive 7.3-inch display fixes all that. Launch it on the front screen and flip open the Fold to play it in all its big-screen glory. The best part: Your fingers are well out of the way. It also makes a great screen for watching videos and films. Function over styleWhile wow-moments aren’t hard to come by with a device this extravagant, you’ll have to shut an eye when it comes to its appearance. It’s not an elegant execution. Many things about it are not quite balanced. Its front 4.3-inch display looks a little off-centre – not to mention the bezels and the thickness of the device, both of which are large even by 2009’s standards. You’re not going to fit this one into your pocket. Folding the screen inwards has also meant that the phone doesn’t close completely flat. There’s a gap near the fold as if folding a book backwards against the bind. And finally, the crease. Sadly, much like a piece of paper you fold, there’s a subtle crease of pixels down the centre of the screen. While it is possible to rewire your head to ignore it, it doesn’t help the fact that it’s still there. So what’s the point of the Fold? What they didn’t know was removing it would completely ruin the screen. The screen would turn black and become unusable. All the hype and praise received for boldly pioneering the foldable screen technology seemed to have vaporised, replaced with doubt and some degree of cynicism. Admittedly, it seems a little strange that Samsung would set loose a phone with a flimsy protective layer, given the high quality of their product line. The Fold may very well have been pushed out too quickly. AdChoices广告The incident also raises another question: With all that’s gone wrong with the Galaxy Fold, who’s going to want one now? You can bear with the filmIf you thought notches were the point of contention, protective films may just be its successor. We’re not too sure what Samsung are going to do about the flimsy protective layer on their devices. While the news is out that we should not be removing them, there’s little we can do to stop kids from ignorantly peeling them off, wrecking your phone. Samsung’s made a hilarious “don’t touch this button” scenario for themselves.Given Samsung’s typically high level of quality, this film really shouldn’t be here. And if nothing changes before the Fold’s launch on 26 April, it’s going to be something buyers have to overlook – and never, ever remove. You’ve got $2,000 to spareFoldable technology just gave phones another reason to become even more expensive. You could buy a lot of tech with $2,000. High-end laptops, multiple iPads and tablets, maybe even with a spare phone. It’s alarming how far companies can push prices today. You want the latest and greatest of techWith all that said, the Galaxy Fold marks the best of consumer tech today when it comes to specs. Samsung has had better days. After exploding phones, faulty foldable screens were the last thing it could want. From its PR to R&D departments, things must be pretty intense now at Samsung. It genuinely seems like they have a manufacturing crisis on their hands, with multiple tech reviewers reporting similar cases of damaged screens just within this week. The trend of faulty screens seems to centre on users removing the plastic film over the screen, mistaking it as a pre-installed screen protector.
You might not care how you look if the nreal light delivers everything it promises on paper. That includes a 1080 display, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. The mixed reality glasses are also 5G-ready, when 5G does start to roll out. For that purpose, nreal has partnered with major telecoms in the region, including China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, EE, KDDI, KT, LG Uplus, Softbank Corp., andSwisscom.Hardware, however, isn’t enough, even if the company has closely coordinated with Qualcomm. A mixed reality headgear would simply be expensive eyewear if it didn’t have content for it. In addition to providing an SDK (and a more expensive developer kit), nreal has partnered with gaming phone maker Black Shark and VR content publisher NextVR to give the nreal light some meat.As for that price, the nreal light “Consumer Kit” will cost $499 but will only be available in limited quantities for now. A bigger rollout is planned for next year, if the device truly takes off. Developers can also try to grab a developer kit for $1,199 which includes a 3DoF controller and the company’s proprietary computing pack. Oculus Quest this isn’t. While Oculus’ latest headset is, indeed, affordable, the nreal light is more like the Microsoft HoloLens, except at a fraction of the price, size, and weight. If you’re having Google Glass deja vu, you wouldn’t be too far off, except the nreal light looks more like regular sunglasses, which means you’ll still get odd stares when wearing them indoors or at dark places. Computer makers, platform developers, and even Facebook have all been gushing over XR, that new term that embraces virtual, augmented, and mixed reality but many if not all of them have mostly the high-end market in mind. Considering the prohibitive cost of components, few have made their technologies and hardware easily within reach of consumers. At MWC earlier this year, Chinese startup nreal promised a ready to wear and affordable mixed reality headset and it’s now making good on that promise with the nreal light.
The play, pause, and track skip buttons, along with animated playlists and more are all floating icons and graphics, selected by “tapping” them. You can rotate album track listings and then select one with a fingertip, or slide up and down a virtual volume control. While the technology may be complex, VW claims the user experience itself is actually surprisingly straightforward for people to become comfortable with. “Holography is a technology that captivates every user within seconds of trying it out, because holograms are intuitive to use,” the automaker says. “After all, people see and live in three dimensions, so they know how to handle the projected 3D control elements.”There are a few good reasons why the Golf GTI Aurora is a concept and nothing more, mind. For a start, the hologram is currently in the trunk, not floating atop the dashboard as you might expect. The projection system is currently integrated into a module in the luggage compartment.AdChoices广告 That, Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, insists, is actually “compact.” Even so, VW isn’t talking about just how much space it takes up, and the fact that the automaker opted to install its demo hologram in the trunk and not in the cabin leads us to suspect that one of the main reasons it’s not market-ready yet is bulk. Volkswagen is playing the details of the new system close to its chest right now. Indeed, all Mark Möller, Head of Development at Volkswagen Group Components, will say is that it uses “software algorithms and visual technology components,” which is basically tech-talk for “we’re not going to tell you how it works yet.” Whereas other companies have claimed to have made holograms, though, VW says this particular system is both proprietary and patented. As for why you might want a holographic interface at all, one good reason is increasingly complex dashboards. Cars are equal parts geek as they are gear these days, but trying to navigate through the UI required to control all of that can be distracting. Many automakers have responded to that with big touchscreens embedded into their dashboards, but even using those typically requires taking your eyes off the road. A holographic display, in contrast, could not only adjust itself to only show the controls most relevant at the time, but float them further up into the driver’s line of sight. That would potentially mean less time looking away from the road. It also opens the door to potential augmented reality graphics, which could hover atop the dashboard and be linked with the view of the real-world through the windshield. Before anything like that can be offered, though, Volkswagen Group Components has some more work to do. “The holographic system can be realized using technology modules that are already available today; it is no longer just in the realm of science fiction,” Möller says. “However, it will be some time before it can be used in production vehicles.” Exactly how much time, VW isn’t sharing. Story TimelineNew VW Golf teases tech-savvy upgrade in 8th-gen car Volkswagen’s Golf is getting some R2-D2 action, with the Golf GTI Aurora concept debuting a new hologram control system. The floating 3D interface demands no special glasses or screens; instead, it simply shows a set of media controls that hover in mid-air.
Story TimelineGoogle Nest consolidates smart home products under single brandNest Hub Max: Hands-on with this camera-clad displayWorks with Nest transition to Works with Google Assistant explained Due to the low number of users who were controlling their smart thermostats using smartwatches, Google has ended Nest app support for Wear OS and Apple Watch. Google confirmed that the removal was due to only a ‘small number’ of smart thermostat users taking advantage of the support, saying that its team will instead focus their time on voice interactions and the mobile apps. The Nest app’s smartwatch support was simplistic, enabling users to adjust the mode and temperature of their Nest smart thermostat using a Wear OS or Apple Watch instead of pulling out their phone. Whether due to the low number of Nest users who also have a watch or simply a lack of interest from wearable owners, Google has removed that feature.This isn’t a particularly awful loss and — due to the aforementioned low number of users — few Nest customers will miss the support. The same functionality and more remain available in the Nest iOS and Android mobile apps, and Google Assistant remains capable of controlling the thermostat, which provides some Wear OS users with an element of ongoing smartwatch control. Users who attempt to use the smartwatch capability on a Wear OS device now see the message, ‘Nest is no longer supported for Wear OS. Go to the Play Store to uninstall the app.’AdChoices广告The low number of Nest users who were taking advantage of the smartwatch support is somewhat surprising given the extreme convenience of being able to quickly adjust the temperature from one’s wrist. The move underscores the relatively minor role these wearable devices play in the personal gadgets market, one in which consumers still largely center their digital lives around smartphones and, to a lesser degree, tablets.
Governors Urge Feds To Give Them Bigger Health Care Voice This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Democratic and Republican leaders of the National Governors Association asked for greater flexibility from the federal government on health law implementation.CQ HealthBeat: Governors Want A Place At The Table On Health Care PolicyThe Democratic and Republican leaders of the National Governors Association hit hard on health in the organization’s first-ever “State of the States” address on Wednesday, saying that the federal government must be flexible and partner with states as the health care law is implemented. With the overhaul law going into full effect in 2014, attention increasingly will be paid to state decisions on health insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion, insurance rate review and more. At the same time, governors have been pushing for a higher-profile role in many Washington fiscal discussions, including on health care policy (Norman, 1/9).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Governors’ Group Highlights Health Care In 2013 OutlookAs governors gear up to deliver their state-of-the-state addresses later this month, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the National Governors Association spoke Wednesday about the broader policy challenges facing all states in 2013 — and sure enough, health care was among the major issues both mentioned” (Kulkarni, 1/10).
Questions And Answers About Health Insurance Exchanges The Associated Press reports the company operating call centers to help consumers navigate new online insurance marketplaces will add 120 jobs in eastern Iowa as part of a nationwide expansion. Other news outlets answer queries about the cost of insurance in those marketplaces, also called exchanges, which open for enrollment Oct. 1.The Associated Press: Company Adds 120 Jobs For Health Care Law HelpA company that won the federal contract to help customers navigate the Affordable Care Act will add at least 120 jobs at an eastern Iowa call center as part of a nationwide expansion to support the law’s implementation, its vice president said Monday (Foley, 7/1).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Q&A: Buying Your Own Health InsurancePeople have lots of questions today about what will happen to the amount they pay for insurance this fall, when the federal health-care law’s insurance marketplaces open, selling individual policies subject to the new requirements of the law. And we have answers (Radnofsky, 7/1).Kaiser Health News: Income — Not Assets — Will Determine Subsidies In Online Insurance Marketplaces KHN’s consumer columnist Michelle Andrews answers readers’ questions about how income and other assets will affect health insurance choices and responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act, and whether having access to a student health plan will make a person ineligible for subsidized coverage on the exchanges (Andrews, 7/2).Fiscal Times: Healthy Consumers Will Pay More For InsuranceHealthy Americans may see their insurance rates double or triple under the new exchanges set up through Obamacare, while the new law will make health care more affordable for sick consumers, according to a new analysis of rates in eight states by The Wall Street Journal. The Journal says the exchanges aren’t likely going to offer the cut-rate policies healthy people can currently buy. At the same time, many sick consumers who previously faced astronomical premiums may see more affordable plans (Ehley, 7/1).Los Angeles Times: NFL Punts On Obamacare As Officials Draw Up Enrollment Game PlanThe National Football League is taking a pass on promoting Obamacare. Federal and state officials across the country are looking to spread the word about enrollment starting in October for new health insurance exchanges under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Terhune, 7/1). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. A selection of health care news from Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and Iowa.The Washington Post: Virginia’s McDonnell To Propose Funding Hike For Education, Mental Health, Water QualityGov. Robert F. McDonnell will propose a two-year state budget Monday that calls for boosting K-12 education funding by nearly $600 million and pouring millions more into higher education, mental health services, water-quality improvements and homelessness-prevention programs. … The [incoming governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe] hopes to change it profoundly by adding language to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which state House Republicans say won’t get by them (Vozzella, 12/15). Des Moines Register: New Health Care Approach Focuses More On PreventionNorma Vanderpool probably didn’t realize that the pleasant, inquisitive nurse visiting her hospital room last week represented a big change in health care…Burton, who works as a “transition coach” for Mercy, wanted to make sure the patient had everything she needed to prevent another health crisis once she returned home to Indianola (Leys, 12/14).Related, earlier story: In Iowa, Accountable Care Begins To Make A Difference (Gold, 11/21)Miami Herald: Broward Health Commissioner’s Lobbying Gig Raises Some ConcernsWhen Clarence V. McKee quit his commissioner’s seat on the governing board of Broward Health in January, records show he urged his colleagues to keep an eye on consulting contracts doled out by the tax-supported public healthcare system. But less than a month later and without any public discussion by his former colleagues, McKee upgraded his unpaid position to a lobbying contract worth $65,000 courtesy of Broward Health Chief Executive Frank Nask, whose performance the board oversees (Christensen, 12/15).North Carolina Health News: Rural Premium Rates Impacted By Politics LocaleIn this first of a two-part story, N.C. Health News examines how in rural parts of North Carolina, insurance premiums on the federal exchanges are more expensive in rural areas than originally hoped, leaving many without options. … Even as some recount stories of extremely low monthly premiums, others living in rural counties who are ineligible for Medicaid or make too much to qualify for subsidies on the exchange are still wondering how to obtain affordable coverage (Porter-Rockwell, 12/16). State Roundup: Virginia’s New Gov. Wants Medicaid Expansion; Insurance Costs More For N.C. Rural Folks
Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 10, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News It’s a shocking development!The October Revolution, smashing the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front during the Great Patriotic War, the launch of Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova orbiting the Earth—all monumental events not just in Russian history, but it world history. Now, once again, the Russians stride boldly on to the world stage with Ural’s announcement of the world’s first all-electric sidecar rig.More E-Bikes The Mysterious Rumble is an E-Bike With Engine Noises Source: Electric Vehicle News Arc Vector E-Bike To Debut At EICMA 2018 GM Needs Your Help Naming Its New E-Bike Brand Friends, meet the electric Ural cT. Built in cooperation with Zero Motorcycles and ICG, the electric cT is a proof-of-concept vehicle designed to test the viability of an electrically-powered Ural. It features a Zero Z-Force 75-7 brushless electric powerplant that puts down about 60 horsepower and 81 foot-pounds of torque. I had the pleasure of riding this prototype a few weeks ago—a story I’ll be telling soon—and the Ural frame reacts very well to all that power and torque, especially in the lower-slung cT platform.So, why an electric Ural? “We always knew our sidecar is the perfect platform to build an electric motorcycle because it can offer what regular two-wheeled motorcycles don’t: passenger comfort, stability and safety, not to mention more space for batteries”, said Ural President and CEO Ilya Khait. “We’re very happy with the results. At a glance, it’s still a Ural, but the electric bike offers a totally new experience. It’s very easy to control, thanks to a low center of gravity and optimal weight distribution. It’s very stable thanks to its three wheels. It doesn’t have clutch or gear shifter, twisting the throttle is basically all you need to operate the bike. And it accelerates very quickly—for a Ural … Overall it’s a fun and very versatile vehicle that you can use almost like a car”.“Proof of concept was the main goal for this project”, said Ural’s VP of Ops and project manager Jason Rae. “We went through several iterations, searching for the best configuration of the electric powertrain package. One of the main challenges was to find the optimal location for the batteries while maintaining passenger comfort, storage capacity and stability distinctive to Ural sidecars. The bike was tested intensively in real-world conditions—in the rain and snow, on cold and hot days, on the highway and city streets. We accumulated a lot of data that will be used in the next phase of the project. Admittedly I was apprehensive in the beginning that an electric Ural was something worth putting our resources into, but now I’m totally convinced and looking forward to the development of our production intent prototype”.Ural doesn’t have any plans to produce the electric cT just yet. The company will be showing the bike off at the Progressive Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, California, from November 16-18, 2018. It’s also busy arranging demo ride events to get people on the bike and collect feedback. If riders like what they see, and I reckon they will, Ural will move on with the next phase of the project.To learn more about the electric Ural, check out the website here.
Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Thanks to Volkswagen’s former bad habits, Electrify America has $2-billion to invest in EV infrastructure, $800 of that earmarked for California. In order to future-proof its network, EA has wisely divided its investment into four phases. The company is now beginning to announce plans for its second $200-million round of investment in the Golden State, which will be implemented over 30 months, starting in July 2019.One of the first companies to be invited to the next party is EVSE manufacturer Broadband Telecom Power (BTC Power), which has won an EA grant to expedite its production of charging hardware.BTC Power increased its California workforce by 25 percent in 2018, and is expecting another double-digit percentage increase in hiring in the coming years.The company offers a full range of home and commercial charging solutions, including DC fast chargers with power levels from 25 kW to 500 kW, as well as energy management and battery storage systems.“Our EV hardware is so future-forward that only 20 percent of the sales of EVs sold in the next few years will be able to utilize the full capability of the chargers,” said BTC Power CEO Frank Meza. Source: Broadband Telecom Power
Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Hyundai and Kia envision commercializing the AVPS technology with the launch of level 4 autonomous vehicles around 2025. The automakers hope to begin commercializing autonomous vehicles in selected cities in 2021, with a long-term goal of launching fully autonomous vehicles by 2030. Hyundai and Kia have released a video featuring a proposed system that would relocate fully charged EVs from charging stations and allow waiting vehicles to charge.Here’s how the Automated Valet Parking System (AVPS) works: the driver tells the vehicle to charge using a smartphone app, and the vehicle automatically cruises to a vacant wireless charging station. When the vehicle is fully charged, it relocates to another vacant parking space, allowing other vehicles to use the charging spot. When the driver calls for the vehicle, it autonomously returns to the driver’s location.The process is enabled by continuous communication among the vehicle, parking facility, charging system and driver. The parking facility broadcasts the locations of empty parking spaces and charging stations, while the charging system updates the charging status of the vehicles in real time. Source: Hyundai
Watch This Tesla Model 3 Stop Itself To Avoid Horrific Crash: Video Source: Electric Vehicle News Compilation Of Tesla Emergency Braking Predicting Crashes – Video Close callIt appears as though automatic emergency braking has saved another Tesla from a crash.This time around its a Tesla Model X that stops itself (possibly with a bit of extra help from the driver) from impacting a red-light runner.More Emergency Braking Action Jaguar I-Pace Ranks Dead Last In Emergency Braking Test The scenario here is a bit different than that last one though. There’s a chance the driver saw the car coming in this clip. There was no possibility the driver noticed the red-light runner in that previous incident though.The driver himself admits to hitting the brake pedal, but indicates the car began stopping itself first:The car braked hard and I think I joined in too. Split second he was gone and I snapped out…It sure is swell having a car that has eyes all around it that are always on the lookout.Video description:Happened so fast. Idiot ran a red light and almost @38secs and almost took my Model X front end with him.The car braked hard and I think I joined in too. Split second he was gone. I snapped out of it and moved on happy that my day didn’t go sideways. The video was from Tesla autopilot cam so no sound and it’s narrow view, but it doesn’t do justice to show the split second braking and all the things that got thrown forward in the car.Plus Some YouTube Commentary:MotoK tips yes looking left and right as a matter of fact always looking 360 helps while driving in any one direction. And for that day I missed a distant high-speed missile coming from the left, I’m glad I escaped it with the help of AI looking for me.Gotta watch out for those missiles. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 24, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News
Finnish utility company Fortum is working with the city of Oslo and US-based Momentum Dynamics to build a wireless fast-charging infrastructure for taxis in the Norwegian capital.The project aims to install wireless charging using induction technology that can handle power levels up to 75 kW. The company plans to install charging plates in the ground where taxis routinely park.As part of its EV charging program, Charge & Drive, Fortum has worked with the taxi industry to spur electrification of taxis. The company says that, for taxi drivers, finding a charger, plugging in, and waiting is simply too time-consuming. Fortum hopes the wireless fast-charging project will solve this issue.Annika Hoffner, Head of Fortum Charge & Drive, said, “We will install the wireless chargers at taxi stands, such as the one at the Oslo Central Station. Taxis will be able to drive up to the charger and a wireless charging session will automatically start. This allows the taxis to charge in a place where they would anyway be waiting for new customers. The difference is that they won’t be emitting exhaust while waiting, instead they will be receiving renewable energy to charge the taxi’s battery.”Source: Fortum Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine
Source: Charge Forward A recently launched Renault campaign in Bucharest, Romania ties the price of the Zoe electric car to air pollution levels in the city. When pollution levels are higher, the cost of the car drops — all displayed in real-time on a massive digital billboard. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post When air pollution is up, Renault’s electric car prices go down in real-time on this Romanian billboard appeared first on Electrek.
Order Your Copy Strategies For Minimizing Risk Under The FCPA A compliance guide with issue-spotting scenarios, skills exercises and model answers. “This book is a prime example of why corporate compliance professionals and practitioners alike continue to listen to Professor Koehler.” This post highlighted recent criminal charges against former Goldman Sachs employees Roger Ng and Tim Leissner for paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials in connection with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s state-owned and state-controlled investment development company.The question thus arises: what does this mean for Goldman?In both the Ng indictment and Leissner information the DOJ clearly asserts, on several occasions, respondeat superior allegations. In other words, that Ng and Leissner (as well as certain other unindicted co-conspirators at Goldman) were employees and agents of Goldman and while acting within the scope of their employment with the intent, to at least in part, benefit Goldman engaged in various conduct. Moreover, as a result of the conduct, the DOJ alleged that Goldman earned approximately $600 million in fees and revenue.On the other hand, per the DOJ’s own allegations, Ng and Leissner knowingly and willfully circumvented Goldman’s internal FCPA and accounting controls and took various steps to conceal their conduct from others at Goldman including the compliance department.Specifically, the DOJ alleged:“[Goldman’s] various internal FCPA and accounting controls were overseen and enforced by its compliance function (the “Compliance Group”) and its legal department (the “Intelligence Group”). These groups worked in conjunction with, and as part of, various committees in reviewing transactions, including the three 1MDB bond deals, for approval. Leissner, [Ng], Co-Conspirator #4 [an Italian national who was employed as a Participating Managing Director at Goldman from 2007 to the present] and other employees and agents of [Goldman] knew that [Low] played a central role in the bond transactions, including by acting as an intermediary between [Goldman], 1MDB and other Malaysian and Abu Dhabi government officials. Leissner, Co-Conspirator #2 and other employees and agents of [Goldman] also knew that [Low] promised to pay bribes and kickbacks to these officials to secure 1MDB business for [Goldman]. Despite this knowledge, Leissner, Co-Conspirator #2 and other employees and agents of [Goldman] conspired to conceal that and other information from [Goldman’s] Compliance Group and Intelligence Group in order to prevent them from attempting to stop [Goldman’s] from participating in the lucrative transactions.[…]While working on [the various bond offerings], Leissner and Co-Conspirator #2 selectively disclosed to other employees of [Goldman] that they were working with [Low] as an intermediary to secure the deal, because they knew that such disclosure could have triggered steps to be taken by certain personnel within the Compliance Group and Intelligence Group to investigate the business relationship with [Low] and possibly jeopardize the deal.[…]Between in or around September 2009 and in or around March 2011, Leissner and others, including Co-Conspirator #2, supported at least three attempts to make [Low] a formal client of [Goldman]. Leissner and Co-Conspirator #2 supported these efforts because, in part, they believed that [Low] would work to deliver lucrative business deals, including from 1MDB, for the ultimate benefit of [Goldman], Leissner, Co-Conspirator #2 and others. These attempts were unsuccessful because certain personnel within [Goldman’s] Compliance Group and Intelligence Group refused to approve the business relationship with [Low] based, in part, on concerns that they had about the source of [Low’s] wealth. Personnel within the Compliance Group and the Intelligence Group communicated the rejection of [Low’s] application to Leissner, Co-Conspirator #2 and others. Notwithstanding their knowledge of the concerns that had been raised about [Low] not being a suitable client for [Goldman], Leissner and other employees and agents of [Goldman], including Co-Conspirator #2, continued to conspire with [Low] based upon their belief that [Low] would help ensure that government officials within 1MDB, the Malaysian government and Abu Dhabi would deliver lucrative business deals to [Goldman].”Moreover, the DOJ alleged that Leissner and Ng failed to follow other internal Goldman policies and used a portion of the bond proceeds “for their personal use and enjoyment” and otherwise ensured that certain proceeds “would be illegally diverted to themselves.”The above DOJ allegations should matter, both as a matter of law and policy, when it comes to any potential enforcement action against Goldman.But then again, there have been several FCPA enforcement actions (see here and here for instance) against companies based on the conduct of employees who circumvent existing internal controls, conceal their conduct from others at the company, and personally enrich themselves.In its most recent quarterly filing Goldman stated:“The firm has received subpoenas and requests for documents and information from various governmental and regulatory bodies and self-regulatory organizations as part of investigations and reviews relating to financing transactions and other matters involving 1MDB, a sovereign wealth fund in Malaysia. Subsidiaries of the firm acted as arrangers or purchasers of approximately $6.5 billion of debt securities of 1MDB.On November 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed a criminal information and guilty plea by Tim Leissner, a former participating managing director of the firm, and an indictment against Ng Chong Hwa, a former managing director of the firm, and Low Taek Jho. Leissner pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging him with conspiring to launder money and conspiring to violate the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s (FCPA) anti-bribery and internal accounting controls provisions. Low and Ng were charged in a three-count indictment with conspiring to launder money and conspiring to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. Ng was also charged in this indictment with conspiring to violate the FCPA’s internal accounting controls provisions. The charging documents state, among other things, that Leissner and Ng participated in a conspiracy to misappropriate proceeds of the 1MDB offerings for themselves and to pay bribes to various government officials to obtain and retain 1MDB business for the firm. The plea and charging documents indicate that Leissner and Ng knowingly and willfully circumvented the firm’s system of internal accounting controls, in part by repeatedly lying to control personnel and internal committees that reviewed these offerings. The indictment of Ng and Low alleges that the firm’s system of internal accounting controls could be easily circumvented and that the firm’s business culture, particularly in Southeast Asia, at times prioritized consummation of deals ahead of the proper operation of its compliance functions. In addition, an unnamed participating managing director of the firm is alleged to have been aware of the bribery scheme and to have agreed not to disclose this information to the firm’s compliance and control personnel. That employee, who was identified as a co-conspirator, has been put on leave.The firm is cooperating with the DOJ and all other governmental and regulatory investigations relating to 1MDB. The firm is unable to predict the outcome of the DOJ’s investigation. However, any proceedings by the DOJ or other governmental or regulatory authorities could result in the imposition of significant fines, penalties and other sanctions against the firm.”