Apple’s goal with the so-called butterfly keyboard was straightforward: reduce the depth of the keyboard assembly so that it could make a thinner notebook, but still keep the tactile feel of a regular ‘board. The result is a new switch mechanism. The first generation butterfly keys launched on the 12-inch MacBook Retina back in 2015, and then Apple announced a second-generation design in the new MacBook Pro. However, not everybody has been impressed. While opinion was split over whether the keys gave as pleasing a stroke-feel as Apple suggested, more worrying were the growing number of people claiming their keyboards had exhibited faults. Those issues included keys only responding some of the time, sticking completely, or repeating a character even though only pressed once. It’s led to a call from many for a redesign of the keyboards, along with several class-action suits variously demanding Apple replace the whole notebooks with something more reliable. Lending to the frustration has been the cost and process involved in getting an official repair. Unlike Apple’s previous keyboard switches, which could be detached and replaced by users themselves should crumbs or other detritus get lodged underneath, the butterfly mechanism isn’t designed for individual removal. Indeed, even a single faulty key can demand the whole keyboard be replaced. That has to take place at an Apple Store or authorized service provider, too, which means owners have been left without their computer for periods of time. Now Apple is launching the Keyboard Service Program. “Apple has determined that a small percentage of the keyboards in certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors,” the company says, “Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly; Letters or characters do not appear; Key(s) feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner.”Nine models are covered by the program:MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016)MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)“The type of service will be determined after the keyboard is examined and may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard,” Apple says. “The service turn-around time may vary depending upon the type of service and availability of replacement parts.”The repair does not impact or extend the notebook’s warranty, Apple points out, and the program will cover eligible notebooks for four years after the first retail sale of the unit. If there’s existing damage which impacts Apple’s ability to repair the keyboard, that will have to be fixed first; it may involve a fee to do so. Those who have already paid for a keyboard repair may be able to get a refund from Apple. It’s unclear whether Apple is changing the butterfly mechanism in parallel with this new repair program. Reports have suggested that the company is readying a new, 13-inch MacBook with Retina display, that will effectively replace the MacBook Air. That, along with a processor refresh for the MacBook Pro, is expected later in 2018. MacBook Pro and MacBook owners with sticky or unresponsive butterfly keys will get free repairs, Apple has quietly confirmed today. The new Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro is Apple’s first real acknowledgement that some of the low-profile keyboards on its latest notebooks haven’t been quite as successful as initially promised. Story TimelineApple patent details dual-display MacBook with OLED keyboardApple patent reveals MacBook keyboard protected from crumbs and dust
This week the folks at Alcatel released their Alcatel 1 device in the United States. That’s the first Alcatel Android smartphone released in the United States with any build of Android Go onboard. This version of the machine comes with Android Oreo Go edition, and will be available on Amazon exclusively – for now. The Alcatel 1 is just about as basic a smartphone as you’re going to find out in the wild today. The most basic looking, anyway. This smartphone has a 5-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and 960 x 480 pixels across it. That means its relatively low-resolution, but that it’ll probably go quite a while on a single battery charge. Inside this device is an MT6739 SoC, Quad-Core (4 x A53 1.28GHz), and 1GB RAM. There’s 8GB internal storage and a microSD card slot to support up to 32GB more. There’s a 2000mAh battery inside, which normally I’d say is extremely small, but because the display is so low-res and made with LCD tech, I can’t imagine a larger battery is really needed. The back-facing camera on this device is 5-megapixels in size, “interpolated to 8MP” according to Alcatel. It’s fixed focus and can capture up to 1080p video at 30fps. Basically I wouldn’t expect to capture any keepers.The best part about this machine is the fact that it has access to the Go edition of Google Assistant. Supposing you’ve got an internet connection, Google Assistant is one of the most powerful natural voice smart assistants in the world today. And it’s running lightweight here in its most Go-friendly iteration.This device is 137.6 x 65.7 x 9.8mm and weighs in at 134g. Users will be able to choose from a few different colors, all of them “metallic” in nature – black, gold, and blue. This smartphone comes as an unlocked GSM unit and will cost right around $80 USD.I’d recommend you have a peek at some other phones before you drop in on this one. Especially since Android Go is making more smartphones at affordable prices look a whole lot nicer than ever before. If it looks good to you, the Alcatel 1 is available on Amazon right about now for right around $80, contract-free, here in the USA, US Warranty included.SlashGear uses affiliate links, and sometimes if you buy something we’ll get a small percentage of the sale. Story TimelineAlcatel 3V brings a budget 18:9 phone to the USAlcatel 1X serves up Android Go at a super low price next weekAlcatel 1 Android Go budget phone arrives in July with 18:9 displayAlcatel 7 brings a 18:9 phablet to MetroPCS lineup
The X1 Extreme Gen 2 improves an already impressive machine, offering professionals a portable powerhouse with features covering many bases, including security, portability, and durability. Buyers can expect a high level of portability with a weight of only 3.76lbs, as well as excellent durability for on the go needs thanks, in part, to a carbon fiber weave finish.Notable in the second-generation ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is the updated 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processors, GeForce GTX 1650 MaxQ 4GB GDDR5 GPU, and Dolby Atmos speaker system. Joining the new hardware are dual 360-degree far-field microphones, up to 64GB DDR4 memory, and up to a massive 4TB PCIe SSD.This business laptop packs a number of important security features, including a dTPM 2.0 chip, fingerprint reader, and an IR camera that can be used with Windows Hello for facial recognition. The model also includes the ThinkShutter camera cover for blocking the webcam when it’s not in use. Connectivity options will suit the needs of most professionals when they’re away from the office — the laptop features a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports and another pair of USB-A 3.1 ports, plus there’s an SD card reader, WLAN, and WiFi 6. When working at a desk, owners can utilize the Thunderbolt 3 Workstation dock to expand their connectivity options.Other features include a backlit keyboard, optional Lenovo Pen Pro for those who need a stylus, and multiple display options, including a 15.6-inch 4K OLED HDR touchscreen display. Other screen options include a 4K IPS AG HDR panel with 500 nits brightness, a Full HD IPS AG HDR 500 nits panel, and a Full HD IPS AG 300 nits panel. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 will be available starting in July with a base price of $1,499.99 USD. Story TimelineLenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming laptop is made for undercover gamers2019 Lenovo Legion gaming laptop lineup pricing, availability revealedLenovo ThinkPad T495, T495s, and X395 unveiled with AMD Ryzen 7 Pro Lenovo has taken the wraps off its ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 model, revealing an update to 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processors and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with Max-Q design. The system brings everything we love about the ThinkPad X1 lineup, including the classic, durable design, as well an an optional display perfect for graphics professionals.
Now, however, Apple will be taking things one step further, at least in the UK. Today, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority announced that from now on, Apple will alert users when a planned software update is expected to slow their phones.Apple already shows battery health metrics in iOS, but in a statement today, the CMA said that this “locks the firm into formal commitments,” to notify users when software updates may impact performance management. The CMA also notes that if Apple breaches this agreement, it may take action through UK courts, something Apple probably doesn’t want.The CMA says that it initially raised concerns because it feared that people may have tried to repair or replace their phones without knowing that software was to blame for the slowdown in older handsets. By notifying users of potential slowdowns ahead of time, the CMA hopes that consumers will ultimately save money by being able to simply replace their batteries, toggle low-power mode, or avoid the update altogether.So, even though the road that got us here was long and at times infuriating, it seems that at least some good has come out of this discovery that Apple was throttling phones to save battery life. Since Apple reached this agreement with a UK agency, it’s probably safe to assume that we won’t be getting those software update notifications here in the US. Still, Apple may surprise us, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for more information nevertheless. Story TimelineiFixit matches iPhone’s battery discount in Right to Repair fightiPhone battery throttling can be disabled soon, says Tim CookiPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus get throttling “feature” in iOS 12.1 Apple caused quite a stir when it became clear that the company was intentionally slowing some phones to compensate for aging batteries. The fallout from that revelation was rather wide reaching – not only did Apple end up discounting battery replacement charges for many iPhone models for a year, but it also added a toggle to iOS that allows users to decide for themselves if they want their phone’s speed throttled to make up for their worn down batteries.
A memo from Dyson shared this morning put the subject simply. This is a car with “very large wheels” that give “a low rolling resistance and high ground clearance.” In talks this week, Dyson made clear the company’s intent to make certain these wheels weren’t just available, they’d be available in enough abundance that getting a replacement wouldn’t be a hassle for any one Dyson EV owner.The reclined seating position was called out in the memo as a point for efficiency. Reclined seating, said Dyson “would enable a low cabin height and a shallow windscreen angle.” So don’t go expecting to hang on top of the steering wheel like you always do, grandpa.In describing the vehicle, Dyson took into account current trends in electric vehicle design. Some designs take current standard gas-centric vehicles and re-fit and adapt to push electric propulsion. The Dyson vehicle was apparently designed from the ground up as an electric-centric automotive machine. AdChoices广告Transport with electric power, said Dyson, is an opportunity to move forward with “aerodynamic improvements which would improve the energy efficiency of the vehicle.” Current EVs, said Dyson, “miss opportunities for mass-reduction” as well. Dyson currently has an electric vehicle research hub in the United Kingdom. Dyson also announced a Singapore-based manufacturing plant for its first electric car. Current plans remain aimed at showing the first Dyson electric vehicle in 2020, with a release “by 2021.” As Dyson (the company) revealed these images and commentary, James Dyson (the man) revealed he’d had a chat with UK government officials recently. He made his case (for at least the second time, apparently) that the UK’s inevitable ban on petrol-only vehicles should be pushed forward to 2030. Story TimelineA Dyson EV is coming in 2020Dyson electric auto plant announced for SingaporeConsumer Reports pulls recommendation for Dyson stick vacuumsDyson wants gas cars banned by 2030 in UK First announced in 2017, the Dyson electric vehicle range is just today revealed in imagery. As is always the case with patent imagery, the aesthetics you see today may not reflect the final product. However, given that Dyson himself shared the images with the media, we can be pretty sure they’ve got some connection with the shapes and movement of the car aimed at a 2021 release.
Amazon’s ambitions are no secret. It wants to create a system of satellites flying in low Earth orbit or LEO to deliver its services to as many people as possible. It already has the ground infrastructure to make that possible and all it needs is to get those satellites up in the air. Before it does that, however, it needs to get approval from the FCC, which has a few requirements that Amazon is actually asking it to waive. One is that it wants to waive the requirement to provide service to the entire US and all territories, arguing that parts of Alaska are beyond the reach of satellite reception in the far north. That almost makes Bezos’ vision of broadband for all less believable. For a first attempt, however, that might not be so bad.Kuiper Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary, plans to launch 3,236 satellites according to the FCC filing. Those will orbit at 366 to 391 miles above and the first of five phases will see 578 such satellites launched. Who will do the launch, however, is still an open question as Amazon may have some conflict of interest if it uses Bezos private Blue Origins company.AdChoices广告Amazon is hardly the only one eying a space in the sky. Elon Musk’s Space X already made a successful launch of a small batch of its Starlink constellation while OneWeb, Telesat, and LeoSat all have plans to do the same. Suffice it to say, it’s going to be a very crowded night sky soon if the FCC gives all these the green light. The number of Internet users, or at least the devices connecting to the Internet, is growing rapidly, far too quick and too high for our existing systems to accommodate. But while the numbers rise, Internet connectivity remains a luxury or even a dream in some areas of the world. Luminaries and visionaries are looking to the skies for the answer, envisioning constellations of satellites to beam down that precious commodity almost anywhere. Not to be left behind, Amazon has started the process to make its Project Kuiper system a reality to “delight customers.”
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Health Benefits: Different Circumstances For Public- And Private-Sector Workers The Wall Street Journal examines the benefits gap between state and local government employees and their counterparts in the private sector. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Consolidated Edison has reinstated health insurance for New York workers locked out during contract negotiations.The Wall Street Journal: Number Of The Week: Public Workers More Likely To Have Health BenefitsIt’s no secret that public employees tend to get better benefits than their private-sector counterparts. But a new report from the Labor Department this week is still striking in just how wide the gap is. … The starkest contrast, though, is in health care. 73% of state and local government workers—including 83% of full-time workers—receive health benefits through their jobs. In the private sector, barely over half, 51%, of all workers get health benefits, and just under two-thirds, 64%, of full-time workers do. (The statistics only look at the percentage of workers who receive benefits through their employers, not at how many of them are without health insurance altogether.) Statistically speaking, there are two major reasons for the discrepancy. First, public employees are much more likely to be offered benefits than their private-sector counterparts: 99% vs. 86% for full-time employees. Second, public employees are much more likely to accept benefits when given the opportunity (Casselman, 7/14).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Con Ed Reinstates Locked-Out Workers’ Health Insurance, But No Progress In TalksConsolidated Edison has reinstated health insurance for 8,500 locked-out New York utility workers. A Con Ed spokesman said Sunday that negotiations with the Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 will resume Monday as another heat wave is expected to hit New York City (7/15).
Viewpoints: Home Health Workers Need Better Pay; Is There A Better Solution Than Medicaid To Cover Seniors’ Long-Term Care? CNN: Give Better Pay To Home Care Workers[F]or the stay-at-home elderly to have so-called “independent living” they must be highly dependent on the home care aides who look after medication schedules, cook meals, assist with bathing and generally keep them happy and healthy. And yet these workers are anything but well cared for. The vast majority are dreadfully overworked and woefully underpaid. The average hourly wage of a home care worker in the United States is less than $10 (Ai-jen Poo, 9/7). Los Angeles Times: Know The Consequences Of Cutting Medicaid Of the nation’s major social insurance programs, Medicaid tends to be the one that gets the least respect. The reason is not because it’s small — with some 53 million enrollees, the federal-state program is slightly smaller than Social Security but larger than Medicare — but because it serves the poorest and sickest Americans, those with the fewest healthcare options (Michael Hiltzik, 9/9). Bloomberg: Insurance That Would Serve Seniors Better Than Medicaid People who need custodial care often fall back on Medicaid after they’ve used up their own resources and can qualify for the program’s very low income and wealth limits. … Obama’s strategy is preferable to Romney’s in that it would at least preserve the Medicaid safety net for millions who need long-term care. Yet there is another question to consider: Is a welfare program really the best way to provide medical services that so many Americans will someday require? It would be better for people to be insured for this care. Ideally, we would have a program analogous to the Medicare Part D drug benefit or the Medicare Advantage managed-care plan that would help people to buy affordable insurance from private carriers (9/9). Los Angeles Times: Conventions Without Compromise That’s why, in a year when the public’s overriding concern is the economy, so much time at the conventions was devoted to the social issues that both define and divide right and left in America. The Republicans didn’t shy away from talk about restricting abortion and defending traditional marriage, because so much of their base wants that message. The Democrats were a mirror image, defending abortion rights and applauding as Obama reiterated his support for gay marriage. And what didn’t we hear from either side? Talk about getting along, healing divides or working across the aisle to end partisan gridlock (Doyle McManus, 9/8). The Wall Street Journal: The True History Of Simpson-Bowles One of the many ways Paul Ryan scandalized the media-political class in his Tampa convention speech was to criticize President Obama for walking away from the report of his own 2010 deficit commission co-chaired by Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson. How dare the upstart Republican blister Mr. Obama when Mr. Ryan himself refused to endorse the final product! Mr. Ryan even had the impudence to say that Mr. Obama “did exactly nothing” as a result of Simpson-Bowles or Mr. Ryan’s own budget proposals or any others, “nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue” … His real objection at the time was that the Simpson-Bowles Democrats refused to offer an equal trade on spending. Their non-negotiable demand was that ObamaCare was off the table and there could be no structural reforms in Medicare and Medicaid (9/9). The Wall Street Journal: The FDA’s New Cigarette Labels Go Up In Smoke Ever since 2009, when Congress gave the Food and Drug Administration oversight of the tobacco industry, the agency has regularly updated its notorious “smoking kills” labels with a fresh gallery of horrors. Most recently it pushed for full-color images of diseased lungs, cancerous mouths, corpses, and smoke billowing from a hole in a man’s neck (Mark Joseph Stern, 9/9). Kansas City Star: Governor’s Veto Of Missouri Abortion Bill Should Stand On Wednesday, the Missouri General Assembly will convene for its annual veto session. One of the issues before us will be whether to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 749. Senate Bill 749 purports to be legislation to protect the right of people, churches, health care providers and employers who do not want to pay for pay for contraception or abortions when to do so would be contrary to their religious or moral belief. The veto override decision is being characterized as a fight to protect religious liberties. This characterization is false. Missouri law already prevents any employer, individual or self-insurer from having to pay for contraception when it is contrary to their religious or moral belief (State Rep. Chris Kelly, 9/9). Minneapolis Star Tribune: A Promising Medical Marriage The recent marriage announcement by Park Nicollet and HealthPartners is a promising example of how regional health institutions have the freedom to attack the problem of delivering better care at better prices and find pioneering ways to forge ahead in a rapidly changing health care landscape. … “If anybody can pull something like this off, it may be these two organizations,” said Lawton R. Burns, a health care management professor with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. What’s less clear, however, is the pocketbook benefit to consumers over the long term, according to Burns and other experts (9/9). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Big tests await the health law, including whether premiums and other consumer costs can be held down in the face of pent up demand and also the GOP’s continuing efforts to sabotage or repeal it heading into the midterm elections. The Associated Press: 7M Enrolled Doesn’t Guarantee Health Law’s SuccessBig challenges are lurking for the next enrollment season, which starts Nov. 15. Chief among them are keeping premiums and other consumer costs in check, and overhauling an enrollment process that was advertised as customer-friendly but turned out to be an ordeal. … The source of the pent-up demand that propelled health care sign-ups beyond expectations could stem from the nation’s new economic reality: a shrinking middle class and many working people treading water in low-paying jobs. Health insurance has been one of the pillars of middle-class security for decades. With fewer jobs these days that provide health benefits, there was an opening for a government program to subsidize private insurance (Alonso-Zaldivar, 4/5).Politico: Obama’s Challenge: Don’t Blow ItObama’s got a history of watching his victories slip away before fully capitalizing on them. Last year alone, his reelection bump disappeared into a triple whammy of low-grade spring scandals. Then, all the goodwill he had coming out of the government shutdown was eclipsed by the devastating HealthCare.gov rollout. Not only does this give him a chance to show that he and his party actually can be trusted to run government and a shot at reclaiming the narrative of his presidency, it comes just in time for the midterm elections that will determine his party’s fate in 2014 — and his own over the next three years (Dovere, 4/6). NPR: With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political TrialPresident Obama and his supporters had a rare opportunity to celebrate this week. A last-minute surge in people signing up for health insurance sent the total government enrollment figures over the seven-million mark. That number seemed out of reach just a few months ago, when a crash-prone website threatened to undermine the president’s signature health care law. Republicans are still bent on repealing the law, but now millions more Americans have a stake in Obamacare’s survival (Horsley, 4/5). ABC News: Obamacare: What Could Go Wrong Next?After an unprecedented, last-minute surge, the Affordable Care Act open-enrollment period closed last week, topping out at more than 7 million enrollees. But even as a triumphant White House celebrated surpassing its enrollment goal, Republican strategists were downplaying its significance. Though Obamacare undoubtedly hit a major milestone March 31, the path ahead could still be a rocky one. Here’s a look at the challenges that remain for the president’s signature health care reform law (Dooley, 4/7). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Despite Hitting 7M, Obamacare Faces Plenty Of Challenges
U.S. stocks surge in best rally since March 2009 The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 1,050 points for its biggest-ever point gain and the Nasdaq 100 rallied 6 per cent Facebook Bloomberg News Comment Share this storyU.S. stocks surge in best rally since March 2009 Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn ← Previous Next → December 26, 20186:14 PM EST Filed under News More Reddit Twitter Jeremy Herron and Vildana Hajric Email Featured Stories Join the conversation → Traders exchange high fives before the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Dec. 26, 2018.Richard Drew/AP What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Sponsored By: advertisement 0 Comments Recommended For YouICE Futures Canada quotes and cash pricesWall Street rises as Fed’s Williams bolsters rate-cut hopesMexican Energy Minister says planned Dos Bocas refinery project is irreversibleNew York awards offshore wind contracts as governor signs climate billCotton falls on poor export sales, strong crop expectations U.S. stocks staged one of the biggest rallies of the 9 1/2 year bull market after coming within points of seeing it end, with major indexes surging at least 4.9 per cent. Crude jumped almost 10 per cent. Canadian markets were closed Wednesday, Boxing Day.All but one member of the S&P 500 finished in the green, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 1,050 points for its biggest-ever point gain and the Nasdaq 100 rallied 6 per cent in a surge last seen in March 2009. Small caps joined the rally with a 5 percent advance.Consumer shares paced the rally, with Amazon jumping 9.5 per cent after reporting record holiday sales. Each member of the FAANG cohort rallied at least 6.4 per cent, while energy producers surged as crude powered past US$46 a barrel. All 30 Dow members gained, with Nike and Apple rising more than 7 percent. Newmont Mining was the only S&P 500 member to fall.“It was probably a pretty good retail-oriented holiday and that probably has a lot to do with what’s happening today,” said Kim Forrest, a senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital Group.President Donald Trump said a day earlier that the rout that took stocks down 19.8 per cent from a record provided a “tremendous opportunity to buy.” Investors also welcomed assurances by Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, that Jerome Powell’s job is “100 per cent” safe. Oil’s best rally since 2016 added to the equity surge. Stocks are looking to stop one of the most miserable Decembers on record, as a host of headwinds combined to drag down America’s benchmark index.A reminder that consumers — a key part of the American economy — remain on solid footing helped soothe anxiety created by fears of a global slowdown and personnel churn in the U.S. administration. A late report that a U.S. government delegation will travel to Beijing in two weeks to hold trade talks gave stocks a final push higher.“The thing that the Fed chairman won’t be axed, that has a lot to do with everyone being happy Powell gets to keep his job and that the turmoil about this has abated for today,” Forrest said. “You have the market leaning one way or the other, and it can often do what it’s doing today, which is go higher. On Monday the market leaned lower. It’s an outsize move.”Hassett was the latest government official to try to calm the markets after Bloomberg’s report Friday that President Donald Trump asked about firing Powell. Steven Mnuchin was criticized for saying he called bank chiefs to gauge liquidity. Trump expressed confidence in Mnuchin on Tuesday.Crude surged, the greenback was stronger versus its major peers and Treasuries fell. Exchanges throughout Europe remained closed for the holiday.Elsewhere on Wednesday, Japanese equities closed higher on a wave of late buying after fluctuating throughout the day. Korean shares tumbled after a holiday, and Shanghai stocks fell for a second day. Markets in Australia and Hong Kong were closed.West Texas Intermediate crude rebounded to trade above US$44 a barrel. The offshore yuan was little changed after China released new rules promising to treat all companies equally, the latest positive step on the trade and investment front since further U.S. and Chinese tariff hikes were paused.“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the short-term and that makes sense,” Gershon Distenfeld, AllianceBernstein co-head of fixed income, said on Bloomberg TV. “We’re going to have a lot of volatility. But this base case of ‘the world is coming to an end’ just given the fundamental data out there doesn’t make any sense.”
SNC-Lavalin CEO says job losses were never cited in push for remediation agreement Neil Bruce says if SNC is barred from bidding on federal contracts here at home its workers would end up working for company’s foreign rivals Share this storySNC-Lavalin CEO says job losses were never cited in push for remediation agreement Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn ← Previous Next → Ross Marowits Join the conversation → 13 Comments March 20, 20193:07 PM EDT Filed under News Featured Stories What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Twitter Reddit SNC-Lavalin CEO Neil Bruce.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press advertisement The Canadian Press Sponsored By: More TORONTO — The chief executive of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. says he never cited the protection of 9,000 Canadian jobs as a reason it should be granted a remediation agreement to avoid a criminal trial on allegations the company paid millions of dollars in bribes to obtain government business in Libya.In an interview with The Canadian Press, Neil Bruce said Wednesday if the engineering firm is convicted and barred from bidding on federal contracts here at home its workers would end up working for the Montreal-based company’s foreign rivals.“There would be a reduction with us but these are talented folks. They’ll get a job,” Bruce said.“This thing that somehow they’re going to be unemployed is not true because they are highly qualified, highly experienced people.” How SNC-Lavalin became a stock only an analyst could love Canada’s real corruption scandal: How Ottawa bungled a flawed OECD code and triggered the SNC crisis Why Trudeau’s excuse that he’s protecting SNC-Lavalin ‘jobs’ is total baloney Bruce’s comments come as a political storm in Ottawa continues over allegations that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his senior staff and others improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to end a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.Trudeau and his staff have said their only concern was for SNC-Lavalin’s 9,000 jobs, which might be at risk if the company were convicted and then barred from bidding on federal contracts for up to 10 years The affair has so far cost Trudeau two cabinet ministers, his principal secretary and the country’s top public servant, although he continues to insist no one did anything wrong.Bruce said about 75 per cent of the company’s rivals have concluded deferred prosecution agreements in their host countries and are free to work in Canada.Meanwhile, Bruce said he still doesn’t know why the director of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould were not open to granting a remediation agreement.He said SNC-Lavalin employees feel bruised and battered by the last six weeks since a report surfaced that government officials pressured the former attorney general to grant the company a deferred prosecution agreement.“And I think fundamentally that’s unfair on our employees who had nothing to do with what went on seven to 20 years ago.”While he’s not surprised that politicians would make hay out of this issue during an election year, Bruce said he’s concerned that policy-makers haven’t been as willing as other countries to defend home-grown companies and their workers.He said there’s no plans to move the company’s headquarters from Montreal, adding competitors are envious of its shareholder base that is 82 per cent Canadian and led by the Caisse de depot which has helped fund its acquisition of British engineering firm Atkins.“We see ourselves as Team Canada. We are a global champion, one of few. There’s not many and we’re proud to be Canadian.” Comment Email Facebook
May 27, 20197:44 AM EDT Filed under News Economy What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation US President Donald Trump, left, and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito attend a state banquet at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Monday.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images Join the conversation → Comment Bloomberg News Facebook Twitter Recommended For YouMDA, a Maxar Company, Announces Successful Launch of Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation MissionOrganigram Reports Third Quarter Fiscal 2019 ResultsCanadians lose trust in Facebook as it battles privacy watchdogsVarcoe: Kenney orders ‘full review’ of AER amid controversies at energy regulatorCanada’s Trudeau says Trump spoke to China about two detained Canadians Email Share this storyU.S. ‘not ready’ to make a trade deal with China, Trump says Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn More Shannon Pettypiece and Iain Marlow Reddit U.S. ‘not ready’ to make a trade deal with China, Trump says American tariffs on Chinese goods ‘could go up very, very substantially, very easily’ Featured Stories 3 Comments Sponsored By: ← Previous Next → advertisement The U.S. isn’t ready to make a trade deal with China, President Donald Trump said while on a state visit to Japan.“I think they probably wish they made the deal that they had on the table before they tried to renegotiate it,” Trump said Monday at a joint press conference in Tokyo alongside Japanese leader Shinzo Abe. “They would like to make a deal. We’re not ready to make a deal.”Trump said American tariffs on Chinese goods “could go up very, very substantially, very easily.” His comments came after trade talks between the two countries stalled earlier this month. Each side has since blamed the other, and Trump has threatened billions more in tariffs.Trump said businesses were leaving China for countries without tariffs, including the U.S. and Asian neighbours including Japan. Still, he also expressed optimism that the world’s biggest economies would eventually reach an agreement.“I think sometime in the future China and the United States will absolutely have a great trade deal, and we look forward to that,” Trump said. “Because I don’t believe that China can continue to pay these, really, hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs. I don’t believe they can do that.”New RhetoricRelated Stories:UPDATE 4-Trump says trade deal ‘possible’ with China’s Xi, tariffs could be lowerWRAPUP 2-‘Back on track’: China and U.S. agree to restart trade talksRPT-REFILE-WRAPUP 2-U.S. hopes to re-launch China trade talks, will not accept conditions on tariffsFor some time, the U.S. “has had various voices on China-U.S. trade talks. Sometimes it is said that an agreement will be reached soon, and sometimes that it is difficult to reach an agreement,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in Beijing Monday when asked about Trump’s comments.“In the same period of time, China’s position has always been the same,” Lu said. “China has always believed that the differences between any two countries should of course be resolved through friendly consultations and negotiations.”Over the weekend, China pushed back at the perception that Trump’s tariffs are hurting its economy.Higher tariffs will have a “very limited” impact, and would hurt the U.S. about as much, according to Guo Shuqing, head of China’s banking and insurance regulator. Guo is the highest-ranking Chinese financial official to publicly comment on the trade standoff since talks deteriorated.A commentary published by the official Xinhua News Agency accused the U.S. of “scapegoating” China for its trade imbalance and even some domestic economic issues, as Chinese state media urges unified resistance to foreign pressure.“The United States is attempting to squeeze an unequal trade deal out of China, using measures such as tariff hikes and targeting its tech companies,” it said, while praising Beijing’s “utmost sincerity” in the negotiations.China has escalated its anti-U.S. discourse since the talks faltered and Trump blacklisted Huawei Technologies Co. and scores of its affiliates earlier this month in a bid to stymie its access to the U.S. market. His administration is considering restrictions on as many as five other Chinese tech companies.With assistance from Dandan LiBloomberg.com
Oliver Turvey is among the drivers Nissan e.dams is in talks with for the 2018/19 Formula E season, but team boss Jean-Paul Driot says “any possible drivers” are being considered.Nissan has taken over from Renault as the FE manufacturer partner to Driot’s e.dams squad ahead of the 2018/19 championship, with Nico Prost leaving the team at the end of the season four.More From Formula E Audi Surprised By Formula E Team Win Source: Electric Vehicle News It had been understood that Sebastien Buemi, who has raced with the team since the inaugural FE campaign in 2014/15, had a contract for season five, but the situation is less clear approaching the start of the new championship.There has been speculation that Nissan could opt to place one of its contracted factory drivers with the squad, while established FE racers are also understood to be under consideration.“We will take the decision during the course of September and so we will make an announcement by the end of September,” Driot told Motorsport.com. “We will make a full announcement, with both drivers.“We have looked at any possible drivers that we think have the capability of doing the job – that’s it.“Because we need to open our eyes to see who is available – [and] we have been discussing with some drivers, with their contracts.“But it’s also in discussion with Nissan – it’s a new partner so it takes a little bit more time.”NIO driver Turvey, who finished 10th in the 2017/18 season, has been linked to a Nissan e.dams switch.Asked if the 31-year-old Briton was still under consideration, Driot replied: “We spoke with Oliver Turvey, yeah, we are speaking with him.“We have not taken a decision yet.”Buemi races for Toyota in the World Endurance Championship and it has been suggested this could complicate his arrangement with e.dams now Nissan has come on board.Although Buemi is widely expected to continue with the team as per the contact he signed ahead of the Berlin round of the 2016/17 season, Prost was also given a contract that covered season five before he left the squad.When asked if Buemi is going to be one of the two drivers announced ahead of season five official group testing getting under way on October 16-19, Driot said: “We are still in discussions.” Filippi Expects To Keep NIO Formula E Seat Despite “Horrible” Season Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 7, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Formula E To Add New “Extreme E” SUV Racing Series
Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 28, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News The compact, single-rotor engine sounds exactly like revived rotary that a Mazda exec is teasing.A new patent from Mazda has the Japanese automaker describing a way to mount a rotary engine on its side for better packaging as an electric vehicle’s range extender. The company registered for the patent in Japan on August 31, 2018, and the Japan Patent Office published it on September 19, 2018.The way Mazda sees it, the Wankel rotary engine‘s compact size is perfect to function as a range-extender. For even better packaging, the company wants to mount the powerplant horizontally under the rear cargo floor. However, an inherent issue with the Wankel is that it requires a small amount of oil injection into the combustion chamber in order to lubricate the spinning rotor. This patent describes what Mazda’s engineers believe is the best way to orient the oil injector for this layout.The engineers create an angled, L-shaped passage for the oil injector (see the figures 31, 31a, 80, 81, and 82 in the image below). From this position, the lubrication shoots down diagonally (figure 88) and covers the entire inner wall (figure 64) of the combustion chamber to grease the corner of the rotor as it moves past.Mazda says that putting the oil injector at the top of the chamber and have it shoot downward would also work. However, this setup would make the powerplant longer vertically, which is what the company is trying to avoid so as to maximize rear cargo space.In March 2018, Martijn ten Brink, Vice President of Sales and Customer Service for Europe, confirmed that the company intended to revive the rotary as an optional range extender for an upcoming vehicle. Like the powerplant described in this patent, ten Brink said the engine had a single-rotor layout and no turbocharger. He indicated the mill would sit as low as possible for a better center of gravity and be “as big as a shoebox.”Source: Japan Patent Office via Ipforce via T’s Media
Source: Charge Forward The new car sales numbers for September from Norway are in and the country, which is already known for spearheading electrification, is reaching new levels of electric domination and low emission average. more…The post Electric vehicle sales achieve new record in Norway with 45% of new cars being all-electric and 74% plug-in appeared first on Electrek.
Published on the What’s Inside? Family YouTube channel, the footage features an awesome opening sequence — seriously better than any number of actual commercials we’ve seen — before getting down to business and heading out on the highway. With Mercedes engineer Bastian Schult behind the wheel, our host brings us on his ride-along and fills us in on a few details about the car.We start off learning about the various regen levels. Apparently, the EQC features four different regenerative braking modes. One, called “sailing,” basically removes regen, allowing the vehicle better coasting abilities. This is most handy for freeway driving. The next level gives you a light amount of regen. This is meant to mimic gas-powered vehicles with automatic transmissions. The third level will probably be the most popular for most EV drivers. Called “one pedal,” it allows you to drive using the accelerator pedal almost exclusively. Push down to go, let off to stop.Schult demonstrates its effectiveness by stopping the vehicle using only the accelerator. Or “un-using” it, as the case may be. Of course, for quick stops brakes will still need to be applied, but the setup appears quite effective and owners may see their brake pads last a long, long time.The fourth regen setting is pretty interesting. It’s called “auto” and, just like it sounds, it automatically adjusts the amount of regen being produced according to conditions. Among other things, the car uses map data to take hill descents or upcoming intersections into consideration. Sounds like something we’d love to check out and see how “smart” this car really is.Sport mode also gets a tryout and the Mercedes makes good use of its 402 horsepower to take off in a similar fashion to a Tesla Model X 100D. The official 0-to-60 miles-per-hour digits are 4.9 seconds, which is a pretty great number for a vehicle of this size. Its launching ability is said to also be quite effective once underway as well, which should help with traffic merging.Back when the Mercedes EQC first debuted, there was some confusion as to its official range. While the communications department is still using the overly-optimistic NEDC figure of 279 miles, Schult discusses a recent California road trip that saw the car indicate something closer to 230 or so miles. This puts it in the same neighborhood as its competitors from Jaguar and Audi.Overall, it’s a great video and worth the six-minute time investment. It’s interesting to see the ginormous screen the vehicle uses as its primary display. It appears a little better integrated than the original concept vehicle, though we suspect it may still take a bit of getting used to. In any case, if you haven’t already, scroll up and hit play. And, enjoy! Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 10, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News Mercedes-Benz EQC Seems Quite Quick At Nürburgring: Video Stuttgart/Las Vegas – At CES 2019 in Las Vegas the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle from the EQ brand is celebrating its U.S. premiere. The EQC symbolizes the beginning of a new mobility era at Daimler. With its seamless, clear design and color highlights typical of the brand, it is a pioneer for an avant-garde electric look while representing the design idiom of Progressive Luxury. With respect to quality, safety and comfort the EQC is the Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles, and highly convincing in the sum of its attributes. These elements are accompanied by dynamic performance, thanks to two electric motors at the front and rear axles with a combined output of 402 hp. Thanks to an ingenious operation strategy, the EQC has a preliminary estimated range of 450 kilometers (279 miles) according to the European cycle NEDC. EQ also offers comprehensive services with Mercedes me connect, which makes electric mobility convenient and suitable for everyday driving. The EQC will celebrate its U.S. Premiere at CES in Las Vegas in January and will go on sale in the U.S. in 2020. Detour through the desert.The Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC, to use its full name, has come to America. No, the all-electric SUV isn’t already appearing in showrooms on our shores — that’s only set to happen in 2020, at least six months after it’s unleashed in Europe. What it is doing is drumming up publicity, this time at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Fortunately for some members of the media (look for our write up soon), the good folks at the German automaker decided to allow ride alongs in some very picturesque desert areas outside Sin City and this video (above) is the first fruit of that expedition.More on the Mercedes EQC 400 4MATIC Mercedes-Benz EQC: Drive Silently, Celebrate Loudly In Song: Video Jay Leno Drives Mercedes-Benz EQC Electric SUV: Video
Source: Charge Forward Mercedes-Benz, through its parent company Daimler, announced today that it will build a new “battery factory” in Poland, but it will not build any battery cells – only battery packs. more…The post Mercedes-Benz announces new battery factory in Poland – but no battery cells appeared first on Electrek.
New Kia Soul EV Is Full Of Electric Soul: Photos & Videos Source: Electric Vehicle News 20 photos Source: The Car Guide The Car Guide was recently given the opportunity to take the 64 kWh model for a full day test drive. The publication took the vehicle when it was 98 percent charged, with the display estimating 399 kilometres (248 miles) of range. This lines up well with the official EPA rating of 243 miles.Reviewer Gabriel Gélinas says “At the end of the day, the 2020 Kia Soul EV puts range anxiety issues to rest with its larger 64-kWh battery (…) It’s perfectly suited to hauling passengers and would actually make a great taxi.”The Soul EV is peppy at 201 hp and 291 lb-feet of torque. There is no shortage of power for navigating heavy traffic and merging or passing at highway speeds. One pedal driving can be activated as one of four regenerative braking modes.Charging is mostly typical for this type of vehicle. A completely depleted battery can be recharged at home in 9.5 hours with a Level 2 EVSE. On the road, the Soul EV can reach 80 percent charge in 75 minutes at a 50 kW fast charger. More exciting is the ability to utilize newer 100 kW stations for a 54 minute charge time.Kia Soul EV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto ShowThe Soul EV is lacking in the handling and ride quality categories.Gabriel says not all is perfect with the Soul EV:On twisty roads, the car’s weight (1,682 kilograms) directly affects handling. What’s more, steering is fairly light and lacks feedback. (…) Like most electric vehicles, which carry more weight than comparable gasoline-powered models, the 2020 Kia Soul EV struggles at times with bumps and other road imperfections, compromising ride quality.Thankfully, the interior is comfortable despite the large pack size. The vehicle’s rear seats offer passengers plenty of leg room. Although cargo capacity is lower than the gas powered model at 315 liters (~11 cubic feet) or 1339 liters (~47 cubic feet) with the rear seat folded down.Of course the main issue for many North Americans will simply be finding the vehicle at a dealership. Kia and Hyundai have failed to adequately stock their electric offerings like the Niro EV in the United States. Hopefully this trend changes following the launch of the 2020 Soul EV.To read the full test drive, check out the link below.2020 Kia Soul EV The 2020 Soul EV aims for efficiency rather than excitement.The 2020 Kia Soul EV was unveiled only a few months ago, but the upgraded model is getting close to launch. The South Korean automaker has made several major improvements over the first generation Soul EV. The most obvious is the drastically improved range.The 2020 Soul EV will arrive with 2 battery pack sizes globally. The short range model sports a 39.2 kWh battery. Unfortunately for budget buyers, that version will not be made available in the United States. Only the long range 64 kWh version will be available here.More About the Kia Soul EV New Kia Soul EV Gets Tested By Autocar With Mostly Positive Results New Kia Soul EV Rendered As Monster 6×6 Off-Roader Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 9, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News
The UK’s Committee on Climate Change has released its anticipated report, and it’s recommending a new goal — net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8COKnXNH-EThe post UK urged to aim for net zero emissions by 2050 after declaring ‘climate emergency’ appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
The 20 most popular CleanTechnica articles of May are in a list below. First, though, I’ll highlight some of my favorites. Well, the #1 story on the top 20 is also perhaps my favorite, but I wrote it, so I’m biased. It is a cost comparison between the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus and several Honda Accord trims. Guess who winsSource: CleanTechnica Car Reviews RSS Feed