No Mandap or Baraat Sonam Kapoor is Attending a Rather Unconventional Wedding

first_imgSonam Kapoor might have gone full blown Bollywood with her wedding about a year ago, this wedding she is attending in London is nothing like that. The actress, who recently celebrated one year of her big fat Indian wedding, is currently in London attending her cousin Priya Singh’s nuptials. Sonam, along with the extended family, jetted off to London for the eclectic summer wedding, which had none of the elaborate Indian rituals. Sonam shared pretty pictures from the occasion, which give a glimpse into the unique celebrations. The departure from tradition began with the bride’s ensemble — a printed gown worn with a biker jacket to deal with the slight nip in the air – no lehengas and elaborate choodas here. Pretty prints and dainty sunglasses seemed to be the dress code for this day wedding. But Sonam decided to step away from the busy prints to turn up in a monochrome ensemble – a white dress by British designer Emilia Wickstead with a mid-length cape, reported Vogue. She accessorised it quite the Victorian way as well – a pair of black gloves, a fascinator by Philip Treacy and a mini bag by Dior. The wedding venue was no regular mandap, it was a public park in Kensington called Holland Park. The wedding was a breezy celebration with no sign of the usual long drawn out baraat or a ceremony that goes on for hours. Seen along with Sonam and husband Anand Ahuja were sister Rhea Kapoor, accompanied by boyfriend Karan Boolani, father Anil Kapoor, mother Sunita Kapoor, her elder sister Kavita Bhambani Singh, her daughters Priya and Nandini Singh, and the groom, Ranbir Batra, among other family members.For the pre-party, Sonam turned up in a printed ensemble in hues of black and gold from Sabyasachi’s latest collection. Take a look: Follow @News18Movies for more center_img anand ahuja sonam kapoorAnil KapoorlondonRhea Kapoor Sonam Kapoor First Published: May 29, 2019, 7:21 AM ISTlast_img read more

Disha Patani Enjoys Movies Night with Special Date Keety See Pics

first_img Earlier, Disha posted an image to her Instagram stories that shows her dog Bella jumping around to catch Disha’s attention, as she plays with Keety. In the photo, we can see Disha holding her cat close to her while Bella can be seen climbing onto Disha from behind. Disha shared the picture and wrote over it, “Jealous Bella,” while also accompanying it with a laughing emoji. Read: Jealous Much? Disha Patani Asks Her Dog Bella As She Pets Her Cat KeetyOn the movies front, Disha is fresh off the success of her film Bharat, which has Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in lead roles. Disha plays the role of a circus performer in the film and is receiving love for her agility and her dance moves in the song Slow Motion.Next, she has Mohit Suri’s Malang lined up, releasing on February 2020. Her personal equation with rumoured boyfriend Tiger Shroff is also gaining traction in media news. While some claim that they have parted ways, others say that they are going strong. Both Tiger and Disha have never confirmed dating each other.Follow @News18Movies for more If one has been on Disha Patani’s social media handles, they will realise that she is an ardent pet lover. The Bharat actress has both cats and dogs at her place and recently also welcomed another cat to her family on the occasion of her 26th birthday. She got herself a furry cat and named her Keety, leaving the lot of pets she already has craving and fighting for her affection.Recently, Disha posted a small video on her Instagram stories, where she can be seen enjoying movies night with Keety. In the video, Keety can be seen sitting near Disha’s laptop, while film’s dialogues play in the background. Disha wrote over the adorable video, “She likes movies too.” See Disha’s pic with Keety here:Screenshot from Disha Patani’s Instagram cat videosDisha pataniDisha Patani cat videosDisha Patani films First Published: July 12, 2019, 3:01 PM ISTlast_img read more

On Day 1 of Mumbai Illegal Parking Penalty 56 Vehicles Towed Nine

first_img Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporationmumbai parkingMumbai trafficMumbai traffic police First Published: July 7, 2019, 9:22 PM IST Mumbai: At least 56 vehicles were towed on Sunday on the first day of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation imposing hefty fines for illegal parking within a 500-meter radius of 26 authorised public parking lots, officials said.The fines range from Rs 5,000 for two-wheelers to Rs 15,000 for heavy vehicles, and the total amount could go up to Rs 23,250 in case late payment penalties are invoked, an official said. Of the 56 vehicles towed on Sunday, owners of nine cars paid a fine of Rs 10,000 each and got their vehicles released, he said.The rest 47 will have to pay late payment penalty, he added.The official said the patronage of public parking lots had increased after civic action began on Sunday, including one facility which saw 255 cars over and above its capacity. last_img read more

Congress Suspends Karnatakas Seventime MLA Roshan Baig for AntiParty Activities

first_img congressDinesh Gundu RaoKarnataka CongressKPCC First Published: June 18, 2019, 11:15 PM IST Bengaluru: The Congress Tuesday suspended rebel MLA R Roshan Baig from the party with immediate effect for “anti-party” activities.”All India Congress Committee has approved the proposal sent by KPCC to take action against R Roshan Baig, MLA on account of his anti-party activities,” the state Congress said in a release. “He has been suspended from the party with immediate effect, on the basis of inquiry conducted on this matter,” it said.Hitting out at Congress leaders for the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha polls, Baig, a MLA from Shivajinagar, had recently held Siddaramaiah’s “arrogance” and KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao’s “immaturity” responsible for the “flop show.”He also called AICC general secretary KC Venugopal a “buffoon.” He had also dropped hints of quitting the party, and appealed to Muslims to “compromise” with the situation, on NDA returning to power.The Karnataka PCC had issued a show cause notice to Baig for his conduct, to which he has not responded, according to sources.Earlier in the day, KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao had said Baig’s alleged links with IMA jewels involved in an alleged financial fraud, duping thousands of investors, would be brought to the notice of central leadership for further action.Revenue minister R V Deshpande Monday said Baig had introduced the firm’s owner Mohammed Mansoor Khan to him about two months ago but denied doing any undue favour.Baig, a seven-time MLA and a former minister, has been expressing displeasure against the Congress party leadership on not being included in the coalition cabinet headed by HD Kumaraswamy. last_img read more

AOC unveils 16″ portable USB 30 monitor

first_imgAOC has unveiled a new 16-inch monitor with the model number I1659FWUX. This model is notable because of its portable nature — the display is powered by and connects to PCs via USB 3.0, making it a relatively hassle-free display for computing needs. The display has a built-in hinged stand that allows it to be stored when not in use and placed on a desk when needed. The stand supports both landscape and portrait orientations. Usage scenarios for a portable display are likely limited but not unheard of. One obvious scenario is portable use with a miniature computing device such as a so-called PC stick. Someone living in an RV or similarly small space may be interested in such a device, as well as anyone who chooses to use this computing arrangement rather than an ordinary laptop. Just as well, the display could be suitable for any laptop user who, on occasion, wants to expand their screen real estate without dedicating space to a regular monitor.Regardless of why you may use it, the AOC 16-inch monitor features a Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS panel with a 160-degree viewing angle and 220cd/m2 brightness. The stand has an auto pivot feature and a flexi-stand that can be folded. The display, obviously given its power source, doesn’t use much energy. The display measures 15.6-inches from corner to corner and can be mounted on a wall via an ordinary 75mm x 75mm VESA mount. Integrated DisplayLink means multiple AOC portable monitors can be connected to the same laptop or desktop. Other features include a 700:1 contrast ratio and 25ms response time. The monitor is available to preorder from Amazon now for $149.99 USD and will start shipping on May 12. Story TimelineAcer bolsters Predator line with new notebooks and monitors43-inch LG 4K monitor crams four 1080p displays in oneAcer’s ProDesigner BM320 monitor is a 4K monster for graphics proslast_img read more

Lenovo Yoga 720 Review — a slim premium laptop with Thunderbolt

first_imgTECH SPECSProcessor: Up to 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7Operating System: Windows 10 HomeDisplay: 13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080)Graphics: Up to Intel® HD Graphics 620Camera: HD 720pMemory: Up to 16 GB DDR4Storage: Up to 512 GB PCIe SSDBattery: Up to 8 hours with FHD displayAudio:– 2 x JBL speakers– Dolby® Audio PremiumSecurity: Fingerprint readerPorts:– 2 x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt– USB 3.0– Audio jackConnectivity:– 802.11 a/c WiFi– Bluetooth® 4.1Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.4 x 0.6″Weight: 2.9 lbsColors: Platinum Silver Hardware & DesignIf you’ve ever used a Yoga laptop, you’ll have an idea of what to expect: namely a very flexible hinge that enables the display to rotate back to various degrees including into a tablet mode. This facilitates a handful of possible arrangements, including placing the keyboard down and the display up for unfettered access to the touchscreen. The display itself is shrouded with very slim bezels and coated with a glossy surface.Turning attention from the display to the keyboard, users will find a comfortable and attractive design that is easy to type on. The keyboard layout is fairly traditional and I didn’t have any issues using it — no adjustment period necessary. The keys also have a nice amount of resistance without unnecessarily loud clicking or clacking. The surrounding surface is metallic and clean with a very slightly abrasive texture; this leads to polished metal edges cut at a slight angle, as well as polished chrome edges surrounding the smooth trackpad.It would be fair to describe the Yoga 720’s design as both premium and minimalist, the combination of which is very aesthetically pleasing. The laptop’s left edge features two slim USB-C ports and an audio jack; the right edge has a USB-A port and the power button. The underside, meanwhile, contains two speaker grilles and four rubber feet.The design ultimately complements the display, which is the Yoga 720’s true attention-grabber. The high level of gloss can make it difficult to see the screen if you have it angled upward in a bright room, but that issue aside I found it very pleasing. Colors are well-saturated — but not excessively so — and the brightness can be set very high. Lenovo has updated its Yoga 700 product line with a new model, the Lenovo Yoga 720. This model is best described as sleek, silver and slim, if you’ll forgive the alliteration, and it comes with a sub-$1,000 price. There’s a lot to like about this laptop, and you can spot some of them upon first glance — the ultra-slim bezels are a great start, as is the ultra-flexible hinge. Is the latest Yoga model worth the upgrade, though? Read our full review to find out! Software & PerformanceThe Yoga 720’s performance was great during general usage — Internet browsing, streaming, mild photo editing, downloading and uploading, etc. The laptop is available in multiple configurations and your own experience will depend on the hardware your particular laptop possesses. Our particular review unit features an Intel Core i5 processor, though buyers can choose up to a Core i7. As far as battery goes, the laptop managed to get me through a full workday, but not much beyond it. Lenovo says you can expect up to 8 hours on a charge, and that proved true.Software, meanwhile, includes some Lenovo applications like Companion and App Explorer. There are also some preinstalled things like Candy Crush and March of Empires, but overall it isn’t too bad. The Yoga 720 runs Windows 10.What we likeThere’s a lot to like about the Yoga 720 and pinpointing any particular feature as best is difficult. The overall design is quite attractive; the keyboard is comfortable and quiet; the touchscreen is very sensitive and accurate; the audio quality is good as far as laptops are concerned; the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor helps make a good laptop great.Two USB-C ports help eliminate some of the adapter-centric issues, in that users can charge and use one other device at the same time without an adapter. This does lead into a potential issue, though, which is covered in the next section.IssuesOverall, I really enjoyed using the Yoga 720. The only thing I didn’t like was the fan which activated shortly after turning the laptop on despite not yet opening any applications. Though it may not be noticeable in a regular work office, it was loud in the quiet library and would likely also be heard by others in a classroom setting.The only other potential issue for some users is the relative lack of ports. This reality is no doubt due to the inclusion of USB-C, which is capable of handling many tasks. As with certain MacBook users, though, anyone who frequently uses dongles and peripherals will have to carry around an adapter to utilize certain connector types like HDMI.Wrap-upThe Lenovo Yoga 720 is a sleek laptop with a premium feel and an attractive design, and that’s just the start of things to like about it. Features like a fingerprint sensor, touchscreen, and a 360-degree hinge help set the latest Yoga model apart. Whether this laptop will ultimately suit your own needs is for you to determine, but anyone in need of an ultrabook would be well advised to give this model a chance.Price starts at $780 USD on Lenovo’s website. Story TimelineLenovo X1 Carbon (5th Gen) Review: Almost perfectLenovo IdeaCentre AIO 910 Review: a big, beautiful (and pricey) all-in-one PCLenovo Flex 11 Chromebook arrives with durable design and 360-degree hingelast_img read more

Skype for Desktop redesigned with new social features and cloud support

first_imgBeginning today, Skype is going to look a lot different, at least on desktop. For some time now, the team behind Skype has had a new desktop app available in preview, but now it’s ready to roll that redesign into full release. The update offers a number of new features that should allow Skype to better compete with other messaging services like Slack and Discord. As detailed over on the Skype blog, one of this redesign’s biggest new features is cross-device functionality, which ensures that you’ll have all of your messages regardless of the platform you’re using the Skype on. This also moves the desktop app into the cloud, allowing you to drag and drop files up to 300MB in size and using less battery life than previous iterations in the process.Once you apply (or download) this new version of Skype, you’ll be able to organize your contact list in a number of ways, whether that’s by chats that have unread messages, time, or even status. Yes, Skype’s status updates are making a return with this new version, allowing you to change your online status to let friends know when you are and aren’t available to chat.Statuses are just one part of the new social features in this latest version of Skype, as you now have the ability to ping someone directly by using @mentions. You can also post reactions to chat messages or video calls using the new reactions button. These will all be sorted into a notifications panel, which will let you quickly catch up on reactions, mentions, and even instances where you were quoted in a chat.Add to those features a new chat media galley that will let you quickly pull up media shared to specific chats and customizable themes and it seems that Skype is indeed changing for the better today. As more and more chat and video services are encroaching on the territory Skype once seemed to dominate, this is a very timely update that should keep at least few users from being tempted away by other apps. Assuming you’ve got Skype’s automatic updates enabled, this new version of Skype for desktop should be pushed to your machine directly – otherwise, you can download it manually from Skype.com starting today. Story TimelineSkype tweaked after user revolt: two missed features are backSkype PayPal update live: here’s how to Send MoneyMicrosoft Teams gears up to replace SkypeCortana is now in Skype on iOS and Android to make chats easierlast_img read more

Verizon Pixel 2 deal cuts 300 from Android flagship

first_imgWant a Google Pixel 2 but couldn’t quite stomach the new Android flagship’s price tag? Happily, Verizon might have the deal you’ve been waiting for – particularly if you don’t have a device you want to trade-in first. Still, you’ll need to act fast. Although that counts out anybody who wants to just buy the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL outright and not face monthly payments, it’s worth noting that there’s no real financial penalty to doing it this way. Verizon’s device payment scheme lasts for 24 months, and is 0-percent APR. In other words, you’re basically paying the same by the end of two years as you would if you’d bought on day. Verizon says the $300 discount will be applied over the length of the two year plan. The promo ends when the balance is paid off, or if the line is terminated or transferred. A device up to $949.99 will be eligible. It’s an impressive deal on what’s still a very new phone. Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were hotly-anticipated by Android fans, and even though their arrival hasn’t been exactly smooth sailing, the reception of both handsets was broadly positive. That’s despite complaints about screen color saturation – which Google has attempted to address with firmware updates – among other niggles.MORE Pixel 2 Review The Pixel 2 has a 5-inch AMOLED display, while the Pixel 2 XL get a 6-inch panel. Both have the same camera, using Google’s smart photography algorithms for things like portrait mode fake bokeh even though there’s only a single lens. They’re also water-resistant, though they don’t have wireless charging. If you’re interested in taking Verizon up on its offer, you’ll need to act fast however. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL promotion starts from today in stores, and from Sunday online. However, the carrier tells us that it’s a limited-time offer, though won’t say when, exactly, it will end. Story TimelineOne of Pixel 2’s most annoying problems is getting fixedPixel 2 advanced camera features: don’t hold your breathPixel 2 Visual Core Activated: Camera update magiccenter_img The carrier is running a short promotion whereby buyers can get $300 off a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. No trade-in is required, but you do need to sign up to Verizon’s device payment scheme. last_img read more

Steve Jobs 1973 job application sells for whopping 174K

first_imgRR Auction sold two other items featuring Jobs’ rare signature. The first was a 2001 Mac OS X technical manual that went for $41,806, more than $15,000 over what it was expected to sell for. The other was a 2008 newspaper clipping covering the launch of the iPhone 3G, signed by both Jobs and Tony Fadell, which sold for $26,950 when it was originally expected to fetch around $15,000.SOURCE RR Auction Story TimelineRare Apple-1 ‘Celebration’ model sells for $815K at auctionSteve Jobs’ old leather jacket, black turtleneck, and more up for auctionIconic Seiko watch made famous by Steve Jobs sees limited releaseBMW Z8 owned by Steve Jobs heads to auctionSteve Jobs’ 1973 job application heads to auction for $50K Last month we told you about an auction for an interesting piece of Steve Jobs memorabilia: one of the Apple co-founder’s first job applications, dating back to 1973. When the listing was first announced by RR Auction, the document was expected to sell for $50,000. The gavel has now fallen, however, and the paper, complete with an 18-year-old Jobs’ signature and several misspellings and other errors, has sold for over triple the expected amount.center_img The winner, an internet entrepreneur from London who wanted to remain anonymous, paid an incredible $174,757 for the item. The 8.5 x 11-inch document — more of a questionnaire than a formal job application — includes Jobs’ hand-written responses to questions about his abilities, interests, and experience, with the “past employment” section noticeably left blank.The application was described as being filled out by Jobs in 1973 shortly after he dropped out Reed College, where he took classes for only six months. He would go on to take a job at Atari working with Steve Wozniak, eventually co-founding Apple in 1976.last_img read more

Google Assistant Custom Routines may be closer than we thought

first_imgThe APK teardown was handled by 9to5Google over the weekend. A lot was discovered lurking in the APK, but one of the most exciting discoveries was code that points to incoming support for custome routines. As the name suggests, custom routines will allow users to define their own phrases and associate them with a unique string of actions, allowing for much more flexibility than the Google-defined routines that are currently available.This section of code even holds a new description for routines, which mentions the user’s ability to create custom ones. “Have your Assistant do multiple things with just one command,” the description reads. “Use ready-made routines you adjust to fit your day, and create custom ones from scratch.”When creating custom routines, it appears that users will be able to select from popular Google Assistant actions and commands. Details on how the whole thing will work are a bit slim at the moment, but if this is something Google is planning to roll out in the near future, we can probably expect to hear more about it soon.Of course, custom routines weren’t the only exciting thing outed in this APK teardown. Elsewhere in the code, we see references to features that will allow users to pin sports scorecards in Google Maps or the Google app, removing the need to switch apps or pull up Google Assistant for updates on a game you’re following. There’s also mention of new gestures for Pixel Buds, including the ability to remap double tap.Finding references to these new features in the Google app APK doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll absolutely see them get an official launch, but it is an encouraging sign. We’ll keep an ear to the ground for more on these new features, so keep it here at SlashGear. Just a couple of weeks ago, Google finally launched routines for Google Assistant. Routines allow Google Assistant to carry out a string of actions with a single voice command, but in this early iteration, its a feature that’s rather limited in scope. That may all change soon, as an APK teardown of the latest Google app suggests that the company is getting ready to roll out custom routines. Story TimelineGoogle Assistant for iPad cranks up Siri’s competitionGoogle Assistant Routines feature arrives: multiple actions with a single phraseGoogle Assistant adds Google Pay voice-control on iOS and Androidlast_img read more

Car Candy The Hottest Cars from Geneva in Photos

first_imgThough the Regera is not quite swathed in the same level of finery, and it’s also a little slower to 60 mph—2.8 seconds to the Chiron’s 2.5—despite the lighter frame. Koenigsegg also wins the award for coolest doors, pretty much ever. The 675 LT Coupé can hit 60 mph in under 3.0 seocnds, but perhaps more impressively, can hit 124 mph (200km/hr) in only 8.1 seconds. Especially impressive with the doors outstretched, this is some flexing of British ingenuity we’d like more of. Quant had its new FE nanoFlowcell car on display. The FE requires two separate fuel tanks, and runs on one part positively charged ionic liquid, and one part negatively-charged ionic liquid. The conceptual car also features a wood interior that has hidden capacitive-touch controls that are illuminated when the car is switched on. See more of the cars in Geneva, including the Bugatti Chiron, the cars on the Arash Motor Company stand, the Lamborghini Centenario, the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, the playfully-colored Ruf Porsches, and many more exotics in our gallery below. Koenigsegg brought its buffet of quad-digit horsepower transformers, including the Agera Final, Agera RS, and Regera models. The latter of which is said to push more power to the wheel than the Bugatti Chiron’s nearly 1,500 horses. The Swedish hybrid torpedo boasts an ultra-light curb weight of 3,505 lbs, a whopping 1,000 lbs less than the Chiron. center_img Aston Martin stunned with the DB11, the first in a new line of cars from the Gaydon, U.K. luxe sports carmaker. The twin-turbo V12 calls on 600 ponies when needed, but employs clever cylinder-deactivation, essentially dropping to six-cylinders when in traffic or casual driving around town. The DB11 shares much of the styling we loved on the DB9, but is decidedly smarter, and more beautiful. While there are plenty of hidden aerodynamic features you can’t see, we love what our eyes can absorb.The McLaren 675 LT Coupé is on display in its exclusive “Solis” yellow color, and while only 500 examples will be available, each car should count as more than one, with all of that twin-turbo V8 presence. Public days are on through this weekend at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, but because not everyone can make it to Switzerland to walk the Palexpo show floor, we’re bringing some of the best car candy from Geneva, straight to you. No auto show can boast the irresistible supercar candy that we can find here, and this year there seemed to be more than ever.last_img read more

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack First Drive AlmostSUV fills in VWs gaps

first_imgMechanically, there are few differences to be found when comparing the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack to its SportWagen sibling. Both make use of the same 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine, which has been turbocharged to produce 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque, and each can choose between either a six-speed manual (first-quarter of 2017 delivery) or six-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox. All-wheel drive is standard with the Alltrack, of course, but for 2017 it’s also available as an option for the base model SportWagen, where it delivers an identical 22-mpg city and 30-mpg highway (figures that are roughly 18 percent worse than the front-wheel drive family Golf, although the fuel tank has grown by 1.3 gallons to make up for the difference).AdChoices广告 Why the Alltrack, then? It’s entirely a matter of personal taste. With a starting price of $25,850, the newest Golf is only marginally pricier than the no-frills AWD version of the SportWagen, and if you want that four-wheel feeling with all the bells and whistles the DSG-only SEL edition checks in at just under $32,890. It seems unlikely that existing Outback customers will forgo their famous brand loyalty and swap allegiance to VW, but current Golf owners may well be tempted by the Alltrack’s outdoorsy styling, and, of course, the availability of a nicely-equipped all-wheel drive wagon at a relatively affordable ask. The Alltrack is the appetizer to the full-course SUV meal about to be served up by Volkswagen, but it’s certainly enough to cleanse the palate in preparation for the next stage in the company’s American evolution. Volkswagen is an automaker in transition, and the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is a harbinger of things to come. With Americans tilting inexorably towards crossovers and SUVs as their conveyance of choice, and faced with a line-up heavily weighted with turbodiesel sedans and hatchbacks that the EPA has placed on indefinite hiatus, VW’s market makeover is only just beginning. The Golf Alltrack’s wagon-based, crossover-friendly image heralds an SUV onslaught that will continue through the next 12 months as an all-new three-row people mover and long-awaited replacement for the slow-selling Tiguan compact sport-utility also make their way to showrooms. Story TimelineVolkswagen e-Golf Touch Shows Off Upcoming VW Infotainment Upgrades2016 Volkswagen Golf R ReviewVolkswagen will buy back most Dieselgate cars in US2016 Nissan Leaf vs 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf: Range-Anxiety This is, of course, perfectly fine. Very few SUV owners – Subaru or otherwise – actually intend to tackle terrain any more robust than a gravel driveway, with the extra all-wheel drive traction prized more for its foul-weather performance than its exploration potential. In this role, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack excels, as it delivers a driving experience that’s a dead ringer for the SportWagen in every situation other than when the pavement disappears. With the 4Motion system channeling 90 percent of power to the front wheels unless called upon to dole out extra grip at the rear, the car’s AWD is also entirely transparent in its operation.center_img You won’t spot any significant changes inside, either, with a very useful 66.5 cubic feet of total cargo space available in both vehicles, alongside a relatively adult-friendly rear seat. Moving up through the Alltrack’s trim levels – S, SE, and range-topping SEL – sees equipment mirroring that of the SportWagen, with similar options packages (focused on improved lighting and additional safety equipment) also showing on both order sheets. On paper, it’s a simple formula: take the practical and affordable Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, add a modicum of extra ground clearance and the extra grip of 4Motion all-wheel drive, and then top it off with a flourish of plastic body cladding on the front, the sides, and the rear. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s worked well for a host of other car companies in the past, including Subaru (the Outback), Volvo (the CrossCountry series), and Audi (the Allroad).In fact, the larger Outback was the bogey used by Volkswagen’s product planners in putting together the Alltrack family. Ten years ago, if you had asked me whether a giant like Volkswagen would be taking cues from Subaru’s modest showroom, I would not have believed you – but this simply shows how dramatically the playing field has tilted towards SUVs. Where, then will the average buyer notice a difference between the new Alltrack and the familiar SportWagen when driving both Golf models back-to-back? The short answer is that they most likely won’t – unless the dealership happens to be located at the end of a somewhat rugged off-road trail. The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack adds a new drive mode that is intended to better manage traction when heading off of the beaten path, and it features a hill descent control system that will automatically brake the vehicle’s wheels individually in order to maintain a slow and steady pace with the nose pointed downwards. Taken together with the 0.6 additional inches in ground clearance (with wheel gap visually expanded by flared fenders and taller tires), it’s fair to say that the Alltrack will handle muddy roads with ease. On the short up-and-down trail laid out for me to drive the Volkswagen through on Washington state’s Bainbridge Island, the car performed admirably enough, but it’s important to remember that there’s still a Golf chassis sitting underneath the revised packaging, and that it would be a mistake to expect the Alltrack to take much of a real-world beating.last_img read more

Audi just turned on its stressbusting connected traffic light system

first_imgInitially, 2017 Audi A4, Q7, and allroad models will support Traffic Light Information, as long as they were built after June 1, 2016. You’ll need an Audi connect PRIME subscription, but other than that there should be no other changes required. Audi will be able to push out any new software required via the cars’ baked-in 4G LTE connections.The result is real-time information beamed to the car from the traffic management system in the city. A time-remaining countdown is shown on the driver’s display – and on the head-up display, if that’s been fitted – with the idea being that having better expectations about whether you’ll be waiting a few seconds or more like a minute at a red light is good for reducing stress levels. Meanwhile, the hope is that it might reduce the number of distracted drivers pulling out their phones when stationary, if they know that the traffic will soon be flowing again.Audi has taken a few precautions to avoid drivers seeing the countdown as a ticking clock for a fast getaway. The timer won’t give a “3… 2… 1…” launch suggestion, for instance, instead disappearing shortly before the lights are due to change. “A better-informed driver means a less stressed driver,” is the official Audi line. At launch, the dashboard display will be the only way the traffic signal data is used. Further down the line, however, Audi has big ambitions for improving traffic flow, economy, and route efficiency based on it and other smart city connected data. For instance, engine start-stop systems could decide when to act based on how much time the car is expected to be stationary. NOW READ: I drove Audi’s car that talks to traffic lightsNavigation systems, meanwhile, could take into account light patterns along with traffic levels to guide drivers through the most efficient route with the fewest stops. By looking ahead to a sequence of lights, Audi could even give suggestions on what speed to drive at so as to hit the maximum number of greens in sequence. For the city, meanwhile, it’s another way to monitor and potentially shape how peak traffic flows, particularly when it comes to dense thoroughfares like the Las Vegas strip. Although Las Vegas might be the first city to get the technology, Audi says it’s working with other municipalities on setting the connected infrastructure up to get them to talk to Traffic Light Information too. Looking ahead, Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) systems are expected to be instrumental in helping self-driving vehicles and other autonomous transportation to more successfully navigate, sharing data about bottlenecks and accidents, as well as reacting more efficiently than human drivers could. Audi has switched on its connected traffic lights system, with drivers of certain model year 2017 cars getting sneak-previews of upcoming red lights in Las Vegas. Dubbed Traffic Light Information, the new system is part of Audi‘s growing connect PRIME portfolio of connected car services, and relies on tapping into smart city infrastructure expected to spread across the US. The upshot for drivers is greater forewarning about what the lights ahead of them are going to do. It’s been in the pipeline for some time, with Audi first demonstrating a proof-of-concept of the technology in Germany all the way back in 2014. Audi followed up with confirmation in August that the system would go into a public trial in the US by the end of 2016. Thanks to a partnership with Nevada, Las Vegas is the first city to go live. center_img Story TimelineAudi is teaching its self-driving car human mannersAudi aims to offer three electric vehicles by 2020last_img read more

US Huawei phone spying Heres the incentive

first_imgABOVE: The T-Mobile USA original official tap-happy robot video – from September 13th, 2012.The current situation with the DOJ suggests that Huawei targeted T-Mobile USA in an effort to steal “valuable intellectual property” in the form of photos and measurements of a phone-testing robot called “Tappy.” This has little to do with the end consumer, and instead has to do with Huawei gaining an advantage over other companies with trade secrets about prepping phones for consumer release with their own robot called “xDeviceRobot.”AdChoices广告The Employee Incentive IssueIn Huawei China there was (and might still be) a program in which employees can earn bonus money from the company in exchange for “valuable stolen information” from competitor companies. The program was a “bonus program to reward employees who stole confidential information from competitors.” That policy, according to the documents filed by the US DOJ this week, “emphasized that no employees would be punished for taking actions in accordance with the [information theft] policy.”Inside the USA, an email was sent by a Huawei USA official which suggested that “here in the U.S.A. we do not condone nor engage in such activities and such a behavior is expressly prohibited by [HUAWEI USA’s] company policies.” The email went on to suggest that “in some foreign countries and regions such a directive and award program may be normal and within the usual course of business in that region.”The ImplicationDoes this reward program in China mean that your Huawei phone in the USA might be spying on you? If you were an employee of Huawei and had the opportunity to modify the code of a Huawei phone for your own monetary benefit, would you do it? How about if it was possible that the end product could send you information about competing businesses, information for which you could trade for a monetary reward?How about if your place of business not only said you’d not get in trouble for such activities, you’d be rewarded? The possibility is there. The evidence of illegal spyware, malware, etcetera has not been found on any Huawei smartphone in the United States thus far – but it’s possible it’s there. There’s an incentive, so the possibility is real.Stay tuned as we continue to analyze the documents provided by the US Department of Justice and associated casework. This situation is going to get a lot more dirty before everyone comes clean, of that you can be sure. A T-Mobile USA issueIf you’re the sort of person that’s purchased a Huawei smartphone in the last few years and are currently using said phone with a T-Mobile USA sim card, you might want to think about a switch. With the current situation with the US DOJ (see link in final paragraph), T-Mobile USA could possibly look into block out all Huawei smartphone use on their network. That’s not something the network’s said, and it’s not something we’re particularly worried about, but it is a possibility. Huawei’s in a little bit of trouble right now with the United States justice department – today we’re looking at how this affects the everyday consumer. The devices that’ve been on the market over the past few years and those on sale right now aren’t likely a threat to you, the SlashGear reader, the smartphone user. If you’re the sort of person who watches the news and gets concerned about businesses disobeying international trade laws – OR if you’re using your Huawei phone with a T-Mobile USA sim card, you might need to take additional action. center_img Story TimelineLG, Xiaomi, Huawei, Sony to fight for attention at MWC 2019Huawei’s disappearing Twitter photos problem is less dramatic than you thinkHuawei 5G phone at MWC 2019 will have two special featuresTrouble at TSMC: Huawei, NVIDIA, Apple chipmaker sees chemical issuelast_img read more

Huawei P30 Pro iFixit teardown reveals interesting design choices

first_imgIt is getting harder and harder to pry open phones and iFixit observed that the P30 Pro had one of the tightest gaps it has seen in a phone. Add to that the fact that it has a curved display, getting to the Huawei flagship’s innards is always going to be a risk. On the upside, if the glass back does survive the ordeal, taking apart the other components is less of a hassle thanks to requiring only a single Philips screwdriver.The P30 Pro is quite packed and it seems that Huawei employed a trick to maximize the space. It has two PCBs stacked onto each other, both using a multi-layered structure themselves. That, of course, could also make things harder to fix in the long run.The slightly good news is that Huawei seems to be a fan of modular components. The USB-C port is by itself and won’t require breaking anything else to replace. The optical fingerprint sensor isn’t glued to the screen either. And the battery, while still extremely sticky, at least has pull tabs.AdChoices广告That doesn’t make the Huawei P30 Pro any easier to repair though it does at least get a 4 out of 10 from iFixit. Sadly, it is a trend that isn’t going to improve any time soon, even with all the right to self-repair efforts going on. Smartphones today, especially the expensive flagships, have become more powerful and sophisticated but the literal price to pay is increased cost and difficulty in repairs. While authorized service centers have official tools and processes, they will also take the same journey that iFixit takes. The Huawei P30 Pro is one of the latest destinations of that journey and while the overall result is still disappointing, the teardown did reveal some surprising and pleasant nuggets. Story TimelineHuawei P30 Pro first look: 2019’s quad-camera heavyweightHuawei P30 Pro ReviewHuawei P30 and P30 Pro available in the US but there’s a catchlast_img read more

Google and Polestar give apps the keys to the Android dashboard

first_imgStory TimelineAndroid Auto is getting a slick new interfaceAndroid Auto update delivers new messaging and media featuresYouTube Music finally gets Android Auto support in latest update Google is opening up Android Automotive OS, the dashboard-centric version of its mobile platform which will launch first on the Polestar 2 EV, to third-party media apps. Set to go live at Google I/O 2019, the company’s annual developer event being held next week, the new dev tools are the first of a number of ways Google plans to bring new apps to infotainment systems. Android Automotive OS was announced back in 2017, expanding Google’s reach to car dashboards. While Android Auto has long allowed phones to project a customized version of their interface onto vehicle infotainment systems, offering access to navigation, multimedia, calls, messaging, and the Assistant, Android Automotive OS goes far deeper. In fact, it’s Android running on the car itself, rather than on a remotely-connected smartphone. At the time, Google announced deals with Volvo and Audi, and other automakers have signed up to use the OS in future models too. The advantages are features like natural voice recognition and access to the Google Play store for apps, along with tighter integration with Google services like Maps and Music. The timescales of the auto industry are a little different to those of the phone world, however, and so it’s only now that we’re beginning to see the first fruits of Android Automotive OS. Polestar 2 – the all-electric car from the new Volvo and Geely-backed Swedish automaker – will use the software for its whole infotainment system, as we saw when the EV debuted at the Geneva Motor Show 2019 in March. It’s an interface both new and familiar. Control is via a large, 11-inch portrait orientation touchscreen in the center console, that resembles a propped-up Android tablet. That has a modular UI with different panes for multimedia, communication, navigation, and managing the Polestar 2’s electric drivetrain. Say “Hey Google,” and the Assistant can control vehicle features as well as answer questions. The promise, though, has always been broader than just what Google and the automakers cook up between themselves. With access to the Google Play store, Android Automotive OS puts expansion to the fore, and now Google is talking about just what sort of apps will be possible. As you might expect, given the potential for driver distraction, it’s a slightly different path than developing for an Android phone. So, Google is using the Android Auto framework as its basis. That has features like a consistent user interface to reduce confusion while on the move, rather than serving up different UIs per each different app. It also better handles different screen sizes and input methods, which can also vary on a per-car basis. Initially, it’ll be media apps that Google is embracing. Developers will be able to build those apps – for music and podcasts – from Google I/O. Beyond that, the company will open things up to navigation and communication apps, along with other categories. The actual user-base for such software will be fairly limited at first, of course. After all, the Polestar 2 is going to be a relatively niche model, taking on the Tesla Model 3 when it goes on sale later this year. However with Audi vehicles joining the party too, along with other automakers like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announcing that they, too, will be using Android for their next-generation infotainment systems, the footprint should expand fairly rapidly. We’ll hear more about Google’s plans next week, at I/O 2019. The Polestar 2, meanwhile, makes its US debut today.last_img read more

Viewpoints Democrats Signaling Problems Ahead On Health Law GOPs Harping On The

first_imgThe Wall Street Journal: The Coming ObamaCare Shock In recent weeks, there have been increasing expressions of concern from surprising quarters about the implementation of ObamaCare. Montana Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, called it a “train wreck.” A Democratic colleague, West Virginia’s Sen. Jay Rockefeller, described the massive Affordable Care Act as “beyond comprehension.” Henry Chao, the government’s chief technical officer in charge of putting in place the insurance exchanges mandated by the law, was quoted in the Congressional Quarterly as saying “I’m pretty nervous … Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.” These individuals are worried for good reason. The unpopular health care law’s rollout is going to be rough. It will also administer several price (and other) shocks to tens of millions of Americans (Daniel P. Kessler, 4/29). Bloomberg: How Conservatives Are Helping ObamacareYuval Levin, among other conservatives, has made an offer to liberals: Let’s delay the implementation of Obamacare for a year and make everybody better off. … Liberals, wisely, are saying no. What’s funny about this conversation is that conservatives have been accidentally managing expectations for implementation: By harping constantly on what a disaster the rollout is going to be, they will make what actually happens look good by comparison (Josh Barro, 4/29).The Washington Post: For GOP, Opposition Shouldn’t Only Mean Obstruction Defeating Obama is no longer a sufficient Republican goal. What Mitt Romney couldn’t manage is eventually accomplished by the 22nd Amendment. Instead, Republicans face a series of complicated political tasks. … There is no economic value or political appeal in austerity for its own sake. One reason the health entitlement crisis is so dangerous is that it progressively squeezes domestic discretionary spending. Republicans need to accompany proposals for structural entitlement reform with creative measures to encourage education, job training and entrepreneurship (Michael Gerson, 4/29). San Jose Mercury News: Employer Health Programs Can Backfire On EmployeesCentral to health care reform has been an increased focus on health promotion and prevention programs, including programs based in workplaces commonly referred to as “health and wellness programs.” In concept, encouraging employee health and wellness is a great idea. Many of us spend a majority of our waking hours at work and would welcome environments that encourage and support healthy lifestyles. Unfortunately, there is a serious risk that employers might use these workplace programs and incentives to shift health care costs or to discriminate against employees with pre-existing health conditions or other risk factors (Bill Monning, 4/29). CNN World: Governors Missing The Point On Medicaid So while a governor or legislator may disagree with Medicaid expansion for philosophical reasons, the claims that the expansion will be a burden on states’ economies seem misguided given the full range of projected economic impacts on the states. The fact is that not expanding Medicaid will hurt state economies. This is even true for states that do not have lower-than-average incomes (Carter C. Price, 4/29). The (Helena, Mt.) Independent Record: The Moderate Majority Worked Hard This Session Unfortunately, the moderate majority couldn’t capitalize on one of the largest economic opportunities this session, Medicaid expansion. On Medicaid, partisanship won the day. Without Medicaid expansion, more than 70,000 Montanans will be without affordable health coverage next year. We’ll miss the opportunity to create 14,000 new, good-paying jobs in the medical field. We’ll still pay for it through federal taxes, but rather than giving those dollars back to invest in Montana, the federal government will just spend them in other states (Monica J. Lindeen, 4/29). Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Health Care Just Around The Corner The most recent law, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 promises to reshape the health care landscape on a scale not witnessed since Medicare’s passage in 1965. Everyone will be required to purchase insurance. Medicaid will be enlarged, and much of the regulation of insurance will be transferred to federal oversight. On the surface it all sounds good until you meet the devil in the details (Francis Miller, 4/29).The Wall Street Journal: Teeth-Whitening Rules Take A Bite Out of Business When special interests use government power to limit competition, that is not just a stain on representative government. Now it’s also leaving a stain on teeth. According to a new study by our organization, the Institute for Justice, licensed dentists across the country have been lobbying successfully for government-imposed restrictions that create a lucrative monopoly on the field of teeth whitening. Dozens of states have now passed laws, or applied existing ones, to shut out entrepreneurs and thus raise the cost of acquiring a brighter smile (Angela C. Erickson and Paul Sherman, 4/29). Oregonian: What Price Life? Pushback By OHSU’s Brian Druker Against High Drug Costs Should Prod ReviewIt’s one thing to be told you have cancer and a few years to live. It’s entirely another to be told Wait, you do have cancer, but a medication that will extend your life by several years is available for $100,000 a year. Reasonable people would scoff at the sum, even though insurance might reduce the out-of-pocket co-pay to, say, $1,400 a month — for many, another mortgage. But being told you’ll die is calamitous on its face and does not produce entirely reasonable behavior. Doing anything to gain those precious years, including selling one’s house or canceling retirement, might look necessary if not sane. That’s to say nothing of those without insurance or a house or a planned retirement (4/29). Sacramento Bee: California’s Health Turf War Should Cause FearSenate Bills 491, 492 and 493 won approval of a Senate committee Monday and we should all be afraid — very afraid — because once again, state legislators are voting on “scope of practice.” It means that politics — sometimes raw politics — are determining which medical practitioner can perform which procedure on which part of the human body, rather than leaving those decisions in the hands of medical experts. It’s not a new phenomenon (Dan Walters, 4/30). Journal of the American Medical Association: Identification Of Physician Impairment The need to detect and prevent physician impairment must be balanced with the rights of privacy and autonomy. Patients and their family members have a right to be protected from impaired physicians. In other high-risk industries, this right is supported by regulations and surveillance. Shouldn’t medicine be the same? A robust system to identify impaired physicians may enhance the professionalism that peer review seeks to protect (Drs. Julius Cuong Pham, Peter J. Pronovost and Gregory E. Skipper, 4/29). Medpage Today: Rediscovering The Lost Art Of Civil Discourse Although we still have a long way to go in reducing waste and addressing a medical error rate that, in any other industry, would not be tolerated, positive change is happening as a direct result of the payment reforms (e.g., bundled payments) and new models of care (e.g., medical homes) that are integral to the ACA (Dr. David Nash, 4/29). The Medicare NewsGroup: Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Becker Has Seminal Ideas That Are Gaining Favor, But Can They Work? Even with greater price transparency, how would 65- to 69-year-olds effectively negotiate reasonable medical expenses without the bargaining power of a Medicare or an employer? Would insurers come to their rescue? How would policies for this age group be affordably priced? Would policy premiums need to be subsidized in some way by the government, which would nullify the nominal savings of raising the retirement age? While [Nobel-prize-winning economist Gary] Becker’s ideas sound logical and hint at a degree of common sense and equity, the political and everyday reality is much more difficult terrain (John Wasik, 4/29). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Viewpoints: Democrats Signaling Problems Ahead On Health Law; GOP’s ‘Harping’ On The Coming Problems Will Help Public’s Expectationslast_img read more

Aetna Raises Earnings Outlook

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Aetna Raises Earnings Outlook In other market news, coverage continues of the cost and effectiveness of Sovaldi, a new drug to treat hepatitis C, and the related earnings gained by Gilead Sciences, its manufacturer.  The Wall Street Journal: Aetna Raises Outlook On Strong Quarterly GrowthThe company raised its full-year operating earnings forecast to $6.35 to $6.55 a share from its prior view of at least $6.25 a share. The insurer in February said it expects to lose money on its business in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces this year, with the demographics of enrollees skewing slightly more than expected toward people likely to rack up higher costs. Still, the company noted that individual insurance represents a small part of operating revenue (Rubin, 4/24).NPR: Costly Hepatitis C Pill Shreds Drug Industry Sales RecordThe launch of Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-day pill for hepatitis C, is shaping up as the most successful ever. The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill in December. And then Gilead Sciences was off to the races. The company said it sold $2.27 billion worth of Sovaldi in the quarter that ended March 31. $2.27 billion! The boffo number beat Wall Street’s estimate for the quarter by more than $1 billion (Hensley, 4/23).PBS NewsHour: New Hepatitis-C Drug Raises Hope At A Hefty PriceA new drug has a 90 to 100 percent chance of curing the Hepatitis-C virus, but costs tens of thousands of dollars for a course of treatment. The announcement by the manufacturer that it earned more than $2 billion in the year’s first quarter raises the question, who should pay when drugs are highly effective, but extremely expensive? Hari Sreenivasan reports on the profits, coverage and costs (Sreenivasan, 4/23). last_img read more

Nonprofit Hospitals Financial Woes Detailed In Report By Moodys

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Income for these hospitals declines as the government and insurers change the way they pay them. The New York Times: Nonprofit Hospitals’ 2013 Revenue Lowest Since Recession, Report SaysNonprofit hospitals last year had their worst financial performance since the Great Recession, according to a report released on Wednesday. The poor operating performance of many hospitals underscored some of the changes in the health care system as the federal government and private health plans became less willing to pay for hospital care and changed the way they paid hospitals in an effort to reduce costs (Abelson, 8/27).The Wall Street Journal: Nonprofit Hospitals’ Earnings Fall As Costs Outrun RevenueNonprofit hospitals’ income declined for a second straight year in 2013 and their median rate of revenue growth fell to an all-time low, Moody’s Investors Service said, a trend the credit rater’s analysts say likely will continue this year. The nonprofit hospitals’ performance contrasts with the rising profits and patient volumes reported by publicly traded hospital operators in recent weeks (Weaver, 8/27). Nonprofit Hospitals’ Financial Woes Detailed In Report By Moody’slast_img read more

Who Sets The Price Of Your Health Care

first_imgWho Sets The Price Of Your Health Care? Minnesota Public Radio talks with an expert to unravel who sets prices and how. In the meantime, everyone involved in the health care sector is busy trying to figure out how best to measure quality in the system. There’s emerging agreement among government officials, providers, insurers and academics that the growing demand for providers to report quality measures — which now number in the thousands across Medicare, Medicaid, private payers and other government programs — is making it harder, not easier, to tell whether patients are actually receiving better care. (Mershon, 7/30) Politico Pro: Health Care Tries To Solve The ‘Quality’ Riddle Have you ever wished that healthcare costs were more transparent? MPR News’ Kerri Miller wades into the quandry of health care pricing with Dr. Gerald Kominski to examine the hidden costs of health care, how pricing is established, who sets the price of procedures and who actually knows what health care costs. (Miller, 7/30) center_img Minnesota Public Radio: The Hidden Prices Of Health Care Leaves Everyone In The Dark This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more