Amazon kicks off search for a second North American headquarters

first_imgAmazon just made a huge announcement that’s going to have very exciting implications for one lucky North American city. The company revealed today that it’s searching for a spot to build a second headquarters. This won’t be some kind of satellite office, but rather one that Amazon says will be equal in size and importance to its current headquarters in Seattle. What’s interesting is that in its announcement today, Amazon doesn’t mention the US specifically, suggesting that cities in Canada and Mexico are up for consideration as well. Amazon has a rather specific list of preferences for the site of its second headquarters, stating that it would like to build in a metropolitan area with more than one million people that’s also a “stable and business-friendly environment.”With Amazon’s existing headquarters comprising 33 buildings, cities may have a difficult time finding a suitable location for HQ2, as it’s being called. Amazon says that it encourages cities vying for HQ2 to think outside the box in terms of construction sites. At the same, it says that while cities are free to be creative with real estate options, it isn’t interested in solutions that extend its timeline for construction.For cities that can meet Amazon’s requirements, the benefits could be huge. Amazon estimates that it will invest over $5 billion in construction, and eventually grow HQ2 to house as many as 50,000 jobs. That isn’t counting the “tens of thousands of additional jobs” it estimates that such a large construction project will add. It also points to estimates that its Seattle headquarters has injected $38 billion into the local economy over the past seven years.So, expect to see many big cities across North America begin vying for Amazon’s commitment. Considering the west coast location of Amazon’s existing headquarters, a more eastern location makes sense, so don’t be surprised to see cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago make the short list. Amazon doesn’t say when it wants to be finished with construction on HQ2, but since it’s already accepting proposals, we should see the ball begin rolling soon. Story TimelineAmazon Prime benefits will soon arrive within Whole Foods storesAmazon’s Whole Foods slashes prices to shed ‘whole paycheck’ stigmaAmazon Alexa is clearly the star of IFA 2017Amazon sued over faulty eclipse glasses after reports of eye damagelast_img read more

Samsungs ADTpowered security system is a SmartThings hub too

first_imgSamsung has teamed up with security firm ADT for a new home alarm system, borrowing the DIY automation cleverness of SmartThings and combining it with professional monitoring. Dubbed the Samsung SmartThings ADT home security system, it offers an alternative to the recently announced Nest Secure and today’s Ring Protect system. Like both, it’s intended to be installed by the homeowner themselves, rather than demanding professional installation. That, of course, saves time and is a whole lot less expensive. Samsung’s starter kit includes a Security Hub, two door/window sensors, and a motion detector. There’ll also be a Home Safety Expansion Pack, which includes fire, carbon monoxide, and water leak detection. As with the other systems, the center of Samsung’s setup is a base station. That has a 7-inch color touchscreen from which arming and disarming the system takes place, in addition to a siren. There’s also both battery and cellular backup, for if your power and/or internet go down.However, it’s also a SmartThings hub, which means that any compatible third-party device can also be linked and controlled from there too. Considering those number in the thousands – including connected bulbs, locks, thermostats, doorbells, cameras, and more – it’s a huge, instant ecosystem for the security system to tap into. From the Samsung apps for iOS and Android, how all of those things play together can be turned into routines and rules. At its most basic you’ll be able to turn the security on and off remotely, but you could also have parts of it act as triggers for other connected devices. Motion detected might turn on the lights, for instance, or a window opening could automatically start a camera recording.At the same time, as well as a notification on your own device, there’s the option of ADT professional monitoring. There are two plans, either covering just home security for intrusions and panic alerts for $24.99 per month, or monitoring for smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, or water leaks, for $14.99 per month. A third plan bundles both together for $34.99 per month. Each of the plans can be activated directly from the Samsung app, and there’s no minimum contract for service. You can also deactivate service from the app, too, so there’s no need to call a customer services rep. It’s worth reading the small print on what, exactly, ADT’s service will work with in terms of third-party hardware. Although SmartThings-compatible water, motion, and other sensors will integrate with the system, and can be controlled through the app or touchscreen hub, they won’t work with ADT’s monitoring services. For that, you’ll need the security firm’s own sensors. Pricing for the ADT Home Security Starter Kit starts at $549.99, while the ADT Home Safety Expansion Pack will be $199.99. Both can be preordered from today, with availability from October 29.last_img read more

Bento Stack is the Japanese lunchbox of Apple dongle holders

first_imgStory TimelineApple Pencil patent hints next stylus to feature swappable tips, eraseriPhone 8’s Apple Pencil connection may go ProApple Pencil power comes to iPhone with Wacom Bamboo SketchApple Pencil is faster than ever, beating the Surface PenApple Pencil for iPhone 12 tipped in Korea The Bento Stack was announced today by Function 101 in an effort to easily contain the many Apple cords, dongles, and accessories some users use. This includes holding the Apple Pencil, the MacBook Pro power cord, the AirPods, and etcetera. Much like the original Japanese-designed lunch box system, this Bento Box stacks up and keeps things tidy. Especially dongles – all the dongles. The container system called Bento Stack breaks down into several parts. The top lid is able to function as a stand for any iPhone. This lid is also a holder for the Apple Pencil. The first (top) compartment is made to hold up to 5 lightning cables and/or a set of AirPods.The bottom section’s lid is made to hold two watchbands for the Apple Watch. This section is designed specifically to hold each of the different possible sizes and thicknesses of the Apple Watchbands out in the wild as of today – and can therefore likely hold any other wristbands for watches you happen to have on hand.The lowest compartment is made to fit MacBook chargers of all sorts. This includes pieces as large as the MacBook Pro 15-inch 87-watt adapter on down to the Type-C dongle and/or adapter collection. Each Bento Stack comes in one of three colors: Silver, Rose Gold, or Space Gray. Each comes with its own silicone elastic strap. Each box is made of “durable, lightweight plastic” and based solely on the number of times I’ve misplaced the Apple Pencil alone, I’m gonna need one.To be clear – this is at this time a crowdfunded project. Until we see a final product literally in our hands for review, we cannot speak on the quality of the product one way or the other. Check the disclaimer below, and head to IndieGoGo if you’re all about kicking a relatively new consumer accessories design firm right into go mode.last_img read more

Roku acquires Dynastrom audio startup amid rumored smart speaker plans

first_imgRoku confirmed the acquisition to Variety recently, though the purchase isn’t new. The company acquired Dynastrom back in September for a modest $3.5 million, plus some shares given to the company’s two co-founders. However, Roku said in its own statement that it won’t be providing any further details about its acquisition.Dynastrom is notable for its multi-room audio technology; therefore, the acquisition possibly hints at a Roku smart speaker that itself has multi-room support, potentially making it something like a cheaper alternative to Sonos. The extent of Roku’s plans aren’t clear, though, and it has avoided saying anything official about them. Back in September, word surfaced that Roku was working on some big audio projects, and that report was fueled by job postings from the company seeking audio engineers. The job listings also indicated that Roku is putting work into developing some sort of voice control system, the combination of which hints at a smart speaker with voice interaction support not unlike an Amazon Echo.When this speaker — assuming it exists — will be released is unclear. The acquisition in September seems to indicate that Roku may still be early in the development process, and it is possible it hasn’t yet developed a speaker that it will send into production. SOURCE: Variety Roku has confirmed the acquisition of Dynastrom, a Danish multi-room audio startup that will continue to operate out of Denmark as a Roku subsidiary. In confirming the acquisition, Roku said the business move was a way to expand its own engineering team, but the talent grab comes amid a wider rumor: that Roku is planning to launch its own smart speaker to take on Echo, Google Home and more.last_img read more

Microsoft enters largest corporate solar power deal in US history

first_imgMicrosoft has doubled down on its green initiatives by entering into the largest corporate solar agreement in the US. The company announced that it has purchased 315MW of energy from a pair of solar projects located in Virginia. Called Pleinmont I and II, these projects are part of a bigger 500MW development owned by sPower. According to the company, this new deal gives Microsoft the honor of making the largest single corporate solar purchase in US history. In early 2016, Microsoft committed to embracing renewable energy and sustainable practices. At the time, about 44-percent of the company’s datacenter electricity came from solar, wind, and hydropower sources. Microsoft said it was hoping to nudge that figure past 50-percent by the end of 2018, and to hit 60-percent by 2020.Fast-forward nearly two years and Microsoft is still committed to that goal. This new solar agreement is helping move the company in that direction, and in fact is putting it ahead of schedule, according to Microsoft President Brad Smith. “This project means more than just gigawatts, because our commitment is broader than transforming our own operations; it’s also about helping others access more renewable energy,” said Smith.The projects aren’t yet operational, but will contain more than 750,000 solar panels across 2,000+ acres once they go live. Once operating, these two plants will produce around 715,000MWh per year. sPower, the projects’ owner and operator, has praised Microsoft’s investment, calling it a “game-changer” for the mission.AdChoices广告This is great news for Virginia, as well, where the projects are located. When the full 500MW system is live, Pleinmont I and II will produce as much renewable energy as all solar power projects currently operating in the entirety of Virginia. These projects will be notable as the fifth largest solar setups in the United States.SOURCE: Microsoftlast_img read more

Galaxy S8 S8 Note 8 Oreo coming to unlocked models soon

first_imgSamsung isn’t exactly known for speedy updates (though, surprisingly, it’s not exactly the worse by some standards). It has, however, at least started to roll out the Android 8.0 (not 8.1) Oreo update to carrier models of its Galaxy S8 and S8+ 2017 flagships. What about the unlocked models, you ask? Samsung has finally broken its silence and is promising it will happen next month, if all goes well. It also goes on to explain why it actually takes unlocked models longer to get updated than carrier ones, which defies logic a bit. In the grand scheme of rolling out major updates, OEMs, like HTC and Sony for example, often lay the blame on the carrier side of the pipeline. Carrier testing and certification, plus the carrier “value-added” apps (a.k.a. bloatware) are pointed out as the bottleneck in the process.In somewhat like a reversal of roles, Samsung is saying that unlocked phones get updates slower exactly because they don’t have direct carrier ties. That is, because they have to support all networks, the testing requires more time and effort in contrast to models that have to only be tested against one carrier’s network. Long story short, if you want faster updates from Samsung, you’ll want to get a carrier-specific model.Regardless of whether you accept that reasoning, Samsung promises that it’s working to get the Oreo update out to the unlocked Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note 8 in two to three weeks’ time. Considering the botched initial rollout of the update to carrier models, owners of unlocked phones will probably prefer that Samsung takes its time to make sure it never happens to them. At this rate, however, it’s probably safe to assume that these phones will never get Android P at all. AdChoices广告last_img read more

JVC LXUH1 DLP projector brings 4K and HDR to home theaters

first_imgJVC isn’t new to the 4K projector market, however its existing UHD devices are quite pricey, putting them more in the realm of businesses than everyday consumers. That’s where the LX-UH1 comes in. This model isn’t cheap at $2499, but it is doable for someone setting up their own home entertainment system. This model is DLP-based.The LX-UH1 features a 0.47-inch TRP digital micro mirror and offers 100-percent support for Rec.709 color. According to AVForums, the new model supports HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma, enabling users to view high dynamic range content. There’s also a dynamic contrast feature.Users get access to two HDMI ports, reducing the odds that you’re going to have to use a switch or regularly toggle between cables. One of the two ports has full HDMI/HDCP2.2 standard support for transfer rates up to 18Gbps. Other features include a 1.6x wide zoom lens that’s adjustable to account for various mounting positions. AdChoices广告These specs are similar to the newly announced BenQ TK800, a 4K consumer projector with support for HDR, Rec.709 (92%), and a 120Hz refresh rate. That model includes a special sports mode that boosts colors and tweaks the audio for sports games. Unlike the JVC projector, though, the BenQ model is a thousand dollars cheaper at $1499 USD.SOURCE: AVForums JVC has introduced a new projector capitalizing on consumer desire for 4K products. Called the LX-UH1, this new projector is said to offer 4K Ultra HD content with a contrast ratio hitting 100,000:1 and 2,000 lumens. The model, which is definitely toward the upward limit for most consumer budgets, is set to launch in May, officially giving us an alternative to BenQ’s new 4K projector model.last_img read more

Bitcoin price manipulation probe underway at Justice Department

first_imgThe US Department of Justice is investigating possible cryptocurrency price manipulation, at least according to sources that have leaked the probe. According to the tipsters, the DOJ has teamed with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to determine whether some traders have or had been manipulating the price of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The sources say this is a criminal probe. READ: What is Bitcoin? Let AI explainThe investigation was leaked by sources talking to Bloomberg, which reports that both federal prosecutors and the CFTC are looking into whether some traders have been engaging in various illegal schemes to alter crypto prices. These methods include things like pushing out a flood of fake orders to manipulate other traders into either selling their cryptocurrencies or buying up existing currencies. Such manipulation tactics are illegal and come with stiff penalties.AdChoices广告A lack of regulations make cryptocurrencies particularly susceptible to such tactics. Some nations have taken major steps toward restricting or outright banning cryptocurrencies for these reasons and others. Japan, for example, has started regulating currencies like bitcoin, while China has simply banned them.The sources claim that spoofing and wash trading schemes are of particular interest to the DOJ, which is giving focus primarily to bitcoin and ether. However, the probe is reportedly still in its early stages and it’s unclear whether it will lead to any sanctions. Neither government agency has confirmed the report at this time.SOURCE: Bloomberglast_img read more

Lenovo Yoga Book 2 previews E Ink keyboard

first_imgLenovo has a second-generation Yoga Book 2 coming later in the year, the company has teased, and chip partner Intel may have given us a big preview with its Tiger Rapids reference design. Revealed at Computex 2018 this week, the dual-screen ultraportable is Intel’s vision of what its new 8th Generation Core processor can do when paired with both traditional displays and E Ink panels. Story TimelineLenovo Yoga Book hands-on: 2-in-1 ultraportable blends Wacom and TRONSurface Pro 3 vs iPad Pro 9.7 vs Lenovo Yoga Book Android showdownLenovo Yoga Book Windows – new colors coming The original Yoga Book launched in 2016, a super-compact notebook that did away with a physical keyboard. Instead it used a touch-sensitive keyboard, atop which you could attach a paper notepad and, with a digital stylus, write notes and sketch with both analog and digital results. According to Lenovo, the reception to the Yoga Book was generally positive: at least, positive enough to make the company give the green light to a second-generation version. Despite the 2-in-1 convertible form-factor, for example, it turned out that people used the original Yoga Book as a laptop almost three-quarters of the time. The thinness and lightness were prized, but users wanted more interaction between the upper and lower panels, not to mention more performance. The Yoga Book 2 – or whatever it’s eventually called – will address those demands. While full details haven’t been shared, the upper LCD touchscreen is being joined by an E Ink touchscreen on the lower half. That can show a keyboard layout, presumably customizable depending on the language Windows 10 is set to. There’s a much better inking experience promised, presumably using the stylus directly on one or both of the displays. Lenovo says it’s using AI to make input more “predictable and fluid” which we’re assuming means things like handwriting recognition and more. Inside, meanwhile, there’ll be a higher performance CPU.That’s presumably the upcoming Kaby Lake Y, which Intel is using in its own Tiger Rapids prototype. That has twin 7.9-inch displays – Full HD LCD touchscreen on the top, an E Ink touchscreen with stylus at the bottom – joined with a hinge that actually bears some resemblance to the “watch band” hinge Lenovo’s Yoga Book uses. In Intel’s design, you can use its stylus to sketch and write on the E Ink panel, or turn it into a virtual keyboard. You won’t get the same key-feel as a physical keyboard, of course, but then you can’t use a physical keyboard as a Wacom-style graphics tablet. Intel says it should run for around 7-8 hours on a full charge. It’s unclear if you can turn off the LCD panel and solely use the much more frugal E Ink touchscreen for longer runtimes. Tiger Rapids isn’t the Yoga Book 2, of course. Intel’s screens are smaller – the original Yoga Book used a 10.1-inch LCD, which we wouldn’t be surprised to see the company stick with the second time around – and there’s no telling how Lenovo will use its twin displays in practice. We’re also unclear whether, like the original Yoga Book, the second-gen model will come in both Windows 10 and Android options. The prototype shown on-stage was running Windows, and Lenovo’s comment that PC use hugely outweighed tablet use may suggest Android won’t be so important next time around. Lenovo hasn’t said when the Yoga Book 2 will be revealed, beyond “later in 2018” with availability in time for the holidays. Given the original Yoga Book made its debut at IFA 2016, its successor doing the same at IFA 2018 seems likely, though. Even if it doesn’t deliver everything Intel’s Tiger Rapids promises, mind, there’s still hope. Intel is clearly looking to push this twin-screen category, and other companies are likely to arrive with their own twist on the ultra-portable segment.last_img read more

Asus announces Chrome OS tablet alongside refreshed Chomebooks

first_imgChrome OS has been most successful in schools, powering low-cost, reliable devices for students. Asus has produced several Chromebook models aimed at the classroom, and now the company has updated its lineup with an interesting new addition: its first Chrome OS tablet. With a 9.7-inch touchscreen display, the Asus’ CT100 seems perfectly geared for younger kids who prefer to touch over type, and it’s reinforced to survive classroom abuse. The tablet is outfitted with a rubberized chassis and the display is covered with scratch-resistant tempered glass, both helping it survive drops and other mishaps. Inside is a Chromebook Hexa-core OP1 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. There’s a USB-C port for charging and Asus claims the 35Wh lithium-polymer battery will last a “full school day” on a single charge, which we assume is in the range of seven to eight hours.While the CT100 is the newest addition to Asus’ Chromebook Education series, the lineup also include a range of updated laptop models. First is the Chromebook Flip C214, a 2-in-1 with a 360-degree hinge, allowing it to act as both a laptop and tablet. The C214 features a 11.6-inch HD display, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage with microSD support, and either an Intel N4000 or N4100 Celeron processor. Along with a spill-proof keyboard, two USB-C ports, and stylus support, Asus has relocated the world-view camera from near the display hinge to the bottom right corner under the keyboard.The Chromebook C204 and Chromebook C403 have 11.6-inch and 14-inch displays, respectively, and each use clamshell designs with 180-degree hinges. Both feature dual-core Intel Celeron processors, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a combination of USB-A and USB-C ports, plus a microSD card slot. The C204 promises a full-day battery life, while the C403 offers up to 11 hours.Asus adds that all three laptops are designed to be no bigger than a textbook, making them easy to fit inside a backpack. There’s no word on pricing or release dates yet, but it’s likely Asus will have more details at next week’s CES 2019 show.SOURCE Asus Story TimelineGoogle Pixel Slate Review: An expensive experimentChromebook Family Link continues Google’s Digital Wellbeing thrustThe Best of 2018: Personal Computing EditionASUS ROG Phone teardown reveals curious designASUS Mini PC ProArt PA90 tower PC almost looks familiarlast_img read more

VW ID R electric racer sets Pikes Peak in its sights

first_imgFor the moment, indeed, the I.D. R is currently just a prototype. All Volkswagen is showing off is a couple of glossy renders. It doesn’t have long to turn those into an actual vehicle, mind: the hillclimb is fast approaching, taking place in Colorado on June 24.The production car will be the fruit of a collaboration between Volkswagen R, its performance road car division, and Volkswagen Motorsport. Equipped, unsurprisingly, with four-wheel-drive, it’ll be designed to take on the so-called “Race to the Clouds” and beat the current EV prototype class record time of 8:57.118 minutes. That will involve starting at around 9,000 feet and then climbing, over the course of 12.4 miles, to 14,115 feet above sea level.Despite the outlandish appearance, though, the I.D. R actually has some sizable similarities with VW’s production electric cars. Under the sheet metal there’s the same MEB platform as we’ve seen the automaker use already, a modular-electric system that promises huge flexibility in how future EVs are configured. At one extreme will be the I.D. R with as much electric power as the engineers can fit in, but that’s not the only talent of the MEB.AdChoices广告For VW, after all, this is about more than just racing up a hill in the fastest possible way. The I.D. R sits at the top of its I.D. family of what are now electric concepts, but will eventually be a full production range of cars available in mainstream dealerships. In the US, that will begin in 2020 with the production version of the I.D. CROZZ, its all-electric crossover. Beyond that, there’s the striking I.D. BUZZ electric Microbus, and then in 2022 the most recent of the concepts, the I.D. VIZZION. That’s a sizable electric sedan which Volkswagen promises will embrace autonomous driving, or at least as much of that as is technologically and legally permissible by that point in time. As with the other I.D. vehicles, the MEB will offer plenty of customization potential: front wheel drive or rear wheel drive, for example, or all-wheel drive like the I.D. R, and with a range of batteries depending on how long between charges the vehicle needs to run. While Pikes Peak might seem like a frivolity in the face of tougher emissions standards, for VW it’s another opportunity to demonstrate that electric needn’t mean dull. Hopefully that also paves the way for a full-EV sports car using the MEB platform in the not-too-distant future, too. Volkswagen has been pushing its electrification strategy hard in recent months, promising dozens of new EVs over the next couple of years, and now it has a halo car too. The VW I.D. R is an all-electric racing car, with which the automaker believes it can take on the notorious Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. That is, of course, when it actually finishes building it. Story TimelineVW I.D. EV boast: We’ll hugely undercut Tesla’s Model 3 says execIf VW’s I.D. CROZZ is the electric future, we can’t waitVW plans 2022 release for I.D. VIZZION autonomous luxe-EVlast_img read more

Galaxy Note 10 renders make you forget about the hole

first_imgToday we’re taking a peek at a few images of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Note 10+ (or Pro, if you prefer). These images are not likely direct from Samsung, but do look quite like what Samsung might deliver if Samsung would deliver such super-simple cases for their smartphone set. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and 10 Plus (if you’d like that to be its name), will likely be revealed on August 7th, 2019, per Samsung’s official teaser. In the official teaser, Samsung showed the front-facing camera of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. They did not give a whole lot of detail other than this, but to confirm that the event would indeed be called Unpacked, and that the device would still have an S Pen. Also it’ll almost certainly come in black, if not white and shiny, shiny pearl.The white and shiny pearl color suggestions come from the images we’re seeing today from SamMobile. These leaked images show the white edition and the Prism White. That’s the actual color name Samsung’s given the Galaxy S10 with the same effect – it’s white, but if you look at it at an angle, it’s all SORTS of colors.We see both the small and the large Galaxy Note 10 here, both with a very similar frontside and a slightly different backside. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus has a camera setup with three camera lenses, two mystery sensors, and an LED flash. The mystery sensors and the arrangement of the cameras indicate this machine’s abilities probably match those of the Galaxy S10 5G.AdChoices广告Both devices look like they’ll abstain from the standard headphone jack, and both will do away with the Bixby button, at last. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus looks like it’ll have an IR-blaster (to control your TV), and at least two microphone holes.The Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Note 10 Pro (or Plus, whatever you’d like to call it), will both have a release date in late August, 2019. Since Samsung is likely holding the Galaxy Note 10 reveal date event on August 7th, 2019, the release date will quite likely come in the last couple weeks of the month. Story TimelineGalaxy Note 10 Unpacked 2019 invite teases tiny punch hole cameraGalaxy Note 10 Unpacked 2019: What to expectGalaxy Note 10 Plus: Samsung’s invite for release and an unsuspected detaillast_img read more

Autonomous car AI can learn to drive in new places like humans

first_imgThere are definitely many benefits to this end-to-end navigation system. In theory, one can simply download a map into the car and it would be able to go from point A to point B without prior training in that area. It also means that the car won’t need expensive sensors like LIDARs or advanced mapping solutions.AdChoices广告And even when there is a discrepancy between the downloaded map and what the car sees through its cameras, the self-driving AI will still be able to make decisions based on previously learned driving methods. But perhaps better than most humans, it will also take the safest paths or make the safest decisions when it gets lost. The hype and media coverage may have died down a bit but many car makers still believe that autonomous is the future of driving. What many won’t admit, however, is how difficult it really is to train those self-driving systems. Most of them require going through known roads multiple times using complicated data from pre-scanned areas. MIT researchers, however, are developing an AI that can go through new territory with just a GPS-based map and some human intelligence. We might still be far away from an AI that can learn with the same intuition as humans. Most AI really learn by going through massive amounts of data at high-speed but that has the disadvantage of knowing the data set beforehand. When driving through unfamiliar roads, that AI might start to fail.The AI developed by Alexander Amini and Daniela Rus from MIT do study data sets but not of the roads themselves but how humans drive on roads, taking cues for signs, structures, and maps. An automated Toyota Prius is then set on a preplanned route in a different area and manages to make decisions almost exactly like a human.last_img read more

Smartglasses use eyetracking to make sure whatever you look at is in

first_imgWhen you hear the term “smartglasses,” you might picture something like Google Glass. But researchers at Stanford University have taken a very different tack with their latest project. They’ve developed a pair of experimental smartglasses which could be used to treat a variety of vision defects using depth-sensing cameras and eye-tracking technology.Called “Autofocals,” the glasses promise to keep objects in hyper-sharp focus at all times, whether they’re up close or far away. They do this by changing their depth of focus, based on what it is that a person is looking at.“Reading glasses can be cumbersome, because you need to carry them and put them on or off, depending on whether you are looking at an object at a close or far distance,” Gordon Wetzstein, assistant professor in Stanford University’s Electrical Engineering Department, told Digital Trends. “While this works well for reading, it clearly does not for scenarios like driving. Bifocals and monovision gives a user clear vision at only two different distances. Also, monovision is perceptually uncomfortable for many users. Progressives work reasonably well, but they require a user to align their head with the object that they look at. This is problematic when you want to look at small objects at different distances, because it takes time to align the head and that is also inconvenient.”Nitish PadmanabanThe team’s electronic eyeglasses mimic the natural “autofocus” mechanism of the human eye. Just as a healthy eye allows us to look at something and have it immediately come into focus, so too do the Stanford smartglasses. The prototype glasses use fluid-filled lenses that are able to either bulge or thin as the field of vision changes, based on an electric current. By using eye-tracking sensors to triangulate where a person is looking and determine its precise distance, smart software can ensure that the objects being viewed are always in focus. While the team did not invent the lenses or eye-tracking technology themselves, they did create the special software which brings it all together.Wetzstein continued: “In a large-scale user study, we [have demonstrated] that Autofocals exhibit better visual acuity when compared to conventional presbyopia correction methods. Autofocals [also] significantly improve visual task performance, and it is also ranked by users as the preferred correction in terms of ease of refocusing.”Given that approximately 1.2 billion people worldwide suffer from presbyopia, the vision-affecting inability to refocus to near distances, this could be a game-changer. Provided the researchers who developed them can find some way of making the smartglasses look, well, a bit smarter, that is!A paper describing the research was recently published in the journal Science Advances. Editors’ Recommendations The 10 best computer reading glasses to help reduce eye strain The best lenses for portrait photography Sigma 28mm F1.4 DG HSM Art review The best fitness trackers for 2019 Sony A6400 reviewlast_img read more

Viewpoints A Failure To Govern Democrats Moved The Goal Posts In Va

first_imgViewpoints: A Failure To Govern; Democrats ‘Moved The Goal Posts’ In Va. Deal On Medicaid Panel; Hospitals ‘Squeeze’ The Uninsured This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Washington Post: Washington Fails To Govern, As Sequester Arrives To govern is to choose. By missing Friday’s deadline for averting $85 billion worth of across-the-board spending cuts to defense and domestic programs, Congress and President Obama have chosen not to govern. Instead, each side has concluded that its interest lies in letting the “sequester” proceed as scheduled — and then trying to win the political blame game (2/28). The New York Times’ Opinionator: Breaking Down The Budget Mess [T]he spending reductions mandated by the sequester legislation are confined to a group of programs representing less than half of the budget, as shown in chart 1. Even within this select group, all programs are not alike. Medicare is slated to be trimmed by only 2 percent, while a 7.9 percent reduction will be imposed on the military. Nondefense discretionary spending – everything from education aid to research grants – will be reduced by 5.3 percent (Steven Rattner, 2/28). Los Angeles Times: The All-Pain, No-Gain ‘Sequester’ Republicans like to say Washington has a spending problem, but they confuse the current recession-driven budget gap with the long-term, structural issues. The titanic deficits of Obama’s first term are already shrinking, and the gap will continue to narrow as the economy regains strength. But even vigorous economic growth won’t solve the longer-term fiscal problems caused by the ever-increasing cost of healthcare entitlements such as Medicare and by an aging population that will require fewer workers to support more retirees. That’s why Washington needs to adopt a plan that phases in solutions to the long-term problems as the economy grows stronger. That’s not what the sequester will do (2/28). USA Today: Cut Federal Spending In A Smart Way: Our View Virtually all the sequester’s cuts are concentrated in the one-third of the budget that funds core government services. The cuts are front-loaded, with the biggest impact coming in the early years. And they give federal departments little flexibility on how to impose them. This will be a drag on the economy and bring significant headaches in select areas — such as air traffic control, food inspection and immigration enforcement — where government is already stretched thin. And the surging cost of entitlements, such as Medicare and Social Security, guarantees the sequester won’t do that much to reduce the deficit (2/28). USA Today: Sequestration Will Restore Balance: Opposing View Government overspending is the greatest threat to economic prosperity we face today. After four years of unprecedented trillion dollar deficits, Washington politicians are complaining that the sequester cuts are going to slow the growth of the federal budget by a mere two cents on the dollar. … These modest cuts are an important step forward for economic growth. While perhaps painful at first, they will restore some balance to our fiscal system, allowing government to prioritize properly and function in line with the American people (Tim Phillips, 2/28). The Wall Street Journal: Obamageddon If you’re reading this after midnight on Friday, March 1, the dreaded Beltway hour of doom known as the “sequester” has arrived and the news is that the world has not ended. You can pinch yourself to make sure. This does not mean there won’t be more political histrionics, but the beginning of applying reason to Washington is understanding that it is possible to cut at least some federal spending (2/28). Bloomberg: Why Democrats Must Get Smart On Entitlements In a season of depressing budget news, the worst may have been that a majority of U.S. House Democrats signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to oppose any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements. That’s the last thing we need. To hold the line on harmful cuts to discretionary spending, Obama and the Democrats must educate the public about the necessity of entitlement reform. Otherwise, the poor and needy — largely spared by the automatic reductions under sequestration — will get hit much harder down the road (Jonathan Alter, 2/28). Boston Globe: Baby Boomers Are The Economy’s ‘Oh, No!’Over the longer term, which (Alan) Blinder defines as the 2020s, 2030s, and beyond, the picture gets considerably grimmer. Mind you, that’s not because of new spending by President Obama. Rather, it’s largely due to the increasing number of baby boomers who will be tapping Medicare or Medicaid, and to the growing interest payments on our burgeoning national debt. There are some lessons here for both sides of the political aisle (Scot Lehigh, 3/1). San Francisco Chronicle: Time For Long View On Federal DeficitMany Americans no doubt wonder how a 2.4 percent cut in a $3.6 trillion budget can create so much havoc. The answer shows the cost of avoidance and denial. The so-called sequester exempted more than 60 percent of all federal spending — most notably Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits. It also concentrated the cuts to the last seven months of the fiscal year, thanks in part to the kick-the-can deal to avoid the Jan. 1 “fiscal cliff” (2/28). Roll Call: Durkin: ‘Primary Prevention’ Two Important Words For PolicymakersJust two words: primary prevention. They aren’t heard much in the ongoing health care debate. They haven’t caught on as political buzz words on Capitol Hill. They didn’t find their way among the utterances that grabbed our attention during the 112th Congress. But they are the very foundation on which a revitalized U.S. health care system must be built. Not to be confused with health screenings and early diagnosis — which do matter in the effective treatment of many illnesses — primary prevention encompasses healthy lifestyle practices that deter diseases before they start. This is where we save lives, improve quality of life and avoid preventable health care spending (Helen Durkin, 2/28).The Wall Street Journal: Dominion State Disaster Liberals don’t become more reasonable in their demands for spending increases when Republicans give them more revenues. They become much less so. When Senate Democrats in Richmond realized that Mr. McDonnell would stop at nothing to get his “legacy” transportation tax increase enacted, and that he couldn’t do it without their votes, they moved the goal posts. Democrats added a demand that Mr. McDonnell drop his opposition to the Medicaid expansion in Virginia under ObamaCare. Mr. McDonnell, who just two days earlier swore that he would not allow the expansion without substantial reforms, was so far out on the limb on taxes that he caved to the Democrats and agreed to kick the Medicaid issue to a commission, which almost certainly will approve the ObamaCare expansions. All this to get Democratic votes for a tax increase they long sought (Stephen Moore, 2/28). The New York Times: Economix: Shocked, Shocked, Over Hospital Bills Americans are shocked, just shocked. But what they should have known for years is that in most states, hospitals are free to squeeze uninsured middle- and upper-middle-class patients for every penny of savings or assets they and their families may have. That’s despite the fact that the economic turf of these hospitals – for the most part so-called nonprofit hospitals – is often protected by state Certificate of Need laws that bestow on them monopolistic power by keeping new potential competitors at bay (Uwe E. Reinhardt, 3/1). Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Arkansas Deal With HHS On Medicaid Expansion A Model For ColoradoNew results from Arkansas suggest that Colorado officials who favor Medicaid expansion may be able to negotiate a better deal for both low-income people and state taxpayers. Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has negotiated an alternative to the standard Medicaid expansion offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Obamacare. Health and Human Services has agreed that Arkansas can pay premiums for commercial insurance purchased through the state’s health insurance exchange using the federal funding that would have gone to expand Medicaid. The program will extend commercial coverage to adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. New reports say Arkansas can opt out and return to regular Medicaid at any time (Linda Gorman, 2/28).last_img read more

State Highlights NY Expects 20M Savings With Psychiatric Care Overhaul

first_imgState Highlights: N.Y. Expects $20M Savings With Psychiatric Care Overhaul This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Associated Press: N.Y. To Overhaul State Psychiatric CareNew York plans to overhaul its psychiatric services over the next four years by consolidating 24 inpatient hospitals into 15 regional centers and establishing two dozen outpatient hubs. The plan released to The Associated Press by the Office of Mental Health on Wednesday begins in 2014 and is expected to save $20 million the first year (7/10).Detroit Free Press: Cardiology Practice, Jackson Hospital To Pay $4M In Lawsuit Alleging Medically Inappropriate Heart ProceduresA cardiology practice and a Jackson hospital have agreed to pay the federal government $4 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed patients were subjected to medically inappropriate heart procedures. It was a doctor who blew the whistle on the questionable practices, the government said (Baldas, 7/10).California Healthline: Contentious Physical Therapy Legislation Approved By CommitteeThe Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development on Monday finally approved a contentious bill to allow professional corporations to directly employ physical therapists. Monday’s intense and multifaceted discussion followed a hearing in the same committee just a week before, a hearing which went on so long, it had to be carried over to this week (Gorn, 7/10).California Healthline: Aetna And United Are Out Of California. Who’s Moving In?United Healthcare has more than 4,700 hospitals in its national network. Valley Health Plan has four. That relative scale is one reason why United’s departure from California’s individual market last week got so many headlines — even though the health plan only covers 8,000 people — while the news of Valley’s inclusion in Covered California last month got almost none. And on the surface, the thought of losing the nation’s largest health insurer doesn’t seem to augur much good for the Golden State’s health reform efforts. Especially in the wake of Aetna’s similar announcement last month (Diamond, 7/10).last_img read more

State Highlights NY Insurer Will Reinstate Young Adult Coverage

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. A selection of health policy stories from New York, California, Virginia, South Carolina, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, Georgia and Colorado.The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NY Insurer Agrees To Reinstate Offspring CoverageA New York insurer has agreed to reinstate health coverage for up to 8,300 young adults who were dropped from their parents’ policies before they turned 30. Under an agreement with the state attorney general, EmblemHealth Inc. also said it will pay approximately 175 claims for about $90,000 for unreimbursed medical treatment. While federal law authorizes keeping children on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26, New York requires insurers to offer that continuing coverage until age 30. The agreement signed this week also requires EmblemHealth to pay the attorney general $100,000 as a civil penalty (1/29).The Washington Post: San Francisco Thinks Obamacare Can Cut Costs, Crime RatesAcross the country, an estimated 90 percent of those in county jails don’t have health insurance. About the same number would qualify for subsidized health-care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. And those prisoners are more susceptible to chronic illnesses that, without treatment once they are freed, cost millions in emergency room visits. Now, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department thinks it can help cut costs — and reduce recidivism rates — by signing up many of the 31,000 people it books in jail every year for coverage under Obamacare (Wilson, 1/29).The Washington Post: Virginia House Panel Backs Proposal On Finding Psychiatric BedsIn Virginia, a proposal to give mental health workers more time to find beds for people who need immediate psychiatric care cleared a House subcommittee Wednesday, as lawmakers move swiftly to respond to an attack on Sen. R. Creigh Deeds by his son. A House Courts of Justice subcommittee cleared several proposals, including one to extend the current time limit of six hours to find psychiatric beds for individuals in crisis by two hours, and if a bed cannot be found by that deadline, to require state facilities to provide a bed of last resort (Shin, 1/29). The New York Times: New York State Recommends Expanding License Of Health Agency With Checkered PastIt was a medical scheme that shocked the public conscience when it came to light in 2001: Two dozen mentally ill residents of a Queens adult home were forced to have unnecessary prostate surgery that generated tens of thousands of dollars in government fees (Bernstein, 1/29).The Associated Press: S.C. Medicaid Agency Posts Hospitals Financial DataSouth Carolina’s Medicaid agency on Monday introduced an easy-to-navigate website showing the financial data of the state’s 60 hospitals that will eventually allow patients to comparison shop for health care. The agency’s multi-stage project is aimed at bringing transparency to healthcare costs, ultimately driving costs down, by posting data online so that it’s easy to access and interpret, said Director Tony Keck (1/29).The CT Mirror: Free Dental Clinic Coming To Hartford After AllAlthough it seemed unlikely months ago, the Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is coming to Hartford this spring, with plans to provide free care to more than 2,200 people. Organizers had tried in the past to hold a clinic in Hartford but couldn’t find a venue they could afford. But after news coverage and intervention from city officials and a U.S. senator, clinic organizers reached an agreement with the publicly owned XL Center to rent the facility at a discounted rate (Becker, 1/29).Health News Florida: Scott Wants More Cancer CentersCancer hospitals vying to earn National Cancer Institute designation would get $60 million next year under a budget proposal being released by Florida Gov. Rick Scott today. Scott, who is running for a second term as governor, made Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center the final stop of his “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” tour on Tuesday (Shedden, 1/29).Kansas Health Institute: Corrections Department Plan Would Help County Jails Gain Access To MedicaidThe Kansas Department of Corrections is working with local law enforcement officials on a plan that would help county jail keepers bill Medicaid for a portion of their inmates’ health care costs. The move could save Kansas jails between $1.2 million and $2.4 million a year, said Viola Riggin, director of health care services at the Kansas Department of Corrections (Ranney, 1/29).Minnesota Public Radio: ‘Structural Racism’ Blamed For Some Of State’s Severe Health DisparitiesMinnesota’s infant mortality rate is among the best in the country. Dig a little deeper, though, and the data reveal African-American babies are twice as likely as white babies to die in their first year. That disparity is the worst in the country. It’s one of many examples where Minnesota’s overall good health is not shared equally by all (Benson and Yuen, 1/30).Detroit News: Detroit Deadliest City For Kids Due To Prematurity, ViolenceChildren are dying in Detroit at a greater rate than in any U.S. city its size or larger, a Detroit News study shows. Mostly, they die of conditions resulting from prematurity — the top killer of Detroit kids — and violence, which ranks second. “This is a public health emergency in the city of Detroit,” said Dr. Herman Gray, executive vice president of pediatric health services for the Detroit Medical Center and former president of DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan. “We are losing our future in really socially unacceptable ways” (Bouffard, 1/30).Georgia Health News: Flight Plan: State Wants Air Ambulances For Rural RegionGov. Nathan Deal’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2015 contains a surprising health care item: $13 million to fund air ambulance service in 14 southwest Georgia counties. If the funding is approved by the General Assembly, it will the first time the state has ever operated an ambulance service — either by air or by ground. In Georgia, trauma transport typically is handled by counties, hospitals or private emergency medical services (EMS) companies. Currently, all air ambulance service in the state is provided by private carriers (Craig, 1/29).Health News Colorado: Remote Care, Monopolies And Pricy Injuries Hike Resort, Rural Health CostsBlame the helicopters. One of Colorado’s least populated counties leads the state in health costs per person, according to new 2012 data from Colorado’s All Payer Claims Database (APCD). Mineral County in southern Colorado is home to just one town, Creede. It also has beautiful public lands that were ravaged by wildfires last summer and a population of about 700 that skews older and therefore sometimes sicker. Geographically isolated by canyons and mountain passes, the people of Mineral County face long trips if they need to be hospitalized (McCrimmon, 1/29). State Highlights: N.Y. Insurer Will Reinstate Young Adult Coveragelast_img read more

State Highlights Fla Restaurants Health Law Surcharge

first_imgState Highlights: Fla. Restaurant’s Health Law Surcharge A selection of health policy stories from Florida, California, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.Los Angeles Times: Florida Restaurant Chain Adds Health Care Surcharge To The Tab; Will Others Follow?A chain of restaurants in central and northern Florida have added a 1 percent surcharge to its customers’ checks to cover health care costs for its employees. Eight Gator’s Dockside restaurants have instituted the surcharge, the Associated Press reported. Customers’ bills show a fee labeled “ACA,” which stands for the Affordable Care Act that will require all businesses with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health coverage or pay a fine. For restaurants with more than 100 full-time staff members, the deadline to comply is 2015 (Hallock, 3/1).Reuters: Florida Restaurant Chain Adds Obamacare Surcharge To Meal BillsDiners at a Florida restaurant chain are being asked to pay a health insurance surcharge on their meal tabs to cover the cost for business owners of the Obama administration’s new healthcare program. Customers at eight Gator’s Dockside restaurants dotted around central and north Florida are finding a 1 percent surcharge on their bills listed as “ACA,” the letters standing for the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare (Liston, 2/28).Miami Herald: Feds To Fine State Over Limit on Medicaid Patients’ ER VisitsFlorida has been limiting Medicaid patients to six emergency room visits a year even though federal officials consider such a cap illegal. As a result, the federal government intends to penalize the state by withholding a portion of Medicaid funding (Mitchell and Tillman, 3/2).Los Angeles Times: Rate Of Babies Delivered At U.S. Hospitals Drops SharplyU.S. hospitals are making major strides at clamping down on early deliveries of babies and instead letting Mother Nature take its course in response to growing pressure from employers, government officials and patient-safety advocates. The Leapfrog Group, an employer-backed organization that tracks hospital safety and quality, published data Monday showing a sharp decrease in early-elective deliveries since 2010 nationwide and in California (Terhune, 3/2). The Washington Post: MetroAccess Is A Public Transit Lifeline For People With DisabilitiesMandated by the Americans With Disabilities Act, MetroAccess is vital to many of its 32,000 users, people who are not physically capable of riding Metro’s buses or trains or who might feel frightened doing so because of their disabilities. For [Denise Rush, who is blind,] and others, it’s a key to an active, fulfilling lifestyle, allowing them to avoid becoming shut-ins or burdens to their families. … Without transportation, Rush says, she could not keep her job, and losing her job would mean losing her health insurance and possibly her home (Duggan, 3/1).Philadelphia Inquirer: Phila. Area Blocked From New Medicare Ambulance Enrollment Citing a “significant potential for fraud, waste, and abuse,” federal Medicare officials put a moratorium on the enrollment of new ambulance operators in Philadelphia and six surrounding counties. The Philadelphia moratorium, which took effect Jan. 31, is just the second time officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have exercised this new power under the Affordable Care Act. It is intended to root out fraud (Brubaker, 3/2). Miami Herald: Jackson Memorial Hospital Expected To Lose $140 Million Under New Medicaid Law Jackson Memorial Hospital is bracing again for big cuts — this time, the result of a new law that will send millions of federal dollars that used to go to Miami-Dade hospitals elsewhere in the state. … The new funding formula was a little-known part of Florida’s 2011 Medicaid reform law, a Republican-driven overhaul of the state and federal insurance program for the poor. The provision was intended to make the distribution of an estimated $1 billion a year in federal Medicaid matching funds more equitable. But its unintended consequences are now becoming clear, as the funding mechanism known as “tiering” is scheduled to take effect (McGrory, Mitchell and Tillman, 3/2).The Kansas City Star: Healthier Lunches Law Has Unintended ConsequencesIt’s been two years since legislation was implemented to encourage healthy eating during school lunches — and kids are eating healthier — but the new rules also are having some unintended consequences. Students at Wilson Junior High School [in Manitowoc, Wisconsin] had a wide assortment of healthy options as they walked through the lunch line recently…However, while the legislation requires students take a fruit and vegetable, it cannot force them to eat it — and many students choose not to. “We had very little waste before, now we have a lot of waste,” [food services director Lynette] Zalec said (Bock, 3/3). 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

Bank of Canadas Stephen Poloz gets chance today to put rate cut

first_imgBank of Canada’s Stephen Poloz gets chance today to put rate cut speculation on ice Investors now see a strong chance of a cut by the Bank of Canada over the next 12 months Sponsored By: What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has an opportunity Monday to address market expectations that his next move will probably be an interest-rate cut.Poloz speaks in Iqaluit, the capital of the northern territory of Nunavut, in his first appearance since the Federal Reserve’s surprise dovish policy shift two weeks ago triggered concern about the state of the global economy. A segment of Canada’s yield curve considered a potential recession signal inverted March 22 for the first time since 2007. Investors now see a strong chance of a cut by the Bank of Canada over the next 12 months.This raises a major challenge for Poloz, one of the few central bankers worldwide still talking about the need — at least over time — for rates to move higher. Whether he shrugs off the latest market moves remains the big question ahead of the central bank’s next decision on April 24. As income pie shrinks, Ottawa and business talk past each other Canada’s debt to GDP ratio: ‘Nerve-racking to see debt servicing costs rising so quickly,’ RBC economist says ‘The yield curve is the best economist out there’: What Canada’s first inverted curve in 12 years tells us “We don’t think it’s appropriate to be talking about cutting rates at this juncture,” said Doug Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal. Poloz “could take one more turn of the dovish screw, I suppose, by going completely neutral — although I believe it would be more appropriate to do that at the next decision date. ”The gap between Canadian three-month and 10-year rates went negative on March 21, tracking a similar move in the U.S. For investors predicting a recession south of the border, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume Canada would be pulled into one as well. All of the country’s last eight recessions have coincided with contractions in the U.S.Related Stories:High-flying loonie could give Bank of Canada pause in this week’s interest rate decisionBank of Canada to diverge from Fed’s easing path this year‘We see Bank of Canada on hold for next couple of years’: What the economists say about Wednesday’s rate decisionLast StatementsThe Bank of Canada hasn’t said much during the recent turbulence. Its last public communication was a March 14 speech by Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins in which she highlighted the vulnerabilities created by global leverage but said the central bank expects the worldwide expansion to continue and Canada’s economic growth to pick up after a weaker-than-expected first half.Her comments reiterated language from the central bank’s decision on March 6, when it left rates unchanged and toned down its conviction that interest rates need to go higher, while sticking to an overall hiking stance.Poloz’s speech, titled the “Importance of Trade,” will be published at 2:55 p.m. Ottawa time. Iqaluit is situated 195 miles south of the Arctic Circle.Even as markets continue to bet on cuts, the data is mixed enough to keep Poloz on the sidelines for the foreseeable future. The latest gross domestic product data show the economy expanded at a 0.3 per cent pace in January, painting a less bleak picture than feared. Growth is tracking an annualized first-quarter pace of more than 1 per cent, a big improvement from the previous quarter’s 0.4 per cent.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say“The Canadian expansion faces a host of challenges in 2019. Escalating global risks and weaker-than-expected GDP at year-end signal below-trend growth this year. This means inflationary pressures should be subdued, which will allow the Bank of Canada to pause on its path back to neutral to assess the changing landscape.”The Bank of Canada will release a new set of quarterly economic forecasts at its April meeting that will likely be revised down. In January, it forecast growth of 2 per cent in 2018 and 1.7 percent this year. The 2018 number came in at 1.8 per cent. Economists have since lowered estimates for 2019 closer to 1.5 per cent.Neutral RatePolicy makers will also use the April meeting to review their neutral interest rate forecast — a key variable for plotting decisions. The measure is used to gauge how stimulative the policy rate is: the bigger the gap between the actual rate and the neutral rate, the more stimulative the policy, while a smaller gap would indicate fewer hikes are required. A downward revision would imply current policy is tighter than previously assumed.Until now, the central bank has estimated the neutral rate is between 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent, versus a policy rate of 1.75 per Bloomberg News Comment Facebook Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz speaks Iqaluit, the capital of the northern territory of Nunavut, Monday, April.Canadian Press/Graham Hughes Email Featured Stories Join the conversation → 0 Comments More Twitter ← Previous Next → Share this storyBank of Canada’s Stephen Poloz gets chance today to put rate cut speculation on ice Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Reddit advertisement Theophilos Argitis April 1, 201910:34 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Recommended For YouJapan ruling bloc to keep simple majority in upper house, may get 2/3- NHK exit pollDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016The storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them through last_img read more

Green Deals Segway Mini 320 Electric Personal Transporter 353 Reg 500 more

first_imgThe official Ninebot Newegg storefront offers its Segway Mini 320 Electric Self-Balancing Transporter for $353.39 when promo code CAR201810 is applied during checkout. For comparison, this model has a list price of $800 but has typically sold for around $500 when in-stock at various retailers. Comparable rides sell for around that price at Amazon. This model sports a self-balancing frame with up to 14-miles of range at 10mph speeds. It has a free accompanying smartphone app that allows you to track ride data, battery life and more. Ninebot’s Segway products have solid ratings across the board at Amazon. more…The post Green Deals: Segway Mini 320 Electric Personal Transporter $353 (Reg. $500), more appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img