first_imgBhopal: After Chhattisgarh, the Congress has started search for a new party chief in Madhya Pradesh with focus on a clutch of leaders from the tribal community whose support was crucial in propelling it to power last year.At present, Chief Minister Kamal Nath is also the president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC). Late last month, the Congress appointed tribal leader Mohan Markam as president of its Chhattisgarh unit. Since then, speculation is rife that the MPCC, too, will get a tribal leader as its head.The Nath camp is pitching for Home Minister Bala Bachchan, a tribal leader, as the MPCC chief, party sources said. On the other hand, supporters of Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia want to see Umang Singhar, also an adivasis, at the helm of the state unit, they said.However, Singhar, also a minister, is said to be facing resistance from supporters of Congress veteran and former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, the sources said. Former Union minister Suresh Pachouri’s opinion will also be considered when making the crucial appointment, a Congress leader said.In case state Congress stalwarts dont reach a consensus on either Bachchan or Singhar, another tribal or a young leader may be chosen for the post, the sources said.Nath (72), who became the MPCC president in April last year, two days ago had said the Madhya Pradesh Congress would shortly get a new chief. He had later left for New Delhi to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi.Since the last two days, state party leaders are camping in New Delhi and holding talks with the high command to reach a consensus over the new state president.Nath had offered to resign from the MPCC president’s post after taking over as chief minister in December last year. However, the Congress high command had asked him to continue in the post.After the Congress’s humiliating defeat in the general elections, in which it could win just one of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh, Nath had again offered to quit the party post.Congress general secretary in-charge of Madhya Pradesh Dipak Babaria declined to comment over the issue. “I am on the way to Delhi to attend an AICC meeting, he told PTI over the phone from the national capital. Forty-seven assembly seats in MP were reserved for tribals, who constitute 21 per cent of the state’s population of 7.5 crore.In the 2018 assembly polls, the Congress had won around 30 of these tribal reserved seats. Currently, Madhya Pradesh has four ministers from the tribal community – Bachchan, Singhar, Omkar Singh Markam (tribal affairs) and Surendra Singh (tourism). chhattisgarhcongresskamal nathmadhya pradesh First Published: July 3, 2019, 8:51 AM ISTlast_img read more

first_img Editors’ Recommendations Cosmic dust feeds star formation in this week’s Hubble image How do you kill a jellyfish galaxy? With a supermassive black hole Two galaxies play tug of war in this spectacular Hubble image Galactic mapping satellite Gaia spotted by ground-based Very Large Telescope The earliest galaxies shone brightly in the young universe The magnetic field lines of the the Cigar Galaxy (also called M82) appear in this composite image. The lines follow the bipolar outflows (red) generated by exceptionally high rates of star formation. NASA/SOFIA/E. Lopez-Rodiguez; NASA/Spitzer/J. Moustakas et al.In the vast distances between galaxies, space is not completely empty — gas and dust is blown into the void and this matter eventually becomes the seed for new stars and galaxies. But where does this matter come from? A new study reveals how galactic winds carry this material away from sites of new star creation and out into intergalactic space.Researchers at the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) looked at the Cigar Galaxy, also known as M82, which is famous for producing new stars at a tremendous speed. In this galaxy, stars are born 10 times faster than they are here in our Milky Way. As well as this unusual feature, the Cigar Galaxy has particularly strong galactic winds — streams of highly charged particles which shoot off into space when new stars are formed. This makes it the ideal location to observe how gas and dust are carried out into intergalactic space.Using the SOFIA flying observatory, the astronomers were able to observe the magnetic field of the Cigar Galaxy and see how it related to the movement of galactic winds. They found that the powerful winds moved not only matter but also the magnetic field itself, dragging it more than 2,000 light-years across.“One of the main objectives of this research was to evaluate how efficiently the galactic wind can drag along the magnetic field,” Enrique Lopez-Rodriguez, a Universities Space Research Association (USRA) scientist working on the SOFIA team, said in a statement. “We did not expect to find the magnetic field to be aligned with the wind over such a large area.”This finding suggests that the galactic winds could be responsible for seeding new galaxies as they carry not only gas and dust but also a magnetic field into the intergalactic medium, which would encourage stars and eventually galaxies to form. This is also relevant to understanding how the earliest galaxies formed at the start of the universe.“Studying intergalactic magnetic fields — and learning how they evolve — is key to understanding how galaxies evolved over the history of the universe,” lead researcher for this study, Terry Jones, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, said in the same statement. “We now have a new perspective on these magnetic fields.”The findings are published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.last_img read more

first_imgAmazon has done a lot to bolster its line of Fire TV streaming devices this year, but today it’s launching one more device for the international market. Say hello to the Amazon Fire TV Stick Basic Edition – a streaming stick that is comparable in almost every way to Fire TV Stick models of the past. The Fire TV Stick Basic Edition is launching today in 100 markets, representing a major streaming push for Amazon. One quick look at the list of specifications and it becomes clear that we’ve seen this Fire TV Stick before. The streaming stick ships with a MediaTek quad-core ARM processor clocked at 1.3 GHz, pairs that with a Mali450 MP4 GPU, and tosses in a mere 1GB of RAM. Users will also have 8GB of internal storage at their disposal to download new apps and games. The Fire TV Stick Basic Edition is capable of outputting at 720p and 1080p resolution at frame rates up to 60 fps, so no 4K here.That hardware is more or less the same as what’s found in the 2nd and 3rd generation Fire TV Sticks, so this certainly isn’t a new device. So, what’s changing? As compared to the current Fire TV Stick, we’re lacking Alexa support in the new Basic Edition, so you won’t be able to control your media playback through voice commands.The fact that Alexa is missing from this release isn’t all that shocking. Amazon is launching the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition as an international product, and with 100 launch regions, it’ll be releasing in a lot of places where Alexa isn’t available yet. What’s a little more confusing is that the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition costs $49.99 – $10 more than the 3rd generation Fire TV Stick, which does come with Alexa support. Presumably, Amazon is charging more just because it can – for many Prime users around the world, this will be their only option when it comes to Fire TV devices. Whether or not that price hike is worth paying is ultimately up to you, but if you decide you want it, the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition is available now from Amazon. Story TimelineAmazon Prime Video, Fire TV, Fire TV Stick land in Japan October 28Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick comes with an Alexa-enabled remoteAmazon’s All-New Fire TV Stick pre-orders begin in the UKAll-New Amazon Fire TV Stick makes its way to the UKlast_img read more

first_imgNothing uniqueIn a business dominated by reliable brands Steam and Uplay, Razer’s concept of a third-party distributor is a hard sell. Razer didn’t sell games, but product keys gamers would redeem on Steam and Uplay accounts they already had. It does beg the question: what is the point of all this? It was redundant. Users would have to add an additional stop between them and their games, when they could just buy them on Steam and Uplay itself. Razer did promote generous discounts, particularly when they first kicked off the Razer Game Store, but it’s hard to see how sustainable such promotions are in the long run. Today, most discounts in the Game Store mirror those available on Steam, providing little incentive for players to stay true to Razer. Poor incentivesThe Game Store did bring a form of online currency in the form of the awkwardly named “zSilver” and “zGold.” Buying video games gives you credit, which you can use to pay for other games, or even Razer products.The problem was it took a long time for users to earn coins. Rewards that came with purchases were incremental, so the next redeemable item would still be many purchases away, disincentivising users from investing in more games. And with Steam rolling out new price cuts every couple of days, it was easier just to stay with the OGs, leaving Razer with few devoted customers.Spreading itself thinDid Razer really think it could just jump in and rub shoulders with the big boys? Game Store looks like another case of Razer over-estimating its brand equity, trying to snatch pieces of pies it had little to do with. Think Razer Pay, the company’s bizarre attempt at penetrating the highly saturated e-payment market. Min-Liang Tan even proposed it as the “go-to e-payment” for the whole of Singapore, his home country.It does seem like the company has as over-inflated perception of its reach and influence. For a brand still mainly known for its mice and noisy mechanical keyboards that “clack” a lot, it’s quite a leap for customers to accept it as their everyday games dealer, never mind a national e-payment solution. One step at a time, Razer. Too small an ecosystemAs much as the company would have you believe, Razer doesn’t have much of an “ecosystem” yet. Its diverse range of products and peripherals, from laptops, mice, phones to e-payment systems, are as mix-and-match as they go. Gamers don’t really have an incentive to restrict themselves to just Razer products. They are free to jump between brands, free to pair Razer mice with computers and keyboards of any other make. And just before you think of Apple’s own strategy of exclusivity, we’re not saying openness is a bad thing. We don’t need another tech giant closing their technology off to the rest of the world with an exclusive “ecosystem”. What this means for Razer is a management of expectations. With so many products and ambitions in the mix, it can be confusing trying to understand how the company views itself – a gaming peripherals company, or some all-encompassing tech giant. It still hasn’t shaken off its reputation as a hardware company for serious gamers, and that’s where Razer need to build from if they want attention from the rest of the world. Complaints and bugsFurther complicating matters are frequent bugs and issues users are encountering on the Razer Game Store. A common problem was waiting time. Despite paying for their games, many customers were still presented with a “the key will be sent soon” screen, unable to access the games they have bought until much later. Customers have also been turned off by “manual reviews“, which while understandable to prevent fraud, disincentives customers from making the jump from the reliable hands of established distributors like Steam and Uplay. While these problems can exist with any digital distributor, it doesn’t help to know the platform you’re switching to doesn’t spare you any of the trouble. It was always going to be difficult rubbing shoulders with Steam and co. Razer picked a fight it simply wasn’t ready for. Looks like it’s back to the drawing board for Razer. Razer has pulled the plug on the Razer Game Store, just ten months after its launch. The online store offered thousands of digital games in the form of product codes redeemable via Uplay and Steam, with the inclusion of special bundles and discounts. The gaming hardware brand stated it was for “realignment purposes,” but it’s hard to imagine the Game Store’s closure not being a big stab in the back for CEO Min-Liang Tan and company. They may have kept reasons brief, but perhaps Razer’s game plan was telling enough of why their stint in the gaming distribution scene were crushed this quickly.last_img read more

first_imgStory TimelineHuawei sues the US government over ban, says it’s unconstitutionalCIA leak claims Huawei received funds from Chinese state securityHuawei’s eating Samsung and Apple’s lunch Google will cut off Huawei’s access to key Android apps and updates, it’s reported, as the Chinese company takes another hit in the US government’s trade war. Although relatively absent from US shelves, Huawei has a huge smartphone business in Europe and Asia, which could well be significantly impacted by the change. The company’s relationship with the US government has been a rocky one for some time. Huawei’s connections with the Chinese government have led to accusations that Huawei devices could contain so-called back door access, giving Chinese state agencies an unofficial view into US data. That paranoia has affected several aspects of Huawei’s business. Last year, the company saw a deal with a major US carrier to offer one of its smartphones pulled at the last minute, after the Trump administration reportedly applied pressure. Huawei’s networking infrastructure business has also been blacklisted in the US. Now, though, the stakes are even more serious. Google will block Huawei’s access to hardware, software, and technical information, Reuters’ sources claim, acceding to the US government’s demands to ostracize the Chinese phone-maker. Huawei will be able to use the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) version of Google’s software, the version which is available under the open-source license. However it will not get access to key Google apps and services. AdChoices广告That will include the Google Play Store, along with apps like Gmail and YouTube. Including these requires a licensing agreement with Google, which the search giant will be unable to agree with Huawei following the US government adding the phone-maker to its trade blacklist late last week.An uncertain future for Huawei’s Android devicesThe extent of the fallout to the decision is unclear at this stage. According to Reuters’ sources, discussions are still underway within Google as to just what it can provide Huawei with, without contravening the blacklist. According to The Verge, which reports confirmation of Google’s decision, the move could leave Huawei devices without essential security updates, or at least delayed access to them. These updates are typically distributed among manufacturers and carriers first, before eventually rolling down to the AOSP version of Android. Only at that point, it’s suggested, would Huawei have access to the updates. App updates and some others would be different again, however. Updates to Google Play services, and individual app updates, could still continue, Engadget reports. That’s because they don’t require explicit contact with Google. That, of course, would only be beneficial to existing Huawei device owners. New devices, left only with AOSP, would not have the Google Play store in the first place. Preparing for bad newsHuawei – and Honor, its youth-focused sub-brand – is yet to issue an official statement on the matter. However earlier reports suggested the company had been preparing for the possibility of an Android crack-down. That includes everything up to and including developing its own OS with which to replace Android, and which would presumably have its own app-distribution system. The appeal of such an OS is uncertain, though. In China, where Google’s official apps are not typically available anyway, Huawei’s audience could be more open to the possibility of something other than Android. After all, users are already familiar with third-party alternatives to features like app stores. In Europe, and other markets, however, it would likely be a much tougher sell. Huawei’s devices, most recently the P30 Pro with its 5x optical zoom, have been well-received and glowingly reviewed. Without the familiar Google apps and services users expect, however, they could easily be less popular. Any workaround strategy could also leave Huawei wrong-footed if it enacts changes too rapidly. The trade blacklist is effectively a pressure tactic by the Trump administration, aiming to force concessions from the Chinese government. If that happens – or if, facing escalating retaliations and increasing outcry from American consumers, the US government caves – Huawei could find itself again permitted to work with Google. Plenty of questions, few answersFor now, there’s more uncertainty than anything else. Existing Huawei phone owners – many of whom will have signed potentially lengthy contracts for their devices with carriers or retailers – will have to wait and see whether they’ll be eligible for upcoming features and OS updates from Google. New Huawei devices, meanwhile, face an unclear situation as to the software they can be provided with out of the box. At the same time, the decision to snub one of China’s most prominent tech success stories is unlikely to be taken lying down by the Chinese government. Further retaliations seem almost certain. last_img read more

first_imgNot all memory is created equal. Falling a bit behind their PC counterparts,Low Power DDR mobile RAM has only recently caught up to the next fastest DDR5 spec (the fastest is DDR5X). And unsurprisingly, Samsung is boasting that it’s at the forefront of that advancement.Last year it boasted about the industry’s first LPDDR5 RAM but its capacities were in smaller 8 Gigabit rates. This time, it’s going after higher capacities in the same amount of physical space with 12 Gigabit (Gb) modules. While this doesn’t immediately mean it has 12 GB RAM packages, it is also producing that product for mobile phones.With LPDDR5 DRAM, Samsung is promising a theoretical and ideal data transfer rate of 5,500 MB/s, faster than the previous LPDDR4X generation’s 4,266 Mb/s. In practical terms, that means it can transfer twelve 3.7 GB-sized Full HD in a second. Of course, that’s all in-memory and not from NAND storage to another storage.Samsung does mention that it’s making 12 GB packages of 12 Gb LPDDR5 RAM. That could mean that the Galaxy Note 10 will indeed have 12 GB of RAM at long last. Or at least one of them will, with the Galaxy Note 10+ the likely recipient of the high-end memory module. As per Samsung’s tradition, it has started the slow dropping of teasers for its upcoming flagship. Its first hint focused on the S Pen and what may either be a camera on the pen or a tiny punch-hole camera on its face. Although this latest piece of news isn’t directly linked to the Galaxy Note 10, it could at least give hope that next phablet won’t disappoint when it comes to getting the fastest RAM available for mobile devices.last_img read more

first_imgThe New York Times: Carpe Diem Nation Federal spending is the most obvious example. The federal government is a machine that takes money from future earners and spends it on health care for retirees. Entitlement spending hurts the young in two ways. It squeezes government investment programs that boost future growth. Second, the young will have to pay the money back. To cover current obligations, according to the International Monetary Fund, young people will have to pay 35 percent more taxes and receive 35 percent fewer benefits (David Brooks, 2/11). Des Moines Register: Uncertainty Over Medicaid Is Real Critics accused President Barack Obama of creating “uncertainty” that discouraged job creation and hindered economic recovery. Yet when health care spending comprises about 20 percent of this country’s gross domestic product, governors who say they will not expand Medicaid in 2014 are the uncertainty culprits. They are making it difficult for businesses, state government and residents to plan for the future. Gov. Terry Branstad continues to oppose insuring thousands of low-income Iowans under the health reform law (2/12). Kansas City Star: Medicaid Study Must Not Be The Last WordA new study calculates that a broad expansion of Medicaid eligibility would cost Kansas an additional $1.1 billion over 10 years, more than double the anticipated increase if the state maintains its current low eligibility threshold. That’s a hard-to-swallow commitment for a governor and legislators who are viscerally averse to most government spending and all aspects of “Obamacare.” But the findings from the Aon Hewitt consulting firm can’t be considered in isolation. Leaders have a responsibility to seek a complete and accurate picture of what a Medicaid expansion, as called for in the federal Affordable Care Act, would mean for the state (2/11).Los Angeles Times: A Message To Obama, Served Cold In an earlier era, Dr. Benjamin Carson’s speech before the National Prayer Breakfast last week would have been a really big deal rather than mere fodder for a brief squall on Twitter and cable news. … Carson’s idea for healthcare reform is even more Washingtonian. Instead of the technocratic behemoth of Obamacare, empower the individual. “When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record and a health savings account to which money can be contributed — pretax — from the time you’re born till the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members … and there’s nobody talking about death panels.” The beauty of Carson’s argument exceeds its simplicity, particularly as even economist Paul Krugman now concedes that something like death panels are inevitable if we stay on our current path (Jonah Goldberg, 2/12). The Oregonian: Oregon Should Emphasize Detection And Treatment Of Mental Illness In Young PeopleIt would not be unreasonable to argue that if we eliminated obesity and mental illness, just about everything would improve: Medical and social service costs would plummet, people would stay in school and lead productive lives, the prison population would decline by up to one third, government agencies would no longer need to compete for more and more funding to meet the needs of more and more medically and emotionally hobbled citizens. Heck, we might even find a path forward in the post-Newtown gun debate. But it would be unrealistic, if not unreasonable, to assume that Oregonians could find the discipline and money required to tackle obesity and mental illness and to eliminate their threat to prosperity and government. But that’s what they are — a threat — when you put a meter on them (2/11). The Washington Post: George W. Bush’s Words That Saved Millions Even among the few, odd, nerdy children who want to be speechwriters when they grow up (I was one), none dream of writing a State of the Union address. These tend to be long and shapeless affairs, lumpy with random policy, carried along by strained applause lines. … There are a few exceptions: Lyndon Johnson announcing a War on Poverty; Bill Clinton, as a scandal unfolded, undismayed in the lion’s den. And then there were these sentences in the 2003 address 10 years ago: “Tonight I propose the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief,” said President George W. Bush, “a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa. This comprehensive plan will prevent 7 million new AIDS infections, treat at least 2 million people with life-extending drugs and provide humane care for millions of people suffering from AIDS and for children orphaned by AIDS” (Michael Gerson, 2/11). Boston Globe: Time To Expand The Family Medical Leave ActAs we gear up for tonight’s State of the Union Address — in which the president is expected to be combative, and Republicans are expected to reject every syllable he utters — here’s a fact worth chewing on: Two decades ago, the Family Medical Leave Act passed with bipartisan support. Yes, there was some opposition to the modest idea behind the bill: that workers should be able to recover from major illnesses, help ill relatives, or care for new babies without fear of losing their jobs. Groups like the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Realtors firmly predicted that American business would grind to a screeching halt. But within the halls of Congress 20 years ago last week, common sense prevailed, for reasons that actually go to the heart of conservatism (Joanna Weiss, 2/12). Viewpoints: Entitlement Spending ‘Hurts The Young;’ State Uncertainty On Medicaid; Dr. Carson’s Remedy For Health Care 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

first_imgLos Angeles Times: For A Dying Patient, A Prescription Of Silence In medical school, we were taught not to withhold information from our patients or to be “paternal” in making decisions for them. We internalized the idea that fully informed patients are better equipped to make treatment decisions. And with patients likely to die of their diseases, discussing the prognosis frankly would allow them to say goodbyes, get things in order and prepare advanced directives for what kind of interventions they did and didn’t want. But Pedro’s wife was adamant. “He will lose his will to live if he knows he has cancer. And he will then die even sooner” (Susan Partovi, 5/16). USA Today: Hospital Pricing Gouges Patients: Our View Shouldn’t you be able to see the price of something before you buy it, so you can shop for value or simply figure out whether you can afford it? Before you roll your eyes and say, “Of course,” think about the last time you bought medical care, especially in a hospital. See any price lists on the wall? Probably not. And, if you had, you might have fainted on the spot (5/15). USA Today: Hospital Billing Too Complex: Another View Many parts of America’s health care delivery and financing systems urgently need updating, and the matter of “charges” ranks high on the list. Today’s hospital bill is a symptom of a broken payment system. Hospitals deal with more than 1,300 insurers, each having different plans with multiple requirements for hospital bills. Decades of federal regulations have made a complex billing system even more complex and frustrating for everyone involved (Rich Umbdenstock, 5/15). USA Today: Beware Of Stem Cell Therapy ClaimsA stem cell transplant can help cure patients with acute myeloid leukemia, and research has shown incredible potential, from growing teeth to mending “unhealable” bone fractures. Still, stem cells are poorly understood. Despite this, as (Ferris) Jabr writes, many cosmeticians continue to claim that stem cells are a cure-all for “everything from wrinkles to joint pain to autism.” Until we understand them better, stem cells are the new snake oil peddled by 21st century charlatans. Thankfully, the Food and Drug Administration is cracking down (Alex Berezow, 5/15). JAMA: Accountable Care Organizations: Accountable For What?Dr Robert Potenza and Dominica Potenza, partners in life and in work, are, respectively, a cardiologist and a registered nurse who have a cardiology/internal medicine practice in the Bronx. … In theory, continuity of care should be improving at Montefiore, one of 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that aim to become models for improving population health while lowering costs. Montefiore has been acquiring physicians’ practices to expand its primary care capacity, but the Potenzas are reluctant to join, fearing they’ll lose what control they have over the personalized care they give their patients (Diana Mason, 5/15). Columbus Dispatch: Expanding Medicaid Would Help In Fight Against Breast Cancer As a seven-year breast-cancer survivor, I know how important annual screening can be. I was diagnosed with Stage IIa breast cancer on a routine mammogram. … I was lucky and had very adequate health insurance, yet my personal cost remained over $6,000. While expanding Medicaid in Ohio would seem counterintuitive as a cost-saving measure, we must sometimes view Medicaid dollars spent as a long-term investment in Ohio and enable Ohioans to realize the savings. Screening to capture cancer at the earliest possible stage reduces the costs of treatment and improves mortality (Tammy Weis, 5/16).Bloomberg: U.S. Must Fight Harder Against TB While USAID’s TB budget is being slashed, public-health spending on tuberculosis in the U.S. is also being cut. On top of belt tightening from sequestration, the administration of Barack Obama has been pillaging money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Prevention and Public Health Fund, which goes to efforts such as immunizations, health screenings and smoking prevention. … Almost all TB specialists in the U.S. work in public clinics and hospitals. Many patients, being either uninsured or underinsured, have nowhere else to go for their treatment. Even after the Affordable Care Act is fully in place, public TB clinics will remain important safety nets for undocumented immigrants and legal immigrants who don’t yet qualify for public services. It’s safe to assume that cuts in public health funding will have the same effect we saw in the early 1990s after earlier reductions: Many patients will be inadequately treated, allowing greater transmission of TB and the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains (Celine Gounder, 5/15). Tampa Bay Times: Fight On Prescription Drug Abuse Not Over Once local law enforcement and the Florida Legislature finally committed to addressing prescription drug abuse, it made a difference. The welcome news that prescription drug deaths in the Tampa Bay area are down 30 percent since 2010 is surely a result of a focus on unscrupulous pain clinics and easy access to pills. But there is more work to be done, and boosting the state’s still-tepid commitment to a prescription drug database is the place to start (5/14). New England Journal Of Medicine: The Role Of The NIH In Nurturing Clinician-ScientistsThe awarding of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka, both M.D.s trained in cardiology, for their work on characterizing the structure and function of beta-adrenergic receptors, should remind us of the critical role that clinician-scientists have played in formulating the seminal concepts that govern modern biomedical science. Much has been written since the 1970s about the demise of the physician-scientist — as evidenced by the declining share of RO1 grants that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards to physicians — and the economic factors that have driven physicians away from the laboratory and research clinic into more remunerative clinical practice (Dr. Michael Gottesman, 5/15). 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: When A Doctor Should Keep Quiet; 2 Views Of Hospital Pricing; Stem Cell ‘Snake Oil’last_img read more

first_imgState Highlights: Va. Gov. Candidates Differ On Mental Health System A selection of health policy stories from Virginia, California, Colorado, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Kansas and Texas.Stateline: ‘Habilitation’ Is Among New Obamacare BenefitsThanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), habilitation services will now be widely covered for the first time in private insurance plans. Rehabilitative and habilitative services are among the 10 “essential benefits” that must be provided by all plans sold on all the state and federally run health insurance exchanges. Starting in 2014, all individual and small group health policies sold outside the exchanges also will have to cover habilitative services. But as is the case with some of the other “essential benefits,” the federal health law mandates coverage of habilitation services without spelling out exactly what that means (Ollove, 10/24).The Washington Post: Virginia’s Mental Health System Needs More Money; Candidates Differ On How To Provide ItWhen people talk about improving Virginia’s mental health system, they inevitably return to one word: money. Money for treatment centers and hospital beds, money for staff, money for youth programs, money for housing. Money that has been cut significantly in recent years. The major-party candidates for governor of Virginia agree that mental health systems need more resources. But their approaches differ greatly, based in part on how they view the Medicaid expansion of the new health care law in Virginia (Jackman, 10/23).California Healthline: State Agency’s Penalty Check Payout For Late Hearings Climbs Above $2.7 MillionThe Department of Social Services has issued more than $2.7 million in penalty checks to Californians who successfully appealed their eligibility status for the Community Based Adult Services program, which was created and is overseen by the Department of Health Care Services. In July, Capitol Desk reported the state had paid more than $1.1 million in penalties to 670 CBAS recipients. DHCS officials yesterday said another $1.6 million in penalties will be paid to 145 successful eligibility appellants. For those new recipients, that’s an average of more than $11,000 per penalty check (Gorn, 10/23).Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Online Tax Credit System To Go Live Nov. 4Managers at Connect for Health Colorado initially delayed the online feature until the end of October and in order to secure subsidies, customers have had to call clogged phone lines. Now, a spokesman said in a written response to questions that customers wanting to use the exchange website to cut their health insurance costs will have to wait until Nov. 4, the new target date for Colorado to have an online subsidy application (Kerwin McCrimmon, 10/23).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Study: Low-Income Californians Want Better InformationFor many low-income Californians, enrolling in health insurance is just one hurdle to overcome in getting the care they want. A new report says better communication with doctors and obtaining clearer information is also high on their wish lists (Rao, 10/23).St. Louis Beacon: ConnectCare Patients Transition To Specialty Care At New LocationsJoyce Simms has been a St. Louis ConnectCare patient in the pulmonology program for four years.  Because she has asthma, she sees her pulmonologist, Dr. Barbara Lutey, as often as every three months…Health care providers throughout St. Louis and St. Louis County have been scrambling to come up with places to treat more than 2,000 ConnectCare specialty-care patients (Davidson, 10/23).The Philadelphia Inquirer: Children’s Hospital Of Phila. Funds Gene-Therapy CompanyChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia has invested $50 million in a new biotech start-up that seeks to be the nation’s first commercial provider of gene therapy, company officials announced Tuesday. Spark Therapeutics will assume control over two clinical trials that originated at the prominent teaching hospital — one in which patients with a rare form of blindness already have regained some vision, the other an early-stage effort to treat hemophilia B (Avril, 10/23).Kansas Health Institute: Outlook Mixed For Parent Companies Of KanCare MCOsThe parent companies of Kansas’ three main Medicaid managed care organizations posted mixed earnings reports this week and provided stock analysts with differing forecasts.  Centene, the St. Louis-based company that does business in Kansas as the Sunflower State Health Plan, reported third quarter earnings of $49.4 million on revenue of $2.7 billion (McLean, 10/23).The Texas Tribune: Final Arguments Made In Case On Abortion RegulationWith days remaining until new abortion regulations take effect in Texas, attorneys for abortion providers and the state of Texas presented their final arguments Wednesday on whether those restrictions meet constitutional muster (Aaronson, 10/23). 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

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. Who Gets What Under Obamacare, And Who Is Left Out News stories look at who wins and who loses under the health law. Elsewhere, Obamacare message sparring gets personal.CBS News: A Tale Of Two Insureds: One Benefits, One Loses Under ObamacareAbout 3.5 million Americans have been told their health insurance will be canceled because their plans don’t meet the minimum requirements of Obamacare. We met up with those who stand to benefit from health care reform and those who would not (Andrews, 11/6).ProPublica: Loyal Obama Supporters, Canceled By ObamacareSan Francisco architect Lee Hammack says he and his wife, JoEllen Brothers, are “cradle Democrats”… The couple — Lee, 60, and JoEllen, 59 — have been paying $550 a month for their health coverage — a plan that offers solid coverage, not one of the skimpy plans Obama has criticized. But recently, Kaiser informed them the plan would be canceled at the end of the year because it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (Ornstein, 11/6).Reuters: In The Messaging War On Obamacare, Both Sides Get PersonalWayne Dofflemyer is no fan of Obamacare. … In Washington, Dofflemyer and Sullivan’s stories have become part of the messaging war over Obamacare, as Republicans and White House-led Democrats spar over whether the technical problems with the program’s web site should lead to a broader reconsideration of the effort to help millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans (Debenedetti, 11/7).last_img read more

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. After Bumpy Launch, Consumers Start Using Health Law Coverage Nearly four years after passage of the health law, its major provisions finally took effect Jan. 1, and millions of Americans are about to see how it really works. Media outlets offer tip sheets to consumers and report on the challenges that lie ahead.Kaiser Health News: The Health Law Takes Effect: A Consumer’s GuideStarting Jan. 1, central provisions of the Affordable Care Act kick in, allowing many uninsured Americans to afford health insurance. But the landmark law still faces heavy opposition from Republicans and from a public that remains skeptical the law can improve health care coverage while lowering its cost. The law has already altered the health care industry and established a number of consumer benefits. It will have sweeping ramifications for consumers, state officials, employers and health care providers, including hospitals and doctors (Carey, 1/1). The New York Times: Consumers Start Using Coverage Under Health LawConsumers around the country began using coverage provided by the new health care law on Wednesday, the same day that Medicaid expanded to hundreds of thousands of people in about half the states. Many provisions of the 2010 health care law offering new benefits and protections to consumers, including those with pre-existing conditions, also took effect. Hospitals said they were getting ready for an influx of newly insured patients, but many health care providers said the pace was slower than usual because of the New Year’s holiday. In a typical report, Clay Holtzman, a spokesman for Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, said the system’s hospitals were not seeing an immediate surge (Pear and Goodnough, 1/2).Politico: For Obamacare, It’s Finally ShowtimeObamacare just got real. Sure, there were some new rules and benefits over the last few years, but that was just a warmup. Starting today, all of the big pieces of the Affordable Care Act — the biggest domestic achievement of Barack Obama’s presidency and one of the most far-reaching changes in American social policy in decades — go into effect. And Americans will start to see, for better or worse, how the law really works. … Obamacare supporters and the president and his team can bask for just a moment in the glow of their long-sought goal finally becoming law — but only for a moment. The ACA’s Perils of Pauline debut is going to continue. Here are the obstacles ahead this year (Nather, 1/1). The Wall Street Journal: Health Law’s Uneasy LaunchNearly four years after President Barack Obama signed his health initiative into law, the Affordable Care Act is officially reshaping America’s $2.75 trillion health-care system. A survivor of bare-knuckle political fights, a U.S. Supreme Court challenge and a technologically disastrous rollout, the law now faces a fundamental test: Can its mix of government subsidies and market-based competition extend health insurance to millions of people whose medical conditions, income level or personal choice left them without it? (Weaver, 1/1). Politico: White House Expects Day 1 Obamacare SnagsThe health coverage under Obamacare finally begins New Year’s Day and the Obama administration knows that it may not all go smoothly. More than 2.1 million people have signed up through the state and federal exchanges, and Obama administration officials acknowledged that some of them may not actually have their new health plan finalized Jan. 1, because of all the tech problems that plagued during the last three months (Norman, 1/2). Los Angeles Times: White House Issues New Tip Sheet For Obamacare ConsumersThe Obama administration is releasing a new tip sheet for Americans who have signed up for coverage under the president’s healthcare law and is urging consumers to be careful before they start using their new insurance Wednesday. … Since Oct. 1, approximately 2.1 million people have enrolled in a private health plan through new marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, the administration announced Tuesday. About an additional 4 million low-income Americans have qualified for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (Levey, 12/29/31). Politico: Key Obamacare Changes Come With The New Year Coverage begins on Jan. 1 for people who selected plans through new federal and state exchanges before the Dec. 24 deadline. Others have until March 31 to sign up. Many Americans can receive federal subsidies to help pay for insurance. Several million low-income people also qualified for Medicaid, which 26 states are expanding under the health law that President Barack Obama signed nearly four years ago. But there’s a ton of fine print taking effect, too, nitty-gritty details that are critical to making the health law work as intended. Here’s a look at some of the other Obamacare elements taking effect Jan. 1 (Cheney, 12/31/13).USA Today: Health Care Changes To Watch For 2014Beyond the law’s new requirements, analysts and industry officials say they anticipate a series of related changes to affect health care in 2014, including: Private exchanges. … Employer mandate. … Pricing transparency. … New rules and higher enrollments. … Electronic records. … Shrinking networks. … States will drive change. Medicaid, which is run by the states, will have the most impact on local price structures (Kennedy, 1/1).The Associated Press: New Year May Mean New Challenges, Too, For Health Care LawThis could be the year that things finally turn around for President Barack Obama’s health care law. Yet it could start with another round of glitches that vex consumers and leave Republicans crowing, “We told you so.” The law’s major benefits take effect with the new year, along with an unpopular insurance mandate and the risk of more nerve-racking coverage disruptions (1/1).The New York Times: Millions Gaining Health Coverage Under Law The decisively new moment in the effort to overhaul the country’s health care system will test the law’s central premise: that extending coverage to far more Americans will improve the nation’s health and help many avoid crippling medical bills. Starting Wednesday, health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and cannot charge higher premiums to women than to men for the same coverage. In most cases, insurers must provide a standard set of benefits prescribed by federal law and regulations (Pear and Goodnough, 12/31/13).last_img read more

first_imgAccording to an Urban Institute study, consumers who obtained insurance through the federal and state online insurance marketplaces were not simply swapping out other insurance. NBC News: Report: 5.4 Million Newly Insured Under ObamacareMore than 5 million Americans who didn’t have health insurance before have been able to get coverage since September, according to a new report released Thursday. … Early statistics had suggested that many of the people who rushed to buy the plans available on the new health insurance exchanges were just swapping out of other coverage. But the new report suggests the law is having its intended effect of getting people covered who weren’t before (Fox, 4/4). PBS NewsHour: Survey Finds 5.4 Million Americans Gained Insurance Under New Health LawThe results are the first indicator of how many uninsured Americans may have benefited from the Affordable Care Act since the insurance marketplaces opened last October. Supporters of the law say it’s another reason to be optimistic. … The nationally representative survey of approximately 7,500 adults was conducted by researchers at the Urban Institute and funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Kane, 4/3).Meanwhile, the Washington Post’s fact checker takes a look at President Barack Obama’s comments about spending on efforts to oppose during his enrollment “victory lap” – The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: ‘Billions’ Spent On Attacking ObamacareA reader asked us about this comment during the president’s victory lap on the Affordable Care Act. Were there really “billions” of dollars’ worth of commercials opposing the law? Our initial reaction was that this was just a bit of presidential hyperbole. On the other hand, the president did make this assertion in a major speech. So let’s see what the data say (Kessler, 4/4). Report Estimates Number Of Previously Uninsured People Who Gained Coverage: 5.4 Million 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

first_imgCMS Wants To Experiment With Alternative Pay Model For Medicare Advantage Plans The agency is also considering paying home health agencies for remote patient monitoring. Modern Healthcare: CMS To Test Medicare Advantage As Alternative Payment Model Under MACRA  Modern Healthcare: CMS Proposes Paying Home Health Agencies For Remote Monitoring The CMS wants to launch an experiment that allows doctors in Medicare Advantage plans to qualify as participating in an alternative pay model. To comply with MACRA, clinicians have two tracks to choose from: MIPS, which requires clinicians to report and meet quality goals, and advanced alternative payment models, which require clinicians to take on financial risk as part of efforts to improve care and lower costs. If goals are met under an APM they’re eligible for bonuses. (Dickson, 6/29) center_img The CMS is considering paying home health agencies for remote patient monitoring. Remote patient monitoring involves the use of digital tools to collect health data such as vital signs, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and electrocardiograms. (Dickson, 7/2) 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

first_img Comparison: All Versions Of Tesla Model 3 Available or Not EV Comparison: Tesla Model 3 Versus Chevy Bolt The good news is that’s starting to change.  We’re not only getting more electric options, but we are also getting more variety in the types of electric vehicles available. I still can’t get a sub-$50,000, long range, all-wheel-drive crossover, similar to a Toyota RAV4 or Chevrolet Equinox that I want, but I digress. Perhaps the Tesla Model Y will eventually fill that void.So, we’re going to change things up a bit here and compare two EVs that actually deserve a comparison: the Chevy Bolt and new Hyundai Kona EV. Correction, they are so similar that they actually beg it. Not sure about that? Well then, let’s examine the facts:How Far Can You Go on Electricity?The Bolt EV’s range estimator offers a minimum and maximum range estimate, as well as the single-figure that other EVs offer.BOLT: The Bolt’s 60 kWh battery delivers an EPA-rated 238 miles per charge. Since its launch in December of 2016, the Bolt has had the distinction of having the longest all-electric range of any EV besides a Tesla. The Bolt has an efficiency rating of 119 miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe), which at the time of its launch was considered very good for an EV with a large, 60 kWh battery. The Bolt was also the first long-range electric car available for under $40,000, and has been the only one for nearly two years now. However, that’s about to change.KONA: That’s because the Kona Electric, with its larger 64 kWh battery, will arrive in the U.S. in a couple months with an EPA-rated 258 miles per charge. Hyundai didn’t just barely edge out the Bolt, it made sure the Kona Electric clearly has more range than the Bolt. Hyundai representatives at the car’s launch event for the media made certain everyone in attendance was aware of the 20-mile advantage over the Bolt. The Kona Electric also has a slightly better efficiency rating than the Bolt, measuring 120 MPGe.Plus, unlike the Bolt, the Kona Electric has a second battery option available for those who don’t need 258 miles of range. A 39.2 kWh battery option is expected to deliver 155-160 miles of range. We’re not sure if the smaller battery option will be available in the U.S., where Hyundai believes most of the demand will be for the larger battery. However, it’s good to see other manufacturers following Tesla’s model of offering different battery sizes, to accommodate the varying needs of all their customers.WINNER: KONA ELECTRICIt’s hard to beat the extra kWh the Kona Electric has. With 20 more miles of range, the Kona Electric is the new (non-Tesla) range champ.Which Car Is More Fun to Drive?The Bolt is lighter and more agile than the Kona, which allows for a more spirited driving experience.BOLT:  The Bolt packs a good punch with 200 horsepower (150 kW) and 266 pound-feet (361 Nm) of torque. And it weighs 3,580 pounds – not bad considering the battery is about 1,000 lbs of the total weight. Power is delivered to the front wheels, and as one would expect, there’s a decent amount of torque steer when you mash the throttle to the floor if the steering wheel isn’t exactly centered.In my time with a Bolt, I found it fun to drive and a capable performer. While nobody would call the Bolt a sports car, its 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds definitely puts it solidly in the “hot hatch” category. The Bolt is electronically speed-limited to only 91 mph, so it’s definitely not ready for the fast lane of the Autobahn. However, here in the States, there aren’t many opportunities to (legally) go faster than the Bolt’s limit.KONA:  The Kona Electric’s motor has 201 hp (150 kW), just one more hp than the Bolt. However, it does have 24 more lb-ft of torque than the Bolt, with a rating of 290 lb-ft (395 Nm). The torque advantage is pretty much negated by the fact the Kona Electric weighs about 300 lbs more than the Bolt. We don’t have the official weight of the U.S. version yet, but the European Kona’s specifications have been published, so we can use them to estimate.One might ask why the Kona weighs so much more than the Bolt, while being virtually the same size. It’s not because it has a larger battery, because the battery weighs just about the same as the Bolt’s smaller pack does. We believe it’s because the Kona wasn’t designed to be electric. Hyundai re-engineered the gas-powered Kona to accommodate an electric powertrain.Hyundai estimates the Kona Electric’s 0-60 time at 7.6 seconds, but often independent testing results in better times than what the manufacturer offers. Still, after driving the Kona Electric, it’s clear it won’t be quite as spirited as the Bolt. On the plus side, I didn’t notice as much torque steer as the Bolt, and the handling was more than acceptable. As with the Bolt, this isn’t a sports car, but it isn’t a slouch either.WINNER: BOLT EVThe Bolt is a full second quicker to 60 miles per hour, according to the manufacturer’s specifications. They both ride on 17-inch wheels that are 215 millimeters wide, but the Bolt’s aspect ratio is 50%, while the Kona’s is slightly taller at 55%. I drove both cars pretty hard and they both handled very well. Having those 1,000-pound battery packs below the cabin really helps lower the center of gravity, and offer good handling in both vehicles. However, the Bolt is definitely the better performer.Charging Times for the Bolt and Kona ElectricThe Kona Electric has a 32-amp onboard charger, the same as the Bolt EV. However, the Kona’s DC Fast charging system allows for much faster DC Fast charging than does the Bolt’s.BOLT: The Bolt comes standard with a 32-amp onboard charger, which Chevy claims is good for 7.2 kW charging. However, it can actually charge up to 7.7 kW, depending on how high the voltage of your supply is. During my time with the Bolt I recorded charging levels up to 7.6 kW, so I know first-hand it can accept the full 32 amps. I suspect Chevrolet lists the rate at 7.2 kW so they can account for those customers that may have slightly lower-voltage at their homes, and don’t want to over-promise.As for DC Fast charging, the Bolt uses the Combined Charging System (CCS or Combo) protocol, and can accept up to 55 kW of power. DC Fast charging is not standard on the Bolt, and costs an additional $750.00. Since the Bolt’s inception, this amount of power has been fine, because there haven’t been any DC Fast charge stations that could deliver more than 50 kW. However, that’s changing, and new DC Fast charge stations that can deliver 100+ kW are beginning to be installed across the U.S. and Europe. Also, many Bolt owners have expressed frustration because the Bolt tapers down the charge rate on DC Fast much earlier than most other EVs do. This make long distance travel less convenient, because it increases the length of time it takes to fully recharge the Bolt on DC Fast stations. Chevrolet claims the Bolt can add 160 miles of range per hour on a DC Fast charge station.KONA: The Kona also has a 32-amp onboard charger for level 2, 240-v charging. Therefore, while charging on Level 2, the charge time will be slightly longer than the Bolt because the Kona’s battery is slightly larger. However, things are different with DC Fast charging.The Kona Electric uses the same CCS connector as does the Bolt, but it can accept more power. The Kona Electric can accept up to 75 kW, a full 20 kW more than the Bolt. And the advantage doesn’t end there. The difference becomes even bigger when the battery temperature is cold. Hyundai tested both vehicles in cold weather, and at zero degrees, the Kona EV fully charges 50% faster than a Bolt will. This is because the Kona doesn’t taper the charge rate as aggressively as the Bolt does as the state of charge increases, or when the battery cells are cold. Hyundai claims the Kona Electric can add about 210 miles of range per hour on a DC Fast charge station.WINNER: KONA ELECTRICBoth vehicles use a 32-amp onboard charger for level 2, daily charging. However, the Kona’s standard DC Fast charge system is far superior to the Bolt’s, which is also optional. There’s a clear winner in the charging category, and it doesn’t wear the Chevrolet bowtie.Comparing Dashboards, Interior and Cargo SpaceThe Bolt’s (top) interior seems more roomy because it doesn’t have the continuous center console like the Kona has. However, we found the Kona to be more comfortable and have a slightly more upscale feel.BOLT: In our opinion, the Bolt’s interior is probably its weakest link. While there’s plenty of interior room, especially for a car of this size, and the seating position and outward vision are very good, the materials used and seating comfort just are not on par with what you’d expect from a $36,000+ car.The much-maligned seats are too thin for larger people, and owners have complained about them having insufficient padding. Chevrolet also used a lot of hard plastics, and the overall feel is definitely more of an entry-level economy-car, than it is of a car in this price class. The Bolt’s large 10-inch center display is bright and clear, even on sunny days.  It also comes standard with Apply CarPlay and Android Auto, but there’s no onboard navigation offered, even as an option.As mentioned above, the Bolt has a lot of interior room for both passengers and for cargo. In particular, the Bolt’s 36.5 inches of rear legroom is exceptional for a car of this size. Power seats are not available on the Bolt but a heated steering wheel is, as an option.KONA: Even though the Kona Electric is basically the same length and width as the Bolt (.6 inches longer and 1.4 inches wider, in fact), it doesn’t feel as roomy as the Bolt. Perhaps that’s because the Kona’s center console completely divides the driver and passenger compartments and is positioned rather high. The Kona comes standard with a seven-inch touch-screen center display, but the Limited and Ultimate trims have a slightly larger eight-inch display. The Ultimate trim also comes with a heads-up display, with retracts into the dash when not in use. The Kona comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the Ultimate trim also has onboard navigation, with real-time traffic included.The Kona’s interior also has its fair share of hard plastic surfaces, but not quite as much as the Bolt, and feels a little more upscale than the Bolt does. Heated seats are standard, and the Kona Limited and Ultimate trims come with an eight-way adjustable power driver’s seat. Surprisingly, ventilated front seats come standard with the Ultimate trim. I used them on the Kona Electric press drive held in sunny Los Angeles, and they worked very well. The Kona’s seats are supportive in the right places and comfortable. The Kona has only 33.4 inches of rear legroom, and doesn’t have much room to spare with a tall adult sitting in the front seat. That’s a full three inches fewer than the Bolt, and it’s definitely noticeable. Perhaps that’s why the Kona has 2.3 more cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats.While the Bolt has lots of high-tech features and options, the Kona has even more, including:Hyundai Smart Sense (HSS):Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian DetectionDriver Attention WarningLane Keeping AssistBlind-Spot Collision WarningRear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance AssistHigh Beam Assist Chevy Bolt vs Volt: Which Electric Car Is Best For You? Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 1, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Premium technology availability:8-inch Navigation SystemShift-by-wire center console drive controls with additional storage belowNext generation Blue Link® connected car systemHeads-up Display (with active pop-up display screen)Rain-sensing WipersQi Wireless-device chargingcenter_img On paper, these two electric cars match up rather well, but can we declare one a winner?Ever since the latest electric vehicle revolution started, we in the press have been comparing every EV available to every other one, and quite often the only thing the two vehicles had in common were the fact that they plugged in.  How about a Tesla Model S 100D versus the BMW i3 REx? Or a Nissan LEAF versus a Chevrolet Volt? All four cars I just mentioned are very different, and if they were conventionally powered, nobody would be comparing them. Because the variety of available electric cars has been so restricted, we’ve been stretching a bit to come up with relevant comparisons to write about.More Electric Car Comparisons WINNER: KONA ELECTRICWhile the Bolt feels roomier, the Kona’s more comfortable, has more high-tech features including a heads-up display and ventilated front seats, and offers a navigation system, which is absent on the Bolt. Neither vehicle screams premium, but the Kona’s dashboard and center console look and feel better to me than the Bolt’s plasticky look and feel.On the other hand, the Bolt has three inches more rear legroom, and that’s a big advantage. It has 19% more cargo room than the Kona with the seats down, but 12-percent less when the seats are up. We believe most owners find it more useful to have the extra cargo space while the seats are up, since that’s how the vehicles are primarily used. The Bolt does offer a very nice overall package, but the Kona edges it out because it’s more comfortable, and offers more premium and safety features.Which has the Best Regenerative Braking System?This is the Hyundai Kona Electric’s regen on demand paddle.First, I’d like to say that I’ve driven pretty much every electric car available today, and in my opinion, these are the two best regenerative braking systems available today. Why?  Because they offer options.Some automakers are afraid to make regenerative braking systems too complex, because they don’t want to confuse people who are new to electric vehicles. I can understand their thinking, but electric cars are for different; they should celebrate that fact and not try to make them as similar as they can to traditional gasoline cars. Regenerative braking is probably the biggest difference in the EV driving experience. If done right, it can not only make the car more efficient, but more enjoyable to drive as well.BOLT: The Bolt has two driving modes, Drive and Low. In the default Drive mode, the regenerative braking in minimal, and you can almost freewheel coast. Putting the vehicle in Low dramatically increases the regenerative braking, and coasting isn’t at all possible. There’s also a Regen on Demand paddle on the left side of the steering wheel. Pulling it forward unleashes an intense 70 kW of regen force. The Bolt also allows for true one-pedal driving when in Low. If driven carefully, you rarely need to employ the paddle to increase the braking force, or to come to a complete stop.In January 2016, I had the opportunity to sit down with Josh Tavel, lead engineer for the Bolt, and one of the things we spent a lot of time talking about was his approach to regenerative braking. He explained that he and his team really spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the best level of regen was before ultimately deciding to have two distinct levels (Drive and Low) and letting the customer decide which they preferred.It’s still in the same field as a normal car. There are normal cars that have as much natural decel as the Bolt in Drive; it’s not out of the norm. Originally it was tuned such that if you were to take 100 people and monitor them coming to a stop light, and monitor that decel, and let’s say it would be about .2g’s. The Bolt was designed for .2g’s – to basically act like a conventional car. But the problem was, sometimes you need a little bit more, and it didn’t give it.So actually just this past December we were all out in L.A. and I said ‘You know guys, this is stupid. It feels like we’re making the one pedal driving be kinda acceptable for the people that don’t like it, and kinda acceptable for the people that do. Why are we doing this halfway? If they don’t like it, they have drive (mode), the i3 for instance, doesn’t have a drive mode with light decel. So if they don’t like regen, go to drive. If they want it, give it to them (low mode with heavy regen).’ So now we’re at a spot where I can drive home and never touch the brake pedal. – Josh Tavel, lead engineer, Bolt EV Source: Electric Vehicle News KONA: The Kona also has three different driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport, and four different regen settings, 0 through 3. These four modes are activated by paddles on the steering wheel. Pull the left paddle and the regen goes to the next stronger level, pull the paddle on the right and it drops down to a weaker level. The zero regen setting is free-wheel coasting, 1 is slight regen, 2 is about the equivalent of the Bolt in Drive and 3 is slightly weaker than the Bolt’s regen force in Low. Unlike the Bolt, the Kona won’t come to a complete stop in the strongest regen setting.However, you can come to a complete stop without using the friction brakes by pulling and holding the regen on demand paddle on the left side of the steering wheel. Once stopped, the car will hold its position until the driver presses the accelerator. You can also set the level of regen you want (1-3, 0 isn’t an option) in each driving mode and those settings will remain until you change them. So, if you want strong regen when you’re driving in Sport mode and your significant other prefers weaker regen and driving in Normal mode, you can set it and forget it. You can also use the paddles at any time to change the regen (stronger or weaker) and the car will reset to your default settings in each driving mode the next time you use the car.WINNER: BOLT EVTo me, this is as close to a toss-up as they come. Both systems offer different options that different drivers will appreciate. I really like the Kona’s ability to set different levels of regen for different driving settings, and to be able to change the settings whenever you like. I just wish the highest regen setting was a little stronger. The paddle makes up for the weaker regen, and quickly slows the vehicle down to a complete stop, but I’m not sure I want to use the paddle that much, so I’m going to give Chevy a slight edge here.The Price For a Bolt EV Versus a Kona ElectricThe Bolt’s base MSRP is $36,620. We’re still waiting on Hyundai to announce U.S. pricing for the Kona Electric.Unfortunately, Hyundai hasn’t announced U.S. pricing for the Kona Electric yet, so an important component of the comparison cannot be completed. The Bolt LT starts at $36,620, and the Premier at $40,905. If Hyundai offers the Kona Electric SEL at $37,900 or less, and the Kona Ultimate at $43,900 or less, then I would say the Kona wins for value. If the pricing is higher, then the Bolt would get the nod. At the Kona Electric press drive earlier this month, Hyundai representatives promised us that U.S. pricing was going to be announced very soon, even eluding that it might be set by the end of the week, which didn’t happen. Unfortunately, we can’t declare a winner in this category until we have the Kona Electric’s U.S. pricing.WINNER: TBDBEST OVERALL: KONA ELECTRICThe Hyunday Kona Electric is our top pick in a very close comparison contest.This comparison lived up to our expectations. These cars are very much alike in some ways, yet are different in others, and have their own unique personalities. They both have a lot of power – the Bolt has more punch because it’s lighter, but it also has a bit more torque steer.However, overall the Kona is slightly better and certainly more comfortable. If Hyundai keeps the pricing close to Bolt, as mentioned above, it would be hard for me to choose the Bolt over the Kona Electric. But that’s if you could actually get one. Hyundai isn’t going to be importing many Kona Electrics into the U.S., and they may never even sell them outside the ten ZEV states (California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont). That’s unfortunate, because it really is a great EV.BEST VALUE AND AVAILABILITY: BOLT EVBEST TO IMPRESS: KONA ELECTRIC (ULTIMATE TRIM)BEST FOR A FIRST-TIME EV OWNER: BOTHlast_img read more

first_imgHyundai and Kia have been getting more serious about electric cars lately, with the new Kona, Niro and Soul EVs coming out all with reasonable prices.  But none of these are performance monsters, moreso regular, everyday, utility cars.That all seems to change starting today, as the two companies announced an 80 million Euro ($90m) in investment into Rimac Automobili, the Croatian supercar maker behind the Rimac Concept_One and upcoming Concept_Two.  The intent is to collaborate on the production of two high-performance electric sportscars, one of which will debut under Hyundai’s “N” brand and the other which will use fuel cell technology. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast. post Hyundai and Kia to build electric sportscar with help of supercar maker Rimac appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

first_imgPrevious posts here and here addressed the calls of some that settlement amounts in an FCPA enforcement action be, at least in part, returned to the so-called victims of the underlying bribery.Today’s post is from Joe Murphy.Murphy is the author of 501 Ideas for Your Compliance and Ethics Program (SCCE; 2008) and a frequent commentator on compliance issues.*****There was recently an online posting championing the idea of the Department of Justice using some of the $9 billion criminal penalty imposed on one company for violations of sanctions against Sudan, Iran and Cuba to compensate victims of the regimes in those countries.  The Department would explore who those victims were and determine how to compensate them. As a student of political science, I find this worrisome.  Any figure with that many zeros behind it is real money.  And, it can fairly be said, that money is a form of power.  Here we would have unelected enforcement officials making policy decisions about how to spend large pools of funds. Determining exactly who were the victims of such systemic violations is not simply an administrative task; there will be important policy decisions to be made, including matters of foreign policy.When the fines were small this could be considered an incidental function. But when the amounts are in the billions, this is cause for much more consideration. Sure, we are often frustrated by the slow process of legislative deliberation, but that is the governmental system we have chosen. The raising and allocation of funds is subject to a system of checks and balances.  We live in a democracy, not a government of selected elites who choose to spend money as they think best. Enforcement officials should be enforcing the law and taking steps to prevent violations. Courts should be hearing disputes and resolving conflicts. But they are not legislatures and should not be selecting where to dole out billions of dollars in funds.As the size of criminal fines has ballooned we have passed the point where this issue can be ignored.  There are serious policy issues.  If, on the one hand, the funds were simply added to the general funds of the government we would also have the troublesome issue of law enforcement being converted into a revenue-raising operation.  This specter is seen in Europe, where the EU’s competition law enforcers sometimes seem more like revenue agents than public servants dedicated to preventing violations. Consider the institutional bias this would introduce if an enforcement agency is a funding source for government operations.  Instead of having an incentive to stamp out violations, there would at least appear to be an opposite interest:  let the violations ripen into large cases so there is more revenue to harvest.On the other hand, if the proceeds go elsewhere, then what is done with the money and who decides?  In the US at the federal level the proceeds go to victim reimbursement.  But as the cases deal with systematic violations or ones where victims are not clearly defined, this is not so easy.  When the violations are not simply theft, how do we determine who the victims are?  Who makes those decisions?  Is there a process in place capable of handling this?  And in a system where the victims are capable of pursuing their own compensation through litigation, what happens to the penalty funds generated by government?If enforcers are allocating billions of dollars, can lobbying for that money be far behind?  What alert non-profit would pass up the opportunity to have access to those funds? And, as the enforcers should know well, dealing in those sums eventually invites fraud.  Will the enforcers require reports on how the funds were spent?  Will they audit or investigate this?  Will they then be allocating resources to monitor their grants to the victims and those who purport to benefit the victims?  Is this a business we want enforcers conducting? Giving this level of power to enforcement officials should at least cause us to stop and think more about the process. They were not trained in how to do this, they were not selected for this, and they are not accountable to the public for what they do. Up until now, this question has not only not been answered, but for the most part it is not even being asked.  I find this at least a cause for concern.last_img read more

first_imgKatarzyna Brozynski joins the firm as a partner in its Fort Worth Office, while Sorana Georgiana Ban and Antonio Devora join as associates in Dallas . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember me Username Lost your password?center_img Password Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

first_img Remember me Low is rejoining the four-partner intellectual property group from Bracewell & Giuliani who jumped to Pillsbury in January . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Username Lost your password?center_img Password Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

first_img Username Lost your password? © 2017 The Texas Lawbook.In 2016, Sidley represented:• OMERS Private Equity in its sale of Great Expression Dental Centers to Roark Capital and in its sale of Give and Go Prepared Foods to Thomas H. Lee Partners.• Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in the sale of upstream and midstream assets in East Texas to a private buyer for more than $1 billion. • Reliance Energy, Inc. in the sale of its upstream oil and gas assets in Midland Basin to Concho Resources Inc. for $1.625 billion. • Kimmeridge Energy Management Co. in the sale of . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Passwordcenter_img Remember me Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img read more