Bryce Dallas HowardDexter FletcherElton JohnElton John Biopic First Published: May 31, 2019, 7:01 PM IST Taron Egerton and Richard Madden in a still from RocketmanGreat thing being this dedication to zero digression holds your attention in this rather single track, monotone period drama, but as one starts to reach out beyond all the flashy display, they start seeing themselves in John, a self-deprecating and brooding human, which to some could be quite off putting, thus making Rocketman not everyone’s poison. Interestingly, when John finds bliss with a loving partner by his side–a traditional happy ending–the film has ended and images of his benevolent real-life self start fading in. Almost like Rocketman keeps the catharsis away from Egerton, who was once punched and intimidated by his lover cum manager, John Reid, played here by a conniving and taciturn Richard Madden.Taron Egerton in a still from RocketmanWhat Rocketman paints beautifully is a picture of the musician’s life, both the incredible highs and tragic lows. Egerton is both compelling and flawed and the scenes in which we go close to him, courtesy of contrast lighting and evocative close ups, we can see a real life John, more than the one created for reel and showbiz. And that’s the strength of this biopic–it’s lead, who puts on an entertaining and unrestrained show every time like there’s no tomorrow. The film is packing a star in Egerton and don’t miss it if you are a sucker for authenticity in acting.In hindsight, Rocketman is genuinely fun times at the movies and this particular Elton John musical proves its worth as a cinematic conversation with the viewers. However, all this is not without giving time to the superstar in all his splendour and his flaws, most of all his relationships with the audience, friends and lovers. Rating–3.5/5Follow @News18Movies for more RocketmanDirector–Dexter FletcherCast–Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard Akin to his deft touch on the piano keys, Rocketman, Elton John’s biopic, slides past smoothly, not a single phase out; a beautiful symphony, designed to stay with you for a cherished callback like the maestro’s rousing, spectacular discography.Directed by Dexter Fletcher, who guides a young and emotionally determined Taron Egerton as the man himself, Rocketman restrains itself to fleshing out the tragic times behind the legendary singer-composer, who at one point in time turned into a decadent drug abuser and a people-hating person, which are also the general standards that almost every musical star, who has had a journey to fame, must encounter and live up to. Starting and ending in the midst of a confession group, the story takes us from the loveless world of Reginald Dwight, a shy kid in Pinner, living with his mother (Bryce Dallas Howard) and an emotionally distant father (Steven Mackintosh), who are both unknowingly planting the seeds of creative genius, to the insides of a rehab, where the great Elton John (played by Taron Egerton) is a janitor waiting to get sober, afraid if he could ever make music and magic again without using cocaine or alcohol. In that, Rocketman intricately sums up the story of poor upbringing, identity crisis, glory days of music and the eventual coming-to-terms with thinking and feeling, wanting and needing. All of John’s pain and his complicated journey towards self identification as a gay man is at the heart of this tragic and tumultuous musical. Rocketman could have just flown off the stage and burst into some mesmerisingly unexpected collage of colours, but the story-screenplay at hand does not allow that kind of a thrust. Instead it heavily relies on making surreal moments out of montages, carefully sewing in John’s emotions at each checkpoint and most importantly his encounters with men and difficulty in attracting the kind of love he thinks he deserves.
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Salman Khan is back on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr with his latest offering Bharat along with Katrina Kaif. For Bharat, Salman collaborated with Atul Agnihotri, who also produced the megastar’s hit action film Bodyguard in 2011. The film also features Disha Patani, who is essaying the role of a circus performer and artist, and Sunil Grover as Bharat’s friend and colleague. Besides them, the film also has Tabu, Jackie Shroff, Nora Fatehi and Aasif Sheikh in supporting roles, who will partake in the journey of Bharat at different points in the film’s timeline. So in a way, Bharat is a blend of handpicked, hit ingredients and is anticipated to out do expectations at the box office while delivering wholesome entertainment, coupled with some national values.Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the period drama is an official adaptation of Korean film Ode to My Father, directed by Yoon Je-kyoon. The film will trace Bharat’s (Salman Khan) journey from early 20s, when he was young, till early 70s, while he’s grown old. In doing that, Bharat will deliver the journey of independent India, through the experiences of a common man.Early reviews have started pouring in and fans have declared the film a blockbuster.Catch all the LIVE updates of Bharat here.Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh gave fours stars to the film and called it “smash-hit”. He wrote, “An emotional journey that wins you over… Salman is the lifeline. He’s exceptional… Katrina excels… Ali Abbas Zafar blends humour + emotions wonderfully… Slight trimming needed… Get ready for #Salmania. #BharatReview”#OneWordReview…#Bharat: SMASH-HIT.Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️An emotional journey that wins you over… Salman is the lifeline. He’s exceptional… Katrina excels… Ali Abbas Zafar blends humour + emotions wonderfully… Slight trimming needed… Get ready for #Salmania. #BharatReview pic.twitter.com/FVMFYZf9y0— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) June 4, 2019Bollywood singer Palak Muchhal also took to Twitter to laud Bharat. she wrote, “A journey of a man and nation together, releases today!!! Go watch it to experience a ride of emotions, fun and laughter!” Just watched #Bharat!A journey of a man and nation together, releases today!!! Go watch it to experience a ride of emotions, fun and laughter!@BeingSalmanKhan #KatrinaKaif @aliabbaszafar @DishPatani @WhoSunilGrover @Norafatehi @bindasbhidu @itsBhushanKumar @SKFilmsOfficial— Palak Muchhal (@palakmuchhal3) June 4, 2019#bharatFirst half – mindblowing 👌Well blend of comedy & emotion !Goosebumps in many scenesSure shot blockbuster if it continues in second half too !@BeingSalmanKhan @Bharat_TheFilm— RETWEET WORLD (@RETWEETWORLD3) June 5, 2019Watched #BharatMy Rating – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1st Half – Full of humour drama but keeps story intact2nd Half – Beast mode, full of emotionsSalman is top notch. One of the best performances after #TereNaam Kat is ravishingSunil – 2nd Lead extraordinaryVerdict- BLOCKBUSTER 🙏— दारोग़ा ठप्पू सिंह (@RagaTheChor) June 5, 2019#Bharat One word review : MasterpieceThe emotional plot and story is the USP of this movie. It is a perfect emotional movie with the right dose of entertainment. Superb work by @BeingSalmanKhan. Especially his old age character. He is the soul of this movie!🌟🌟🌟🌟🌠(4.5/5)— SOHAIL KHAN (@ItsSohailKhan) June 5, 2019#Bharat: BlockBusterRating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Salman is back with a Bang . He’s exceptional… Katrina excels… Ali Abbas Zafar blends humour +Acttion +emotions wonderfully…Some Scenes need to be trimmed.#Sallu Bhai #EID ka tofha dene agaya. Get ready for #Salmania. #BharatReview— Voleti Sai Jagannadh (@iamvsj) June 5, 2019@WhoSunilGrover @BeingSalmanKhan @BSKFanClub @SalmanFC_com Dance on Theater Slowmotion #Bharat @DishPatani Craze of 1st show pic.twitter.com/PWuhobF1Lu— sourav gondhi (@souravgondhi1) June 5, 2019Follow @News18Movies for more bharatbharat 2019bharat advance bookingbharat box office collection First Published: June 5, 2019, 10:33 AM IST
Jaipur: With uncertainty looming over Rahul Gandhi continuing as Congress President, there is speculation that Sachin Pilot too may quit as Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan and state Congress chief along with his team of MLAs, in case Gandhi quits his post.However, Pilot insisted that there was no question of him leaving the Congress. He said, “This is a crucial time for the party and there was no question of me leaving the party.” Earlier in the day, party sources say Gandhi was instrumental in making Pilot the state Congress chief in 2014. After the Assembly election late last year, Pilot was made Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s deputy. With the Congress chief himself mulling over his resignation, Pilot’s future hangs in balance, sources said. In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress has 100 legislators, the BJP 73 members, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) six, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) three, Communist Party of India-Marxist two, Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) two, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) one and 13 Independent members. The Gehlot government is supported by the 6 BSP MLAs and 12 Independents. However, it appears to be in a crisis, at present. On Monday, the BSP MLAs were expected to meet Governor Kalyan Singh. However, the meeting was cancelled at the last minute.A state minister, Congress’ Lalchand Kataria, is also reported to have tendered his resignation, though there was no confirmation from the offices of the Chief Minister and the Governor.Another Congress leader said, “Sachin Pilot is intelligent, educated and has gained credibility as a farmer leader too. He can be a good leader anywhere in the country. There are fair chances that the party may assign him to a new location. “Also, Pilot’s five-year tenure as state Congress Committee chief ended in March. He was given an extension till October in view of the Lok Sabha election. Now that might be preponed,” said the Congress leader.In case the Congress asks him to shift base, there are chances of Pilot deserting the Congress and then staking his claim to form a government, along with a few independent and BJP MLAs. This way he would get to become the chief minister.”Before the Assembly election, Gehlot was the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and Pilot the Rajasthan Congress Committee president. There was a clear segregation of their roles,” said the Congress leader.Ahead of the Assembly election in December last year, when Pilot was projected by the Congress as its chief ministerial face in Rajasthan, Gehlot insisted on being given a ticket from Jodhpur. “After the election, Pilot fought for the chief minister’s post because he had toiled for five years to build the party in Rajasthan. “However, he did not get what he deserved. Party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh preferred Gehlot’s seniority and he was made the chief minister,” said a Congress leader.Gehlot was also asked to take care of the party’s Lok Sabha election campaign. But the Gehlot-Pilot team of young and old blood failed to show any magic in the parliamentary elections where Congress suffered a rout. ashok gehotBSPChief MinisterRahul Gandhi First Published: May 28, 2019, 9:59 PM IST
Hyderabad: Former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya on Saturday hit out at Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for trying to suppress the voice of Opposition parties. Taking on the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader for promising to give the best administration to the state, the senior BJP leader wondered what was Rao, also known as KCR, doing all these years. The chief minister, while introducing the Municipal Act on Friday, promised to do away with all irregularities and illegal constructions in the state. Dattatreya said the new Act was against the spirit of the Constitution and accused KCR of indulging in vendetta politics. He also likened the TRS to a “bubble and a baseless building that may collapse at any point time, along with KCR and his son (KT Rama Rao)”. “The BJP is a national party and it will strengthen its base here as the youth are joining our party fold voluntarily, as people are tired of the failed policies of the TRS government and looking up to the saffron party as an alternative.“Rao is belittling other party leaders and will sure face the ire of people for his lopsided policies. The BJP will soon take up a campaign against lapses in the Municipal Act,” Dattatreya said.He also wondered if the chief minister would order a CBI inquiry into alleged corruption in the commercial taxes wing and illegal sand transport in the state.“The government is aware of rampant corruption in municipal, revenue and other departments and failed to check the same. Through the new Act, the government may target Opposition parties in future,” the BJP leader said, while pointing to illegalities in several schemes.Despite a court order against the same, the TRS government has decided to go ahead with municipal elections and indulged in malpractices as far as voters list and reservations are concerned, Dattatreya said.“We are going to emerge victorious in the coming polls and will give a tough fight to the TRS in the municipal polls. We will form clusters in 17 parliamentary segments and organise protests on July 30,” he said. bandaru dattatreyaK Chandrasekhar RaoKT Rama RaoMunicipal Act First Published: July 20, 2019, 8:35 PM IST | Edited by: Sohini Goswami
Hardware & DesignThe YOGA 720 is an impressive beast, emphasis on beast due to its relatively heavy weight. Everything about this laptop’s design screams premium, and that impression holds up true during usage. The YOGA 720 has one of the most comfortable laptop keyboards I’ve ever typed on; just the right amount of travel and resistance with near-silent operation and wide spacing.The power button on the edge sits flush with the metal, though Lenovo put in the effort to distinguish it with a glowing LED rim. The lid has a smooth metal design interrupted only with the shiny YOGA logo. The display takes up most of the underside; the dark bezels around it are very slim, leaving little space wasted. Lenovo packs some excellent hardware into its YOGA 720 model, notable among it being up to an Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2GB graphics. Buyers can get up to 16GB of RAM and up to a terabyte of storage. Other features include USB-C, dual JBL speakers, a 720p webcam and Windows Hello support, and the choice between either a Full HD or an Ultra HD display (full specs below).In true YOGA fashion, the display has 360-degree hinges that enable users to tilt the screen fully backward so that the lid sits flush with the bottom of the laptop. The hinges are capable of holding the screen at any angle between ‘laptop’ and ‘tablet’ modes, the latter of which pairs nicely with Windows 10’s automatic tablet-mode switching feature. It is, obviously, much thicker than an actual tablet, but slim enough to be reasonable for tablet-like usage.TECH SPECSProcessor: Up to 7th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ Processor (2.80GHz 6MB)Operating System:– Windows 10 Home– Windows 10 Pro – Lenovo recommends Windows 10 ProDisplay:– 15.6″ UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS LED Multitouch with integrated camera– 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS LED Multitouch with integrated cameraGraphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2GBCamera: HD 720pMemory: Up to 16GB DDR4 2133 MHzStorage: Up to 1TB PCIe SSDBattery: Up to 9 hours with FHD displayAudio:– 2 x JBL speakers– Dolby Audio PremiumSecurity: Fingerprint readerPorts:– USB Type-C with Thunderbolt– USB 3.1– 2 x USB 3.0– Audio jackConnectivity: 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.1Dimensions: 14.3″ x 9.5″ x 0.75″Weight: Starting at 4.4lbsColors:– Iron Grey– Platinum SilverBattery & PerformanceThis section starts with the usual caveat: your experience will depend on your model’s configuration. Our review unit features the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, plus 8GB of memory, meaning it is close to the top-tier model but not quite all the way there. As the benchmarks below show, the laptop packs a big punch. As far as everyday usage goes, the YOGA 720 is speedy and performed without any issues. The laptop handles more demanding software like Photoshop like a champ, and you could use this model for gaming or VR if you’re so inclined.Things we likeThe YOGA 720 is a bundle of good things. The design, hardware, display, and keyboard are all great with few compromises or deficits between them. The display, though glossy (which some find annoying), is crisp, very bright, and very saturated, though the colors aren’t overblown. The keyboard is very comfortable to type on with near-silent operation, the design is attractive, and the excellent hardware options make this a potential winner for a variety of users.Joining those aforementioned upsides are dual JBP speakers, both of which are located on the underside on the curved part of the outer edges. This placement allows the audio to bounce off of a desk or table surface, which serves as a pseudo-amplifier. The audio is robust and, when compared to other laptops’ audio, it is surprisingly capable. You’re not going to blow away external speakers, of course, but these JBL offerings are able to hold their own if you’re watching a video or playing music through the device’s own audio system.Things to considerWhile I very much enjoy using the YOGA 720, there are some points to note: it doesn’t have an SD card slot, it doesn’t have HDMI, and the USB-C port isn’t used for charging. None of those are deal-breakers for me, but it is easy to see how some buyers may choose to look elsewhere. The lack of an SD card slot, for example, means having to break out the USB adapter when there are images to transfer. The lack of HDMI means using an adapter to plug it into a display or projector. And the lack of USB-C charging means carrying around the laptop’s big charging cord.Joining that is the minor ‘issue’ of easy smudging from fingerprints, which show up as dark marks on the otherwise beautiful lid. That’s an annoying problem, as it felt embarrassing for others to see the number of prints, but it isn’t practical to avoid causing them and they’re not easy to wipe away without a moistened wipe.Finally, with a starting weight of 4.4lbs, the YOGA 720 isn’t light in the hands and, most importantly, it isn’t light on the back/shoulders. If you’re someone who does a lot of traveling and/or a lot of walking with your laptop and you need this level of power, you’d probably do well looking for something that weighs less even if it is more expensive.Wrap-upTo put it simply, I really like the YOGA 720. Though it does have its downsides — the lack of SD card slot being the most annoying for me — they’re not unusual compromises and they’re increasingly found on other similar laptops.What the YOGA 720 does offer, though, is great and didn’t disappoint during my time with the laptop. The design is great, the hardware options are great, and the display is top notch. If you can look past the missing ports and the fingerprint-prone exterior, there’s nothing to dislike about this model. Available now on Lenovo’s website starting at $1,099.99 USD. This year has brought one of the most beautiful and capable Lenovo YOGA laptops we’ve seen so far: the YOGA 720. This laptop — the 15″ version, in this case — sports a sleek all-metal body alongside an Ultra HD glossy display, powerful graphics, and an excellent keyboard. Like other YOGA models, the 720 is also flexible, able to fully transform into a ‘tablet’ or sit at any angle between. What’s not to like?
Considering the Vivo phone survived Nelson’s mighty hands, the teardown proceeded with the usual meticulous care in order to put it back together again. That is, once a replacement screen became available. In terms of a teardown, it was pretty uneventful and almost too easy. Up to the screen, it would probably have scored well on iFixit.The screen’s glass, however, is fused to the display and glued tightly to the frame. Prying it off to get to the sensor would have been risky. Fortunately for the sake of science, that screen was already shattered anyway. And after an excessive amount of heating to loosen up the adhesive, it finally gave way.The in-display fingerprint scanner, positioned diagonally, lies underneath the OLED panel, which was actually translucent. That allowed the optical fingerprint scanner to see through the OLED and the glass on top. It is also what makes you almost see the sensor when the screen is turned off. The blackness of the screen is actually due to having a layer of black coating underneath the OLED sheet. Otherwise you’d be able to actually see through the screen. Which would be distracting but visually interesting. A long time coming, Synaptics finally launched late last year the first ever commercial in-display fingerprint sensor. Jumping immediately on the opportunity to be different, Vivo equipped its new X20 Play UD with the never before seen feature. JerryRigEverything demonstrated how users didn’t have to worry about scratches on the display but had to be extra careful not to break the screen. But since that was broken anyway, the YouTube channel’s Zack Nelson got to work in tearing down the phone to reveal the sensor’s secrets. This design does mean that users should be more worried about cracks rather than scratches. The latter would have little to no effect on the accuracy of the fingerprint sensor. Then again, any crack on the display would render the phone useless anyway, whether the fingerprint scanner remained functional or not.
The Galaxy S9 is barely two weeks old but rumors of what the Galaxy Note 9 may or may not have are already starting to circulate. Given how the Galaxy S9 was more of a laid-back, incremental improvement, many will perhaps be interested to see if the Galaxy Note 9 will shake up things like its predecessors have. Without blowing up, of course. The one feature that could set it apart, however, might still not be ready, according to the famed Ming-chi Kuo. That might come as a surprise, considering how Vivo and Synaptics are already singing praises about the latter’s in-display fingerprint scanner. Vivo was even demonstrating a half-screen fingerprint scanner, though it never said if it uses the same technology.But while that scanner “just works” for Vivo and Synaptics, it’s not going to be enough for Samsung. Security is the biggest question mark on this nascent technology and is also one of the Samsung’s biggest concerns as it positions its phones as something that can be used in highly sensitive cases, like governments and military. Kuo says that none of the in-display solutions, be it optical or ultrasonic, has met Samsung’s high standards so far.Kuo himself is not a believer of face recognition, no matter how many times Apple preaches it. The old but proven fingerprint sensor still beats those newer technologies in reliability and security, says the analyst. Apple, of course, begs to differ.Samsung doesn’t seem to be in a rush this time to implement something totally new. It already learned that lesson and mobile division chief DJ Koh himself hinted that the company will take a “when it’s ready” approach to new products and features. That doesn’t bode well for the likes of Synaptics who will want a big name like Samsung to use and promote its fancy new tech.VIA: Apple Insider
In the case of the Galaxy Note 9, of course, we’re not only expecting an S Pen upgrade but a general revamp to the cutting-edge of phone hardware. The screen is likely to stay the same size and resolution as the Note 8 – 6.3-inches and 2960 x 1440 resolution, using a Super AMOLED panel – and the same Snapdragon 845 chipset as the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are believed to be inside. Samsung may well pair that with either 6GB or 8GB of memory.AdChoices广告Despite talk of an in-display fingerprint sensor, though, the Note 9 is expected to keep that on the back. It’ll be next to a dual camera setup, with twin 12-megapixel cameras. One will offer a 2x optical zoom. If you’re thinking that all sounds similar to what the Galaxy S9+ is offering, you’re not wrong. Judging by both Samsung’s invitation graphic, and this video that accompanies the event teaser, the focus for the show will be on S Pen this time around. We’ll know more when Galaxy Unpacked 2018 kicks off at 11am ET on August 9, 2018. Samsung has announced the date for its next Galaxy Unpacked event, where we’re expecting to see the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 make its big debut. The company has sent out invitations to Galaxy Unpacked 2018 in Brooklyn, New York, on August 9. The invite itself shows what looks to be the Galaxy Note’s S Pen, at least an extreme close-up of the button on the side of the stylus. It’s remained the Galaxy Note’s distinguishing feature in a sea of ever-growing smartphones. Samsung hasn’t left that to chance, either, with more and more pen-enabled features and apps on each generation of phone. Recent rumors have suggested Samsung could make some big S Pen changes this time around, too. That includes Bluetooth connectivity between the Note 9 and the stylus, rather than the current digitizer system. Since that would require a battery in the stylus, the S Pen would reportedly recharge while docked inside the phone. Story TimelineGalaxy Note 9 screen panel leak: still notchlessGalaxy Note 9 details leak in KoreaGalaxy Note 9’s biggest new feature is long awaited
Lenovo is back with another X-series laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme. This model joins the X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga, bringing the same general design aesthetic alongside the promise of handling demanding computing tasks “without a hitch.” The Extreme model is designed for users with extreme needs — both in terms of portability and performance. How well does it meet those needs? Story TimelineLenovo foldable phone prototype seen in working conditionLenovo Smart Display gets new Google Home Hub featuresSony and Lenovo just made a weird VR agreementLenovo Z5 Pro sliding camera, notchless design confirmed in leakThis Lenovo Smart Display deal is a half-price surprise HardwareThe ThinkPad X1 Extreme is impressively small and light for a workstation, giving it an immediate appeal over its clunky, heavy competitors. The laptop sports Lenovo’s no-nonsense ThinkPad business design, including a light black color and embossed ThinkPad logo on the lid. Both the lid and inner palm rest are soft to the touch.The Extreme’s keyboard sports the expected ThinkPad design; it has retained the red TrackPoint “nub” and prominent three-button trackpad, and the keys are both broad and round. The end result is a very comfortable, quiet keyboard that can easily accommodate large hands.The Extreme features a gorgeous 15.6-inch display available in Full HD and 4K touch (our unit). Buyers who need the best display possible should go with the 4K option, which supports Dolby Vision HDR and a 100-percent color gamut alongside better contrast, brightness, and detail. Other design elements of note include thin bezels around the display, as well as a tendency to pick up fingerprints that don’t easily buff out. The power button is circular and prominently displayed on the palm rest’s right edge; a few inches below it lies a small square fingerprint reader. Joining that fingerprint reader is an optional IR camera for Windows Hello and a privacy slider on the webcam.TECH SPECSProcessor: Up to 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8850H 6 Core Processor with vPro (2.60GHz, up to 4.30GHz with Turbo Boost Technology, 9MB Cache)Operating System:– Windows 10 Home– Windows 10 Pro – Lenovo recommends Windows 10 ProDisplay:– 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS anti-glare, 300nits, 72% color gamut– 15.6″ 4K UHD HDR (3840 x 2160) IPS multi-touch, anti-reflective / anti-smudge, 400 nits, 100% Adobe 8+2 color depth with Dolby Vision– Supports up to 4 independent monitorsGraphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GBMemory: Up to 64 GB DDR4 2666 MHz, Dual DIMMStorage: Up to 1 TB PCIe SSDBattery: Up to 15hr, 4 cell, 80 Wh, with Rapid Charge technologyConnectivity:– Intel Dual Band 9560 Wireless AC (2 x 2) with vPro™ + Bluetooth® 5.0– Intel Dual Band 9560 Wireless AC (2 x 2) + Bluetooth® 5.0Camera:– 720p HD with ThinkShutter privacy cover– Infrared (IR) Camera (optional; required for use with Windows Hello & doesn’t include ThinkShutter)Security– Fast Online Identity (FIDO) authentication capabilities– dTPM 2.0– Match-on-Chip touch fingerprint reader– Windows Hello with facial recognition software (requires IR camera)– ThinkShutter on 720p HD Camera– Smart Card Reader (Optional)– Kensington® lock slotAudio:– Dolby Audio™ Premium– Dolby Atmos® for headset*– Noise-cancelling dual-array far field microphonesWeight starting at:– FHD non-touch: Starting at 3.76 lbs (1.7 kg)– 4K Touchscreen: Starting at 4.06 lbs (1.8 kg)Dimensions (W x D x H)FHD non-touch: 14.24” x 9.67” x .72” / 361.8 x 245.7 x 18.4 (mm)4K Touchscreen: 14.24” x 9.67” x .74” / 361.8 x 245.7 x 18.7 (mm)Keyboard:– Spill resistant– Multitouch glass touchpad– Backlit with white LED lightingPorts:– 2 x USB 3.1 (Gen 1, 1 always on)– 2 x USB-C Thunderbolt™ 3– 4-in-1 SD card reader– HDMI 2.0– Network extension– Combo audio / micAC Adapter: 135WSupported Docking: ThinkPad Thunderbolt Workstation DockSoftware & PerformanceLenovo offers the ThinkPad X1 Extreme with both Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro options. Performance is great across all categories; the system responds rapidly to everything from starting applications to tabbing through browser windows and streaming content. Heavy use, such as batch resizing and watermarking images or editing a video, results in the fan kicking on and, soon enough, the bottom getting too warm to comfortably keep on one’s lap.Things we likeGiven the Extreme’s “workstation” designation, it’s no surprise that Lenovo packed in support for up to four standalone 4K monitors. This is a welcomed addition that makes it possible to use the laptop as part of an extensive desktop setup without settling for big workaround solutions.Lenovo took this a step further and offers an optional infrared camera that features Mirametrix Glance technology. With this, the system tracks the user’s face, eye, and gaze to automatically adjust application windows and cursors, improving productivity across multiple monitors.Likewise, Lenovo didn’t skimp on ports with the Extreme. Users have direct access to a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, as well as two USB 3.1 ports, an SD card reader, HDMI, and network extension port. An optional dock is available for users with more demanding needs, but on-the-go professionals will find the laptop’s various port options are more than adequate for most needs.IssuesStriking a balance between performance and battery life is never easy, and workstations in particular suffer from heavy emphasis on one at the expense of the other. It wouldn’t be fair to say that the 4K version of the Extreme has poor battery life, because it doesn’t, but users should temper their expectations, particularly if they’re maxing out the display brightness and keeping a continuously high load on the system.Still, battery life was a bit lacking compared to some competing models, reaching several hours with brightness turned up, videos streaming, and general business multi-tasking underway. Lenovo offers a compromise in the form of rapid charging — buyers have access to Rapid Charge for getting the battery to 80% in 60 minutes.Another potential downside is a combination of warmth and loud fan noise during heavy use.Wrap-upThe Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is one of the most alluring mobile workstations I’ve used in a long time. The laptop’s slim, lightweight design coupled with a stunning 4K display and high performance make this model a treat for anyone trying to get serious work done while away from the office. Battery life isn’t quite as stellar as some may hope, but the system can still offer several hours on a charge and, thanks to rapid charging, topping up the battery doesn’t take long at all.Professionals looking for a very capable portable workstation have an excellent option in the ThinkPad X1 Extreme. Available from Lenovo now starting at $1,301 USD.
Story TimelineNASA to buy seats on Russian Soyuz through 2020 for ISS tripsRussia will send two space tourists to the ISS in late 2021Cohen admits Trump’s early info on Russia-hacked DNC emails Russia’s ‘sovereign Internet’ draft law would seek to help protect the nation from cybersecurity attacks, but the move may be part of a growing attempt to limit the content residents can access. The nation’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, is behind the draft law, though local telecom companies have called aspects of its proposed requirements burdensome and, in some cases, impossible to meet.Under the law, Russian telecom companies would need to provide Roskomnadzor with real-time data on their traffic routing, among other things; as well, all Internet traffic exiting the country would be required to pass through registered exchange points regulated by the communications agency.The draft law would come with a substantial price tag, according to a report from Russian publication RBC, which reports that it obtained a copy of minutes related to a meeting held by the nation’s telecom companies in January. The overall goal appears to be the creation of a local intranet that could continue to function if a different nation, such as the US, attempted to keep Russia from accessing the Internet at large.Critics have expressed confusion and concern regarding Russia’s move, particularly that it would lead to the eventual crackdown on citizen who attempt to access banned content. Russia has previously targeted websites featuring anti-Kremlin content, details about human rights violations in the nation, and more. Russia has advised its citizens of an upcoming Internet disruption that will take down all traffic in anticipation of a draft law related to cybersecurity. The law would mandate the creation of a ‘sovereign’ Internet in what critics say may be a step toward Russia establishing its own ‘Great Firewall.’ The disruption will result from telecom companies conducting tests in anticipation of the new regulations.
For that price, customers get more than 150 channels, according to T-Mobile, including local broadcast stations and access to regional sports. The service features “AI-driven” features, namely content recommendations and a system that learns the user’s preferences the more they use it. There’s 1TB of DVR storage and the ability to set up profiles — including individual DVR space — for each viewer in the home.The TVision Home device provides direct access to certain other services, such as Pandora, XUMO, HSN, and Toon Goggles. However, the carrier plans to offer more substantial third-party apps in the future, such as for Netflix and YouTube. The platform also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and can be used to directly view home security camera feeds.AdChoices广告As mentioned, the company is offering a promotion called Satellite Freedom that offers to pay existing satellite customers’ early termination fees if they switch — the perk comes in the form of up to a $500 prepaid card. It’s clear that T-Mobile is targeting existing cable and satellite users rather than directly competing for viewers already subscribed to other (in some cases, cheaper) streaming television customers. T-Mobile has taken the wraps off TVision Home, its rebranded version of the Layer3 TV service. The carrier plans to launch its home television products in a limited number of markets, including Chicago, NYC, LA, and Washington DC, though it will expand into other regions in the future. Joining the service launch is a program called ‘Satellite Freedom’ that’ll pay off early termination fees for existing DirecTV and Dish customers. Story TimelineT-Mobile 5G device headache unsettles 2019 rollout [Updated]T-Mobile will give customers a free year of MLB.TV on March 26T-Mobile Home Internet pilot promises low-cost 5G if Sprint merger approved The rebranded broadband-based television service offers consumers a streaming TV alternative to their existing cable and satellite services, but it comes with a price tag substantially higher than many competing (streaming) products. TVision Home will cost customers $90/month with ten bucks off for the carrier’s wireless customers, plus $10 per connected television. Premium add-ons like HBO can be included for an additional fee.
Lyft has announced that it will be removing electric bikes across various fleets from three major metropolitan areas in the US. The decision comes after users reported “stronger than expected braking force,” which in some cases is a problem that has led to injuries. Though these electric bikes are disappearing from cities today, the plan is to eventually bring them back with improvements to their braking systems. To be more specific, Lyft has decided to remove electric bikes made by Citi Bike, Ford GoBike, and Capital Bikeshare from New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., respectively. Lyft came to own all three companies in November 2018, when it bought Motivate for an undisclosed amount.A write-up from The New York Times says that “dozens” of Citi Bike users in New York City have reported injuries in recent months, and all of them center on those surprisingly strong brakes. It seems that in most cases, users reported the front wheel locking up when the brakes were applied, which would send them over the handlebars.Lyft announced that it was pulling these bikes from city streets in statements published to the websites of Citi Bike, Ford GoBike, and Capital Bikeshare. All three statements are very similar, with Lyft saying that it opted to remove these bikes from service out of “an abundance of caution.” The company also says that it will replace its electric, pedal-assist bikes with standard pedal bikes as it works out a fix, so users will still be able to find a ride while Lyft works to roll out a new fleet of bikes.AdChoices广告Lyft didn’t give a timeline for when it expects new electric bikes to be on city streets, but in the statement on Citi Bike’s website, it says this roll out will happen “soon.” We’ll keep an ear to the ground for more information, but for now, it seems that Citi Bike, Ford GoBike, and Capital Bikeshare customers who have come to rely on electric bikes for transportation will be stuck doing things the old fashioned way. Story TimelineLyft will soon let users rent Segway’s durable new electric scootersLyft Green Mode lets Seattle riders request electric and hybrid carsLyft Shared Saver offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk
In its announcement about the plan, DC Comics pointed out that the ‘edgier’ content Vertigo was launched to offer is now considered mainstream and there’s no particularly good reason to keep it isolated in its own imprint. Instead, DC will return to its previous state, which is a unification of its content under the DC brand.Content will be split up under labels that are intended for different age groups: DC Kids, DC, and DC Black Label. This change will take effect starting with the arrival of 2020, meaning Vertigo will be shuttered by the end of this year. Starting in January 2020, the content presently being published under the DC Ink and DC Zoom imprints will be transitioned to the DC and DC Kids labels.The DC Kids label will focus on content targeted at the 8 to 12 age group with stories for middle-grade readers. The regular DC label will target ages 13 and older and will be the destination for content primarily featuring the current roster of DC universe characters.The DC Black Label will focus on the ‘edgier’ content rated for ages 17 and older. DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee said of the change:What we’ve done here is apply an ages and stages organizing philosophy that will strengthen what we’re already doing well, whether that is our move into the young adult and middle grade audience or our long track record of success with creator-driven pop-up lines. We will also continue to publish creator-owned projects, and will evaluate and assign to the appropriate label to help our fans find the best books for their interests. These new labels not only bring greater consistency and focus to our characters, but they also open up a wealth of new opportunities for the talent working on our books. In 1993, DC Comics launched an imprint called Vertigo that got recognition for its more mature and graphic content. Following reports claiming as much, DC Comics has confirmed that it will sunset the imprint in order to bring all of its content under the same brand. Rather than offering this more adult-oriented content under Vertigo, DC will split up its offerings by age groups. Story TimelineDC Comics Infinite Crisis multiverse Open Beta beginsHoopla strikes digital deal with DC ComicsDC Comics’ next big movie will star Booster Gold
Story TimelineWaymo is adding “up to 62,000” autonomous minivans to its fleetWaymo talks about its next 10 million miles Neither automaker is unfamiliar with autonomous technology. Renault, for example, has been working on prototype vehicles – for both people and goods deliveries – for some years now, and even at one point suggested a commercial product could be on public roads by 2020. Nissan, too, has a lengthy history with self-driving research, and as far back as 2013 we ended up inside a self-driving Leaf EV. Actually going from prototypes to production, though, is a tougher challenge than many expected, and partnering with a tech company is a shortcut many automakers are likely to take. “Our expertise in the global automotive industry and expertise in strategic partnership will enable us to explore opportunities to grow our portfolio and deliver new value to customers with Waymo, the recognized leader in this space,” Hiroto Saikawa, President and CEO of Nissan said of today’s announcement.One uncertainty is just what vehicles the new partners will use for their upcoming services. Waymo currently relies on Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans and has just added the first of as many as 20,000 Jaguar I-PACE electric SUVs to its fleet, though it seems certain that Renault and Nissan will expect their own vehicles to form the basis of their mobility platform. Waymo’s driverless cars are headed to France and Japan, with Alphabet’s autonomous vehicle devision inking a new deal with Renault and Nissan. The move will see Waymo’s technology expand from its current stomping grounds in the US, where in addition to prototype drives it also operates a Waymo One ride-hailing service in parts of Arizona. The goal is to look at how Renault and Nissan – as leads in the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance – can use driverless technology for services moving people and goods. It’s an exclusive agreement, at least for the moment. None of the parties are saying just how long that exclusivity will last, though Waymo has been forthright in the past that it sees partnering with multiple automakers as key to expanding its self-driving tech.It’s not just a technology issue, of course. Part of the challenge of expanding autonomous technologies into new markets is dealing with the legal and regulatory hurdles. In some cases that means persuading governments and law-makers to update existing road rules to acknowledge vehicles that may not have a human driver at the wheel – or even a wheel at all. In others, however, there may be no consistent regulation that can be updated in the first place, leaving Waymo and its new partners at the start of a complex – and potentially very time-consuming – journey. “By teaming up with Renault and Nissan initially to research commercial, legal, and regulatory issues related to transportation-as-a-service in France and Japan,” Waymo said today, “we’re on the path to creating long-term driverless solutions hand-in-hand with the world’s largest automaker.”AdChoices广告Recognizing this challenge, the partnership’s deployment will start off on familiar territory to the automakers. The first autonomous mobility service analysis will take place in France and Japan, where Renault and Nissan have their headquarters respectively. After that, it’s expected to expand to other markets – though not, the firms make explicit, to China. Renault and Nissan also plan to make joint venture Alliance-focused companies in France and Japan, which will be “dedicated to driverless mobility services.”“This is an ideal opportunity for Waymo to bring our autonomous technology to a global stage, with an innovative partner,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik said of the deal. “With the Alliance’s international reach and scale, our Waymo Driver can deliver transformational mobility solutions to safely serve riders and commercial deliveries in France, Japan, and other countries.”
A selection of health policy stories from Maryland, California, Missouri and Florida.The Baltimore Sun: Md. Submits Plan To Overhaul Hospital ChargesMaryland health officials on Friday turned over to the federal government a plan that would overhaul how hospitals are paid for treating patients to promote lower admissions and better care. The state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene plan would replace a model in which hospitals are reimbursed for care based on numbers of hospital admissions with one that instead ties that spending to the state economy (Dance, 10/11).The New York Times: Gov. Brown Of California Vetoes Biotech Drug BillThe first year of skirmishes in state legislatures over bills that would govern the use of cheaper versions of expensive biotechnology drugs is nearly over. Health insurers and generic drug companies have prevailed in most states over brand-name pharmaceutical companies (Pollack, 10/13).The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown Vetoes Bill To Give Medi-Cal Interpreters Union Rights Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Sunday that would have given thousands of Medi-Cal interpreters the right to join a public employee union and bargain collectively with the state. Assembly Bill 1263, by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, would have established a certification process and registry of medical interpreters, a measure proponents said would better regulate a service that is critical to patients who do not speak English. But the bill was also significant to labor unions that believe implementation of the federal healthcare overhaul will result in a wave of new patients and medical professionals they hoped to add to their union ranks (Siders, 10/13). California Healthline: Governor Signs Midwives BillA bill removing barriers for licensed midwifes to deliver children in normal births and improving communication between physicians and midwives if a hospital transfer is necessary was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown (D). … The law removes the requirement that a licensed midwife be under a physician’s supervision, a provision since 1999 that some considered unworkable and not enforced by the Medical Board because of an administrative judge ruling (Norberg, 10/11).Los Angeles Times: Mental Health Court Helps Save A Troubled Talent From The StreetKim Knoble’s past tracks an arc of promise, mental illness and descent into what her parents call “living hell.” But Knoble is not homeless, in prison or dead — outcomes common with stories like hers. Instead, on Wednesday, the woman with a head of wild red curls plans to walk into the St. Francis Yacht Club, tell her tale of recovery and lift the instrument she did not touch for a decade to play Massenet’s “Meditation From Thais” (Romney, 10/13). St. Louis Beacon: SLU’s Student-Run Clinic Emphasizes Prevention, Healthy LivingEach Tuesday evening, some of the most medically underserved residents in St. Louis gather at a clinic in the Victor Roberts Building on the north side for generous access to medical advice. The discussions focus less on pills and prescriptions and more on wellness and prevention, with primary emphasis on measures the patients can take to improve their health (Joiner, 10/14).Modern Healthcare: Hospitals Play With Medicare Patients’ StatusA growing number of senior citizens are ensnared in a Medicare crackdown on hospitals over costly inpatient admissions. Hospitals nationwide are responding by classifying more overnight visitors as outpatients held for observation. Caught in the middle are senior citizens, who aren’t warned about the consequences of observation and can’t appeal, patient advocates say (Schorsch, 10/13). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. State Highlights: Md. Submits Plan To Tie Hospital Charges To State’s Economy
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. First Edition: October 31, 2013 Today’s headlines include reports about the Obama administration’s efforts to recover from health law implementation hiccups and challenges. Kaiser Health News: Key Senate, House Committee Chairs Offer Plan To Fix Medicare Doctor PaymentsKaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey reports: “The Democratic And Republican leaders of two key congressional committees have agreed on a framework to scrap the problematic Medicare payment formula for physicians and replace it with one that would link physician reimbursement to the quality of care provided, a step that could put an end to the annual ‘doc fix’ debate” (Carey, 10/31). Read the story. Kaiser Health News: Help Flies In For Troubled Hospital In Estes Park, Colo.Reporting for Kaiser Health News, in partnership with NPR, Eric Whitney writes: “Estes Park, Colorado, is weathering a tough season. Seven weeks ago floods wiped out all but one road into the small, tourism-dependent community adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park. Hotels and businesses were just getting cleaned up and the town was hoping to salvage some kind of fall color season, when the government shutdown hit, closing the park for ten days” (Whitney, 10/30). Read the story. Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Sebelius Says Healthcare.gov Problems Are Her ResponsibilityKaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and CQ Roll Call’s Emily Ethridge discuss the days events on Capitol Hill, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen’s Sebelius’ testimony in which she said she couldn’t give firm numbers on how many people have enrolled for health insurance using the website because the data are not yet trustworthy (10/30). Read the transcript or listen to the audio. Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Rep. Ryan And CMS Chief Tavenner’s Exchange Muddles Subsidies For Young AdultsNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Michelle Andrews reports: “In a contentious House Ways and Means Committee hearing Tuesday about the problem-plagued launch of the federal health insurance exchange, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, managed to agree about one thing: Young adults who have access to their parents’ health insurance can’t get subsidies if they choose instead to buy a plan on a health insurance exchange. Unfortunately, they’re both wrong, say health policy experts” (Andrews, 10/30). Checkout what else is on the blog. The New York Times: Contrite White House Spurns Health Law’s CriticsThe White House on Wednesday blended expressions of contrition for the troubled rollout of its health care law with an aggressive rejection of Republican criticism of it, as the administration sought a political strategy to blunt the fallout from weeks of technical failures and negative coverage. While Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, apologized profusely during a politically charged hearing on Capitol Hill, President Obama traveled to Massachusetts to argue forcefully that the Affordable Care Act will eventually be just as successful as the similar plan pioneered by Mitt Romney, his onetime rival and a former governor of the state (Shear and Pear, 10/30). Politico: Obamacare’s Split-Screen DayPresident Barack Obama’s prescription for health care law critics: Take a deep breath — and move on. Never mind that House Republicans have beaten up on two of his top health officials on consecutive days; that one of them, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, faces new calls to resign seemingly every day; or that the Obamacare website crashed while Sebelius was testifying on the Hill Wednesday (Allen and Budoff Brown, 10/31).Los Angeles Times: Obama: GOP Critics Of Obamacare Should Follow Romney ExamplePresident Obama said the buck stops with him on the failures of healthcare.gov but accused Republican governors of working against the success of the Affordable Care Act. Speaking to a crowd in Boston, at the historic hall where onetime Republican Gov. Mitt Romney signed that state’s 2006 healthcare reform into law, Obama pointed to his former rival as an example of bipartisan cooperation (Parsons, 10/30). Politico: Obama Can’t Quite MittPresident Barack Obama just can’t leave Mitt Romney alone. The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee serves as a perpetual foil for the White House – and he’s one who can’t effectively fight back, has no base of support among Republicans and just happened to be the only other American politician to sign a universal health care law (Epstein, 10/30). Los Angeles Times: Lack Of Enrollment Workers Hampers Insurance Exchange Sign-UpsA month into enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, hundreds of healthcare workers and insurance agents are still unable to sign up consumers for health coverage through California’s new exchange. Despite promises of an army of workers blanketing the state to help, many aren’t in place — or they’re hitting one state roadblock or another (Terhune and Brown, 10/30). Los Angeles Times: EHealth CEO To Obama: Let Us Take Over Healthcare.govEHealth Inc., the nation’s largest online seller of health insurance, is offering to run Obamacare enrollment for the federal government while the balky healthcare.gov website is being fixed. Gary Lauer, chief executive of EHealth, said in a letter this week to President Obama that his Mountain View, Calif., company was willing to operate the federal exchange through its website as a temporary stopgap to give officials more time to repair the troubled online marketplace (Terhune, 10/30).The Wall Street Journal: Doctors Fault Provider Lists Exchanges Get From InsurersMany new health exchanges don’t yet let shoppers see which doctors accept which insurance plans. Where exchanges do post the so-called provider lists, they often contain inaccurate or misleading information, some doctors say, including wrong specialties, addresses and language skills, and no indication whether providers are accepting new patients (Beck, 10/30). The Wall Street Journal: Some Factories Stick With Old Health PlansSome small manufacturers facing soaring costs for employee health insurance say they are likely to continue coverage for their workers, even though they won’t be required to under the Affordable Care Act. They are wary of discontinuing coverage and sending their employees to new insurance exchanges to obtain their own insurance. They say the problem-filled rollout of the federal government’s online insurance market has raised further doubts about whether their employees would have access to sufficient coverage at lower costs (Tita, 10/30). The Associated Press/Washington Post: Conservative Group Files Lawsuit Seeking To Have New Health Care Law Declared Unconstitutional The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is seeking to have the health care law overturned. The group is seizing on a provision that was supposed to go into effect next year but ultimately was postponed for 12 months. That provision requires employers with 50 or more workers to offer affordable coverage or face fines, but it’s been put off until 2015 (10/30). The Washington Post: Beneath Conference Committee’s Sweet Words Lurks Old Sticking Point: TaxesChastened by three years of budget showdowns and economic near-calamities, the 22 senators and seven House members on a new budget conference committee expressed fresh eagerness to end the era of government by crisis. Democrats, for instance, said they are ready to swap sharp but temporary cuts to federal agencies, known as the sequester, for permanent “structural changes” to federal health programs long sought by Republicans (Montgomery, 10/30). Los Angeles Times: Budget Talks To Ward Off Another Shutdown BeginThe panel, created from this month’s budget agreement, has until Dec. 13 to negotiate a budget framework. Funding to keep the federal government open runs out by Jan. 15. Republicans resisted new taxes, saying they would rather reduce spending on Medicare and other safety-net programs. Democrats want wealthy individuals and corporations to contribute more tax revenue to help solve the nation’s fiscal problems (Mascaro, 10/30).Los Angeles Times: Federal Appeals Court Could Rule Soon On Texas Abortion LawA federal appeals court in New Orleans had yet to rule Wednesday on Texas officials’ request for an emergency order allowing a set of new abortion restrictions to take effect in their state as scheduled. On Monday, a federal judge in Texas issued a ruling that blocked some of the restrictions that he found unconstitutional, including a provision requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and limits on medication-induced abortions (Hennessy-Fiske, 10/30). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. Kaiser Health News: Why Insurers Cancel Policies, And What You Can Do When It HappensKaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby reports: “News that health insurers are ending the policies of what could be millions of Americans has rattled consumers and added to the debate over the health care law. If you or a family member has been notified that your individual policy is being cancelled at year’s end, you may be stunned and upset. Here is a guide to help you understand the bigger picture, including why your premiums and benefits are likely to change next year and what you should consider as you shop for a new policy (Appleby, 10/30). Read the story. The Washington Post: Obama On Health Care Law: ‘We Are Going To See It Through’President Obama delivered a spirited defense of his health-care law Wednesday in the face of problems with the launch of its online insurance marketplace, vowing that “we are going to see it through.” In a speech in Boston, Obama took responsibility for making sure that problems with the Web site, HealthCare.gov, are fixed as soon as possible (Rucker and Branigin, 10/30). The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Claims ‘Full Responsibility’ For Health Care Website Fixes As Security Concerns SurfaceObama underscored the administration’s unhappiness with the problems so far: “There’s no excuse for it,” he said during a Boston speech to promote his signature domestic policy achievement. “And I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP.” The website HealthCare.gov was still experiencing outages as Sebelius faced a new range of questions at the House Energy and Commerce Committee about a security memo from her department. It revealed that the troubled website was granted a temporary security certificate on Sept. 27, just four days before it went live on Oct. 1 (10/30).The Wall Street Journal: Obama Tempers Insurance Pledge As Health Fight RagesPresident Barack Obama on Wednesday said Americans who are losing insurance under the health law would find better coverage, rebutting a rising chorus of complaints that he had oversold the law’s benefits. With Republican criticism in Congress intensifying over canceled policies and the new online insurance marketplaces malfunctioning, Mr. Obama used a speech in Boston to tell Americans that they could obtain improved insurance if they shopped around. This comes after the president has long said that people who like their health plans would be able to keep them after the new law takes effect next year (Nelson and Nicholas, 10/30). The Washington Post: Sebelius On Health-Care Law Rollout: ‘Hold Me Accountable For The Debacle. I’m Responsible.”The battle over the government’s problem-plagued health-care Web site escalated on Wednesday as Republicans attacked the Obama administration over an array of emerging issues involving the health law, including potential security vulnerabilities on the site and complaints from Americans facing cancellations of existing policies (Kliff, Rucker and Somashekhar, 10/30).NPR: Congressmen Berate Sebelius For Cancellations, Website WoesHealth and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a date with lawmakers frustrated by the rocky rollout of the HealthCare.gov website. What she got at the House Energy and Commerce Committee was four hours of venting from Democrats and Republicans alike (Rovner, 10/31). The New York Times: Sebelius Apologizes For Health Site’s MalfunctionsIn three and a half grueling hours of testimony before a House committee, Ms. Sebelius apologized for the missteps and problems in efforts to carry out the president’s most important domestic initiative (Pear, 10/30). Los Angeles Times: Sebelius Apologizes For Obamacare ‘Debacle’Sebelius acknowledged that enrolling in insurance plans through the federal government’s online marketplace was a “miserably frustrating experience for way too many Americans” — an observation Republicans repeatedly underscored by pointing to a screen that showed in real time that the website, healthcare.gov, was displaying an error message (Memoli, 10/31). The Wall Street Journal: Sebelius Apologizes For Health Site’s WoesDespite calls from some Republicans for her resignation, Mrs. Sebelius gave no indication that she had plans to do so, saying she was “committed to earning your confidence back” by fixing the site (Schatz and Radnofsky, 10/30).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Fact Check: Sebelius Offers A Flawed Defense When Pressed To Enroll In Health ExchangeBut her response to Republicans who pressed her Wednesday to sign up under a health insurance exchange was problematic. She said that because she’s part of the federal employee health plan, she’s not eligible to switch to the exchanges. In fact, Americans who have workplace health insurance, as most with coverage do, can drop it in favor of individual policies offered by the exchanges. But doing so would not make financial sense for most (10/30). Politico: GOP Rides Wave Of Insurance Cancellation NoticesSince the Affordable Healthcare Act was introduced in 2009, Republicans have dismissed President Barack Obama’s oft-repeated promise that anyone who liked their insurance plan would be able to keep it. But was anyone paying attention? (Byers, Gold and Samuelsohn, 10/31). NPR: Notices Canceling Health Insurance Leave Many On EdgePresident Obama repeated this line or a variation of it many times during the campaign to pass his landmark health care bill: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.” But while that might be true for people who get health insurance through their employer, it’s not true for many people who buy their policies in the individual market — about 5 percent of the nation’s policyholders (Ydstie, 10/30). The Washington Post: Obama’s Health-Care Promise That People Can Keep their Insurance Comes Back To Haunt HimIt is a catchy sound bite that has turned around to bite the hand that fed it to the country: If you like the health insurance you have, you can keep it. President Obama’s credibility has taken a hit over that line, which he tossed off in various versions during countless campaign stops and policy speeches (Tumulty, 10/30). The Associated Press/Washington Post: Promises, Promises: A Big Obama Health Insurance Promise That Never Stood A ChancePresident Barack Obama’s soothing promise that Americans happy with their health insurance could simply keep it was doomed from the start, and everyone familiar with the market seemed to recognize that except the president. Even his aides said four years ago, early in the huge push for his health care law, that he wasn’t to be taken literally on that point. But he kept making the promise, literally and forcefully, through the long debate about the overhaul, after it became law and directly to voters in the campaign for the 2012 election. The words sometimes varied but the message didn’t: Not only was a better day coming for people with no insurance or bad insurance — but everyone else could just relax (10/31). Los Angeles Times: Insurers, White House Argue Against Delaying Healthcare DeadlineEven with its health insurance marketplace floundering for the fourth week, the Obama administration is resisting what some Democratic allies contend is the most logical response to the problem: giving consumers more time to sign up. According to insurers and the White house, delaying the deadline could undermine efforts to lure a broad, young and healthy mix of consumers to the market. That would end up costing insurers, and possibly taxpayers, money (Hennessey and Parsons, 10/30).
The ultra-fast charging stations soon will back on-lineHUBER+SUHNER, the Swiss supplier of liquid-cooled cables and plugs for ultra-fast charging stations, completed intensive investigations and tests on safety issue noted by one of the customers and confirms correct functionality.The occurrence of a short-circuit in the plug of a high-power charging system was noticed at a charging station on a test site of a customer in Germany, which used a first-generation prototype, delivered in the summer of 2017.“Nobody was injured in this incident. The short-circuit occurred in the plug. The cooling circuit with the synthetic, non-conductive coolant can be ruled out as the cause. The product in question is a first-generation prototype.”Despite the series products differing from the first prototypes by, among other things, increased sealing, HUBER+SUHNER decided to recommend to its customers on 26 January 2019 to suspend the operation of all potentially affected charging stations as a precautionary measure until further analysis could be performed.This is why major charging networks like Electrify America, Fastned and IONITY temporarily shut down ultra-fast chargers with HUBER+SUHNER cables/plug.Ultra-fast charging Source: Electric Vehicle News As the double check proved the safety of the production versions of the product, HUBER+SUHNER will give its customers a green light for use of the system today. It’s very encouraging that the entire case was closed within three days and didn’t harm much of the business of charging networks. Any recall would cause major issues.Full press release:HUBER+SUHNER: Review of high-power charging systems confirms correct functionalityFor HUBER+SUHNER, the safety of its products is of highest priority. After the occurence of a short-circuit in the plug of a high-power charging system, HUBER+SUHNER recommended to its customers on 26 January 2019 to suspend the operation of all charging stations with HUBER+SUHNER high-power charging system as a precautionary measure until further analysis could be performed. The concerned plug was a first-generation prototype which had been in use at a test site.Since the event became known, HUBER+SUHNER has carried out intensive investigations and tests, in some cases also together with its customers and partners. These also included tests on the entire charging system with high-power charging cables from series production.The tests confirmed the correct functionality of the system and proved that the series products supplied by HUBER+SUHNER meet the required standards without any restrictions, both individually and in the entire charging system. HUBER+SUHNER will inform its customers about these positive results today. IONITY Installs First 50 Ultra Fast Charging Stations Fast Charging Comparison: Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQC, Jaguar I-PACE Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 29, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Porsche Taycan Owners Get 3 Years Of Free Electrify America Charging