Story TimelineWindows XP PSA: There’s a huge, unusual security update you need to installMajor security risk prompts Windows update (8, Server 2003, XP)There’s a huge ransomware attack going on: What you need to know In total, around $143,000 worth of Bitcoins had been amassed, across three wallets known to be used by the WannaCry attackers. On Wednesday evening, the funds from those wallets began to be withdrawn, and several hours later all 52.2 BTC was gone. At the time, it was speculated by security researchers that the attackers had converted the Bitcoin into another cryptocurrency. That alternative, Monero, was created in 2014 and has a particular focus on privacy. It can obscure not only the sending address but the amount of the transaction and the address of the recipient. Now, that route has been confined. ShapeShift, a digital asset change based in Switzerland, has issued a statement verifying that at least a portion of the Bitcoins passed through its service. Describing it as a breach of its terms of service, namely using it to process the proceeds of a crime, ShapeShift said that it has “taken measures to blacklist all addresses associated with the WannaCry attackers that are known to the ShapeShift team.” Although Monero may hide who sent digital currency and who received it, ShapeShift says that’s not the case on its exchange. “Any transactions made through ShapeShift can not be hidden or obscured,” the company said in its statement, “and are thus 100 percent transparent, making laundering of any digital tokens impossible.”It’s now working with law enforcement on the WannaCry case, “and will assist them with any needs they may request to apprehend the perpetrators.” ShapeShift’s involvement was highlighted by Neutrino, a cryptocurrency intelligence firm, Cyberscoop reports. Its appeal comes down to the lack of registration required. Neutrino’s CTO, Alberto Ornaghi, said the criminals likely favored the service “because it’s easy to use and it does not require any registration. You use it completely anonymously.”However he also warned that, should investigators get access to ShapeShift’s records, those responsible for WannaCry might find their transaction wasn’t quite as clandestine as they believed. “If they can have access to the ShapeShift logs,” Ornaghi explained, “maybe they can find some other clues of who utilized the service and from where.”Earlier this week, the inadvertent hero credited with putting the breaks on WannaCry was arrested in the US. Marcus Hutchins, a Kryptos Logic researcher better known by his handle of MalwareTech, was arrested by the FBI for alleged involvement in the Kronos banking trojan back in 2014-2015. Investigators are following the trail of the WannaCry attackers’ Bitcoin ransom, with one digital currency asset change service confirming they were used to convert the nefarious funds. The notorious ransomeware took advantage of security loopholes in older versions of Windows to seize control of users’ systems, locking up their files until they coughed up $300 or more. That cash, amounting to more than 50 BTC, had been sitting in digital wallets until earlier this week.
That means that a drone in flight knows when the drone on the station is finished with its work and waits to avoid a crash. There is no indication of how much the Matternet Station or M2 drones cost at this point. The Matternet drone system was announced back in July of 2015 when a trial started with the Swiss Post for mail delivery. Matternet says that the new Station platform is the third and final component in its network to enable its vision of peer-to-peer distributed logistics networks. The Matternet Station allows the autonomous M2 Drone and Matternet Cloud Platform to give users an intuitive user interface for sending and receiving packages via Matternet.The Matternet Station needs about 2 square meters of space and can be installed on ground or rooftop locations. The tech inside the station guides the M2 drone to a precise landing on the Station platform. After the successful landing, the drone is locked in place and swaps its battery and payload.After that payload and battery is swapped another user can use the drone to send another package to a different location by scanning the package into the Matternet Station. Receiving their package from the Station is done by scanning a QR code. Each of the stations also has tech inside to manage drone traffic over the station. Matternet is a developer of one an autonomous drone logistics platform. This is a platform where people can use drones to deliver items over shorter distances. Matternet has unveiled a new Matternet Station platform that enables fully automated ground operations for Matternet customers.
And of course the device has Google Assistant inside – right along with Voice Match. Even while the music is exploding outward, the device can hear the user, and make sure to hear the unique user where applicable. This device is made to work with a multi-room experience as well, connecting with the Google Home Assistant experience.The Google Home Max works with sensors that allow it to adjust in real time to the space in which it’s positioned. It’ll be able to be positioned either on its side or vertically, too – with magnetic bumper pads. This December, the Google Home Max will be made available for $399 USD. This device will include a full year (12 months) subscription to YouTube Red with no advertisements. That means you’re going to be listening to Music on YouTube through your speaker – or YouTube on your TV with this speaker connected to your TV. Story TimelineGoogle Home Mini was just outed by WalmartGoogle Home night mode lets users schedule quiet hoursGoogle Home Mini revealed in miniature fashionGoogle Home Mini release and price as tiny as the deviceGoogle Home Max makes the Assistant blast music Google’s Home Mini was joined by a much larger device this morning by the name of Google Home Max. This device is more of a sound-blaster or a music-blaster than it is a smart assistant-holder. This device is made to present a “thoughtful, crisp, sound experience.” This device is made to work with YouTube Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, and other music services.
With the induction of the Nokia 6, only the Nokia 3 is left without a serving of Oreo, though that, too, has been promised. That said, it’s still not certain when the Nokia 6 or even the Nokia 5 will get the final Oreo version, though the chances of that happening this year are slim. HMD Global has promised that it would be unlike other manufacturers out there and make timely Android updates a top priority. While it naturally can’t beat Google’s Nexus and Pixel phones, it’s still making good on its word. With less than two weeks before the year ends, HMD Global announced the enrollment of the Nokia 6 into its Android Oreo Beta program. Unfortunately, however, not all Nokia 6 phones are invited just yet. Only three Nokia 6 models, running very specific software builds, are eligible to get the Oreo beta. At least at the time of this writing. Whether Nokia opens it up to more is still an open question. Those models include:• V3.700_SP02• V3.72A_SP01• V3.73A_SP01The information didn’t come from HMD’s Juho Sarvikas, who broke the news on Twitter. It was shared by another Twitter user who saw the important note when trying to sign up for the beta. #Nokia6 is now joining the #AndroidOreo beta. Subscribe to #Nokiamobilebetalabs to get the update and help us to make the official release just right! https://t.co/91uhqstnnm pic.twitter.com/78C0ywtNfa— Juho Sarvikas (@sarvikas) December 19, 2017 I guess we won’t Check your build number pic.twitter.com/thPE1ABns0— Anish Jain (@MrJor12) December 19, 2017 It’s not unusual that some models don’t get the same updates at the same time. Updates are often rolled out in waves, with some markets getting preferential treatment over others. So it seems to be the case even for Nokia’s Android Oreo beta test program.
The information comes from Axios, which says it got the details directly from Uber. The idea seems to be a rapid response to new criminal records which may disqualify someone from driving with Uber. Though the company performs background checks as part of its qualification process, it may fail to discover future criminal charges that may disqualify the driver.Unfortunately, there have been multiple incidents involving Uber drivers over past years, some that involved violence. Real-time monitoring for any criminal records may help the company weed out potentially problematic drivers before an incident occurs. According to the report, Appriss will alert Uber if any of its drivers are hit with a criminal charge. Using that information, Uber can evaluate the offense and decide whether the driver should be suspended from the service. Testing of the system has reportedly been underway since the beginning of July.AdChoices广告The monitoring doesn’t appear to cover all of Uber’s drivers at this time, though the report claims that a “meaningful percentage” of US drivers are covered. Twenty-five drivers have been eliminated in the days since the test began. That information reportedly came from Uber’s safety and insurance VP Gus Fuldner.There’s another potential benefit to this system, as well — someone previously disqualified as a driver may become eligible if the system finds that their issues have been resolved. SOURCE: Axios Uber is continuously monitoring drivers for criminal charges, a new report claims. These are referred to as ongoing background checks and they’re intended to help improve rider safety, a big criticism that has plagued the company since the beginning. The monitoring is reportedly being done in conjunction with companies Appriss and Checkr.
The information comes from the Associated Press, which reports that it got the details from an Amazon holiday preview book. Though this isn’t the first time the online retailer has offered Christmas trees for sale, last year’s option was only 3ft tall, limiting their appeal for many buyers.According to the report, Amazon will source at least one type of Christmas tree from a farm in North Carolina, though it’s unclear whether it has other providers in the pipeline. Customers in the US will be able to pre-order the trees and schedule their delivery, ensuring they’re available before the holidays start.In addition to the trees, which will cost $115 USD according to AP, the holiday preview book also lists a “red-leafed plant” with a candy cane decoration for $25 USD and a wreath for $50 USD. Trees will be delivered to the buyer within 10 days of being chopped down.This marks the company’s latest push into new markets, though it’s unclear how many people will be willing to buy a Christmas tree they can’t first view and select. Tree purchasing is considered a traditional by many and it’s anyone’s guess whether those individuals will let Amazon take it over.SOURCE: Associated Press Starting in November, Amazon will sell live Christmas trees measuring about 7ft tall with free shipping for Prime customers. The company plans to offer multiple tree varieties, including Douglas fir, Norfolk Island pine, and Fraser fir, giving customers in the United States a way to get a live tree without renting a truck or driving to a farm. The company will also offer a decorative wreath and plant.
Android TV version 8.1 is custom-fitted to Xiaomi’s specifications and new remote control with Netflix button. Because apparently Netflix is now so very universally used, it makes sense to include a physical button for Netflix alone. To be fair, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a physical Netflix button. We’ve been seeing buttons like this since before Android TV was a brand. Now Netflix joins a collection of other streaming content and etc apps in the Xiaomi Mi Box S. Other apps in the mix include Vudu, YouTube, HBONOW, Google Play Movies, Google Play Music, ESPN, Sling Television, Spotify, ShowTime, and STARZ. Curiously missing from Xiaomi’s graphics for this device is Hulu – strange!There’s a new remote control with this smart TV box. The first-gen remote included a directional ring, selection button, Home, Back, and Menu buttons, Power, and a combo volume up/down button. Xiaomi Mi Box 4 added a mic button to the original, plus the directional ring was made into a clickwheel. The new remote for the Mi Box S includes all of the same buttons PLUS a few more: Google Assistant mic button (colorful!), LIVE button, and that new Netflix button. This version of the Mi Box includes a larger body – 3.75 x 3.75 x 0.66 inches, quite similar to the Mi Box 5c – but here we get twice the RAM. The Mi Box S has 2GB DDR3 RAM for its Cortex-A53 Quad-core 64-bit CPU with Mali-450 GPU. This version of the Mi Box continues to be able to stream in 4K with 60fps. This box can decode VP9, H.265, H.264, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1, and Real 8/9/10. Video formats this box can play include RM, MOV, VOB, AVI, MKV, TS, MP4, and 3D (somehow or another!)Audio in this box works with DOLBY DTS, and it’s able to play MP3, APE, and Flac audio files. Ports around back include HDMI 2.0a, audio out, USB 2.0, and one power port. Power for the remote is provided by 2x AAA batteries (included in the box.) The box also includes an HDMI cable (which is unheard of, and cool of Xiaomi to provide), as well as a power adapter, the remote, and the Mi Box S itself.AvailabilityProbably the biggest deal here is US availability – through Walmart. The Mi Box S will be made available in the USA at Walmart for approximately $60 (via Walmart.com) That’s around $10 cheaper than its Mi Box predecessor from all the way back in 2016. Pre-orders begin today, and official full availability starts on October 19th. We’ll likely see this box for sale elsewhere, too, but it’ll be at Walmart first. The smart TV streaming content box Mi Box was refreshed this week with the Mi Box S. This device comes from Xiaomi and delivers the newest in new Android TV software – Android TV 8.1. This box looks a lot like what we saw earlier this year with the Xiaomi Mi Box 4 and 4c, but here we’ve got a new remote and the newest version of Android TV, and most importantly for us, it’ll be released internationally – available to the USA in the process. Story TimelineXiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced Edition gets a Wiimote-alikeXiaomi Mi Box with Android TV, 4K and HDR will launch in USXiaomi Mi Box to be company’s first US Android productXiaomi Mi Box Android TV spotted on shelves at a Walmart
This morning Microsoft confirmed that the rumors were, indeed, true, that they’d be working with the Chromium open source project for Microsoft Edge. “Today we’re announcing that we intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers,” said Microsoft Corporate VP Joe Belfiore. Chromium is an open source project much in the same way – though not in exactly the same way – as AOSP, the Android Open Source Project. It would seem that Chromium, using the rendering engine known as Blink, will be used to build a new Windows 10 web browser. Blink is also used to develop Google Chrome, with Chromium.It’s likely the Windows web browser will still be called Microsoft Edge. it’ll just look and act differently – and will probably feel a lot more familiar to those users that’ve only ever used Internet Explorer or Edge to download Chrome and Firefox. In any case, EdgeHTML is dead.SEE TOO: Didn’t Microsoft Edge just warn users not to use Chrome? Yes, yes it didAdChoices广告Microsoft decided with this release that they’d be sending Edge to Apple computers, too. “We also expect this work to enable us to bring Microsoft Edge to other platforms like macOS.” In addition to developing for more platforms, they’ll apparently be updating the browser more often – “Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence.”It’s almost like Microsoft drank a bunch of coffee one morning and went on a tear through the development office, committing to every idea they had before the caffeine wore off. To take part in early builds of the Chromium version of Edge, head over to the Edge Insider page at Microsoft and give them all your info. You’ll get all sorts of emails from them about Microsoft Edge, the web browser, and will be given update after update. This email notification system apparently gives you access to “preview builds” of the web browser before they’re released to the public as well. Preview builds are “expected” to be released starting in “early 2019.” Cross your fingers we don’t have to wait too long. And cross your toes in hopes that we don’t someday have only one choice for web browser tech – not that that’d ever happen, right? Story TimelineiPad users rejoice: Microsoft Edge browser beta now availableMicrosoft Edge launches support for iPad and Android tabletsMicrosoft Edge tests built-in Adblock Plus on iOS and AndroidMicrosoft Edge warns Windows 10 users to avoid Chrome and FirefoxMicrosoft Edge to be replaced by Chromium-based browser
The new 2017 Land Rover Discovery is headed to the US next year, and for those planning to put the SUV to work rather than just do the school run, you might want to tick the new Advanced Tow Assist option. Intended to make reversing when towing large objects like boats and horse boxes more straightforward, it’s part of a suite of new technology that gives the high-end truck its serious off-road cred. Making its US debut at the LA Auto Show this week, we caught up with the new Discovery to test the tech out. Towing can be intimidating if you’re not used to it. Beyond the most obvious issues, like visibility being seriously impacted through the rear mirror and – depending on the width of what’s being towed – the side mirrors too, figuring out how a trailer will behave takes some getting used to. Land Rover’s solution involves handing all that over to the SUV.In fact there are two systems on offer. One, All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC), handles going forward, and is effectively cruise-control for towing. The other, Advanced Tow Assist, is in charge of reversing. All-Terrain Progress Control is intended to take the hassle out of dealing with road surfaces other than regular tarmac. Once the speed has been set – between 1 mph and 19 mph – the SUV handles the gas and the brakes, leaving the driver to focus on steering around or between obstacles. That has obvious advantages when you’ve also got a ton of boat or trailer hanging off the back of the new Discovery, but it might well be ATPC’s assistance in pulling away in those conditions that makes it so handy. The system is designed to make moving off from a standstill more smooth, rather than demanding that the driver balance the throttle to find the right point of traction. ATPC does all that for you: we were able to pull away on a ramp with a not-inconsiderable incline, without any rolling back. In the opposite direction, the challenges of traditional towing can be even more frustrating. You might think that reversing in a straight line would be a matter of simply holding the wheel steady, but in actual fact there are constant tiny corrections required as the trailer twists one way or the other. That’s where Advanced Tow Assist comes in.Once you’ve turned it on, and set what exactly you’re towing – and, if necessary, the object’s dimensions – the system handles creeping backwards. You control overall speed with the brake pedal, but rather than using the steering wheel, you angle the whole thing with a pop-up knob in the center console. Twisting it left and right moves on-screen guide lines shown on the new Discovery’s dashboard display, feeding a view from cameras mounted on the left and right. Basically, as long as you can point the car in-between whatever gate posts you’re trying to navigate, or down the slip ramp of a boating lake, you can use Advanced Tow Assist. The Discovery takes care of any minute steering adjustments required. It isn’t the first time we’ve seen technology like this, of course. Last year, Ford added a “Pro Trailer Backup Assist” option to the F-150 truck, which allows owners to reverse with a boat or trailer using the in-dash display and a rotary knob. As with Range Rover’s system, speed is automatically adjusted based on road conditions. Advanced Tow Assist is available as a $400 option on the new Discovery, though there are a few other options you’ll need to tick in order for it to work. That includes the $650 tow hitch (somewhat obviously), and the $275 360-degree camera system. Finally, you’ll have to add the $1,500 capability package, which includes the Terrain Response 2 system and advanced air suspension. Story Timeline2018 Land Rover Discovery boosts off-road and tech talents
MoviePass, the company that lost a large number of customers last year as it struggled to survive, will relaunch its unlimited movie plan next month, according to a new report. The revived unlimited plan will join MoviePass’s multiple new, restrictive subscription options, which limit customers to three movies per month with various perks depending on the customer’s plan. Once upon a time — that is, from late 2017 through early 2018 — MoviePass allowed customers to see an unlimited number of movies for around $10 per month, a rate that many had criticized as unsustainable. Things started to change quickly around last summer when MoviePass introduced a growing number of restrictions, much to the frustration of customers.In its latest form, MoviePass mirrors some of its competitors, offering three monthly subscription plans, each with a cap of three movies per month. Customers who choose the cheapest plan, which starts at $9.95/month depending on the user’s location, are limited to a select number of 2D movies.Customers who want more can upgrade from that basic “Select” plan to the more expensive “All Access” plan, which covers all 2D movies across the approximately 30,000 theaters in the MoviePass network. Finally, the “Red Carpet” plan allows customers to make one of their monthly movies an IMAX 2D, IMAX 3D, or REAL D 3D film.Unlike MoviePass’s previous business model, the current plans are priced based on the user’s location — customers in more expensive parts of the country will see higher rates than those who live in cheaper states. According to MoviePass executive VP Khalid Itum, who recently spoke with Variety, the company plans to relaunch an unlimited movie plan next week, but there’s no word on how much customers can expect to pay.Customers currently pay at least $19.95/month for the Red Carpet plan, though users located in major cities may pay the higher $24.95/month rate. It’s safe to say the unlimited plan will cost more than that, but it’s impossible to guess what rate MoviePass is aiming for. Story TimelineMoviePass forces some former users to opt out of new chargesAMC Stubs A-List MoviePass alternative price hike arrives in JanuaryMoviePass Films signs three-movie deal with actor Bruce Willis
The car has rear Dominator tracks from American Track Truck Inc. Those tracks required a custom lift kit and several modifications were made to fit the treads under the car. The tracks are 15-inches wide, 48-inches long, and 30-inches high.All the suspension work, brake system tweaks, and other tidbits are custom and not available to buy off the shelf. The front skis are from American Track Truck as well and are 12-inches wide and 56-inches long. Both these cool Nissan vehicles will be on display in Chicago from February 10-19. Nissan is showing off a couple cool custom vehicles that will make their debuts at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. The vehicles are a customized Armada called the Snow Patrol and a custom 370Z with tank treads on back and skis out front called the 370Zki. The Snow Patrol Armada is relatively normal showing off some of the accessories that are out there for the SUV. AdChoices广告 The ride has a 3-inch lift, off-road tires, a front bumper with winch, light bar, and a roof rack. Nissan wants people to know that while the Armada will mostly be driven by people as a family car on the roads, it is a capable adventure vehicle. The truck has 35-inch tall Pro Comp MT2 extreme off-road tires and 20×9 Cognito Series 61 wheels with a satin black finish.The front bumper, fender flares, and roof rack were built by Smittybilt. Most of the other stuff is from Pro Comp with a custom Katzkin interior. The 370Zki is a much wilder beast. This car started as a normal 370Z Roadster packing 332-hp and was modified to tackle the slopes and trails like a big snowmobile.
The engineering focus behind the Veloster N wasn’t to solely look at track times and performance numbers. Instead, Hyundai’s first goal was to create a car that was fun to drive. A car that raised your heart rate and gives the driver that analog feeling of a track car, while being attainable to most customers. “The typical hot hatchback customers, and not only the established mature, hot hatchback customers, but also the younger kids and younger people who always had the idea ‘I would love to race on the track one day,’ Biermann explained to me. “But with the Veloster N, we wanted to give them an affordable car. That gives the whole thrill of high performance driving at an affordable price with substantial technology in the car, not only for race track driving, but for everyday driving.”Indeed, Hyundai has done an impressive job of adding performance to the car while still keeping the final price attainable. You won’t find flashy Brembo brakes on the N series; instead, Hyundai took its existing brakes from the larger Senata and re-engineered them, with 13-inch front and 11.8-inch rear rotors with single-piston floating calipers to handle the sort of excessive heat they’d encounter on track days. It works, too: although it might seem like cutting corners, after hours on the track the brakes showed zero sign of giving up, with positive feeling in the brake pedal the entire time. I was given all the confidence in the world that they would keep me out of the dirt. The cost saving focus continues inside. The Veloster N doesn’t pack in grand upgrade options for the interior. There’s no flashy trim, no heated or cooled seats, and little to really wow you. That’s not to say it’s unattractive, and I actually quite like the simplicity of the interior. It has smooth lines with delicate touches of texture that keep it from looking cheap. Our driving day occurred at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California. This was my first time driving at this track, and my fellow auto enthusiast friends shot me a text letting me know it’s one of the most difficult courses in the country due to its undulating hills, off-camber turns, and blind corners. Before the track, though, I wanted to experience the car in a normal, day-in-the-life way that I suspect most Veloster N owners will. So, I hit some of the back-country two lane farm roads to explore the rolling hills of central California.As with almost every car out there, the Veloster N offers a number of different driving modes, Eco, Normal, and Sport. Hyundai also gives its hot hatch a fourth setting, however, the ultra special N mode. For the times when you want to really show off and squeeze all of the performance out of the car, or hit the track in a safe environment to really push the Veloster N to the edges of its performance envelope, then N mode is for you. It really is that good. Yes, you’ll likely shed a tear when you turn it off. Damn allergies. Sport mode is for ‘regular spirited driving’, perhaps in the city or when conditions may not permit the full use of peak power. If driving thrills aren’t necessary, you can turn on Eco mode. As expected, Eco is all about being as frugal as possible. Riding in Eco is a smooth drive with excellent ride quality. The electronic suspension and dampening really work well to absorb the road, but you still get a bit of cabin noise that is noticeable, causing me to wonder how loud a phone call would be if taken over Bluetooth.And finally, Normal. The move between Normal mode from Eco is hardly noticeable, perhaps there is a little more go when you’re trying to pass a car, or when accelerating from a stop light. But it’s a mode I’m unsure I would be using too often, if at all. It’s all N mode or Eco-when-I’m-not-basking-in-N-mode for me. Here’s what’s interesting, the juxtaposition of the spirited N mode to the quiet and frugal Eco mode really gives the Veloster a split personality. However, it’s one that is welcomed. For example, in a Subaru STI I’ve been jerked around too may times at lights even in ‘normal mode,’ or pulled into neighborhoods at night with the exhaust screaming even when trying to be gentle with the gas. The Veloster is like the Hulk: when he’s Bruce Banner it’s all sweetness and light… but you don’t want to make him mad. Just kidding, with the Veloster N, you really do.Awaking the sleeping beast and unleashing the Hulk is as simple as hitting the performance blue N mode checkered flag button on the steering wheel, conveniently located by your thumb. This can also be done on the touchscreen, which illustrates the entire car in an x-ray graphic, glowing red and quickening your heart rate past resting before you even notice a performance change. In N mode, the suspension stiffening is instantly noticeable and the texture of the road quickly became more apparent under the proprietary Pirelli P-Zeros cladding the upgraded 19-inch alloy wheels. Pirelli and Hyundai worked closely together to create a very specific tire for the Veloster N. “When we started developing the first generation N cars, it was clear we needed to have a tire to join the game,” Biermann explained, “to bring the car to a point of balance that we needed it to have. It’s in the Pirelli family, but it’s a new tire. Changing from Rayon to Nylon, stiffer side walls, no pinching and still to have a tire that’s good on the track, good in the rain and good in the cold.”If you’re not awake with the N mode suspension change, then the exhaust will surely do the trick. Hyundai describes it as a: “high-flow active sport exhaust system” with the promise of “an exhilarating engine over-run exhaust crackle during spirited-driving.”In my opinion, they did an lovely job of it, too, a success you’re instantly reminded of each time you bury your right foot in the accelerator. This isn’t the crackly, coffee can exhaust you hear on most other hot hatches. Instead it’s refined and throaty, with a loud bark between shifts. It’s almost like a BMW M2 had a meaner, angrier little brother. By the time we hit the track, then, it was time to really open up the engine and put to the test each element of careful engineering. No expensive buckets to sit in, Hyundai instead sticking to its cost-saving mantra and raising the side bolstering of the regular Veloster’s seats. They hug you well, feel stable during tight turns and hard corners, without sacrificing comfort. The brakes were incredibly responsive and consistent, even after multiple laps. However, what really stood out to me was the six speed gearbox with rev-matching. Too often these days we see paddle shifters on the steering wheel, the lackluster performance of which can suck all fun out of aggressive shifting. Hyundai knows that the soon-to-be vintage gear lever is almost cathartic to real drivers, a feeling that’s too often overlooked. The optional rev-matching that comes in the N package really takes a novice track driver such as myself and allows him to be right in the pocket when coming in and leaving turns, cutting those times down dramatically. Doubly so if, like me, you’ve never been very proficient at the heel-toe method. Albert Biermann even said that they perfected the system to the point where he can’t beat it anymore, and so he drives with the rev-match on all the time. Hyundai has really dialed-in the steering for this front-wheel drive sleeper by using a Rack Mounted Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) system. I know that’s a lot of letters, but it also does a lot. On the track, the girthy steering wheel was responsive, with almost no oversteer on the tight corners allowing myself to push harder than I thought possible in this car. But I did notice that it caused you to white knuckle your grip when taking off on a straight-away, with the faintest bit of being squirrelly. Staying on trend with its core customers, the Veloster comes with all of the digital joys one expects in a modern car. Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are all easy to navigate through, with the clear and responsive 8-inch touchscreen. That also doubles as the car performance hub, giving G-Force readouts, tire sensors, and track timers, as well as displaying back-up video and the car drive modes.The body and appearance of the Veloster N is refined, with clean crisp lines and a wide grill that almost looks like it’s not only baring its teeth, but taking a deep breath before powering you forward with 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The rear spoiler does in fact provide downforce and is tastefully done, without it looking like Hyundai was attempting to dangle the keys in front of a teenager. With an integrated triangle LED brake light, the seamless combination is a nice touch and reminds those behind you at the stoplight that the car means business. I’m typically not a fan of hot-hatches and their usual styling cues, but Hyundai has really expanded the rear of the vehicle to not only allow space, but to give a very unique aesthetic absent in its competitors. There’s no question for me that this is not only the best looking car Hyundai has made, but also the best looking in its class. Coming in four colors, I found it quite difficult to choose which finish was my favorite. I’m usually easy to satisfy with all-black everything, but the Performance Blue is so striking and elegant that it could appeal to a 35 year old while also remain edgy enough for the 20-somethings. Hyundai added some performance blue accents that can be seen on the N mode steering wheel button, some stitching on the seats, as well as the seatbelts, with small matching accents on the dash. It’s just enough to remind you that you’re stepping into more than just a daily driver. Your color options are Chalk White, Performance Blue, Racing Red, and Ultra Black, and to be honest, you can’t go wrong with any of the four.Set to release in 2019 and coming in around $28,000 – Hyundai has yet to release official MSRP – the 2019 Veloster N should be making Honda, VW, and Ford very nervous. Then again, perhaps they’re already making way for the punchy little hatch. Now that Ford has announced they have stopped producing sedans and hatches for the US, we’ll see a gap in the market that hot-hatch enthusiasts will undoubtedly be looking to fill. The Veloster N will give you the toned-down daily driver you need most days, as well as the Hulk on the track that you’ve always wanted. There’s no question in my mind that Hyundai is about to make a big wave, and I’m happy to be the first to ride it. This car truly delivers German engineering with a South Korean price tag. For years, most people would see a Hyundai driving down the road and their incredible lack of interest would leave them overlooking the herculean progress in aesthetics. Indeed, ask someone at a crime scene what model the getaway car was, and about the best you’d get had the thieves opted for a Sonata might be “a gray 4-door?” Over the past couple of years, though, things have been changing, and drastically. No longer is Hyundai the vanilla auto manufacturer meant for first-time car buyers. Things are getting serious, and seriously good, and Hyundai is making sure you know about that with the addition of Albert Biermann, the former Head of Engineering for BMW’s M Department. That’s right, you heard me. M is now N. In light of this, the new 2019 Veloster now comes with two tuning package options. Given the relatively small difference in price point, however, I think that they should have only one option. That, of course, should be the more powerful of the two, the 275 horsepower 2019 Veloster N Turbo.This is the first N-packaged vehicle to come to the US market from their mothership of South Korea, and only the second globally. It’s also a sign that Hyundai is very much aware of who its target audience is, and has a clear line of sight on the competition. Almost in acknowledgment of their new blood line, the N Performance Department established a new facility near the infamous Nürburgring in Germany, bringing the fight right to the neighborhood of the Munich competition. This geographic location is doubly important, since the Nürburgring accounts for half of the N designation. The other half is represented by Namyang, home of the Hyundai R&D center in South Korea. 2019 Hyundai Veloster Gallery
Today’s headlines include reports about political and policy-oriented health care developments. Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Study: States, Feds Recover Billions In Medicaid Drug Fraud Settlements; Not Your Typical Presidential Debate Forum For Obama, RomneyNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Mary Agnes Carey reports on states and the federal government recovering funds from Medicaid drug fraud settlements: “Eager for revenues, states are settling more cases than ever — and at record amounts — with drug makers accused of defrauding Medicaid programs, according to a new analysis from the consumer group Public Citizen” (Carey, 9/27).Also on the blog, Peggy Girshman writes about two essays currently appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine: “There’s nothing unusual about the way The New England Journal of Medicine displays the ‘Perspective’ section this week: In dueling columns, under an original article on a ‘novel androgen-receptor blocker’ for prostate cancer. But the authors of two of the perspectives are far from typical: B. Obama and M. Romney” (Girshman, 9/27). Check out what else is on the blog.The Washington Post: Medicare Working To Boost Obama In Swing States, Poll FindsVoters in three critical swing states broadly oppose the far-reaching changes to Medicare -associated with the Republican presidential ticket and, by big margins, prefer President Obama to handle the issue, according to new state polls by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation. For seniors in Florida, Ohio and Virginia, Medicare rivals the economy as a top voting issue (Aizenman, Cohen and Craighill, 9/27).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Looking Past Entitlements, Senior Voters Ask How They Will Fare In An Obama Or Romney EconomyGet in line, Medicare and Social Security. Seniors, like just about everyone else, have money on their minds. Who wins the trust of seniors … will be a deciding factor in the presidential election. That should be good news for Mitt Romney, because those 65 and older have backed the Republican candidate in both of the last two presidential elections. But President Barack Obama has been pounding Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, on their plan for Medicare. Those attacks are starting to bear fruit for Obama, who is gaining ground among seniors in two key battlegrounds: Florida and Ohio. Still, Romney has the edge nationally among seniors — in no small part thanks to seniors’ concerns about Obama’s handling of the economy (9/27).The New York Times: Obama Fills In Blanks Of Romney’s Plans, And GOP Sees FalsehoodsThe Obama campaign has run advertisements charging that Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan “could raise seniors’ costs up to $6,400 a year” and that his tax proposal “would give millionaires another tax break and raises taxes on middle-class families by up to $2,000 a year” (Cooper, 9/27).Politico: What Obama Isn’t Saying About MedicareAs Woodward explains in “The Price of Politics,” Obama was willing to make significant changes to the cherished federal health care plan for seniors last year as part of a grand bargain with congressional Republicans. And 2011 was hardly the first time Obama considered confronting the costly and popular program; it’s also highly likely it won’t be the last if he’s reelected (Martin, 9/27).Los Angeles Times: Obama And Romney Campaigns Take Battle To VirginiaBoth candidates are heavily targeting women in Virginia, particularly in the northern suburbs of Washington, where Romney campaigned Thursday. Democrats are accusing Republicans of waging a “war on women” by targeting reproductive rights. They point to a measure that failed in the Virginia Legislature this year that would have required trans-vaginal ultrasounds before a woman could have an abortion. … Outside groups are also weighing in, airing ads that feature Romney’s vow this year to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. A GOP group is running an ad featuring a young woman jogging with her daughter in a stroller, while the narrator describes herself as a former Obama voter whose husband was laid off twice (Mehta, Reston and Memoli, 9/27).Los Angeles Times: Paul Ryan Does Not Need To Be Unmuzzled, Paul Ryan SaysInstead, the Wisconsin congressman pointed out that he has concentrated his efforts on interviews with regional reporters, which often go unreported by national news outlets but are designed to target voters in specific markets. … But Ryan has not avoided places where he is likely to encounter hostile crowds. Last week, he gave a speech to the national AARP convention in New Orleans, where he was booed for advocating the repeal of the president’s healthcare law and the restructuring of Medicare for future retirees (Abcarian, 9/27).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Presidential Coattails A Potential Factor In Some Tight Races For Control Of SenateThey will help shape a number of key Senate and House races. The prospect of presidential coattails — or the opposite, a drag — is factoring into the way races down the ballot are being run, especially in close contests. … The impact and potential of coattails is less clear in the House. … Romney’s struggle to overcome his remarks at a meeting with donors offered an early demonstration of how the top of the ticket can quickly shake other races. His comment … that 47 percent of Americans think they are “victims” entitled to government help and that he doesn’t worry about “those people,” sent Republican Senate candidates scrambling. … There are, after all, a lot of Republicans in that 47 percent — seniors, for example, who depend on government programs like Medicare and Social Security after paying into them for decades (9/27).The Washington Post: Kaine Ad Hits Allen On Medicare, Social SecurityTimothy M. Kaine upped the ante Thursday in the battle over seniors in Virginia, launching a new ad hitting George Allen for his record on Social Security and Medicare (Pershing, 9/27).The Associated Press/Washington Post: National Issues Make Nevada Senate Race A Nail-Biter Over Ethics, MedicareRep. Shelley Berkley ended her speech at a recent gathering of union members and retirees here by bringing up a potentially risky subject — her husband, Dr. Larry Lehrner. Lehrner was supposed to be an albatross in the seven-term congresswoman’s attempt to replace Republican Dean Heller in the U.S. Senate, because his involvement in a kidney transplant program that Berkley pushed to save sparked a House Ethics Committee investigation of the congresswoman. But Berkley focused instead on health care, luck and love (9/27).The Wall Street Journal: Some Firms’ Workers Will Choose From Array Of BenefitsIs health insurance just the beginning? A handful of employers may go even farther than Sears Holdings Corp. and Darden Restaurants Inc., which plan to give workers a set sum of money next year to use in choosing among health plans (Mathews, 9/27).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Public Citizen Advocacy Group Tracks Rise In Pharmaceutical Settlements With State GovernmentsFederal and state prosecutors have collected more than $30 billion from drug companies for alleged fraud and illegal marketing over the last 20 years, according to a new report by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen (9/27).Los Angeles Times: Free Healthcare Clinic At LA Sports Arena Draws 4,800Many of the 4,800 people seeking care at the annual massive free clinic this weekend will become eligible for health insurance in 2014 when the national law takes effect. Organizers said raising awareness about the healthcare changes is crucial (Gorman, 9/27).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Md. Health Reform Panel Approves State Health Plan As Benchmark In Health Care ReformA Maryland panel working on implementing federal health care reform voted Thursday to use the state employee health plan as a benchmark for other plans that will be available to small businesses and individuals for two years, starting in 2014 (9/27).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Liberal Oklahoma Pastors Protest Hobby Lobby Suit Challenging Coverage Of Morning-After PillChristian activists attempted Thursday to deliver a petition to Hobby Lobby criticizing its challenge to a portion of the new federal health care law, but guards at the company’s headquarters turned them away. … Schmitz said more than 80,000 people had signed copies of a petition circulated nationwide by Faithful America, an online Christian group, and UltraViolet, which promotes women’s rights. Schmitz said he intends to mail the petition to the company. Lawyers representing Hobby Lobby this month sued the federal government claiming it should not be forced to provide workers with health insurance that covers the morning-after and week-after pills (9/27).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. 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: September 28, 2012
Obamacare Deductibles, Not Premiums, Cause Sticker Shock This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. A PwC study finds that insurance premiums for policies sold in new online insurance marketplaces are comparable to, or lower than, those for employer-based policies. However, the deductibles are higher in many cases. Other stories examine how the White House is pushing delivery system changes, such as the creation of ACOs, and how implementation delays could affect the IRS.The Fiscal Times: Obamacare Sticker Shock Found In Deductibles, Not PremiumsDespite concerns that Obamacare would cause the price of insurance premiums to skyrocket, a new study found that they are either lower or comparable for similar employer-based policies. However, consumers may still experience sticker shock from Obamacare’s pricey deductibles. According to a report released by PwC’s Health Research Institute, insurance premiums on the new health exchanges are cheaper than those paid by the majority of Americans who have employer-based coverage—partly because of high deductibles (Ehley, 2/3).MedPage Today: White House To Push ACOs, Other New ModelsThe Obama administration in 2014 will “double down” on delivery system reform efforts such as the further proliferation of accountable care organizations (ACOs), a White House health policy adviser said Monday (Pittman, 2/3).Politico Pro: Obamacare Delays Could Challenge IRS Customer Service RoleThe Internal Revenue Service could be in a bind if the Obama administration continues to tinker with its signature legislative achievement by delaying Obamacare provisions, a watchdog report released Monday found. The agency is on track with preparing for an expected onslaught of new queries about the law, but the IRS could face “challenges” if any more key provisions are delayed, the audit from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax said. “Changes in the implementation of ACA tax provisions can result in increased demand for customer service assistance resulting in more contacts with the IRS,” the report said (French, 2/3).ABC News: Avoid These 4 Obamacare MistakesSigning up for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance coverage may feel a little bit like competing in the Olympics. First, you’ll navigate a slippery slope of data, complete a mountain of paperwork, and finally choose Bronze, Silver, or Gold coverage. You might want to stand on a little box and hum the national anthem when you’re done. To avoid the “agony of defeat,” here are four costly mistakes you’ll want to avoid (Pratini, 2/4).
Reddit Twitter The Canadian Press Join the conversation → Facebook Featured Stories Share this storyHudson’s Bay Co exploring strategic alternatives for Lord & Taylor, including sale or merger Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn advertisement Email More The Lord & Taylor chain has more than 40 stores in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States as well as its online business.Spencer Platt/Getty Images 0 Comments Hudson’s Bay Co exploring strategic alternatives for Lord & Taylor, including sale or merger HBC has already announced it was discontinuing Home Outfitters and closing 20 Saks Off Fifth locations May 6, 201910:09 AM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing Recommended For YouAre you on speaking terms with your old pensions? Ignoring them could cost youThe storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them throughTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016 Comment TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Co. says it’s pursuing strategic alternatives for its Lord & Taylor business, including a possible sale or merger.HBC says Lord & Taylor had $1.4 billion in annual revenue in 2018.The Lord & Taylor chain has more than 40 stores in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States as well as its online business.HBC chief executive Helena Foulkes says the retailer is exploring options to position itself for long-term success.HBC previously announced in February that its Canadian retail banner, Home Outfitters, will be discontinued and its 37 locations will be closed this year and that about 20 Saks Off Fifth locations will be closed in the United States.Foulkes says Lord & Taylor remains committed to serving customers across its stores and digital channels throughout the review. Sponsored By: What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation ← Previous Next →
June 10, 20197:29 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Recommended For YouECB’s Weidmann: Should be vigilant about stablecoins but not alarmedThales says makes sense for Europe to combine fighter projectsSports streaming firm DAZN to show Eurosport in four European countriesGold eases from two-week high on profit-taking after Fed-driven rallyUK’s Slug and Lettuce owner to buy pub chain Ei for 1.3 bln pounds Reddit Email Comment Featured Stories Twitter Share this storyTrump threatens tariffs will be reinstated if Mexico fails to pass immigration deal Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn advertisement Sponsored By: More Join the conversation → Reuters 3 Comments What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday Mexico’s government had reached a deal with the United States to avert a tariff war by pledging to take “strong measures” to contain the migration of mostly Central Americans crossing the southern U.S. border.Oliver Contreras/Pool via Bloomberg Trump threatens tariffs will be reinstated if Mexico fails to pass immigration deal Stocks up on possibility of deal WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said on Monday the United States had signed another portion of an immigration and security deal with Mexico that would need to be ratified by Mexican lawmakers.He did not provide details but threatened tariffs if Mexico’s Congress did not approve the plan.“We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years. It will be revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico’s legislative body,” Trump tweeted.“We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, tariffs will be reinstated.” ….We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 10, 2019Trump said on Friday Mexico’s government had reached a deal with the United States to avert a tariff war by pledging to take “strong measures” to contain the migration of mostly Central Americans crossing the southern U.S. border.Related Stories:UPDATE 2-Mexican president thanks Trump for tariff comments as peso strengthensMexican peso will dance in July to rhythm of USMCA and TrumpMexican president downplays U.S. steel duties, says unrelated to trade dealTrump had threatened to impose 5% import tariffs on all Mexican goods from Monday if Mexico did not agree to his demands to tighten its borders. His announcement of a deal came after three days of Mexico-U.S. negotiations in Washington.“The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended,” Trump said on Twitter on Friday evening.“Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States,” Trump added.U.S. equity futures climbed on Monday together with stocks in Europe and Asia after Trump suspended plans for punitive tariffs on Mexican imports. Sovereign bonds fell across the board, along with gold and the yen, as demand for havens ebbed. Facebook ← Previous Next →
Mark Niquette American companies are spending millions in an effort to get the new NAFTA ratified The trilateral trade agreement is currently lacking the requisite amount of support from Democrats for it to be put to a vote in the U.S. Congress Email 2 Comments Join the conversation → Facebook Twitter Automakers, retailers and oil drillers are among the hundreds of companies that rebelled against President Donald Trump’s tariffs and threats to walk away from long-standing trade agreements, but they’re rallying behind his latest pact with Canada and Mexico that faces steep hurdles in Congress.The companies have joined with major business groups in multiple coalitions mounting an all-out campaign in an attempt to salvage the deal. They’re spending millions in a lobbying blitz both inside Washington and in congressional districts, sometimes using former Democratic lawmakers to press for ratification.One coalition has a campaign targeting mostly Democrats in about 50 competitive or Republican-leaning districts. Their support could be pivotal to getting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring the measure to the floor for a vote — at a time when the party is battling Trump and loathe to hand him a win ahead of his 2020 re-election bid. Why Nancy Pelosi is a key player in sealing the new NAFTA deal ‘I’m not optimistic’: Political will for passage of new NAFTA rapidly evaporating in America New NAFTA deal unlikely to be signed this year: AGF’s U.S. policy strategist “There’s very little political incentive nationally for Democrats to be supportive of the administration on anything right now,” said Phil Cox, the former executive director of the Republican Governors Association and co-founder of the Trade Works for America coalition. “That’s why I think our efforts will be so important.”Get to ‘Yes’Pelosi told reporters May 2 she would like to get to “yes” on the deal. But she said it must be changed to include provisions protecting workers and the environment, as well as ones that ensure enforcement of the agreement. In this, Pelosi is aligned with U.S. labour unions who say that higher Mexican wages will reduce the financial incentives for manufacturers to move jobs south of the border.Time is running out because most lawmakers and analysts agree that, if the deal doesn’t win approval this year, there’s little hope of getting it through Congress in 2020, a presidential election year. The White House is expected to submit legislation to put the deal into effect when it believes there’s enough support for the accord, which will give Congress 90 legislative days to act.The business groups are rallying behind the new agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement — called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA — because they believe it’s better than the previous pact and better than no deal at all if Trump withdraws from NAFTA as he has threatened. The administration is also looking to negotiate a sweeping trade deal with China, with talks set to resume this week in Washington amid threats of escalating tariffs.Stakes are high for U.S. companies, as trade with Canada and Mexico reached almost US$1.3 trillion in 2017, supported 12 million U.S. jobs, and the two countries bought more than one-third of all U.S. merchandise exports, according to the USMCA Coalition. The group is led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers and American Farm Bureau Federation.Any changes to the deal must be done without reopening the pact because that would leave it “dead in the water,” said Shannon Kiely Heider, director of international government relations at Cummins Inc., a maker of diesel engines based in Indiana. She’s helping to lead legislative outreach for the USMCA Coalition.The group has held a couple hundred meetings on Capitol Hill focusing on educating new members and working with administration officials, Heider said. The group has also outlined state-by-state effects of the new trade agreement and hopes to bring chief executives to Washington in the coming weeks.“I’m hoping the political aspects get out of it and we realize how good of an agreement this is for American workers, farmers and businesses,” said Heider, whose group counts more than 100 companies, including General Motors Co., Pfizer Inc. and Microsoft Corp., and more than 270 trade associations.US$20-Million CampaignTrade Works for America, a coalition of companies and organizations that represent farmers, ranchers, the oil-and-gas industry, automakers and others, is planning to spend as much as US$20 million targeting districts such as Michigan’s 11th in suburban Detroit represented by Haley Stevens, a freshman and former chief of staff for President Barack Obama’s auto bailout task force.“Trade powers Michigan’s economy,” the announcer in the ad airing in her district says. “Our automakers and suppliers are one of the nation’s largest exporters. But it’s time for a better deal.”The group’s co-chairman is Heidi Heitkamp, who represented North Dakota in the Senate for six years. Joe Crowley, a former 10-term Democratic representative from New York whose surprise defeat vaulted rookie Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez onto the global stage, is honorary co-chairman of the Pass USMCA coalition, a separate effort of business groups.Along with Crowley, the Pass USMCA Coalition is led by former Obama-era Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Rick Dearborn, Trump’s former deputy chief of staff. It’s backed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the U.S. Dairy Export Council and other groups. While ethics rules prevent Crowley from lobbying former colleagues personally for one year, he’s doing interviews and speaking for the group.Crowley criticized NAFTA because it resulted in manufacturing jobs moving to Mexico. The new pact, he said, is an improvement — and certainly better than no deal at all.“I don’t have to agree with the president on just about anything, but I can agree that the NAFTA agreement that was entered into was not in the best interest of the United States per se, and that this is better, we’re getting better,” he said.If Congress fails to approve the revised deal, Trump has threatened to withdraw from the existing pact, though Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, floated the possibility last week that the existing deal could remain if Democrats rejected the replacement. Without NAFTA, tariffs would be reimposed on imports and exports of agricultural products and other goods. That prospect terrifies many corporations.As some hurdles are cleared, others remain. Congressional Democrats had said they wouldn’t consider the pact unless Mexico passed a labor overhaul, which it did last week. But some lawmakers, including key Republicans, also say they won’t back the deal unless Trump first removes duties on steel and aluminum imports.“If these tariffs aren’t lifted USMCA is dead,” the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, said in an April 28 Wall Street Journal op-ed. Even then, Congress must act by fall, said Grassley, whose panel oversees trade legislation.March LetterStevens, the Michigan congresswoman, hasn’t taken a position on the new accord yet, a spokesman said. She led a group of 23 freshmen Democrats in sending a March letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, reminding him that they were not in office when the deal was negotiated, and that they expect to have their concerns addressed. The administration has listened, sending Lighthizer to meet with Stevens and other groups of Democrats.“What I would ask of my former Democratic colleagues is to be open-minded about it,” said Crowley, now a senior policy adviser for Squire Patton Boggs, a Washington law-and-lobbying firm. “Don’t come to a conclusion without knowing all the facts about this agreement.”Bloomberg.com Reddit Bloomberg News Share this storyAmerican companies are spending millions in an effort to get the new NAFTA ratified Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn More May 8, 201912:55 PM EDT Filed under News Economy Comment
Source: Charge Forward While electric scooters (Vespa-style, not Razor-style) are not very widespread yet in the US, they are quickly becoming the most common form of transportation in Chinese cities. This is largely due to environmentally sustainable government policies which make gas-powered motorcycles and scooters either illegal or impractically expensive in Chinese cities.Niu, the self proclaimed “largest lithium-ion battery-powered e-scooter company in China” has now taken one more step towards growing their electric scooter empire by filing for an IPO in the US. more…
No range-extender offered for the 2019 BMW i3.It seems that the new 2019 BMW i3 with its 42.4 kWh battery (instead 33.2 kWh) has enough range not to bother with that emitting range-extender. BMW announced that it will cease production of the i3 Range Extender.We assumed that the REx version would still be available because the i3 REx was still listed in the 2019 model year specification. However, BMW doesn’t say anything about REx for the 2019 model year on its websites.“The Range Extender i3 will cease production and we will only sell the pure-electric version going forward. With the gains in pure-electric range, together with the increasing availability of rapid charging facilities we believe the customer demand is shifting to an pure-electric model.”It’s possible that decision to kill the REx versions was made after the introduction of the 44.2 kWh battery, when the feedback encouraged BMW to go all-electric only. The decision may be WLTP based, too.BMW i3 BMW Reveals 2019 i3 & i3s With 42.2 kWh Battery Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 4, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News The range-extender option was one of the most expensive ones. A 650cc motorcycle engine combined with a generator provided 25 kW of power for about 100 km (62 miles) – limited by a very small tank capacity – of rather slow driving in the case of a discharged main battery (REx was turning on before the battery was fully depleted).Sales data already shows that the 33.2 kWh was significantly more popular than the REx version anyways (it was 50/50 in case of 22 kWh battery).So, say goodbye to the BMW i3 REx. It’ll be a rarity in the future, so it’s value may now increase in the used marketplace.2019 BMW i3/i3s specs and official chart (per BMW’s press release):42.2 kWh battery8 modules with 12 cells each (120 Ah lithium-ion cells)Typical range 260 km (162 miles), expected EPA result of around 246 km (153 miles)WLTP range : 285-310 km (177-193 miles) / 270-285 km (168-177 miles)NEDC range : 359 km (223 miles) / 330-345 km (205-214 miles)electric motors: 125 kW / 135 kW0-60 mph: 7.2 seconds / 6.8 seconds0-100 km/h: 7.3 seconds / 6.9 seconds80-120 km/h: 5.1 seconds / 4.3 secondson-board charger: 7.4 kW single-phase or 11 kW three-phaseDC fast charging: 0-80% in 42 minutes at 50 kWSource: Autocar 2019 BMW i3 Prices In UK Only Slightly Higher Than 2018 i3 Source: Electric Vehicle News 2019 BMW i3, i3 REx, i3s & i3s REx: Full Specs
Source: Charge Forward Northvolt, a battery manufacturing company started by two former Tesla supply chain executives, is announcing a new battery module factory in Europe. more…The post Northvolt announces new battery module factory in Europe appeared first on Electrek.