Merger allows customers to bridge the gap between online and offline contentSpectrio, one of the nation’s leading providers of in-store marketing solutions powered by content and technology, announced today that it has acquired Media Distribution Solutions (MDS), a leader in low-cost, on-demand video creation based in Plano, Texas. The acquisition builds upon Spectrio’s marketing technology suite, further accelerating the Company’s capability to provide content at scale across avenues both online and on-site.Today, small and medium businesses utilizing MDS’ on-demand custom video can distribute their content online, on social media, on television and through other digital distribution channels. With the acquisition, these businesses will now have the opportunity to leverage Spectrio’s in-store digital platform to deliver their content inside their location, allowing them to bridge online marketing and on-location experience to strengthen brand consistency and identity. “Delivering a consistent marketing message both online and in-store is key for any business in order to build trust and loyalty with their customers,” said Dax Brady-Sheehan, Chief Executive Officer at Spectrio. “This acquisition allows us to offer our customers fresh, turnkey, personalized video content they can integrate across the entire shopper journey.”MDS has produced and delivered more than 500,000 videos for small and medium businesses worldwide using their proprietary full-service video technology platform. In addition to its high-quality, scalable and customizable video content, MDS’ platform enables clients to track the video creation process, as well as manage online video campaigns and monitor customer data. Spectrio plans to fully integrate the MDS platform into its own proprietary platform.Marketing Technology News: Zeno Media and ADORA Cooperate on Strategic Marketing and Mobile App Content for Diaspora ListenersWith MDS, Spectrio will continue to serve clients from local businesses to large brands, while seamlessly unifying online marketing experiences and in-person brand experiences with content and technology. Spectrio’s in-store marketing technologies include Digital Signage, Interactive Kiosks, and Wi-Fi Marketing, as well as In-Store Music and Marketing, On-Hold Marketing, and Scent Marketing – all designed to drive consumer behavior.Marketing Technology News: Top of Mind Networks Adds BombBomb Integration to Surefire CRM digital marketingMedia Distribution SolutionsNewsOnline Video MarketingSpectrio Previous ArticleAlibaba’s 6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival Breaks Records Across ChinaNext ArticleGladly Named a 2019 Cool Vendor in CRM Customer Service and Support by Gartner Marketing Technology News: Haoqipei Secures US $60 Million in Series D Funding to Further Accelerate Growth of its Online B2B Auto Parts Marketplace Spectrio Acquires Media Distribution Solutions, Adding On-Demand Video Production and an Online Video Marketing Platform to its Suite of Digital Marketing Services Business WireJune 25, 2019, 9:15 pmJune 25, 2019
The chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had last month announced that Chandrayaan 2, India’s pivotal moon mission, will be launched at 2.51 am on July 15. The space agency had mentioned earlier said that they are looking at a window between July 9 and 15 for the launch. According to ISRO chairman K Sivam, they will be using the same strategy as Chandrayaan 1 to reach the moon, but the soft landing technology has been a new feat of engineering from the ISRO engineers.Here is everything that you need to know about the iconic, upcoming Chandrayaan 2 mission: Chandrayaan-2 consists of an orbiter, a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyaan. The nominal mission life of the lander is expected to be 14 earth days or one lunar day. The cost of the mission is Rs 603 crore.An additional cost of Rs 375 crores will be inculcated for the launch. The total weight of the spacecraft is 3.8 tonnes.The Lander, which will contain the Rover, will be sitting on top of the Orbiter, will also measure moon quakes. Once launched, the composite structure—Orbiter, Lander and Rover together will use five orbit raising manoeuvers over 16 days.Chandrayaan-2’s landing site, at about 70 degrees South latitude, is the southernmost for any lunar mission till date. Chandrayaan-2 will explore a region of the moon where no mission has ever set foot. For the mission, India will use the Deep Space Network of NASA on payment basis for navigation and guidance.The mission, which is being considered to be the most complex one ever to be undertaken by ISRO, is slated to make a soft landing on September 6, 2019. chairman of ISROChandrayaanChandrayaan 1chandrayaan 2 isro First Published: July 3, 2019, 2:03 PM IST | Edited by: —
New Delhi: The Aam Admi Party has accused BJP’s East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir of holding two voter IDs and has filed a criminal complaint against him in Tis Hazari Court over the issue.AAP East Delhi candidate Atishi termed it criminal and has called for his “immediate disqualification”. “We have filed a criminal complaint in Tis Hazari Court against Gambhir,” she said. She alleged that the cricketer-turned-politician has two voter IDs of Rajendra Nagar and Karol Bagh, and he faces upto one year in prison for this offence. The court will hear the matter on May 1.Delhi chief minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter and said, “Voters shud not waste their vote on someone who will get disqualified soon (sic).”Voters shud not waste their vote on someone who will get disqualified soon. https://t.co/qU0QLl6JK8— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 26, 2019″Will the Election Commission remain silent? How can a person with two voter IDs contest polls?,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said in a tweet. क्या अब भी चुनाव आयोग ख़ामोश रहेगा? क्या गौतम गम्भीर का नामांकन रद्द होगा? आख़िर दो जगह से मतदाता होकर कोई चुनाव कैसे लड़ सकता है? https://t.co/TFqsDSYM3h— Sanjay Singh AAP (@SanjayAzadSln) April 26, 2019However, Gambhir has denied the allegations and accused the AAP of making baseless claims. “First they makes allegations, then go to court and then they apologise,” cricketer-turned-politician said. aapatishiBJPdelhi bjp First Published: April 26, 2019, 2:05 PM IST
Jordyn WoodsKhloe KardashianKylie JennerKylie jenner Jordyn woods controversy First Published: June 12, 2019, 6:55 PM IST It seems reconciliation is on the cards for Kylie Jenner and Jordyn Woods, following an insane cheating scandal and months of separation. According to a TMZ report, the two caught up with each other on Friday, while partying at the Bootsy Bellows to celebrate Stassie Karanikolaou’s birthday.According to sources who spoke to TMZ, they “spoke with each other briefly inside the VIP area.” Kylie was apparently at the ‘top level’ VIP section of the party for just half an hour, while Jordyn was there for 20 minutes in the ‘lower section.’ According to TMZ, Kylie went down from her section to say hi to Jordyn, which perhaps shows a mending of bonds on their parts. Sources say that there was no bad blood between Jordyn and Kylie and smiles were exchanged between the two as well.The reunion-of-sorts comes months after Jordyn was accused of hooking up with Tristan Thompson, the then-boyfriend of Jenner’s elder sister Khloe Kardashian (they even have a child together, True Thompson). The news led to a break in Kylie and Jordan’s friendship and also saw Jordan move out of Kylie’s mansion. She subsequently went over to Jada Pinkett Smith’s web series Red Table Talk to help clear her name by telling her side of the story.Even though they had a mini-reunion at the part, People magazine says that the friendship will never be that close again. According to a source quoted by People, while Kylie is still in contact with Jordyn occasionally, they are never going to be best friends again. Follow @News18Movies for more
New Delhi: AAP MLA Devinder Singh Sehrawat joined the BJP on Monday, the second legislator to quit the party and join the saffron fold in less than a week.AAP’s Gandhi Nagar MLA Anil Bajpai quit the party and joined the BJP on Friday last. Sehrawat, the party’s legislator from Bijwasan, joined the party at a press conference in the presence of senior Delhi BJP leaders Vijay Goel and Vijendra Gupta. Accusing the party of “ignoring” and “cornering” him, Sehrawat said he was not even invited to party functions. “The party insulted me, but I took it in my stride and continued working for the development of my area,” the retired colonel said.”My people said ‘we have elected you to work for us’ and supported my decision to quit the AAP. I have joined the BJP considering the respect India got under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.Goel said the BJP was interested in inducting Sehrawat into the party even before he had joined the AAP. “The party (AAP) would ignore Sehrawat and not even invite him to events in the area. When he felt he’s being insulted, the legislator decided to join the BJP,” Goel said.Kejriwal tried putting pressure on Sehrawat when he got to know of his decision to leave the “sinking ship” of the AAP, he alleged. The BJP has kept its door open for all those who are feeling insulted in the AAP, the Union minister said.BJP leader Vijendra Gupta said, “Kejriwal tried to conspire against Sehrawat, sidelined him…He is being made to pay for opposing the party’s decision to oust Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhusan.”Gupta said the AAP insulted a retired Army officer and asked the party to apologise to him. Reacting to the development, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged the Modi government was “using the proceeds from the Rafale scam to buy AAP MLAs”.”They are doing the same thing in West Bengal. Modiji should tell how many MLAs they are planning to buy,” he said. Rejecting the charge, Goel said, “It is wrong on his (Kejriwal’s) part to allege that his party MLAs are being bought by the BJP.””We did not say anything when our former MLA Gagan Singh quit BJP to join the AAP. He (Kejriwal) should learn how to respect his MLAs. His MLAs are leaving the party due to disrespect and suffocation and not for money,” he added. aam aadmi partyarvind kejriwalBijwasanLok Sabha elections 2019 First Published: May 6, 2019, 7:45 PM IST
Actress Samantha Akkineni, who is seen in Tamil and Telugu movies, recently took to her Twitter handle to initiate a new challenge amidst the ongoing water crisis in the country. In one of her recent post on Twitter, the Oh! Baby actress urged her fans to use just one bucket of water on July 21 as part of the challenge. She named the challenge as ‘One Bucket’ Challenge.She tweeted “Who’s with me ? This Sunday.. One bucket challenge.. (with pictures) .. no long showers , no washing vehicles , no leaving the tap on while you wash your face ….. I will post a pic of my bright blue bucket as well (no cheating) #everydropcounts.” Who’s with me ? This Sunday.. One bucket challenge.. 🙌💪 (with pictures) .. no long showers , no washing vehicles , no leaving the tap on while you wash your face ….. I will post a pic of my bright blue bucket as well 😁 (no cheating) #everydropcounts pic.twitter.com/oP2Affd0OD— Samantha Akkineni (@Samanthaprabhu2) July 18, 2019 Water crisis is one the major issues that the country is facing right now. With Chennai almost out of drinking water due to depletion of ground water and lack of rains, it won’t be long till other cities face the same issue as well. Currently Hyderabad is also going through water scarcity issues. So, as a result, it is important to preserve water. And it seems like Samantha is doing her bit.On the work front Samantha Akkineni was last seen in B.V. Nandini Reddy’s Oh! Baby. Along with her, the movie also featured notable stars like Naga Shaurya, Lakshmi, Rajendra Prasad. The movie was a Telugu remake of the South Korean film Miss Granny.Follow @News18Movies for more Miss GrannyOh BabyOne Bucket ChallengeSamantha Akkineni First Published: July 18, 2019, 6:00 PM IST
Mumbai: In an apparent swipe at Rahul Gandhi, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said Thursday that his party as well as its ally BJP faced many electoral defeats in the past, but their leaders did not quit.Rahul Gandhi has resigned owning moral responsibility for the Congress’ Lok Sabha debacle. Speaking after the inauguration of a public park named for former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee in suburban Borivali, Thackeray said the Sena-BJP alliance faced many defeats in the initial years.”It is only now that we are winning. Nobody runs away because of an electoral defeat. Vajpayee was also defeated in elections, but he did not lose heart. Nobody resigned back then,” he said.He did not name Rahul Gandhi though. Thackeray himself has never contested an election. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, whoshared the dais with Thackeray, praised Higher and Technical Education Minister Vinod Tawde for his efforts to set up the park, named Atal Smruti Udyan. Tawde is the local MLA.”I am proud to have a colleague like you,” said Fadnavis.The praise came less than a month after Tawde lost his portfolios of school education, culture and sports in a cabinet expansion. congressCongress chiefRahul Gandhishiv sena First Published: July 4, 2019, 10:46 PM IST
Amazon is now listing both Google’s Chromecast and the Apple TV on its website, marking their first (official) return to the online store since being removed in late 2015. We saw signs of the Apple TV’s return to Amazon earlier this year when the device briefly appeared on the company’s website before disappearing. Sales of both devices will start soon, Amazon has confirmed, but it doesn’t look like its squabble with Google is over yet. Amazon had pulled both products from its online store, explaining that the lack of a Prime Video app was behind decision. It was a weak justification, considering Amazon’s own control over whether it would offer a Prime Video app for the platforms, but tides are turning. In recent days, Amazon launched an official Prime Video app for the Apple TV, bringing that long, glaring absence to rest.Things have been a bit trickier with Google, though. The two companies have been feuding over the last few months, the problem impacting Echo Show owners and, in the near future, Fire TV owners who have lost and will lose YouTube access. Google recently jabbed at Amazon by removing YouTube access from the Echo Show and announcing that Fire TV devices will lose access on January 1, 2018. In its present form, Fire TV owners get access to YouTube’s website through the YouTube.com app, but that will disappear in the next couple weeks if something doesn’t change.In its statements following the Echo Show’s YouTube block, Google pointed out that Amazon doesn’t offer the Chromecast devices in its online store, hasn’t for years, and now it just recently removed Nest products, too. That move appeared to be retaliation on Amazon’s part for Google’s move against the Echo Show’s original YouTube access, which had provided an incomplete user experience.That brings us to today, a day when both devices have returned to the online store, though orders aren’t being taken yet. The Chromecast’s return doesn’t mean Amazon’s feud with Google is over, though, at least not at the moment. We just tried pulling up the YouTube.com app on a Fire TV, and as has been the case for days now, it still shows a warning stating that the Fire TV will lose YouTube access on January 1.Whether Amazon’s decision to sell Chromecast will ease tensions with Google is unclear, but for now nothing has changed as far as YouTube is concerned.
There is almost no reason why the iPhone XS and XS Max wouldn’t perform better than last year’s iPhones or any iPhone before them. There’s the new RF modem inside, which SpeedSmart confirmed to be working as advertised. iFixit revealed a new antenna line that should also boost the reception. On paper, the iPhone XS should silence Samsung’s jokes about having faster download speeds.And yet what users are reporting is the exact opposite. They feel they’re getting even slower speeds and quality than their previous or other iPhones, even in the same area, network, and conditions. While those are hardly scientific, wireless technology blog WiWavelength conducted its own benchmarks, revealing weaker signal strengths on the iPhone XS and XS Max.Not only does it make no sense, there doesn’t seem to be any fix known yet. Apple has so far been silent but considering the rising number of complaints, it will be forced to take swift action soon. The most immediate fix could come from a software update that tweaks the hardware just a bit. But without knowing what the real issue is, we might never know if that will be enough. The iPhone XS and XS Max are boasted to have improved LTE modems which, for the first time in an iPhone, supports 4×4 MIMO. In fact, that is one of the key things that differentiates the two from the cheaper iPhone XR (aside from the LCD screen, of course). Unfortunately, that advantage might all be for naught with users reporting poor or at least inconsistent RF reception. And to make matters worse, it still isn’t certain whether a firmware update will be enough to fix it.
Audi plans to offer a trio of electric vehicles by the year 2020, according to company CEO Rupert Stadler. These electric cars, if everything goes as planned, will make up between 25-percent and 30-percent of the auto maker’s sales by the year 2025, a big goal that underscores Audi’s push into the electric vehicle market. Stadler reportedly announced this plan to Audi managers some time last week, and more recently discussed the matter to a German newspaper. In addition to launching electric vehicles, Audi is also said to be planning an autonomous vehicle to be developed under a subsidiary named SDS Company. Story TimelineVW, BMW & ChargePoint to build electric vehicle charging stationsSolar powered electric vehicle charging stations launch in SFNew electric vehicle record set for Pikes Peak hillclimb Audi is still on the prowl for joint venture partners that’ll help develop the technology needed for an autonomous car. Speaking about the eventual future model, Stadler said, “This is about a robot car that may not even need a steering wheel or pedals, so it’s ideal for urban traffic.” As far as the electric vehicle plans go, Audi is reportedly making this push in part, at least, due to the Volkswagen scandal, says Reuters. The auto maker will be focusing more resources on its EV ambitions; one source speaking about the matter claimed Audi’s managers will be diverting funds from external development service providers to its autonomous and EV projects.Finally, Audi is also looking to create fuel cell cars, reportedly saying that such vehicles are a “must.” However, the auto maker probably won’t kick off serial fuel cell car production any time before 2020, at least per comments made by Audi technical development chief Stefan Knirsch recently to the paper Stuttgarter Zeitung.AdChoices广告SOURCE: Reuters
As for the Shelby, it was none other than the Cobra with chassis number CSX2000. Much like the Jaguar, it’s now the most expensive American car ever sold, reaching a price of $13.75 million. The previous record holder was a 1968 Ford GT40 that sold in 2012 for $11 million.Not only was the Cobra owned by Carroll Shelby, but it’s never been restored. It was the only model that Shelby had created for a period of five months, and famously re-painted in different colors several times during that period, allowing the company to show it off during events and give the impression that production was underway. SOURCE Sotheby’s 1, 2 The 1955 Jaguar D-type XKD501 was sold to a buyer for an incredible $21.78 million, making it the most ever paid for a British car. Sotheby’s had originally estimated that the car might sell for as much as $25 million. Also surprising is that the Jaguar is only the fourth British car to reach an auction price of over $10 million. Corresponding with the Pebble Beach rare and exotic car show this weekend, the Sotheby’s auction house fetched not one but two record-setting prices for British and American cars. The vehicles were a 1955 Jaguar D-Type that won the historic Le Mans race in 1956, and the very first Shelby Cobra, made in 1962, which was owned by founder Carroll Shelby until his death in 2012. Story TimelinePorsche sold a 919 Hybrid replica model for over $100k1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti could be most valuable car Sotheby’s ever sold1969 Dodge Daytona left to rust in barn now worth $180KUltra-rare 1957 Ferrari 335S auctioned for $35MThis weird Lamborghini Countach is amphibious and up for sale
Story TimelineSatechi iMac stand fixes Apple’s biggest frustrationApple iPhone sales fall flat in India, report saysLatest Apple iPad (2018) is a $229 Holiday surprise if you act fast Apple now allows users to gift in-app purchases to other users. The change was recently spotted in the App Store Review Guidelines, where Apple says that developers can enable in-app purchase gifting by one user to another. This is the opposite of the guide’s previous language, which said that apps were not allowed to directly or indirectly allow in-app gifting. The change was quietly made but recently spotted by MacRumors. According to the new App Store Review Guidelines, “Apps may enable gifting of items that are eligible for in-app purchase to others. Such gifts may only be refunded to the original purchaser and may not be exchanged.”The change joins the existing option to purchase apps for other users as gifts, and is arguably necessary given the number of apps that increasingly peddle in-app purchases. Many apps are now free to download and use, but may have premium features or perks locked behind an in-app purchase that expands the functionality.The change is fresh and it’s unclear how the actual gifting process will take place. Presumably each app’s product page will include a new gifting option that cover in-app purchases rather than the app itself. Under the current system, users choose a paid app, select to send it as a gift, and then enter the recipient’s email address.AdChoices广告The new gifting option would be ideal for mobile games, which are growing in popularity as mobile devices become more powerful. Both Fortnite and PUBG are available on iOS, for example, as are a number of other games that offer in-app purchases for currency, loot, and more.
2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Review Gallery I didn’t expect that my week with Alfa Romeo’s red-hot challenger to established performance stalwarts like the Mercedes-AMG C63 S and the BMW M3 would end in an indictment, but here we are. The Giulia Quadrifoglio presents the premium shopper holding $75k in their pocket with one of the most beautiful designs on the market, matched with a chassis that manages to strike the balance between fast and friendly in a way that its Teutonic rivals have seemingly forgotten how to achieve. And yet, the drive experience is marred by an engine that seems designed to take years off of your life should you attempt to exercise it to the fullest on a public road.The Quadrifoglio features a 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V6 that produces a startling 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, making it the dyno king as compared to its most immediate competitors (the previously-mentioned BMW and AMG entries, plus the Cadillac ATS-V). In America, the rear-wheel drive Alfa is offered exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission, with corporate parent Fiat nixing the six-speed manual that was originally promised at launch. There are four driving modes along for the ride, too, ranging from ‘Dynamic’ to ‘Natural’ to ‘Advanced Efficiency’ to ‘Race,’ accessed via the ‘DNA’ rotary controller on the center console.AdChoices广告So far, so good, right? Not exactly. On or off. Yes or no. All or nothing. These are the poles one expects to be occupied by technology as innocuous as a light switch, but imagine if your bathroom shower had only two settings – scalding and tepid – and you start to understand what makes the Alfa Romeo’s drivetrain so frustrating to enjoy on the street. The Quadrifoglio’s snails have seemingly been tuned by the engineers originally responsible for the Porsche 930 Turbo, meaning they’re irrelevant below 3,500 RPM or so only to come rushing to the scene of the (almost inevitable) crime in the brief seconds separating moderate engine speed from the 7,250 RPM redline. Hammer the throttle and try to keep up with what’s happening under the hood via the car’s enormous paddle shifters and you’re likely to run up against the cut-off more quickly than you’ll hit 60-mph in the factory-advertised 3.6 seconds.This peaky pounding on the rear tires is further exacerbated by the starkly unfriendly drive modes pre-programmed into the Giulia Quadrifoglio. There’s no separate button for managing traction or stability control, which means Dynamic mode is as resolutely patrolled by the no-fun police as Natural mode, albeit with sprightlier throttle response and stiffer suspension settings. Click all the way up into Race, however, and suddenly you are thrust into a gladiatorial arena with the ‘let’s spin right now!’ character of the Alfa’s power delivery in the complete absence of any electronic safety net. You’ve either ‘got this’ or you don’t, and there are no half-measures to help keep the shiny side up should you over-estimate your own abilities.‘Why would anyone use Race mode on the street?’ you are probably wondering. Here’s my very specific answer: it’s the only way you get a chance to hear the Quadrifoglio’s excellent two-mode sport exhaust system at full bark. Once again, the designers at Alfa Romeo have refused to unbundle the car’s various performance functions, muting the quad tailpipes to some degree in all but the most aggressive, and least safe setting for the sedan’s drivetrain. I didn’t want to be in Race mode all the time, but dammit, I wanted that sound, and since there’s no separate Sport Exhaust button or ‘Anti-Social’ drive setting, what choice did I have?My disappointment in the overwhelming character of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio’s drivetrain was tempered by its gorgeous lines, functional cabin, and outstanding chassis tuning. If (when) the car gets sideways on you, its ultra-quick and well-weighted electric power steering and direct suspension feel are right there beside you to catch and correct with a minimum of effort – as long as you are paying attention. This doesn’t translate into an overly-stiff chassis, however, as the Giulia refuses to mimic the rock-crusher character of the M3 on rough roads, and in fact, if driven with an egg under the accelerator, feels perfectly smooth and comfortable on long trips. It also helps to not order the optional, and expensive, carbon ceramic brakes, which like so many things about this sedan are overkill for the street and sacrifice significant initial bite when cold – which is all the time outside of your second lap on a road course.Still, even though I walked backwards away from the Giulia it every time I parked it, it’s very hard for me to recommend this car – regardless of how handily it might beat its similarly-priced rivals in most performance metrics. Leaving aside the reliability issues that have plagued the vehicle in early testing, the Quadrifoglio is impossible to enjoy outside of a carefully-controlled environment like a race track or a skid pad. This stands in stark contrast to options from BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Cadillac, and Audi that offer more linear power delivery and a graduated approach to their respective electronic driver’s aides. I don’t want to feel like I’m riding the edge of responsibility with each application of the throttle, and while it can be fun to drive a slow car fast, being forced to carefully police yourself to do the opposite – and paying upwards of $90,000 to do it, after options – is nowhere near as charming in this Alfa Romeo. Story TimelineThis is Alfa Romeo’s stunning Giulia2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio: Ferrari heart, furious faceThis 505hp Alfa Romeo Giulia is only for Italy’s police force When is ‘more’ simply ‘too much?’ That’s the question I found myself asking again and again from behind the wheel of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, a luxury sport sedan seemingly so intent on occupying extremes that I wouldn’t be surprised if its Italian masters came out with a Vanilla Ice Signature Edition further down the line. Chugging Mountain Dew and challenging horses to straight-line tests of speed from the back of a sport bike might not be in the Quadrifoglio’s repertoire, but this sultry turbocharged weapon alternately frustrated or frightened me nearly every time I picked it up, no matter how longingly my eyes caressed its outrageous curves.
Story TimelineIKEA Tradfri smart lighting finally gets HomeKit, Alexa supportThese IKEA SmartShades will make auto-blinds much more affordableIKEA’s affordable smart shades are delayed – but there’s good news IKEA doesn’t just have affordable Sonos-powered speakers in the pipeline, but a simple remote control to liberate users from the Sonos app or talking to a smart assistant. The IKEA Symfonisk speakers are set to launch in August, and in the process become the most affordable Sonos-compatible models around. However it’s an accessory that fans of the platform may be more excited about. Sonos and IKEA announced their partnership on a speaker range last year, and unveiled the two initial Symfonisk models earlier in 2019. Most affordable is a $99 bookshelf model, an unobtrusive rectangular block that can be stood up in landscape or portrait orientation, or even fixed to a wall and used as an actual shelf. A second Symfonisk speaker doubles as a table lamp. It has a dimmable bulb at the top, with a cylindrical speaker underneath, and will be priced at $179. Both will rely on Sonos’ app for control of music playlists and other streaming features, a decision IKEA said was to make things more straightforward. Now, though, we’ve been introduced to another method of control. IKEA will also have a Symfonisk Sound Remote, a small wireless puck that gives access to the core features. If you want to adjust a playlist, line-up new music, or switch sources, you’ll still need to dig into the Sonos app or start chatting with your smart speaker of choice; however, the Symfonisk Sound Remote will be able to play/pause the current music, skip between tracks, and control volume. AdChoices广告It works via the Tradfri gateway – the larger of the two circular objects in the image at the top of this page – IKEA’s home hub which is already used for its connected bulbs, and will soon be integrated with its upcoming motorized blinds. In the case of Symfonisk, it’ll allow the Sound Remote to control the speakers, both IKEA’s own and any other Sonos speakers you might have. However, it’ll also allow Symfonisk to be linked with other smart home devices from IKEA.So, for instance, you’ll be able to link lighting presets with your smart shades and your speakers, so that a single scene triggers all three. IKEA had previously said that it opted to leave Symfonisk control up to the Sonos app because that would minimize duplication of development, so this is a welcome change. According to the retailer, the Symfonisk Sound Remote will go on sale in August, just like the speakers themselves. The Tradfri gateway is already available, priced at $29.99. Pricing for the Sound Remote hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it’s likely to be one of the more affordable ways to control Sonos speakers that we’ve seen.
There’s also an asymmetrical rucksack vest, which clings to the jacket using magnets. That, BMW says, makes it easier to put on and take off. As with the BMW Vision M NEXT, the company isn’t talking about production plans for the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster. Nonetheless, with its focus on electrification for the next few years, we’d be very surprised if some elements of this modern-day e-boxer doesn’t make it to production form in the not too distant future. Elsewhere, there’s a milled aluminum frame and a tubular frame structure, with carbon fiber other lightweight materials used both for their minimal contribution to curb weight and their aesthetics. Red contrast elements sit alongside brushed aluminum, and serve as highlights to the key architecture. Within all that, features like the universal shaft and Duolever fork are left exposed. The LED headlamps echo production BMW Motorrad bikes available today, while the rear gets two C-shaped LED elements integrated into the aluminum. The tires are made for the Vision bike by Metzeler, and each have five fluorescent elements that glow when in motion. BMW’s focus hasn’t just been the bike, however. The driver’s equipment has been just as carefully considered, the automaker says, designed so that the two-piece suit doesn’t automatically scream “protective clothing.” Instead, the protection is sewn into what could be mistaken for a regular jacket and pants, despite the stitched-in illumination for better visibility on the road. BMW has revealed its vision of the future of the electric motorcycle, with the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster promising enough heritage to keep long-time fans onboard, but with all the green tech to coax in new riders. The vision of the future of the iconic 2-cylinder boxer engine was shown off in Munich this week. There, it shared the stage with two other notable BMW concepts. The BMW Vision M NEXT is a hybrid performance coupe, designed for a world where keen drivers will still want to take the wheel despite the rise of autonomy on the roads. As for the BMW Power BEV prototype, that’s the automaker’s vision of how a performance sedan might work when its gas engine is dropped in favor of three electric drive units. With more power than a BMW M5, it’s hard to argue against the idea that the Power BEV is compelling. It’s also perhaps the most market-ready of the trio. That’s not to say that elements of the Vision DC Roadster aren’t suited to the road. BMW’s goal was to make a bike that keeps the visual identity of a gasoline BMW Motorrad vehicle, yet which embraces the advantages of electrification. As in the Power BEV, core among those is instant torque delivery. AdChoices广告Gone is the boxer engine, replaced with a vertically fitted, longitudinally oriented battery. That’s flanked by cooling ribs and ventilators, while the cylinder-shaped electric motor is slung below, connected directly to the universal shaft. When the bike is started up, the cooling elements flare out slightly, a visual communication that it’s ready to ride. Story TimelineBMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 motorcycle : no helmet neededBMW’s futuristic electric motorbike concept is an urban-warrior’s dreamBMW’s autonomous R 1200 GS motorcycle is a safety equipment testbed
Getting To The Bottom Of Hospital Bills’ ‘Gross Charges’ Philadelphia Inquirer: Limiting ‘Gross Charges’ On Hospital BillsRobert D’Amicodatri had two strokes, complicated by seizures, and rang up $374,741 in charges at Crozer-Chester Medical Center early in 2009. Three years later, in February, the Delaware County hospital sued him for $241,321, the balance after an insurance policy paid $20,998 and the hospital reduced his bill by $112,422 for a reason it has declined to explain. … D’Amicodatri’s hospital bills mounted before the Affordable Care Act took effect began taking effect in 2010, but the landmark law has a provision now in effect designed to eliminate, for some uninsured or underinsured patients at least, jaw-dropping bills like D’Amicodatri’s that are based on astronomical “gross charges.” Instead, hospitals are supposed to charge the uninsured no more than they would receive from Medicare or commercial insurers (Brubaker, 6/10). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Today’s headlines include reports about the latest health politics and policy news. Kaiser Health News: Obama, Ryan Offer Dueling Visions Of Medicare To AARP MembersKaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: “GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was booed and heckled on Friday when he told an AARP convention in New Orleans that he would repeal President Barack Obama’s health law. In contrast, Obama’s remarks about Medicare –delivered by live satellite an hour earlier — were warmly received” (Galewitz, 9/21). Read the story or watch a related video.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: NYC Study: Harlem Has Most ER ‘Super Users;’ Upper East side, FewestNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, WNYC’s Fred Mogul, working in partnership with KHN and NPR, reports: “About 20 percent of New York City residents visit hospital emergency rooms annually — and in some neighborhoods, the rate is twice that, according to a new report” (Mogul, 9/24). Check out what else is on the blog.Kaiser Health News: The Next Frontier For Elite Med Schools: Primary CareKaiser Health News staff writer Jenny Gold, working in collaboration with NPR, reports: “Johns Hopkins, Yale, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell. What do these medical schools have in common? Beyond their first-rate reputations, they’re also on the short list of top U.S. med schools that don’t have departments of family medicine” (Gold, 9/23). Read the story.Kaiser Health News also tracked weekend health policy headlines, including reports about what President Barack Obama and GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan had to say at the AARP meeting; what candidates were saying about Medicare and health reform on the campaign trail; and developments in California related to access to birth control and abortion.The New York Times: Obama And Romney Offer A Possible Preview Of Their First DebateMr. Romney said he would consider means-testing for Social Security benefits for future retirees, and he put some distance between his plans for reshaping Medicare as a voluntary voucher program and the proposal by his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, to reduce payments to the health care program by some $700 billion. … Mr. Obama took a fairly combative tone in his interview, defending the administration’s actions on financial bailouts, health care legislation and efforts to help homeowners and job seekers (Broder, 9/23).Politico: ‘Obamacare’ Foes Fear GOP LossesIf Mitt Romney doesn’t win the White House in November, and the Republicans don’t win the Senate, the GOP might not get another chance to repeal “Obamacare.” That’s the reality of the 2012 election, and even the staunchest opponents of the Democrats’ health care reform law acknowledge it. By the time the 2014 election comes up, all of the law’s major changes will be in place. So if the Republicans don’t win control of the White House and Congress to repeal it before then, the goal of wiping away the law will probably be out of their reach (Haberkorn, 9/22).The New York Times: In Ryan Country, Obama Keep Up Attack Over ’47 Percent’ RemarksIn Wisconsin, after signs of tightening in the polls following Mr. Ryan’s selection, Mr. Obama seems to have regained his footing. … “We’ve always thought Wisconsin would be harder for us this year than it was four years ago,” the campaign press secretary, Jen Psaki, said to reporters on Air Force One. “It’s only natural that when Paul Ryan, a native son, was announced, that the Romney team tried to create some buzz around their potential in Wisconsin.” Ms. Psaki argued that the more voters in Wisconsin heard about Mr. Romney’s proposals on issues like tax policy and Medicare, the less they would support him (Landler, 9/22).The New York Times: Conservatives Want To ‘Let Ryan Be Ryan’ On Campaign TrailMr. Ryan still has high-profile moments of combativeness and takes on fights that Mr. Romney does not. On Friday, he appeared at the annual AARP convention and drew boos as he called for repeal of Mr. Obama’s health care law and laid out the approach that he and Mr. Romney would take to address Medicare’s financial troubles, which would encourage more private-sector competition in the government-run program (Gabriel and Weisman, 9/23).The Washington Post: Among Some Paul Ryan Backers, Disappointment At Romney Campaign TrajectoryConservatives had hoped that Mitt Romney’s choice of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) as his running mate would make Romney act more like Ryan — bold, specific, confident. Instead, in the six weeks since Ryan became the GOP vice presidential nominee — and particularly in the three weeks since the Republican National Convention in Tampa — there has been mounting concern among Republicans that the pick has made Ryan look more like Romney — vague, cautious and limited to pre-set talking points (Sonmez and Fahrenthold, 9/24).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Romney Reports $15,211 In Health Premiums In 2011Mitt Romney reported paying $15,211 for health insurance premiums in 2011, as disclosed in his tax returns, and has his insurance through a Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts plan, a campaign aide confirmed late Friday (Radnofsky, 9/21).Politico: Poll: Obama Wins On Medicare TrustMore swing-state voters trust President Barack Obama more to handle Medicare than Mitt Romney, according to a poll Monday. Fifty percent of registered voters in 12 swing states trust Obama to handle Medicare, compared to 44 percent who Romney more, according to a Gallup poll. Nationally, Obama has 51 percent to 43 percent edge (Robillard, 9/24).Politico: GOP: ‘Bonuses’ To Medicare Advantage Mask CutsThe Medicare politics playing out in the presidential campaign trail are roiling Capitol Hill, too. Republicans are accusing the Obama administration of covering up cuts to the popular Medicare Advantage program. They say an $8 billion demonstration project, which the Government Accountability Office has asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to shut down, is hiding the impact of the cuts (Norman, 9/24).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama On Medicare: No Voucher, But Higher Costs For Baby Boomers And The Comfortably RetiredHe’ll never turn Medicare into a voucher, but if you are lucky enough to be financially comfortable in retirement, odds are you’ll pay higher premiums under President Barack Obama’s plan. It’s not just the 1 percent who’ll feel the pinch. And take note, baby boomers: The Medicare you get won’t be quite as generous as what your parents’ generation enjoys. A higher deductible here, a new co-payment there, and the tweaks add up (9/24).The Associated Press: Romney Medicare Plan: Key Details Still In FluxWith important details still hazy, The Associated Press asked the Romney campaign five questions about how his Medicare plan would affect consumers on critical matters of costs and benefits. … Broadly speaking, Romney calls for shifting people now age 54 and younger into a different sort of Medicare. Once eligible, these people would get a fixed payment from the government, adjusted for inflation, to pay for either private insurance or a government plan modeled on Medicare. Current beneficiaries and those nearing retirement could stay in the traditional program (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/23).Los Angeles Times: Congressional Race Is A Test For Longtime Member Of The HouseIn Congress, where he is the senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Waxman has shepherded landmark legislation, often enlisting Republican help, on clean air, tobacco regulation and generic drugs. He secured money to fight AIDS and battled government fraud. He was a key player in the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, derided by Republicans as “Obamacare” (Merl, 9/23).USA Today: Akin Still Confident He Can Win Missouri Senate SeatIn an interview with USA TODAY, the Republican lawmaker — abandoned by his party and GOP outside groups when he made controversial comments last month about the abortion rights of raped women — is unbowed and confident that he is on track to defeat incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Republican Party leaders had hoped Akin would exit the race by a Tuesday deadline to get his name off the ballot in order to nominate another Republican, but the six-term House member has never entertained the notion and has lashed out at “party bosses” who tried to influence the race (Page, 9/23).USA Today: Health Care Law’s Impact On Businesses VariesCompanies specializing in driving down spending on health care, whether through electronic records, preventive care or consolidating services, are turning out to be the biggest winners from the 2010 health care law (Kennedy, 9/23).The New York Times: Liking It Or Not, States Prepare For Health LawLike many Republican governors, Jan Brewer of Arizona is a stinging critic of President Obama’s health care law. When the Supreme Court upheld it in June, she called the ruling “an overreaching and unaffordable assault on states’ rights and individual liberty” (Goodnough, 9/23).The New York Times: New System For Patients To Report Medical MistakesThe Obama administration wants consumers to report medical mistakes and unsafe practices by doctors, hospitals, pharmacists and others who provide treatment (Pear, 9/22).Los Angeles Times: Treatment For Addicts Is Starting To ChangeA call for change is afoot in the difficult and often heartbreaking world of addiction treatment. For decades, 12-step programs and a medication-free approach have dominated the recovery industry. But now doctors and scientists and the leader of the National Institute on Drug Abuse are pushing for broad recognition of addiction as a disease and more medical approaches to therapy (Roan, 9/22).Los Angeles Times: Cedars-Sinai And UCLA Cut From Los Angeles Health PlanTwo of the most prestigious names in Southern California healthcare — Cedars-Sinai and UCLA — are getting shut out of a major insurance plan for being too expensive. In a bold cost-cutting move, Anthem Blue Cross has eliminated doctors affiliated with the hospitals from a health plan offered to about 60,000 employees and dependents at the cash-strapped city of Los Angeles (Terhune, 9/21).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 24, 2012
HHS Delays Health Exchange Decision Deadline To Dec. 14 The Obama administration announced late Thursday that it was extending the deadline for states to decide whether they would establish and operate these online insurance markets. A number of Republican governors had complained about the initial Nov. 16 deadline. The New York Times: U.S. Extends Deadline For States On Health Insurance ExchangesFor the second time in a week, the Obama administration said on Thursday that it was extending the deadline for states to decide whether they will establish and operate online markets where consumers can shop for health insurance under the new health care law (Pear, 11/15).NPR: Health Exchange Activity Heats Up As Deadline Is ExtendedThere’s nothing quite like a deadline to focus the mind. Even a deadline that’s not quite real. Friday was originally the day that states were supposed to not only tell the federal government whether they planned to run their own health exchanges but also how they planned to do it (Rovner, 11/15).The Wall Street Journal: Deadline Delayed For A Month On Health ExchangesHours ahead of a Friday deadline, the administration told states that they could take another month to declare if they will set up their own insurance exchanges, where people can shop for approved plans and apply for tax subsidies toward the cost of health-insurance premiums. The exchanges are one of the main ways the law tries to extend coverage to up to 30 million Americans (Radnofsky and Nelson, 11/15).Politico: HHS Pushes Back Health Exchange Deadline To Dec. 14HHS is moving the exchange goalposts yet again. With one day to go before states were supposed to declare whether they plan to run their own exchanges, HHS gave them a last-minute reprieve Thursday night — although all but about 10 states had already made their intentions clear by then (Millman, 11/15).Kaiser Health News: Obama Administration Extends Deadline For State Exchanges – AgainBowing to a request from Republican governors, the Obama administration announced late Thursday that it would give states more time to decide whether to build online health insurance markets that will help millions of people buy coverage starting next fall. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pushed back the deadline until Dec. 14 for states to submit letters of intent to build the state-based markets, called exchanges. The original deadline had been Friday, Nov. 16 (Galewitz, 11/15). The Hill: HHS Extends Health Care Deadline For StatesStates now have until Dec. 14 to decide whether they want to run their exchanges entirely on their own (though using billions of dollars in federal grant money). Those that don’t will have until Feb. 15 to decide whether they want to work in partnership with the federal government or cede the task entirely to Washington. “States have and will continue to be partners in implementing the health care law and we are committed to providing states with the flexibility, resources and time they need to deliver the benefits of the health care law to the American people,” HHS said in a letter to Republican governors. “We will continue to work directly with individual states to address their particular questions and concerns” (Baker, 11/15).Bloomberg: States Given More Time To Decide On Health Exchange PlanStates received an extra month from the Obama administration to decide whether to build online marketplaces for medical insurance after Republican governors pressed their resistant to the president’s health-care law. Extending a deadline set for today, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said states can wait until Dec. 14 to declare whether they’ll build their own insurance exchanges. States that opt out can join a partnership with the federal government or let the U.S. run the markets (Wayne and Nussbaum, 11/16). Reuters: U.S. Gives States More Time To Make Obama Health Law DecisionThe federal government on Thursday gave states another month to decide if they will operate insurance exchanges under the new U.S. healthcare law, after some Republican governors stalled in the hope President Barack Obama would lose last week’s election. The delay was the second time in a week that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius showed flexibility on deadlines as a way to entice states to cooperate in implementing Obama’s signature domestic achievement (Charles and Kelleher, 11/16).Stateline: States Get More Time To Decide If They Will Run Their Own Health Insurance ExchangesWith one day left before states were required to notify Washington if they wanted to form their own health insurance “exchanges,” the insurance marketplaces authorized by the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius granted a one month extension yesterday. She said states will also have to submit detailed exchange “blueprints” at that time. Since postponement of the deadline came at the last minute, this week was marked by a flurry of announcements from governors about how they intended to run their exchanges. The deadline for states to commit to partnering with the federal government is still set for February 15, 2013, according to a letter from Sebelius to the Republican Governors Association (Vestal and Ollove, 11/16). NBC: Feds Give States A Last-Minute Break On Insurance MarketplacesStates got a last-minute extension late Thursday of a deadline to decide whether they’ll build their own health insurance marketplaces, or let the federal government do it for them. Republican governors had been complaining about the Nov. 16 deadline to file their formal decision with the Health and Human Services Department, mostly because HHS has not yet told them what a federal exchange would look like. HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave in at almost the last moment, extending the deadline to Dec. 14 (Fox, 11/15). CBS: HHS Pushes Back States Health Reform DeadlineResponding to Republican criticism, the Obama administration is giving states an extra month to make a key decision about how to implement the Affordable Care Act. The move comes in response to a letter sent yesterday by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chair of the Republican Governors Association, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, asking President Obama to step in and extend the deadline. “As has been stated many times, before making any final policy decisions, governors must carefully consider the short and long-term implications of an expanded entitlement program and the consequences of significantly increasing the size of government to manage these programs,” they wrote (Condon, 11/15). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Amgen To Pay $762 Million Fine For Improper Drug Marketing Los Angeles Times: Amgen Pleads Guilty To Improper Marketing Of Anemia Drug Aranesp Biotech giant Amgen Inc. pleaded guilty in federal court to improper marketing of its anemia drug Aranesp and has agreed to pay $762 million in criminal fines and civil settlements to resolve complaints from company whistle-blowers. Federal prosecutors in New York said the Thousand Oaks company was “pursuing profits at the risk of patient safety” by encouraging doctors to use its popular anemia drug for unapproved uses to boost sales and to take market share from a rival drug maker (Terhune, 12/18). Medpage Today: Amgen Agrees To Pay $762 Million In Aranesp CaseThe biotech drug giant Amgen pled guilty Tuesday to promoting its blockbuster anemia drug darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp) for off-label dosing regimens, agreeing to pay more than $760 million in fines. The drug, administered once weekly, was initially approved in September 2001 to treat anemia caused by chronic renal failure. Knowing it would have trouble competing with the well-established epoetin alfa (Procrit), which is used every other week, Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen used to its advantage a statement in the product’s labeling that said darbepoetin had a longer serum half-life than epoetin alfa, which the company thought might suggest a less-frequent dosing regimen. Amgen sales representatives promoted darbepoetin for the off-label dose of once monthly, according to the complaint filed Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York (Pittman, 12/18).Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today look into the influence of drug companies on treatment guidelines.MedPage Today: Guidelines: Guides To Profit?Doctors with financial ties to drug companies have heavily influenced treatment guidelines, an analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today has found. Critics say those financial relationships have corrupted the guideline process so that the end products, make dangerous or ineffective recommendations. Industry and some doctors counter that those with conflicts are often top experts in their field. The Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today examined 20 clinical practice guidelines for conditions treated by the 25 top-selling drugs in the U.S. (Fauber and Gabler, 12/19).