Mediafly Unveils New Sales Enablement Platform Experience for the Future of Evolved

first_imgMediafly Unveils New Sales Enablement Platform Experience for the Future of Evolved Selling MTS Staff WriterMay 23, 2019, 4:55 pmMay 23, 2019 B2B buyerscontent managementMarketing TechnologyMediaflyNewsSales enablement technologySAP App Center Partner Previous ArticleGlobal Customer Adoption Accelerating for 8×8 Contact Center SolutionNext ArticleFor Highly Reputable Senders, 91 Percent of Emails Reach Their Intended Audience—Compared to 70 Percent or Less for All Other Senders Mediafly, a provider of sales enablement technology, content management, and advisory services that create interactive, value-based selling experiences, presents a brand new platform interface and added functionality to meet the needs of sellers across the globe. In addition to the updated user experience, new capabilities include Mediafly Workspaces, Story Mapper and Tool Builder, which provide users the ability to customize in-app experiences on their own, without incremental coding resources, including designing custom ROI calculators. As part of the new platform experience, Mediafly is introducing a new iOS app – Mediafly Next.While companies have the best intentions when unveiling new sales enablement solutions, many of these deployments fail. According to one study, U.S. organizations wasted $30 billion on unused software over the course of four years. Often times, this is due to technology not meeting the expectations of its users. For sellers, lack of customization and legacy solutions leave them scrambling to find relevant content and value-based evidence to provide the personalized sales interactions that modern buyers require. Admins and leaders of these teams are left to figure out how to design and organize the information that sellers need to succeed. Unfortunately, for many organizations, the process of designing an intuitive presentation app experience with interactive content that gains positive feedback and ultimately, a purchase, requires an unrealistic investment of time and budget.“Sales enablement technology should be flexible, easy to use and allow for customization,” said Jason Shah, CTO at Mediafly. “Our customers want to personalize their solutions so they can provide the best experience to their buyers. With the new Mediafly, users can continue to feel well equipped in their sales conversations, providing value to their buyers at a faster rate, helping to increase revenue and exceed quotas.”Marketing Technology News: ON24 Empowers Marketers with a 360-degree View of Customer EngagementTo help sales teams evolve from traditional content management portals and presentation tools like PowerPoint and guide them on how to improve sales, Mediafly gives users access to a modern, sophisticated, consumer-like presentation app experience across desktop and mobile. Now admins and sales reps can easily self-author and experience an interface with animations, customizable layouts and navigation, and interactive content without added support from Mediafly or IT.Mediafly’s release includes three new capabilities: Mediafly Workspaces, Story Mapper and Tool Builder. With Workspaces, admins have the power to create a mobile presentation interface with the navigation and content they want the sales teams to leverage, and sellers can find the content they need with ease for their unique sales presentation. Through Story Mapper, sellers can instantly pivot to relevant content in their presentation to better address buyers needs and questions. This allows them to create buyer-focused conversations through an interactive and value-add interaction.Value-add experiences are increasingly important as B2B buyers become more budget restrained and risk-averse. In fact, six in 10 buyers want to discuss pricing on the first call. Mediafly’s Tool Builder gives sellers the flexibility to customize interactive tools such as ROI and TCO calculators in an easy-to-use environment, saving the user time and energy. Sellers can provide buyers with meaningful value messaging, compelling insights and credible financial justification that is unique to that specific buyer in every sales conversation.Marketing Technology News: Vyond Announces End of Beta for Vyond Studio, Enhanced Security Features“Since we started using Mediafly, our customers have rated their experience higher, citing things like the ability of reps to give them the best information in the moment,” said Tom Stubbs, Sales Capability Communications Manager at PepsiCo. “Mediafly gives us the ability to design a modern sales experience customers value.”Mediafly’s latest sales enablement technology updates are just a few of the ways Mediafly helps sellers and marketers create, deliver, and analyze engaging sales presentations. Mediafly’s continued focus on enhancing how brands engage prospective buyers was recently recognized by G2. The sales enablement platform was named a Leader in G2’s Spring 2019 Grid Report for Sales Enablement. The grid, which is based on customer satisfaction and market presence, highlights that 96 percent of Mediafly users rated the platform 4 or 5 stars and 90 percent of users would recommend Mediafly’s platform. Additionally, Mediafly was recognized as a SAP Finalist for SAP App Center Partner of the Year. The award recognizes SAP partners with world-class solutions, contributing a significant amount to SAP revenue, a solid track record of customer success and a solid business plan for continued partner success.Marketing Technology News: Malicious and Disruptive Ads Account for 1 in Every 100 Impressions According to New Confiant Researchlast_img read more

Fastman Releases Access Manager and Digital Signature Automation for DocuSign

first_img Access ManagerAutomationDigital SignatureDocuSignFastmaninformation securityMarketing Technology NewsNews Previous ArticleEmployBridge Moves Several Hundred Agents to Talkdesk for Unparalleled Cloud InnovationNext ArticleLonely Planet Partners with Acquia to develop the Most Consumer-Centric Platform in Travel Fastman Releases Access Manager and Digital Signature Automation for DocuSign PRNewswireJuly 10, 2019, 10:40 pmJuly 10, 2019 Fastman announces latest digital signature and OpenText read-only license compliance solutionsFastman, the leading provider of information security and management services and solutions for OpenText Content Suite and Extended ECM, has recently released two highly anticipated updates. These include Fastman Digital Signatures, a digital signature solution for OpenText Content Suite and Extended ECM leveraging the DocuSign Agreement Cloud and on-premise Digital Signature Appliance, and Fastman Access Manager, the most effective way to ensure compliance with OpenText Content Suite read-only user licensing.Marketing Technology News: Nordic XR-company Bublar Group Acquires Finnish Augmented Reality Pioneer SayduckAs a new component of the Fastman Management Suite, Access Manager enables organizations to remain compliant with the terms of their read-only license agreements — preventing non-compliance penalties and fines. “With no technical limitations in the core Content Suite product, many OpenText customers have users that are performing actions that their read-only licenses do not permit. With regular audits, this can unwittingly cost them a significant amount of money in fines,” says Alister Grigg, Managing Director at Fastman. “Access Manager physically prevents the use of out-of-license functionality and enables admins to track what their read-only users are trying to achieve. It takes minutes to implement and saves our customers significant time, trouble and money.”Marketing Technology News: Leadspace Acquires ReachForce to Offer Customers Even More Robust B2B Customer Data PlatformIn addition, Fastman also announced an update to their Digital Signatures product. “Our customers have wanted to sign documents within the DocuSign Agreement Cloud alongside our existing Digital Signature Appliance connector for quite some time,” says Alister Grigg. “With this release we enable organizations to seamlessly send documents for signing in either — or both — solutions directly from their OpenText systems.”Marketing Technology News: Community Management Is the Main Course for Hospitality Sectorlast_img read more

How to Set Up Centrally Managed Backups for Your Home or Small

first_img Don’t Watch These Movies With Your Parents 9 Comments How to Set Up Centrally Managed Backups for Your Home or Small Business We Finally Know Why Black Widow’s Death Was Necessary Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Willow Smith’s Transformation is Turning Heads J.K. Rowling Confirms a Hermione Theory We Suspected All Along The Most Offensive Video Game Characters of All Time The Dangerous ‘Toy Story 4’ Scene One Million Moms is Protesting Tagged In storageextremetech explainsHow-TonassynologybackupsQNAPprivate cloudcentrally-managed backupsEaseus Todo Backup Post a Comment 9 Comments Natalie Portman’s Female Thor Name Revealed If you’re part of a family with changing computing needs, or if you run a small business where employees and computers come and go, it’s quite likely that your backup strategy is a bit of a hodge-podge. You probably also rely on your users to pay attention to whether their data is actually being safely backed up. A recent experience of mine, where we realized that one of our business laptops hadn’t run a successful backup for a month, motivated me to dig in and implement a centrally managed backup system so that we could easily manage and monitor our computer backups. I actually did it two different ways, using one NAS-centric approach, and another more traditional backup suite, so we can compare them in this article.How Centrally Managed Backups WorkA typical, centrally managed backup solution consists of at least three pieces. First, there is a backup server, which keeps the database of clients, tasks, and storage locations. Along with it are one or more console applications. Some systems offer one management console for administrators and a separate one for users to allow them to do some self-service operations like file recovery. Finally, there needs to be some type of client software (often called an agent) that can respond to requests from the server and initiate backups. With Windows clients, this is often a custom application installed on each client. But existing system utilities like rsync may also work as an agent, depending on the product.In all cases, either a new account with administrator privileges needs to be created on each client, or the credentials for an existing account need to be supplied. Once a server and client(s) are in place, then the console (which might be an application or simply a web interface to the server) can be used to create backup tasks and deploy them to clients as appropriate. Most packages include some pre-defined templates that can be used as a starting point. For example, if you have a number of laptops that have a simple configuration, you can have a template that just does a System backup of the OS and boot drive.Backing Up PCs With EaseUS Todo BackupThere are many backup products for Windows PCs, but for this project, we wanted ones where we could upgrade from the typical entry-level standalone offering to a centrally managed, business-class solution inexpensively. So for our first solution, we chose EaseUS Todo Backup Workstation, since the desktop software and management console are quite inexpensive, and we were already using it standalone on several machines. However, currently, EaseUS can only centrally manage Windows client machines. Acronis offers a much broader range of solutions, but at a much higher price point for its business products.Todo Backup is powerful but not always obvious.You can start with the management console, which EaseUS calls Backup Center, and install and deploy from there, or take a more incremental approach and install Backup Workstation on your client computers and make sure they work to your satisfaction first. When you install the clients, you can create a backup user that’s separate from other users of the system. That’s handy for creating a single credential to use for backup tasks. When you install Backup Center, you’ll want to make sure you also select the option to install the server on a machine of your choice. Unfortunately, EaseUS Backup doesn’t support a NAS package for its server, which would be a nice option.Once the clients and the Backup Center console are installed, you can use the console to create, customize, and deploy template backup tasks to some or all of your clients. You can even put them in groups. In our case, we created a simple template for most of our laptops, which only have a System (“C”) drive, and then a couple of other templates for more complex desktops that also have data drives. It was simple to create a schedule for each template and deploy them. I wish the software offered an easier way to combine Full and Incremental backup schedules, but you can choose the type of backup(s) you want, the schedules, and the retention policies.You can add a Network Server as a backup destination for EaseUS Todo Backup using a mount point, a UNC path, or via the NAS Device option.Backing Up Your Network With Synology’s Active Backup for BusinessIf you own a NAS, you may already have access to all the software you need to back up your network. Most NAS vendors bundle at least one backup solution with their hardware and may offer add-on options. Synology did something pretty sweet last year, by including its Active Backup for Business (ABB) software with many of its units. It includes the server package, an active client for Windows, a user portal for self-service recovery, and the ability to back up other types of specialized hardware and virtual machines. I’ve been using ABB with both the Windows client and with my Jetson Nano Linux box with rsync as the agent.Synology’s Active Backup for Business provides a large number of options managed through a central console.One area where ABB goes beyond many of the other backup solutions bundled with network servers is the capability to do a bare metal restore — as you’d expect with a separate cost backup package. You simply create and boot to a recovery drive and then restore your full system image. Alternatively, you can do the expected set of drive, partition, and file backups to take more complete control of your system. There are even additional packages for specifically backing up G Suite and Office 365, although I haven’t used them.Consider a Belt and SuspendersNext to not noticing that backups are failing to run properly, not realizing that they’re corrupt is the next biggest problem with backups. While major corporations have policies in place for regularly testing the integrity and utility of their backups, most small business and families don’t. So in our case, we back all our machines up two different ways, to two different servers.Active Backup for Business offers a nice and easy to understand set of Retention options.Five-bay NAS units are very convenient for this, as shared data can be stored on a three drive RAID array, and backups can go on a separate, mirrored, two-drive array. We use a Synology DS1517+ as our primary data store — since it supports 10Gbps — and destination for system backups generated by Active Backup for Business. Then we also have a DS1019+ where we can keep a clone of our most important shared data on the first three drives, and our EaseUS backups on the other two. Or if you have room to keep your data and backups on the first three drives, the other two are ideal for mirrored security footage archives. Of course, just having two systems locally isn’t a perfect solution either, so you’ll want to have some type of off-site backup as well.Now Read:How to Set Up Subscription-Free Offsite BackupHow to Create Your Own Private Photo Sharing CloudIt’s World Backup Day: Here’s How the ExtremeTech Staff Stays Backed Up By David Cardinal on June 22, 2019 at 9:00 am Celebs Who Were Sadly Killed By Their Fanslast_img read more

Andhra Pradesh Repoll 80 Voting Recorded in Five Booths

first_imgAmaravati: About 80% polling was recorded in five polling booths in Andhra Pradesh on Monday, where a re-poll was conducted without any incident.Braving the scorching heat, voters queued up at the five polling booths and cast their votes in good numbers. The re-poll was ordered in view of technical glitches in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in these polling booths when general election was held on April 11.Accordingly, re-polling was conducted in booth number 94 in Narasaraopet Assembly and Lok Sabha segments, booth 244 of Guntur West Assembly and Lok Sabha segments in Guntur district.It was also held in booth 247 of Yerragondapalem Assembly and Ongole Lok Sabha segments, booth 41 of Kovur Assembly segment under Nellore Lok Sabha constituency and 197 of Sullurupeta Assembly segment under Tirupati parliamentary constituency.Elections for 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly seats were held in one phase on April 11 in the state.Counting of votes will be taken up on May 23. andhra pradesh assembly election 2019andhra-pradesh-lok-sabha-elections-2019guntur-s01p13narasaraopet-s01p14 First Published: May 6, 2019, 8:39 PM ISTlast_img read more

Modi Government Compromised National Security by Reducing Rafale Jets Congress

first_img BJPcongressLok Sabha elections 2019modi First Published: May 14, 2019, 2:25 PM IST | Edited by: Nikita Vashisth New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday accused the Modi government of compromising and overruling national security by reducing the purchase of the Rafale fighter aircraft to save money.Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala hit out at the BJP after Union minister Nitin Gadkari reportedly admitted that the Rafale deal was curtailed due to do financial constraints. “Finally, truth is out! ‘National Security’ stumped by a pseudo nationalist Modi Govt,” Surjewala tweeted.”No. of Rafale aircrafts reduced from 126 to 36 for saving money overruling Air Force and Nation’s security!” he added.Gadkari had said the government’s “financial availability” dictated the decision to bring down the order of the Rafale fighter jets from 126 to 36 in its purchase agreement. PTI last_img read more

Virat Kohli Anushka Sharma are Ultimate Couple Goals in Matching Outfits See

first_img Anushka Sharmaindia vs new zealand 1st semi-finalindia vs new zealand 2019India vs New Zealand ICC Cricket World Cup First Published: July 10, 2019, 11:11 AM IST The India vs New Zealand match will continue on the reserve day, i.e, today (Wednesday). Meanwhile, Anushka was also spotted cheering on her husband during India’s 2019 Cricket World Cup final group stage match against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Saturday.Follow @News18Movies for more This comes after Virat enjoyed a day out with Anushka in Manchester before India Vs New Zealand semi-final match, which was brought to a screeching halt after a heavy drizzle lashed Old Trafford at the far end of the Kiwi innings on Tuesday.center_img If there’s one couple we ship right now, it’s Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli. Anushka and Virat’s best romantic moments are kind of hard to pin down. While they’ve only been together (officially) for about one-and-a-half years, they’ve basically been couple goals since day one.And, the two once again gave ultimate couple goals as they slayed in matching outfits during their casual outing in Birmingham. Anushka has accompanied Virat to England, where he is leading team India at the ongoing Cricket World Cup. Out and about in the British city, Anushka and Virat both opted for a classic combination of white and black. The actress wore an over-sized tee by Stella McCartney with a mini shorts. Virat complemented his wife in a loose t-shirt and a pair of 3/4th shorts. Anushka and Virat both opted for a pair of white sneakers to complete their look.last_img read more

Apple Glasses big AR push is already causing excitement

first_imgStory TimelineGoogle Glass augmented reality gets real-time demoGoogle invests in Magic Leap for more augmented realityApple buys augmented reality specialist MetaioThe big Facebook Augmented Reality play is startingiPhone Augmented Reality revealed with ARKitIt seems time to revive the Google GlassMinecraft AR hints at what possible with Apple ARKit Above you’ll see a more recent video published by SMI in January of this year. Our experience with SMI showed us the future of eye-tracking in virtual reality using Oculus Rift and their own pair of AR glasses. Have a peek at what Apple might be making and see what you think of it. Remember too that Apple bought another AR-based company back in 2015.Also take note that Google seems to be bringing back Google Glass in some form or another. It might be high time to get in gear with AR for your face – whether you like it or not! Apple’s revenue as of now comes largely from sales of their iPhone hardware lineup. At this time well over 50% of Apple’s revenue comes from the iPhone alone, and it’s expected that 64% of revenue will come from the iPhone in the year 2018 – FY, that is, fiscal year, all according the Munster. By the year 2022, Munster suggests that the iPhone will account for only 48% of sales for Apple.To be clear, the iPhone isn’t going anywhere. The iPhone wont be disappearing for a long time. What’s expected is that – eventually – people will tire of using smartphones, and something else will pop up. That “something else” might well be Apple Glasses – or whatever they’ll end up being called. Munster seems to think that Apple Glasses will be Apple’s ticket into the future using their recently announced dive into Augmented Reality.Munster cited the reveal of developer-aimed ARKit for augmented reality applications as well as Apple’s acquisition of SensoMotoric Instruments. This was reported within the last 24 hours – this apparent acquisition – but we’ve seen SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) in the distant past. Or seemingly distant – all the way back in the year 2014.center_img Apple Glasses have been teased for possible release by one of the most prominent Apple-centric analysts in the world today. This tip comes from Loup Venture’s Gene Munster, who forecasts that Apple Glasses, an AR wearable, will begin to appear in the year 2020. It’s projected that the iPhone will reach its peak sales in the year 2019, then Apple’s next big thing will be Apple Glasses, which will appear 1 year later.last_img read more

Apple iOS 113 beta 1 released for eager developers

first_imgiOS 11.3 developer beta 1 (15E5167f) is available for developers to download and install now. The recommendation, as always, is that you don’t load early beta software onto a mission-critical or everyday device – in short, something you can’t do without if things start going wonky – though inevitably some choose to overlook that advice in the name of having the most cutting-edge Apple software on their phone.Among the changes in iOS 11.3 that we already know about are ARKit 1.5 and a new Health Records feature in the Health app. The former is the new version of Apple’s augmented reality platform, which with the arrival of this new version is now able to recognize vertical surfaces like doors and walls, in addition to horizontal ones such as floors and tables. That opens the door to more expansive AR, as does ARKit 1.5’s supposedly improved handling of irregular surfaces. AdChoices广告Health Records, meanwhile, is Apple’s attempt to turn the iPhone into a centralized health database. Partnering with twelve different medical providers – and with more in the pipeline, the company says – it funnels data including treatments, tests, immunizations, and more into a chronological timeline in the Health app. Those details are, unsurprisingly, encrypted and locked down with the iPhone’s passcode. It’s worth noting, though, that not every new iOS 11.3 feature is currently present in the beta. Most conspicuously, Apple’s new controls for handling power management are absent. The company promised users frustrated by performance throttling on their older iPhones would get a switch to turn the system off if they preferred, and that will indeed be arriving in iOS 11.3.However, it – and new insights into the health of the iPhone’s battery, which previously would only be shown if the li-ion pack had deteriorated to the point where Apple recommended a replacement – will be coming in a later release. On the flip side, though, it seems some features Apple didn’t talk about earlier as also to be found in today’s release. That includes eagerly-anticipated cloud services like Messages in iCloud, which was originally intended to be part of the iOS 11 release in 2017, but which was quietly pulled during the beta program. It’s reappeared today, and it’s likely that other iOS 11.3 goodies will be identified as developers get to grips with this first beta. As for the public beta, that’s been promised but Apple hasn’t said exactly when we might be able to expect it. The full iOS 11.3 release is due to arrive in the Spring of 2018. You’ll need an iPhone 5s or newer, an iPad Air or iPad Pro, a fifth-gen iPad, iPad mini 2 or newer, or an iPod touch sixth-gen in order to install it. Apple has released the first beta of iOS 11.3, the new version of its software for iPhone and iPad. Unveiled earlier today, iOS 11.3 brings with it numerous new features including ARKit 1.5 support and brand new Animojis. Today’s release is targeted at developers aiming to get up to speed with what will be hitting Apple’s phones and tablets later this year. last_img read more

Cheza Chromebook with Snapdragon 845 to rival alwayson PCs

first_imgChromebooks have traditionally run on two kinds of processors, low-power ARM chips from the likes of Rockchip or MediaTek, and Intel Atom or Celeron processors. It’s only recently that we’re seeing more powerful Chromebooks with Core m or Core i CPUs. It’s not surprising, then, that Google will also do the same on the ARM side.This would make this “Cheza” the most powerful ARM-based Chromebook when it comes out. The Snapdragon 845 is still Qualcomm’s current champion and the newly announced Snapdragon 850 is reserved for Windows 10 devices only anyway. But that’s hardly the only thing Cheza has.Based on source code commits scoured by About Chromebooks, this Chromebook could also be a detachable one, just like the HP Chromebook x2 pictured above. It’s USB-C port also supports DisplayPort video out. There might be two USB-C ports but only one will have that feature. The Chromebook could have a 2560×1440 WQHD screen though it will most likely be more than that since the Snapdragon 845 can support all the way up to 4K UHD. And, most importantly, given the chipset, this Chromebook will have built-in LTE support thanks to the X20 modem.AdChoices广告Google has recently been beefing up its Chromebook selection in response to Apple’s and Microsoft’s attempts to reclaim their territory. From the first detachable Chromebook to the first Chromebook tablet, the search giant is moving to replace its Android tablets with Chrome OS devices. And by adding Linux support and maybe even Windows 10 certification, these devices might be the all in one computer you’ll ever need. From Windows S to the new, somewhat disappointing first generation of always-on Windows 10 on ARM PCs, it is clear that Microsoft is worried. Its once unchallenged kingdom in the education and enterprise markets have been chipped away first by Apple and now by Google and its Chromebooks. The Windows maker is fighting back by trying to combine Windows 10 with hardware that makes mobile devices so useful: always-on connectivity and battery life. But even before Redmond can regain its foothold, it seems that Google will be fighting back with a Chromebook codenamed “Cheza”, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.last_img read more

Googles own Smart Display will reportedly fuel the Alexa war this year

first_imgGoogle is said to be planning to release a new smart speaker, and it might be looking to the Echo Show for inspiration. A new rumor claims that Google will release a smart speaker with a display at some point this year. If that turns out to be true, then that means Google would have a smart speaker to compete with almost every device in Amazon’s Echo line up. Story TimelineJBL Link View smart display with Google Assistant now up for preorderGoogle Assistant getting Smart Display smart home UI There is, of course, an outlier in the Echo Look, but it’s hard to imagine Google coming up with a competitor to that one. In any case, this rumor comes from Nikkei Asian Review, which spoke to unnamed sources who told it that Google will look to have this display-equipped smart speaker ready to go by the ever-important holiday shopping season.READ MORE: Lenovo Smart Display ReviewThose who have following the development of the Google Assistant platform probably won’t be surprised to hear this rumor. A few companies have already announced Google Assistant smart speakers with displays, with Lenovo’s Smart Display being the first out of the gate. It makes sense that Google would decide to release a speaker of its own that’s equipped with a display, considering that it created a platform that other manufacturers are using to do just that.Google has pretty lofty aspirations for this new smart speaker, with an industry source telling Nikkei that the company is targeting 3 million shipments for its initial release. Whether or not consumers will actually buy that many is another question entirely, especially when we can probably expect this speaker to cost a fair amount of money.AdChoices广告As always, take what you hear coming from the rumor mill with a grain of salt, but this report certainly makes some degree of sense. If Google wants to have this new smart speaker out the door in time for the holidays, it probably won’t be much longer before it’s officially confirmed – perhaps we’ll see it revealed alongside the rumored Pixel 3? Time will tell, so stay tuned.last_img read more

OnePlus first to get Snapdragon 855 as 2019 5G plans revealed

first_imgOnePlus will be the first company to offer Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 chipset, the company has confirmed today, with a new flagship coming next year. The news was announced by OnePlus’ Pete Lau at the Snapdragon Summit 2018, Qualcomm’s annual event where it previews its upcoming flagship mobile chipset and the technologies that go into it. Details of the new phone are slim. Indeed, all we really know is that it will be OnePlus’ 2019 flagship that uses the Snapdragon 855. Qualcomm has said that the chipset will include an all-new computer vision ISP along with a new, 4th generation multi-core AI Engine, which draws together the Adreno, Kryo, and Hexagon components of the SoC. The big question was whether the OnePlus 2019 flagship will support 5G. That’s been a big part of Qualcomm’s push with the Snapdragon 855, as carriers in the US and abroad prepare to light up their 5G networks for commercial service in 2019. OnePlus is no stranger to it, either.Indeed, in August 2018 the OnePlus 5G Lab conducted the first 5G call with Qualcomm’s hardware. The company has been working with carrier EE in the UK on 5G trials, and announced today a new strategic partnership to work together on 5G devices and services. The new OnePlus 5G flagship will be the first 5G device to launch in Europe on the EE network.AdChoices广告EE has already confirmed its first 5G launch cities. London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham, and Manchester will be in the first wave of locations to get 5G service. They’ll be joined by additional cities over the course of the year. That includes Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield. As for when, exactly, OnePlus’s 5G phone launch will happen, that hasn’t been pinned down. We’re expecting the first Snapdragon 855-based products to arrive on shelves in the first half of 2019, however, though whether they’ll have the Qualcomm X50 modem with its 5G support remains to be seen. Indeed, OnePlus could indeed opt to launch two versions of its new flagship – believed to be different from the current flagship OnePlus line, expected to next be joined by the OnePlus 7 – first with the X24 Gigabit LTE modem, and then following with a second version with 5G support later in the year. Story TimelineQualcomm Snapdragon 855 revealed as 5G flagshipQualcomm Snapdragon 855: Everything you need to knowlast_img read more

Safari on iOS 122 will put limits on motion sensor access for

first_imgIt has been a little over a week since Apple rolled out the first beta for iOS 12.2 and the upcoming release of the mobile platform is already proving to be a treasure trove of features. But while most of the ones that have surfaced focus on what Apple is adding, a new “feature” that has come to light is talking about what Apple is somewhat taking away. While the iOS version of the Safari web browser will still let websites access data coming from the iPhone or iPad gyroscope and accelerometer, users will have to actually give the app permission to do so. Presuming, of course, they’re even aware it’s disabled by default. AdChoices广告 The Web today is a far cry from the Web two to three years ago. Never mind the lingering existence of malicious ads, the explosion of what some call “Web 3.0” apps, or rampant violations of privacy. Web browsers these days can do things like play graphics-intensive games or be a window into virtual and augmented reality worlds. For the latter, they will need access to phones motion sensors, specifically the accelerometer and the gyroscope.Unfortunately, those seemingly innocent sensors can also become doorways into users’ lives. Since the permission to access sensor data is granted to the web browser and not specific websites, these websites can have nearly unrestricted access to that data. Apple is apparently putting a stop to its by introducing a new toggle option in Safari’s Privacy & Security settings. Called “Motion & Orientation Access”, the setting defaults to off and users will have to knowingly and explicitly enable it.While it might be a win for privacy, it has the potential to break some web experiences. Granted, sites that make use of phone motion sensors are still relatively few and far in between, so the potential for ruining users’ browsing is still pretty slim. That, however, could change in the near future and Apple will have to re-evaluate how it wants to implement this privacy setting.last_img read more

Nokia 9 PureView specs leaked and confirmed by Google itself

first_imgTo be fair, it’s nothing really that significant of an accidental leak, considering everything we’ve heard so far. But any confirmation, especially with Google as a source, is better than nothing. The entry for the Nokia 9, no “PureView” attached, appeared briefly on Google’s Android Enterprise Device Catalog and really contains just four bits of important information.That it would be running Android 9 Pie is a given and would have been a terrible blunder of HMD Global’s part if it didn’t. The 6.0-inch phone will have 128 GB of storage, on par with most flagships, but the 4 GB of RAM is sadly disappointing. Only Google seems to think we need no more than 4 GB these days.The entry does come with the low rest photo of the Nokia 9 shown above. Sadly, it shows only the front of the device, which is probably the least interesting side. But if leaks were correct about the Nokia 9’s thick top and bottom bezels, they are probably correct about the rest as well. In less than two weeks, one of this year’s most interesting phones will finally make its debut. Actually, it’s a long-overdue debut. HMD Global has long been rumored to be working on a smartphone with five lenses but, after missing last year’s window, it’s only now that it will finally go live. Much of the Nokia 9 PureView has already been leaked but few have been confirmed by an authoritative source. And what better source is there than Google itself, which has spilled some, but not all, of the beans for just a short while.last_img read more

Mazda CarPlay and Android Auto upgrade is how it should be done

first_imgWhile it may have been slow to join the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay party, therefore, Mazda’s approach has been far more flexible than that of most of its rivals. Typically, CarPlay and/or Android Auto are added as a cost-upgrade to new vehicles. Even if the infotainment system is unchanged in hardware from that of previous model year cars, automakers are generally loath to retroactively add it. Not so Mazda. Its upgrade will add both Apple and Google’s systems to model year 2014 or newer vehicles – which means cars sold all the way back to 2013, in fact – as long as they’re equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. Unfortunately it’s not just a case of installing new software. Instead, the upgrade package is a dealer-installed update. That’s because it involves both hardware and software, Mazda explains, in order to enable CarPlay and Android Auto. As a useful side-benefit, it will also leave those with the upgrade with a boosted, 2.1 amp USB port for swifter charging of the connected smartphone, together with the newest version of the Mazda Connect software. The upgrade is priced at $199 plus labor, though exactly how much you’ll pay depends on your dealership. Mazda began offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto earlier in 2018, with the launch of the new Mazda6 sedan. It shortly after added the technologies to the 2019 CX-9 SUV as options. Mazda Connect was designed from the outset with both hardware and software upgrades in mind. While the infotainment platform may not have the over-the-air software update flexibility that Tesla has popularized, its modular configuration does at least allow new functions to be added at a later point. Each feature has a module unit of its own, Mazda says. That’s been tapped to add things like remote unlock and app-based vehicle monitoring before now. It also allows select Mazda models and trims to offer features like head-up displays. Mazda has begun offering its long-anticipated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto upgrade for existing cars, offering drivers a straightforward way to bring the smartphone projection tech into their current vehicle. While the automaker began offering both Apple and Google’s systems in its most recent models earlier this year, it also bucked auto industry trends by promising an upgrade route that didn’t involve buying a whole new car. last_img read more

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder flaunt 40 flatsix

first_imgA mechanical limited-slip differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring is standard at the rear, and the ESC and traction control can be switched off in two stages if you’re feeling brave. 20-inch wheels with unique designs are standard, with 245/35 ZR 20 rubber at the front and 295/30 ZR 20 at the rear. The 718 Spyder has silver finish wheels and the GT4 has Satin Platinum as standard. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is included, with the automaker’s clever adaptive dampers. There are also helper springs on the rear axle, and ride height has been dropped by 1.18 inches over the standard 718 Boxster and Cayman. If you really want to get involved, you can manually adjust the camber, toe, ride height, and anti-roll bar settings. AdChoices广告Porsche has cherry-picked some of the new 718 duo’s parts from elsewhere in its line-up, too. The front axle, for example, has been borrowed from the 2018 911 GT3, and paired with a custom designed rear axle. The 911 GT3 also donates its brakes, with cast iron rotors clocking in at 380mm at both the front and the rear. Go wild with the options list, however, and you can upgrade to the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system. That adds larger rotors – 410mm at the front, and 390mm at the rear – but also switches to a ceramic composite material. They’re roughly half the weight of the standard brakes. It’s naturally-aspirated, as you’d imaging, and not short on power or torque, either. 414 horsepower and 309 lb-ft are nothing to be ashamed of, while the flat-six can rev all the way up to 8,000 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and has an “Auto Blip” option that can automatically match the gearbox and engine speeds when you downshift. If you’d prefer otherwise, you can turn that off instead. Top speed is 188 mph in the GT4, with the Spyder dipping just 1 mph from that figure by virtue of its soft-top hood. Story TimelinePorsche 718 Cayman spotted winter testing tipped for a 4.0L flat-sixNew Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport comes in two flavors Other exterior changes include a front spoiler lip with recessed model designation, a central air outlet ahead of the front luggage compartment lid, and tinted taillights. There’s a new diffuser around the new sport exhaust system, and a new, manually adjustable rear wing on the GT4. The GT4 also gets side intakes with extra side blades. The 718 Spyder’s top is manually operated.Inside, there’s a 14.1-inch diameter sports steering wheel, with a black center marker added in the GT4. Porsche has trimmed the gear shifter, too, making it 0.39-inches shorter than in the regular 718. Sport Seats Plus – with extra side bolstering and Alcantara trim in the middle – are standard. Air conditioning and the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system – with Sound Package Plus – are standard, though you’ll have to pay extra for navigation, Porsche Connect, or Apple CarPlay. The 718 Cayman GT4 gets Brushed Aluminum interior trim, while the 718 Spyder has exterior color-matching trim. Full bucket seats and 18-way electrically adjustable Adaptive Sport Seats Plus are options.Porsche says the 2020 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder should arrive in US dealerships in Spring 2020. They’re available to order now, though, priced from $96,300 for the 718 Spyder and from $99,200 for the 718 Cayman GT4, both before $1,250 destination. A new Porsche is invariably something special, and purists are likely to be mighty curious about the new 2020 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder. Arriving with the biggest horsepower numbers of any 718 series to-date, the coupe and convertible each use a new 4.0-liter flat-six engine. 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder Gallerylast_img read more

The Bentley EXP 100 GT is an unexpectedly real vision of 2035

first_imgFully-electric, fully-engagingThe EXP 100 GT may be a concept, but that’s not to say Bentley’s vision of electrification isn’t also a work in progress for production cars. Just recently we drove the first hybrid in Bentley’s history, for example, the 2020 Bentayga Hybrid. By the end of 2023, the automaker says, every car in its line-up will have an electrified version of some sort. Things will get even more interesting by 2025. That’s the point by which the British carmaker promises its first all-electric vehicle will be unveiled. That car could do worse than to borrow the EXP 100 GT’s drivetrain. Capable of 435 miles on a single charge, the batteries power four motors: one for each wheel. 0-60 mph arrives in under 2.5 seconds, and the EV will keep going all the way to 186 mph. Not bad for something weighing close to 4,200 pounds. Devoting a motor to each wheel pays some significant dividends. For a start it means all the steam train-like torque a Bentley is known for, the EXP 100 GT mustering 1,106 lb-ft in total. However it also allows the automaker to do full torque vectoring, shifting power front to back as well as side to side, depending on traction and how aggressively you take a corner. That’s assuming you’re doing the driving, mind. The EXP 100 GT also offers a self-driving mode, the Bentley Personal Assistant becoming your chauffeur. Its routes don’t only take you from A to B, but include suggestions for experiences along the way. A car that morphs and evolvesSome of the Bentley EXP 100 GT’s features are more futuristic than others. The Active Aero Wheels, for example, can morph between shapes suited to maximum efficiency or to boost performance. They’re shod with Intelligent Tires that can adapt their contact patches with the road based on weather conditions or the drive mode. Meanwhile in the center of the cabin there’s a cartridge system, that’s part of what Bentley envisages as a potential luxury subscription service. Alongside a purified water decanter and crystal glasses, there’s a system whereby different cartridges can be loaded in from a storage area under the hood. That could be anything from a special bento box through to mementos from a particular trip. Even the seating can change, depending on how you want to use your grand tourer. In two-seat mode, the front seats push back and fold out into loungers, the steering wheel retracting into the front bulkhead as the AI handles more monotonous routes. Alternatively, though, the seats can pull forward and reveal two rear chairs, giving the EXP 100 GT space for four. Another 100 years of BentleyIt probably goes without saying that the automaker has no current plans to build a production version of the EXP 100 GT. Tempting as it might be to view the concept as a blueprint for a next-generation Continental GT, it’s really more of a visualization of some of the themes the automaker expects to be important in the coming decades. Not to mention a justification for why luxury car companies like Bentley will still be important and relevant in the driverless years to come. Key to that is engagement. “The Bentley EXP 100 GT represents the kind of cars we want to make in the future,” Stefan Sielaff, Director of Design at the carmaker, says of the concept. “Like those iconic Bentleys of the past, this car connects with its passengers’ emotions and helps them experience and safeguard the memories of the really extraordinary journeys they take.”What it isn’t, though, is a pure flight of fancy. “Nearly everything in the car has a production roadmap,” interior design chief Brett says of the concept. “The reality is that everything had a roadmap developed. Now some of those things are taking some more jumps in technology … and other things are actually more about tomorrow, and we already have development programs in place for them.”By example, Boydell points to the adaptive seats which adjust their multiple sections to dynamically support the occupant. “So the technology that we’re showing on the seats, where we have individual cell technology that adapts to all of your form, that’s actually something we’re developing,” he explains. “So that’s very much literally on a roadmap we’re working on right now.”The reality, Boydell highlights, is that while 2035 might still feel like some way out, in automotive terms it’s just two car cycles. That cadence for the EXP 100 GT was very intentionally selected: while the roadmap for all of the technology demonstrated may not culminate at the same time, Bentley is more confident than most concept-presenting automakers tend to be that what we see here is achievable. Not bad for a company steeped in classic luxury, and a vision of Bentley that looks more forward than it does back. Bentley EXP 100 GT Gallery When it’s your 100th birthday you celebrate, and if you’re Bentley that means an electric car concept as lavish as it is technologically promising. Unveiled at the automaker’s Crewe factory today, the Bentley EXP 100 GT is the company’s vision of what luxury mobility will be in 2035, in an age company founder W.O. Bentley could hardly have imagined. Along the way the car checks off some of the must-haves of modern concepts: electrification, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and shared services. Unsurprisingly, though, it does it in a way that’s distinctly… Bentley. Classic Bentley, made throughly modernThe Bentley Continental is arguably the car that best defines the automaker. A Grand Tourer intended for effortless long-distance travel, it’s the epitome of power, luxury, and craftsmanship. Now, in the EXP 100 GT, it has a high-tech descendent. center_img Hand gestures can be used to control the AI, and switch between five different Grand Tourer modes. Enhance, for instance, promises to bring qualities of the outside – like light, sound, and even smell and air quality – into the EXP 100 GT, blurring the lines between coupe and convertible. Cocoon goes the opposite way, turning the glass opaque and creating a protective space filtered from the outside. Undulating air vents breathe out purified air, while the Bentley Personal Assistant tracks metrics like CO2 levels in the cabin. If the scent of the outside isn’t sufficiently beguiling, there’s a special fragrance for the car, co-created with 12.29, with hints of sandalwood and fresh moss. Capture records key events from inside and outside of the car, building a travelogue of the EXP 100 GT’s history. Re-Live then replays those highlights. Finally, there’s Customise, which allows different elements of the other four modes to be woven together by the owner. As for the controls, there’s a combination of tactile physical knobs and dials, and flexible digital panels. The rotary switchgear is milled from copper and aluminum, while transparent OLED panels are embedded in the doors. There’s a large entertainment screen in the front, intended to show movies and other content while the EXP 100 GT is driving itself. What this isn’t is a vision of the future where cars retire into the background. The EXP 100 GT is nothing if not dramatic: vast doors over 6.5 feet long, which open out and then up like hornet wings; glistening copper and aluminum; and an illuminated, animated grille and mascot. Bentley even throws in a 3D OLED screen on the back.AdChoices广告You couldn’t mistake it for anything other than a Bentley, certainly. The grille is overlapped by round headlamps, reminiscent of the Bentley Blower, while the muscular haunches at the rear are a visual theme started by the R-Type Continental and present on the Continental GT today. It has presence, too. Partly that’s down to the sheer scale: at 19 feet long and almost 8 feet wide, this is no small car. Even without a production vehicle alongside to give the size some context, it’s obvious that the EXT 100 GT’s designers went the “bigger is better” route. However it’s detailing like the paintwork too, a new color Bentley has dubbed “Compass” which uses a pigment made from rice husk ash, a by-product of the rice industry. Lighting plays a key role. The matrix grille and Flying B mascot illuminate and animate as you get close, waves of light flooding across them and then up, along the central spine of the hood and into the cabin. At the rear, the 3D OLED panel is blended with the lamps. Sustainable luxuryBentley says it designed the EXP 100 GT from the inside-out, its cabin as much a love-letter to the capabilities of its craftspeople as it is a showcase of their talents. There’s wood, leather, and metal, of course, but constructed in new and interesting ways, and coming from sustainable sources.The Bridge of Weir leather, for example, is sourced from Scotland and comes in a Super Natural finish; it sits alongside a bio-based leather-like material developed for Bentley, however, made from the by-products of wine-making. They’re embroidered with a special pattern by Hand and Lock, a British company using techniques dating back to 1767, which help them seamlessly flow into the woodwork. That wood is Copper Infused Riverwood, that comes from naturally fallen trees that have been preserved for 5,000 years in peat bogs, lakes, and rivers. Sustainably harvested, it’s sourced from The Fenland Black Oak Project. Previously, Brett Boydell, Head of Interior Design explained to me, that wood was getting burnt after it was dug up. Bentley’s team recognized its key qualities, however – it’s exceptionally dense, for example, and so can be readily carved and used in structural ways such as in the seats – and pretty much snapped up all the usable pieces. A glass roof is embedded with prisms that can gather light and then pass it into the cabin via fiber optics. Ambient lighting, meanwhile, is accompanied by projection mapping onto the trim panels, such as the doors. The Bentley Personal Assistant is embodied by a piece of illuminated crystal embedded into the dashboard, with hand-cut sections that are supposed to be reminiscent of neurons firing.Bentley Personal AssistantBentley’s AI is a digital butler and chauffeur for 2035, designed to learn from the passenger’s needs and pre-empt them as much as possible. It can adjust the seating position automatically, for instance, reacting to how someone is sitting, or whether the EXP 100 GT is being driven or in autonomous mode. Biometric sensing includes eye and head movement, along with blood pressure.last_img read more

State Roundup Medicaid Costs Could Affect State Surpluses Calif Gets C For

first_imgState Roundup: Medicaid Costs Could Affect State Surpluses; Calif. Gets ‘C’ For Dental Care A selection of health policy stories from states across the country, including New York, California, Oregon, Florida and Massachusetts.Stateline: Surpluses Await Some States In 2013 SessionsIn Tennessee, Republican governor Bill Haslam has said that much of the state’s $580 million surplus is already spent. Obamacare is expected to increase enrollment in TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, by more than 60,000 Tennesseans. … At the same time, Texas has a $8.8 billion surplus and more than $8 billion in its rainy day fund, but faces a staggering $4.3 billion hole in its Medicaid budget (Prah, 1/8).California Healthline: More California Kids Need Sealant, Study SaysA national study released today by the Pew Center on the States, part of the Pew Charitable Trusts, grades every state’s level of adherence to a basic preventive dental procedure for children — the application of dental sealant. California earned a “C.” Dental sealant is vital for children, particularly for youngsters who don’t get regular dental care, according to Bill Maas, policy advisor to the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign (Gorn, 1/8). The New York Times: Cuomo Plans New Rules In Fight Against SepsisGov. Andrew M. Cuomo will announce in his State of the State Message this week that every hospital in New York must adopt aggressive procedures for identifying sepsis in patients, including the use of a countdown clock to begin treatment within an hour of spotting it, a state official said. The new steps could save 5,000 to 8,000 lives annually, state health officials say, and reduce the long-term costs of the condition (Dwyer, 1/7).The Oregonian: Health Benefit Changes On Tap For State Meeting Tuesday In PortlandUnder the federal Affordable Care Act, health insurance policies for small businesses and individuals buying their own coverage will be sold through exchanges that amount to online marketplaces. The policies must meet new minimum standards such as offering maternity and mental health coverage. On Tuesday members of the Oregon Health Policy Board are poised to adopt recommendations concerning these standards, called essential health benefits. The beefed-up standards are among changes expected in the individual market, including premium hikes for some (Budnick, 1/7). California Healthline: Dave Jones Reflects On 2nd Year, Stresses Need For Rate RegulationAfter his second year as California Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones sat down with California Healthline to talk about health insurance rate regulation, successes of the Department of Insurance over the past couple years and the department’s role in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. … “I’m very concerned there’s a lot of magical thinking going on. Look at the evidence. Look at what happened in Massachusetts. It’s very clear the Affordable Care Act, in and of itself, is not going to magically reduce rates” (Gorn, 1/7).The Miami Herald: Parents Of Disabled Kids Blast Florida CareTwice in the past year, state health administrators cut the number of hours caregivers assisted Alex Perez’s severely disabled son at his Westchester home. Both times, the child’s pediatrician was left wondering why the state had reduced the care he had prescribed for the boy. … Perez, whose 13-year-old son, Christian, suffers from cerebral palsy and failure to thrive, was one of a dozen parents and advocates who spoke to several lawmakers and other community leaders Monday night at the meeting called to address the needs of Florida children with severe disabilities and life-threatening medical conditions (Marbin Miller, 1/7). Boston Globe: Meals For Medical Clients Back On The TableBill Brady said he lost 20 percent of his restaurant sales four years ago after Massachusetts put in place stringent new rules preventing drug companies from taking doctors out for meals. … Last fall, however, the state relaxed the restrictions, and Brady, along with other restaurateurs, is counting on a return of the lucrative drug company business (Shemkus, 1/8). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Viewpoints Health Care Price Gouging Health Law Pushing Employers To Cut Workers

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Wall Street Journal’s Corporate Intelligence: America’s Doctors Feel The Heat Steven Brill’s cover story on the Looking Glass world of healthcare pricing may be the longest article Time Magazine has ever published, but more importantly, it is a fresh sign that the medical-industrial complex should be worried as the deadline for launching Obamacare rolls closer (Joseph B. White, 2/22). Bloomberg: Bringing Down Health-Care Costs Isn’t Always ComplicatedAccustomed as we are to thinking of hospitals as beneficent providers of lifesaving and often charitable care, it comes as a shock to learn how many are engaging in, not to put too fine a point on it, price gouging. As Steven Brill shows in his cover story in this weeks’ Time magazine, nonprofit hospitals, even more than for-profit ones, chase 12 percent profit margins with eye-popping markups on everything from cardio stress tests to gauze pads (2/24).Reuters: Don’t Let Doctors’ Incomes Derail Healthcare-Cost ReformIn his conclusion, Brill says — again, without adducing any evidence whatsoever — that “we’ve squeezed the doctors who don’t own their own clinics, don’t work as drug or device consultants or don’t otherwise game a system that is so game able”. It’s a bit weird, the degree to which Brill cares so greatly about keeping doctors’ salaries high: he certainly doesn’t think the same way about teachers (Felix Salmon, 2/24).Slate: Steven Brill’s Opus on Health Care The analytic core of the article shows that when it comes to hospital prices, who pays determines how high the price is. When an individual patient comes through the door of a hospital for treatment, he or she is subjected to wild price gouging. … No insurer worth anything would actually pay the crazy-high rates hospitals charge to individuals. But in most markets, the hospitals have more bargaining leverage than the insurance companies, so there’s still ample gouging. The best bargainer of all is Medicare, which is huge and can force hospitals to accept something much closer to marginal cost pricing, although even this is undermined in key areas (prescription drugs, for example) by interest group lobbying (Matthew Yglesias, 2/22). The New York Times: Overcoming Obstacles To Better Health CareUnfortunately, no single change will transform our health care delivery system into one that we can afford. We are going to have to try lots of new approaches that depart from standard practices. I have several suggestions that I think would help, including an experiment that would require a change in either state or federal regulations: giving some high-quality health care providers the opportunity to practice in a world without malpractice lawsuits (Richard H. Thaler, 2/23).The Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare And The ’29ers’ Welcome to the strange new world of small-business hiring under ObamaCare. The law requires firms with 50 or more “full-time equivalent workers” to offer health plans to employees who work more than 30 hours a week. (The law says “equivalent” because two 15 hour a week workers equal one full-time worker.) Employers that pass the 50-employee threshold and don’t offer insurance face a $2,000 penalty for each uncovered worker beyond 30 employees. So by hiring the 50th worker, the firm pays a penalty on the previous 20 as well (2/22).USA Today: Medicare Spending Makes Me Ill I’m no expert on Medicare, but I’ve seen enough recently of what it’s paying for to gain a clear and troubling insight into why it’s projected to go broke in just 11 more years. What I’ve witnessed makes me want to scream a plea that when the politicians in Washington debate entitlement reform in the coming weeks, they’ll muster enough backbone to do something about it (Don Campbell, 2/24). Los Angeles Times: D.C. Doubles Down On The SequesterMost Americans do want to cut federal spending in general. But when it comes to individual programs, they want to protect them. The Pew poll found that a majority favored cuts in only one area: foreign aid. Most respondents didn’t want cuts in education, healthcare, unemployment benefits or defense. That’s why the administration has offered deliberately dramatic forecasts of what spending cuts could mean, from canceled military operations and reduced Border Patrol surveillance to fewer AIDS tests, fewer children in Head Start and even potential meat (Doyle McManus, 2/24). The New York Times: Violent, Drunk and Holding a GunBut a focus on mass murder, while critical, does not get at the broader issue of gun violence, including the hundreds of single-victim murders, suicides, nonfatal shootings and other gun crimes that occur daily in the United States. And focusing on the mentally ill, most of whom are not violent, overlooks people who are at demonstrably increased risk of committing violent crimes but are not barred by federal law from buying and having guns. These would include people who have been convicted of violent misdemeanors including assaults, and those who are alcohol abusers. Unless guns are also kept from these high-risk people, preventable gun violence will continue (2/23).The New York Times: The Next Frontier Is Inside Your BrainThe Obama administration is planning a multiyear research effort to produce an “activity map” that would show in unprecedented detail the workings of the human brain, the most complex organ in the body. It is a breathtaking goal at a time when Washington, hobbled by partisan gridlock and deficit worries, seems unable to launch any major new programs (Philip M. Boffey, 2/23).Arizona Republic: Flawed System Needs ReformSeverely troubled. Addicted. Emotionally unstable. These words describe some of Arizona’s most challenged youths. In-depth reporting by The Arizona Republic’s Craig Harris and Rob O’Dell and, earlier, Channel 12’s Wendy Halloran found the residential treatment centers where some of these kids wind up have their own challenges. In their series of investigative stories that concludes today, Harris and O’Dell found lax oversight, poor record-keeping, and a lack of transparency about what goes on inside the facilities. There are also questions about whether residential treatment is the best option for these troubled kids  (2/23).  Viewpoints: Health Care ‘Price Gouging;’ Health Law Pushing Employers To Cut Workers’ Hours; Medicare Spending Must Be Tamedlast_img read more

Viewpoints Actuaries Report Validates Critics Skepticism Of Law Campaign To Repeal Medical

first_imgViewpoints: Actuaries Report Validates Critics’ Skepticism Of Law; Campaign To Repeal Medical Devices Tax Is Paying Off This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. USA Today: ObamaCare Fails To Keep Promises The non-partisan Society of Actuaries last week said that because of Obamacare, insurers could pay an average of 32% more for medical claims. Those costs will be passed onto those who buy insurance on the individual market in the form of dramatically higher premiums. The new report is further proof that this law is failing to deliver on its promises — and that the opponents were right to be skeptical (Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 3/31). The New York Times: One Industry’s Hold On The Senate Ever since Congress included a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices in President Obama’s health care reform law in 2009, there has been a forceful and well-financed campaign to repeal the tax — waged, naturally, by the medical device industry. It has donated generously to lawmakers and candidates, taken them on tours of their plants and spent tens of millions in lobbying. The effort is paying off (4/1). Politico: Why Texas Should Not Expand Medicaid America is facing an entitlement spending crisis, with unfunded liabilities for Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid approaching $100 trillion. This is an outrageous situation that threatens our fiscal and economic well-being as a country. And few brave souls are tackling these problems to find real solutions. Maybe we should start with the smallest of the big three entitlement programs: Medicaid. … Here in Texas, the Medicaid program truly needs fundamental reform. The status quo leaves enrollees with inadequate access to providers and poor health outcomes. Part of the reason for this is that many Texas physicians, particularly specialists, won’t accept Medicaid patients because payments from the state aren’t even enough to cover the cost of providing care (Dick Armey and Arlene Wohlgemuth, 4/1).Los Angeles Times: Don’t Cut Lifesaving Dollars For the last several years, the federal budget for the National Institutes of Health, the world’s largest source of basic research funding, has remained at about $30 billion a year. If inflation is factored into the numbers, funding has decreased since 2002. The 2012 NIH budget was $30.7 billion, a $299-million increase over 2011 levels, but accounting for only about 1.25% of all tax revenue collected in 2012. The sequestration enacted March 1 cut the NIH budget 5.1%, a loss of $1.6 billion annually. … But whatever the problems with current funding structures, the fact remains that public support for basic science is inherent to medical progress (Jessica Wapner, 4/2). Kansas City Star: Should Companies Play Or Pay On Affordable Care Act?November’s presidential election made it clear that the Affordable Care Act would, indeed, be the law of the land. Early the day after the election, phones at our law office started ringing. The question on callers’ minds: Should my company “play” by providing employees “affordable” health insurance coverage, or should we pay the penalty of $2,000 per employee per year beginning in 2014? For companies with more than 50 employees, if the penalty is less costly, paying the fine and turning employees over to the state or federal exchange for health benefits might seem the obvious choice. But it isn’t quite that simple. (Jim Holland, 4/2).  Medpage Today: Match Day Highlights Growing Doctor ShortageMedicare has written big checks when it comes to graduate medical education (GME). The program spends approximately $3 billion each year to assist in training doctors. … All told, Medicare spends $15 billion to $20 billion annually on training. The result of this investment, most critics agree, produces some of the best-trained physicians in the world. But is it worth the cost at a time when the system has come under fire for its huge price tag and the relatively low number of doctors who will eventually directly treat the elderly? (John Wasik, 4/1).last_img read more