UP Brass Industrys Sheen Dulls Artisans and Traders Count GST Note Ban

first_img Brass industryDemonetisationGSTLok Sabha elections 2019 First Published: April 14, 2019, 2:59 PM IST Moradabad (UP): The room is a palette of gloom, the furnace throwing an orange glow on the soot covered walls and greenish, yellow hot metal being poured into a cast by two artisans painstakingly crafting brass lamps.Outside, the sun shines bright and hot and the din of campaigning ahead of elections on April 23 in this western Uttar Pradesh constituency rises in crescendo. But Imran and Mohammed Fazal continue to focus on the job at hand in the airless room, a rickety table fan, which is also pumping air in the furnace, their only relief from the stifling heat.It’s an 11-hour work day but there is little choice.With GST, demonetisation and the rising cost of raw material pushing Moradabad’s famed Rs 7,000 crore brass industry into crisis, jobs are scarce and the two don’t want to take a chance.An estimated 10 lakh people are dependent on the industry, a valuable pocket of votes for political parties.Imran, who breaks into an old Mohammed Rafi song, as he carefully pours liquid metal into moulds, uses an app, Star Maker, to fine tune his singing skills and Facebook and WhatsApp to remain connected with developments in the country.” My father used to do it, now I do it. After GST, the cost of raw material like coal and sand has shot up. After deducting costs, we get just Rs 300 a day as against Rs 500 before GST and demonetisation,”he said.November 8, 2016, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of high value currency notes, was a turning point for the brass industry of Peetal Nagari, as Moradabad is often known, say industry insiders.And their vote will depend on which candidate offers them a turnaround back to better times, they say.According to Rahat Ali Ansari, who runs several small units in Moradabad, demand dipped by almost 50 per cent after demonetisation, leaving thousands of artisans unemployed. Many picked up alternative livelihoods like driving e-rickshaws food stalls, became vegetable vendors or migrated to other locations like Kerala and Odisha.Officials estimate that over Rs 7,000 crore worth of brass items are produced in Moradabad. However, there is no study to give an authentic figure of a dip in the industry in recent years.The brass industry is primarily an unorganised sector dependent on exporters, karkhanedars (people who bring the work from exporter) and artisans who run their small specialised factories.”For example, if an exporter wants 2,000 pieces of a particular design, he will call the karkhanedar who will assess the design element. After deciding on it, the person will allocate work to different artisans based on their specialties,” explained Syed Ganim Miyan of the Fair Trade Primary Producers Association. From designing to sand casting to carving and polishing, brass art passes through 15-20 different artisans who work in small, closed factories in the narrow bylanes of Moradabad.Each one brings a specialisation to the brass item, from the lamps, or deepams’, of Kerala to ashtrays and more, he added.The industry, which has about 10 lakh people dependent on it, including those providing ancillary services, is cash intensive as artisans are paid in cash on the basis of number of pieces finished by them, Ganim said. Demonetisation, say experts, was a huge blow to the industry which was still trying to come to terms with global recession started in 2008.Machines lie unused in many factories.”We have a capacity of six people but as you can see only two of us are working. The rising cost of raw material and drop in demand leaves very little margin,” said Javed, a worker in one unit.He added most artisans have left the trade and there is no one to work the machines. “Whatever was left was hit hard by GST. Although businessmen below Rs 40 lakh of income are exempted, the government asks traders to get registered and obtain a GST number. Once the number is obtained, the person is supposed to file regular returns or else face a penalty,” Nauman Mansoori, president of the Handicraft Development Society, told PTI. He said most artisans are barely literate, leaving them dependent on professionals to file returns. The charge is anywhere between Rs 2,000-5,000 and most artisans avoid taking a GST number.Ask how the community of brass workers and traders will vote on April 23 and there is no one answer.Ganim and Ansari proudly show on YouTube a video of Congress president Rahul Gandhi who held an interaction with artisans of Moradabad in 2014.”We are looking at central figures–Rahul and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi. We are evaluating the pros and cons of having either one as next leader of this country. We interacted with Rahul and he understood our problems, so he remains a favourite but the community is yet to make its mind,” Ansari said.ST Hasan, a former mayor and local doctor who is contesting on an SP- BSP-RLD alliance ticket and was a runner up in the 2014 election, has an advantage as he is a local, say some townspeople. But it has to be ascertained if he is effective at the national level, they add. Hasan is challenging sitting BJP MP Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar who is pinning hopes on the division of Muslim votes. Muslims comprise about about 47 per cent of the electorate in the constituency. Also in the running is Congress’ Imran Pratapgarhi, a young fiery poet whose poems on missing JNU student Najeeb, lynchings and madrassas, have popularised him on social media. last_img read more

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Audiences Care About Good Stories Not Bankable Stars Says Diljit Dosanjh

first_img diljit dosanjhDiljit dosanjh filmsDiljit Dosanjh interviewDiljit Dosanjh Shadaa First Published: May 26, 2019, 10:00 AM IST Actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh, who is gearing up for the release of his forthcoming Punjabi film titled Shadaa, says whether it is Bollywood or Punjabi films, the audience comes to watch a story and good characters rather than a star, so he does not believe in the term “bankable star”.Diljit, who is already an established star in the Punjabi music and film industries, has also managed to make his space in Bollywood. On whether popularity pan India has made him a bankable star in Punjabi films, he told IANS, “There is no such thing as a bankable star. The audience comes to see movies, stories and characters that entertain and engage them, so audiences shower immense love on the films that give them these experiences.” “When they don’t shower the same love on the films I do, then I immediately know that I have to go back and work harder on my next film to hopefully provide them with the entertainment and engagement they come to the movies for,” added the actor, who will be seen opposite Neeru Bajwa in Shadaa, which has been directed by Jagdeep Sidhu.Diljit also has two Bollywood films Arjun Patiala and Good News in his kitty. On whether his approach towards Punjabi films has changed after his success in Bollywood, he said, “Both the industries have different markets and audiences. Punjabi audiences like a certain flavour in their cinema and Hindi audiences like a certain flavour. “Yes, there is an overlap in both but when I set out to make a Punjabi film, I keep Punjabi audiences’ palate in the foreground and pick stories, characters and music that intrinsically cater to their sensibilities,” he said.”So my career in Bollywood hasn’t changed that one bit… when I make a Punjabi film, I always feel at home as it’s my world, my space, my language and that’s the best feeling in the world… to feel at home. But having said that the Hindi film industry has also welcomed me with open arms and I’m slowly creating a place for myself here and that’s also a very warm feeling,” he added.Follow @News18Movies for more. last_img read more

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After Ahmedabad Theme Park Mishap Here Are 6 Times When Fun Rides

first_img Adlabs Imagica: The theme park near Mumbai that was launched in 2013 has seen at least two major accidents since being opened to the public. In 2014, mother-daughter duo suffered severe injuries when a roller coaster they were seated on came to a sudden halt and tilted to the side. In 2015 a four-year-old girl drowned in a wave pool at Imagica’s water park. Queensland Amusement Park: Twelve people escaped death in drop tower joyride crash at Chennai’s Queensland Amusement Park on June 18, following which the theme park has been temporarily shut down. Videos doing the rounds on social media show, in almost a Final Destination-style moment, the 12 people sitting being dropped to the bottom with no support when the cables of the ride snapped.Thunder River Rapids: Four people got killed when a raft flipped over at the Dreamworld amusement park in Australia’s Gold Coast in 2016, with park management permanently closing the water ride after the accident.Tennessee Ferris wheel: Three young girls were seriously injured at a Tennessee county fair when the ferris wheel basket they were sitting in flipped and sent them falling 14 metres to the ground. One of the girls suffered severe brain injury from the fall.Fujin Raijin II Roller Coaster at Expoland – Osaka, Japan: On May 5, 2007, the Fujin Raijin II roller coaster was derailed, and cars went flying off the tracks with a 19-year-old university student getting killed, and 19 others getting injured.Tsunami roller-coaster: Ten people including eight children were injured when a roller-coaster they were riding at M&D’s theme park in Scotland derailed and crashed into a children’s ride below.From being flipped to getting derailed, a look at past amusement park ride accidents show that a lot of times faulty mechanisms were the reasons for fatality. Mechanical glitches and accidents are not unheard of, that coupled with visitors not paying heed to ride instructions, often lead to fatal consequences. In another adventure park mishap, two people died and 26 got injured when a joyride broke on Sunday afternoon at an theme park in Ahmedabad. Although the FSL team is still investigating the case, proper treatment is being given to the injured. As horrific as it may sound and look, this is not the first time that such an accident of this scale has happened. Back in 2017, a Facebook post of a Delhi resident Astha Jain brought to light a horrific incident at the Worlds of Wonder amusement park in Noida when a man allegedly fell off a ride called Feedback after its safety harness around his shoulder snapped. That is not all, according to a TOI report, 26-year-old woman’s scalp was ripped off when her hair got entangled in a go-cart motor in a Rohini amusement park.Amusement Park accidents are not a rarity:center_img accidentAdlabs imagicaAhmedabadaustralia First Published: July 14, 2019, 8:45 PM IST | Edited by: Karan Anandlast_img read more

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Hulu chief says Disney is about to give it a serious original

first_img Editors’ Recommendations Hulu announced Tuesday that more original programming will likely come to the streaming service after Disney took full control of it from Comcast in May. “When you look at the capacity inside of the Walt Disney Company to create content, the IP that’s there, the access we’ll have with that is, you know, terrific,” Hulu CEO Randy Freer said in an interview with CNBC.Hulu already has its own original content, such as the award-winning drama, The Handmaid’s Tale, along with Shrill, The Act, Veronica Mars and more. Last month, Hulu announced more original programming would debut on the streaming service, like an animated series geared towards kids, two live-action Marvel series and a few food-centric programs. Other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have invested heavily in original content for years. The Netflix Original film Roma won three Academy Awards this year and Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has won a Golden Globe and an Emmy. Netflix was the first to break the barrier for streaming services after House of Cards won the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series in 2013.Original content is big business for streaming services that want to set themselves apart. WarnerMedia is reportedly on the verge of closing a $500 million deal with J.J. Abrams to create original content for its own streaming service.Viewers can already stream TV classics and film favorites, but as these outlets push out more new and original content of their own, cable TV could become even more obsolete when it comes to people tuning into the latest binge-worthy and award-winning shows and movies. With Disney now stepping in to fully control Hulu’s content, the entertainment giant might bump up Hulu’s ranks in the streaming game. What’s not clear is how Hulu factors into Disney’s plans for Disney+, the streaming service coming in November that will have original Marvel, Disney and Star Wars shows.What Netflix and Amazon Prime Video don’t have is Hulu’s live-streaming package (including live sports). With the addition of Disney’s major assistance creating more content, Hulu might become a surprising leader in the streaming wars. How does Hulu work? Here’s everything you need to know Disney+: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants Hulu vs. Amazon Prime Video: Which streaming service is best for you? The best shows on Hulu right now (July 2019)last_img read more

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Eat up This robot is built to feed dinner to people who

first_imgEric Johnson/University of WashingtonRobots can already cook for us. But what about helping us eat?Engineers at the University of Washington have developed a robot that can feed people who struggle to feed themselves. Powered by an artificial intelligence algorithm, the system detects pieces of food on a plate, stabs them with a fork, and transports the morsels to a person’s mouth.The project was first motivated by a trip that Siddhartha Srinivasa, UW engineer and lead researcher, took six years ago to a rehab institute, where a young girl asked him to develop a robot that would let her eat by herself. After meeting with caregivers and other people with mobility impairments, Srinivasa and his team recognized the broad need for an autonomous feeding system and set out to create one.“The system is a robot arm … integrated with a wrist-mounted camera, a tactile sensor on the fingers, and a fork gripped by the two fingers,” Gilwoo Lee, a UW doctoral student who worked on the project, told Digital Trends.When in use, the arm, which is mounted on a user’s wheelchair, prompts its user to select an item that she would like to eat. The system then performs some calculations, running data through a set of algorithms, to determine the food type and “skewering position,” or the angle at which the arm should stab the food. Through trials, Lee, Srinivasa, and their colleagues found out that the act of eating often entails orienting various foods differently on a fork. For example, stabbing a strawberry near the tip and tilting it towards the person’s mouth helps them eat it more easily.“Based on the food identity and the skewering position, the robot moves down to skewer an item, executing the most successful skewering strategy tailored for each item,” Lee explained. “Once the item is skewered, the arm moves around to deliver the food to the person sitting in the wheelchair. During this time, the camera keeps detecting the person’s face and delivers the food close to the mouth. The system then waits until the person has taken a bite or eats the whole food, and then repeats.”The researchers are testing their technology with caregivers and patients in assisted living facilities to make it more fit users’ needs more precisely.A paper detailing part of the project was published recently in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. Editors’ Recommendations Cosmic dust feeds star formation in this week’s Hubble image The promise and pitfalls of using robots to care for the elderly A cardiac arrest-detecting smart speaker could save your life This robot arm for a wheelchair does everything from open doors to apply makeup MIT whiz kids got a robot to take on the viral #BottleCapChallengelast_img read more

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An unknown number of Sprint customers had their personal info stolen by

first_img The T-Mobile/Sprint merger: Everything you need to know Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know about it The $1,300 Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is here: What you need to know Sprint Unlimited Kickstart is a service plan that’s actually worth switching for The best cell phone plans of 2019 Editors’ Recommendations Hackers stole an unknown number of Sprint users’ data after breaching the Samsung.com “add a line” website, according to a letter Sprint sent to impacted customers. “The personal information of yours that may have been viewed includes the following: phone number, device type, device ID, monthly recurring charges, subscriber ID, account number, account creation date, upgrade eligibility, first and last name, billing address and add-on services,” the letter said. The story was first reported by ZDNet.Sprint said that they were informed of the unauthorized access on June 22. The company added that the information that was accessed did not pose a “substantial risk of fraud or identity theft,” although the company did include a list of actions customers could take if they felt that their information was comprised by hackers, including reviewing credit scores and purchases, filing a police report, or closing accounts that could have been tampered with. A spokesperson for Sprint told Digital Trends that credit card numbers and social security numbers were encrypted and not compromised.“Because Sprint takes this matter, and all matters involving our customers’ privacy, very seriously, in addition to the initial customer notification, Sprint is taking the extra step of separately sending letters to impacted customers to remind them to update their existing PINs and that a dedicated Care Team has been established for assistance,” the spokesperson said. “As a precautionary measure, we have also provided information on tools and resources that will help our customers safeguard their personal information.”The letter also said that all Sprint rescued all compromised accounts as of June 25 by resetting customers’ PIN codes. There is no information on the exact number of accounts that were breached, the date or date range that the hacks occurred and if any customers’ account details were modified by the hackers. According to Sprint’s website, the network serves 54.5 million customers. Sprint carries over 10 models of Samsung phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Samsung Galaxy Note9.  Digital Trends reached out to Samsung, who told us they were aware of the breach and take their users’ security seriously.“We recently detected fraudulent attempts to access Sprint user account information via Samsung.com, using Sprint login credentials that were not obtained from Samsung,” a Samsung spokesperson told Digital Trends. “We deployed measures to prevent further attempts of this kind on Samsung.com and no Samsung user account information was accessed as part of these attempts.”As the fourth-largest mobile network in America, Sprint may soon merge with T-Mobile, which is the third-largest mobile network. The new network merger would cover more than 126 million customers in the U.S combined. Updated 4:23 p.m. with Sprint spokesperson’s comment.last_img read more

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Project Loon LTE balloons restore some communications in Puerto Rico

first_imgAlphabet’s Project Loon has brought basic communications back to parts of Puerto Rico for individuals who have LTE phones. The communications are being made possible by Project Loon’s balloons; they’re currently giving people access to the Internet and text messaging in parts of the island hit hardest by Hurricane Maria. The team has been working with a variety of groups to make this possible, including the FAA and FCC. Project Loon is bringing this emergency Internet connectively to parts of Puerto Rico in collaboration with AT&T. Per a recent update from Project Loon head Alastair Westgarth, this marks the first time the group’s machine learning algorithms have been used to cluster these balloons over Puerto Rico. It is still a work-in-progress, but Westgarth explains that Project Loon will try to keep the balloons available over Puerto Rico for as long as they’re needed.The destruction of Puerto Rico knocked out communications across the island, and it presented a unique scenario for Project Loon to deploy its balloons. Westgarth explains that this was the first time the team had ever deployed its Project Loon connectivity ‘from scratch’ at such a fast rate, a process made possible in part by help from AT&T and other entities. Liberty Cablevision and SES Networks, for example, helped Project Loon get ground infrastructure set up so that the balloons could make connectivity available. It is yet to be seen how well Project Loon’s balloon-based Internet delivery will work, but it will no doubt provide the team will information they need to refine and improve their product over time. The technology was developed to deliver Internet in places where traditional options aren’t available, either due to being a rural region or in cases like Puerto Rico where a disaster wipes out existing infrastructure. This isn’t the first time Project Loon balloons have been used to restore basic communications following a disaster — that distinction goes to the team’s work in Peru last year following extensive flooding.SOURCE: Mediumlast_img read more

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Google Lens is coming to Androids camera app with a bunch of

first_imgGoogle Lens is a cool piece of technology as it is, but beginning next week, it’s going to become a lot more accessible. No longer hidden away inside Google Photos and Assistant, Lens will soon be coming to Android camera app on a sizable number of devices. While we’d expect it to be added to the camera app on Google’s own Pixel lineup, the full range of manufacturers supporting this roll out may surprise you. At Google I/O today, the company unveiled all of the partners that will be adding Google Lens to the camera app on their phones. The list has a good number of major Android manufacturers on it, but one that’s notably and (unsurprisingly) missing is Samsung. Sorry Galaxy adherents, you’ll have to stick with Bixby Vision for now.In any case, Google Lens is also getting some new features to go along with this launch. The first of these features is called Smart Text Selection, and it’s particularly impressive. Smart Text Selection will allow you to copy and paste text you encounter in the real world – for instance, in a book – removing the hassle of typing it all out. You can also use this with Lens to look up a term you’re unfamiliar with, without having to type it into Google Search yourself.The next feature coming to Lens is called Style Match. Style Match is meant to help you find things that are similar to items that catch your eye in the real world. One of Google’s examples involves encountering an interesting lamp and using Lens to find other lamps that are similar – not necessarily identical – in style, with shopping links inserted where they’re appropriate.Finally, we’ll see real-time results come to Lens. Essentially, this uses machine learning to surface information on something you’re pointing your camera at without requiring you to snap a photo first. You might open your camera app, point it at a poster for a musician and have it surface a music video in real-time, without the need to analyze a photograph before you get that video.The new features coming to Lens certainly sound pretty awesome, and as with most things based in machine learning, they’re going to get better at what they do as more people use them. We’ll see Lens come to flagship phones from the manufacturers listed above beginning next week, with these new features rolling out to all users over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. Story TimelineAndroid P feature: New UI and GesturesAndroid P spotlight: Adaptive BatteryDownload Android P Public Beta for these 11 phoneslast_img read more

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Google Search adds university stats cards to help future students

first_imgGoogle has updated its Search product to help users get all the info they need on colleges and universities. This is a sort of prequel to the job search platform Google introduced last year; you need to get a proper education before you can find a good job, and that’s where this new feature comes in. You don’t have to do anything special to use the new feature: rather, it appears when you search for a four-year college located in the United States. The information includes data relevant to families and students determining which college to attend. In addition to a description of the university, as well as where it is located, Google provides direct access to the school’s admission rate, the average cost of attending after financial aid, and its graduation rate. As with businesses, users also get direct access to the school’s website, phone number, and address.The information doesn’t end there, though, instead digging into the finer details, including providing breakdowns of the student population based on things like gender. There’s also detailed info about rankings, major, notable people who graduated from the college, and more.AdChoices广告Google says it pulled the information from the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System’s public information. The company also worked with a variety of people and groups in the education industry to determine what information college seekers want and need.Mobile users will see the new data cards starting today; desktop users will see “some” of the features.SOURCE: Google Bloglast_img read more

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Trend Micro apps on Mac App Store also spying on users

first_imgApple often boasts of its human curation of apps that go into its Mac and iOS App Stores as the best way to prevent the likes of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal from happening. It also sings praises of the efficacy and accuracy of this method over automated systems like Google’s. Those arguments, however, may have just fallen flat on their faces when a number of popular, top-grossing apps on the Mac App Store have been reported to be behaving like spyware. Including those from a company that’s supposed to be protecting users from malware. Of course, this isn’t the first time that malware masquerading as anti-malware has gotten into app stores. The utter irony of the situation is almost laughable if not for the real potential for harm. Especially when the misbehaving app comes from a security company like Trend Micro. Then again, some would argue that such companies are in cahoots with the malware industry anyway.WIRED reported a few days ago that a top-ranked paid app on the Mac App Store named “Adware Doctor” was actually harvesting user’s browsing history and other information behind the scenes. After the news exploded, Apple took down the offending app. It turns out, however, that Twitter user @privacyis1st reported the issue way back in August with no action from Cupertino. Top Sold MacOS AppStore application is ROGUE. Adware Doctor is stealing your privacy. PoC: https://t.co/LmveX593q0#malware #virus #MacOS #Apple #MacBook #MacBookPro #CyberSecurity #privacy #GDPR #Hacking #hackers #cyberpunk #Alert— Privacy 1st (@privacyis1st) August 20, 2018center_img It doesn’t end there, though. 9to5Mac is now reporting that other such apps continue to live on the Mac App Store, including ones from “Trend Micro Inc”, such as Dr. Unarchiver, Dr. Cleaner, Open Any Files: RAR Support, and more. Without an official statement from the software security outfit, there is no way to confirm or refute that these apps do come from the publisher.Granted, these apps won’t be able to do anything without user interaction. The problem is that they aren’t saying upfront what they will actually be doing. Dr. Unarchiver, for example, will offer to clean up junk files but when users give the app permission to do that, it will do more. Lots more. It will harvest browsing history from Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, create a list of apps installed on the Mac, store Google search history, and send all those files to the publisher’s server, presumably Trend Micro.And like Adware Doctor, this isn’t exactly news and has been reported and discussed since late 2017. No action has been taken yet but Apple’s QA team should have caught that unwanted behavior. Or if the rogue apps aren’t from Trend Micro in the first place, they should have been able to verify that as well. Especially considering that company isn’t a new, small startup or independent developer.last_img read more

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Apples 3D Touch was doomed from the start

first_img3D Touch was meant to unlock a new level of interaction with our iPhones: instead, it just added to the confusion. Now, with the iPhone XR arriving without Apple’s pressure-sensitive screens, it looks like the technology is finally being abandoned. Then again, the writing has been on the wall for 3D Touch for some time now. Interestingly, the same “force” data that iOS offers to app developers with 3D Touch is supplied another way, too. Apple was slow to embrace the stylus, but the Apple Pencil delivers its pressure data through the same mechanism, only on the iPad Pro rather than the iPhone. A pen arguably makes a lot more sense for that, too: it’s much easier to manipulate a stylus across multiple pressure levels when, for example, sketching or painting, than it is your fingertip. Apple Pencil support for iPhone is one of those perennial rumors still yet to pan out in practice. For 3D Touch, though, it seems the writing is on the wall. The iPhone XR may not be the cheapest handset in Apple’s smartphone range, but it’s likely to be the most successful given its balance of 2018 design language and relative affordability compared to the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max. That seems a fitting first step to putting 3D Touch out to pasture. Apple first started using pressure-sensitive displays with the original Apple Watch. Dubbed Force Touch, it uses an array of electrodes that, when you press down, can figure out how much pressure is being applied. With that, watchOS can differentiate between a regular tap and a firmer one, doubling the input options. It transitioned to Apple’s smartphones with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in late 2015, though the reception there was less positive. The official line was the same: 3D Touch “senses force to enable intuitive new ways to access features and interact with content.” Apple even baked new gestures into its interface, dubbed Peek and Pop, which promised faster ways to preview messages, photos, and webpages, then jump straight to them. Still, it’s not hard to see how 3D Touch stumbled. As a concept, it wasn’t a bad idea: give access to extra features from a “different’ type of tap, whether that be contextual menus, previews, or something else. Problem was, actually figuring out where 3D Touch was available was always trial-and-error. With no standardized way to flag whether an icon, dialog, or button supported 3D Touch or not, there was little incentive to try it. Either you’d have to be an avid 3D Toucher and hard-pressing on everything on the off-chance it worked, or you ignored the feature altogether and just used iOS normally. Of those that did embrace 3D Touch, I suspect most are like me. Aware of a handful of times when the feature is supported, and indeed useful – like summoning the context menu from lock screen notifications, so you can quickly delete unwanted emails before they clog up your inbox – but not going out of my way to find other implementations. Apple could’ve encouraged the use of some sort of graphic or stylistic element to highlight where 3D Touch was available, but it didn’t, and so I never bothered to dig much deeper. What may well have sealed 3D Touch’s fate wasn’t so much that its core competency wasn’t being used, though, but that its potential above and beyond a regular old long-press wasn’t. The differentiator between a pressure-sensitive tap and a time-sensitive tap is, obviously, how hard you’re touching the screen. Apple unlocked that data for third-party developers to use, but few did. Indeed the only real applications of it we saw were in music apps. ROLI, maker of squishy, pressure-sensitive keyboards, gave its Noise music app the 3D Touch treatment: the firmer you pressed your iPhone screen, the more you could change the way the notes sounded. DJay Pro then used the technology with its iPhone DJ app. In the end, though, the possibilities unlocked by figuring out just how firmly you were tapping a phone screen simply weren’t broad enough in their appeal to make it all worthwhile. At the same time, 3D Touch brought with it multiple compromises Apple needed to accommodate. The capacitive sensors involved add cost, and the sandwich of layers add thickness. Without mainstream adoption, absorbing those compromises must’ve started to look foolhardy. I suspect the same technology won’t be so quick to expire on the Apple Watch. There, Force Touch serves a much more practical purpose: a smartwatch screen is small, and different ways to interact with it are required in comparison to a phone display. It’s also arguably easier to gauge how much pressure you’re applying, when your fingertip is pushing down and – through the watch – onto your wrist. Apple’s transition to OLED hasn’t been straightforward, as numerous leaks in the run-up to the first iPhone X last year illustrated. Getting sufficient yields from suppliers, up to the display quality demands the Cupertino firm makes, and at sufficient number and price to make widespread deployment practical, saw big names stumble. That those displays also had to integrate with 3D Touch is unlikely to have made the process any simpler. Story TimelineApple’s next iPhone may ditch 3D TouchTwo big Apple features aren’t welcome on new iPhones say analystslast_img read more

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Marriott Starwood hack What to do next

first_imgMarriott has revealed that its Starwood guest reservation database was recently impacted by a security breach. The intrusion was detected on November 19 by a Marriott investigation after the company received an alert on September 8, 2018. Following the alert, Marriott says it tapped security experts as part of an investigation that ultimately discovered “unauthorized access” on its Starwood network. This access had been in place since 2014. What happened?Marriott revealed the breach in a statement today, explaining that the impacted database contained guest information provided as part of the reservation process. The information pertained to Starwood properties, including Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, and more, for reservations made on or before September 10.The investigation revealed an unauthorized access on Starwood’s network since 2014, which included an “unauthorized party” copying and encrypting data before removing it. On November 19, Marriott says its experts decrypted the data, discovering that it was a guest reservation database. At this time, the company believes up to 500 million guests may be impacted by the data theft.What data was leaked?Of those 500 million guests, Marriott says that around 327 million had a combination of guess data exposed that could include things like names, passport numbers, addresses, and more. As well, “some” guests may have had their payment card information, including card numbers and expiration dates, stolen — though Marriott says they were encrypted with AES-128 encryption. “There are two components needed to decrypt the payment card numbers, and at this point,” the company said, “Marriott has not been able to rule out the possibility that both were taken.”Some impacted guests were more fortunate, with their stolen information potentially being limited to things like names, email and mailing addresses. An investigation is still underway; the company hasn’t stated whether it knows who is responsible for the intrusion.What to do nextMarriott has set up a dedicated website for customers concerned or impacted by the data breach. The site includes FAQ and a number for a call center that will answer questions about the incident. Impacted guests will be receiving emails from the company that are rolling out starting on November 30. Those guests are given the option of enrolling in WebWatcher for free to monitor sites for their personal data. Story TimelineDelta, Sears customer credit cards exposed in 2017 data breachT-Mobile says 2 million customers impacted by new security breachMarriott Starwood system breach exposes information on half a billion peoplelast_img read more

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Tesla Model X is safest SUV says NHTSA Watch it get smashed

first_imgStill, that’s not been the car’s only high point. Indeed it managed a full 5-star success in every category and sub-category that the NHTSA rates on. According to the agency, those in the Model X in a crash condition have the “lowest probability of injury” of any SUV tested.“That means that in the event of a serious crash,” Tesla said today of the results, “Model X occupants have an overall 93% probability of walking away without a serious injury.” It’s there that the Model X’s architecture really helps matters. Since Tesla mounts the battery packs for the SUV down low, under the floor of the passenger compartment, the car’s center of gravity is especially low. That helped it achieve the lowest rollover probability score of any SUV that the safety organization has ever tested. The Tesla Model X has become the first SUV to ever score a full 5-stars in NHTSA crash testing, with the all-electric car credited as being the safest SUV around. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration examines crash performance in categories like frontal impacts, side impacts, and pole impacts. For SUVs, though, the most arduous challenge is often the risk of overturning in an incident, which the NHTSA calls the rollover probability. It’s worth noting that NHTSA testing isn’t the only safety evaluation drivers have come to rely upon in the US. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also performs its own tests on cars, including the notorious “small overlap front crash test”. That examines how a vehicle holds up when striking a narrow, hard object, such as a street lamp or other pole.center_img The Model X is yet to be assessed for that, and the IIHS doesn’t make public its future testing schedule. However the Model S sedan was given a surprise criticism earlier this year when it scored “acceptable” rather than “good” in the test. At the time, Tesla said that it had tweaked the design of the car in order to address the criticisms.The company does have a decent track record at that. Back in 2014, in the aftermath of underbody fires experienced by a small handful of Model S sedans during which the battery was inadvertently pierced, Tesla opted to introduce a completely new triple-layer underbody protection. The shield was offered to all existing owners as a free upgrade. Story TimelineTesla: “Hubris” soured Model X launch, but we learned our lesson for Model 3Tesla recalls 2,700 Model X SUVs over faulty seat latchIn new Model X crash, Tesla suggests Autopilot not to blamelast_img read more

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Tesla Model 3 production overshadowed by battery report

first_imgProduction of Tesla’s Model 3 could be further delayed, after reports of ongoing bottlenecks at the company’s battery-making Gigafactory. The electric car proved to be a huge success for Tesla, at least in terms of reservations, with hundreds of thousands of would-be drivers placing a $1,000 refundable deposit to secure their delivery spot. However, the company’s ambitious production roadmap proved to be tough to stick to. Issues with mass production and quality control meant that, despite efforts to ramp deliveries of the Model 3 considerably by the end of 2017, Tesla finished the year behind. It delivered 1,550 of the cars in Q4 2017, for example, and pushed back its weekly production goal of 5,000 vehicles to the end of Q2 2018, a three month change. At the time, Tesla said that the decision was based on a “focus on quality and efficiency rather than simply pushing for the highest possible volume in the shortest period of time.”In total, less than 2,000 Model 3 were delivered in 2017. That’s despite CEO Elon Musk’s previous insistence that it would be making 5,000 of the cars every week by that year’s end. Deliveries to buyers other than Tesla employees has begun, however, though the $35k entry-level Model 3 is still not available to order. Now, CNBC‘s sources claim, there are potentially more ominous issues at hand. Currently and former employees at the automaker say delays at the Nevada Gigafactory – which is responsible for producing the battery packs all of Tesla’s cars use – are more significant than Tesla has let on. For example, it’s said that building battery packs was still being done by hand in mid-December, and that Tesla was forced to borrow staff from manufacturing partner Panasonic to keep up. Each battery pack contains four modules, themselves combining seven so-called “bandoliers” which have li-ion cells glued to each side. Manual assembly of those has been ramped down in favor of machines doing the task, the engineers within the company say, but there are lingering concerns about quality control. A Tesla spokesperson acknowledged the manual aspect of production, arguing that it was an inevitable part of refining the process. They also strongly denied there was any safety issue with how the batteries were constructed; even if, as the insiders say and the automaker acknowledges, some new employees brought in to work on the line and in quality inspection were relative novices to the industry. “Until we reach full production, by definition some elements of the production process will be more manual,” the spokesperson pointed out. “This is something Elon and [CTO] JB [Strausel] discussed extensively on our Q3 earnings call, and it has no impact on the quality or safety of the batteries we’re producing.”“The implication that Tesla would ever deliver a car with a hazardous battery is absolutely inaccurate, contrary to all evidence, and detached from reality,” the spokesperson insisted to CNBC. Rushing battery production at the expense of safety would clearly be a false economy for Tesla, given the potential for legal and regulatory issues down the line. Nonetheless, the sluggish production ramp is likely to add to the skepticism of some, who argue the automaker’s production goals remain far-fetched. That’s something Musk will need to address if he’s to built the company to the $650bn business Tesla has challenged him to – and, indeed, if he’s to unlock his maximum pay-out as CEO. Story TimelineTesla Model 3 gets FM radio and trip odometer in new OTA updateThis Tesla Model 3 road trip is giving the EV a serious shakedownTesla Model 3 fans cry bait and switch as ugly headliners make debutlast_img read more

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Peugeot is coming back to the US

first_imgPeugeot is returning to North America, with the French car brand set to reappear on US roads after almost two decades absence. The decision by the Groupe PSA, the company which owns Peugeot as well as Citroën, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall, could bring a number of unusual designs to American roads. It’s the next stage of what Groupe PSA has been calling its Push to Pass strategic plan. That includes the ambitious challenge “to become a global carmaker on the leading edge of efficiency and a benchmark supplier of mobility services,” which saw the group acquire Opel from General Motors in 2017. What it hasn’t tried so far, though, is to break the North American market. Peugeot exited the US and Canada in 1991, after slumping sales of models like the 405 left the business financially unviable. The brand sells vehicles in Mexico, launching again there in 1997, though the cars cannot be legally imported into the US. Rumors of a return, however, resurfaced in 2017.After some years of uncertainty globally, Peugeot has been built back up by Groupe PSA. The company now has a range that spans compact city cars, like the 108 and 208 hatchbacks, through midsize sedans, to SUVs and crossovers such as the 2008 and 3008. Distinctive designs and copious platform-sharing with Citroën, DS, and other models in the group have been instrumental in the automaker’s climb. Now, it’s time to give the US another try. As well as aiming to grow sales in Europe by 50-percent by 2021, Groupe PSA will use Peugeot to rebuild its market share in North America. Cars with the lion badge on their nose won’t show up until 2026, though, it’s suggested. Unfortunately it won’t mean other long-absent brands being resurrected in the US. Citroën will be spreading to India, Groupe PSA says, while Opel is headed to Russia. Still, there should be plenty of cars to go around. “This strategy provides for the launch of 116 launches by 2021, including new concepts,” Groupe PSA confirmed today, “with a resulting reduction in the average age of the range – a source of pricing power for the brands – to 3.5 years.”Before the first US Peugeot cars, there’ll be a number of mobility services launched. Car-sharing and other products are another key aspect of Groupe PSA’s strategy, under its Free2Move mobility brand. That, too, will launch internationally under this second phase of the company’s master plan. Story TimelinePeugeot e-Legend Concept is a 504 coupe throwbackNew Peugeot plug-in hybrid powertrains aim for efficient excitementPeugeot 208 comes in EV, gas, or diesel flavorslast_img read more

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Galaxy Watch Active 2 leaked official renders confirm design changes

first_imgIn just a month, Samsung will be making the Galaxy Note 10 official and it might not be alone. Just like its other launches, Samsung is expected to have a wearable to go along with the phablet. Instead of the Galaxy Watch 2, however, it might announce the Galaxy Watch Active 2 instead. But despite that name, the smartwatch looks like it will be Samsung’s classiest, at least based on new leaked renders. You’d think that “Active” would be used to describe a sporty design of a smartwatch but the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is quite the opposite. It may have rugged qualities like dust and water resistance but it won’t look the part.In fact, based on the leaked render from Android Headlines, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 will have what looks like leather straps, an upgrade from previous generations’ silicon material. Of course, looks can be deceiving so we’ll need to see and feel the band first-hand to confirm.The render does confirm the absence of the signature feature of Samsung’s smartwatches. The rotating bezel may really be on its way out unless it decided to retain the control on non-Active models.One curious new detail is the power button that has a red accent around it. Whether that is actually an LED indicator or a simple design, the render doesn’t suggest. If the Galaxy Watch Active 2 will be announced with the Galaxy Note 10, expect those answers in a month’s time.last_img read more

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Mitsubishi Delica D 5 and Outlander PHEV Eclipse Cross head to Tokyo

first_imgThe van has a front design concept called “Dynamic shield” and has multi-LED headlights. The van has e-Assist to improve safety and a clean diesel engine matched with a new 8-speed sports mode automatic. A Delica D: 5 Urban Gear edition will have a “sophisticated modern design” says Mitsubishi.That car will have a heavy-duty carrier installed, LED working lamp, and other features. A customized version of the Outlander PHEV Street sport and Eclipse cross Street Sport vehicles will be at the show. They will have two-tone colors with titanium gray metallic and black mica. The cars are painted with a striped pattern and yellow accents.The PHEV Outlander will have yellow on the front bumper, rear bumper, and side sills. The aluminum wheels are HFULL Cross Rc 5 and made by Rays. The Eclipse cross Street Sport will have yellow accents on the front corner, side, rear corner extensions, and more; it also has custom wheels.AdChoices广告 Mitsubishi Motors has unveiled some of the rides that it will have on hand at Tokyo Auto Salon 2019. The cars include a new minivan called the Delica D: 5, the Outlander PHEV Street Sport, and Eclipse cross Street Sport. Mitsubishi claims that the D: 5 van will have three versions launched in 2018, with only a week to go in the month it had better hurry. If you like the quirky looks of that Delica D: 5 van, it won’t be coming to the States. All the details on these rides are expected to be unveiled at the show.last_img read more

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New Cancer Drug Cocktails Expected To Test Pricing Ceilings

first_img Reuters: New Cocktails To Test Limits Of Cancer Drug Pricing This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Deductibles and surprise billings are two areas of consumer costs KHN’s columnist tackles – The government health care programs Medicare and Medicaid turned 50 this year. But, more recently, back in 2003, the feds expanded Medicare to include a prescription drug benefit. The law establishing that benefit specifically prevented Medicare from directly negotiating the prices for those drugs, which some say translates to higher costs for the program. The Obama administration and some members of Congress want to change that, but— not surprisingly, drug companies say things are just fine as they are. (Adams, 8/3) Marketplace: What If Medicare Could Bargain Over Drug Prices? KHN consumer columnist Michelle Andrews answers readers’ questions on large hospitalization deductibles, surprise out-of-network lab billing and the legal obligations of a divorced spouse to keep a child over 21 on his or her health plan. (Andrews, 8/4) New cancer drug cocktails set to reach the market in the next few years will test the limits of premium pricing for life-saving medicines, forcing company executives to consider fresh market strategies. The growing reluctance of governments and private insurers to fund very expensive drugs – even remarkably effective ones – points to a showdown as manufacturers mix and match therapies that harness the immune system to fight tumors. (Hirschler, 8/3) New Cancer Drug Cocktails Expected To Test Pricing Ceilings Also, as concerns over skyrocketing prescription drug costs continue, Marketplace reports on the powers Medicare might have to negotiate prices. Kaiser Health News: Hospital Deductibles Are For In-Patients Only, Not For Appointments With Doctors last_img read more

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NIO To Double Its Value In First Days Of US Trading

In the future, NIO would like to sell cars also in Europe and the U.S., but it will probably be second-generation models on new platform..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Bad timing affected NIO from raising more money.Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer NIO was able to raise $1 billion through its IPO on the NYSE, but it was clearly seen that there is higher potential.“In an interview Wednesday, NIO Chief Financial Officer Louis Hsieh attributed the low initial price to bad timing, saying losses in Asian markets had made domestic investors “too jittery.””Right after the trading began, stock value went up from $6.26 and now within 48 hours is around twice higher at a level of over $12 per share!See Also NIO IPO Results: $1 Billion Raised, Tesla’s Success Held Down NIO Value We’ve accomplished a lot in a short time, thanks to the creativity and hard work of everyone @NIOGlobal @NIO_US Such an honor to be part of the team! pic.twitter.com/SiRSeJxJAs— Padmasree (@Padmasree) September 12, 2018 NIO Seeks $1.32 Billion In U.S. IPO Source: Electric Vehicle News Source: Bloomberg Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 14, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News NIO Files For $1.8 Billion IPO On New York Stock Exchange Today marks our next milestone. https://t.co/VqmPv7jQqh #blueskycoming $NIO pic.twitter.com/DU6FivKL7V— NIO (@NIOGlobal) September 12, 2018 read more

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Tesla falls in employee ratings after hardship

first_imgTesla had a difficult start of the year and it is being felt by employees who have made the automaker fall in multiple employer ratings. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Tesla falls in employee ratings after hardship appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

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