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Pokemon GO Event update the real adventure rock details

first_imgRock Pokemon actually out thereThe list of Pokemon out in the wild differs ever-so-slightly from the list we’d assumed would appear. There’s been very few Corsola – not any more than what appeared before the start of the event. The same is true of the topmost powerful tier of Pokemon in the Rock Type collection. Shed a tear for those that expected a bunch of Tyranitar to be lurking about.From most common to least common, here’s what we’ve accessed as the list for this Rock Event thus far: Geodude to Omastar. If you happen upon an Omastar, Kabutops, Aerodactyl, or Larvitar – consider yourself super lucky! Pokemon Appearing during Adventure Week, Common to Rare:1. Geodude2. Slugma3. Kabuto4. Omanyte5. Rhyhorn6. Onyx7. Sudowoodo8. Shuckle9. Magcargo10. Graveler11. Larvitar12. Aerodactyl13. Pupitar14. Kabutops15. Omastar Hows this compare to the full list of Rock-Type Pokemon in Pokemon GO? It’s pretty darned close. We’re only missing the rarest of the rare on the list thus far. It’s not like they wont appear, but they’re not significantly more common.Rock Type Pokemon in Pokemon GO currently:• Aerodactyl• Corsola *• Geodude *• Graveler *• Golem *• Kabuto• Kabutops *• Magcargo *• Omanyte• Omastar *• Onix• Shuckle *• Sudowoodo• Larvitar *• Pupitar *• Tyranitar *Of note: The Pokemon with the star next to their name were not mentioned by Niantic before the event as being part of the event. If you’ve seen any other oddities that you’ve never seen in your biome before, by all means, let us know VIA our @TeamPokemonGO Twitter portal swift like a bunny!Pokemon Trainer Club was down, indeedThe Pokemon Trainer Club login servers were down – if only for a few moments – when the Pokemon GO Adventure Week event began. You’re not losing your mind – not from tapping the login button incessantly, anyway. You might be losing your mind if you can’t see the adventure cap in the game, Indiana Jones style.The Adventure CapIn the Caps section of the Pokemon GO clothing section is a new cap that looks shockingly similar to what Indiana Jones wears. This hat – up close and personal – includes a lovely little Pokeball pin, and comes in any color you like, just so long as it’s black. This hat will almost certainly continue to be free beyond the end of the event.Pokestops, Buddy Candy, PokeballsPokeballs cost half as much as they normally would, for users that wish to toss real cash at them. Pokestops are dropping a few more items each time they’re spun – now more than usual. Both the Pokestops dropping more items and the Pokeballs being half their normal price are both in play to encourage users to go out and play more – a real super strong link to the Adventure Week theme, of course.Walking Buddy Pokemon will result in 4x the standard amount for the same distance traveled. Instead of rewarding all four candies at once, this event has cut down the distance required to attain a single candy – so those that required 10km now only need 2.5km for a single candy. And the Eevee trick has not changed, sadly.While it was generally assumed that walking Eevee for two full Candy cycles was the key to getting the two secret evolutions, it’s not. Instead it’s a full 10km, or 2x standard Candy cycles. See our full Eevee evolution guide if more information on the 4th and 5th evolution are desired.Event Timing is TrueThe event began yesterday, the 18th of May, 2017. It began at 1PM Pacific, or 4PM Eastern Time. While Niantic suggests that the event will end exactly 7 days from that time, we’re skeptical. Basically every event in Pokemon GO’s 1+ year past has lasted just a bit longer than the standard end-time, and we’re gonna go ahead and guess that the same will happen this time around.So while Niantic suggests that the event will end on the 25th of May at 1PM Pacific, we’re guessing it’ll be later. While I wouldn’t recommend placing any bets, there’s a good chance we’ll have a few more hours to see the Rock Type Pokemon after the bell. What the Pokemon GO Adventure Week event was supposed to be is a little different from what it’s turned out to be. As far as news on promo codes – any rumors we’ve heard haven’t come up Milhouse, while rock type Pokemon in this event are not exactly the same as the list that some had envisioned. Today we’re taking a look at the details that are ACTUALLY in play VS what we were to expect. Story TimelinePokemon GO is making its way into the classroomPokemon GO Update PSA: Now’s the time to stop (cheating)Latest Pokemon GO update helps Unown catch process [and how!]Pokemon GO Adventure Week Event: everything you need to knowGo-tcha Review for Pokemon GO [Auto Update Auto-Catch Time!]Pokemon GO Update: This Rock Event News’ implicationsPokemon GO Event update: Rock Start Time, Adventure Week News and Guidelast_img read more

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Facebook smart speaker with 15in display may take on Echo Show

first_imgREAD: Prepare for a flood of smart speakers like Echo and HomePodThe sources spoke to DigiTimes, claiming Facebook has tapped manufacturer Pegatron to produce the speaker. Unlike current smart speakers, though, like Google Home and Amazon Echo, the sources say the digital display will be the only way for users to interact with Facebook’s model, which won’t feature voice recognition.The sources claim that LG will be making the digital panel for Facebook’s smart speaker, which itself will be constructed with a chassis made from magnesium-aluminum alloy. Some units have already been produced by Pegatron, the sources say, as a sort of pilot run for the planned production. When official production will begin wasn’t stated.Further information about Facebook’s smart speaker, such as the anticipated price and name, weren’t provided. However, assuming the sources are correct, one can’t help but wonder exactly what Facebook has planned. The reported 15-inch panel will be a massive size compared to, for example, the Echo Show’s 7in offering, most consumer tablets, and similar. The sources do claim that Facebook is anticipating its smart speaker to be an image-centric, display-first product, though.Facebook isn’t the only company rumored to be making its own smart speaker. Microsoft has similarly been tipped in a Cortana-based effort, and it has taken the wraps off another Cortana-based IoT product that will be launching in the future — GLAS, a smart thermostat for homes and small businesses. SOURCE: DigiTimes Facebook is getting into the smart speaker market, according to sources, and it is developing a model that will take on Amazon’s Echo Show device. Facebook’s tipped smart speaker is said to feature a 15-inch touch display, enabling users to interact with the device visually. If the sources are correct, we’ll see this speaker hit the market early next year.last_img read more

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Facebook lures Google engineer to head its own chip development

first_imgStory TimelineFacebook’s making chips! Or at least researching siliconFacebook builds AI watchdog chips to filter live videoFacebook pulls plug on making its own dronesFacebook’s new eavesdropping tech is creepy, but might not be as bad as it soundsFacebook federal probe tipped to include FBI, SEC, FTC and DOJ One of the more recent trends in Silicon Valley is for the biggest tech companies to bring chip development in-house, rather than rely on third-party suppliers like Qualcomm and Intel. Apple has been doing this years already, and Google is already looking to catch up, but it seems the latest to have interest in developing its own processors is Facebook. Earlier this year it was revealed that the company had plans to start designing custom chips for consumer hardware, and now they’ve made a fairly big hire. Facebook has managed to poach a top engineer from none other than Google, reports Bloomberg. Shahriar Rabii previously held the title of director of engineering at Google’s silicon division, but at some point this month he was hired by Facebook where he’ll be the vice president and head of silicon, according to a new LinkedIn profile update.There’s no word on exactly what Rabii’s team will be working on, and Facebook isn’t really know for hardware products beyond the Oculus VR devices. There’s a chance Facebook could be designing its own chips for VR purposes, but it’s been rumored that the social network giant is working its own smart speaker device to compete with Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.While at Google, Rabii lead the team that built the Visual Core chip for the Pixel smartphones. This was Google’s own first in-house processor for a consumer device, and it resulted in some impressive cameras for the Pixel phones.AdChoices广告Hiring engineers from rivals to help companies develop their own chips has become a bit of a pattern in recent years. Before Facebook, it was Google that managed to lure away some of Apple’s talent. With Amazon looking like the next company to design silicon, it’s anyone’s guess where their engineers might come from.SOURCE Bloomberglast_img read more

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OpenAI trains robot hand virtually for realworld dexterous manipulation

first_imgOpenAI has a robotic humanoid hand called Dactyl that it has trained entirely via simulation and has been able to transfer that simulation knowledge into the real world. Dactyl can adapt to real-world physics using techniques that OpenAI has been working on for the last 12 months. Dactyl uses the same general-purpose reinforcement learning algorithm and code as OpenAI Five. What the company says it has done is proven that it is possible to train agents in simulation and then have them use that sim training to perform real-world tasks all without needing a physically-accurate modeling of the world. Dactyl is a system for manipulating objects using a Shadow Dexterous Hand. In the tests, the handheld a block or prism in its palm and the hand was then asked to reposition the held object to a different orientation. OpenAI says that the network observes only the coordinates of the fingertips and images from a trio of RGB cameras around the hand. The reorientation of the object in the palm requires several problems to be solved.These include working in the real world rather than simulation. High dimensional control due to the hand’s 24-degrees of freedom. Noisy and partial observations must be overcome. And the hand needs to be able to reorient multiple kinds of objects meaning that the approach OpenAI takes isn’t limited to specific object geometry.AdChoices广告OpenAI calls its approach domain randomization learning in a simulation designed to provide a variety of exercises rather than maximizing realism. The company says that tact allows it to scale up more quickly and de-emphasize realism. The simulation of the robotics setup was built using the MuJuCo physics engine and uses a “coarse approximation” of the real robot.SOURCE: OpenAIlast_img read more

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Fortnite on Android APK download out now but theres a catch

first_imgUsers can download a leaked version of the Android Fortnite app already, but there’s a bit of a catch. The app that’s out in the wild right now doesn’t work on any device that’s currently available for sale. Down in the deep recesses of the app’s soul you’ll find code which suggests only two devices are currently able to play it: the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 – that new tablet we saw first detailed last week. Story TimelineFortnite Android app downloads limited to this list of phonesFortnite Android APK launch: Beware the downloadFortnite Android app: How to avoid fakes [UPDATE: Epic Statement]Fortnite for Android won’t be exclusive to Galaxy Note 9 The APK file was uncovered by the developers at XDA this week, but inside they’ve found the blocks. Inside said APK, the Android version of the game can be deciphered, but only to a point. It would seem that all blocking of certain sorts of devices is done server-side. That means only Epic Games can say yes or no to each individual device.SEE TOO: Fortnite on Android: How to avoid fakes!Now all that remains between intrepid Fortnite addicts and Epic is a spoofing mechanic to trick the game into reporting a device that isn’t actually present. Of course one could instead just purchase one of the two new Samsung devices headed to stores at the end of this month. At that point we’ll find out how hard users want to try to break in where they shouldn’t be.AdChoices广告At the same time, Fortnite is available for several other platforms where it can be played for free forever. There are in-game purchases, but the balance remains largely in the skills of each individual player. But you want to look pretty, don’t you? As such, the cash you spend in Fortnite goes largely toward skins for characters. Epic Games made a MINT from this bit of the game thus far – and it’s unlikely they’ll pull back any time soon.Have a peek at the Fortnite list of links below and explore the future of the biggest game in the world right this minute. And let us know if you find what’s next!last_img read more

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Microsoft reveals Outlookcom breach left some accounts exposed

first_imgMicrosoft has sent an email to some Outlook.com users informing them of a security breach. The issue involved compromised credentials belonging to a support agent that left some accounts exposed to ‘unauthorized parties,’ according to Microsoft, with the vulnerability having existed from January 1 to March 28, 2019. The compromised credentials have since been disabled. Impacted Outlook.com users have received an email detailing the issue. According to Microsoft, anyone who had the credentials were able to view email addresses, folder names, email subject lines, and the email addresses of people the user communicated with, but were not able to view any email contents or attachments. In Microsoft’s statement to Outlook.com users who received its notification, the company says, “Out data indicates that account-related information (but not the content of any e-mails) could have been viewed, but Microsoft has no indication why that information was viewed or how it may have been used.”The potential exists that impacted users could be subjected to phishing emails, increased spam, and other bothersome content. Users who receive this alert should be extra cautious when interacting with emails by verifying that they were sent by a legitimate address and that included links don’t redirect them to random websites that may harvest login info.AdChoices广告Though users’ email login information was not compromised by the security breach, Microsoft is still recommending that its users reset their email passwords. This action can be taken in the account’s security settings menu. Story TimelineOutlook users will soon be able to pay bills from their inboxOutlook.com dark mode will officially launch ‘very soon’Outlook.com dark mode arrives: here’s how to activate itlast_img read more

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Galaxy Fold protective film critical to keeping screen intact

first_imgSome have been warning against going out to buy first-gen experimental devices because of potential problems that may surprise early adopters. But if you’re offered a free review unit, why not, right? That was definitely the case with some select personalities Samsung has chosen to become the first recipients of its Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone. Unfortunately for both Samsung and the proud new owners, they are also the first ones to encounter a glaring problem with a rather simple cause: a protective film. Some manufacturers today, particularly Chinese OEMs, ship with screen protectors already installed. Some owner don’t take to kindly to a sheet of plastic standing in between them and their phones. Other prefer a “better” solution like tempered glass. Usually, removing that pre-installed protector has no impact on the phone. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the Galaxy Fold.Complaints about broken foldable displays have started going around the Web, possibly sending Samsung’s PR department into a panic. These Galaxy Folds started malfunctioning just a day after owners’ first impressions went up. What those complaints may not have mentioned was that they removed the protective film on the display, thinking it was just like any other screen protector. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the Galaxy Fold.According to Samsung, that protective film is actually crucial to the display’s integrity and that removing it can actually endanger the screen. And it isn’t just about protecting it from scratches either. Here’s a spokesperson’s statement in full:AdChoices广告“A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review. We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter. Separately, a few reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.”Unfortunately, that information wasn’t clearly conveyed to these early reviewers. The warning appeared on the plastic packaging of the phone that barely anyone reads. Samsung will now have to do some PR damage control to assure actual buyers that they won’t suffer the same fate, provided they keep that protective film on.last_img read more

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Porsche Taycan gets 3 years free charging – and its superfast

first_imgStory TimelinePorsche Taycan specs include 600hp and 500km driving rangePorsche Taycan price won’t let Tesla rest easyPorsche Taycan Turbo reminds us that EV names are tough Porsche Taycan buyers will get three years of free charging with their new sports EV sedan, as the German automaker ramps up to take on Tesla. While Porsche may not have a self-branded Supercharger-style network of its own to offer Taycan drivers, it does have access to Electrify America, and it’s making full use of that. Electrify America is, after all, owned by Volkswagen Group. The growing cross-country charging network was established as part of VW’s dieselgate mea culpa, but is starting to look like a very good idea no matter the origin story. It will deliver considerably more powerful charging stations than Tesla Superchargers currently offer. Taycan drivers in the US will, when the car goes on sale later this year, get three years of Electrify America charging bundled in with the EV’s sticker price. Each charging session will be 30 minutes long, and there’ll be no limit on how many times drivers can access the Electrify America chargers. While half an hour may not sound much, it’s actually enough for a surprising amount of range given the juice being delivered. Electrify America highway stations, for instance, will have at least two 350 kW chargers per site. They’ll also be accompanied by a number of other chargers offering up to 150 kW. Metro stations, meanwhile, will have up to 150 kW chargers. AdChoices广告With a 350 kW, and the 800 volt technology that Porsche has used on the Taycan, drivers will be able to add more than 60 miles of range every four minutes. Highway locations are at most 120 miles from each other on Electrify America’s plan, while nationally the distance between stops is expected to be on average 70 miles. It won’t just be Electrify America points that Taycan drivers can use, however. Porsche is kicking off a huge dealer charger upgrade, with all 191 locations across the US also adding DC fast charging support. Of that number, more than 120 will install Porsche Turbo Charging compatible equipment, which delivers up to 320 kW. The others will get 50 kW chargers. Finally, there’ll be home charging. Porsche isn’t talking about what package it’ll be offering Taycan buyers, though it’s worth noting that Volkswagen Group stablemate Audi has inked a deal with Amazon on easier purchase and installation of Level 2 domestic chargers. That’s expected to cost in the region of $1,000 but include not only the charger but all the installation fees too. We wouldn’t be surprised if Porsche considered doing something similar. Since the Taycan uses a standard combined charging system (CCS) connector, of course, drivers won’t be limited to just these chargers. That’ll be important in the early days, as Electrify America rolls out its network. 484 locations with more than 2,000 charging points installed or under construction are expected to be in place by July 1, with “hundreds” more from July 2019 as it kicks off its second phase. That suggests there’ll be a reasonable number of places for Taycan owners to charge up when the car arrives in late 2019. Pricing is yet to be confirmed, though dealers are already taking reservations, and not in insignificant numbers. Porsche is reportedly planning to double production to meet demand. last_img read more

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Firefox Preview for Android marks the browsers transition to Fenix

first_imgDespite still being one of the big names in the web browser market, Firefox has been struggling to increase its share on mobile, especially on Android. Part of that is Google’s strategy of having Chrome installed on every certified device, a strategy that has been legally questioned in Europe. The other part of that is the perceived stagnation of the mobile app and its slower performance, which Mozilla is addressing by eventually gutting out Firefox for Android and replacing it with Fenix, available now as Firefox Preview on Android. On the surface, Firefox Preview, a.k.a. Fenix, looks like a fusion of regular Firefox and Firefox Focus, Mozilla’s privacy-focused mobile browser. Mozilla realized that while users appreciated the speed and privacy features of Focus, they missed the full features of a regular browser as well. With Firefox Preview, Mozilla will be delivering that and more.That “more” is actually the more substantial change that happens beneath the surface. Preview is now based on Focus’ GeckoView web engine, which Mozilla touts is not only faster but allows it to be more flexible in adding features, particularly privacy-related ones. It specifically points out how using GeckoView keeps it independent from how Google is practically controlling the mobile web through browsers that all use its Blink (Chrome) engine.End users, however, might be more interested in some of the more visible features aside from speed. The UI, for example, is designed to be minimal an easy to use with a bottom navigation bar. Firefox Preview also features Collections to groups frequently visited sites and even share them with others.AdChoices广告Firefox Preview/Fenix’s debut, however, also marks the beginning of the end for Mozilla’s other mobile browsers. Firefox for Android and even Firefox Focus are now in “maintenance mode”, that is they won’t be getting new features, as development focuses on Fenix. You can continue using and downloading the two browsers all throughout 2019 but, eventually, they will be phased out as well.last_img read more

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VW trained AIs to design better 3D printed car parts

first_imgIt’s the handiwork of the team at VW Group’s freshly-renamed Innovation and Engineering Center California (IECC), which yesterday showed off a modern electric reinterpretation of a retrofitted 1962 Microbus. One of the key elements of the VW Type 20 concept is its striking orange wheels, side mirror supports, steering wheel, and other components. Rather than being human-designed, the were created by an AI in a process known as Generative Design. The benefit of the artificial intelligence is that it can quickly learn the engineers’ priorities – structural strength, for example, along with ease of production and lightweight design – and iterate to meet those standards. It’s not just a matter of taking existing parts and carving away spare metal to make cavities and depressions. The core structure of the part, taking into account the forces that will impact on it, is rebuilt from the ground up. The result is often at odds, visually, with what we expect from modern engineering. Gone are crisp lines and blocky structures, with the AI “grown” alternatives looking more like intermingling vines or tree roots. Despite looking relatively fragile, parts like the side mirror structures shown in traditional and AI-designed form below boast the same structural performance, but the latter uses far less materials. AdChoices广告AI design isn’t the only way VW Group is using the technology, however. Even just picking out potential candidates for replacement with 3D printing or alternative forms is a tough job: after all, modern vehicles are made up of thousands of components. Identifying which could be most effective if replaced would be unfeasible for a human – so, VW has been training artificial intelligences to flag possibilities instead. At the same time, the IECC team is looking at new ways to produce those components as well. In the Type 20 concept, the Generative Design parts were then made from traditional materials like metal. However VW Group is also looking at so-called additive manufacturing, where production-ready 3D printed items could replace injection-molded or milled pieces. This isn’t only theory, either. Lamborghini has already confirmed several 3D printed plastic parts it will be using in its models, using technology from California startup Carbon. Rather than laying down 3D prints layer by layer, Carbon’s system uses light to solidify Epoxy 82. The supercar-maker will use it for series production parts like fuel caps – shown above – along with air ducts and more. The end goal, the IECC team says, is to connect the cycle completely: using recycled plastics from old components to manufacture new ones. That way, as well as potentially saving fuel and improving performance from lightweighting, even when a car is end-of-life its parts won’t go to waste. We’re a long way from a vehicle completely designed by an AI, or indeed a car that you could fully 3D print. What’s notable, however, is that in its exploration of Generative Design and 3D printing, the IECC has managed to demonstrate that the processes are not only more flexible than traditional methods, along with being equal to them in strength and resilience, but can actually be more cost-effective as well. For now it’s Lamborghini buyers that are benefiting, but as VW’s various brands look to differentiate atop the group’s shared platforms, it seems likely that custom components like these will shift further into the mainstream. Car design may still be led by the heart, not the head, but VW is experimenting with artificial intelligence that could dramatically change how components are made, even growing them using cutting-edge 3D printing. The technology could help significantly lower weight, as well as give automakers greater flexibility in designing unusual parts for future models. last_img read more

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Tenets Acquisition Of Vanguard Health Part Of Plan To Buy Other Hospitals

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. Tenet’s Acquisition Of Vanguard Health Part Of Plan To Buy Other Hospitals While news emerges regarding Tenet’s plan to acqure Vanguard Health for $1.73 billion, the Ford Motor Co. announces its plans to launch a two-year health management program.  The Wall Street Journal: Tenet To Acquire Vanguard Health For $1.73 BillionDallas-based Tenet said it would expand to 79 hospitals from 49, and significantly increase its geographic reach, adding markets such as Detroit and Chicago and particularly deepening its presence in Texas. Tenet also said the acquisition marks what it hopes will be a stepped-up effort to acquire other hospitals, where its deal pace has been relatively slow (Mathews and Kamp, 6/24).The Wall Street Journal: Ford Adopts Health Management ProgramFord Motor Co. and a United Auto Workers union trust fund that provides health care to retired union auto workers are launching a two-year pilot program that seeks to cut costs by adding more care to workers and retirees with chronic illnesses (Ramsey, 6/24).last_img read more

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Consumers Employers Face New Round Of Health Coverage Challenges Decisions

first_imgNews outlets offer consumer tips for using healthcare.gov and take a look at where things stand in terms of obtaining coverage as of Jan. 1.  The Washington Post: Consumer Tips For Healthcare.gov Show Administration’s Cautious OptimismThe Obama administration on Sunday reported vast improvement with the HealthCare.gov health-insurance portal that opened with extensive glitches in October, while acknowledging that the site still needs more work. One sign of ongoing problems came in the form of a blog entry and infographic that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius published on Huffington Post. Both items provide tips for consumers visiting the site, most notably by encouraging them to use it during off-peak hours — mornings, nights and weekends (Hicks, 12/2).Kaiser Health News: With Three Weeks Left, Consumers Fear They May End Up Without Health Coverage On New Year’s DayFor people in the states with well-functioning insurance websites, such as California, New York and Kentucky, this appears to leave plenty of time. But making the deadline could be dicier for people in Arizona and the 35 other states where the federal website healthcare.gov is the path to coverage, as well as Oregon and Hawaii, which have struggled to get their sites functioning. On Sunday, the government reported progress in improving healthcare.gov, saying the site now allows more than 800,000 visits a day with the rate of timeouts or crashes reduced to below 1 percent. Officials said repairs continue (Rau, 12/2).And for employers – The Washington Post: New Health-Care Law Pushing Employers To Make Tough Decisions About CoverageFor years, Ron Peppe spent much of his time poring over contracts that his company, Canam Steel, won to build steel infrastructure in highways, stadiums and hotels, such as the underground steel foundation it just completed for the new Marriott Marquis in downtown Washington. These days, Peppe, the head of legal and human resources at Canam, whose U.S. headquarters are in Point of Rocks, Md., still reads plenty of contracts. But he is also spending much more time reading the ongoing deluge of rules and regulations coming out of federal agencies that are meant to help guide employers as they adjust their companies’ health benefits under President Obama’s signature health-care law, the Affordable Care Act (Ho, 12/1). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Consumers, Employers Face New Round Of Health Coverage Challenges, Decisionslast_img read more

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State Highlights Mass Town Considers Total Tobacco Ban Ohio Autism Program Changes

first_img Vicki Obee keeps a bright yellow folder on her desk. Scrawled on front in black marker: “Don’t give up the farm.” It’s a mantra Obee, executive director of Bittersweet Farms, has adopted as she waits to learn how a federal rule issued earlier this year will affect the services Bittersweet provides for people with autism. In January, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued changes to its Home and Community-Based Services program, which provides waivers to Medicaid-eligible people with disabilities to live at home or in the community rather than in facilities the government deems institutional. The goal is to keep people out of settings with isolating qualities that keep them away from the broader community. (Lindstrom, 11/15) PBS NewsHour: Massachusetts Town Mulls Nation’s First Total Tobacco Ban The New York Times: In Death, Girl, 2, Is Caught In Fight Over Organs One in five older Chinese Americans in Chicago has experienced discrimination, and this source of added stress could have negative health effects, according to a new study. Combined with a cultural preference for tolerance, instead of fighting back, “Discrimination may operate as a stressor that decreases older adults’ self-esteem and increases the risk of psychological distress, social isolation, thus leading to poorer health status,” said Dr. Xinqui Dong, who led the study. (Kennedy, 11/14) Prosecutors have charged a Kenosha woman with bilking Medicaid out of more than $1.5 million. Online court records show the state Justice Department charged 42-year-old Carleen Larson with multiple counts of felony fraud as well as forgery and racketeering on Thursday. The agency said in a statement that Larson was the owner of The Caring Heart, a home health care agency that was a certified Medicaid provider. Investigators learned that between July 2005 and July 2014 The Caring Heart billed Medicaid for 94,987 hours of services that weren’t provided, collecting $1,522,307 in fraudulent payments. (11/15) The town of Westminster, Mass., could become the first in the nation to ban the sale of tobacco products if a proposal from the city’s board of health passes in December. The unprecedented pitch would ban the sale cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes within the city. Proponents cite the benefit of the reduced health risks from tobacco, whereas some residents and local businesses say jobs and consumer freedom is at stake. (Brangham, 11/16) Thaiya Spruill-Smith, who loved broccoli, Minnie Mouse and the movie “Space Jam,” was declared dead Friday evening at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. When her death certificate is issued, it will say she died on Friday, two days after officials say her stepfather shook her violently. But Thaiya’s actual death has been postponed, held up by a tug of war between her mother and her father. Her father, Terrell Smith, said cutting up his daughter would be desecration. Her mother, Teoka Spruill, wants her daughter’s organs to help others. (Barker and Schweber, 11/16) center_img Reuters: Discrimination May Affect Health Of Older Chinese-Americans The Associated Press: Wisconsin Woman Charged With Medicaid Fraud This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. State Highlights: Mass. Town Considers Total Tobacco Ban; Ohio Autism Program Changes A selection of health policy stories from Massachusetts, Ohio, New York, Illinois and Wisconsin. The Toledo Blade: Federal Changes Could Impact Ohio Autism Program last_img read more

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Lawsuit Alleges HCA Hospitals Did Unnecessary Cardiac Procedures

first_img Gilead Sciences Inc., whose $1,000-a-pill hepatitis C treatment is one of the world’s most expensive drugs, is avoiding billions of dollars in U.S. taxes by booking profits overseas. … The data released in a securities filing Wednesday suggest that Gilead is shifting valuable intellectual property to low-tax countries and paying about 5 percent in taxes on its foreign income, said Robert Willens, an independent tax consultant based in New York. (Rubin, 2/26) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Wall Street Journal: HCA Discloses Suit Alleging Unnecessary Procedures, False Billing Claims The Wall Street Journal: Generic Drug-Safety Rules Debated Catamaran Corp. has agreed to buy Healthcare Solutions Inc. from Brazos Private Equity Partners LLC in a $405 million all-cash deal expected to boost the pharmacy-benefit manager’s presence in the workers’ compensation market. Meanwhile, Schaumburg, Ill.-based Catamaran posted stronger-than-expected revenue and earnings growth in its December quarter. Pharmacy-benefit managers, or PBMs, process prescriptions for the groups that pay for drugs, usually insurance companies or corporations, and use their size to negotiate with drug makers and pharmacies. They have put pressure on drugstores by negotiating for lower prices on behalf of their clients and via mail-order plans that compete for prescription business. (Dulaney, 2/26) Lawsuit Alleges HCA Hospitals Did Unnecessary Cardiac Procedures The hospital company disclosed the lawsuit Thursday, which was filed in Florida in 2012 and singled out hospitals in that state for subjecting patients to high-risk procedures and submitting false medical claims. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Gilead is avoiding billions in U.S. taxes on its costly new hepatitis C pill.center_img Bloomberg: Gilead Avoids Billions In U.S. Tax On Its $1,000-a-Pill Drug HCA Holdings Inc. on Thursday disclosed a lawsuit had been filed in Florida alleging the hospital operator subjected patients to medically unnecessary, invasive and high-risk cardiology procedures for years and then submitted false medical claims for federal reimbursement. The suit, made public Monday, was filed in February 2012 in U.S. District Court in Miami by Christopher Gentile, then professional liability claims director for a subsidiary of HCA in Tennessee, and singles out two HCA hospitals: Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce, Fla. and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson, Fla. (Armental, 2/26) Should generic drug makers update product labels on their medicines when they learn of safety risks? The question is being fiercely debated because federal law doesn’t allow generic drug makers to do so independently, unless a change has already been made to the corresponding brand-name medicine. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this interpretation of the law in a controversial 2011 ruling and, as a result, consumers who claim they were injured by a generic drug cannot sue the manufacturer. (Silverman, 2/26) The Wall Street Journal: Catamaran To Buy Healthcare Solutions For $405 Million last_img read more

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People Will Die The Country Reacts To Proposed GOP Health Plan

first_img The Denver Post: Find Out How Senate Health Care Bill’s Tax-Credit Cuts Might Affect You The New York Times: Senate Health Bill Gets A Wary Reception, From Coast To Coast The health care bill unveiled Thursday by Senate Republicans has been out in the open for less than a week, and there are many obstacles to clear before it can become law: an uncertain Senate vote, a return to the House for final approval, a presidential signature. But in newspapers and on radios and TV stations from Anchorage to Miami, the effects of the bill are already being contemplated. These could vary considerably from region to region, state to state, even family to family. (Robertson, 6/26) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Arizona health-care and business leaders warn that Senate Republicans’ bill to replace the Affordable Care Act would trigger deep cuts to the health-care system that could ripple through the state’s budget and economy. Hospital leaders said the Senate bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, would eliminate coverage for low-income families on Medicaid and would significantly increase uncompensated care at hospitals. (Alltucker, 6/26) NPR: Ohio Hospitals Fear Republican Health Care Plan Will Lead To Job Losses As Senate Republicans work to pass a health care bill, Alison Chandra thought it would be “fitting” to shed light on the financial realities of her son’s care at Boston Children’s Hospital… From more than $47,00 for “coronary care” to nearly $43,000 for supplies and implants, the striking figures quickly pile up. (DeCosta-Klipa, 6/26) Boston Globe: Baker: Senate Health Bill Would Mean 264,000 Mass. Residents Would Lose Coverage By 2025 People in the state’s health industry, from advocates to clinic directors, were left reeling by the new CBO report, which estimated the Senate Republican health plan would create an additional 22 million uninsured Americans by 2026… The Republican bill would radically cut federal funding for Medicaid, even more deeply than what was proposed in the House bill. (Feibel, 6/26) The Senate’s version of the GOP health care bill would reduce the amount the federal government provides in tax credits to help people buy health insurance by $424 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s report Monday. What do these reductions mean in practical terms for Colorado? The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated tax credit amounts and premium costs for every county in the country. (Ingold, 6/26) center_img Governor Charlie Baker warned Monday that the US Senate Republicans’ sweeping health care proposal would cost Massachusetts more than $8.2 billion and cause 264,000 residents to lose their health insurance coverage by 2025. The families and individuals who would lose coverage “are among our lowest-income residents,” the governor said in a letter to the state’s congressional delegation. (Dayal McCluskey, 6/26) Boston Globe: Amid Health Care Debate, Mother’s Photo Of Boston Children’s Hospital Bill Goes Viral When people talk about jobs in Ohio, they often talk about the ones that got away. “Ten years ago, we had steel. Ten years ago, we had coal. Ten years ago, we had plentiful jobs,” says Mike McGlumphy, who runs the job center in Steubenville, Ohio, the Jefferson County seat. (Siegel and Cheung, 6/26) Arizona Republic: Arizona Health Leaders Push For Changes To Senate Health Bill The Hill: American Medical Association: ObamaCare Repeal Violates ‘Do No Harm’ Rule  One of the nation’s largest healthcare lobbying groups Monday announced its opposition to the Senate’s ObamaCare repeal plan, warning that it could hurt the “most vulnerable citizens.” The American Medical Association (AMA) wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warning against cuts to Medicaid and changes to ObamaCare’s subsidies and regulations. (Hellmann, 6/26) ‘People Will Die’: The Country Reacts To Proposed GOP Health Plan As the American Medical Association comes out against the Senate health care bill, The New York Times and other outlets round up reactions on it from across America. KQED: Californians Contemplate ‘Unthinkable Choices’ If GOP Health Plan Becomes Law last_img read more

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WatchFood Guide out of touch with Canadians unfairly vilifies processed foods industry

first_imgFood Guide out of touch with Canadians, ‘unfairly vilifies’ processed foods, industry groups say ‘… we should be focusing on the cakes, the candies, the sugary drinks’ The new Canada Food Guide’s criticism of processed foods has raised the ire of an industry group that is suggesting the guidelines are out of touch with the time and budget constraints consumers face when preparing a modern meal.The updated food guide, released on Tuesday after years of anticipation, directs consumers to “limit highly processed foods” — warning about sodium and sugar content in such items as deli meats, frozen dinners, muffins and ice cream. But that warning “unfairly vilifies” the entire processed food category, said Food and Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), a trade association representing packaged food and beverage manufacturers across the country.“During the week, people, they’re pushed. The kids are in activities. People are working. It’s hard,” Michael Graydon, chief executive at FCPC, said Tuesday. “You don’t always have time to make tomato sauce, so you buy a jar of tomato sauce — that’s a processed product. Maple Leaf Foods goes all-natural in entire line of processed meats Our changing eating habits are causing a ‘bloodbath’ among food makers that will only get worse Low on sugar: Consumption slides for the first time in 25 years as shoppers turn against cola and candy “The food guide I don’t think fully recognizes that consumer demand for convenience,” he said. “I don’t see it as being fair or practical.”In its first update to the guide since 2007, Health Canada abandoned its rainbow of four food groups in favour of a picture of the perfect plate: half fruits and vegetables, one quarter for protein, one quarter whole grains. The guide champions plant-based proteins over animal-based proteins — once the star of the “meat and alternatives” food group. It also stripped dairy of its food group, leaving it represented by just a small saucer of yoghurt in the plate diagram.The shift to plant-based proteins doesn’t match a solid North American demand for meat, livestock and meat, market analyst Kevin Grier said Tuesday. In roughly 2013, after two decades of decline, demand for meat has started to grow, he said.“Canadians are eating more meat at higher prices,” Grier said.Graydon, at FCPC, said the guide exceeded the industry’s expectations, which deteriorated throughout the consultation process as Health Canada signalled radical changes.“I think most would look at it today and say it’s not as bad as we expected it to be,” he said, adding that, overall, he was impressed with how Health Canada modernized the guide.But by eschewing processed foods, Graydon said, the guide is jeopardizing its own credibility with the already health-conscious consumer. “I think the consumer is actually ahead of Health Canada,” he said, adding that food processors have responded to consumer demands for healthier products by offering such foods as reduced-sodium potato chips.“I don’t think we can all live on fresh food,” he said, pointing to the increase in cost for fruit and vegetables during the winter. “The logic is: ‘I can’t afford and I don’t have time to only eat fresh product. I need packaged products.’”The oversight, he said, may have been avoided if Health Canada hadn’t excluded industry research from its consultation process — a move meant to avoid conflict of interest.I don’t think we can all live on fresh food. The logic is: ‘I can’t afford and I don’t have time to only eat fresh product. I need packaged products.’Michael Graydon, CEO, Food and Consumer Products of Canada Share this storyFood Guide out of touch with Canadians, ‘unfairly vilifies’ processed foods, industry groups say Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn January 23, 20199:32 AM EST Filed under News Retail & Marketing 14 Comments Join the conversation → Reddit Emailcenter_img More Comment Jake Edmiston Facebook Twitter Health Canada did not respond to a request for comment late Tuesday afternoon. In a technical briefing ahead of the guide’s release, however, Health Canada’s director general of nutrition policy and promotion defended the warning about processed foods.“Processed or prepared foods and beverages that contribute to excess sodium, free sugars or saturated fat undermine healthy eating as they are linked to chronic disease risk when consumed in excess,” said Dr. Hasan Hutchinson. “This is why these foods should not be consumed regularly.”Asked about Health Canada’s warning against deli meats in particular, Mary Ann Binnie, the Canadian Meat Council’s nutrition consultant, noted that the advice was to limit consumption, not avoid it entirely.“People are splitting hairs over the difference between the animal and plant-based proteins. Quite frankly, we should be focusing on the cakes, the candies, the sugary drinks,” she said.“Deli meat, if it’s served on a beautiful multi-grain bread with lettuce and tomato slices, that’s the way to enjoy deli meat, rather than adding it on top of deep-fried, high-fat, high-sodium pizza.” last_img read more

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Watch Tesla Model S P100D Smoke Pair Of Dodge Demons

The Model S performs some exorcism on the drag stripFor all the hype’s worth over the course of last year, the Dodge Demon and the Tesla Model S have been crowned the king of the drag strip by numerous news outlets. Whether it’s the one or the other purely depends on what your motoring preferences are: old school V8 American Muscle or the new, all-electric family sedans that push out mind-numbing performance in a straight line. This video comes courtesy of the Tesla Racing Channel and it gives us a direct showcase of what can a Tesla Model S P100D can do against a pair of Dodge Demons.More Dodge Demons and Teslas Racing Videos Watch Tesla Model S P100D Race Dodge Demon Off Drag Strip While these two cars couldn’t be farther apart from both how they’re powered and what they’re made for, they do pose two rather great drag strip combatants. One is marketed as a solid, luxury-laden family sedan that comes with an impressive electric range and even more appealing performance. The other one is a beast built purely for the racetrack.Dodge claims that the Demon is the time the world’s fastest production vehicle with a 0-60mph (0-97km/h) time of just 2.3 seconds. With a roll-out, that could sink down to 2.1 seconds. On paper, that’s quicker than a Bugatti Chiron (2.4secs) and the Tesla P100D with Ludicrous Plus (2.3 and a little bit). Overall, an impressive figure for a V8 supercharged vehicle that is RWD (Rear Wheel Drive) and which doesn’t come with all the traction luxuries as the AWD (All Wheel Drive) Tesla.However, that doesn’t stop the Demon in tripping the lights at an insanely fast 9.65 seconds and posts an impressive top speed of 140mph. In theory, the Demon should give the Tesla a run for its money. But, for this Tesla Model S P100D, that doesn’t seem to be enough at all. Even though both seem to be running the Demon crate package (set of items designed to improve the Demon’s drag racing performance), Tesla doesn’t even blink.You can see how the 840 horsepower Dodge Demons fair against this Model S P100D in the video above. But let me tell you, some egos will be hurt. If Elon can advance the Model S in a similar fashion once again, we’re looking at 9-second family sedans down the 1/4 mile track. And that’s impressive. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 8, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Model S P100D Versus Roaring Dodge Demon Dodge Demon Disclaimer Admits Its Slower Than Tesla Model S read more

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Nissan announces pricing for the new longerrange LEAF PLUS

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicles Magazine Springtime is at hand, and two long-awaited EVs have finally sprung forth – first the $35,000 Tesla Model 3, and now the 200,000-mile Nissan LEAF.Nissan has announced that the new LEAF PLUS will go on sale at retailers across the US this month. The LEAF PLUS sports a new 62 kWh battery pack that delivers an EPA range of up to 226 miles, and a more powerful motor that cranks out 214 hp of power.The standard 2019 LEAF, with a 40 kWh battery pack and 150 miles of range, will continue to be available. Each version is available in three trim levels.Nissan says the new LEAF PLUS powertrain offers nearly 13 percent quicker acceleration when driving at high speeds. A new DC fast charging system offers an improved charging rate of up to 100 kW.“With the addition of LEAF PLUS, the Nissan LEAF is now available with two battery options and a choice of six trim levels,” said Brian Marango, Director, EV Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America.MSRPs for the 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS (plus an $895 “destination and handling” charge):LEAF S PLUS – $36,550LEAF SV PLUS – $38,510LEAF SL PLUS – $42,550Like all EVs sold in the US, all LEAF models have a limited 8-year/100,000-mile battery pack warranty. Nissan also provides a limited warranty against battery capacity loss below 9 bars of capacity for 8 years or 100,000 miles. Source: Nissanlast_img read more

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