Logitechs K840 is a mechanical keyboard for the rest of us

first_imgThere’s nothing quite like the satisfying “clack” of a mechanical keyboard, but these days, they seem to mostly be the domain of gamers. It’s true there are some mechanical keyboards out there that aren’t outfitted with RGB backlights and a design that screams “I’m a gamer,” but those can feel few and far between. Logitech has an answer to that problem with its new K840 mechanical keyboard. Announced on the heels of the Logitech G413, the K840 is a mechanical keyboard for those who want that clack without the flair. In fact, there’s nothing particularly eye-catching about it – it’s simply a black keyboard with white lettering. The main draw is unseen at a glance, as it comes in the form of Logitech’s own Romer G switches.These are the switches that Logitech developed in-house to compete against Cherry’s popular mechanical switches. Logitech says these switches will last over 70 million keystrokes, giving the K840 some degree of expected longevity. Beyond that, the switches serve to elevate the keys, perhaps making the K840 more comfortable to type on for some folks.Of course, this keyboard isn’t just made for office workers who would like a more subdued design. If you’re a gamer and you can do without things like LED backlighting, there are still some features here for you. Those include programmable function keys, a Windows key lock, and 26-key rollover. The K840 is available now, but like other mechanical keyboards, it comes with a higher cost than some may be used to. Logitech is asking $79.99 for this keyboard, which is $10 less than the G413. While that isn’t exactly cheap, it isn’t nearly as expensive as some other mechanical keyboards out there, and Logitech is even willing to toss in free shipping for those who are on the fence. Take a closer look by checking out the source link below.SOURCE: Logitechlast_img read more

Red Bull wingsuit flyers land inside a plane in midair

first_imgRed Bull has a new video of a pair of French wingsuit flyers who jump off the top of the Jungfrau mountain in Switzerland clad in their flying suits. Rather than flying around and popping their parachutes to land, these guys fly into an airplane.The wingsuit flyers glided through the air and did a fancy tuck and roll to land inside the open door of an airplane diving towards the ground. One of the early scenes of the video appears to show a missed attempt that leaves the wingsuit flyer tumbling through the air.The duo of wingsuit flyers is Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet known as the Soul Flyers. The video is worth a watch. It certainly looks as if it would be easy to accidentally hit the propeller in this sort of stunt.It also looks like getting tangled on parts of the aircraft is a big possibility. It appears that the pilot had a hard time finding the flyers in the beginning. If you have never seen the Red Bull folks who jump off things and then use wingsuits to fly like birds, it’s very cool. It also looks terrifying, but it is as close to being Superman as a person can come. Normally these wingsuit crazies pop a parachute and float to the ground once they get too low.last_img read more

HP Chromebook x2 is a sleek 2in1 rival to the iPad Pro

first_imgThat’s because it is, in HP’s words, “the world’s first Chromebook detachable.” At first glance it looks like a regular laptop, albeit one with an oversized hinge. In that form, it’s 15.3 mm thick and tips the scales at 3.14 pounds. However, pull the screen section free of that magnetic hinge, and you have a tablet instead. Then, it weighs 1.62 pounds and is 8.2 mm thick. The 12.3-inch display is a Quad HD touchscreen, and HP has added support for a digital pen if you want to ink on it, too. Inside the slate section there are a variety of Intel 7th Generation Core processors, along with up to 8 GB of LPDDR3 memory. Local storage tops out at 32 GB by default, though there’s a microSD card slot which can be used to add up to 256 GB of onboard capacity. Buyers of the Chromebook x2 get two years of subscription to 100 GB of Google Cloud storage, too. Ports, meanwhile, include two USB Type-C – which support data, charging, and external displays – along with a headphone jack. The Chromebook x2 looks the part as well, with HP outfitting the slate section in ceramic white anodized aluminum. The full-sized detachable keyboard, meanwhile, has a leather-like surface, finished in Oxford Blue. Courtesy of that magnetic hinge, the tablet can be set up in multiple orientations, depending on what you want to achieve. B&O Play speakers, together with a 5-megapixel front camera and a 13-megapixel rear camera round out the key specs. Of course, because this is Chrome OS, you can not only run apps designed for that platform but Android software was well. HP says the battery should last up to ten hours. Unfortunately, right now there’s no sign of an onboard 4G LTE option. That’s something HP’s Windows 10 on ARM based Envy x2 offers, allowing users to get online even if they’re out of reach of a WiFi network. The HP Chromebook x2 will go on sale from June 10. It’ll be priced from $599.99. HP was one of the first to have a Windows on ARM convertible, and now it’s getting in early on Chromebook tablets, with the launch of the HP Chromebook x2. Building on the new version of Google’s OS that’s designed to work on devices that don’t necessarily have keyboards, the Chromebook x2 arguably offers the best of both worlds. Story TimelineChromebook tablets take iPad fight to the classroomAcer Chromebook Tab 10 leads the way on Google’s education quest2018 iPad vs. Acer Chromebook Tab 10: education showdownlast_img read more

Amazon patent reveals warehouse drones with claws and airbags

first_imgAmazon owns a large number of warehouses where employees reportedly work at sometimes grueling paces to meet performance requirements and fill orders. The company has previously patented technology seemingly intended to increase their performance or make sure they’re not slacking, including a wristband that reportedly snitches on employees.This latest patent hints that the company may be turning to drones as a way to improve its warehouse performance. In the patent, which details a “Collaborative unmanned aerial vehicle for an inventory system,” Amazon describes a UAV with a “buoyant airbag,” “retention feature,” “drive unit,” and “an onboard control module.”The retention feature, which resembles a claw that drops downward, can be used to “retain one or more items for transport,” with the drone itself moving the item from one location to another location. The patent describes usage scenarios that could help move items around, taking some of the burden off warehouse employees who otherwise may have to travel between warehouse levels. For example:AdChoices广告…a UAV can be controlled to obtain an item at one location in a warehouse such as a first floor, lift said item to a second location in the warehouse such as a second floor, and deposit the item at the second location.The use of drones like this may enable Amazon to redesign its warehouses and the way inventory is placed. In its present form, human warehouse workers must be able to access all items, and getting to them can’t take up too much time. A drone with a claw, however, can fly above an item and pluck it from a vast row that may otherwise be inaccessible to humans. Whether Amazon plans to actually deploy such drones is anyone’s guess, however.SOURCE: Gizmodo Another Amazon patent has appeared at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In the document, Amazon details a new type of drone designed specifically for its warehouses. Unlike quadcopters and similar drones consumers are familiar with, Amazon’s illustrations show a unique bubble-like drone with a claw similar to the one found in crane arcade games.last_img read more

Galaxy S10 3rd model tipped to bring back a cherished feature

first_imgStory TimelineGalaxy S10 secrets may spill courtesy of SamsungGalaxy S10 tipped to make same triple play as AppleGalaxy S10 features coming to A9 Star Pro and A7 2018 first Three different Samsung Galaxy S10 models were identified by their code-names this week, each with a different display. One was said to have a 6.44-inch display, another a 5.8-inch display (both of these with “Edge” or “Infinity” display properties.) The third device was said to come with a feature we’ve been waiting for in a top-tier Samsung phone for several years – the return of the flat screen! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, especially those with Galaxy Notes with S Pens that slip off the sides. There’ll be a flat Galaxy S10, at long last. The irony of the situation for those Samsung device users wishing for this feature is that this model will probably be the least expensive.Samsung’s been pushing the curved-edge smartphone as premium for so long, it’s as if having it was something people were asking for in the first place. In reality, when Samsung first delivered this curvy display tech, it was mostly something to fawn over. That’s cool, we’d say, but why?Now people buy Galaxy smartphones because they have curved edges almost as if to say “this looks like it was difficult to do, it must be better.” According to leakster Ice Universe on Twitter, Samsung is about to check whether their curved-edge trend-line is due for a bend.Galaxy S10, said Ice Universe, is coming in three models. There’ll be the SM-G970 with a 5.8-inch flat display, SM-G973 with a 5.8-inch edge display, and the SM-G975 with a 6.44-inch edge display. There’s rumor of a fourth model, but it’s far less likely to appear than to pop up in the next several weeks. If Samsung follows the schedule it set for itself over the past few years, we’ll see an event pre-MWC. That’d mean February 24th, 2019. Release for all three devices (or more) would then likely be March 15th (or thereabouts) in the year 2019. Check back to see our full reviews, too!last_img read more

The big tech behind the 2017 Acura NSX specs

first_imgEach is good for 36 HP and 54 lb-ft. of torque, with the latter coming in from 0-2,000 rpm. That means as soon as you hit the throttle you get maximum torque, an instantaneous shove forward as the electric drive hands over to the gasoline. Even when the V6 is doing its thing, the electric motors aren’t idle, either being used to regenerate power for the batteries during braking, or to smooth out the dip in gas engine power during gearshifts. However, their magic doesn’t end there. They’re also instrumental in how the NSX delivers a special type of all-wheel drive. Not all SH-AWD is created equalIf you’ve been following Acura for some time, you’ll probably have heard of SH-AWD. Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is the umbrella term for Acura’s torque vectoring system, shifting engine power between the different wheels of the vehicle according to which has most grip, and which will deliver the best handling and/or acceleration. It’s been a mainstay of Acura cars and SUVs for years now, but while the new NSX may bear same badge, its interpretation of SH-AWD is considerably different. In the case of the new supercar, it’s actually Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, and it uses the electric motors on the front wheels to individually control torque to each. Traditional torque vectoring SH-AWD splits the engine torque from left to right on the back wheels, driving one more than the other to increase the car’s turning force. On the NSX, though, the rear wheels get the power from the gas engine while the front wheels use an electric motor each for a special type of torque vectoring.Like with the old system, the NSX can push one electric motor more than the other. However, it can also effectively apply counter-torque, dragging the wheel and thus increasing the overall effect.It even has a beneficial impact on the hybrid aspect of the car, since the dragging motor works as a generator to recharge the battery in the process. The result, as we found both on the track and the road, is the tighter turns that make the NSX feel like it’s pivoting around you. Somebody cut the brakesGoing fast in a straight line, going fast around corners… all that’s left is stopping, and preferably doing it fast too. Like most hybrids, the NSX uses regenerative braking so as not to squander the energy created while the car is slowing. Just as the electric motors can be used for propulsion, so they can be metaphorically flipped around and used as individual generators, slowing the car in the process. Unlike most of its rivals, however, there’s no mechanical connection between the NSX’s brake pedal and the brake mechanism. Instead, it uses brake-by-wire: the pedal is really a linear controller, much like the throttle trigger on a console gamepad, telling the car’s computers how much you want to brake.By separating the two, the NSX can figure out the complex calculations around how much regenerative braking force and how much hydraulic braking force to apply at any one time. Since stomping on a gamepad switch isn’t especially informative for your right foot, Acura mimics normal brake feel with a brake operation simulator. Effectively, you tell the car how much you want to brake, the computer figures out how to implement that braking, and then instructs the pedal’s resistance to change according to what’s happened. NOW READ: 2017 Acura NSX first driveAnd if the electronics fail? The NSX can use the traditional hydraulic system entirely, just in case. After all, sometimes it’s good to have the old school systems there for backup. Still hungry for more on the 2017 Acura NSX? Check out our full drive report for all the details! One car, four enginesOn paper, the 2017 NSX is a mid-engined car. Lift the rear hatch, indeed, and you’ll see it, a 3.5 liter V6 with twin turbos lurking just behind the seats. Yet somehow, the Honda and Acura engineers have managed to squeeze in another three engines.That’s because the NSX has been electrified, with not one but three electric motors in various places in the car. The biggest is the Direct Drive Motor, nestled in alongside the V6 itself, and contributing 47 HP and 109 lb-ft. of torque. They may not sound like huge figures – the NSX’s gas engine is good for 500 HP and 406 lb-ft. alone, after all – but it’s how they’re implemented that’s important. Acura uses the Direct Drive Motor to assist the V6: its peak torque comes in between just 500 and 2,000 rpm, when the twin-turbos are still spooling up, so as to smooth out any turbo lag. From 2,000 rpm on, the V6’s own max torque is delivered. At the front, meanwhile, is the Twin Motor Unit, a pair of electric motors that drive the front wheels. Again, on their own they pale next to a Tesla Model S, but Acura applies them in a targeted way.center_img Never has there been a supercar as relentlessly cutting-edge, as deliberately modern, as the 2017 Acura NSX. Picking up the torch passed on from the original NSX of the 90s means more than just a nameplate and that legendary Honda reliability: it’s also about embracing the very latest in powertrain, handling, and hybridization. Complicated stuff: here’s what you need to know for your next geeky dinner party. last_img read more

Watch Ken Block go wild with the genius Ford Focus RS Drift

first_imgThe stick itself is made of solid aluminum, and fits between the driver and the manual gearshift. It plugs into the car’s systems via the existing diagnostics port, and there’s no welding, hold drilling, or any other permanent modifications to either the cabin or the brake system. Ford says it can be triggered with just five or six pounds of pressure, which is far less than a hydraulic handbrake would demand. “I think it’s really cool that Ford Performance is offering customers a way to create large-angle drifts in the Focus RS,” pro-driver Ken Block said of the Drift Stick, having been called in to help sign off on the project. “Obviously it’s something that I’m really passionate about having been a part of the development of the production vehicle, so it’s exciting to see it come to life.” Ford’s Focus RS got us excited with its Drift Mode, and now Ford Performance is adding a handbrake, though this is no normal lever. The Ford Performance Drift Stick is the first electronic handbrake, designed to work with the Focus RS’ all-wheel-drive and antilock brake system. Apparently it’s so good, notorious hooner Ken Block has given his seal of approval. Since the Drift Stick connects in the same way as Ford’s existing professional calibration tool, the team decided to bundle that functionality with it. There’s a USB port which, when hooked up to your computer, opens the door to select diagnostic data from the car, in addition to being able to load custom powertrain calibrations. Ford is being cautious, pointing out that the Ford Performance Drift Stick is really intended for track use, not on public roads. Still, that’s what it says about Drift Mode and, given the number of crashed Focus RS you see on a regular basis, it’s clear that not everybody is listening to that advice. It’ll go up for sale on December 1, priced at $999 complete with the aluminum lever, the mounts for that, and the circuit board. The Focus RS’ warranty will be unchanged if you install it, though the same can’t be said if you subsequently crash while using it. Old-school handbrake turns and modern car electronics don’t often play particularly nicely. Meanwhile, fitting a hydraulic handbrake would’ve demanded some serious work on the Focus RS in order to make it work. Those changes, Ford points out, wouldn’t be readily reversed either. Instead, Ford Performance went for a more high-tech system. The Drift Stick – internally codenamed Project Wicked Stick – connects to the car’s systems electronically instead: when pulled, it opened up the rear-drive unit clutches, and has hydraulic pressure applied to the rear wheels so as to lock them up. That way you get drift, but without any use of the clutch. Story TimelineThe first 2016 Ford Focus RS is ready (and we can’t wait)The 2016 Ford Focus RS takes on 3 Rivals in High Performance compact showdownThe 2018 Focus RS Limited Edition is a Ford fan’s wishlist come truelast_img read more

2019 Hennessey VelociRaptor V8 ditches the turbo V6

first_imgHennessey says that it will build only 100 units for the 2019 model year. Each will have a 3-year/36k mile warranty covering the base truck and the V8 conversion. The truck can be purchased directly via Hennessey or at authorized Ford dealers.AdChoices广告 We already mentioned the truck can hit 60mph in 4.1 seconds, it can run the quarter mile in 12.2-seconds at 115 mph. The 758bhp rating is at the crank, at the wheels the truck has 570hp. The truck uses a custom tune and lots of cooling updates; pricing is $147,950.SOURCE: Hennessey It is tuned to make 758hp and is mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission. That 2.9L supercharger forces 7psi of boost into the V8 engine and the VelociRaptor V8 can run from 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds. The engine swap isn’t all that Hennessey does to the VelociRaptor V8.The truck also gets VelociRaptor front and rear bumpers, LED front lights, Stage 2 off-road suspension with a 6-inch lift, Hennessey 20-inch alloy wheels, 37-inch BFG KM03 off-road tires, and Hennessey outside badges. Inside the truck gets Hennessey embroidered headrests and serial number plates inside the truck and under the hood.center_img No matter how much power and torque the new Ford Raptor makes with its twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine, there are those who lament the lack of a V8. The tweakers over at Hennessey Performance have fixed Ford’s lack of a V8 with the new 2019 Hennessey VelociRaptor V8. The V8 engine under the hood of the truck is a 5.0L Ford V8 with a supercharger.last_img read more

Galaxy Fold redesign is finished and this is what changed

first_imgStory TimelineGalaxy Fold delayed yet again and it’s probably for the bestGalaxy Fold ready to launch again, Samsung exec claimsSamsung chief has a simple excuse for “embarrassing” Galaxy Fold In a rather unexpected and almost unprecedented move, Samsung’s chief executive put on the record the embarrassment that the Galaxy Fold fiasco caused the company. It isn’t turning a blind eye to the controversy but neither is it backing down from its vision of a foldable future. In fact, anonymous insiders claim that the company has just wrapped up two months of fixing the Galaxy Fold’s design flaws and it has added another precaution to the changes it was already reported to have implemented. News that Samsung has already settled on a fix for the Galaxy Fold isn’t exactly new. Last month, insiders talked about how it has decided to stretch the sensitive and critical protective film around the entire screen and tuck it under the bezels to make it impossible to peel off with just a fingernail. It also reportedly shrunk the opening at the hinges to block the ingress of particles.A new element to the design is how the new hinge will push upward from the screen to further stretch the film. This supposedly has two benefits. One, it should make the protective film feel harder and not be mistaken for a mere screen protector. It could also supposedly reduce the creasing at the fold.Samsung is reportedly close to finishing the production of a final version of the Galaxy Fold but the question remains when it will be re-launched. Company execs are still undecided on when to best do that given it will undoubtedly steal the spotlight from any product that will launch close to it. At the same time, it can’t put that date off much longer, especially with shopping holidays just a few months away.AdChoices广告Samsung is rightfully taking its time to solve these issues lest it ends up with another embarrassing situation due to rushing matters. Especially with the Galaxy Note 10 coming in a month, it might not be able to launch the new Galaxy Fold ASAP anyway.last_img read more

LongTerm Hospice Care Questions For Baby Boomers Bubble Under Surface

first_imgCare for baby boomers looms large as news outlets consider what long-term and hospice care for them could look like and how it could affect their prospects for quality care.Reuters: Care Gap Looms Large For Aging Baby BoomersCall it the care gap: that space between needing basic household help and full nursing care. The issue looms large because nearly three in four Americans over age 65 will require some form of long-term care during their lives, according to the National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information. And as many as 12 percent of nursing home residents are considered “low need” who could live in the community if they had the right support at home, according to the journal Health Affairs (Ramnarace, 7/2).The Associated Press: With Boomers Coming, Hospice Industry DiversifiesForget that image of a hospice worker sitting next to a hospital bed in a dimly lit room. Today, hospice care is delivered everywhere from the golf course to the casino. As they brace for the eventual needs of the aging baby boom generation, hospice providers are working to diversify their services and dispel misconceptions about what they do (Ramer, 7/2). Long-Term, Hospice Care Questions For Baby Boomers Bubble Under Surface This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Young Adults Remain A Focus Of Insurance Marketplace Outreach

first_imgThis key demographic is needed to help keep insurance costs lower.Kaiser Health News: Young Invincibles’ Decision: To Get Coverage Or NotThe success of the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplaces may depend on people like [26-year-old] Lizzie Bunnen. If healthy adults her age don’t sign up, the risk is that predominantly older and sicker members will drive up costs and threaten the portals’ future. With the Dec. 23 deadline approaching for January coverage, and at the end of March for all 2014 enrollment, the clock is ticking on what many believe is one of the health law’s biggest challenges. As a result, ACA backers have stepped up efforts to persuade Bunnen and others aged 18 to their mid-30s to give Obamacare a second chance on newly improved websites such as healthcare.gov (Hancock, 12/20). Reuters: Analysis: How The White House Is Rebranding Obamacare For ‘Young Invincibles’Last summer, White House officials planning a nationwide push to urge young adults to enroll in new health insurance plans had a big problem: Polls showed that many young, healthy people who could be key to the success of the Affordable Care Act knew little about it or its October 1 rollout. So the administration, scrambling to create a publicity “buzz” that would ripple across social media, turned to Hollywood (Bohan, 12/21). Young Adults Remain A Focus Of Insurance Marketplace Outreach This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

First Edition January 27 2014

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. Today’s headlines include a report about a new Associated Press poll that found some negative views of the health law may be easing.  Kaiser Health News: Florida County With Highest Uninsured Rate Sees Little Impact From ObamacareKaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz, working in collaboration with USA Today, reports: “In the city that calls itself “America’s Sweetest Town,” the smell of burning sugar cane pierces the 80 degree January air. Steam billows from the 12-story U.S. Sugar Corp. factory that dominates the landscape and the economy in this region, halfway between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Some describe the aroma as sweet, others as sour — a metaphor of sorts for the Affordable Care Act and its impact on this South Florida county that has the state’s highest uninsured rate” (Galewitz, 1/27). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: The Clubfoot Correction: How Parents Pushed For A Better TreatmentKaiser Health News staff writer Jenny Gold, working in collaboration with NPR, reports: “Mary Snyder found out during her pregnancy at her 19-week ultrasound that her baby had clubfoot; both of Alice’s feet were completely turned inward, forming the twisted U-shape typical of clubfoot. The condition is one of the most common birth defects, affecting about one out of every thousand babies, but that was little comfort to Snyder” (Gold, 1/27). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: HHS Releases Poverty Guidelines For 2014Now on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Jordan Rau writes: “The federal government has released slightly higher poverty level guidelines for 2014, but those won’t alter the income thresholds that are being used now to determine what kind of financial assistance is available to buy insurance under the health law” (Rau, 1/27). Check out what else is new on the blog. Kaiser Health News also tracked weekend health policy headlines, including reports about the most recent health law enrollment tallies offered by the Obama administration (1/24), the Supreme Court’s temporary reprieve from the health law’s birth control mandate for an order of nuns (1/24) and the outcome of a long saga in Texas regarding a brain dead, pregnant woman who was being kept alive on a ventilator (1/26).The Associated Press/Washington Post: AP-GfK Poll: Negative View Of Health Rollout EasesMemo to the White House: The website may be fixed, but President Barack Obama’s new health insurance markets have yet to win over most consumers. Negative perceptions of the health care rollout have eased, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds. But overall, two-thirds of Americans say things still aren’t going well. Of those who’ve tried to sign up, or who live with someone who has, 71 percent have encountered problems. But the share reporting success jumped to 40 percent from a meager 24 percent in December (1/27). Politico: State Of The Union 2014: The Search For A Non-Awkward Obamacare Shout-OutThis time, President Barack Obama is going to have to actually talk about Obamacare in his State of the Union address. No more touch-the-base-and-keep-running treatments, the way he’s handled it the past couple of years. This time, he’ll be expected to linger on base a bit, at least long enough to acknowledge the launch of the biggest domestic achievement of his presidency — and do it in the least awkward way possible (Nather, 1/27). Politico: Direct Sign-Up For Obamacare Subsidy Enrollees Still BumpyNearly two-thirds of the way through the Obamacare sign-up season, most insurers are still having trouble with direct enrollment of individuals who qualify for subsidies. Upgrades have been promised to the feature of HealthCare.gov designed to facilitate this process, and carriers and brokers are trying to stay optimistic that they’ll come in time to help enroll a rush of applicants ahead of the March 31 deadline for 2014 coverage. “They’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still a lot to do. We’re told all of the critical changes will be completed during this open enrollment period,” said Michael Mahoney, a senior vice president with GoHealth, a private online insurance brokerage that is selling exchange plans (Norman, 1/24).Politico: Deductibles May Create Obamacare SurprisesSkimpy, pre-Obamacare insurance plans are being phased out, but some of the more comprehensive plans being sold in the new marketplaces carry hefty deductibles consumers have to pay before all their benefits kick in. … Granted, they’re just one part of what people end up paying, and the health law caps out of pocket spending. And not every new health plan carries higher deductibles than the old, individual market plans, despite claims by some Republicans hostile to the law.But deductibles — the amount a customer must generally spend before their policy kicks in — can still take a big unexpected chunk out of shoppers’ wallets (Winfield Cunningham, 1/26).Politico: Getting Obamacare To The Hardest-To-Reach AmericansWhile Obamacare’s botched rollout made enrollment difficult for many Americans, certain groups continue to face coverage barriers that extend far beyond a troubled website. In fact, the individuals involved — from homeless people and recently paroled inmates to former foster-care children — often aren’t even aware they are eligible for benefits. Reaching underserved populations who are newly qualified for coverage under the law’s Medicaid expansion remains a major concern and challenge, according to advocates speaking Saturday at the Families USA Health Action conference in Washington, D.C. (Kalter, 1/26).NPR:  The Healthy, Not The Young, May Determine Health Law’s FateNow that the problems with the balky HealthCare.gov website are largely fixed, the Obama administration is finally feeling comfortable enough to launch some of the outreach it planned for last fall. Its top target: young adults, specifically those between 18 and 35. … The theory has been that without young and healthy people in the insurance pools, premiums will spiral upward in future years. But people have started to wonder just how critical those young people really are to making the health exchanges operate smoothly  (Rovner, 1/24).The Associated Press: Health Overhaul Law Gets Tricky When Kids Might Be Eligible For Medicaid But Parents Are NotFamilies shopping for health insurance through the new federal marketplace are running into trouble getting everyone covered when children are eligible for Medicaid but their parents are not. Children who qualify for Medicaid, the safety-net program for the poor and disabled, can’t be included on subsidized family plans purchased through the federal marketplace, a fact that is taking many parents by surprise and leaving some kids stuck without coverage (Ramer, 1/26).The Wall Street Journal: New Benefits Come With ObamacareCoverage for pregnancy and childbirth? Check. Mental-health care? Prescription drugs? Check and check. People who buy health insurance as on their own are seeing big changes as their coverage gets more comprehensive this year. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires that all new plans offered in 2014 cover a set of “essential health benefits,” some at no cost to enrollees. The benefits are modeled after those typically offered by large employers and fall into 10 broad categories (Gerencher, 1/26).The Texas Tribune/The New York Times: Local Governments Pursue Obamacare EnrollmentWhile no one believed carrying out the Affordable Care Act in Texas would be easy, a series of additional obstacles has impeded efforts to help the 6.2 million uninsured Texans find health coverage. The launch of the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov, was a technical disaster. The state’s Republican leadership, saying Medicaid is broken, has refused to expand the program for impoverished adults. And last week, the Texas Department of Insurance issued state regulations that added further training and other requirements for the navigators hired and trained by recipients of federal grants to help people enroll in the health marketplace. Still, government officials and community-based organizations are working together to incorporate new rules, maximize their resources and educate uninsured Texans on how to take advantage of the federal law (Aaronson, 1/26).The Wall Street Journal: H&R Block Tackles Health-Care OpportunityIt is said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. A third might be that someone will try to make a buck off the first two. After all, the Grim Reaper doesn’t show up absent some illness or injury, while Uncle Sam requires lots of paperwork to assess his take. Both usually involve professional assistance. And the Affordable Care Act means the $2.8 trillion health-care and $19 billion tax-preparation industries just got much more complicated. Having faced uncertainty, health insurers and hospitals looked like winners in the overhaul. But tax preparers such as H&R Block could be surprise beneficiaries of the law’s heretofore messy implementation (Jakab, 1/26). Politico: In Target’s Wake, Businesses Plot Obamacare Paths Target became the latest big company to follow the old drill: drop health coverage for some workers, blame Obamacare and watch Republicans pounce. Home Depot and Trader Joe’s made similar changes to their health plans last year, and UPS limited coverage for spouses. … While each situation was a little different, the initial conclusion that Obamacare was leaving consumers worse off starts to gets squishy when the details are unpacked. … since many employers are still figuring out how to respond to the new law, it’s worth discerning lessons from Target’s announcement this week (Nather and Winfield Cunningham, 1/24).The Associated Press: Carney: Obamacare Worth It, No Matter Political ConsequencesDays before President Obama is set to deliver the annual State of the Union during, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told ABC News that passing and implementing the president’s signature health care law is worth any political consequences, including losing the Democratically-controlled Senate to the Republicans. “This is not about politics. So the answer is, it is absolutely worth it, no matter what happens politically,” Carney said when asked about the possibility of losing the Senate during an interview at the White House for “This Week” (Bell, 1/26).The Washington Post: Doctors Cut From Medicare Advantage Networks Struggle With What To Tell PatientsThousands of primary-care doctors and specialists across the country have been terminated from privately run Medicare Advantage plans, sparking a battle between doctors who say patient care is being threatened and insurers that insist they have to reduce costs and streamline their operations. Medical associations, which describe the dismissals as the largest in the program’s history, say the cuts are forcing some patients to leave their doctors in mid-treatment  (Cha, 1/25).The Wall Street Journal: The Pitfalls Of Applying For Medicare Roughly 3.65 million Americans will turn 65 this year and become eligible for Medicare. But be warned: There’s nothing simple about signing up for the government’s health-care insurance program. “Medicare is complicated,” says Paula Muschler, operations manager of the Allsup Medicare Advisor, a Medicare advisory-services company. “There is a lot seniors can do either right or wrong that can have a lasting impact on their health-care costs for the rest of their lives.”  … Get a Medicare adviser, who, like a lawyer or a financial planner, can put you on the right track to finding the package that works best for your health and your pocketbook (Waters, 1/26).The New York Times: Doctors Abusing Medicare Face Fines And ExpulsionThe Obama administration is cracking down on doctors who repeatedly overcharge Medicare patients, and for the first time in more than 30 years the government may disclose how much is paid to individual doctors treating Medicare patients. Marilyn B. Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that “recalcitrant providers” would face civil fines and could be expelled from Medicare and other federal health programs. In a directive that took effect on Jan. 15 but received little attention, Ms. Tavenner indicated that the agency was losing patience with habitual offenders. She ordered new steps to identify and punish such doctors (Pear, 1/26).The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Feds Urge More Talks On NY Medicaid Application New York has revised its request for a $10 billion Medicaid adjustment, which would allow using that money in related health care programs, after federal officials concluded capital investment and some other programs are ineligible. The application was first filed 18 months ago, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah last week to publicly blame the federal delay for threatening financially distressed New York hospitals (1/26).The Associated Press/Washington Post: House To Review Insurance, Cyberbullying BillsMaryland’s House of Delegates will likely vote Tuesday on a plan to help residents who have struggled with the state’s health insurance exchange online. The bill would let customers sign up for retroactive coverage in the Maryland Health Insurance Plan, a separate safety net plan. Private insurance companies in the health exchange opened similar retroactive coverage options, but a deadline to register was last week (1/27).NPR: Silencing Many Hospital Alarms Leads To Better Health CareAlarms are good and necessary things in hospital care, except when there are so many of them that caregivers can’t keep track of the ones that signal a crisis that requires immediate attention. Then it may be that less technology can actually be more effective (Knox, 1/27). The Washington Post: Medical Advocates Decry Insurance Rules In Wash. State On Waiting Period For TransplantsNewly insured consumers in Washington state who purchased health plans through the online exchange might find a surprise when they comb through the fine print in their policies: They’ll have to wait 90 days from when their insurance begins before coverage for transplants will kick in. The waiting period, a holdover from the days when insurers were able to impose restrictions on coverage for all sorts of preexisting conditions, has become the latest flash point in the often tense negotiations between insurers, regulators, doctors and consumers over the design of the new individual and small-group health plans that went into effect Jan 1 (Cha, 1/26).Los Angeles Times: Brain-Dead, Pregnant Texas Woman Taken Off Life SupportAfter a bitter legal battle that became a touchstone in the abortion debate, a pregnant, brain-dead woman was removed from life support Sunday as a Texas hospital agreed to comply with a court order. Marlise Munoz’s body was to be turned over to her family, said attorneys for her husband, Erick Munoz. She had been on life support for about two months at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth after falling unconscious in her home Nov. 26 with a possible blood clot in her lung. At the time, she was 14 weeks pregnant (Pearce, 1/26).Los Angeles Times: Judge Kills Measure For Separate L.A. Health DepartmentA judge has preemptively struck down a ballot measure that would force the city of Los Angeles to launch its own health department separate from the county’s. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael P. Linfield ruled Friday that the measure scheduled for the June ballot would conflict with state law if passed and would “impermissibly interfere with essential government functions.” The measure was advocated by the nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is a major provider of AIDS- and HIV-related health services for the county’s health department, but has also frequently butted heads with county leaders (Sewell, 1/24).Politico: Creigh Deeds Talks Of Son’s AttackVirginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds says he hopes his son’s death will be used to help address “inequity” in the way the country views mental health issues. Deeds, who was stabbed multiple times by his bipolar son, Gus, on Nov. 19, 2013, told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the health system had failed his family (Drusch, 1/26). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. First Edition: January 27, 2014last_img read more

State Highlights Mass Gets 41B Deal With CMS Huge Nursing Home Complaint

first_imgState Highlights: Mass. Gets $41B Deal With CMS; Huge Nursing Home Complaint Backlog In Calif. A selection of health policy stories from California, Ohio, Massaschusetts, Oklahoma, Arizona and Kentucky. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Patrick administration early Friday evening announced a five-year health care deal with the federal government worth $41.4 billion, which will succeed a three-year $26.75 billion waiver agreement that expired June 30. (Norton, 11/1) Arizona doesn’t have enough primary care physicians to meet the need in many areas, particularly in rural and underserved parts of the state. According to a study by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation that also considered dentists and mental-health professionals, only 53 percent of Arizona’s primary health care needs are being met. To combat the problem, [University of Arizona] medical students held a Primary Care Week recently, offering speakers and events to promote the specialty of primary health care and address reservations students may have about entering the field. (Armstrong, 11/2) Cronkite News: Programs Aim To Move Medical Students Toward Primary Care California State Auditor Elaine M. Howle found that the complaints had been open for a year on average – a time frame she called unreasonable and “very concerning.” Nearly 370 open complaints arose from situations that put patients in “immediate jeopardy,” meaning they caused or were likely to cause serious injury or death, according to the review, which looked at cases open as of April 2014. In the Los Angeles County district, 65 immediate jeopardy complaints were open an average of 514 days. (Gorman, 10/31) Holly Dawson believes her job is a calling. She is one of about 2 million home care workers in the country. The jobs come with long hours and low pay. Each workday, Dawson drives through the Cleveland suburbs to help people take their medicines, bathe and do the dishes. She also takes time to lend a sympathetic ear. George Grellinger, a former client of hers, has dementia. He recently fell down the back steps of his home. Dawson remains friends and regularly stops in to check on him. To remain living at home, Grellinger had to switch to an aide who is covered by his veterans’ benefits. (Tribble, 11/3) The Associated Press: Heroin Task Force Marks One Year, Successes center_img A year after leaders in northern Kentucky formed a task force to battle the growing heroin problem, they are setting their sights on the next phase. The Northern Kentucky Heroin Impact Response Task Force gathered in Covington earlier this week to reflect on the year’s successes. But the business leaders, law enforcement officers and health care workers who make up the group know they have a long way to go. The group’s efforts have inspired 17 free overdose-prevention clinics, providing 129 free kits containing a life-saving drug, naloxone, The Kentucky Enquirer reported. The group has recorded five rescues, including a 15-year-old boy who overdosed on heroin on his birthday. (11/2) WBUR: State, Feds Reach Five-Year, $41.4B Health Care Accord Kaiser Health News: Home Health Workers Struggle For Better Pay And Health Insurance Kaiser Health News: California Audit Finds Backlog Of 11,000 Nursing Home Investigations The operator of some Oklahoma dental clinics has agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle allegations that it submitted false Medicaid claims. Federal and state prosecutors said Friday they had alleged that Ocean Dental, which operates clinics throughout the state, submitted false Medicaid claims for work that was either never performed or billed at higher rates than allowed. Officials alleged former Ocean Dental employee Dr. Robin Lockwood submitted claims for dental restorations between 2005 and 2010 that were either billed for more surfaces than actually performed or not performed at all. (11/1) The Associated Press: Oklahoma Dental Clinics Reach Medicaid Fraud Settlement last_img read more

Court System Set Up To Help Families Hurt By Vaccines Is Clogged

first_img A system Congress established to speed help to Americans harmed by vaccines has instead heaped additional suffering on thousands of families, The Associated Press has found. The premise was simple: quickly and generously pay for medical care in the rare cases when a shot to prevent a sickness such as flu or measles instead is the likely cause of serious health complications. But the system is not working as intended. (Weiss, Pritchard and Thibodeaux, 11/18) Court System Set Up To Help Families Hurt By Vaccines Is Clogged An Associated Press analysis finds the efforts are not working and instead have “heaped additional suffering” on families. The Associated Press: Vaccine Court Keeps Claimants Waiting center_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.last_img read more

CHIP Funding Measure Passes Through Committees But Its Not Smooth Sailing Ahead

first_img KQED: California Frets Over Funding After Congress Misses Health Care Deadlines The New York Times: Bill To Rescue Children’s Health Program Hits Snag In House Several states have drawn up contingency plans that involve capping enrollment and possibly taking steps to shut down their programs should funding not come through in time. Last week, Utah became the first state to request federal permission to wind down its program if Congress doesn’t renew funding by the end of the year. Utah’s program serves 19,000 children, and the state is also home to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) who oversees CHIP in Congress and is an influential supporter of the program. (Hackman, 10/4) CHIP Funding Measure Passes Through Committees, But It’s Not Smooth Sailing Ahead For Bill The provisions Republicans want to add to reauthorize funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program rankle Democrats, which might mean a bitter fight over of the popular program. Meanwhile, states are bracing for the worst. During the House panel’s markup hearing Wednesday, Democrat members slammed a Republican proposal to partially pay for CHIP by charging higher Medicare premiums to seniors earning more than $500,000. The Senate version of the bill does not suggest an offset to fund the program. “Here we are with a partisan bill that asks for coverage of children on the backs of seniors,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.). The suggestion could derail CHIP altogether, warned Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who noted that other bills circling in Congress, including proposed tax cuts, don’t suggest how they will be funded. But some Republicans maintained that higher Medicare premiums for wealthy beneficiaries likely wouldn’t be a hardship. (Dickson, 10/4) The Wall Street Journal: States Worry Federal Funding For Children’s Health Program Won’t Come In Time Legislation to rescue the Children’s Health Insurance Program sailed through a Senate committee on Wednesday, but touched off a partisan conflict in the House, diminishing hopes that the popular program would be quickly refinanced. Funding for the program expired on Sunday, and state officials said they would soon start notifying families that children could lose coverage if Congress did not provide additional money. It was impossible to say when Congress might pass a bill and send it to President Trump. (Pear, 10/4) More than a million California children get their health insurance from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also know as “CHIP.” But Congress missed an Oct. 1 deadline to renew CHIP funding — a lapse that many blame on the drawn-out effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (Feibel, 10/4) Bipartisan negotiations over an extension of children’s health insurance are veering off course, raising doubts that legislation can be passed quickly. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) played hardball on Wednesday, saying a fix for ObamaCare that is being negotiated by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) should be attached to the children’s health funding bill. (Sullivan, 10/4) center_img Morning Consult: Grassley Pressing To Include Drug Pricing Measures In CHIP Reauthorization Modern Healthcare: House, Senate Committees Pass CHIP Bill Proposals  The Associated Press: Parties Fight Over Funding Children’s Health Insurance The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the measure on a party-line 28-23 vote. The program covers 8.9 million low-income children, and a renewal of funds for it seems virtually inevitable. But four days after the program’s federal funding expired, the bill’s problems were underscored as Democrats opposed GOP plans for financing the extension and a related community health center bill. The GOP cuts include trimming a public health fund established under former President Barack Obama’s health care law and making it harder for people buying individual health coverage to avoid paying premiums. (Fram, 10/4) The Hill: Children’s Health-Care Bill Faces New Obstacles Sen. Chuck Grassley, a senior member and former chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, is pressing GOP leaders to tackle high drug prices in a critical bill to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Grassley (R-Iowa), who has tried for years to advance legislation targeting rising prescription drug costs to little avail, is pushing two bills as potential offsets for CHIP funding. Both measures have some bipartisan support, but neither has advanced in previous congressional sessions amid fierce pushback from the pharmaceutical industry. (Reid, 10/4) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

When Specialists In Genetic Disorders Get Stumped Theyre Now Turning To Facial

first_img In other health and technology news — Boston Globe: Facial Recognition Zeroes In On Genetic Disorders One morning, Charlie Latuske woke up feverish and somewhat delirious in his home in Surrey in the UK, leaving him unable to function and in need of a doctor. He’d endured a sore throat and general malaise for a few days, believing it would get better, but that morning in August 2017, he knew that he had to do something about it. “I was quite out of it,” said 27-year old Latuske, who was also due to go on vacation with his wife in just three days. (Senthilingam, 8/30) CNN: Technology Is Changing The Way You See A Doctor, But Is That Good For Your Health? Sacramento Bee: Sacramento Doctors Making House Calls With New Technology Founded in 2011 by two Israeli entrepreneurs around the same time they sold a facial tagging system to Facebook for $70 million to $80 million, the firm designed the software to more quickly point medical geneticists in the right direction. …Through crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence, the software ranks the 10 most likely causes of a genetic disorder on the basis of facial patterns — what the app calls the “gestalt.” (Saltzman, 8/30) When Specialists In Genetic Disorders Get Stumped, They’re Now Turning To Facial Recognition Software Of the more than 7,000 known rare diseases, up to half are believed to cause changes to the shape of the face or skull. Uploading a picture of the person’s face to an app can be a new tool to help doctors with a diagnosis. New technology is getting Sacramento doctors back into the business of making old-fashioned house calls, employing a mobile application in an attempt to extend the amount of time they can spend on interviewing and bonding with their patients. Sacramento residents can schedule a doctor’s visit at their homes within two hours, using the Heal app or website. (Anderson, 8/30) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Xbox is cutting the toxicity out of gaming – heres how

first_img We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Xbox is rolling out a barrage of changes to its community policy in a bid to end toxicity and cyber bullying on its platform.Xbox chief Phil Spencer revealed the changes in a blog post – titled “Video games: A unifying force for the world“. The post outlines three steps that Team Xbox have formulated to safeguard gamers against toxicity and harassment within their own community. Vigilant, proactive and swift, the Xbox Safety team – sorry, the “Defenders of Joy” – exist to identify instances of abuse and misuse on the platform and quash them before they become a bigger problem. Microsoft is actively working to expand the team to reflect a wider range of perspectives. This will allow the Defenders to identify potential safety concerns and solutions before they are reported. Related: Microsoft hilariously outlines ‘acceptable Xbox Live trash talk The Community Standards recently underwent a major update and Microsoft appointed 150,000 Xbox Ambassadors – community leaders, stewards and allies – to embarks on “community missions” to create a safe and inviting environment for all users to enjoy. The moves are designed to empower gamers to self-moderate their gaming experience. This includes introducing new content moderation controls for every Xbox Live user by the end of 2019. It will also be even easier for parents and guardians who might be unfamiliar with console and PC gaming to create a Child or Teen Account. These will let them manage their kids’ gaming life and limit who they can engage with, total screen time, content and spending.Related: Upcoming Xbox One GamesThe gaming industry will also benefit from Microsoft’s safeguarding measures. Xbox have committed to openly sharing their safety innovations with others in the industry in much the safe way that Microsoft did with its PhotoDNA technology in its efforts to fight the spread of child pornography.With the majority of gamers these days being adults and nearly half women, it is crucial that we reevaluate what we see when we read about toxicity in gaming and that we continue to consider how to protect those most vulnerable in the community.To find out more about how Xbox bosses plan to keep you safe, visit the Microsoft Blog. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

Comparison Tesla Model 3 vs BMW i3s – Video

An unlikely comparison, perhaps.Our friend Chuck Vossler over at BMWBLOG made a compelling video comparing the BMW i3s to a Tesla Model 3 Long Range.Chuck is an experienced EV driver, having owned a 2014 BMW i3 REx, which he replaced with a 2018 BMW i3s in January of this year. He also owns a Tesla Model S, which he’ll soon be replacing with a white Tesla Model 3 Performance.More Model 3 Tesla Model 3 Performance Hits 60 MPH In Record-Setting 3.13 Seconds Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 11, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Having owned both, Chuck knows the BMW i3 and Tesla vehicles very well, so his comparison video comes from experience, not just quick test drives as most other reviews stem from.We think he put together a comparison video worth watching here, and even declared a winner. But since this is a BMWBLOG video, and BMW has the home field advantage, could he have possibly picked the i3s over the Model 3?You’ll have to watch the video to find out. Motor Trend Releases Test Data On Tesla Model 3 Performance Car And Driver Puts Tesla Model 3 Performance To The Test read more

Road Test 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir

first_imgLuxury Touches in Buick’s Full-size SedanIt has been ages since I spent any length of time in a new Buick. My last long-term experience was a 1999 Regal GS, with the supercharger, which was their most powerful car at the time. It was a good car, outfitted with all the upscale appointments at the time and delivered a stable, comfortable ride. So, when the opportunity arose to drive the 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir, I was intrigued at where Buick was now with its large sedans, a vehicle size they are well-known for.What is Avenir?Avenir is the new sub-brand for Buick, that “provides customers a way to experience the highest expression of Buick luxury.” The LaCrosse joins the Enclave, offering a choice between a sedan and a SUV in the early stages of the Avenir brand.With the Avenir sub-brand, Buick finally moves back to premium–or is it luxury?Clean Fleet Report is careful to toss around the “luxury” tag, as “premium” is a better description for most cars reaching for that next level of elegance, appointments and style. So where does the LaCrosse Avenir fall between these two descriptions? Well, certainly premium, and then we will leave it to your opinion if it makes the leap to luxury.After a week in the 2018 LaCrosse Avenir, we are impressed how Buick seriously raised the bar on all aspects of the car. Buick has taken the LaCrosse and created an upmarket version that is stylish—inside and out. Buick has done right by its flagship sedan.Driving Experience: PerformanceThe front-wheel drive 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir comes with a 3.6-liter V6 and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The 310 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque gave strong performance at any speed and demand. Our 0-to-60 times were an impressive 5.4 seconds with a very respectable 40-70 mph time of 3.8 seconds. In other words, the LaCrosse Avenir does nicely on the open road.The EPA rates the Buick LaCrosse Avenir fuel economy at 21 city/30 highway/24 combined. In 459 miles of 75-percent highway/25-percent city driving, Clean Fleet Report averaged 26.6 mpg. However, in a 100-mile highway run, with the cruise control set at 65 mph, we achieved 35.1 mpg, and in another 125 highway run at 75 mph we averaged 33.2 mpg.The Avenir turned in good fuel economy for a large carIt is important to note that the fuel economy numbers reported by Clean Fleet Report are non-scientific. They represent the reviewer’s driving experience, but should be similar to most drivers living in our reviewer’s cities. If you live in cold weather, high in the mountains, spend time in the city or stuck in rush hour traffic, then your numbers may differ.Buick has designed the LaCrosse Avenir with a stiff chassis that handles impressively for a large 3,838-pound car. The steering has a natural feel, with good road feedback, aided by electronic stability and traction control, and MacPherson struts that are paired with 19-inch alloy wheels and 245/45/19 Goodyear Eagle Touring tires. The little body roll that was felt, as well as any pushing, came only on the tightest corners or high-speed freeway onramps.Design Details: ExteriorExpressiveness lands at BuickBuick says the 2018 LaCrosse Avenir, which was first introduced in 2016 as a concept car, is “the highest expression of Buick luxury” that offers a “distinguished exterior.” Our take is the exterior design did not depart far off the concept, retaining a 3D honeycomb grill and a wide stance. The articulating, high-intensity discharge headlights wrap onto the fenders. The grill design reappears on the one-piece, lower fascia bookended with LED lights. The sides are smooth with a very tasteful chrome strip on the lower doors, the classic Buick signature portholes and subtle “Avenir” badging. The attractive 19-inch Pearl Nickel wheels were the perfect compliment. The trunk lid has an integrated spoiler, while the LED tail lights sit wide above the dual, chrome exhaust tips. Thisdesign resulted in a 0.30 Coefficient of Drag (Cd) to aid slipping through the wind.Design Details: Interior The interior welcomes you to slide into the comfortable seats, covered in chestnut or black leather, with “Avenir” embroidered on the headrests. The perforated, power-everything seats, for both the driver and passenger, included memory, lumbar, heat and ventilation adjustments. The driver also gets a massage feature. The large and easy-to-read gauges, with a black background and white numbers, are laid-out with convenience in mind. We particularly liked the programmable head-up display. Soft touch materials abound, and the limited use of chrome accents add a touch of class. The tilt-sliding power moonroof and power rear sunshade let the driver choose as much, or little, of the outside elements to let in.The new lap of Buick luxuryThe rear seats can accommodate three, but for longer road trips two would be recommended. The seats themselves were supportive and comfortable, with good headroom. The split-folding 60/40 rear seat also had a fold down armrest, with cup holders, that when folded flat, became a pass-thru for longer items. The 110-volt outlet on the rear of the console was a convenient feature. The all-weather, rubber floor mats were a surprise (as they are usually only found in trucks and SUVs) and did their job collecting whatever sand, dirt and debris we dragged into the premium interior.The very quiet LaCrosse Avenir cabin came from triple door seals, acoustic-laminated windshield and side glass, and active noise cancellation, which made sitting inside the LaCrosse Avenir a welcome experience. The best thing to do with all that quiet is to turn-up the 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint surround-sound infotainment system. The frameless 8.0-inch high-resolution color touch screen housed the GPS navigation system and the AM/FM/CD/MP3/AUX radio. Features include an USB slot and a 12-volt power outlet, SiriusXM (three-month subscription), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Siri Eyes Free and the voice activation worked well. The heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel has mounted controls for Bluetooth for hands-free telephone use. General Motor’s handy and helpful OnStar system is included for one-month with the basic plan, as part of the MyBuick Connected Access program.A note regarding OnStar: a simple push of a button connects you with a friendly General Motors representative to make your driving experience safer and more enjoyable. The most common requests are for directions, to handle emergencies and general assistance. This is one area where GM is the industry leader, and after the basic plan expires, it is well worth renewing for the peace of mind you (or maybe your child or spouse) will always have when driving your LaCrosse Avenir. For faster Internet speeds there is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot, which came with a limited-period subscription. Depending on how much you travel and your data use, the 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot option should be seriously considered. Our experience is it was fast and provided uninterrupted service, even for streaming movies and games.ConvenienceOur LaCrosse Avenir came equipped with wireless phone charging, power tilt and telescoping steering column, adaptive full-speed-range cruise control, heated steering wheel, power windows with one-touch up and down, programmable power door locks, keyless/remote start and entry, passive entry system, power and heated side mirrors with turn signals, dual zone automatic climate control, and reading and ambient lighting.The quiet seatSafetyThe 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir has safety features of a rear vision camera, 10 airbags, four-wheel power disc ABS braking system, tire pressure monitoring system and a compact spare tire. Additional safety systems include automatic parking assist, forward automatic braking with forward collision and front pedestrian alert. Also standard are rear cross traffic alert and a first aid kit.In crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir received five stars (their highest rating) for overall crash protection, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded its top rating of Good.Pricing and WarrantiesClean Fleet Report’s 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir base price was $44,870. With the optional Driver Confidence Package #2 ($1,690) the MSRP came to $46,560. All prices exclude the $925 destination charge.The 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir comes with these warranties:Powertrain                         Six years/70,000 milesRoadside Assistance        Six years/70,000 milesCorrosion                           Four years/50,000 milesFree Maintenance            First two visits: oil and filter, tire rotation, multi-point inspectionObservations: 2018 Buick LaCrosse AvenirAs Buick’s flagship model, the LaCrosse and the upscale LaCrosse Avenir accounts for about  14,500 in sales annually. While this number is down over the past few years, (as are sedan sales figures for most manufacturers), it is still the best-selling Buick sedan. In a day and age of the crossover and SUV, Buick obviously has done something right, as some consumers continue to want a LaCrosse or the LaCrosse Avenir.Buick rides into the luxury market–and brings fuel economy along for the rideEffortless power from the smooth V6 and a seamless-shifting transmission, good handling and a solid road feel make the 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir a very pleasant car to drive. The well-appointed interior is comfortable and welcoming. The 30 mpg EPA highway rating was encouraging, but we exceeded that number.If you are in the market for a large sedan, the LaCrosse Avenir could be an alternative to a premium SUV. Take a chance and visit your local Buick dealer and see for yourself.Whatever you buy, Happy Driving! [See image gallery at www.cleanfleetreport.com] Related Stories You Might Enjoy—Full-Size Sedan OptionsRoad Test: 2019 Toyota Avalon HybridNews: 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS Goes HybridRoad Test: 2018 Cadillac CT6 PHEVRoad Test: 2018 Genesis G90 V8Road Test: 2018 Genesis G90 Turbo V6Road Test: 2018 Lexus LS 500hRoad Test: 2017 Kia 900Road Test: 2017 Chrysler 300Road Test: 2017 Kia CadenzaRoad Test: 2106 Dodge ChargerRoad Test: 2016 Nissan MaximaRoad Test: 2016 Chevrolet Impala Bi-FuelDisclosure:Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.The post Road Test: 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir appeared first on Clean Fleet Report. Source: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicleslast_img read more

Compact Renault ZOE Is Immediately A Big Hit In Brazil

first_img Renault Tests ZOE Prototype With CCS Combo Charging Inlet 2nd Generation Renault ZOE Spied In The Wild Released at the recent auto show in Brazil, the electric hatch undercuts other possible electric competitors.The 2018 Brazil Motor Show was marked by the launch of three 100% electric cars for the Brazilian market: Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan LEAF and Renault Zoe. Of these, however, only Zoe is on sale right now. The French brand announced that the electric hatch would begin to be sold from November 7 on and, in fact, the model is in the store promised by the brand, as verified by Motor1.com.More ZOE News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 21, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Renault ZOE 40 Goes 351 Miles On Single Charge Priced at R $ 149,990, the Renault Zoe is the cheapest electric for sale in the country – the Bolt will go for R $ 175,000 and the Leaf for R $ 178,400, while the BMW i3 costs R $ 199,990.Equipped with a 90 hp motor the Zoe has a range of 300 km. According to the brand, the cost per kilometer is only 10 cents. It is worth remembering that Renault already sold electric vehicles to fleet owners in Brazil – Kangoo EV and Twizy – the latter being used even by a mechanic rescue insurance company.Now, the brand opens sales to the general public, as shown by the unit seen by our Motor1 Brazil team at the Ibirapuera Signal resale shop in São Paulo. In addition, the store Globo, from Curitiba (PR), is also homologated to sell the electric in the country. For now, only these two stores will sell Zoe, in addition to offering test drives.Launched in 2012 and updated in 2016 in Europe, Zoe shares its platform and several components with Clio.Source: Motor 1 Brazil Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more