Its Not Her Story Tarantino on Margot Robbies Limited Role in Once

first_img cannes film festivalhollywoodLeonardo DiCapriomargot robbie First Published: May 24, 2019, 5:03 PM IST Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has defended the lack of scenes of Margot Robbie, who is essaying the role of the late actor Sharon Tate in his upcoming directorial Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, saying the film’s story is not about her character.The much-awaited film, which is Tarantino’s ninth directorial, is described as an ode to the Hollywood of his childhood and explores how the Golden Age of the industry came to an end with the murder of Tate at the hands of the Manson Family cult in 1969. It features Leonardo DiCaprio, 44, as Rick Dalton, an ageing, out-of-work actor, with Brad Pitt, 55, playing his longtime stunt double named Cliff Booth. The two characters happen to be the neighbours of Tate (Robbie).In an interview with IndieWire, Tarantino clarified that the film is actually about Rick with Tate having an “angelic presence” in it.“There was a little bit more of her; everybody lost sequences. It’s not her story, it’s Rick’s story. It’s not even Cliff’s,” he said.“And she is an angelic presence throughout the movie, she’s an angelic ghost on earth, to some degree, she’s not in the movie, she’s in our hearts,” he added.Recently, Tarantino lost his cool during a press conference at Cannes Film Festival after a female reporter questioned the lack of screen time for Robbie. “I reject your hypothesis,” Tarantino had snapped at the reporter who posed the query. Robbie, who was present at the press conference, attempted to answer the question politely. She said the film gave her an opportunity to honour Tate, whose life was brutally cut short.“I think the tragedy was the loss of innocence. To show the wonderful sides of her could be done without speaking. I did feel like I got a lot of time to explore the character without dialogue, which is an interesting thing,” she said.“Rarely do I get an opportunity to spend so much time on my own as a character,” she added.Follow @News18Movies for morelast_img read more

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Ahead of World Cup Virat KohliFarhan Akhtar Attend Gala Night in London

first_imgWe’d told you about Farhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar dressing up and looking dapper in formal wear for an event in London. Turns out they were heading to the Indian Cricket Heroes, a special event which was a gathering of Bollywood stars and some of the biggest names in cricket including Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In the run up to the Cricket World Cup in England, the inaugural edition of Indian Cricket Heroes, a concept by Virat Kohli’s agent Bunty Sajdeh, had the present World Cup squad members in appearance alongside few former players, business tycoons and Bollywood celebrities, reported Indian Express. Kapil Dev played one of the hosts at the event, which was attended by members of the Indian cricket team, including Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Vijay Shankar, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan. The man-of-the-match of the 2011 edition Yuvraj Singh graced the occasion along with his wife Hazel Keech. Representing Bollywood at the event, besides Farhan, were actresses like Diana Penty and Aditi Rao Hydari, actor Rajkummar Rao with girlfriend Patralekhaa. Virat seemed to turn up alone as wife and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma was not spotted at the event.Take a look at the pictures from the event. Read: Farhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar Are on Top of the Couple Fashion Game, This Picture is ProofFollow @News18Movies for more Farhan and Shibani had posted pictures on their respective handles before leaving for the event. Harbhajan posted a picture with Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif. 2019 Cricket World Cup2019 ICC World CupAditi Rao HydariBhuvneshwar Kumar First Published: May 25, 2019, 9:12 AM ISTlast_img read more

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At the Right Time Robert Vadra Drops Yet Another Hint of Political

first_img congressEnforcement DirectorateLok Sabha elections 2019money laundering First Published: April 26, 2019, 11:56 AM IST | Edited by: Ahona Sengupta Vadra’s tweet included images of people holding up his banners and photograph, alongside Congress flags, indicating people’s support for him.The businessman, who is under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate in a money-laundering case related to the purchase of a London-based property, had previously said that he would join politics after his name was cleared of all wrongdoings. “I am in this country, there are people who have looted the country and run away, what about them? I am always going to be in this country, I will not leave or be in active politics till I clear my name, that is my promise,” Vadra had said in March, adding that he knew Uttar Pradesh well as he had grown up in the region.Early in April, Vadra had confirmed that he would campaign for the Congress all over India and would also accompany both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for their nomination formalities in Rae Bareli and Amethi respectively. Later, he had strongly hinted towards a political debut and said that he would take the plunge, at the right time, with “full force”.”As of now there are no plans. I have no wish to join politics right now. I’m amongst people and working hard. When people will feel that I should enter politics, I will come with full force,” he had said. Vadra was granted an anticipatory bail earlier this month. New Delhi: Robert Vadra, husband of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, dropped yet another hint about his political ambitions on Friday saying that he could “bring change” to a region by representing its people.Vadra, who had earlier announced that he would campaign for the Congress for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, took to Twitter to express his will to take a political plunge at the “right time”. “They live by hope n I feel, I can change their area, by representing them. But I need to learn n understand more n earn my place, by working with them n making smaller changes myself, for them. The larger scale will be at the right time (SIC),” his tweet read.They live by hope n I feel, I can change their area, by representing them. But I need to learn n understand more n earn my place, by working with them n making smaller changes myself, for them. The larger scale will be at the right time. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ie0qhu3oQY— Robert Vadra (@irobertvadra) April 26, 2019last_img read more

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Taylor Swift Releases ProLGBTQ Song Takes a Jibe at Homophobes

first_imgThis will be Taylor’s seventh album. Her last album was Reputation, which was released in November 2017. Her new album Lover will be released on August 23. The album will also include, ME! her last single featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco.Listen to You Need to Calm Down here: With lyrics like ‘shade never made anybody less gay’, this will be Taylor’s second single from her forthcoming album. The Bad Blood singer took to Instagram on Thursday to surprise her fans with her latest album. She wrote, “Lover, album out August 23. Cover shot by the artistic genius that is @valheria123 Pre-add, pre-save, pre-order (all the pre-stuff you feel like doing) Can’t wait for you to hear this.” Bad Bloodbrendon urieGay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in AmericaGLAAD First Published: June 14, 2019, 4:15 PM ISTcenter_img Taylor Swift has gained all the praise in the world for her upcoming pro-LGBTQ single You Need to Calm Down’. Taking to Instagram to announce the release of her song, Taylor shared a picture of a bare back with lots of butterflies drawn on it. While the official music video of her single will be unveiled on 17 June, Taylor has already released the lyrical video of the song. Since its release a few hours ago, the video has garnered around 12 lakh views. The song takes a jibe at homophobia, making references to abuse given to those in the gay community. The singer also focuses on the world ‘GLAAD’, instead of ‘glad’, which stands for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in America.last_img read more

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Meet Mishaal Kripalani The Singer Aamir Khans Daughter Ira is Dating

first_img aamir khanAsk Me anythingira khanIra Khan Instagram First Published: June 14, 2019, 9:01 AM IST As a New Year gift, Mishaal gifted Ira a pink teddy bear which was bigger in size than her. Taking the pictures to Instagram, Ira wrote, “ALWAYS WANTED A TEDDY BIGGER THAN ME!!Thanks for the best Christmas/New Year gift ever.” Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan has become the talk of the town as she revealed dating Mishaal Kriplani. While the rumours of the two dating have been doing the rounds on social media for a long time, Ira has finally put a tick on them by confirming the news in her Instagram story. When she was asked about her relationship during an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Instagram, Ira replied with a picture in which she can be seen hugging Mishaal and tagged him in the story.While there have been several cute pictures of Mishaal and Ira on their respective Instagram accounts, not much is known about Mishaal. On the other hand, Ira Khan is the daughter of Bollywood’s Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan from his first wife Reena Dutta. Mishaal is a singer, musician and composer and also has a Youtube channel with the name ‘Mish’. He uploaded the first video ‘With Strangers’ in July 2016, while his second video ‘Mish Pills’ was uploaded in January 2019.Born on October 16, Mishaal is a student at New York University at Steinhardt, and lives in New York. From his Instagram posts, Mishaal looks like a shopaholic. Sharing a picture with a lot of shopping bags, Mishaal wrote, “Shop till you drop… or at least till you have to sit down cause your feet hurt.”last_img read more

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Facebook twofactor authentication spams users via SMS

first_imgTwo-factor authentication, or 2FA for short, often uses a phone number, mobile app, or email for sending a PIN to very your login. Considering 2FA is a tool for security, the last thing you’d expect it to use that phone number or email to send you unsolicited information, a.k.a. spam. Facebook might not agree. Software engineer Gabriel Lewis noticed that he was receiving text messages from Facebook when his friends posted something, even when he never set SMS notifications up. To his shock, he realized that the number Facebook was sending these notifications to the number that he used for two-factor authentication. To add insult to injury, replying to the SMS sender causes that message to automatically be posted on the user’s timeline. Since the news broke out, multiple users have confirmed the situation.Like the mythical Hydra, this issue has multiple heads. None of the users set up SMS notifications. Facebook didn’t explicitly ask the user’s permission to send them such messages, which is illegal in some jurisdictions. There’s the fact that Facebook is using the phone number for a different purpose other than 2FA, and that it has connected that number to the user’s timeline. The working theory at the moment is that Facebook connected the 2FA phone number with its system for posting via SMS and receiving notifications through the same, a feature it enables in some markets where cellular data connections are not as prevalent or affordable.AdChoices广告That, however, doesn’t exactly explain why Facebook did so. A Facebook representatively expertly dodged admitting there is an issue and simply said that they’re investigating the matter. The rep further explains that Facebook gives users control over their notifications, though apparently not as much. And finally, Facebook’s 2FA can also use an authenticator app instead of a phone number so it really isn’t forcing you to give it your phone number. But in case you make the mistake of doing so (the phone number is the first option users will see), you might be implicitly giving it permission to spam you.VIA: The Verge Facebook just can’t catch a break these days, which is probay nothing unexpected for being one of the world’s biggest social networks. It is involved in one privacy issue after another, not to mention lawsuits springing from those. This latest could definitely be added to the latter if some law firm takes interest. Users are reporting they are receiving SMS notifications about Facebook posts without them agreeing to it. But more worryingly, Facebook seems to have used the phone number users have connected to the network’s two-factor authentication system.last_img read more

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Livio AI hearing aid has builtin activity tracking and wireless accessories

first_imgLivio AI is a “multi-purpose hearing aid,” according to Starkey Hearing, which has packed sensors for activity tracking into its new model. The maker claims that its technology offers an average 50-percent reduction of sounds when used in noisy environments while delivering clear speech. This reduces strain on the user, resulting in a more comfortable experience.The hearing aid works with the new Thrive Hearing mobile app; it can also be used with three optional wireless accessories — the Starkey Hearing Technologies TV, a Remote, and a Remote with a microphone. Collected activity data can be viewed using the Google Fit and Apple Health apps; an overall health score is also presented as the Thrive Wellness Score. As far as hearing support goes, a user’s hearing professional can remotely program the hearing aid with the correct settings. Users can also manually adjust the sound.Other features include built-in language translation, tap control, dual-radio wireless for streaming audio from phones and TVs, near-field magnetic induction technology, and fall detection. The hearing aid is available in the US and Canada now and will launch globally next year.SOURCE: Global Newswire Starkey Hearing has unveiled the world’s first hearing aid featuring artificial intelligence and built-in activity tracking. Called Livio AI, the model assists individuals with hearing loss while also offering some of the same features found on existing wearable technology. Among other things, the hearing aid provides direct access to Amazon Alexa when used with one of its accessories.last_img read more

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TMobile confirms TV service launch postponed until 2019

first_imgThough T-Mobile remained quiet about its TV service, an FCC listing appeared in early November that featured a set-top box with the carrier’s logo. The device’s appearance indicated that T-Mobile would soon announce the service, but weeks passed without any word from the company.Things changed earlier this month when a report surfaced claiming that T-Mobile was forced to make a hard decision: launch a mediocre TV service product this year or postponed it and launch a better service next year. Based on a new statement by the company, it seems the Uncarrier has chosen the latter of those options.In a big post today, T-Mobile CEO John Legere took jabs at other carriers while detailing T-Mobile’s own upcoming plans, one of which is that fabled TV service. “In 2019,” Legere wrote, “we’ll take our first steps to take on another stupid, broken, arrogant industry — maybe the stupidest, brokenest, arrogantest industry of all: Cable and Satellite TV.”Unfortunately, no details about the service were provided. T-Mobile has been notoriously quiet about what it plans to release, hyping it up with big claims but providing very little beyond that. It’s expected the service will have a livestreaming television component and involve a set-top box called the T-Mobile Mini (based on FCC documents). Everything else remains to be seen, though. Days after a report indicated as much, T-Mobile has confirmed that it will postpone its TV service launch until 2019. The company revealed plans to launch its own cable-disrupting service earlier this year, stating at the time that it would be available by the end of 2018. That hasn’t been the case, though, and a recent report claimed that T-Mobile needs more time to produce a truly ‘disruptive’ offering. Story TimelineUS officials pressure T-Mobile, Sprint parent companies to drop Huawei, tooT-Mobile iPhone eSIM support arrives with three prepaid plansT-Mobile TV service delay tipped with new 2019 launch planslast_img read more

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Huge Sony Xperia leak reveals Xperia 1 flagship and MWC 2019 news

first_imgSony Xperia 1The Xperia 1 is quite obviously the star of Sony’s MWC lineup. According to this new leak, the Xperia 1 will ship with a triple camera setup on the back, with one main shooter, a super wide angle lens, and finally, a telephoto lens – all of them with 12MP sensors. We’re also hearing today that it’ll have a Snapdragon 855 running the show, which is the same SoC we see in another spring flagship, the Galaxy S10+. It’s worth noting that previous rumors have claimed the presence of both the Snapdragon 855 and the triple rear camera, so this latest leak backs those up nicely.What’s more, 91mobiles says in an extensive report that the Xperia 1 will have a 6.4-inch 4K HDR OLED display that boasts an aspect ratio of 21:9. Photo and video seem to be major focuses in the Xperia 1, as the phone will be able to record 4K HDR video at 21:9 and will offer Cinema Pro pre-installed for mobile editing. As far as internal hardware is concerned, the Xperia 1 is expected to offer 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a fast charging 3,300mAh battery.Ready for the painful part? 91mobiles’ report claims that the Xperia 1 will cost around $1,099, so it looks like we’ve got another $1,000+ flagship on our hands. The Xperia 1 is expected to launch in June, but this leak doesn’t make it clear if that’s a worldwide release window or if it’s only for certain markets.Sony Xperia 10 and 10 PlusIf the high asking price of the Xperia 1 makes you cringe, you might be better off looking at the Xperia 10 or 10 Plus. Sony is also expected to reveal these two handsets at MWC next week, and their pricing is much more palatable at half the cost of the Xperia 1. Of course, that much of a price difference means that you’ll need to make a few concessions on hardware, but the Xperia 10 series phones still sound like they’ll be capable mid-range devices.Both devices will keep the Xperia 1’s 21:9 aspect ratio, with the standard Xperia 10 offering it in a 6-inch HD+ display and the 10 Plus bringing screen size up to 6.5-inches. In the Xperia 10, it sounds like we can expect a dual 13MP/5MP rear camera, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of microSD expandable storage, a 2,870mAh battery, and finally, a Snapdragon 630 CPU.The Xperia 10 Plus, on the other hand, offers slight upgrades on pretty much all of those features. The rear camera, for instance, has been bumped up to a 12MP/8MP dual shooter, while the CPU has also been upgraded to a Snapdragon 636. With the 10 Plus, you’ll get 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (which is again expandable), and a 3,000mAh battery. They aren’t massive upgrades, but they are enough to differentiate the 10 Plus from the standard 10 beyond size alone.91mobiles says the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus will be priced around $399 and $499 respectively, which is a very pleasant sight after reading about the Xperia 1’s four-figure price tag. It sounds like these phones will beat the Xperia 1 to market, as Sony is reportedly lining up an April release for them.Sony Xperia L3Finally, we come to the Xperia L3, the budget offering in this collection of phones. Unlike the other devices on this list – which run Android 9 Pie out of the box – the L3 will only be on Oreo at launch. Other rumored specifications include a 5.7-inch HD+ display, a MediaTek 6762 CPU, 3 GB of RAM, a dual 13MP/2MP rear camera, and a 3,300mAh battery.Fairly underwhelming if you’re looking for a phone with a lot of power, but it’s hard to argue with the L3’s rumored price of $199. Like the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus, this one will be out in April, but again launch regions were missing for 91mobiles’ report.Wrap-UpSo, in one fell swoop, Sony’s MWC 2019 lineup has been extensively leaked. All of these phones will supposedly be revealed on February 25, the day MWC kicks off, so we only have days to wait before we find out how accurate this report is. We’ll be covering MWC 2019 as it happens right here at SlashGear, so stay tuned for more. Story TimelineXperia XZ4 Compact renders reveal a familiar faceXperia XZ4 specs leak suggests a powerful Sony flagshipXperia XZ4 triple cameras include 52MP sensor, largest in the market It seems that MWC 2019 will be a big show for Sony. The company is said to be bringing four new Xperia phones with it to Barcelona, including the flagship Xperia 1, which was formerly known as the Xperia XZ4. Today, specifications and pricing information for all four phones leaked out, along with the knowledge that it’ll be only be a few days before they’re all revealed.last_img read more

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2019 MercedesBenz G 550 and AMG G63 first drive leGendary

first_img Mercedes-AMG G 63, obsidian black metallic, AMG Exclusive nappa leather macchiato beige/ espresso brown. Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 13,1 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 299 g/km // Mercedes-AMG G 63, obsidian black metallic, AMG Exclusive nappa leather macchiato beige/espresso brown. Fuel consumption combined: 13.1 l/100 km; Combined CO2 emissions: 299 g/km. Mercedes’ secret sauce is a fairly complicated recipe. The simplest explanation is that components of the double-wishbone front axle are directly fixed to the ladder frame, without a suspension subframe. That’s then paired with a rigid rear axle, held together and controlled by four trailing arms on each side, and a Panhard rod. This is key to a smooth on-road experience. Omitting the subframes maintains the ground clearance at the front, with a new strut brace providing the rigidity. Spoiler alert: the G 550 and the G63 tackled every foot of the challenging terrain with ease, while still delivering a ridiculously smooth and comfortable ride inside.You can, indeed, stop there if you like, though I’ve got plenty more details for you. Common to both the G550 and G63 are the three 100-percent differential locks and LOW RANGE off-road ratio. They share the same ladder frame, with a new suspension system developed by Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG. Altogether, that’s enough to take on intimidating off-road courses without breaking a sweat – for the G-Class, at least. My drive partner was first to take on the course, and as I sat in the back seat behind our instructor, I thought to myself, “man, Eric is kicking ass.” He – or the SUV -made the course look easy.I confess, prior to jumping into the back seat, I was a little leery of getting tossed around. Certainly, I was preparing myself for a drive experience that was less than pleasant. Consider me seriously surprised, then, at just how comfortable it turned out to be. I’m sure that a Jeep, Land Rover, or indeed the outgoing G-Class could very well take on the same course, but I suspect that being a passenger in any of them wouldn’t be a whole lot of fun. Several design elements stand out. I got behind the wheel of both the Mercedes-Benz G500 – which will be known as the 2019 G550 when it arrives in the ‘States – and the tuned Mercedes-AMG G63, both on and off-road in France. Each of which has their own visual character. When you see the circular daytime running lamps in your rearview mirror, there’s no mistaking it for anything else on the road. Per Lilia Chernaeva, interior designer for the G-Class, the headlamps, and front turn signal indicators are so iconic, in fact, it was considered only right and proper that hints of them be brought inside the car, too. So, the far left and right air vents mimic the headlamps, while the dash-mounted speakers borrow the shape of the turn signals.leGendary substance, not just styleThe G-Class is known for its go-anywhere capabilities, and to prove it, everyone must conquer Schöckl. It’s a 4,740-foot-high mountain near the Austrian city of Graz, and home to the mother of all off-road test tracks. Across 3.24 miles of torturous terrain, SUVs face gradients of up to 60-percent and lateral inclines of up to 40-percent. Over the course of the G-Wagon’s development, it had to endure a full 1,242.74 miles of this extremely challenging course.Experiencing the new G-Class up and down the famous Schöckl is now on my bucket list – they give you, I’m told, a special badge if you manage it – but for now I’ve settled for the next best thing. What’s that you might ask? Mercedes invited us to Perpignan, France, where the SUVs were waiting for an off-road adventure at Circuit Du Chateau De Lastours in the G 500, followed by a much higher speed around a trail in the G63 to test out all the different drive modes. Being slow on the trail is not really an option. It’s the same course that’s used to test out rally cars, and it gave me a rare opportunity to test both the go-anywhere and the go-fast sides of the performance SUV, at the same time. There’s some G-Class history here, too; according to Ian Hadley James, Marketing for the truck, it was, in fact, the very same location that Mercedes-Benz held the 463-series G-Class press drive, 28 years ago.Now, it’s a fact of life that 99.99% of G-Class owners will never come close to this level of off-road driving – and no, curb-checking at the local supermarket doesn’t count. Still, it’s reassuring to know that this beast can survive just about anything you throw at it. Meanwhile, the lower wishbone’s attachment points on the frame in the Z-axis are positioned as high up as possible. It’s not a simple engineering structure, but it satisfies Mercedes’ demands that the G-Class has both the robustness required for off-road success and the smooth on-road experience you’d expect from the three-pointed star. “With the G-Class, “Kurt Tomberger, Strategic Project Management for the SUV told me, “you can take it off-road during the day and to the opera at night.”I avoided any singing, and instead focused on climbing up, over, and down inclines I’d struggle to make it across on foot, then powered through the hip-high water. When we finished, there wasn’t a scratch on it. The 2019 G-Class simply instills confidence. Maximum fording depth is up almost four inches, to 27.6 inches when driving through water and mud; the breakover angle is 26-degrees while the angles of departure and approach are 30- and 31-degrees, respectively. Each has improved by 1-degree over the old car. The tilt angle, finally, has increased to 35-degrees. They’re not the only improvements. There’s an increase of 6 mm in the ground clearance between axles, which is now as much as 9.5 inches for the rear axle, allowing for an increase of overall suspension travel. In rough terrain, the rear spring jounce is now 3.2 inches, with a rebound of 5.6 inches. Meanwhile, the front axle offers 3.35 inches of jounce and 3.95 inches of rebound. Newly implemented high-strength materials increase the overall stiffness by 55-percent, compared to the existing G-Wagon.Unsurprisingly, both models come standard with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, which now defaults to a 40/60 front/rear torque split, versus the 50/50 of the old model. There’s a new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, too, with a torque converter. Mercedes gives you paddle-shifters, and they’re made of some beautifully finished aluminum, but out on the road I rarely found myself reaching for them. Regardless of drive mode, the G550 did a fine job picking the right gear but itself. Adding two extra ratios over the old transmission has also cut down on shift response times.The G550’s 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, mated with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission, is good for 416 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 to 4,750 RPM, and an electronically-limited max speed of 130 mph. Mercedes-AMG dropped the previous 5.5-liter V8 biturbo, in favor of a handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo with 577 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 to 3,500 RPM. That’s an increase of 14 hp and 66 lb-ft of torque over the previous SUV. Once again, whether on or off the road, shifting gears is smooth as melted butter. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re crawling over a bunch of boulders or pushing hard through winding roads, the G-Class just chomps right through.My favorite feature of the new drivetrain, I think, is the dual-clutch function which shows up in Sport and Sport Plus modes. Put your right foot down and the SUV drops down to the lowest possible gear, unlocking an instant burst of torque. It’s perfect when you’re trying to pass a slow-moving vehicle on a narrow stretch of road.Straight line speed is an odd thing to care about for an SUV, I suppose, but the 2019 G-Class isn’t shown up there. Zero to 60 mph takes a mere 4.4 seconds, a full 0.9 seconds faster than the outgoing G63. The new AMG version is also electronically limited to a top speed of 137 mph, though check the box for the Driver’s Package on the order form and that’s nudged up to 149 mph.The exhaust note on the G550 isn’t too shabby and, to be honest, it sounded much, much better than I’d expected when compared to the AMG’s engine. That being said, listening to the G63’s sonata in Sport+ mode is a whole different level of aural enjoyment.The performance holds up to the soundtrack. During some spirited driving around the rally course in the G63, you can instantly feel just how capable the AMG suspension with adaptive adjustable damping is. Happily, it’s fitted as standard, as it really helps make the ride more comfortable and cuts down on body roll. Each wheel is independently adjusted according to the current conditions, and that’s carried over to the road, too. Mercedes offers Comfort, Slippery, Sport and Sport+ drive modes, or you can remain in Comfort but opt for stiffer suspension based in the Individual mode. The AMG DYNAMICS SELECT drive programs, meanwhile, also impact other parameters such as engine response, the transmission behavior, and steering input.The latter introduces electromechanical speed-sensitive steering with variable ratio to the G63 for the first time. In Comfort mode, the steering is much more relaxed; in Sport, it’s a lot more precise, for more direct feedback. Out on tight and twisting roads, I was able to sense the difference between the two modes; still, it wasn’t until I was blazing through the trails until the G-Wagon’s combination of talents really came together for me. The AMG model gets three off-road modes: Sand, Trail and Rock. I spent most of my time in Trail mode because it offers a more balanced configuration for conditions such as soft, muddy, or slippery surfaces. You get the best grip in Trail mode. Letting loose, you want to be in Sand mode, and things definitely get more fun. The steering loosens up enough for you to slip and slide around. I swear, the G63 felt like a rally car. Mercedes has shod the G63 with 20-inch tires which, according to my drive instructor, were more suited for the terrain. Finally, Rock mode is used for rocky terrain, and allows for maximum axle articulation and even lifting one or more of the wheels.The G 550 gets the new “G” driving mode, and it’s basically responsible for all the heavy lifting when you’re off-road. That means managing the steering input, handling the gear shifts, and figuring out the right throttle control. It automatically activates as soon as one of the three locking differentials are switched, or when the G-Class is in low range. center_img There’s plenty of technology for when your human talents aren’t quite up to the challenge, too. I was particularly thankful for the 360-degree camera, for instance, when I found myself on a 45-degree descent with an instructor telling me to reverse. I couldn’t see a thing, but the bird’s-eye camera could. Hill Descent Control kicks in automatically in first gear in manual mode, too. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes to soak up some of the more stressful elements typically associated with off-roading. On the road, despite their size, both G-Wagon versions are right up there with the best SUVs of Porsche and Range Rover. If there’s a compromise involved for the styling, it’s wind noise. Mercedes’ designers curved the windows of this new model, so as to maintain the same drag coefficient of the outgoing model even though the overall size increased, but there’s no escaping some of the wind-noise sneaking into the cabin.Then again, perhaps it would be a step too far to get rid of all the G-Wagon’s foibles. The 2019 G-Class is still, essentially, a “G” inside and out, only massaged for the modern world and its drivers. Part S-Class, part off-road star, part icon, and – in AMG form – part rocket, there’s nothing quite like it. You pick up a few names in the space of forty years, but whether you call it the Mercedes Geländewagen, the G-Wagen or, its most modern moniker, the 2019 G-Class is still legendary in every sense, whether you’re on or off the road. Mercedes-Benz’s unwavering commitment – some might say obsession – to maintaining the G’s core essence is instrumental in making it so successful over the past four decades. Even so, it’s strange to think that the late model G-Class from 2018 is now considered a “classic,” courtesy of this all-new model just around the corner. There are only four visible parts carried over from the old SUV, along with one that’s buried out of sight. They’re worth mentioning, too – the door handle, rear air outtake, the headlamp cleaning system, and the sun visors – because, to a pair of untrained eyes, the all-new G-Class looks remarkably similar to its predecessor. No, it’s not that Mercedes-Benz’s designers are lazy; on the contrary, it’s been done purposely and painstakingly to preserve the SUV’s unique exterior design language. I for one don’t mind it one iota. Mercedes-AMG G 63 Edition 1, designo platin magno, Leder Exklusiv Nappa AMG schwarz. Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 13,1 l/100 km, CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 299 g/km // Mercedes-AMG G 63 Edition 1, designo platinum magno, AMG Exclusive nappa leather black. Fuel consumption combined: 13.1 l/100 km; Combined CO2 emissions: 299 g/km.last_img read more

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Illinois Is 3rd State Approved To Partner With Feds

first_imgIllinois Is 3rd State Approved To Partner With Feds Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday to announce the state had become the third to receive conditional approval to run a health insurance exchange in partnership with the federal government. Other states are also taking steps to develop their exchanges — or, at least, mulling what to do next.California Healthline: Path To Partnership: More States Opt For HHS’ Hybrid ExchangesNew Hampshire: We’re in. North Carolina: We’re not. The two states on Tuesday were the latest to announce their intentions on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges. States have until Feb. 15 to tell HHS whether they’ll retain even some control over the exchanges, or let the Obama administration run the exchanges for them. And while New Hampshire made clear that it wants to partner with the federal government to launch an insurance exchange, North Carolina backed out of a previous plan to do exactly that. By Friday, we’ll know where half a dozen other states stand, too (Diamond, 2/13).The Hill: Illinois To Partner With HHS On Healthcare ExchangeThe Health and Human Services Department gave conditional approval Wednesday to a “partnership” insurance exchange in Illinois. HHS has been pushing states toward a partnership model if they’re not prepared to run their entire exchange alone but also want to retain some control over the new marketplace, rather than ceding it entirely to the federal government (Baker, 2/13). CQ Healthbeat: Sebelius Visits Illinois To Announce Conditional Approval For Partnership ExchangeAiming to build a sense of momentum surrounding implementation of the health care law, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced at an event in Chicago with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday that his state has received a conditional nod to run a health insurance exchange in partnership with the federal government. Illinois becomes the third state to receive a conditional approval for a partnership. HHS had already given that status to Arkansas and Delaware (Reichard, 2/13).Modern Healthcare: Ill. Joins Feds As Exchange Deadline NearsIllinois became the third state to receive conditional approval to launch a health insurance exchange in partnership with the federal government less than eight months from now. The announcement came days before a Feb. 15 deadline for states to apply to participate in that model in 2014. The deadline is three months later than originally planned. The Obama administration extended the window in November to give more time to states with newly elected governors and others that awaited the presidential election outcome to choose a direction. The partnership model is one of three options for health insurance exchanges—recently rebranded by HHS as marketplaces—required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. States also can apply to operate their own marketplaces or they can take no action and default to a federally operated exchange (Daly, 2/13). The Associated Press: Michigan Lawmakers Mull $31M For Health Care ExchangeGov. Rick Snyder’s administration told lawmakers Wednesday it needs their approval within weeks to spend a $31 million federal grant to help build a consumer-friendly health insurance marketplace under the contentious federal health care overhaul, or else the state will be stuck with a bill. Though Republicans rejected the GOP governor’s request to spend federal money on a state-run exchange last year, the issue is not going away because open enrollment for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Michigan residents is less than eight months away (Eggert, 2/13).Atlanta Journal Constitution: House Passes Bill To Create License Standards For Health Care ExchangeThe Georgia House passed a bill Wednesday that would require health insurance navigators to be licensed in order to help uninsured Georgians and businesses use a federally backed online health insurance exchange. House Bill 198, introduced by Rep. Richard Smith, R-Columbus, would establish training and licensing procedures for the navigators, whose positions are required elements of the Affordable Care Act. The navigators cannot advise consumers to opt for specific plans, but they can help consumers learn about Medicaid eligibility, federal tax subsidies and health plan options (Leslie, 2/13). The Associated Press/Washington Post: Measure Would Create Funding Stream For Exchange And Expand MedicaidLt. Gov. Anthony Brown and state health officials on Wednesday outlined some of the final steps in a three-year effort to create a health benefit exchange in Maryland as part of the federal health care overhaul (2/13). 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

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Study Finds Health Law Likely To Push Up Premium Prices In Mass

first_imgThe Massachusetts analysis, funded by the insurance industry, predicts the law will add an average of 3.7 percent to premiums, while in New York, state officials will likely announce Wednesday the expected premium tumble. Boston Globe: National Health Care Overhaul Apt To Push Up CostsRule changes stemming from the national health care law are likely to drive up average insurance premiums for small businesses and individuals next year, according to a study funded by the insurance industry. The analysis, by Wakely Consulting Group, projects President Obama’s health care law — supported by the Patrick administration — will tack an average of 3.7 percent on to premiums. That would be on top of typical base rate increases, driven by hospital and doctor’s fees and demand for medical care, which have ranged from 2 to 4 percent in recent years (Weisman, 7/17). The New York Times: Health Plan Cost For New Yorkers Set To Fall 50%Individuals buying health insurance on their own will see their premiums tumble next year in New York State as changes under the federal health care law take effect, state officials are to announce on Wednesday (Rabin and Abelson, 7/16).In other news — Health News Florida: $54 Million In Rebates In MailInsurers for more than 600,000 Floridians will have to rebate some of the premium from last year because they didn’t comply with the spending rules in the Affordable Care Act, according to federal health officials. The amount that must be refunded in this state by Aug. 1 tops $54 million, according to the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight. That’s only half of what insurers had to pay in rebates to Floridians last year (Gentry, 7/17). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Study Finds Health Law Likely To Push Up Premium Prices In Mass.; New York Health Plan Costs Set To Falllast_img read more

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First Edition October 29 2013

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. First Edition: October 29, 2013 Today’s headlines include previews of a Capitol Hill hearing that will feature Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Serivces Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.  Kaiser Health News: Insuring Your Health: Short-Term Plans Can Skirt Health Law RequirementsKaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: “What a difference a day makes. Consumers who buy a health insurance policy good for only 364 days might save hundreds of dollars in premiums, but they could also find themselves without important benefits and charged a penalty for not having insurance next year” (Andrews, 10/28). Read the column.Kaiser Health News: My Other Pre-Existing Condition: Unstable InsuranceWriting for Kaiser Health News, Randy Dotinga tells his personal story of seeking health coverage on the individual insurance market: “I’d like to start a long-term relationship with a health plan, but all I’ve had are flings — seven insurers in the last 13 years. Is it something I said? Nope, it’s something I am: a self-employed, 45-year-old single guy with a heart that beats funny” (Dotinga, 10/28). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Updating The Latest Efforts On Fixing Healthcare.govNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, watch a video of Mary Agnes Carey on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal Monday talking about efforts the federal government is making to fix the troubled healthcare.gov website for purchasing health insurance (10/28). Watch the video.The New York Times: U.S. Health Insurance Website’s Problems Continue Despite ImprovementsThe Obama administration on Monday reported improvements in the operation of the federal health insurance marketplace, but insurers said that severe technical problems were still making it difficult to enroll new subscribers (Pear, 10/28).Los Angeles Times: Healthcare Law Also Faces Plenty Of Low-Tech ProblemsWhen advocates for the president’s healthcare law strategized about how to reach the uninsured, they knew exactly whom to tap: mothers who could spread the word about the law’s benefits, sign up their younger children and nudge their twentysomethings to take part. But beyond the widely publicized problems with the federal website, low-tech challenges also are complicating that part of the drive to sell the program — even in California, where the state website is running more smoothly and officials are fully behind the push (Reston, 10/28).The Wall Street Journal: Health Site Recovers From Latest SnafuThe troubled federal health-insurance website was recovering Monday after another outage, this time caused by a network failure at one of the companies supporting the site. Health-insurance exchanges in all 50 states couldn’t function for about 16 hours Sunday and Monday due to the outage, which affected a data hub on which the exchanges rely to transmit information about enrollees’ identity and income (Radnofsky, 10/28).The Associated Press/Washington Post: White House OKs Penalty-Free Health Insurance Sign-Ups Until March 31 Amid Website ProblemsWith website woes ongoing, the Obama administration Monday granted a six-week extension until March 31 for Americans to sign up for coverage next year and avoid new tax penalties under the president’s health care overhaul law. The move had been expected since White House spokesman Jay Carney promised quick action last week to resolve a “disconnect” in the implementation of the law (10/28).USA Today: HHS Issues Formal Insurance Deadline ClarificationPeople who have purchased insurance by March 31, even if they are not covered by their plans until May 1, don’t need not file a waiver to avoid paying a fine for violating the individual mandate law under the Affordable Care Act, according to new guidance released Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services. There had been some confusion because some had interpreted the health law to mean that people must be covered by insurance to avoid paying a fine. In 2014, most people who do not have health insurance, including parents of uncovered children, must pay a fine (Kennedy, 10/28).Politico: Obamacare And The Limits Of The Wayback MachineIt just means that President Barack Obama’s signature health care law shouldn’t be written off just yet. Everything depends on what happens in the next few months. A full recovery is possible, if the federal enrollment website stops having comical breakdowns within the next month and the rest of the implementation runs more smoothly. If that doesn’t happen, none of the lessons of Medicare Part D’s rollout will be able to save Obamacare (Nather, 10/29).USA Today: Report: W.H. Knew Plans Would Be Cancelled Under ACAMillions of Americans are getting their health insurance cancelled under the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration has known for about three years that this would happen, NBC News is reporting. Between half and three quarters of 14 million consumers who buy health insurance individually will receive a cancellation letter or its equivalent in the next year because their current policies don’t meet the standards laid out by the new law, the news organization reports (Eversley, 10/29).Politico: White House Rejects NBC Obamacare ReportThe Obama administration is strongly pushing back Monday night on an NBC News report that the White House has known for years that millions of consumers would lose their insurance under Obamacare. “NBC ‘scoop’ cites ‘normal turnover in the indiv insurance market’. That’s a) not new b) not caused by #ACA c) the problem #ACA will solve,” White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said in a tweet (Haberkorn, 10/28).The Washington Post: Carney Admits Some Americans Will Lose Existing Plans Under Health-Care LawBack in 2009, President Obama assured Americans that even under the health-care law he was pressing Congress to adopt, nothing in their insurance would change if they were satisfied with their current plan. On Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney acknowledged that some consumers would lose their “substandard plans” and have to pay higher premiums because of the new health-care law (Eilperin, 10/28).Politico: Unions Sitting Out ACA EnrollmentPresident Barack Obama’s loyal allies in the labor movement aren’t jumping to help the administration in the public battle over the problematic Obamacare website. Put off by new reinsurance fees on group health care plans that affect union members, Big Labor is largely sitting out the effort to enroll people for health care coverage or make the White House’s public case that the mangled rollout of HealthCare.gov doesn’t mean the entire Affordable Care Act is flawed (Epstein, 10/29).Politico: Affordable Care Act Advocates Press Outreach, Downplay WebsiteThe faulty Obamacare sign-up site has created a dilemma for advocates of the health law organizing outreach and education efforts. Now that open enrollment has begun, they need to get out the word about new coverage options and try to overcome years of public confusion about the law (Villacorta, 10/29).Politico: Ads Hit Red-State Democrats On ObamacareAmericans for Prosperity is targeting two red-state Democrats over Obamacare with a pricey new ad buy that launches this week. The conservative group singles out Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in two new health care-related television ads, viewed first by POLITICO. The North Carolina and Louisiana 2014 contests will play key roles in determining which party controls the Senate (Glueck, 10/29).The New York Times: Ohio Governor Defies G.O.P. With Defense Of Social Safety NetEver since Republicans in Congress shut down the federal government in an attempt to remove funding for President Obama’s health care law, Republican governors have been trying to distance themselves from Washington.  … But few have gone further than Mr. Kasich in critiquing his party’s views on poverty programs, and last week he circumvented his own Republican legislature and its Tea Party wing by using a little-known state board to expand Medicaid to 275,000 poor Ohioans under President Obama’s health care law (Gabriel, 10/28).Politico: Medicaid Enrollment Surges Ahead Of ACA Sign-UpsHealthCare.gov may be limping along to full viability, but Medicaid is flying off the shelves. New Medicaid enrollment is far outpacing new insurance customers under Obamacare so far, a subtle sign that the program could play a greater role in the law’s coverage expansion than first anticipated. Some people are signing up for the Medicaid expansion created by the president’s health law. Others were already eligible for their state’s current Medicaid program, but until this outreach campaign about health coverage, they had never signed up (Haberkorn, 10/29).The New York Times: Health Site Puts Agency And Leader In Hot SeatTen days before HealthCare.gov opened for business, Marilyn Tavenner, the obscure federal bureaucrat whose agency oversaw the creation of the troubled online insurance marketplace, had a bad omen. It was a Sunday, and her mobile device was on the fritz, forcing her to go into the office (Stolberg, 10/28).The Washington Post: Medicare Chief Marilyn Tavenner To Testify Before Congress About HealthCare.govOn Tuesday, Tavenner will be the first Obama administration official to testify before Congress about the efforts of her agency — the Centers for Medicare and Medcaid Services — to implement the 2010 law. The agency recently hired contractor Quality Software Services Inc. to be the general manager for the effort to fix the troubled Web site. Tavenner is likely to face a barrage of questions about the lead-up to the site’s botched debut — as well as the administration’s previous claims that everything was on track for a successful launch (Kliff, 10/28).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Medicare Chief Tavenner Faces Lawmakers’ Questions Over Botched Health Overhaul RolloutTrying to earn a second chance, the senior administration official closest to the implementation of the health care law’s malfunctioning enrollment website will answer questions from Congress at the start of a pivotal week. Medicare Chief Marilyn Tavenner will be questioned Tuesday by the House Ways and Means Committee not only on what went wrong with HealthCare.gov, but also whether lawmakers can trust Obama administration promises to have things running efficiently by the end of November (10/29).Politico: Somehow, Marilyn Tavenner Still Has BackersPlenty of people have called for heads to roll after the Obamacare rollout — including that of Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services. But so far, they haven’t called for the head of Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversaw the office that created HealthCare.gov (Cunningham, 10/28).USA Today: Medicare Part B Premiums Won’t Go Up In 2014The premiums for Medicare Part B will remain flat in 2014 and seniors have saved $8.3 billion on Part D prescriptions since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday. Medicare Part B covers medically necessary services, as well as preventive services (Kennedy, 10/28).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Medicare Monthly Premium Will Stay At $104.90 A MonthMedicare says the “Part B” premium most seniors pay for outpatient care will stay the same in 2014, at $104.90 a month. That’s good news for beneficiaries, following a $5-per-month increase this year (10/28).Los Angeles Times: Amid Obamacare Signup Glitches, Thousands Head To Free Clinic EventOrganizers of a high-profile annual free clinic in Los Angeles that attracts thousands of uninsured and underinsured patients have hoped that improvements in the nation’s healthcare system would greatly reduce demand for their services. The massive Care Harbor event returns to town this week, amid the rollout of new and shifting insurance options for millions of Californians under the Obama administration’s overhaul of the healthcare system. Once again, thousands showed up Monday at the Sports Arena to secure appointments for everything from mammograms to teeth cleaning — but with new expectations for the future (Brown, 10/28).The New York Times: Judge In Texas Partly Rejects Abortion LawA federal judge in Texas on Monday blocked an important part of the state’s restrictive new abortion law, which would have required doctors performing the procedure to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital (Eckholm, 10/28).Los Angeles Times: Judge Rules Part Of Texas Abortion Law Unconstitutional Some controversial new Texas abortion restrictions are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled Tuesday, a federal judge ruled Monday. “Today’s ruling marks an important victory for Texas women and sends a clear message to lawmakers: It is unconstitutional for politicians to pass laws that take personal, private decisions away from women and their doctors,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (Hennessey-Fiske, 10/28).The Washington Post: Judge Blocks Parts Of Texas Abortion LawThe ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel represents a legal victory for abortion providers, who had challenged new requirements that abortion doctors must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic and that all abortions must take place in surgical centers, rather than allowing women to take abortion drugs at home (Eilperin, 10/28).The Associated Press/Washington Post: After Judge’s Ruling To Throw Out New Law, Texas Abortion Clinics Set To Resume AppointmentsThe only abortion clinic in a 300-mile swath of West Texas can resume taking appointments Tuesday, after a federal judge struck down new restrictions that would have effectively shuttered it and at least a dozen other clinics across the state. Lubbock’s Planned Parenthood Women’s Health Center had stopped making appointments last week, bracing for this week’s scheduled enforcement of a new requirement that all doctors performing abortions in the state must have admitting privileges at a hospital less than 30 miles away (10/29).The Wall Street Journal: Abortion Law Partly BlockedThe case concerning the new law, which was scheduled to take effect Tuesday, will now head to federal appeals court. A group of abortion-rights groups filed suit last month claiming the admitting-privileges requirement would unconstitutionally infringe on women’s abortion rights, forcing many of the state’s licensed abortion providers to stop performing the procedure. Similar lawsuits challenging admitting-privileges requirements have been filed in Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota and Wisconsin (Koppel, 10/28).Politico: Judge Blocks Texas Abortion RestrictionsA federal district court has ruled that one abortion restriction passed by the Texas state Legislature over the summer is unconstitutional and has partially blocked another. District Judge Lee Yeakel has blocked the state from enforcing a requirement that abortion-providing doctors obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals — a restriction that would have ended abortion services at one-third of the health centers currently providing them. He also blocked restrictions on the use of medication abortion. Both restrictions would have gone into effect on Tuesday (Villacorta, 10/29).The Associated Press/Washington Post: State Of Alabama, Catholic Media Group Sue Over Health Care LawThe state of Alabama and a Roman Catholic broadcasting network based near Birmingham are again suing over the nation’s new health care law. Attorney General Luther Strange and Eternal Word Television Network filed suit Monday in federal court (10/28).  Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.last_img read more

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You can now talk to Google Assistant on your Sonos – heres

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. Sonos has rolled out the Google Assistant update for its smart speakers, giving you the option of using this or Amazon Alexa on the Sonos One or Sonos Beam. The company has also made the Sonos skill available for all Google Assistant users, so that you can control an existing Sonos setup using your voice with a smart speaker, such as the Google Home.The new feature is available in the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, France and the Netherlands from today, and is expected to hit more countries in the near future. The update first rolled out to US-based users back in May.Related: Best Bluetooth speakersGoogle Assistant on the Sonos One or Sonos BeamIf you have a Sonos One or Sonos Beam, all you have to do is update your Sonos’ software, then you can use the Voice Services feature in the Sonos app to choose which assistant you want in each room. Each Sonos speaker can have one assistant installed at a time, although you can have multiple assistants in your home, say having Google in the bedroom and Alexa in the living room.With Google Assistant, you get most of the smart assistant’s features, including Continued Conversation, Broadcast Mode and the option to change the smart assistant’s voice. You can also control your smart home devices with your voice. The only thing missing is the ability to make free voice calls to UK landlines and mobile numbers.You can also say “Hey Google” to play a song from an extensive list of streaming services, queue a TV show from your Sonos Beam (if you have a Chromecast), set reminders, recall calendar events and more.Related: Best multi-room speakersThe company claims that the purpose behind bringing in multiple assistants is to demonstrate the power of a multi-partner platform that offers a choice to its customers.“We value freedom of choice, empowering listeners to choose what they want to listen to and how they want to control it”, said CEO Patrick Spence.“We imagine a day where we’ll have multiple voice assistants operating concurrently on the same device, and we’re committed to making that happen as soon as possible”.Google Assistant Sonos ControlIf you already have a Google Assistant device, such as the Google Home or Google Home Mini, you can now use the Google Home app to add the Sonos skill. Once added and you’ve linked your Sonos account to your Google account, you can use your voice speakers to control your Sonos system with your voice.At the moment there are a few quirks to the system. To play a Sonos speaker, you have to say which one you want to play on, such as, “Hey Google, play music on office Sonos”. With Amazon Echo speakers, you can set each Echo device to have a default music playback device and streaming service, so you can just ask Alexa to play some music and she knows which Sonos player to start streaming to.Annoyingly, when you talk to a Google Home device, the sound isn’t ducked on the Sonos player in the same Room, which means you may need to shout a bit to be heard. With the Alexa integration, talking to an Echo will duck the sound on any Sonos players that you’ve grouped into the same room.The only exception is with a Sonos One or Sonos beam: talking to one of these will duck the sound so that the Google Assistant can hear you.Once music is playing, you can say, “Hey Google, pause” from any device and your music will stop. However, if Sonos is playing in multiple rooms there doesn’t seem to be much logic as to which device is paused: our system defaulted to pausing the music on the Sonos One, even though we had music playing in the office, too.Google has one nice trick up its sleeve that Alexa doesn’t: better smart display integration. Using a device, such as the Google Nest Hub, you can use the Media menu and then select a Sonos player, using the touchscreen control to play/pause or skip music playback. You also get these onscreen controls when you ask the smart display to start playing music on a Sonos player.You can control your Sonos players from your Google Nest Hub’s touchscreenWith the similar Amazon Echo Show or Amazon Echo Show 5, you don’t get any onscreen controls for Sonos, and can only use your voice.Currently, bar the touchscreen controls, the Echo integration is a touch better and works in a smoother way. We imagine that the Google Assistant will get some of the same features in a future update. In any case, it’s good to finally see Google Assistant support, letting those with Google Home speakers control their multi-room music. 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 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. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

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Tor browser launches on Android heres why you should check out snoop

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. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. 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. The Tor Browser is finally available on Android, but it’s not just for Dark Web lurkers and ne’er do wells.The browser is known for its ability to shift your web traffic from location to location – meaning you cannot be tracked. The lack of tracking makes the browser popular for privacy-focused users.Today marks the official launch of the Tor Browser on Android – allowing you to download it via Google Play. The Tor Browser is based on Firefox and allows users to navigate the web without fear of being tracked. The Tor Network achieves this by bouncing your location across relays run by volunteers around the globe. The approach makes it very difficult for anyone to uncover the source of your activity on the web as well as your location.Related: Best web browserThere are some trade-offs. The bouncing around of your online activity does significantly lower the speed of your browsing. For those already using the Tor Browser on desktop, there are some differences. According to Tor, “There are still feature gaps between the desktop and Android Tor Browser, we are confident that Tor Browser for Android provides essentially the same protections that can be found on desktop platforms”.Tor announced the new version of its mobile application by confirming “Tor Browser 8.5 is the first stable release on Android”. Previously, a complex workaround was required to access the browser on Google’s mobile operating system. Tor has been working on the Android application for some time and has given users the opportunity to test earlier builds via alpha and beta testing phases.Related: Best VPNThere are currently no plans to bring Tor to iOS devices due to restrictions enacted on the mobile operating system by Apple. However, Tor recommends using the Onion browser instead – a mobile browser not created by Tor but still utilising the Tor Network.The browser has drawn both praise and criticism for its approach to privacy. The security of the Tor Network enables protection for those that work with sensitive information – like journalists or political activists. However, the benefits also extend to those who may want to use the Tor Browser for hiding illegal activity. 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 Editorlast_img read more

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Forget Pokemon Go Googles new ARt gallery lets you check out Rembrandts

first_img This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. 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. 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. Google’s released a new “Colour” collection for its Arts and Culture app that lets you check out a load of classic paintings and sculptures in augmented reality (AR).The Colour collection went live on Wednesday and is available on the app now as a Pocket Gallery. The Arts and Culture app launched last year and let users see how a wealth of paintings by Vermer look in AR. The new collection is based around the concept of colour and brings fresh works from numerous artists including Rembrandt and Bridgett Riley.To check it out all you have to do is download the Art and Culture app to a compatible ARCore phone, launch it and click on the colour collection. From there the virtual environment will pop up and let you check out the famous works in four rooms, each representing a different colour, in AR.Related: Best VR headset 2019When you find a piece you like the app will bring up key information about it, making it a great educational tool for younglings as well.“In ‘The Art of Color,’ you can explore four rooms of paintings that each represent a different color palette—you’ll also find a dark room that juxtaposes Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch with the Op art mastery of Bridget Riley,” explained the Google blog post.“The gallery also has a series of playful geometric shapes and vibrant colors that complement the paintings inside. The new Pocket Gallery features art from 33 partner institutions across four continents, and allows you to learn about works of many different eras and styles.”AR is an increasingly common tech. It’s used to power popular games including Pokemon Go and Harry Potter Wizards Unite.Related: Best phone 2019The new gallery is part of a wider push by Google to boost it’s Augmented and virtual reality offering for schools. The company’s released a number of virtual environments bespoke design for schools over the last couple of years. These Google Daydream virtual classrooms in famous art galleries and the International Space Station. Google Daydream is the company’s virtual reality platform. 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.last_img read more

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Federal Budget will aim to make homebuying more affordable through supply demand

first_img ← Previous Next → Join the conversation → Reddit Andy Blatchford 5 Comments advertisement Share this storyFederal Budget will aim to make home-buying more affordable through supply, demand and regulation Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Facebook Sponsored By: Comment Twitter Federal Budget will aim to make home-buying more affordable through supply, demand and regulation But withdrawing the mortgage stress test not seen as likely The Canadian Press Finance Minister Bill Morneau has promised the budget will focus on ways to help improve housing affordability for Canadians, and particularly for millennials, who are now in their mid-20s to late-30s.Canadian Press March 18, 20196:33 AM EDTLast UpdatedMarch 18, 20199:18 AM EDT Filed under News Economy More Featured Stories Email What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Recommended For YouDavid Rosenberg: How weak economic growth is actually fuelling this bull market’s riseIt’s getting harder to be a long-term investor: Here’s how to keep your focus on what really countsDavid Rosenberg: The hopes that fuelled the market rally are all evaporating — and now reality is setting inThe storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them throughTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permits OTTAWA — The Trudeau government will take steps in Tuesday’s federal budget to make home-buying more affordable with changes affecting supply, demand and regulation, The Canadian Press has learned.Finance Minister Bill Morneau has promised the budget will focus on ways to help improve housing affordability for Canadians, and particularly for millennials, who are now in their mid-20s to late-30s.The changes, along with expected measures on adult skills training, pharmacare and supporting seniors, will be included in the Liberals’ fourth and final budget before the October federal election.The budget’s housing measures could grab a lot of attention. Polls have suggested affordable home ownership is a key concern for millennials and could be a vote winner with the increasingly critical demographic.Morneau has heard housing-policy recommendations from numerous sources, including academic, real estate and mortgage experts, on how best to help more people buy homes.The budget will respond to issues in the housing-related areas of supply, demand and regulation, says a government source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the plan ahead of its release. They declined to provide specifics on the measures.The government, however, faces a delicate task of introducing changes that avoid destabilizing housing markets, driving up prices or enabling already overstretched households to pile on more debt.Internal briefing documents show Morneau was warned in November that Canadians’ heavy debt loads are a key risk that have made abrupt shocks to incomes, house prices or interest rates a “significant concern.” The memo was obtained by The Canadian Press through access-to-information law.Morneau has been feeling pressure to act on housing.On the demand side, the real estate, mortgage and home-building industries have urged Ottawa to ease or eliminate stress tests that have tightened mortgage qualification rules and, as a result, cooled once-scorching markets in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.The federal changes, combined with provincial and municipal guidelines, were brought in to improve the quality of mortgage debt and to lower risks to the broader economy.Morneau has insisted the stress tests were needed as a way to keep prices in some markets from rising at an unsustainable clip. He’s shown no signs that he’s prepared to dial them back.There have also been industry calls for the reintroduction of insurance on 30-year amortization mortgages as a targeted way to help people at the lower end.But Paul Kershaw, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, said many experts, himself included, have discouraged the government from weakening the stress tests or extending amortization out of fear such moves would only encourage people to borrow more.Kershaw is the founder of Generation Squeeze, a group dedicated to informing policy decisions about the socioeconomic challenges of younger Canadians.He wants policies that keep home prices from growing faster than earnings.“We’ve tolerated — not only that, we’ve celebrated — home prices rising a lot over the last decade,” Kershaw said.“And we need a government that says, ‘Nope, henceforth we want housing to be for homes first, investments second.’ ”He recommends Ottawa change “outdated” tax policy that shelters principal residences from taxation, thus exacerbating demand, limiting supply and pushing up prices.On regulation and enforcement, Ottawa could take steps to crack down on people who falsely claim a home is their primary residence as a way to dodge capital gains taxes.Morneau recently vowed to do more to enforce laws in another area that’s been directly connected to housing: money laundering.Last year, reports from an international anti-money-laundering organization and the RCMP warned that organized crime groups had bought luxury home sales in the Vancouver area to launder and hide their money.On supply, Kershaw said the federal government could create incentives to encourage more cities to raise their housing density targets. Ottawa could offer a larger share of infrastructure transfers — like those for transit — to municipalities that agree to allow the construction of more homes to be built per plot of land.To increase demand, Kershaw said the government could bump up the maximum, one-time withdrawal limit of $25,000 under the home buyer’s plan, which enables Canadians to borrow once from their own registered retirement savings plan to buy a home.Ottawa could also increase the non-refundable, $5,000 first time home buyers tax credit, which offers up to $750 in tax relief, he said.The budget’s release date was at risk of being delayed after the Conservatives took steps to use their opposition day Monday for an extended House of Commons voting session, which would have spilled into Tuesday.The Tories were hoping to use the procedural move to draw attention to the House of Commons justice committee, which is also set to meet Tuesday to determine if it will recall former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould as a witness.But Mark Kennedy, a spokesman for House Leader Bardish Chagger, said Sunday that the Tories’ opposition day would be rescheduled to Wednesday. Therefore, it would not interrupt the budget’s release.Opposition MPs were furious last week after the Liberals used their majority at the committee to delay an attempt to call Wilson-Raybould to testify again on the SNC-Lavalin affair.The move prompted shouts from opposition MPs at committee of “shame,” “coverup” and “despicable!” last_img read more

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Canadian CEOs confidence erodes amid rising concerns over environmental trade risks

first_imgCanadian CEOs’ confidence erodes amid rising concerns over environmental, trade risks KPMG CEO survey cites environmental risk, growing trade frictions and emerging disruptive technologies as posing real threats to continued growth More Facebook 1 Comments Financial Post Staff What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Join the conversation → Only 79 per cent of Canadian CEOs expressed confidence in the country’s economy, according to the latest KPMG Global CEO Survey, compared to 94 per cent in last year’s report.Peter J. Thompson/National Post files Reddit Email Broadsided by trade disputes, evolving technologies and environmental concerns, Canadian CEOs’ confidence in their own economy is eroding, according to a new survey.Only 79 per cent of Canadian CEOs expressed confidence in the country’s economy, according to the latest KPMG Global CEO Survey, compared to 94 per cent in last year’s report.In contrast, 83 per cent of the CEOs the management consultancy surveyed internationally were bullish on their local economies, a jump from the 74 per cent who were optimistic in the previous year.“Canadian CEOs are actually still fairly bullish on our economy with eight out of 10 believing we’ll continue to see growth,” Benjie Thomas, Canadian Managing Partner, Advisory Services for KPMG in Canada, said in the report published Thursday. “But events over the past year have eroded their confidence somewhat.” The Bank of Canada is very worried about the U.S.-China trade war getting worse, Wilkins says BoC upbeat about outlook as it leaves rates unchanged, but will proceed with caution Markets are more gloomy about our economy than the Bank of Canada — who’s right? The study cites environmental risk, growing international trade frictions and emerging disruptive technologies posing real threats to continued growth.“What is telling about these concerns is they all tend to be global issues rather than national ones — and they are the same top three risks identified by CEOs right across the globe,” Thomas said.The Global CEO Outlook study polled 75 Canadian CEOs in a survey of 1,300 across the world. Two-fifths of the Canadian CEOs surveyed presided over annual revenues of between $1 billion and $9.99 billion. Banking, energy and asset management were the top three industries represented.Peter Hughes, the digital services lead at KPMG and one of the authors of the study, said environment and technology were only the fifth and sixth biggest concerns respectively in last year’s study, but are garnering more attention from the CEOs.“(Innovation) happened in most developed countries at a certain pace, one that most companies have been able to deal with,” said Hughes. “What we’re seeing now with AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics, automation, cryptocurrencies, things like that is that there are exponentially more technologies coming at large corporations and I think the CEOs are starting to feel that.”For environmental concerns, he cites oil prices, pipeline developments and the battle over carbon taxes as reasons for the increased economic uncertainty in Canada.Hughes sees part of the decline as natural given the strength of last year’s numbers, yet the KPMG report also comes on the heels of another quarterly report from the Conference Board of Canada, an independent research organization, which predicted Canada’s real GDP to grow by a muted 1.4 per cent this year.The Conference Board report, published Tuesday, forecasts a mild recession in Alberta due to oil uncertainty, while a trade dispute between Canada and China is expected to hurt the agriculture industry, with B.C. being hit hardest. It also shows financial austerity coming from Ontario’s latest provincial budget, while Quebec will remain sound and the Atlantic region will be on the upswing.The Board expects Canada’s GDP to make a return to two per cent growth by 2020.In both studies, the newfound economic uncertainty seems to come down to factors surrounding the top threats. For Hughes, the biggest surprise from the study was that only 44 per cent of Canadian CEOs plan to upscale their employees’ skills in the face of relentless innovation, compared to the U.S. and international numbers of 78 and 81 per cent respectively.“I don’t think we lag because we’re already there,” said Hughes. “I think there’s always going to be a need for tech literacy, innovation literacy and digital literacy, irrespective of what industry you’re in to be as high as it can be.”Marie-Christine Bernard, the director of provincial and territorial forecast services at the Conference Board, sees the need for improvements in exports, citing recent uncertainty over trade deals with the U.S., as well as investments, including and beyond the energy sector.Seemingly, the only economic certainty is a cyberattack, with 60 per cent of Canadian CEOs telling KPMG it is a matter of ‘when, not if,’ compared to 53 per cent globally. Only 59 per cent say they are well prepared for an attack, in contrast to an international figure of 69 per cent.The KMPG and Board studies are in contrast to the Bank of Canada’s economic optimism, which earlier this week said that “continued strong job growth suggests that businesses see the weakness in the past two quarters as temporary.”The Bank maintained its interest rates on Wednesday, even as governor Stephen Poloz pointed to economic improvements.Carolyn Wilkins, the bank’s senior deputy governor, echoed that sentiment in a speech in Calgary on Thursday, noting that “from a macro perspective, Canada’s economic performance has been relatively solid.”Indeed, Canadian economic data has improved in recent months, with retail sales for March slightly beating estimates, wholesale trade climbing 1.4 per cent and beating expectations, and the labour market delivering a surprise earlier this month by adding 106,500 jobs  — the biggest one-month employment gain since the government started collecting comparable data in 1976.On Friday, Statistics Canada will release GDP data for the first quarter. center_img Featured Stories advertisement Share this storyCanadian CEOs’ confidence erodes amid rising concerns over environmental, trade risks Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn ← Previous Next → Nicholas Sokic May 30, 20194:42 PM EDT Filed under News Economy Sponsored By: Twitter Commentlast_img read more

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Tesla Model 3 The Rebirth Of The American Sedan

first_imgThe automobile as we know it has been fading.An icon of the industry disappearing, some claiming it the end of an era. Ford recently threw in the towel, announcing the end of all car production and sales in the US with the exception of their Mustang.More Model 3 Info The established industry has been pouring money into the concept of the SUV for decades producing a vast array of vehicles from compact cute Utes to go anywhere off-road machines. Hearts have been won by the visions of the go anywhere, do anything, Sports Utility Vehicle, but is it really the end for the automobile? To answer that question we need to address some other topics.***Our thanks go out to InsideEVs commenter and author of this article Viking79 for allowing us to share this post with our readers. Check out the original post here.Human-Caused Global WarmingThe issue of human-caused global warming is unavoidable in this discussion as it comes in direct conflict with industry and the vehicles that people want to buy. It is well established by the scientific community that human emissions and actions are the primary cause of the current global warming trend. [US Climate Change Report]Industry has been aware of this for decades, but hasn’t wanted to change the vehicles they make citing they make what people want to buy. The EPA has set regulations for manufacturers to meet certain emissions standards, but the industry has done the minimum possible to meet those requirements as to not interfere with their profit machines.The automotive giants have been making the vehicles “people want to buy” while ignoring anything else, any attempts to make environmentally friendly vehicles are token gestures to a small minority and at the same time are done for compliance reasons.  The cars designed are meant to appeal to a small market and meet the letter of the law.  So what changed?The Birth of the Li-Ion BatteryBatteries have long been a weak point of portable electronics.  Earlier batteries were too heavy and not energy dense enough to make desirable portable devices.  Everything changed when John Goodenough invented the Lithium Cobalt Oxide cathode and Sony commercialized his invention in 1991.  The resulting batteries were more energy dense than anything before and had incredible longevity.A decade later they brought about the total transformation of the portable electronics industry. Laptops could last for hours, smaller and smaller electronics were making their way to consumers’ hands and winning over their hearts.  The birth of the smartphone came in the late 90s and was popularized by Apple in 2007.  Drones started filling the skies, the radio controlled hobby industry quickly transformed from Nitro Methane internal combustion to Lithium polymer due to such incredible power and energy density.TeslaIt was only a matter of time before a company came along and took the Li-ion cell that was commonly used for laptops and other portable electronics and make those into a car battery. The 18650 laptop cell was produced in large enough numbers that thousands could be used to make a large battery. A battery large enough to power a car for hundreds of miles.This was revolutionary, taking the emissions from the tailpipe and moving them to the power generation facility.  The Combined Cycle Gas Turbines are far more efficient than a standard internal combustion engine and also more renewable energy is added to the grid every year, primarily in solar and wind.With a battery electric car powered by renewable energy the emissions drop to almost nothing.  Even powered by natural gas they produce less emissions than gasoline or diesel powered vehicles. [Union of Concerned Scientists] The issue facing the industry is how do you make an electric car, and make it sustainable. Tesla had a plan.The iPhone was upsetting the established phone industry when Tesla’s first car, the Roadster, was getting ready to ship in 2008. In itself, the Roadster wasn’t a game-changing car, but it showed investors what could be done. This wasn’t a crazy impossible idea.With the release of the Model S in 2012 it showed that Tesla had done its research. They were offering game-changing features: Lifetime supercharging, massive battery that no one thought possible or profitable, prominent touch display, over the air updates, factory service and sales. There was no doubt that this was a car of the highest technology well integrated into a desirable package.With Elon Musk at the helm the company formed a vision of transitioning the world away from oil and to solar and renewable energy.  This has been the “Master Plan” posted by Elon Musk more than a decade ago at Tesla and brings me back to the American Sedan. How do you get the world to switch to renewable energy with a car that can cost well over 100 grand?The RebirthIn March 2016 Elon Musk stunned the industry with the unveiling of an all-electric car with an available range of more than 300 miles, fast acceleration, and a stunningly simple yet functional interior. It could recharge up to 170 miles in only 30 minutes.  It would offer full self driving, and the base car would start at only $35,000 US with over 200 miles range. Elon won the hearts of the consumer raking in more than 200,000 reservations in 24 hours.Two and a half years later and after a shaky start to production, the Model 3 is shaping to be a resounding success. Making up more than half the US EV market in July and August, and actually surpassing every luxury make in the US for sedan sales with an estimated sales of 17,800 cars. [Inside EVs August 2018 Sales]  It landed the number 5 on the list of best-selling cars in America for August 2018, and this was for a car averaging approximately $60,000 US, more than twice any other car on the list and better than almost any SUV.The American sedan was reborn. Forged from the denials of the established industry and the desires of the people to transition from their oil burning addiction. Tesla offers a car that is both desirable and environmentally friendly. Finally, a “green” car that doesn’t have to be boring. The floodgates have opened and there is no stopping it.Source: Cars With Plugs Watch Tesla Model 3 AWD Tackle Snowy Snoqualmie Pass: Video Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Model 3 Declared Vehicle Of The Year By Detroit News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 27, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Demand For Tesla Model 3 Strong Into 2019 & Beyondlast_img read more

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