New Research from Fresh Relevance Indicates Retailers Could Reduce Return Rates by Using More UGC PRNewswireJune 14, 2019, 9:02 pmJune 25, 2019 Study highlights that one third of shoppers find product photos from other customers useful when making an online purchase decision, while just 16% of retailers surveyed use UGC to engage customersThe clamp down on ‘serial returners’ has been making the news headlines recently, following the increase in volume of goods being returned over the last two years. Yet, new research from Fresh Relevance, the real-time personalisation platform, has revealed that leveraging more user-generated content helps shoppers choose the right product and could help retailer’s combat high return volumes. Almost one third (29%) of UK consumers find product photos from other customers useful when making an online purchase decision, yet no retailers are incorporating this into product list pages and cart abandonment emails.The study combines consumer research conducted by One Poll, as well as analysis of the social proof tactics undertaken by 50 leading UK retailers. It highlights that 29% of consumers prefer to see a product as it is worn or used by real people as opposed to photoshopped product images. The tactic resonates in particular with younger consumers, with 40% of Generation Z and 41% of Millennials finding photos from other customers valuable when making a purchase decision.Marketing Technology News: Step Raises $22.5 Million Series A Led by Stripe to Disrupt Banking for TeensDespite the role that UGC plays in a shopper’s purchase decision, only 16% of the retailers surveyed offer it on their website. Usage in emails is very low, with just 2% of retail brands showing UGC in newsletters and 0% in shopping recovery emails.Adoption of UGC also varies by retail sector:0% of jewellery and accessories brands have adopted UGC within marketing strategiesJust 10% of footwear brands are sharing imagery from other customers20% of fashion retailers are incorporating this type of contentBeauty and electronics are the best performing sectors in using UGC, with 30% of brands leveraging customer photosMike Austin, CEO & co-founder of Fresh Relevance, comments: “In a social media driven world, user-generated content is a highly powerful social proof tactic to help build community, trust and conversions. For online shoppers who aren’t able to touch a product, imagery from other customers is an effective way to help them to get a better feel for what the item will be like in real life. Despite this, it’s a tactic that many retailers are still failing to incorporate within their marketing and are missing sales opportunities as a result.Marketing Technology News: DXC Technology 600 Brings Great INDYCAR Racing, “Digital Fan Experience of the Future” to Texas Motor Speedway“Unlike using celebrity endorsers or influencers, it’s a much more cost-effective and scalable way to bring a product to life. Most brands have access to a wealth of UGC shared by their customers and this authentic content can be pulled into websites and emails in real-time to add relevant product information. For brands in the jewellery, footwear and fashion sectors in particular, where shoppers often wish to try on items, there is an even greater need to use UGC to give consumers the confidence that they are purchasing a product that’s right for them. With retailers seeing a sharp rise in the volume of returns being made, providing shoppers with examples on how the product is worn or used by real people can help reduce the amount of purchases being taken back.”Marketing Technology News: DXC Technology 600 Brings Great INDYCAR Racing, “Digital Fan Experience of the Future” to Texas Motor Speedway Fresh RelevanceMarketing TechnologyNew ResearchNews Previous ArticleHexaware Leapfrogs its Customer Experience Transformation Business With the Acquisition of Mobiquity Inc.Next ArticleE- Commerce Growth: How to Boost Your E-Commerce Sales Without Reducing Prices
Month: July 2019
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick. MarTech Interview with Paul Heald, CEO and Co-Founder at BrightTALK Sudipto GhoshJune 21, 2019, 1:30 pmJune 20, 2019 MarTech Interview Series Paul Heald co-founded BrightTALK in 2002 to help organizations engage their customers through live, online events. As CEO, Heald has led BrightTALK to its current position as a leading provider of online events, with a rapidly growing community of business and industry professionals. Paul is based at BrightTALK’s U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, CA.Before founding BrightTALK, Heald was the European Managing Director of Scient, a web technology development company. Prior to Scient, he ran Arthur D. Little’s e-business consulting group. Heald is an MBA graduate of Cranfield School of Management (U.K.). About PaulAbout BrightTALKAbout Paul BrightTALK Limited offers webcasting and web-portals services. The Company provides live and recorded webinars, presenter and audience experiences, videos, and content management tools. BrightTALK operates worldwide. “As Customer Experience and Automation technologies have matured, we’ve seen more of our customers valuing personal and authentic connections with people and businesses achieved with live talks.” Tell us about your role and journey into Marketing Technology. What inspired you to launch BrightTALK?When the Internet took off in the late 1990s, we began to see a new knowledge economy emerge, one in which professionals trade their skills and expertise, freely supported by the free flow of information and know-how available online. Nearly 20 years later, my co-founder, Dorian Logan, and I, with the help of the incredible team here at BrightTALK, continue to connect professionals with knowledge that is freely available from experts in businesses via live webinar and video technologies. With millions of professionals actively engaging in live and recorded talks on BrightTALK, we have created the perfect environment for content marketers with a story to tell, as well as demand marketers with a target professional persona to reach. Our work with so many amazing marketers over the years has resulted in a content and demand marketing platform with a ready-made professional audience.How does BrightTALK fit into a modern Marketing Technology stack? What’s unique about the BrightTALK platform is that it fulfills two functions for marketers. It is both a destination for marketers to host and distribute their webinar, video and online talks content and a powerful demand generation tool where marketers can find and attract quality industry leads to their content marketing campaigns. We currently have more than 8 million professional users on the platform, and the audience appeal to marketers is very significant.How does your online webinar and events platform benefit marketing teams?In today’s environment of Content Explosion and Media Fragmentation, it has become increasingly challenging for marketers to drive audiences to their campaigns, let alone to figure out how to educate and nurture these audience groups into qualified leads for the sales teams. This is where BrightTALK comes in. Our powerful AI knowledge assistant, named Ada, makes content recommendations to users based on their previous viewing and engagement with our webinars and online videos. That allows us to ensure that only relevant audiences are sent to our marketing clients’ content portals, and their viewers already have an established interest in consuming the content.Our client Craig Chappell, global head of digital at FireEye, explained it best in a recent press release: “BrightTALK allows us to expand our reach into already formed communities that are actively looking for industry information, and to build up our own communities within those. Whenever we create a piece of content, there’s already an audience that’s ready to consume it. Quarter after quarter, BrightTALK consistently sits in the top three demand generation activities and delivers significant ROI.”What are the core technologies driving your product roadmap?To build our marketplace for content creators and professional audiences, we have to be a leader in both live video and audience data. Our live streaming video technologies have evolved from Windows Media to Flash to HTML5 and HLS streaming standards, and we are now moving rapidly into real-time communication standards (WebRTC) with cloud computing. For audience data, we are building a professional network powered by Big Data technologies and AI data capabilities to help us learn about our audience and content creators so we can accurately recommend what professionals on learning journeys should watch next.What is the current state of on-demand interactive videos? How much of this state has evolved with a maturity of Customer Experience and Automation technologies?BrightTALK’s annual Benchmarks Report, which measures engagement across the BrightTALK network, shows that the appetite for on-demand content is growing every year. As Customer Experience and Automation technologies have matured, we’ve seen more of our customers valuing personal and authentic connections with people – and businesses – achieved with live talks. Although on-demand B2B content has value for those wanting to discover and learn instantly, it does have as much appeal as live content.The appeal of live online talks is that the audience can experience a unique connection with experts. They can pose questions that accelerate solutions to complex business challenges. On average, last year live talks created 32 minutes of viewing time combined with audience engagement through questions, votes, downloading attachments, and providing feedback. This is five to six times longer than the time and attention marketers can expect from on-demand content. While on-demand is growing each year, professionals and businesses still value the state of live content – which is why online talks using webinars and videos will continue to be a top-performing marketing tactic through the next decade.Tell us about your go-to strategies to support rapid growth, lessons learned through periods of massive shift and transition in the Marketing Technology industry?We are fortunate to be in a business that provides go-to-market strategies that support rapid growth. In turn, we’ve always found success by being our own first customer. Our marketing function leverages our full suite of best-in-class content and demand products and shares their learnings with marketers all over the world. Our sales development team connects with prospective customers who are learning and growing on the network. Our community, sales, success, and support teams are equally involved in leveraging the platform to reach their own goals. The majority of our people are both users and customers of our business. As a result, they have experienced and can relate to the business challenges our customers face. The product and technology teams are surrounded by end-users for what they build. This creates a rapid feedback loop that tells us the precise ways we need to innovate, often well before our customers experience the same challenges. This helps us take a proactive approach to product development, which is critical to achieving our own and our customers’ growth objectives.For the last decade, the MarTech industry has been in a state of a massive shift. In 2008, when we launched BrightTALK, there were around 100 MarTech companies. Fast forward to 2019, and there are expected to be around 6,000 MarTech companies in the space. That has created a lot of options for marketing investments, and we find that more businesses are spreading these investments across a wider range of vendors. While it can create additional effort for a business to manage two to three times more vendors than they did five years ago, it has also forced the MarTech industry to compete to build products and services that solve real growth challenges and deliver real value. If you’re MarTech company that is in that position, the massive shifts have been rewarding. If you’re a company that is still trying to find product-market fit, the industry can be crushing. B2B marketers want results quickly and they will not hesitate to abandon strategies that are not working.Tell us more about your Revenue and Customer Acquisition growth for 2018. While we can’t disclose our exact business revenue figures, I can tell you that Content Leads, BrightTALK’s flagship B2B lead generation product, has produced more than 50 percent growth in revenue during the last year. And growing numbers of clients are subscribing to our suite of demand generation products.Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?Within our partner ecosystem of tools and technologies, we work with Marketing Automation and CRM platforms including Marketo, Eloqua, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Pardot, and we also extend into other systems with flexible form-post connectors. As a result, we’ve had to become experts at understanding how our clients use these tools and to provide guidance on best practices that allows them to derive the most value from the data we provide.Our plans this year include increasing our reach within the MarTech landscape to bring our data, and our customers’ data, together in areas like content management/digital asset management, customer data platforms, and sales acceleration/messaging. Our goal is to help marketers improve content creation and audience targeting, as well as to measure the return on their investments.Within our own marketing function, we have a traditional stack of marketing automation (Marketo), data enrichment (Clearbit / Datafox), CRM (Salesforce), Attribution and Analytics (Leandata and Marketo), Sales Acceleration (Salesloft), and a handful of other tools that enable our commercial teams to be efficient and effective in how we acquire and retain customers.What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in video-based Content Curation and Distribution technology for 2019-2020?Traditional slides and audio presentations are going to be increasingly replaced by highly engaging video presentations from computers. The incredible range of engaging presentation options available to presenters going forward means that webinars will be as rich and engaging as if they were in-person talks. To connect these rich live experiences to professional audiences will require an integrated technology platform and audience experience.What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now? We are excited to work with demand orchestration (Integrate) and customer data (Datafox) partners to ensure that the highly engaged leads created during live talks – and later from on-demand viewings – are quickly and appropriately followed up by marketing and sales teams. Buying decisions in business can happen very rapidly once the key people (or buying committee) in a company have learned enough to make a choice.How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business Leader?As a Business Leader, I will continue to encourage and train our team to become adept at using the latest automation technologies to increase productivity and efficiency at work. At the same time, I believe that our workforce should prepare for the new AI reality by embracing continuous learning, adapting to new technologies, and sharpening soft skills that are ‘uniquely human’, such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, and empathy.How do you inspire your people to work with technology? To be relevant you have to compete with the best and the brightest and your ideas become the technology of the future.One word that best describes how you work.Authentically.What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?Text and email.What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?Remember everything – it’s better than any app!What are you currently reading?I constantly read and listen to online information that gets used in business. For fun, I’m reading Conquering Backgammon! It’s a game that has been around for more than 5,000 years, and it requires an AI level of math processing to be successful. I’m not very good yet!What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?‘Marry her’! from my best friend about my wife.Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?I stick at it! Our vision grows and grows as more people get involved. Seventeen years after starting BrightTALK, I’m more excited about the future than ever before.Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:Jeremy Bloom, CEO of Integrate.Thank you, Paul! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon. About BrightTALK BrightTALKcontent managementcustomer datainterviewsmartechMarTech InterviewPaul Heald Previous ArticleEggplant Expands Test Automation Across Entire LifecycleNext ArticleNew Research: How Brands Can Connect on OTT and CTV
BJPBriberyjammu and kashmirjammu-and-kashmir-lok-sabha-elections-2019 First Published: May 8, 2019, 7:49 PM IST Jammu: The BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit will set up a committee to probe the allegation that some party leaders tried to bribe journalists to influence parliamentary polls, party’s state unit chief Ravinder Raina said Wednesday, even as a legislator named in the matter claimed the envelopes given to scribes had invitations and not money.Raina also said he will file a defamation case against the Press Club Leh for naming him in the bribery complaint, which he termed as “politically motivated” “There will be a probe into it. We will set up a committee to probe the allegation of scribes of Leh,” he said.Raina said that he is moving an application in Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking narco-test of the scribes and BJP leaders including him. “If anybody from the party is found involved, he will be dealt severely,” the state BJP president said.Raina said that the committee will submit its report after visiting Leh, where it will talk to journalists and others and review the CCTV footage.On Saturday, the Press Club Leh had accused the BJP of trying to bribe its members by offering “envelopes filled with money” after a press conference, a charge denied by the party.A two-page letter signed by several members of the Press Club was circulating on social media, seeking an FIR against Raina and MLC Vikram Randhawa for allegedly trying to bribe journalists. A CCTV footage of the alleged incident also came to light.Raina, however, questioned the claim of the journalists saying why was the money not shown in the CCTV footage.”They should have shown the notes after opening the packets. They had a camera too,” he said.”The press conference was held on May 2 and they could have shown it on the same day. Only on May 4, it came out in social media as a planned conspiracy to defame BJP,” Raina said.”It is politically motivated. I will go for defamation. My name has been mentioned in the complaint. I had already left with three scribes for an interview with DD and Air Leh,” he said.Meanwhile, BJP MLC Vikram Randhawa denied the bribery charge and alleged the episode was the handiwork of anti-party elements in Kashmir which were sponsored by the Congress.All allegations of Leh journalists are baseless and misleading. It was supported by ‘anti-BJP elements in Kashmir’ and Congress to malign the image of the party, Randhawa, who is the party’s Ladakh in charge, said.The CCTV grab being circulated on the social media is of the invitation envelopes being given to reporters for the coverage of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to Leh on May 4. This is being shown as if money is being given to them, the MLC claimed.He said that some media persons opened the envelopes and returned them saying they don’t need a special invitation as they were already covering the event.
Thiruvananthapuram: Governor P Sathasivam Tuesday sought a report from the Kerala University on seizure of several bundles of answer sheets from the house of a leader of the students wing of ruling CPI-M as leaders of opposition Congress and BJP met him and demanded strong action.State Higher Education minister K T Jaleel also called on the Governor, who is the Chancellor of the university, and briefed him about the steps being taken by the CPIM-led LDF government in connection with the recent developments in the university college here. Taking a serious view of the seizure of answer sheets from the house of Students Federation of India (SFI) leader Sivarenjith, who has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of a student of the college on July 12, the Governor sought a report from the Vice-Chancellor V P Mahadevan Pillai.”Sought an urgent report from Vice Chancellor, University of Kerala on the reported seizure of bundles of university answer sheets & seal of Dir, Physical Education from the house of an accused in the murder attempt case in University College, Thiruvananthapuram,” the governor tweeted.Pillai has informed that instructions have been given to verify the stock of answer books in all examination centres under the university, a Raj Bhavan release later said.The centres were strictly instructed to keep unused answer books under safe custody and to report the present status to the university.It also said the memorandums received from the opposition leaders would be forwarded to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for appropriate action.According to the release, Minister Jaleel informed strict action was being taken to ensure the smooth functioning of the college and the safety of students and the Director of Collegiate Education has been entrusted with the responsibility.The Vice Chancellor had Monday asked the Controller of Examinations to conduct a detailed probe into the recovery of answer sheets.Leader of the Opposition in the state assemblyRamesh Chennithala and State BJP leaders led by former union minister O Rajagopal met the Governor separately.Chennithala submitted a plea seeking restoration of normalcy in the educational institution, expediting the police inquiry and initiating a detailed probe into the allegations against the Kerala University and the Kerala Public Service Commission.While former chief minister Oommen Chandy demanded a judicial probe, the BJP leaders submitted a memorandum demanding CBI investigation into the various incidents relating to the university college.Trouble erupted in the college in the heart in the heart of the city on July 12 after final year BA Political Science student Akhil was stabbed allegedly by leaders of SFI.According to police, the student, who underwent emergency surgery, is in a critical condition and they have not been able to record his statement so far.Seven students were suspended from the college and five of them belonging to SFI arrested in connection with the case.Akhil, also belonging to the SFI, was attacked in the university campus, triggering protests with students demanding action against the accused.Activists of the Kerala Students Union (KSU) protested in front of the university senate office here Tuesday demanding action against college officials.State police chief Loknath Behera told reporters an impartial probe will be conducted into the developments, adding criminals cannot be allowed to rule the campuses. CPM workerkeralakerala congressKerala Governor First Published: July 16, 2019, 8:39 PM IST
AfricangurgaonharyanaRape First Published: July 20, 2019, 8:49 AM IST | Edited by: Ahona Sengupta They let the woman go after threatening her with dire consequences, he said.”The woman later approached the local police and gave description of the accused persons,” he added.A police team first arrested Saddam with the help of technical surveillance. At his instance Santosh was also arrested later, the PRO said. Gurgaon: Two people have been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting an African woman here, police said on Friday.The incident took place at Sheetla Colony here on Thursday night, they said. The woman had gone for a party to a night club in Sahara Mall. On her way back, she hired an auto rickshaw to go to the Guru Dronacharya metro station, the police said.After she got into the auto, the accused, driver Saddam and his friend Santosh, instead drove her to their rented house in Sheetla Colony, where they sexually assaulted her, Gurgaon Police PRO Subhash Bokan said.
Bose Sleepbuds mask noise to help you drift off to sleep The best sleep earbuds for a quiet and comfortable night of rest The best earbuds for 2019 The best sleep gadgets The best sleep trackers kbeis/Getty ImagesI have thankfully never been much of a snorer, though there was a brief period when my wife was so heavily pregnant she began to do convincing impressions of a demon-possessed grizzly bear. Like many other snoring sufferers, I hit the couch to get some precious shut eye so I could function the next day. Luckily for me, her snoring evaporated as soon our daughter was born, but many sufferers are not so fortunate.Snoring is often laughed off as a mild irritation, usually by snorers, but for long-suffering partners it can be a serious nightmare. There’s a reason that sleep deprivation has long been used as a form of torture. As sleepless nights pile up, sufferers become irritable, resentful, and find it harder to concentrate. Prolonged periods of sleep deprivation can lead to lapses in judgment, disordered thought, and incoherent speech.For many people, an unresolved snoring issue can spark the abandonment of the marital bed and if things get really bad it can even contribute to divorce. Around 90 million American adults snore, 37 million of them on a regular basis, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Little wonder then that a new segment of tech has taken off promising to bring sufferers sweet relief from the horrors of snoring.The story you are about to read is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. After a recent night at a friend’s house, let’s call them Harry and Linda, I got a true taste of how bad snoring can get. Woken by what I assumed was a faulty boiler, I gradually began to wonder if there was construction in the area, before settling on the idea that Harry had decided to fire up a chainsaw and cut through the bedroom wall as some kind of macabre drunken prank.Enquiring about the strange noise at the breakfast table the next morning I learned that Harry was a regular snorer and Linda was approaching the end of her tether. She had already taken to sleeping in the spare room after repeated kicking, shouting, and assault with a pillow had led only to arguments and fleeting respite. If I can get to sleep before he does it’s usually fine, she confided, but Harry’s snoring was clearly taking a toll on the marriage. Who better to serve as guinea pigs for an anti-snoring tech test?Snoring denialIt’s pretty common for snorers to downplay their snoring or even deny it altogether, but as sleep tech has taken off, we have more data than ever before. The Sleep Cycle App boasts 36 million users and its research team has found that, on average, Americans retire at 11:39 p.m. and wake at 7:09 a.m. spending an average of 7 hours and 18 minutes in bed each night, 23.95 minutes of which is spent snoring.SnoreLabLike many snorers, Harry was skeptical about the severity of his snoring. We decided to establish a baseline with a smartphone app called SnoreLab, which is available for Android or iOS. It’s very easy to use – you install it and leave it running next to your bed and if it detects snoring it will record an audio clip and rate the snoring on a visual scale that goes from Quiet, Light and Loud, all the way up to Epic.Harry scored an epic on his first night and sat there incredulous as Linda played back the audio file and the room filled with the sound of his snoring. Over a week of monitoring, it became clear he had a regular snoring problem and his attitude shifted. He was ready to try anything.But before attempting to beat snoring, it’s important to understand why it’s happening in the first place.Why do people snore?“The main cause of snoring is a restricted airway,” Dr. Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist also known as “The Sleep Doctor,” told Digital Trends. “The physics are quite simple.”He uses the analogy of a garden hose with your thumb over the end which causes the water to squirt out faster.“This is the same principle behind snoring,” he said. “As a person’s airway becomes smaller, air moves faster, which causes tissue in the throat to vibrate which leads to a snore.”“Without treatment, sleep apnea increases risks for other serious medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.”Being overweight is the number one reason for snoring, which explains why it’s common during pregnancy. Dr. Breus also cites alcohol, smoking, nasal conditions, and a family history of snoring as important risk factors. In some cases, snoring is a symptom of another sleep disorder: obstructive sleep apnea.“Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea,” Dr. Breus said. But for those who do, it’s “a serious sleep disorder that requires medical treatment.”Sleep apnea snoring is usually accompanied by pauses in noise followed by loud gasps, choking or snorting sounds. Thankfully, this doesn’t fit Harry’s snoring pattern, but partners who recognize this description should push the snorer to visit a medical professional.“Without treatment, sleep apnea increases risks for other serious medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Breus said.Having determined that sleep apnea is not the cause, Dr. Breus suggests lifestyle changes as the most effective way to reduce or eliminate snoring. But when faced with a choice between losing weight or quitting alcohol and smoking, it’s not surprising that many people are tempted by the promise of anti-snoring gadgets.Over the course of two months, we tested four different devices for at least a week each, recorded the results, as well as the impressions of both the snorer and the sufferer.Hupnos Sleep Mask ($179)Billed as an intelligent sleep mask that analyzes your snoring habits and acts to curb them, the Hupnos Sleep Mask looked promising at first. The snorer must wear the mask at night and when it detects they’re snoring, it vibrates gently to encourage a change of position that should help open up airways and reduce snoring.HupnosThe way the mask works is that the app on your connected phone listens for snoring. Once snoring is detected, the mask can vibrate slightly to encourage a change of position or increase the pressure when you exhale, known as Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP). It’s important to note that although the Hupnos mask uses EPAP, it is not designed to treat sleep apnea or replace a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device.I think most people would find the Hupnos mask restrictive and uncomfortable.While Harry found the Hupnos sleep mask was great at keeping out light, and the microfiber mask and strap worked well, he disliked the rubbery section designed to go over your nose. It smells quite strongly and feels claustrophobic. Because the mask is fairly bulky, Harry felt it encouraged him to sleep on his back and Linda felt that it made his snoring worse. The vibrate feature didn’t seem to kick in very often – Harry said he didn’t feel it — but on at least one occasion it woke Linda rather than Harry.Trying it out myself, I found the rubber nose module extremely uncomfortable. In fact, I couldn’t fall asleep with it on. I am blessed in the nasal department (okay, I have a big nose), but I think most people would find the Hupnos mask restrictive and uncomfortable.Verdict: Fail. The Hupnos Sleep Mask didn’t reduce Harry’s snoring and he found it uncomfortable.Bose Sleepbuds ($250)Next up was a set of earbuds designed to mask noise. The Bose Sleepbuds are very small wireless earbuds that hook up to an app on your phone. You can choose from 10 different soothing sounds, such as waves lapping on a beach, heavy rain, or warm static. They’re supposed to match the frequency of snoring and help to mask it, just enough, so that you can fall asleep. It’s important to note they don’t use noise cancellation technology.BoseLinda found the Sleepbuds quite uncomfortable at first, but there are three sets of ear tips provided to help you get the perfect fit. It’s very important that the Sleepbuds form a seal. She eventually got the right size, but still found wearing the Sleepbuds for long periods a problem and as a side sleeper; they felt uncomfortable for her. The Sleepbuds obviously had no impact on Harry’s snoring but the noises did a good job of masking it, and Linda felt the relief from bouts of especially loud snoring might make the discomfort worthwhile.If you regularly wear earbuds and don’t have issues with comfort, then the Sleepbuds will likely work for you.If you regularly wear earbuds and don’t have issues with comfort, then the Sleepbuds will likely work for you. I tested them out and found they worked well to mask my tinnitus. They also have a smart alarm feature that will only wake the wearer, and they come in a super stylish charging case. You can find out more in my Bose Sleepbuds review.Verdict: Mixed. The Bose Sleepbuds won’t stop snoring, but they can mask it for suffering partners, provided earbud comfort isn’t an issue.Zeeq Smart Pillow ($99)We switched gears with the next gadget and tried a pillow. The Zeeq Smart Pillow has speakers and microphones built-in and it’s capable of playing music, sleep tracking, sleep analysis, playing a smart alarm, and supposedly reducing snoring. The Zeeq listens for snoring and when it hits a preset decibel level that you’ve set in the mobile app, it uses vibration motors to encourage the snorer to change position.ZeeqHarry was skeptical at first, but when he laid his head on the pillow he was sold straight away because he found it very comfortable. There’s a shredded memory foam filling and a special hypoallergenic fabric cover with moisture-wicking temperature control. It starts off by analyzing your sleep and snoring volume. Harry was averaging 53 decibels with a high of 83 decibels, which is louder than a vacuum cleaner and somewhere around a kettle boiling.Linda felt there was a reduction in Harry’s snoring straight away, but when they set the decibel level down to 40 decibels, she went an entire week without being woken up by his snoring. Harry felt he was sleeping better too; he reported the vibrations were gentle enough that they were prompting a change of position without actually waking him. The efficacy of the Zeeq became clearer when they went on a short trip without the pillow and Linda was woken repeatedly in the hotel by Harry’s loud snoring.Linda said she felt better rested and happier than she had in a long time.Our test couple didn’t want to stop using the Zeeq. Linda said she felt better rested and happier than she had in a long time, and that this was the longest number of consecutive nights they had spent together in the same bed in years – usually one of them would spend a couple of nights a week at least in the spare room. There’s clearly a reason the Zeeq makes our best smart pillows list.Verdict: Success. Both Harry and Linda reported better sleep and a drastic reduction in Harry’s snoring.QuietOn Sleep Earplugs ($160)Our final gadget comes from Finland and it’s another set of earplugs. But the QuietOn Sleep earplugs don’t play sounds or hook up to your phone, preferring active noise cancellation to drown out sound in your vicinity, including snoring. The fit is important, and you get a set of differently-sized ear tips in the box. Just like the Sleepbuds, it’s vital to form a seal for them to work effectively.QuietOnOnce again comfort was an issue for Linda, and she found it difficult to fall asleep lying on her side as the earplug was pushed further in. But with the right ear tips and a proper seal, the QuietOn Sleep did a remarkable job of blocking out noise. It’s most effective against low frequency noises, like snoring, traffic, or airplane engines. Comfort issues aside, she found it effective in blocking out noise.I could be in the room with a robot vacuum and hardly hear it, but when my wife spoke to me, the sound was crystal clear.It can seem eerily quiet with the earplugs in, but there is a talk mode which you can activate by tapping the side of each earplug. Unfortunately, I found this a little tricky and it took multiple taps to get it to work – there’s no actual button, so you just have to listen to hear the difference. The QuietOn earbuds were very effective at blocking certain noises, so I could be in the room with a robot vacuum and hardly hear it, but when my wife spoke to me, the sound was crystal clear.The QuietOn Sleep earbuds come with a portable charging case with a magnetic lid, and you can plug any standard charger into the Micro USB port. Charging time is just an hour and you’ll get at least a couple of nights worth of use (QuietOn says 20 hours) before you have to charge them. They’re suitable for any noisy environment where you’re struggling to sleep.Verdict: Mixed. The QuietOn Sleep earplugs don’t reduce snoring, but they do block it out, along with any other low frequency noise.Final VerdictThe clear winner in our tests was the Zeeq Smart Pillow, and it’s the device our now happy and well-rested couple are sticking with. If you don’t mind having something in your ears, then the Bose Sleepbuds and QuietOn Sleep Earplugs both have their charms. For people who crave absolute silence, QuietOn will work best, and for those who like a gentle background noise to lull them to sleep, Bose has you covered. The Hupnos Sleep Mask was the least effective of the bunch and I can’t see many people agreeing to sleep with their nose in a rubber plug.At the end of the day, the Zeeq was not only the most effective, but also the cheapest and least intrusive for both the snorer and the sufferer. But everyone is different, so your mileage may vary. Editors’ Recommendations
The makeup will be part of an overall Super Mario-themed collection in which the cosmetic products feature classic Mario imagery, the pixelated kind you’d find in the oldest iterations of the game. The most popular characters are included, among them being Mario of course, as well as Princess Peach, and Toad.The makeup collection isn’t terribly large, and that’s not surprising given the limited audience that is likely looking for both high-end makeup and Nintendo imagery. The kit includes things like color palettes for eyes and cheek, a black felt-tip eyeliner, and pink lipstick. The makeup will be useable, of course, but you could always keep it plastic-wrapped if you’re anticipating a sleeper collectible scenario.This is isn’t the only Mario-branded gear to ever hit the market, of course. Much like Hello Kitty, Mario’s wide popularity has made it a common brand for items spanning everything from clothing to bags, trinkets, and wall art. Nintendo has offered up other of its IP, too, for inclusion on toys and other common items (Zelda is a popular one, for example).This time around, though, it’ll be difficult to get your hands on the Shu Uemura Super Mario makeup as it is only being released within Japan. The product will launch starting on November 1st with additional items in the collection launching on November 15. Prices will depending on the item and range from things like 2400 Yen for a drawing pencil to 28,000 Yen for the makeup box.SOURCE: WWD Popular cosmetics line Shu Uemura has teamed up with Nintendo to launch a special new makeup set. Why Nintendo? Because the makeup set revolves around the company’s most popular video game franchise: Super Mario. The makeup is inspired the massively popular game franchise, though it’s more accurate to say that the packaging is inspired by it: the makeup is just makeup, after all.
READ: iPhone SE Review – Classic RemixSuch information comes from analyst Pan Jiutang, who recently posted about the phone on Chinese website Weibo. Per Jiutang’s statement, those who love the smaller screen will be forced to stick with the iPhone SE or the iPhone 5c, as there won’t be an updated version of the current iPhone SE handset.Jiutang goes on to state that Apple is primarily focusing its attention on display sizes in the 5.5-inch range, with the anticipated 4.7-inch iPhone 7s being the smallest phone display size henceforth. That’s sad news for those who hate the larger sizes but don’t want to switch to Android, though such a decision on Apple’s part wouldn’t be surprising.As phones shed both thickness and width, larger display sizes have become more appealing; users can enjoy a 5-inch or 5.5-inch display in a phone that doesn’t feel terribly larger than the models they’ve used in the past. A great example of this is the Galaxy S8+, which manages to pack a 6.2-inch display into a phone that can be comfortably held and used.Apple has been working hard, by all accounts, on prepping its upcoming ‘iPhone 8’ model, something that is expected to feature an OLED display and possibly a fingerprint sensor under the display. That latter feature has been a major sticking point for Apple, though, says sources; the company has struggled to figure out a way to pull off the feature, and may need to move the sensor to the back of the handset as a result. Apple brought back its classic look with the iPhone SE, but it may not be moving forward with the model, according to an analyst. This smaller phone features a more traditional iPhone design and the smallest display you can get on a newer iPhone model, and it has become a staple for those who refuse to gravitate toward larger displays. Unfortunately, an iPhone SE 2 may never see the light of day.
All of the announced Windows mixed reality headsets are going up for pre-order today. These include the Acer Windows Mixed Reality headset, Dell Visor, HP Windows Mixed Reality headset, Lenovo Explorer, and of course, the Samsung HMD Odyssey. They also all share the same release date of October 17, save for the Samsung HMD Odyssey, which we be joining the party a little late on November 6.Microsoft has put together a post over on the Windows Blog that briefly details each of the headsets on offer. Those entries include links to the Windows Store where you can place an order and read about each in further depth.This push from Microsoft is an attempt to make augmented reality and virtual reality more accessible to PC users. Windows mixed reality has planted itself firmly in the mid-range, with many of these headsets costing around $400. That’s a fair bit less expensive than the HTC VIVE and the Oculus Rift, while at the same time offering enhanced capabilities over loew-end, mobile-based headsets like the Gear VR.The least expensive headsets on offer in this group are the headsets from Acer and Lenovo at $399.99, while the most expensive is the HMD Odyssey, which clocks in at $499.99. It should be noted that all of these headsets come bundled with a pair of Windows motion controllers, so assuming you’ve got a capable PC, you’ll have everything you need to get up and running with mixed reality by purchasing one of these packages. Will you be ordering one? Head down to the comments section and let us know! Following Microsoft’s reveal of Samsung’s HMD Odyssey headset, the company has announced the start of pre-orders for a variety of Windows mixed reality headsets. We’ve know about many of these headsets for quite some time now, as Microsoft’s push into mixed reality was signaled for the first time way back in October 2016. We’re closing in on the roll out of all of these headsets as well, and if you know you want one, you might want to put in a pre-order today. Story TimelineMicrosoft mixed reality gets a big boost with Steam support and HaloLenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality headset hands-onWindows 10 Fall Creators Update release date set, Mixed Reality too!HP Windows Mixed Reality DE Headset release date and pricing revealedThis is Samsung’s alleged Windows Mixed Reality Headset
As such, the Moto G7 was rumored to come in four iterations. Moto G7, Moto G7 Power, Moto G7 Play, and Moto G7 Plus. That’d make three phones with a large display and a fourth with an even-larger display. Each of these phones will like very similar to their predecessors, save the display up front with a bit more frontside coverage.The display up front is suggested to roll with a “drop” style notch with a single camera inside. Two or more sensors sit up front alongside an earpiece speaker, while a second speaker sits on the bottom of the phone. This phone’s overall aesthetic sticks with the Moto look from the past several years – curved backside edges, Motorola logo in a circle that’s also the fingerprint reader, and a circular camera array. The Moto G7 was rumored this week to roll in a variety of iterations. Because Motorola (Lenovo) cut back on the number of Moto smartphones they’d be making in the year 2019, they appear to be going all-out when it comes to Moto G7. This was, at one point, Motorola’s best selling phone – they’re likely hoping to make that happen once again. This morning the Motorola Moto G7 was leaked in images and video format. These images and video come from a source that’s been largely (if not entirely) accurate in his leaks for the past several seasons. As such, we have very little reason to believe these are anything but basically 100% accurate in their size, shape, and general look. Surprisingly we see that this device continues to hold a 3.5-mm headphone jack. SEE TOO: Motorola’s 2019 plans : big changes That’s bold of Motorola, if only because of the large amount of pressure put on by trending forces throughout the industry. This device is said by its leaker OnLeaks (at MySmartPrice) to roll with a size of 157 x 75.3 x 8mm.The backside cameras are said to have 16MP and 5MP sensors and up front is a 12MP camera – so say rumors. There’s likely a 3500mAh battery inside, non-removable, and the phone should launch with a Full HD+ display up front across a full 6-inch panel. Android rests inside, and this phone will likely launch with Android 9 Pie. We’re expecting this phone to launch in early 2019. If Lenovo’s serious about taking the cake from companies like OnePlus and Xiaomi, the sooner the launch, the better. Story TimelineMoto G6 and E5 detailed in full (Plus and Play, too)Amazon Prime Exclusive phones now feature Moto G6 Play, Z3 Playmotorola one, one power mix Android One, mid-range specs, notchesMotorola may make these major changes in 2019
Can you buy a brand-new, rear-wheel drive convertible in the US for under $20,000? That may sound unlikely, but city car company Smart has priced up the new 2017 ForTwo Cabriolet and, while the size and style might be controversial still, you can get a soft-top for less than $19k. $18,900 gets you the manual version, with a five-speed transmission hooked up to the turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Fuel economy is 32 mpg in the city, 39 mpg on the highway, and 35 mpg combined. If you want Smart’s “twinamic” dual-clutch six-speed automatic, meanwhile, it’ll cost you $19,890. Both versions have a $750 destination charge. Economy figures for the auto come in at 34 mpg, 39 mpg, and 36 mpg for city, highway, and finally combined, respectively.The ForTwo’s roof itself is canvas, and can optionally be opened up like a panoramic sunroof rather than dropped completely. It takes about twelve seconds to retract. AdChoices广告To go the whole hog, it drops down at the back of the car, and then the side roof bars can be optionally removed – they stow in the tailgate – to go full-cabrio.Unlike the old model, Smart is offering a variety of customization options for the ForTwo’s colors, too. There are now three “tridion” cell colors to choose between and two soft top colors, and they can be interchanged as well as the grille finish.NOW READ: 2017 Smart ForTwo Cabriolet first-driveAs we found when we drove the 2017 ForTwo Cabriolet back in February, it’s a perky little city car that punches above its weight. Ride comfort is improved over the previous model, and the automatic gearbox is no longer a jerky frustration.However, it’s still impressively compact – at 8.8 feet long and just over 5 feet wide – and, though you only get 89 HP, the low curb weight means it’s not too wheezy on the highway. If you can do without the fabric roof, mind, Smart ownership comes even cheaper: the regular ForTwo starts at $14,650. That gets eight airbags, versus the convertible’s six.Though the distinctive styling and the tiny footprint might not be to everybody’s taste, you can’t really argue with the ForTwo Cabriolet’s price. The company says it will begin to show up in US dealerships this fall.
Along with the promise of hi-tech features like full or semi autonomous driving, modern cars that sport all kinds of sensors, connectivity features, and remote controls have also brought concerns about security and safety. In particularly, cars that can be controlled remotely have become the target of many researchers’ hacking attempts. Such was the case with the Tesla Model S and Tencent’s Keen Security Lab, revealing how it was possible to manipulate the electric car from a distance, whether it’s parked or even while it’s moving. Tencent says that months of research done by its Keen Security Lab uncovered multiple vulnerabilities, all of which can be used together to take over control of a Tesla Mode S. Of course, it doesn’t happen by magic and on any random Tesla car. Specifically, based on the video, hackers gain access by targeting a car when the owner is searching for the nearest recharging station, implying that it must be making an active communication with Internet servers for the attackers to hack into the car.Once that is accomplished, however, almost everything is fair game to hackers, allowing it to control almost any functionality of the EV, regardless of whether it’s stationary or in motion. Perhaps the most dangerous of all is that the Model S could be made to stop without the driver’s knowledge or consent. The researchers claim that they were able to reproduce that hacking on any Model S they could get their hands on, using unmodified and latest firmware. Tesla has reportedly already been notified and is working on a fix for such a glaring security hole. Model S owners are strongly advised to keep their firmware up-to-date to receive that fix as soon as it is rolled out.SOURCE: Tencent
The 2016 Fiat 500 Abarth had an advantage as soon as it gurgled onto my driveway. I’m a sucker for a small Fiat, though as with so many of my flaws I blame my parents for my weakness. Growing up, my mom had a series of tiny city cars from the Italian automaker: a bright red original 500, a rattling 126 with a fiddly manual choke, a boxy Uno and a couple of comparatively sleek Puntos, among others. None would win any awards for refinement, but all had its own particular charm. Under the tiny hood there’s a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. With the standard five-speed manual transmission it musters 160 HP and 170 lb-ft. of torque, but with the $1,350 six-speed automatic fitted to this particular review car, it’s tuned for 157 HP and 183 lb-ft. While enthusiasts will welcome the “correct” orientation of the gearshift’s manual mode – you pull back to change up a gear, just like in a “proper” racer – there are no paddle shifters to help keep your hands on the wheel. Start the Abarth up and you can’t help but notice the tailpipes. This might be a little car but it has the soundtrack of a much larger one; there’s plenty of potential for watching double-takes as pedestrians glance for the muscle car the noise implies, only to spot a baby blue 500 instead. Sport mode switches up the throttle response for more punch.AdChoices广告Whichever mode your in, though, the transmission prefers to keep things thrumming. As the dinky boost gage tacked on at the left of the all-digital instrument binnacle makes plain, this is an engine/gearbox combo that welcomes high revs and as low a gear as possible. The 6.9 second 0-60 mph time isn’t going to win any drag races, but the Abarth is really more about twists and city slaloms. There, the whippet-handling and eager steering encourage the sort of nippiness that tiny Italian cars are infamous for. Since you can pretty much count on it always being a ratio below what you’d probably choose for comfort and economy’s sake, sudden squirts into closing gaps in traffic are addictively easy. At the other side, while the single-piston front and rear brakes may look small, they’re more than enough to haul the Abarth to a halt in short order. A short wheelbase, stiffened and lowered suspension, and narrow 205/40R17XL BSW 3-Season tires (a $1,400 option with the handsome 17-inch forged aluminum black-finish wheels) make for a jumpy ride on anything but silky smooth surfaces. Find yourself on a heavily-grooved freeway and the 500 has a disconcerting habit of tracking, with the odd wobble thrown back up through the steering. You quickly learn to dive around potholes rather than expect the dampers to absorb them. On back roads and in urban jungles, the Abarth’s pep is endearing in a raucous way. At highway speeds, though, the engine’s grumble and the tailpipes’ whine are less welcome passengers. Throw in the tendency of automatic to stick in fifth and it’s a noisy place to be. Expectations of practicality must be tempered by the realities of the 500’s size, though some of the options don’t help. The trunk, already compact, is partially consumed by the subwoofer for the optional $700 Beats Audio system; thankfully it’s at least loud enough to be heard over the engine/exhaust combo. Rear seats are present but only usable for the most compact of people. 2016 Fiat 500 Abarth Gallery The 500 Abarth is certainly a fun car, when paired with the right roads, but it could be tough to live with. The powertrain refuses to be anything other than in-your-face, and it’s thirsty when you inevitably succumb to driving it like it demands. Fiat and the EPA quote 24 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined, but I got 23 mpg in my mixed driving. Figure on refilling the diminutive 10.5 gallon tank fairly frequently. NOW READ: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider ReviewAs such, I can’t really recommend it as a commuter car, but as an punchy chunk of flawed-but-fun entertainment it makes a lot more sense. The base price of $22,575 (plus $995 destination) underscores that, though with the various options this particular “Celeste Blu” example is a heady $28,945. Were it my money I’d skip most of the extras: the 500 Abarth’s loud-mouthed charm comes as standard. The 500 Abarth is very much of the same school. No, it doesn’t have the oversized, often-overheating engine of the original cars to wear the scorpion badge. Those, after all, required a permanently-propped engine cover at the rear in order to stay anywhere close to properly cooled. What it does have is personality, for better or worse. The Abarth team takes the regular 500 and ramps up the feisty-factor. Out go the regular Fiat badges, replaced with the tuning house’s own, and then comes new fascia front and rear, a new diffuser from which two gun-barrel tailpipes emerge, and a high-level spoiler is perched atop the hatch. The black detailing on the mirrors and lights, along with the side stripe, are optional extras. Happily the front seats are more comfortable and supportive, with pleasing red detailing and – if you tick the $975 Popular Equipment Package option – get fiercely effective heating. The same package also adds SiriusXM and automatic climate control. Without it, you get more basic A/C. As for the dashboard, Fiat’s swathe of body color-matching plastic looks good, but the ergonomics are scattershot. Switching cars with reasonable regularity has left me pretty adept at hunting down the right button or touchscreen control while on the move, but even I was scratching my head at times in the 500. The chunky, leather-wrapped steering wheel feels good though could be smaller, and it lacks telescope adjustment. Add in the fact that the driver sits higher than feels right for a sports-centric car, and getting comfortable can be a struggle. Fiat’s 5-inch Uconnect infotainment system is fairly straightforward and the USB input and aux-in are easily placed, though the forward cup holders are too narrow to slot an iPhone 7 Plus in. There’s no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, nor navigation or a reversing camera. Rear parking sensors are a $250 option.
The question is whether the keyboard’s surface will actually allow for smooth gliding like you would have on a regular touchpad. The idea definitely seems popular, though the Mokibo 2-in-1 Keyboard still has to reach its Indiegogo funding goal as of this writing. The Mokibo bills itself as a 2-in-1 keyboard not because it converts or splits between keyboard and mouse. Instead, it “hides” the mouse underneath the keyboard. More technically, the 80 sensors on each key serve as the touchpad, transforming the entire keyboard surface as the touchpad.It’s not just for moving the mouse though. You can do almost everything you can with a touchpad on the Mokibo. That includes a two-finger gesture to scroll through pages and even pinch to zoom for enlarging or shrinking views. For those you prefer a more traditional click, there’s still a click bar at the bottom.The Mokibo’s pantography keyboard promises a comfortable typing experience while the 7.5 mm thickness and 245 g weight makes it an ideal companion for any mobile device. At the same, being able to pair with up to three devices makes it usable for any situation, even for desktops. While there’s a wide variety of keyboards and mice available for desktops users, users on the go have fewer choices if they want to keep the number of peripherals they bring low. There are Bluetooth keyboards that do come with a touchpad but those can hardly be called portable. Enter the Mokibo, a rather ingenious new keyboard that combines both keyboard and mouse in one thing and light package. Not by shrinking the touchpad to almost unusable levels but by enlarging it to the same size as the keyboard itself.
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 Supreme Court will hear arguments on the legality of drug companies paying their generic-making counterparts to keep generic drugs — in this case, a testosterone gel — off the market.Politico: Supreme Court Takes Up Case On Generic DrugsThe Supreme Court will take up “pay for delay” — the multibillion-dollar dispute over whether brand-name drug makers should be able to pay generic drug companies for agreeing to delay putting cheaper versions on the market (Norman, 12/10).Modern Healthcare: Supreme Court Slates Generic Drug ‘Pay-For-Delay’ CaseThe U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a “pay-for-delay” case that has the Federal Trade Commission accusing generic drugmakers of violating competition laws by agreeing to accept $42 million in annual payments in exchange for not selling generic versions of a more-expensive brand-name testosterone gel. The FTC says the companies — lead respondent Watson Pharmaceuticals, along with Paddock Laboratories, Par Pharmaceutical Cos. and Abbott Laboratories subsidiary Solvay Pharmaceuticals — conspired illegally to keep cheaper drugs off the market, to the detriment of consumers of the brand-name drug. The companies, meanwhile, say their actions were legal and immune from FTC scrutiny. However, they did not oppose a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, because they said differing interpretations of federal law had led to split legal reasoning in various U.S. circuits on a controversy of national significance (Carlson, 12/8). Reuters: Supreme Court To Hear “Pay-For-Delay” Drug CaseThe Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether brand-name drug companies may pay money to generic drug rivals to keep their lower-priced products off the market, a practice estimated to cost consumers and the government billions of dollars each year. The arrangements, known as “pay-for-delay” or “reverse payments,” have for more than a decade vexed antitrust enforcers, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which have been stung until recently by a series of court decisions allowing such practices (Stempel, 12/7). SCOTUS Agrees To Hear ‘Pay-For-Delay’ Drug Case
Yahoo: Fiscal Cliff Deal Not Great, But It Shields Americans From Tax HikePredictably, the President is already claiming that his tax hike on the “rich” isn’t enough. I have news for him: the moment that he and virtually every elected Democrat in Washington signed off on the terms of the current arrangement, it was the last word on taxes. That debate is over. Now the conversation turns to cutting spending on the government programs that are the real source of the nation’s fiscal imbalance. And the upcoming debate on the debt limit is the perfect time to have that discussion. … While most Washington Democrats may want to deny it, the truth is, the only thing we can do to solve the nation’s fiscal problem is to tackle government spending head on — and particularly, spending on health care programs, which appear to take off like a fighter jet on every chart available that details current trends in federal spending (Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., 1/3).Bloomberg: When Governing Means Lurching Between Phony CrisesThe tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush show what happens when reforms lack broad support. They were pushed through in 2001 and 2003 against solid Democratic opposition. For more than a decade, the overriding aim of Democratic politics has been to (partially) reverse them. Mission accomplished — for now. A similar fate might be in store for health-care reform. With uncertain support from the public, the Affordable Care Act faces the skepticism of Republican governors and the outright hostility of a Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The policy may be the law of the land, but without a firmer base of support it will remain in jeopardy. Expect the pattern to repeat during the next phase of budgetary dysfunction (Clive Crook, 1/2).Baltimore Sun: Budget Deal Won’t Fix UnemploymentFriday, forecasters expect the Labor Department to report the economy added 155,000 jobs in December — substantially less than is needed to pull unemployment down to acceptable levels. … However, on the supply side, increased business regulations, rising health care costs and mandates imposed by Obamacare — and now higher taxes on small businesses — discourage investments that raise productivity and competitiveness and create jobs (Peter Morici, 1/2). Kansas City Star: Political Posturing On Health Care Hurts The UninsuredIn my last year of medical school I was part of a surgical team and met Tom, a 54-year-old farmhand. … After a thorough assessment and numerous tests the team found that Tom had a mass in his bladder. … The advanced stage of his cancer meant that he needed surgery and radiation to even have a chance at cure. However, he was uninsured, and his medical bills were already in the tens of thousands of dollars from this admission alone. Tom was left with two options: bankruptcy or death. … Tom, along with tens of millions of Americans, will benefit from the insurance expansions in the new health reform law, popularly known as “Obamacare,” once it is enacted in 2014. However, with Kansas and many other states dragging their feet, millions will continue to die, suffer and be bankrupted (Branden Comfort, 1/2). The New York Times: Our Absurd Fear Of Fat The meta-analysis, published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association, reviewed data from nearly a hundred large epidemiological studies to determine the correlation between body mass and mortality risk. The results ought to stun anyone who assumes the definition of “normal” or “healthy” weight used by our public health authorities is actually supported by the medical literature (Paul Campos, 1/2). The New England Journal of Medicine: Shared Decision Making To Improve Care And Reduce Costs For many health situations in which there’s not one clearly superior course of treatment, shared decision making can ensure that medical care better aligns with patients’ preferences and values. … However, more than 2 years after enactment of the ACA, little has been done to promote shared decision making. We believe that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should begin certifying and implementing patient decision aids, aiming to achieve three important goals: promote an ideal approach to clinician–patient decision making, improve the quality of medical decisions, and reduce costs (Emily Oshima Lee and Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, 1/3).The New England Journal of Medicine: Using Shared Savings To Foster Coordinated Care For Dual Eligibles There are 9.2 million people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. … New federal policy initiatives are promoting organizations that integrate and coordinate care to meet the complex needs of this vulnerable population. The hope is that if beneficiaries are encouraged to enter into such arrangements, costs will fall and quality of care will improve. … It is important to advance program designs that have the potential to improve care and save money, but we need to do so in a way that promotes self-determination and the exercise of real options (Richard G. Frank, 1/2).The New England Journal of Medicine: The Bystander Effect In Medical Care When nine different specialty teams are called in to help diagnose a perplexing condition in an ICU patient, chaos and inaction result, with all participants assuming passive roles, expecting another physician to bear the burden of authority and responsibility. … promoting the use of mechanisms that encourage healthy and collegial interactions between specialty and primary care teams may empower individual clinicians to participate more meaningfully in the care of shared patients. The recent TeamSTEPPS (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety) initiative developed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which aims to improve communication and team-based skills among health care professionals, is an important step in this direction (Drs. Robert R. Stavert and Jason P. Lott, 1/3). Viewpoints: McConnell Says Spending Cuts Are Coming; Plea To Kan. Governor To Rethink Insurance Exchange This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Parsing The ACA’s Impact On Farmers, Community Health Centers Farmers, who often rely on individual policies, may find it easier to get routine medical care through policies sold on the health law’s online exchanges. Meanwhile, community health centers face reduced federal support in fiscal 2016, and the battle over the law’s contraception mandate highlights a dispute over whether certain forms of birth control prevent conception or destroy a fertilized egg.The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Affordable Care Act Impacts Farming FamiliesFarm families, as small business owners, often need to purchase health insurance coverage for themselves. They also often manage employees and need to make decisions about what they will offer as healthcare coverage. The Affordable Care Act, with its many changes to parts of the health insurance system, will impact farm families in many ways (Hafemeister, 3/10). CQ HealthBeat: Without A Cushion From Funding Cliff, Health Centers Face 2016 ClosuresCommunity health centers, long a bipartisan funding priority on Capitol Hill, face a sharp drop off in federal support in fiscal 2016 that could force a number of centers to close, slash staff, or curtail services. If lawmakers do not intervene, a key part of the strategy for meeting growing demand for healthcare services as coverage expands under the health law will be undermined, advocates for centers say (Reichard, 3/10).Reuters: U.S. Top Court Case Highlights Unsettled Science In ContraceptionAs the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear a religious dispute over the Obamacare contraception mandate, advocates on both sides are trying to set the court straight on the science. The case, to be heard on March 25, is one of the most closely watched of the year, partly because it taps into the enduring debate over abortion and reproductive rights (Begley, 3/11).The New York Times: Obama’s New Approach Takes A Humorous TurnIn “Between Two Ferns,” an off-color online parody of celebrity interview shows, the comedian Zach Galifianakis has spanked Justin Bieber with his belt, discussed Charlize Theron’s thighs and asked Natalie Portman for her phone number. … Aides said Mr. Obama’s immediate reason for subjecting himself to Mr. Galifianakis is to urge young people to sign up for health insurance on the government’s website, healthcare.gov (Shear, 3/10). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Formula E “Needs” A Japanese Driver, Says Agag Nissan had signed 2018 Formula 2 title contender Albon, who races for e.dams’ DAMS arm in the F1 support series, to a three-year FE contract in July, placing him alongside Sebastien Buemi for the 2018/19 season.More Formula E News BMW Tops Valencia Formula E Tests Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 21, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News But it emerged at the start of FE’s pre-season test at Valencia that Albon was closing on a Toro Rosso seat and he did not drive in Spain, costing Nissan two days of running before Oliver Rowland was brought in for the final two sessions.“It came out of the blue,” Driot told Motorsport.com“We are very much frustrated within DAMS and Nissan e.dams because as far as DAMS is concerned and Formula 2 is concerned, we have done a lot in order to help Alexander Albon race, financially speaking.“We gave him a good car – because the year before the team he was with [ART Grand Prix], he didn’t really perform – and with us he has demonstrated that he is very quick, which I never doubted.“We took him for a three-year contract [in FE] and suddenly out of the blue – because we helped him a lot to brush and to shine his image – Toro Rosso came with Dr [Helmut] Marko to say that he wanted to have Albon in a car.“When you ask a blind man if he wants to see, you know the answer. When he talked about Formula 1 to a driver who was always dreaming to do so, you know the answer as well.“So we are negotiating with Toro Rosso, Nissan have top management who were not really happy, as you can imagine.“[They are] very unhappy because we had signed him for three years. But we are trying to find a solution.”Driot said that situation remains unresolved and that negotiations regarding Albon’s future are continuing.“We are trying to find a solution because when you have a driver who doesn’t want to drive any more, what do you do? But we have a contract and that is clear,” he explained.“Nothing is done at the moment, and this is why we put Oliver Rowland in the car – as a kind of third driver – and we will see in the coming two-three weeks how it develops.“We are discussing with Toro Rosso in order to see how we can find the best solution for everyone.” The Nissan e.dams Formula E squad is “very unhappy” at the situation surrounding Alexander Albon’s possible 2019 Formula 1 move to Toro Rosso, according to team principal Jean-Paul Driot. Nissan Teams With Shell For Formula E
Buick To Launch New High-Volume BEV & PHEV In China Geely Creates New Division For New Energy EVs Some local competition for the Model 3.Hitting the market in 2016, the Zotye Z500EV is a mid-size pure electric sedan with a range of 250km. As Zotye New Energy aims to increase the range of its models, the Z500EV will offer a longer range version, which is positioned at the same class as the Tesla Model 3.More China News Source: Electric Vehicle News Powered by a permanent magnet synchronous motor with a maximum power output of 95kW, the longer range version of the Z500EV boasts a range of over 300km. The model measures 4750mm in length, 1810mm in width and 1510mm in height and sets on a wheelbase of 2750mm. Noticeably, the model measures longer than the Tesla Model 3.The long version of the Z500EV offers optional small openable sunroof, unopenable panoramic sunroof, shark fin antenna, grey side wind window, different door handles and car reversing radar.In terms of its exterior, the long version model basically retains the same design style as the existing model, featuring a starry-styled intake grille surrounded by chrome trims. The front bumper features a pulling-through design with LED daytime running lamps on both sides. It also maintains the same rear end style as the fuel-powered version, featuring chrome trims at the bottom of the rear bumper.Source: Gasgoo Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 8, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News VW Plans To Build 1 Million Electric Cars In China Yearly By 2025