Moto Z2 officially confirmed to have dual cameras

first_imgMost companies try to keep their upcoming products under wraps but some things sometimes slip through the cracks. And sometimes, the companies themselves let those slip, intentionally or otherwise. We’re still not sure which of the two is the case here, but Motorola has definitely spilled the biggest bean about its upcoming flagship. In an invite for what could only be the Moto Z2 or Moto Z2 Force, it not just hints but practically confirms that it will, indeed, have two cameras on its back. The dual camera rumor had been going on for quite a while but Motorola, like Samsung, has been pretty conservative in that aspect. Besides, it was trying to sell a Moto Mods system that would, in theory, give a smartphone dual cameras long after it left the factory. And while the mid-range Moto Z2 Play didn’t have one as some might have hoped, at least the high-end model will.It sent out invites for a 27th June event with the tagline “Moto is back”, a comeback it has been promising since last year. But more important than that claim is the smartphone that the woman with a rather mischievous, knowing smile is holding. In plain view is the camera, which seems to show two sensors. The design of the camera does match leaked renders that have been going around the net.That dual camera is actually the only immediately visible change we expect to see on the Moto Z2 and Z2 Force. After all, it has to stay compatible with existing and future Moto Mods, so the overall design and dimensions will most likely remain the same. Inside, however, we do expect the latest specs, like a 5.5-inch 2560×1440 screen and 4 GB RAM. However, there are murmurs that there is a chance it would run on a Snapdragon 821 instead of an 835, which would be suicide for Moto.The Moto Z2’s rather unassuming and, in this case, unchanged appearance belies the potential it possesses, realized through Moto Mods. Motorola and Lenovo, whose name is thankfully absent in the branding, are banking on this modular appeal to keep its smartphones in the game. So far, however, the jury still seems to be out on that one.VIA: DroidHolic Story TimelineMoto Z2 Force leaks with dual rear cameras in press photoMoto Z2 image leaks, unveiling coming very soonlast_img read more

Lenovo releases Androidpowered Tab 4 tablets with four configurations

first_imgStarting at the top of the line, the first is the Tab 4 10 Plus. This tablet features a 10.1-inch Full HD display, and is powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of internal storage. This is all paired with MicroSD card support for up to 128GB of storage, a fingerprint sensor, and 8-megapixel rear/5-megapixel front cameras. There’s also USB-C, dual front-facing speakers, and a 7,000 mAh battery, all for a starting price of $279.For those who need a 10-inch display but a smaller budget, the Tab 4 10 is slotted just beneath the Plus variant. There’s no pricing info yet, but this model uses a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 screen with a Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor and just 2GB of RAM. There’s only 16GB of storage, but there’s still MicroSD card support for expanding that limit. The cameras have been downgraded to 5MP rear/2MP front, and there’s no fingerprint sensor, but it still uses the same 7,000 mAh battery, which should offer a full day of use.Next is the Tab 4 8 Plus, which is for users who would prefer the same specs as the Tab 4 10 Plus with a smaller screen. This model pairs a 8-inch Full HD display with the same Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor, and also offers up to 4GB of RAM/64GB of storage and MicroSD support. There’s the same 8MP/5MP cameras as its bigger sibling, along with a fingerprint sensor, USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack, and dual speakers, although the battery has been scaled down to 4,850 mAh.Last is the Tab 4 8, which uses the same specs as the non-Plus Tab 4 10, paired with a smaller screen and battery. There’s a 8-inch 1280 x 800 display, Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM/16GB of storage, 5MP rear/2MP front cameras, and USB-C, but the fingerprint sensor has been dropped.VIA PhoneRadar When it comes to tablets, the options for Android models are mostly made up of dirt-cheap budget devices, while iOS and Windows 10 are usually found on the high-end models, excluding Samsung. Well, some new mid-range options from Lenovo have arrived that should appeal to Android faithful who don’t want to break the bank. The new Tab 4 series includes four models with 8 and 10-inch displays. Story TimelineLenovo to use stock Android on all future phonesLenovo Home Assistant adds Alexa to Tab 4 smart speakerLenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality headset hands-onLenovo Yoga 920 hands-on: Thunderbolt 3, 8th Gen Core i7, moreLenovo Yoga 720 12″ and Miix 520 get IFA 2017 upgradesLenovo Retro ThinkPad gears up for releaselast_img read more

Chrome Firefox has been leaking Facebook profiles names since 2016

first_imgThis is what is called a side-channel attack since it is caused not by a flaw in the software itself but in the system it is running on. In this case, the vulnerability is due to a new feature introduced in the CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) standard in 2016. Called “mix-blend-mode”, it practically leaked visual content, technically the pixels, on a Facebook page to a third-party website that embeds Facebook inside an iframe.Normally, that shouldn’t be the case because of a same-origin policy implemented by web browsers. Of course, if that were the case, then this vulnerability wouldn’t exist in the first place. The bug doesn’t directly extract images or text from Facebook profiles though. Instead, it analyzes each pixel and, in the case of text, uses optical character recognition to extract meaningful words like names or even posts. It might seem like a lot of work, but it only takes a computer 20 seconds to do all that.AdChoices广告According to Ars Technica, security researchers Dario Weißer and Ruslan Habalov disclosed the vulnerability to Google and Firefox, who have patched their browsers by now to block future attempts. That, however, still left many people unprotected between 2016 and late 2017 at the earliest. The researchers report that, for reasons still unknown, Apple’s Safari browser was unaffected. Almost ironically, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Edge browser were also unaffected because they didn’t even implement the standard mix-blend-mode feature.Sadly, that’s not the end yet. While this particular side-channel vulnerability has now been closed, Weißer and Habalov worry that it might just be the start. As Web technologies and standards become more sophisticated and utilize hardware more, the chances for such vulnerabilities to pop up becomes even greater. Facebook just can’t seem to catch a break and has become everyone’s favorite scapegoat for privacy problems. Sometimes, however, it’s not exactly Facebook’s fault. Case in point is a recently reported and, fortunately, fixed vulnerability that allowed malicious third-party sites to glean Facebook information like a user’s profile picture and name. And that vulnerability, ironically comes from a standard Web feature that was introduced way back in 2016.last_img read more

Moment Pro Camera app gets Pixel Visual Core support

first_imgStory TimelineMoment for iPhone X photo case, lenses make the camera shineApple patent details Siri whispering mode for quiet momentsMoment: The best camera lens system for Google Pixel This week the folks behind the app Moment Pro Camera adopted the powers of the Pixel Visual Core. This means that the app finally makes use of the hardware-accelerated processing power of the Google Pixel 2. This upgrade can be utilized by all camera apps on Android, but only a few have specifically targeted Google Pixel 2 devices right out the gate. If an app targets Android API level 26, there’s a chance it’ll be able to use the Google Pixel Visual Core. Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat began using the Google Pixel Visual Core in February of 2018. This means that any of these apps – when properly updated (and with the Pixel 2 properly updated), is potentially far better at HDR+ than any other smartphone – but that’s really up to the end user, as it is with all photography situations.Below you’ll see the update set of details from Moment Pro Camera as released this week. Moment Pro Camera costs around $2 USD for the end user and provides a camera interface that’s ever-so-slightly more versatile than that of the standard Google Android camera app. Have a peek at the app on the Google Play app store and let us know what you think.What’s New• HDR+ for Pixel devices! Tap on the format button (JPEG/RAW) to select the new format HDR+ that will use Pixel Visual Core• Moment Pro Camera as your default camera• Camera Roll photo detailed view now shows a map with a marker pointing to the location if available• Performance: Viewfinder grid drawing frequency improvement• Bugfix: Minor camera roll improvements• Bugfix: Latest versions major crash reports and improvements to generate better reportsYou might also want to take a peek at the Moment lens collection for Google Pixel 2. We used them with the first Pixel – and they work just as well with the second. Especially when you’re going wild with the app, it’s HDR super up-close or enhanced fish-eye times.Those developers that wish to make use of the Google Pixel visual core can do so starting with the Google Open Source documentation available to the public. This software enhancement currently works only for the Google Pixel 2 and the Google Pixel 2 XL.last_img read more

Toshibas new lithiumion battery promises 320km range on 6min charge

first_imgToshiba has announced a new next-generation lithium-ion battery that is aimed at use in electric vehicles and the battery has the potential to revolutionize the EV market. The new battery uses a new anode material that promises to allow an EV to travel 320km on a 6-minute ultra-rapid recharge. That is three times the range possible on that amount of charge with current batteries. The new anode material used in the battery is a titanium niobium oxide that is able to provide twice the capacity of the anode used in current lithium-ion batteries. The currently used anode is graphite-based. The new battery gives both high energy density and ultra-rapid charging and the new anode is less likely to suffer from lithium metal deposition during fast charging in old conditions.That issue is a cause of battery degradation and internal short circuits. The new battery is part of Toshiba’s SCiB line and the line is currently used in industrial and infrastructure applications inside cars, buses, railroad cars, elevators, and power plants. Toshiba’s new battery uses a proprietary method for synthesizing and disarranging crystals of titanium niobium oxide and storing lithium ions more efficiently in the crystal structure inside the battery.Toshiba has been testing a 50Ah prototype battery and has been able to show that the battery retains the long life cycle, low-temperature operation, and safety along with fast recharging of the current SCiB. Energy density by volume is twice that of the current SCiB.AdChoices广告Toshiba says that the next-generation SCiB is able to maintain 90% of its initial capacity after 5,000 charge/discharge cycles. Rapid-charging can be done in temperatures as low as minus 10C in only ten minutes. Plans are to commercialize the new battery in fiscal year 2019.Source: Toshibalast_img read more

Google kills tablet development

first_imgA report and confirmation from Google SVP of Devices and Services Rick Osterloh today say Google is axing tablets. This means that for the foreseeable future, Google won’t be designing and/or ordering manufacturing for tablet devices for Chrome OS or Android. According to Osterloh, “Google’s HARDWARE team will be solely focused on building laptops moving forward.” At the time this article is set to go public, Osterloh did not clarify whether he included Pixel Phones in his statement about hardware – but chances are he was only thinking about devices that were included with both Chrome OS and Android. Google’s developed tablets and tablet-like devices for both Android and Chrome OS. UPDATE: Google has notified us that yes, in fact, this news “has nothing to do with Pixel phones” and so Pixel phones will continue to be developed as normal. Osterloh also added, “but make no mistake, Android & Chrome OS teams are 100% committed for the long-run on working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, edu).” That’ll certainly need some thought, if you’re a 3rd-party hardware maker – should I still try to make a tablet with Chrome OS if Google’s decided it’s not in their interest to continue with the hardware themselves?In a follow-up comment, Osterloh noted that they’ll continue to support Pixel Slate “for the long-term” – so no worries there. Osterloh originally commented in response to an article from earlier in the day, which suggested that Google is “giving up on competing with Apple’s iPad as it stops making its own tablets and cancels 2 unreleased devices.” That article had a comment from a Google spokesperson who suggested that Google would “be focusing on Chrome OS laptops,” while they “work with our ecosystem of partners on laptops and tablets.” It’s not unlikely that this latest news is closely related to the behind-the-scenes leak that Pixelbook and Pixel Slate Google team employees were reduced and/or eliminated in March. Pour one out for our lost and forgotten slates, and say a prayer for the Pixels of the future! Story TimelineGoogle Pixel Slate Review: An expensive experimentGoogle Pixel Slate successor still comingGoogle just killed the entry-level Pixel Slate – but there’s good newslast_img read more

Dyson wants gas cars banned by 2030 in UK

first_imgCritics of gasoline vehicles have been ramping up toward suggestions of an outright ban of gas-guzzling vehicles around the world for decades. For most, it didn’t seem realistic until very recently. The idea that any government would be able to ban the use of a certain sort of fuel didn’t seem possible when there was no realistic alternative, but with the rise of the electric car, a no-gas law might well be in the making. Story TimelineA Dyson EV is coming in 2020Dyson electric auto plant announced for Singapore In the United Kingdom, James Dyson spoke with associates of Theresa May this week about a plan to ban the sale of “petrol and diesel cars” in the country. At the same time – to the shock of absolutely no person whatsoever – Dyson’s revealed the first patents related to his future range of electric cars. This is James Dyson, of Dyson Ltd, the Dyson you’re familiar with.It was all the way back in September of 2017 that Dyson first announced he (and they) would be revealing their first electric vehicle in the year 2020, with a release by 2021. Fast forward to now, and 2020 is less than a year away. And Dyson wants to be sure he’s got a wide open market (in the UK, at least) with which to supply EVs as soon as possible. “My own amateur view of the electric-car market is that it has been underestimated,” said Dyson with FT this week. “I believe it’s driven not so much by subsidies as by genuine desire of the public to have silent and non-polluting vehicles.”The UK government in 2017 announced they’d be cutting off sales of new petrol or diesel vehicles by 2040. That’s petrol or diesel that do not specifically allow hybrid technology – both gasoline and electric power. If what Dyson’s been hinting at this week is true, he’ll have his public-pleasing EV fleet ready just in time.last_img read more

Malpractice Payments Decline For Eighth Consecutive Year

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. Malpractice Payments Decline For Eighth Consecutive Year Medscape:  Malpractice Payments Continue Downward SlideThe number and total value of malpractice payments made on behalf of physicians declined in 2011 for the eighth consecutive year, according to a new study released yesterday by the consumer group Public Citizen.  The study analyzes information from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), a federal clearinghouse on malpractice payments. Malpractice insurers and other organizations that pay a malpractice claim on a physician’s behalf must report it to the NPDB. Payments include jury awards and settlements (Lowes, 7/12).last_img read more

State Roundup Some NY Hospitals Dont Carry Malpractice Insurance

first_imgState Roundup: Some N.Y. Hospitals Don’t Carry Malpractice Insurance This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. A selection of health policy stories from New York, Massachusetts, Mississippi, California, Georgia, Oregon and Colorado.The New York Times: Troubled New York Hospitals Forgo Coverage For MalpracticesSeveral of the city’s most troubled hospitals are partially or completely uninsured for malpractice, state records show, forgoing what is considered a standard safeguard across the country (Hartocollis, 7/15).Boston Globe: Health Cost Bill May Not Attack Key ProblemAs legislative leaders close in on a major health care cost-control bill, key efforts to attack one of the most-cited reasons for rising medical spending — the market power of caregivers who demand high prices for their services — appear to be in jeopardy. … Now, the impact of two major proposals in the House plan that are ­intended to level the playing field — a one-time luxury tax on high-priced providers and restrictions on contract negotiations — is in doubt after lobbying by hospitals (Kowalczyk, 7/15).AP/WBUR: Mass. Lawmakers Face Scramble As Session Nears EndThe two-year legislative session on Beacon Hill is heading into the homestretch. With formal sessions set to end on July 31, a number of major bills await final action by lawmakers. Atop that list is a health care cost containment measure. Both the House and Senate have passed versions of the bill that seeks to reduce health care expenditures by $150 billion to $160 billion over 15 years. A conference committee has been working to reconcile differences between the two versions (7/14).The Associated Press: Judge Grants More Time To Miss. Abortion ClinicThe future of Mississippi’s only clinic where women can get an abortion remains unclear after a federal judge’s ruling in a closely watched court case. U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III ruled Friday that a strict abortion law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature can take effect, but he gave the clinic more time to comply with the law’s requirements and said it won’t face any criminal or civil penalties as it tries to do so (Pettus, 7/14).Reuters: Judge Rules Mississippi Abortion Clinic Can Stay Open For NowMississippi’s sole abortion clinic won a court battle on Friday to stay open while it challenges the constitutionality of a new state law requiring its doctors to have local hospital admitting privileges. The law, which abortion rights advocates say is a thinly veiled attempt to ban abortions in Mississippi, has threatened to make Mississippi the only U.S. state without such a facility (Le Coz, 7/13).Politico Pro: Anti-Abortion State Activity Slows In 2012When it comes to anti-abortion legislative activity in the states, 2012 is not the year that 2011 was. It’s not for lack of trying. A midyear analysis released this week by the Guttmacher Institute says 39 abortion restrictions had been signed into law as of July, down from 80 at this time last year. But 39 is still a lot — aside from 2011, it’s more than any other year in history (Smith, 7/13).Los Angeles Times: Imperial County Leads State In Treatment Of Children With AsthmaFor children with asthma in California, there is no place worse than Imperial County. They are far more likely than children in any other county to end up in the emergency room or hospitalized. Kids go the ER for asthma at a rate three times higher than the state’s average, according to the Department of Public Health (Gorman, 7/16).Los Angeles Times: UC Riverside Makes Rare Second Attempt To Add Medical SchoolUC Riverside’s long-held dream to have a full medical school was badly battered last year when the state refused to pay for it and then national accreditors wouldn’t allow it to open. Those denials were a blow to the UC system’s proud tradition of adding campuses and programs to serve a growing state (Gordon, 7/15).The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Corrections Chief: Decriminalize Mental IllnessOne of every six inmates in state prisons is mentally ill, and the man who locks them up says that’s too many. “I think it’s about time to decriminalize mental illness,” said Georgia Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens. Owens, adding his voice to those calling for sweeping reform in the state’s criminal justice system, acknowledges that many mentally ill inmates are dangerous and should remain locked up. But he also points out that hundreds, perhaps thousands, do no represent a threat to the public and should be in treatment, not prison (Rankin and Teegardin, 7/15).KQED: Millions In Health Care District Deals Involve Firms With Ties To OfficialsA financial review of more than 20 health care districts in California found millions of dollars in transactions involving companies and nonprofits with ties to top district officials. The findings raise questions about the adequacy of state and local scrutiny of the taxpayer-funded districts, which operate nursing homes and hospitals, distribute grants to health programs and manage their own real estate portfolios. The elected boards that run California health care districts oversee more than $4 billion annually in public and private funds from sources including state and local taxpayers, investments, real estate holdings and, in some cases, hospital revenues (Gollan/Mieszkowski, 7/13).The Oregonian: Oregon’s Healthy Kids Program At Three Years Shows Mixed Record While Signing Up Uninsured ChildrenThree years ago, Oregon lawmakers approved the Healthy Kids program. It offers health coverage to all children, funded by a 1-percent tax on commercial insurance. That tax expires next year just as the biggest federal health care changes in generations will be rolling out nationwide for adults and children alike. Healthy Kids director Cathy Kaufmann says the program serves as a model for the changes ahead. And that her office remains key to the state’s goals (Budnick, 7/14). California Watch: Alameda County Takes On Drug Companies Over Medication DisposalAlameda County is poised to make drug companies pay for the safe collection and disposal of residents’ unused medications. The measure would apply to prescription drugs like penicillin as well as tightly controlled substances like OxyContin. Supporters say the ordinance would help prevent overdoses and accidental poisonings and reduce water pollution — claims the pharmaceutical industry insists are not true (Mieszkowski, 7/16).Boston Globe: Glen Shor Is Working To Prove Universal Health Care Can SucceedLots of politicians might like to claim credit for implementing universal health care in Massachusetts (including Mitt Romney, er, sometimes). But after the photo ops are done, it’s the state’s insurance exchange – the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority – that will determine whether it’s successful or not. No one knows that pressure more than Glen Shor, involved with the agency virtually since its beginning six years ago, first as Deval Patrick’s point person on health care and, since June 2010, as the authority’s executive director (Blanding, 7/15). Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service)/I-News Network: Diabetes Epidemic Largely Ignored By ColoradansOne in eight Coloradans likely will have diabetes by 2030, according to new estimates from the Colorado Health Institute, and the epidemic will cost the state an estimated $8.3 billion a year. … Few Coloradans seem to share Lindley’s sense of urgency, however. Polls of the 1,000 Coloradans participating in Gov. John Hickenlooper’s TBD Colorado initiative have found that proposed remedies for the obesity epidemic sweeping the state receive precious little support. Among 10 public policies to consider implementing in the next two years, anti-obesity measures ranked lowest. Healthy food choices for students were backed by fewer than 7 percent of TBD participants, while physical education in schools was supported by only 6 percent (Brennan, 7/13).last_img read more

Are Exchanges More Appealing To Insurers Now

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. Elsewhere, in Colorado, new fees on consumers and insurance plans would raise $13 million to help run that state’s exchange next year.Modern Healthcare: Exchanges Look More Appealing To Insurers Second Time Around Health insurers appear to be increasingly bullish on the fledgling state and federal exchanges, in spite of disastrous rollouts in many of the online marketplaces last fall (Demko, 4/17).The Denver Post: Colorado Health Exchange Proposes Insurer Fee to Raise $13 Million Colorado’s new health exchange will decide this summer whether to assess a fee to insurance companies for each policy they provide exchange users. The assessment could be up to $1.80 per policy, and if approved by the exchange board would be in effect to help pay exchange operating costs next year and in 2016, according to Connect for Health Colorado CEO Patty Fontneau (McGhee, 4/18).Health News Colorado: Fee To Fund Exchange Would Hit All Coloradans With Health InsuranceA $13 million fee on all Coloradans with health insurance would pay half the operating costs at the state health exchange next year and in 2016 under the newest financial projections. The proposed fee would affect at least 875,000 people and includes Coloradans who get their insurance through their employers or outside the exchange. Exchange managers announced earlier this week that they sold private health plans to 124,000 people through the end of March (McCrimmon, 4/17).Meanwhile, in Medicaid expansion news –Bangor Daily News: Maine Legislature Approves Late, Last-Ditch Push For Medicaid ExpansionThe Maine Legislature on Thursday night approved a Medicaid expansion plan for the third time since March, though the bill is likely doomed to the same fate as its predecessors — death by gubernatorial veto. The House of Representatives gave the bill final approval with a vote of 94-51. The Senate gave final approval after a 19-14 vote. … [House Speaker Mark] Eves’ amendment offered a new twist on the 16-month-old Medicaid expansion debate by promoting a plan to use millions of federal Medicaid dollars to buy private insurance plans for tens of thousands of newly eligible low-income Mainers (Moretto, 4/17). Are Exchanges More Appealing To Insurers Now?last_img read more

Medical Device Maker Agrees To 135M Settlement Over False Claim Allegations

first_img Federal prosecutors say a medical device manufacturer has agreed to pay the U.S. $13.5 million over allegations of false claims for the company’s devices. Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a news release Thursday that California-based NuVasive Inc. agreed this week to the settlement, which also resolves allegations that the company paid kickbacks to physicians to use its devices. (7/30) Medical Device Maker Agrees To $13.5M Settlement Over False Claim Allegations NuVasive was accused of promoting a spine surgery device for uses the Food and Drug Administration did not approve. In other news, medical device profits rise, and a lawsuit accuses CVS of overcharging for generic drugs. The Hill: GAO: Medical Device Profits Increasing The Associated Press: Medical Device Manufacturer Agrees To $13.5M Settlement Reuters: NuVasive Inc Agrees To Pay $13.5M To Resolve False Claims Probe The Associated Press: Lawsuit Accuses CVS Of Overcharging For Generic Drugs center_img CVS deliberately overcharged some pharmacy customers for generic drugs by submitting claims to their insurance companies at inflated prices, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday in federal court in San Francisco. The suit says those inflated prices led to higher co-pays for customers that exceeded what they would have paid for the drugs if they had no insurance and participated in a CVS discount program. (Thanawala, 7/30) California-based medical device manufacturer NuVasive Inc. has agreed to pay $13.5 million to resolve allegations that it caused healthcare providers to submit false claims to Medicare and other federal health programs for spine surgeries, the Justice Department said on Thursday. The company had marketed its CoRoent System to the providers for surgical uses that were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the department said. NuVasive also paid kickbacks to physicians for using the CoRoent System, the department said. (Dunsmuir, 7/30) Medical device companies have seen their profits continue to increase, even after a new tax from ObamaCare, according to a federal watchdog. The Government Accountability Office looked at 102 medical device companies, and found a roughly 44 percent increase in profits from 2005 to 2014 – from $11.4 billion to $16.5 billion. (Becker, 7/30) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Viewpoints Examining Obamacares Challenges The EpiPen Controversy Continues

first_img Miami Herald: We Must Protect Pregnant Women From The Zika Virus The last few weeks have featured a great deal of news for Obamacare, most of it bad. Insurers are pulling out of the exchanges and premiums are rising. Coverage has been expanded, but it increasingly looks as if that coverage will mostly consist of companies taking their Medicaid managed care plans and repackaging them for private customers. Call it “Medicaid with premiums.” Or worse, that the exchanges will enter into a cycle of premiums rising and healthier customers dropping their insurance, until some markets have no insurance available at all. (Megan McArdle, 8/29) Problems in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces are the big story in health care, spurred by Aetna’s pullback in participation. With headlines questioning whether these problems mean the ACA is “failing,” let’s take a step back for perspective. The marketplaces have a special role in health insurance, and they face real challenges, but they are a modest part of the overall insurance system. They are also only one part of the ACA – if an important part – and they are not having trouble in all states. (Drew Altman, 8/29) Ten years ago this month, my world as I knew it ended. My husband of 19 years, the father of my two sons, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Over the course of seven months, Bill went from beating me silly on the tennis court to needing my help to go to the bathroom and bathe. It was the best seven months of my life. (Grant, 8/30) The New York Times: Doctors Will Play A Critical Role In The Opioid Epidemic Bloomberg: Modesty Could Have Averted The Anguish Of Obamacare  Bloomberg: Aging Candidates’ Health Is Voters’ Concern The New York Times: Surprisingly Little Evidence For The Accepted Wisdom About Teeth The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently exercised its Section 1115A waiver authority to allow Medicare Advantage plans in seven states to offer benefit flexibility in the form of Medicare Advantage Value Based Insurance Design (MA-VBID). The model will launch on January 1, 2017 and run for five years. (Megan Katherine McGrath and Kenneth Thorpe, 8/29) Like all of us, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are going to die. Will it be in the next four years? Probably — ideally — not. But for voters, that’s a reasonable question, especially given that Clinton is 68 and Trump, 70. Unfortunately, the candidates have refused to divulge the kind of information that would enable anyone to arrive at an informed opinion about their health. (8/29) It’s almost as if Mylan, maker of the EpiPen, had drawn up a list of ways to game a dysfunctional health care system — and decided to check off every last one. … News of a $300 generic version could help get Congress off the company’s back. But for Mylan and its CEO, Heather Bresch, the generic is also a shrewd business move. The price is still high enough to generate lots of money. Indeed, it’s more than the brand-name EpiPen cost as recently as a few years ago. (Dante Ramos, 8/29) The Fiscal Times: Here’s How To Stop Price Gouging By Drugmakers Like Mylan Generic drug manufacturer Mylan’s extreme price hike for the EpiPen soared to the top of the headlines last week. This product, consisting of an auto-injector devised by the U.S. military, combined with a $1 dose of epinephrine used to save the life of people suffering from a serious allergy attack, costs no more than $20 to manufacture. … But the government already has the power to prevent such behavior. They don’t need to pressure Mylan to “fix” the problem itself; they don’t even need to pass a new law. Multiple federal agencies could solve this simply by exhibiting the political will to use their authority to take on the drug companies.  (David Dayen, 8/30) I brush my teeth twice a day, but not for as long as my dentist would like. I’d like to say I floss regularly, but that would be stretching the truth. I don’t scrape my tongue, I don’t rinse with mouthwash and I don’t use an interdental brush or Waterpik. However, I have one filling in my mouth, and I got that only when I had braces as an adult 15 years ago. My wife, on the other hand, cares for her teeth fastidiously. She does all the things you’re supposed to do, and then some. But she has more fillings than I can count. I remember once, years ago, when one of her teeth broke while she was eating scrambled eggs. Clearly, the stuff we’re doing might not make as much of a difference as we think. (Aaron E. Carroll, 8/29) Consumers have likely seen the headlines that Tennessee health insurers are asking for big premium increases in 2017. On the marketplace, BlueCross BlueShield has asked the state Department of Insurance for a 62 percent increase. Cigna and Humana originally asked for less than half of that, but then requested to refile with higher rates—46 percent and 44.3 percent, respectively. It isn’t just the marketplace, either—employer premiums are going up 5 percent, according to the National Business Group on Health, a rate that’s outpacing wage growth. (Alex Tolbert, 8/28) It has been a hard couple of weeks for Obamacare. The law’s online marketplaces — where people were supposed to be able to easily shop for health insurance — have been suffering from high-profile defections and double-digit premium increases. Critics of Obamacare have pointed to the recent problems as proof the market is not working, while even the law’s staunchest defenders are arguing that the marketplaces need some fixes. Here are four key challenges to the program and a survey of some possible solutions. (Reed Abelson and Margot Sanger-Katz, 8/29) For a pregnant woman and her developing baby, Zika can be devastating. If a mother-to-be is infected with Zika — either from a mosquito or through unprotected sex with an infected partner — the virus can cause severe damage to the developing fetal brain resulting in microcephaly and other serious, irreversible birth defects. (Dr. Tom Frieden and Heidi Murkoff, 8/29) center_img Viewpoints: Examining Obamacare’s Challenges; The EpiPen Controversy Continues A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. It would be presumptuous to draw a straight, unbroken line between Texas lawmakers’ draconian, unconstitutional war on family planning clinics and a frightening surge in the number of Texas women dying of pregnancy-related causes. A 2011 law forced through by the state’s Republican-led Legislature placed such demanding restrictions on clinics performing abortions that dozens of them have shut down. In some cases, women in poor and rural areas have been left with no access to reproductive care at all. The law was overturned by a sharply worded U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June, but the damage has been done. (Jacquielynn Floyd, 8/29) Tennessean: How Consumers Can Cope With Rising Health Insurance Premiums This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A Welcome Law To Protect Consumers From Insurance Company Greed Why did the Mylan execs raise the price of an old treatment sixfold? Because they could get away with it. Why could they get away with it? Because the United States Congress let them. The U.S. is the only advanced country that doesn’t routinely negotiate drug prices with the makers. (The Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicaid are exceptions.) Mylan surely didn’t want this scandal leading to serious efforts in Washington to start regulating what drug companies may charge the American people. Better to stage this semi-retreat and change the subject. (Froma Harrop, 8/29) The News & Observer: EpiPen Scandal Not Over By A Long Shot The Washington Post: I Was My Husband’s Caregiver As He Was Dying Of Cancer. It Was The Best Seven Months Of My Life. About half of opioid overdose deaths involve prescription drugs. With that stark fact in mind, the surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, sent an unusually direct plea last week to 2.3 million doctors and other health care workers to help fight the opioid epidemic by treating pain “safely and effectively.” A website for his “Turn the Tide” campaign highlights alternative, nonaddictive treatments for pain. Not only doctors but also policy makers, insurance companies and other players in the health care system should pay attention. (8/30) Insurance companies in Illinois and Missouri for years have been pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars from life insurance policies when beneficiaries don’t step forward to file claims. For once, Republicans and Democrats are lining up on the same side to fight corporate greed. Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs has been on a statewide campaign to halt this practice and alert citizens that they’re leaving too much money on the table. Last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law, House Bill 4633, requiring insurers to locate beneficiaries and hand over unclaimed cash. A similar law went into effect in Missouri this month, having passed both houses by overwhelming majorities. (8/29) Dallas Morning News: Texas Lawmakers Who Shuttered Abortion Clinics Need To Be Just As Worried About Moms’ Mortality Rates Health Affairs Blog: The Need For Additional Flexibility In Medicare Advantage The New York Times: Obamacare Marketplaces Are In Trouble. What Can Be Done? The Boston Globe: Generic EpiPen? Mylan Finds One More Way To Game The System The Wall Street Journal: The ACA Marketplace Problems In Context (And Why They Don’t Mean Obamacare Is ‘Failing’) last_img read more

Nikon D760 Everything we know so far about the fullframe DSLR

first_img This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. What is the Nikon D760?The Nikon D760 is the rumoured DSLR replacement for cameras like the Nikon D750 and D610. It will likely have a full-frame sensor, but won’t be quite as large or feature-packed as the Nikon D850.Canon and Nikon have finally come to terms with the idea that mirrorless is the future for several segments of the camera market, which means consolidation of the mid-range spaces in which the D750 and D610 lived.The question now becomes whether the shift of focus to mirrorless means the Nikon D760 ends up with slightly stodgy tech, or some even higher-end elements than you might expect. Here’s what we think based on the rumours so far…Related: Best DSLR 2019Nikon D760 price and release date – When will it be announced and how much will it cost?The Nikon D760 will likely launch before the end of 2019. However, the last chatter about this timing landed in late 2018, from Nikon Rumors. This tells you a lot about how much air mirrorless cameras like the Nikon Z6 take up at this point.Nikon announced the D850 in July 2017, opened up pre-orders in August and started shipping cameras in September. If it is to follow a similar pattern for the D760 two years on, we may hear a lot more about this camera very soon.And pricing? There’s no word yet. However, it seems likely it will mirror the price of the Nikon D750, in the US at least, at $2299. UK buyers may have to pay more than that camera’s £1,799 original cost, though. The pound was worth around $1.66 in late 2014 and, at the time of writing, it’s worth just $1.27.Nikon D760 design – What will it look like?The Nikon D760 will probably have a design that fits its name: one very similar to the Nikon D750’s.This is no bad thing – the D750 has a great grip design that suits large lenses better than the bodies of most mirrorless cameras. A magnesium alloy shell with weather sealing is also more-or-less a given.The Nikon D750 has a tilt-out screen, and this will probably return too, or be switched for a fully articulated design. A tilt design with a touchscreen seems more likely, though.Other expected DSLR benefits include dual memory card slots, and well-spaced manual controls.Related: Best camera 2019Nikon D760 features – What sensor and specs will it have?Sensor design and AF system are two of the most important elements of the Nikon D760, and there’s no entirely obvious choice for either.Some rumours have suggested that the D760 will have a 36.3-megapixel sensor like the Nikon D810, a last-generation flagship camera. Trends in sensor design have since moved on to resolutions in the 44-45-megapixel and 24-megapixel ranges, though.The latter seems far more likely, and suggests the Nikon D760 may end up with a sensor similar to the Nikon Z6. That has a 24.5-megapixel resolution chip with on-sensor phase detection points, which the D760 could use while in the Live View mode.Nikon’s top-end D850 has 153 focus points to its PDAF module. The D750 has just 51. You might expect the D760 to end up with something in-between, but the past suggests we might get a version of the Multi Cam 3500FX used in the D850. The D810 and D750 both had the 51-point Multi-CAM 3500 II AF module, after all.One source contradicts this, though. Slovakian retailer fotovideoshop.sk posted a listing for the D760 in March 2019, suggesting it has a 51-point AF and 24-megapixel sensor. However, if it also has on-sensor PDAF points, its focus performance could actually be more consistent than the D850’s, which does not handle Live View/video focusing all that well.The retailer’s listing was quickly removed, though, and could have simply been a fabricated placeholder for the site’s backend. Other specs detailed in this accidental post included an ISO range of 100-51200, 8fps burst and 4K video.This positions the D760 as a fairly conservative update of the D750. But how good might its 4K video be?4K video capture will almost certainly be restricted to a max of 30fps, consistent with the Nikon Z6, Z7 and D850. It should prove a good camera for video, but not the obvious choice at the price if that is your main concern.Nikon D760 early verdictThe Nikon D760 is likely to come across as a Nikon Z6 in a DSLR shell, with some of the benefits and drawbacks that entails.A larger frame tends to feel better when attached to big lenses, while its battery will let you carry on shooting long after the Nikon Z6 has run dry. However, the Nikon D760’s burst mode is likely to be far slower.The Z6 can shoot at up to 12fps, but as the D850 only manages 9fps – the D760 is likely to offer 7-8fps. We’ll bring you more official news as we get it. 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. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend. We use industry standard tests to evaluate products in order to assess them properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. Trusted Reviews may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tell us what you think.last_img read more

Quick Look At The Jaguar IPACE In Paris Videos

Watch Jaguar I-Pace Accelerate To 125 MPH Jaguar I-PACE – one of the must see models at Paris Motor ShowJaguar (via its contracted manufacturer – Magna) is gradually increasing production of the Jaguar I-PACE, so we notice registrations in more and more countries, like 114 in Norway last month, but still the cumulative number is low three-digits.As Jaguar is one of the first established manufacturer who developed a long-range electric car, built from the ground up, we are eager to see the results.The first all-electric Jaguar can be seen at the Paris Motor Show (see videos below). The marketing campaign continues and some demonstration units already hit California, where the public will soon get an opportunity to check the I-PACE at Los Angeles Auto Show.Jaguar I-PACE news Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 7, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Watch Jaguar I-Pace Get Driven 232 Miles On A Charge Jaguar I-PACEJaguar I-PACE specs:90 kWh battery for up to 480 km (298 miles) of range (WLTP)0-100km/h (62 mph) 4.8 seconds / 0-60 mph (sec) 4.5 secondsTop speed mph 200  km/h (124 mph)two permanent magnet electric motors; synchronous – 400 PS (294 kW) total system outputall-wheel drive0-80% DC fast charging in 40 minutes using 100 kW CCS Combo0-100% AC charging using 7 kW 0n-board charger in nearly 13 hours.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Source: Electric Vehicle News Jaguar I-PACE Tested At 350 kW Ultra-Fast Charger read more

In January Tesla Registered 40 Model 3 In The Netherlands

first_img40 in January, 400 in February?In January, Tesla registered so far the biggest batch of European Model 3 in the Netherlands – 40 units (compared to 17 in Norway). Those are not sales yet, which are scheduled for February.The registration data reveals also that the high-end BEVs took a break after the all-time record in December 2018, when Jaguar I-PACE was #1 (2,621) and Tesla Model S was #2 (1,558). In January, results were pretty negligible:Jaguar I-PACE – 15Tesla Model S – 14Tesla Model X – 9Audi e-tron – 2 The reason for that is, of course, that from January 1, 2019 all the BEV models (with prices above €50,000) are higher taxed, so interested customers purchased them earlier, by the end of 2018. It will be quite some time before sales will rebound.From January 1, 2019, the BiK tax increased from 4% to 22% for BEVs that costs more than €50,000 (the 22% applies only to amount above amount of €50,000).In such circumstances, the best results are noted by cheaper BEVs like the Nissan LEAF, which surge to 396! Even the BMW i3 noted decent 112 registrations.Source: RAI Vereniging Jaguar I-PACE Outsells All Teslas Combined In The Netherlands More from Netherlands Source: Electric Vehicle Newscenter_img Plug-In Electric Car Market Share In Netherlands Hit 31% In December Tesla Drivers Targeted For Speeding In The Netherlands? Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 6, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

VW All Our Electric Car Platforms Are Yours Opens Up MEB EV

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News VW seeks the widest possible deployment of the MEBVolkswagen Group officially announced that it is opening its Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) platform for a wide range of all-electric cars to other manufacturers.The idea behind the move is to lower costs through increased production scale, beyond the already high target of 15 million MEB cars (the first wave) that will be produced by all the brands within the VW Group.Volkswagen news With Chattanooga, VW Will Have 8 Plants For EVs Based On MEB Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 4, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News The first external partner to develop its own model on MEB is e.GO Mobile AG, founded by Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh in 2015 at the RWTH Aachen Campus.VW underlines that MEB can be utilized in both high-volume production, as well as in short-series like e.GO cars or Volkswagen I.D. Buggy.“e.GO Mobile AG based in Aachen, Germany, is to be the world’s first external partner to use the electric platform to launch further electric vehicles in addition to Volkswagen’s model range. A dedicated vehicle project is already being planned. Volkswagen is highlighting the MEB’s variability even for small series with the ID. BUGGY on show at the Geneva International Motor Show.”center_img Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG, commented:“Our Modular Transverse Toolkit proved we are platform experts. Over 100 million of our vehicles are based on that particular platform. With the MEB platform, we are now transferring this successful concept to the electric era and opening it to other carmakers. The MEB is to establish itself as the standard for e-mobility. Based on the MEB, we will make individual mobility CO2-neutral, safe, comfortable and accessible to as many people as possible. Because the MEB even makes the cost-efficient production of emotional small-series vehicles like the ID. BUGGY possible. I am delighted that e.GO has become the first partner to use our electric platform as the basis for a jointly-defined vehicle project.”Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh, CEO of e.GO Mobile AG, added:“We are extremely pleased the Volkswagen Group offered us this cooperation. We can contribute e.GO’s agile product development and our strength in building small-series vehicles based on extruded aluminum spaceframes. And the MEB platform will make us faster, more robust and cost-efficient.” Volkswagen I.D. Buggy Shows Groovy Style In Geneva: Video VW Open To Sharing MEB EV Platform With Other Automakerslast_img read more

Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand Takes A Position At Walmart And Some

first_imgLast week, Walmart announced that DOJ Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand will “join the company as Executive Vice President, Global Governance and Corporate Secretary” and “be responsible for the organization’s Legal, Global Ethics and Compliance and Global Investigation, Security, Aviation and Travel departments, along with her role as corporate secretary.”It was funny to see some on social media seemingly hyperventilate about this development.Surely this must be connected to Wal-Mart’s long-standing FCPA scrutiny the inference seemed to be.Set forth below are some screenshots from social media. So now let’s focus on some facts.Despite the false narrative advanced by some that Walmart’s FCPA scrutiny began with the New York Times April 2012 article (see here), Walmart’s FCPA scrutiny began in November 2011 with a voluntarily disclosure. In other words, Walmart’s FCPA scrutiny has lasted for approximately 6.5 years – long yes, unprecedented no.A few weeks ago, Jeff Gearhart (who held the position that Brand is assuming) retired.Brand was at the DOJ for approximately 9 months and while at DOJ appears to have had no specific role in the DOJ’s Fraud Section where FCPA matters are handled. Rather, as stated by the DOJ Brand oversaw:“the following Department components: Antitrust Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Tax Division, Executive Office for U.S. Trustees, Office of Justice Programs, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Office on Violence Against Women, Community Relations Service, Office of Access to Justice, Office of Information Policy, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, and the Service members and Veterans Initiative. She also serves as the Department’s Regulatory Reform Officer and chairs the Regulatory Reform Task Force.”Long before Walmart’s announcement about Brand joining the company, the company disclosed the following regarding its long-standing FCPA scrutiny:“discussions with the government agencies in the FCPA matter have progressed to the point that the company recorded an accrual of $283 million, or $0.09 per share … regarding the possible resolution of the FCPA matter.”In other words, some people need to take a deep breath.And when they regain their breath they might also realize, in addition to the above, that Tony West (DOJ Associate Attorney General during the Obama administration – the same position as Brand) left the DOJ in 2014 to become PepsiCo’s general counsel and corporate secretary.last_img read more

Preparing for the Storm Unleash RecessionProof Assets and Shore Up Liquidity with

first_imgFundingcan remove the barriers that are preventing these businesses from pursuingvaluable legal claims. By assuming responsibility for the costs, the funderhelps improve liquidity by reducing the company’s legal expenses. Fundingcan be used on a single-case basis or to finance entire portfolios oflitigation. A diverse and well-selected portfolio can help companies and law firmsbetter control costs and disperse litigation risk. Funding also allows acompany to hire the best possible counsel for its matters, thus increasing the likelihoodof the most appropriate recovery. Additionally, Bentham’s financing isnon-recourse, which means we only receive a return if a case is successful.Since it is non-recourse and repayment is contingent upon successful litigationoutcomes, no corresponding liability is created on the balance sheet as aresult of obtaining the financing. Partneringwith a funder also enables businesses to send a signal to the marketplace thatthey will defend their legal rights through litigation when necessary. Such aposition of strength can be particularly critical when the economy is weak. How it works:Converting contingent litigation assets into concrete ones Bentham’sU.S. team iscomprised of litigation experts who are adept at evaluating the potentialsuccess and monetary value of a case. Thus, our team can offer strategic adviceand litigation management assistance without adding to a company’s casemanagement costs. They can also offer exceptional insight that helps companiesassess whether to pursue potential litigation claims in the first place. Simplyput: Bentham will not provide funding for a case unless our team has confidencethat it is highly valuable and likely to succeed. That said, Bentham neverassumes control over litigation. Once a contract for financing is signed,decisions about case matters are made by the claimant and counsel. Litigationfunders like Bentham provide financing to litigants and law firms with aninterest in large, high-worth commercial claims. Bentham’s capital can helpcompanies pay legal fees and costs associated with litigation, thereby reducingthe risk and expense variability traditionally associated with bringing alawsuit. Fundingis a particularly useful resource for in-house legal departments that leavevaluable litigation claims on the table in response to organizational pressureto reduce spending. This frequent aversion to litigation is exacerbated by thefact that companies are unable to account for their potential litigation recoveriesas an asset for accounting purposes, but are obligated to reflect thelitigation costs on a current basis. As recent data from a report on litigationtrends shows, more than two-thirds of organizations forgo litigation claimsbecause of their accounting impact, and nearly 60 percent of organizationsreport having uncollected recoveries or judgments valued at more than $10million. Companiesand law firms exploring litigation financing should carefully consider thereputation and experience of the various funders that occupy today’s market.Choosing a well-regarded commercial litigation financier like Bentham – theworld’s oldest and most experienced funder – helps guarantee that the promisedfunds will remain immediately accessible throughout the funding relationship. Choosinga publicly traded funder like Bentham also guarantees transparency, which isoften comforting to a company’s board or management. Finally, an experiencedpartner is more likely to be understanding if unexpected complications arise ina case, which is important in the often-unpredictable landscape of litigation. Leveragingour experiencecenter_img Litigationfinance can help organizations meet these objectives by providing non-recoursefunding that helps shoulder the cost of litigation and turns contingent assets –valuable legal claims – into hard assets. Bentham IMF, which opened its firstU.S. office in 2011, routinely enables these goals by helping enterprisesunlock the hidden value of their claims. Whileanother recession may not be imminent, analysts inside andoutside thegovernment both say that the U.S. economy will slow in the year ahead. Theypoint to recent market volatility, the expiration of federal stimulus efforts,rising interest rates and increasing business uncertainty as factors that maycurtail growth. Accordingly, now is the time for companies and law firms totake prudent steps to prepare for the next downturn. This means undertakingefforts to reduce operational expenses, shore up liquidity, and de-riskcritical assets. Moreover,the benefits of litigation funding can extend well beyond the boundaries of thecases being funded. Funding can provide a new source of working capital for abusiness, thereby freeing up the organization’s resources to focus on its corebusiness purposes. This kind of financing canbe a lifeline to companies when the economy slows, credit tightens andtraditional sources of capital become scarce or more difficult to obtain. Ifthe Great Recession of a decade ago taught us anything, it’s that the economycan deteriorate far faster than even the experts may expect. Recall, forinstance, how quickly conditions went from merely recessionary to near-fiscalArmageddon in the few days following the collapse of Lehman Brothers inSeptember 2008. Forfinance teams, a funding relationship provides a company greater predictabilityin the budgeting process. A funder pays the variable costs of litigationinstead of the company, thus improving the company’s ability to accuratelybudget for material costs, decreasing earnings volatility and allowingmanagement to make more informed choices about the business. Forlaw firms, preparing for a recession means embracing alternative feearrangements and other client accommodations to remain competitive in the faceof reduced deal flow. Prudent firms focus on maximizing attorney utilization,even if at reduced rates, to minimize disruptions to the firm as a whole.Again, litigation funding is available to assist law firms in adopting thesepractices. Funding provides firms with immediate capital – which can be used topay attorney salaries, fund case expenses or cover other overhead – in exchangefor an interest in a portfolio of the firm’s contingency cases. Contact us tolearn more about how Bentham can help your company or law firm.last_img read more

Evidence for cosmic inflation wanes

first_imgA crumbling claim that appeared to reveal the workings of the big bang may instead say more about how science is done in an age of incessant news coverage. In March, researchers working with a specialized telescope at the South Pole, known as BICEP2, claimed that by studying the afterglow of the big bang—the so-called cosmic microwave background—they had discovered direct evidence that the newborn cosmos had undergone a bizarre exponential growth spurt known as cosmic inflation. Now, researchers from the European Space Agency’s Planck spacecraft have shown that radiation from dust in our galaxy accounts for some, and possibly all, of the BICEP signal. Curiously, the BICEP and Planck teams took very different tacks in publicizing their results. The BICEP team held a press conference and issued a bold press release. The Planck team did not—because they did not want the press to jump to the conclusion that they had definitively proved the BICEP result wrong.For more, see the full story in this week’s issue of Science.last_img read more

To beat malaria and dengue vaccinate the mosquitoes

first_imgThe team, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, also exposed the malaria parasite and dengue virus to lab cultures of Csp_P to test for anti-Plasmodium and antidengue activity. Here, too, they found that the bacteria inhibited the growth of the pathogens.The researchers say there could be two mechanisms by which Csp_P fights off Plasmodium and dengue infections. First, because Csp_P is toxic to mosquitoes, it activates the insect’s immune system. This has the collateral benefit of staving off infection from Plasmodium and dengue virus, which otherwise would have thrived in the mosquito’s gut. But that’s not all, says George Dimopoulos, a parasitologist at Johns Hopkins who led the research team. Because the bacterium also snuffs out Plasmodium and the dengue virus in the laboratory, it means Csp_P is producing toxic compounds that are killing the pathogens directly.Dimopoulos and his colleagues believe Csp_P could be used to “vaccinate” mosquitoes against the malaria and dengue pathogens, perhaps through the use of sugar-baited traps that are already used to spread insecticide through populations of the pest. This would have the twin effect of killing most mosquitoes while severely curbing the survivors’ ability to spread disease. This one-two punch is “a unique property” for any malaria-control agent, says David Fidock, a microbiologist at Columbia University, who was not involved in the study. “No current malaria-control agent does both.”Csp_P could also play a more direct role in combating malaria and dengue in humans. Because the compounds it secretes kill pathogens in the lab, these toxins could be turned into drugs to treat malaria and dengue in people.Tanjore Balganesh, a medicinal chemist who heads the Indian Open Source Drug Discovery program in Bangalore for neglected diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, is skeptical, however. Because Csp_P is so toxic to Plasmodium, the dengue virus, and even the mosquito that carries them, there is a good chance it could be damaging to human cells, too, he says. That’s not a death blow for this line of inquiry, however. “It’s still early days [for this research],” he says, “but no drug discovery program is without problems.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emailcenter_img If there’s one thing the malaria parasite wants, it’s to get inside the guts of a mosquito. Once there, it releases hundreds of wormlike cells that enter the human body through a bloodsucking bite. Now, scientists have found a way to make mosquitoes much less hospitable to this pathogen, as well as the one that causes dengue: stacking the insect’s gut with killer microbes that wipe out the invaders before they have a chance to cause disease.Like humans and most other animals, mosquitoes are stuffed with microbes that live on and inside of them—their microbiome. When studying the microbes that make mosquitoes their home, researchers came across one called Chromobacterium sp. (Csp_P). They already knew that Csp_P’s close relatives were capable of producing powerful antibiotics, and they wondered if Csp_P might share the same talent.The team cultured Csp_P in a sugar solution and in blood and fed both concoctions to mosquitoes whose natural microbiomes had already been eliminated with doses of antibiotics. As the scientists hoped, Csp_P quickly took over the mosquito’s gut after being ingested by means of the sugar solution—and even more quickly when it was fed to them in blood. In another experiment, done with mosquitoes that weren’t pretreated with antibiotics, Csp_P-fed mosquitoes were given blood containing the dengue virus and Plasmodium falciparum, a single-celled parasite that causes the most deadly type of malaria. Although a large number of the mosquitoes died within a few days of being infected by the Chromobacterium, the malaria and dengue pathogens were far less successful at infecting the mosquitoes that did survive, the team reports today in PLOS Pathogens. That’s good news: If the mosquito isn’t infected by the disease-causing germs, it is less likely to be able to transmit the pathogens to humans. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more