TMobile Apple Watch Series 3 deal discounts wearable for the holidays

first_imgREAD: Apple Watch Series 3 teardown still leaves one big mysteryThe $50 discount isn’t given at the time of purchase, instead being applied later on as a bill credit. To get the deal, the customer needs to buy the watch under T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan and activate it on the DIGITS plan. There are multiple versions of the Apple Watch to get from the carrier, including the Nike edition.As with most of the other promotions, you’re required to maintain the wireless plan associated with the watch, otherwise the discounted amount is charged. As well, the discount is hinged on meeting T-Mobile’s credit check requirements. Ultimately the discount is spread out across the 24 monthly payments of the installment agreement.Many companies are introducing promotions this month, no doubt hoping to snag some customers ahead of Christmas. Sony, for example, is launching some big bundle discounts on both the PlayStation 4 Pro and the PlayStation VR headset, the latter of which will be available for as little as $199. Samsung has also brought back its popular Black Friday $400 trade-in promotion, which offers up to a $400 credit toward either a Galaxy S8 or a Note 8 in exchange for certain smartphones.SOURCE: T-Mobile Thinking about picking up an Apple Watch Series 3 for yourself or someone else this holiday season? T-Mobile is hoping you’ll get the device through it, and to help sweeten the deal comes a special offer: $50 off the wearable starting today. The deal is being offered to both new and existing customers who can get up to 5 watches per account at the discounted rate. last_img read more

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Facebook and Universal just cut a huge music licensing deal

first_imgFacebook and Universal Music Group have inked a deal that will see the label’s music licensed across Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus. The deal, announced today, will mean that users of the services will be able to upload videos containing licensed music that once would’ve seen their clips deleted for copyright infringement. In the pipeline, it also paves the way for a potential Facebook Music service, which could rival Spotify and Apple Music for on-demand streaming playback. Before anything like that, though, there’ll be support for sharing music and music videos with other social network users. Facebook says that in the pipeline there are plans to open up “a vast library of music” across multiple social features, though isn’t saying exactly what that will entail.However it’s clear that both Facebook and UMG are hoping to turn music into more of a “social experience” if they can. On Facebook and Instagram, that might involve new groups built around specific artists or genres, which will now be able to legally share videos – just as long as they’re from UMG’s catalog. On Oculus, meanwhile, it gets potentially even more interesting. There’s been some experimentation with music-based VR and AR experiences in recent years, certainly, but the complexities of label negotiations mean it’s out of the realm of possibility for most virtual reality developers. Nonetheless, with companies like Magic Leap partnering with Sigor Rós on audio/visual experiences, it’s clear that the upcoming mixed-reality revolution is ripe for giving music a new dimension. For artists, it will presumably mean more flexibility in how they engage with fans, along with new ways to commercialize that. As the rise in streaming has demonstrated, making money in the post-physical-media age can be tough, with concerts usually expected to offset the shortfall in content sales. Being able to add a digital music experience – akin, maybe, to a virtual concert that could be enjoyed on a smartphone or a VR headset like Oculus Rift – might represent a valuable new revenue stream.It’s not the first such push for UMG, mind. Earlier this week, the company cut a deal with YouTube on a global partnership that’s expected to better monetize users of the streaming video site. UMG represents artists including Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Lady Gaga. Neither Facebook nor UMG are saying how much today’s deal is worth, only describing it as a “global, multi-year agreement.” “Going forward, the companies will experiment hand-in-hand to introduce new music-based products to these Facebook platforms,” the two companies say, “including Messenger, with the goal of catalyzing innovation to develop the next generation of music products that best engage social consumers.”last_img read more

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If Essential Phone 2 stays this flat Ill call it king

first_imgThere’s little wrong with the first Essential Phone PH-1, but it’s not a competitor in 2018. It’s a little bit too small, its camera could be at least a little better. It’s not made a big enough impact on pop culture to summon common protective cases on the regular. Have a peek at our Essential Phone PH-1 Review to see how these challenges panned out for the first iteration.But if we look at what designer Michael Muleba from Concept Phones has in store, conceptually, we’re in for a treat with PH-2. OF NOTE: I’ve removed the “Essential Phone” text logo thingy from the back of Muleba’s design because the letting drove me completely bonkers. The rest of the design is top-notch, but that text was crazy. The Essential Phone PH-1 is the only smartphone out on the market from this smartphone maker today, but Muleba’s decided to title his project PH3. This is a smart move if the aim is to deflect realistic-minded onlookers who suggest Essential wouldn’t make such a big leap in one year.The only way Essential makes this phone a reality is if they’re willing to take a chance. They’d have to do a little bit of work on the branding, since it’s not the same as their current brand – and they might want to consider a slightly different arrangement of elements on the back of this smartphone. But everything else is more than likely extremely doable.AdChoices广告I might also add indicators that this device incorporates several of the most recent Essential Products patents. That’d mean the following:• Transparent Display technology• Antenna incorporated in display• Camera behind transparent display• Camera lens integrated into display glass• Antenna integrated into border of display glass• Wide-angle camera (backside)• Pop-up cameraAnd there’ll be a whole lot more soon, we can safely suspect. Essential isn’t planning on messing around with their next smartphone – just like they didn’t mess around with their first. They’re going to continue pushing the envelope with new features, undoubtedly, with a healthy dose of essential basics to keep the device anchored in reality.Above you’ll see a list of first considerations for the Essential Phone PH-2. This list is based on rumors, anonymously-sourced tips, and some informed assumptions. These specs are in no way official, and they should not be used to make any major cash bets. Don’t play yourself in such a way. Wait for Essential to reveal the device in its entirety! Essential Phone PH-2 might well be the most excellent offbeat smartphone ever made. But only if Essential sticks to their guns. Only if Essential does not give into the trends that are ruling the smartphone community right now. And only if Essential keeps their display like it should be – super flat. What we’re looking at today is a concept rendering of what the next Essential Phone might look like, ideally. Story TimelineEssential Phone Ocean Depths color released at lastAmazon-exclusive Essential Phone features Alexa built-inEssential Phone Oreo update Android 8.1 just releasedlast_img read more

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Boosted Board has 4 new models What you need to know

first_imgBoosted has introduced four new electric skateboard models, each with its own unique features and a common foundation: powered mobility. The new lineup is comprised of Boosted third-generation boards, including the maker’s first short board. The models bring a variety of new features and upgrades over previous generations, and there are a handful of things to know before buying. There are four modelsThe new product lineup is comprised of the following models: Boosted Mini S, Boosted Mini X, Boosted Plus, and Boosted Stealth. The Boosted Mini S is the cheapest of the bunch at $749 USD, it offering a top speed of 18MPH and a range of 7 miles. The Boosted Mini X is similar, but with a higher $999 USD price, a 20MPH top speed, and double the range at 14 miles.Need something larger? The company also launched the Boosted Plus, a $1,399 USD model with a 22MPH top speed, 14 miles range, and a larger classic design. Finally, there’s the new Boosted Stealth, a $1,599 USD model with a 24MPH top speed, 14 mile extended range, and the same Super Flex Composite Desk as the Boosted Plus model.New designAccording to Boosted, the latest generation of electric boards feature critical components that have been designed and custom engineered from the ground up; that includes the truck, deck, and wheel design. The new decks on these boards offer better vibration absorption, stability, and responsive turning over previous models, the company explains.Durability has been improved via polymer sidewalls that wrap the boards, but it doesn’t compromise deep carving ability and flex. The wheels are designed specifically for electric skateboarding, offering better carving tractions and an overall smoother ride. As well, Boosted has added CNC precision machined trucks to the boards for higher strength.Boosted’s fastest board arrivesThe Boosted Stealth is Boosted’s fastest board with a top speed of 24MPH. A wider deck helps improve response and stability, and there’s the promise of ‘lightning-fast’ acceleration. Despite its size and speed, this model has an extended range of up to 14 miles on a charge as a standard feature. This model offers a total of five ride modes, is capable of climbing a 25-percent grade, there are 85mm wheels, regenerative brakes, and Bluetooth connectivity.Financing is availableBoosted’s boards aren’t cheap and some buyers aren’t likely to drop $1500 at once on an electric skateboard. As such, the company offers financing in conjunction with Affirm, enabling buyers to pay for the device monthly over up to 12 months. The APR starts at 10% but can range up to a massive 30%; buyers have to undergo a credit check, be approved, and potentially pay a down payment.Wrap-upBoosted’s new boards, which start shipping to buyers in 6 to 12 weeks, offer a new, portable and relatively inexpensive way to travel more rapidly than an ordinary skateboard offers. The lineup has something for everyone spread across various price points, some boards for those who plan to commute long distances everyday, others for buyers with more modest needs.SOURCE: BusinessWirelast_img read more

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Kodak Pixpro AZ901 Astro Zoom 90x superzoom camera now available

first_imgKodak has launched a point-and-shoot superzoom camera that it first revealed back during CES 2016. Two years have passed since that unveiling, finally bringing the digital camera to retailer shelves. This camera, the Kodak Pixpro AZ901 Astro Zoom, boasts a massive telephoto lens that enables users to get detailed shots of distant objects, as well as dabble in astrophotography. The Kodak Pixpro AZ901 is a point-and-shoot camera with a lens that is superior to most integrated digital camera lenses. The model’s key feature is a large telephoto lens that offers 90x optical zoom, meaning the quality of resulting images is superior to cameras with comparable digital zoom.At this zoom level, photographers with a proper tripod can get high-resolution, detailed shots of the moon without a telescope. The experience is less complicated than interchangeable lens cameras, though, enabling beginners and amateurs to quickly jump into the astrophotography hobby. Lens aside, the new Kodak Astro Zoom camera features a 3-inch hinged LCD with a 920k pixel resolution. An electronic viewfinder provides an alternative to that display, offering both scene preview and footage playback. There’s a textured grip, simple buttons on the back, and integrated WiFi for direct image transfers.AdChoices广告Specs are solid for the category in which this model falls, including a 20MP BSI CMOS sensor, 100 to 3200 ISO, support for creating 360-degree panoramas, raw video recording, and video resolution support up to 1080p/30fps. This model is comparable to Nikon’s own point-and-shoot ultra zoom P900 model. The new Kodak Pixpro is available now through online retailers for $449 USD.last_img read more

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Uber selfdriving car tests may resume in coming months

first_imgREAD: Uber Elevate aims for the future of urban air transportationThe accident happened in Tempe, Arizona, in March, leading to the death of pedestrian Elaine Herzberg who was struck by an Uber self-driving car while crossing a road. Many companies suspended their autonomous tests following the news, and though others have since resumed, Uber’s self-driving fleet is still grounded. The company is considering changing that in coming months, though.No definitive answer was given, and so it’s possible Uber will change its mind. However, Khosrowshahi indicated that tests could start back up in the next few months, bringing autonomous Uber cars back to public roads. What kind of changes may take place between March and the relaunch date is unclear, however the CEO said the return would “be in as safe of a way as possible.”AdChoices广告Where those tests will take place, assuming they return any time soon, is unclear. As we previously reported, Uber declined to renew its self-driving test permit with California, meaning it will need to apply for a new permit if it wants to return to the state. Even if it submits a new application, it’s yet to be seen whether California officials will give the company authorization.Details on the crash are still forthcoming. Earlier this week, claims surfaced that Uber’s self-driving vehicle intentionally avoided swerving on the night it struck Herzberg. However, official results from the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation are still pending.SOURCE: TechCrunch Uber suspended its self-driving car tests in March following a fatal collision with a pedestrian. News later surfaced that the company wouldn’t be renewing its testing permit with California, but according to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, the tests may resume later on this year. The revelation was made during the company’s Elevate event in LA today, though specifics weren’t provided.last_img read more

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Adobe Creative Cloud is turning into a big legal mess

first_imgThe cloud is supposed to be a big win-win for all parties involved. Consumers always have access to the latest and supposedly most bug-free version of software while service and software providers are assured of a steady stream of revenue to further develop their product. Reality, however, is sometimes harsher and always stranger than fiction and now subscribers to Adobe’s Create Cloud Suite are finding themselves the subject of potential legal threats from third-parties suing Adobe itself. Less than two weeks ago, Adobe already made one unpopular move in removing its most affordable Creative Cloud subscription tiers. This effectively forces everyone to move to higher up the chain, causing a backlash over the Internet. That, however, was just the beginning as Adobe has also curtailed subscribers’ access to all but the two most recent versions of its CC products.In emails now circulating via social media, Adobe warns subscribers that they might be subject to infringement claims by third-parties if they don’t stop using those discontinued products. It doesn’t name those third parties, of course, but the theory is that Dolby is one of them. Coincidentally, Dolby is suing Adobe over copyright infringement and breach of contract.Adobe previously licensed Dolby technologies and paid the latter based on the number of discs it sold. When it moved to a cloud-based subscription business, however, the terms of that agreement was reviewed and revised. Dolby, however, claims that Adobe has been withholding information critical to determining how much Adobe really owes it.AdChoices广告In short, Dolby is suing Adobe and Adobe is now warning users they might be sued by someone like Dolby in turn. It’s plausible but almost unlikely that the most recent version of Adobe CC software no longer includes Dolby-licensed technologies. It is more likely to be using vague legal threats to “convince” users to move up the subscription ladder and pay for the guarantee not to be sued by unnamed third-parties.last_img read more

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Amazon seeks FCC approval for Kuiper satellite constellation system

first_imgAmazon’s ambitions are no secret. It wants to create a system of satellites flying in low Earth orbit or LEO to deliver its services to as many people as possible. It already has the ground infrastructure to make that possible and all it needs is to get those satellites up in the air. Before it does that, however, it needs to get approval from the FCC, which has a few requirements that Amazon is actually asking it to waive. One is that it wants to waive the requirement to provide service to the entire US and all territories, arguing that parts of Alaska are beyond the reach of satellite reception in the far north. That almost makes Bezos’ vision of broadband for all less believable. For a first attempt, however, that might not be so bad.Kuiper Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary, plans to launch 3,236 satellites according to the FCC filing. Those will orbit at 366 to 391 miles above and the first of five phases will see 578 such satellites launched. Who will do the launch, however, is still an open question as Amazon may have some conflict of interest if it uses Bezos private Blue Origins company.AdChoices广告Amazon is hardly the only one eying a space in the sky. Elon Musk’s Space X already made a successful launch of a small batch of its Starlink constellation while OneWeb, Telesat, and LeoSat all have plans to do the same. Suffice it to say, it’s going to be a very crowded night sky soon if the FCC gives all these the green light. The number of Internet users, or at least the devices connecting to the Internet, is growing rapidly, far too quick and too high for our existing systems to accommodate. But while the numbers rise, Internet connectivity remains a luxury or even a dream in some areas of the world. Luminaries and visionaries are looking to the skies for the answer, envisioning constellations of satellites to beam down that precious commodity almost anywhere. Not to be left behind, Amazon has started the process to make its Project Kuiper system a reality to “delight customers.”last_img read more

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Slacks success means the Remote Worker is here to stay

first_imgToday Slack hit Wall Street and closed at over 48% in its first day of trading. If you do not know what Slack is, chances are you work with people that you see five days a week. Slack is a chat system with which business place employees communicate – through an app, usually. This system is successful because they got to this space nearly-first and did the right things at the right times over the past several years. “It’s a milestone day for us,” said a Slack representative on Twitter, “but also a day of thinking about work. About ours, and yours, and how grateful we are that you let us be part of your working day, and how we can continue to try and make it better.” Slack’s creators are all about work, and aren’t about to publicly acknowledge that their app is used for more than just work-related chat.NOTE: The following speaks about office culture, especially when it comes to remote working and the nature of the modern workplace. This example of a work culture may not be your own, and your experience may be radically different from what I’ve perceived amongst colleagues from businesses of all sorts – especially tech journalism.Slack is used for all manner of chat, both private and in-office. With Slack, a business owner can keep tabs on her employees in several ways, including an indicator which says the user is at their desk (or more accurately, they’ve been moving their mouse pointer around their screen at some point recently, on their desktop machine.) AdChoices广告The boss can send a message to their employee at any time, day or night. Some workplaces have a set of expectations that come with Slack because of the features with which it’s sold. This can mean an employee is expected to take and respond to every message sent, at any time of day.But it’s not as if this bit wasn’t possible before. They had text messaging, right? Email has been around for a while. But cultural norms in email and text messaging aren’t the same as the office-based culture of Slack. With Slack, the worker is expected to be tuned in, always.The positive side of this specific situation is the addictive nature of the connection. When an owner of a business is able to communicate with any employee at any time, they can grow used to that ability, rather quickly. An employee can then make the case that since they’re available at any time of day, their physical presence in the physical office isn’t the most important part of work.The success of slack comes from concentration on one niche – the remote workplace. This one way of working became extremely common over the past decade, and Slack’s been working on perfecting the art of the cloud-based water cooler for the past five years. At the right time and with the right tool.last_img read more

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Unihertzs rugged phone with a keyboard launches July 30 on Kickstarter

first_img BlackBerry Key2 LE: Everything you need to know OnePlus 7 Pro vs. Google Pixel 3a XL: Spec comparison Best camera phones of 2019 The best cheap phones for 2019 Motorola One Vision vs. Nokia 7.1: Which is the best budget phone for you? While there are some great keyboard apps that improve the screen-tapping experience, a physical keyboard remains the best way to type on any electronic device. Unfortunately for keyboard fans, smartphones with keyboards have been slim pickings in the last few years, with the BlackBerry Key2 and KeyOne being your only real options. Thankfully for fans of real buttons, Chinese manufacturer Unihertz is launching a rugged phone with a built-in keyboard — the Unihertz Titan.The BlackBerry influence is undeniable. The Titan looks very much like a blend between BlackBerry’s more recent phones, with a wide design that’s reminiscent of the BlackBerry Passport, and the two-tone coloring of the KeyOne. A square 4.5-inch LCD display sits above the physical keyboard and runs a 1440 x 1440 pixel resolution.But look a little closer and there’s more to the Titan than just its BlackBerry influences. Where BlackBerry’s phones are sleek and executive, the rugged Titan is aiming for a more adventurous crowd. Like its little brother, the Unihertz Atom, the Titan has a rugged build with a reinforced look. Unihertz claims it is shockproof and packs an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance.The Titan is powered by a 2GHz octa-core processor, and will pack a monstrously large 6,000mAh battery that should provide strong battery life. Its business acumen is confirmed with dual SIM support for world-hoppers, global LTE support, NFC for Google Pay, and the convenience of wireless charging. Around the back, there’s a single 16-megapixel camera lens, and an 8-megapixel selfie lens around the front.The Unihertz Atom will be running an unspecified version of Android, and it’s likely to be the custom skin we saw on the Atom, with a few additional apps on top of mostly stock Android. The real draw will likely be the price, though. Unihertz will be offering a limited number of Titans at the reduced price of $199, making it one of the cheapest ways to get an Android phone with a physical keyboard. The Titan will launch through a Kickstarter campaign on July 30. As ever with crowdfunding platforms, though, be wary of putting your money down. Unihertz is a fairly good bet though, having released both the Unihertz Jelly and the Unihertz Atom over the last couple of years.Updated on July 18, 2019: We’ve added specification and camera details to the article, as well as the launch date. Editors’ Recommendationslast_img read more

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Final Word On Essential Health Benefits Expected Soon

first_imgCQ Healthbeat reports the Office of Management and Budget is reviewing several health law implementation rules including this one, which will determine the types of coverage available to consumers. Meanwhile, a study examines how the health law’s caps on out-of-pocket costs will affect consumers next year.CQ Healthbeat: Final Essential Health Benefits Rule Expected Out SoonAs Office of Management and Budget reviewers do the final check on three significant health rules, lobbyists are anxiously waiting to see whether these regulations will emerge changed, particularly a proposal that outlines the essential health benefits that plans must offer in 2014. Any revisions to the essential health benefit requirements, which were proposed on Nov. 26, 2012, could made a significant difference in the breadth of coverage and affordability of insurance for consumers (Adams, 2/11).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Study: One-Third Of Individual Plans Exceed Law’s Out-Of-Pocket CapConsumers who buy their own health insurance will see the total amount they could pay out of pocket for medical care capped starting next year, but some will likely pay higher premiums as a result (Appleby, 2/11). Also in the news, reports from the states on Medicaid expansion and health exchanges — The Associated Press: Fla. Senators To Discuss Medicaid ExpansionHealth advocates and hospital executives warned Florida lawmakers on Monday that if they do not expand Medicaid, it will create a coverage gap for those who earn too little to qualify for tax credits to buy insurance from the online exchange but too much to qualify for Medicaid. The decision would also keep Florida from receiving billions of federal dollars to help pay for those health costs while heaping greater burdens on hospitals treating the uninsured (Kennedy, 2/11). The Associated Press: Medicaid, Exchange Answers Elude W. Va. LawmakersGov. Earl Ray Tomblin has yet to decide whether to open the Medicaid program to more lower-income residents, or how individuals and small businesses will seek coverage through the federal health care overhaul, administration officials told legislators Monday. Several lawmakers questioned whether the Legislature should instead take the lead after seeking updates from Nancy Atkins, head of the agency that oversees Medicaid, and Jeremiah Samples, who’s become in the in-house expert on the federal law for the state Insurance Commission (2/12). The Associated Press: Minnesota House Approves Medicaid ExpansionMore than 35,000 low-income Minnesota residents moved closer Monday to becoming eligible for a subsidized health insurance program, part of a state buy-in to the controversial new federal health care law. The Democratic-led state House voted 71-56 to approve an expansion of the state’s Medical Assistance program and take advantage of a federal promise to send billions to cover the full cost of the new enrollees for a few years (Bakst, 2/11).The Associated Press: Doctors, Nurses Ask NC Lawmakers To Grow MedicaidSeveral physicians and nurses said Monday the North Carolina General Assembly’s choice to cover more uninsured people through Medicaid should be a no-brainer because it will create jobs, save state money and make people healthier. The medical professional spoke at a Legislative Building news conference a day before a House committee takes up a bill to prevent North Carolina from expanding Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul (Robertson, 2/11).The Texas Tribune: Dallas County To Urge Lawmakers To Expand MedicaidDallas County officials will adopt a resolution on Tuesday urging Texas legislators to extend Medicaid benefits to impoverished adults under the Affordable Care Act. And advocates for Medicaid expansion hope the major urban county’s decision will spur other counties to adopt similar measures and pressure lawmakers into taking action (Aaronson, 2/12).And Virginia reduces the hours of part-time workers to avoid triggering a provision of the health law requiring coverage — The Associated Press: Virginia Struggles With Federal Health Insurance Requirement Regarding Part-Time WorkersState agencies are reducing part-time employees’ hours until officials figure out how to comply with federal health insurance requirements regarding those who work more than 30 hours each week. Gov. Bob McDonnell ordered agencies to cut back part-time employees to no more than 29 hours each week to avoid triggering a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires health insurance coverage be provided to those who work more hours (2/11). Final Word On Essential Health Benefits Expected Soon This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Viewpoints HoltzEakin And Roy Offer Prescription To Fix Health Law Iowa Lawmakers

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. Reuters: The Future Of Free-Market Healthcare Over nearly a century, progressives have pressed for a national, single-payer healthcare system. When it comes to health reform, what have conservatives stood for? For far too long, conservatives have failed to coalesce around a long-term vision of what a free-market healthcare system should look like. … Obamacare is the logical byproduct of this conservative policy neglect. … The great irony of Obama’s triumph, however, is that it can pave the way for Republicans to adopt a comprehensive, market-oriented healthcare agenda. … conservatives can use Obamacare’s important concession to the private sector — its establishment of subsidized insurance marketplaces — as a vehicle for broader entitlement reforms (Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Avik Roy, 2/20). The Washington Post: Health Premiums For Smokers Should Be Tweaked When venerable anti-tobacco groups such as the American Cancer Society and cigarette makers such as Altria align in opposition to a policy, it’s got to be pretty bad, right? But, when it comes to whether health-insurance companies can charge higher premiums from smokers, the fact that these mortal enemies oppose the idea doesn’t mean policymakers should throw it out (2/20). Des Moines Register: There’s Irony In Lawmakers’ Medicaid View The Republicans continue to complain about a supposed “government takeover” of health care. Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, told The Des Moines Register editorial board last week that he has no plans to pursue a Medicaid expansion. There’s a troubling irony here. Last year, Paulsen gladly allowed Iowa taxpayers to pay the entire cost of his health insurance. He was enrolled in a plan offered to full-time state government employees and to members of the Legislature, although they work only parttime during the year. It cost taxpayers $13,000 for the state to insure Paulsen and his family. The amount he contributed to the premiums: $0. … Perhaps it is time for members of Iowa’s Legislature to walk in the shoes of tens of thousands of other citizens who don’t qualify for any benefits from their part-time jobs. Lawmakers should give up their taxpayer-financed insurance benefits (2/20). The New England Journal of Medicine: Routine HIV Testing, Public Health, and the USPSTF — An End to the Debate The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is poised to release recommendations on screening for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection that will endorse the routine testing of adults and adolescents. … They will also carry important policy implications, since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that all public and private health plans provide coverage for USPSTF-recommended preventive services without patient copayments (Ronald Bayer and Gerald M. Oppenheimer, 2/20).The New England Journal of Medicine: Updating the HIV-Testing Guidelines — A Modest Change With Major Consequences The rationale for a grade A recommendation from the USPSTF is that there is “high certainty that the net benefit is substantial.” In the case of HIV screening, that benefit can be achieved only if people identified as HIV-infected are effectively linked to and retained in HIV care and are supported in adhering to an effective antiretroviral regimen. The proposed USPSTF recommendations may remove financial barriers to routine HIV screening, but that is only the first step in ensuring that all HIV-infected Americans have access to the full continuum of care (Erika G. Martin and Bruce R. Schackman, 2/21).The New York Times’ Opinionator: Our MIA Surgeon General But (Surgeon General Regina Benjamin’s) most public work, the 2010 document called “The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation,” has a decidedly mild Michelle Obama-ish tone. In discussing the obesity crisis, it lays the blame squarely at the feet of … the victims: “In addition to consuming too many calories and not getting enough physical activity, genes, metabolism, behavior, environment, and culture can also play a role in causing people to be overweight and obese” (Mark Bittman, 2/20). Los Angeles Times: Breast Practices: The Mammogram Dilemma There is growing evidence that screening mammograms aren’t all they’ve been cracked up to be. This month it was “More mammograms, more problems” — a study showing that screening every year (instead of every other) didn’t produce any benefit but did produce twice as many false alarms and twice as many biopsies. A few weeks earlier, another study (which I coauthored) suggested that roughly one-third of breast cancers diagnosed under current screening guidelines would never cause problems and didn’t actually need to be diagnosed (H. Gilbert Welch, 2/21). The New England Journal of Medicine: Medicare’s Transitional Care Payment — A Step Toward The Medical Home In adopting the transitional care payment policy, CMS has begun shifting more financial resources toward primary care. … Using the fee schedule to expand the delivery of advanced primary care services might well benefit the Medicare population, but such payments might also provide an incentive for visits that won’t yield the anticipated benefits of higher quality and lower costs. CMS aims to formulate policy on the basis of [Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation] studies, but at some point it will need to take the leap to something better. The 2013 physician-payment rule suggests that day is coming soon (Dr. Andrew B. Bindman, Jonathan D. Blum and Richard Kronick 2/21). Viewpoints: Holtz-Eakin And Roy Offer Prescription To Fix Health Law; Iowa Lawmakers Opposed To Medicaid Expansion Should Give Up Their Coveragelast_img read more

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Final Countdown On For Health Exchange Launches

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. Federal officials are happy with what may turn out to be a soft launch of the health law’s insurance exchanges Oct. 1. In the meantime, states are busy readying consumers for the exchanges’ kickoffs with informational sessions and campaigns designed at creating a better-informed public.Politico: Obamacare D-Day Becomes A Soft LaunchFor months all eyes have been on October 1 — the first day people can sign up for Obamacare. But as that day approaches, many people working on the nuts and bolts of the health law are tamping down any expectations of a sign-up stampede. Not everyone will enroll immediately. And that, they say, is the way they want it (Haberkorn, 9/14).The Associated Press: Details Elusive As Mo. Awaits Health Care OverhaulThe St. Louis Public Library auditorium was filled with a cross-section of city residents: college students, small-business owners, church volunteers, working parents, the unemployed, retirees and more. What brought them together was a chance to learn more about a linchpin of the federal Affordable Care Act — the online health insurance marketplaces that will give the uninsured a chance to purchase coverage in the months leading up to 2014, when those without insurance under President Barack Obama’s new health care plan face financial penalties (9/15).The Associated Press: Deadline Looms For Neb. Insurance MarketplaceCommunity groups are hustling to meet an Oct. 1 deadline to launch a new health insurance marketplace in Nebraska, a key piece of the federal health care law designed to steer users toward a coverage plan. Nebraska state officials have maintained a hands-off approach to the marketplace, which requires hiring and training a small army of experts to guide newcomers through the process. Gov. Dave Heineman rejected a state-run option in November, saying it was too expensive for Nebraska taxpayers, so the federal government took charge of setting it up (Schulte, 9/15).Boston Globe: Mass. Health Connector Offering Guidance With New Law Being a consumer in Massachusetts can be unlike the experience anywhere else. We’ve got all sorts of laws — good as well as quirky. So it stands to reason that as the first state in the country with its own health care insurance exchange, the Massachusetts Health Connector, there might be some confusion. We’re about two weeks away from the first stage of the new federal health care law reaching consumers. And while the law is similar to what we have in Massachusetts, it isn’t the same. The result is going to be some changes that the quarter-million consumers using the Connector are going to have deal with (Lipka, 9/15).St. Louis Beacon: No Info On Insurance Cost And Carriers Until Health Exchanges OpenMissouri consumers wanting to know who will sell them insurance and at what cost through the health reform law’s online marketplace system won’t have answers until Oct. 1, the day the program begins taking applications. That’s the word from Nanette Foster Reilly, consortium administrator for region 7 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Joiner, 9/16).Miami Herald: Showcase Offered A Look Into A Health Care Hub In ActionSouth Florida’s emerging health care hub received a broad endorsement Thursday night: More than 300 people representing 180 companies, 25 investment groups, five hospitals, banks, universities and government turned out for the HealthTech Showcase at the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park. While the numbers were impressive, the signs of a growing ecosystem did not end there (Dahlberg, 9/15).Problems persist, however, with Minnesota probing that state’s exchange for data security breaches, and the Labor Department says it won’t penalize employers for not making the new options explicit for workers –Minnesota Public Radio: Legislative Auditor To Probe MNsure Data Security Breach The state’s legislative auditor will investigate a data security breach at MNsure, the state’s new health insurance exchange. Auditor Jim Nobles acted after MNsure acknowledged one of its employees inadvertently emailed the names, Social Security numbers and other identifying information of 2,400 insurance agents to another broker. “We hadn’t planned to be at MNsure quite this quickly, but we certainly planned to be there in the months to come,” Nobles said. “It’s extremely important that the public understands that we take (data privacy issues) very seriously and that we will investigate them” (Minnesota Public Radio, 9/13).Minnesota Public Radio: Dayton Satisfied With MNsure Security, GOP Lawmakers Aren’tGov. Mark Dayton said today that he still has great confidence in Minnesota’s new online health insurance exchange, even after the recent accidental release of some confidential information. The Star Tribune reported that a MNsure employee sent an email to an insurance brokerThursday afternoon that contained private information about hundreds of insurance agents (Pugmire, 9/13). CQ HealthBeat: Labor Department Won’t Penalize Employers Who Don’t Notify Workers About ExchangesEmployers won’t be penalized if they don’t comply with a health care law requirement that they notify workers by Oct. 1 about the availability of possibly lower cost coverage on insurance exchanges, according to the Labor Department. The notification requirement was added to the health law to educate workers about their coverage options (Reichard, 9/15).Also, more in the news on private exchanges –Miami Herald: More Companies Steering Retirees To Private Health-Insurance ExchangesThousands of retirees covered by company health insurance plans will soon see their benefits shifted toward private health-insurance exchanges.  IBM and Time Warner announced the change last week. They’ll provide retirees money to buy Medicare Advantage or supplemental Medigap policies instead, part of a push by businesses to move away from the increasingly costly group-coverage model (McGrory, 9/15). Final Countdown On For Health Exchange Launcheslast_img read more

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Despite GlitchRidden Rollout Health Insurers Not Panicking Yet

first_imgDespite Glitch-Ridden Rollout, Health Insurers Not Panicking Yet Media outlets document the pace of enrollment through health insurance marketplaces in Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Minnesota and Washington state.The St. Louis Dispatch/Kaiser Health News: New Health Policies Will Expose Many To Higher Premiums, More RiskThanks to government subsidies, many St. Louis-area residents will be able to afford health insurance for the first time, beginning in 2014. But the insurance they’ll be able to buy will offer a limited range of options (Doyle and Kulash, 10/22). The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Obamacare Rollout ‘Frustrating,’ But Insurers Not Panicking Yet Insurers in Wisconsin are being either patient or silent about the problems that have rendered the new federal health insurance marketplace largely inoperable. “It’s not the point in time where we need to hit the panic button,” said Marty Anderson, director of marketing for consumer products at Security Health Plan in Marshfield. Three weeks after its launch in Wisconsin and other states, the federal marketplace for all practical purposes isn’t working, and some experts estimate the problems could take weeks or even months to fix. “It’s very frustrating,” said Tanya Hudson, a benefits coordinator at Milwaukee Health Services, a community health center (Boulton, 10/21). The Associated Press: National Health Insurance Site Sputters In WyomingOnly a handful of Wyoming residents have managed to enroll so far for health care coverage through the troubled federal insurance exchange network that kicked off three weeks ago. WINHealth and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming are the only two insurance companies offering Wyoming coverage through the new federal health care exchange (Neary, 10/21).St. Louis Beacon: Scholars Pinpoint Gaps In Consumer Knowledge Of Health Insurance JargonThinking of buying insurance through the exchange? While you wait for programmers to fix the glitch-ridden sign-up system, grab a crib sheet and learn the terms that can help you make good decisions about coverage. Pay close attention to words like PPO, POS, deductible, co-payment, drug formulary, and many more (Joiner, 10/21).The Seattle Times: Washington Healthplanfinder: More Than 35,000 Have Enrolled In 3 WeeksThree weeks after its launch, Washington’s online insurance marketplace continues to set a strong pace for enrollment. To date, more than 35,500 Washington residents have enrolled in coverage through the state’s online insurance marketplace, Healthplanfinder, according to data released Monday by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. That figure is up about 10,500 from the week before (Landa, 10/21).Kansas Health Institute: Fixes To Kansas Insurance Marketplace Produce Trickle Of ActivityThe technical problems that have plagued the federal online health insurance marketplace since its launch three weeks ago are slowly being resolved, at least in Kansas, according to those who are helping people navigate the new system or are using it to sell health plans (McLean, 10/21).Minnesota Public Radio: MNsure Unaffected By Federal Exchange ProblemsThe problems that have plagued the federal insurance marketplace in the last two weeks have not affected the system in Minnesota, MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov said Monday. President Barack Obama took to the White House lawn today to lament the technological problems that have prevented people from enrolling in plans offered through the federal exchanges. Todd-Malmlov said Minneosta’s online insurance marketplace operates separately from the federal exchange. “We don’t have any interaction with that at all, and that’s what the president was talking about,” she said (Richert, 10/21). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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A Blip A Plan A Hotline … Whats New With The Exchanges

first_imgA Blip, A Plan, A Hotline … What’s New With The Exchanges? On Tuesday, the federal online marketplace — healthcare.gov — went down for 30 minutes even as officials were pointing out a spike in sign-ups. Meanwhile, news outlets offer reports about the states that are integral to the administration reaching its enrollment target as well as updates from Maryland, Massachusetts, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Nevada.Politico: Healthcare.gov Hits A BlipHealthCare.gov went down for at least 30 minutes Tuesday, an outage blamed on “human error.” Although resolved quickly, the occurrence was an immediate reminder of how much is riding on the federal enrollment website’s smooth functioning in the final two weeks of the 2014 enrollment season. On Monday, administration officials described a sharp increase in sign-ups during the first half of March that brought the total to 5 million people nationwide (Cheney, 3/18).Kaiser Health News: 10 States Are Critical To Administration’s Efforts To Enroll 6 Million In New Health PlansTen states — seven of them controlled by Republicans —hold the key to whether the Obama administration succeeds at signing up 6 million people by the deadline of March 31. Those large states account for nearly 30 million uninsured — almost two-thirds of the nation’s 47 million uninsured (Galewitz, 3/19).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Md. Health Exchange Board Adopts Enrollment PlanMaryland’s health exchange board has adopted a plan to help people who have tried to enroll before the deadline at the end of the month but were unable to complete an application. The board approved the plan Tuesday (3/18).The Baltimore Sun: Hotline Offered To Those With Applications Stuck In Health Exchange WebsiteConsumers who have attempted to enroll in health insurance through the Maryland exchange but have become stuck in the website can call a new hotline to ensure they are covered before the end of open enrollment March 31. The exchange board approved a plan Tuesday to set up the hotline – 1-800-396-1961 – to guarantee the chance for coverage (Cohn, 3/18).The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NY Health Exchange Reports, 666,000 EnrolledThe state’s new health exchange reports more than 995,000 New Yorkers have completed applications for insurance while more than 666,000 of them have now enrolled for specific coverage (3/19).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Mass. To Drop Contractor Behind Flawed Health Insurance WebsiteMassachusetts is negotiating an end to its contract with CGI, the Canadian vendor that built the state’s flawed health insurance website while scrambling to fix it (Bebinger, 3/18).The Boston Globe: State Dismisses Health Site FirmMassachusetts is dropping the contractor that created the state’s dysfunctional online health insurance marketplace, ending a troubled partnership that has left thousands of consumers frustrated and many without coverage for months. The state notified CGI last week that it was being terminated, and officials have started negotiating a transition. The $68-million contract with the Montreal-based technology consulting company expires in September, and Sarah Iselin, who was hired last month by Governor Deval Patrick to oversee repairs to the Health Connector website, said that exactly when CGI finishes its work and how much the state pays for it are subject to bargaining. Massachusetts has paid just $15 million to CGI and has not made any payments since the fall (Kowalczyk, 3/18). Fox News: Vegas Man Stuck With $407,000 Medical Bill After Obamacare BreakdownThe busted ObamaCare websites cost a lot of people a lot of time. But for one Nevada man, problems with the state insurance exchange reportedly cost him $407,000. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Larry Basich, a 62-year-old Vegas resident, has been stuck with the massive medical bill despite signing up for an insurance plan via the state exchange last fall. Basich, according to the article, selected a UnitedHealthcare plan in November, and even paid his first premium. But he never received confirmation that he was enrolled, despite being assured that he was by Nevada Health Link (3/18).The Oregonian: Oracle’s Contracts For Cover Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Bypassed Standard Rules, Lacked TeethThree weeks ago, a federal report declared that poor contracting is a “root cause” of the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange debacle. More than $130 million has gone to California-based Oracle Corp., the main exchange IT vendor, under contracts that, according to the federal report, do “not have any leverage” to hold the firm accountable for missed deadlines or shoddy work. So how did the project’s weak contracting get that way? (Budnick, 3/18). The Seattle Times: State Waiting For Insurance Enrollment BumpMany uninsured residents appear to be waiting until the last moment to enroll through Washington’s health insurance exchange. More than 112,000 people have purchased insurance through the state marketplace, but by the middle of the month, the state still hadn’t seen an uptick in the rate of enrollment (Stiffler, 3/18).Health News Colorado: Sign-Ups Top 100,000, Colorado Fifth Among State ExchangesColorado ranks fifth among 14 states operating their own health exchanges for selling private health plans to the highest percentage of the state’s population. But in Colorado and across the country, sign-up rates are still very low. That’s not a surprise says John Stuart Hall, an emeritus professor of public affairs at Arizona State University, who helped conduct a study of health reform implementation throughout western states (McCrimmon, 3/18). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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First Edition August 15 2014

first_imgFirst Edition: August 15, 2014 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Today’s headlines include a variety of updates regarding health policy and the health care marketplace. Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Wide Variation In Hospital Charges For Blood Tests Called ‘Irrational’Now on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Roni Caryn Rabin writes: “One California hospital charged $10 for a blood cholesterol test, while another hospital that ran the same test charged $10,169 — over 1,000 times more. For another common blood test called a basic metabolic panel, the average hospital charge was $371, but prices ranged from a low of $35 to a high of $7,303, more than 200 times more” (Rabin, 8/15). Check out what else is new on the blog.The Wall Street Journal: How Agents Hunt For Fraud In Trove Of Medicare DataEleven armed FBI agents crept around a stone-and-glass house here just before dawn. An AR-15 rifle and four other guns were registered to the man in the house. … It was no drug lord. The target was a doctor who moonlighted as a movie producer with an Alec Baldwin comedy to his credit. The Justice Department charged the doctor, Robert A. Glazer, with writing prescriptions and certifications resulting in $33 million of fraudulent Medicare claims. The raid in May capped a year-long investigation by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a joint effort by the Justice Department and Department of Health and Human Services. Raids that day in six cities resulted in the busts of 90 Medicare providers, including 16 doctors, who were separately charged with generating a total of $260 million of false Medicare billings (Stewart, 8/14).Los Angeles Times: Medi-Cal Struggles To Provide Services To Ever-Growing ClienteleConcerns about access to care have taken on a new urgency since Medi-Cal enrollment began to swell in the wake of President Obama’s federal healthcare overhaul. The program, the state’s second-largest expense after schools, is expected to cover one in three Californians by next year. But the current state budget continues a 10% cut in reimbursements to some healthcare providers, a lingering sore point for advocates, lobbyists and lawmakers who have pushed to reverse the reduction (Megerian, 8/14).The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Wal-Mart Wants To Be Your DoctorWal-Mart’s newest effort to make a play in the booming health clinic space comes after the big-box retailer has fallen far behind its rivals. And this time, Wal-Mart is shaking up its approach with a new model that’s getting some attention in the health-care world. Wal-Mart this year has opened six clinic locations across South Carolina and Texas in which the retailer is providing a broad range of primary care services, as described in a recent New York Times story. The company plans to have a dozen of these clinics open by the end of this fiscal year, executives said on a Thursday earnings call (Millman, 8/14).The Wall Street Journal: Health Costs, Weak Store Traffic Hinder Wal-MartOne unexpected headwind came from health care, where costs are rising quickly as more employees sign up for coverage. The company said it now expects to shell out an additional $500 million in health-care expenses related to increased employee enrollment and higher costs, up from the $330 million in increases it originally expected. “Health-care costs increased approximately $180 million versus last year and were well above our initial estimates,” said Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Greg Foran, who stepped into the role this week following the departure of Mr. Simon (Banjo and Calia, 8/14).The Associated Press: VA chief: Firings Of Workers A Deliberate ProcessThe Veterans Affairs Department is in the process of holding bad employees accountable amid a scandal about long wait times for patients and other problems, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said Thursday, but he declined to say how many people were being fired and who they were. McDonald visited with veterans and employees at the Memphis VA hospital on Thursday, a day after addressing the American Veterans national convention (8/14).The Associated Press: Candidates Clash In Colorado Congressional DebateCoffman said he opted out of the congressional health plan and bought his insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchange, which was significantly worse. “If every member of congress did what I did, Obamacare would not be standing today,” he said, earning cheers and boos when he called for repealing the law. Romanoff replied: “It’d be a good idea to fix the law rather than repeal it and replace it with nothing but empty phrases.” Romanoff supports abortion rights and Coffman opposes them (8/14).The Wall Street Journal’s Pharmalot: CMS Fixes Tech Glitch That Hobbled Pharma Payment DisclosuresThe federal government is back online with a website where U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals can review information about payments they have received from drug and device makers, about 11 days after a government agency shut it down to investigate a data mix-up. In a brief statement Thursday afternoon, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said: “The Open Payments system is once again available for physicians and teaching hospitals to register, review and dispute financial interaction information received from health care manufacturers and Group Purchasing Organizations.” CMS plans to provide additional details about the program “by tomorrow” (Loftus, 8/14).The New York Times: Pharmacies Turn Drugs Into Profits, Pitting Insurers Vs. CompoundersCompounded medicines are the Savile Row suits of the pharmacy, made to order when common treatments will not suffice. Pharmacists say it is the doctors who decide what to prescribe. But many pharmacies have standard formulations and some promise six-figure incomes to sales representatives who call on doctors (Pollack, 8/14).The Wall Street Journal’s Pharmalot: UK Recommends Covering Sovaldi Hepatitis C PillThe U.K. agency that evaluates the cost effectiveness of prescription drugs has recommended the government pay for the controversial Sovaldi hepatitis C treatment, although not for all patients. The move, which still requires a final endorsement, comes as the medicine causes a ruckus in the U.S. The price tag–$84,000 for a 12-week regimen–has insurers and state Medicaid directors worried that the Gilead Sciences medication will become a budget buster and helped to fuel a national debate over the rising cost of prescription drugs (Silverman, 8/14).The Washington Post: Ebola Striking Women More Frequently Than Men As the number of lives claimed by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa rises above 1,000, the rate of infection among women is outpacing that among men because women are the caregivers, nurses and cross-border traders, health officials report. Outbreaks are thought to originate through contact with infected forest animals, often making men who hunt for bushmeat or handle the meat the first targets of infection (Hogan, 8/14).The Associated Press: Worst TB Outbreak In 5 Years Hits Alabama PrisonsAlabama’s prison system, badly overcrowded and facing a lawsuit over medical treatment of inmates, is facing its worst outbreak of tuberculosis in five years, a health official said Thursday. Pam Barrett, director of tuberculosis control for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said medical officials have diagnosed nine active cases of the infectious respiratory disease in state prisons so far this year (8/14). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.last_img read more

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Sherrod Brown Offers Bill To Advance Comprehensive View Of Drug Addiction

first_img Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reports on the dangers of prescription drug interactions — Sherrod Brown Offers Bill To Advance Comprehensive View Of Drug Addiction A key point in the measure is that addiction should be treated as a disease not a character flaw. The Columbus Dispatch: Sherrod Brown Proposal Attacks Drug Addiction From Crisis To Recovery The Chicago Tribune: Prescription Drug Harm: Dangerous Mix Leaves Woman Fighting For Life New federal legislation backed by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown attacks drug addiction not as a “moral failing” or character flaw, but as a disease requiring a comprehensive solution. (Johnson, 2/10) The first symptoms mimicked the flu. Becki Conway had a sore throat, a dry cough and irritated sinuses. But the next signs were more puzzling. A sharp pain radiated through her chest. Her eyes turned red and itchy. It seemed like she was fighting off some strange bug, or maybe it was just the normal exhaustion of keeping up with twin toddlers. (King and Roe, 2/11) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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The Razer Toaster will provide the breakfast for PC gaming champions

first_img 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. Naturally, those tattoo-flashing obsessives on the Facebook page are pretty pleased about this outcome. One fan wrote: “Thanks to all of you. Thought this will be my dream for the rest of my Life, but we made it. Thanks to all of those who got a tattoo. This community will be forever in my heart.”What are you expecting from the Razer Toaster? Colour-coded cooking settings? The ability to burn the Razer logo into the bread? A built-in display with a 120Hz refresh rate you can play Fortnite on while waiting for the pop? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter. Razer, the maker of PC gaming laptops, peripherals and smartphones, is getting into the kitchen appliance business, by launching the Razer Toaster.The company’s CEO Min-Liang Tan says the company will release the working toaster within the next few years with the firm’s in-house teams of designers and engineers on the case.If you’re wondering what on earth this tectonic shift in strategy towards heated bread products is all about, the roots date all the way back to a joke that started in 2013.A Facebook page entitled Give Us the Razer Toaster Please page soon caught on with the company pledging to adhere to the demands if the page hit one million likes. It did so with the help of 12 members of the group going as far as getting Razer Toaster tattoos, which were worth 100k likes each.In a post on Facebook, of course, the company CEO revealed he was making good on the vow (via CNET). He wrote: “Alright – I didn’t think these guys were going to make it – but they did. It was to hit 1M likes and with each Razer Toaster tattoo being equivalent to 100K likes each and they now have 12 Razer Toaster tattoos.“Well, what can I say. I’ve just officially liked their page – and I’m going to put together my team of designers and engineers. It will take a few years – but I’ll be sure to share the progress – and make it a community affair. A Razer Toaster – For Razer Toaster Lovers. By Razer Toaster Lovers.” 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.center_img This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

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Sick of Tube delays TfL to use WiFi to help you beat

first_img 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. Transport for London has announced plans to follow Underground users around the network using Wi-Fi data from their personal devices. From July 8 this year, the capital’s transportation authority says it’ll take the Waze approach to crowdsourcing passenger traffic across the network.The trial will last for a month, across 54 stations, with hopes the scheme will eventually be able to provide commuters with insight into how crowded a particular station or service is at any given time.So, for example, if you’re walking towards a platform and receive an alert pertaining to overcrowding, you might hold back from the next available train and wait for the one coming along the line a couple of minutes later.The trial could also provide TfL with a greater dataset to work from when planning timetables, so on the surface could provide some tangible benefits for commuters.Related: Best Wi-Fi Routers 2019“The benefits this new depersonalised dataset could unlock across our network – from providing customers with better alerts about overcrowding to helping station staff have a better understanding of the network in near-real time – are enormous,” says Lauren Sager Weinstein, TfL’s chief data officer. “By better understanding overall patterns and flows, we can provide better information to our customers and help us plan and operate our transport network more effectively for all.”Naturally, there are privacy concerns with such vast harvesting of location data, so passengers will be able to opt out by turning off their Wi-Fi while riding on the tube. Not exactly the best solution, considering the benefits of actually using the Wi-Fi network while underground.It’s not as if avoiding connecting to the tube Wi-Fi networks will relieve you from the tracking either, because TfL is using your device’s MAC address to track you.For what it’s worth, TfL says “individual customer data will never be shared and customers will not be personally identified,” while the data that can’t identify you will be kept on file for two years. There’s also the spectre of use for advertising purposes to deal with here, because TfL plans to use the data to sell ads based on footfall. You sense that could actually be the key motive here, but that’s just conjecture on our part.TfL previously conducted a Wi-Fi based trial in 2016, which it says led to providing customers with more tailored information about their journeys. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

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Deep Dive Into Tesla Model 3 Price Changes Whats Going On Here

first_imgTesla will be happier if you buy the more expensive versionsThe most recent changes to the Tesla Model 3 offer is not only another quick adjustment, but also left us without full knowledge on the pricing of all five versions of the car.Tesla decided to make the $3,000 Autopilot option standard, but at least in some versions the price increased. In the case of Standard Range Plus, prices went up by $2,000, while the Long Range AWD version increased by $1,000. The price of the Performance version didn’t change at all.“Today, we’re making some changes to online ordering to simplify vehicle choices and make Autopilot more affordable.All Tesla vehicles now come with Autopilot bundled as a standard feature for less than the prior cost of the option. For example, Model 3 Standard Plus used to cost $37,500, plus $3,000 for the Autopilot option. It now costs $39,500, with Autopilot included.”The move was combined with removing the Standard Range and Long Range RWD versions from the online design studio – technically those two versions are still available, but on individual order through a call or at a store, as a software-limited higher version. The prices of those are not shown – we assume a $2,000 increase, but it’s just a guess.Tesla Model 3 Tesla Announces Model 3 Leasing, Autopilot Now Standard Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus Orders Open In Europe, China Source: Electric Vehicle News Watch Autoline Talk Tesla Model 3: Sandy Munro Returns Simplification? Profitability?The latest move was reportedly motivated by simplification of the offer, but as the Autopilot hardware was already the same there is not much to simplify. Moreover, there is no such simplifying in the case of the Model S or Model X, which are more expensive vehicles and we guess more often equipped with the Autopilot than the Model 3. We suspect it would be more reasonable to first make mandatory Autopilot in S/X.That was the first yellow warning light whether it’s about simplifying or simply the company is not able to offer the base $35,000 Model 3 and achieve profitability goals.Where’s The Standard?According to Tesla, the “Standard Plus has sold at more than six times the rate of Standard”, which means that there was a group of price-sensitive customers, which now will be forced to pay more (maybe $2,000) for the obligatory Autopilot, despite the fact that they already were not willing to pay more for the better equipped Standard Plus version.Previous orders of the $35,000 Model 3 Standard will be fulfilled, using a software-limited Model 3 Standard Plus, but it seems that affordability will be worsened depending on how much the price increases.The first thought on the change is that not only the short-lived $35,000 Model 3 is not yet possible (if the company wants to earn money), but also the $37,500 Model 3 is not yet there – this is why it’s now $2,000 more expensive (at the same cost on the production line).Tesla Model 3 prices in the U.S.Standard Range (2019) – $37,000? (previously $35,000)Standard Range Plus (2019) – $39,500 (previously $37,500, up $2,000)Long Range RWD (2019) – $46,500? (previously $44,500)Long Range AWD (2019) – $49,500 (previously $48,500, up $1,000)Performance LR AWD (2019) – $59,500 (previously $59,500, no change)Some Prices Up, Others DownAs we can see in the pricing list, the higher trim versions are priced similar to before, while getting Autopilot as standard. In the case of the Performance version it can be treated like a price drop of $3,000, while the Long-Range AWD went up by $1,000.There could be reasons behind that – the top two models are profitable and Tesla wants to sell more of them. That’s the opposite from the bottom versions, which in the case of Standard Range was removed from the design studio – seems like a discouragement to buy the less profitable versions.Tesla has the right to make changes, and without a doubt, it should make them if necessary. We are only wondering whether the $35,000 Tesla is possible or not yet. As of today, we land at $39,500 (plus the unknown lower price for the Standard version outside the design studio) two months before the federal tax credit will decrease by $1,875 to $1,875 on July 1, 2019.Or maybe this is all just totally wrong and Tesla is redirecting customers to higher versions because demand is huge, which is an opportunity to earn more and beat previous targets?EV prices before the change: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 13, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

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