Microsoft cofounders Stratolaunch low orbit plane revealed

first_imgWhile SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic are scrambling to corner the still non-existent low orbit commercial transportation market, a new player has just rolled out its race horse out of the hangar for the public to gawk at. And like those other companies, Stratolaunch also has a Silicon Valley luminary behind it, the oft forgotten Microsoft co-found Paul G. Allen. And just like those companies, Stratolaunch has an ambition whose size is rivaled only by the aircraft it just revealed. Stratolaunch has been around for quite a while now actually, founded back in 2011. It has, however, let other companies enjoy the limelight, which it is now snatching for its itself in a literally big way. Its vision is not so different either. It wants to make low Earth orbit transportation be as common as commercial flights we have today. It is, however, doing things differently, starting with the aircraft itself.While the likes of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 or Blue Origin’s New Shepard are your typical rockets, the Stratolaunch resembles more a gigantic twin-hull plane. Emphasis on the gigantic. It has a wingspan of 385 ft, just 25 ft longer than an NFL field. It might sound overkill, but that’s needed to lift the 500,000 lb aircraft, plus a maximum of 50,000 lbs of payload. To put another perspective on how big the plane is, the Stratolaunch will be able to launch an Orbital ATK Pegasus XL, which, in turn, is able to launch up to three smaller Pegasus vehicles in a single mission. Another key difference is that the Stratolaunch will take off more like a plane, on a runway. In addition to increasing chances of reusability, taking off like an airplane allows it to lessen the effects of inclement weather and air traffic. Launching its payload while airborne also reduces chances of delays or outright cancellations, something SpaceX is only too familiar with.SOURCE: Stratolaunchlast_img read more

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Were iPhone X stock fears overblown

first_imgNobody expected Apple’s iPhone X stock to be infinite. Sure enough, if you go to the Apple Store now, and try to place a pre-order for the new handset, you’re looking at a 5-6 week delivery window. It’s pretty much the same story at carriers and other retailers, too, though Sprint is an unusual exception, still listing three of the four iPhone X configurations as available for November 3 at time of writing.Still, if you’ve listened to the supply chain leaks, along with the analyst comments, in the run-up to the iPhone X’s release, you’d be forgiven for suspecting that Apple only had a handful of devices to sell this year. Months ago, we were hearing about OLED screen problems, with Apple’s notched panel experiencing issues with bonding and suppliers encountering numerous problems getting adequate yield levels while still hitting the Cupertino firm’s stringent quality requirements. After that came concerns about TrueDepth, the front-facing camera assembly that’s another of the iPhone X’s distinguishing features – both from the iPhone 8 and from other smartphones on the market today in general – and powers things like Face ID. It’s a fiendishly complicated assembly, made up of several cutting-edge parts from a variety of different suppliers, and analysts voiced fears that getting all of those elements to line-up was proving tougher than expected. TrueDepth would be the bottleneck for 2017, we were warned, with Apple forced to deny reports it had downgraded the system’s accuracy in order to get hardware out the door. Today, though, those fears don’t look all that realistic. Certainly, 5-6 weeks is a fairly long wait, but it pales in comparison to previous years where pre-sales shipping estimates extended into months. There are several factors, of course, which could play into this. Apple hasn’t made any official announcement about pre-sales numbers so far, and it’s unclear whether it will or not; “customer demand is off the charts” a company spokesperson has said, but none of those “charts” are being released right now. The price tag of the iPhone X, which starts at $999, undoubtedly also played a part: even with payment plans like Apple’s own iPhone Upgrade Program spreading the cost over a number of months, this is not a cheap device. That cost of entry may have counted some shoppers out from the get-go. If you didn’t get up at 12:01am PT today and start hammering the refresh button on the Apple Store or your carrier of choice, you probably didn’t secure an iPhone X for release day. As expected, pre-sales of the new iOS flagship were so brisk, within minutes the Apple Store was out of stock for November 3. However, some of the more ominous fears we’ve heard about the iPhone X over the past few months don’t look to have come true. Meanwhile, Apple clearly has some iPhone X supplies it’s holding in reserve for next week. The company has already promised that there’ll be devices for in-store purchase on Friday, November 3, albeit with the warning that walk-in availability will be limited. How many that will amount to is another unknown, but with more than 270 locations in the US, even just a handful of each SKU still adds up. Predicting Apple’s iPhone shipments is more than just a theoretical exercise, of course. Given how disproportionally sales of the smartphone affect the company’s quarterly profits, any insight gleaned into how big – or small – demand among the public is can have a similarly large impact on its stock price. Factor in the skepticism from some quarters about the direction Apple has taken with this new iPhone X, including the screen design, continued absence of a headphone jack, and retiring familiar features like the home button, and there are plenty of people looking to its sales to help decide whether the Cupertino company has lost its way or not. MORE iPhone X hands-onFor consumers, it means a little patience is required (assuming you weren’t successful at a minute past midnight) though not, happily, quite as much patience as we might have feared. For those who held off, the exciting times are still to come, as we see whether the iPhone X can make it to market without teething pains. Did you pre-order an iPhone X? How long are you waiting for delivery? Let us know in the comments!last_img read more

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KODAK Mini Shot Instant Print Camera catches up with the times

first_imgPeople these days, both young and old alike, love taking pictures with their smartphones. The younger generation often want to share those online while some prefer to share something more tangible and less fleeting. Normally, you can’t have the best of both worlds, but with the new generation of portable photo printers and instant print camera, you already can.The KODAK Mini Shot Instant Print Camera takes its own photos, though you might be a bit hesitant when you see that it has a 10 megapixel camera. It’s really a very basic point-and-shoot, with a 1.7-inch LCD viewfinder and basic controls, that’s specifically designed to print credit-card and 2.1 x 2.1 inch photos on adhesive-backed paper. Kodak own paper, of course.It is, however, also a connected device, thanks to Bluetooth. You can pair it with an Android or iOS device and use said device as a remote shutter. You can also send photos from the camera to the phone for sharing on the Web. The communication goes both ways, fortunately, and you can photos from your phone, perhaps taken with a better camera sensor, to the camera for printing.It’s a pretty basic instant print camera and has a pretty basic price tag to match. The KODAK Mini Shot Instant Print Camera is up on Amazon for only $99.99 and comes with an 8-pack all-in-one 4Pass photo print cartridge. 4Pass Photo Paper, however, is sold separately. While professional digital cameras remain uncontested at the top, at least for now, point-and-shoot cameras are struggling to find their place in this smartphone-centric world. Some, like Fujifilm have found a rather profitable niche in instant print cameras, digital or otherwise, and long-time rival Kodak has jumped in as well. The latter has just announced the latest in its growing roster of Instant Print products, the KODAK Mini Shot, designed to provide instant gratification even for the smartphone generation.last_img read more

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Scrabble keyboard is truly real and run by Massdrop

first_imgIn addition to the full standard keycap set, users have the option to roll with several alternate keys. One is the Enter/Return key which can be replaced with a Scrabble brand keycap. Also in the mix are Double Word Score and Triple Word Score keycaps.The standard Escape key is replaced by the star graphic from the Scrabble game board. The keyboard they’re using is a standard “entry-level tenkeyless keyboard from WASD with Cherry MX Brown switches. There’s a keycap puller in the box, as well as a detachable USB cable – And other bits and pieces listed below.Included• WASD Code tenkeyless keyboard• Massdrop x Hasbro XDA Scrabble Custom Keycaps (Base Alphas, Modifiers, and Novelty kits)• USB cable• Keycap puller• PS/2 adapterAdChoices广告Specs• WASD Keyboards• Case material: ABS• Keycaps: Scrabble XDA keycaps• Keycap material: dye-sublimated PBT• Switches: Cherry MX Brown switches• Rubber feet• 5-way cable routing• Onboard support for multiple keyboard layouts including QWERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak• LED indicators• Interface: USB / PS/2• Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux• Cable: 70.8 in (180 cm) micro USB to USB with cable tie• Dimensions: 14.3 x 5.6 x 1.2 in (36.3 x 14.2 x 3 cm) Weight: 2 lbs (907 g)“I’m a huge board-game fan, and I’ve been playing Scrabble with my family for as long as I can remember. Because my dreams are very literal, I once woke up from a dream where I had a keyboard that looked like a game of Scrabble, and I quickly mocked it up at like 2 in the morning,” said community designer Cassidy Williams. “When I woke up again and realized that it wasn’t just a sleepy experience, but a potentially good idea, I started cold-calling as many people I could over at Hasbro to see if I could get it licensed. And here we are!”The keyboard will be available on March 15th at 6AM PT (so this morning.) It’s released through Massdrop, which isn’t like your average for-sale sort of place – so you’ll have to take a peek and see if you want to take the time to sign up. There’s a variety of custom keycap set options, and they’re all out there right this minute. Estimated ship date for this piece of hardware is September 4th, 2018. The folks at Massdrop announced that they’d be coming correct, officially, with a Hasbro collaboration to make a Scrabble Keyboard. This keyboard is mechanical, which is neat, but it’s mostly made because the keys look slick. This Scrabble-themed keyboard doesn’t just make its user appear smart, it makes its user feel like they know all sorts of words and such, too. Story TimelineChillax, gamers: Scrabble adds selfie & more to dictionaryFire Phone goes unlocked as Amazon scrabbles for salesYeesh, Scrabble adds ridic load of new words to dictionarylast_img read more

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Lyft promises 100 renewable energy with carbon offsets

first_imgLyft has announced a new green plan: to transition to a fully carbon-neutral and 100-percent renewable energy profile. The vow follows Lyft’s previously announced Green Cities Initiative, building upon the company’s carbon offset program to set an important new goal. The news follows California’s recent legislation that will see retailers in the state using entirely renewable energy by 2045. According to Lyft, it is already one of the top 10 voluntary carbon offset buyers in the world, something the company discussed earlier this year. Back in April, Lyft’s co-founders announced a mission to make all of the company’s rides carbon neutral, that made possible by multi-million dollar investments into carbon offsets.Likewise, the company previously said that it wants to make 50-percent of its trips Shared rides by 2020, reducing the number of vehicles on the road at any given time. Lyft has built upon these, announcing yet another step it wants to take.According to the company, it is now buying sufficient enough carbon offsets to cover the rest of its emissions — as such, Lyft is now entirely carbon neutral. In addition, the company has vowed to buy enough renewable energy to cover all of its energy use, including electricity used by its drive hub and offices, among other things.AdChoices广告The company will prioritize direct renewable energy purchases when it is possible, in other cases buying renewable energy credits using 3Degrees. SOURCE: Lyftlast_img read more

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Apple greets CES 2019 with snarky iPhone privacy billboard

first_imgThe 2019 Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in earnest on Monday, and like every year before Apple won’t be participating, instead preferring its own carefully planned media events. Despite this, the company has clearly made itself known this year with a large billboard ad placed right next to the Las Vegas Convention Center, where CES is taking place. The ad isn’t for a new Apple product, rather it’s throwing shade at other companies in attendance by highlighting Apple’s privacy policies. With a minimal, white-text-on-black design, the ad features text prominently reading “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone,” alongside an outline of Apple’s smartphone. It’s a clever play on the iconic slogan “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” The real point of the ad, however, is the web address under the text, a link to apple.com/privacy, which goes into detail about Apple’s privacy and security features, including how data related to Face ID, Touch ID, Apple Pay, and users’ health remain protected.Apple’s billboard, which was first spotted and shared on Twitter by Engadget’s Chris Velazco, is clearly at dig at the various products and services appearing at CES that aren’t placing enough priority on users’ privacy and security. Apple has rightly earned a reputation for protecting users and their data, not only from third-parties, but making it inaccessible to the company itself. Apple never shows up at CES, so I can’t say I saw this coming. pic.twitter.com/8jjiBSEu7z— Chris Velazco (@chrisvelazco) January 4, 2019 It could also be seen as a bit of a rip on Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant, which have had a huge presence at CES over the last few years, and are expected to again this year with a growing number of products featuring the AIs’ integration. While these are more popular than Siri, they’ve each had their own privacy scandals recently, including Alexa recording private conversations, and devices running Google’s Android being used by manufacturers to track users and harvest information without their knowledge.As of now the Apple ad is only appearing in this one location in Las Vegas, so it’s not likely to be a major advertising campaign. Yes, Apple is trying to directly promote itself and the iPhone, but it’s also bringing attention to the importance of privacy at an industry event where it’s easy to be distracted by the latest features and flashiest specs. Story TimelineFacebook location-tracking for ads has no off switchGoogle Assistant was the smartest AI in 2018, but others are catching upPrivacy is the price of free – Data we are giving up are too valuableApple has problems and there’s no easy fixAmazon confirms Alexa device sales numbers, and it’s a lotlast_img read more

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Volvos rich Chinese owner reportedly bought a flying car company

first_imgStory TimelineAirbus autonomous flying car prototype may enter testing this yearDubai sets autonomous flying cars loose this summerPAL-V now selling world’s first commercial flying carsAirbus unveils Pop.Up modular flying car concept at GenevaUber will start testing flying cars in the next 3 yearsKitty Hawk’s flying car flies, floats, but doesn’t roll Volvo may be getting an unusual cousin, with Chinese behemoth Geely reportedly buying flying car company Terrafugia. The deal, which is yet to be confirmed by either party, has been reported in Chinese media, which claimed it had been in the pipeline since 2016. Terrafugia is one of a number of companies attempting to carve a niche in what’s still a fledgling personal flight industry. Terrafugia was founded in 2006, by a group of five MIT graduates wanting to combine their aviation and automotive interests. The company’s first product was the Transition, a “roadable airplane” that could effectively fold its wings for use on roads. While perhaps not what people first imagine when they think of a “flying car”, Transition nonetheless has the required FAA exemptions and has been used for successful test flights.center_img Meanwhile, the company has also previewed its second-generation design. Dubbed the TF-X, it’s much more akin to what you might think of as a true flying car, with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) making it more suited to city driving/flying, and a fully electric drivetrain. However, it’s unlikely to be anywhere close to available soon.Nonetheless it’s apparently enough to catch the eye of Geely. The Chinese conglomerate is no stranger to car brands – it owns both Volvo and British sportscar icon Lotus – and neither is it short on cash. Indeed, it has already invested more than $11bn in Volvo, allowing the Swedish automaker to completely revamp its lineup as well as, most recently, announce ambitious plans for full electrification of its range from 2019. Now, it seems, some of that cash will go on more esoteric methods of transportation, AVweb reports. While flying cars have been a mainstay of science-fiction for decades, the practicality has always been much more far-fetched. As well as the limitations of hardware, there are also issues of training and air traffic control management. Dealing with some of those factors are on Terrafugia’s roadmap, mind. The company envisages a comprehensive autopilot system for its craft, which promises to make it safer than any other small aircraft, as well as more convenient. Meanwhile firms like Uber and others are already exploring the possibility of using VTOL with autonomous control as transportation in urban environments, where use for passengers would be as straightforward as hitting a button in an elevator. At the start, though, Transition will demand certification above and beyond a regular road driving license. Terrafugia says owners will need a Sport Pilot Certificate, which needs at least 20 hours of flight training. Deliveries of the flying car are expected to begin from 2019.last_img read more

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iPhone update bringing back some doublescreen magic

first_imgA report this week suggests a number of new iOS feature updates in the very near future, one of which is radical. Of course anyone could point to any of the features and call them radical if they did so choose, but for me, the double-screen feature could be life-changing. Imagine being able to use any device to display and control any computer – that’s within our grasp. This might well be timed to meet up with Adobe’s release this year of new and/or majorly-updated apps for iOS. A full-powered Photoshop, and an app that works with both vector and raster imagery and modification potential.If Apple wanted to go the full mile, they’d also open up this feature’s functionality for other devices. Windows PCs, for example, or the mirroring and control of an iOS device on another iOS device, or a desktop computer.All of this has been done on other devices before – but for those users locked in the iOS/Mac apps universe, this might well be the first they see of it. This is also a good step toward the eventual integration of operating systems. One operating system that’s versatile enough to work with any device – that’s the dream! We can expect more about this and other features in the next WWDC. The 2019 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference will begin on Monday, June 3, and will end on Friday, June 7. We’ll be reporting to you live on-site – so stay tuned! I may be reading into the abilities this feature will allow right out the gate. Let’s be honest: Apple’s a bit conservative when it comes to delivering any sort of feature to its devices. They’re conservative, careful even, because it’s of the utmost importance to them that the end customer has a top-tier experience.With this feature, according to a report from earlier today, iOS devices may be allowed to mirror, control, and add to the screen of a Mac. Obviously the most sensible way to do this is to use an iPad to add screen space to a MacBook.In the case of the iPad, it’s been suggested that the Apple Pencil will be allowed to control the Mac display (on the iPad). This wouldn’t be the first attempt at this sort of feature – but it would be Apple’s first release as such.center_img Story TimelineApple’s Cook coy on touchscreen MaciPhone smoke & mirrors as Apple engineer dishes on Steve Jobs’ big revealChromecast now mirrors your smartphone’s screenKoush releases app that mirrors Android to Chromelast_img read more

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Installation of SuperCam Mast Unit on Mars 2020 rover is a towering

first_img Ready to roll: Mars 2020 rover fitted with wheels ahead of mission next year Mars 2020 will capture high-definition color images from the Jezero Crater Mars 2020 rover enters its final year of engineering before launch Armed and ready: Mars 2020 rover is fitted with its robotic arm Mars 2020 spacecraft survives 8 days in a freezing cold vacuum chamber Editors’ Recommendations In this image taken June 25, 2019, engineers install the SuperCam instrument on Mars 2020’s rover. This image was taken in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. NASA/JPL-CaltechThe Mars 2020 rover reached another milestone this week, when technicians installed its mast, the SuperCam Mast Unit. The rover already has its wheels and a robotic arm, and the next step was to add the mast.The rover’s camera, laser, and spectrometers were installed as part of the mast unit, which is the central spire coming out of the middle of the rover and into the air, onto which instruments which require a longer view are placed. The cameras and other instruments included on the mast are capable of accurately identifying the chemical and mineral makeups of environmental targets from a distance. In fact, they can identify a target the size of a pencil point from a distance of more than 20 feet (6 meters).“SuperCam’s rock-zapping laser allows scientists to analyze the chemical composition of its targets,” Soren Madsen, the payload development manager at JPL, explained in a statement. “It lets the Mars 2020 rover conduct its cutting-edge science from a distance.”The suite of instruments is an updated version of the ChemCam aboard the Curiosity rover, which is used to image and examine objects from the Martian surface like rocks and other samples. The new SuperCam will perform the same tasks, analyzing rocks and soil, and in particular searching for organic compounds that could show if there was life on Mars at some point in the distant past.The development of SuperCam was an international effort, with contributions from the U.S., France, and Spain. Construction of the last piece of hardware was completed in France before it was shipped to JPL’s facility in California for final assembly.“SuperCam has come a long way from being a bold and ambitious idea to an actual instrument,” Sylvestre Maurice, the SuperCam deputy principal investigator at the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie in Toulouse, France, said in the same statement. “While it still has a long way to go — all the way to Mars — this is a great day for not only SuperCam but the amazing consortium that put it together.”last_img read more

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A Central Health Law Question Who Is Getting Covered Who Is Getting

first_imgThe Associated Press reports that some of the newly insured will now become the faces of healthcare.gov, while The New York Times tells three stories about people who won’t be able to keep their coverage.The Associated Press/Washington Post: Still All Smiles: New Insured Who Became Latest Faces Of Health Overhaul Defend Their ChoiceIt didn’t take long for the friendly-looking young woman whose face was splashed across HealthCare.gov to spiral from smiling stock photo to laughingstock. As it scrambles to correct problems with the website, the Obama administration is now asking people who have successfully purchased health insurance to let their pictures be used instead (11/1).The New York Times: When Insurers Drop Policies: Three StoriesEach, in a different way, represents the relatively small part of America that the Obama administration did not talk about while campaigning for the Affordable Care Act: people who have health insurance that they like, but who will be unable to keep it under the law. Now that new insurance marketplaces are opening, insurance companies are canceling millions of individual plans that fail to meet minimum standards. The dropped plans have become the political talking point of the moment — and, according to many Republicans, a symbol of the president’s flawed ambitions (Thomas and Abelson, 10/31). 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 Central Health Law Question: Who Is Getting Covered? Who Is Getting Canceled?last_img read more

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Incoming Budget Panel Chief Outlines His Agenda

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. The Wall Street Journal: House Budget-Panel Chief: Debt-Ceiling Showdown Possible The Hill: Paul Ryan’s Successor Maps Out Agenda Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) has big shoes to fill as chairman of the House Budget Committee in the next Congress. Taking over from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee and leading voice on fiscal matters, Price is vowing to rein in federal spending, reform the budget process and potentially roll back Obamacare. … With the Republicans in the majority next year, many in the GOP believe they can use a budget tool called reconciliation to repeal Obamacare. A reconciliation deal cannot be filibustered in the Senate and only needs 51 votes to pass instead of a supermajority. GOP leaders have not yet decided on how to use reconciliation, Price said, but the decision could be made by mid-January during their joint retreat to Hershey, Pa. (Shabad, 12/13) The Wall Street Journal: Patty Murray To Become Top Democrat On HELP Committee Price said he will propose a budget in early 2015 that aims to eliminate the budget deficit over 10 years, meaning he will equalize the levels of government spending and revenue. … He said, for example, that he would continue to propose changes to Medicare that create a “premium support” option, which would allow seniors to purchase private insurance with government stipends as opposed to using the Medicare program. (Paletta, 12/12) center_img Reuters: Paul Ryan’s Bid To Overhaul Medicare To Resurface In New Congress Sen. Patty Murray will become the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee next year, just as the GOP gains control of the Senate with plans to redouble its attention to the federal health law. Ms. Murray is taking the committee seat being vacated by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who is the panel’s current chairman and is retiring after nearly 40 years in Congress. With GOP takeover, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will be HELP Committee chairman. (Radnofsky, 12/12) Price, a physician with four years on the Budget Committee, said a Republican-controlled Congress can now advance policies pioneered by Ryan, including his controversial Medicare plans. Those plans would scale back the popular social insurance program for the elderly and disabled by limiting beneficiaries to a set amount of money every year to buy private healthcare insurance. Known as “premium support,” the program as envisioned by Ryan would mark a dramatic shift from the current Medicare system, under which the federal government helps pay for all medical services that an individual uses. “The issue of premium support, internally is now basically settled policy for the Republican conference,” Price said. (Lawder, 12/12) Incoming Budget Panel Chief Outlines His Agenda Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., says he will continue to advance changes to the Medicare program that create a “premium support” option. He will also work on reining in federal spending. last_img read more

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PS5 graphics will be the best weve ever seen according to this

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. 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 Editor The PS5 will be an absolute beast when it comes to graphical performance, according to the director of the popular Yakuza game series.Yakuza series general director Toshihiro Nagoshi told gamers, “if you pour its [the PS5‘s] power into graphics it’ll be the best that we’ve yet to see”, during a fan broadcast in Japan earlier this week.Related: Best PS4 gamesIn the Sega Nama broadcast (translated by Gematsu), Toshihiro Nagoshi spoke about the PS5’s potential while also dropping some tidbits about the next Yakuza game. Nagoshi referred to the PS5’s processing power as incredible and stated they had to think of new gameplay elements which would take advantage of this power. Nagoshi also spoke about the eras of improvement consoles have gone through as they move from generation to generation. Nagoshi believes there was a time when it was about graphical improvements and then the progression of network features. The game director states this current era is about programmable elements – the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Related: Best games consolesDespite his glowing reviews about the potential of the PS5, Nagoshi declared the PS4 would still be the main focus for a while longer even after the next-gen console is released.The Yakuza series general director also spoke about the upcoming game – currently referred to as Shin Rya Ga Gotoku. Nagoshi declares the story is done and they are in the recording stages. The series has a new protagonist named Ichiban Kasuga and – according to Nagoshi – he is a lot more talkative than his predecessor Kiryu.We don’t yet know if Nagoshi’s comments on the PS5 could spell danger for the Xbox Two – the Yakuza series has primarily been a PlayStation exclusive IP. So, Nagoshi presumably hasn’t had the same access to Xbox’s next-gen technology to compare the progress being made.The news comes just before the E3 trade show in LA. Sony previously declared it won’t be at the show this year, but we’re expecting more details about the PS5’s launch line-up to appear nonetheless. 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.last_img read more

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Massa Plans to Become Formula E King

first_imgIn fact, after an intense expansion process in recent months, which included launching the Next Gen driver academy and hiring ex-DTM racer and Williams F1 test driver Susie Wolff as team principal, the squad is aiming for a spot in FE’s upper echelons.That ambition is part of the reason why Massa has been signed to a three-year deal. But the 11-time grand prix winner has his own reason to enter FE: he’s not done with racing.“I don’t want to be sitting on my sofa at home,” he says. “I cannot do that so I need to do something.”There was a sense that Massa did not really want to give up his spot on the F1 grid at the end of 2017 – as evidenced by his willingness to race on with Williams for that season after previously having to make way for the incoming Lance Stroll at the end of ’16.In Massa’s 15 years of racing in F1 there were seven champions. FE, from its first four campaigns, has crowned four different title winners. Where Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are the only squads to have triumphed in grands prix races since 2014, eight FE teams have taken wins in the same period.Of course, there are plenty of reasons from decades of history that have led F1 to its current problem with a thin success-share, and FE is a start-up spec-chassis championship, but the latter’s healthy competitive spread is the key reason Massa highlights to explain why he wants to join in the fun.“Formula E is a championship that is unpredictable,” he says. “You have so many drivers winning, everything is a little bit more competitive. Formula 1, more or less, you understand who is going to fight for the championship – almost every time – since I arrived in F1 to now.”Felipe Massa, Ferrari F2008Photo by: Sutton ImagesWhile Massa will attempt to add another successful chapter to a glittering motorsport career, the 37-year-old is important to FE, too. He possesses a high profile and his presence will mean at least three Brazilian drivers will be on the 2018/19 grid – the country is a significant automotive market for manufacturers and has a long history of motorsport success.The first FE team Massa was hotly linked with was Jaguar, and at the end of 2016 he came close to sealing the same arrangement he now has with Venturi – to wait for the ’16/17 season, which was just about to get underway when he ended what he had thought was going to be his final F1 campaign, to run its course and then come on board. But the career moves of Nico Rosberg – now an FE investor – and Valtteri Bottas changed all of that.“Before I re-signed in F1 I was close [with Jaguar],” confirms Massa. “I didn’t really sign anything, but I did a test to see the [Gen1] car and everything. Maybe after the test we [would] discuss because it was not going to be straight away, it was going to be I’d finish the season in F1, Formula E was already starting to go into 2017, [so] I said, ‘No, if I go, I go after one year because I need a bit of time to prepare myself, to have a little bit of time at home as well and then we decide’.“Then I did the [Jaguar] test, but when I did the test I had already signed with Williams [for 2017] so it [was] very short to carry on for one more season in the end. But this time I stopped and took the same idea: wait one year, prepare myself and see many things about the championship. But it worked more or less in a similar way.”So, with Jaguar settled with Nelson Piquet Jr alongside Mitch Evans, Massa agreed to join Venturi – a team handily based near to his Monaco home – and the deal was announced back in May. Venturi president Gildo Pastor is happy to have him.“He is full of life and he wanted to go on with us and do this incredible challenge,” Pastor says. “We have been training him for some time now and he’s fantastic. He wants to get better in this field so much – he wants to show everybody there is a king.”Felipe Massa, Venturi Formula EPhoto by: Venturi Formula E TeamMassa may be valuable to FE through his star billing and F1 achievements, but Wolff explains that his arrival has also boosted Venturi when it comes to its business dealings ahead of season five.“For us as a team, commercially, he’s been a huge asset,” she says. “That’s been one of my areas that I’ve been focused on ahead of season five and I’ve only had positive feedback from the fact that he’s one of our drivers and without a doubt the most high-profile driver on the grid. For the team it’s a massive win.”But easing deals off past glories is one thing, succeeding in FE – a notoriously tricky category to master – is another, as demonstrated by Villeneuve’s doomed exploits. Massa will be going up against many drivers who have raced in and dominated the series since it began – Sebastien Buemi, Lucas di Grassi, Sam Bird – and other rivals who have used their new FE home to boost their own racing credentials; think Jean-Eric Vergne and Oliver Turvey. Plus, his recently confirmed 2018/19 team-mate Edoardo Mortara has shown rapid pace at times too.FE enters a new era in season five with its Gen2 car, which may level the competition somewhat and features new toys that could ease Massa’s arrival. The new car has a brake-by-wire system for its rear wheels and it has been suggested that this will improve driver feeling under braking, as well as maximising regen for the powertrain.“There are also systems in F1 that recover a lot of energy from the braking and it’s the same approach for season five,” explains Venturi technical director Franck Baldet, who has been overseeing Massa’s development progress, which began with testing its season-four car on the team’s simulator to learn essential brake balance and energy management techniques before switching to the simulated VFE 05 Gen2 car and then testing the real machine on-track.“His experience from F1 on the brake-by-wire system is helping a lot because he can bring us the F1 experience, where we have a similarity,” adds Baldet.Felipe Massa, Venturi Formula EPhoto by: Venturi Formula E TeamGen2 will wipe the FE slate clean to a certain extent and Massa’s relationship with Mortara appears to be very good on the surface – Wolff highlights it as a key reason why the Swiss-Italian racer was re-signed for a second year at Venturi. But when it comes to success on street circuits, Massa will need to regularly produce performances along the lines of his pole lap at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2008, and not his double crash at the same venue in ’13.Massa attended the Zurich and New York races at the end of season four to see first-hand how an FE event works in full and to gain an understanding of Venturi’s race operations. When discussing his decision to join Venturi, which pushed “harder than all of the others” to sign him, it’s clear he views the team as one that is going places, even if it is still yet to score a first FE victory.“[With] a new season, a new car – it’s a big change for everybody so it’s impossible to say who is going to win the championship next year, who is going to be more competitive or not,” Massa says. “But if you see everything that the team is preparing – it’s quite interesting and I really hope we can have a competitive car.“It’s true that Venturi have never won a race, but they were very close to winning and they’ve managed some very good results in terms of points.”Massa has already impressed Venturi as “a very open-minded colleague” according to Baldet, who adds: “He really is pushing a lot to always be with us.” There is a real sense that Massa has not just joined the team or FE to simply collect pay-cheques.“My goal is always to be the best I can,” he says. “My goal is to try to win races – this is always what I had in all my career. I want to try to win and be the best – my goal never changes.”Massa’s presence on the FE grid and the results of his debut campaign will undoubtedly be one of the tales of the upcoming season. But if he can bring success to Venturi, he will also rewrite the team’s own FE story. Source: Electric Vehicle News The New Strategic Factor Formula E Teams Will Face Formula E “Needs” A Japanese Driver, Says Agag Venturi has been here before – an ex-Formula 1 star making the switch to new electric pastures in Formula E. But where Jacques Villeneuve failed – after just three events and two race starts in the 2015/16 championship – the Monaco manufacturer is hoping that new recruit Felipe Massa can succeed.More Formula E Newscenter_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 24, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Nissan Teams With Shell For Formula E Felipe Massa will become the second high-profile ex-Formula 1 driver to race for Venturi in Formula E. While the team’s first such partnership failed spectacularly, the early signs suggest Massa should be in a position to thrive.last_img read more

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Toyota Prius Prime Was US 1 Selling PlugIn Hybrid In 2018

first_imgGone are the days when the Chevy Volt led the plug-in hybrid pack.The Honda Clarity PHEV may have been number one for December 2018, but the Toyota Prius Prime captured the overall win for the year.This, despite the fact that Toyota doesn’t actively support plug-in vehicles.More Sales News Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Model 3 Sales Shatter All Records In December 2018 The changing of the tide may well be tied to the death of the Chevy Volt, but even before that announcement, the Prius Prime was performing well on the sales side.Let’s move on to those 2018 sales figures.The Toyota Prius Prime placed number one among PHEVs with full-year sales of 27,595 units. The Honda Clarity was #2 for PHEVs at 18,602 sold in 2018. Meanwhile, the Volt placed third with sales of 18,306 for 2018.If we add pure electric cars into the sales mix, only the Tesla Model 3 outsold the Prius Prime in 2018. It did so by a massive margin. For 2018, Model 3 sales hit 139,782 units. A landslide win for Tesla’s smallest electric car.But still, a win on the plug-in hybrid side for Toyota is a win regardless. Perhaps now the automaker will consider jumping deeper into electric cars? Honda Clarity PHEV: #1 Selling Plug-In Hybrid In U.S. In December 2018 Final Update: December 2018 U.S. Plug-In EV Sales Report Card Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 5, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

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Chevy Bolt Winter Fast Charging Cold Versus Warm Battery Video

first_img Audi E-Tron Electric SUV Charges At Sustained 150-kW Rate EVgo Launches 350 kW Ultra-Fast Charging Station Between LA & Vegas Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 23, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News The charging hardly exceed 15 kW after 10 minutes, and then slowly increased to 20 kW after 25 minutes. The last 15-20 minutes brought charging to over 30 kW as the battery has warmed to levels that permit a faster charge rate.After some 45 minutes of charging, only 17.1 kWh was dispensed.“As winter arrives and freezing temperatures settle in on large parts of North America, it’s important to understand that a cold battery significantly impacts range and charge rate.The latter might not be as familiar to new electric vehicle owners, which is why I ran through this example winter charging session on my Chevy Bolt EV to show what you can expect.Time Stamps:1:08 – Location1:30 – Three EVs / Two EV spaces2:12 – Start of Charge / Lame Rate9:50 – The Slow Crawl to Medium Speed12:52 – Finally Getting Warm14:15 – 45 Minute Auto-shutoff + Review16:14 – Finishing Up + Planning MoanOther models may fare better, but the key takeaway is to do what you can to keep your battery warm in winter, or at least warm it up before you waste time and money on elongated DCFC sessions. My intention is to also test whether a short period on a (free/cheaper) level 2 charger before hitting the more expensive DCFC would help expedite the battery warming process, but that will have to wait for another session when we have similar temperatures.Also a sidebar to electric vehicle charging planners: try to include at least as many EV-only spaces as you have charging units!”In the second test (see video below), when the battery was warmed up after driving, 17.4 kWh was dispensed in just 23 minutes, which is twice as fast and could be half as cheap.The side effect of charging with a warm battery is it’s quicker, so the station can serve more customers..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%; } “Following a frankly painful first winter charging test session with a cold Bolt EV battery, here’s our second attempt at similar ambient temperatures but with the vehicle battery warmed up after driving.The results are immediate and obvious, but still provide food for thought to new EV owners. Time Stamps:1:20 – Pulling in (Ghost Mall)1:47 – Pre-charge recap2:10 – Starting a charge session on EVgo3:10 – Charge starts up4:20 – Charge in progress/Dash close-up6:40 – 10 minutes elapsed + session comparison7:26 – Discussing EVgo rates + why you need a plan8:55 – Discussing how to price out a charge session11:28 – 20 minutes elapsed + session forecast13:48 – Target reached + charge stopped: Summary14:30 – Heading out + pondering Electrify America installations next to existing EVgo mall locationsIf this is your first winter with a Chevrolet Bolt EV or any other electric vehicle, do what you can to warm the battery before attempting a fast charge session. That typically means driving at highway speeds for an prolonged period of time, but I’ll be researching/testing other potential approaches in the weeks ahead… the more you know!”center_img Tesla Rolls Back Supercharger Price Increases To Appease Owners Source: Electric Vehicle News Keep the battery warm if you want to fast charge in the winterOne of the Chevrolet Bolt EV users – Ste – tested the fast charging capabilities of the car at 28°F (-2°C) and shared thoughts on how to not waste time and money at the DC fast chargers.The bottom line is that the lithium-ion batteries’ charging power (which translates to speed) is limited by temperature. From around 0°C typically there is a significant slowdown – the colder the battery is, the slower it will charge. The slowdown can be higher than an order of magnitude – for example, you might take on just a few kW instead 50-100 kW – at least until the battery warms up.In the case of Ste’s Chevrolet Bolt EV, the deeply discharged and cold battery was able to accept less than 15 kW from a 50 kW EVgo charger, which triples the time and expense (if charging fee is by minutes).See Alsolast_img read more

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Tesla reports no autonomous mileage in California again – what does it

first_imgTesla’s ‘Autonomous Mode Disengagement’ report for 2018 has been released by the California DMV and it shows that the automaker is still not testing fully autonomous driving in California.That’s despite CEO Elon Musk saying that the company is aiming to have its ‘full self-driving capability’ ready this year and running its own employee “full self-driving program”. more…The post Tesla reports no autonomous mileage in California again – what does it mean for ‘full self-driving’? appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

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Maxwell Vehicles retrofits RAM ProMaster vans with plugin powertrains

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicles Magazine Source: Maxwell Vehicles What does a PHEV become when it grows up? And do we need yetanother electrified-vehicle acronym? Technically, a hybrid with a plug is aPHEV, but some argue that a vehicle with a substantial electric range is adifferent animal. Chevy called its Volt an EREV, and Seattle-based startupMaxwell Vehicles is calling its plug-in cargo van conversion an RHEV (range-extendedhybrid electric van).Maxwell’s RHEV is a Dodge RAM ProMaster upfitted with a PHEVpowertrain manufactured by GM (thus it’s a hybrid in more ways than one). Itsports an 18 kWh battery pack and a 120 kW electric transaxle, and delivers 40 milesof electric range.Maxwell sells built-to-order RHEVs, which can be made from new or refurbished ProMasters. The company also converts customers’ existing vans. Conversions start at $32,990, and new RHEVs start at $46,990.last_img read more

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Outfit your home with 3 energyconscious TPLink smart switches for 58 in

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Newegg offers a three-pack of TP-Link smart switches for $57.98 shipped. This is combined bundle of HS200 and HS210 switches, which each individually retail for over $25 depending on the model. If you’re looking to dive into smart home life, and want to save some energy along the way, these light switches are perfect. You’ll be able to count on all the usual Alexa and Google Assistant features plus utilize automatic scheduling to help cut down on energy vampires. Rated 4.3/5 stars. More below. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://youtu.be/WdPfw3XWyJQThe post Outfit your home with 3 energy-conscious TP-Link smart switches for $58 in today’s best Green Deals appeared first on Electrek.last_img

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The auto industry is finally advertising its EVs

first_imgIn fact, Audi has been running a number of campaigns for thee-tron in the mass media. Early this year, TV ads running in England showed offthe new EV’s off-road capabilities, and a billboard in Berlin cocked a snook atTesla, calling the e-tron a “Musk-Have.” Billboards advertising the e-tron haverecently proliferated around Los Angeles.An electric Audi even appeared in the latest Avengers movie, although the effect was spoiled by some clueless wonder, who saw fit to dub in a roaring gas engine noise. (Teslas have also shown up in a couple of racing video games, complete with tailpipes and vroom-vroom engine sounds.)Sources: Electrek, Automotive News The best of the new EV ads is a TV spot for the Audi e-tron,which tackles some of the commonly-heard objections to going electric head-on.A skeptical buyer is buffeted and battered as an e-tron tears through sand,snow and rain at top speed, and keeps pace with a Formula E racer (Audi also sponsorsaFormula E team). Finally, a smiling family plugs in at a gleaming moderncharging station, far from the grubby and chaotic gas station.This is exactly the kind of message we need to see, assurveys continue to show that consumers suffer from many misconceptions aboutEVs (somerational, others ridiculous). But my favorite bit is at the end: “Reservethe all-electric e-tron SUV. Secure yours today.” Yes, folks, it’s an electricSUV, and it’s available to buy now (Audibegan delivering the e-tron to US dealerships in April). Over the past few years, we in the EV media have been highlycritical of automakers for failing to advertise their EVs (and then claimingthat there’s no consumer demand for them). So it’s only fair that we praisethem now that they’re starting to release some pro-EV ad spots.Several TV campaigns have referred to EVs over the years,but until recently most of themajors’ marketing moves have been ham-handed or downrightcounter-productive. Toyota and Lexus have run several anti-EV ad campaigns,including onethat ridiculed the BMW i3 and anotherthat disparaged plug-in vehicles in general. Bizarrely, a couple of automakers have run ads that seem designedto convince consumers not to buy their own EVs – aSuperbowl spot for the Audi e-tron appeared to depict it as a dream car forthe far future, and arecent ad for the Toyota Corolla Hybrid celebrated the fact that it doesn’thave to be plugged in. (Oh, the irony! Toyota’s Prius Prime PHEV is currently thesecond-best-selling plug-in vehicle in the US.)One bright spot was a 2014 ad for the VW e-Golfthat reunited William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy to present an EV as thepinnacle of technology. More recently, as part of its penance for the DirtyDiesel Debacle, VW has been required to run brand-neutral ads for EVs, and oneof these ironically featured the Chevy Bolt. (We’ve seen no TV ads for theBolt, but GM has done some substantial print campaigns.)Electrek’s Fred Lambert says his favorite ad for electric vehicles is actually a print spot for the Dodge Challenger Demon, which claims that the gas-guzzling sports car has the best performance on the market, but includes fine print clarifying that the “best” claim excludes EVs.The latest crop of ads represents a new generation, with anew and much more positive message. Four new TV spots extol the advantages ofEVs, and just as importantly, make it clear that they are available to buy now.Nissan’s new ad for the LEAF equates driving an EV to soaring through the air, saying, “This is how driving should feel.”In an exhilaratingad from Jaguar, the I-PACE takes a late-night lap of the famous MonacoGrand Prix circuit, and Jag tells us to “Roar Silently.” This is quite fitting,because I-PACEs do in fact race in the eTrophyseries, in conjunction with Formula E, and popularizing e-racing is a greatto make consumers aware of EVs’ superior performance.center_img Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

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