Uber is following in the footsteps of Amazon, Google, and others, with the development of its own delivery drone.The flying machine will be used by Uber Eats, a service that lets hungry folks order meals using an app on their smartphone.Uber has recently been conducting drone delivery tests from a McDonald’s in San Diego, California. It’s currently using an Air Robot AR200 octocopter with a custom-built box for holding the food, but later this year it plans to unveil its own delivery drone that could see a Big Mac and fries reach speeds of up to 70 mph.The company told Bloomberg it wants to have a commercial service up and running by this summer. This may be a little ambitious, however, as it’s yet to receive the necessary permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).In a bid to reassure the FAA about the safety of its proposed system, Uber said its meal-carrying drone wouldn’t fly directly to people’s homes because obstacles in and around yards could present serious challenges as it searched for a spot to land. In other words, one wrong move and it could be curtains for the combo meal, as well as the drone. More importantly, the safety of anyone nearby cannot be guaranteed in the event of a crash.Instead, the drone would fly to a predetermined safe-landing zone where a waiting Uber courier would grab the meal and complete the delivery.Time saverUber said that its drone service has the potential to reduce delivery time significantly compared to conventional methods. For example, current deliveries in urban areas take an average of 21 minutes across a distance of 1.5 miles, whereas a drone could do it in just 7 minutes, the company said. Even better, delivery charges for its drone service would not be any different to its regular rates.Uber hopes the launch of a such a service will help set it apart from its meal-delivery competitors, among them DoorDash, GrubHub, and Postmates. The challenges presented by the highly competitive market were brought into sharp focus recently when Amazon Restaurants announced it will be ending its service later this month.Uber executive Eric Allison told Bloomberg: “Our customers want selection, quality, and efficiency — all areas that improve with drone delivery.”But the safe operation of autonomous drones is still a huge issue, especially when flying over people and buildings in urban areas. And then there’s the issue of noise pollution, too.Amazon and WingAmazon unveiled its latest Prime Air drone earlier this month, which it hopes to use for delivering goods to the homes of its online shoppers. The FAA recently granted the company a one-year “special airworthiness certificate” allowing it to test the drone under certain conditions.Wing, owned by Google parent Alphabet, is making notable progress with its drone delivery program with the recent launch of a service in a part of Canberra, Australia, and trials in Helsinki, Finland.In April 2018, Wing revealed it had become the first company in the U.S. to receive Air Carrier Certification from the FAA, taking it a step closer to commercial drone deliveries in the U.S. Watch Amazon’s all-new delivery drone zipping through the sky Drone delivery services may prove too noisy for some in Australia Meatballs and pastries offered by Wing’s first European drone delivery service Alphabet’s Wing drones now have FAA approval to deliver packages in the U.S. The Skai is a multipurpose flying car powered by hydrogen fuel cells Editors’ Recommendations
Editors’ Recommendations Apple is investigating a report of an iPhone 6 that exploded in the hands of an 11-year-old girl in California, partially burning her.“I was sitting down, and I had my phone in my hand and then I saw sparks flying everywhere and I just threw it on a blanket,” Kayla Ramos told 23ABC. “I was right here on the bed and the phone managed to burn through this blanket and make these holes.”Ramos said that she burned herself, but thankfully, it was the blanket and bed that sustained most of the damage. She said that she mostly only uses the smartphone to watch YouTube videos.The iPhone 6, meanwhile, was charred and nearly unrecognizable. The device had partially disassembled, with the display panel separated from the body and burn marks everywhere.Maria Adata, Kayla’s mother, called Apple Support the following day, and was instructed to send photos of the destroyed iPhone 6 and to mail it in. She was then told that Apple is investigating the incident, and that a new iPhone will be shipped to her as a replacement.According to Apple, there are a few factors that may cause an iPhone to overheat and catch fire, as it did in this case. One is using unauthorized products with the device, such as third-party charging cables. Unauthorized repairs and external damage may also cause an explosion. Ramos, however, said that none of these applied to her.The incident, however, has a silver lining for Ramos. “It hasn’t been that bad,” she said. “I mean I have been able to hang out with my sisters and my family more.”The reason behind the iPhone 6 bursting into flames has not yet been identified, and Apple has not yet publicly commented on the incident.The new case of an iPhone explosion follows similar incidents last year, including one in May when an iPhone was caught on surveillance video suddenly exploding and catching fire in a store in Las Vegas. In December, a three-week-old iPhone XS Max reportedly caught fire while in the back pocket of its owners’ pants, emitting green and yellow smoke while burning his skin. How to replace your iPhone’s battery The best iPhone 8 cases and covers Apple reportedly won’t roll out iOS 13 to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE Renewed Apple iPhones get big price cuts on Amazon for Father’s Day Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Apple iPhone 11R
Japanese researchers use deep learning A.I. to get driftwood robots movingCloseDid you ever make sculptures out of found objects like driftwood? Researchers at the University of Tokyo have taken this same idea and applied it to robots. In doing so, they’ve figured out a way to take everyday natural objects like pieces of wood and get deep reinforcement learning algorithms to figure out how to make them move. Using just a few basic servos, they’ve opened up a whole new way of building robots — and it’s pretty darn awesome.“[In our work, we wanted to] consider the use of found objects in robotics,” the researchers write in a paper describing their work. “Here, these are branches of various shapes. Such objects have been used in art or architecture, but [are] not normally considered as robotic materials. [However,] when the robot is trained towards the goal of efficient locomotion, these parts adopt new meaning: hopping legs, dragging arms, spinning hips, or yet unnamed creative mechanisms of propulsion. Importantly, these learned strategies, and thus the meanings we might assign to such found object parts, are a product of optimization and not known prior to learning.”Azumi Maekawa/University of TokyoDeep reinforcement learning is useful for applications where the A.I. needs to figure out strategies for itself through trial and error. Famously, this approach to artificial intelligence was used to develop DeepMind’s A.I., which learned to play classic Atari games using just the game’s on-screen data and knowledge of its controls. In this latest driftwood example, the robot figures out the optimal way to bring its wooden limbs to virtual life by using reinforcement learning technology to test out different types of locomotion. The result involves movements that don’t necessarily replicate real-life animal movements (to be fair, there aren’t a whole lot of stick-like living creatures to model movement on!), but that are nonetheless efficient.In a masterstroke, the researchers arranged for this training to be done in simulation. Among other things, this allows for a large number of failed movement attempts without having to worry about destroying the physical robot in the process. In order to carry out these simulations accurately, though, the researchers first have to 3D scan in the sticks and enter their respective weights so that the gaits can be calculated correctly.While it’s likely that roboticists will continue to build many robots from the ground up, this is still a great reminder that, with the right software, literally anything can be a robot — even a pile of sticks. Software upgrade could let smartwatches know exactly what our hands are doing Bacteria could help mass-produce wonder material graphene at scale Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants Ignore the scaremongers. 5G won’t interfere with weather satellites. Here’s why Most cities can’t deal with escooters. Charlotte, N.C., wants to show them how Editors’ Recommendations
AnyboticsWhen you think of canine-inspired robots, your brain probably conjures up images of Boston Dynamics’ celebrated dog robot, Spot. But Boston Dynamics isn’t the only company building four-legged robots. Swiss robotics company Anybotics has also created its own audacious, quadruped robot. The size of a large dog and weighing a little under 80 pounds, Anymal aims to be the gold standard in dog-bots. It’s capable of autonomously walking, running, and climbing, and can even get back on its feet if it falls over.Although Spot will go on sale for the first time later this year, this gleaming robotic beast is already on the market in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. It’s also being put through its paces in some of the world’s least hospitable terrains. One such location is a storm-swept, offshore power-distribution platform in the North Sea, where Anymal was installed late last year to carry out routine inspections of the facility.“Right now, this is the kind of application that really makes sense for us,” Péter Fankhauser, Anybotics co-founder and chief business development officer, told Digital Trends. “These are jobs where you have a routine task, such as carrying out inspections on a big facility. If there’s a huge amount of infrastructure that needs to be inspected regularly for safety and efficiency, that’s something like a robot can really help with. Especially if it’s potentially hazardous, like mines or offshore oil and gas stations. In those scenarios, it makes sense to keep people out and deploy a robot instead — both from a security and a cost perspective.”And Fankhauser and his co-founders know exactly which robot to deploy. Exploring the world at largeThis is the world that Anymal — which has expanded beyond its original team to employ more than 30 people — now operates in. Without the luxury of being able to go a quarter century as an R&D outfit, like the aforementioned Boston Dynamics, Anymal has been built with industrial applications in mind from the start.“We’ve worked with a lot of industries across the globe and that has taught us a lot of lessons,” Fankhauser said.ANYboticsThese lessons have all contributed to the design of the current-gen Anymal: A lean, mean, autonomous sensing machine that can operate in the dark, in wet conditions due to its waterproofing, harsh conditions thanks to its rugged design, and can move autonomously with the aid of smart sensors. “A lot of the impressive walking robot demos you see are remote control. Our robots are built to be autonomous,” he continued. Anymal can carry a payload weighing up to 10 kilos and operate continuously for three hours, before autonomously returning to a docking bay to recharge.In addition to its routine inspection work in the North Sea, Anymal’s creators have worked with a number of different industries to see where it fits the best. These scenarios have included mining, sewage systems, construction sites, agriculture, forestry, and more. In short, if there’s a setting where you need to regularly inspect for status, track progress, and report on potential problems — without humans having to do it — Anymal may be your best bet. There’s even the possibility of Anybotics getting in on the delivery robot game, much like Starship Technologies.One area you don’t need to worry about it being used? The military. “We receive requests, but we have deliberately decided to keep out of any military applications,” Fankhauser said.So stop worrying about a real-life version of the robotic dog depicted in what be Black Mirror‘s most terrifying episode, Metalhead. Well, at least when it comes to this company! Ten years in the makingThe Anymal project has come a long way since its co-founders first started working together for their robotics degree at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. In the beginning, the focus was on developing electrical actuation, which allowed the robot to sense the ground while walking. This is a key capability for robots to move over uneven terrain. It quickly moved beyond this point, however, as the prototypes were taught to climb, run, and jump, and the team expanded its skills into areas like autonomous mapping and navigation. ANYboticsAt the time, Boston Dynamics’ early stage concepts were driven with combustion engines and hydraulics, but had already showcased promising results for the versatility of legged robots. On the other side of the world, Fankhauser and his fellow students were coming to similar conclusions about the possibilities offered by dog robots.“We often get asked why we use a robot with legs,” Fankhauser said. “People ask why we don’t use a drone or a wheeled or tracked robot. Drones, for example, let you quickly gather different perspectives or viewpoints of a scene. However, one of the big problems is their battery life. A drone flies, on average, for about 20 minutes. They are also often very limited in terms of their payload. You couldn’t safely have a drone flying autonomously through an industrial environment while carrying a bunch of sensors. Tracked vehicles, meanwhile, are great on flat surfaces. The problem is that that confines what you can do. Yes, there are versions that can climb stairs, but they tend to be quite big and heavy. That restricts the ability to go into narrow environments. With legs, we think we can solve a lot of these problems.”“A lot of the impressive walking robot demos you see are remote control. Our robots are built to be autonomous.”After graduating, the team behind Anymal were convinced they had the germ of a seriously interesting idea. Both the size and cost of autonomous robot components were coming down, largely thanks to innovations in both the smartphone and self-driving car fields. Suddenly components such as mobile cameras and laser sensors were accessible in a way they hadn’t been just a few years earlier.The team observed a bigger shift taking place as well. For much of the history of robotics, robots had been confined to certain indoor locations, such as robot arms used on the assembly line in car manufacturing. Many of these robots worked exceptionally well, partly because their creators were able to control every part of the “world” that they perceived. That no longer had to be the case, however.“It made sense to us that the next logical step was to take robots out in the field, to environments that weren’t built with robots in mind,” Fankhauser continued. “That could be urban environments, industrial environments, or natural environments. There are plenty of environments where robots are urgently needed to carry out various applications, but aren’t currently being used. What we’re doing is to build robots that can go anywhere.” Editors’ Recommendations The holy grail of robotics: Inside the quest to build a mechanical human hand Ford’s bipedal delivery robot can walk straight up to your doorstep The rise and reign of Starship, the world’s first robotic delivery provider This plane-pulling robo-dog makes Boston Dynamics’ Spot look scrawny Purdue’s robotic hummingbird is nearly as nimble as the real thing
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 reports that the House voted to repeal the health law’s medical device tax. Kaiser Health News: Wallack On Vermont’s Goal: ‘Universal, Affordable Coverage’ (Video) KHN’s Marilyn Werber Serafini talks with Anya Rader Wallack, who is tasked with moving Vermont to a single payer health care system. She’s confident the state would enact its own individual mandate requiring people to buy insurance even if the Supreme Court strikes down the federal mandate. But, she says, “We’ll have to cover [people] without adding new resources to the system or raising taxes.” This interview is part of KHN’s video series “Supreme Uncertainty: What’s Next After The Court Rules,” which solicits views from public officials and policy experts about the upcoming high court ruling (6/7). Watch the video or read the transcript.Kaiser Health News: Q & A: Will The Cadillac Tax Extend To Individual Plans Or the Self-Employed? (Video)In this Kaiser Health News video, Insuring Your Health columnist Michelle Andrews responds to a reader’s question about who will be affected by the health law’s Cadillac tax, a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost plans set to start in 2018 (6/7). Watch the video. Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Young Adults Don’t Necessarily Fit ‘Young Invincible’ Stereotype; The Downside Of Health Care Job GrowthNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Christian Torres reports: “Young adults’ insurance coverage has significantly improved since the passage of the health law, but this trend could be derailed by the Supreme Court’s much-anticipated ruling on the law, expected this month” (Torres, 6/8). Also on the blog, KHN’s Jenny Gold reports that while “Health care employment has been the bright spot in the otherwise lackluster recent jobs reports,” an opinion piece published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine argues that’s not necessarily a good thing (Gold, 6/7). Check out what else is on the blog.The New York Times’ The Caucus: New Poll: The Supreme Court And The Health Care LawMore than two-thirds of Americans hope the Supreme Court will overturn some or all of the 2010 health care law, according to a new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News. Just 24 percent said they hoped the court “would keep the entire health care law in place” (Liptak and Kopicki, 6/7).The New York Times: House Acts To Repeal Medical Device TaxIn another assault on President Obama’s health care law, the House passed a bill on Thursday to repeal a new tax on medical devices (Pear, 6/7).The Washington Post: House Votes To Repeal ‘Medical Device Tax,’ But Senate Unlikely To AgreeLaunching a summer-long effort to chip away at the 2010 health-care reform law, the House voted Thursday to repeal a key funding source for the reforms. The Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012 would repeal a 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales receipts in excess of $5 million for manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices, including defibrillators, pacemakers and prosthetic limbs. Congressional budget officials estimate that the tax set to take effect Jan. 1 would raise nearly $30 billion in revenue between 2013 and 2022 (O’Keefe, 6/7).The Wall Street Journal: Millions Of Young Adults Join Parents’ Health PlansAbout 6.6 million young adults signed up for health coverage through their parents’ insurance plans in the first year after a new provision in the federal health law took effect, according to estimates in a study released Friday. As part of the law, most insurance plans offered by employers to their workers had to allow parents to enroll dependents on their plans up to the age of 26, starting in September 2010. Previously, parents had been able to include children only up to their 19th birthdays, or until the age of 22 if the children were full-time college students (Radnofsky, 6/7).The Wall Street Journal: Molina, Centene Win Back Ohio Medicaid BusinessMedicaid health insurers Molina Healthcare Inc. and Centene Corp. won back business in Ohio after protesting their prior rejection for new contracts starting next year. The state, which had initially named Aetna Inc. a winner, dropped that insurer from its list of five Medicaid health plans that will serve start starting Jan. 1. Meridian Health Plan, a nonprofit, was also dropped after initially being named a winner (Kamp, 6/7).NPR: New Fetal Genetics Test: Less Risk, More ControversyThe full genetic code of a fetus has been cracked. The technique, used by scientists at the University of Washington, could offer parents safer and more comprehensive prenatal testing in the future. It also leaps into a debate over what information parents will eventually have — and use — to decide whether to have an abortion (Farrington, 6/7).Los Angeles Times: Prop. 29 Backers Hold Out Hope As Gap NarrowsProponents of the tobacco tax initiative on Tuesday’s state ballot, Proposition 29, refused to concede defeat Thursday as election officials continued to count ballots and the gap narrowed. The measure was losing by just under 53,000 votes as updated tallies continued to trickle in from county elections offices. On election night, that number was 63,000 (Wilson, 6/7).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. First Edition: June 8, 2012
The Wall Street Journal reports on how military families who wish to keep their adult children on their health plans are facing higher costs than those in the regular insurance market. Also, ABC News reports on research findings that compare the health of military veterans with current military and civilians. The Wall Street Journal: Military Families Balk At Health FeeA provision in the national health care law that lets young adults stay on their parents’ insurance plan is popular with many families — but not ones in the military. Families covered by Tricare, the health program for active and retired members of the military, must pay as much as $200 a month to let an adult child stay on their plan until age 26. Most families in private plans now pay no fee to extend such coverage. Military families are starting to complain about the disparity, saying they can’t afford those premiums and have let their children go uninsured (10/9).ABC News: Veterans Report Poorer Health Than Active Military, CiviliansMilitary veterans have poorer health compared with current servicemen as well as civilians, according to a new study by researchers at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle. They surveyed 53,000 veterans, 3,700 Guard and Reserve members, 2,000 active duty servicemen and 110,000 civilians about their health and access to health care. Veterans as well as active duty servicemen reported higher rates of diabetes, alcohol consumption and tobacco use compared with civilian men. In some ways, the findings, which were published Tuesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, are not so surprising given that current active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members are given routine physical screenings (Salahi, 10/9). Military Families Who Want To Keep Adult Kids On Tricare Face Higher Fees This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
High Turnout Projected For Tight Presidential Race 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 new Pew Research Center poll finds the race between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney “dead even,” although a Battleground tracking poll gives a slight edge to Obama in swing states. Meanwhile, as Obama focused on Mega-Storm Sandy, former President Bill Clinton carried the campaign message to Florida, highlighting key parts of the health law.Los Angeles Times: Poll Finds 2012 Race Dead Even, Forsees Relatively High TurnoutWith only one week left in the 2012 campaign, a major new Pew Research Center poll is projecting a relatively high level of voter turnout in the dead-even presidential contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney. The national opinion survey, released Monday, shows the president and the former Massachusetts governor each drawing support from 47% of likely voters. … Beyond the national opinion surveys, most state polls show that Obama is clinging to a tiny edge in enough battlegrounds to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. But the Pew poll underscores the enormous potential for a late opinion swing to shift the race either way in the days leading up to next week’s election.(West, 10/29).Politico: Battleground Tracking Poll: President Obama Retakes LeadWith eight days to go until the election, President Barack Obama has recaptured a narrow national lead over Mitt Romney, riding increased support from women and an edge in early voting. A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll of 1,000 likely voters — taken from last Monday through Thursday — shows Obama ahead of Romney by 1 percentage point, 49 percent to 48 percent. That represents a 3-point swing in Obama’s direction from a week ago but reflects a race that remains statistically tied (Hohmann, 10/29).The New York Times’ The Caucus: With Obama Tending To Storm, Clinton Campaigns For Him In FloridaWith Hurricane Sandy barreling toward the Northeast on Monday, former President Bill Clinton played stand-in for President Obama at a campaign rally here at the University of Central Florida. … One of the biggest cheers from Obama supporters came when Mr. Clinton praised the president’s health care law and its provision allowing children to remain on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26 (Perez, 10/29).Los Angeles Times: Clinton Touts Obama’s Economic RecordClinton was originally scheduled to introduce Obama, but early Monday morning, as storm conditions from Hurricane Sandy worsened along the Mid-Atlantic coast, White House officials decided to get the president back to Washington, leaving his Democratic predecessor to appear solo. … Clinton stressed two issues that Democrats hope will be particularly attractive to Latino voters — Obama’s healthcare law and his reforms of the student loan program. He reminded the crowd, which included a large percentage of students, that under the healthcare law, people up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ insurance plans. Romney says he supports that part of the law but argues the private sector would maintain the coverage if the law is repealed (Lauter, 10/29).CBS examines some of the key health care stakes in play on Election Day, while NPR explores what steps Romney could take to dismantle the health law – CBS: Five Groups With A Serious Stake On Election DayPotential Medicaid recipients: Mr. Obama and Romney have profoundly different aims for Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides health care coverage for more than 55 million Americans with low incomes and disabilities, including more than 4.6 million low-income seniors and more than 31 million children… People with pre-existing conditions who lack health care: Mr. Obama’s Affordable Care Act included a rule, slated to go into effect in 2014, barring insurance companies from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions. It’s one of the most popular aspects of the contentious health care reform bill. Romney has said that he intends to keep protections for people with pre-existing conditions — as long as they maintain continuous coverage. In other words, when a person switches jobs, their new insurer cannot deny them coverage. There’s already a 1996 law on the books, though, that offers that protection (Condon, 10/30).NPR: Can Mitt Romney Really Repeal Obamacare?Mitt Romney says he’ll grant a waiver to all 50 states on Day 1 of his presidency so that they don’t have to comply with the Affordable Care Act. But even his supporters question whether he would have the legal authority to do that. He’s also promising to repeal it — a process that could take months, at a minimum — and he may not be able to totally repeal the law.And, in other campaign trail talk, President Obama suggested he could work out a Medicare deal in a second term – Politico Pro: Obama: Cost Control Key To Medicare, Deficit ReductionPresident Barack Obama is suggesting he can work on a Medicare deal in a second term by returning to a familiar theme: Reduce health care costs, and you can make a big dent in the national debt. “Anybody realistically looks at it and says, if we’re spending 17 percent of our GDP on health care and every other country is spending 11 percent and their outcomes are better, that difference of 6 percent, that’s our deficit and our debt,” Obama told Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in an interview that aired Monday morning on “Morning Joe.” The interview took place in New Hampshire on Saturday (Smith, 10/29).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Health Law Provisions Saved Seniors $5.7B On Rx Drugs USA Today: HHS Report: Medicare Prescription Drug Savings Hit $5.7BSeniors have saved about $5.7 billion on prescription drugs since January 2011 because of provisions in the 2010 health care law meant to close the Medicare “doughnut hole,” the government plans to announce today (Kennedy, 2/7).
Native Americans Fight Government Over Hospital Compensation The Washington Post: Federal Contractors On Edge As Indian Tribes Wait For ClaimsWhen the federal government reneged on its agreement to fully compensate the Shoshone-Paiute tribes for running a hospital on the Duck Valley reservation, the Washington contracting world barely noticed. But after similar contracts were broken with hundreds of other Native American tribes and the debts they were owed snowballed to an estimated $2 billion, federal contractors joined their court battle, alarmed that the practice might eventually ensnare them as well (Kindy, 12/22). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Politico: Next Shutdown Victim: School Lunches Antoinette Martinez was relieved when she heard she would receive her food stamps for February about two weeks early. Her cabinet was nearly empty after the holidays, and now she could stock up on groceries to feed her family. But Martinez also feared she wouldn’t be able to make the funds last. “I know I’m gonna spend them and I’m gonna be struggling next month,” 31-year-old Martinez said late Wednesday as she loaded her car with bags from a Food 4 Less market in Los Angeles. (Gorman, 1/18) Three schools on the Wind River Reservation are offering free lunches to people affected by the government shutdown. Owen Saint Claire, the superintendent of Fremont County School District 14, said more than a thousand people on the Wind River reservation are not getting their paycheck right now. (Edwards, 1/17) Iowa Public Radio: What’s Open, What’s On Hold For Food And Ag During The Government Shutdown CNN: This Diabetic Federal Worker Rationed Her Insulin During The Shutdown Because Debt Was Scarier Than Dying FDA To Focus On Drug Review Process As Shutdown Forces Agency To Make Tough Prioritization Decisions Drugs to treat epilepsy, triple-negative breast cancer and spinal muscular atrophy are just a few of the medications slated for review over the next several months. But there’s only so much time that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb can buy with dwindling funds. Meanwhile, a furloughed worker who had to start rationing her insulin puts a face to the troubles thousands of people are facing as the shutdown drags on. Other news on the standoff focuses on school lunches and food security. Kaiser Health News: Pain From The Government Shutdown Spreads. This Time It’s Food Stamps Joseph Daskalakis’ son was born New Year’s Eve, a little over a week into the current government shutdown, and about 10 weeks before he was expected. Little Oliver ended up in a specialized neonatal intensive care unit, the only one that could care for him near their home in Lakeville, Minn.But air traffic controller Daskalakis, 33, has an additional worry: The hospital where the newborn is being treated is not part of his current insurer’s network and the partial government shutdown prevents him from filing the paperwork necessary to switch insurers, as he would otherwise be allowed to do. He could be on the hook for a hefty bill — while not receiving pay. Daskalakis is just one example of federal employees for whom being unable to make changes to their health plans really matters. (Appleby, 1/18) Wyoming Public Radio: Wind River Reservation School District Offers Free Lunches To Families Hit By Shutdown The long tentacles of the partial federal government shutdown are reaching especially deep into food and agriculture. Here’s an update on some of the impacts in the fourth week of the longest shutdown in history. (Mayer, 1/17) The Food and Drug Administration plans to furlough more people and suspend lower-priority tasks to preserve money for drug reviews, including for new treatments for depression, diabetes and several types of cancer. With money for drug reviews rapidly diminishing as the government shutdown drags into its fourth week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an interview Thursday that he plans to curtail “discretionary activities” and call for additional furloughs in areas in which workloads have been reduced due to the shutdown. (McGinley, 1/17) A furloughed federal worker who is diabetic said she resorted to rationing her insulin medication because “the thought of having more debt was scarier than the thought of dying” in her sleep. “I thought, no end in sight for the shutdown. I can’t afford an ambulance bill. I can’t afford to go to the emergency room right now, because I know there’s more bills coming our way,” Mallory Lorge explained on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” (Barrett, 1/17) The Washington Post: FDA Directs Dwindling Resources Toward Reviewing New Drugs Kaiser Health News: Furloughed Feds’ Health Coverage Intact, But Shutdown Still Complicates Things Servings of fresh fruits and vegetables are disappearing from school lunch trays in rural Vance County, N.C. The Prairie Hills school district in Kansas is worried about not being able to feed kids at all. On top of that, there are thousands of new kids nationwide eligible for free or low-cost school meals because their parents have been furloughed by the federal government. (Hefling and Quilantan, 1/17) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
General Motors announces initiatives to assist with vehicle repair and replacement for those impacted by Hurricane FlorenceFor those impacted by the recent hurricane, residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia are eligible for assistance programs.These programs will apply to any Chevy Bolt EV, Chevy Volt, or Cadillac CT6 PHEV in addition to the rest of GMs lineup. During and following the storm, OnStar was activated on all OnStar equipped vehicles at no charge. This provides emergency services, route assistance, survival resources and free wi-fi and calling minutes.More About EVs in Hurricanes GM and ACDelco will also expedite parts to the region for the next several months. This should help speed up repair work on existing GM vehicles caught in the storm.Now that people are surveying the damage, purchase incentives are also available. For those with existing vehicles significantly damaged or totaled during the storm, a replacement vehicle may be necessary. So if you have been considering a switch to a Chevy Bolt or Volt and live in the above areas, be sure to capitalize on the discounts.GM Financial will be “waiving most related fees” and offering up to a 90-day deferred first payment. A $1,000 purchasing incentive and a $500 lease allowance are also available. The offers are in effect until the end of October and available to those that “present an insurance claim form indicating their vehicle was damaged as a result of Hurricane Florence”.From General Motors:OnStar is providing complimentary Crisis Assist to customers with properly equipped vehicles in affected areas, which can include emergency services, routing assistance, survival resource information, Hands-Free Calling minutes and 4G LTE Wi-Fi data through AT&T.GM Financial is assisting impacted customers with payment arrangements and waiving most related fees. Eligible customers who are replacing a vehicle may qualify for a 90-day deferred first payment.GM Genuine Parts and ACDelco will expedite service parts to the region to help speed vehicle repairs.New and used vehicle inventory will be sent to the region to help meet expected replacement demand, including demand for pre-owned vehicles, courtesy transportation and insurance rentals.Customers replacing storm-damaged vehicles in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia are eligible for $1,000 in purchase assistance for nearly all 2018 and 2019 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles, on top of other eligible incentives, including special discounts for military families and first responders. Lease customers are eligible for a $500 lease allowance, in addition to other eligible incentives.Source: General Motors Hurricane Florence: More On Tesla’s Response And Assistance Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 22, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Hurricane Survival 101: Tesla Vehicle, Tesla Powerwall, Solar Roof Hurricane Irma Tesla Range-Extension Good Through October 1
Good luck if you want to work on your own Tesla by yourself. The automaker has historically made it really hard for tinkerers to be able to repair and modify their own cars by limiting access to documentation and parts.Tesla has been talking about getting on board with the “Right to Repair” and now they have taken an important first step in that direction by releasing their parts catalog for Model 3, Model S, Model X, and Roadster to the public. more…The post Tesla releases parts catalog for Model 3, Model S, Model X and Roadster to the public appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Source: Electric Vehicle News Some electric swag from down under.The latest newcomer to the electric motorcycle market isn’t American or Indian—this time, we could soon be seeing e-motorcycles coming from down under! Aussie startup Savic made its debut at the Melbourne Moto Expo with its first concept and things look really promising. The best part: the low price point. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 24, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Juiced Bikes Presents Camp, City And Hyper Scrambler E-Bikes Meet the Sur-Ron Light Bee Long-Range E-Bike More E-Bikes They say everything in Australia is out to kill you, so you need a fast bike to make a swift getaway. With an electric bike, you even have the luxury of a quiet escape, which is a bonus. With all that in mind, the Savic Alpha could be just what you need! Young entrepreneur and engineer Dennis Savic started his own company with the ambition of building an entire lineup of electric and affordable electric bikes. In doing so, he also becomesThe first concept to sport the lion head Savic badge is the Alpha, the flagship model, an elegant-looking café racer-inspired model. The swooping silhouette of the matching gas tank and saddle seem to float above the battery compartment, an admittedly bulky black box with radiator-like stripes. The clip ons with bar-end mirrors and absence of a pillion add to the bike’s retro vibe. The vintage look clashes with more modern elements, including the dual headlight and digital gauge display.Where things get very interesting, is when you look at the numbers. In fact, the Alpha is expected to produce 80 horsepower thanks to the 11 kWh battery, with a peak torque estimated to reach 110 lb-ft and an anticipated top speed of 100 miles per hour. In an urban context, not taking full advantage of the Alpha’s talent for speed will get you an estimated range of roughly 155 miles which is well within a lot of gas models’ average range. How much, you probably wonder at this point? Savic is hoping to market its top-of-the-line model for $14,500 while the entry-level Omega (not shown yet) is expected to go for as little as $8,700.Savic is targeting an official introduction to the market for 2020 with a first run of 50 to 100 units. The company will start taking orders on November 23, 2018. The startup will face a few challenges considering the culture of electric vehicles isn’t as spread out in Australia as it is in North America. Charging infrastructures have yet to expand, but it’s never too late to get the ball rolling, and if things go well for Savic in its homeland, chances are the brand will expand its market and we might one day ride on that sweet-looking electric beast.Sources: New Atlas, Savic GM Needs Your Help Naming Its New E-Bike Brand
Autogefühl Tests Kia Niro EV: Finds Lots Of Pros, Few Cons Kia Niro EV Gets Tested By Fully Charged: Video 6 photos Source: Electric Vehicle News While the Niro EV comes standard with a 64-kWh battery pack and lots of range, it also only comes in one fully loaded trim level. This means you get a ton of stuff, but you have no choice but to pay for it. Vicky says this crossover is one of few cars that will work to increase EV adoption for the masses. She’s happy with the Niro’s comfort, predictability, acceleration, and intuitive braking. Vicky says you can just go about your business as with any car and the e-Niro feels “normal.”Driving Electric’s Pros and Cons:ProsClaimed 282-mile rangeComfortable and practicalBells-and-whistles equipment listConsStill quite expensiveStyling not to all tastesRelatively short service intervalsDrivingElectric concludes:As an overall prospect, the e-Niro is currently the best electric family car going. It’s great to drive, comfortable to sit in, easy to live with as a family and – crucially – offers the sort of range that should finally put the dreaded range anxiety to bed. Of course, you get Kia’s famous seven-year/100,000-mile warranty as well. It’s electric motoring made even easier, and at an affordable price.Video Description via DrivingElectric on YouTube:Kia e-Niro electric SUV review – DrivingElectricKia e-Niro review: https://www.drivingelectric.com/kia/n…The Kia e-Niro is our favourite electric family car. It’s a great compact SUV with a 282-mile official electric range and an affordable price.Rival review:Hyundai Kona Electric review: https://www.drivingelectric.com/hyund…KIA NIRO EV (e-NIRO) 2019 Kia e-Niro: Everything You Need To Know Another super-positive review of the all-new, upcoming 2019 Kia e-Niro.DrivingElectric recently reviewed the Kia Niro EV. Not only does the publication provide a video recap of the review, but there’s also a written synopsis that’s linked below in the video description. We really appreciate the fact that the outlet offers us a review from a female reporter’s perspective — Vicky Parrott — since this is rare for sure. So, what does DrivingElectric think of the brand-new entrant?Check Out These Kia Niro EV Reviews: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 20, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News
New cars can be weird, usually in a good way.Source: Electric Vehicle News
The cause of the crash is unknown, but luckily injuries were non-life threatening.Source: Electric Vehicle News
Horse racing tips Share on Twitter Ron Cox’s tip of the day Horse racing Topics First published on Mon 10 Mar 2008 22.37 EDT Mon 10 Mar 2008 22.37 EDT Ron Cox Since you’re here… Mon Mome 4.00 CheltenhamKelami won this in 2005 after finishing fourth the previous year, and Mon Mome can follow suit. Last season’s good run behind Joes Edge, Juveigneur and Distant Thunder came on the back of some hard races. This time Mon Mome will be fresher. He warmed up with a spin over hurdles last month and is 3lb lower than last year, when New Alco (now 6lb worse) was two lengths away sixth. Shares00 Share on Facebook … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Share via Email Horse racing Ron Cox’s tip of the day Ron Cox’s tip of the day