VIA: XDA Having a bit of Star Wars or Stranger Things envy from those with the Google Pixel phones? Worry not for the Force is strong with the Android community. Especially if, like a true Rebel, you have rooted your phone. If you are one of the Chosen few with a rooted Nexus 6P, OnePlus 3 or 3T, or a Xiaomi Mi 5, you can also join in on the whimsical fun of having Storm Troopers and very imaginative kids invade your world with Google’s latest AR Stickers. They’re definitely fun, that is, if you own a Google Pixel or Pixel 2 and their XL counterparts. Most other smartphones are out of luck as the APKs for these stickers are hardcoded to only work on the aforementioned four Pixel phones. Fortunately, this is Android we’re talking about.AdChoices广告If you have a rooted Nexus 6P, you can “fake” your phone’s build to be a Google Pixel phone. The process for the OnePlus 3/3T or Xiaomi Mi 5 is a bit more involved, but those brave enough to try have reported positive results. Next to VR, AR and MR (Mixed Reality) is the new computing trend. But just like VR, mobile devices are limited by both hardware and the software available to make such realities. So until Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore really take off, phones will have to settle for AR Stickers. Plenty of AR Stickers.Just this week, Google rolled out two sets of such stickers based on the Stranger things and Star Wars franchises. Calling them stickers is probably a misnomer, since they are really virtual 3D objects superimposed on our real 3D world. Plus, they can move around with a sort of sense of their location as well as other objects in the background.
There is no shortage of smart TVs. In fact, almost every new premium TV these days have some “smart” feature or another, from Internet streaming to integration with smart assistants. Lau, however, thinks TVs, even smart ones, are all still too traditional and that there’s a missed opportunity to truly rethink the TV.Speaking to Business Insider, Lau enumerates some of the advantages he believes the OnePlus TV will be able to offer. That ranges from casting photos and videos from smartphones, showing calendar events and departure times, and more. In other words, it would offer a seamless integration with smartphones and visual feedback for smart assistants.Sounds familiar? That’s because we already have things like Amazon’s Echo platform, including the display-toting Echo Show. There’s also Google Home, Google Assistant, and Google Chromecast. There are even some smart TVs with Google Assistant built-in via Android TV. For Lau, however, those aren’t enough and wants to make the OnePlus TV the center of the household rather than as an extension of a smart speaker. The exec was also coy about which smart assistant will get to live inside that smart TV.The big question is whether it will be able to perform the same trick it did in the smartphone market. After all, OnePlus wasn’t exactly known for some industry-leading innovation. It is best known, instead, for taking those existing innovations and packaging them in an affordable product. That said, if it is indeed able to pull that off without cutting corners on screen resolution the way it did with the OnePlus phones, it could very well make lightning strike twice indeed. OnePlus’ success was nothing short of a miracle. In an overly saturated smartphone market dominated by Samsung and Apple, a no-name startup dared to challenge the status quo with a premium smartphone at half the price. The company has grown a lot since then but, aside from a short drone stint and wireless earbuds, it hasn’t grown out of its mobile roots. Founder Pete Lau, however, thinks now is the right time to brings its magic to another saturated, and some may say dying, market: TVs.
Packages handed out by Huawei PR at the Apple Store on Orchard Road, Singapore. The new iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max were made available in-store starting on Friday, September 21st in the country of Singapore and in surrounding regions. This was also the same availability date as the United States, and it was the first day pre-orders were shipping to consumers in many countries around the world. Consumers waiting in line on Orchard Road were handed packages by Huawei with a power pack inside. That is, a big battery with a USB port on the side that can send power to an iPhone with the proper USB cord. On the package, Huawei included a semi-snarky message for soon-to-be iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max owners.“Here’s a power bank.You’ll need it.Courtesy of Huawei.”This marketing stunt was done with little expense to Huawei – and their return on investment is sure to be more than worth the effort. Each Huawei Power Bank given to Apple Fans was a massive 10,000 HUAWEI SuperCharge. That’s an $80 USD investment, right there. According to Mothership, once Huawei was done giving out packages, they had people following them back to their home base in an attempt to get more. Everyone wants power, no matter how big a fan they might be of Huawei’s opposition.AdChoices广告Huawei also has an event coming up in London on the 16th of October, 2018. After the iPhone Xs and XR were first revealed, Huawei sent out a message that read “THANK YOU for letting us be the real hero of the year. See you in London 16.10.18.” That’ll be the Huawei Mate 20, and it’ll be a doozy. Last night a crew of Huawei PR handed out packages at an Apple Store to consumers waiting to buy the new iPhone Xs. These packages contained an accessory, for free, from Huawei. The trolling in this situation didn’t really end up being at the expense of the consumers so much as it was direct in the face of Apple and their new smartphone collection.
Some words have started to become meaningless in the tech industry. “Unlimited” has become “unlimited but” and “yoga” is no longer associated with extreme flexibility. Soon, LG might also be joining that trend and redefine “gram” to be heavier than what it means. Because while the latest tip brings the good news of new form factors and sizes, it also brings the unfortunate cost of such an expansion. Truth be told, LG already misused the name for branding purposes anyway. After all, the first lightweight LG Gram laptop didn’t weigh a gram, naturally. It did, however, weigh a kilogram, so that may still apply. However, LG has lately been stretching that association a bit and might as well call it the LG Grams.There are at least two never before seen LG Gram models coming in its refresh, at least according to leaked images. One is a 17-inch laptop, the largest of that brand. That would incur additional weight, but probably not as much as the more interesting variant.LG will allegedly introduce is first Gram convertible, one that flip, like a real Yoga, from laptop to tablet in 360 degrees. This “Gram 2-in-1” will supposedly feature a 14-inch touch screen, two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, a separate power port, an HDMI port, a microSD card slot, a headphone jack, and a side-mounted power button. Based on the image, LG might ship a pen with it or even sell separately.All of that puts the LG Gram 2-in-1 at a reported 2.6 lbs, around 1.17 kg. While that might be only slightly heavier than the most recent 1.1 kg (2.4 lbs) LG Gram, the company does seem to be slowly pushing the brand beyond what it originally meant.
The app in question this time is the “Weather Forecast-World Weather Accurate Radar” developed by TCL itself and pre-installed on a couple of Alcatel phones, including the Pixi 4 and A3 Max that UK-based security firm Upstream reported. As innocuous as a weather app may be, this particular one is particularly nefarious in the many ways it violated users’ privacy and security.For one, it collected phone data like IMEI, email addresses, and locations and sent them to a remote TCL server. It also seemed to run adware programs behind the scenes, consuming anywhere from 50 to 250 MB of data, all without the user’s knowledge. The most egregious activity, however, is subscribing users to premium phone numbers which, if not for Upstream’s Secure-D platform, would have cost consumers in Brazil and certain countries around $1.5 million in bogus charges.Upstream admits it doesn’t have worldwide insight to know if the weather app has actually affected other handsets around the globe. The app, which was also made available on Google Play Store and downloaded more than 10 million times, has already been removed from devices and the app market.At the moment, there’s still no conclusion on how the malware got into the weather app, though one theory claims that a TCL developer’s system may have been compromised. While this particular incident may absolve TCL and Alcatel of direct wrongdoing, it doesn’t excuse them for being negligent. Especially considering it’s their second time to have this exact kind of problem. It seems that Alcatel or its licensee TCL haven’t yet learned their lessons, perhaps waiting for that “big bad” that will tear down whatever credibility their brands might have in the mobile market. Last year, the French brand found itself in the middle of controversy for having adware apps pre-installed on its phones. Now it might have done slightly worse with yet another pre-installed app that contained malware that not only collected phone data, in some cases, it also subscribed users’ phone numbers to premium paid services without their knowledge, much less their consent.
Shenzen-based manufacturer GPD has really come a long way from its relatively obscure origins. Its name originally stood for “GamePad Digital” and it made a living out of making Android gaming handhelds. It has since then moved on to cater to an equally niche market of handheld PC and UMPC computers. Having filled the market with such five to seven-inch devices, GPD has returned to Indiegogo to “crowdfund” its latest product, the GPD P2 Max “Ultrabook”. The GPD P2 Max is now up on Indiegogo, which is probably more popular now as a pre-order platform than a crowdfunding one. A Celeron 3965Y version with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage is available at a discounted $530 price while the Core m3-8100Y with 16GB/512GB memory is $705 during the campaign period. Truth be told, the Ultrabook moniker has long been used to describe ultrathin but large laptops. GPD says that shouldn’t be the case. Just as it branded its GPD Pocket (and Pocket 2) as Ultra Mobile PCs or UMPCs, it is redefining Ultrabooks with a set of criteria that, of course, only its GPD P2 Max can really meet.That includes having an 8.9-inch screen size “like the iPad mini 4” and a 650-gram weight. GPD keeps on comparing the P2 Max with that iPad mini but, truth be told, the laptop is, of course, larger and thicker than Apple’s smallest tablet.The GPD P2 Max does have a lot going for it if you consider its size. That screen, for example, has a high pixel density with a resolution of 2560×1200 and has 10-point touch control. The small laptop runs on an Intel Core m3 processor with 8 or 16 GB of RAM and 256 or 512 GB of NVMe SSD storage. It even has a camera built into its “spindle” hinge for somewhat awkward video calls.GPD, however, isn’t the only one in this new “ultrabook” market, with both the Chuwi MiniBook and the One Mix 3 launching earlier. The GPD P2 Max does have the advantage of having an actual but small touchpad and more standard keyboard layout owing to its larger size.
Not too long ago, Amazon made the almost scandalous announcement that it would be letting its couriers into houses via its Amazon Key system. Then this year, it expanded that to garages and finally to cars. Fortunately, the rollout of Amazon Key has been relatively uneventful and companies are, in fact, siding with the retail giant. The latest to join that club is Ford, who will allow select models to become your mailbox to keep your package safe, while hopefully also keeping your car safe. It may almost sound laughable until you consider how many packages are stolen simply because they are left by the door. YouTube is filled with videos of such thievery as well as the creative and sometimes cruel ways homeowners try to get back at packagenappers. While carjacking isn’t uncommon either, those are probably less likely to happen in front of your home.In that context, it does almost seem like turning your car’s trunk into a mailbox is the surest way to safeguard large packages. Amazon thinks so, too, which is why it launched the Key by Amazon In-Car service as a free service for Prime users. Of course, you’ll need specific car models for that and the launch roster was limited to just a few.Ford is proud to be the latest member of that few, bringing some of its Ford and Lincoln cars for the ride. Specifically, Prime users with a 2017 or later Ford cars equipped with FordPass Connect as well as 2018 or later Lincolns with Lincoln Connect are considered eligible. They just need to download the Amazon Key mobile app, link their Amazon Prime account with their FordPass or Lincoln Way account, and wait for their trunks to fill up with packages.AdChoices广告Ford says that Key by Amazon In-Car delivery is just the tip of the iceberg. It is, in effect, inviting other business to also integrate with its connected cars. Next on its list is to give car owners the option to purchase eco-friendly car wash services when and where they’re available.
Then, it was a more affordable version of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan, though the car was axed in 2003. After that, Chrysler reused the Voyager badge for international versions of the Dodge Caravan. Now the name is returning to the US, as a more affordable option for families with plenty of people – and their luggage – to haul. It’ll be based on the Chrysler Pacifica, the well-reviewed minivan that launched in 2016. In China, that car is also known as the Grand Voyager in Chinese. This isn’t, however, a new minivan. In reality, Chrysler is just rebranding the more affordable, entry-level versions of the Pacifica: the old Pacifica L and LX trims will now be Voyager L and LX trims instead. The Pacifica will remain the more expensive version of the car. AdChoices广告A 2020 Voyager L will seat seven, with cloth seats and a second-row bench. It’ll have manual climate control, too. If you want a little more cosseting, the 2020 Voyager LX will switch out the bench in the second row for captain’s chairs, and add power adjustment to the driver’s seat. It’ll also get SiriusXM satellite radio and audio controls on the steering wheel; an optional cold-weather package will add front seat heating and a heated steering wheel. Both will have Uconnect 4, Chrysler’s infotainment system, on a 7-inch touchscreen in the center console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be included, too. Optional will be rear parking sensors and blind spot monitoringWhere you might most commonly see the new Voyager, though, is in rental fleets. There, Chrysler has a specific model – the 2020 Voyager LXi – which has been designed for fleets. It has leatherette seats, while the second row uses the company’s Stow ‘n’ Go system. There’s also a roof rack, remote start, sunshades in the second row, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Under the hood, Chrysler will stick with its 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. It’s front-wheel drive, and packs 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque; there’s a nine-speed automatic transmission. Economy is likely to hit 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. If you want Chrysler’s excellent hybrid drivetrain, however, you’ll need to cough up for a Pacifica. What we don’t know is just how much the 2020 Voyager will cost. Right now the Pacifica L starts at $27,235 before destination, but we’re expecting the Voyager to undercut that a little as it chases minivan fans on a budget. Chrysler is rebooting a classic name, with the 2020 Chrysler Voyager promising cheaper versions of the Pacifica minivan. Set to go on sale later in the year, the new 2020 Voyager returns a nameplate to forecourts that hadn’t been seen in the US since 2003.
Editors’ Recommendations Medium format is known for both image quality and bulk — but Fujifilm’s latest GFX series lens is the company’s lightest medium format lens yet, making camera-lens combos that are even lighter than some full-frame DSLRs. Announced on Thursday, July 18, the Fujinon GF 50mm F3.5 R LM WR is designed to match the resolution of the GFX bodies all in optics that weigh less than 12 ounces. The company says the lightweight design makes the lens ideal for street and landscape work.The 50mm lens, equivalent to a 40mm on a full-frame camera, is designed from nine elements in six groups and a nine-blade aperture. The optics, Fujifilm says, are designed for maximum resolution, including the 102-megapixel sensor of the GFX 100, and also support the reproduction of rich tones. One aspherical element is used to fight spherical aberration and barrel distortion. The company says the lens is made with technology that allows for sub-micron precision for optimal image quality.The lens’ autofocus motor is designed for both speed and discrete, quiet performance. Fujifilm says that the autofocus is near silent with minimal focus breathing for video.The optics and autofocus motor are wrapped in a body that’s less than two inches long. Weighing 11.8 ounces on its own, paired with the GFX 50R, the combination weighs 39.2 ounces — lightweight for the notoriously large medium-format category. High-end full-frame DSLRs like the Nikon D5, by comparison, weigh nearly 50 ounces without a lens. The lens is also weather-sealed against dust and moisture.The lens is the lightest yet in the GFX series, which now includes ten optics — seven prime lenses, two zoom lenses, and a teleconverter. The new lens sits close to the previous GFX 45mm f2.8, trading a narrower aperture for a lighter design. The prime lenses now include a 23mm, 45mm, 50mm, 63mm, 110mm, 120mm, and 250mm, along with the 32-64mm and 100-200mm zoom lenses.Fujifilm’s medium format mirrorless series is lighter than traditional medium format cameras, thanks to the mirror-free design, but they still typically have a weight disadvantage over full-frame mirrorless cameras as a trade-off for that larger sensor. The new lens is compatible with the GFX 50S, 50R and new GFX 100.The new Fujifilm GFX 50mm F3.5 R LM WR will make its debut on September 26. The lens is expected to retail for about $1,000. The Fujifilm GFX100 is a 102-megapixel, stabilized beast of a mirrorless camera With 6 stops of stabilization, the Fujifilm XF 16-80mm F4 focuses on versatility Sigma’s new full-frame mirrorless lenses mix bright apertures and smaller bodies What is a prime lens? Here’s why you need one in your camera bag Hasselblad’s sleek new X1D II 50C is faster and cheaper (and looks great)
With Interest In Health Care High, Presidential Candidates Represent Stark Choice In Views 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 study in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine notes that one in five voters views health care as this year’s highest priority issue — that’s more than in any election since 1992. Meanwhile, news outlets continue to examine the policies of President Barack Obama and GOP hopeful Mitt Romney. The New York Times: This Election, A Stark Choice In Health CareWhen Americans go to the polls next month, they will cast a vote not just for president but for one of two profoundly different visions for the future of the country’s health care system. With an Obama victory on Nov. 6, the president’s signature health care law — including the contentious requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty — will almost certainly come into full force, becoming the largest expansion of the safety net since President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through his Great Society programs almost half a century ago (Goodnough and Pear, 10/10).Politico Pro: Survey: Interest In Health Care Highest Since 1992One in five voters view health care as their top priority in this year’s presidential election, more than any contest since 1992, according to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Relying on a Harvard University poll that gauged 1,406 likely voters’ views on issues, authors Robert Blendon, John Benson and Amanda Brule reveal that Americans who rate “health care and Medicare” as a top priority skew sharply in favor of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, 41 percent say they’d be less likely to vote for a candidate who favors repealing all or part of the law, compared to 14 percent who are more likely to back such a candidate. Unsurprisingly, most who rated health care as their top issue were Democrats (Cheney, 10/10).California Healthline: Obama, Romney Health Care Differences Detailed In StudyRepublican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would dismantle most of the federal Affordable Care Act and make sweeping changes to Medicare and Medicaid, according to a study released Wednesday by UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research. The side-by-side analysis of health care proposals in the 2012 presidential contest found stark policy differences between the former Massachusetts governor and President Barack Obama, said Shana Alex Lavarreda, the report’s co-author and director of UCLA’s Health Insurance Studies Program (Hart, 10/11). The New York Times: Voters Give Romney Better Grades For Leadership, Polls In 3 States FindMitt Romney is seen by more voters in three battleground states as a strong leader after his dominant debate performance last week, but perceptions that the economy is improving remain a buttress for President Obama as the 2012 campaign comes down to its final weeks. … The president’s support is built on strengths that have been evident for months. In the two states where he holds an advantage overall, Mr. Obama has consistently outperformed Mr. Romney on a series of issues, including international affairs, health care and Medicare (Shear and Thee-Brenan, 10/11).California Healthline: ‘No Debate,’ Cleveland Clinic’s Great. But How To Replicate?Despite better judgment — or previous advice — “Road to Reform” didn’t take its own medicine and watched last week’s presidential debate. And unsurprisingly, there was little new news for health wonks; President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney disagreed on many policies both in and out of health care. However, there was an unexpected moment: Both men found common ground on the Cleveland Clinic, agreeing that it’s one of the nation’s leading health systems — even if they disputed how it got there. Meanwhile, the Clinic seized on the moment. The health system quickly launched a new microsite … But there is debate over whether other systems can replicate the Clinic’s model, and whether Obama’s or Romney’s reforms can help them get there (Diamond, 10/10). The Washington Post: Obama Vows More Aggressive Debate Approach Against RomneyRomney advisers have called Obama’s questions about their candidate’s honesty evidence that the president is unable to defend his record on job creation, health care and the management of the deficit. … In the radio interview, Obama said he expected the race to turn back his way, beginning Thursday night with the vice-presidential debate. He also dismissed the Democratic angst that has followed his performance in Denver as the same misplaced doubts that dogged his campaign four years ago (Wilson and Nakamura, 10/10).
Partners HealthCare announced Monday it has named a physician and top executive as its interim chief executive, a move meant to provide continuity as the hospital network enters a period of transition. Dr. Anne Klibanski, 68, will be the first woman to lead Partners, the state’s largest network of doctors and hospitals and the parent of Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals. She is currently the chief academic officer, overseeing Partners’ research and teaching programs, and heads the neuroendocrine unit at Mass. General. (McCluskey, 2/18) The Star Tribune: HCMC, North Memorial Discuss Possible Merger This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Boston Globe: New England Baptist Hospital To Launch Campaign To Attract More Low-Income Patients Chicago Tribune: Melrose Park’s Westlake Hospital To Close, Reversing Plans By New Owner To Invest In 670-Employee Hospital The Hennepin County and North Memorial medical systems are entering merger talks that could combine two urban trauma centers and a fast-growing outer-ring suburban hospital into a larger competitor for an increasingly challenging health care market. The parties are drafting a letter of intent to negotiate a combination, which could range from a partnership between Hennepin Healthcare and North Memorial to a full merger into one organization, according to documents prepared for a closed meeting of the Hennepin County Board on Thursday. (Olson and Chanen, 2/18) When she had a heart attack last spring, Ann Galdos rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, where doctors worked quickly to open up her blocked coronary artery. But when she settled in that night to begin her recovery, there was no rest to be found: The other patient in her shared hospital room was coughing, gagging, and moaning for hours. Galdos paced the hallways to find some peace. (McCluskey, 2/16) California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra is asking a federal district judge in Los Angeles to place a hold on the sale of two struggling hospitals to Santa Clara County, a request the county says could scuttle the purchase. Becerra’s action is the latest skirmish in a years-long effort by the state to maintain oversight of six financially beleaguered not-for-profit hospitals. The hospitals, located in both Northern and Southern California, are now in bankruptcy. (Dolan, 2/18) The new owner of Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park plans to close the 230-bed hospital by July, a dramatic shift in plans that’s causing outrage among local leaders who say the hospital is vital to serving a largely minority community. The about-face by Pipeline Health comes just weeks after the for-profit company bought Westlake, Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park for $70 million, with plans to have part-owner and prominent Chicagoan Dr. Eric Whitaker help turn around the hospitals. (Schencker, 2/17) Boston Globe: Partners HealthCare Names Interim CEO New England Baptist Hospital, a renowned hilltop institution where Boston Celtics and amateur athletes alike go for repairs of balky knees and shoulders, sits amid two of Boston’s neediest neighborhoods. Yet just a tiny fraction of its patients are poor. State regulators say the Baptist, which specializes in orthopedic surgery, can no longer remain an outlier. (Kowalczyk, 2/18) KCUR: Kansas City Anesthesia Group Says Medical Information For 3,472 Patients Might Have Been Compromised A medical group that provides anesthesia services to Kansas City metro hospitals has notified 3,472 patients that some of their personal information may have been compromised after surgery schedules were stolen from an employee’s car.A medical group that provides anesthesia services to Kansas City metro hospitals has notified 3,472 patients that some of their personal information may have been compromised after surgery schedules were stolen from an employee’s car. Anesthesia Associates of Kansas City posted a notice on its website that the surgery schedules may have included some patients’ names, dates of birth, types and dates of surgery, and the name of the patients’ surgeons. (Margolies, 2/18) Los Angeles Times: California Attorney General Wants Oversight In Hospital Sale To Santa Clara County Have The Days Of Double Hospital Rooms Passed? Patients Start To Expect Private Rooms As The Norm More and more hospitals are transitioning toward private rooms as the standard, reflecting a growing sentiment that patient comfort is an essential part of the hospital business. Hospital news comes out of California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Illinois, and Kansas, as well. Boston Globe: Hospitals Face Pressure To Provide Private Rooms For Patients
Business group calls for sweeping tax reforms ahead of federal election as competitiveness worries deepen Business Council of Canada head Goldy Hyder argues that a deep, structural reform of the Canadian tax code could help unleash the country’s economic potential Featured Stories Recommended For You10/3 podcast: How Trudeau’s tanker ban bill almost broke the SenateConrad Black: Canada needs to compete — here’s how we can winEnvironment groups say oil industry asks will lead to ‘climate chaos’Canadian singer Grimes claims she removed blue light from her vision, leaving fans baffledCanada, California plan to work together to make cleaner cars, cut emissions ← Previous Next → Business Council of Canada CEO Goldy Hyder says U.S. fund managers are starting to perceive Canada as presenting a “sovereign risk.”Ryan Emberley/Postmedia/File Comment He said U.S. fund managers are starting to see Canada as presenting a “sovereign risk,” based on discussions with a number of investors there. Citing one investor, Hyder said that the failure to build the Trans Mountain pipeline has been a particular sticking point with U.S. institutional investors.“He said you want me to come and invest in a country in which your government bought a pipeline, it regulates it, it approved it, and it can’t build it?”Tax experts and business executives have been calling for a widespread review of the tax code for years.In December 2017 the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance released a report proposed “an independent comprehensive review of our tax system to ensure that it is not overly complex, maintains our economic competitiveness and is fair to all Canadians.”“Canada needs a strategy to ensure our tax system encourages, rather than inhibits, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth,” the report said.Politicians have long shied away from structural tax reforms. Brian Kingston, vice-president of policy at the Business Council of Canada, said that an attempt by the current government to review the tax system was ultimately scrapped due to the difficulty in eliminating any of the long list of tax credits and other expenditures.“They realized every single tax expenditure has a constituency, and a vocal constituency,” he said. “The way you get over that though is you do a comprehensive review, you reduce the number of tax expenditures but you lower the overall rates so everyone benefits.”• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: jesse_snyder Facebook advertisement The Apollo 11 moon landing was so boring it must be real If Americans were going to fake the moon landing, you’d better believe there would be some high drama and maybe even an explosion or two.… Share this storyBusiness group calls for sweeping tax reforms ahead of federal election as competitiveness worries deepen Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Join the conversation → OTTAWA — A business group representing 150 Canadian corporations has been lobbying federal officials for a broad-based review of the tax code, part of a wider effort to renew awareness about Canada’s waning competitiveness ahead of the looming federal election.Goldy Hyder, head of the Business Council of Canada, has met with a number of cabinet ministers, opposition leaders, labour groups and others to discuss the potential for a deep and structural reform of the Canadian tax code, which he argues could help unleash the country’s economic potential. The lobbying blitz comes amid concerns in the private sector that Ottawa has ignored calls for more business-friendly policies, particularly in its 2019 budget.Business competitiveness became a mainstream political topic in 2017, when Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced controversial tax reforms that helped stoke fears in the private sector about an increasingly burdensome tax system in Canada. Those worries, along with sweeping tax changes introduced by U.S. President Donald Trump and trade uncertainties, prompted Morneau to introduce a number of piecemeal tax incentives aimed at giving the business community a boost. https://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/taxes/canadas-income-tax-rates-have-become-uncompetitive-and-the-economy-will-pay-the-price Canada should not ‘jump in the lake’ with U.S. on tax reforms, despite competitiveness worries: Mintz Ottawa aims to boost edge with $16 billion in tax breaks for business But executives and some politicians say Ottawa must go much further to properly address Canada’s declining business competitiveness, which they say threatens the the future of the Canadian economy.“There are things that are holding the country back, and we can continue to punt that ball down the field, but understand that other countries are not doing that, they’re moving on, and they’re very aggressive and they’re very competitive,” Hyder said.Related Stories:Conrad Black: Canada needs to compete — here’s how we can winHyder met with reporters on Thursday to discuss his concerns over the broader business environment, and the council plans to release a report on the subject next week.He has met in recent months with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, chief of staff to the economic development minister Gianluca Cairo, several high-level officials at Finance Canada and Simon Beauchemin of the Prime Minister’s Office, according to the lobbyist registry. The group has also met with a number of other politicians, labour groups and indigenous representatives.Hyder, among others, has proposed that Canada undergo a deep, structural review of the federal tax code in order to attract more capital and workers to the country. Overlapping regulatory bodies and a cumbersome tax regime have become a drag on investment in recent years, some observers say — an issue that could become ever more pressing as Canada faces a “demographic crunch,” according to Hyder.We can continue to punt that ball down the field, but understand that other countries are not doing that April 25, 201910:16 PM EDT Filed underCanadian Politics 80 Comments More Reddit Twitter Sponsored By: Jesse Snyder Email
← Previous Next → As star athletes’ salaries skyrocket, they become trophies that banks covet Money managers, big and small banks, and boutique firms vie for the millions they can invest for pros who want a personal touch Bloomberg News Facebook Join the conversation → Comment The Sedins are a wealth manager’s dream: They had long careers and lucrative contracts, yet are restrained in their spending. Their biggest indulgence came when they each spent around $150,000 on motorboats for their oceanfront home in Sweden. They didn’t really enjoy them, and sold a year later at a loss.“We grew up in a family that never really talked money — we didn’t think that way,” Henrik Sedin said. “We were never guys that bought anything luxury or stuff like that.”Still, the former captain relied on Royal Bank’s acumen to help on complicated financial issues, including putting together a mortgage for an apartment in Stockholm and transferring the money abroad ahead of a tight deadline.I’ve played real estate agent, I’ve taken delivery of cars, I’ve delivered paperwork and so forth to weird places, to hotels. I’ve gone down to the depths of locker rooms, gone to the practice facilities. You make yourself available to them, at their scheduleDavid Vander Voet, private banker, Royal Bank Sponsored By: Chris Moynes, managing director of One Sports and Entertainment, handles about 75 NHL players.David Williams / Bloomberg Out-of-the-ordinary demands from sports stars have been the norm for RBC’s David Vander Voet during his 13 years as a private banker in Toronto.“I’ve played real estate agent, I’ve taken delivery of cars, I’ve delivered paperwork and so forth to weird places, to hotels. I’ve gone down to the depths of locker rooms, gone to the practice facilities,” he said in an interview. “You make yourself available to them, at their schedule.”Vander Voet works with “brand-name athletes” as well as hockey executives, agents and retired players. He typically manages around 150 households, and currently 20 are in sports, including active players in the NHL, MLB and NBA. His first client as a private banker was a newly acquired Toronto Maple Leafs player, and he’s since built relationships with young athletes and their families, from their junior hockey days, to American Hockey League debuts, and on to the NHL.Young players tend to be “a bit boring” in their demands, Vander Voet said, unlike some players taken on later in their careers. “I have clients that I’ve inherited when they’re close to retirement, when it’s been more of a 911 instead of a 411. It’s been a bit of a tire fire and we’re trying to get them right again.”Like his colleagues, Vander Voet won’t disclose client names. He’s dealing with one player eager to buy a $10 million house, and once had a Raptors basketball player who was paying $8,500 a month in rent for a condo and even more for Toronto parking stalls for his cars and those driven by his entourage.Liles’ tastes have been far more modest, Camaro notwithstanding. He bought and sold some homes, but mostly rented during his career. He was tempted by a vacation club, but his Royal Bank adviser, Trevor Johnson, made him reconsider.“Any time I had something in my mind that wasn’t on track with my plan for my career and post-career, Trevor was always there to say ‘Let’s just table this one for a little while,’” Liles said. “For the most part, we’ve made some pretty sound financial decisions.” Twitter Email More Share this storyAs star athletes’ salaries skyrocket, they become trophies that banks covet Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn It’s not just banks. Smaller companies, independent money managers and boutique firms are clamouring for some of the action in a business with mammoth contracts and sponsorship deals. Financial adviser Chris Moynes, who spent a decade in Royal Bank’s sports division before becoming managing director of One Sports + Entertainment Group, handles about 75 NHL players. Even former athletes have made the leap. The latest example: Tony Parker, a four-time National Basketball Association champion who retired from playing last week, joined NorthRock Partners’ sports, artists and entertainment division.The biggest firms are on the hunt for sports clients eager to avoid getting burned in a world rife with financial mismanagement. Professional athletes alleged almost US$600 million in fraud-related losses from 2004 through 2018, Ernst & Young said in a report.And there’s plenty of money to be taken: Multiple baseball stars signed contracts this year paying more than US$300 million, and a dozen NBA players may score nine-figure deals this summer. Athlete salaries in the NHL, National Football League, NBA and Major League Baseball ranged from US$2.7 million to US$7.1 million in 2017, according to the EY report. Endorsements and sponsorship deals brought in US$887 million for the top 100 earners.In serving those highly paid athletes, Royal Bank stands out, having advised pros for almost three decades. It focused initially on hockey players, whose careers often shuttle them between the U.S. and Canada.“Nobody has our cross-border capabilities,” Bob McKee, Royal Bank’s managing director for sports professionals, said in an interview at his Vancouver office. “That is the key.”It’s not a 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday job. You’ve got to be able to work 24/7, seven days a week. It’s not a job for everybody.Bob McKee, managing director for sports professionals, Royal Bank Postmedia file photo “The opportune time is before they sign that contract, before they start to think about what they’re going to do with this money — and some of it could be frivolous like buying a Ferrari or something,” McKee said.Royal Bank also attracts athletes midway through their careers or approaching retirement. Today, about 18 per cent of clients are retired players.Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Swedish twins who played their entire 18-year career with the Canucks before retiring last year, know about heady career trajectories. The longtime Royal Bank clients went from getting about US$100 a game in a Swedish league in the late 1990s to earning about US$1 million a season with their first NHL contract, a three-year deal in 1999. Their salaries reached US$7 million a season in their final years.“It’s easy to say a lot of players make a lot of money, but for the most part players make league minimum or up to a million and a half, maybe $2 million,” Henrik Sedin, 38, said in a phone interview. “If you play for three or four years, you’re not going to be able to live the rest of your life doing nothing — and that’s the case for the majority of players in the league.”Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks at their final NHL game in 2018. June 21, 20193:15 PM EDT Filed under News FP Street Recommended For YouThree reasons Canada outpaces U.S. in office construction boomOSC complaint, class-action lawsuits could add to CannTrust’s woesHudson’s Bay offered escape from retail carnage with chairman’s bidPartial ECM exit to leave Deutsche Bank focused on EuropeNetflix plunges the most in a year on huge subscriber miss — and Wall Street says ‘Buy’ Postmedia file photo Featured Stories 0 Comments Reddit The company works with about 900 sports professionals, about 80 per cent tied to hockey — mostly NHL players, but also those playing in the American Hockey League or Europe, as well as drafted junior players, retired NHLers, coaches, agents and executives. The rest are in MLB or the NFL, where Royal Bank expanded in the past two years, or in the NBA or professional golf.A 38-member Royal Bank team includes a dozen private bankers in Canada and the U.S. who act as “quarterbacks,” coordinating the bank’s response to client needs, along with 15 investment advisers, McKee said.“It’s not a 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday job,” said McKee, 63, who spent years as a private banker for athletes before moving into his current role. “You’ve got to be able to work 24/7, seven days a week. It’s not a job for everybody.”Royal Bank established a North American sports professionals segment within its private-banking division in 2004, consolidating services for athletes scattered across its branch network. But the beginnings reach back further, when McKee was a senior loans officer at a branch near the Canucks’ Vancouver arena. His break came in 1991, when he landed players Trevor Linden and Cliff Ronning as clients.Royal Bank’s U.S. foray starting in the late 1990s helped expand the practice of serving border-hopping NHL players. The firm extended its reach when it bought City National — Hollywood’s bank to the stars — in 2015.A playbook emerged: Get athletes when they’re young — often 18, 19 or 20 years old — to give them guidance before the big paychecks and bigger temptations arrive. To win over those players and their families, attending the annual NHL entry draft became a requirement — including this week’s gathering in Vancouver.The opportune time is before they start to think about what they’re going to do with this money — and some of it could be frivolous like buying a Ferrari or somethingBob McKee, managing director for sports professionals, Royal Bank John-Michael Liles knows the temptations that can accompany a lucrative NHL contract. His came in the form of a ’69 Chevy Camaro.Back when the retired defenceman was a rookie in 2003, he was wowed by a muscle car owned by a Colorado Avalanche teammate. Liles vowed that if he ever landed a big National Hockey League contract, he’d build the same custom Camaro. Five years later, the Indiana native signed a four-year deal with the Avalanche — then proceeded to fritter away US$100,000 on a yellow convertible with black racing stripes.“I probably spent more money on it than I realistically should have,” Liles, 38, said in a phone interview from his home outside Vail, Colo. “It was a great car and I loved it, but at some point I had to become an adult. I have two kids and it’s not exactly child-friendly.”To help him avoid bigger lures and protect 14 years of NHL earnings, Liles said he has relied on Royal Bank of Canada. Why Canada’s high tax rates could be a non-factor in Kawhi’s stay-or-go decision: Jamie Golombek Don’t just bash millennials: Baby boomers don’t have a handle on their finances, either Possible tax relief looming for U.S. citizens living in Canada The firm was earlier than most in specifically targeting hockey players as clients and thinks it can replicate that success with other athletes. As its hometown Toronto Raptors celebrate breaking Canada’s 26-year championship drought in the biggest North American sports, RBC sees an opportunity.It has plenty of competition from major banks trying to ride the wave of surging salaries in professional sports. Morgan Stanley established a Global Sports & Entertainment division almost five years ago, and now has 132 directors and associates in the group. Goldman Sachs made a similar move last July, setting up a Sports and Entertainment Solutions business in its private-wealth-management division.“We have longstanding relationships with clients who are within the sports and entertainment industry, going back decades. Within the past year, we decided to have a more dedicated presence,” Nicole Pullen Ross, who oversees the business at Goldman, said in an interview. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to have some very early success.”John-Michael Liles has used RBC to help him avoid purchasing lures and to protect 14 years of NHL earnings. advertisement What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Doug Alexander
Tesla Release Notes And Media Overload For Software Version 9.0 Some folks are still waiting for Tesla Software Version 9, but those who have it are beginning to share.No matter which automaker’s touch-screen infotainment system you’re using — regardless of how intuitive it is — there’s always a bit of a learning curve. This is also true when Tesla moves to new software, via its over-the-air update process. So, the question is, how much better is Tesla Software Version 9? What are its pros and cons? Most importantly, how is it different from the previous version in terms of its interface?More Tesla Software Version 9 Information: Tesla Camera As Built-In Dashcam Part Of V9 Update Tesla’s Version 9 Is Bringing Dash Cam Functionality and Missile Command Source: Electric Vehicle News We can’t think of a YouTuber that may be better suited to provide us with this detailed comparison of Tesla’s new Software Version 9. Erik Strait (DAErik) is heavily involved in all things Tesla and does great work when it comes to keeping owners and prospective buyers informed about the electric automaker’s advancements through the crafting of top-notch videos. In fact, he was one of the first to release a lengthy and detailed look at the Model 3 touch screen.Have you received the Version 9 update? If so, what suggestions do you have for Tesla to take it to the next level? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.Video Description via DAErik on YouTube:Tesla Version 9 Settings. New vs. Old. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 12, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News
Source: Charge Forward Electric bicycles is a booming industry. It seems like every week we hear about another new model entering the market. Outside of a few exceptions, most electric bicycles fall in the 15-28 mph (25-45 km/h) range. That’s fine for pleasure riding, but it leaves many enthusiasts looking for more speed.With so many people commuting on electric bicycles, the extra speed of a fast electric bicycle is a nice addition for many, allowing them keep up with traffic. However, there aren’t many commercially available options for fast electric bicycles. That’s why I decided to build my own, with the goal of reaching 40 mph (64 km/h). Read on to see how to build your own DIY fast electric bicycle. more…The post Weekend project: How to build your own DIY 40 mph fast electric bicycle appeared first on Electrek.
Tesla’s global fleet is growing at a record pace and we now learn that it reached a total of 10 billion electric miles with half a million cars this week. more…The post Tesla reaches 10 billion electric miles with a global fleet of half a million cars appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Source: Charge Forward Ever since Tesla’s inception, Panasonic has been the automaker’s only approved battery supplier when it comes to its electric vehicles.Now Tesla is reportedly looking to approve its second one in order to supply battery cells to Gigafactory 3 in China. more…The post Tesla to approve first new battery supplier for vehicles since Panasonic, report says appeared first on Electrek.
Source: Charge Forward Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle has been making waves ever since the production version was unveiled last November. Despite its high $29,799 price tag, Harley-Davidson deserves props for its early embrace of EVs, beating many other major motorcycle manufacturers to the market.But would you believe that a group of engineers actually built the first electric Harley-Davidson over 40 years ago? Check out their impressive effort below. more…The post 40 years before the LiveWire, engineers built this electric Harley-Davidson appeared first on Electrek.
Source: Charge Forward Today, Tesla is launching the Model 3 in Mexico – completing the availability of its latest vehicle in North America after launching it almost 2 years ago. more…The post Tesla launches Model 3 in Mexico appeared first on Electrek.
The acceleration of the base model is now hinted at 2.1 seconds (0-60 mph) instead of 1.9 seconds originallySource: Electric Vehicle News