Story TimelineSurface Book with Performance Base ReviewSurface Pro Review 2017Microsoft Surface Laptop Review: The anti-MacBook Pro Microsoft’s war over Surface reliability with Consumer Reports has taken another unexpected turn, with leaks suggesting a combination of ambition and inexperience led to higher than expected return rates. The two companies came head to head last week, after Consumer Reports took the unexpected decision to strip Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Laptop of their “recommended” ratings, in addition to warning buyers off the Surface Pro 4. That was down to the worrying results of a survey which suggested Microsoft’s laptops and tablets were the least reliable in the industry. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft wasn’t especially pleased with that characterization. Division chief Panos Panay pushed back, arguing that Surface hardware had been improving significantly in every generation and that the incidents per unit rate was dropping too. While Panay didn’t give specific return numbers, he did insist that “both our predicted 1-2-year failure and actual return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are significantly lower than 25%,” the figure Consumer Reports had based its decision on. A leaked internal memo detailing how Microsoft plans to shift the conversation, however, sheds new light onto the issue. Seen by Paul Thurrott, the document not only specifies that Microsoft experienced “some quality issues” with both the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, but gives a chart of return rates. That indicates that the Surface Book saw a 17-percent return rate after its late-2015 launch, while Surface Pro 4 saw a slightly better 16-percent return rate. That appears to be the fault of Intel’s Skylake processors, or more accurately how Microsoft implemented them. Back in 2016, Microsoft blamed the chip-maker for the problems Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 were experiencing, issuing at least two rounds of significant driver updates. At the time, sources inside Microsoft argued that it was Intel’s buggy hardware – which the Surface products were among the first to use – that caused the instabilities around power management and more. In reality, another Microsoft source tells Thurrott, the problems came down to Microsoft’s use of Skylake. They claim it was the software giant’s own custom drivers and settings, created internally, that were at fault. Indeed, the extent of the issue was only recognized by senior Microsoft management when other Windows notebook OEMs confirmed that they had no complaints about Skylake whatsoever.“The Skylake fiasco came to a head internally when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella met with Lenovo last year and asked the firm, then the world’s biggest maker of PCs, how it was dealing with the Skylake reliability issues. Lenovo was confused. No one was having any issues, he was told” Paul ThurrottIt triggered a desperate rush to get new hardware on the market, hence the release of the Surface Pro – a minor refresh over the Surface Pro 4 – and the Surface Laptop. The latter, it’s claimed was an old design that Microsoft resurrected from several years previous. Thurrott also suggests that this combination of urgency and caution led to next-gen features like USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 being skipped for 2017, as Microsoft attempted to cut out as many potential headaches as possible.In the end, criticisms of Consumer Reports’ survey as a predictive tool remain valid. By polling users of existing, older hardware – the survey ended in Q1 2017, before the latest Surface Pro and Surface Laptop were even on sale – it paints a darker picture than what reliability experiences of the newest models might actually be. Nonetheless, Microsoft’s attempts to whitewash its Skylake experience and apparently put the blame entirely at Intel’s feet is unlikely to reassure many would-be Surface buyers.
Day: July 22, 2019
Delta has announced that it will offer free mobile messaging to its passengers on certain flights, enabling them to send and receive messages from the sky. The support will launch on October 1 and will be a complimentary service with support for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage. This makes it the first US-based global carrier to offer this support, according to Delta. In most cases, you have to wait to land before you can send a text message or pay for in-flight WiFi when available, using that to send a message via a WiFi-based app. This new Delta service is more or less the same, but is free and available for text only, not videos or photo messages.The support will be launching on all of Delta’s flights with Gogo, which includes all of the airline’s planes with at least two cabins. It’s a relatively small change, but will represent a huge convenience for many customers who otherwise wouldn’t use the WiFi service and, thusly, not be able to send messages.Delta’s SVP Tim Mapes talked about this, saying:We know many of Delta’s customers want or need to stay connected in the air and on the ground, which is why we’re investing in an easy, free way to send and receive messages inflight through some of the most popular global platforms. Coupled with our investments in seat-back screens, free entertainment and High-Speed Wi-Fi, free messaging is one more way customers can choose how to make the most of their time on Delta flights.SOURCE: Delta
SOURCE: YouTube A drone made by a company called Quaternium Technologies has set a world record for flight duration. The drone used to set the record is a HYBRiX.20 RPA drone. The record-setting flight was performed on December 24 in Valencia, Spain. The duration record that the multicopter set was for staying aloft a total of 4 hours and 40 minutes. One factor allowing the record-setting flight is a hybrid fuel-electric powertrain. The aircraft runs on LIPO 125 batteries and has a 2-stroke combustion engine that requires 95 octane gas and 4% oil mixed in.The drone can carry a payload of up to 2.5kg and weighs in at 13.5kg empty. It is designed with removable arms and can be deployed by a single person. Endurance with a full load us listed as 2 hours.Cruise speed for the drone is 50 km/hr and the max speed is 80 km/hr. There is no indication of what sort of modifications, if any, were made to the drone used to set the duration record. The drone is piloted using a fancy Q16 Skyline control system.AdChoices广告It has a pair of LCD screens allowing flight control and viewing of the video feed. The pilot can control the gimbal and aircraft independently from the same control panel.
There were rumors that LG, like HTC, would be cutting down on its flagship devices this year. Apparently that’s not entirely true. While LG has yet to actually show any sign of having something for later this year, like an LG V40, it isn’t done with modifying last year’s V series phone. After the LG V30 and the LG V30S ThinQ comes the LG V35 ThinQ. And if this leaked spec list is true, it’s going to be an LG G7 ThinQ in a V30’s clothing. Confused yet? We can’t blame you. The LG V30 and V30S ThinQ, the latter pictured above, sported last year’s specs and design. Specifically, it ran on a Snapdragon 835 processor and got a 6.0-inch 2880×1440 OLED screen. And, more importantly, it had no notch.The LG V35 ThinQ, in comparison, would have the latest Snapdragon 845 processor. On its back would be two 16 megapixel sensors, one regular and one wide-angle, while the front has an 8 megapixel shooter. The battery is rated at 3,000 mAh and there’s no mention of any OLED screen.That is pretty much the same specs as the LG G7 ThinQ. The only notable difference is that the V35 ThinQ would still have the same 6.0-inch 2880×1440 screen, this time most likely MLCD+. Presuming that’s exactly the same as its predecessors, this one won’t have a notch like the G7 ThinQ does.AdChoices广告The leak might be a bit sketchy, but it does seem to follow LG’s rather confusing strategy with the V series so far. Especially with this LG V35 ThinQ being so close to the LG G7 ThinQ. Then again, it might be a welcome confusion for those who might have been turned off by the G7 ThinQ’s notch.
Tesla’s limited warranty will cover the Model 3 itself for 4 years/50,000 miles, while the battery is under warranty for 8 years/100,000 miles on the standard model, and 8 years/120,000 miles on the long range option. Buyers can get the car in black at no additional cost, however they’ll need to spend an extra $1,000 for colors like Deep Blue, Pearl While, Silver Metallic, and Red.Other extras include 19-inch sport wheels for $1,500, the $5,000 Premium Upgrades Package which adds things like heated 12-way adjustable seats, custom driver profiles, a premium audio system, power folding heated side mirrors, a tinted glass roof, and a spot in the center console for docking two smartphones.If you want Enhanced Autopilot that’ll cost another $5,000, giving drivers access to match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway, and self-parking abilities. Tesla also promises that at some point the future the Model 3 will be updated with Full Self-Driving Capability, but it costs an extra $3,000 and requires the Enhanced Autopilot package.For now, the big remaining question is how long it will take for drivers to get their hands on one. Tesla says another 100 Model 3s will roll out in August, with 1,500 coming in September, and the hope is that they’ll reach 20,000 units per month before the end of 2017. Unfortunately that means it’s going to take a few years to fulfill the 400,000 paid deposits, so if you’re not one of those customers, you’ll be waiting a while. As expected, the retail price for the standard Model 3 will be $35,000. This version has a range of 220 miles, can go from 0 to 60mph in 5.6 seconds, has a top speed of 130mph, and will support Tesla’s superchargers, which charges the car’s battery with 130 miles of range in a 30 minute period. Customers can also spend a little more for the $44,000 long range version, which offers a 310 mile range, top speed of 140mph, and 0-60mph time of 5.1 seconds. With this model, 30 minutes at a supercharger gives the battery 170 miles of range.Standard features include Wi-Fi and LTE internet connectivity, Bluetooth, voice activated controls, a back-up camera, and keyless entry and climate control using Tesla’s mobile app. Topping off the interior, however, is the center-mounted 15-inch touchscreen display, which replaces everything from the car’s instrument cluster to the entertainment controls. A look inside Model 3 pic.twitter.com/hIhAZn4Sdj— Tesla (@TeslaMotors) July 29, 2017 After many, many months of waiting, the first production Model 3s were given to their owners during a big ceremony at Tesla‘s Fremont, California factory on Friday evening. The first 30 cars were rolled out while CEO Elon Musk took the stage before an audience of journalists, special guests, and, of course, the very first customers. A with the flashy presentation, the final pricing and spec details of Tesla’s first mass-market model were revealed. Story TimelineTesla Model 3 production starts July, but 2017 will be expensiveTesla plays Model 3 tax hardball with dealer-swayed statesElon Musk shows Model 3 in action but there’s AWD bad newsTesla’s 22k car Q2 2017 paves way for Model 3This is the first production Tesla Model 3… guess who owns it
The T Largo update is meant to make the car stand out and certainly adds a sportier edge to the Model X with custom wheels and various carbon fiber touches. The car is wider than stock and only 20 vehicles will be made.The body enhancements provide a 2 1/8-inch wider stance on each side. Apparently, the vehicle is made on the Model X P100D platform and Tsportline says that the style makes the car look worthy of that performance.The body kit is carbon fiber and is made in an autoclave using pre-pregnated carbon fiber. The package includes a front apron, front air duct, wide side skirts, wide fender arches, rear diffuser, and a wing cover. The Model X T Largo rides on TS120 22″ forged Tesla wheels.Those wheels are exclusive to Tsportline and have a 20 spoke design. Each set of wheels are painted, or powder coated to the owner’s specifications. Each of the vehicles has the T Largo brand on the dash with a unique serial number, pricing is unannounced. SOURCE: Tsportline There are a few tuners out there that turn their hand to making the already attractive Tesla cars even more attractive. A company called Tsportline has unveiled its limited-edition Tesla Model X that it says is a world’s first. The vehicle is called the T Largo and claims to be the companies most exclusive customization program.
Story TimelineTesla is axing its cheapest Model S and Model X EVsTesla Model S and Model X price cuts: The numbers you should know Launched in mid-2012, it makes the Model S the oldest vehicle in Tesla’s line-up. That’s not to say it hasn’t undergone changes between then and now, mind. The automaker eschews the traditional model year system most car companies follow, where changes are made on a regular, annual basis. Instead, the company takes more of an ad-hoc approach. That can mean making trim and design changes based on when it’s most financially appropriate for the factory, or – more commonly – pushing out new features via Tesla’s much-vaunted over-the-air software system. Still distinctive in the industry, it has seen features most rivals would charge money for as options on new vehicles being delivered, free, to existing cars. The most obvious physical update came in 2016, when Tesla gave the Model S a new front fascia treatment among other changes. That helped bring it in line with the Model X. However other areas, most notably the cabin, have generally remained unchanged since the original car.It has become an increasingly contentious point among potential Model S buyers, contrasting the EV with similarly priced alternatives. While pure-electric luxury sedans are still in short supply, the design and materials from automakers like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi are generally considered much better than what you’d find inside the Model S. The large central touchscreen, which Tesla uses as an interface for almost all of the car’s features, is still among the largest in the segment, but the rest of the dashboard is arguably beginning to show its age. That’s something Tesla is said to be addressing this year. Sources inside the company say that its Fremont, CA factory is currently upgrading its facilities, both for the start of Model Y production and for what CNBC describes as “a full refresh” of the Tesla Model S. Production of the latter is apparently targeted to begin in September. The updated car will have a new interior heavily influenced by the aesthetic of the Model 3, it’s said, echoing earlier rumors about Tesla’s new cabin strategy. The Model 3 proved a stark departure from most dashboard designs, ditching the typical cowl form and instead suspending a large, central touchscreen on an extended post. That handles all of the instrumentation, in addition to features like Autopilot, navigation, multimedia, and HVAC. Clean surfaces and hidden vents add to a generally minimalistic feel, which Tesla is said to be echoing on the redesigned Model S. That smaller, more affordable car will also donate its drive units, it’s reported, along with the seats used in the more expensive, premium cabin. Range will also be extended, with Tesla said to be targeting 400 miles from the updated car. Currently the Model S is rated for up to 370 miles of EPA range. Tesla blamed a number of factors for a decline in Model S and Model X deliveries in Q1 2019. That combined figure fell to 12,100 vehicles, which the automaker said was primarily down to weaker seasonal demand, people trying to get orders in during Q4 2018 so as to get the maximum US federal tax credit before it halved at the start of this year, and the discontinuation of the smallest 75 kWh battery. Changes in pricing for the performance versions of the cars, meanwhile, saw orders for those trims outpace Tesla’s production capacity for them specifically. Still, there’s no denying that the time is ripe for an updated Model S in the face of luxury competition like the S-Class, 7 Series, and A8. Waiting in the wings, meanwhile, are hotly-anticipated all-electric cars like the Porsche Taycan, which are expected to compete with Tesla directly on performance and range. That leaves Tesla facing some deep-pocketed rivals, at a time when the automaker is already on an austerity drive. A heavily updated Tesla Model S could go into production as soon as September, insiders say, as the automaker’s most expensive sedan gets upgrades to better compete with luxury rivals. While not the first EV to bear the Tesla name, the Model S was Elon Musk’s first vehicle for the mass-market, paving the way for the Model X SUV, the Model 3, and the upcoming Model Y crossover.
Catholic-Secular Hospital Mergers Further Complicate Abortion-Rights Battlefield This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Mergers between Catholic and secular hospitals could mean wider restriction of abortion, even as lawmakers in many states consider tighter regulation or bans on the procedure. The New York Times: Hospital Mergers Reset Abortion-Access BattlePoliticians seeking to restrict access to abortion, a marked trend this year from North Dakota to Arkansas, tend not to get much traction in [Washington state]. Washington is heavily Democratic, leaning left especially on social issues. A majority of voters even put into law a statutory right to abortion in 1970 — the only state ever to do that. … But now a wave of proposed and completed mergers between secular and Roman Catholic hospitals, which are barred by church doctrine from performing procedures that could harm the unborn, is raising the prospect that unelected health care administrators could go where politicians could not (Johnson, 5/12).Elsewhere, a federal judge is refusing to drop his ruling that would allow women and girls of all ages over-the-counter access to emergency contraception –The New York Times: Judge Refuses To Drop His Order Allowing Morning-After Pill For All AgesA federal judge on Friday stepped up his criticism of the Obama administration, accusing the Justice Department of making “frivolous” and “silly” arguments in its attempt to delay making the morning-after emergency contraceptive pill available to women and girls of all ages without a prescription (Shear, 5/10).Los Angeles Times: Judge Again Rejects Limits On Emergency ContraceptionIn yet another scathing critique of government health officials, a federal judge refused Friday to stay his order making emergency contraceptives available to consumers of all ages without a prescription. Calling government efforts to restrict the sale of drugs such as Plan B “frivolous and taken for the purpose of delay,” U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman of New York wrote that the medications would be available to all unless the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled otherwise by noon Eastern time on Monday (Morin, 5/11).And a Supreme Court justice gives a surprising retrospective of Roe v. Wade –The Associated Press: Ginsburg Says Roe Gave Abortion Opponents TargetOne of the most liberal members of the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could be expected to give a rousing defense of Roe v. Wade in reflecting on the landmark vote 40 years after it established a nationwide right to abortion. Instead, Ginsburg told an audience Saturday at the University of Chicago Law School that while she supports a woman’s right to choose, she feels the ruling by her predecessors on the court was too sweeping and gave abortion opponents a symbol to target. Ever since, she said, the momentum has been on the other side, with anger over Roe fueling a state-by-state campaign that has placed more restrictions on abortion (Keyser, 5/11).
Groups Say Md. Health Insurance Exchange Problems Could Leave People Without Jan. 1 Coverage This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. In the meantime, despite considering delaying the launch of the exchange, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Thursday that he is confident that problems with the website will be fixed and that the exchange will meet its goal of enrolling 260,000 by the end of March 2014.The Washington Post: Md.’s Troubled Health Exchange Prompts Groups To Warn Uninsured About Jan. CoverageProblems with Maryland’s online insurance exchange, including with paper applications that were supposed to provide a fail-safe backup plan, are so severe that community groups have begun warning uninsured clients that they may not obtain coverage as intended by Jan. 1. State officials began this week to contact all people whose applications are still pending, urging them to contact the state call center, try the state Web site again or get in touch with a certified insurance broker for help (Sun, 12/12).The Baltimore Sun: O’Malley Considered Delaying Exchange LaunchGov. Martin O’Malley acknowledged for the first time Thursday that he briefly considered delaying the Oct. 1 launch of the state’s health insurance exchange when staff members raised concerns about potential problems. The anticipated glitches turned out to be major problems as the Maryland exchange, designed to provide one-stop shopping for the 800,000 uninsured Marylanders, experienced one of the nation’s most troubled launches (Cohn and Cox, 12/12).The Associated Press/Washington Post: O’Malley Confident Health Exchange Will Meet GoalDespite a rocky start with health care reform, Gov. Martin O’Malley said Thursday he is still aiming to meet the goal of enrolling 260,000 people in private insurance and Medicaid through the state’s health care exchange by the end of March. O’Malley, outlining how the state is addressing challenges to enrolling people, said most of the problems with the exchange’s website have been addressed. He said a computer glitch relating to tax credits should be fixed this week. A more stubborn problem involves screens freezing, and O’Malley says progress has been made diagnosing the matter (12/12). The Washington Post: O’Malley Says Md. Closer To Fixing Remaining Major Problems With Health ExchangeGov. Martin O’Malley (D) acknowledged Thursday that Maryland’s online health insurance exchange had “a very rocky launch” but provided a largely positive prognosis for fixing the remaining glitches and boosting enrollment in coming months. “The bottom line is more people are getting though the site from end to end,” O’Malley told reporters during an afternoon briefing (Wagner, 12/12).
The Court said the benefits are protected under the Illinois Constitution. The state wants to cut the benefits to save money on the state’s pension liabilities. The Wall Street Journal: Illinois Supreme Court Rules Against Cuts In Retiree Health BenefitsA ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court Thursday is casting new doubts on an overhaul of the public employee retirement system that passed last year to prop up the state’s deeply underfunded pensions. The court ruled health-insurance subsidies for retired state workers are protected under the Illinois Constitution, siding with public-sector unions who challenged cuts to the benefits passed by lawmakers two years ago. The decision set off renewed debate over the constitutionality of a larger overhaul of the retirement system, which passed last fall and is being challenged by state workers and retirees on similar grounds (Peters, 7/3).Reuters: Illinois High Court Rules Constitution Protects Retiree Health BenefitsThe Illinois Supreme Court decided Thursday that health care for retired state workers is a constitutionally protected pension benefit, a ruling with implications for pension reform legislation passed by the state legislature earlier this year. The 6-to-1 decision allows the continuation of class-action challenges to a 2012 Illinois law that gave the state the right to impose health care insurance premiums on its retired workers. The challenge to the state effort to change health care benefits centered on a constitutional provision that membership in any public sector pension or retirement system “shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired” (Plume, 7/3). Ill. Supreme Court Rules State Can’t Cut Retiree Health Benefits This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.