Sony Xperia Ace is basically the Xperia XZ2 Compact successor weve been

first_imgSony has released a new small phone, the Xperia Ace — but unfortunately for fans of small-but-mighty mobile devices, it will be exclusive to the Japanese market.According to GSMArena the elusive smartphone has a 5-inch LCD screen on an 18:9 aspect ratio, with a Full HD+ resolution. Under the hood you’ll find a 2700mAh battery and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There’s an 8-megapixel selfie embedded in the front bezel, and a single 12-megapixel rear camera.The handset will be available in three colours: Black, White, and Purple, retailing for JP¥ 48,600 (~£350/$445).Credit: GSMArenaRelated: Best PhonesDuring production, the Xperia Ace was speculated to be the Xperia Xz4 Compact, a successor to the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact. But Sony has reorganised their product lineup, launching the Xperia 1 and Xperia 10 instead of continuing with the XZ series.The Xperia 10 received 3.5 stars in our review, as we were disappointed with the processing power and battery life. The Xperia 1 is currently available for pre-order, and is expected to be released on May 30 in the UK. In our brief hands-on we think it has the potential to be a challenger in the flagship market — but it’s certainly not compact, with a 6.5-inch screen in a towering 21:9 aspect ratio.The latest trend in the smartphone market has screens getting bigger and bigger – take for instance the Huawei Mate 20 X and its gargantuan 7.2-inch screen.Petite-handed tech consumers have felt increasingly frustrated by the lack of options for a more manageable size of phone, especially as the iPhone SE has recently been withdrawn from sale. Rumours of an iPhone SE 2 are encouraging but have yet to be officially substantiated. In the meantime your best bet might be the Google Pixel 3, which has a manageable 5.5-inch screen. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

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Eurasian database update hints at new MacBooks incoming

first_img Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor In the past, registrations in the Eurasian Economic Commission database have been a sign of incoming new Apple products, and the company has just added seven new model numbers.First spotted – appropriately enough – by MacRumors, the devices are designated as “portable computers” so we’re almost certainly looking at MacBooks, unless Apple has a whole new brand name up its sleeve. It won’t reveal much, but for completeness’ sake, the model numbers are A2141, A2147, A2158, A2159, A2179, A2182, and A2251.Related: Best MacBooksThat’s a whole lot of MacBooks: to be clear, each number refers to a different MacBook category, so it won’t just be seven different flavours of MacBook Air (although different sizes seem to count as different numbers). So it’s speculation time. Let’s start with the obvious ones: the 12-inch MacBook seems like an obvious candidate, given it hasn’t been refreshed since June 2017. The MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar is another possibility, given it hasn’t had a specs bump since 2017, either. Then there’s the MacBook Air which is also a strong possibility – although it did see an update just nine months ago. So that’s three down, five to go (maybe fewer if Apple decides to introduce new sizes or variants – the return of the 11-inch MacBook Air, maybe, or a MacBook imbued with LTE?) What else? Well, there’s the much-rumoured 16-inch MacBook Pro, but it was previously reported that this wouldn’t be a 2019 product. Or Apple could always beef up both the 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Touch Bars.Related: Best iPhoneThe good news is we probably won’t have too long to find out what laptops Apple is hiding up its sleeves. Registrations with the Eurasian Economic Commission database usually come just a few months before they’re officially unveiled. If you were planning on buying a MacBook today, you may want to hold off for a few more months…What do you think the MacBook model numbers could refer to? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.last_img read more

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Canadas technologists are having a moment — lets hope our governments dont

first_imgCanada’s technologists are having a moment — let’s hope our governments don’t wreck it Kevin Carmichael: If an ambitious AI company led by a woman in Justin Trudeau’s Canada sees a better opportunity elsewhere, we probably still have some work to do advertisement Comment ← Previous Next → A quick wrap of the week in political economy news: Brexit finally broke Theresa May; Xi Jinping compared China’s trade war with the U.S. to the Long March, the gruelling, yearlong retreat by the Communist Party that ultimately led to Mao Zedong’s ascent to power; and Donald Trump released US$16 billion from the federal treasury to aid farmers suffering from the retaliatory tariffs that he provoked.What a world.Thankfully, here in Central Canada, we’ve had the technologists to distract us from all of this nonsense. Tens of thousands of them converged in Toronto at the Collision conference (Seth Rogen, headliner) and in Montreal at C2 (Spike Lee, headliner), the annual assembly of artists, entrepreneurs, and world-changers created seven years ago by the leaders of Cirque du Soleil and Sid Lee, the global marketing agency.And these days, where you find technologists, you find money. For venture capitalists at Collision, the big question is: ‘What’s left to disrupt?’ ‘Everyone is at Collision’: Toronto’s tech scene set for coming out party as host of major conference AI godfathers gave Canada an early edge — but we could end up being left in the dust On May 23, Navdeep Bains, the innovation minister, attended C2 and then drove across town to give $49 million to a Montreal-based outfit called Imagia, which is fronting a group that intends to use artificial intelligence (AI) to process health data and keep many of us alive longer.Bains was bouncing around this Liberal stronghold in red sneakers, but he still was upstaged: will.i.am, the co-founder of the Black Eyed Peas, used C2 as a backdrop to announce that his technology company, i.am+, had invested an undisclosed sum in Montreal-based Stradigi AI.“I don’t want to be singing `I’ve Got a Feeling’ when I’m 70,” will.i.am said at a press conference.He said he was so impressed by C2 that he intended to text Jimmy Iovine, the music producer and co-founder of Beats Electronics, to tell him that they should team up with Dr. Dre, the other Beats co-founder, to create something similar. Basil Bouraropoulos, Stradigi’s chief executive, said almost in passing that his goal is to build one of the world’s biggest AI companies. You don’t hear a Canadian executive express that kind of ambition every day. (Stradigi currently has about 80 job openings in case you want to try to get on board now.)I’m concerned for Canada More Sponsored By: 7 Comments Kevin Carmichael May 24, 20197:46 PM EDT Filed under News Economy Share this storyCanada’s technologists are having a moment — let’s hope our governments don’t wreck it Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Participants check out the virtual reality display at the C2 technology conference May 22, 2019 in Montreal. Thousands of technologists converged on Canada this week for the C2, and the Collision conference in Toronto.Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press Twitter Recommended For YouGovernment supporters rally in Hong Kong to seek end to violence’I don’t have words’: Boss of torched Japan animation studio mourns bright, young staffBritain calls ship seizure ‘hostile act’ as Iran releases video of captureBritish Airways suspends flights to Cairo for seven daysThousands in pro-police rally as Hong Kong braces for another mass protest What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Reddit Ford’s latest spending cuts are an example of what they are talking about.There surely were a few tens of billions of less-import dollars in the budget that survived at the expense of AI research. Even if there weren’t, the funding should have been left alone, as whatever tiny bit of interest the Government of Ontario might pay on $30 million of debt would be more than offset by the future gains from commercializing ideas.Or the premier could raise revenue. Asselin and Speer advise scrapping preferential tax rates for smaller companies, which create incentives to stay small and devote resources to tax planning instead of productivity-enhancing things such as research and development and finding new customers. Governments could use the money to lower overall tax rates — or reduce the deficit and the debt. There is an eight-percentage-point gap between Ontario’s small-business rate and its corporate rate. (Just putting it out there.)“I’m concerned for Canada,” Angelique Mohring, chief executive of GainX, an AI firm with offices in Waterloo, Ont. and London, England told me in an interview.She’s frustrated by being whipsawed by government policy. Ford’s dismantling of the supports that previous governments put in place for companies like hers is one example. Another is the disconnect between Trudeau’s promises of help for tech firms and the work involved in freeing that money from the clutches of overly cautious bureaucrats. It’s so much easier to get things done in the United Kingdom that she’s thinking of making GainX a British company and running it from the London office.Mohring is one executive. But if an ambitious AI company led by a woman in Justin Trudeau’s Canada sees a better opportunity elsewhere, we probably still have some work to do.• Email: kcarmichael@postmedia.com | Twitter: Join the conversation → Featured Stories Email So: the Canadian tech scene is having a moment. Thanks to generous, few-strings-attached public funding of basic research, universities in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec became homes to researchers now seen as the godfathers of AI. Their offspring have started some 700 companies in Canada to date, according to Elissa Strome, executive director of the pan-Canadian AI strategy at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). Those startups are processing digital data in ways that will eventually make every major industry more productive. Believe the hype.“There is an opportunity on the table,” Jacomo Corbo, co-founder and chief scientist at QuantumBlack, the London-based AI firm that McKinsey & Co. purchased in 2015, told me in an interview at C2.We could screw it up, though.Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, did his part this week by cutting $24 million in funding for CIFAR and the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.Ontario needs to reduce its debt, but the province’s angry politics appears to be impeding the judgment of policy makers. The money the government erased from the budget funds work done in places that want nothing to do with Ford Nation, and Ford Nation made it clear in the election that it wants nothing to do with them.Robert Asselin, a former adviser to Justin Trudeau, and Sean Speer, who advised the current prime minister’s Conservative predecessor, worry that the absence of a multi-partisan consensus on the right policies for the innovation economy will wreck whatever comparative advantage we currently have.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in an armchair discussion with BroadbandTV Corp. founder Shahrfad Rafaiti, at the Collision tech conference in Toronto on May 20, 2019. Chris Young/The Canadian Press Facebooklast_img
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Caisse Sun Life backing new 75 million fintech venture capital fund

first_img Comment Facebook Recommended For YouU.S. Justice Department may sue to block Sprint, T-Mobile merger -sourceU.S.-China trade talks in ‘quiet period’ -White House adviser NavarroU.S. clears SoftBank’s $2.25 bln investment in GM-backed CruiseUPDATE 2-Twitter to deemphasize, label politician tweets that break its rulesTake it easy: central bank U-turns loosen financial conditions A new $75 million venture capital fund is being launched to develop early-stage fintech companies and artificial intelligence applications for financial services with the backing of large financial institutions including the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Sun Life Financial.Additional partners in Luge Capital include Desjardins Group, the Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, and La Capitale, and the fund could be increased to as much as $100 million in the coming months.Luge Capital, named for the winter sport that involves hurtling down an icy course at high speed, will concentrate on seed and Series A financing. Initial investments will be between $250,000 and $2 million.“The fund will support the development of innovative solutions that improve customer experiences, enhance efficiency for financial institutions, and implement data-driven methods and artificial intelligence for decision-making,” the partners said in a statement Monday.Luge is expected to tap its financial backers for more than just money in the development their products and services.“Our AI and data-driven companies will have the opportunity to partner with our investors to access key insights in order to build best-of-breed solutions,” said David Nault, co-founder and general partner in Luge’s Montreal office.Nault, who has more than 20 years of entrepreneurial and investing experience, will lead the Montreal office. Karim Gillani, who has extensive experience in fintech, will run an office based in Toronto.“We are looking for young mission-driven companies that challenge how the world interacts with financial services,” Gillani said.The initial $50 million of capital was raised and announced by the Caisse and Desjardins last October.“There is a booming startup ecosystem in this sector,” said Guy Cormier, chief executive of Desjardins, adding that the financial institution “wants to support and help develop this incredibly exciting industry.”The backers of Luge are not the first traditional financial services firms to back a venture fund dedicated to developing the financial technology-backed products and services that are disrupting the industry.The Desmarais family behind Montreal-based Power Corp. launched Diagram last year with 50 individual “angel” investors to fund entrepreneur-driven fintech startups. The fund raised an initial $25-million, with a substantial tranche coming from the family’s investment vehicle Portag3, which has been instrumental in the funding of robo-advisor Wealthsimple since 2015.Other investments were made in online lender Borrowell, and Koho, a mobile payments and banking startup.The increasing number of partnerships and funding arrangements suggest fintechs pose less of a threat to the healthy margins of traditional financial institutions than they were assumed to in their earliest days.Recent research suggests that disruption of business models and customer loyalty may come instead from “platform” players such as Google and Amazon.Last October, global consultant McKinsey & Company said 73 per cent of U.S. millennials would be more excited by a new financial services product or service from Google, Amazon, Paypal, or Square than from their bank. One in three said they believed they would not need a bank at all. Sponsored By: Featured Stories 0 Comments ← Previous Next → Reddit The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Sun Life Financial are backing a venture capital fund to develop artificial intelligence applications for financial services.Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press Barbara Shecter center_img Email Twitter advertisement Caisse, Sun Life backing new $75 million fintech venture capital fund Additional partners in Luge Capital include Desjardins Group, the Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, and La Capitale, and the fund could be increased to $100 million June 11, 201812:02 AM EDTLast UpdatedJune 11, 201812:02 AM EDT Filed under News FP Street More Join the conversation → What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Share this storyCaisse, Sun Life backing new $75 million fintech venture capital fund Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn last_img read more

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Ontario cuts small business taxes to ease transition to higher minimum wage

first_img November 14, 20175:23 PM ESTLast UpdatedNovember 15, 201710:08 AM EST Filed under News Economy Featured Stories What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Join the conversation → Recommended For YouLong-dated yields fall, retail sales data in focusTreasury’s Mnuchin says deal to raise U.S. debt ceiling getting closerMnuchin says Facebook must enact proper safeguards against illicit use, money launderingChina data supports stocks as U.S. earnings season beginsToronto’s chief information officer Rob Meikle exits after six years Comment Email Reddit Share this storyOntario cuts small business taxes to ease transition to higher minimum wage Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Shawn Jeffords advertisement Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa.Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network TORONTO — With an eye to next spring’s election, Ontario’s Liberal government will slash small business taxes as part of $500 million in new investments aimed at easing the transition to the province’s increasing minimum wage.Finance Minister Charles Sousa unveiled the government plan in the province’s fall economic statement Tuesday afternoon. The corporate tax rate for small businesses will fall from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent effective Jan. 1, 2018, the same day the province will increase its minimum wage from $11.60 to $14.Critics of the government’s sweeping labour reform package introduced in May have called for the tax offsets for months to allow businesses to absorb the cost. The government plan will eventually see minimum wage jump to $15 an hour by Jan. 1, 2019.Business coalition urges five-year implementation of minimum wage hikeOntario heading into ‘uncharted waters’ with $15 minimum wage, study warns“We will not back down from these commitments,” Sousa said. “An increase to minimum wage cannot wait. People cannot wait … delaying an increase is delaying an increase.”As part of the $500 million package for small business, Sousa said the province will designate that one-third of its procurement spending on goods and services will come from small and medium-sized businesses by 2020.The government will spend $124 million over three years to help companies with fewer than 100 employees who hire youths aged 15 to 29. The government will pay incentives of $1,000 for each worker hired and another $1,000 for each worker retained for at least six months by a small business.“We also want to help young people find meaningful employment,” Sousa said. “To find their first job, or take their first steps towards building their career. And we want to support small businesses that hire these young people.”The province’s economic watchdog, the Financial Accountability Office, has estimated more than 50,000 people could lose their jobs due to the minimum wage increase. A report from the FAO said job losses would be concentrated among teens and young adults, while the number of minimum wage workers in Ontario would increase from just over 500,000 to 1.6 million in 2019.Business groups have argued that needed offsets for business should have comes months ago.“Businesses will have started to increase costs, they will have started to let people go, they will have stopped hiring people that they might have hired because they’re planning now under the presumption there is no offset,” Karl Bauldauf spokesman for the The Keep Ontario Working Coalition, which includes the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, has said.A report from the coalition released in September said the risk of job losses due to the minimum wage increase could be significantly reduced if the government extended the policy phase-in period. An economic analysis of the wage increase by the coalition concluded over 185,000 jobs could be impacted by the hike.However, many economists support the government move, saying hiking the minimum wage boosts economic activity and increases people’s purchasing power.Tuesday’s economic statement also covers a number of previously announced government programs including its seniors strategy, opening applications for free tuition for post-secondary students early and creating 1,200 new hospital beds across the province.Sousa also confirms Ontario’s 2018 budget will be balanced — as will budgets over the next two years. More 0 Comments Twitter The Canadian Press Ontario cuts small business taxes to ease transition to higher minimum wage The corporate tax rate for small businesses will fall from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent effective Jan. 1, 2018 Sponsored By: Facebook ← Previous Next →last_img read more

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Restaurants may crib but stayathome Canadians are hungry for food delivery services

first_imgRestaurants may crib, but stay-at-home Canadians are hungry for food delivery services A number of food delivery apps have proliferated over the past year 0 Comments Financial Post Staff Canadians ordered takeaways in record numbers last year, as food delivery apps such as SkipTheDishes, UberEATS and DoorDash try to beat each other to the door to get a slice of the $4.3-billion — and growing — business of delivered food.Predictably, tech savvy 18-34-year-olds were the biggest users of third-party online delivery services, with 23 per cent ordering in at least once a week, according to Restaurants Canada’s 2019 Foodservice Facts published last week. Generation Z — those born in the mid-90s — will likely be even bigger users, as they have never known a world without cell phones or the Internet.“The movement towards a ‘stay-at-home’ economy has led to exponential growth in delivery sales spearheaded by these same two digital-friendly groups,” the report said, noting that delivering foodservice sales via online and mobile apps and traditional telephone grew 44 per cent compared to last year.“Its impact is most profoundly felt in major urban centres where population density makes delivery economically viable,” the guide noted.A number of food delivery apps have proliferated over the past year, with Winnipeg-based SkipTheDishes, leading the list of third-party food delivery services, according to a separate survey by Angus Reid Global and the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.The study of 1,500 Canadians during May 17-19 shows 29 per cent of Canadians have used SkipTheDishes app at least once, while 14 per cent used UberEats.DoorDash, the California-founded delivery service also recently announced its entry into Winnipeg — its 50 th Canadian city. The company became the top-selling U.S. delivery service in March, overtaking UberEATS and GrubHub.While the surge has been impressive, the Angus-Reid study concludes with the prediction that food-delivery app use will peak, with the possibility of resurgence in 2022.“Despite a high satisfaction rate of many leaders in the market, the intent to use delivery apps is slowly approaching its peak in some parts of Canada,” the Angus Reid study noted. “A total of 31 per cent of Canadians intend to use a food delivery app within the next 6 moths which is 2 per cent more than the current user rate. Only 37 per cent of consumers in Manitoba intend to use a delivery app over the next 6 months which is down from 45 per cent.”However, SkipTheDishes CEO Kevin Edwards sees no signs of the industry peaking.“If you just look at the rate of customer acquisition that we’re seeing, even in a mature market like Winnipeg where… our acquisition is at 30 per cent, it doesn’t really take into account customer frequency,” said Edwards. “That’s where we see the biggest growth in the business, it’s not really just for special occasions anymore it’s part of customers everyday lives.”SkipTheDishes which was taken over by UK-based global online food delivery company Just Eat Plc. for $110 million in 2016, is working on addressing industry complaints such as packaging and network efficiency, Edwards said. While he welcomes the competition that DoorDash would bring, he expects SkipTheDishes to soon become the first profitable food delivery app.“We believe we have the best restaurant selection and we believe we have the best technology driving the network. They’re coming up against the number one service in Canada,” said Edwards.While online delivery services are convenient for consumers, restaurants are worried that the service is cannibalizing their in-house sales.As many as 37 per cent of restaurant operators told Restaurants Canada that third-party apps/websites hurt their on-premise dinner sales, and 27 per cent said it was denting their on-premise lunch sales.“So, why do they do it? There is profit to be made according to 79 per cent of operators who use them. However, the vast majority felt that third-party apps/websites are only ‘slightly profitable’,” according to the report.“Another 21 per cent said that they were ‘not at all profitable’. For some, this may be a case where it’s necessary to bite the bullet and give the people what they want, then figure out how to make it work.”The surge in online food deliveries is part of the expanding restaurant business in the country. Total food services sales in 2019 are expected to grow 4.2 per cent to $93.6 billion, and is estimated to surpass $100 billion by 2021, according to Restaurants Canada. May 28, 201911:01 AM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing Facebook Recommended For YouWhy Canada will have a tougher time cutting greenhouse gas emissions than the rest of the worldWilliam Watson: If you tax income effectively, you don’t have to tax wealthUPDATE 3-Mexico’s president defiant in row with Canada over pipeline contractsBombardier to lay off half the 1,100 workers at Thunder Bay railway plant — and union fears more cuts to comeA chronology of Canada’s standoff with U.S. over steel, aluminum levies Nicholas Sokic Emailcenter_img More Share this storyRestaurants may crib, but stay-at-home Canadians are hungry for food delivery services Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Reddit Comment Twitter Skip The Dishes is leading the food delivery space, according to a survey.Ashley Fraser/Postmedia Join the conversation →last_img read more

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October 2018 Tesla Model 3 19 BestSelling Vehicle In US

first_img September 2018: Tesla Model 3 #13 Best Selling Vehicle In U.S. US Plug-In Electric Car Sales Charted: October 2018 U.S. best selling brands in October 2018In the case of brands, Tesla is in 17th place (down from 15th in September). We hope that in November and December, Tesla move up at least to #12.Source: bestsellingcarsblog.com (some numbers estimated) Tesla within the top 20 models and brands in the U.S. in October 2018October wasn’t as strong as September for Tesla sales in the U.S. (the highest volumes usually fall on the last month of the quarter), but it was still an order of magnitude higher than last year.According to the BestSellingCarsBlog, both Tesla and Tesla Model 3 managed to stay within the top 20.Tesla Model 3 was classified at #19 among all models, but when you exclude trucks, of course only several cars had stronger sales results.More U.S. sales reports U.S. Tesla Sales In October 2018 Up By 861% Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 9, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

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Green Deals AeroGarden Harvest Kit 115 Reg up to 150 more

first_imgAmazon offers the AeroGarden Harvest Kit in Grey for $114.89 shipped. For comparison, it retails for as much as $150 and today’s deal is $10 less than our previous mention. This is also a new Amazon all-time low. AeroGarden is a great way to grow herbs, plants and other things in your home throughout the winter months. You’ll find a free “gourment” herb seed kit included with your purchase that includes six starter herbs. Rated 4/5 stars. more…The post Green Deals: AeroGarden Harvest Kit $115 (Reg. up to $150), more appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

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Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV Spied

first_imgKia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV out in the cold for the first timeKia is currently testing around the Arctic Circle its new plug-in hybrid model – the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV – which is expected to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.The overall design of the Kia Ceed SW PHEV is to be similar to the conventional Ceed, besides maybe a different grill and details. The charging inlet is probably in the left front fender.“This were the words by Kia Motors Europe Marketing chief, Artur Martins, who mentioned the wagon will be the first to come and other body-types could follow. “We are going to introduce it for the wagon, and then decide if it makes sense on other body-types.” Having a car like the Toyota Corolla with an hybrid option & hatchback configuration, we bet that Kia will at least, launch a variant for the 5-door model.The optional LED headlights, tail lights and the LEDs daytime running lights X-type looks the same as the normal Ceed but this could still change before its time for an debut.” Exclusive: Kia Reveals Details On Niro EV Launch & EV Aspirations Kia news Images: CarPix Kia Plug-In Hybrid Sportage, Ceed Coming Next Year Kia Ceed Plug-In Hybrid Planned, BEV Ruled Outcenter_img 7 photos Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 30, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News The Kia Ceed SW PHEV will probably get the Kia Niro PHEV powertrain and battery (about 8.9 kWh), at least that’s what a Kia representative hinted at in 2018. The range will probably be better than 26 miles (42 km) EPA for the Niro PHEV, but not by much.The Ceed SW PHEV is to be produced at Kia’s Slovakia plant. It will be the first plug-in hybrid Kia produced locally in Europe.Kia Niro PHEV specs:1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine (104bhp and 147Nm) paired with a 44.5kW (60bhp) electric motor – Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED). System output is 139bhp, with 265Nm of torque. Drive to the front wheels is through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (6DCT).0-60 mph in 10.4 seconds and has a top speed of 107mph8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack up to 36 miles (58 km) in all-electric range , 26 miles (42 km) EPApotential fuel economy of well over 200mpg and CO2 emissions of just 29g/kmdrag coefficient (Cd) of .304,355mm long, 1,805mm wide and 1,535mm tallcurb weight to 1,594kgluggage space – 324 litreslast_img read more

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Tesla Launches New Model S X With SoftwareLocked 100kWh Battery

first_img Let’s Analyze Tesla’s Recent Model S, X 75D Discontinuation More Detailed Analysis On Discontinuation Of Tesla’s 75-kWh Battery It turns out Tesla is not discontinuing Model S and X with less battery capacity.Tesla recently announced that it will discontinue its Model S and Model X vehicles with the “smaller,” 75-kWh battery pack. This meant that the least expensive vehicles jumped drastically in price. The automaker also admitted that it was cutting back on Model S and X production hours.Sometimes what appears to be bad news can turn out to be positive for the customer. Fast forward to this week, and Tesla is updating its Model S and X lineup to still include a smaller battery option. In addition, the mid-level and range-topping models get a reduced price.Related Content: Tesla Is Cutting Back On Model S, X Production Hours Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 30, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Tesla will only build the Model S and X with the 100-kWh battery pack. However, it will offer a software-limited version as well. This will help to streamline production, while providing vehicles that appeal to a wider audience.Unfortunately — in line with Tesla’s new scheme of not sharing specific battery capacity — we don’t know exactly how many kilowatt-hours these software-locked batteries will have. Nonetheless, it really makes no difference, as long as we know the range and price. Fortunately, there’s good news on both fronts, depending on which trim level you choose.The (base) Tesla Model S and X (with the software-locked battery pack) will cost $85,000 and $88,000, respectively. While this is a price increase, the battery pack is clearly limited to more than 75 kWh, since range has increase significantly. The Model S will travel 310 miles and have a 4.1-second zero-to-60-mph time. As for the base Model X, it has a 270-mile range and will hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.The Model S and X Extended Range vehicles (100-kWh battery pack) will be much the same as the current non-performance (100D) models. However, Tesla has dropped their price by $1,000.That leaves the top-of-the-line (P100D) models, which are now simply referred to as Model S and X Performance. Like the Extended Range vehicles, there aren’t any notable changes aside from a price reduction. However, it’s important to note that Ludicrous Mode is now a paid upgrade. Also, people who buy the base or Extended Range models have the choice to unlock the battery to move up trims. All of the above vehicles are already available on Tesla’s website.How do you feel about these changes? Fill us in via the comment section.Source: Electreklast_img read more

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Electrify America to use Tesla Powerpacks at some charging stations

Sources: Electrek, InsideEVs Charging network operator Electrify America has announced plans to install battery storage units made by Tesla at over 100 of its charging stations. EA will deploy Tesla Powerpack systems consisting of “a 210 kW battery system with roughly 350 kWh of capacity” at over 100 charging stations. A modular system will allow EA to increase capacity later if needed.Why does an EV charging station need on-site energy storage? Because of demand charges, which are extra fees that utilities charge commercial customers when they draw large amounts of power. Demand charges are based on the highest power level a customer draws from the utility during a set period of time, and they can be extremely high. So costly are demand charges that, according to Tom Moloughney (writing in InsideEVs), they make it nearly impossible for DC fast charging stations to break even, much less make a profit. Moloughney owns a 24 kW DC fast charging station, and finds that demand charges push his cost of energy from 12 cents per kWh to well over $1.00 per kWh.Using battery storage to shave peak energy consumption can help station operators reduce or eliminate these charges, by setting the rate at which the batteries recharge from the grid at a level low enough that it doesn’t incur a demand charge.There are two ironic situations here, as both Moloughney and Electrek’s Fred Lambert noted. First, Tesla has been exploring the idea of adding storage to its Supercharger sites for years, but has yet to do so on a large scale. The company says it expects the next-gen Supercharger V3 to have “significantly lower operational and capital expenditures.” Is energy storage one of the ways Tesla hopes to lower operational costs?The second irony is that Volkswagen, Electrify America’s parent company, is developing its own charging and energy storage technology. Of course, Tesla has a commercially proven product ready to deploy, and Electrify America may have decided that it can’t afford to wait until VW has a solution ready.“Our stations are offering some of the most technologically advanced charging that is available,” said Electrify America CEO Giovanni Palazzo. “With our chargers offering high power levels, it makes sense for us to use batteries at our most high-demand stations for peak shaving to operate more efficiently. Tesla’s Powerpack system is a natural fit given their global expertise in both battery storage development and EV charging.” Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine read more

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In Post Subsidy Era How Will EV Battery Makers Survive

first_imgWhen subsidies vanish, what happens?In 2018, the Chinese market saw a decrease of 2.76% in new vehicle sales volumes. Many market segments recognized similar rates of decline. Under the general recession, the Chinese NEV (New Energy Vehicle) market is the only one to emerge and rise out of the situation to achieve a 61.74% growth. The total sales volume reached 1,256,200. There is no doubt that the demand for batteries will increase as the NEV market continues to expand. However, not all battery companies are capable of achieving the rapid growth. As the subsidies decrease, the NEV market has to switch from being policy orientated to being market focused, while OEMs must work with battery companies to launch products that have long cycle life, low cost, and high safety. Therefore, the cost pressure to both OEMs and to battery suppliers will gradually increase. Meanwhile, companies that have strong technical capabilities and clear marketing strategies will be able to capture the opportunities.More China News As one of the main battery suppliers, Wanxiang A123 can provide over 35 million batteries that can satisfy customers’ 7GWh battery capacity requirement. Compared to 2017, this capacity is a significant increase. For the challenges that 2019 will bring, Peter W. Cirino, the General Manager of Wanxiang A123, has every confidence. Wanxiang A123 will continue to develop the cost structure, improve efficiency, increase input in research and development, and accelerate innovation in order to provide high-capacity, cost-competitive, and technically advanced products for our customers. Based on these factors, Wanxiang A123 expects to achieve more than 50% growth in 2019.Hard Core Technology and a Full Product Portfolio Lay a Solid Competitive FoundationMarket demand presents the opportunity to diversity as the NEV market expands. Therefore, diversifying technologies has become a company’s best option. Wanxiang A123 has developed a full portfolio of products with varying applications. The products cover high voltage passenger vehicles, low voltage passenger vehicles, and the commercial vehicle market. Wanxiang A123 focuses on the developments of cells, modules and systems, and plays an important role in 12V starter batteries, 48V mild-hybrid lithium-ion batteries, and high capacity NMC batteries.In recent years, the international emission standards have gotten harsher, while the Chinese government has launched the NEV & CAFC credit policies. New energy subsidies are gradually decreasing and will be eventually cancelled. Finding the best solution must take into account the policies, energy efficiency, and cost, and thus the 48V mild-hybrid solution is gradually becoming the choice of many companies to research and develop.In fact, Wanxiang A123 began to concentrate on the development of 48V products from as early as 2013 and had a gross investment of $224 million in the development of 48V Mild-Hybrid Battery System. The system adopts the proprietary technology of UltraPhosphate and allows the power density of the battery cells to reach 5900W/kg resulting in a systems level power density that exceeds 2000W/kg. The 48V system has long cycle life and high safety. The project team has developed a natural cooling design and produces the battery in a smaller size to make it easier for vehicle integration. Wanxiang A123’s 48V products lead the industry with large scale production both inside and even outside of China. It successfully integrates into cars of 13 mainstream OEMs all over the world, the global market share of which ranks number one. Benefitting from years of technical advancements and leading the industry in LFP technology, Wanxiang A123’s 48V battery system was successfully implemented into Geely’s newly launched NEV, the Borui GE MHEV, and allows the vehicle to achieve 15% fuel savings. This helps Geely successfully step into the mild-hybrid vehicle market.In 2018, Wanxiang A123’s 48V battery was honored with the “Automotive News 2018 PACE Award” which honors superior innovation and technological advancement in America. Wanxiang A123 owns the most diverse 48V battery portfolio, two of which has been applied in P0 Architecture. Furthermore, it is known that the company has developed its second generation product, which has higher power and more capacity. The product’s ultra-high performance makes it easy to integrate other functions of the electrical system into the 48V system so much so that it has received orders from international luxury car brands.Wanxiang A123 not only occupies the global leading position in the field of 48V products, but also has made advancements in NMC products and continues to invest in further research. According to Mr. Cirino, Wanxiang A123 has never stopped investing in the development of the high energy products. The company first applied NMC technology into cell production for passenger cars in 2013. Over One-hundred-thousand cars with NMC cells are on the road today and set a record of zero safety accidents. In 2018, Wanxiang A123 ranks NO. 3 in terms of cell pack applications and has been awarded a new project for high energy products whose value exceed $1 billion. In order to accelerate the development of high energy density & high power products, the company invested another $208 million on R&D, expecting to develop a list of ten high capacity battery products and establish 5 laboratories to achieve a technical advantage worldwide.In the early 2018, Wanxiang A123’s 52Ah VDA cell was successfully launched. The product features high power density (approximately 260Wh/kg), high power (power at room temperature output power density of each 10 seconds reaches 1500W/kg), long cycle life (life is estimated at 1500 cycles at high temperature), and high safety  (pass multiple tests required by GBT-31485-2015, and USABC nail penetration test and reach the EUCAR3 Standards). According to the news shared by Mr. Cirino, Wanxiang A123 will launch the NMC811 high energy product in 2020. By partnering with Argonne National Laboratory and improving upon materials, Wanxiang A123 was able to develop multiple levels of battery safety that fundamentally solves the previous safety problem. What’s more, Wanxiang A123 has its specialized R&D team continuing their research on the materials, and constantly breaking through technical barriers in high energy anodes and nickel rich cathodes to achieve the highest driving range in the vehicle market.For the next generation of battery technology, Wanxiang A123 has developed a plan ahead of the game. Peter W. Cirino believes that as the NEV market has an increasing requirement for safety and range, solid-state batteries will be adopted into the industry. Therefore, Wanxiang A123 has adopted the strategy of inhouse R&D and outside investment. It not only invested a solid-state battery company, Solid Power (BMW later also partnered with the company, jointly developing solid-state batteries), but also invested in a material company who focuses on solid state materials called Ionic Materials. Wanxiang A123 will introduce solid-state battery samples with high performance in terms of power density and life cycle by the end of 2019. Wanxiang A123 plans to launch world-leading products in the next decade.Strategic Layout: Synergy between Localization and Globalization to Promote Sustainable DevelopmentIn early 1999, the holding company of Wanxiang A123, Wanxiang Group started to invest clean energy, developing the battery industry and electric vehicle industry. Three years later, Wanxiang Electric Vehicle Limited Company was formed. Wanxiang officially became a new power in the vehicle market, and subsequently invested approximately $1.5 billion into the independent development of clean energy through mergers and acquisitions. Purchasing A123 was the most important action taken.A123 brings Wanxiang Group the global leading LFP technology and the quality systems that conform to stringent international standards. Its mature experiences of pack assembly and sales channels in the western market also bring advantages for Wanxiang Group’s international footprint. A123 was founded out of MIT in 2001. The same year, it established its R&D center at Massachusetts, USA, and maintains an important connection and collaboration with MIT and Argonne National Laboratory for many years.In 2009, A123 established its manufacturing facility at Michigan, USA, providing assembled packs for GM and Chrysler. In 2010, A123 set up the R&D center in Stuttgart, Germany to serve many European customers the long term. In 2012, Wanxiang Group acquired A123. In 2016, Wanxiang A123 established a manufacturing facility in Ostrava, Czech Republic for conveniently serving the European market that has increasing demands. Customers include Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover, etc. Currently, the European market is Wanxiang A123’s largest growth region outside of the Chinese market. Mr. Cirino revealed that 70% of Wanxiang A123’s business now comes from China while the other 30% comes from the European market, which contributes to its rapid growth.From the perspective of research and development, Wanxiang A123 adopts the strategy of “Simultaneous Development”, and has set up an R&D Center in Hangzhou (headquarters in China), Massachusetts (USA), and Europe. The centers maintain quality talent in locations that closely serve customers and Wanxiang A123 to “customize strategies according to demands of an ever changing market”. Wanxiang A123 covers all businesses worldwide, from the development process to manufacturing and delivery, and rigorously enforces IATF 16949.From the perspective of Wanxiang A123, Wanxiang Group not only injects vitality to A123, but also introduces CDB Fund and ICBC Fund to hold equity stocks. It lays a solid financial foundation for Wanxiang A123’s development. From the marketing level, Wanxiang Group, as one of the representing companies of the Chinese component manufacturer, has leading products that occupy more than 65% of market share and extensive experiences in the local market and sales channel, and provides an advantageous situation for Wanxiang A123 to open up the Chinese market. Currently, Wanxiang A123’s products have been successfully adopted into vehicles of local OEMs such as SAIC GM, GAC, Chery, Geely, Changan, JAC, etc.Mr. Cirino concludes that “First of all, the integration of two battery companies creates advantages in developing the NMC and LFP technologies and helps the company expand in size and distribution both in China and in the overseas markets to better serve global customers and achieve the goal of becoming an international leader. Secondly, Wanxiang Group has been doing business in China for half a century and has possessed a strong brand influence to attract talents and customers, which is a solid foundation. Most importantly, Wanxiang has a great performance in finance and provides financial support for Wanxiang A123’s development, leading Wanxiang A123 to achieve financial growth. After joining the Wanxiang Group, A123 is able to work closely with Wanxiang’s other subsidiaries to create greater value for our customers.”In order to pool resources and maximize the synergies, Wanxiang Group launches Wanxiang Innovation Energy City that has over $30 billion gross investment. The project will include 12 key construction segments including lithium-ion power battery, new energy vehicle, smart city, CBD community and so on to achieve the integration of “Tangible + Digital”. In the first phase of construction, $10 billion will be invested to build a Lithium-ion Battery Base that will have 80GWh of battery manufacturing capacity (one of the largest lithium-ion battery manufacturing bases of the industry), an Advanced NEV Manufacturing Facility, and an International Battery Innovation Center. Besides, the Wanxiang Innovation Energy City will have a battery recycling base and an energy storage facility that uses batteries to store solar energy. All in all, the Innovation Energy Stored City will support the whole industry chain and will cover products’ complete cycle life from R&D and manufacturing to client-side application and recycling. Mr. Cirino said, “Innovation Energy City is an exciting project. We will begin to install equipment in 2019 and our capacity will reach 20GWh in 2020. We hope it will be the future of both battery innovation and safe battery manufacturing”.According to the forecast of some research institutes, global sales of EVs will be approximately 2.6 million in 2019 and will have 40% growth compared to 2018. Chinese NEV sales volume will reach 1.5 million, while the sales volume in European markets will be near a half million. In the words of Mr. Cirino, “2019 will be an exciting year. This confidence is supported by our technical strength and our leading global strategy. Let’s look forward to a bright future!”($1 = 6.69 yuan)Source: Gasgoo Source: Electric Vehicle News In January Plug-In EV Car Sales In China Almost Tripled In January NIO Sold 1,803 ES8 Electric SUVs In China Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 7, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News BYD Breaks Ground On New 20 GWh Battery Plant In Chinalast_img read more

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Rayvolt shows off beautiful line of steampunk electric bicycles debuts emotorcycle prototype

first_imgRayvolt is a premium electric bicycle manufacturer located in Barcelona. They are celebrating three years of operation today and invited Electrek out to Barcelona to see their full line of vintage-inspired e-bikes. Despite their young age, Rayvolt has built an impressive number of bikes that have been delivered all over the world. more…The post Rayvolt shows off beautiful line of steampunk electric bicycles, debuts e-motorcycle prototype appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

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Anaheim Transportation Network orders 40 BYD electric buses 57 of fleet zero

first_imgSource: Charge Forward The Anaheim Transportation Network (ATN) will have one of the largest electric bus fleets in the US after receiving a new order of 40 BYD electric buses, and more than half of ATN’s fleet will be zero emission by next year. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://youtu.be/ee5nKd7zjWoThe post Anaheim Transportation Network orders 40 BYD electric buses, 57% of fleet zero emission by 2020 appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

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ACEINNA expands AMRbased current sensors to support 33 volt applications

first_imgACEINNA, a Massachusetts sensor manufacturer, has announcedthat its MCx1101 family of currentsensors now supports 3.3 volt applications commonly found in EV chargingstations, inverters, and motor controls.The MCx1101 sensors are fully integrated, bi-directional current sensors. ACEINNA says they offer much higher DC accuracy and dynamic range compared with other solutions. For example, the ±20 A version has a typical accuracy of ±0.6% and is guaranteed to achieve an accuracy of ±2.0% (max) at 85° C. These new current sensors are enclosed in an industry-standard SOIC-16 package with a low-impedance (0.9 milli-ohm) current path, and are certified by UL/IEC/EN for isolated applications.The new sensors also guarantee an offset of ±60 mA, or ±0.3%of FSR (max) over temperature, which allows the sensors to achieve highaccuracy over a roughly 10:1 range of currents. ACEINNA says this providessignificant improvement in dynamic range compared to leading Hall-sensor-baseddevices.The new devices deliver high-accuracy 1.5 MHz signal bandwidth and, claims ACEINNA, industry-benchmark phase shift vs frequency, as well as fast output step response and 4.8 kV isolation. The company notes that all this makes these sensors ideal for current sensing in fast current control loops and protection for high-performance power supplies, inverters, and motor control applications.ACEINNA says the sensors’ fast response and high bandwidth isalso ideal for fast switching SiC and GaN-based power stages, enabling powersystem designers to make use of the higher speeds and smaller components enabledby wide band-gap switches. Output step response time is 0.3 microseconds (us).The MCx1101 sensors also provide an integrated over current detection flag tohelp implement OCD (Over Current Detection) required in modern power systems.Over current detection response time is 0.2 us.The family of sensors includes ±50, ±20, and ±5 A ranges, and ACEINNA offers them in both fixed-gain and ratiometric-gain versions.“Our integrated, AMR-based current sensor family providesthe best performance for the price in the industry,” says ACEINNA VP KhagendraThapa. “Unlike other AMR-based current sensing solutions on the market thatrequire an extensive and time consuming integration to make them work, ours areplug-and-play.”Source: ACEINNA Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

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Lerner heads for Midlands to run Aston Villa

first_imgShare on LinkedIn Lerner heads for Midlands to run Aston Villa Share via Email First published on Tue 27 May 2008 19.01 EDT Stuart James Share on Facebook Reuse this content Tue 27 May 2008 19.01 EDT Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Shares00 @StuartJamesGNM Share on WhatsApp Randy Lerner, the Aston Villa owner and chairman, is set to take over the position of chief executive officer and have a more active role in the running of the club. The post has been vacant since Richard FitzGerald unexpectedly left in January and Lerner is understood to have no intention of appointing anyone to fill the position.The US billionaire, who completed a £67m takeover in August 2006, will establish a permanent residence in the Midlands next season, enabling him to have a greater influence. It is possible that Lerner will not give himself the official title, but sources have made it clear that the Villa owner will take on the post’s day-to-day responsibilities . The news will be welcomed by Villa fans who, in stark contrast to several other Premier League clubs, have embraced foreign ownership. Lerner is seen as the catalyst behind the club’s recent renaissance and while the new management structure carries overtones of the much-maligned previous regime, when Doug Ellis operated without any checks, few supporters will harbour concerns.Lerner has earned the trust of the fans, even if eyebrows have been raised at the boardroom upheaval at the club in the last 18 months. Steve Stride, the former operations director, FitzGerald and, more recently, Michael Cunnah, who was appointed in December to oversee commercial development and stadium changes, have all departed. The long-serving Stride had been expected to step down, but the same cannot be said for FitzGerald and Cunnah.Those departures suggest that Lerner, who sold the MBNA shares he inherited from his father for $2.5bn in 2006, is keen to streamline the board and reduce the levels of command. The 46-year-old’s desire to take on a more hands-on role is likely to be welcomed by Martin O’Neill, the manager, who has always preferred to speak directly with the owner to discuss key decisions. Premier League Aston Villa Aston Villa Share via Email Topics Share on Twitter Share on Facebook American owner will take on chief executive’s role and concentrate power into his own hands Share on Twitterlast_img read more

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Thus Far In 2015 …

first_imgThe day after Labor Day has always seemed like a second New Year.In that spirit, let’s kick off the “new year” by reviewing what has happened thus far in 2015.*****AugustEnforcement activityThere were three FCPA enforcement actions brought or announced in August.As highlighted here, BNY Mellon became the first – of what is expected to be several financial services companies – to pony up millions ($14.8 million to be precise) in an SEC enforcement action based on its alleged internship practices.  This follow-up post flagged various issues to consider from the enforcement action including that it was the first SEC FCPA enforcement ever not to include allegations or findings of books and records violations.  This post used the recent BNY Mellon enforcement action to once again highlight why the meaning of “foreign official” matter. Finally, and accepting the SEC’s enforcement action for what it is, this post highlighted how business organizations would be wise to ask whether its hiring practices live up to the SEC’s new expectations.As highlighted here, the DOJ and SEC brought a parallel enforcement action against Vicente Garcia (a U.S. citizen and former head of Latin America sales for SAP) for alleged conduct in Panama. Garcia pleaded guilty and is to be sentenced in December.  Garcia agreed to resolve the SEC action by agreeing to pay approximately $93,000. This follow-up post highlights how rare the parallel DOJ and SEC enforcement action against an individual was.As highlighted here, the DOJ quietly announced a June 2015 enforcement action against Daren Condrey (a former owner and executive of Maryland-based Transport Logistics International) for bribing an alleged Russian “foreign official” employed by entities involved in the supply of uranium to the nuclear industry. Condrey pleaded guilty and is to be sentenced in November.  As highlighted in the post, the alleged Russian “foreign official” (Vadim Mikerin) pleaded guilty in a related enforcement action to money laundering offenses.Other developments or items of interest from August included the followingAs highlighted here, the DOJ once again stumbled when put to its burden of proof as a judge trimmed the DOJ’s FCPA enforcement action against Lawrence Hoskins (a foreign national and former Alstom executive criminally charged in August 2013) by granting his motion to dismiss and denying a DOJ motion in limine.  The ruling primarily relied upon the FCPA’s legislative history regarding the category of defendants Congress sought to capture in the FCPA. As highlighted in this follow-up post, the recent ruling demonstrates once again the importance of the FCPA’s legislative history.This post analyzes how the DOJ’s recent announcement of compliance counsel represents just the latest public relations move by the DOJ to hide its justified discomfort with respondeat superior corporate criminal liability principles and to make it appear that the DOJ is addressing the key core issue.In this guest post, the adult daughter of Carlos Rodriguez reminds us that her father is more than just a name associated with the recent 11th Circuit “foreign official” decision.Click here for an FCPA Summer Reading List that can help you elevate your FCPA knowledge, sophistication, and practical skills.JulyEnforcement ActionsThere were two FCPA enforcement actions in July.As highlighted here, the SEC brought an enforcement action against Mead Johnson Nutrition Company in which the company agreed, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, to pay approximately $12 million pursuant to an administrative cease and desist order concerning alleged conduct in China.  The enforcement action was the latest in a long-line of enforcement actions premised on the theory that physicians of certain foreign health care systems are “foreign officials” under the FCPA.As highlighted here and here, the DOJ brought an enforcement action against Louis Berger International Inc. and two former employees concerning alleged conduct in connection with projects in Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Kuwait. Pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement, LBI agreed to pay $17.1 million and to engage a compliance monitor for a three year period. The former employees pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and one substantive count of violating the FCPA and are to be sentenced in November.Other developments or items of interest from July included the followingSeveral posts in July (see here, here, here and here) explored double standards when it comes to enforcement of U.S. domestic bribery laws compared to FCPA enforcement.This post examined the DOJ’s seeming unwillingness to accepts its recent FCPA trial court debacles.This guest post highlights lessons learned as an FCPA monitor.JuneEnforcement activityThere was one core FCPA enforcement action in June.As highlighted here, the DOJ brought its first corporate enforcement action of 2015 against IAP Worldwide Services Inc. The conduct at issue focused on James Rama, who was IAP’s former Vice President of Special Projects and Programs, and concerned alleged improper conduct in connection with contracts with Kuwait’s Ministry of the Interior.  Pursuant to an NPA, IAP agreed to resolve the enforcement action by paying a $7.1 million penalty.  Based on the same conduct, the DOJ also announced a plea agreement with Rama to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.Other developments or items of interest from June included the followingFor the first time since its trial court debacles in 2011 and 2012, the DOJ was put to its burden of proof in an individual FCPA enforcement action.As highlighted here, U.S. v. Joseph Sigelman was in the early stages of trial when the DOJ’s star witness (an individual who previously pleaded guilty to the same core conduct and was cooperating with the DOJ in the hopes of achieving a lower sentence) ran into some problems on the witness stand.  In short, the witness acknowledged giving false testimony during the trial prompting federal court judge Joseph Irenas (D.N.J.) to ask the witness “did you have a hallucination?” The trial adjourned as the DOJ contemplated what to do next and shortly thereafter the DOJ effectively pulled its case against Sigelman when it offered the defendant a plea agreement to substantially reduced charges.As highlighted here, Judge Irenas refused to sentence Sigelman to any jail time and in doing so blasted the DOJ (see here).  As highlighted here, U.S. v. Sigelman was just the latest DOJ FCPA trial court debacle.MayEnforcement activityThere was one FCPA enforcement action in May.As highlighted here and here, the SEC brought an administrative action against BHP Billiton in which the company agreed to pay $25 million.  The conduct at issue concerned alleged internal control deficiencies regarding the company’s hospitality program in connection with its sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. While the $25 million enforcement action did not set any records in terms of overall settlement amount, the $25 million civil penalty represents the largest SEC FCPA penalty ever and the second largest SEC only FCPA enforcement action of all-time.  That such largeness occurred in a travel and entertainment action is remarkable and further to the point that FCPA settlements (and components thereof) seem to be getting bigger each year … just because.As relevant to the DOJ’s 2014 FCPA enforcement action against Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash, as highlighted here an Austrian judge denied the DOJ’s extradition request and called the DOJ’s case “politically motivated” and lacking “sufficient proof.”Other developments or items of interest from May included the followingA s highlighted here, here and here, May was (like prior months) an active month for speeches by DOJ and SEC enforcement officials regarding the FCPA and related topics. In particular, the war of words continued as to blame for exorbitant pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses.As highlighted here, in a civil defamation case in the aftermath of an FCPA enforcement action the Texas Supreme Court held that providing an internal investigation report to the DOJ was “absolutely privileged” under the defamation laws.  The case was closely followed by the corporate community given its potential impact on conducting internal investigations and cooperating with government enforcement agencies.For the reading stack, a new article here titled “Ten Seldom Discussed FCPA Facts That You Need to Know.”AprilEnforcement activityThere was one FCPA enforcement action in April.As highlighted here and here the SEC brought an administrative action against FLIR Systems Inc. in which the company agreed to pay approximately $9.5 million.  The conduct at issue was the same as the SEC’s November 2014 enforcement action against former FLIR Systems employees and concerned alleged expensive travel, entertainment and personal items being provided to Saudi officials.Other developments or items of interest from May included the followingAs highlighted here, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell delivered a speech in which she stated that although the DOJ expects “internal investigations to be thorough,” the DOJ does “not expect companies to aimlessly boil the ocean.”  In the same speech, Caldwell spoke about the “Criminal Division’s efforts to increase transparency in its corporate prosecutions” and this post analyzes DOJ transparency in the FCPA context.As highlighted here, in a foreign bribery case in the same general sphere of the FCPA, a federal court judge benchslapped the DOJ and stated that he had never seen more of a “misguided prosecution.”In the spirit of March Madness, this post highlighted the likely outcome of Duke’s national championship season if the team was a business organization subject to various criminal or civil laws such as the FCPA.MarchEnforcement activityThere was no FCPA enforcement actions in March.Other developments or items of interest from March included the followingIt was an active speaking month for SEC enforcement officials.  This post analyzes an FCPA speech given by the SEC’s Director of Enforcement at a pharmaceutical conference and this post analyzes how the same individual was on the hot seat during a Congressional hearing regarding the surge in SEC administrative actions. This post analyzes how the numbers do not support the SEC Chair’s recent statement that “the Commission is focused on holding individuals accountable in FCPA cases.”Biomet announced that its 2013 deferred prosecution agreement was extended for a year based on the company’s fresh FCPA scrutiny and this post highlights two issues related to this development.On the FCPA-related civil litigation front, as highlighted in this post, a federal court judge recently dismissed an Avon shareholder derivative complaint finding, among other things, that just because “the FCPA is not commonly the subject of litigation” does not create a substantial federal interest in state law claims related to the FCPA.In the spirit of March Madness, this post called a timeout regarding certain commentary about the February FCPA enforcement action against Goodyear.FebruaryEnforcement activityThere was one FCPA enforcement action in February.As highlighted here, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. agreed to pay approximately $16 million to resolve an SEC administrative action focused on alleged subsidiary conduct in Angola and Kenya.  This post highlights various issues to consider from the enforcement action including how the SEC invoked a standard of liability that does not even exist under the FCPA.Other developments or items of interest from February included the followingAs highlighted here in connection with hearings of Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch, the Senate remains interested in FCPA issues.As highlighted here, in an action related to U.S. v. Esquenazi (the 11th Circuit’s 2014 “foreign official” decision), the 11th Circuit discussed the “routine governmental action” prong of the FCPA’s facilitating payments exception.As highlighted here, a federal court judge rejected a DOJ deferred prosecution agreement.  While outside the FCPA context, given the prominence of DPAs (and NPAs) in the FCPA context, the case – and upcoming appeal – are certainly worth watching.JanuaryEnforcement activityThere were two FCPA enforcement actions in January.As highlighted here, the DOJ announced criminal charges against Dmitrij Harder, the former owner and President of Chestnut Consulting Group Inc. for allegedly bribing an official with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The enforcement action is notable in that it invoked the rarely used “public international organization” prong of the FCPA’s “foreign official” element.As highlighted here, the SEC got creative in its first FCPA enforcement action of 2015 by agreeing to a deferred prosecution agreement with a legal entity that has not existed since April 2011 (PBSJ Corporation) and bringing a related administrative action against an individual (Walid Hatoum, a former executive of PBS&J International, Inc.) who agreed to resolve the action without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings.  Never before has an SEC FCPA enforcement seen such a combination.  PBSJ agreed to pay disgorgement and interest of $3,032,875 and a penalty of $375,000 and Hatoum agreed to pay a penalty of $50,000.Other developments or items of interest from January included the followingFCPA Professor was the place to visit in January for in-depth FCPA enforcement statistics from 2014 as well as comparisons to historical statistics. If you missed the daily posts, no worries as this post consolidates in one place the statistics published on FCPA Professor in January.As highlighted here  the DOJ announced Andrew Weissmann has been selected as the Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. In recent years, Weissmann has been a vocal advocate of FCPA reform and more broadly reforming corporate criminal liability principles.last_img read more

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Friday Roundup

first_imgMore on the Yates Memo, scrutiny alerts, survey says, and FCPA reform.  It’s all here in the Friday roundup.More on the Yates MemoOnce again a private company has marketed a public official to drive attendance to its paid event.Earlier this week, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell delivered this speech reiterating various aspects of the “Yates Memo.” Caldwell stated:“[O]ur focus on individuals stems from the reality that corporations act through human beings, and that justice usually requires identifying those responsible for criminal conduct and holding them personally accountable.  Prosecuting the corporate entity, and imposing a fine and other impersonal conditions, simply is not enough – in most instances – to fully punish and, more importantly, deter corporate misconduct.”Regarding the cooperation credit aspects of the “Yates Memo,” Caldwell stated:“We recognize, however, that a company cannot provide what it does not have.  And we understand that some investigations – despite their thoroughness – will not bear fruit.  Where a company truly is unable to identify the culpable individuals following an appropriately tailored and thorough investigation, but provides the government with the relevant facts and otherwise assists us in obtaining evidence, the company will be eligible for cooperation credit.  We will make efforts to credit, not penalize, diligent investigations.  On the flip side, we will carefully scrutinize and test a company’s claims that it could not identify or uncover evidence regarding the culpable individuals, particularly if we are able to do so ourselves.As I have said before, it is not our intent to outsource our investigation of corporate wrongdoing to companies and their outside advisors.  As in the past, we will not sit idle, waiting for a company to conduct or complete its investigation.  Regardless of a company’s cooperation, federal agents and prosecutors will conduct thorough investigations.  If, through this process, we are able to identify the culpable individuals when the company itself did not do so, as well as evidence that would support the charging and prosecution of those individuals, we will assess whether that evidence truly was unavailable to the company.We, of course, recognize that we sometimes can obtain evidence that a company cannot.  We often can obtain from third parties evidence that is not available to the company.  Also, we know that a company may not be able to interview former employees who refuse to cooperate in a company investigation.  Those same employees may provide information to us, whether voluntarily or through compulsory process.  Likewise, there are times when, for strategic reasons, we may ask that the company stand down from pursing a particular line of inquiry.  If so, the company will not be penalized for failing to identify facts subsequently discovered by government investigators.”Caldwell also answered questions after the speech.  It appears that this Q&A was recorded and the same private company put the Q&A behind its paywall.It’s just plain wrong that a private company is selling the words of public officials. It ought to stop.Scrutiny AlertsTransoceanAs highlighted here, in 2010 as part of the CustomsGate enforcement actions, Transocean resolved a $20.7 million FCPA enforcement action (involving a DOJ and SEC component) concerning alleged conduct in Nigeria.Bloomberg reports:“Transocean Ltd., the world’s largest offshore rig contractor, is being linked for the first time to the corruption probe of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the state-owned energy giant at the center of Brazil’s biggest corporate scandal. A former executive at Brazil’s state-run oil company has testified to receiving what he says were payments made by someone claiming to be a Transocean agent in exchange for a rig-operation contract from Petrobras.”SNC-LavalinThis CBCNews report goes in-depth regarding new allegations in a civil suit concerning SNC-Lavalin. According to the article:“Top executives for years endorsed bribes and lavish gifts — including a yacht and even prostitutes — to win contracts from Libya’s Gadhafi regime.”To cement ties, [the complaint] alleges specific SNC executives signed off on or approved numerous favours to help Gadhafi, including:providing SNC staff and hiring university professor as tutors;helping to obtain a Canadian visa;considering appointing Saadi Gadhafi an SNC vice-president;officially sponsoring his Italian Serie A professional soccer team.One of the largest expenses included the purchase of a Palmer Johnson yacht worth $38 million for Saadi Gadhafi “organized and validated by CFO Laramée and approved by the then CEO Lamarre.” Saadi Gadhafi visited Canada in 2008, and SNC Lavalin picked up the bill — more than $2 million.”Survey SaysKPMG recently conducted a worldwide online survey of corporate risk leaders to find out the strengths and weaknesses of their companies’ programs to combat bribery and corruption.  According to the survey responses:“There is a sharp increase in the proportion of respondents who say they are highly challenged by the issue of Anti-Bribery Compliance (ABC) compared with a survey KPMG conducted four years earlier.As companies continue to globalize, management of third parties poses the greatest challenge in executing ABC programs.Despite the difficulty of monitoring their business dealings with third parties, more than one third of the respondents do not formally identify high-risk third parties. More than half of those respondents with right to-audit clauses over third parties have not exercised the right.ABC considerations are accorded too low a priority by companies preparing to acquire, or merge with, other corporations across borders.Respondents complain they lack the resources to manage ABC risk.A top-down risk assessment would help companies set priorities, but executives admit that an ABC risk assessment is one of their companies’ top challenges.Data analytics is an increasingly important and cost-effective tool to assess ABC controls. Yet only a quarter of respondents use data analysis to identify violations and, of those that do so, less than half continuously monitor data to spot potential violations.”FCPA ReformThe U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released this document outlining its policy priorities. Included in the lengthy document was the following:  “work to reform the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by supporting changes to enforcement practices.”*****A good weekend to all.last_img read more

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Study finds increasing wealth gap between households of seniors and families with

first_img Source:https://sanford.duke.edu/articles/study-finds-growing-wealth-gap-between-families-children-and-seniors May 18 2018The wealth gap between households of seniors and those with children has ballooned since 1989, a new study finds.Also, wealth is now spread very differently within each group: The gap between the richest and poorest seniors has remained stable, but a vast economic divide now exists among families with children. Among the wealthiest parents — the parental 1 percent — average net worth increased by $3 million between 1989 and 2013. Meanwhile, a third of all families with children have negative net worth due to debt.Families at the bottom of the wealth distribution have it hardest, said Christina Gibson-Davis, associate professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, who co-authored the paper with Christine Percheski of Northwestern University.”If your net worth is in the red for $233, you are pretty stuck as a parent. You probably can’t provide much for your child, much less think about sending her to college,” Gibson-Davis said.The study, “Children and the Elderly: Wealth Inequality Among America’s Dependents,” appears online in the journal Demography.The researchers analyzed data pertaining to 41,500 households from the Survey of Consumer Finances from 1989 to 2013. The survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank is considered the best source of household wealth data for the United States.In 1989, senior households’ median net worth was approximately 3.8 times greater than the net worth of households with at least one child under 18. By 2013, after adjusting for inflation, senior households’ median net worth was 12.5 times greater.”We knew that the elderly had more wealth than younger families. What we didn’t know was elderly households have seen increases in their wealth, while families with children have lost wealth,” said Gibson-Davis.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeSeveral factors contributed to seniors having greater wealth. Since the early 1980s, the United States has directed far more social welfare dollars to those over 65 compared with those under the age of 18. Seniors are also protected from declines in purchasing power because their Social Security income is indexed to keep up with inflation.The elderly also had lower levels of debt than households with children. They purchased and paid off their homes before the housing crisis of the late 2000s.In contrast, most parents saw little gains in wealth. Labor market changes led to declining wages for lower-skilled parents. They took on more debt, in part to pay for rising education costs. The Great Recession and the collapse of the housing market led to many being underwater on their homes, the primary asset for most families.There was also rising inequality among households with children during the period. Those in the top 10 percent of wealth, especially the top 1 percent, had large increases in net worth, with rising income, increased home equity and large returns from the stock market.Meanwhile, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution had declining income, increased debt and loss of home equity.In 2013, the least wealthy 90 percent of families held less than 20 percent of wealth, compared to 42 percent for the parental 1 percent.”The good news in our study is that wealth has increased for poor and working-class elderly couples,” said Gibson-Davis. “The bad news is that wealth has not increased for poor and working-class families with kids. Many households with children simply don’t have the resources to successfully raise the next generation.”last_img read more

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