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Volkswagen Shows Tarok Concept to See If America Wants a Small Pickup Again

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 09:00

This is the second small pickup concept VW has used to tease U.S. buyers. Is it leading to production?


Sanders’s Medicare for All Goes Too Far

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:30

It would outlaw most forms of private health insurance and eliminate all out-of-pocket costs — something that Medicare doesn’t now do. Sanders’s plan wouldn’t replace private health care with a government-run system like the U.K.’s National Health Service.


Your Air Force Needs Some Firepower and Can't Get an F-35?: Check Out the Eurofighter Typhoon

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:17

The development of the Typhoon did not clear the field of European fighter contenders. France, with its own aviation industry and its own specialized requirements (including carrier takeoff and landing capability) and Sweden would produce their own fighters, which continue to compete with the Typhoon for export contracts. The F-35 has come to dominate the fighter acquisition plans of many European countries, sucking up money and attention that might have gone to the Typhoon.The Eurofighter Typhoon has joined the Dassault Rafale, the Saab Gripen, and the Sukhoi “Flanker” in pursuit of a growing niche in the international fighter market. These aircraft offer capabilities beyond the Generation 4 platforms developed in the 1970s, but don’t carry the costs and complications of stealth. While the Eurofighter has enjoyed outstanding technical success thus far, the market niche may not be large enough to sustain production over time.(This first appeared in 2016.)Origins:


Florida man attacked and killed by his cassowary, the ‘world’s most dangerous bird’

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:12

A 75-year-old man in Florida was killed by a cassowary, a large, flightless bird native to Australia and New Guinea.


Volkswagen to premiere 7-seat electric SUV concept car in Shanghai

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:03

German car manufacturer Volkswagen is to premiere I.D. Roomzz, a fully-electric 7-seat SUV concept car, at the Shanghai Motor Show in China, which opens to the general public this Thursday, April 18, 2019. Volkswagen also announced that the battery can recharge up to 80% within only 30 minutes with the fast-charge system.


Safari: macOS browser now autosubmits logins. Here’s how to disable it

Macworld - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:00

Apple changed the behavior of Safari in macOS 10.14.4, and you may have noticed it and thought it was a bug. Now, if you have stored a password for a website, when you select a login entry to autofill, Safari 12.1 for macOS automatically submits the login. Previously, it would fill the fields and still require you to click a Login or Submit or other button to proceed.

I understand Apple’s logic in making this change, as it reduces friction and takes less time to log into a site, much like dropping text message login codes into an autofill field for macOS and iOS. Apple described this Safari change in 10.14.4’s release notes as “Streamlines website login when filling credentials with Password AutoFill.”

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Trump says Boeing should fix, 'rebrand' grounded 737 MAX jet

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 07:37

The FAA has been meeting with representatives from major airlines over the next steps after more than 300 Boeing 737 MAXs were grounded worldwide.


8 Killed, Dozens Injured As Strong Storms Sweep Southern U.S.

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 07:03

Three children were among the dead


Zagg Slim Book Go keyboard case for 9.7-inch iPad review: Pressing all the right buttons

Macworld - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 07:00

The best thing I can say about the Zagg Slim Book Go is that it has me seriously thinking about using my 9.7-inch iPad as my primary work machine again. Apple’s baseline iPad feels a lot like a miniature laptop once it’s paired with this case, right down to a backlit keyboard that’s far more satisfying to type on than anything Apple itself offers. It’s also one of the few cases with a good solution for handling the Apple Pencil, and its detachable keyboard makes it easy to use as either a tablet or a laptop as required.

It’s not an unattractive case, but it’s never going to turn heads. Zagg covered the keyboard half with a linen material that reminds me (not unpleasantly) of coverless hardbound library books, while the side that houses the iPad sports a no-nonsense thick plastic shell. Aside from the volume buttons and a stiff but durable adjustable flap that folds down so you can use the iPad as a laptop, it’s fairly nondescript.

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Best Bluetooth trackers: These tiny gadgets help find your lost stuff

Macworld - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 06:30
If you're constantly misplacing your keys or wallet, one of these devices can save time (and headache) while locating your belongings.

The 2020 Ford Mustang's Base Model Gets a Better Performance Package

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 06:00

This single box-check option, borrowed from the Focus RS, can take a 2.3-liter Mustang from base to race.


WiSA, the low-latency, wireless multi-channel audio standard is ready for take-off

Macworld - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 06:00
WiSA is a wireless audio standard that promises hassle-free setup for up to 7.1-channel surround with latency as low as 2.6 millisecond, lag that's barely perceptible to humans.

Fingerprint scanner face-off: Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs OnePlus 6T vs Galaxy S9 vs Apple's iPhone

Macworld - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 06:00
Are the newer optical and ultrasonic fingerprint scanners actually better than the physical sensors? We put four of them to the test.

Forget Netflix or Tesla, here are three companies Apple should really buy

Macworld - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 06:00

Apple is sitting on a mountain of cash, and often uses this money to expand its business by acquiring others. Sometimes, it’s a consumer-facing product or service. Texture morphed into Apple News+. Workflow led to the Shortcuts app. Beats still makes headphones under its own brand, but the Beats music service essentially became Apple Music.

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TP-Link Kasa Smart KL-series Wi-Fi light bulb review: Three new smart bulbs offer mostly great results

Macworld - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 06:00
This trio of smart bulbs offer a little light for any type of user.

Foxconn chief hints reduced role, will remain chairman

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 05:13

Foxconn boss Terry Gou hinted Monday he would soon step back from frontline operations while remaining at the helm of the major Apple supplier. "I will still be involved and be in charge of the company's major directions in the future but I will take a more advisory role on daily operations," Gou said on the sidelines of a forum in Taipei. "I feel that my personal influence should be toned down," he added.


Are Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung Un About to Have a Summit?

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 04:50

Summit speculation has been rife in recent months


Boeing’s Disaster Could Turn China Into Aviation Superpower

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 04:28

GettyBoeing’s mishandling of the MAX-8 crisis could well end up giving the Chinese a chance to do something that no other nation has successfully achieved: break the global duopoly in commercial airplanes of Boeing and Airbus.Boeing is desperately trying to limit the damage to its reputation caused by two catastrophic MAX-8 crashes in five months. As it turns out, the greatest long-term harm to the company’s business is likely to be in China.The Chinese were the first to ground the MAX-8 after the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March and soon afterward the Chinese placed a massive $35 billion order for 300 jets from Airbus.For more than a decade Boeing and Airbus have been competing to meet China’s seemingly insatiable appetite for commercial airplanes. It is estimated that air travel in China is growing so fast that in the next 20 years the nation’s airlines will need at least 7,400 new airplanes. Long before the grounding of the MAX-8, Airbus was clearly ahead of Boeing in China. Nearly a quarter of Airbus sales are in China, compared to 14 percent for Boeing.Boeing and Airbus have built the most powerful duopoly the world has ever seen. Between them the two companies have virtually locked up the market for commercial jets of every size.Any country or company taking them on faces a daunting price of entry. To develop a modern jet from scratch can cost up to $25 billion, even for Airbus or Boeing with generations of expertise to build on.A newcomer has to learn how to design and build the most complex machine in public use to the highest standards of safety. It involves an amalgam of some of the most advanced technologies in the world.But that is not enough. A new jet also has to be supported by a global chain to service and maintain the fleet of jets in a timely way to exacting standards set by the airlines.Attempts by other countries to do this have not turned out well. The Russians are selling the Sukhoi Superjet, a small single-aisle design that suffered a severe blow in 2012 when it was being demonstrated in Indonesia to prospective buyers and crashed, killing 37 aviation industry executives. The few airlines now using it have complained about its unreliability.The Japanese are flight-testing the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, a project that has been delayed five times since being launched in 2013. This entirely conventional design should have been relatively easy to execute but has been dogged by technical glitches that reveal that the Japanese are still on a steep learning curve in aviation.Many analysts doubted that the Chinese could fare better. They had nothing like the scientific experience of the Russians, who were once world leaders in advanced aerodynamics. If the Russians could screw up so spectacularly surely the Chinese would truly flunk the same test.But from the beginning the Chinese were cautious in their ambitions; the temptations of hubris—of making too big a leap—were avoided. How they finally made the decision reveals a lot about their philosophy of how to break into a field where their knowledge was thin and experience non-existent.Those who claim to understand Chinese strategic thinking seem to agree on one thing: they always play the long game. So unlike Donald Trump.To begin with, they targeted the most profitable market, for the basic airline workhorse, single-aisle jets carrying between 160 and 200 passengers on domestic routes. China alone will need around 9,000 new airplanes in the next 20 years and most of them will be single-aisle.This meant that there were two Western designs for them to learn from, the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320. The 737 was the most venerable, originating in the 1960s and, as the MAX-8 crisis has shown, its age is evident. The A320 was designed in the 1980s and was the first commercial jet to use fly-by-wire flight controls and a far higher degree of cockpit automation. On the face of it the Chinese were choosing between one design that remained in many respects 60 years old and one that was 30 years old.They chose to make a clone of the A320 that they named the C919 (C for Comac, the government-financed company tasked with the mission.)When the program was launched in 2011 many of the technologies that were novel when Airbus created the A320 were by then commonplace. And in one key respect the A320 was outdated: It was built mainly of metal while both Airbus and Boeing had since adopted non-metal composites for large parts of the airframe of their latest jets because composites are as strong as metal but lighter in weight and more easily molded into more efficient aerodynamic surfaces.The Chinese stuck with metal and in opting for the clone Comac produced an airplane that was outwardly virtually indistinguishable from the A320. That was the easy bit. Most jets that sit at an airport gate look the same but under their skin it’s a different story. Each planemaker’s proprietorial knowledge lies deep in thousands of details, much of it in technology and intellectual property controlled by western companies.To proceed Comac had to set up partnerships with many of those companies, including one of the largest, UTC Aerospace Systems, part of America’s United Technologies, Rockwell Collins, Honeywell and the French technology colossus, Thales. The engines also come from the Franco-American alliance of Safran and General Electric.This dependency has now been overshadowed by Trump’s trade war with China. Last October Vice President Mike Pence warned: “We will continue to stand strong until Beijing stops the predatory practice of forced technology transfer.”Just how “forced technology transfer” is defined was unclear. Most aerospace projects involve international partnerships. Some of the technology used in building an airliner also crosses over into military applications but none of it would qualify as a state secret and certainly none of that required for the C919 is classified.Airbus has, however, accelerated China’s learning curve in producing commercial jets by establishing an assembly plant for the A320 in China, now 10 years old.This plant does not build a jet from the ground up. It follows a model that Airbus uses in Europe. Major sections of the airplane are built in plants dispersed throughout Europe and then shipped to final assembly lines in France and Germany.The same major sections—fuselage, wings, engines, landing gear—are flown to China to be mated on the final production line there. The internal cabin fittings are also carried out as custom-ordered by an airline. This has enabled the Chinese to have hands-on experience of some of the most exacting stages of building an airliner, like joining the wings to the fuselage, channeling the complex wiring (a detail that the Japanese mishandled on their regional jet) and attaching the engines and fuel systems.Boeing was slow to appreciate how much Airbus’s success in China was due to its willingness to let the Chinese learn at first hand all the secrets of a production process that can produce in Europe more than 50 airplanes a month—a rate that China will not reach for years to come. Last December Boeing finally opened a similar assembly plant in China for the 737 MAX series.A man walks past an Airbus A380 poster at the Beijing International Aviation Expo in Beijing on Sept. 17, 2015.Wang Zhao/GettyAnd the 737 MAX series will fly again. Thousands more will probably be sold. But the lethal mistakes made in giving the design yet another upgrade have exposed the limitations imposed by the age of its airframe. China will be able to exploit this opportunity to establish the C919 as an Asian-built airplane that will be supported by the world’s largest domestic airline market. The conservatism of its design will be seen as a virtue if it proves to be competitive and reliable.As Airbus have done with the A320, Comac will be able to keep the C919 competitive with new generations of engines. Most of the improvements in an airliner’s efficiency—lower emissions, less gas guzzling, greatly reduced sound—come from rapidly advancing jet engine technology. Along with some relatively easy aerodynamic tweaking the C919 should be around for decades to come.And the Chinese designers have already moved on. They are developing a larger widebody jet to compete with the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 to be ready by 2025, this time partnering with the Russians. There will no doubt be setbacks on the way, but the Boeing-Airbus duopoly will for sure eventually lose its dominance of the skies.  Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here


May Under Fire From Tories in Hunt for Brexit Compromise

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 04:12

Both Theresa May’s government and the opposition Labour Party said Sunday that their talks represented the best chance of finding a Brexit solution and ending months of deadlock. Lidington told the BBC on Sunday that the talks involved “testing” possible solutions, and both sides will have to make concessions. Lidington said the government believed it would be possible to get “the benefits of a customs union” -- which Labour wants -- “but still have a flexibility for the U.K. to pursue an independent trade policy on top of that.” He avoided a question about whether the U.K. could sign up to a common external tariff.


New Zealand mosque shootings: Six in court on charges they sent attack images

Top Stories - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 04:08

The charge of supplying or distributing objectionable material carries a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment.


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