Technology

Shell buys NewMotion, takes big step toward electrified future

Shell has just written a new chapter in its history by immersing itself in the world of EV recharge networks. Royal Dutch Shell announced on Thursday it agreed to buy NewMotion, a Dutch cargo company that has one of Europe’s largest cargo networks. Shell did not mention how valuable the transaction was. This is the first case of the British-Dutch company in the space of electric vehicles.

Shell had already established a program to install EV quick chargers at some of its service stations, as the market slowly warms to electric vehicles. This program will continue along with the efforts of NewMotion, which focuses more on haulers at home and in the workplace. Reuters reports that Shell will continue to operate NewMotion under its current name and does not intend to integrate the two different loader EV strategies.

Those of us in the United States have not yet seen fast loaders at Shell stations, as the company focuses on different markets such as Great Britain, Norway and the Philippines. As demand grows around the world, this can change.

NewMotion operates around 30,000 shippers in Western Europe and offers access to 50,000 shippers from other partner companies. It has approximately 100,000 registered users in Europe. The company signed an agreement with Total in September to give its customers access to the NewMotion network, which means that the company is no stranger to working with oil companies.

The energy suppliers are also not totally alien to the EV chargers. According to Reuters, BP mentioned earlier this year that it was in talks with companies about partnerships that would see the installation of EV chargers at BP stations.

Oil companies are not nonsense. Electric vehicles will waste their profits by filling vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel. Several cities and countries have expressed an interest in reducing local emissions by restricting or prohibiting cities from accessing cars equipped with internal combustion engines. By adding EV chargers to your stations, customers will always have a reason to keep coming and getting rid of the hard-earned money.

Technology

Watch the Tesla Model 3’s Autopilot in action

Since Tesla does not offer its own video in large quantities, it’s up to homeowners to give the audience the coverage they want from Model 3. Fortunately, many people are filming.

InsideEVs drew our attention to this video, which is one of the longest videos showing the model 3 self-steering system in action. It takes place on a freeway and works as planned, so that the car sails serene on a single track with minimal movement. It is not necessarily exciting from a surveillance standpoint, but when enthusiasm involves danger, boredom is good for me.

This also gives us another look at the infotainment system model 3. The card occupies most of the right side of the screen, with the audio just below. The left side is fully dedicated to the controller: it shows the speed, speed limit and autopilot system status.

Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot Module, which offers a semi-autonomous capability, adds $ 5,000 to the MSRP Model 3. It also offers a $ 3,000 package that will someday provide the car’s capacity – Complete conduct. Options such as these can send a Model 3 prize north of this magic $ 35,000 figure.

Technology

2018 BMW X3 M40i: A 355-horsepower SUV worthy of the M badge

Along a coast road overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, in the Sintra area of ​​Portugal, the exhaust of the BMW X3 M40i slides like a high performance car when it rises of gas. It sounds to plant a smile on my face mostly because it is a little unexpected for a small SUV, but again this is the first X3 M performance vehicle that is part of a new third generation X3 family to begin in 2018.

And as M cleans, it moves when you release the hammer. A turbocharged six-cylinder 3.0-liter is under the hood, developing 355 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, the latter being present between 1,520 and 4,800 rev / min. An automatic transmission ZF routes eight-speed four-wheel power 60 mi / h in 4.6 seconds to beat the other intermediate crossover as the Porsche Macan S (5.2 seconds), the Audi SQ5 (5.1 seconds) and the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 (4.8 seconds).

X3 xDrive35i out with a 300 horsepower version of turbocharged six-cylinder automatic transmission and eight-speed 3.0 liter covered a rating of 19 mpg in city and 26 mpg. It will not be too surprising if the X3 M40i returns similar levels of efficiency.

For winding sections of the two-hour road, I put the car in the Sport Plus gut for more aggressive transmission and adaptive suspension configuration. Immediately, the engine is encouraged more with instant delivery of energy. The gearbox changes are fast in fully automatic mode and manually selecting gears with paddles on the steering wheel.

The input curve reveals powerful brakes, sharp in response, very few body and the thin adhesion tire taken 20 inches Pirelli P Zero (19 series). The impressive cornering abilities of the M40i are also rewarded with a better all-wheel drive xDrive featuring a lighter rear differential, transfer case upgrades and more through the rear pair.

The disadvantage of Sport Plus is a round bump over grooves and bumpy steering, and too heavy that is ideal for working on the forearm, but boring after a while. Fortunately, there is a comfort mode for those times when you do not want to attack all corners, but you want a relaxed driving experience.

A much softer suspension helps to soften the impact, the management relaxes and the exhaust sound becomes less obvious. This with an excellent adaptive cruise control system made for comfortable walks on the road.

A stronger interior and wider, partly thanks to a longer wheelbase of 2.2 inches, also improves the X3 driving game daily. The leather sports seats not only allow you to stay in place while driving but are supported in all the right places for exceptional comfort over long distances.

A dashboard and door panels wrapped and sewn offer superior quality feel, while the comfort comes in the form of 28.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. With the rear seats folded, the space grows to 62.7 cubic feet to improve the Macan (53 ft3), GLC43 (56.5 m3) and SQ5 (60.4 m3)

The X3 is the first BMW crossover SUV in the US. to be equipped with a factory-installed 2-inch trailer hitch for a 4400-pound towing capacity for added comfort.

BMW has not forgotten to improve the game of technology X3. The latest iDrive 6 system with a central 10.2-inch touchscreen and a 12-speaker audio system comes standard. The operation of the different menus of the iDrive is fast and intuitive with the driver or the touch screen, while the optional navigation system offers images of the precious cards and the head of all the waypoints and without mishaps.

Clear, clear music is played on the Harmon Kardon 16-speaker surround sound system in my test car. With reactive gesture controls, controlling the audio volume with rotating finger controls is a trick. There is also a motion control gesture to accept and reject calls and maneuver the view of the camera to 360 degrees, and they are not programmable for a desired function.

Technology

NXP automotive platform emphasizes security, wireless updates

Over the years, car manufacturers have added a host microprocessor car, controlling everything from the sunroof engine fuel mixture, resulting in a mixture of silicon. Now, the automotive supplier NXP offers a clean approach, an automotive computer architecture that mirrors that of other industries.

NXP has built its S32 platform around the idea of ​​domain controllers running from the application areas in a car, each managing a series of microcontrollers. NXP hopes that the platform allows manufacturers to market faster vehicles, eliminating the need for reminders, providing robust security and even allowing stand-alone vehicle.

According to Ray Cornyn, vice president of the vehicle dynamics and security division at NXP, the S32 platform utilizes the company’s existing expertise in terms of “financial security,” currently applied to smart cards and passports

Cars are increasingly connected, not only providing localized road information to drivers, but also reporting maintenance problems for engines and other data points. In the same way, increasingly complex systems, particularly in the field of accident prevention, add sensors and processors.

Different systems, often provided by different vendors, force automakers to handle a wide range of software and increase the risk of conflicts and failures. The S32 platform organizes its areas around connectivity, driver assistance, transmission and chassis, and cab, which also includes infotainment.

When the connectivity area includes processors for functions such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in the car, the driver support area handles the following sensors on a car, which includes radar and cameras. NXP says its S32 platform, with its domain controller model, increases the performance of existing vehicle platforms and reduce software development efforts by up to 90%.

The efficiency of software development is due to shared software modules in advanced areas of security, vehicle dynamics and connectivity applications. For example, the same basic code can activate the interior lights and unlock the doors. Once a car leaves the factory, support for real-time updates will allow automakers to make patches and upgrades.

Cornyn describes an “updated drip-drip” approach in a car data connection, a software image that implements the car when it is safe to do so, eg real estate, after parking. For a problem that would have required a reminder, with an intermittent software distributor, a car manufacturer could deliver the wireless solution.

NXP specifies its ARM processor series for its S32 platform, from its most robust low-power microprocessor crust M Cortex A processors. Eight major automakers are currently developing virtual versions of the S32 platform, according to NXP. The first vehicles using the new computer architecture should be launched in the model year 2020.

Technology

Porsche 718 Boxster, Cayman GTS bring the four-cylinder hustle

The Porsche GTS range is one of the most sportive of the manufacturer, offering additional performance and comfort on the track. For the first time, Porsche brought this badge to 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster.

Okay, that’s not quite true. There were versions of Cayman GTS and Boxster GTS in the past, but this is the first time Porsche has included the GTS badge in the revised four-cylinder versions of these cars.

Both engines will have four-cylinder 2.5-liter engines with 365 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. For those of you who keep the track at home, there are 15 hp more than the Boxster S and the Cayman S, and 35 hp more than the Boxster and Cayman GTS of the previous generation.

Both are rear-wheel drive, and both can have either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed double-clutch clutch. If you want to row your own gears, keep in mind that your torque output will go from 317 lb-ft to only 309. It’s a difficult life.

All it takes is a good eye to spot a 718 GTS by far. The front is sportier with intermittent and taillight taillights, black exhaust outlets, a black rear diffuser and black GTS badge. The matte black wheels complement the main aesthetic differences.

On the inside, the sports seats of the Alcantara and GTS embroidery are standard, as is the Sport Chrono package, which is optional on other 718 models. If a buyer chooses the navigation system and the Connect Plus package, you will also get the application Porsche Track Precision. This allows you to record and analyze road driving data directly from your phone.

While the 718 Boxster and Cayman have decent starting prices of $ 56,000 and $ 53,900 respectively, the GTS models require a bit more scratch. You’ll need a pony up to $ 79,800 for the 718 Cayman GTS and $ 81,900 for the 718 Boxster GTS. Both vehicles are expected to arrive at the Porsche dealerships by March 2018, just in time for spring.

Business, Technology

Google’s Pixel 2, 2XL launch: Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy could feel the heat

Google’s CEO in India, Sundar Pichai, is a big fan of artificial intelligence (AI). There is no doubt that they are the beginnings of artificial intelligence, but for him it is the most promising technology of the New Age, which can potentially change the way companies work and develop.

Now AI on smartphones is nothing new. Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s Bixby and Google’s Google Wizard are evolving as people communicate with their devices. But this time, Pichai bet heavily on a mix of AI, software and hardware to take on Apple and Samsung, the undisputed leaders of the premium segment.

Industry analysts believe there is room for Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL, released on Wednesday, to become serious contenders in the segment. With good innovations and improvements in their sales and marketing network, these analysts say that Pixel could become a headache for Apple and Samsung in the coming days.

Currently, Pixel, which was launched for the first time last year, owns less than two percent of the world market. “Whatever the look of new Google brand smartphones, the biggest challenge is how to truly become a hardware (and) business to make it available to consumers in the store,” said Thomas Husson, vice president and analyst senior at Forrester.

“This means controlling the supply chain, working with operators and other distribution channels, training suppliers and investing heavily in marketing. This is not a small task and is far enough away from the company’s DNA,” Husson said.

However, Google does everything possible to have an impact. Last month, it acquired part of HTC Corporation’s mobile division team based in Taiwan for $ 1.1 billion. This team worked with Google to develop their Pixel smartphones. This is the second time that Google has acquired a manufacturer of smartphones. Announced a $ 12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility six years ago and sold it to Lenovo in 2014.

According to Navkendar Singh, Senior Research Manager of IDC India, this underscores Google’s ambitions as a serious smartphone maker. “However, given the design language, it seems that Google wants to play the game of premium smartphones more of a software angle than the hardware,” Singh said.

In the high-end market, design, appearance and overall aesthetics count much more than a smart phone that works well and is pragmatic. “With the recent launch of Samsung Galaxy Note8 and the upcoming iPhone X with a full screen, glassesless screens and a global design, Apple and Samsung have improved the language of aesthetics and design, Singh.

Given this, the Pixel 2 range will face a challenging challenge to get the desired volumes at the end of the market premium. “Having said that, early reports suggest that the camera is still a highlight of the Pixel range, as well as offering an Android experience with updates available as soon as they come out,” adds IDC analyst India. Launched last year, Google’s pixel has started well.

Tarun Pathak, Associate Director of Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, said that while not managing a large market share, the device has attracted the attention of users, especially those looking for Android Premium Segment. “This is likely to give a boost to the Pixel 2 family that has been considered very close to Samsung’s headlamps. In short, it could be a long time before Pixel has a significant impact on Apple or Samsung, but provides an alternative to users looking for something beyond these two brands, “said Pathak.

Speaking at a busy San Francisco event at the launch of the new Pixel family, Pichai said: “The calculation will now be conversational, environmental and contextual.This is a unique moment in time, when Google can collect artificial intelligence, software and hardware. ” To remain a relevant platform between consumers and brands, Google must feed its computer data to make its software smarter. “This relevant information will increasingly come from a more integrated hardware experience, as shown in Google Lens. To catch up with Apple and its ‘ARKit’, Google was right in reminding its ecosystem how AR becomes a part of its platform with ARCore and Google Lens, “said Husson.

Business, National and International, Technology

Google explains why it killed 3.5mm headphone jack on Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL

Google scoffed last year from Apple for removing the 3.5mm audio jack on the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. At its first Pixel launch event, Google insisted that the audio connector was very fashionable. He even made a breakthrough to Apple in one of his promotional videos, claiming that “the 3.5mm headphone jack was not satisfactory.” In 2017, Google removed the audio connector of its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones on October 4.

Google has not really come up with this missing functionality in its Pixel 2 launch. Shortly after the specifications were revealed, Internet was a hive with Google’s move to skip functionality. Almost a week later, we finally have an explanation, somehow, of Google on the subject. “We want to provide a bit more information on the headphone options for the Pixel 2.

Pixel 2 is always equipped with a headphone jack, but passed the USB-C, a standard that is becoming commonplace on the best mobile phones and laptops nowadays. The transition to the C-USB audio port with Pixel 2 allows us to deliver a better audio and digital experience as we move towards a future without glasses, “a Google employee wrote on a support page. We are aware some of you might be looking for the C-USB headphones, and we want to give guidance on the compatibility of headphones with 2 pixel cameras. The most important thing to keep in mind is that Pixel 2 devices are compatible with USB-C headphones which support digital audio, “he added.

The company has also identified a set of compatible headsets and has stressed that “if you want to buy another pair of USB headphones that C is not on the list, make sure they are compatible with digital audio and other standards. , Google offers an adapter with the box that allows people to connect their existing headphones.The company also launched wireless Bluetooth headsets, Pixel Buds, which do not seem surprisingly inspired by Apple’s AirPods.

In addition, Google vice president of Product Management, Mario Queiroz, told TechCrunch that the decision was made to create a full-screen device. “The main reason [to release the cat] is to establish a mechanical design route for the future,” said Queiroz. “We want the screen approaches to become the edge Our team said.” If we are going to change, do it sooner rather than later. “Last year was maybe too much. Now there are more phones on the market.”

The Google defense that wants to offer a better audio and digital experience or a phone on the screen is something very different from what Apple had said last year. Apple senior manager Greg Joswiak said the 3.5mm audio jack was archaic and even compared to a “dinosaur.” “The audio connector is over 100 years old,” Joswiak told 9to5mac. “It had its last great innovation 50 years ago, you know what it was, they made it smaller, it has not been touched since then, it’s a dinosaur.

Another Apple executive, Dan Riccio, said that removing the audio jack helped the company add IP7 water resistance, which has been missing for iPhones for years. “This avoided a number of things we wanted to put on the iPhone,” said Riccio. Remember that Motorola became one of the first players to kill the 3.5mm audio jack with his Moto Z, a few months before Apple introduced the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.

Business, National and International, News, Technology

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 first impressions: Raising the bar for full-screen smartphones

Even before the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Apple iPhone X and the Essential PH1 are equipped with an on-board display, Xiaomi has shaken the industry with its Mi MIX, an incredible smartphone with front display, display ratio, and a ceramic body. Although the Mi MIX was launched as a smartphone concept exclusively in China, it received widespread attention and positive reviews.

Almost a year after the launch of the original Mi MIX, the Xiaomi’s smartphone without glasses has a successor, the Mi MIX 2. The phone is no longer exclusive to China and launched today in India with a price of Rs 35,999 The smartphone is not only an upgrade compared to the predecessor in terms of specifications, but also has a new design. At the same time, it retains the essence of what the original Mi MIX represents: a true full-screen phone.

We have used the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 for about a week, and these are our first impressions of the device. Before stopping, keep in mind that the model we were using was a Chinese version, so experience, especially the software part, is very likely to be different in the Indian variant. The Xiaomi My MIX 2 looks like the original MIX, but it is not negative. Even if you have not seen the original Mi MIX, the new Xiaomi smartphone will catch your eye with its unique shape.

The Mi MIX 2 is also very different from what you have probably seen on other phones 18: 9. While the likes of Canvas Infinity or LG Q6 bring a larger screen but are not very close to becoming a full screen smartphone We widely used the Galaxy Note 8, and we must say that the Mi MIX 2, pure in terms of front screen, looks much better.

The Mi MIX 2 has a Full HD + resolution (2160 x 1080 pixels), which is quite good. It makes external and internal legibility quite decent. The color reproduction is quite accurate. If you like the most vivid colors, you can always access Settings and choose between warm, standard and new modes. We mainly use the phone in standard color mode. There is also an option to optimize the contrast to make the content clearer.

While the original My MIX had a larger screen of 6.44 inches, the MIX 2 has a more compact screen of 5.99 inches. A compact size facilitates insertion in our palms and is suitable for use with one hand. The front is dominated by the screen, well, covers 80% of real estate. Although there is an ultra slim bezel at the top, the bottom has a relatively wider bezel.

A senior Xiaomi executive told us that a wider bezel was needed at the bottom to ensure there was enough room to breathe between components. It is worth noting that the front camera lens has moved to the lower right corner, since the top has an ultra thin bezel. In our view, a wider frame does not really affect the overall aesthetic.

The back panel of the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 is just as beautiful. With a ceramic panel, the back has a glossy finish, giving it an appearance of the highest quality. It has a camera set in the upper center followed by the fingerprint sensor. There is a subtle “MIX DESIGNED BY XIAOMI” mark engraved on the panel. The bright back panel of the MIX 2 is good to look at, but, there is one major problem: it is a fingerprint magnet.

This basically means that you will have to keep wiping your back to maintain the varnish. Fortunately, unlike glass backs, a ceramic panel seems much easier to clean. If you really do not like the habit of cleaning the phone, you will have to put on a blanket that, in our opinion, is going to murder the beauty of My MIX 2.

Moving on to other sections of the handset, the dock has a USB Type C port sandwiched between the speaker grilles while the top has, well, nothing. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 joins the growing number of smartphones to leave the 3.5mm audio jack. The volume and power buttons are on the right edge while the left edge shows the SIM slot. All the necessary buttons are within reach. It is slim and lightweight to carry in your pocket without any hassle.

National and International, News, Technology

Fujifilm X-E3 mirrorless camera launched, price starts at Rs 70,999

Fujifilm India launched a new digital camera without a mirror, the X-E3. The camera will be available in black and silver options, with an initial price of 70,999 rupees (for the body only).

The kit “X-E3” with “23mm F2” has a price of Rs 89,999 and kit “18-55” is in Rs 1,02,999. The pioneer of Japanese imaging technology aims to capture the top spot in the premium mirrorless camera market for 2019.

“The X-Series was introduced in March 2011 and is now the most widely accepted mirrorless camera among photographers.” In India, we see great potential in the mirrorless camera segment, “said Yasunobu Nishiyama, CEO of Fujifilm India Pvt Ltd, said in a statement.

“Our efforts will be to satisfy our customers with the launch of a new range of X-Series in the next few years,” said Nishiyama. “FUJIFILM X-E3 has been refined to maximize functional performance.

The X-E3 is equipped with a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor and a pro X-Trans image processing engine. The camera has an autofocus area (AF) with high phase detection and an updated algorithm to provide the fastest AF speed of 0.06 seconds.

“X-E3” Live features 5.0 fps shooting, a fast start of 0.4 seconds, a shutter delay of 0.050 seconds and a range of 0.25 seconds shooting.

The camera can track moving subjects twice as fast as previous models, the company said. The top plate of the camera has two dials: one for the shutter speed and the other for exposure compensation.

In terms of connectivity, “X-E3” comes with Bluetooth function for easy transfer of images.

Economics, National and International, News

A brave new India

The Narendra Modi government inaugurates a fundamental change in the relations between the state and the informal economy. The tentacles of the state now reach the bottom of the informal sector. The vast majority of Indian companies are in the informal sector. The sixth economic census revealed that 94.6% of the country’s non-agricultural establishments had five or fewer workers. Two-thirds of all nonfarm businesses were what the census called “self-employment facilities,” which means that they do not hire workers.

As the population grew and farms were subdivided into smaller fragments, agriculture became a losing proposition for most peasants forced to leave the land to emigrate to urban slums or scratch a precarious life by complementing their income with salaried labor or creating small businesses, or have taken their own lives. The vast informal sector is, for the most part, a vast reserve of disguised unemployment, reflecting the failure of the formal sector to create jobs for the masses. It is a symptom of the detained development of Indian capitalism.

As capitalism develops, the informal sector is expected to decline. Their stubborn persistence is a scandal. The theory was that as the economy grew, the informal sector was shrinking and people would find better and more productive employment in modern industry and services. Unfortunately, the reality for most of those behind industrialization is far from this rosy image. The post-colonial Indian state has always had an ambivalent relationship with the informal sector.

While previous reservations for small industries have been withdrawn, the state still helps with bank loans, interest subsidies, occasional exemptions from agricultural loans, and the provision of social services and programs such as the rural employment guarantee program. On the other hand, it considers the sector like an old-fashioned relic and attacks it often by dispossession. But the dominant attitude has so far been the benign abandonment of the small capitalists and the evil negligence of the workers. The government ignores the terrible working conditions in most informal enterprises, while turning a blind eye to widespread tax evasion. The Modi government is changing all this – it does not care about working conditions, but it wants the small capitalists to pay their contributions to the state.

The informal sector is in many ways linked to the formal sector of the economy. Many small businesses work under contract with large companies. Some are suppliers of large units. Organized enterprises benefit from low labor costs in the informal economy and their flexibility. Small traders sell products produced by the formal sector. Informal businesses have their own hierarchy and the larger entrepreneurs among them are not poor. Many of them were able to accumulate substantial surpluses and participate in conspicuous consumption.

These companies were the most affected by demonetization and the tax on goods and services (GST), as well as attempts to clean real estate. Although the demonetization clash has been timely, the TPS, with its self-monitoring mechanism and a clear audit trail, is a major threat to these companies and traders. Not surprisingly, they were the most violent protesters against the new tax. The real problem for them is not so much the high tax rates or cumbersome procedures, but how to declare suddenly the benefits that surpass the revenues reported last year.

One consequence of the introduction of the GST and other measures to combat the black currency will be the increase of the market share for the business sector. Stock traders held open opportunities. A research report from Citibank says, “The ongoing government’s (and GST deployment) structural initiatives will accelerate the transition to the organized sector.” The shift to a less-monetary economy, changes in indirect taxes through the GST, compliance with direct taxes, e-commerce, and some progress in labor law reform will disrupt traditional medium-term structures and long-term economies of scale. ” Not surprisingly, large companies have supported these changes.