Just when you thought the industry has settled down on adopting USB-C as the one connector to rule them all, Intel comes along using its industry clout to push another thing forward. Unlike its predecessors, however, Thunderbolt 3 is fortunately based on USB-C, making it possible to use the same type of connection for both, just like in the latest MacBook Pros. And if Intel has its way, Thunderbolt 3 will be in every desktop, laptop, or computing device, thanks to its generous but also aggressive campaign. While most consumers will understand USB Type C or USB-C as a type of port and plug connection, it is actually a specification that layout not just the form of the connection but also the capabilities of that connection, from transferring data, power, or even video output. In Thunderbolt 3, Intel and Apple decided to do away with the proprietary connectors used in the first two versions of the Thunderbolt specification and, instead, adopt the USB-C spec. On top of USB-C’s standard capabilities, Thunderbolt 3 adds faster data transfers, two-way communication between connected devices.As such, every Thunderbolt 3 connection is also a USB-C connection but not vice-versa. Manufacturers have avoided adding support for Thunderbolt 3 for mainly two reasons. First is the additional micro-controller hardware required to support it. The other is that Intel is the only one making such a controller and everyone else has to license those from Intel first. To help make Thunderbolt 3 a de facto standard, Intel is doing away with both obstacles.Intel’s future CPUs will have Thunderbolt 3 baked in. This means that no additional space on the motherboard or logic board has to be sacrificed to a separate controller. Intel is also turning the Thunderbolt 3 into a royalty-free, but not open, spec. This means that chip makers will be able to make Thunderbolt 3 controllers of their own, without having to pony up licensing fees.Thunderbolt 3 does have some rather convincing benefits, like exponentially increasing the bandwidth for data transfers. Gamers might also feel me empowered, as Thunderbolt 3 allows them to have skinny laptops that attach to graphics boosters when gaming. Whether or not the rest of the industry subscribes to Intel’s vision, however, is something to be seen, but that still depends on when Intel actually puts its plans into motion, which will start sometime next year.SOURCE: Intel
What is it with smartphone makers these days and their asymmetrical designs? First Samsung designs a Galaxy Tab S3 bottom edge with uneven holes and then it will supposedly follow it up with a Galaxy Note 8 whose fingerprint scanner has been shoved way off to one side. Now it seems that the LG V30’s back will have a somewhat unbalanced design as well. At least based on images of cases for the soon to be announced smartphone made by accessory maker Ringke. No, the fingerprint sensor is fortunately still smack in the middle, so LG hasn’t exactly lost its mind. The cameras, too, are more or less center, as center as you can put them given there are two of them side by side. What’s different is that everything else has been pushed to only one side, the right side.For reference, the LG V20, which also featured dual cameras, sported a more balanced look. It split the Dual LED flash from the other sensors and flanked the cameras in between as shown below. It remains to be seen what has changed or why, those all the pieces are still there. The only noticeable difference is that the LED is now a single larger circle.The Ringke cases also hint, but not exactly confirm, how the LG V30 will no longer have a removable back, supposedly in exchange for getting wireless charging features. The cases are now available for purchase from MobileFun, though that doesn’t exactly speak to its accuracy.The LG V30 is the company’s “play it safe” entry into the 2017 smartphone market, practically a bigger and beefier LG G6. A Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 GB RAM, and an 18:9 FullVision Display, are just some of the expected specs for this phone. Also expected, however, is the removal of its signature Second Screen. LG is holding its pre-IFA press conference on August 31 and it has left little to the imagination that it will be all about the LG V30.VIA: @DforDesign
We’ve been hearing rumors about a new high-end Chromebook in the works from Google itself, and that Chromebook may have just leaked. Called the Google Pixelbook, this model is billed as a high-end Chrome OS laptop with a premium design, higher-end features, and a huge $1200 starting price to match. The laptop will, at least per the leak, come in a silver color with storage options ranging up to 512GB, among other things. The new Chromebook was leaked by Droid-Life, which says the Pixelbook’s price will start at $1,199 USD. The model is said to have three storage options with the lowest being 128GB, and the $1200 price point applies to that model. Reportedly if you want the 256GB version, you’re going to pay $1400 and if you want 512GB, that’s going to be a huge $1,749 USD (which is pretty hard to believe, but we’ll know for sure on October 4).Chromebook ‘Eve’ leaks: fingerprint sensor, Assistant, high-res displayThe outrageous price aside, the leak claims the new Pixelbook will be joined by the Pixelbook Pen, a pressure-sensitive stylus that Google will charge $99 for. The pen won’t have any lag, allegedly, and will support tilt. The stylus is in line with rumors and leaks we’ve heard about this fabled (but then-unnamed) Chromebook.No other details about the Pixelbook were revealed in this leak, though we can assume some things based on the above info. It is likely safe to assume the Pixelbook will have a great display considering the type of stylus Google is launching alongside it. Assuming past leaks apply to this model, we may also see a dedicated Google Assistant key on this Chromebook, as well as an overall tweaked keyboard layout and a fingerprint sensor.SOURCE: Droid-Life
Story TimelineGoogle Pixel 3 details leak: Let’s begin with expectationsGoogle Pixel 2018 confirmed in codePixel Buds new gestures: Tappin more The smaller device would look a whole lot like the current Pixel, aka Pixel 2. The larger device would have a near-full-screen display with a notch cutout. Both devices look like they’re sporting significantly-sized front-facing speakers. That’ll be a welcome return – rolling with HTC’s smarts in front-facing speaker technology is one of the most excellent features the Pixel smartphone lineup’s always benefitted from in a big way.The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL aren’t significantly different from one another – the same is true of the Pixel and the Pixel XL. But Google’s been watching the iPhone and the Galaxy S series over the last few years. They’ve seen the success of releasing two devices, making the larger just a little bit more impressive. The outlines of these devices were first released in a Weibo post that’s now removed, posted by an account that’s since been deleted. This isn’t an uncommon situation – though it’s rare that it’s not quickly re-posted and re-tagged by the other major leakers on the microblogging platform. By the time this article’s up for a day, they’ll be there. AdChoices广告I’ve isolated the important parts of the photograph and re-formed the images you see above and below. Modifications have been made to remove identifying information. UPDATE: SlashLeaks has the original photo up, if you’d like to see it. They source the still-up Weibo 我为什么要取一个这么长的名字 (设置备注). I believe these screen protectors are very likely real and/or good indicators of the real Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL devices almost certainly coming later this year. We’ve seen mentions of the “2018 Pixel” devices from Google developers, so we know they’re coming in some form or another. Next we need to figure out what this set of devices is going to look like and act like.Based on the clues I’ve seen thus far, I believe these screen protectors show us what the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are about to look like. OR they’re made by some very intuitive guessers. Either way – here come the leaks! The Google Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 3 (non-XL) leaked today in what appear to be some legit next-gen screen protectors. Here on Memorial Day we’ve bore witness to a pair of new screen protectors that look a whole lot like a new pair of phones. Much like past sets of phones on a regular and XL tip, the larger device looks like it’ll be a lot more impressive than the smaller model. Both devices look like they’re going to take front-facing photos to a whole new galaxy.
It’s probably a bad time to launch a new smartwatch these next few weeks, unless you’re Samsung or Apple. That’s because any smartwatch you put into the market will be running on a mobile platform that is effectively two years old. Even older if you consider that the Snapdragon Wear 2100 is based on a modified Snapdragon 400 chipset. And in about 30 days, that wearable processor will be rendered obsolete now that Qualcomm itself is teasing when the long-overdue successor, tentatively known as the Snapdragon Wear 3100, will be unveiled. There are multiple reasons why Android Wear/Wear OS smartwatches, and many smartwatches in general, haven’t exactly taken off but on the hardware side, it can easily be pinned down on the system-on-chip (SoC). For more than two years, the silicon powering smartwatches outside of Samsung’s Gear and Apple’s Watch brands have remained basically unchanged. In practical terms, that means that performance and energy efficiency haven’t significantly improved over the years.The Snapdragon Wear line is definitely due an upgrade and it didn’t come in the recent Snapdragon Wear 2500 announcement. As the number implies, it’s only a half-step up from the Snapdragon Wear 2100 and one that, curiously, Qualcomm aimed at wearables for kids. That major upgrade is still coming and, if Qualcomm’s media invites are any indication, it’s going to happen on September 10.At this point it’s still unclear what the new wearable platform will bring to the table. If WinFuture’s tip last May is any indication, it might not be as revolutionary as we’d like. The Snapdragon Wear 3100 will still share many of the traits of its predecessor, like four Cortex-A7 cores and a large 28 nm process. Hopefully, Qualcomm has done better otherwise you can consider the Wear OS ship practically sunk.
Samsung is preparing to roll out the latest iteration of Android and its Bixby AI to more devices, with the contentious smart assistant being added to handsets like the Galaxy S9. The company launched the upgraded Bixby as a headline feature of the Galaxy Note 9 earlier this year, and is likely to be just as vital a component in the Galaxy S10 smartphone expected to launch early in 2019. Story TimelineGalaxy S10 camera details leakedGalaxy S10 release dates just leakedAll 3 Galaxy S10 models leaked with new key details Bixby has come a long way since its debut in the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ back in 2017. The voice assistant was designed to deliver hands-free access not only to apps but to features within apps on Samsung’s Android devices. However, the S Voice replacement saw significant delays beyond Samsung’s initial launch intentions, as the company grappled with multi-language support among other things. Since then, Bixby has seen numerous updates and improvements, culminating in Bixby 2.0. Released on the Galaxy Note 9, which went on sale back in August, it not only improved the AI’s voice recognition capabilities, but also better integrated Bixby with third-party applications and devices. Earlier this month, Samsung rolled out new language support for Bixby 2.0, for example.However until now those advanced features have only been made available to Note 9 owners. Today, though, Samsung confirmed its rollout plans of Bixby 2.0 for users of earlier phones, which until now have been stuck with the previous iteration of the assistant.That will include devices like the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S9, and Galaxy Note 8, according to a report in The Korea Times. The new software will be part of Samsung’s Android 9.0 Pie update. That, the report claims, will be released globally from the end of December. Users in South Korea should expect it from the start of January, it’s suggested. Bixby 2.0 for the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy Note 8 will include all the new languages that Samsung recently pushed out support for on the Note 9. That includes British English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian. Meanwhile, it will also pave the way for more expansive functionality. Samsung is relying on third-party developers for that. The company announced the new Bixby Marketplace at its annual developer conference earlier in the year, promising to give app- and feature-makers access to an easy toolkit to introduce new functionality to the AI. Dubbed the Bixby Developer Studio, it will feature an innovative “AI coding” system that builds on “capsule” knowledge packs automatically generated depending on the developer’s requirements. Samsung’s goal is clear: make the hurdles for developing specifically for its ecosystem as low as possible. For consumers, the outcome should be more tasks that can be completed within a Bixby conversation, up to and including things like booking flights and hotels, ordering products, and more. Meanwhile the company will also be including Bixby in a broader range of devices, including Smart TVs and home appliances.
It’s a fairly straightforward challenge, as such things go. Point your car of choice in a direction where there’s plenty of empty track ahead, floor the accelerator until you hit 400 km/h (249 mph), and then hit the brakes until the car is back to a standstill. Then, when you’ve got your breath back, check how long it took you both in seconds and overall distance traveled. In the case of the Chiron, it took a mere 41.96 seconds to go from a standstill, to 249 mph, and then back to a full stop. That, Bugatti points out, is the fastest time ever reached and officially measured for a production vehicle. SGS-TÜV Saar was on-hand to do the verification, while famed Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya was behind the wheel. During that time, the Chiron traveled 3.112 kilometers, or 1.93 miles. Montoya relied on the car’s Launch Control system for the cleanest getaway, which spin the Bugatti up to 2,800 rpm and then pushes full torque through all four wheels. Traction control, meanwhile, does its level best to keep the wheels from spinning ineffectually. Although the Chiron has four turbochargers in total, Bugatti doesn’t employ them all from the outset. At launch, only two are active, taking care of any low-end turbo lag. At around 3,800 rpm, the other two come online for full power. It took 32.6 seconds to reach 249 mph. Then, carbon ceramic brake discs are hauled upon with special titanium pistons – eight at the front and six at the rear – while the rear wing flips up to 49-degrees to act as an air brake. Montoya experienced roughly 2g forces during that, as the Chiron took 9.3 seconds to come to a halt. Come 2018, Bugatti intends to put the Chiron through its top speed paces. The goal is to beat the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport’s 2010 record of 431.072 km/h (267.86 mph), and cement the Chiron’s place in the record books. Still, even without that achievement it seems sales haven’t been slow. 300 orders for the Chiron have been placed, with Bugatti only intending to produce 500 cars overall. Base price is an eye-watering $2.7m. The Bugatti Chiron was always going to be fast. An 8.0-liter W16 engine with almost 1,500 horsepower will guarantee that, after all. However, we didn’t realize just how quick it would be, something Bugatti has now established with a record-breaking speed test. Bugatti Chiron Gallery
Honda knew it had a potential hit on its hands when the reaction to the Honda Urban EV Concept back in late 2017 was so positive. The retro hatchback, complete with its milky ceramic paint job, squinting fascia like a cartoon robot, and wire-esque wheels led to instant demands that the automaker put the electric car on its production roadmap. Even at the time, Honda was fueling those requests. Company president and CEO Takahiro Hachigo suggested that a production version of the concept car could launch within two years, though warned that the show vehicle wasn’t the final design. Now, we’re seeing an updated version. Honda will bring its new electric vehicle prototype to the Geneva Motor Show 2019 in March, the automaker confirmed today. It won’t be called the Urban EV Concept any more, however. “The image highlights a clear link to Honda’s Urban EV Concept initially shown at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show,” the company says. For now, all we have is a single image of the car, which Honda describes as an “early design sketch” of its prototype. The goal was “a focus on functionality and purpose” for an electric vehicle suited to urban use. Clean lines, practical passenger and cargo space, and a distinct aesthetic. It’ll need to be appealing, too. Honda is aiming to make two thirds of its European sales electrified by 2025, and while that needn’t necessarily mean all-electric – it could also offer plug-in and non-plug-in hybrids, along with mild-hybrids – BEVs are certainly going to play a role. For now, details like range, how the prototype looks from other angles, and what the interior is like will have to wait. As well as the latest prototype’s debut in Geneva in a couple of months time, Honda says that the mass production version of the car is waiting in the wings. There won’t be long before it arrives at dealerships, either: the on-sale date is expected to be before the end of the year. That’s an ambitious timeline, though it probably means that some of the more futuristic elements of the Urban EV Concept’s interior won’t be making it to production. The squared-circle steering wheel of 2017 looks to have been replaced with a more traditional circular version for this updated model. We’re expecting the full-width display, which spans the dashboard from A-pillar to A-pillar, will also be removed. Still, even with just a front view to go on, this looks to be a charming little EV. Personality is arguably just what electric cars require in order to better differentiate them for people considering jumping ship from internal combustion. We’ll find out just how much personality this compact Honda has in March.
Amazon’s rival retailers are benefiting from Amazon Prime Day deals with an increase in online revenues and offering their own online discounts. According to CNBC, Adobe Analytics — a data service that measures transactions at some of the top U.S. retailers — is reporting that big-named retailers that rack in over $1 billion in yearly revenue saw a 64% increase in online sales on Monday, which was the first of two days of Prime Day deals. Niche retailers, or companies that make less than $5 million in yearly revenue, also saw an increase in online sales. Adobe reports that these smaller retailers saw a 30% increase yesterday. Amazon Prime Day began Monday, July 15. For the first time, the event will last 48 hours, which is the longest Prime Day in the history of the event. Prime Day offers savings on tech, home, beauty, health, and more, on top of Amazon Prime’s free shipping.Retailers including Walmart, Target, Macy’s, and Best Buy cashed in on the Prime Day frenzy with their own, separate deals and discounts. Target is pushing its Target Deal Days, Walmart has “The Big Save” sales event, and Best Buy is promoting its Flash Sale deals. All of these events are occurring at the same slotted time as Amazon Prime Day. Digital Trends reached out to the retailers above for comment, but has yet to hear back about a spike in sales trends. With all of these sales to choose from, Adobe reports that Amazon Prime Day is the third-most-popular period for online shopping next to the holiday shopping season. Online sales are expected to top $2 billion during Prime Day. According to a press release from Amazon, Amazon sellers saw the biggest 24-hour sales day in Amazon’s history during the first day of Amazon Prime Day. These statistics mostly impacted small and medium-sized businesses who sell their products on Amazon. Last year, Amazon Prime Day lasted 36 hours and sold more than 100 million products. Amazon said that 2018 was the biggest global shopping event in its history, but with current sales predictions and an extended time slot, this year’s sales are expected to surpass last year’s event. Editors’ Recommendations Best post-Prime Day deals 2019: 4K TV, wireless earbuds, and Walmart discounts Walmart, Target, and other retailers compete with Amazon’s 48 hour Prime Day Best Prime Day headphone deals: AirPods, Bose, and Beats wireless discounts Walmart extends Prime Day sale into Sunday: 4K TV, Apple, and Smart Watch deals Amazon’s biggest sale just got even bigger with a Taylor Swift Prime Day concert
Covered California ‘On Track’ To Launch Enrollment Oct. 1 The California state agency implementing the health law said computer tests indicate the website will be ready to go on the launch date. Also in the news, organizations and businesses dig into to efforts to promote enrollment in the overhaul’s new online insurance marketplaces, but political battles continue to surround the “navigator” program. Los Angeles Times: Covered California Says Healthcare-Law Enrollment On Track For Oct. 1California’s new health insurance marketplace says online enrollment should launch Oct. 1, dismissing earlier concerns about a delay. Covered California, the state agency implementing the federal Affordable Care Act, said recent computer tests indicate that its website will be ready to take online sign-ups on schedule (Terhune, 9/9).Fox News: Communities Race To Hire, Train Experts On Obama’s Health Care Reform Plan Over 100 nonprofits and related organizations, which specialize in everything from running soup kitchens to organizing farm workers, have been recruited by the federal government to sign up “navigators” to help the 30 million uninsured people who can now gain coverage. Many of the groups have little expertise in health insurance. And the timeline for training the workers is tight. According to the new health law, people can begin shopping among the new policies on Oct. 1. The enrollment period lasts six months. Coverage begins in January (9/9).Politico: Rite Aid Joins Promotion Effort For ObamacareRite Aid is joining the nationwide Obamacare education effort, announcing on Monday plans to host insurance agents in its stores in a few weeks. The pharmacy chain will invite independent insurance agents into more than 2,000 of its stores to offer free help starting Oct. 1, the first day millions of Americans can enroll in coverage on Obamacare health insurance exchanges. All Rite Aid stores — more than 4,600 across 31 states and Washington, D.C. — will offer informational brochures about the Affordable Care Act, and the company has set up a website to educate customers (Millman, 9/10).The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog: Two Groups Quit Obamacare Outreach ProgramIn the face of mounting Republican opposition, two organizations have dropped out of a key Obamacare program meant to enroll millions of the uninsured in coverage. Republican legislators in Washington began investigating “navigators,” the thousands of outreach workers funded by the health law, who are fanning out across the country to give Americans face-to-face help with signing up for Obamacare’s new programs (Kliff, 9/9).Reuters: Obama Administration Concerned About Republican Obamacare InquiryThe Obama administration on Monday expressed concerns about a congressional Republican inquiry aimed at nonprofit groups and other organizations that are getting ready to enroll people in subsidized insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform. Less than two weeks ago, a Republican-controlled oversight committee in the House of Representatives sent questions to 51 groups in 11 states that have received $67 million in federal grants to hire and train “navigators” who will help uninsured people apply for health coverage in new online marketplaces beginning October 1 (Morgan, 9/9).Meanwhile, news from Wisconsin and Minnesota on state implementation – The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Former Scott Walker Rival Kathleen Falk To Lead Obamacare StartupWisconsin consumers need to see the full details on what they’ll be paying for the coverage being offered next year under Obamacare, said the new federal official charged with implementing the health care law in the Upper Midwest. Kathleen Falk, the former Dane County executive who unsuccessfully sought to run as a Democrat against Gov. Scott Walker in last year’s recall election, will now be working with the GOP governor to implement the federal law (Stein, 9/9). Minnesota Public Radio: Organizers Trying To Drum Up Support For Affordable Care Act Anne Jones recently visited the Minneapolis Farmers Market to pass out fliers she hoped would debunk persistent myths about the federal health care overhaul. “We’re trying to counter the notion that this is a government takeover of the health care system,” said Jones, of Minneapolis, a member of Organizing for Action. The non-profit group, an offshoot of President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, aims to support his national agenda (Richert, 9/9). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Oregon Confronts New Costs, Deadlines In Switch To Federal Exchange In addition, allegations are emerging about the Wentzville, Mo., processing center that handled paper applications for new health law insurance coverage. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Members Of Congress Seek Probe Into Federal Exchange Processing Center A former employee at an Affordable Care Act processing center in Wentzville recalls having so little work to do that she played board games while some co-workers slept. Lavonne Takatz, 42, worked at the center in Wentzville from October to April. “We played Pictionary. We played 20 Questions. We played Trivial Pursuit,” she told the Post-Dispatch Wednesday. Such allegations have spurred members of Missouri’s congressional delegation to call for investigations of the taxpayer-funded center in Wentzville, one of three nationally that are contracted to process paper applications for the new health-care law (Kulash, 5/15). The Oregonian: Cover Oregon Aftermath: State Faces New Deadline, And $35-Million Price Tag May Be ConservativeWith the next open enrollment for health coverage only months away, Oregon’s decision to hook up to the federal insurance exchange for an estimated $5 million solves only part of the state’s dilemma. The remaining task could be tougher — and more expensive — than expected. The ballpark estimated cost for what Oregon still has to do is another $35 million, and officials acknowledge that figure could be conservative (Budnick, 5/14).In other news related to the online insurance marketplaces, a legal challenge regarding the tax treatment of subsidies some consumers can receive to buy coverage from these marketplaces continues — The Associated Press: Appeals Court Hears Health Care Tax Credit CaseA federal appeals court heard arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit claiming the Obama administration’s health care reform law provides tax subsidies only to people who buy insurance through state-run exchanges. Four Virginia residents are challenging an Internal Revenue Service regulation that makes the subsidies available to low- and moderate-income residents regardless of whether they buy policies through state exchanges or one established by the federal government. Virginia is among 34 states that chose not to establish its own health insurance exchange (5/14).
State Highlights: Mass. Nursing Home Chain’s Problems; Highmark Seeks More Money To Fight UPMC In Pittsburgh News outlets examine health care issues in Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. After Wallace Clayton served in the Army Special Forces in the mid-1970s, he says, he bounced from job to job for more than a decade. He worked in electronics assembly and repair, landscaping and home renovation — and never understood why he was having so much difficulty getting his life together. Clayton was one of 675 military veterans referred last year to a Veterans Affairs program in Maryland with a dual focus: helping veterans diagnosed with mental health disorders continue treatment while getting them trained for and placed in jobs. (Mirabella, 5/4) A nearly two-decade legal fight by a convicted murderer in Massachusetts to get taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery ended in failure Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected her final appeal. The justices did not comment in letting stand a lower-court ruling denying the surgery to Michelle Kosilek. (Pratt, 5/4) The Associated Press: Supreme Court Rejects Inmate’s Appeal For Sex-Change Surgery The Kansas Health Institute News Service: Advocates Make Last Push For Tobacco Tax The Washington Post: Poor D.C. Babies Are More Than 10 Times As Likely To Die As Rich Ones The Baltimore Sun: Veterans Program Pairs Job Services With Mental Health Treatment The Washington Times: D.C. Council Plans To Clarify Reproductive Health Care Law The Associated Press: Indiana Set To Start Program To Reduce Infant Deaths Infants are more than 10 times as likely to die in the District’s poorest ward than they are in its richest, the international advocacy group Save the Children said Monday. The findings, released Monday night as part of the group’s annual State of the World’s Mothers report, underscore how vast income inequality in the capital of the world’s richest country continues to yield startling disparities in health and survival at the neighborhood level. (Hauslohner, 5/4) The state government is planning to improve transportation for Medicaid recipients, which a number of providers and advocates have identified as obstacles preventing some patients receiving the care they need. State officials plan to require that every van have a geographic tracker that will enable dispatchers to tell patients how far away their ride is when waiting for transport to a healthcare appointment. This requirement will be included in a request for proposals (RFP) expected in the next 10 days for a company to serve as a transportation broker, hiring and dispatching local van providers. (Kitchenman, 5/4) A long-delayed cleanup proposal for a Montana community where thousands have been sickened by asbestos exposure would leave the dangerous material inside some houses rather than remove it, as government officials seek to wind down an effort that has lasted more than 15 years and cost $540 million. Details on the final cleanup plan for Libby, Montana, and the neighboring town of Troy were to be released Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency. Asbestos would be left behind knowingly only where it does not pose a risk of exposure to people, such as underground or sealed behind the walls of a house, EPA project manager Rebecca Thomas said. Yet some residents worry the material eventually could escape and re-contaminate their community. (Brown, 5/5) CQ Healthbeat: DOJ Asked For Stance On Colorado Marijuana Law The number of Iowans becoming infected with the AIDS virus dropped 19 percent last year, and experts are hoping the progress continues. Ninety-nine Iowans last year received new diagnoses of being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. That was down from 122 in 2013, and it was the lowest number since 2003. (Leys, 4/4) The Des Moines Register: HIV Infections Dropped 19% In Iowa Last Year Connecticut Mirror: CT Officials See Targeting Trauma As Key To Improving Health Studies suggest that the risks of health problems are particularly pronounced among those with four or more different types of adverse childhood experiences — known as ACEs. In recent years, scientists have been uncovering ways that significant stress early in life can lead to disease. And policymakers in Connecticut are now trying to target that stress more directly, hoping that preventing exposure to trauma or identifying and treating it early can lead to better health, education and social outcomes. (Levin Becker, 5/4) NJ Spotlight: State Seeks To Speed Up Ride, Shorten Waiting Time For Medicaid Transportation More than two years into the implementation of KanCare — the state’s transfer of Medicaid administration to three private insurance companies — anecdotes about quality of care abound. Some consumer advocates say going beyond the individual stories to get a more comprehensive look at the program has been a challenge, and it’s hard to determine whether KanCare is making consumers healthier. (Marso, 5/4) The Boston Globe: Woes Follow Nursing Home Chain’s Arrival Advocates of raising the state’s tobacco tax made one last push Monday during a rally at the Statehouse, with a prominent physician saying cancer will overwhelm the state’s health care system if the tax isn’t raised. Legislators will look this week at options for raising $400 million to $500 million to close a budget gap and end the 2015 session. (Marso, 5/4) The Associated Press: Highmark Urges Pennsylvania To OK $175M For Hospital Network This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Kansas Health Institute News Service: KanCare Anecdotes Abound, But Clear Data Harder To Find Highmark executives and allies dominated a hearing before the state’s top insurance regulator Monday, seeking a green light for the insurer to transfer $175 million into its western Pennsylvania hospital network to help it compete against rival University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. At the four-hour session, state lawmakers, local elected leaders and a health care workers’ union were among those urging acting Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller to approve the plan to tap Highmark’s $5.5 billion insurance reserve and use the money for grants to the eight-hospital Allegheny Health Network. (Jackson, 5/4) At Braemoor Health Center in Brockton, [Mass.], which had a blemish-free state review before Synergy took over, health inspectors have been summoned three times in the past year. They found lax infection control, among other concerns, and the nursing home was ordered to make improvements. Synergy’s expansion in Massachusetts has been rapid — the chain has purchased 10 nursing homes since December 2012 — and with the expansion have come complaints. State inspection reports of Synergy’s nursing homes routinely show striking increases in problems since the company arrived. In one home, a patient’s pressure sores were neglected for weeks. In another, racks of dishes and utensils floated in dirty water just before they were used to serve food. And in a third, there were not enough nurses. (Lazar, 5/5) Earlier KHN coverage: Health Law Expands Medicare To Montana Asbestos Patients (Galewitz, 6/18/2011) The Associated Press: Cleanup Of Superfund Town Would Leave Some Asbestos Behind A new state grant program aimed at trying to reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate is set to start this summer. Gov. Mike Pence on Monday signed a bill creating the program. (5/5) The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Justice Department to weigh in on a lawsuit challenging Colorado’s marijuana legalization, even as the administration struggles to find a balance between strict federal laws and growing public acceptance of the drug. Right now, the justices are considering only whether Oklahoma and Nebraska should be allowed to file a lawsuit at the high court challenging the constitutionality of Colorado’s law, which has allowed sales of recreational marijuana since January 2014. (Ruger, 5/4) A D.C. law banning businesses from discriminating against workers based on their opinions or use of birth control or abortion took effect over the weekend, despite attempts by congressional Republicans to block the measure. Even with the law’s enactment, the D.C. Council plans to move forward with a clarification to emphasize that the law does not require employers to provide insurance coverage for reproductive health care options for which they have moral or religious objections. (Noble, 5/4)
Featured Stories What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Join the conversation → Comment More Shopify shares fall in premarket even as loss narrows, revenue up more than 50% Company reports slowing rate of growth in total sales by vendors using its software in the fourth quarter Twitter Shopify Inc. office in Waterloo, Ontario.Cole Burston/Bloomberg Sponsored By: Email Recommended For You’We were experiencing headwinds’ — Canopy Growth stock heads south on poor sales ramp-upDefining the future of Canadian competitiveness: How partnerships between industry and educational institutions can help lead the way forwardTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016 ← Previous Next → OTTAWA — Shopify Inc. reported a fourth-quarter loss of $1.5 million compared with a loss of $3 million in the same quarter a year earlier.The Ottawa-based e-commerce company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, says the loss amounted to a penny per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31 compared with a loss of three cents per share a year earlier.Shopify shares fell about 3.6 per cent in premarket, however, after the company reported slowing rate of growth in total sales by vendors using its software in the fourth quarter.Revenue for the quarter totalled $343.9 million, up from $222.8 million in the last three months of 2017.On an adjusted basis, Shopify reported a profit of 26 cents per share, up from an adjusted profit of 15 per share in the fourth quarter of 2017.Analysts on average had expected a profit of 20 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.For the full year, Shopify reported a loss of $64.6 million or 61 cents per share on $1.07 billion in revenue compared with a loss of $40.0 million or 42 cents per share on $673.3 million in revenue in 2017. Share this storyShopify shares fall in premarket even as loss narrows, revenue up more than 50% Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn The Canadian Press Facebook advertisement Reddit 0 Comments February 12, 20197:27 AM ESTLast UpdatedFebruary 12, 20198:53 AM EST Filed under News Retail & Marketing
More Share this storyDrop in auto production leads surprise decline in Canada’s factory output Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Bloomberg News Sponsored By: Comment Join the conversation → Featured Stories Twitter Factory production unexpectedly fell in Canada on a temporary slowdown in the auto sector.Manufacturing sales fell 0.6% in April, Statistics Canada said Thursday from Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting factory output to increase 0.4 per cent.The pullback follows a revised 2.6 per cent gain in March, which was the largest since the end of 2017. In volume terms, sales fell 0.8 per cent.Slowing output in the transportation sector was the primary drag, declining 6.7 per cent. Motor vehicle production fell 8.9 per cent, mostly due to “temporary plant shutdowns and fewer units assembled,” according to Statistics Canada.The nation’s economy is emerging from two quarters of stagnant growth, but Tuesday’s report may shake confidence in a quick return to form. The Bank of Canada, which has indicated interest rates are on hold even as the Federal Reserve weighs a cut, expects output to pick up in the second half of this year.April’s sales drop, however, was somewhat isolated. Output fell in just 8 of 21 industries, and excluding the auto sector factory production rose 0.5 per cent. Inventories increased 1.3 per cent, led by petroleum and coal, bringing the inventory to sales ratio to 1.53 — the highest since 2009.Bloomberg.com Recommended For YouU.S. DoJ may sue to block Sprint, T-Mobile merger – CNBCTSX falls as material stocks declineLibra launch won’t happen until regulators are happy -CoeureTanzania currency to hold, Kenya’s forecast to weakenUkraine cuts rates on easing inflation, may cut more ← Previous Next → What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation 0 Comments advertisement Reddit June 18, 20191:24 PM EDT Filed under News Economy Erik Hertzberg Motor vehicle production fell 8.9 per cent, mostly due to “temporary plant shutdowns and fewer units assembled,” according to Statistics Canada.Aaron Lynett / National Post Facebook Drop in auto production leads surprise decline in Canada’s factory output Motor vehicle production fell 8.9% Email
More The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec will “be a rock” for SNC-Lavalin, Michael Sabia, its president and CEO, said Thursday as the provincial pension fund manager announced its annual results for 2018.SNC-Lavalin has made “pretty remarkable progress,” Sabia said, including significant changes in management in recent years.“I think it’s important not to lose sight of how much progress is being made and how much potential this company has,” he said.While the company has struggled with a project in Chile — which prompted it to issue two profit warnings in two weeks — Sabia said that for a company like SNC-Lavalin, there are plenty of other opportunities around the world.The Caisse is SNC-Lavalin’s largest shareholder, holding around 20 per cent of the company’s shares.“For any company — not just SNC-Lavalin, but for any company — to be in a period of uncertainty, that’s always a difficult thing. It’s a difficult thing for the employees of the company, it’s a difficult thing for the customers, the clients of the company,” Sabia said. “We want to be very clear to the capital markets, we want to be very clear to the company’s employees, we want to be very clear to the company’s customers, that this company has a well-financed, frankly highly expert backer, and that backer is the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.”Sabia said he couldn’t speculate on how the federal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin would play out, or on the impact of a conviction, which could lead to SNC-Lavalin being banned from bidding on federal contracts for 10 years.“All we can do and what we’re going to do is be a rock,” he said. “We are going to be a rock in support of this company.”The pension fund manager said it had a 4.2-per-cent return in 2018, increasing the value of its portfolio by $11.8 billion. It’s the lowest rate of return posted by the Caisse since 2011.In 2017, it reported a return rate of 9.3 per cent, and a return of $24.6 billion.The lower return comes at a time when many stocks struggled.The S&P/TSX composite index, which tracks around 250 companies traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, ended the year down almost 12 per cent. Major indexes in the United States also ended the year down.Sabia said that in that context, the Caisse’s positive results were proof its approach is working and that its efforts to build a resilient portfolio have paid off.“In the face of this turbulence, our portfolio performed as expected,” Sabia said.The Caisse was not immune to the weakness in public markets: its investments in equity markets had a negative return of 0.9 per cent in 2018. Its investments in public Canadian companies fared even worse, seeing a decline of 7.2 per cent. However, those negative returns were offset by positive results in the Caisse’s private equity portfolio, which generated a return rate of 16.6 per cent.In total, the Caisse’s equity portfolio generated $4.8 billion in net investment results, a return of 3.5 per cent. The Caisse’s investments in real estate and infrastructure generated a nine per cent return, also worth $4.8 billion.The Caisse’s net assets were $309.5 billion as of Dec. 31, 2018. The Caisse’s net assets have risen by $109.4 billion since 2013. Of that, $98.7 billion has come from investment returns, an average annualized return of 8.4 per cent. The other $10.7 billion came from deposits.Net withdrawals were $0.8 billion in 2018, driven by net withdrawals of $3 billion by the Quebec government’s Generations Fund.Sabia also addressed the ongoing investigation at Otéra Capital.This month, the Caisse ordered an investigation — led by an external lawyer — at the real estate lender after it was revealed that the romantic and business partner of an Otéra vice-president has done business with people linked to the Montreal Mafia. The vice-president was suspended, and several days later Otéra’s CEO said he would step aside during the investigation after questions emerged about loans made to companies he owns by an Otéra subsidiary.“You saw our reaction, our very quick reaction, to the allegations concerning certain people at Otéra,” Sabia said, adding that he couldn’t say how long the investigation would take.“We will act on the facts, but the investigator has to be given the necessary time to identify all the facts,” he said. “From my personal perspective, the integrity of this institution is non-negotiable, period.”Sabia also warned that the Caisse expects a slowdown in the global economy in 2019 and 2020. Whether that will lead to a recession will depend on how companies and consumers react.“In the face of these uncertainties, it will be resilience that counts in 2019 and 2020,” he said. Related Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins sees 9% return in 2018 Caisse posts $24.6-billion profit, says it’s ready for market correction Caisse suspends Otéra vice-president over partner’s alleged Mafia ties Comment Facebook Reddit Twitter Share this storyCaisse de dépot will ‘be a rock’ for SNC-Lavalin, CEO Sabia says Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Caisse de dépot will ‘be a rock’ for SNC-Lavalin, CEO Sabia says The Caisse de dépôt is a long-term investor, Michael Sabia says, and they won’t “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” 4 Comments February 21, 20196:57 PM EST Filed under News FP Street Join the conversation → Jacob Serebrin, Montreal Gazette Email
‘Only one left in your size!’ How e-commerce’s dark patterns manipulate your shopping It’s the digital version of such old-school tactics as impulse purchases near cash registers or bait-and-switch ads for used cars “Dark patterns” are devious online techniques that manipulate users into doing things they might not otherwise choose to.file photo The number of sites the researchers found using dark patterns underestimates the techniques’ overall prevalence online, said Arunesh Mathur, a Princeton doctoral student and an author of the paper. The researchers’ software focused on text, and it scanned only retail stores’ pages and not travel booking sites, social media services or other areas where such tactics might be used. The study, he added, was also confined to patterns used to influence purchasing behaviour, not data-sharing or other activities.More than 160 retail sites used a tactic called “confirmshaming” that requires users to click a button that says something like “No thanks! I’d rather join the ‘Pay Full Price for Things’ club” if they want to avoid signing up or buying something.More than two dozen sites used confusing messages when encouraging users to sign up for emails and other services. On a New Balance athletic apparel site, for instance, the first part of one message suggested that a user could check a box to receive emails, but on closer reading, the opposite was true. “We’d love to send you emails with offers and new products,” it said, “but if you do not wish to receive these updates, please tick this box.”New Balance believes the opt-out is “legally compliant and we believe clear to consumers,” Damien Leigh, senior vice-president of global direct-to-consumer sales for the company, said in a statement. But he added that the company “is always looking for ways to be as transparent as possible with consumers and will evaluate the study’s insight when it is released.”About 30 sites made it easy to sign up for services but particularly hard to cancel, requiring phone calls or other procedures. The Times requires people to talk with a representative online or by phone to cancel subscriptions, but the researchers did not study it or other publishing sites.Most sites identified by the researchers used messages that indicated that products were popular, that there were few items in stock or that products would only be available for a limited time. Some were demonstrably false, while others were unclear.There is disagreement about whether messages about things like high demand constitute a dark pattern if they are truthful. But even those based on actual site activity are an attempt to play on consumers’ known weaknesses, said Arvind Narayanan, a Princeton computer science professor and an author of the paper.“We are not claiming that everything we categorize in the paper should be of interest to government regulators,” he said. “But there should at least be more transparency about them so that online shoppers can be more aware of how their behaviour is being nudged.” Jennifer Valentino-Devries Reddit Share this story’Only one left in your size!’ How e-commerce’s dark patterns manipulate your shopping Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Email 0 Comments When potential customers visit the online resale store ThredUp, messages on the screen regularly tell them just how much other users of the site are saving.“Alexandra from Anaheim just saved $222 on her order” says one message next to an image of a bright, multicoloured dress. It’s a common technique on shopping websites, intended to capitalize on people’s desire to fit in with others and to create a fear of missing out.But “Alexandra from Anaheim” did not buy the dress. She does not exist. Instead, the website’s code pulled combinations from a preprogrammed list of names, locations and items and presented them as actual recent purchases. Behavioural economics: How to ‘nudge’ customers and influence people Bell asking customers for permission to collect more personal information for tailored marketing program ‘It was my mistake’: Mark Zuckerberg apologizes, says Facebook did not do enough to prevent data misuse The fake messages are an example of “dark patterns,” devious online techniques that manipulate users into doing things they might not otherwise choose to. They are the digital version of timeworn tactics used to influence consumer behaviour, like impulse purchases placed near cash registers or bait-and-switch ads for used cars.Sometimes, the methods are clearly deceptive, as with ThredUp, but often they walk a fine line between manipulation and persuasion: Think of the brightly coloured button that encourages you to agree to a service, while the link to opt out is hidden in a drop-down menu.Web designers and consumers have been highlighting examples of dark patterns online since Harry Brignull, a user-experience consultant in Britain, coined the term in 2010. But interest in the tools of online influence has intensified in the past year, amid a series of high-profile revelations about Silicon Valley companies’ handling of people’s private information. An important element of that discussion is the notion of consent: what users are agreeing to do and share online, and how far businesses can go in leading them to make decisions.The prevalence of dark patterns across the web is unknown, but according to a study released this week, researchers from Princeton University have started to quantify the phenomenon, focusing first on retail companies. The study is the first to systematically examine a large number of sites. The researchers developed software that automatically scanned more than 10,000 sites and found that more than 1,200 of them used techniques that the authors identified as dark patterns, including ThredUp’s fake notifications.The report coincides with discussions among U.S. lawmakers about regulating technology companies, including through a bill proposed in April by senators Deb Fischer, R-Neb. and Mark Warner, D-Va. that is meant to limit the use of dark patterns by making some of the techniques illegal and giving the Federal Trade Commission more authority to police the practice.It’s a notoriously difficult line to find — what’s permissible persuasion versus wrongful manipulation.Woodrow Hartzog, Northeastern University June 26, 20193:23 PM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing More Comment The New York Times Twitter “We are focused in on a problem that I think everyone recognizes,” said Fischer, adding that she became interested in the problem after becoming annoyed in her personal experience with the techniques.The legislation faces uncertain prospects, in part because of language defining dark patterns and the companies that would be subject to the new law that is ambiguous, said Woodrow Hartzog, a law and computer science professor at Northeastern University. Still, he added, it is an important first step for policymakers in discussing dark patterns.“The important question as a policy matter is what separates a dark pattern from good old-fashioned advertising,” he said. “It’s a notoriously difficult line to find — what’s permissible persuasion versus wrongful manipulation.”The Princeton study identified dark-pattern techniques across the web by automatically scanning the sites’ text and code.On ThredUp, for example, the researchers saw the website create the messages in April using code that arbitrarily selected combinations from a list of 100 names, 59 locations and 82 items. The New York Times replicated the results. On one day this month, the code led to messages in which “Abigail from Albuquerque” appeared to buy more than two dozen items, including dresses in sizes 2, 4, 6 and 8. On other occasions, it yielded messages showing different people “just” buying the same secondhand item days or months apart.When asked about the notices, a ThredUp spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that the company used “real data” and that it included the fake names and locations “to be sensitive to privacy.” When asked whether the messages represented actual recent purchases, the company did not respond.… there should at least be more transparency so online shoppers can be more aware of how their behaviour is being nudged.Arvind Narayanan, a Princeton computer science professor and an author of the paper Facebook Join the conversation →
Source: Electric Vehicle News Every Eighth Car Sold In San Francisco Bay Area Is A Plug-In The biggest player in the plug-in segment is, of course, Tesla and its Model 3. With 70,338 Tesla sales (including 51,293 Model 3), the California company absolutely dominates its home market taking 44% from 157,659 plug-in car sales and 74% BEV sales.The Model 3 leads the Near Luxury category by a wide margin, while Model X is second in the Luxury Mid Size SUV category. Chevrolet Bolt EV and Model S took 3rd (respectively) in Subcompact and Luxury and High-End Sports Cars categories.Hat Tip To Emc2!!!Source: California Auto Outlook – 2018 – California New Car Dealers Association US Plug-In Electric Car Sales Charted: December 2018 California’s EV Sales Surge Pushed By Tesla Model 3 Plug-in electric cars outsold hybrids almost 2:1 in CaliforniaAccording to the California New Car Dealers Association’s latest report on the car market in California in 2018, electrification of the state’s fleet accelerated.In the past year, some 2 million new cars were registered in the state (down 2.2% year-over-year), while the passenger car category decreased by 10%, below 900,000.In such circumstances, all-electric cars (mostly passenger cars) increased volume to 94,813 and share to 4.7% (from 2.6% year earlier), while plug-in hybrids grew to 62,846 and 3.1%. In total, plug-in car sales stand 157,659 and at 7.8% of overall volume!Interestingly, BEVs alone outsold conventional hybrids, which noted just 4.1% share (down from 4.6% year ago). According to CNCDA, hybrid sales and market share decreased every year in the past five years, which raises the question of whether or not Toyota noticed this trend?See Also Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 21, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News
As one who closely follows news related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, I was surprised over the past few days about the amount of coverage given to a purported exchange between President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the FCPA.The originating source for this coverage was a relatively minor blurb in this New Yorker article. What surprised me (and you certainly would not know this from reading the New Yorker article because it doesn’t mention this) is that the purported exchange was widely reported back in March.This post highlights how this is an “old news” item, provides facts about FCPA enforcement during the first 8 months of the Trump administration, and demonstrates that President Trump is far from the only politician to raise concerns about the FCPA and its enforcement. Indeed, Democrats and Republicans have long done the same thing.The minor blurb in the New Yorker article was as follows:“In February, a few weeks after Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate, he visited the Oval Office to introduce the President to a potential deputy, but Trump had something else on his mind. He began fulminating about federal laws that prohibit American businesses from bribing officials overseas; the businesses, he said, were being unfairly penalized.Tillerson disagreed. When he was an executive with Exxon, he told Trump, he once met with senior officials in Yemen to discuss a deal. At the meeting, Yemen’s oil minister handed him his business card. On the back was written an account number at a Swiss bank. “Five million dollars,” the minister told him.“I don’t do that,” Tillerson said. “Exxon doesn’t do that.” If the Yemenis wanted Exxon on the deal, he said, they’d have to play straight. A month later, the Yemenis assented. “Tillerson told Trump that America didn’t need to pay bribes—that we could bring the world up to our own standards,” a source with knowledge of the exchange told me.”You would not know it from reading the New Yorker article, but in substance this is what was reported back in March by the Washington Post. This March 9, 2017 article states:“An example of the role Tillerson could play is an exchange in February about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. During a White House meeting, Trump complained that the anti-bribery statute cost the United States billions of dollars in lost sales overseas and millions of jobs. According to one insider, Tillerson dissented and described how he had walked away from an oil deal in the Middle East after a leader there demanded a payoff — but later was invited back.” “You’re Exxon!” Trump countered, but the former chief executive dissented again. “No, people want to do business with America.” This pushback from an experienced person is what Trump needs …”.The purported Trump / Tillerson FCPA exchange reported in March 2017 was also picked up by several other sources (see here) including this law firm FCPA client.Predictably, on social media the past few days a conga line of supposed compliance and ethics gurus pounced on the recent New Yorker article, but it appears that the only actual ethical breach is the New Yorker article does not mention that the substance of the purported Tillerson / Trump FCPA exchange was widely reported months before its article.In any event, it seems that much of what passes for “journalism” these days is journalists reporting on what others journalists are writing about and thus, not surprisingly, the FCPA blurb in the New Yorker article quickly spread. (See here and here among other links). The articles use “click-bait” headlines to drive a narrative, yet provide little context for how the narrative is actually false. You would think that a journalist writing an article inferring that President Trump wants to ditch the FCPA would spend an extra few minutes before hitting the publish button to actually learn about FCPA enforcement in the Trump administration.Here are some facts.In the first 8 months of the Trump administration there have been more DOJ corporate FCPA enforcement actions than certain prior years in the Obama administration. In the first 8 months of the Trump administration there have been 5 corporate FCPA enforcement actions with over $535 million in aggregate FCPA settlement amounts. This aggregate settlement amount exceeds aggregate FCPA settlement amounts secured during three years of the Obama administration: 2015, 2012, and 2011 (see here for more information). True, the bulk of this approximate $535 million amount comes from one enforcement action, but this dynamic has always been present in FCPA enforcement statistics regardless of administration.In seeming efforts to ignore or dismiss facts concerning FCPA enforcement in the Trump administration, I have already seen on social media – and predict this will continue – some discounting FCPA enforcement thus far during the Trump administration because the enforcement actions originated in a prior administration. This is true, but again this dynamic has always been part of FCPA enforcement and FCPA enforcement actions during the first few years of the Obama administration originated during a prior administration.Regarding FCPA enforcement during the Trump administration, the fourth quarter of each year has traditionally been an active quarter for FCPA enforcement. In short, FCPA enforcement in the Trump administration appears to be following a normal path as predicted in this post. Some additional context.The notion that Trump purportedly expressed concern about how FCPA enforcement impacts U.S. business hardly makes him unique as politicians (both Democrats and Republications) have articulated similar concerns since the FCPA was enacted in 1977.For instance, in 1980, the Carter administration (recall that President Carter signed the FCPA into law in 1977) sent a report to Congress prepared by the Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative titled “Report of the President on Export Promotion Functions and Potential Export Disincentives.” In pertinent part, the report stated:“The [FCPA] is identified by businessmen and attorneys as one of the most significant export disincentives. […] The Act inhibits exporting because of uncertainty within the business community about the meaning and application of some of its key provisions.“Uncertainty about the meaning of key provisions of the FCPA and how it will be applied is having a negative effect on U.S. exports. Many of the businessmen and attorneys consulted expressed the view that this uncertainty has a far greater impact than the actual prohibition against bribery. The problem described, in essence, is that what conduct is prohibited and what conduct is not prohibited under the Act is often unclear. In order to avoid possible violations of the Act, attorneys often give such cautious guidance that their clients simply forego any transactions where the FCPA could possibly become an issue.”“The effects of these uncertainties reportedly manifest themselves in various ways. Consultations with the private sector revealed instances in which U.S. companies:withdrew from joint ventures for fear they later could be held responsible for the acts of their foreign partners; incurred substantial legal and investigative costs to check the backgrounds of their sales agents abroad; were unable to obtain the services of effective sales agents; lost contracts simply because of the time needed to investigate sales agents abroad and institute safeguards; withdrew from existing markets; and declined to enter new markets.”“Finally, companies point out that the extent to which companies have been successfully prosecuted under the FCPA does not define the extent of the disincentive. Uncertainty can be a disincentive without any prosecutions and, moreover, exports are inhibited merely by the possibility of public charges and the adverse publicity surrounding them. Even where a company is totally convinced that a court would find that it had not violated the FCPA, it nonetheless may forego the export opportunity for fear that an enforcement agency could publicly charge it with a violation of the Act.”In 1981, the Government Accounting Office (“GAO”), the investigative arm of Congress, released a report titled “Impact of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act on U.S. Business.” The report was based in part on a GAO questionnaire survey of 250 companies randomly selected from the Fortune 1000 list of the largest industrial firms in the U.S. and the questionnaire addressed the FCPA’s relationship to the following four areas: (1) corporate policies and/or codes of conduct; (2) corporate systems of accountability; (3) cost burdens, if any, incurred by management to comply with the FCPA; and (4) corporate opinions regarding the: (i) FCPA’s effect on U.S. corporate foreign sales; (ii) the clarity of the FCPA’s provisions; (iii) the potential effectiveness of an international anti-bribery agreement; and (iv) perceived effectiveness of the FCPA in reducing questionable payments.The GAO found that while the FCPA “has brought about efforts to strengthen corporate codes of conduct and systems of internal accounting control,” corporations reported that “their efforts to comply with the [the FCPA] have resulted in costs that were greater than the benefits received” and that a substantial number of businesses “reported that they had lost oversees business as a result” of the FCPA. The GAO report noted concerns that the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions were “vague and ambiguous” and stated that while “unambiguous requirements may be impractical and could provide a roadmap for corporate bribery” companies operating in the global marketplace “should be subject to clear and consistent demands by the Government agencies for enforcing the act.”As noted in this previous post, President Reagan’s administration sought decriminalization of foreign payments subject to the FCPA.Fast forward to the FCPA’s modern era and some of the most forceful critiques of the FCPA during the Senate’s 2010 FCPA hearing came from Democratic Senators. For instance, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) directed the following comment to the DOJ representative at the hearing:“[O]ne of the basic principles of due process is that people in companies have to be able to know what the law is in order to comply with it. And I will tell you that I have heard from many very good standing companies in my State that they do not always know what behavior will trigger an enforcement action.”Likewise at the hearing Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE) directed the following statement to the DOJ representative at the hearing:“Has there been any reported appreciable change in the conduct or behavior of public officials overseas in response to our more aggressive enforcement or, as some companies have suggested, is this simply putting U.S.-headquartered companies at a disadvantage in not actually having some positive or desirable impact on the conduct of foreign officials?” Learn More & Register FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available.