Ford and VW considering an expansive alliance likely to echo across the global auto industry
- Barring a last-minute hitch, two of the world's largest automakers plan to announce a far-reaching alliance shortly after the new year, one that will cover a wide swath of territory and a broad range of technologies, new and old.
- The all-electric Porsche Taycan follows next year, as does the first long-range battery electric vehicle (BEV) under the new sub-brand Volkswagen I.D. The second I.D. model, reports Reuters, will start as low as $23,000, sharply undercutting the Tesla Model 3.
- The U.S. automaker also plans to invest $740 million to transform the long-abandoned Michigan Central Depot — a symbol of Motor City blight — and other buildings nearby into the headquarters of its new subsidiary, Ford Autonomous Vehicles.
New Alexa Smart Home Developer Tools Enable Seamless Voice Control of Any Device and Any Feature - New Toggle, Mode, and Range Capabilities are Generally Available in the Smart Home Skill API
- How You Can Use the New Toggle, Mode, and Range Capabilities Mode controllers set one value from a group of settings that are ordered (Low, Medium, High) or unordered (Auto, Heavy, Normal, Turbo).
- They support commands like "Alexa, turn off oscillate on the fan" or "Alexa, turn on overdrive on the guitar amp." You can use multiple instances of each controller interface on a single endpoint, which gives you extra flexibility in the way you model your device to Alexa.
Audi e-tron first drive: Quick, comfortable and familiar
- Priced at $74,800, the e-tron is a great size, has a moderate range and features faster charging than a Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace or Chevy Bolt.
- I spent a day in an Audi e-tron and drove it hundreds of miles over Abu Dhabi’s perfect tarmac, around winding mountain roads and through sand-covered desert passes.
- Just like the 1980 Audi Quattro normalized all-wheel drive, it’s clear the German car company hopes the e-tron does the same to electric power.
- This is the same system in the new Audi A6 and A7, and I find the layout much easier to use than the giant screens in Tesla and a growing number of other vehicles.
- If buyers are willing to ditch the e-tron off-road chops and luxury badge of Audi, the Chevy Bolt offers similar cargo capacity, technology and range for much less.
Breaking: Crypto Exchange Coinbase 'Exploring' Support for Ripple (XRP)
- Yes, XRP fans, crypto exchange Coinbase has confirmed that it is exploring adding support for the second-largest cryptocurrency to its platform.
- XRP investors had long complained that ripple was not listed on Coinbase, the most popular crypto exchange for first-time buyers in the US and many other jurisdictions, even as the company listed smaller cryptocurrencies such as 0x and seemingly more controversial ones such as zcash — which can be used to make anonymous transactions.
- The announcement follows Coinbase’s decision to revamp its listing process, which the firm said would allow it to provide support for a much larger range of cryptocurrency assets, though some would not be listed in all jurisdictions due to local regulations.
- Even so, the confirmation that Coinbase is at least evaluating the addition of XRP to its platform is a marked departure from earlier this year when company executives suggested that the firm had listed every asset for which it believed there was regulatory clarity.
M&C Saatchi backs Jennifer Hawkins' tequila brand Sesión
- Former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins and her husband Jake Wall are hoping their boutique tequila brand will gain a foothold in the two biggest consumer markets in the world after communications agency M&C Saatchi Australia invested in the business.
- Ms Hawkins and Mr Wall started the Sesión Tequila brand three years ago with friends and now partners Shane McKillen, former owner of 42 Below Vodka and South Gin, and Tim Freeburn, who is managing director.
- The group attracted investment from M&C Saatchi Australia's start-up accelerator – Saatchi Ventures – to help refine the brand and drive its international expansion into China early next year and the United States, where it recently shipped 7000 cases of its premium 100 per cent agave tipple.
- M&C Saatchi Australia chief executive Jaimes Leggett said Saatchi Ventures is a growing part of the business, which has purchased equity stakes in eight companies, including Sesión, an usual move for an ad agency.
Qualcomm expands its PC bet with its new 7nm 8cx platform
- Qualcomm wants to become a major player in the PC/laptop market.
- Now that there is Windows 10 on ARM, that’s more than a pipe dream, but in its earliest iterations, those Qualcomm-based Windows 10 laptops used the Snapdragon 850 system on a chip that was specifically designed for PCs but still very much a direct descendant of its smartphone platform.
- Today, the company announced its Snapdragon 8cx platform, “the most extreme Snapdragon ever,” in Qualcomm’s parlance, which still leverages some of the company’s mobile expertise and building blocks, but which was built from the ground up to power PCs. The 8cx is very much tailored toward the PC, down to how it handles peak performance and multitasking.
- It’s also the first 7nm PC platform, the company claims, though the first devices won’t hit the market until Q3 of 2019.
Snow to blanket the South this weekend in major winter storm
- How far south freezing air will reach remains an open question, making it difficult to precisely forecast ice and snow accumulation.
- As the storm develops, forecast models will more accurately predict the freezing line and thus the type of precipitation places will experience, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.
- This shallow layer of cold air allows for freezing temperatures to remain near the surface as warmer, moist air moves over it.
- The amount of snow in areas east of I-85 largely depends on how established the cold-air damming, also called "the wedge" in this region, becomes.
- While most models keep the winter precipitation tucked into Carolinas, there is one model that shows the possibility of freezing rain reaching down the I-85 corridor to impact Atlanta on Sunday night into Monday.
- The storm moves out to sea Monday, models showed Thursday.
I drove a $44,000 Chevy Bolt for a weekend and saw just how far electric cars have come — but I also discovered a huge problem
- Overall, the lack of engine noise made my driving experience a little more relaxing than I've experienced in gas-powered cars, though it had a small downside: Sometimes it took me a few seconds to realize how fast I was driving since I didn't have the usual sonic cues to indicate how quickly the Bolt was accelerating.
- But without a comprehensive, easily accessible network of charging stations that can fill most of a long-range battery in close to the amount of time it takes to fill a non-electric car with gas, the commercial potential for the Bolt and other electric vehicles is still limited to those with reliable access to a charger at home or work.
The Nokia 8.1 brings a touch of class to the mid-range
- I say “flagship,” but when it comes to its price point, it’s firmly lodged in mid-range territory, as the Nokia 8.1 retails for £379.99 in the UK and €399 in the Eurozone.
- With the Nokia 8.1, HMD is enthusiastically touting the handset’s battery life, the quality of the 6.18-inch FHD+ display, and the ability of the rear-shooter to capture stunning photographs, particularly in challenging low-light conditions.
- It’s nothing like the Honor 8X Max, which packs a display in excess of seven inches.
- This is the same chipset found on mid-range blowers like the Xiaomi Mi 8 SE, and indeed, the earlier Nokia 7.1 Plus.
- This doesn’t sound like much, but it’s worth remembering that sheer megapixels aren’t anything, and a lot of effort has been made into ensuring the rear shooter performs well in low-light conditions.