If you have a Google Home device and you happen to live in Arizona, you may have noticed a weird issue when asking for the time. It seems that while Google Assistant is giving these users the correct time, they’re getting it for the wrong time zone. Users report being given the correct time for the East Coast despite being in Arizona; users from other states haven’t reported the same problem. Unfortunately, there’s no fix at the moment. Story TimelineGoogle Pixel 2 predictions and concepts released to excited usersAndroid’s Google Search looks new and Pixel-friendlyAndroid could net Google another antitrust fine from EU If you’ve experienced this problem and Google’d for an answer, you’ve likely already found the slowly growing thread on the Google Home help forum, where users report having experienced this issue from the day they acquired the Google Home device. No workarounds that have been shared have been reported as useful; it seems you’re stuck doing quick mental math to subtract three hours off whatever time Google gives you.Living with Google HomeThe issue isn’t related to Google Home, by all accounts, especially since some users are reporting having the same issue when asking Google Assistant the current time using their smartphone. One person states that the issue may be bigger than Assistant, claiming to log out of their account, open Google on their Web browser, search for the current time, and get the results for the East Coast time zone despite being in Arizona.Googling any other info requests in Arizona, such as the current weather, work as intended. Google has indicated on its help forum that it is aware of the issue and is looking into it; users have been encouraged to submit feedback about the issue to help the company figure out what is going on. Feedback can be sent through the Google Home app and should, per Google’s instructions, including the keyword ‘GHT3 – Timezone.’
Apple’s devices have never been easy to open up and repair. They are intentionally designed to discourage tampering, which, sadly, also makes repairs harder and more expensive. Especially since most owners are pushed to only use authorized Apple repair services. The newest iPad, a.k.a. the 2018 iPad or the iPad 6, carries a lot of the previous generation’s design so its iFixit repairability score isn’t exactly surprising. That said, sticking to that almost ancient design ironically gives this iPad an advantage when it comes to repairs. SOURCE: iFixit You could almost call it the iPad 5.5. Aside from the new Apple A10 Fusion processor and the Apple Pencil support, the new 2018 iPad is almost a dead ringer for the 5th gen iPad, a.k.a. the 2017 iPad. But while that may initially sound like a disadvantage, it actually makes repairs slightly easier despite still being a nightmare overall.Many reviews knock the new iPad’s use of old-fashioned non-fused display. But what might be a bit bad for usability is a boon for repairability. It simply means that the glass and the LCD panel are two separate entities and that breaking the glass, which is often the first thing to break (next to the lightning connector) doesn’t require replacing the LCD as well, and vice versa.It also means that most of the replacement parts for the 2018 iPad are already available in the market since they are one and the same with the 2017 iPad. Plus, much of the knowledge that repair technicians have learned from the iPad 5 carry over to the iPad 6 as well.Unfortunately, that also means that the new iPad inherits the same teardown difficulty of the old iPad. Especially the excessive use of adhesive. And while teardown tools and techniques have made such endeavors a bit easier, they remain harder than they should be.
This morning a couple of schematics for the next iPhone were leaked by case-makers. Normally this isn’t the best sort of source for information – not directly – as they generally only want to share images of their new smartphone cases and make early sales based on rumors. In this case, though, the team at Ghostek have a bit of a good record – and also they don’t seem to be trying to sell their cases as a primary motivation here, even IF that is their end-game- so let’s have a look. Story TimelineHow Galaxy Note 9 details guide iPhone X Plus upwardThe iPhone X Plus 2018 switchover leakedThe iPhone X Plus triple camera rumor just won’t die Just the basics pleaseThe Ghostek leak was delivered first to Forbes where they’ve got a few details we’re sharing here today. That’s in addition to what we already know, together creating an early leaked information sandwich the likes of which you’ll be glad to devour. This leak begins with iPhone X, and ends with the new iPhone X Plus. iPhone X (2018)The iPhone X that exists today will be joined by two devices, one a “budget” model, the other far larger. The smaller model will likely be called iPhone X or just iPhone. This new iPhone will look a lot like a combination of the current iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. It’ll have a single camera at its back and a notched display up front.The iPhone X will likely take the place of the iPhone SE, effectively. It’ll cost less than the iPhone X by a significant amount, and it’ll provide new users an inroad to ARKit and all the front-facing camera array goodies featured on iPhone X. This device will likely be revealed in September of 2018. AdChoices广告This phone is supposed to have a 6.1-inch display and it’ll apparently measure in at 147.12 x 71.52 mm (5.79 x 2.81-inches). Going right along with the “budget” idea here, that’s longer and wider than the current standard 5.8-inch iPhone 8 at 143.6 x 70.9 mm (5.65 x 2.79-inch).iPhone X PlusThe larger device will be impressive indeed. Like previous new iterations of iPhones, the differences will be in the quality of the features which matter to users most. In this case, that means there’ll be a better camera on this device’s back.The backside array of cameras on this iPhone X Plus will go from 2 lenses to 3. For some reason we cannot yet fathom or understand, it does not appear that there is a flash LED on this camera array just yet. Forbes suggested that it’ll likely appear to the side of the camera array, sort of how there’s a clear location for an LED flash in the new iPhone X 2018 schematic.Over at MySmartPrice, mister OnLeaks disagrees with the whole 3-lens setup suggestion. His suggestion is that the center circle is indeed there for an LED flash, and not a third lens. If I were erring on the side of caution, I’d suggest the same. The three-lens camera system will blow the minds of all iPhone users who partake in its photography finesse. At the same time, Huawei P20 Pro users will be saying “but, what, I have, look, I had that first! Come on. What the heck? Am I not cool enough to be in your cool club?” And they probably won’t be. Reveal Dates / Release DatesThere’s no reason to suspect Apple will have an event at any point different from the past several scheduled iPhone events. That means September 11th or September 18th, 2018. That’s three months from today plus one day, or three months from today plus one week and one day. The release date for the iPhone X was different from that of the iPhone 8. The iPhone X was released on November 3rd, while the iPhone 8 was released on September 22nd. Those seem like OK guesses for the release dates of the iPhone X Plus and iPhone X (2018), right? Let’s go with that as a guess until we get more intel!
Many consumer electronics manufacturers launch products and virtually forget about them. That’s sometimes even more true for startups that launch on Kickstarter. There are, however, a few outstanding exceptions. nura just recently launched their nuraphone G2 firmware update that granted the old headphones new powers. Now Mikme is doing the same with an update that, almost ironically, turns the world’s first wireless for smartphones into a USB mic for PCs and Macs. Story TimelineMikme wireless mic offers studio quality, mobile mixingMikme wireless mic hands-on: recording studio in your pocket It’s probably not hard to think why they’d go this route. After hearing what Mikme is capable of pulling off on the iPhone, users probably begged the creators to bring that magic to conventional computers as well. And they were only too happy to oblige. After installing the latest firmware for the Mikme, you’ll be able to get the same audio quality for your Skype calls, podcasts, and livestreams by connecting the Mikme to a PC or Mac via a USB cable.That’s all thanks to Mikme’s unique design and build, housing an honest to goodness condenser that separates foreground audio, like your voice, from background noise. The original Mikme boasted of a 1-inch gold-plated phantom-powered capsule hanging inside the box. But what if you were a bit cash-strapped and are willing to make a few concessions to get that same experience? That’s where Mikme Silver comes in. Launching today on Indiegogo, this silver version trades in that condenser for a 2/3-inch silver electret. The Mikme Silver also doesn’t support 96 kHz sampling rate or WAV files. But, in exchange, you get a sizable discount. The Mikme Silver starts at $199 and will ship in November.AdChoices广告But that’s all for the present. Mikme also happens to have lots of plans for the future. That includes a Premium subscription service for its Mikme app that brings some interesting features to the table. These premium features basically turn the Mikme app into your one-stop shop for video and audio recording and streaming, adding manual focus custom frame rate controls, video live streaming, adding watermarks and intro/outros, and more. The subscription service is expected to launch in the first quarter next year for $4.99 to 9.99 per month or $49 to $99 per year.Mikme definitely raised the bar higher for indie creators when it launched a wireless mic that produced studio-quality audio for smartphones. With the addition of USB support for PCs, a more affordable Silver model, and upcoming premium power features, creators will have little excuse left for having crappy recordings.
Earlier this year, Google introduced Google Podcasts, a new app designed to compete with the vast number of existing podcast apps. The app is free but was heavily criticized for its lackluster features…it fell far below the standards offered by popular alternatives Stitcher and Pocket Casts, for example. Now the company is doing something about it. Though Google Podcasts has an appealing, clean interface, it lacked some key features at launch, including support for Android Auto and the ability to Cast audio content to devices that support Google Cast. These were baffling omissions for podcast fans who expected to, at minimum, be able to access content across Google’s own ecosystem.Google has since added Android Auto support to the app and now it has added the ability to cast content as well. The feature has started showing up for some users, though it doesn’t appear to be widely available at this time. Those who have access to the feature report seeing the typical casting button in the upper right corner of the app.With this feature, users can cast content to devices that support Google Cast, including certain speakers and smart TVs. Though it’s not a groundbreaking feature, it does mark an element of maturity for the app, which lacked some basic features podcast fans want. Unfortunately, other important features, like marking multiple episodes as played simultaneously, are still missing.SOURCE: Android Police
So, the Pixel 3 gets a 5.5-inch 2280 x 1080 OLED display, with a traditional rectangular screen. The Pixel 3 XL, meanwhile, is unsurprisingly larger: 6.3-inches of OLED, running at 2960 x 1440 resolution. At the top is what’s likely to be its most contentious feature – or biggest drawback, depending on who you speak to – with the notch that contains the front facing camera array.That’s cameras, plural. Both phones get two front-facing cameras, each with an 8-megapixel sensor, an f/1.8 lens, and autofocus: one is wider-angle, for including more people in selfies. On the back, Google sticks with its combination of a single camera and computational photography to deliver the effects that most rivals rely on dual cameras to deliver. In this case it’s a 12.2-megapixel sensor, with f/1.8 optics. Inside, there’s Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset with the Adreno 630 GPU, and 4 GB of RAM. It’s all wrapped in metal and glass, with the same circular fingerprint sensor on the back as on the Pixel 2, topped with a glass panel around the camera. What’s new, though, is that the rear panel is now all glass: Google has used etching to differentiate between the gloss and matte sections, but without requiring a join. The aluminum frame will include some squeezable-secrets, too. There’s Active Edge still, allowing you to squeeze the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL and have that launch apps or services, like the Google Assistant or the camera.AdChoices广告One big improvement that has been frequently requested by Pixel fans is wireless charging, and sure enough Google has relented. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL each support up to 10 watts of wireless charging. As well as wireless charging, there’ll be a new wireless charging accessory. The Pixel Stand is, as the name suggests, a wireless charging dock intended for the new phones, though it should work with any Qi-compatible device, including Apple’s iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. With the Pixel 3, though, the Pixel Stand also allows the phone to turn into a smart speaker replacement, with either voice control or tapping the screen to interact. It might not replace your Google Home, but it could be enough to add Assistant functionality to another room, or from the nightstand. A sizable part of Google’s offering is always software and services, of course, and the Pixel 3 doesn’t disappoint there either. Google Photos, for example, will include the same full resolution unlimited storage offer as previous Pixel phones have. You’ll have until the end of January 2022 to upload as many maximum resolution images as you can shoot. On the software side, some new Android features will be announced, too. Arguably the most useful will be the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL’s ability to screen calls it suspects to be spam. It’s more than just routing them to voicemail, mind: Google will be providing real-time transcripts that you can read along, so you know if you actually want to take the call. There’ll be three color options for both phones: ‘Just Black’, ‘Clearly White’, and ‘Not Pink’. The latter is more of a corral than a pink, though it’s still likely to be a divisive finish. Verizon will be the official carrier in the US, though you’ll be able to use the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL on Project Fi, and order them unlocked. The Pixel 3 will be priced at $799 for the 64 GB model and $899 for the 128 GB version. Meanwhile, the Pixel 3 XL will be $899 for the 64 GB, and $999 for the 128 GB. They’ll ship from October 19. As for the Pixel Stand, that’ll be $79. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are official, and as you’ve probably guessed there aren’t any big surprises for Google’s 2018 Android 9 Pie flagships. What have probably been the most leaked devices in recent Android history deliver just what you’d expect from a flagship this year, including – for better or worse – a notched display.
Jaguar has announced a new remote functions app for Android Wear smartwatches. The app has several connected features for Jaguar and Land Rover owners to take advantage of including the ability to remotely start the car and activate the climate system. That is an important feature in hot or cold environments. The Android Wear app also gives the owner the ability to check fuel level and to lock and unlock the doors to let friends or family access the vehicle when the owner isn’t nearby. Jaguar showed of fits new Android Wear app at the Wearable Technology Show 2016 where it also showed off the Active Key.Active Key is a wearable wristband that is designed for active customers who enjoy outdoor activities and don’t want to keep the normal key with them. The Active Key allows the owner to lock and unlock the door while the standard key is locked safely inside the vehicle.The wearable app will also help forgetful drivers find their car in a crowded lot or parking garage. Jaguar says that the app will be available in time for the summer. Leon Hurst, Head of Digital and Connected Car, Product Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover, said, “This expansion of connectivity brings all the functionality of our Apple Watch app to Android devices and underlines Jaguar Land Rover’s dedication to its Connected Car Vision.”Jaguar Land Rover has other cool technology in its cars including an InControl Touch Pro infotainment system that allows customers access to smartphone apps through the 10.2-inch touchscreen. The touchscreen infotainment system has a quad-core processor and a SSD for storing content. It is able to run apps for weather, flight-tracking apps, and has intelligent nav able to let people know if you will be late.SOURCE: Land Rover
“The new straight edges and the presence of the antenna splits may make subtle deviations in flatness more visible only from certain viewing angles that are imperceptible during normal use. These small variances do not affect the strength of the enclosure or the function of the product and will not change over time through normal use.” Apple’s previous comments noted that the slight bends users are noticing are a result of the cooling process for the metal and plastic components used in the 2018 iPad Pro’s unibody design. The company continued that the deviations were within specifications, and, more importantly, don’t affect the device’s functionality or strength.The new support page published on Friday goes into much more detail about the manufacturing process, and the reasons users might notice bends. The company uses the iPad Pro with WiFi and Cellular as an example, stating that its new tablet design is its thinnest ever, and it is strong and durable. That said, it admits that users might notice “subtle deviations in flatness more visible only from certain viewing angles that are imperceptible during normal use.”Most reports of bent iPad Pros mention that the deviation is found along the top edge of the tablet near the antenna line. It seems it’s the process of combining plastic with antenna “splits” for the cellular model using a new co-molding technique that may result in slight bends. Story TimelineiPad Pro Review (2018): Am I wrong, or is Apple?This new iPad Pro bend test raises some questionsOtterBox iPad Pro cases should settle your bend fearsSome 2018 iPad Pros ship slightly bent, Apple says it’s normaliPad Pro bend still meets Apple standards insists exec Apple continues to explain that this manufacturing process results in iPad Pros with a tighter flatness specification that has “no more than 400 microns of deviation across the length of any side.” 400 microns is roughly the thickness of four sheets of paper, and when taking into account the tablet’s new design, minor deviations can be much easier to notice than with previous models. “To provide optimal cellular performance, small vertical bands or “splits” in the sides of the iPad allow parts of the enclosure to function as cellular antennas. For the first time ever on an iPad, these bands are manufactured using a process called co-molding. In this high-temperature process, plastic is injected into precisely milled channels in the aluminum enclosure where it bonds to micro-pores in the aluminum surface. After the plastic cools, the entire enclosure is finished with a precision CNC machining operation, yielding a seamless integration of plastic and aluminum into a single, strong enclosure.” Since the debut of the 2018 iPad Pro, Apple has been facing a large number of concerns and complaints from customers about the tablet shipping with slight but noticeable bends in its body design. The issue grew in the weeks since the device began shipping in November, with users sharing photos online of their new iPad Pro appearing bent right out of the box. Apple stated in December that these slight bends were not considered defects, and it’s now gone a step further with a new support page detailing the manufacturing process. The company reiterates that customers should contact Apple support if they believe their iPad Pro is bent or warped beyond the 400 micron specification, and that its products have a 14-day return period and a one-year warranty.
Cadillac Super Cruise is about to get a significant update, adding 70,000 more miles where the driver-assistance system can be used, in its biggest upgrade since it launched two years ago. The American automaker’s take on Autopilot and other such systems, Super Cruise is getting more natural on the road as well as more widespread, in advance of hitting new Cadillac models. A light bar in the steering wheel communicates system status with the driver: red for when Super Cruise is inactive, green when it’s operational, and blue when you’re manually changing lanes. It can flash to grab your attention if the infrared camera on the steering column decides you’re not paying the road enough mind. AdChoices广告Cadillac Super Cruise June 2019 UpdateThe headline feature for the June 2019 update is 70,000 additional miles of extra roads being made compatible with Super Cruise, across the US and Canada. It’ll take the system up to 200,000 total miles in North America by Q4 2019. As before, the supported roads will be divided highways: you still won’t be able to use Super Cruise on urban streets, for example. Cadillac, however, is adding support for some more complex road conditions. Some of the extra highways will include limited intersections and traffic control devices, for example. It means you’ll be able to use Super Cruise even if there are emergency vehicle access roads joining the highway, or grade crossings without traffic control devices like lights or stop signs. Crossings with blinking yellow lights – rather than red – will be supported as well. Super Cruise-equipped cars will be able to keep on going through all of those situations, though drivers will still be expected to monitor the road ahead and take over if need be. Other road conditions will see Super Cruise temporarily hand over to manual control. If there’s a railroad crossing, pedestrian crossing, or grade crossing with stop sign, stop light, or similar, then the system will alert drivers to take back control themselves. Once they’re past it, however, Super Cruise will re-enable. There’ll also be a number of refinements to the driving experience. Super Cruise should be smoother in cut-ins, for example, and the steering behavior has been tweaked in certain situations. “These are refinements, they’re not significant new features,” Mario Maiorana, Super Cruise Chief Engineer, explains. “They’re refinements to the current system, to make the driving feel more natural.”The new supported roads and extra features will require two separate updates. There’s an over-the-air update for the new maps, which Cadillac says will be progressively released throughout the summer and fall of this year. However, there’ll also be a free software update for the car, which will require taking it in to a dealer, before Super Cruise can actually make use of that new data. Super Cruise on the roadCadillac didn’t have a car loaded with the upcoming software to test out; however, it did have a CT6 with the latest public version of Super Cruise on hand. The system has seen two updates so far since it launched – beyond the quarterly OTA mapping updates – with a number of improvements and tweaks to how it operates. Some of those have been to make Super Cruise more communicative, such as 15 new messages to better explain what conditions may have led the system to either disengage or refuse to activate in the first place. However other changes have improved the general ride experience on the road. Dynamic lane offset, for example, uses the car’s short range radar to track when you’re passing a truck or other large vehicle. The CT6 will offset its position in the lane, much in the way that a human driver typically would, for comfort. There have also been improvements to how smoothly Super Cruise brakes and steers, while the driver attention system has been finessed as well. The goal, Cadillac’s Maiorana says, is to make it feel more like a human-operated vehicle. Compared to when I last reviewed Super Cruise, more than a year ago, the system feels a little more stable and confident. There’s still something unnerving initially about taking your hands off the wheel altogether and allowing the CT6 to operate itself, but after a couple of minutes you start to begrudge any driver-assistance system which insists on you keeping in contact with the wheel. Lane positioning, a bugbear of mine from rival systems that can either hug one line or, worse still, ping-pong between them, still feels like one of Super Cruise’s key strengths. Overtaking sizable trucks on tight Detroit highways, where Cadillac had invited us out to hear about the ADAS’ upgrades, I quickly came to appreciate the extra padding the system maintained. However it was also an opportunity to see what was missing. Super Cruise still doesn’t offer automatic lane-change, unlike systems from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and others. It still can’t automatically navigate you through highway exits. Although the high-definition maps know the speed limits of each section of the highway, it’s still down to the driver to adjust the speed of the car – it won’t do so automatically. Cadillac tells me that these absences are all there because it doesn’t believe the technology is ready to be unleashed in the wild. The driver, Maiorana says, is still the deciding factor. I can certainly understand why caution has its advantages – witness in contrast, for instance, the ongoing controversy around Tesla Autopilot, and the confusion that still exists among some as to just how “autonomous” it actually is – but Cadillac’s reticence is starting to look a little too defensive. It also impacts on how useful Super Cruise can be. Faced with a tightening turn and no automatic speed adjustment to bring the pace down to the posted reduction to 55 mph, for example, the CT6 decided it was going too fast to handle things itself and demanded the driver take back control. When I tried that section of road again, adjusting the speed down myself from 65 mph to 55 mph, Super Cruise was able to successfully maintain steering control. The future of Cadillac Super CruiseIt’s fair to say that Cadillac – and General Motors more broadly – hasn’t exactly capitalized on its Super Cruise investment. Similarly, Cadillac has been more cautious with how it rolls out its ADAS technologies compared to, say, Tesla. As a result, until next year and the arrival of the 2020 CT4 and CT5 sedans, the CT6 is the only vehicle to offer Super Cruise. There’s still no Cadillac SUV – despite that category being where the automaker’s main sales are found – which offers the system at all. That’s a shame, because driver feedback has been impressively positive. Cadillac says that of the approximately 30-percent of CT6 that are equipped with Super Cruise, customers engaged more than 50-percent of the time when the system is available. Super Cruise is responsible for more than 55,000 miles of driving each week, and since launching has driven over 2.5 million miles. In a survey Cadillac carried out, more than 85-percent of current CT6 owners say that, when it comes to buying a new vehicle, they’d prefer or only consider something which offered Super Cruise. As of next year they’ll have two more sedans to choose from, at least, though it’ll probably be the all-new Escalade – unofficially tipped to debut in 2020 – before there’s an SUV with Super Cruise as an option. Super Cruise 101Launched in 2017 on the 2018 Cadillac CT6, Super Cruise was the automaker’s answer to Tesla Autopilot. A driver-assistance system, it combines adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping, and a driver attention system for truly hands-free driving. Whereas most ADAS demand you keep your hands on the wheel in order to keep the assistance active, Super Cruise tracks the driver’s gaze to make sure they’re still monitoring the road and ready to take over if need be. To do all that, Cadillac partnered up with a road mapping company and had more than a hundred thousand miles of divided highways in the US and Canada mapped using LIDAR. Those maps, combined with a high-precision GPS in the car which can pinpoint its location to within two meters, deliver dead-center positioning within the lane. Story TimelineCadillac Super Cruise is finally getting the roll-out it deservesCadillac Super Cruise beats Tesla Autopilot in autonomous rankings
The Verizon Smart Locator was revealed today as a tiny piece of hardware that contains its own very simple processor. And that’s it. This device has a pre-installed SIM card to connect to mobile data with Verizon, a Li-Ion battery that’s 400mAh large, and can be recharged using a USB cord. It’s a tracker – one that, unlike most trackers, is not limited to Bluetooth range. Story TimelineTumblr up for sale with Verizon tipped in multiple buyer talksVerizon’s Galaxy S10 5G released without one major featureMoto Z4 on Verizon comes with a 5G offer This device has 256 MB of memory inside – not that you’ll be able to use any of it for anything other than containing the very simple processes of the Qualcomm MDM9206 modem inside. This device stays active constantly and can be traced practically anywhere, at any time.This device has up to 5 days of stand-by time – so assuming you lost your keys and didn’t find them for four days, and your Verizon Smart Locator is attached to your keys, you should be able to find your keys, no sweat. This device has “up to 120 hours of usage time”, so, assuming you attach the device to a rabbit, and tell the rabbit to run, you should still be able to find and catch the rabbit for approximately 120 hours – assuming you’re tracking non-stop.This device works wherever Verizon has 4G LTE coverage via Verizon-owned nodes. The tracker is a CAT-M1 network device, so you probably won’t be able to track it if someone takes it on a submarine. If someone throws it in a pool, that’s ok, as the tracker is rated IP67. That means it can be immersed in water up to 1-meter for up to 30 minutes.This tracker works with mobile data, GPS, and Wi-fi based positioning (WPS), but does NOT have roaming band antennas. According to Verizon, “It will not work where VZ requires roaming partnerships or internationally.” Remember back a few years to the slightly larger TUMI luggage tracker – that was made to track your stuff around the world.Then there’s the tinier Huawei locator which you won’t likely see inside the USA any time soon. The Verizon Smart Locator comes with a clip accessory and a keyring accessory, as well as a USB cable for charging. The device is approximately 1.98-inches tall, 1.38-inches wide, and has a depth of 0.56-inch. This device can be tracked with your smartphone – so long as it, too, is connected with Verizon’s mobile data network. The price of the Verizon Smart Locator is approximately $100 USD, but only if you purchase the device attached to a two-year contract. This device is not available for purchase without said contract. Once activated, the user gets “the first year after activation” for free. After those 12 months are over, Verizon will begin charging users three dollars per month. So technically, since you’re attached to a two-year contract, you’ll be paying around $136, with the two years of obligated service included.ALSO: A sort of funny addition in Verizon’s small print: “Beginning on the 13th month, customers will be charged $3.00 per month for the service, unless they cancel service. Simply un-pairing the device will not end service.”So if uncle Jerry has one of these things and accidentally left it in the car that went in Lake LaBlanc last year, he’s probably still paying for it, even though he un-paired the device and said “that’ll be the end of it!”
Cadillac is GM’s figurehead for its electric revolution, and the automaker has wasted no time in previewing just what we can expect from the first pure EV from the brand. Revealed as the Detroit Auto Show 2019 begins to throw open its doors and preview the year’s shiniest sheet metal, the as-yet-unnamed Cadillac EV is certainly a looker. Story TimelineGM just teased this electric crossover in its EV grand planCadillac closes the Book on its monthly car subscription serviceThis is GM’s fix for EV charging headaches Right now, we know vanishingly little about the car. Clearly, it’s a crossover SUV, something which makes a whole lot of sense given that’s the category which has been buoying Cadillac’s sales in recent quarters. Whether it’s a two-row model, like the XT5, or a three-row SUV like the 2020 Cadillac XT6 also revealed today, remains to be seen. The design owes a little to the Escala concept from 2016, with the automaker’s style mainstays like vertical daytime running lamps and sharply creased bodywork. The strong side lines echo those of the XT6 and Escalade, too. Still, there are new departures for Cadillac, too. The grille is probably the most noticeable, seemingly doing away with the traditional mesh – redundant, of course, without a big gas engine to keep cool – in favor of a sculpted fascia. The copper-toned highlight line and illuminated company logo give the EV a fresh, new appearance. It’ll be based on GM’s upcoming EV platform, a brand new architecture that, eventually, should underpin models from across the automaker’s range of marques. That will support front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive configurations, with motors at the front, the back, or on both axles. The battery packs will be similarly flexible in their arrangement. Mounted in the wheelbase between the axles, thus minimizing intrusion into the cabin space and help keep the car’s center of gravity low, they’ll support differing sizes so that Cadillac will be able to adjust range. GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra suggested last week that the pure-EV sweet spot was around 300 miles. It’s not been an easy time for Cadillac of late. The company’s much-vaunted CT6 luxury sedan has been axed, with sales failing to match the generally positive reviews. GM had already confirmed it would put the smaller ATS sedan out to pasture. Indeed, there were concerns by some that the automaker would end up focusing solely on SUVs, and cede the traditional passenger car category to the Germans. Instead, there’ll be a shake-up though not necessarily a retreat. Cadillac says it does plan to build a new performance sedan, for instance, as well as a refresh Escalade. New models should be arriving from the automaker at a rate of roughly one every six months, through until 2021. This all-electric SUV will be one of the more intriguing models in that aggressive roadmap. We’ll find out more about the car closer to launch, another detail Cadillac is playing close to its chest.
Under the hood, Ford’s move to electrify all its models continues with some mild hybridization. The Puma gets a 1.0-liter EcoBoost with a 48V system – paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission – that can add torque to the three-cylinder. It’ll be offered in 123 hp and 153 hp configurations. Thanks to the hybrid, torque should come in lower in the rev range, and also help avoid turbo lag. On the tech side, there’ll be Ford Co-Pilot360 active safety tech, Local Hazard data powered by HERE that includes warnings about broken vehicles, animals on the road, and other problems up ahead, and a 180-degree rear view camera. Blind spot warnings and cross traffic alerts are available, too, as is parking assist. The dashboard gets wireless charging, too, and even the option of massage seats and a B&O 10-speaker audio system. Unfortunately for those of us outside of Europe, right now there’s no sign of Ford bringing the 2019 Puma to the US. Despite its push for utilities, what’s shaping up to be an appealing little crossover apparently has no future on North American roads. That seems a shame, but Europe will get to try the Puma out from the end of the year. Ford has revealed a punchy little crossover, the new 2019 Ford Puma, but don’t hold your breath to see it on American roads. Rebooting the Puma name from the original compact coupe discontinued in 2002, the new Puma sticks with the automaker’s trend away from cars and toward utility, throwing in some mild-hybrid action along the way. Ford will offer both Puma ST-Line and Puma Titanium trims, among others, differentiated outside and in with different wheels and finishes. The 2019 Puma ST-Line, for example, will have either 18- or 19-inch matte black machined alloy wheels, along with sports supsneion. It’ll also get matte black elements to the grille, gloss surrounds, and an optional larger roof spoiler. Instead, there’ll be a flat-bottom steering wheel and optional partial leather seats. The 2019 Puma Titanium, meanwhile, has Pearl Gray machined 18-inch alloy wheels, and more chrome outside. Inside, there’s a leather-effect wheel and wood-effect trim on the dashboard. It’s a handsome little car, certainly. Based on Ford’s B-car platform, it eschews the usual “wedge” crossover profile in favor of a flatter belt-line. Oversized wheel arches and a stretched out wheelbase help there, too, and there’s a “floating” A-pillar that visually pulls the cabin further back on the small SUV. At the front, there are “canoe-shaped” headlamps and LED fog lamps, the latter integrated into functional air curtain inlets. They’re designed to guide airflow across the front wheels, and cut down on turbulence. At the rear, there’s a 16.1 cu.ft. trunk – the largest, Ford says, in the Puma’s class – capable of holding two upright golf bags. AdChoices广告That’s courtesy of a flexible trunk floor, which can be height adjusted or closed to make a bin for muddy or wet items. Ford has dubbed it the MegaBox, and given it both a waterproof lining and a drain plug in the bottom. A hands-free tailgate opens the trunk when you kick your foot under the rear bumper.
The New York Times details differences in states’ ability to regulate rates as well as in premium costs. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports on the savings that New Yorkers could experience.The New York Times: Health Insurers Raise Some Rates By Double DigitsHealth insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. … Under the health care law, regulators are now required to review any request for a rate increase of 10 percent or more … The review process not only reveals the sharp disparity in the rates themselves, it also demonstrates the striking difference between places like New York, one of the 37 states where legislatures have given regulators some authority to deny or roll back rates deemed excessive, and California, which is among the states that do not have that ability (Abelson, 1/5). The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NYers To Save $500M On Health Insurance PremiumsGovernor Andrew Cuomo says new state power to limit rate hikes will save New Yorkers more than $500 million on health insurance premiums in 2013. Cuomo announced Sunday that health insurers requested average increases of about 12.4 percent, but the state Department of Financial Services cut the average increase to 7.5 percent (1/6). In Some States, Health Insurers Are Raising Rates Despite Health Law’s Efforts To Restrain Increases 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 small decline was credited mainly to somewhat higher enrollments in Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the Children’s Health Insurance Program.The New York Times: Percentage of Americans Lacking Health Coverage Falls AgainFor the second year in a row, the proportion of Americans without health insurance declined in 2012, even though real household income and the poverty rate were not significantly different from their 2011 levels, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday (Pear, 9/17).Los Angeles Times: U.S. Poverty Rate Holds Steady Near A Generational HighThe bureau’s annual report on income, poverty and health insurance suggests that the economic wounds from the Great Recession are patched up but the economy still is struggling to return to full health. In one respect, the data released Tuesday could be seen as positive because things seemed to stabilize after the devastating recession. For the first time in five years, household income did not decrease and the poverty level did not increase last year, officials said. And there was further improvement in the healthcare coverage of Americans, an important indicator of economic security (Lee, 9/17).The Washington Post: Household Income, Poverty Rate Are Flat For First Time Since Recession, Census ShowsIf there was one bright spot in the census statistics, it was that about 400,000 more children had health insurance last year than in the previous year. Caroline Fichtenberg, director of research for the Children’s Defense Fund, said that was largely because of the success of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health coverage to children from families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid coverage. The census report said 3 million more people had health insurance in 2012, with the increase coming mostly from people with government health insurance, particularly Medicare. Eight in 10 Americans have health coverage, and more than half get it under employer-provided plans (Morello, 9/17).Politico: Share Of U.S. Uninsured Falls, Census Data ShowThe percentage of Americans without health insurance dipped slightly from 15.7 percent to 15.4 percent, mainly due to somewhat higher enrollments in Medicare and Medicaid, according to 2011-12 U.S. Census Bureau numbers released Tuesday. The rate of private health insurance held steady for the second year in a row after steadily eroding over the past decade (Norman, 9/18).Kaiser Health News: 48 Million Americans Remain Uninsured, Census Bureau ReportsThe rate of uninsured Americans dropped slightly for the second consecutive year in 2012, from 15.7 percent to 15.4 percent, largely a result of more people enrolling in Medicare and Medicaid, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday.The closely-watched report found that about 48 million Americans were uninsured in 2012, down from 48.6 million in 2011, a change the agency said is not statistically significant. The report is the last look at the uninsured before the major coverage expansions of President Barack Obama’s health law take effect in January (Galewitz, 9/17).Stateline: Drop In Uninsured, Growth In MedicaidOn the eve of the federal health law’s launch date, a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows a small decline in the number of people who lack health insurance and an increase in the number insured by public programs, including Medicaid and Medicare. Overall, the percentage of people without health insurance declined to 15.4 percent in 2012 from 15.7 percent the year before, while the total number of uninsured people fell to 48 million from 48.6 million in 2011 (Vestal, 9/17). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Percentage Of Americans Without Health Coverage Drops For 2nd Year
First Edition: February 14, 2014 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including reports on the least expensive health insurance markets and efforts to set up skimpier plans under the health law. Kaiser Health News: The 10 Least Expensive Health Insurance Markets In The U.S.Kaiser Health News staff writer, Jordan Rau, working in collaboration with NPR, reports: “People in much of Minnesota, northwestern Pennsylvania and Tucson, Ariz., are getting the best bargains from the health care law’s new insurance marketplaces: premiums half the price or less than what insurers in the country’s most expensive places are charging. The 10 regions with the lowest premiums in the nation also include Salt Lake City, all of Hawaii and eastern Tennessee. This ranking is based on the lowest cost of a “silver” plan, the mid-range plan most consumers are choosing” (Rau, 2/13). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: A Reader Asks: If I Am On COBRA, Do I Have To Buy A New Marketplace Plan?Kaiser Health News’ consumer columnist Michelle Andrews answers this question. Read her response.Kaiser Health News: Libraries Serve As Health Insurance Info HubsReporting for Kaiser Health News, in partnership with NPR, WHYY Elana Gordon writes: “What can’t librarians do? Many are now becoming health insurance guides. The buzz at the American Library Association’s winter meeting recently wasn’t just about the annual awards (a.k.a. the book award “super bowl”); the Affordable Care Act was also on the agenda. Libraries across the country have been trying to meet a growing demand for health insurance information” (Gordon, 2/14). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: It’s Hot Springs Vs. Ski Slopes In Colorado Insurance BattleThe county with the highest health insurance premiums in the country is drafting a lawsuit against Colorado, saying the state’s approval of the rates violates anti-discrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act. Garfield County Attorney Frank Hutfless says county commissioners told him “to prepare a lawsuit to be filed against the state, and particularly the department of insurance, the insurance commissioner and perhaps the governor (Whitney, 2/13). Check out what else is on the blog. The Wall Street Journal: Health-Law Backers Push Skimpier ‘Copper’ Insurance PoliciesSome backers of the 2010 health-care law are pushing to create a new kind of insurance coverage that the measure essentially had ruled out: policies offering lower premiums but significantly higher out-of-pocket costs than those now available. The plans, dubbed “copper” because they would offer a lower level of coverage than the “gold,” “silver” and “bronze” options on the government-run health-care exchanges, would be a departure from the minimum level of coverage that is one of the Affordable Care Act’s core principles (Radnofsky, 2/13).The Wall Street Journal: Obama Pleads For Uninsured To Sign Up For Health CoveragePresident Barack Obama said Thursday that the “big problem” with the health care law now is that many people haven’t signed up for coverage because of politics, misinformation and the problem-plagued rollout of the federal insurance website. In an interview on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, a radio show popular with African Americans, Mr. Obama pleaded for people to “take a look at the website or have somebody walk you through it on the phone” (Favole, 2/13).The New York Times: States Struggle To Add Latinos To Health RollsWith an estimated 15 percent of the country’s uninsured population, California is crucial to the success of President Obama’s health care overhaul. Here, that success cannot come without enrolling Latinos, who make up more than half of the state’s uninsured. But so far, enrollment of Latinos has fallen strikingly below the hopes of the law’s proponents, accounting for 20 percent or fewer of those who had signed up on the state-run health insurance exchange by the end of December. Now, state officials are rushing to expand marketing efforts and hire additional Spanish-speaking staff, hoping to sharply increase that number by March 31, when open enrollment in the new insurance plans ends (Medina and Goodnough, 2/13).The New York Times: One In 5 Buyers Of Insurance Under New Law Did Not Pay Premiums On TimeOne in five people who signed up for health insurance under the new health care law failed to pay their premiums on time and therefore did not receive coverage in January, insurance companies and industry experts say. Paying the first month’s premium is the final step in completing an enrollment. Under federal rules, people must pay the initial premium to have coverage take effect. In view of the chaotic debut of the federal marketplace and many state exchanges, the White House urged insurers to give people more time, and many agreed to do so. But, insurers said, some people missed even the extended deadlines (Pear, 2/13).USA Today: Help For Some – But Not All – Stymied Insurance ShoppersMany consumers who have waited months to resolve insurance application issues on HealthCare.gov are finally getting help, but some are still stuck in limbo without Medicaid or insurance coverage, and many of the site’s most vexing problems remain, according to insurers, brokers and state Medicaid officials. Applications that take days, clueless customer service representatives and error-ridden or orphan files persist. Changes made to the website last week will solve many of these problems, but the fixes were made so quietly that few brokers and consumers were aware of them, says Jessica Waltman, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Association of Health Underwriters, which represents insurance agents and brokers (O’Donnell, 2/13).Politico: Republicans Press Obama On Medicare Insurance CutsHouse Republicans are blaming President Barack Obama for upcoming cuts to a popular Medicare insurance plan in an effort to open a new front in their battle against Obamacare. Top Republicans wrote to Obama on Thursday “to express deep concern about the impact of the cuts imposed by your health care law on the Medicare Advantage (MA) program and the recent action by CMS to fundamentally dismantle the Medicare prescription drug program.” “These cuts, in addition to proposed rules issued by CMS, will force millions of American seniors to face higher health care costs or lose access to their doctor, health plan, lifesaving drugs, and the benefits they’ve come to rely on,” the letter reads (Sherman and Haberkorn, 2/13).The Washington Post: Republican Congressmen Request A Federal Probe Of Md. Health Insurance ExchangeTwo Republican congressmen have called for an investigation of the tens of millions of federal dollars that Maryland spent to build an online health exchange that state officials say has so many defects that they might have to abandon parts, or even all, of it. Reps. Andy Harris (Md.) and Jack Kingston (Ga.) sent a letter Wednesday to the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services and asked for an immediate “formal investigation into the flagrant waste and abuse of taxpayer monies.” The inquiry would focus on how federal money was spent, how contractors were hired, who provided oversight and whether the federal government can recoup any of its money (Johnson, 2/13).The Associated Press: Congressman Calls For Cover Oregon InvestigationU.S. Rep. Greg Walden and three congressional colleagues — all fellow Republicans— on Thursday requested a federal investigation of Oregon’s troubled health insurance exchange, which has been unable to sign up a single person through its online portal because of technical problems that were known months before it was supposed to launch (Barnard, 2/13). The New York Times: As Health Care Shifts, U.S. Doctors Switch To Salaried JobsAmerican physicians, worried about changes in the health care market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals. Though the shift from private practice has been most pronounced in primary care, specialists are following. Last year, 64 percent of job offers filled through Merritt Hawkins, one of the nation’s leading physician placement firms, involved hospital employment, compared with only 11 percent in 2004. The firm anticipates a rise to 75 percent in the next two years (Rosenthal, 2/13).The New York Times: Federal Agency And New York State Are In Accord Over $8 Billion Medicaid WaiverThe Obama administration has agreed “in principle” to grant an $8 billion Medicaid adjustment for New York State that could help stabilize some hospitals in Brooklyn and would reconfigure the delivery of health care there and throughout the state, state officials said on Thursday (Hartocollis, 2/13).The Wall Street Journal: New York State’s Health System Set For $8 Billion InfusionNew York state is poised to receive a long-awaited infusion of $8 billion in federal money that could be used to make lasting changes to an outdated medical system and potentially save some cash-strapped Brooklyn hospitals. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state has reached an agreement in principle with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would “transform the state’s health care system and preserve vital health services in Brooklyn and other parts of the state including struggling hospitals” (Kusisto, 2/13).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.
Longer Looks: When An ER Doctor Becomes An ER Patient; Google Glass Inside Operating Rooms Every week KHN reporter Marissa Evans finds interesting reads from around the web. San Francisco Magazine: My State Of EmergencyIf you are shot or stabbed in or around Oakland, you are likely to be sent [to Highland Hospital). Oakland has the highest violent crime rate in the nation, so I have indeed seen my fair share of victims over my long career here. … And yet, despite our knife-and-gun-club bravado, patching people’s bullet and stab wounds and dealing with drug-crazed patients is a tiny fraction of what I do. Patients everywhere suffer from pretty much the same ailments …. The poor get just as many heart attacks and broken arms as the wealthy do. The difference is that at Highland, we may be the only doctors our patients ever see. … Because of the Affordable Care Act, many—perhaps all—of these patients will for the first time be able to make an appointment to visit a primary care doctor in an office, rather than spending hours waiting to see me (Dr. Eric Snoey, 6/4).The Washington Post: Videos Aim To Inform Patients About Their Medical Options At The End Of LifeThe video was direct and dramatic. In a demonstration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, a technician pushed down hard on the chest of a dummy. A white-coated doctor narrating the video laid out grim odds: “Most of the time, in patients with advanced disease, CPR does not work,” she said. … Rare is the person who is willing to grapple openly with death. Health-care providers often don’t talk to patients about their preferences. And patients and their families often don’t know their options and avoid asking about them. For patients approaching the end of life, that can mean not knowing about palliative-care alternatives, which research has shown can significantly improve patient satisfaction and quality of life. Instead, they continue to get aggressive treatment. Clinicians and others trying to improve end-of-life communication between doctors and their patient have turned for help to a set of videos (Lena Sun, 6/2).The New York Times: Google Glass Enters The Operating RoomBefore scrubbing in on a recent Tuesday morning, Dr. Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon here at Duke Medical Center, slipped on a pair of sleek, black glasses — Google Glass, the wearable computer with a built-in camera and monitor. He gave the Internet-connected glasses a voice command to start recording and turned to the middle-aged motorcycle crash victim on the operating table. He chiseled through bone, repaired a broken metatarsal and drilled a metal plate into the patient’s foot. Dr. Parekh has been using Glass since last year, when Google began selling test versions of its device to thousands of handpicked “explorers” for $1,500. He now uses it to record and archive all of his surgeries at Duke, and soon he will use it to stream live feeds of his operations to hospitals in India as a way to train and educate orthopedic surgeons there (Anahad O’Connor, 6/1).The Guardian: Talking About Mental Health: ‘So Much Of This Is Behind Closed Doors’When he was 22, Chris Gethard thought every day about killing himself. He thought about it so often that eventually it didn’t even feel weird any more. Then, one day, he pulled his car over to the side of a bridge. He was ready to jump. Instead, Gethard called his ex-girlfriend, who told him he had to get help immediately, and that if he didn’t by morning, she would call his mother. … That was 11 years ago. … He’s one of the relatively lucky ones. That night on the bridge – and later, when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder – his parents had health insurance that covered him. Now, he is able to pay out of pocket for a therapist of his choosing, though he’s healthy enough that he barely feels the need for their bi-weekly meetings (Amanda Holpuch, 5/29).The Weekly Standard: Obamacare In The Blue StatesOne of the ironies of the Affordable Care Act is that many of the governors who zealously supported the bill failed spectacularly in its implementation. Oregon, Maryland, and Minnesota are among the most prominent failures. The Massachusetts exchange, the primary inspiration for the ACA exchanges, collapsed entirely, and state officials lack a plan for fixing it in time for this fall’s enrollments. After the passage of the ACA, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) instituted a management process to ensure accountability among states that chose to build their own exchanges instead of participating in HealthCare.gov. It involved “gate reviews,” a periodic assessment of progress in seven areas; CMS designed the process to ensure that continued federal funding would lead to secure and functional exchanges (Michael Astrue, 6/9). Health Affairs: ‘Nothing Is Broken’: For An Injured Doctor, Quality-Focused Care Misses The Mark As a medical professional who became an accident victim and then a trauma patient, I was a participant-observer in emergency care, with a big-picture window into how well our health care system does or doesn’t work. There’s just something about being boarded on a gurney in a hospital hallway for fifteen hours that gets one thinking about paradigm shifts. In my case, I was struck by the uneven nature of my care, marked by an overreliance on testing and a narrow focus on limited quality metrics such as pain management or catheter care processes. Looking back, I believe that this approach fostered an inattention to my overall well-being. Instead of feeling like a connected patient at the center of care, I felt processed and disengaged. This is disconcerting, especially at a time when patient-centered care—that is, care delivered with me, not to me or for me—is becoming the new normal (Dr. Charlotte Yeh, 6/2). 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. Lawmakers Seek Lower Price For Bill On Vets’ Care Members of Congress are scrambling to lower the cost of a bill to fix veterans’ health care amid a growing uproar over long waits for appointments. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that congressional inaction is threatening a program for brain-damaged vets.The Associated Press: Lawmakers Seek Lower Price For Bill On Vets’ CareStung by sticker shock, members of Congress are scrambling to lower the cost of a bill to fix veterans’ health care amid a growing uproar over long waits for appointments and falsification of records to cover up the delays at Veterans Affairs hospitals. At the same time, deficit hawks fear that letting veterans turn more to providers outside the VA for health care could cost far more if Congress, under pressure from powerful veterans groups, decides to renew that program rather than let it expire in two years (7/11).The Wall Street Journal: Congressional Inaction Threatens Program For Brain-Damaged VetsThe Department of Veterans Affairs has begun ousting dozens of brain-damaged veterans from special therapeutic group homes, setting off a scramble for housing and care. In recent weeks, VA case workers have warned 53 veterans they’ll have to leave the privately run homes by Sept. 15, according to the agency. Ten have already been discharged from the care facilities and sent to nursing homes, state veterans homes or to live with family members (Phillips, 7/11).
Los Angeles Times: Fewer Americans Delayed Needed Medical Care In 2014, Survey Says This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Not only do more Americans have health insurance, but the number struggling with medical costs has dropped since President Barack Obama’s health care law expanded coverage, according to a study released Thursday. The Commonwealth Fund’s biennial health insurance survey found that the share of U.S. adults who did not get needed care because of cost dropped from 43 percent in 2012 to 36 percent last year, as the health care law’s main coverage expansion went into full swing. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 1/15) The Associated Press: Study: Fewer Struggle With Medical Costs As Coverage Grows Survey: Fewer Americans Struggle With Health Care Costs In its biennial health insurance survey, the Commonwealth Fund found that more people have health coverage and fewer people say they are delaying necessary medical care because of costs. From 2012 to 2014, the share of consumers delaying a recommended test or treatment or not filling a prescription fell by nearly a third. And the percentage who reported problems with medical bills fell by almost a quarter. Those are the first declines ever recorded by the biennial national survey by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, which began asking Americans about the affordability of medical care a decade ago. (Levey, 1/14)