Instagram Lite isn’t exactly pioneering in this aspect. There’s Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite, for example, and even more recently Uber Lite. There’s also Google’s own suite of Android Go apps design for the very same markets and use cases.The new app is, of course, the company’s newest attempt to corner every market, including and especially emerging ones. Unlike other social networks, Instagram revolves completely around photos and videos, media types that eat up a lot of space and data. Every kilobyte saved helps.According to TechCrunch, the Lite app is only 573 KB in size, compared to the 32 MB of the full version. While it won’t save you data when you try to upload photos, it does save you data and space when downloading, installing, and updating the app itself. Less room needed for the app means more room to store photos on your phone.Of course, there are concessions to be made though they seem more like works in progress rather than intentionally removed ones. While Instagram Lite does support posting photos, watching Stories, and exploring other accounts, it doesn’t let you yet share videos or even direct message friends. Those could still come, though Instagram hasn’t yet said when or even formally acknowledged the app’s existence. Instagram has had a very busy month. From new features like IGTV and video chat to letting anyone take screenshots of Stories, the social network giant is making splashes left and right. Which makes the silent arrival of its Instagram Lite app on Google Play Store a bit puzzling. The app, after all, is carefully decided to pull in even more users to add to its billion-strong roster, especially users in markets with slower Internet speeds and smaller smartphone storage space.
Fortunately, the Galaxy Note 9 remains a durable handset overall, except for those buttons. It won’t bend and won’t scratch (easily), giving some assurance that their investment won’t easily go up in smoke. Figuratively, of course. Just try to keep it away from exposed blades inside your bag or pocket. When you’re paying $1,000 for a smartphone, you expect it to be premium but also not so fragile. Given how that’s exactly what you’ll be paying for a Galaxy Note 9, you’d presume Samsung has taken great pains to ensure it won’t explode or even break. Fortunately, the Korean OEM does have a track record when it comes to durability. Of course, there’s always a first time for everything so JerryRigEverything put the phablet through its rigorous tests. The results, as they say, will surprise you. Given the almost standard components and materials on smartphones, some of those tests almost become boring and uneventful. Of course, you never know if there’s a surprise lurking around the corner. Or, in this case, under buttons, as we’ll see later.There are also good surprises, too. While the burn test remains practically meaningless in real life, this time it had a welcome change. OLED screens, unlike their cheaper LCD counterparts, burn white after a few seconds and never recover, leaving a permanent ghost on your screen. It’s remarkable, then, that the Galaxy Note 9’s Super AMOLED screen actually did recover completely, minus the melted oleophobic coating on top.What really caught Zach Nelson by surprise, though, was the smartphone’s volume, power, and Bixby buttons. For the first time in Samsung’s history, those buttons can be pried off. It will take intentional effort though and they function normally when returned. It’s still strange that they are removable in the first place, though Bixby naysayers will probably have a blast making fun of that fact.
The most important requirement, which will probably immediately exclude a large majority of interested users, is a Galaxy Note 9 or at least a Galaxy Tab S4 tablet. Linux on DeX, as the name suggests, only works in DeX (with one caveat) but only those two devices are actually supported. Despite the fact that the Galaxy S8/S8+, Galaxy Note 8, and Galaxy S9/S9+ all have DeX too.The feature also only works in DeX mode, which means, at least for the Galaxy Note 9, hooking up the device to an external display. The one exception is that the “Terminal mode” can be used outside of DeX, presumably like a regular Android app. This would be perfect for quickly typing out commands on the go. On a virtual keyboard, of course.Now that that’s out of the way, what is Linux on DeX anyway? You basically download a Linux image, specifically the now outdated Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, and create a container for it that runs full screen when in DeX mode. This practically gives you the semblance of having a full Linux desktop environment on your phone. Samsung is positioning this more for developers to maintain and write software in C, C++, or Java and even make apps for both Android and even desktops, with the caveat that only ARM 64-bit is supported.AdChoices广告While the teaser last year was just that, this time Samsung is giving out a specific date. Interested users who meet the hardware requirements can now sign up for the beta, which goes live on November 12. Provided you have a Gmail (@gmail.com required) account. Considering the high requirements, it’s going to leave a lot of Linux fans and users out in the cold. Those might want to try out the newly-released open source UserLAnd app instead. It has been more than a year since Samsung first teased the possibility of running a fully-supported full Linux (Ubuntu really) desktop on a Galaxy smartphone. Considering Samsung’s almost Google-like tendencies, it was perhaps considered DOA. At SDC this year, however, the company is making some noise to prove that Linux on DeX is very much alive and, in fact, will start its beta testing phase next week. But before us Linux geeks all get giddy, here is the fine print of what this upcoming power user feature will entail.
Hyundai has brought CarPlay and Android Auto to the 2015 and 2016 Azera, as well as the 2016 Veloster, Sonata Hybrid, and the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid. The software can be installed yourself (versus going to a dealer), and brings the same smartphone integration you’ll find on 2017 Hyundai models. The software can be accessed through MyHyundai.com, but those who aren’t comfortable installing it themselves can also pay a Hyundai dealership to do it. Story TimelineHyundai rolls out DIY smartphone integration updateThe 2017 Hyundai Elantra Takes On The Top 3 Compact Sedans In America2017 Genesis G80 debuts, dropping Hyundai brand name Though the overall installation process is time consuming, the length is mostly waiting and the actual process is really simple. If you’ve ever installed something to a mobile device or onto a laptop, you should have no problem doing it yourself — check out the video below for step-by-step instructions. Said Hyundai Motor America’s Barry Ratzlaff:We are very pleased to be able to expand the availability of multimedia system updates to the owners of these additional vehicles. Delivering the update through the MyHyundai.com owner website has proven to be an effective way to support Hyundai owners.How long it will take to update depends on your Internet speed, but Hyundai says the software typically takes between one and three hours to download, and then another 40 minutes to install on the vehicle. You’ll need the car’s SD card to perform the installation. You’ll also have to register on MyHyundai.com, and you’ll need your car’s VIN to do so.SOURCE: Hyundai
Microsoft has indeed partnered with car makers in the past. It has inked a deal with Volvo to Skype for Business inside and with Harman to bring Office productivity to the wheel. Those, however, have merely been bits and pieces and would pale in comparison if Microsoft and Nissan indeed brings Cortana and a version of Windows 10 to the dashboard.That said, the pieces are already in place anyway. It has recently teased a partnership with Harman Kardon for what is presumed to be a Cortana-powered smart speaker. The audio experts, however, are also popular among car makers, which opens up the another possibility. Cortana is also revealed to be coming to Windows 10 IoT Core, which means it could be squeezed into just about any computer system, including car infotainment systems.Of course at this point, it’s mere conjecture. The only thing that’s sure is that Nissan and Microsoft has formed some form of bond. Whether or not Cortana has a role to play remains to be seen when Nissan holds the mic on 5th January in Las Vegas.AdChoices广告 Cars are getting smarter, either with the help of tether or paired smartphone or by themselves. Some car makers have flocked to Apple’s CarPlay while others have jumped on Google’s Android Auto. The one major platform maker that seems to be missing out, however, is Microsoft. If Nissan‘s teaser is any indication, however, that might be changing on Thursday. To remind people about its CES 2017 keynote, Nissan has sought the marketing help of Cortana, and Microsoft, of course, hinting that there might be a big reveal coming up. Three days until #Nissan’s keynote at #CES2017! (Just ask #Cortana to remind you…) Catch it on @Twitter or @YouTube: https://t.co/yre8W4jf8F pic.twitter.com/ZMfs4xCem9— Nissan Motor (@NissanMotor) January 2, 2017
LSEV certainly isn’t the first automaker to use 3D printing to build its vehicle. Local Motors has been 3D printing cars for a while now. However, those Local Motors 3D printed cars are made in small batches. LSEV has laid claim to the title of first mass-producible 3D printed electric car in the world. SOURCE: New Atlas The car is expected to enter production in Q2 2019 and the first glimpse of the car came at a press conference held at the China 3D-Printing Cultural Museum in Shanghai. The LSEV comes from a partnership between Polymaker, a Chinese 3D printing company and an Italian electric car maker called XEV.Polymaker says that all the visible parts of the car save the chassis, seats, and glass are 3D printed. The number of separate parts on the car is only 57, presumably not counting the drive train. The complete vehicles very lightweight tipping the scales at only 992 pounds.The R&D phase of LSEV development was shortened considerably thanks to the 3D printing. XEV says that the R&D phase can be completed in 3-12 months compared to the 3-5 years required for a normal car. XEV claims to have strong interest with 7,000 orders for the car.5,000 of those orders are from Poste Italiane, the Italian postal services provider. The other 2,000 of those orders are from vehicle leasing company ARVAL. The car will be priced from $7,500 and have a 43 mph top speed with a driving range of 93 miles per charge.
Story TimelinePorsche grabs a stake in Rimac for future EV sports carsPorsche’s first fast charging park to pack 800V techPorsche Mission E Cross Turismo EV production gets go-ahead Typically, hybrids seem to top out at a 4-cylinder gas engine at best, but not so the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo. It packs a full 2.9-liter biturbo V6 under the hood, an engine that by itself offers 330 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. To that, Porsche adds an electric motor contributing a further 136 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. In total, then, you get 462 horsepower peaking at 6,000 rpm, and 516 lb-ft of torque that arrives from a pointedly low 1,100 rpm. They’re numbers that wouldn’t shame most performance cars, and the same can be said for the 4.4 second 0-60 mph time and 170 mph top speed. It was pretty clear when Porsche announced the 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo that it wasn’t going to be your normal hybrid. The closest the automaker’s cars get to green is usually their paint job, after all, but the shapely Sport Turismo claims to be more eco-conscious than you’d expect. Of course, since this is a Porsche it couldn’t just be about saving the planet. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is even quicker, but then you lose out on the handsome Sport Turismo styling. Porsche probably doesn’t want you to call it a station wagon, but it’s about time the world recognized that Wagons Are Sexy and embraced the benefits of a capacious rump.To my eyes, it’s the most balanced of the Panamera versions in its proportions, the gracefully tapering trunk countering the beefy front-end. Were it my money I’d go for a darker paint – a metallic charcoal, perhaps – but I’d definitely cough up the $2,180 for the 20-inch Panamera Design Wheels. They look great with the neon green brake calipers peaking through, and matching E-Hybrid badging. AdChoices广告With the 14.1 kWh battery slung under the trunk, it’s not a light car. At 4,828 pounds it’s the heaviest of the Panamera range, in fact. Courtesy of that shapely rear, though, you still get more than 45 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. With them up, you’re looking at 15 cubic feet. As you’d expect, there are multiple drive modes to choose between. The default is E-Power, which gets you a quoted 30 miles of all-electric range. You’ll have to show some restraint for that, mind. Hybrid mode – which the Porsche will flip to by itself if you run the battery down – automatically switches between gas and electric power, depending on battery status and how you’re driving; it’s a smooth transition, too, with only a faint thrum from the front suggesting the engine has kicked in. Turn the dial on the steering wheel to Sport or Sport Plus, however, and things get more exciting. The standard-fit air suspension gets stuffer and the throttle more eager. All-wheel drive helps disguise the curb weight in the corners, and while the Sport Turismo is never going to be as nimble as a 911, you’ll have to ease off for the sake of your passengers long before the Panamera runs out of grip or power. $1,620 for the rear axle steering seems a worthy addition too, in effect shortening the wheelbase by counter-turning the rear wheels. The standard 8-speed dual-clutch transmission is a gem, too, never getting lost despite what complexity is going on under the sheet metal. Stab the center button in the mode dial and, no matter what mode you’re currently in, the E-Hybrid will switch up all its settings and give you 20 seconds of maximum potency. It’s one of the fastest hybrids to recharge its battery that I’ve encountered, particularly in Sport Plus mode. Then, the Panamera seems positively obsessive about making sure it has sufficient charge to cater to whatever profligacy you might intend. When it’s not being hammered for speed, the gas engine acts as a generator to pump electrons back into the battery pack.For traditional charging, you’re looking at a 3.6 kW onboard charger as standard, or a 7.2 kW version as an $840 upgrade. You should check that box and make sure you have access to a Level 2 charger at home, since they add up to a sub-3-hour recharge. There are, of course, faster hybrids, more powerful hybrids, and more striking hybrids to look at. What sets the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo apart, though, is how well balanced it is, across all levels. Clearly, I’m already a huge fan of the styling, but it’s also deeply practical too, with space for five – albeit somewhat tight in the middle of the rear bench – and plenty of usable room in the trunk. It’s as well-appointed as you’d expect from a Porsche, too. Even without the optional front seat ventilation, soft close doors, and 14-way power seats, the leather is all standard and the metal trim feels suitably weighty and authentic. The 12.3-inch Porsche Communication Management touchscreen supports Apple CarPlay though not Android Auto. It’s quick and responsive, and fairly easy to navigate even when it’s showing a lot of information at once.More displays flank the tachometer, capable of showing either virtual dials or map previews. Indeed, there are times when the whole system seemed a little too flexible for its own good. The range of hybrid driving sub-modes and huge array of other options can get overwhelming; I was thankful that Porsche opted to put a selection of buttons and toggles for the essentials in the center console.Still, I’d be more than happy to have the time to spend getting to grips with all the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo’s settings. It looks great, it drives incredibly, and it even – in Sport and Sport Plus mode – sounds the part, with an unexpectedly throaty exhaust note when pushed. Flick to E-Power or Hybrid mode, however, and you’ve a luxury family car that’s as restrained as your right foot can be. Certainly the $104,000 starting price is easy to send escalating: this particular example, including the $1,050 destination charge, ended up at $118,150. Those looking for maximum electric range, meanwhile, will want to hold off until the Porsche Taycan arrives. As Panamera options go, though, I’d rather have the E-Hybrid to the Panamera 4S, and the $184k+ you’ll pay for a Turbo S E-Hybrid makes this car look positively affordable. Hybrids don’t have to be boring, they don’t have to look bland, and they don’t need to provide the experience equivalent of a hair-shirt behind the wheel. The 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is green in a distinctly entertaining way, and only leaves me more excited for the automaker’s first all-electric car next year. 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Gallery
Aston Martin DBX Gallery Aston Martin has revealed more of its DBX luxury SUV, as the automaker kicks off production at its new high-tech facility in the UK. The Aston Martin Lagonda St Athan plant is the second of the company’s, but promises to be its most technologically advanced: it’ll be the home of Aston Martin’s electrification efforts, among other things. The Welsh plant is a former UK Ministry of Defense site, but has undergone huge changes since Aston Martin announced it would take over the location in early 2016. Spanning 90 acres, its most notable features are three so-called “Super Hangers”; a host of changes have been made to make them Aston Martin Lagonda’s “Home of Electrification.”The Aston Martin DBX won’t be electrified, at least not initially. The automaker’s first SUV, it’ll be powered by a V8 gas engine and include the expected off-road tech like all-wheel drive. However an electric option – most likely a hybrid drivetrain – is believed to be on the roadmap. We’re yet to see the SUV without its camouflage wrapping, but Aston Martin has wheeled out a new pattern – along with images showing the SUV’s body shell as it makes its way through the facility – to whet our appetites a little more. Several pre-production DBX have been made at the St Athan plant, ahead of its full reveal at the end of the year. Full production at the facility is expected to start in the first half of 2020. Arguably more exciting than the DBX – which is likely to prove just as controversial among enthusiasts as SUVs from other sports car manufacturers like Lamborghini and Porsche – is the upcoming Lagonda range. Aston Martin resurrected the nameplate to use on a new line-up of electrified, hyper-luxury models, distinct from its core portfolio. So far we’ve seen a couple of concept cars, each flirting with unusual styling and materials. However, back in February, the automaker revealed the first of its production cars would be based on the Lagonda All-Terrain Concept, a luxury electric SUV previewed in concept form at the Geneva Motor Show. Bold and convention-defying, it promises electric all-wheel drive and a palette of atypical materials in the cabin, such as ceramic, cashmere, and wool. The goal, the automaker says, is to experiment with what drivers consider to be “luxury” and, in the process, cut some of the ties with traditional signifiers of high-end vehicles. We’ll have to wait until the production version of the Lagonda e-SUV to see exactly how that translates to the road. That’s not likely to happen until 2022 at the earliest, giving the St Athan plant time to get fully up to speed. Story TimelineAston Martin Lagonda Vision previews all-EV luxe futureLagonda All-Terrain Concept previews Aston Martin’s luxe e-SUVAston Martin Rapide E super-luxe EV will be maddeningly rare
Some GOP Lawmakers Target HHS Secretary Sebelius For Fundraising 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 members of Congress are questioning Sebelius’ efforts to solicit funds for Enroll America, which is trying to help get people signed up for benefits under the federal health law. Reuters: Analysis: Some Republicans See New Scandal In Sebelius FundraisingWith the White House already reeling from three major controversies, some Republican lawmakers are zeroing in on what they perceive is another possible scandal tied to President Barack Obama’s landmark health reform law just as it nears implementation. On top of the troubles the administration is facing over its handling of the attack on the Benghazi mission, the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, and the Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press phone records, Republicans hope to target Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. They are questioning her soliciting of funds on behalf of a non-profit group, called Enroll America, from two private entities, a practice which if not unprecedented is at the very least unusual (Morgan, 5/21).Also in the headlines – The Wall Street Journal: Tip Puts Lobbyist’s Career On HoldMark Hayes was a Washington policy wonk on a long and steady ascent: a senior Senate health-care aide, a role writing President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul and a spin through the revolving door to a lobby firm where he banked 20 years of contacts. A series of emails to a client was all it took to put that carefully crafted career on hold (Mundy and Mullins, 5/20).
Twitter Facebook For over forty seasons, Canadian Club Toronto and the National Post have gathered expert panelists each New Year for a forecast luncheon on the economy, the markets and political issues that will affect Canadians in the year ahead. Expect the unexpected: Here are five black swans for 2019 This actually could be the year for emerging markets. Here are the ones that could outperform and the ones to avoid Ten stocks for 2019: What the pros are picking to outperform this year Comment Join the conversation → What’s in store for Canada’s economy, markets and politics Get insight on the economy, the markets and political issues that will affect Canadians in the year ahead Recommended For YouOman urges Iran to release seized tankerDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016The storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them through Financial Post Staff January 7, 201912:37 PM ESTLast UpdatedJanuary 8, 201912:44 PM EST Filed under News Economy Share this storyWhat’s in store for Canada’s economy, markets and politics Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Reddit Email 0 Comments More
‘We’ve never had a weapon like this’: Farm Boy is key for urban expansion, Sobeys parent says By combining Farm Boy with Empire’s real estate ‘prowess,’ CEO Michael Medline believes he can eventually ‘blanket’ Toronto and its suburbs with stores Comment Recommended For YouDavid Rosenberg: How weak economic growth is actually fuelling this bull market’s riseIt’s getting harder to be a long-term investor: Here’s how to keep your focus on what really countsDavid Rosenberg: The hopes that fuelled the market rally are all evaporating — and now reality is setting inThe storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them throughTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permits March 13, 20199:33 PM EDTLast UpdatedMarch 14, 201912:25 PM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing But while Empire boosts the profile of its discount brand on one end of the spectrum, and its fancier Farm Boy brand on the other, some industry observers are asking: What becomes of its massive Sobeys banner in the middle?“That, to me, is the biggest question that grocers face,” said Kevin Grier, an analyst who focuses on the grocery industry. Grier noted that it isn’t a challenge that Sobeys faces alone. Other major chains, like Loblaw and Metro, are also caught in a shrinking middle ground, between the growth luxury brands like Whole Foods and discounters like Walmart.But Medline doesn’t see it that way. First, he said, Farm Boy isn’t part of that luxury category like Whole Foods. “It treats the customer so well, it perhaps it appears like that,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “But it is not that.”What it is, Medline said, is a flexible store format — 25,000 sq-ft on average — that can squeeze into urban markets in a way that traditional, big-box grocers cannot.“It does more sales-per-square-feet than anyone else,” he said.The description of the market — with discount and luxury stores luring customers away from conventional brands — doesn’t fit with reality, Medline said. Shoppers, he said, aren’t exclusively going to a discount store or a luxury store. They’re going to whatever store fits their needs on any given day. Farm Boy, for instance, isn’t where customers go for staples like toilet paper or tooth paste; it’s for produce, meat and prepared food.“Full-service” Sobeys stores, though, are “where you can do your weekly shopping and fill your basket with whatever you want,” Medline said.Empire is expected to add a fourth option in spring 2020, when it starts offering grocery delivery in the Toronto area as part of a partnership with the U.K. grocery delivery company Ocado. Medline expects the e-commerce option to help Empire continue its push into urban and suburban Ontario.On Wednesday, Empire reported $6.24 billion in sales its third quarter, $218 million more than the previous year. Its adjusted earnings per share, however, dipped to $0.27 per share from $0.33 per share, which Empire attributed primarily to a one-time charge of $45 million ($0.12 per share).The charge includes $35 million in expected buyouts offered to long-serving Safeway employees, which were approved by a B.C. labour ruling in January. It also includes $10 million in costs associated with five store upcoming Safeway store closures, which are part of the FreshCo conversions.• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: Jake Edmiston More CNW Group/Empire Co. Ltd. Empire Co. Ltd., the expansive network of Canadian grocery brands, believes its recently acquired Farm Boy chain is what it needs to finally take on Ontario’s biggest grocery markets.“We’ve never had a weapon like this to go at an area like the GTA,” chief executive Michael Medline told analysts Wednesday following the release of Empire’s third quarter results.“Ontario,” he said, “has historically been our Achilles heel.”Empire, the parent to Sobeys, acquired Farm Boy, a chain of boutique groceries with a loyal following in eastern Ontario and popular line of private label products, for $800 million last year.At the time, Medline promised Farm Boy fans he wouldn’t “screw this up,” a reference to Empire’s ill-fated acquisition of the western Safeway grocery chain, which alienated many long-time customers. Sobeys parent reports higher net income, but lower adjusted earnings Empire’s Farm Boy acquisition a good move despite previous struggles: experts ‘We will not screw this up’: Sobeys parent to buy beloved Farm Boy in $800M deal While Medline suggested Wednesday that he does not want to expand Farm Boy too quickly, his ambitions for the brand were apparent.By combining Farm Boy with Empire’s real estate “prowess,” Medline believes he can eventually “blanket” Toronto and its suburbs with stores.Farm Boy — now at 28 stores around Ontario — is already in the middle of an expansion in the Toronto area.The growth plans come as Empire enters the late stages of Project Sunrise, Medline’s 2017 plan to cut costs and improve Empire’s fortunes, which had been dragged down by the Safeway deal.One element of the plan involves expanding Empire’s bargain brand, FreshCo, to meet rising demand for discount grocers. Empire is currently working to close 15 Safeway stores in B.C., converting 10 of them to FreshCo locations — part of a broader objective of converting 25 per cent of its network of 255 Safeway and Sobeys stores in Western Canada.Empire Co. Ltd. Michael Medline Facebook Share this story’We’ve never had a weapon like this’: Farm Boy is key for urban expansion, Sobeys parent says Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Twitter Email 6 Comments Empire Co Ltd. CEO Michael Medline said Farm Boy grocery stores are the company’s “weapon” to expand into urban areas like Toronto.Postmedia Network Reddit Join the conversation →
Another misstep as B.C. fails to prove this tycoon’s idyllic estate was bought with embezzled money Salt Spring Island laundering claim by B.C. government had tenuous link to the Indian owner, who had purchased years before alleged crime Reddit advertisement Natalie Obiko Pearson “A first-class flight is still public transport,” Sivasankaran told Singapore’s The New Paper in 2008 after paying US$1 million for a year’s membership in an elite club to supplement his transport, with four jets and two yachts as “back up.”If the 62-year-old mogul had intended to hide some of his vast wealth, he would’ve found few places as welcoming as Canada. The country has long accepted cash of unknown origin from around the world with few questions asked and guarded the anonymity of owners as tightly as any tax haven, while lending transactions a veneer of respectability — a process quaintly referred to in international law enforcement circles as “snow washing.”Sivasankaran — better known as Siva — didn’t take full advantage of Canada’s veil of secrecy. He used an eponymous Bermuda-registered shell Siva Ltd. to buy the property for $3.6 million in 2005, according to B.C. property records. His name and signature appear in land title documents nearly a decade later when the residence was transferred to Axcel.Sivasankaran has proved slippery in the past: Bahraini telecom operator Batelco spent years chasing him through courts in the U.K., India and the Seychelles — where at some point he’d become a citizen — to pay a claim related to a failed joint venture.A London court placed a worldwide freeze order on Sivasankaran and Siva Ltd.’s assets in July 2014. In an apparent violation of that order, within days, Sivasankaran had listed the Salt Spring property for sale and transferred it in a private transaction to Axcel, according to B.C. property records.It’s like clockwork. They think it’s the end of the earth out here.Salt Spring realtor Scott Simmons Comment An estate owned by Axcel Sunshine Ltd., according to B.C. property records, is seen in this aerial photograph taken over Salt Spring Island, B.C.James MacDonald / Bloomberg Recommended For YouDown to Business podcast: How Canada’s largest sports company is grappling with digital disruptionDavid Rosenberg: Signs of a looming U.S. recession are building, if you look beneath the surfaceMarkets are more gloomy about our economy than the Bank of Canada — who is right?‘Eyes fully open’: Waterfront Toronto executive says agency keeping tabs on Sidewalk parent’s misstepsLax enforcement of Colombia trade deal bodes ill for ‘USMCA’ -Democrats June 10, 20191:07 PM EDT Filed under News Economy What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Email 13 Comments Twitter The property has been put on the market at least three times since 2011 for about $7 million. It’s never sold.Meanwhile, the head-scratching case involving the Indian bank drags on. IDBI filed an US$86 million claim against Axcel, which failed to repay the loan used to pay off the other Siva Group dues. Axcel has acknowledged it owes the amount, but its lawyers told the court that “our client does not have the assets and/or resources to meet the payments due.”“As the proceedings have not concluded, it would be inappropriate to comment or verify your query in relation to a property in Canada,” Scarmans, the law firm representing Axcel and another Siva Group company that backed its loan, said in a letter. “Both companies have confirmed to us, as a result of your enquiry, that they are unaware of any money laundering investigation in Canada or otherwise.”IDBI’s U.K. lawyers 4 Pump Court and TLT LLP, and the office of the B.C. attorney general declined comment.Wild deer graze outside the Salt Spring estate as the peal of an unanswered doorbell echoes through the woods. Whether the property is ever used is anyone’s guess — there’s no neighbouring home within sight.It won’t go down as one of the better investments by a dealmaker once known as one of India’s shrewdest. The estate is currently assessed at $3.8 million — adjusted for inflation, less than what Siva Ltd. paid for it 14 years ago. It’s an ironic twist given that the money laundering probe which singled out his property was prompted by outrage at the rapid escalation in real estate prices in the province.Scott Simmons, a realtor on Salt Spring, reckons it might sell for about $3 million. He’s never heard of Sivasankaran and is dubious that a flood of dirty money has really fuelled housing prices. That said, during his two decades there as a realtor, every so often the police seem to swoop in and nab white-collar crime suspects on the sleepy island, he says.“It’s like clockwork,” he says. “They think it’s the end of the earth out here.”Bloomberg.com Featured Stories James MacDonald / Bloomberg Bloomberg News According to India’s Central Bureau of Investigation and U.K. court filings, Sivasankaran and his deputies allegedly conspired with former IDBI executives to obtain an $83 million credit facility for Axcel in 2014 in order to pay off loans to other Siva Group companies that had soured — a practice known as “evergreening” that’s been common among Indian banks holding the world’s worst bad-loan ratio. Within that ignominious group, IDBI has the worst bad-loan ratio.Of the US$67 million that was actually disbursed to Axcel, the full amount has been accounted for — it was used to clear the dues of six Siva Group companies, according to the CBI. In other words, that money doesn’t appear to have ended up in Salt Spring, despite the claims by the B.C. government. Sivasankaran had already bought the property long before the alleged mischief at IDBI and when his star was still rising.Sivasankaran built a fortune starting in the 1980s by anticipating the wants of India’s aspirational consumers: cut-rate personal computers, mobile phones, a Starbucks-copycat named Barista. Siva Group, the sprawling conglomerate he founded, claimed annual revenues of US$3 billion at one point. When he purchased the Canadian property through a unit in 2005, the tycoon was on the cusp of clinching a mega deal — the sale of Indian mobile carrier Aircel Ltd. to one of Malaysia’s richest men for about US$1 billion.As his wealth grew, so did his taste for the finer things in life: gold Rolexes, presidential suites at the Ritz-Carlton, and at least three private planes, according to a 2014 Business Standard profile. The Salt Spring estate is decidedly modest compared with his other real estate sprees like the “Hammer Time” mansion in California — a 40,000-square-foot enormity with gold-plated gates and a 17-car garage that he bought from M.C. Hammer when the rapper could no longer afford to keep it.The property in question, bottom centre, is situated on a forested hill with only a few neighbours nearby. ← Previous Next → More It appeared to be the coup de grâce of a Canadian dirty money probe into real estate: a sprawling island manor off the coast of Vancouver that the government said was linked directly to an alleged criminal conspiracy at a state-run Indian bank.A six-month investigation commissioned by the province of British Columbia had scoured more than a million land titles for signs of illicit funds swirling through Canada’s most expensive housing market. While thousands of properties were flagged as suspect, almost all fell short of clear criminal links.Save one, according to the probe’s final report. “Most astonishingly,” Attorney General David Eby declared at a press conference when it was presented, “a $3.5 million Gulf Island property acquired with funds allegedly embezzled from a $90 million loan fraud in India.” Vancouver’s dirty money figures: The smoking gun that wasn’t B.C.’s dirty money crackdown puts a damper on Vancouver’s once-rollicking casinos How Vancouver became the world’s ‘laundromat for foreign organized crime’ Vancouver money laundering not just found in casinos. It’s fuelling a booming luxury car business, too It appears the government jumped the gun on that, too. There’s little evidence to show the mansion was bought with criminal proceeds — it was purchased by an Indian entrepreneur long before he faced the accusations of fraud.The tenuous link is the latest misstep by the provincial government after multi-billion dollar laundering estimates it presented that same day failed to hold up to scrutiny. Premier John Horgan is under pressure to deliver answers to a public outraged that the cost of a typical Vancouver home has surpassed $1 million. He’s blamed the price surge on what he’s called “unchecked” fraud and launched a formal inquiry into money laundering in a bid to cool the market.The probe shows that proving ties to criminal activity isn’t so easy. A trail of documents reveals that the property’s been linked since 2005 to a flamboyant Indian-born telecom tycoon, Chinnakannan Sivasankaran, who transferred its ownership while subject to an asset freeze as creditors chased him through courts in the U.K., India and the Seychelles.Sivasankaran declined to be interviewed for this story or to respond to the B.C. claims the property may have been purchased with embezzled funds. He also declined to answer questions about whether he intended to use the property to settle some of his companies’ debts.The property in question is a timber-and-glass cabin perched in a 26-acre wooded estate with views stretching to Mt. Baker in Washington state. It sits on the southern tip of Salt Spring Island, a halcyon haven of hippies, retirees and vacation homes often owned by wealthy Americans. Land title records list the owner as Axcel Sunshine Ltd. — a British Virgin Islands-based shell that Indian investigators say is controlled by Sivasankaran and was used in an alleged fraud at Mumbai-based IDBI Bank Ltd.Spectacular scenery surrounds Salt Spring Island, a comfortable retreat for the wealthy. Join the conversation → Share this storyAnother misstep as B.C. fails to prove this tycoon’s idyllic estate was bought with embezzled money Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Sponsored By: Facebook James MacDonald / Bloomberg
DragTimes presents the ultimate SUV matchup.It’s the world record showdown featuring the Tesla Model X P100D versus the Lamborghini Urus. Which mega-powerful SUV wins? Let’s look at some specs first.More Model X Races Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 2, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Watch Tesla Model X P100D Race Lamborghini Aventador The main electric player here is the Model X, which is the lone SUV among the electric vehicle range at Tesla.It’s up against the Urus. It’s powered by a 4.0L bi-turbocharged V8, producing 650 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, which catapults the SUV from zero to 62 miles per hour in just 3.2 seconds.The particular variant of the Model X in this race is a P100D performance version. It cranks out up to 772 horsepower coupled with instantaneous torque delivery that EVs are known for. 0 to 60 mph? That’s just 2.9 seconds for the Tesla Model X.Which one wins the race? Watch the video to find out. Watch Tesla Model X Crush Lamborghini Urus, AMG G63, Range Rover Watch Tesla Model X Race Hellcat, Porsche 996, Nissan GTR + More Source: Electric Vehicle News
Source: Charge Forward A massive number of Tesla Model 3 vehicles have been spotted being gathered by the automaker at the San Francisco port ahead initial oversea deliveries. more…The post Massive Tesla Model 3 shipment spotted ahead of first oversea deliveries appeared first on Electrek.
Electric Car Range, Price & More Compared For U.S. – March 2019 Electron guzzlers – from 248 Wh/mile (154 Wh/km) to 443 Wh/mile (275 Wh/km)The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for several years has been evaluating new cars in terms of energy consumption and range. Those ratings are not perfect, but especially compared to other ratings around the world, are easy to achieve in the real-world and very reliable.Here we compare energy consumption of about 20 all-electric models currently available (or soon to be available) on the U.S. market – some in multiple versions.* The results were converted from EPA’s MPGe (Miles Per Gallon equivalent, assuming 1 gallon of gasoline=33.7 kWh) to Wh per mile of EPA range – Combined, City and Highway.Some data estimated. Some versions of models recieved the same ratings despite are slightly different.Range and efficiency Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Model 3 Standard Plus Almost As Efficient As Hyundai IONIQ Electric The most efficient cars, with the lowest energy consumption (Combined) are:Hyundai IONIQ Electric – 248 Wh/mile (154 Wh/km)Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus – 251 Wh/mile(156 Wh/km)Tesla Model 3 Long Range – 259 Wh/mile (161 Wh/km)*Standard Range is not yet ratedThe IONIQ Electric, because it’s equipped with a smaller battery (less weight) is also the top model in the City (225 Wh/mile or 140 Wh/km), while the Model 3 Standard Range Plus is more aerodynamic/efficient and thus takes the lead on the highway (263 Wh/mile or 163 Wh/km).Looking at the chart, it turns out that overall results are very similar for a broad spectrum of models.By the way, unless your EV is not a big SUV or a brick, it should be more efficient in the city than on the highway, which is rare in the case of conventional ICE cars. High efficiency at low speeds, frequent acceleration, regenerative braking and no idling makes a difference.All-Electric Car Energy Consumption (EPA)The worst results are usually related to the big size of cars, heavy weight or high power powertrain… or not necessarily the best design and efficiency of the system.The energy consumption is a weak point of Jaguar I-PACE, which at first glance looks sleek with many aerodynamic solutions to lower the drag. In the EPA’s tests however the I-PACE turned out to be least efficient – 443 Wh/mile (275 Wh/km), which also affected the available range of 234 miles (377 km) using a 90 kWh battery. Even the top of the line Tesla Model X (heaviest and bigger) can be more than 10% more efficient.Feel free to leave your insights from the comparison in the comment section.Supporting data: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 1, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News U.S.’ Most Affordable EVs Per Mile Of Range: Tesla Model 3 Is #1
Solar capacity more than doubled in 45 of America’s 57 largest cities over the past six years, according to a new study that identifies the top major U.S. cities in solar energy. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVp0Cr2Pg4gThe post Solar installations more than double in major US metros — where does your city stack up? appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Every U.S. state has a different carbon footprint.Source: Electric Vehicle News
Well, it’s probably never going to top carpool karaoke, unless he gets his guests to sing.Source: Electric Vehicle News
Philadelphia’s local transportation authority introduced 25 new all-electric buses this week, and the organization claims it now has the largest zero-emissions bus fleet on the East Coast. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Philadelphia introduces 25 new electric buses, claims largest zero-emissions fleet on East Coast appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
We can hardly see any growth of plug-in electric car sales outside of the Tesla brand in the U.S., but hopefully, it will improveSource: Electric Vehicle News