CES 2018 The best gadgets and tech so far

first_imgStory TimelineKia teases big CES 2018 EV revealNVIDIA levels up with Big Format screens, Freestyle filters at CES 2018Anker floods CES 2018 with speakers, projectors, Alexa car kitD-Link CES 2018 lineup revealed: A trove of cameras and routersNanoleaf Remote light panel and HomeKit remote hits CES 2018Lenovo ThinkPad X1 line gets CES 2018 update plus 4K Thunderbolt 3 display 3. HP ENVY x2HP is coming for Microsoft’s Surface crown, and they’re doing it with fine graphic design finesse. This machine is essentially a tablet with notebook powers, coming with its own kickstand/keyboard and all the Windows 10 you can eat. Have a peek at the HP ENVY x2 here first, then head in to our HP CES 2018 round-up to see how HP is taking their next-gen HP logo to new heights. 2. Samsung The WallBehold, the most massive television we’ve seen this week… so far. This is The Wall, a 146-inch TV with the ability to up-scale all sorts of content to its massive glory. They also have a smaller 85-inch 8K TV to show this week but why would you want that when you could have… THE WALL!1. HTC Vive Pro and Wireless AdaptorThe HTC Vive Pro takes everything the HTC Vive is, and kicks it right in the pants! This virtual reality headset has two cameras, not just one! It has a set of displays for your eyes that’s a whole lot more dense with pixels! This one has headphones that are awesome, right out the box! HTC also made a Vive Wireless Adaptor too – for the Vive and the Vive Pro, too! 4. NVIDIA BFGD!NVIDIA had an idea. The idea involved going massive on a gaming tip. They called their idea Big Format Gaming Displays, and it involved very large displays made for gaming. Inside a BFGD is NVIDIA G-Sync, HDR support, 4K resolution, and 120Hz refresh rate, all inside a 65-inch display. Today we’re going to have a run down of what we’ve found awesome at CES 2018 so far. The show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center hasn’t yet opened, and we’ve already got a whole heaping helping of devices from all corners of the consumer electronics market. Let’s take a peek at what’s stood out the most thus far. The following list is numbered, but the numbers don’t necessarily correspond to how great or otherwise noteworthy each device and/or service is ranked. Take the numbers as you will! And remember, this is only the first list – we have a long way to go after this at CES 2018!10. Sony Xperia XA2 UltraThe brand new set of Sony Xperia phones revealed this week seem to keep all the good parts of previous Xperia smartphones while they kick the rest of their elements up a notch. Also, they all seem to be really good at selfies. 9. Totota e-Palette autonomous concept vehicleBehold the future of autonomous transport. Or so Toyota is telling us. This is the Toyota e-Palette autonomous concept, and it looks like we’re going to be expected to do a lot more than just drive while we take our yearly trip to Grandma’s house for Christmas.8. Ring home security devicesThey might not be the tantalizing of devices, but Ring deserves a shout-out for their ambition this year at CES. The folks behind the smart doorbell Ring have released a whole bunch of Ring home security devices. They’ve got Stick Up Cams, Beams, and Alarms, too!7. Planet Computers GeminiI’m not entirely convinced that there’s any real need for this device, but darn it if it isn’t the craziest Android on the block so far. This is a reboot of a classic device – another device that was AWESOME when it was first released. This new Planet Computers Gemini is a bit more conventional – albeit just as massive.6. Nanoleaf Remote light panel and HomeKit remoteThe folks behind one of the most beautiful sets of wall-mounted triangle grids of light have come forth with a new set of awesome bits and pieces. The Nanoleaf Remote is just about the strangest remote control we’ve ever seen. It’s a dodecahetron!5. iDevices InstinctEasily the most interesting and well-hidden of places we’ve seen thus far for Amazon Alexa to hide is here. This is the iDevices Instinct and it has a blue ring in it, just as it should.last_img read more

Instagram Stories Type Mode replaces photos with fancy text

first_imgInstagram Stories is the temporary sharing option for presenting followers with content that will disappear with the start of the new day. Users can share videos and photos, and now they can also share text without either. This option is found by tapping “Text” now placed next to “Normal” near the record button after opening the camera. Instagram has introduced a new type of Stories mode the eliminates photos entirely. Called Type Mode, the new sharing option is exactly what it sounds like: a way to share images that contain only text via the platform’s Stories feature. The new mode is for those times you have something to say but no image to say it with; users get access to fancy text and colorful backgrounds, though. Users who tap the “Type” option are given a space to type any text they want, then it can be adjusted with different font faces and background options. This includes serif and sans serif fonts, cursive, multicolored backgrounds, and more.As with images and videos shared in Stories, these text images are available to viewers for 24 hours, after which point they disappear. It’s a small but distinct shift from Instagram’s photo-centric nature to one that is increasingly pushing short-term content and communications.In a recent leak, word surfaced that Instagram may be planning to introduce a video calling feature in the app. Signs of that alleged feature were reportedly found in an Instagram for iOS app, though the company hasn’t confirmed that rumor and it’s not actually available to users at this time.last_img read more

Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review A great phone jumping through hoops

first_imgHardware and DesignHuawei knows how to make a good looking, solid feeling phone. The Mate 10 Pro is fairly sober in its design, but the combination of glass front and back, sandwiching a band of metal, is handsome. Huawei includes a plastic case in the box, too, to help you avoid scratches. The side bezels around the 6-inch display are slim, though their counterparts top and bottom are thicker. Still, Huawei puts the fingerprint scanner on the back, rather than underneath the screen. There’s a USB-C port but no 3.5mm headphone jack, so you’ll either be using Huawei’s bundled headphones or the USB-C to 3.5mm adapter it includes in the box. What I didn’t expect was an IR blaster. I’m not sure how many people still want to use their smartphone as a universal remote, but Huawei will let you. Huawei has been making a lot of noise this year about its Android flagships, most recently making a pitch to oust the iPhone X or Galaxy S9 from your pocket with the P20 Pro. Weirdly, though, that phone isn’t officially coming to the US. Instead, Huawei’s flagship here is a different smartphone from a different family: the Mate 10 Pro. It has the same processor as the P20 Pro, but no notch and one less camera sensor. It also comes with a more affordable price tag. cof cof sdr sdr Story TimelineHuawei Mate 10 Pro AI controls self-driving car, avoids dogsHuawei Mate RS: 2 fingerprint sensors, 4 cameras, crazy priceHuawei P20 Pro steals the DxOMark crown, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S closes incenter_img There’s a bokeh mode which actually delivers photos that don’t look like they’ve been through the post-processing wringer, though it’s probably best to avoid the beauty mode if you don’t want to look like a waxwork. The 8-megapixel front camera has a portrait mode too, though like most examples it isn’t especially effective and can get confused around the edges. Wrap-upHuawei is having a tough 2018. The Mate 10 Pro was meant to be its triumphant debut with a flagship on a US carrier: instead, AT&T pulled out at the last moment, after pressure from the government. Since then, there’ve been whispers of retail partner Best Buy getting cold feet too. It’s a string of bad luck that, honestly, the phone itself doesn’t deserve.For a start, you’re getting a whole lot for the price. The Mate 10 Pro may have launched at $800, unlocked, but currently it’s available for $649.99. That undercuts big names like the Galaxy S9 and iPhone X. It’ll work on AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, though not Verizon or Sprint. Some of the Mate 10 Pro’s “headline” features still feel like gimmicks: the NPU is under-utilized, and frankly the phone would be better were EMUI left off altogether. However the core of it is admirably solid: the Kirin 970’s performance, the excellent cameras, and the long-lasting battery. More capable Android users will probably want to oust Huawei’s software tweaks for a different launcher, but everybody should be able to appreciate the combination of affordability, speed, and some great photography. sdr The 6-inch, 18:9 OLED screen has an unusual “Full HD+” resolution, 2,160 x 1,080, short of the 2,560 x 1,440 that the cheaper Mate 10 – which isn’t sold in the US – offers. It’s basically 1080p but with a little extra added on to accommodate the 2:1 aspect panel. By default, Huawei offers a “Smart Resolution” mode which flips it between 1440 x 720 and 2160 x 1080 based on what’s on-screen at any point in time. You can turn that off and force either of the resolutions manually if you prefer. While it may fall short in sheer pixels compared to other Android flagships, Huawei’s screen is a good one. It’s actually supplied by Samsung Display, in fact, and comes with the inky blacks, bright colors, and good visibility in bright daylight that you’d hope for. The lower resolution may not look good on paper, but it also pays dividends when it comes to power consumption.That may not be much of a concern, mind. The Mate 10 Pro packs a whopping 4,000 mAh battery, one of the largest in a current smartphone. It’s more than sufficient to keep the Kirin 970 processor running all day, with plenty of juice left at the point where rival smartphones are begging for a charger. Huawei pairs that chipset with 6 GB of memory and 128 GB of storage; sadly, there’s no microSD slot to add to that. The missing memory card support isn’t the only odd omission. Huawei has made its phone IP67 water-resistant, which is great, but there’s no wireless charging support. Instead you get fast wired charging, and there’s a 5V “SuperCharge” adapter in the box that can deliver up to the maximum 5A at 4.5V the Mate 10 Pro can handle. Android, EMUI, and the NPUThe Mate 10 Pro uses Android 8.0 Oreo, though Huawei can’t quite bring itself to leave the OS alone. So, on top of it you get EMUI 8.0, and while that’s improved over earlier iterations, I’m still not convinced it’s necessary. Rival phone-makers seem to have wised-up to the fact that users are leaning toward as pure, unmodified a version of Android as they can get, and EMUI is nothing like that. There are hints of iOS which sit awkwardly with Android’s default UX. At best, they just look odd; at worst, their attempts to make the interface more straightforward simply forces you to make more taps to actually get to the function you want. The gestures added for things like screenshots and split-screen mode proved awkward to enact. Huawei’s other big pitch with the Kirin 970 is the NPU, or “Neural Network Processing Unit”: it’s the company’s play in the terribly fashionable world of smartphone artificial intelligence. As the company tells it, the NPU’s presence can help the Mate 10 Pro achieve 50-percent higher performance and 25-percent better power management in AI-related tasks. Question is, of course, just what counts as an AI-related task? Microsoft’s Translator app is preloaded as one example, dipping into the NPU for on-device conversion between languages. It’s certainly swifter than waiting for cloud-based services to translate typed text, voice dictation, or snapshots of foreign menus from the camera, though as always the accuracy isn’t going to make you a convincing polyglot. Other than that, though, the NPU is basically… there. Huawei promises it’s doing something, not to mention just waiting to be tapped into by third-party app developers, but as with most AI boasts in the smartphone space it’s more a case of potential over anything practical today. That is, aside from in one area. CameraBad news: the Mate 10 Pro doesn’t come with the triple camera array of the freshly-announced Huawei P20 Pro. Instead you get two cameras on the back, Leica-branded, and using the NPU for switching between multiple scene modes using image recognition. The theory is that, when you point the Mate 10 Pro at a landscape, or a sunset, or food, or anything else it’s been trained to recognize, it can automatically switch to the correct mode without you having to tweak. It works surprisingly well, in fact – a small icon down to the lower right of the preview screen shows what the Mate 10 Pro believes to be the scene type – though even if it didn’t you can override it manually. Alternatively, there’s a Pro mode in which the various settings are laid bare, bypassing the scene modes altogether. Avid photographers will be pleased. That’s because the Mate 10 Pro’s twin cameras are rather special. The first is a 12-megapixel, f/1.6 RGB color sensor with optical image stabilization; the second, a 20-megapixel, f/1.6 monochrome sensor. Combined, you get photos with the rich contrast and detail of the monochrome camera and the great colors of the RGB camera, together with a 2x hybrid zoom. Alternatively, you can use the monochrome camera on its own, for some really pleasing shots that rise above the regular black & white setting other phones offer. SlashGear uses affiliate links, and if you buy a product sometimes we’ll get a percentage of the sale Huawei Mate 10 Pro Gallerylast_img read more

HPs handsome ENVY laptops branch out to AMD for 2018

first_imgFirst up are the new ENVY 13 and 17 laptops for 2018. While we don’t have detailed list of specifications for these notebooks yet, HP says they’ll both be equipped with eighth-gen Intel quad-core processors and optional NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics. Opting for that discrete graphics card won’t suddenly turn the new ENVY into a gaming beast, but it should be enough to play a lot of games on modest settings.On the ENVY 17, you’ll also have the option of a 4K display and Intel Optane memory, which are certainly nice perks. If you’re looking for portability and battery life, on the other hand, the ENVY 13 might be the one to opt for, as its 13-inch display makes it easily portable and HP says it’ll have a battery that can last as long as 14 hours. Both notebooks also support HP Sure View as option, which is HP’s name for its privacy screen that can be toggled on and off.For those who want a laptop that’s a bit more flexible, there are new 13-inch and 15-inch models in the x360 line launching this year as well. Like every other laptop in the x360 line, these are convertible machines, meaning you can rotate the screen into one of four different usage modes – notebook, stand, tent, and tablet. The x360 13 gets some special recognition from HP in today’s announcement, as it’s the first in the line to feature AMD Ryzen CPUs and Radeon graphics.The x360 15, on the other hand, ships with your choice of Intel or AMD CPUs, so you’ve got some flexibility there. Like the larger standard ENVY laptop, the x360 15 can be outfitted with a 4K display, and the x360 models should last for around 11 or 12 hours on a full charge. HP Sure View is also an option with these notebooks, so if privacy is the most important thing, you can really have your pick of the litter with these new laptops.Regardless of which laptop you go for, they’ll all come with speakers crafted by Bang & Olufsen, along with the HP Command Center, which allows you to tweak settings like performance, fan noise, and temperature through HP CoolSense. The ENVY 13 starts at $999.99, while the ENVY 17 will start at $1,049.99. AMD x360 15 models are actually the least expensive of the bunch, starting at $749.99, while the x360 13 starts at $759.99. We’ll see all four launch later this month at HP.com. HP has started its week with a bang, announcing a ton of new devices in multiple product lines. One line getting some love today is the consumer-focused ENVY series of laptops, which in all is getting four new models this summer. While perhaps not as powerful as HP’s business-centric EliteBook line, these new ENVY laptops should still serve as a good day-to-day workhorse for a lot of consumers. Story TimelineASUS NovaGo and HP ENVY x2 hands-on: Snapdragon’s Windows starsHP Envy x2 pricing: Looks like Windows-on-ARM won’t be cheapHP’s ENVY Curved AiO 34 gets sleek new design and Alexalast_img read more

Google Shortwave podcast discovery app revealed by trademark doc

first_imgThe trademark application was filed by Google on July 18, 2018, citing a service for gadgets that “allows users to search, access, and play digital audio files, and to share links to audio files.” Speaking to The Verge, a Google representative confirmed the app’s existence, saying it is focused on “spoken word content.”That points toward podcasts, which have surged in popularity over the last few years. Though many podcast apps are available, they lack a substantial discovery system, which would enable users to find content relevant to their interests, not just what is popular. Pandora is aiming to fix that problem and is actively developing a podcast discovery system that would work similar to its current music system. It appears that it’ll have competition in the form of Shortwave, though, with Google reportedly looking at many potential features.AdChoices广告Specific features offered by Shortwave aren’t known at this time, nor when Google plans to launch the new product. It is possible we’ll see an integration with Google Assistant, enabling users to easily play and control content with Google Home devices. Though unconfirmed, we may also see AI-based features, opening a door of possibilities not present in current podcast apps.SOURCE: The Verge Google’s experimental products workshop Area 120 may be working on a new project called Shortwave that helps users discover new podcasts. The app made an appearance in a recent trademark filing, and though it didn’t have many details, a Google spokesperson revealed a bit more about the project, pointing toward spoken content as the focus.last_img read more

Nissan GTR sets drift record at 189 mph

first_imgThe car was specially tuned with support and coordination from Nismo specialists and Greddy Trust. Kawabata extensively tested the car before the record setting performance at the Fuji Speedway in Japan. The tuned car makes 1380hp and was converted so that all the power was sent to the rear wheels. Standard Nissan GT-Rs are all-wheel drive cars.To set the record the driver in the modified 2016 GT-R was able to break the wheels loose and get sideways at an angle of 30-degrees at a speed of 304.96 km/hr or 189.49 mph. Guidelines for the record setting attempt set by the Guinness World Records people stipulated that the Nissan team had only three tires to break the record.“Once again, Nissan has broken a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title and has made international history for the fifth time in the Middle East,” said Samir Cherfan, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East. “The Nissan GT-R is one of the world’s most iconic supercars, proving time and again the incredible breadth of its capabilities, and has clearly demonstrated its performance leadership by beating the best drift cars out there. The fact that this achievement was set here in the UAE makes it even more special for our region. Setting this incredibly difficult world record was a clear demonstration of the excitement we are bringing to the Middle East with the Nismo brand.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTEITmTomIISOURCE: Nissan Nissan has announced that it has entered the Guinness World Records book with a very special GT-R for the fastest drift ever. Masato Kawabata, a Japanese drift champion for the Japanese drifting series, piloted the specially tuned Nissan GT-R. The record was set at the Fujairah International Airport, UAE. The 2016 GT-R used for the record setting run is far from stock.last_img read more

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon first drive review hell on wheels

first_img“There’s about 500 lb/hr – 497 lb/hr to be precise – of high octane gasoline going into the engine at 6,300 rpm,” Cowland says. Putting that into perspective, when using the high-octane calibration or 100 octane fuel, there’s roughly 1.4 gallons of fuel pumped into the engine per minute to generate the 840 HP. If you’re finding that hard to visualize, your typical shower head delivers around 2 gallons per minute.That’s tough to deal with when you’re building a track-day special that arrives on a trailer. It’s doubly difficult when you also need to pass the emissions and noise regulations a street car faces. “We run a fairly novel twin fuel pump system where we run two very, very different fuel pressures,” Cowland explains, “a low pressure for precise injector control and bump up to a high pressure to get enough fuel into the engine.” The devil’s in the details and the Demon spares none. Like the Hellcat, it has the air-catcher light, with the center of the headlamps open to funnel air through. This time around, there’s an illuminated demon logo on the inside, if you dare get close enough to see. Best not be there when you smash on the gas pedal: the supercharger sucks in massive amounts of air as it winds up, sounding disturbingly close to what you’d associate with a jet engine.Rather than the bolted-on wheel flares of the typical DIY drag racer, Dodge decided to make the Demon’s as cleanly integrated into the body as possible. That involved laser cutting both the front and rear fenders, and then and laser-welding in an armature that the flares could attach to. Keeping the aggressive stance going, there’s also a new front splitter that both widens the fascia and integrates into the lower part of the flares, and is fitted with new amber side markers. “As heroic as what the horsepower was going to be,” Trostle says, “so the hood, the flares, everything about it just had to be over the top.”On paper, the Demon’s horsepower and torque sound like Dodge just kept squeezing more out of the Hellcat’s powertrain, but getting to 840 HP and 770 lb.-ft demanded some seriously clever engineering. “The powertrain team really had to be able to provide the power that drove these cars down the drag strip,” Chris Cowland, director of Advanced and SRT Powertrain Engineering, explains. To do that, the team concentrated on airflow, getting the fuel into the engine at the right rate to meet its appetites, and heat reduction. I’m not going to lie, I struggled like an infant trying to walk for the first time. I understood the mechanism and process of what to do, but when it came time, I’d inadvertently leave out a step or two. Here’s the drill: to engage transbrake you have to pull both shift paddles back simultaneously, then hold the brake with your left foot while reving up and maintaining the engine at around 1,800 rpm. Then you release the paddles and the brake while keeping the revs up, and enjoy the end of the strip suddenly getting a whole lot closer at a stomach-twisting pace. Too often, though, I found myself letting off both the brake and the gas pedal: it’s very much like a dance but, once you get the steps right, you’re in for a treat. Drop the second shift paddle, slam on the gas, and hold on for dear life. In “Drag Mode,” the suspension is tuned for max-pull right off the start, plowing on 1.8G of force that’s more than capable of lifting the front end and tires right off the ground. Since suddenly they’re responsible for a whole lot more work than the typical car requires, the rear tires aren’t just shod with any old rubber. Instead, they’re Nitto 315/40R18 drag tires, so you know they’re going to stick. I’m sorry, you’re called what? The Demon? The demon of what, you might also ask? It’s the torpedo of drag racers, born out an addiction to speed in a straight line, and its singular mission is to obliterate the competition on any drag strip. The specs say that the 840 HP V8 can propel this particular 4,275-pound missile from 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds, and hammer out the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph. This is the world’s fastest production car, and it’s wearing an American badge. The ride is unforgettable. The Demon rages forward before you can yell out “wahoo”. Setting fear aside, it’s possible that within those 10 seconds could be the best ride of your life inside a car.Are Dodge’s claims of a road-ready drag star legit? While others took their turn slamming the Demon down the strip, I pointed that angry grille at the road to see how this 808 HP beast handles away from the track. Yes, I did say 808 HP: if you want the full 840, you’ll need super premium race fuel. The top grade gas you’ll find in your local specialist station gets you the “lower” figure, though it’s hardly a compromise you’ll notice in everyday use. A button on the dash switches between the two settings.Either way, it’s pretty much business as usual if you’ve driven a Hellcat. The exhaust note is louder, as is the airflow whine of the beefier supercharger. Still, the ride is oddly comfortable, and you still get all the creature comforts in the cabin along with features like adaptive dampers. There are more refined ways to cruise, certainly, but none of them will hold a candle to the Demon in its native habitat. This may be a production car, but it’ll still be a rarity. With only 3,000 Demons planned for the US – and an additional 300 to be offered in Canada – even if owners do take them out on the road you’ll be lucky to catch sight of one. Fewer still will likely ever actually hit the drag strip. For all that engineering and exclusivity, the starting price of $84,995 makes me wonder if Dodge inadvertently missed a figure off, though I’m not complaining. The front and rear seats are a mere $1 option, while the Demon Box – which includes all the drag-specific extras you’ll need to fit for the track – is a token $1 too. Trust me, they’re the extras you want to check, though if you want to officially race at the NHRA you’ll also need to have a roll cage fitted. Back when I drove the SRT Hellcat for the first time, I wondered where Dodge could possibly go next with the Challenger. Somehow, through a combination of engineering obsession and that “big middle finger” motivation, the automaker has outdone itself again. With its ridiculous power, jaw-dropping attention to detail, and not least its ability to legitimately inspire terror in a straight line, the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon is excessive in all the best possible ways.center_img Turning the Hellcat engine into a Demon required twenty-five component changes. Boost pressure is up 20-percent, supercharger capacity increased from 2.4 to 2.7 liters, there were changes to the valvetrain and fuel injection, new pistons, and the conrods and crankshaft peaks increased peak revs from 6,000 rpm to 6,300 rpm. In the process, the supercharger gobbles up more air and fuel than any other production car: there simply isn’t another engine in the world that can beat the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi in fuel flow rate. Experiencing the Demon’s raw power first hand left me in awe, but after seeing my colleague’s results for one of his best runs of the day – 0-60 mph in a spec-matching 2.3 seconds – I was just short of losing my mind. Actually hitting the on-paper numbers demand ideal conditions, of course, including yanking out the front and rear passenger seats for weight savings, and a proper launch. Dodge will take care of the seats for you, or alternatively sell you space for the kids in the back for $1 should you really want them.The Demon might be how this car is best known, but it’s actually familiar metal. In fact, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – to give it its full title – is an evolution from the head turning, super-successful muscle car, the Challenger SRT Hellcat. That remains one heck of a muscle car, powered by a 6.2-liter Hemi supercharged V8 and capable of cranking out 707 HP and 650 lb.-ft of torque.Good DNA, then, but the Demon has evolved in its own direction, even down to the new logo. According to Mark Trostle, head of Performance, Passenger and Utility Vehicle Exterior Design at FCA North America, the team explored numerous completely new logos but eventually decided to “look at the Hellcat logo, what if we evolved that, what would that turn into, the Hellcat grew into this demonic looking shape, what would it do?”“Do the ears come forward and turn into horns?” Trostle explained of the designer’s process. “Does the chin grow out? Or does the chin grow rearward, and does it get longer? How big is the mouth? Trying to put all that emotion and animation into it to represent what the cars is while still have this evolution family resemblance to the Hellcat.”If that sounds like a lot of effort for a badge, stick with me. Where for most cars the name is just something sweet cooked up by a marketing team, that’s certainly not the case for the Demon: seldom has a name suited a car so well. Stare into the gaping maw of the grille, topped by the gigantic hood, and you’re left in no doubt as to the massive horsepower and torque on offer. “I kinda look at it as the big middle finger to our competitors and to the people on the road seeing this thing coming,” Trostle admitted to me, though he points out that form and function are still closely tied. The functional part derived from the team trying to figure out how they could “make the engine breathe” by pushing a much air through the hood as possible. Historically, drag racers have outrageous looking hoods but they’re usually fairly crude in appearance. Not satisfied with that, Dodge’s engineers set up to design a modern, more cohesive take. The good news is that it all works astonishingly well, as I witnessed first hand watching each Demon sprint down the drag strip after the other without any issues, all the time maintaining consistent results. I shouldn’t have been surprised: Dodge ran over 1,100 drag runs in its tests, and more than 522 passes on the first axle alone.When you’re facing a quarter mile, though, the knowledge of all that engineering magic somehow takes a backseat. Instead, I was all too aware of the warning we’d been given by Jim Wilder, Vehicle Development Manager for Dodge Challenger SRT/Charger SRT Engineering. “If you lose grip down the track, lift,” Wilder told us, sternly. “If we wreck a car, people are going to be really angry, or yell at you. The guy next in line to get into that car will get really angry. Unless you’re really hurt we’re going to yell. A lot.”No pressure, then. For my first run I rode shotgun – Dodge had helpfully installed a seat there, so I didn’t have to sit on the floor – to get a thorough walkthrough. Then it was time for me to take the wheel myself.Growing up watching drag racing on TV, I always thought that it was an easy sport. How hard can it be to slam on the gas pedal when the light flicks to green, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. If you want to have a proper launch, using the best launch method in the industry, that means using transmission brake or transbrake. Transbrake works by internally locking the 8-speed automatic transmission, yet still allowing the engine to hold low revs. It’s something that has never been done before on a production car, but you guessed it, it’s fitted on the Demon. “In the 9.5 to 10 seconds it takes to run down the drag strips,” the engineer says, “5,000 liters of air will go through the engine. If we were to hook the intake up to the cabin in the Demon, after 800 feet, we’d have taken all the air out of the cabin for the driver.” Happily the Demon won’t asphyxiate you, at least not directly. All that combustion, though, produces no small amount of heat, and cooling down the engine and all the rest of the components drag run after run is no small feat. Dodge’s solution is a liquid-to-air system, a first for production cars, which alone results in a 10 degree centigrade reduction in air charge temperature. It alone squeezes 10-15 more horsepower from the drivetrain. After a run, while the car sits idle, normally you’d suffer heat soak: to prevent that from happening, the after-run pump switches on to keep circulating coolant through the intercoolers rather than powering up the fan. Together they prevent the various components from heating up, so that your second, third, fourth and subsequent runs remain consistent. last_img read more

Health Law Critics Sharpen Fight Focus On Insurance Tax Credit

first_imgAccording to news reports, critics have pinpointed this part of the health law in their effort to undo the sweeping overhaul. Meanwhile, USA Today reports that very few middle-income taxpayers will pay more as a result of the measure’s taxes, fees and penalties.   The Wall Street Journal: Health Law Opponents Challenge Tax CreditOpponents of the health care overhaul are seizing on how tax credits to buy insurance are distributed as a new front in their fight against the law. Conservative critics have zeroed in on wording in the law that says state-run programs would be the vehicle for subsidizing the cost of mandatory health insurance for lower-income Americans starting in 2014 (Radnofsky, 7/16).Politico Pro: Exchange Critics: Businesses Could SueThe brains behind the next possible lawsuit over President Barack Obama’s health law say business groups are already gearing up to challenge whether coverage subsidies could flow through exchanges set up by the feds. Case Western Reserve University’s Jonathan Adler and the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon, who argue in a new paper that the health care law only enables subsidies through state-run exchanges, say interest in challenging this major piece of the law is high (Millman, 7/16).USA Today: Few Will Pay More Under Health Care LawThough the law is projected to raise more than $800 billion in taxes, fees and penalties over a decade, 40 percent comes from about 3.5 million households with adjusted gross incomes above $200,000. Employers, insurers and health care providers are slated to fork over much of the rest. That leaves only a few taxes that will fall partially on middle-income taxpayers (Kennedy and Wolf, 7/17).Other news organizations report on the health law and charity care as well as insurers’ latest wave of concerns about how its minimum health benefits standards could interfere with the ability to control costs:St. Louis Beacon:  Charity Care Remains Pressing Even If Federal Health Law Is ImplementedOne question left unanswered by the health reform law is how much charity care nonprofit hospitals must provide in exchange for numerous tax breaks. These hospitals pay no federal income and capital gains taxes, no state and local property taxes and no taxes on purchases.  The issue of whether communities get enough in return for this generosity used to be hotly debated, but it isn’t given much ink in the 2,400-page Affordable Care Act. Even so, hospitals will still need relatively robust charity-care budgets because of the number who will remain uninsured in spite of the ACA (Joiner, 7/16).CQ Healthbeat:  Insurers Fear Feds’ Minimum Benefits Standard Will Limit Their Ability to Control CostsInsurers responding to a recent proposal governing the information they must provide to help federal officials set standards for minimum health benefits say they are worried the government will do it in a way that makes coverage unaffordable.  Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, which operate in every zip code in the United States, said the proposal goes too far by asking insurers not only to say what benefits they cover, but also how they limit access to covered services (Reichard, 7/16).Finally, one HHS official offers his take on the health law’s future — Kansas Health Institute News: Affordable Care Act Will Survive Elections, Regional HHS Official PredictsTalk of repealing the Affordable Care Act is partisan bluster that won’t come to pass even if Republicans sweep the November elections, a top Obama administration health care official predicted at a forum here today.  “Even those people who are talking about repealing, privately, they acknowledge that no, the law is here to stay,” said Jay Angoff, director of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department region that includes Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Angoff said that even if Republicans control the White House and U.S. House following the election, they would not have a large enough majority in the Senate to push through legislation to overturn the law. Senate rules require 60 votes to advance most legislation (Sherry, 7/16). Health Law Critics Sharpen Fight Focus On Insurance Tax Credit This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Exchange News Md To Stagger Rollout Vt Temporarily Shuts Website

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Exchange News: Md. To Stagger Rollout; Vt. Temporarily Shuts Website Maryland officials are planning a gradual rollout of the state’s health insurance website to avoid problems, and Vermont officials cite security concerns as part of the reason for taking down Health Connect. Developments in Minnesota, Connecticut and Oregon are also covered.The Washington Post: Md. To Stagger Access To Health Exchange Web Site To Address Any Technical FlawsMaryland officials want to limit access to the state’s new health insurance Web site when it launches in November so that any glitches can be worked out and the system won’t be overwhelmed with requests. The state’s staggered approach is different from what will happen elsewhere in the country on Nov. 15, the beginning of the second enrollment period for health insurance made possible by the federal Affordable Care Act. Advocates raised concerns Tuesday that the unusual schedule planned for Maryland could further muddle an already confusing process (Johnson, 9/16).The Baltimore Sun: Maryland Health Exchange To Have Staggered RolloutThe gradual rollout will start with a preview Nov. 9, a week before open enrollment officially begins, when people will be able to browse health plans — something users couldn’t do last year without creating an account. A week later, on Nov. 15, the first sign-up event will be held at which people can enroll at a designated location that has not yet been identified. The next day the call center will begin operations so people can enroll via phone (Dresser, McDaniels and Cohn, 9/16). Burlington Free Press: VT Health Connect Website Shut Down For RepairsAnyone clicking on the Vermont Health Connect website sees a message in bold black letters on a pale green screen that advises the site is down for maintenance. This will be more than a short-term shut down, Gov. Peter Shumlin and his top health officials explained Tuesday. It could be weeks before health insurance customers would be able to resume buying plans, check accounts or pay electronically on Vermont Health Connect. In the interim, all Health Connect related transactions will be handled by call center personnel (Remsen, 9/16).Vermont Public Radio: Vermont’s Health Exchange Site Is Offline For RepairsAt a news conference announcing the decision, officials repeatedly cited security concerns as part of the rationale for taking Vermont Health Connect offline, but they insisted that the move was preemptive and not a response to a security breach. Shumlin said the move should not affect the coverage Vermonters have through the exchange – only how they interact with Vermont Health Connect (Dobbs, 9/16).Minnesota Public Radio: PreferredOne pulls out of MNsure The insurer with the lowest rates and most customers on Minnesota’s health care exchange is pulling out. Golden Valley-based PreferredOne this morning confirmed its exit from MNsure. It comes as a major blow to the exchange — the next open enrollment period starts Nov. 15 and runs through Feb. 15. MNsure officials said the online insurance exchange would reach out soon to PreferredOne customers who bought coverage through MNsure last year with information on next steps (Sepic and Crann, 9/16). Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Johnson Blasts Dayton As ‘Incompetent’ As Top-Selling Insurer Exits MNsureRepublican candidate for governor Jeff Johnson blasted Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday for what he called “breathtaking incompetence,” after it was revealed that the insurance company that sold more policies on MNsure than any other is pulling out of the exchange. MNsure officials confirmed Tuesday that PreferredOne, the choice of nearly six in 10 consumers who have bought plans on the exchange, would no longer participate. Insurers are expected to release their 2015 MNsure rates in early October (Condon, 9/16).CT Mirror: Access Health Plans Much Smaller Enrollment Assistance Effort This TimeTo reach Connecticut’s remaining uninsured and help existing customers maintain their coverage when the second Obamacare enrollment period begins in two months, Connecticut’s health insurance exchange is planning an in-person outreach effort that’s a fraction of last year’s nearly $3 million sign-up blitz. Critics say it’s inadequate for ensuring that Connecticut continues to reduce the number of uninsured residents, while a top exchange official says it’s appropriately targeted (Levin Becker, 9/17).Oregonian: Oracle America Accuses Oregon Of Violating Federal Copyright Law In Health Exchange FightIn the legal fracas over the Cover Oregon health exchange, software giant Oracle America is seeking help from an unlikely source to bolster its case against the state: The U.S. Copyright Office. On Sept. 8, the firm applied for federal copyright protection for the latest version of software products it sold to Oregon as part of the insurance exchange system. Within hours, the giant technology firm filed an amended complaint in federal court accusing Oregon of copyright infringement (Budnick, 9/16).Modern Healthcare: ACA Co-Op Plans Retool For 2015 Open EnrollmentMany consumer-governed insurance plans that struggled to attract customers during the first year of open enrollment are aggressively pricing and retooling products to be more competitive when the exchanges re-open for business on Nov. 15 (Demko, 9/16).In other health law enrollment news – NBC News: Report: Asian-American ACA Enrollment ‘Disproportionately High’According to a new report by the Center for American Progress and AAPIData, Asian Americans were the most likely of all Americans to sign up for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). About 5.5 percent of the people who signed up for the first round of the Affordable Care Act were Asian American, more than the 5.1 percent of the population which was uninsured in 2012. In California, 21 percent of enrollees were Asian Americans, nearly double the 10.8 percent who were uninsured. In Washington, 10.3 percent of enrollees were Asian Americans, also higher than 7.4 percent who were uninsured (Kai-Hwa Wang, 9/16).last_img read more

435Mile BMW Vision iNext CUV Spotted Boarding Airplane Video

Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 9, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News More iNext News Our first-ever look at the real BMW Vision iNext out in the wild before it boards an airplane for its in-flight reveal.Courtesy of our friend at BMWBLOG, we catch a video glimpse of a covered Vision iNext before it goes aboard the airplane for a never-done-before type of in-air debut. The BMW-focused site states:We spotted the BMW iNEXT while being loaded for its world tour. Munich, New York, San Francisco and Beijing. Stay tuned for more exclusive coverage! Source: BMWBLOG BMW iNEXT Expected To Be Mid-Size Electric SUV UPDATE: BMW Teases Vision iNext, Plus Shows Off Design Process View this post on Instagram We spotted the BMW iNEXT while being loaded for its world tour. Munich, New York, San Francisco and Beijing. Stay tuned for more exclusive coverage! #bmwinext #inext #bmwfuture #bmwelectricA post shared by BMWBLOG (@bmwblog) on Sep 8, 2018 at 11:30am PDT Check out the BMW Vision iNext below: Starting today, BMW will present the Vision iNext in four cities during a ’round-the-world flight.No concrete details are known in connection with the iNext at this time, but our best guess says, the iNext — if it continues to carry that moniker — will be crossover-shaped and boast a range of 435 miles. It will carry what BMW refers to as the automaker’s fifth-generation electric powertrain.You can check out some BMW’s most recent Vision iNext teaser video below:Meet the face of the future, the #BMW #VisioniNEXT. Embodying our vision for #emobility through emotive design and innovative engineering and application of modern technologies.#MyFavoriteSpace #bmwi #bmwgroup @bmwi @bmw pic.twitter.com/BPc3eZzRV3— BMW Group (@BMWGroup) September 4, 2018 Source: Electric Vehicle News BMW Vision iNext To Be Shown Off Inside A Boeing Airplane read more

Heliox delivers multistandard bus charging system to Luxembourg

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Fleet EVSE manufacturer Heliox has delivered a multi-standard charging solution to Luxembourg bus operator Sales-Lentz. The new system allows electric buses from different manufacturers to charge with different interfaces.Vehicles using the Bus-Up and Oppcharge interfaces can charge with one Heliox OC charger, and automatically switch from one standard to the other.Heliox delivered a fast charging system to Sales-Lentz in June 2017, consisting of 3 en route charging stations that use an inverted pantograph system. Now Sales-Lentz plans to deploy new e-buses that use the Bus-Up roof-mounted pantograph system, so Heliox has engineered a multi-standard system that will allow both bus models to use the same charging equipment.“Projects such as the multi-standard system push e-mobility further and contribute to a healthier, climate-and-environmentally-friendly society to preserve the quality of life for our citizens,” said Luxembourg’s Secretary of State of the Economy, Francine Closener.“This project continues to support our forward-thinking approach in delivering innovative systems to the market that emphasize interoperability and the importance of open standards,” said Heliox Business Development Manager Koen van Haperen. Source: Heliox read more

In Norway Jaguar IPACE Deliveries Will Exceed 400 In October

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 30, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Guide Dogs: Bark Of Approval To Jaguar I-Pace Pedestrian Safety System Jaguar I-PACE Sales Rise To 710 Globally In September I-PACE opens new opportunities for Jaguar in Norway.Preliminary registration data indicates that Jaguar I-PACE becomes one of the most popular cars in Norway for the month of October 2018.So far, some 563 new I-PACE were registered in the country, including 423 this month (and it could further grow).It seems that only several models will finish with a stronger result, like the Nissan LEAF (over 1,400 and over 13,000 YTD) and Volkswagen e-Golf (over 1,000 and over 6,600 YTD) as well as BMW i3 (over 540 and over 5,000 YTD).Jaguar I-PACE news The important thing to note is that during the first nine months of 2018, Jaguar registrations in Norway were at just 343 – including 140 I-PACE and 203 ICE models. In all of 2017, it was just 299 ICE Jaguars.In other words, I-PACE puts Jaguar in Norway on the track of very fast expansion that couldn’t be dreamed of if relying on conventional models.Source: elbilstatistikk.no Jaguar Considers Becoming Electric-Only Within Next Decade Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Green Deals 4pack LED Solar Motion Lights 13 more

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Housmile (99% positive feedback) via Amazon offers a four-pack of its LED Solar Motion Lights for $12.99 Prime shipped when promo code NIXHQMOA is applied during checkout. Regularly $25 or more, today’s deal is $2 less than our previous mention and the best available. These solar-powered lights make it easy to illuminate just about any outdoor space. Rated 4/5 stars. more…The post Green Deals: 4-pack LED Solar Motion Lights $13, more appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

Waymos Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids Are Under Attack Literally

first_img Jaguar Delivers First I-Pace Vehicles In U.S. To Waymo People are slashing the autonomous vehicles’ tires and trying to run them off the road.People in Arizona are fighting back against the rise of the machines, specifically Waymo’s autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans testing there. There have been at least 21 incidents of people attacking the vehicles in the last two years, including slashing tires and throwing rocks at them, according to The New York Times.More Waymo News Up To 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans Will Join Waymo How Waymo May Limit Consumer Tax Credits On Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Source: Electric Vehicle News In addition to physical attacks against the autonomous minivans, other people have attempted to thwart the artificial intelligence by suddenly stopping in front of Waymo’s vehicles and weaving into their lane. One man, who local police described as “heavily intoxicated” even decided to stand in the road in front of the vans because he no longer wanted them in his neighborhood. The plan actually worked, though, and Waymo decided to route its vehicles elsewhere, according to The New York Times.Other people have threatened the vans’ drivers. In one incident, a man brandished a .22-caliber revolver at the Waymo van.So far, Waymo has largely decided against pursuing any charges against these attackers. The company is worried that any prosecution could interrupt its autonomous vehicle testing in Arizona, according to the New York Times citing a local police report.Waymo unveiled its highly modified Chrysler Pacifica minivan in 2016. They feature a huge array of sensors and the software to stitch all of this info together that allows for full self-driving, but a human is behind the wheel in case of any situations that the code isn’t ready for.In July 2018, Waymo expanded its fleet to include three modified examples of the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV for testing on the streets of San Francisco. The company eventually intends its fleet to comprise 20,000 units of the I-Pace and up to 62,000 examples of the Pacifica.Source: The New York Times Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 4, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Teslacam Dashcam Captures Supercharger Vandals Video

first_imgTeenage prank of throwing eggs on a Tesla Model 3 is not a good idea as electric eyes are watching you.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

Squire Patton Boggs Adds Andrew Graham in Dallas

first_img Password Username Remember me Graham focuses his practice on shareholder derivative suits and securities fraud actions . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content.center_img Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Lost your password?last_img

Derailing the Obama Workplace Agenda Texas Federal Courts and the Incoming Administration

first_img Username Remember me Lost your password? Passwordcenter_img The injunction issued Nov. 22 against the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule is potentially far-reaching, and a Republican-controlled government makes it conceivable that salary thresholds for white-collar exemptions to overtime may ultimately be reduced or eliminated entirely. This injunction from U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas is the latest in a remarkable series of decisions from Texas federal judges blocking Obama administration orders, rules, and regulations . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img read more

Exclusive – Legal Financial Advisers Feast on Bankruptcy Fees from the Oil

first_imgExclusive – Legal & Financial Advisers Feast on Bankruptcy Fees from the Oil Patch© 2017 The Texas Lawbook.By Mark Curriden of The Texas Lawbook(Jan. 4) – When times were good in the oil patch and crude was selling at a $100 a barrel just three years ago, lawyers and bankers scored record profits advising companies on a record number of mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and securities offerings.For the past two-and-half years, the energy industry has been in crisis. Oil slipped to $30 a barrel. Thousands and thousands of people lost their jobs. A record number of oil and gas companies and the businesses servicing them declared bankruptcy.The law firms and financial counselors working for those distressed energy operations, however, continue to pocket hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to the complex federal bankruptcy system.The energy companies that declared bankruptcy during the past 30 months – a majority of them based in Texas – have paid their legal and financial advisers – nearly all of them based in New York and Chicago – more than $1.4 billion in fees and expenses during the past two and one half years, according to a Texas Lawbook examination of court records.Those same lawyers and consultants have requested another $260 million in payments that are pending the approval of federal bankruptcy judges in Texas, Delaware, New York and Oklahoma.In addition, there are more than 60 active bankruptcy cases in which the legal and financial advisers have not yet filed their fee requests for the fourth quarter of 2016 – fees that experts conservatively estimate will add another $80 million to the final tab.Since July 2014, three law firms – Kirkland & Ellis, Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Skadden Arps – have been paid a combined $354 million for their representation of distressed energy companies during the past two and a half years, which does not include pending requests for payment or yet-to-be filed invoices for expected for work already completed.“The business of corporate bankruptcy has become very lucrative for a small group of professionals,” Gary Kennedy, the former American Airlines general counsel who guided the Fort Worth company through Chapter 11 two years ago, said at a seminar at SMU Dedman School of Law last year. “It has gotten so expensive that some companies can no longer afford to go bankrupt.”Gary KennedyBefore the current oil and gas crisis, bankruptcy law practice had been in the toilet for years because many larger businesses chose to avoid bankruptcy court by using the shadow banking system of private equity firms and hedge funds to re-balance their financials.Companies that did seek bankruptcy protection tended to file in Delaware or New York instead of Texas. As a result, Texas law firms either fired lawyers who specialized in restructurings or had them focus on other practice areas.All that changed in the second half of 2014 when the price of petroleum sank. More than 1,280 Texas businesses have filed for bankruptcy during the past two years – many of them related to the downturn in oil and gas prices, according to new data research provided by Androvett Legal Media.“Most bankruptcy law practices were pretty slow, but now most bankruptcy lawyers are either busy or crazy busy,” says Vinson & Elkins partner Bill Wallander, who leads the firm’s reorganization and restructuring practice.Bill Wallander“Energy has been the dominant theme – lots of upstream, some midstream and some oil and gas services companies filing for bankruptcy,” Wallander says.The Androvett data shows that 752 businesses filed for bankruptcy restructuring in Texas federal courts in 2016 – up 42 percent from 2015 and up 80 percent from 2014.The data demonstrate a clear connection between bankruptcy activity in Texas and the financial health in the oil patch.New business bankruptcies filed in the Western District of Texas increased by 100 percent during the past two years – from 73 in 2014 to 146 in 2016, according to the Androvett study. The jump was even bigger in the Southern District, where 293 companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2016 – up from 141 in 2014.The Northern District witnessed a 49 percent escalation in corporate bankruptcies from 2014 to 2016. Business restructurings in the Eastern District climbed 75 percent during the past two years.More than 150 oil and gas companies filed for bankruptcy in 2016 – 71 of them were exploration and production operations with a cumulative debt of $56.8 billion, according to Haynes and Boone’s Oil and Gas Bankruptcy Monitor.The Haynes and Boone data shows that 70 oil and gas services companies and a dozen midstream firms also filed for Chapter 11 protection last year.“We are not seeing the wave of E&P bankruptcies that we witnessed earlier, but there is still a lot of distress out there, and there’s still a lot of first lien debt that is non-performing,” says Thompson & Knight partner Tye Hancock, who specializes in oil and gas bankruptcy.“A lot of it depends on where the assets are located,” Hancock says. “The cost of performing in North Dakota is a lot more than in the Permian Basin.”When Houston-based Stone Energy sought Chapter 11 protection on Dec. 14, it was the 114th E&P company to declare bankruptcy. The total debt of those companies, according to Haynes and Boone, was $74.2 billion. More than 110 oil and gas service companies with a cumulative debt of $18.8 billion have filed. The 16 midstream firms that are in bankruptcy have a combined debt of $17.2 billion.“There are still several large oil and gas companies out there that may still be forced to file Chapter 11,” says Norton Rose Fulbright partner Lou Strubeck, who is widely considered one of the leading bankruptcy lawyers in the U.S.Lou Strubeck“If commodity prices drop again and interest rates continue to go up, many of those service companies on the precipice will be forced to file,” he says.Some energy companies have been able to efficiently use bankruptcy court to fix their balance sheets in only a couple months and pay only a few million dollars to their advisers.The longer a company stays in bankruptcy, however, the more expensive it gets. Law firm partners working on these energy company restructurings charge hourly rates ranging from $950 to $1,450, according to The Texas Lawbook’s review of court records.There’s no better example than the oil services firm CHC Group, which filed for bankruptcy in Dallas last May. The company expanded quickly when petroleum prices were high, buying hundreds of helicopters to ferry workers and cargo to energy production sites around the globe.When oil fell to $30, CHC idled nearly 100 of its choppers, laid off scores of employees and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection citing $1.5 billion in debt.CHC is still a couple months away from getting U.S. Bankruptcy Chief Judge Barbara Houser’s final stamp of approval, but the company has already paid its legal and financial advisers – including Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Ernst & Young, Debevoise & Plimpton, Gardere, DLA Piper and PricewaterhouseCoopers – more than $26 million in combined fees and expenses, according to court records.That figure could double, as it does not include any fees for work those firms have done for the past three months. Those bills have not yet been submitted to Judge Houser for approval.“Oil and gas is an industry that has highs and lows,” says Jackson Walker bankruptcy partner Bruce Ruzinsky. “The temptation in the oil and gas business is to catch the wave when things are blowing and going.“This downturn has been more difficult than past ones because it has gone on longer and prices went lower than people expected,” Ruzinsky says.The CHC bankruptcy is far from unique.Fort Worth-based QuickSilver Resources paid $36.7 million in fees and expenses for only a year in federal bankruptcy court. Another Fort Worth company, Energy & Exploration Partners, paid $15 million in professional fees and expenses. Oklahoma-based Samson Resources has paid its legal and financial advisers more than $42 million during the past 15 months, while Houston-based Sabine Oil & Gas has compensated its advisers more than $78 million for 14 months in bankruptcy court.But none of these compare to the mother of all bankruptcy cases – Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings, which filed for protection in April 2014.To date, EFH has paid its lawyers and financial advisers more than $449 million – a tab that analysts predict will hit $600 million before the bankruptcy is concluded this spring.Kirkland is the biggest beneficiary. In April 2014, the Chicago-based law firm opened its first Texas office in Houston by luring Andrew Calder away from a competing law firm. That same month, EFH hired Kirkland to be the lead counselor for the debtor. In the months since, EFH has paid the firm more than $160 million in fees and expenses.“Kirkland was willing to spend the resources and now they are reaping the benefits,” says bankruptcy litigation specialist Nick Foley, who joined McKool Smith as a partner in December.Nick Foley“The bankruptcy practice was so dry for such a long time that Texas law firms avoided creating new bankruptcy lawyers,” Foley says.Foley points to a University of Texas bankruptcy law conference held in Austin the week before Thanksgiving as an example.“Several bankruptcy ‘big guns’ were scheduled to speak, but they were unable to appear because they were too busy,” he says. “As for 2017, it depends mostly on commodity prices.”© 2016 The Texas Lawbook. Content of The Texas Lawbook is controlled and protected by specific licensing agreements with our subscribers and under federal copyright laws. Any distribution of this content without the consent of The Texas Lawbook is prohibited.If you see any inaccuracy in any article in The Texas Lawbook, please contact us. Our goal is content that is 100% true and accurate. Thank you.last_img read more

Mentor Help for WouldBe Washington EntrepreneursSeahawks Vs Ravens Sunday 8 am on

first_imgIf you’ve ever thought you’d like to start a business but didn’t know how to begin, a new state Commerce department idea called “Start UP 365” intends to bring together the right people to help you with your specific idea.Robin Aldren heads the new “365” office in Whitman county; another is in Asotin. Private interviews and meetups with mentors; using research from area universities may be helpful as well. A second “365” office is set up in Asotin County. The state has set aside a quarter million dollars to fund the rural business help centers for two years time.last_img read more

Car Rolls Off I82 After Passing Snow PlowMan Charged in East Wenatchee

first_imgA 24-year-old female is in the hospital after flipping her car off Interstate 82 while passing a snow plow this afternoon.“She had reasonably minor injuries, she had some shoulder pain and some neck pain and was taken to the hospital, mostly precautionary,” explained Washington State Trooper Darren Wright.The accident occurred roughly 10 miles south of Ellensburg.last_img