GM to offer 2 more electric vehicles in next 18 months

Published: Monday, October 02, 2017 @ 12:04 PM
Updated: Monday, October 02, 2017 @ 12:02 PM


            This photo provided by General Motors Co. shows a Chevrolet Bolt, surrounded by nine electric and fuel cell vehicles covered by tarps. On Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, GM announced the company will produce two new electric vehicles on the Bolt underpinnings in the next 18 months and 20 electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. (Courtesy of General Motors Co. via AP)
This photo provided by General Motors Co. shows a Chevrolet Bolt, surrounded by nine electric and fuel cell vehicles covered by tarps. On Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, GM announced the company will produce two new electric vehicles on the Bolt underpinnings in the next 18 months and 20 electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. (Courtesy of General Motors Co. via AP)

Even though gasoline-powered SUVs are what people are buying now, General Motors is betting that electric vehicles will be all the rage in the not-too-distant future.

The Detroit automaker is promising two new EVs loosely based on the Chevrolet Bolt in the next 1 ½ years and more than 20 electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. The company sees its entire model lineup running on electricity in the future, whether the source is a big battery or a tank full of hydrogen.

"We are far along in our plan to lead the way into that future world," product development chief Mark Reuss said Monday at a news conference at the GM technical center north of Detroit.

The event was billed as a "sneak peek" into GM's electric future. The company also pledged to start producing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for commercial or military use in 2020. And it promised an increase in the number of electric fast-charging stations in the U.S., which now total 1,100 from companies and governments, taking a shot at electric competitor Tesla Inc. by saying the system would not be "walled off" from electric vehicles made by other manufacturers.

Tesla has 951 fast-charging stations globally that can only be used by Tesla owners.

The news helped push GM's stock up 4.4 percent to a record closing price of $42.16 on Monday, besting the old high of $40.99 set on Dec. 20, 2013.

The hastily called event was short on specifics, and it came just a day before the CEO of Ford Motor Co., GM's prime competitor, was to announce its business plan that likely will include electric and autonomous vehicles as priorities.

The two new GM electrics in the immediate future likely will be SUVs or a sportier car designed to compete with Tesla's upcoming Model 3 sedan, Reuss said. The Model 3, which is now in the early stages of production, will go hood-to-hood with the Bolt, starting around $35,000 (excluding a $7,500 federal tax credit) with a range of over 200 miles. The Bolt starts at $37,495 excluding the credit.

Behind Reuss and other executives were nine vehicles covered with tarps that the company said were among the 20 to be unveiled by 2023. GM pulled away the tarps on three of them, clay models of low-slung Buick and Cadillac SUVs and a futuristic version of the Bolt that looked like half of an airport control tower glued to the top of a car body. The rest remained covered.

The company wouldn't allow photographs of the vehicles, and it wouldn't say if any of the vehicles it showed were the ones coming in the next 18 months.

Reuss said the new vehicles that aren't built on the Bolt platform will have GM's next-generation electric architecture, which he said will be more efficient with longer range than the Bolt's 238 miles. Through August, GM has sold 11,670 Bolts, which is less than 1 percent of GM's total U.S. sales so far this year.

Reuss promised that the new vehicles will be profitable as people become more accustomed to the advancing technology. "We can't just flip a switch and make the world go all-electric," he said.

___

This story has been corrected to show that the previous record GM closing stock price was $40.99 on Dec. 20, 2013.

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7 social media apps that could put your child in danger

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 @ 8:23 AM

Musical App Popular With Kids Could Have Dangerous Content

Parents probably think monitoring their children’s social media is fairly simply, but social media apps are making it increasingly hard to know what minors are actually doing online.

Approximately 95 percent of all American teens ages 12-17 are online and 80 percent of those online teens are users of social media sites, according to online child safety website PureSight. Safety officials and police are warning parents that some tricky social media apps could put kids in danger.

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It’s an issue that impacts the region. Just last month, a 42-year-old Dayton man was arrested for allegedly seeking sex with a minor online. Carl Wayne Lowe was arrested on April 16 by the Dayton FBI Field Office. 

Here are 7 apps that parents need to look out for:

1. Sarahah 

Sarahah has become one of the most popular apps for the Apple iPhone. The anonymous-commentary app launched last year, and it allows users to submit honest, anonymous comments about their peers. The posts are often vulgar, negative and harassing in nature — a perfect set-up for cyberbullying.

2. Calculator% 

This is a secret app used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history. It’s an easy way for minors to hide sexually explicit content.

3. Yubo

Yubo, formerly named Yellow, is a social networking site where users can make new online friends. The app was previously scrutinized after being linked to a number of seen sexting cases in Ireland, according to several media reports. Its creators have rebranded the app, and say its working to address some parent concerns. The app, like Tinder, will show users if other people are close in location to them.

 

4. Vora

Vora is a fasting app that some teens who suffer from eating disorders are misusing. One recent fad diet is “water fasting,” a duiet where dieters consumed nothing but water. “Water fasters logged their fasts using new-on-the-market app Vora, sharing their results on Instagram,” according to a report from Vice.

5. Omegle 

Omegle is a free online chat forum where users socialize with strangers. The app picks someone at random to have a one-on-one video chat. A recent study released by the Pew Research Center showed that 47 percent of teens regularly use video messaging apps like OMEGLE. The app has been linked to cases of older men luring in younger girls for sex.

 

6. LIVE.ME

Live.Me is a Chinese social media platform that allows minors to create and view live videos that use geolocations to share content. Viewers can find the users’ exact locations with the geolocation tag. User also earn “coins” as a way to “pay” users for photos. The app has been linked to cases of sexual grooming and cyberbullying.

7. Blendr 

This app allows kids to exchange messages, photo and videos — and then rate the “hotness” of other users. It’s all linked to GPS locations, and there is no age restriction so minors could be interacting with adults through the app.

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John Legend is one of six new Google Assistant voices

Published: Tuesday, May 08, 2018 @ 5:14 PM

What You Need To Know About John Legend

Google announced that singer John Legend will be one of the new voices of Google Assistant.

The musician and songwriter, who has appeared in multiple Google ads, one with his model and cookbook author wife Chrissy Teigen, is one of six new voices for the digital device.

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CNET reported that Google made the announcement Tuesday at its annual I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California.

The technology used for the voices on the Assistant was WaveNet, which allowed Legend’s voice to be used for different user responses in less recording time.

According to The Verge, Legend’s voice will be on the Assistant for Google Home and other Google devices, like phones and home speakers, later in the year.

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Instagram quietly rolls out in-app payment feature for faster shopping

Published: Friday, May 04, 2018 @ 1:47 PM

Instagram has begun rolling out a native payments feature in its app to some users. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Carl Court/Getty Images
Instagram has begun rolling out a native payments feature in its app to some users. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)(Carl Court/Getty Images)

Shopping on Instagram is about to become a lot easier with the launch of its new native payments feature.

Instagram quietly began rolling out the feature this week for some users, giving them the option to register a debit or credit card, set up a security PIN and begin buying products without leaving the app at all.

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Before the native payment option, users could tap the app’s Shoppable Tag to purchase products they are interested in, but they would be sent directly to the brand’s website.

TechCrunch first reported on the feature after a reader tipped the site off. An Instagram spokesperson confirmed native payments for booking restaurant reservations or salon appointments are now live for a limited set of business partners.

Related: Instagram is the worst social media network for your mental health, study says

In March 2017, Instagram announced it would “roll out the ability to book a service with a business directly from their profile,” but there was no mention of native payments. 

With the new option, brands popular on Instagram may find a new, successful business venue in the app’s native commerce feature. For users, this would also make the transaction more convenient. With payment details already stored, users can make quick purchases without leaving the app.

Related: Instagram is finally fixing its algorithm to show newer posts first

According to Instagram’s terms of service, the app is backed by Facebook Payments’ rules. But while Facebook has peer-to-peer payments via Messenger, it’s unclear whether the same would become available for Instagram. The option of adding a credit or debit card on file, however, is a “critical building block to that feature,” according to TechCrunch.

Related: What is a ‘Finsta?’ Teens and their secret Instagram accounts

“Instagram Payments could make impulse buys much quicker, enticing more businesses to get on board,” TechCrunch reported. “Even if Instagram takes no cut of the revenue, brands are likely to boost ad spend to get their shoppable posts seen by more people if the native payments mean more of them actually complete a purchase.”

The new feature is available for some but not all users in the U.S. It should start rolling out for all users over the next few weeks.

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Newest cellphone is only that -- a phone

Published: Friday, March 09, 2018 @ 9:54 AM

FILE PHOTO (DTL/Morguefile.com license https://morguefile.com/license)
DTL/Morguefile.com
FILE PHOTO (DTL/Morguefile.com license https://morguefile.com/license)(DTL/Morguefile.com)

Your kids are begging for the latest and greatest cellphones to hit the market.

They may not like a new one that’s being introduced, but you sure will like them to have it.

It is called  Light Phone 2 and it has only a few functions. First and foremost is a phone, ABC News reported.

It can call and it can text. But it cannot use Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or any other social media.

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Light Phone 2 can also message, use maps and call for an Uber, the Telegraph reported.

Basically, it’s an old-fashioned flip phone without the flip phone look.

It also uses E-Ink for the display and operates on a modified version of the Android operating system, the Telegraph reported.

“Unlike a flip phone, however, to children the Light Phone is seen as ‘cool’ amongst their peers,” Joe Hollier, co--founder of Light told “Good Morning America.” “We have been working with parents on the idea of a parental app to support their child’s Light Phone 2 as well.”

Light launched it’s first phone in 2016. It could only make calls and store nine numbers, the Telegraph reported. The company sold 10,000 devices, but they were too simple for many and were not practical for some, the Telegraph reported.

Light Phone 2 are expected to ship next year and will cost about $250, the Telegraph reported.

If you want to get in on the new technology, the company launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $250,000. So far it has exceeded that amount by 335 percent and has more than $836,000 pledged from supporters.

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