Members can earn 4X the bonus miles with ParkN Fly

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: Aeroplan, Park’N Fly Tuesday, February 7, 2017 Posted by Tweetcenter_img MISSISSAUGA — Park’N Fly has a new promotion for Aeroplan members. Valid until the end of March, Aeroplan members can earn 4X the points when they stay at Park’N Fly Self-Park locations in Ottawa and Edmonton and earn 2X the points at one of Park’N Fly’s Valet locations in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.Members must present promotional code PF88 at the participating Self Park locations and promotional code PF89 at participating Valet locations to receive bonus miles. A minimum four-day stay is required.This bonus mile promotion is in addition to the regular miles Aeroplan members earn when they stay at Park’N Fly. Members earn 100 base Aeroplan Miles for every Valet stay in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, and 50 base Aeroplan Miles for every Self Park stay in Edmonton, Ottawa, Halifax and Toronto.Park’N Fly Rewards Member also earn 50% more Aeroplan Miles each time they use their Park’N Fly Rewards card.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backVisit parknfly.ca/aeroplan for information. Members can earn 4X the bonus miles with Park’N Fly << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo TEMPE, Ariz. — As the Arizona Cardinals begin their second week of offseason workouts, two questions loom large over the offense.And they both deal with the offensive line.“We got to figure out who the center is going to be, we got to figure out who the right tackle is going to be,” quarterback Carson Palmer said.Let’s start with the latter.D.J. Humphries, who spent his entire rookie season on the inactive list after the Cardinals selected him in the first round with the 24th overall pick, is expected to fill the right tackle spot.  Last year’s starter Bobby Massie signed a free-agent contract with Chicago. 0 Comments   Share   Mathis will play right guard and join returning starters Jared Veldheer and Mike Iupati, who anchored the left side of the line at tackle and guard, respectively.Veldheer started every game last season, while Iupati started the final 13 following a knee injury and yet still was voted to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl, becoming the first Cardinals lineman to be so honored since Lomas Brown in 1996.“It’s going to be a challenge,” Palmer said, referring to all five linemen getting on the same page. “Those guys have a lot of continuity that they need to get caught up with each other and figure each other out and get used to the way each other calls protections and the different things that happen up front. But it’s a great group going into camp.”The jelling of an offensive line takes time. It can’t be rushed, according to Mathis.“There’s so many different factors that go into that: how much work you put in together off the field, how much experience you get together on the field in the different types of situations you end up in because you’re not always going to be in the same situations in practice and in games. There’s a lot that goes into that,” he said. “Some guys pick it up really fast and sometimes it takes guys to get thrown into more challenges than others before they jell, but I’m looking forward to this unit doing it pretty fast.” Humphries earned praise from both head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin at season’s end for the progress he made. In addition, the coaches expressed confidence in the 22-year-old being ready to handle the job.As far as who plays center, that’s more of an unknown.Currently, the Cardinals list only two centers on the roster: veteran A.Q. Shipley and Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, a four-year starter at New Mexico State who was signed to a future contract after he was released by Atlanta as an undrafted rookie free agent.The Cardinals will likely address the position at some point during this week’s three-day 2016 NFL Draft either with a player familiar snapping the football or one they believe may be able to transition to the middle of the line.“There’s going to be some battles. There’s a lot of competition up front,” Palmer said.The Cardinals are probably looking at three new starters along the offensive line this season.“I’m excited. You very rarely keep five for year after year after year,” said Palmer, who called the free-agent acquisition of two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis “huge; a guy that’s proven, a guy that’s played well.” Every moment together is important for the offensive line, even those here during the voluntary strength and conditioning program, where pads are missing as is a defense to line up against.Palmer, though, is convinced the group will get on the same page sooner rather than later.“You just work. There is no secret. It’s just work, and it’s repetitions. You can’t fake those repetitions. You have to get the reps in,” he said. “You can’t sit in the meeting room and watch film and do it. There’s things that have to happen on the field.  When the guy that’s coming off the edge or a blitz is coming up the A-gap and you have to change a call or you have to pat your butt or whatever the signals are for the running backs, those things you just have to rep and we’ll get those.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Arizona Cardinals’ offensive line will have a different look in 2016. Jared Veldheer (68) will be back but Lyle Sendlein (63) may not be. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Click on image to enlarge I wouldnt want to b

first_img (Click on image to enlarge) I wouldn’t want to be short any of the precious metals at this point in history as we wait for the Fed and JPMorgan et al to make their next move. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend…and I’ll see you here on Tuesday. Not surprisingly, the high ticks in platinum and palladium all came at the same moment as gold and silver’s high.  This was obviously price management across the board in all precious metals…and only the willfully blind would think otherwise. The dollar index closed on Thursday at 82.78…and spent all of Friday chopping broadly lower…and the index closed on Friday afternoon at 82.47…down 31 basis points from Thursday. The dollar index low came about 10:50 a.m. in New York, just minutes before the high ticks in all four precious metals.  The big axe fell at 11:30 a.m…and was not related to anything that the currencies were doing at the time. Not surprisingly, the silver shares got hit pretty hard as well…and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 4.54%. The gold stocks opened in the black, but got sold into the red immediately…and were down about a half percent right up until the 11:30 a.m. New York price execution in all four precious metals.  The low tick for the gold stocks came right at 12:15 p.m. EDT of course…and then they traded sideways for the remainder of the trading session. (Click on image to enlarge) Here’s the long-term Silver 7 chart to give the you bigger long-term picture. Tosca Mining Corporation’s goal is to acquire advanced stage projects that can be placed into production quickly. The company’s primary asset is the Red Hills Molybdenum/Copper project located in Presidio County, Texas. A program to confirm, and expand the considerable size and potential of the project and evaluate various economic scenarios was completed in 2011.  Tosca recently received results from the 13 remaining holes from its phase two, 16,000 M (4,873 m) diamond drill program. Per Tosca’s Chairman, Dr. Sadek El-Alfy, “the drill program has successfully verified historic drill results of the shallow Copper-Molybdenum cap and confirmed the presence of a deeper, well mineralized Molybdenum Porphyry deposit.” The results of 21 holes drilled through the copper/moly cap in Tosca’s 2011 drill program give a weighted average grade of 0.39 % Cu over a core length of 113 feet (34.5 m). Since the copper cap is subhorizontal, the average core length can be interpreted as being approximately equivalent to true width. The copper/moly cap is crescent shaped, approximately 4,000 feet (1220 metres) long and 400 feet (122 m) to 1000 feet (305 m) wide. The 2011 program encountered numerous thick  Molybdenum mineralized intervals including Hole TMC-25 wich  intersected 1,189 feet (362.4 m) averaging 0.089 per cent Mo including 830 feet (253 m) of 0.1 per cent Mo from 359 feet (109.8 m) to the bottom of the hole. Hole TMC-29 cut 989 feet (301.4 m) averaging 0.09 per cent Mo including 139 feet (42.4 m) of 0.16 per cent Mo. The molybdenum grades are similar and in some cases higher than those of projects currently considered of potential economic interest.” Aggressive plans are in place for 2012 to conduct metallurgical tests, produce an updated resource estimate and  Pre Economic Assesment. Tosca is operated by an experienced mine development team, operates in Texas, a  mine-friendly jurisdiction and its property iseasily accessible with infrastructure in place to advance operations. Please visit our website to learn more about the company ad request information. The status quo is not an option the central banks can allow to continue for long. The gold price rallied a bit during the early going in Far East trading, but got sold down starting around 9:30 a.m. Hong Kong time.  From that high tick of the day, around $1,487 spot, it got sold down a bit over twenty-five bucks, hitting its London low early in the morning BST. Then starting around 11:00 a.m. BST, gold began to rally once more…and that rally gathered a bit more steam once New York began to trade.  But just minutes before the London close [11:00 a.m. in New York] a not-for-profit high frequency trader appeared…and by 12:15 p.m. EDT had gold down to its low tick of the day, which was $1,447.30 spot.  The New York high was $1,484.10 spot. The gold price rallied back in fits and starts from there…closing the Friday trading day at $1,462.90 spot…down $5.30 from Thursday’s close.  Gross volume was a grotesque 265,000 contracts, mostly of the HFT variety. Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on its own so you can see the not-for-profit seller’s action close up and personal.  The NY spot gold chart looks similar. (Click on image to enlarge) Here’s your “cute quota” for today… I’ve got the usual number of stories for you today…and quite a few of them are gold/silver related…and I hope you can find the time over what’s left of your weekend to run through them all. Gold has worked down from Alexander’s time. When something holds good for two thousand years, I do not believe it can be so because of prejudice or mistaken theory. – Bernard M. Baruch Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ is a piece that I first heard live when Gary Brooker et al played it with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra back in 1992 when I was on the board of directors.  After Whiter Shade of Pale and Conquistador…this is their most popular composition.  This performance was with the Danish National Concert Orchestra and choir at Ledrborg Castle in Denmark in August of 2006. I note that Geoff Whitehorn is still playing lead guitar…Mark Brzezicki is still playing the drums…and Gary has still got the pipes.  This version, in my opinion, is the best I’ve heard.  The recording is stunning…and the link is here. Today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is a J.S. Bach chestnut that I never tire of listening to.  It’s the Concerto in D minor for two violins, strings and continuo, BWV 1043.  The link to the first and second movements are here…and the third movement, here. Doing the honours is the St. Petersburg Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, with soloists Lyubov Stekolshchikova and Elina Drukh. The tempo is a touch faster than I’m used to. Well, JPMorgan et al are still at it…not only from a price perspective, but also the shares.  As I commented in Thursday’s column…why the big rise in share prices on zero price movement in either gold or silver on Wednesday?  Well, it’s a good bet that ‘da boyz’ were buying so they could sell them into the next rally…and that came on Thursday…and then they sold the rest on Friday.  John Embry has always been of the opinion that the shares as well as the metal prices themselves, were managed…and their price action over the last three days certainly reeks of that. I’d dearly love to know what’s going on behind the scenes, but in the face of unprecedented world-wide demand in the physical precious metal itself, I’m sure that they are having their issues at the moment.  There’s no doubt in my mind that they were caught totally flat-footed by the world’s reaction to their little ‘Comex Caper’…and are back at the drawing board figuring out how to extricate themselves from this self-inflicted wound without exacerbating the situation.  And as I and others have already stated, this bifurcated market cannot last for too long, as the current over-the-top physical demand will have the bullion banks for lunch at some point.  The only thing that will kill this retail demand stone cold dead is a sudden [on a weekend, perhaps] upward revaluation in price that puts gold out of reach of all but the richest.  That goes for silver as well…and silver will become the new gold for the masses. A price high enough to accomplish that will undoubtedly turn a lot of precious metal buyers into precious metal sellers virtually overnight. The only other option is ‘death by a thousand cuts’…where precious metal prices are allowed to rise ‘normally’…whatever that means these days…and the buying frenzy on Planet Earth will begin anew.  If you read some of the above-posted stories out of India, that psychology is already starting to take hold since the bottom was put in on Tuesday morning last week in early Hong Kong trading. But one thing is for sure…the status quo is not an option the central banks can allow to continue for long. Before heading out the door, Nick Laird must know that I’m a creature of habit with my Saturday column, because his “Total PMs Pool” chart…updated with Friday’s data…was in my in-box before I even thought about it. Here it is posted below…and as you can see, the U.S. dollar ‘value’ has done a face plant, but the total ounces under management has barely moved. (Click on image to enlarge) The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 562 gold and 2 lonely silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday.  JPMorgan Chase was the big short/issuer with 558 contracts…and one of their partners in crime in the precious metal price management scheme, Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, was the long/stopper of 555 of those contracts.  This should just about wrap up deliveries for April in both metals.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The inventories of GLD took another hit yesterday.  This time an authorized participant withdrew 232,107 troy ounces and, for the second day in a row an authorized participant added silver to SLV…820,985 troy ounces to be exact. I’m starting to wonder about these never-ending withdrawals from GLD…as it’s my opinion that we’re long past the investors dumping-their-holdings story…and I’m looking around for another explanation. The short interest report for the first half of April for both GLD and SLV was posted on the shortsqueeze.com Internet site either late Thursday night or last night.  It showed that, during the period mentioned, the short interest in SLV blew out by 27.11 percent…and GLD by an eye-watering 48.47 percent.  I was quite taken aback at first glance, but with sober second thought it occurred to me that if I was ‘da boyz’…both SLV and GLD would be one of the vehicles that I would use to make obscene profits and acquire more metal at bargain-basement prices. I’m prepared to bet serious coin that these obscene short positions have already been closed out…and that fact will be reflected in the next short interest report coming up in about two weeks time. Joshua Gibbons, the Guru of the SLV Bar List updated his about.ag/SLV/ website on Thursday with the in/out activity of SLV as of the close of trading on Wednesday.  This is what he had to say…”Analysis of the 24 April 2013 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list.  No bars were added or removed. 269 bars had accounting changes (e.g. from 0.9990 fine to 0.9999 fine). All bars with changes were in Brinks London, which is likely currently being audited. As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was over-allocated 483.4 oz.”  The link to his website is here. The U.S. Mint had another sales report yesterday.  They sold 5,000 ounces of gold eagles…1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes and, for the third day in a row…zero silver eagles.  Month-to-date the mint has sold 208,500 ounces of gold eagles…36,000 ounces of one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 3,232,000 silver eagles. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported receiving 312,978 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 790,669 troy ounces out the door.  The link to that activity is here. In gold on Thursday, the Comex-approved depositories reported receiving 153,748 troy ounces…and shipped a smallish 1,300 troy ounces of the stuff out the door.  The link to that activity is here. I was happy to see that everything appeared to be back to normal with this week’s Commitment of Traders Report.  Whether the data from last week’s COT Report was reported in error or tampered with, is still not known, but the result was that the data in yesterday’s report has partially masked what happened in the prior week’s report. But, having said that, this latest report is still pretty impressive…and is still one for the record books in many categories. In silver, the Commercial net short position declined by a very chunky 26.7 million ounces…and now stands at 85.8 million ounces…not a record low…but pretty close. The Big 4 [JPM, Scotiabank, HSBC USA….plus one other short holder of no consequence] were short 193.1 million ounces of silver…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders were short an additional 50.9 million ounces of silver.  As far as concentration goes, the ‘Big 4’ are short 36.0% of the entire Comex futures market on a ‘net’ basis…a big drop from two weeks ago.  The ‘5 through 8’ are short an additional 9.3 percentage points of the Comex futures market in silver on a net basis. Ted Butler is busy with his son’s wedding, so I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to him yesterday, so I’m not sure where JPMorgan’s short position stands at the moment. There are 37 short-side traders in the Commercial category of the COT Report in silver…and 4 of them are short 36 percent of the entire Comex futures market in that metal. I’d guess that JPMorgan holds at least half of that amount on its own. The other stand-out features in the silver COT Report was the fact that the net long position in the Non-Commercial category has shrunk down to 15,000 contracts…and the net long position of the small traders in the Nonreportable category has virtually disappeared…and currently stands at 2,163 contracts!  I don’t remember ever seeing a number that low and, if the truth be known, I never thought it possible. In gold, the Commercial net short position imploded by 3.75 million troy ounces…and now sits at 10.44 million ounces.  The Big 4 are short 8.63 million ounces of gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 4.94 million ounces.  These are monstrous changes…and I’m guessing that one would have to go back at least five years to see a number this low. On a ‘net’ basis [once the market-neutral spread trades are subtracted out] the Big 4 are short 24.7 percent of the entire Comex futures market in gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 14.2 percentage points of the Comex futures market. In the Non-Commercial category, the net long position declined to just over 104,000 contracts.  Their net long position…10.4 million ounces…is exactly equal to the Commercial net short position of 10.4 million ounces…and that’s because the Nonreportable position [the small traders] is a vanishingly small 133 contracts…basically zero!  Unheard of! I’m sure that there was a lot more going on ‘under the hood’ in both metals…and I look forward to reading what silver analyst Ted Butler has to say about it in his weekend commentary…when he can find the time to write it, that is.  In case you’re interested, the link to yesterday’s legacy COT Report is here…and the Disaggregated COT Report is here. Here’s Nick Laird’s “Days to Cover Short Positions” chart updated with yesterday’s data. Sponsor Advertisement In silver, the only real difference between it and gold was the fact that the London low came about 12:30 p.m. BST…thirty minutes after the noon London silver fix.  The New York high in silver was also minutes before the London close…and the high-frequency trader delivered the coup de grâce at 11:30 a.m. EDT. From that point, the silver chart looks pretty much the same as the gold chart, with the New York low [$23.57 spot] coming at 12:15 p.m. EDT right on the button. The Far East high tick was around $24.85 spot…and intraday move of almost $1.30. Silver closed at $24.04 spot…down 36 cents from Thursday.  Volume, net of the May delivery month roll-overs, was a hair under 17,000 contracts…mostly vapour and fumes.last_img read more

In This Issue   Bias to buy dollars returns

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Bias to buy dollars returns. *  A breakdown for the ECB meeting. *  A$ sees rate speculation turn. *  Chinese manufacturing is cooking with gas! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Second Quarter Consumption Takes A Hit! Good Day! .  And a Marvelous Monday to you! I’m totally whacked out this morning at home, so this will be short-n-sweet, as I attempt to write without problems. No worries, I’ll be fine. Just not so much right now! Kathy left for a few days yesterday, leaving just Chuck and Alex at home, and that meant that I had to go to the store to buy the “essentials” for a boys ½-week. Alex is still recovering from mono and strep, so he was actually at home to eat dinner with me last night! Now, that’s amazing! Another thing that looks to be amazing is the news that came from China over the weekend. The news? Well, the news in itself isn’t that amazing, but the fact that all the Chinese naysayers have to crawl back into their walls and await the next time they are able to scurry about, and play Chicken Little is amazing to me!  Anyway, the news was that the Chinese Gov’t’s version of their Manufacturing Index (PMI) printed at 50.8, which was the fastest pace in 5 months! This is a good sign for China’s economy, in that, not only does the world see it isn’t collapsing as the Chicken Little’s have pronounced it would, but also it shows the Chinese Gov’t that their decision to step up the stimulus measures is working. Remember, at first, the Chinese were going to not use stimulus measures and see what happens, but then they got an itchy trigger finger, and decided to implement some small measures, but when the economy showed fatigue, they decided to step up the pace of the stimulus measures including faster spending and increased railway investment. I would look for the next thing to be a cut in the reserve requirements for banks. Last Friday, I told you that I thought from the looks of things, that the Chinese Gov’t was going to increase the stimulus measures, and now that is confirmed. See? Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn!  But remember, China doing things like this is different from a country that doesn’t have the money to spend, and digging their debt hole even deeper. I still don’t like that they had to resort to stimulus measures, as I’m a purist on the Central Bank and Gov’t economy intervention. I don’t like it! It shouldn’t happen, and so on. But the fact that the Chinese are in a position fiscally, to do it, makes more sense to me. I doesn’t mean I have to like it! So, The global growth countries and their currencies saw a pop from the news overnight, but as I turn on the laptop this morning, the bias to buy dollars has taken over. The Dollar Index is up big this morning, and the euro is barely holding to the 1.36 figure.  The price of Oil jumped on the Chinese data, but then so did the dollar, which makes just a bit of sense, in that Oil contracts are still priced in dollars. That is Oil contracts that aren’t a part of currency swap agreements between countries, that are becoming the norm in the world, folks. Speaking of the euro.. A trader friend of ours at Morgan Stanley sent me a note the other day, and their research team had put together a chart/ table, of the policy instruments available to the ECB, and the potential impact, and effect on the euro.  The table pretty much plays out the way I’ve explained to you how I felt things would go for the euro.  For those of you who missed class that day, I said that as long as the ECB kept the stimulus to negative deposit rates, the hit on the euro would be minimal, and maybe even positive, as this has already been priced in.   So, Morgan Stanley believes that if the ECB does just cut the deposit rate and not mention euro strength, the euro could rise to 1.37.  But any of the other stimulus measures would send the euro to the woodshed. And a large bond buying program would knock the stuffing out of the euro all the way to 1.28.   So. as you can see, even the large firms with their large research divisions, come up with the same stuff that I do, on my own! One of the headline stories on the Bloomberg this morning is that the British pound sterling / pound saw its rally end, as Mortgage Applications (Apps) fell to a nine-month low in the U.K.  and thus reducing the calls for a rate hike in the U.K.  I’ve told you again and again about the U.K. and that the debt there is not going away, and neither is the game that Bank of England (BOE) Gov. Mark Carney is playing with the markets regarding giving them hints of a rate hike, but never pulling the dust covers off the rate hike machine. I refer to this as Carney’s bag of promises. So, in the end, be careful with pounds, they are most likely going to disappoint in the end. The best performing currency so far this year, the Brazilian real, has seen its rally get sidetracked, which is surprising, in a way, to me. The surprising part is that this is just two weeks ahead of the World Cup, and all that tourism, and converting to reals to spend. the not so surprising part  is that this is the Brazilian real. Real is the name, volatility is its game!  Which is why I always tell you, be just what you is, not what you is not.! No wait, no time for Mr. Wizard, here, I’m talking serious stuff, Chuck, can’t you just be serious for a whole letter, for once? Nah. what fun would that be?  But I do always tell you that reals should only be purchased as a speculative investment for your investment portfolio, then when volatility hits it like this morning, you won’t panic! The Aussie dollar (A$) is kicking ’round the cobblestones this morning. I think that the A$ has a tough row to hoe ahead of it, as the interest rates speculators have now switched horses in the middle of the stream. As recent as April 10th, these speculators had an 88% chance of a rate hike priced into their futures. But just last week, that trade got turned around, and now the speculators are betting that interest rates don’t move for at least another 12 months. The A$ will have to fight through news like this, and I’m not sure it can, right now at least. But, one thing I’ll say about the A$, is that it is resilient, and just when you think the A$ is about to raise the white flag, it turns things around in its favor.. I told the currency guys that I met with last week that I still believe that New Zealand has two more rate hikes coming this year. And to not panic about the recent softness in the New Zealand dollar / kiwi. All it was doing was providing some cheaper buying opportunities! Want a toe tapping, head bobbing song to listen to? Download the Kinks song: Sunny Afternoon. A great summertime song! Ok, that public service announcement was brought to you by me! Hey! I’m beginning to come back to life here, but after spending most of the night awake, I’ll have to head back to bed once the letter is out! Gold has fallen to a 4-month low, folks. As I’ve said for some time now, “it’s all about stocks”. I also remind people that, “that’s OK, now, but the stock euphoria didn’t work out so good for investors the last time, now did it?” That’s all I’m saying there. Gold has become the ugly duckling to investors, but we all know the story of what happens to the Ugly Duckling, now don’t we? The U.S. Data Cupboard will have the May ISM (manufacturing index) for us today, which should play in concert with the stronger manufacturing indexes in the Eurozone, and China. If it doesn’t, we’ve got a story. If it does, then the “the U.S. economy is strong, bugs” will come out of the wallboards once again, and stir the pot for the bias to buy dollars this morning.  But I wonder what led the dollar bugs to stir the pot this morning given the rot on the economy’s vine that was evident by last week’s GPD and Personal Spending data. Well, you can mark down a soft start for Consumption in the 2nd QTR.  And I checked with a local meteorologist and they confirmed that while things were still unusually chilly in April, we didn’t have severe winter weather shutting down most of the country. So. what am I talking about?  Well the Personal Spending data for April. It printed a negative -.1%…  , and Real Consumer spending fell -.3%, the first drop since December of last year.  So, we have the 2nd QTR starting out in the red on consumption.  I don’t make these things up folks. The first QTR was an absolute washout, and now the 2nd QTR is starting out in the red. UGH!  But then, I think I was the one who has kept telling you ever since the “recession allegedly ended”, back in 2009! Before I head to the Big Finish this morning, I had a reporter call me on Friday morning. Which actually surprised the heck out of me, because no one calls me any longer. don’t ask me why. Well, I actually know why, but won’t get into that here. But the reporter was interested in the bond yields, and I told him that if we’re just talking bond activity and not back room deals that may or may not be going on at the Fed, that the bond markets were telling us that they are not buying the strong economy talk. It’s that simple. they don’t believe it, and therefore yields will fall. Which on a sidebar is fine with me, given that it gives us a better starting point for our MarketSafe Treasury CD, which by the way, the funding period ends on 6/11. Just a friendly reminder! For What It’s Worth. found this on Moneynews.com, as I tried to remain calm yesterday. I just don’t know what else the Fed needs for proof that their tapering is taking a HUGE bite out of the economy. But then, they always seem to be playing catch up. “For those hoping that housing will lead a robust recovery, Freddie Mac is not exactly offering a beacon of hope – the mortgage giant estimates many of the nation’s housing markets are stalling. Freddie Mac said its research shows only 10 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia could be considered to have “stable” housing markets. The top five are North Dakota, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, Alaska and Louisiana – four energy-producing states plus the cradle of government spending. Only four of the top 50 metro areas were ranked stable by Freddie Mac – San Antonio; New Orleans; Austin, Texas; and Houston. “Less than half of the housing markets MiMi covers are showing an improving trend, whereas at this same time last year more than 90 percent of these same markets were headed in the right direction,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.” Chuck again. This all reminds me of 2004 & 2005. Yes, back then I tried to warn people about the housing bubble, and no one would listen to me. Shoot my own kids didn’t listen to me! I remember being at a Jacksonville Jaguars game, and the mortgage guys were having fun listening to my spiel on why I believed there was a housing bubble. a couple of years later, they weren’t having so much fun. This current scenario reminds me of that time. I’m just saying. To recap. Chuck is under the weather, so this was short-n-sweet this morning. The currencies & metals are under the weather too, as the bias to buy dollars is being cast over the markets this morning. The Big ECB meeting will take place this week, where ECB president, Draghi, will announce was kind of stimulus he’s going to implement. Gold is down again, as the “buy stocks” theme hangs over Gold like the Sword of Damocles Currencies today 6/2/14. American Style: A$ .9050, kiwi .8464, C$ .9205, euro 1.3605, sterling 1.6750, Swiss $1.1150, . European Style: rand 10.5940, krone 5.9970, SEK 6.6855, forint 222.35, zloty 3.0405, koruna 20.1940, RUB 34.88, yen 102.05, sing 1.2560, HKD 7.7540, INR 59.15, China 6.1695, pesos 12.86, BRL 2.2415, Dollar Index 80.53, Oil $102.91, 10-year 2.49%, Silver $18.81, Platinum $1,440.43, Palladium $832.90, and Gold. $1,247.00 That’s it for today. Whew! What a tough weekend for my beloved Cardinals! OUCH! The S.F. Giants, with the best record in the National League, schooled my Cardinals winning 3 of 4. Well, I watched a bit of the Hawks/ Kings Game 7 last night, but didn’t see the end, which had the Kings going to the finals VS the Rangers. If I were a betting man, I would pick the Kings.. But it will be a battle of two of the best goalies in hockey. and why are they still playing hockey in June? I hear you asking. good question! The NBA finals will be the Heat VS the Spurs. I have a friend in Jacksonville that’s from Texas, and he’s a HUGE Spurs fan. I think he’ll be disappointed in about a week. We had Braden Charles’ Birthday party here on Saturday. It looked like a daycare with all the little toddlers and babies! They were all so cute!  Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels are singing about Jenny taking a ride on the IPod right now. That’s a real seat bopping song! OK. time to go back to bed. I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

Kul Chandra Gautam was born in a rural village wit

first_imgKul Chandra Gautam was born in a rural village with no electricity or running water, no doctors and schools. The nearest town with a market was a five-day walk away.He left home at age 7 to study — and study he did. He was one of the first people in the world to learn English from a Peace Corps volunteer, and his outstanding grades eventually won him a full scholarship to Dartmouth.But getting there wasn’t easy.For two years, Gautam petitioned the Nepali government for a passport so he could attend the U.S. university. But back in the 1960s, passports were given only to people of privilege — not poor villagers. His passport request went all the way up to the king, only to be denied.It was then Gautam vowed to do something special with his life.”That moment came because of the injustice of not being able to get a passport,” he said on a visit to NPR headquarters last month to talk about his life and his new memoir, Global Citizen from Gulmi: My Journey from the Hills of Nepal to the Halls of United Nations.Gautam, now 69, speaks with contagious energy, his eyes gleaming. (He exuberantly corrects the Western way of counting one’s age. He’s actually 70, he says, because in Nepal your first birthday is on the day you are born: “That seems logical to us!”)The discrimination Gautam faced as a young man only made him fight harder. The second time he applied for a passport, a mid-level government official who had also risen from a rural village sympathized with his plight and approved his application.Gautam was going to America.”From that point on, I felt — ah! I have managed to do something impossible,” he says early in the interview. His cup of tea, forgotten, cools before him as he recalls the pain and then joy of his challenges. “Even when the king rejects you, that’s not the end of the road.”For Gautam, the road would extend all the way to a top leadership position with the United Nations.In 1971, he graduated from Dartmouth, where he studied international relations, after just three years. Next, he received his master’s degree in economic development and modernization from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School in 1973.After that, he ascended the ranks of the United Nations, beginning as a program officer for UNICEF and climbing to the position of assistant secretary general of the U.N. from 2000 to 2008.A grandfather’s wishWhen Gautam was born, his grandfather, who had long yearned for male heirs, was elated.”He said, ‘I want this boy to be someone special,’ ” Gautam recalls. ” ‘An educated pundit.’ “His grandfather and his father taught him all they knew, scratching letters of their Nepali dialect into the dirt with a stick. The boy quickly absorbed their knowledge. When he was 7 years old he moved to a village across the river to learn from a local teacher — the first in a series of moves farther and farther from home in the pursuit of education.In 1962, Gautam was a seventh-grader in a town called Tansen, one of the first outposts for volunteers with a new organization, the Peace Corps. Gautam knew only a few English words then — not enough to string together a sentence — but he excelled under the volunteers’ tutelage.His education didn’t stop when school did; Gautam would tag along with his teachers after class. They taught him how to play chess and Scrabble; soon enough, he began beating them.One volunteer told him if he kept up his education, he might one day study in America.There are times when the right encouragement, the right promise, echoes in your head and lodges in your heart. Even now, half a century later, Gautam’s face still lights up at the promise of that dream.The idea of studying in the United States stayed with him. More specifically, Gautam decided, he wanted to attend Dartmouth — the alma mater of a volunteer who had lent him books.In the final year of high school, Gautam enlisted the help of his old Peace Corps teachers and took college entrance exams.”Apparently, surprisingly, I did very well,” he says with characteristic humility. He still calls himself “a little village boy” and says that his village was, “by Nepali standards, not very remote” — a mere five-day walk to the nearest small city.At one point, he mentions in passing that he was one of the most accomplished students in all of Nepal. He was recounting his explanation to a low-level government employee why he should be granted the passport.”Obviously, he was suspicious, you know, ‘How did he get this scholarship? This is abnormal.’ And I explained everything, you know, I have a very good record in school, I’m at the top of the whole country in the final school-leaving exams.””But qualification is not the main criteria” for getting a passport, he says, shrugging nonchalantly. “There’s one possible criteria: It is who you are related to.”Yet this poor Nepali villager not only gained entrance to one of the most prestigious schools in the United States — he was offered a full scholarship.Gautam believes organizations like the Peace Corps, which was instrumental to his own education, are important for improving the lives of people like him around the world.”The Peace Corps is a unique instrument that I think is perhaps underestimated in this country and elsewhere,” he says. “They are in many ways the true ambassadors of the U.S.””He has such a great voice for his country,” says Glenn Blumhorst, president and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association. This year, Gautam was honored with the organization’s Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award.”He has the ability to connect with a village elder or a small child in his village, somebody who’s from very humble background, to diplomats and heads of state,” Blumhorst says. “That’s really impressive.”Hard work, good luckWhen he tells his story, Gautam is sure to emphasize his good luck along with his hard work and determination. But he also clearly has a faculty for winning people over.When he speaks of the government official who eventually helped him get a passport, he tugs on his ear just like the official did five decades ago — an impromptu sign for “Listen, here’s the way we have to do this,” a code between two villagers of how they’d work within the system to conquer it.At UNICEF, where he eventually became deputy executive director, Gautam was part of the push to vaccinate 80 percent of the world’s children by 1990 — an enormously ambitious and ultimately successful campaign.In addition to vaccines, UNICEF encouraged health workers to monitor children’s growth and introduced oral rehydration therapy to combat diarrhea and dehydration — a major killer of children.To encourage breastfeeding in places where unclean water caused many infections, like Brazil, Gautam enlisted the mother of soccer superstar Pelé.”Of course, he is the best football player in the world,” Pelé’s mother said, patting the shoulder of her son in an image that was plastered on billboards around the country. “I breastfed him!”All of these improvements have had a massive impact. But to reach the remaining children in need, Gautam says, global health and development workers must take a multi-pronged approach.”You do whatever you can do. It’s not one versus the other,” he says. “We vaccinate people, we also work on poverty reduction, we also work on girls’ education, we work on multiple fronts.”That last issue — girls’ education — is particularly important to Gautam.”Of the investments you can make in development,” he says, “probably the most important, and the most transformative, is in girls’ education.”It’s important not just because it changes each girl’s life, Gautam explains, but also because those changes ripple throughout the whole family and into the community. Education helps halt the cycle of poverty that often traps generations of families.”Ultimately, the best vaccine is reducing poverty and providing education,” he says.Gautam retired from the U.N. in 2008. He now serves as chair of the board of RESULTS, a nonprofit focused on eradicating poverty. He is optimistic about the progress the world has made battling preventable diseases and improving the well-being of millions around the globe. But, he points out, newer — and more complicated — problems arise as old ones are solved.For instance, when he was growing up, his village had no school. About 95 percent of men and 100 percent of women were illiterate. It was rare for a woman to receive any education, he says.Today, there are five primary schools in his village alone. And more girls than boys attend the public schools in his village, Gautam says.But for this longtime activist, access alone isn’t enough. “You see this new form of inequality coming — a subtle discrimination,” he says. More girls may attend public schools, but more boys attend higher-quality private schools, he believes. The girls have equal access to education, but not to equal quality, he says.”If the biggest challenge in development of the 20th century was access to basic services, the biggest challenge of this century is equity,” he says. “How do we make sure that everybody has access, [and] that access is equitable?”Melody Schreiber (@m_scribe on Twitter) is a freelance journalist in Washington, D.C. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Before They Spoiled the Software

first_img –shares Before They Spoiled the Software Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queue Brought to you by PCWorld Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business September 30, 2007 Next Article Software developers would like you to believe that with every new version, their products improve substantially, adding slicker interfaces and more powerful features, and making better use of faster processors and more RAM. As applications mature, they imply, we are all moving toward the Golden Age of Software.But we know that’s not always the case.We’ve all seen programs that started out as a simple 1MB utility become a Jabba-the-Hutt-sized monster with an interface so complex you need a Ph.D. in physics to understand it. We’ve seen software that dropped some of its niftiest features to lure you into buying a more-expensive Pro version. We’ve seen a once-unassuming application become greedy for as much of your system resources as it can grab.Of course, sometimes bloat is in the eye of the beholder. Additions that are great new features for somebody else may be, for you, useless buttons that just get in the way.You don’t have to put up with it, though. We’ve rounded up a list of good software that went bad, and we’ll show you how you can turn back the clock by downloading and installing the earlier, better versions.How We Found ThemFor our compilation of earlier-is-better software, we went to the pros–the people who use plenty of programs every day. We asked our own PC World editors for their lists of applications that were better before developers started mucking around. And we also went to an online treasure trove of older-but-better software–the site OldVersion.com, which has rounded up countless earlier versions of dozens and dozens of programs. We asked site founder and editor Alex Levine to give us his picks of the best oldies, and we asked site users to weigh in as well.Note: When clicking on a link for software at OldVersion.com , you may need to scroll down the resulting page to find the version you want. Also, OldVersion.com isn’t the only site that archives old software. If you’re looking for a hard-to-find older application, try oldapps.com and old-versions.net .The Safety TradeoffBefore we start on our list of Golden Oldies, though, keep in mind one big caveat: An undeniably good thing that comes with new versions of software is the fixes you get for security holes, sometimes very serious ones. So if you choose to run old versions of programs, you are taking a calculated risk. Make sure your other defenses are as strong as you can make them, and be extra careful about what you click.Instant Messaging ProgramsDo you think your instant messaging application is bloated? Welcome to the club.AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)OldVersion.com’s Alex Levine, like many others, complains that the newest version of AIM features more pop-ups, more advertising, and a difficult-to-use interface. “A lot of our users use AIM 5.5.x or 5.9.x simply because [those versions] do what users need the app to do and don’t use as much CPU,” he says.”They made the newer versions way too foofy and filled with [stuff] I don’t need,” one OldVersion user says of AIM. “The older versions work much better; they do just what I want, which is allow me to communicate with people with a minimum of fuss and without a slick interface that I don’t need.””The smilies are unbearable in the newer versions,” another user adds. “Not only do they do that horrible explosion thing, but for some reason you can’t make them any smaller than the default, and the really tiny smilies are so much cuter :).”ICQAmerica Online seems to have a knack for wrecking good instant messengers. ICQ was at one time the big boy of the instant messaging world. Then AOL bought it. Ever since, people have been complaining about the software’s bloat.”I still use ICQ 2003 Pro, primarily because it still has the original single message mode instead of the split chat window,” says PC World’s Elliott Kirschling. “I would prefer to use an even older and less bloated version, but they no longer connect to the newer clients and network.””It used to be a wonderful little IM program, then they just couldn’t leave well enough alone and kept adding more and more,” complains one OldVersion.com user. Oldversion.com has previous versions of both ICQ and ICQ Lite , an even slimmer client. If you want to check out what people are complaining about, you can download ICQ 6 , the current version.Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger, Windows Live MessengerThis Microsoft instant messaging program has gone through so many name changes and incarnations, we defy anyone to name them all. The latest is Windows Live Messenger , which some people complain is a system hog.”Windows Live Messenger is all flair and no guts,” says one OldVersion.com user. “I want a messenger to send messages to people, not eat up my system resources with transparent skins and flashy interfaces.” This IM devotee says he uses, instead, MSN Messenger 7.5 .Media PlayersLooking for a simple media player? You’ll have to go back in time.Windows Media PlayerOnce upon a time, Windows Media Player was a simple, compact application that just played media files. Nothing more, nothing less. Those days are long gone. Today’s Windows Media Player 11 is a major, full-blown application for managing media, with all kinds of bells and whistles. Not everyone, though, likes those bells and whistles.Says one OldVersion.com user: “It used to be a utility that would play media files you had on the computer. Now it’s some unholy bloated ‘Media Center’.” OldVersion.com has versions of Media Player that go all the way back to 5.1 (a mere 0.2MB download!).MusicMatch Jukebox (Now Yahoo Music Jukebox)Yahoo Music Jukebox (the latest version of what used to be MusicMatch Jukebox) manages an unfortunate double-whammy: Critics say it’s both bloated and lacking many of the best features of its predecessor.” Older versions of MusicMatch Jukebox were the best solution for recording, organizing, tagging, and playing a large music collection,” PC World’s Kirschling says. “Version 10 was the last version, and it did get some small updates after Yahoo bought it, but now they are trying to force everyone to ‘upgrade’ to Yahoo Music Jukebox. The problem is that Yahoo Music Jukebox does not have most of the advanced features that MusicMatch has.”I’ll add a personal note here. I used to be a MusicMatch user as well, but I lost interest in it before it was sold to Yahoo, sometime back around version 9, when Big Bloat set in.WinampWhat is it about media players that makes developers want to muck around with them? Do they get a charge out of saying, “My player is bigger than yours”? For whatever reason, these programs grow bigger, not better, with time. Winamp is another player program that has grown through the years, and not necessarily for the better. Older versions were mean and lean, great at playing media and getting out of the way. The new version , some users say, gets in the way.”My favorite version is Winamp 2.95. That’s before they started bulking up the client and adding completely unnecessary things,” says one music aficionado at OldVersion.com. “I just want something that plays my MP3s. I don’t need it to burn CDs for me or download new music or cook my breakfast or massage my feet.”iTunesIn the case of iTunes 7 , bloat isn’t the problem. But discriminating users complain that Apple took away a really useful feature. ” Early versions of iTunes allowed you to stream your music collection to an unlimited number of PCs on a local network,” PC World Senior Editor Eric Dahl explains. “The current version restricts you to five PCs per day, meaning that if your music collection is popular with your coworkers, some of them may get cut off.”QuickTime PlayerQuickTime is another example of Apple taking away features from a perfectly good program, says PC World Executive Editor Allan Stafford. “QuickTime Player got stripped of lots of features in an effort to get people to buy the Pro version.”The current version is QuickTime 7 . Grab older versions here .Image and Video SoftwareSure, this software category usually means big, and bigger, programs. But sometimes you get less, not more.iMovie ’08 (for the Mac)Here’s an example of a great program gone bad–really, really bad. When Apple updated iMovie , it essentially changed the software completely, stripping out all the best features and leaving behind a shell of the former program. So now it doesn’t have a timeline for video editing, its audio editing tools are poor, it won’t accept plug-ins–and that’s just a start.David Pogue wrote in his newsletter for the New York Times, “I can’t remember any software company pulling a stunt like this before: throwing away a fully developed, mature, popular program and substituting a bare-bones, differently focused program under the same name.”Fortunately, the versions of iMovie that were included in Apple iLife 2004 and Apple iLife 2006 are still available through Amazon.com.Corel Paint Shop ProFor many years, Paint Shop Pro was the top piece of graphics shareware. It was the anti-Photoshop–plenty of features, plenty of power, yet simple to use and fast-loading. Then came version 8. Good-bye, simplicity. Things haven’t improved any in the current version, Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 , which costs about $100.”If I want to do something quick and simple, I just use Paint Shop Pro 7,” says one OldVersion.com user. “Paint Shop Pro 8 just tried too hard to be Photoshop Lite.” At least OldVersion.com has trial versions of previous incarnations of Paint Shop Pro .”With 8, they tried to do too much with it and I had no idea how to even use half the features or buttons,” says another OldVersion site user. “I use Paint Shop Pro for basic stuff like cropping, because it loads quicker than Photoshop. For what I need, version 8.0 is practically useless.”ACDSeeEarly versions of ACDSee, an image management program, were slick and fast-loading, and were ideally suited for viewing graphics and doing image conversions. The current version is big and slow, and not nearly as easy to use, many users complain.”Once version 3.0 hit, the application was unsuitable for my use because of all the unnecessary stuff they added,” says one OldVersion.com user.”The older versions of ACDSee loaded in a snap, like the Windows image viewer, [and] had better functions for resizing and slide shows, and also let you do JPG/GIF/BMP/PNG conversions,” another user says.ACDSee 9, the current version, sells for $40. You can find earlier, trial versions at OldVersion.com .And Two More Previous FavoritesThese two applications are popular–but are the current versions the best?Adobe ReaderThis widely used program is designed to do one thing, and one thing alone–let you read Adobe PDF files. Once upon a time that meant a svelte program. Today it means a sumo wrestler. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the file sizes. Version 2.0 was a 1.4MB download. The current version 8.1 weighs in at a hefty 22.3MB.The best earlier version of this classic, says one OldVersion.com visitor, is Adobe Reader 5.0.5 . “The bloat showed up in version 6,” he says, “and even though it started disappearing in version 8, there’s still a splash screen, annoying updater, and so on.”EudoraLots of long-time PC users have fond memories of this e-mail client; indeed, for many old-timers, it was the first e-mail software they ever used. But some of the changes the program introduced over the years, such as a feature that read your e-mail to warn you if it was potentially insulting, seemed less than necessary to lots of users.Good news may be on the way. Eudora has gone open source, and future versions are being developed by the Mozilla Foundation. You can get the current version here or pick up an earlier version .Our Quick Checklist of Old and New VersionsHere is our complete list of the applications discussed in this article.AIM (current)AIM 5.5.x or 5.9.x (older versions)ICQ 6 (current)ICQ (earlier versions)ICQ Lite (old versions)Windows Live Messenger (current)MSN Messenger 7.5 (earlier version of Live Messenger)Windows Media Player 11 (current)Media Player (earlier versions)Yahoo Music Jukebox (current; formerly MusicMatch)MusicMatch Jukebox (older versions)Winamp (current)Winamp (older versions)iTunes 7 (current)iTunes (early versions)QuickTime 7 (current)QuickTime (older versions)iMovie (current)iMovie, Apple iLife 2004iMovie, Apple iLife 2006Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 (current)Corel Paint Shop Pro, trialware of earlier versionsACDSee 9 (current)ACDSee (earlier, trial versions)Adobe Reader 8.1 (current)Adobe Reader 5.0.5Eudora, current versionEudora, earlier versions Technology Sometimes a program’s new version is actually worse than the previous one. Here are 13 apps we liked better before they were “improved”–plus tips on finding the earlier editions. Register Now » 11 min readlast_img read more

Profits doubts in equal measure at Geneva Motor Show

© 2018 AFP Explore further Luxury carmakers will show off their wares at the Geneva Motor Show – but healthy profits cannot fully ease concerns over the future as the trend to electric and self-driving cars accelerates This year’s Geneva Motor Show comes at a curious time for an auto world enjoying record profits yet also gripped by doubt midway through the grand transition from diesel to electric and self-driving vehicles. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Profits, doubts in equal measure at Geneva Motor Show (2018, March 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-profits-equal-geneva-motor.html “Geneva really ought to have been a lovely salon,” says, with heavy irony, Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of German-based Center Automotive Research of a Europe’s first major car show of the year running from March 8 to 18.”The luxury car makers continue to present their new models and worldwide sales set new records in 2017. “But behind the glamour and the finery are plenty of worry wrinkles.”Number one overriding concern is the increasing slide in diesel sales, a blow for European constructors who had essentially sought to bet the house on diesel as they strove for years to cut CO2 emissions with the support of public authorities.The emissions cheating scandal, which blew up at Volkswagen in 2015, has heaped discredit on a technology criticised for belching out nitrogen oxide and harmful particulates.Major cities including Paris have announced their intention to ban diesel progressively while a top German court last month opened the way to banning older diesel cars from the streets on air quality grounds.Diesel’s fall from grace has pushed constructors to turn their attention to production of more-in-demand models running either on petrol, dubbed “dinosaur juice”, or else make the jump to electric or at least hybrid.Are future friends electric?The top global constructors have earmarked investments worth tens of billions of euros (dollars) over the past few years to accelerate their push to electric. Yet the commercial upshot of the strategy remains unclear.This year’s Show, the 88th edition, will see the unveiling of several new electric models and concepts at Tuesday and Wednesday’s media days, before opening its doors to the general public on Thursday.Among new potential star turns are Jaguar’s first all-electric model as it shows off the production version of its I-Pace, as well as Hyundai’s Kona, advertised as the world#s first fully electric subcompact SUV.Constructors also have to contend with the fact that where fuel engines are concerned, their greater emissions of CO2 will render a tough challenge compliance with future European norms.They will have to cut CO2 emissions to an average 95 grams per kilometre across the board by 2021 from 130 grams in 2015, or else face swingeing fines. Auto makers are bound to continue investing, furthermore, to ensure improved performance of their combustion engines as these still make up the bulk of sales. And yet they will prove progressively less of an earner as volumes inexorably fall off.Traditional constructors also have a wary eye on sector newcomers, led by those in the electric vanguard such as Tesla, as well as giants from the high-tech such as Apple or Google and would-be Chinese rivals all seeking their slice of a “smart car” cake.The future belongs to those whose vehicles enjoy ever more autonomy through increasing recourse to artificial intelligence and telecommunications.Such qualities are not the preserve of the traditional automobile constructor.Square the circleThe last few weeks have seen a slew of carmakers post record profits—but the question is the degree to which that will act as a springboard to paying for the switch to a new auto-tech world.Eric Kirstetter of the Roland Berger consultancy told AFP that, currently, some constructors are doing “very well,” yet their “future is very complicated”.They must “reduce costs in such as way as to make savings allowing them to achieve their R&D plans,” said Kirstetter, adding this will involve surmounting “a problem of squaring the financial circle.”That, he says, is “an equation extremely difficult to resolve in order to make the necessary investments to develop new generations of vehicles while continuing to invest massively in improving the combustion engine” in the shorter term.The task may be more readily surmountable for pioneers in the development of alternatives to diesel, including the Renault-Nissan alliance, with both leaders in the move towards electrification, while Toyota has the early jump on the hybrid market.However the future of a metamorphosing industry ultimately pans out, the 700,000 Salon visitors expected to descend on Geneva’s Palexpo in the coming days will be able to cast their eyes over some 900 vehicles.Monday will see the car of the year unveiled from seven finalists for the accolade.The contenders are the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi A8, BMW series 5, Citroen C3 Aircross, Kia Stinger, Seat Ibiza and Volvo XC40. Daimler struggling with European emissions standards read more

Germanys Bosch powers up hydrogen cells for cars

first_imgHydrogen fuel stations are still are rare sight across Germany Stuttgart-based Bosch and Powercell Sweden AB—formerly a subsidiary of carmaker Volvo—aim to bring the fuel cells to market “in 2022 at the latest”.Hydrogen-powered electric vehicles could prove winners compared with their battery-driven cousins for some applications.They offer a longer range and can be refuelled about as quickly as a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle.At the same time, hydrogen cars boast some of the advantages of battery-electric, including powerful acceleration, silent operation and no emissions at the point of use except water vapour.But a number of technological hurdles remain to be cleared before mass deployment.Large amounts of electricity are required to produce hydrogen, and there is a very limited network of fuelling stations.Just sixty refuelling points are available across Germany.Bosch did not reveal the financial terms of its deal with Powercell Sweden, but the two firms will work together to develop the so-called “stack”—components at the heart of the cell where the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen takes place to produce electricity.The group last year decided not to compete with existing Asian industry leaders in producing electric batteries for cars, seeing the rivals’ technological advantage as too great to catch up.By doing so, it turned away from supplying German carmakers like mammoth Volkswagen as they gear up to offer dozens of electric vehicles over the coming decade.Manufacturers have taken the plunge on electric power faced with looming tougher emissions rules in the European Union, loaded with hefty financial penalties if they are breached.European carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction targets “can only be reached by electrifying more and more of the powertrain. The fuel cell can play a decisive role here,” Bosch said.At first, “the best opportunities for broad adoption of fuel-cell technology are in the commercial-vehicle market,” the firm added, although it expects broader use in passenger cars should follow.By 2030, Bosch estimates that 20 percent of all electric vehicles worldwide will be powered by fuel cells. In a first, electric cars outsell traditional ones in Norway Citation: Germany’s Bosch powers up hydrogen cells for cars (2019, April 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-germany-bosch-powers-hydrogen-cells.html Explore furthercenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2019 AFP The world’s biggest auto parts maker Bosch said Monday it would work with a Swedish firm to develop key components for hydrogen fuel cells designed to power cars, after backing off building electric batteries.last_img read more