In Pictures: Turkey's military offensive in northeast Syria

Al Jazeera - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 17:45
United Nations has said that more than 130,000 people have been displaced as a result of the fighting.
Categories: English

Cyclone recovery key issue in Mozambique election

Al Jazeera - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 17:33
Six months after devastating cyclones left more than 1,300 people dead in Mozambique, it's citizens try to put tragedy aside long enough to vote in general election.
Categories: English

China, Nepal sign trade, infrastructure and security deals

Al Jazeera - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 16:34
China's Xi also pledges financial aid as he becomes first Chinese leader to visit Nepal in more than 20 years.
Categories: English

Hunter Biden to step down from China board amid Trump attacks

BBC News - World - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 16:09
The move by the son of former US Vice-President Joe Biden follows attacks by President Donald Trump.
Categories: English

Kyrgyzstan to regulate religious schools

Al Jazeera - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 16:06
Bishkek plans to introduce laws in an effort to increase state control over religious schools, but some say move does not cater to Muslim-majority population.
Categories: English

Typhoon Hagibis kills many as it batters Japan, troops deployed

Al Jazeera - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 15:56
Rescue efforts under way as powerful typhoon paralyses Tokyo, leaving nearly half a million homes without power.
Categories: English

Simone Biles wins record 24th world medal

BBC News - World - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 15:07
Simone Biles becomes the most decorated gymnast in World Championships history by winning two more golds on Sunday to reach 25 medals overall.
Categories: English

Black woman shot dead by Texas police through bedroom window

BBC News - World - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 15:02
Atatiana Jefferson was shot through a window after a neighbour asked police to check on her welfare.
Categories: English

Sudan's gum arabic farmers worry about climate change

Al Jazeera - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 14:17
World's main producer and exporter of gum arabic, used in many products from soft drinks to cosmetics, fears environmental changes.
Categories: English

Typhoon Hagibis: Rescuers deployed in wake of deadly storm

BBC News - World - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 13:59
Troops and rescue workers are battling flooding and landslides after the strongest storm to hit Japan in 60 years.
Categories: English

Bangladesh forces kill more than a dozen Rohingya refugees

Al Jazeera - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 12:56
Claims victims were involved in murder of politician have been disputed as safe haven turns dangerous.
Categories: English

Typhoon Hagibis: Japan deploys military rescuers as deadly storm hits

BBC News - World - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 08:50
At least 23 people died after one of the strongest storms in years hit central Japan.
Categories: English

British orphans found trapped in Syria IS camp

BBC News - World - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 08:31
The BBC discovered three children from the same family stranded after their parents died in the fighting with Islamic State.
Categories: English

Microplastics: Seeking the 'plastic score' of the food on our plates

BBC News - World - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 00:19
Microplastics are everywhere, but how worried should we be? Scientists are on a mission to find out more.
Categories: English

Saudi Arabia tourism: So what is there to see?

BBC News - World - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 00:17
The BBC's Frank Gardner, a visitor to the kingdom for decades, shares his tips for places to see.
Categories: English

Thai elephant deaths: Do elephants risk their lives to save each other?

BBC News - World - Sun, 10/13/2019 - 00:16
A tragedy in Thailand has pulled on our heartstrings, and can help us learn about elephant empathy.
Categories: English

Typhoon Hagibis: Storm biggest to hit Japan in decades

BBC News - World - Sat, 10/12/2019 - 20:10
At least 23 people are reported dead and dozens have been injured as Typhoon Hagibis hit Japan.
Categories: English

Here's how Tesla's cars stack up against the best of the competition from the world's top automakers (TSLA)

Businessinsider - Sat, 10/12/2019 - 14:07

  • Over the years, I've driven all of Tesla's vehicles: the original Roadster, the Model S, the Model X, and the Model 3.
  • But I've also driven hundreds of other vehicles, many if which represent the best-of-the-best coming from the world's automakers.
  • I thought it would be interesting to see how Tesla's all-electric vehicles stack up against some of the gas-powered competition.
  • Remember, if you want all-electric, you're currently limited to Tesla and just a few other vehicles, most of which don't have luxury or performance credibility.
  • As it turned out, I preferred a BMW 5-Series and a Porsche Cayenne SUV to Tesla's Model S and Model X, but I favored the original Roadster over an Alfa Romeo 4C and the Model 3 over an Audi A4.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

In just over 15 years, Tesla has gone from an ambitious idea about electric cars to selling almost 250,000 vehicles a year and challenging the world's top automakers.

That in and of itself is an impressive achievement, but Tesla's vehicles are actually quite good. I've driven them all, and I can vouch for their quality and performance. Sure, they have some quirks, and Tesla has definitely endured some growing pains. But there's no discounting the fact that Tesla is the first successful new American auto brand to emerge in decades.

Still, the traditional auto industry is no slouch — it's game has probably never been better. Over the years, I've driven hundreds of great cars and trucks. So I thought it would be fun to put the Tesla fleet up against some of my favorites from the petrol-burning world.

Here's how it went:

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The Tesla Original Roadster. This was the first Tesla I ever drove, and at the time I was overjoyed. I revisited the car half a decade later and renewed my love for the peppy all-electric spider.

Read my appreciation of the original Roadster.

The original Roadster wasn't an original Tesla design: it was based on a Lotus platform, with Tesla adding the drivetrain, batteries, and software.

The Roadster was instrumental in changing perceptions about EVs, which up to that point had been thought of as glorified golf carts. With range of over 200 miles and a 0-60m ph time of 3.7 seconds, for the more advanced version.

The Roadster is also the first production car to be launched into orbit. Tesla CEO Elon Musk made his personal Roadster, piloted by "Starman," the payload on the 2018 launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket. Production ended in 2012.

The Alfa Romeo 4C. This is the only car that we've driven at Business Insider that really compares with the Tesla Roadster. It's a bonkers little spider, with a snarling mid-mounted engine.

The 4C is practically a race car. In our review, we noted:

The 4C is actually built around a lightweight, high-strength, carbon-fiber cell. In fact, it's the only car with a price tag less than $100,000 to incorporate the pricey technology, which is one of the many attributes of the 4C that make it kind of an oddball. The only other non-supercar to be built around a carbon-fiber tub is the BMW i8 hybrid sports car. The carbon-fiber driver's compartment allowed Alfa Romeo cut off top of the car without compromising its structural rigidity.

According to Alfa, the 2,500-pound 4C is good for a zero-to-60 run in just four seconds and can reach a top speed of 160 mph.

Like the Tesla Roadster, the Alfa 4C has a pretty basic interior. But on balance, our tester was notably more luxurious.

Power for the 4C comes from a 1.7-liter, 237-horsepower, turbocharged inline-four. The tiny motor is incredibly punchy and pairs well with the quick-shifting, six-speed twin-clutch transmission.

The Tesla Model S. The first "clean sheet" design from Fremont was a luxury sedan that captured Motor Trend's Car of the Year award for 2013.

The Model S is now available in Long Range and Performance trims: $80,000 and $100,000, respectively, with 370 or 345 miles of range.

I've driven several different versions of the Model S, ranging from a rear-wheel-drive example to the dual-motor trim, with two types of battery pack: 90 kilowatt hours and 100 kWh.

Read all about one of my Tesla adventures.

The Model S offers well over 200 miles of range, room enough for five passengers, and SUV-like cargo capacity. Of course, being electric, it does require patience when it comes to recharging. But the Performance trim can outrun supercars with a 0-60 mph time that tickles two seconds.

Luckily for Tesla owners, the Model S has access to the electric-car company's extensive Supercharger network. Plug in at one of these stalls and you can be back to a full charge in under an hour.

The BMW 5-Series. The 5-Series dates to the early 1970s; the seventh generation landed in 2017, and I tested the high-performance M5 last year.

"In the grand automotive scheme of things, BMWs aren't supposed to be that cool," I wrote in my review.

"And then you drive something as exquisitely pugnacious and brilliantly assembled as the M5 and you suddenly don't much care about cool anymore."

Like all M cars, the M5 seems glued to the pavement, even when standing still. My tester was $130,000.

Under the hood we find the 4.4-liter, 600-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 making 553 pound-feet of juicy torque. This is a hulking poleaxe of a motor, a masterpiece of menace — a grand mechanism for taking gasoline and transforming it into staggering velocity.

The 0-60 mph dash passes in 2.8 seconds on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 163 mph

The M5's interior combines a hardcore performance vibe with abundant luxury. It's a showcase for getting what you paid for.

The Tesla Model X. We've taken Model Xs on several road trips and have been generally impressed with Tesla's offbeat, feature-packed, road-going sci-fi electric shuttlecraft.

We've tested the highest-spec Model X's available, and we've pegged the price tags at around $150,000. But Tesla is currently selling the vehicle in two trims: Long Range and Performance, for $85,000 and $105,000, respectively.

The Model X offers 325 miles of range in the Long Range trim and 305 miles of range in Performance. For the latter, the 0-60 mph time is a staggering 2.7 seconds.

The Model X was launched in 2015. It's Tesla's most high-tech car. It could be called "Too Tech," as even Musk has admitted they overdid it. The "falcon wing" doors alone threatened to delay the vehicle.

Again, owners of the Model X can use the Supercharger network, but they have to be patient. My kids banned me from anymore Tesla road trips after we took a 700-mile round-trip in the Model X.

Read about my Model X road trip.

The Porsche Cayenne. The Cayenne Turbo I tested a few months ago was all-new and tipped the price scales at $136,000. That's a lot. But can you put a price on perfection?

In my review, I wrote:

The Cayenne is simply good, good, and more good, and the top-level Turbo trim is especially delightful, capable of orchestrating a brutal symphony of horsepower from that magnificent 541-horsepower, twin-turbo V8. But that's just one dimension of performance bliss.

You also have the bracing handling, delivered through an intricate orchestration of mega-tech features, ranging from a rooftop spoiler than can adapt to increased speed to rear-axle steering and electro-hydraulic roll stabilization.

It's my policy to avoid getting too deep in this gearheady stuff (my driving is 90% emotion and 10% engineering). But with the Cayenne Turbo, it definitely adds up to an SUV that drives, as it always has, like a Porsche — but with the vehicle's upgrades, now more like a Porsche than ever.

Porsche has added character lines and a higher overall level of surface flash to the Cayenne, now in its third-generation. The latest Cayenne is about as sleek as it's possible to make the vehicle without sloping the roof so much that the second row becomes uninhabitable.

The 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 makes 541 horsepower with 568 pound-feet of torque. This Porsche can tow nearly 8,000 pounds, which is staggering. Fuel economy isn't: 15 mpg city/19 highway/17 combined, and that's on premium gas.

The eight-speed automatic pipes the power to the Cayenne Turbo's all-wheel-drive system. There isn't a whiff of turbo lag with this machine, and the transmission can switch to manual if you want to shift gears yourself.

When the gaping maw of the rear liftgate opens, you have about 27 cubic feet of cargo space to work with and roughly double that when the second row of seats is folded down. That's really quite good.

The Tesla Model 3. The Tesla for the people finally arrived in 2017, and I sampled three versions of it through 2018. I eventually spent a week with a Model 3 that was then priced at $57,500.

In my review, I wrote: 

There is no better vehicle of this type at this price that I believe I could currently buy. I literally craved looking at and driving the Model 3. But beyond that, I now count it among the small cadre of vehicles I've driven in my life that I have felt fit me absolutely perfectly and satisfied my every desire.

Basically, I think the Model 3 has more ideas in it than any car on the road. What's impressive is that it's advanced how we think about automobiles.

By the way, Tesla is now selling three versions of the Model 3: the Standard Range Plus single-motor trim at $39,000; the Long Range dual-motor at $48,000; and the Performance dual-motor trim at $56,000.

Range options are 240 or 310 miles, and the shortest 0-60 mph sprint is 3.2 seconds (for the Performance trim).

Arguably, the most striking feature of the Model 3 is its ultra-minimalist interior, with almost all vehicle functions and displays found in the central touchscreen.

Like the Model S, the Model 3 can handle a lot of cargo. The trunk is 15 cubic feet, but there's also a smaller front "frunk."

Yep, Supercharging is available for the Model 3.

The Audi A4. We tested the A4 in 2017 and were blown away. It's Audi's perfect sedan. A brand new A4 sedan starts at a competitive $34,900, while our option-laden test car came with a price tag of $54,275.

Styling-wise, the new A4 is elegantly understated. It's the latest evolution of the modern design language that has come to define the brand in recent years. Audi is now into the fifth generation of the vehicle.

The A4's cabin is a no-holds-barred high-tech masterpiece. The Audi Virtual Cockpit infotainment system is a two-time winner of our Infotainment System of the Year award.

In our review, we also noted the Audi's luxuriousness:

The A4's cabin is as quiet, refined, and plush as one has come to expect from a top-line Audi product. The black leather seats in our test car felt soft to the touch and offered more-than-adequate bolstering for both leisurely jaunts down the highway and dynamic drives on twisty country roads.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter, 252-horsepower, turbocharged, inline-four-cylinder engine that's shared with the A6, the Q5, and the Porsche Macan. The gutsy motor is truly impressive. It's paired with Audi's 7-speed S-tronic twin-clutch transmission and Audi's legendary Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

According to Audi, the Quattro-equipped A4 is capable of sprinting to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and can reach an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph.

Now for the verdicts! Tesla Roadster vs. Alfa Romeo 4C: It's the Roadster!

The Alfa 4C might have go-kart handling and the personality of a Jack Russell terrier that's consumed a case of Red Bull, and it might in many ways be a budget Ferrari, but I just love the dang Tesla Roadster. It started a revolution, after all.

Tesla Model S vs. BMW 5-Series: It's the BMW 5-Series!

The Model S is important in that it proved Tesla could go it alone and create a fantastic car. The Model S has also been the platform that's introduced everything from Ludicrous Mode acceleration to Autopilot semi-self-driving. At full song, the Performance S can outrun supercars.

But the M5 is a never-subtle reminder that the Germans know how to build a hell of sport sedan. It continues to command respect.

Tesla Model X vs. Porsche Cayenne: It's the Porsche Cayenne!

Let's keep it simple: the Porsche Cayenne is still the best SUV built by human hands on planet Earth.

Tesla Model 3 vs. Audi A4: It's the Model 3!

The A4 might be the best car Audi has ever built, but as I wrote of the Model 3 after my week-long test:

The Model 3 impresses on all fronts.

It can blast to 60 mph in five seconds, it can drive itself under some conditions, and it has a five-star safety rating from the government. What's more, it's a California-made, all-electric car from the first new American car company in decades.

But the truly astounding thing is that Tesla, in only about five years of seriously manufacturing automobiles, could build a car this good. That's a staggering achievement.

Wait, did I say good? I meant great.

Hold on, did I say great? Sorry, I meant greatest.

Say hello to the best car that money can currently buy.

Categories: English

I tried the new device that lets you print Polaroids directly from your smartphone, and it was a fun but pricey experiment

Businessinsider - Sat, 10/12/2019 - 13:58


  • Polaroid released the Polaroid Lab, a way to print photos from your phone.
  • The printer costs $130, and went on sale October 10.
  • Users select a photo in the Polaroid Originals app, and place their phone facedown to print.
  • The Polaroid Lab was fun to test out, but it's an expensive device for one person to use. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

For anyone obsessed with the nostalgic look of Polaroids, Polaroid Originals has the perfect new gadget for you. 

Polaroid Originals on Thursday released the Polaroid Lab printer. The white and black printer allows you to turn any digital image into analog Polaroids straight from your smartphone. 

Polaroid was founded in the 1930s, and became popular for its instant photo products. But with the rise of digital photography, Polaroid declared bankruptcy in 2001. In 2017, the Impossible Project bought the brand and launched Polaroid Originals, creating new cameras for "the modern era" called the OneStep 2 and the OneStep Plus, named after Polaroid's original camera from 1977. 

Read more: I don't have a baby, so I tested a smart baby monitor by watching my pet hedgehog all night — here's what I discovered

In the press release accompanying the launch of the Lab, CEO Oskar Smolokowski appealed to a simpler time before everyone had high-quality cameras on them all the time.

"The idea behind the Polaroid Lab is that it turns your most precious smartphone photos into tangible Polaroid photographs — bringing them into the world as something you can hold in your hand and store on the fridge door rather than in the cloud," Smolokowski said. 

He calls cloud storage and digital photos "memories' worst enemy," saying that we take thousands of images that we never end up looking at.

To that end, the new Polaroid Lab is intended to take digital images off of your phone and turn them into tangible photographs. I decided to got one into the office try out for a few days — here's what it's like to use. 

SEE ALSO: I tried dopamine fasting, the latest trend in Silicon Valley, and it was way more difficult than I expected

The printer comes already assembled in a cardboard box. The directions are clear, and there's nothing to put together.

I had both black and white and color film to test.

First, I opened the color film first, and unwrapped the cartridge.

The film goes in an opening in the bottom of the Lab. This was the least intuitive part for me, but it didn't take too long to figure out.

Next, in the Polaroid app, access your camera roll and choose a photo. (The device works with both iPhones and Android phones).

Then, choose your sizing. I used singles so I could try out as many photos as possible.

You'll be prompted to choose what film type you have — I started with color film.

One tip: Before getting started, make sure you have the brightness turned up on your phone, and for iPhones, True Tone turned off.

To get started, place your phone screen down on the scanner — the lights will blink when your phone is lined up. When you press the red button to print, the lights next to it will indicate how much film you have left.

When your photo prints, you'll have to remove it and flip it over for 15 minutes while it develops.

Here's the first photo I printed. It came out looking recognizably like a Polaroid: kind of faded and overexposed. But that's the aesthetic you know you're getting when you use a Polaroid.

I tried another color image, and I liked how it came out.

I also tried a black and white one. I think next time, I would use a darker photo, since this one turned out very overexposed.

My final thoughts? The Polaroid Lab is fun but a bit pricey.

The Polaroid Lab was fun to use — and makes for cute decor — but it's an expensive toy.

I do like the ability to print pictures without going to CVS, and I can see myself decorating my desk or mirror with the images it produces. The photos are recognizable as Polaroids, and I had fun choosing images off my phone. I think the Lab would work best if several people shared it, like a family or group of roommates. Otherwise, I don't think it will get used enough to be worthwhile for one person.

But if you're one of many millennials and Gen Z-ers who like a vintage aesthetic, this might be perfect for you.

Categories: English

Google is getting ready to unleash a bunch of new gadgets including the Pixel 4 on Tuesday — here's everything to expect (GOOG)

Businessinsider - Sat, 10/12/2019 - 13:48

  • Google is holding an event on October 15, where it's expected to reveal its new Pixel 4 smartphone, a new Chromebook, and other gadgets.
  • The Pixel 4 will likely be the biggest announcement of the showcase, despite the fact that its design and features have leaked and Google has already shared some details about the device.
  • The event also comes just after rivals like Apple, Amazon, and Google have debuted new products as the holiday season approaches.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

Google's annual developer conference may be its biggest event of the year, but the company usually holds its major hardware announcements for the fall.

At this year's event, which takes place on October 15, we're expecting to get a better look at Google's much-leaked Pixel 4 phone as well as other anticipated products, such as a new Pixelbook Chromebook and more Nest devices.

The event comes on the heels of new product launches from Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple — all of which have announced new gadgets ahead of the holiday season that pose a challenge to what we're expecting from Google. 

Here's a look at the biggest announcements the Mountain View, California-based tech giant is expected to make on Tuesday. 

SEE ALSO: 14 incredibly useful Google Maps features everyone should know about

Google's next flagship smartphone, the Pixel 4

The biggest announcement of the day will likely be the formal unveiling of the Pixel 4, which has leaked repeatedly leading up to Google's event. The search giant has also already revealed some tidbits about the Pixel 4, such as what it will look like and some of the features it will include.

Here's a look at some of the details we've learned about the Pixel 4 so far:

  • It will have advanced motion-sensing technology powered by the company's radar technology, Google revealed in July. Such technology would make it possible to skip to the next song or answer phone calls just by waving your hand.
  • The phone will also have a square cutout on its rear for the camera sensors, similar to Apple's new iPhones, but will have a dual-lens camera, as a photo posted by Google revealed.
  • The camera will be able to achieve a zoom of up to 8x, according to a leak that surfaced on the Chinese social media site Weibo spotted by XDA Developers.
  • Its screen will have a 90Hz refresh rate, which should make scrolling and screen animations feel smoother, according to 9to5Google.
  • It won't have a fingerprint sensor on the back like the Pixel 3, as Google's images revealed.

Read more: Forget the iPhone 11: The next iPhone could spark the next big thing for Apple


A lighter new Chromebook called the Pixelbook Go

Google also has a new Pixelbook in the works, which it plans to unveil during Tuesday's event, according to 9to5Google.

The laptop will have a 13.3-inch 4K screen, a lighter body made of magnesium alloy, and a textured ribbed back, as 9to5Google has reported. It will also reportedly come in configurations ranging from Intel's Core m3, i5, and i7 processors, and will have more powerful speakers than the Pixelbook. 

New Pixel Buds wireless earbuds

Google may finally announce a successor to the Pixel Buds it released in 2017, which received largely negative reviews two years ago.

The company is set to announce a new pair of earbuds soon, according to 9to5Google, although the report didn't mention any details.

It wouldn't be surprising to see Google take another stab at wireless headphones, especially now that every major tech firm from Amazon to Samsung and Microsoft has done so.

Google's current Pixel Buds, however, are connected by a cable which means they aren't truly wireless like Apple's AirPods and recent offerings from other tech giants. If Google does launch a new pair of earbuds, there's a good chance they'll be totally wire-free in order to keep up with the competition. 

Read more: Amazon doesn't see Apple's AirPods as a threat to its new Echo Buds, says company executive

More Nest smart home devices

Google debuted the $230 Nest Hub Max earlier this year, but it sounds like there's more Nest-branded devices to come. 

Google is planning to debut a new mesh Wi-Fi router and a refreshed version of its Google Home Mini, according to 9to5Google. Both devices will fall under the Nest umbrella since Google officially rebranded its smart home products as such in May.

The Nest Wi-Fi system will include beacons to be placed throughout the house that also function as Google Assistant speakers, reports 9to5Google. The new miniature speaker will offer improved sound quality, a 3.5mm stereo jack, and a wall mount for hanging the device in the home, as 9to5Google has reported.

The reveal would come after Amazon just unveiled eight Echo products at the end of September, including a new Echo Dot that doubles as a bedside clock, a new Echo Show with a larger 8-inch display, and the Echo Studio — a larger Echo that includes five speakers that can adapt playback to best fit the room it's currently in. 

Categories: English