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The iPhone X has a higher adoption rate than the iPhone 8 and …

  • Apple stopped releasing first weekend iPhone sales figures with the iPhone 7, making it hard to tell how the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus are selling.
  • New analytics data suggests the iPhone X is outpacing the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in adoption.
  • The iPhone X costs $999/£999, while the iPhone 8 starts at $699/£699, and the iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799/799.

Apple hasn’t released sales figures for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, or the iPhone 8 Plus, but a new chart shows the most expensive of the three is also the most popular.

Data from analytics firm Mixpanel shows that iPhone X adoption outpaced that of its cheaper cousins in late November. iPhone X adoption currently stands at 4.76%, ahead of the iPhone 8 Plus at 3.59% and the iPhone 8 at 2.78%.

Here’s a chart comparing the three new Apple devices:

a9635_1651b4a9aace3167795a1b6fe09b08b0f34d7296-800x414 The iPhone X has a higher adoption rate than the iPhone 8 and ...

And here’s a chart showing how all three phones compare to older iPhone models – it shows most people have phones that are older than the iPhone 7:

a9635_1651b4a9aace3167795a1b6fe09b08b0f34d7296-800x414 The iPhone X has a higher adoption rate than the iPhone 8 and ...

Mixpanel’s data doesn’t show sales figures, but measures people picking up the new iPhones and using apps that are integrated with Mixpanel’s software development kit.

It’s still hard to tell how well the three new devices are selling compared to previous launches. Apple stopped announcing first weekend sales figures with the iPhone 7, because it said the number usually reflected supply rather than customer demand. Apple chief executive Tim Cook ducked iPhone X sales questions during the firm’s third quarter call, when analysts asked about pre-orders for the device, saying only that demand was “very strong.”

Collectively, it looks like the three devices are selling well and on track to overtake iPhone 7 Plus adoption over the next few months. But early rumours of iPhone X supply constraints may be putting people off buying in these early months, even if Apple is reportedly ramping up production in time for Christmas.

Health Insurers See Higher Prices And A Big Mess Ahead Without The Obamacare Mandate

“Let’s assume for a second that you eliminate the mandate and so those healthy people decide to sit out, whether they need a subsidy or not, the pool shrinks,” said Jim Havens, senior vice president of individual and senior markets for Mountlake Terrace, Washington-based Premera Blue Cross.

Health Insurers See Higher Prices And A Big Mess Ahead Without The Obamacare Mandate

“Let’s assume for a second that you eliminate the mandate and so those healthy people decide to sit out, whether they need a subsidy or not, the pool shrinks,” said Jim Havens, senior vice president of individual and senior markets for Mountlake Terrace, Washington-based Premera Blue Cross.

​LG launches Signature phone at higher price than iPhone X

8cbb8_lg-signature-edition ​LG launches Signature phone at higher price than iPhone X

LG Electronics has launched a limited edition “super” premium phone in South Korea.

The company will sell only 300 units of the LG Signature Edition, which will be priced around 2 million won ($1,800), higher than iPhone X’s 1.63 million won in the country.

LG has used the Signature brand for its high-end home appliances and TVs, but this is the first time it is being used for a phone.

The company’s reshuffle last week shows that its mobile business will likely be subsidiary to its TV and home appliance businesses. CEO Jo Seong-jin originally started the Signature brand in home appliances, with great success that led to record profits.

LG said the Signature phone, which comes in black and white, was made from materials used in boutique watches.

The design is focused on being “simple” and “dignified”. The backside uses zirconium ceramic that is said to reduce scratches. Consumers can choose to engrave their names in the back cover.

Its specification is near identical to the V30 and the phone has 6GB Ram and 256GB internal memory. It comes with Android 8.0, has Qi wireless charging, and LG Pay. It sports a 6-inch OLED display, has a 3,300 mAh battery, and a dual camera.

LG’s mobile business has posted 10 straight quarters of losses.

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Chamber seeks computer science requirement, higher cigarette age

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Chamber of Commerce released its legislative priorities Monday, including a push to raise the age to buy cigarettes and to require students to take computer science to graduate.

The Indiana General Assembly gathers Tuesday for Organization Day and comes back for a short legislative session Jan. 3.

Four House and Senate leaders also spoke at the Chamber’s annual luncheon Monday — prioritizing workforce development efforts.

Caryl Auslander, Indiana Chamber vice president of education and workforce development, said education in science, technology, engineering and math is even more important as Indiana increases the number of jobs in the tech sector

“Currently there is not a computer science requirement for graduation; we believe that needs to change. All students should have access to fully explore skills like this that are in demand.” she said.

Gov. Eric Holcomb earlier said one of his agenda items includes requiring schools to offer computer science courses by 2021.

Another legislative priority for the Chamber is reducing the state smoking rate.

One way the business group proposes to do so is raising the smoking age from 18 to 21. It also wants to repeal a special “Smoker’s Bill of Rights” that currently prohibits companies from screening potential hires for tobacco use. Employers often pay most of the health care coverage cost for employees, and tobacco use can increase that.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Stocks start higher behind health care companies and banks

U.S. stocks edged higher Tuesday morning as health care companies and banks made modest gains. Oil prices also held steady after they jumped to two-year highs a day ago. Investors are focused on company earnings, with travel booking sites Priceline and TripAdvisor taking steep losses.

Continue Reading Below

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard Poor’s 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,595 as of 9:55 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 48 points, or 0.2 percent, to 23,596. The Nasdaq composite added 2 points to 6,789. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell less than 1 point to 1,497.

The SP 500, Dow and Nasdaq have closed at record highs the last two days.

TRAVELING MOOD: Travel website TripAdvisor plunged after its third-quarter revenue fell short of analyst estimates. Booking service Priceline Group had a better-than-expected quarter, but its forecasts for the current quarter disappointed Wall Street. Analysts said the company is spending a lot of money on advertising, but that may pay off with increased market share. TripAdvisor sank $6.37, or 16.1 percent, to $33.16 and Priceline lost $192.47, or 10.1 percent, to $1,710.53. Competitor Expedia shed $2.58, or 2.1 percent, to $120.40.

Royal Caribbean Cruises jumped $6.66, or 5.3 percent, to $132 after it had a strong quarter even though its business was affected by three major hurricanes.

EARLY LEADERS: AbbVie climbed $2.42, or 2.6 percent, to $95.38 and Incyte rose $3.23, or 3.1 percent, to $108.68 as drugmakers helped the health care sector advance. Financial service company Prudential added $1.23, or 1.1 percent, to $113.62 and insurer Progressive picked up 68 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $50.89. Industrial firms also rose. Logistics services provider Expeditors International of Washington jumped $4.67, or 8.1 percent, to $62.17 after it did better than investors expected in the third quarter. Aerospace company Boeing picked up $2.62, or 1 percent, to $266.69.

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SLIMMED DOWN: Weight loss company Weight Watchers continued to surge after it raised its forecasts for the year. Its stock rose $7.82, or 17.5 percent, to $52.62. It started the year at $11.45.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 28 cents to $57.07 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 40 cents to $63.87 a barrel in London. Oil prices rose about 3 percent Monday and hit two-year highs after a wave of arrests of princes and other officials in Saudi Arabia. Investors wondered if the upheaval could affect oil supplies and prices. The government said the arrests were part of as a crackdown on corruption, but skeptics say it targets potential rivals and critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who heads the anti-corruption committee that was formed shortly before the arrests.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.32 percent. The yield on the 2-year note held steady at 1.62 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 114.19 yen from 113.77 yen. The euro fell to $1.1579 from $1.1606.

OVERSEAS: The CAC 40 in France lost 0.1 percent while Germany’s DAX rose 0.1 percent. London’s FTSE 100 shed 0.2 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.7 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.3 percent. In Seoul, the Kospi lost 0.2 percent.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jayt

Higher Costs, Uncertainty Greet Start Of Health Insurance Open Season

With a mixture of uncertainty and higher costs, open enrollment began Wednesday for participants in Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange, and private plans.

Adding to the confusion is a dispute, now beginning its second month, between Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut and Hartford HealthCare that puts tens of thousands of patients on the hook for higher-priced health care.

“It seems like every day over the last six months we’ve needed to go back to the drawing board and redesign everything that we’ve been doing,” Jim Wadleigh, executive director of Access Health CT, Connecticut’s health exchange, said Wednesday.

President Donald Trump and Republican leaders of Congress have unsuccessfully tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Confusion has followed as Democrats and Republicans accuse each other of undermining access to subsidized health insurance.

Higher Costs, Uncertainty Greet Start Of Health Insurance Open Season

With a mixture of uncertainty and higher costs, open enrollment began Wednesday for participants in Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange, and private plans.

Adding to the confusion is a dispute, now beginning its second month, between Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut and Hartford HealthCare that puts tens of thousands of patients on the hook for higher-priced health care.

“It seems like every day over the last six months we’ve needed to go back to the drawing board and redesign everything that we’ve been doing,” Jim Wadleigh, executive director of Access Health CT, Connecticut’s health exchange, said Wednesday.

President Donald Trump and Republican leaders of Congress have unsuccessfully tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Confusion has followed as Democrats and Republicans accuse each other of undermining access to subsidized health insurance.

Why Halyard Health Is Rallying Higher Today

What happened

After reporting its third-quarter financials and announcing the sale of its surgical and infection prevention business to Owens Minor (NYSE:OMI), shares in Halyard Health (NYSE:HYH) increased by more than 10% earlier today.

So what

Halyard Health is selling its SIP business to Owens Minor for $710 million. The deal accelerates its transition toward being solely focused on medical devices and pain management.

The move should bolster Halyard Health’s profitability because the SIP business offers lower margins than its medical device business. Once the transaction has been digested, Halyard Health should be able to get back to revenue growth because the medical device and pain business is growing more quickly than the SIP business, too.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

In the third quarter, Halyard Health’s companywide net sales were $401 million, up from $398 million a year ago. Medical devices net sales were $151 million, up 4% year over year, and SIP net sales were $246 million, down 1% year over year.

Halyard Health’s operating profit was $29 million in the third quarter compared to $21 million in Q3, 2016. Its medical devices operating profit was $38 million, up 18% from last year, and its SIP operating profit was $18 million, down 20.7% year over year. Corporate and other expenses offset some of those profits, resulting in the $29 million figure. 

Now what

Jettisoning the SIP business should allow Halyard Health shares to trade based on the opportunity associated with its financially more attractive medical device business. In the first nine months of 2017, Halyard’s medical device sales have grown 8%, and its operating profit is up 28% compared to last year.

The cash influx from Owens Minor is good news for investors, too, because it means greater financial flexibility. Halyard Health exited September with $580 million in debt, so the company could use proceeds from its sale to reduce borrowings or fuel acquisitions. 

Overall, Halyard Health’s performance in the coming quarters could endure some choppiness as it completes its transition, but this deal appears to position it better to grow shareholder value long-term. 

 

BT: We’ll speed up internet for higher bills

BT Openreach on Tuesday said it could turn Britain into an ultra-fast broadband economy by the mid 2020s — if consumers are willing to pay higher bills and put up with massive disruption to roads.

The infrastructure arm of the telecom giant, spun out of BT as part of a regulatory move to increase competition, says it has the “ambition” to build a Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network that would “safeguard the UK’s position as a leading digital economy”.

At the moment, internet is typically delivered via boxes on street corners, with the last bit of the journey made on a slower, copper line. 

An overhaul of that would cost perhaps £6 billion per 10 million homes — or around £30 billion for the entire country. It would involve a massive shake-up of the UK’s digital infrastructure and mean roads would be dug-up to install the fibre wires.

BT has in the past argued that copper broadband meets the needs of nearly all consumers.

Openreach says Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and others think there is enough demand for an ultra-fast broadband network. It needs government and customer approval for what would be a gigantic engineering project.

Openreach chief executive Clive Selley, said: “We believe that under the right conditions, we could build FTTP connections to ten million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s. We want to do it, we think it’s the right thing to do for the UK, but it’s clear that we can’t do it alone, so I’m encouraged to hear that our wholesale customers support our vision.”

Openreach says it would need “a regulatory environment that encourages investment, and we need to agree how the costs of such a huge engineering project can be recovered fairly from all those that stand to benefit”.

In order to persuade shareholders to back the investment, they would need reassurance that they can recoup the costs, says Openreach, which will be its own limited company by the end of the year.

While Sky and the others think consumers will be willing to pay a premium for ultra-fast internet, they wouldn’t pay enough to make back the costs of the investment.

Openreach now says it wants to consult with the government and Ofcom watchdog over how such a giant scheme would work in practice. Openreach says it will come back before Christmas with a specific pricing plan for the ambitious idea.

Parent company BT reports quarterly results later this week, with chief executive Gavin Patterson under some pressure, not least due to customer service issues at Openreach.

BT has seen arch rival Virgin Media win some custom with its own telecom network.

Comcast offering higher internet speeds in area

STAUNTON – Comcast customers in the Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro areas will now have access to a faster internet service.

According to a release, Comcast will deliver speeds up to 1 Gigabit-per-second to residential customers. The upgrade will make the area’s internet speed among the fastest and most widely available network, which includes more than 18 million hotspots, the release said. 

The new Gigabit service uses the connections already in most customers’ homes, which means no digging up streets or neighborhoods. The company’s new 1 Gigabit internet service will use DOCSIS 3.1 technology to deliver the speeds over the existing communications lines.

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“That means we can reach more homes with gigabit speeds in a way that allows us to connect entire communities, not just select areas,” said Eliza Frindlay, spokeswoman for Comcast. “Previously, we offered select internet tier speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 400 Mbps for area customers, so this new 1 Gigabit service will allow customers to receive more than double the speeds currently available.”

The everyday price for 1 Gigabit service is $104.95 a month, without a term contract, and a promotional price of $79.99 a month for 12 months is being offered, the release said.

Customers would need to install a new DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem for the upgrade, the release said. New and current customers can visit Xfinity.com/gig to learn about the new service and request additional information.

“With the launch of our 1 Gigabit residential service, adding to the best in-home Wi-Fi experience and our recent launch of XFINITY xFi, we continue to deliver an unparalleled Internet experience for our customers in terms of speed, control and reliability,” said Mary McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Beltway Region, in a release. “We know consumers need an internet provider that can deliver speed, and we have been on a pace of doubling our network capacity every 18 to 24 months, ensuring that we stay well ahead of demand.”

Earlier this year, Comcast launched Xfinity xFi, a platform that provides a digital dashboard for customers to set up their home Wi-Fi network, find their password, see what devices are connected, troubleshoot issues, set parental controls and even pause Wi-Fi access on their home network during dinner or bedtime, the release said. 

Follow Laura Peters @peterslaura and @peterpants. You can reach her at lpeters@newsleader.com or 213-9125.

 

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Brings Higher Premiums, Less Time To Apply

Consumers can begin shopping for 2018 health insurance through Access Health CT (AHCT) Wednesday, Nov. 1, but will see sizeable price increases and have far less time to enroll than in previous years.

Officials at the state’s health insurance exchange are boosting marketing and outreach efforts at a time when many consumers may be confused, said Andrea Ravitz, AHCT’s director of marketing and sales.

Despite efforts by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which created AHCT, the legislation and the marketplace still stand.

“The constant mixed messages are confusing people,” Ravitz said. “There are certain things that are affecting the federal platform that are not affecting Connecticut at all. There’s a lot of confusion.”

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Brings Higher Premiums, Less Time To Apply

Consumers can begin shopping for 2018 health insurance through Access Health CT (AHCT) Wednesday, Nov. 1, but will see sizeable price increases and have far less time to enroll than in previous years.

Officials at the state’s health insurance exchange are boosting marketing and outreach efforts at a time when many consumers may be confused, said Andrea Ravitz, AHCT’s director of marketing and sales.

Despite efforts by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which created AHCT, the legislation and the marketplace still stand.

“The constant mixed messages are confusing people,” Ravitz said. “There are certain things that are affecting the federal platform that are not affecting Connecticut at all. There’s a lot of confusion.”

Will higher health premiums erase pay raise?

While thousands of career feds sweat over what Congress and the Trump administration might do to them, many are on track to pay w-a-a-a-y too much in health insurance premiums in 2018. For many, the 1.9 percent white-collar pay raise won’t amount to much in take-home pay, since premiums are going up an “average” of 6.1 percent.

Most people understand the impact of various plans, some serious, some just legislative floaters, to shave retirement benefits, if any, or all of them are approved. The House budget has a specific group of suggested cuts in the federal retirement program. The Senate budget calls for savings, but doesn’t name where they should be made. Given the drive to enact tax “reform,” it is possible that the CSRS and FERS programs will, once again, dodge a bullet. We’ll know in just a few weeks.

In the meantime, there is plenty that pro-active stuff feds — and especially retirees — can do during the health insurance open season that runs from Nov. 13 to Dec. 11. During that time, all federal workers, postal employees, retirees or their survivors can shop from 20-plus plans. They include fee-for-service national plans (the big one is Blue Cross-Blue Shield) to local health maintenance organizations and special health savings and high deductible plans that have been described as a Roth IRA on steroids.

The problem, year after year, is that while at least half of all workers, and even more retirees, should change plans, only six in 100 actually do it. Walton Francis, author of Consumers’ Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, says many people can save $1,000-to-$2,000 next year if they change plans. In many cases, they can receive equal coverage while paying 20-to-30 percent less than their current plan.

        Survey: Agency managers view cost, security and analytics as criteria for adopting new data storage technologies

Open season is also the time to protect your family from potential bankruptcy, if you have a catastrophic medical year. Different plans have very different deductibles, meaning the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before insurance takes over. Even a young, healthy individual, couple or family can be involved in an accident. This year, the limit-to-you amount among the various family health plans ranges from $7,050 to as much as $19,620. For a single person, the limit-to-you amount ranges from as little as $3,540 to $8,980.

Self-plus one plans

For years, young couples and older retirees pushed for a self-plus-one option. They resented having to pay premiums for a family plan when there was just the two of them. The pros all said there would be little to no difference between self-only and self-plus-one plans, but after years of infighting, the self-plus-one option is available. And it turns out the experts were right. The difference between the self-only and plus-premium is hard to spot in some plans. In fact, if you are in certain self-plus-one plans, you might find you could save a few bucks by switching to a family plan.

Bottom line: With changes in the wind (or not) that you can’t control, promise yourself that this open season, you won’t walk zombie-like through it. Do a little shopping and save a lot of money.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

Oct. 8 is World Zombie Day.

Source: Fact Retriever

        4 takeaways from the 2017 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results

Bellevue-based Coding Dojo announces higher number of graduates than any computer science program in US

Bellevue-based Coding Dojo announced Wednesday it produces more graduates each year compared to the nation’s largest computer science program at a four-year higher education institute.

The premier coding school for aspiring software developers graduated 811 at its campuses, and an additional 176 from its online program, for a total of 987 graduates in 2016. That’s 112 percent more than the University of California at San Diego, which reported the most students in the country had completed undergraduate computer science degrees with 465 graduates in 2016.

In 2017, Coding Dojo projects it will have 1,178 in-person graduates and 474 online for a grand total of 1,652 graduates.

“While the volume of graduates from CS (computer science) programs and boot camps certainly speaks to demand, I’m most proud of the fact that together we’re making significant progress in filling the developer shortage,” Coding Dojo COO and CFO Jay Patel said. “Although the U.S. government projected a couple years ago 1 million more computing jobs than computer science graduates by 2020, I fully expect new STEM initiatives coupled with traditional CS (computer science) programs to make huge dents in this gap.”

In 2016, Coding Dojo started off the year with campuses in Los Angeles (opened in late 2015), Seattle-Bellevue area and Silicon Valley. It added campuses in Dallas in March, Washington D.C. in June and Chicago in September 2016. The below compares Coding Dojo’s 2016 graduate totals for its original two campuses, Seattle and Silicon Valley, to the 2016 graduate statistics for computer science bachelor’s degrees at the largest computer science programs in those corresponding markets.

Seattle

  • 248 graduates from Coding Dojo’s Bellevue campus
  • 178 undergraduate computer science majors graduated from University of Washington’s Seattle campus

Silicon Valley

  • 261 graduates from Coding Dojo’s San Jose, California campus
  • 259 undergraduate computer science majors graduated from Stanford University

“Coding Dojo has experienced explosive growth over the past several years, and we don’t think that’s simply a reflection of the insatiable need for U.S. development talent,” Coding Dojo’s head of curriculum, Speros Misirlakis, said. “We have a unique approach in constantly adapting and customizing curriculum to mirror local job demand, and it shows in the success of our alumni. On average Coding Dojo students earn $26,000 more in their new job following graduation compared to their previous employment.”

In order to get statistics about computer science program graduates at four-year higher education institutes in the U.S., Coding Dojo used data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. When comparing Coding Dojo graduates at local campuses to computer science programs in those markets, Coding Dojo evaluated all schools within a 30-mile radius.

Through more than 10 years of curriculum refinement, Coding Dojo is the only coding boot camp to teach three full technology stacks in a single 14-week program. Since 2012, thousands of Coding Dojo students from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels have been transformed into professional developers who go on to be hired by startups and world-class companies like Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, JPMorgan Chase and Uber. Coding Dojo has campuses in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Tulsa and Washington D.C. It is one of the fastest growing startups with recognition in rankings like the GeekWire 200.

To learn more, visit codingdojo.com.

Attleboro unions cold on higher health care costs

ATTLEBORO — A proposal asking new city employees to pay higher health care costs as part of a school financing plan is facing resistance, but officials say other aspects of the plan are in good shape.

The plan is a blueprint on how to close a $10 million funding gap over five years using additional revenue and cost savings.

One idea is to negotiate contracts with city and school employee unions to increase the portion of health care insurance costs that are paid for by new hires from 25 percent to 40 percent.

Union officials are opposed to that idea, but school committee Chairman Stephen Withers said it is only a small part of the financing plan.

More significant, he said, is legislation that would increase state aid to schools, the building of a more efficient high school, and other reachable goals.

For example, he said, Mayor Kevin Dumas has agreed to allocate $750,000 to the schools when more money becomes available as loan payments for past capital improvement projects are paid off.

But on health care, Adeline Bee, president of the Attleboro Education Association, gave a firm “no” on new teachers paying more.

She said her association has already negotiated a contract and will not be considering a change to increase the health care percentage paid.

City and school employee unions have rejected that idea in the past, she said.

“This is something that was floated in the last round and, if I’m correct, all of the unions said ‘no,’ “ she said.

She said it is “unconscionable” that the city would want new teachers, who are the lowest paid, to be charged more for health care.

With 500 members, her association is the largest employee group in the city.

Attleboro firefighter Paul Jacques, a legislative liaison for the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, said he could not comment on the Attleboro situation because it is in contract negotiations.

However, he said in general his statewide organization is opposed to attempts to get employees to shoulder more of the burden.

“We don’t support anything like that. It’s just another tactic by management to shift health care costs to employees,” he said.

The heads of the firefighters and school paraprofessional associations said they could not comment because they have agreed to non-disclosure clauses during bargaining that prohibits talking about it publicly.

Jacob Springs of the firefighters said talking publicly could be considered an unfair labor practice because of the clause.

Dumas spoke of the issue publicly at a school committee meeting Monday night.

Mary Ellen Flynn, of the paraprofessional association, said she is personally opposed to raising health care costs for new employees, but would not talk about negotiations.

High costs would hit paraprofessionals, also called classroom aides, hard because they are among the lowest paid school employees.

On more easily obtainable goals, Withers and school Superintendent David Sawyer said the department is already seeing benefits from new boilers that were installed in some schools over the summer.

With the help of $800,000 from the city, the boilers replaced aging equipment in schools such as Willett and Hill-Roberts that were costly to maintain and inefficient in burning fuel.

Withers said another big savings would come if the city builds a new high school and unused buildings are sold off.

A new high school would allow programs located at places such as the school at County and Fifth streets, built in 1912, to move into the high school so the old building can be sold.

The vocational department at a new high school could also be expanded to bring back Attleboro students from Tri-County Regional Vocational.

That would reduce tuition payments to Tri-County and increase state aid to Attleboro, Sawyer said.

He estimates a total of $1.725 million in savings from a new high school.

The biggest item in the $10 million plan by far is an anticipated $4 million increase in state aid if the Legislature changes its funding formula by passing the RISE Act.

The bill’s future is uncertain.

The Senate has passed it once and added it on to the state budget twice, but the House has not acted on it.

House leaders say the state cannot afford the $2 billion cost of the change.

They have said voters would have to pass a surtax on millionaires next year in order to fund the RISE Act.

EPA Says Higher Radiation Levels Pose ‘No Harmful Health Effect’

In the event of a dirty bomb or a nuclear meltdown, emergency responders can safely tolerate radiation levels equivalent to thousands of chest X-rays, the Environmental Protection Agency said in new guidelines that ease off on established safety levels.

The EPA’s determination sets a level ten times the drinking water standard for radiation recommended under President Barack Obama. It could lead to the administration of President Donald Trump weakening radiation safety levels, watchdog groups critical of the move say.

“It’s really a huge amount of radiation they are saying is safe,” said Daniel Hirsch, the retired director of the University of California, Santa Cruz’s program on environmental and nuclear policy. “The position taken could readily unravel all radiation protection rules.”

The change was included as part of EPA “guidance” on messaging and communications in the event of a nuclear power plant meltdown or dirty bomb attack. The FAQ document, dated September 2017, is part of a broader planning document for nuclear emergencies, and does not carry the weight of federal standards or law.

“According to radiation safety experts, radiation exposures of 5-10 rem (5,000-10,000 mrem or 50-100 mSv) usually result in no harmful health effects, because radiation below these levels is a minor contributor to our overall cancer risk,” EPA said in the document. That level is equivalent to as many as 5,000 chest X-rays or seven to 14 chest CT scans, according to a comparison with Food and Drug Administration data.

A 2007 version of the same document stated that no level of radiation is safe, concluding: “The current body of scientific knowledge tells us this.”

Read More: Trump Plays Down Health Hazard in Making Climate Rule Repeal

“EPA has not changed its standards regarding radiation exposure, and no protective guidelines were changed during this administration,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in a statement. “We are simply providing more supporting resources.”

Radiation of certain wavelengths, called ionizing radiation, has enough energy to damage genetic material and cause cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. The extent of the damage to the cells depends upon the amount and duration of the exposure, as well as the organs exposed, according to the FDA.

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, exposure limits are set at four millirem (or mrem) a year, and federal standards for hazardous air pollutants limits radiation exposure to 10 mrem a year, Hirsch said. Federal regulations limit exposure for living near a nuclear power plant to 25 mrem a year, he said.

Poland doctors rally for higher pay, more health care funds

Hundreds of young doctors are rallying in front of the Polish prime minister’s office to demand pay increases and more money for the country’s chronically strapped health care system.

The rally held Saturday was a show of support for some 20 junior doctors who have been on a hunger strike at a Warsaw children’s hospital for almost two weeks. The doctors are participating in the hunger strike as a protest.

They met with Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and Health Minister Konstanty Radziwill earlier this week, but found the talks unsatisfactory.

They say Poland’s health care budget is insufficient and leads to monthlong waits for simple medical procedures.

The young doctors also are threatening to leave Poland if their monthly salaries of about 1,500 zlotys ($420,) are not significantly increased.

Rumor: Galaxy A (2018) Phones To Have Higher Price Tags

The Galaxy A (2018) series of Android-powered smartphones will feature considerably better specs compared to the previous lineup but will also be “significantly” more expensive, one industry insider said on Monday. The Galaxy A3 (2018), Galaxy A5 (2018), and the Galaxy A7 (2018) are all expected to mark the most significant overhaul of Samsung’s mid-range product family in many years, including a dual-camera setup that’s said to be present on the two more advanced models. This year’s devices were resistant to dust particles and water to a degree, with Samsung transitioning that functionality from its contemporary flagships. More functionalities of the firm’s high-end handsets are expected to trickle down to the Galaxy A lineup next year, with some insiders previously claiming that the upcoming phones may even feature Infinity Display panels.

The Russian source claiming that consumers can expect a major price increase from the Galaxy A (2018) series also said that the Android-powered trio is to be launched in the transcontinental country in January, with that availability window likely being applicable to Samsung’s other target markets as well. All three devices are expected to debut with some variant of Android Nougat as Samsung is likely focusing its Android 8.0 Oreo development efforts on updating its existing flagships and creating a stable version of the new OS for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus which are said to be launching by late winter or early spring. If some Galaxy A (2018) models truly end up shipping with 18.5:9 Infinity Display panels, they’re likely to do away with a physical Home button and move their fingerprint scanners to the back, though it remains to be seen whether Samsung ends up equipping its entry-level offerings with curved displays or simply deliver taller devices with regular screens like LG Electronics did with its previously launched LG Q series.

While the Galaxy A (2018) smartphones may not run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, they are likely to be updated to a newer OS version in the second half of next year and will presumably target Western markets, whereas developing countries should continue receiving new Galaxy C models, as was the case in recent years. Samsung may officially announce its upcoming Android mid-rangers at CES 2018 taking place in January in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After just 2 weeks, iOS 11 is on a higher percentage of devices than any version of Android

Recent data from Mixpanel reveals that 38.45% of all iOS users are already running iOS 11. That’s not too shabby for an iOS update that went live just two weeks ago, especially when you consider that iOS 11 isn’t exactly a groundbreaking or must-have update. While iOS users haven’t adopted iOS 11 as quickly as they took to iOS 10, the overarching takeaway is that iPhone users are far more likely to be running the latest version of iOS than Android users are likely to be running the latest version of Android. Bringing this up may seem like a quick and easy way to poke fun at Android, but the benefits or running the most up to date version of a mobile OS — no matter the platform — can’t be overstated. New features notwithstanding, running an antiquated mobile OS typically leaves users more prone to serious security threats.

So how bad is it over on the Android side of the equation? Well, to be blunt, it’s pretty bad. Taking a look at Android’s developer dashboard, we see that not any single version of Android has amassed the 38.45% share iOS 11 already enjoys. What’s more, nearly half of all Android devices are currently running Android Lollipop or an even older version of Android. For some context, the initial Lollipop update went live all the way back in late 2014. Put differently, nearly half of all Android devices are running OS’ that, at the very least, are about as old as iOS 8. That’s dumbfounding.

9c3b1_android-adoption After just 2 weeks, iOS 11 is on a higher percentage of devices than any version of Android

As illustrated above, 32% of current Android devices are running Marshmallow (released 2 years ago in 2015!) while 17.8% of devices are running a variant of Nougat (released over 1 year ago). What’s even crazier is that more than 20% of Android devices are running KitKat or an even earlier iteration of Android. In stark contrast, nearly 94% of all iOS devices are running iOS 10 or later, which is to say that 94% of all iOS devices are running an OS that, at the most, is just about a year old.

Google has certainly done a decent job of increasing adoption of its more recent mobile OS offerings in recent years, but the search giant still has a lot of work to do if it ever wants to come close to reaching the level of iOS adoption Apple enjoys. So while Google understandably likes to boast about the ever-increasing number of Android handsets in-use, it’s important to keep in mind that many current Android users remain unable to take advantage of the best features Android brings to the table.




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