Aston Martin targets return to profitability in 2018

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer peers down the lines of a display model of a AM-RB 001 ahead of the 2017 Canadian International Autoshow. (Reuters)Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer peers down the lines of a display model of a AM-RB 001 ahead of the 2017 Canadian… Read More
TORONTO: Aston MartinHoldings Ltd expects a return to profitability in 2018, as the now money-losing luxury automaker plans to boost revenues with renewed versions of its sports cars, chief executive Andy Palmer said on Wednesday.

The British automaker, whose sports cars were popularized by James Bond films, is investing heavily to update existing models and develop several new vehicles through the end of 2019, including its first SUV, and the 2 million pound ($2.5 million) to 3 million pound ($3.7 million) Formula 1-inspired AM-RB 001, the most expensive new car ever built by Aston Martin.

“You’ve got a complete renewal during the course of 2018 of the sports cars,” Palmer told Reuters on the sidelines of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

Unlike other luxury sports car brands, which are part of mass-volume auto groups and can benefit from economies of scale,

Aston Martin remains independent, Palmer said.

“We have to amortize the R&D (costs) on a small volume,” he said. “That’s what justifies the car being expensive.”

The carbon fiber AM-RB 001, which is being developed with Red Bull Advanced Technologies for expected delivery in 2019, is using Canadian composite specialist Multimatic as a supplier, Palmer said. All 150 cars have been sold, with another 25 to be manufactured as a separate variant for the track.

Palmer said one of Aston Martin’s highest volume models will be its DBX SUV, which when delivered in late 2019 would compete with the Bentayga produced by Bentley Motors Ltd, a division of the Volkswagen Auto Group.

Pickups and SUVs accounted for 59.5 per cent of U.S. auto sales in 2016, up from 55.8 per cent in 2015, and North American appetite has prompted luxury makers such as Rolls Royce and Lamborghini to come out with new SUV models.

Palmer said Aston Martin expects to build between 4,000 to 5,000 SUVs a year.

“We don’t want to go to big volume,” he said. “It’s basically high price, low volume, exclusivity.”

Aston Martin, which is to publish its 2016 financial figures at the end of February, is held by Kuwait’s Tejara and Italy’s Investindustrial. The private equity firms hold an equal voting stake, he said.

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Daimler has a 5 per cent stake in Aston Martin in return for access to certain technologies for connected and autonomous cars

source”cnbc”

Peugeot Citroen to return to India with CK Birla group

Bernie Ecclestone’s 40-year reign as Formula One’s commercial supremo has ended with the sport’s new owners Liberty Media replacing the 86-year-old Briton with American Chase Carey.

Signalling the end of an era, Liberty said in a statement on Monday it completed the acquisition of Formula One and appointed Chairman Carey to the additional role of chief executive.

“I think when you look at the last four or five years, the sport has really not grown to its potential, and we have an opportunity to really grow this sport in a new and exciting way,” Carey told CNBC on Tuesday.

On “Squawk Box,” the former 21st Century Fox executive detailed his vision for the company’s future. Carey said his focus would be on expanding Formula One’s racing events, making them feel like Super Bowls, and using digital media to connect to more fans.

For Carey, steps one and two will be to “put an organization in place that lets us make these events everything they can be, reaches out across digital media that we’re not connecting to today, [and] build a marketing organization that connects to fans [and] enables fans to connect to the sport,” he said.

“And on another level,” Carey added, his larger mission will be “to really build the spirit of partnerships with our teams and promoters, sponsors, broadcasters, that enables us to work together with a common vision.”

Ecclestone will become “chairman emeritus” with Liberty saying he would remain “available as a source of advice for the board of F1.”

Liberty also named two managing directors — former Ferrari technical director and ex-Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn for motor sports and former ESPN executive Sean Bratches for commercial operations.

Both roles had been widely signaled in media reports.

“I’m proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula One,” Ecclestone said in the statement. “I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport.”

source”cnbc”

‘Night mode’ (eye strain reduction) could make a return on Nexus devices

Many were upset that ‘Night mode’ went missing on the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X once the Android Nougat 7.1 beta OTA was installed. After much buzz about the omission of Night mode, Ian Lake from Google spoke about why the feature went missing: “it requires driver support that is no present on Nexus devices,” This was about a couple of weeks ago.

“Night Light” feature from Google PixelMany users submitted feedback for the beta (as this is what the program is meant for), and many of them reported the lack of night mode as a bug: saying that night mode should be in the settings, but it is not, and that the issue is happening 100% of the time. Google must have heard everyone loud and clear because today someone at Google has marked the issue as “closed” with a status of “FutureRelease”.

This technically means that the issue has been resolved and that the fix for the issue will be applied in a future update. Perhaps Google only removed Night mode because it was inconsistent with the Google Pixel’s “Night Light”, as that’s what it is called on the new phone.

In any case, we expect to see the eye strain reduction feature make its way back to the Nexus 6P and 5X on the Beta program. Thanks Google!

source”gsmarena”

CBSE Class 10 board exams may return in 2018: Discussion to be held today

CBSE Class 10 Board Exams

After making Class 10 boards optional in 2010, CBSE may reintroduce them from 2018. HRD Minister Prakash Javedekar will discuss the matter with the education ministers of states and central minsters today, October 25.

Speaking to India Today Education, Ruchika Chhabra, Counsellor from Ramjas School said, “It’s a good start again for education system schools children. Mass failure will reduced in class 9. It is a hope that children will start taking studies more seriously. Their attitude and seriousness will bring a drastic changes in positive way. I wish good luck to all.”

Whereas Gautam Narang, a teacher of coaching institute said, “CCE pattern is the worst pattern as it pressurises students. Class 10 boards are the best way to check a person’s capability as it is completely anonymous. It also helps the children to get prepared or you can say a practice for their class 12 boards. I have seen those students who did not give class 10 boards were too scared to give boards in 12 which almost lead them to a nervous breakdown. All in all having class 10 boards is the best thing our education ministry can gift us back this new year.”

Here are some reasons for the reintroduction of Class 10 board exams:

  • Number of drop-outs has reduced
  • Scrapping away the exam affected the academic standards

Introducing no-detention policy:

As per the reports, the education minster will also announce ‘no-detention’ policy, wherein students will be promoted to class 5.

Thereafter, the states can devise this alternative till class 8. If a student fails, the opportunity of a ‘re-test’ should be given to them.

Also, the Board has decided to discontinue the re-evaluation of answer scripts. To read more on this, click here.

What is your take on the reintroduction of CBSE Class 10 board exams? Write on the comments section below!

source”cnbc”

Consumer forum to FIITJEE: Stop ‘unfair trade practices,’ return 50 per cent tuition fee to students

Consumer forum to FIITJEE: Stop unfair trade practice, return 50 per cent tuition fee to students

Despite of being a famous coaching centre for IIT and other engineering entrance examination since 1992, FIITJEE has been recently charged for collecting fees for two years in one go amounts to “unfair trade practice.”

Details of the report:

  • A district consumer disputes redressal forum, headed by its President Justice N K Goel has filed the case
  • As per reports, FIITJEE has been asked to refund Rs 1, 16,564 to Sanjay Choudhary, father of a student, who had taken admission to this coaching centre
  • While giving details about this case, the officials of forum said, “We hold that the institute (FIITJEE) has committed unfair trade practice by collecting fees for two years in one go. We partly allow the complaint and direct OP to refund half of the fees taken by them from the complainant towards the fee for two years duration”
  • “Accordingly we direct the institute to refund a sum of Rs 1, 16,564 towards 50 per cent of the tuition fee paid by the complainant along with interest at 6 per cent per annum,” the forum added.

Statements from father:

Sanjay Choudhary while stating the incident said, his son had joined Saifabad branch of the institute in Hyderabad for a 2-year integrated school programme for IIT-JEE course in 2010.

As reported, the institute had asked him to pay the fee amount of Rs 2, 33,128 for the two years course before the date of joining.

But as soon as his son found that the classes were not up to the mark, he decided to quit.

Futher, Sanjay Choudhary alleged that the institute declined to refund the fee citing the declarations he had made while joining the course.

What did FIITJEE said in its defense?

  • FIITJEE told the forum that the student had left the course voluntarily
  • Therefore, they were not bound to refund the fees as per their terms and conditions

While giving the final verdict, the forum referred to the Supreme Court judgment which had held that an educational institution can only charge prescribed fee for one semester or year.

source”gsmarena”

Twitter COO: Confident we’ll return to user growth

Shares of Twitter plunged more than 4 percent on Thursday, one day after the company reported a sequential drop in user numbers last quarter.

But Adam Bain, Twitter’s chief operating officer, on Thursday sought to highlight the company’s product innovation, revenue growth and business units.

In addition to reporting earnings on Wednesday, Twitter introduced an option that allows users to see tweets by relevance, as opposed to the platform’s standard display in reverse chronological order.

Reports ahead of the announcement that Twitter would move in that direction set off a tweet storm of criticism this past weekend, but Bain said the company would remain focused on delivering real-time information.

“We’re focused on live because we think live is actually a really powerful part of the platform, whether live video or live information,” he said during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

“On the product side, we’re focused on refining an iconic product, and with this focus on live, we know that we will see a return to user growth,” he added.

Twitter’s user base has essentially remained stagnant at 300 million in 2015, raising concerns about future revenue growth.

Bain stressed that Twitter believes the scope and scale for marketers on the platform is actually 800 million users, taking into account the 500 million people who see tweets but are not logged on. The company recently began displaying ads to people in this “logged out state,” he added.

Twitter announced nearly 60 percent year-over-year revenue growth for 2015. For the fourth quarter, earnings came in 4 cents above expectations at 16 cents per share on $710 million in revenue, in line with consensus.

Still, some say Twitter should put less emphasis on advertising revenue and instead focus on selling user data and open its API, or application programming interface, which would allow third-party developers to create applications for the platform.

Bain said Twitter is already diversified, pointing to its businesses in syndicated ads, data and licensing, as well as its advertising exchange MoPub. He said the data business in particular helps its clients address customer service issues at a time when many consumers use Twitter to vent their frustration.

“The businesses themselves are doing customer service out in the open and actually turn the customer moment into a marketing moment,” he said.

Twitter monthly average users (MAUs)In millions, not including SMS-only usersQ1 2013Q2 2013Q3 2013Q4 2013Q1 2014Q2 2014Q3 2014Q4 2014Q1 2015Q2 2015Q3 2015Q4 20150100200300400Twitter

Twitter said Wednesday that it expects first-quarter revenue of between $595 million and $610 million, disappointing Wall Street, which had been expecting guidance of about $633 million, according to StreetAccount.

The first quarter is traditionally softer than the preceding holiday season for Twitter’s brand advertisers, Bain said. As a result, Twitter’s largest business will be affected by the seasonal swing.

At the same time, the company is confident it will expand its fastest-growing business in direct response, or “advertisers looking for clicks and conversions” from their tweets, he said.

[“source -pcworld”]

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 will be unveiled on February 21, with possible return of the microSD slot

galaxy s7 leak

amsung has announced we’ll get our first official look at the Galaxy S7 at Mobile World Congress on Feb. 21.

However, you don’t have to wait to find out what the phones will look like, if VentureBeat’s Evan Blass is to believed with his latest leaks. On the face of it the phones seem like, well, Galaxy phones, with Samsung again going for some type of Edge configuration along with a standard GS7. There’s talk of a 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge model to go along with the 5.1-inch flat model.

galaxy s7 angle

VENTUREBEAT

It may be another year with microUSB ports for the next Galaxy phones.

There are a few other details floating around out there. For example, we should see a return of expandable microSD storage, which is a popular feature among those who have used Android in the past, and missing from many recent flagship phones. Marshmallow integrates external storage much better now, making it a more usable feature.

However, as the renderings indicate we may still have microUSB charging ports, which means all your old cords will be good for at least another year. But that means you won’t get USB Type C, as found with the Nexus 6P and 5X.

There’s some uncertainty about which phones will see the Snapdragon 820 or use Samsung’s own Exynos chip. Samsung has used different chips in the same model before, as it may want to leverage Qualcomm’s strengths with LTE modems for U.S. markets. With each release the company tends to produce variations for each market, so such little hardware tweakings are to be expected.

Why this matters: Given that we may have reached peak smartphone, a new Galaxy S7 may not excite the masses as such flagships once did. But it’s still one of the biggest flagships of the year, and we’ll be there in Barcelona for all the Mobile World Congress action. Be sure to check out our hands-on coverage and first impressions when Samsung gives its big reveal.

[“source -pcworld”]

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 will be unveiled on February 21, with possible return of the microSD slot

galaxy s7 leak

Samsung has announced we’ll get our first official look at the Galaxy S7 at Mobile World Congress on Feb. 21.

However, you don’t have to wait to find out what the phones will look like, if VentureBeat’s Evan Blass is to believed with his latest leaks. On the face of it the phones seem like, well, Galaxy phones, with Samsung again going for some type of Edge configuration along with a standard GS7. There’s talk of a 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge model to go along with the 5.1-inch flat model.

galaxy s7 angle

VENTUREBEAT

It may be another year with microUSB ports for the next Galaxy phones.

There are a few other details floating around out there. For example, we should see a return of expandable microSD storage, which is a popular feature among those who have used Android in the past, and missing from many recent flagship phones. Marshmallow integrates external storage much better now, making it a more usable feature.

However, as the renderings indicate we may still have microUSB charging ports, which means all your old cords will be good for at least another year. But that means you won’t get USB Type C, as found with the Nexus 6P and 5X.

There’s some uncertainty about which phones will see the Snapdragon 820 or use Samsung’s own Exynos chip. Samsung has used different chips in the same model before, as it may want to leverage Qualcomm’s strengths with LTE modems for U.S. markets. With each release the company tends to produce variations for each market, so such little hardware tweakings are to be expected.

Why this matters: Given that we may have reached peak smartphone, a new Galaxy S7 may not excite the masses as such flagships once did. But it’s still one of the biggest flagships of the year, and we’ll be there in Barcelona for all the Mobile World Congress action. Be sure to check out our hands-on coverage and first impressions when Samsung gives its big reveal.

[“source -cncb”]