Each publisher has approached tablets at its own pace, with its own purpose. The result has left a scattered set of protocols across the industry.The International Digital Enterprise Alliance (IDEAlliance), an association serving players across the digital media supply chain, is attempting to simplify the process of tablet issue production by eliminating many of the competing formats and workflows. The goal is an industry standard called OpenEFT—guidelines to direct the packaging, delivery and display of digital magazines for everyone in the ecosystem. OpenEFT’s final draft was unveiled late last month.“We, as publishers, would like to be able to provide a designed-for-tablet, interactive edition to all the newsstands,” says Sean Keefe, executive director of publishing technology for Hearst Magazines. “But right now, not all of them take the same file formats.”The benefits for publishers are two-fold. Tablet issue production would become a more efficient process, while the barriers to third-party innovation would be lowered. Tablet issue production can be convoluted now. Hearst currently produces up to three formats (and several variants) of its magazines, depending on the brand and the newsstand they’re working with; Next Issue Media, a digital newsstand, is forced to adapt about six formats for its storefront. Many of those conversions are labor intensive and require quality assurance testing at multiple points.Ideally, says Keith Barraclough, CTO and vice president of products for Next Issue, the exchange of files would be simplified, QA would only be needed once and the process could be automated.“Whether OpenEFT can do all this as it goes through its standardization process and tools and manufacturers come along and adopt, that’s all a big ‘TBD,’” he says. “But that’s the nirvana we’re looking for.”An open specification already exists, called ePub, but it was built to handle books, not magazines.“The orientation toward imagery, layout and the subtlety of the navigation of a magazine is something that’s evolved more,” Barraclough says.While Dianne Kennedy, vice president of emerging technologies for IDEAlliance, says OpenEFT is closely modeled after ePub, she adds that the need for tablet-optimized ad units is another major reason the book-centric format needed to be tweaked for digital magazines.Magazine staff have to manipulate the units from the agency, often without being exactly sure of how the final product was supposed to render. The costs and confusion make their use rare.“Magazines, unlike books, rely a lot on the ad model,” Kennedy says. “There is no specification for the exchange and rendering of this interactive content, so the magazines have been limiting the number of interactive ads they will accept.”Regardless of how or why they started with tablet editions, publishers will agree that improving production efficiency is beneficial.Now, it’s up to them to adopt the standard.
WILMINGTON, MA — Below is a recent announcement from the Wilmington Recreation Department:Dance Classes For AdultsHave you stayed true to your New Year’s healthy lifestyle resolutions? If not, the Wilmington Rec. Department is offering two dance classes for adults that are sure to get you moving and grooving your way to a healthier you.The “Dance Sampler” class introduces you to jazz, ballet, hip hop and lyrical dance lessons. These lessons are offered on Mondays, January 28 – March 11 (no 2/18) from 8 – 9 p.m. Cost is $52.00.Or, try “Tap Dancing” – a class that is designed for both Beginning and Intermediate dancers. In this class, you’ll learn basic tap steps and fun combinations in a light-hearted atmosphere. Classes are held on Thursdays, January 24 – March 7 (no 2/21), 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Cost is $52.00, tap shoes are required.To register, visit http://www.wilmingtonma.gov/recreation, call 978-658-4270, or stop by Town Hall, Room 8. The Department is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWILMINGTON REC REMINDERS: Adult Dance Classes Starting Soon; ‘Disney On Ice’ Tickets Sale Ends FRIDAYIn “Community”WILMINGTON REC REMINDERS: Adult Tap Dance Classes, Kids Ballet LessonsIn “Community”Wilmington Recreation Has Discounted Tickets To Canobie Lake Park’s ScreeemfestIn “Community”
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ vote to approve a ban on selling e-cigarettes was unanimous. Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images San Francisco has banned the sale of e-cigarettes like Juul, with the board of supervisors voting unanimously to approve the ordinance Tuesday. It’s the first city to implement such a ban. E-cigarettes are battery-operated, converting flavored liquid nicotine into a vapor inhaled by the user. Juul, headquartered in San Francisco, has been making headlines after its popularity among teenagers forced it to shutter its social media presence late last year while the FDA investigated concerns it was promoting underage use of tobacco products. “We spent the ’90s battling Big Tobacco. And now we see its new form through e-cigarettes,” supervisor Shamann Walton said Tuesday, according to the San Francisco Examiner. “I am not going to put profits of Big Tobacco over the health of our children and our young people.” Read more: How to quit Juuling, according to addiction experts Tags Share your voice In response to Juul’s PR push to absolve itself for creating the youth e-cig epidemic (teen e-cig use spiked 78% last year), we’ve launched an ad campaign that tells the truth:Juul enticed kids with sweet flavors like mango and mint, then hooked them with a strong nicotine hit. pic.twitter.com/bQDreyn06f— Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (@TobaccoFreeKids) June 25, 2019 Juul controversy “Juul enticed kids with sweet flavors like mango, creme and mint, then hooked them with a strong nicotine hit,” the poster says. “Last year, teen e-cigarette use spiked 78%. It’s an epidemic.” Kwong said Juul has already taken “aggressive actions” to prevent underage purchasing of its products, like online age verification and its halting of sales of non-tobacco and non-menthol flavored pods across the nation last year. He also pointed to Juul shutting down its Facebook and Instagram accounts. The ordinance was also opposed by corner store owners, according to the Examiner, with the Small Business Commission arguing it’d cost $70 million in sales for the 738 businesses that sell vapes in San Francisco. Read more: Vaping might ruin your smile, permanentlyThe board of supervisors didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but CNET sister site CBS News said the ordinance now awaits Mayor London Breed’s signature and will take effect six months after that. Offending retailers could be fined $1,000. “San Francisco has never been afraid to lead,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. “Youth vaping is an epidemic. If the federal government is not going to act to protect our kids, San Francisco will.” San Francisco in May was also the first city to ban its police officers from using facial recognition technology, citing a breach of citizens’ civil liberties. Culture Gadgets Politics Legal The ordinance was introduced in March. It prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes that require, but have not received, FDA approval for marketing. The ban will create a “black market” for vapes, Ted Kwong, a Juul Labs spokesperson, told CNET in an emailed statement. Regulation rather than prohibition would be more effective, he said. “This full prohibition will drive former adult smokers who successfully switched to vapor products back to deadly cigarettes,” Kwong said. “In San Francisco, we are supporting efforts going forward to enact new strict regulation and enforcement.” Regulations could include mandatory electronic ID scanning to verify age, restricting bulk purchasing to prevent third-party reselling of vapes, city permits for online vape retailers and marketing restrictions, Juul suggested.The ordinance’s passage follows the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids earlier Tuesday tweeting a poster accusing Juul of “luring” children to use its products by offering flavors like mango and mint. Juul vaporizer: What is it, why are teens addicted and is it safe? How to quit Juuling, according to addiction experts Juul is shutting down on social media, halting retail orders for flavored pods Juul is giving users tools to help them quit its e-cigs 12 Photos 3 Meet the smart vapes: App-enabled vaporizers seek to cash in on cannabis Comments
Lord’s would be the venue of 2019 World Cup finalTwitter/Lord’s Cricket GroundWith India’s World Cup squad now finalised, the focus turns to assessing their strengths and weaknesses. England is one of the most difficult places to predict the conditions. It takes just fifteen minutes for the weather to change and batting-friendly conditions to become severely testing. It’s helpful to look at the grounds which would be hosting India’s matches and the bowlers who may be key to their success on them.Indian begins their campaign on June 5 against South Africa at Hampshire Bowl. Their last round-robin game would be on July 6 against Sri Lanka. The nine matches India will compete in, before the semi-final stage gets underway, would be hosted by six grounds: Hampshire Bowl, The Oval, Nottingham, Old Trafford, Edgbaston and Headingley.It has to be remembered that, like most grounds around the world, pitches for ODI cricket in England too, have become very flat. So, the conditions will not be as challenging as they once would have been. Still, there are some unique qualities and challenges that each ground possesses. Let’s look at the six venues that will host India’s matches and their unique characteristics.Hampshire Bowl vs South Africa, AfghanistanIt’s very hard to predict what this venue will produce. It can be anything from a spin-friendly track to one assisting pacers. The nature of the pitch would be known only on the playing day. A well-rounded attack would probably be the best option.The Oval vs Australia This is usually a dry pitch, especially towards the end of the season. But since the World Cup is being played in mid-season, the pitch won’t be that dry. Still, it may help the spinners. India may well bring in Ravindra Jadeja as a spin-bowling all-rounder for this one.Nottingham vs New Zealand In Tests, this is the happy hunting ground of James Anderson. So, as you can understand, the ball moves around here. However, a lot would depend upon the overhead conditions. Since the ICC would be in charge of pitch preparation, it’s unlikely that there would be any grass on the wicket. Any cloud cover, though, may tempt India to bring in Hardik Pandya as the fourth seamer.Old Trafford vs Pakistan, Windies Old Trafford is one of the grounds that will host India’s matches in the World CupTwitter/Keaton JenningsAt Old Trafford, the ball may move around, but not in a conventional way. Reverse swing, rather than orthodox variety, can be a potent weapon which makes Mohammed Shami a good option to have. Additionally, bounce can be another factor as the pitch is usually quite hard. Jasprit Bumrah may play a key role for India here due to his ability of bowling a good bouncer.Edgbaston vs England, BangladeshQuite simply, one of the best batting pitches in England. Indian pacers will have their task cut out on this track. Spinners can be effective but they would have to bowl well. Kuldeep Yadav may be the man for India here.Headingley vs Sri Lanka In the old days, this pitch used to test a batsman’s technique as well as his mental strength. The ball will do something for the seamers, especially if there is cloud over. Shami and Bhuvneshwar will be the dangerous bowlers for the opposition.The final would be played at Lords. Traditionally, a decent batsman-friendly wicket and one that should be even more so without any grass allowed by ICC. The timing of the match in mid-season will also prevent it from being too dry.
Gold bars recovered from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Thursday. Photo: Customs houseCustoms officials recovered 80 gold bars weighing 9.28-kg from a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport early Thursday.A team of customs officials raided the flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, BG-087, after it had landed at the airport from Kualalampur around 4:30 am, said customs inspector Ataul Islam.The team, led by deputy commissioner (customs) Fahmida Mehzabin found the gold bars worth Tk 46.80 million wrapped in black scotch tape under a seat, he added.No one was arrested in this connection, reports UNB.
Bill placed in US Congress against Jamaat-e-Islami, Shibir. Photo: CollectedA bill has been placed in the US Congress, calling on the Bangladesh government to stop radical organisations including Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir, who pose threat to the country’s stability and secular democracy, reports BSS.Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana State introduced the bill titled ‘Expressing concern about the threat posed to democracy and the democratic process by theocratic groups operating in Bangladesh’ in the House of Representatives on 20 November, according to the US Congress official website.The House Resolution 1156 has been referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee as per the website.The bill called on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department to halt all partnerships and funding arrangements with groups affiliated radical organisation including Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir.Quoting a report of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, it said religious minorities were targeted by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Islami Chhatra Shibir, during previous elections, as a result of which 495 Hindu homes were damaged, 585 shops were attacked or looted, and 169 temples were vandalised between November 2013 and January 2014.It also referred that Jamaat-e-Islami activists have been involved in recent attacks on religious minorities in Bangladesh.Mentioning that national elections are expected to take place in Bangladesh on 30 December 2018, the bill called on the Bangladesh government to heed the Bangladesh election commission’s request to ensure security for minorities and maintain communal harmony for a peaceful election.The bill acknowledged the victims of the 1971 War of Independence and the spirit of secular democracy on which Bangladesh was founded.The nation of Bangladesh achieved independence in 1971 and established a secular democratic state, the bill mentioned and also noted this freedom was won at the cost of approximately 3 million deaths, more than 10 million displaced, and 200,000 women raped, many at the hands of Islamist militants led by Jamaat-e-Islami.The bill said repeated attacks on religious minorities, expanding religious intolerance, and growing destabilisation caused by radical groups, including Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir, undermine United States economic and strategic interests in Bangladesh.In a statement, Philadelphia-based think tank, the Middle East Forum (MEF) has welcomed the bill saying “Jamaat-e-Islami is an influential and dangerous Islamist group with a long history of violence.In October last, Bangladesh Election Commission revoked the registration of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, a major ally of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, as a political party in compliance with a High Court order.In August 2013, the High Court declared Jamaat’s registration illegal following a writ petition filed in 2009 by Bangladesh Tariqat Federation’s secretary general Rezaul Haque Chandpuri and 24 others.In the petition, they said Jamaat was a religion-based political party and it did not believe in the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh.
Pakistani foreign affairs minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi speaks during a press conference in Multan on 19 February 2019, following the ongoing tensions between Pakistan and India. Pakistan is ready to help India investigate the deadliest blast in Kashmir in decades, but will retaliate if Delhi attacks, prime minister Imran Khan said on 19 February as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals soared. — Photo: AFPPakistan’s foreign minister appealed to the UN secretary general on Tuesday to help ease tension with India that has escalated sharply following a suicide bomb attack in the Indian part of disputed Kashmir, that India blamed on Pakistan.Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, facing an election by May, has warned Pakistan to expect a “strong response” to the bombing claimed by a Pakistan-linked militant group, raising fears of conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors.“It is with a sense of urgency that I draw your attention to the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the threat of use of force against Pakistan by India,” foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote to UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.“It is imperative to take steps for de-escalation. The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions,” he wrote, blaming India for deliberately ratcheting up its hostile rhetoric for domestic political reasons.The Pakistani appeal follows days of rising tension between the old rivals after a suicide bomber blew himself up near an Indian police convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Thursday, killing at least 40 paramilitary police.Jaish-e Mohammad, a militant group said to be based in Pakistan which wants the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to be part of Pakistan, claimed responsibility but the Pakistani government has denied any involvement.“Attributing it to Pakistan even before investigations is absurd,” Qureshi said.“India must be asked to conduct an open and credible investigation on Pulwama incident,” he said.Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, a former princely state on the border between India and Pakistan, has been in dispute since the partition of India in 1947.Control is split between the two countries but each claims the region in full.The neighbours have fought three wars since 1947, two of them over Kashmir. They have fought countless skirmishes along their de facto border, which the United Nations monitors, in the Himalayan region.Pakistan ‘ready to talk’An AFP report from Islamabad says: Pakistan is ready to help India investigate the deadliest blast in Kashmir in decades, but will retaliate if Delhi attacks, prime minister Imran Khan said Tuesday as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals soared.Khan used a nationally televised address to demand Delhi share proof of Islamabad’s alleged involvement in last week’s suicide blast, which killed 41 people in Indian-held Kashmir and unleashed a fresh diplomatic crisis over the disputed Himalayan region.The attack, which has triggered nationwide anger in India, was claimed by Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed.Indian officials have said those behind the blast will pay a “heavy price”. The Indian military also said Tuesday the bombing had been “masterminded” by Pakistan, and specifically its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence branch.If India attacks, “Pakistan won’t just think to retaliate. Pakistan will retaliate,” said Khan in the address.Islamabad has denied involvement. “If you have some actionable intelligence about involvement of Pakistanis, give it to us, I guarantee you that we will take action,” Khan said Tuesday, adding that Pakistan was “ready to talk” about terrorism with India.It was “easy to start a war”, he said, adding that he hopes “better sense will prevail”.Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947. Both countries claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars in connection to the dispute.India has long accused Pakistan of harbouring militants that launch attacks on its soil, including banned groups such as JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks which left scores dead.Islamabad has repeatedly vowed to crack down on the groups if Delhi provides evidence of involvement.Khan said on Tuesday that if any militant group was using Pakistani soil to launch attacks, “its enmity is with us. This is against our interest”.Pakistan was also accused by Iran last week of sheltering the perpetrators of an attack which killed 27 Revolutionary Guards, while Kabul and Washington have long claimed that Islamabad offers safe haven to the Afghan Taliban.- ‘Defuse tensions’ -With anger building in India, prime minister Narendra Modi faces increased pressure to act as his Hindu nationalist government is expected to call a national election within weeks.Indian forces have staged operations since Thursday’s attack while anti-Pakistan and anti-Kashmir sentiment has spread across the country, fuelled by social media including widely shared false news reports.On Tuesday the Indian army said three JeM militants were killed in a gun battle a day earlier.Two of them were Pakistanis, including the group’s “chief operations commander in Kashmir”, lieutenant general Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon told a press conference in Srinagar.The Indian government has already withdrawn trade privileges for Pakistan, ended police protection for four Kashmiri separatist leaders, and halted some cross-border services.Earlier Tuesday, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi pleaded with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres to intervene in the escalating row.”The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions,” wrote Qureshi in a message shared with journalists.On Monday Saudi Arabia vowed to “de-escalate” the situation during a high-profile state visit by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to Islamabad. He is also due in India this week.Kashmir is one of the world’s most militarised zones, with some 500,000 Indian troops deployed to fight a rebellion that broke out in 1989.Scores of armed groups are now involved.Tens of thousands of people, mainly civilians, have died in the conflict. Violence has spiked since 2016 with almost 600 killed last year, the highest toll in a decade.Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan warned that any action by Delhi against Islamabad could disrupt peace talks with the Taliban.Pakistan is “playing a very important role” in the months-long push led by the US for talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, said Zahid Nasrullah. A fresh round of negotiations is set to begin next week.
Second-grade teacher in Texas is the latest flu victim pic.twitter.com/fczm9vsesh— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) February 7, 2018 Photo via Public Domain PicturesCDC reports the flu is widespread across America this year and possibly won’t peak until March.A nationwide flu outbreak is showing no sign of easing up as at least two more deaths associated with the flu have been reported in Harris and Galveston Counties, according to ABC13. In Harris County the number of flu-related deaths is now three, one more from what was reported last month, officials told ABC13. In Galveston County, officials said a 48-year-old woman died in late January after contracting the flu. The second death in that area this season.According to click2houston.com, more than 3,500 confirmed cases of the flu have been reported in Galveston County this season.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the flu is widespread across America this year and possibly won’t peak until March.#Flu activity continues to increase across the United States. Remember these 3 steps to #fightflu: 1⃣ Get yourself & your family a flu shot2⃣ Take everyday preventive actions3⃣ Take antiviral drugs, if your doctor prescribes themhttps://t.co/nUIfIerdNP pic.twitter.com/MsJy9I9LG6— CDC (@CDCgov) February 6, 2018 You can reduce your risk of getting the #flu through everyday good health habits. Please stay home if you are sick to help prevent spreading respiratory viruses to others. We also recommend you frequently wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze.— Dr. Anne Schuchat (@CDCDirector) February 3, 2018 I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/mAVjlmVKnl Cold & Flu Prevention in the Winter Months— antiagingtoday (@antiaging4today) February 3, 2018 Is it a cold or #flu? Both are respiratory illnesses, but are caused by different viruses that may require special diagnostic tests. Learn some of the differences between cold and flu. https://t.co/7WjAoXbzIl pic.twitter.com/o38dOCgmRM— CDC (@CDCgov) February 5, 2018 It’s that time of year again: Flu Season. Learn what you can do to prevent the flu in this week’s safety tip. #safetytip #fluseason #fluprevention #piedmontvacc pic.twitter.com/1NGgz1vyUd— PVCC (@PiedmontVaCC) February 5, 2018 Fighting the #flu. Great video from https://t.co/g1SDv6ZIGV https://t.co/5JcbWink8I Prevention is best get your flu vaccine from your GP, Pharmacy or Occ Hlth Dept #YourBestShot— HSE NIO (@HSEImm) February 7, 2018 Share
From handcuffs to hard hats, Jamel Maxwell says that his life changed after being arrested during the uprising. (Courtesy photos)Jamel Maxwell was riding the bus to Mondawmin Metro Station last April, when the bus driver announced she wouldn’t be stopping at the end of the line, letting passengers off five blocks away from the station. Maxwell lived south of North Avenue.He walked to Mondawmin Metro Station to transfer to another bus. All the buses were shut down. He walked toward home and into a swelling crowd of youngsters and police equipped in full riot gear, barricading roads in the area. What he didn’t know was that people had begun to gather in what would become known as the Uprising, a day when the frustration for many in Baltimore boiled over in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.“I wasn’t even going to get into it. But in my mind I’m thinking this is a trap,” Maxwell told the AFRO, “A police officer tells me to keep moving, but I had nowhere to go. The situation was provoked. I got angry and joined the crowd,” he said. He was then arrested and put in handcuffs.An article published in Mother Jones, corroborates Maxwell’s account of that day. According to eyewitness reports, the article said, the blockades “essentially corralled young people in the area” and that “police actions inflamed a tense-but-stable situation.” The article further states that “it was difficult to leave the neighborhood…the kids were stuck there because of police actions.”Maxwell was angry at police, but more angry about the climate and conditions he had to live in as a citizen of Baltimore. He was upset that drugs and violence rule supreme in his neighborhood and that there is very little opportunity for him to grow and make something of himself in the city he calls home.“I was terrified for him,” said Tamara Fitzpatrick, Maxwell’s former English teacher at Edmondson-Westside High School. Initially, she was angry at him for risking his life. “I was taken aback and horrified, but after I thought about it I realized that he wasn’t thinking about being arrested. To him, he was fighting back for years of feeling belittled by society and for feeling like he was nothing.“I contacted him on social media and explained my anger was more of concern for him, that I loved him and I just wanted him to be safe.”Maxwell studied carpentry while at Edmondson. He played football and ran track.“He was an incredible singer and he made everybody laugh,” said Nichole Wright, a former teacher at Edmondson Westside.Maxwell spent three days in jail for his participation in the riots. He left Central Booking on crutches, but was not charged with a crime. He was let go from his job at Walmart because of his injuries.Maxwell is not proud of the part he played in the riots but says he would not change anything about that day. “Yes, it was stupid, but it was an eye opener for me to see how crazy this world really is–there is no love in this city. Everything and everybody is disconnected. There is no loyalty or respect in the streets. Too much of my generation is out here thugging and bugging out on these pills, losing there minds, killing each other for nothing.”Maxwell is heading further south to start a job in construction while he pursues a career in entertainment. The city is full of people with no faith, Maxwell says, which is why he won’t be coming back anytime soon.Recently, Maxwell traveled to Atlanta, Ga., to reunite with his father, who left Baltimore when Maxwell was 13. “He seems to be doing well in Georgia. I hope that he builds a comfortable life there and stays,” said Horton. “Visit Baltimore, but do not come back. The city has gone through so much, and I don’t want it to drag him down in the process.”An opportunity to travel allowed him space to regroup. “I realized that I had an opportunity to do something with my life, We all do,” said Maxwell. “It’s hard out here, but Baltimore builds character and strength. There is nothing your faith can’t carry you through. If you can make it here you can make it anywhere.”
A recent article in North Carolina´s The News & Observer has highlighted a Raleigh-based company, Advanced Vehicle Research Center (AVRC), that has four employees and can retrofit a Prius in about four hours for a cost of $10,400. The AVRC is one of eight US companies authorized to install lithium ion batteries manufactured by 23 Systems, a Massachusetts company. AVRC´s converted Priuses can get from anywhere between 60 and 100 mpg, depending on driving habits, which roughly doubles the gas mileage of a standard Prius. Advanced Energy, a Raleigh nonprofit research organization and one of AVRC´s customers, has even exceeded 200 mpg in a test under optimal conditions. The conversion process is relatively uncomplicated. The mechanics remove the spare tire in the trunk, and replace it with a 170-pound lithium ion battery pack, like a much larger version of a cell phone battery. A plug from the back of the bumper can be inserted into a conventional wall outlet, where a full charge lasts about 3.5 hours and costs less than 75 cents. The modified Prius draws from the new battery first, giving the car a range of about 35 miles on all-electric power, making gasoline optional on short commutes. When the battery is depleted, the Prius runs like a standard hybrid, using its gas engine and regenerative braking to charge its nickel metal hydride battery.According to the Plug-In Hybrid Coalition of the Carolinas, there are about 150 plug-in hybrids on US roads today. Most of the AVRC´s customers have been corporations with large fleets, but they recently made their first conversion for an individual. Their clients include Progress Energy, Duke Energy, the city of Raleigh, and North Carolina State University´s Advanced Transportation Energy Center. These organizations are tracking and sending data on the cars to the Idaho National Laboratory, a federal research institute that is studying plug-in hybrids.The plug-in modifications aren´t authorized or endorsed by Toyota, which plans to make its own Prius plug-in commercially available in 2010 in the US. Also in 2010, Chevrolet plans to release the Volt (which runs on the same 23 lithium ion battery used by AVRC), which is expected to be more economical than AVRC´s conversions. The AVRC acknowledges that $10,400 is a hefty price tag for the average driver – AVRC founder and president Richard Dell estimates that it could take 140,000 miles to recover the cost through fuel savings. But the important thing is that they´ve demonstrated that the technology is viable and available right now. “It´s given us more confidence that it´s not a matter of if plug-in vehicles will happen, but when,” said Mike Rowand, Duke Energy´s director of advanced customer technologies.More information: The Advanced Vehicle Research Centervia: The News & Observer The Advanced Vehicle Research Center is converting Toyota Priuses into electric plug-in hybrids for a cost of $10,400. Image credit: The Advanced Vehicle Research Center. Although many people would like to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles, most of us have to wait for the large vehicle manufacturers to mass-produce affordable cars that run on alternative power. In the meantime, a handful of smaller companies have begun taking the energy crisis into their own hands. By retrofitting hybrids like the Toyota Prius with a second battery pack, they´re converting these cars into hybrid plug-ins that can recharge from a wall outlet and drive a short commute on all electric power. Citation: 100-mpg plug-in hybrids popping up in US (2008, September 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-mpg-plug-in-hybrids.html 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.