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And Maserati lights up the Italian tower


A tricolor tower stands out over the panorama of Modena. It is that of the Maserati factory, in the historic headquarters of the Trident, in viale Ciro Menotti. The initiative expresses “solidarity with Italy – says a brand release – and with the Italians in this emergency health situation. But also a tribute to Modena, the city that has hosted Maserati for over 80 years “. A symbolic image that is added to the tricolor gallery of photos of monuments and buildings from all over the world with a single caption: “We are all Italians”.

March 26, 2020 (change March 26, 2020 | 18:05)


Production begins on Polestar 2 Sino-Swedish rival of Tesla Model 3


The auto industry comes to a halt in Covid-19. Or it converts to lend a hand in the production of fans and respirators. From Italy to the United States, from FCA to Tesla, the plants close their lines waiting for the virus to mitigate its pincer. Not everywhere, though. With a probable time advantage – being the first country to overcome the fateful “peak” – China gradually resumes production. And Polestar, Volvo’s “premium” and “green” brand, now owned by the Chinese giant Geeley, has announced the start of production of its second model, challenging the sector’s announced crisis.

After Polestar 1, plug-in hybrid sedan, from the Luqiao plant, south of Shanghai, the first units of Polestar 2 are already coming out, 100% electric version, which will be put on sale already in July in some European countries (not in Italy, in the first phase of launch ), and later also in the United States and China.

Direct rival of Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2 has two electric motors that deliver a total of 408 HP and 660 Nm and are combined with 78 kWh batteries for 470 km of declared autonomy in the Wltp cycle (compared to the initially announced 500 km).

“Despite numerous setbacks, unforeseen circumstances and the sheer logistical challenge of starting the production of our first fully electric vehicle, we really started – the Sino-Swedish company announces, with a press release -. This is significant for some reasons. First of all, Polestar 2 is no longer a fleet of prototypes in various stages of completion. It is a completely built car, ready to be delivered to customers. The countdown for these deliveries has officially started. The first steps are scheduled for the summer of 2020. And last but certainly not least, we are much closer to our goal of obtaining as many drivers as possible behind the wheel of a Polestar 2 “.

The range of standard driver assistance services is excellent. First of all, the Pilot Package which includes: pilot assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot information with steer assist, cross traffic alert, rear collision warning and mitigation, collision avoidance with automatic braking and steering, forward collision warning, lane keeping aid, road sign information with speed limiter, driver alert control, post impact braking, parking sensors with 360 degree cameras and the Homelink system. The Plus Package adds a panoramic roof, digital headlights, LED fog lights with cornering function, heated seats and steering wheel, Harman Kardon stereo system and wireless charging for smartphones.

The Performance version it boasts forged 20 ″ rims, Brembo braking system with four-piston calipers and Ohlins adjustable shock absorbers, seat belts and valve covers for gold rims.

Prices vary from country to country: it starts from 47 thousand euros in Norway to about 60 thousand in Belgium and Holland. Assistance and maintenance for three years included. For the Pack Performance it is necessary to add between 5,000 and 6,000 euros. Polestar 2 is already bookable online with a deposit of only 1,000 euros.

March 26, 2020 (change March 26, 2020 | 3:34 pm)


Pinboard founder Cegłowski demands more surveillance – digital


Tech entrepreneur Maciej Cegłowski is a high-profile critic of Silicon Valley. He thinks about Corona and says, “We need a massive surveillance program.”

The heretic reports from Kyoto. “Japan seems like a good place to weather the storm,” Maciej Cegłowski says via Skype about the corona pandemic and the reactions to his idea. The Polish-American entrepreneur and web designer remotely watches what his outrage has done.

“Some call me naive, and the rest call me a fascist,” he says, looking relaxed and cheerful. With his essay under the heading “We need a massive surveillance program” he continued to fuel a smoldering debate: What if the state and the digital industry merge their surveillance systems to defeat the virus? “Yes, an involuntary, intrusive, terrible government surveillance program,” says Cegłowski with his own irony.

Cegłowski founded Pinboard in 2009, a simple and popular bookmark service. Anyone who finds something interesting online can easily archive it with Pinboard and share it with others. The service is financed through a subscription model.

In the fight against the corona virus, the 44-year-old believes that people should temporarily give up their basic rights: “We have never had the ability to track people’s movements very, very closely during an epidemic.” The smartphone as a direction finder, which knows the whereabouts of its owner at all times – what critics have always described as a horror scenario – is now an opportunity for Cegłowski: “This trace would then be shared with a health authority that also carries out extensive tests on the population. ” The authorities could use the data to check with whom the paths of clearly infected people have overlapped in the past few days and inform these people via SMS about measures such as testing or quarantine.

“I say this with clenched teeth because I don’t like surveillance and I don’t trust this US government at all,” said Trump’s opponent Cegłowski. The fact that his ideas frighten the international community of digital data protectionists is also due to the fact that he was always their ally. He is one of the free spirits in the tech industry – long before every second person who designed a new click button on Facebook publicly opposed his former employer. Cegłowski says: “My one-man company gives me the freedom to criticize the big tech companies without having to worry about making a living.” The exponential increase in infections is now forcing him to put his previous beliefs to the test.

Other authors, such as the historian Yuval Noah Harari, see the development that governments are using the crisis to install even more comprehensive surveillance systems much more negatively: “Immature, even dangerous, technologies are being put on us because the risks of doing nothing are even greater. Whole countries serve as a guinea pig in large-scale social experiments, “he wrote in the Financial Times.

A central database at the state – with data from Google & Co.

Harari cites his homeland Israel as a deterrent example. The state is currently using high technology and secret service methods to monitor the quarantine of the citizens. Cegłowski, on the other hand, sees Israel, but also Taiwan’s use of big data and cell phone tracking to precisely record infected people, as a role model – if you also got the US companies on board: “Internet and mobile phone providers, however Google and Apple also have detailed residence histories of everyone who carries a cell phone with them. ” The data collection even had to be expanded. Thanks to their advertising systems, Facebook and Google in particular have gigantic amounts of data about people and can address them precisely, which the companies use primarily for advertisements. “I think that the fight against Corona would finally be a good use of the massive surveillance apparatus that we built. Instead of selling shoes or skin cream to people, we can use it to save lives and restart the economy.”

The core of the system is there, but in private hands. For this reason, there should be a central database at epidemic or disaster control authorities that combines this data.

Would people in western democracies accept being screened like this? “They already accept much sharper cuts in their rights. Freedom of assembly is massively restricted by the barriers,” says Cegłowski. He considers the previous handling of privacy in the West to be hypocrisy. “It’s ridiculous that we accept this surveillance network for commercial and political advertising, but we don’t want to use it to save lives.”

A deal with the state

However, Cegłowski still mitigates his demand for total emergency monitoring. First, it must be limited in time. “If the house is on fire, the fire brigade is also allowed to kick in the door, knowing that if it doesn’t go on, they would never dare.”

He imagines a kind of deal with the state: in the fight against the virus, people give up their privacy. Then, when Covid-19 is defeated, they should be better protected by law from snooping by tech companies. “If we give the state such emergency rights, we should raise the price.”

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After the state of emergency, data on people’s behavior, for example, should only be allowed to be stored for a few weeks – wherever they are, which search terms they enter, what their blood pressure is, in short: “all the stuff that companies reap”. Buying and reselling data would have to be massively restricted. The current EU General Data Protection Regulation is too weak, the US laws anyway.

Whether health protection beats data protection has been a hot topic in Germany – one of the countries in which two dictatorships have an effect – since Telekom made the movement data of its users available to the Robert Koch Institute. However, this data is anonymized.

Cegłowski initially sees his essay as food for thought. “I’m looking forward to a good debate with everyone who doesn’t just insult me ​​as a fascist.”

Traffic analysis of Corona: All cities stand still – digital


A traffic analysis shows how strongly the Germans change their behavior in the Corona crisis.

What counts now to slow the spread of the corona virus as quickly as possible? Chancellor Angela Merkel made this clear in her television speech last week. Please stay at home, Merkel demanded. Politics followed suit at the weekend. Many federal states once again restricted the freedom of movement for citizens. Many streets and parks now seem to be extinct. However, to what extent the Germans are generally taking the appeal to heart and moving less through their cities, there have so far been hardly reliable and publicly available figures.

Now, a new analysis suggests that the response in the most important mobility area for the spread of the virus, local transport, was indeed massive. According to the international mobility app Moovit, the use of local transport systems in major German cities declined by up to 70 percent compared to mid-January – the time before the crisis. The sharp decline began on March 12, when the federal and state governments set guidelines for restricting social contacts for the first time. The decline was most pronounced until Monday in Munich with a minus of 70 percent and in Hamburg with a minus of 69 percent. In Berlin, the Rhine-Ruhr area and the greater Frankfurt area, the decline was still around 62 percent.

For authorities like the RKI, the data should be a further indication that the measures and appeals by politicians are working. Deutsche Telekom provides the authority with movement data from Germans, which, however, are not publicly accessible. Moovit is one of the largest data collectors worldwide. No other company in the world has such a large data set of local traffic information. The Israel-based company collects up to five billion anonymous data points a day, which flow into the world’s largest data storage for traffic and urban mobility data. Its app, which informs users about local transport connections from various providers, is used by 750 million people worldwide. The data include the use of subways and suburban trains, buses, transportation services, but also e-scooters or rental bikes. However, they do not take into account the alternate traffic by car.

The data set also provides a global overview. In Italy and Spain, which were particularly hard hit by the virus, the slump in local transport was even greater than here. Mobility in Milan’s mass transit systems decreased by 86 percent – the highest in the world. The one in Madrid dropped 84 percent. In contrast, in the metropolises of the USA and Great Britain, where restrictions on public life were only implemented with delays, the drop was significantly lower. The decline was 45 percent in London and 54 percent in New York. The decline was smallest in São Paolo, Brazil, at 28 percent.

Quattroruote: “Europe freezes CO2 sanctions to exit the crisis”


The car in the time of the coronavirus? Very bad mass, obviously. Quattroruote, the specialized monthly Domus, thought with the help of other specialists: Michele Crisci dell’Unrae (Union of Foreign Houses), Adolfo De Stefani Cosentino from Federauto (Association of dealers) and Massimiliano Archiapatti dell’Aniasa (Association of rental companies).

The painting that leaves the service – published in the April issue Quattroruote, on newsstands from April 3 and available in digital edition from March 30 – alarming. According to Crisci, if the blockade of the country continues throughout April, “a 32% drop in registrations, equal to 1.3 million sales over the year, is foreseeable”. The market will thus return to the levels of the 2009 crisis, if not even further, to those of the early 1970s.

A situation, adds Federauto’s number one, De Stefani Cosentino, who “would put indebted dealers at risk of survival or struggling with recent and important investments, given that the impact of the coronavirus could compromise, on average, 40-50% of the 2020 income statement”. Fear shared by Archiapatti, according to which “there is a fear that some of the smaller rental companies will not be able to overcome this moment”.

So what to do? The sector’s request to the government this: to quickly create a new scrapping cycle, as aired long ago by the Minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli. Not only that: incentives should be extended to company cars and commercial vehicles. “It is necessary – writes Quattroruote director Gian Luca Pellegrini in the editorial – that the car overcome the divisions that compromise its credibility on the public agenda. That a single strong voice be raised to convince politics to defend an industry that employs millions of people. It takes courageous choices and for me this means, as a first Brussels measure, to immediately freeze the CO2 sanctions that entered into force in January: the decarbonisation process can wait, if on the other side of the balance there is not simple competitiveness, but the survival of the European car ”.

For Quattroruote, the pandemic-induced crisis has highlighted another aspect of the fragility of the globalized system: the dependence of the production system on supplies of indispensable components that come from the other side of the world. This is the case of a factory of electromechanical elements such as the MTA in Codogno (Lodi), which is located in the heart of the “red zone” and has had to stop or reduce its activity, making plants in Brazil, India or China difficult, that risk having to stop the lines due to the lack of those essential pieces, whose stocks are reduced to a minimum by production with the just in time method.

two-way globalization, which sees Italy not only importing components from countries with low labor costs, but also producing and sending elements that require more complex processing to geographically distant factories. In fact, as Quattroruote’s analysis still reveals, all cars are now made with this sort of planetary supply chain, the risks of which have been clearly highlighted by the coronavirus crisis.

March 26, 2020 (change March 26, 2020 | 11:58)


Coronavirus: solidarity works at full capacity


The call for help from farmers, who need labor, seems to have been heard. Therapists volunteer to help anxious people.

German hospitals treat French patients


New world. Bad internet connection at home? Here are some tips to improve it


Search for a Wi-Fi network on a computer.
Search for a Wi-Fi network on a computer. (JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOURDILLAT / RADIO FRANCE)

If you have trouble connecting to the internet, during this time of containment, there may be several reasons.

First, the internet connection itself. About ten million French people have optical fiber, which offers the best possible speed, and 19 million have an ADSL connection, of varying quality depending on the place of residence (in particular, the distance from the point of connection). Inevitably, if everyone starts using a medium quality connection simultaneously, it can get stuck. It is therefore advisable to “distribute the load” according to the hours, for example.

There may also be slowdowns in the Internet itself and in the network of your operator. Against this, however, operators have taken steps to maximize the throughput of their networks. It is also to avoid congestion, to lighten the network overall, that Netflix, YouTube or Facebook have reduced the quality of their videos.

The wireless connection in the home can also sometimes be of poor quality. In order to optimize the Wireless at home, you should place your internet box (or Wi-Fi router) in an open area (not at the bottom of a closet) and, as much as possible, in the middle of the home so that the whole home is covered by Wi-Fi waves. To improve Wi-Fi coverage, it is also possible to use a Wi-Fi repeater (device that extends the connection) or even to deactivate Wi-Fi from its operator box, often of high quality poor, in favor of a better external router.

In apartments, there can also be interference due to the heavy use of wireless connections by its neighbors. Against this, it is possible to make some adjustments at the router level (channel change, separation of the 5Ghz / 2.4 Ghz networks, etc.). Advice is available on the ARCEP website. Finally, the solution may also be to temporarily forget the Wi-Fi to connect your computer “the old way” using an Ethernet cable, in order to be assured of the best possible speed.

If the Wi-Fi connection is bad, the temptation may be great to fall back on your 3G or 4G connection, via your mobile subscription, if it is better. However, there are two things you need to know: first, be careful with your plan because the megabytes run very fast; then, it is not recommended because if everyone connects to 3G / 4G, it is the mobile network, more fragile, which risks being saturated. In reality, it is rather the reverse that is recommended, that is to say, connect your smartphone via Wi-Fi to your box to lighten cellular networks.

However, in case of absolute necessity, it is possible to use its mobile connection moderately. Several ways to do this: either by doing what you have to do directly on your smartphone, or by activating connection sharing on your iPhone or Android to connect a computer (the smartphone becomes a Wi-Fi router), either, with a router or a 4G / Wi-Fi box (which connects to the internet in 4G and distributes the connection in the house via Wi-Fi), provided you have such equipment.

Golf 8, the sporty Gti also arrives


Three letters to write a long story: Gti. That is: the sporty, touring version of the Golf. Ladies and gentlemen, the eighth series. That arrives (was presented in early March) almost a quarter of a century after the birth of the first generation: it was 1976. Since then, more than two million registrations have accumulated under that label worldwide. In the glorious life (for its industrial and social value) of Golf, a chapter on its own.

The first series: 1976/1983 The idea was original: a compact and light car, a powerful engine and a sporty set-up. When it was launched in 1976, no one could have predicted that the Golf Gti would become a cult object. A 1.6 110 HP engine with electronic petrol injection (1.8 from 82) pushed the car from 0 to 100 km / h in 9.2 seconds and up to 182 hours. The “Pirelli” special edition of 1983, with the 1.8 112 HP and made famous by the alloy wheels with P-shaped holes, was an immediate success. The interior was striking: plaid tartan fabric for the central band of the black seats, black cockpit roof and golf ball-shaped gear knob. Details that are due to Gunhild Liljequist, the first woman to work in Volkswagen design since 1964. “My travels from that period to Great Britain were very inspiring, where I was conquered by high quality fabrics with checked patterns”, explains Liljequist. The shift knob? “That was a totally spontaneous idea – he replies -. We were three and we reflected on all the elements associated with a sports Golf. When I threw the idea, everyone laughed, but then … “. The characteristic “Mars Red” line on the grille, the larger front spoiler, the plastic moldings on the wheel arches and the matte black frame on the rear window were instead ideas of the then chief designer Herbert Schfer. The red, still today synonymous with Gti, was also taken up in the interior in details: from the instrumentation to the decorations on the doors. In total, approximately 462,000 Golf Gti first series were produced.

drones deliver prevention messages