Connect with us


Security or control?



gps monitoring

A year ago Etrans Solution demonstrated its innovative product designed for the successful solutions of the full range of transport logistics problems, but it seems like not many agree with this outcome so far.

The Etrans GPS System has been developing for over three years and became the leader after its release. The system is based on the possibility of stream video of what is happening both inside and outside the vehicle. In addition to this, the system has a lot of other features that are aimed to provide the assistance and security to all participants of transport logistics.

– High-resolution video*

– Protection of the data

– Data transfer to the Cloud server

– Storage date for 3 months or longer

– GPS tracking

– Generating reports

– Control of work of employees

Nevertheless, the fundamental function of online monitoring of activities of drivers and passengers brings up a lot of questions from the transport companies. Despite the properly constructed restrictions of access to the video, some of the companies refuse to install this system in their vehicles and we decided to understand why is it so.

At the side of the companies, there is a fear that the control of the behavior during the trip may affect the already existing customers, but for our editorial office it is just another reason to dig deep into the problem.

The inappropriate behavior of both drivers and passengers remains the most common cause of the conflict. Over the past 4 years, more than 100 drivers of one of the most popular taxi companies have been sued for sexual harassment. And only in the last quarter of 2017, there were more than 1000 lawsuits across the USA for the drivers’ work issues. Therefore, there are only two possible options of why the transport companies are against the implementation of the system:

1. Companies are indifferent to the level of comfort of passenger transportation, and they do not want to solve problems with the behavior of drivers.

2. Companies do not understand how the system works and how it can help their business.

Apart from the streaming video in the real-time mode, the system transfers video records with all the data to the cloud immediately, which provides the maximum protection of the written data. While in case of accidents most of the systems lose the records because of technical damage or “manual” interference, the Etrans GPS saves video and all the data without any possibility of changing or destruction.

Those companies that have already implemented this system, estimated all the advantages of working with it. The control and evaluation of the drivers have never been so real and simple before. And many questionable situations were solved 80% faster and easier. The combination of many useful features became a large benefit for the companies. The chiefs of those companies point out that they used to work with several fleet management systems at the same time, but the Etrans GPS successfully replaced all of them and added some important features that allow them to distribute and monitor the work time clearly and accurately. They have reviewed the policy of the company, as they were impressed by the work of Etrans GPS. The change has positively affected the satisfaction of their clients’ requirements, and they felt how favorably it impacts on their business.

The companies get a lot of benefits after implementing a system that simplify the fleet management in general. Especially, such branches of transportation sphere as school buses and medical transport are in need of such innovations for a while.


WSJ: Cohen Under Investigation For Tax Fraud In New York




michael cohen

Federal prosecutors in New York are homing in on possible tax fraud as part of their criminal investigation into the financial dealings of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

A person familiar with the probe told the Journal that the possible fraud violations center on whether Cohen underreported the income he earned from his taxi medallion business on federal tax returns. Those funds amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars Cohen received in cash.

Prosecutors from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office are also investigating whether employees at New York’s Sterling National Bank allowed Cohen to take out loans for that business without providing appropriate documentation, according to the report.

Cohen is under investigation for a host of financial crimes, including campaign finance violations and bank fraud. The former Trump Organization executive has signaled his willingness to cooperate with prosecutors and turn over information damaging to the president.

As TPM has reported, the once-lucrative taxi medallion business was a significant revenue stream for the Cohen family during the 2000s and 2010s. New York taxi moguls Simon Garber and Gene Freidman paid Cohen and his wife a monthly rate for managing the medallions the couple owned. The price of medallions plummeted in recent years thanks to the rise of ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber.

The Journal reported that federal prosecutors have subpoenaed Cohen’s former accountant, Jeffrey A. Getzel, who also served as an accountant for Freidman. Freidman earlier this year agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors as needed as part of a lenient plea deal. The former “Taxi King” of New York pleaded guilty to one count of criminal tax evasion after an investigation into his own taxi businesses.


Continue Reading


Cost Comparison Of EVs & Gas Cars: New Tool from Con Edison And National Grid Show “Clearcost” Of Owning An EV




electric vehicles conventional cars

Electric vehicles cost more than conventional cars. It’s a scientific fact, as Homer Simpson might say. But is it true? Consolidated Edison and National Grid have both enlisted the aid of Enervee, a Los Angeles company that invokes “data-science, behavioral science, and digital marketing” to help utilities steer their customers toward the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. Now it has applied its skills to create a website for both utilities that compares the cost of purchasing an electric car directly to the cost of purchasing a similar vehicle with an internal combustion engine.

Enervee’s calculator rates just about every car sold in America, determines the base sales price, calculates the cost of fuel or electricity over time, figures in any federal, state, and local rebates available, and arrives at the bottom line, which it calls its “clearcost.” It also assigns an efficiency rating for each vehicle. The result? In many cases, the EV actually turns out to cost less to own then the gasmobile, as reported by Greentech Media.

For instance, a Volkswagen Jetta with the 1.8 liter engine lists for $31,463. The clearcost of a Hyundai Ioniq Electric? $26,675. But wait, you say, the Jetta lists for $23,245 and the Ioniq lists for $29,500. How can the Hyundai cost less? Simple. The Jetta will use an estimated $8,218 in fuel over five years. The Ioniq will consume about $2,818 in electricity over the same period of time. Also, the Ioniq is eligible for a federal tax credit of $4,543 and a New York State Drive Clean rebate of $1,100. The net result is the Hyundai will cost almost $5,000 less to own.

Want another example? Consider a Tesla Model X. This car costs $14,000 more than a Lincoln Navigator but ends up costing more about $3,000 less over five years when all is said and done. Part of that is the $11,744 in fuel costs the Lincoln will incur over 5 years versus $4,078 worth of electricity for the Tesla. Add in the full $7,500 federal tax credit (if still available) and the New York rebate of $2,000, and the electric car actually will cost the owner less over time.

Now, are some of these estimates a bit fluid? Yes, of course. Electricity rates vary across the country; tax credits and rebates may come and go; gasoline prices could go rise or fall. None of these factors are certain. However, what this indicates is that both utility companies are looking at demand for electricity that is either flat or falling and wondering how electrified vehicles might improve their business model. The cost comparison websites are identical for both companies except for the logo at the top of the home page. It’s possible other utilities might elect to get together with Enervee to help boost EV ownership among their own customers.

Fei Wang, a senior analyst at GTM Research, says the websites are an outgrowth of utility backed marketplaces that already exist. They began as a way for customers to process rebates on energy-saving devices more efficiently. “We have seen marketplaces adding features like scheduling contractors, signing up for demand response and additional utility programs, and now a platform to compare EVs and non-EVs,” Wang says. “These additional features show that utilities are testing ways to play the energy advisor role, exploring additional revenues (through revenue-sharing or referral fees), and improving the customer experience.”

So now when someone tells you that EVs cost more than conventional cars you have a way to show them online how that perception is simply no longer valid. Sure, the utility companies are doing this in the hopes it will boost their bottom line, but anything that helps promote the EV revolution is welcome news indeed.


Continue Reading


Daily News newsroom cut in half by Tronc as top editor is ousted




daily news newsroom

The meeting lasted less than a minute. By the time it was over, reporters and editors at The New York Daily News had been told that the newsroom staff was being cut in half and that Editor-in-Chief Jim Rich was out of a job.

Grant Whitmore, an executive at Tronc, the media company that owns The News, presided over the meeting, which took place shortly after 9 a.m. Monday in the seventh-floor newsroom in lower Manhattan. About 50 members of the newspaper’s staff were in attendance. The group did not include Rich or Kristen Lee, the managing editor, who is leaving as part of Tronc’s aggressive plan.

The new editor-in-chief is Robert York, currently the editor and publisher of The Morning Call, a Tronc-owned daily newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

At 1:40 a.m. Monday, Rich went public with his displeasure in a Twitter post: “If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you.”

Since Tronc, which is based in Chicago, bought The News from New York real estate developer and media mogul Mortimer B. Zuckerman in September 2017 — for a reported $1 — it has been examining the asset. In a memo sent to the paper’s employees minutes after the quick Monday morning meeting, the company said that it had been working to transform the tabloid into a publication better suited to the digital age.

It was not the first time The News had made sweeping cuts. In 2015, under Zuckerman’s ownership, the paper laid off dozens of employees, including virtually its entire digital team. A company that once had hundreds of employees has over the years dwindled to a newsroom staff of approximately 75 to 100.

The latest layoffs were yet another blow to the tabloid, which was once a no-nonsense staple publication for New York’s working class and had the highest daily circulation of any newspaper in the country. In 1947, The News boasted a 2.4 million daily circulation, its highest figure.

In recent years, its print circulation numbers have fallen to roughly 200,000, while its digital reach over the past year is 23 million.


Continue Reading