10 Sep
2019

Ford Ranger FX2 Package adds offroad kit and looks for 2WD models

first_img More From Roadshow Midsize king: The 2019 Ford Ranger 2019 Honda Ridgeline review: Light duty, heavy punch Share your voice Tags Now playing: Watch this: 0 Hit the dirt, but not too hard, in the Ford Ranger FX2 off-road package More about 2019 Ford Ranger Review • 2019 Ford Ranger review: A midsize truck champ Trucks Auto Tech Ford 2020 Toyota Tacoma first drive: Small tweaks make this midsize truck even better Preview • 2019 Ford Ranger: Bad mudder trucker 8 Photos 2016 Ford Explorer review: Go road-tripping in Ford’s updated, EcoBoost-powered SUV Enlarge ImageOff-road tires and trucks are always a good match. Ford If you want Ford’s comprehensive FX4 off-road package for your Ranger midsize pickup, you have to option the truck with four-wheel drive. What, then, for buyers who only need to make do with two? Before today, you’d have to ask the aftermarket for help, but now, Ford has an in-house solution.Ford on Wednesday unveiled the Ranger FX2 Package. As the name suggests, this optional package applies to 2WD Rangers, offering up a bit more off-road-related equipment, along with a few aesthetic enhancements. It’s not as all-inclusive as the FX4 upgrade, but it’s a fair bit more affordable. Ford says it’s “aimed more at urban markets,” probably because those truly keen on hitting the rough stuff will opt for a 4WD Ranger.The FX2 Package starts off with a set of 17-inch off-road tires, although 18s are also available, along with a FX2 badge for the side of the bed. The air dam is removed, and there’s a new front underbody guard in its place. Behind the body, there’s an electronically locking rear differential and off-road-tuned suspension. The package is capped off with Ford’s off-road gauge cluster display, which shows vehicle pitch, roll and yaw.The FX4 equipment group, by comparison, is a bit more involved. That one also includes tow hooks and additional skid plates. It also includes the Terrain Management System, which changes vehicle parameters based on what’s under the wheels, whether it’s mud, sand, gravel or snow. The FX4 package also includes Trail Control, which holds a preselected speed over various types of terrain.But, for its price, the FX2 package is a solid deal. All that kit will only cost $595, compared with the FX4’s $1,295 price tag. This upgrade can be ordered at dealers now, with deliveries expected to commence later this year. News • 2019 Ford Ranger recalled for improperly assembled seatbelts 5:39 Post a comment Fordlast_img read more

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5 Sep
2019

Union Budget 2017 Review by top Indian and global analysts bankers

first_imgWatched by 24.4 million viewers, finance minister Arun Jaitley’s Union Budget 2017 has got a positive response from most bankers, analysts, policymakers, brokerages and ratings agencies, though some have sounded cautious.Here, we bring you comments and observations made by them even as the stock markets gave thumbs up to the budget for the second day (Thursday), ending with gains of 85 points at 28,226. On Wednesday, the Sensex jumped 485 points to close at 28,141, while NSE Nifty ended 155 points higher at 8,716.Read: Union Budget 2017 gives 15,500 crore tax relief to individual tax payersDoor open for rate cut by RBI: DBS Bank The Union budget for FY17/18 (Apr17 to Mar18) adopted a balanced approach between maintaining fiscal discipline and pursuing inclusive growth policies.The FY17/18 fiscal deficit target was set at 3.2 percent of GDP, a modest deviation from the roadmap’s 3 percent. Market borrowings to finance the FY17/18 (referred to as FY18 in rest of the note) deficit were lower-than-expected, helping to cheer bond yields.With the government committed to fiscal consolidation, and 4Q16-1Q17 CPI inflation well below targets, the Reserve Bank of India might consider a 25bp rate cut at its policy meeting next week. The decision will be a close call. Nominal GDP for FY18 is expected to quicken to 11.8 percent from a revised 10.2% in FY17, and provide some cushion to next year’s fiscal ratios. If the measures are well-executed, Wednesday’s budget will boost rural and urban consumption, especially amongst low-income earners. This will provide a respite from the short-term dip in activities following the banknote ban. No big shocks: Nirmal Bang Institutional Equities The 2017-18 Union Budget has been workman-like with no big shocks/flourishes. By keeping spending growth low and also keeping the net borrowing number significantly lower than market expectation, it seeks to drive growth by coaxing households and corporates to come out and consume/invest more by borrowing at cheaper interest rates.Budget math seems reasonably credible, especially in the context that no revenues have been accounted from the new income declaration scheme (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana), which could be substantial. The latter could give the government some elbow room as estimates on divestment and inflows from small savings schemes may be a bit optimistic.There were no big shocks that will upset equity investors – no change in capital gains tax, continued focus on fiscal consolidation, no big political sops (except the ones already made by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on 31 December 2016), no announcement regarding Universal Basic Income plan, focus on a smaller government and ease of doing business (abolishment of Foreign Investment Promotion Board or FIPB) and also focus on a ‘less cash’ economy.Good, even if not inspiring: HDFC SecuritiesArun Jaitley has yet again delivered an elaborate and meticulous Budget, mostly within stated policies. It laboured more than it inspired. India still awaits a transformative and inspiring follow-through after demonetisation. Jaitley has scored moderately well across this list. But nowhere has he hit the boundaries that could have brought the audience to its feet in applause. Not one brave new measure cashed in on the mass-support for the politically risky move of demonetisation. The decision to abolish the FIPB and the conscious decision not to increase the number of Central Schemes are confirmations of this Government’s rational intent.While the intent to widen the tax net is commendable, the results may not be easily forthcoming as soon as aspired. We see moderate risk to direct tax collections, and hence, to fiscal discipline (or capital expenditure) as the year progresses. Global factors, as always, will throw in uncertainty.Prudent, not populist: NomuraContrary to expectations of populism in the run-up to state elections and after demonetisation, the government is sticking to its path of fiscal consolidation, albeit at a less aggressive pace: it will narrow its fiscal deficit to 3.2 percent of GDP in FY18 (year-ending March 2018) vs 3.5 percent in FY17.We think the fiscal assumptions are largely credible. We view the revenue targets as conservative overall, while we see an upside risk to revenue expenditure, which suggests that capex could be cut later if additional revenue from the amnesty scheme does not materialise or if oil prices rise further.The key message from the budget is that the government has chosen macro stability over growth, despite the pressure to present a populist budget. We see this budget as prudent and popular, but not populist.Not transformative: India RatingsThe broad theme of the FY18 budget remains on reducing the pain arising out of demonetisation and continuity of focusing on infrastructure and housing.  The fiscal deficit target at 3.2 percent of GDP in FY18 is lower than expected and positive for money markets, this will ensure transmission of low rates and benefits to the banking sector. The reduction in LNG custom duty will boost volumes for companies namely Petronet LNG Ltd.  The governments focus on lowering kerosene consumption is positive for upstream companies as zero subsidy sharing is expected in FY18. Adding two strategic crude oil reserves will take the total crude oil capacity in India to 15.33mt and provide additional energy security. Synergistic benefits will flow to the oil public sector companies, as the government proposes to create integrated PSU oil major.The railways shifting from diesel to solar power will impact diesel consumption, since the railways consume 3.24 percent of diesel in India.Realistic numbers commendable: Motilal Oswal SecuritiesIt is notable that the government has budgeted realistic to conservative growth in tax collection and avoided inclusion of any windfall receipts from the potential extinguishment of RBI’s liabilities due to demonetization, which lends credibility to its receipts estimates. It was heartening to see the government resisting calls for populist measures. Overall, we believe that the government has tried to make the maximum impact at minimum cost by providing relief to the low-income individual tax payers and reducing corporate tax for small companies – the most affected sections of the society. The government has kept inflationary bias at bay and its realistic math adds to its credibility.We also believe that a credible and economy-sensitive Budget opens the room for the RBI to deliver a rate cut.Surprises galore: SBI chairman Arundhati BhattacharyaAs far as new announcements are concerned most of them were unanticipated. The measure to tackle black money such as capping the cash transition limit to Rs 3 lacs and reforms in political funding such as reduction in minimum cash donation to political parties to Rs 2000 and novel ideas like electoral bonds were in the surprise list. These measures are nonetheless a continuation of the demonetization measure.The abolishing of FIPB is a welcome move as it removes another hurdle in movement of inward FDI. This measure will therefore boost the foreign investors’ confidence to invest in India.Given the general macroeconomic environment, domestic and abroad, the budget has achieved the much needed delicate balancing factor.Best budget, given the constraints: Angel BrokingFinance Minister has done his level best under the circumstances and the constraints on resources and his capacity to be too liberal with the fiscal deficit.The Union Budget has made a record allocation of Rs.10,00,000 crore for agricultural credit during the current financial year. This is likely to be a major boost to agriculture and a lot of sectors like agrochemicals, fertilizers, and drip irrigation systems.The fiscal discipline will ensure to keep bond yields low and also enhance rating of India’s external ratings. The commitment to keep revenue deficit at less than 1.9 percent will also be positive for the currency. This will be an indirect benefit for the equity markets in India.#ZAPRToday: 24.4 Mn watch as @arunjaitley announces 34% raise in advance tax on Personal income tax. #Budget2017 #TaxSlabs pic.twitter.com/Afd3IMwcmd— Indian TV viewership (@zapr_data) February 1, 2017last_img read more

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31 Aug
2019

Phase transitions of rice farmers may offer insight into managing natural resources

first_img © 2017 Phys.org More information: H. S. Sugiarto et al. “Social Cooperation and Disharmony in Communities Mediated through Common Pool Resource Exploitation.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.208301 Citation: Phase transitions of rice farmers may offer insight into managing natural resources (2017, May 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-phase-transitions-rice-farmers-insight.html Study finds mutual reinforcement of phenotypic diversity and cooperation (Phys.org)—The Balinese subak is a self-organized agrarian society on the island of Bali in Indonesia, whose members must share a limited amount of water for irrigation and rice production. Some of the farmers share the water fairly, and some don’t. As in many societies, the members of the Balinese subak are segregated into different communities. , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further The researchers mapped three clusters of subaks to three phases indicated by the analytical curves: cooperation (circles); disharmony (diamonds); and defection (squares). Credit: H. S. Sugiarto et al. ©2017 American Physical Society Journal information: Physical Review Letters 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. Now in a new study, scientists have found that this segregation changes a society’s cooperation dynamics and may help to promote cooperation and fair resource utilization at the societal level. The results have implications for managing natural resources, which is of particular relevance for addressing environmental issues such as curbing pollution, reducing deforestation, and saving endangered species—problems that require widespread cooperation.The researchers, H. S. Sugiarto et al., from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the National University of Singapore, and other institutions, have published their results in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.In their study, the researchers developed a model of social cooperation in self-organized societies that lack central governance, in which individuals are free to choose whether to abide by the rules or not. Their model shows that, as a shared resource becomes more abundant, more individuals may shift from being cooperators (who follow the rules) to being defectors (who violate the rules). At some point, the resource becomes so abundant that all individuals become defectors and social cooperation vanishes.Then the researchers looked at the same scenario, but this time they allowed the society to self-segregate into smaller communities. They found that the downside of the segregation is that it increases the social disharmony throughout the society as a whole. The upside, however, is that the social disharmony within each community becomes very low. In some communities, individuals are more likely to keep cooperating with each other—using the shared resource fairly—compared to the situation without segregation. These results were very similar to what the researchers observed in the segregated society of the Balinese subak.As the researchers explained, the results can be understood in terms of phase transitions. While phase transitions are common in many areas of physics, their role in complex systems, such as human societies, is a newer area of research. In the current study, the shift from cooperators to defectors in a society without segregation as the resource becomes more abundant represents an abrupt phase transition. The researchers explain that segregation “softens” this transition by replacing it with multiple intermediate phases, which arise because some communities are full of cooperators while others are full of defectors. “The greatest significance of our work is in the revelation that stable phases of social and ecological regimes do exist in real-world systems,” coauthor Lock Yue Chew, an associate professor at Nanyang Technological University, told Phys.org. “Our work has also developed mechanistic insights that address a vital question in social science through a more fine-grained and realistic application of ideas from physics.”In the future, the researchers plan to investigate how these results can help improve cooperative behavior in the real world, in order to better manage natural resources.”Our results are relevant to applications where the induction of cooperative social behavior is the primary approach to managing the sustainable use of limited natural resources in the context of coupled human-natural systems,” Chew said. “Potential systems of interest include the forest system, fisheries system, and many others, in addition to the rice production system of Bali in our paper.”Building on these results, in an upcoming paper the researchers report on how stress from pest infestation can affect rice growth, and how it can lead to an optimality in the farmers’ payoff. This work is scheduled to appear in the June 2017 issue of PNAS.last_img read more

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