Today in Tech
  • You've got hundreds of thousands of programs to choose from on either platform

    The war between Apple and Android wages on, and now the battlefield is the online app market. Google Play, the marketplace for Android devices, has always trailed the App Store in number of offerings, even though it launched just three months after the Apple resource. The App Store has 700,000 products up for sale, according to Apple's iPhone 5 presentation on September 12. But Google Play is nearing that total with 675,000 apps available. The platform also passed 25 billion downloads yesterday and held a major sale in honor of the milestone, with several top apps still available for just 25 cents.

    While the number of available apps for each operating system is drawing even, there are still major differences in how each store works. Apple requires an approval process before an app can go up for sale on iTunes, but Google Play has no such vetting procedure. There's an up and a down side to that. It means that Apple went without any spam appearing on its store for five years, and the

    Read More »from Google Play gaining on iTunes App Store in race for most apps available
  • The new displays would also work as speakers and have buttons that rise from their surface on command

    Don't think the new iPhone 5 was enough of a leap over the previous generation of Apple's smartphone in terms of design? Well, a new patent by the Cupertino, Calif. tech powerhouse should have you very excited. The company has patented a flexible screen technology that could not only allow for curved screens on future devices, but ones that transform to feature physical buttons and actually emit sound as well.

    The new screen type can be bent into concave and convex configurations as seen in the patent drawings above, but their flexibility is about more than aesthetics. For example, specific areas of the screens can be made to vibrate differently, replicating the properties of speaker elements and producing sounds. The patent also notes that they can be used with lasers placed underneath to act as microphones, meaning that the entire display could effectively be used to pick up your voice.

    Perhaps the most interesting use of the flexible technology, however, is placing tiny actuators

    Read More »from Apple has its eyes on flexible iPhone screens
  • Previously unseen celestial object will stun stargazers next November

    Late next year, there will be a new object in the night sky nearly 10 times brighter than the full moon. This temporary attraction, called C/2012 S1, is a comet that has likely never passed through our inner solar system before, so it's larger and more reflective than those our sun has already blasted.

    C/2012 S1 won't just be bright; it'll be large enough to see without the need for binoculars or a telescope. Its brightness magnitude is expected to be -16, with the Sun by comparison being -26. Comet Hale-Bopp, seen above, was magnitude -1 when it passed through our solar system in 1997. Astronomers are predicting that C/2012 S1 will appear in the sky near the sun and horizon, so it should be fairly easy to pinpoint without a sky map. Should it contain a large amount of gas beneath its icy exterior, the comet could sprout a massive glowing tail as it nears the sun and the ice is melted away, making it even easier to see — not to mention much cooler looking.

    Scientists tracking C/2012

    Read More »from Comet due in 2013 could be brighter than the full moon

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  • A Mother's Day to Remember: Winner Gets Portrait By Anne Geddes

      By Teri Whitcraft and Carrie Halperin For Allison Dearstyne of Dunkirk, Md., her first Mother’s Day as a mom may be the best ever. Last November,  when she was nine months pregnant, she and her husband Richard entered a photo in the Million Moms...

  • HTC has a secret weapon for taking on Samsung, and it’s not what you think
    HTC has a secret weapon for taking on Samsung, and it’s not what you think

    No matter how positive the reviews are for its products, HTC can’t seem to break out from behind the shadow of Samsung. Without a veritable army of devices flooding store shelves, it’s difficult for any phone maker to make an impact in the Android smartphone market. But HTC believes that by closing the gap on dedicated cameras, it can attract an even wider audience while trumping the competition. Speaking with Vodafone, HTC’s camera expert Symon Whitehorn said that the phone camera will continue to be a vital aspect of the industry’s growth and development. “As smartphones have become people’s primary camera, we expect more of them,” says Whitehorn. “That’s why we’ve put so much investment into the camera – because smartphone

  • What the hell is this American plane owned by the Bank of Utah doing in IRAN?
    What the hell is this American plane owned by the Bank of Utah doing in IRAN?

    On Tuesday morning, a plane owned in trust by the Bank of Utah showed up in a very visible area of the Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under President Barack Obama, the United States has eased some of the long-standing punitive economic sanctions against Iran. The Ogden-based community bank has all of 13 branches including three in Ogden, two in Salt Lake City and one in Trementon (pop. “We have no idea why that plane was at that airport,” Brett King, a Bank of Utah executive in Salt Lake City, told the Times.

  • US orange production hit by disease, juice prices soar
    US orange production hit by disease, juice prices soar

    A citrus disease spread by a tiny insect has devastated Florida's orange crop, which is expected to be the worst in nearly 30 years, and sent juice prices soaring on New York markets. The gnat-sized Asian citrus psyllid, which is infecting citrus trees across the Sunshine State with huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, which causes fruit to taste bitter and fall from trees too soon. "It feels we are losing the fight," said Ellis Hunt, the head of a family-run citrus farm spread over about 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) in the central Florida town of Lake Wales. Citrus greening disease has become such a problem this year that the US government has lowered its forecast for the upcoming harvest four times.

  • 'No breakthrough' in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
    'No breakthrough' in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

    Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meeting US envoy Martin Indyk to try to find a way to extend faltering peace talks have failed to reach agreement, a Palestinian source told AFP. There was no breakthrough," added the Palestinian source. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators had met on their own on Sunday and held a three-way meeting with Indyk a week ago in last-ditch efforts to save the stagnant peace process launched by US Secretary of State John Kerry in July for a period of nine months. State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said this week that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are striving to reach an agreement to extend the talks beyond their April 29 deadline.

  • Kansas speech by Michelle Obama draws complaints
    Kansas speech by Michelle Obama draws complaints

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — If expanding the guest list to include Michelle Obama at graduation for high school students in the Kansas capital city means fewer seats for friends and family, some students and their parents would prefer the first lady not attend.

  • Russia says U.S. treating it like 'guilty schoolboy' over Ukraine
    Russia says U.S. treating it like 'guilty schoolboy' over Ukraine

    The Kremlin on Friday described as unacceptable a U.S. threat to impose sanctions if Russia fails to fulfil its side of an international deal on Ukraine, accusing the White House of treating Moscow like a "guilty schoolboy". President Barack Obama said Thursday's deal in Geneva between Russia, Ukraine and Western powers to reduce tensions in the Russian-speaking east of Ukraine was promising but that Washington and its allies were prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve. "Statements like those made at a high level in Washington that the United States will follow in detail how Russia fulfils its obligations ... are unlikely to help dialogue," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said.

  • Jews in east Ukraine worried after anti-Semitic tract
    Jews in east Ukraine worried after anti-Semitic tract

    Donetsk (Ukraine) (AFP) - Members of the Jewish community in the pro-Russian protest hub of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine said Friday that they were left shaken by the distribution of tracts demanding the registration of Jews. Concerns were evident, despite scepticism from Jewish leaders in the region and a US group fighting anti-Semitism, the Anti-Defamation League, that the pamphlets handed out in front of the synagogue on Tuesday were anything more than calculated "provocation" by unknown parties. The incident happened as around 20 Jews were leaving the synagogue after marking the second day of the Jewish Passover festival. Denis Pushilin, the pro-Russian protest leader whose signature was on the documents, strenuously denied that he had anything to do with the demands.

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