Upgrade Your Life
  • Apple did something unusual: they announced 2 iPhones at once. There’s a budget model, the iPhone 5C, and a mid-cycle upgrade, the iPhone 5S.  My initial take is that the 5C will be a nice fit for many, but the iPhone 5S may have limited appeal, in part because of a rumor about the next iPhone.

    5C Specs

    ·     Plastic shell
    ·     5 colors – white, pink, yellow, blue, green
    ·     4-inch retina screen (same as the iPhone 5)
    ·     A6 chip (same as the iPhone 5)
    ·     Rear- and front-facing cameras (same as the iPhone 5)
    ·     16GB $99, 32GB $199
    ·     Available September 20th
    ·     Battery – basically the same as the iPhone 5, with a little added talk time
    ·     Siri enabled

    Finally a Cheap (well… cheaper) iPhone

    The 5C feels young: be it the glow-in-the-dark colors that match the new IOS 7 or the “unibody polycarbonate shell” (aka, it’s made from a single piece of plastic). It has much of the same hardware that was in the iPhone 5 – which has been discontinued. This 5C is a way to offer the previous

    Read More »from The New iPhones: Should You Upgrade?
  • I have a confession: I’m a tech reporter, with a master’s degree in educational technology – and I don’t often let my kids use an iPad. I’d rather let them watch TV than play with digital devices.

    I’m not going to tell you how you should raise your kids – that’s up to you – but I will offer one perspective you may not have heard.

    Early Successes… and Early Battles

    I have twins – a boy and a girl. When they were toddlers, I searched the iTunes and Google Play stores using the keywords “educational” and “toddler.” Thousands of apps appeared. Virtual jigsaw puzzles for "spatial awareness," letter recognition, games promising “help your child learn to read!” and number of games that “teach your child to count to 100.” I downloaded many because, like most parents, I have moments when I wanted my children to be calm and still – like after dinner in a restaurant, on a plane, or when I just needed to take a shower in peace and quiet.

    Boy did the apps work! The kids were quiet, zombies really.They

    Read More »from Why TV Could Be Better for Kids Than iPads
  • At the IFA tradeshow in Berlin, Samsung announced Galaxy Gear:  a smartwatch that can’t make calls on its own, but connects wirelessly with the owner’s nearby smartphone. Samsung may have beaten Apple to the punch, but is this watch doomed to be a forgotten accessory, or is it the start of a trend that’s been coming ever since Dick Tracy first flicked his wrist to make a call?

    Galaxy Gear Features

    ·     1.63 inch AMOLED screen

    ·       6 colors: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green

    ·     800 MHz processor

    ·     Bluetooth 4.0

    ·     1.9 megapixel still and video camera built into the watchband

    ·     Battery: Samsung says it will last 25+ hours (real world test: TBD)

    ·     Microphone and speaker for voice-activated calling

    ·     Notifications from calendar, text messaging, apps, and incoming calls

    ·     70 apps preloaded, including: Evernote, Path, RunKeeper, Find my Phone, Weather

    ·     Currently works only with Note 3 & Note 10.1, but Samsung promises more

    Read More »from Samsung’s Smartwatch – Trendsetter or Follower?

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  • Final Glance: Railroad companies

    Shares of some top railroad companies were mixed at the close of trading: CSX fell $.06 or .2 percent, to $32.26. Canadian National Railway Co. fell $.16 or .2 percent, to $71.30. Canadian Pacific Railway ...

  • Indian Spacecraft Snaps Spectacular Portrait of Mars (Photo)
    Indian Spacecraft Snaps Spectacular Portrait of Mars (Photo)

    India's first spacecraft to visit Mars has beamed home its greatest photo of the Red Planet yet, a view that reveals the planet from pole to pole.  The new photo of Mars from India's Mangalyaan probe was unveiled today (Sept. 29) by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). "Something's brewing here!" ISRO officials wrote in a Twitter post for the Mars orbiter.  The Mangalyaan spacecraft used its Mars Color Camera to capture the amazing photo from a distance of 46,292 miles (74,500 kilometers) above the Red Planet on Sunday (Sept. 28), according to an ISRO photo description.

  • EBay follows Icahn's advice, plans PayPal spinoff in 2015

    By Supantha Mukherjee (Reuters) - EBay Inc plans next year to spin off PayPal, its fast-growing payments business, giving in to activist investor Carl Icahn's argument for a leaner company better equipped to compete in the competitive mobile payments market. EBay's shares rose as much as 8 percent after the company said it would spin off PayPal as a publicly traded company in the second half of 2015, a transaction that will be tax-free to shareholders. EBay Chief Executive John Donahoe had previously resisted Icahn's proposal, saying PayPal was integral to eBay's business, and vice versa. ...

  • 'Modern Family' editor live-tweets drunken passenger's in-flight meltdown
    'Modern Family' editor live-tweets drunken passenger's in-flight meltdown

    Ryan Case, the Emmy-winning editor and occasional director of ABC's "Modern Family," took to Twitter on Sunday to hilariously document the drunken passenger in front of her on a flight.

  • Islamic State fight seen costing U.S. $2.4B or more annually
    Islamic State fight seen costing U.S. $2.4B or more annually

    By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. military efforts against Islamic State have cost nearly $1 billion so far and are likely to run between $2.4 billion and $3.8 billion per year if air and ground operations continue at the current pace, according to a think tank analysis. But a ramp-up, including more air strikes and a significant boost in ground forces, could send costs soaring to between $13 billion and $22 billion annually, said the analysis released on Monday by the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. ...

  • The Windows 9 upgrade might not be as free as initially believed
    The Windows 9 upgrade might not be as free as initially believed

    After a report last week revealed the President of Microsoft Indonesia confirmed that the Windows 8 to Windows 9 upgrade will be available free download, Myce has discovered that not all current Windows 8 users may be entitled to a free Windows 9 update. Well-known Russian leaker WZOR, the source of various Windows 9 leaks in the past, says that just those customers who have purchased a Windows 8 (or Windows 8.1) copy will qualify for free upgrades. Users who have purchased a computer with Windows 8 preinstalled (OEM version of the software) will have to pay a fee. FROM EARLIER: Confirmed: Windows 9 to be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users The same source revealed that Windows 7 users

  • Johnson & Johnson buying Alios for $1.75B

    NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson is buying the biopharmaceutical company Alios BioPharma Inc. for about $1.75 billion.

  • NFL says Abdullah should not have been penalized
    NFL says Abdullah should not have been penalized

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The NFL said Tuesday that Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when he dropped to his knees in prayer after an interception.

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