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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  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal's 'luxury flat'
    Unease in Vatican over cardinal's 'luxury flat'

    An Italian cardinal is moving into a 600-square-metre (6,500 square foot) Vatican apartment in apparent contradiction with Pope Francis's call for a "poor Church", Italian daily La Repubblica reported on Sunday. Tarcisio Bertone is the Vatican's former Secretary of State, a role equivalent to prime minister, and the report said his luxury lodgings were stirring unease as Francis has pushed for clergymen to be more humble. The flat also has a 100-square-metre roof terrace and is next to St Martha's Residence -- a Vatican hotel where Francis has taken up home, spurning the grander Apostolic Palace where popes usually live. La Repubblica said that Bertone's flat would be about 10 times bigger than the apartment where Francis is living and that he was planning to move in before the summer after extensive building work.

  • Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
    Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout

    BYLBASIVKA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine and Russia traded blame Sunday for a shootout at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine that left at least three people dead and others with gunshot wounds.

  • Boko Haram claims bombing in Nigeria's capital
    Boko Haram claims bombing in Nigeria's capital

    Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) - Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack ever in Nigeria’s capital in a video obtained Saturday, as the search continued for 85 schoolgirls still missing after a mass abduction by the Islamists. The bombing at a bus station packed with morning commuters early on Monday killed at least 75 people on the outskirts of Abuja, hours before gunmen kidnapped 129 girls from a school in northeastern Borno state, Boko Haram's base. "We are the ones who carried out the attack in Abuja," Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau said in video message obtained by AFP. Shekau, declared a global terrorist by the United States which has a $7 million (5.1 million euro) bounty on his head, spoke in Arabic and the Hausa language that is dominant in northern Nigeria, with a Kalashnikov resting on his left shoulder.

  • Ukraine Suspends 'Anti-Terrorist Operation'

    Statement Cites Easter and Geneva Agreement as Reason

  • Hundreds paddle out for surf icon Hobie Alter
    Hundreds paddle out for surf icon Hobie Alter

    DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of surfers and rowers have honored Hobie Alter's request by paddling out in the Pacific in his memory.

  • GRIEVING DAUGHTER ANTICIPATES EACH MOTHER'S DAY WITH DREAD

    DEAR ABBY: It has been a year since my mother passed away. The month of February was especially tough because it was the month of her birthday and also the month in which she died. Mother's Day will be here soon, and I'm already feeling bitter, anticipating all of the commercials, advertising, brunches and everything. I don't want to be bitter about Mother's Day, but I am. How do people typically celebrate Mother's Day when they have lost their mother? -- JODY IN KEARNEY, NEB. DEAR JODY: Please accept my condolences for the loss of your mother. ...

  • Citing Religious Beliefs, Cabbies Won't Drive Cars With Ads for Gay Games

    The Gay Games has been a promising vehicle of change for marginalized LGBT athletes—yet 30 years after the sporting event was created, some people in this year's host city of Cleveland are not so welcoming. Some cab drivers who regularly travel the route between the city and the airport are refusing to drive cabs that bear ads for the August event, citing religious reasons, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Hopkins International Airport said it had been notified by two of the three taxi companies it works with that some of their drivers were objecting to the airport's dedicated taxicab program, in which cabs have Gay Games ads on their rooftop placards. It's not the first time cabbies have objected to transporting certain passengers, and there has been a recent spate of businesses objecting to serving the LGBT community—an act that is being written into law as a right in some states.

  • 5 Things to Know About Alien Planet Kepler-186f, 'Earth's Cousin'
    5 Things to Know About Alien Planet Kepler-186f, 'Earth's Cousin'

    A newly discovered planet nicknamed "Earth's cousin" has just been found 490 light-years from Earth. The planet, called Kepler-186f, is the first Earth-size planet found in the habitable zone of its star. Only about 10 percent larger than Earth, Kepler-186f is the closest planet to Earth in size ever found in the habitable zone of its star. What else do you need to know about the new alien planet discovery?

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