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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  • Alibaba IPO comes with unusual structure
    Alibaba IPO comes with unusual structure

    BEIJING (AP) — Foreigners who want to buy Alibaba Group shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant's U.S. public offering will need to get comfortable with an unusual business structure.

  • Mother With Alzheimer's, Daughter Share Moving Moment of Clarity
    Mother With Alzheimer's, Daughter Share Moving Moment of Clarity

    As a friend or family member, living with and watching someone suffering with Alzheimer’s disease is frequently heartbreaking. But sometimes, when all seems lost, something miraculous happens. In a video that has gone viral,Georgia-native Kelly Gunderson captured a precious and unpredictable moment while lying in a hospital beside her ailing mother. For a brief moment, the older woman was able to reflect and recognize her loving daughter.

  • School starts in Chicago with more safety guards
    School starts in Chicago with more safety guards

    CHICAGO (AP) — School opened in Chicago on Tuesday, with children and parents making their way past security guards whose bright neon vests served as a reminder of the city's efforts to protect students from the violence that plagues its streets.

  • How does a police department lose a Humvee?
    How does a police department lose a Humvee?

    Among the issues that Obama is likely to find is that the program lacks oversight and accountability. Once Pentagon weapons reach the 8,000 police departments that participate in the program, many of them in tiny towns, the federal government has little control over them. The departments are not allowed to sell or dispose of any of the 1033 program's “controlled” items, which include small arms and tactical vehicles. An agency in each state takes over responsibility for checking the inventory once a year and reporting anything missing to the Defense Department’s Defense Logistics Agency.

  • Breaking Down How Frankie Grande Became the Most Hated 'Big Brother' Contestant
    Breaking Down How Frankie Grande Became the Most Hated 'Big Brother' Contestant

    Last month, against our better judgment, we told you about Ariana Grande's brother, Big Brother season 16 contestant Frankie Grande, and his dramatic-in-his-own-head reveal of his own microcelebrity. Since then, Frankie has revealed himself to be a little bit self-obsessed and a lot bit deluded. The pitchforks have been out for Frankie among those who watch Big Brother's infamous 24/7 live feeds, who have seen a fuller picture of the guy than has been shown on TV. Though Frankie isn't to our taste, we don't know him, and we can't judge him as a person based on his behavior on a reality TV competition.

  • Canada, China quietly hold top-level meeting on strained ties
    Canada, China quietly hold top-level meeting on strained ties

    By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Senior officials from Canada and China met quietly in Ottawa last week to discuss relations that have deteriorated so badly that they could threaten Prime Minister Stephen Harper's planned visit to China in November. Canada sees China as an important trading partner and in early 2012 Harper went to Beijing to pitch the idea of Canada as a potential oil supplier. In late July, Canada accused Chinese hackers of being responsible for an attack on a government computer. In early August, China detained a Canadian couple, Kevin Garratt and Julia Dawn Garratt, on suspicion of spying.

  • Christie to Mexico on trade mission, 2016 politics
    Christie to Mexico on trade mission, 2016 politics

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is heading to Mexico on Wednesday, officially on a trade mission for his state. But the trip also serves as schooling for Christie, a potential 2016 presidential candidate with a lot of swagger but little foreign policy experience.

  • This iPhone case makes it easier than ever for thieves to steal your ATM PIN
    This iPhone case makes it easier than ever for thieves to steal your ATM PIN

    In light of this weekend’s massive celebrity photo leak, mobile security is bound to be a major topic of discussion in the weeks to come. How can we keep our private data safe if actors and actresses whose lives often revolve around keeping things private are this vulnerable? With the amount of information we store on our phones, in our email, in cloud storage, we’re always going to be at risk, but there are ways that hackers can get private data from us without accessing any of our devices. At the beginning of the year, thermal imaging company FLIR announced the FLIR One, an iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s-compatible case with a infrared camera. Although there are plenty of legitimate uses for an infrared camera, there

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