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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  • Business Highlights

    ___ Market jolt is reality check for investors Sometimes a little fear is healthy for stock investors. A violent lurch lower nine days ago knocked the Standard & Poor's 500 index down as much as 7.4 percent ...

  • Canadians flock to Parliament Hill, site of attack on soldier
    Canadians flock to Parliament Hill, site of attack on soldier

    By Richard Valdmanis OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadians returned to the reopened grounds of their parliament building on Saturday, three days after a homegrown radical rushed in armed with a rifle after killing a soldier in the second domestic attack in a week on the country's military. The grounds of the hilltop gothic building, whose clock tower is a centerpiece of Ottawa's skyline, attracted scores of visitors, many still stunned by Wednesday's attack, which took place as Prime Minister Stephen Harper was meeting with lawmakers. ...

  • Tuktamysheva tops Skate America women's short
    Tuktamysheva tops Skate America women's short

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — It has been quite a year for Gracie Gold.

  • ISIS Pummeled by Air and Land in Iraq
    ISIS Pummeled by Air and Land in Iraq

    Ground offensives mounted by the Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga forces—and bolstered by a bombardment of U.S. airstrikes—have pushed ISIS fighters from several key towns and villages in the north and south of Iraq, officials said.

  • Three teens fight for life after US school shooting
    Three teens fight for life after US school shooting

    Two girls, 14, and a boy, 15, were in critical condition in the hospital after Friday's bloodshed in the northwestern state of Washington that also left one student and the young shooter dead in yet another US school attack. Both male students were reportedly cousins of Jaylen Fryberg, a popular first-year student at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School who opened fire in the school cafeteria. Joanne Roberts, a doctor at Providence Regional Medical Center in the city of Everett, 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Seattle, said the girls had undergone surgery for head wounds. Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said detectives "were able to confirm that a cafeteria worker attempted to stop the shooter," while local media said the employee was a teacher.

  • 7 hurt when car smashes into California restaurant
    7 hurt when car smashes into California restaurant

    DUBLIN, Calif. (AP) — Police say all seven people injured when a car crashed into a Northern California restaurant have now been released from hospitals.

  • Washington school shooter Jaylen Fryberg's personal struggles revealed on social media
    Washington school shooter Jaylen Fryberg's personal struggles revealed on social media

    Social media posts penned by the shooter in Friday’s rampage at a Washington State high school portray a head-over-heels teenager who grew more and more tormented when the relationship fell apart.

  • Pistorius shoves race, crime and punishment in S. Africa's face

    By Ed Cropley PRETORIA (Reuters) - As Oscar Pistorius spent his first day behind bars this week, a suspected child rapist and murderer went on trial at the same Pretoria court in a case that has also provoked fierce debate about crime and punishment in post-apartheid South Africa. Although the two defendants, one wealthy and white, the other poor and black, are from opposite ends of a still-divided society, both cases have revealed an alarming lack of faith in the justice system of the "Rainbow Nation". ...

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