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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  • Huge leak shows the 5.5-inch iPhone’s rear shell side-by-side with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6
    Huge leak shows the 5.5-inch iPhone’s rear shell side-by-side with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6

    An image showing the alleged rear shell of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 next to the same component for the 5.5-inch version has been leaked from a source “deep within Apple’s supply chain in China,” BestTechInfo reports. In case you’re wondering, the same publication previously published on YouTube a hands-on review of an actual backplate for the 4.7-inch model, and has posted similar YouTube videos last year showing back shells for 2013 iPhones before they became official, so it has a pretty decent track record. FROM EARLIER: This is what the iPhone 6 might look like compared to Samsung’s iPhone 6 ‘killer’ According to the source, only a few such 5.5-inch iPhone 6 shells are available in the factory where the photo

  • 14 ads that changed the world
    14 ads that changed the world

    Take a look at some ads that have shaped our culture.

  • Abandoned Florida panther kitten gets new home in state park

    By Barbara Liston ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - A rare Florida panther, found near death as a 1-pound newborn in January, bounded into its permanent new fenced home in a state park on Thursday, now a lively, nearly 50-pound kitten. "He's really a miracle cat," said Susan Strawbridge of the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. A critically endangered animal, only 100 to 180 Florida panthers are believed to be in existence. State biologists working at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge in Naples stumbled by chance on the kitten that had been abandoned by its mother in her den, according to Karen Parker of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

  • The best evidence yet that Apple is finally ready to mass produce the iWatch
    The best evidence yet that Apple is finally ready to mass produce the iWatch

    We’ve heard so many wildly contradictory reports about Apple’s iWatch over the past several weeks, although we feel confident in saying that the company’s first wearable device is going to release later than the iPhone 6, which is expected to be unveiled on September 9th. 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman has gotten his hands on some new documents related to Apple partner GT-Advanced Technologies’ sapphire production plant that indicate Apple is at long last getting ready to start mass producing the iWatch. FROM EARLIER: New report claims Apple might delay the iWatch until 2015 In particular, Gurman has found that new research from PTT Research Senior Analyst and GTAT investor Matt Margolis indicates that GT-Advanced Technologies has started producing sapphire for some kind of jewelry

  • Robin Williams' ashes scattered in San Francisco Bay
    Robin Williams' ashes scattered in San Francisco Bay

    Comedian Robin Williams' ashes have been scattered in the San Francisco Bay following his apparent suicide, according to a death certificate released by Marin County on Thursday. Williams, 63, was found hanged in his Tiburon, California, home last week. The "Mrs. Doubtfire" star had been suffering from severe depression, anxiety and early Parkinson's disease before his death. Williams' cremated remains were released on Aug. 12, the day after his death, according to the document.

  • Has Earth's Missing Heat Been Found?
    Has Earth's Missing Heat Been Found?

    In 1999, the feverish rise in Earth's surface temperatures suddenly slowed, even as greenhouse gas emissions escalated. This unexpected slowdown has been called a global warming hiatus or global warming pause. Most climate scientists don't think this hiatus means global warming went kaput, but the reason (or reasons) for the slowdown has scientists flummoxed. Now, a study published today (Aug. 21) in the journal Science suggests a natural climate cycle in the North Atlantic Ocean gobbled Earth's extra heat.

  • British couple walled into French home by 'neighbours from hell'
    British couple walled into French home by 'neighbours from hell'

    A British couple's dream of a quiet retirement in the sun of southern France turned into a nightmare when their neighbours walled them into their home. Locals in the village of Brugairolles in the foothills of the Pyrenees were so appalled by the immurement, they rose up to rescue the elderly couple, tearing down a wall from the front of the house and ripping open windows and doors that had been nailed shut. "We could not accept that they should continue to live under such terror," declared retired Republican Guard Jeannot Gach, who helped lead the operation to free Faith and John Dyson, both in their 70s, from their home. The Dysons' tormentors were not jealous locals resentful of outsiders pushing up property prices, but another British couple furious that they had apparently trespassed on a shared lane they claimed to own.

  • US aircraft bomb targets in northern Iraq
    US aircraft bomb targets in northern Iraq

    American warplanes have bombed Islamist militants in northern Iraq near the Mosul dam, the US military's Central Command said on Thursday, in the latest air attack on the extremists. "US military forces continued to attack ISIL (Islamic State) terrorists in support of Iraqi Security Force operations, using fighter and attack aircraft to conduct six airstrikes in the vicinity of the Mosul Dam," it said in a statement. The air raids were carried out over the last 24 hours, a US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. The air attacks come after President Barack Obama called for decisive international action against the "cancer" of jihadist extremism in Iraq and Syria.

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