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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  • YOUNGER COUPLES WEIGH IN ON HOW THEY HANDLE MONEY

    DEAR READERS: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife considered what they earned to be "theirs" -- not his or hers. When I asked my "younger readers" to chime in, I was inundated. Some excerpts: DEAR ABBY: My husband was 26 and I was 24 when we got married. To me, how young couples handle money says a lot about their attitude toward marriage. ...

  • Don’t Ignore Janet Yellen’s Stock Market Warnings
    Don’t Ignore Janet Yellen’s Stock Market Warnings

    Janet Yellen is taking a lot of flak for speaking her mind. Last week, the Federal Reserve released a biannual policy report just as Yellen, the Fed’s chair, began testifying to Congress on the state of the U.S. economic recovery, the outlook for inflation and what’s happening in financial markets these days. What Yellen had to say on the last of those factors sent many folks into a tizzy. The Fed views valuations in some parts of the market — especially for smaller social media companies and biotech stocks — as being “substantially stretched,” even after a “notable downturn in equity prices for such firms early in the year.”

  • Apple completely changed Control Center in iOS 8 beta 4 – here’s what it looks like
    Apple completely changed Control Center in iOS 8 beta 4 – here’s what it looks like

    Apple on Monday released iOS 8 beta 4, just as our sources said would be the case. The new build is Apple’s fourth developer preview release of its new iOS 8 software, which will be let loose to the general public sometime in the coming months, likely just before the next-generation iPhone 6 launches. In the meantime, developers can use Apple’s iOS 8 betas to update their apps and build new ones that take advantage of all the new APIs Apple has provided. For the rest of us, iOS 8 gives us a look at all the great new things to come. Unfortunately, not all of those things are actually great. FROM EARLIER: A week with iOS 8 Apple’s new iOS 8 beta

  • Obama bestows Medal of Honor on veteran
    Obama bestows Medal of Honor on veteran

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor Monday on a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who fought off enemy fighters during one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghanistan war.

  • CFO: Sterling can't pay debt without Clippers sale
    CFO: Sterling can't pay debt without Clippers sale

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The chief financial officer of Donald Sterling's properties says the billionaire may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.

  • Swimwear designer, age 19, debuts in Miami Beach
    Swimwear designer, age 19, debuts in Miami Beach

    It was nearly show time as designer Francesca Aiello snapped pictures backstage of models in her latest swimwear designs. This was Frankie's Bikinis' debut show for the 19-year-old designer at Mercedes-Benz ...

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel
    American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel

    The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel.

  • Jihadists seize Iraq monastery
    Jihadists seize Iraq monastery

    Jihadist militants have taken over a monastery in northern Iraq, one of the country's best-known Christian landmarks, and expelled its resident monks, a cleric and residents said Monday. Islamic State (IS) fighters stormed Mar (Saint) Behnam, a 4th century monastery run by the Syriac Catholic church near the predominantly Christian town of Qaraqosh, on Sunday, the sources said. Christian residents from the area told AFP the monks walked several miles along a deserted road and were eventually picked up by Kurdish peshmerga fighters who drove them to Qaraqosh. The Syriac cleric said five monks were expelled from Mar Behnam.

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