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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  • Boycott talk taints Burger King deal
    Boycott talk taints Burger King deal

    Some diners object to the chain's plans to move its headquarters to Canada.

  • Tax inversions won’t stop until Washington gets its act together
    Tax inversions won’t stop until Washington gets its act together

    Forget about tax inversions. Zachary Karabell stopped by to breakdown the real problem with off-shore businesses

  • US hostage's mother pleads with jihadists to spare him
    US hostage's mother pleads with jihadists to spare him

    Shirley Sotloff, mother of 31-year-old freelance reporter Steven Sotloff, directly addressed the leader of so-called Islamic State, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, in a video message distributed to the media. Sotloff disappeared while reporting in Syria in August 2013. His apparent kidnap was not widely reported until he appeared on a video released last week by the Islamic State. In the footage a masked militant beheads US reporter James Foley then parades Sotloff, warning he will meet the same fate unless US President Barack Obama halts air strikes against the group in Iraq.

  • Alexander the Great-Era Tomb Will Soon Reveal Its Secrets
    Alexander the Great-Era Tomb Will Soon Reveal Its Secrets

    As archaeologists continue to clear dirt and stone slabs from the entrance of a huge tomb in Greece, excitement is building over what excavators may find inside. It has been quietly revealed over the last two years, during excavations at the Kasta Hill site in ancient Amphipolis in the Macedonian region of Greece. Earlier this month, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras toured the site. "The excavation will show if the tomb has been looted or not," Katerina Peristeri, the lead archaeologist on the Kasta Hill project, said in a statement from the Greek Ministry of Culture.

  • Sanctions-hit Russian economy nears recession
    Sanctions-hit Russian economy nears recession

    The Russian economy is nearing recession, officials said Tuesday, with punishing Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict set to keep growth at ultra-low levels and drive up inflation. "The economy is close to recession," said Oleg Zasov, the head of forecasting at the economy ministry, according to Russian news agencies. Russia's statistics office reported earlier this month that the economy grew by 0.8 percent in the second quarter on an annual comparison. Seasonally-adjusted quarterly data has yet to be released, which could show that Russia entered a technical recession as the economy contracted by 0.5 percent in the first three months of the year.

  • Islamist fighters seize Syria crossing near Israel: Syrian Observatory

    Al Qaeda's Syria wing Nusra Front and other Islamist fighters have taken control of a border crossing on the line dividing Syria from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a group monitoring the Syrian conflict said on Wednesday. The fighters, who have vowed to "liberate" the area, captured the Quneitra post on the Syrian side from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad after fierce clashes, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The crossing is monitored by the United Nations, which oversees traffic between the two enemy countries but the distance between the two warring adversaries' posts is some 200 meters(656 feet). During the fighting, two Israelis were wounded by stray bullets, a soldier and a civilian, both in the Golan Heights.

  • Scotland posts independence ballots after debate clash
    Scotland posts independence ballots after debate clash

    Scotland's first postal ballots for a referendum on independence headed to voters on Tuesday after the leader of the campaign to break away from Britain scored victory in a final TV debate. One-sixth of the Scottish electorate -- some 700,000 people -- could receive their polling papers as early as Wednesday, and begin answering the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" British politicians have promised Scotland will be given greater autonomy -- in particular with increased taxation powers for its government -- even if the "No" camp wins. The independence campaign has lagged in the polls despite recent advances, and was hoping for a boost from Monday's strong debate performance by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

  • Israeli leader declares victory in Gaza war
    Israeli leader declares victory in Gaza war

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's prime minister declared victory Wednesday in the recent war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, saying the military campaign had dealt a heavy blow and a cease-fire deal gave no concessions to the Islamic militant group.

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