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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  • 10 Things to Know for Today
    10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

  • Galaxy S4 bursts into flames under sleeping 13-year-old girl’s pillow
    Galaxy S4 bursts into flames under sleeping 13-year-old girl’s pillow

    Let this cautionary tale serve as a reminder to everyone: don’t buy unauthorized parts or accessories for your smartphone. We have seen stories of combusting cell phones before, but perhaps none have been quite as unsettling as a new report from this past weekend. According to a Dallas, Texas-based Fox affiliate, a 13-year-old girl was awoken last week when she smelled something burning. As it turns out, the Samsung Galaxy S4 that she slipped under her pillow as she fell asleep had caught fire in the middle of the night and had begun to burn her pillow and sheets. “I didn’t think much of it, so I went back to sleep and then I woke up again and it was more prominent,”

  • Long-Lost Anchor May Soon Give up Its Secrets
    Long-Lost Anchor May Soon Give up Its Secrets

    After decades, possibly centuries, at the bottom of the sea — and a 2,200-mile-long (3,540 kilometers) road trip wrapped in damp blankets in the back of a pickup truck — a barnacle-crusted anchor arrived in Texas this week for a major cleaning. In 2008, a fisherman named Doug Monk was collecting sea cucumbers just north of Seattle near Whidbey Island when his diving gear got caught on a huge anchor, The Seattle Times reported. Monk teamed up with amateur historian Scott Grimm to study the object, and the two obtained legal rights to salvage it. Last month, the duo finally pulled the 10-foot (3 meters) anchor from the Puget Sound with a crane.

  • Dozens treated for illness at Keith Urban concert
    Dozens treated for illness at Keith Urban concert

    MANSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say several dozen people were treated for alcohol-related illnesses at a weekend Keith Urban concert in Massachusetts.

  • Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel
    Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

    NEW YORK (AP) — Sarah Palin has started her own subscription-based online network.

  • DR Congo's insect cuisine: nutritious and delicious
    DR Congo's insect cuisine: nutritious and delicious

    In Kinshasa's Gambela market shoppers can find insects for every occasion -- from unctuous white weevil larvae for fancy dinners to crispy caterpillars and snacky termites that stick in your teeth. They may be an unbeatably cheap source of protein, but DR Congo's many insect connoisseurs insist they also have real gastronomic value. "The caterpillars and the other insects we eat are very rich in protein," said Maguy Manase, a seller at the market. Caterpillars are sold living, dried or boiled up into a kind of porridge.

  • New York Times Square Spider-Man charged with punching police officer

    A street performer dressed as Spider-Man in New York City's Times Square was arrested after punching a police officer who scolded him for demanding more money from a couple he had posed with for a picture, police said on Sunday. The Saturday afternoon incident began when Junior Bishop, 25, was overheard by a police officer refusing a $1 bill from a woman with whom he'd taken a picture, insisting instead on a larger denomination, a police spokeswoman said. After the police officer told Bishop he could only accept tips but not demand money, the Brooklyn resident began yelling at him, police say.

  • Russia, Germany up diplomatic battle over Ukraine sanctions

    By Alexei Anishchuk and Michelle Martin MOSCOW/BERLIN (Reuters) - As fighting intensified in Ukraine on Monday, a diplomatic battle also raged, with Berlin warning that new European sanctions would send a "strong signal" to Moscow, and Russia saying the measures could only boost its economic independence. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had no intention of imposing tit-for-tat sanctions, the day before the 28-nation European Union was set to finalise a package of measures that may close the bloc's capital markets to Russian state banks. The sanctions, and any retaliatory measures, could affect BP, whose 19.75 percent holding in Russian oil producer Rosneft leaves it exposed to the Russian economy. Kremlin-controlled Rosneft also has agreements with ExxonMobil, Eni and Statoil to tap Russia's Arctic offshore oil and gas.

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