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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  • Midday Glance: Gold companies

    Shares of some top gold companies are mixed at 1 p.m.: Barrick Gold Corp. rose $.01 or .1 percent, to $16.58. Gold Fields Ltd ADS rose $.01 or .2 percent, to $4.46. GoldCorp. rose $.09 or .4 percent, to ...

  • Nasdaq stocks posting largest percentage decreases

    A look at the 10 biggest percentage decliners on Nasdaq at 1 p.m.: QLT Inc. fell 11.9 percent to $5.46. Retrophin Inc. fell 8.8 percent to $11.40. PDL BioPharma Inc. fell 8.7 percent to $8.81. B Communcations ...

  • Most active Nasdaq-traded stocks

    A look at Nasdaq 10 most-active stocks at 1 p.m.: Apple Inc. was unchanged at $100.91 with 26,598,500 shares traded. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. rose 44.1 percent to $31.00 with 10,563,000 shares traded. ...

  • Pope OKs canonization for Sri Lanka's 1st saint
    Pope OKs canonization for Sri Lanka's 1st saint

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis signed off Wednesday on Sri Lanka's first saint, bending the Vatican's rules once again to bypass the usual requirement that a second miracle be confirmed.

  • Islamic State campaign tests Obama's commitment to Mideast allies
    Islamic State campaign tests Obama's commitment to Mideast allies

    By Jason Szep WASHINGTON (Reuters) - After about 15 hours of flying and five hours of meetings, sleep finally caught up with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Baghdad. It was 6:04 p.m.  After sinking into his seat at the center of the cavernous interior of a C-17 military transport plane, he cradled his head in his palm, put his feet on a desk and shut his eyes. ...

  • Puerto Rico police arrest reggaeton star Don Omar
    Puerto Rico police arrest reggaeton star Don Omar

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico reggaeton star Don Omar was arrested Wednesday in the U.S. territory on suspicion of domestic violence.

  • "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savings
    "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savings

    In a new ebook, MoneyTips.com asks retirees how they managed to retire successfully.

  • Tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royces for Macau hotel
    Tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royces for Macau hotel

    HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong tycoon has placed the biggest ever order for Rolls-Royce cars, agreeing to buy 30 Phantoms to chauffeur guests at a luxury resort he's building in the global gambling capital of Macau.

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