Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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Many positive changes have resulted from the work of activist groups, and activism still benefits society nowadays in various ways. However, Keva Silversmith, author of "A PR Practitioner's Guide to Activist Groups …Examiner · 14 minutes ago

Officially, Windows Phone 8.1 won't be available on existing Windows Phone 8 handsets for a few months, but there's nothing stopping users from installing the update right now. To install the update, you need …PC World · 19 hours ago

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I've posted a lot about the research around how to be happier. But being satisfied with your life is something a little different. Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, gave a TED talk …The Week Magazine · 1 hour ago

I hear this all the time: You've got your company's mission statement down, your key talking points in place, and your Q&A finalized. And you're ready to be done, until you read it one more time. And something …Forbes · 17 hours ago

Gardening can be a therapeutic and relaxing activity, but it can also put a little extra money in your pocket if you grow the right things (and grow them well). A seedling might cost you just a dollar or two but yield …USNews · ByJim Wang · 7 minutes ago

When someone lies to you, it's written all over their face. Think someone's lying? These tell-tale signs might give them away. Eye movement: When right-handed people are lying they look up to the right. Left-handed …AOL · 46 minutes ago

On Friday, a profile of White House press secretary Jay Carney and his wife, ABC senior national correspondent Claire Shipman, hit the Internet. It was quickly gobbled up by the people of the Internet, and, just as …Washington Post · 18 hours ago

As the weather improves and your kids go outside to play, protecting them from Lyme disease is more important than ever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 300,000 …FOX News · ByJulie Revelant · 1 day ago

If you're in the enviable position of gaining acceptance to multiple medical schools, you have the job of selecting the best institution for you. While your dreams are coming true – you're finally going to have the chance …US News and World Report · 16 minutes ago

Christopher Elliott, photographed at the German Clock Museum. The title of consumer advocate and travel journalist Christopher Elliott's brand new book leaves little to the imagination: How to Be the World's Smartest …Conde Nast Traveler · 1 minute ago

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

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With the Windows end-of-service deadline finally upon us, a lot of holdouts are hurriedly making the upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. Moving all your important files from Windows XP to your new computer may sound like just …PC World · 1 day ago

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Spring is here and that means it's wedding and graduation season. These occasions are very different, but they do have something in common: travel. We all know traveling isn't cheap, and you can rack up a hefty …USNews · 58 minutes ago

There are so many ways to know that you are in the wrong relationship. If you fight a lot, if the person cheated on you etc. Instead of looking for signs on how to tell you are in the wrong relationship, look for positive …Examiner · ByJennifer Panaro · 14 hours ago

TEL AVIV — Last month, the American billionaire Sheldon Adelson bought a small, right-wing religious newspaper in Israel, Makor Rishon, for 17 million shekels, about $5 million. Having done that, Mr. Adelson is now …New York Times · 1 day ago

It's coming: XPocalypse—the end of Microsoft's support of Windows XP on April 8. Anyone who still has a PC with Windows XP is either scrambling to figure out what to do with it—or in some state of blissful denial …PC World · 4/6/2014

When the playoffs begin, there will be 16 teams with Stanley Cup dreams. When you break down the rosters, health and performances of those teams, however, six stand out as the heavyweights. And yet, one by one …ESPN Insider · ByCraig Custance · 3 minutes ago

College graduates who are about to begin their careers will face an overwhelming number of financial choices, including how best to save for retirement. Consider: The newly employed have one or more retirement account …USA Today · 4/5/2014

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The easiest way to ruin your day in the outdoors is to meet up with a thatch of poison ivy or poison oak. Skin contact with the leaves, stems and roots of these ubiquitous plants spells an itchy, blister-filled, painful rash …The Huffington Post · 4/5/2014

According to a report released on March 24 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), China's net imports of liquid fuels was higher than the United States, "making it the largest net importer of crude oil and …The Motley Fool · 17 hours ago

When meeting a new patient, Marvin M. Lipman, Consumer Reports' chief medical adviser, often breaks the ice by asking, "How did you get to me?" Aside from the occasional wise guy who says, "By taxi," the …Washington Post · 19 hours ago

Sunday, April 6, 2014

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Samsung has already established of pattern of launching its most treasured Android smartphones in February and September of each year. The Galaxy S and Galaxy Note family of smartphones are among the most …Softpedia News · ByCosmin Vasile · 12 hours ago
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On Saturday, your LA Gadgets Examiner was able to spend some hands-on time with the hotly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S5. We will be receiving a review unit within the next couple days. However, we wanted you …Examiner · ByDaryl Deino · 10 minutes ago

The Samsung Galaxy S Mini series already has two smartphones under its belt, and although the Korean giant hasn't confirmed the existence of a Galaxy S5 Mini, we're quite confident that the handset in question …G 4 Games · 3 hours ago

For generations, Samsung has used AMOLED displays for its Galaxy S and Note series of smartphones, and with the upcoming Galaxy S5 the Korean manufacturer continued to stick to its guns. However, during the …G 4 Games · 3 hours ago

New iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 concepts borrow from their respective rumor mills and bring rumors to life well ahead of the iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4 releases later on this year. While we wait for Apple …Gotta Be Mobile · ByAdam Mills · 6 hours ago

With only a few days to go before the Samsung Galaxy S5 officially drops, Verizon has upped the ante (after stalling for the longest time) by offering their subscribers a "buy one, get one free" promotion. And, if that …The Latin Post · 1 hour ago

Samsung has launched a dual-SIM version of its current flagship model in China exclusively for China Telecom. This is a state-owned carrier that's the third largest in China with an estimated 185 million subscribers.The Droid Guy · 3 hours ago

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Zoom specs have leaked again, suggesting the smartphone will lack its flagship sibling's display specs, but still offer a great camera and a six-core processor. (Photo : REUTERS/Albert Gea …Design&Trend · 7 hours ago

SAN FRANCISCO: In the wake of increasing incidents of smartphone thefts, mobile manufacturing giant Samsung Electronics is set to add two anti-theft features to its latest smartphone. The announcement was made …Times of India · 10 hours ago

Owners of the Samsung Galaxy S3 have had to put up with numerous bugs and issues since the Android 4.3 update arrived for their handset. This left owners hoping that KitKat 4.4 would be on its way and that this …motoringcrunch.com · 11 hours ago

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

howto - Bing News

(CNN)-- For those fascinated by the meticulous craft of watchmaking, there are few more important events than Baselworld - the annual trade show for the international watch and jewelry industry in the Swiss border city …CNN · 23 hours ago

Most people are looking for the best of both worlds—a bargain priced, long-lasting tire. Finding low prices is mostly the easy part, but gauging tread wear is a black art. User reviews, word of mouth ... Turns out some …FOX News · 18 minutes ago

Talk about it, promote it and let your customers and business partners know that your business was featured. Toot your own horn! If you don't do it, no one else is going to. Such exposure will get your customers to …Forbes · 28 minutes ago

Do you offer free WiFi? Put these three safeguards in place to protect your customers and your business. On a recent trip from Boston to New York on an Acela Express train, I was writing blogs and doing some …The Huffington Post · ByRobert Siciliano · 34 minutes ago

Excerpted from How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity: A Guide to Financial Freedom, by Patricia Carlin with Photography by Dustin Fenstermacher. Reprinted with permission from Quirk Books. What's the …The Huffington Post · 9 minutes ago

Dahiya, president of human resources at Axis Bank Ltd., India's third largest private sector bank by assets after ICICI Bank Ltd. and HDFC Bank Ltd. Around two dozen industrial houses have applied to India's …Wall Street Journal · ByNupur Acharya · 6 hours ago

In Does Porn Hurt Children in the Sunday Review, David Segal pointed to the absence of definitive research linking pornography exposure during adolescence to negative outcomes for teenagers and noted the ethical …The New York Times Style · 21 hours ago

Erika and moderator Deborah Stanish appear on every episode, with two other panelists on a rotating basis. (They use a Google Docs spreadsheet to keep track of who's appearing when; that's also where they keep …Macworld Mac Central · 41 minutes ago

"Since the nifty squealy bits that you associate with old radios come from the changing heterodynes you hear while tuning, it made sense to make the tuning a voltage-controlled parameter. More simply put, you can …Forbes · 11 hours ago

A STUDY published last week found that the brains ... over half have come since 2008. As a statistically minded neuroscientist, I suggest a different approach that relies on a concept we are familiar with: relative odds. As a single common ...New York Times · 1 day ago

Saturday, March 29, 2014

This app just made it super-easy for Android users to keep their passwords secure

As we've mentioned in the past, passwords are an enormous pain, especially since keeping them secure these days often means switching them up every couple of months and making them so complex that they're all but impossible to remember. However, ZDNet directs our attention to a recently released update from password management app LastPass that has just made it much easier for Android users to safely keep all their passwords secure across multiple different applications.

LastPass announced this week that its Android app now has the ability to autofill logins for users' mobile apps and any webpages accessed through Android's Chrome mobile browser. LastPass says this capability "brings the same LastPass experience you're used to on the desktop to all of your mobile apps and Chrome" by being able to "detect that a username and password field are shown, and hover with a prompt for you to select a matching login."

LastPass essentially generates secure passwords for you and stores them in a vault that it lets you access on multiple devices and platforms. So if you've stored your Netflix password in the vault through your PC, you should be able to get LastPass to enter it into your smartphone when you first install the Netflix mobile app. LastPass now has the ability to detect which mobile apps are associated with websites whose passwords you've stored in the vault, which means that you won't have to search around for your password on every new app you're trying to log into.

You'll need a device that runs Android 4.1 or higher for LastPass to be c ompatible with your apps and you'll need a device that runs Android 4.3 or higher for LastPass to be compatible with Chrome. You'll also need to subscribe to LastPass's premium service to take advantage of these new features, although it only costs $12 a year. You can find LastPass on the Google Play store by clicking here.

More from BGR: HTC One (M8) review: The smartphone that changes everything… again

This article was originally published on BGR.com

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Android 4.4.3 KitKat Changelog Emerges Online

Google has been rumored lately to be already working on the next major Android release, supposedly set to arrive on devices as Android 4.4.3 KitKat, and some more details on what it will have to provide users with are now available.

The upcoming platform release has been spotted in various server logs and bug reports, and it seems that it might not be too long before Google makes it official.

However, those who own Android 4.4.2 KitKat devices and are looking forward to receiving the new platform release should know right from the start that it won't provide them with major enhancements.

According to a recent article on Android Police, the next platform version is mainly aimed at delivering a series of bug fixes to users.

Many of the issues found to affect the experience of Android users at the moment should be resolved in the next update, though there's no telling on whether the actual changelog for the software release won't be differe nt once it is released.

At the moment, the update is said to be aimed at resolving an issue with frequent data connection dropout, and to pack an mm-qcamera-daemon crash fix, along with a series of optimizations. Moreover, it should resolve issues with the camera focus in regular and HDR modes.

The Power Manager display wakelock will be fixed in the upcoming OS version too, the same as the Bluetooth connectivity, and USB debugging security.

Android 4.4.3 will also include a fix for a random reboot, and will resolve an issue with app shortcuts being removed from launcher after updates. An app shortcuts security fix is also said to be included in the OS upgrade.

The upcoming platform release should also pack fixes for Wi-Fi auto-connect, other camera, MMS, Email/Exchange, Calendar, People/Dialer/Contacts, DSP, IPv6, and VPN, as well as one for data usage graph.

Devices will no longer get stuck in activation screen after the update, and the missed call LED should work properly. Subtitle fixes will also be delivered to users, along with fixes for Internet telephony, FCC compliance, and other issues.

As mentioned above, there's no telling on whether the final version of the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update will indeed come only with these packed inside, since Google might consider other enhancements for it as well.

Unfortunately, no specific info on when it will start rolling out has been provided. One thing that we know for sure, however, is the fact that major changes in Android will come only in a future release.

Android this week: Galaxy S5 v. HTC One M8; Google I/O dates; run Android on a Chromebook

A battle between Android flagships phones began in earnest this week as HTC launched the HTC One M8 just a few weeks after the Samsung Galaxy S5 was introduced. Both handsets use very similar internal components but the software and exteriors are very different. So which is better?


There are pros and cons with each based on my colleague Alex Colon's hands-on time with both phones.

For starters, the HTC One M8 offers 32 GB of internal storage for $199 while the Samsung Galaxy S5 with the same capacity costs $249. However, both offer a microSD expansion card slot for additional storage space, so that may not matter to some. It's worth noting that this year's HTC One M8 is the first flagship from HTC with a memory slot in some time, so clearly, the company is listening to consumer wants.

Galaxy S5 S Health

Both phones use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, which brings several benefits over last year's chip including faster image processing and support for the company's Quick Charge 2.0 feature for up to 75 percent faster charging. One small difference is that the HTC One M8 chip is clocked at 2.3 GHz while the Samsung Galaxy S5 runs at 2.5 GHz. Is that an advantage for the Samsung? Perhaps but you likely won't notice as both phones run Android smoothly.

HTC One M8 home screen

The biggest difference between the two handsets is likely in the camera sensors. HTC kept last year's 4 megapixel "Ultrapixel" technology for the rear camera while Samsung's sensor captures smaller pixels but more of them with a 16 megapixel camera. HTC did add a second rear sensor to capture depth information for tweaking the focal point of photos after they're taken but Samsung's camera can do the same solely with software.

Ultimately, Alex came away with the impression that either is a good choice, but the two models will appeal to two different audiences with the key aspect being camera use:

"If you're more interested in good design and snapping selfies, the HTC One is a better choice, thanks to its stunning build and high-resolution front-facing camera. But if you're looking for a handset to replace your digital camera, the 16-megapixel Galaxy S5 is likely to offer a better overall photo experience. "

We'll have more to say about each of these Android 4.4.2 phones in the near future but for now, your choice may depend on how much you use your phone's camera, how you use it and if you prefer a metal phone body over a plastic one.

Since these are new phones, they'll likely have available Android updates for at least the next 18 to 24 months. And on June 24 and 25 we should hear more about what features might in those updates as that's when the 2014 Google I/O developer event takes place. Google I/O typically sells out in minutes so this year, Google is trying a new approach: Random applicants will be chosen for tickets. If you're interested in going, you'll need to register for the lottery between April 8 and 10.

Android on Pixel

Between now and then, however, I plan to get Android 4.4.2 running on a new device: A Chromebook! The venerable Android-x86 project now supports the latest version of Android and the Chromebook Pixel is one of the supported devices. After booting into Android, the Pixel's touchscreen can be used like an Android tablet, only with the added benefit of having a keyboard for input. Others have already installed Android on their Pixel and I'm looking forward to trying it myself.

After two months with Android, I'm going back to iPhone. Here's why.

Sorry, Android, I'm just not that into you. Rick Broida/CNET

I gave it the old college try.

After a long stint as an iPhone user, I decided I wanted something with a bigger screen. Apple failed to oblige last year, instead merely tacking letters onto the iPhone 5, so I made a move: I adopted a Motorola Moto X from Republic Wireless.

That was two months ago. Next week, I'm going back to iPhone.

Call me crazy, call me fickle, call me not smart enough to recognize the benefits of Android. I fully expect all those labels and more, to which I say "sticks and stones." However, I'm honestly not here to criticize the platform, and I'm far from what you'd call an Apple fanboy. (I won't touch a Mac, for example.)

Rather, I'm here to explain this decision and invite some discussion of what drives mobile-platform preference -- heck, what drives rabid, take-it-to-the-mattresses mobile-platform devotion. (And, anyway, we all know who the truly crazy ones are: Windows Phone users! Kidding, kidding...)

First signs of trouble

Republic Wireless
My first few weeks with the Moto X were all about learning Android. That can be tough for someone weaned on iOS, which prompted me to explore ways to ease the transition.

It's not that Android is difficult to use, though I find it maddeningly unintuitive in places (the Dialer and Play Music apps are a mess) and overly intrusive in others (make the endless notifications stop!). It's all the tweaking that's required to make it behave the way you want. The Android faithful see this as a benefit; I find it irksome.

Meanwhile, weird issues kept cropping up. Whenever I'd get into my car, the phone would buzz three times -- but only when it was in my garage. Something to do with Bluetooth pairing? Or Wi-Fi? I have no idea, but I never could solve it. And email, good heavens. I don't use push because I don't want the interruptions and don't like the battery hit, but at some point something triggered automatic ma il fetching. To this day I can't make it stop.

One of my main complaints is with the way Android handles notifications (ironic!) for phone calls and especially text messages. All too often I missed a text because it was just sitting up there in the notification bar, but I'd never seen any kind of front-and-center pop-up like on my iPhone. And where's the new-message counter? This is all personal preference, sure, but it really bugged me. The third-party notification apps I tried did help somewhat, but they didn't seem to work consistently.

Similarly, Android's auto-complete feature (which I relied on heavily in iOS just for things like inserting my email address) flat-out doesn't work in most places, like when I have to register or sign in to an app.

For someone who likes to go left on calls, gripping the Moto X can result in accidental button presses. Rick Broida/CNET

Hardware headaches

To be fair, it wasn't just Android that I found frustrating in the beginning. I'd heard lots of great things about the Moto X, but ultimately I just didn't like it. It's light, yes, and the bigger screen is nice, but it feels like plastic (because it is) and doesn't look particularly appealing.

I'd also read reviews praising the Moto's great "feel," but I found it awkward and uncomfortable, especially when holding it to my ear during calls. I typically talk into my left hand, and so my index finger was constantly landing on the power and volume buttons. I couldn't find a grip I liked.

Also, nobody really talks about this anymore when evaluating phones, but the Moto X was really hard to see under bright sunlight, even with brightness cranked to maximum. And what's the deal with Google Chromecast? I can't even view photos from my phone? An iPhone plus Apple TV works swimmi ngly in this regard.

There may have been a couple Republic-specific problems as well. The company's Sprint-powered phones have special firmware that routes calls over Wi-Fi, but for whatever reason, my Moto X kept switching over to cellular, even when I was at home with a strong Wi-Fi signal. And Sprint coverage inside my house is poor, so calls frequently sounded terrible.

Republic's tech support was great, however, and helped me get this figured out. But even then, overall call quality just wasn't great, whether it was on cellular or Wi-Fi. I tried my wife's iPhone 5c (which also taps Sprint's network), and the difference was night and day. I don't know if this a Republic issue or a Moto X issue, but I quickly tired of not being able to hear callers very well.

Furthermore, Republic doesn't currently support short-code messaging, and I'm surprised at how much of a hassle that's been. Obviously this isn't an issue for most Android users, but it contributed to my de cision.

Other things did, too. I missed my iPhone's mute switch and quick-access camera and flashlight. I missed being able to plop it onto a speaker dock for charging and listening, and I missed having a physical Home button I could find in the dark.

I especially missed the battery life: Even if I left my iPhone untouched for several days, it would keep a charge. The Moto X typically went dead overnight, even if it showed 40 percent battery remaining when I set it down. (I know there are endless ways to improve Android battery life, and I fiddled with lots of them, but I'm annoyed by its inability to idle efficiently. The OS has always sucked at power management, and any iPhone user will find it wanting.)

The bigger picture

Forget my immediate issues; in many respects I found myself swimming against the Apple tide. Everyone in my immediate and even extended family has an iPhone. Text messages that previously arrived via iMessage didn't come through unless the sender re-sent them using SMS (assuming they knew to do as much). My son couldn't text me at all anymore from his iPod Touch -- not unless we both switched to a third-party texting app.

Similarly, I could no longer use Find My Friends to keep tabs on my wife and kids. (Once you go Big Father, it's hard to go back.) Another casualty: FaceTime. So much for video chats with my folks down in Florida. I wasn't about to ask them to start using Skype just for me.

As for apps, most of the ones I prized on my iPhone were also available for Android, but some of them felt clunky in comparison (I'm looking at you, Cozi and Weather Channel). Plus, a couple of my new favorites, Buddhify 2 and Paper, currently have no Android equivalents. These were hardly deal-breakers, just contributors.

Things I'll miss

Google Keyboard is so, so awesome. Google
There's a fairly loud voice in my head telling me to stick it out, to at least wait and see if an iPhone 6 announcement happens this spring rather than this fall. In the meantime, maybe I'll get all my Android/Moto kinks figured out and just settle in with them.

In fact, there's one thing I'm truly loathe to give up: the gesture-powered Google Keyboard. I frickin' love that thing. It makes the iOS keyboard feel like junk. Oh, for Apple to buy/copy/steal/license this technology!

I'll also miss the Moto's bigger screen, though I have to say it wasn't the life-changer I anticipated -- and I read a lot of e-books on my phone. I lived with my iPhone 4S (and the 4 and 3GS before that) so long that I guess I'm just used to that 3.5-inch screen. Funny how everyone was fine with it -- until bigger ones came along.

There is no "better"

Some of you will no doubt take all this as an indictment of Andro id, and I suppose it is -- though only a personal one. Basically, I've tried both, and I've decided I prefer iOS (and, by extension, iPhone). To me, Android looks and feels clunky, like something that was engineered, not designed. I like the consistency (and security) of iOS and the apps that run on it, and I even like Apple's unified ecosystem, warts and all. To me it all feels cohesive, while Android feels like a conglomeration of disparate Google chunks.

And there you have it. This is nothing more than personal preference, but it speaks to an interesting sociology: Why do we feel so strongly about this stuff? Why do we feel so defined by our choice of smartphone and computer? And why do we get so riled up when others take differing views?

I await your slings, arrows, and, hopefully, rational discussion in the comments.