Friday, December 27, 2013

Some still awaiting Christmas packages

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Some still awaiting Christmas packages

A nationwide delivery backup caused by bad weather and higher-than-expected online sales has some Middle Tennessee shoppers still waiting for UPS to deliver their Christmas packages.

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New York Today: The (Woeful) Year in Sports

Gus Ruelas/Associated Press

Greetings on this soon-to-be-bright Friday morning.

New York's teams and their fans will be glad to crumple up 2013 and throw it away.

Not that 2014 looks much brighter, but the future, at least, is a boston terrier christmas cards slate.

The past is not. With the help of our colleagues in the Sports department of The Times, here are a few of the year's more unforgettably forgettable moments:

* Jets: A communication lapse caused the center to hike the ball into the wide receiver's groin as he ran by. The opposing Ravens recovered it.

* Devils: Back in April, a 10-game losing streak tied a franchise record.

* Knicks: "I don't want to keep using 'embarrassment,' " Carmelo Anthony said in the wake of a 41-point loss, "but right now, the losing is just becoming unacceptable." Yet it continues.

* Mets: A 20-inning, six-and-a-half hour loss to one of the few teams in the league worse than them.

* Giants: On the very first play of the year, a running back ran the wrong way and a tackle pushed a defender right into the path of a pass from Eli Manning. The first of many interceptions.

* Yankees: A clergy group held a prayer vigil outside the offices of Major League Baseball to seek divine intervention for A-Rod in his bid to beat a steroid suspension.

* Islanders: How many hockey teams can say they were scored on by a kneeling man?

* Rangers: Having a 19-year-old opponent shoot between his legs for his fourth goal of the game is a real morale-builder.

* Nets: With his team trailing in the final seconds, coach Jason Kidd purposely spilled a soda on the court to stop the clock. They lost anyway, and he was fined $50,000.

Here's what else you need to know for Friday and the weekend.


Nice, in a low-key way. Mostly sunny with a high of 40.

Even nicer Saturday, with a high near 50.

Not nice on Sunday - rain, possibly quite a bit.


Subways: No delays. Check latest status.

Rails: O.K. Check L.I.R.R., Metro-North or New Jersey Transit status.

Roads: No major delays. Check traffic mapor radio report on the 1s or the 8s.

Alternate-side parking is in effect.

Weekend Travel Hassles: Check subway disruptions or list of street closings.


* The mayor-elect made 1,000 inauguration tickets available to the general public yesterday.

* They were gone within 90 minutes, but some went to scalpers. One was charging $20. [ New York Post]

* Mr. de Blasio has appointed only three of the nearly 50 agency heads he will need, the least of any incoming mayor since John V. Lindsay. [ Newsday]

* Mr. de Blasio is said to be looking for a replacement for his spokeswoman Lis Smith, who has been romantically linked to Eliot Spitzer. [ New York Post]


* All those boats chugging up the West Side are on their way to the New York Boat Show, which will be at the Javits Center from Jan 1. to Jan. 5.

* More than 4,000 high school track-and-field athletes from around the East Coast compete in the Marine Corps Holiday Classic at the armory in Washington Heights. 9 a.m.

* A protest march from 125th Street in Harlem to the incoming police commissioner, William J. Bratton. 6 p.m. [This one was mistakenly listed yesterday. It really is today.]

* Turn Christmas cards into LED lanterns at a " Remake the Holidays " workshop at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. [$12]

* Make zawadi and otherwise learn about Kwanzaa at the Brooklyn Public Library. 3 p.m. [Free]

* The radio deejay Imhotep Gary Byrd hosts a Kwanzaa celebration at the Apollo Theater. 7:30 p.m. [$18]

* The acclaimed East Williamsburg restaurant Gwynnett St. reopens, two weeks after its owner's arrest on charges of receiving chemicals used to make Ecstasy. [ New York Times]


* A 2001 interview with then-candidate Bloomberg was unearthed. He called himself "a big believer in term limits." [ New York Times]

* Though most city police officers are now members of minorities, the number of black recruits has declined. [ New York Times]

* You'll be able to pay the parking meter via smartphone starting in 2015. [ Daily News]

* Florida will soon be more populous than New York state. [ New York Times]


* College football at Yankee Stadium: it's the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. 12:15 p.m. [$50 and up, but going fast]

* The Valentinos doo-wop at the Bronx Library Center. 2:30 p.m. [Free]

* Tour the decorated farmhouse at the Queens County Farm Museum. 12 p.m. [Free, with mulled cider]

* Last day to see Tosca's leap at the Met. 12:30. [$30 and up]


* A seal watch is on at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. 2 p.m. [Free]

* Last day to see 48 haunting tintypes of contemporary soldiers and veterans at the Alice Austen House Museum on Staten Island. [$3 suggested donation]

* Last day to hear Satchmo read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' on a holiday tour of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens. [$10]

* The Wizard of Oz screens in 3-D at Film Forum. 11 a.m. [$7]

* For more events, see The New York Times Arts & Entertainment guide.

Joseph Burgess, Michael M. Grynbaum, Andrew Keh, Naila-Jean Meyers, Bill Pennington and Ben Shpigel contributed reporting. New York Today is a morning roundup that stays live from 6 a.m. till about noon. What would you like to see here to start your day? Post a comment, email us at or reach us via Twitter using #NYToday. Find us on weekdays at

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Client Christmas cards - how to get it right

The holidays are a time of comfort and joy-not a time to unleash your inner cynic. The fact remains, however, that nearly everyone on your corporate holiday mailing list knows your gift, card or e-greeting is really an end-of-the-year marketing pitch. A soft sell to be sure, but a marketing pitch nonetheless.

That doesn't give you full reign to impersonate Ebeneezer Scrooge, however. According to etiquette expert Thomas P Farley-known colloquially as "Mister Manners"-holiday atheist christmas cards greetings are a rewarding exercise and a great way to improve client relations, provided you get it right.

"This is an opportunity to get back on the radar with your clients in a meaningful way," Farley said. "If it's not meaningful, you're better off not doing anything at all."

With that in mind, here are five timely tips for wishing your clients a happy holiday season.

If possible, send a personalized, handwritten card. Operating on a tight budget may prevent you from sending mass-mailed holiday cards to all your clients, but if you can afford the extra effort, it's worth it.

"An e-greeting can be annoying because they're often difficult to open and they may not make it to the individual," said Dianne Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and owner of the Protocol School of Texas. "Handwritten cards breed goodwill."

Farley agrees, adding that generic e-greetings often "get deleted the moment they're sent."

Instead, Farley recommends putting pen to paper and using the opportunity to make a comment specific to the individual, perhaps drawing on a business lunch or meeting the two of you attended.

Choose a tasteful, appropriate design. As head of custom design at California-based Tiny Prints, Heidi Reichert has seen a lot of corporate holiday cards over the years. The best, she said, always "reflect the professionalism" of the company.

"We've seen really silly photos or things that might be construed as offensive-maybe it's a photo of the employees doing shots or something like that," Reichert said. "It might seem funny at the time, but you never know what your audience might think when they get it."

Instead, Reichert recommends using photos that are appropriate and professional, along with designs that stand out from the ubiquitous red-and-green that don most holiday greetings. Lime greens and blues are especially popular this season.

Avoid blatant endorsements of religion or cultural traditions. One thing Farley, Gottsman and Reichert all agreed on was that it's best to "assume nothing" when it comes to recipients' religious or cultural traditions.

"Being very safe and respectful is the key," said Gottsman, who added that a neutral "Happy Holidays" is preferable to endorsing Christmas, Kwanzaa, or other winter-time holidays.

However, Farley said this rule applies only to the card design itself. Inside, it's appropriate to wish someone a "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukah," provided you definitely know your client celebrates that holiday. "It makes your greeting that much more meaningful and warm," Farley said.

Keep out logos and business cards. Resist the urge to plaster your greeting with your company logo, or stuff the package full of coupons or business cards.

"This is the time for the soft-sell. You're not pitching, you're not doing client business," Farley advised. "The card itself is all the selling you should really be doing."

While logos do have a place on a corporate card, it should be done in a tasteful way, said Reichert. Placing the logo below your signature or on the back of the card is a nice way to make the card stand out as something personalized by the business, she said.

Send cards and gifts as soon as possible. Now is the time to send out your holiday greetings and gifts, if you haven't already. Gottsman said it's safe to start "any time after Thanksgiving," and the earlier the better given many companies close up shop the week of Christmas.

If you've missed the deadline, however, Gottsman says you can never go wrong with a New Year card, which should be in the mail before Christmas Day.

The bottom line with all these dos and don'ts, however, is that despite your business, your budget or your byline, your holiday greeting should come from the heart.

"If someone is actually taking the time to write a personal message, that's going to trump even the worst card design," Farley said. "Even if the card itself is something you get for 50% off at the local dollar store, the fact that you've included a personal message is far more impressive than the most stunning card with nothing inside."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Haggling quietly makes a comeback this holiday season

Pay no attention to the price on that tag.

Or even the markdown.

This year some shoppers are quietly taking the art of bargaining up the escalator to the floors selling cashmere or over-the-knee leather boots, building on the haggling skills they acquired in the last few years getting big-box store deals on TVs and the like.

Armed with increasingly sophisticated price-tracking tools on their smartphones and other devices, consumers have become bolder, and they know that they often have the upper hand during a tough season for retailers. Recognizing the new reality, some retailers, desperate for sales and customer loyalty, have begun training their employees in the art of bargaining with customers.

Last month, Best Buy essentially invited consumers to bargain when it announced that it would match the prices of any competitor this holiday season if customers showed proof of the lower price.

But other retailers are doing the same with less fanfare, or even making steeper concessions. DealScience, a new website that collects, compares and ranks online deals from thousands of retail brands, discovered that at least 20 percent of big-box retailers had price-matching policies, though many do not advertise them.

The site's co-founders, Brandon Hunt and Cory O'Daniel, said that they had been surprised to find that at least a half-dozen merchants - including some of the original haggling stages like Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe's - now let managers go a step better and offer 10 percent below a competitor's price.

The bargaining practices are more commonplace for home and sporting goods or electronics, but even higher-end retailers like Nordstrom have price-matching guidelines - though they usually do not broadcast the terms.

Joe Marrapodi, one of the founders and the chief executive of, a new name-your-own price website, walked into Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's the other day in Santa Monica, Calif., and without identifying himself or his occupation, casually asked employees if they were open to bargaining. Both the sales representatives and the managers said yes without hesitation, he said, and cited specific price-matching policies.

"I think they kind of keep it low key," he said. "They don't want it to be a thing."

A spokeswoman for Nordstrom said in a statement, "For as long as we've been in business we've been committed to offering our customers the best possible prices, including meeting competitor pricing on similar items."

There was recognition among guests at a private round-table dinner with retail executives in Dallas that their stores had better accept regular give-and-take with customers, according to Alison Kenny Paul, vice chairwoman and leader of United States retail and distribution at Deloitte. "Some talked about their epiphanies and said the world has changed, we really have to do this," she said.

As a result, Ms. Paul said, some retailers are training employees on the rules of bargaining. Instead of price discounts, those deals may be add-ons, like an extended warranty, free delivery or free installation.

While it is mainly department or floor managers who are given the authority to make deals, other employees are now being coached to "recognize when a consumer needs to negotiate," and to "spot the consumer" getting ready to walk out the door, she said.

When a sales clerk at Kohl's in Kennewick, Wash., recently asked Siobhan Shaw, who was buying an armload of items from the sale rack, if she would like to open a store credit card, Ms. Shaw recalled that she replied firmly: "No."

"But," she said she quickly asked, "can I get the same discount she got?" She was referring to the woman ahead of her in line, who had asked for a discount and received 15 percent off. The answer was yes.

Retailers panicked a few years ago when they realized that some consumers were using brick-and-mortar stores to view products, only to walk out and order them at a lower price online. Now, Ms. Paul said, they are trying to "turn lemons into lemonade" by using that model as an opportunity to work with customers and even cement their loyalty.

Marilyn Santiesteban of Newton, Mass., rarely makes a purchase without first asking a manager for a better deal, and as a result, she has won significant discounts on things as diverse as a dishwasher at sears coupons and boots for her daughter at Macy's. The other day, she said, she went shopping at a Barnes & Noble outside Boston for a book-with-toy set for her 7-year-old nephew. Her smartphone told her the item was about $6 less at Amazon. She pointed this out politely to the store manager, and he instantly matched the price.

"You think I'm not going to buy everything from Barnes & Noble now?" she said.

Bargaining "is not adversarial," she said, explaining that she considers it a service to tell a store she can get a better price elsewhere. "We would both like it if I would walk out of this store having purchased an item."

Mr. Marrapodi's company,, which has Silicon Valley venture capital money behind it, opened this year. It lets consumers submit offers on merchandise listed in five categories, including cameras, baby equipment, household appliances and home theater. The company's software determines whether the offer is reasonable and sends it to a network of retailers that encompasses both big-box stores and small dealers. (All are vendors that are authorized by the brands.) If the merchant accepts the offer, it makes the transaction directly with the consumer.

James Myers of Walton, Ky., went to to make an offer on a Panasonic 60-inch plasma TV with voice control that was priced at over $2,000 at many retailers. He offered $1,539. After a little haggling, he was able to buy it from one of Greentoe's retail partners for $1,749 (shipping included).

"I truly feel that the shopping landscape is going to change," Mr. Marrapodi said. "It's going to be much more driven by the consumer and ability to negotiate."

In the coming year, Greentoe, which has more than 50 retail partners and 50,000 registered users, plans to add categories, including possibly exercise equipment, handbags and luggage.

Its ultimate aim is to make a negotiating app, Mr. Marrapodi said, so "you can do all this before you leave the store."

There are several unwritten rules about negotiating with a retailer.

It has to be "consumer-initiated," said Virginia Morris, vice president for consumer strategy and insights at Daymon Worldwide, a consulting firm. She said the customer must ask for a deal. Do not, she said, expect the retailer to offer it.

It has to be a reasonable offer, made politely - either a request to match a price or to offer a slim discount.

"The key is to be polite and confident," said Kyle James of Redding, Calif., who writes a blog about personal finance and frugal living.

Mr. James has even found a way to bargain with e-commerce sites: live chat rooms. He will type a request, as he did recently with a employee: Do you have a free-shipping coupon or another discount?

"Nine times out of 10 they have coupons sitting at their desk to give to you," he said.

"They know you have things sitting in your cart, and they do not want to lose you."

This article originally appeared in The New York Times under the headline, "More Retailers See Haggling as a Price of Doing Business."

More from The New York Times:

Booksellers wary about holiday sales Revelations that Ikea spied on its employees stir outrage in France Amazon strikers take their fight to Seattle

Copyright © 2013 The New York Times

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas weather forecast: Winter storms warning as snow, gales and floods threaten UK | UK | News | Daily Express

Hurricane-force gales and torrential downpours will lash the country at the start of Christmas week, just as 18 million people take to the roads.

Even the 4.5 million planning to travel overseas will be caught in the 'total nationwide disruption' as airports, train stations and bus networks completely shut down at the busiest time of the year.

The shock warning came as a series of 'frenzied' storm systems - which have lined up in the south Atlantic - started to charge towards Britain.

Long-range forecasters said they will cause mayhem with 90mph winds and torrential downpours causing nationwide flooding and widespread blackouts.

The horrifying onslaught is expected to start as soon as next week as violent gales sweep in and torrential downpours bring the risk of flash floods.

Jonathan Powell, forecaster for Vantage Weather Services, said: "We could be looking at the stormiest Christmas in living memory as a succession of Atlantic depressions sweep across the uk weather com.

"There is the risk of persistent gales which could reach 90mph.

"There is also the risk of torrential downpours bringing up to two inches of rain in localised areas triggering the risk of floods.

"This looks likely to continue into the New Year and possibly into the second week of January when it will turn much colder with the risk of rain turning to snow."

Met Office chief forecaster Will Lang said fierce winds will begin to batter parts of the UK this weekend.

He added: "A vigorous depression is expected to run quickly northeastwards passing northwest Scotland on Saturday.

"As this happens, very strong south to southwest winds are likely to develop across much of the northern UK.

"It remains possible that more of northern England and parts of Wales could also be affected."

The grim warnings follow predictions Britain could be facing the worst winter in decades with a major big freeze due to hit in the New Year.

Experts say temperatures are likely to plunge in January with Arctic gales and blizzards sparking chaos until the spring.

Long-range forecasting bodies say there is a chance much of the UK could be hit by a crippling big freeze with widespread snow likely.

Long range forecasts show that a high pressure 'blocking system' drawing cold air in from the Arctic will wreak havoc with our weather, generating prolonged spells colder than in Iceland, Norway and Sweden and even parts of the Arctic region.

Long-range forecaster James Madden, of Exacta Weather, said: "An exceptionally prolonged period of widespread cold is highly likely to develop throughout this winter and last into next spring.

"It will be accompanied by snow drifts of several feet and long-lasting snow accumulations on a widespread scale.

"This period of snow and cold is likely to result in an incomparable scenario to anything we have experienced in modern times.

"A scenario similar to December 2010 is likely to develop, but on a more prolonged scale in terms of overall duration."

He warned of copious snowfall across the UK with "major disruption" likely on the transport networks.

He said: "The winter of 2013/14 is likely to bring another big freeze with copious snow amounts for many parts of the UK.

"There is also a high-risk scenario that we will experience a scenario similar to December 2010 or much worse at times (coldest December in 100 years), especially during the January 2014 period. "This is largely down to the period of low solar activity that we currently reside in, and how it intrinsically alters major factors factors such as ocean and jet-stream behaviour.

"This is likely to produce major disruption to the public transport network and school closures on a prolific scale, due to the adverse weather conditions that we are likely to experience in terms of consistent cold and major snow episodes, that will consist of snow drifts of several feet in depth."

Jonathan Powell added this winter could parallel the worst winters ever recorded.

He said: "Looking back at historical data there is certainly an argument that we may well parallel with severe winters of the past including 1947 and 1962.

"We have had such a cold November, and there is no sign of any change due to a high pressure blocking system.

"When these severe temperatures bed in it becomes like an accumulative effect - like a heatwave but in reverse, we could be looking at the longest winter in history.

"And this is when you see records breaking, all signs point towards this winter being exceptionally severe, I wouldn't put anything past it."

A deep area of low pressure was responsible for devastating 142mph winds and the biggest se surge for 60 years which caused devastation last week.

Experts said similar furious depressions are lined up to crash into the UK over the next few weeks bringing widespread chaos.

'Gay Away' Candy Angers Parents

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A novelty item that claims to "cure gayness" has been removed from a store's shelves in Gimli, Man., after parents expressed shock that the product was available there.

Packs of "Gay Away: The original gay pill" were on display alongside other gag products inside the store.

Slogans on the pink package claim that it "cures gayness" and "stops the craving for misbehaving." Inside is a blister pack containing 10 pieces of candy.

But while Gay Away claims to be just a gimmick, Gimli residents like Mona Johnston were not amused.

"It's absolutely not right," Johnson said Wednesday.

"I'm embarrassed, actually, to tell you the truth, that you guys found this in our community.... I don't support this is any way, shape or form."

A parent, who did not want to be named, said his 12-year-old daughter brought a pack of Gay Away home because she had questions about what it was about.

Johnson and others said the product is offensive and could send hurtful messages to the gay and lesbian community.

The store's owner told CBC News on Wednesday afternoon that she has removed the gag item from shelves after receiving calls from concerned parents.

Rachelle Mistelbacher apologized and insisted that her business is still a family store, and the addition of Gay Away was an oversight and an "honest mistake."

Calls to Laughrat, the Toronto-based company that produced Gay Away and other gag items, were not returned on Wednesday.

Also on HuffPost:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

UPDATE: Sigma has released firmware to fix compatibility problems with Nikon D5300

<Nikon D5300 Couponsp>You can now download firmware for a number of Sigma lenses that should correct the problems Nikon D5300 users may experience with its lenses

UPDATE 22/11/13:

Sigma has released firmware to fix the problems with the following lenses:

・35mm F1.4 DG HSM A012 NIKON
・17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C013 NIKON
・30mm F1.4 DC HSM A013 NIKON
・18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A013 NIKON
・120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM S013 NIKON

The update should make these lenses fully functional with the Nikon D5300. See here for more information and the download link.


In a statement on its website, Sigma has said that the current firmware of its Nikon-fit interchangeable lenses 'may not work properly with the Nikon D5300's OS and Live View Auto Focus functions'.

Though it hasn't released specific details, Sigma has said that the problem occurs specifically with Nikon-fit interchangable lenses that incorporate an internal motor.

Sigma will be releasing a free firmware update tomorrow (November 20) that it says should correct the problem. You can contact your nearest Sigma dealer in order to receive the update; Sigma provides a full list here.

See Sigma's website for the full statement.


We recently completed the What Digital Camera review of the Nikon D5300

Source: Whatdigitalcamera

Friday, November 22, 2013

Nikon D5300 First Shots: Can Nikon's new mid-level DSLR not only beat the D5200, but compete with the D7100?

<Nikon D5300 Offersp>by Roger Slavens

In less than a year's time, the recently introduced Nikon D5300 has replaced the mid-level consumer D5200 DSLR. And while its upgrades may not be revolutionary, the new model stands as a compelling, affordable option for advanced amateurs who may be eyeing the higher-end, prosumer D7100 -- as well as an enticement for owners of Nikon's older models to take a step up. We just got the Nikon D5300 into the lab, and we've published our first batch of First Shots -- Still Life* test images -- for you to analyze closely.

The D5300's enhanced DX-format, 24-megapixel APS-C-type CMOS sensor was designed to maximize the camera's resolving power by omitting the optical low-pass filter (as Nikon did earlier this year with the D7100). If the D5300 can minimize moire and anti-aliasing as well as the D7100 did, forgoing the OLPF in a consumer-friendly DSLR could be the move that opens up a realm of incredible detail and sharpness to a mass audience. What's more, the D5300 incorporates Nikon's latest processor -- the EXPEED 4 -- which even the company's most recently announced full-frame prosumer DSLR, the D610, doesn't have. This next-generation imaging engine purports optimize the DSLR's detail-versus-noise output and enhance color accuracy, and its improved ISO sensitivity -- now ranging from 100 to 12,800 in standard mode -- could up the ante on low-light performance.

How do all these upgrades translate in terms of image quality?

Check out our Nikon D5300 First Shots for yourself. And be sure to pit these test images side-by-side with those from the D5200, D7100 -- or any other camera we've ever tested -- via our Comparometer™ image quality comparison tool.

For more information about the DSLR's new features and specs, read our first impressions Nikon D5300 review. In addition to image quality and performance enhancements, the camera also boasts built-in Wi-Fi functionality and GPS -- the first Nikon DSLR to do so -- as well as a more compact and lightweight design, and a 3-2-inch tilt-swivel LCD monitor that features a whopping 1,037K dots of resolution.

* Use our Still Life target images to look for detail (tone-on-tone, fine, highlights, shadows), as well as noise suppression, white balance, color accuracy and color shape retention.

Order your Nikon D5300 with trusted Imaging Resource affiliates Adorama or B&H now. The D5300 body runs about US$700, and kitted with a Nikon 18-140mm lens about $1,400.



Source: Imaging-resource

Friday, November 15, 2013

Nikon D5300 hands-on review

Nikon Nikon D5300 Discount at a glance:

  • 24.2-million-pixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor
  • 1.037-million-dot, 3.2in, 170° LCD screen
  • Expeed 4 image processor
  • 39-point AF system with nine cross-type sensors
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • Price £730 body only
  • See product shots of the Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300 - Introduction

While the serious enthusiast is unlikely to be swayed into buying a Nikon DSLR over a Canon model purely because the Nikon camera is newer, the reality is that at the non-premium end of the market this is how some people make their buying decisions. 'Newer' must mean 'better'.

This demand for the 'new' explains why we see such short product cycles in the camera market, and why manufacturers feel the need to introduce even small advances in technology or feature sets in cameras with completely new names - rather than a 'Mark II' type of naming format.

Those familiar with Nikon's range of DSLRs may not see the sense in the company's introduction of the new D5300, especially as Nikon will maintain the D5200 alongside this model in the range - new and old together. By doing so, though, Nikon expands the number of cameras it has on offer and the number of price points it can cover, while also being able to have a model that can carry a 'New' sticker, and which introduces new features to the price band in which it will sit.

That's not to say that the Nikon D5300 isn't different to the D5200, though, as a new processor, new body design and the integration of wireless communications do genuinely bring additional benefits to the photographer.

Nikon D5300 - Design and handling

Nikon is very pleased that it has achieved a new way of constructing camera bodies, which it describes as a 'monocoque'. Instead of there being a chassis, onto which the components and the body shell are attached, the D5300 is designed to have everything screwed to the insides of the body form itself: exoskeleton, rather then the usual endoskeleton.

Image: The top of the camera houses only a few control points, keeping the layout simple and unintimidating for newcomers. A stereo microphone lives in front of the hotshoe

The D5300's body shell is also made of a new material, although Nikon won't say what that new material is - just that it is new. The upshot is that the body is less heavy than it might have been, and is 25g lighter, including the battery, than the camera it doesn't replace, the D5200.

I'm not entirely sure that when I used the camera I could appreciate the exact weight loss that has occurred, but I was able to enjoy the fact that this is truly a lightweight DSLR, of the type that we might not mind carrying all day, over the shoulder, in a bag or in a large pocket. The body is very small too, although it is balanced with a reassuringly large grip for the right hand. It seems ironic that a small and light camera should need a large grip, but I found it allowed me to be aware I was carrying the camera, and should a larger lens be attached it will help to support the forward pull of such a weight distribution.

Image: The body styling will be familiar to those used to the Nikon 5000 series, as will the standard menu. The 3.2in flip-out screen has impressive visibility

The buttons are arranged much as one might expect, with all the principal controls falling easily to the finger or thumb. The rear 3.2in LCD is very nicely bright and clear, with its 1.037-million-dot resolution. Nikon has set the viewing panel into the glass screen, so there are no gaps or internal reflections, which produces good contrast and a clear view from a quoted angled of up to 170°. I am impressed.

In live view, the screen works well when the camera is held low or high, and I found the AF quick enough and seemingly accurate. The response of the shutter in live view also seems good.

Image: Nikon has retained its choice of layouts for the rear-screen display, with text-based and graphically expressed options to suit personal preferences

Nikon D5300 - Still to test

The principal changes in this model are of the sort that will only be proved in testing, but at this stage their potential is worth pointing out. Using the higher-capacity Expeed 4 processor, Nikon claims it has been able to reduce noise in its images through the use of more complicated calculations. A related benefit is that now noise levels are lower the company is comfortable offering a higher ISO setting - the Nikon D5300 allows ratings of up to ISO 25,600. More complex calculations also provide the potential for better white balance assessment in automatic modes via a more comprehensive assessment of the scene, and a better rendition of colour overall.

Lower noise should also lead to better resolution of detail from the 24.2-million-pixel sensor, as should Nikon's decision to do without the micro-blurring effects of a low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter. Leaving the low-pass filter off the sensor has become very fashionable, and I suspect it will be a great draw for many photographers. Moiré in images created by a sensor with 24 million pixels, even an APS-C-sized sensor, is still something that is quite likely to occur, but there is also plenty of software to correct it after the event.

The other thing to note is that this model sees the introduction of a new battery cell, which Nikon says increases capacity from 500 shots to 600 compared to the cell used in the D5200. It annoys me when companies change their battery forms, but on this occasion the new cell and that used in the D5200 are interchangeable.

Obviously, I couldn't test the battery life of the camera, but we should take the increase as good news. I will also have to wait to test the Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities of this new model, but neither can be held as negative points just for their inclusion. The Wi-Fi integration means users will be able to control the camera from an Android or iOS device, and will be able to wirelessly transfer images for viewing, editing and sending while on the go.

Image: The new battery, which is backwards compatible with the D5200, offers a longer life. There is no low-pass filter on the sensor, for extra resolution

Nikon D5300 - Conclusion

It would be easy to dismiss the Nikon D5300 for being too similar to the D5200, but that really isn't the point. There is not much wrong with the D5200, and the changes that this new model brings can only make it better. Perhaps Nikon could have called it the D5200 ll, but I'm not sure it matters one bit.

The Nikon D5300 will cost around £730 body only and be available from 14 November.

Source: Amateurphotographer

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nikon D5300 Digital SLR Wi-Fi Camera

Updated: October 28, 2013

Nikon D5300 Offers.jpg">

Nikon just introduced the D5300 DSLR camera, which offers an enhanced 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor, EXPEED 4 image processing, Vari-angle LCD, GPS and the convenience of built-in Wi-Fi. The mid-range SLR is compact and lightweight (16.9 oz.), and can easily be packed for a day trip or a planned getaway. The small body of the D5300 affords the photographer the freedom to travel while still being easy to handle and comfortable to use.

The D5300 is Nikon's first D-SLR to feature built-in Wi-Fi, allowing the user to share high quality photos instantly. The Nikon D5300 sends images to the user's smart device, allowing them to share their D-SLR quality photos through e-mail and social media. The Nikon D5300 also includes built-in GPS, another first for Nikon D-SLRs. Now the user can geotag images and allow others to see where life has taken them.

The enhanced 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor delivers stunning images and HD videos with heightened clarity and detail due to the removal of the optical low pass filter (OLPF). Its 39-point high-density autofocus system with 9 cross-type sensors quickly locks onto your subject, and Nikon's unique 3D-tracking uses the 2,016-pixel RGB sensor to recognize and follow it across the frame.


  • Amazing Low Light Performance - For clean, sharp details even in the most challenging lighting conditions including night games and dimly lit restaurants, the Nikon D5300 covers a wide ISO range of 100-12,800 and is expandable to ISO 25,600.
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processing - Nikon's most recent image processing engine drives the rapid response and swift performance of the D5300, while maximizing energy efficiency, reducing image noise and delivering true-to-life colors.
  • Scene Recognition System - To further help users capture the image they intend, the Nikon D5300 features Nikon's Scene Recognition System and 2,016-pixel RGB metering system to analyze and recognize the scene. Utilizing these systems results in adjustments to exposure, AF and white balance to deliver the best photo possible, whether it's a landscape or portrait.
  • 39-Point AF System - Nikon's quick and precise 39-point AF system works with the Scene Recognition System to accurately acquire and track subjects throughout the frame, resulting in tack-sharp images. Kids too active to pose for a photo or pets chasing after a toy are easily captured in brilliant sharpness for memorable photos.
  • 5 Frames-Per-Second - While using the optical viewfinder or in Live View, capture great moments that would have otherwise been missed with the D5300′s 5 frames-per-second (fps) rate.
  • 3.2-inch Vari-Angle LCD monitor - Whether shooting above a crowd or getting low to capture the details of a flower, users can explore new shots from a dramatic point of view with the large 3.2-inch Vari-angle LCD monitor. This super sharp (1,037K-dot) screen allows photographers to easily make camera adjustments and read menus, while also allowing them to compose the photo they want clearly when shooting from high or low angles. The rotating LCD makes it easy to capture "selfies" at an arm's length away or frame creative perspectives when capturing still photos and HD video.
  • Full HD 1080p Video Capture - Create movies fit for the big screen with Full HD 1080p video capture at 60p with built-in stereo, wide ISO range for high quality videos in any light and improved full-time AF to keep the subject in focus.
  • NIKKOR Compatibility - The Nikon D5300 is compatible with Nikon's legendary NIKKOR lenses and powerful system accessories, further adding versatility and creativity.

Price and Availability
The Nikon D5300 kit with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens will be available in October 2013 for$1,399.95. Available colors include Black, Red and Gray.

Source: Ecoustics

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Camera Bag: Nikon Japan is giving away this insane Nikkor alarm clock

<Nikon D5300 Dealsp>by Tim Barribeau

We've seen some pretty wacky things made to look like lenses over the years, but this is a first. Not only is this alarm clock an incredible facsimile of the Nikon 20-70mm f/2.8, but it will also wake you to the sound of a shutter firing. And even better than that - it's being given away by Nikon itself.

As part of its 80th anniversary celebrations, Nikon Japan is giving this incredible clock as a prize to its lucky customers. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be eligible to those of us on other shores. But if you're a Nikon user in Japan, and own one of a library list of lenses, you can offer your proof of purchase and warranty information to Nikon in order to enter to win the alarm clock.

And when it comes time for you to wake up in the morning? Then this is the sound that greets you.

We've seen lens shaped stools, cushions, mugs and more. But this is the first we've seen from the lens manufacturer itself. And this thing is so cool, that we really hope Nikon takes a hint from the coverage it's getting, and starts selling the things. It could be the perfect present for the Nikonist in your life.

(via PetaPixel, Nikon Rumors)

Source: Imaging-resource

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Funny Spoof Pokes Fun at Nikon's 'Pure Photography' Teasers

<Nikon D5300 Discountp>

Nikon has spared no amount of hype getting ready for the release of the rumored Nikon DF full-frame retro-styled camera. But all of this throwing around of high-brow terms like "pure photography" and five full teasers worth of mechanical whirrs and clicks and peeks at the camera's design has also opened the company up to a little bit of mockery.

Put together by Australian portrait photographer Matt Granger (formerly ThatNikonGuy), the video above offers a little bit of comic relief from all of the anticipation by poking fun at the way Nikon has chosen to get folks excited about its new camera.

From the nature sounds looping in the background, to the loud clicks and inspirational tidbits, to the dimly lit shot of the camera, Granger hit the "Pure Photography" nail on the head. But, of course, it's not the rumored DF he's teasing in the video:

I want something simple, timeless and elegant. I want something with astounding build quality, and full manual controls... So i bought myself... a film camera. They still sell 'em. This cost less than a hundred bucks.

So check out the video at the top to get your laughs in for the day, and check back over the next couple of days so you don't miss the official announcement.

Source: Petapixel

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Camera Deals of the Day: Save up to $600 on Nikon DSLR bundles; refurb Nikon D600 body $1,325; Canon 5D Mark III body $2,550 and much more!

<Nikon D5300 Black Friday Dealp>by William Brawley

Happy hump day! We've found a big selection of DSLR-related deals for you to browse through this morning! There's a new promotion for Nikon DSLR bundles from B&H Photo Video, as well as a new set of Canon mail-in rebates. We've also uncovered some great discounts on Canon and Nikon DSLRs, plus special savings on a fast Canon prime lens. Lastly, we found a nice little bargain on some cool neoprene DSLR lens pouches to safely haul you new glass. Check back tomorrow for all new camera deals and discounts.

  • Save up to $600 on Nikon DSLR when bundled with lenses and speedlights - Free Shipping
    B&H has started a new Nikon promotion where you can get up to $600 off with select bundles of lenses and speedlights. Eligible DSLRs run the full gamut of Nikon models from the the D3100 and D5200 to the D800 and D4. Visit the special promotion page for all the details and various configuration of bundles with corresponding discounts. Offers expire at different times depending on the models, but most expire on Nov. 11.
    Read ourNikon D3100 review, Nikon D5200 review, Nikon D800 review and Nikon D4 overview for more details.
  • Mail-in rebates on select Canon EF lenses - Free Shipping
    Canon has a new round of mail-in rebates for select full-frame EF lenses, the vast majority of which are L-series lenses. Eligible lenses include the EF 17-40mm f/4L with $100 off, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II with $300 off or both EF 24-70mm L zoom lenses in either f/2.8 II or f/4 IS versions at $300 off. See the full selection of lenses at Adorama, B&H or on the official mail-in rebate form (PDF).
    Read ourCanon lens reviews for more details.
  • Canon 5D Mark III body - $2,550 (compare to $3,100) - Free Shipping
    BigValueInc via eBay has the Canon 5D Mark III body-only for $2,549.99 with free shipping. Limited quantity available.
    Read ourCanon 5D Mark III review for more details.
  • Refurbished Nikon D600 body - $1,325 (compare to $1,897 new) - Free Shipping
    RobertsCamera via eBay has the Refurbished Nikon D600 body for just $1,325 with free shipping. Limited quantity available.
    Read ourNikon D600 review for more details.
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens - $1,259 (compare to $1,619) - Free Shipping
    Adorama has a special deal on the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens for a final checkout price of $1,259 with free shipping, plus extra accessories like an Adorama lens cleaning kit, 16GB USB flash drive and a 72mm filter kit. In addition to the $150 mail-in rebate (PDF), Adorama is tacking on additional discounts for this lens. You must go all the way to checkout to see the final lowest price.
    Read ourCanon 50mm f/1.2L lens review for more details.
  • Neoprene DSLR lens pouch 4-pack - $10 (compare to $15) - Free Shipping
    Hottest Deal Ever via eBay (98.9% positive feedback) has a Neoprene DSLR Lens Pouch 4-Pack for $9.95 with free shipping.

Source: Imaging-resource

Friday, October 18, 2013

BlazeVideo Halloween Gift Pack Saves Up to 98 to Create, Burn and Transfer Awesome Halloween Movie

Guangdong, China -- ( SBWIRE) -- 10/18/2013 -- October 31st is 2013 Halloween day and to celebrate the upcoming Halloween day, people are getting busy with preparation work for activities, costumes and gifts. To gain some useful Halloween gifts from all kinds of online promotion can make Halloween more happy and exciting. As an outstanding software developer majoring in first-class multimedia applications for media fans all over the world, has launched BlazeVideo 2013 Halloween Special Gifts in a bid to bring people more fun in this special festival. In the Halloween special offer activity, people, especially those who fancy DIY movie, could get quite a bunch of free and high-discounted movie helpers to make an awesome Halloween movie, burn them into discs to present friends as Halloween gifts and transfer their masterpiece onto all kinds of iDevices.

In the thought of enriching people's multimedia life and bring movie fans better movie experience not only at this Halloween holiday but also tons of other popular festivals, BlazeVideo packed 3 of its best sellers into the Halloween Gift Pack, which could help solve almost all video creating, editing and burnning issues as well as iDevice data transferring problems. This gift pace consists of: BlazeVideo SmartShow, BlazeVideo DVD Creator and BlazeVideo iTransfer, originally costs $139.85, these 3 apps now as Halloween Gift Pack only need $41.95 in BlazeVideo 2013 Halloween Special Gifts, totally $98 saved.

BlazeVideo SmartShow is a powerful yet easy to use video maker to help create horror Halloween movies with funny halloween movies pictures, scary video clips and creepy background sounds. People can enhance and liven up their artwork with abundant built-in editing tools, fantastic effects, titles and transitions by simple drag-and-drop operation. At last, the newly-created movies can be created into various popular SD/HD video formats fit for portable devices. If people want to burn it into DVD for backup or send these disks to friends or families as Halloween special gifts, BlazeVideo DVD Creator is here to burn help burn these videos into ISO files onto hard drive or blank discs in high quality. It is a good idea to transfer these awesome Halloween movies onto iDevices like iPhone, iPod or iPad and enjoy it anywhere and anytime, BlazeVideo iTransfer is just the right software people can easily apply to transfer data including music, movies, TV shows, ringtones, images, ebooks, apps, etc. between iDevices and computers. With this gift pack, people could create and watch any movies in any format on any device anytime and anywhere.

Besides the Halloween Gift Pack, BlazeVideo also offer BlazeDVD full-featured media player and video converter Blaze Video Magic with up to 50% price cut. These special offers are all valid until the end of November 7th. What's more, in BlazeVideo 2013 Halloween Special Gifts, people could get totally free gift: BlazeVideo iPad video converter from October 14th to November 7th as Halloween free gift from BlazeVideo.

Source: Sbwire

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

iPhone 5S' poor availability hurting Japan's biggest carrier

The scarcity of Apple's new high-end handset is wreaking havoc on NTT DoCoMo as subscribers flee.

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(Credit: NTT DoCoMo)

Can't get your hands of the iPhone 5S? Neither can Japan's largest carrier, which is suffering mightily as a result.

NTT DoCoMo lost a net total of 66,800 subscribers in September, the worst loss ever, according to a report in Japan's Nikkei on Monday.

And DoCoMo lost 133,100 subscribers based on the mobile number portability (MNP) system, the report said.

DoCoMo blamed its subscriber-based problems on the double whammy of customers, who were waiting for the new iPhone, putting off purchases, and the subsequent scarcity of the 5S after it was announced, according to the report.

The iPhone has been reshaping Japan's telecommunications market -- one of the largest in the world -- as it gains in popularity. DoCoMo's problem is that it was late to the Apple phone game: the 5S and 5C are its first phone products from Apple.

Softbank, which began carrying the iPhone in 2008, has seen its market share expand on the back of Apple's phone. KDDI (au) picked up the iPhone in 2011.

SoftBank and KDDI gained a net total of 270,700 and 232,700 subscribers, respectively, in September.

Both are offering discount programs for the iPhone 5 to incentivize upgrades to the 5S.

Things are much better stateside, either. There has been only sporadic availability of the 5S at Apple stores and carriers like Verizon Wireless.

Source: Cnet

Sunday, October 6, 2013

'Climate refugee' fights to stay in New Zealand in long-shot case

David Gray / Reuters, file

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- A man from one of the lowest-lying nations on Earth is trying to convince New Zealand judges that he's a refugee - suffering not from persecution, but from climate change.

The 37-year-old and his wife left his remote atoll in the Pacific nation of Kiribati six years ago for higher ground and better prospects in New Zealand, where their three children were born. Immigration authorities have twice rejected his argument that rising sea levels make it too dangerous for him and his family to return to Kiribati.

So on Oct. 16, the man's lawyer, Michael Kidd, plans to argue the case before New Zealand's High Court. Kidd, who specializes in human rights 5s iphone cases life proof samsung case, told The Associated Press he will appeal the case all the way to the country's Supreme Court if necessary.

Legal experts consider the man's case a long shot, but it will nevertheless be closely watched, and might have implications for tens of millions of residents in low-lying islands around the world. Kiribati, an impoverished string of 33 coral atolls about halfway between Hawaii and Australia, has about 103,000 people and has been identified by scientists as among the nations most vulnerable to climate change.

In a transcript of the immigration case obtained by the AP, the Kiribati man describes extreme high tides known as king tides that he says have started to regularly breach Kiribati's defenses - killing crops, flooding homes and sickening residents. New Zealand immigration laws prevent the AP from naming him.

The man said that around 1998, king tides began regularly breaching the sea walls around his village, which was overcrowded and had no sewerage system. He said the fouled drinking water would make people vomit, and that there was no higher ground that would allow villagers to escape the knee-deep water.

He said returning to the island would endanger the lives of his two youngest children.

"There's no future for us when we go back to Kiribati," he told the tribunal, according to the transcript. "Especially for my children. There's nothing for us there."

The man's lawyer said the family is currently living and working on a New Zealand farm.

Last week, an international panel of climate scientists issued a report saying that it was "extremely likely" that human activity was causing global warming, and predicted that oceans could rise by as much as 3.3 feet by the end of the century. If that were to happen, much of Kiribati would simply disappear.

Though that is a dire prospect, New Zealand's Immigration and Protection Tribunal has said it is not one that is addressed by laws dealing with refugees.

In a decision recently made public, tribunal member Bruce Burson said the legal concept of a refugee is someone who is being persecuted, which requires human interaction. He said the tribunal rejected the man's claim because nobody is persecuting him.

The tribunal found there was no evidence that the environmental conditions on Kiribati were so bad that the man and his family would face imminent danger should they return. Burson said the man's claim was also rejected because the family's predicament was no different than that faced by the wider population of Kiribati.

In his court appeal, Kidd said the fact that many people face the same threat is no grounds to dismiss a claim. He also argued that his client did suffer an indirect form of human persecution because climate change is believed to be caused by the pollution humans generate. He said his client also would face the threat of a climate-induced breakdown in law and order should he return.

Bill Hodge, a constitutional law expert and associate professor at the University of Auckland, said he applauded Kidd's "ingenious arguments" but didn't think they would succeed because his client hasn't been singled out and victimized due to something like his gender, race or political persuasion.

But Hodge added that even if the Kiribati man loses, his case might make a good argument for expanding the definition of what constitutes a refugee. He said he expected there would be increasing pressure on nations like New Zealand and Australia to help provide new homes for Pacific Islanders threatened by rising seas.

Tidal gauges indicate the world's oceans have been rising at an annual rate of 0.1 inches since 1970. Many scientists expect that rate to accelerate and for climate change to trigger more intense storms, which may pose an even more pressing threat to many of the world's low-lying islands.

Kiribati's government is pursuing its own strategies. It has paid a deposit for 6,000 acres in nearby Fiji, which Kiribati President Anote Tong has said will provide food security and a possible refuge for future generations. The nation has also been talking with a Japanese firm about the possibility of constructing a floating island, which would cost billions of dollars.

Rimon Rimon, a Kiribati government spokesman who said his opinions on the matter were his own, said he thought the man in New Zealand was taking the wrong approach. He said the government is working hard to train people in skills like nursing, carpentry and automotive repairs so that if they do leave Kiribati, they can be productive in their adoptive countries.

"Kiribati may be doomed by climate change in the near future," he said. "But just claiming refugee status due to climate change is the easy way out."

Source: Nbcnews

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Adobe reports massive security breach

<couponp>Adobe reported what it called a "sophisticated" cyberattack on its network where hackers gained unauthorized access to confidential customer information including IDs and encrypted passwords. The hack affects some 2.9 million customers, the company estimates.

Information accessed in the attack includes names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and order information. Adobe does not believe the criminals removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from company systems, however.

This security breach extended to Adobe source code for numerous products such as Acrobat, ColdFusion, ColdFusion Builder, and other company products, Adobe said. According to a blog entry, Adobe believes that the two security violations are related.

In addition to contacting and assisting law enforcement, Adobe says it's resetting relevant customer passwords. Customers whose user ID or passwords were affected will be notified via email and instructed to change their passwords. The company will also notify customers whose credit or debit card information may have been compromised. Those customers will receive additional instructions about how to guard against credit card fraud. In addition, Adobe says customers whose information was compromised will be offered the option of enrolling in a one-year complimentary credit monitoring membership where available.

Adobe reports it has notified the banks involved in customer payments for Adobe, so that the company can work with the credit card companies and card-issuing banks to help protect customers' accounts.

Source: Pcworld

Otterbox Introduces New iPhone 5/5s Case With Space for Credit Cards and Cash

Otterbox has introduced iPhone case/wallet combination, the Commuter Series Wallet. The $45 case includes space for 3 credit cards and a single dollar bill, while coming in black, white/grey and pink/grey color combinations.

The new case competes against other wallet cases like TwelveSouth's BookBook, as well as dozens of other wallet cases on the market.

- Multi-layer case guards against damage to your device
- Slimline design hides contents, keeping them safe and secure
- Self-adhering screen protector guards against scratches and scrapes to the glass display
- Access drawer holds up to three cards and one bill
- Audible click closure gives you peace of mind knowing your items are securely enclosed
- Access Wallet drawer contents without turning case over

The Commuter Series Wallet case, for the iPhone 5 and 5s iphone cases life proof kindle fire case, is available from Otterbox and other retailers for $45.
Source: Macrumors

Stealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark coming to iOS

<lp>Stay Connected. Follow Polygon Now!

Stealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark coming to iOS

Curve Studios' 2D platformer Stealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark is set to see a future release on iOS devices, developer Jonathan Biddle told PocketGamer.

The team is currently working on the iOS port for Stealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark, which will retain its relatively new title for the mobile release. The game's original name was Stealth Bastard before the studio changed it in April to reach a wider audience.

"For some of the same reasons, we'll be using Stealth Inc for the iOS release. Apple do allow titles with swear words in them, but I tell you now, they won't feature them," Biddle told PocketGamer. "It was the punchline to the joke and it made people smile. It matches the tone of the game; it lets you know that you're not going to have a serious time with this title and its homage to metal gear says something about the games it is referencing."

Stealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark is available on Windows PC, Linux and Mac via Steam. It hit PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on July 23 featuring cross-buy access, allowing consumers who buy the game on one platform to play it on the other.

According to Biddle, Curve Studios will focus on development and digital publishing after Stealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark's iOS release. The developer teased that it has more of its own titles in development and details on the new games will be released "some time next year."

Source: Polygon

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

First iPhone 5s Waterproof Case: A ZipLoc Bag

The iPhone 5s is still a fairly new device, so there aren't very many accessories for it just yet, and this includes waterproof 5s iphone cases waterproof vinyl flooring. We should be seeing waterproof cases for the iPhone 5s pop up sooner or later, but it'll be a little tricky given that the iPhone 5s has that nifty new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Since most waterproof cases of yore are simply just a rubber seal that covers up the home button, the same can't be done with the iPhone 5s.

Instead, case manufacturers will have to think of a clever way of waterproofing the fingerprint sensor, while still keeping it functional. So far, we've heard from a few case companies who are working on iPhone 5s-specific waterproof cases, but nothing has been released yet as far as that goes (an update to iOS 7 also won't waterproof your phone, no matter how convincing the fake ads are). In the meantime, we figured out a cheap and quick way to keep your phone waterproof, while still keeping the fingerprint sensor usable. All it involves is a ZipLoc bag.

This little life hack has been around for awhile now: Put your phone in a ZipLoc bag to protect it from getting wet, or keep sand out of it if you're going to the beach. Luckily, though, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s works flawlessly through the plastic of the ZipLoc bag, as demonstrated in our own video:

However, there is a catch: It only works when the bag and your fingers are dry. Once the ZipLoc bag and your fingers have been compromised with water, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor doesn't work at all. It's a bit of an interesting twist, given that the point of the ZipLoc bag is to protect it from water, so you'll most likely be using it when it's wet, but the touch screen will still work flawlessly, no matter the conditions.

With that said, it's still a good trick to use if you have an iPhone 5s and are going hiking or running for the day and might come across some rain. In these instances, it's always a good idea to protect your phone somehow, and while the fingerprint sensor won't work when it's wet, you'll still be able to unlock your phone by entering in your passcode, obviously.

Let us know how this worked for you in the comments below, and feel free to send us more ideas on how to waterproof the new iPhone 5s.

Source: Gottabemobile

Sunday, September 29, 2013

10 Ways to NOT suck as a mother in law

I have asked people in my blogging community to help me keep Moms Who Drink And Swear kicking like Kung-FUCKING-Fu during the month of October while I take some time to attend to some personal issues. I will be blogging sporadically, but only as time permits. A girl gots to have her priorities straight don't chu know? I hope you enjoy the guest bloggers, but I beg of you, please go easy on them!

Be gentle!

The thing is, most of these bloggers are very good at hiding their twisty fuckeduppedness, disguising themselves as regular people who write regular blogs. Unlike me, they are not considered THE pariah of their blog genre. One might consider them to be normal if normal was actually a real thing. Anyhoo... I've asked them to let their freak flag fly, because nothing less than filthy nut-sack sucking crap will do when it comes to entertaining YOU fart-faced-farty-fart-pantsers, the delightful and loyal readers of Moms Who Drink And Swear.


Here is a photo of me in 1980 on halloween quilting fabrics. I was dressed as a goddamn tomato. I think it looks like I shit in my tights. I can't remember if I did, but anything is possible. The 80's were a fucked up decade. I think this explains a lot, clears up some questions you might have had about me. To quote the Gaga...I was born this way.

Please enjoy the musings of Kathy Matthews, who has some advice for mother in laws and future mother in laws. If you don't want to suck as a mother in law, do not do the 10 things she suggests you don't do. If you DO want to suck, this let this blog be your guide. Kathy's blog here on Chicagonow is called Quilting! Sewing! Creating!

10 ways to not suck as a MIL
By Kathy Mathews of Quilting! Sewing! Creating!

I've been married twice but only have had one Mother in Law. One was enough. The good thing about her is that she showed me how I didn't want to be as a MIL myself. The bad about her was everything else. Let me share with you how she was, then you do the opposite. Bam, you're MIL of the year.

  • Don't be a racist. Early in our marriage we went out with my in-laws to look at Christmas lights. One house was not lit up and my MIL remarked, Look at that house. Hebes must live there. I innocently replied, "Oh, I don't know that family." It was not the first racial slur she used which I didn't know. Charming.
  • Don't think you're better than everyone else cause you have money. Her dad was a doctor, she married a man who inherited a pile o bucks. This made her too good for our town and made me definitely not worthy of joining the family. Unlike her sons, I would not jump through any hoops for her money. Money is not that important to me or I wouldn't have been a teacher.
  • Don't discount your Daughter in law. When our daughter was born, they sent over an insurance salesman as their present was to buy an insurance policy on her life. They were the owners and their other son was the beneficiary and only my husband was allowed to sign to give permission. The insurance guy told me this, to my face.
  • Don't berate your daughter in law for working. My daughter had asthma and wouldn't you know it, my teaching job was the reason.
  • Don't wish for only boy grandchildren. Telling my daughter to her face that you wished she was a boy, classy
  • Don't give Xerox copies of gifts. My daughters got Xerox copies of savings bonds for all holidays. Nothing says happy birthday like a Xerox copy of a present. She always nagged me to make her a quilt. Should have given her a Xerox copy of one.
  • Don't give shitty presents. One of my best gifts - napkins wrapped in newspaper, but as was pointed out to me, it was the Sunday Comics so the wrapping was colorful. My daughter got a nightlight wrapped in a Kleenex one year and I was admonished to keep the Kleenex, it was still good. I could go on but those were the best ones.
  • Don't be a mean jerk. At the funeral for our second baby, a boy, I was crying. She sneered; Kathy's really not getting over this. I repeat, at his funeral.
  • For real, don't be a racist. We adopted a baby girl from Korea and my MIL asked, "Couldn't you get her eyes fixed?" You're not surprised that I kept my girls away from this woman, right?
  • Don't try to avoid paying taxes. Well, actually this was a good one. Without my knowledge, she quick deeded 3% of her house to me so when she died, we could pay less inheritance tax. Joke was on her as inheritance taxes were basically done away with and we got divorced. After our divorce, she demanded I quick deed it back to her. I eventually did, but I would only deal with her lawyer. Talk is cheap, but not when the conversation is with a lawyer, whose bill I was not paying. I signed after I received two certified checks, one payable to each girl splitting the value of that 3%. Yes, it was sweet. Very sweet.
  • These are just the top ten! I could go on but you get the picture. I am happily married to my second husband whose mother I never got to meet. (No Mother in law may have been part of the reason I married him.) Now go and not suck at whatever role you play in people's lives.

    Told you Kathy kicked ass. Read her blog here on Chicagonow, Quilting! Sewing! Creating! And follow her on Facebook and Twitter, too!


    YOU want to submit a post to be considered for a guest blog here on Moms Who Drink And Swear? Well, okay then. Just email a link to your blog and a general idea of what you want to write about to

    Source: Chicagonow

    Sunday, September 22, 2013


    Henry Melton injury: Pro Bowl defensive tackle hurts knee against Steelers

    The Bears have suffered a big loss in the center of their defense with an knee injury to defensive tackle Henry Melton.

    The Bears may need reinforcements on the defensive line following an apparent knee injury to Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton. The injury occurred early in the fourth quarter of the Bears' Week 3 matchup against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Melton's knee seemed to buckle on a pass rush attempt and he immediately fell to the ground in pain, holding his left leg.

    Melton was declared out for the rest of the game by the Bears, according to NBC's Michelle Tafoya. The star defensive tackle lied on the ground in pain for several minutes and was removed from the field by a cart.

    If Melton is out of the lineup for an extended period of time, his replacements would likely be rookie Zach Minter or veteran Nick Miller. Melton was signed to the Franchise tender by the Bears this off-season and is scheduled to be a free agent next summer.

    The Bears currently lead the Steelers 27-23 in the fourth quarter.

    Follow @SBNationNFL

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    Source: Sbnation

    /PRNewswire/ -- Paladin Research & Registry ( announced the launch of a powerful new online service that investors can use to check the quality of more than 260 financial advisor certifications and designations. Paladin's Check a Credential service is free and there is no registration requirement to use it.

    Jack Waymire, Paladin's founder, said: "Some financial advisors spend years acquiring high-quality credentials that increase their expertise. Other advisors buy fake credentials that they use to deceive investors into believing they are financial experts. Very few investors know the critical differences between real and fake credentials. They assume credentials are legitimate or the advisors wouldn't be using them. But, they are dangerously wrong. There are no industry regulations that protect investors from this deceptive sales practice."

    This Paladin service is a serious game changer. In a couple of minutes investors can view quality ratings and avoid bad advisors who use fake or weak credentials. The Check a Credential service provides a one-page report that documents a certification's sponsor, prerequisites, curriculum, testing, and continuing education requirements. Then a Paladin algorithm calculates a peer group quality rating. The ratings range from Warnings (scams) to 5 Stars (Best). All investors do is input the certification's initials and read the report. Paladin's quality rating makes it easy to compare certifications to each other.

    There are four certifications that rank above all of the rest: CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst™), CIMA® (Certified Investment Management Analyst™), CFP® (Certified Financial Planner™), and CPA® (Certified Public Accountant™). 35% of CPAs currently provide financial planning advice.

    Waymire added, "No investor would knowingly select a financial advisor who used deception to gain control of his or her retirement assets. Investors want real experts who have specialized knowledge that helps them achieve their goals of secure, comfortable retirements. Their biggest risk is unethical advisors who use sleazy sales tactics to look like knowledgeable experts. They use deception because investors would not buy what they are selling if they told the truth. They should be kicked out of the financial service industry."

    About Paladin Research & Registry

    Paladin was established in 2003 to provide independent research, tools, and services to investors who rely on financial advisors to help them invest their retirement assets.

    Media Contact:

    Susan Bishop Media Relations 916.792.8392 Email

    Read more news from Paladin Research & Registry.

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    Source: Sacbee

    Monday's shooting at the Navy Yard happened because the military facility was "completely unprotected," National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre said Sunday, brushing aside suggestions that more stringent background checks or new gun laws might prevent more mass shootings of the sort that have repeatedly scarred the country in recent years.

    "This is a tragedy that should not have happened," LePierre said of Monday's shooting, which claimed the lives of 13 people, including the gunman. "How could anybody look at what happened this week and say there was enough security there?"

    "In a post-9/11 world, a naval base within miles from Congress and the White House" was left "completely unprotected," LaPierre lamented, calling for "layers of security around our military bases" to ensure it doesn't happen again.

    He also urged policymakers to consider allowing service members on bases to carry firearms to provide an added measure of security. "We need to look at letting the men and women who know firearms and are trained in them do what they do best, which is protect and survive," he said.

    LaPierre's suggestion was reminiscent of the NRA's call for armed guards in the nation's schools in the wake of the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

    Then and now, LaPierre insisted that the problem isn't the abundance of guns in America or the fact that people can access them with ease, but a combination of inadequate security, a mental health system that fails to raise "red flags" about potentially dangerous individuals, and a criminal justice system that fails to enforce federal gun laws.

    He suggested that if someone is "involuntarily committed," or if mental health professionals determine someone is dangerous, that person ought to be flagged as a potential threat and prevented from buying a gun.

    "The only way you can stop them is you send up the red flags," he said, warning of the dangers of inaction. "When the camera goes off, nobody's going to do anything, and if we leave these homicidal maniacs on the street...they're going to kill."

    Despite the relatively muted reaction from policymakers to this week's shooting in regards to gun control, especially in comparison with other recent mass shootings, the NRA CEO scorned "all the outrage this week - the first two days of the elite media and the politicians trying to stir this toward firearms."

    When he was asked whether the government should require background checks for private firearm sales between individuals, LaPierre said, "No, I don't believe you ought to be under the thumb of the federal government."

    In the face of familiar opposition from the NRA and other gun rights advocates, Obama vowed Saturday at a Congressional Black Caucus dinner to revisit his push to strengthen the country's gun laws, which mobilized lawmakers and activists earlier this year after the shooting at Sandy Hook but ultimately fell short in Congress.

    "We fought a good fight earlier this year, but we came up short," he said. "And that means we've got to get back up and go back at it. Because as long as there are those who fight to make it as easy as possible for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun, then we've got to work as hard as possible for the sake of our children. We've got to be ones who are willing to do more work to make it harder."

    Source: Cbsnews

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    Source: Heraldsun

    NAIROBI, kenya Kenyan security forces launched a "major" assault late Sunday on the upscale Nairobi mall where an unknown number of hostages are being held by al Qaeda-linked militants, in an operation officials said would end the two-day standoff that had already killed 68 people.

    The assault, which began shortly before sun down, came as two helicopters circled the mall, with one skimming very close to the roof. A loud explosion rang, far larger than any previous grenade blast or gunfire volley.

    Kenyan police said on Twitter that a "MAJOR" assault by security forces was ongoing to end the two-day siege.

    "This will end tonight. Our forces will prevail. Kenyans are standing firm against aggression, and we will win," Kenya's Disaster Operations Centre said on Twitter.

    CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg, currently in Nairobi, said government sources have told him that joint Israeli-Kenyan forces are inside the mall and that the operation to end the siege is underway.

    Westgate Mall is at least partially owned by Israelis, and reports circulated that Israeli commandos were on the ground to assist in the response. Four restaurants inside the mall are Israeli-run or owned.

    In Israel, a senior defense official said there were no Israeli forces participating in an assault, but the official said it was possible that Israeli advisers were providing assistance. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a classified military issue, would not elaborate.

    Israel has close ties to Kenya going back many years. And in recent years, Israel has identified East Africa as an area of strategic interest and stepped up ties with Kenya and other neighboring countries, due to shared threats posed by al Qaeda and other extremist elements.

    In 2002, militants bombed an Israeli-owned luxury hotel near Mombasa, killing 13 people, and tried to shoot down an Israeli airliner at the same time. Kenyans and foreigners were among those confirmed dead, including British, French, Canadians, Indians, a Ghanaian, a South African and a Chinese woman.

    The assault came about 30 hours after 10 to 15 al-Shabab extremists stormed the mall from two sides, throwing grenades and firing on civilians at will.

    Loud exchanges of gunfire emanated from inside the four-story upscale mall, throughout the day Sunday. Kenyan troops were seen carrying in at least two rocket propelled grenades and helicopters hovered throughout the day. Al-Shabab militants reacted angrily to the helicopters on Twitter and said the Kenyan military action was endangering hostages.

    Kenyan officials said they would do their utmost to save hostages lives, but no officials could say precisely how many hostages were inside. Kenya's Red Cross said in a statement citing police that 49 people had been reported missing. Officials did not make an explicit link but that number could form the basis of the number of people held captive.

    Somalia's al Qaeda-linked rebel group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack that specifically targeted non-Muslims. The attackers included some women. The Islamic extremist rebels said the attack was retribution for Kenyan forces' 2011 push into neighboring Somalia.

    Al-Shabab said on its new Twitter feed — after its previous one was shut down on Saturday — that Kenyan officials were asking the hostage-takers to negotiate and offering incentives.

    "We'll not negotiate with the Kenyan govt as long as its forces are invading our country, so reap the bitter fruits of your harvest," al-Shabab said in a tweet.

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated his government's determination to continue fighting al-Shabab.

    "We went as a nation into Somalia to help stabilize the country and most importantly to fight terror that had been unleashed on Kenya and the world," said Kenyatta."We shall not relent on the war on terror."

    He said although this violent attack had succeeded, the Kenyan security forces had "neutralized" many others.

    Earlier in the day Kenyatta said he his nephew and his nephew's fiance were killed in the attack.

    Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told reporters at the mall that a number of people were being held hostage on the third floor and the basement area of the mall, which includes stores for Nike, Adidas and Bose stores.

    Kenyan security officials sought to reassure the families of hostages inside but implied that hostages could be killed. The security operation is "delicate" because Kenyan forces hoped to ensure the hostages are evacuated safely, said Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Lenku.

    "The priority is to save as many lives as possible," Lenku said, adding that more than 1,000 people escaped the attack inside the mall on Saturday.

    "We have received a lot of messages from friendly countries, but for now it remains our operation," Lenku said.

    More than 175 people were injured in the attack, Lenku said, including many children. Kenyan forces were by Sunday in control of the mall's security cameras, he said.

    CBS News' Peter Greenberg described the Westgate as "a very large mall, with more than 80 stores and large grocery stores and banks" that is popular with locals and tourists alike. He said the attacks have been "terrifying."

    Greenberg said many buildings in Nairobi, including the parliament building, have been placed on lockdown.

    Britain's prime minister, in confirming the deaths of three British nationals, told the country to "prepare ourselves for further bad news."

    Westgate Mall is at least partially owned by Israelis, and reports circulated that Israeli commandos were on the ground to assist in the response. Four restaurants inside the mall are Israeli-run or owned.

    Kenyans and foreigners were among those confirmed dead, including British, French, Canadians, Indians, a Ghanaian, a South African and a Chinese woman.

    Kofi Awoonor, a Ghanaian poet, professor and former ambassador to Brazil, Cuba and the United Nations, died after being injured in the attack, Ghana's presidential office confirmed. Ghana's ministry of information said Awoonor's son was injured and is responding to treatment.

    Kenya's Red Cross said the death toll on Sunday rose to 68 after nine bodies were recovered in a joint rescue mission.

    Kenya's presidential office said that one of the attackers was arrested on Saturday and died after suffering from bullet wounds.

    Britain's Foreign Office said that Foreign Secretary William Hague has chaired a meeting of Britain's crisis committee and sent a rapid deployment team from London to Nairobi to provide extra consular support.

    The United Nations Security Council condemned the attacks and "expressed their solidarity with the people and Government of Kenya" in a statement.

    There was some good news on Sunday, as Kenyan media reported that several people in hiding in the mall escaped to safety in the morning, suggesting that not everyone who was inside overnight was being held by al-Shabab.

    Cecile Ndwiga said she had been hiding under a car in the basement parking garage.

    "I called my husband to ask the soldiers to come and rescue me. Because I couldn't just walk out anyhow. The shootout was all over here — left, right- just gun shots," she said.

    Four American citizens were reported injured in the attack. The wife of a foreign service national working for the U.S. Agency for International Development was killed, U.S. officials said. No details about the injured Americans were released by the State Department, which cited privacy concerns. Consular officers were in contact with the injured and were providing appropriate assistance, a State Department official said.

    Source: Cbsnews