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Rob Gilmore

The design, hardware and features making the HTC One the number one phone out there

HTC One, the device rocking iPhone’s world

There’s something truly wonderful about the HTC One, a feature that only a select few phones on the market share, and a feeling that not many products can give a consumer. 

The HTC One just feels so good to use.  Its industrial design, a ring of polycarbonate sandwiched between a curved piece of aluminum and glass, makes the phone impressively comfortable to hold, and its marriage to the Android operating system makes for a seamless transition from form to function.  The speakers, which are front facing─ as all phone speakers should be─ are louder and clearer than any other smartphone out there.

And it’s powerful, too.  Packing the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, 2 gigabytes of RAM and 1080p resolution as the Galaxy S4, it has all the power you need.  What makes the HTC One unique, however, is its use of all that extra horsepower. 

The new user interface of the HTC One, called Sense, is a news aggregation service, not unlike Flipboard, that allows you to combine all the news services and social networks you care about, like the Associated Press and Facebook, into a single feed, so that you’re never out of the social loop. 

The camera only offers 4 megapixels.  I know, you’re thinking that’s pretty lame, but hold your horses.  Megapixel count actually has little to do with the quality of a camera’s pictures.  The HTC One’s light sensor allows the camera to capture pictures of a quality comparable to phones with more megapixels. 

HTC increased the size of their pixels, allowing the phone to capture pictures more effectively than most other smartphones in low light, and the HTC Zoe feature allows the camera to capture 20 images from the time just before you hit the shutter button and in the moments just after. 

One of the most impressive features of the HTC One is its use of the Android operating system and some of the additions that were made to harness some of the phone’s quad-core muscle.

So, is the HTC One the iPhone killer of Apple’s nightmares?  With design as beautiful as Android’s function, it just might be.

New $100 bill looks like monopoly money

Let’s play monopoly!

Get ready for a new $100 bill this October, as announced by the Federal Reserve Wednesday.  It will begin circulating nearly two years after its initial target date.

The Federal Reserve has set a new release date for Oct. 8, according to abcnews.com.  The redesigned $100 bill, which looks more like monopoly money than the good, old-fashioned greenbacks to which we Americans are so accustomed, will boast added security features, like a blue, 3-D security ribbon and a disappearing Liberty Bill in an inkwell. 

The features are all designed to ward-off counterfeiters, who are becoming better and better and copying money, as home printing machines have become more advanced in recent years.  The $100 bill is the most popular target for counterfeiters. 

“We made numerous process changes to address the creasing issue and we are back in full protection,” said Dawn Haley, a spokesman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, to ABC News.

Those changes will include modifying the paper feeder on the printing presses to accommodate variations in the paper associated with the 3-D security ribbon.  The blue security ribbon, which is composed of thousands of tiny lenses, magnify the objects underneath them to make them appear to be moving in the opposite direction of the bill’s movement.

As early as 2003, the government began making vast changes to its $20 bill, with peach, blue and green backgrounds.  It was the first time in American history that bills had included colors other than green and black. 

An extensive education effort is planned for businesses and consumers around the world to educate them about the new design and how to properly use the bills and to detect whether they are real, according to ABC News.  Information about the new bills can be found at www.newmoney.gov.

NASA rover needs companion, draws dick on Mars

Curiosity rover inscribes dick on mars, amuses us humans light years away

The Mars Rover, dubbed Curiosity, is living up to its name on the red planet.  Apparently, the only thing curiosity is curious about is dick.  Yup, that’s right.  I said it.  Curiosity wants dick.  Haha.

If there wasn’t any context for that last sentence, you might think Curiosity is the name of some inner-city prostitute.  But nope, Curiosity is the multi-million dollar rover NASA planted on Mars last year to explore the sandy red planet in search of signs there might have once been life.

And it must be getting lonely up there because a couple nerds noticed on NASA’s website a picture of Curiosity drawing a penis on the red planet’s surface.  Sure, this photo could be photoshopped, according to geekosystem.com, but it was found on the official NASA webpage.

And after being shared more than 40,000 times in a matter of just a few hours on Reddit’s r/funny subreddit page Tuesday, NASA’s website actually crashed from all the additional traffic.  Curiosity is controlled by a team of NASA engineers, who send the rover a set of two instructions each day, according to Space.com.

Some of the tracks made by Curiosity’s six wheels can be seen from space and were documented by the HiRise camera of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in January.

The photo, which can be easily found on the internet, is swiftly becoming one of the most popular things on the internet.  So, what do you think?  Did Rover, or engineers at NASA, intend to draw that dick in the sand.  Or was it all just one big mistake?

Are we seeing double? Kate McKinnon impersonates Ellen DeGeneres

Kate McKinnon might be the next Ellen

Is it just us, or is the only thing worse than watching Ellen DeGeneres seeing two of her?  Kate McKinnon, the popular Saturday Night Live, cast member was a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday.

McKinnon confessed that she’s a huge fan of DeGeneres.  McKinnon added, “It’s like I’ve met Jesus, if you believe in that sort of thing. I’ve arrived at the gates and here you are.”

“I hope I don’t disappoint you,” DeGeneres quipped. “That’s a lot of pressure for me.”

Ellen DeGeneres then asked her to switch out of the blue dress she wore for the show and switch into a matching outfit and perform her popular impersonation of the famous talk show host. 

McKinnon added, “It’s like I’ve met Jesus, if you believe in that sort of thing. I’ve arrived at the gates and here you are.”
“I hope I don’t disappoint you,” DeGeneres quipped. “That’s a lot of pressure for me.”

“It’s been such a journey. I’m trying not to cry because I have loved you my whole life, truly,” McKinnon, 29, told DeGeneres, 55, according to usmagazine.com. “My mother has come up with schemes to try to meet you. I used to paint, I was an oil painter, and she would always say, ‘If you would just paint a portrait of Ellen and send it to her, I’m sure that she would have you as a guest on the show. I don’t know why you don’t just paint a portrait.’ I never did and I don’t know why. I guess it’s because I was meant to appear in a different capacity on the show.”

The SNL star came out in her Ellen outfit, dancing, in typical Ellen fashion, across the stage.  She then sat in Ellen’s chair and so impersonated Ellen that even Ellen DeGeneres was feeling the heat to step up her game as a funny talk show host. 

“I’m vegan… I’m just kidding, I’m Ellen,” Kate joked to a huge applause from the audience, according to hollywoodlife.com. 

Kate McKinnon has been known in recent years for her right-on impersonations of Ellen DeGeneres, but this newest rendition, actually on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, brings her to a whole new level.  The performance was good, but who really needs to watch Ellen DeGeneres with double vision?  What did you think of her performance? 

Gwyneth Paltrow: most beautiful title “obviously not true”

Gwyneth Paltrow most beautiful woman in the world? She disagrees.

Gwyneth Paltrow may have just been named the most beautiful woman in the world by People Magazine, but that doesn’t meet the 40-year-old star and mother of two agrees with the new title. 

“It’s funny, these things, because it’s like obviously not true. But it’s very sweet to be named that,” Paltrow told The Associated Press. “Because I mean you can’t say that, you know! But it’s been wonderful. It’s been very wonderful. And as my friend said, it’s so nice that someone who has kids and is a mom and is not like 21 is named that. It’s really an honor,” the star said on the red carpet of the premiere for “Iron Man 3.”

Gwyneth Paltrow says that her two children weren’t aware of the news in this week’s edition of the magazine, but she has gotten plenty of emails from friends and family congratulating her for the accomplishment, according to CBS News.

Paltrow, the popular star of the first two Iron Man movies and smash hits like Shallow Hal, will be returning to the big screen in the third installment of the Iron man franchise.  Of her character, Pepper Pots, Paltrow says that she is proud to once again play the superhero’s longtime assistant turned business partner and love interest.

““I love Pepper. I think she’s wonderful, I love playing her, and especially in this one,” Paltrow told Lara Spencer in an interview that aired today on “GMA.”

Paltrow enjoyed wearing her first super hero suit in the flick, mostly because it earned her “cool mom” status with her son, Moses, who enjoyed some time on set. 

“My son, he was on set, and he’s an ‘Iron Man’ fan was like absolutely in awe.  I don’t think he’s ever been so happy that I was his mother,” she said.

Iron Man 3 is set to hit theaters Friday, May 3rd. 

New Apple products coming this fall! What gadget's next?

Could a smartwatch be in Apple’s future, a new Apple TV? Rumors swirl.

Apple is days away from reporting its second-quarter earnings, and ABC News is reporting Apple CEO Tim Cook has admitted this afternoon that the future is bright for all you Apple lovers out there.
“Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014,” Cook said on the company’s earning call, as reported by ABC News.  He also mentioned that the team is working on “exciting new product categories.”

When asked what specific products he was talking about, Cook said,”I don’t want to be more specific, we have some really great stuff coming in the fall and across of 2014.” 

Even though he didn’t mention what those products would be specifically, Apple is known to be working on some pretty cool new devices, like a smartwatch that works with the iPhone and a television-type device, that might replace the current Apple TV.

There are even reports that Apple might be working with Intel to develop a smartwatch with a 1.5-inch PMOLED display, according to Wired. 

Apple’s recent investments in curved display technology would work perfectly with a wrist watch, and remember all the people who wore the last version of the iPod Nano as a wrist watch, with bands from third party bands sold in Apple stores.

If anything is certain, Apple is ready and willing to get into the 70 million-per-year unit market by 2017, as companies like Nike, Adidas and Motorola begin shipping the latest gadget.  The device would fit perfectly, according to Wired, for a company that offers mobile and desktop devices in a wide variety of forms, from the macbook air to the iPod shuffle.

Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that growth has slowed for the tech giant.  They have increased their stock buyback program from $10 billion to $60 billion, and Apple stock’s dividend will increase by 15 percent to $3.05 per share. 

Apple is rumored to be releasing the next version of the iPhone and iPad sometime this summer or early fall.  We can’t wait!

Ryan Lochte proves further that he’s an idiot, this time with a television show

Ryan Lochte epitomizes “dumb jock’ on new show. Anyone surprised?

Ryan Lochte, the 28-year-old Olympic gold medalist, started his own reality show called “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” premiering on the E! Cable TV channel.  The first episode premiered Sunday to an audience of 807,000 viewers in the 18-49 demographic.

But get this… About twice as many people were watching a rerun, yes a rerun, of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” and E! Did everything in its power to successfully launch Lochte’s television career, pulling out all the stops with the best possible lead-in: Ryan Seacrest.

And this wasn’t just plain old Ryan Seacrest.  This was Ryan Seacrest internviewing the Kardashians.  The dynamic duo earned themselves 1.5 million viewers.  Looks like about half stayed around for Lochte’s television antics.  Those numbers might sound impressive, but they only nabbed Lochte a 0.4 rating, pretty terrible for a show’s first run.

And things get even worse for our poor Ryan Lochte.  His show debuts on the heels of an unflattering video that went viral over the weekend, showing him performing poorly as usual- in an interview with Fox affiliate WTXF in Philadelphia.  We all know the girls don’t love Lochte for his brains.

The Washington Post reports that the show became most entertaining when it ended.  The anchors laughed hysterically over Lochte’s response to some of their questions and wondered out loud how the hell producers would have enough material on him for an entire show. 

Lochte hd this to say to haters. “The more known you get in the public eye, the more haters you’re gonna have and that’s a given,” he said to E! News. “But, you know what? All the haters, all the name calling goes through one ear (and) out the other and I don’t mind it. The way I look at it the more haters I have it means I’m doing something right.”

Lochte can get away with being a moron in the swimming pool, but God help him when he opens his mouth.  At least we all get an amusing television show out of it, and maybe that’s all the E! Channel want, too.

Richie Haven, woodstock star, dead at 72

Richie HAven was the opening act for Woodstock and led his audience for more than 50 years.

Richie Havens, who is most famous as the opening act of the Woodstock festival in 1969, improvising the song “Freedom” on the fly, died on Monday of a heart attack at his home in Jersey City.  He was 72.

For our parents’ generation, he will forever be remembered on the stage of the Woodstock festival, which he opened because the band, Sweetwater, which was scheduled to open the festival, was stuck in traffic.  Richie Havens and his crew arrived by helicopter to open the show.  They were originally scheduled to go fifth. 

Richie Havens started with “Minstrel From Gault” a few minutes after 5 p.m. on August 15, 1969.  He was originally supposed to play four songs, according to the New York Times, but other performers were later, so he continued playing.   Mr. Haven played ten songs that night, including Beatles songs.

Richie Havens embodied the spirit of the ‘60s until his death. The New York Times reports that he was a regular of Greenwich Village and playing gigs from the Isle of Wight to the Fillmore to Carnegie Hall.  Many rock musicians of the 60s name him as their influence.  His version of “Handsome Johnny” became an anti-Vietnam War anthem.

Beyond the fame he acquired in the 1960s, he went on to record more than two dozen albums, act in movies, champion environmental education and perform at the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993.  In 2003, the National Music Council gave him its American Eagle Award for his place in the nation’s music heritage. 

Richie will be most remembered for the special connection he fostered with his audience.  Richie once said, “If you let the audience lead, then you are the audience.”  He led his fans- in happiness and sorrow, from decade to decade, for more than fifty years.

Another java vulnerability, your computer at risk

Java users advised to download update when available.

 Just one week after a major security patch for Java, yet another security vulnerability has been discovered.  The vulnerability does require users to accept the risk when a security warning window is displayed, but simple social engineering could entice enough users to allow the hack. 

The researcher who discovered the problem, Adam Gowdiak of Polish Security Explorations, has made a name for himself discovering numerous Java zero-day vulnerabilities.  In an internet posting, as reported by nakedsecurity.com, Gowdiak claims to have sent Oracle a report about a reflection API vulnerability in the newly shipped Server Java Runtime Environment (JRE), to notify them of the new security weakness. 

Naked Security is quick to point out that things could have been much worse.  Even if there is a vulnerability for hackers to exploit, the users are still prompted with a security dialogue that allows them to block the malicious activity, if they are suspicious enough about the threat.

And Oracle, the creator of Java, has certainly been feeling the heat lately.  Just in the past few days, attack code targeting one of the many remote-execution vulnerabilities fixed in Java 7 Update 21 was folded into either the RedKit or CrimeBoss exploit kit.  By Sunday, that attack code was being actively unleashed on unsuspecting end users, according to arstechnica.com.

To blast through the technical jargon for all you average Joes out there, Oracle describes the vulnerability as allowing execution, meaning access to your computer, with authentication, meaning without your permission.  This particular vulnerability allows malware purveyors to abuse advertising networks of legitimate enterprisers, like news websites, etc, that readers regularly visit and trust.  So, it’s an imperative to have your machine updated ASAP. 

To be far to Oracle, the fact that so many applications require Java makes it an attractive target for cyber criminals, who know that most users have the application installed on their computers.  But such flagrant security vulnerabilities are not acceptable for an application that sees almost universal usage in the modern computer world. 

With increased market share comes increased responsibility for Oracle.  Be sure to download that update as soon as it is released. 

Glenn Beck has evidence of “real” Boston Bomber

New conspiracy theory about Boston bombing pushed by Glenn Beck

 Not that this is news or anything, but yup, Glenn Beck is still a crazy man.  Now he’s pushing some conspiracy theory that the Obama Administration is deporting a Saudi national who was behind the tragic bombings of the Boston Marathon, according to mediamatters.com.

Glenn Beck’s big break on the Boston bombing first arose when Steve Emerson, a guest of Fox News’ Hannity, accused the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of preparing to deport a Saudi man, who was supposedly “a person of interest” in the bombings at the Boston marathon. 

Beck’s right-wing blogs like Blaze, Breitbart.com, WND and Infowars quickly picked up the story, all ready and willing to blame the Obama administration of a conspiracy to cover up the real culprits. 

Now, to be fair, the House Committee on Homeland Security has requested more information from Janet Napolitano on the Saudi national who was named the first “person of interest” in the Boston bombings, according to opposingviews.com. 

According to a letter published by Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, the committee formally requested a classified briefing from Napolitano on April 19.  The original suspect, named Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, was reportedly set to be deported on Tuesday, according to Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. 

The Department of Homeland Security has said repeatedly discredited the theory and even explained to CNN’s Jake Tapper that the rumors are confusing two very different men.  Still, Glenn Beck insists on pushing the theory.  Read his comments for yourself:

“We at the Blaze know that this Saudi national is a bad, bad, bad man … This administration is playing an extraordinarily dangerous game. They have very little regard for what it takes to be a citizen. Before the sequester cuts happened, they opened the prison and let illegals out. Who does that? Remember also, the Saudi national that was — is about to get on a plane — involved in blowing the legs off of American citizens, being held in protective custody or being protected, at least, by our administration. He will be put in protective custody and the plans are to deport him.”

Ya, I guess he hasn’t cooled off much since leaving Fox.