In pictures: The Nexus 5

Nexus 5

Hands-on photo gallery

While we prepare our hands-on coverage of LG and Google's latest Nexus handset, why not take a glance over our complete hands-on photo gallery? We've got a dozen or Nexus 5 photos waiting for you in the gallery after the break — enjoy!

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Progressive Government Fails

A reader remarked last week that Barack Obama is running out of human shields. With the father of ObamaCare unavailable to explain the greatest fiasco of his presidency to Congress, the American people had to settle Wednesday for his surrogate, Kathleen Sebelius.

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Humanity’s first-ever deep space craft powers up for the first time

Humanity's first-ever deep space craft powers up for the first time

Quietly, NASA keeps advancing in their manned deep space exploration: you’re looking at Orion—the first spaceship that hopefully will leave Earth and the Moon behind en route to Mars and other places in the solar system—powering up for the first time ever. It feels like a restart of Humanity’s journey to the stars after the Apollo program shut down.

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Tweetbot 3 for iOS 7 loses the textures, adds the physics, and keeps all the personality

Tweetbot 3 for iOS 7 loses the textures, adds the physics, and keeps all the personality

When iOS 7 was announced, one of the most frequent questions in the Apple design and development community immediately became – what will Tweetbot do? The thing about Tweetbot, and all of Tapbot’s apps, was the way they looked. The personality. That was achieved through heavy, textured design. And iOS 7 was the opposite of that. All the personality was in the physics. And that’s just where it’s gone in Tweetbot 3 as well.

Bereft of the chrome that so dominated previous versions, Tweetbot 3 is clean and clear. It has iOS 7-style round avatars, of course, and Neue-thin glyphs. But it also has buttons that bounce into place, dialogs that drop from view, backgrounds that blur away, overlays that can be spun around, images that can be tossed away, and other delightful, decidedly iOS 7-touches, that also come off as so very Tapbots.

This is Mark Jardine the designer, and Paul Haddad the developer, having fun again. I remember seeing Paul at a party right after the WWDC 2013 keynote, and instead of dread in his eyes, there seemed to be excitement. Cautious, of course, but palpable.

I’ve been using Tweetbot 3 since it went into beta, and using it a lot. (I tweet, sometimes too much. I know this about myself.) It has most of the same great workflows that have made it my go-to Twitter triage app of choice for years, but it’s opened up now. It breathes. It feels alive. It embraces iOS 7, but architecturally, not just cosmetically.

I would like to see some additional gesture shortcuts to replace the old tap shortcuts that no longer are. A faster way to reply would be great. To be able to see more in the compose window when I reply would be fantastic. The way lists are handled has changed, which breaks list-centric Twitter use cases. Also, accessibility doesn’t appear to have been addressed, which is shame.

Tweetbot 3 is iPhone only for now. They’ve been devoting all their time and effort to achieving what they wanted on the small screen, and haven’t looked at the big one yet. But overall, on the iPhone, spectacular.

Twitter isn’t making it easy on developers. They have limited tokens, which means one day they won’t be able to sell their app anymore. It’s artificial, but it’s scarcity. Not everyone is going to be willing to pay for a Twitter client anymore, much less an update. And that’s okay. For those who want something other than the official Twitter app, something powerful and yet elegant, throw some money Tweetbot’s way. You’ll be glad you did.

On sale for $2.99 ($4.99 regularly) for a limited time.


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China Fights Choking Smog With New Regulations

China’s central and local governments are releasing a slew of new regulations aimed at cutting severe air pollution and mitigating its deadly effect on citizens. The seriousness of the problem is obvious in China’s northeast, where smog in one city this week cut visibility down to a few yards, and particulate matter soared to 60 times the level deemed safe by the World Health Organization.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I’m Melissa Block.


And I’m Audie Cornish.

Cool autumn temperatures are moving into Northeast China. And Sunday, many cities turned on their coal-fired heating systems for the first time this season. This contributed to severe air pollution, which has largely shut down Harbin, a city of 11 million people. China has recently announced new regulations aimed at cutting smog and mitigating its deadly effect on citizens.

But as NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing, any fundamental solution seems a long way off.


ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Schools, highways and airports remain closed for a second day in the city of Harbin. State television showed images of cars with flashing hazard lights and pedestrians wearing face masks, appearing and disappearing in a thick grey miasma. A mix of soot, dust and other tiny particles, that get into people’s lungs, was recorded at levels as high as 60 times the concentration of the World Health Organization considers safe.

Many officials are blaming this emergency in part on the weather. Fang Li, the vice director of Beijing’s Environmental Protection Agency, spoke at a press conference in the capital.

FANG LI: (Through translator) The heavy pollution in Harbin is due to weather conditions. We have noticed that the entire northeastern region is shrouded in heavy fog. Under these conditions, it’s not easy for these pollutants to dissipate.

KUHN: Indeed, there has been no strong winds and heavy rain to lower wash the manmade pollution away. Today, Fang outlined the Chinese capital’s new plan for dealing with pollution emergencies. After three days of heavy pollution, schools will close; factories will scale back production; and private cars will only be allowed on the roads on alternating days, depending on their license plates.

LI: (Foreign language spoken)

KUHN: And when it really gets smoggy, Fang added, the capital will also ban fireworks and barbecues.

Before last year, China did not disclose detailed data about air pollution. The Chinese language did not even have a word for smog until very recently. Wang Jingjing is vice director of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. She displays a map which shows that most of the pollution in China comes from industry.

WANG JINGJING: (Through translator) We can see that there are more than 4,100 major sources of air pollution. These sources emit more than 65 percent of all the sulfur dioxide, nitrides and particulate matter.

KUHN: Wang welcomes a series of recently announced government plans to tackle pollution. Last month, China announced a plan to cut its coal consumption to below 65 percent of primary energy use by 2017 – a reduction of less than 2 percent in five years. She says China’s government is determined to avoid the mistakes the West made when it industrialized.

JINGJING: (Through translator) We’ve seen the historical experiences and lessons that have come before. We don’t want to take that path. We must control the pollution beforehand, instead of cleaning up afterwards.

KUHN: Whatever is learned from the West’s experienced, it seems clear that China already faces a lengthy process of cleaning up its air, land and water.

Anthony Kuhn, NPR News, Beijing.

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NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

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Boehner’s jam: Caucus loves but won’t follow him

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks to the chamber for the vote on a Senate-passed bill that would avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. The end to the rancorous standoff between the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House was hastened by the imminent deadline to extend the debt ceiling to avoid a national default. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks to the chamber for the vote on a Senate-passed bill that would avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. The end to the rancorous standoff between the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House was hastened by the imminent deadline to extend the debt ceiling to avoid a national default. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks past reporters after a meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 in Washington. The partial government shutdown is in its third week and less than two days before the Treasury Department says it will be unable to borrow and will rely on a cash cushion to pay the country’s bills. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

(AP) — Congress’ debt-and-spending breakthrough crystalized a political contradiction.

House Republicans refuse to let their supposed leader, Speaker John Boehner, steer them toward big policy decisions, leaving him to endure repeated public embarrassments. Yet they rally around Boehner as much as ever, affirming his hold on the speakership Wednesday even as they choked down a Democratic-crafted bill to reopen the government, lift the debt ceiling and give Republicans only a few small concessions.

“He’s done a good job keeping us together,” said Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C.

“I think his stock has risen tremendously, and certainly he has great security as our leader and our speaker,” said Rep. John Fleming, R-La.

Imagine the praise from Republicans who voted in favor of the bill, which Boehner described as the best deal he could get under the constraints his colleagues handed him. Hudson and Fleming were among the 144 House Republicans who voted “no,” forcing their leader once again to pass a high-profile measure that most GOP members opposed. Eighty-seven Republicans voted for it, joining all the Democrats in the chamber.

Hudson and Fleming also are among the House’s dozens of tea party-backed Republicans, whose disdain of compromise has vastly complicated the speaker’s job. Even before Wednesday, House Republicans’ habit of praising but not heeding Boehner reflected the tea party’s devotion to putting principle above deal-making.

Boehner is a seasoned legislator. He constantly seeks 218 votes needed to pass House bills and scraps for the best bargains he can cut with Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama.

Ho-hum, say many rank-and-file Republicans. While polls show Americans chiefly blame Republicans for the debt-and-shutdown gridlock — and GOP Sen. John McCain declared “we have lost this battle” — many of them seemed satisfied with the stand they made. That philosophy surely would have baffled many predecessors in Congress.

“The dynamics got much better,” Fleming said, when Boehner “quit going to the White House to negotiate and he began to listen to us, to what we thought would work.” Fleming called the debt and spending outcome an acceptable “stalemate.” Democrats weren’t able to reduce the “sequester” spending cuts they oppose, he said, and Republicans failed to delay or defund Obama’s health care overhaul.

Republicans “lost the battle, but we’re going to win the war,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., said of plans to keep attacking “Obamacare.” In January, Huelskamp voted to dump Boehner as speaker. But he joined in Wednesday’s standing ovation for Boehner in a closed-door caucus gathering.

“This is probably the best example of him following the 200 folks in our caucus who are conservative and are worried about Obamacare,” Huelskamp said after the meeting.

Boehner said in a subdued statement, “Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president’s health care law will continue.”

Boehner lost control of the debt-and-shutdown debate weeks ago, when tea party-backed Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas launched a national drive to close much of the government if Democrats didn’t agree to “defund Obamacare.”

Senior Republicans called the mission hopeless. Boehner urged his colleagues to focus on the debt ceiling instead. The threat of government default, he said, would give them greater leverage to demand spending cuts from Democrats.

It’s the same advice Boehner gave in January at a widely praised House GOP retreat in Williamsburg, Va. Republicans, he said then, must decide “where’s the ground that we fight on? Where’s the ground that we retreat on?”

Whatever progress Boehner made in Virginia was apparently lost this month, when scores of House Republicans joined Cruz’s ultimately doomed crusade.

GOP lawmakers would have fared better “had we let the speaker pick the battlefield and the battle,” said Republican strategist Mike McKenna. He said Boehner and his team did the best they could “with the mess that Ted Cruz’s dead-end strategy left them.” He said House Republicans appreciate that Boehner didn’t say, “I told you so.”

With the government now funded through mid-January, and the debt ceiling lifted a few weeks beyond that, some lawmakers say Congress is headed toward renewed partisan brinksmanship this winter.

“All this does is delay this fight four months,” said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said Republicans erred by focusing on the government funding bill instead of the debt. But he doesn’t blame Boehner.

“We’re a body of independent contractors, each with his own constituency,” Kingston said. Boehner, he said, “is going to be OK. You know, it’s a pretty tough job.”

Previous House speakers found that to be true, even when their caucuses followed their advice.


Associated Press writers Donna Cassata, Alan Fram, Henry J. Jackson, Laurie Kellman and Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.

Associated PressSource:
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Les News, 101913

Miley for Hallowe’en, ‘Rambo, But Gay’, ‘Big Ass Spider’ Looks Fun

  • • Playing Where’s Waldo at New York Comic-Con is fun! [Buzzfeed]
  • • There’s nothing “unthinkable” about moving to Detroit from NYC. [Queerty]
  • • Who wants to dress like Miley Cyrus for Hallowe’en. [PopSugar]
  • Gravity still reigns supreme. [GossipCop]
  • Rambo, but gay. [Towleroad]
  • • Brazil looks lovely this time of year. [Oh La La]
  • • Idiots destroy 170 million years of natural beauty. [Newser]
  • Big Ass Spider looks horrifyingly fun. [Heavy]
  • Lady Gaga uses her ass to promote her next single. [Idolator]
  • Mayim Bialik sues. [Starpulse]
  • Beyoncé is a daredevil. [Global Grind]
  • Jennifer Garner got bangs. [LaineyGossip]
  • Chris Kattan (Saturday Night Live) is 43, Trey Parker (South Park, Book of Mormon) is 44, Jon Favreau is 47, Jennifer Holliday is 53 and John Lithgow is 68 years old. Click HERE to see who else is celebrating a birthday today.

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Jessica Alba’s Daughter Honor Loses Her First Tooth: See the Picture!

Honor Warren‘s smile is missing something — but don’t worry, it’ll grow back soon enough. The 5-year-old daughter of Jessica Alba and Cash Warren lost her first tooth recently, and her mama couldn’t be prouder.

PHOTOS: Jessica Alba’s chic maternity style

Alba took to Instagram on Monday, Oct. 14 to share an adorable picture of her little girl clutching a plastic bag with her baby tooth in it and grinning wide to show off her milestone moment. “My baby is so big! Lost her first tooth!!!” the A.C.O.D. actress captioned the shot.

PHOTOS: Hollywood’s hottest marriages

Alba frequently uses social media to share moments large and small in her life. Four months ago, the star posted a sweet picture of Honor to wish her little girl a happy fifth birthday. “Today 5 years ago my sweet little angel Honor came into this world. I’m so blessed to be her mommy,” she wrote. And in May, the actress paid tribute to her husband of five years on their anniversary, posting a collage of her most memorable moments with him: “#mylove+myheart+mybestfriend+myconfidant ur my everything, I love u.”

PHOTOS: Jessica’s daughter Haven — see pics from her first year!

The couple are also parents to daughter Haven, 2.

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EU to fault Turkey over protests but urge new talks

By Adrian Croft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A keenly awaited European Union report will criticize excessive use of force by Turkish police in tackling protests this year but urge the EU to breathe new life into Turkey‘s faltering bid to join the 28-nation bloc.

The executive European Commission publishes its annual progress reports on Wednesday assessing how far Ankara and other countries aspiring to membership have come in bringing their laws and behavior into line with EU standards.

EU governments have said they will take this year’s report into account in deciding whether to revive Turkey’s frozen accession process by opening talks on a new policy area, known as a chapter, the first to be opened in three years.

Turkey began negotiations to join the EU in 2005, 18 years after applying. But a series of political obstacles, notably over Cyprus, and resistance to Turkish membership in key members Germany and France have slowed progress to a snail’s pace.

EU governments, led by Berlin, postponed plans to extend the talks to regional policy in June as a rebuke for the Turkish authorities’ handling of environmental demonstrations.

Protests swept Turkish cities after police used teargas and water cannon to disperse a sit-in against the redevelopment of an Istanbul park. Two weeks of clashes with police left four people dead and about 7,500 injured.

The Commission‘s report will criticize excessive use of force by police and a lack of dialogue with protesters, but it will also note reforms made by the Turkish government, including a “democratization package” announced by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan last month, an EU source said.

The report should not create any obstacle to opening a new round of membership talks with Turkey, the source said.

“On the contrary, we make it very clear that we expect the member states to deliver on what they have agreed and promised,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Turkey is deeply frustrated at what it sees as humiliating treatment by Europe, which has turned its public opinion against EU membership. Turkish EU negotiator Egemen Bagis complained this month that the EU has held dozens of summits with Russia, China, Brazil and other partners in the last decade but only one with Turkey and other candidate countries.


EU governments will consider the Commission’s report at a meeting on October 22 and EU sources say they could decide to launch the new round of talks with Turkey in early November.

Ankara has provisionally completed just one of 35 chapters of accession talks. It has opened a dozen more policy areas but most of the rest are blocked due to disputes over the divided island of Cyprus or hostility from some EU members.

The Commission hopes the EU and Turkey will be able to sign an agreement to re-admit illegal immigrants sent back from the EU and start talks before the end of the year on easing visa requirements for Turks travelling to the EU, the source said.

While Turkey’s membership bid has languished, Brussels has moved faster to integrate the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Croatia, which began negotiations on the same day as Turkey, has already joined the bloc and Serbia won a green light in June to start negotiations by next January.

The Commission will propose starting talks on fundamental rights and justice first with Serbia, setting interim benchmarks to keep up pressure on Belgrade to continue normalizing relations with its former province Kosovo, the EU source said.

If it failed to achieve the benchmarks, the EU could slow progress in other areas.

The Commission will also propose on Wednesday that EU governments formally recognize Albania as a candidate for membership, the source said.

A year ago, the EU executive recommended that Albania be granted candidate status, subject to judicial and public administration reforms.

The Commission believes those conditions have now been met and will not set any further conditions beyond saying Tirana must continue efforts to fight corruption and organized crime.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Paul Taylor)

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U.S. delegation to Iran talks includes sanctions expert

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. delegation to next week’s talks about Iran‘s nuclear program includes one of the U.S. government‘s leading sanctions experts, a hint that Washington may be giving greater thought to how it might ease sanctions on Tehran.

Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, effectively the State Department‘s third-ranking diplomat, will lead the U.S. delegation to negotiations between Iran and six major powers in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday, the State Department said.

The central issue at the talks, which will involve Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States and Iran, will be to explore what, if any, steps Iran might take to curb its nuclear program and what, if any, sanctions relief the major powers may offer in return.

Western powers are concerned that Iran is seeking to develop atomic bombs. Iran denies that, saying its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

The U.S. delegation will include Adam Szubin, the director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, and among the U.S. government’s foremost experts on sanctions.

Szubin has led OFAC since 2006 and is responsible for administering and enforcing the U.S. government’s economic sanctions programs to advance foreign policy and national security objectives.

The U.S. team also includes James Timbie, senior adviser to the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security; Puneet Talwar, senior director for Iran, Iraq and the Gulf States on the White House National Security Staff; and Richard Nephew, principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the State Department, a U.S. official said.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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