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Filipino troops kill notorious Abu Sayyaf kidnapper in clashMANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine marines have killed an Abu Sayyaf extremist commander and a notorious kidnapper who had sailed across the sea border into Malaysia to snatch tourists and sailors for ransom, the military chief said Saturday.

Posted: April 29, 2017, 1:28 am

6.8-magnitude quake strikes the Philippines: USGSA 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the Philippines early Saturday, triggering a tsunami warning that was later lifted, Philippine and US authorities said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the quake, which shook the southern region of Mindanao just before dawn, Philippine officials said. It struck at a depth of 41 kilometres (25 miles) in Mindanao, more than 700 kilometres southeast of the capital Manila, at 4:23 am Saturday (2023 GMT Friday), the US Geological Service said.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 11:24 pm

Samsung won’t stop saying weird things about the Galaxy S8’s design

A little over three weeks ago, Samsung felt it needed to explain the design of its gorgeous Galaxy S8 to everyone with yet another annoying design story. If you ask me, the Galaxy S8’s design doesn’t need any explanations, at least as long as they sound as bad as the design posts Samsung used to write when it had to defend its plastic phones. But Samsung did it anyway. For some reason, Samsung is now back with a second Galaxy S8 design story, and it’s just as equally disturbing as the first one.

This time around, the blog post is structured as an interview between Samsung and Samsung. I’m not even going to get into the fact that a Samsung employee is interviewing a different Samsung employee for the time being. Let’s just check out some of the “best” parts of it.

The oneness is back

“It’s often said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and this certainly rings true for smartphones,” Samsung designer Hyoungshin Park said. “So, in line with our philosophy of neutrality, we aimed to create a seamless design that highlights the visual unity of the device under the concept of ‘oneness.’”

“The Galaxy S8 in particular is differentiated by the oneness of its materials,” designer Hyejin Bang answered when asked how the concept of oneness applies to glass and metal.

Later in the interview the reporter asked this question: “Considering so many different people worked on various aspects of the design, how were you able to apply the concept of ‘oneness’ to create a coherent design?” It really is something every Galaxy S8 user should know.

The response itself would not be important, but Park gave us this tidbit: “Designing the Galaxy S8 was a lengthy, systematic process – one that lasted much longer than a year! – and required a great deal of teamwork.” Later in the interview, Samsung designers explained how they interacted with the development team and the hardware team to come up with the final version of the Galaxy S8. “In the end, however, we were able to collectively, as one, achieve our goals.”

All that teamwork talk only made me wonder how long the design, development, and hardware teams spent on creating the Galaxy Note 7 last year and whether they had enough time to do a good job given Samsung’s pressure to release the phone as early as possible. But the Samsung reporter did not ask any hard questions, so we’ll never know.

One thing that also sticks out is that the word "safety" doesn’t appear anywhere in the interview, which is strange considering Samsung has been under a lot of pressure to deliver a product that won’t explode or show any other massive manufacturing fault.

That elusive true essence

Oneness isn’t the only buzzword Samsung is throwing out there. We also have the true essence of the Galaxy S8. To create a device under the concept of oneness, Samsung “focused on creating a design that is harmonious, natural and centered on the true essence of the Galaxy S8.”

It’s really unclear what that true essence of the phone is, but as you keep reading you find out it’s the display. Apparently, at some point during the development of the phone, the design team recognized the smartphone’s true essence is the display, more than anything else. Better late than ever, I suppose. It’s only been 10 years since everyone realized the display is all that matters in a smartphone.

To maintain that essence, Samsung placed the home button under the display and moved the fingerprint sensor to the back, “a location users can easily reach when holding the device in their hand.” Yes, Samsung said that.

Furthermore, it gave the phone black top and bottom bezels to make it appear like it stretches seamlessly from the top to the bottom. The Bixby button is also a solution Samsung created to avoid compromising the design of the phone. Too bad the button doesn't really work right now.

The full interview is available at this link, but you'd be better off just looking at this pretty picture of the Galaxy S8 than reading the second party of its design story.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 10:58 pm

First Lady dedicates 'healing' garden at children's hospitalWASHINGTON (AP) — Off in the distance, young patients can see the Washington Monument from the hospital's new rooftop "healing" garden, dedicated Friday by first lady Melania Trump as a place children and their families can breathe fresh air, "relax and enjoy in peace."

Posted: April 28, 2017, 10:11 pm

Correction: Missing Children-Arkansas storyMENA, Ark. (AP) — In a story April 27 about two missing Arkansas children, The Associated Press, relying on information from the Polk County Sheriff's Office, reported erroneously the age of one of the children. Reilly James Scarbrough is 9, not 10.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 10:05 pm

Donald Trump Is America’s Experiment in Having No GovernmentYes, it seems scary. But it’s all in the name of science.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 8:51 pm

Elon Musk just unveiled the first photo of Tesla’s upcoming semi-truckEarlier today, Elon Musk delivered an engrossing TED Talk under the following umbrella theme: The Future You. While TED Talks have arguably reached a saturation point these days, any time Musk is given a platform to discuss his vision for the future, it's always worth paying attention to. While Musk's talk was predictably far-ranging, he did take some time to not only confirm the development of a Tesla semi-truck, but to also give us a teaser photo of what the company's all-electric semi-truck is going to look like. Before we get to the photo, it's worth noting that Musk earlier this month promised that the company was planning to hold an unveiling event this September. And teasing the vehicle like only Musk knows how, he added that the "team has done an amazing job" while adding that the final design is "seriously next level." When addressing Tesla's truck plans during today's TED Talk, Musk went even further, boasting that a prototype of the vehicle has already been built and that it drives "like a sports car." Below is the teaser photo Musk unveiled earlier today. Aside from the semi-truck mentioned above, Tesla has plans to release a slew of other vehicles over the next few years, including a brand new Roadster, a crossover version of the Model 3 dubbed the Model Y, and a pickup truck. In fact, Musk at one point went so far as to say that Tesla would be stupid not to release a pickup truck, a reasonable assessment given that the 3 top-selling vehicles in the United States this past year were all pickup trucks.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 8:33 pm

Andmesh’s cool elastomer cases are finally available for the iPhone 7 Plus

We’ve covered Andmesh's elastomer iPhone cases a few times before here on the site. They’re like no other cases out there, both in terms of their design and the material they’re made from. Elastomer is a cool rubbery substance that’s harder than silicone but still flexible and grippy. The pattern is another unique aspect, with a cool design that spreads different sized holes across the back of the phone. It still covers your iPhone, but you can still see the Apple logo through the case.

Andmesh makes its cases for a bunch of different iPhone models, but it hasn’t ever made one for the iPhone 7 Plus… until now. If you’re looking for a cool and original case that protects your phone as well, definitely give the Andmesh Elastomer iPhone 7 Plus Case a shot.

Here are the highlights from the product page:

  • A stylish layout and design: This design covers up the buttons and yet it still allows you to reliably operate them with a minimum amount of effort, not hindering in any way its usability. Its tiny hole is big enough that it resembles the Apple mark, so the Apple mark is still slightly visible in this design.
  • Made from excellent materials: Made with Japan-produced elastomer, which is neither too hard nor too soft, and doesn't feel sticky on the hands. This evolved iPhone7 has an appropriate case which has an additional water-proof quality.
  • A reliable durability: The hemispheres which are set in the lateral sides of its interior have been strengthened in order to protect it from any impact. It even passes the United States Military Standard drop test.
  • A comfortable and solid grip: It has a rounded finish which is pleasant to the grip. It covers the LCD screen with a thickness of over 1mm, and this guarantees the protection of the fragile space between the LCD screen and the case.
  • Supported model: iPhone 7 Plus Supported Weight: Approx. 40g Raw materials: Japan-made elastomer Type: Case Color: Four colors (Red / Black / Gray / White)

Posted: April 28, 2017, 7:44 pm

Tad Cummins' Wife Says She Warned Her Husband About Getting Too Close to TeenJill Cummins says the girl was like a daughter to her.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 7:37 pm

Barack Obama says Obamacare is more popular than Trump in first attack on presidentBarack Obama and Donald Trump have had something of a testy relationship since the New York businessman assumed the presidency.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 7:16 pm

NRA’s Wayne LaPierre calls academic and media elites ‘America’s greatest threat’Executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre spoke ahead of President Trump at an NRA meeting and said academic and media elites are “America’s greatest domestic threats.”

Posted: April 28, 2017, 6:55 pm

You Can Now Eat At Taco Bell's Top-Secret Test KitchenIt's like getting access to Willy Wonka's factory.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 5:52 pm

Reports: US troops deploy along Syria-Turkish borderBEIRUT (AP) — U.S. armored vehicles are deploying in areas in northern Syria along the tense border with Turkey, a few days after a Turkish airstrike that killed 20 U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters, a Syrian war monitor and Kurdish activists said Friday.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 5:48 pm

Footage Shows 3 Inmates Brutally Beating Jail Guards, Leaving 1 UnconsciousAuthorities say the trio repeatedly punched the two correctional deputies at Cook County Jail in Illinois.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 5:10 pm

Body of Missing Toddler Found Under Couch in Family's Home, Death Deemed 'Suspicious:' ReportSemaj Crosby had been playing with other children in an Illinois yard not far from her home when the 16-month-old girl vanished.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 5:09 pm

2017 Hyundai Ioniq HybridKorea's attempt to out-Prius the Prius.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 4:35 pm

Palestinians say dozens wounded at protests for prisonersRAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Dozens of Palestinians were hurt in clashes with Israeli soldiers at demonstrations across the West Bank Friday in support of hundreds of prisoners observing the 12th day of an open-ended hunger strike, Palestinian health officials said.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 3:31 pm

Trump signs spending bill to avert government shutdown — for one weekThe House passed a continuing resolution, or "CR," giving Congress until next Friday to hammer out a spending deal for the rest of the fiscal year.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 3:13 pm

6 Hidden Gems in Utah's National ParksUtah's Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks illustrate the diverse terrain and geological splendors of America's top national parks. "Millions of people visit Zion, but relatively few go exploring into the park's secret places," says Janice Holly Booth, author of the book "Only Pack What You Can Carry: My Path to Inner Strength, Confidence and True Self Knowledge," a book published by National Geographic. Instead of hiking on the popular trails with the masses and venturing to well-traversed parks like the iconic Arches National Park, immerse yourself in the backcountry and remote spots to enjoy seclusion and stunning scenery.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 2:08 pm

Turkey arrests American and Briton entering from SyriaISTANBUL (AP) — An American and a British man, allegedly members of the Islamic State group, were arrested in Turkey after crossing the border from Syria and handing themselves over to the authorities, officials said Friday.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 12:53 pm

Mystery deaths in Liberia linked to funeral - WHOBy Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Nine people have died and eight are sick in Liberia after attending the funeral of a religious leader, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday. On Wednesday, the WHO said Liberian health authorities were taking rapid precautionary steps after eight people died of a mystery illness, 10 months after the end of a two-year Ebola virus outbreak. "It seems all of these people were attending the funeral of a religious leader," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told a briefing in Geneva.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 12:18 pm

Late Boy's Family Wants April's Calf To Be Named After HimThe calf, who is now almost two weeks old, will be named through a vote held by the upstate New York zoo.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 10:07 am

Can the Hennessey Exorcist drive out the Dodge Demon?Texas tuner extraordinaire Hennessey Performance wants to give anyone considering snapping up the new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon cause for concern. At the New York International Auto Show, Dodge confounded expectations with an 840hp street-legal drag car called the Demon. Based on the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and set to be offered as either a full turnkey car or as a conversion for existing ZL1 owners, the Exorcist has a totally overhauled engine complete with ported cylinder heads, new valves, a new camshaft, a high-flow supercharger, plus new exhaust system.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 9:28 am

Trump administration's hardline immigration stance in Supreme Court case could see Melania Trump deportedThe argument that even an "immaterial" error on official paperwork can justify deportation, put forward by the Trump administration in a recent Supreme Court case, would be sufficient to deport the President's wife, Melania. The First Lady of the United States reportedly failed to disclose earnings from nearly two months of illegal work in the USA on a visitor's visa, and subsequently failed to mention the offence on immigration documents. A Serbian woman was recently deported for failing to disclose her husband's history in the military, thus setting a technical precedent for deporting Ms Trump, as Slate reports.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 9:17 am

Melania Trump Donned Military-Inspired Ensemble At Meeting With Argentine PresidentFirst lady Melania Trump opted for a military-inspired olive green ensemble during her husband's meeting with the Argentine president at the White House.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 8:42 am

Who are Egypt's Coptic Christians?Pope Francis arrives in Cairo on Friday hoping to mend ties with Islamic religious leaders but his message of peace comes as Egypt's Coptic Christian community faces unprecedented pressure from Islamic State militants who have threatened to wipe it out. Below are some facts about Egypt's Coptic Christians: -- The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of oldest in the world.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 8:17 am

Arkansas's fourth execution in eight days ends death chamber flurryBy Steve Barnes GRADY, Ark. (Reuters) - Arkansas on Thursday executed its fourth inmate in eight days, administering a lethal injection to a man who killed two people after escaping from a prison where he had been serving a life sentence for murdering a cheerleader. Kenneth Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. at the state's Cummins Unit prison. The state, which had not held an execution in 12 years until this month, had already put three other inmates to death since April 20.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 5:37 am

Tad Cummins Admits To Wife He Slept With Elizabeth ThomasTad Cummins' wife said he admitted to her he slept with Tennessee teen he is accused of kidnapping in Maury County.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 4:36 am

Detainees found in 'secret cell' in Philippines: rights groupA dozen people have been found stuffed inside a closet-sized cell hidden behind a book shelf in a Philippine police station, triggering further alarm about abuse under President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly war on drugs. Members of the government's human rights commission, accompanied by journalists, found the men and women in a surprise visit to the station in the heart of Manila's slum area on Thursday evening.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 4:34 am

This blind test lets you work out which smartphone camera is best

Mobile photography has come a long ways since the original iPhone was released with a rather unremarkable 2 megapixel camera. Even for its time, the original iPhone camera was far from impressive. In particular, low light photography on the original iPhone was notoriously poor. With subsequent iPhone releases, however, Apple began devoting more and more engineering resources towards improving camera quality on the iPhone, and before you knew it, the iPhone eventually became the smartphone to beat with respect to camera quality.

But it's not as if Android handset manufacturers were just going to cede the crown to Apple without a fight. That being the case, camera quality on Android has improved dramatically in recent years. These days, discerning which smartphone actually delivers the highest quality photographs is up for debate. Arguably, most laypeople can't even tell the difference between high quality photos taken on various top-shelf smartphones.

In an effort to help figure out which top of the line smartphone delivers the best photographs, Marques Brownlee came up with a fun and clever way for users to objectively rate photographs taken from competing devices. So while some shootouts might be subject to the biases of the reviewer, Brownlee presents a series of photographs from 5 of the best smartphone cameras on the market and only tells the viewer which photos come from which smartphone after the fact.

The cameras tested include the Google Pixel XL, the LG G6, the Galaxy S8, the OnePlus 3T, and last but not least, the iPhone 7 Plus.

Now the differences between the photos are slight, but definitely noticeable. As Brownlee notes, often times the "color temperature" accounts for the biggest difference across the five devices. Additionally, comparing photo quality in low light environments is a great way to separate really good smartphones from great ones.

Having played the game myself, here's how I ranked the 5 devices: 1) Galaxy S8 2) iPhone 7+ 3) LG G6 4) Google Pixel XL 5) OnePlus 3T.

That the Google Pixel XL performed so poorly isn't much of a surprise. Previous camera shootouts involving the Pixel XL and the iPhone 7 Plus revealed that the difference in photo quality across the two devices is stark, with the photo below serving as a prime example.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 3:33 am

GOP says it can pass short-term spending without DemocratsWASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans said they would push a short-term spending bill — essential to keeping the government open — through the House Friday with only GOP votes, if necessary.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 3:29 am

Venezuela defies international powers, Trump weighs inVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday intensified his row with foreign powers that he accuses of plotting to overthrow him. "I am proud to say I took the decision... to free our country from interventionism," Maduro said in a speech on Thursday. "We are free of the OAS and we will never return," he added.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 1:46 am

The Latest: California authorities identify slain woman, 86NORTH HIGHLANDS, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the apparent random beating death of an elderly California woman (all times local):

Posted: April 27, 2017, 11:23 pm

Le Pen says voters must choose 'for or against' FranceFar-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen delivered a ferocious attack Thursday on her globalist rival Emmanuel Macron, saying voters faced a choice "for or against France". The candidates' starkly differing visions on France's future are at the heart of the May 7 election run-off -- with Macron, a 39-year-old former banker embracing free trade and the EU, while Le Pen wants to seal France's borders and quit the euro. "The country Mr Macron wants is no longer France, it's a space, a wasteland, a trading room where there are only consumers and producers," Le Pen told a cheering crowd of some 4,000 supporters in the Riviera city of Nice, a rightwing stronghold.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 9:55 pm

Slain trooper's young sons in court as killer gets deathMILFORD, Pa. (AP) — With his victim's two young sons in court for the first time, a gunman who shot and killed a Pennsylvania trooper was formally sentenced to death Thursday, one day after a jury determined he should receive a lethal injection for the ambush at a state police barracks.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 9:05 pm

Sheryl Sandberg's mother-in-law stuns her by encouraging her to remarryWhile Sheryl Sandberg and her mother-in-law, Paula Goldberg, were cleaning out Dave Goldberg’s closet after he passed away, Goldberg said something that stunned Sandberg. "You are not only going to live, but you are going to get remarried one day — and I am going to be there to celebrate with you," she said.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 9:05 pm

Cops Hunting for Getaway Driver Who Helped 'Bachelor' Flee Scene of Fatal CrashWitnesses said Chris Soules was picked up in a red truck after walking away from the scene.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 8:27 pm

United Airlines reaches settlement with David Dao after doctor was violently dragged off flightUnited Airlines has a reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum with the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month. Dr David Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, was taken to hospital after Chicago aviation police dragged him from the plane to make space for four crew members on the flight from the city's O'Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky. "I hope he becomes a poster child for all of us, someone’s got to," Thomas Demetri, Dr Dao's attorney, said during a press conference on Thursday.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 7:31 pm

The BMW M550d xDrive Touring Is the Quad-Turbo Diesel Wagon of Your DreamsAnd no, it's probably not coming to America.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 6:15 pm

Syria to buy latest Russian anti-missile system: AssadSyrian President Bashar al-Assad said Damascus is negotiating with regime ally Moscow to buy the latest Russian anti-missile system to repel Israeli and American attacks. "It's natural that we should have such systems," he said, quoted by Syria's official SANA agency on Thursday, the same day as Damascus accused Israel of firing several missiles at a military position near its international airport. "Israel has been committing aggressions on the Arab states surrounding it since its creation in 1948," Assad said in the interview with Venezuelan channel Telesur.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 6:12 pm

NASA’s Cassini survived its first Saturn dive, and delivered some mind-blowing photosNASA delivered some fantastic news very early this morning, announcing that the Cassini spacecraft had successfully survived the first of its "Grand Finale" dives. The craft was out of radio contact for many hours as it ventured closer to the surface of Saturn than any earthly equipment had ever gone, and it shot some really stunning photos that show the planet in greater detail than we've ever seen. Cassini's first dive sent it straight through Saturn's rings, shooting for a gap that measures roughly 1,500 miles wide which is light on debris. The craft cruised through its targeted space at speeds around 77,000 miles per hour, relative to the surface of the planet, and NASA notes that even the smallest particles could have spelled utter doom for the hardware if it was hit in the wrong spot. "In the grandest tradition of exploration, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has once again blazed a trail, showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare," Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in a statement. The images Cassini delivered are the best photos humanity has ever had of Saturn's atmosphere, showing in detail the unique cloud formations that simply hadn't been seen previously. The photos were shot at a distance of about 1,900 miles from the planet, which might sound big, but is actually quite close when compared to most of Cassini's other photos. Cassini's next dive will take place on May 2nd, and it will be the second of 22 total dives. So buckle up, because there's lots more awesome eye candy in store.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 5:39 pm

Jesse Watters makes controversial Ivanka Trump comment"The View" co-hosts discuss Fox News' measures against sexual harassment.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 5:25 pm

National monuments at risk under Trump’s executive orderFederal areas that may lose their status as monuments are in places ranging from New Mexico and Arizona to Hawaii and Midway atoll.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 2:09 pm

ACLU defends Coulter after Berkeley speech cancellation“For the future of our democracy, we must protect bigoted speech from government censorship,” stated David Cole, head of the ACLU, in Coulter's defense.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 1:46 pm

How Donald Trump's tax cuts could directly enrich himself and US most wealthyAt least two of the measures included in Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts stand to make him, his family and the wealthiest Americans much richer, experts have claimed. The billionaire businessman's plans were described as the "biggest tax cut" in US history by American Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and billed as a boon for ordinary businesspeople. The proposed cut to corporation tax and income tax for the US's highest earners, has caused outrage among some critics.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 1:19 pm

Abbas turns screw on Hamas by cutting Gaza's electricityBy Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - With the prospect looming of a Middle East peace initiative by a new U.S. administration more sympathetic to Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to turn the screw on the Hamas group that has kept Gaza out of his control for a decade. Abbas's Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) on Thursday told Israel it would no longer pay for the electricity Israel supplies to Gaza, a move that could lead to a complete power shutdown in the territory, whose 2 million people already endure blackouts for much of the day.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 12:33 pm

Tributes for Taiwanese trekker lost in Nepal tragedyA Taiwanese trekker is recovering in hospital after rescuers found him and his dead girlfriend on a mountainside in Nepal where they were stranded for 47 days, surviving on only water and salt after their food ran out. Liu Chen-chun, 18,​ died just three days before the rescue team located the couple in northwest Nepal, but her boyfriend managed to survive despite losing 30 kilos (66 pounds) during the ordeal. A severely malnourished Liang Sheng-yueh, 20, was being treated in hospital in Kathmandu, where he was airlifted after being rescued from the remote region.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 10:58 am

Korean Businesses Targeted During LA RiotsIn archival NBC News footage, Diana Koricke reports on Koreans targeted during the 1992 riots, in part because of the light sentencing a South Korean store owner received after fatally shooting a teenaged black girl.

Posted: April 27, 2017, 8:47 am
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