Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nikon brings Wi-Fi and improvements to D5300 DSLR, plus pricey 58mm pro-level prime lens

There are several noteworthy improvements in Nikon D5300 Cheap's new D5300 APS-C (DX) DSLR from its predecessor, the D5200. One of Nikon's best-selling and most popular models, the midrange 24.1-megapixel D5300's smaller and lighter body has improved ergonomics - there's more surface area on the grip for a tighter hold and more clearance between your fingers and the lens. Despite the body being smaller, the vari-angle flip-out LCD got bigger (3.2 inches from 3 inches in the D5200). With the Expeed 4 image processor the ISO range has increased (100-12,800). But the big addition is that Wi-Fi is now built into the camera ­- a first for Nikon DSLRs.

Another big change, Nikon has removed the optical low pass (anti-aliasing) filter from the 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, to improve the image quality of stills and videos - a trend that's happening with many new cameras. The D5300 has the same 39-point autofocus system and 5 frames-per-second continuous shooting as the D5200. There's also Nikon's Scene Reconigtion System that uses the 2,016-pixel RGB metering system to automatically select exposure, AF, and white balance based on the scene conditions.

Wi-Fi has been available in Nikon cameras via an optional adapter, but the D5300 will be the first to have it built in. It's also the first Nikon DSLR to have onboard GPS, which lets you geotag your images before you upload or e-mail them from the camera via a connected smartphone or tablet. You can also use a connected smart device as an external monitor for remote shooting.

For video capture, Nikon has added Full HD 1080p at 60p. There are nine special effects you can use to edit in-camera, including a "HDR painting" feature that lets you alter the colors of an image to make it look as if it was shot as a high-dynamic range photo.

The D5300 is on sale now for $1,400, which comes with the AF-S Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR kit lens; if you're stepping up and you already have a set of Nikkor DX lenses, you can pick up just the body for $800. The camera comes in three colors: black, red, and a new gray option.

AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G lens

In addition to the D5300, Nikon has also announced a new pro-level prime lens, the AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G. Carrying the legacy of popular Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 lens, this fixed 58mm focal length (35mm/FX equivalent; 87mm DX/cropped format) is ideal for shooting portraits, landscapes, and street photography, Nikon says, but it's all about achieving bokeh - that artistic background blurring - with the nine-blade diaphragm. Made for low-light capture, the lens has Nikon's Nano Crystal coating to avoid ghosting and flare. The Silent Wave Motor operates quietly when autofocusing, which is key for recording video.

This premium lens will go on sale later this month for $1,700.

Source: Digitaltrends

Nikon Coolpix S6600 review

<Nikon D5300 Buy Cheapp>What's great?
The vari-angle screen, photo filters and glamour effects make it seriously fun to use.

Gesture control doesn't work, it's a bit slow to process effects and image quality is not top priority.

The bottom line:
Not a camera for enthusiasts but as fun as your mobile and better at photography.

Nikon Coolpix S6600: Review

The concept of the selfie photograph has become so huge in today's world of social networking profiles that the word made it into the Oxford English Dictionary in August 2013. So then, it should be of little surprise that imaging company Nikon has dreamed up a compact to perfect the art of the digital self-portrait.

This is the Nikon Coolpix S6600. It's a device with a £199 price tag that buys you a 16MP image sensor and a 12x optical zoom lens. More importantly, though, its 2.7-inch LCD screen is a full, flip-out vari-angle display which you can turn all the way back on itself to the point where you can be looking straight at the lens and also at the shot that's about to be taken at exactly the same time. Throw in eight glamour retouch features and built-in Wi-Fi for photo sharing, and you've got a compact born and bred for parties and social networking. Sounds good on paper, so how does it fare in real life?

Nikon Coolpix S6600: Pocket camera

That screen aside, there's very little either noteworthy or novel about the Nikon S6600. It's small and light. It weighs just 165g and measures 97 x 57 x 27mm. So, it's something like the size of a stubby mobile phone and, just as one would hope and expect, it fits in your pocket nicely enough with the added bonus that you can turn the screen around and when you stow it so that your keys and coins won't scratch the display.

In the aesthetics department, it's certainly classy enough. The plastic finish of the front face is smooth and modern, and the back has a matte metal look. There's nothing freakish or awkward about the position of the battery, memory card slot or the basic controls on the back but it does take a little getting used to that both the scene selector and the playback mode controls are on the top of the camera next to the shutter release, power and zoom.

There's only two things that would make this compact easier to use. The first is a video record button on the top. The vari-angle screen means that you end up shooting from the hip and even lower quite a lot and the switch on the rear isn't always easy to find. The other modification is that the S6600 is screaming out to be touchscreen controlled. All the retouching functions would work fantastically well. It's just a pity that it would probably end up pricing this device out of the market if Nikon had ended up including one.

Nikon Coolpix S6600: Selfie style

The flip-out, full spinning, 2.7-inch LCD screen on the Nikon S6600 absolutely makes this camera. It's a worthy and welcome inclusion in a compact and far from typical in these kinds of models. Even at its most basic, it's superb for taking to parties or grabbing a two-shot of you and your buddy out and about wherever you are without having to ask some random to grab the pic for you. This screen means that you can compose it just the way you want and capture a moment while it's still there. Given that much of photography is about trying to do just that, it's not something that we credit lightly.

The fun begins when you decide you wish to take things a bit further. The S6600 has eight beauty effects to make any one or more of your subjects even prettier than they already are. You can whiten teeth, whiten eyes, widen eyes, remove bags, smooth skin, make cheeks rosier, brighten faces and make faces smaller too. You can take any one of these to the extreme or, more effective is just to select one or two of them at their lower settings. Ultimately, none of these will turn you into Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie but they're highly effective at removing the odd flushed face, smoothing out a bad skin day or making a 6am snap look a little less wired.

Finally, there's also a gesture control mode that Nikon has squeezed in to help out with those times when you want to prop your camera up on a wall but would rather not have to make the self-timer dash. Instead, the idea is that you raise you palm and then tell the device whether you want to take the shot or zoom in or out a bit first by moving your hand around to select some on-screen options. It's a really nice idea but sadly it doesn't work. It's quite good at sensing your palm but not much cop at any functions beyond that. It's a pity but certainly not an experience-ruiner.

Nikon Coolpix S6600: Effects and filters

Everyone loves a bit of post-production these days with preset filters all the rage over the more laborious and painstaking boredom of spending your life in Photoshop. Like all good camera manufacturers, Nikon has shown its customers that effects aren't just for mobile phones and there's a very healthy selection indeed available inside the S6600. It's all the usuals from Pop Art, Cross Process and Toy Camera all the way to colour selections, Fisheye and Miniature mode too. You can even set the camera to offer up these settings straight after you've captured each shot just like Instagram although that does slow things down a bit.

Speaking of which, that's one of the major issues we have with this compact camera. Yes, it's great to have all these fun features, filters and beautifying effects but the image processor insides isn't quite up to the task. It can do the job but it takes half a second or two too long. If only Nikon had put a more powerful computer inside to crunch those graphical numbers, then this would be a very impressive compact indeed.

Finally, there is one mode that will offer hours of fun and it's not one we've come across before. Hidden between the high and low key options is Mirror which captures a symmetrical image. You can get lost in patterns and funny faces for quite some time.

Nikon Coolpix S6600: Picture quality and video

If you're used to using a CSC, DSLR or even a high end compact camera, then the results from the S6600 are a bit disappointing. The colours are well handled and, when sharp, photos look excellent but the reality is devices like this one are more about the fun than they are about pure image quality. They're simply not built with big enough image sensors and the manual settings to ensure that your snaps are perfect every time.

Things are mostly good outdoors but, as soon as you get into artificial light situations, you really need the flash to get anything that's neither too noisy nor too blurred to use. It's also not that good at keeping up with your subject when in motion in daylight either. In the majority of the family snaps that we grabbed, the young kids tended not to come out as clean as they could, and that's pity. Our advice would be to shoot in Sports mode where possible to avoid this kind of problem rather than rely on the Smart Scene selector to do it for you. Ultimately, though, one shouldn't expect the Earth in terms of image quality from a device like this one.

That said, we would like to give a quick nod to the video at this point which was largely excellent. The sound recording is a bit tiny, naturally, but footage was always well focused and the vari-angle screen makes it really good to use.

Nikon Coolpix S6600: Wi-Fi and uploads

As with just about every camera we're seeing this year, the Nikon S6600 comes with a Wi-Fi module built in. You can't use it to hop onto your home network or any other local loop out there. It's all about broadcasting a mini-system of its own. The idea is that you can then set your tablet or smartphone to hook up with it and use the Nikon Wireless Mobility app to transfer images, take remote control pictures or add a geotag from your device's GPS.

As ever, it's a nice touch but perhaps not vital. The best uses are for sharing pictures with others while out and about as well as uploading to Facebook and Twitter. It would be nice to have the facility in the app to go straight to these social networks but that's not the case. You need to transfer the pics first and then go to your mobile or tablet's image library and take it from there. It's not super smooth but it certainly works.

Nikon Coolpix S6600: Verdict

Photography purists should stay well away from the Nikon Coolpix S6600 but then photography purists have no business in the the mid-to-low-end compact market. This is a party camera, a people's camera and a self-portrait camera and of that there should be no mistake. The image quality could be better and it really needs to process the funky effects a lot quicker but, if you're after something to take on a night out, touch up and then post to Facebook while you're still revelling, then the S6600 is a really good option.

Source: Msn

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nikon Releases Cryptic Teaser for New DSLR Camera

<Nikon D5300 Buy Cheapp>A man stands in an open field, a soft breeze rustling long strands of green grass around him. He gazes out at the landscape.

Though that scene might seem like a perfect opener for a gritty, independent film or a self-reflective novel, it's actually the beginning of Nikon's new teaser ad. Viewers watch a mysterious man, clad in a beige trench coat, as he adjusts something unseen with a couple of clicks. Right when he lifts what we know to be a camera to his face, the scene changes back to him in the midst of the gloomy landscape.

That teaser doesn't show the camera but it includes a very important sound that excited many camera fiends online - the distinct click of an old-school shutter. That small clue paired with one line of dialogue at the end - "It's in my hands again" - seem to hint that Nikon will release a retro-styled DSLR camera.

Little else is known beyond hearsay, with Nikon Rumors conjecturing that the full-frame camera will be called the Nikon DF, for "digital fusion." The post also claims the camera will include the same autofocus system found in the D610 and that it will offer settings for aspect ratios of 1:1, 3:2 and 16:9.

On its official site, Nikon explains the short video as the first in a series called Pure Photography. The videos follow a photographer traveling through Scotland as he "reunites with his creative self during this uniquely ambitious trip."

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Image: YouTube, Nikon Asia

BONUS: 5 Fun DIY Camera Kits

  • Source: Mashable

    Nikon Releases Cryptic Teaser for New DSLR Camera

    <Nikon D5300 Buy Cheapp>A man stands in an open field, a soft breeze rustling long strands of green grass around him. He gazes out at the landscape.

    Though that scene might seem like a perfect opener for a gritty, independent film or a self-reflective novel, it's actually the beginning of Nikon's new teaser ad. Viewers watch a mysterious man, clad in a beige trench coat, as he adjusts something unseen with a couple of clicks. Right when he lifts what we know to be a camera to his face, the scene changes back to him in the midst of the gloomy landscape.

    That teaser doesn't show the camera but it includes a very important sound that excited many camera fiends online - the distinct click of an old-school shutter. That small clue paired with one line of dialogue at the end - "It's in my hands again" - seem to hint that Nikon will release a retro-styled DSLR camera.

    Little else is known beyond hearsay, with Nikon Rumors conjecturing that the full-frame camera will be called the Nikon DF, for "digital fusion." The post also claims the camera will include the same autofocus system found in the D610 and that it will offer settings for aspect ratios of 1:1, 3:2 and 16:9.

    On its official site, Nikon explains the short video as the first in a series called Pure Photography. The videos follow a photographer traveling through Scotland as he "reunites with his creative self during this uniquely ambitious trip."

    Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

    Image: YouTube, Nikon Asia

    BONUS: 5 Fun DIY Camera Kits

  • Source: Mashable

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

    Nikon Releases Cryptic Teaser for New DSLR Camera

    <Nikon D5300 Couponsp>A man stands in an open field, a soft breeze rustling long strands of green grass around him. He gazes out at the landscape.

    Though that scene might seem like a perfect opener for a gritty, independent film or a self-reflective novel, it's actually the beginning of Nikon's new teaser ad. Viewers watch a mysterious man, clad in a beige trench coat, as he adjusts something unseen with a couple of clicks. Right when he lifts what we know to be a camera to his face, the scene changes back to him in the midst of the gloomy landscape.

    That teaser doesn't show the camera but it includes a very important sound that excited many camera fiends online - the distinct click of an old-school shutter. That small clue paired with one line of dialogue at the end - "It's in my hands again" - seem to hint that Nikon will release a retro-styled DSLR camera.

    Little else is known beyond hearsay, with Nikon Rumors conjecturing that the full-frame camera will be called the Nikon DF, for "digital fusion." The post also claims the camera will include the same autofocus system found in the D610 and that it will offer settings for aspect ratios of 1:1, 3:2 and 16:9.

    On its official site, Nikon explains the short video as the first in a series called Pure Photography. The videos follow a photographer traveling through Scotland as he "reunites with his creative self during this uniquely ambitious trip."

    Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

    Image: YouTube, Nikon Asia

    BONUS: 5 Fun DIY Camera Kits

  • Source: Mashable

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013

    Winners of the NME Photography Awards with Nikon announced

    <Nikon D5300 Offersp>See all the winners' work at an exhibition in London

    The winners of this year's NME Photography Awards with Nikon have been announced.

    We asked for contributions for the best budding new music photograpers across categories including Live, Portraits, Festivals, Documentary and Under-18s.

    The winning entries can be viewed in a free exhibition between October 24 and November 6 at London's The Printspace, 74 Kingsland Road, E2 8DL.

    Each year, the NME Photography Awards with Nikon aims to find the best and brightest new talent in photography.

    We also celebrated the work of more established photographers with our Professional category. Entries were judged by our expert panel made up of NME Editor Mike Williams, NME Picture Director Zoe Capstick and last year's Outstanding Contribution to Music Photograhy winner, Roger Sargent.

    Plus, we gave users the chance to have their say with the Readers' Choice award.

    NME Editor Mike Williams says: "We've trawled through hundreds of amazing entries across all the categories which have caused much deliberation. We make it our mission every year to pick out the most exciting new talent in music photography and these images showcase just some of the new talent whose images we hope will be gracing our iconic covers in future."

    This year's outstanding contribution prize went to Pieter M Van Hattem.

    The winners of this year's NME Photography Awards with Nikon are:

    Under 18s
    Winner: Tiegan Neary

    Runner-up: Menai Gwen Richards
    Highly commended: Wouter Loeve Portraits

    Winner: Jamie Brown

    Runner-up: Mino Tristovskij Live

    Winner: David Sexton

    Runner-up: Rodrigo Jardon

    Highly commended: Peter Dovgan


    Winner: Josh Groom

    Runner-up: Zoltán Balogh Documentary

    Winner: Arpad Horvath

    Readers' Choice

    Orit Pnini


    Janos Kummer

    Outstanding Contribution

    Pieter M Van Hattem

    Please login to add your comment.

    Latest Tickets - Booking Now

    NME Store & Framed Prints

    Source: Nme

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Attempted-Murder Suspect Declared Dead Shows Up In Edmonton

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    A Canadian man who fled attempted murder charges in the U.S. and was declared legally dead is living in Edmonton and will likely never be tried for the alleged crime, CBC News has learned.

    Alex Varga is at the centre of a bizarre tale that spans Canada, the U.S. and his native Hungary.

    Varga currently resides in Edmonton, but in 2006, he was living in the Tampa area in Florida with his wife and family, working as a plumber and renovator.

    One day, he went to a garage to discuss a bad paint job on his 1969 Ford XL. He took it up with the garage owner, Keith Pryor, an auto body mechanic who did custom work on vintage cars.

    Although Varga and Pryor were friends, their meeting ended in violence.

    "It was a heated situation, and like I said, it should never have happened," Varga recently told the CBC.

    Pryor was shot four times in the mid-section and groin area. His wife, Susan Pryor, said her husband called her, after calling 911, and said, "Honey, I just got shot. Don't panic."

    'Honey, I just got shot'

    During the investigation, Pryor told Tampa police detectives that Varga turned up at the garage with a gun and shot him four times. Varga told CBC News that Pryor came at him first, and that he simply defended himself.

    While an ambulance roared toward the garage, Varga fled the scene, and eventually travelled to Hungary, his birthplace, where he still had family.

    Tampa Police filed charges for attempted murder and armed trespassing, got a warrant for Varga's arrest and issued alerts to neighbouring police and security forces to be on the lookout for him.

    Varga told CBC News he ran because he had no faith in U.S. justice and that a lawyer he contacted immediately after the shooting quoted him a $40,000 fee just to take the case - with no guarantees. He says the lawyer also warned him that the Pryor family could sue him in civil court.

    "I wanted to protect my family 100 per cent, you know?" Varga said.

    "And I didn't want anybody to lose out, not even a dime over... what happened."

    Susan Pryor said the enduring pain from the bullets prevented her husband from working. The couple eventually lost their automotive business and their house.

    Pryor said her husband was tormented by Varga's escape from the law.

    "He made his own flyers, and went out and posted them on newspaper stands, on poles, trying to get word out to help find him," she said.

    In 2011, after Varga, the only suspect in the case, still hadn't turned up, Keith Pryor took his own life.

    Life as an international fugitive

    After six years as an international fugitive, Varga claimed he is a victim himself. He alleged his wife, Carmen, a deputy sheriff in Hillsborough County, Fla., tried to defraud him, a Canadian insurance company and the Canadian government by having him declared legally dead.

    In the meantime, all charges against Alex Varga have been dropped.

    Varga said he never communicated directly with his wife over those six years, not even when one of their sons died. But he alleged they relayed messages to each other through a third party and that Carmen knew he was alive after he fled - though he said he can offer no proof of that correspondence.

    In September 2012, Varga made his way to Edmonton, where he had lived in his youth, after his family emigrated from Hungary in the late 1960s. Rather than finding a fresh start, Varga learned that legally he was considered dead.

    What had happened was that several weeks after he disappeared in 2006, Carmen Varga filed a missing persons report. Five years after that, she went to a Florida court and had her husband legally declared deceased.

    Under Florida law, that is perfectly legal if the court is satisfied that the person in question has been missing for five years and the absence can't be explained "after diligent search and inquiry."

    Once she had a death certificate, Carmen Varga received survivor's benefits from her husband's Canada Pension Plan. She also tried to claim a half a million dollar life insurance policy from Manulife Financial, which was never approved.

    Most notably, the death certificate allowed the Hillsborough County Sheriff's department to quash the warrant for Alex Varga's arrest.

    So when Varga arrived in Canada, he was a free man. But he was furious, telling Alberta authorities, as well as the man in charge of professional standards at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's office, that he believed his wife had perpetrated a fraud by taking control of their home and two other properties in Florida.

    "I still couldn't believe that she might have been thinking to get her hands on properties and everything I owned down in the states. Because they scare me with this charge and they thought I would never surface," Varga told CBC.

    Back from the dead

    Carmen Varga was adamant she didn't know her husband was alive. She did not respond to several requests from CBC News for an interview.

    The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office told CBC News they looked into the allegations but found no proof their deputy sheriff had broken the law. A Florida court overturned the death ruling after Alex Varga came forward.

    With word that Varga was alive, the warrants for his arrest were briefly reactivated. But in June of this year, the Tampa state attorney's office decided to drop all charges, arguing that with Keith Pryor dead and no weapon or other witnesses available, it was too difficult to make the case.

    It is unlikely the case will ever be reopened.

    Alex Varga didn't want to talk about the shooting. In an interview with CBC News, he said he understands that the Pryor family has suffered, but he doesn't take responsibility for that.

    "I think Keith Pryor, he did his utmost to earn what happened to him," Varga said.

    When asked to clarify whether he was saying that Pryor deserved to be shot, Varga said, "I'm not saying he deserved anything."

    Varga explained further: "None of this would have happened... But he just simply took me for my money and he had no intention whatsoever right from the get-go to do a nice job like we shook hands on."

    Several days after CBC interviewed him in Edmonton, Varga called to say that he was withdrawing his comments and that he didn't want the interview to air.

    Also on HuffPost:

    Source: Huffingtonpost

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    Balfour Beatty plc : Balfour Beatty Construction Awarded Eastman Corporate Business Center

    <promotionalp>(FAIRFAX, Va. - Oct. 9, 2013) Balfour Beatty Construction has been selected to provide preconstruction and construction management at risk services for Eastman Chemical Company's new Corporate Business Center. Located in Kingsport, Tenn., the facility will be an innovative "workplace of the future" that will bring multiple company organizations together into one building to foster employee creativity and collaboration.

    "We are thrilled to be Eastman's partner on such an important project for their company," said David Laib, senior vice president at Balfour Beatty. "We look forward to providing Eastman employees a world-class, innovative workplace that they will be proud to call home."

    The multi-story office facility will be designed to accommodate more than 850 employees and feature amenities such as a fitness center, cafeteria, customer meeting spaces, customer innovation space, and conference rooms. The design will incorporate branding and sustainability elements, Eastman's high-performance and energy efficient building products where possible, flexible space solutions, and maximum natural light. Jacobs KlingStubbins of Philadelphia is serving as the project's architect-engineer.

    Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that serves customers in approximately 100 countries and employs approximately 14,000 people around the world. The Corporate Business Center is part of Eastman's overall "Project Inspire," a $1.6 billion, seven-year plan that will add 300 new jobs and grow the company's corporate campus and presence in the local Kingsport area.

    Find out more information on "Project Inspire."

    Preconstruction services are already underway. Construction is anticipated to begin the first quarter of 2014 with completion aimed for late summer 2015.

    About Balfour Beatty Construction

    An industry leader for more than 80 years, Balfour Beatty Construction provides general contracting, at-risk construction management, and design-build services for a wide variety of markets, serving clients in both the public and private sector. With more than 2,400 employees across the U.S., the company has been cited as a Top 10 Green Builder by Engineering News-Record, and as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For® by FORTUNE magazine, four years in a row. The company is part of London-based Balfour Beatty plc, a global infrastructure services business operating in more than 80 countries, with a worldwide commitment to providing assets that help societies function, develop, and thrive. To learn more about the company, visit or look for BalfourBeatty US on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

    Find out more about our Construction US Division

    Source: 4-traders

    Saturday, October 12, 2013

    Minn. DNR credits firearm-safety programs for drop in hunting fatalities over last 30 years

    <minnp>NEVIS, Minn. - The number of hunting fatalities in Minnesota has dropped substantially in the past few decades, a trend that state officials attribute to effective firearm-safety programs.

    Thirty years ago there were averages of 55 shooting incidents and eight fatalities per year. Now there are half as many shootings and an average of two to three deaths, the Bemidji Pioneer reported ( ).

    The biggest reason for the drop is that most hunters today have taken courses on firearms safety and hunter education, said Mike Hammer, who coordinates education programs for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. That's why shooting numbers are down even though the number of hunting licenses has nearly tripled since 1968, he said.

    The hunter-safety program was enacted into state law in 1955. In the early 1990s the state began requiring that everyone born after Dec. 31, 1979, complete the course before they could buy a firearms hunting license, he said.

    DNR statistics show that big-game hunting carries a higher risk of fatal accidents than waterfowl hunting does. That's because of the higher-caliber firearms involved, Hammer said. Accidental shootings among waterfowl hunters tend to result in injuries, not death, when someone gets struck with stray shotgun pellets.

    "It's typically not a close-range accident," he said.

    But that changes when waterfowl hunters are together in a boat. Their close proximity to each other raises the risk of a fatality.

    That's what happened in Hubbard County last week when a duck hunter accidentally shot and killed his friend. Both had stood up in the boat to shoot a duck when the hunter lost his balance and his shotgun discharged.

    It was the first duck-hunting fatality in Minnesota since a 27-year-old was killed in Douglas County in 2006.

    There were 10 hunting deaths in Minnesota from 2008 to 2012. Seven happened during a deer hunt, while the other three occurred on goose, pheasant or turkey hunts, according to DNR records. At least half the deaths were attributed to self-inflicted wounds from the accidental discharge of the hunter's firearm.

    The DNR has noted one unfortunate trend - a rise in situations where dogs cause accidental firearm discharges. There have been five such cases in the last five years, Hammer said.

    Source: Startribune

    Friday, October 11, 2013

    'Blue screen of death' attacks some iPhone 5S owners

    Users popping in on Apple's support forums say their iPhone 5s iphone cases vans units are blue screening and then rebooting.

    (Credit: YouTube/Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET)

    The infamous Blue Screen of Death seems to have expanded from Windows PCs to iPhones.

    Several iPhone 5S owners report that their phones are turning a mean shade of blue and then restarting. Some of the users chiming in on the Apple Support Communities and MacRumors forums say the problem occurs when they use the Numbers app in Apple's iWork suite, which comes free with the new iPhones. But a couple of people report that it also happens when using the ESPN ScoreCenter app.

    The bug apparently has been present since the outset, since one of the forum messages is dated September 21, the day after the 5S went on sale. One possible remedy, at least for users running into BSODs with iWork, is to disable iCloud syncing for the iWork suite, according to The Verge.

    CNET contacted Apple for comment and will update the story with any further details.

    Read the full CNET Review

    The bottom line: The iPhone 5S is not a required upgrade, but it's easily the fastest and most advanced Apple smartphone to date. Read Full Review

    Average User Rating

    4.0 stars 19 user reviews

    Source: Cnet

    Friday, October 4, 2013

    Clarks Green celebrates centennial

    <1p>As a newspaper delivery boy, Patrick Calvey knew the hot spots in Clarks Green before they became popular.

    Every morning, the now 85-year-old would watch the sun shine on a patch of daffodils off Glenburn Road. There was a barn filled with haystacks - now Our Lady of Peace School - where he and his friends would crawl through "hay tunnels" and play hide-and-seek.

    A Clarks Green resident since 1958, Mr. Calvey can rattle off stories about famous borough residents or iconic stores. So he's thrilled Clarks Green is celebrating its 100-year-old history.

    "I think it's wonderful for a small community like ours to celebrate its history," he said.

    On Saturday, the Clarks Green Centennial Committee is kicking off the borough's anniversary celebration with the dedication of a historic church bell.

    Though the borough's anniversary isn't until May 2014, the gathering outside the Borough Building at noon lays the foundation for a number of celebratory items planned in the coming months.

    Built in 1869, the church bell was originally located in the steeple of the old Clarks Green Baptist Church. But after the Masonic Lodge bought the building, the bell was kept in a garage for years, according to Mayor William Thorburn.

    Now, the church bell sits under a "Welcome to Clarks Green" sign.

    "It's nice to have an artifact that old from one of the first churches," said resident Rick Williams, who has lived in Clarks Green for 58 years.

    Clarks Green residents will also receive a commemorative calendar featuring historic photographs, including a picture of founder William Clark's residence, committee members said.

    The committee also plans to hold a celebration on Memorial Day weekend in 2014, where members hope to unveil an estimated $20,000 Victorian era street clock at Glenburn Road and North Abington Road.

    Contact the writer:, @miorfinoTT on Twitter

    Source: Thetimes-tribune

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

    Ascent Solar's solar power iPhone cases score a win with

    Ascent Solar Technologies Inc., has scored a big win with the announcement that its EnerPlex product line - which includes solar power-enabled cases for the Apple 5s designer iphone cases juicy and the Samsung Galaxy smart phones - will be available via

    Victor Lee, Thornton-based Ascent's president and CEO, said the agreement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will be "a huge advantage" for the company and growth of the EnerPlex brand name.

    "The ability for our customers to purchase EnerPlex products from the world's largest retailer Wal-Mart is a huge advantage for the growth of the EnerPlex brand," Lee said.

    You can check out the Ascent's EnerPlex line at here.

    "The growth of ecommerce as the preferred method of shopping by most American consumers is a trend which EnerPlex is perfectly positioned to take advantage of," Lee said.

    Ascent (NASDAQ: ASTI) makes consumer and off-grid products that have flexible, thin-film solar power panels built into them.

    The line includes protective smart phone cases with solar power panels, a rechargeable battery pack, and a flexible, portable thin-film solar power panel pack that fits into a briefcase or backpack.

    I talked to Lee late last year about the Ascent's shift from large, rigid solar power panel systems to small, personal-sized, flexible ones, and how that decision enabled the company to thrive while other thin-film solar power companies in Colorado floundered.

    Cathy Proctor covers energy, the environment, transportation and construction for the Denver Business Journal and edits the weekly "Energy Inc." newsletter. Phone: 303-803-9233. Subscribe to the Energy Inc. newsletter
    Source: Bizjournals

    Insight: Little-known Hollywood investor poised to score with Twitter IPO

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    Credit: Reuters/Hyungwon Kang

    A tweet from Twitter Inc. announcing its initial public offering is shown in this photo illustration in Toronto, September 12, 2013.

    Over the past two years, Suhail Rizvi, founder of New York private equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management, has quietly amassed a stake of more than 15 percent in the microblogging phenomenon for himself and his investors at a cost of more than $1 billion, according to three people with knowledge of his investments.

    The previously unknown extent of Rizvi's involvement in Twitter comes as the eight-year-old company prepares for Silicon Valley's biggest coming-out-party since Facebook Inc in 2012.

    Twitter will soon file its IPO registration document with U.S. securities regulators, revealing the identities of top shareholders. Because the shares Rizvi purchased are distributed among investors via multiple vehicles, it is unclear whether the filing will list Rizvi or his individual investors. The size of his personal stake has not been disclosed.

    People with direct knowledge of his investment activities say that Rizvi, backed by Chris Sacca, a former Google executive and Twitter investor, were instrumental in attracting large private investors to the microblogging site, serving as matchmaker between the company's founders and global financiers from Wall Street to Riyadh.

    Rizvi declined to comment for this article. Sacca, a longtime friend, gave him an entree into tech investing in 2011 - when Twitter was still struggling to make money - and from there, Rizvi scored stakes in some of the most sought-after Internet startups, from Facebook Inc before it went public to Square and Flipboard.

    Rizvi's string of tech deals came amid intense competition among hedge funds and private equity investors to secure shares in startups, highlighted by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner's 2009 investment in Facebook.

    With tech companies waiting later than ever to go public, some investors believed they may miss out on the biggest gains if they wait to buy shares in public markets, when a company's value may no longer rise exponentially.


    The son of an Iowa psychology professor, Rizvi has networked with rich and powerful people including Queen Noor of Jordan and Google Inc's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, devising financing schemes that leveraged his access to deep-pocketed investors, according to people who know Rizvi.

    Those who invest with Rizvi include British billionaire Richard Branson and Jeffrey Skoll, the former eBay executive and film producer, according to people with knowledge of the matter. It is not clear whether they are among the investors he brought into Twitter.

    Before turning his attention to the Internet, Rizvi's deal-making focused on Hollywood. He helped Hugh Hefner take Playboy Enterprises private; bought and then sold the Hollywood film studio behind the "Twilight" series; and led the buyout of a leading talent agency, International Creative Management (ICM).

    Rizvi is not alone among entertainment investors who have turned their focus to Silicon Valley. Former News Corp executive Peter Chernin's Chernin Group has invested in Tumblr, Pandora and Flipboard, while Michael Ovitz, the talent agent and former Disney CEO, has invested in Ron Conway's SV Angel funds, the tech incubator Y Combinator and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

    But few have operated on the scale of Rizvi. Twitter has a policy of restricting outside investors to only a handful, but Rizvi has had more freedom to bring in additional investors since he bought a large slice of the company.

    "He's not to be underestimated. His approach to traditional media as well as technology has put him in a great position," said Jeremy Zimmer, chief executive of United Talent Agency, a competitor of ICM. "His ICM investment was viable and gave him a seat at the table and a chance to make a sound investment in Twitter."


    In late 2010, Sacca approached Rizvi with an offer: Sacca's friend, Evan Williams, had stepped down as CEO of Twitter and was seeking to sell 10 percent of the company. Rizvi soon snapped up the shares for $340 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Following that first transaction, the two men formed a highly efficient tag team, the sources said. Sacca would seek shareholders who wanted to cash out, while Rizvi helped raise money to purchase the stock.

    The friends successfully pitched JPMorgan Chase on a deal to buy more than $400 million worth of Twitter shares in 2011. Months later, Rizvi recruited Kingdom Holding Co, Saudi Prince Alwaleed's investment company, to buy an additional $300 million in stock in a separate vehicle.

    JPMorgan Chase and representatives for Alwaleed did not respond to requests for comment on the deal.

    By mid-2013, investment vehicles managed by Rizvi and Sacca had collectively bought more than $1 billion in shares, a stake that at one point amounted to nearly 20 percent of Twitter before it was diluted in recent months, sources said.

    Twitter declined to comment.

    Rizvi's Twitter connections opened the doors to other investing opportunities. Last year, Rizvi led a $200 million investment in Square, the mobile-payment processing company founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, at a $3.25 billion valuation. On September 24, Rizvi led a $50 million financing round for the news reader app Flipboard, whose founder, Mike McCue, once sat on Twitter's board.

    But he has not always gotten his way in Silicon Valley. Although Rizvi owns indirectly some shares of Pinterest, Rizvi failed to purchase a significant stake when the online scrapboard site raised $100 million in 2012 and $200 million this year. It was unclear what stymied his attempts.

    "He fought tooth and nail for an allocation" but failed, an angel investor in Pinterest recalled. "He was willing to pay."

    It also remains unclear whether Rizvi's Internet investments other than Twitter will pan out. Some industry insiders note that he missed out on the huge gains that were made with very early investments in social media, and companies including Square and Flipboard remain unproven. Rizvi was able to buy only $100 million in Facebook shortly before its IPO, thus limiting his returns, according to people with knowledge of the matter.


    Rizvi, who owns a sprawling three-home compound in Greenwich, Connecticut, and a 1.65-acre Palm Beach, Florida, estate near Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, was born in India but moved to Iowa Falls, a town of 5,200 people, when he was 5.

    Along with his older brother Ashraf, a hedge fund manager, Rizvi graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton business school. Both now serve on the undergraduate school's executive board.

    Rizvi worked as a real estate analyst while at Wharton, then he started and sold a telecom company. With the proceeds, he financed his first big buyout in 1995, when he bought the electronic manufacturing business of a Puerto Rico phone company. Refocusing it on making higher-cost equipment, he spent the next four years boosting the company's annual revenue from $10 million to $450 million.

    He would not break into the elite circles of media investing until 2004, after he founded Rizvi Traverse with John A. Giampetroni, a New York private equity investor.

    In 2005 the ICM talent agency, which represented stars like Mel Gibson and Robert Redford, was looking for financing as it struggled with the defection of key agents and stars.

    Rizvi took a controlling stake in ICM for $100 million, including $95 million in debt financing from Merrill Lynch & Co, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Rizvi Traverse put up just $5 million. Later, he refinanced the agency for $300 million against future revenue from assets like "Friends," the popular show in which ICM holds a stake.

    That $300 million loan was enough to repay Merrill Lynch and provide a hefty return for Rizvi and his partners.


    Even as Rizvi's circles have broadened, he has continued to keep a low profile, both in his personal style - sometimes flying commercial, one Hollywood executive said - and in his hands-off approach to tech investing. Despite bringing capital, he has not taken a board seat at Twitter, Square or Flipboard.

    Rizvi's trusted lieutenant, Ben Kohn, has instead been the face of the firm on the West Coast, several entertainment industry executives said. Known for an aggressive negotiating style that contrasts with Rizvi's more reserved stance, Kohn manages a dozen employees out of a small office in Los Angeles.

    Rizvi's growing network includes the likes of Vivi Nevo, the secretive Time Warner Inc shareholder who also famously prided himself on being "UnGoogleable," mutual friends of the two men said.

    But while Nevo is now easy to find online, Rizvi maintains an elusive Web presence. The only readily found picture of Rizvi is a snapshot of him sitting with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Alwaleed in a New York hotel after the prince bought Twitter shares.

    The photo, on a Saudi news outlet, had irked Twitter executives and Rizvi, as they had preferred to keep the transaction quiet.

    (Reporting by Ronald Grover in Los Angeles and Gerry Shih in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Sue Zeidler in Los Angeles and Sarah McBride in San Francisco; Editing by Edwin Chan, Jonathan Weber, Tiffany Wu and Douglas Royalty)

    Source: Reuters

    OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet Arrives for iPhone 5s/5 and Galaxy S4

    OtterBox is best known for making some of the most popular rugged cases for the 5s best iphone cases silicone 5s, iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4, and today they are adding to that line with a new OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet case.

    The OtterBox Commuters Series Wallet case combines the protection of the popular Commuter series with a slot that holds up to three cards and one bill in a small slide out partition on the back of the case.

    OtterBox boasts that this allows you to access your cards without flipping the case over like many other wallets and notes that the wallet compartment includes an audible click when opened and closed so you'll know your cards are securely tucked away.

    Read: Best iPhone 5s Cases

    OtterBox sells two models of the Commuter Series Wallet. The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 model comes in black, white and grey and pink and light grey and fits both phones. Unlike the Defenders Series iPhone 5s case there is no need for a special version with a cutout for the Touch ID sensor. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Commuter Series Wallet is available in the same colors.

    OtterBox sells the Commuter Series Wallet case for $44.95 for the iPhone 5s/5 and Galaxy S4 models with sales live on OtterBox currently.

    OtterBox sent the iPhone 5s Commuter Series Wallet Case over and we've been using it today to get a feel for the new case option. The case is slightly thicker than the iPhone 5s Defender Series case we recently reviewed, but not too thick to use. The front of the case protects the edges of the device, and keeps any case parts away from the screen so it's easy to use the new iOS 7 gestures and the Touch ID on the iPhone 5s.

    The case features a two piece design with a silicone inner and hard plastic outer shell. The only complaint about the back is that it is very slick and slides around much easier than a Defender case when on a hard surface. Flipping the phone face down solves this minor issue.

    Three cards and one bill fit tightly in the wallet compartment, but removing them is easy enough to master. Three cards is the essential amount of space for most users as it can cover a ID, credit card and a debit card. While some users may have trouble slimming down to three cards every day, it will at least put your most used cards within reach. The wallet section opens easily and with a click. There is enough pressure that the wallet shouldn't open accidentally.

    Read: Best Galaxy S4 Cases

    The case covers the volume and power buttons with rubber covers for easy pressing and leaves the mute switch uncovered. The headphone and charging ports are covered with the soft inner layer and work with most headphones and charging cords.

    OtterBox includes a self adhesive screen protector in the bundle which may offer some added protection from scratches. The OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet Case is not waterproof.

    Source: Gottabemobile

    Transmissions from a Lone Star: Apparently We Are All Getting Very Old

    <nutp>Recently I have been feeling slightly long in the tooth. It was the death of Mrs. Thatcher that did it. Watching the street parties on TV, I couldn't help but notice how very young the revelers were: most of those idiots had not been born when she stepped down from office. And yet I remembered her resignation as if it were yesterday. Suddenly I realized that I was of a different era, that I was now in the same position as those bores who were always banging on about Woodstock when I was a teenager.

    And if Mrs. Thatcher's resignation is increasingly "ancient history," then that means some of my other memories must be positively Jurassic. Here, the pop culture index is most telling. 1960s rockers like Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney have always seemed "old" to me, but now even the members of rubbish New Romantic bands from the 1980s are closing in on their pensions. Simon Le Bon will turn 55 later this month, for example. His song "The Reflex" is older now than Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" was in 1984, the year Duran Duran released that terrible single.

    There is nothing unique in this sudden anxiety about aging, of course. Indeed, it is very banal - and what's more: I knew it was coming. Regardless, awareness of the steady piling up of the years stirs new concerns - about my health, my strength - how long can I keep going before I become decrepit? I have health insurance, but in the United States, co-pays can still bankrupt you. Will "Obamacare," which was launched this week only for many of the online health insurance exchanges to promptly crash, improve the situation? I have no idea.

    And I'm not the only one who's getting on a bit. Apparently the entire global population is aging. This week I read the Global Age Watch Index 2013 report and discovered that by 2050, people aged 60 and over will outnumber those under 15 for the first time in history. There will be 10 times as many old codgers as there were in 1950.

    Now this is mainly a cause for celebration: it is good that so many of us will outlive our ancestors who for millennia struggled to make it out of their childhoods. But how will societies pay for all these pensioners as the youthful tax base dwindles? Old folk will be required to keep working much longer than before, and the aisles of Wal-Mart and Home Depot will surely fill up with helpful gray-hairs. We should all get some retail experience if we are not to starve in our dotages.

    Currently, according to the report, the best country for old folk is Sweden, while the top 10 is rounded out with the usual boring countries that always score so highly in global welfare lists: Norway, New Zealand, etc. At the bottom end, Afghanistan is worst and Russia is also shockingly bad, placing 78th out of the 90 countries under study. The United States actually did pretty well, coming in eighth, but I am skeptical. Conditions in the US are too diverse: if you're a wrinkly old coot in Connecticut, then yes, things are probably pretty good. And if you're an aged Mexican immigrant living in Texas' impoverished Rio Grande Valley? Not so much.

    But that's not all: there's another problem with the study. Researchers measured four factors: "income security," "health status," "employment and education" and "enabling environment" (e.g. the accessibility of public transport, pottery classes for seniors, etc.). But what about factors that cannot be measured? For instance, one of the greatest pleasures of old age is the freedom to be a cantankerous old devil, revered for your wisdom by younger generations. In this regard, developed countries lag far, far behind the likes of Afghanistan or Turkey, or even Russia where elderly ladies are viewed with such terror that they are frequently recruited to work as security guards in museums and apartment buildings.

    In the United States and Europe, however, there is an imbecilic cult of youth, and the old are usually sidelined. Indeed the White House is staffed by absurdly young people, which may explain much about why so many policy decisions seem naive and half-thought-out to those of us who are older than, say, 22. In parts of the United Kingdom, respect for the elderly has broken down completely and pensioners live in fear of feral youth, or at least that's what the tabloids tell me. Of course, I'd much rather be a comfy codger in Sweden than a revered elder dodging drones in Afghanistan. But how much better it would be if we could combine the best of both worlds!

    Ultimately though, growing old is rubbish, no matter where you live. The experience is perhaps summed up best by the once virile, now nearly geriatric country singer Kris Kristofferson, who sang the following lines: "You know old trees just grow stronger / old rivers grow wilder every day / old people just grow lonesome." Billions more humans than ever before will soon find out precisely how lonesome.

    Then again, as my Texas grandma used to say: "I hate getting old, but it sure beats the alternative." She lived to be 98.

    The views expressed in this article are the author's and may not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti. What does the world look like to a man stranded deep in the heart of Texas? Each week, Austin- based author Daniel Kalder writes about America, Russia and beyond from his position as an outsider inside the woefully - and willfully - misunderstood state he calls "the third cultural and economic center of the USA." Daniel Kalder is a Scotsman who lived in Russia for a decade before moving to Texas in 2006. He is the author of two books, Lost Cosmonaut (2006) and Strange Telescopes (2008), and writes for numerous publications including The Guardian, The Observer, The Times of London and The Spectator. Transmissions from a Lone Star: The UN General Assembly 'Explained' Transmissions from a Lone Star: Will Somebody Please Pay Me to Lie in Bed All Day? Transmissions from a Lone Star: In Britain, Big Brother Is Watching Your Dog Poop Transmissions from a Lone Star: Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman: A Heartwarming Tale of True Friendship Transmissions from a Lone Star: Vasily Grossman: From Stalingrad to Toilet Trouble Transmissions from a Lone Star: Why do Russians Hate Texas so Much? Transmissions from a Lone Star: When Kings Go Incognito Transmissions from a Lone Star: Is Dostoyevsky Dangerous? Transmissions from a Lone Star: The Reading Habits of Guantanamo Bay Inmates Transmissions from a Lone Star: The Slow Creative Death of Vladimir Mayakovsky Transmissions from a Lone Star: Apparently We Are All Getting Very Old
    Source: Ria

    Qualcomm exec calls Apple's 64-bit iPhone 5s processor a 'gimmick'

    There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the iPhone 5s iphone cases otterbox proflight commuter zambia's new 64-bit processor ever since Apple unveiled the chipset last month. Some have applauded the upgrade to the iPhone while others have implied that the new chip might not be much of an upgrade at all. Techworld reports that Qualcomm CMO Anand Chandrasekher is in the latter of those two groups. In an interview, Chandrasekher said that he believes the announcement was nothing more than a "marketing gimmick. There's zero benefit a consumer gets from that."

    Chandrasekher also said that the 64-bit processor is only necessary when running a device with greater than 4GB of RAM, whereas the iPhone 5s only contains 1GB of RAM. Others have argued that despite the early implementation of the 64-bit chip, Apple has cleared the way for developers to begins production of 64-bit apps on future devices by striking first. Other smartphone makers are clearly taking note as well, as evidenced by Samsung's insinuation that the Galaxy S5 will also contain a 64-bit processor.

    The iPhone 5s also slaughtered rival smartphones in performance tests, so Apple is clearly doing something right.

    Chandrasekher went on to say that Qualcomm, developer of Snapdragon processors, will inevitably move to 64-bit as well at some point in the future. The hardware will eventually demand a more powerful processor, but Apple's preemptive strike might have come a bit too early.

    Source: BGR