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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Looking to knock a few bucks off the price tag on that new smartphone? Sell your old one

TechHive.com

My iPhone 4S is the only smartphone I've ever owned, so I've never really thought much about what I'd do with it when it's time to upgrade. I have to admit, thought, that the idea of selling it or trading it in is getting more and more attractive.

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One in seven Americans will never, ever read this

Pew Internet & American Life Project

And I don't mean they're just unlikely to know that it's here, or find it interesting enough to read, or even to be able to read. I mean there's a zero percent chance they will even stumble upon this.

That's because they never use the Internet.

According to a poll released today by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, 15 percent of Americans don't use the Internet at all, and prefer it that way.

Just for a frame of reference, more than twice that many Americans own an iPad or other tablet computer. (Fun fact: Roughly the same percentage of Americans said they had consulted with a fortune teller or psychic in a 2012 Pew survey.)

What's more, it should tell you something if that number seems high to you — because it's never, ever been lower.

That feels significant, doesn't it? That statistic has shown a steady decline since 1995, and it's still hard to believe there are that still that many people who don't use the Internet at all. …

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Two things about iOS 7 that I'm still getting used to

Remember these little reversed-out indicators in iOS 6, used to indicate how many unread or flagged messages you'd see if you tapped on an email folder?

Macworld.com

Remember these little reversed-out indicators in iOS 6, used to indicate how many unread or flagged messages you'd see if you tapped on an email folder?

Anyone paying attention knew that Apple's new system software for iPads, iPhones and iPod touches was going to be a big change. That being said, only about a week after putting it on my iPhone 4S I couldn't imagine going back — except for two minor complaints.

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Calm down, Senator Al

U.S. Sen. Al Franken is worried. He's asking Apple for more information about the fingerprint sensor built into its new iPhone 5s, saying it could be potentially disastrous for users if hacked. While a password can be kept a secret and changed if its hacked, he points out, fingerprints are permanent and are left on everything a person touches, making them far from secret.

What the heck?

I like Al Franken, so I'm really working hard to give him the benefit of the doubt here — but I can't figure out where he's coming from. …

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Day 1 with iOS 7

Long lines at International Plaza as people wait for the new iPhone 5s.

SKIP O'ROURKE | Times

Long lines at International Plaza as people wait for the new iPhone 5s.

Along with about a gazillion other iPhone users, I downloaded Apple's iOS 7 update yesterday. So far, it seems like a vast improvement over a previous version I didn't even think was broken. (One unanticipated advantage of stripping all those 3D elements and skeuomorphism in favor of a new "flat" design? What feels like a huge boost in speed and smoothness.)

But I found this TUAW blog post by Mike Wehner about managing battery life in iOS 7 interesting. Several of the new features (allowing apps to refresh their data in the background, for instance) can cause a drain on battery life — and I'd already become concerned about how often I'd been having to charge my old iPhone 4S even before upgrading. …

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Prepare your iThing: iOS 7 arrives today

Estimates from folks who claim to be able to estimate such things show that Apple's new iOS upgrade should be available to iPhone and iPad owners at 1 p.m. today. Are you planning to install it on the first day? Be warned first of all that first-day releases of Apple's software can be buggy — even of the "HOW DID THEY NOT TEST THIS?!?!" variety. But if you're willing to be patient, The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a good guide to preparing your gizmo for a smooth transition.

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Boy Genius Report: iOS 7 perfectly balances 'new' and 'now'

Zach Epstein's review of Apple's iOS 7 does a good job framing the challenges tech companies face when designing their next big thing.

Boy Genius Report

Zach Epstein's review of Apple's iOS 7 does a good job framing the challenges tech companies face when designing their next big thing.

Boy Genius Report doesn't hesitate to criticize Apple — in fact, its writers often seem to revel in it. But their review of iOS 7, Apple's new operating system for the iPhone 4 and every iPhone model built since, caught my eye.

Zach Epstein still offers more than the recommended dose of subjectivity in his review — the critiques he offers are largely based on his taste and your mileage may vary. (Home page icons? "Some are just kind of ugly while others are downright embarrassing." The new tri-paneled Notification Center is "a pain," but why? Mostly because the weather isn't where he'd put it, apparently. The Camera app lacks "nifty new features" that "other companies pile on." On the other hand, Epstein points out that competitor Samsung's phones "are becoming so packed with all these features that users probably don’t even know many of them exist," and credits Apple for taking a different approach.)

But he does an excellent job of framing the question any technology company faces when considering an upgrade to a bread-and-butter product: …

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The most innovative thing about Apple's new iPhone 5s might be under the hood

There's been plenty written about how Apple's iPhone announcement this week was more iterative than innovative — the company tweaked the products, but didn't add any new must-have features.

That's not entirely wrong. I'm certainly not going to be lining up to order either of the new phones, personally. But it might be wrong to say Apple is letting things get stale.

The processor in Apple's iPhone 5s — the brain — is a first for a phone. Apple doesn't do a great job explaining what this means at the top of their news release:

Apple today announced iPhone 5s, the most forward-thinking iPhone yet, featuring an all-new A7 chip, making iPhone 5s the world's first smartphone with 64-bit desktop-class architecture for blazing fast performance in the palm of your hand.

That's probably enough to make your eyes glaze over. What's it all mean?

ZDNet offers an explanation that basically amounts to 1) Apple wants to be first at something, and 2) more gobbledygook. ("Unifying the iOS/OS X app codeabase." "64-bit CPUs are better suited to some heavy computational lifting tasks." Huh?)

I like Touch Arcade's suggestion: Apple's switch to 64-bit might just be the first step towards console gaming. …

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New phones? Tablets? Gaming consoles? It's never too early to start your Christmas list

Speaking of the AP, today they published a roundup of new gadgets either recently introduced or expected by the upcoming holiday shopping season. The highlights:

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Associated Press reviewer likes Apple's iOS 7

Apple's iOS 7, demonstrated on an iPad mini.

Apple Inc.

Apple's iOS 7, demonstrated on an iPad mini.

There's been plenty written about the next iteration of iOS, the software that runs Apple's iPhones, iPads and iPods (the iPod touch, anyway).

All of it guesswork, or at best nonspecific vaguespeak. While you might even know some early adopters running early versions of iOS 7 on their Apple gizmos — anyone can, if they shell out $100 or so a year to join Apple's iOS Developer Program — they've had to sign a nondisclosure agreement that bars them from talking about it in any but the most general terms.

That changed a bit when Apple demonstrated iOS 7 yesterday as they also introduced their two new iPhone models, the 5s and the 5c. It was the first time they let nondevelopers try out the software themselves, however briefly.

One of those nondevelopers was Associated Press writer Michael Liedtke, who liked it. He points out some features that I either hadn't heard about or had either forgotten, too, like the ability to zoom while shooting video. He briefly describes other new features, too, like iTunes Radio (described as Apple's own Pandora service). …

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Apple introduces new iPhones, iOS 7

Apple's new iOS 7 includes a host of new features.

Apple Inc.

Apple's new iOS 7 includes a host of new features.

Apple's big announcement today went pretty much as folks expected, with two new iPhone models taking the stage and a date announced for the introduction of the new version of the operating software that runs iPhones. Here's a basic rundown, as compiled by MacRumors.com:

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Ticketmaster takes on StubHub, other e-resellers

Buying tickets for concerts and sporting events has long been … well, if not a complicated process, certainly not an easy one. On one hand you have the official box office outlets with unsold tickets, and on the other you have scalpers and people trying to resell tickets they've bought. The problem is these are fairly separate marketplaces.

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A Google Glass review — from a guy who actually bought one

Joseph Evans, a graduate associate at Alliance for Spacial Technologies, explains how Google Glass works, and some of its practical applications.

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Samsung's Galaxy Gear is slick or a stinker, depending on whom you believe

Samsung is slated to release the $299 Galaxy Gear on Sept. 25.

Samsung Electronics

Samsung is slated to release the $299 Galaxy Gear on Sept. 25.

Possibly in an attempt to preempt any watch Apple might introduce at its event this Tuesday, Samsung rolled out its Galaxy Gear smartwatch yesterday. Maybe it comes as no surprise that bloggers' reactions spanned from pan to praise.

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iPhone alerting you to upgrade Google Authenticator? DON'T —€” at least, not yet

Google Authenticator for iOS adds a helpful second layer of security to your accounts, providing you with a six-digit code to enter at login in addition to your passwords.

www.idownloadblog.com

Google Authenticator for iOS adds a helpful second layer of security to your accounts, providing you with a six-digit code to enter at login in addition to your passwords.

If you know what Google Authenticator is, you know it adds a helpful second layer of security to your accounts, providing you with a six-digit code to enter at login in addition to your passwords. It's a way of making sure accounts are being accessed by a person who not only knows the correct password but is also in possession of the account owner's phone — in fact, once enabled, accounts using Google's 2-step authorization process can't be accessed without it.

So you can imagine how much trouble you might have accessing your accounts without your phone.

Or if, say, for the sake of example, Google pushed out an update to their Authenticator app that wiped out all user data, making the app forget your accounts and making it impossible to generate the codes required to log in.

Ha! That would be a really big mistake. Hoo, boy.Full Story