Why Neil Armstrong Got to Take the First Step on the Moon

Why Neil Armstrong Got to Take the First Step on the Moon

On July 20th, 1969, with "one small step," Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. But why did he get to go first?

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Continuity in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite: Explained

Continuity is a new feature in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite that allows iPhone, iPad, and Mac to remain true to their form-factors while still working seamlessly together. Continuity includes a new, cross-compatible AirDrop, a new Instant Hotspot for effortless tethering, Handoff to pass app activities back and forth between devices, and the ability to take and make calls and SMS/MMS from your iPhone on your iPad or Mac.

AirDrop

AirDrop started off on OS X Lion back in 2011. It used Bonjour (zero config) and personal area networking (PAN) to discover and transfer files between Macs, and eventually made its way from the Finder to the Share menu and Open/Save dialogs. Where it didn’t find its way was on to iOS. At least not until iOS 7.

When AirDrop did come to iOS, however, it came in name only. The protocol itself was significantly different. With no Finder in iOS, AirDrop existed only in the Share sheet. Instead of Bonjour and PAN, it used Bluetooth LE and direct Wi-Fi to transfer data. It was an incredibly secure implementation but it wasn’t compatible with the older version on OS X. At least not until iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

Instant Hotspot

Tethering from an iPhone or iPad cellular to a Mac or iPad Wi-Fi has always been a bit of a pain. Some of that has been carriers and their cockamamie tethering plans. But some of it has always been the process which, at the best of times, required a password to be entered, and at the worst required off/on toggles or reboots to get it working consistently.

No longer. Now your Mac or iPad Wi-Fi can instantly connect to your iPhone or iPad cellular and you can be up and using the internet in no time.

Handoff

Rather than trying to fit one interface across a range of different devices, or making the cloud the center of the universe, Apple is promising to transparently, seamlessly move whatever activity you’re doing to whatever device you want to continue doing it with. Handoff will work with Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, and third-party App Store apps that add the functionality.

There’s been no word yet on Handoff working with music, video, games, or other forms of media.

Continuity Calling

iPhones have full on cellular voice radios. That’s what lets them make and receive calls over the traditional telephone network. iPads can optionally have cellular data radios, but that doesn’t give them access to the telephone network. Macs haven’t yet been given any cellular radios of any kind. iPads and Macs can both use Apple’s FaceTime Audio service, or other voice-over-IP services like Skype, and that works great if you initiate or get a FaceTime or Skype call. But it doesn’t help you at all if your iPhone rings and you’re sitting across the room with your iPad or at your Mac.

Continuity’s call making and answering does.

Continuity SMS/MMS

Apple has added the ability to send and receive SMS and MMS from all your “green-bubble friends” from all your iOS and OS X devices. That means, even if your iPhone is in your bag or in another room, you can still use the carrier messaging channel to stay in contact with Android phone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and feature phone users all.

Bottom line

Rather than trying to fit one interface across a range of different devices, or making the cloud the center of the universe, Apple is promising to transparently, seamlessly move whatever activity you’re doing to whatever device you want to continue doing it with. It’s a person-centric choice and a bold one, but if Apple delivers, it could forever change the way we use our iPhones, iPads, and Macs.



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John Carmack’s Former Employer Says He Stole Their Tech

John Carmack's Former Employer Says He Stole Their Tech

Doom co-creator and all-around genius John Carmack left the company he helped found last year, and now the people he used to work for say he took their technology with him.

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This Is How They Clean Those Gigantic Solar Energy Plants

The world’s largest solar plants sure look amazing , but for those with inquisitive minds they raise one big question: how the hell do they keep all those panels clean? Nowadays, using robots like this!

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UK Facebook and Twitter users warned over sharing court case information

In an effort to ensure UK courts can conduct fair trials, the UK Attorney General’s Office (AGO) will soon start advising Facebook and Twitter users about the dangers of commenting on legal cases. In a world of super-injunctions and tweeted court cases, users have often shared sensitive legal information, believing they are entitled to free speech online. However, Facebook and Twitter posts are subject to the same laws that apply to newspapers and TV media, meaning a status update or a tweet about a case or defendant could go viral, potentially influencing a jury or revealing the names of victims. By publishing guidance, the UK Attorney General will “help stop people from inadvertently breaking the law,” reducing the chances of prosecution for contempt and possible imprisonment. Advisories will be delivered via the @AGO_UK Twitter feed and website, giving those who commit contempt of court less wriggle room if they choose to plead ignorance.

[Image Credit: nomsaleena, Flickr]

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Black Friday & Holiday gift guide: How to pick the perfect iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac!

Apple Black Friday & Holiday gift guide: How to pick the perfect iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac!

How to pick the perfect Apple gift for the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac lovers in your life!

We’re entering what is, for many, the biggest shopping and gift-giving season of the year, and by virtue of their quality, cachet, and overall coolness, Apple gifts are always high on everyone’s lists. Whether you’re looking for that perfect present for that special someone, or just want to take advantage of the once-a-year sales for yourself, it can be a challenge to figure out exactly which Apple devices to get. When does a Retina iPad mini make more sense than a full-sized iPad Air? When does a MacBook Air? iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c? MacBook Pro or iMac? What about an iPod? Figuring out which iPod, iPhone, iPad, or Mac is your best buy this year is the questions we get asked the most often, and with Black Friday and the Holidays upon us, here are our answers!

Apple holiday gift guide podcast

Rather watch or listen than read? No problem! Rene, Richard, and Chris sort through Apple’s 2013 product line up and pick the best Apple iPod, iPad, iPhone, and Mac gifts and for who!

Apple TV

Apple TV receives minor software update

If you’d love to have everything on your iPod, iPad, iPhone, or Mac on your big screen HDTV, you’d love an Apple TV

Pros: Incredibly easy to setup. Incredibly inexpensive. Includes on-board channels for iTunes TV, Movies, Music, Netflix, and many more, as well as the ability to AirPlay content from iOS or OS X devices.

Cons: Streaming-only. Only works with on-board channels and AirPlay. Hasn’t been updated since Spring 2012.

Bottom line: If all you want is the ability to stream content from Apple and their partners, and put what’s on your Apple devices onto your big screen TV, all you need is an Apple TV

iPod shuffle

If you need an ultra-light, ultra-cheap way to take just your audio with you, you want the iPod shuffle

If you need an ultra-light, ultra-cheap way to take just your audio with you, you want the iPod shuffle

Pros: 2GB of storages (enough for hundreds of songs), 15 hours of battery life. Convenient clip, available in blue, green, yellow, pink, purple, space gray, silver, and red (Apple Store exclusive). Weighs on 12.5 grams, costs only $49.

Cons: Requires a tethered connection to a Windows or Mac PC running iTunes to transfer audio files and playlists. No screen, no videos, no apps.

Bottom line: Whether you’re exercising or traveling, if you want just enough music, podcasts, and audiobooks to get you through your workout or work day, and not care if you lose it, get the iPod shuffle.

iPod classic

If you need 160GB of music and video in your pocket, you want the iPod classic

If you need 160GB of music and video in your pocket, you want the iPod classic

Pros: Can hold 40,000 songs or 200 hours of video. 36 hours of battery life. Can store photos, play extremely limited games.

Cons: Requires a tethered connection to a Windows or Mac PC running iTunes to transfer audio files and playlists. Small screen, no App Store.

Bottom line: If you’re a serious audiophile with serious audio collection, and want all of it in your pocket, get the iPod classic.

iPod nano

If you need your music and media on the go but don't need apps, you want the iPod nano

If you need your music and media on the go but don’t need apps, you want the iPod nano

Pros: 2.5-inch multitouch display. 16GB of storage. Includes apps for music, podcasts, video, exercise (pedometer, Nike+). Includes Bluetooth and FM radios. Available in blue, green, yellow, pink, purple, space gray, silver (white), and red (Apple Store exclusive). Weighs only 31 grams. Costs only $149.

Cons: Requires a tethered connection to a Windows or Mac PC running iTunes to transfer audio files and playlists. No Wi-Fi, no iCloud. Built-in apps only, no iOS, App Store. No 32GB option.

Bottom line: If an iPod touch is just too much, and all you want is a good amount of audio and video to keep you company at the gym, on a run, or on a trip, in the absolute smallest, lightest package available, get the iPod nano.

iPod touch

iPod touch

If you need incredibly mobile computing but don’t want another phone or phone bill, you want the iPod touch

Pros: 4-inch Retina display. Shoots 5mp photos and takes 1080p videos. 32GB and 64GB options. Available in space gray, silver, pink, blue, and red (Apple Store exclusive). Runs iOS, can play audio and video, read ebooks, and runs millions of App Store apps and games.

Cons: No cellular option (3G/LTE). Smaller screen than iPad line.

Bottom line: If an iPhone and all its apps would be perfect but you just don’t want or need a phone, get the even thinner, lighter iPod touch.

iPhone 5c

If you want a phone that's a little less expensive (and futuristic), but arguably even more fun, you want an iPhone 5c

If you want a phone that’s a little less expensive (and futuristic), but arguably even more fun, you want an iPhone 5c

Pros: 4-inch Retina display. Shoots 8mp photos and takes 1080p videos. 16GB, 32GB options. Available in white, pink, green, blue, and yellow. Runs iOS, can play audio and video, read ebooks, and runs over a million App Store apps and games. Subsidized prices start at $99 on contract.

Cons: Requires a carrier voice and data plan. No Touch ID or Apple A7/M7 chipset.

More info: iPhone 5c review, iPhone 5c buyers guide

  • $99 on contract and up – Buy now

iPhone 5s

iPhone 5s review

If you want the most futuristic, most feature-filled iPhone on the plant, you want the iPhone 5s

Pros: 4-inch Retina display. Shoots 8mp photos and takes 1080p videos. 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options. Available in space gray/black, silver/white, or gold/white. 64-bit Apple A7 chipset with Apple M7 coprocessor and Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Runs iOS, can play audio and video, read ebooks, and runs over one million App Store apps and games. Subsidized prices start at $199 on contract.

Cons: Requires a carrier voice and data plan.

Bottom line: If you need a phone, the iPhone can literally be your one iOS device to rule them all. If you need the ultimate in convergence, with mobile web, apps, and communications all in one place, get the iPhone.

More info: iPhone 5s review, iPhone 5s buyers guide

  • $199 on contract and up – Buy now

iPad mini with Retina display

If portability is more important to your than size, you want an iPad mini

Pros: 7.9-inch Retina display. Shoots 5mp photos and takes 1080p videos. 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB options. Available in space gray/black or silver/white. Plays audio and video, reads ebooks. Runs iOS, all App Store apps, including almost half-a-million tablet-specific iPad apps. Fits in purses, large jacket pockets. Cellular/LTE available. Weighs 331 grams.

Cons: Smaller screen, 100Mhz slower, narrower color gamut.

Bottom line: If you want a tablet but the full-sized iPad is just too big and too heavy, get the Retina iPad mini.

More info: iPad mini with Retina display review, iPad mini buyers guide

iPad Air

If you need to do computing but don’t want to lug around a laptop, you want an iPad

Pros: 9.7-inch screen. Shoots 5mp photos and takes 1080p videos. 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB options. Available with black or white front plates. Plays audio and video, reads ebooks. Runs iOS, all App Store apps, including hundreds of thousands of tablet-specific iPad apps. Weighs 652 grams. Cellular/LTE available.

Cons: Heavier than iPad mini, not as functional as a full MacBook for power users.

Bottom line: If you don’t need a laptop but still want a big screen and a powerful, convenient way to get a lot of things done, get an iPad Air.

More info: iPad Air review, iPad mini buyers guide

MacBook Air

If you need a full computer but portability is more important than power, get the MacBook Air

If you need a full computer but portability is more important than power, get the MacBook Air

Pros: 11 or 13-inch screen. Intel i5 or i7 processors. USB 3 and ThunderBolt ports. Up to Core i7. Up to 8GB or RAM. Up to 512GB of flash storage. Runs OS X and full desktop-class software. Weighs only 2.37 or 2.96lbs. 9 or 12 hours of battery life. Can be attached to 27-inch Thunderbolt display.

Cons: No Retina display, no optical drives, lack of high-powered graphics options hinders some types of software.

Bottom line: If you want something portable but still need to be able to run Office, Photoshop, Xcode, etc., get a MacBook Air. If you need maximum portability, get the 11-inch model. If you need maximum pixels, get the 13-inch model.

More info: Mac buyers guide

MacBook Pro

If you need a powerful computer that's still portable, you need the MacBook Pro

If you need a powerful computer that’s still portable, you need the MacBook Pro

Pros: 13- or 15-inch Retina displays. Dual-core i5 or quad-core i7 processors. USB 3 and ThunderBolt ports. Up to 16GB of RAM. Up to 1TB of flash storage. 9 to 8 hours of batter life. NVidia graphics option. Weighs only 3.46 or 4.46 lbs.

Cons: Less battery life. No optical drives.

Bottom line: If you want the state-of-the-art of laptops with the best displays in the business and power to match, get a MacBook Pro.

More info: Mac buyers guide

Mac mini

If you need a small Mac you can slide into any setup or workflow, you want the Mac mini

Pros: Dual-core i5 or quad-core i7 processors. USB 3, Ethernet, HDMI, FireWire 800, and ThunderBolt ports. 2GB, 8GB, or 16GB of RAM. Conventional hard drive, SSD, or Fusion Drive options. Starts at $599.

Cons: Requires separate display. No internal expansion ports. OVERDUE FOR UPDATE.

Bottom line: If you want a Mac for you server rack or home server closet, to add to an existing PC setup, or to use as a home theater, get a Mac mini.

More info: Mac buyers guide

  • Starting at $599 – Buy now (Warning: Overdue for update. Wait if you can!)

iMac

Everything you need to know about the all-new iMac: Apple's all-in-one, faster, more powerful, and thinner than ever

If you need full desktop power in an all-in-one package, you want the iMac

Pros: 21.5- and 27-inch displays. Quad-core i5 or quad-core i7 processors. 8GB or 16GB of RAM. Conventional hard drive, flash storage or Fusion Drive options. Multiple graphics options. Ethernet, UBS 3, and ThunderBolt ports. Incredibly thin design.

Cons: No internal expansion ports.

Bottom line: If you want an incredibly powerful Mac wrapped in an incredibly elegant design, get an iMac.

More info: Mac buyers guide

Mac Pro

EIf you need maximum power and speed, you need the Mac Pro

If you need maximum power and speed, you need the Mac Pro

Pros: State-of-the-art computing. Up to 8-core Xeon E5 processor. Up to 64GB RAM. Up to dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics cards. Up to 1TB of flash storage. Up to three 4K displays, six Thunderbolt displays. 4x USB3, 6x Thunderbolt, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 1.4 UHD ports. 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0.

Cons: No internal expansion ports. OpenCL/GPU focused.

Bottom line: If you need the Mac equivalent of Bugatti Veyron, you need a Mac Pro.

More info: Mac buyers guide

  • Ships later in December.

Need more help?

If you’re still not sure what you want, or which exact model you want, or all the options you want, we have complete buyers guides to help walk you through every decision along the way! We also have the iMore forums where you can ask questions, get answers, and talk about all your choices!

iPhone buyers guide

iPad buyers guide

Mac buyers guide

Your perfect Apple gift?

Are you buying anyone an iOS or Mac gift this year? Are you hoping to get one? Let me know what you’re giving or looking to receive! What’s your perfect Apple gift?

    

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Lady Gaga Shutting Down New York’s Roseland Ballroom

Legendary midtown venue Roseland Ballroom is officially closing its doors in early 2014 and Lady Gaga is slated to be the final performer.

Shutting down after a 100 year run, the Mother Monster plans to play four shows in the 3,500 capacity venue on March 28, 30, 31 and April 2.

Tickets go on sale on Monday (November 25th) and range from $50 dollars for general floor admission access to $200 dollars for mezzanine seating.

Roseland Ballroom, which was proclaimed to be “The World’s Greatest Ballroom,” opened in 1919 on 51st Street and Broadway. It later moved to its current location on West 52nd Street. In its iconic years of operation, it has hosted acts from Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire to the Rolling Stones and Beyonce.

Stay linked with GossipCenter’s for more details on Lady Gaga’s performances at the Roseland Ballroom!

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Assad gaining ground in Syrian civil war

FILE – In this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, damages are seen in the town of Hejeira, which Syrian troops captured, in the countryside of Damascus, Syria. Despite global outrage over the use of chemical weapons, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government is successfully exploiting divisions among the opposition, dwindling foreign help for the rebel cause and significant local support, all linked to the same thing: discomfort with the Islamic extremists who have become a major part of the rebellion. (AP Photo, File)

FILE – In this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, damages are seen in the town of Hejeira, which Syrian troops captured, in the countryside of Damascus, Syria. Despite global outrage over the use of chemical weapons, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government is successfully exploiting divisions among the opposition, dwindling foreign help for the rebel cause and significant local support, all linked to the same thing: discomfort with the Islamic extremists who have become a major part of the rebellion. (AP Photo, File)

FILE – In this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, people walk on a street between destroyed buildings in the town of Hejeira, which Syrian troops captured, in the countryside of Damascus, Syria. Despite global outrage over the use of chemical weapons, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government is successfully exploiting divisions among the opposition, dwindling foreign help for the rebel cause and significant local support, all linked to the same thing: discomfort with the Islamic extremists who have become a major part of the rebellion. (AP Photo, File)

FILE – In this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, residents are directed by soldiers in the town of Hejeira, which Syrian troops captured, in the countryside of Damascus, Syria. Despite global outrage over the use of chemical weapons, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government is successfully exploiting divisions among the opposition, dwindling foreign help for the rebel cause and significant local support, all linked to the same thing: discomfort with the Islamic extremists who have become a major part of the rebellion. (AP Photo, File)

FILE – In this Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 file photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian army soldiers place a national flag in a square in the Sabina suburb which Syrian troops captured, south of Damascus, Syria. Despite global outrage over the use of chemical weapons, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government is successfully exploiting divisions among the opposition, dwindling foreign help for the rebel cause and significant local support, all linked to the same thing: discomfort with the Islamic extremists who have become a major part of the rebellion. (AP Photo/SANA, File)

FILE – In this Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 file photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian army soldiers take their positions on a street in Sabina suburb which Syrian troops captured, south of Damascus, Syria. Despite global outrage over the use of chemical weapons, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government is successfully exploiting divisions among the opposition, dwindling foreign help for the rebel cause and significant local support, all linked to the same thing: discomfort with the Islamic extremists who have become a major part of the rebellion. (AP Photo/SANA, File)

(AP) — Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad have firmly seized the momentum in the country’s civil war in recent weeks, capturing one rebel stronghold after another and triumphantly planting the two-starred Syrian government flag amid shattered buildings and rubble-strewn streets.

Despite global outrage over the use of chemical weapons, Assad’s government is successfully exploiting divisions among the opposition, dwindling foreign help for the rebel cause and significant local support, all linked to the same thing: discomfort with the Islamic extremists who have become a major part of the rebellion.

The battlefield gains would strengthen the government’s hand in peace talks sought by the world community.

Both the Syrian government and the opposition have said they are ready to attend a proposed peace conference in Geneva that the U.S. and Russia are trying to convene, although it remains unclear whether the meeting will indeed take place. The Western-backed opposition in exile, which has little support among rebel fighters inside Syria and even less control over them, has set several conditions for its participation, chief among them that Assad must not be part of a transitional government — a notion Damascus has roundly rejected.

“President Bashar Assad will be heading any transitional stage in Syria, like it or not,” Omar Ossi, a member of Syria’s parliament, told The Associated Press.

The government’s recent gains on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, and in the north outside the country’s largest city, Aleppo, have reinforced Assad’s position. And the more the government advances, the easier it is to dismiss the weak and fractious opposition’s demands.

“Assad wants to go to Geneva with credit, not debit,” said Hisham Jaber, a retired Lebanese army general who heads the Beirut-based Middle East Center for Studies and Political Research. “He is trying day after day to gain on the battlefield, and when he goes to Geneva he can say, … ‘OK, here’s the situation — we are strong on the field. What do you have?’”

The government has made its biggest gains in the suburbs south of Damascus, where army troops backed by guerrillas from the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah group and Shiite militants from Iraq have captured five towns since Oct. 11. The latest to fall was Hejeira, which army troops swept through Wednesday, just days after capturing the adjacent suburb of Sbeineh.

The troops were quickly followed by state television cameras eager to broadcast the victory: a two-starred government flag triumphantly planted amid bombed-out buildings, twisted rebar and rubble-strewn streets.

In northern Syria, Assad’s forces have captured two towns this month — Safira and Tel Aran, southeast of the battlefield city of Aleppo — and have retaken a military base near Aleppo’s international airport.

Aleppo, the country’s largest city and former commercial capital, is a major prize in the war. Assad’s military and the rebels have been battling over it since the summer of 2012, carving it up into rebel- and government-held areas and leaving much of the city in ruins.

In some ways, the recent run of government victories fit into the regular back-and-forth rhythm of the conflict over the past nearly three years, with the pendulum swinging in Assad’s favor at the moment.

But the government advances around Aleppo hold greater trouble for the opposition since they suggest the rebels’ grip on the north — much of which fell to anti-Assad fighters over the past year — is far more tenuous than once believed.

A confluence of factors has increasingly hampered the opposition’s war effort in the north.

The rebels have been crippled by infighting since the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant aggressively pushed into rebel-held areas of the north this year. Fighters from the extremist group, most of them foreigners, have clashed repeatedly with more moderate rebel brigades, leaving scores dead on both sides.

Rebel groups, particularly the Islamic State but more mainstream factions as well, also have been engaged in a brutal side conflict with Syria’s Kurdish minority, which has a large presence in the northeast and parts of Aleppo province.

Combined, these two wars-within-a-war have sapped the opposition’s strength and undermined the effort to oust Assad.

They have also provided an opening for the Syrian leader to exploit.

“Fighting among ourselves has done a lot of damage,” Abu Thabet, the commander of the Aleppo Swords Battalion, said by telephone.  “Six months ago, the regime was always on the defensive and we would attack first. Now, after we started infighting, the regime is always on the offensive. They attack, and we defend.” Abu Thabet spoke on condition he be identified only his nom de guerre to protect his security.

Rebels also have been frustrated by U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to seek a diplomatic path to disarming Damascus of its chemical weapons.

After an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack on rebel-held suburbs of Damascus that killed hundreds, Washington accused Assad’s forces of carrying them out — though his government denied it. The U.S. then threatened military strikes against Syrian forces. The strikes were averted when Russia brokered a deal to destroy Assad’s chemical arsenal by mid-2014.

Many in the opposition had held out hopes that American military intervention — even if limited in scale — would help tip the scales of a deadlocked civil war in the rebels’ favor. Compounding their disappointment, many rebels saw the diplomatic deal as a giving green light to Assad to continue killing people with conventional weapons, as well as effectively making the Syrian leader a partner with the international community at least until the arsenal is destroyed.

At the same time, the flow of weapons and ammunition from across the border in neighboring Turkey to fighters inside Syria has slowed to a trickle, rebels say, as Ankara has grown increasingly concerned about the prominent role of Islamic extremists.

“Support from the military council of Aleppo and its suburbs has stopped completely,” said Abu Thabet, referring to the rebel body that coordinates the weapons flow from Turkey to rebel battalions doing the fighting.

“This has all stopped,” he said. “I’m on the ground, I really don’t know what’s going on with Turkey or the council, all I know is that we’re not getting anything.”

___

Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, and Yasmine Saker in Beirut contributed to this report.

___

Follow Ryan Lucas on Twitter at www.twitter.com/relucasz .

Associated PressSource: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/cae69a7523db45408eeb2b3a98c0c9c5/Article_2013-11-16-ML-Syria-Tides-Of-War/id-44ef04e8fe324ad295fd75243601324e
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Newly redesigned Facebook Messenger now available for all

Facebook Messenger

The all-new design and features can now be used by everyone

The latest update to Facebook Messenger, which was first announced about two weeks ago, is now rolling out to all users. Previously only available to a limited number (presumably to catch bugs), the new version with an all-new design and features will be available for everyone to download.

Along with a new white and light blue design (that frankly looks iOS 7-inspired) and faster performance, along with new chat features like the ability to message someone with just their phone number, the latest update is worth a look. It now stands in pretty high contrast to the stand-alone Facebook app, which can be kind of jarring, but the Messenger experience is now much improved.

Grab an update to the latest version at the Play Store link above.

Via: Facebook

    



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Police: Indie Musicians Killed By Former Bandmate In NYC

Police say three musicians, two from an Iranian-American indie rock group, were shot and killed early Monday and a fourth person was wounded in the East Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, New York. The alleged assailant, who took his own life, was also a musician, they said.

According to The Associated Press:

“Two of the dead were brothers and members of the group the Yellow Dogs, who came to the U.S. from Iran three years ago after appearing in a film about the underground music scene there, according to band manager Ali Salehezadeh. Another person killed was also a musician but wasn’t in the band, and the wounded person was an artist, he said.

The shootings reportedly took place at an apartment shared by some of the band members.”

The New York Daily News quotes sources as saying the shooter “was found dead on the roof [of the apartment] from a single blast from a .308-caliber rifle, apparently fired from the bottom of his chin.”

It said the gunman, who has not been identified, “was kicked out of the band recently.”

The Daily News said: “On the second floor, Soroush Farazmand, 27, was found lying face up, dead from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Two others, Arash Farazmand and Ali Eskandarian were found dead on the third floor, both from gunblasts to the head.”

And The New York Times says:

“Yellow Dogs … got its start in Tehran, rehearsing in a makeshift soundproof studio and organizing clandestine concerts to avoid punishment by Iranian authorities. …

The assailant, who was not immediately identified, was believed to be another Iranian-American musician, possibly playing with the Yellow Dogs or another group called the Free Keys, said Raymond W. Kelly, the police commissioner. Mr. Kelly added that the motive had something to do with ‘a dispute over money involving an indie rock band.’”

The Times says the band had performed at prominent venues such as Webster Hall and the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Tex.

Source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/11/244568082/police-indie-musicians-killed-by-former-bandmate-in-nyc?ft=1&f=1001
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