Archive | October, 2013

The Coolest Movie of All Time

31 Oct
Brigitte Bardot as Camille, Michel Piccoli as Paul Javal in Jean Luc Godard's Contempt
Brigitte Bardot and Michel Piccoli in Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt.

Courtesy of Lions Gate Home Entertainment

For a nuanced critical consideration of Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt, see the Phillip Lopate essay in which he describes the director striking “his deepest human chords” therein. For a view that reads this adaptation of an Alberto Moravia novel in the context of its production and the director’s career, see Richard Brody’s book Everything Is Cinema. For kicks, contemplate its substance—its story of a writer (Michel Piccoli) whoring out himself and perhaps his wife (Brigitte Bardot) to a wolfish movie producer (Jack Palance)—as a superlative statement of hep ethics and aesthetics. For your consideration: Contempt—released as Le Mepris in Godard’s France and Il Disprezzo in Moravia’s Italy, where it debuted to the world 50 years ago this week—ranks as the coolest movie of all time.

Is this point debatable? Mais oui. There are several cases to be made that it is not even the coolest movie made in France in the 1960s. You could put in a word for Jules et Jim, but I would observe that François Truffaut’s sentimentalism is a softer and squishier thing than Godard’s brilliant cynicism; Contempt’s alienated hero somehow makes alienation itself look heroic. Or you might nominate Last Year at Marienbad instead, in which case I’ll say that you’re privileging obscurantist avant-garde chic over the clarity and classicism of a film about a film remake of the Odyssey. If you were to argue that Le Samouraï, Jean-Pierre Melville’s lean-bodied hit-man procedural, beats Contempt for surface tension and deep sangfroid, I would say you might have a point there. And yet you would concede that Godard’s early features constitute film’s greatest sustained achievement in attractive detachment, raffish charisma, and photographing bangs.

Brigitte Bardot in Contempt
Brigitte Bardot in Contempt.

Courtesy of Lions Gate Home Entertainment

Inventing the jump cut, choreographing the Madison, costuming Eddie Constantine in a trench coat—these are obvious in their coolness, but obviousness is not cool (obviously). Contempt’s comparatively nonchalant attitude toward innovation—the relative subtlety of its freshness—thus earns special distinction. A typical Godard film of that period, only averagely supercool, would situate Anna Karina as an understated sex symbol in a brashly just-ahead-of-the-moment scenario. Here, compelled by his producers to exploit the form of unsubtle Bardot, he anatomizes her curves and analyzes our gaze, eating his cheesecake and having it too. Contempt is the most conventional film of Godard’s New Wave period and the least overt in its poses—except when Piccoli, putting his thinking cap on, very literally poses as Dean Martin in Some Came Running, a bit of mimicry figuring in a grand scheme of movie love and the unforced analysis of it.

Which brings us to Fritz Lang, who plays himself as the director of the film within the film. Both Samuel Fuller and Woody Allen will tell you that Godard is a great director of directors, and from Lang he here elicits some weathered drolleries, a spirit of calm control, and the easy dignity of old grandeur. In a recent piece on Contempt, Brody mentioned Lang’s pinstriped suit in connection with the idea that the charm of Godard’s own personal style manifests in his characters’ “reserved expressiveness”—“a steadiness that is non-theatrical but in no way natural.” That is one definition of cool, and Lang’s sense of self-possession is another.

Piccoli’s hero is moving in pursuit of this quality. He also wants money and integrity and renown, but to look at him looking at Lang is to know that the old man’s crisp serenity of style is the grand prize. He won’t win it, however, no matter how much he fusses with his hat, and we might see why by extending a Godard remark about film into the spiritual dimension. “To me,” the director once said, “style is just the outside of content, and content the inside of style, like the outside and the inside of the human body.” This is the transcendental school of cool, and Contempt is its central text.

Source: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/cool_story/2013/10/the_coolest_movie_of_all_time_is_jean_luc_godard_s_contempt.html
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16 Instagram Ads You’re More Likely to See

31 Oct

16 Instagram Ads You're More Likely to See

Another week, another batch of photoshop champs. This time, we asked you to show us what the upcoming Instagram ads are actually going to look like. While this particular challenge didn’t require too much skill, there was plenty of room for wit, and you guys (mostlyish) delivered.

Read more…

    



Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/sjI35w23Dck/@ashleyfeinberg
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Events coordination during embryogenesis

30 Oct

Events coordination during embryogenesis

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29-Oct-2013

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Contact: PLOS Biology
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A new study by Weill Cornell Medical College scientists reveals a mechanism through which the expression of genes is controlled a finding that highlights genetic mutations that can impair the timing of gene expression. Such mutations can affect the co-ordination of key events that are required for stepwise development of an organism, and can also give rise to cancer by turning on genes at the wrong time.

The study, published October 29 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, analyzes how the timing of gene expression is regulated in the notochord, the evolutionary and developmental precursor of the backbone. The notochord is the main feature that sets humans, mice, sea squirts and related animals (collectively known as chordates) apart from flies, worms and mollusks, and is essential for their development.

A crucial player in the development of the notochord is the Brachyury gene, which encodes a DNA-binding protein that switches on the expression of numerous notochord genes and ensures their sequential deployment during the formation of this pivotal structure. It was known that Brachyury directly binds distinct DNA sequences known as cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) that when bound act as molecular switches and control when and where these target notochord genes are expressed. What is addressed by this new study is how these switches could be flipped on by Brachyury at different times.

To clarify this point, scientists in the laboratories of Dr. Anna Di Gregorio and Dr. Yutaka Nibu, both in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, systematically analyzed the structure and activity of several notochord CRMs. The model they proposed suggests that some mutations don’t appear to affect the ability of a CRM to be bound and activated but do affect the timing of expression of the gene containing the CRM. They found that in the sea squirt, timing of Brachyury switches depends on numbers: For genes that need to be turned on early in development, Brachyury binds the CRMs at multiple binding sites. However, genes that are expressed later in notochord development are controlled by Brachyury through single binding sites, while the notochord genes with the latest onsets are controlled by Brachyury indirectly, through a relay mechanism that involves other transcription factors. The paper shows an example of the effects of a mutation in the CRM that controls notochord expression of a laminin gene. In sea squirts as well as in humans, laminins are major components of the basement membranes and extracellular matrix that hold cells together within tissues, and are key regulators of cell migration, cell adhesion and cell proliferation. The Ciona laminin notochord CRM, which was identified in the Di Gregorio lab, requires two cooperative binding sites for Brachyury. When either one of these sites is mutated, Brachyury is unable to bind to that site, but can still bind to the remaining one.

“As a consequence, the CRM is still active in the notochord, but the full onset of its activity is delayed by a few hours, which is a crucial interval during the development of an organism,” says Dr. Yutaka Nibu, adjunct assistant research professor and co-senior author of the study. “Such delay could cause a birth defect by slowing down the synthesis of a building block necessary for the organism to form properly, or might postpone the activation of a tumor suppressor gene and trigger cancer formation.”

“Imagine that the gene is the light in a specific room of your house, and that the room is a specific cell in your body,” adds Dr. Di Gregorio, an associate professor. “To turn the light on, you need to flip the light switch the CRM. A mutation that inactivates your switch would keep your room in the dark. However, a mutation that delays the onset of activity of your switch would still let you turn on the light, but only at a later time. If you had to perform any task in that room that required a certain level of light, you would have to wait for a few hours until the light came on. During those precious hours, you would not be able to complete your tasks in that room, or you could have a burglar taking advantage of the darkness to wreak havoc in there.”

In humans, mutations in the Brachyury gene have been associated with spina bifida, vertebral malformations, and chordoma, a rare but insidious cancer. “The work calls attention to a mostly unexplored area of gene regulation, and suggests that elusive mutations in CRMs, particularly those that alter the timing of gene expression, might explain the molecular origins of birth defects and diseases that have not been previously linked to mutations in protein-coding regions,” says Dr. Di Gregorio.

###

Funding: This work was supported by grant NIH/NIGMS GM100466 along with supplemental funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act award R01HD050704-05S1, by grant 1-FY11-468 from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, and a grant from the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation to ADG and by grants from the American Cancer Society (RSG-08-042-01-DDC) and the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation to YN. HA was supported in part by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). DSJ-E was supported in part by NIH training grant T32 GM008539. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: Katikala L, Aihara H, Passamaneck YJ, Gazdoiu S, Jose-Edwards DS, et al. (2013) Functional Brachyury Binding Sites Establish a Temporal Read-out of
Gene Expression in the Ciona Notochord. PLoS Biol 11(10): e1001697. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001697

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT:
http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001697

PRESS IMAGE CAPTION:

An embryo of the sea squirt Ciona. The nuclei of the 40 notochord cells are highlighted in red by a Brachyury antibody generated in the Di Gregorio lab. The contours of a few notochord cells are defined by green fluorescent protein. All other visible nuclei are colored in blue.
Image Credits: Janice H. Imai and Anna Di Gregorio

CONTACT:


Dr Di Gregorio

Associate Professor

Weill Cornell Medical College

Cell and Developmental Biology

UNITED STATES

212-746-6193
and2015@med.cornell.edu

Disclaimer:

This press release refers to an upcoming article in PLOS Biology. The release is provided by journal staff, or by the article authors and/or their institutions. Any opinions expressed in this release or article are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLOS. PLOS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the releases and articles and your use of such information.

About PLOS Biology:

PLOS Biology is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal published by PLOS, featuring research articles of exceptional significance, originality, and relevance in all areas of biology. Copyright on all works is retained by the authors. PLOS uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.

About PLOS:

PLOS is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org.


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Events coordination during embryogenesis

[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

29-Oct-2013

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Contact: PLOS Biology
biologypress@plos.org
Public Library of Science



A new study by Weill Cornell Medical College scientists reveals a mechanism through which the expression of genes is controlled a finding that highlights genetic mutations that can impair the timing of gene expression. Such mutations can affect the co-ordination of key events that are required for stepwise development of an organism, and can also give rise to cancer by turning on genes at the wrong time.

The study, published October 29 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, analyzes how the timing of gene expression is regulated in the notochord, the evolutionary and developmental precursor of the backbone. The notochord is the main feature that sets humans, mice, sea squirts and related animals (collectively known as chordates) apart from flies, worms and mollusks, and is essential for their development.

A crucial player in the development of the notochord is the Brachyury gene, which encodes a DNA-binding protein that switches on the expression of numerous notochord genes and ensures their sequential deployment during the formation of this pivotal structure. It was known that Brachyury directly binds distinct DNA sequences known as cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) that when bound act as molecular switches and control when and where these target notochord genes are expressed. What is addressed by this new study is how these switches could be flipped on by Brachyury at different times.

To clarify this point, scientists in the laboratories of Dr. Anna Di Gregorio and Dr. Yutaka Nibu, both in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, systematically analyzed the structure and activity of several notochord CRMs. The model they proposed suggests that some mutations don’t appear to affect the ability of a CRM to be bound and activated but do affect the timing of expression of the gene containing the CRM. They found that in the sea squirt, timing of Brachyury switches depends on numbers: For genes that need to be turned on early in development, Brachyury binds the CRMs at multiple binding sites. However, genes that are expressed later in notochord development are controlled by Brachyury through single binding sites, while the notochord genes with the latest onsets are controlled by Brachyury indirectly, through a relay mechanism that involves other transcription factors. The paper shows an example of the effects of a mutation in the CRM that controls notochord expression of a laminin gene. In sea squirts as well as in humans, laminins are major components of the basement membranes and extracellular matrix that hold cells together within tissues, and are key regulators of cell migration, cell adhesion and cell proliferation. The Ciona laminin notochord CRM, which was identified in the Di Gregorio lab, requires two cooperative binding sites for Brachyury. When either one of these sites is mutated, Brachyury is unable to bind to that site, but can still bind to the remaining one.

“As a consequence, the CRM is still active in the notochord, but the full onset of its activity is delayed by a few hours, which is a crucial interval during the development of an organism,” says Dr. Yutaka Nibu, adjunct assistant research professor and co-senior author of the study. “Such delay could cause a birth defect by slowing down the synthesis of a building block necessary for the organism to form properly, or might postpone the activation of a tumor suppressor gene and trigger cancer formation.”

“Imagine that the gene is the light in a specific room of your house, and that the room is a specific cell in your body,” adds Dr. Di Gregorio, an associate professor. “To turn the light on, you need to flip the light switch the CRM. A mutation that inactivates your switch would keep your room in the dark. However, a mutation that delays the onset of activity of your switch would still let you turn on the light, but only at a later time. If you had to perform any task in that room that required a certain level of light, you would have to wait for a few hours until the light came on. During those precious hours, you would not be able to complete your tasks in that room, or you could have a burglar taking advantage of the darkness to wreak havoc in there.”

In humans, mutations in the Brachyury gene have been associated with spina bifida, vertebral malformations, and chordoma, a rare but insidious cancer. “The work calls attention to a mostly unexplored area of gene regulation, and suggests that elusive mutations in CRMs, particularly those that alter the timing of gene expression, might explain the molecular origins of birth defects and diseases that have not been previously linked to mutations in protein-coding regions,” says Dr. Di Gregorio.

###

Funding: This work was supported by grant NIH/NIGMS GM100466 along with supplemental funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act award R01HD050704-05S1, by grant 1-FY11-468 from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, and a grant from the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation to ADG and by grants from the American Cancer Society (RSG-08-042-01-DDC) and the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation to YN. HA was supported in part by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). DSJ-E was supported in part by NIH training grant T32 GM008539. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: Katikala L, Aihara H, Passamaneck YJ, Gazdoiu S, Jose-Edwards DS, et al. (2013) Functional Brachyury Binding Sites Establish a Temporal Read-out of
Gene Expression in the Ciona Notochord. PLoS Biol 11(10): e1001697. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001697

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT:
http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001697

PRESS IMAGE CAPTION:

An embryo of the sea squirt Ciona. The nuclei of the 40 notochord cells are highlighted in red by a Brachyury antibody generated in the Di Gregorio lab. The contours of a few notochord cells are defined by green fluorescent protein. All other visible nuclei are colored in blue.
Image Credits: Janice H. Imai and Anna Di Gregorio

CONTACT:


Dr Di Gregorio

Associate Professor

Weill Cornell Medical College

Cell and Developmental Biology

UNITED STATES

212-746-6193
and2015@med.cornell.edu

Disclaimer:

This press release refers to an upcoming article in PLOS Biology. The release is provided by journal staff, or by the article authors and/or their institutions. Any opinions expressed in this release or article are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLOS. PLOS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the releases and articles and your use of such information.

About PLOS Biology:

PLOS Biology is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal published by PLOS, featuring research articles of exceptional significance, originality, and relevance in all areas of biology. Copyright on all works is retained by the authors. PLOS uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.

About PLOS:

PLOS is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org.


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Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/plos-ecd102513.php
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Fed judge: Texas abortion limits unconstitutional

29 Oct

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge determined Monday that new Texas abortion restrictions place an unconstitutional burden on women seeking to end a pregnancy, a ruling that keeps open dozens of abortion clinics across the state while officials appeal.

The ruling by District Judge Lee Yeakel came one day before key parts of the law the Legislature approved in July were set to take effect. Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers argued in their lawsuit that a provision requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital less than 30 miles away would have effectively shuttered about a third of the state’s 38 clinics that perform abortions.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, whose office argued the law protects women and the life of the fetus, immediately filed an appeal with the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

“I have no doubt that this case is going all the way to the United States Supreme Court,” Abbott said during stop in Brownsville, Texas, as part of his campaign to replace retiring Gov. Rick Perry.

Although several conservative states in recent months have approved broad abortion limits, the Texas ones were particularly divisive because of the number of clinics affected and the distance some women would have to travel to get an abortion.

Federal judges in Wisconsin, Kansas, Mississippi and Alabama also have found problems with state laws prohibiting doctors from conducting abortions if they don’t have hospital admitting privileges.

All the other appeals — including the one from Mississippi, which like Texas is within the 5th Circuit — deal only with whether to lift a temporary injunction preventing the restriction from taking effect. The Texas appeal could be the first that directly addresses the question of whether the provision violates the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.

The admitting privileges provision “does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health and, in any event, places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion,” Yeakel wrote.

In another part of his ruling, Yeakel, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, partially blocked the provision requiring doctors to follow an 18-year-old U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocol. He found that the state could regulate how a doctor prescribes an abortion-inducing pill, but the law failed to allow for a doctor to adjust treatment in order to best protect the health of the woman taking it.

Abortion-rights supporters complained that requiring doctors to follow the FDA’s original label for an abortion-inducing drug would deny women the benefit of recent advances in medical science.

Other portions of the law, known as House Bill 2, include a ban on abortions after 20 weeks and a requirement beginning in October 2014 that all abortions take place in a surgical facility. Neither of those sections was part of this lawsuit.

Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman’s Health, said the judge did not go far enough.

“Nearly 40 percent of the women we serve at Whole Woman’s Health choose medication abortion and now Texas is preventing these women from the advances in medical practice that other women across the United States will be able to access,” she said.

The law requiring admitting privileges was the biggest obstacle facing abortion clinics in Texas, and the ruling gives them a temporary reprieve until new regulations go into effect next year.

Mississippi passed a similar law last year, which a federal judge also blocked pending a trial scheduled to begin in March. Mississippi’s attorney general asked the 5th Circuit to lift the temporary injunction so the law could be enforced, but the judges have left it in place signaling they believe there is a legitimate constitutional question.

Unlike the Mississippi case, Yeakel’s order is a final decision, setting the groundwork for the 5th Circuit to review the merits of the law, not just an injunction against it.

The proposed restrictions were among the toughest in the nation and gained notoriety when Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis launched a nearly 13-hour filibuster against them in June. She is now the only Democrat in the race for Texas governor.

Davis said the ruling didn’t surprise her.

“As a mother, I would rather see our tax dollars spent on improving our kid’s schools than defending this law,” she said in a statement.

During the trial, officials for one chain of abortion clinics testified that they’ve tried to obtain admitting privileges for their doctors at 32 hospitals, but so far only 15 accepted applications and none have announced a decision. Many hospitals with religious affiliations will not allow abortion doctors to work there, while others fear protests if they provide privileges. Many have requirements that doctors live within a certain radius of the facility, or perform a minimum number of surgeries a year that must be performed in a hospital.

Beth Shapiro, chairwoman of board of directors of Lubbock’s Planned Parenthood Women’s Health Center, said no hospital in Lubbock has granted privileges to the lone doctor from East Texas who flies in to do abortions when there are procedures scheduled. There is not incentive for hospitals to do so, she said.

“I don’t see why local hospitals would give privileges to someone who’s not going to admit patients,” Shapiro said. “I don’t see what the business and financial incentive would be.”

___

AP correspondents Christopher Sherman in Brownsville and Betsy Blaney in Lubbock contributed to this report.

___

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/cltomlinson

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/fed-judge-texas-abortion-limits-unconstitutional-190525066.html
Category: Ray Rice   monday night football   joe flacco   The White Queen   Michael Ansara  

Livescribe 3 smartpen digitizes notes straight to your iPad, starts at $150

28 Oct

Livescribe 3 smartpen digitizes notes straight to your iPad, starts at $150

Livescribe broke new ground last year with the Sky WiFi pen that could transfer handwritten and audio notes straight to the cloud (well, to your Evernote account anyway), so that they’d be accessible anywhere there’s an internet connection. Having to jump on WiFi to send and retrieve those notes didn’t make it the most convenient thing when out and about however, especially if you rely on your smartphone or tablet as a daily driver.

Enter the Livescribe 3, which offers a solution to that problem. The company’s latest smartpen is positioned as a companion specifically designed to work in concert with a compatible mobile device, which in this case only applies to those that run iOS. Once paired via Bluetooth LE, notes written in a Livescribe notebook will automatically appear on the accompanying Livescribe+ app. Indeed, the application and mobile device are so integral to the Livescribe 3, that unlike the Echo or the Sky, the 3 does not have a built-in microphone. Instead, it hands off the audio recording to your iPhone or iPad when you hit the record button either on the paper or the app. As before, it’ll sync the results with your scribbled notes — the app actually highlights the coinciding text as the audio playback occurs. Of course, this means that these so-called “pencasts” are simply not possible if the pen is disconnected from the device. However, notes written while not connected will still sync up later on.

Livescribe 3 hands-on

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10 Photos

Livescribe+ app

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12 Photos

Because Livescribe 3 gives over so much functionality to the app (which we’ll get to later), the design of the pen is surprisingly minimal. Indeed, Livescribe’s VP of Marketing, Bryan Rodrigues, told us that the company wanted it to look more like a pen than a gadget. With the screen and the on/off switch gone, we’d say they succeeded on that front. Instead of hitting a button, you turn it on by twisting the textured middle ring clockwise, which reveals the ballpoint nib as well. When you power it up, a tiny LED on the clip lights up; it flashes green in pairing mode, solid blue when connected and flashes again if it’s low on battery — Livescribe tells us the pen is able to capture information for 14 hours between charges. There’s a capacitive nub on the top of the pen, which you can use as a stylus for your touch screen device. Take the nub off and you’ll reveal the microUSB port.

As with its predecessors, the latest incarnation has an IR camera at the tip that works with special Livescribe paper, which is printed with a fine dot pattern to let the pen know where it is on the page. We tried out the Livescribe 3 with the accompanying app in a brief hands-on and were impressed with how quickly our written scribbles appeared on the app. The pen itself still felt pretty hefty in our hand compared to other writing utensils, but it’s certainly much more pen-like than previous Livescribes.

Livescribe 3 Standard press shots

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9 Photos

Livescribe 3 Pro press shots

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9 Photos

The Livescribe+ app, as we said earlier, is where the real brains of the pen come in. It’ll automatically prompt the phone or tablet to connect to the pen when it launches, and there’s an icon at the top that shows it’s paired. There’s even a Find My Pen function that’ll cause the pen to beep loudly if you happen to lose it. As you might expect, the app lets you manage your notes and listen to past pencasts. If you have multiple Livescribe books, it knows exactly which one you’re using and pulls in notes to the right one automatically. Using a transcription technology by Vision Objects called MyScript, the app can turn handwritten notes into searchable text as well. If you like, you can add photos to your notes too, by either grabbing them from the Camera Roll or just snapping right within the app.

But what really makes the app special is something called “the Feed.” It’s essentially a time-based view of your notes that attempts to collate relevant pieces together. This is especially useful when you’re writing down short actionable items such as reminders and to-do lists, which Livescribe describes as “micro notes.” When that snippet of information is captured in the feed, you may send it to the Reminders app or tag it as a to-do or a favorite. It’s also smart enough to recognize URLs, addresses and phone numbers so that you can do things like create a new contact or tap the address to bring it up on the Maps app. Once you’re done with your notes, you can select multiple snippets or whole pages and turn them into PDFs. The app will then let you share those notes via email, Dropbox, Evernote or iCloud.

The Livescribe 3 comes in two versions. The $149.95 version is black and chrome and comes with a 50-sheet notebook, a charging cable and a black tungsten carbide medium-tip ink cartridge. There’s also a $199.95 Pro Edition that upgrades the package to include a leather portfolio with a 100-sheet hardbound journal, a year’s subscription to Evernote Premium, plus the aforementioned cable and cartridge. So for pen and paper aficionados out there, have a peek at the gallery and video above to see if the Livescribe 3 belongs in your pocket protector.

Show full PR text

Turn Your Words Into Action With The New Livescribe 3 Smartpen

The Ultimate Note-Taking Companion Combines the Best of Pen and Paper with Mobile Devices

UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL MONDAY OCTOBER 28, 2013 12:01 AM EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME
OAKLAND, CALIF. – Oct. 28, 2013 – Livescribe Inc. (www.livescribe.com) today announced the release of the Livescribe 3 smartpen, the fastest way to make handwritten notes useful on a tablet or smartphone. Customers simply twist a ring on the elegant black and chrome smartpen to begin writing and watch their words and diagrams appear in the companion Livescribe+ mobile app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This latest addition to Livescribe’s line of award-winning smartpens is designed as a premium writing instrument, with the look and feel of a quality ballpoint pen combined with the intelligence of a mobile device.
The Livescribe 3 smartpen lets people:
• Write on Livescribe dot paper and watch everything appear instantly on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch devices with Bluetooth® Smart wireless technology.
• Use the built-in microphones on a tablet or smartphone to create interactive “pencasts” that synchronize recorded audio with written notes.
• Convert handwriting to text to create tasks, reminders, contacts and calendar events.
• Add photos and text memos to notes to add context and clearly communicate details.
• Share written notes, photographs and diagrams as PDF files over Mail, Messages, Evernote, Dropbox and other apps.
The Livescribe 3 smartpen captures everything written on Livescribe paper as soon as it starts up, and then transfers that content to Livescribe+ when the app opens. This allows people to take notes with just a smartpen and notebook, and then do more with that information on their mobile device later.
“People shouldn’t have to choose between their pen and their digital devices. The Livescribe 3 smartpen sends everything they write on paper to their tablet or smartphone, where our mobile application makes this information useful in truly innovative ways” said Gilles Bouchard, CEO of Livescribe. “It’s simply the most elegant and versatile pen we’ve ever made.”
The Livescribe 3 smartpen’s wireless connection allows for easy pairing and instant transfer of notes with very low battery drain, enabling the Livescribe 3 smartpen to capture information for 14 hours between charges. The Livescribe 3 includes a capacitive stylus cap to control the Livescribe+ app, and Swiss-made, premium ballpoint cartridges to use with any Livescribe paper notebooks. Livescribe 3 is compatible with iOS devices that are Bluetooth Smart Ready, including the iPhone 4S or later, third-generation or later iPad, iPad Mini, and the fifth-generation iPod touch or newer. The free Livescribe+ mobile app is available from the App Store℠ for devices with iOS 7.
The Livescribe 3 smartpen is available in two versions. The Livescribe 3 smartpen, available for $149.95, includes a sleek black-and-chrome smartpen along with a 50-sheet Starter Notebook, as well as a micro USB charging cable and a black tungsten carbide medium-tip ink cartridge. Priced at $199.95, the Livescribe 3 smartpen Pro Edition includes a leather smartpen portfolio with a 100-sheet hardbound journal, a one-year subscription to Evernote Premium, the charging cable and an additional ink cartridge. The smartpens are available for sale on Livescribe.com, Amazon, Paradise Pen, Apple.com and select Apple stores across the United States. The Livescribe 3 smartpen will also be available in Canada, Europe, Asia and other international markets.
Pen and paper notes become more valuable when they are available on the digital devices people use daily, and Livescribe offers products for all scenarios. The new Livescribe 3 smartpen connects to mobile devices with Bluetooth Smart wireless technology, while the Sky wifi smartpen uses wireless cloud syncing straight to Evernote, and the Echo smartpen connects via a USB connection to a Mac or PC, providing the perfect solution for any device.
For more information on the Livescribe 3 smartpen, visit http://www.livescribe.com/livescribe3
Follow Livescribe on Twitter at @Livescribe and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/livescribe‎.
About Livescribe
Livescribe brings notes, words and ideas to life. Livescribe smartpens make it easy to connect paper and pen to the digital world and fundamentally change the way people capture, access and share what they write, draw and hear. Livescribe’s family of smartpens includes the Echo smartpen, the Sky wifi smartpen and the Livescribe 3 smartpen.
Media contact
TriplePoint PR for Livescribe: livescribe@triplepointpr.com
(415) 955-8500
Tags: Livescribe, Livescribe 3 smartpen, Evernote, Bluetooth

The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Livescribe is under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners. Apple, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/28/livescribe-3/?ncid=rss_truncated
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Georgia votes for president to succeed Saakashvili

27 Oct

Georgian Dream ruling coalition’s presidential candidate Georgy Margvelashvili, left, kisses his daughter Anna, outside a polling station during presidential election in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Georgians are voting Sunday for a president to succeed Mikhail Saakashvili, who during nearly a decade in power has turned this former Soviet republic into a fledgling democracy and a staunch U.S. ally. (AP Photo/Georgy Abdaladze)

Georgian Dream ruling coalition’s presidential candidate Georgy Margvelashvili, left, kisses his daughter Anna, outside a polling station during presidential election in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Georgians are voting Sunday for a president to succeed Mikhail Saakashvili, who during nearly a decade in power has turned this former Soviet republic into a fledgling democracy and a staunch U.S. ally. (AP Photo/Georgy Abdaladze)

Georgian woman crouches as she leaves a voting booth during the presidential election in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Georgians are voting Sunday for a president to succeed Mikhail Saakashvili, who during nearly a decade in power has turned this former Soviet republic into a fledgling democracy and and a staunch U.S. ally. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Georgian woman and her son cast a ballot at a polling station in the presidential election in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Georgians are voting Sunday for a president to succeed Mikhail Saakashvili, who during nearly a decade in power has turned this former Soviet republic into a fledgling democracy and a staunch U.S. ally. (AP Photo/Georgy Abdaladze)

Georgians cast their ballots in the presidential election in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Georgians are voting Sunday for a president to succeed Mikhail Saakashvili, who during nearly a decade in power has turned this former Soviet republic into a fledgling democracy and and a staunch U.S. ally. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Georgians cast their ballots in the presidential election in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Georgians are voting Sunday for a president to succeed Mikhail Saakashvili, who during nearly a decade in power has turned this former Soviet republic into a fledgling democracy and and a staunch U.S. ally. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Georgians voted Sunday for a president to succeed Mikhail Saakashvili, who during nearly a decade in power has turned this former Soviet republic into a fledgling democracy and a staunch U.S. ally.

For Saakashvili, it’s a bitter departure. The vote is expected to cement the control of his rival, billionaire Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose coalition routed Saakashvili’s party in a parliamentary election a year ago.

Ivanishvili’s chosen candidate, Giorgi Margvelashvili, a former university rector with little political experience, is expected to win Sunday’s election. But much uncertainty remains.

Ivanishvili has promised to step down next month and nominate a new prime minister, who is almost certain to be approved by parliament. Under Georgia’s new parliamentary system, the next prime minister will acquire many of the powers previously held by the president.

Ivanishvili has not yet named his choice to lead the country. And he says he intends to maintain influence over the government, although how is not entirely clear. But his fortune, estimated at $5.3 billion, gives him considerable leverage in this country of 4.5 million people with a gross domestic product of $16 billion.

Much uncertainty also hangs over Saakashvili’s future. Since last year’s election and what was in effect a transfer of power, dozens of people from Saakashvili’s team, including several former government ministers, have been hit with criminal charges and some have been jailed, including the former prime minister.

Ivanishvili confirmed in an interview with The Associated Press that Saakashvili also is likely to be questioned by prosecutors once he leaves office next month.

Prosecutors have reopened a criminal inquiry into the 2005 death of Zurab Zhvania, who was Saakashvili’s first prime minister. Zhvania’s death was attributed to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty gas heater, but his brother has accused Saakashvili of hiding the truth.

Saakashvili also may face questioning over the 2008 war with Russia, which ended with Russian troops in full control of two breakaway Georgian republics. His opponents accuse him of needlessly antagonizing Russia and giving Moscow a pretext to invade.

Saakashvili repeated Sunday that he has no plans to flee the country. “No one can forbid me either to leave the country or to stay, but I do not intend to leave Georgia,” he told television journalists while jogging along the Black Sea coast in western Georgia.

His party needs its candidate, former parliamentary speaker David Bakradze, to finish a strong second among the 23 candidates to maintain political influence. Bakradze now leads the opposition faction in parliament.

Bakradze faces the biggest challenge from Nino Burdzhanadze, a veteran politician who boasts of good relations with Moscow and has called for Saakashvili to be jailed.

While Ivanishvili made his money in Russia and has had some success in restoring trade ties with Georgia’s hostile neighbor, he has maintained the pro-Western course set by Saakashvili.

“Nobody can change this. This is the will of the Georgian people, to see their country in the EU and in NATO,” said Alexi Petriashvili, one of Ivanishvili’s ministers. “The majority see the U.S. as Georgia’s strongest strategic partner.”

If not for Washington, Georgia most likely wouldn’t have survived as an independent state, Petriashvili told the AP. He pointed to Washington’s support for the closing of Russian military bases in Georgia in 2005.

The U.S. supports Georgia diplomatically and financially, with assistance in 2013 totaling about $70 million.

Ivanishvili’s government has come under pressure from U.S. and EU officials to show that the justice system isn’t being used to settle political scores and to refrain from jailing Saakashvili.

Many Georgians became deeply disillusioned with what they saw as the excesses and authoritarian turn of the later years of Saakashvili’s presidency.

The achievements of the early years, however, are difficult to deny. Saakashvili brought the economy out of the shadow, restored electricity supplies, eradicated a corrupt traffic police force, and laid the foundation for a democratic state.

Georgia’s GDP has quadrupled since Saakashvili became president after leading the peaceful 2003 Rose Revolution.

“Yes, everyone forgot how we sat in the darkness and what kind of roads we had,” Marina Vezirishvili, 46, said after voting in Tbilisi. “But just so you know, I’m not a member of Misha’s party and I didn’t vote for their candidate.”

Saakashvili, commonly known as Misha, has earned wide international respect for allowing the government to change through the ballot box rather than through revolution for the first time in Georgia’s post-Soviet history.

“We have to recognize, whatever our position is inside Georgian political fights, that Georgia has been a great example,” said Joao Soares, head of an election monitoring mission from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Associated PressSource: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/cae69a7523db45408eeb2b3a98c0c9c5/Article_2013-10-27-Georgia-Election/id-1f6d71f5c27347e9b5b9f507dea41439
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Dropcam Pro

26 Oct

Eighteen months ago I reviewed the Dropcam HD, which is now renamed simply as the Dropcam. Now the eponymous company has a new camera, the Dropcam Pro ($199 direct), that outshines not only its predecessor, but its top competitors as well. Dropcam Pro has twice the digital zoom power (8x) of the original (4x)—normally nothing to brag about, but newly enhanced visual quality makes it better than the pan/tilt/zoom on mechanized cameras of the same price (like the Compro Cloud Network Camera TN600W). Couple that with easy PC-free setup and the industry’s best cloud-based recording, and it’s a no brainer: The Dropcam Pro is our new Editors’ Choice in consumer home surveillance.

Design and Setup
One look at the packaging for the new Dropcam Pro and it’s obvious the company is channeling Apple’s product presentation. Even the box is a beaut, containing the absolute minimal paperwork to get up and running: a postcard sized quick start guide.

The appearance of the Dropcam Pro is identical to the Dropcam (still available at $149.99). The camera itself is a small puck that clips into a metal stand on a hinge. The stand rotates as needed in the base you attach to wall or ceiling, so you can view any area of a room. In the stand, Dropcam Pro measures 4.5 by 3.15 by 3.15 inches (HWD). Without the stand, the puck-shaped camera itself is hard to position, but not impossible, if you want to add some stealth to your deployment. It’s nice that the Pro’s stand is now black to match the camera, but it’s a shame the 10-foot long USB-power cord and wall adapter are still white, so they don’t exactly match.

Dropcam Pro is one of the few cameras that lack an Ethernet port. It’s all about the wireless: Inside the camera is not just Wi-Fi, but dual-band 802.11n, so you can connect via 2.4GHz (the typical setup) or 5GHz. Dropcam Pro is the only surveillance camera on the market with dual-band. The camera actually picks the band for you, generally going 5GHz if available.

Your installation options include plugging the camera directly into a PC to access the setup files for Mac or Windows and going from there, but that’s old-school. Much easier: Plug the Dropcam Pro into power, open up the free Dropcam app on an iOS device (or eventually Android 4.3 device), create or log in to a Dropcam account, and let it find the camera. Give the camera your Wi-Fi network login credentials, give it a unique name, and you’re done.


How does the smartphone even see your Dropcam Pro if it’s not yet on the Wi-Fi? Dropcam Pro also integrates Bluetooth LE, the low energy tech part of Bluetooth Smart (4.0)—the same Bluetooth available on the latest iPhones and Android devices. Not only is Bluetooth LE an integral part of the setup via mobile, it’s a future-proof scheme. The company claims Dropcam Pro will use Bluetooth LE to instantly talk to other peripherals in the future, and Dropcam may open its API for programmers that want to make devices that talk to the Dropcam Pro.

Features and Performance
What exactly does the Pro have over the old Dropcam that warrants paying the extra 50 bucks? It’s all about the optics. The wide field of view on the Dropcam Pro is 130 degrees, up from the original’s 107 degrees. The sensor size is double—Dropcam says it is even bigger than the camera sensor in the iPhone 5s. It delivers an excellent video stream at 1,920-by-1,080 full motion—without a doubt, the best video I’ve seen on a home surveillance camera.

On the mobile apps you can use a two finger pinch/spread to digitally zoom in and out on the video. The same effect can be duplicated with the mouse scroll wheel in the browser interface at Dropcam.com. Digital zoom isn’t usually a big deal and sometimes looks awful, but the sensor size, video quality, and well-designed apps make it easy to pan or tilt around the high-def image. An enhanced view oversamples a zoomed-in area of the stream—click the magic wand icon to get a sharper zoom than you’d imagine possible. This works best in very bright light conditions.

Let’s also note that on the browser, the Dropcam interface is Flash-based, so it works with every major desktop Web browser in existence. Unlike the interfaces for cameras like the D-Link Cloud Camera 1150 or Compro TN600W, which limit you typically to Internet Explorer.

The audio capabilities on the Pro are enhanced. You’ll hear more because of the mic sensitivity, and I found the two-way audio (where you talk through the software interface so your voice comes out the camera) was better than most cameras, both louder and clearer.

The hallmark of Dropcam is its encrypted, cloud-based, digital video recording service, now officially dubbed Cloud Video Recording, or CVR. Dropcam can be used to watch live video feeds at no extra cost, but the power is in being able to go back in time to watch previous footage. If there’s any area where Dropcam falls short, though, it’s the pricing. Look at it as the cost of three cups of coffee a month ($9.95/month or $99/year) and it doesn’t hurt as much, and having that seven-day buffer of recorded video can make all the difference when you have a break-in or other problem. You can also go back a full month if you pay $29.95/month or $299/year; how much its worth to you depends on your security needs. But it wouldn’t hurt if Dropcam offered a 24-hour recording buffer for, say, $10/year (or gratis).

You can also use the buffered online video to create video clips of just about any duration: Download it as an MP4 file, or easily share the clip via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. You can also make your stream public if you want; Dropcam features many public streams in its Featured Cameras section.

Dropcam Pro marks video as it’s recorded, so you know when motion or audio events take place. Those same events can be used to trigger notifications to your phone or via email. Be careful with this in high traffic areas, though. While you can’t set the level of motion detection, Dropcam’s web interface is testing an activity-recognition feature where the software learns motion patterns of your stream—you label them to help recognize pets vs. burglars. And while it’s not much to praise now, since it’s a Web interface, CVR subscribers will automatically get updates.

You can schedule times for when alerts can are sent. iPhone users get a nice little extra—Location Scheduling. Tell the Dropcam service to turn on notifications when you leave a location, based entirely on where you phone is. That way, you don’t get inundated with alerts when you’re home in front of the camera.

The night vision on the Dropcam Pro is phenomenal, especially considering it only uses eight infrared LEDs. That’s fewer than most—even the previous Dropcam had 12. The large sensor size makes up for it; it takes in so much light, it requires a cavern-dark room for the night vision to even kick on.

I’ve dinged Dropcam in the past for not offering a battery but, realistically, it can’t without making the camera unwieldy, the size of a phone at least. Luckily, being powered by USB, there are third-party options for hooking it to battery packs a-plenty.

Conclusions
Dropcam Pro shows just how great a camera like this can get with quality optics. That Dropcam sees itself more as a software-and-services company, and thus works hard on the back-end and apps also makes a huge difference. The CVR service is costly, but worth it when you capture something important with your baby, your dogs, your family—or something a lot less savory, like burglars. The lack of on-board storage may seem like a burden, but Dropcam would argue the set-it-and-forget cloud storage saves you even more hassle, and I’d agree.

Other options: The Logitech Alert 750n Indoor Master System offers HomePlug connections (a convenience for some with tricky wireless setups at home) and a good cloud service for video, but its price and video quality no longer can compare. Likewise, the Wi-Fi-based Y-Cam HomeMonitor Indoor has some great features, like long-distance night vision and seven days of free online video storage. But with only VGA video, its simply not as good a camera or service combo by any stretch. All told, with this Pro release, Dropcam pulls ahead of the pack in the home surveillance camera market.


Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ziffdavis/pcmag/~3/wrrKAJJ_hwA/0,2817,2425539,00.asp
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