Shared posts

18 Sep 06:30

Far Cry 4 trailer weaponizes the mighty elephant

by Jessica Conditt

Hey, I recorded this!

This is either a new trailer for Far Cry 4, or it's the entry for "elephants" found in the actual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy....
18 Sep 06:26

Coca-Cola Is Bringing Surge Back


pretty sure i know what to get Stu for christmas.

The failed ’90s beverage will be sold exclusively through Amazon. Coca-Cola cited a Facebook group called “The Surge Movement” as one reason it’s reintroducing Surge. Update: Surge is available again after the first batch sold out.

"Surge Movement" Facebook Page / Via Facebook: surgemovement

After 12 years, Coca-Cola is re-introducing Surge.

The world's biggest beverage company will begin selling 12-packs of the sweet citrus drink on Amazon Monday, according to a statement, marking the first time Coca-Cola has sold a product exclusively online. The company says the move is a response to a wave of nostalgia for the citrus soda — and an example of Coca-Cola listening to fans.

Surge, launched in 1996 as an answer to PepsiCo-owned Mountain Dew, was the company's most aggressive launch of a soda brand in that decade. While initial reception to the beverage was strong, its appeal had all but faded by the early 2000s. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Coke's hometown paper, was already calling it a "classic example of failure" in 2003 after most production ceased the prior year.

But children and teens of the '90s have recalled Surge fondly since then, some more fanatically than others.

Coca-Cola said a Facebook group called "SURGE Movement," with more than 128,000 likes, played into its decision to bring the beverage back.

The group, devoted to seeking the re-release of Surge, was founded on Dec. 23, 2011, according to its "About" page. It regularly posts about the beverage, asking members questions like: "If SURGE came back, how or where would you want it distributed?" and "It's the 90's. You're chugging an ice cold SURGE on a hot summer day driving by the beach with the windows down. What's playing on the radio?" (Answers for the first question include "Directly into my mouth via water hose," while artists such as Sugar Ray and the Offspring are among names listed for the second.)

"Future plans for the brand will depend on the level of excitement exhibited by fans across the country," Wendy Clark, president of sparkling and strategic marketing for Coca-Cola North America, said in the statement.

It seems to be going well so far: the first batch of Surge sold out after about an hour. More is now available on the website.

The first batch of Surge sold out after about an hour, though supplies have been refreshed.

The first batch of Surge sold out after about an hour, though supplies have been refreshed.

Amazon / Via

"Surge Movement" Facebook Page / Via Facebook: surgemovement

View Entire List ›

15 Sep 14:19

September 12, 2014

Hey Bostonians and Bay Areans! BAHFEST IS COMING!
15 Sep 13:35



via Uniwatch.

There's so many things to like about this...even the letterhead is great.

15 Sep 13:33

Microsoft Has Acquired Minecraft For $2.5 Billion

by Darrell Etherington

i think the picture says it all.

Microsoft Minecraft Microsoft has confirmed that Mojang and Minecraft will join its ranks, but it’ll continue to make the game available across iOS, Android and PlayStation as well as on Xbox and PC, the company announced today. Microsoft says that they started their conversation around bringing the title to the Xbox console, and from there witnessed their tremendous success and decided to make the… Read More
12 Sep 19:49

Apple fans: Here’s your first look at one of the world’s best third-party iOS 8 keyboards

by Brad Reed

i'm not going to let up on my SwiftKey evangelism. this should be the first app you guys install after moving to iOS 8.

SwiftKey iOS 8 Release Date

One of the more underrated aspects of iOS 8 will be its support for third-party keyboard apps that Android users have had the privilege of using for years. One of the best third-party keyboard apps out there is SwiftKey, which earlier this week announced that the first-ever iOS version of its popular keyboard app will release to iOS 8 users on September 17th.

Continue reading...

12 Sep 18:37

Google Hangouts now lets you make voice calls

by Ida Torres

this update and new functionality just rolled out to me and it's great. no more juggling between GV and's all in one place and somewhat neat and tidy. they still have a few things to fix up, but this is a nice move by google.

There you have it. Just a day after we were speculating about the seeming migration of Google Voice to Hangouts, Google has officially made an announcement to the effect. When you update your Hangouts to its latest version, you will now be able to make free calls to other users of the messaging service, to numbers within the United States, and for a low fee, even calls outside the country.

We reported on the fact that several Google users were receiving the prompt to migrate their Google Voice to Hangouts, even though there wasn’t any official announcement yet. When things seemed to not be properly working yet, we speculated that not all the kinks had been worked out but that the change was imminent. Well now it is and as long as you update Hangouts to its latest version and you install the Hangouts Dialer, you will be able to make free voice calls, just like you would most other free messaging apps.

There is no mention though if Google Voice is totally done for, although there is probably no use for it now when you can make calls from Hangouts. We also don’t know for now if there will be a way for the “unread” messages from Voice to be retrieved from Hangouts or somewhere else, since the migration yesterday wasn’t able to let users listen or read their messages.

You can update Hangouts through the Google Play Store or you can also update it manually. Don’t forget, you need to download Hangouts Dialer first to be able to use the free calls function of Hangouts.

SOURCE: Google

12 Sep 15:23

Schefter: Josh Gordon looking at 8-game ban - Josh Gordon | CLE


on my bench in both leagues i'm playing in this season. i'm more than happy to burn a roster spot for a few weeks if it means i get a top 5 WR for half the season.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Josh Gordon's suspension is expected to be reduced to eight games once the new drug policy is approved as easily as Friday afternoon.
12 Sep 14:32

Some Time Warner Cable bills seen doubling after Comcast merger

by Brad Reed

i wonder if the best way to deal with this is to regularly switch between Time Warner/Comcast and DirectTV every year or two.

Comcast Time Warner Cable Merger

Welcome to Comcast Country, Time Warner Cable customers. The Albany Times Union reports that New York state regulators now "believe some Time Warner Cable customers could see their Internet and cable TV bills more than double under the company's proposed $45 billion merger with Comcast."

Continue reading...

12 Sep 13:55

Apple’s Big-Ass iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Now Available For Pre-Order

by Natasha Lomas

hilariously, the 6+ is even bigger than android phones with similar screen sizes thanks to that big ol' button Apple refuses to get rid of.

IMG_4208 Apple’s newest and largest pair of iPhones, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, are now available for pre-order in a number of countries, including the U.S. and the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The phones are due to ship to buyers on September 19. Pre-orders don’t appear to have opened up yet in China, Asia’s dominant market, despite the Far East being the driving force behind… Read More
11 Sep 13:50

These Minimal "Doctor Who" Book Covers Are Stunning


Love these...

12 Doctors, 12 stories, 12 gorgeous covers.

To celebrate Peter Capaldi’s arrival as The Doctor, Puffin is regenerating its series of Doctor Who novellas with a brand new look.

To celebrate Peter Capaldi’s arrival as The Doctor, Puffin is regenerating its series of Doctor Who novellas with a brand new look.

A Big Hand For The Doctor by Eoin Colfer, starring One (William Hartnell).


Originally released for the show’s 50th Anniversary last year, the stories have been outfitted with new covers inspired by the unique style of each Doctor.

Originally released for the show’s 50th Anniversary last year, the stories have been outfitted with new covers inspired by the unique style of each Doctor.

The Nameless City by Michael Scott, starring Two (Patrick Troughton).


Written by 12 best-selling authors including Eoin Colfer, Malorie Blackman, and Neil Gaiman, the stories each focus on one incarnation of the Doctor.

Written by 12 best-selling authors including Eoin Colfer, Malorie Blackman, and Neil Gaiman, the stories each focus on one incarnation of the Doctor.

The Spear of Destiny by Marcus Sedgwick, starring Three (Jon Pertwee).


These new editions will be available from October 23rd, in a box set of all 12 paperback stories.

These new editions will be available from October 23rd , in a box set of all 12 paperback stories.

The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve, starring Four (Tom Baker).


View Entire List ›

11 Sep 13:24



This doesn't exactly tell the whole story, but I did make the connection when they were listing the specs.

10 Sep 20:25

September 02, 2014

09 Sep 23:46

Microsoft Said To Be Close To Purchasing Minecraft’s Parent Company For Around $2B

by Alex Wilhelm
Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 4.02.01 PM It appears that Microsoft is prepping to follow Facebook into the YOLO territory of gaming acquisitions. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the software giant will buy the gaming company behind the mega-hit Minecraft for around $2 billion, perhaps as early as this week. The deal, which Microsoft can well afford with its nearly $86 billion in cash and equivalents, would bring a… Read More
08 Sep 13:26

What's in a Nickname? The Origins of All 32 NFL Team Names


in case you were wondering...

What do newspaper headline type and the New Deal have to do with the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles? Here are the stories behind the nicknames of the NFL’s 32 teams—and what they were almost called.

Arizona Cardinals

The franchise began play in Chicago in 1898 before moving to St. Louis in 1960 and Arizona in 1988. Team owner Chris O’Brien purchased used and faded maroon jerseys from the University of Chicago in 1901 and dubbed the color of his squad’s new outfits “cardinal red.” A nickname was born. The team adopted the cardinal bird as part of its logo as early as 1947 and first featured a cardinal head on its helmets in 1960.

Atlanta Falcons

Shortly after insurance executive Rankin Smith brought professional football to Atlanta, a local radio station sponsored a contest to name the team. Thirteen hundred people combined to suggest more than 500 names, including Peaches, Vibrants, Lancers, Confederates, Firebirds, and Thrashers. While several fans submitted the nickname Falcons, schoolteacher Julia Elliott of nearby Griffin was declared the winner of the contest for the reason she provided. “The falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight,” Elliott wrote. “It never drops its prey. It is deadly and has great sporting tradition.” Elliott won four season tickets for three years and a football autographed by the entire 1966 inaugural team.

Baltimore Ravens

Ravens, a reference to Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem, beat out Americans and Marauders in a contest conducted by the Baltimore Sun. Poe died and is buried in Baltimore.

Of the more than 33,000 voters in the Sun’s phone-in poll, more than 21,000 picked Ravens. “It gives us a strong nickname that is not common to teams at any level, and it gives us one that means something historically to this community,” said team owner Art Modell, who had attempted to buy the Colts nickname back from the franchise that left Baltimore for Indianapolis in 1984. The Marauders nickname referenced a B-26 built during World War II by the Glenn L. Martin Company, a predecessor to Lockheed Martin that was based in Baltimore. Other names considered included the Railers, Bulldogs, Mustangs, and Steamers.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills nickname was suggested as part of a fan contest in 1947 to rename Buffalo’s All-America Football Conference team, which was originally known as the Bisons. The Bills nickname referenced frontiersman Buffalo Bill Cody and was selected over Bullets, Nickels, and Blue Devils. It helped that the team was owned by the president of Frontier Oil, James Breuil. Buffalo was without a team from 1950 to 1959, when owner Ralph Wilson acquired a franchise in the AFL. Wilson solicited potential nicknames from fans for his new franchise and ultimately chose Bills in homage to the city’s defunct AAFC team.

Carolina Panthers

Panthers team president Mark Richardson, the son of team owner Jerry Richardson, chose the Panthers nickname because "it's a name our family thought signifies what we thought a team should be—powerful, sleek and strong." Richardson also chose the 1995 expansion team’s color scheme of black, blue, and silver, a choice that initially came under scrutiny from NFL Properties representatives. According to one newspaper report, the concern was raised at the 1993 NFL meetings that a team nicknamed the Panthers that featured black in its color scheme would appeal to street gangs and reflect poorly on the league.

Chicago Bears

In 1921, the Decatur Staleys, a charter member of the American Professional Football Association, moved to Chicago and kept their nickname, a nod to the team’s sponsor, the Staley Starch Company. When star player George Halas purchased the team the following year, he decided to change the nickname. Chicago played its home games at Wrigley Field, home of baseball’s Cubs, and Halas opted to stick with the ursine theme.

Cincinnati Bengals

Team owner, general manager, and head coach Paul Brown nicknamed Cincinnati’s AFL expansion franchise the Bengals in 1968 in honor of the football team nicknamed the Bengals that played in the city from 1937-1942. According to Brown, the nickname “would provide a link with past professional football in Cincinnati.” Brown chose Bengals over the fans’ most popular suggestion, Buckeyes.

Cleveland Browns

There’s some debate about whether Cleveland’s professional football franchise was named after its first coach and general manager, Paul Brown, or after boxer Joe Louis, who was nicknamed the “Brown Bomber.” Team owner Mickey McBride conducted a fan contest in 1945 and the most popular submission was Browns. According to one version of the story, Paul Brown vetoed the nickname and chose Panthers instead, but a local businessman informed the team that he owned the rights to the name Cleveland Panthers. Brown ultimately agreed to the use of his name and Browns stuck.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys, who began play in the NFL in 1960, were originally nicknamed the Steers. The team’s general manager, Texas E. Schramm, decided that having a castrated bovine as a mascot might subject the team to ridicule, so he changed the name to Rangers. Fearing that people would confuse the football team with the local minor league baseball team nicknamed the Rangers, Schramm finally changed the nickname to Cowboys shortly before the season began.

Denver Broncos

Denver was a charter member of the AFL in 1960 and Broncos, which was submitted along with a 25-word essay by Ward M. Vining, was the winning entry among 162 fans who responded in a name-the-team contest. A Denver team by the same name played in the Midwest Baseball League in 1921.

Detroit Lions

Radio executive George A. Richards purchased and moved the Portsmouth Spartans to Detroit in 1934 and renamed the team the Lions. The nickname was likely derived from Detroit’s established baseball team, the Tigers, who won 101 games and the AL pennant that year. As the team explained it, “The lion is the monarch of the jungle, and we hope to be the monarch of the league.”

Green Bay Packers

Team founder Earl “Curly” Lambeau’s employer, the Indian Packing Company, sponsored Green Bay’s football team and provided equipment and access to the field. The Indian Packing Company became the Acme Packing Company and later folded, but the nickname stuck.

Houston Texans

Houston’s 2002 expansion franchise became the sixth professional football team nicknamed the Texans. The Dallas Texans were an Arena Football League team from 1990 to 1993 and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones revived the team in 2000. He was planning to keep the old nickname, but ultimately renamed the team the Desperados. Houston owner Bob McNair chose Texans over Apollos and Stallions.

Indianapolis Colts

The Baltimore Colts, a member of the All-America Football Conference from 1947-1950, were named in honor of the region’s history of horse breeding. The name remained when a new franchise began play in 1953 and after the team relocated to Indianapolis in 1984.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars nickname was selected through a fan contest in 1991, 2 years before the city was officially awarded an expansion team and 4 years before the team would begin play. Other names considered included the Sharks and Stingrays. While Jaguars aren’t native to Jacksonville, the oldest living jaguar in North America was housed in the Jacksonville Zoo.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs began play in the AFL in 1960 as the Dallas Texans. When the team moved to Kansas City in 1963, owner Lamar Hunt changed the team’s name to the Chiefs after also considering Mules, Royals, and Stars. Hunt said the name was locally important because Native Americans had once lived in the area. Hunt may have also been swayed by Kansas City mayor H. Roe Bartle, whose nickname was The Chief. Bartle helped lure the team to Kansas City by promising Hunt that the city would meet certain attendance thresholds.

Miami Dolphins

A name-the-team contest drew nearly 20,000 entries and resulted in the nickname for the Miami franchise that entered the AFL as an expansion team in 1966. More than 600 fans suggested Dolphins, but Marjorie Swanson was declared the winner after correctly predicting a tie in the 1965 college football game between Miami and Notre Dame as part of a follow-up contest. Swanson, who won a lifetime season pass to Dolphins games, told reporters she consulted a Magic 8-Ball before predicting the score of the game. Miami owner Joe Robbie was fond of the winning nickname because, as he put it, “The dolphin is one of the fastest and smartest creatures in the sea.”

Minnesota Vikings

According to the Vikings’ website, Bert Rose, Minnesota’s general manager when it joined the NFL in 1961, recommended the nickname to the team’s Board of Directors because “it represented both an aggressive person with the will to win and the Nordic tradition in the northern Midwest.” The expansion franchise also became the first pro sports team to feature its home state, rather than a city, in the team name.

New England Patriots

Seventy-four fans suggested Patriots in the name-the-team contest that was conducted by the management group of Boston’s original AFL franchise in 1960. “Pat Patriot,” the cartoon of a Minuteman preparing to snap a football drawn by the Boston Globe’s Phil Bissell, was chosen as the team’s logo soon after. While the first part of the team’s name changed from Boston to New England in 1971, Patriots remained.

New Orleans Saints

New Orleans was awarded an NFL franchise on All Saints’ Day, November 1, 1966. The nickname was a popular choice in a name-the-team contest sponsored by the New Orleans States-Item, which announced the news of the new franchise with the headline, “N.O. goes pro!” The nickname, chosen by team owner John Mecom, was a nod to the city’s jazz heritage and taken from the popular song, “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

New York Giants

New York owner Tim Mara borrowed the Giants nickname from John McGraw’s National League baseball team, a common practice by football teams during an era when baseball was the nation’s preeminent team sport.

New York Jets

Originally nicknamed the Titans, the team was renamed the Jets in 1963 after Sonny Werblin led an investment group that purchased the bankrupt franchise for $1 million.

According to a contemporary New York Times story, the franchise considered calling itself the Dodgers, but nixed the idea after Major League Baseball didn’t like it. Gothams also got some consideration, but the team didn’t like the idea of having it shortened to the Goths, because “you know they weren’t such nice people.” The last finalist to fall was the New York Borros, a pun on the city’s boroughs; the team worried that opposing fans would make the Borros-burros connection and derisively call the squad the jackasses.

Eventually the team became the Jets since it was going to play in Shea Stadium, which is close to LaGuardia Airport. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the name was supposed to reflect the “modern approach of his team.”

Oakland Raiders

Chet Soda, Oakland’s first general manager, sponsored a name-the-team contest in 1960. Helen A. Davis, an Oakland policewoman, submitted the winning entry, Señors, and was rewarded with a trip to the Bahamas. The nickname, an allusion to the old Spanish settlers of northern California, was ridiculed in the weeks that followed, and fans also claimed that the contest was fixed. Scotty Stirling, a sportswriter for the Oakland Tribune who would later become the team’s general manager, provided another reason to abandon the nickname. “That’s no good,” Stirling said. “We don’t have the accent mark for the n in our headline type.” Responding to the backlash, Soda and the team’s other investors decided to change the team’s nickname to Raiders, which was a finalist in the contest along with Lakers.

Philadelphia Eagles

In 1933, Bert Bell and Lud Wray purchased the bankrupt Frankford Yellowjackets. The new owners renamed the team the Eagles in honor of the symbol of the National Recovery Act, which was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh’s football team shared the same nickname as the city’s baseball team, the Pirates, from 1933 to 1940. Before the 1940 season, owner Art Rooney held a rename-the-team contest. A change couldn’t hurt, as Pittsburgh had failed to post a winning season in its first 7 years. Joe Santoni, who worked in a mill for Pittsburgh Steel, was one of several fans who suggested Steelers. Santoni received a pair of season tickets, which he would renew every year until his death in 2003.

San Diego Chargers

Team owner Barron Hilton sponsored a name-the-team contest and promised a trip to Mexico City to the winner in 1960. Gerald Courtney submitted “Chargers” and Hilton reportedly liked the name so much that he didn’t open another letter.

There are varying accounts as to why Hilton chose Chargers for his franchise, which spent one year in Los Angeles before relocating to San Diego. According to one story, Hilton liked the name, in part, for its affiliation with his new Carte Blanche credit card. The owner also told reporters that he was fond of the “Charge!” bugle cry played at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers, who began play in the All-America Football Conference in 1946, were named after the settlers who ventured to the San Francisco area during the gold rush of 1849.

St. Louis Rams

The Rams, who originated in Cleveland in 1936 and spent 1946 through 1994 in the Los Angeles area, trace their nickname to the college ranks. Principal owner Homer Marshman and general manager Damon “Buzz” Wetzel chose the nickname because Wetzel’s favorite football team had always been the Fordham Rams. Fordham—Vince Lombardi’s alma mater—was a powerhouse at the time.

Seattle Seahawks

There were 1,700 unique names among the more than 20,000 submitted in a name-the-team contest in 1975, including Skippers, Pioneers, Lumberjacks, and Seagulls. About 150 people suggested Seahawks. A Seattle minor league hockey team and Miami’s franchise in the All-America Football Conference both used the nickname in the 1950s. “Our new name suggests aggressiveness, reflects our soaring Northwest heritage, and belongs to no other major league team,” Seattle general manager John Thompson said. The Seahawks’ helmet design is a stylized head of an osprey, a fish-eating hawk of the Northwest.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A panel of local sportswriters and representatives from the NFL expansion team, including owner Hugh F. Culverhouse, chose Buccaneers from an original list of more than 400 names in 1975. The nickname, which was a popular choice among fans in a name-the-team contest, was a nod to the pirates who raided Florida’s coasts during the 17th century.

Tennessee Titans

After relocating from Houston to Tennessee in 1995, the team played two seasons as the Oilers before owner Bud Adams held a statewide contest to rename the team. Titans was chosen over nicknames such as Tornadoes, Copperheads, South Stars, and Wranglers. “We wanted a new nickname to reflect strength, leadership and other heroic qualities,'' Adams told reporters.

Washington Redskins

One year after he acquired an NFL franchise in Boston, George Preston Marshall changed the team’s nickname from Braves to Redskins. According to most accounts, the nickname was meant to honor head coach and Native American William Henry “Lone Star” Dietz, though some question whether Dietz was a Native American. The Redskins kept their controversial nickname when they relocated to Washington, DC, in 1937.

08 Sep 13:13

Romo at top of Cowboys' blame list

by Jean-Jacques Taylor

i mean, the Giants are probably going to stink this year too, but i'll never get tired of articles like this.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- This one is on the quarterback, so don't even think about blaming it on playcaller Scott Linehan. Or the suspect defense. Even Jason Garrett shouldn't have to take the entire hit for the Dallas Cowboys' putrid performance Sunday, though we can certainly second-guess the head coach's training camp practice schedule for quarterback Tony Romo. If you're looking to blame someone for Sunday's debacle at AT&T Stadium, then stick your finger in Romo's face.
06 Sep 18:53

Xbox One promotion offers free game with console purchase

by Mike Suszek

So, assuming Best Buy honors this promotion, I guess I'm buying an Xbox One next week. Probably getting Wolfenstein as my free game, but I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any.

A new promotion from Microsoft will offer prospective Xbox One owners a free game with the purchase of the next-gen console. Starting on Sunday, September 7, those that buy the system from a participating retailer in the U.S. will receive a free game...
05 Sep 13:07

The new Moto X could be the best Android phone ever made


i love, love, LOVE my first-gen Moto X and if any of you are considering a new Android phone, this is absolutely the one to get. it seems like they really took a good, long look both at what was right and what was lacking in the original and improved on both fronts.

Today, Motorola announced its second-generation Moto X, the successor to the company’s rebooted flagship smartphone that was unveiled just over a year ago. Yes, the phone will simply be called Moto X again — not X+1, as some rumors had suggested — and it’ll be available for the same $499 unlocked as the original when it launches later in September (that's for 16GB; the 32GB version runs at a $50 premium). AT&T, among others, will be offering it starting at $99 on contract.

I’ve had a chance to spend some time with the new X this week, and something strange happened: I fell in love with it the moment I first held it.

I say that’s strange because we’ve reached a point where even mediocre smartphones are pretty wonderful. They just aren’t getting better in simple, obvious ways that normal humans can understand with the same relentless velocity that they used to. The mind-blowing outliers — the phones that make you instantly relieve yourself of several hundred dollars without a second thought — are becoming scarce and far between. Basically, it’s hard to fall in love with a phone when every phone is lovable.

And Motorola certainly needs a love-at-first-touch reaction: the first-generation Moto X, as terrific as it was, failed to make much of a dent in developed markets. (When the 75 million unit-per-quarter Samsung machine is the market you’re trying to dent, the challenge looms undeniably large.)

The metal frame is a huge deal
So what makes this phone so great? For starters, it looks really good. Under design guru Jim Wicks, Motorola’s attention to detail is rivaled in the smartphone industry only by HTC and Apple. The original Moto X’s magic trick was that it felt pretty small for its generous 4.7-inch display, and the new one pulls the same sleight of hand — but it does it with a 5.2-inch screen, a size that’s more in line with 2014 expectations. Much of that magic stems from Motorola’s now-trademark curved back, which leaves ample room for guts (battery, circuitry, so on) in the center but slopes to nearly nothing toward the left and right edges.

Speaking of the edges, they’re now made of metal, which is a huge deal. Some phones earn their "premium" stripes with fake metal; others use the real thing, but the first Moto X didn’t use any sort of metallic decoration at all, which hurt its image as a flagship device. The new X fixes that: the curved metal rim looks and feels fantastic. Engineering boss Iqbal Arshad is keen to note that the rim acts as an antenna, and the phone actively tracks how you’re holding it in order to adjust RF performance in real time. In other words: he promises Apple’s long-forgotten reception problems on the iPhone 4 won’t crop back up here.

The display, a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED that Arshad says is considerably more power efficient than last year’s SAMOLEDs, delivers true 1080p resolution. I still don’t really believe that 1080p makes a noticeable difference to the average phone user, but the original X shipped with 720p at a particularly bad time: all of its primary competitors had just stepped up to 1080p. Sometimes, you just have to check the box so you can say "our number is as big as theirs," and that certainly seems to be the case with screen resolution — particularly in the spec-hungry American market. It was an important gap for Motorola to close, and now it’s closed.

The camera gets a megapixel bump, but that doesn't mean it's better
On the back, the dimpled Motorola "batwing" logo — a notable design element of the old X — is more prominent than ever, rendered in metal that’s surrounded by the customizable finish. Wicks points out that the dimple is in symmetry with the camera lens, where another unique design element emerges: a clear ring that surrounds the lens, containing two LEDs. It’s a well-concealed flash, a whimsical design touch that Motorola says helps diffuse the light for more even illumination when taking photos.

The camera is a wildcard; Motorola has a long tradition of delivering so-so imaging performance even when specs would suggest otherwise, and the original Moto X was no exception. The new X moves up from 10 megapixels to 13 and boasts some new features, like 4K capture, voice control, and a mode that takes multiple exposures and automatically selects the "best" shot based on smiles, motion blur, whether subjects’ eyes are open, and so on. We’ll cover the camera in great detail in the review, but from my short time with it, it feels exceptionally fast — you can belt off snapshot with zero lag. In particular, switching between still photography and the video camera happens instantaneously.

For software, the X launches on KitKat with a promise to roll out Android L as it becomes available. Motorola is taking the same tack here that it has for the past year — it’s stock Android with an exceptionally light touch of customization, and it’s great. It feels fast and fluid throughout (the company aimed for a consistent 60fps, and there’s a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 under the hood, which probably helps). All of the improvements that I’ve seen are smart, helpful touches: voice control, for instance, can now be triggered with a custom phrase of your choosing instead of "OK Google Now." (And yes, Motorola employees sheepishly admit that most of them with the new phone are using "OK Jarvis.") Active Display, which has been renamed Moto Display to help drive home that it’s a Motorola-specific feature, can now be triggered just by waving your hand over the phone while it’s sitting on a flat surface. This trick is accomplished by an array of infrared sensors around the screen; they’re visible as gray dots on the white X, but they’re basically invisible if you choose the black model.

Rich leather straight from the factory in your choice of four colors

All that said, great hardware and software alone don’t necessarily win — we’ve seen great phones stumble time and time again over the years, the old Moto X included. Motorola’s secret sauce, its differentiator, has been customization. The winding down of the Texas factory where customized phones were built might have set off some alarm bells, but the new X (which will be customized in and shipped from China) actually goes deeper than the phone it replaces: in addition to the wood and colored plastic choices that Moto Maker users have seen before, you can now spec the back of the phone with actual leather in one of four colors. It feels and looks wonderful — and luxurious in a way consumer electronics almost never are — but I do worry about long-term durability and dirt resistance.

Meanwhile, buyers can also change the colors of the grilles that rest above the earpiece and microphone, and the metallic surround will come in two different shades of silver depending on whether you choose a black or white bezel. Every color combination I saw looked good, and more importantly, they each looked unique. These phones have more personality and say more about their owner out of the box than an HTC One, Galaxy S5, or iPhone ever could.

Carrier stores will be stocking more than just the plain black and white configurations in stores, which could help bridge the gap between the impulse buyers who want a phone on the spot and those who want a really good-looking X that still feels "customized."

By the time the refreshed Moto X is in carrier stores and on Moto Maker later this month, it’ll be going up against an all-new Apple threat — but this might just be the strongest competitor Android has ever put up. Game on.

Hint: Use the 's' and 'd' keys to navigate

02 Sep 23:43

Report: 49ers' McDonald struck pregnant woman - Ray McDonald | SF


Just in time to try out the league's shiny new domestic violence punishment policy.

49ers DE Ray McDonald was arrested on felony domestic violence charges at 5:30am Sunday morning.
02 Sep 23:39

Globe-trotting with Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

by Mike Suszek

is it time to get obsessed with this game again?

It wouldn't be fair to Lucid Games to say that Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is "just more Geometry Wars," and then leave one's impressions at that. Announced just a few weeks ago, the game literally takes the series where it has never been, primarily...
02 Sep 02:21

September 01, 2014



Just a reminder, the Pluto shirt is available a little while longer.
30 Aug 19:34

24 maps that explain the NFL -


I particularly liked the map of Norv Turner losses, as well as the punts per capita map.

29 Aug 20:21

Eli Manning here, AMA. • /r/IAmA


So Eli just did an AMA. I missed it while it was live, but reading through it after the fact is definitely worth it.
Also, this:

Hey, this is Eli Manning, first-time redditor and two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the New York Giants. I'm sure many of you have been counting down to the season's start, and it's finally here.

I'm doing this AMA thanks to the folks over at DIRECTV who are helping bring NFL gameday to every fan, every Sunday. You can learn more about that here:

Victoria from reddit's helping me today.

And with that, go ahead, reddit, Ask Me Anything!

29 Aug 12:39

Despite watching them play, Jerry Jones says Cowboys defense “much improved”

by Curtis Crabtree

few things make me happier than looking for matchups against Dallas when i do my weekly "who's playing a shitty defense?" round-up for fantasy football.

The Dallas Cowboys set franchise records last season for defensive ineptitude that included allowing 415 yards per game to opposing offenses. They lost DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher and Sean Lee off of that defense a year ago and the struggles have continued this preseason. Dallas has allowed 29 points per game this August – with…
28 Aug 16:52

Gordon considers all options, including legal action

by Mike Florio

so i picked him up in our fantasy league yesterday in the hopes that the suspension would only be 8 games. that said, i'm still not dropping him quite yet...gotta see if an injunction gets filed/granted.

Now that the NFL has suspended receiver Josh Gordon for the 2014 regular season (and, if the substance-abuse policy is applied as written, a full calendar year), the question becomes whether Gordon will continue to fight the ban. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, all options currently are on the table, including legal…
28 Aug 16:00

All Of The Marvel Studios Movie Villains, Ranked From Worst To Best


hopefully, by the time we see Avengers 3, Thanos will challenge for the top of this list. there's a lot more to the character than we've seen so far (his past, genocidal motivations, character flaws) and there'a a reason he was such a huge villain in the Marvel Universe for a while.

Being boring is bad, and not in a good way. (Now featuring Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!) Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS!

View Entire Post ›

27 Aug 19:20

Uni Watch: Eagles find it's not easy being green


it's once again time for the Uniwatch NFL season preview. most notable to the Cabal would be the 90th anniversary patch for the Giants (to be worn all season long), and they'll also be wearing white pants weeks 9 and 11.
also, the Bears will be wearing their sweet throwback a couple of times, but Green Bay sadly won't be dusting off theirs.

Matt BarkleyAP Photo/Charles KrupaNike needs more time to produce the midnight green jerseys, so the Eagles will wear other options.

There are lots of new NFL uniform elements that you'll be seeing on the field this season, and we'll get to them in a minute. But let's start with something you won't be seeing, at least early in the season: the Philadelphia Eagles' green jerseys. And why won't you be seeing them? Because, incredibly, Nike won't have them ready in time for the start of the season.

Uni Watch

First, some quick background: When Nike took over for Reebok as the NFL's uniform supplier in 2012, most teams switched to Nike's "Elite 51" jersey template -- the one with the weird-looking collar and all the pieced-together fabric panels, made from high-tech performance textiles. But a few teams chose to stay with Reebok's old tailoring template and fabric, even though the jerseys were now being made by Nike. One of those teams was the Eagles. The explanation at the time was that Nike had "color matching issues" with the Eagles' shade of midnight green.

This season, though, the Eagles are upgrading to the Elite 51 uniforms. The changes have been easy to see in the team's white and black jerseys -- but where are the green jerseys? The answer came when the Eagles quietly issued this announcement on Aug. 15: "The Eagles will use their white and black jerseys throughout the early portion of the season. ... The Midnight Green jerseys require extra time to produce since it is a custom color and will not debut until later in the 2014 season."

Wow! When's the last time a top-level pro team's uniforms weren't ready for the start of the season? If it's not unprecedented, it certainly hasn't happened in recent memory.

This raises a lot of questions. For example, Nike deals with custom colors all the time -- it's a big part of its business, in fact -- so what's so challenging about the Eagles' shade of green? Why has it taken more than two years to get the color right? When did Nike become aware that the green jerseys wouldn't be ready in time for the start of the season, and when were the Eagles informed of this? When will the green jerseys be ready? Why can't the Eagles just wear the older green jerseys until the new ones are ready? Will the Eagles wear their black alternate jerseys for home games early in the season, or will they wear white at home? What about the green trim on the black and white jerseys -- are those elements appearing in the proper shade of green, or is Nike having trouble with them as well? And what are the implications of all this for the green jerseys that fans buy at retail?

Uni Watch recently posed those very questions to the Eagles and to Nike. Nike did not respond; an Eagles spokesman would only say, "We typically wear white jerseys at home early in the season anyway." (That's a bit of a stretch, actually: The Eagles wore white at home once in 2013, once in 2012 and not at all in 2011.) In any case, this episode is shaping up as an embarrassment for everyone involved.

So that covers the Eagles. But what about all the other clubs? With the season set to kick off next week, here's our annual team-by-team roundup of what you can expect to see on the field (teams with no changes on tap aren't listed):

• The Bears will be wearing their "Monsters of the Midway" throwbacks twice this year -- Sept. 28 against the Packers and Nov. 23 against the Buccaneers.

[+] EnlargeEJ Manuel

Vaughn Ridley/Getty ImagesEJ Manuel and the Bills are wearing patches with late owner Ralph C. Wilson's initials to commemorate his passing in March.


• The Bills have added a gray "RCW" memorial patch for longtime owner Ralph Wilson, who passed away back in March. Also: At least four Bills players -- running back C.J. Spiller, cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks, and wide receiver Sammy Watkins -- have been wearing what appears to be camouflage-patterned thigh pads that show through their pants during the preseason. Is this the next frontier of player accessorization? Stay tuned.

• The Broncos will wear their blue alternate jerseys on Oct. 19 against the 49ers.

• No new uniforms this season for the Browns, although they'll likely have a new uni set next season (which has many fans worried). For now, they have a new end zone design. Look closely at the new version and you can see that they've added a little shout-out to the Dawg Pound behind the goalposts.

[+] EnlargeTampa Bay Buccaneers, Josh McCown

Stephen B. Morton/AP ImagesThe Buccaneers are the only team with a whole new uniform this season -- including an enlarged logo.

• Only one team has an all-new uni set this season: the Buccaneers. If you compare last year to this year, you can see the main differences: The new helmet logo is way too big, the digital clock uni numbers are a joke, the chrome facemask is pretty cool, and everything else is a wash. There's a much more in-depth Uni Watch analysis available here, and you can see preseason game photos here and here. And as you can see in all of those photos, the Bucs are wearing an "MG" memorial patch for former owner Malcolm Glazer, who passed away in May.

• No throwbacks or black alternates this season for the Falcons, at least according to their jersey schedule.

• The 49ers have a fancy new stadium this season. They'll be putting this inaugural season logo on lots of merchandise but will not be wearing it on their uniform. Also: Remember the fuss over the winter regarding coach Jim Harbaugh's $8 Wal-Mart pleated khakis? Harbaugh and his wife parlayed that into an endorsement deal with Levi's Dockers (a natural pairing, given that Levi's holds the naming rights to the Niners' new stadium). Judging by the preseason, however, the new pants deal hasn't had much of an effect on Harbaugh's basic look. And speaking of Harbaugh, why is he still wearing a Super Bowl XLVII cap? Come on, dude, that was two seasons ago!

• The Giants will be adding a 90th season patch. (As per team custom, they didn't wear it during the preseason.) Also: The Jints will be wearing their alternate white pants for two home games -- Nov. 3 against the Colts and Nov. 16 against the 49ers. Also-also: Cornerback Charles James II and rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. are both wearing generational suffixes on their nameplates this season.

[+] EnlargeJacksonville Jaguars patch

Courtesy Jacksonville JaguarsThe Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers will be wearing commemorative patches this season.

[+] EnlargeCarolina Panthers patch

Courtesy Carolina PanthersIt's been 20 seasons since the Carolina Panthers' unique colors hit the NFL scene.

• The Jaguars are commemorating their 20th season with a jersey patch.

• The Lions will be adding a memorial patch for owner William Clay Ford Sr., who died back in March. The blue and silver "twin towers" in the center of the patch are a shout-out to the team's primary logo from the 1960s. Meanwhile: Wide receiver Golden Tate III didn't wear a Roman numeral on his nameplate when he was with the Seahawks, but he's added one now that he's with the Lions.

• This is the 20th season for the Panthers, and they're marking the occasion with a jersey patch and a logo on the field. Meanwhile, here's the team's home jersey schedule for the coming year. As you can see, the blue alternates are slated to be worn on Sept. 21 against the Steelers.

• This isn't something you'll see on game day, but the Patriots have changed the number font on their practice jerseys to match the font on their game jerseys.

• The Rams will wear their "Greatest Show on Turf" throwbacks on Oct. 15 against the 49ers. Some fans would like to see the team go back to that design as its primary uniform, and team executive Kevin Demoff has hinted that it could happen down the line. He also indicated that the team's old blue and white look will likely become the team's long-term throwback option.

• Nothing new this season for the Ravens (unless you count the new sponsor on their practice jerseys), but it's worth noting that veteran wide receiver Steve Smith, now with Baltimore, has added "Sr." to the back of his jersey.

• Lots of uni-related developments this year for the Steelers. First, they'll be wearing a simple "CHN" memorial helmet decal for former coach Chuck Noll. Second, they'll be wearing a patch to mark the 40th anniversary of their first Super Bowl championship team on Nov. 30 against the Saints (further details here). Third, they'll be wearing their bumblebee throwbacks on Oct. 26 against the Colts. And finally, you may have noticed that the Steelers' familiar front helmet numbers have been missing during the preseason. Don't worry -- that's a longstanding Steelers preseason ritual. The numbers will be restored to the helmets when the regular season starts.

• The Texans will wear solid white for their home opener against Washington on Sept. 7 and will wear their red alternate jerseys on Nov. 2 against the Eagles. You can see their full home jersey schedule here.

• The Titans will wear their navy alternate jerseys on Oct. 26 against the Texans. And in the "It's all about the little details" department, quarterback Jake Locker appears to be switching to loose-fitting sleeves this year.

• Nothing new on tap for Washington, but there's a uni-related controversy brewing for the team's game in Minnesota against the Vikings on Nov. 2. The game will be played at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, and the university has asked that Washington's controversial team name be scrubbed from the proceedings -- which, among other things, would require a uniform change. Further details here.

Additional Notes

• The officiating crews got a new uni number font last season, but some officials were still wearing the old font in 2013, and at least one of them -- head linesman George Hayward -- has still been wearing the old font in the current preseason. Come on, guys, get it together!
[+] EnlargeGlenn Winston

Kyle Terada/USA TODAY SportsSince the Riddell name is no longer on the front of helmets, many teams are replacing the word with their own logos.

• This is shaping up as an important transitional year for nose bumpers -- the little white panels at the base of each helmet's forehead area. The protocol for the past two dozen years has been simple: Nose bumpers on helmets made by Riddell -- the brand worn by about 70 percent of the league's players -- have carried the Riddell logo, while the bumpers of other helmet brands have either featured a team logo or, in a few cases, been left blank. But Riddell's endorsement deal with the league was not renewed for 2014, and now no manufacturer's marks will be allowed on any helmets, so teams are coming up with new designs to replace those Riddell logos. Titans players, for example, are now wearing the team's secondary logo. And raised or 3-D bumper graphics -- first worn in 2006 by the Giants and subsequently by a few other teams -- are suddenly a hot commodity for many teams, including the Jags, Dolphins, Raiders, Chargers, Jets, Steelers, Ravens and Niners. In addition, two teams simply went with blank bumpers for the preseason: the Chiefs and Broncos. Will they add a logo to their bumpers when the regular season starts? We'll have to wait and see.

• All teams will once again support breast cancer awareness by wearing pink accessories and pink ribbon helmet decals for games in October.

• Teams will also be wearing camouflage ribbon helmet decals to support the military during Weeks 10, 11 and 12.

• Expect to see a growing number of players wearing the latest thing in anti-concussion technology, the new Riddell SpeedFlex helmet, which is easily identifiable by its cut-out flex panel on the crown. Some teams are running their center striping tape right over the cut-out, while others are cutting the tape as it crosses the cut-out. You can learn a lot more about the SpeedFlex here.

• The NFL is cracking down on so-called shredder facemasks, although some players are exempt from the ban.

• You may have noticed that all players have been wearing a USA Football "Heads Up" helmet decal during the preseason. That will be removed once the regular season starts.

• A little-noted change to every stadium this year: The goalposts are five feet taller!

• You won't be able to see it, but players will be wearing tracking devices in their shoulder pads this season, a move that's designed to create new statistic metrics. And head impact sensors could be coming as soon as next year.

That's it, at least for now. Did we miss anything? If so, you know what to do.

A Different Kind of Anniversary Patch

Uni Watch is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. And that calls for, of course, an anniversary patch. Full details here.

Paul Lukas realizes that not everyone is as obsessed with nose bumpers as he is (although he can't understand why). If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.

26 Aug 16:32

Giants get down to 75-man limit, including two on IR

by Darin Gantt

Harris going to IR probably means Corey Washington makes the team. Might also make room in the WR corps for Trindon Holliday to definitely stay with the team (especially considering that Beckham's hamstrings can't be trusted for regular work, let alone kick returns).

The Giants have gotten down to the 75 man limit, including placing a pair of players on injured reserve. Safety Cooper Taylor (last year’s fifth-round pick) and wide receiver Marcus Harris were played on IR, sidelining them for the season. The Giants also waived 13 players to get to today’s limit. They are: Tight end Jerome…
26 Aug 16:25

Swatch is finally coming around to this 'smartwatch' business

by Daniel Cooper

you know, i'd really like it if Swatch would come out with a line of Android Wear watches.

Spare a thought for the watchmakers of this world, who might start to feel the pinch as more people buy a smartwatch. According to the Wall Street Journal, Swatch is the latest old-school outfit to realize that it needs more than a janky,...
26 Aug 15:20

Giants get good news on Geoff Schwartz

by Dan Graziano

Very good news. You never want your biggest free agent signing to lose significant time before ever playing a real game.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants announced Tuesday that left guard Geoff Schwartz, who dislocated his right big toe in Friday night's preseason game, would be in a walking boot for seven to 10 days and then begin rehabbing the injury. "After that," the team's news release said, "he will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis regarding his ability to return to football activities." This qualifies as good news on Schwartz, as there had been some fear he could be lost for a period of months or perhaps the entire season if surgery was required.