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From the Editor’s Desk: Again …
7/20/2014 9:20:27 AM

Another tragic week in which I have a hard time concentrating on toys, and for that I beg your pardon. We’ll get to the fun stuff in a minute.

There’s absolutely nothing I or any of the 298 people on board could have done to have kept that Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 from being shot out of the sky. There’s nothing anyone could have done, save for the half-dozen or so people who actually fired the missile. If they really were hoping to down another Ukrainian transport plane, that makes it acceptable? We should no more accept that excuse than we should any reason for firing rockets or guns anywhere for any reason. War zone or not. It’s not OK.

Back in my newspaper days the AP moved pictures of bodies from all over the world every day. We didn’t have too much choice but to see them, never mind that they would never in a million years get into our newspaper. But I also think it’s important to be aware of the result of our actions. We can’t and shouldn’t just stick our collective head in the sand. This extremely graphic (consider yourselves warned) Vice News video from the Ukraine is telling. Bodies stripped of their clothing, so fierce was the force of the fall to Earth. Farmers — for whom just trying to live in a war zone can’t be the easiest thing — having to deal with the dead raining down indiscriminately.

It’s odd how such helplessness breeds selfishness. I think — again — about all the flights I’ve taken. And all the flights I’ll take in the future. My wife asks if I have anything coming up that will take me over that part of the world. (I don’t.) I think about friends in this business who do have to fly over that part of the world. I briefly consider things and then tell my 7-year-old — again — that she’s going to hear about another plane crash on the news, and that, no, she doesn’t need to worry about me. And I use this space — again — for a bit of catharsis. It’s probably not the right place to do so. But we’re all friends here. And we’ve been here before.

And I worry that my sense of pacifism is naive — and perhaps it is. But this just isn’t how humans should act.

 

The Verizon LG G3 has problems with ART — think twice before switching runtimes
7/20/2014 7:42:42 AM

A quick heads up for those of you who have just bought or are about to get an LG G3, particularly on Verizon. If you’re the tinkering type who immediately runs to the developer options and enables the experiment ART runtime, you might want to hold off for a bit. I’d run ART without issue on the AT&T LG G3 for the better part of a week. But the Verizon LG G3 has some obvious issues — mainly that it shuts down randomly. A lot.

I haven’t done any further debugging than that — it’s pretty obvious something ain’t right, and I went back to Dalvik ASAP — so it’ll be interesting to see what smarter folks come up with, and if the T-Mobile and Sprint models also run into issues. But read through our LG G3 forums and you’ll find I’m not alone with the Verizon version. That said, I wouldn’t let this dissuade me from buying the Verizon LG G3. The included ART runtime is experimental still, is hidden behind the developer settings — and is different than what will ship in the L release of Android later this year. We’d expect Verizon and LG to get things straightened out by then.

In the meantime, if your G3 has shut off and doesn’t seem to want to turn on, try holding volume down and the power button for a few seconds. That should clear things up. Boot up like normal and switch back to Dalvik, and all should be good.

Good luck. And remember that experimental things are experimental, and not always better.

Thanks, Ben, for the heads up.

 

Google Now Launcher will be the default on future ZTE devices
7/20/2014 7:31:55 AM

ZTE will be using the Google Now Launcher on future hardware, it’s a huge deal as previously this feature was limited to hardware within Google’s own Nexus family of products with other select handsets. You essentially have to sideload to install Google’s Now Launcher on most Android handsets.

 

Deal of the Day: Amzer Shellster with Kickstand for Samsung Galaxy S5
7/20/2014 7:01:40 AM

Made from a smooth and durable polycarbonate, this Galaxy S5 Shellster provides excellent drop protection thanks to the thick edging and impact resistant shell. The back features a custom patterned texture that gives you an enhanced grip along with a retractable kickstand!

The Amzer Shellster with Kickstand is available for just $10.95, that’s 45% off the list price! Grab yours while supplies last.

Get the scoop on every sale. Sign up for Daily Deal alerts

 

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