The F-Word: Fun

Beer: Oktoberfest Has Begun!

I was looking at the beer cooler in the supermarket the other day and I couldn’t believe how many of the brews had Oktoberfest-y names or flavors (pumpkin the most prominent). Apparently, these products have been stocked since at least July. Does ever season have to last for three months now?

Here’s an NPR report on the Oktober trend.

Beauty Benefits Of Tea

Huff Post says: ‘As the temps soon turns colder, we’re exchanging our iced coffees for herbal teas. Sipping on the hot drink instantly brings a sense of calm to a hectic day. But did you know that you could brew a cup of tea for homemade beauty recipes?

‘Teas, including green, black and red, have been used to improve the overall health and appearance of skin and hair for centuries. Rich in antioxidants and anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, tea is one of the most powerful grocery store staples that can be used topically. Here are nine amazing beauty benefits of tea.’

New Samsung Phone: Review

This phone, the S4, is going to be big, writes David Phelan. Not just because of its five-inch display. This is Samsung’s flagship phone and the marketing budget means that if you haven’t heard of it already, you will. But it’s also a highly capable phone that’s jammed with so many features and innovations it’ll take time to get acquainted with them all. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the sequel to, that’s right, the Galaxy S3, the smartphone which was so successful that for several months last year, it outsold the iPhone. Samsung is hoping this phone will perform the same trick. After all, it can be a remote control!

Google Fiber Targets Austin, TX

Google, as part of its campaign to crank up broadband speeds, aims to start connecting Austinites by mid-2014 to an all-fiber network that will provide super-fast Internet and TV.

Austin, Tex., is the second market for Google Fiber, after the company began connecting customers in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., late last year.

“We believe the Internet’s next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds, and we hope this new Google Fiber city will inspire communities across America to think about what ultrafast connectivity could mean for them,” Google Fiber veep Milo Medin said in a blog post Tuesday.

But some analysts question whether Google’s fiber plans will have any broader effect on the business and regulatory environment for high-speed Internet. “We remain skeptical that Google will find a scalable and economically feasible model to extend its buildout to a large portion of the U.S., as costs would be substantial, regulatory and competitive barriers material,” Sanford Bernstein senior analyst Carlos Kirjner wrote in a research note last week.

Apple To Launch “Ring” TV

The iTV will boast a 60-inch screen and cost up to $2,500, Brian White, at Topeka Capital Markets, said today.

Apple’s new gadget will come with a tablet the same size as an iPad. Users will be able to send videos from the iTV to the tablet to continue watching a programme as they move around the house.

The concept is similar to the way in which satellite TV companies are starting to let their set-top boxes send videos to iPads and other tablets.

The iTV’s most interesting feature, however, is the “iRing”. The device will allow viewers to control the screen simply by pointing.

The Smartwatch Revolution

The Pebble has arrived! Brian Ries on what it’s like wearing the next big thing in tech on his wrist—and why he never needs to reach into his pocket to read a text message again.

Samsung’s S IV: What To Expect

On the evening of March 14, the smartphone maker/Apple nemesis/James Franco employer Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S IV (commonly known as the S4). And even though Samsung claims that it’s trying to keep its newest superphone a secret until next Thursday’s event in New York City, details of the Galaxy S4 have been squirting out here and there like liquid from a leaky waterbed.

So, what should you expect when you’re expecting a Galaxy S4? We’ve collected the most prominent and persistent rumors below. We’ll know whether the S4 is an S-Score or an S-Bore in about a week, but until then, let’s get on with the speculation.


The display on the Galaxy S III is huge, by most Americans’ standards: 4.8 inches measured diagonally, with a 1280 x 720 resolution, for a pixel density of 306 pixels per inch. For the Galaxy S4, consensus seems to be that Samsung will venture even bigger, with a 5.0-inch display, a “full HD” resolution of 1920 x 1080, or 440 pixels per inch (higher ppi is better, though perhaps only to a point).

That 5-inch display would mean an enormous flagship smartphone for Samsung, whose first Galaxy Note with its 5.3-inch display, remember, was initially laughed at. (No one is laughing now.) It would mean that Samsung’s superphone would once again hulk over Apple’s, which features a just-enlarged 4.0-inch display.