Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Samsung launches 55-inch 'flawless' curved OLED TV in Korea

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Samsung launches 55inch 'flawless' curved OLED TV in Korea

Just as the rumors foretold, Samsung has announced Korean availability of a 55-inch curved OLED HDTV. Priced at 15 million Korean won (around $13,000) Samsung claims its "Timeless Arena" design eliminates potential for defective OLED pixels. It also reiterates the claim LG made when it launched its own curved OLED model earlier this year that keeping all parts of the screen an equal distance from the viewer makes for a better viewing experience. It also supports features found in other Samsung TVs like multi-view that lets two people watch different things at the same time thanks to 3D glasses, and the Evolution Kit CPU upgrade. There's no word on US availability for its flat OLED HDTVs, but the company also launched its new 65- and 55-inch 4K TVs at the same event.Samsung 'world's first' curved OLED See all photos 13 Photos


Update: According to Reuters, Samsung says it has no plans to offer a flat OLED HDTV in 2013, and this curved model will ship outside Korea in July.


Meet Lorde, the Teen Pop Star With a No Selfies Policy

Sixteen-year-old Ella Yelich-O’Connor, stage name Lorde, is already a big deal in New Zealand, where she was born, and which she’s only left two times in her life. There, her spare but soulful pop single, “Royals,” debuted at No. 1 in March, with an irresistibly teenage blend of defiance and longing. In it, Lorde denounces the brand-name trappings of Top 40 rap royalty (Maybach, Cristal), before admitting she wants a turn with the crown. “That kinda luxe just ain’t for us,” she sings, “let me be your ruler.”

Discovered by Universal at a talent show when she was 12, the Auckland 6th form (the equivalent of a high school junior), still relies on her poet mum for lunches and rides to the studio, but she writes her own songs and controls her own career. “I show my parents the stuff that I’m doing,’” she told the Cut, “but I tend to micromanage situations.” With the help of a moody music video starring Yelich-O’Connor’s guy friends, her local train station, and her old sweater, “Royals” cracked American audiences this spring, topping Spotify’s “Most Viral” chart. The Cut braved a crappy connection, a thick Kiwi accent, and an incalculable time difference to chat with Yelich-O’Connors, who is making new music, planning her first trip to the States in the fall, and adjusting to a level of fame that is not yet reflected in her bank account.

What time is it there?
It’s 8 a.m. I’m at the studio, doing some interviews before work.

I read that you’re working on a full-length album. How’s it going?
It’s been really drama-free. I’ve heard musicians can really break down when they’re writing an album. Maybe the breakdown comes later?

Much later, I think. Is the album different than your EP, The Love Club?
It will be the first body of work that people have heard from me. I want to paint this picture of who I am as an artist. There’s a lot of the same regal imagery, but some of the songs are maybe more intimate, about relationships with people.

Should your ex-boyfriends be worried?
No, no. I try to stay away from talking about boys all the time. You can go to Taylor Swift to hear that.

How has your life changed since it came out?
The EP has been pretty popular here for kind of couple months, so it’s dying down now. But, you know, I get recognized, which is weird, when I’m at a restaurant and I’ve got my mouth full of food. And because I currently have a single digit in my bank account. I had to make a different Facebook the other day because I get weird messages from dudes saying “We’re going to be the best of friends,” and I’m like, “Ewww. We aren’t.” But for the most part, people are really kind.

I was surprised how few photos of you are out there. I figured, as 16-year-old, you’d have years of selfies online.
Ha-ha. I’m quite selective about imagery. I like that cleanliness. They Google you and they see the one photo of you. Only now can I do that. I’m not sure that will last much longer. At first, there were no photographs. It was something I cultivated, as I started to grow. But I could feel people getting aggressive, like, show yourself already. I mean, I understand. I write pop music. People aren’t used to not being able to put a face or a body to it. So I was like, all right. I didn’t want to turn it into thing.

How did you choose the one photo?
As for why I have the dog in there and stuff, I was thinking about royal families, like, Henry VIII, he’s always got a little lap dog. So I thought, Oh, that’ll be a cool vibe. I think there’s a cool photo of David Bowie with a dog, too.

People seem excited by the criticism of conspicuous consumption in “Royals.” What were you thinking about when you wrote it?
I’ve always listened to a lot of rap. It’s all, look at this car that cost me so much money, look at this Champagne. It’s super fun. It’s also some bullshit. When I was going out with my friends, we would raid someone’s freezer at her parents’ house because we didn’t have enough money to get dinner. So it seems really strange that we’re playing A$AP Rocky. I experienced this disconnect. Everyone knows it’s B.S., but someone has to write about it. There’s typically been a lot of interest in that aspect of the song, but my all my friends are kinda like, “yeah.” They thought it was less profound.

There’s another song I want you to explain, “The Love Club.” Is that young person code for something?
“The Love Club” is about an experience I had about a year ago where I met all these new friends and I fell in with them. It happened overnight and I couldn’t think of anything but our friends and our situation. Then I started to maybe realize that group wasn’t so good for me, and that my old friends and my family are the people I should be with. It’s about being drawn into this crazy world, and you’re all in love.

Did you have to break things off with the club?
We’re still friends. I just keep my distance.

You’re a Sofia Coppola fan, so I wondered what you would think of The Bling Ring.
I know! It’s not out here yet! But I definitely want to see it. I am a huge pop-culture person. I have this weird thing: I can’t not be obsessed with the train wrecks. The girls that have gotten all fucked up, the people that have overdoses. It’s just super interesting. I’ve always been really interested in aristocracy, and those people died or fell from power in lots of different ways, so many it stems from that.

Are you worried about Amanda Bynes or do you think she’s fine?
I don’t know. I don’t think she’s fine. She’s so nasty to everyone. Even Courtney Love!

Can you tell me about your first performance?
I’d done some singing through school and stuff, but in terms of playing as Lorde, I played my first show in April. I was so nervous. It was real small, 120 people or something. I knew the space really well. The room was filled with my friends. It was such a strange a feeling. I’d never been in a situation where everyone was there to see me. It was strangely reverential. I had this crazy flip-out.

Flip-out in a good way?
Yeah. I was like, “Holy shit. This room is packed out.” People said it was good.

What did you wear?
A dress by a New Zealand designer, Jimmy D., that makes clothes with a witch-princess-y type vibe. It was black, see-through, flowy.

Are you into fashion?
Yeah, but I’ve never had a lot of money to buy really nice designer clothes. My friends and I, we op shop.

Top Shop?
No. Op shopping. As in, opportunity shopping. It’s like thrift stores. It’s called that because the stores are run by churches. So we get lots of vintage clothes. It’s cool. That’ll be the thing. That’s the one thing …

Your one concession to consumerism, when you make it big?

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The Daily Roundup for 06.26.2013

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You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours -- all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.

DNP The Daily RoundUp

Samsung Galaxy S 4 Google Play edition

It's probably not a huge stretch to say that Samsung's Galaxy S 4 running stock Android was the biggest surprise to come out of Google I/O last month. The handset -- officially called Samsung Galaxy S 4 Google Play edition -- is now on sale in the Play store for $649 alongside a special version of the HTC One.

Sharp announces first THX-certified 4K TV

Sharp has just revealed the Aquos Ultra at CE Week, a 70-inch Ultra HDTV the company says is the only THX-certified 4K model on the market. Calling it the company's "best designed TV ever," Sharp said that it put the model through "four hundred rigorous performance tests" to gain the THX nod, which is meant to assure that content is reproduced as closely as possible.

Windows 8.1 in-depth hands-on

The last time we wrote about Windows 8.1, we had lots to talk about, but very little to share in the way of hands-on impressions. Today, though, the OS update is available for anyone to download for free; in fact, because we're oh-so special, we've playing around with it for about 15 hours already.

HTC 8XT with Windows Phone and BoomSound launching on Sprint this summer

HTC's bone-shaking BoomSound front facing speakers are making their way to Windows Phone later this year. The 8XT, which appears to be a slightly tweaked variant of last year's 8S, will launch on Sprint's 4G LTE network for $99.99 with a two-year contract -- after a $50 rebate card.

You also might like:Fresh Flipboard, Facebook and NFL Fantasy Football apps coming to Windows 8 (update: Flipboard video)Sprint launching Samsung ATIV S Neo with unlimited LTE for $150 after rebate this summerNVIDIA Shield retail launch delayed to July due to third-party component issue when.eng("eng.perm.init")

On Wendy Davis, The Supreme Court, and Speaking Out as Women

At first it was just a few women speaking alone. The week began with Ruth Bader Ginsberg reading aloud her dissents in the Supreme Court’s decisions to gut the Voting Rights Act and narrow employment-discrimination protections under the withering eyeroll of her male colleague. Then it was Sen. Wendy Davis taking to the floor of the Texas State Legislature to filibuster a restrictive abortion bill while fielding questions from one after another male lawmaker, some of whom asked whether she understood the Roe v. Wade decision. (Davis is a Harvard-educated attorney.) It triggered a flashback to every time I’ve been in a room full of powerful men and thought, “Well, there’s no other woman here. Guess I’m going to be the one to say this...”

While the Supreme Court rulings — both Monday’s disappointments and yesterday’s landmark gay rights decision — are of huge national importance, it was the hours-long saga of Davis’s filibuster that captured this emotion on Tuesday. Women, people of color, gay people—anyone who’s underrepresented in national politics—are so desperate to see ourselves reflected and our interests voiced in real time. Not by a small throng of protesters outside on the capitol steps or by an encampment in lower Manhattan, but in the center of the action, by a credible and even-voiced and authoritative representative, someone who actually has the power to change things. This isn’t to say that straight white men never speak up for our interests. But there is a level of comfort in knowing that the person speaking has lived your experience. And shared experience is also a galvanizing force. By the time Davis had stopped talking, hours later, this week was no longer about a few women speaking up. They were joined by women in the Texas senate chamber, out the door in the rotunda, outside the capitol building, and on Twitter, and all over the world.

We couldn’t look away from Wendy Davis. During her more than 10-hour filibuster of a bill that would drastically restrict abortion access by closing all but five clinics in the state and ban most abortions after 20 weeks, Davis got personal. She didn’t just rattle off statistics about how women who seek later-term abortions are often doing so as a last resort to protect their own health. She also talked about her own ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening condition. Davis didn’t just recite talking points about how women take these decisions seriously. She read letters from dozens of women who struggled with the choice to abort a pregnancy — then follow through on that choice. Davis didn’t just explain that this bill would reduce the number of abortion providers in the state to only five far-flung locations. She calmly explained that there was a period of her life during which she could barely afford the gas money to get to and from work, let alone traverse several counties for a $500 medical procedure. She talked about being poor and uninsured and relying on Planned Parenthood. “This,” Davis said, “has been my life.”

It’s become clear this week that objective facts of American’s lives — that some of us are in loving, committed relationships with someone of the same gender, or that some of us have needed an abortion at some point, or that some of us have had a racist or sexist supervisor make our lives a living hell — are still contentious. Our everyday experiences are up for debate. The burden of proof is on women and gay people and nonwhite Americans to justify their lives, to explain to those who have never felt this sort of powerlessness or discrimination that it’s very much real. Somehow that was all distilled for me when, after Wendy Davis explained in patient detail her ectopic pregnancy and her financial struggles, one of her colleagues retorted, “You know, Senator Davis, this bill really is about women’s health.” As if these things were completely unrelated.

For us, they are related. They are real. Like hundreds of thousands of people, I listened to Davis speak — for me, for Texas women, for all women — thanks to a grainy livestream and obsessively refreshing Twitter. Katie Naranjo, a local women’s rights advocate who spent more than 13 hours in the Senate chambers on Tuesday, told me on the phone that night, “As she was reading the testimony of all the women who weren’t allowed to testify before the committee, we all knew she was our voice. We were her and she was us.”

She was us. And so when Davis was yanked from the floor on a parliamentary technicality — Republicans said she violated the rules of order by making points about women’s health that they deemed were “not germane” to the women’s health legislation under consideration — other women rose to speak. Or tried to. Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who had rushed to the capitol directly from her father’s funeral earlier that day, was granted the floor and asked, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?”

It was at this point the women in the chamber, who had been shushed for hours, erupted in a chant of “Let her speak! Let her speak!” The chorus had a distinctly female, strangely jubilant timbre. It had been Davis’s intention to speak until midnight, not yielding the floor until the legislative session expired so that the abortion-restricting bill would not be able to come to a vote. But when she was pulled from the floor just minutes before midnight, the women who had assembled picked up where she left off, drowning out the legislators’ attempts to call a vote.

We are her. She is us. Let her speak.

“Senator Van de Putte came back from her father’s funeral and they wouldn’t recognize her even though the entire gallery heard her yell, ‘motion to adjourn,’” Naranjo said. “They cut off all the Democrats’ microphones. We knew there was no justice or legitimacy, so that’s when we started yelling.”

The women in the gallery yelled for 20 minutes. They yelled for Wendy Davis and for Ann Richards and for every strong Texas woman they’d ever known and loved. They yelled for their sisters and friends and daughters. They yelled because they’d been told to keep quiet all day long, to sit down and respect the rules of order that were all stacked against them. They yelled to be heard. “It felt great, because we were a part of something,” my friend Asha Dane’el, who rushed to the senate gallery after she finished her shift at work on Tuesday, wrote me over Gchat. “Feminists and women who are pro-choice have been disenfranchised in Texas for a long time. Last session, the legislature really wreaked havoc on our state with the budget cuts to health care and public education. We watched Planned Parenthood get gutted. Tonight, and the other nights we fought this bill, felt like we were doing something, and getting something back.”

In his announcement that the vote had not gone through and the bill had failed, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst explained poutily, “An unruly mob, using Occupy Wall Street tactics, disrupted the Senate from protecting unborn babies.” But this wasn’t Occupy. It wasn’t a movement of outsiders raging against the system. This was a group of citizens — most of them women — working at the very center of the halls of power. It was a joint effort, capped off with bear-hugs and text-message emoticons, between women politicians and activists and citizens and long-distance supporters who spoke together all said, “No.”

After each election, when we tally the percentage of women represented in each legislative body, there’s always a reasonable op-ed that points out that gender is not necessarily the best predictor of voting behavior. (See: Bachmann, Michelle.) As I have written many times, “A woman candidate is not the same thing as a woman’s candidate.” But last night was a gut-level reminder of the power of shared, lived experience in politics—and what happens when you ask one too many times that women prove their experience is legitimate. This is, to a certain extent, what makes this week’s Supreme Court’s decisions this week so powerful, too. The Court’s evisceration of the Voting Rights Act relied on big-picture statistics that many black Americans felt did not represent their lived experience with race. And the ruling to overturn DOMA, in essence, did the opposite: The justices validated relationships that gay Americans had struggled for years to convey as deeply important in their sameness to an often blissfully ignorant straight majority.

Of course, the outcome in Texas last night was basically neutral. Late yesterday, Gov. Rick Perry called another special session and re-introduce the same bill that was just shouted down. There and in a dozen other states, we’re going to have to continue to explain our lived experience. Yesterday Ohio legislators introduced a bevy of abortion restrictions. Still, “I feel like something’s shifted,” Jessica Luther, a women’s rights activist who has been at the Texas capitol throughout the entire special session, told me. She says that messages have been pouring in from activists in Tennessee and Georgia and the Carolinas. Texas gives us hope, they say. We heard you speak. We’re ready to do the same.

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Dramatic Filibuster Beats Texas Anti-Abortion Bill (Eventually)

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, left, who tries to filibuster an abortion bill, reacts as time expires, Tuesday, June 26, 2013, in Austin, Texas. Amid the deafening roar of abortion rights supporters, Texas Republicans huddled around the Senate podium to pass new abortion restrictions, but whether the vote was cast before or after midnight is in dispute. If signed into law, the measures would close almost every abortion clinic in Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) Wendy Davis, minutes before midnight.

Well over 100,000 people watched via livestream as Texas state senators voted on a bill that would enact some of the nation's strictest abortion restrictions, but hours after the legislative session ended at midnight, it was still unclear if the measure had passed. Democrat Wendy Davis filibustered for more than ten hours on Tuesday, with abortion rights advocates rallying behind her in person and online, using the Twitter hashtag #standwithwendy. Just after 10 p.m., Republicans managed to end her effort, alleging that she violated parliamentary rules three times. Then Democrats tried to run out the clock by appealing the decision. The session ended with Republicans passing the measure minutes too late as shouts and applause from abortion rights supporters drowned out what was happening on the floor.

In the Texas Senate, a filibuster can be ended after a senator is given three strikes for violations. Republicans objected when another lawmaker helped Davis with her back brace, and accused her of going off topic twice by discussing Planned Parenthood's budget and the state's recently enacted law requiring a sonogram before an abortion. While those topics sound fairly relevant, the point of order was sustained by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, triggering a messy debate as Democrats sought clarification and tried to stall for time.

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte asked to have the points of order explained to her, saying she had been at her father's funeral earlier in the day. Ten minutes before midnight, she said, "Mr. President, at what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?" The comment sparked wild applause that grew into deafening cheers:

Amid the chaos, Republicans huddled around the Senate podium to take a vote. They originally claimed that the bill passed 19-10, with voting taking place just before midnight, but Democrats insisted that the bill didn't pass until 12:02. After hours of wrangling, with Democrats threatening to challenge the vote in court, lawmakers emerged from a Senate caucus meeting and admitted that the vote came minutes too late. (But it's not over: Texas Governor Rick Perry can still call a second special session in which the bill is likely to pass, with Democrats running out of options.)

Last night, after admitting defeat, Dewhurst told reporters, "I didn't lose control of what we were doing," and said the legislation was defeated by "an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics."

Not to mention one pink sneaker-clad state senator, who ended the day with a well-deserved sit:

This post has been updated throughout.

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Adventures in Custom Dyeing: A Second Life for Stained or Light-Colored Clothes

When I was a kid, I told my mom I wanted socks the color of the sky just before the stars came out. (She tried to find me some, which were a little too green, but close.) When fashion designers need fabrics to be similarly specific shades — for example, the pale bubble gum lace that appeared on Oscar de la Renta's spring 2013 runway, and later on Kerry Washington — they turn to services like Metro Custom Dyeing, a place also available to plebeians at a price. Graceann Taormina, Metro's director of public relations, indulges the customer who sends his Margiela and Balmain shirts with photos of Kanye, requesting to make his shirts look as artfully faded as Mr. West's. She has overseen a white suit dyed the perfect shade of "Gangnam Style" yellow for Halloween. She recently helped Victoria's Secret sample 119 colors of four different laces for an important meeting. So although it was tempting to see if her team could achieve the evening blue scrunch socks I dreamt of as a second-grader, I opted for pieces to pack a more sophisticated punch. Here's how you can give your light-colored — even stained — clothing a second life.

1. Choose your garments. Go for those with value (sentimental or monetary).
We all have clothes we would wear if only they were a different color or a certain stain didn't show — but some garments are simply not made to be submerged in steaming kettles of Rit dye on the stovetop, left to drip-dry all over the bathtub. Most wedding dresses, for example, are simply too enormous and terrifyingly loaded with sentimental value for DIY dyeing. However, many brides might wear their dresses again if they weren't white. I am not married, so I opted for my own shirtdress with a silhouette that reflected the %20that's%20turned%20up%20recently%20at%20Prada,%20Lanvinfull-skirted fifties vibe, and Nina Ricci. While the dress's shape felt modern, its crisp, optic white fabric made me feel a little like Nurse Ratched — not in a sexy way.

I also took out a wool, cream-colored cable-knit cardigan with a shawl collar that my late grandmother knit for my mom back in 1969. I wore the sweater through high school, in spite of a stain on the sleeve that resembled a bruise on a banana. In the years since, the sweater's multiple stains darkened with age.

Mom in the sweater.

2. Know your fabric content.
Graceann spread my white dress on a table and asked me for the fabric content. The dress had no tags — it was vintage — but I felt fairly certain it got its crisp, old-fashioned hand from 100 percent cotton linen. Graceann called over Jaret Vasallo, her master dyer to have a look.

Graceann and Jaret said if the dress was a cotton-polyester blend, the color would turn out much paler than the rich shade I wanted, and that because the cuffs appeared to be a different fabric, they may take the color differently. Jaret warned me that without a content label, or a fabric swatch to test, the dyeing would be at my own risk.

My granny-knit sweater was also obviously without tags, but I was willing to swear it was 100 percent wool. Graceann warned me of possible shrinkage. I didn't mind: In a uniform, unstained black or navy — even if it was a little smaller — it could almost be from the Elder Statesman or the Row.

3. Choose a few color options, and listen to the experts.
For my Nurse Ratched dress, I had brought two dyeing options — one more ambitious than the other. First, I pulled out a vibrant, Peruvian-themed issue of French Vogue from April 2013. The magazine is full of outrageous pink references, including Burberry Prorsum's electric raspberry ombré trench, which appears in two different spreads. (Graceann had told me a hard reference, like a picture or a fabric swatch, is better than a link on a website, since everyone's screen looks a little bit different.) I showed Jaret the picture, and asked whether he thought a similar effect — fading from one shade of pink to the next — could be achieved with my dress. He looked skeptical. The Burberry trench, he said, was probably made of silk, which takes bright, dense colors well. It also had a very clean silhouette. A questionably cotton dress he said, with semi-stiff gathering at the waist, might end up streaky.

By way of example, Graceann showed me a better candidate for ombré dyeing: a strapless Monique Lhuillier wedding gown with flowing layers of white silk charmeuse and chiffon. Its owner, who lives in London, wanted to wear her dress again, and requested to have it done in navy-to-white ombré like a version (also Monique Lhuillier) photographed on Julia Stiles at the 2011 SAG Awards. The job, said Jaret, left no room for adjustments. "I [will] literally stand there for a few hours, dipping it," he said. "With ombré it's a one-shot deal. I have to get it right." The dyeing would cost the London client $350.

I pulled out Plan B — a photo of a fabric beach chair in a bright navy blue. I had previously considered it for a wall in my apartment, so I brought along the coordinating Benjamin Moore color swatches. We agreed the deep, brilliant blue was a safer bet for my shirtdress than the pink ombré — and at $100, more cost effective.

Because the sweater had stains, Graceann said black would be my best bet; otherwise, the stains would still be darker than the rest of the sweater.

4. Remain flexible.
Seven days later, I received an e-mail saying my clothes were ready. One problem: My shirtdress indeed contained some polyester and turned out a much paler shade. Its chambray-like color was more Steven Alan than Bottega Veneta — but then again, so is my lifestyle. I was surprised (and a bit sheepish) that I hadn't known the dress's fabric contained polyester, but Jaret, who has been custom dyeing for thirteen years, reassured me. "Even big names, they'll say 100 percent and it's one percent poly," he said.

Then Graceann brought out my heirloom sweater. It had turned a deep, dense black that hid all traces of its former stains. The grosgrain ribbon my grandmother had sewn inside to finish the placket took the color unevenly — probably a product of its age — but that would be easily replaced with a trip to Mokuba, another garment district gem, just a few blocks away.

5. Reimagine your new garments ... and enjoy.
Back home, my shirtdress's new color made it an easygoing, summery version of the upcoming full-skirted fall 2013 looks that inspired its purchase. I rolled up the sleeves, and tugged down on the pockets, pulling down the waist to approximate the mellow, modern drop-waists that appeared at Tibi. I'm wearing that with woven loafers today. In a few months when the temperature drops, I think I'll take styling notes from Rochas and layer a belted cardigan on top. Thanks to my grandmother, my mom, and Metro, I've got the perfect black one ready to go.

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