Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New multi-coloured iPhones next June


Just months after Apple unveiled the iPhone 5, speculation is already mounting about the date and details of the next incarnation, with one US analyst predicting a new model in multiple colours, with a “super HD” screen, better battery and chips to make mobile payments possible.
The predictions, from Peter Misek of investment banking firm Jefferies, suggest that Apple will break from its traditional annual release cycle to launch the new device - labelled the iPhone 5S - next June. In a note to clients he said it would come in a range of 6-8 colours, rather than just black and white, include the new higher definition screen and camera, have 128GB of storage and incorporate a near field communication 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The painting, “Duel on the Beach,” sold for over $1 million Read more: Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter


For the first time in its 125 year history, National Geographic has opened up its collection to bidders at Christie’s, the art auction house  based in New York City. There were 232 lots for sale, but the most expensive item was not a photograph or a cover or a camera. It turned out to be a painting of pirates. The painting, “Duel on the Beach,” sold for over $1 million and had hung in the magazine’s Washington, D.C., offices since the 1960s.

"Afghan Girl" by photographer Steve McCurry sold for $147,000 to an anonymous bidder

"Afghan Girl" by photographer Steve McCurry, which graced the cover of National Geographic in 1985, sold for $147,000 to an anonymous bidder at an auction held in New York. Photo: Stan Honda, AFP/Getty Images / SF

Washington --
It is, the auctioneer needlessly reminds his audience, "an iconic image."
So let's buy it.
Twenty-five thousand dollars is nothing to sneeze at, but it's quite sneezable at Christie's, for this auction, for this particular photograph. The bids whoosh through the 20s, 30s, 40s, 80s. "I must rush you now," Andrew McVinish gently informs a prospective buyer stuck at the pesky number of $122,000. "There it rests. Now's the time."
Only when the flying numbers surpass $130,000 does McVinish remind everyone: "I did say this was an important photograph."
It is the photograph of photographs of photographs. The ragged red scarf, the scissors-sharp green eyes, the hungry, hunted, haunted beauty. "Afghan Girl," taken by Steve McCurry, appeared on the cover of National Geographic in 1985, and you saw it and you remembered.
Last week, it was for sale. A lot of it was, which is to say a small portion of it was. Specifically, 232 lots from the National Geographic Society's 11.5 million-image archive were put up for bid in the society's first auction in its 125-year history. The event was held in New York, but it - like everything else now - was live-streamed online for anthropoli-geeks around the globe.
McVinish conducted the proceedings in the dignified manner of a man who could sell very expensive snow to very well-dressed Alaskans, but never once make it feel as if he was nudging.
"It's at 132," he reminds the prospective bidders for the Afghan photograph. But then, suddenly, the photo is at $140,000. The audience gasps. Someone chortles in the back - an apparently involuntary-glee reaction to the mere mention of this kind of money.
But McVinish is not done yet. "One-forty-one?" he entices. "Another? One-forty-five. This might be the last one. Fantastic. Magical. Are you certain? No regrets. Fair warning. Last chance. No regrets. Never to be bid on again. It's going. It's going."
It went, the photo of the Afghan girl, with a "hammer price" of $147,000 - three times more than the photograph had been expected to fetch - to a bidder whose identity remained anonymous.
But it wasn't the biggest-ticket item, not by far. That honor went to "The Duel on the Beach," a painting by Newell Convers Wyeth, which brought $1.1 million. Other items sold included works by Ansel AdamsMargaret Bourke-White and Alfred Eisenstaedt, for money totaling $3.8 million.

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Australia Police Warn : Apple Maps Pose Danger

Australian police this week issued a warning to drivers after Apple’s map service left several people stranded in “life-threatening” conditions in the middle of the 6,330 square kilometer Murray Sunset National Park.

Victoria state police said they were forced to rescue five drivers–some of whom were stranded for 24 hours with no food or water and had to walk long distances through tough terrain to find phone reception. Police said the drivers had been led there while looking for the town of Mildura, located about 70 kilometers away.

'We just record it': DJs say they're not to blame for phone stunt:FM today australia


THE radio presenters at the centre of the royal prank call have claimed they were not ultimately responsible for a stunt that has caused outrage at a London hospital, provoked fury in Buckingham Palace and been linked to the death of a British nurse.
We just made the phone call and that was it. We don't get to make those decisions, we don't get to make those calls, that's done by other people. 
Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the presenters of 2DayFM's Hot 30 show, came out of hiding to issue tearful apologies on Monday night on two television programs. But they sought to distance themselves from responsibility for the prank call to the King Edward VII's Hospital on December 4 in which they pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles and were put through to a nurse who spoke about the medical condition of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge.
This screen grab of the Channel Nine Network news discussion show "A Current Affair" taken on December 10, 2012 shows Sydney radio station 2Day FM presenter Mel Greig, who along with fellow presenter Michael Christian was being interviewed by Tracy Grimshaw.   The Australian radio hosts who made a prank call to a London hospital treating Prince William's wife Kate tearfully told of their heartbreak at hearing that a nurse had been found dead. ----EDITORS NOTE ----RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE MANDATORY CREDIT  AFP PHOTO  NINE NETWORK / A CURRENT AFFAIR NO MARKETING  NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS              AFP PHOTO/ Channel NINE / A Current Affair
Remorse ... a tearful Mel Greig, who along with fellow 2Day FM presenter Michael Christian was interviewed by Tracy Grimshaw on Channel Nine's A Current Affair. Photo: Channel 9
''You prank someone, you record it, then it goes to the other departments to work out what they want to do with it,'' Greig told Nine's A Current Affair. ''It's been done for years. It was routine for us. It wasn't anything different.''

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We broke no laws, says royal prank station:The 2Day FM


THE radio network behind the royal prank call insists it did nothing wrong and broke no laws, despite a London hospital saying 2Day FM failed to check with it before the hoax was broadcast.
Southern Cross Austereo said it had reviewed the airing of the prank call conducted by 2Day FM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian with two London nurses, one of whom was later found dead in a suspected suicide.
“Company protocols were adhered to,” the company said in a statement today.
London's King Edward VII's Hospital, which was treating Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine, earlier questioned 2Day FM's claim it had tried to contact hospital officials five times to discuss the prank call before putting it to air.
Australian radio guidelines say subjects of a prank should give their permission for material recorded during a hoax call to be aired.


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