Thursday, October 24, 2013

Polaroid's Android-powered iM1836 interchangeable lens camera finally goes on sale

Polaroid iM1836

$299 gets you an entry-level Micro 4/3 camera with Android on-board

The last time we laid eyes on the Polaroid iM1836 it was at CES in January with some non-working demo units, but now you can actually plunk down some cash for one at retailers. The entry-level Micro 4/3 camera is coming in at just $299 with a 10-30mm kit lens, $50 less than was expected based on its initial launch details.

For that price you're getting the aforementioned kit lens, along with a glossy plastic body, an 18.1MP sensor, basic controls and a 3.5-inch touchscreen. That screen will give you access to Android 4.1 running on this device, which should open up the possibilities of sharing and photo creation. The iM1836 also has Bluetooth and Wifi, naturally, giving you access to Google Play to download apps but also to transfer images between the camera and your phone.

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See Prince George's Christening Photo!

The royal family attends the baptism of their newest addition! Plus, see more photos of celebs spending time with their loved ones!

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Falling: Theater Review

The Bottom Line

Powerfully persuasive drama of family dealing with 18-year-old boy with severe autism. 


Rogue Machine in Theatre/Theatre, mid-Wilshire (through Dec. 1)


Elina de Santos


Anna Khaja, Matthew Elkins, Karen Landry, Matt Little, Tara Windley

Scenic Design

Stephanie Kerley Schwartz

Josh Martin (Matt Little), a strapping autistic young man, easily prone to getting upset, comforts himself by standing under a basket he tilts over to shower himself with soothing feathers. As he has grown older, the continuing needs of his care, which require endless attention and escalating risk, place severe strains on the rest of his household.

The family drama and the social problem play have perhaps, for too long been staples of a conventionally earnest theater -- well meaning, maybe even enlightening. It comes as a relief that the strong and forthright Falling is not one of those shows. We spend the entire action inside the Martin home, exclusively with members of the family. Their self-contained, almost hermetic world bespeaks an emotional isolation in which whatever support exists beyond it is discouragingly inadequate. Mother Tami (Anna Khaja) must be a continual master of distraction and sensitive stratagems, not only with her son, but also with her supportive husband, Bill (Matthew Elkins), and understandably frustrated teenage daughter, Lisa (Tara Windley).

Playwright Deanna Jent excels at developing her exposition almost entirely through indirection, a skillful technique that happens to mirror the demands on everyone who deals with Josh, who can veer from endearing to dangerous at the slightest stimulus. She involves us deeply in the mechanics of coping so that some honest sense of the challenge and hardship can be imparted. The Martins lead lives of passionate intensity and few credible hopes, and sharing their anxieties and commitment offers us far more understanding than any exhortation to awareness. Jent holds back a long time before allowing her characters to argue the case for social action, and when they do, it is founded on genuine frustration and desperation, at a point when the audience can no longer bear not to hear the message.

To work, Falling requires the most committed emotional authenticity, which director Elina de Santos achieves with her uniformly splendid cast. Little and Windley refreshingly skirt the cliches that linger perilously close by their characters, assisted by the unhackneyed writing. The redoubtable Karen Landry as visiting grandmother Sue embodies the inescapably clueless viewpoint of the well-intentioned outsider, who, despite the limitations of her narrow religious perspective, never descends into an object of derision. Elkins has become an increasingly valuable local actor (A Bright New Boise), and here he invests his sympathetic dad with sincerely conflicted intentions with a distinctive vibe that is uniquely his own.

But above all, praise must be lavished on Khaja, an actor of apparently protean range, who incarnates fierce maternal love and the wearyingly impossible push-pull of omnipresent necessity, a Mother Courage for today’s Midwestern suburbs. Volcanic and vulnerable by hairpin turns, seemingly transparent yet filigreed precise, simultaneously in command yet profoundly out of control, Khaja suppresses rage and anxiety the better to expose their ravages. This extraordinary role has had the fortune to find this most splendid avatar.

Venue: Rogue Machine in Theatre/Theatre, mid-Wilshire (through Dec. 1)

Director: Elina de Santos

Cast: Anna Khaja, Matthew Elkins, Karen Landry, Matt Little, Tara Windley

Scenic Design: Stephanie Kerley Schwartz

Costume Design: Elizabeth A. Cox

Lighting Design: Leigh Allen

Sound Design: Christopher Moscatiello

Producers: John Perrin Flynn and Diane Alayne Baker

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

3-month-old Prince George is christened in London

LONDON (AP) — Dressed in a lace and satin gown designed in the 1840s, Britain's 3-month-old future monarch, Prince George, was christened Wednesday with water from the River Jordan at a rare gathering of four generations of the royal family.

The occasion had historic overtones: the presence of Britain's 87-year-old monarch and three future kings, Princes Charles, William and, of course, little George.

Queen Elizabeth II, usually the center of attention, quietly ceded the spotlight to her rosy-cheeked great-grandson, who seemed to wave at her when he arrived — an illusion created by his father, Prince William, playfully moving the infant's arm.

The private affair at the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace was also attended by Prince Charles, next in line to the throne, and the queen's 92-year-old husband, Prince Philip, who has shown remarkable stamina since returning to the public eye after a two-month convalescence following serious abdominal surgery.

All told, it was an exceptional day for a monarchy that seems to be basking in public affection since the 2011 wedding of William and Kate Middleton and the maturing of Prince Harry, who appears to have put his playboy days behind him.

George, who was born on July 22, wore a replica of an intricate christening gown made for Queen Victoria's eldest daughter and first used in 1841.

When William was christened in 1982, he wore the original gown — by then well over a century old — but the garment has become so fragile that a replica was made.

The infant, who will head the Church of England when he becomes king, was christened with water from the River Jordan by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

He arrived at the chapel in his father's arms with his mother by their side.

Kate, smiling broadly on her way into the chapel, wore a cream-colored Alexander McQueen dress and hat by milliner Jane Taylor, with her long hair brushed to the side. William wore his customary dark suit and tie as he proudly carried their first child.

Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and her sister, Pippa, and brother, James, were also at the ceremony.

Pippa Middleton read from the Gospel of St. Luke and Prince Harry read from the Gospel of St. John. The two hymns were "Breathe on Me, Breath of God" and "Be Thou My Vision."

The chapel has a strong connection to William's mother, the late Princess Diana, whose coffin was laid before the chapel's altar for her family to pay their last respects in private before her 1997 funeral.

Baby George has seven godparents, among them William's cousin, Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne and a close friend of the couple.

They also include Oliver Baker, a friend from William and Kate's days at St. Andrews University; Emilia Jardine-Paterson, who went to the exclusive Marlborough College high school with Kate; Hugh Grosvenor, the son of the Duke of Westminster; Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former private secretary to the couple; Julia Samuel, a close friend of Princess Diana, and William van Cutsem, a childhood friend of William's.

Palace officials said water from the River Jordan — where Christians believe Jesus Christ was baptized — was used for the christening.

In the West Bank, hours before the christening, busloads of Russian tourists descended on Qasr el-Yahud to immerse themselves in the river. The site, five miles (eight kilometers) east of Jericho, is considered Christianity's third-holiest site after Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

The river's waters have often been used to make the sign of the cross on the heads of royal infants.

Some royal watchers camped outside the palace for more than 24 hours to obtain a good vantage point to watch the guests arrive, but the ceremony was private.

William and Kate hired photographer Jason Bell to take official pictures, which are expected to include a historic multigenerational photograph of the queen with the three future kings.

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Boston Marathon suspect may pin blame on brother

BOSTON (AP) — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers may try to save him from the death penalty in the Boston Marathon bombing by arguing he fell under the murderous influence of his older brother, legal experts say.

The outlines of a possible defense came into focus this week when it was learned that Tsarnaev's attorneys are trying to get access to investigative records implicating the now-dead brother in a grisly triple slaying committed in 2011.

In court papers Monday, federal prosecutors acknowledged publicly for the first time that a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev told investigators that Tamerlan participated in the unsolved killings of three men who were found in a Waltham apartment with their throats slit, marijuana sprinkled over their bodies.

The younger Tsarnaev's lawyers argued in court papers that any evidence of Tamerlan's involvement is "mitigating information" that is critical as they prepare Dzhokhar's defense. They asked a judge to force prosecutors to turn over the records.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, faces 30 federal charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction, in the twin bombings April 15 that killed three people and injured more than 260. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died in a gunbattle with police days later.

The government is still deciding whether to pursue the death penalty for the attack, which investigators say was retaliation for the U.S. wars in Muslim lands.

Miriam Conrad, Tsarnaev's public defender, had no comment.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said the defense may be trying to show that the older brother was the guiding force.

"If I was a defense attorney and was seeking perhaps to draw attention to the influence the older brother had in planning the bombing, I would use his involvement in other crimes to show that he was likely the main perpetrator in the Boston bombing," Dieter said.

"I would take the position that my client, the younger brother, was strongly influenced by his older brother, and even if he is culpable, the death penalty is too extreme in this case."

Similarly, Aitan D. Goelman, who was part of the legal team that prosecuted Oklahoma City bombing figures Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, said the defense may be looking to minimize the younger brother's role in the bombing.

"I think the mostly likely reason is that if they are arguing some kind of mitigation theory that the older brother was a monster and the younger brother was under his sway or intimidated or dominated by him," he said.

Investigators have given no motive for the 2011 slayings. One victim was a boxer and friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's.

Federal prosecutors said in court papers that Ibragim Todashev, another friend of Tamerlan's, told authorities that Tamerlan took part in the killings. Todashev was shot to death in Florida in May by authorities while being questioned.

Prosecutors argued that turning over the records would damage the investigation into the killings.


Smith reported from Providence, R.I. Associated Press writer Pete Yost in Washington contributed to this report.

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AP PHOTOS: 30 years after Marine barracks blast

FILE -This Sunday, Oct. 23, 1983 file photo shows the aftermath of a suicide truck bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The blast _ the single deadliest attack on U.S. forces abroad since World War II _ claimed the lives of 241 American service members. It was the single deadliest attack on U.S. forces abroad since World War II. (AP Photo/Jim Bourdier, File)

FILE -This Sunday, Oct. 23, 1983 file photo shows the aftermath of a suicide truck bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The blast _ the single deadliest attack on U.S. forces abroad since World War II _ claimed the lives of 241 American service members. It was the single deadliest attack on U.S. forces abroad since World War II. (AP Photo/Jim Bourdier, File)

COMBO - This combination of two photographs shows the aftermath of a suicide truck bomb attack on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon on Sunday, Oct. 23, 1983, top, and the site of the blast as seen 30 years later on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. The blast _ the single deadliest attack on U.S. forces abroad since World War II _ claimed the lives of 241 American service members. It was the single deadliest attack on U.S. forces abroad since World War II. (AP Photo/Mark Foley, Bilal Hussein)

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 1983 file photo, British soldiers give a hand in rescue operations at the site of the bomb-wrecked U.S. Marine command center near the Beirut airport, Lebanon. A bomb-laden truck drove into the center collapsing the entire four story building. The blast _ the single deadliest attack on U.S. forces abroad since World War II _ claimed the lives of 241 American service members. (AP Photo/Bill Foley, File)

FILE - This Oct. 23, 23, 1983 file photo shows the scene around the U.S. Marine barracks near Beirut airport following a massive bomb blast that destroyed the base, in Beirut, Lebanon. The blast _ the single deadliest attack on U.S. forces abroad since World War II _ claimed the lives of 241 American service members.(AP Photo, File)

FILE - This Oct. 23, 1983, file photo shows the scene of a truck bombing on a U.S. Marine base near Beirut airport in Beirut, Lebanon. This was a rock-solid structure that had withstood Israeli air and artillery attack during the Israeli invasion of 1982. Yet it had been blown to pieces by a truck bomb that exploded just before 6:30 a.m. that day, with the force of 21,000 pounds of TNT.(AP Photo, File)

It had been a massive, four-story building that had withstood air strikes and artillery — now reduced to a mountain of rubble. Enormous chunks of concrete, their twisted steel reinforcements ripped bare, balanced precariously on piles of debris. Only cracked concrete frames on the ground floor bore any semblance to what had stood there before.

As I watched crews struggle to remove wreckage from what remained of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, I thought to myself, "My God. How did anyone survive?"

The Oct. 23, 1983 truck bombing that leveled the barracks near Beirut's airport claimed the lives of 241 American service members in the deadliest attack on U.S. forces abroad since World War II. The attack, amid Lebanon's civil war, was one of the United States' first experiences with the suicide bombings that over the past 30 years have become a trademark of Islamic militants.

By the time I arrived, the bodies were gone, and survivors evacuated. The day of the blast, I was in Cairo, where I was The Associated Press' bureau chief, and I traveled to Beirut in the immediate aftermath.

For me the shock was all the more intense because I had known that building — and doubtless some of the Marines who had perished inside.

During repeated assignments in Lebanon, I spent hours on the barracks' roof, along with other journalists, observing militias on the hills above hit their rivals and sometimes the Marines with artillery fire.

I recall watching visiting Marine generals scurrying for cover one afternoon when militias lobbed mortar shells near their convoy — to the amusement of some younger Marines.

The roof was also the site of the Marines' link to a radio network with the French and British to exchange information about battles around Beirut. If you could tolerate the blazing sun and long periods of boredom, it was a great place to track the fighting.

The structure — once an administrative building for the airport — was rock-solid. It had survived hits by Israeli air and artillery fire in 1982, well before the Marines moved in.

Yet it was pulverized by a truck bomb that exploded with the force of 21,000 pounds of TNT just before 6:30 a.m. on a Sunday. Minutes later, a second suicide bomber blasted the French military barracks a few miles north, killing 58 paratroopers and the wife and four children of the Lebanese janitor.

Shiite militias that were just starting to coalesce into what is now Hezbollah were behind the attacks.

The Marines, along with French and British troops, arrived in Beirut in August 1982. The Marines were to supervise the evacuation of Palestinian guerrillas under a deal to end Israel's invasion of Lebanon.

Instead, the experience became a textbook example of "mission creep."

After the Palestinians departed, the Marines did as well. But they were ordered back about two weeks later when the assassination of Lebanon's new Christian president sparked new fighting among the country's factions.

Syrian-backed militias frequently fired on the Marines' base and barracks, about 10 miles from downtown Beirut, to pressure the United States, which supported the Lebanese government.

A month before the bombing, U.S. warships fired on Syrian-backed militias, and French jets attacked militias in the Bekaa Valley.

Among anti-government factions, those attacks shattered any notion of neutrality.

The Marine commander, Col. Timothy Geraghty, recalled telling his staff that "we were going to pay in blood."

Within months after the bombing, the U.S. Marines were out of Lebanon. The civil war raged for another seven years.

Now on the site of the barracks is a large building of the Lebanese mail service, Liban Post, inside a closed military zone near the airport. On one side, access is barred by a military checkpoint and on the other, by a checkpoint of Hezbollah, now Lebanon's most powerful force.

The following is a gallery of images from the time of the Marine barracks bombing and today.


Robert H. Reid, Berlin bureau chief, was chief of bureau for The Associated Press in Cairo from 1982-1986 and has covered Middle East events since 1978. Follow him at: .

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iWork for iCloud updated for OS X and iOS, free with any new iPhone, iPad, or Mac

iWork for iCloud updated for OS X and iOS, free with any new iOS device or Mac

Numbers, Keynote, and Pages which comprise Apple's iWork suite have all been updated for both iOS and OS X. New features include collaboration tools to work in documents in conjunction with others. All three apps are also now free with the purchase of any new iOS device or Mac.

The entire iWork suite has been updated with full file compatibility across all devices, both iOS and Mac. All three apps have been updated with refreshed interfaces on both platforms.

One of the largest new features of iWork for iCloud is collaboration tools for iWork which lets you work live with someone else on the same document, much in the same way you can with other editing tools such as Google Docs. Other new features include the ability to share links from your Mac right to iWork to iCloud with anyone else using iWork for iCloud.

The updated versions of iWork for iCloud is available for free for both Mac and iOS starting today.


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