The Samsung Galaxy S4 is Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 5. A side-by-side feature comparison across the elite models

Samsung Galaxy S4 keeps calm,

carries on with big screen, 8-core

chip and, yes, eye tracking

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If you’re looking for Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 to define a novel new era of smartphone greatness, it’s time to temper your expectations. The brand-new flagship smartphone, which runs the latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, improves hardware significantly and it piles on the features. Compared with the extremely successful Galaxy S3 that came before, it’s a firm stride forward rather than a giant a leap, but it raises the bar again for Samsung’s competitors. And by super-sizing the screen and packing in so much specialized software, the GS4 sets itself even farther apart from the iPhone.

The Galaxy S4 handset steadily draws from the same design language as the S3, but takes almost every spec to an extreme — the screen is larger (5 inches), the resolution greater (1080p), the battery capacity higher (2,600mAh), the processor faster (1.9GHz quad-core or 1.6GHz octa-core), and the rear-facing camera stuffed with more megapixels (13, to be exact). But, once you’ve gone through the features checklist (which also includes lots of internal and external storage space and RAM), it’s the software extras that Samsung continues to lean on to keep its phones one step ahead of the competition.

The problem is, based on my brief time with the Galaxy S4, very few of the extensive list of enhancements stood out as a killer, must-have, cannot-possibly-live-without feature. The TV control app that works with the IR blaster is perhaps one exception (the HTC One has this, too), as are a handy translation tool and eye-tracking and gesture capabilities that allow you to pause a video when you stop paying attention and let you hover your finger over an item to preview what it is. Many other software additions are semi-interesting ideas that some power users may enjoy once they’ve figured them out, but which will hardly convince a prospective buyer to pick the GS4 over, for instance, the HTC One, Nokia Lumia 920, or iPhone 5.

Samsung Galaxy S4 specs vs iPhone 5 and rest of the competition

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Source – CBS Interactive

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Pope Francis: Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is new Catholic leader

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VATICAN CITY — Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the first non-European pope in more than 1,000 years on Wednesday, signaling the beginning of a new era for a church combating scandal and internal strife.

Described as a conservative with “great compassion,” the 76-year-old will be known as His Holiness Pope Francis. He will be installed at the Vatican on Tuesday.

The new pontiff named himself after the humble Catholic friar St. Francis of Assisi. President Barack Obama hailed the new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics as a “champion of the poor.”

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<White smoke emerges from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, on March 13. The white smoke indicates that a new pope has been elected.>

The first Latin American pope was introduced from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

There was an audible gasp from the rain-soaked crowd – an indication that he had not been a widely tipped choice – followed by a roar and wild applause.

In Italian, he seemed to address his outsider status by joking: “As you know the duty of the conclave is to give Rome a bishop. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world.”

“Pray for me and I will see you soon,” he added, asking Catholics to also pray for his predecessor Benedict XVI, who abdicated on Feb. 28. “Have a good evening and rest well.”

His first act on Thursday will be to visit his predecessor, the Pope Emeritus, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told reporters later.

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<Nuns react as black smoke rises from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel, indicating that no pope has been elected, in Vatican City on March 12.>

A vocal advocate for Argentina’s poor during the economic crises that struck the country during the 1970s, Francis is the first Jesuit pope.

Known for his humility, Francis is the son of a railway worker and one of five siblings. He has a chemistry degree.

Francis has only one lung, the other having been removed due to an infection when he was a teenager.

He prizes simplicity and is expected to encourage priests to do shoe-leather evangelization, according to his biographer.

Shortly after his election, Francis skipped the limousine and chose instead to ride on the last shuttle bus with other cardinals to go back to the Vatican for a meal.

“And as the last bus pulls up, guess who gets off? It’s Pope Francis. I guess he told the driver ‘That’s OK, I’ll just go with the boys,'” Dolan told reporters.

Later, during the dinner, Dolan said Francis showed his humorous side.

“We toasted him and when he toasted us he said: ‘May God forgive you,’ which brought the house down,” he said.

About an hour before Francis emerged on the balcony, white smoke rose above the Sistine Chapel and bells rang out across Rome to signal a decision had been made.

The unveiling of the new pope was moment of pure joy for the 100,000 pilgrims, tourists and other onlookers in St Peter’s Square.

“Who is this?” asked Deirdre Sweeney from Boston, Mass., when Francis first walked onto the balcony.

“Argentinian!” shouted a man nearby.

“I think this is wonderful,” said Sweeney’s husband, Kevin. “It’s an incredible breakthrough. It’s a great recognition for the church that the church is not euro-centric anymore.”

Another man shouted: “It’s very gutsy that he chose the name Francis, he’s going to be the first Francis. He wants to be a humble pope and build the church up, from a time of ruin, like St. Francis of Assisi.”

The behind-the-scenes ballot process that took place in the Sistine Chapel should still remain a secret. Both the cardinals and staff working alongside them swore an oath of secrecy as the conclave got under way, with the threat of ex-communication for anyone breaking the church’s ancient code.

By Alastair Jamieson and Ian Johnston, NBC News

 

Crews Halt Effort to Find Man Lost in Florida Sinkhole That Swallowed His Room

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SEFFNER, Florida – The effort to find the body of a Florida man who was swallowed by a sinkhole under his home was called off Saturday while crews tried to learn how far the underground cavity reached and whether more homes were at risk.

Mike Merrill, the Hillsborough County administrator, said that rescuers were ending the effort to find the body of the man, Jeff Bush, 37, and that they planned to bring in heavy equipment on Sunday to begin demolishing the four-bedroom home. “At this point it’s really not possible to recover the body,” Mr. Merrill said, later adding “we’re dealing with a very unusual sinkhole.”

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Jeremy Bush via Associated Press

 

Mr. Bush was in his bedroom on Thursday night in Seffner, 15 miles east of Tampa, when the earth opened and took him and everything else in his room. Five other people were in the house but escaped unharmed. Mr. Bush’s brother Jeremy jumped into the hole to try to help, but he had to be rescued by a sheriff’s deputy.

Testing determined that the house next door to the Bushes also was compromised by the sinkhole, according to Ronnie Rivera, a spokesman for Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

Experts say thousands of sinkholes erupt yearly in Florida because of the state’s unique geography, though deaths rarely occur.

“There’s hardly a place in Florida that’s immune to sinkholes,” said Sandy Nettles, who owns a geology consulting company in the Tampa area. “There’s no way of ever predicting where a sinkhole is going to occur.”

Most sinkholes are small, like one found Saturday morning in Largo, about 35 miles from Seffner. The Largo sinkhole, about 10 feet long and several feet wide, is in a mall parking lot. Such discoveries are common throughout the year in Florida. A sinkhole near Orlando grew to 400 feet across in 1981 and swallowed five cars, most of two businesses, a three-bedroom house and the deep end of an Olympic-size swimming pool.

The state is prone because it sits on limestone, a porous rock that easily dissolves in water, with a layer of clay on top. The clay is thicker in some locations, making them even more prone to sinkholes.

Jonathan Arthur, the state geologist, said other states sit atop limestone in a similar way, but Florida has additional factors — extreme weather, development, aquifer pumping and construction — that can cause sinkholes.

The sinkhole here caused the concrete floor of Mr. Bush’s home to cave in around 11 p.m. Thursday as everyone in the house was turning in. It gave way with a crash that sounded like a car hitting the house and brought Mr. Bush’s brother running.

Jeremy Bush said he jumped into the hole but could not see his brother before the ground crumbled around him. A sheriff’s deputy pulled him to safety.

“The floor was still giving in and the dirt was still going down, but I didn’t care — I wanted to save my brother,” Jeremy Bush said through tears on Friday in a neighbor’s yard. “But I just couldn’t do nothing.”

Source – The New York Times