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Microblogs

  • [Reuters: Business News] Samsung announces folding phone with 5G at nearly $2,000: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday unveiled a nearly $2,000 folding smartphone in a bid to top the technology of Apple Inc and Chinese rivals and reignite consumer interest amid slumping sales.
  • [Reuters: World News] Venezuela's deputy U.N. military attache backs Guaido: Venezuela's deputy U.N. military attache, Colonel Pedro Chirinos, said in a video on social media that he has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president, increasing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.
  • [Reuters: World News] Woman who joined Islamic State cannot return to U.S., Pompeo says: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday a woman born in the United States who joined the Islamic State militant group did not qualify for U.S. citizenship and had no legal basis to return to the country.
  • [Reuters: Politics] Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to testify before House oversight panel next week: U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen will testify in a public hearing before a U.S. House of Representatives committee on Feb. 27, the panel's chairman said on Wednesday.
  • [Reuters: World News] Fire kills at least 10 in Bangladesh capital, official says: A huge fire that broke out in a building in an old part of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, killed at least 10 people, a fire service official said on Thursday, and the death toll could climb further.
  • [Reuters: Entertainment News] Actor Jussie Smollett classified as suspect in criminal investigation: "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett is being classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by Chicago police for filing a false report stating he was attacked in a hate crime, a police spokesman said on Twitter on Wednesday.
  • [Reuters: People News] Actor Jussie Smollett classified as suspect in criminal investigation: "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett is being classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by Chicago police for filing a false report stating he was attacked in a hate crime, a police spokesman said on Twitter on Wednesday.
  • [Reuters: Business News] StanChart fined $133 million by Britain's financial watchdog: Standard Chartered Plc said on Wednesday Britain's financial watchdog has imposed a fine of 102.2 million pound ($133.3 million) in relation to its investigation into the bank's historical financial crime controls.
  • [Reuters: U.S.] U.S. arrests Coast Guard officer who planned mass attack: prosecutors: U.S. authorities have arrested a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant who described himself as a white nationalist and amassed a cache of weapons to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to court documents.
  • [Reuters: Company News] UPDATE 1-StanChart fined $133 mln by Britain's financial watchdog: Standard Chartered Plc said on Wednesday Britain's financial watchdog has imposed a fine of 102.2 million pound ($133.3 million) in relation to its investigation into the bank's historical financial crime controls.
  • [Reuters: World News] Brazil president seeks $270 billion pension savings, Congress has doubts: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro delivered his proposed pension overhaul to Congress on Wednesday, a plan to save over 1 trillion reais ($270 billion) in a decade, which raised doubts about whether lawmakers would pass a package of that scale.
  • [Reuters: Business News] Southwest shares drop as mechanics dispute escalates: Southwest Airlines Co's shares fell more than 5 percent on Wednesday after the low-cost U.S. carrier said it was investigating whether a conflict with its mechanics union was leading to a spike in flight cancellations.
  • [Reuters: Company News] Colombia's 2018 coal output falls 7.4 pct vs year before: Colombia, the world's fifth-largest exporter of coal, produced 84.3 million tonnes in 2018, down 7.4 percent from the previous year as heavy rains disrupted operations at major mines, government figures showed on Wednesday.
  • [Reuters: Company News] UPDATE 1-Millicom spends $1.65 bln on Telefonica Central America mobile businesses: Millicom International Cellular , a cable and mobile operator in Latin America and Africa, said on Wednesday it bought the mobile telecommunications assets of Spain's Telefonica in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua for $1.65 billion .
  • [Hacker News] UBS Is Fined $4.2B in French Tax-Evasion Case: Comments
  • [Reuters: Sports News] Speculation swirls on S Collins' future with Giants: Landon Collins, a three-time Pro Bowl safety, might soon be moving on from the New York Giants, according to a report Wednesday from ESPN.
  • [Reuters: Politics] O'Rourke supporters build student network ahead of possible White House bid: A Democratic group seeking to persuade former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke to run for president will launch mobilization efforts on college campuses nationwide to coincide with what they believe will be his entry into the race by month's end.
  • [Hacker News] Emoji Number Plates Launched in Queensland: Comments
  • [Reuters: Entertainment News] The 1975, DJ Harris triumph at UK BRIT music Awards; Pink honored: Pop rock band The 1975 and DJ Calvin Harris were the main winners at the BRIT Awards on Wednesday, each scooping two prizes at Britain's annual pop music honors.
  • [Reuters: Politics] House Democrats move to block Trump's emergency declaration on border: Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to introduce a resolution on Friday to end President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration on border security, according to aides to Representative Joaquin Castro.
  • Show more…

Photos

  • Jussie Smollett?s story was theatrical. We should have been cautious from the start.

    The more a crime report sounds like a movie, the more suspicious you should be.

  • Candidate?s son warned father of N.C. political operative?s alleged tactics

    Dramatic testimony from the son undercut claims by father Mark Harris and his campaign strategist that they had not been aware of any red flags.

  • Bernie Sanders?s second campaign: Strong start, big challenges ahead

    The Vermont senator faces a far different contest than in 2016, when he was the sole alternative for those dissatisfied with Hillary Clinton.

  • Candidate?s son warned father of N.C. political operative?s alleged tactics

    Dramatic testimony from the son undercut claims by father Mark Harris and his campaign strategist that they had not been aware of any red flags.

  • Bernie Sanders?s second campaign: Strong start, big challenges ahead

    The Vermont senator faces a far different contest than in 2016, when he was the sole alternative for those dissatisfied with Hillary Clinton.

  • Congress did its job on the border deal. It needs to do it again by amending the emergency act.

    Congress needs to roll back the erosion of its authority.

  • The Supreme Court just took a small step toward redressing a big constitutional outrage

    In a narrow but unanimous decision, the Supreme Court rules against an unjust system that allows governments to deprive people of property.

  • The authoritarian assault on Internet freedom is on the move in Russia and India

    Russia creeps toward greater state control of the Web while India proposes rules to remove online content.

  • Other states have pioneered death with dignity. Maryland should follow suit.

    Those with terminal illnesses should have the right to medical assistance in dying. We hope the General Assembly will agree.

  • Why we?re optimistic about the Trump-Kim summit

    North Korea has halted key elements of its nuclear development, thereby decreasing the threat posed by what was a rapidly expanding program in 2017.

  • Show more…

Entries

  • Billionaire Branson hopes aid concert opens Venezuela's borders (271 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 19:41:00 -0500Billionaire Branson hopes aid concert opens Venezuela's bordersReuters: World News

    Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson on Wednesday said he hopes a concert in Colombia aimed at raising money for crisis-wracked Venezuela will encourage the country's soldiers to defy orders from President Nicolas Maduro and let humanitarian aid cross the border.

  • Marriott Requires $20,000 Spend for Top Tier Status, This Man Tipped $22,000 and Got Arrested (709 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 19:34:00 -0500Marriott Requires $20,000 Spend for Top Tier Status, This Man Tipped $22,000 and Got ArrestedView from the Wing

    Marriott's new program doesn't just require 100 nights a year to earn top tier elite status, it also requires $20,000 in spending. That's odd for a loyalty program with so many hotels in China and elsewhere that rates are super cheap. It's possible to stay nearly 300 nights with Marriott in a year and still not be a top tier elite.

    One man probably wasn't testing to see whether tips would count towards qualifying spend, though Marriott is at least in the process of rolling out points-earning for food and beverage while not a guest on property (something that Starwood offered for years).

    Continue reading Marriott Requires $20,000 Spend for Top Tier Status, This Man Tipped $22,000 and Got Arrested...

  • NASA's free interactive photo book shows the abstract beauty of Earth (1782 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 19:23:00 -0500NASA's free interactive photo book shows the abstract beauty of EarthEngadget RSS Feed

    NASA just released 168 pages of stunning images showing the planet's atmosphere, water, land, ice and snow from a satellite's perspective. For $53, you can buy a hardcover version of the book, simply titled Earth. Or you can accept the unavoidable truth that print is dead and enjoy the free, interactive online version on NASA's Earth Observatory. And if you absolutely must take the book with you, there are free PDF and ebook versions too.

    The interactive version allows viewers to click through gallery-style photos accompanied by descriptions that give context to the otherwise abstract images. Click on the ice and snow category, for example, and you're presented with what looks like a Rorschach inkblot test. Text to the left explains that the image, taken by the Earth Observing-1 satellite in 2010, is actually of the Mertz Glacier flows off East Antarctica calving icebergs into the Southern Ocean. The first image in the water category looks like a bit like branching blood vessels under a microscope and is paired with a few paragraphs describing Australia's Channel Country, the wide floodplains of Queensland. If you want to know more about a photo, a link brings you to the "full story," where you'll find additional background, references and resources. In other words, you're one-click away from falling into a link-filled black hole.

    If you're wondering why NASA is giving away something that clearly took a lot of work to assemble, the agency hopes Earth will "inspire everyone to explore, understand, and appreciate the planet we call home." The decision to offer free versions is an attempt to reach "those seeking solutions to important global issues such as changing freshwater availability, food security and human health."

    Source: NASA

  • Vox Lawyers Briefly Censored YouTubers Who Mocked the Verge's Bad PC Build Video (1949 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 19:10:00 -0500Vox Lawyers Briefly Censored YouTubers Who Mocked the Verge's Bad PC Build VideoSlashdot

    An anonymous reader writes: In case you missed the latest drama to take place in the YouTube tech community, Ars Technica reports how Vox Media attempted to copyright strike two reaction videos that mocked The Verge's terrible PC build guide video that could have ruined a $2,000 system for a beginner PC builder. That effort failed when the tech community sounded the alarms; YouTube removed the copyright strikes and Vox Media had to retract their takedown notice. From the report: "Last week, The Verge got a reminder about the power of the Streisand effect after its lawyers issued copyright takedown requests for two YouTube videos that criticized -- and heavily excerpted -- a video by The Verge. Each takedown came with a copyright 'strike.' It was a big deal for the creators of the videos, because three 'strikes' in a 90-day period are enough to get a YouTuber permanently banned from the platform. T.C. Sottek, the Verge's managing editor, blamed lawyers at the Verge's parent company, Vox Media, for the decision. 'The Verge's editorial structure was involved zero percent in the decision to issue a strike,' Sottek said in a direct message. 'Vox Media's legal team did this independently and informed us of it after the fact.' The move sparked an online backlash. Verge editor Nilay Patel (who, full disclosure, was briefly a colleague of mine at The Verge's sister publication Vox.com), says that when he learned about the decision, he asked that the strike be rescinded, leading to the videos being reinstated. Still, Patel defended the lawyers' legal reasoning, arguing that the videos 'crossed the line' into copyright infringement. It's hard to be sure if this is true since there are very few precedents in this area of the law. But the one legal precedent I was able to find suggests the opposite: that this kind of video is solidly within the bounds of copyright's fair use doctrine."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Better Than the Acela: A Review of AA?s Shuttle Service on the ERJ-190 From NYC to Boston (11359 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 19:00:00 -0500Better Than the Acela: A Review of AA?s Shuttle Service on the ERJ-190 From NYC to BostonThe Points Guy

    TPG Rating

    73/100
    • 9 Ground Experience
    • 16 Cabin & Seat
    • 7 Amenities & IFE
    • 20 Food & Beverage
    • 21 Service

    PROs

    Frequent departures, high on-time performance and free wine and beer in economy.

    CONs

    No power outlets, fewer amenities than other shuttle products and the traffic at LaGuardia is usually horrible.

    With TPG‘s home office in New York City and my school in Boston, it’s not uncommon for me to commute between the two cities. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of ways to do so ? fly, take the train, take a bus or even Uber.

    There’s no question that American Airlines’ A321T with lie-flat seats is the most comfortable way to fly between the cities. But it only flies once a day, and it operates out of New York’s JFK airport, which is about an hour away from Manhattan. Instead, I typically choose to fly from the much closer LaGuardia Airport (LGA), as I did for my most recent trip. While there are no lie-flat seats between LGA and BOS, the inflight experience is still different than most domestic routes since American ? along with Delta and JetBlue ? offer its shuttle services with enhanced amenities. For American, that means shorter check-in cutoff times, hourly departures and free snacks, beer and wine in Main Cabin.

    Booking

    The fares on this route are usually right in between what it would cost to take a bus and Amtrak’s Acela Express, typically ranging from $49 to $197 one-way. Since I booked my flight just a few days before departure, cash fares were on the higher end. So, as any points and miles enthusiast would do, I looked at my award options. Luckily, there was an abundance of saver availability for the days I needed.

    American Airlines charges 7,500 miles ? worth $105 based on TPG valuations ? for a one-way saver award between the cities. However, since I was booking a round-trip ticket, I was much better off booking my award through Iberia for just 11,000 miles. Although I’ve never flown Iberia before, I had Iberia Avios from a recent 40% Amex transfer bonus I took advantage of. (Unfortunately, Iberia’s Groupon offer for Avios was not available at the time.)

    In all, my round-trip ticket cost me just 8,000 Amex points ? worth $60 based on TPG valuations ? which I transferred from my American Express® Gold Card plus $20.20 in taxes and fees, which I paid for using my Chase Sapphire Reserve so I?d be covered by the card?s excellent travel protections. Considering the round-trip ticket would’ve cost me $300 had I paid cash, this redemption yielded me a value of nearly 3.8 cents per point ? well above our current valuation of 2 cents per point. Even better, although American typically doesn’t let elites add their AAdvantage numbers on partner awards, I had no trouble doing so when I called and asked. Alternatively, I could have added my AAdvantage number using Oneworld partner Finnair?s website. This meant that I was able to get my usual elite benefits such as a free checked bag and preferred seating.

    Ground Experience

    TPG Rating

    9/10

    Tail

    N953UW

    Age

    10yr

    Departure

    9:00

    Getting to LaGuardia from Manhattan for my morning departure took roughly 20 minutes, but it often takes twice as long with traffic. Just like Delta, American had a designated check-in area for shuttle passengers. It was located where the Priority desks were so when you’re getting dropped off outside the terminal just follow the Priority Check-In signs. There was no line when I visited and the agent was efficient.

    The minimum check-in time for shuttle passengers without bags is 20 minutes prior to departure and 35 minutes if you’re checking a bag, instead of the usual minimum of 45 minutes. A perk of the route’s hourly departure schedule is that if you’re very early for your flight, you might be able to switch to an earlier flight. Although complimentary same-day changes are typically only available to premium-cabin and elite passengers, I’ve noticed them being offered to other passengers as well.

    Thanks to TSA PreCheck, I was through security in five minutes and ended up just steps from my gate (shuttle flights have dedicated gates located right by security checkpoints).

    The dedicated shuttle gates aren’t in LaGuardia?s new concourse in Terminal B, so apart from the Centurion Lounge that’s located pre-security, the most exciting amenity in the concourse was Jabbrrbox ? a tiny mobile workspace you could rent by the minute. Like Delta, American had free magazines at the shuttle gate, but there’s a good reason it doesn’t advertise that as an amenity.

    Boarding began right on time, exactly 30 minutes before our 9:00am on-time departure. Both boarding and deplaning were just like any other American Airlines flight. Shuttle flights are supposed to deplane from the front and rear doors, though the latter was never an option any of the times I’ve flown on this route. (In fairness, I’ve only flown it during colder months so that could have played a role.)

    Our Embraer E190, registered N953UW, was a former US Airways aircraft, delivered to the now-defunct airline in 2007. American has just 20 of these in its fleet and plans to retire all by 2020.

    Cabin and Seat

    TPG Rating

    16/25

    Configuration

    2-2

    Width

    18.25

    Pitch

    31

    Lavs

    1

    The E190s are the smallest aircraft in American’s mainline fleet, with 11 seats in First, 8 in Main Cabin Extra and 80 in the main cabin. Much like a train, economy seats were in a 2-2 configuration.

    But with 31 inches of pitch, legroom wasn’t as generous as the train, rather more on par with a bus. On this route, there also wasn’t much of a difference in pitch with Delta and JetBlue, which offer 31 and 32 inches, respectively.

    The tray tables were sizable, so as long as the person in front of you doesn’t recline their seat ? which hopefully they won’t do since it’s such a short flight ? you should have no trouble working comfortably on your laptop.

    If the person in front of you does recline, however, it could get tight.

    Fortunately for me, that never became an issue as my elite status landed me a Main Cabin Extra seat ? in this case, 5F, a window seat in the bulkhead row. Unlike most American Airlines planes, there wasn’t a dedicated Main Cabin Extra section ? the only other Main Cabin Extra seating was in the emergency exit row. These seats were just as wide as regular economy seats, but featured 34 to 36 inches of pitch.

    While I usually find emergency exit row seats to be more spacious than bulkhead, I often pick the bulkhead row on short flights like these as it means that I get to deplane sooner. The only (minor) drawback of sitting in the bulkhead row was that there was basically no storage to speak of. So, if you plan on using your laptop, you’ll have to hold on to it during take-off and landing as the seatbelt light is illuminated for the majority of the flight.

    The seats themselves were comfortable enough for the short flight, though many of them had an awkward gap between the seat-back and headrest.

    And while not quite as generous as those found on the A220s, the AvGeek in me appreciated the larger-than-usual windows on this aircraft.

    There was one lavatory at the main cabin. It was significantly larger than those on the airline’s newer mainline aircraft, and while I wouldn’t have gone in with no shoes, it was near spotless.

    Amenities and IFE

    TPG Rating

    7/15

    Movies

    151

    TV Shows

    80

    Live TV

    No

    Tailcam

    No

    Wifi

    .37↑.25↓

    Headphones

    No

    Not that much was needed for such a short flight, but there weren’t many amenities to speak of. There was no seatback entertainment and no power ports. As a point of comparison, the E190s JetBlue flies on this route have personal TVs and the E175s Delta primarily flies have neither, though Delta’s new A220s have power ports and seatback entertainment.

    The plane did have ground-based Gogo inflight Wi-Fi, along with American’s extensive streaming entertainment library. The entertainment portal showed live TV streaming as an option, though it only works on aircraft with satellite-based Gogo 2Ku Wi-Fi installed. The Wi-Fi was priced at $10 for the entire flight or an hour (aka the entire flight) free for T-Mobile customers.

    Most train and bus services offer free onboard Wi-Fi and power outlets. Some bus services, such as MegaBus and Greyhound, even provide streaming entertainment.

    Food and Beverage

    TPG Rating

    20/25

    Meals for Purchase

    No

    Comp Alcohol

    Yes

    Despite the very short flight time ? 35 minutes to be exact ? there was a full beverage service as soon as we were in the air. Just like Delta and JetBlue do on this route, all passengers were offered free beer and wine.

    I ordered a cup of orange juice, which was accompanied by a Biscoff cookie. In addition to the free beer and wine, the airline specifically advertises free snacks on shuttle routes, so I was hoping it’d be something a bit more substantial. Delta, for instance, offers shuttle passengers free bagels in the mornings and enhanced snacks the rest of the day.

    Service

    TPG Rating

    21/25

    Although service on American Airlines flights can be a mixed bag, it was mostly good on this one.

    Due to the short duration, the flight attendants were on their feet the entire flight. Nevertheless, they maintained smiles the entire time and even cracked jokes with some of the passengers when passing through the aisle.

    Despite the limited time the crew had to prepare the cabin for landing, when a flight attendant noticed that I hadn’t finished my drink when they were collecting trash, the flight attendant told me to take my time ? in a genuine way ? and came back at the end of their rounds.

    Overall Impression

    All in all, although it skipped some of the bells and whistles the other airlines offer on this route, American still provided a good shuttle experience. And while I know many will disagree with me on this, I do consider it to be a better option than taking the Acela Express.

    Including the horrendous traffic in and out of LaGuardia, flying to Boston takes about three hours door-to-door. Before even considering the time it takes to get to Penn Station and check in, the Acela would take a minimum of three hours and 40 minutes ? and it can be as delayed as a flight. An Uber from Midtown Manhattan to LaGuardia costs ~$40 and then it’s ~$20 from Logan Airport to Downtown Boston. However, you can use public transportation for ~$3 in both cities (the Silver Line is free from Logan Airport to South Station and includes a free transfer to the Red Line).

    Whether you should pick American Airlines over Delta or JetBlue, however, will depend on your personal circumstances. In this case, American offered me the most bang for my buck, but if price wasn’t a factor, I might’ve gone with Delta for the additional amenities or JetBlue because it uses the much-less-congested Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia and offers free inflight Wi-Fi.

    All photos by the author.

  • Constitution's 'excessive fines' ban bolstered by U.S. high court (282 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:53:00 -0500Constitution's 'excessive fines' ban bolstered by U.S. high courtReuters: U.S.

    In a decision that may curb the rise of financial penalties and property seizures in the U.S. criminal justice system, the Supreme Court on Wednesday for the first time ruled that the U.S. Constitution's ban on "excess fines" applies to states as well as the federal government.

  • Australia's east coast LNG plants unlikely to ever hit full capacity -study (252 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:49:00 -0500Australia's east coast LNG plants unlikely to ever hit full capacity -studyReuters: Company News

    Australia's three east coast liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants are unlikely to ever run at their combined full capacity of 25.3 million tonnes a year as there is not enough gas to feed them and meet local demand, a study released on Thursday said.

  • You?ll Want to Save Your IHG Points for These Six Senses Properties (8431 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:45:00 -0500You?ll Want to Save Your IHG Points for These Six Senses PropertiesThe Points Guy

    The major hotel news from the past few weeks has surrounded property award category changes at the major chains, including Hyatt, IHG and Marriott. However, one of the biggest developments in the hotel industry was the recent acquisition of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas by IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group).

    IHG paid $300 million in cash to purchase the hospitality and wellness company from Pegasus Capital Advisors in a deal that includes the management of 16 hotels and resorts, 37 spas and Six Senses? sister companies, Evason and Raison d?Etre. Six Senses currently has 18 new management contracts in the pipeline and 50 further deals under active discussion. Six Senses expects to encompass 60 hotels within the next 10 years thanks to this deal.

    If you?re not already familiar with Six Senses, the company includes standalone spas, but also very high-end luxury resorts in 21 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe with a focus on spa and wellness amenities. Many are located in offbeat, nature-driven, leisure locales, such as the Maldives, the Con Dao archipelago in Vietnam and Portugal?s Douro Valley.

    Hallmarks of the brand include commitments to ?community, sustainability, wellness and design, infused with a touch of quirkiness.? The spa offerings in particular are predicated on a ?wide range of holistic wellness, rejuvenation and beauty treatments administered under the guidance of expert therapists,? for a ?high-tech and high-touch approach [that] guides guests on their personal path to well-being?.?

    In addition to the hotels and spas Six Senses currently operates, the chain has future projects under development in Austria, Bhutan, Brazil, Cambodia, China, India, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the US, and presumably this deal will accelerate that expansion.

    This is an interesting foray for IHG. The chain has been looking to develop its luxury portfolio lately, including with its 2018 purchase of small luxury chain Regent Hotels. The release accompanying the announcement of the Six Senses deal noted that the acquisition ?takes IHG?s portfolio of open and pipeline luxury hotels to 400 hotels (108,000 rooms) globally.?

    Exciting Properties for Points

    It will likely be some time before we know how IHG Rewards members will be able to earn and redeem points for award stays at Six Senses? properties. Start saving now, though. Given that rooms and villas at Six Senses resorts can go for well over $1,000 per night, points rates are likely to be expensive, too.

    It also remains to be seen whether we will be able to earn and redeem IHG Rewards points at Six Senses? standalone spas, much like World of Hyatt recently added that ability through its own partnership with Exhale Spa.

    For now, here are several of the most fabulous Six Senses Resorts where you might eventually want to put your IHG Rewards points to use when the time comes.

    Six Senses Bhutan

    Why stay at one Six Senses when you can enjoy five intimate lodges (with just 82 suites and residences total), all in one destination. Six Senses just opened reservations for its first three lodges in Bhutan on Feb. 15 for reservations starting April 1, with the last two lodges targeted for a summer opening. Each is unique and situated in its own picturesque parcel within the country?s western and central valleys. Guests can stay at any of the individual lodges, or plot a bespoke journey that includes visits to several, or all, of them. Like Six Senses elsewhere, the focus is firmly on healthy cuisine, comfort, spa and wellness, all in the service of self-discovery with the beautiful backdrop of Bhutan?s spiritual natural spaces.

    Six Senses Fiji

    This tropical treasure opened in April 2018 on Malolo Island, a quick boat ride away from Fiji?s international airport on Nadi (NAN). The resort has just 24 private pool villas as well as residences ranging from two to five bedrooms. The resort is fully solar powered off its own microgrid, while other sustainability measures include growing much of the produce used in the hotel?s restaurants. Guests can enjoy activities like scuba, sailing and surfing, outdoor yoga, movie nights and, of course, an abundance of Ayurvedic spa treatments.

    Six Senses Laamu

    This Maldives resort has to be one of Six Senses? crowning jewels. Located about an hour?s flight from Malé (MLE) by seaplane, the hotel is the only resort in the remote Laamu Atoll, and includes a mix of beach and overwater villas as well as a gorgeous, jungle-set spa, all constructed with sustainable materials. The resort includes six dining outlets, including Zen for sushi, and the treetop Leaf for Maldivian fish dishes and fresh fare featuring ingredients grown in the hotel?s organic garden. The house reef is among the most vibrant in the Maldives, though guests who want to venture farther afield will find plenty of opportunities to scuba, surf and explore nearby islands.

    Six Senses Ninh Van Bay

    Set at the tip of a forested peninsula along Vietnam?s central coast, the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay feels a world away from the crowded beaches of Cam Ranh, across the bay. It has just 59 rooms and villas sprinkled along the rocky coastline and up the surrounding, jungle-covered hills. While here, visitors can island hop on traditional local boats, visit hot springs, take Vietnamese cooking classes in the organic garden, or even plan a personalized fitness, diet and spa regimen with the help of visiting alternative medicine practitioners.

    Six Senses Shaharut

    Set to open later this year in Israel?s Arava Valley, the desert-inspired Six Senses Shaharut will have 60 deluxe villas constructed from materials sourced nearby and decorated with items custom-made by local artisans, not to mention private pools. The hotel will have its own extensive gardens to help supply its restaurants, which will include a juice bar at the spa, as well as a poolside grill for casual dining.

    Six Senses Yao Noi

    If Phuket is a bit too crowded for you, venture to this isolated isle just about halfway between Phuket and Krabi on the Thai mainland for a bit of resplendent rest and relaxation. The resort maximizes postcard-worthy views of Phang Nga Bay and its iconic limestone karsts. The hillside spa proffers a mix of Ayurvedic and traditional Thai treatments that incorporate the elements of earth, water, fire and air. Guests can also spend their days at dive sites around the archipelago, taking a speedboat to Phi Phi Island, kayaking among mangroves, learning Muay Thai boxing, or simply cruising from island to island aboard one of the resort?s several luxury yachts.

    Six Senses Zighy Bay

    At once a desert oasis and a premier beach getaway, this world-class resort is located along the dramatic coastline of Oman?s Musandam Peninsula, about a 90-minute drive from Dubai?s international airport (DXB). The resort has its own 90-foot yacht for sunset or overnight cruises, and offers on-the-water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking. Guests can also go rock climbing, mountain hiking and even paragliding among the area?s craggy peaks. Each villa is a secluded, self-contained sanctuary built in a traditional Omani style, with high, cobblestone walls, wooden gates and an expansive private outdoor area, complete private plunge pool and areas for sunning, dining and dozing.

    Six Senses Zil Pasyon

    Surrounded by granite boulders and coral reefs, Six Senses? only African resort is a private island idyll just 30 miles northeast of Seychelles International Airport (SEZ). Although many guests simply while away the hours by the magnificent private pools in the 30 villas and three- and four-bedroom residences, they can also go swimming with turtles, hike various nature trails and take helicopter scenic tours, among other activities. The spa has an elevated saltwater pool, a yoga and meditation pavilion and a range of treatments inspired by traditional African healing techniques as well as the island?s own flora and fauna.

    Featured image courtesy of Six Senses.

  • A Psion Palmtop Successor Has Arrived and It Runs Android and Linux (1097 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:30:00 -0500A Psion Palmtop Successor Has Arrived and It Runs Android and LinuxSlashdot

    dryriver writes: A lot of people probably remember the 1990s palmtop computers made by Psion fondly. The clamshell-design palmtops were pocketable, black and white, but had a working stylus and a fantastic tactile foldout QWERTY keyboard that you could type pretty substantial documents on or even write code with. A different company -- Planet Computers -- has now produced a spiritual successor to the old Psion palmtops called the Gemini PDA that is much like an old Psion but with the latest Android smartphone hardware in it and a virtually identical tactile keyboard. It can also dual boot to Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Sailfish) alongside Android. The technical specs are a MediaTek deca-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (plus microSD slot), 4G, 802.11c Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, eSIM support, and 4,220mAh battery. The screen measures in at 5.99-inches with a 2,160 x 1,080 (403ppi) resolution. The only thing missing seems to be the stylus -- but perhaps that would have complicated manufacturing of this niche-device in its first production run.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • In U.S., pope's summit on sex abuse seen as too little, too late (261 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:24:00 -0500In U.S., pope's summit on sex abuse seen as too little, too lateReuters: U.S.

    In the study of his home outside Washington, victims? advocate Tom Doyle searched a shelf packed with books to find the thick report that led him to stop practicing as a priest and devote himself to helping those who had been sexually abused by clergymen.

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch Active hands-on: Ready for the gym (2964 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:20:00 -0500Samsung Galaxy Watch Active hands-on: Ready for the gymEngadget RSS Feed

    Samsung's updated watch is a stripped-down version of what came before it. Amid all the four (four?!) new phones Samsung paraded out at its Unpacked event, the Galaxy Watch Active is Samsung's newest smartwatch, with a design that feels less aggressive, not to mention less chunky.

    For starters, the rotating bezel is gone. That's arguably the biggest aesthetic change here, and I think it's for the better. The Galaxy Watch Active isn't really trying to be an analog watch this time around; with one less control option, it relies heavily on an intuitive swiping interface. A mix of lateral and sideways swipes help you get from one function to another. (And maybe it's just me, but it feels like it runs faster than last year's Galaxy Watch.)

    There are still two buttons, however. The upper one acts more like a home shortcut while the second helps for finer on-screen controls (think: numbers). It also serves as a shortcut for wireless payments through Samsung Pay. Both buttons only protrude slightly from the frame, adding to the sleek new design. The 1.1-inch screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and the whole package is water resistant. Like the Apple Watch, you can long-press a button to put it into a water-resistant mode, at which point it'll be swim ready.

    The watch itself will come in silver, black, rose gold or sea green finishes, depending on the country where you happen to be shopping. I got to handle the black and rose gold models and also got to try on the new, softer plastic wrist straps, which make the device feel well suited for its primary use case: exercise.

    Feature-wise, the Galaxy Watch Active lives up to its name, with upgraded fitness tracking features that include the ability to monitor blood pressure and stress levels. That's in addition to the heart rate monitor that we've seen on older Galaxy smartwatches. The blood pressure monitoring system pairs with a mobile app to help you monitor your stress levels. When you're feeling the pressure, the device shows breathing exercises and other calming techniques. The stress of a Samsung event were apparently not enough to trigger it, at least not during my time with it.

    For workouts, upgraded fitness tracking features will now detect several relatively straightforward exercises like running, biking and rowing. For other exertions, you can manually choose from 39 activities, according to Samsung. After some cursory browsing, it seems these these include push-ups, burpees and even bench presses. Simple icons mean you can swap in your four most frequent sports or exercises, too.

    Sure, the Galaxy Watch Active might not be game-changing, but it is a refined attempt at a fitness smartwatch. (And as someone who uses an Apple Watch primarily for fitness tracking, this approach makes sense to me.) While the chunky bezel might have been Samsung's wearable USP, I'm not sure many were buying it. A sleeker, sporty makeover might stand a better chance.

  • U.S., Central America launch plan to crack down on people smugglers (259 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:16:00 -0500U.S., Central America launch plan to crack down on people smugglersReuters: World News

    The United States and three Central American nations on Wednesday announced an effort to combat trafficking of people to the U.S.-Mexico border, days after U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, citing large-scale unlawful immigration.

  • Ex-Trump campaign worker files lawsuit to kill non-disclosure pacts (264 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:13:00 -0500Ex-Trump campaign worker files lawsuit to kill non-disclosure pactsReuters: Politics

    A former campaign worker for President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking to invalidate all of the non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements that campaign workers were required to sign before joining the president's 2016 election campaign.

  • Donations pour in for Syrian refugees who lost all 7 children in Canada fire (267 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:11:00 -0500Donations pour in for Syrian refugees who lost all 7 children in Canada fireReuters: World News

    A fundraising effort for a Syrian-refugee couple who lost all seven of their children in a house fire on Tuesday in the eastern Canadian city of Halifax has raised C$339,042 ($257,357) from nearly 6,000 people in 24 hours, according to online fundraiser GoFundMe.

  • Samsung?s 2019 ?Unpacked? event by the numbers (2588 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:00:00 -0500Samsung?s 2019 ?Unpacked? event by the numbersEngadget RSS Feed

    Welp, that's 90 minutes we're never getting back. In a lackluster announcement event held in San Francisco on Wednesday, Samsung execs stumbled their way through repeated applause breaks to tell the world about the company's newest needless mobile device: the Samsung Fold -- a phone that expands into a tablet and costs more than a phone and tablet put together. The company also unveiled new additions to its Galaxy S line, some derivative wireless earbuds and a wearable fitness tracker. Sorry, Galaxy Home fans, you're going to have to wait until at least April for updates.

    Samsung's foldable phone is officially the 'Galaxy Fold'

    Mobile phone makers are increasingly pushing for screens that roll up, fold up and otherwise bend. Samsung's offering in this space is the new "Fold," a 4.6-inch phone that flips out to reveal a 7.3-inch, tablet-sized screen. And at $1980, you've got the perfect gadget to spend next month's rent on!

    Samsung's more affordable Galaxy S10e will cost $750

    Want to get in on the S10 action but don't have an extra $900 - $1000 laying around for the midrange or flagship models? Samsung's got you covered with the S10e, a nearly-as-good low-end handset that will save you $150 right off the bat.

    Samsung's first 5G phone is a higher-spec Galaxy S10

    Got your eye on the S10 but wish it had a bigger battery and access to a wireless network that won't be viable for at least a year? You are in luck because the Samsung S10 5G boasts a battery 1100 mAh bigger than its brethren and is 5G capable, though you probably guessed that from the name.

    Samsung's Galaxy S10 goes wide with a third camera lens

    On the other hand, if you're looking at the S10 5G and thinking to yourself "four rear-facing cameras is one too many for my liking," you're still in luck! The Samsung S10 may not be compatible with 5G networks but it does sport only three imaging devices slapped on its backside, which we all can agree is the perfect number of cameras for a smartphone to have.

    Samsung's true wireless Galaxy Buds are tailor-made for the S10

    Congrats, Samsung, on reinventing the AirPod. At least you managed to shave $30 off the MSRP.

    Samsung's new smartwatch is focused on fitness

    Perhaps the most exciting products out of the Unpacked event (that won't immediately curbstomp your bank balance) are Samsung's updated Galaxy Watch Active smartwatch and its fitness tracker, the Galaxy Fit. The $200 watch is the first Samsung wearable to offer blood pressure monitoring, which will come in handy when you get the bill for your fancy new Fold.

  • Miles Away: TPG?s Tips For a Quick Trip to Singapore (2024 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:00:00 -0500Miles Away: TPG?s Tips For a Quick Trip to SingaporeThe Points Guy

    Singapore has long been a popular tourist destination, even before its newfound Crazy Rich Asians fame. But there’s no question that the city-state has become even more appealing in recent years, especially to tourists from the East Coast, who can once again fly nonstop from Newark (EWR) to Changi Airport (SIN) on the world’s longest flight.

    Singapore is also an especially popular destination among members of the TPG team ? from reviews of one of the top first-class products to deep dives on the city’s most popular hotels, there are no shortage of opportunities for us to experience the country’s diverse culture. That made Singapore a natural fit for this week’s episode of Miles Away, where global news editor Emily McNutt and reviews editor Nick Ellis join me to chat top flight, hotel and activity options in and around SIN.

    You can play this episode of Miles Away above, or listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, including:

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    As Nick explains, Singapore has an awful lot to offer:

    “I love the contrast of the hyper modern skyline like, at Marina Bay Sands, and all that kind of stuff, and the Merlion, that whole area. But, then back off the bay is Little India, and Chinatown, and little neighborhoods where you get a really authentic feeling city with a lot of influences from all over the world.”

    For more on planning a trip to Singapore, see:

    If you have any questions, thoughts or topics you?d like us to cover, please email me at milesaway@thepointsguy.com, tweet at me @zachhonig or find me on Instagram ? I?m @zachhonig there as well. And please don?t forget to subscribe!

    Featured image by Starcevic / Getty Images.

  • Samsung announces folding phone with 5G at nearly $2,000 (265 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:59:00 -0500Samsung announces folding phone with 5G at nearly $2,000Reuters: Technology News

    Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday unveiled a nearly $2,000 folding smartphone in a bid to top the technology of Apple Inc and Chinese rivals and reignite consumer interest in a massive consumer electronics category that had its worst sales ever last year.

  • UPDATE 4-Samsung announces folding phone with 5G -- at nearly $2,000 (265 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:56:00 -0500UPDATE 4-Samsung announces folding phone with 5G -- at nearly $2,000Reuters: Company News

    Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday unveiled a nearly $2,000 folding smartphone in a bid to top the technology of Apple Inc and Chinese rivals and reignite consumer interest in a massive consumer electronics category that had its worst sales ever last year.

  • Are We Ready For 5G Phones? (1476 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:50:00 -0500Are We Ready For 5G Phones?Slashdot

    Next-generation 5G networks are very much in their infancy right now, but that's not stopping smartphone manufacturers from teasing new 5G phones. At Samsung's Galaxy S10 launch event today, Samsung teased the Galaxy S10 5G, a top-tier model of the Galaxy S10 that offers 5G mobile data connectivity. "The device, which has a larger screen and battery than the S10 Plus, will temporarily be a Verizon Wireless exclusive before expanding to other carriers in the weeks after launch," reports The Verge. "It will go on sale sometime 'in the first half of 2019." Late last year, LG confirmed that its first U.S. 5G phone would debut on Sprint "in the first half of 2019," just as Sprint launches its 5G network. At around the same time, Lenovo unveiled the Moto Z3, a phone that only connects to 5G with a MotoMod modular accessory. It too is expected to arrive early this year -- but there's no mention of how much it'll cost. OnePlus, Nokia, and Huawei are also working on 5G phones expected to arrive sometime this year. The question is: are we ready for 5G phones? Three of the four largest carriers in the U.S. have only just started offering 5G service in select cities. Sprint, the fourth largest U.S. telecommunications company, hasn't even reached this step. Just like the first 4G phones to hit the market, these first-of-their-kind 5G devices look to merely symbolize what the next decade of mobile computing has in store.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Samsung CEO says the Galaxy Home speaker will arrive by April (1301 characters)

    Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:49:00 -0500Samsung CEO says the Galaxy Home speaker will arrive by AprilEngadget RSS Feed

    While the Samsung Galaxy Home was nowhere to be seen at the company's Galaxy Unpacked event held today, the smart speaker apparently has not been forgotten. DJ Koh, vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics, told CNET that the company plans to launch the long-awaited device by April.

    At this point, the Galaxy Home has been a long time coming. First announced by Samsung in August 2018 at the company's Galaxy Note 9 event, the competitor for the Apple HomePod, Google Home and Amazon Echo has been relegated to the background for the most part. It was on display at CES 2019 back in January and was able to perform some commands but was still limited in its functionality. That may be in part because the Galaxy Home relies on Samsung's own voice assistant Bixby, which seems to lag behind its better-known counterparts like Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant.

    When Samsung's Galaxy Home does arrive, it might be too little too late for the smart speaker. Amazon has been dominating the market with its line of Echo devices. Apple's HomePod and smart assistant compatible speakers from Sonos occupy the premium space, which appears to be the market Samsung is targeting with the Galaxy Home. No matter what, the company will have a lot of catching up to do.

    Source: CNET

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