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savoydogma486

savoydogma486   , 26

from Black Diamond

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Australian survivor of World War II's 'Great Escape' dies at 101

PERTH, Australia Paul Royle, an Australian pilot who took part in a mass breakout from a German prisoner of war camp during World War II that is remembered as The Great Escape, has died in his hometown of Perth, his son said Friday. He was 101.

The escape was the subject of a 1963 Hollywood movie, "The Great Escape," starring Steve McQueen.

Royle died on Sunday at a Perth hospital following surgery on a hip fracture that he suffered in a fall in a nursing home, his son Gordon Royle said.

Royle's death leaves only one survivor of the 76 men who escaped from Stalag Luft III, 100 miles southeast of Berlin: 94-year-old British man Dick Churchill, a former squadron leader, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Royle revealed last year on the 70th anniversary of the tunnel escape in March 1944 that he was no fan of the Hollywood interpretation of the story.

"The movie I disliked intensely because there were no motorbikes... and the Americans weren't there," he told ABC, referring to McQueen's dramatic bid to outrun the Germans and cross into neutral Switzerland on a motorbike.

He also said last year that he did not regard himself as special because of his role in the legendary episode.

"Oh, I don't think so. Most people have extraordinary lives if they think of it," he told ABC.

Only three of the escapees two Norwegians and a Dane made it home. Fifty others, from 12 nations, were shot dead when caught. A further 23 were sent back to the Stalag or to other camps but survived the war.

Royle said his contribution to the escape operation was to distribute dirt excavated from the 360-foot tunnel around the camp grounds. This was done by surreptitiously releasing the soil down his trouser legs in areas where the ground color vaguely matched. He spent two days hiding in a snow covered forest before he was recaptured.

Flight Lt. Royle was a pilot in the Royal Air Force when he was shot down on May 17, 1940. He was liberated by British troops from the Marlag und Milag Nord prison camp in Germany on May 2, 1945.

Born in Perth, Western Australia state, on Jan. 17, 1914, Royce married twice and worked in the mining and engineering industries.

He is survived by his second wife Pamela Yvonne Royle, their two children and a sister. All four live in Perth.

He is also survived by three British children from his first marriage. He had eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Hurricane Blanca, a powerful Category 3 storm, heads toward Mexico's Baja ...

Hurricane Blanca, a powerful Category 3 storm, heads toward Mexico's Baja California Peninsula | Fox News

6157563551612111012.jpgWorkers board over store front windows in preparation for Hurricane Blanca, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Saturday June 6, 2015. The unpredictable Blanca, which strengthened suddenly from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm on Saturday before weakening slightly, is expected to make landfall as a tropical storm on Monday. But authorities said its outer bands could start hitting the southern Baja California Peninsula as a hurricane on Sunday. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) (The Associated Press)

6157563601909694394.jpgA man lays down tape to reinforce storefront windows against Hurricane Blanca in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Saturday June 6, 2015. The unpredictable Blanca, which strengthened suddenly from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm on Saturday before weakening slightly, is expected to make landfall as a tropical storm on Monday. But authorities said its outer bands could start hitting the southern Baja California Peninsula as a hurricane on Sunday. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) (The Associated Press)

6157563622505077124.jpgA worker hauls a board to use on a storefront window as protection against Hurricane Blanca in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Saturday June 6, 2015. The unpredictable Blanca, which strengthened suddenly from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm on Saturday before weakening slightly, is expected to make landfall as a tropical storm on Monday. But authorities said its outer bands could start hitting the southern Baja California Peninsula as a hurricane on Sunday. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) (The Associated Press)

6157563631004256700.jpgDrivers wait in line to fill up their gas tanks, in preparation for Hurricane Blanca in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Saturday June 6, 2015. The unpredictable Blanca, which strengthened suddenly from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm on Saturday before weakening slightly, is expected to make landfall as a tropical storm on Monday. But authorities said its outer bands could start hitting the southern Baja California Peninsula as a hurricane on Sunday. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) (The Associated Press)

6157563644209477290.jpgMen tow a boat to higher ground, as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Blanca in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Saturday June 6, 2015. The unpredictable Blanca, which strengthened suddenly from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm on Saturday before weakening slightly, is expected to make landfall as a tropical storm on Monday. But authorities said its outer bands could start hitting the southern Baja California Peninsula as a hurricane on Sunday. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) (The Associated Press)

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CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico - Businesses boarded over windows and thousands of troops were put on alert Saturday as Hurricane Blanca roared toward Mexico's Baja California Peninsula as a powerful Category 3 storm.

The unpredictable Blanca, which strengthened suddenly from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm on Saturday before weakening slightly, is expected to make landfall as a tropical storm on Monday. But authorities said its outer bands could start hitting the southern Baja California Peninsula as a hurricane on Sunday.

The director of Mexico's National Water Commission, Roberto Ramirez, said he was concerned by Blanca's "erratic" behavior and warned residents along Mexico's Pacific coast to be prepared for intense rains that could begin late Saturday or early Sunday, including in coastal states of Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco.

In Baja California, 2,000 army troops and 1,321 marines have been put on alert, as well as emergency responders and power line technicians, said Civil Protection director Luis Felipe Puente.

He said there is currently a 70 percent hotel occupancy rate in Los Cabos and warned tourists to be attentive to any advisories issued by authorities.

On Saturday, some businesses and banks were seen hammering boards over their windows in preparation for Blanca's arrival. People began forming lineups at gas stations to stock up on fuel.

Blanca's maximum sustained winds on Saturday afternoon were near 120 mph (195 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. The hurricane is centered about 320 miles (510 kilometers) south of Cabo San Lucas and is moving northwest near 10 mph (17 kph).

A hurricane watch is in effect for an area from Cabo San Lucas to Santa Fe. A tropical storm warning is in effect from Loreto to Puerto San Andresito, including Cabo San Lucas.

Puente said he saw no reason to suspend local elections scheduled to be held on Sunday.


The New Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is the most eagerly anticipated Apple product, and there are already so many myths constructed around it because of the sheer secrecy surrounding every aspect of the product. Apple did unveil a preliminary design of the new Apple Watch on September 9th, 2014 at the Apple Live Event.

A mystery surrounds what the Apple Watch will be ultimately called - will it be called the iWatch, or the iOS Watch? What would the design features of the new Apple Watch include? Is the design going to be dramatically different from what we have seen in the Smart Watches released in the market, such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear? Is it going to be compatible with all Apple products, such as the latest iPhones - the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus?

Well, the Apple Live Event has answered some of the questions.

Looks just like a normal watch

The Apple Watch looks no different from a normal wristwatch, but comes with great new features. It is made in two sizes - for the larger wrists and for smaller wrists. It is available as a stainless steel model, an aluminium model and a really pricey 18-carat gold version. The watch straps are attractive and colorful and are easily removable and interchangeable as they are attached using a magnetic technology.

Compatible with the iPhone ONLY

The Apple Watch is not a stand alone device - this is the most important revelation made at the Apple Live Event. It works through Bluetooth and WiFi and is connected to the iPhone. The operating system used in the Apple Watch is, of course, the iOS. That makes it completely incompatible with an Android phone. So, if you've a Samsung Galaxy phone at home, there is no point in buying the Apple Watch as it won't work with your phone. This is a big limiting factor on the Apple Watch and may mean it may not sell as well as Apple would want it to.

Special Screen

The Apple Watch has a tough screen made of sapphire crystal glass, which is scratch resistant and doesn't get damaged by knocks or scrapes. It is also surprisingly sensitive to touch, and has a very effective tap functionality.

Digital Crown

The Digital Crown is a special Apple Watch feature, which allows the user to turn or twist the crown for zooming. This a major innovation in Smart Watch design, as you can use the Digital Crown along with the touchscreen. The click wheel of the Digital Crown can be used to zoom in and zoom out and scroll up and down. There is no need to use the touchscreen to pinch and zoom. This makes it easier to use the apps on the watch.

Integrated with iPhone apps

The Apple Watch works well with all special iPhone features, alerts you about email updates, and is fully functional with Siri, Apple's intelligent personal assistant. Siri serves as the navigator of the Apple Watch. It can also be used by iPhone's new electronic payment system Apple Pay and also with the iPhone's new health app, which is used to monitor health and fitness.

Innovative new features

The Apple Watch comes with new apps such as an instant mini notification system called "Glances". Glances presents an effective user interface of all important notifications from other apps such as maps, passbook, photos, messages, weather and mail. Then there is the Friends app which connects you with your friends. You can send a message to your friend by tapping on her image. You can also make a phone call to your friend this way. You don't have to use the iPhone to send a reply at all, you can just use the Apple Watch for the same. The Apple Watch also has an integrated audio capabily such as a fully operational speaker and microphone.

Clearly, the Apple Watch is a major technological achievement and something every iPhone owner is looking forward to. The Apple Watch is expected to be released at the start of 2015.


4 cases that charge your smart phone

Smart phones are closer than ever to being the one mobile gadget that does everything you need. But of course, the more you do with your phone--shooting and sharing photos and videos, streaming music and movies, and playing graphics-rich games, not to mention calling and texting--the more power it uses, and it's mighty frustrating to run out of juice when you need it. How do you keep your phone alive until the next charging opportunity? One answer: a phone case with supplemental rechargeable batteries built in.

Cases with built-in batteries are always connected to your phone, and they're recharged at the same time as your phone. The cases do add to the weight and size of the phone--but they also add a measure of protection.

We tested two cases each for two of the more popular smart phones. For the Samsung Galaxy S 4, we tried the Mophie Juice Pack for Samsung Galaxy S 4 ($100) and the uNu Unity Series UT-S4-2600B ($70). For the Apple iPhone 5s, we tested the Mophie Space Pack for iPhone 5/5s ($180) and PhoneSuit Elite 5 P5-ELITE-IP5 ($100). We also tested a supplemental battery pack that works with any phone (or tablet) that charges with a USB cable: the Samsung Galaxy Portable Battery Pack ($100).

All the cases did what they claim, providing additional power for those times when the smart phone's battery has become exhausted. But how well they work depends on how you use them.

How we tested

We set up our phones' screens so they would not shut off or go into sleep mode, with cellular and Wi-Fi turned off. Then we monitored the phones' battery levels over time with this reproducible, constant battery drain, with and without the fully charged cases. We also tested recharge times and levels for all the devices. (We didn't test for the level of added protection the cases provide when the phone is dropped.)

What we found

How consumers use their phones determines the actual amount of time for which the cases provide power, but all the cases claim to about double the time that you can use your phone. Each charges the phone in the case and the case itself, though it takes longer to charge because you're recharging the phone and the extra battery.  

So how well did each case do?

The Apple iPhone 5s battery took a little over 6 hours to drain completely. Using the Mophie Space Pack case (below), the fully drained iPhone lasted another 5 hours--about 80 percent longer than the phone alone, but lower than the claimed 100 percent extension. (Both iPhone cases use micro USB charging cables instead of Apple's Lightning connector.)

After draining the iPhone's battery again, we turned on the PhoneSuit case (below), and the 5s lasted nearly an extra 6 hours--about 90 percent longer, close to the claimed 100 percent battery-life extension.

At the settings we used, the battery of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 took about 12 hours to drain. After it was fully drained, and we turned on the Mophie for Samsung case (below), the phone lasted another 9 hours--an extension of about 75 percent more battery life, close to Mophie's claimed 80 percent.

As for the uNu case (below), the battery life of the combined Galaxy S 4 and case was about 24 hours, very close to the 100 percent extension claimed. But the uNu blocked access to the phone's USB connector for some USB cables, since it does not have its own connector, and the case has only a small cutout allowing access to the phone's USB port.

Finally, the Samsung portable battery pack (below) was able to recharge the Galaxy 4 S to 100 percent power in about 1 hour 40 minutes, even while the phone was on and drawing power. And it was able to fully recharge the iPhone to 100 percent--even while the phone was on and drawing power--in about 4 hours 20 minutes.

Our take

Both Mophie cases and the PhoneSuit case are designed to be switched on to charge a drained phone--and all three have the simple drawback of needing to be manually turned off. It's not hard to do, but it may be hard to remember: If the cases are accidentally left on, their batteries drain along with the phone batteries. The actual total battery life of your phone life is still longer with the cases, but power users might run out of juice without realizing the backup has been drained already.

The PhoneSuit claims to be designed so that it can charge your phone until its battery is drained, then your phone's battery kicks in automatically. The same still applies to it, though, smart or not--when needed, it may not be available. Still, these three cases do provide extra power, even if you need to be somewhat conscientious about using them.

The uNu gives you the advantage of not having to think about turning it off and on, but it's available only for phones with removable batteries--a rare feature in today's smart-phone world.

The Mophie Space Pack for the iPhone 5/5S is unique in that it adds memory to a phone without any memory-expansion capability that also does not work well in a Windows environment. You access the additional memory through an app: For example, open the app and then take a photo, and it will be stored in the Mophie's memory instead of the iPhone's. When the phone is connected to a computer, the case's memory is exposed to the Windows operating system, so operations like drag-and-drop and cutting and pasting work as expected. For this capability alone, the Mophie Space Pack is worth considering.

Bottom line

If you consistently find that your phone is going dead or (for iPhone owners) running out of space for pictures, you might consider one of these cases. They address the need for longer-lasting power, protection from accidental damage, and more memory.

And if your phone won't fit in available battery cases, then a separate device such as the Samsung Portable Battery Pack is a very plausible alternative for charging your phone, though keeping it charged and available requires more attention than a case that is always connected to your phone.

--Carol Mangis and Bernie Deitrick

Copyright © 2005-2014 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission. Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this site.


Apple Watch Goes Through Blender Torture Test

This may hurt.

An Apple Watch Sport was tossed into an industrial blender like a common smoothie ingredient as part of Blendtec's "Will it Blend?" test.

The wearable holds up well during the first few seconds before the blender chops it into smithereens, ferociously tearing through the strap, watch face and battery.

When the torture test is over, all that appears to be left of the device is a pile of black ash.

Previous victims of Blendtec's tests have included other Apple products such as the iPad, iPhone and an iPod.

As Blendtec puts it on its YouTube page: "We would like to thank Apple for creating so many great products for us to blend."

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