TIME technology

The Comic Sans Typewriter Is Finally Here

It's only a generation late

We’ve all had this thought: Why can’t my typewriter use the Comic Sans typeface?

Well, if you like Comic Sans, you may have had that thought, anyway. And if you have a typewriter.

But designer Jesse England seems to fit the bill. After reading a typewritten document, he realized there was nothing stopping him from giving a typewriter the most annoying font ever created. So he invented the Sincerity Machine, etching Comic Sans letters with a laser engraver and gluing them onto a 1970s Brother Charger 11 typewriter.

England is sympathetic to the font. “While making it, I thought a lot about the Comic Sans typeface and how ridiculed it is. But it is also a mark of sincerity for those who do not have graphic design experience. I’m not particularly enamored with this font, but I don’t think it deserves the flak it gets.”

TIME ebola

Obama on Ebola: ‘We Can’t Give in to Hysteria’

"This is a serious disease, but we can't give in to hysteria or fear," Obama said

President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Americans to remain calm about the Ebola virus that has thus far been diagnosed in three people in the United States and killed one, emphasizing that cautious practices on the part of health authorities as well as aid for the West African countries hardest hit by the disease are the best approaches to preventing it from spreading.

“What we’re seeing now is not an ‘outbreak’ or an ‘epidemic’ of Ebola in America,” Obama said in his weekly video address. “This is a serious disease, but we can’t give in to hysteria or fear.”

“We have to keep this in perspective,” Obama continued. “Every year, thousands of Americans die from the flu.” The President also pointed out that five people who contracted Ebola in West Africa had been brought back to the U.S. and treated successfully without infecting others.

The Ebola outbreak has so far killed 4,500 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who was diagnosed with the disease in Dallas after traveling from his home country to the U.S., died of the illness Oct. 8. A pair of American health workers have been diagnosed after coming in contact with Duncan and are being treated for the illness. More than 100 people who have been in contact with Duncan and the two sick nurses are being monitored for symptoms. Ebola has an incubation period of up to 21 days and is only transmitted by direct contact with the bodily fluids of a person who is already showing symptoms of the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, under fire for not adequately instructing medical staff in how to deal with Ebola patients, took steps this week to address those criticisms. Several lawmakers have also criticized Obama’s handling of the crisis directly, with the President announcing Friday the appointment of a so-called “Ebola czar” to manage the country’s response to the virus.

Obama, however, warned against calls by some politicians to halt travel between the U.S. and West Africa. CDC officials and other experts have said cutting off the border would be ineffective because sick passengers can still take connecting flights through third countries, and it would make it harder to know who was entering the country and perform contact tracing if travelers later showed symptoms of the virus.

Obama also argued that stopping travel would halt the flow of health workers to West Africa, where they could help contain the disease. “We can’t just cut ourselves off from West Africa,” Obama said. “Trying to seal off an entire region of the world — if that were even possible — could actually make the situation worse.”

TIME ebola

Canada Shipping Experimental Ebola Vaccine to Curb Outbreak

Liberia Races To Expand Ebola Treatment Facilities, As U.S. Troops Arrive
U.S. Navy microbiologist Lt. Jimmy Regeimbal handles a vaccine box with blood samples while testing for Ebola at the U.S. Navy mobile laboratory on October 5, 2014 near Gbarnga, Liberia. John Moore—Getty Images

The vaccine is being tested on humans, Canadian authorities say

Canada will begin shipping an experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization in Geneva on Monday, the government announced Saturday, with the hope of addressing the current outbreak of the deadly virus.

The effects of the vaccine in animals have been “promising,” Canadian authorities said. The vaccine is just beginning to be tested on human subjects in order to determine the safety of the vaccine and the dosage required to stimulate a person’s immune system into producing the proper antibodies.

Canada is sending 800 vials of experimental Ebola vaccine contained at -80 degrees celsius in three separate shipments via aircraft to the WHO in Geneva. Canada’s Public Health Agency is supplying it to the WHO so it can be used as an “international resource.”

“This vaccine, the product of many years of scientific research and innovation, could be an important tool in curbing the outbreak,” said Dr. Gregory Taylor, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

TIME apps

Flickr Finally Made an iPad App

iPad users can ditch Flickr's mobile website

Flickr is now offering an app for iPad, parent company Yahoo announced Saturday.

Flickr on the Apple iPad Flickr/App Store

The first iPad-ready app fir the photo sharing service, it offers iPad-optimized layouts and live filters to improve photos and videos. Designed for Apple’s new iOS 8, the app also has a new search function that Flickr says makes it easier for users to search through their library.

Previously, iPad users had to use Flickr’s mobile website, which offered an often less than stellar photo-browsing experience. Flickr already has an iPhone-specific app.

The Flickr for iPad app is available for a free download in the App Store.

TIME weather

This Is What Hurricane Gonzalo Looks Like From Space

Tropical Weather
Hurricane Gonzalo seen from the International Space Station as it moves toward Bermuda on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Alexander Gerst—ESA/NASA/AP

The Category 2 storm is headed north this weekend

Hurricane Gonzalo smashed into Bermuda Friday, with winds reaching 110mph and waves approaching heights of 40 feet as the Category 2 storm swept northward, according to USA Today. Approximately 30,600 customers of Bermuda’s power company were without power as of late Friday night, while the National Hurricane Center warned of “a life-threatening storm surge.”

The storm is headed for the North Atlantic this weekend.

From space, Gonzalo is a massive, white vortex—but despite its size, it really looks quite serene. This photo comes care of Alexander Gerst, a European astronaut currently aboard the International Space Station.

 

 

TIME Ferguson

Ferguson Cop Said Michael Brown Reached for the Officer’s Gun

Officer Darren Wilson told investigators that Michael Brown reached for Wilson's gun

The police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson two months ago told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and that Brown reached for his gun, The New York Times reported late Friday. The story marks the first time the officer’s account of the shooting that sparked weeks of protests and sometimes violent clashes between outraged citizens and police has become publicly known.

Citing unnamed government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation, the Times reported that the police officer, Darren Wilson, told investigators he was in fear for his life as he and Brown struggled for the officer’s gun. Wilson also said that Brown punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.

FBI forensics tests confirm the gun was fired twice in the car, with the first bullet hitting Brown in the arm and the second bullet missing its target. Forensics tests also show Brown’s blood on the gun, on the inside of Wilson’s car door panel and on Wilson’s uniform.

Wilson’s testimony to investigators, however, contradicts some witnesses’ accounts, and does not fully answer still-looming questions raised by the shooting. Benjamin L. Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, said Wilson’s story doesn’t explain why the officer fired at Brown multiple times after leaving the vehicle, for example.

“What the police say is not to be taken as gospel,” said Crump. “The officer’s going to say whatever he’s going to say to justify killing an unarmed kid. Right now, they have this secret proceeding where nobody knows what’s happening and nobody knows what’s going on. No matter what happened in the car, Michael Brown ran away from him.”

[New York Times]

TIME justice

Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter ID Law to Stand Ahead of Midterms

Voter ID Test
A voter shows his photo identification to an election official at an early voting polling site, in Austin, Texas on Feb. 26, 2014. Eric Gay—AP

Three justices issued a dissent calling the law "purposefully discriminatory"

The Supreme Court decided Saturday that Texas can enforce its controversial voter identification law in November’s midterm elections, despite recently blocking several similar laws in other states.

The law, which requires Texas voters to show photo identification like a driver’s or gun license, a military ID or a passport, is championed by some who argue that it reduces voter fraud. However, critics say it’s a means of disenfranchising voters, particularly minority groups and the poor, who can be less likely to have the government-issued identification required by the law.

While the Court left its decision over the law unexplained, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a dissent criticizing the voter ID rules, calling them “a purposefully discriminatory law” that undermines “public confidence in elections.” Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined Ginsburg’s dissent, the New York Times reports.

A report released this month by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office showed that voter ID laws similar to those in Texas contributed to lower voter turnouts in two states in 2012—between about 2.2 and 3.2 percentage points in Tennessee and 2 percentage points in Kansas. Those declines were greater among younger and black voters.

Critics of the Texas law say it would disenfranchise 600,000 registered voters in Texas, disproportionately affecting blacks and Hispanic or Latino voters. Texas officials have countered by saying that estimates of the number of people who could be deterred from voting by the law are unfounded.

After many months of legal wrangling, the Texas law, first passed in 2011, was blocked earlier this month by Texas Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of the Federal District Court in Corpus Christi. The Supreme Court’s decision overturns Gonzales’ injunction against the law, allowing it to be applied.

In the absence of an official explanation of the Court’s decision, some observers are speculating the justices allowed the law to stand to prevent confusion so close to the November’s elections. Those observers feel that reluctance to disturb the status quo as voting looms near has been the single common thread tying together several of the Court’s seemingly discordant decisions regarding voter ID laws in recent weeks.

[New York Times]

TIME Companies

Apple Doesn’t Sell Bose Headphones Anymore

Apple Posts Record Quarterly Earnings
Six-year-old Emma Cordell listens to a new iPod on display at the Apple Store July 14, 2005 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

In the competition between headphone makers Beats and Bose, actions may speaker louder than words

Apple has stopped selling Bose headphones and speakers at its Apple Stores, nearly five months after agreeing to buy one of the company’s main competitors, Beats Electronics.

Bose merchandise is now unavailable at the Apple Online Store, and 9to5Mac reported that Apple Retail stores no longer have Bose inventory available.

Bose and Beats, the latter of which was founded by rapper Dr. Dre and acquired this year by Apple for $3 billion, sell similar technology in a comparable price range. The two companies have had an often acrimonious relationship — Beats settled a patent dispute with Bose out of court last week. The NFL is sponsored by Bose, and several players have been fined for wearing Beats at NFL games and other league-related events.

Apple still sells competing headphone brands like Sennheiser and Urbanears, so its exclusion of Bose’s merchandise may be a pointed jab.

TIME Retail

Amazon Will Start Delivering Fresh Groceries in New York Today

Amazon Expands Grocery Delivery Service To Los Angeles Area
An Amazon Fresh truck arrives at a warehouse on June 27, 2013 in Inglewood, California. Kevork Djansezian—Getty Images

Park Slope, Brooklyn residents now have another option for getting fresh groceries delivered to their door

Amazon publishes books, builds smartphones, distributes videos, and produces television shows, not to mention its core business: it sells almost everything. Now, the company is launching its grocery delivery business on the East Coast for the first time on Friday, when it begins delivering food to customers in New York City in an effort to break into the grocery delivery market.

Amazon’s service, called AmazonFresh, promises same-day grocery delivery to customers in New York as long as orders are placed before 10 am, Re/code reports. AmazonFresh will currently deliver only to Park Slope residents, targeting upper middle class families in the Brooklyn neighborhood where there’s sure to be a high concentration of avid Amazon acolytes.

For now, the program is only available to New Yorkers who are members of Amazon’s $99-per-year Prime program, which allows customers to buy pretty much anything from Amazon for free on a two-day delivery. The service has already been operating in Seattle and a few metro areas in California.

How successful will AmazonFresh be? The company is competing against a local online grocer in New York, FreshDirect — which already has a well-established foothold in the city — as well as startups like Instacart. And the grocery business often operates at low profit margins. But if AmazonFresh gets customers to start ordering, it could boost its same-day delivery business to include higher-margin goods.

Read next: 3 Reasons Google’s Same-Day Shipping Looks Like a Game Changer

TIME Gadgets

Apple Unveils Its Thinnest iPad Ever

The iPad Air 2's dimensions defied expectations, but much of its hardware confirmed pre-release rumors

Apple’s next-generation iPad, the iPad Air 2, is nearly 20% thinner than its predecessor, the company announced Thursday. The new iPad features the most technologically advanced components the company has ever put in a tablet.

The iPad Air 2, which CEO Tim Cook unveiled at a media event at Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters, confirmed many of the predictions that fans have made about the new model in the previous months. But the tablet is skinner than the 0.5 mm reduction that many rumormongers in the Apple fan world presupposed: at 6.1 mm, the iPad Air 2 is 18% thinner than the 7.5 mm-thick original iPad Air. It is less than half as thick as the original iPad.

The iPad Air 2 features an A8X chip and 40% faster processing power, according to Apple Vice President Phil Schiller. The tablet also comes with 2.5 times faster graphics processing and an anti-reflective coating on its screen, which Schiller said reduces reflections by 56%.

The camera has been upgraded from 5 megapixels to 8 megapixels.

The tablet also comes with Apple’s trademark Touch ID, which allows users to access their iPads without inputting a four-digit code. Touch ID made its first appearance on Apple’s iPhone 5S.

Also on Thursday, Apple announced the iPad Mini 3, though with much less fanfare. The new iPad Mini has a 5 megapixel iSight camera and a 7.9-inch Retina display, and also comes with Touch ID.

The 16GB version of the iPad Air 2 starts at $499, with the 64GB version at $599 and the 128GB version at $699. All the models are $130 more expensive with a cellular connection option. The iPad Mini 3 starts at $399. Meanwhile, previous iPad generations are being reduced in price by $100.

The company begins taking pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 Friday, they start shipping next week.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser