The 1 word most likely to get ya retweeted — Andrew Sullivan: Perry will probably win nomination – NYT to focus on candidates’ secret backers — iPhone 5 out today — Remembering Davis White’s dad

EXCLUSIVE: American Crossroads, the big GOP outside group, today launches a stalking, er, bracketing operation, using paid ads to focus on President Obama’s jobs plan as he travels to promote it across the country. This evening the president is in St. Louis for two fundraisers. A new ad, “Don’t,” started last night and will run through tomorrow in St. Louis on broadcast stations plus CNN and Fox, with a total buy of $50,000 over three days. The ad features former President Clinton saying the Buffett tax “won’t solve the problem.” Crossroads plans to use similar versions of the ad to bracket other Obama appearances over the next few months. --GOTCHA! Crossroads is also launching a paid web video campaign on Yahoo. Over the next week, some viewers clicking to watch clips of yesterday’s George Stephanopoulos interview with President Obama (the kickoff of an ABC News/Yahoo strategic alliance) will be greeted by an American Crossroads pre-roll spot. Crossroads president Steven Law: “Our goal is to keep Obama on defense, where he's unable to generate an unchallenged media hit to sell his tax increase or his re-election.” (When we hunted down one of the Obama clips, which have already vanished from the Yahoo and Yahoo News homepages, the pre-roll was for Diet Coke.) Story Continued Below --Same spot runs both places. YouTube   --RNC will have a new YouTube today using a clip from the Stephanopoulos interview to hit POTUS on Solyndra. BEN SHERWOOD, ABC News president, on a media call: “My vision and dream for 2012 is to tap into … the American voting public that engages in Yahoo, so that we can take our incredible political team – George Stephanopoulos, Jake Tapper, Jon Karl – and put them into the Yahoo world … to target specific audiences in ways that we’ve never been able to … Get Katie Couric engaging … on the Internet … Continue Reading

Galaxy Note 5 leaked photos surface online ahead of Thursday’s event

Samsung is once again the victim of leaked photos. Official photos of the Samsung Note 5 have surface online that show exactly what the upcoming flagship phone will look like. The images were snapped by retail workers and posted on Reddit. The next Galaxy Note will be have a glass and metal casing similar to the Galaxy S6. The Note 5 will also be a bit smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus. Leaked photos also a show a modified S-Pen, which will be clickable to help users pull the stylus out of the phone's frame. The Note 5's minimalist packaging has also been unveiled. On the back it previews the phone's specs, which feature a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, 4GB RAM and a 64-bit octa-core processor. The phone is also expected to have a 16 megapixel rear camera, a 5 megapixel front facing camera and wireless charging. Samsung will officially unveil its new phones at 11 a.m. on Aug. 13. You can live stream the event via their website. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Review: 2015 Mazda CX-5 is attractive and fun to drive, if you’re paying attention

Full Car Details More Reviews Divorce can be messy, but it forces change, and change can lead to opportunities. That’s been the case for Mazda since parting ways with long-time partner Ford Motor Company several years ago, and the company’s CX-5 crossover represents the pivot that has put Mazda on the path to success. Since the CX-5 debuted for the 2013 model year, just after Mazda introduced its new family of fuel-efficient and powerful SkyActiv 4-cylinder engines, the automaker has launched a string of stylish hits offering quality and technology typically reserved for luxury vehicles. In this reviewer’s opinion, once Mazda’s entire lineup gets the “Kodo” design treatment, Mazda could position itself as a premium brand more aligned with Acura than Honda. My top-of-the-line CX-5 test vehicle represents a prime example that supports this bold argument. Aside from a cheap looking headliner and a frustratingly obtuse infotainment system that cannot be replaced soon enough, this CX-5 Grand Touring easily passes muster as a genuine premium product. Equipped with extra-cost Soul Red paint, the available “Technology Package” (which includes low-speed collision avoidance braking system, navigation, and adaptive bi-Xenon headlights) and a handful of minor trim and convenience upgrades, my $30,910 test model costs less than a loaded Buick Encore, and it would save you thousands compared to an equivalently optioned Acura RDX. Arguably, the Mazda looks better than the Acura and the Buick, too. The CX-5 is distinctive, aggressive, and balanced without resorting to overplayed SUV styling details. The one change I would recommend to Mazda is to offer the larger 19-inch aluminum wheels found on the higher zoot Grand Touring model as an option for the CX-5 Touring. After all, some people prefer cloth seats, but still want the fancier wheels Inside, the Grand Touring is available Continue Reading

Apple unveils big-screened iPhone 6 Plus, all-new Apple Watch and Apple Pay

Apple finally joins the big-phone party. With the 5.5-inch display on the new iPhone 6 Plus and the 4.7-inch screen on the iPhone 6 — not to mention a raft of new under-the-hood features — Apple fans no longer have to suffer from screen envy. And just to make the party livelier, Apple unveiled its first series of smartwatches: the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport and the golden Apple Watch Edition — but you’ll have to wait at least until next year to see them. The big new iPhones will be available Sept. 19 — with preorders starting Sept. 12 — offer a major visual upgrade from the 4-inch displays on the iPhone 5c and 5s. They feature Apple’s new, powerful 64-bit A8 processor and will run the new iOS 8 software, which will be available Sept. 17. With two-year plans, the iPhone 6 Plus will sell for $299, $399 and $499 with 16, 64 and 128 gigabytes of user memory, respectively, while the iPhone 6 will retail for $199, $299 and $399 at the same memory levels. The new iPhones, as well as the older iPhone 5, 5c and 5s, will work with the new Apple smartwatches. The unveiled wristwear includes usability features not seen in Android and other smartwatches seen to date. The screen is not only touch sensitive, but also detects different levels of pressure. The crown — the small knob used for winding mechanical watches — is used to zoom the screen image when necessary. A key new feature of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and smartwatches is Apple Pay, a secure wireless payment system that lets users pay at retail locations by just tapping their devices on near-field communication, or NFC, receiver. It doesn’t actually store credit card or PIN numbers but instead creates a secure, one-time use authentication process using a special Secure Element chip embedded in the gadgets. Apple has already partnered with American Express, MasterCard and Visa for transaction services Continue Reading

Skip iPhone X and 8. If you need an iPhone, this is the better deal.

Corrections & Clarifications: Augmented reality apps from Apple's new iOS mobile operating system work with the iPhone SE.SAN FRANCISCO — If you’re like many USA TODAY readers, you’ve probably been asking this question: so many iPhones, which one is for me?There's the $999 iPhone X, the $699 iPhone 8 and $799 8-Plus. But also you can downscale to last year's, now cheaper model, the iPhone 7, (now $549) or 7Plus ($669) — and others.Or you can hold onto your old model and just make do until it's really unusable.If you're thinking of an older model, remember that Apple only keeps certain models current for a set period of time, and then sunsets them, as is the case with the iPhone 5 and 5C, which won’t accept downloads of iOS 11, the latest mobile operating system upgrade, coming on September 19th.So if you do want to reach back in time and save money by buying an older phone like the 6S, know that eventually, perhaps in two years, Apple will sunset that model as well.But if they do, you get to go shopping for a new iPhone again. And we’ll be here to help.For now, our verdict, and it’s an easy one: the best deal Apple has right now isn’t for one of the shiny new phones with all the bells and whistles, but a good, reliable classic, the SE. That's the 2016 model that was introduced for those who didn’t want a larger iPhone. You still get the latest software updates, the ability to pay for goods with Apple Pay and a decent camera. It has the A9 processing chip, which Apple would have you believe is slow and not as fast as the others. In our experience, (we have an SE in the family), the phone performs just fine.So you won’t be able to unlock the screen with your eyes or create animated emojis from your facial expressions, like with the new X, which will be out in November. But you’ll save $650. The prices listed reflect paying full price. The carriers and Apple offer financed deals that average Continue Reading

Baig: Fresh iPhone colors, fingerprint tech are cool; is it enough?

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Whatever you think of it — and everybody and their brother seems to have an opinion — no single product in all of tech gets the laser focus on it quite like the iPhone. Leading up to Tuesday's announcement of two brand new models — the iPhone 5c and the 5s, both coming Sept. 20 — there was the usual speculation of what Apple's newest hardware would be and what it would have.It turns out the rumor mill gets it more right than wrong, though anyone clamoring for a revamped Apple TV box (much less an actual flat screen), or a new iPad, or a smartwatch will have to wait at least until the next time Apple invites the media to the West Coast. NEWS: Apple juices up iPhones, adds colorsWhere does that leave us? Over the coming days I plan to test the new iPhones to address what remains the biggest of all the questions: Are either of the new devices worth upgrading if you're already in the iPhone camp? Is it worth switching if you're an Android devotee or have a Windows Phone or BlackBerry? Such questions will get answered soon enough, but I leave Apple's campus with a favorable first impression, if not bowled over by any one thing. Based on Tuesday's announcements, I'm especially eager to try the 5s. FIRST TAKE: Apple's latest defining momentStart with the long-rumored fingerprint authentication, which comes to the new 5s in a so-called Touch ID capacitive sensor that is built into the home button. You now have the option to unlock your phone with your fingerprint. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that only half of today's customers actually use passcode features on their current devices, which is unfortunate. I'm one of those people who does use a passcode, though sometimes, admittedly, it is a pain.To me, using your fingerprint in lieu of a passcode is kind of cool, but the more interesting innovation here, I think, is that you can use your digits to authorize your iTunes purchases. If your finger cannot be recognized Continue Reading

Recap: Apple unveils iPhone 5S, 5C smartphones

Apple will launch two new iPhones on September 20: a low-cost 5C starting at $99 and a higher-end 5S that features a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. FIRST TAKE: Apple's latest defining momentThe devices were revealed during a special event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.The 5C will be available in five colors -- white, pink, yellow, blue and green -- and boasts many of the same features as the iPhone 5.The 5S will receive upgrades to the camera, a faster A7 processor with M7 coprocessor, and the option to unlock your phone or make iTunes purchases with a fingerprint identity sensor. BAIG: Are fresh iPhone colors, fingerprint tech cool enough?For more details on the event, check out our live recap below:11:25: Costello wraps with "Tripwire," a song from his new album with The Roots ("See, I've got product announcements, too," he jokes to laughter). It's a melancholy tune, which he apologizes for in advance. But it's also an impressively haunting one that stays with you. Apple hopes the same is true for the news about its new iPhones 5C and 5S. Thanks for staying with us throughout the live Apple event, and stay with @usatodaytech for more news from our team.11:15: "Lots of fancy stuff here, wow, and it's just me and my old Fender here. Can I say Fender," he jokes. Then he says he was a "computer operator as a kid, and looking around at all this magic I wonder if I went into the wrong field." When he was little, he says his father "lived on the radio" as a dance band singer. "I thought what can I sing for you today ...well you got this Apple radio thing going on so ..." Kicks into "Radio, Radio."11:13: Costello ripping through "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding." His voice sounds like it did 30 years ago.11:10: Cook is back on stage, showcasing a few ads that will hit TVs soon. First, for 5C, is awash with color, showing how the phone integrates into a world of color. Most languages the actors speak are NOT English, again Continue Reading

iPhone X buyers plan quick resale for a tidy profit

LOS ANGELES — Here's a great way to make a quick buck: stand on line for hours at an Apple Store, pick up two new iPhones X's, then jump onto eBay or Craigslist, mark them up and wait for the profits to pour in.The idea is that a busy person who doesn't want to wait on line will spend the extra money, just to get ahold of the new iPhone now.The new iPhone X starts at $999, but "I've seen prices like $2,000," on sites like eBay, Jeoung An told us Friday, after putting in several hours on the Apple Store line at a local shopping mall. He planned to buy two units and raise enough money to buy a 15-inch MacBook Pro, which starts at $2,400. In fact, prices on re-sale sites are all over the map, as low as $1,450 for opening bid prices on eBay, to as high as $6, 710, for both the entry level model with 64 GB of storage, and the 256 GB editions.  That doesn't mean the re-sellers will get those prices, but on eBay at least, there are no models listed at regular prices. Sellers are hoping to attract customers who couldn't spend the time to wait in line and didn't want to wait for an online order to deliver the phone to their doorstep. On Friday, expected wait times for iPhone X was three to four weeks.On the Letgo app, which looks to take on Craigslist with a more mobile friendly interface, prices for the iPhone X are just as steep, with several models for $1,200, $1450 and even $5,000. David Azed was at the Westfield Century City mall Friday hoping to buy two iPhone X models for re-sale, which would join the other model he purchased in the initial pre-order last week. He owns an iPhone 6S from 2015 and sees no reason to upgrade. "I'll buy a new phone next year." For now, it's about raising quick money. "I think Apple intentionally made demand scarce," he says. "To build hype. It’s probably a smart thing to do."With 400 people joining him on the line Friday, he may be onto something.   Continue Reading

You can’t get the iPhone X, so maybe the iPhone 8 isn’t so bad after all

LOS ANGELES — The iPhone X appeals to early adopters who want to own a cutting-edge gadget. But what if, feature for feature, the comparatively ho-hum iPhone 8 is actually the one for you?The iPhone X, which went on pre-sale Friday and lands in stores November 3, is in limited supply, with delivery waits reported as five to six weeks on Apple's website.  The X (pronounced 'ten') is what Apple CEO Tim Cook says will "set the path of technology for the next decade." It's been released on the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone and wraps together state-of-the-art software and hardware, including facial recognition to unlock the phone, an 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED screen, which promises brighter colors and deeper blacks, and the ability to create ultra-cool animated emojis based on your expressions. More: iPhone X pricing, features vs. iPhone 8 and 8 Plus: Which is better for you? More: iPhone 8 review: An excellent phone forced to the shadows by iPhone X More: The iPhone X is now available to pre-order, but be ready to wait  Meanwhile the iPhone 8 looks, for the most part, exactly like last year's iPhone 7. Yes, there are upgrades, including a glass back, a more powerful processing chip, new photo software and the ability to charge the phone wirelessly — all like the iPhone X. But the early adopters who overwhelm Apple on opening weekends have shunned the iPhone 8. Wireless carriers have publicly said that demand is lower for the 8, and if you want one, you won't have to wait several weeks for delivery. It's available to pick up today, in most stores.Gene Munster, an investor and analyst with Loup Ventures, says that while iPhone 8 sales are down compared to the 7, Apple's master plan was to launch two new lines this year and thus grow the overall business by 10%. "On that measure, the 8 is a success."A big difference between the 8 and X is Continue Reading

iPhone X orders: Here’s how to nab one if you simply cannot wait

 LOS ANGELES — The iPhone X is one of the must-have tech gadgets of the year, and even with a starting price of $999, the device is expected to sell out immediately when Apple lets shoppers start ordering the phone Friday at 3:01 a.m. ET.What to do?  The phone will be in stores on November 3, but tech analysts say Apple has supply constraints that will make it harder than usual to get hold of the newest iPhone. That means camping outside stores for hours, or even days, to grab a phone without a re-order may be a fool's errand. Savvy customers know to jump online the minute sales begin, and put in their order promptly, at or via one of the major phone carriers that sell iPhones, like Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint.Apple responds on a first-come, first-serve basis. The earlier you get your pre-order in, the sooner the new phone should arrive to you. The phone will be delivered to you, or you can arrange for in-store pick-up.In the past, pre-sales have sold out for opening day within 5 minutes, notes Creative Strategies tech analyst Ben Bajarin. This year, due to supply constraints for the X, due to some of the newer parts that haven't been used in mass production before, it's expected to sell out even more quickly.  More: Why you'll need to wait seven weeks for iPhone X to go on sale In years past, the website got jammed up from all the activity. So here’s a tip: download the Apple Store app and shop there. But you’ll need to make several decisions first. Know your choices now. —What color do you want? Your choices are space gray or silver.—How much are you willing to pay? The phone starts at $999 with 64 GB of storage, or $49.91 monthly for two years via Apple's lease program, or $1,149 ($56.16 monthly) with 256 GB of storage.“Don’t fumble at midnight trying to figure it out,” says Michael Schneider of Los Angeles, who Continue Reading