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The K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of DirectShow filters, VFW/ACM codecs, and tools. Codecs and DirectShow filters are needed for encoding and decoding audio and video formats. The K-Lite Codec Pack is designed as a user-friendly solution for play...
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Download : K-Lite Codec Pack 10.15 (Full)

The K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of DirectShow filters, VFW/ACM codecs, and tools. Codecs and DirectShow filters are needed for encoding and decoding audio and video formats. The K-Lite Codec Pack is designed as a user-friendly solution for play...
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Review: Sony’s smartwatch good, but not essential

Sony’s SmartWatch 2 in a variety of colors. Photo: AP/Sony

Sony's new SmartWatch 2 doesn't get as much attention - and doesn't do as much - as Samsung's Galaxy Gear computerized wristwatch. But for the things it does, Sony's version performs better.
The SmartWatch 2 is also 33 percent cheaper, at about $200, and works with a variety of
Android phones, not just Sony's. Samsung's Galaxy Gear sells for $300 and is compatible only with a handful of high-end Samsung phones.

That said, neither company has made a compelling case of why people need a smartwatch this holiday season.

These wrist-bound gadgets are supposed to free you from constantly pulling out your phone to check for messages. But I found myself checking the watch more often than I would pull out a phone. That proved more distracting - and less private - over dinner, for instance.

The SmartWatch 2 is worth considering primarily if you want to be among the first with the latest technology.

What Sony's watch does:

Think of the watch as a companion to your phone. The phone needs to be within Bluetooth wireless range, or about 30 feet.

You install a free Smart Connect app on the phone to manage what gets sent to the watch, be it messages or call notifications. You give the watch functionality by

adding watch apps to Smart Connect one by one. Smart Connect fetches the watch apps from Google's online Play store.

For example, I installed Sony's Messaging app to get texts on the watch. I get full texts and can reply with emoticons or pre-written responses such as "I'll get back to you." There's no keyboard on the watch to type individual replies, given that its screen measures just 1.6 inches diagonally.

The Facebook watch app lets me check the latest posts and endorse some with "likes" right from the watch. With Twitter, I can read the latest updates, retweet them or mark some as favorites. But I'm limited to text on the watch. I can't access photos and other links that are often embedded into tweets.

Getting too much? Through the phone, I can choose specific friends and accounts to get notifications for, though I can't simply add "family" and other groups I had already created on Facebook.

The watch can act as a remote control for your phone, but calls themselves are made through the phone. For the watch to be useful, you need a Bluetooth wireless headset linked to the phone.

When calls come in, you can reject the call, with or without a canned text reply. If you have a Sony phone, you can answer calls from the watch as well. With any phone running at least Android 4.0, you can initiate calls from the watch using its dialpad or your Android contacts list. But again, the calls go through your phone. You can control volume, but it took me a while to figure out how.

There are nearly 250 other apps you can add, many coming from outside app developers.

I particularly like a 99-cent app called Fake Call. Tap on the watch to make your phone ring with a phantom call. Use that to get you out of whatever sketchy situation you might find yourself in.

A free app called GPS Maps sends a map to your watch with surrounding blocks. The map moves as you move, though I don't get directions.

How it compares with Samsung's device:

Samsung's Galaxy Gear wins on style: The watch has a metal frame and straps in six colors. It can work as a fashion accessory, at least for men. It's on the larger

side, with a 1.6-inch screen matching Sony's. The SmartWatch 2 from Sony feels cheap, by comparison, though the straps are replaceable with other 24-millimeter watch straps if you're really buying this for fashion.

The Gear also wins on features: Sony's watch doesn't have a speaker or a microphone. It doesn't have a camera. The Gear has all that, which means you can make phone calls through the watch itself, without a Bluetooth headset. The camera produces low-resolution images, but it beats missing the shot because your phone is in the pocket.

But I don't believe these features are worth an extra $100. The speakerphone doesn't offer much privacy or work well in noisy environments. The speaker allows you to reply to text messages using voice dictation, but the transcriptions are slow and error-prone.

Where the SmartWatch 2 outperforms the Gear is in delivering messages.

The Gear gives you full texts, but that's about it. Get a Facebook or Gmail notification? You have to return to the phone to read the message. The watch is supposed to reduce the need to pull out your phone, but not if you keep getting notifications urging you to check.

And while I got about 2.5 days on the SmartWatch 2 on a single charge, the Gear dies in a day. You can charge Sony's watch with a standard micro-USB charger, while the Gear needs its own. The Gear's watch face also goes dark so it could last just a day. With Sony's watch, you can see the time even in a low-power mode.

Sony's SmartWatch 2 also has many more apps to choose from - more than three times as many.

Do you need it?

Maybe one day, smartwatches will truly be smart. They need to be better at filtering the important notifications from the noise, and they need to do more than tell you to go back to the phone to complete a task.

For now, we're in an era of experimentation. Sony's SmartWatch 2 advances the field with a just-the-basics smartwatch, but I'll wait at least a year or two for even more advances before buying one myself.

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Nature pulls a fast one on astronomers: Two galaxies caught masquerading as one

Nov. 15, 2013 — What might look like a colossal jet shooting away from a galaxy turns out to be an illusion. New data from the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) reveal that two galaxies, one lying behind the other, have been masquerading as one.

In a new image highlighting the chance alignment, radio data from the VLA are blue and infrared observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) are yellow and orange, respectively. Visible data are also shown, with starlight in purplish blue and heated gas in rose.

The closer galaxy, called UGC 10288, is located 100 million light-years away. It is spiral in shape, but from our viewpoint on Earth, we are seeing its thin edge. The farther galaxy, seen in blue, is nearly 7 billion light-years away. Two giant jets shoot away from this galaxy, one of which is seen above the plane of the closer galaxy's disk.

Earlier radio images of the two galaxies appeared as one fuzzy blob, and fooled astronomers into thinking they were looking at one galaxy. Thanks to the VLA pulling the curtain back on the disguised duo, the scientists have a unique opportunity to learn otherwise-unobtainable facts about the nearer galaxy.

"We can use the radio waves from the background galaxy, coming through the nearer one, as a way to measure the properties of the nearer galaxy," said Judith Irwin, of Queen's University, Canada, lead author of a recent paper on the findings, appearing online Nov. 15 in the Astronomical Journal.

Observations from Spitzer and WISE helped to reveal new structures above and below the plane of the closer galaxy's disk. For example, Spitzer helped confirm an arc-like feature rising more than 11,000 light-years above the disk, which was seen in the radio observations.

Irwin worked with an international team of astronomers from North America, India and Europe who are part of the "Continuum Halos in Nearby Galaxies -- an EVLA Survey" (CHANG-ES) consortium.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. For more information about Spitzer, visit http://spitzer.caltech.edu and http://www.nasa.gov/spitzer .

JPL manages and operates the WISE mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The WISE mission was selected competitively under NASA's Explorers Program managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The science instrument was built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. More information is online at http://www.nasa.gov/wise and http://wise.astro.ucla.edu and http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/wise .

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You’re Invited: #GirlsTravel Twitter Chat & VAIO® Duo 13 Giveaway

Ladies, this one’s for you. (Sorry, dudes!)

On Monday, Nov. 18, we’ll be a guest host of the #GirlsTravel chat, the one and only travel-themed Twitter chat exclusively for women.

From 10-10:30 a.m. PT, we’ll be talking about travel gadgets that make it easier to stay connected and to share your adventures while you’re abroad.

It’s a short, fast-moving chat, and at the very end, we’re giving away a VAIO® Duo 13 PC to one #girlstravel Twitter chat participant! It’s the perfect device to take with you while you gallivant from one destination to the next.

vaioduo13

Here’s why the VAIO Duo 13 rocks:

  • It can be used in tablet or laptop modes with the Surf Slider® design
  • It’s got up to 10 hours of battery life for all day mobility
  • It’s only 2.93 lbs – light and portable!
  • It resumes from sleep in less than a second
  • The 13.3” Full HD 1920 x 1080p touchscreen LCD with TRILUMINOS Display creates true, natural shades of colors

To join in, block off your calendars between 10-10:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, and follow the #girlstravel hashtag on Twitter. Chime in, get to know and chat with other participants, and have a great time! To make it easier to follow the conversation, you can also head over to http://www.tweetchat.com and follow #girlstravel.

We are so excited to join the #GirlsTravel chat next week and we hope to chat with you!

In the meantime, meet your hosts:

@adlibtraveller

@mrsoaroundworld

@travlin_girl

@jettingaround

@maiden_voyage

@turnipseeds

@travelgogirl

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Hubble views an old and mysterious cluster

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