Goran Stojanović a new Mauer of Rhein Neckar Lowen

Goran StojanovićMontenegrin handballRhein Neckar LowenVfl Gummersbach handball One of the best goalkeeper of Toyota Handball Bundesliga, for many years in T-shirts of VfL Gummersbach, Goran Stojanović (33) will from the next summer play for Rhein Neckar Lowen.  Montenegrin, Stojanović, played for VfL Gummersbach from 2006. Before that, he spent a season in Pfullingen and some time in Grasshopers, Switzerlan. At the national level in that time, Yugoslavia, he played for Crvena zvezda Beograd, Lovćen Cetinje and native team, Mornar Bar.Contract with the “Lions” will keep Stojanović in the game until summer 2014. ← Previous Story EHF CL (Round 7): Barcelona held THW Kiel in crisis Next Story → Women’s WC 2011 qualification: Four teams find their way to June

Lozano injures knee

Demetrio Lozano will have to make few weeks break as he has injured his knee, in the previous game against Ademar Leon, which Aragon won with 30:26. They are currently 5th on the table, with a game against Torrevieja in their next game. The 36-year old is formerly THW Kiel player, and he decided to join Aragon over San Antonio and Barcelona. This year Aragon is in the Cup Winners Cup, and plays against Borac Banja Luka. ← Previous Story 10,000 tickets sold for the VELUX EHF FINAL4 Next Story → EC 2012 Quals (W): Czech Republic surprises Austria!

MKB Veszprem close to sign Carlos Ruesga

← Previous Story Vote for the VELUX EHF F4 “Dream Team” Next Story → Ferenc Ilyés to Pick Szeged – Muhamed Toromanovic new line-player? Carlos Ruesgahandball transfersMKB Veszprem Another Spanish player could move to Hungary. The invasion’s new member is Carlos Ruesga, the middle back of Reale Ademar Leon. He met MKB Veszprém in the last 16 of EHF VELUX Champions League and made an impression in Veszprém. From next year he could replace Gábor Császár, who goes to PSG. On the 9th of June will be organized a match in honour of MKB’s legend, the 42-year-old Carlos Reinaldo Perez. Veszprém will play against an All-star team (Árpád Sterbik, Filip Jicha, Iker Romero, Ivano Balic, Nikola Karabatic, Marko Vujin, Kiril Lazarov etc.). Ruesga is also invited, after the match is expected to be the club’s official statement and the signing.VIRAG FARKAS read more

Kadetten Schaffhausen with new playmaker – Damir Doborac

Damir Doborachandball transefrhandball transfersKadetten Schaffhausen ← Previous Story Australian men look to the future Next Story → SEHA GAZPROM SSL: Veszprem too strong for Vojvodina Ex Bosnian NT member Damir Doborac (34) will be a new force of the Swiss champions Kadetten Schaffhausen. Team led by Markus Baur have a lot ot problems with playmaker position after injuries of two important players – Kukucka and Pendic. That’s why EHF CL member had to find another solution. That is experienced Doborac, who played in German SC Magdeburg, Slovenian RK Cimos Koper, RK Bosna Sarajevo and other teams…

RK Vardar begin road to Cologne with win in Plock

The reigning EHF Champions League winners, RK Vardar Skopje, began the road to Cologne in the best possible way by winning away clash in Polish city of Plock against domestic Wisla 26:22 (13:9). The team of Spanish coach Raul Gonzales had control over the result during the match, except small period of time at the beginning of the second half when domestic goalkeeper Wichary was in series of saves for his team (15:15), afterwards quality was on side of Arpad Sterbik and his team-mates…Orlen Wisła Płock – Vardar Skopje 22:26 (9:13)Orlen Wisła: Borbely, Wichary – Daszek 6, Duarte 1, Krajewski 3, Obradović, Ghionea, T. Gębala, Ivić 4, Tarabochia 3, M. Gębala, Żabić 1, Mihić, De ToledoVardar: Sterbik – Stoiłow 2, Kristopans 4, Ferreira Moraes, Maqueda 1, Karacić 2, Abutović, Canellas 2, Cindrić 2, Cupić 3, Dibirov 3, Sziszkariow 2, Borozan 5, Vojvodić, Marsenić ← Previous Story Ljubomir Vranjes about “Wolff case”: Veszprem aren’t interested, it’s a kind of politics” Next Story → EHF CL derby: PSG Handball conquer Kiel! read more

DKB HBL THW Kiel in form Rhein Neckar Lowen close to win

dkb bundesliga ← Previous Story RK Vardar have new goalie from Serbia – Dejan Milosavljev Next Story → DON’T STOP TRAVELING: Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz to PSG Handball Championship race in Germany are now linked with only two names after Rhein Neckar Lowen beat TSV Hannover Burgdorf in away match 26:23 and in the same time, THW Kiel beat Fuchse Berlin 25:20.THW Kiel: Landin (1.-46., 13 saves), Wolff (45.-60., 3 saves); Duvnjak (3), Firnhaber, Weinhold (2), Dissinger, Wiencek (1), Ekberg (2), Frend Öfors (5), Rahmel, Zarabec (1), Vujin (6/2), Bilyk (1), Nilsson (4), Santos (n.e.); Trainer: GislasonFüchse Berlin: Heinevetter (1.-22., 31.-60., 7/1 saves), Genz (n.e.), Stochl (22.-30., 2 Paraden); Wiede (4), Elisson (3), Milde (1), Vukovic, Struck (2), Gojun, Lindberg (3/2), Zachrisson (2), Fäth (2), Schmidt (1), Reissky (1), Koch (1); Trainer: PetkovicTSV Hannover-Burgdorf – Rhein-Neckar Löwen 23:26 (13:14)Hannover: Semisch, Ziemer – Mortensen (6/3), Pevnov (1), Häfner (1), Böhm (8), Olsen (2), Brozovic (3), Christophersen, Kastening (2/1), Lehnhoff, Donker, Feiser, Thiele, KroneLöwen: Palicka, Appelgren – Tollbring, Sigurdsson (4/1), Groetzki (2), Radivojevic, Schmid (8), Pekeler (2), Bliznac, Petersson, Reinkind (1), Mensah (7), Taleski, Baena, Ekdahl Du Rietz (2)STANDINGS:1. Rhein-Neckar 28 24 0 4 876:680 482. Flensburg-H. 29 22 2 5 856:730 463. Fuchse Berlin 28 20 3 5 805:728 434. SC Magdeburg 28 20 2 6 837:749 425. Kiel 29 20 1 8 842:732 416. Hannover-Burgdorf 29 19 3 7 813:766 417. MT Melsungen 28 15 3 10 775:728 338. Leipzig 29 15 3 11 755:730 339. Goppingen 29 10 7 12 774:791 2710. HSG Wetzlar 28 11 3 14 734:727 2511. Lemgo 28 9 7 12 720:773 2512. Minden 28 7 8 13 741:793 2213. Erlangen 28 6 7 15 686:765 1914. Stuttgart 28 7 4 17 694:773 1815. Gummersbach 29 7 0 22 730:827 1416. N-Lubbecke 29 3 6 20 668:787 1217. Huttenberg 28 3 6 19 693:817 1218. Ludwigshafen 29 4 3 22 688:791 11 read more

Story Fran Whats going on in the Season 4 teaser for LoveHate

first_imgJUST WEEKS AWAY from the debut of the new season of Love/Hate, RTÉ has released a new teaser clip.It doesn’t give too much away. Fran’s in a nondescript office with what could be two plain-clothes gardaí.Perhaps he’s being recruited as an informer?He doesn’t look particularly worried, whatever’s going on.[Youtube: RTÉ]So as Fran might say himself — story?Read: RTÉ won’t confirm Love/Hate ‘back in three weeks’ >last_img

Cancer death rates for Irelands older women higher than EU average

first_imgNEW FIGURES HAVE revealed cancer death rates for women in Ireland aged over 65 are notably higher than the EU average.Information published by Eurostat yesterday showed circulatory diseases were the most prevalent cause of deaths of over 65s in 2010 in the EU28 countries.Death rates due to cancer for women were highest in Demark, Ireland and Slovenia. There were 2,466 deaths per 100,000 people aged over 65 in Ireland in 2010 with lung cancer being most prevalent in men.In the EU28, the death rate for older men due to cancer in 2010 was almost twice as high as for women.Ireland also had the second highest death rates for women in this age bracket due to melanoma of the skin.Deaths due to accidents in Ireland were lower than the EU average for both men and women and suicide rates among those aged over 65 were also well below the average.Read: Mortalities due to cancer, heart disease significantly down in last decade>Read: Surprises in hunt for environmental links to breast cancer>last_img read more

Madeleine McCann jewel thefts and mortgages The week in numbers

first_imgEVERY WEEK, TheJournal.ie offers a selection of statistics and numerical nuggets to help you digest the week that has just passed.141,520 – The number of homeowners who are in arrears with their mortgage according to new figures from the Central Bank. It is the first time in four years that the arrears figures have declined.5,000 – The number of phone calls and messages received by police in the UK in the six weeks after a new appeal was made for information about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.1,258 – The number of unfinished estates in Ireland.130 – The number of companies that went insolvent this month, a significant drop on previous months. However more than half of hotels and restaurants remain at a “high risk of collapse”.124 – The number of civil partnerships which have taken place in Ireland in the first six months of this year.67  – The new world ranking of the Irish football team – their lowest ever placing on the FIFA list.30 – The percentage of women in Ireland who have a pension, significantly lower than the corresponding figure for men at 51 per cent.27 – The number of seconds it took for a thief to steal €103 million worth of jewels at a hotel in Cannes earlier this year, which can be seen in newly-released CCTV footage.16 – The number of families becoming homeless in Dublin every month, according to one charity which says there has been a massive jump in the figures for this year.10 – The percentage unemployment rate that Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he wants to see in Ireland by 2016.Want more? Check out our previous ‘In numbers’ pieces >last_img read more

GAA referees could soon have power to issue red cards for racism

first_imgGAA REFEREES COULD soon have the power to issue red cards for racism offences.A motion to next month’s GAA Congress is being put forward by the GAA’s ‘Standing Committee on Playing Rules’ proposing that such offences are upgraded to the bracket of aggressive fouls.The wording of the motion states than an ‘act by deed, word or gesture of a racist, sectarian or anti inclusion/diversity nature against an opponent’ can lead to a referee showing a player a red card for committing such an offence.The referee will have to have heard or witnessed the offence which could cause difficulties for officials in implementing it.There have been some high-profile cases in the recent years involving racism allegations in the GAA with Wexford player Lee Chin speaking out on the subject. Crossmaglen Rangers player Aaron Cunningham also alleged he was racially abused in the 2012 Ulster club final.Dub stars starting to miss out due to wear and tear, admits Paddy AndrewsDonnchadh Walsh: Kerry dipping into hurt locker ahead of Dublin rematchlast_img read more

This TD claims his bill could save thousands of jobs and create

first_imgINDEPENDENT TD STEPHEN Donnelly is to introduce a bill aimed at cutting the cost of companies going into examinership by as much as half.The Wicklow deputy’s Companies Amendment Bill 2014 will be introduced in the Dáil as part of private members’ time later today.The proposed legislation aims to reduce the cost of the current examinership process by tens of thousands of euro by cutting out legal fees and fees incurred by an examiner in preparing for court proceedings.The bill would facilitate business owners and their creditors meeting outside of the courts to try and agree a strategy to save a company rather than putting it into receivership – an option of last resort that usually results in a firm being wound-up.Donnelly points out that the difficulties in going through examinership means that between 2011 and 2013 there were 64 examinerships, whereas during the same period there were 1,046 receiverships.The bill is aimed at small business with fewer than 50 employees and a turnover of less than €10 millionDonnelly also insists that the bill will not unfairly prejudice creditors as they would be prevented from receiving less in the examinership process than they would if the company was put into receivership.Donnelly cites Central Bank figures in claiming that half of all loans to small and medium sized businesses in Ireland are in distress.With small businesses accounting for 70 per cent of the jobs in the State he claims his bill is likely to result in thousands of jobs being saved and tens of thousands being created as businesses “begin to thrive again”.The government is likely to make its position on the legislation clear prior to the debate later today.View: Slideshow produced by Stephen Donnelly explains how the legislation would work > Explainer: What does liquidation, examinership and receivership mean?last_img read more

Britain deploys Marines to help with flooding

first_imgBRITAIN HAS DEPLOYED Royal Marines to help with devastating floods after what officials said was likely the worst spell of winter rainfall for 250 years.Around 40 marines were helping reinforce flood defences near Taunton in Somerset in southwest England, parts of which have been under water for a month.Local police said the marines would put out nearly 1,000 sandbags along a 1-2 kilometre stretch of wall near the River Tone, which has been swelled by heavy rain — more of which was expected overnight.Prime Minister David Cameron’s government has faced criticism for its handling of a crisis that has left swathes of the country under water, with a key railway line washed away.Several people had to be rescued from deluged homes on Thursday. More storms are expected this weekend.Across the English Channel, France’s western tip jutting out into the Atlantic was placed on alert for flooding as high tides wreaked havoc.Britain’s Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the government would make an extra £30 million ($48 million, 36 million euros) available for emergency repairs, on top of £100 million announced by Cameron on Wednesday.Pickles said the winter was the wettest since King George III was on the throne, from 1760-1820, and the flood victims had “literally been through hell and high water”.The Meterological Office confirmed in a statement that for southern England, “regional statistics suggest that this is one of, if not the most, exceptional periods of winter rainfall in at least 248 years”.Parts of the region received five months of rainfall between December 12 and January 31.The rainy winter has set records tumbling, being the wettest combined period for December and January across the United Kingdom since 1910, the Met Office said.It was also the windiest December since 1969, based on the occurrence of winds over 111 kilometres per hour (69 miles per hour).For England alone it was the wettest December to January since 1876-1877 and the second wettest since rainfall records began in 1766.“Nothing happened for so long”Firefighters in Somerset and the neighbouring county of Devon rescued 14 people from homes and stranded vehicles late Wednesday and early Thursday.Rescuers in inflatable boats reached four adults and three children from one house after a river burst its banks in Stoke St Gregory, a village that Prince Charles visited on Tuesday, a fire brigade spokesman said.The heir to the throne said on his trip that the “tragedy is that nothing happened for so long”.Cameron personally took charge of the government’s response on Wednesday after facing a growing tide of criticism for being too slow to aid stricken communities.But the damage has continued, with the main train service connecting Devon and the county of Cornwall with the rest of Britain suspended after part of the sea wall under the coastal railway line collapsed.Pics: AP Photo- © AFP, 2014Read: Limerick residents should ‘assume flood water is contaminated’Read: A sight for sore eyes…Ireland is (almost) rain freelast_img read more

Garda appeal for missing Thomas Ward

first_imgGARDAI IN GALWAY are appealing to the public for assistance in tracing the whereabouts of 39-year-old Thomas Ward from Galway City.Ward was last seen on Thursday, 7 February at approximately 1pm in Galway City centre.He is described as 5′ 9″ in height, of average build, and has grey hair and blue eyes. When last seen he was wearing a black jacket, a dark green jumper and dark grey scarf.Anyone with information is asked to contact Galway Garda Station 091-538000, or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.last_img

Two Limerick hospitals account for 60pc of outpatients waiting over four years

first_imgOVER 4,000 outpatients have been waiting over four years at the Mid-Western Regional Orthopaedic Hospital in Croom, Co Limerick, figures from the end of January have revealed.The Department of Health’s Patient Treatment Register lists 10,347 outpatients as being on outpatient waiting lists at the hospital. 4,109 (39.7 per cent) have been waiting more than four years.The Mid-Western Regional Hospital, in Dooradoyle, Co Limerick, has the second highest number, with 1,716 outpatients waiting over four years.In third place is Waterford Regional Hospital, with 1,086 patients.Dublin’s Tallaght hospital has 876 outpatients waiting over four years.In total, there are 9,784 outpatients throughout the country that have been waiting more than four years for outpatient consultation, with a further 8,989 outpatients waiting between three and four years.The total number on outpatients, regardless of their waiting time, was 386,643.The Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, has set the end of this year as the target by which no outpatients will be waiting more than one year before receiving treatment.Read: Reduction in waiting lists welcomed by Health Minister >last_img read more

Criminal probe launched in Texas fertilizer plant blast that killed 14

first_imgAUTHORITIES IN TEXAS have launched a criminal probe in the 17 April explosion at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, Texas that claimed 14 lives.“This disaster has severely impacted the community of West, and we want to ensure that no stone goes unturned and that all the facts related to this incident are uncovered,” said Steven McCraw, director of Texas Department of Public Safety, in a statement.Officials did not say whether they possessed any new information causing them to suspect foul play.The huge blast three weeks ago leveled a large swath of West, with several first responders among the dead.Around 200 people were injured in the blast, which decimated the small town of 2,800 people, located 130 kilometers south of Dallas.Homes near the blast site were flattened, a huge apartment complex was destroyed and a nursing home and several schools were also badly damaged by fire that spread from building to building following the explosion.- AFPRead: Authorities confirm 12 dead in Texas fertiliser plant blast> More: Firefighters seek colleagues’ bodies as search for Texas bodies continues>last_img read more

Man shoots himself at altar of the Notre Dame cathedral

first_imgA MAN SHOT himself dead in front of the altar of Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, forcing the evacuation of the French capital’s famed tourist spot, police told AFP.The man, in his 70s, died by suicide some time after 2pm, investigators said.It was not immediately clear how many people were inside the building at the time of the incident but it was evacuated immediately.It was the second dramatic suicide in less than a week in Paris. Last Thursday, a 50-year-old man shot himself in a primary school near the Eiffel Tower, in front of a number of children.Oscar Pistorius’ brother acquitted of killing woman in road crashlast_img

Bad heartburn You might have Barretts Oesophagus

first_imgGETTING HEARTBURN OR acid reflux occasionally is fairly normal – but some people find themselves chronically affected by these ailments.Some of those people could also have a condition that can have an even more serious impact on their health.Up to 10% of people with chronic heartburn could be at risk of developing the condition known as Barrett’s oesophagus – about 4-5 per cent of people with Barrett’s will go on to develop cancer.What it isThe Irish Society of Gastroenterology wants more people to know about the condition, which is where the cells lining the lower part of the oesophagus undergo change as a result of constant acid reflux from the stomach.Barrett’s is considered a pre-cancerous condition, and endoscopic screening for it and for early pre-malignant changes is generally recommended in all adults aged 50 and over who have a long history (over five -10 years) of heartburn.What the experts sayProf Dermot O’Toole is an upper GI consultant gastroenterologist at St James’s Hospital and a member of the Irish Society of Gastroenterologists. He’s a leading consultant and expert on Barret’s oesophagus.He spoke at the recent summer meeting held by the society, where the latest discoveries on Barrett’s were discussed.Prof O’Toole pointed out that a lot of people get the odd bout of heartburn or reflux every now and again, and “this is normal”. It’s termed physiological reflux.He pointed out that when changes are detected early, patients with Barrett’s can be entered into programmes where they are put under medical surveillance.Keeping an eye on the conditionUnder these programmes, they undergo an endoscopy every three to five years to monitor for any cancerous changes.Prof O’Toole said that there may be an element of “overkill” in having everyone with the condition to have a scope, so it would be good to narrow down who would be most at risk of malignant cancer.At the summer meeting, a number of free papers and research were presented that looked at the genetics of Barrett’s.The experts were able to discuss whether genes may be useful in predicting patients who go on to experience malignant cancer with Barrett’s.If work can be done in determining the patients with Barretts who are going to go on to eventually develop malignant cancer, this could mean targeting the screening at the at-risk group.In the meantime, surveillance for all people with Barrett’s is still recommended.Diagnosing patientsSome people who are diagnosed don’t have major symptoms of Barrett’s, but instead the condition is found when they have a scope for another reason.“We are trying to better understand the genetics,” said Prof O’Toole, saying it may be helpful to look at disease modifying genes, and genes that show patients are predisposed to a more aggressive form of Barrett’s.About 95% of patients with Barrett’s go on to die of unrelated causes.Testing and treating Barrett’sCurrently, testing for Barrett’s involves a scope.There is a new form of screening undergoing testing that sees the patient swallow a tablet on a string. Inside the tablet capsule is a small sponge.After swallowing, the capsule dissolves and the sponge can be pulled back up, bringing with it some of the lining of the lower oesophagus.This can then be analysed to make a diagnosis.Treating cancer in Barrett’s patients also involves new technology. “If they go on to get early malignant changes or cancer, we now are capable of getting rid of that endoscopically,” said Prof O’Toole.In the past, the treatment of early (‘non-invasive’) cancers in Barrett’s oesophagus was surgical removal of the oesophagus. These days we have minimally invasive procedures (endoscopic based) that can eradicate both pre-cancerous and early cancerous cells completely.Weight and Barrett’s oesophagusWeight plays a role in Barrett’s – as it does in many other physical conditions.Reflux is common in Ireland, “especially in the Irish population where obesity is prevalent”, said Professor O’Toole. “There is a definite link between reflux and obesity.”“We have a high degree of prevalence in our society of obesity or overweight,” he said. The national registry shows that 70 per cent of patients with Barrett’s are either overweight or obese.Prof O’Toole encourages patients to get down to a normal body weight and make sure they eat quality fruit and fibre. He pointed out that vegetables and fruit have anti-oxidants, so help to introduce protective elements into people’s diets.Patients are given treatments to suppress their acid production, whether they have symptoms or not.People are encouraged to make lifestyle modifications alongside taking their medication, and avoid food and beverages that trigger acid production.At the summer meeting, the gastroenterologists discussed the incidence of Barrett’s in America, and how incidence rates are in perfect correlation to obesity rates.If you are concerned that you may have Barrett’s, you’re encouraged to speak to your GP.People with chronic reflux who are on medication but have difficulty controlling their symptoms, and who have not had an endoscopy can speak to their GP about referral for specialist assessment.Read: “People are being left to rot”: Rare disease sufferers feel let down by health service>last_img read more

Researchers Cure Paralyzed Monkeys With NonEmbryonic Stem Cells

first_imgWe’ve been debating the use of embryonic stem cells for more than a decade now. Research with stem cells has proven extremely promising in lab trials treating conditions once thought incurable. The only rub (mostly from a funding standpoint) has been the controversial use of human embryos to harness new stem cells. However, scientists have begun working with “induced Pluripotent stem (iPS)” cells which are culled from adult cells. Early trials with iPS cells have shown the ability to produce similar recuperative effects.One example is from scientists at Japan’s Keio University. The research team recently announced that they have successfully returned full motor functions to paralyzed marmosets within six weeks of beginning treatments with iPS cells made from modified human skin cells. AdChoices广告The ability to treat paralyzed animals isn’t anything that novel. Scientists restored full movement to paralyzed rats in 2005 and trials have even already begun treating human patients using embryonic stem cell lines. However, this new research represents a huge step forward for this non-controversial method and could be instrumental in opening public acceptance (and public dollars) into some very promising research.via SingularityHublast_img read more

Wingsuit skydiver uses shoecam to makes jumps look more awesome

first_imgAs previously noted on this site, wingsuit skydiving looks to be just about the most fun you can have without breaking the law. Even without taking it to the absolute extreme, the jumpers are quite good at making their sport look like controlled insanity. Use of the proper gear helps us viewers live vicariously through the jumpers while making sure things like cameras don’t get in the way of something important, like a parachute.Standard equipment includes a helmet cam and wingsuit, in this case the ContourHD cam and Phantom2 suit. Wingsuiter Richard Schneider has another trick he uses to get some great shots from jumps: the shoecam you see above. It’s a simple hack, but when his foot is properly positioned it gives viewers an over-the-shoulder view that turns Schneider from a cameraman into a participant.AdChoices广告It’s a clever idea though Schneider told us that it’s not quite ideal. The placement of the camera on his foot creates a possible snag point for his parachute lines. He’s make sure that if this happens the shoe and cam will both come off and he won’t have to do anything drastic (Wesley Snipes in Dropzone comes to mind…).You can see the shoecam in action in the video below. The first shot is at the 12 second mark, and then there is another at 20 seconds… after that it should be easy enough for you to pick them out.And don’t miss the short time-lapse at the beginning. It was taken with a Canon T2i in front of Chicago’s famous “Bean” sculpture.last_img read more

Review Samsung Galaxy Note for ATT

first_imgIt wasn’t all that long ago that a 4.3-inch screen on smartphone was considered too large by many. Now, there are multiple 4-inch and larger phones on every carrier. Even Google’s flagship device exceeds the 4.3-inch mark — the Galaxy Nexus comes in at a 4.65. The Samsung Galaxy Note has sought to raise the bar with a 5.3-inch screen. AT&T dubbed the Galaxy Note a “superphone”, while socially the name “phablet” seems to be growing in popularity. Regardless of what you want to call it, the Galaxy Note is finally here.HardwareIt’s easy to look at the specs and scoff at a device with a 5.3-inch screen. In no way is this phone meant to be held and used with the same hand, which causes problems when you’re walking down the street trying to check your email. In many ways, the phone resembles a Samsung Galaxy S2 that has been stretched out a bit. What makes the phone usable at this size is the thinness and the weight.At just over 6 ounces, and just a hair thicker than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus at its thickest point, the GNote is plenty comfortable to hold and use. This is a staggering difference form other devices that have used this screen size, like the bulky Dell Streak. The Note also has an almost non-existent bezel, which makes it easier to get at the screen if you are still trying to one-hand the beast. More so then any other Samsung smartphone, the phone has a very solid feel to it, and completes the very enjoyable experience when holding the phone.If you’re going to have an enormous screen, it had better be a great one. The 285 ppi Super AMOLED screen on the Galaxy Note does not disappoint. While the phone has the same 800×1280 resolution of the Galaxy Nexus, it does this without a pentile display. Typical of Samsung screens, the Galaxy Note has very vibrant colors and very deep blacks. The screen is covered with Gorilla Glass, though the increased size of the screen will actually decrease the effectiveness of that protection. As demonstrated in the past by Corning, the larger a pane of Gorilla glass is, the more vulnerable the center of the panel will be to impact damage.The AT&T version of the Galaxy Note has the added power of LTE, which will automatically give the gift of less battery life than its European brother. The 2500MaH battery in the Galaxy Note is certainly bigger then what we see in most phones today, but you’ll need every bit of it to get 16 hours of use out of the huge device on LTE. Even under stress, with everything running and the screen brightness all the way up, the Note lasted between 8 and 9 hours. Used conservatively, or used primarily on WiFi, this battery is more than a days worth of fun. Even streaming movies or generating a WiFi hotspot, you’ll still get through a 5 hour trip.The Galaxy Note sports an 8MP camera in the back and a 2MP camera in the front. Coupled with Samsung’s software, the phone takes great photos without the flash. The flash on the Galaxy Note tended to wash out pictures if you were shooting something up close, and isn’t powerful enough to be very useful for much else. It makes a very good phone camera, easily comparable to a cheap point and shoot. The front facing camera, in cooperation with the microphone system on the Galaxy Note, make video chatting or mobile Google+ hangouts a great experience.Oh, and this version of the Samsung Galaxy Note has a NFC chip and an antennae, but for some reason AT&T has seen fit to disable it for you.The S-PenThese days there’s no room in the smartphone world for a stylus. That GNote is not a Palm Treo, and that writing device it includes is not a stylus. The S-Pen taps into Wacom technology to allow it to be significantly more accurate than a stylus. The S-Pen isn’t quite as feature-packed as a pen found with a Wacom board, but offers many of the same comforts for any familiar with this technology.It’s easy to look at the little plastic stick that slides out of the Note as a stylus, but you’d be missing out on quite a lot. For starters, Samsung has baked the ability to take screenshots and the ability to take notes just by pushing the button on the side of the S-Pen and tapping the screen. When you decide to use the S-Pen for drawing or note taking, the screen can detect 128 different pressure levels, and uses that to help draw on the screen.You certainly could use this like a stylus. Samsung has baked the S-Pen functionality into the entire device, allowing you to use it to navigate the OS, type on the keyboard, any just about anything else. As an avid Swype user, I found the S-Pen great for writing longer messages using the Swype keyboard. In fact, anytime that you would normally use the phone and leave it a horrible smudgy, fingerprinted mess the S-Pen does a great job. While this is not the most common use, it will probably increase your Fruit Ninja score dramatically.The S-Pen can even be accompanied by the S-Pen Holder, a separate accessory sold by Samsung that puts an S-Pen in a larger, pen shaped casing. This way if you’re taking long notes or just really into having to go look for your stylus you can have that more comfortable feel. The S-Pen holder keeps the button on the side, making it look more like a Wacom pen, but still doesn’t add any other features.The S-Pen SDK is now in version 1.5, and allows developers to write drawing utilities into their apps. Personally, I’d love to use the S-Pen for gestures or to take notes in an RSS app, and Samsung makes that a possibility. This falls pretty closely in line with what Google has in mind, especially now that pen support is being added to Android 4.0. The S-Pen isn’t the first Android pen, but it manages to succeed in every single place that HTC’s Scribe pen failed when it first came out.SoftwareI gladly waited in line for the Galaxy Nexus on launch day. I have always been a strong supporter of the stock experience for Android. In my opinion, TouchWiz has typically taken more away from the Android experience than it has given in the past, made worse by how much time passes before TouchWiz devices are updated to the next version. I expected to lament the lack of all of the features of Android 4.0 that I would be missing. There’s no Chrome for Android, the 2.3 versions of the Google Apps feel crippled, and no Face Unlock! Despite the lack of Ice Cream Sandwich, the Galaxy Note version of TouchWiz has been modified both to support the huge screen and the resolution that comes with it, and the experience was surprisingly enjoyable.Everything on the Galaxy note is very fast. Some tasks are faster on the Note than they are on the Galaxy Nexus, such as launching certain apps. In no way does TouchWiz slow the Note down, even with the TouchWiz Launcher and widgets left on the desktop. Gone are the days where Social Hub and Media Hub are pushing you to feed them data, replaced by a fairly simple UI with a handful of Samsung apps pre-loaded to offer help to new users. AT&T adds four apps to the device, including a QR code reader and a Latitude-ish “Family Map” app. AT&T and Samsung assure us that an update to Android 4.0 is on the way “soon”, and with recent announcements like the ICS Galaxy Tab on the way it’s possible the update really will be here sometime this spring.It’s not all great, the added screen size causes some usability problems with a handful of apps. Able Remote, a Google TV remote, for example, fails to take advantage of the entire screen, and squishes into the center of the screen instead. Even apps that come with the phone don’t really behave correctly. The Samsung TouchWiz keyboard, for example, takes up as much as half of the screen when trying to use it. The same goes for the pre-loaded version of Swype. The stock Android 2.3 keyboard, which is also installed on the device, takes up far less space than the TouchWiz keyboard and yet is no less accurate in using it.AT&TAs expected by a mostly empty 4GLTE network, the Note is capable of amazingly fast download and upload speeds. The Note averaged 35MB down in most speed tests, and while that is far from what should be expected once the network actually starts being used, it’s one of the few perks of being an early adopter on a budding network. Like the Skyrocked 4G, the Galaxy Note always displays that the phone is connected to 4G, even when it is not connected to LTE. The icon changes slightly to either include or remove the LTE icon, but even when you are connected to GPRS, the phone will assure you it is on a 4G network.What do you get to do with all of that crazy fast speed? Not video chat. Even when connected to LTE, AT&T has disabled the ability to video chat on anything other than WiFi using Google Talk. Amusingly, Google allows AT&T to block the use of video chat over LTE, but you can still connect to a Google + Hangout no matter what network you are on.It’s more than a little frustrating to see the Galaxy Note being intentionally limited by AT&T, with no real explanation as to why things like video chat or NFC are controlled by the carrier. Before you get excited about the possibility of the infamous Android hacker community activating these features, it’s worth pointing out that the Samsung Galaxy S2 on AT&T still doesn’t have total access to NFC. Galaxy Note users will be at the Mercy of AT&T to enable these features, if they ever decide to do so.Final ThoughtsThis is not a phone for everyone. If you rely on the ability to use your phone with one hand, you’ll have problems with the Galaxy Note. The Note is a great multimedia device, and as long as you can get over the strange looks as you hold a sushi tray-sized device to your face to make a phone call, you’re probably interested in the Note. As long as the phone gets Android 4.0 shortly, and as long as AT&T doesn’t continue to disable NFC into that update, the Galaxy Note will be a very powerful phone to compete with for quite awhile. At $299 on a new contract, it looks like AT&T is joining Verizon Wireless with the “top shelf” devices being $100 more, but compared to the Galaxy Nexus I would say that the phone is very much worth it.For further reading check out our comparison of the Galaxy Note, Samsung’s Galaxy Player, and the iPod touch.Samsung Galaxy Note – stylus siloSamsung Galaxy Note – stylus siloSamsung Galaxy Note – HUGESamsung Galaxy Note – rear – batterySamsung Galaxy Note – front – onSamsung Galaxy Note – product shot with stylus 002Samsung Galaxy Note – product shot with stylusSamsung Galaxy Note – backSamsung Galaxy Note – controlsSamsung Galaxy Note – auto correctSamsung Galaxy Note – speedtestSamsung Galaxy Note – wifiSamsung Galaxy Note – soft keyboard 002Samsung Galaxy Note – soft keyboardSamsung Galaxy NoteThis loaner device was provided to us by AT&T.last_img read more