Archive | March, 2013

Texas district attorney, wife found dead at home

31 Mar

KAUFMAN, Texas (AP) ? Two months after an assistant prosecutor was gunned down, the bodies of a north Texas prosecutor and his wife were found in their home, authorities said.

Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found killed in their home on Saturday, Kaufman County sheriff’s Lt. Justin Lewis said.

“Everybody’s a little on edge and a little shocked,” Forney Mayor Darren Rovell told The Associated Press on Sunday. “It appears this was not a random act.”

Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was shot to death in a parking lot a block from his office on Jan. 31. No arrests have been made in his death.

Lewis declined to say how the couple died or whether authorities believe their deaths are linked to Hasse’s. Police, FBI agents, Texas Rangers and deputies were all part of the investigation.

Rovell said what’s so shocking is that the attack occurred at the district attorney‘s home, an unincorporated area just outside Forney, which has 15,000 residents within the city limits and about 40,000 in the area. Kaufman County is 33 miles southeast of Dallas.

Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh told The Dallas Morning News that the McLellands had been shot in their home, and although investigators didn’t know if their deaths were related to Hasse’s killing, they couldn’t discount it.

“It was a shock with Mark Hasse, and now you can just imagine the double shock and until we know what happened, I really can’t confirm that it’s related but you always have to assume until it’s proven otherwise,” Aulbaugh told the newspaper.

Sam Rosander, who lives in the same unincorporated area of Kaufman County as the McLellands, told the AP on Saturday that sheriff’s deputies were parked in the district attorney’s driveway for about a month after Hasse was killed.

Aulbaugh said recently that the FBI was checking to see if Hasse’s killing could be related to the March 19 killing of Colorado Department of Corrections head Tom Clements, who was gunned down after answering the doorbell at his home.

Evan Spencer Ebel, a former Colorado inmate and white supremacist who authorities believe killed Clements and a pizza deliveryman two days earlier, was killed in a March 21 shootout with Texas deputies about 100 miles from Kaufman.

Hasse was chief of the organized crime unit when he was an assistant prosecutor in Dallas County in the 1980s, and he handled similar cases in Kaufman County.

“Anything anybody can think of, we’re looking through,” McLelland said after Hasse’s death.

McLelland graduated from the University of Texas before a 23-year career in the Army, according to the website for the district attorney’s office. He later earned his law degree from the Texas Wesleyan School of Law.

He and his wife have two daughters and three sons. One son is a police officer in Dallas.

McLelland and his wife had moved into the home within the past few years ago, Rozell said.

“Real friendly, became part of our community quickly,” Rozell said. “They were a really pleasant happy couple.”


Associated Press writer Michael Graczyk in Houston contributed to this report.


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Mobile Gaming Mavens: Samsung Galaxy S4? –

20 Mar

The Mobile Mavens is our panel of experts drawn from all sectors of the mobile gaming industry.

This week saw Samsung lift the lid on the Galaxy S4. For many, Samsung’s flagship range increasingly stands as the only real competition to Apple’s iPhone, despite increasing competition from HTC, Sony, Nokia and BlackBerry.

Before the unveiling itself, we asked the Mavens:

From your perspective, what would you like to see Samsung serve up? Is there anything it can do to advance the Android platform on its own, and is a tussle between just two handsets at the top good for the industry?

Jani Kahrama, Secret Exit
I’d be happy to see Galaxy S4 with only a single CPU/GPU/memory configuration for all markets.

The Galaxy S III s a sad example of a manufacturer fragmenting even a single handset to the point that compatibility of apps is not guaranteed between the different variants.

Dave Castelnuovo, Bolt Creative

I had no idea that Samsung was even doing an announcement.

Jared Steffes, Furywing
Me neither. Samsung did have a huge presence at SXSW (South By Southwest) Interactive.

There was a big line to get into the building the firm rented, painted, and themed in its classic black and blue. I never made it in.

The single architecture sure sounds nice.

John Ozimek, Dimoso
As a very happy iPhone user, I don’t have much of an opinion on what the S4 will offer, as I already know I won’t be buying one.

Comments we’ve had already – consistency on hardware specs and Android version – make obvious sense as fragmentation is such a pain for developers. But when did upset developers ever stop a handset launch?

To answer the broader question, it’s not great that we seem to find the smartphone business being a two horse race between Apple and Samsung. But who do the other manufacturers have to blame for their failure to compete, other than themselves?

Poor designs, issues with distribution and carrier deals, a lack of apps, poor quality – in the current market, you absolutely can’t put out a sub-par handset if you want to compete at the very top.

Having said that, as much as we see stories every day about the dominance of the big two, smartphone sales are continuing to grow, and the other players are still selling millions of devices – so it’s not as if everyone else is on the verge of bankruptcy. Perhaps we’ll see a few others targeting specific user niches, as Blackberry does.

Oscar Clark, Applifier
I tend to agree that Samsung is the only OEM that has really taken on Apple head on ? and, of course, the patent issues that cloud us at the moment act as testimony for me that Samsung has Apple’s attention.

But, given that Samsung is utilising someone elses platform – in this case Android – this limits the range of areas where it can differentiate from the perspective of end users.

Physically, I expect the usual iterative improvements in screens, cameras, processor, memory, etc.

Processor – particularly low-power GPU performance could be a great area. Not just for higher end, console quality, gaming but also for battery life which for me is still a key problem – I can’t get a full day of typical use (including game play out of my Galaxy S III).

From a back end point of view, Jani is right to want a consistent single architecture – I doubt that will happen – but I find it hard to believe that Samsung couldn’t get big economies of scale by doing this across multiple devices.

We must be getting to the point where the mobile device architecture under the plastic remains the same, but the form-factor and accessories determines the device’s mode of use. However, I suspect a lot of the benefits we might want as developers would need to happen in Android, rather than on just one OEM device.

Perhaps its in accessories that they could make a big change, like including a game controller (with OS-level integration) in the box. or a dongle that make its AllShare software work in any TV with a USB slot out of the box? But I doubt it.

Going down the 3D camera route might be nice, but 3D has lost its sheen – even though I personally love it.

Where does that leave me? Well not expecting huge new ground breaking shifts – I hope I’m wrong.

You can find out what Samsung actually unveiled here.


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