Five stories that have North Texas talking: Name that toll lane, tiny tablets and debate recaps on ‘Think.’
Commuters who have to negotiate their way through construction zones every day may already have some choice names for the LBJ Express (a.k.a. I-635 in Dallas) and the North Tarrant Express (Loop 820 and 183 through the mid-cities).
But now they have a chance to name the fancy new "managed lanes" (read: toll lanes) that are going in on both freeways. The deadline to enter the "name that toll lane" contest is Nov. 4. Up for grabs: Gas cards worth $100, $500 and $1,000, with a grand prize card worth $2,500.
You can get an overview of the big freeway projects and the "managed lane" systems Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Arlington at the North Central Texas Council of Governments.
Think of permanent managed toll lanes as HOV lanes without the HOV restrictions (and with a price): They're designed to keep traffic moving at a minimum 50 mph, with a rebate if traffic slows below that. (Remind you of a movie? Except you didn’t get part of your bus fare back if the speedometer fell below 50.) And, cars with three or more people get 50 percent off the toll rate during peak periods.
-- BJ Austin
Apple Miniaturizes The iPad
No lines outside the Apple Stores quite yet, but the computer giant unveiled its latest way to dig into our wallets today: the iPad Mini. No real surprise there: It's a little less than 8 inches across, and fits in the palm of your hand. More room for all those e-books.
But there was a few surprises: A not-quite-mini price of $329 for the entry-level Mini. And an update of the regular-size iPad.
Yes, the late Steve Jobs originally scoffed at the idea of cramping that many app buttons in such a small space. But Peter Svensson with the AP points out Jobs “had strong opinions, but he also changed his mind frequently.”
In an internal email sent in January 2011, Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue said that a 7-inch tablet would work well and that Jobs was starting to come around to the idea just before he died. The email surfaced as part of Apple's patent trial against Samsung this year.
Apart from the iPad news, Apple also refreshed the MacBook witha 13-inch, high-resolution "Retina" screen. Investors weren't wild about the news. Apple's stock price closed down about $20 at $613.36.
-- Lyndsay Knecht
Foreign Policies: Presidential Debate Skews Domestic
If you didn’t know: We don’t use horses and bayonets in the military, and Mitt Romney doesn’t want America to repeat its last four years.
President Obama and the GOP nominee took their final chance at debate exchange to, shall we say, transcend the foreign policy prompt and get last digs in r.e. the economy and health care.
NPR’s Alan Greenblatt has a double hit today: a recap of last night if you missed it, and a look at the five issues that didn't get touched during any of the debates. And Slate’s Presidential 2012 Debate Awards are now complete with zingers and gaffes from Boca.
-- Lyndsay Knecht
Will The Debates Sway Your Vote?
Today on Think, Bob Ray Sanders of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Bill McKenzie of The Dallas Morning News looked at how each candidate fared during debate season and what their performances could mean for the election. If you missed it on 90.1 FM, you can check it out here.
-- Lyndsay Knecht
Halloween Ain’t Big Enough for Just One ‘Big Tex’
Like most of Texas, we here at the High Five are still dealing with the loss of the State Fair’s iconic Big Tex.
Keep in mind that it’s been clearly stated that Tex will return in 2013, but some still needed help coping, and a living memorial was held last night at the Golden Gate Funeral Home.
And while we don’t want to approach anything even resembling sacrilege during such times of loss, we at the High Five can’t help but think Big Tex is going to be a popular outfit this Halloween.
So, it begs the question, which Big Tex costume do you think will win out?
(A few ideas): Zombie Tex? Flamin’ Tex? Plain Ol’ Big Tex?
Let us know in the comments section below.
-- Justin Martin