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All in the family: 2015 Moto G sounds like a 2013 Moto X for less money

Next week, Motorola is holding a press event where it’s expected to launch one, if not two, new Moto X handset models, as well as an updated Moto G phone. I’ll be there to report from the event and expect to have a device or two in hand.

While we wait, however, a fair amount of information has leaked about the Moto G, including alleged pictures and specifications for the device. Here’s a shot of new handset from who says it has the phone in hand.


I’m struck by the potential similarity here between what’s likely the 2015 Moto G and the 2013 Moto X; one of my all-time favorite Android handsets.

And not just in the looks department; frankly, the Moto X, G, E and Nexus 6 all share very similar design cues. It’s what’s reportedly on the inside of the next Moto G that reminds me of the phone I bought two years ago.

The Moto G is expected to have a quad-core 1.36 GHz Snapdragon 410 paired with 1 GB of memory, although there have been reports of a more expensive model with double the RAM.

The 2013 Moto X also came with 2 GB of memory and ran on a 1.7 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 that Motorola modified to include a natural-language processor and other sensors. I’m anticipating the Moto G configuration to rival the performance of the two-year old Moto X as a result.

That year, the Moto X display was 4.7-inches in size with a 1280 x 720 resolution. This year’s Moto G? It looks like a slightly larger 5-inch screen with the same resolution. And the Moto G’s anticipated 2470 mAh battery is similar to the 2200 mAh unit in the old Moto X.

In the case of the cameras, this year’s Moto G should actually exceed those found in the 2013 Moto X: The unit has uses a 13 megapixel rear sensor and 5 megapixel front camera.

Keep in mind that when the Moto X debuted in September 2013 the base model carried a price tag of $199 with a two-year contract, or $499 off-contract. In contrast, the Moto G has started at $179 without a contract; a massive price difference.

We don’t know yet how Motorola will price this year’s model, but the Moto G line has always represented a solid value and I don’t expect that to change. You may be getting a budget-friendly phone that’s at least as capable, if not more so, than Motorola’s 2013 flagship.

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Islamic Poultry for Latino Tables (Yes, They Have Chilies, Too)

“We were taught what we needed to sell by the customers,” said Ahmed Elrabat, whose father helped found the shop in the 1980s.


Sebastian Flores walked out of Al Salam Pollería with a free bag of white-feathered chicken heads.

Mr. Flores, 26, an immigrant and a regular customer of Al Salam, a Muslim, family-owned halal poultry shop, was driving home when he developed a craving for the treat. He was planning on sprinkling the chicken heads with poultry seasoning and roasting them in the oven, the way they did back home in Puebla, Mexico.

Customers like Mr. Flores are the lifeblood of Al Salam Pollería, a thriving shop that opened 28 years ago “by accident,” according to its founders. Abdul Elhawary and his brother-in-law, Safwat Elrabat, who died 12 years ago, opened the shop in East Los Angeles because the zoning there allowed the sale and on-site slaughter of live poultry, in accordance with their religion’s dietary requirements.

Chicken feet at Al Salam Pollería, a Muslim, family-owned business that caters to Latino customers.

There were few halal butchers in Los Angeles in the 1980s, Mr. Elhawary, 60, said, so the family expected large numbers of Muslims from across the city to make the trek to buy halal poultry.

That never happened. Much to their surprise, though, Latino immigrant customers did show up, and in large numbers.

“It was a very happy coincidence and very happy surprise,” said Mr. Elrabat’s daughter, Iman Elrabat-Gabr, 37, “that Latinos were really interested in fresh chicken.”

Animals must be killed according to Islamic law for their meat to be halal, a practice followed at the store only when a customer requests halal meat.

“Around 1989, when we found out that 90 percent of the customers are Latino and we only had 10 percent that are non-Latino, we changed the name in the business cards to Al Salam Pollería,” Mr. Elhawary said. Originally, it had been Al Salam Farms; “salaam” means peace in Arabic and “pollería” is poultry shop in Spanish.

Ms. Elrabat-Gabr recalls that in the beginning, chicken feet would end up in the trash. Muslims did not eat them. But her family soon learned that in Latino culture, the feet were used for chicken soup and were considered a treat for children. The chicken heads, on the other hand, are an uncommon request and are given away free to customers, she said.

Abdul Elhawary, the owner of Al Salam Pollería.

“In Southern California, we believe we were the first Muslim-owned poultry store that figured out that Latinos are just as much interested in live chickens — fresh chickens — as we are,” said Ms. Elrabat-Gabr, who helps out at the East Los Angeles store. Her family, she said, takes pride in having discovered a niche market in Latino communities.

The East Los Angeles shop has been so successful over the last 20 years that members of the Elrabat and Elhawary families have opened three other butcher shops in Latino enclaves. Mr. Elhawary runs a shop of his own (L. A. Fresh Poultry Pollería) west of downtown Los Angeles. Ahmed Elrabat, 35, his nephew, owns a storefront (Pollería el Matador) in Southeast Los Angeles, where a large Mexican flag hangs from a pole outside.

Except for a few Koran verses on a wall and a small porcelain figure of the Kaaba shrine in Mecca atop a refrigerator, Al Salam Pollería, identified easily by the rooster on its roof, resembles a business that caters to the Latino palate. The products for sale include dry pepitas and chilies for mole poblano; various herbs like epazote, essential to some Mexican dishes; and Mexican candy like mazapan.

“We were taught what we needed to sell by the customers,” said Mr. Elrabat.

Ms. Elrabat-Gabr said her father had often spent entire days speaking only Spanish at the poultry shop and “before he died he was more fluent in Spanish than English.”

Mr. Elhawary, who was a high school French teacher in Egypt before emigrating to the United States in 1980, said learning Spanish had not been difficult for him.

“French helped me digest the Spanish language. Spanish is a very beautiful language. It’s musical,” said Mr. Elhawary. “Once you know the language, it breaks the barrier between you and the person.”

A private joke between the family and their shoppers.

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Latinos and Muslims had many things in common.

“And sometimes even the food tastes similar because of the many years of interaction between the Muslim Arabs from Africa and Spaniards,” said Mr. Ayloush, whose Mexican-American wife converted to Islam. “You’re talking about 700 years of Muslims living in Spain. And those same Spaniards are the ones that came to Latin and South America and brought with them much of that Arab culture.”

Adrian Pantoja, a professor of politics and Chicano studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., said the family showcased the ways some of the city’s ethnic entrepreneurs had learned to adapt.

“For me, it’s one example of perhaps hundreds of thousands of little shops like these in Latino neighborhoods,” Mr. Pantoja said.

Mr. Flores, the customer with his bag of chicken heads, said he was a regular patron, and not just because of the quality of the food.

“Here they treat you well and they speak Spanish,” Mr. Flores said. “It’s good that they are willing to learn from another culture.”

Islamic Poultry for Latino Tables (Yes, They Have Chilies, Too)

Tanisha’s Tips: Should You Move Before You Get That J-O-B?

By Tanisha A. Sykes, Senior Editor of Personal Finance & Careers

This question comes straight from my Twitter account! I really appreciate all of the love and support from my Twitter followers, so this week, I decided to make a little love deposit to all of you! Now back to the question. The follower asks what would I suggest to someone who wants to move to another city? She’s applied for four jobs with no response.

The first thing I would suggest is to consider why you are moving? Does the new city offer better opportunities in your field of study? Is the pay higher? Is it a better quality of life for you and your family? If the answer is yes, then it’s a viable consideration. If your itchin’ to get out just because then applying for every job that seems remotely doable is never the way to go. And please Lawd, don’t tell me that you are moving to be with a man or some other silliness. I only bring that up because I’ve heard stories aplenty about smart, savvy, beautiful women of color chasing down a man with the promise that he would put a ring on it as soon as you step off the plane. Don’t fall for that, especially in this day and age where getting a well-paying, meaningful job in a different city has quickly become a commodity.

Tanisha's Tips: Should You Move Before You GetThat J-O-B?

Now, back to the matter at hand. If you’ve applied for four jobs and haven’t heard a peep of interest from the prospective employer, then why would you think this is a good idea? I don’t know your situation, but I do wonder if this is a well thought out plan or a flash in the pan. Before you can even think about moving, ask yourself the following:

1. Why I am moving?
2. Will this move yield better opportunities?
3. Is the company a better one than where I am currently?
4. Is there stability and room for growth within the company and industry?
5. Is the new city a place where I can really call home?

Once you answer those questions, start reaching out to new people in said city for contacts, resources and information. Ask not only about the job opportunities, but also about the cost of living, residential options and overall attitude of the people that live there. Build a good support team around you that includes family, friends, church friends, future colleagues, etc., because these are the people that will keep your strong during the transition. Without them, you could be setting yourself up to fail.

Sometimes we just want to get on that next train smoking, but if there are no realistic job prospects, then I say, stay put, rethink what you are doing and why you want to do it, then jump into action. It’s easy to fall in love with a cute condo, 3-story walk-up or 1-acre lot on a cul-de-sac, but it won’t make a damn bit of difference if you can’t pay the bill.

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Find A Job – Find The Job That’s Right For You

Education Is Key – Education Is A Key To Success


By Toya Sharee

Parents don’t like me. Let me be more specific with it: Mothers and sisters don’t seem to like me. When I started dating during my teens I had some less than favorable “meet the parents” moments.  There was the boyfriend I was in love with in 9th grade whose Haitian mother always sounded like she was in the middle of a domestic revolution whenever she answered the phone.  That summer, a paid internship painting over graffiti placed me with a guy who started off as a good friend who eventually grew into more.  When we started dating, his family’s issues came bubbling to the surface and I figured out that the problem was more about his mother’s personal substance abuse issues than any imagined conflict with me.  Then there was the first “mature” relationship I really had with a young man from the suburbs.  When I first met his mother and sister, the look they gave me would have you think he brought the entire ‘hood with him, and in their eyes he probably had. I was from Philly (didn’t matter what part of Philly, it was just bad enough that is was Philly for them) so of course they assumed I was trying to trap their college-educated son, make him my baby’s daddy and probably be the reason he would fall victim to inner-city violence in a tragic First 48-style love triangle.

So after that point in my life, I’d given up on trying to be anyone’s daughter-in-law of the year. I am not a demure doll with a painted expression that agrees with everything my man’s family says because I don’t want to rock the boat, but at the same time I don’t think I’m one who brings drama and ruckus just because I can.  In my experience with dealing with mothers and their sons or sisters and their brothers, it hasn’t seemed to matter what kind of person I am.  All that matters is that I’m another woman in their loved one’s life and I have to be assigned some test to be granted membership in their circle of trust. In my experiences, the thing I never understood was why they had to be so nasty about it. There’s a difference between wanting the best for your son or brother and just wanting to be difficult.

I sympathize with the fact that it can be a hard transition for mothers and sisters who are accustomed to being the only women in a young man’s life and then suddenly feeling like their role of mama bear is threatened. The good news is, I am not looking for a son or a brother. I am looking for a boyfriend. All I’m asking is for mothers and sisters to lighten up and not make assumptions about a woman whom you know nothing about. Remember, you once were in my shoes too.  There comes a time when a woman has to let a man be a man and make his own decisions, and that doesn’t mean that he’s being disrespectful.  If you trust that you’ve, in fact, raised him right, then you should know that you can trust his judgment and respect his choices.

So ladies, do you have to like your man’s family?  Not necessarily, but I have to warn you that your love life will be a whole lot easier if you do, especially if you’ve met the man you want to start a family with.  There’s a certain discomfort that accompanies having to leave your kids with someone who obviously can’t stand you.  So while you may not want to take his mom to church, it is important that you respect her, even if she isn’t acting very respectable.  All implied insults and subliminal contempt will only place the man you have in common in the middle and when folks are fighting and fussing, that’s not a fun place to be.

Admittedly, some couples create their own problems. It’s all about creating boundaries, so you can’t call your mother-in-law complaining that her son is trifling and selfish but tell her to mind her business when she offers a slice of bitter advice that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  You can’t run home to your folks whenever you have a disagreement and then wonder why your mother is meddling in your personal affairs. It’s important for couples in a serious commitment to learn how to solve problems without back-up.  You can’t call everyone crying about how your man dogs you and then wonder why your cousins want to lay hands on him at the cookout, although you’ve decided you’re back in love again.  You don’t have to fake a perfect relationship, but you can’t invite family into thebedroom so you can broadcast your partner’s flaws and not expect them to receive some backlash. If brother tells mama and his sister how allegedly crazy you are, don’t be surprised if they want to get crazy with you in return.

You can’t choose your in-laws, but you can choose how you handle your interactions with them. Since I’ve gotten older I try not to over-analyze making a good first impression with a man’s family.  All I can do is be respectful and trust that if I’m with a man who I genuinely love, then we’ve already got something in common and sometimes that’s enough. When two families are forced to join together it can take time for everyone to adjust to different personalities, values and lifestyles.  It’s not your job to make anyone like you if they can’t accept you as you are.  Try to maintain perspective; there’s only one person you have to sleep next to every night…and it isn’t his mama.


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Is the Economy Destroying Fatherhood?


With the tight economy, fathers are found struggling to balance work life with personal life.

Tom Watson knows what it’s like not to have time to spend with his family.

“My wife and my sons would ask me to come and spend time with them and I would often use the line ‘We’ll see’ or ‘Maybe later’ as a way of answering them and then I would head to my office to carry on with my work. I felt that if I could just get ahead on my work, I could get out and spend time with my wife and play with my kids. The problem was that work just kept building and so did the pressure to provide for my family. I would rarely find the time to be there for them.

“Then one day my boys and I were having lunch together and my oldest son Brad asked me if I’d join them outside after lunch for a game of street hockey. I answered him as I had grown accustomed with, ‘We’ll see.’ I finished my lunch and headed to my home office to get back to work when I realized I had left my cell phone on the kitchen counter. I was on my way back to the kitchen to retrieve my phone when I ran upon a conversation between my boys that stopped me dead in my tracks. My middle son, Kelly, was talking to Brad and his words thundered in my ears. ‘Brad! Dad’s not coming out. He always says ‘we’ll see’ and he never comes and plays. He’s too busy and he’s no fun anymore.’

“As I stood there frozen in the hallway, it was like a knife had pierced my heart. There I was, working hard to build my business trying to provide for my family, thinking I was doing the right thing. What I realized in that moment was that I was losing touch with my family! I wasn’t the husband or the father I had been to my family in the past. I had become obsessed with trying to build a company to pay the bills and I was foregoing family time to make that happen. What I realized in that instance was that my sons didn’t care about my work – they just wanted their dad to be there for them like he used to be. They wanted some of my time – they needed my time and so did my wife!

“With the economy as tight as it is, I know that I’m not the only father who has or is struggling to balance work life with personal life. These days, many fathers are either unemployed and working hard to find work or they are working multiple jobs in a global workplace just to make ends meet. Because of this, family time is limited and I often believe men just aren’t in the mood for family because they are despondent or feeling helpless as a provider.”

But, it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Watson, author of the autobiographical Man Shoes: The Journey to Becoming a Better Man, Husband & Father . Watson’s tips for dads in a tough economy include:

With the tight economy, fathers are found struggling to balance work life with personal life.

Share Time – Don’t spend time with your family. Too often I would say, “I have to spend time with my family.” What that term made it sound like to them was that I was begrudgingly stopping work to spend time with them. I realized I needed to reframe what I needed to do and so I began to say instead, “I need to share time with them.” Sharing indicates that everyone is going to get something out of that time. It’s a more positive way of thinking about being with your family. It’s important for your wife and your kids to know that you aren’t paying attention to them out of obligation, but rather, because you need to be with them as much as they need to be with you.

Make a Schedule – Stability and security are important. So set up a time throughout the week that is meant just for your family, and do your best to make that time on your calendar immovable. It has to beHIGH PRIORITY! Give them something they can look forward to on a regular basis and it will show them how important they are to you. If you follow through on this simple action, I have found that it can help you build a trusting relationship with the people who need you most – your family.

A Little Quality Time is Better Than No Time – If you’re working long hours, forced to work multiple jobs or work out of town and commute home on weekends, your family will be much more understanding if you ensure you block out a couple of hours every week for them. As long as you keep to the schedule and don’t let them down, that time will be as valuable as if you spent the entire weekend with them. The key is to BE THERE in body and in mind during those family times. Shut off your cell phone, shut down your computer and realize that whatever is going on in your work world will be alright; it can wait to be dealt with until after you have shared time with you family. The fact is that if your family life is in order, you’re likely going to be in a better place mentally and emotionally to deal with your work life. Success at home generally leads to greater success at work and vice versa.


Don’t Plan Big – Husbands/fathers who work a lot sometimes feel guilty about neglecting their families and they cater to that guilt by trying to create big moments. They feel that doing something lavish and expensive will somehow be seen as a payback to their wives or kids for not sharing time with them. There are many pitfalls to this including increased financial strain and the impossibility of sustaining these types of MAKE UP moments long-term. The truth is, for the most part, your spouse and kids don’t really care about the extravagant moments. More often than not, the extravagant moments are fleeting fun. It’s the little moments that happen every week that bond the family together. Things as simple as going for a walk, flying kites at the park, playing games, eating brown bag lunches together and listening to your family members talk to you about their lives are often the things that mean the most to your family. Those are the mortar moments that hold all the major bricks of your family’s life in place. Without those moments, I have found my personal and professional worlds begin to crumble. So make sure you spend time culturing the mortar moments weekly with your wife and your children.

“Life is a choice and the person you choose to be is in your control. No matter the hand you may have been dealt, there are no excuses,” Watson added. “I grew up as an orphan and I acted out a lot, because I lacked the guidance of a family until I was finally taken in by the Watsons,” he said. “And even when I found stability with the Watsons, it took some time for me to settle down. Having shoes on my feet, clothes on my back and food on the table were all good things, but it wasn’t those things that soothed me as a child. It was the time, love and attention I received from Mr. and Mrs. Watson, their family and friends that put me back on course. That’s what I believe every child needs; that’s what I believe our spouses need, and in fact that is what we as men need to be successful. While it may seem to some men that working hard to provide for their families is their primary responsibility, that’s just not so. Children are adaptable and can do without material things more easily than they can do without the love and attention of their parents. If my experience meant anything to me, it showed me that being a dad is far more than just being able to bring home the bacon. It’s not enough to just do for your family – you have to be with them, too.”

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