Engadget Awards Recognize Technology and Gizmos

The results for the 2011 Engadget Awards are in! With more than 250,000 total votes, the response this year has been tremendous — and no, that’s not just another name for the Galaxy Note, which garnered just 3.5 percent of tallies in the Smartphone category. Instead, the iPhone 4S took top prize for Smartphones, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S II as the runner up. The ASUS Zenbook was the first pick among this year’s Laptops, with the Apple iMac besting the rest of 2011’s Desktops. Canon and Nikon battled it out till the end, but the former eventually came out ahead, earning 17.9 percent of the Digital Camera vote for its T3i, while the Nikon D5100 represented a very respectable 17.6 percent. That’s just a small sample of this year’s top gadgets — there are 15 categories in all, and we’re crowning both Readers’ and Editors’ Choice winners for each. Jump past the break for an unabridged look at your selections for the 2011 Engadget Awards, and check back tomorrow for the Editors’ Choice. And if you’re wondering who came in almost-first place, you can find the runners up for each category in this week’s issue ofEngadget Distro.

To  find out the winners please refer to http://www.engadget.com/2011readerschoice/?ncid=webmail7

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BREAKING: Anti-LGBT Amendment Stripped from Defense Bill

Russell Amendment removed from NDAA after lawmakers received more than 342,000 petition signatures from AMPA and other national organizations

WASHINGTON — Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, praised reports that an amendment was removed from the annual defense bill that could have funded anti-LGBT discrimination.

“Taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people is wrong -- plain and simple,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “The fact that the defense spending bill was being used in an attempt to fund discrimination against minorities is disturbing. Thousands of LGBT service members put their lives on the line for our nation, and they and their families should never face discrimination here at home simply because of who they are or whom they love. We are pleased that in the end, lawmakers removed the discriminatory measure and fairness and equality seem to have prevailed.”

Known as the Russell Amendment, the measure in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could have allowed taxpayer-funded discrimination against women, single mothers, LGBT people, and religious minorities in religiously-affiliated organizations, including hospitals and universities.

As reported by the Washington Blade, “During a background briefing with reporters on Tuesday, an aide said the final version of the fiscal year 2017 defense authorization bill hammered out by House and Senate lawmakers in conference committee lacks the language Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) inserted in the House version of the bill.”

On November 15, AMPA joined more than a dozen national organizations in delivering more than 342,000 petition signatures to Congress in opposition to the amendment. The petitions were delivered to the Washington offices of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.).

The petitions were part of a coordinated advocacy effort from the American Military Partner Association, American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, and other national organizations.

The Russell Amendment could have allowed for an individual:
To be fired for marrying a same-sex partner — or denied benefits afforded to other married couples
To be fired for being transgender
To be fired for being a woman taking birth control
To be fired for being a single mother or
To be refused a job interview if they don’t practice the “right” religion
The Russell Amendment was previously adopted in the dead of night — over bipartisan opposition — without a hearing and with almost no debate. The House Rules Committee then prevented the full chamber from being able to vote on a bipartisan amendment to remove the discriminatory provision from the defense bill.

The American Military Partner Association is the nation’s largest organization of LGBT military spouses, families, and allies. With more than 50,000 members and supporters throughout the country and around the world, AMPA is committed to education, advocacy, and support for our “modern military families.”
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