Ford goes backwards with 2016 F-150 tech (in a good way)

Ford goes backwards with 2016 F-150 tech (in a good way)

Cars that can parallel-park themselves aren't new, but Ford's F-150 is borrowing the principle for a common truck headache: safely reversing a trailer. Pro Trailer Backup Assist is joining the options list for the 2016 model year of the aluminum truck, aiming to help avoid moments of "hang on, which way do I turn the wheel?" confusion when trying to back up with a trailer, horse box, or something else hanging off of your F-150, by making it as straightforward as watching the LCD and twiddling a knob.

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Mercedes takes luxury sky-high with its concept private jet interior

Mercedes takes luxury sky-high with its concept private jet interior

While most of us fly economy, crammed into planes like a flying tin can, some people skip business class altogether and head straight for their own private jets. These luxury flyers never have to worry about getting stuck in the middle seat. With this concept design from Mercedes, the choice is between a sleek armchair and a cushy sofa. This concept design is from Mercedes' parent company, Daimler. In a unique partnership between Mercedes-Benz Style and Lufthansa Technik, the concept jet interior does away with walls and rooms. A "dynamic, spiral layout" creates the illusion of more space, while a shift in color scheme is used to indicate separate areas.

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Brazilian agency approves Apple Watch, reveals demo base

Brazilian agency approves Apple Watch, reveals demo base

Anatel, Brazil's National Telecommunications Agency, has just been reported to have finally approved the Apple Watch, both the Sport kind and the stainless steel model. This takes Apple's smartwatch one step closer to its promised 2015 date. But although that fact alone might be interesting enough to Apple fans, especially those in Brazil, the approval had one other, perhaps more interesting tidbit. It showed, for the first time, the mysterious demonstration bases found in Apple retail stores, revealing the secrets inside the interaction between the Apple Watch and the iPad embedded within.

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Apple designs ‘Home’ app as a control hub for HomeKit devices

Apple designs ‘Home’ app as a control hub for HomeKit devices

Apple is getting closer to achieving a "connected home" with its HomeKit initiative. Among Apple's plans for its own Internet of Things is an app to manage everything from your mobile device. Apple is reported to be designing an app for iOS 9 called "Home" which would act as a master control for all HomeKit connected accessories. Aside from the app, HomeKit devices could also be capable of responding to voice commands through integration with Siri.

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Galaxy Note 5, Project Zen leaked with puzzling details

Galaxy Note 5, Project Zen leaked with puzzling details

It's not unusual for OEMs to venture outside of their comfort zones in search of the perfect pitch. That is especially true for Samsung, who has, at least for the time being, diverged from its usual path with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. That said, there are some choices that still boggle the mind and confound imagination. Like these new tidbits that are coming about Samsung's rumored two high end smartphones, particularly the one called Project Zen, the Galaxy Note Edge successor that might not be a successor at all.

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SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS updated with theme store and improvements

SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS updated with theme store and improvements

SwiftKey's innovative keyboard app has expanded its selection of keyboard themes on iOS, with a small price tag. The free app just added a new selection of "freemium" themes to download. SwiftKey's Android app dropped its $3.99 price tag last year in favor of a in-app purchases; now, the iOS version is following its lead. SwiftKey only debuted on iOS last year, after gaining popularity on Android systems. The app's late entry into the iOS market was due to Apple blocking system-wide, third-party keyboards from its App Store.

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Spotify Now cooks up playlists for morning, lunch, and running

Spotify Now cooks up playlists for morning, lunch, and running

Music streaming services are becoming a dime a dozen, with almost anyone and everyone launching their own biz to join the fray. Differentiation, then, becomes a matter of who gets the most appealing customization features that make the services feel more than just a music storage and streaming store. Spotify may have just gotten the upper hand in that department, at least for now. With Spotify Now and Spotify Running, the service promises to cover all your needs, no matter the time of day, no matter the shoes you wear.

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Sound Torch: a speaker that is literally on fire

Sound Torch: a speaker that is literally on fire

There are speakers on the market that show light patterns adjusted to your music, but the Sound Torch is different — it produces fire. Real fire. The Sound Torch is a small cube-shaped Bluetooth speaker with a grille on the top through which flames dance in sync with whatever audio the speaker is currently pumping. The speaker itself is powered from an internal battery, and the flames are gas-fueled, making for an altogether atmospheric cube. And, yes, there are some safety features to keep the party from burning down.

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Facebook hires startup Tugboat Yards

Facebook hires startup Tugboat Yards

Facebook has acqui-hired, so to speak, the startup Tugboat Yards, it has been announced. The announcement was made by Tugboat Yards itself, which says that it is feeling both excited and melancholy about the new business deal. Under this deal, Tugboat Yards will be completely shutting down on June 30, with the team then heading on over to Facebook to join the social network’s product team. Says the new Facebook team members, they’ll be working on media products including video and news.

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CareFirst health insurer hacked: up to 1.1m customers affected

CareFirst health insurer hacked: up to 1.1m customers affected

Recently we reported that the number of health care providers that have suffered some sort of breach sit at the 90-percent mark (over the last two years), and though some have taken steps to protect their networks, many are still vulnerable. Today it was announced that the health insurer CareFirst had been breached, making it the third in the United States to suffer such an attack (or, at least, to disclose as much). The attack took place in June of last year, and is said to have been sophisticated, affecting up to 1.1 million of the insurer’s customers. The company is based in Maryland but services the Washington DC region.

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