Features

On July 4th, Declare Tech Independence

On July 4th, Declare Tech Independence

July 4th doesn't have to stop at barbecue food and Will Smith kicking extraterrestrial butt: it's a great opportunity to declare tech independence, too. Whether it's free trials that you signed up for and forgot to cancel before they started charging your credit card, an old cellphone plan that's now looking less than competitive, or your unwatched cable box sucking down cash every month in return for a thousand channels you ignore, there are plenty of ways to make today a more rewarding Independence Day.

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Netatmo Welcome Review – Nest Cam’s face-recognizing rival

Netatmo Welcome Review – Nest Cam’s face-recognizing rival

If a smart home is truly smart, it should know who’s inside it. That’s the argument Netatmo makes with its new Welcome camera, promising Dropcam-style streaming video but combined with facial-recognition. At $199 it matches Nest Cam’s sticker, but without the need to cough up for the cloud if you want to look back through captured footage, and Netatmo says its person-spotting skills should cut the number of false-alarms down, too. I put on my most welcoming expression to see if the learning camera would find me memorable.

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2016 Scion iA first-drive – Slack-jawed sedan with Mazda zoom

2016 Scion iA first-drive – Slack-jawed sedan with Mazda zoom

Scion has decided the 18-35 demographic it’s desperate to attract to is in need of an aspirational sports sedan, and the 2016 Scion iA is the result. Mouth of a guppy, mechanics of a Mazda, and price tag of something several years old and with at least one other owners’ name on the title, the iA isn’t lacking in ambition, certainly, and neither has it spared the spec-sheet. All the same, the controversial looks and dinky engine could spoil the show, though Scion has reached high for things like safety tech.

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Olympus Air A01 first-impressions: Modular Micro 4/3

Olympus Air A01 first-impressions: Modular Micro 4/3

You’d be forgiven if, after taking a quick glance at Olympus' new Air A01 doohickey, you dismissed it as a lens of some sort. In fact it’s more, much more. Think of the Air A01 as a Micro Four Thirds or Micro 4/3 camera minus the lens and display: ultra portable, allowing you to place or mount it anywhere your creativity takes you, and paired up wirelessly with an iOS or Android device. While add-on cameras are something we’ve already seen from Sony, Kodak, and others, Olympus’ decision to go for interchangeable lenses sets the Air A01 apart; read on for my first impressions.

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Toyota’s crazy tilting EV underlines what’s wrong with US cities

Toyota’s crazy tilting EV underlines what’s wrong with US cities

"You're not going to topple over," I overhear a patient Toyota rep explaining to a nervous i-ROAD test-driver, "just have fun." Two minutes later, that same anxious pilot is throwing the tilting trike around a fiercely twisting course of cones with gleeful abandon, the electric motor whirring eagerly while the front wheels hinge up and down like the claws of a praying mantis. A bright pink praying mantis, at that. Smiles-per-mile, then, the i-ROAD is ahead of the pack even given its minimal 30 mile range. Problem is, it's not individual drivers that Toyota has to convince.

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Deciding on Apple Music: what you need to know

Deciding on Apple Music: what you need to know

This morning we're having a peek at Apple Music in the wild for the first time. While we've gotten an opportunity to use the service earlier this year at Apple's developer conference WWDC, this is the first we're getting to use the service just like everybody else. Our first question is undoubtedly yours, as well: does it make sense for me to give up the streaming music service I already use to start subscribing to Apple Music instead? Deciding whether or not to use the music service built-in to your device as made by its creator is a decision most high-end smartphone users have to make at some point in their lives - why not now?

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iPhone 8-years on: what’s next for Apple’s flagship?

iPhone 8-years on: what’s next for Apple’s flagship?

Eight years ago Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world, and the world changed. Apple didn't invent the smartphone, but they certainly started the craze. Eight years on, we're having a look at how this quintessential smart device has evolved - where it's been, what it's meant to the industry, and where it's about to go. As always, the next step is the most important for us. Once the newest phone is in your hands, it's time for the next one. What's left for Apple to do to the device that changed the way they did business?

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2016 Audi TT/TTS and Q7 Virtual Cockpit First-Drive

2016 Audi TT/TTS and Q7 Virtual Cockpit First-Drive

I’m not going to lie, I feel pretty damn lucky to be one of a handful of American press with the privilege of experiencing Audi's Virtual Cockpit in the new TT/TTS and Q7. The opportunity to drive the TTS around Ascari racetrack was nothing short of exhilarating - especially with Virtual Cockpit getting me ready me for turns far in advance. Then, after experiencing Audi’s technology on the track, Audi invited me over to Verbier, Switzerland to test the all-new 2016 Q7, also equipped with Virtual Cockpit, in the way that most drivers will experience it.

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For Chevrolet, life-lessons from Apple, Disney and Tesla

For Chevrolet, life-lessons from Apple, Disney and Tesla

Chevrolet may want to be more than just “competitive” with its auto rivals, but when it comes to taking inspiration nothing is off the table, including Apple, Disney, and Tesla. Opening the company’s annual Powered By Innovation event - and under the aggressive “Find New Roads” tagline - Alan Batey, global Chevrolet brand chief and GM executive vice president and president of Chevrolet North America name-checked tech superbrand Apple as a guiding example for how a car company chasing further growth might push itself.

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2016 Camaro Convertible revealed with Chevy’s smartest roof

2016 Camaro Convertible revealed with Chevy’s smartest roof

Chevrolet has chopped the roof off its everyman sportscar to create the 2016 Camaro Convertible, though this is no hack-job soft top. While it may not have a folding metal roof, the Camaro Convertible does get what Chevy is calling the most advanced lid of the segment, not only fully-powered in operation but with automatically releasing and securing latches, and a powered hard tonneau cover that makes the whole thing a hands-off experience.

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