Must Read Bits & Bytes

Slide and Clutch Camera Straps by Peak Design Review

Slide and Clutch Camera Straps by Peak Design Review

Perfecting the camera strap is tough. Photographers are demanding: in an ideal world, they want a strap one that offers quick length adjustment, a fast and easy method of disconnecting from the camera, versatile design, and for it to be made from quality materials. Peak Design (PD) isn’t expected to ship its Slide camera strap until October of this year, but I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one and have been testing it over the past week. Already, I’m convinced it could be the last camera strap you’ll buy and the only one you’ll need for everyday shooting.

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Apple stock reaches all-time closing high

Apple stock reaches all-time closing high

Earlier today Apple was granted a patent which fairly obviously suggested they would be creating a smartwatch in the near future. This patent number 8,808,483 does include "iPhone" in its description, but its claims do not assign it to a specific device, leaving it open to any similar device within reason - small enough for a smartwatch. Wallstreet thinks it’s obvious enough, anyway, driving the stock to over $100 for the first time since the stock split in early June of this year.

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Ballmer steps down at Microsoft, still owns $15BN in stock

Ballmer steps down at Microsoft, still owns $15BN in stock

In an industry change-up it would have been difficult for anyone for foresee, the former CEO of Microsoft has officially switched gears to basketball. While it was revealed earlier this year that Steve Ballmer would be purchasing the LA Clippers, today he made the big change official: he’d also be stepping down from the board of directors at Microsoft.

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HTC One M8 with Windows hands-on

HTC One M8 with Windows hands-on

Your eyes do not deceive you, and no, this isn't a hack or a mock-up. The HTC One M8 with Windows has made its debut, launching today as a Verizon exclusive in the US, and as the name suggests it's the One M8 we're very familiar with, only with Android switched out for Windows Phone. The path to flipping OSes isn't as simple as the HTC HD2 might have led us to believe, however, and so I caught up with HTC to find out what was involved in making the first UltraPixel Windows Phone.

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Sony A6000 Review

Sony A6000 Review

With unusual cameras like the A7 and A7R, Sony's A6000 ran the risk of being overshadowed. Elevated from the NEX range to sit alongside Sony's full DSLRs with the Alpha prefix, the A6000 builds on the NEX-6 with a new 24.3-megapixel sensor and a flashy autofocus system the company claims is a record-setter. Big claims, then, and a big spec list, but can the A6000 live up to expectations?

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AT&T Cascade could be Google Voice on steroids

AT&T Cascade could be Google Voice on steroids

AT&T has cooked up a way to better handle the smartphone, tablet, wearable, and other gadgets users are increasingly carrying, with AT&T Cascade promising to intelligently route calls and messages sent to a single number. Cascade, the handiwork of AT&T's Foundry innovation lab, works a little like Google Voice though for more than just phones, pulling together each device under a single identity. While Google seems to have tired of Voice, however, AT&T has big ambitions for Cascade.

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2015 Audi A3 e-tron First Drive

2015 Audi A3 e-tron First Drive

Say hello to the newest member of Audi’s A3 lineup for 2015: the A3 Sportback e-tron. Sure, at first glance it may look just like a regular A3 Sportback, but don’t let that fool you: this one’s special. As with many things in life, two is better than one; so, aside from a regular 1.4 TSFI engine there’s also a 75 kW electric motor. In a nutshell, this is Audi’s first production implementation of a plug-in hybrid, and the future of driving that, according to the company, is without compromise.

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SmartThings Review: Living in the Smart Home

SmartThings Review: Living in the Smart Home

Prepare to hear a lot more about SmartThings. Kickstarter success turned Samsung acquisition, the smart home startup isn't the only DIY approach to home automation and security out there, but it may well end up being one of the best funded. SmartThings' mantra is one of openness, aiming to work with as many third-party components as possible rather than lock users into a closed platform. Admirable, but it could easily add up to confusion; I've been living the SmartThings life for the past six months to see whether it works.

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