Must Read Bits & Bytes

Samsung buys SmartThings in preemptive HomeKit strike

Samsung buys SmartThings in preemptive HomeKit strike

Home automation start-up SmartThings has been snapped up by Samsung, with the South Korean firm grabbing the modular smart home specialist. The deal will see SmartThings - which offers a wireless home hub that connects to various sensors, remote sockets, light bulbs, and other components - operate as an independent company as part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center group, though it's still likely to prompt some concerns from avid fans of the firm.

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Savioke SaviOne robot butler starts work at Starwood Hotels

Savioke SaviOne robot butler starts work at Starwood Hotels

A robotic butler is set to roam the corridors of the Aloft hotel in Cupertino, the first example of mysterious robo-startup Savioke's new plan to make service robotics mainstream. Dubbed A.L.O., the SaviOne "Butlr" is roughly three foot tall and topped with a touchscreen, and the Starwood chain hotel will trial how effective it is at delivering items like drinks and towels to guest rooms.

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Gear 2 Solo: Samsung needs an iWatch combatant

Gear 2 Solo: Samsung needs an iWatch combatant

A number of wearable devices have been tipped for a Samsung reveal over the next few weeks, and here we’re set to lay down the details we’ve gathered thus far. As of now, it would appear that at least one device - tentatively titled "Samsung Gear 2 Solo" will be released without the need for a smartphone companion. That’s where "Solo" comes from.

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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat first-drive

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat first-drive

Before I tell you about my driving experience with the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, I’m just going to get this off my chest: this is one powerful, fast and, yes, chest-poundingly badass car. Your knee-jerk reaction might be “holy cow, $60k+ is a lot for a Challenger!” While that might be true, for a car even Dodge’s own CEO describes as a “science project”, in many respects the 700 HP Lamborghini Aventador I drove months ago was equally badass, but how many of us have got half-a-mil to drop on a supercar? From that perspective, the Challenger gives you the performance, a great looking car, creature comfort driver-focused cockpit and a decent fuel economy. But that’s now what you care about. You want to hear how the Hellcat roars.

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The dirty little secret about in-car voice control

The dirty little secret about in-car voice control

Speaking to your car's dashboard has been hailed by many as the answer to driver distraction, but most systems are flawed, respond poorly, and motorists don't really care about their features, research indicates. Automotive survey heavyweight J.D. Power went digging through reported vehicle quality, and found that lackluster infotainment - substandard voice control systems in particular - was a frequent complaint.

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