Must Read Bits & Bytes

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review: Phablet Refocused

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review: Phablet Refocused

Samsung can’t afford to stumble with the Galaxy Note 4. The fourth-gen phablet arrives as Samsung wakes up to a new, and not especially rewarding, phase in its mobile life: the discovery that throwing a hundred designs at the market and hoping at least some of them stick no longer has the same sales success as it once did. At a time so fiercely competitive, Samsung can’t count on simply having originally created the Note 4’s segment to commend this latest model. It needs to deliver as much in the hand as its specifications promise to on the page.

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Tesla’s first battery-swap station opening by year-end

Tesla’s first battery-swap station opening by year-end

Tesla will open its first battery-swap station within the next few months, the electric car company has confirmed to SlashGear, offering drivers of the Model S a ninety second way to "refuel" their cars. First demonstrated in June 2013, the battery exchange system eschews even the rapid charging of Tesla's Supercharger network in favor of a wholesale exchange of the batteries themselves. The process would be fully automatic, too, meaning the driver won't even need to step out of the car in order to replenish their charge levels.

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Skype Qik aims to cut down Snapchat, Instagram

Skype Qik aims to cut down Snapchat, Instagram

There’s no doubt now that Microsoft is aiming for the throats of their software-slinging opponents. Have a peek in the Microsoft archive and you’ll see a littering of new, experimental, or otherwise modified apps in the mobile space. Today’s entry is "Skype Qik", an app that takes what Skype has - video communication - and makes it into a much more vibrant and versatile - and quick - sort of situation. Record a tiny video, send it as a message, and wait for a response.

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How smart will Tesla’s Model S Autopilot be?

How smart will Tesla’s Model S Autopilot be?

Tesla's plans for the new Autopilot features on the Model S aren't exactly humble, with CEO Elon Musk suggesting EVs that could come to heel at your beck & call and even read your calendar to know when they might be needed, but what works now and what's merely on the roadmap? Speaking at the launch of the Tesla "D", the AWD version of the Model S, Musk cited regulatory lag for blocking some of the more advanced autonomous features his cars are capable of, so we went hunting to see what, exactly, new owners should expect.

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Apple holds $50m axe over surprise-spoiling suppliers

Apple holds $50m axe over surprise-spoiling suppliers

GT Advanced Technologies is currently firing on all cylinders in light of their bankruptcy filing earlier this month. One of the most interesting bits of data that’ve come out of the bankruptcy investigation is Apple’s non-disclosure agreement, and the $50 million dollar penalty the company imposes for product or information leaks. Lawyers representing GT are arguing that they need to reveal additional information about their close relationship with Apple "in the interests of creditors and shareholders."

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iPhone 6 spreads: 36 more countries in October

iPhone 6 spreads: 36 more countries in October

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are getting even bigger, with China, Israel, and South Korea among 36 new countries and territories set to get the new iOS 8 smartphones in October. A staggered roll-out across locations through the month will see the iPhone 6 family available in 69 countries and territories before November has even started, though Apple says it's still on track to increase that number to more than 115 before 2014 is through.

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SlashGear to race against piloted Audi RS 7 at Hockenheimring

SlashGear to race against piloted Audi RS 7 at Hockenheimring

Automobile development has traditionally progressed on separate paths that only ever so rarely dipped into another's territory. That is most especially true when it comes to developments in driver assistance and autonomous driving technologies, more often than not geared towards sedans and consumer models. Audi, however, is pushing the boundaries with the RS 7, the world's sportiest piloted driving car, which it will put to the test at the Hockenheimring track. And SlashGear's Vincent Nguyen will be getting an exclusive first-hand experience before anyone else, in a race that will pit man against machine.

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Tesla Model D to “push the limits of what’s safe” with automation

Tesla Model D to “push the limits of what’s safe” with automation

The new Tesla Model S - the D, that is - won’t be driving itself to your workplace when it hits the road in the near future. But it very well could. Describing the autonomy their newest model was able to achieve today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested last night that they’re "essentially going to push the limits of what’s safe with this hardware, and what’s available with the current regulations." He speaks of self-driving cars, of course - which aren’t entirely street legal as of yet.

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Snapchat leaks confirmed: celebrities joined by citizens

Snapchat leaks confirmed: celebrities joined by citizens

This morning it’s been made clear that Snapchat has had a bit of a breach. Not through Snapchat itself, but through 3rd-party servers of Snapchat images. Snapchat does not explicitly allow the use of their servers or their services to any other 3rd party - but apps get through, and these apps have been breached. The developers of Snapchat have released a statement on the subject, suggesting that it was not their fault directly, but that they'd planned on continuing their assault on malicious fakers of Snapchat services.

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Tesla Model S “D” adds AWD: Self-driving Auto-Pilot

Tesla Model S “D” adds AWD: Self-driving Auto-Pilot

Tesla promised us something new with its big "D" reveal, and the reality is a new version of the Model S - the P85D - and some smarter driving tech that helps push the EV ahead of its Germanic rivals offer. Announced in LA at an event swamped with existing Model S owners (many of whom were hoping it would be the Model X SUV that was actually the secret star of the show), the "D" isn't a new model as such but in fact new versions of the existing Model S, adding an all-wheel-drive version to across the line-up that boosts traction, performance, and range. Maybe more exciting, though, is the future ability for the car to - in limited circumstances - drive itself to meet you.

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