Must Read Bits & Bytes

Facebook teleported me and I felt nothing

Facebook teleported me and I felt nothing

Facebook raised a few eyebrows when a premature alert teased teleportation technology at today's F8 conference, but it's really virtual reality that the social network hopes to make its next killer feature. To herald the upcoming support of 360-degree virtual reality content right on your Facebook wall, the company was offering to "teleport" people from San Francisco to the company HQ in Menlo Park, courtesy of an Oculus-powered headset and a whole load of cameras. Still slightly disappointed at having put on my Star Trek uniform for no good reason, I found the reality of 360 VR might not live up to Mark Zuckerberg's enthusiasm, either.

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Beastgrip Pro lands on Kickstarter for ‘phoneographers’ everywhere

Beastgrip Pro lands on Kickstarter for ‘phoneographers’ everywhere

I’ve been a fan of Beastgrip for some time now, and with good reason. The unique smartphone housing is perfect for everything you need to do when it comes to mobile photography or videography, and makes your powerful, pocketable device the hub of a robust mobile imaging platform. In a short time, Beastgrip has captured the imagination of casual consumers and forward-thinking pros alike, and the latest iteration — Beastgrip Pro — builds on that. And today, you can finally get one for yourself.

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Amazon slams FAA drone delay with international shaming

Amazon slams FAA drone delay with international shaming

Thought Amazon would be ecstatic the FAA had given it permission to test its Prime Air delivery drones? Think again: Amazon execs have slammed the US government agency, despite finally getting the green-light. The Federal Aviation Administration delivered what it thought was good news last week, telling the online retailer that it could cautiously try flying its remote-control delivery drones in US airspace as a prelude to perhaps one day dropping off packages from the sky. Instead, it opened a can of worms, with Amazon claiming the FAA's tardiness meant it had already scrapped the prototype.

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X-Files 2015 guide: catching up with Mulder and Scully

X-Files 2015 guide: catching up with Mulder and Scully

This week it's been confirmed by Fox and the original creator of the X-Files that a new series is about to be made. This new X-Files has tapped the original Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) to return for a 6-episode mini-season. For those of you ashamed at having never watched the original series or similarly ashamed that you've forgotten the details, the following miniature guide with gifs is made just for the likes of you.

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X-Files return official for 6 episodes

X-Files return official for 6 episodes

This week the folks at Fox have made official the return of the X-Files TV show. A run of 6 episodes will be airing soon - though the exact release date has been withheld as yet. The production of this series will begin in the Summer of 2015 - very soon. "I think of it as a 13-year commercial break," said creator/executive producer Chris Carter, "The good news is the world has only gotten that much stranger, a perfect time to tell these six stories." Six individual stories, that is to say, not one long-running episode split into six.

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HTC One M9 Review – Gambling on Quality

HTC One M9 Review – Gambling on Quality

What does it take to create a smartphone design classic? For the HTC One M9, the answer is relentless refinement, improving what worked in its metal-bodied predecessors rather than chasing the latest trends. The smartphone spec arms-race is relentless, however, notable as much for its hyperbole as the minimal attention span of would-be buyers in carrier stores. If you can’t make your case in seconds, you’re going to lose the sale. Amid fierce competition, HTC doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record of playing up its strengths and capitalizing on its advantages. Has that changed in the One M9?

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How Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car is shaping smart cities

How Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car is shaping smart cities

If there's one thing you won't mistake the F 015 Luxury in Motion for, it's any Mercedes-Benz currently on the road. Previous autonomous development had started with a production car and then added self-driving abilities, Mercedes designer Till Varailhon explained to me; this time around, the team started from scratch: not only in how the car looks and drives, but how it shares space responsibly in the cities of 2030. After the cut, no-go zones, flocks of scurrying research robots, and why Tesla only proves the smart city is inevitable.

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Amazon drones get FAA test approval (but don’t get excited)

Amazon drones get FAA test approval (but don’t get excited)

Amazon has been granted special permission to test its drone delivery service, but while the FAA may have given PrimeAir trials the green-light, don't expect it at your front door any time soon. PrimeAir was announced in late 2013, Amazon's grand scheme to deliver smaller packages by remotely-controlled drone within thirty minutes of an order being placed, but in addition to doubts around whether the project was practical, the Federal Aviation Administration took a dim view of commercial UAV use. Now, the leash has been loosened a little, allowing Amazon to at least begin conducting feasibility trials.

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s DLC ‘Ascendance’ hits Xbox on March 31

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s DLC ‘Ascendance’ hits Xbox on March 31

The second Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC -- titled "Ascendance" -- will be arriving on March 31 for the Xbox One and the Xbox 360, it has been announced. PlayStation gamers will be forced to wait an extra month before it drops, but it looks to be worth the wait. Activision and Sledgehammer Games have detailed what the latest expansion will bring with it, and that includes the second chapter for the Exo Zombies mode and new weapons, among other things.

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Tesla Model S Autopilot update due in 3-4 months

Tesla Model S Autopilot update due in 3-4 months

Tesla will deliver a bevy of new safety tech for the Model S in an upcoming update, with full auto-driving promised for certain roads in an update that follows. The first update, already in beta with select owners, will add not only the Range Assurance and Trip Planner apps that Elon Musk expects to remove range anxiety, but enable features like automatic braking, blind spot warnings, and side collision warnings as previewed at the P85D AWD launch last year. However, it's software update version 7.0 that's likely to be even more hotly anticipated by Model S owners, which will add Autopilot functionality.

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