Must Read Bits & Bytes

ST Octane Academy: Ultimate owner driving experience

ST Octane Academy: Ultimate owner driving experience

Take a compact car, add a meaty engine, and you’ve got a recipe for success, and Ford is aiming to show drivers just how fun its high-performance small cars can be. Held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, the ST Octane Academy puts new Focus ST and Fiesta ST owners on the track with racing instructors to make sure they’re getting the best out of their cars. Ford invited me along to try my hand at the wheel.

There’s an art for squeezing the fastest lap times and the most fun out of a fast - but not supercar fast - car. In a supercar you almost certainly fall short of nudging its limits (my time behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Aventador was evidence of that) and can generally count on electronics and power to get you out of most situations.

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Ford Lightweight Concept Car eyes-on: High-tech, Low-weight

Ford Lightweight Concept Car eyes-on: High-tech, Low-weight

Ford wasn't going to let all that aluminum research on the 2015 F-150 be used on just one truck, and so now there's the Ford Lightweight Concept, a prototype car that, along with Samsung battery collaboration, aims to change the way we look at tomorrow's vehicles. Effectively delivering a car akin in size to a 2013 Fusion but with the weight of a Fiesta - a car two classes beneath it - the Lightweight Concept trims weight from the suspension, interior, glazing, and powertrain by using materials like aluminum alloy, carbon fiber, and composites.

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iOS 8 Health: Apple’s play to own fitness

iOS 8 Health: Apple’s play to own fitness

As plays for the wearable and fitness space go, iOS 8 HealthKit is ambitiously broad. Apple will initially support logging of over sixty different types of data, from the basics like weight and gender, through step-counts and blood-glucose levels. By leaving the collection to accessory manufacturers - at least initially, anyway - Apple can safely be comprehensive without having to fill each of those gaps itself with dedicated hardware, throwing itself into the center of the argument over privacy versus aggregation.

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Sony PSP finally retiring

Sony PSP finally retiring

Sony is calling time on the PSP, announcing that the long-running PlayStation Portable will cease sales in Japan at the end of June, with a complete wrap-up worldwide by the end of the year. Sales of the handheld, which first went on sale in Japan back in December 2004, with a broader launch early the following year, have exceeded 80m units as of late last year.

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iOS 8 round-up: Apple paves the way for hardware

iOS 8 round-up: Apple paves the way for hardware

Apple’s newest version of their mobile operating system, iOS 8, builds on the look and feel of iOS 7. Inside you’ll find a number of feature updates on the surface, but - especially important since it was introduced at a developer conference - you’ll find more underneath the surface than meets the eye. Apple suggests that iOS 8 is "Huge for developers. Massive for everyone else."

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