Must Read Bits & Bytes

Sony’s e-paper FES Watch was hiding in plain sight

Sony’s e-paper FES Watch was hiding in plain sight

Sony's e-paper watch plan rumors sounded mysterious when they surfaced recently, but it turns out we'd actually seen the face-changing, power-sipping timepiece before, only under a different name. In fact, the distinctive timepiece - which uses e-paper not only for the watchface itself, but around the strap itself - was quietly launched on a crowdfunding site as the Fashion Entertainments FES Watch, a brand which Sony has now confirmed was set up by the skunkworks team at the company looking into the broader practical applications of screens more commonly found on e-readers like the Kindle.

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Google should be broken up vote Euro lawmakers

Google should be broken up vote Euro lawmakers

Europe has passed a ruling calling for Google to be broken up, among other things, with politicians concerned that huge, dominant firms like the Silicon Valley giant could end up abusing their position. The vote today at the European Parliament focused on how search functionality should be unbundled from other commercial services, in an effort to reduce the potential of access being abused. While Google wasn't specifically singled out by name, the search giant is nonetheless top of the hit-list given it's responsible for around 90-percent of all queries by European web users.

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GoPro reportedly interested in making their own drones

GoPro reportedly interested in making their own drones

GoPro, the company that makes a series of action cameras meant to be strapped to your body as you jump off of very high things, is bringing a series of drones to the world, according to a new report. People “familiar with its plans” say GoPro is developing “multi-rotor helicopters” with their own hi-def cameras built-in. These drones will launch next year (late, so in time for holiday shopping), and retail for anywhere between $500 and $1,000.

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Sony a7II priced up for December 9th launch

Sony a7II priced up for December 9th launch

Sony has confirmed pricing and availability on its newest full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, the Sony a7II, packing 24.3-megapixels and the first 5-axis image stabilization system to be found on a snapper with a sensor of that size. Joining the original a7 and a7R, and the more recent a7S, the a7II promises to correct for the sort of shake you'd experience when using telephoto lenses, when using high magnification, and when shooting low-light scenes or recording video, for a claimed total of 4.5 stops of faster shutter speed of correction.

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Android Auto hands-on: Promising but patchy flexibility

Android Auto hands-on: Promising but patchy flexibility

We've heard plenty about Apple's CarPlay, but what about Android Auto? Finally getting its moment in the spotlight now that Android 5.0 Lollipop is arriving, the dashboard-takeover isn't actually available on any production car quite yet, but I was able to take an early look at the LA Auto Show inside a new 2015 Hyundai Sonata. The premise is simple: plug in your Android phone - in this particular case, a Nexus 5 - via USB cable and the car's central infotainment touchscreen gets an Android Auto revamp, with specially-designed graphics for use while driving, voice control rather than stabbing at a keyboard, and smart integration with your use of Google services elsewhere. Interesting, but it's not entirely road-worthy just yet.

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Galaxy S5 sold 40% less than Samsung planned tip insiders

Galaxy S5 sold 40% less than Samsung planned tip insiders

Samsung reportedly sold 40-percent fewer Galaxy S5 smartphones than the company had expected, a huge and unexpected drop versus the previous Galaxy S4, leaving handsets piled up in warehouses and putting executives at risk. The South Korean firm had been especially upbeat about the potential of the smartphone, even increasing production compared to the S4 so as to launch in multiple countries simultaneously back in April and still meet what management believed would be likely demand. That interest, according to a new report, failed to materialize however, potentially leaving Samsung with some tough decisions ahead.

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Here’s what $400,000 of Bentley gets you

Here’s what $400,000 of Bentley gets you

Nobody quite does luxury and performance like Bentley. The company's legacy of Bentley Boys, flogging their supercharged cars from road race to road race in the 1920s, has been given the knowing nod by special-edition cars from the marque for decades now, but never quite so comprehensively as the 2015 Mulsanne Speed. Taking the flagship spot at the top of Bentley's range, and doing so with no shortage of style, performance, and better-then-first-class accommodation, it's not only powerful but packs a serious degree of tech behind the several hides-worth of leather. I hid my press badge and pretended there was more than just dust in my wallet to find out more at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.

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Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro Review

Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro Review

The Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro is a unique piece of work. Lenovo didn't fall into the same trap many manufacturers make in creating tiny boosts for their devices each year, changing only base configurations. They didn't say, hey, this YOGA Tablet is neat enough, let's just give it a better display for the tail end of 2015. Instead they've made a radical change - they've created a 13.3-inch display-toting tablet that carries its own projector and the world's first tablet-based 5-watt subwoofer. Suddenly this tablet business seems like a whole different ball-game.

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YouTube Music Key Beta released: here’s how to get it

YouTube Music Key Beta released: here’s how to get it

This week Google released YouTube Music Key Beta, and this afternoon, Beta invites are being sent to users in the United States and in several European countries. Though it was originally assumed that only Google Music Subscribers would receive invitations to join the party at first, we've seen invites sent to several non-Google Music Subscribers as well. If you're invited, you'll know it - what you might not know is what the difference is between standard YouTube Music and the subscriber model. It's not exactly obvious right off the bat.

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Google acquires Relative Wave: visually-inclined tool-makers

Google acquires Relative Wave: visually-inclined tool-makers

The folks at Relative Wave are creators. They're making it easier for software developers to see what their apps will look and act like before they create a final design. With their tools, creators can visualize what they're making for a smartphone ON the smartphone, rather than on a PC. When you edit something in their system, "Flow", you see it change in real-time on the smartphone you're prototyping on. Google just acquired this company, and they've made their software free for download for Mac users in the process.

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