Must Read Bits & Bytes

Xbox One Slim: tipped with tinier AMD chip

Xbox One Slim: tipped with tinier AMD chip

How do you beat the competition in the gaming console business? If you're Microsoft and you've got an Xbox One, the most recent and best answer you might have is cutting costs. They've currently got a holiday sale on their Kinect-less Xbox One, knocking the price down by $50. With an Xbox One Slim on the books, they may very well be able to knock it all down another $50 - so we must hypothesize. The tip here comes from a LinkedIn listing which suggests a 20nm chip is on the way.

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Microsoft Band vs the Wearable Competition

Microsoft Band vs the Wearable Competition

You'd need a very big wrist to wear this year's crop of fitness bands and smartwatches, but Microsoft believes the new Microsoft Band can elbow out the competition. Straddling the line between smartwatch and health tracker - not to mention spanning not only Windows Phone but iPhone and Android, in a play for cross-compatibility that rivals could learn a lesson from - the sensor-packed wearable claims to deliver the best of both worlds. In the process, though, Microsoft has arguably given itself double the challenge, so I pulled up my sleeves to see how the Microsoft Band holds up.

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Tim Cook isn’t gay for you

Tim Cook isn’t gay for you

Let's talk about Tim Cook being gay. Or, actually, let's not talk about it at all. The Apple CEO's unexpected open letter today, discussing his reasons for suddenly talking about his sexuality and the feelings of responsibility to use his platform to further the understanding of LGBTQ issues, confirmed what many had believed for years. It also met with its fair share of "so what?" comments. The strength of reaction to who one man - even one very influential man - loves has varied widely, of course, but what's been eye-opening to me is the number of people who not only don't see why it's a big deal, but can't understand why anybody else might think differently.

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Microsoft Band hands-on – Admirably Flexible Fitness

Microsoft Band hands-on – Admirably Flexible Fitness

Who would've thought it would be Microsoft that would embrace cross-platform wearables so thoroughly, and indeed first. Microsoft Band is, on the face of it, the company's play for the fitness and health market, trailing Android Wear to market but beating Apple Watch by a number of months. However, where Google and Apple's approaches are resolutely wedded to their own individual platforms, Microsoft has spread wide its arms and made Microsoft Band play nicely not only with Windows Phone but with Android and iPhone too, and you don't have to sacrifice 99-percent of the functionality in doing so. I strapped the rubberized, touchscreen-toting health band to my wrist to find out more.

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Tiki-Z mini-Review: The Tiny Gaming King defends his crown

Tiki-Z mini-Review: The Tiny Gaming King defends his crown

The following review is going to be short and to the point. Not because it doesn't deserve more words, not because it's not an important product. We'd never do such a thing. Instead, this review is going to be short because there's not much to say that we didn't already say in our first Falcon Northwest Tiki review and subsequent crowning of the device as the best gaming PC of the year in 2013. Never mind the fact that it was actually unveiled before the year began.

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Gogoro teases big battery plans for smarter city travel

Gogoro teases big battery plans for smarter city travel

Power: it's something none of us can do without, both the enabling and limiting factor of everything from smartphones through to electric vehicles, and it's ripe for a revolution. Hoping to lead just that is Gogoro, startup brainchild of former HTC innovation chief Horace Luke and Matt Taylor, and coming out from the shadows today to share a few early hints about its plans "to transform energy distribution" within smart cities. I caught up with Luke to find out more, curious at indications that some new power system potentially for EVs could be on the cards.

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iMac with Retina 5K Display Review – Powerful Pixels

iMac with Retina 5K Display Review – Powerful Pixels

It takes a lot to stand out in tech these days, but the 2014 iMac with Retina 5K display manages it. Fronted by a frankly astonishing number of very, very pleasing pixels, it’s the all-in-one that’s already luring many away from the Mac Pro order page. While you can make a solid product - even a successful one - by cherry-picking parts off a supplier’s shelf, sometimes it takes cooking up your own components if you want to lead the pack rather than just compete within it. In that vein, Apple tired of waiting for a 5K display and so created one itself, turning the now-familiar iMac design into something altogether more special.

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I drove Audi’s car that talks to traffic lights

I drove Audi’s car that talks to traffic lights

Imagine how much better your life would be if you were less preoccupied with traffic lights. If your car was connected to the the city's traffic network of lights, and could let you know precisely how long before the light you're approaching turns green. Or if, should you be already waiting at the light, you knew exactly when it was about to turn green: your car's start/stop engine knowing to start up again when there are 5 seconds left before the light changes, while you know if it's worth pulling your phone out of your pocket to check Twitter or iMessage. Imagine the number of minutes you'd gain back per day, week, month and even year?

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DROID Turbo detailed for official release with Verizon

DROID Turbo detailed for official release with Verizon

This morning Verizon unveiled the Motorola-made DROID Turbo, their newest in a long line of DROID-brand devices. This device works with a 5.2-inch Quad-HD (that's 2560 x 1440 pixel) display (that's 565 PPI) and a unique quick-charge battery setup. You'll need this device's Turbo Charger - included in the box - to get a 15-minute charge for up to 8 hours of use. This device works with a 3,900mAh battery rated at up to 48 hours of use in a single (extended) charge. As a Motorola device, the DROID Turbo also features a collection of Motorola-specific apps.

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