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The “Need to Know” on Chevrolet’s 2016 Volt engine

The “Need to Know” on Chevrolet’s 2016 Volt engine

Chevrolet may have made the 2016 Volt sleeker and more comfortable than its predecessor, but the important changes start under the hood. The second-generation Voltec powertrain might follow the same pattern as its predecessor, but upgrades on both the gas and electric components - as well as how they work together - add up to a considerably different experience from the new EV.

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August’s new Access lock works, but trust may take longer

August’s new Access lock works, but trust may take longer

The smart home can't just be clever, it needs to be impeccably designed, but while August's expanded range satisfies both criteria it may be user trust that really needs an upgrade. I spent some time with the Smart Keypad, Doorbell Cam, and the HomeKit version of the Smart Lock today, as well as talking with August's exec team about whether even committed automation fans are ready to hand over the digital keys to the cable guy.

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Overnight your Tesla Model S will learn to drive itself

Overnight your Tesla Model S will learn to drive itself

Today Tesla is enabling software version 7.0 for the Model S, bringing Autopilot and more. This new version of the standard software for the vehicle introduces a number of features, many with "Automatic" right up front and center. Is this the beginning of Tesla's eventual move to an entirely autonomous car lineup? Of course not - they started making that move a long time ago - have a peek at the Model S "D" and its AWD - that's Self-driving Auto-Pilot. With software version 7.0, the Tesla Model S adds automated lane changes, automatic parallel parking, and automatic emergency steering - as well as a new side collision warning.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt first drive

2016 Chevrolet Volt first drive

Not all electric cars are created equal and, as Chevrolet proved with the first-generation Volt, there's more than one way to wean drivers off gasoline. Fans of electric vehicles can debate pure-EV, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and any other combination all they like; at the end of the day I'm a pragmatist, and so for me it's the Volt's ability to boost fuel-efficiency without introducing range anxiety - and without being too pious in the process - that makes the second-gen 2016 car so appealing.

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Facebook Reactions is as close to a Dislike button as we’ll get (for now)

Facebook Reactions is as close to a Dislike button as we’ll get (for now)

Today Facebook begins rolling out their Dislike button - only it's not just about disliking something, this button is all about sending more emotion in your "Likes". This system takes the form of "Reactions", including a number of different icons, including one for Love, another for laughing out loud, and another for showing extreme happiness. An Open Mouth emoji can describe surprise with this system, while a sad face can describe dislike - or more likely Empathy. There's also an Angry Reaction - a red face with eyebrows looking distraught.

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Android Marshmallow update hitting budget phones before yours

Android Marshmallow update hitting budget phones before yours

Several Android One devices receive their update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow in India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Nepal. Supposing you have any one of several carrier-infused Android smartphones in your hand right this minute and are waiting for an update to Marshmallow, you may be interested to know that it's not only Nexus devices that'll be getting their software before you. This does not mean Google has betrayed you in any way, shape, or form. It means Google is making good on their promise to bring timely updates to devices - and not just the biggest and the best.

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Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 event wrap-up: The Apple War

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 event wrap-up: The Apple War

This week Microsoft became a computer company selling hardware - not just phones, not just tablets, but laptops, too. Today we're running down all the products we saw the company deliver to the public, including the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Book, a new Microsoft Band, and a couple of smartphones. Microsoft suggests that they're taking on Apple directly with these products - at least the Surface models vs Apple's laptops. Do they put their manufacturing where their mouth is, or do we need to wait to see how well the lot fares?

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Microsoft Lumia 950 XL and 950 hands-on

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL and 950 hands-on

Lumia fans have been a patient bunch, not entirely by choice, waiting on a new set of flagship phones. Despite Microsoft's various and vocal commitments to Windows 10 on smartphones, it hasn't given much outward sign of what hardware might have been in the pipeline. Today that all changed, of course, with the Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 950, which filled the gap in Microsoft's top end (as well as bringing along a low-cost model too, the Lumia 550).

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Surface Pro 4 revealed: 6th-gen Intel Core, glass trackpad, 12.3-inch display

Surface Pro 4 revealed: 6th-gen Intel Core, glass trackpad, 12.3-inch display

Playing Thunderstruck by AC/DC, Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 4. This device works with a hybrid cooling system, a 12.3-inch display, and a fingerprint sensor. Microsoft suggested this morning that the device works with 1024 levels of pressure for the Surface's stylus, and that the device's keyboards have "better spacing." The cover - the keyboard cover, the non-keyboard cover - is also thinner. At 8.4mm thin, this is what Microsoft's Panos Panay suggests is the "thinnest most powerful Surface yet." With an Intel 6th Gen processor inside, we're inclined to agree.

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