opinion

It’s time this car safety tech was standard

It’s time this car safety tech was standard

Some car technology is frivolous or pure luxury; other added-extras are a matter of personal taste. If you want leather seats, or a 1,300W audio system, or autonomous parking, you probably should pay extra for it. Even some safety technology, like adaptive cruise control or active lane-keeping assistance, falls into the convenience category more than a must-have essential.

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Nintendo Switch needs retro games to succeed

Nintendo Switch needs retro games to succeed

With the Nintendo Switch on the horizon, many people will tell you that the console needs a strong launch library out of the gate if it wants to succeed. They're right, of course, but I also think there's a segment that could have a great effect on whether the Switch sinks or swims: retro games. Nintendo's Virtual Console has been around since the Wii, and the Switch will almost certainly have a Virtual Console of its own. While perfecting the Virtual Console may not be as important as a deep and varied games catalog, it still needs to be a key area of focus if the Switch wants to succeed.

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Snapchat could make Augmented Reality mass-market

Snapchat could make Augmented Reality mass-market

Snapchat's reported $30m buy of an Augmented Reality specialist could be the key to taking mixed-reality mainstream, as its real-world users embrace virtual products. The news earlier this week that Snapchat owner Snap paid as much as $40m for Cimagine, an AR startup focusing on making online shopping more immersive, prompted questions as to just what the ephemeral messaging app might have in mind. Certainly, with its vast cohort of Millennial users, it could be the first truly successful push of Augmented Reality into the mass market.

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Privacy should never be sacrificed for the sake of free

Privacy should never be sacrificed for the sake of free

Yesterday was not a very good day for privacy. First was the revelation that Evernote’s new privacy policy will basically allow its engineers to take a peek at any of your notes. Then there’s Google’s lawsuit settlement, which involves still scanning your (and non-Gmail users’) e-mails. And to top it all off, Yahoo has admitted that an even more massive breach happened in 2013, affecting no less than 1 billion accounts. All this should send chills down your spine, and yet most people will probably react to the news with a shrug. Have we become accustomed, even numb, to intrusions of privacy in exchange for service? Common sense tells us we shouldn’t, and yet that might not be the case.

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The big, frustrating thing Google Wifi is missing

The big, frustrating thing Google Wifi is missing

Google Wifi may look like a shorter, squatter version of Google Home, but while the two smart home devices might share DNA, there's oddly little overlap. The mesh router, which began shipping earlier this month, doesn't stint on features to go with its boosted range. Despite that, there's still one big thing missing.

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Why smartwatches have failed and how companies can save them

Why smartwatches have failed and how companies can save them

If there were a poster boy for smartwatches, it would probably be Pebble, in no small part thanks to its always successful Kickstarters, dirt cheap prices, and media hype. So when Fitbit practically killed off Pebble by buying it, it’s unsurprising that some would be led to ask if smartwatches, as a whole, are an endangered species. With Apple Watch sales doing “just OK”, and Android Wear devices descending into obsolescence, it is perhaps time to look back again to see why smartwatches have failed to become as widespread as our smartphones and perhaps come up with solutions on how they can still be saved. That is, if they’re worth saving at all.

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Amazon Go may kill retail jobs but privacy is the real victim

Amazon Go may kill retail jobs but privacy is the real victim

If Amazon Go has taught anybody anything today, it's shown retail employees exactly what long-distance truckers meant by the sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach when they realized tech could make them obsolete. Just as autonomous semis could cut human drivers out of tomorrow's haulage, so Amazon's surprise announcement of an unstaffed store that replaces the checkout line with artificial intelligence could have a big impact on retail and the jobs involved in it. Even if it's not the person at the register that's made redundant, an unblinking AI could have big implications for today's stores.

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5 gaming franchises Nintendo Switch must revive

5 gaming franchises Nintendo Switch must revive

Nintendo Switch is on the horizon, and with it comes to opportunity for Nintendo to give its more neglected franchises some time in the spotlight. While the system will certainly be home to Nintendo staples like Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon, there are a lot of properties under the company's umbrella, and a few of them are in dire need of attention. Here are a selection of franchises that should get a revival on Nintendo Switch.

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Why the MacBook Pro reviews are all wrong

Why the MacBook Pro reviews are all wrong

If you take a look around the web, you’ll already find plenty of reviews about the new MacBook Pro. To date, only the non-Touch Bar 13-inch model has been made available, with other models arriving sometime next week (if you ordered early). All told, the reviews are less than glowing, with many likening the computer to a farce foisted on us by Apple. That’s certainly one way to look at it, but there’s probably something a bit more obvious at play.

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Reasons why Google’s Pixel 2 could be the best phone ever

Reasons why Google’s Pixel 2 could be the best phone ever

As we’re busy heaping praise on the Google Pixel, one interesting factoid has come out that suggest what Google does next might really blow the iPhone away. It’s not new camera features; many would argue that’s not necessary anyway. It’s also now a new processor, though we’re entirely sure that’s coming as well. Next time, it’ll be all about partnerships and how much time Google has to focus in on how to build what could be the best phone ever, hands down.

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In defense of dongles on MacBooks

In defense of dongles on MacBooks

It’s pretty fashionable to hate dongles the past year or so. Since Apple introduced its USB-C reliant MacBook (you know, the 12-inch model), people have been lamenting the existence of cable add-ons. It’s a fair criticism, considering we’d gone so long with the spoils of ports donning the side of our MacBooks Pro and Air, but it’s time to turn the corner. In many ways, dongles are better than ports. No, really.

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USB-C could kill Lightning, but Apple can’t afford it

USB-C could kill Lightning, but Apple can’t afford it

Apple could technically kill off Lightning on the iPhone and still maintain an iron-fisted grip over its MFi program, but the outcry over a switch to USB-C might prove too costly for it to happen today. With the arrival of the new MacBook Pro there’s been no shortage of commentary about the ports you’ll find on your Apple smartphone versus those you now get on your Apple notebook, and a fair amount of that has not been flattering. The “Made For iPhone/iPod/iPad” MFi program has been blamed by many for that disparity, but it may not be quite the culprit it's accused of being.

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