Category Archives: Gadget News, Reviews, And Features

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet electrifies Pebble Beach

What’s better than the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept coupe that debuted last year? To some, a convertible version of the 18.7-foot long stunner would be and that is exactly what Mercedes-Benz has uncovered this year during Monterey Car Week.

Like the coupe, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet has an electric drivetrain with four electric motors pumping out a net system output of 750 horsepower. The concept is capable of hitting 60 mph in less than four seconds, has a governed top speed of 155 mph and features a driving range of over 200 miles.

A shallow battery pack is mounted in the concept’s floor and can be juiced-up using an advanced quick-charge function that Mercedes says adds over 60 miles of range in five minutes.

vision-mercedes-maybach-6-cabriolet-2Enlarge Image

Top-down and looking mighty fine.

Daimler AG

The curvaceous drop-top is finished with a Nautical Blue Metallic paint job and rides on new 24-inch center lock wheels. Styling elements such as the pinstriped suit-inspired grille, arched character line that runs the length of the body and boat tail rear remain from the coupe.

Inside, quilted Crystal White leather, an open-pore wood floor with aluminum inlays and digital gauges with real needles greet occupants. A transparent center tunnel with blue fiber optics displaying the electric drivetrain’s energy flow is another one of the concept’s highlights.

Addition cabin tech includes dual head-up displays and intelligent navigation featuring a concierge system with advanced voice command capabilities. Instead of using predefined commands, you can speak freely to the system as if it were another person.


While the prospects of this near-19-foot car reaching production don’t seem too likely, you can walk into a dealer and buy a Mercedes-Maybach convertible today. The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet went on sale in July and is powered by a 6.0-liter V12 engine making 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. Production is limited to 300 units worldwide, 75 of which will come to the US. 

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CNET UK podcast 527: Nokia’s flagship and Andy’s train-talking rage


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The flagship Nokia 8 is finally here, and it’s a thing of beauty. Andy is joined by Katie to chat about whether this glossy phone does enough to propel Nokia back into the mobile phone big leagues. 

The duo also discuss the Essential phone — ex-Android bigwig Andy Rubin’s handset. Will a modular 360-degree camera be enough to make this phone exciting? Andy doubts it.

In other modular phone news, high-end cinema camera company Red is launching a phone with a massive price tag but some pretty bold claims. 

Finally, in response to London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s promise to bring 4G signal to the London Underground, Andy (rightly) gets vitriolic about people talking loudly on the phone on the train during morning commutes. Will 4G on the tubes mean more annoying phone calls in enclosed spaces? 

We’ve recorded the show from a kitchen on a Friday night so excuse the drop in sound quality. Hopefully we’ve more than made up for it with quality chat!

Having trouble with the audio player? Try this link.

We’re always hungry for your feedback, so pop your thoughts in the comments below or drop us a line at the address above. Oh, and if you’ve enjoyed the show, why not leave us a glowing review on iTunes? If you’re done with our magnificent podcast and your ears are still thirsty, check out the podcasts CNET staffers listen to.

How I battled the elements to capture Scotland’s wildlife on camera

I suffered through rain, mud, loneliness and lack of sleep to get the best photographs I could manage of some of Scotland’s most majestic creatures.

by Andrew Hoyle

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Google mobile search shows 6-second video previews

Notably, this feature isn’t available on desktop right now (or, for that matter, iOS). Google tells our TechCrunch colleagues that it’s due to the company’s mobile focus. We’d add that mobile users are the ones likely to appreciate it most. Video dominates your phone screen in a way it doesn’t on your PC, and you’d likely rather not hop back and forth between screens and apps until you find the video you wanted. It won’t be surprising if the feature becomes ubiquitous across Google’s search pages, though, as just about everyone can benefit from a quick look at the video they’re about to watch.

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Amazon’s ‘Galaxy Quest’ reboot has a new writer

Galaxy Quest

“Galaxy Quest” is getting a reboot on Amazon.

Getty Images

If you’ve been holding out for that Amazon television series reboot of the 1999 cult movie “Galaxy Quest,” there’s good news— the show has a new writer, Hollywood Reporter said Friday.

Paul Scheer will be taking over from Robert Gordon. Scheer acts, writes, and directs and has popped up in shows like “Veep” and “Wet Hot American Summer.”

The premise of the movie is that aliens mistook a canceled sci-fi show for truth and came to Earth seeking help from the cast who had been toiling away at fan conventions ever since the show went off the air.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The project stalled after Alan Rickman, who was in the original movie, died in 2016.

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Facebook shut internal forum that grew sexist, racist


Mark Zuckerberg.

James Martin/CNET

Facebook shuttered an anonymous internal forum late last year, reportedly after people using the message board posted sexist and racist comments.

The social giant closed the forum, FB Anon, after a flurry of offensive posts, according to The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider. The offensive posts included some that said Facebook lowered the bar for female engineers in order to flatter its diversity numbers, one person told The Journal.

The forum had been popular with employees who supported the candidacy of Donald Trump in the contentious 2016 US presidential race, according to the reports. The forum was closed in December 2016.  

Facebook confirmed the forum had been shut, saying it violated the social network’s policy of using real names. 

 “The FB Anon internal Facebook group violated our Terms of Service, which require people who use Facebook (including our employees) to use an authentic identity on our platform,” Lori Goler, Facebook’s head of people, said in a statement. “Last year we disabled any anonymous internal groups or pages within Facebook, and reminded our people of the places at our company where they can have discussions about issues that matter to them, openly or confidentially as appropriate.”  

Facebook’s internal move comes as Silicon Valley companies attempt to protect free speech while curbing hate speech, a goal that has grown in importance since violence claimed the life of a women protesting against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Domain registrars GoDaddy and Google Domains, a part of Alphabet, revoked registrations for The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website and organizer of the rally, while other companies, including Apple and PayPal, have disabled services to merchants glorifying white nationalism or racism. Reddit and Facebook have banned entire groups dedicated to hate speech.

News of Facebook’s clampdown follows Google’s recent firing of an engineer who wrote a lengthy memo arguing men are better suited than women for tech jobs. James Damore’s document, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” prompted many Google employees to publically express outrage over the manifesto.  

On Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his personal Facebook page that the social network welcomed a diversity of opinion and views but would draw the line at hate. Zuckerberg specifically mentioned the events in Virginia.

“With the potential for more rallies, we’re watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We won’t always be perfect, but you have my commitment that we’ll keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe.”

You can read his entire post here:

We aren’t born hating each other. We aren’t born with such extreme views. We may not be able to solve every problem, but we all have a responsibility to do what we can. I believe we can do something about the parts of our culture that teach a person to hate someone else.

It’s important that Facebook is a place where people with different views can share their ideas. Debate is part of a healthy society. But when someone tries to silence others or attacks them based on who they are or what they believe, that hurts us all and is unacceptable.

There is no place for hate in our community. That’s why we’ve always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism — including what happened in Charlottesville. With the potential for more rallies, we’re watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm. We won’t always be perfect, but you have my commitment that we’ll keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe.

The last few days have been hard to process. I know a lot of us have been asking where this hate comes from. As a Jew, it’s something I’ve wondered much of my life. It’s a disgrace that we still need to say that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are wrong — as if this is somehow not obvious. My thoughts are with the victims of hate around the world, and everyone who has the courage to stand up to it every day.

There may always be some evil in the world, and maybe we can’t do anything about that. But there’s too much polarization in our culture, and we can do something about that. There’s not enough balance, nuance, and depth in our public discourse, and I believe we can do something about that. We need to bring people closer together, and I know we can make progress at that.

Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech’s role in providing new kinds of accessibility.

Technically Literate: Original works of short fiction with unique perspectives on tech, exclusively on CNET.

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The Morning After: Friday, August 18th 2017

Not to mention iOS, Android, Apple Watch, Android Wear…
Newton is the rare email app that works great on both Windows and Mac

Yep, there are plenty of good third-party Windows email apps out there, but not many of them work across all the platforms you might use. If you jump between macOS and Windows, Newton (formerly CloudMagic) might be worth a look. Its app is now available on the Windows Store and with Newton already available on macOS, Android and iOS (not to mention the Apple Watch and Android Wear), it’s now one of only a few email apps that works on pretty much any device.

This Infiniti EV defies all logic, but you will want it anyway

We rarely buy cars based on logic. It’s usually about the emotional reaction to a vehicle: How it looks, how it drives and the way it makes us feel when we’re seen behind the wheel often seal the deal. Sometimes, though, cars are thrust upon us. Our first car might be a hand-me-down, or maybe financial issues limit our choice. Even if we end up with a vehicle that’s more Bondo than burnished metal, we often still form an emotional connection with our wagon. Our most memorable cars (be they low-cost commuters or high-end supercars), make us feel something. And that’s what the Infiniti EV does. Take a peek at the Prototype 9.

Co-founder Jane Rosenthal talks about the inspiration behind the event.
Tribeca’s TV Festival aims to be a curator for television’s golden age

A lot has changed since the Tribeca Film Festival debuted in 2002. Netflix and Amazon, for instance, hadn’t even launched their video-streaming services — and now they’re two of the biggest players in the TV and movies industries. The event, founded by Robert De Niro and producer Jane Rosenthal, welcomed 153,000 attendees to 530 screenings and celebrity-filled panels to its most recent event, in April. Now, inspired by its past successes, Tribeca is launching a new TV Festival that promises to highlight the best projects from the world of television.

The automaker dropped two new concept cars at Pebble Beach.
BMW’s redesigned 8 Series is cleaner, more aggressive

At the Monterey Car Week, BMW unveiled two new concept vehicles. Both are previews of planned production models of the Series 8 and Z4 Roadster. If the versions on the forecourt are even close to these concepts, there are going to be a lot of very happy movie producers and hedge-fund managers (thanks to the probable high price and outstanding-but-aggressive looks).

It’s trying a bit of everything here.
ASUS goes dual-camera crazy, announces a sackful of new phones

ASUS smartphone division was unusually quiet back at Computex a couple of months ago, but now we know why. The Taiwanese company has unveiled its ZenFone 4 smartphone line with not one but five Android Nougat devices: ZenFone 4 Pro, ZenFone 4, ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, ZenFone 4 Selfie and ZenFone 4 Max Pro (and these will all get updated to Android O). Going along with the event’s “We Love Photo” slogan, all five models have one thing in common: They all have a dual-camera setup, though one model is using it for 2x optical zoom.

But wait, there’s more…

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