2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Release Date, Price and Specs

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 25th September 2017 in Consumer Electronics

When Porsche unveiled the Turbo S E-Hybrid trim for the 2018 Panamera hatchback, it was assumed that it would eventually make its way to the Sport Turismo wagon body, as well. After a short wait, that’s exactly what went down.

The Sport Turismo Turbo S E-Hybrid is basically the same as the standard Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, with one important distinction — it’s a station wagon! There’s more cargo space, better ingress and egress for the second row, and, perhaps most importantly, it looks better than the standard Panamera.

Under the hood is the same hybrid system as the hatchback. It puts out a stupefying 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque from its combination 4.0-liter V8 and electric motor. 60 mph arrives in a scant 3.2 seconds, and given enough of a straightaway, it’ll hit 192 mph.

2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo

Since it’s the top-of-the-line Sport Turismo (at least for now…), just about every option you can imagine is standard. Carbon ceramic brakes hide behind 21-inch 911 Turbo wheels. The roll bars have an electromechanical system that stiffens the ride when necessary alongside its three-chamber air suspension setup. And as with other Sport Turismo models, the roof spoiler can move between one of three stages, whether the driver is looking for extra downforce or to cut down on noise with the panoramic roof open.

All your standard Panamera Sport Turismo goodness extends to the interior of the Turbo S E-Hybrid, too. You still get the monstrous 12.3-inch touchscreen smack dab in the center of the dashboard, along with additional screens flanking the analog tachometer in the gauge cluster. You’ll also get InnoDrive, which is Porsche’s fancy name for its suite of active and passive driver aids like adaptive cruise control.

Considering this is the cream of the crop of Porsche’s stable of wagons, you’re going to have to pay to play. The MSRP on this bad boy is $188,400, not including an extra $1,050 in destination fees.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/2018-porsche-panamera-sport-turismo-turbo-s-e-hybrid/#ftag=CADe9e329a

Twitter tries to explain why Trump’s posts aren’t like others

Posted by Carl on 25th September 2017 in Consumer Electronics

So if Twitter’s rules ban “violent threats,” then surely a tweet indicating that a country “won’t be around much longer” from a user with the ability to make that happen would be deletion-worthy, right? As the company was forced to explain today, not quite. Donald Trump’s tweet about North Korea may have riled that nation’s representatives, but according to a thread from its global public policy team, “newsworthiness” and whether a Tweet is of public interest” comes into play. It says it will update its public-facing rules to make that clear, but clearly it has no interest in trying to place a muzzle on the accounts of any particular political leader — no matter what he tweets next.

Twitter Rules:

Any accounts and related accounts engaging in the activities specified below may be temporarily locked and/or subject to permanent suspension.

  • Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/25/twitter-trump-north-korea-threat/

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk review

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 24th September 2017 in Consumer Electronics

Having enjoyed first the surprisingly capable Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and then the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, I set my bar high for the big-boy Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. Fortunately, the largest Jeep SUV largely met my expectations — even as this review came hot on the heels of weeks spent in the Land Rover Discovery and BMW X5.

Those vehicles are perhaps a bit more high-brow than the rugged Trailhawk with its bright red tow hooks and aggressive hood graphics, but the Jeep proved capable, comfortable and surprisingly high-tech for a toy you’re meant to get dirty. Overall, I was left with the impression that the Trailhawk wasn’t just a beefy 4×4 that can throw mud with the best of ’em, but also a balanced SUV that’s just a capable on the commute.

Quadra-Trac II 4×4 system

Pop the hood and you’ll find FCA’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, the workhorse of Fiat Chrysler’s North American lineup. In this incarnation, the naturally-aspirated V6 makes a respectable 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque which gets sent through a single option 8-speed automatic transmission on its way to the wheels.

The addition of Engine Stop Start (ESS) technology helps to reduce fuel wasted to idling for this generation and contributes to the also respectable 18 city and 25 highway mpg economy estimates. My tested average of 16.9 mpg fell a bit short of those averages, but that’s expected given the unique rigors of the review and production processes.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

Quadra-Trac, Quadra-Drive, Quadra-Lift? The team behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee are obsessed with the number four.


Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The 295 horses help the Grand Cherokee to accelerate confidently on the highway, but this is no neck-snapper. Decent gearing help the SUV to feel responsive around town. Those who know they’ll want more power (or more specifically maximum torque for offroad crawling) should consider the optional 5.7-liter V8 engine upgrade, which steps up to 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. And the truly mad can step up to the ridiculous Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which trades all offroad ambitions for 707-horsepower and street performance.

There exist many 4×2 rear-wheel drive and 4×4 four-wheel drive variants of the Grand Cherokee, but the Trailhawk in question features a standard Quadra-Trac II system, the best available to this body type. Quadra-Trac II upgrades over the standard 4×4 setup with a two-speed transfer case with low range capability for high-torque crawling and more advanced sensors to detect wheel slippage. As needed, up to 100-percent of available torque can be shifted to the front or rear axle, depending on where the most grip is available.

The Trailhawk also features Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction control system which allows drivers to select between terrain presets — Snow, Sand, Auto, Mud or Rock — to adjust the behavior of the powertrain and all-wheel drive systems for specific driving conditions.

Finally, there are the Quadra-Drive II powertrain upgrades that beefs up the Trailhawk’s rear axle and adds an electronic limited-slip differential (LSD) that can proactively transfer up to 100-percent of available torque between the left and right rear wheels if slip is detected. Between the center diff and the rear LSD, the Trailhawk could potentially send all 260 pound-feet of its torque to just one of the rear wheels if the other three are slipping.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

Trail-rated Trailhawk

In addition to the Selec-Terrain traction control systems, the Trailhawk is also outfitted with Jeep’s Selec-Speed Control systems which are basically really low-speed cruise control that help the SUV to maintain rock-steady speed control when ascending or descending tricky or severe slopes.

Rounding out the electronic offroad upgrades is the Quadra-Lift air suspension with ride height adjustment. (There are a lot of “Quadras” and “Selecs” in this feature set.) In its tallest “Offroad” setting, the ride height raises to 10.8-inches. Combined with the Trailhawk’s shortened overhangs, the SUV’s approach angle also grows to 25.7-degrees with a departure angle of 27.1-degrees.

Offroad mode is restricted to low speeds, but even the Trailhawk’s static ride height and angles are in the neighborhood with the likes of Land Rover’s Discovery. And when it’s time to get in or out of the SUV, the suspension can lower 1.6-inches below the static height when parked for ease of access or at low speeds for ducking under low garage ceilings.

Not all of the upgrades are electronic. Up front, there are bright red tow hooks which can be used for pulling fellow trail riders out of tight spots (or getting pulled out yourself). Beneath the chassis, skid plates for the front suspension, fuel tank, transfer case and underbody protect the SUV’s sensitive bits when crashing over logs or stones. The hood graphic isn’t just for style, Jeep claims this matte black design also reduces glare bouncing up off of the hood, sort of like a football player’s eye black. 

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/2017-jeep-grand-cherokee/#ftag=CADe9e329a

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 300 Series Release Date, Price and Specs

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 23rd September 2017 in Consumer Electronics
plantronics-backbeat-fit-300-series-14Enlarge Image


Sarah Tew/CNET

I’ve been playing around with Plantronics’ new BackBeat Fit ($77.00 at Amazon.com) 300 Series ($80, £90, AU$120), which the company is calling “one of the world’s lightest Bluetooth headphones designed to easily transition between fitness ($119.00 at Amazon.com) and everyday life.” The headphone ($149.89 at Amazon Marketplace) is available now in four color options: black and gray, dark blue and blue, gray and coral, and — at select retailers — gray and lime green.

When I wore them they felt light and unobtrusive, yet I was able to get a secure, tight seal thanks to the integrated loops and oval design of the eartips. More companies are moving to an oval tip design. Jaybird has them for its Run and Freedom Wireless 2 headphones and Bose (SoundSport Wireless ($149.00 at Amazon.com), SoundSport Free) has had oval tips for several years. The Plantronics tips are shaped a bit different, however. These are noise-isolating headphones designed to seal off your ear canal.

I thought they sounded good, too, with decent bass and a reasonable amount of clarity for this type of headphone. They’re right there with the BeatsX and other in-ear sports headphones that cost over $100.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 300 Series

Battery life is rated at up to six hours, which is not bad but not great, and the ear buds are joined by a nice “low-friction” cloth cable that and included carrying pouch. 

My only issue so far is the size of the inline remote, which also houses the headphones’ electronics and battery. It’s just a little clunky, which is too bad considering the ultralight feel of the rest of the ‘phones. The remote contains the battery and has a microUSB port you connect for charging.

So far the headphone seems good for the gym and everyday use, but I’d be a little hesitant to run with them because I felt a little too aware of the remote. But I’m going to spend a little more time with them before passing final judgment. Look for a full review in the near future.

The BackBeat Fit 300 doesn’t replace the original BackBeat Fit, which remains on sale and will be available in October in “enhanced” Training and Boost Editions. The Training Edition ($130, £110 or AU$170) includes unlimited access to 12 hand-picked PEAR Personal Coaching App workouts and a six-month access to PEAR+ membership. The Boost Edition ($160, £140 or AU$230) includes everything in the Training Edition plus an IPX5-rated water resistant charging pouch that provides up to 10 additional hours of listening time and a quick-drying sport mesh fabric.

In October Plantronics is also shipping a new on-ear Fit model — the BackBeat Fit 500 ($100, £90 or AU$140) — based on the BackBeat 500 we gave high marks to earlier this year. The two models offer identical performance and fit but the BackBeat Fit 500 is sweatproof.

plantronics-backbeat-fit-300-series-07Enlarge Image

The inline remote is slightly clunky.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/products/plantronics-backbeat-fit-300/#ftag=CADe9e329a

Watch the NFL’s London game at 9:30AM Eastern

Posted by Carl on 23rd September 2017 in Consumer Electronics

Yahoo is also streaming the other London games, including the Dolphins versus the Saints on October 1st, Cardinals versus Rams on October 22nd and Browns versus Vikings on October 29th.

The web giant definitely doesn’t have a lock on NFL game streams — there’s been a fierce battle for the rights to air regular season matches. Between this and Amazon’s deal, though, there will be a surprising amount you can watch without paying for a dedicated streaming service or (gasp) a TV package.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/23/nfl-london-game-livestream/

2018 Lexus LC review

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 22nd September 2017 in Consumer Electronics

There’s been a lot of debate among the Roadshow staff about where the 2018 Lexus LC 500 fits into the automotive world. Overall performance is darn good, with a brilliant V8 churning away under the hood and excellent cornering abilities, but a curb weight of 4,300 pounds means it’s not a full-fledged sports car. The 2+2 coupe layout adds some practicality, but a tight backseat, small 5.4 cubic-feet trunk and firm ride manners means that it’s not a purebred Grand Tourer, either.

Track capable

Once behind the wheel, I don’t allow myself to get too caught up in figuring out which car group the LC fits into, especially given the opportunity to flog it around GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Mich. Down straights, the naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine belts out beautiful noises as it spins toward its 7,100-rpm redline, with satisfying power to boot. The engine is the same naturally aspirated V8 I love so much in the GS F, and here it makes 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque.

Are those output figures anything to write home about in today’s performance landscape? Not really. 500-horsepower monsters are the norm nowadays, and yet, I highly doubt many people will get out of an LC 500 and say it needs more power. Would more be nice? Well, of course, but perhaps that’ll come in a future LC F.

2018-lexus-lc-500-2Enlarge Image

A near-4,300-pound curb weight keep it from being a sports car, while tight backseats and trunk mean its not a GT.


Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Working with the 5.0-liter is a new 10-speed automatic transmission, which some will see as another factor keeping the LC from qualifying as a pure sports car. But before writing off the torque-converter gearbox, I suggest giving it a chance, because around GingerMan, manual shift response using the paddles proves nearly immediate. No, it’s not quite dual-clutch quick, but it’s still good for a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds.

Through the corners of this road course, the LC’s super-stiff platform impresses, as does its suspension. Ripping through the track’s fast right-left transition between Turn 8 and Turn 9 is done in complete confidence, and body roll is almost nonexistent.

Initial turn-in is sharp on the 21-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport performance tires, while high grip levels make easy work of medium- and high-speed corners thanks in no small part to the optional rear steering and limited-slip differential. Steering feel itself is weighty and offers lots of feedback through the wheel, a welcome trait that’s finally becoming more common in Lexus’ latest vehicles.

2018-lexus-lc-500-12Enlarge Image

The 5.0-liter V8 makes wonderful sounds and 471 horsepower.


Nick Miotke/Roadshow

It isn’t until a tight hairpin turn that the LC’s portlier curb weight can no longer be masked by its platform, steering and optional go-faster parts. The aluminum-bodied LC understeers here, but in all other areas on the track, the coupe is an impressive performer. High-speed stability, behavior under braking and driver engagement is all very good.

Street capable, too

The LC also happens to be a stunning head tuner with instant street cred. A low and wide stance, menacing spindle grille, long hood, sleek profile and aggressive light treatments remind me an awful lot of the dearly departed LFA supercar, albeit at a fraction of the price. If you want a car that’ll blend in with the crowd, this Lexus isn’t for you. The LC garners a lot of attention in neighborhoods, parking lots and at gas stations.

LFA inspiration continues inside, as evidenced by the LC’s dash layout, as well as its generous slathering of soft leather, carbon fiber and Alcantara trim. Front seats are supremely comfortable, with support in all the right places, while the there’s enough side bolstering to hold occupants tight on a racetrack. The cabin really is a nice place to be, with its exceptional build quality, materials and decent space for folks in front.

2018-lexus-lc-500-13Enlarge Image

Inspiration from the LFA supercar is clear inside the cabin.


Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Those looking for a backseat capable of carrying adults likely will see the LC fall off their shopping lists. The aforementioned tight rear quarters are best left for transporting small kiddos, or shuttling around adults that you really don’t like. Ingress and egress to the back also requires contortionist-like flexibility.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/2018-lexus-lc/#ftag=CADe9e329a

Nuviz Head-Up Display Release Date, Price and Specs

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 21st September 2017 in Consumer Electronics

Motorcycle helmets have changed a lot over the years. They’re better looking, lighter, more comfortable, quieter and, most importantly, safer than they were a decade or two ago. The good ones are a hell of a lot more expensive, too, but one thing they aren’t is smarter. You can easily spend upwards of $500 to $1,000 for a premium-branded helmet. For that, you’ll get something functionally equivalent to a $99 no-name special.

With seemingly everything else in our lives offering some semblance of connectivity and at least a notional definition of “smart,” it’s surprising that helmets are still so remedial. Thankfully, a number of startups are trying to fill the void, and one of the most promising is Nuviz. Why? They’ve actually shipped functional product, the $700 Nuviz Head-Up Display, or HUD. Nuviz promises to make any helmet smart. But will it make them smart enough?

Nuviz HUD

Getting started

Nuviz mounts on the front of your helmet using a pad of double-sided adhesive. You stick a plate onto the chinbar of your lid, then run a pair of small earpieces and a microphone into your helmet. The earpieces and mic slot in easily enough, but I was surprised to find that the plate was quite difficult to mount.

It’s roughly two inches square, too big for the first helmet I tried, an AGV Corsa. This helmet has a wide chinbar, but it’s deeply creased, and there was simply no way to fit the Nuviz plate on there securely. So, I went to my other helmet, a Shoei RF-1200. On this one I had the opposite problem: The chinbar is slightly concave, and so I still couldn’t make the plate attach securely.

So, I dug out my old, smelly Shoei RF-1100, which has a more subtle shape than its successor. Finally, here was a helmet that had a flat enough surface for me to mount the Nuviz in a place where I could actually see it. And that’s an important qualifier.

Nuviz uses a reflected display to project an image towards your eye. The effect is of a display that’s floating in space a few feet in front of you, much like the Google Glass of yore. That’s good for eye relief, but it also means the positioning has to be quite precise for you to get maximum contrast. The end of Nuviz does pivot and rotate slightly so that you don’t have to have it in the absolute perfect position, but it does have to be close.

Once I had that sorted, I had to contend with the simple matter of mounting the Nuviz controller onto my bike. The preferred way is to stick a mounting bracket, again with double-sided tape, onto the side of your left grip. The system does come with a second mounting bracket if you just want to stick it on your tank or any other flat surface, but curiously the kit doesn’t include enough mounting hardware for you to use the grip mount on one bike and the tank mount on another.

Functionality

The Nuviz’s primary, default functionality is as a heads-up speedometer. It displays the speed limit as well as your current speed. On one hand this is quite nice, if only because the speedos on most motorcycles are notoriously inaccurate. However, given the position of Nuviz on your helmet, down low and to the right, I actually found myself having to look further from the road to see how fast I was going than if I simply looked straight down at the bike’s own gauge cluster.

Whether this is true for you depends on what kind of bike you ride. If you’re riding a sportbike, Nuviz might actually be more of an eyes-down device than head-up.

Nuviz will also do navigation, but anyone used to services like Google Maps will immediately be disappointed. All destinations must be predefined through the Nuviz app, and while you can create custom routes with waypoints, which is potentially great, there’s no way to speak a new address or, indeed, get re-routed because of traffic. 

Nuviz HUD

There’s just one button on the Nuviz itself, power. For everything else you’ll have to use the remote control.


Nuviz

A Nuviz representative tells me that requesting destinations by voice is coming in a future update, but for now you’ll have to pull over, take out your phone and enter in the address for your new destination.

Navigation does work independently of your phone, maps are cached offline in the device itself, so no worries if you’re riding somewhere without a data connection. That’s potentially great, but given you still need to use the phone to enter in destinations and create routes, that offline value is a bit limited unless you’re planning everything in advance.

Nuviz will also play music on your phone, but on Android at least it’ll only play or pause whatever you had going before your ride. Nuviz won’t launch any of your media apps or indeed let you select a playlist.

You can make calls, but only to predefined contacts. Need to call Aunt Millie to let her know you’re running 20 minutes late? Hope you remembered to tag her in the app before you left. And you’d better remember to shout, too. Volume level of the Nuviz headset is poor, and the noise cancelation of the microphone also isn’t great. Call quality pales in comparison to the best from helmet intercom systems like Sena.

Finally, there’s the camera, perhaps the Nuviz’s most useful feature. Neither the eight-megapixel still photos nor the 1080p video will win you any awards for contrast or color, but images are clear and bright enough to spot the license plate number on that jackass who cut you off on the way home, which is really what’s most important.

And battery life is pretty solid, too. Nuviz says the large, 3,250 mAh battery will give you eight hours of moderate usage. Even with a lot of video recording and other use my bike ran out of gas before that battery ran out of juice.

Interesting, but not there yet

I really like the idea of the Nuviz, and given how much good helmets cost it really feels like they should do more for you than just protect your noggin. Sadly, though, this particular attempt to add more ability to your lid comes up well short.

For $699, the functionality here is slim, and what there is often fails to be genuinely useful. Promised software updates should go some way to addressing that point, but it’ll still leave a very expensive device that’s far too large.

When Nuviz is half the cost, half the size and can do twice as much I look forward to reviewing it again. Until then, if you try calling me when I’m on a ride, please go ahead and leave a message. I’ll get back to you when I’m done getting lost.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/nuviz-head-up-display/#ftag=CADe9e329a

MIZUHO: Here's why Facebook has 'a realistic opportunity' to enter China in 2018

Posted by Carl on 21st September 2017 in Consumer Electronics

Facebook has a “realistic opportunity” to enter China in 2018, Mizuho analyst James Lee wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.

Lee came to the conclusion after meeting “various industry contacts” in China during a recent trip. He outlined a few factors that he believes increase the likelihood of Facebook finally entering the country next year:

  • Facebook’s recent appointment of an executive to manage relations with China will help the company “understand the regulatory requirement and negotiate Facebook’s operating structure in China,” said Lee in the note, a copy of which was obtained by Business Insider. Facebook recently tapped William Shuai from LinkedIn to lead government relations in the country, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • Facebook’s current approach of helping Chinese advertisers sell ads overseas “appears to

    be aligned with Chinese government’s policy to globalize local companies,” and could finally lead to the company securing the coveted Internet Content Provider (ICP) licence needed to officially do business in China. Lee estimated that Facebook already makes more than $US1 billion per year from Chinese marketers that use its platform to advertise outside of China.

  • The recent approval that Airbnb and Linkedin received to operate in China is a sign that the government is “more open to internet companies that can help Chinese companies gain global recognition,” according to Lee.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin his second term in November 2017. “Historically speaking, media scrutiny and sensitivity are much less during an administration’s second term,” said Lee, who noted that Google was able to successfully negotiate its ICP licence during the previous president’s second term.

Facebook has been officially banned from doing business in China since 2009, and parts of its WhatsApp service were recently blocked within the country’s borders. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has courted Chinese officials for years, and even spent one year learning to speak Mandarin.

When Facebook eventually does crack into China, Mizuho’s Lee thinks the social network will first likely operate an Instagram-like app or gaming platform for Oculus VR in the country. The New York Times recently reported that Facebook has been covertly testing a photo-sharing app in China and is also on the hunt to find a Shanghai office for its fledgling consumer hardware division, Building 8.

China, the world’s largest market of internet users, is an attractive but challenging region for American tech companies to break into. Google famously shut down its Chinese search engine in 2010, blaming the country’s strict censorship rules and hacking attacks it had suffered in the region.

One way Facebook has experimented with getting back into China is by creating a censorship tool that automatically suppresses certain posts in specific geographic areas, The New York Times reported last year. Facebook has never confirmed the existence of the tool.

Article source: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/mizuho-apos-why-facebook-apos-042746586.html

Instagram’s face filters are now available during your livestreams

Posted by Carl on 21st September 2017 in Consumer Electronics

The face filters that Instagram swiped from Snapchat are now available on Instagram Live. Starting today, you can add filters before your Live feed airs or during with options that include various crowns and animal ears as well as pilot getup and and nerd glasses. Also, for the next week, a sunglasses filter will be available only through live video and it allows users to tap on the glasses to change what scenery is reflected off of them.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/21/instagrams-face-filters-livestream/

Lenovo Tab 4 (10-inch) review

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 20th September 2017 in Consumer Electronics

CNET también está disponible en español.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/products/lenovo-tab-4-10-inch/#ftag=CADe9e329a