Google to buy Nest for $3.2B in quest for the 'conscious home'

Google said Monday it will acquire Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash.

In a statement by Nest, the maker of the Learning Thermostat and the Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector said that the company will continue to be run by current CEO Tony Fadell. "In other words, Nest will stay Nest," the company said.

"Why did we decide to partner with Google?" Fadell wrote in a blog post. "Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could … Read more

Sensaphonics ER earplugs, a better way to hush the noise

Earplugs are the best way to protect your hearing in loud environments, but sometimes they do their job too well. They muddle the sound, so music sounds dull, or you can't understand people talking around you. I've used earplugs for decades; my first set was custom-molded to my ears, and while they were highly effective, the hard plastic plugs were uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. So I moved onto inexpensive, but comfy foam plugs that quelled the noise almost as well, but they totally muffled the sound. Foam earplugs can be frustrating to use at … Read more

Nest inches closer to $150M finance round on $2B valuation

Nest, the smart-home startup best known for its thermostat, is closing in on some serious cash, according to a new report.

Nest is near the end of a financing round in which it will raise at least $150 million on a $2 billion valuation, Recode's Kara Swisher reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the talks. Nest could raise as much as $200 million on a $3 billion valuation, the site's other sources say.

Over the last few years, Nest has become one of the more popular companies in the smart-home business. The company was founded by Tony Fadell, … Read more

Review: Keep your mobile device safe and protected in real-time with Kaspersky Mobile Security

Kaspersky Mobile Security helps you keep your mobile gadget safe from online threats, malicious applications, spam, and even thieves. This application performs flawlessly and safeguards your device in real-time.

During the setup process you will be asked to log in to your Kaspersky Account. If you don't have one, you can easily create it right from the app using an e-mail address and desired password. As soon as we logged in, we were prompted to scan our device using either Quick scan, Full scan, or Folder scan. The Full scan took less than two minutes, which was surprisingly fast. … Read more

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First drive in the BMW i3 (CNET On Cars, Episode 31)


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In this episode:

BMW's i3 is a fascinating departure in almost every way Hemi engines: What were they...what are they? Top 5 fuel economy myths Understanding your kid's car booster seat E-mail: Clear auto-protection films to prevent paint chips

After you watch out Car Tech 101 on hemi engines, you may wonder why Chrysler is using them in modern cars where high RPM, compactness, and fuel efficiency are so important. The simple answer is today's Chrysler Hemi … Read more

Help yourself to a special serving of Avira AV Suite this Thanksgiving

Avira's business is keeping people out of yours. Block online spies, snoops, trackers, and Trojans with its powerful Tracking Blockers and AntiSpyware platforms.

With the holidays approaching, many people are turning to the Internet to do their gift shopping. Catching online deals can be just as fun and much more convenient than driving yourself to the mall. But just as we exercise caution in the real world, it is also important to remain vigilant on the Web. Shop with confidence and protect yourself against viruses and malicious software this holiday season with Avira Antivirus Suite.

Download Avira Antivirus Suite … Read more

Review: Surf safe and stay protected with Avast Pro Antivirus

Avast Pro Antivirus 2014 builds on Avast's proven antivirus technology with privacy-enhancing anti-phishing, do-not-track, and browser-cleaning features -- and its new, proactive Software Updater keeps everything current. Avast Pro's Sandbox and Safe Zone features protect you from malware and other bad downloads, and its Cloud Scanning algorithm and crowd-sourced early-warning features detect and destroy even zero-day threats. Avast Pro is free to try, but its license is almost $40. That's not too much for Avast Pro's extra features and technical support, especially compared to an infected PC.

Avast Pro did most of the setup work, itself, … Read more

Nest Protect is the smoke/CO detector to beat

How do you make a smoke detector cool? It's hard, and more difficult still to glamorize a carbon monoxide detector. Under ideal circumstances, you'll never hear a peep out of either.

Nest took a crack at reinventing the boring old smoke alarm anyway. The upstart company, famous for its five-star Nest Learning Thermostat, aims to reimagine the dull, annoying, or dysfunctional white-label products around your house. As such, Nest took the passive wall wart of yesterday and transformed it into the Nest Protect, a Wi-Fi-ready smoke alarm and CO monitor. And while the Nest Protect doesn't necessarily … Read more

Nest app 4.0 improves thermostat, makes room for smoke detector

If you have a Nest Learning Thermostat, you may have noticed a software update this morning. That's Nest 4.0. It's a total redesign of the Android and iOS mobile apps (the Web app got a makeover, too). And here's what it means for you.

The first thing you'll notice is that you no longer will you have to switch your phone from portrait to landscape mode to view your settings or turn your thermostat to Away.

You will be able to see the outside temperature in the top-left corner, complete with images depicting the current … Read more