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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

Battle brews as tech companies attempt to fend off NSA hacking

The NSA allegedly gathered millions of records from Google and Yahoo data centers around the world, but soon, the agency might have a much harder time trying to collect this type of data.

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, and other prominent technology companies are investing heavily in stronger, 2048-bit encryption. Due to computing power constraints, it's expected to be more than a decade before this type of encryption can be easily overcome.

Google, one of the leaders in the effort, announced in May that it would switch over to 2,048-bit encryption keys by the end of 2013. Yahoo recently … Read more

Giveaway: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus

Good news, fellow Downloaders! Christmas is coming a little early this year thanks to the good folks over at Bitdefender. For one week only, the popular AV is giving away free licenses of their Mobile Security & Antivirus (Android) app to the first 1 million users. Get 180 days-worth of protection on any of your mobile devices, absolutely free. It's easy:

Sign up on the giveaway page using your e-mail. Grab the app from the Google Play store. Follow the instructions to enter in the key from the email and you're all set!

A trusted name in the … Read more

Review: Webroot SecureAnywhere 2014

Pros

Robust web app: Webroot has boosted storage from last year's 10GB to 25GB of backup. The ability to manage and run remote commands works decently and makes sense for those who don't want their device security management to be limited to one machine. Other perks include bookmark syncs and a robust password generator.

Lightweight: The application feels extremely light for a security scanner. Scanning is fast, there's very little noticeable impact on system performance, and the overall experience of running the app remains consistent across both Windows and Mac environments.

Cons

Design and UI: Webroot may … Read more

Google reveals new colorful Chromebook

CNET Update colors your world:

This episode of Update takes a close look at Google's latest laptop, the HP Chromebook 11, selling now for $279. As the majority of our work and play shifts to Web apps, Chrome is a affordable option for a modern computing lifestyle -- especially for students.

Update also takes a look at Nest's latest product in building a smarter home, the Nest Protect, an app-powered smoke detector. And Kindle Fire tablet owners can score some free credits by downloading select apps.

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Nest's Tony Fadell on reinventing the smoke detector -- and your home (Q&A)

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Tony Fadell, the man who is making home thermostats, well, cool, is at it again, this time with the release of Nest Protect, the company's "smart" smoke detector.

Fadell, the founder and CEO of Nest who once ran Apple's iPod division and was part of Steve Jobs' inner circle, is trying one by one to reinvent devices around the house that, as he puts it, are "unloved."

I met with Fadell at Nest's headquarters here, to talk about Nest Protect and where the whole connected-home movement is going.

Question: … Read more