Office for iPad rumors give Microsoft's stock a boost

Microsoft's share price hit levels Tuesday not seen since the dot-com boom days, with analysts attributing the rise to a report on Monday of Office finally landing on the iPad.

Microsoft's shares rose as much as 5 percent to $39.90 on Tuesday, adding $15 billion to the company's value, Reuters reported. The last time the software giant's shares flirted with $40 was in July 2000.

ZDNet, Reuters, and others reported on Monday that Microsoft has scheduled a March 27 press briefing in San Francisco where Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella will introduce the Microsoft … Read more

Sony announces Project Morpheus VR headset for PlayStation 4 (hands-on)

Sony has unveiled its own virtual-reality PlayStation 4 headset, and for now it's called Project Morpheus.

In a gaming landscape where the Oculus Rift has inspired many to wonder what's next, Sony aims to capture a bit of that magic for itself with its own brand of immersive headwear. It's not the first Sony headset; in fact, the company has had nongaming models for years. This, however, is Sony's entry to VR gaming in the way that we've come to imagine since the Oculus Rift. And unlike the Oculus, Project Morpheus is PS4-only.

Project Morpheus, … Read more

Homeland Security busts child porn ring on Tor network

The US Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it has arrested 14 men who were allegedly operating a child pornography Web site on the anonymous Tor network.

The arrests were the culmination of one of the agency's largest ever online child exploitation investigations -- dubbed "Operation Round Table." The authorities have identified 251 victims who were exploited on the site. The majority of the victims, 243, were male and their ages ranged from 3 to 17; they were identified as being from 39 US states and five foreign countries.

The underground subscription-based Web site was allegedly … Read more

Cheap ZTE Sonata 4G is slightly off-key

For just $80 off-contract, you might be able to look past the ZTE Sonata 4G's chunky design, so-so screen quality, and underwhelming camera. Overall, the unassuming Android phone -- sold on AT&T's prepaid Aio Wireless network -- gives you decent value when you consider its strong 4G network speeds and reliable call performance.

Still, a little more money can pocket you a better phone, like Aio's Motorola Moto G for $149.99. And, if you can't budge from the $80 mark, but can change carriers, we'd still take MetroPCS' LG Optimus F6 with … Read more

Simple smartphone photo tips

Today's smartphone cameras have become nearly as complex and feature-laden as the compact cameras they replaced. It's easy to get overwhelmed, but here are four simple tips for better photos that will work with virtually any modern smartphone.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Most smartphones now have an option called HDR, which is short for High Dynamic Range.

When you take an HDR photo, your camera actually shoots three photos at three different exposures: low, standard, and high. Then, your phone stacks all those photos to create one composite image that's super sharp and looks closer to what … Read more

Mundane-looking 2015 Audi A3 first with 4G

As we swooped up a curving mountain road, shielded from the bright, spring sunshine by tall Redwoods, CNET editor Antuan Goodwin and I discussed the signature driving feel of Audi cars. Appropriately enough, we were driving the 2015 Audi A3, the new sedan replacing the older A3 small wagon. The words light and easy came to mind. Quattro-equipped Audis also inspire confidence in their handling.

This new A3 exhibited these qualities, and seemed to further refine a driving ideal to which Audi engineers are working.

As Audi's new entry level car, the A3 starts at a price just under $… Read more

Google Chromecast arrives in Europe: undercuts Apple, Roku

Google is unleashing its Chromecast video streamer in Europe today, nearly eight months after it debuted in the US. Costing just £30 ($50) in the UK or 35 euros elsewhere, it's cheaper than its competitors such as Apple TV or the Roku Streaming Stick, although currently there's less to view in Europe.

The 2-inch dongle plugs straight into an HDMI port on a TV and streams video from YouTube and Netflix along with Google's own music and movie services. In the UK, it will also support the BBC's iPlayer.

For the services it supports natively, … Read more

Glasshole heaven: Hotel offers free drink if you wear Glass

Being seen in public wearing Google Glass is a statement.

Some, though, see it as a statement that you are tone-deaf, socially blind, and congenitally self-righteous.

Casinos have banned it and one Seattle restaurant owner described Google Glass wearers as "man children stinkin' up the joint."

But now one joint has come to Glassholes' rescue. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the Stanford Court, in San Francisco's snooty Nob Hill, is welcoming Glass wearers.

Indeed, it's not just opening its arms. It's opening its pockets, by offering a free cocktail to anyone who DOES wear Glass in its Aurea Lounge.… Read more

NSA can reportedly record every call made in a foreign country

The National Security Agency has the capability to record "100 percent" of the telephone calls placed in a foreign country and play them back up to a month later, according to a report Tuesday by The Washington Post.

Known as MYSTIC, the surveillance system dates back to 2009, according to documents supplied to the newspaper by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The program, which wasn't fully operational until 2011, intercepts and records and stores billions of calls for 30 days on a rolling buffer that purges the oldest recordings as new ones arrive, according to one classified … Read more

'Star Wars: Episode VII' tells tale 30 years after 'Jedi'

Some news for fans excited to find out what life is like post-Ewok battles and that metal bikini: Lucasfilm has announced a start date for shooting "Star Wars: Episode VII." Director J.J. Abrams and his team will begin shooting principal photography in May at London's historic Pinewood Studios.

Lucasfilm also announced that "Star Wars: Episode VII" will take place about 30 years after the events of "Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi," and will star "a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces." … Read more