Fire

Tesla's Musk: Despite fires, Model S still safest vehicle

Tesla CEO Elon Musk worked to calm fears on Tuesday that the company's all-electric Model S sedan may be prone to fires.

Speaking in an interview at The New York Times DealBook conference, Musk said that despite some bad press about three car fires in the past two months, there is no way the company needs to issue a recall on the vehicles.

"There's definitely not going to be a recall," Musk said. "There's no reason for a recall, I believe."

Musk maintained that Tesla cars are the safest automobiles on the road. … Read more

Man in Tesla Model S fire: 'I'd buy another one'

Car brands enjoy testimonials from happy drivers.

But there's something a little more powerful, when the testimonial is from a driver whose car just caught fire.

In a blog post on Tesla Web site, Juris Shibayama, an MD from Tennessee, explains what happened when his Model S caught fire last Wednesday.

He ends his explanation with a line that not everyone would expect: "I would buy another one in a heartbeat."

Shibayama said that he struck a three-pronged trailer hitch in the middle lane of the interstate. He continued:

About 30-45 seconds later, there was a warning … Read more

10 must-see videos of the week

In this week's must-see rundown, we offer up an in-depth look at all of the new features in Google's latest mobile OS, Android KitKat. If you're one of the lucky users to already have it, you'll also want to check out our very handy tips for extending your phone's battery on KitKat.

Twitter officially went public earlier this week. In our latest Inside Scoop, CNET's Kara Tsuboi and senior writer Daniel Terdiman discuss the social media giant's initial public offering, what they learned from Facebook, and how they plan to turn a profit. … Read more

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is light, powerful, brimming with useful features

Like its smaller brother, the HDX 7, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 shoots toward the top of the tablet hierarchy thanks to three notable features: excellent pricing that's competitive with -- or lower than -- the best large premium tablets on the market; an awesome content ecosystem (especially for Amazon Prime members) that goes toe-to-toe with iTunes; and real-time customer service with the new Mayday button, which brings a live Amazon rep on a video screen within seconds -- for free.

The HDX 8.9 offers all of that and improves on the 7-incher by including an … Read more

iPad Air topped by Kindle Fire HDX in display quality test

The iPad Air is getting plenty of rave reviews, but Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX just took it in a display shootout.

When DisplayMate Technologies tested the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, the iPad Air, and Google's Nexus 10, the Fire 8.9 "leapfrogged into the best-performing tablet display that we have ever tested," according to the results posted Monday.

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 significantly outperformed "the iPad Air in brightness, screen reflectance, and high ambient light contrast, plus a first-place finish in the very challenging category of absolute color accuracy," DisplayMate continued. … Read more

MQ-8C Fire Scout robo-copter makes first flight

The US Navy wants its Fire Scout drones to grow up in a hurry.

Late last week, the Navy and Northrop Grumman sent word that the latest version of the unmanned rotorcraft, the MQ-8C Fire Scout, made its first flights on October 31. They weren't long affairs -- the first lasted 7 minutes, the second one, 9 minutes -- but the key is that the latest Fire Scout airframe got off the ground.

The first flight served to validate the autonomous control systems of the fledgling robo-copter, which was operated by a ground-based flight test team. The second saw … Read more

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD is an e-reader alternative with tablet extras

The Kindle Fire HD (2013) is Amazon's new ultrabudget tablet that starts at $139. At just $20 more than the company's e-ink Kindle Paperwhite reader, it's at a great price and if all you plan to do is stream videos and music, read books, do some light gaming, and occasionally surf the Web, it will certainly meet your needs. The problems arise if you wish to do anything more.

With this entry-level model -- basically the 2012 Fire HD with updated hardware -- you're giving up cameras, and settling for a miniscule amount of storage. Indeed, … Read more

Five reasons to still love the 13-inch MacBook Pro Classic

One of the footnotes to Apple's recent press event introducing the iPad Air and updating the Retina Display MacBook Pro was the stay of execution given to the other MacBook Pro.

This thick semi-throwback wasn't even mentioned by Apple, but it still exists. Like the cast in an Agatha Christie mystery, however, its ranks are being depleted. First the 17-inch version vanished back in 2011, and immediately after the October 2013 Apple press event, the 15-inch version disappeared from Apple's site, leaving only the $1,199 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro, which we are now referring to as … Read more

Apple whiffs on iPad Mini price, choosing profits over share

Apple just missed a big opportunity when it came to the pricing on its new iPad Mini.

The Cupertino, Calif., company on Tuesday unveiled its newest tablets, the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display, both with improved specs and features. It also will offer the older versions of those devices at lower prices, continuing its trend from the tablets' early days. However, this time around, Apple actually increased the price of one of its new devices, selling the iPad Mini with Retina for $399 instead of its predecessor's starting price of $329. And it dropped the original Mini'sRead more

iPad Mini with Retina Display vs. Nexus 7 vs. Kindle Fire HDX 7

Almost one year to the day that Apple unveiled its first small iPad, the company launched its successor, the iPad Mini with Retina Display. The much-anticipated device sports expanded LTE support, in addition to a better-looking screen.

Apple wasn't the only company to release new tiny tablets this year. In 2013, Google and Amazon refreshed their lineups with the Nexus 7 (2013 edition) and the Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch. Now that Apple has taken the wraps off the iPad Mini 2 at its October 22 event, we can see how each tablet stacks up against the other.

Right off … Read more