How to get the Kindle Fire OS 3.1 update

When Amazon unveiled the Kindle Fire HDX and second-generation Kindle Fire HD tablets back in September, both were equipped with a newly updated (and newly monikered) operating system: Fire OS 3.0. But plans were already in the works for a 3.1 update that would add even more functionality.

That update has arrived, and Amazon plans to deliver it automatically, over the air, to compatible Kindles in the coming weeks. However, if you'd rather get it right now, you can.

Step one: Make sure you have a compatible Kindle, and make sure it's at least half charged. … Read more

Tesla factory accident injures three workers with hot metal

Telsa has experienced a spate of bad luck as of late. Not only have three of its Model S all-electric cars caught fire in the past two months, but an accident at the company's Fremont, Calif., factory caused three employees to be injured by hot metal on Wednesday morning.

"There was a failure in a low-pressure aluminum casting press," Tesla said in a statement e-mailed to CNET. "Three employees were injured by hot metal from that press. We are making sure that they receive the best possible care."

Local firemen said the incident is being … Read more

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