Behind The Scenes

The best of Season 5!

The time has come for our "best-of" episode of Always On's final season. Over the year and a half or so that we've been pumping out episodes, our multitude of torture tests, unboxings, Future Techs, and road tests has taken us places we never could've imagined. While Los Angeles was the farthest we traveled from home this time around, Season 5 still produced some segments that are up there with the best of them.

All but one episode in Season 5 included one of our Future Tech installments. However, our favorite of the bunch got … Read more

Episode 54: Saying goodbye to Always On

Always On is, undoubtedly, the most fun I've ever had in tech. And that's what I love the most about this show: it's been a celebration of all the ways that technology is truly a part of our everyday lives -- the good, the bad, the ugly, and occasionally the midair. I know we were best known for a sort of gleeful destructiveness, but the idea for the torture tests came directly from real-life stories and personal experience. And from your responses, dear audience, you've clearly had all the same kinds of experiences. (Well, maybe not … Read more

Always On Torture Test giveaway: Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia's made a name for itself in manufacturing tough phones, without feeling the need to tack words like "rugged" or "active" to the model name. That being said, it doesn't mean the phones can necessarily handle a good ol' fashioned grape stomping. It's a shame, considering the 41 megapixels of wine tasting the phone is capable of capturing.

Sure, the purple juice, along with an assortment of skins, stems, and water, turned out the lights on the 1020. However, given Nokia's nature, we believe there's a chance it can be revived. … Read more

Next steps and new adventures

At the end of this month, I'll turn the last page of the longest single chapter of my life: 13 years at CNET (minus a brief departure in 2003 to O'Reilly Media), during which I've done just about every editorial job possible, and developed a career that was completely unexpected, wonderful, and enriching. I've grown up at CNET, and now I've decided to leave the nest.

I'll be pursuing independent projects that I'm extremely excited about. More details on that will be forthcoming, and you can check my blog, TheMolly, for more.

I'… Read more

Episode 53: Road Testing the iPhone 5C

Given that the Bay Area's home to countless entrepreneurs, computer programmers, and just plain geeks, it's no surprise that our local hotels are starting to follow suit. Hotel Zetta's just a couple blocks away from the CNET headquarters and is helping lead the way by making technology a priority in the hospitality industry. They keep it fresh with Wii Street U, Livescribe Echo smartpens, and an old phone booth equipped with a tablet for skyping. They also sport some old-school vibes like Ataris and record players. Oh yeah, and there's a giant Plinko game that takes … Read more

Always On Torture Test Giveaway: BlackBerry Q10

When we walked through the doors of SenSpa in the Presidio a couple months ago, the BBQ10 was far from relaxed. Despite the soothing aromas and comfy slippers, destruction was in the air. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for us to discover that massage oil and bubble baths do not mix well with technology.

So now you have a chance to give the bricked BlackBerry a new home. But if you end up taking it with you on your spa day, leave it in your locker. Trust us, those e-mails can wait.

If you're dying to see how … Read more

Episode 52: Unboxing the Martian Passport Watch

Smartwatches have been invading headlines around the world for the last year or two, causing quite a bit of a stir. From a startup's few million crowdfunded dollars to whether or not Apple will unveil its own connected wrist gadget, people are interested. It's taken us (and most everyone) longer than expected to get one of the new guys in house, but the time has finally come. Let the wrist buzzing begin.

First off, we take a look at the Martian Passport smartwatch. This planet-named bad boy sports some serious style, but at quite a bit of a … Read more

Always On Torture Test Giveaway: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active went head-to-head with the rulers of the animal kingdom. The rugged phone did in fact hold its own against a 31-year-old African Bush elephant, which is pretty impressive... However, a tank full of dolphins and a baby giraffe (named after San Francisco Giants 1st baseman, Brandon Belt) proved the S4 Active to be a little less rugged.

That being said, unless you swim with a school of dolphins in your backyard pool, or keep a towering 1300 lb. giraffe as a pet, the phone should be just fine. Fine, of course, after a little loving … Read more

Episode 51: Drones and the S4 Active

We believe it won't be long until human civilization goes full "Fifth Element"-style and takes most everything to the skies (we know, those were just really tall buildings). While unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, have been making headlines frequently over the last few years for a slew of negative reasons, they're also delivering pizzas in a very high-tech fashion. For this week's future tech, we visit the crew at 3D Robotics in Berkeley, Calif., to hear their take on the future of UAVs. Oh yeah, they give us a pretty stellar, Oculus Rift equipped … Read more

Episode 50: A high-tech music venue plus the Lumia 1020

It's taken a little over a year for us to deliver 50 episodes. Through half a hundred episodes, we've BlackBerry'd the streets of Barcelona, dropped a boulder on a MacBook Pro, and dueled fitness bands in a high-altitude mud run. Not to mention the dozens of other unboxings, future techs, and road tests that have taken us to the techiest corners of the world. This episode continues our tradition and celebrates our golden anniversary with style.

First up, we head to Marin County to TRI Studios. This high-tech musician's playpen is the stomping grounds of Grateful … Read more