Technology

Welcome to the CNET 100. Round 1 goes to Google.

Three years. That's all it took for Google to go from its first branded hardware product -- the Nexus One -- to dominating the list of most desired hardware.

The Google Nexus 5 and the Nexus 7 ranking first and fifth, respectively, on the CNET 100, our groundbreaking new monthly leaderboard of gadgets. Alongside the Apple iPad Air, Samsung Galaxy S4, and Panasonic ST60 plasma TV, the two Google devices are the only two from the same manufacturer in the Top 5 products on the list:

Google Nexus 5 Apple iPad Air Samsung Galaxy S4 Panasonic ST60 plasma TVRead more

Get up close and supersonic with Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo

Ever wanted to know what it looks like from the tail of a rocket soaring to an altitude of 70,000 feet? Thanks to Virgin Galactic, you don't have to wonder anymore.

Thursday, the private space tourism company run by Richard Branson conducted its second rocket-powered supersonic test, blasting to nearly 70,000 feet above California's Mojave Desert. Today, Virgin Galactic released a video, shot from the tail of SpaceShipTwo, showing the flight in action from up close.

This is likely as close as most of us will ever get to getting aboard SpaceShipTwo, since Virgin Galactic is … Read more

SpaceX's Grasshopper scores with 100-meter sideways leap

SpaceX's Grasshopper has successfully pulled off a divert test, the company said today.

On Tuesday, the Falcon 9 test rig flew to an altitude of 250 meters (820.2 feet) and was able to make a 100-meter (328 feet) lateral maneuver before flying back to the center of its launch pad. The company said that the test proved that the Grasshopper has the ability to "perform more aggressive steering maneuvers than have been attempted in previous flights."

The new test was the latest in a series conducted by SpaceX. In March, the company -- co-founded by PayPal … Read more

Use-it-yourself orbiting space telescope in the works

Planetary Resources, a pioneer in asteroid mining, announced today that it is planning to launch the world's first publicly accessible space telescope.

The company, led by X Prize Foundation Chairman Peter Diamandis, said in April, 2012, that it planned to prospect and mine asteroids. But today the company expanded on that mission, saying that it is engaging "in another passion of our team: to make space exploration accessible to everyone." … Read more

IPv6

Every now and again, you have to rebuild the Internet from scratch. That's what began in earnest in 2012, as many Net powers powered up their sites on a next-gen network technology called IPv6 that's got vastly more room for individual devices than the current IPv4 that's been used since the Internet began.

With the world running out of IPv4 Internet addresses, network engineers have to use various tricks to accommodate all the new mobile phones, PCs, and servers joining the Net every day. IPv6 makes room for them and for all the Internet-enabled fire alarms, pet … Read more

Google Nexus Q

It's rare to see a genuine surprise at a big event like Google I/O, but the Nexus Q was exactly that. There were virtually no hints of Google's mysterious, glowing orb until hours before the show, but its announcement raised more questions than answers. What does it actually do? Why does it cost $300? Can it double as a shot put?

Unfortunately for Google, the answer was the Nexus Q really didn't do much, except serve up a pretty LED light show. The device was such a flop, Google quickly discontinued it and sent pre-orderers a … Read more

OLED TVs

Unlike 4K, there are no OLED TVs available today -- but they were the star of the Consumer Electronics Show last January, when both Samsung and LG revealed the first big-screen (55-inch) models to use organic light-emitting diodes.

Despite repeated appearances at trade shows, the OLED TVs never materialized in the marketplace in 2012 due to manufacturing difficulties. But they'll figure it out soon, and when they do, OLED will inevitably replace plasma and LCD as the flat-panel TV technology of choice. Stunning picture quality combined with ultrathin form factors -- LG's prototype OLED was just 0.157 … Read more

Nokia 808 PureView

We may not love Symbian, but CNET editors did marvel at the way the Nokia 808 PureView's 41-megapixel camera blasted past preconceptions to deliver an artistic smartphone photo experience worthy of a standalone camera.

Its enormous camera sensor and module are hardly practical for toting around, but Nokia's 808 stands out as a proof-of-concept device that smartphone camera technology can grow by leaps and bounds, not just little steps. You just may have to compromise on svelteness. Don't expect Nokia to give up on the massive sensor just because the 808 didn't sell with a U.… Read more

3D TV

A mere three years ago, 3D was heralded as the future of television, bolstered by the overwhelming popularity of a certain James Cameron film starring blue-skinned aliens. Now it's "just another feature" on today's mid- and high-end televisions, and barely anyone watches it.

The main problem is lack of content. There are still only a handful of 3D channels, which show plenty of repeats, and even massive 3D rollouts like the 2012 Summer Olympics met with yawns (it didn't help that the 3D events were delayed until a day after the live ones aired). Films … Read more

iPad with Retina Display (March 2012)

The iPad 2 was nearly a technically perfect device: what could be added to the equation on the next go-around? Apple went ahead and did what some thought would be impossible: cram a previously unheard of 2,048x1,536 resolution into a 9.7-inch screen, with the type of crispness, color and detail that most HD displays only dream of. The Retina Display iPad kicked off a new war in tablet screen resolution much like the Retina Display iPhone did previously, and the technology eventually bled into Apple's MacBooks by midyear. For media such as digital magazines and photos, … Read more