Smart home tech at CES 2014: Join us for a great debate

Once upon a time, home theater stories dominated CES. For years, TVs, TVs, and more TVs made the biggest headlines at the show. But times change, and while you'll find giant 4K televisions and curved OLEDs littering the show floor this year, we're expecting new topics to bubble up. Car tech and wearables will make waves, and so will a new breed of in-home technology that extends far beyond the living room.

Some smart home devices -- connected light bulbs and thinking thermostats, for example -- have made their way into homes already. But this year, these early … Read more

Crave Ep. 147: 3D-print yourself with Shapify

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This week on Crave, we check out the latest in robot cattle technology, so giddy up! Learn how to 3D print your very own selfie action figure with, and the Nintendo cartridge flask gives new meaning to "drinking game." Read more

Open pages in Chrome as panels with PIP Viewer extension

You can juggle multiple tabs in Chrome, and you can juggle multiple windows. With Chrome extension Picture in Picture Viewer, you gain a third option: the ability to open a Web page as a Chrome panel. It's a great way to dock your Facebook news feed, Twitter feed, or a YouTube video, whether you are keeping an eye on a TED talk or a Cleveland Browns game from the mid-1980's when Bernie Kosar was at the height of his powers.

When the Picture in Picture Viewer extension installs, it places a button to the right of Chrome's … Read more

Apple looks to outfit devices with solar power converters

Apple is looking at eliminating the middleman in solar power charging by outfitting devices with their own converters.

Published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a patent application dubbed "Power management systems for accepting adapter and solar power in electronic devices," envisions a power management system that can direct solar power to a laptop or other device without the need for an external converter.

Using solar power to charge your portable devices is hardly a new concept. But Apple's invention would remove some of the hassle involving in current methods. Instead of relying on bulky … Read more

Buy your flat-pack solar panels at Ikea in the UK

Today, Ikea customers in Southampton, England, can stroll into the big blue and yellow store and plunk down $9,200 for a solar panel array for their semi-detached home. Ikea, which has been installing industrial-size solar arrays on its store roofs for years, has just started to roll out home solar systems for consumers in the UK.

Ikea's move to sell solar panels was anticipated years ago with the company formally committing to green technologies. Southampton is the first store to offer the panels, made by Hanergy Solar UK, but more stores in Britain will be jumping onboard.

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2014 Corvette Stingray: America's Supercar (CNET On Cars, Episode 26)


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The new Corvette has arrived and it's both remarkably modern and thoroughly vintage Vette, right down to some quaintly old-school tech under the hood. I think you'll enjoy our drive and walkaround tour of what they've done to create this seventh-generation car.

I've been getting a number of e-mails lately about hydrogen fuel cell cars (i.e., what ever happened to them) and CNG natural gas cars. So we're taking on the basics of each starting … Read more

Magnepan's ultraskinny speakers make big, fat sound

Magnepan makes flat speakers, and has been perfecting the technology for more than 40 years. How flat is flat? The Super MMG three-piece system I'm looking at today is a mere 1.25 inches thick! The Super MMG floor-standing speaker is 48 inches high and 14 inches wide; the DWM Bass Panel is 19.25 inches high, 22.5 wide, and, like the speaker, just 1.25 inches thick. The Super MMG and DWM can be that thin because they don't use traditional box cabinets, cone woofers, or dome tweeters; they have "planar" flat drivers, designed … Read more

Leaked iPad 5 photos hint further at Mini-like design

With the never-ending chatter about Apple's much-anticipated iPhone models, it's easy to ignore everything else that's likely to come out of the company's expected September 10 event. But it's good to see that the next generations of Apple's tablet line haven't been entirely forgotten.

Sonny Dickson, which is a frequent leaker of all things Apple, on Wednesday posted a rather extensive gallery of what appears to be the front panel of the iPad 5.

The photos appear to confirm what Citi Research wrote in a note to investors earlier this month -- that … Read more

Insider secrets for taking car photos like a pro (CNET On Cars, Episode 25)


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On this episode, we do something really cool: take you out on a car photo shoot with renowned auto photographer Michael Alan Ross. After you watch our project with him, go right out and take a few photos of your car. Notice how much better they look than the last ones you took.

I really like our Smarter Driver segment this week: staged accidents and how to avoid them. You'd be surprised how many wrecks are bogus. We'll show … Read more

Apple eyes LG as panel supplier for rumored TV, report says

Apple could tap into LG Display for the panels for its much-rumored television, at least according to the latest scuttlebutt uncovered by DigiTimes.

Rumors have popped up that Apple is interested in buying 55-inch and 65-inch ultra HD TV panels from LG, DigiTimes said on Thursday. But LG hasn't won the deal just yet. Apple is reportedly still checking out the technology and hasn't actually finalized any orders.

Apple is also chatting with Taiwan-based AU Optronics about producing the panels, according to DigiTimes, while Sharp is on the list of potential suppliers as well.

DigiTimes does have a … Read more