Luxury Supiore Uno electric boat makes a green splash

If you ever feel the need to humble yourself because of your Croesus-like excesses, go small and go green.

Those are two words to describe the Supiore Uno, a compact luxury watercraft that's all electric.

Billed as the first solar-powered electric tender, the Uno packs a barbeque, chilled wine storage, and a stereo -- perfect for a day out on the water. … Read more

Xbox One in your living room

Xbox One in your living room:

In this episode of Update:

- Here's what Xbox One in your living room is like.

- More light gets shed on the infamous Google barge.

- Gogo to bring talk and text to the friendly skies.

- Twitter is scary for newbies.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the big stories, hot devices, new apps, and what's ahead. Subscribe to the podcast via the links below.


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Billionaire boats: Sailing on super-deluxe superyachts

I'm a devotee of the Yacht Rock school of sailing, which means smooth music from the late 1970s with plenty of cocktails. Worrying about winds, sandbars, and fuel supplies is someone else's job.

I'm nearly useless as a crew member, but at least I can provide some ballast. That's why I'm hoping to sail the seas aboard a superyacht one day.

These ultra-luxurious vessels are enormous and enormously expensive. They're private mini cruise ships with the amenities of five-star hotels, and although the market for these floating gin palaces took a serious beating with the 2008 financial crisis, there are signs it's cruising back to life. … Read more

Sailrocket 2 breaks sailing speed record at 68 mph

If you think wind power will never get you anywhere, take a ride on the Sailrocket 2, a specially engineered sailboat that has set a new sailing speed record.

Sponsored by Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, the Sailrocket accelerated to 59.23 knots (68.1 mph) on Walvis Bay off the coast of Namibia. The speed was the best average time over 500 meters (546 yards), but the craft was later clocked at 64.78 knots (74.5 mph).

The World Sailing Speed Record Council has certified a speed of 54.08 knots (62.2 mph) and is assessing faster claims.

The 40-foot, British-built craft weighs just over 600 pounds but skims along the water on hydrofoils. It was built from carbon fiber with a core of Nomex Honeycomb, a composite material. Titanium was also used in the construction.… Read more

EnergySail promises wind-solar combo for cleaner shipping

Many shipping companies are experimenting with adding sails to cargo vessels. Here's a design in which the sails are also solar panels.

EnergySail is a concept by Japan's Eco Marine Power that harnesses and stores wind and solar power to reduce fuel costs and pollution. It would work as an additional source of power to a ship's main engines.

The devices would be fitted on anything from large bulk ore carriers to cable-laying ships, ferries, and coast guard patrol vessels, according to the company. An automatic control system would orient the sails and panels to catch the … Read more

Episode 16: Torture-testing the iPhone 5

Everyone else is excited about this being the episode where we torture test the iPhone 5 -- and believe me, I get that, it's pretty exciting. And it was a pretty dramatic test, to be sure, I think you'll be surprised at the combination of tough and not tough displayed by that phone.

But for me, this episode is all about the America's Cup piece! That's just selfish, though; it's because I had such a great time riding on that catamaran -- and I do think the broadcasting tech is fascinating. America's Cup racing … Read more

Students build autonomous transatlantic boat

A group of students is preparing to launch an autonomous boat that will sail more than 3,000 miles across the Atlantic from Rhode Island to Spain in what it calls the first robo-boat crossing of its kind.

Built by four college students in the U.S. and Spain, Scout is an 8-foot-long propeller-driven foam shell coated with carbon fiber and Kevlar to withstand punishing conditions at sea.

Run by microcontrollers, it's equipped with a GPS system and digital compass for navigation and tracking as well as a solar-powered battery system that can operate the craft for at least … Read more

Calendar app and sailboat-racing game: iPhone apps of the week

As we get closer to the launch date of Apple's iPad (April 3), I can't help but ponder how each application I use might translate to the new device.

Games obviously will have a lot more flexibility with the added touch-screen space, and having more available screen room will probably make development of more complex control systems easier. Apps in every category will have a little more processing power to work with, taking away any delays we've grown used to on the iPhone and iPod Touch. But another noticeable difference for me is how I look at … Read more

Sail-powered cargo ship test results in: It cut fuel by 20 percent

Sail power is back.

The MV Beluga SkySails, a cargo ship rigged up with a billowing 160-meter sail from SkySails, used approximately 20 percent less fuel than it would have without the sail during a two-month voyage. Put another way, that's 2.5 tons of fuel, or $1,000 a day, in operating costs. Beluga Shipping ultimately hopes to save $2,000 a day with the technology.

The ship left Bremen, Germany, on the 22nd of January, sailed to Venezuela, and then headed toward the Norwegian port of Mo-I-Rana, docking on March 13. In all, the ship sailed 11,… Read more

Kite-flying to help save the planet

The winds of change are apparently upon us, quite literally, where alternative means of transportation are concerned. Just yesterday we wrote of a flying boat to come out of Brazil, for example, and now we learn of a trimaran that runs on kite power off the shores of Hawaii.

We're not talking about ordinary sails here, but high-tech kites that "harness higher winds above the water, reduce wetted surface with a lifting force, and improve hull stability," according to Maui-based Kite For Sail. The system, which provides far more propulsion than conventional sails, is meant to supplement … Read more