Google Buy’s Tony Fadell’s Nest Corporation For $3.2 Billion

nest-protect-xlThe Nest brand of smart home appliances will live on, under Tony Fadell’s leadership, as it always has been, but under the watchful eye of the Google banner, thanks to the recent and sweet purchase of $3.2 billion — in cash. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval, but from the looks of Google’s track record with acquiring companies, it should go past without any fuss. Keep in mind that in the past, Google Ventures had already invested over $100 million in Nest, so this was a follow-up move, more likely than not.

Nest CEO had the following to say about his company’s acquisition:

“We’re thrilled to join Google. With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world.”

Via: Google, Nest

The Mercedes-Benz S600 V12 Is Nearly Autonomous When Driven (Or Lack Thereof)

13C1105_01-820x420The new Mercedes-BEnz S600 V12 turbo comes with a 530HP engine boasting 830Nm of torque, with fuel consumption less than a fifth compared to the outgoing model. Besides the undoubted level of luxury that comes with this vehicle, there’s technology.

In fact, the S600 V12 has so many driver assists, it’s a nearly autonomous car, with LED intelligent lighting, Magic Body Control suspension that uses cameras to scan the upcoming road surface and adjust how the car rides accordingly, the standard Driving Assistance Plus package with active lane keeping assistance, active blind-spot assistance, plus Distronic Plus cruise control with steering control, and automatic braking.

In other words, it’s very, very safe, and very, very technologically adept. It will arrive in U.S. lots in March, with as-of-yet unannounced pricing.

Windows 9 Is Apparently A Topic At This Year’s BUILD 2014

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Microsoft is quickly developing the Windows brand, releasing Windows 8, then patching it with Windows 8.1 only a few short months later. Fast forward to 2014, and there’s also bustling chat about the next Windows version, Windows 9 “Threshold”, where the April 2014 BUILD conference will introduce the subject, officially.

As Windows insider Paul Thurrott states, the upgrade will not only bring back the Start menu as if nothing has ever happened, but will also run full screen Metro-style apps with the traditional desktop apps, somehow, all in the same environment.

Via: WSS

Beats Music Launches January 21st, With Tons Of Music Suggestions

beats_music_2Beats, the famed makers of headphones and the like, will attach their brand to one more category, to go up against behemoths like Spotify: music streaming. At launch, the service will  be free, but then to continue offering 20 million tracks, will be followed by a $10 monthly charge (and includes offline playback) — just like Spotify’s mobile + desktop subscription. But, there are differences between the services. Also, Beats Music is founded by Beats Electronics’ Jimmy Iovine along with Dr. Dre, Luke Wood, Trent Reznor, and Ian Rogers.

The group decided that the main issue with a music streaming service is choice: too much of it. By creating iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and web apps with intuitive and detailed suggestion features, backed by music experts from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, including independent labels, Beats Music will apparently create perfect playlists based off a user “liking” or “loving” a particular genre. The rest is up to the user, and the service.

AT&T gets in on the action, too: by offering a Beats Music Family Plan with 5 accounts across 10 devices for $14.99/month.

Big names besides artists and publishers will back Beats Music, too —  Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, as well as radio stations will all offer official playlists. Perhaps the most intriguing feature will be “Just For You” – which will deliver at least four personalized album and playlist selections each day, based on one’s musical tastes, time of day, and so on.

Time will tell how this will go.

Via: Beats Music

Samsung Galaxy S5 Coming Out In April With Gear Successor, Says Exec

Samsung Galaxy S4 Review

A Samsung executive vice president of mobile business Bloomberg on January 6 that the Samsung Galaxy S5 would be launching in April.

On top of that, a much more advanced Galaxy Gear successor would appear in that month as well, but will also streamline its design to remain appealing (and perhaps have a feature set that could warrant its purchase).

Outside of the official statement, more tech news outlets believe that the Galaxy S5 will depart from the primary design used in the last two smartphones, along with new features, such as possible eye scanning technology, as well as a new display (with the rumored 2K resolution) and a new software layer on top of the latest version of Android.

ViaBloomberg

T-Mobile Uncarrier 4.0 Plan: Paying Termination Fees For Customers To Switch Carriers

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere will have a way with words at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, but meanwhile, the company’s press department out of Washington published something interesting. Uncarrier 4.0, that is — in other words, T-Mobile’s plan to pay a customer’s $350 early termination fee from another carrier (Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T), so that he/she can make the transition to T-Mobile, starting Thursday, the 9th of January.

The caveat(s)? First, you have to  trade in your existing phone, buy a new T-Mobile phone, sign up for a new T-Mobile plan, and even port your existing phone number to T-Mobile — it’s quite a list of things, but to be expected of if you’re switching carriers anyways.

Also, $350 isn’t strictly the amount T-Mobile will pay; rather you have to provide proof of what the carrier you’re leaving will charge you to terminate the contract, via mail or via this website, afterwards, T-Mobile will take care of the rest.

Via: T-Mobile

Gigabyte Aorus: A Dual GPU Laptop Less Than An Inch Thick

X712Color us impressed by the Gigabyte Aorus gaming laptop, but it takes a lot and shoves it into a very small package. The 17.3-inch model is a mere 0.9-inches thick and weighs 6.4 pounds, despite the fact that it is housing a pair of NVIDIA GTX 765M chips in an SLI configuration ,a quad-core Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor, two fans, four vents, five thermal pipes, 32GB of memory, a pair of 512GB SSDs, a 1TB HDD, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, backlit keyboard, Killer networking chip, dual HDMI ports, a Mini DisplayPort and a VGA socket.

Whoa.

Unfortunately, the battery life hasn’t been mentioned, but with specs like those aforementioned, they must be in evanescence. But still, you could control entire drone squads guilds from a machine like this, so it should be great. The Aorus ships in March for $2,100 or $2,800, depending on configuration.

ViaAorus