Johnathan Owen

Johnathan Owen

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The Lexus RC F has been a polarizing car since it debuted for the 2015 model year.It's got a great engine that sounds incredible but the chassis was always a bit of a let-down for something that was marketed as being sporty and as such, it was never really embraced by the motoring public.Fast-forward to 2019 and the Detroit Auto Show and Lexus appears to have taken people's criticism at least somewhat to heart and is offering up a re-tooled and refreshed RC F and it's also bringing out a limited Track Edition for those who really want to stick it to the folks from Munich and Stuttgart.How does it look on paper?Well, to start, Lexus has kept the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, and now it makes 472 horsepower and 395 foot-pounds of torque.That works out to a bump of just 5 horsepower and 6 ft-lbs, which isn't much but when paired with the car's new, more aggressive 3.13 ratio rear end (shortened up from 2.93), your butt dyno should feel the difference.
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SpaceX kicked off 2019 with a flawless rocket launch and landing on January 11, following its most successful 12-month period in 2018.But a short while later, it was revealed that Elon Musk’s space company is planning to cut its workforce by around 10 percent, equal to around 600 jobs.SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California early on Friday for the Iridium-8 mission, with the first stage of the rocket on its second outing following the the Telstar 18 Vantage mission in September 2018.SpaceX’s first orbital mission of 2019 successfully deployed 10 satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications.It was the space company’s final launch for Iridium’s global satellite constellation, described as the largest communications network currently in orbit.About eight minutes after launch, the first-stage rocket booster returned to Earth as planned, making a perfect landing on a drone ship in the Pacific.
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There has been a whole lot of hand-wringing in the smart home sector in the past month or so over whether the Swedish furniture giant IKEA would be bringing its jazzy new smart blinds to the U.S. market.The answer is “sort of.” But the good news is that at least one of the company’s new blinds products will be coming to the U.S., and will be available in IKEA stores and online as of April 1.Now, we’ve known IKEA was moving into the smart home market for a while, thanks to the popularity and adaptability of its TRÅDFRI intelligent lighting range that now includes a wide variety of smart home products including LED bulbs, motion sensors, dimming kits, and so forth, all controlled by the lighting gateway and accompanying control app.(By the way, IKEA brands all its products in ALL CAPS so if it sounds like we’re shouting, we’re not — just trying to respect cultural norms and keep world peace and stuff.)There are two different blinds products in development, we think.On the company’s German website, there’s a blinds product called KADRILJ and another called FYRTUR and it looks like the European market will get both in another month or so, but the U.S. market is only getting the FYRTUR product, at least for now.
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Cadillac revealed Sunday what will likely be the first electric vehicle in the luxury brand’s portfolio.And surprise, it’s a crossover.The sketch of the full-size crossover SUV, which was unveiled during a debut party for the 2020 Cadillac XT6 in Detroit, kicks off a transformation of GM’s luxury brand.On Friday, GM announced plans to turn Cadillac into its lead electric vehicle brand in a bid to compete against Tesla as well as a host of other automakers bringing EVs onto the market.Not much is known about this crossover yet.Cadillac said the name of the electric crossover and additional details about the vehicle will be revealed closer to launch.
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Seasoned entrepreneur Bob Chua is back with his latest venture BlinQ, focussed on Asia’s booming luxury fashion e-commerce space.After two successful Big Data exits and an IPO on the London Stock Exchange, Chua aims to capture what he believes is a hugely untapped market.This press release features multimedia.View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190113005018/en/The personal luxury market is currently estimated to be $300bn and will grow to $500bn by 2020.Close to 44% deriving from Asia according to McKinsey’s global fashion report.
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While we recover from Vegas, please be advised that what happened there last week has not stayed there.CES is all the excuse Hyundai needs to introduce its legged car concept.Mapping and location data company HERE unveils SoMo, an app platform for all the cab companies that have been pummeled by ride-hail.It will launch in 15 global cities, including London, Amsterdam, New Orleans, and LA.Meet the Ava XC, “what Tony Stark would build if he had an Edward Scissorhands phase.” Looks aside, it’s the largest known electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to fly yet, and its makers wouldn't be mad if it were deployed in an honest-to-Jove flying taxi service.The experienced helicopter-smiths at Bell would like you to say hello to its own vertical-takeoff aircraft, the 6,000-pound Nexus, which uses six tilting, ducted fans to reach a top speed of 150 mph, with a 150-mile range.
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Cadillac's current crossover SUV lineup is pretty diverse.There is, however, a gaping hole between the XT5 and Escalade where a more manageably sized three-row crossover would slot in nicely.Come later this year, that void will be filled by the all-new 2020 Cadillac XT6, which will make its public debut at the Detroit Auto Show.The XT6 finally gives Caddy a three-row crossover that can compete with the likes of the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, Lexus RX 350L and Lincoln Aviator.It certainly looks like a Cadillac, with an upright front end and slim headlights complimented by long, vertical LED running lights.Distinguishing the Premium Luxury on the outside are bright grille, window and roof rail accents, red taillights and specific 20-inch wheels on the clean and inoffensive sheetmetal.
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SAITAMA, Japan—Return of the Obra Dinn, the latest video game from designer, programmer, artist, writer, and musician Lucas Pope, revolves around a massive cast of characters.Ars Technica’s best games of 2018In the game, players must sort through the histories and fates of dozens of men, women, and children by working as an insurance adjuster.There's a cursed cargo ship and magic, yes, but also a giant log book, a glossary, and a massive list of names to account for and cross-reference.I think about this—the virtual book, the names, the number of souls crowded onto this cursed boat called Obra Dinn—when I enter Omiya Station, 40 minutes north of Tokyo via train, one breezy October day.As I came to learn, the modern classic only happened after Pope had mastered enough game development tools (including many he'd built from scratch) to tell his most singular story yet within a video game.
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Set your boundaries and stick to themAs part of my research, I’ve recently been speaking with a number of sex workers in Europe about their digital security and privacy.Also set limits on the online discussions you’re willing to participate in; bow out when a discussion is hurting more than helping you.People who get their news primarily – or exclusively – from social media are subjecting themselves to the whims of the algorithms that decide what to display to each user.Because of how these algorithms work, those people are likely to see articles only from news sources they already like and tend to agree with.Free online tools like AllSides and Purple Feed are some places that show news reports and social media posts from differing political perspectives, and identify information that’s generally agreed upon across the political spectrum.
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The Federal Trade Commission thinks your phone is being held back by Qualcomm's business practices.But Qualcomm Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf says the way his company sells chips to smartphone makers is best for everybody involved.Qualcomm's "no license, no chips" policy is at the heart of the FTC's case against Qualcomm, which lawyers are arguing before Judge Lucy Koh in US District Court in San Jose this month.Mollenkopf was among the witnesses who testified on Friday.Under the policy, companies must license Qualcomm's patents before it will sell them chips.That's because Qualcomm's patent licenses cover lots more technology a phone might use than simply what's in his company's modem chips, which let phones talk to mobile networks.
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In January 2017, when Megyn Kelly opted to leave her longtime Fox News home and accept a three-year, $69 million megadeal from NBC News, many industry observers doubted that NBC and Kelly would be a good fit.Friday night, NBC News made official what has been inevitable since October, and perhaps even longer than that: It has cut ties with Kelly, who will leave the news organization after reaching an agreement to dissolve her contract.“The parties have resolved their differences and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC,” said NBC News in a statement.A source with knowledge of the situation told Adweek that Kelly will be walking away with the remaining $25-30 million of the three-year, $69 million contract she signed with NBC News in early 2017.Both parties have been negotiating Kelly’s exit for more than two months, in the wake of Kelly’s controversial comments during the Oct. 23 edition of Megyn Kelly Today, during which she defended the idea of wearing blackface on Halloween and seemed not to understand why it was considered offensive.“Back when I was a kid, that was OK, as long as you were dressing like a character,” Kelly said.
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Video game studio Gearbox Software is engaged in contentious legal battle with the company's former general counsel, Wade Callender.In a countersuit, Callender leveled multiple serious allegations against Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, accusing Pitchford of taking a $12 million bonus that was intended as an advance against profits of "Borderlands 2," its blockbuster video game.In a statement issued to Kotaku, Gearbox said the allegations have "no basis in reality or law," and the company plans to settle the matter in court.A messy split between a video game Gearbox and its former general counsel has led to a legal battle, resulting in some serious allegations against Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford.More seriously, Callender's lawsuit also makes allegations of improper personal conduct against Pitchford, including claims that Pitchford once left a USB drive in a Dallas restaurant that contained confidential Gearbox documents, as well as info belonging to business partners including Sega, Sony, and Microsoft — and that "upon information and belief," Randy Pitchford's USB drive also contained Randy Pitchford's personal collection of 'underage' pornography," says the lawsuit.The suit also says that Pitchford hosted parties where "adult men have reportedly exposed themselves to minors, to the amusement of Randy Pitchford."
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Tech lovers may see fewer cutting-edge gadgets hitting the market in the next few months.That's because the Federal Communications Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and other US agencies that certify the safety of consumer-electronics devices are closed due to the government shutdown, now in its 21st day.And if the government doesn't reopen soon, the shutdown could also affect the rollout of the next generation of wireless networks, built around 5G technology, which promises to make them significantly faster and more responsive.Trade group the Telecommunications Industry Association, which represents makers of telecom gear, said Friday that the shutdown is slowing the introduction of new connected devices that need certification from the FCC, which if it drags on, could ultimately affect 5G deployments.The partial shutdown, which began on Dec. 22 after the House of Representatives and Senate failed to come to agreement on President Trump's demand for $5 billion to fund work on a border wall, doesn't look to be ending any time soon as neither Congressional Democrats nor Trump show signs of caving to the other's demands.While the FCC, which officially shut down most operations on January 3, kept some functions at the agency open, such as work on the 5G spectrum auction currently underway, it furloughed more than 80 percent of its staff and shuttered several databases used by certification bodies authorized to work with product developers and labs.
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A new kind of dockless, rentable, electric scooter is making a debut in Austin, Texas.Instead of the typical stand-up vehicle people are used to, this one made by Ojo comes with a seat for riders to sit on.It's also faster -- going 20 mph, rather than the customary 15 mph."Ojo Electric is taking shared-use scooters to the next level," Ojo Electric CEO Max Smith said in a statement.The scooters look a bit like a Vespa motorbike but with smaller wheels and taller handlebars.Ojo said riders can choose to sit down or stand on the vehicles.
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Proctor & Gamble debuted its newest tool in the fight against aging.At CES this week, the company introduced the world to “Opté,” a handheld device that prints anti-aging product on top of your skin, acting as a real-world Photoshop, essentially.Opté covers up hyperpigmentation, or age spots, by gliding a device the size of an electric shaver over the skin‘s surface.Using blue LED lights, the device maximizes contrasts in melanin before using onboard cameras to take more than 200 images per second.Images are then sent to a microprocessor that analyzes 70,000 lines of code to determine the size, shape, and intensity of each blemish.After photographing and analyzing the skin, a tiny onboard printer with 120 nozzles, each thinner than a human hair, deposits a specially-formulated skin care serum directly to the problem area — foregoing solution on areas where it’s not needed.
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It’s not often in the video game industry that we get to see a public face-off between two companies, but we got one this week between Unity and Epic, creators of two of the most popular game engines among developers.Naturally this caused game developers who used both tools to spiral into panic.Bossa Studios, the makers of MMO World’s Adrift, kept fans updated via nervous tweets, reassuring players that they were the studio’s top priority:We’ve just been made aware there is a situation developing between Improbable (makers of SpatialOS, the technology underpinning the Worlds Adrift servers) and Unity (the technology we use to create the game itself).The details are still sparse.— Worlds Adrift (@WorldsAdrift) January 10, 2019
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Some of our favorites were cases, for both phones and tablets.They’re not cheap, but Mophie makes the best battery cases for the iPhone.It’s super cute, with twisty arms that you can wrap around a headrest in the car or use to prop the iPad up.It comes in a couple of different colors and will be available very soon.PopSockets are a great way to keep a grip on your phone and Otterbox has partnered with the successful brand to bring you cases with PopSockets built into the back.You can twist and replace them if you want, with alternative designs at $8 a pop.
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As CES 2019 winds to an end, the sheer amount of technology items covered/uncovered, announced and demonstrated during the show by our staff was massive!I know it is impossible to cover everything since the show was so ginormous, but our staff did a great job of covering the coolest, weirdest, as well as the best of CES 2019 from smart home devices, car technology and our staff top 10 product picks of CES.No worries; you can catch up right here.)I've been watching and reading the coverage for the past week, and one of my personal favorites of the show was LG's insane rollable OLED TV.The technology that I'm excited that will come to fruition: over-the-air wireless charging.Yup, you heard me right: charging a device like your phone, smartwatch, hearing aids... through thin air!
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Police turned up at the house of a Facebook executive in California this week after a prankster imitated him and said he had shot his wife and taken his children hostage.The call was a hoax known as "swatting" where the suspect sends emergency services to a location by phoning in a fake, often violent, crime.The Palo Alto Daily Post reported that the Facebook exec, who has not been named, was briefly handcuffed.Facebook thanked the police and said it was "glad that our colleague and his family are safe."Police showed up at a Facebook executive's house in California after receiving a hoax call from someone impersonating the executive, saying he had shot his wife and taken his children hostage.In a press release, Palo Alto police said an as yet unidentified male rang 911 at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night, purporting to be the executive, who has not been named.
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Speaker designer Andrew Jones has unveiled his latest Elac series and it is the first to incorporate the company's iconic "Jet" folded tweeter.And based on my time with it, for such a small design it had a big, big sound.The Carina series is the step-up from the excellent Uni-Fi range and consists of three products: the BS243.4 bookshelf ($1,200), the FS247.4 floorstander ($2,400) and the CC241.4 center channel ($TBC).Jones is best known for his three-way concentric designs and told me that it was a challenge to try incorporating a tweeter he hadn't worked with before in a simpler two-way speaker (treble and mid/bass).All of the speakers are based on 5.25-inch aluminum drivers and Jones told me he sourced a different folded tweeter from the one the company typically uses to keep costs down.The BS243.4 bookshelf features a bass reflex located on the bottom of the speaker and this in combination with the tweeter achieves a frequency range of 46Hz to 30kHz.
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