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Ten of the newest, most high-tech features for your car

Ten new high-tech features for your car


When consumers go looking for new cars, they'll often say that they're looking for certain things. What kind of gas mileage does it get? What will it cost to maintain? What kind of safety features does it have? Again, that's what consumers will say they're looking for.
In reality, they're looking for a few other things too, things that can hold almost as much sway over the decision-making process as any practical concern. Namely, does it look cool? Would Daniel Craig be seen driving this? And does it come with new, high-tech gadgets worthy of a fictional British superspy?
Karl Brauer, a senior director at the car valuation and analysis company Kelley Blue Book, understands this, and he provided CNBC.com with a list of 10 new high-tech features for cars. They address every part of the driving experience, from road safety to avoiding traffic jams and much, much more.
What are some of the most exciting new high-tech gadgets for your car? Read CNBC.com's list to find out.
By Daniel BukszpanUpdated 31 Oct. 2013
Tune in to the new season of "The Car Chasers" on CNBC Prime, all new episodes Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Crash avoidance


No matter how good a car's rear crumple zone is, some collisions cause major damage no matter what. According to Brauer, this situation is being addressed by car manufacturers, who are shifting emphasis from crash protection to crash avoidance. After all, a semi coming at you at 95 mph can't do any damage if it never hits you.
"Technologies like Volvo's City Safety System and Infiniti's Forward Collision Warning will stop a vehicle even if the driver's foot doesn't go near the brake pedal," he said. "This technology reduces not only the injuries to vehicle occupants and pedestrians, but insurance costs for everyone."


Maximum efficiency


According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the cost of gasoline during the week of Oct. 28, 2013, is $3.30 a gallon. At that price, motorists want all the fuel efficiency they can get, and Brauer said that most car companies now offer a wide range of under-hood technologies to provide it.
"These features aren't restricted to hybrids or electric vehicles," he said. "The high performance Porsche Cayenne includes variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation and engine stop-start technology, that latter of which shuts the engine off when at a stop and automatically restarts it when the driver takes his foot off the brake."

Hi-fi audio


For many commuters, the radio is the one thing that makes sitting in eternal bumper-to-bumper traffic a bearable experience. But why listen to the Steve Miller Band and Bachman-Turner Overdrive through two small, tinny dashboard speakers when there are systems that can turn a car into a travelling arena rock event?
"An audio system like Land Rover's Meridian sound system, with 380 watts, 13 speakers, 12 channels and multiple digital signal processing modes can recreate the most lavish concert hall listening experience," Brauer said. "These systems use optimized speaker placement throughout a car's interior to create maximum acoustic imaging and aural punch, rivaling the most advanced home audio setups."

Lane keeping


When operating a motor vehicle, we're supposed to keep our eyes on the road, our hands on the wheel and our attention front and center. In real life, however, drivers don't always follow the rules, and even the most conscientious motorist can get distracted. It's at moments like those that automatic lane keeping comes in handy.
"Cars like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Infiniti Q50 can actually keep a vehicle within its assigned lane without any driver input," Brauer said. "While no manufacturer encourages 'hands-free' behavior, a combination of sensors and steering motors will keep many modern vehicles 'between the lines' on both straight and curving roadways."

Remote control


In 20th century science fiction accounts of the year 2000, everything was to be controlled remotely, including cars. Thirteen years into the 21st century, the car that can be driven remotely is still a figment of the imagination, but that doesn't mean we can't still do some cool stuff with our cars from far away. 
"We can't yet drive our cars by remote control, but we can track their location, unlock their doors, start their engine or even fire up their air conditioning system from miles away," Brauer said.
"GM is one of several manufacturers to offer such features through its OnStar communication and security system. These same systems let also the vehicles talk back to their owners, sending service and maintenance information through text or email messages."

Smart cruise control


For a motorist driving across an uninterrupted expanse of highway, cruise control has always been a godsend. However, motorists can now benefit from this technology, and they don't need to be driving across Texas to do it. Yes, smart cruise control has arrived, and it can help drivers in a variety of contexts.
"Today's smart cruise control systems, such as Lexus' Adaptive Cruise Control, use a combination of sensors and lasers to track the velocity and location of surrounding traffic," Brauer said. "These systems then match the speed of surrounding vehicles while maintaining a safe following distance via accelerator and brake control, making smart cruise control a true 'set it and forget it' feature."

Self-parking


Cars that drive themselves may not exist yet, but cars that give drivers a helping hand while parking are another story. "Self-driving cars are still a ways out, but several self-parking cars have already arrived," Brauer said.
"Many are luxury vehicles, like the Mercedes-Benz GL or BMW 7 Series, but Ford's $25,000 Focus Titanium also includes the company's Active Park Assist system, which will do the steering for you when you parallel park," he explained. "You still have to control the gas and brake pedal."

Traffic avoidance


In-car navigation has existed for too long to still be defined as cutting-edge technology. However, a car that detects heavy traffic and warns a motorist to stay away from it is a welcome advancement. 
"The next evolution in navigational guidance comes from driving a car that knows the surrounding traffic conditions and takes them into account when picking the most effective route from point A to point B," Brauer said. "Acura's Real-Time Traffic system monitors all nearby roadways and can suggest alternative routes if the traffic patterns change during your trip."

Vocal texting


Every day, more than nine people are killed and more than 1,060 people injured in car crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC listed three main types of distraction for drivers—taking their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel and their minds off of driving. Texting while driving combines all three of these distractions, making it an especially dangerous activity for motorists.
"For most drivers the only smart option—and in many states, the legally required one—is to put the phone down and ignore texts until you reach your destination," Brauer said. "But Nissan offers a technology through its NissanConnect system that will read incoming text messages and reply with simple text responses using voice control—no typing required."

In-car Wi-Fi


Americans want to be online for as long as possible, wherever possible, with the best connection possible. Unfortunately, this isn't always an option within the confines of a car. Luckily, several automakers have figured out that if you build a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot, motorists will come.
"Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep all offer a system called Uconnect Access that will let you stay online while on the road," Brauer said. "Audi has gone a step further by being the first automaker to offer 4G LTE connection speeds in its upcoming A3 sedan."

The Car Chasers


Jeff Allen and Perry Barndt are gamblers—their game being classic and exotic cars. They travel the country looking to buy and sell them. Whether it's a rare Shelby Mustang or a vintage hot rod, the key is buy low and sell high, something that doesn't always happen.
Selling cars is a dangerous business, but perhaps there's no greater risk than negotiating with your own father. Tom Souter, Jeff's dad, runs a classic car dealership around the corner from Jeff's shop in Lubbock, Texas. They are not just regular trading partners; they are trading partners hell-bent on one-upmanship. Tom said doing a deal with his son is like being locked in a closet with a porcupine: "It's gonna hurt, but you know it won't kill you."
Tune in to the new season of "The Car Chasers" on CNBC Prime, all new episodes Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.




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Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF and EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM Kit

Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF and EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM Kit







20.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to H: 25600) for shooting from bright to dim light and high performance DIGIC 5+ Image Processor for exceptional image quality and processing speed.
EOS Full HD Movie mode with Movie Servo AF for improved continuous focus tracking of moving subjects, manual exposure control and multiple frame rates (1080: 30p (29.97) / 24p (23.976) / 25p, 720: 60p (59.94) / 50p, 480: 30p (29.97) / 25p), built-in stereo microphone, manual audio level adjustment with attenuator function to reduce audio clipping, and Video Snapshot with editing for expanded movie shooting options.
Canon's innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF enables you to shoot video like a camcorder with smooth, fast, and accurate autofocus; lets you enjoy instant and precise autofocus even when shooting stills from a variety of angles with the freedom provided by the Vari-angle LCD. 19-point all cross-type AF system (including a high-precision f/2.8 dual cross-type AF center point) with a wide area arrayfor exceptional autofocus performance and greater compositional freedom when shooting with the viewfinder. Intelligent Viewfinder with superimposed LCD display provides approximately 98% field of view, and Multi-Aspect ratio in Live View broadens your choices in composition.
Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor II (approximately 1,040,000 dots) with smudge-resistant coating features multi-touch operation and Touch AF for an easy and intuitive experience, flexible positioning, and clear viewing even when outdoors in sunlight.
Built-in wireless technology allows you to wirelessly transfer your images to social networking sites through CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, share your images with wireless-enabled Canon cameras, or upload virtually anywhere on your iOS® or Android(TM) smartphone* with the free download of the EOS Remote app.



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60 inch LED TV Deals: Best 60” – 70” LCD HDTV Models and Sales Published by LED TV Reviews

The last decade saw a tremendous increase in the average TV size in US households. It has been predicted that the 60 inch TV will be the average size by 2015. Fortunately for the consumer, the LCD LED TV prices have been going in the opposite direction. However, given all the complicated tech specs and close competition among different brands, selecting the best LED TV is more complicated than ever. The list of BEST 60 inch LED TV sets helps consumers narrow down their options and take the guesswork out of the equation.
10 Specs of the ideal 60 inch TV describes the criteria one needs to look at when choosing the best 60” TV. These include screen resolution, refresh rate, availability of local dimming or micro dimming, edge-lit vs full array LED lighting, availability of built-in Wi-Fi/internet ‘readiness’, Dumb vs Smart TV, 3D compatibility, energy efficiency, reasonable price tag and all important user reviews that many consumers forget to consider.
Importance of Full array vs Edge-lit LED Backlighting Explained:
Two of the most critical tech specs that are often overlooked by the average TV buyer are the type of LED backlighting and availability of local/micro dimming. Basically, there are 2 types of LED backlighting: (i) full array LED backlighting and (ii) edge-lit LED backlighting. As the names imply, full array backlighting panels have LED bulbs on the entire back panel while the edge-lit panels have LEDs along the perimeter only. At least the first generation edge-lit LED TVs had uniformity issues where the center of the screen was relatively dimmer compared to the brighter perimeter. Full array LED TVs do not have this problem because their entire back panel was fitted with LED bulbs. However, edge-lit LED TVs are slimmer and less expensive compared to the full array LED TVs, making them the more popular variety among both the consumers and manufacturers. More information on these 2 types of backlighting and examples of 60 inch full array LED TVs can be found on http://BestLEDTVReview.org/Full-Array-VS-Edge-Lit-LED-Backlighting/.
Importance of Micro-Dimming Explained:
Another very important determinant of picture quality is the contrast ratio, which is the difference between the blackest blacks and the whitest whites. One of the major limitations of LED TVs, compared to Plasma TVs is their inability to produce dark blacks (remember all those LEDs on the back panel). TV manufacturers have overcome this problem by using a technology known as local dimming where they can switch off/dim the LEDs on desired zones of the screen (when that part of the image is dark). The difference of picture quality between a TV without local dimming and a TV with high-quality local dimming can be like black and white. Samsung, LG and Sony have very good models with high-quality local dimming.
More High-Tech Specs of Modern LED HDTVs
Several secondary criteria are also considered in the ranking of the TOP 60 inch - 70 inch LED TVs. For example,some newer 60” TVs have dual-core processors and built-in sub-woofers. The processor helps faster and smoother launching of apps and web-browsing while the sub-woofer helps the TV produce high-quality audio without having to hookup a sound bar or home theater system. Some of these modern large flat screen LCD TVs may be ultra-thin at just 1.2”, but they have 2.1 speaker systems producing 35 watts of total audio output. Another example for a high-tech feature is the unique “Quattron” technology that was recently introduced in a new series of Sharp LED TVs. According to Sharp, the Quattron technology “increases the range of displayable colors”. In conventional TVs, each pixel consists of the three standard sub-pixels red, green and blue (standard RGB). With Quattron technology, each pixel consists of four sub-pixels; red, green, blue, and yellow (RGBY).
The list of Best 60 inch LED TVs, formulated by considering all of the above-mentioned factors, is a highly recommended read for anyone interested in buying a large screen LED TV this year. In addition to reviewing best TV models, they also have a section dedicated to current deals on LCD TVs that publishes daily LCD TV deals from online merchants including but not limited to Amazon.com, BestBuy, Walmart and TigerDirect.


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iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C lose to Galaxy S3 in touchscreen accuracy test

iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C lose to Galaxy S3 in touchscreen accuracy test

iphone5S_5C_vs_Galaxy_S3
The next time you shake your fist at Apple’s auto-correct, you might want to take a look at what is actually causing those occasionally amusing mishaps.
Apple is often noted for having the best hardware in the mobile industry. The company’s phones are stylish, sturdy-feeling, and often provide a user experience that outperforms the competition with little effort. Even if you’re not a fan of Apple or their mobile services, it’s hard not to be impressed by what it comes up with each year.
Last year the iPad mini received top marks for being one of the most accurate touchscreens in the tablet space, which was a big deal considering how most people hold the 7.9-inch device. Unfortunately, this year did not bring the same complement to Apple’s newest smartphones. In fact, during a recent test Apple got the silicon beat out of them by Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone from last year.
touchscreen_test_robot
OptoFidelity is a Finnish company that specializes in measurement automation and machine vision. The team used a measurement device it calls “WatchDog” to test the accuracy and responsiveness of the touch panels on the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, comparing the results to the Galaxy S3. Samsung’s previous generation smartphone still has plenty of users all over the globe, so this served as a decent control for this test.
In the tests, it was found that the displays on Apple’s latest smartphones are mostly inaccurate. The map OptoFidelity generated to demonstrate the results shows that there are very few parts of iOS that would not be affected by these issues, including typing on the keyboard in landscape or portrait orientation.
To show you how bad the iPhone panels apparently are, the image you see at the top of this post shows all three panels with red and green dots scattered across them. Green areas mean an inaccuracy of less than 1mm. Red areas have an inaccuracy of over 1mm. As you can clearly see, both the iPhone 5S and 5C panels generally have an inaccuracy above 1mm whereas the Galaxy S3 is much more uniform and rated below 1mm across the whole panel.
The test also confirmed that Apple’s latest phones are a great deal faster than the Galaxy S3, which should come as no surprise to anyone. Their performance tests captured the speed of both the camera and the browser, revealing that both the 64-bit iPhone 5S and the A5-powered iPhone 5C are noticeably faster when it comes to launching applications like the camera.
In my own tests with the iPhone 5S, I found that there were very few applications even the best performing Android phones would load faster, so the results here are entirely expected.




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