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BMW and Toyota team for hybrid sports car to replace Z4

More and more vehicles are going hybrid and some of the most interest hybrids are aimed at improving performance. A number of high-end sports cars are adopting hybrid tech, such as the Ferrari LaFerrari and the McLaren P1, to make the car faster more than for fuel efficiency.

 

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Those high-end sports cars are able to drive short distances on electricity alone in many instances. Typically, the hybrid power is aimed at generating low-end torque allowing the gas engine to be tuned for high rpm performance. BMW and Toyota announced last year that they were teaming up on a new hybrid sports car.

 

AutoCar says that this rendering is what the car might look like. The vehicle is tipped to get a small 4cylinder gas engine with turbo power and a hybrid system. Rather than batteries like a normal hybrid, this car will use supercapacitors. Those are able to store and discharge energy faster than batteries.

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Winter temps decimate EV driving range says AAA

There are many people out there this winter who can attest that living in a climate that gets really cold and has lots of snow can be bad for your mood and productivity. Lot of folks have dealt with record setting winter storms and cold temperatures for months now. If you live in these cold areas and have an electric vehicle, the weather is doubly bad for you.

 

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AAA has released the results of a study that looks at the driving range of an EV in winter temperatures compared to more moderate temperatures. According to the study, an EV that can drive 105 miles per charge in 75-degree weather will only be able to go 43 miles when it's below freezing.

 

AAA says that its study shows driving range with temperatures of around 20-degrees are 57% shorter than when its 75-degrees out. The study also found that hot weather affects driving range, but not as much as cold weather. With most EVs in the country sold in temperate Southern California, I guess many don't have to worry about this.

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Porsche Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS unveiled

Porsche has been making some of the most desirable sports cars in the world for decades. The company has its slick two seat Boxster and Cayman cars on the low-end, and the venerable and long running 911 with other models thrown in as well. Porsche has announced a new version of the Boxster and Cayman with more power and style.

 

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The new versions of the cars are the Cayman GTS and the Boxster GTS. Both of the cars get a bump in power compared to the standard versions of the car. Both cars get an extra 15hp bringing the output to 330hp for the Boxster and 340 for the Cayman. Each of the cars also gets a 7 lb-ft boost in torque.

 

Both GTS models get the Sport Chrono package standard and can be fitted with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed PDK. When fitted with the PDK gearbox the Cayman GTS can reach 60 mph in 4.3 seconds with the Boxster GTS needing 4.4 seconds.

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Teen launches comic book vending machine business

When I was 19 years old, about the only thing I thought hard about was landing a date with the hot blonde in my Anatomy class in college. I certainly wasn't thinking about starting a business. 19-year old Chris Romberger is thinking about a business and the teen has launched his own, and it's very cool.

 

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Romberger has Down Syndrome and autism. He worked with a job coach to figure out what he wanted to do with is life. His goals involved the comic books he loves. Since retail space is expensive to rent and maintain, the teen and his coach went with a vending machine.

 

Rather than filling the vending machine with snacks or gadgets, Romberger filled his with comic books. The machine has an assortment of single-issue comic books that you can buy. It appears that prices range from $2.00 to $4.00.

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News anchor says Russia could "turn the US into radioactive dust"

Russian President Vladimir Putin hand-picked Dmitry Kiselyov to be the head of Russia Today, with the news anchor appearing on the show on Sunday saying that Russia could "turn the US into radioactive dust."

 

 

Kiselyov made the statement on state-controlled Rossiya 1 TV, with the broadcasting going out shortly after the polls of the Crimean peninsula showed that 95% of people wanted to leave Ukraine, and become part of Russia. Kiselyov then talked about Russia's "dead hand" defense system, where he said: "Even if people in all our command posts after an enemy atomic attack cannot be contacted, the system will automatically fire our missiles from mines and submarines in the right direction," right as an image of a Russian missile headed toward the United States appeared on the screen.

 

Kiselyov has been referred to as "the Glenn Beck of Russia" and seems to not believe in a free and objective press: "I understood that objective journalism, distilled, is absolutely not in demand."

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Google acquires parts of Green Throttle Gaming, and its founders

Pando Daily is reporting that Google has acquired parts of Green Throttle Gaming, a small company who developers Bluetooth controllers and Android-based virtual gaming consoles.

 

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Google scooped up Green Throttle Gaming's two founders, as well as the parts and labor division of the company. A Google spokesperson has confirmed the deal, but didn't extend its terms to the public. The deal sees Green Throttle's business rights stay with co-founder Charles, while the company's staff and co-founders move over to Google.

 

The other co-founders of Green Throttle are Karl Townsend, who is the company's Lead Engineer on the original and second generation Palm Pilot, and President and Chief Operating Officer Matt Crowley, who used to work for Nokia and Palm. The company has worked on an Android-based virtual console, which allows gamers to connect their smartphones and tablets up to their TVs through an HDMI connection to play mobile games with Green Throttle controllers.

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Apple approved for its San Francisco-based flagship Apple Store

The San Francisco Planning Commission along with the city's Board of Supervisors have approved Apple's plans for an upcoming Union Store Apple Store. Now that the city has approved its plans, the company can being construction on the new store, which will be located just three blocks away from its existing store in San Francisco.

 

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"We are thrilled that the city of San Francisco has given its final approval to begin work on our new store and public plaza, which will make a wonderful addition to Union Square and create hundreds of local jobs," said Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette when talking to Re/code. She continued: "Our Stockton Street store has been incredibly popular, welcoming over 13 million customers since it opened nine years ago, and we look forward to making a new home on Union Square."

 

We should expect the new flagship Apple Store to feature 44-foot tall sliding glass panels at its entry, with an Apple rep calling the new location "more iconic" than its well-known Fifth Avenue store in New York City.

Former Lead Engineer for Valve's VR project leaves for Oculus VR

Valve's now former Lead Engineer on its VR project has left the company, for the bright lights of Oculus VR. Atman Binstock will now serve as Oculus VR's new Chief Architect.

 

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Binstock helped the Half-Life developer on its VR Room demo, which was shown at the company's Steam Dev Days. Binstock also has a history with other industry heavyweights in Intel and DICE. Oculus VR posted on its website that Binstock had helped Valve overcome simulator sickness and push through for a true sense of "presence" in a virtual reality setting.

 

Considering the two companies have been working together on VR, Oculus VR's Rift technology and the future of the company must have been more enticing for Binstock. Oculus VR has been grabbing some of the biggest names in the industry of late, with its latest big name in the industry joining last year, John Carmack of Doom and Quake fame.

Machinima receives $18 million investment from Warner Bros

Gaming-focused YouTube network, Machinima, just received an injection of $18 million from Warner Bros. Entertainment in another round of funding. Warner Bros. wasn't alone in funding, with participation from Machinima's existing investors jumping in, too.

 

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These companies include MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures and Google Capital. Chairman and CEO of Machinima, Allen DeBevoise said: "We are thrilled to be partnering with Warner Bros., the leading producer of exactly the type of content that resonates with our global audience of video gamers and millennial males. There are myriad opportunities to connect Warner Bros.' content to our audience across YouTube and our highly successful apps, and similarly to maximize the value of our content by utilizing Warner Bros.' expertise in global distribution beyond YouTube."

 

The new funding from Warner Bros. extends its relationship with Machinima, with the two companies working on the live-action web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy together.

Snowden calls for "a watchdog that watches Congress"

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden addressed the SXSW audience from a web broadcast, where he gave some policy suggestions on how the government can better protect US citizens' 4th Amendment rights.

 

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Snowden started by saying that intelligence agencies need to bring in a "law enforcement" model of defense, which means we could see a stop of the bulk collection of Internet and phone data, exchanging this capture-all-data method to only capturing data from suspects with a warrant. Thing is, Congress is already talking about this, with US Senators Rand Paul and Ron Wyden proposing these changes.

 

But, Snowden saw an overall bigger issue with Congress, who he accused of "cheerleading for the NSA instead of holding them accountable." He used the example of when the Director of the NSA, James Clapper, admittedly gave false answers to Congress about the massive data collection the NSA carries out, some members of the Intelligence Committee jumped to his defense. Snowden said: "We need a watchdog that watches Congress."

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