Hybrids help supercars cut CO2

Ferrari’s first hybrid model, the LaFerrari, has 963 hp and emits 330g/km of CO2 while the model it replaced, the Enzo, offered 660 hp and emitted 545g/km of CO2.

Ultraluxury nameplates such as Ferrari, McLaren, Bentley and Porsche are opting for electric powertrains to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from their supercars.

Hybrid systems used in Ferrari’s LaFerrari, McLaren’s P1 and Porsche’s 918 Spyder simultaneously boost performance while improving fuel economy.

“Moving to hybrid propulsion seems like a logical next step” for supercar makers, said Stefan Bratzel, head of the Center of Automotive Management near Cologne. “By curbing emissions and boosting performance, they can justify building more of these cars.”

Volkswagen Group subsidiary Bentley’s CO2-reducing solution is to offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain variant in 90 percent of its lineup by the end of the decade. A Bentley spokesman declined to say what the upgrade is expected to do to improve the brand’s overall fleet emissions.

Bentley’s CO2 performance is calculated within the VW Group total, so while the automaker is interested in reducing emissions, “the EU targets don’t have any direct impact on us,” the spokesman said. VW Group has promised to reduce its overall fleet CO2 to 95 grams per kilometer by 2020 from 128g/km last year.

Ferrari wants to reduce its fleet emissions by 20 percent by 2021 without sacrificing power. To do that, the supercar maker will use hybrid systems on V-12s and turbochargers on V-8 engines, Vittorio Dini, Ferrari’s powertrain director, told Automotive News Europe.

Ferrari’s average CO2 emissions are currently about 270g/km, Dini said in a recent interview. “We want to use all the available technologies to reduce emissions by 3 percent each year, which means approximately a 20 percent decrease by 2021.”

Ferrari’s average CO2 emissions have fallen by almost 40 percent since 2007, when they were 435g/km, Dini said.

Although it is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ferrari says it is treated as a stand-alone company when it comes to meeting tougher global CO2 emissions targets. That is because of Ferrari’s small size and the fact that the Italian brand has a different headquarters than parent Fiat and has its own technical centers.

Dini said one benefit of its low-volume production — roughly 7,000 units a year — is that Ferrari has been able to negotiate its own targets with both European Union regulators and officials at the U.S. EPA.

“What is important is that Ferrari achieves the same percentage reduction trend as volume automakers,” Dini said.

Porsche’s 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid goes from 0 to 100 kph in 2.8 seconds but uses just 3 liters per 100 km.

He said Ferrari would count on hybrid solutions for its V-12 engines, which are currently found in its top-of-the-range F12 Berlinetta and FF models. Ferrari showed what is possible from the strategy last year with the introduction of its first hybrid model, the limited-edition LaFerrari. The supercar, which costs more than 1 million euros (about $1.34 million) before taxes, gets its power from an 800-hp normally aspirated 6.3-liter V-12 and a 120 kilowatt (equivalent to 163 hp) electric motor.

The LaFerrari has a combined 963 hp and emits 330g/km of CO2, while the model it replaced, the Enzo, offered 660 hp and emitted 545g/km of CO2.

Ferrari also has successfully cut CO2 while boosting performance with help from turbocharging in the recently launched California T. The supercar’s turbocharged 3.9-liter V-8 gasoline engine creates 552 hp and emits 250g/km of CO2, while its predecessor’s 4.3-liter naturally aspired V-8 offered 483 hp and emitted 299g/km of CO2.

“In the future, all of our V-8s will use turbos,” Dini said, adding that Ferrari’s next challenge is to decrease the displacement of its V-8s while adding even more power.

Dini said turbos are not a good solution for Ferrari’s V-12s because four turbo units would be needed to achieve the required improvements. That would take up too much space and create too much heat in the engine compartment.

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The next version of Google Glass could look just like normal glasses

The next version of Google Glass could look just like normal glasses

If there’s one thing almost everyone can probably agree on, it’s that Google Glass doesn’t do your face any favors. That thing is straight ugly.

In fact, almost 10% of people who know what Google Glassis wouldn’t use one because of how it looks, according toGlass Almanac.

Thankfully Google Glass’s form is guaranteed to change with future iterations, and a newly uncovered patent may hint at exactly how.

First things first: ditching the prominent projector that lets everyone know you’re a Glass-hole as soon as you enter the room.

Thick frames are in anyway

US patent D710,928S, granted to Google design and prototyping engineer Mitchell Heinrich on August 12, portrays a significantly less conspicuous Google Glass that uses an internally mounted display instead of the bulky projector found on current models.

The frames illustrated in the patent look more or less like a normal pair of eyeglasses, albeit thick enough to fit the hardware inside.

Google Glass patent
An internally mounted display opens all kinds of doors

It seems having the Google Glass display information and notifications directly on the headset’s lenses instead of having a projection floating in front of users’ eyes could improve image quality, as well, although it might be more obtrusive to users’ vision.

There’s also bound to be concern that Google Glass users could film other surreptitiously without their subjects even knowing they’re wearing it.

This isn’t Heinrich’s first Glass-related patent, and it’s obvious that work on a next-gen Google Glass is well underway, so it seems it’s just a matter of time before we see a version of Google’s flagship wearable that isn’t unbearable to the eyes.

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Faster Netflix streaming coming to Time Warner Cable

Netflix has reached a deal with Time Warner Cable to boost video-streaming speeds.

Netflix is opening up its wallet once again to improve streaming speeds on one of the country’s largest Internet providers.

The online video company has reached a deal with Time Warner Cable (TWC) to connect directly to the telecom giant’s network, rather than delivering its traffic through a third-party service. That should improve streaming quality for Netflix (NFLX, Tech30)subscribers whose Internet service is provided by Time Warner Cable.


TWC spokesman Bobby Amirshahi said Wednesday that the connection process should be completed by the end of this month.

Netflix has already reached direct-connection agreements this year with Comcast(CMCSA), Verizon (VZ, Tech30) and AT&T (T, Tech30), but not without a lot of complaining.

The company has been engaged in a war of words with the big Internet service providers over who should bear the cost of the connection upgrades needed to deliver Netflix’s data-heavy content.

Related: Netflix’ subscriber sales top HBO’s

Netflix tops 50 million subscribers

Netflix argues that the broadband providers are responsible for delivering the high-speed service their customers have paid for. The streaming video company has accused them of shakedown tactics. The Internet companies counter that Netflix plays an outsized role in network congestion, accounting for around a third of data consumption online during peak hours, and Netflix should therefore help foot the bill for delivery.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings resumed the debate this week, writing in Wired that Internet users will “never realize broadband’s potential if large ISPs erect a pay-to-play system that charges both the sender and receiver for the same content.”

Hastings has called on the Federal Communications Commission to ban ISPs from charging content providers like Netflix to connect to their networks.

A number of big tech companies — like Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30), Apple (AAPL, Tech30)and Google (GOOGL, Tech30) — already have similar direct-connection deals with the big ISPs. These arrangements “have been an essential part of the growth of the Internet for two decades,” Comcast executive vice president David Cohen said earlier this year.

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Samsung is planning to switch over to metal body starting from Samsung Galaxy S6

The mobile manufacturing companies have done the maximum with inside technology and every sort of experimentation has been done. That may not be the limit and yet more is to be done; maybe we come to a stage when we communicate only the thoughts in the mind and may not need any words or typing. But here we are talking about the outside story; the body. Now plastic body may not be so attractive and new innovation is towards metal body. Samsung Galaxy S6 is coming in metal body. It is so far a leak but has many reasons to be the true news.

For some of the commentators a metal body may not be a big achievement but visualize their position and see how difficult it is to change the design features and switch the gear, HTC has already produced the metal body sets but compare the volume of production of Samsung with HTC. This is not really comparable. Changing over to metal body is not a small issue for Samsung because of the production volume.

Samsung is now producing the first mainstream smartphone to have a one piece metal body design. This is just like HTC One M8

Samsung’s supply chain has leaked out that the Galaxy Alpha and the Galaxy Note 4 are just the start of the Samsung transition to metal body and premium design to be introduced all over and bring it into the mainstream. Presently the metal body makers of the smarphones are committed with Apple and Samsung is finding it difficult to suddenly change over to metal. May be they stress their metal workers to speed up their working. However this actor is going to increase the cost. Galaxy S6 is going to make the change.

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Where you can get blazing-fast Internet speeds

Where you can get blazing-fast Internet speeds

Super-fast gigabit Internet speeds are coming to a town near you.

A growing number of Americans have home Internet speeds that make your broadband connection look like dial-up.

Ultra-fast Internet is quickly spreading across the United States. By fast, we mean gigabit-per-second speeds, roughly 100 times faster than the average home Internet connection.

There are now 27 U.S. cities that offer gigabit Internet speeds to consumers — up from just two cities as recently as a year ago.

AT&T (T, Tech30), Google (GOOGL, Tech30) and CenturyLink (CTL) have been the main drivers of ultra-fast Internet for home customers.

Google was a pioneer in the field, bringing its Google Fiber service to Kansas City, Kan., in 2012 after holding a widely publicized contest two years earlier to pick the launch city. Fiber has since spread to Kansas City, Mo., Provo, Utah, and will soon launch in Austin, Texas. Google has announced plans to bring Fiber to nine other cities across the country in the coming years.

AT&T’s U-Verse service has been most bullish in its gigabit Internet plans, launching or getting set to deploy in 14 cities over the past year — including major metropolitan areas, such as Dallas, Charlotte, Houston, Miami and Nashville. It is currently operating in Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin, Texas, and it is exploring gigabit Internet deployments in more than a dozen other markets in the future.

Broadband provider CenturyLink is launching in 10 markets, including Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

Related: New Internet speed record blows past Google Fiber

The companies say that super-fast Internet speeds will help companies create the next big innovations that we can’t even conceive with our current speeds. For instance, no one would have believed that YouTube or Netflix (NFLX, Tech30) could have existed in the days of 56k modems.

Although gigabit Internet hold great promise, the use cases for it today aren’t vast. Most content companies simply aren’t capable of serving up websites, photos or videos as fast as gigabit Internet users can download them.

For example, Google Fiber customers only receive Netflix videos slightly faster thanCablevision (CVC) subscribers — who have nothing close to gigabit speeds available to them.

As gigabit Internet spreads across the country, however, content companies would likely be forced to make use of those capabilities.

But it’s not certain that every city in the United States will get gigabit services. Super-fast Internet requires fiberoptic connections to be brought into a customer’s home, which can be a very expensive endeavor. As it stands, the gigabit Internet roll-outs today aren’t happening in every neighborhood of the 27 cities.

The good news is that broadband companies are increasingly testing ways to send super-fast Internet over their existing copper-based infrastructure. They hope one day to deliver gigabit Internet to customers’ homes over landlines. But the technology is still experimental.

So if you’re not one of the lucky few to have gigabit Internet already, don’t hold your breath — but don’t lose hope either.

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Amazon undercuts Square with new mobile credit card payments service


When you swipe your credit card at a local business, Amazon wants its cut.

And its new product aims directly at Square, the company started by Twitter co-founderJack Dorsey.

Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) Local Register will charge much less than Square: Just 1.75% of the value of each swipe for businesses that sign up by October. It will be 2.5% after that.

Square charges 2.75%.

Amazon also is basically giving away the hardware used by small businesses, saying that customers’ first $10 in transaction fees will be credited back to them to cover cost of its new card reader.

Related: Five gadgets that changed Amazon

Square is the largest player in the mobile payments world, though others have also rushed to compete. Intuit (INTU) and eBay’s (EBAY, Tech30) PayPal have both launched services.

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Honda Mobilio, Audi A3, Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo – Four Cars of 2014 which will Amaze you!

The car sales has gone into the path of recovery this year. Additionally, the new cars for the market this July 2014 are also barging on to the sales. Here is the glance of the new beauties into the showroom this year.

Honda Mobilio MPV

It is Honda’s most expected car in the MPV segment. It is based on Brio and features  comfort, utility and ofcourse style. It will be facilitated with the same 1.5litre diesel engine like city sedans. The transmission part will be handled by five speed manual gearbox and petrol might get a CVT option later.

It will beat the market of Ertiga and the lead Toyato Innova. We covered more on this car here.

Audi A3

Audi A3 is the answer for the hatchbacks releases from its rivalry Mercedes Benz and BMW. It is the most affordable Audi car in India. Its is expected to hit the market with 1.8 litre petrol engine and 2.0 litre diesel engines combined with Audi’s S-tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. The level of this car is likely to be same with the already existing A4 sedan. Audi A3 is also expected to top the market compared to the S class of Mercedes Benz and 1 series of BMW. However the direct clash for this will be released by Mercedes as CLA sedan.

Ford Fiesta Facelift

Ford released its facelift to its not so welcomed Fiesta in the Auto expo 2014. Though it will not have any mechanical changes it will have cosmetic changes inside and outside. It is expected to come to the market with 1.5litre  TDCi diesel, combined with a five speed manual gearbox. Fiesta will available in three variations-  Ambiente, Trend and Titanium. It is expected to go against Honda city, Hyundai Verna, Fiat Linea and the Volkswagen Vento.

Volkswagen Polo Facelift

Volkswagen Polo Hatchback gets a facelift, this facelift is not only about the cosmetic modifications, but also about some internal changes. Under the screen it will get 1.2 petrol motor  and the 1.2TSI turbo-petrol is also likely to return. The biggest feature is its all new diesel engine. The 1.5 litre TDI engine will be available in two variations- 89bhp and 104bhp with the latter booked for polo GT TDI model.

These are the four cars which we think will be the most talked about. Though there are not much changes with the Volkswagen Polo, it will still become a hit. The Ford fiesta is made to look even bigger. The Honda Mobilio is a new concept introduced. And of course, there are no words on the Audi A3, it is a stunning beauty! Think we missed something? Post in the comments below!

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