Due for launch later this year, the first bikes from sports-car specialist Caterham include an SUV-style petrol beast and two electric models. The Carbon E-Bike is part speedway dragster, part bionic arm, and packs a Panasonic 36V 12AH lithium battery, 250W brushless motor and an eight-speed Shimano Nexus gear hub. From £8,500.
With 0-100kph in 4.4 seconds and a fuel economy of 40kpl, BMW has put the sensible in supercar. The i8 is a completely new hybrid with a plug-in 131bhp electric motor powering the front wheels, and a 1.5l 231bhp three-cylinder turbo petrol engine taking control of the rear. It has a combined power output of 357bhp and a top speed of 249kph (limited), and recharges in 3.5 hours from a 120V circuit. £95,000 bmw.co.uk
5.1kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery; 42-litre fuel tank; 231bhp three-cylinder internal combustion engine; Aluminium front axle module; 131bhp electric motor; Electric motor transmission.
A feature of HTML5 that allows sites to detect battery life on a visitor's device can also be used to track behaviour, a piece of research has revealed.
Analysts from France and Belgium made the discovery while investigating the battery power API, used on Firefox, Chrome and Opera. Our study shows that websites can discover the capacity of users' batteries by exploiting the high precision readouts provided by Firefox on Linux, the authors write in a paper published online, having focussed their efforts on Mozilla's browser. The capacity of the battery, as well as its level, expose a fingerprintable surface that can be used to track web users in short time intervals.The tracking can occur by looking at the actual battery life readings delivered by the API, which was designed to help save user's power by letting sites know when to switch to energy-saving modes. It turns out, the API can deliver an incredibly specific reading of the battery status every 30 seconds, including battery life remaining in seconds and percentage remaining. Considering the change will be minor across those 30 seconds, the unique combination of these two readings can be described as a fingerprint for a specific user, enabling sites to track them whether or not they are using privacy settings.When consecutive visits are made within a short interval, the website can link users' new and old identities by exploiting battery level and charge/discharge times. The website can then reinstantiate users' cookies and other client side identifiers, a method known as respawning. Although this method of exploiting battery data as a linking identifier would only work for short time intervals, it may be used against power users who can not only clear their cookies but can go to great lengths to clear their evercookies.
This new way of thinking doesn't just belong to the field of medicine. It's stimulated a rich cultural movement, as bio-artists experiment with the creative potential contained at the cellular level. Tandon pointed to British fashion designer Suzanne Lee who grows textiles from bacteria, and Stanford researcher Ingmar Riedel-Kruse who films the action of cellular organisms and incorporates them into video games. On a larger scale she quoted the architect and co-Founder of Terreform ONE, Mitchell Joachim who asks, Why are we building homes, when we should be growing them? Isn't it exciting, she concluded, to think that if the first industrial revolution was about machines, the second was about information, that the third revolution could be about life itself.The UK breeds and kills 800 million chickens in battery farms every year, but one man has a radical suggestion for a more humane way to do so, we'll discuss that in detail. Britain also shoots down an allegedly illegal non-UK music download site and makes some frightening threats to its former users. And why is our own Olivia Solon donating her brain to science when she dies? All that and more coming up on today's show.
To listen on any device, either hit the play button above, or download using the link under Subscribe &Play.The smaller of Lenovo's two new tablets (the other is the Yoga 10) comes with a unique look and impressive battery life, but is its performance good enough to win over any fans?There's a very different look to the Yoga, but what at first seems like madness actually turns out to be quite an asset.The unsightly-looking cylindrical bulge along one side seems to ruin the line of the device, increasing its thickness from an extremely svelte 4mm at its thinnest edge to 22mm. But not only is the bulge easy to hold onto, it also houses an outsize 6,000mAh battery, the kind you're more likely to find in a laptop, and which keeps the Yoga 8 running for considerably longer than just about anything else in its class. Where most tablets struggle after a day's worth of use, the Yoga was still going after nearly three days.
That bulge also holds a large power button in the side that glows when you're low on battery, and a brace of Dolby Digital Plus DS1 stereo speakers that pump out a sound that's better than expected -- certainly better than most tablets. It also conceals a sturdy fold-out metal kick stand that lets you place the screen at anything between about 40 and 80 degrees (below 40 it tends to topple over). You can also flip it so that the screen sits at a slight angle, iPad style, for typing. The stand isn't infallible however -- too much pressure on the screen from insistent jabbing can easily knock it over.The quad-core processor is clocked at 1.2GHz and backed by 1GB of RAM. That's not bad, but it's not in the same league as the likes of Google's Nexus 7 with 1.5GHz and 2GB of RAM. In use it tended to be a bit on the sluggish side, taking its time when opening apps, though it did at least manage to play HD games like
Real Racing 3 satisfactorily. Our AnTuTu performance benchmark delivered a score of 13,452, which puts it below Tesco's budget-priced Hudland most other quad-core devices we've tried, and explains why this isn't exactly a nippy device in use.
The eight-inch screen offers a bit-more-than-standard HD resolution of 1,280x800 pixels (189ppi), which might not be quite up there with the full HD best, but on an eight-inch screen it still looks pretty sharp.It's running the recent Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with a few tweaks. Icons have had a pointless makeover and there's no apps section, so they all live on your home screens whether you want them to or not, which could become a problem if you like to add lots of new ones from Google Play.The five-megapixel camera on the back has autofocus but not much else in the way of frills. It's okay, but we've seen better quality on similarly specced snappers from LG and Sony. The 1.6-megapixel camera on the front passes muster for video calls though.
There's 16GB of memory on board plus you can add more via microSD card, which slips into a slot behind the kickstand.It's light enough to use as an e-book reader and the cylindrical bulge makes it easy to hold. The stand also comes in handy for viewing, reading and general use. It's a neat design, and one that's bound to win fans, but it's a pity the performance doesn't quite match the style. If battery life is your number one feature, the Yoga takes the crown with its longevity.
Microsoft's Surface 3 has arrived a full year after its own 'Pro' edition attempted -- and to some extent, at least critically, succeeded -- in merging the best of the laptop and the tablet.Lighter, smaller, slower but also much cheaper than its Professionally-minded sibling, the Surface 3 wants to be your best friend and your study partner at once: fun enough to use every day, but clever enough, running full Windows 8.1, to get actual work done. And it starts at just £419, not including a keyboard.
But how much does this value-led take on Microsoft's clip-on-keyboard hybrid sacrifice? And without Windows 10 -- and the sanity that new OS promises to bring to the Microsoft tablet-laptop ecosystem -- is this machine just marking time before the inevitable Surface Pro 4 does the job for real?Outwardly the Surface 3 is just as good looking as the SP3, with most of the same core design principles and touches. It's a slightly smaller, 10.8-inch device, crafted with a strong, light, matte-silver magnesium case, which feels both durable and high-end. It's less heavy than the SP3 (622 grams versus 800 grams) and is noticeably easier to hold in one hand.
The Surface 3 is also thinner than the SP3 at 8.7mm, and feels much more like a true tablet. Whereas using the SP3 as a freeform sketching tool made sense conceptually, in practice it was usually too tiring to be worth it. The Surface 3 fixes that.
The Surface 3's 1,920 x 1,280 screen is surrounded by a relatively thick black bezel, but the colours on the display are rich and deep enough to make images pop nicely, while providing lots of space for snapped apps and sensibly-scaled video with its 3:2 aspect ratio. It's actually a slightly brighter panel than on the SP3, which is a nice surprise.In ports the Surface 3 has a USB 3.0 port, a MiniDisplay port, a microSD reader and charging port, a headset jack and the Type Cover connector. It has a 3.5-megapixel front-facing camera and a nearly-pointless, but decent enough 8-megapixel rear camera.The big let down in terms of design is the kickstand, which loses the any-angle flexibility seen on the SP3. It's not that it's objectively bad -- the three positions it offers all click into place securely, hold firm and offer a nice range of usage options including a shallow angle for drawing. The problem is that you lose a lot of flexibility, and are forced to adjust to the Surface, your seat or your lighting conditions rather than have it adjust to you.
Both the soft Type Cover keyboard and the Surface Pen come separately to the tablet, which is a big negative in terms of value. The peripherals' hardware itself is just as high quality as it was a year ago -- the pen is identical, though coming in three new colours, and extremely accurate, while the keyboard is inevitably smaller but has the same secure magnetic fittings, backlighting and pleasantly clickable keys. But again, you'll have to pay for it.
The Surface 3 comes running a Quad-core Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor, rated to 1.6Ghz (boosted to 2.4GHz), which is an obvious step back from the Intel Core i3, i5 and i7s seen in the SP3. It's enough to run Windows 8.1 for real -- compared to the scaled-back RT version seen in previous Surface tablets. It can run most of the core apps you'll need in day-to-day life well enough, including Office, Chome and other apps.
We didn't get to push the boundaries of Photoshop or video editing, however, and gaming via Steam is pretty much out of the question, though some more straightforward games or retro titles should be doable, particularly if provided via the Microsoft Store.
Benchmarks put the Surface 3 in a fairly poor light, -- except against its immediate predecessor. We didn't have enough time with our review unit to run a full suite of tests, but most sources seem to place it ahead of the Surface 2, but way behind the i5 variant SP3. Boosting the RAM on the Surface 3 didn't seem to have much effect either. It's difficult to compare it directly to the iPad, for obvious reasons, since they're such different devices. Think of it more like a mobile-focused laptop.What this means in practice is the Surface 3 will get you through an average work day, and most basic tablet functions too. It will let you draw nice, smooth lines in drawing apps and One Note and be a creative little device in your bag. But it's not one for serious artists, illustrators or designers -- one of the core markets for the SP3, with its combination of power and pen performance.
In terms of battery Microsoft rates the Surface 3 about 10 hours, and in our experience it came in a little below that but around this mark. Use it consistently on Wi-Fi all day, with significant Chrome browsing and video, and you'll get around 7 to 8 hours... maybe. The hibernation mode is also impressive -- it shouldn't drain too much when you're not using it, unlike other Surface models.You don't have too much flexibility with the Surface 3 in terms of specs. You can boost it from 64GB storage and 2GB RAM to 128GB/4GB RAM for £80, and (coming soon, price TBA) add 4G. That's it.Of course you're also going to have to likely add a Type Cover (£109.99) and a pen (£44.99), which takes the basic cost up to £573.98.
By comparison a Surface Pro 3 starts at £639, for which you get an obviously larger and heavier, but still sleek machine with an i3 processor, a better screen and the multi position kickstand. There are obviously many laptop choices at around the £550 mark too, while you can get an iPad Air and a very good keyboard dock for around £400, if you're prepared to sacrifice flexibility for the beautiful walled garden of iOS.
Then there are the apps. For a limited time you get a year of Office 365 with the Surface 3, but that's not all that generous given Apple's iOS already comes with a free suite of productivity apps. The Windows Store is also currently in something or a mire, filled with low-quality games, apps of dubious or downright confusing provenance and other oddities, like the lack of an iPlayer app and few genuinely good creative tools comparable to, say, Fifty-Three's 'Paper' on iOS. With pen performance this good, that's a massive shame.