The Tech Bet

  Thursday, 6 Mar 2014 | 3:25 PM ET

WhatsApp? Google executive disses Facebook deal

Posted By: Christina Medici Scolaro

Facebook's $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp is in the news again, and this time it's the reaction from a Google executive that's raising eyebrows.

Google reportedly tried to buy WhatsApp before Facebook's $19 billion deal for the 55-person company.

(Watch: Google lost the WhatsApp deal: Pro)

»Read more
  Tuesday, 4 Mar 2014 | 3:52 PM ET

Why the PlayStation 4 is outselling the Xbox One

Posted By: Althea Chang

Sony's PlayStation 4 video game consoles may be outselling Microsoft's Xbox One, and there's much more than brand loyalty involved.

In fact, the PS4's success could largely be because the PlayStation is a much simpler console, according to CNET Senior Editor Dan Ackerman.

"Sony said, 'Here's a black box that you plug into your TV and it plays games,' " he said.

"Microsoft had a deeper, more ambitious approach, but one that was not as easy to explain to consumers," Ackerman added. " 'We're your living room box. You can pass your cable TV HDMI signal through the Xbox One and use an on-screen channel guide. You can use it to work out, to make Skype calls, etc. Oh yeah, and it also plays games.' "

»Read more
  Monday, 3 Mar 2014 | 3:20 PM ET

Apple won't beat Android with CarPlay ... yet

Posted By: Althea Chang

Apple has announced a move into car technology, but its new system may not be enough to win over Android users just yet.

That's partly because the software, CarPlay—which launches in a few select vehicles later this week—will rely on Apple Maps for GPS navigation.

"I don't think a ton of people are going to switch from Android to Apple for this, at least at the start," said Pete Pachal, technology editor at Mashable, who noted that many consider Google Maps superior to Apple Maps.

»Read more
  Friday, 28 Feb 2014 | 2:39 PM ET

Get 'appy with these cool travel apps

Posted By: Erika Santoro

With spring break upon us, travelers can use seemingly a million apps to help plan that perfect vacation.

To make that trip simpler, here are a few standout ones recommended by Jesse Draper, CEO of multimedia company Valley Girl.

(Read more: How vacations can make your kids financially savvy)

»Read more
  Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 | 2:26 PM ET

An NSA-proof phone?

Is any phone immune from snooping by the National Security Agency?

"Nothing is NSA-proof," said David Kennedy, CEO of TrustedSec and a former hacking trainer for the agency. "But the Blackphone is a huge improvement [over] existing devices out there."

Introduced this week at the World Mobile Congress, the Blackphone looks like a standard smartphone but comes with a custom Android operating system called PrivatOS. It has encrypted features and communications in an effort to offer a high level of privacy protection.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 | 4:06 PM ET

BBM sale? Don't count on it. Here's why

Posted By: Althea Chang

BlackBerry may be willing to take a buyout offer for its BBM messaging service—but the company's asking price could far exceed its estimated value.

"If somebody comes to me with $19 billion, I would definitely sell it. I would recommend to the board to take it," BlackBerry CEO John Chen told CNBC at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

It is no coincidence that Chen used that figure, given Facebook's deal last week to buy messaging service WhatsApp.

»Read more
  Friday, 21 Feb 2014 | 3:34 PM ET

This high-tech toy blaster records your firefights

Posted By: Erika Santoro

Another Nerf toy gun aims to take technology to a whole new level by integrating a camera.

The Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster's built-in 0.3 megapixel camera and LCD display allows users to line up their friends (or enemies) in the digital crosshair and record their firefights, said Michael Prospero, reviews editor at Laptop Mag.

»Read more
  Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 | 4:53 PM ET

Will iCars come to a dealership near you?

CEO Elon Musk has dismissed the idea that Tesla will be sold anytime soon, but he acknowledged that he has met with Apple's head of mergers and acquisitions.

That leaves Apple and Tesla fans salivating.

"On some level, it's a silly pipe dream, but we're also in a world where Facebook bought an app that's barely a player in the U.S. for $19 billion in cash and stock—it's a time for pipe dreams," said Jamie Lendino, managing editor of PCMag.com.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 | 4:08 PM ET

How net neutrality debate could affect consumers

Regulators are declining to consider broadband Internet access a public utility but do plan to look at new ways to work with Web service providers to protect users.

If access were considered a utility, broadband fees would remain affordable to consumers, said CNET Editor-in-Chief Lindsey Turrentine.

The Federal Communications Commission said it doesn't intend to go that far but will consider how it could implement nondiscrimination regulations that protect consumers, according to a Reuters report.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 | 1:18 PM ET

Top picks at this year's toy fair

Groundbreaking, high tech, old-fashioned, you name it—toys of all kinds have been on display at the American International Toy Fair. Out of the massive amount of goodies on display, a few stood out to Trae Bodge, senior editor at digital coupon site RetailMeNot.com.

"I love all of them all but if I had to choose one, I would say it was the Oregon Scientific ATC Gecko HD which is a water-resistant video camera that's so tiny, kids can clip it onto a hat, on a belt loop, wear it on a lanyard and record all of their adventures. I love it," Bodge told CNBC. The gadget costs $60. Bodge says it's really affordable but really high-tech. It comes in four colors and is targeted to 6-year-olds. The camera is available now at OregonScientific.com and will be more widely available in the fall.

»Read more

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