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I drove a lot of cars in 2016 — and this VW wagon is the one I disliked the most

I test drive around 50 to 60 cars, pickups, and SUVs every year. The contrast in overall quality between what consumers can buy now and what they could buy when I was growing up is astounding. 

It's fair to say that there are almost no bad cars anymore.

Almost.

Every so often, I get behind the wheel of one that doesn't do it for me. This happened last year with the 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TSI S.

I didn't out-and-out hate the car. It's a wagon after all. Car writers have a soft spot for wagons.

But the VW didn't compare favorably with other vehicles in its general price range and with its configuration I've sampled in 2016 (and in the years before that). To be honest, it ultimately soured me on basic wagons a bit and got me thinking that automakers are correct to focus on smaller crossovers and SUVs to serve the needs of what in the past might have been wagon aficionados.


This list of every 'Word of the Year' is like taking a trip through time

Hashtag. Metrosexual. Occupy.

Those three words have one thing in common — they've all been named "Word of the Year."

Every year since 1990, members of the American Dialect Society have gathered at their annual convention — once called "the Super Bowl of linguistics" — to crown the word that defined the year. The linguists and lexicographers vote on words based on their predominance in headlines and widespread use throughout the country.

Anything considered a "lexical item" can be nominated, meaning multi-word phrases like "dumpster fire" — named 2016's Word of the Year earlier this month — are fair game. The same goes for hashtags, prefixes, and even emoji.


Tesla's Autopilot investigation could change the nature of auto recalls (TSLA)

Just a few months after the federal government opened up its investigation into Tesla's Autopilot system, the electric carmaker released a software update that could have prevented the whole ordeal in the first place.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched its investigation in June after a driver died in an accident that occurred while his Tesla Model S was operating with Autopilot activated. The Model S passed under a truck and, ultimately, drove off the road because the Autopilot system was unable to distinguish between the white truck and bright sky to apply the brake.

NHTSA closed the investigation on Thursday and said it will not issue a recall.


'Fintech has arrived in mortgages': London's Habito raises £5.5 million from Silicon Valley fund

LONDON — Online mortgage broking startup Habito has raised £5.5 million from Silicon Valley-based Ribbit Capital and existing investor Mosaic Ventures.

The Series A round takes the total raised by the British startup to £8.2 million. Other investors in the two-year-old business include Transferwise CEO Taavet Hinrikus, Funding Circle’s cofounder Samir Desai, and Russian tech billionaire Yuri Milner.

Habito is part of a growing "PropTech" scene in London, a subset of fintech — financial technology — that applies tech to the property sector.


Samsung announces what caused the Galaxy Note 7 to overheat and explode

Samsung says bad battery design and a rush to release an updated version of the Galaxy Note 7 caused some of the devices to overheat and explode in a new report the company released Sunday night.

Samsung said in the report that two separate battery malfunctions caused some Note 7 phones to overheat and even catch fire in some cases.

The first problem affected the first batch of Note 7 phones that launched last fall. In those phones, the battery was too large for the casing of the phone, which caused some to overheat, according to Samsung's report.

After Samsung recalled the initial batch of Note 7 phones, it manufactured the phone with a battery from a different supplier. But Samsung was in a rush to get the new phones out, and the new battery produced by the supplier had a defect that also caused it to overheat, the report said.


Here's Samsung's infographic that explains why the Note 7 phones exploded

Samsung announced the results of its investigation into the Galaxy Note 7 malfunction. The South Korean electronics giant said that bad battery design and a rush to release an updated version of the phone caused some of the devices to overheat and explode, leading to a massive product recall and a huge black eye to Samsung's reputation.

Samsung said that during the past several months roughly 700 Samsung researchers and engineers tested more than 200,000 fully assembled devices and more than 30,000 batteries to figure out what went wrong with the Note 7 phones. 


17 rumors we've heard about Samsung's Galaxy S8, one of the biggest smartphones of 2017

Samsung's Galaxy S8, as it's expected to be called, is said to be announced within the next couple months, and we have a bunch of good rumors from reliable sources to share.

Most recently, one of the most well known gadgets leakers posted an image of the supposed Galaxy S8, leaving very little to the imagination of what it could look like. 

Check out what we've seen and heard about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8:

This is allegedly the Galaxy S8.

Reliable gadgets leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer posted the below on Twitter, claiming it's the Galaxy S8.

Tweet Embed:https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/822178913526906881BREAKING! This is no BS render or image of a screen protector! This is a real leaked photo of the #Samsung #GalaxyS8! ?????? pic.twitter.com/OKUsR7dyXh

This might be our best look yet at Samsung's Galaxy S8

One of the most well-known gadget leakers around, Steve Hemmerstoffer, posted on Twitter a supposed image of the Galaxy S8 obtained from the Chinese tech site GizChina on Thursday.

BREAKING! This is no BS render or image of a screen protector! This is a real leaked photo of the #Samsung #GalaxyS8! ?????? pic.twitter.com/OKUsR7dyXh

— Steve Hemmerstoffer (@stagueve) January 19, 2017

If Hemmerstoffer's leak were accurate, it would reinforce two of the


10 things the White House wants Trump to do for science and technology

With just one day until the Inauguration, the current White House administration is preparing for the transition.

While promoting science and technology innovation were major goals during Obama's presidency, there's still plenthy of mystery surrounding what we can expect from the Trump administration, so the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy decided to write Trump a to-do list.

The list was written by the director of OSTP, Dr. John Holden, and the White House CTO, Megan Smith, as part of a


Car owners have big complaints about 2 features in modern cars (TSLA)

In Consumer Reports' most recent Annual Auto Reliability Survey, the watchdog publication has observed a troubling pair of complaints among vehicle owners and CR subscribers in 2016.

Advanced infotainment systems and more fuel-efficient multispeed transmissions are causing problems.

Neither issue should surprise anyone. In just about a decade, vehicles have gone from having radios, tape decks, and CD players to having complicated touchscreen infotainment interfaces that manage everything from GPS navigation to audio to smartphone integration. 

Most automakers develop their own infotainment systems, and some work far better than others. But even with the ones that cause limited trouble, the kinks are still being worked out.


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