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Best of techradar 2015: our articles of the year

This is what riding in Mercedes' self-driving car looks (and feels) like

By Michelle Fitzsimmons, March 19

Mercedes self-driving car

(Credit: Mercedes-Benz)

"Of course, while you're occupied doing anything but driving, the F 015 is hurtling through space. I had one 'oh crap moment as the F 015 accelerated on its own, no driver at the helm to brake if necessary. Even more disconcerting: there wasn't anyone looking out the front windshield to see where we were going. The driver can manually take over the F 015 at any time, but still, you have to trust it's not going to drive you straight into the San Francisco Bay.

Any passenger can technically become the driver - or 'conductor,' as Mercedes refers to whoever is controlling the car - accelerating or decelerating the F 015 by touching the door displays. This particular software wasn't working properly during my test drive, unfortunately. I wanted to give my fellow passengers a scare."

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From drones to iPhones: how George Miller recreated the mad world of Mad Max

By Marc Chacksfield, October 2

Mad Max Fury Road

"The release of Mad Max: Fury Road earlier this year pushed George Miller's name right up to the top of the action director pile. The movie, a quasi-sequel to Miller's Mad Max trilogy, is the most refreshing piece of action cinema in years.

The reason: all the sequences were shot in-camera, not in front of a green screen - something that made complete sense to the director.

'We didn't use CG because we don't defy the laws of gravity [in the movie],' says Miller. 'There's no flying people or space vehicles, no alien planets. This is a real world, it's crazy to do it CG when you can do it for real. You want the world to be authentic, to be immersive.'"

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Epson PictureMate PM-400 review

By Juan Martinez

Epson printer

"I was never much of a photo-taker. Most of the snaps I took were of important moments with family and friends, or vacation landscapes that I wanted to remember later. I usually just fired off a few pics, loaded them onto Facebook and returned to them from time to time, to reminisce.

There was no real effort, no attention to detail and I didn't really think anything should happen to these images outside of their digital existence.

That all changed this past March when my wife and I had our first child - a baby girl we named Mila. Mila's birth didn't turn me into a shutterbug. I still use the automatic setting on my DSLR, and I can't tell you the difference between my aperture and ISO settings."

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Yes, we can build a Death Star - and here's how

By Duncan Greene

Death Star

"Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you're the head of North Korea's space program. It's Friday afternoon, you've had a tough week, and you're just sending a last few emails before you go home when a message drops into your inbox from Kim Jong-Un. Uh-oh, better answer this. The subject line is just two words. 'Death Star'.

Turns out he's been watching some of his dad's old movies, and one of them featured a huge planet-sized space station - he wants to know if it's possible to build it. A giant megastructure floating in space that's also capable of firing planet-destroying lasers - what could be simpler? You look at the plans. You look at the email reply window. You can't say 'no.' You know what a 'no' would mean for you and your family."

This man is closer than ever to building the world's first time machine

By Hugh Langley, November 2

Ron Mallett

"It was a personal tragedy that started the timeline. After Boyd Mallett died of a sudden heart attack in 1955, his 10 year old son, Ronald, made a promise: he would find a way to travel back in time to warn his father of what was going to happen. It was a mission inspired partly by a copy of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, which Ron discovered a year after his father's passing.

The story follows the narrator's journey into the future, but one line in particular struck Ron: 'Scientific people know very well that time is just a kind of space and we can move forward and backward in time just as we can in space.' He believed that he could build a fully working time machine to go back in time and so he dedicated his future to proving it."

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