Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in San Francisco, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

BMW patches e-goof that left 2.2m cars at risk

BMW patches e-goof that left 2.2m cars at risk

BMW has remotely patched a security flaw which, if exploited, could have handed over the digital keys to as many as 2.2m BMW, Rolls-Royce, and MINI cars to thieves. The hack, identified by a German motorist association, involved models fitted with BMW's ConnectedDrive infotainment system, which uses a mobile data connection to offer drivers locking control when they're away from the vehicle, in addition to downloading content to the dashboard when they're behind the wheel. BMW says that it's now using the same sort of HTTPS encryption that banks rely upon.

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Big Bang echoes just cosmic dust BICEP2 investigation finds

Big Bang echoes just cosmic dust BICEP2 investigation finds

It was supposed to be evidence of the first shudderings of the universe, a post-Big Bang ripple of cosmic inflation finally spotted by the BICEP2 telescope, but scientists have finally admitted they got it wrong. The unexpected announcement last March that researchers had identified primordial gravitational waves they believed dated back to the moments right after the formation of the universe had led to suggestions that the US team responsible could win a Nobel Prize. Now, though, the European Space Agency has confirmed that what was thought to be a huge cosmic discovery from a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, all of fourteen billion years ago, was in fact just dust.

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Kia takes Tesla route with e-AWD Soul EV concept tease

Kia takes Tesla route with e-AWD Soul EV concept tease

Electric cars may most commonly be found scooting around cities, but Kia has more rugged adventures planned for its new all-wheel-drive EV concept, set to be revealed next month. The unnamed off-roader will preview what Kia is calling an e-AWD powertrain, targeting the sort of athletic, outdoorsy-sorts that car manufacturers love to cite when they throw big bumpers and chunky tires on a concept. Going by the cropped photo Kia has released, however, it seems it's the Soul that has provided the core DNA for the new car, and in particular the electric version that turned up in showrooms late last year.

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Google’s Project Tango graduates from skunkworks

Google’s Project Tango graduates from skunkworks

Google Glass isn't alone in getting shuffled around Google, with the 3D-tracking tablet Project Tango graduating today from the Advanced Technology and Projects division. Tango, which aims to do for indoor positioning and 3D mapping what GPS did for navigation, uses a combination of precise movement sensors, cameras, and depth-tracking to build up complex 3D environments in real-time, has until now been placed within Google ATAP, the company's ideas incubator. Now, with developer hardware in the wild, it's time for Tango to get serious.

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Turns out, Americans don’t believe what Scientists know

Turns out, Americans don’t believe what Scientists know

Science may be all about quantifiable facts rather than beliefs, but the gulf between what scientists think and what the US public at large believes true is shockingly wide, new research suggests. Although scientific endeavor is rated highly by the general public, some of the conclusions involved are less accepted, with climate change, genetically-modified foods, and childhood vaccinations all not only hot topics but areas where opinions diverge considerably. That opens up a tricky can of worms, researchers at Pew warn, where future studies could be at risk because they can't communicate their potential worth successfully with the general public and policymakers.

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Toyota looks beyond bigger batteries for EV range boost

Toyota looks beyond bigger batteries for EV range boost

Electric and hybrid cars may be waiting on improved battery technology to squash driver range anxiety, but Toyota believes it may have a wildcard in the meantime. The company is rolling out two new prototypes for real-world testing in Japan, each switching in new silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors that could take a big bite out of the 20-percent of electrical power loss traditional components are responsible for. The technology in the two vehicles - a Toyota Camry and a fuel cell bus - could end up in production cars sooner rather than later, Toyota promises.

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One Billion Androids: Google OS breaks record in 2014

One Billion Androids: Google OS breaks record in 2014

It's not quite the android uprising Bill Gates and Elon Musk are afraid of, but it's domination of another sort, with shipments of smartphones running Google's OS topping one billion in 2014. The global milestone came as smartphone sales overall grew year-on-year, according to Strategy Analytics, with Android propelling its overall market share to more than 81-percent. For Google, it's the first year that Android shipments have reached one billion in just a twelve month period, though as we've seen in recent days, not every Android device manufacturer is celebrating.

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iTunes 12.1 slips its widget into Notification Center

iTunes 12.1 slips its widget into Notification Center

It's fair to say that iTunes isn't a universally loved app for music management, but Apple has at least boosted usability with the fresh release of iTunes 12.1 this week. The biggest change in the new app is the addition of a Notification Center widget allowing shortcut control over what's playing, and hopefully allowing you to leave iTunes itself minimized to the dock more of the time. The same widget also offers extra features during iTunes Radio streaming, which Apple is presumably hoping will encourage more music downloads.

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Tesla caught testing, but is this Model X or Model 3?

Tesla caught testing, but is this Model X or Model 3?

The launch of Tesla's Model X may have been pushed back until later in 2015, but someone is apparently getting to enjoy how the electric SUV launches from a standing start. A case of "right place, right time" saw Juan del Real catch the camouflaged car undergoing testing in Alameda, California, hooning up and down a runway as some lucky driver got to put the EV powertrain - and the prototype's brakes - through their paces. However, there's also speculation that what we're seeing is no Model X, and could in fact be something much more interesting: Tesla's upcoming "affordable" EV, the Model 3.

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Google caves to privacy demands after UK investigation

Google caves to privacy demands after UK investigation

Google will change its controversial privacy policy in the UK, acquiescing to regulators who maintain the search giant's attempts to simplify its terms & conditions in fact left them half-baked. The agreement, announced today by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the UK, will see Google make changes to how it collects, uses, and communicates user data by June 30, 2015, with more adjustments over the coming two years. It's another pain point in what has been a nearly three year long headache for Google, which revealed its new approach to privacy back in early 2012.

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