Author Archives: Chris Davies

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

BMW i8S and hotter i8 duo tipped to turn up EV power

BMW i8S and hotter i8 duo tipped to turn up EV power

BMW's i8 hybrid sportscar is tipped to be in line for a power boost, with the Germany company said to have earmarked the eco-friendly coupe for an upgrade to both parts of its powertrain. Distinctively designed both inside and out, the current BMW i8 musters 357 HP and 450 lb-ft of torque from its combination of a three-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor. However, according to industry whispers, both of those are going to be replaced with more powerful versions - among other changes - in a hotter, more focused version, and it may only be the start of BMW's scheming.

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AT&T’s Apple SIM lock-down undermines iPad LTE flexibility

AT&T’s Apple SIM lock-down undermines iPad LTE flexibility

Apple may be trying to further squeeze out the carriers with Apple SIM, its solution to allowing travelers the easiest access to iPad data plans on local networks, but that doesn't mean the carriers themselves are going to make it easy. While AT&T and others may be participating with Apple's multi-carrier SIM scheme, once they've got customers signed up they may not let them switch away as readily as the Cupertino firm envisaged. Indeed, AT&T has confirmed to SlashGear that if you initially pick its network, there's no going elsewhere on the same SIM.

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Surprise: A Google exec just broke the parachute altitude record

Surprise: A Google exec just broke the parachute altitude record

A senior vice president at Google has broken Felix Baumgartner's world record for a high altitude parachute jump, with Alan Eustace hurtling from 135,908 feet - in excess of 25 miles - in a special suit crafted in top secret. Eustace took around two hours to climb into the stratosphere underneath a helium balloon, then cut his connection with a well-placed explosive charge and began a descent which saw him pass 800 mph and require him to deploy his main parachute in less than five minutes.

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iPad Air 2 registers with “secret” NFC? Not so fast…

iPad Air 2 registers with “secret” NFC? Not so fast…

Signs of NFC hardware in the iPad Air 2 have prompted speculation that Apple could turn the tablet into an Apple Pay cash register replacement, though it's almost certain not to be something the company could enable in this generation. A recent teardown of the new 9.7-inch tablet found that it contains the same NFC chip as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Since Apple doesn't list NFC among the iPad Air 2's connectivity options, that has led to chatter that it's a feature-in-waiting; however, it's unlikely to pan out that way.

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Ford could make a Tesla-beater insists CEO (but will it?)

Ford could make a Tesla-beater insists CEO (but will it?)

Ford execs have set tongues wagging about a possible Tesla-rivaling luxury electric car from the marque, after CEO Mark Fields described the idea as "consistent with our product philosophy." The tease came as Ford revealed its quarterly financial results, recording $1.2bn in Q3 profit - down a hefty $1.4bn year-on-year - as Fields was pressed into referring to the Silicon Valley EV startup and what investigations into the Model S' strengths his own company had performed. Still, while some have interpreted Fields' comments as telegraphing a true Tesla alternative might be in the pipeline, there's a good chance that too much is being read into the chief executive's words.

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NASA wants to drift two satellites for awesome space pics

NASA wants to drift two satellites for awesome space pics

A "virtual telescope" which owes its precision not to complex, high-strength optics but to precisely flying a pair of satellites in tandem and combining the data from each could help the hunt for Earth-like planets in the galaxy and even picture the event horizon of a black hole, NASA scientists suggest. Although space telescopes like Hubble have been operating for several decades, the new virtual telescope project will take a distinctively different approach, initially using two CubeSats - tiny satellites far cheaper and easier to launch, thanks to their compact and standardized design - that would each contribute a part of the overall vision process.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s first tweet triggers royal finger questions

Queen Elizabeth II’s first tweet triggers royal finger questions

When it comes to old-school meeting new-school, the Queen of England taking to Twitter for the first time is probably as odd as it gets. Queen Elizabeth II didn't get to send her first tweet in the privacy of her bedroom like many of us, either; instead, the message posted to the official @BritishMonarchy account was sent out by the Queen from the Science Museum in London, UK, to mark the opening of the new Information Age exhibition there. Only problem is, there's already some controversy about whether the Monarch actually did send out the tweet.

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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: 8-player Smash, Mewtwo & Ridley

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: 8-player Smash, Mewtwo & Ridley

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U may well be the most hotly anticipated Nintendo title for the holidays, and so the Japanese gaming firm isn't stinting on features. The game will include a whopping eight player "Smash" mode during which players will be able to compete simultaneously in local multiplayer on specially-enlarged stages, as well as the ability to create custom stages and - eventually - share them with other players. Meanwhile, there are some benefits for those who have Super Smash Bros. on both Wii U and 3DS, too.

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Ford gives pedestrian-spotting bumpers access to the brakes

Ford gives pedestrian-spotting bumpers access to the brakes

Ford is rolling out a new set of smart driving aids that the car company claims could potentially eliminate frontal collisions involving pedestrians, using a combination of radar and lasers to spot people walking out into the road unexpectedly. Contrary to what Ford's graphic might suggest, the system doesn't involve the new 2015 Mondeo (aka the Ford Fusion) firing laser beams from its grille and cutting pedestrians into sufficiently small pieces so that they fit under the car rather than colliding with its hood. Instead, the invisible beams can call in favors from the braking system.

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Nexus 9 hands-on – Google’s tablet grows up

Nexus 9 hands-on – Google’s tablet grows up

A new HTC tablet has been a long time coming, and so the Nexus 9 takes no chances, HTC partnering up with Google to make not only the Android retort to the iPad Air 2 but a showcase for what Lollipop can do when given more than a smartphone screen. Replacing the Nexus 7 with a larger, more premium - and more expensive - version, not to mention retiring the Nexus 10 in the process, the Nexus 9 is also the first true 64-bit tablet running Android. I caught up with HTC for some early playtime ahead of its November release.

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