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.

2016 Toyota Mirai priced up for 2015 US fuel-cell debut

2016 Toyota Mirai priced up for 2015 US fuel-cell debut

Toyota has announced US pricing for the 2016 Mirai, its first commercially-available fuel-cell car, along with a package of extras it hopes will coax drivers away from gasoline engines. Set to hit US forecourts in 2015, albeit initially only in California and even then at a select handful of dealerships, the Mirai will have a sticker price of $57,500, Toyota said today, though various subsidies and initiatives are expected to bring that down to around $45,000. There's also the lure of free fuel - for some, at least - to sweeten the deal.

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Breaking the Toyota Mirai down by the numbers

Breaking the Toyota Mirai down by the numbers

Are fuel-cells finally ready for the mass market? Toyota believes so, and it says it has the numbers to back that up. With the 2016 Mirai set to bring the hydrogen-sipping, water-spitting technology to the road next year - the culmination of twenty years of Toyota’s development - it won’t necessarily be a fast journey to market success; as Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of Toyota’s board and “father of the Prius” pointed out, it took around a decade before the company’s hybrid sales hit one million globally, punctuated with no small amount of criticism from other industry players along the way. Read on as we break down the Mirai by the sometimes surprising numbers, and even explain that controversial Battlestar Gallactica-esque front.

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Toyota Mirai named as fuel-cells get serious

Toyota Mirai named as fuel-cells get serious

Toyota has officially named its first production fuel-cell car, with the eye-catching sedan previously known as the FCV set to hit dealerships as the 2016 Toyota Mirai. Set to launch in the US, Japan, and select European countries as the Japanese car firm continues in its attempts to ween the world off its gasoline addiction, the new model will also benefit from a freshly-inked deal to put hydrogen recharging points across not only California but now New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island as well. With a full tank, the Mirai should run for around 300 miles, Toyota says, emitting nothing more noxious than water.

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2015 Lexus IS 250 Review – Distinctly Divisive

2015 Lexus IS 250 Review – Distinctly Divisive

It's never been tougher to be a small, sporty sedan. Luxury buyers are being wooed by the segment above, while the gradual up-speccing of full-sized sedans below is making it harder and harder to stand out. Factor in the growing number of more practical coupes on one side, and nimble sports crossovers squeezing in from the opposite direction, and the risk of being seen as a staid four-door is considerable. Lexus’ answer to that in 2013 was the new IS, a stark departure from the company’s previous playbook, and it’s the 2015 IS 250 that’s been on my drive trying to coerce me from behind the wheel of a BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C Class, or Audi A3.

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The crazy Lexus LF-LC is going into production

The crazy Lexus LF-LC is going into production

Lexus has confirmed it has production plans for the LF-LC concept, hoping the striking coupe will do more for the brand's reputation than the insanely expensive and rarely-seen LFA supercar. Exactly how much the road-going version of the concept will cost is unclear at this stage, as are details of its drivetrain and when it might hit dealer forecourts, but Lexus is insistent that - though positioned at the luxury end of the scale - it will address a far broader market than its previous flagship folly. That means no woven carbon fiber body and no $375,000 price tag.

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Samsung’s flexible electronics could make its Glass rival less ugly

Samsung’s flexible electronics could make its Glass rival less ugly

Samsung may not have unleashed its long-rumored Glass rival, but behind the scenes the company has been piecing together the components for just such a device, or indeed a new range of bending wearables. Samsung Electro-Mechanics has quietly shown off a line-up of flexible PCBs which could potentially wrap inside a face-hugging headset or curve neatly around a wrist for a future smartwatch, along with a grab bag of other components such as multi-mode sensors and more flexible wireless charging systems.

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Rosetta’s lander may be fading, but its photos are incredible

Rosetta’s lander may be fading, but its photos are incredible

Philae may be lost somewhere on Comet 67P, rapidly running out of power, and yet to tie itself down safely, but that's not stopping the Rosetta mission from sending back some incredible photos of the hurtling space rock. Images captured both by the lander itself and the Rosetta rocket that delivered it to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko - and is currently orbiting it as a radio lifeline back to Earth - show the incredible surface both from close orbit and from Philae's unexpectedly awkward current resting place, though how much longer the probe will be able to send back footage is unclear.

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Is Facebook’s privacy update welcome or whitewash?

Is Facebook’s privacy update welcome or whitewash?

Listen to Mark Zuckerberg & Co., and Facebook's privacy changes this week are not only benign but in your very best interest. A pared down explanation on data protection that's ostensibly clearer than before, as well as a guide to exactly what the privacy settings can do, were the sweetener to the side news that Facebook would actually be doing more information sharing, at least between its recent acquisitions like Instagram and WhatsApp. Problem is, we've heard those same explanations before, and they've already got at least one big company into very hot water.

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Drop connected kitchen scale bakes with your iPad

Drop connected kitchen scale bakes with your iPad

Wirelessly-connected scales aren't new, with Withings' model gleefully telling everyone in your social networks just how fat you are for some time now, but Drop aims to do something similar only before the food actually makes it past your lips. The Drop connected kitchen scale claims to take the measuring confusion out of baking, integrating with a companion iPad app that not only shows recipes but gives real-time guidance on how you piece it all together, even automatically adjusting the overall recipe if you're short on an ingredient.

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Philae future in question as comet lander battery dwindles

Philae future in question as comet lander battery dwindles

The Philae lander that traveled 3.98 million miles to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkohas is now frantically attempting as much scientific research as it can, with the ESA concerned that its batteries could die in less than a day. The European Space Agency planned to run Philae, its Rosetta mission probe to a comet hurtling 80,000 mph through space, through until March 2015, investigating how the icy space rock was affected by the sun as it travels in the solar system, but an awkward landing - or, more accurately, three landings - has left the future of the experiment in question.

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