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.

Xiaomi tried to clone iMessage but screwed up badly

Xiaomi tried to clone iMessage but screwed up badly

On the face of it, Xiaomi's plan must've seemed a good idea: take a leaf from Apple's playbook and offer free messaging when users turned on its Android phones. Unfortunately, MIUI Cloud Messaging instead prompted accusations of data mining and intrusion into privacy, as new Xiaomi phones uploaded the contents of the phone book, numbers from received SMS messages, and the phone's own details to the company's servers, with no prior warning.

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Surface Pro 3 has MacBook Air in sights with attack ad trio

Surface Pro 3 has MacBook Air in sights with attack ad trio

Microsoft hasn't been shy in calling out Apple in recent months, pitting Cortana against Siri in a recent advert, while calling out the MacBook Air from the get-go with its Surface Pro 3 launch. Now the OS X ultraportable is under attack again, with a trio of new Microsoft commercials attempting to demonstrate how a pen, touchscreen, and detachable keyboard are together more flexible than a regular notebook can be.

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Microsoft just made your shaky GoPro video watchable

Microsoft just made your shaky GoPro video watchable

Wearable cameras like GoPro do a great job of giving a first-person view of extreme sports and other activities, but their often jerky footage can also end up doing a good job of triggering nausea. That's where Microsoft Research's new Hyperlapse system comes in, timelapse videos that run smoothly and pretty much jerk-free, despite coming from raw footage that jumps around madly.

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Microsoft isn’t giving up on ridiculously cheap Nokias

Microsoft isn’t giving up on ridiculously cheap Nokias

Microsoft may have decimated its Nokia Devices division, but it's not letting go of the budget end of the range entirely, revealing a new ultra-low-cost model targeting emerging markets. The new Nokia 130 is just €19 ($25) SIM-free and unlocked, though unsurprisingly you miss out on more than a few features to hit that price - including Microsoft's cloud.

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NASA releases “flying saucer” test video

NASA releases “flying saucer” test video

NASA's flying saucer has successfully made it to near-space, with the latest test flight for the experimental Mars lander pushing the boundaries of high-speed parachute deployment. The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) represents NASA's strategy for taking larger payloads safely down to the Martian surface, using both an inflatable air-brake and a vast parachute twice the size of that which set the Curiosity rover down.

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The dirty little secret about in-car voice control

The dirty little secret about in-car voice control

Speaking to your car's dashboard has been hailed by many as the answer to driver distraction, but most systems are flawed, respond poorly, and motorists don't really care about their features, research indicates. Automotive survey heavyweight J.D. Power went digging through reported vehicle quality, and found that lackluster infotainment - substandard voice control systems in particular - was a frequent complaint.

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Wikipedia is rolling in Bitcoin donations

Wikipedia is rolling in Bitcoin donations

Bitcoin may be variously misunderstood and mistrusted by financial regulators, but users of the virtual currency are clearly also Wikipedia fans, if the first batch of donation numbers are anything to go by. The Wikimedia Foundation only began accepting bitcoin a week ago, but according to payment provider The Coinbase, the non-profit organization behind the editable-by-all encyclopedia has already raised more than $140,000.

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Lasers and carbon-nanotubes pave way to live brain scanning

Lasers and carbon-nanotubes pave way to live brain scanning

Lasers and carbon nanotubes peering into the brain might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but tests that could one day mean precise non-invasive diagnosis of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other diseases are already underway. The technology, developed by chemists at Stanford University, has so far been tested on mice, but opens the door to an alternative to physically removing sections of the skull to track cellular-level changes.

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Alienware 13 slims gaming grunt into thinnest model yet

Alienware 13 slims gaming grunt into thinnest model yet

Gamers love their Alienware notebooks, and the Dell-owned brand is happy to keep delivering them, with the Alienware 13 the latest more portable model to escape the fold. Alienware's thinnest ever notebook, at an inch thick, and tipping the scales at under 4.5 pounds, the Alienware 13 slots in-between last year's Alienware 14 and the missed-by-many Alienware M11x which was killed off the year before.

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