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.

Microbes blamed for Earth’s biggest mass-extinction

Microbes blamed for Earth’s biggest mass-extinction

The biggest mass extinction known to affect Earth likely had the smallest of causes, scientists at MIT have concluded, blaming microbes for killing out around 90-percent of every species on the planet 252 million years ago. The huge wipe-out - which, it had previously been speculated, could have been the result of an asteroid strike or uncontrollable volcanic eruptions - was, new fossil research indicates, the result of vast quantities of carbon dioxide or methane changing ocean chemistry and throwing the climate into a tailspin.

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Gmail turns ten: The April Fools’ prank that was no joke

Gmail turns ten: The April Fools’ prank that was no joke

Gmail has turned ten, with Google's email service launching on April 1st, 2004, and promptly being dismissed by many as an April Fools' prank - just as Sergey Brin and the Gmail team hoped would be the case. At the time, the web-based email system with its use of AJAX (before it was known as AJAX) and whopping 1GB of free storage was groundbreaking, sending would-be Gmailers scurrying to get access to the invite-only service. However, behind the scenes Gmail was a whole lot more humble than it is today.

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GM faces NHTSA skewering as blame-game hearing begins

GM faces NHTSA skewering as blame-game hearing begins

GM will apologize but not explain why it took more than ten years to address the ignition key issue that has forced the recall of 2.6m cars, as CEO Mary Barra along with representation from the NHTSA testify today. Acting National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief David Friedman is expected to lay the blame at General Motors' feet, according to pre-submitted testimony, despite reports that the government agency itself opted not to formally investigate the car flaw all the way back in 2007.

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Google Ara could be a real-life Tricorder

Google Ara could be a real-life Tricorder

Google's Project Ara modular smartphone could well end up a real-life Tricorder of sorts, with medical uses for the customizable handset now on the agenda for the first Ara developers conference. Exactly which modules Google will offer for Ara - magnetically snapping into place on an underlying backplane - has not been detailed, though a new speaker addition to the inaugural developer event from MIT suggests it could be more than just extra batteries and different cameras.

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Jawbone buys Playground.fm: Are wearable-curated playlists next?

Jawbone buys Playground.fm: Are wearable-curated playlists next?

Fitness wearable and Bluetooth speaker and headset firm Jawbone quietly bought up Playground.fm last year, a personalized internet radio app that uses social networking and Spotify activity to craft a custom station. Playground.fm uses Facebook Likes of existing music to figure out the listener's tastes, potentially opening the door to a Jawbone-branded music service, or even shaping playlists by physical activity.

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iPhone 6 4.7″ and 5.5″ display May production tipped

iPhone 6 4.7″ and 5.5″ display May production tipped

Two sizes of display for Apple's iPhone 6 are tipped to go into mass production from May, insiders in the company's supply chain claim, with first a 4.7-inch and then a 5.5-inch touchscreen on the cards for the next-gen handset. Chatter of an increase in screen size from the 4-inch panel used on the iPhone 5s has circulated some time, with Apple said to be weighing the competitive benefits of challenging larger Android devices against its preference for smaller phones that can be more readily used single-handed.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab4 10.1, 8.0 and 7.0 flesh out midrange

Samsung Galaxy Tab4 10.1, 8.0 and 7.0 flesh out midrange

Samsung has revealed its new Galaxy Tab4 range of Android tablets, spanning three screen sizes and due to hit stores in Q2 2014. The Galaxy Tab4 10.1, 8.0, and 7.0 each use a WXGA 1280 x 800 16:10 display and support Samsung's Multi Window system for split-screen multitasking, though Samsung would probably still nudge those looking to do serious work in the direction of its Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

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HTC One M8 boosts to beat benchmarks HTC concedes

HTC One M8 boosts to beat benchmarks HTC concedes

HTC has conceded that it "games" benchmarking tests with the new HTC One M8, though the company argues that the maximum performance squeezed out of the 2014 flagship during profiling should be seen as an advantage, not a cheat. Tests of the One M8 on different versions of popular Android benchmarking tools suggested that HTC was specifically targeting the apps and putting the handset into an extreme mode that wasn't necessarily comparable to what regular apps might run in.

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BMW i8 will force fake engine noise and howl at pedestrians

BMW i8 will force fake engine noise and howl at pedestrians

BMW's i8 supercar may run on electricity but that doesn't mean the Germany marque has forgotten about aural performance: both inside and out. A new video showing how the i8 performs in Sport Mode - which you can see after the cut - shows that not only is the speed there, with the BMW doing 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds, but it makes a pretty distinctive noise while it does it, despite only having a very small gasoline engine.

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