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.

Amazon slams FAA drone delay with international shaming

Amazon slams FAA drone delay with international shaming

Thought Amazon would be ecstatic the FAA had given it permission to test its Prime Air delivery drones? Think again: Amazon execs have slammed the US government agency, despite finally getting the green-light. The Federal Aviation Administration delivered what it thought was good news last week, telling the online retailer that it could cautiously try flying its remote-control delivery drones in US airspace as a prelude to perhaps one day dropping off packages from the sky. Instead, it opened a can of worms, with Amazon claiming the FAA's tardiness meant it had already scrapped the prototype.

Continue Reading

Ford apes Tesla with speed-spotting car cameras

Ford apes Tesla with speed-spotting car cameras

Ford is adding speed limit sign recognition to its range, with the first implementation of the company's traffic sign scanning tech showing up - among other geeky add-ons - on the new S-MAX. Dubbed Intelligent Speed Limiter, like Autopilot on the Tesla Model S, the system uses cameras to keep an eye out for posted speed limits and then varies the amount of fuel reaching the engine to keep a legal pace. According to Ford, it could mean the difference between staying on the right side of the law and losing your license, particularly if driving abroad where the limits might be unexpectedly lower.

Continue Reading

Three buys O2 in $15bn+ UK carrier deal

Three buys O2 in $15bn+ UK carrier deal

Three has acquired UK carrier O2 in a deal worth over $15bn, as the fiercely competitive British mobile segment continues to condense. The culmination of "exclusive negotiations" that began earlier this year, the deal will leave the combined carriers as the largest - in terms of subscribers, at least - in the UK, though regulatory approval is yet to be gained and could take some time. However, even in the short-term there are still plenty of unanswered questions.

Continue Reading

Facebook wants to host the news, not just share it

Facebook wants to host the news, not just share it

Facebook may be a major source of eyeballs for online news, but the social site is reportedly hoping to not only direct readers to stories but host those articles too, as it tries to keep surfers on its site and happy. Mark Zuckerberg & Co. are said to be in negotiations with a number of high-profile publishers, including BuzzFeed and National Geographic, to host content on Facebook's own servers rather than direct shared links externally. The strategy would help cut loading times, which are said to be a key concern at Facebook as it tries to ensure its users stick around, particularly on mobile devices.

Continue Reading

La Marzocco Linea Mini embraces coffee geek mainstream (sorta)

La Marzocco Linea Mini embraces coffee geek mainstream (sorta)

La Marzocco may be famous in coffee but the Italian espresso machine company has never been what you'd call affordable. That's not quite going to change with the arrival of the new La Marzocco Linea Mini, but it will bring the famous nameplate (and some of its most appealing qualities) within reach of a broader enthusiast audience. Distilling the style of the classic Linea - mainstay of many a coffee shop - not to mention its consistency and ease of use into a version scaled and suited to the domestic kitchen, the Linea Mini may still carry an eye-watering price tag but it's potentially a breakthrough in mainstream coffee geekery.

Continue Reading

Logitech MX Master Review – The ambitious mouse

Logitech MX Master Review – The ambitious mouse

Turns out, mouse design is a serious business. Logitech has spent several years designing its new flagship peripheral, the MX Master, capable of embracing not just one but three of your computers, and even coaxing loyal trackpad users back into the fold. It also sees the return of one of Logitech's more contentious features, a slick scroll wheel with some fancy friction. I pushed my Magic Trackpad to one side to give the MX Master the chance to win me over; read on for the full review.

Continue Reading

TrackR bravo hands-on – Tracking with Bluetooth and the crowd

TrackR bravo hands-on – Tracking with Bluetooth and the crowd

Where are your keys? How about your cat? Personal locator devices have come a long way since the days of "whistle and your keychain bleeps," and TrackR is hoping to lead the charge with its new sub-$30 bravo dongle. Aiming to not only allow users to leave their smartphone to keep track of their belongings, rather than forcing them to memorize where they last saw everything, but to also rope in the power of crowdsourcing to replace costly GPS, TrackR bravo is a 2014 Indiegogo success that's finally shipping today. It's been dangling from my belongings for the past few weeks; read on for some first-impressions.

Continue Reading

HTC One M9 Review – Gambling on Quality

HTC One M9 Review – Gambling on Quality

What does it take to create a smartphone design classic? For the HTC One M9, the answer is relentless refinement, improving what worked in its metal-bodied predecessors rather than chasing the latest trends. The smartphone spec arms-race is relentless, however, notable as much for its hyperbole as the minimal attention span of would-be buyers in carrier stores. If you can’t make your case in seconds, you’re going to lose the sale. Amid fierce competition, HTC doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record of playing up its strengths and capitalizing on its advantages. Has that changed in the One M9?

Continue Reading

Lexus is about to take its biggest risk yet

Lexus is about to take its biggest risk yet

See these L-shaped lamps and aggressive haunches? They're the first glimpse of what will arguably be Lexus' most risky launch so far, as the company revamps its best-selling RX SUV. The 2016 Lexus RX is set to make its official debut in two weeks time, at the North American International Auto Show in New York, and the stakes for the luxury SUV are high. On its own, the RX accounted for more than 30-percent of all Lexus sales in the US last year, which means that if the company gets the new model wrong, it could find itself in seriously hot water.

Continue Reading

How Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car is shaping smart cities

How Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car is shaping smart cities

If there's one thing you won't mistake the F 015 Luxury in Motion for, it's any Mercedes-Benz currently on the road. Previous autonomous development had started with a production car and then added self-driving abilities, Mercedes designer Till Varailhon explained to me; this time around, the team started from scratch: not only in how the car looks and drives, but how it shares space responsibly in the cities of 2030. After the cut, no-go zones, flocks of scurrying research robots, and why Tesla only proves the smart city is inevitable.

Continue Reading