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.

Tesla caught testing, but is this Model X or Model 3?

Tesla caught testing, but is this Model X or Model 3?

The launch of Tesla's Model X may have been pushed back until later in 2015, but someone is apparently getting to enjoy how the electric SUV launches from a standing start. A case of "right place, right time" saw Juan del Real catch the camouflaged car undergoing testing in Alameda, California, hooning up and down a runway as some lucky driver got to put the EV powertrain - and the prototype's brakes - through their paces. However, there's also speculation that what we're seeing is no Model X, and could in fact be something much more interesting: Tesla's upcoming "affordable" EV, the Model 3.

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Google caves to privacy demands after UK investigation

Google caves to privacy demands after UK investigation

Google will change its controversial privacy policy in the UK, acquiescing to regulators who maintain the search giant's attempts to simplify its terms & conditions in fact left them half-baked. The agreement, announced today by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the UK, will see Google make changes to how it collects, uses, and communicates user data by June 30, 2015, with more adjustments over the coming two years. It's another pain point in what has been a nearly three year long headache for Google, which revealed its new approach to privacy back in early 2012.

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Sorry Samsung, Apple’s probably the smartphone king

Sorry Samsung, Apple’s probably the smartphone king

Apple's Q4 2014 may not only have been its best quarter ever for iPhone sales, but the point at which it overtook arch-rival Samsung in the smartphone business. The Cupertino firm announced a massive 74.5m iPhone sales in the final three months of last year, setting itself a new record and - according to at least one research firm - putting it on at least level-pegging with Samsung. The South Korean company has played coy with its Galaxy numbers, but it's clear that Apple's rapid ascent has dramatically closed (if not destroyed) the gap between the two.

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Sonos pulls multiroom to the fore in v5.3 update

Sonos pulls multiroom to the fore in v5.3 update

Streaming multiroom audio favorite Sonos has updated its platform, making controlling several rooms of playback more straightforward, and boosting appeal on tablets. Sonos Software version 5.3, currently available to beta testers before it goes live for all users, builds on the updated Sonos controller app that the company tweaked last year - adding multiple streaming account support, among other things - bringing control over each playback zone further to the fore, as well as individual playback options for the current track, including turning the system into more of a DJ experience.

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Twitter adds group messaging and 30s videos

Twitter adds group messaging and 30s videos

Twitter may be the social network where you tell the world what you had for breakfast, but new private messaging features now allow you to share it on a need-to-know basis. The support for private conversations - added to Twitter today, along with new video features that streamline the sharing of clips - builds on the social service's existing Direct Messages support, but expands them to an impromptu group of up to twenty people who needn't be following each other. It's the company's response to wildly popular instant messaging clients like Facebook-owned Whatsapp.

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NASA private space flights in 2017 to save rubles and respect

NASA private space flights in 2017 to save rubles and respect

SpaceX and Boeing plan to launch astronauts into space in 2017, as NASA's Commercial Crew program prepares to bring launches back onto US soil and in the process end the reliance on Russia. The two private companies are "the future of astronaut transportation to and from the [International Space Station]" Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Johnson Space Center director, said today, with the first flights expected to begin in just a few years time. However, while the ISS may be the first destination, the orbiting research platform isn't the extent of the Commercial Crew program's ambitions. In fact, it's paving the way for manned missions to Mars.

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Google Lunar XPRIZE awards $5.25m to moon mission hopefuls

Google Lunar XPRIZE awards $5.25m to moon mission hopefuls

The Google Lunar XPRIZE competition has handed out $5.25m to five companies for their contribution to taking a private spacecraft to the moon, with the so-called Milestone Prizes awarded in advance of final entries in 2016. XPRIZE aims to spur space exploration with a $30m prize pot from Google's wallet, challenging private industry and researchers help take a private craft to the lunar surface, have it travel at least 500 meters, and transmit high-definition video and imagery back to Earth. Although none of the Milestone winners have actually made it to the moon quite yet, they've been given an early bite of the award cash for their current progress.

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A huge asteroid is about to buzz Earth

A huge asteroid is about to buzz Earth

Try not to let it worry you, but a 550 meter wide chunk of space rock is going to hurtle past Earth at more than 33,000 mph very soon, another near-miss asteroid a celestially-slight 745,000 miles from our planet. While it may not sound all that close - the moon is on average 239k miles from us - asteroid 2004 BL86 is enough to have astronomers from NASA and other space agencies tracking its location closely, given the potential for destruction (or even species-level catastrophe like the "colossal bad luck" that saw the dinosaurs wiped out) the impact of such a rock would have.

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Blame Apple for the Nexus 6’s missing fingerprint sensor

Blame Apple for the Nexus 6’s missing fingerprint sensor

Apple may get blamed by many for trampling on innovation, but it turns out the company - or at least its rapacious supply chain - was to blame for the Nexus 6's cute-but-dumb dimple. The branded divot beneath the current Android flagship's camera may act as a handy place to rest your finger, but it was meant to be a far more useful location for a fingerprint sensor, according to former Motorola chief exec Dennis Woodside. Now at Dropbox, Woodside confirmed in an interview recently what many had suspected since the Nexus 6 was first unveiled.

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Logitech ConferenceCam Connect puts video chat in stick

Logitech ConferenceCam Connect puts video chat in stick

There's clearly a trend toward slightly-ominous slender cylinders in tech: first Amazon's Echo, and now Logitech has put the form-factor to use as a portable Full HD video conferencing gadget. The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect may at first glance look like a fancy sippy-cup for commuters to tote their coffee around in, but it's actually a fancy 1080p camera with ZEISS optics and integrated wireless, capable of turning a smartphone or tablet into an impromptu display, and linking roving employees into their company's video conferencing systems.

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