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.

Car tech and Siri slammed for driver distraction

Car tech and Siri slammed for driver distraction

Capable but complex infotainment systems built into modern car dashboards are dangerously distracting, a driver safety study has concluded, while voice controlled systems like Apple's Siri have been equally criticized. Hands-free tech intended to maintain a driver's grip on the wheel can, ironically, cause greater cognitive distraction than actually picking up a phone, a study by the AAA and the University of Utah revealed, testing a number of basic tasks like making calls or changing radio station across cars from Toyota, Mercedes, and other marques.

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Forget Apple Pay: Plastc wants to make your wallet smarter

Forget Apple Pay: Plastc wants to make your wallet smarter

Does the world need another alternative payment method? Plastc believes so, promising the most security as well as the most convenience with its touchscreen-blessed credit and debit card replacement. Capable of switching between a traditional payment card, a loyalty or gift card, or even an access card to your office, Plastc has a magnetic strip that can be re-written on the fly so as to change its identity depending on where you're using it and what you want to use it for, all controlled with an app on your smartphone and an E Ink panel on the card itself.

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Aping Mercedes may bring a Tesla within your reach

Aping Mercedes may bring a Tesla within your reach

Tesla is ramping up to offer its own certified pre-owned program, preparing for a predicted influx of used Model S sedans the aftermarket value of which CEO Elon Musk personally vouched for. As the early Model S off the production lines reach three years old, and owners begin to trade them in under its buyback guarantee, Tesla will look to not only keep them buying within the brand, but lower the sticker price to would-be drivers hoping to get one of the all-electric sedans in their garage.

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Facebook’s $19bn WhatsApp grab just cost it $22bn

Facebook’s $19bn WhatsApp grab just cost it $22bn

The ink is finally dry on Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp, and what a difference six months make, with the messaging app costing Mark Zuckerberg & Co. $3bn more than expected when first announced. Facebook had planned on splashing $19bn - made up of a combination of shares, restricted stock units, and cash - on its grab for the popular IM platform, but a surge in the social site's own value in the intervening period meant the cost was actually much higher than planned.

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Gmail updates for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus displays

Gmail updates for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus displays

Sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference, like apps that take proper advantage of the extra screen real-estate of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, so consider it welcome news that Gmail has updated for iOS 8. The new app - with the tongue-in-cheek version number of 3.1415926 - answers the big, lingering complaint Gmail users had since the new Apple smartphones were launched, namely that the scaling was still intended for a 4-inch panel. Now, though, you get far more on your screen than you did before.

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Twin Peaks returns: Showtime revives cult classic in 2016

Twin Peaks returns: Showtime revives cult classic in 2016

Twin Peaks is returning, with the cult TV show being reborn for 2016 as co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost ink a deal with Showtime. Nine new episodes of the surreal show will be produced, it's reported, airing 25 years after the original was cut by ABC after just two seasons. However, with casting yet to be announced, it's unclear whether Kyle MacLachlan will reclaim his role as FBI Agent Dale Cooper, investigating murder in the oftentimes-bizarre (and thankfully fictional) town of Twin Peaks, Washington.

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VAIO Prototype Tablet PC could rival Surface Pro 3

VAIO Prototype Tablet PC could rival Surface Pro 3

Sony may not be at the helm of VAIO any more, but that doesn't mean the brand has lost its mojo, showing off a new tablet PC concept that seemingly aims for the same well-heeled artist audience as Microsoft's Surface Pro. Revealed at Adobe Max 2014 today, the VAIO Prototype Tablet PC - its unofficial "monster tablet" name is a little more fitting, though neither are probably quite right should it get the green light for a commercial launch - is a 12.3-inch processing monster running an Intel quadcore chip.

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Here’s how Lamborghini thinks hybrid supercars should work

Here’s how Lamborghini thinks hybrid supercars should work

When Lamborghini makes a hybrid, you know something is up, but the Italian supercar manufacturer wasn't thinking so much of "going green" as it was "going fast" when it designed the Asterion LPI 910-4's powertrain. One of the stars of the Paris Auto Show 2014 last week, the sleek coupé pairs together a 5.2-liter V10 gas engine with three electric motors to produce Lamborghini's first ever plug-in hybrid - at least in concept form, anyway. A new video, meanwhile, explains exactly how those two systems combine for the car's heady 910 HP.

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Adobe Creative Cloud boosted: iOS workflow supercharged

Adobe Creative Cloud boosted: iOS workflow supercharged

Adobe has given its Creative Cloud a polish today, rolling out new mobile "capture" apps for iPhone and iPad, as well as updating popular iPad app Photoshop Sketch and other titles. The refresh, announced at Adobe's MAX 2014 conference today, also boosts interconnectivity between the mobile software and their desktop counterparts, in addition to improving support for Adobe Ink & Slide, the digital pen and ruler set for the iPad which was released earlier this year and which allows mobile artists to create early sketches and jot down ideas for their upcoming desktop projects.

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2015 Ford F-150 First Drive: The big aluminum risk

2015 Ford F-150 First Drive: The big aluminum risk

The stakes are high when you're redesigning the best-selling vehicle in America, and you could've perhaps forgiven Ford for taking a low-key approach to the 2015 F-150. Instead, however, the new truck aims for a trio of improvements (and companion challenges): an all-new aluminum body and box that needs to convince traditionalists that steel isn't the only metal; a new 2.7L EcoBoost engine that has to compete with the de facto V8; and lashings of tech at odds with the "simple workhorse" many expect. Ambitious, then: read on to find out whether Ford's new star succeeds.

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