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.

WristBoom: Because a wearable speaker isn’t entirely crazy

WristBoom: Because a wearable speaker isn’t entirely crazy

I was all ready to trash WristBoom, and then I thought of my grandmother. Well, alright, there were a couple of stages in-between, but I had to drop the “cynical geek” persona and think outside the bubble to properly appreciate a chunky Bluetooth speaker you wear strapped to your wrist. And, while I’m still not sure this is the product the world has been holding its breath for, that’s not to say I’m unconvinced by its odd charms.

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This is American Express’ new Miami Centurion Lounge

This is American Express’ new Miami Centurion Lounge

There are plenty of reasons to have an American Express card in your wallet, but access to the growing number of Centurion Lounges in airports might be top of the list. Where airline lounges all too often drop a few stale pastries in a self-serve bin next to a coffee pot and a mini-fridge of Coke, American Express' take is an altogether more luxurious experience: real food, a curated wine list, seats you'd actually want to sit in, and even extras like an in-lounge spa. Latest to the list is Centurion Lounge Miami, at Miami International Airport.

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Philips Hue Dimmer Switch and brighter bulb incoming

Philips Hue Dimmer Switch and brighter bulb incoming

Philips has a new remote control for its hue wireless lights in the pipeline, along with a brighter version of its color-changing bulb. The new products, revealed during regulatory testing at the FCC, include an update on the original hue bulb with an 800 lumen version. However, it's the new Hue Dimmer Switch which is arguably more interesting, given how it potentially addresses a common complaint among those with the remote-controlled bulbs installed in their homes.

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Google’s self-driving cars are getting a monthly report card

Google’s self-driving cars are getting a monthly report card

Google will release monthly reports on the progress of its self-driving cars, including detailing any incidents or crashes the vehicles are involved in. The move for greater transparency follows Google co-founder Sergey Brin's earnest plea to shareholders to continue to support "moonshot" projects earlier this week, which was closely followed by the revelation that its autonomous cars had been involved in their twelfth incident. In addition to listing accidents, however, Google will also use the monthly summaries as an opportunity to flag its cars' intelligence on the road.

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Amazon Echo now reads your Audible audiobooks

Amazon Echo now reads your Audible audiobooks

Amazon has added audiobook reading to its Echo personal assistant, allowing the pillar-like speaker to regale owners with Audible ebooks. The update is the latest in a series of improvements to Echo which Amazon has pushed out, and follows Google Calendar integration which was installed late last month. Echo will also synchronize its place in each audiobook with Amazon's apps on other platforms, to make the listening experience effectively seamless.

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Dropbox boosts business cred with 2-factor security

Dropbox boosts business cred with 2-factor security

Dropbox is bolstering its business security credentials, adding two-factor authentication among other things to lure companies into the cloud. The updates to Dropbox for Business will make managing several administrators more straightforward, the company claims, as well as giving IT departments the ability to remotely install the Dropbox desktop client, albeit only on Windows machines rather than Macs.

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HP compromises to get groundbreaking Machine to market

HP compromises to get groundbreaking Machine to market

HP expects to have its groundbreaking Machine up and running in 2016, but its ambitious plans for the computer have been tempered from the original promises. Announced last year alongside an aggressive scheme to introduce memristors - chips that straddle volatile RAM and non-volatile storage - commercially, HP Machine was billed as the future of everything from servers to smartphones. Speaking at the HP Discover event this week, however, HP Labs' director Martin Fink conceded that the first-generation Machine won't be quite as revolutionary as initially hoped.

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Skype for Web offers browser calls for US and UK

Skype for Web offers browser calls for US and UK

Skype for Web, the browser-based version of the popular voice and video messaging service, has rolled out across the US and UK. Revealed in beta at the tail-end of last year, the web app can effectively replace the standalone Skype client, delivering the same video, audio, and IM communications only through the browser. It could be useful, Microsoft says, for those using public computers while traveling, or when you're on a different machine and haven't the time (or the inclination, frankly) to install the full software.

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Huge hack spills data of 4m US federal employees

Huge hack spills data of 4m US federal employees

A huge data breach exposing personal information of 4m current and former federal employees has been revealed, with insiders already blaming Chinese hackers. The attack focused on the IT systems at the Office of Personnel Management, the agency responsible for the civil service, and was spotted in April this year. Among the data believed to have been taken are individual employeee job assignments, along with their performance ratings and information on what training they had received.

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