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.

Freescale’s Sage smart oven blends Uber and Nespresso

Freescale’s Sage smart oven blends Uber and Nespresso

Freescale has cooked up a connected appliance proof-of-concept that it says could be the Nespresso of convenience meals. Dubbed Sage, the solid-state RF oven promises the ease of use of a microwave but producing food that's actually worth eating rather than a rubbery mess, thanks to its ability to precisely control where, when, and how much heating energy gets directed at the ingredients. The result is a single oven that can simultaneously cook multiple different meals, all in different ways.

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Vinli hands-on: A high-octane smart car upgrade

Vinli hands-on: A high-octane smart car upgrade

Shiny new connected cars may be all the rage at auto shows, but not everybody wants, or can afford, to swap their current ride for the latest model. Into that fray steps Vinli, an ambitious startup hoping to upgrade your car with WiFi, Bluetooth, LTE, an app store, and the power of the cloud, all for $99.95 and thirty seconds of installation. I took a trip with founder Mark Haidar to find out if it could really be so simple.

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Google News Lab aims to empower the digital newsroom

Google News Lab aims to empower the digital newsroom

Google is looking to stoke the fires of online journalism with Google News Lab, a suite of tools, services, and training for the modern digital newsroom. News Lab builds on last week's update to Google Trends, which added real-time data on the most topical stories, with guidance and case-studies around how existing services like YouTube and Fusion Tables could be turned to reporting. It's not all online, though, with Google partnering up with various journalism incubators.

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iPhone filmmaker puts pros to shame with slo-mo

iPhone filmmaker puts pros to shame with slo-mo

Last we heard of iPhone filmmaker Tristan Pope he was showing how a smartphone and some creativity could rival professional cameras; now he's back and in slow-motion. Pope made waves earlier this year with his film "Romance in NYC", a crowdfunded movie recored entirely with an iPhone 6 and a handful of accessories. For the follow-up, Dancers of Zurich, Pope stuck with the iPhone, but it's a testament to how quickly the smartphone camera-accessory market is evolving.

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Living with Ford SYNC 3

Living with Ford SYNC 3

There's a war going on for your dashboard, and while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto might have designs on your digits, homegrown systems like Ford SYNC 3 aren't giving up. Latest iteration of Ford's infotainment platform, SYNC 3 raises its game in touchscreen responsiveness, voice recognition, and third-party app support. That makes a whole lot of difference behind the wheel, as I discovered when I took it for an extended test-drive in one of the first 2016 cars to offer it, the new Ford Escape.

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Amazon puts a learning AI in charge of reviews

Amazon puts a learning AI in charge of reviews

Amazon has quietly tweaked its reviews algorithm, using machine learning to not only push fresher feedback to customers, but learn which reviews are most useful. The changes, which went into action on Amazon's US site late last week, could well make a noticeable difference to which customer reviews show up top of the list and which are buried at the bottom; meanwhile, it could also have a big impact on how many stars each product scores.

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Apple knows how to make iPhone antennas invisible

Apple knows how to make iPhone antennas invisible

Radio waves may not pass through metal, but Apple is developing new materials that could look like aluminum even as they play nice with LTE and WiFi networks. The distinctive strips running around the edges and across the rear of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are a necessary evil, given the interference a fully-metal chassis would introduce to the wireless tech a smartphone relies upon. However, a freshly-filed Apple patent suggests a fix could be on the way, and it could have big implications for MacBooks, too.

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The sixth mass extinction is coming, and man is to blame

The sixth mass extinction is coming, and man is to blame

If the Pope's ominous warnings weren't enough for you, now scientists are chiming in to blame mankind for an imminent sixth mass extinction on Earth. The research, carried out by scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, takes a conservative approach to extinction rates, but concludes that even then biodiversity is dwindling at a pace far greater than would be natural. Meanwhile, there's a possibility for a turnaround, but the window of opportunity is closing.

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Philae speaks again: Comet probe “doing very well”

Philae speaks again: Comet probe “doing very well”

The Philae lander has resumed communications with Earth for the second time since the surprise message last Sunday that proved the spacecraft was still functional. Two signals were successfully received today, the European Space Agency (ESA) said, each lasting two minutes and containing 185 packets of data. Although there's no scientific research in among those bytes, Philae has sent back vital information about just how well the distant probe is doing on its unusual comet ride.

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Privacy fears halt Facebook Moments in Europe

Privacy fears halt Facebook Moments in Europe

Facebook Moments' smart people-spotting AI won't fly in Europe, with the smartphone app not being released until users can opt-out of facial recognition. The software, launched earlier this month for iOS and Android devices, promises to fill in the gaps in your galleries by combining pictures and video taken by multiple people all attending the same event. To do that, Moments uses its increasingly accurate face-recognition tech, and it's the legality of that which has the app's European launch on hold.

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