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.

The largest ever Hubble photo shows Andromeda’s glory

The largest ever Hubble photo shows Andromeda’s glory

Taking high-resolution photos of your neighbors is usually frowned upon, but not when the neighbor in question is the Andromeda galaxy and the camera is the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA has shared the sharpest large composite image ever taken of the sprawling mass of stars, space dust, and more, a vast 1.5 billion pixels that together cover a 61,000 light year long section of the galaxy. It's a shot that gets more and more involving even as you zoom in closer, but NASA is hoping that it will do more than just amaze people.

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Twitter for Windows Phone lets Cortana in on tweeting

Twitter for Windows Phone lets Cortana in on tweeting

The official Twitter for Windows Phone app has been updated, adding Cortana integration for tweeting by voice, and improving how links browsed on your phone can be shared socially. The latest version, for Windows Phone 8.1 devices only, now allows users to tell Cortana - Microsoft's virtual personal assistant, aka Siri for Windows Phone - to fire out a 140 character message without having to tap it in themselves. It's a welcome improvement, though it remains to be seen whether Windows Phone fans, jaded by the ongoing token saga crippling third-party Twitter clients, will warm to the software.

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Ford Mustang sets sail as pony goes international

Ford Mustang sets sail as pony goes international

Ford's Mustang may be the quintessential American muscle car for many, but the pony car has ambitions further afield in its sixth generation. The first exports of the 2015 Mustang to international buyers has begun this week, Ford confirmed today, with plans to make both right- and left-hand drive versions available in more than 100 different markets. Unfortunately, just because the first cars are leaving ports now, that doesn't mean everyone will be getting the Mustang soon.

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NASA releases Ceres shots as Dawn nears dwarf planet

NASA releases Ceres shots as Dawn nears dwarf planet

NASA has shared its newest photos of distant dwarf planet Ceres, the next destination for the long-traveling Dawn spacecraft as it continues its nearly two-decade mission. The 590 mile wide planet is just 27 pixels across in Ceres' first snapshot, beamed back to Earth as the exploring spaceship makes its approach, but that's still enough to help guide the craft into orbit. Meanwhile, the quality will only increase as the distance from the mysterious planet shrinks: NASA says that the next scheduled photos will be the best shots of Ceres ever seen by human eyes.

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HP tricks out tablet brood with WiGig and keyboard docks, more

HP tricks out tablet brood with WiGig and keyboard docks, more

HP's tablet ambitions don't end with the Pro Slate 8 and 12 and their ultrasonic stylus, with a clutch of new Android and Windows 8 slates unveiled with features like ruggedized casings, 2-in-1 docks, and more. Most curious of the bunch is likely the HP Elite x2 1011 G1, an 11.6-inch Windows 8.1 tablet with baked-in LTE, an optional Wacom stylus, and a WiGig docking station; it runs one of Intel's new Core M processors, and has an 11.6-inch touchscreen running at up to 1920 x 1080 resolution.

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HP pre-empts iPad Pro with Android and a screaming pen

HP pre-empts iPad Pro with Android and a screaming pen

Apple may be rumored to launch an iPad Pro with a special stylus, but HP has got there first with its latest Android tablets, the HP Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12, packing a pen that uses sound not touch. Offered in both 7.9- and 12.3-inch sizes, the new tablets run Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 2.3GHz quadcore processor and are targeted at business users, particularly those who might want to digitize handwritten notes and sketches while on the move. Running Android 4.4 KitKat, they come with HP's own productivity apps, as well as sleek designs that look more than a little like HTC's One series of smartphones with their front-facing speakers.

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Drones, hubs and clouds: Ubuntu Core makes IoT play

Drones, hubs and clouds: Ubuntu Core makes IoT play

Linux is making another play for the Internet of Things, with Ubuntu figuring that as devices from thermostats through home hubs to personal robots and drones get smarter, they'll need a more flexible brain. Snappy Ubuntu Core is the latest platform for smart devices, promising gadgets that run exactly the same software whether locally or relying on the cloud, and thus bypassing questions about whether users are regularly upgrading, if old firmware is still in the wild, and where apps are going to come from. While Ubuntu clearly isn't alone in its IoT ambitions, Ubuntu Core does at least have an advantage some rival schemes don't: it already has users.

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2014’s popular passwords show security is still a joke

2014’s popular passwords show security is still a joke

We should be using crazy-strong passwords, but we're not. With online hacks seemingly making news every other week, companies large and small seeing their systems invaded, and the value of our digital data never more valuable, you'd think the passwords we commonly use would be getting stronger. New research into the most popular passwords discovered among the various leaks over the course of 2014 suggests that taking the simple - and thus easy to guess or brute-force crack - option is still the road most traveled for many netizens, with perennial favorites "123456" and "password" still topping the charts.

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HTC One M9 leak teases same style but new camera

HTC One M9 leak teases same style but new camera

HTC is teasing big things for its Mobile World Congress event on March 1st, but the surprise may have already been spoiled with the leak of what's said to be the new HTC One M9. The freshly-exposed flagship is, if the tattle behind the prototype is true, markedly similar in design to the existing One M8 - no bad thing, given it remains one of the more handsome and well-constructed Android phones out there - but, much as with the M8's progression from M7, with a number of refinements like slimmer bezels around the screen. There's also what looks to be a notable change in the camera mounting on the back, which lends weight to rumors that the M9 will see some significant differences there.

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Cree Connected LED Bulb Review – A promiscuous light

Cree Connected LED Bulb Review – A promiscuous light

If the smart home is to catch on, then its constituent pieces have to start playing together nicely. Cree has been pushing the LED bulb envelope - particularly on price - for some time, and now it's the turn of the Connected LED Bulb. Not long ago, fifteen dollars for a wireless light bulb was unthinkable; Cree promises not only that, but cross-platform support for home automation hubs compatible with ZigBee. While it's Home Depot favorite Wink that gets the mention on the Cree box, I was also keen to see how friendly the bulbs would be with smart lighting stalwart Philips hue, not to mention the increasingly popular SmartThings.

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