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.

Obama: Sony pulling The Interview was “a mistake”

Obama: Sony pulling The Interview was “a mistake”

President Obama has criticized Sony for pulling The Interview following the hack blamed on North Korea, saying that while he is "sympathetic" to its losses, he nonetheless believes "they made a mistake." Describing cyber-security as an "urgent issue," Obama drew parallels between the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack and other, perhaps more traditional types of terrorism, including the Boston Marathon bombing. However, while Obama confirmed that some sort of response by the US was in order, he declined to give any specific details as to what that might be.

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Fire Phone gets arty with Amazon update

Fire Phone gets arty with Amazon update

Amazon has given the Fire Phone a high-brow update, adding the ability to recognize famous works of art with its Firefly visual search system, in addition to making the little-loved handset more capable for business users. The update, taking Fire OS to v3.6.5 for AT&T versions of the phone, also adds flexibility to how the Fire Phone's camera processes images as part of its "Best Shot" feature, adds music controls to the lock screen, and challenges Google Calendar with Amazon Cloud Calendar synchronization of schedules across any other Amazon devices users might own.

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A huge ice reservoir could be hiding inside Mars

A huge ice reservoir could be hiding inside Mars

A vast cache of water or ice could be lurking just beneath the surface of Mars, scientists claims, using meteorite research to figure out where the "missing Martian water" might have actually ended up. While signs of the historic effects of subsurface and ground ice have been observed in previous orbital surveys, evidence for a lingering supply of water has proved troublesome to pin down, even though the red planet's history is believed to have seen it wet and warm. By looking at the make-up of Martian meteorites found on Earth, however, connections have been spotted between them and a possible surface reservoir.

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FBI accuses North Korea of Sony hack

FBI accuses North Korea of Sony hack

The FBI has named North Korea as responsible for the Sony hack which saw huge quantities of secret documents and movie details stolen, and culminated in the pulling of contentious film The Interview from theatrical release. In a statement today - and ahead of a speech from President Obama expected later on - the FBI said its investigation with Sony Pictures Entertainment along with other agencies meant it "now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions." Exactly what happens next is unclear, though the FBI says it intends to "impose costs and consequences" on any individual, group, or nation state which conducts cyber-terrorism against US businesses.

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Google’s Project Ara adds NVIDIA and Marvell chips

Google’s Project Ara adds NVIDIA and Marvell chips

Google's Project Ara modular smartphone may be yet to convince everyone that it solves a legitimate problem, but we now at least know it won't be lacking power, with Marvell and NVIDIA both cooking up processor modules for the phone. NVIDIA is creating a Project Ara application processor module from its Tegra K1 - the same potent chipset found inside the Nexus 9 tablet, for instance - according to Google project chief Paul Eremenko, while Marvell is doing the same with its PXA1928 quadcore. It's not the only sign of manufacturer support for Google's big scheme to make future Androids piecemeal, either.

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The big Instagram losers lost millions

The big Instagram losers lost millions

Instagram's cull of spam accounts and users not toeing the line over community guidelines has taken a huge bite out of the follow counts for many high-profile users, a pre/post "Instapurge" survey has revealed. Announced last week as part of the photo-sharing social network's ongoing war against fake profiles, the spam sweep took effect yesterday and wiped anything from a handful of followers from some user's accounts, to several million from others - including Instagram's own account, in fact. Among the biggest losers have been musicians, with Justin Bieber, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift all seeing their fan numbers tumble, but it's the non-celebrity users who have been most vocal in their outrage.

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Google Fiber expansion news on ice

Google Fiber expansion news on ice

Google has slammed the brakes on its Google Fiber roll-out, telling eager internet addicts that its plans to go live in fresh cities across the US before the end of the year have been postponed until 2015. The search giant had originally maintained it would have an answer on the next locations to get high-speed service by the holidays, with many hoping to receive the gift of insanely fast connectivity - or at least the promise of it - among their other presents. However, 33 cities will now have to wait until the new year before they find out who gets fiber and when.

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BlackBerry finds dreary phones douse revenues

BlackBerry finds dreary phones douse revenues

BlackBerry has trimmed its losses but still struggles to find a solid revenue stream, with an unexpected drop of a third over last year, as its smartphones fail to find broad favor with either individuals or businesses. Net loss overall for the third quarter fell to $148m - hardly fantastic performance, but far better than last year's $4.4bn loss - and, when massaged to discount one-off costs and such, actually earned faithful BlackBerry investors all of a cent a share. However, BlackBerry failed to demonstrate the pace in revenue gains that market observers expected to see.

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Hyundai hands the keys to CarPlay and Android Auto

Hyundai hands the keys to CarPlay and Android Auto

Hyundai hasn't been slow to embrace either CarPlay or Android Auto, but Apple and Google's infotainment systems look set to become even more central to the car firm's dashboards in 2015. A new Display Audio head-unit set to eventually become Hyundai's volume option across all entry-level cars will ditch the CD player and onboard navigation in favor of offloading it to the driver's iPhone or Android device, in what the company claims will save cash for drivers already committed to their smartphones and not bothered by duplicating functionality with expensive in-dash upgrades.

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Cadillac reveals digital rear-view mirror for CT6 luxe-sedan

Cadillac reveals digital rear-view mirror for CT6 luxe-sedan

Cadillac is readying a digital rear-view mirror for its upcoming flagship sedan, the 2016 Cadillac CT6, delivering a wide-angle view of what's going on behind the car to an LCD built into the mirror. The system, set to land next year, will pair a super-wide LCD with an HD camera mounted on the rear of the CT6, and allow the driver to switch between a traditional mirror and a digital version with roughly four-times the coverage with a lever underneath. It's not the first time we've seen a big car firm flirt with such a system, but it could well be the first to be officially offered in the US.

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