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.

Microsoft confuses on Windows 10 phone upgrades

Microsoft confuses on Windows 10 phone upgrades

First came the good news: Windows 10 would be a free upgrade; now comes the small print, that not everybody is going to be eligible. After Microsoft surprised Windows fans earlier this week with the promise that not only would those running Windows 8 get an upgrade to the latest OS, but those on Windows 7 too, some of the goodwill sheen has been rubbed off after first Windows RT users and now some Lumia Windows Phone owners have been left uncertain whether they'll ever get Windows 10 on their devices.

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Catalog crash: SkyMall files for bankruptcy

Catalog crash: SkyMall files for bankruptcy

SkyMall, the catalog which has entertained, bemused, but apparently not made quite enough money out of airline travelers over the past years, has filed for bankruptcy, potentially leaving a gaping loss in our seat-back pockets. Parent company Xhibit Corp announced its financial situation today, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and at the same time requesting permission to at least attempt to sell off SkyMall's online business and most of its other assets.

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We’re three minutes from Doomsday

We’re three minutes from Doomsday

Climate change and the unrelenting development and stockpiling of nuclear weapons have seen the Doomsday Clock pushed another minute closer to global disaster, with scientists warning that we're three metaphorical minutes from destruction. The clock, a symbolic representation of how close humanity is to teetering on the edge of effective annihilation by its own hand, is now just three minutes from midnight, with the team in charge of the hands - the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, counting seventeen Nobel Prize laureates among its members - ominously suggesting that "the probability of global catastrophe is very high."

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Ford’s new Silicon Valley lab isn’t all pie-in-the-sky

Ford’s new Silicon Valley lab isn’t all pie-in-the-sky

Self-driving cars are undoubtedly the most attention-grabbing project at Ford's new tech outpost in Palo Alto, but it's not all the team is working on, and other schemes are far closer to helping modern drivers. The Research and Innovation Center is also exploring how digital dashboards can be smarter, how smart home gadgets like Nest can play nicely with your car, and even how a little Project Ara style modularity could make Fords more future-proof. Read on for three of the more down-to-earth - and potentially closer to production cars at your nearest Ford dealer - projects underway.

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Ford R&D Palo Alto puts driverless cars in pole position

Ford R&D Palo Alto puts driverless cars in pole position

Ford CEO Mark Fields may have been critical of the auto industry’s attempts to over-hype driverless cars, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t working on its own model at its new Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California. The car firm has snagged a former Apple engineer, Dragos Maciuca, to lead its innovation efforts, heading projects like autonomous and remotely-piloted vehicles, integrating the dashboard with the smart home - including hooking up with the Google-owned Nest thermostat - and leveraging GPU acceleration for things like swifter speech recognition.

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Stir Kinetic Desk M1 hands-on: Even smarter standing

Stir Kinetic Desk M1 hands-on: Even smarter standing

Sit-stand desks have gone from curiosity to legitimate ergonomic boon, and smart desk startup Stir is back with a new, cleverer and more affordable take on the standing desk. After surprising us with a touchscreen-controlled, high-end desk back in late 2013, the new Stir Kinetic Desk M1 takes the lessons of that $4k behemoth and translates them into something faster and more flexible. I caught up with the Stir team to find out why swifter touch, US-made hardware, and the power of both wearables and the cloud make the new model special - and, most importantly, whether people actually care about changing position once the novelty has worn off.

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T-Mobile promises Smartphone Equality for the loyal

T-Mobile promises Smartphone Equality for the loyal

You've undoubtedly heard them, the rapid-fire "terms and conditions apply" chatter after any radio or TV advert promising Apple or Samsung's latest and greatest for a minimal price. T&Cs are a fact of life, but if your credit score doesn't meet the grade then devices and service could end up being far more expensive. That's the target of T-Mobile USA's latest "uncarrier" move, with Smartphone Equality promising the same deal as those with the best track record, as long as you've been paying the carrier on time for a year.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 targets GPU “sweet spot”

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 targets GPU “sweet spot”

NVIDIA had inadvertently set itself a challenge. On the one hand, the GeForce GTX 980 and 970 had been a rip-roaring success, with an unexpected 1m+ cards selling in less than five months. That's not bad for a graphics card that costs as much as $549, and yet it left the NVIDIA chips out of reach for a dawning cohort of upgraders two generations behind and wanting a more affordable upgrade. Enter the GeForce GTX 960.

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Ford Focus RS teased with squealing track outing

Ford Focus RS teased with squealing track outing

Ford's showing at Detroit certainly wasn't quiet, with a new GT, track-ready Shelby version of the Mustang, and the beefy F-150 Raptor, but the grunt isn't over with, a new teaser video for the all-new Focus RS promises. The potent little hatchback isn't expected to be officially detailed until early next month, but that hasn't stopped Ford from throwing it around a couple of text tracks to really whet our appetites. Best of all, although those in North America may have had to feign lacking interest in the previous Focus RS, for once they can get just as excited as the rest of us.

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Logic Pro X adds new sounds, better drummers, more

Logic Pro X adds new sounds, better drummers, more

Logic Pro X has had a quiet update, with new backing percussion options and tools, tweaks to how the music app handles edits, and - maybe most important of all - smarter balancing of automation versus musicality. The new release to 10.1, a free update through the Mac App Store for existing Logic Pro X users, adds ten new Drummers in a variety of styles including techno, house, trap, and dubstep, along with special tools for tweaking drum tracks in electronic and hip hop music. Meanwhile, there's also AirDrop sharing and Retina support for those lucky enough to be composing on an iMac 5K.

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