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.

Withings Activité Review – Smart gets Stylish

Withings Activité Review – Smart gets Stylish

Rather than a smartwatch, how about a watch that’s simply smarter? Smartwatches and fitness trackers have long tried to borrow from the traditional horological handbook, but tech usually trumps style; heck, the specter of the Apple Watch may loom over all wearables, but even Cupertino’s wrist-candy needs no second glance to be mistaken for something different from a regular watch. Could salvation come from France by way of Switzerland, and the Withings Activité? With a price tag higher even than Apple’s, and a spec list conspicuously shorter, the Activité needs more than just its coveted “Swiss Made” branding, but after two months of it on my wrist, I've realized it has some unique charms of its own.

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Daytona Rising: Reinventing a NASCAR icon

Daytona Rising: Reinventing a NASCAR icon

NASCAR. That’s just over-powered cars going in a circle for hours, right? As the Daytona 500 reaches its horsepower-heavy crescendo today, it’s the iconic racetrack, the Daytona International Speedway, which is sharing a little more of the spotlight than usual. Coaxing fans out from their living rooms and the surfeit of entertainment options there isn’t a unique problem in sports, but it’s one that sponsor-dependent NASCAR faces more than most. The answer is Daytona Rising, an ambitious program designed not only to renovate the grandstand but to turn the historic track into what Joie Chitwood, President of the Speedway, describes as “the first and only motorsports stadium.” I headed out to Florida to find out how new tech is bringing the race experience up to speed.

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OneNote for iPad can now handle your handwriting

OneNote for iPad can now handle your handwriting

Apple may have been cautious in embracing the stylus, but that doesn't mean iPad apps have held back, with Microsoft adding handwriting support to OneNote today. The updated note-taking app adds what Microsoft claims is one of the most commonly-requested features from users themselves, the ability to write and sketch directly into notes, just as you might with a Surface Pro 3. Meanwhile, there's also new optical character recognition (OCR) support in OneNote, pulling out the text in photos and scans automatically.

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Hulu grabs CSI streaming exclusive (sorry, Netflix)

Hulu grabs CSI streaming exclusive (sorry, Netflix)

The on-demand content grab continues, with Hulu announcing it'll be the only place to go if you're a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation fan thanks to an exclusive licensing deal. Notable for being the first time any of the CSI shows have been offered through a subscription video-on-demand service, the agreement - described as "multi-year" though with nothing more specific than that - will see over 300 existing episodes offered for binge-watching, in addition to making Hulu the place for new episodes as CBS airs them. That includes CSI: Cyber, the newest addition to the franchise which is about to debut.

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IFTTT Do tames Internet of Things with one-tap triggers

IFTTT Do tames Internet of Things with one-tap triggers

Internet of Things glue IFTTT has launched three new apps, dubbed "Do", intended to take the most commonly used features of popular apps and services, and turn them into standalone widgets. Three "Do" apps are available initially - Do Button, Do Camera, and Do Note - which can be set to provide one-tap access to regularly carried-out tasks like setting a Nest thermostat to a specific temperature, or uploading newly-taken photos to a Facebook album. At the same time, the original IFTTT mobile app has been rebranded, and will now be known as IF.

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Apple faces lawsuit over EV battery expert poaching

Apple faces lawsuit over EV battery expert poaching

Apple's electric car project may only have been grist for the rumor-mill for a week, but it's already landed the firm in legal hot water over alleged expert-poaching. Speculation about the so-called "Project Titan" underway at a secret facility near Apple's Cupertino headquarters has so-far centered on intermingling rumors of EV powertrains and self-driving technology. However, according to battery maker A123 Systems, some of the skills that are helping those projects came as a result of a targeted campaign by Apple to grab the firm's staff. Now, it's decided to take it to the courts.

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Amazon gives “The Man in the High Castle” full season go-ahead

Amazon gives “The Man in the High Castle” full season go-ahead

Amazon has given the go-ahead for a full season of The Man in the High Castle, with the first episode of the Philip K. Dick story being Prime Instant Video's most popular pilot so far. The pilot trial has several other winners, too, with a total of five shows being tested through the on-demand service and finding favor among viewers. It's no small project, either, with contributions from such established names as Ridley Scott, Shawn Ryan, and Frank Spotnitz all involved.

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Sony throwing in the towel on phones and TVs

Sony throwing in the towel on phones and TVs

Sony's appetite for struggling through the cutthroat smartphone and TV segments may have finally faded, with the company's chief exec saying he will no longer chase sales growth, and is open to spinning-off each. The admission of near-defeat comes as CEO Kazuo Hirai outlined his new focus for the next three years, concentrating on PlayStation and camera sensor development rather than segments like phones which have been attacked at either end of the market, both by cheap rivals from Asia, and from more high-end competition from Apple and Samsung.

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Rolls-Royce is building a super-SUV

Rolls-Royce is building a super-SUV

Hold onto your top hats: Rolls-Royce is making an SUV, and if the luxury marque's track record in opulence and excess is anything to go by, little this side of a Bentley Bentayga will eclipse it in the parking lot. In fact, the car firm's breathless announcement that it's wading into a new segment even keeps "SUV" itself at arm's distance, preferring instead to refer to its "Effortless Everywhere" abilities, desert-storming off road intentions, and of course near-ridiculous quantities of high-luxe outfitting. We don't know what it's called, but we can guess it'll be expensive.

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Apple Watch isn’t a wearable doctor, so what will it be?

Apple Watch isn’t a wearable doctor, so what will it be?

We may have already seen Apple Watch, but in actual fact we've hardly seen it at all: just what will we get from having the iOS wearable on our wrists? While Apple demonstrated early prototypes of the wearable back in September 2014, complete with nowhere-near-final software, the actual direction the Apple Watch has taken is, developers and project insiders say, quite different to the original intentions. In fact, while app makers aren't short of praise already, that's not to say Apple itself has made quite the timepiece it initially set out to.

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