Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in London, UK, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

We could fuel astronauts with human waste says research

We could fuel astronauts with human waste says research

Future astronauts and planetary colonists may end up breathing and watering plants with human waste, not to mention traveling in vehicles powered by it, if one research team has its way. NASA tasked the group at the University of Florida with figuring out what to do with the inevitable outcome of astronaut's freeze-dried meals, preferably something more productive than simply flushing it away into the nearest black hole. While the initial goal was lightening the load for space-faring folk, though, the research could have new implications down on Earth, too.

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OnePlus drops invite barrier to Android phone

OnePlus drops invite barrier to Android phone

OnePlus is temporarily dropping its invite system for the OnePlus One, another opportunity to bypass the frustrating line-waiting and go old-school with the "give a vendor money for goods" approach instead. For an unspecified period, rather than having to get an invite from a fellow OnePlus enthusiast or somehow earn one from the company, shoppers in the market for a new smartphone can simply click a button. Both the 16GB and 64GB versions are eligible, though the change comes amidst whispers of a second-generation OnePlus phone too.

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Sony’s e-paper FES Watch was hiding in plain sight

Sony’s e-paper FES Watch was hiding in plain sight

Sony's e-paper watch plan rumors sounded mysterious when they surfaced recently, but it turns out we'd actually seen the face-changing, power-sipping timepiece before, only under a different name. In fact, the distinctive timepiece - which uses e-paper not only for the watchface itself, but around the strap itself - was quietly launched on a crowdfunding site as the Fashion Entertainments FES Watch, a brand which Sony has now confirmed was set up by the skunkworks team at the company looking into the broader practical applications of screens more commonly found on e-readers like the Kindle.

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Google should be broken up vote Euro lawmakers

Google should be broken up vote Euro lawmakers

Europe has passed a ruling calling for Google to be broken up, among other things, with politicians concerned that huge, dominant firms like the Silicon Valley giant could end up abusing their position. The vote today at the European Parliament focused on how search functionality should be unbundled from other commercial services, in an effort to reduce the potential of access being abused. While Google wasn't specifically singled out by name, the search giant is nonetheless top of the hit-list given it's responsible for around 90-percent of all queries by European web users.

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Takata airbag fight escalates as feds set ultimatum

Takata airbag fight escalates as feds set ultimatum

The fall-out from the Takata airbag recall continues to intensify, with US federal safety regulators giving the Japanese company a deadline to take responsibility for the flawed safety tech and agree to a national replacement program. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had told Takata earlier this month that it wanted all cars in the US fitted with the potentially dangerous airbags to be recalled, but the parts firm has held off from complying, likely because of the associated cost and legal liabilities for the millions of vehicles that would impact. Now, the NHTSA is putting its foot down.

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We’ve just figured out how Earth’s force-field works

We’ve just figured out how Earth’s force-field works

A planet-scale force field sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but scientists using NASA probes have discovered that Earth is in fact protected by just such a phenomenon, with speedy electrons from a vast and naturally-occurring twin torus of radiation kept away from us. The Van Allen belts were first measured in 1958, each a gathering of charged particles kept in place by the planet's own magnetic field, and varying in size and strength according to the output of the sun. However, it's only now that their interaction with Earth's plasmasphere and how it acts as a forcefield has been understood.

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Google “right to be forgotten” tool should be global says EU

Google “right to be forgotten” tool should be global says EU

Google's "right to be forgotten" tool was grudgingly implemented in Europe back in May, but now privacy regulators are pushing to scale up the web search censoring system to cover global results, not just those localized to countries in the EU. The ruling - which affects all search engines operating in Europe, though Google is the clear leader with an estimated 90-percent market share there - allows individuals the right to request the removal of links to information "inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant," and at launch saw 12,000 requests in a single day.

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Sony a7II priced up for December 9th launch

Sony a7II priced up for December 9th launch

Sony has confirmed pricing and availability on its newest full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, the Sony a7II, packing 24.3-megapixels and the first 5-axis image stabilization system to be found on a snapper with a sensor of that size. Joining the original a7 and a7R, and the more recent a7S, the a7II promises to correct for the sort of shake you'd experience when using telephoto lenses, when using high magnification, and when shooting low-light scenes or recording video, for a claimed total of 4.5 stops of faster shutter speed of correction.

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Fire Phone goes unlocked as Amazon scrabbles for sales

Fire Phone goes unlocked as Amazon scrabbles for sales

It's probably safe to say that Amazon's Fire Phone hasn't been the runaway success Jeff Bezos & Co. hoped it might be, and so the retailer is taking another attempt to push the shopping-centric handset over Thanksgiving. The Fire Phone is now available unlocked and SIM-free, at $199, rather than only with an AT&T contract as has been the case until now, so that any T-Mobile, AT&T, or other GSM subscriber in the US can simply drop in an existing SIM from their carrier that they might have. However, before you hit the "Add to Cart" button, there are a few more things you might want to consider.

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Mercedes-AMG has its wicked way with CLA Shooting Brake

Mercedes-AMG has its wicked way with CLA Shooting Brake

Mercedes-Benz has outed a freshly-fettled car from its AMG tuning division, the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake, following up the LA Auto Show last week with its striking Mercedes-AMG GT S. Putting power and a trunk together, the five-door has a 2-liter BlueDIRECT four-cylinder turbo engine with 360 HP and 332 lb-ft of torque, and will do 0-60 mph in 4.7s. It's electronically limited to 155 mph, mind, just to stop you from rattling your IKEA purchases to pieces.

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