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.

This is Microsoft HoloLens

This is Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft has revealed its first virtual reality headset, the Microsoft HoloLens, delivering what the company calls "holograms" but what we perhaps know more as augmented reality. The headset, which resembles an oversized pair of ski goggles, overlays digital graphics onto the real world using transparent lenses and Windows 10. With the headset, Microsoft says, everything from gaming, through streaming media in apps like Netflix, to productivity apps, Skype video calling, or even creating virtual 3D objects in the new HoloStudio app - think Paint for the 21st century - are possible in a full standalone wearable computer.

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Surface Hub puts Windows 10 on 84″ 4K digital whiteboard

Surface Hub puts Windows 10 on 84″ 4K digital whiteboard

Microsoft has revealed its latest Windows 10 form-factor, the Surface Hub, a huge 84-inch screen intended to replace the traditional whiteboard with a digital alternative. The 84-inch, 4K resolution touchscreen looks at first glance like a simple LCD display, but in fact it has onboard processing and support for both finger-touch and a digital stylus. Microsoft believes it's the future of business communication and collaboration, with baked-in sharing and streaming support too.

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Elder Scrolls Online ditches mandatory subscription

Elder Scrolls Online ditches mandatory subscription

As hotly-anticipated games go, Elder Scrolls Online is probably one of the most anticipated, and so news that Bethesda Softworks has not only confirmed its console release but dropped one of the more controversial subscription details is most welcome. Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will land on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on June 9th, following its March 17th arrival on PC and Mac. Even better, Bethesda is ditching the monthly subscription the promise of which so annoyed gamers last year, though there'll still be in-game purchases for extra content, and an optional "ESO Plus" subscription.

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BlackBerry’s gold Passport sells out in short order

BlackBerry’s gold Passport sells out in short order

BlackBerry's Passport may be eye-catching for its unusually squat shape, but the Canadian firm is hoping to also make it notable for its unrelenting glamour with the new Limited Edition Black & Gold Passport. Revamping the metal trim around the square touchscreen and three-row QWERTY keyboard with a gold finish instead of the usual silver, the new version also gets a leather back-plate to coddle your palm. However, even if you're truly tempted you may be out of luck: you not only needed to come up with a fair amount of cash, but you needed to find it fast.

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Apple grabs music analytics tool to polish its Spotify killer

Apple grabs music analytics tool to polish its Spotify killer

Apple is set to pay far more attention to what you're listening to, after acquiring the music analytics company behind Musicmetric, a tool which has previously helped bands like Iron Maiden fight piracy. The tech grab was quietly revealed when Musicmetric creator Semetric changed its registered address to that of Apple Europe in London, with the Cupertino firm also installing a high-level exec as a company director. Although what, exactly, Apple will do with Musicmetric is unclear - and the firm is declining to comment on specifics - it's expected to involve relaunching Beats Music as a more compelling Spotify alternative.

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FreedomPop WiFi opens 10m hotspots in new carrier challenge

FreedomPop WiFi opens 10m hotspots in new carrier challenge

FreedomPop seems diametrically opposed to charging what the other carriers demand, and after taking on calling fees and mobile data, it's now turning its attentions to WiFi hotspots. Priced at $5 per month, the new FreedomPop WiFi service is $5 per month for unlimited use of ten million hotspots across the US, though that number is expected to ramp up to 25m by the end of the quarter. Initially available on Android, but with an iOS app in the pipeline, it even promises an end to annoying hotspot login forms.

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SpaceX confirms $1bn Google investment

SpaceX confirms $1bn Google investment

SpaceX has confirmed its new funding round, with Google and Fidelity splashing $1bn to grab a chunk of Elon Musk's rocket company. Rumors of the planned investment began yesterday, with Google said to be particularly keen on working on satellite internet services after its own project to blanket the planet with broadband in a similar fashion fell through in 2014. The deal will see Google and Fidelity together holding just short of 10-percent of SpaceX, valuing it at around $10bn in total.

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Netflix adds The Interview on Jan 24; Pushes original content

Netflix adds The Interview on Jan 24; Pushes original content

Netflix will add controversial Sony Pictures movie The Interview to its virtual shelves on January 24th, it's confirmed, while the streaming media firm's first original feature film will debut on August 26th. The Seth Rogen and James Franco movie made a sudden appearance on pay-per-view at Christmas, but will be bundled in with an active Netflix subscription for US and Canadian users from this Saturday, the company announced today. Meanwhile, while crunching the sums on the last financial year, Netflix discovered something unexpected about just how much its content actually costs.

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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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