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.

I hitched a ride in Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car

I hitched a ride in Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car

When you take away the driving from the driver, what do the meat-popsicles inside an autonomous car do while the AI is at the wheel? That's the question Mercedes-Benz has tackled with the F 015 Luxury in Motion, a dramatically different approach to the future of transportation. Starting with the assumption that space will eventually be the biggest luxury, the self-driving concept treats driving much in the same way that a smartphone does the voice call: just one of many features and, as I discovered when I hitched a ride in the space-age pod, no longer the most important.

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The most expensive car to insure… is a Nissan?

The most expensive car to insure… is a Nissan?

When affordable motoring is the topic, Nissan declaring war on your wallet isn't the first thing that would usually come to mind, but one of the company's cars has the (perhaps unpleasant) crown in insurance expense. The Nissan GT-R Nismo is, with a price tag that starts at almost $150k, hardly in the same league as your average Sentra or Leaf, and the even-more-ridiculously-powerful version of an already capable sports car will take a sizable bite out of your budget when it comes to insurance, too, according to some new research of what's on forecourts in 2015.

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Up close with F 015, Mercedes’ incredible self-driving car

Up close with F 015, Mercedes’ incredible self-driving car

Mercedes-Benz dropped jaws back at CES 2015 in January when its autonomous F 015 Luxury in Motion concept drove onto the opening keynote stage. Then, the UFO-like prototype turned heads when the German firm drove it through the streets of San Francisco last week. The size of an S Class but markedly different from every angle, not only can the F 015 drive itself and four people, but do so surrounded with ridiculous levels of both technology and luxury. So, when Mercedes-Benz asked us if we'd like to check out the F 015 in person, an opportunity to get closer to the autonomous car than ever before, we didn't turn them down.

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Mattel under fire in Hello Barbie privacy fight

Mattel under fire in Hello Barbie privacy fight

Mattel's high-tech Barbie upgrade, giving the classic doll an injection of Siri-style smarts, has come under fire from privacy advocates concerned the listening doll is more creep than companion. Announced back in February, Hello Barbie looks outwardly like a regular doll, but has a microphone and WiFi connectivity hidden inside. By making conversation with kids, the doll can learn what they enjoy doing, ask them questions about their favorite things, and generally become more personalized.

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Nokia HERE Maps for iPhone is out: Here’s why you want it

Nokia HERE Maps for iPhone is out: Here’s why you want it

iPhone owners have another navigation app option today, with Nokia's HERE Maps for iOS landing in the App Store complete with full - and free - offline mapping support. The app, which has been available to Android users since a beta last October, allows those who might commonly be relying on Apple Maps or Google Maps to instead download entire countries-worth of navigation data to their iPhone, meaning even with data turned off while abroad they can still get around.

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After 11 hours, the App Store and iTunes are back online

After 11 hours, the App Store and iTunes are back online

Apple's App Store and iTunes have sprung back into life, after technical issues brought the download stores offline in the early hours of this morning. Downloads of apps, music, and video resumed at approximately 1:30pm Pactific today, after what Apple described as a DNS issue left users not only unable to get to the App Store and iTunes on their iPhones and iPads, but temporarily killed the Mac App Store and iBooks Store too. In total, the services were offline for more than ten hours.

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Belkin outs USB-C range for MacBook and Chromebook Pixel

Belkin outs USB-C range for MacBook and Chromebook Pixel

Belkin has waded into the USB-C arena, joining Apple and Google in announcing an array of cables, adapters, and dongles, many of which are designed to bring old peripherals up to MacBook speed. The eight-strong lineup won't start shipping until this summer, Belkin says, whereupon it will span a range of USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and ethernet options. What we're still yet to see, however, is any sort of more complex USB-C docking station that could take on the role of a desktop hub.

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These are Google’s USB-C accessories (and they’ll work with MacBook, too)

These are Google’s USB-C accessories (and they’ll work with MacBook, too)

Google has embraced USB-C on the new, 2015 Chromebook Pixel, revealing a handful of accessories for the new connectivity standard alongside the Chrome OS notebook. As well as the Pixel itself - which promises up to twelve hours of battery life, as well as a recharge good for two hours of use off just 15 minutes of being plugged in - there's also a variety of adapters and dongles to get legacy devices up and running. Best of all, since USB-C is an industry standard, rather than something cooked up by Apple or Google individually, it doesn't matter whose branding is on the packaging: the accessory will work with both the new Pixel and the new MacBook.

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Google Chromebook Pixel rebooted with USB-C

Google Chromebook Pixel rebooted with USB-C

Google has revamped the Chromebook Pixel, its flagship Chrome OS notebook, though while the new 2015 Pixel is more affordable than its painfully expensive predecessor, it's still not cheap. The new Pixel runs Chrome OS on a 12.85-inch, 2560 x 1700 touchscreen, with either Core i5 or i7 processors inside, though unlike the first-gen version there's no integrated LTE option. Meanwhile, just as with Apple's new MacBook, the new Chromebook Pixel uses USB-C.

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New MacBook vs MacBook Air: Battle of the ultraportables

New MacBook vs MacBook Air: Battle of the ultraportables

Until this week, the portable Mac question had a pretty straightforward answer: the MacBook Air was the go-to machine for most. Now, the new MacBook throws a slinky aluminum spanner into the mix. Revealed on Monday, the fanless 12-inch notebook takes what we loved about the Air - its waifish build, premium design, and lengthy battery life - and distills something even more portable from it, throwing in a Retina display and a controversial port decision along the way. Since then, plenty of people have been asking whether MacBook Air or MacBook is the way to go for those on the move.

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