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.

Amazon Echo’s weirdest talent is making you feel heard

Amazon Echo’s weirdest talent is making you feel heard

Amazon’s Echo is a lot of things - shopping companion, music player, portal to Wikipedia - but its most surprising feature says more about human comfort with next-gen electronics. Echo’s cleverness is in the cloud; the black column of its local hardware is really just a gateway to that remote functionality. Yet it also has to satisfy a few core requirements, such as demonstrating attentiveness. The solution Amazon came up with is both simple and elegant.

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Nokia won’t rule out its own phone: “It’s complicated”

Nokia won’t rule out its own phone: “It’s complicated”

If you believe the rumors, Nokia is just desperate to wade back into the phone business, but according to the company the reality is a whole lot more complicated. Speculation in recent weeks of a return to smartphones - most likely using Android, having sold off its Windows Phone division to Microsoft - has been met with no small amount of enthusiasm from the company's fans, but spokesperson Robert Morlino points out that if it happens the main thing Nokia will be contributing is its name.

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Sonos boosts PLAY:1, makes Google Play Music smarter

Sonos boosts PLAY:1, makes Google Play Music smarter

Sonos has pushed out an upgrade to its streaming music system, boosting the performance of its entry-level PLAY:1 speakers plus making setup easier. The changes, released today, tweak the clarity of the PLAY:1, which is the most affordable Sonos speaker at $199 apiece, not to mention optimizing bass performance if you pair the one with a Sonos SUB. Meanwhile, there's now also support for music services to deliver customized streams, like curated Google Play Music radio stations that depend on the time of day.

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Netgear R6400 promises up to 80% boost from afar

Netgear R6400 promises up to 80% boost from afar

Netgear has added a new smart router to its home networking line-up, with the AC1750 Smart WiFi Router R6400 promising up to 80-percent better performance at a distance. The new router, which offers 802.11ac WiFi along with backward compatibility for a/b/g/n devices, offers up to 1,750 Mbps speeds (450+1300 Mbps), at least in theory, along with simultaneous dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz use. Meanwhile there's a smartphone app for management rather than having to log into a clunky browser interface.

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2016 Chevrolet Silverado refreshed as bear enters F-150 battle

2016 Chevrolet Silverado refreshed as bear enters F-150 battle

Chevrolet is giving its Silverado truck a glitzy revamp for the 2016 model year, throwing eye-catching LEDs on the front and packing Android Auto and CarPlay inside. The changes, which will first be seen on forecourts when the new 2016 Silverado 1500 pickup arrives this fall, focus on giving the truck a more distinctive look from the front, with a beefier grille that includes more aggressive detailing.

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Microsoft plans for a Windows 10 launch party

Microsoft plans for a Windows 10 launch party

Microsoft is hoping to make the Windows 10 launch a party, spilling the beans on not only its retail plans but a new nonprofit scheme dubbed Upgrade Your World. Windows 10, which arrives in just a few weeks time on July 29, will be accompanied by what Microsoft describes as "global fan celebrations" across thirteen cities worldwide, with demo stations, outreach from execs, and entertainment. Meanwhile, the company is also promising a $10m fund to be split between nonprofits large and small.

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Audi puts self-driving car on diet to persuade politicians

Audi puts self-driving car on diet to persuade politicians

Audi has revamped its self-driving car, trimming the fat on the autonomous RS 7 racer as it continues to court politicians in the US. The newest model, dubbed Robby and decked out in a striking red and black color scheme, keeps the autonomous hardware - which Audi refers to as "piloted driving" - of its predecessors, but goes on a serious diet to improve performance. In fact, the company says, it has trimmed 882 pounds from the self-driving prototype.

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HoloLens courts enterprise with this eye-catching AR demo

HoloLens courts enterprise with this eye-catching AR demo

Microsoft has brought out its HoloLens augmented reality headset for another demo, this time courting business users at the company's WPC 2015 conference. Tailoring the presentation for the enterprise audience at the annual Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft brought out Autodesk to show how being able to mix virtual graphics with real-world objects could help teams collaborate more successfully around the world. Since actions speak louder than words, that involved a racing motorbike and some clever virtual bodywork.

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Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has died

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has died

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata died on Saturday, the gaming company has announced today, at the age of 55. According to Nintendo, Iwata died from a bile duct growth; the president had undergone surgery last year to remove a tumor. A well-liked and popular personality in the gaming scene, Iwata had a higher profile than many chief execs among the company's fans through his regular appearances in streamed shows.

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Automakers hoarding driver data as Apple and Google circle

Automakers hoarding driver data as Apple and Google circle

Unable to ignore Apple and Google's efforts to infiltrate the dashboard, car makers are picking different routes to collaborate and compete, with driver data the prize. Platforms like Android Auto and CarPlay - which allow smartphone users to plug their device into a car, see a subset of apps and services more safely displayed on the vehicle's own systems, and control them both by voice and physical buttons - are increasingly being expected by new car buyers. Tensions around what data sharing is required has slowed the spread, however, as manufacturers wrestle with the pros and cons of allowing Apple and Google into their dashboards.

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