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.

Ford starts engines on 2015 F-150 truck production

Ford starts engines on 2015 F-150 truck production

Ford has kicked off production of its big aluminum risk in trucks, with the 2015 F-150 lines spinning up to speed ahead of the new model's dealer debut in December. Completely replacing the old, steel-bodied F-150, the 2015 truck switches to aluminum and saves around 700 pounds in the process, which Ford says translates to more hauling ability as well as a more car-like feel on the road, no risk of rusting, and better fuel economy. It'll be US-made at the Ford Rouge Center, where F-Series production has been taking place since 2004.

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Skype for Business blurs video calling lines in 2015

Skype for Business blurs video calling lines in 2015

For a long time, Microsoft was accused of neglecting the Skype brand, but the software giant is making amends by pushing the voice and video call service for business users. Out goes Lync, the firm's long-standing communication system for enterprises, to be replaced by Skype for Business in the first half of next year. While the change will see the core strengths of Lync maintained, it will also help blur the boundaries between what's going on in the office and general Skype users.

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Darkhotel hack targets hotel WiFi – but staying safe is easy

Darkhotel hack targets hotel WiFi – but staying safe is easy

A four year campaign to steal data from high-power targets like CEOs and R&D specialists has taken advantage of compromised hotel WiFi, a research firm claims today, taking advantage of overly trusting guests to strip as much information as possible. The so-called "Darkhotels" exploit focused on guests at luxury hotels, Kaspersky says, with hackers predominantly in the Asia Pacific region using fake software installers to open a backdoor into travelers' laptops. That backdoor is then used to load a full complement of tools that can be used to yank as much sensitive data as possible.

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You can finally fix Instagram caption goofs

You can finally fix Instagram caption goofs

Instagram has always been about sharing the moment, but the inability to edit captions once posted has also made it a frustrating way to share typos, too. Happily an update today is addressing that, with caption editing now supported on both iOS and Android so that any goofs, last-minute hashtag addition, or other essential tweaks can be made without having to delete the whole photo and post it again from scratch. Meanwhile, Instagram is also making it easier to find new people, by building out the Explore page.

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Praise be! Apple fixes iMessage’s biggest snafu

Praise be! Apple fixes iMessage’s biggest snafu

Apple is addressing the iMessage bug that has caused confusion and annoyance - not to mention prompted a lawsuit - for ex-iPhone users, launching a simple tool to deregister a number from the messaging service. The new support page, quietly added to Apple's site, answers one of the biggest complaints those switching away from an iPhone often have about the process: that their cellphone number remains associated with the Cupertino firm's SMS-bypassing system and so future texts don't make it to their new handset, Android or otherwise.

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Verizon joins Samsung Gear S smartwatch club

Verizon joins Samsung Gear S smartwatch club

Verizon has joined the Samsung Gear S party, launching the 3G-enabled smartwatch today, though you'll pay a pretty penny for the privilege of equipping your wrist. The wearable - priced up by AT&T and T-Mobile USA last week - comes with its own cellular connectivity baked in, rather than relying solely on a Bluetooth-tethered smartphone to operate. However, that doesn't mean you can avoid a smartphone altogether, and that's where the Gear S starts to get expensive.

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BMW and Toyota hit concept stage on hybrid sports car deal

BMW and Toyota hit concept stage on hybrid sports car deal

BMW and Toyota's much-anticipated - and oft-rumored - collaboration on new sports cars has finally taken a step forward, the two companies revealed this week, but the end results are still far from the showroom. The German and Japanese marques began working together in 2012 on a Li-Ion battery project for EVs and hybrids, which flourished into a team effort on a new, midsized sports car duo with shared architecture wrapped in true-to-brand style and driving experience. Problem is, the project is already running about a year behind the initial schedule.

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Facebook News Feed tweak tames motormouth friends

Facebook News Feed tweak tames motormouth friends

Most of us have them: those Facebook "friends" who we like well enough, sure, but whose constant rambling turns the News Feed into a monologue and a dreary one at that. Facebook is rolling out new tools today to make tweaking what the News Feed shows - and doesn't show - more straightforward, with the useful ability to pare back on the amount you see from certain people without being forced to actively remove them from your friends list altogether. Meanwhile, there's also the ability to see whose posts you've been seeing the most of.

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How private is Amazon Echo?

How private is Amazon Echo?

Put a microphone in your product, and someone is going to assume you're listening to them. That's one of the challenges Amazon Echo - the online retailer's "Siri in a totem pole" - faces, with suspicion about just how much Jeff Bezos & Co. (or his algorithms, at least) are actually eavesdropping on. Given the power of Amazon's recommendation engines and the amount of data it gathers just from casual browsing, you can certainly see where some of the paranoia might come from, too. A microphone-mute button takes pride of place on top of Echo, but will it be enough to persuade potential users that the virtual assistant is working for them and not for Amazon itself? I went hunting for some answers on just what Echo shares and how you can tame it.

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VUDU Spark streaming dongle spotted to take on Chromecast

VUDU Spark streaming dongle spotted to take on Chromecast

Walmart's VUDU streaming movie service looks set to get an HDMI dongle of its own, with the new hardware spotted passing through FCC testing ahead of its retail launch. Dubbed the VUDU Spark, the adapter follows in the well-worn footsteps of Google's Chromecast and Roku's Streaming Stick by hiding behind your TV in a spare HDMI port and connecting wirelessly to your router over WiFi. However, compared to some of the other set-top box solutions we've seen in recent months, Walmart's is looking a little one-dimensional.

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