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.

Google threat may drive Mercedes, BMW and Audi to buy HERE

Google threat may drive Mercedes, BMW and Audi to buy HERE

Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi have forged a rare partnership and are joining forces to acquire Nokia's HERE mapping business, insiders suggest, hoping to cut reliance on Google. Rumors that HERE - which includes 3D mapping of road data, along with high-resolution scanning suitable for the next generation of self-driving cars - was up for sale broke in April, with potential suitors tipped to include both Amazon and Alibaba. Now, there are some big names in automotive said to be weighing in with a bid.

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Jawbone UP3 Review – Flawed Ambition

Jawbone UP3 Review – Flawed Ambition

There’s a war on, and it’s for space on your wrist. For years it’s been fitness trackers like Jawbone’s new UP3 that have been sneering at traditional watches, but as smartwatches like Apple Watch mature, now it’s the health bands that are under threat. Like any good - or cruel - personal trainer would tell you, when you feel the burn it’s time to push harder, and so Jawbone hasn't held back on the tech for its latest flagship. So many sensors, but does UP3 make sense?

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America’s smartest bridge is going to dazzle you

America’s smartest bridge is going to dazzle you

America is gaining its smartest bridge, with the Tappan Zee Bridge - aka "The New NY Bridge" - debuting a slick LED lighting system that promises lower power and more flexibility. The project, a 3.1 mile long stretch across the Hudson River, will be outfitted with more than 3,000 LED lights from Philips, including many which can change color just like the company's hue lamps for the home. When I caught up with Eric Rondolat, CEO of Philips Lighting, he argued it was the natural next step for connected living.

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Watch SpaceX successfully test its Dragon launch abort system

Watch SpaceX successfully test its Dragon launch abort system

SpaceX hasn't had a great run with its rocket tests in recent weeks, but its bad luck changed with a successful trial of the Pad Abort Test, a vital process for keeping future space travelers safe at blast-off. The trial tool place at SpaceX's Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Cape Canaveral, Florida, this morning, seeing how Elon Musk & Co.'s brand new launch abort technology would work in practice. However, the crew onboard was a little less delicate than a human might be.

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Toyota’s fuel-cell Mirai hits (very few) US dealers in October

Toyota’s fuel-cell Mirai hits (very few) US dealers in October

Toyota's fuel-cell drive will begin in earnest in the US come October, with the hydrogen-powered Mirai appearing in a small handful of dealerships. The 2016 Mirai, Toyota's first consumer-ready fuel-cell car which emits only pure water rather than CO2, is only expected to account for a tiny fraction of the models the Japanese company sells in the US, not least because of the comparatively tiny launch footprint that will initially see it limited to patches of California with the necessary infrastructure.

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Apple Watch Review – Controversially compelling

Apple Watch Review – Controversially compelling

To call the Apple Watch polarizing is to do the splenetic depths of online argument around it an injustice. For the past few weeks I’ve been living in the eye of that storm, the contentious wearable on my wrist. I’ve worked with it. I’ve traveled with it. I’ve exercised with it. I drew the line at showering with it, though Tim Cook says that’s okay too. And all along the way - well, perhaps not in the shower - people have asked me that one question no other Apple product has faced to quite the same extent: is the Apple Watch really worth it?

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Let’s be generous and call this Samsung ad an Apple “homage”

Let’s be generous and call this Samsung ad an Apple “homage”

Apparently desperate to grasp ridicule from the jaws of success, Samsung has opened up a world of new copycat accusations with a video espousing the design of its Galaxy S6 edge. Ostensibly intended to highlight exactly what goes into producing what are undoubtedly the best-feeling Samsung smartphone to-date, the fancy 3D thermoformed glass, nano-thin multi-coating processes, and clever antenna integration are all overshadowed by a voice that sounds a whole lot like the British tones of a familiar Apple design chief.

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Lenovo’s ultra-skinny LaVie Z are here to fight Apple’s MacBook

Lenovo’s ultra-skinny LaVie Z are here to fight Apple’s MacBook

Apple may have got its indecently-skinny MacBook to market first, but Lenovo is counting on a one-two punch to give it the edge with its LaVie Z notebooks, freshly on sale. Announced back at CES 2015 in January, the pair of ultrabooks each pack a 13.3-inch multitouch display - the LaVie Z 360 is a convertible, with a 360-degree rotating hinge to twist it into a tablet - and a fifth-gen Intel Core i7 processor, for a hefty nine hour battery life while tipping the scales at as little as 1.87 pounds.

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Facebook massages privacy with anonymous login and more

Facebook massages privacy with anonymous login and more

Facebook may be the natural home of over-sharing, but new Facebook Login options mean users now have more granular control over what third-party apps can know about them. Announced at F8 2014, the amended "Log in with Facebook" option will now serve up an "Edit the info you provide" link, where tweaks to exactly what gets passed over from your profile can be made. However, while the new feature may have been a year in the making, it's not a complete fix for online privacy.

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Living with the new MacBook Retina

Living with the new MacBook Retina

There’s an unusual degree of forthrightness - sometimes bordering on vitriol - in how outspoken people are about the new MacBook Retina. It’s something you see occasionally with high-profile, edge-pushing devices: not just dissent as to whether it’s a good product to buy or not, but a sort of slightly-frothy aggression in aiming to convince you that you’ve made the wrong decision.

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