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.

Virgin Galactic backers said wavering after spaceship crash

Virgin Galactic backers said wavering after spaceship crash

Virgin Galactic is pushing ahead with construction of its second SpaceShipTwo craft, following the first's disastrous crash last Friday, though some early ticket holders are already backing out and requesting refunds. The second space ship - which will carry serial number two - is around 65-percent built, Virgin Galactic said today. Meanwhile, outspoken company founder Richard Branson has accused "self-proclaimed experts" of drawing conclusions about the craft's safety when "a lot of whom know nothing about what they talk about," following early statements by the National Transportation Safety Board about initial findings.

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2015 Mustang gets 600HP+ supercharger boost

2015 Mustang gets 600HP+ supercharger boost

If there's one thing we didn't doubt about the 2015 Ford Mustang when we drove it in September it was its power, but since there's probably no such thing as too many horses, now there's an officially-sanctioned supercharger upgrade for the muscle car. Co-developed by Ford Racing and notorious pony-fettlers Roush Performance, the kit pushes the 2015 Mustang GT to 600 HP and beyond, without necessarily blowing away your warranty in the process. Since the best proof of success is a crazy show-car, meanwhile, Ford Racing cooked up the King Cobra, an eye-catching display car for SEMA 2014.

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Facebook “I’m a Voter” sends election apathy on a guilt-trip

Facebook “I’m a Voter” sends election apathy on a guilt-trip

It's voting day in the US, and Facebook is pushing apathetic social networking addicts to get out and cast a ballot, running another highly-visible campaign to encourage activity in the midterm elections. A new banner running at the top of the Facebook wall offers the virtual equivalent of a sticker for those who take advantage of their democratic rights, while clicking the "I'm a Voter" widget takes users to a map to find out where their nearest voting station is. It's not just idle whistling, however: research indicates Facebook's timely prompts - not to mention the virtual peer pressure of seeing those of your friends who have already voted - actually gets people into the booths.

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Self-healing maps could solve autonomous cars’ big problem

Self-healing maps could solve autonomous cars’ big problem

Nokia's HERE team is working toward a self-healing mapping system for autonomous cars, tackling the thorny issue of rapidly out-of-date navigation data by giving self-driving vehicles the intelligence to cook up their own HD maps. With cold water liberally poured on Google's self-driving cars recently given the relatively minimal area within which they can roam, questions have been raised over just how practical such vehicles might be given the constantly evolving road network. According to HERE's ambitious scheme, though, the fleet of smart cars itself is the key to keeping the data clean.

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Dropbox and Microsoft team on Office iOS & Android cloud

Dropbox and Microsoft team on Office iOS & Android cloud

Dropbox and Microsoft might not seem like the most obvious of bedfellows, what with Microsoft already having its own OneDrive cloud storage service, but sure enough the two are teaming up to integrate Dropbox into the Office apps for iOS and Android. The pairing, which will be enabled when Microsoft pushes out new versions of its Office apps in a few weeks time, will open the door to direct access to files stored in Dropbox from the Office apps themselves, as well as embed Office editing directly into the Dropbox app. While it may seem counter-productive for Microsoft, it could make a big difference for Office adoption across Apple and Google's platforms.

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HP Omen gaming notebook rivals Razer for the mainstream

HP Omen gaming notebook rivals Razer for the mainstream

HP may not be the first name you think of when you consider meaty gaming notebooks, but the company is hoping to change all that with the HP Omen. Taking on potent rivals like Razer's Blade and models from Alienware, the Omen seems determined to strike as much of a balance as it can between power and affordability (something we can't always say about the gaming competition). So, there's no outlandish 4K display, but that does help with the price of entry.

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Prime Photos adds unlimited galleries to sweeten Amazon’s cloud

Prime Photos adds unlimited galleries to sweeten Amazon’s cloud

Amazon is offering unlimited photo storage to all of its Prime subscribers, adding Prime Photos to the list of perks included in the shipping service. Launched first on the poorly-selling Amazon Fire Phone, Prime Photos automatically uploads images not only from the retailer's own handset and its Fire tablets, but from iOS and Android devices in general thanks to new apps for each platform. Desktop apps for Windows and Mac throw photos from there into the cloud too, and the combined gallery can then be accessed across multiple platforms including consoles and set-top boxes.

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Sonos 5.2 beta boosts PLAYBAR & adds multi-user streaming

Sonos 5.2 beta boosts PLAYBAR & adds multi-user streaming

Sonos has pushed out a new beta for its streaming music platform, promising to add a new degree of musicality to its Playbar soundbar, as well as adding multi-account support for streaming services and improvements to the Android app. Sonos 5.2 isn't expected to go public until later in 2014, but Sonos has opened it up as a public beta today. Perhaps the most useful change for those living in a Sonos-equipped home or office, but not wanting to give shared access to their Spotify or other streaming account, is the news that you can now register multiple accounts under different logins.

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Virgin Galactic crash investigation finds early aero oddity

Virgin Galactic crash investigation finds early aero oddity

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo unexpected deployed its "feathering" system shortly before crashing, the National Transportation Safety Board investigators have said of the incident on Friday last week, which saw one pilot killed and another seriously injured. "About nine seconds after the engine ignited, the telemetry data told us that the feather parameters changed from lock to unlock," NTSB acting chairman Christopher Hart revealed during a press briefing today, something which took place on the fateful test flight at Mach 1.0 - the speed of sound - but which should not have happened until around Mach 1.4.

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T-Mobile joins Galaxy Note Edge party November 14th

T-Mobile joins Galaxy Note Edge party November 14th

Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge isn't just headed to AT&T this month, but T-Mobile USA as well, with the curved AMOLED phablet set to show up on the magenta network come November 14th. Taking the core specifications of the Galaxy Note 4, but wrapping the right edge of the smartphone around the body of the device so that it can be used as a separate shortcut or control bar, ticker tape notifications area, or anything else third-party developers might want to code for, it keeps the stylus but also throws in a higher price for the flexible screen tech.

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