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.

Amazon Fire TV Review

Amazon Fire TV Review

Does the world need another streaming box? Amazon Fire TV argues “yes” and says speed, voice search that actually works, and proper gaming set it apart from the Apple TV, Roku 3, and Google Chromecast. As we’ve seen with the Kindle Fire HDX tablet range, Amazon can certainly build some impressive hardware when it puts its mind to it, but is the Fire TV quite ready for primetime? Read on for our full review.

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Expect an irate call if you try to hack your Tesla Model S

Expect an irate call if you try to hack your Tesla Model S

Once upon a time it was a rite of passage for car lovers to get under the hood and tinker with the mechanics; in the modern world of EVs, that's been upgraded to hacking access to the computer systems, as one Tesla Model S owner discovered. Some investigation of a mysterious port turned out to be a hidden ethernet link into the Model S' internal communications system, as well as a shortcut to getting an irate call from Tesla itself warning owners not to fiddle lest they be accused of "industrial espionage".

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Android TV tipped to reboot Google TV’s rough edges

Android TV tipped to reboot Google TV’s rough edges

Google is readying a renewed attempt on the living room with Android TV, leaked internal documents suggest, ditching the ill-fated Google TV and trying to put content rather than individual services at the fore. The new platform, app support for which Google is supposedly courting developers for now, takes a more simplistic approach than the confusing Google TV, with a straightforward thumbnail interface and a background engine for recommended content.

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Kinect in focus: Xbox’s app chief talks Smart Homes & Cortana

Kinect in focus: Xbox’s app chief talks Smart Homes & Cortana

When you have a product like Kinect, so closely associated with gaming, how do you convince everybody else that they should be installing a motion-tracking camera in the home? Microsoft is looking to smart home technology and health, among other things, to do just that with Kinect for Windows v2, though a stealthy spread through Cortana and smartphones may be just as vital. We caught up with Microsoft’s Michael Mott, general manager of Xbox applications and developer relations, to find out how virtual assistants and home automation could make Kinect-tech the next must-have.

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Automatic for Android smart driving assistant released

Automatic for Android smart driving assistant released

Automatic for Android has been released, finally bringing the Smart Driving Assistant to Google's platform having previously been an iOS exclusive since launch last year. Connecting wirelessly to Automatic's Link Bluetooth dongle, which plugs into the OBD-II port in a car's dashboard, the new Android app shows live gas consumption figures, gives better driving hints, and deciphers the "engine warning" lamp with actual information on what might be wrong.

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Fire TV teardown reveals potent guts and secret RFID

Fire TV teardown reveals potent guts and secret RFID

Amazon's Fire TV surprised some with quite how much power the retailer had packed inside its set-top streamer, but it turns out a quadcore processor isn't the only unusual component inside. A swift teardown - that rite of passage most high-profile tech goes through after launching - exposes not only a vast heatsink but some unexpected RFID tags too.

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Nest’s smoke snafu only validates the Internet of Things

Nest’s smoke snafu only validates the Internet of Things

"Why would I want to live in a smart home?" It's a common question, the cost of either building home automation tech into a new property, or retro-fitting an existing one with smart home tech, proving an insurmountable argument for most when faced with internet-connecting appliances, switches, and fixtures. Convenience is the usual answer, but as the Nest Protect glitch today demonstrates, safety may well be the real selling point of the Internet of Things.

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Nest Protect sales halted over flawed wave-to-silence feature

Nest Protect sales halted over flawed wave-to-silence feature

Nest has halted sales of the Nest Protect smoke detector and remotely deactivated the wave-to-silence feature, after discovering that it could inadvertently leave homes unprotected from fires. The problem, which affects Nest Protect's "Nest Wave" functionality, is not known to have caused a problem in the real-world, Google-owned Nest says, but was spotted during internal testing.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Highlights: Hands-on

Windows Phone 8.1 Highlights: Hands-on

Windows Phone 8.1's most memorable feature may be Cortana, its Halo-themed personal digital assistant, but the chatty Siri-rival isn’t the only change Microsoft has brought with the new version. Greater customization potential, better control over settings, and improved integration of Skype and third-party services are all incoming. We spent some hands-on time with Windows Phone 8.1 to find out what's special.

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Vine messages takes on Instagram Direct

Vine messages takes on Instagram Direct

Vine has added Vine messages to its video sharing app, allowing users to send private video clips to their friends in a similar way to Instagram Direct. The new feature allows for video and text message sharing with both Vine and non-Vine users, while the app update also includes color options for individual Vine profiles.

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