Author Archives: Chris Burns

Chris Burns is currently head editor for SlashGear and executive editor for Android Community. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Chris Burns responsible for editorial decisions made for the USA-based day-team of SlashGear and sister-site Android Community. Follow him on Twitter @ t_chrisburns and inside Google+ at http://chrisburns.co/+ for tech, gadget, and design news galore.

Marriott un-blocks Wi-fi, promises to behave

Marriott un-blocks Wi-fi, promises to behave

After being scolded by the FCC for blocking Wi-Fi signals inside their own hotels, the Marriott International have responded with a begrudging agreement. In addition to Marriott Rewards members receiving free Wi-Fi starting on the 15th of this month (earlier this month, that is), the Marriott will no longer block Wi-Fi signals from 3rd party sources. This means that if you bring your own smartphone and want to tether to it, you're now free to do so. You weren't allowed to connect with your own devices as recent as January of this year.

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Android Wear just got very, very smart

Android Wear just got very, very smart

Google's Android Wear software just got smart - very smart - simply because it integrates Google Now top to bottom. With an update to Google Now comes an update to Android Wear, and what we're seeing today is an explosive update that'll make the suggestions for directions and sports scores you've been getting so far seem like drops in a barrel of friendly, and I daresay helpful, updates from apps of all kinds. Everything from eBay auction updates to the ability to "Download Venice" - all on your wrist, very soon.

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Hand of God nebula captured by Very Large Telescope

Hand of God nebula captured by Very Large Telescope

This week the European Southern Observatory (ESO)'s "Very Large Telescope" (VLT) captured an image of the Hand of God. This nebulous globule is also known as "Maw of the Beast", and lies around 1,300 light years away from the planet Earth. This image was captured as a part of ESO's "Comic Gems" program which is aimed at capturing images with telescopes such as the Very Large Telescope for education in classrooms and public outreach. The Very Large Telescope operates at the Paranal Observatory.

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Nokia DT-903 Smart Wireless Charging Plate hands-on

Nokia DT-903 Smart Wireless Charging Plate hands-on

This week one of the last Nokia-branded devices to be released by Microsoft is hitting shelves: the Nokia DT-903 Smart Wireless Charging Plate. This device might appear to be a standard Qi-compatible charging plate at first glance, but once you've got your phone sitting on top, the light-up intelligence of the device becomes clear. This device works with an included USB cable which can plug into its included wall socket or your PC for charging and data transfer - and it comes in bright green!

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Watch Grandma fly a drone

Watch Grandma fly a drone

It's clear that this grandma doesn't live in downtown Washington DC. What you're about to see is a GoPro-captured grandmother by the name of Els Van Boldrik capturing her morning, including walking the dog, watering the flowers, and gathering some fruit. With a DJI drone and an attached GoPro camera, this elderly woman also takes to the streets like a teenager, remote controlling her flying machine with the greatest of ease. If only every grandma has access to such radical technology for their everyday early springtime adventures.

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Snapchat Discover video series taps Spielberg and Goldwyn

Snapchat Discover video series taps Spielberg and Goldwyn

The title of the web-based episodic video series about to be released by Snapchat is literally the following: "Literally Can't Even." This web series will follow the daughters of directors Steven Spielberg and John Goldwyn as they go on comedic misadventures through life. The women will be playing alternate reality versions of themselves, as it were. Starting on the 31st of January - tomorrow - this web series will premiere in Snapchat's new Snap Channel. This is all part of Snapchat's new Discover initiative for expanding the reach of Snapchat into new forms of media.

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Google Glass team needed to “reset their strategy” says CFO

Google Glass team needed to “reset their strategy” says CFO

Google's Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette spoke up this afternoon during the company's Q4 2014 earnings call about Glass. Briefly mentioning Glass as an example of a project that needed to "take a pause", Pichette continued by suggesting that Google sometimes does have to "take the tough calls." He didn't say the company would be closing shop on Google Glass, but he got just about as close to saying such a thing as he could without the media making the call - and they still just might.

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Google blames growth stall on Nexus 6 supply

Google blames growth stall on Nexus 6 supply

During Google's Q4 2014 earnings call this afternoon, the company's Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette spoke about the many ups and downs of the past three months. In explaining the downs of this past quarter, Pichette spoke of two points in particular. One was the Exchange Rate between the United States and international consumers. The other reason Pichette gave for Google not hitting goals they'd set for themselves was the less-than-stellar supply they had with the Nexus 6. Pichette also mentioned Google Glass, as it were, as an example of what Google does when a project doesn't work.

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Super Bowl Ads only: Dish Reverse AutoHop to the rescue

Super Bowl Ads only: Dish Reverse AutoHop to the rescue

Oh thank goodness the Dish team have come to their senses, turning their advertising-skipping feature "AutoHop" on its head for the Super Bowl. Instead of skipping the advertisements, Dish suggests you may want to skip the football. With Reverse AutoHop, the Hopper DVR device will allow you to watch the entire Super Bowl without all those tiresome, boring minutes of sports. Now you can just watch Kim Kardashian's T-Mobile USA ad instead - or the one with the rabbits. Or the one with the guy - the ad about the stuff!

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Jurrasic World for real: new “dragon” dinosaur turns up in China

Jurrasic World for real: new “dragon” dinosaur turns up in China

At 15-meters long, Qijianglong (pronounced “CHI-jyang-lon") was not a small dinosaur. Half of its length was made up of neck, while a tiny head sat on one end and a four-legged hulk of a body sat at the other. The digging site at which this animal was found was first discovered in 2006, and only now have paleontologists gotten to a point where they're comfortable confirming the new species, long neck and head included. This creature is from the mamenchisaurids family and the sauropodomorpha (sauropod) suborder - long necked, plant-eating dinosaurs found all around the world.

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