Author Archives: Chris Burns

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

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Who is Maz Kanata?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Who is Maz Kanata?

Right around 50 minutes into the 2-hour Star Wars: The Force Awakens film, we see a tiny character by the name of Maz Kanata. She's a mostly-CGI character voiced and acted by Lupita Nyong'o, and she's more than a little important to the overarching Anakin saga that flows through the Star Wars film universe. The following is a glimpse at what Maz has been up to for the past several hundred years, what she's done with regard to Han Solo, and what she's got in her secret curio box. Therefore, if you've not seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we recommend you proceed with caution!

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The 8 best and 4 worst things in Tech for 2015

The 8 best and 4 worst things in Tech for 2015

The year 2015 in technology was a year of improvements. Many of the best devices were succeeded by machines that were incrementally better, and we continue to live in an environment where we're either satisfied with what we have, or continue to wait for the next big thing, which seems to perpetually be right around the corner. What you're about to witness - in no particular order - are the 8 best devices released this year followed by the 4 worst happenings in the tech universe.

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Selfie App has Microsoft cashing in on keywords

Selfie App has Microsoft cashing in on keywords

Microsoft knows you want to download an app that's made just for taking selfies. Microsoft knows good and well that when you want this app, you'll be searching for the word "selfie" - the function, not necessarily the title of the app. As such, they've titled their newest app "Microsoft Selfie." You'll find it popping up closer and closer to the top of your app search lists for Selfie apps over the next few weeks.

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Lenovo Google Project Tango team-up date set

Lenovo Google Project Tango team-up date set

As of Q1 2016, Google will have officially teamed up with Lenovo to bring Project Tango to the public. The how and the when of the project will be revealed at the special event, but for now, we're pumped up about CES. There we'll undoubtedly see more of this collaboration, including word on whether or not this means Google will move forward with Project Tango with Windows or whether Lenovo will integrate Tango technology in to one of their Android devices. If so, where does this leave Motorola?

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This clock needs your finger to touch it

This clock needs your finger to touch it

There's a circular clock out there in the wild today that uses an array of lights and your finger to display the time. It goes by the name Shadowplay, and we wouldn't at all be surprised if some big-name manufacturer ripped the design off from the fine folks at BreadedEscalope before the end of next year. Expect this piece of art to be popping up in a store near you before you can say "where can I buy that." For now, it is just as you see it - a single, wall-mounted piece of artwork not meant for mass production.

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Oculus Rift to come bundled with Lucky’s Tale

Oculus Rift to come bundled with Lucky’s Tale

The first major PC-based virtual reality headset Oculus Rift will be coming bundled in early 2016 with the game Lucky's Tale. This is just one of a number of games that'll be coming with the Oculus Rift right out of the box, included with the price of the device. The founder of the game studio that makes this game, incidentally, was one of the original $5,000 Kickstarter backers of Oculus back in the day.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ secret little Ewok

Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ secret little Ewok

Today it was hypothesized that Star Wars: The Force Awakens' own Captain Phasma is none other than "Ewoks" character Cindel Towani. A pair of "Ewoks" movies were released in 1984 and 1985, both of which lived (sort of) in the Star Wars universe and mostly in their own, alternate universe. In the movies, a young girl by the name of Cindel (and her family) crash-landed on the forest moon of Endor, only to be saved by the Ewoks that lived there. Decades later, we now believe, she became the leader of the First Order Stormtroopers as Captain Phasma.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 may look the same… again

Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 may look the same… again

Next year both the iPhone 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 will have a new look. Clues from both the Samsung and Apple camps suggest that antenna will be baked-in with the metal surrounding their glass fronts in 2016. While it's not clear whether or not the iPhone 7 will have a glass back, we can count on Samsung to return with a back that's not all that different from this year's model, while both groups have been tipped to be rolling with phones with an outer border that's slightly less broken up than before.

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Apple patents fingerprint uploads and cloud storage

Apple patents fingerprint uploads and cloud storage

Apple patent shows methods for iPhone to save fingerprint information, upload to the cloud, and download on another iPhone. Filed in August of 2015, this patent appears to have been a "continuation in part" of a patent application from July of 2013, a patent which has now been "abandoned" in favor of this new listing. This new patent application suggests that Apple devices with fingerprint sensors would first collect fingerprint information, as they do today, but that they would also be capable of uploading that information to the cloud for storage.

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Star Wars scene recreated with drones

Star Wars scene recreated with drones

This month four drone racers decided they'd recreate one of their favorite scenes from the Star Wars saga, entirely shot with drones. Here you'll find drone propellers carrying speeder bikes through the giant redwood forests of northern California. That's the same place the actual scenes from Star Wars: Return of The Jedi were filmed. How fancy! This whole thing was filmed and posted to the "YouTube of drone video" - AirVuz.

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One pixelated live wallpaper for the week

One pixelated live wallpaper for the week

This morning we've been introduced to a lovely new Android-based live wallpaper by the name of Pixelscapes Wallpaper. This app is extremely simple, works with most modern smartphones, and was just updated less than a week ago. This live wallpaper is cute, universally pleasing to the eye, and comes with no in-app advertisements of any kind. Best of all, it contains three times, one for each segment of your day!

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Galaxy S5 Android Marshmallow update: mistake or fake?

Galaxy S5 Android Marshmallow update: mistake or fake?

This month we've seen more than our fair share of Samsung Galaxy smartphone Marshmallow update videos, and through the sorting we've come to one conclusion. Either the Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update is fake, or its release was a mistake. Earlier reports have the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 off the list for updates entirely, stopping just before the Marshmallow update entirely*. Could it be that Samsung was working on this update to the device, but decided not to release it?

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