Author Archives: Michael Crider

Michael Crider writes primarily for Android Community and covers Windows for SlashGear. A native-born Texan, Michael's previous careers include graphic design, TV and movie blogging and technical writing. You can follow him on Twitter (@MichaelCrider ) and Google+ for geeky insights on sci-fi, detective noir and Big Band music.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook: first impression

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook: first impression

Ultrabooks were all the rage at CES 2012 last month, and if one model rose above the rest, it was the XPS 13 from Dell. The latest in a long line of powerful portables, the Ultrabook version of the XPS 13 wowed onlookers with a combination of a metal, plastic and carbon fiber body and incredible slimness, not to mention a tiny overall footprint - Dell claims that it's crammed a 13-inch screen into a body size mostly reserved for 12-inch laptops. You can pick one up from Dell now starting at $999, but you might want to read our initial impressions first.

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SteelSeries teases mouse with integrated screen

SteelSeries teases mouse with integrated screen

Gaming mice range from the simple to the ridiculous, though they tend to unite on at least one aspect: "expensive". In the world of gaming hardware, novelty is a constant struggle, and boutique manufacturer SteelSeries has something up their sleeves that certainly qualifies. The company posted two photos to their Twitter account today, showing off what appears to be the tail end of a gaming mouse with an integrated screen of some kind. Thousands of PC gamers' wallets are already feeling lighter.

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California introduces bill to legalize driverless cars

California introduces bill to legalize driverless cars

Flying autos may still be something of a pipe dream, but letting you car handle your morning commute is coming closer and closer to reality. California legislators seem as eager to embrace this future as we are: a new bill has been introduced in the state legislature to formally legalize driverless cars and the testing of same on California roads, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The bill entered the state senate on the same day that the neighboring Nevada is beginning to allow companies to apply for a permit to test out self-driving cars on the open road.

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Japanese researchers develop speech-suppression speaker gun

Japanese researchers develop speech-suppression speaker gun

A Japanese research team has developed a device that can compel the overly talkative to shut their mouths and let somebody else get a word in edgewise. Before you start pulling out your pocket Bill of Rights, understand that researchers Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada haven't developed a weapon, it's more of an etiquette enforcer - with extreme prejudice. Their device processes the speech of an overly loud person, then computes and adjusts the frequencies and sends their own words back at them, modulated in such a way that they become instantly confused and therefore more likely to shut their traps already.

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Samsung Galaxy Beam set for summer 2012 release in the UK

Samsung Galaxy Beam set for summer 2012 release in the UK

If you found Samsung's combination of a pico projector and Android smartphone interesting (if not overly utilitarian), you weren't alone. And sooner than later, you'll be able to pick one up if you live in the UK. Samsung has announced that it intends to sell the Galaxy Beam starting in July for £385 unlocked, which is just over $600 USD. The company says that it will partner with multiple British cellular carriers to subsidize the phone, but wouldn't say which ones.

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UK firm takes wagers on iPad 3 features, backs out quickly

UK firm takes wagers on iPad 3 features, backs out quickly

Think you know what's coming up on March 7th, when Apple finally (maybe, likely, definitely) reveals the iPad 3? Then put your money where your far-flung prediction is. That was the idea behind SkyBet's iPad 3 prediction betting pool, which briefly allowed gamblers to place bets on the specifications of the upcoming ubergadget. Unfortunately the gambilng site took down its prospective predisctions a few hours later. Some of the odds had climbed as high as twelve to one.

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Alien hunting goes crowd-sourced with SETILive

Alien hunting goes crowd-sourced with SETILive

While the Search For Extra Terrestrial Life (SETI) may not be quite as flush as it used to be, its organizers are finding new and interesting ways to continue the search for life among the stars. Their latest initiative is SETILive, a crowd-sourced web application that lets anyone join the search of the nearby universe, no advanced degrees required. The SETILive website allows registered users to scan automatically-generated images based on radio frequency scans of sections of space that SETI believes are the likeliest to contain extraterrestrial life.

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Qualcomm provides developers with Snapdragon Windows 8 test machines

Qualcomm provides developers with Snapdragon Windows 8 test machines

Microsoft has re-ignited the fervor behind its new ARM version of Windows 8 at Mobile World Congress today, and Qualcomm wants developers to know that it's behind them all the way. The chip manufacturer has announced that it will provide custom-made Snapdragon developer devices specifically for working on Windows 8 ARM. The hardware will be provided specifically with the intention of testing and optimizing new ARM-based Windows software, which will be quite a challenge as developers contend with new code and chip standards.

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TiVo Whole Home DVR Extender will get retail release

TiVo Whole Home DVR Extender will get retail release

If you're still a fan of the original DVR (and there's a lot of them out there) we've got good news: you'll soon be able to purchase TiVo's new Whole Home DVR Extender. Even better, you can get it through your cable or satellite provider or buy it yourself, as the units are headed to electronics retailers as well. The nugget of information came from TiVo's quarterly financial call, and while there' no exact information on exactly when the DVR Extender will arrive or for how much, you can expect them to appear on TiVo's website sometime in the summer or fall.

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Virgin Galactic plans powered space flight test within the year

Virgin Galactic plans powered space flight test within the year

It's been slow going for the world's first commercial passenger space program, but Virgin Galactic is slowly but surely making progress. While it's already gotten its SpaceShipTwo sub-orbital craft beyond the reaches of Earth's atmosphere in successful tests before, it only did so with the help of a carrier vehicle, then glided back to earth and landed conventionally. The company hopes to install and test the craft's rocket engine before the end of 2012, marking a major milestone in Virgin Galactic's plans to create a space tourism business.

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