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.

Huge sunspot forebodes major solar flares

Huge sunspot forebodes major solar flares

An enormous sunspot observed on the sun over the weekend may portend problematic solar activity, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report. The cool area of the sun known as AR1476, which contains multiple sunspots big enough to see with even basic astronomy equipment, displayed complex beta-gamma magnetic fields as it passed within view of the Earth on May 6th.

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Ultrabook-MacBook Air clone hybrids spotted in China

Ultrabook-MacBook Air clone hybrids spotted in China

Ultrabooks are finally starting to take hold in the PC market, while the original MacBook Air remains as popular as ever. What's an unscrupulous Shenzhen manufacturer to do? Make the best of both worlds, obviously. The knock-off havens in China have recently started spouting models that look uncannily like modern ultrabooks, even down to Intel Core i3 processors - but the distributors still couldn't resist grabbing a community-made Windows skin and making the software look like OS X.

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Dinosaur farts added to prehistoric global warming

Dinosaur farts added to prehistoric global warming

Every school kid knows that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a massive climate changing event. But according to a team of scientists in the UK, the massive amounts of methane created by the largest dinosaur species could have contributed to global warming millions of years ago, accelerating their own extinction. The scientists theorize that bacteria and other microbes in the digestive tracts of gigantic sauropods could have created up to 520 million cubic tons of gas every year.

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Gmail adds live Google+ integration

Gmail adds live Google+ integration

If you live in Google's world of email and social networking, a couple of your most-used websites just got a lot closer. Today Google introduced new Google+ features into the web client for Gmail, allowing users of both services to update comments and status messages as soon as they're posted. While Google+ previously allowed you to respond to comments via email, now Gmail will show updates in real time, allowing users to comment, share and +1 items immediately.

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The driverless cars that want to run Google off the road

The driverless cars that want to run Google off the road

Google gets a lot of digital ink for its driverless car program, which recently got the go-ahead to expand its testing to Nevada highways. But Mountain View isn't the only horse in this race. New start-ups and old standbys are preparing the cars of the future, and they all want a piece of the driverless car market. Here are five competitors to Google's program, all trying to be king of the road.

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Samsung unveils media-focused Ivy Bridge laptops

Samsung unveils media-focused Ivy Bridge laptops

Ultrabooks are all the rage, but when you need something with a little more capability, there's nothing like a laptop that's large and in charge. Breaking from their mostly thin-and-light lineup thus far this year, Samsung has revealed multiple entries into the Series 5 family under the 550 P label. These Ivy Bridge models come in 15 and 17-inch varieties, with a collection of media-focused optional features like Blu-ray drives and high-end discrete graphics cards.

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Nintendo Wii U launch games leaked

Nintendo Wii U launch games leaked

Nintendo's next-generation Wii U is garnering plenty of interest thanks to its non-standard form factor and controller, but any gamer knows that a console lived and dies by its titles. We've already seen a few titles leak through, but a purported Blockbuster inventory screen has revealed a list of no less than 25 new games. Among expected fare like Assassin's Creed III and a new Super Mario Brothers game are surprises like Tekken, Splinter Cell and Just Dance 4.

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Google’s driverless cars approved for use in Nevada

Google’s driverless cars approved for use in Nevada

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but when it's over it would sure be nice to have a designated driver built into your car. Thanks to Google's driverless car program, you might soon be able to have just that. After three months in safety testing and approval, not to mention considerable legal hurdles, Google's self-driving cars have been approved for driving anywhere in the great state of Nevada. Google's driverless car program has already logged 250,000 miles.

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MasterCard unveils PayPass Button and software

MasterCard unveils PayPass Button and software

MasterCard was one of the first companies to actively pursue contact payments in the US, and today they're announcing plants to incorporate their PayPass system across web and mobile platforms. In addition to the standard contactless PayPass kiosks that you've likely already seen in US gas stations and other retailers, MasterCard is readying the PayPass Button to sync payments for online merchants as well. In practice, it bears a striking resemblance to PayPal, with the benefit of being already integrated with your credit card.

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Concept capacitive tech unlocks doors with a swipe

Concept capacitive tech unlocks doors with a swipe

Most of us associate capacitive touch sensors with the screens on our smartphones or tablets, but the technology can be applied to other fields as well. The Touché project illustrates this perfectly, integrating a more contextual method of touch sensitivity into everyday objects like door handles, tables and even water or a person's body. One of the most interesting demonstrations of the technology behind Touché includes setting a door handle to different states by grasping it in different ways.

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