Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in San Francisco, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

Amazon Prime had a ridiculously good 2017

Amazon Prime had a ridiculously good 2017

It'll probably come as little surprise that Amazon had a great 2017, with the online retailer announcing it shipped more than five billion items worldwide to its Prime subscribers. While Alexa-toting gadgets like the Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Remote had already cemented their spots as popular Amazon products over the holidays, it turns out that Jeff Bezos' online behemoth is popular for more than just tech.

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Ford faces 1m+ recall expansion over worrying transmission flaw

Ford faces 1m+ recall expansion over worrying transmission flaw

Ford may be forced to add more than a million vehicles to a previous safety recall, after reports that several more models - including the best-selling F-150 truck - could be impacted. The 2016 recall affected 153,000 vehicles at the time, spanning trucks and SUVs from the F-150, Expedition, and Navigator, to the Mustang, from the 2011 and 2012 model years.

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This groundbreaking metalens could make AR and VR bulk-free

This groundbreaking metalens could make AR and VR bulk-free

A groundbreaking new lens could make future augmented reality glasses lighter and less obtrusive, replacing complex displays with a revolutionary alternative. Rather than stacking multiple traditional lenses to focus different colors of light, metalenses rely on nanostructures to do so on a single, flat surface. However, until now their potential has been more theoretical than practical.

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A key part of many autonomous cars just got a huge price cut

A key part of many autonomous cars just got a huge price cut

A key component of autonomous cars is getting a serious price cut, paving the way to more affordable mainstream vehicles that can cut out the driver. The LIDAR - or laser rangefinder - technology has become a mainstay of many self-driving prototypes, giving such vehicles a 360-degree view of the environment around it. It's also, however, been one of the most expensive single components.

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GE bakes Alexa and the Google Assistant into your ceiling

GE bakes Alexa and the Google Assistant into your ceiling

Alexa and the Google Assistant may soon be living in your ceiling lights or light switches, with GE Lighting announcing plans for new, voice-assistant enabled fixtures for the smart home. The updates will come to the manufacturer's C by GE range, which already includes wirelessly-enabled light bulbs and lamps.

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Apple Stores reportedly waiving health checks for $29 iPhone battery

Apple Stores reportedly waiving health checks for $29 iPhone battery

Apple cut the price of its iPhone battery replacement to $29, and now is reportedly instructing Genius staff that phones needn't fail the battery health check in order to qualify for the discount. Controversy began in December, over iOS being programmed to artificially limit the processing capabilities of older iPhones when their batteries were deemed insufficiently powerful to keep up with maximum performance. Apple conceded it hadn't communicated the issue sufficiently well, and promised a more affordable way to replace the battery inside handsets dating back to the iPhone 6.

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2017’s most surprising car has a lesson for EVs in 2018

2017’s most surprising car has a lesson for EVs in 2018

In a year where I've driven supercars like the new Ford GT, six-figure hand-built exotica such as Rolls-Royce's Dawn, and vehicles with horsepower by the bucketload, the car that stands out at the end of all that was a surprise even to me. Chevrolet's Bolt EV is, on the face of it, a fairly unassuming little hatchback that just so happens to be electric, not gas-powered. It's affordable, as electric cars go, but it has a surprise under the inoffensive sheet-metal.

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Ember Ceramic Smart Mug Review: IoT for your coffee

Ember Ceramic Smart Mug Review: IoT for your coffee

My coffee mug needed a firmware update. Not the usual start to my caffeine-fueled day, no, but a side-effect of Ember's ceramic mug, an app-controlled kitchen addition to the Internet of Things. It's betting on the idea that there are tea and coffee lovers willing to spend eighty bucks on a mug that keeps their addiction-of-choice at just the right temperature.

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There’s a smartphone chip war brewing for 2018

There’s a smartphone chip war brewing for 2018

The landscape for smartphone chip-makers like Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung may be growing, but none can rest on its laurels as the industry tries to keep up with new trends like AI. SoC (System-on-Chip) design being increasingly brought in-house by players like Apple and Samsung are eating into the business of former go-to providers like Qualcomm, fueled in no small part by fierce and lengthy litigation over processor technology patents.

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Ford wants to patent self-defense for autonomous cars

Ford wants to patent self-defense for autonomous cars

Autonomous cars might count avoiding hurting pedestrians as a core safety skill, but Ford's latest patent application covers what happens when it's the vehicle at risk instead. Among the automaker's most recently published filings is a system for "Detecting physical threats approaching a vehicle," with the same sensors used for driverless navigation on the roads turned into a proximity alarm system. Indeed, Ford envisages the car even being able to deploy countermeasures.

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This Tesla Model 3 road trip is giving the EV a serious shakedown

This Tesla Model 3 road trip is giving the EV a serious shakedown

Tesla's Model 3 may still be a rarity on the road, never mind in dealerships, but one early owner is already taking his EV on a road trip - and recounting all the positives and problems along the way. The electric sedan has only just begun deliveries for non-employees at the California company, but that has only stoked the massive interest in just how closely it keeps to Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk's promises.

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VW’s unseen EV concepts just got trademarked

VW’s unseen EV concepts just got trademarked

VW has huge plans for electric cars, and the names of two more of its I.D. concept EVs may have just spilled ahead of the vehicles' big reveal. The German automaker has promised a total of fifteen different electrified models, globally, by 2025, with the first set to go on sale in the US in 2020. However, that hasn't stopped Volkswagen from previewing each in the form of a concept car.

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