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.

Avoid these sunscreens (they kill coral)

Avoid these sunscreens (they kill coral)

Two types of sunscreen were banned from sale in Hawaii in a State Senate action this week. Those sunscreens and sunblocks (whatever you'd like to call them) with oxybenzone and octinoxate were banned after enactment by the legislature of the state of Hawaii. According to the bill for the act, these chemicals kill coral - and you know what happens when all the coral dies, right?

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Steam Link app for iOS and Android: Streaming at last

Steam Link app for iOS and Android: Streaming at last

Two new apps from Steam were announced this morning - one for video, the other for playing games on your phone. The Steam Video app will be released later this summer and will feature the ability to watch Steam-based movies and shows on iOS and Android devices. The Steam Link app is a bit more revolutionary - if it works. With Steam Link, users will be able to play their PC games on their iPhone or Android device.

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The iPhone X Plus 2018 switchover leaked

The iPhone X Plus 2018 switchover leaked

Details about the release of the 2018 iPhone X Plus remain in the rumor realm - but have been given a new bit of credence this week from China. What we're to understand as of now is that the whole iPhone lineup might well make the switch to the notch - the removal of the home button and the replacement of said home button with a larger display. Can you imagine your iPhone SE feeling the same, but looking a whole lot different?

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The next Galaxy Smartphone: Samsung leaks tell a weird story

The next Galaxy Smartphone: Samsung leaks tell a weird story

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was tipped this week to have a bumped-up scheduling, followed by Samsung Galaxy S10 (or SX) and Galaxy X, too. When Samsung Mobile finds a feature that works, they run with it. It is as it was with the Infinity Display, coming with the Note Edge and cascading across the whole top-tier Galaxy smartphone lineup. This time, it's all about pushing more tech directly into the display, bringing a greater one-ness to the whole Samsung smartphone universe.

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Gmail autocomplete: Turn on Smart Compose right now

Gmail autocomplete: Turn on Smart Compose right now

Users can now work with Smart Compose for Gmail right this minute - just after Google first announced the feature at Google IO 2018. This feature makes Google's machine learning smarts take a crack at guessing what you're about to type - and offering to type it for you. That means that when you're about to email your upstairs neighbor, Gmail might just suggest "Again, I don't want to nag, but I wish you'd do your gymnastics a bit earlier (or far later) than 2AM."

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Video game maps made by AI: More DOOM!

Video game maps made by AI: More DOOM!

This week three researchers might've changed the course of history in the video game industry. They've used a pair of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to study DOOM levels - DOOM, the original DOOM, the first-person shooter. With artificial intelligence, these researchers went about creating new DOOM levels without the assistance of humans.

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Download Android P Public Beta for these 11 phones

Download Android P Public Beta for these 11 phones

Today we're having a peek at the Android P Public Beta as it's made available through Google. This system update installs a beta version of Android P (PPP2.180412.013 on your smartphone this afternoon. This update is a "pre-release" edition of Android P, and should be treated as such. Users must opt-in to the Android Beta program to be a part of this preview update.

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Android Digital Wellbeing is Google’s new biggest deal

Android Digital Wellbeing is Google’s new biggest deal

Today Digital Wellbeing for Android was introduced by Google VP of Product Management Sameer Samat at Google IO 2018. That's a set of controls and features which allow the user to assist themselves in regulating their use of their smart device - starting with the smartphone. Samat described Digital Wellbeing as the in-phone equivalent of locking one's phone in a hotel safe during a vacation - or at least that's what he started speaking about to get the crowd in the mood.

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Watch Google Assistant call a restaurant for you

Watch Google Assistant call a restaurant for you

The Google Assistant will soon be able to make phone calls on your behalf. That's what Google CEO Sundar Pichai showed onstage today at Google IO 2018. The call itself wasn't live, right on stage, but the call was apparently 100% real. It didn't go as smoothly as was originally intended - but the Google Assistant kept up with the conversation just fine.

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Google Smart Displays release dates and details

Google Smart Displays release dates and details

Google Assistant for Smart Displays was announced this week in further detail than we saw earlier this year. CES 2018 played host to a couple Smart Display devices - now we get to see what they're capable of. The first demonstration focused entirely on watching video - live video - with YouTube TV.

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Android P just got one serious security fix (long overdue)

Android P just got one serious security fix (long overdue)

This week we've learned of a fix to a security flaw in Android that's plagued the platform for years. The problem begins at a piece of Android called /proc/net. That's a bit of Android which currently has no restrictions for apps - they're able to read this bit of your phone's code any time they like. With this access, an app can see your TCP and UDP files, and check what you're connected to.

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Instagram Music: not what you might think

Instagram Music: not what you might think

New code was discovered this week in the deep depths of Instagram - and it's interesting. The code mentions Music - but not music like we see rolling in Spotify and Tidal and such. Instead, this music in Instagram is closer to what we've seen with YouTube's Open Source Music feature brings. That means the Instagram Stories you're already making could be tricked out, and soon.

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