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Bill Ray

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Foursquare screencap

Foursquare gets pushy with fandroids, touchy Windows 8 bods

Foursquare has started pushing itself into the Android notification bar and supporting Windows 8, as the company tries to turn its location-announcing app into a real business. The latest version of Foursquare for Android doesn't wait for users to check in before telling them about local services in which they might be …
Bill Ray, 02 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Fandroids blow $200,000 on secret PANIC BUTTON for their smartmobes

The cleverly-designed Pressy gadget drops into the headphone socket on any Android handset, adding a button that can be linked to any action. While Apple might spend its time eradicating buttons, and touchscreens remain flavour of the decade, physical controls have advantages and there are rarely enough of them. Meanwhile the …
Bill Ray, 30 Aug 2013

China stuffs rag in mouth of biz-rumour web ring

A Chinese clampdown on online rumour-mongers has netted 27 staff at Shui Jun Shi Wan, a firm which specialises in seeding stories across its microblogging network of 220 million followers. Spreading false rumours is illegal in China, but has been big business for companies like Shui Jun Shi Wan, which hired out its Sina Weibo ( …
Bill Ray, 30 Aug 2013
hand with thumb up

Punter strikes back at cold callers - by charging THEM to call HIM

Two years ago Lee Beaumont, fed up of receiving daily phonecalls from telemarketing agencies, connected his home landline to a premium rate phone number and started cashing in on cold callers - covering his costs in less than two months. Beaumont splashed out £12 on an 0871 premium rate phone number, which he promptly gave to …
Bill Ray, 30 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

IP telly upstart stuffs Comedy Central, MTV in Freeview box

Another upstart is using Freeview's IP connectivity to launch premium channels, but this time there might even be something worth watching, or even paying for. VuTV will launch in the autumn on Freeview HD channel 238, but it won't be "broadcast". The service takes advantage of the MHEG (digital text) Interactive Channel to …
Bill Ray, 29 Aug 2013

Vodafone mulls $100bn Verizon stake sale - now about that $10bn tax bill...

Vodafone is back in talks with Verizon about selling its 45 per cent stake of Verizon Wireless, US's biggest mobile network operator. Today Voda "confirmed press speculation" that negotiations on selling out are back on. But it won't comment on the Wall Street Journal's claim that Verizon has come up with a way for Voda to …
Bill Ray, 29 Aug 2013
Another building on a truck on Oz's Stuart Highway

Keep on truckin'... Qualcomm sells OmniTRACS for $800m

Chip designer Qualcomm has sold off the product which made its name; the OmniTRACS vehicle-tracking platform which has been keeping truckers on the leash for 25 years. The market-leading vehicle management platform – certainly in the United States – OmniTRACS uses satellite communications to track and connect fleet vehicles, …
Bill Ray, 28 Aug 2013

Web showered in golden iPhone 5S vid glory - but is it all a DISTRACTION?

A video has emerged online demonstrating what may or may not be a gold champagne-hued iPhone 5S and blue plastic 5C, both the next models lined up for Apple's smartmobe family. The launch of the iOS 7 handsets is scheduled for 10 September. Corroborating rumours suggest we'll see a flagship 5S - available in a champagne-coloured …
Bill Ray, 28 Aug 2013
SOURCE: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/959469

Amazon tells mobe devs: Bring your app-strokers to us, we'll look after you

Amazon will kick back six per cent of sales to developers selling real products within their mobile apps, as the online retailer extends the Associate programme already used by websites. Amazon Associates pays commission to sites which direct shoppers to the online behemoth's site. In 2008 a report from Stanford University …
Bill Ray, 28 Aug 2013

Eggheads turn Motorola feature phone into CITYWIDE GSM jammer

Berlin boffins have spotted a procedural flaw in the long-lived GSM protocol and created an exploit around it which can knock out a mobile network or even target an individual subscriber in the same city. The exploit, presented at the 22nd USENIX Security Symposium last week, takes advantage of the fact that GSM lets phones …
Bill Ray, 28 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

ISPs scramble to explain mouse-sniffing tool

Sky Broadband has been caught using JavaScript to track every click and shuffle on its support pages, but it's not alone: other ISPs have also admitted recording every frustrated wobble of the mouse on their support pages. Readers at ISP Review spotted Sky using a JavaScript tool called SessionCam to record rodent tracks on its …
Bill Ray, 27 Aug 2013
The Falkirk Wheel

Meet the world's one-of-a-kind ENORMO barge-bowling bridge of Falkirk

Proving it's not just the Victorians who can make huge structures in steel, the Falkirk Wheel can lift six canal boats 25 metres in one go, moving them from one waterway to another. The Forth & Clyde Canal, running across central Scotland, used to be connected to the Union Canal, linking Glasgow to Edinburgh via a stairway of 11 …
Bill Ray, 27 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Amazon spaffs MYSTERY private Wi-Fi waves all over Apple's orchard

Amazon has been testing its own radio network, seeing if Globalstar's private Wi-Fi technology fits the Amazon business model, and if customers would pay for better wireless networking. The news comes from the usual "people with knowledge" who've been talking to Bloomberg about Amazon building a test network in Apple's home town …
Bill Ray, 23 Aug 2013
Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth talks ARM servers at Mobile World Congress

Ubuntu Edge Linux mobe: 'Made you look,' crows Shuttleworth

Canonical's attempt to raise £20.5m ($32m) to create a Ubuntu Linux smartphone wasn't the failure it appeared to be: despite only managing two fifths of its fundraising target by its own deadline, the Edge handset project was a hugely successful advertisement for the Ubuntu distribution. That's, of course, according to Canonical …
Bill Ray, 23 Aug 2013
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Google cursed its own phones with wacked Wi-Fi, say Nexus users

The latest tweak to Android is fitting badly onto Google's own hardware, with the Nexus 4 reportedly fudging Wi-Fi, crashing out and refusing to run previously compatible applications. The first problem surfaced within days of the update being made public, with eager adopters complaining that their handsets had stopped …
Bill Ray, 22 Aug 2013
Motorola Razr Maxx HD

Need the loo AND need to build a website? There's an app for that

Geocities saviour Jimdo has launched an iOS app, allowing instant fanboi-friendly website creation for those moments when inspiration strikes and a Facebook post just isn't enough. Want to set up a new website, but can't be bothered to boot up a computer – let alone learn HTML? Jimdo will fix that with a WYSIWYG iOS app which …
Bill Ray, 22 Aug 2013
Arqiva Aerial Mast site 36223 on Cleeve Hill

No signal in Seascale? Countryside Alliance wants to hook you up

Taking a break from the promotion of bloodsports, rural campaign group the Countryside Alliance is looking for help mapping mobile phone not-spots in the hope of embarrassing operators into filling them. The wax-jacket-wearing organisation is asking those who care about rural mobile coverage to install Root Metrics on their …
Bill Ray, 22 Aug 2013
The antenna at Ronny's end

Reg hack battles Margaret Thatcher's ghost to bring broadband to the Highlands

Scottish broadband remains an elusive dream for many, despite the money being poured into BT's coffers, but pigeonhole a Reg reporter and you might just get lucky. That's what Ronny did. He grabbed your correspondent at a ward meeting where reps from Community Broadband Scotland were polling householders for their opinions – to …
Bill Ray, 22 Aug 2013
Two teenage girls - one whispering in other's ear

Tech quango coughs £800k to hook your child up to Internet of Things

Over the summer term eight UK schools will get £800,000 worth of sensors, servers and cloud to inspire them into learning about and getting interested in the Internet of Things. The money comes from the Technology Strategy Board, a government quango which prefers to be known as "Innovate UK", and will be spent developing …
Bill Ray, 22 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Battery-free e-ink screen grabs screenshots from smartphones

University boffins from Washington and Massachusetts joined forces with those at Intel to create an e-ink screen which can catch a smartphone screenshot – without needing a battery. The screen catches energy over the NFC standard, the pay-by-bonk technology built into the latest models of smartphone. That power usually drives a …
Bill Ray, 22 Aug 2013
A dashboard

Wow, the future is HERE: Charge your phone (wirelessly) in your CAR

A range of General Motors cars will feature wireless charging next year, but don't expect to charge a Galaxy Nexus or Nokia handset as GM is backing yet another juice-over-the-air standard. The feature will be built into dashboards from 2014, according to Detroit News. Just place a phone on the pad and it will start charging, …
Bill Ray, 21 Aug 2013
Outlook.com logo

Microsoft shoehorns Skype into Outlook.com - we quickly kick the tyres

Microsoft has slotted voice-chat app Skype into Outlook.com, melding email and telephony into a single platform - which almost works smoothly. The functionality comes with a browser plugin, and makes video and voice calling as simple as sending an email, aping Google's Hangout platform but with Skype's infrastructure. Outlook …
Bill Ray, 20 Aug 2013

Microsoft announces execution date for failed QR code-killer

Microsoft Tag, Redmond's alternative to the QR Code which never took off, is scheduled to die on 19 August, 2015, following Old Yeller out behind the cowshed. Launched just over three years ago, the Microsoft Tag is a proprietary version of a QR Code with some additional functionality and better colours. As QR Codes resolutely …
Bill Ray, 20 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Blighty street has hottest Wi-Fi hotspot hottie in Europe: We reveal where

London's Oxford Street has Europe's greatest density of Wi-Fi hot-spots - and almost a quarter of them are openly accessible to the public. That's according to a new study that also puts the UK behind the US in terms of free wireless connectivity. Across America 32 per cent of Wi-Fi access points offer web browsing gratis to …
Bill Ray, 19 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

So fondleable Windows 8 didn't work out so well: Why not try it IN 3D?

A San Francisco-based startup has come up with a gadget it claims can turn any surface into a 3D interface for your PC or mobile device – and it wants $100,000 in funding to get the thing off the drawing board. Haptix Touch is a camera-based detection system. The point is to replace the mouse with fingers waved around within the …
Bill Ray, 16 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Just add creepiness: Google Search gets even more personal

Google will soon be interrogating its users' Gmail, Google Calendar and Google+ accounts to try and predict the questions they enter into Google Search, bringing the Chocolate Factory's Now functionality into the mainstream. The personalised search is being rolled out slowly, with the US getting it first, but it will respond to …
Bill Ray, 15 Aug 2013

Telefonica and Arqiva set to mop up BILLIONS in smart meter cash

Companies who win upcoming government contracts to install smart utility meters across the UK are set to pocket over £2bn in public money. The money will come from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and will be spent over the next 15 years, at which point the UK is expected to have 20 million smart meters in operation. …
Bill Ray, 15 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Auntie touts e-babysitting ... and no £15,000 in-app purchase shocks

The BBC's kiddie TV wing, CBeebies, has turned out a "free" collection of mobile games for parents happy to let Captain Barnacles and the Alphablocks rear their children. The games, bundled into the CBeebies Playtime app for Android and iOS, come from the broadcast side of the corporation so are funded from the television …
Bill Ray, 15 Aug 2013
O2 XDA Argon

O2 tears wraps off £26-a-month mobe sport, music, games (and 4G)

O2 has joined EE and Vodafone in using 4G to justify a jump in pricing, to £26 a month, leaving Three the only UK network selling connectivity rather than technology. O2's 4G pricing in the UK will start at £26 a month for one gigabyte of data a month, aping EE's tariff and matching Vodafone on price. Voda customers get twice …
Bill Ray, 15 Aug 2013

Baidu shells out $1.9bn for Android app distie in 'China's biggest IT deal'

Baidu has signed a $1.9bn deal to buy Android app distributor 91 Wireless, giving the Chinese search giant a second Android app store and, critically, a bigger footprint in the gaming business. Chinese search giant Baidu announced its intention to buy 91 Wireless last month, despite already having its own Android application …
Bill Ray, 14 Aug 2013
HF Aerial, at the National Radio Centre, credit The Register

Boffins harvest TV, mobile signals for BATTERY-FREE comms

Radio boffins from the University of Washington have created tags and readers which reflect and feed off ambient radio frequency energy for communications - without needing a power source. The team calls the technology "ambient backscatter" and reckons it could connect up the much-heralded Internet of Things without either party …
Bill Ray, 14 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

REVEALED: Simple 'open sesame' to unlock your HOME by radiowave

A pair of security researchers probing the Z-Wave home-automation standard managed to unlock doors and disable sensors controlled by the technology. Behrang Fouladi and Sahand Ghanoun took a long hard look at Z-Wave for their presentation at last week's Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas. The wireless standard dominates …
Bill Ray, 13 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Should UK tear Wi-Fi a new one at 5GHz? Speak your brains, says Ofcom

Ofcom, Blighty's fearless watchdog of the airwaves, wants to know if Wi-Fi needs more space. The regulator is willing to allocate more radio spectrum to wireless networking - and wants Brits to be able to use those frequencies without the regulator having to auction them off to a corporate giant. The consultation is, strictly …
Bill Ray, 12 Aug 2013
Google Adwords Machine

Web ad giant (Google) pops Adwords into Maps for iOS and Android

Google has finally woken up and integrated Adwords into its mobile mapping app, pushing paid results onto the top of the heap along with directions guiding customers to your door. The ad addition came with the last update to Google Maps for Android and iOS. It switches on this week with ads popping up at the bottom when one …
Bill Ray, 09 Aug 2013
BlackBerry logo

Sources spill CEO Heins' beans: BlackBerry 'open' to going private

The board of BlackBerry is considering a private buyout of the company, saying that delisting would get shareholders off its back and give it freedom to move. The rumour comes from Reuters, which reports "several sources" claiming that discussions have been had with various private equity companies, and enterprise computing …
Bill Ray, 09 Aug 2013
Google Maps after Footprints added, credit Google

Moneybags pour shower of gold on new mega-precise GPS system

A GPS-based satellite navigation system promises accuracy to within an inch by December this year – to those willing to stick a thousand dollars into the pot. Swift Navigation, makers of the super-accurate satnav, say it uses existing Real Time Kinematic (RTK) navigation techniques to ensure its pinpoint accuracy. Rather than …
Bill Ray, 09 Aug 2013
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Tu Me to go: Tu Go to be Telefonica's 'NEXT BIG AMAZEBALLS' for voice

Telefonica's freebie VoIP platform Tu Me will be shuttered next month as the mobile network pushes customers towards, er, Tu Go. Tu Me came out of Jajah, the internet voice-call outfit Telefonica bought in 2009, but it was never intended to be more than a stepping stone towards a brave new future of telephony as a service. That …
Bill Ray, 09 Aug 2013
Shared photo stream in iOS 7

Apple: Of course we stalk your EVERY move. iOS 7 has a new map to prove it

The latest beta of Apple's new iOS 7 for iThings features a "Frequent Locations" map, showing where fanbois have been hanging out lately for those too hip to remember the happening joints. The feature is buried deep in the privacy settings, but if one has Location Services enabled it shows a map recording all the places where …
Bill Ray, 08 Aug 2013
Clapping children

British ankle-biters handed first mobe at the age of SEVEN - Ofcom

Children receiving their first mobile phone are, on average, just seven-and-a-half years old, claims the latest survey – although these figures contradict official stats from Ofcom. The new survey comes from mobilephonechecker.co.uk, which asked just over 1,000 parents the age of their kids when their hapless carers gave them a …
Bill Ray, 08 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

E-reader barons file FCC plea to opt out of disabled-friendly regs

E-reader manufacturers have petitioned to exempt themselves from accessibility regulations applied to communication services - and the FCC wants to know what you think about that. The claim comes from Amazon, Kobo, and Sony, who all claim that browsing or e-mail capability is just a distraction as their devices exist purely to …
Bill Ray, 07 Aug 2013

Vodafone flashes bulging package at Brits: New 4G service to rival EE, O2

Vodafone's new 4G mobile broadband package, announced today for the UK, will include live football or a Spotify Premium subscription, plus three months of unlimited downloads and calls - all for £26 a month. Voda has effectively updated its "Red" tariff by adding a fiver a month onto the price, and including 4G connectivity and …
Bill Ray, 07 Aug 2013
euros

Rival French mobe firms sue Orange and Vivendi's SFR for €1.4bn

Dominant French mobile operators Orange and SFR have been hit with a compensation claim from their diminutive rivals after a court ruled their offer of free calls was anti-competitive. Between 2005 and 2008 Orange and SFR offered customers free calls within the same network, forcing third-position operator Bouygues to offer loss …
Bill Ray, 07 Aug 2013

See a young Brit's mobe? 55% chance it has nekkid selfies on it, claims poll

Roughly half the young adult Brits polled in a survey have admitted to keeping naughty pictures of themselves or others on their mobile phones. One in ten confessed to accidentally sending dirty photos to the wrong person. And only a third said they protected their pocket stroker with a PIN or password. More than one in two (52 …
Bill Ray, 07 Aug 2013
Evil Android

Hey, you know Android apps can 'access ALL' of your Google account?

The single-click Google account login for Android apps is a little too convenient for hackers, according to Tripwire's Craig Young, who has demonstrated a flaw in the authentication method. The mechanism is called “weblogin”, and basically it allows users to use their Google account credentials as authentication for third-party …
Bill Ray, 06 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

BlackBerry slides crown jewels into Samsung: BBM Android app touted

BlackBerry is sharing its crown jewels - BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) - with non-BlackBerry devices for the first time: and the lucky punters are Samsung fandroids in Africa. The instant-messaging app will be free, compatible with the Android-powered Galaxy range of handsets, and offer all the important BBM functionality including …
Bill Ray, 06 Aug 2013
Sofacam archive header photo

Shack in flat-pack bric-a-brac lack flap? Whack on this 3D flat-pack app

Ikea, champion of the disposable Allen key, is launching an app to show how its self-assembly furniture would look in your home – if you could put it together properly. The new software, available for Android and iOS gadgets at the end of this month, overlays 3D models of selected flat-packed firewood onto live video of one's …
Bill Ray, 06 Aug 2013
DAB Transmitter

Bloke in shed starts own DAB radio station - with Ofcom's blessing

A three-month experiment in Brighton has proved that Digital Audio Broadcasting can be cheap and easy to transmit, opening the way to community and local stations – and perhaps a pirate or two. The experiment was carried out by Ofcom broadcast specialist Rashid Mustapha, though in his own time and at his expense. Despite that, …
Bill Ray, 06 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Mobe networks hacked phones to fix SIM hijack flaw, says bug-finder

A terrifying weakness at the heart of global mobile phone security has turned into a damp squib: networks scrambled so fast to patch the flaw that the researcher behind the discovery isn't making the details public. It's claimed five carriers pushed out fixes to their customers by exploiting the bug. The flaw was supposed to …
Bill Ray, 05 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

You CAN'T be a Silicon Roundabout hipster... you don't have Bluetooth socks

Hipsters concerned that their footwear is lagging in the cool stakes will soon be ordering Bluetooth-enabled socks, even if they do make them look like a young offender with an electronic tag. The Sensoria sock monitors impact across the toes and heel of the foot as the wearer runs, providing helpful advice about stride and …
Bill Ray, 05 Aug 2013
A Standard SM-3 missile launching from a US warship. Credit: MDA

Ultimate Radio Deathmatch: US Navy missile-defence radar vs 4G mobile mast

On Monday the US Navy will fire up its mighty, six-megawatt AN/SPY-1 raygun radar while academics run an LTE mobile-data base station in the same band, so both sides can establish if coexistence is a workable proposition. AN/SPY-1 is used as part of the Aegis anti-missile system mounted on, amongst other platforms, the US Navy's …
Bill Ray, 02 Aug 2013