Feeds
The Register Columnists

Reg Hard

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
The Register breaking news

Apple 'less innovative' at laptops than Lenovo

Asus and Lenovo both offer more innovative Ultrabook-style laptops than Apple, though the Mac maker has the pair of them licked when it comes to implementing that innovation. So says market watcher ABI Research, which reckons Apple “outscores its rivals significantly in implementation” if not in innovation. For proof, look no …
Hard Reg, 14 Nov 2012
Intel Pentium 4

Slideshow: A History of Intel x86 in 20 CPUs

Would there have been a PC revolution had Intel decided in the late 1960s to stick to making memory chips and turn its back on microprocessors? Almost certainly, but the company did get into CPUs and IBM chose its 8088 chip to build into its first Personal Computer, the 5150. The 8088 and its sibling, the 8086, evolved from the …
Hard Reg, 12 Nov 2012
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix turns Westward

Lenovo’s convertible Ultrabook, the Helix, has made an appearance on the company’s Israel website. The Windows 8-running laptop sports a removable display which operates independently of the keyboard section, Asus Transformer style. Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx IdeaPad Lynx Lenovo hasn’t said much about the device, but the Israeli …
Hard Reg, 30 Oct 2012
The Register breaking news

Google Nexus 4 flips finger at Sandy, appears on YouTube

Google was to have launched the LG-made Nexus 4 smartphone today, but with Hurricane Sandy shutting down the advertising giant’s planned New York announcement, it has been left to Sweden’s Three network - it has been claimed - to reveal the handset in all its glory. Of course, the specs are already out, thanks to the UK’s very …
Hard Reg, 29 Oct 2012
Bookeen Cybook Odyssey HD

Bookeen lights up Odyssey e-reader screen

Bookeen has become the latest e-reader maker to offer a device with a ‘backlit’ screen. Enter the Cybook Odyssey HD, a version of Bookeen’s existing reader, this time with a 1024 x 758 screen and an array of LEDs that shine light through the panel to reflect off the screen’s rear surface, highlighting the text. Bookeen Cybook …
Hard Reg, 25 Oct 2012
Arduino Due

Arduino barebones board upgraded with 32-bit ARM

Arduino, the microcontroller-based board for DIY electronics fans, has become dipped its finger into the ARM Pi. The group behind the board has announced the Arduino Due - pronounced ‘doo-ay’, the Italian for ‘two’ - which has an Atmel 32-bit ARM-based CPU in place of the original board’s ATmega microcontroller, also from Atmel …
Hard Reg, 23 Oct 2012
Google

Google hails hacks to WinPho 8 spoiler event

Crafty Google is hosting an announcement a week on Monday - the same day Microsoft will be formally launching Windows Phone 8. It’s also less than a week after Apple is expected to announced the ‘iPad Mini’. The 29 October Google launch, for which is begun mailing out invites tagged “The Playground is now open”, takes place in …
Hard Reg, 18 Oct 2012
Samsung Google Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0 smartphone

Slideshow: A History of the Smartphone in 20 Handsets

With the news that world smartphone usage total has passed the billion mark in 20 years, we present 20 of the most important smartphones from the past 20 years. From the very first devices - IBM's Simon and Nokia's Communicator - to the defining products from the major platforms - RIM's BlackBerry 5810, HP's iPaq h6315 and Palm' …
Hard Reg, 17 Oct 2012
Apple iMac

Apple extends fail-prone Seagate HDD swap scheme

Apple has extended its 2011 iMac hard drive replacement scheme. Originally pegged to all-in-one desktop maps purchased between May and July 2011, the programme now runs from October 2009 to July 2011. If you own a 21.5in or 27in iMac bought new during that period, you may qualify for a free hard drive replacement. At issue are …
Hard Reg, 15 Oct 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung says 'yes' to iPhone 5-sized Galaxy S III

Samsung has confirmed that it’ll launch a 4in version of its Android-based popular Galaxy S III smartphone in Germany tomorrow. The scaled down device is being pitched at Europeans unhappy with the existing, 4.8in S III and would prefer something a little easier to hold and use in one hand and fits in pockets better. Something …
Hard Reg, 10 Oct 2012
Apple iPad Mini

iPad Mini pics spied on Twitter

We don’t who Sonny Dickson is - a “tech enthusiast” and “9to5Mac researcher”, apparently - but he’s just posted a small set of iPad Mini pictures on his Twitter feed. Alas, there isn’t a shot of the device working, so the unit on his desk may simply by one of the many mock-ups that have been doing the rounds of late. Certainly, …
Hard Reg, 09 Oct 2012
Motorola Atrix Lapdock

Motorola whacks laptop-like phone dock

No one wants laptop-style keyboard accessories for their phones. Or, rather, no one wants Motorola Mobility’s version. The Google-owned handset maker last week admitted it had canned the product. The system debuted in 2011 as an add-on for Motorola’s Atrix smartphone. The handset docks into the accessory to provide processor, …
Hard Reg, 08 Oct 2012
The Register breaking news

Forget Apple's AirPlay - it's Windows 8 you want, says speaker maker

Rather a lot of speakers are touting their support for Apple’s AirPlay Wi-Fi hosted audio streaming technology, but here’s one designed for Windows fans. The Audio Aris is, says creator Aperion, the first Windows 8 certified speaker. It too operates over Wi-Fi, being fed from a Windows PC, tablet or smartphone using the source’s …
Hard Reg, 04 Oct 2012
AData DashDrive Elite HE720

AData claims 'world's thinnest external HDD' crown

AData has unwrapped what it claims is the thinnest external hard drive to ever make it to market: a USB 3.0 unit that measures 8.9mm front to back. For comparison, one of the slimmest external HDDs we've seen of late is the 11mm-thick WD My Passport Edge for Mac. You have to wonder what practical difference that 2.1mm makes. …
Hard Reg, 27 Sep 2012
Smart TVs

Connected TVs snatch online video viewing crown from PCs

More people watch internet-sourced video on their TVs than their PCs - at least in the US. Another sign, maybe, that the PC is losing its place at the centre of consumers' digital lives, at least for video entertainment. According to NPD, a North American market watcher, during the past 12 months the proportion of folk watching …
Hard Reg, 26 Sep 2012
Wii U

Nintendo confirms Wii U region lock

It's official: Nintendo is to region-lock the Wii U. Various claims on the internet to that effect prompted trade title CVG to ask Nintendo, and Nintendo said that it will indeed implement region-lock measures to stop punters buying games from, say, Japan and playing them in consoles bought in the UK. As the site notes, …
Hard Reg, 25 Sep 2012
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android smartphone hands-on review

Samsung scribbles in UK Galaxy Note II debut date

Samsung has said that its Galaxy Note II 5.6in, 1280 x 720 smartphone-cum-tablet, which was launched earlier this month at the IFA show, will be out on Monday, 1 October. The stylus centric gadget sports a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, an 8Mp camera, 2GB of Ram, 16-46GB of Flash storage, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and 3G HSPA+ …
Hard Reg, 25 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

Nokia out $99 dual-Sim Asha

More low-cost Asha phones from Nokia. Out in Q4, the Asha 308 and 309 will both come in Sim-free at under $100, Nokia said today. Nokia Asha 308/309 The two touchscreen handsets are pitched at emerging-market punters seeking mobile internet access and who might otherwise be tempted by a cheap Android smartphone. Nokia is …
Hard Reg, 25 Sep 2012
Samsung 840 SSD

Samsung ready to drop faster SSDs

Samsung will have a new SSD out next month. The 840 Series is a notebook-ready 6Gbps Sata drive, with a high performance - Samsung claims - Pro line accompanied by a lesser, cheaper vanilla offering. The Korean giant claimed the 840 Pro "provides 100,000 IOPS for random read and 90,000 IOPS for random write, making it three …
Hard Reg, 24 Sep 2012
HP Envy 4-1010ea Ultrabook

HP unzips slim Windows 8 notebooks

More skinny (ish) Windows 8 notebooks from HP. Branded Sleekbook, the new notebooks don't meet Intel's specifications for Ultrabook status, not least the 14in model, which sports an AMD CPU. That said, the 15.6in version comes with a choice of Intel Core i processors. You can also spec the machines up with either 1366 x 768 or …
Hard Reg, 20 Sep 2012
Acer Iconia Tab A110

Acer takes fight to Nexus 7 with seven-inch Iconia tablet

Acer has announced its take on the Asus-made Google Nexus 7: the Iconia Tab A110. The debt it owes to the Nexus is clear. The A110 has an almost identical spec, from its Tegra 3 core to its OS, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but Acer has addressed the Google slate's limitations by adding a Micro SD slot, a micro HDMI port and upping …
Hard Reg, 18 Sep 2012
DRAM chips

PC share of DRAM biz falls below 50%

PCs, once the final destination for almost all of the world's memory chips, now consume less than half of the world's DRAM shipments. During Q2, only 49 per cent of DRAM shipments ended up in desktop and laptop PCs, down from 50.2 per cent in Q1, market watcher IHS iSuppli said this weekend. This at a time when new machines …
Hard Reg, 17 Sep 2012
Virgin

New deals for Virgin Sim punters

Virgin has updated its Sim-only offerings, pitching "truly unlimited data and texts" no matter what you pay each month. There are four monthly price bands: £12, £15, £17 and £25, though the latter can be had by Virgin Media subscribers for £20 who also get to call other subscribers free on all four deals. They're all 30-day …
Hard Reg, 04 Sep 2012
Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

3G Google Nexus 7 inbound

Asus is ramping up production of a 3G-enabled Google Nexus 7, it has been claimed. Citing a "well placed insider", website Modaco says the cellular-connectable tablet will launch in roughly six weeks' time. Google Nexus 7 Android tablet Beyond the incorporation of an HSPA radio, the Nexus 7 3G will be essentially identical to …
Hard Reg, 03 Sep 2012
O2 logo

O2: no Ice Cream Sandwich for some Sony Xperia owners

O2 won't be certifying Android 4.0 for Sony's Xperia Neo, Arc and Ray handsets, the network operator has said, after testing the OS on these devices and finding it "didn’t meet our requirements". Says the carrier: "Unfortunately with the Ray, Arc and Neo our testing found that the software update affected the phone’s speed and …
Hard Reg, 03 Sep 2012
LG 55LM960V Cinema 3D LED Smart TV

LG adds Dixons' Knowhow to net-connectable tellies

We're not sure it's a reason to buy an LG smart TV specifically, but if you're eyeing up such a set, the addition of Dixons' Knowhow Movies video-on-demand service to said tellies may sweeten the deal. Dixons' answer to Netflix, Lovefilm, Blinkbox, Acetrax et al offers the customary "extensive library" of new - ie. DVD-release …
Hard Reg, 16 Aug 2012
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Samsung lengthens Note phone-cum-tablet to 10 inches

Samsung's pumped up Galaxy Note phone will be inflated to full tablet size this month as the Galaxy Note 10.1. As the numeral suggests, this is a 10.1in device - the resolution is 1280 x 800 - and it comes running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on a 1.4GHz quad-core CPU. Storage: 16-64GB plus Micro SD. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 …
Hard Reg, 06 Aug 2012
Smarter Memory

Watch Smarter: video guide to... optical disc drives

Smarter Storage Over the years, the capacity of optical drives has steadily increased, with new formats offering cost-effective storage to suit archiving needs, as well as the demands of high-resolution movie playback. If you fancy upgrading your PC from CD to DVD or DVD to Blu-ray or perhaps prefer an external option it’s probably cheaper than …
Hard Reg, 25 Jul 2012
WD TV Live video streamer set-top box

WD game-centric set-top spied on web

It's getting harder to call Western Digital a hard drive company. One of its next offerings, for instance, is a new WD TV set-top box, the Play. Spotted in US Federal Communications Commission emissions testing reports, the TV-connected gadget appears to take the basic WD TV media playback functionality and add casual on-telly …
Hard Reg, 19 Jul 2012
Star Trek Pizza Cutter

Star Trek app warps into TiVo space

Star Trek buffs who still haven't bought all the DVDs, HD DVDs and Blu-rays will be able to enjoy the original series on telly, courtesy of Virgin Media's CBS Action channel, which is not only showing the series again but has a tie-in app for Virgin's TiVo box. Star Trek TiVo app On show is the digitally remastered version of …
Hard Reg, 27 Jun 2012
Dell XPS 15

Dell extends XPS laptop line

Dell has extended is XPS line of laptops, with 14in and 15in models joining the 13in Ultrabook it launched earlier this year. The bigger of the new machines can't claim the right to attach Intel's skinny laptop trademark to their names, but the XPS 14 does. Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook XPS 14 Ultrabook It comes with a choice of Core …
Hard Reg, 27 Jun 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III damaged

Samsung to probe Galaxy S III blaze claim

Samsung has confirmed it will investigate claims that its Galaxy S III Android smartphone may be susceptible to overheating, causing damage to the case and the devices within. The Korean giant said it was alerted to the potential problem by online reports and pictures of a heat-damaged S III. It is attempting to get hold of the …
Hard Reg, 21 Jun 2012
Acer_logo_SM

Carphone Warehouse fires starting gun for Acer Olympics tablet

It's all a bit Alan Partridge, but Acer has an Olympic-themed tablet out, and Carphone Warehouse has the sales gig. Acer Iconia A510 Olympics The £349 Iconia Tab A510 runs Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich on a 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 chip. The UI is rendered on a 10.1in, 1280 x 800 touchscreen. There's 32GB of Flash storage on …
Hard Reg, 19 Jun 2012
Huawei E5331 MiFi

Three releases 'value' MiFi modem

Three has priced up - and released - its "value" portable modem-cum-wireless-router. The Huawei E5331 will cost you £50 if you want it PAYG mobile broadband, though that includes 1GB of data. You can get the MiFi for £30 if you're willing to cough up £16 a month, a deal that grants you 5GB of data each month. Huawei E5331 MiFi …
Hard Reg, 01 Jun 2012
Volvo V40 pedestrian airbag

Volvo claims V40 is first car with an airbag for pedestrians

Volvo has devised an automobile airbag for pedestrians. The car company is building the new tech into its V40. Sensors detect the impact, and a control unit works out whether the signals they're sending indicate that the car has collided with a person. Volvo V40 pedestrian airbag If it thinks that's the case, it deploys the …
Hard Reg, 23 May 2012
Mobile Broadband - T-Mobile

T-Mobile punters can now buy Orange broadband

Everything Everywhere is offering T-Mobile customers Orange home broadband for the same price as its ruddy-hued subscribers pay for it. Prices start at £5, but punters will have to pay a £13.50 line rental fee on top of that. And how fast will it be? Good question - even Orange doesn't appear to know the answer. Orange's FAQ …
Hard Reg, 09 May 2012
Samsung Series 5 550P

Samsung outs Ivy Bridge notebooks

Two new 15.6in laptops are inbound from Samsung, each bearing an unannounced Intel Ivy Bridge processor, a third-gen Core i7 quad-core to be (a little) more precise. Samsung Series 5 550P Both members of the Series 5 550P family will also arrive with 8GB of memory, DVD-RW drives and 300Mbps (2x2) 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi …
Hard Reg, 09 May 2012
Megan Fox for Sharper Image

Megan Fox fingers fondleslab in sexy store promo

Sharper Image, the US gadget shop – a sort of Maplins but with a more regular bathing schedule – is promoting its wares with pictures of curvy starlet Megan Fox in her pants. Noted fondleslab fan Fox can be seen after a hard day's acting, relaxing in her boudoir, trousers off, preparing to tuck herself in for the night. Un- …
Hard Reg, 04 May 2012
TVonics DTR-HD500

TVonics, RNIB launch speech-synthesising DVR

Set-top box maker TVonics has equipped its 500GB DTR-HD500 Freeview HD recorder with text-to-speech tech, the better to help blind and partially sighted folk enjoy what's been on the box. Created in co-operation with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the DVR reads out the Freeview electronic programme guide, …
Hard Reg, 03 May 2012
Samsung Series 7 Chronos 17 laptop

Samsung unwraps 17in Ivy Bridge beast

Apple may be considering an end to the production of 17in desktop-replacement laptops, but Samsung isn't. It just announced the 17.3in Series 7 Chronos 17. Samsung Series 7 Chronos 17 laptop Specs include a third-generation 'Ivy Bridge' quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, the 2.3GHz i7-3615QM, to be precise; 8GB of 1600MHz DDR …
Hard Reg, 01 May 2012
Taxan Meopad Aqua

Taxan touts tablet for bathing beauties

Thanks to Japan's Kaga Hightech Co., better known for its Taxan brand, we can now enjoy our tablets in the bath. Step forward the Méopad Aqua, a 7in, 1-024 x 600 fondleslab with all the usual accoutrements and an unusual one: it's waterproof. Taxan Meopad Aqua It's ready, then, for use in the kitchen, the company claimed, or …
Hard Reg, 23 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Gemini outs trio of budget Android 4 tablets

Gemini Devices has brought its cheap Android 4 JoyTab tablets to Blighty. There are three fondleslabs in the set: 7in, 8in and 10in models, with resolutions of 480 x 800, 600 x 800 and 768 x 1024. They all use ARM Cortex A8-class processors, the 7in and 10in running at 1GHz, the eight-incher at 1.2GHz. Gemini Joytan 8in and 7in …
Hard Reg, 19 Apr 2012

Punters want BBC iPlayer in TVs, not 3D

Brits want catch-up services from their tellies, not 3D, a survey carried out by Freeview has found. The digital TV brand asked 2000 punters to rank the telly technology they most want to see in their sets. Top of the list, appealing to 62 per cent of respondents: catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and 4oD. Compare that to 3D …
Hard Reg, 19 Apr 2012
Freeview HD TVs

10x power boost for Freeview as London analogue signal cut

London's analogue TV signal was silenced at midnight yesterday, paving the way for 4G mobile data networks in the nation's capital. The analogue signal was transmitted from the Crystal Palace station now owned by Arqiva, which runs the UK's terrestrial broadcasting system after a previous government flogged it off. Crystal …
Hard Reg, 18 Apr 2012
Sony Reader Store

Sony: UK ebook shop open for business

Sony UK has rolled out an e-book shop it hopes will tempt buyers away from Amazon and Apple's iTunes, the company said today. The Reader Store UK - to give it its official moniker - offers the usual array books and bookshop features, plus a couple of daily papers: the Mail and the Guardian. Sony Reader Store It's already …
Hard Reg, 16 Apr 2012
Kobo WiFi ebook reader

Asda knocks out Kobo e-reader for £49

Asda has knocked the basic Kobo e-reader to just under 50 quid. Usually £67, it's now £49, though you can add £2.95 to that if you want it delivered, more if you want it delivered quickly. Kobo WiFi ebook reader Or you can pick it up from your local Asda supermarket. The Walmart-owned chain didn't say how many of the low-cost …
Hard Reg, 05 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Tesco's Blinkbox gets Disney films

Tesco's Blinkbox movies-on-demand service has signed Disney. It will offer the Mickey Mouse company's films for rent or purchase. The deal covers old Disney movies but will also bring new releases to Blinkbox on the day they're released on physical media. Disney's roster of content includes Pixar movies and Dreamworks films as …
Hard Reg, 05 Apr 2012
Panasonic

Panasonic talks up TV for the blind

Panasonic has announced that its 2012 Viera TVs will speak out to blind and optically challenged folk and tell them what the sets are showing. The Japanese giant claimed it is the first telly maker to do so. The system is a take on the audio navigation feature seen on a number of DVD and Blu-ray releases, which hides away the …
Hard Reg, 27 Mar 2012
Harry Potter

Harry Potter e-books go on sale

Fans of JK Rowling's student sorcerer will be pleased to know the Pottermore Shop - the only place to buy Harry Potter e-books and audio books - is now open for business. It may be behind times in terms of e-commerce - the last book was published nearly five years ago - but Rowling's seven novels have finally made it into the …
Hard Reg, 27 Mar 2012
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

Half of iPad 3s sold will sport 4G, says bank

Brits may have no need for the new iPad's 4G connectivity, but Americans are going to lap up the LTE-enabled tablet, UBS has forecast. That, the bank believes, will result in heightened demand for the 4G iPad 3 to the extent that it will account for almost half of the iPad 3s sold by Apple. The ratio of Wi-Fi only to Wi-Fi + 3G …
Hard Reg, 23 Mar 2012