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Disgo 9104 9.7in Android tablet

More Brits ditch Apple tablets for Amazon, Google, Samsung kit

Almost a fifth of the UK’s adult population now owns a fondleslab, and while most of them have a tablet with a bitten fruit icon on the back, Apple’s dominance is slipping. So says YouGov, a pollster, which regularly asks Brits about their technology purchases. During the first three months of 2012, 73 per cent of British tablet …
Tony Smith, 19 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Boffins build ant-sized battery, claim it's tough enough to start a car

Electronics continue to shrink to ever smaller sizes, but researchers are having a tough time miniaturising the batteries powering today’s mobile gadgets. Step forward, bicontinuous nanoporous electrodes. Smartphones use smaller power packs than they did five years ago, it’s true, but that’s because their chips and radios are …
Tony Smith, 18 Apr 2013
Raspberry Pi UK

Manual override: Raspberry Pi beginners' books

The Raspberry Pi has been out for just over a year now. It has undergone a couple of revisions during that time, most recently around October 2012, but a short while ago I decided it was time I ought to try it out and see what the diminutive, Linux-running micro can do. Entirely coincidentally, the Raspberry Pi Owners’ Workshop …
Tony Smith, 18 Apr 2013
Project Unity

Hardware hacker unifies 15 retro consoles in format frenzy

Most fans of old-skool videogame hardware rely on emulators for their retro gaming kicks. But not some fellow going by the handle Bacteria. Three years ago, he decided he needed 15 original games consoles in his living room and that he wanted them all in a single box. Project Unity Game cube: the console offering a feast of …
Tony Smith, 18 Apr 2013
Logitech Harmony Ultimate

Logitech launches MEGA-PRICEY 15-in-1 remote

Swiss mouse master Logitech will whip out a pair of new Harmony “universal” remote controls this month, extending the range to take in home automation kit as well as your home entertainment rig. First, the Harmony Ultimate, the latest in Logitech’s line of programmable controllers. This one can control up to 15 devices and has a …
Tony Smith, 16 Apr 2013
Gigabyte Brix

Gigabyte bats Brix at Intel's tiny NUC PC

Taiwan’s Gigabyte is to take on Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC), the chip company’s ultra-compact Core i3-based desktop computer. Last week, it demo’d Brix, a box with a slightly bigger footprint than the NUC but around only half as tall. Gigabyte promises four Brix systems with, respectively, Celeron, Core i3, i5 and i7 …
Tony Smith, 16 Apr 2013
Sony KD-84X9005 84in 4K LED TV

WTF is... H.265 aka HEVC?

When Samsung unveiled its next-generation smartphone, the Galaxy S4, in March this year, most of the Korean giant’s fans focused their attention on the device’s big 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen, its quad-core processor and its 13Mp camera. All impressive of course, but incremental steps in the ongoing evolution of the smartphone. …
Tony Smith, 11 Apr 2013
Sinclair Research ZX81

The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Does a computer need to look sexy? You might say that the looks of such a pragmatic gadget don’t matter. After all, most of us have, at one time or another, had to make do with bland, beige boxes almost exactly like everyone else’s bland, beige box, and it didn't hinder us from getting the job done, or made play any the less …
Tony Smith, 09 Apr 2013
Intel NUC DC3217BY

Review: Intel Next Unit of Computing barebones desktop PC

Intel must really like the sound of its own ‘voice’. How else can you explain the fact that sliding open the box containing the chip giant’s latest desktop package plays the ding-da-ding-ding-ding jingle as soon as you open it. Amaze your friends! Irritate your colleagues! Keep opening and closing the box to replay the ditty …
Tony Smith, 04 Apr 2013
Jabra Revo

Review: Jabra Revo Wireless headphones

I’ve tried a fair few wireless headphones over the past ten years, almost all of them unsatisfactory in one way or another. Many of the early ones were over-the-ear jobs with those round-the-back-of-your-head bands, but all suffered from either excessive weight - thanks to the on-board battery - or simply didn’t play for long. …
Tony Smith, 02 Apr 2013
Camputers' Lynx

The Lynx effect: The story of Camputers' mighty micro

Not all of the early 1980s British home computers were fated to be as successful as Sinclair’s ZX series or Acorn's BBC Micro. Many were destined instead to be loved solely by keen but small communities of owners. For all these users’ enthusiasm, there were too few of them to sustain the cost of developing, manufacturing, …
Tony Smith, 20 Mar 2013
Sinclair ZX Microdrive

Infinite loop: the Sinclair ZX Microdrive story

They would, Clive Sinclair claimed on 23 April 1982, revolutionise home computer storage. Significantly cheaper than the established 5.25-inch and emerging 3.5-inch floppy drives of the time - though not as capacious or as fast to serve up files - ‘Uncle’ Clive’s new toy would “change the face of personal computing”, Sinclair …
Tony Smith, 13 Mar 2013
Marvel Vs Capcom 3

Comixology cloud fails to Make Mine Marvel

Digital comic fans are a fairly honest lot, generally prefering to buy their sequential art reading matter than pinch it. But that doesn’t mean they ignore the regular weekly batches of new issues shared online. An apology from Dave Steinberger, head of Comixology, the largest digital comics retailer, reveals one reason why. …
Tony Smith, 12 Mar 2013
Intel Centrino logo

Intel's Centrino notebook platform is 10 years old

Ten years ago, Intel decided notebook computers needed a boost. The technology wasn’t new, but while a fair few mobile workers had portable computers, and some even had modem cards or were using Bluetooth-connected phones to reach the internet, laptops weren’t seen as a truly mobile networkable device. And so the chip maker …
Tony Smith, 12 Mar 2013
2001: A Space Odyssey

Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Zap guns, robots, lightspeed-smashing spaceships and bikini-busting princesses do not real science fiction make. Just ask George Lucas. Star Wars defined movie SF in the mind of many a mainstream viewer. But while the film and its sequels and, er, prequels certainly provide the sci-fi enthusiast with thrills a-plenty - guilty or …
Tony Smith, 11 Mar 2013
Steam screenshot

Proto Steam box may feel your arousal, hints Valve daddy

Game developer Valve will be pushing out prototypes of its living room download-and-play games box sometime in the next “three to four months”, company chief Gabe Newell has revealed. The machine, dubbed the Steam Box, is essentially a Linux PC linked to Valve’s online games shop, Steam. Being a PC, it’s easy to build, but …
Tony Smith, 06 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

BlackBerry Z10: Prices pruned despite eager iPunter interest

How well is the Z10 from BlackBerry - née RIM - faring? Reports on the handset’s retail success, on which BlackBerry’s recovery as a business is riding, are mixed. Late last week, Carphone Warehouse and Vodafone separately pruned the price of the handset, not a good sign for a premium device that has been on sale for less than a …
Tony Smith, 04 Mar 2013
WikiHouse plan

Architect pitches builder-bothering 'Print your own house' plan

WikiHouse, the "print your own open source pad" project, has called for contributors and cash to help it establish an online archive of downloadable dwelling designs. The site’s aim is nothing short of the democratisation of the construction industry: to allow, in short, “anyone to design, download and 'print' CNC-milled houses …
Tony Smith, 01 Mar 2013
PayPal inStore app in action

MasterCard tries to zap PayPal with own-brand mobe wallet

Walk into any of Apple’s 400 shops, pick up an accessory, boxed software or any one of the other items the Mac maker’s stylish emporia have out on shelves, and, if you have an Apple ID and an iPhone, you can buy the products you want without having to interact with one of the firm’s happy-clappy minions. The system works with an …
Tony Smith, 27 Feb 2013
Samsung UHS-1 microSD card

Four firms pitch hi-def DRM for Flash cards

Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba have begun licensing their new DRM technology for memory cards to anyone who feels the world needs yet another copy protection technology for HD content. They hope many content providers do indeed want a new DRM system, specifically one that secures content but doesn’t prevent content …
Tony Smith, 26 Feb 2013
BlackBerry Z10

Blackberry Z10 sales fail to impress analysts

It’s no exaggeration to say that the future of BlackBerry, the renamed Research in Motion, is hanging on success of its new BlackBerry smartphones, the Q10 and, particularly, the Z10. Revised forecasts from a number of market watchers suggest the troubled company has not yet put its woes behind it. Earlier this week, two …
Tony Smith, 22 Feb 2013
Panasonic's Media Player

WTF is... Miracast?

Less than six months ago, there were just a handful of Miracast-certified products listed in the Wi-Fi Alliance’s kit database. Now there are nearly 150. A spectacular improvement for a little known technology. So what is it? Miracast was formally launched in September 2012, but it was Google’s announcement a month and a half …
Tony Smith, 21 Feb 2013
Sony DualShock 4 for PS4

Sony promises PC-based PlayStation 4 for Christmas

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Sony PlayStation 4 - or, as we say in the trade, a PC. Yes, the PS4 will indeed be based on an octo-core x86-compatible processor, incorporate 8GB of GDDR 5 and will be equipped with a PC-centric GPU. It’ll have a hard drive too, plus the inevitable Blu-ray drive. It will incorporate 802. …
Tony Smith, 21 Feb 2013
Qualcomm Atheros hybrid home network

WTF is... IEEE 1905.1?

It sounds like a solution looking for a problem. A technology that allows networked devices in the home connected by different network media to operate as if they were connected across a single medium. Surely TCP/IP already allows you to do that, routing packets from, say, network attached storage linked to a router over an …
Tony Smith, 15 Feb 2013
LG Smart menu

Fashionably slate

It’s not easy being a television manufacturer these days. Most homes, especially in the West and the wealthier parts of Asia, now have a large flat panel TV, thank you, and don’t need another one. Sales, then, are not as strong as they once were, pushing down prices and, in turn, whittling production margins from razor thin to …
Tony Smith, 14 Feb 2013
Seagate Wireless Plus

Review: Seagate Wireless Plus Wi-Fi hard drive

In the week Apple finally released an iPad with a storage capacity greater than 64GB - double that; 128GB to be precise - Seagate made its Wireless Plus available. Of course, if Apple’s Flash mark-up wasn’t so colossal, or it had had the wit to either built a Micro SD port into its tablets or allow USB mass storage devices to …
Tony Smith, 07 Feb 2013

Socket to 'em: It's the HomeGrid vs HomePlug powerline prizefight

“Two standards, both alike in dignity, In fair Vegas, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” The backers of rival next-generation in-home mains power networking standards may not have come to physical blows in defence of their favoured technologies, but …
Tony Smith, 05 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Netflix tempts binge viewers with House of Cards pilot freebie

Netflix is making the pilot episode of its made-for-IPTV series House of Cards free to anyone to watch, whether they’re one of the streaming service’s 33 million subscribers or not. The entire 13-part series went live en masse on Netflix late last week. Rather than run the series episode by episode, week by week, Netflix reckons …
Tony Smith, 04 Feb 2013

Report: Over 1.5 MILLION UK drivers will have hydrogen cars by 2030

Hydrogen fuel cell cars won’t hit the market until 2015, but with the right investment in infrastructure, more than a million and a half of us could be driving one by 2030, with annual sales topping 300,000 vehicles, an evaluation conducted by government and industry has forecast. A timeline drawn up by UKH2Mobility - a …
Tony Smith, 04 Feb 2013

Oh, Sony, you big tease: Mystery PlayStation reveal date set

Sony has called on hacks and analysts to come to New York next month for an event focused on the PlayStation - an invite that's left pundits and fans predicting the unveiling of the long-awaited PlayStation 4. Naturally, Sony isn’t saying, confirming only that the electronics giant will be discussing its PlayStation business. …
Tony Smith, 01 Feb 2013

Surface left on shelves as world+dog slurps up small slates

Half a million Microsoft Surface tablets may be gathering dust on shop shelves, it has been claimed. Market watcher IHS iSuppli reckons Microsoft shipped 1.25 million Surface tablets into the resale channel during Q4 2012. However, only 55 to 60 per cent of those Windows RT-based devices were purchased by punters. That means …
Tony Smith, 31 Jan 2013
Super Mario Bros. Wii U

Wii-U boat torpedoes Nintendo's '¥20bn profit' into ¥20bn loss

Facing a looming $219m loss, Nintendo today restated its mission “to pursue its basic strategy of compelling products that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age, gender or gaming experience”. This is marketing speak for targeting occasional players, in particular the very young and the old, folk who might not normally be expected …
Tony Smith, 30 Jan 2013
Disgo 9104 9.7in Android tablet

Tablets BEAT DOWN laptops in 4-to-1 Xmas bloodbath - analyst

Bow down before the might of the tablet. If you were unsure who is the master now, look no further than numbers from the UK wing of GfK, a market watcher which tracks over-the-counter sales. According to its data, more tablets were sold in December 2012 - no doubt as Christmas prezzies - than notebooks purchased in October, …
Tony Smith, 29 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Japan promised Ultra HD TV broadcasts two years early

Japanese telly addicts will get to see the 2014 FIFA World Cup in glorious Ultra HD. As a result, they’ll get 4K x 2K broadcast content beamed into their homes two years earlier than expected. Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said the move had been prompted by a desire to stimulate demand for the 3840 × …
Tony Smith, 28 Jan 2013
Oric-1. Source: Retro Bytes Portal

The Oric-1 is 30

The Oric-1, which was formally launched 30 years ago this week, was produced with one thing in mind: to take on Sir Clive Sinclair at his own game. “The Oric is a competitor for the Spectrum,” one of Oric developer Tangerine Computer Systems’ software team, Paul Kaufman, emphatically told members of the press. “We are convinced …
Tony Smith, 28 Jan 2013
Oldies deaths rise, e-reader sales fall

Tablets aren't killing ereaders, it's clog-popping wrinklies - analyst

Don’t blame the tablet computer for the demise of the ebook reader. Instead, look no further than aged users who are inconveniently - for Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo et al - kicking the bucket. That’s the claim made by ABI Research, a market watcher which has been tracking the ereader business for more than 10 years. ABI’ …
Tony Smith, 25 Jan 2013
Weightless logo

WTF is... Weightless?

Weightless, the would-be world standard that allows devices to talk to devices without human intervention, reaches its first major release milestone this spring. Version 1.0 of the technology specification is set to be published in March or April and then it will be able to begin making the much-hyped but yet to be delivered ‘ …
Tony Smith, 21 Jan 2013
Kobo Mini and Arc

What ereader decline? Kobo pumps up the volumes despite grim forecasts

A chirpy Kobo has claimed it now has more than 12 million registered users, four million of them creating ebook buyer accounts with the company during 2012. It lauded its device sales too - well, its e-ink kit, not its Android-based tablet offerings - insisting it had captured 20 per cent of the world ereader market in 2012. …
Tony Smith, 17 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

VIA bakes a fruitier Rock cake to rival the Brit Raspberry Pi

Computer electronics biz VIA has updated its Raspberry Pi rival APC - a micro-motherboard its maker calls a “bicycle for your mind” - which it brought to market last May. The new board sports a new processor, more flash memory, better video output and, VIA said, more expansion options. VIA APC Rock Rock'n'ruler: The new VIA APC …
Tony Smith, 17 Jan 2013
Google WebRTC logo

WTF is... WebRTC?

Last week’s release of Firefox 18.0 saw the not-for-profit browser gaining “preliminary” support for a technology called WebRTC. Folk downloading the browser afresh or updating from a previous release may have been keener on Firefox’s new support for Apple’s “retina” displays or the browser’s promised JavaScript performance leap …
Tony Smith, 15 Jan 2013
LG curved OLED TVs

Ten stars of CES 2013: Who made the biggest splash?

As the 2013 Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) wraps up in Las Vegas, we’re left to ponder whether it as was a good show this time round. In 2012, IT vendors, buoyed by Intel encouragement and marketing money, were keen to show off their first Ultrabooks. A year on, and the chip giant’s skinny laptop brand has largely failed to …
Tony Smith, 11 Jan 2013

Report: Tablets to outsell ALL PCs by 2016

It was claimed by one market watcher this week that tablets will outsell notebook computers during 2013. By 2016, says another, slates’ share of the PC market will have surpassed all other devices combined. The research firm in question is Canalys, and it reckons Wintel’s share of the PC market will drop from 72 per cent in 2012 …
Tony Smith, 10 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Sony PS3 extends lead over Microsoft's Xbox 360 by a cool million

Bad news for Microsoft and Xboxers: in December 2012, Sony shipped sufficient consoles for the number of PS3s the Japanese giant has sold to exceed the volume of 360s Microsoft has sent out by a margin of a million machines. And that’s despite the year in which the second-generation Xbox had no direct competition from Sony. …
Tony Smith, 10 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Panasonic pitches Ultra HD 4K x 2K monster tablet

Asus has an 18.4-inch tablet-cum-all-in-one-desktop-PC on display this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but Panasonic has it beat: the Japanese giant is showing off a Windows 8 slate that not only packs a 20-inch display but sports an Ultra HD resolution. Yes, Panasonic’s mammoth fondleslab contains 9.8 million pixels …
Tony Smith, 09 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Standards sultan sanctifies 60GHz wireless LAN tech

The IEEE has published a 60GHz wireless networking standard, 802.11ad, much to the joy of the WiGig Alliance: its 60GHz "USB/PCI/HDMI/DisplayPort" technology sits on top of the radio-based communications spec. WiGig’s everything-over-the-air system is expected to deliver up to 7Gbit of data per second, albeit only over a …
Tony Smith, 09 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Razer uncages Core i7, GeForce megaslab for hardcore gamers

Games peripherals specialist Razer is finally bringing to market the concept gaming tablet it introduced at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). A year after unveiling "Project Fiona" at CES 2012, Razer used CES 2013 to unveil the Edge - geddit?! - a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-based 10.1in, 1366 x 768 pixel megaslab. It's …
Tony Smith, 09 Jan 2013
EDSAC

Bletchley Park boffins start trailblazer EDSAC computer rebuild

Physical production of a replica of EDSAC, aka the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator, has at last begun at The National Museum of Computing, located at World War II crypto centre Bletchley Park. EDSAC is an early computer originally put together at Cambridge University in the late 1940s. The initial work on the …
Tony Smith, 09 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Dell dangles dongle PC at enormo-display-desiring road warriors

Dell, is that a memory stick-sized Android computer in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me? The former, it turns out. Dell’s Wyse subsidiary - the thin-client computing pioneer the PC giant acquired in April 2012 - will today show off ‘Project Ophelia’ at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas/ Ophelia is a …
Tony Smith, 08 Jan 2013

Tablets to out-sell notebooks this year, reckons tech prophet

Will 2013 be the year that tablets overtake laptops as the most-shipped type of computer tech? Market watcher NPD DisplaySearch certainly thinks so. It now reckons some 240 million tablets ranging in screen size from 5.6 inches to 13.3 will ship during 2013 - almost 16 per cent more than the 207 million notebooks that will ship …
Tony Smith, 08 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Mega-res telly demand to boom, say ball-gazers

If the world’s television makers are eager enough to try to convince World+Dog to buy a 4K x 2K TV, the world’s market watchers are no less keen to suggest the proponents of Ultra HD will be successful in the near future, with sales rocketing five years from now. This week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas will …
Tony Smith, 07 Jan 2013