Tony Smith

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Tony Smith has been writing about computers and tech since the late 1980s and sees no good reason he can'™t carry on for another quarter of a century. He has been involved with The Register since 1998 after stints at consumer Mac magazine The Mac and trade paper MicroScope. He has written about technology for all the national newspapers and a broad range of non-specialist publications. He's been on the telly too.
Intel Edison

Intel bungs PC on an SD: Tiny computer for Internet of Things and wearables

CES 2014 Intel has put a PC into an SD card-sized casing. Dubbed Edison, the micro-microcomputer marks the chip giant’s first attempt to address the emerging wearable computing business; part of its strategy to cope with a world where punters buy far fewer traditional personal computers. Or, more specifically, where ARM and not Intel …
Tony Smith, 7 Jan 2014
Dell Chromebook 11

Dell confirms Chromebook for Blighty

CES2014 Dell has confirmed its first Chromebook will be coming to the UK, though it’s not yet saying how much the 11.6-inch Google laptop will cost over here. In the States, the Dell Chromebook 11 is “expected to sell below $300” (£183), the PC giant said today, so you’re probably looking at a retail price over here of £220 to £250, …
Tony Smith, 6 Jan 2014
CSR Bluetooth Jewellery

Bluetooth 4 BLING: Fashion, not tech, will sell those wearables – wireless chip maker

CES 2014 British Bluetooth chip and systems maker CSR is turning its back on sceptical techies in the hope of winning the fashion world’s support for its wearable computing hardware. Having asked ordinary punters about their attitudes to wearable computing, CSR says it found that few of them care much about the technology. "What does …
Tony Smith, 6 Jan 2014
Intel NUC D54250WYK

Haswell micro: Intel’s Next Unit of Computing desktop PC

Review Never let it be said that Intel doesn’t respond to criticism. Its first Next Unit of Computing (NUC) micro-desktop, which appeared in the first few months of 2013, wasn’t a bad machine, but it prompted grumbles from reviewers (myself included), about some odd design and packaging decisions. Intel NUC D54250WYK New NUC: all …
Tony Smith, 2 Jan 2014
Apple Mac Pro

Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

Apple’s cylindrical computer, the Mac Pro, will finally go in sale tomorrow, the Cupertino giant has decided. Based on Intel Xeon chippery with up to 12 processing cores on board, up to 64GB of DDR3 ECC memory and a pair of AMD Radeon FirePro GPUs hooked up to 6GB of GDDR5 video memory in total, it’s hard not to be impressed …
Tony Smith, 18 Dec 2013
CSR10X0 Starter Development Kit

Bluetooth Smart dev board hits US, UK for sub-$100

Bluetooth chip maker CSR has what it hopes will be an attractive Christmas gift option for hardware hackers and makers: a low-cost development board for Bluetooth Smart applications based on µEnergy silicon. CSR is launching the product, the CSR10X0 Starter Development Kit today. The board comes with a full SDK for developing …
Tony Smith, 17 Dec 2013
Misfit Wearables Shine

Heart part more art than state-of-the-art: Shine wearable activity sensor

Review I’m not a fitness fan. I don’t jog and I’m more likely to be seen at the swimming baths picking up my kids after lessons than doing lanes myself. But with the big 5-0 coming close, and working as I do in a trade that has me sitting on my bum all day, I find I have a keener interest in my personal well-being than I did when I was …
Tony Smith, 12 Dec 2013
AllSeen Alliance

Open source bods magic up Qualcomm tech to unlock Internet of Things

The Linux Foundation has established an industry-wide initiative to create an accessible-to-all framework for the Internet of Things - or the “Internet of Everything”, as the Foundation now wants us to call it. Dubbed the AllSeen Alliance - sounds a bit Harry Potter or Terry Pratchett, no? - the organisation will do what no …
Tony Smith, 10 Dec 2013
Happy child at Christmas with a tablet

UK fondleslab surge slowing, says sales-sniffing specialist

British punters continue to favour fondleslabs, but all the signs are that the rocketing growth in sales seen in recent years is a ghost of Christmas past. Growth is, however, robust, according to GfK, a market watcher which tracks over-the-counter sales in the UK rather than shipments from vendors. The number of tablets …
Tony Smith, 10 Dec 2013
Facebook data center - server racks

WTF is... NFV: All your basestations are belong to us

Mobile network operators would have had an easier life if it wasn’t for smartphones and the flood of data traffic they initiated. Apps have led to a massive increase in the volume of data moving back and forth over phone networks - not just from users; the ads in free apps helped too - and operators are struggling to cope. And …
Tony Smith, 9 Dec 2013
Motorola MotoActv GPS fitness tracker

Bluetooth Smart to tap IPv6-powered Internet of Things after 4.1 upgrade

The brains behind Bluetooth have published a new version of the wireless peripheral specification which will, they claim, enhance the standard’s support for the very low-power gizmos that make up the Internet of Things. Bluetooth’s suitability for wearable kit, from smartwatches to health monitors and fitness gauges, will be …
Tony Smith, 5 Dec 2013

Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen jacks will be REVERSIBLE

USB is to get a new, smaller connector that, like Apple’s proprietary Lightning jack, will be reversible. Designed to support both USB 3.1 and USB 2.0, the new connector, dubbed "Type C", will be the same size as an existing micro USB 2.0 plug. That’s big improvement over existing USB 3.0 micro "Franken-connector" jacks which …
Tony Smith, 5 Dec 2013
Dead Rising 3

Desperate MS flaunts UNDEAD SPLAT TALLY to pep Xbox One fans

You have to feel sorry for Microsoft. Sales of its new, next-generation console, the Xbox One, have clearly so far failed to come close to those of Sony’s PlayStation 4. It seems the best it can do in the battle of the console stats is tell us how many hours Xboxers have spent on the thing. Insisting that Xbox One is “ …
Tony Smith, 4 Dec 2013
Quirky.com Spotter

Sensors and sensibility: Quirky’s Spotter multi-purpose monitor module

Review It sounds such a good idea: a compact, battery powered general-purpose sensor pod you can stick pretty much anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi network you have access to, and which will ping you temperature, humidity, sound, light and movement info over the internet to your smartphone. Quirky.com Spotter Quirky’s Spotter: internet- …
Tony Smith, 4 Dec 2013
Sony PS4

Sony brags: We've hit over 2 MEELLION PS4 console 'sales' worldwide

Proud-as-Punch PlayStation purveyor Sony has cheerfully revealed it has sold more than two million PS4s around the globe. The new-generation console went on sale in the States and Canada on 15 November, and in Europe and Australasia this past Friday. The first 24 hours saw “more than one million gamers” pick up one of the …
Tony Smith, 3 Dec 2013
Han Solo DL-44 blaster

What is thy bidding? Han Solo’s shooter goes under the hammer

Assuming you don’t put your faith in ancient weapons and hokey religions, your only option is to pack a good blaster at your side - and what better blaster than Han Solo’s very own DL-44? And now it could be yours, if you have at least $300,000 to spend. Yes, the 275mm long prop used by Harrison Ford and, it’s claimed, Mark …
Tony Smith, 3 Dec 2013
Sony PS4

Sony PS4 SHATTERS UK console sales SPEED RECORD

The PS4 is officially the UK’s fastest-selling games console. Ever. Numbers released to insiders yesterday by GfK Chart-Track, which monitors over-the-counter sales of games hardware and software using sales figures supplied by retailers (not manufacturers), show some 250,000 UK-based punters snapped up a PS4 during the first …
Tony Smith, 3 Dec 2013
Dragon 32 computer

El Reg Contraption Confessional No.1: The Dragon 32 micro

Cache in the Attic It's probably fair to say that we all have some old tech squirrelled away that we just can't bear to part with. It's not just sentimentality either, but practicality: it still works, why chuck it out? Here at Vulture Central we've our own collection of junk tech memorabilia that would make us a tad dewy-eyed if it should depart …
Tony Smith, 30 Nov 2013
Raspberry Pi

Build your OWN Apple iBeacon with a Raspberry Pi

Feature US department store Macy’s recently said it is implementing iPhone-based tracking tech the better to encourage browsing punters to buy. Of course, Macy has chosen to pitch this as an Apple technology - figuring, presumably, iPhone owners are more receptive to inducements delivered through technology and have more cash to splash …
Tony Smith, 29 Nov 2013
John Miller-Kirkpatrick

Britain’s forgotten first home computer pioneer: John Miller-Kirkpatrick

Archaeologic Too few people today remember John Miller-Kirkpatrick, the enthusiastic founder, owner, manager and technical director of Bywood Electronics. He died in December 1978 at the monstrously young age of 32, less than two years before the début of the Sinclair ZX80 and the start of the UK home computing boom – for which he had helped …
Tony Smith, 29 Nov 2013
iBuyPower Steam Box

Valve pal iBuyPower touts cut-price Steam box as powerful as PS4 or Xbox

Californian games PC maker iBuyPower has become one of the first vendors to take the wraps off an upcoming box based on Valve’s Steam OS. It is, of course, a high-end PC in a console-style box - which is, after all, what today’s next-generation games consoles are. It just happens to run Linux rather than Windows, though the …
Tony Smith, 26 Nov 2013
BBC 3D Day of the Doctor

BBC's 3D blunder BLASTED OUR BRAINS – Doctor Who fans

Does the BBC still dislike Doctor Who the way it did back in the 1980s? Its presentation on iPlayer of this past Saturday’s 50th anniversary special, Day of the Doctor, suggests it might do. The 3D version is giving us headaches and eye-strain, allege eager Whovians. The format chosen for streaming the show in a form suitable …
Tony Smith, 26 Nov 2013
Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung and HTC face Android 3D graphics test chart removal SHAME

Benchmark software operation Futuremark has said it believes Samsung and HTC have attempted to rig the results its graphics testing app, 3DMark Android, yields when run on four of the two manufacturers’ most popular devices. According to Futuremark, “when a device is suspected of breaking our rules it is delisted”. Among those …
Tony Smith, 26 Nov 2013

Xbox One FAILS to beat PS3 - yes, PS 3 - week one sales

Microsoft’s high profile Xbox One launch did not attract as many British punters as Sony’s PlayStation 3 notched up some six-and-a-half years ago, UK retail sources have revealed. The next-gen machine went on sale in the UK on Friday 22 November. Sales made by Britain’s biggest High Street and online retailers hit in the …
Tony Smith, 25 Nov 2013
Electric Imp

Little devil: Electric Imp is an Internet of Things Wi-Fi PC-ON-AN-SD-CARD

Review Most products’ origins are prosaic: an inventor or a suit spots a gap in the market and attempts to fill it. Other products, however, have rather more bizarre beginnings. A case in point: Electric Imp came about because co-founder Hugo Fiennes wanted to connect the lights in his new bathroom to the internet. That’s just the …
Tony Smith, 25 Nov 2013

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