Articles about Electronics

Statler and Waldorf - copyright - The Walt Disney company - the muppets studio

What will happen when I'm too old to push? (buttons, that is)

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I'd like you to consider my underwear. As we move inexorably towards another Christmas – for American readers, I understand you prefer the euphemism "Holiday Season" for its more generous syllable-count – close relatives have begun asking what gifts I might like to receive on the big day. What I want, of course, is toys. …
Alistair Dabbs, 21 Oct 2016

Wow, everyone loves our drives, says Seagate sitting on a pile o' cash

Seagate's latest quarterly revenues benefited from an upsurge in disk drive demand – but still declined slightly year-on-year. The biz managed to bank a five-fold increase in profits, though. Revenues for Seagate's first fiscal 2017 quarter, ending September 30, were $2.8bn, a 4.3 per cent decline from the year-ago's $2.92bn. …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2016
Antares rocket blows up

Galaxy Note 7 flameout: 2 in 5 Samsung fans say they'll never buy from the Korean giant again

Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 fiasco continues to erode the South Korean goliath's customer base. Two days ago, the electronics giant said it would stop selling the Note 7 after a series of fires arising from faulty batteries. It also advised Note 7 customers to stop using the device. Now, a survey conducted by ecommerce company …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Oct 2016

The exploding Note 7 is no surprise – leaked Samsung doc highlights toxic internal culture

A leaked presentation to Samsung executives has provided further insight into the company's damaged internal culture. The PowerPoint document focuses on strategies to prevent the creation of labor unions at the South Korean company and takes a very aggressive stance, treating employees as enemies and suggesting " …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Oct 2016

BT will HATE us for this one weird 5G trick

I cycle in London. It halves my journey time to the office and being nicer than sweating on the tube lets me substitute muscles for my Oyster. It also gives me a chance to think. One of the things I think about is how much I hate buses . They don’t mix with bikes. Having something which weighs twelve tonnes share road space …
Simon Rockman, 13 Oct 2016
Sony Morpheus prototype VR headset

Virtual reality is actually made of smartphones

The world didn’t pay much attention to the fifth anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death, back on the 5th of October. Perhaps that’s because we believe we’ve all moved on. But that’s less true than we believe, in both some very obvious and very non-obvious ways. First, the obvious: the smartphone is now undeniably the most …
Mark Pesce, 13 Oct 2016
Vodafone adds payment cards to mobile wallet

Europe loves to pay by bonk* - survey

Consumers use of a mobile device – either a smartphone, tablet or wearable – to make payments has tripled over the past year, according to a Visa-backed survey. The number of Europeans regularly using a mobile device for payments has tripled from 18 per cent to 54 per cent since 2015, according to the results of an online poll …
John Leyden, 12 Oct 2016
Galaxy Note 7 truck fire aftermath

Samsung puts out battery fire (no, not that one)

Samsung has received a welcome bit of news about its batteries that doesn't involve the words "fire" or "explosion." The Korean electronics giant has struck a settlement deal with Dell to drop allegations that it helped rig the price of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs for more than a decade. Samsung had been among a …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Oct 2016

Smell burning? Samsung’s 'Death Note 7' could still cause a contagion

Analysis Samsung’s rivals in the cut-throat flagship phone market shouldn’t pop open the champagne just yet. While in the short term, Sony, HTC and Google could see some upside from Samsung’s now-deceased “Death Note”, in the long term the market and the consumer benefit from a high margin leader. But it would be a dead cat bounce: a …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Oct 2016
War Games

Steve Jobs' thermonuclear showdown with Samsung reaches US Supreme Court

Steve Jobs’ “"thermonuclear war"” against Samsung over smartphones has landed in the US Supreme Court. The US's court of courts will hear oral arguments from both sides on Tuesday. The case was launched by Apple five years ago and seeks $399m over claimed iPhone patent infringement by the electronics giant. Samsung has …
Andrew Cobley, 10 Oct 2016
person twists another's arm. Photo by shutterstock

Brace yourself, Samsung: Activist investor Elliot's in an arm-twisting mood

Analysis Activist investor Paul Singer's Elliott Management is not shy about on taking on the world's biggest companies, and now it wants Samsung to bend to its will, splitting in two and paying shareholders an eye-watering $27bn. Elliott famously tried to seize an Argentinian war ship in its pursuit of a payout from the embattled …
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2016

Samsung's profits may not be as explosive as its products, says firm

Samsung Electronics has told investors to expect a modest increase in its operating profits between July and September this year, despite the costly recall of its new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. Profits for Q3 2016 are expected to have grown by more than 5.5 per cent to between 48tn and 50tn Korean won (£5.7bn), although actual …

Reseller offered $$$ for old tech gear – then stiffed thousands with suddenly lower quotes

US trade watchdog the FTC has terminated second-hand electronics reseller Laptop & Desktop Repair in Sparks, Nevada – after the biz shafted people out of millions of dollars. The company, operating under such names as,,, and, offered …
Iain Thomson, 06 Oct 2016

Google's home tat falls flat as a soufflé – but look out Android makers

Comment This year’s bid by Google to fill your home with its tat collapsed like a soufflé yesterday – but at least one part will have a huge impact. In the phone world, the impact of its Pixel brand on its partners will be huge. Google had hyped the consumer event as the biggest since Android’s launch, but since it added only one new …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Oct 2016

British trio win Nobel prize for physics

A trio of British scientists working in US universities have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics. The prize will be shared by David Thouless (82), Duncan Haldane (65) and Michael Kosterlitz (76) for their work on exotic states of matter. The men will share the 8 million Swedish kronor (£720,000) prize. Thouless …
Kat Hall, 04 Oct 2016
Nexus 5X

A year living with the Nexus 5X – the good, the bad, and the Nougat

Comment It has been nearly a year since the Nexus 5X smartphone was launched. On Tuesday, October 4, Google is expected to announce new smartphones – and possibly more – at an event in San Francisco. The new handsets won't be branded Nexus and won't have the clean, stripped-down version of Android that Nexii owners have come to expect …
Iain Thomson, 03 Oct 2016
Robot drives a car. Conceptual illustration from Shutterstock

Upstart bags $2.5m to help put the brakes on self-driving car hackers

Israeli car security startup Karamba Security has banked $2.5m in fresh investment, which it plans to use to extend its technology to autonomous vehicles. The tech will be geared towards protecting engine control units (ECUs) in robot cars from hackers and malware infections. Miscreants typically infiltrate a vehicle by first …
John Leyden, 30 Sep 2016
Giant Magellan Telescope

Top interview: Dr Patrick McCarthy – boss of the world's future largest optical telescope

Pics + vids Construction has now started on the Giant Magellan Telescope – which will be the world's largest optical viewing device mankind has ever built – using record-breaking mirrors and advanced electronics. Youtube Video The telescope, located high in the Chilean mountains, will be able to show us images with up to ten times the …
Iain Thomson, 30 Sep 2016

ZX Spectrum Vega+ will ship on time, developer claims amid doubts

Retro Computers, the biz behind the Sinclair-compatible ZX Spectrum Vega+ handheld console, is rebutting claims by critics that the gizmo will not be ready in time for its target launch date. Earlier this week, Retro Computers announced to the world that the ZX Spectrum Vega+ is to get an official launch on October, as …
Dan Robinson, 29 Sep 2016

Samsung: And for my next trick – exploding WASHING MACHINES

Samsung's bad month gets worse as the South Korean electronics giant warns that some of its washing machines may halt and catch fire. The tech giant says it is working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on a plan to fix top-loading washing machines prone to what Samsung terms "abnormal vibrations", or as the …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Sep 2016
HP 3D printer

HP Inc: No DRM in our 3D printers, we swear (unlike our 2D ones)

While HP Inc is getting a lot of flack over its DRM lockdown on 2D printing consumables, in the 3D world the company wants to address that it won't be setting the prices on consumables. Speaking at the 50th anniversary party for HP Labs, Tim Weber, global head of 3D materials for the firm, said that HP Inc would not be the …
Iain Thomson, 28 Sep 2016

6-in-10 punters return their self-destructing Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Just over three weeks after announcing a global Galaxy Note 7 recall, Samsung says six out of ten owners in the US and South Korea have returned their potentially exploding phablets. The numbers are even higher in Singapore, where 80 per cent of owners of the recalled devices have got around to swapping them. Samsung is still …
John Oates, 27 Sep 2016

Sinclair fans rejoice: ZX Spectrum Vega+ to launch October 20

Ageing fans of 1980s home computer games will soon be able to get their hands on Sir Clive Sinclair’s rebooted ZX Spectrum device, which is now set to be launched in October and available just in time for Christmas. The eagerly awaited Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+, which was bankrolled via crowdfunding site Indiegogo, is to get …
Dan Robinson, 27 Sep 2016
The Taj Mahal

You heard right: Huawei's making phones in Chennai

Asian tech giant Huawei is to start manufacturing smartphones in India next month, in a move that could signal China is starting to lose its shine as the world’s low-cost manufacturing sweatshop, with even native companies looking to expand elsewhere. Huawei, which is currently the world’s third largest maker of smartphones by …
Dan Robinson, 26 Sep 2016
Radbot teaser image by Damon Hart-Davis

Lean in and pivot: Even Steve Jobs didn't work alone, startup boy

Radbot In which Damon Hart-Davis talks about life as a tech entrepreneur and tells us about his product. I toiled in banking for circa 20 years, amongst other gigs, including at the much-loved Lehman Brothers (motto: “Where Vision Gets Bilked” or whatever) and RBS, and a previous fintech start-up of mine, though I’m also an …

WTF ... makes mobile phone batteries explode?

Explainer It has been a bad month for Samsung. Following the release of the dual-curved, 5.7 inch-screen, water-resistant Galaxy Note 7 phablet, the number of fires have increased thanks to its reportedly explosive battery. A number of lawsuits relating to alleged mobile phone combustion have since been filed. The Korean tech giant …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Sep 2016

TV industry gets its own 'dieselgate' over 'leccy consumption tests

The idiot box is smarter than it seems: a spat has broken out between America's Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Consumer Technology Association about the energy consumption of televisions. The NRDC reckons TV makers are configuring sets to perform well on government tests, while in the living room they become …

Apple guilty in iPhone ringtone patent rip-off battle with Sony, Nokia

Apple has been found guilty of patent infringement and told to pay $3m in damages. A jury in Delaware decided that the electronics giants did infringe a patent from MobileMedia Ideas – a holding company owned by Sony and Nokia – that covered the sound the iPhone makes when there is an incoming phone call. The decision brings …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Sep 2016
Mclaren F1 car with NTT logo

Apple wants to buy Formula 1 car firm McLaren – report

Updated Apple, the reassuringly expensive maker of iThings, is reportedly trying to convince Formula One racing car firm McLaren's execs to fall into line with a buyout. The Financial Times this afternoon claimed Apple is considering “a full takeover of McLaren or a strategie investment”, citing three people familiar with the …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Sep 2016

Latest F-35 bang seat* mods will stop them breaking pilots' necks, beams US

The American F-35 Joint Project Office says ejection seat and helmet modifications will stop emergency ejections from breaking petite pilots' necks. Pilots who weigh less than 62kg (9¾ stone, 136lb) are currently banned from flying the state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jet because an emergency ejection using the currently fitted …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Sep 2016

FBI overpaid $999,900 to crack San Bernardino iPhone 5c password

University of Cambridge senior research associate Sergei Skorobogatov has laid waste to United States Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) assertions about iPhone security by demonstrating password bypassing using a $100 NAND mirroring rig. FBI director James Comey made the claim during the agency's bid to defeat the password …
Team Register, 19 Sep 2016

iPhone 7's Qualcomm, Intel soap opera dumps a carrier lock-out on us

Analysis Love rat Apple two-times its long-suffering squeeze Qualcomm with dishy Intel – and it's going to keep the baby but only let some of us see it. Over a cheap bottle of chardonnay one dark night in Cupertino, Intel wooed Apple with flimsy promises. The pair felt a connection (around the 1.9GHz mark) after the iPhone maker opened …
Chris Williams, 18 Sep 2016
Privacy image

65 expert speakers reveal secure identity management solutions at Biometrics 2016

Promo Need to know to more about the role of biometrics, such as fingerprint, DNA, facial and iris recognition, in identity management? Sign up now for Biometrics 2016, three days of expert insight and discussion in the heart of London from 18 to 20 October 2016. You can get more information and sign up at Biometrics 2016 but here …
David Gordon, 14 Sep 2016
Samsung SUHD 5K TVs

Phones exploding in kids' hands, shares tanking – but it's not all good news at Samsung

Samsung is continuing to take a beating in the market as it staggers from the global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 handset. The Korean consumer electronics giant saw its stock price plummet 6.98 per cent on Monday to 1.46m Korean won per share. This resulted in roughly $15.9bn of value trimmed from Samsung's market cap on the …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Sep 2016

The Rise, Fall and Return of TomTom

Interview Yesterday TomTom announced seven new consumer products (eight if you count the two SatNav units) with four fitness and three navigation products, its highest High Street profile for some years. Corinne Vigreux Corinne Vigreux Tech pundits were preparing the last rites for the SatNav pioneer a few years ago, but it has …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Sep 2016
Galaxy Note 7 truck fire aftermath

Florida Man's prized jeep cremated by exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 is once again being blamed for causing a serious fire. A man in St Petersburg, Florida, claims that while charging inside his truck, the phablet combusted and caused a massive blaze that totalled his Jeep Grand Cherokee. Lydia Dornacher told Tampa Bay news station Fox 13 that she and her …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Sep 2016
UK pound crashes after Brexit

Brexit? We have heard of this, says Dixons Carphone CEO

The UK's vote to leave the European Union has not dampened UK shoppers’ gadget lust, according to Dixons Carphone, which has reported a four per cent year-on-year hike in Q1 sales for the 13 weeks ended 30 July. The consumer electronics and mobile tech borg, created in 2014, saw sales bounce across the entire group – led for …
Paul Kunert, 08 Sep 2016

Regulators, take note: Tencent is now Asia's biggest company

WeChat maker Tencent became Asia's highest-valued company today; not bad going for an app that launched long after well-established instant-messenger brands moved to mobile. Tencent reached a valuation of $256bn on the Hong Kong stock exchange, surpassing the market valuation of China Mobile. Samsung Electronics is valued at $ …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Sep 2016

Exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablets recalled immediately

Samsung Electronics has recalled its exploding new phablet model after an increasing number of miniature blasts – and their internal investigation discovered a "battery cell issue". Samsung had halted shipments of the Galaxy Note 7 earlier this week after a number of reports regarding the phablets catching fire. In a …

Cooky crumbles: Apple mulls yanking profits out of Europe and into US

Apple CEO Tim Cook may pull billions of dollars in profit out of Europe and bring them home to the US, less than a month after he vowed he wouldn't. In the aftermath of the massive €13 billion ($14.5 billion) back tax claim that the European Commission landed on the electronics giant and the Irish tax authorities, Cook has …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Sep 2016
An artist sketches with Yoga Book

Lenovo's tablet with a real pen, Acer's monster laptop, Samsung Galaxy S3 watch

IFA 2016 August 31st was press day one ahead of the IFA event in Berlin, which means vendors lining up to show off their latest efforts in (mainly) consumer electronics. Acer kicked off the madness, unveiling the "world's first laptop with a curved screen," though you should think twice before letting the 8 kg Predator 21X gaming …
Tim Anderson, 01 Sep 2016
Anker USB C cables

Ankers away! USB-C cables recalled over freakin' fried phone fears

Video Peripherals builder Anker has issued a recall after researchers found that one of its USB-C cables could potentially cause serious damage to connected hardware. Researcher Nathan K found that the Anker PowerLine USB-C cables (model A8185011) used an improper method of identifying themselves, presenting as a device. This, in …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Aug 2016

Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

Forcing Apple to pay the same tax rate as other companies will lead to the destruction of Europe, according to its not-entirely objective CEO Tim Cook. "This would strike a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to the principle of certainty of law in Europe," Cook said in a …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Aug 2016
Tim Cook, photo by JStone via Shutterstock

Tim Cook trousers $135m in Apple shares

Apple CEO Tim Cook is $135m richer this week after receiving 1.26 million shares in the electronics giant, immediately selling $36m worth of them. Cooky announced the share provision in an SEC filing [PDF]. It forms part of a deal where he will receive seven million shares in the company by 2021. Most of the shares were …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Aug 2016

Europe to order Apple to cough up 'one beeellion Euros in back taxes'

The European Commission (EC) will demand an additional €1bn ($1.12bn) from Apple in back taxes, according to Reuters. Back in 2014, the EC took issue with Ireland's tax arrangement with the electronics giant – Apple's European headquarters is in Dublin – and accused it of effectively allowing Apple to shelter tens of billions …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Aug 2016

Tech Data swings and misses Wall Street moneymen's target

Tech Data's latest quarterly financials show a distributor wrestling with “weaker than expected” IT spending and trying to dip into “pockets of demand” across Europe and the Americas. The world’s second largest tech wholesaler filed turnover of $6.4bn for Q2 of fiscal year 2017 ended 31 July. This was down three per cent as …
Paul Kunert, 25 Aug 2016
Arduino-powered VIVA vest

Vale, LOGO creator Seymour Papert, who taught us that code can be creative play

Back when dinosaurs ruled the Earth and I was a kid, I received the gift of a "100-in-1 Electronics Kit" that taught me the basics of electrical circuit design as I strung pre-cut wires between springy posts. At the very centre of this kit - its beating heart - a single transistor could be wired to work in an amplifier, or AM …
Mark Pesce, 25 Aug 2016

Stop lights, sunsets, junctions are tough work for Google's robo-cars

Hot Chips After cruising two million miles of public roads, Google's self-driving cars still find traffic lights, four-way junctions and other aspects of everyday life hard work. To be sure, the hardware and software at the heart of the autonomous vehicles is impressive. But it's just not quite good enough yet to be truly let loose on …
Chris Williams, 24 Aug 2016

Sharp's new CEO warns of job losses amid 'optimization'

The new CEO of Sharp Electronics has warned that there will be job losses at the consumer electronics company amid a broader restructure. Tai Jeng-wu now heads the company following the takeover by Foxconn for $3.8bn, which saw the giant take a 66 per cent ownership stake. The job losses have long been rumored, and Foxconn …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Aug 2016

Swiss firm shrugs in defeat as Avnet preps to swallow Premier Farnell

Swiss components distributor Dätwyler will not be filing a counter-bid to acquire British distributor Premier Farnell, after its last offer was trumped by Avnet. In a conference call with investors earlier this month, Dätwyler said it was "currently considering its options" about how it would respond to being out-bid for …