Articles about Mobile

Microsoft adds useful feature to PowerPoint. Seriously

Some crazy and terrible things have happened in 2016, but none can be more shocking than Microsoft PowerPoint adding a quite useful new feature for presenters. The ubiquitous slide presentation software has finally made a break with linearity. “Presenter was to create presentations—not simply slides,” wrote PowerPoint’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2016

Pokemon GO-ZILLA: Safety fears after monsters appear in Fukushima danger zone

Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co is upset that Pokemon Go players on the hunt for monsters are being lured into the Fukushima Nuclear Exclusion Zone. The fictional creatures were apparently spotted close to the destroyed Daiichi nuclear reactors by Tepco officials. The presence of the collectible cyber-animals could tempt …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jul 2016
shutterstock_mobile_theft_648

Anti-theft kill switches in smartphones just got a little less creepy

Some of the largest smartphone vendors and mobile carriers in the US say they have hit a milestone in the use of privacy-friendly anti-theft tools. The 16 members of the Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Committee said Tuesday that as of the end of the month, all smartphones they ship and activate in the US will not only be pre- …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016
Verizon corporate building

Verizon blames striking workers for dent in sales

Fresh from its $4.8bn acquisition of Yahoo!, Verizon says its sales dropped five per cent year-on-year in its latest quarter, the three months to the end of June. Essentially, US telecom giant's wireless and wireline revenues fell over the year-ago quarter. Here's a summary of VZ's Q2 2016 results: Revenues of $30.5bn were …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016

BlackBerry snips Alcatel label off a midrange biz 'Droid, sells it for $299

BlackBerry today took the wraps off its first phone of the year, the cryptically named DTEK50. As rumoured, BlackBerry has based its second Android phone on a reference design from TCL, which owns Alcatel, and "security hardened" it with BlackBerry's Android. BlackBerry also confirmed that a monoblock QWERTY Android was on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2016

Remix chomps Marshmallow, updates its Android for PCs

An imminent update to Jide’s Remix OS, for Android, is the first to be based on Marshmallow 6.0 and a bunch of UI enhancements. Remix OS brings what the industry euphemistically calls “desktop productivity” to Android: in other words, multitasking, overlapping windows, true keyboard and mouse support, and file management. …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2016

European privacy body slams shut backdoors everywhere

Europe's privacy body has reiterated its pro-privacy, anti-backdoor stance. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli has long expressed the view that “privacy versus security” is a false dichotomy. In 2015, he told a conference in Brussels that “the objective of cyber-security may be misused to …
Money down the drain

I'm good, I'm fine, solid quarter, real well ... pants Sprint as it limps past, spilling $300m

US telco Sprint says it is bringing in new customers by the boatload, despite another quarter in which its losses reached well into nine figures. The fourth-largest carrier in the US logged a net loss of $302m as it continues a campaign to rebuild its business model. For the first quarter of Sprint's financial 2016, ended …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2016
Liam Neeson Taken

Euro cops, Intel and Kaspersky slay Shade ransomware

A joint operation by Europol, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, Intel, and Kaspersky has seized the command and control servers for the Shade ransomware strain and published code that allows anyone hit by the malware to decrypt their files. Shade has been in circulation since 2014, and has predominantly targeted …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2016

Hans off! Ericsson unplugs CEO after gräsliga results

Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg has been unceremoniously dumped after another set of disappointing results. The Swedish telecoms' board unanimously decided to ditch their chief exec after he failed to meet analyst expectations, despite having slashed jobs and done his best to cut costs. He has been at the company for 28 years and …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jul 2016
a HUSKY DOG DIGS A HOLE ON THE BEACH. pHOTO BY shUTTERSTOCK

Tinder porn scam: Swipe right for NOOOOOO I paid for what?

Crooks on Tinder are using online safety as a lure to trick users into unwittingly paying for adult content. Automated spam bots masquerading as Tinder users are supposedly tricking other users of the mobile dating app into visiting a malicious third-party website to “verify their profiles”. “The spam bots instruct the user …
John Leyden, 25 Jul 2016

BlackBerry's licensing strategy looks smart – and a lot like Nokia's

Analysis BlackBerry didn’t show a new phone in New York City at its annual Security Summit last week, and CEO John Chen sounded a bit fed up that the assembled press corps kept asking about phones. But there was enough in his comments to glean how BlackBerry’s device strategy has evolved - and it’s following a familiar path taken by once …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2016

Yahoo! She said yes. Verizon confirms $4.8bn acquisition

Verizon has today confirmed it will splash out $4.83bn (£3.7bn) buying Yahoo, with the deal expected to close in the first financial quarter of next year. The telco was one of 40 suitors rumoured earlier this year to be interested, including Google parent Alphabet, Time and even Daily Mail parent DMG. Yahoo! has been on a …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016
Man in a suit drinking tea out doors reading from his tablet

Huawei big, margins slimmer

Huawei revenue rose 40 per cent over the first half 2016, from the same period a year ago, although the employee-owned company didn’t disclose its profits. Revenue was declared at ¥245.5bn ($36.6bn) for the first six months of 2016. Margins were lower, at 12 per cent, down from 18 per cent. Huawei has increased its consumer …
Team Register, 25 Jul 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Not-BT-Openreach' biz CityFibre sextuples pipeline

Cable-layer CityFibre has booked a six-fold increase in contracts during its first half of 2016, with £53.8m in the pipeline compared with £8.1m for the same period last year. New contracts signed in the period comprise 3,702 new customers, more than three times the total amount on the books in 2015 (1,110), and more than …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016

How to make the move from ISDN to SIP

ISDN is fast becoming a technology of the past. Today's telcos have networks that bypass traditional telephony signalling technologies for IP networks: the hardest thing they do is present a “legacy” connection such as an analogue line or an ISDN connection to a customer, as layering a non-IP service on an IP network is non- …
Dave Cartwright, 25 Jul 2016
Cookie Monster

BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

Last week the BBC launched a mobile app, called BBC+, delivering “customisable content collections” to your phone or tablet. It’s a personalised service which requires an email address. Last year, when the corporation announced its plans for personalised services, it made several data protection promises. Specifically, Phil …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2016
The hit augmented reality smartphone app "Pokemon GO" shows a Pokemon encounter overlain on a real world trail in the forest in Santa Cruz, California. Photo by Matthew Corley for Shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY!.

I don't like Mondays, Pokemon, Twitter or Facebook – Sir Bob Geldof

RSA Asia Activist pop star Sir Bob Geldof hates Pokemon Go, Facebook and Twitter, has never bought anything online, and uses a Nokia 3100 which he says avoids the need for mobile security. Sir Geldof Sir Bob and his Nokia relic. The muso and Irish punk-now-pop icon took aim at the meaningless obsessions of the modern world during a …
Darren Pauli, 25 Jul 2016
Phone Booth

Mobile broadband now cheaper than wired, for 95 per cent of humanity

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has released the 2016 edition of its Facts and Figures (PDF) on technology adoption, and among the many data points it contains is an odd concentration of connected “things” in countries with Fjords. Sweden handily tops the table of nations when one counts machine-to-machine …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jul 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

Verizon tipped to buy Yahoo! for US$5bn

Markets are bracing for a Monday puzzle: why on earth does Verizon think it is worth spending US$5bn on Yahoo!? Financial news outlets are alive with people-familiar-with-discussions-fed reports that Verizon and Yahoo! have stopped flirting with anybody else and will soon announce that each has a nice new toothbrush in the …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jul 2016
Password

US standards lab says SMS is no good for authentication

America's National Institute for Standards and Technology has advised abandonment of SMS-based two-factor authentication. That's the gist of the latest draft of its Digital Authentication Guideline, here. Down in section 5.1.3.2, the document says out-of-band verification using SMS is deprecated and won't appear in future …
phishing_648

Clash of Kings hack: 1.8m hit

The forums for hit mobile game Clash of Kings have been hacked, with 1.6 million usernames, email addresses, IP addresses and access tokens swiped, apparently. Account passwords were also taken but they were stored salted and hashed, we're told. The forums have since been taken offline for "maintenance." Clash of Kings is …
Team Register, 23 Jul 2016
android_money_648

Samsung: You won't settle? Fine, we'll do this the Huawei

Samsung has filed a countersuit against Huawei in China over allegations of patent infringement. The South Korean electronics behemoth filed allegations of infringement on six patents it holds in China. According to filings seen by Reuters reporters in Beijing, the Samsung claim would seek to collect 161 million yuan (around …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2016
Giant Pikachu Pokemon balloon flown at the 89th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Columbus Circle. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. Photo credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock.com

OneDrive go for Pokemon Go

Continuing its commitment to adding features nobody asked for, Microsoft has added Pokemon detection to OneDrive. The Redmond giant screenshots from Pokemon Go uploaded to OneDrive accounts will now be automatically detected and labeled as coming from the game as well as the Pokemon that appear in the shots. "A lot of players …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2016
Yodas

Microsoft's 3D Jedi phone explored

A never-released Microsoft phone has surfaced, providing a glimpse of how Redmond's designers proposed to evolve touch-based user interfaces. The "McLaren" phone, which was cancelled just months before its scheduled launch in 2014, responded to 3D "Jedi"-like gestures, which subsequently surfaced in the "Mix View" patent …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jul 2016
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer runs out this Friday, 29 July 2016, one year after the initial release, and a few days before the Anniversary Update. "This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – …
Tim Anderson, 22 Jul 2016

World religions stake out positions on Pokemon Go

Pokemon’s potential for precipitating the end of civilization has been starkly highlighted as the world’s major religions begin to take up positions on the game which sees grownups wandering the planet in pursuit of non-existent entities. Time reports that Saudi clerics have taken a stand against the game, reiterating a pre- …
Joe Fay, 22 Jul 2016
Woman looking sceptical. photo by shutterstock

They kept that quiet. PC sales via distributors DID rise in Q2

It is a Friday and El Reg is pleased to be able to answer the burning question on the lips of readers across the land - just how did PC sales via distribution do in the second quarter? They went well. Though retailers and wholesalers bought in stock conservatively, as recorded by Gartner and IDC, channel analyst Context …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016
shutterstock_184661174

Oh dear, Vodafone: Sales dip in UK

Sales at Vodafone in the UK dropped 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of its financial year to €1.84bn (£1.5bn) - with the biz pointing to issues with its new billing system. Overall revenue dropped by 4.5 per cent to €13.37bn (£11.2bn), with sales in Europe also dipping by 3.5 per cent to €8.7bn (£7.3bn). The biz blamed its …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

AT&T: Money? Oh, sure, no I'm fine – I'm doing great (if you ignore my phone business)

AT&T says wireless revenues are down in what was an otherwise solid quarter for the US telecom giant. Its second quarter of 2016 [PDF] period was, overall, a success thanks to solid returns from the newly-acquired DirecTV. They were, however, tempered by falling revenues in other areas. Quarterly revenues were $40.5bn, up 22 …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016

Apple Watch craze over before it started: Wrist-puter drags market screaming off a cliff

Smartwatch shipments are in freefall thanks to slowing sales of the Apple Watch. Research house IDC says that year-over-year shipments were down 32 per cent in the past quarter, with Apple far and away taking the biggest hit as its Watch shipments fell an eye-watering 55 per cent from last year. Analysts say that the drop is …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016

Verizon kicks its punters

Verizon won't be winning over too many customers with its latest moves. The US telco giant has pushed out policies that will likely prove unpopular with both mobile and land-line customers. On the mobile side, Verizon is planning to disconnect "unlimited" data customers that slurp upwards of 100GB per month on their 4G LTE …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016

GOP delegates suckered into connecting to insecure Wi-Fi hotspots

A Wi-Fi hack experiment conducted at various locations at or near the Republican National Convention site in Cleveland, US, underlines how risky it can be to connect to public Wi-Fi without protection from a VPN. The exercise, carried out by security researchers at Avast, an anti-virus firm, revealed that more than 1,000 …
John Leyden, 21 Jul 2016
Newsroom

Semiconductor $s to fall

Worldwide semiconductor spending is forecast to shrink by 0.7 per cent to $64.3bn, according to the data druids at Gartner. Economic instability, inventory excess, and crappy demand for PCs, tablets and mobile phones over the past three years have taken a toll on growth prospects. ® Newsroom
Paul Kunert, 21 Jul 2016

Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps

In the same month Microsoft announced its alpha WebRTC-based Skype for Linux client, Redmond has put that native app and the native OS X Skype client on an end-of-life list. This is because Skype is being rebuilt to replace its peer-to-peer architecture with cloud-centric code that supports Windows, iOS, Android and web …
Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego

What do you call a spreadsheet with decent numbers for a change? qualcomm_q3_2016.xlsx

Qualcomm is crediting strong sales in China and an infusion of back royalty payments for a better-than-expected quarterly return. The California-based mobile chip designer said that it was able to turn around a lacking performance last quarter thanks to improved licensing revenues from smartphone sales. Additionally, Qualcomm …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016

Everyone's favorite infosec biz – Blue Coat – must cough up $40m to rival in patent rip-off row

Blue Coat has lost its appeal challenging a nearly $40m patent infringement lawsuit brought by rival security company Finjan. The California Northern District Court upheld the 2015 jury decision awarding $39,528,487 to Finjan for infringement by Blue Coat on five of its patents: 6,804,780 identifying downloadable files 6, …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2016
walking_fingers

TalkTalk: 9,000 broadband customers did the walk walk last quarter

UK ISP TalkTalk has confirmed 9,000 customers abandoned its broadband services in the first three months of fiscal '17 ended June – and that overall group sales were pretty much flat on the prior year period. The provider did not release the exact turnover for the period - that comes at the half way point of the year - but it …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2016
Woman holds up PBX phone in office. Pic by Shutterstock

Really Scary Telecoms Stuff? Nah – telephony's just an app

In 2009, I moved to Jersey to become the network and telecoms manager for a multinational company. It was tremendous fun, as I had a variety of kit to play with. I tended to favour the Mitel 3300 ICP range (still do, actually) that supported about half of our offices, and I did the various engineer courses and exams for the …
Dave Cartwright, 20 Jul 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

South Korea mulls TREEELLION-Won fine for Qualcomm

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has Qualcomm in its sights again, telling the Korea Times the company could be up for a trillion-won fine (nearly US$880 million) over anti-trust violations. The fine (which would set a KFTC record) concerns an ongoing dispute in South Korea over how Qualcomm levies royalties for its …
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Analysis All eyes were on Microsoft's cloud business today as it published its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Amid the numbers, Redmond boasted that its Azure revenues from the quarter were up 102 per cent year-on-year – we estimate the cloud service's revenue to be about $800m in total for the period. Meanwhile, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Apple patent drawing

Shock: Apple patents the phone book

Apple has been granted a patent that suggests its future MacBooks will come with built-in phone hardware, giving the notebooks mobile broadband connectivity. The patent, granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, describes a method for embedding high-speed LTE hardware into the shell of a notebook computer, using the …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jul 2016

BlackBerry chief: We don't have to make phones to make phones

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said his company has an internal project to bring Android security up to the level of its BlackBerry 10 platform, which should bear fruit after the release of Android N. He also hinted at a future based around brand and technology licensing. "We have a tremendous amount of technology. We can stay in …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jul 2016
News room with blur motion effect

Pokemon Go driver woes

A worrying minority of drivers freely admit to using their smartphone while behind the wheel. According to a new survey by used car specialists HPL Motors, more than one in five people have used a non-hands-free mobile phone to take a call or text whilst driving. A second survey revealed that more than one in 10 people had …
John Leyden, 19 Jul 2016

Guilt by ASN: Compiler's bad memory bug could sting mobes, cell towers

A vulnerability in a widely used ASN.1 compiler isn't a good thing: it means a bunch of downstream systems – potentially mobile phones and cell towers – will inherit the bug. And an ASN.1 bug is what the Sadosky Foundation in Argentina has turned up, in Objective Systems' software. The research group's Lucas Molas says …
A burning dumpster

Dying! Yahoo! writes! off! half! of! the! $1bn! it! paid! for! Tumblr!

Yahoo! fell short of already-low expectations as the shriveling internet icon continues to limp towards its impending sale. CEO Marissa Mayer had no update on the Purple Palace's quest for a buyer, but said the company was still working on the sale of its core business. "In addition to our efforts to improve the operating …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jul 2016
Opera singers

Opera sells open-source Chromium browser for $600m to Chinese bods

Opera will sell its web browser technology to Chinese investors for $600m after a larger sale worth $1.2bn fell apart. The Norwegian company said in a filing to the Oslo Børs stock exchange that it had agreed to an arrangement that will see the Chinese-backed Golden Brick Capital Management private equity fund take control of …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2016
Ruby slippers from wizard of Oz

We ain't in 1996 anymore, Dorothy: SQL Server 2016 proves it

Microsoft has had a database since 1989, initially working with Ashton-Tate and Sybase to create a variant of Sybase SQL Server for IBM’s OS/2. But it wasn’t until 1995 that Microsoft really got serious with SQL Server 6 for Microsoft’s rock-solid server operating system Windows NT. Back then, however, engines like SQL Server …
Mark Whitehorn, 18 Jul 2016
Woman at gym lifts weights with arms. Photo by Shutterstock

Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Brit-tech success poster child ARM holdings is to be acquired by Japanese telecom multinational Softbank. ARM, whose chip designs drive the majority of the world’s smartphones, is under offer for a remarkable £24.3bn - a premium of 43 per cent over current stock price. Softbank, whose last yearly revenue totalled 19.5 …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Jul 2016
Man loads in blanket into the washing machine. Photo by Shutterstock

Facebook and Google show how the world really will be blanketed in 5G

Facebook has outdone even Google recently, in its efforts to shake up the mobile industry and accelerate the delivery of broadband services (and its revenue generators) to the entire planet. This is no longer just about using balloons and new spectrum to push affordable wireless access to underserved communities. It is about …
Wireless Watch, 18 Jul 2016