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Microsoft wearable makes lazy lardies pay to play on the couch

Microsoft-backed academics have developed a internet-of-things wristband that will send donations to charity when exercise runs are missed. The punishing peripheral is a concept that the team reckons could be developed such that it will raid a lounge lizard's bank account whenever the gyro and body sensor instruments detect an …
Darren Pauli, 9 Sep 2016
The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

World eats its 10 millionth Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi has sold over 10 million units and has announced today a new Raspberry Pi Starter Kit to celebrate its achievements. Founder of the Raspberry Pi foundation and CEO of its trading arm, Eben Upton, said the original goal was to create a device that would attract more students to study Computer Science at the …

Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

Analysis Analyst outfit CCS Insight issued a report about the innovation crisis in smartphones this week – and Apple has done little to address this with an iPhone update quickly labelled as incremental. At its main annual product event, Apple implicitly acknowledged the failure of the smartwatch to take off by repositioning the second …

Nest offers its thermostat in three new pretty colors!

Smart home poster child Nest has responded to criticism about a lack of new products by... releasing its thermostat in three new colors. No ordinary new colors either: they are white, black and copper. Even better – they won't cost you a dime more than the existing silver thermostat. To be fair to the company, when we pointed …
Nine inch iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard

Apple killed OS X today and binned its $10,000 BlingWatch too

Amid all the glamour and excitement of the the iPhone 7 launch, Apple snuck out a few other nuggets, some of them a little unhappy. Reg readers administering Macs need to know that come September 20th Mac OS X is dead. It'll be replaced on that day by macOS Sierra and probably spur a download frenzy, accompanying social media …

Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

Apple held court in San Francisco on Tuesday to announce updates for the iPhone and Apple Watch lines. Speaking to a hand-picked crowd at the Bill Graham Auditorium (The Register was not invited), CEO Tim Cook showcased the annual updates for both the smartwatch and smartphone pieces of Apple's lineup. A very swimmable Apple …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Sep 2016

Intel Basis fans burned again: Refund checks for scalding smartwatches bounce

Refund checks promised by Intel after recalling its ill-fated wrist-burning Basis smartwatches are bouncing for some unlucky punters. Amid a global safety recall, Basis Peak owners in the UK were offered a £184 refund to turn in their troublesome armslabs. Unfortunately, Chipzilla's payouts, delivered via Western Union, are …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Sep 2016

Tesla driver dies after Model S hits tree

The driver of a Tesla Model S electric car has reportedly died in a crash in the Netherlands this morning – and firefighters on the scene were nervous about being electrocuted as they fought the fire. Firefighters were said to be wary of the car's batteries having short-circuited thanks to damage caused by the crash, in which …
shutterstock_57979207-missing-watch

Punters want heart-throbs, not brains, when thinking wrist-jobs

Basic wearables are what the people want, according to box-counter IDC. The firm's latest Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker suggests the world treated itself to 22.5 million wearables in the second quarter of 2016, and found that “Basic wearables (devices that do not support third party applications) grew 48.8 per …

QANTAS' air safety spiel warns not to try finding lost phones

Pic Your correspondent noted something odd during his flight to VMworld 2016 aboard Australian airline QANTAS: during the pre-flight safety briefing passengers were told to ask the crew for help if they lost their phones aboard the A380 and not, repeat not, to try to find it themselves. The Register asked QANTAS why it now makes …

Samsung Australia waves white phlag in phlaming phablet recall

Samsung Australia recalled all of the Galaxy Note 7 phablets-come-firelighters sold in Australia. Announced yesterday here, the recall will have the company scrambling to find 51,060 devices for replacement. The company had been working through the problem with its vendors to identify the “tiny problem in the manufacturing …
HDMI and USB cable

HDMI hooks up with USB-C in cables that reverse, one way

HDMI Licensing, the administrator of the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) spec, has decided that the time has come to do away with dongles and given the thumb's up to USB-C. “The HDMI cable will utilize the USB Type-C connector on the source side and any HDMI connector on the display side,” HDMI licensing says. “ …
Cortana on a Mac courtesy of Parallels 11

Appliance-maker Liebherr chillin' with Microsoft, prototyping another Internet fridge

Microsoft has added another wrinkle to an idea that refuses to die: the 'net-connected refrigerator. Thankfully, Redmond has skipped the idea of putting a browser on the fridge. Instead, drawing on Silicon Valley's conviction that everybody is a 23-year-old software developer who can't cook, clean house, or shop without help …
Intel Drone 100

Intel bags FAA pass to fly 100-strong drone armadas over US soil

Intel says recently passed United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations on commercial drone flights are helping it extend the public performances of its Drone 100 light show demonstration. Chipzilla has obtained a waiver from the US aviation regulator that will let it fly the massive drone show on American …
Shaun Nichols, 3 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 …

Google scraps its Project Ara modular smartphone wheeze

Google has suspended Project Ara, its plans to build a modular smartphone that allows users to customise their own mobile phones, Reuters reported today. The move is “part of of a broader push to streamline the company's hardware efforts”, according to two sources. The announcement comes months after the Chocolate Factory …

Paint your wagon (with electric circuits) but leave my crotch alone

Something for the Weekend, Sir? The contents of my pants are hot. Given recent experience, I would venture to say they’re even too hot to handle. Getting too close to those hidden quarters of the scorching Dabbs family jewels could cause one to swoon in a dead faint. I know this because my smartphone told me. Well, it didn’t actually tell me. And no, I don …

The survivors: Intel's Apollo Lake netbook CPUs stagger from Goldmont bloodbath

Amid the Kaby Lake noise this week, Intel slipped out six processors, codenamed Apollo Lake, for cheapo netbooks, tablet-laptop mutants and small PC boxes. These are 14nm low-power system-on-chips that use the x86 Goldmont architecture, and are branded Pentiums and Celerons. In April, Intel axed its Goldmont-based Broxton …

Crashing PC sales don't stop HP Inc releasing two new ones

HP Inc has announced two new PC desktops: the miniscule and modular Elite Slice, as well as the new Toblerone of IT, Pavilion Wave, as a domestic entertainment machine. Elite Slice is HP’s smallest desktop. A 6.5" square, it stands only 1.38 inches tall, at least before you add the stackable modules, and is cooled by a 360- …
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, 1 Sep 2016

BT boils over, blows off Steam, accuses Valve of patent infringement

UK telecoms goliath BT is suing games developer and publisher Valve, alleging the Steam service infringes multiple patents. In a complaint [PDF] filed with the Delaware district court, BT accused Valve of ripping off four technologies it has patented related to the operation of cloud services (in this case, Steam). This is the …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2016

Exploding phablet phears phorce Samsung Galaxy Note 7 delay

Reports of the new Galaxy Note 7 exploding while being charged has caused Samsung to halt shipment of the high-end "phablet." South Korean news agency Yonhap first reported that the company has halted delivery of the device after no fewer than five people complained about "explosions." Some shared pictures of their burnt-out …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Aug 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
Grid Compass production version

John Ellenby, British inventor of the first laptop, powers off

Obituary The creator of the world's first laptop, the GRiD Compass, has died at the age of 75 at his home in California. John Ellenby was born in the North of England in 1941 and educated at University College London, where he showed an early interest in computers. After a career designing mainframes he moved to the US, where he ended …
Iain Thomson, 30 Aug 2016
Sonos_Amazon_Echo_

Is there an Echo in here? An Echo in here? Good, says Sonos. Good

Listen up – Sonos is letting people control the music streamed to their speakers by giving voice commands to Amazon Echo and its Alexa personal assistant. Sonos is also developing Spotify integration, allowing folks to control their speaks from Spotify, plus there's an Airbnb Sonos listening initiative. Today, Sonos users …
Chris Mellor, 30 Aug 2016

Intel's makeshift Kaby Lake Cores hope to lure punters from tired PCs

Intel's stop-gap Kaby Lake processors – aka the seventh-generation Core family – will ship in laptops starting from September, we're told. According to Chipzilla, the first wave of the new Cores will appear in 10mm-thick notebooks and two-in-one convertible tablets aimed at small businesses and normal folk. The CPUs will …
Chris Williams, 30 Aug 2016
Dead battery

Microsoft releases firmware fix for faulty Surface Pro 3 batteries

Frustrated Surface Pro 3 customers unable to properly charge their batteries have been offered a fix by Microsoft. Last month Microsoft 'fessed up to its battery woes, saying they were down to software problems rather than a hardware fault. Some Surface Pro 3 devices have been working as long as the power is plugged in, but …
Kat Hall, 30 Aug 2016

$329 for a MacBook? Well, really a 'HacBook' built on an old HP

An outfit called “Hacbook” is channeling Psystar*, offering Mac OS laptops for US$329. The laptops are actually refurbished HP EliteBooks, with a 14-inch, 1600x900 display, Sandy Bridge i5 CPU, 802.11 a/b/g/n, up to 1TB of disk and 8GB of RAM. That's a spec Apple could have sold you in about 2013. “Looks like a Mac. Feels …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2016
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and Dell CEO Michael Dell at VMworld 2016

Michael Dell promises new EMC/Dell/VMware engineered systems

Vmworld Michael Dell today told VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas that as soon as the deal to acquire EMC closes “you will see a whole new series of engineered solutions we have been working on together.” The “we” is Dell, EMC and VMware, as Dell made the remarks while sharing a stage with VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. Dell, the man, didn't say …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2016

Apple sued over shoddy iPhone touchscreens

Apple is being sued by a class of former iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners who accuse the company of failing to address a design problem that caused the handset's touchscreen to malfunction. A complaint [PDF] filed in the Northern California US District Court accuses Apple of violating both California state and US federal laws for …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Aug 2016
Apple iPhone 6 and 6s

Touchy iPhone 6, 6 Plus chips prone to breaking down and giving up

Apple's swanky iPhones can suffer chip failures that can render the touchscreen unusable. This according to a report from DIY repair site iFixit, which says two controller chips on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus logic board can lose their electrical contacts, and when they go, the handset's touchscreen no longer works. The issue …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Aug 2016

Pow! Right in the Jawbone: Fitbit cleared in tech ripoff legal ordeal

An effort to ban health-tracking Fitbit gadgets in the United States has fallen apart, with a final decision against competitor Jawbone. Jawbone made two complaints to the US International Trade Commission (ITC) last year, one claiming that Fitbit has infringed its patents and a second that it stole trade secrets. If …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Aug 2016
Huawei P8

Huawei's pricey new Honor goes upmarket. Bold move when prices are sliding

Analysis Last year Huawei launched its Honor smartphone into Western markets: a cheap and cheerful way to showcase its advantages. Over in China, the Honor was about yoof, but over here, Huawei followed the well-trodden path by lower cost Asian manufacturers for decades: sell decent tech at low prices and urge the punter to overlook the …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 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

Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

Tesla has launched a new power pack that it claims will make its Model S sedan the third fastest road car ever produced. The electric car company announced the release of a new 100kWh battery that it claims will accelerate its highest-end Model S car from 0-60 in just 2.5 seconds and 0-100 in 2.7 seconds. That puts it just …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Aug 2016

If you want to build your own Nvidia-powered self-driving car – or hack one – here's a blueprint

Hot Chips Nvidia is channelling Thunderbirds legend Parker for its latest system-on-chip for self-driving cars. Two Parker processors are used in the PX 2 box we saw at the start of the year. This hardware adds a super-cruise-control to vehicles by hoovering up video feeds from onboard cameras and other sensor data, feeding it through …
Chris Williams, 23 Aug 2016

Microsoft's HoloLens secret sauce: A 28nm customized 24-core DSP engine built by TSMC

Hot Chips Microsoft today revealed a first look at the inside of its Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) chip used in its virtual reality HoloLens specs. The secretive HPU is a custom-designed TSMC-fabricated 28nm coprocessor that has 24 Tensilica DSP cores arranged in 12 clusters. It has about 65 million logic gates, 8MB of SRAM, and a …
Chris Williams, 22 Aug 2016

'Neural network' spotted deep inside Samsung's Galaxy S7 silicon brain

Hot Chips Samsung has revealed the blueprints to its mystery M1 processor cores at the heart of its S7 and S7 Edge smartphones. International versions of the top-end Android mobiles, which went on sale in March, sport a 14nm FinFET Exynos 8890 system-on-chip that has four standard 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A53 cores and four M1 cores running at …
Chris Williams, 22 Aug 2016
Falcon 9 raising

Gaze in awe at Elon Musk’s historic 156-foot erection

SpaceX has retired the first rocket it managed to land in one piece and erected the remains on Sunday outside the company's US headquarters. The 156-foot (47-meter) rocket is the first stage of SpaceX's Flight 20 launch, which touched down at Cape Canaveral last December. Since then, its innards have been removed and …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2016
Millennials snap pics of their food with smartphones for Facebook/Twitter/instagram. Photo by shutterstock

Honor 8: Huawei targets millennials with high-spec cheapie. 3 words – Food pic mode

Hands on Huawei might be the third biggest smartphone seller on the planet but it has very little traction outside Asia. The Chinese firm is hoping the Honor 8 will change that. The handset, which was launched in the US last week and will be formally launched in Europe at an event in Paris on Wednesday, is being aimed firmly at the …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2016
scanners

My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back

Something for the Weekend, Sir? It only takes a minute to capture a 3D model of my orifices. They tell me it’s the only way I can be sure of a tight fit. Perhaps I could order a hologram of my 3D orifices that I can hang on my living room wall. It would make a nice conversation piece for visitors to admire. "Isn’t it creepy how my orifices seem to follow …
Alistair Dabbs, 19 Aug 2016
Diver, image via Shutterstock

Windows Phone dives into irrelevant-like-BlackBerry territory

BlackBerry and Microsoft have continued their tumble down the mobile operating system market share charts, clocking in at just 0.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively. Microsoft's fallen especially hard: analyst firm Gartner had it selling 8.2 million phones for 2015's second quarter, for 2.5 per cent market share. The …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2016