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Remember those stupid hoverboards? 500,000+ recalled in the US after they started exploding

Vid Half a million hoverboard users should hotfoot it to the hardware's makers and get a replacement, lest they go up in flames. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued recall notices against 10 manufacturers and retailers for 501,300 self-balancing scooters aka hoverboards. The lithium-ion batteries powering the gizmos …
Iain Thomson, 7 Jul 2016
A group of people hold out mobile phones in a circle. Photo by Shutterstock

The truth about Silent Circle's super-secure, hyper-privacy phones: No one's buying them

It seems that the Blackphone, the handset created by Silent Circle and Spanish firm Geeksphone, isn't as popular as its makers would like. Geeksphone has sued [PDF] its erstwhile partner for $5m in a New York court, claiming that disappointing hardware sales have crippled the partnership and left the Switzerland-based Silent …
Iain Thomson, 6 Jul 2016
AMD Radeon RX 480 card

AMD promises code fix for power-hungry Radeon RX 480 GPU

AMD says it will soon release a software update for its Radeon RX 480 graphics card to stop it slurping unexpectedly large amounts of power. The world's "other" purveyor of x86 and GPU chips says it will distribute the update later this week, but in the meantime it does not believe any motherboards are at risk for damage from …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Jul 2016
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Huge double boxset of Android patches lands after Qualcomm disk encryption blown open

Google has released two bundles of Android security patches this month: a smaller one to handle bugs in the operating system, and a larger package that tackles a raft of driver-level issues, particularly with Qualcomm's hardware. The first tranche of patches includes eight critical, 11 high severity, and nine fixes that are …
Iain Thomson, 6 Jul 2016

So. Farewell then, BlackBerry Classic. You were a classic ... of sorts

BlackBerry has confirmed it won’t make any more BlackBerry Classics, marking the end of an era. US Senate staff were told BlackBerry was ceasing production of all BB10 devices but BlackBerry denies this, and insists that only the Classic production line has halted for good. “It has been an incredible workhorse device for …
Image by Iterum http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-591613p1.html

Gigabyte BIOS blight fright: Your megabytes’ rewrite plight in the spotlight

Gigabyte has been swept into turmoil surrounding low-level security vulnerabilities that allows attackers to kill flash protection, secure boot, and tamper with firmware on PCs by Lenovo and other vendors. Unconfirmed reports suggest the hardware vendor has used the "ThinkPwn" vulnerable code, thought to be born of Intel …
Darren Pauli, 6 Jul 2016
Huawei P9 camera lenses

Huawei: Our fake phone camera pic shame

Huawei is under fire after admitting a photo it supposedly took with one of its phones was actually snapped using an expensive digital camera. The (since deleted) image was posted to Huawei's Google+ page and was presented as having been taken with the P9, an Android-equipped smartphone that carries a pair of on-board 12Mp …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Jul 2016

Obi Worldphone MV1: It's striking, it's solid. Aaaand... we've run out of nice things to say

Review Oh, Obi. With your striking Nordic vibe, and Cyanogen OS, we did so want to like you. San Francisco newcomer Obi has released its first Western phone into the UK, and it’s is an expression of what the startup is all about: making budget Androids that don’t look budget at all. Designed by Beats headphone and Apple industrial …
Gold Plate My BlackBerry Passport

New phones rumoured as BlackBerry cans BB10 production

Federal government staff in Washington DC have their own private underground metro system but they might not be getting any more BlackBerrys. A recently uncovered memo appears to tell United States Senate staff they’ll no longer be equipped with the once ubiquitous BlackBerry phones because they are to be discontinued. The …

ZTE Axon 7: A surprise flagship contender

Hands On Few people would have placed ZTE as being in the flagship Android race this year in Europe, but its Axon 7 makes it a surprising and strong contender. You'll know the script by now: buy a Chinese manufactured Android, get top-of-the-range features, and save £100-150 over a big brand HTC, Samsung or Sony flagship. Or even more …

One in 200 enterprise handsets is infected

If your enterprise has 200 mobile devices at least one is infected, so says security firm Skycure The Palto Alto firm has uncovered previous nasty Apple bugs, including the No iOS Zone flaw reported by El Reg last year. All told about three percent of the locked-down vanilla Cupertino devices are infected, the company says in …
Darren Pauli, 4 Jul 2016
A cute cat in a jumper waves goodbye.... Pic via Shutterstock

Android tablets too bitter a pill for Dell

Dell is getting out of the Android tablet market, citing oversaturation and weak overseas demand for a decision to quit offering the operating system on its Venue tablets. The company will also take its Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect stick computer off the shelves. Its response to all comers is to say the market is …

Cracking Android's full-disk encryption is easy on millions of phones – with a little patience

Android's full-disk encryption on millions of devices can be cracked by brute-force much more easily than expected – and there's working code to prove it. Essentially, if someone seizes your Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered phone, they can potentially decrypt its file system's contents with a friendly Python script without knowing …
Iain Thomson, 1 Jul 2016
The first RAF F-35B Lightning II to land in the UK. Crown copyright

Lightning strikes: Britain's first F-35B supersonic fighter lands

The first of the Royal Air Force's new F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jets landed on British soil last night, heralding a new era for the Royal Air Force. The supersonic Lightning II, as it will be known in RAF service, was flown across the Atlantic by RAF Squadron Leader Hugh Nicols, in the company of two US Marine Corps F-35Bs …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Jun 2016
Value pack of two tins of Spam

Amazon slashes mobe prices to get more eyes on lockscreen ads

Amazon has slashed the cost of its mobile handsets in return for customers eyeballing more personalised spam – its latest attempt to foist more e-commerce tat on consumers. The deal is open to Amazon Prime members who will have to sign up to "personalized offers and ads displayed on the phone's lockscreen." Customers will be …
Kat Hall, 30 Jun 2016

Honey, why are porno apps on your Android?! Er, um, malware did it!

Security researchers are warning about the continuing spread of Hummer, a powerful trojan that roots handsets, downloads pornographic applications, and displays pop-up ads at random intervals. Hummer first came up on the logs of Cheetah Mobile's security team in August 2014, but spent eight months in obscurity before starting …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jun 2016
axon 7

ZTE flagship elbows aside Xiaomi

Xiaomi was expected to be the biggest arrival into the European phone market this year, but ZTE may have just grabbed the laurels. While Xiaomi is entangled with IP worries, delaying a European push, ZTE has steamed in with an attractive Android flagship, the Axon 7 - launched this week in Paris this week - one that you can …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jun 2016
Woman motorist waves from a red car. Photo by Shutterstock

What Brexit means for you as a motorist

The UK has voted in favour of leaving the European Union and in the past few days the markets have reacted violently, plunging the pound to its lowest level against the US dollar since the mid-1980s. Nobody’s really sure what the future holds for the UK or for its economy, but the referendum result has gone against the wishes …
Ryan McElroy, 29 Jun 2016
Vuture Velo cycling jersey

Magnetic, heat scanners to catch Tour de France electric motor cheats

Extra technology is being wheeled out for this year's Tour de France to scan bikes for hidden electric engines. In the past few years, there have been several cases of cyclists concealing small battery-powered motors in the tubes of their velocipedes to give a bit of extra speed during competitions. To protect the integrity …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jun 2016
Angus Young of AC/DC

Thunder struck: Apple kills off display line

Apple has ended production of its line of Thunderbolt monitors. The Cupertino idiot tax racket says that it will no longer be making the display available after its current stock is sold out in Apple stores and online. Apple debuted the Thunderbolt display in 2011, pushing the screen as a reason for users to adopt its new …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2016
Mega processor cables

Holy Crap! Bloke finishes hand-built CPU project!

Have you ever seen an up-close view of how a computer processor works? If you're in the UK, you can head over to Cambridge and see the process firsthand, thanks to the work of Reg friend James Newman, who has finally finished constructing his 16-bit masterpiece, the Mega Processor. You may remember the story of James and his …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2016
Raspberry, image via Shutterstock

Raspberry Pi 3 tops SBC poll for self-brew hackers and Linux folk

The 64-bit Raspberry Pi 3 has topped a poll of 81 single-board Linux and Android systems among Linux folk. The 2016 Single Board Computer (SBC) Survey saw the Raspberry Pi 3 slide into the number one slot ahead of the Odroid-C2 and BeagleBone. A Raspberry Pi 2 topped the SBC poll in 2015, only this time organisers reckoned …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Jun 2016
Woman uses headphones with her iPhone. Photo by Shutterstock

Speaking in Tech: We don't need Jack – sound off on Apple rumours

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week Sarah Vela and Ben Kepes carry our weekly tech world roundup podcast, where they discuss Dockercon, AWS, Musk and Apple headphones. Their special guest this week is Andrew Hillier, CTO and co-founder of Cirba. Here are the subjects – helpfully indexed for your …
Team Register, 22 Jun 2016
shutterstock_184661174

Dell tempts hordes with MASSIVE DISCOUNTS on PCs

Dell is charming PC punters with a promo and the reaction is much the same as that of the ambassadors' guests when they were handed spherical balls of hazelnut goodness in the Ferrero Rocher ads. A Reg reader who is helping to prop up the PC industry by buying one, chanced upon the latest hot promo for an Inspiron 15 5000 …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jun 2016
European flag with sad face

Intel still chip, chip, chippin' away at the European Commission's anti-trust fine

Intel's rearguard action to avoid a billion-Euro-plus fine continued this week in a Luxembourg court, with the company arguing that the 2009 European Commission penalty was unfair. The ancient spat – it began with an October 2000 complaint by AMD – concerns whether or not rebates Intel paid to OEMs to use its processors …

Meet the 1,000 core chip that can be powered by an AA battery

Six years after University of Glasgow researchers first achieved the feat, an American university has demonstrated a 1,000 core processor. While Glasgow used a FPGA, the “kilocore”silicon produced by the University of California Davis’ VLSI* Computation Lab differs by putting 1,000 independently programmable cores on a single …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jun 2016
James Bond submarine Lotus Esprit car

How's your driving, Elon? Musk tweets that Tesla Model S 'floats'

It seems Elon Musk's transformation into James Bond – albeit Alan Partridge's favourite* 007, Roger Moore – is now complete. Musk tweeted this week that the $70,000 (£48,000) Tesla Model S "floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time." He added: "Am still planning to do a sports sub car that can drive …
Kat Hall, 20 Jun 2016
Nine inch iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard

Apple's 'lappable' iPad Pro concept is far from laughable

Road test “Lapable” is not a word I would ordinarily use, save for the fact that Apple’s applied it to the new iPad Pro nine-incher. The horrid word is an admission that the smaller iPad Pro is not a strong contender as a laptop replacement, but can do the job when required. And in my experience, a very decent job once you take the leap …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2016
game

Get-rich quick trick Twitch snitch: Bots sued for fake video views

Gameplay video streaming biz Twitch has had enough of bots on its network and, after failing to find a lasting tech solution, has started throwing sueballs instead. Bots have become a big problem for Amazon-owned Twitch and its users. The software agents are used to hit up players' online channels and artificially inflate …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jun 2016
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Apple faces Beijing blackout for iPhone 6

Apple has lost a patent infringement lawsuit that could see the iPhone booted from China's capital. The Beijing Intellectual Property Office this week ruled that Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ripped off patented designs held by Chinese smartphone maker Shenzhen Baili, which flogs a handset called the 100C. Apple has appealed …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016

FBI's iPhone paid-for hack should be barred, say ex-govt officials

The FBI's purchase of a hack to get into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone should not have been allowed. That's according to a new paper from two former US government cybersecurity officials, Ari Schwartz and Rob Knake. In their paper [PDF] they dig into the current vulnerability equities process (VEP), disclosed in 2014, …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jun 2016
Credit card theft

You Acer holes! PC maker leaks payment cards in e-store hack

Acer's insecure customer database spilled people's personal information – including full payment card numbers – into hackers' hands for more than a year. The PC maker has started writing to customers [PDF] warning that their personal records were siphoned off from its online store by crooks between May 12, 2015 and April 28, …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016

Apple and Android wearables: What iceberg? It’s full steam ahead!

Many analysts were expecting big improvements to Apple’s watchOS platform last week. Just like they were expecting big announcements around Android Wear last month. But nothing much happened. “It's not the ground-breaking revamp many were hoping for,” CCS Insight’s George Jijiashvili wrote of Wear 2.0, describing the tweaks as …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jun 2016
SpaceX

SpaceX winning streak meets explosive end

SpaceX's winning streak came to an explosive end with one of its rockets blowing up during its attempted landing. The Falcon 9 rocket has - as its name suggests - nine rockets to take off, but uses just three to land. One of those failed to deliver full thrust on landing, causing it land very hard on the company's drone ship …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jun 2016
Hank Scorpio from The Simpsons

Microsoft splashes Virtual Reality-slinging 'Scorpio' Xbox

Microsoft has unveiled its entry into the VR gaming space with a souped-up Xbox One console dubbed "Project Scorpio." Set for release in late 2017, Redmond says that the VR-ready model will be on shelves in time for the holiday shopping season. Though Microsoft is not providing many details on the new Xbox, the company says …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2016
Pretty woman looks miffed. Copyright: Danil Nevsky via Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=149618984&src=id

Google doesn’t care who makes Android phones. Or who it pisses off

Analysis Google could use defeat in the Oracle case to take Android proprietary, reckons analyst Richard Windsor, who thinks development for this watershed event is already well underway, as we reported last week. Google would then be able to bring the ecosystem up to date much more quickly than it does today. Last year’s Marshmallow …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jun 2016
Apple Store SoHo NYC

Thief dresses as Apple Store drone, walks off with $16,000 in iGear

A thief in New York City was able lift more than $16,000 worth of Apple merchandise by dressing up as a store employee. The brazen bloke walked into the SoHo Apple Store location at around 5.30PM on June 1, and took 19 iPhones from the store without being detected. His clever disguise? A blue t-shirt that police said was " …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Dell slips into a slimmer red dress after sales diet

Dell had an unremarkable Q1 of fiscal 2017, with its parent Denali Holding Inc today reporting revenues down 2 per cent year on the year to $12.5bn, but greatly reduced operating losses, trimmed 52 per cent from $335m to $161m. The company burned through $63m in cash in the three months ended April 29 but this pointed to " …
Drew Cullen, 10 Jun 2016

Microsoft offers Surface-as-a-Service from its own stores

First Microsoft turned Office into software-as-a-service. It's currently transforming Windows into Windows-as-a-service. And now it's decided that its Surface Pro typoslab should become Surface-as-a-service, to help businesses buy more of the hybrid machines. Surface-as-a-Service, or "Surface Membership" to use its proper name …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
Slippery slope sign

PC market sinking even faster than first thought, thanks to Windows 10

The abacus-shufflers of analyst firm IDC have revised their 2016 PC sales forecasts downwards. The firm now says PC shipments “... are forecast to decline by 7.3% year over year”. That's “roughly two per cent below earlier projections as conditions have been weaker than expected.” The firm names “weak currencies, depressed …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
Lenovo Phab2 Pro Tango phone

It takes two to Tango: Lenovo bets on phabs, snap-on smartphones

Lenovo hopes its new smartphones and new phablets will help reverse its tumble in the mobile market. The Chinese computing giant took the stage in San Francisco Thursday to unveil its long-awaited Phab 2 family – which includes its Google Project Tango-enabled phablet – as well as a revamped line of Moto Android smartphones. …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2016
US Supreme Court

Bin Apple's $500m patent judgment, US DoJ tells Supreme Court

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has recommended that the half-billion-dollar judgment awarded to Apple for iPhone patent infringement be thrown out. In an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court, the DoJ does not formally take sides but does recommend that a federal appeal court ruling that decided Samsung had illegally copied …