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Tesla crash

Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its preliminary report into the Tesla crash that killed Joshua Brown, a 40-year-old Ohio man who was using the car's Autopilot function at the time of his death. Brown was driving down US Highway 27A in Florida when a truck hauling a 53-foot trailer packed with …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016
Drone jammer

Airbus doesn't just make aircraft – now it designs drone killers

Vid A new joint venture between aircraft manufacturer Airbus and California startup Dedrone is selling a security system that can spot drones miles away and knock them out of the sky. The system uses a network of cameras, radars, microphones, and directional scanners developed by Dedrone that can detect and target a standard …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016
Dead battery

Microsoft blames dying Surface Pro 3 batteries on software bug

Microsoft has admitted that the battery problems hitting some Surface Pro 3 owners aren't down to hardware failure, but rather a software issue. Redmond's support forums have been inundated with complaints about the high-end fondleslab's battery life. The problem only appears to affect hardware that uses batteries from third- …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016

Osram's Lightify smart bulbs blow a security fuse – isn't anything code audited anymore?

Nine security holes, four of them still unpatched, have been found in the Osram smart light bulb system, potentially giving attackers access to a home or corporate network. The issues in the Lightify Home and Pro systems range from cross-site scripting (XSS) to problems with the ZigBee and SSL protocols to insecure encryption …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jul 2016
Facebook's Surround 360 Camera

Facebook Surround360 design lands at GitHub

Facebook needs VR content for its Oculus Rift VR headset, so it's made good on its March promise to publish its Surround360 camera design and software. The whole kit and caboodle has landed at GitHub. You'll need your own machinist and around US$30,000 to get started. The company explains here that the kit isn't “a” camera: …

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
Tim Cook, photo by JStone via Shutterstock

What's losing steam at Apple? Pretty much everything

Apple is trying to put the best face on another bad quarter by saying it has exceeded its own meager expectations. The Cupertino giant had previously warned that its revenues would be down, and Apple execs boasted that they at least were at the high end of those lowered expectations. For Apple's fiscal 2016 Q3, ended June 25 …
Shaun Nichols, 26 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

Intel soundlessly emits Broadwell Xeon E5-4600 v4 quad-socket chips

Just because Intel doesn’t make a lot of noise about a product does not mean that it is not important for the company. Rather, it is a gauge of relative importance, and with such a broad and deep portfolio of chips, not everything can be cause for rolling out the red carpet. So it is, as usual, with the Xeon E5-4600 processors …

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
Splash Screen for classic adventure game The Hobbit

Seminal adventure game The Hobbit finally ported to the Dragon 64

1982-vintage adventure game The Hobbit has been ported to the Dragon 64, 34 years after the program's release. The back story: in 1982, The Hobbit was the hottest ticket in gaming, thanks to its addition of big bold graphics and a syntax that did away with adventure games' annoying habit of allowing only a limited set of verbs …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jul 2016
Pokemon toys

Nintendo to investors: Pokémon Go won't make money come

Investors who bid up Nintendo have punished the company for pointing out the Pokémon Go app is not going to create a cash deluge. Announcing the official availability of Pokémon Go in its home market (in partnership with McDonald's, so you can guess where the happiest hunting grounds will be), Nintendo added that it only owns …
The Funai ZV427FX4 VHS/DVD combo box

No, the VCR is not about to die. It died years ago. Now it's VHS/DVD combo boxes' turn

Japanese company Funai will stop making VHS devices this month, marking the end of the road for the venerable video tape standard. But the company has told The Register that low demand is not the reason for VHS' demise, despite being cited widely based on a brief Japanese language report. Funai told us it sold 750,000 VHS …
Simon Sharwood, 25 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

White House to bung electric car industry $4.5bn in loans

The White House has said the US federal government will underwrite loans totaling $4.5bn to expand the use of electric cars. But before you go rushing to Elon Musk asking for a set of Falcon doors, note that it is only for building out charging infrastructure. The Department of Energy has expanded its existing loan program to …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jul 2016
Dell e-commerce site

Revealed: How Dell can afford $67bn for EMC – by selling $650k laptops

World exclusive Dell's ingenious strategy for financing its audacious $67bn acquisition of EMC is a secret no more. Dell is already facing a staggering debt mountain to fund the takeover. Now a crack Reg investigative team can reveal that the Round Rock computing giant has an ambitious plan in place to raise the cash necessary for the deal …
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
Broken phone

Tight-wad Apple repair techs swapped our damaged iGear with used kit – lawsuit

Apple has been presented with a class-action lawsuit filed by customers who say the expensive electronics giant replaced their damaged devices with used models. More specifically, the suit [PDF] filed to the Northern California District Court alleges the Cupertino behemoth has been replacing damaged or defective devices with …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016

Official: AMD now stands for Avoiding Miserable Death

AMD fans are over the moon today as their favorite processor designer has sold more chips than expected in the three months to June 25. The Sunnyvale, California, biz beat analysts' estimates on revenue and earnings per share in a billion-dollar quarter that ended in the black rather than the usual red: the Radeon maker banked …
Chris Williams, 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
Eyes of a gorila

Selfie-proof smartmobes will hit stores for Christmas

Corning has revealed version 5.0 of its Gorilla Glass, the ubiquitous covering for smartphones. And this time around it says the substance has been toughened up again and will now remain intact “up to 80 percent of the time when dropped face-down from 1.6 meters onto rough surfaces”. The 1.6m figure is an improvement on …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2016
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
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

What keeps former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani awake at night?

Sketch So, what, if anything, keeps former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani awake at night? Actually, he told a BlackBerry event today, there is this one thing. “You gotta always worry about a nation with an insane leader,” he told startled attendees. Well, Rudy. It’s funny you should say that. Giuliani had flown overnight from …
Andrew Orlowski, 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

For $800 you can buy internet engineers' answer to US government spying

The long-awaited response from internet engineers to Edward Snowden's revelations of mass surveillance by the US government has been launched in Berlin. The CrypTech project launched an alpha prototype of its open-source crypto-vault at the 96th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and held a two-day workshop …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016
Study Confirms High Effectiveness of Low Speed Autonomous Emergency Braking

What will laws on self-driving cars look like? Think black boxes and 'minimum attention'

The recent high-profile crash of a Tesla driving in Autopilot mode has sparked a rush to develop new laws for self-driving cars. Just as there is a race on in the engineering departments of many large car companies to develop autonomous car technology, so legislators are working fast to develop the rules to cover it. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016
drone

AT&T: We wanna be a drone company, not just a phone company

Vid AT&T is planning to rapidly expand its use of drones – it can already put one of the gizmos in the air virtually anywhere over continental United States. Speaking at its Shape tech expo in San Francisco on Friday, Art Pregler, AT&T's drone program director, said the telco giant is using the flying gadgets to augment its 20,000 …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2016
Robot touches screen with finger. Photo via Shutterstock

Did mock cop bot trot on fraught tot? Maybe not

The maker of the security guard robot that allegedly ran down a toddler in a Silicon Valley shopping mall last week has claimed its droid is innocent. Sixteen-month-old Harwin Cheng hit the headlines worldwide after his parents claimed he was knocked down and run over by a 300lb Knightscope K5 bot at the Stanford Shopping …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016

FTC lets Nest off the hook over Revolv IoT hub bricking shame

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided not to move forward with an investigation into smart-home company Nest and its decision to end support for the Revolv hub. In a letter [PDF] to the Google stablemate, the regulator said it had "decided not to recommend enforcement action at this time," referencing "confidential …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jul 2016
shutterstock_238128856_phone_theft

Gaming apps, mugging and bad case of bruised Pokéballs

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Back in the 1970s, cockney actor Mike Reid’s catchphrase on children’s TV was “Runaround – GO!!!” For the benefit of American readers... oh look, it’s too difficult to explain. However I would love to hear him shout “Pokémon – GO!!!” if only to alleviate the relentless publicity over what counts as children’s entertainment …
Alistair Dabbs, 15 Jul 2016
NSW Department Of Justice's Pokemon warning

Pokemon Go Directly To Jail if you hunt here, says Oz Justice Dept

The Department of Justice in the Australian State of New South Wales has warned Pokemon hunters that if they hunt for digital critters inside courthouses they may find their next trip is to an actual jail. The Department took to Facebook to warn Pokemon Go addicts that “GOING TO COURT IS NOT A GAME: POKEMON GO TRAINERS SHOULD …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2016
Autopilot

Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs

Tesla is misleading drivers about the efficacy of its Autopilot feature and is putting lives at risk, according to Consumer Reports. The automaker's autopilot system, when engaged, is supposed to control the speed of the vehicle and its distance from other rides and objects – but it's more of a super-cruise-control than a …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016

Microsoft silently kills dev backdoor that boots Linux on locked-down Windows RT slabs

Microsoft has quietly killed a vulnerability that can be exploited to unlock ARM-powered Windows RT tablets and boot non-Redmond-approved operating systems. The Register has learned that one of the security holes addressed this week in the July edition of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday closes a backdoor left in Windows RT by its …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016

Thermostat biz Nest warms to home security, touts cam with cloud storage subscription

Nest has launched its first new product in several years: an outdoor surveillance camera. The Nest Cam Outdoor is effectively a rebuild of its existing Nest Cam designed for the outside. We had an early peek at it and came away with the sense that the company once famed for reinventing the thermostat has found at least some of …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jul 2016
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

Salesforce bins all Android phones bar Nexii and Galaxies

Cloud darling Salesforce is upsetting end users by giving its Salesforce1 supported devices list a number-one haircut. While it doesn't bite until 2017, the end-of-life list hacks out all Android devices except a handful of Samsung and Nexus machines. Salesforces' announcement says: “Salesforce will no longer provide …
A woman texting

Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

On a recent trip to Shanghai, I saw a person in front of me in a supermarket queue present their mobile phone when asked for payment. The clerk quickly pointed the laser scanner at the phone - blip!- the sale completed. But not thanks to NFC. I’d just seen AliPay, a mobile payments system backed by Alibaba (the world’s largest …
Mark Pesce, 13 Jul 2016
Partnership

IBM caps '20 years' of deep MS love with Surface deal

IBM has become the latest sometime hardware giant to agree to push software giant Microsoft’s client hardware - years after selling off its own client devices business. MS device marketing general manager Brian Hall said in a blog post that IBM had joined the Surface Enterprise Initiative along with consultancy and contracting …
Joe Fay, 12 Jul 2016

Pokemon Go oh no no no, we're not reading your email, says gamemaker

Final update This was a developing story: read through to the updates for the full scoop. Smash-hit mobile game Pokemon Go's catchphrase is "you gotta catch 'em all" – gotta catch all your Google accounts, it seems. As spotted today by IT architect Adam Reeve, the ultra-popular monster-catching vitamin-D-injecting exercise-encouraging …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2016
Samsung Galaxy S7 Active

Galaxy S7 Active can't swim, claims site. But it can, vendor retorts

Samsung is defending its latest line of Galaxy S7 phones after a report questioned the water-resistance claims made by one model of the handset. Consumer Reports claims that the Galaxy S7 Active fails to hold up under the water immersion claims made in Samsung's ads, most notably that the Active can operate after being dunked …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2016
Pokemon toys

Android Mew-ware, I choose you: Code nasty poses as Pokemon GO

Mind those downloads from non-official app stores: Android malware has been spotted posing as knockoff copies of the popular Pokemon GO game. According to a report from security biz Proofpoint, repackaged versions of the game have been found carrying a software nasty that grants remote-control access of infected devices to …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jul 2016