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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Product round-up Much to the dismay of many a sysadmin, Linux is no longer purely the domain of Captain Command-Line and his trusty side-kick Admiral APT. For those looking to make the most of their new-fangled graphics-capable hardware, here’s a selection of freeware to start with, in our case as installed on Ubuntu 14.04: BleachBit RH Numbers …
Shaun Dormon, 3 Dec 2014
Stephen Hawking, weightless and happy

Legendary Brit physicist Stephen Hawking gets full Intel comms refresh

Pioneering physicist Stephen Hawking has received a replacement communication system following a three-year project with Intel to overhaul his previous 20-year-old comms platform. The refit occurred following a rapid deterioration in Hawking's word-per-minute rate, which dropped from a 20wpm rate 10 years ago to just under 1wpm …
Kat Hall, 2 Dec 2014
 The Sinclair Spectrum Vega design.

Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

Comment The Spectrum fanbois at Retro Computers have enlisted the help of Sir Clive to launch a new crowd-funded Spectrum clone. The Sinclair Spectrum Vega is a console that plays games from the '80s – complete with piezo speaker-generated sound and attribute clash. The Vega is being marketed by Retro Computers Ltd, a Luton-based …
Simon Rockman, 2 Dec 2014
Planetoid crashes into primordial Earth

Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

Apple has filed a patent that could save iPhones from certain death when they crash to the ground. The patent is called "protective mechanism for an electronic device" and allows an iThing to rotate whilst in freefall. When it begins its journey to terminal velocity, the iPhone will be saved by a motor connected to an " …
Jasper Hamill, 2 Dec 2014
Apple Watch

No wristjob, please, we're Apple fans: Just 10% would buy the Apple Watch

Apple's new Watch device is going to sell itself on the basis of appealing to 10 per cent of the fanboi population, according to analysts. Research firm UBS claims that one in ten Apple iPhone owners would be willing to pony up for the fruity wristthing. According to the UBS report, some 10 per cent of iPhone owners were …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Dec 2014
Pebble Steel

Pebble: The brilliant stealth wearable Apple's Watch doesn't see coming

Interview The wearables bandwagon rolled into town this year – heralding the arrival of glossy and expensive new wearable timepieces. Android Wear and Apple’s Watch have grabbed most the headlines, but I suspect that come Christmas morning, more people will be unwrapping a Pebble than the glitzier rivals. We caught up with Pebble’s …

Never fear, Glassholes – Intel to the rescue! 'New CPU' for tech-specs

New models of the painfully nerdy Google Glass goggles will use Intel processors, rather than Texas Instrument chips, it's reported. Today, the expensive headgear is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 dual-core Cortex-A9 system-on-chip, which is clocked at 1.2GHz and runs 32-bit ARMv7 code. It also includes PowerVR 2D and …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Dec 2014
Broke - empty pockets

Huawei: 'Nobody made any money in Windows Phone'

Windows Phone has never paid off for Microsoft's hardware partners, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has claimed. "We didn't make any money in Windows Phone," Huawei head of international media affairs Joe Kelly told the Seattle Times in a recent interview. "Nobody made any money in Windows Phone." This isn't the first time …

Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

The FBI has made it no secret that it hates Apple and Google's efforts to encrypt files in your smartphones and tablets. Now court documents have emerged showing just how far the Feds are willing to go to decrypt citizens' data. The paperwork has shown two cases where federal prosecutors have cited the All Writs Act – which was …
Iain Thomson, 1 Dec 2014
iPad Videos app

LA schools math quiz: $500 Chromebooks or $700 iPads for students?

A technology-for-schools deal touted as a huge win for Apple will become a head-to-head competition with arch-rival Google. The web ad giant has won the rights to sell Chromebooks to schools as an alternative to iPads, The LA Times reports, citing the Los Angeles Unified School District. This will turn around what had been a …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Dec 2014

Dead Steve Jobs to give iPod MP3 evidence from beyond the grave

Steve Jobs will descend from the Genius Bar in the sky to appear as a witness in an antitrust case brought against Apple. The iPhone giant's late cofounder will star in a video deposition in a class-action case relating to the iTunes store. Proceedings will hinge around the fact early iPods only allowed fanbois and gurlz to …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Dec 2014
Happy child at Christmas with a tablet

Amazon DROPS next day delivery amid Cyber Monday MADNESS

Updated Amazon has suspended next day delivery in Blighty after reporting its busiest day on record. This decision could mean the families of last-minute present hunters will go without gifts on Christmas Day, said a Reg source, who says he was told express delivery would not begin until the New Year. Amazon denies this and claims the …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Dec 2014
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

APPLE set to Air PLUS-SIZED iPAD – claims mag

Apple is in the final stages of designing a 12-inch iPad as big as a dinner plate, it has been claimed. A Japanese magazine called MacOtakara has published blueprints for a device it called the "iPad Air Plus", which will be a bigger version of the world's most famous fondleslab. It will feature a 12.2-inch display and an A9 …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Dec 2014
Nuke blast

Ex-GCHQ boss: Hey, UK.gov, have you heard how crap iPhone biometrics are?

Comment If you're an ex-GCHQ spook, it seems the BBC will leap to attention when you've words of wisdom to impart about mobile security. Dear old Auntie Beeb has reported that former GCHQ boss Sir John Adye doesn’t trust the biometric security in the iPhone 6. As a story it’s got everything: top spy chief with a knighthood, mistrust of …
Simon Rockman, 1 Dec 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Bought an iPhone 6 Plus? Odds are you've binned the iPad

Apple fans are ditching their iPads after buying a new phab-ulous big screened iPhone 6 Plus, a survey has revealed. The mobile reader app Pocket has unveiled research that suggests people who buy mobile phones with large screens no longer spend as much time using their tablets. In a statement which might tickle British readers …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Dec 2014
The Antikythera Mechanism

By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

A new analysis of the Antikythera Mechanism, the intriguing meshed gears device hauled from the Aegean in 1900, suggests it may be of Babylonian origin. The Mechanism is engraved in Greek and is widely thought to have been able to track the cycle of the Moon and of both Solar and Lunar eclipses, among other natural phenomena. …
Fiat 500X covered in mud

Fiat 500X: A fun-loving Goldilocks who'll get down and dirty

Vulture at the Wheel The 1957 Fiat 500 was a macchinetta small car. It became a macchina car with the launch of the new 500 in 2007, and then with the 500L it became a macchinona; a big car. It has gone from 17hp and under 500kg to 120hp and 1.4 tonnes. The Fiat 500X The Fiat 500X: A Goldilocks car aimed at off-roading families. Well, not quite …
Simon Rockman, 29 Nov 2014

Go festive this year with Christmas carols, baby Jesus and CLITORAL STIMULATORS

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Taking my place in the boardroom for the weekly “sit-down” meeting, I make a faux pas: I try to make polite conversation. In my defence, I claim temporary confusion due to a mix-up with the more casual weekly “stand-up” meeting, which is held in another room but otherwise attended by precisely the same people who are now sitting …
Alistair Dabbs, 29 Nov 2014
Pile of mobiles

Will security concerns scupper your BYOD policy?

Analysis Almost everyone involved in IT fears BYOD to some extent. That’s largely because they are terrified of careless colleagues costing the business a shed load of money. But small to medium sized businesses who lack the budget and resources to do security well fear BYOD more than most. Just this week, Hugh Boyes from the Institution …
Tom Brewster, 29 Nov 2014
android tongue

That sub-$100 Android slab you got on Black Friday? RIDDLED with holes, say infosec bods

Those fighting through hordes of fellow crazed bargain junkies this Black Friday should avoid some of the cheapo Android tablets on offer. Security researchers at Bluebox Labs bought a dozen Android fondleslabs, each costing less than $100, and tested them for poor patching, dodgy OS installation, and sloppy security practices …
Iain Thomson, 28 Nov 2014
BB_PLAYBOOK_RIM_DOWN_TOILET

Thought tab sales were in the toilet this year? Hah! Wait for next

Slablet sales will be stuck in a U-bend next year and it may take a re-think from the manufacturers before they can be flushed out again. A forecast from Taiwan-based TrendForce indicates tab shipments will decline 3.5 per cent in 2015 to 185.6 million units, the first backwards motion since Apple launched the iPad. “We expect …
Paul Kunert, 28 Nov 2014

It's BLOCK FRIDAY: Britain in GREED-crazed bargain bonanza mob frenzy riot MELTDOWN

The sceptred isle of old Blighty is in flames today as greed crazed mobs, both online and in the real world, stormed bricks'n'mortar shops and etail websites alike leaving blood on the linoleum and smoke belching from overstressed data centres – hosting Currys, Tesco and other box-flingers – up and down the land. Truly, these …
Team Register, 28 Nov 2014

Tough Banana Pi: a Raspberry Pi for colour-blind diehards

Review The Raspberry PI Model B+ is the hot new SBC (Single Board Computer) of the moment. The cheap price, low power usage, good support and ease of use make it a very good buy for DIY nerd projects and media front ends. One common complaint is lack of RAM and CPU. Now, however, there are choices for Power users – the Banana PI from …
Stuart Burns, 28 Nov 2014
MPlayerX media player

Ten Mac freeware apps for your new Apple baby

Product round-up One saving grace of buying a shiny new Mac over a PC is certainly the lack of factory-installed bloatware. However, while Mac OS X is far from featureless, many users will find themselves headed straight to the Mac App Store or elsewhere to supplement their experience. Since not everyone wants to wade through endless lists of …
Shaun Dormon, 28 Nov 2014

Festive streamers caught in Vulture's claws: Gadget-ogle for audiophiles, video geeks

Breaking Fad What was your first streaming device? Over recent months, there has been a glut of them, but the first to find a space on my network was a Roku SoundBridge (or, more accurately, Pinnacle SoundBridge HomeMusic, as it was known in the UK). Soundbridge Streaming devices have come a long way in a short time Soundbridge Streaming …
Nigel Whitfield, 28 Nov 2014

The Glorious Resolution: Feast your eyes on 5 HiDPI laptops

Product round-up First it was slimline Ultrabooks, then it was convertibles. Now the latest high-tech morsel that PC manufacturers are dangling before us in an attempt to boost their flagging sales is the high-DPI laptop. The information that Microsoft provides for developers refers to high-DPI displays as having a resolution of more than 120dpi …
Cliff Joseph, 28 Nov 2014
The EDSAC Gallery at the UK National Museum of Computing

UK computing museum starts reboot of 65-year-old EDSAC

The United Kingdom's National Museum of Computing has begun the process of booting up a replica of the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator – aka EDSAC – a computer commissioned in 1949. As The Reg has previously detailed, EDSAC has a distinguished place in computing history because its design influenced that of LEO, a …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Nov 2014
Chinese search engine Baidu's DuBike

Chinese search engine Baidu to peddle SmartBike

China's Baidu is often compared to Google: it runs a dominant search engine and is tacking on related services at a brisk pace. Now the company is even following Google into the provision of odd bicycle-related projects. Baidu's DuBike is a lot easier to understand than Google's investment in cycle-powered monorail venture …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Nov 2014

Oh BOY! The MICKEY MOUSE Apple Watch is no heart-throb

Apple has reached an agreement with Disney that will see Mickey Mouse telling the time on its new Watch device. Anyone who buys the new device will be able to select a number of watch faces, with one featuring the rodent star of 20th century kiddie culture. To satisfy fanbois' furious desire for information on the watch, Apple …
Jasper Hamill, 27 Nov 2014
The BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry's turnaround relies on a secret weapon: Its own network

Analysis Last year we invited you, as a thought experiment, to value BlackBerry as an oddball cluster of startups – and now it seems the company has taken our advice to heart. It forms the heart of its strategy: the once tightly coupled divisions are free to compete – even if it means taking business off each other. It also means playing …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Nov 2014
VideoLAN VLC Player

Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows

Product round-up No matter if you're reinstalling Windows for the 47th time this fortnight or attempting to rid a new machine of bloatware in favour of something that's actually useful, the question remains: what alternative apps exist that don’t involve coughing up for obscene licensing fees? RH Numbers Fortunately there's plenty of freeware …
Shaun Dormon, 27 Nov 2014

Chromecast video on UK, Euro TVs hertz so badly it makes us judder – but Google 'won't fix'

Google disappointed fans of its priced-like-a-pizza Chromecast TV dongle this week, when it said it won't be fixing an annoying video quirk that has some European customers' eyes twitching. The Chromecast, which lets users stream online content to their TVs while using their PCs and mobile devices as controllers, first went on …
Neil McAllister, 27 Nov 2014
Sony smartwatch crop

Sony cuff-puter to do one thing smartwatches can't: Give you DAYS of hot wrist action

Sony is to bring out a smartwatch with an e-paper screen that solves one of the biggest wearable shortfalls: battery life. Sources familiar with the project told Bloomberg the gadget will use the entire wrist band to display information, but it will not be as advanced as other arm-slabs on the market. Unlike today's crop of …
Iain Thomson, 27 Nov 2014
GoPro HD 2 sports camcorder

A DRONE OF THEIR OWN: GoPro tabbed for cameracopter launch

Action camera company GoPro is reportedly planning to develop and sell its own line of camera-equipped drones. A report from The Wall Street Journal cites sources familiar with the plans in reporting that the company will develop "multirotor helicopters" with built-in HD cameras. According to the report, the company would begin …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Nov 2014

Save Thanksgiving! Get your turkey to text you when it's done

It may be a cliché, but the one thing guaranteed to ruin your Thanksgiving dinner, as well as provide one more thing that your family to torture you with for the rest of your life, is a burnt turkey. Well, worry no more. Not only have boffins at iDevices developed a thermometer that you can leave in the oven with the bird but …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Nov 2014
Tesla's Elon Musk

Tesla confirms Australian launch date

Tesla, which earlier this year started scouting around for charging stations in Australia and has also popped up with displays in at least one Sydney mall, has confirmed December for its official launch. Renew Economy reckons the Sydney December 9 launch will include early Model S deliveries and announcements about where it will …
BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry will pay you $$$s to be its friend and dump that iPhone

Sales-challenged BlackBerry is hoping to bribe iPhone users away from Apple with a cash offer starting next month. The Canadian mobe maker says it will pay up to $550 to fanbois who swap their iPhones for BlackBerry Passports instead. The offer will run from December 1 to February 13 in the US and Canada, and cover the iPhone …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Nov 2014
Engineers making quantum devices at the Australian National Fabrication Facility at UNSW: Credit: Australian National Fabrication Facility

UK boffins: We'll have an EMBIGGENED QUANTUM COMPUTER working in 5 YEARS

Oxford boffins have vowed to have the largest quantum computer ever made up and running within five years and help Blighty regain its place at the top of the tech world. The government has announced the creation of four "Quantum Technology Hubs" which will collaborate to build a small device called the Q20:20. Sadly, this won't …
Jasper Hamill, 26 Nov 2014
Finished product, photo: Mark Whitehorn

Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register

Most car marques – Lagonda, Ford, Morgan and so on – have a proud history and the respective car clubs often worship the original form; if you present a car for judging, it had better be exactly as per factory spec. Or else. There are notable exceptions and perhaps the most surprising, given the value of some of the cars, is the …
Mark Whitehorn, 26 Nov 2014
P3 uses dedicated hardware

Yes, UK. REST OF EUROPE has better mobe services than you

UK readers, what you've always suspected has been proven true – even the weakest mobile networks abroad perform better than some of our best. This is according to German mobile network survey company P3, which this week published solid numbers on mobile network coverage. P3 uses dedicated hardware P3's test equipment And it’s …
Simon Rockman, 26 Nov 2014
Amazon Fire Phone

What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight

Review Having a headline piece of consumer tech crash and burn in the US market is every company's nightmare – and that's exactly what happened to Amazon’s Fire Phone, whose price has just PLUNGED from $449 to $199 Stateside. Amazon Fire Phone top and bottom bezels. Pic: Alun Taylor Hefty bezels: Amazon's Fire Phone is pretty pricey …
Alun Taylor, 26 Nov 2014
Asus ZenFone 5

Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids

Product round-up Cheap Android smartphones have their place ultimately in a landfill site1 for those on a tight budget or as an extra for convenience abroad or elsewhere. So what if you fall into the middle ground? Bargain basement devices compromises won't do and neither will coughing up the sort of money required for a Nexus 6, Galaxy S5, …
Alun Taylor, 26 Nov 2014