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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Can people hear the difference between lossy MP3 digital music files and lossless ones? Opinions differ strongly, with much obfuscation around audio cables, mastering and hi-fi componentry muddying the waters. This article was prompted by commentard critiques of Sonos streaming Wi-Fi speaker/player reviews and audiophiles saying …
Chris Mellor, 26 Sep 2014

Would Apple godhead Steve Jobs have HATED the Watch?

Comment Staffers at Apple have been working on their latest wearable wheeze for three long years, while the rest of us wondered where on Earth its legendary spirit of innovation had disappeared to. If you believe Tim Cook, Apple was on the job the whole time, beavering away in secrecy to create a timepiece which would once again become …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Sep 2014
Apple iPhone 6

Speaking in Tech: On iPhone 6 - 'If you make big-*ss phones, you'd better make 'em usable'

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's the Apple iGasm edition. Join Greg Knieriemen and Ed Saipetch, hosts of our weekly techcast, with their guest Joe Onisick, technical marketing engineer at Cisco to chew on Apple and Cisco's ACI and troubling questions including "Are my hands BIG ENOUGH not to be made to …
Team Register, 10 Sep 2014
Transamerica Pyramid

Good luck with Project Wing, Google. This drone moonshot is NEVER going to happen

Comment Google’s delivery drones in Oz have a really easy job – fly across a near desert and lower a parcel to the ground. That’s easy-peasy, matey. Try that in my Sixth Street home* in San Francisco, the one near the junction with Folsom Street, where (to make the Chocolate Drone Factory’s life easier) there is a grassed yard. …
Chris Mellor, 2 Sep 2014
Taoviet iPhone

Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5

+Comment With the ominous words “We take your investment in Sonos very seriously,” Sonos has killed off support for iOS v4 and 5 devices. Sonos makes software app-controlled Wi-Fi speakers that can play audio streamed from Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OSX devices. The iThings can play local audio files on the speakers or relay music/ …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2014
LG G Smartwatch running Android Wear

Speaking in Tech: How I was outsmarted by my LG smartwatch

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week on Speaking in Tech, there's something for everyone: from smartwatches and big data to "hacker princesses" and that good old storage medium, tape – and we're not talking about the kind you find in a data centre. Join your hosts Greg Knieriemen and Sarah Vela – Ed …
Team Register, 16 Jul 2014
The C-zero is more closely related to the Peugeit ion than the 2CV

How practical is an electric car in London?

Comment If you revel in the independence a car gives you, then electric is not for you. The quoted range of 100 miles (161km) sounds fine, but that's a bit like a quoted ADSL speed. Your mileage may vary. The truth is that if and when the car goes flat, you are in deep doo-doo. Run out of petrol and you can walk to a petrol station, …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jun 2014
Nutanix_view_of_datacentre

Don't believe the hyper-converged hype: Why are we spending stupid amounts on hardware?

Storagebod In a software-defined data centre, why are some of the hottest properties hardware platforms? There are plenty of newly formed startups that will come to mind: highly converged, sometimes described as hyper-converged, servers. I think that it demonstrates what a mess our data centres have got into that products such as these …
StorageBod, 9 Jun 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft's 'CEO of no' on Xbox: NO SALE

Microsoft’s new chief executive has told us what he’s not going to do - sell Bing or Xbox - but not what is he going to do. So far, all we’re hearing is a lot of "no". Speaking at a technology event in California, Nadella has been reported and quoted on Twitter to have ruled out the sale of both Xbox and Bing. On Xbox, Nadella …
Gavin Clarke, 28 May 2014

Windows Phone: Just as well Microsoft bought an Android maker, RIGHT?

Comment If you believe those who are less than impressed by "Nokiadroid" offerings, Nokia's Android phones are an embarrassment for their new owner. Jokers have quipped that whenever Microsoft's Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore is asked about it, he reacts like a teenager whose divorced dad has been seen dating a young stripper. But …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2014
Sleep Cycle iOS app screenshot

Where the HELL is my ROBOT BUTLER?

Sysadmin blog For decades the development of the computer has been driven by businesses. Businesses bought mainframes, PCs and servers. They bought in such quantity that the consumer was, for most technology companies, a mere afterthought. Today, consumer purchases of endpoints outstrip business purchases by a wide margin. None of this is …
Trevor Pott, 4 Apr 2014
Titanfall

Titanfall, shoot-'em-up gamers, cloudy contracts and cattle

Sysadmin blog A "servers are cattle, not pets", DevOps-style approach is the only feasible way for a small number of people to run modern cloud-scale data centres. Small teams running large server farms are necessary to grind down costs so as to keep up with the Amazon-fearing race to the bottom. But even when cloud computing works exactly as …
Trevor Pott, 1 Apr 2014
Akaash Tablet

Schoolkids given WORLD'S CHEAPEST TABLETS: Is it really that hard to swallow?

Sysadmin Blog For some time now The Register has been tracking an effort by the Indian government to provide their schoolchildren with low cost tablets. The subsidised cost of the devices for Indian families is slated to be 1,500 rupees (£14, $24), with the unsubsidised version available to the rest of the world for £30. The decision to …
Trevor Pott, 25 Mar 2014
How to strangle a chicken - Aussie style

My work-from-home setup's better than the office. It's GLORIOUS

Storagebod I’ve been fairly used to the idea that my PC at home is substantially better than my work one; this has certainly been the case for me for more than a decade. I’m a geek and I spend more than most on my personal technology environment. However, it is no longer just my home PC. I’ve got better software tools and back-end systems …
StorageBod, 11 Mar 2014
Panasonic My Home Screen

Speaking in Tech: When will I buy a 4K TV? When they make one that LOOKS COOL

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise The S.I.T. crew start the new year off with a bang with a killer episode of the tech podcast. This week, Sarah Vela takes an extra week of vacation while Greg Knieriemen and Ed Saipetch chum it up with Mark Twomey of EMC, better known as StorageZilla. This week, none of the …
Team Register, 8 Jan 2014
Photo of smartphones running Ubuntu

Ubuntu desktop is so 2013... All hail 2014 Ubuntu mobile

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth is no stranger to exploring rarefied territory. The man has, after all, been to space. His interest in new frontiers means Ubuntu, the Linux distro he created, is also poised to make a great leap - to go where no Linux has gone before. Shuttleworth's plan to take Linux beyond the desktop and …
Samsung KE55S9C OLED 3D HD TV

Samsung sees RDK as route to DOMINATION of US set top market

Comment For as long as Faultline has commented on this industry, the set-top market in the US has been dominated by the cable TV industry – which in turn has been dominated first by Motorola and secondly by Cisco. Things have changed somewhat over the years, in that Pace has led a challenge from the UK and in direct to home satellite, …
Faultline, 18 Dec 2013
Virtualisation for Beginners

I want virtualisation on my iPhone, and I want it NOW

Analysis By turning computers into software, virtualisation can increase security and free us from underlying complex hardware. Systems can be deployed in moments, and we're offered much better efficiency and flexibility. Which are all really good things, albeit things commonly associated with PCs and servers. But virtualisation would be …
Rupert Goodwins, 12 Dec 2013
HTC 8X Windows Phone 8

SLAPPING an iPhone out of a corporate drone's hand: You're not the only one who longs to do it

Sysadmin Blog Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has received a lot of criticism. The few early enterprise adopters of the Windows Phone 7 platform back in late 2010 gave it a shot with a glimmer of hope that it could replace the iPhone. But Windows Phone 7 left a lot to be desired, with consumers disappointed by the lack of apps in the …
Adam Fowler, 3 Dec 2013
Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?

Opinion It is fair to say that the Raspberry Pi is a success. I love them, you love them, the whole world loves them. It has reminded the rest of the computing world that the UK - and Cambridge especially - has a proud computing heritage. It’s hard to miss mentions of the Pi in the technology press each day. It is spoken of in hushed …
Kris Adcock, 28 Oct 2013

Apple CEO Tim Cook v Microsoft's Ballmer: Seconds out, round two!

Comment As The Reg reported on Thursday, Microsoft communications chieftain Frank Shaw went off on Apple in a near-thousand word blog post defending his company's beleaguered Surface and Surface 2. His fit of pique, while possibly a bit over-the-top, can be forgiven, considering that Apple CEO Tim Cook was unusually pugnacious during …
Rik Myslewski, 25 Oct 2013
Microsoft Surface bomb

Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE

Analysis Within just 24 hours, both Microsoft and Apple have refreshed their tablet lineups for Christmas. Microsoft tried to steal a march on Apple by launching Surface Pro 2 and the rebranded Surface RT, now called Surface 2. Dropping the RT from the outside, not the inside Apple dutifully followed suit on Tuesday night with two new …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Oct 2013

One day we'll look back and say this was the end of the software platform

Comment I was once told by an editor not to waste too much time following Apple and other companies that sold hardware and software together. He was reflecting the conventional wisdom in the late 1990s: any manufacturer that dared to "add value" by integrating its software into its hardware would be destroyed. Microsoft and Dell would …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2013

iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)

Comment Apple's keynotes seem to command more mainstream front-page press attention than ever before – but each time, there's less and less to report. Is the modern smartphone era limping to a close? Apple's announcements on Tuesday about the iPhone 5S and 5C were wearily predictable. Cupertino just doesn't seem to be where the action …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Sep 2013

Speaking in Tech: Will Google's telly dongle dangle ding Apple?

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's another episode of The Register's best and only podcast, bringing you everything the industry is saying about the latest enterprise and consumer tech – from the Silicon Valley of Power and the vast, cool data centres of Texas to the strange, giant watercooler that is …
Team Register, 1 Aug 2013
Cash changing hands

What do you mean WHY is Sony PS4 so pricey in Oz?

Opinion You'd think that Guardianistas would know something about capitalism: they are so critical of it after all. But no, in the G's new Oz site we find the same gormless no-cluebat ignorance that we get in our own dear and beloved home version of the paper. To quote the Down Under edition: Why is the PS4 so expensive in Australia …
Tim Worstall, 13 Jun 2013

Australian 'Apple tax' repealed for MacBook Air

Apple's contentious pricing plans, often criticised for producing Australian prices that exceed their US equivalents even when the $AUD/$US exchange rate suggests the opposite should be the case, have turned up some oddities for Apple's new products. In case you've not caught up with the news, the fruity folk today announced a …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jun 2013
GPS-watching robot

German robots sent to Oz to make GPS millimetre-perfect

Industrial robots from Germany will be spending their life in Australia's great outdoors, helping to improve the accuracy of the country's Global Navigation Satellite System positioning knowledge. The project, a GNSS robotic calibration facility, has been switched on in Canberra, and will ultimately be part of a nationwide …

Petshop iPad fanboi charged with filming up young model's skirt

A Los Angeles fanboi has been charged (PDF) with using an iPad to take upskirt footage of an underwear model. Julio Mario Medal, 38, stands accused of using his big shiny fondleslab to gaze up 22-year-old Brittanie Weaver's skirt and shoot a film about her naughty bits. Britannie Weaver. Pic: http://brittanieweaver.com …
Jasper Hamill, 20 May 2013

Android is a mess and needs sprucing up, admits chief

Comment Android looks unstoppable, and it's a mess. The first fact tends to eclipse the second observation, but Android's new supremo diplomatically acknowledges as much in an interview. "Here’s the challenge: without changing the open nature of Android, how do we help improve the whole world’s end-user experience?" Chrome chief Sundar …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 May 2013
Parts for the Liberator 3D printed pistol

You want to put 3D gun designs on the web? You'll need a 2D printer

Comment Much fun has been had over the Liberator, the 3D printed plastic gun. Our editor - a man who knows about such things - here at El Reg has pronounced it a piece of crap. Innumerable people have declared that it's either the end of civilisation as we know it or proof perfect that the Commie statists will never win. My own …
Tim Worstall, 14 May 2013

Ready for the car 2.0? Nvidia preps UPGRADABLE car system

What’s your next car dashboard going to look like? The answer may well be: however you want it to look. If Nvidia has its way, car manufacturers and owners will have a much wider range of choices when it comes to dashboard displays, navigation sophistication, and personalising the car to the owner. The computer hardware …
Angry Birds Star Wars

Aussie AI boffins let fly with Angry Birds automation code

Java code used in last year's Angry Birds artificial intelligence competition has been released into the wild. The Australian National University's Artificial Intelligence Group last year decided the game would be a fine way of testing just how brainy artificial intelligences have become, because as anyone who's played the game …
Mildura is still marked in the wrong place on Apple's iOS6 maps

Holden bakes Siri into Barinas

General Motors' antipodean outpost, Holden, is trying to put a bit of cool into its four-cylinder shopping trolley, the Barina, by integrating Siri into its electronics. Well, not just cool: with a suitable iPhone running iOS 6 connected to its electronic innards, Siri will let drivers make “eyes-free” calls, and to avoid …

No, really: Austrians develop hi-tech jewellery made out of concrete

A Viennese designer has just snagged a prestigious international award for his new line of jewellery, which uses a new high-tech process to fashion the ornaments out of concrete. Can it be that I hold here in my mortal hands ... a lump of purest grey? "Concrete has incredibly beautiful aesthetics. As a material it can do a lot …
Lewis Page, 25 Mar 2013

ARM's new CEO: You'll get no 'glorious new strategy' from me

ARM Holdings is the kind of quiet success story Britain excels at, and really the sort of thing the data-fiddlers of Silicon Roundabout should aspire to be doing. ARM doesn’t wrangle data and pass it off as a business model. It designs patentable processor technology that has turned US, Japanese and South Korean electronics …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Mar 2013
LG Smart menu

Fashionably slate

Comment It’s not easy being a television manufacturer these days. Most homes, especially in the West and the wealthier parts of Asia, now have a large flat panel TV, thank you, and don’t need another one. Sales, then, are not as strong as they once were, pushing down prices and, in turn, whittling production margins from razor thin to …
Tony Smith, 14 Feb 2013

Nokia's Elopocalypse two years on: Has Microsoft kept its side of the bargain?

Analysis It's two years since the "Elopocalypse". This week in 2011 Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop set Europe's biggest technology company off in a radical new direction. Nokia would license its flagship phone software from Microsoft, rather than develop its own, set fire to three of its own mobile platforms, and eventually shed thousands …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Feb 2013
A Bearded Dragon on an Alienware MX18

Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Packing for a week-and-a-half road trip to Silicon Valley and back triggered a moment of introspection over the impending end of netbook production. I had some devices to choose from for my journey. I could have taken my Alienware MX18, my first-generation Samsung Galaxy Tab, my Asus Transformer, my Samsung NF210 Netbook, my …
Trevor Pott, 1 Feb 2013

Is your Surface Pro a bit full? Slot in an SD card, it's not from Apple

Comment There's massive internet coverage today of a major "issue" with the forthcoming Microsoft Surface Pro slab, the latest attempt by Redmond to unseat Apple's iPad line from its global tablet throne. It's being widely reported that the Surface Pro arrives with a lot of its onboard storage already full up: but this is a foolish …
Lewis Page, 30 Jan 2013

Just what the world needs: Android in the rice cooker

Less than a fortnight into 2013, we have a candidate for the year’s silliest product: a networked, Android-sporting rice cooker. Readers will remember some chilling demonstrations during 2012: the vulnerability of pacemakers to outside attack, for example (insulin pumps were already compromised in 2011), while McAfee (the …
2000AD Prog 1 snippet

Making MACH 1: Can we build a cranial computer today?

Monitor is an occasional column written at the crossroads where the arts, popular culture and technology intersect. Here, we look back at 2000AD's MACH 1 - the first secret agent with his own, in-body computer. In 1977, Pat Mills, the first Editor of 2000AD comic, created MACH 1, a strip telling the story of John Probe, a super-powered …
Tony Smith, 2 Jan 2013