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FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'

Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy Alpha on Wednesday – and it's an Android smartphone that comes encased in a thin all-metal coating. Apple iPhone 5 The South Korean giant said the 4.7-inch Alpha will hit the shelves in early September. Samsung did not name any carrier partners, though EE has said that it will tout the handset …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Aug 2014
Dolby UK demo listening room with Atmos enabled speakers

Dolby Atmos is coming home and it sounds amazing

Breaking Fad Can Dolby Atmos save the beleaguered home cinema business? With sales of AV receivers tanking, makers of multichannel home theatre receivers are banking on the latest in surround sound technology to rekindle interest. Pioneer LaserDisc advertisement Remember the days when two speakers would keep movie buffs happy in the home? …
Steve May, 13 Aug 2014

No Apple fanbois here: Man United BANS iPads from Old Trafford

Manchester United is banning tablets from Old Trafford on match days as part of a tightening-up of security procedures to reflect heightened terrorist concerns.‬ Large electronic devices including laptops and tablets will be added to the list of prohibited items as a result of security concerns, the Premier League side said in a …
John Leyden, 13 Aug 2014
Xbox in 3D

XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

Microsoft has announced that its XBOX One will soon gain the power to play media stored on USB devices and gadgets compatible with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard. Redmond isn't saying just when this will come about, offering only the promise that “A new app will be available soon”. USB support will be …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2014
Dell logo

Dell slaps Intel Haswell brawn in monster Precision workstations

Dell has updated its line of tower and rack workstations with the latest Intel x86-64 chips and promises they will be on sale next month. Powering Dell's new offerings are "Haswell" Xeon E5 v3 processors, which aren’t on general release as yet, and the Precision models will also carry DDR4 memory capable of speeds up to 2,133MHz …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2014
USB

No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off

Computer users have moved one step closer to saving a few seconds twiddling with their USB cables now that the port's reversible Type C connector specification has been cleared for volume production. The Type C connector, first unveiled in April, is fully reversible and considerably slimmer than the USB plug we've been used to …
Iain Thomson, 12 Aug 2014
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 4G

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4: 4G Android tablet is easy to swallow

Review If by the size of its TV ad campaign shall ye know it, then the Galaxy Tab S is clearly a Very Big Deal to Samsung. I get the impression the Tab S range is Sammy’s most determined effort yet to convince people that its Android tablets are not just better than anyone else’s, but better also than Apple’s iPad alternatives. …
Alun Taylor, 12 Aug 2014

Bath boffins put BUGS on chips – on purpose

Don't debug this chip: boffins at the University of Bath have embedded bacteria on a chip to create a cheap water-quality sensor. Instead of needing expensive lab kit to see if water is safe to drink – a serious problem anywhere the civil infrastructure is lacking – the bio-sensor contains bacteria that produce an electric …
dropbox privacy security eye

Xiaomi updates cloud messaging after privacy scare

Chinese mobe-maker Xiaomi has changed the defaults on its cloud messaging service, in response to concerns raised by F-Secure that it was storing users' private data. At issue is a service provided for its Mi phones, which was switched on by default until the over-the-air update was issued. In this blog post, F-Secure notes that …
NVIDIA's 64-bit ARM SoCs

NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids

NVIDIA has taken the wraps off “Denver”, its long-rumoured 64-bit ARMv8 architecture compatible, system-on-a-chip (SoC), and claims it delivers performance equivalent to some CPUs found in PCs. The company has blogged about the silicon, the successor to its current 32-bit Tegra K1 models. Denver will come in two versions, both …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2014
Pentax Q interchangeable-lens compact system camera

Japanese boffins invent 4.4 TREEELLION frames per second camera

Japanese boffins have invented a way to shoot video at 4.4 trillion frames per second. You read that right. 4.4 trillion. As in a million times a million, or 1012. The camera uses a technique called “Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography” that, as explained in Nature Photonics, uses “all-optical mapping of the …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2014
Apple iPad Air

Apple's new iPad WON'T be late: Tablets kicked to suppliers' factories

Apple has reportedly sent the designs for two new iPad models to its manufacturing partners to begin production on the "one large, one small" pair. A report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, says that Apple has kicked off manufacturing operations. According to Bloomberg, the factories will be building both a 7.9-inch and …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Aug 2014
Nokia 130

Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

Microsoft's Nokia division has revealed its latest mobile phone – but rather than the sort of high-end flagship number that's designed to take on Apple, it's taking aim squarely at the bottom of the market. It's no less than a plastic mini-mobe that will sell for no more than €19 ($25) before taxes and subsidies. Billed in the …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014
3D graphics

What's next for OpenGL for the desktop, mobile devices, and the web?

Siggraph 2014 Graphics standards body the Khronos Group has called on industry players to help draft the next generation of the OpenGL spec, a major rewrite that's expected to help unify the OpenGL development model for desktop PCs, mobile devices, and the web. "Fast-paced work on detailed proposals and designs are already underway, and any …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014
Intel's 14nm package, codenamed "Broadwell"

Intel admits: Broadwell Core M chip looking a bit thin, no fans found at all

Intel disclosed on Monday technical details of its new microarchitecture for chips baked using its latest 14-nanometer process, known by the codename "Broadwell." "This new microarchitecture is more than a remarkable technical achievement," Intel VP and general manager of product development Rani Borkar said in a canned …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014
Dell Chromebook 11

Chromebooks to break out of US schools: Netbook 2.0 comeback not just for children

It may be a niche, but the market for Chromebooks will grow, according to research company Gartner. The analyst has predicted 5.2 million of the Google OS-powered laptops will be sold this year. Not only that, but the number-crunchers also reckon sales will nearly triple by 2017. That growth will come from Chromebooks breaking …
Simon Rockman, 11 Aug 2014

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner: Capital is top target for computer thieves, say police

Computer kit including smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop themselves, is twice as likely to be stolen in reported thefts in London compared to other regions in the UK. A series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from security and communications firm ViaSat revealed the theft of electronic devices crops up in 34 per …
John Leyden, 11 Aug 2014
China's white iPhone

New twist in China Apple hardware ban riddle: THE TRUTH at last?

Chinese officials are denying reports that the state has banned the purchase of Apple hardware for government IT projects. The Middle Kingdom's bureaucrats told Reuters that Apple computers and gadgets are not on its list of approved products – but not because the Communist nation blacklisted Cupertino over security concerns. …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Aug 2014
Lancaster B.I PA474. Credit: John5199, Flickr

World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs

Aviation history is being made in Lincolnshire today as the only two airworthy Avro Lancasters in the world met up at RAF Coningsby this afternoon. The two World War II bombers – one operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM), the other by the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) – are due to rendezvous …
Farmville on the iPhone

Farmville maker Zynga delays new games after losing 57 MILLION users

Zynga has slashed its financial forecast for this year and delayed the launch of several new titles after reporting weaker-than-expected second quarter results. The company, best known for its FarmVille game on Facebook, has lost 57 million monthly active users since the same quarter last year, dropping to 130 million from 187 …
Running lights and headlights in one unit

Stalwart hatchback gets a plug-in: Volkswagen e-Golf

Review Of all the electric cars I've driven, the latest eco-friendly VW Golf is the one that feels most like a normal auto – that just so happens to be silent and has a stack of batteries where the spare wheel would go. Volkswagen e-Golf Goodbye GTI, hello Volkswagen e-Golf While the vast majority of electric cars make a feature of …
Simon Rockman, 8 Aug 2014
Microsoft Surface bomb

Clock ticking for Surface 3 as Microsoft preps for globo-launch

Given the losses Microsoft has racked up with the Surface "design point", the firm could be forgiven for drawing a line under the project rather than sending the third generation product to Britain. In a blog post, Microsoft this week confirmed the Pro 3 model will hit the streets in 25 countries including the UK on 28 August - …
Paul Kunert, 8 Aug 2014
android tongue

Multiple user accounts coming to Android phones 'n' slabs

It looks like user accounts are coming to Android. This thread in the Android developer preview mailing list includes a post in which a user asks (with spelling and punctuation anomalies) for something like this: Tablets are able to have multiple accounts for multiple users, allowing the users to install an app only for …
Microsoft's digital TV tuner for European XBOX One

Digital dongle transforms European XBOXen into tellies

Microsoft has announced that European XBOX One owners will soon be able to acquire a digital TV tuner for their games consoles. The ₤24.99 or €29.99 device is pretty simple. Plug one end into a TV antenna. Plug the other into the XBOX. If you don't know which end belongs where, it won't take you long to figure it out. Once you …
Running girls

Now YOU can build apps for Google's all-seeing gadgets for fat losers

Developers can now download an early version of the software development kit (SDK) for Google Fit, the Chocolate Factory's forthcoming health data platform that was announced at this year's Google I/O conference, although not all of the components are fully baked yet. When it launches this fall, Google Fit will include APIs for …
NEMA 5 plug socket

Officeworks recalls dangerous USB charger

Dodgy USB chargers are in the news again in Australia, with stationery giant Officeworks recalling a charger on safety grounds. The recall comes six weeks after the death of a Sydney woman, Sheryl Aldeguer, was attributed to an unsafe charger. At the time Rod Stowe, the Fair Trading Commissioner in the Australian State of New …
Kung Fu Rider

China rips Apple out of govt IT mail-order catalogue – report

+Comment Apple's most popular products are set to vanish from Chinese officials' boardrooms after the People's Republic reportedly struck them off the official procurement list. Ten gizmos including the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro can no longer be purchased for use by the Chinese state bureaucracy, Bloomberg reported …
Jasper Hamill, 6 Aug 2014
802.11ac routers

Top Ten 802.11ac routers: Time for a Wi-Fi makeover?

Product round-up The once-sage advice that wired networking was the only way to guarantee suitable speeds for streaming HD video, large file transfers, or buffer-free HD video playback no longer holds true – or does it? The latest wireless standard, 802.11ac, delivers significantly improved speeds over 802.11n thanks to greater bandwidth and …

Apple wins patent on charging iThings THROUGH THIN AIR

A patent newly granted to Apple points to a future in which Cupertinian kit will charge over the air, without the need for cables. The company's US Patent 8,796,885 describes a near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR) system that would be able to wirelessly charge multiple nearby devices from a single base station (such as a desktop …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Aug 2014

New iGasm: Apple to unveil not one but TWO iPhone 6 models on 9 Sept

Poll Apple will, we're told, hold a "big media event" on Tuesday, September 9, which is expected to be the day the long-awaited iPhone 6 is officially revealed. El Reg's invite to the bash appears to have been lost in the post; instead we learned word of the launch party from the Wall Street Journal and others. Bloomberg reckons …

What's the point of the Internet of Things?

Sysadmin blog Smart-homes are not designed for the young, fit 20-something. Instead, smart-homes have been absorbed into the Internet of Things (IoT), a broader form of connectivity worship that seemingly aims to unify fridge and washing machine, automobile and heart monitor. The purpose of all of this technology isn't readily apparent those …
Trevor Pott, 5 Aug 2014
samsung workers

Samsung sticks with CHILD labor shame fab: Zero-tolerance means 30% less trade

Samsung will do 30 per cent less business with a Chinese parts maker reportedly caught with underage workers at its factory – despite the supplier’s promises to comply with labour laws in future. The South Korean chaebol suspended business with Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, a subsidiary of Shinyang Engineering, when US charity …
Measuring up Apple

PEAK APPLE: One MILLION fewer iPads sold this quarter

It’s lonely at the top, or so saying goes, but Apple may not have to wait too much longer before it rubs shoulders with those playing catch-up in the global PC arena after Q2 sales declined off the back of a slab crash. Figures for the last three months collated by the beancounters at Canalys show Tim Cook’s lot sold nearly one …
Paul Kunert, 5 Aug 2014
US soldiers fire a Javelin missile. Credit: US Army

Google pulls Gaza games from Play store

Google has removed the games Bomb Gaza and Gaza Assault: Code Red from its Play app store. The games tasked players with destroying Hamas combatants and rockets without killing civilians, and have been criticised as glorifying violence. Unlike Apple, which pre-approves all games on iTunes, Google does not have a rigorous …
Simon Rockman, 5 Aug 2014
BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry boss John Chen: We're FINISHED (with the job cuts)

BlackBerry has finished its long and painful restructuring process – and is even considering adding new employees. That's according to a leaked staff memo apparently sent by BlackBerry chief exec John Chen. In the file, he wrote that the process of laying off workers, which started three years ago, has now come to an end: "We …
OnePlus One Android smartphone

Cut price Android on steroids: OnePlus One – should we look gift horse in the gob?

Review The idea behind the OnePlus One is very simple: source the best components you need for a top-spec Android phone, one that’s just as good as a branded Tier One Android flagship, and sell it direct at the fraction of the price. OnePlus One Android smartphone OnePlus One Android smartphone Chuck out the overhead of a multi- …
Slick looking picture of  xiaomi's Mi3 Android smartphone

Home-grown Xiaomi crushes Samsung in world's biggest market

Chinese smartphone startup Xiaomi, whose turtleneck-clad CEO models himself on Steve Jobs (before Jobs died), has become the Middle Kingdom's largest seller of smartphones – outselling even former China top dog Samsung. "This is a phenomenal achievement for Xiaomi," said Shanghai-based Canalys Research Analyst Jingwen Wang, …
Iain Thomson, 5 Aug 2014
Sony PRS-T2 Reader

Sony reads the future, quits e-reader market says German report

Earlier this year, Sony decided to quit the North American e-book market and get Kobo to supply content for readers in the US and Canada. The company then staged similar retreats in Europe and Australia. Now, the former Japanese powerhouse has decided to quit the device market as well – worldwide. According to German site Lesen. …

Thin naked model slips out of Apple's secretive lab ... it's an 'iPad Air 2'

A fresh set of pictures from China show what could be the outer casing for the next iPad, possibly a thinner iPad Air 2. A user on social network Weibo posted a trio of images with the claim that the pictures depict Cupertino's new fondleslab. The report does not provide any technical details on the hardware. Screen-grab of the …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Aug 2014

BANGKOK-BLOCKED: Thailand's dictators 'ban dictator sim Tropico 5'

Thailand's censorious military junta has banned Tropico 5, a game in which players assume the role of a censorious dictatorial ruler. That's according to a report by the Associated Press: the game's Thai distributor told the news wire that the nation's Culture Ministry blocked the city-building title from sale on Monday. …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Aug 2014
Danielle Zimmerman LG webOS product manager

Remember Palm's WebOS? LG does – check out its smart TVs

Feature There’s nothing particularly clever about most smart TVs. While their Internet connected functionality is undeniably useful, the user experience is clunky at best, with apps and streaming services typically kettled away from everyday operation. But LG’s webOS connected platform is different. Debuting on around 70 per cent of the …
Steve May, 4 Aug 2014

END your Macbook SHAME: Convert it into a Microsoft SURFACE

So you've spent well over a grand on a new Macbook Pro. How do you fancy spending even more than that amount, all over again, to mod your laptop so it resembles a, er, Microsoft Surface? Judging by the the cult-like Apple worship practised by covens of fanbois and gurlz, we'd reckon that few people would take up the offer of …
Jasper Hamill, 4 Aug 2014