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Samsung gear 360 camera

8K video gives virtual reality the full picture for mainstream use

Over the last six months, 360-degree videos have become A Thing. Google added support in YouTube, Facebook followed, and now we see a cavalcade of announcements from device manufacturers, all wanting a slice of the next revolution in photography. It’s easy to understand why: immersive video provides a feeling of ‘being there’ …
Mark Pesce, 2 Jun 2016
Mellanox bluefield

Mellanox's SoCs take a night on the Tiles

Fancy a high core count ARM system-on-a-chip? That's what Mellanox is packing into the BlueField SoC processors it hopes will give it the edge in the hyperscale market. Bob Doud joined Mellanox in the latter's US$811 million acquisition of EzChip, whose Tilera multicore chip technology is a big part of the BlueField …
Super Mario Bros

Take that, Mom! Turns out Super Mario Bros was all about solving complex math problems

Completing a game of Super Mario Brothers is the mathematic equivalent of solving complex mathematical calculations, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The prestigious tech university said in a recent study [PDF] that navigating the world's most famous plumber through a single level can require the same …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jun 2016
Professional carbon drone with GPS. Pic via Shutterstock

FAA to test Brit drone-busting kit

The US's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will trial the "world's first fully integrated detect-track-disrupt-defeat Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS)", developed by a trio of British companies. Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and Enterprise Control Systems describe AUDS as intended "for countering drones or …
Lester Haines, 1 Jun 2016
Space Invaders schematic

ARM Cortex-A73: How a top-end mobe CPU was designed from scratch

Analysis For its latest top-end smartphone processor core – the Cortex-A73 – ARM designed its microarchitecture more or less from scratch. Whereas its predecessor, 2015's Cortex-A72, was drawn up in Austin, Texas, the new A73 microarchitecture was designed by a team in France, starting about three years ago. Although we're told the …
Micro:Bit photo

BBC's micro:bit retail shipments near

The long-awaited BBC micro:bit computer is now available for pre-order to retail and reseller customers, with single-unit orders starting at £12.50. Earlier this year, the beeb began shipping the little single-board computer to school-children. Farnell element14 is now taking pre-orders at resale scale, a minimum order …
Xeon E3-1500 v5

You don't need no STEEENKING GPU, says Intel

Intel's again trying to make the argument that integrated graphics trump dedicated graphics processing units, by cooking a new Xeon tuned to processing video. Chipzilla's been here before: its Iris Pro graphics made it into last year's Xeons. This year's Xeon E3-1500 v5 is pitched at those who want to stream 4K video. It's …
Wiwynn's ST7110-30P JBOF based on Facebook designs

Facebook's newest JBOF can be yours for Christmas

Taiwanese server-maker Wiwynn will bring Facebook's latest JBOF (just a bunch of flash) devices to all comers by Christmas. The ST7110-30P is a 2U machine that can house 60 solid-state disks or 30 NVMe drives. Facebook's packed it full of PCIe interfaces – 16 version 3.0 ports to be precise – because that's how the device …

Marvell's fave vendors sniff latest pair of SoCs

Marvell Semiconductor is sampling its Armada 7000 and Armada 8000 system-on-chips (SoCs), based on the ARM Cortex-A72 architecture. Marvell reckons the SoCs are good for appliances from SOHO up to data centres, with dual- and quad-core versions, and are in the hands of "tier 1" vendors' design teams. The centrepiece of the …
A soldier aims an XM-25 smartgun. Credit: PEO Soldier

Cavium arms ARM bodies for fresh data centre compute charge

Cavium has used Computex to push out its next round of ARM server system on chips (SoCs), the ThunderX2. The ARMv8.2 architecture, ARM's Server Base System Architecture chip, uses a 14nm process instead of its predecessor's 28 nm. The SoCs support as many as 54 cores per socket, which Cavium reckons will as much as triple the …
Intel i7 Extreme

Not two, not four, but 10 cores in Intel's new PC powerhouse

Intel has unveiled four new processors at Computex in Taipei, including its first desktop-grade 10-core processor – yours for the bargain price of $1,723 plus tax. Intel's Xeon server chips have had 10 cores for a while now, but the Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition is the first PC system. The chip comes with a 25MB cache and runs …
Iain Thomson, 31 May 2016
warrant

Get outta here, officer, you don't need a warrant to track people by their phones – appeals court

A US Court of Appeals has ruled that police do not need a warrant to track the whereabouts of a person's mobile phone. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled [PDF] that police in Baltimore did not violate the Fourth Amendment rights of two suspected robbers when they pulled the phone location data of the men from their …
Shaun Nichols, 31 May 2016
Laptop user, photo via Shutterstock

These big-name laptops are infested with security bugs – study

Computers from many of the biggest PC makers are riddled with easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities in pre-loaded software, security researchers warn. The research from Duo Security shows that bloatware is not just a nuisance that causes a lag in system boot-up, but a security risk. Laptops from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo all …
John Leyden, 31 May 2016
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Qualcomm wheels out new set of Snapdragon Wear chips

Qualcomm has announced it will be launching a new series of Snapdragon Wear chips aimed at wearable devices. As wearable technology expands, the new chips will power devices that are aimed at specific audiences, such as kids’ watches or watches for the elderly, fitness trackers, smart headsets, and wearable accessories. The …
Katyanna Quach, 31 May 2016

Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

Hands-on In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Microsoft highlighted its increasingly popular Surface line as the growth leader in its More Personal Computing line of business. Surface led the category with 61 per cent growth in constant currency, a rise driven by the top products in the line, the Surface Pro 4 tablet and the …
Addison Snell, 27 May 2016

We see what you're up to, Intel, with your eye-o-tee vision

Intel reduced to a component supplier to auto-makers? Don't rule it out, readers, or rate it a cut-rate fate for Chipzilla, because the company has just made a bet in just that field. The bet is the acquisition of a company called Itseez Inc, “an expert in Computer Vision (CV) algorithms and implementations for embedded and …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2016
OWL VR Viewer by Brian May's London Stereoscopic Company Copyright London Stereoscopic Company

Queen guitarist Brian May releases virtual reality viewer

Queen guitarist Brian May is an enthusiast for stereo imagery, the Victorian-era 3D craze for viewing photos through a stereoscope in order to be awed by the illusion of depth in static images. May's put his money where his eyes are, operating the London Stereoscopic Company to promote the technology. Now the shaggy-haired one …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2016

Hooves in spaaace: Goat Simulator goes galactic

Swedish games outfit Coffee Stain Studios has announced it's releasing a galactic expansion to its popular 2014 ram-'em-up Goat Simulator, which finally offered goat wannabes the chance to fulfil their caprine fantasies. Entitled Waste of Space, the expansion's premise is that players "get to beat or trick people into …
Lester Haines, 25 May 2016

Pepper robot acts like real teenager, gets job at Pizza Hut

SoftBank Robotic's "Pepper" humanoid robot will soon be put to work selling pizzas in Asia. The robotics division of the Japanese business giant has struck a deal with MasterCard and Pizza Hut to place Pepper units in select pizza parlors in the region. The Pepper bots will be used in the pilot program to both greet customers …
Shaun Nichols, 24 May 2016
Citrix Raspberry Pi client

Citrix bakes up Raspberry Pi client boxes

Citrix has unveiled a desktop thin client based on the Raspberry Pi microcomputer. The HDX Ready Pi is a Citrix-built box containing the Raspberry Pi 3 hardware and a ViewSonic Linux build designed specifically to run with the Citrix HDX virtual desktop platform. In addition to the Raspberry Pi 3 board, the client boxes …
Shaun Nichols, 24 May 2016
robot rally car

Safety, pah! Digital Dukes of Hazzard have robot cars powersliding

Video Last month, Google, Ford and Uber started a lobbying group called the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets to promote autonomous vehicles on safety grounds, but boffins in Georgia are having far more fun with their hardware. While Google spends time pootling around Mountain View at 25mph, researchers at Georgia Tech, the …
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2016
Dean Kamen on the iBot

Toyota not shybot about whybot it will trybot the iBot

Inventor Dean Kamen has inked a deal with Toyota to revive his iBot smart wheelchair, which has been out of production since 2009. The Segway creator's DEKA Research and Development Corp and the Japanese automaker said this weekend in a joint press conference at the Paralyzed Veterans of America Convention that they would be …
Shaun Nichols, 23 May 2016
FitBit

Got a Fitbit? Thought you were achieving your goals? Better read this

UPDATE Scientists have tested a pair of wearable fitness gadgets from Fitbit and found they get heart rates wrong by as much as 25 beats per minute. The study (PDF) was commissioned by law firm Lieff Cabraser, which is running a class action against Fitbit over inaccurate heart rate readings. The study didn't use a colossal sample …
Simon Sharwood, 23 May 2016

Modular phone Ara to finally launch

A modular phone that will let you snap on and pull off different components as you wish will finally launch this fall, Google has announced. The Ara project was originally announced in October 2013 and was part of the acquired Motorola Mobility business. Since then it has become part of Google's Advanced Technology and …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 May 2016
A group of people hold out mobile phones in a circle. Photo by Shutterstock

World goes SIM-free, leaving Sony and HTC trailing behind

One-third of phones worldwide are now sold SIM-free, Gartner reports today in its latest quarterly smartphone market numbers. The move to SIM-free online sales has benefited Chinese upstarts and left former favourites like Sony and HTC in the dust, analyst Anshul Gupta told us. “They haven’t changed at all, while the market …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 May 2016
Waverly Labs Pilot translator

Electric Babel Fish swims into crowdfunding

A company called Waverly Labs claims to have developed a real-time-in-ear translation unit. Just how the “Pilot” pulls off the trick hasn't been fully explained on the company's site or the saccharine video that purports to show the device in action. What we can say is that the material released so far depicts two wireless …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2016
Nokia 1011

How Nokia is (and isn't) back in the phone business today

Analysis We have a new phone company today, and it’s European. And the badge says Nokia. So is Nokia back in the phone biz? Yes and no. It won’t spend a penny on either making or marketing phones - even at arm’s length. All that is going to be the job of a new entity, HMD Global Oy, run by present and past Nokians. From HMD we can …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 May 2016
Monster 6502 board

Chaps make working 6502 CPU by hand. Because why not?

The 6502 CPU is a fondly-remembered CPU* for good reason: along with chips from Motorola, Intel and Zilog, it helped create the personal computer business in the 1980s. However, this project is affection on a grand scale: some US enthusiasts are creating a transistor-for-transistor replica of the chip's design using discrete …
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Got $130,000 down the back of the sofa? Great. Grab an HP 3D printer

The first of HP Inc’s much-delayed (and cynics might say over-hyped 3D printer) is to hit the market “late” this year – launching into a crowded space with a challenger device the firm hopes will brighten its future. The Jet Fusion 3D 3200 will sell for $130,000 – add another $25,000 for services including post-processing …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
Raspberry Pi Zero v. 1.3 with camera connector

Raspberry Pi Zero gains a camera connector

The Raspberry Pi Zero has added a camera connector. Chief Pi guy Eben Upton has explained that the new connector came about as a result of colossal demand for the minuscule computer. The factory baking Pis could not keep up with demand for the Zero and then had to pause production once the Raspberry Pi 3 debuted. Upton says …
Simon Sharwood, 17 May 2016
Internet of Things book cover

Sloppy security in IoT putting 'life and limb' at risk, guru warns

IoT developers need to get their act together on security or the chaos caused by the likes of Anonymous in traditional computing will seem like a picnic, security vet Josh Corman warned the Building IoT conference in Cologne yesterday. Corman, the founder of iamthecavalry.org and director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative for …
Joe Fay, 13 May 2016

Kobayashi Maru gets real: VR and AR in meatspace today

Three years ago few people other than hardcore gamers and those working in specialist industrial fields were still talking about VR. It was a gimmicky technology cursed by the “P” word (“potential”) and huge, ungainly headsets that generated a flurry of interest in the late 1990s that quickly evaporated. Today, it’s big news …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 May 2016
Impact chip on the ISS

A cracked window on the International Space Station? That's not good

British astronaut Tim Peake has sparked an orbital kerfuffle after he tweeted a picture showing a crack in the International Space Station's window. It was caused by space debris. Often asked if @Space_Station is hit by space debris. Yes – this chip is in a Cupola window https://t.co/iH87Dt80yV pic.twitter.com/7ZvVs4myM0 — Tim …
Iain Thomson, 12 May 2016

Italians rattle little tin for smartmobe mini lenses

An Italian "microscopy, consumer electronics and micro-optics" outfit is offering smartphone and tablet owners the chance to get up-close and personal with the world via "an ultra portable and very affordable set of 2 mini lenses which turns your smartphone or tablet into a digital microscope". Working with the Istituto …
Lester Haines, 11 May 2016
Space Invaders

Cisco suggests network administration is fun and games

Cisco's trying to get into the games business. A recent trademark application for ”Cisco Geek Factor” suggests the Borg wants to brand its own “Computer game programs; computer game software for use on mobile and cellular phones.” United States Patent and Trademark Office filings are very brief: the only other information we …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2016
Photograph by Mr Hicks64, Creative Commons, Commercial Use allowed (https://flic.kr/p/grR7Fw)

NVMdurance extends flash life tenfold

A small Irish startup says it can extend flash endurance tenfold, and has inked a supply deal with Altera to demonstrate the strength of its technology. NVMdurance was founded as Evolvability by Joe Sullivan and Conor Ryan in 2008 to carry out flash endurance consulting. In 2012 it gained funding and support from NRDC Ireland …
Chris Mellor, 10 May 2016
Android for cars

Android's security patch quagmire probed by US watchdogs

Mobile carriers and gadget makers will be investigated over how slow they push important software security patches to people. The probe will be carried out by US trade watchdog the FTC and America's internet mall cop the FCC. The two agencies will work together to scrutinize manufacturers of phones, tablets and other gear, …
Shaun Nichols, 9 May 2016

Google, Honeywell put away Nest patent knives

A long-standing lawsuit between thermostat company Honeywell and Google over the Nest smart thermostat has been settled, with both sides agreeing to a "long-term patent cross-license agreement". No details beyond that vague agreement were provided. So it's unclear whether there was any financial compensation, or agreement that …
Asus Z97-A motherboard

Microsoft half-bricks Asus Windows 7 PCs with UEFI boot glitch

A recent Windows 7 update partially bricks computers that have an Asus motherboard fitted, it emerged this week. Windows 7 machines that have installed Microsoft's KB3133977 update may trigger a "secure boot violation" during startup, preventing the PC from loading the operating system, Asus said. Though the KB3133977 patch …
Shaun Nichols, 6 May 2016

Apple needs silver bullet to slay App Store's escaped undead – study

Online software bazaars – such as Apple's App Store and Google Play – need to claim responsibility for "dead applications" and notify people when their programs have been revoked or removed, a study by security firm Appthority recommends. “Dead apps” are those that have been removed from an app store, but remain on devices – …
John Leyden, 6 May 2016
Cthulu emerges from a printer. Image created by illustrator Andy Davies. Copyright: The Register

You can always rely on the Ancient Ones to cock things up

Something for the Weekend, Sir? We have installed a water feature in Dabbs Mansions. It’s an impressive vertical fountain with a splash radius of two metres. In hindsight, it was probably a mistake to install it in the utility room. To be honest, I don’t even remember ordering it. The first I knew about the whole thing was returning home after an hour and a …
The original Sinclair ZX Spectrum

ZX Printer's American cousin still in use, 34 years after purchase

Emails are still trickling in with readers trying to trump the almost nineteen-year-old server we found was just being decommissioned back in January. A recent missive from reader Ian piqued our interest because it said he's still running a Timex Sinclair 2040 printer bought in 1982! The 2040's a thermal printer based on the …