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PlayStation 4

Sony tells hacked gamer to pay for crooks' abuse of PlayStation account

Sony has told a victim of fraud he must either pay the outstanding charge caused by his Playstation account being hacked, or remain locked out – effectively rendering his console unusable. In February, Ben Smyth's account was hacked and £49.99 was fraudulently charged to his credit card. His details were changed by Sony and the …
Kat Hall, 2 Apr 2015

Judge greenlights class-action suit accusing AMD of securities fraud

A US federal judge has given the green light for a class-action lawsuit accusing AMD of securities fraud over the chipmaker's alleged failure to inform investors of problems with its manufacturing. The suit, first filed in January 2014 and amended in June of that year, accuses AMD of willfully misleading investors by withholding …
PlayStation Vita

PlayStation Vita owners – Sony owes you $25 cash or $50 credit

Sony and the FTC have agreed on a settlement deal that will include payouts to PlayStation Vita owners. The US watchdog gave final approval to a settlement deal with the US arm of the Japanese electronics giant and its advertising agency Deutsch LA. The deal, first proposed in November will allow users who purchased a …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Apr 2015

The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

Breaking Fad Among my collection of radios, I have a couple of DAB sets, a 1940 Pilot Twin Miracle, a 1950s Ferguson that needs a bit of repair, and a rather long-in-the-tooth Marantz tuner as part of the living room hi-fi. It's a while since I powered up the Pilot, but it still more or less worked, which is not bad going for something that …

Intel boosts low-end PCs, laptops with Atom-powered 'Braswell' SoCs

Without much fanfare, details have begun to emerge about Intel's latest line of Atom system-on-chips for low-end desktop PCs, and laptops. CPU World reports that Intel will offer four new Atom products based on its 14-nanometer "Braswell" process, to be marketed under the Celeron and Pentium brands. Each will be based on two or …
Neil McAllister, 31 Mar 2015
Chromebook Flip

New dirt-cheap Chromebooks: Team Google keeps jackboot on throat of PC titans

While Google is trying to push Chromebooks upmarket with its flashy Pixel, its Chrome OS partners continue to target budget-conscious buyers with a new batch of devices priced at $250 and lower. Chinese electronics manufacturers are leading the latest charge, with both Haier and Hisense making new Chromebooks available for …
Neil McAllister, 31 Mar 2015
Surface 3 in red

Microsoft dumps ARM for Atom with cut-price Surface 3 fondleslab

Pic + vid Microsoft's brief flirtation with ARM-powered Windows RT tablets looks to be over: the Redmond giant has unveiled its latest fondleslab, the Surface 3, which is a dinky Atom-powered slate running a full version of Windows on Intel hardware. Up until this latest tablet, Surfaces have sported ARM-compatible processors, and Surface …
Iain Thomson, 31 Mar 2015
Huawei HQ

Huawei bellows big revenue jump thanks to brisk 2014 phone sales

Huawei – which was backed by Britain last week despite repeated claims that the Chinese company's network kit could endanger national security – saw a 33 per cent leap in net profit for 2014. The privately held, employee-owned telecoms giant reported its full-year results this morning, when the firm's rotating CEO Ken Hu …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 Mar 2015

Wearables market action is all in the wrist says market-scryer IDC

The wearables market will be dominated by wrist action, according to market-watcher IDC, and will remain smaller than the PC market. The firm today predicted that 2015 will see 45.7 million wearables shipped, up from 2014's 19.6 million units. By 2019, total shipment volumes are forecast to reach 126.1 million units. Devices …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2015
Inside the Google Lab where surgeons prepare the human/dog experiment

Google plans ROBOTS to SLICE YOU OPEN AND CUT YOU UP

Google has signed a deal to collaborate with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon to work on surgical robotics applications. The J&J statement says the two companies will “bring together capabilities, intellectual property and expertise” in building a robotic-assisted surgical platform, with the kind of supporting sentence that …

Motorola Mobility loses another patent suit to über-troll Intellectual Ventures

Motorola Mobility has suffered another defeat at the hands of patent hoarder Intellectual Ventures, with a Delaware jury finding that Moto infringed a patent describing a way for handheld devices to connect to docking stations. Law360 reports that the jury only deliberated for about an hour before deciding in Intellectual …
Neil McAllister, 30 Mar 2015

Just WALK IN and buy an Apple Watch. Are you mad?

Apple has slapped some restrictions on early-bird madcap punters who want to part with hard-earned cash for a fancy wrist-job – they must shop only on white unicorns, bring virgin £50 notes and rap their order. Alright, so the channel bully boy isn’t being quite as prescriptive with those that want to buy an Apple Watch, but a …
Paul Kunert, 30 Mar 2015
Apple MacBook Air 13-inch, early 2015

Apple's 13-incher will STILL cost you a bomb: MacBook Air 2015

Review Well, it looks as though the writing is on the wall for the MacBook Air. It’s still one of the slimmest and lightest laptops around, with impressive 10-12 hour battery life. But that 1440x900 resolution is dead in the water these days – especially at Apple price levels – while the chunky metal bezel around the screen is the tech …
Stephen Dean, 30 Mar 2015
Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Manager

Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains

FIRST LOOK Samsung's gone for beauty and brains with its new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but hasn't fallen into the trap of style over substance. Last year's S5 packed all sorts of features into a tired-looking package and while the phone was a technological marvel, it wasn't easy on the eye and didn't set the pulse racing. Both S6 models take …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015
Hitler as Fanboi

Apple is like HITLER says Chinese billionaire

One of the ways Chinese kids like to pass their time is watching video on a site called Leshi TV that's sufficiently popular the company's CEO Jia Yueting is ranked among the planet's billionaires. Jia is also an enthusiastic user of Weibo, China's Twitter equivalent. And late last week he used it to post the image above …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015
Paul Winchell and dummy

Chip rumor-gasm: Intel to buy Altera! Samsung to buy AMD! ... or not

Rumors flew fast and furious on Friday about possible acquisitions in the chip industry, with both Intel and Samsung said to be eyeing purchases that could strengthen their positions against rivals. First up, Intel is thought to be planning to gobble specialty chipmaker Altera, in what could become the largest acquisition in …
Neil McAllister, 27 Mar 2015

ZTE's stealthy Nubia: China-made Google-free Android mobe

Hands On A stealth project being shown discreetly at Mobile World Congress this month shows how far Chinese phone manufacturers have come – and how far they have to go. It’s under the umbrella of ZTE, the state-owned telecoms giant, and was officially unveiled this week. The Chinese are coming, but we’ve barely had a taster of it yet …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Mar 2015
HTC One M9 Android smartphone

HTC One M9 Android smartphone: Like a M8 with a squinty eye

Review In a world of generic smartphones where even Apple and Samsung seem to be converging on the same design, HTC has designed phones that are pretty distinctive – the HTC One is one of the very few brands you can recognise from across a room. HTC One M9 Android smartphone Standing out from the crowd, HTC's One M9 HTC has also …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Mar 2015
ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) is one of six detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – image by Maximilien Brice CERN/Science photo library

What is HPC actually good for? Just you wait and see

High Performance Computing (HPC) is all terribly exciting. We get announcements about this supercluster or that beating the number of teraflops of that other one (or, more likely these days, petaflops). Or maybe it's data throughput or storage size or even transfer rates. And, perhaps the most interesting way of thinking about …
Tim Worstall, 27 Mar 2015

Win some, lose some: Motorola 1, patent troll 1

Motorola Mobility got some bad news and good news on Wednesday when a US jury found it ripped off an Intellectual Ventures-owned technology patent although denied a second infringement claim. The panel of peers, sitting in a federal court in Delaware, ruled that a range of Moto smartphones in 2011 infringed US patent 7,810,144 …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Mar 2015

Light the lanterns people, Acer made a profit in 2014

A recovery of sorts is taking place at Acer with calendar 2014 P&L accounts returning to the black in a meaningful way, bringing closure to three consecutive years of losses. The latest CEO Jason Chen is steadying operations, and more conservative sales forecasts are also paying off, as Acer wasn’t forced to write down stock, …
Paul Kunert, 26 Mar 2015
Apple MacBook Pro 13-in WRD early 2015

Force your hand: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Review Last year’s update to the MacBook Pro was more notable for its £100 price cut than the modest speed bump that accompanied it. However, this year’s model is a more interesting kettle of fish, as it introduces Intel’s latest Broadwell processors to the Mac range, along with Apple’s new Force Touch trackpad doohickey. Apple …
Stephen Dean, 26 Mar 2015

Wannabe a nano-bot-manufacturing giant? Better cozy up to Apple

Apple's demand for minute mechanical gizmos in its iThings is more or less dictating who wins and who loses among MEMS manufacturers, analysts reckon. Supply-chain researchers at IHS said the Cupertino idiot-tax operation's use of Micro-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) and sensors in iPhones and iPods draws so much business that …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Mar 2015

Hacker builds cheatbot for hit app Trivia Crack

Security researcher Randy Westergren has reverse engineered super popular app Trivia Crack, recompiled it to help cheaters and along the way showed how to turn it into nastyware. Trivia Crack has taken the world by storm, accruing some 130 million installs across Android devices and an unknown on iOS units. The app which pits …
Darren Pauli, 26 Mar 2015
A 'Virtual Nose' designed to lessen motion sickness in simulations

'Virtual nose' makes VR less dizzying, say boffins

A Purdue University undergraduate has picked a way to stop virtual reality inducing motion sickness: program in a virtual nose. Assistant professor David Whittinghill says “Simulator sickness is very common” and occurs because “your perceptual system does not like it when the motion of your body and your visual system are out of …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Mar 2015
Privacy image

Samsung forgets fingerprints, focuses its eye on YOURS

When Samsung shoved the Galaxy S5 out the door last year, one of the things it put front and centre was the new ability to log on with one's fingerprint. Fast forward twelve months and Sammy looks to be giving that idea a finger of a different sort, by signing a deal with the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) to put iris- …
Bloodborne

Bloodborne: An immersively thick cut above its gaming rivals

Game Theory I dreamt I was in Yharnam last night, swirling dark cloth fluttering on the edge of my consciousness; Bloodborne has me hooked like a horrid nightly visit from a Lovecraftian succubus. This game is no fleeting weekender like The Order: 1886 it’s time for some true graft. Bloodborne Character modelling Just like The Order: …
Lucy Orr, 25 Mar 2015
Not as much fun as an angle-grinder to a gatso but a lot more legal

Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Ford has announced a new intelligent speed limiter system which reads traffic signs and reduces fuel flow to keep your vehicle within the speed limit. As much as the petrolhead lobby decries the direct correlation the road safety brigade makes between speed and safety, current legislation means that if you're driving too fast, …
Simon Rockman, 25 Mar 2015
Beam booth at CES

ROBOT INVASION has already STARTED in HIPSTERLAND

Over the last couple of years The Reg has occasionally reported on “telepresence robots”, devices that beam your beaming smile onto a monitor carried atop a motorised trolley that rolls around a remote office. The idea is that telepresence is all well and good, but your co-workers aren't going to crowd around a monitor to chat …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2015
Imagination Technologies' MIPS tablet reference design

Imagination touts cheap Firefox OS MIPS slab to Chinese kitmakers

No longer content to cede the mobile processor market to ARM, British chip firm Imagination Technologies has unveiled a new reference tablet design powered by a CPU based on its MIPS architecture. Although designed to cost less than $100, the 9.7-inch device is more demo than actual product. Built by Chinese ODM Ingenic, its …
Neil McAllister, 24 Mar 2015

Twitch stitch-up: Gaming vid streamers in data breach hack alert

Gameplay-streaming upstart Twitch thinks hackers may have harvested its user accounts for private information – and has reset people's passwords as a precaution. The San Francisco-based startup, which lets people stream videos of themselves playing games to online spectators – said it has also voided all stream keys, and …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Mar 2015
DJI Phantom 2 Drone

Drug drone not high enough: Brit lags' copter snared on prison wire

The first recorded attempt to smuggle drugs into a British prison using a drone has ended in failure – after the gear-bearing gizmo got tangled in razor wire. "We were called to reports that a small drone had been discovered alongside a package in netting above a perimeter wall at HMP Bedford at 11.30pm on March 6," a …
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2015
Battlefield Hardline

Discreet fighting man: Battlefield Hardline

Game Theory If there’s one area of the Battlefield formula you’d say needs most work, it would undoubtedly be its single-player component. Recent offerings have promised much in hyped-up trailers, showing blazing gunfights and falling buildings. But, ultimately, each has fallen short when it comes to a cohesive storyline and noteworthy …
Mike Plant, 23 Mar 2015
Ken Sheriff's Mandelbrot printout, with IBM punch-cards

Mature mainframe madness prints Mandlebrot fractal in TWELVE MINUTES

A programmer better known for work on Arduino has shown off handy vintage mainframe skills, getting an ancient IBM 1401 to buzz away on its 1403 line printer to produce the classic Mandelbrot fractal image. It's not as trivial as it sounds. In this blog post on the “12-minute Mandelbrot”, Ken Shirriff explains that programming …

Apple boots Windows 7 out of Boot Camp

The Cupertino fruit factory has decided to boot old versions of Windows out of the camp, quietly not-announcing that only Windows 8 and 10 will run on the latest flavours of the dual-boot "Boot Camp" utility that ships with this year's new Macs. The new policy means that the recently-announced MacBook Air and 13” MacBook Pro …
android tongue

Pass the Lollipop: Google creepily warms to body contact with Android lock function

Google, it would seem, has quietly released a new smart lock mode feature for Android-powered devices. The function, which appears to have been dubbed "on-body detection", apparently allows a mobe to remain unlocked while it is carried in a customer's hand or pocket. According to the Android Police blog, the feature uses a …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Mar 2015
Viewsonic PLED-W800

Lighty and flighty: Six sizzling portable projectors

Product Roundup Portable projectors are improving their image. What were once dim curiosities – of use principally to travelling hucksters – have evolved into surprisingly powerful display devices. Designed to project HDMI or laptop sources, USB sticks and SD cards, this new breed of beamers can cast images virtually anywhere. Even that old …
Steve May, 20 Mar 2015

Fanbois: We paid $2000 for full satisfaction but now we have SPREADING STAINS

Apple consumers are complaining that the company is ignoring their complaints about the anti-reflective MacBook coating peeling off in whacking great ugly patches. Ever-eager to embrace now-meaningless suffixes and lazy journalistic shorthand, the upset Apple boys and girls have dubbed this issue "Staingate", with a domain for …
Tesla Model D

AUTOPILOT: Musk promises Tesla owners a HANDS-OFF hands-on

Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk has claimed that an update to the software in his all-electric cars will seemingly magically turn them into self-driving autonomous vehicles. In a conference call with journalists on Thursday, Musk said that in about three months, Tesla will push out version 7.0 of the cars' operating system, and …
Iain Thomson, 20 Mar 2015
An Amazon Prime Air drone

Amazon issued with licence for delivery drone madness

Amazon has been granted a special "experimental airworthiness certificate" by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to test out new drones. The only problem is it's completely useless to the online retailer as it contains a line-of-sight requirement that would make its main aim of delivering packages impossible. It is over two …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Mar 2015
Mickey Mouse watch. Pic: Joe Haupt

Intel's cheap and Android's free: Not any more, says TAG Heuer

(Comparatively) inexpensive Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer has chummed up with ad giant Google and silicon goliath Intel to launch a luxury smartwatch powered by a Chipzilla chipset and running Android Wear. Google is evidently keen to join Apple and Microsoft in digging like a truffle-hog into the market for wearable, computerised …
crash test dummies

Hello? Police? Yes, I'm a car and my idiot driver's crashed me

New cars sold in the EU will soon be able to call the emergency services without human intervention. A new law approved by MEPs on Tuesday will make the so-called eCall system obligatory for all new car models sold in the EU from April 2018. eCall uses the Europe-wide 112 emergency number to call the emergency services …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Mar 2015