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Tesla powerwall

Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

It's pretty and batteries are ugly – but Tesla's Powerwall is more like an incremental change than a radical disruption. Given that the hype over Elon Musk's Tesla Powerwall announcement has reached all the way from The Verge calling the colours “lickable” (no, not likeable) and tossing in a hypegasm over Musk's “best keynote …

Stubborn 'won't fix' Google U-turns on Chromecast vid judder twitching-eye blunder

Google has surprised European fans of its Chromecast TV dongle by suddenly acknowledging a screw-up with the vid-streaming device, after effectively stonewalling complaints late last year. As The Register reported at the time, users were griping about an annoying video quirk with the Chromecast, which caused some European users …
Kelly Fiveash, 3 May 2015
Munchkin Adventure Time

Cylon is golden: Backstabbing bank holiday board games

Product Roundup The Bank Holiday weekend is upon us, so why not prepare for a wet weekend, as is the tradition, and go in search of some backstabbing board games? These games can involve working co-operatively with my fellow players, which can be rewarding, but you can always change your mind and there’s nothing like sadistic satisfaction of …
Lucy Orr, 2 May 2015
Redditor guinne55fan's arm tattoo

Apple in rinky-dink ink stink wristjob admission: Watch IS affected by TATTOOS

Apple has confirmed that, yes indeed, its Watch gizmo does not work well on tattooed skin. The Cupertino goliath published a support page acknowledging that dark ink can prevent the pulse reader and other sensors on the watch from gathering data. This knackers health and fitness apps, and can cause the expensive wristslab to …
Shaun Nichols, 1 May 2015
Simulated views of the world as seen through HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens or Hollow Lens? El Reg stares down cyber-specs' code

Build 2015 The first rule of Microsoft's HoloLens is you do not talk about HoloLens. When you're given a demo, you may not take photos, you may not shoot video, and you may not record audio. Given a moment to think about it, this is a strange requirement. After all, everything you see through HoloLens itself is an optical illusion. You …
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Console yourself: How the PS4 Spring Fever indies stack up

Game Theory It wasn’t that long ago that Microsoft dominated the world of home console indie games, with the Xbox 360’s Summer of Arcade promotion bringing us the likes of Shadow Complex and Limbo, year-in, year-out. Now though, the winds of change have led to the PS4 stealing a march on the indie scene, with Sony’s Spring Fever roster of …
Mike Plant, 1 May 2015
Apple a day  by Robert Holf https://www.flickr.com/photos/robbertholf/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Samsung back on top of smartmobe market

Samsung's sales may be sliding nastily, but box-counter IDC says the company is back on top of the world when it comes to smartphone shipments. The firm's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker for 2015's first quarter found 336.5 million smartphones shipped, worldwide. That's “ up 16.7% from the 288.5 million units in 1Q14 …
Tesla powerwall

Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

Billionaire biz baron Elon Musk has revealed Tesla's long-expected battery products and claimed they put an end to humanity's production of carbon dioxide as a by-product of energy generation. “No incremental CO2 is the future we need to have,” Musk said, during the battery packs' launch, advocating that charging his new …
Apple Watch Sport

What is Apple's idiot tax on Watch these days? 'About $265 or 80%'

A teardown of the Apple Watch has found that Sir Jony's arm candy costs a grand total of $83.70 to build, apparently. Research house IHS estimates that the total bill of materials for each California wristjob is about a fifth of the $399 starting retail price: the team found that the hardware in the latest iThing carries a cost …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Apr 2015

Apple and IBM foist fondleslabs on Japanese elders in Big Data snatch

Apple and IBM have jointly announced a scheme under which they will hand out five million iPads to elderly folks in Japan over the next five years and reap a mighty harvest of bigdata thereby. The two zaibatsu – whose combined names can be rearranged anagrammatically to "Able Pimp" – have teamed up to ensure utter market …
Windows 10 IoT Core

Ha! Win 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 2 pops out of the Microsoft oven

Build 2015 Microsoft has released a preview of Windows 10 Internet of Things Core for the diminutive ARM-Cortex-powered Raspberry Pi 2 and the MinnowBoard Max, a computer driven by an Intel Bay Trail Atom. The operating system image for the Raspberry Pi 2 requires an 8GB micro SD card, though the OS itself is only about 1GB, with the …
Tim Anderson, 30 Apr 2015
Wolfenstein 3D

You can now play thousands of classic DOS games on Twitter. Goodbye, productivity

The Internet Archive is sharing 2,600 blast-from-the-past DOS games playable in web browsers via Twitter in what is possibly an anarchist plot to strangle global productivity. This means you can tweet links to the games on archive.org, and play them within Twitter. Welcome to the future. The archive's online vault includes …
LG G4 with leather backs

Snapdragon 810 chip doesn't overheat, jilted Qualcomm sniffs at LG

Qualcomm is hitting back at the suggestion its Snapdragon 810 system-on-chip overheats, while carefully making sure it doesn't call its customer LG a cheapskate. Critics argue that if the 64-bit ARM-compatible Snapdragon 810 was problem-free, it would have been chosen by LG for the new flagship G4, which was launched this week …
Simon Rockman, 30 Apr 2015
TomTom MyDrive app

TomTom MyDrive brings satnav syncing to PCs and mobiles

Pics In Amsterdam yesterday, TomTom finally joined the dots on its consumer navigation portfolio with the launch of MyDrive. With the rise of smartphone navigation or journey planning on the desktop, TomTom’s new service combines these methods with its own Go series of satnavs, enabling synchronisation between devices. TomTom …
Bob Dormon, 30 Apr 2015

High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

Breaking Fad Whether you’re a fan of the Internet of Things (IoT) or just a user of home technology, for many Reg readers IP connectivity is something that you probably want just about everywhere in your home, whether it’s to WhatsApp from the bath, or for things like media streamers and smart TVs in the living room. Compared to five years …
Nigel Whitfield, 30 Apr 2015
Apple Watch Sport

Apple Watch WRISTJOB SHORTAGE: It's down to BAD VIBES

Apple scrapped a whole batch of Apple Watches after finding a fault with the wristjob's vibrating Taptic Engine, say reports. According to the Wall Street Journal, "people familiar with the matter" have said that after mass production began in February, "reliability testing revealed that some Taptic Engines supplied by AAC …
The original Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Oxford chaps solve problem in 1982 Sinclair Spectrum manual

Oxford's Museum of the History of Science have tackled, and solved, a problem posed in the 1982 manual for the ZX Spectrum. Chapter 19 of that document explains "BEEP", a BASIC command that made the Spectrum emit sounds. The chapter included a routine to play the funeral march from Austrian composer Mahler's first symphony. The …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Apr 2015
Ouya

Android gaming platform Ouya is down to its last life

The low-cost Android gaming startup Ouya is on the brink of collapse and wants a buyer, fast. According to Fortune, the company tripped a debt covenant and hopes for expressions of interest by the end of April. Originally kick-started to the tune of US$8.6 million, the company caused buzz with its play-your-Android-games-on-TV …
LG G4

LG glances at red-stained bank account, crosses fingers for G4

South Korean electronics giant LG is putting on its best face after its bottom line plunged by two thirds. LG said that the drop in currencies was the main reason its net income for the first quarter of 2015, ended March 31 [PDF], stood at 38bn Korean Won (US$35m) compared to 98bn (US$91.5m) from the year-ago period – a 61 per …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Apr 2015
Hololens

PICTURE-TASTIC: Microsoft woos devs to HoloLens virtuo-goggs

Build 2015 Microsoft is serious about HoloLens, and devoted some stage time during Wednesday morning's keynote at the Build conference in San Francisco to explain how its futuristic headset will be more than just a fancy toy. Game developers are reportedly already exploring the possibilities inherent in a headset that can superimpose …
Neil McAllister, 29 Apr 2015

SECRET PROTOTYPE iPAD 'stolen from RANDY Apple employee'

A "test model" iPad was stolen this month from a lonely-heart in his 20s, who is thought to be an Apple worker. The unnamed man had responded to a sex ad online – and got more than he bargained for. The poor bloke answered an advert from Katherine Stump, 20, and later met up with her and her pal Alexander Nejat, 24, two blocks …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Apr 2015
Microsoft Build conference

'Android on Windows': Microsoft tightens noose around neck, climbs on chair

Build 2015 Microsoft’s annual developer conference Build kicks off later today, and rumours are swirling that Redmond has a bold plan to rescue Windows Phone from irrelevance. Aside from a modest 10 to 15 per cent share in some markets, the platform has gone nowhere, despite billions of dollars of support from Nokia and Microsoft. The plan …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2015
American Airlines Boeing 737 N864NN. Pic: golfking1

Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

Updated Dozens of American Airlines flights were delayed this morning when pilots' iPads abruptly crashed, leaving the entire AA fleet without access to vital flight plans and, resultantly, grounded. American Airlines uses specific software on its pilots' iPads to distribute flight plans and relevant information to the crew. The …
Redditor guinne55fan's arm tattoo

Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

The Apple Watch can't figure out if the wearer has a pulse when worn on a tattooed wrist, Register reader Michael Lovell tells us. All is well on his un-inked left wrist, but when he switches to the right, "the wrist detection is playing up," he said, as the watch "keeps asking for the passcode." Michael made the video below to …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2015

Brit boffins BLOW UP Li-On batteries and film the MELTING COPPER

Video UK boffins have taken a close-up of what happens with Li-ion batteries when they get hot under the collar, and it's not pretty. As Lenovo, Boeing, Tesla, Sony and others will attest, Li-ion battery fire-safety is worth researching. However, the University College London boffins say most analysis of battery fires has focussed on …
Apple Watch Sport

Apple to devs: Watch out, don't make the Watch into a, well, a watch

Apple has banned Watch apps that tell the time from the App Store, thus forbidding them from fanbois' wrists. The terms and conditions of the store explicitly state that timepiece software is a no-go. You'll just have to use the watch faces provided by the Cupertino idiot-tax operation. It's not the first time Apple has clamped …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Apr 2015
LG G4 shot

LG slaps SIX CORE Snapdragon 808 in LEATHER G4 dog&bone – not overheaty 810

LG has whipped out its latest Android 5.1 smartphone, the G4, and pledged that the handset will burst upon an astonished USA within the next few months. It will be available with a ceramic or real leather backplate. The new smartphone looks remarkably similar to its G3 predecessor. It's got a 5.5-inch QuadHD (1440p, 538dpi) …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2015
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Money-for-mods-gate: Valve gives masterclass in how to lose gamers and alienate people

A week ago, gaming darling Valve set up an online store allowing designers to sell game mods. Now, after a backlash from gamers, the Half-Life biz has shut it down. The Steam giant wanted to give small-time developers a chance to flog paid-for Skyrim mods – think of mods as expansion packs that bring in new graphics, weapons, …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Apr 2015

Range Rover Sport: Like a cathedral on wheels, only with comfier pews

Vulture at the wheel It’s all about the headrests. Forget the 4.4 litre V8, the defining feature of the Range Rover Sport is the driver's headrest. It’s an analogue for the rest of the car: supremely comfortable and cosseting. It’s a bit fraudulent to review the “best four by four by far” without taking it on as much as a dirt road, let alone a …
Simon Rockman, 28 Apr 2015
BlackBerry Leap

BlackBerry Leap: Touching biz users with a budget(ish) device

Review The Leap is the first full-touch device BlackBerry has released in 18 months, and only the third to be released in developed markets. It’s also the cheapest, with the BlackBerry UK store listing it at £199 including VAT. BlackBerry Leap Fleeting gesture: BlackBerry Leap So at first glance, the Leap promises to be a 2015 …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Apr 2015
Acer Iconia One 8

Acer introduces a REVOLUTION in tablet tech: The PENCIL

Pics In an earlier article on The Register, Acer revealed its PC plans – but also in evidence at its recent press launch in New York last week was the company’s belief that there is still plenty of room in certain market segments for tablets. Acer Iconia One 8 Acer's Iconia One 8: why buy a fancy stylus when you can use the 2mm tip …
Alistair Dabbs, 28 Apr 2015
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

MONSTROUS iPhone sales are CANNIBALIZING iPads, gabbles Apple CEO

Apple countered soaring iPhone and Mac sales with yet another doleful quarter for the iPad in its second quarter of fiscal year 2015. The Cupertino giant logged Q2 revenues of US$58bn (£38bn, AU$73.9bn), up 27 per cent over US$45.6bn in the same period last year. Earnings per share (non-GAAP diluted) of US$2.33 beat analyst …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Apr 2015
Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop

Microsoft's cash-leaking Nokia phones rip off patents, face import ban

A judge with the US International Trade Commission has ruled that Microsoft's Nokia handsets violate patents held by trolling outfit "non-practicing entity" InterDigital, adding to the software giant's ongoing woes in the mobile phone arena. Reuters reports that ITC Administrative Judge Andrew Essex found on Monday that Nokia- …
Neil McAllister, 27 Apr 2015

TWO-FACED Facebook: Vid calls slapped into blabber app

Ad platform Facebook has added vidcalls to its Messenger smartmobe chat app – bringing it in line with Apple's Facetime and Microsoft's Skype. A little video camcorder icon should appear in the application; tapping that should start the vid session between you and your friend. It works between iOS and Android phones, and is free …
Team Register, 27 Apr 2015
Acer E series

Acer: 'We will be the last man standing in the PC industry'

Pics Acer CEO Jason Chen this week tore through the company's international product launch presentation – on the 68th floor of New York's 4 World Trade Center – like a rock star on speed from start to finish. He even donned sunglasses at one point and there seemed every chance that he might not take them off. Acer E series laptops …
Alistair Dabbs, 27 Apr 2015
Apple Watch Sport

The Apple Watch: THROBBING STRAP-ON with a knurled knob

Review No, this isn’t the first Apple Watch review you’ve seen. Cupertino supplied review units to a few selected journalists at the start of April; the rest of us had to order our own. I almost ignored mine arriving because I was looking out for a watch. It came in a box more suitable for a truncheon. Apple Watch Sport No, we're not …
Adam Banks, 27 Apr 2015
MIPS Creator CI20 development board

MIPS quietly bares its processor architecture to universities

The MIPS processor architecture behind many graphics cards and the PlayStation 2 is being laid bare by its licensee Imagination Technologies. While ARM and Intel dominate the chip market, the MIPS third option is still a significant player in the industry – but what goes on inside processors is a closely guarded secret. …
Simon Rockman, 27 Apr 2015
Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Nokia on phone return mutterings: They LIIED. We won't be BAAACK

Nokia has dismissed claims that suggested the company was "currently" planning a big, splashy return to the smartphone business next year. As of the second half of 2016, the Finnish firm will no longer be saddled to a deal it inked with Microsoft – which bought Nokia's devices and services unit in 2014. However, Nokia attacked …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Apr 2015

'Hiding our wristjobs from Apple stores ain't easy' – iThing retail boss

QuoTW This week, Moore's Law turned 50, Microsoft lost a pile of cash and Comcast gave up on its dream of buying Time Warner Cable. Here are some of the better quotes uttered over the past seven days: Google got caught having a piddle party on poor Apple, but the Chocolate Factory was quick to heap the blame on its users. When asked …
Team Register, 26 Apr 2015
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Google TUGS Nexus 7-INCHER from its online store

Fandroids may be mourning the sudden death of Google's Nexus 7 slab, after the world's largest ad broker yanked the device from its online shopfront over the weekend. A visit to the Google Store reveals that the tablet has now been axed. Anyone searching for a Nexus 7 will be told that it "is no longer available for purchase …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Apr 2015
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Bloke, 22, in knockoff Microsoft Xbox ring gets 18 months in the cooler

A 22-year-old member of a games-hacking ring that sold counterfeit Microsoft's Xbox One consoles could spend the next year and a half behind bars in America. A US court sentenced Canadian David Pokora to 18 months in the slammer for his involvement in a group accused of stealing an estimated $100m to 200m worth of source code …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Apr 2015

ZOMBIE Google Glass 2 FEEDS ON Italian BRAINS, says specs supremo

Italian eyewear maker Luxottica has been working with Google engineers to come up with a new version of Glass – adding further weight to the suggestion the project isn't truly dead. The ad giant killed off Glass 1.0 sales in January after the unpopular program jumped the tracks. In March, Google's exec chairman Eric Schmidt …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2015