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Broken piggy bank with coins surrounding it. Image via Shutterstock

Flickering screens turn Microsoft Surface Books into Microsoft Surface paperweights

Video People who bought the first batch of Microsoft's Surface Book slab-tops are furious that a glitch causes the screens to flicker. Microsoft's support forums and the Surface subreddit are filled with folks claiming their displays erratically wink completely on and off. This happens, we're told, whether the tablet is running on …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Oct 2015

How to build a totally open computer from the CPU to the desktop

How does one build a completely open-source computer from scratch? Answer: slowly. This week, the pair developing the Novena open laptop have provided an update on their work. The idea is to develop a usable system that is completely open to customization and scrutiny – from the electronics to the firmware to the operating …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2015
Dyson DC58 Animal

We suck? No, James Dyson. It is you who suck – Bosch and Siemens

Bosch and Siemens are taking legal steps "in Great Britain" against Dyson over what it terms the "false allegations" made by the British manufacturer that the German companies had cheated in vacuum-cleaner energy efficiency tests in "behaviour ... akin to that seen in the Volkswagen scandal". BSH Hausgeräte, the German parent …

Finally, with W10, Microsoft’s device strategy makes sense

Analysis Microsoft stubbornly refuses to let go of making hardware, but now the reasons why CEO Satya Nadella has not followed his clear instinct to ditch devices (except Xbox) are becoming clearer. We have analysed many times why Microsoft should not make smartphones and tablets, mainly because of conflicts of interest with the OEM …
Wireless Watch, 28 Oct 2015
Unseasonal behaviour: Christmas in July

Xiaomi preps Linux laptops for the post Christmas sales rush

Pumped up by a (claimed) $1bn in profit in 2015, Chinese phone-maker Xiaomi will start selling Linux laptops early next year, according to a report. DigiTimes suggests that two models will be built by contract manufacturers, Inventec and Compal, and feature 12.5 inch and 13.3 inch displays. According to the trade paper, …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2015

New DMCA rules mean you can fiddle with your tablets, routers, cars (as if you weren't anyway)

The Librarian of Congress in America has updated the list of technologies that hackers can tinker with without breaking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Under the terms of the DMCA, the Librarian must revise the list of devices and technologies that can be investigated and altered by people using them. In the past this …
Iain Thomson, 28 Oct 2015

Apple: We're going to sell $77bn worth of iStuff this holiday season

Apple says it hopes to haul in anywhere from $75bn to $77bn (£48bn to £50bn) over the upcoming holiday shopping season. The Cupertino seller of iThings said the upcoming quarter is on pace to be its best ever, as the company predicts it will edge out last year's $74.6bn Q1 total with an estimated $75-77bn revenue haul for its …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Oct 2015
Huawei P8

Huawei Q3 shipments soar, expects to shift 100 million mobes abroad this year

Huawei saw year-on-year smartphone shipments spike 63 per cent in its third quarter. The Chinese tech company said it was "proud" of the growth in smartphone sales that it had witnessed outside of the People's Republic. “At this rate, we are confident in our ability to reach our smartphone shipment target of 100 million units …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Oct 2015
Xbox One and chum

Work from home when the next big Windows 10 installation arrives

Microsoft has named the day for the next wave of Windows 10 upgrades: on November 12th, Redmond's latest creation will land on Xbox. Owners of the PC-disguised-as-a-console are promised “The fastest, most social Xbox experience ever” thanks to “a completely re-imagined Xbox One experience that integrates the speed and …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2015

The battle of Cupertino: Jailbreakers do it for freedom, not cash

Ruxcon A team of seven Chinese hackers are forgoing big bucks and instead pursuing their effort to open Apple to the security research field and thereby allow users to modify their devices. The group of brilliant independent security boffins known as Pangu Team are among the top researchers in the iDevice jailbreaking scene, where …
Darren Pauli, 27 Oct 2015

Qualcomm proposes brain implants for IP cameras

If you take the vision stuff at face value, the latest company to announce its vision of hell on Earth is Qualcomm, which some of the more breathless of the tech press reckons wants to create the “conscious” camera. Well, it's a little shy of consciousness, thank heavens. What the chip-shipper has announced is an IP camera …
Boy slurps watermelon. Credit: Shutterstock

Cisco to acquire ParStream for IoT data-sifting

Cisco-backed database and analytics newcomer ParStream is being re-assimilated, with the Borg announcing it's going to buy the "big data analytics" company (as it describes itself). The Borg has signalled its interest in sifting Internet of Things data for quite some time, and since ParStream grew out of Cisco's "Entrepreneurs …

Zuk it and see: China’s stealth seduction of Western phone buyers

It sounds like a Facebook tribute, but “Zuk” is one of the more significant smartphone ventures to launch this year. It's another sign that Chinese manufacturers are threatening to leave high-priced big-brand flagships stranded. Given that the mighty Lenovo is behind Zuk, it’s one should probably be on your radar. What the …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Oct 2015
Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone

SatNad failure as Lumia income drops over 50% at Microsoft

Analysis Despite focusing exclusively on budget phones in 2015, Microsoft's Lumia revenues fell ... a lot. Year-on-year revenue declined 54 per cent in full year Q1 2015. We have to extrapolate the volumes from revenue, but assuming the Average Selling Prices (ASP) and the profit margin remained the same, that translates as shipments …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Oct 2015

Android Security: How's BlackBerry going to fix it?

Analysis “Android Security” sounds like an oxymoron, perhaps the biggest since “friendly fire”. So what’s BlackBerry, which has forged a reputation on enterprise security, thinking with the new Priv device? BlackBerry's handset division is promising to create a business-friendly secure 'droid, and it’s recently been explaining just how …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Oct 2015

Joining the illuminati? Just how bright can a smart bulb really be?

Review There's no getting away from it: talking about a smart light bulb is liable to subject you to immediate mockery. Oh really? It's smart enough to turn itself on and off? Anything else? No? Okay, I think I'll just keep using my fingers then. The image of someone pulling out their phone to turn on a lamp is ludicrous and here's …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Oct 2015

Fully working U-Boat Enigma machine sells for $365,000

A fully-functioning four-rotor M4 Enigma WW2 cipher machine has sold at auction for $365,000. The M4 Enigma which sold at auction yesterday. Pic: Bonhams Rare and pricey. Pic: Bonhams The German encryption device, as used by the U-Boat fleet and described as "one of the rarest of all the Enigma machines", went under the …
Lester Haines, 23 Oct 2015
Empty phone battery

BYOD battery bloodbath? Facebook 'fesses up to crook code

If you've gone down the bring your own device (BYOD) route and your users are always complaining about battery life, Facebook has just explained why: its iOS app sucks … ridiculous amounts of power. The Social Network™'s engineering manager Ari Grant took to his own platform to note “reports of some people experiencing battery …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Oct 2015
Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen enlarges emissions scandal probe: 'Millions' more cars may have cheated

Volkswagen has warned that the figure of 11 million cars that cheated in air-pollution tests may be larger than first thought. The automaker is under fire for using diesel engines that deliberately lowered their output of nitrogen oxides during lab testing to pass strict emissions standards. In real-world use, the cars pumped …
Iain Thomson, 22 Oct 2015
Pebble Time

Pebble smartwatch finds its voice

Pebble has strayed further away from its hobbyist DIY roots, with the release of a new firmware that supports Nuance's voice SDK. The two Pebble watches released so far this year have both incorporated a microphone, but lacked an API to allow Pebble's thriving developer community to take advantage of it. This has just been …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Oct 2015

Is China dumping smartphones on world+dog?

Analysis We’ve heard much this week about China dumping steel, but less so about China dumping smartphones onto the rest of the world. But the latter accusation is actually far closer to truth. For years, the leading phone brands like Samsung, Sony and HTC have spent huge amounts in the hope of gaining the windfall profits that follow …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Oct 2015

Wailing kiddies face Xmas Legogeddon

Parents who've been eyeing Lego as a Xmas gift for their wide-eyed kiddies had better get down to their nearest toy shop sharpish, fill a trolley with as many plastic bricks as they can and fight their way to the check-out before the full effects of a predicted pre-Yule Legogeddon begin to bite. According to London's Evening …
Lester Haines, 21 Oct 2015

OMG Captain Skywalker, here comes AMD's new Merlin Falcon doing Warp 9 to the Tardis

AMD will today unveil Merlin Falcon, its latest R-series processor aimed at industrial systems, medical devices, gambling machines, digital signs, military hardware, and so on. Think of Millennium Merlin Falcon as a cousin of AMD's Carrizo processor design, which is aimed at normal IT gear – laptops, tablets and desktops. …
Chris Williams, 21 Oct 2015

'Facebook for drones' Altitude Angel offers 'cloud' air traffic control

Altitude Angel calls itself “The Internet of Flying Things”, but it’s more “Facebook for drones”. It’s a database of "things" which unmanned aircraft might worry about. The idea is that whenever someone launches an Unmanned Aerial System they will check in with Altitude Angel to find out if there are hazards in the areas where …
Simon Rockman, 21 Oct 2015

HTC's new One A9 will gulp Android updates days after Nexus mobes

HTC is pinning its comeback on better service, and cuddling up closer to Google. The troubled Taiwanese manufacturer's latest model, the midrange One A9, will come in an "Unlocked Edition," allowing tinkerers to customize the Android operating system without voiding their warranty. And HTC promises the One A9 will get Android …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Oct 2015
Block diagram for the forthcoming Creator Ci40 board

Another go with MIPS IoT: Imagination unveils new Creator board

Imagination Technologies has announced the Creator Ci40, a development board for Internet of Things (IoT) projects, based on the MIPS interAptiv CPU. Imagination Technologies is best known for its PowerVR GPUs, which are licensed to mobile and SoC (System on a Chip) vendors including Apple. In late 2012, the company acquired …
Tim Anderson, 20 Oct 2015

ARM floats power-sipping Mali-470 GPU for Internet of Things things

ARM has launched the Mali-470 GPU for Internet of Things (IoT) with - the firm claims - half the power consumption of the Mali-400. The Mali-470 targets wearables but could be used in lower-end smartphones as it supports OpenGL ES 2.0 - necessary for Android Wear. Mali is best paired with the Cortex-A7s and A53s for optimal …

At last, UK customers are buying PCs again

The Brit PC market showed signs of life in Q3, according to official stats from distributors – but the same could not be said for much of the rest of Western Europe. Sales-out data tracked by Context showed a little over one million (1.056m) notebooks, desktops and workstations found their way into the loving arms of a …
Paul Kunert, 20 Oct 2015
The US White House. Pic: Roman Boed

White House to Feds: Stop buying new PCs, laptops right now

The Obama Administration has ordered US federal agencies to hold off on purchasing new PCs in hopes of patching up a broken ordering system. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has put a hold on new desktops and notebooks while it sorts through what it says are "thousands" of new system orders every year. …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Oct 2015

Elderly? Disabled? You clearly need a .38" Palm Pistol

In good news for US "seniors, disabled or others with grip limitations due to hand strength, manual dexterity or phalangeal amputions" wishing to pop the odd cap, the Palm Pistol .38 Special is finally available for their shooting pleasure. Two views of the Palm Pistol. Pics: Palm Pistol It's apparently taken nine years for …
Lester Haines, 19 Oct 2015

GCHQ to pore over blueprints of Chinese built Brit nuke plants

UK spies will go through the blueprints of computer systems of nuclear plants due to be built by Chinese firms in the UK in a bid to allay security concerns, The Times reports. GCHQ’s role in the assessment was confirmed on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping's four-day state visit to the UK. Security chiefs have …
John Leyden, 19 Oct 2015

BlackBerry opens its Priv kimono just a little wider

BlackBerry's has offered more glimpses of its first Android phone, Priv, and the device's specs have also leaked into public gaze. The Priv is unique in that nobody else is pitching a security-hardened Android at businesses that boasts top-end consumer specs. The device, glimpsed for a few seconds in March, features a slide …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Oct 2015
Nexus 5X

New Nexus 5X, 6P smarties: Google draws a line in the sand

Review Google’s latest Nexus smartphones, the 5X and the 6P, were announced last month, and while there's a lot to be said for the upgrades, there's some unfortunate omissions. It has been five years since the first Nexus smartphone was unveiled, and since then the Chocolate Factory (and assorted hardware partners) has used the brand …
Iain Thomson, 19 Oct 2015
Apple MacBooks tarnised by faulty anti-reflective coating

Apple quietly swaps out MacBook Retina displays to fix skin-peeling stains

Apple has finally agreed to swap out "stained" Retina displays, months after ugly blobs of anti-reflective coating began peeling off of affected MacBooks that had cost fanbois more than $2,000 a pop. According to MacRumors, Cupertino has initiated a Quality Program to address the issue, which was inevitably dubbed "Staingate" …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Oct 2015
Microsoft store opening

Microsoft offers to PAY YOU to trade in your old computer for a Windows 10 device

Microsoft has, for a limited period only, offered to pay up to £100 to convince UK consumers to part with their old computers in exchange for a Windows 10 device. If a customer is willing to shell out at least £499 on a PC running Redmond's latest operating system, then the company said it would stump up £100 to encourage …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Oct 2015
Early 1970s Dynatron Sandringham TV and Philips N1500 VCR

Pimp your TV: Goggle box gadgets and gizmos

FEATURE The TV has been the centre of most living rooms for over half a century now, and it's been through various incarnations. Disguised as a sideboard, proudly displayed as a piece of shining high tech, and now slimmed down to look almost like a piece of art. Early 1970s Dynatron Sandringham TV and Philips N1500 VCR There's more …
Nigel Whitfield, 17 Oct 2015

Apple ordered to write a $234m check to uni in A7 chip patent spat

A jury has today awarded the University of Wisconsin a $234m payday from Apple after the iGiant ripped off the college's processor design patent. Earlier this week, a district court in Madison, Wisconsin, said Apple's A7 system-on-chip in its iPhones and iPads infringed a patent belonging to the university's Wisconsin Alumni …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Oct 2015
Dolby Vision display (left), standard display (right)

No 4King way: Dolby snuggles its high-def TV tech into MStar SoCs

Dolby Laboratories seems to be one step closer to pushing its version of High Dynamic Range into the TV ecosystem, with a collaboration announced this week with mega smart TV player MStar Semiconductor, which said it would deliver a Dolby Vision 4K Ultra HD SoC to go into TVs next year. This fits in with our assertions at …
Faultline, 16 Oct 2015

$65m write-down, ARM chips ship: A 90-second guide to Planet AMD

Intel punchbag AMD wrote down the value of its computer chip stockpile by $65m in the third quarter of 2015 after it couldn't flog some of its older inventory. Meanwhile, the processor designer will, for the first time, ship "modest" numbers of its 64-bit ARM-compatible server chips in the final three months of this year. …
Chris Williams, 16 Oct 2015

Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home

Review So, um, I love the Amazon Echo. For those of you already frothing at the mouth in righteous indignation, please feel free to scroll to the bottom right away, click "Post a comment" and vent about privacy, Jeff Bezos' secret police, and whatever else is bothering. Meanwhile, for the rest of you, let's get straight to it: the …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Oct 2015
An Apple 1

Apple 1 goes on sale, expected to fetch £300,000 to £500,000

If you've half a million pounds burning a hole in your pocket, get thee to the web site of posh auction house Christie's and place a bid on an Apple 1 going under the hammer on October 29th. Christie's says the machine is one of only about 50 known to exist, of the 200-odd hand-made by Steves Jobs and Wozniak. This one hasn't …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2015
Microsoft Surface 3 Windows 8.1 tablet

We snubbed Microsoft's Surface Pro wooing, says Lenovo exec

Canalys Channels Forum Lenovo snubbed “competitor” Microsoft’s advances when it was asked to sell the Surface Pro slab, the PC maker’s chief operating officer has claimed. Both HP and Dell were hired as global resellers for Microsoft’s enterprise tab-cum-notebook last month, selling the hardware wrapped in a services blanket, much to the annoyance …
Paul Kunert, 15 Oct 2015