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GPS-watching robot

German robots sent to Oz to make GPS millimetre-perfect

Industrial robots from Germany will be spending their life in Australia's great outdoors, helping to improve the accuracy of the country's Global Navigation Satellite System positioning knowledge. The project, a GNSS robotic calibration facility, has been switched on in Canberra, and will ultimately be part of a nationwide …

Petshop iPad fanboi charged with filming up young model's skirt

A Los Angeles fanboi has been charged (PDF) with using an iPad to take upskirt footage of an underwear model. Julio Mario Medal, 38, stands accused of using his big shiny fondleslab to gaze up 22-year-old Brittanie Weaver's skirt and shoot a film about her naughty bits. Britannie Weaver. Pic: http://brittanieweaver.com …
Jasper Hamill, 20 May 2013

Android is a mess and needs sprucing up, admits chief

Comment Android looks unstoppable, and it's a mess. The first fact tends to eclipse the second observation, but Android's new supremo diplomatically acknowledges as much in an interview. "Here’s the challenge: without changing the open nature of Android, how do we help improve the whole world’s end-user experience?" Chrome chief Sundar …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 May 2013
Parts for the Liberator 3D printed pistol

You want to put 3D gun designs on the web? You'll need a 2D printer

Comment Much fun has been had over the Liberator, the 3D printed plastic gun. Our editor - a man who knows about such things - here at El Reg has pronounced it a piece of crap. Innumerable people have declared that it's either the end of civilisation as we know it or proof perfect that the Commie statists will never win. My own …
Tim Worstall, 14 May 2013

Ready for the car 2.0? Nvidia preps UPGRADABLE car system

What’s your next car dashboard going to look like? The answer may well be: however you want it to look. If Nvidia has its way, car manufacturers and owners will have a much wider range of choices when it comes to dashboard displays, navigation sophistication, and personalising the car to the owner. The computer hardware …
Angry Birds Star Wars

Aussie AI boffins let fly with Angry Birds automation code

Java code used in last year's Angry Birds artificial intelligence competition has been released into the wild. The Australian National University's Artificial Intelligence Group last year decided the game would be a fine way of testing just how brainy artificial intelligences have become, because as anyone who's played the game …
Mildura is still marked in the wrong place on Apple's iOS6 maps

Holden bakes Siri into Barinas

General Motors' antipodean outpost, Holden, is trying to put a bit of cool into its four-cylinder shopping trolley, the Barina, by integrating Siri into its electronics. Well, not just cool: with a suitable iPhone running iOS 6 connected to its electronic innards, Siri will let drivers make “eyes-free” calls, and to avoid …

No, really: Austrians develop hi-tech jewellery made out of concrete

A Viennese designer has just snagged a prestigious international award for his new line of jewellery, which uses a new high-tech process to fashion the ornaments out of concrete. Can it be that I hold here in my mortal hands ... a lump of purest grey? "Concrete has incredibly beautiful aesthetics. As a material it can do a lot …
Lewis Page, 25 Mar 2013

ARM's new CEO: You'll get no 'glorious new strategy' from me

ARM Holdings is the kind of quiet success story Britain excels at, and really the sort of thing the data-fiddlers of Silicon Roundabout should aspire to be doing. ARM doesn’t wrangle data and pass it off as a business model. It designs patentable processor technology that has turned US, Japanese and South Korean electronics …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Mar 2013
LG Smart menu

Fashionably slate

Comment It’s not easy being a television manufacturer these days. Most homes, especially in the West and the wealthier parts of Asia, now have a large flat panel TV, thank you, and don’t need another one. Sales, then, are not as strong as they once were, pushing down prices and, in turn, whittling production margins from razor thin to …
Tony Smith, 14 Feb 2013

Nokia's Elopocalypse two years on: Has Microsoft kept its side of the bargain?

Analysis It's two years since the "Elopocalypse". This week in 2011 Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop set Europe's biggest technology company off in a radical new direction. Nokia would license its flagship phone software from Microsoft, rather than develop its own, set fire to three of its own mobile platforms, and eventually shed thousands …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Feb 2013
A Bearded Dragon on an Alienware MX18

Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Packing for a week-and-a-half road trip to Silicon Valley and back triggered a moment of introspection over the impending end of netbook production. I had some devices to choose from for my journey. I could have taken my Alienware MX18, my first-generation Samsung Galaxy Tab, my Asus Transformer, my Samsung NF210 Netbook, my …
Trevor Pott, 1 Feb 2013

Is your Surface Pro a bit full? Slot in an SD card, it's not from Apple

Comment There's massive internet coverage today of a major "issue" with the forthcoming Microsoft Surface Pro slab, the latest attempt by Redmond to unseat Apple's iPad line from its global tablet throne. It's being widely reported that the Surface Pro arrives with a lot of its onboard storage already full up: but this is a foolish …
Lewis Page, 30 Jan 2013

Just what the world needs: Android in the rice cooker

Less than a fortnight into 2013, we have a candidate for the year’s silliest product: a networked, Android-sporting rice cooker. Readers will remember some chilling demonstrations during 2012: the vulnerability of pacemakers to outside attack, for example (insulin pumps were already compromised in 2011), while McAfee (the …
2000AD Prog 1 snippet

Making MACH 1: Can we build a cranial computer today?

Monitor is an occasional column written at the crossroads where the arts, popular culture and technology intersect. Here, we look back at 2000AD's MACH 1 - the first secret agent with his own, in-body computer. In 1977, Pat Mills, the first Editor of 2000AD comic, created MACH 1, a strip telling the story of John Probe, a super-powered …
Tony Smith, 2 Jan 2013
Apple iPad with Retina Display

University of Western Sydney hands out 11k iPads

Every new student at Australia’s University of Western Sydney (UWS) will be given an iPad next year. Founded in 1989, UWS has six campuses spread across Western Sydney, a sprawling region characterised as the working-class heart of the city, as opposed to the more affluent coastal suburbs. The university is probably not many new …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2012

RIM is really in trouble when even Windows Phone 8 looks great

Opinion RIM has seen its once dominant market position in corporate mobile plummet from a great height in the last couple of years. The Canadian giant has suffered a huge fall in stock price and, more importantly, penetration - currently around eight per cent market share - with continual declines, quarter upon quarter. So there is a …
Andy Goddard, 10 Dec 2012
intel

How Intel's faith in x86 cost it the mobile market

You can’t fault departing Intel CEO Paul Otellini by claiming he didn't spot the way personal computing was becoming more mobile. He certainly did. But you can argue that his strategy for adapting the chip maker to the trend really wasn’t the right one. But as a 40-year Intel veteran it was never very likely he would reject one …
Tony Smith, 20 Nov 2012
Shop bargain sign

Industry in 'denial' as demand for pricey PCs plunges

The question most taxing the minds behind the personal computer industry right now is how to persuade punters to spend their money not merely on new notebooks and desktops, but specifically on more powerful - and thus more expensive - machines. All the evidence suggests they are currently not doing so. More problematically, they …
Tony Smith, 13 Nov 2012

Alienware assimilates Dell FROM THE INSIDE!

Gaming notebooks are a secret hobby of mine. I don't actually game that much – even my wife logs more hours than I do – but gaming notebooks are the only way to get the best of the best in a luggable form factor. Alienware is the name to beat in this space, but I've always wondered how they managed to survive the Dell …
Trevor Pott, 29 Oct 2012
Photo of HP Tablet PC running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

Windows RT still haunted by the ghost of Microsoft's 2001 tablet fiasco

Comment Microsoft's Windows is coming to tablets again, showing that a fondleslab can do anything a laptop can. Yet not all Windows tablets are equal, and Microsoft is relying on our ongoing obsession with physical keyboards to ensure that Windows RT remains secondary to the flagship full-fat Windows 8 operating system. It's not the …
Bill Ray, 25 Oct 2012

Microsoft gouges Australia lightly on Surface

Australian punters frustrated by the fact they pay more than their North American brethren for Apple gadgets, despite the Australian Dollar currently buying more than one US Dollar, can now get just a little bit mad with Microsoft too, after the company today announced prices for its Surface tablets that exceed US prices. …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2012

Intel, AMD financials: Bad news for Obama campaign

Comment Nothing affects the outcome of a US presidential election more than the state of the economy, and if Barack Obama heard the comments made by Intel and AMD execs when they announced their company's earnings this week, he may very well have broken into a flop sweat. "As we look ahead to the second half of this year, consumer …
Rik Myslewski, 20 Jul 2012

Numbers don't lie: Apple's ascent eviscerates Microsoft

Comment Microsoft Windows once enjoyed a seemingly insurmountable dominance over operating systems offered by Apple, but new market share number-crunching shows Apple's inexorable rise blasting gaping holes in Redmond's once-impregnable battlements. According to stat-happy analyst Horace Dediu, founder of Asymco, the ratio of shipments …
Rik Myslewski, 5 Jul 2012

Nexus 7 and Surface: A bonanza for landfill miners

Comment It would be charitable (that is, untrue) to call the consumer electronics strategies of Microsoft and Google coherent today. But what they lack in coherence they make up for in er, … sheer recklessness. That's OK, then. Both stalwarts are now in head-on competition with their customers, having launched their own-brand tablets, …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jun 2012
Microsoft Surface tablets

Acer big cheese: Microsoft Surface sales will be 'superficial'

Microsoft Surface tablets Microsoft Surface: No competitive threat, says Acer Acer EMEA boss Oliver Ahrens has brushed aside Microsoft's foray into the tablet market, dismissing the Surface as a competitive threat. Last week the covers were lifted off the Surface, a 10.6 inch devices, based on ARM and Intel platforms. " …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jun 2012
cable

Surface: Because Microsoft does so well making hardware?

Analysis If you want a job done right, do it yourself: that’s the consensus on the Windows 8 Surface tablets. Or, put another way: “OEMs, please pay attention. This is how you build a PC.” It’s easy to draw this conclusion given the world’s largest maker of software has bothered spending money – something it has been cutting back on in …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Headbanger plays Star Trek theme on floppy drives

Vid Storage is weird, wonderful and sometimes very odd. Did you know floppy disk drives can be used for something other than emergency boots of legacy kit or as cool antiques? It must have been a fairly uneventful day when floppy lovers discovered their drives can be used as "musical instruments" – to play the theme tune to StarTrek …
Chris Mellor, 14 May 2012

Praise for slick six's entries in dirty snaps compo

On 14 April we had old computer buffs salivating over our dirty snaps puzzle, and now we can celebrate the top six Reg readers who sent in their answers to the puzzle. pic_puzller Picture 1 is of a logic element from a first-generation IBM mainframe, the 700 series which used vacuum tubes. The later 7000 series used …
Chris Mellor, 3 May 2012
Freeview HD

Freeview TV shoved aside for iPad-compatible 4G

Ofcom's latest wheeze for better wireless broadband in the UK is to bump Freeview down into the 600MHz space no one wants, enabling US-compatible LTE for anyone still using a new iPad come 2018. As part of its ongoing efforts to satisfy the public's unquenchable thirst for mobile bandwidth Ofcom's proposal involves shifting the …
Bill Ray, 2 Apr 2012

Flash DOOMED to drive itself off a cliff - boffins

Microsoft and University of California San Diego researchers have said flash has a bleak future because smaller and more densely packed circuits on the chips' silicon will make it too slow and unreliable. Enterprise flash cost/bit will stagnate and the cutting edge that is flash will become a blunted blade. The boffins presented …
Chris Mellor, 21 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

Flog secondhand MP3s at your peril - law guru

Opinion Redigi, an American startup company, has found itself in trouble for selling legally downloaded digital music tracks secondhand. Last week it was on the receiving end of a copyright infringement suit in the US. The arguments that will run in the US court are similar to those that would be used here in the UK, and it is clear …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Jan 2012
cloud

Parallel politics: Gerry Harvey, imports and taxes

There’s a curious symmetry about how 2011 is ending: once again, retailer Gerry Harvey is complaining about GST inequities for online shopping, just as he was at the beginning of the year. Once again, Harvey is distracting attention away from vendor price-setting, just as he was at the beginning of the year. However, as the year …

Shareholders rage over Imation's incredible 88% plunge

How do you build a $226m company? Start with a $2bn one. This joke could apply to Imation, which could go the way of Kodak and turn shareholder value into dross, because its management, facing declining sales of old technology, is late to respond and now buying bum companies with crappy prospects. That's the view implied by …
Chris Mellor, 20 Dec 2011
Windows 8 Apps Screen

Windows 8 fondleslabs: Microsoft tip-toes through PC-makers' disaster

2012 should be a landmark year for Microsoft. It will be the year 2011 should have been. The reason is simple: the company’s play to take on tablet computing should finally hit the road. Windows 8 will be delivered with an interface that liberates Microsoft’s operating system from the desktop prison of mouse and keyboard and …
Gavin Clarke, 6 Dec 2011

Future of computing crystal-balled by top chip boffins

If you thought that the microprocessor's first 40 years were chock full of brain-boggling developments, just wait for the next 40 – that's the consensus of a quartet of Intel heavyweights, past and present, with whom we recently spoke. At the 4004's 40th birthday party in a San Francisco watering hole on November 15, The Reg got …
Rik Myslewski, 28 Nov 2011
Internet of things device fits into palm of hand

Keep the utopians out of my fridge

Rant Inside of every free-wheeling tech entrepreneur, there’s a Stalinist trying to get out. Supermechanical, for example, lauded inventor of the photo-printing night-stand table, is now getting utopians and gadget-heads excited over a cloud-connected home automation gadget called Twine. Internet of things device fits into palm of …
globalisation

WinPho sceptics cut Lumia 800 sales estimates in half

One swallow doesn’t make a summer – and week’s worth of phone sales doesn’t make a comeback. Nokia has responded to gloomy analysts sniffing at the initial consumer response to its first Windows phone. In a statement, Nokia says it’s had its highest-ever first-week sales from the Lumia 800 – but analysts say it will ship fewer …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Huge PDP-11 in a lorry: How I drove computers into schools

This Old Box Computers in classrooms are so common today, we may forget this was once inconceivably difficult. Computers were very expensive and so large they needed a huge truck to transport them. Nearly 35 years ago, I worked on an ambitious but ill-fated project to bring a minicomputer to rural Iowa schools, a classroom on wheels. This …
Charles Eicher, 23 Nov 2011
Amazon Kindle Fire Android tablet

Kindle Fire: An open letter to Jeff Bezos

Mr. Bezos, I love everything about Amazon. You have created a world where I can sit on my couch, read War and Peace, listen to Lady GaGa and order toilet paper - all from the same company and now, with the Kindle Fire, from a single device. I have raved for months on Twitter, Google+ and on my podcast, Nekkid Tech that in a few …
Greg Knieriemen, 19 Nov 2011

Happy 40th birthday, Intel 4004!

On November 15, 1971, 40 years ago this Tuesday, an advertisment appeared in Electronic News for a new kind of chip – one that could perform different operations by obeying instructions given to it. That first microprocessor was the Intel 4004, a 4-bit chip developed in 1970 by Intel engineers Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff, and …
Rik Myslewski, 15 Nov 2011
DVD it in many colours

The life and times of Steven Paul Jobs, Part Two

Before Steve Jobs introduced the iMac on May 6, 1998, his life – as we detailed earlier – had been a roller-coaster of ups and downs. After the iMac shipped on August 15 of that same year, however, he and the company he led traded that carnival ride for a rocket. The iMac was an immediate success. "We have had a phenomenal …
Rik Myslewski, 10 Oct 2011