Hardware > More stories

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 …
EMC Cork's DSSD D5 unit

VxRackery dominates EMC World day 2

EMC World's second day saw hyper-converged rackery put front and centre, with a stronger DSSD offering, Neutrino* nodes coming to the VxRack 1000 as well as a DSSD variant, and a hybrid cloud VXrack offering. We'll check out the Neutrino rack stuff first. The VCE VxRack 1000 is a hyper-converged, servers+storage+networking+ …
Chris Mellor, 5 May 2016
Repair man Shenzhen

Sat TV biz Dish: I'm not an authorized iPhone repairer ... but $20 is $20

Satellite TV service Dish has announced plans to moonlight as an unauthorized iPhone repair service. The US telly provider said it will be dispatching its technicians to offer on-site repairs or replacements for the screens and batteries in certain Apple phones ranging from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The service …
Shaun Nichols, 3 May 2016

Samsung tightens smart home kit security after curious bods prod apps

Samsung has said there's nothing for owners of its SmartThings home security gear to worry about – after researchers showed numerous ways to commandeer devices and disable locks. The three researchers from the University of Michigan, who were partially sponsored by Microsoft, have demonstrated that with the help of malicious …
Iain Thomson, 2 May 2016
android_toys_648

3-in-4 Android phones, slabs, gizmos menaced by fresh hijack flaws

Google has today issued a bundle of 40 security patches for its Android operating system. A dozen of the fixes correct critical vulnerabilities in versions 4.4.4 of the operating system and above. About 74 per cent of in-use Android devices run Android 4.4.4 or higher. These critical bugs can be potentially exploited by …
Iain Thomson, 2 May 2016
Apple a day  by Robert Holf https://www.flickr.com/photos/robbertholf/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Xiaomi takes aim at Apple, Qualcomm

Apple and Qualcomm will be doing a bit of looking-over-their-shoulder competitive analylsis: rising Chinese Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi is prepping a smartwatch and mobile processor. The company's Mi smartwatch has left the rumour-mill, with a launch schedule to be formally announced at a company event on May 10. …
Windows 95 on Apple Watch

Chap runs Windows 95 on Apple Watch

A chap named Nick Lee has managed to run Windows 95 on his Apple Watch. We say “run”, and not installed, because he's had to emulate it. As Lee explains the Apple Watch packs a 520Mhz processor, 512MB of RAM and 8GB of storage, specs that put many a PC to shame when Windows 95 launched back in 1995. Of course Windows 95 just …

Intel loses its ARM wrestling match, kicks out Atom mobe chips

Intel has thrown in the towel on smartphone processors after losing round after round against the ARM architecture – the dominant brains of the mobile world. Intel today scrapped the development of its Atom processor codenamed Broxton, which was aimed at powering high-end smartphones and tablets. Broxton was expected to …
Chris Williams, 30 Apr 2016
Fitbit Aria scale

It's 2016 and now your internet-connected bathroom scales can be hacked

Owners of Fitbit's Aria internet-connected smart scales are being advised to install a firmware patch following the discovery of critical security flaws. Tavis Ormandy of Google's Project Zero was credited with finding the vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi cyber-scales. While Fitbit isn't providing specific details on the nature of …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Apr 2016
Kelly LeBrock Weird Science

Rampant robot tries to rip my clothes off

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Things are getting steamy. My valet is trying to pull down the back of my trousers. “We’ll have these off you in a jiffy, sir,” he sings. This is his job, after all. I mean its job: my valet is a robot. An autonomous descendant of the ubiquitous hotel trouser press, it is designed to collect my garments as I disrobe, clean …
Alistair Dabbs, 29 Apr 2016
Vintage printer heads

Quad-core coffee table trumped by dual-Mac garden furniture

Last week we brought you the story of the Mac Pro put out to pasture as a coffee table and asked readers to share similar stories. Which of course you did, you lovely people. A fellow reader named Mark pointed us in the direction of the works of German designer Klaus Geiger, who will sell you one of the benches below if you …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016
Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

Q. What's the difference between smartphones and that fad diet you all got bored of? A. Nothing

For those wondering if we've reached Peak Smartphone: global smartphone shipments saw their first ever quarterly drop, say analysts. Research house Strategy Analytics says that shipments in the first quarter of 2016 declined by three per cent over the same period in 2015. This marks the first time analysts have recorded …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Apr 2016

Heathrow Airbus collision 'not a drone incident'

The UK's Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has told Parliament that what was thought to be the Britain's first recorded incident of a collision between a UAV and an airliner was probably "not a drone incident" after all. A British Airways Airbus A320 flying in from Geneva was approaching Heathrow airport on 17 April …
Lester Haines, 28 Apr 2016
Coconut face by https://www.flickr.com/photos/22327649@N03/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Watch it Apple: time has come for cheaper rivals' strap-ons

Apple Watch started 2016 on a losing streak, ceding market share* to a range of cheaper rivals. Q1 is a hangover quarter across the entire consumer electronics sector, and particularly in wearables, which can be expected to suffer a post-Christmas slump. Strategy Analytics has estimated that Apple shipped 2.2 million in Q1 …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Apr 2016

Smartphone growth? Not in Q1, says IDC

Prospects for handset-makers just got worse, with the smartphone market recording its worst quarterly growth ever. Remember how at the end of March, Gartner predicted a mere seven per cent smartphone growth for 2016, the first time the market hadn't managed double-digit growth? That forecast is starting to look like rose- …

The Internet of Things edges toward a practical reality

There are countless problems with making the so-called "internet of things" (IoT) a pragmatic reality: hardware, software and standards to name the big three. But this week at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, at least two of them have started to find solutions. During one of its exec's main keynotes, Samsung …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Apr 2016

Move over Amazon Alexa – Samsung's hot assistant bot Otto's trying to build an empire

The success of Amazon's voice-controlled Echo speaker has not gone unnoticed. At Samsung's annual Developer Conference in San Francisco, the company showcased a prototype "digital personal assistant" called Otto as a way to highlight its newest technologies. Otto, the company was quick to stress, is a "reference design" and …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Apr 2016
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Kids racking up huge in-app bills on Kindles, Android is all your fault, Amazon – US court

A US federal court has ruled against Amazon in its case with the FTC over youngsters breaking the bank with in-app purchases. The Seattle US Western District Court found the retail giant liable for charges children had racked up making in-game purchases on their parents' mobile devices without requiring the proper …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Apr 2016

Samsung's little black box will hot-wire your car to the internet. Eek!

Samsung is developing a small black box device that will plug into your car under the dashboard and instantly turn it into a smart, connected car. Speaking at its annual Developer Conference in San Francisco, the director of the company's Connected Car program, Val Zinchenko, showcased a rectangular black box roughly three …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Apr 2016
Chicken eggs, photo via Shutterstock

Go to Topshop, make a Bluetooth gizmo, stick it on your dress

High-street retailer Topshop is opening an innovation hub for wearable tech. The fashion outlet is accepting applications for a place on a new innovation programme – Top Pitch – to develop new technology that is both useful and fashionable. Businesses will work with Topshop during a month to develop prototypes and will pitch …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Apr 2016

Ex-Apple gurus' elusive Android phone coming to UK next month

The startup backed by former Apple CEO John Sculley is most famous today for being elusive - but all that’s about to change. Obi Worldphone told us today its first UK phone will launch here next month, promising style and mid-range specs for a paltry £119. Obi’s story is unusual – it leveraged the economies of scale of …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Apr 2016

Microsoft fingered for Western Euro PC tragedy

Microsoft last year effectively murdered one part of the mobile PC market that was going gangbusters - Windows with Bing (WwB) - and unsurprisingly this is now reflected in weaker sales across Western Europe. The low-cost WwB portables reached distributors by summer '14, designed to counter what was seen as a growing threat to …
Paul Kunert, 27 Apr 2016
Tim Cook

Shares down?! But, but, but ... Apple just made $50bn – that's the way the Cookie grumbles

Apple has confirmed analysts' fears of a drab quarter, reporting its first year-over-year sales decline in more than a decade. Its share price is down 8.2 per cent to $95.76 in after-hours trading – dipping below the magic hundred-buck mark. The Mac maker said that in the three months to March 31 – the second quarter of its …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Apr 2016
traffic lights

Germans stick traffic lights in pavements for addicts who can't take their eyes off phones

The German city of Augsburg is embedding warning lights in the pavement at traffic intersections to alert smartphone users who don't looking up before crossing the road. Rows of red LEDs have been embedded in the pavement after a 15-year-old girl was killed when she stepped in front of a tram while looking at her smartphone …
Iain Thomson, 26 Apr 2016

Google can't hold back this malware running riot in its Play store

Security researchers have discovered a strain of Android malware that keeps finding its way onto Google Play – despite the store supposedly being scrubbed clean of infiltrated apps. The software nasty – Android.Spy.277.origin – is hidden in more than 100 applications on Google Play. Sketchy programs harboring the malware …
John Leyden, 26 Apr 2016

LG: Stop focusing on Apple and Samsung. There's us. And our G5. Look at it. Look at it

Review Every year LG threatens to steal the flagship crown, but the press pauses briefly only on the device before returning to speculating about Samsung and Apple. LG’s flagships have featured ground-breaking screens (Quad HD), unusual banana shaped glass and consistently good imaging. But still no breakthrough. No wonder LG got fed …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Apr 2016

FBI ends second iPhone fight after someone, um, 'remembers' the PIN

For the second time, the FBI has dropped a legal attempt to force Apple to unlock an iPhone at the last minute. Earlier this month, the FBI backed away from the high-profile San Bernardino case the day before it was due in court by claiming it had paid a third party (apparently $1.2m) to unlock the phone. This time it's a …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Apr 2016
Doom

The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic

The average web page is now roughly the same size as the full install image for the classic DOS game Doom, apparently. This is according to Ronan Cremin, a lead engineer with Afilias Technologies and dotMobi's representative for the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). Cremin points to data from the HTTP Archive showing that, at …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Apr 2016

Dutch students serve up world's first 'drone café'

Visitors to Eindhoven University of Technology's Dream and Dare Festival over the next couple of days will able to pop into the world's first "drone café", where an interactive UAV will serve booze to eager punters. The "Blue Jay" initiative is designed to showcase the potential capabilities of domestic drones, and although …
Lester Haines, 22 Apr 2016
Apple G5 coffee table

Pro who killed Apple's Power Mac found... masquerading as a coffee table

The Register has been shooting some video of late, and on a recent visit to Key Studio came across a coffee table we think is worthy of some attention. Apple G5 coffee table Yes, we should have picked up that bag to tidy up this shot The table's pedestal is a Mac Pro, sucking the juice from two dual core Intel Xeon 5150 …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2016
AMD CEO Lisa Su speaking at the firm's 2015 financial analyst day

Hands up, who prayed for AMD? Well, it worked

About a year ago, we asked you to pray for AMD. It's working. AMD has announced a joint venture with a Chinese manufacturer that will churn out server processors using mini-Chipzilla's technologies in the Middle Kingdom. It also said it will bank about $1.5bn from three new games console chips over the next three or four years …
Chris Williams, 22 Apr 2016
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Comcast stabs set-top boxes in the back, pipes directly into smart TVs

Comcast appears to be suddenly in the mood for murdering set-top boxes. Dubbed the Xfinity TV Partner Program, the campaign allows Comcast to offer its regular cable service through an app that runs on smart TVs or connected devices such as streaming video players. The app streams Comcast TV service, including broadcasts, …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Apr 2016
Scotty in the original Star Trek

Qualcomm channels Star Trek's Scotty as it faces a mobe chip wreck

Analysis Mobile chip designer Qualcomm typically channels Star Trek's Montgomery Scott, the chief engineer who under-promises to appear a miracle worker when he eventually delivers. The California-based biz follows the Scotty playbook by the letter. Just like the Enterprise's engineering guru would suck his teeth, cock his head, say it …
Chris Williams, 21 Apr 2016
Mitsubishi president bowing in apology

Mitsubishi 'fesses up: We lied in fuel tests to make our cars look great

Tetsuro Aikawa, president of Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC), gave a deep bow of apology at a press conference on Wednesday after admitting his firm had falsified fuel efficiency tests on at least 635,000 vehicles. "MMC conducted testing improperly to present better fuel consumption rates than the actual rates; and that the …
Iain Thomson, 20 Apr 2016

HTC 10: Is this the Droid you're looking for?

Review It’s only two years since HTC was the darling of the fanDroids. Distinctive, thoughtfully made and a cut above the rest in style, the HTC One M8 gathered the kind of plaudits an obscure band gets. A few things have changed since then – and I don’t realise how much until I opened the box. Erstwhile market leader Samsung, which …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016

Business gadget-makers eyeing modular LG G5 smartmobe

LG has conducted a developer day to interest gadget-makers in developing third-party modules for its LEGO-like G5 smartphone. When we first set eyes on the G5 we called for LG to enable a proper ecosystem for the device. LG officials The Register spoke to at the phone's Australian launch today said an effort to do so is now …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2016
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Intel literally decimates workforce: 12,000 will be axed, CFO shifts to sales

Intel will axe 12,000 employees globally – more than one in ten of its workforce – as it moves further away from being a PC chip company. The layoffs are among the biggest into the company's history, and come as PC industry continues to tank harder than Intel expected. The Santa Clara-based biz sees a lot of growth in the …
Chris Williams, 19 Apr 2016
LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3

Video folk, you'll love the 96TB, 2.6GB/sec LaCie 12big HDD

Seagate's LaCie external storage drives unit has come up with a video editing workstation user's wet dream: 96TB capacity and 2.6GB/sec throughput from a Thunderbolt 3-accessed desktop tower. The 12big Thunderbolt product features: 12 drives bays and 8TB, 7200rpm drive support RAID 5 and 6 support from RAID hardware …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2016
John Chen

Translated: BlackBerry CEO John Chen on cops-snooping-on-BBM

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has responded to last week's reheated news that police can pull text messages from BlackBerry handsets. The chief exec's blog post can be found here, and our FAQ on the matter is right here. Basically, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) chats sent via BIS (the BlackBerry Internet Service) are encrypted and …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2016
Sony's Xperia Z5

Killer Japan quake jolts Sony factories to a halt

Sony says that it will be resuming production at several of its largest Japan manufacturing facilities following a series of devastating earthquakes in the region, though some other factories remain offline. The Japanese electronics giant said that its Kumamoto Technology Center semiconductor manufacturing plant has been …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2016
Steve Wozniak

Woz says wearables – even Apple Watch – aren't 'compelling'

Steve Wozniak has decreed that today's crop of wearables just aren't that useful – even Apple's own Watch. Speaking at the Future Transport Summit in Sydney today, during which Wozniak declared he is not an expert on transport and therefore a mere lay person when it comes to predicting its future, the Apple co-founder said …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2016