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New Sonos phone app

Sonos offers updated music controller to Fandroids for testing

Streaming Wi-Fi speaker whiz Sonos is testing an updated version of its smartphone/tablet app, with beta test software now available to Android phone users. New Sonos phone app Forthcoming phone controller app The new features in the app include: search for music tracks enabled across all services, refreshed design with “ …
Chris Mellor, 20 Mar 2014
Li'l Devil on skis

Intel reinvents the PC as giant 'Black Brook' fondleslab

GDC Intel has shown off its vision for the next generation of PCs, in the form of “Black Brook”, a reference design for a “desktop all-in-one” computer. The new class of device is a PC built into a touch-screen that appears to be up to about 20 inches on its diagonal dimension, packs a battery and nestles into a docking station. …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2014
Samsung logo

Say CHEESE: Samsung files patent for transparent camera

Korean electronics giant Samsung appears to be upping its efforts to crack the digital camera market after a patent filing emerged detailing designs for a compact camera with a completely transparent display. The filing with the Korean Intellectual Property Rights Service (KIPRS), seen by the Wall Street Journal, describes the …
Phil Muncaster, 20 Mar 2014

Crap flap-app flap chap yaps: Yes, FLAPPY BIRD is comin' back

The reluctant app mogul behind the viral hit Flappy Bird has given a clear "yes" to bringing the infuriating game back from the dead. In a tweet posted this week, developer Dong Nguyen said his game will be returning to Apple's App Store, albeit not right now. @painfullpacman Yes. But not soon. — Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) March …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Mar 2014

Virtual-reality Dev Kit 2 game goggles by Oculus – now with less vomit!

Virtual reality gaming-goggles maker Oculus has released a new model of its Rift headset for software developers. The company said its Dev Kit 2 unit does a better job of smoothly rendering scenes when the wearer's head is moving around, an improvement that's key to reducing the motion sickness suffered by some users of early …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Mar 2014
Marc Whitten

Ex-Xbox gros fromage joins wireless speaker whizzkids Sonos

Microsoft’s chief Xbox product officer Marc Whitten has joined streaming Wi-Fi speaker biz Sonos as its chief product officer. A note on Xbox Wire said: “The Xbox team is sad to share today that Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Xbox, will be leaving the team to become Chief Product Officer of Sonos.” Whitten joined …
Chris Mellor, 19 Mar 2014

Speaking in Tech: Finally a PROPER use for drones: TOILET PAPERING your house

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's another episode of El Reg's techcast, hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, Eddie and Sarah have bailed on the show so Greg is joined by Cisco's Amy Lewis to chew on the tech news of the week and to dig into Amy's work history. This week we …
Team Register, 19 Mar 2014

Xenon: Bitmap Brothers' (mega)blast from the past

Antique Code Show Xenon marked the beginning of a distinguished career for The Bitmap Brothers, legendary developers of the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST era. Overhead, vertically scrolling shooters were doing great trade in arcades across the land, and with its exposure on Saturday morning kids’ show Get Fresh (you don’t remember Gaz Top and …
Giles Hill, 19 Mar 2014

Nokia tries to lure Android porters with free Nokia X mobes

Event Nokia has started encouraging Android developers to support its Nokia X platform. The phones, primarily aimed at developing markets, run a highly customised version of Android and to ensure compatibility Nokia has wound up its developer outreach programme. Next week Monday – 24 March – Nokia will be around the corner from …
Simon Rockman, 19 Mar 2014
The USB 3.1 Logo

USB cuts the cord, again, with WiGig-derived wireless spec

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) Implementors Forum has announced that development is under way on a new “Media Agnostic (MA) USB specification. MA-USB removes the need for USB devices to connect by wire. Instead, they'll use WiGi, WiFi or maybe even UWB to swap data with whatever other systems they connect to. The choice of WiGig …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2014
Sony's Morpheus virtual reality headset

Virtual reality? Two can play THAT GAME, says Sony: New headset revealed for the PS4

Pics Sony has revealed Project Morpheus, its virtual-reality headset for the PlayStation 4. Project Morpheus was announced in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, and will offer a five-inch screen and resolution of 1920x1080 for each eye. Details are scanty for now, with Sony declining to offer dates when the device …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2014
Cisco Google screengrab

WebEx gets shiny Chromebook look

Cisco and Google have agreed to play nice in the enterprise, with the two deciding to collaborate to put the WebEx collaboration service on Chromebook machines. Cisco's Rowan Trollope, senior veep and general manager for the Collaboration Technology Group, made the announcement along with Google's Rajen Sheth at Enterprise …
Lunch with the ex

Apple patent will see Siri remind you to keep taking your meds

A recently-granted Apple patent seems to lay out some of Cupertino's thinking about the future of Siri and the Internet of Things: and it's spooky. Essentially, Apple sees the device you carry as acting as the interface between wetware like you and me, and the Internet of Things, represented by sensors in the home or office. …
Photo of Apple iPhone 5C in a range of colors

8GB iPhone 5c is real, but no market-maker

Apple's stroll towards the bottom of smartphone market has seen it officially, if quietly, release an iPhone 5c with a mere eight gigabytes of storage. The new model appeared on Apple's Australian online store today priced at $AUD679. The 16GB and 32GB models are $739 and $869 respectively. It has long been assumed that the 5c …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2014

Imagination brings real-time hyper-realistic ray tracing to mobile kit

Imagination Technologies has launched its new PowerVR Wizard GPU series, complete with hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and has also announced the first member of that new product family, the PowerVR GR6500. "This opens up the potential of highly photorealistic, computer generated imagery to a host of new real-time applications …
Rik Myslewski, 18 Mar 2014

WOW! Google invents the DIGITAL WATCH: What a time to be alive

Vids + pics Google has driven the world bonkers with glimpses of Android-powered smartwatches – the first gadgets to use the web giant's new Android Wear operating system for wearable computers. The ad kingpin did not reveal specific release dates for the devices today, but it has apparently lined up hardware makers Asus, LG, HTC, Samsung …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Mar 2014

Apple rakes in 60% of profits in still-surging smartphone market

The global smartphone market continues to skyrocket, and Apple and its iPhone line continue to slurp up the lion's share of that market's profits despite holding a relatively small marketshare when compared to arch-competitor Samsung. Percentage of operating profit from mobile phones (globally, select vendors) Apple pulls in an …
Rik Myslewski, 18 Mar 2014
Back of iPhone 5

Pegatron goes on hiring spree as iPhone 6 release date approaches

Taiwanese tech outfit Pegatron is reportedly preparing to open a new factory in China to build the iPhone 6. The new factory is said to be opening on the outskirts of Shanghai, according to Reuters. Foxconn – aka Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. – is also likely to start building the new iPhone, although it is not known which …
Jasper Hamill, 18 Mar 2014
cubestormer

This record-smashing robot solves a Rubik's Cube in 3.253 seconds

Video Forty years after the invention of the Rubik's Cube, the puzzle that's done more to induce finger injuries in youngsters than any games console, has been cracked at lightning speed by a Lego-built robot controlled by a Samsung S4 smartphone. The team behind the new Guinness World Record-winning robot consists of David Gilday, …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2014

Microsoft slaps LTE mobe broadband into Surface 2 slabs (Yeah, take that, iPad)

From Tuesday, Microsoft will sell a version of its Surface 2 capable of connecting to mobile broadband – fulfilling a request of many a user who has been tempted to pick up one of Redmond's tablet-keyboard mashups. Microsoft Surface 2 (AT&T 4G LTE) Microsoft's ARM-powered Surface 2 (AT&T 4G LTE), pictured with its wireless- …
Rik Myslewski, 17 Mar 2014

OpenGL mobile graphics spec inches closer to desktop, laptop cousin

The Khronos Group has released the OpenGL ES 3.1 specification, bringing closer the day when handheld devices match mainstream desktops and laptops in graphics performance. "The OpenGL family of APIs including OpenGL ES, OpenGL and WebGL have proven themselves as the foundation for 3D graphics on mobile devices, PCs and the Web …
Rik Myslewski, 17 Mar 2014
Photo of Apple iPhone 5C in a range of colors

Is Apple about unleash a cheaper 8GB iPhone 5C? O2 'leak' suggests: Yes

An Apple iPhone 5C with 8GB of storage is rumored to emerge this week, according to reports and a leaked photo. A German-language blog obtained an internal email to staff at mobile network O2 in the Euro nation to support the claims: the leaked memo describes a new addition to the iPhone 5C family, specifically a handset …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Mar 2014

Crap turnover, sucky margins: TV is a 'terrible business' – Steve Jobs

Fanbois hoping to upgrade their Apple streaming set-top box to a fully fledged Apple TV set will have been disheartened by revelations in a new book claiming Steve Jobs did not support building an iTelly. According to former WSJ journo Yukari Iwatani Kane's book Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs, the fruity führer …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Mar 2014
Back of iPhone 5

iPhone 6 FEELS your heat, wetness... and it'll TELL Apple – report

A Chinese Apple analyst has claimed the next iPhone will be fitted with sensors which can detect pressure, humidity and temperature. In a post on her Weibo page, ESM-China's chief analyst Sun Chang Xu said top-ranking fruity sources had told her about Cupertino's plans. Google provided the following translation of Sun's post …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Mar 2014
President Obama takes selfie at Nelson mandela's funeral

Apple patents the super-soaraway selfie system of the future

Apple has embarked on a mission to allow fanbois to take the best quality mobile phone selfies in the history of humanity. As well as a new section in the iTunes store specifically dedicated to "Sharing Selfie" apps which allow fanbois to share pictures of their ugly mug, the fruity firm has patented a system to allow them to …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Mar 2014
Flying Toaster screen saver rebuilt in CSS

Flying Toaster screen savers return on GitHub

A Washington-based coder named Bryan Braun has recreated one of the curiosities of the early PC age: animated screensavers featuring flying toasters. And the resurrection has been effected using cascading style sheets. For the young or forgetful, the late eighties and early 90s were the time of the animated screensaver. The …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2014
O2_uni_charger

Europe approves common charger standard for mobe-makers

The European Parliament has signed off on its proposal to force mobile phone makers to adopt a common charging standard. The new regulation means that if mobe-makers' want to meet European standards for “radio equipment” they'll have to ensure their products will have to be chargeable using micro-USB. But there are ways out of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2014
Samsung logo

Samsung puts ultrasonic echolocation cover on a smartphone for the blind

The visually impaired will be able to use their smartphones to see for them, using an ultrasonic case Samsung has made for its low-end Galaxy Core Advance handset. Samsung ultrasound cover The machine that goes ping The Samsung Ultrasonic Cover pings a signal much like a bat and uses the reflection to identify objects within …
Iain Thomson, 15 Mar 2014

Report: Apple flushes 12.9-inch MaxiPad plan down the drain

Remember that 12.9-inch Apple iPad that was the darling of the rumor mill just months ago? Sources out of the Asian supply chain say, in their best New York accents, "Fuggedaboudit." The market-watchers at Taiwan's DigiTimes report that although large-size tablets have been all the buzz recently, those projects face problems due …
Rik Myslewski, 14 Mar 2014
A shot taken with the iPhone 5c

iOS 8 screencaps leak: Text editor, dictaphone and 'tips' on the way

The first screenshots of iOS 8 have leaked online after being posted on the Chinese microblogging service Weibo. Although Apple have not officially confirmed whether the images are real, web whisperers certainly think they are for real. Apart from Healthbook, which is presumably a health app, the new additions to iOS 8 are …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Mar 2014
Dark Souls II knighty knight

It's not just incredibly hard, it's really quite pretty: Dark Souls II

Review I knew there was something eerily familiar about the dead-eyed shuffle of my enemies in Dark Souls II and now I realise they remind me of the huge cannibal giants of Attack on Titan. Shambling to my recurrent death, I am now convinced the less forgiving the game, the greater the elation, sense of achievement and immersion. Dark …
Lucy Orr, 14 Mar 2014

Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I am a very lucky man: Amazon is offering me a 20 per cent discount. The cynics among you might try to claim that everything at Amazon is offered at a 20 per cent discount because of its advantageous tax arrangements but that would be the result of confusion. My 20 per cent discount has nothing to do with VAT being 20 per cent …
Alistair Dabbs, 14 Mar 2014
Panasonic AX-802 50-inch 4K TV with Freetime EPG

Panasonic slaps Freetime EPG on 2014 smart tellies

Pics Freetime's neat, easy-to-navigate electronic programme guide (EPG) has never been a feature of standalone TVs, but at a joint event in London this week, its new partner Panasonic announced it will feature on 90 per cent of the panel maker’s 2014 TV range. If you're based in the UK and the name Freetime rings a bell, it's …
Bob Dormon, 14 Mar 2014

Nvidia uncloaks GeForce 800M GPU series for gaming notebooks

Nvidia has completely revamped its notebook graphics line with a seven-GPU launch of the new GeForce 800M series, four bearing the GeForce GTX moniker and three sans GTX. Performance-improvement chart comparing Nvidia GeForce GTX 7xx series to GeForce GTX 8xx series The further down the ladder of oomph, the greater the …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Mar 2014
Nokia Black Lumia Windows Phone Update

Microsoft gives away Windows Phone 8 licences in India – report

Microsoft convinced two Indian mobe-makers to use Windows Phone by letting them install it for free, according to The Times of India. The paper's report says Lava and Karbonn, both of which announced their Windows Phone plans at the Mobile World Congress, only signed up after “... when Microsoft agreed to remove the licence fee …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Mar 2014

Apple pedometer patent filing cranks up the iWatch rumor mill

In yet another indication that Apple's oft-rumored iWatch may include biometric features, the US Patent and Trademark Office has published a Cupertinian patent application for a pedometer designed to be worn on the wrist. United States Patent Application #20140074431, "Wrist Pedometer Step Detection", was published in the USPTO' …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Mar 2014
Huawei Ascend P6

Huawei: We'll sell a dual-boot Android, Windows 8 smartphone because, well, isn't it obvious?

Huawei is planning an assault on the American smartphone market with a dual-boot smartphone running both Google's Android operating system and Redmond's Windows Phone. "With Windows Phone, one direction for us – and one that we are now following – is dual OS. Dual OS as in Android and Windows together," Shao Yang, Huawei's chief …
Iain Thomson, 13 Mar 2014
Woman shocked by the proximity of a pair of pliers

BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

1: Pliers Hold Stuff Really, Really Tight Youth gripping his front teeth with a pair of pliers Wow, amazeballs. 2: They Can Also Cut Cables Pair of pliers cutting wire That is so multitaskingly cool. 3: Side-Cutters Are NOT Pliers A pair of side cutters No no no no no. 4: Neither Are Pincers A pair of pincers …
Lester Haines, 13 Mar 2014

Battery vendors push ultracapacitor wrappers to give Li-ions more bite

A pair of battery vendors are hoping that a new design which incorporates the use of an ultracapacitor material will help to improve and extend the life of lithium-ion battery packs. Paper Battery Company and TWS say they have developed a system which wraps a conventional lithium-ion battery pack in a sheet of ultracapacitor …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Mar 2014
Copper, before and after graphene

Tiny heat-sucker helps keep Moore's Law going

Adding graphene to copper can improve its heat-conducting properties – and that's good news for electronics developers. One of the barriers to the continuing shrinking of electronics is that as you pack more features into a smaller space, you also pack more heat into that space. That makes heat a hurdle standing in the way of …
Research@Intel: Wireless Resonant Energy Link demo

Wireless charging standards war could be over 'as soon as 2015'

Standards wars are par for the course in the technology industry: CDMA v GSM, Blu-Ray v HD DVD, VHS v Betamax. When it comes to wireless power, there are three players in the field – but according to one, the war should be over far sooner than most people expect. Last month two of the three players in the wireless power field, …
Iain Thomson, 13 Mar 2014
Blade Runner screenshot

Backdoor snoops can access files on your Samsung phone via the cell network – claim

Updated The developers of Replicant, a pure free-software version of Android, claim to have discovered a security hole in certain Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets – one so serious that it could potentially grant an attacker remote access to the device's file system. Among the devices said to be vulnerable are the Nexus S, Galaxy S, …
Neil McAllister, 13 Mar 2014