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Presidetn Obama signs the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

It's official: You can now legally carrier-unlock your mobile in the US

President Obama has signed off on the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, meaning that, in the US, people can take their mobile phone and unlock it from the carrier that sold it to them. President Obama signs the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act President Obama signs the Unlocking …
Iain Thomson, 2 Aug 2014

What the FLOCK? Addictive 'Flappy Bird' is back – and it's coming for your family

Pic Infuriating yet stupidly popular crapp Flappy Bird has officially returned, it appears – and it's now a multi-player game called Flappy Birds Family. It's available for free for Amazon's set-top box, the Android-based Fire TV. According to its app store listing, the software was built by Dotgears Studio, aka Flappy Bird creator …

Apple's iWatch may be DELAYED over sapphire glass supply problems

Problems with Apple's sapphire glass supply chain could mean the Apple iWatch will only be released in small numbers this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted. The latest leaked note from the respected KGI Securities bod has claimed that production of the iWatch will be moved back September to November. Kuo also …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Aug 2014
Fiat Panda Cross

Fiat Panda Cross: 'Interesting-looking' Multipla spawn hits UK

Review The new FIAT Panda Cross comes to the UK in September, just in time for a “64” numberplate, and is looking to add a bit of fashion pizazz to the utilitarian nature of the original Panda 4x4. Fiat's Panda Cross: out in the wild but not on sale until September Everyone agrees on the looks. They are “interesting” and “brave”. …
Simon Rockman, 1 Aug 2014
Flytrap

Security chap writes recipe for Raspberry Pi honeypot network

Honeypots are the perfect bait for corporate IT shops to detect hackers targeting and already within their networks and now one security bod has devised a means to build a battalion of the devices from Raspberry Pis. University of Arizona student Nathan Yee (@nathanmyee) has published instructions for building cheap hardware …
Darren Pauli, 1 Aug 2014
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Elite Systems promises to order ZX Spectrum revival in two weeks

Elite Systems, the company that last year launched a crowdfunding campaign to revive the ZX Spectrum as a Bluetooth keyboard, says it will place an order for the devices on August 14th. The campaign succeeded after punters pledged £63,194 to recreate the storied microcomputer. Those who paid £50 or more were promised delivery in …

Wireless charging stretches the friendship by 45mm

The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has boosted the range of its Qi wireless charging standard, which can now deliver electricity to devices 35 millimetres away from a charger. Most of today's wireless chargers assume that devices will be placed quite carefully onto a charging station. Yet at Computex, your correspondent beheld …

PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

Analysis "Everything points to a boom in the landfill business" – The Register, 2012 Are tablets the new netbooks – a flash in the pan? Or perhaps even the new picture frames - a one-season fad? I don’t think so, but sales are flat, and the numbers look ominous for any global technology company hoping they’ll provide a long-term money …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Jul 2014

Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays

Something for the Weekend, Sir?* Ever been invited to a party only to discover they gave you the wrong address? This doesn’t happen to me often but then I’m not the sort of person whom people invite to parties. Anyway, this wasn’t a party, it was a user group meetup. There I am, having made an attempt to smarten up a bit, travelled across town and deliberately …
Alistair Dabbs, 31 Jul 2014
Naughty Dog - The Last of Us Remastered

Coming to a console near you: Destiny beta and The Last of Us Remastered

Game Theory During my time with the Destiny beta I’ve veered from game to game in a bid to nail down exactly what it is that Destiny reminds me of most. Activision Destiny Beta Character classes: suits you At first that game was Halo and no prizes for guessing why. Not only is Destiny built by Halo’s creator, Bungie, but with its sci-fi …
Mike Plant, 31 Jul 2014
Apple Mac Mini 2012

VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis

VMware runs a cluster of 50 Mac Minis and puts it to work preparing the executables and binaries that customers receive when they acquire the company's products. We're standing on the shoulders of William Lam's Virtually Ghetto for this story, after he delved into production uses of Mac hardware in an VMware environment. He …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2014
The RPi-compatible Odroid-W

Korean vendor launches wearable RPi clone

Korean outfit Hardkernel has snuck out a Raspberry Pi-compatible board it says targets developers with an interest in the wearables and Internet of Things space. Due to ship towards the end of August, the Odroid-W uses the same Broadcom SoC as the popular Raspberry Pi – Broadcom's BCM2835. It includes an RPi-compatible 15-pin …
Wii U

Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle

Nintendo is reeling after it posted a $96m loss on the quarter to June 30. The Mario maker said that the quarter, its first of the fiscal year, brought total sales of 74.69bn Yen ($726m), down 8.4 per cent over last year's quarter, and a net income loss of 9.92bn Yen ($96m) compared to a 8.62bn profit last year. That eyebrow- …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jul 2014
iPhone forensics beaten image

YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS

Worstall on Wednesday There's a nice little feuilleton in the New York Times looking at why everyone whines about their iPhone slowing down when Apple releases a new variant. Starting from a personal complaint by a professor, one of his students looks at the incidence for “iPhone slow” in Google Trends and notes that there's a leap every time a new …
Tim Worstall, 30 Jul 2014

Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away

The good citizens of Britain are still giving Windows 8 and 8.1 fondleslabs a wide berth, official figures from disties has confirmed. More than 596k slate tabs were shipped out to UK resellers and retailers in Q2, up 27.8 per cent year-on-year with the vast majority of them (nearly 406k) were running on Google’s Android …
Paul Kunert, 30 Jul 2014

Bloodthirsty Apple fanbois TEAR OPEN new Macbook, bare its guts to world+dog

An Apple upgrade outfitter has exposed the new Macbook Retina to the world, cracking it open for a teardown just days after its release. The new Macbook surged from Cupertino like an avenging spirit last week, surprising almost no one with its promise of slightly improved performance. Now the first brave soul has attacked it …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Jul 2014
Cortana China

Microsoft's Brit kid Cortana lands on UK WinPhone 8.1, but China's is the real cutie

Microsoft will be fine-tuning its virtual assistant Cortana in its first update to Windows Phone 8.1. The Siri rival is predicted to arrive on UK users' smartphones over the next few months. The preview pack for developers is already out, of course. Youtube Video Cortana will be coming to folks in Blighty and China as a beta …
Freeview becomes Feeview

4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles

Breaking Fad For fans of terrestrial television, this is the best of times and this is the worst of times. The DVB consortium has recently produced a draft specification for Ultra High Definition aka 4K, fitting the UHD video within the standard transport streams that are already used for SD and HD. As evidenced by the BBC's current closed …
Nigel Whitfield, 30 Jul 2014

Apple and Samsung UNDER THREAT from local brands – study

A recent study by Netbiscuits has seen growth in locally made devices. While Samsung and Apple dominate globally – LG and HTC get something of a look-in, which is more than Sony, Nokia or Motorola manage – there is an interesting underlying trend of consumers becoming patriotic in their buying habits. The strength of Xiaomi is …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jul 2014

Keep your iPhone calls private, whispers Signal

The crew at Open Whisper Systems has announced Signal, an app offering encrypted voice calls between iPhones. The open source group has been working on its projects ever since Whisper Systems, co-founded by Moxie Marlinspike, was acquired by Twitter in 2011 – an acquisition that took its Redphone Android project offline, amid …
Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch 2013

Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro

Apple has updated its MacBook Pro notebook line, adding a slightly faster processor and more memory for the cheapest models. The company said the update will double the memory for models Apple describes as "entry-level" MacBook Pro Retina screen notebooks. The systems will retain their starting price of $1,299 and will now sport …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2014
Taoviet iPhone

Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5

+Comment With the ominous words “We take your investment in Sonos very seriously,” Sonos has killed off support for iOS v4 and 5 devices. Sonos makes software app-controlled Wi-Fi speakers that can play audio streamed from Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OSX devices. The iThings can play local audio files on the speakers or relay music/ …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2014
Hitachi glass storage

Apple 'sapphire glass' fronts for iPhone 6? It's NEWS to SUPPLIERS

Several Apple analysts have speculated over the past few months that the next iPhone and perhaps even the near-mythical iWatch will use super-tough sapphire glass in some capacity. But that claim has been thrown into question after the industrial analysis firm TrendForce claimed a tiny issue – not actually having the sapphire …
Jasper Hamill, 29 Jul 2014
Microsoft's Sharks Cove

Microsoft bakes a bigger Pi to cook Windows slabs

Microsoft is looking for a footprint in the mini-single-board-computer market dominated by the Raspberry Pi, with the launch of the Intel Atom-based 'Sharks Cove' machine it hopes will attract developers with an interest in tablets. That's an interesting move: the tablet market is hotly contested, with vendors entering and …
Apple iPhone 4 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S 4G (right)

Apple stops caring about Samsung kit everyone else stopped caring about years ago

Apple has ended its attempt to ban nearly two dozen old Samsung mobile models from import into the US. The iPhone maker on Monday filed a motion for dismissal of its appeal against the 2012 decision by Judge Lucy Koh, which awarded Apple a $1bn damages payout for patent infringement but blocked an injunction against Samsung …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2014
Windows Phone 8

Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes

The website wranglers at Microsoft appear to have accidentally let slip some details about the forthcoming update to Windows Phone 8.1 – as well as some hints at what we can expect from future handsets running Redmond's mobile OS. A page on the software giant's site – first spotted by the Windows Phone watchers at WPCentral on …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jul 2014
Screenshots of the Samsung Z smartphone running Tizen

Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?

Samsung has postponed the launch of its new Samsung Z smartphone yet again, and given no indication of when we'll ever see the Tizen OS mobe on sale. The move delays the Samsung Z's world debut in Russia. The Linux-powered Z has been doing the rounds of developer conferences and events, but has yet to be spotted in the wild. …
Asus MeMO Pad 7 Android tablet

You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad

Review What’s the best affordable 7-inch tablet? Surely it’s got to be either the Nexus 7 or the LG G Pad 8.3 or if the pair of them are too dear, the Hudl – right? Wrong. Asus MeMO Pad 7 Android tablet Asus MeMO Pad 7 Android tablet Asus’s new £120 MeMO Pad 7 may not be better than the Google, LG and Tesco devices in all areas but …
Alun Taylor, 28 Jul 2014
Boeing 787 battery fire

BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff

Battery capacity remains a big issue in devices ranging from phones to electric vehicles – and one of the biggest constraints is the materials used to make electrodes. A paper published at Nature Nanotechnology (abstract here), offers a promising lead for improvements as boffins say they've hit on a way to replace today's anode …
Beats Studio headphones

Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle

Audio thing biz Bose is suing Apple-owned Beats Electronics, alleging patent infringement. Massachusetts-based Bose claimed in its court filing [PDF] that headgear designed by Beats violated five of its patents, all relating to noise-canceling headphones. According to the paperwork dated July 25, Bose reckons the Beats Studio …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2014
Angry woman on mobile

In the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave ... you can legally carrier unlock your own phone

Here at Vulture West, we're looking out for porcine aviators: the usually divided US House of Representatives unanimously passed a law allowing people who've bought phones to actually unlock the things from their carriers. It comes just a week after the Senate showed a similarly united stance. "With today's House passage of the …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2014

The END of the FONDLESLAB KINGS? Apple and Samsung have reason to FEAR

The two traditional kingpins of the tablet market may soon be hearing the footsteps of competitors gaining on them as both Apple and Samsung have lost market share in the latest report from IDC. The research firm said in its Quarterly Tablet Tracker report that the likes of Lenovo and ASUS picked up market share in the last …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2014
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: The plug-in for plutocrats

Review Porsche has been messing about with hybrids for a few years now. You could even go back as far as 1943 with the Ferdinand Elefant tank destroyer that had a hybrid electric drive. Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: no more nickel-metal hydride batteries here The company’s more recent efforts, the first …
Alun Taylor, 25 Jul 2014
Fire Phone opened

Teardown gurus iFixit play with Fire – Amazon's new mobe

The teardown team at repairs biz iFixit has cracked open Amazon's Fire smartmobe, and it seems the new handset is indeed a complex piece of kit even by modern smartphone standards. The teardown repair tutorial, designed to serve as both an exploration into the device and a loose guide for home repairs, found a number of unique …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2014
PlayStation Network

Sony tries to make PlayStation Network hack row go away with $15m in cash and games

Sony has offered a $15m settlement to gamers after its PlayStation Network (PSN) was comprehensively pwned, but it refuses to admit that it was at fault. In April 2011 the Japanese giant was forced to shut down PSN after hackers got into its system and pillaged user accounts for information. While credit card information was …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jul 2014

Internet of Stuff my Pockets: Investors plough 1 BEELLION dollars into IoT

The "internet of things" – the rebranding of good old machine-to-machine comms – has investors chucking ludicrous amounts of cash at firms who hope to get our gadgets talking to each other. Now new research from analyst StrategyEye has found that investors have bunged more than $1bn at companies associated with the internet of …
Jasper Hamill, 24 Jul 2014
Google UK reception furniture

It's Google HQ - the British one: Reg man snaps covert shots INSIDE London offices

Pics It’s not every day that El Reg gets invited to Google UK’s London HQ, so we thought we’d take a few snaps to remember the occasion. That’s not to say we haven’t been here before, back in March 2012 we were in the very same place, only Google hadn’t moved in yet as the offices were still being fitted out. Google UK reception …
Bob Dormon, 24 Jul 2014
Microsoft Surface bomb

Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day

Speculation that Microsoft contemplated a “mini” version of its Surface fondleslabs, but decided not to let it see the light of day, has been confirmed in Redmond's 8-K form lodged with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The filing includes a section on “Computing and Gaming Hardware” that says “Current year cost …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jul 2014

Chinese chipsters promise 64-bit ARMs for cheap Android slabs

Chinese cheap'n'cheerful chip designer Allwinner has boasted that its first 64-bit ARM system-on-chips for tablets will in punters' hands by the end of 2014. Allwinner said in a statement on Wednesday that the new components will be based on the ARMv8-A architecture and will include support for 4K video and hardware H.265 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2014
Making conversation Google Glass style

REG MAN penetrates GOOGLE'S LAIR

Pics A Google Hangout of a different sort took place at its London offices yesterday. And, neatly fulfilling quite a few of our expectations of the Choc Factory, we ogled tech while milling around a real chocolate fountain. Making conversation Google Glass style Making conversation Google Glass style: record it so you can enjoy it …
Bob Dormon, 23 Jul 2014

Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530

Microsoft's ex-Nokia phones unit has produced the successor to the Lumia 520, its best-selling Windows Phone by miles, topping the charts in the UK's Crimbo sales. The Lumia 530 is priced at €85 (£67) before taxes or subsidies, or an initial street price of €100, around £79. It's clearly designed to sit in the £70 sweet spot …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2014

iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms

Apple has been talking up its strong Mac and iOS device sales in its latest quarter – but the real news was a stonking slump in iPad numbers. The Cupertino giant said the three-month period ending June 28 was its best-ever fiscal third quarter on record. It reported revenues of $37.4bn, up six per cent year on year, which led to …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2014