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Sony PS4

PlayStation outage: Sony asks 'have you tried turning it off and on again?'

Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) continues to give users headaches, as many are still unable to access the service with their consoles. Sony blamed a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack for a the protracted outage that plagued its service on Christmas Day, but by Saturday it seemed to indicate that the worst of it was …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Dec 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Metrics house hails Apple DOMINANCE of X-Mas phone 'n' slab sales

Apple was by far the most popular brand of phones and tablets this Christmas, according to market researchers. A report from mobile app and ad analytics firm Flurry found that more than half of all phones and tablets activated worldwide from December 19 through December 25 were made by the Cupertino giant. Apple's 51.3 per cent …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Dec 2014

Here's Johnny! Top Ten fantasy Blu-ray boxsets and special editions

Product Roundup Blu-ray has become the bastion of the special edition boxset. And these are the most fantastical of all ... TV Boxsets and special collector’s editions have become Blu-ray’s best weapon in its battle for survival against streaming Video on Demand (VoD). With a 1080p edge, greater sonic clarity and on-the-shelf pride of ownership …
Steve May, 28 Dec 2014

Spice up the Sheriff of Nottingham with pinched pepper and brie bribes

Board game review I love bluffing games. Most games have an element of bluffing, even simple games like Uno can be played with a bit of deception – a sneaky tactic is to change the colour to something different from your last card, but generally that's a poor decision to do odds wise. Games that focus on deceit have that extra human layer to them …
Adam Fowler, 28 Dec 2014
Tesla Roadster

Tesla parades sleek model body and fab batt at Roadster fans

Elon Musk's Earth-bound transport company has upgraded its two-seater Roadster sports car design with a better battery – and a new body that will increase the range of the flash motors by up to 50 per cent, apparently. "Battery technology has continued a steady improvement in recent years, as has our experience in optimizing …
Iain Thomson, 26 Dec 2014
Kim Dotcom at Christmas

Dotcom 'saved' Xmas for Xbox – but no one can save Sony's titsup PlayStation Network

Updated A string of denial-of-service attacks that took down Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network on Christmas Day appear to have stopped – and New Zealand-based file-sharing baron Kim Dotcom claims the ceasefire is all thanks to him. The portly polymath tweeted on December 25 that he was peeved at not being able to play Destiny on …
Iain Thomson, 26 Dec 2014
Lego_star_wars

'I've got a brick feeling about this' - El Reg's guide to the best Lego films + TV

Using toys to re-enact beloved movies is pretty much one of every nerdy kid's favorite playtime activities and Lego makes this easy, by providing minifigs of many of celluloid's leading characters. It's safe to say I had far more fun with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lego down the pub than I did watching Michael Bay's film. …
Lucy Orr, 26 Dec 2014
LG HS6 and sub-woofer

LG Flow punches Sonos right in its portable battery speaker hole

Aiming to compete more strongly with Sonos, LG Electronics is updating its streaming Wi-Fi loudspeaker/music-player product line with something that Sonos users have (so far fruitlessly) requested; a portable, battery-powered job. Sonos speakers all need tethering to a power outlet, restricting where they can be placed. Unless …
Chris Mellor, 26 Dec 2014
Boring Christmas

Reg man confesses: I took my wife out to choose a laptop for Xmas. NOOOO

We love our gadgets and phones and suchlike. Gadgets can also make great gifts, so long as you get the "right one". Some this Christmas season - like me - will no doubt have thought what a great idea it would have been to buy their partners (or some other significant loved one in the family) a new laptop, device, or tablet as a …
Stuart Burns, 25 Dec 2014
Mamod steam traction engine

Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

Product Roundup It's fairly well accepted that events and things from our past help to make us the twisted, misanthropic people we are today. Or perhaps that's just Team Register. It being the season of festive excess, we wondered if there were perhaps some geeky gifts that, as a kid, helped you explore science, tech, and similar areas, and …
Nigel Whitfield, 25 Dec 2014
Sold under the Au brand by Japanese network KFFI

SEXY GOLD FireFOXY LADY hits Japan in transparent kimono today

Japan's Au mobile network has launched a transparent-cased Firefox OS phone, in an unusual move for the free software community into an already well-established market. Mozilla's mobile OS is focused on the world's emerging markets, and particularly places such as South America where the operators - led by Telefonica - are keen …
Simon Rockman, 25 Dec 2014
Samsung UE55ES8000 Series 8 SMART LED TV

Wanna play PlayStation games but don't have a console? Samsung's got a TV for that

Buyers of select Samsung Smart TVs in the first half of 2015 will be able to play Sony PlayStation games without buying a separate console. The TVs will ship with an app that can access Sony's PlayStation Now game streaming service, which offers a library of more than 200 PlayStation 3 titles that can be played over the internet …
Neil McAllister, 24 Dec 2014
Sidewalk mobile phone lane in China

Xiaomi: It really ISN'T a biz-miracle idiot tax like Apple

Worstall on Wednesday The lads over at Business Insider seem to be getting a little over-excited about Xiaomi's latest fund raising exercise, claiming in their headline that it's the Apple of China. Well, no, not really, Apple is the Apple of China. Making cute kit and selling it in volume isn't the definitive point about Apple itself so a company …
Tim Worstall, 24 Dec 2014
Q*Bert

Q*bert: The Escher-inspired platform puzzler from 1982

Antique Code Show Given the choice, which 80s videogame star would you choose to have a friendly seasonal pint and chin-wag with? Pacman’s obviously got a personality defect, Mario’s breath probably stinks, and that bloke from Jet Set Willy is no doubt a pervert. But Q*bert? Well he’s one interesting individual – full of mumbled swear-word …
Giles Hill, 24 Dec 2014
Zony Xperia Z3

Grab a SLIM MODEL for Xmas cheer: Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

Review With small tablets getting bigger it came as quite a surprise to me when one of the main Android tablet wallah’s newest devices turned out to also be its smallest. Prior to the launch of the 8-inch Z3 Tablet Compact (sic) Sony’s smallest fondleslab packed a 9.4-inch screen. Yes, I know that ignores the clamshell Tablet P but …
Alun Taylor, 24 Dec 2014
The Elements Phone

Pond, rocks or quicksand in your 1km garden? Get a rugged DECT phone

BT has launched a new cordless phone, named Elements, designed for challenging environments - notably your garden or a forecourt of some kind - and incorporating a range of 1km, or 0.625 of a mile, if you prefer. Built to IP67 it’s dustproof, waterproof to 1m, and is a successor to an earlier BT phone of the same name. BT is …
Simon Rockman, 24 Dec 2014
Nokia Black Lumia Windows Phone Update

Windows Phone bumping along the bottom

Microsoft has revealed a new batch of data about Windows Phone's fortunes, and it seems Redmond's mobile efforts are doing best at the low end of the market. The good news is that Windows Phone 8.1 is now accounting for 65 per cent of Windows Phone app downloads, with Windows Phone 7 at under five per cent. The most popular …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Dec 2014

Google rams Landfill Android into Indian Ocean folks' faces

Three new emerging nations have been added to the list of places getting Google's budget phone version of Android. Android One will now be available in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, although the promised launch in Pakistan - planned before Christmas - has been put back. The three new countries add an audience of 200m to the …
Simon Rockman, 23 Dec 2014
Samsung's Jong-Deok Choi

Stop Xiaomi, oh stop Xiaomi: Samsung to debut Tizen mobe in India in January

Hope springs eternal for Samsung and its Linux-based Tizen OS, which reportedly will find its way onto a smartphone early next year, despite repeated delays. According to the Korea Economic Daily, Sammy will release its first Tizen handset – dubbed the Samsung Z1 – in India on January 18, 2015 at a price of "less than 100,000 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Dec 2014
Google car

Google's first stab at control-free ROBOT car rolls off the line

The engineering wizards in Google's workshops have unveiled the Chocolate Factory's first attempt at a completely control-free robot car, where passengers entrust themselves entirely to the machine. In May, Google announced it was going to start building cars without pedals or a steering wheel to test out the practicalities of …
Iain Thomson, 22 Dec 2014
Denon Envaya

Sound and battery: 20 portable Bluetooth speakers

Product Roundup The arrival of Bluetooth 4, with its reduced hunger for power and support for audio codecs like aptX and A2DP means that there has been an explosion in the availability of Bluetooth speakers which connect to computers, tablets and smartphones, and are often small enough to be chucked in a bag and taken to the park or beach. From …
Kenny Hemphill, 22 Dec 2014
Connected headset

Careful - your helmet might get squashed by a VOLVO

Volvos will soon be capable of squawking their presence to cyclists wearing a helmet from cycling brand POC, letting the Lycra louts get out of the way of the four-wheeled Scandinavian middle lane hoggers. The idea behind the new technology from Ericsson is that both the car and the bicycle can determine when their proximity and …
Simon Rockman, 22 Dec 2014
Elite

Space Commanders lock missiles on Elite's Frontier Devs

Elite: Dangerous, the re-boot of the hit eighties space combat and trading game Elite, launched last week, but the biggest buzz in the wake of its arrival is from disgruntled fans who want a refund. Players want their cash back because, as we reported last month, developer Frontier Development made a late decision not to offer …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2014
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers

Hipsters ahoy! Top Ten BOARD games for festive family fun

Product Roundup There’s nothing cooler than board games at the moment, whether they are being referenced by the Marsh family in South Park, or popularised by one of the pop-up gaming bars in East London. Board games are now selling in droves. Often produced by independent companies, they can be intellectually rigorous and visually stunning. If …
Lucy Orr, 21 Dec 2014
Jeff Bezos shows off the Amazon Fire Phone

If at first you don't succeed ... Fire, FIRE again: Amazon mulls smartphone sequel

Amazon hasn't learned its lesson from the thundering belly flop of its Fire Phone, and according to some accounts it's apparently beavering away at a second version. The giant retailer launched the Fire Phone in June to much fanfare after a hush-hush development cycle. But despite the handset's novel "3D" display and baked-in …
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2014
Batteries

Super Cali's futuristic Tesla batt swap focus – even though car tech test is an expected bonus

Tesla Motors has a Christmas present for a few owners of its Model S all-electric cars, in the form of a pilot program for its new battery-swapping technology beginning in California next week. Tesla founder Elon Musk showed off the tech at an event last year, where he demoed how a drained Model S battery could be replaced with …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2014
BlackBerry

BlackBerry CEO Chen says to expect profits ... in 2016

In a conference call with financial analysts on Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the firm kept costs under control and even eked out a meager profit in the third quarter of its fiscal 2015, but he couldn't hide that the ailing mobe-maker's revenues continued their steady decline. BlackBerry brought in revenues of $793m for …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2014
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Reviewed: LittleBigPlanet 3, Lara Croft's latest raid and more

Game Theory Christmas is all about interacting with people whether you like it or not. If you can’t convince your family to succumb to the new board gaming fad, here are three multiplayer video gaming options you can play as a family or that are more suitable for a younger audience than the forthcoming PC release of GTA V. All three of them …
Lucy Orr, 19 Dec 2014

How much for a wrist job? A tenner normally, but for this one, over $30k

The wait is almost over for footballers, Arab oil magnates, the fanbois elite, Croydon-based lottery winners, or anyone else with a money to burn: a diamond-encrusted Apple Watch will hit the shops next year with an eye-popping price tag. The gaunche-wear, a ‘pimped up’ version of the Watch, comes plastered with eight rounds of …
Paul Kunert, 19 Dec 2014
Snowdonia on the new GB Minecraft 2 map

Finally kicked that Minecraft habit? Story time!

Minecraft's maker says it's working on a new "narrative-driven" follow up to the ultra-addictive world-building game. Microsoft-owned software house Mojang along with Telltale Games have kicked off work on Minecraft: Story Mode. The two developers said the title will be based in the Minecraft universe, but will give gamers a …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Dec 2014

Banish the fear of Big Brother when you bring in BYOD

As I have said before, bring your own device (BYOD) can be a difficult concept to sell. After all, you are basically saying to users: “We want you to supply your own IT equipment but we want to be able to control the corporate data and applications that go on it.” Yes, you can sweeten the pill by offering a financial incentive …
Dave Cartwright, 18 Dec 2014
Smartwatches

Soon EVERYONE will be doing it with a strap-on: The Reg's 20 festive wearables

Product roundup Under the tree this Christmas, wearables beyond woolly socks, gloves and tasteless jumpers will be in abundance. Wristbands and smartwatches that track our activity now cover a diverse range of prices and functions. Most offer ‘lifelogging’, the latest buzzword used to describe monitoring everything you do from exercise to sleep …
Jennifer Newton, 18 Dec 2014

Sony looks at unpopular Google Glass, shouts 'ME TOO!'

Sony has unveiled a headset display that snaps on to a pair of glasses a la Google Glass. The entertainment giant said its Single-Lens Display Module projects images and information into the wearer's vision on one side of the specs. The hardware will sport a 640 x 400-pixel color display with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and will …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Dec 2014

Pitch Black: New BlackBerry Classic is aimed at the old-school

Hands on How can a phone maker sell out of its new smartmobe in advance when no one even knew what was inside? BlackBerry has somehow managed that feat. Click to enlarge pics Back in February it announced the Classic, which be could be ordered online last month, and until today nobody knew the specifications. “Too many things …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Dec 2014
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Little big phone: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a toothsome hand-fulla Android

Review This has been a year of pain for Android phone makers, and Sony has suffered as much in this over-saturated market as anyone. But manufacturers' pain is your gain. Sony's overlooked Z3 Compact is, for you if not Sony, the happy result. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Sony's Xperia Z3 Compact: the flagship for smaller pockets It’s a …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Dec 2014
BMW's remote parking tech

At last! Something else for smartwatches to do as BMW promises park-by-wristjob demo

Auto-maker BMW has announced a park-by-wristjob demo at January 2015's CES electronics extravaganza. The company's been footling about with sensor-laden vehicles for some time and says it now has a research model i3 packing four “advanced laser scanners” that can “reliably identify impediments such as columns, for example in a …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Dec 2014

Apple WINS iPod antitrust fight, jury nixes BILLION-dollar payout bid

Apple has prevailed in an almost decade-long antitrust legal battle over the way its iPod gadgets handled music not obtained through iTunes. A federal jury in Oakland, California, took just four hours to clear the iThings maker of wrongdoing – and tossed out calls for a $351m compensation package for eight million owners of late …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Dec 2014
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 tablet

Goes like the blazes: Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 late 2014 edition

Review Before you all take to the comments page and start asking why in the name of hell it has taken us more than six months to review the Fire 8.9 HDX, let me clarify one thing. This is the new, refreshed winter 2014 model. Yes, I know it looks very similar, OK, make that identical, to the previous (3rd) generation 8.9 HDX but trust …
Alun Taylor, 16 Dec 2014
Smartphones

Watch out, Samsung! 3 of top 5 smartphone makers are now Chinese

It was more bad news for Samsung in the third quarter of 2014, as the Korean smartphone maker saw its global market share shrink by nearly 8 per cent, year on year, with most of it going to Chinese rivals. According to the latest figures from Gartner, Samsung remains the worldwide smartphone king, but its market share was just …
Neil McAllister, 16 Dec 2014
Monty Python Wafer Thin Mints

Secretive Chinese smartmobe colossus Xiaomi is on WAFER thin margins

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is operating on the thinnest of margins to keep its handset prices low, according to a filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The Chinese phone-maker, that’s creeping up on Western manufacturers, made a profit of $56.2m on $4.3bn in revenue last year. That gives the firm operating margins of …
EE TV Freeview PVR

Four tuner frenzy: The all-you-can-EEat TV Freeview PVR

Review Television's a lot smarter than it used to be, and there's an ever-increasing number of ways that the basic experience can be enhanced, whether it's by providing extra Over-The-Top (OTT) content with services such as Netflix, or convenient features, such as the ability to set recordings when you're out and about, using text …
Nigel Whitfield, 15 Dec 2014
Lee Enfield No.4 rifle. Pic: Gareth Corfield

Brit GUN NUT builds WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of scrap metal!

Downrange We here on the El Reg gun sensation desk considered getting Gaz to make an unimportant part or accessory for his Lee Enfield out of 3D printed plastic, or in some other fashion involve a computer, which would probably have led to excited writeups in the world's media about Brit GUN NUT 3D PRINTS working SNIPER RIFLE in SHED, …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Dec 2014