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Free ethical upgrade offered as Fairphone launches mobe No 2

Fairphone, the crowd-funded mobe maker, has launched its second model, and in marked contrast to others (a sideways glance at you Apple) has literally taken the lid off. Fairphone launched in 2013 with the aim of creating a mobile that was free from conflict minerals, and was generally more ethical all round. More than 10,000 …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Jun 2015

Google-owned smart-gumble-maker Nest snubs Google's smart-gumble OS Brillo

Pics Smart-tech poster child Nest has revamped two of its three products and updated its app to better integrate all three. At a launch event on Wednesday in San Francisco, CEO Tony Fadell said his company's products would be "doing more together than they can independently." A slimmer, better Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jun 2015
Raspberry Pi Official Case

Raspberry Pi guys want you to go topless in the heat

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has revealed a new piece of hardware: the official Rasbperry Pi case. The main feature is the removable roof that to our mind either makes the Pi a convertible or lets it go topless, depending on your preferred level of innuendo. The Pi guys say they chose the design topping this tale after …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2015

How to hijack MILLIONS of Samsung mobes with man-in-the-middle diddle

Samsung smartphones can be hijacked, infected with malware, and remotely controlled by malicious Wi-Fi hotspots in cafes, hotels, and so on, security researchers claim. According to the bods at NowSecure, millions of handsets have a remote-code execution vulnerability that is a software design flaw. One workaround is to avoid …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2015

Google to shell out up to $58k for new Nexus epic pwnage

Researchers can score up to US$58,000 for bypassing core Nexus security mechanisms with a remote exploit under an expansion of Google's bug bounty program launched today. The top payments under the Security Rewards program are for bypasses of controls that Google uses to minimise exploitation risks. Hackers can land the most …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jun 2015
Facepalming statue

There's a new build of Windows 10 Mobile, but you can't upgrade to it

Microsoft is back with another build of the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview, but only the most eager testers will be able to get their hands on it. For starters, Redmond is only making Build 10136 available to Windows Insiders who opt for the Fast release ring. As with Windows 10 for desktop PCs, Redmond is being conservative …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jun 2015

Flexible PRAM: Not a bendy baby carriage, but infinitely cooler

Bendy humans pose problems for wearable IT as devices break when they’re deformed. Flexible computers would be ideal – and a group of Korean boffins has devised some flexible PRAM tech to help with the problem. They work at KAIST, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and want to persuade us that having non- …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jun 2015
Motorola Timeport, Nokia 3310, Ericsson T36 and Nokia 6310i

Nokia to LG: You want our smartphone IP? Alright, you got it

Nokia – the bit in Finland, not the bit that belongs to Microsoft – isn’t making mobile phones anymore, but it’s still making money from them. The company will licence its smartphone IP to LG, the first such deal Nokia has done since selling its phone biz to Microsoft. It’s not the first deal like this Nokia has done, though. …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jun 2015

Ready to go again, soldier? Final Fantasy VII remake revealed

E3 2015 Game studio Square Enix has announced it is remaking the groundbreaking role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. An unmitigated sensation upon its 1997 release, Final Fantasy VII sold 2.3 million copies in Japan within three days. Retailers worldwide struggled to meet the subsequent demand, and as of March 2015 the game had …
Surface 3 running Windows 10

Testing Windows 10 on Surface 3: Perfect combo or buggy embuggerance?

Microsoft's new Surface 3 tablet should be the perfect hardware for Windows 10, set to be released on 29 July. We put it to the test. Microsoft's Surface experiment is significant on several levels. When the initial Surface device (running Windows on ARM, also known as Windows RT) was released in October 2012, it was the first …
Tim Anderson, 16 Jun 2015
Tesla powerwall

Elon Musk pours more Kool-Aid into Powerwall

Elon Musk has responded to criticism of the specs of its Powerwall home battery, and says when it start shipping the system's output power will be doubled, without changing the price. Vegan seat covers weren't the only hot button Elon wanted to clear up at the company's annual shareholder meeting. “We actually took some of the …
Xbox One

Microsoft finally finishes its PowerPC emulator

E3 2015 Microsoft kicked off this year's E3 gaming conference by announcing that its x86-powered Xbox One console can now play games built for the PowerPC-based Xbox 360. The Windows giant took center stage at the Los Angeles Convention Center to announce that its latest console will run games that are available for its predecessor. The …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jun 2015

Limited edition Iron Man S6 sells for $91,000 thanks to ... serial number

A limited edition Iron Man-themed Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has been bought for $91,000 by an anonymous bidder in China. Android Authority reported the piece fetched such a high price due to its serial number of 66 — six being a lucky number in China, and 66 therefore being double lucky. The device went for almost 100 times its …
Asus X555LD

Intel inside: Six of the best affordable PC laptops

Product Roundup The continued stagnation of the PC market is bad news for manufacturers, but good news for anyone who needs an affordable new laptop. Manufacturers are having to offer great value in order to attract buyers, and this means that you can now get some really attractive laptops that'll do the business for a good few years in the £ …
Cliff Joseph, 15 Jun 2015
cortana_cropped_648

Cortana threatens to blow away ESC key

Toshiba USA has revealed that it will add a key dedicated to summoning Cortana, Windows 10's digital assistant. Toshiba's Jeff Barney, the company's veep and GM for all things PC in North America, says the new button will appear on every keyboard the company sells. PCWorld reports that “the key will sit in the upper left area, …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jun 2015
Beats headphones

Beats loudspeaker silenced by Apple after $3bn buyout, report claims

Apple killed work on a Beats Electronics wireless loudspeaker after it bought rapper Dr Dre's company for $3bn last year, it has been claimed. According to Variety magazine, which cited project insiders, a new Wi-Fi product that would have competed with Sonos was set to be unveiled by Beats sometime before Christmas last year. …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Jun 2015

Twitchy Google GAMES YouTube – hits 'play' on MULTI-BEELLION dollar market

Google is set to muscle in on the multi-billion dollar online gaming market, with the launch of a dedicated YouTube app and website. The ad giant, which failed in its bid to buy Twitch for $1bn last year, said in a blog post on Friday that the new service was coming to the US and UK this summer. Twitch was instead snapped up by …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Jun 2015
Amazon Fire TV Stick

Entertaining prospect: Amazon Fire TV Stick

Review Amazon’s Fire TV Stick may well be late to the streaming HDMI dongle party but, as is the company’s wont, it’s even later when it comes to turning up in European markets. Still, it’s here now and keenly priced too at just £35. OK, so Google’s Chromecast is only £30 but at least Amazon supplies a remote control. Amazon Fire TV …
Bob Dormon, 13 Jun 2015

BlackBerry on Android? It makes perfect sense

Analysis Four months ago, BlackBerry announced it was porting key features of its BlackBerry OS software to Android and iOS – stuff like its onscreen keyboard, Universal Search, and the notification Hub. It was only a matter of time before word emerged of somebody actually grabbing this idea and running with it. The only surprise is that …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2015

Hey kids, who wants to pwn a million BIOSes?

The overlooked task of patching PC BIOS and UEFI firmware vulnerabilities leaves corporations wide open to attack, a new paper by security researchers warns. Xeno Kovah and Corey Kallenberg argue that the poor state of low-level software security is among the easiest ways for hackers to deeply infiltrate organizations. A …
John Leyden, 12 Jun 2015
BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry ponders putting Android on future mobes

BlackBerry is pondering kitting out its next smartphone with Google's Android operating system, according to reports. In a major strategic turn the firm is considering running the Chocolate Factory's operating system on its next mobe, reports Reuters. Citing multiple source, the newswire said the move is part of BlackBerry's …
Kat Hall, 12 Jun 2015
Vintage Denon PMA 7000 Z amplifier from 1975

Denon delivers low-cost DTS:X AV kit. Finally Dolby Atmos gets some competition

Breaking Fad Last week, amid the playboy splendour and shabby chic that is Monte Carlo, two giants of the AV and Hi-Fi world were busy putting a glam new spin on the latest audio tech. Sibling brands Denon and Marantz took the wraps off a slew of cutting edge audio components at an impressive dealer product showcase. Vintage Denon PMA 7000 …
Steve May, 12 Jun 2015

Google wants you to buy Nest CCTV, turn your home into a Brillo pad

Pic Google is expanding its smart-home tech offerings with a networked security camera that could be the first hardware to run its cutdown Android OS, Brillo. The search giant's Nest arm – famous for its smart thermostat – will unveil a new version of the wireless camera Dropcam called the Nest Cam next week. The new camera will …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jun 2015
Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift noggin-bucket ... heyyy, errr ... have we all got them on already?

Pics+Vid Oculus, on Thursday, showed off its Rift virtual reality digi-goggs that it will sell to world+dog in 2016. The upstart company also announced a new partnership with Microsoft: the Redmond software giant will bundle an Xbox wireless controller with every headset. "We're finally ready to deliver on the dream of VR," Brendan Iribe …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jun 2015
Rotten apple

Apple store staffers probed like 'criminals', lawsuit claims

Apple retail store staffers, routinely frisked for stolen goods at the end of a shift or before breaks, complained to Tim Cook of being treated like “criminals”, as part of a written policy that was “demeaning”. The claim was contained in a 2013 lawsuit filed in California, parts of which the judge unsealed yesterday, that seeks …
Paul Kunert, 11 Jun 2015
Facebook Lite app

Facebook ditches HTML mobe future in favour of Zuck-style JavaScript

Facebook has ruled out a return to platform-neutral HTML5 for mobile, dedicating itself to a future of React Native – its own JavaScript framework. The social networking giant told journalists in London this week that it won’t be writing future mobile apps in HTML and vanilla JS. Asked about whether it might reexamine HTML5, …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Jun 2015
CN72/73xx Block Diagram

Cavium adds 4/16 core SoCs

Cavium is filling out a scale gap in its Octeon III system-on-a-chip (SoC) range with he four-to-sixteen core CN72xx and CN73xx variants that are pin-compatible with the rest of the range. The MIPS64-based SoCs are low-power network processors pitched between the one-to-four core CN71xx and the 24-48 CN78xx range. The chips can …
8K video on YouTube

Spooky ghost town vid perfectly sums up YouTube's 8K playback: It's virtually no use to anyone (yet)

Vid Ultra-high definition 8K videos are appearing on YouTube, despite the fact that few home broadband connections on the planet can stream them, and even fewer screens are capable of showing them in their full glory. The video arm of the Mountain View ad giant turned heads this week when a mini-flick called "Ghost Towns in 8K" …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2015
Microsoft's Surface Hub

Gonna RUB MYSELF against the WALL: Microsoft's Surface Hub 84" monster-slab

Pics Microsoft will take orders for its ridiculo-sized Surface Hub, a huge wall-mounted touchscreen, from July 1, albeit at hefty prices - but it won't be shipping direct to punters. The smaller of the two debut Surface Hub models is a 55-inch, 1080p-resolution version that Microsoft says is designed for offices, small conference …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2015
Dell Venue 8 7840 Android tablet

RealSense possibilities: Dell Venue 8 7000 8.4in Android tablet

Review These days, it seems like the world and his civil partner has a tablet to offer you, whether it's a bargain basement offering like the Tesco Hudl 2 or something more media-centric, like the Amazon Fire HDX 8. One of the sweet spots for tablet pricing seems to be around the £300–350 range, where you'll expect to get a decent- …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2015
arsenal_b_dortmund_champions_league_648

HTC reflects on Champions League iPhone cock-up

HTC is recovering from the embarrassment of being unmasked as a user of the iPhone. oh dear watch the reflections To celebrate its involvement as a sponsor of this year's UEFA Champions League, HTC produced a blingtastic limited edition, 24ct gold version of the HTC One M9. And then it obviously had to take to Twitter to …
Simon Rockman, 10 Jun 2015
Mega Man

Warm up the Mega Buster: Next-gen consoles to reboot Mega Man series

Capcom has announced it will release a collection of the original six Mega-Man games as a single title for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC platforms. The Mega Man Legacy Collection will bundle the original half-dozen NES titles from the series with online leader boards, mini-games, and a digital "museum" of artwork gathered from the …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jun 2015

Apple's HomeKit: So, you know, it exists and all that. Oookay ...

WWDC 2015 Apple didn't so much launch as absent-mindedly punt its HomeKit smart home tech this week at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). In a near two-hour keynote presentation, the Internet of Things hub that Apple hopes will put it in the forefront of the smart house got less than 30 seconds – and a pretty uninteresting …
Samsung S6 active

Screw you, Apple! We're still making phones no one wants – Samsung

Sales of Samsung's smartphones have slipped of late in comparison to the iPhone, but the chaebol is trying to steal some of the thunder from Apple's WWDC announcements by announcing a new device of its own. The new handset, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, isn't much in the way of an evolution. Basically it's a S6 that's been …
Iain Thomson, 8 Jun 2015
Halo 4

Amazon game dev brain slurp bid revealed in industry back-page ad

A job advert posted on Gamasutra has led to speculation about Amazon's plans to branch out in the PC game market. The Kindle king is looking for 26 staff members for its gaming development team in Seattle. "Amazon is committed to gamers, and building great teams who are excited to use Twitch, the AWS cloud, and technical …
Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB30-B-104

Remake, remodel: Toshiba Chromebook 2

Review Of the Chromebook ilk, Toshiba’s original CB30 was one of my favourites from 2014. Slim, light and stylish and, of course, affordable. This year, you’d think that all the company would need to do is refresh a few components and it could keep on going with this design. Yet with the arrival of Toshiba’s Chromebook 2 that also …
Bob Dormon, 8 Jun 2015
Broke - empty pockets

Apple preps summer bonking bonanza for Brits

People of Blighty rejoice for you will soon be able to bonk with Apple - the contactless mobile payment service is reportedly landing this summer, or to be a little more precise in two months time. The launch of Apple Pay is expected to be touted about at this year’s worldwide developer knees up on Monday, or so says The …
Paul Kunert, 7 Jun 2015
shutterstock_275045957

Jurassic Part: Vertu announces lizard-skin phones

Vertu, makers of super-expensive phones for the insanely rich, has announced two new lizard-skin phones, coming in at a cool £7,600. “Night Forest is a rich dark green and the Dark Scarlet is a beautifully woody chestnut red, both inspired by the canopy of an English woodland," said the UK manufacturer and retailer of luxury …
Simon Rockman, 7 Jun 2015
Urban Safe 5L Dry Flat Bag

Festival tech: Charge your mobe while you queue for a pee

Product Roundup I’m now of an age and hair density where the idea of standing in a muddy field in wellies, queuing to answer a call of nature, getting trench foot and eating the sort of food the troops at Passchendaele had to endure just to hear some live music has long since lost its appeal. But if in some weird parallel universe there’s …
Alun Taylor, 6 Jun 2015
Google car

Google: Our self-driving cars would be tip-top if you meatheads didn’t crash into them

Google's self-driving car engineers have released their first progress report, and they said they will publish monthly updates from now on. "We’ve made a lot of progress with our self-driving technology over the past six years, and we’re still learning," the report [PDF] stated. "Every day we head out onto public streets so we …
Iain Thomson, 6 Jun 2015
Smartphones

HTC execs: Oh dear, did we say we'd sell lots of smartphones? Our bad

The bottom appears to have dropped out of HTC smartphone sales, leaving the Taiwanese firm forced to revise its second-quarter earnings guidance downward by nearly 30 per cent. Just over a month ago, HTC said it expected to see revenue of between NT$46bn and NT$51bn New Taiwanese dollars ($1.49bn to $1.66bn in US dollars) in the …
Internet of Cats feeder

The USB Lego, bluetooth coffee cups and connected cats of Computex 2015

Taiwan's technology industry likes to position the annual Computex expo as the week in which it shows off its ingenuity to the world. This year's show might just have shown that Taiwan - and the rest of us - are in a bit of a rut. Last year, I couldn't move at Computex without stumbling over a booth offering a zillion …