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Ubuntu smartphones

Dying for an Ubuntu Linux phone? Here's how much it'll cost you

Just because Ubuntu Mobile is based on Linux doesn't mean Ubuntu handsets will be really cheap, like phones running some other open-source mobile operating systems. Speaking at the CeBIT conference in Hanover, Germany on Tuesday, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said we should expect the first Ubuntu phones to be "mid-high …
Neil McAllister, 12 Mar 2014
The original Tetris of 1984

Who DOESN'T want to play world's tallest game of Tetris – all 437ft of it

A bunch of academics hope to play the world's tallest game of Tetris next month – on the side of a Philadelphia high-rise. Drexel University computer science professor Frank Lee and his team will turn an array of LED panels on the outside of the 29-story Cira Centre into a display screen that'll be used to play the puzzle game …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Mar 2014
india

Apple India to put mini-shops in suburbs to flog entry-level kit

Apple’s ramping up its presence in India with the launch of a range of small brick-and-mortar stores selling mainly entry-level iPhones and fondleslabs, according to a local report. The shops will be set up by disties Redington and Ingram Micro, as well as other partners, in the neighbourhoods of major and tier two cities, …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Mar 2014

Windows Phone beats BLACKBERRY in mobe OS popularity stakes

The difference is small, and they are both way behind the leaders, but online data analytics specialists comScore have reported that while usage of Windows Phone stayed steady as a rock at 3.2 per cent, BlackBerry slipped half a percent down at 3.1 per cent. This puts Windows in third place, behind Apple (at 41.7 per cent) and …
Simon Rockman, 12 Mar 2014

You thought it was dead – but Flappy Bird may return: Millions prepare to poke own eyes out

Dong Nguyen, creator of cult game Flappy Bird, has told Rolling Stone he's got three more games in the works. The magazine travelled to Vietnam to meet Nguyen, who tells the story of Flappy Bird's rise and how he found it hard to appreciate its success. Nguyen also told the magazine he's working on three new games. One is “an …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Mar 2014

Finally! Some actual, novel tech: Apple patent to revive geriatric gear

Apple has received a patent for a method of detecting if an electronic device's operating parameters are being adversely affected by aging circuitry, and if so changing those parameters remotely through adjustments to its firmware. US Patent 8,671,170, "Modifying operating parameters of a device based on aging information," …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Mar 2014
Asus' P5E-VM HDMI - Crysis on X1900

Q. Can your Linux PC run Crysis? OK, it can. But will it run natively? A. Soon, very soon

Crytek is adding native Linux support to its powerful computer game engine. The company, best known for PC thumper Crysis and Xbox One launch title Ryse, announced the development on Tuesday. Gamers will be able to see CryENGINE running natively on GNU/Linux-powered systems at the upcoming Game Developer's Conference (GDC) in …
Jack Clark, 11 Mar 2014
How to strangle a chicken - Aussie style

My work-from-home setup's better than the office. It's GLORIOUS

Storagebod I’ve been fairly used to the idea that my PC at home is substantially better than my work one; this has certainly been the case for me for more than a decade. I’m a geek and I spend more than most on my personal technology environment. However, it is no longer just my home PC. I’ve got better software tools and back-end systems …
StorageBod, 11 Mar 2014
Onyx_Boox_the_non-gaming_phone

Blurred lines: Android e-ink mobe claims TWO-WEEK battery life

Chinese handset manufacturer Onyx has announced the 3G OnyxPhone E43, a mobile-phone-cum-e-reader, claiming a whopping two weeks on its 1800mAh battery. The e-ink smartphone has a 4.3-inch display which dramatically improves battery life. How long it lasts will of course depend on how much you use it; e-ink only uses power when …
Simon Rockman, 11 Mar 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Galaxy S5 launch parties to fizzle in Samsung's back yard

The launch of Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone the Galaxy S5 could be derailed in its home market after the South Korean government slapped a business ban on the country’s three largest operators. The 45-day ban will prevent SK Telecom, KT Corporation and LG UPlus from signing up new customers, selling new phones or …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Mar 2014
Caltech's phased array chip

Projector on a smartphone? There's a chip for that

Caltech researchers have demonstrated a chip they hope will one day let smartphones act as projectors. Instead of the light sources, image and lenses needed for a traditional projector, the Caltech chip uses an optical phased array (OPA) to create a projected image from a single laser diode – along the way eliminating the need …
A Fox Footy Alert Shirt

Foxtel's new football-watching shirt THROBS after every tackle

Fox Footy, an Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch's Fox pay television empire, has created a special football-watching t-shirt. Dubbed the “Alert Shirt”, the garment is being offered to those who sign up for a year's worth of the channel, which shows Australian Football and not much else. Billed as “Game-changing technology [that …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Mar 2014
Microsoft Surface tablets

Microsoft's battery-boosting Surface slab cover to ship soon

Six months after launching the second generation of its Surface tablets, Microsoft says it is finally ready to begin shipping an accessory that it says can extend the battery life of the fondleslabs by as much as 70 per cent. The Surface Power Cover was announced during the Surface 2 launch but wasn't immediately available for …
Neil McAllister, 11 Mar 2014

TSMC sole supplier of Apple's A8? NO WAY, says Samsung, US TOO

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may not have the exclusive contract to fab Apple's next-generation mobile processor, the A8, after all, as had previously been suggested. Last week, China's Commercial Times reported that TSMC had ramped up production of the new chip and that it would replace Apple's erstwhile …
Neil McAllister, 10 Mar 2014
Photo of the Starship Enterprise's sick bay

Does Apple's iOS 7 make you physically SICK? Try swallowing version 7.1

Apple has released its first major update for iOS 7 — version 7.1, natch — which brings "improvements and bug fixes" to iDevices, including better Touch ID fingerprint recognition, the option to further reduce the on-screen animations that sickened some users, and a boost to performance on the iPhone 4. Details of Apple's iOS 7 …
Rik Myslewski, 10 Mar 2014
Bletchley Park Manor House, photo: Gavin Clarke

Bletchley Park board member quits amid TNMOC split-off spat

A Bletchley Park Trust board member has stepped down in protest against the charity's failure to sort out a long-running dispute with the National Museum of Computing. Dr Sue Black, senior research associate at University College London's department of computer science, quit the Trust's board at the end of last year. She …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Mar 2014

Not just for Glasswipes: Google to drop SDK for all Android wearables

SXSW Google is preparing to release a new SDK for makers of wearable devices in the hope of running Android into a myriad of accessories. Top exec Sundar Pichai told the South by Southwest conference yesterday that the company is prepping the software development kit for release in the next two weeks, the Wall Street Journal and …

PM Cameron leaps aboard Internet of Thingies

+Analysis Prime Minister David Cameron thinks he has spotted the "Second Industrial Revolution" – and it’s the Internet of Things. Speaking at the start of the CeBIT show in Hannover, Cameron foresaw British software and services companies working up with German engineering and manufacturing companies to turn IoT from a “slogan to a fact …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Mar 2014
Steve Jobs and John Sculley

John Sculley set to take on Apple in India with budget smartmobes

John Sculley, the former Apple CEO best known as the man who fired Steve Jobs, is making a move in the Indian smartphone market with a new venture which will sell Rs.12,000 ($US197) handsets to the masses. Inflexionpoint, the global “IT supply chain company” he founded, owns China-based distributor Dragon Technology, which will …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Mar 2014
Taking a turn on the Airmec sine wave signal generator

Neil Young touts MP3 player that's no Piece of Crap

Decades of performing may have left Neil Young somewhat shy of the hearing of a 20-year-old, but the poor quality of MP3 still irritates the crazy horse enough to try and do something about it. Meet PonoMusic, which Young hopes will “unleash” all the unheard detail that MP3 (or even, if you believe what's on the company's site, …
Ocean

20 Freescale staff on vanished Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor has issued a statement reporting that, tragically, 20 of its employees were aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which appears to have crashed into the South China Sea. At the time of writing, the jetliner, which was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur carrying 239 passengers and crew, is …
Team Register, 9 Mar 2014
Samsung 60nm 1Gb DDR 2 DRAM chip and DIMM

The long war on 'DRAM price fixing' is over: Claim YOUR spoils now (It's worth a few beers)

Remember getting hosed on those 128MB DIMM RAM sticks back in Y2K? Well, it's time to exact your revenge: with a $10 payout. A group of US Attorneys General have agreed to a $310m settlement package with memory chip makers, which is to be distributed among the public, following allegations of price gouging by vendors between the …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Mar 2014

Dell thuds down low-cost lap workstation for cheap frugal creatives or engineers

Dell has introduced an entry-level mobile workstation, the 15.6-inch Precision M2800, to fill the gap between business-level laptops and top-of-the-line mobile workstations such as the 17.3-inch Dell Precision M6800 and HP ZBook 17 Mobile Workstation. Dell Precision M2800 mobile workstation Yes, it's a Core i5 or i7 laptop – …
Rik Myslewski, 7 Mar 2014
South Park: Stick of Truth

'Mommy got me an UltraVibe Pleasure 2000 for Xmas!' South Park: Stick of Truth

Review Over the last few seasons South Park has become a bit of a stinker – and, more often than not, licensed video game adaptations are pretty whiffy too. When I first heard rumblings of South Park: The Stick of Truth I was dubious whether it would be any good, despite assurances that the production was being overseen by the creators …
Lucy Orr, 7 Mar 2014
Psion Organiser II

Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?

Way back in 2011 we covered a handy category of portable computer that has completely disappeared. The early A4 portables were a specialist item, much beloved of journalists but not a big hit with the wider world. It took a different design to win those hearts. Psion Organiser II Psion Organiser II Source: babbagecabbage …
Liam Proven, 7 Mar 2014

So long, Samsung! TSMC is fabbing Apple's A8 chip, insiders claim

The next generation of Apple's custom system on a chip (SoC) for mobile devices will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) rather than Samsung, and so will several other chips to be used in the forthcoming iPhone 6, a report has claimed. According to Taiwanese financial newspaper Commercial Times, …
9.7-inch Apple iPad 2 (left) and 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab (right)

US judge Koh won't ban old Samsung gear, tells Apple: Your patents aren't that amazing

A US judge has struck down Apple's request for an injunction banning the import of Samsung gadgets that had infringed its patents. California District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on Thursday that the iPhone giant had not shown it would suffer from the import and sales of nearly two dozen of Sammy's older Galaxy mobile products – …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Mar 2014

MEEELLIONS of unloved iPhone 5Cs gather dust in warehouses – report

Apple may be sitting on as many as three million unsold units of its little-loved iPhone 5c, according to reports from the Taiwanese electronics manufacturing industry. The supply-chain sleuths at DigiTimes claim that around one million units of Cupertino's plasticky handset are sitting on telecom carriers' and distributors' …
ipad_big_teaser

Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad

A bereaved man has launched a legal bid to force Apple to unlock his late mother's two-year-old iPad. Josh Grant, a 26-year-old Londoner, told the Beeb he did not know his mum's Apple ID and password. The fruity firm then refused to open up the fondleslab (presumably locked to her Apple ID) even though he has sent them copies of …
Jasper Hamill, 6 Mar 2014
LG D958 G Flex Android handset

Not so shiny shiny: MWC in a post-affluent iPhone world

Live Chat The dynamic of the mobile phone market since about 2007 been shaped by Apple’s iPhone. Before the Jesus phone, the trend was ever tinier, ever shinier. Since then, it's been big screens, app stores and pricey handsets targeting relatively affluent markets. This year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) saw a shift in that six-year …
Team Register, 6 Mar 2014
Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+

Vulture wraps claws around Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+ portable SSD

Review It took a bit of persuading to be convinced that Elgato’s Thunderbolt Drive+ drive should end up on the test bench for review. The company had released the, er, "non-plussed" version a couple of years ago and it didn’t quite set the world on fire. Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+ Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+ now has the addition of USB 3 …
Bob Dormon, 6 Mar 2014
Osborne 1

Happy 75th birthday, Adam Osborne

Dig through enough archives, old texts, magazine ads or historical archives and you're bound to see one: a bulky plastic oddity that looks vaguely like a portable sewing machine, save for a detachable keyboard and miniscule display sticking out of the front. This clumsy, unwieldy behemoth is the Osborne I, and the story of its …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Mar 2014

Roku flashes $50 HDMI TV web dongle at anyone sick of Google's stick

Gadget maker Roku is touting a Streaming Stick video-playing dongle that plugs directly into HDMI televisions. Previous sticks plugged into an MHL socket in Roku-compatible telly sets. Designed to function solely as an internet streaming TV device, the HDMI stick can plug directly into the back of a TV and draw power from …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Mar 2014
EE 4G result

Got 4G? Wake up, grandad. We're doing 4.5G LTE-A in London - EE chief

Olaf Swantee, the CEO of EE, says that his network is planning a scorching 300Mb/s upgrade to its London coverage using the LTE-A (LTE-Advanced) specification. This will roll out in South London first and then to cover the whole of the area within the M25. While Swantee claims that this will make London the place with the …
Simon Rockman, 5 Mar 2014

Hot, fit, SWEATY users stroke Backbeats model, beg: DON'T CALL US

While the new Plantronics Bluetooth sports headset does have a microphone and you can make phone calls – that’s really not the intention. The whole phonecall bit features is listed as the ninth item in a 10-item feature list – and even then with the phrase “BackBeat FIT headphones built-in microphone allows users to take and …
Simon Rockman, 5 Mar 2014
pc_tumour_01

Hey doc, what's the PC's prognosis? A. Long-term growth below zero

The worldwide PC market suffered the "most severe contraction on record" in 2013, which means it is doing better than expected, analyst house IDC said on Tuesday. PC and laptop shipments declined by 9.8 per cent in 2013, the firm revealed – and it projected further year-on-year declines through to 2014. 315 million PCs and …
Jack Clark, 5 Mar 2014
John Chen

Would you work for BlackBerry boss Chen? He says his biz has 50:50 chance of success

Will BlackBerry be able to recover from its recent woes and once again become a profitable company? To hear BlackBerry CEO John Chen tell it, the chances of his turnaround strategy succeeding are about as good as a coin toss. In a newly published interview with the Financial Times that was conducted during the Mobile World …
Steve Ballmer as Doctor Evil

Steve Ballmer: Thanks to me, Microsoft screwed up a decade in phones

Vid Steve Ballmer's greatest regret from his time at Microsoft is that he flubbed his company's attempts at smartphones and mobile computing. That's what he said on Tuesday during his first public appearance since stepping down as CEO of the software goliath. Speaking before an audience of graduate students, business owners, and the …

Apple granted patent for two-faced iPhone with wraparound touchscreen

Just under one year after a nearly identical application was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, Apple has been granted a patent for a "consumer electronic product" – read: smartphone – with a curving display that wraps completely around the device. Illustration from Apple patent 'Electronic device with wrap around …
Rik Myslewski, 4 Mar 2014
Motorola Moto X

X-rated Android antics: Motorola's Moto X puts boot in chunky brother

Review When the Moto X was launched in the US back in August, it was a pretty big deal. Why? Because it was the first handset wholly conceived by Motorola under Google's stewardship, it was assembled in the States itself rather than the Far East, it was available with a dizzying number of personalisation options thanks to the Moto …
Alun Taylor, 4 Mar 2014

MWC: The good, the bad ... and the Galaxy S5

MWC 2014 Well, we're back from Barcelona - in various states of disrepair. Here's my highlights of MWC 2014 ahead of our web chat later this week. 1. Innovation is alive and well. You only have to look beyond the shiny Youtube Video It's a shame that some pundits who declared MWC a low-"innovation" event couldn't see past the phones. …
Angry woman on mobile

Anti-snoop Blackphone hits shelves in June: NOW we'll see how much you value privacy

The launch of the privacy-focused Blackphone attracted plenty of attention at Mobile World Congress last week, but security experts are already warning privacy-conscious potential users not to get too carried away. The technology has limitations and even its developers acknowledge it is not "NSA-proof". Blackphone is scheduled …
John Leyden, 3 Mar 2014