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Lenov-OUCH! 500,000 laptop cables recalled in burning mains cock-up

Lenovo is recalling about 500,000 AC power cords for its B, G, and V-series laptops and IdeaPads – after 15 cases were reported of the cables overheating, sparking, melting and burning. "Only the AC Power Line Cord is being recalled," Lenovo said on its global recall website. "The Adapter that connects to the computer is not …
Iain Thomson, 11 Dec 2014
Philips Goya TV from 1972

The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

Breaking Fad The future of television’s so bright you’ll have to wear shades. At least, that might be the case if plans to evolve television to a High Dynamic Range (HDR) future gather traction. HDR has been exciting the creative community for some time now. Regular LCD (left) vs. 1000 Nit HDR (right) Seeing is believing: regular LCD (left …
Steve May, 11 Dec 2014
Canon Pixma MX535 all-in-one printer

Cloud Printing from a Chromebook: We try it out on 8 inkjet all-in-ones

Product Roundup If you’re thinking of getting a new printer and already have Macs or Window PCs then selecting a model that will work isn’t exactly a challenge. But - what if you add a Chromebook to the mix? Increasingly popular and likely to be under the tree for many this Christmas, have you stopped to think about how you will print from one …
Simon Williams, 11 Dec 2014
philips triplewriter spd7000 blu-ray recorder

Blu-ray region locks popped by hardware hacker

Scores of Blu-ray players from the biggest names in the industry contain security vulnerabilities that allow region coding to be unlocked, hardware hacker Matthew Garrett says. The players use an antiquated digital rights management scheme to control the distribution of movies meaning some films could only be played in the …
Darren Pauli, 11 Dec 2014
management regulation1

China's smartmobe darling Xiaomi locked out of India

Simmering tensions over smartphone patents in India are heating up, with a court smacking down Chinese mobe-maker Xiaomi following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson. The Delhi High Court granted Ericsson an ex parte injunction against the Chinese vendor, according to intellectual property blog Spicy IP, because Xiaomi had …

Hipsters snap up iPod Classics for $$$s after Apple kills rusty gadget

Apple quietly withdrew its iconic iPod Classic from sale this year – and now the hard-drive-packing music players are fetching handsome piles of cash on Amazon. An unused sixth-generation silver 160GB model will set you back $1,500 from one tech hawker using the web souk to flog old gear. If that's a bit too steep for you, don't …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Dec 2014
USB 3 logo

USB Forum submits itself to electrical probing

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has ticked off a small-but-significant milestone by submitting its new standards to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). As we've previously noted, the USB-IF has revealed a 10Gbps-capable USB-C connector, and also an ambition for two-way power flows at up to 100W over USB. …
Ralph Baer 1922-2014

RIP Ralph Baer: Father of the games console dies aged 92

Obit Ralph Baer, the engineer and inventor of the first home games console, has died. He was 92. Few modern gamers know of Baer, but all owe him a debt of gratitude for ushering in the first generation of home systems in the 1970s and helping to inspire the arcade and home console explosions in subsequent decades. Baer in the early …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Dec 2014
Candy Crush Saga

MP caught playing Candy Crush at committee meeting: I'll ‘try’ not to do it again

Conservative MP Nigel Mills has been caught playing the popular and addictive mobile game Candy Crush Saga for over two-and-a-half hours while supposedly actively participating in a discussion on national pension reforms. Images and a video were published (paywall) in The Sun of the politician playing the game on his iPad in a …
Free Realms

PlayStation Network blasted offline AGAIN. Just not Sony's decade

Sony's PlayStation Network has suffered yet another outage: the PlayStation store went titsup in the early hours of Monday, UK time. Hacktivist group the Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for flooding the servers off the internet using a distributed denial-of-service attack. The PlayStation giant said on its Twitter account …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Dec 2014
iPhone Battery

IBM Research wants laptop batteries to retire and slum it

IBM's Indian research lab has come up with a nice idea: using old laptop batteries too feeble to power a ThinkPad as off-grid power sources. In a paper [PDF] titled “UrJar: A Lighting Solution using Discarded Laptop Batteries”, IBM and Radio Studio India boffins explain that “Forty percent of the world’s population, including a …
Parrot Ar.Drone

Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

An unidentified drone came very close to colliding with a passenger jet in the summer, an official report to be published this week will say. According to the Sunday Times (£), which has seen the Civil Aviation Authority's document on the risks associated with the growing popularity of drones, an Airbus A320 was involved in the …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Dec 2014
VW Scirocco logo

VW's Scirocco diesel: A sheep in Wolfsburg’s clothing

Vulture at the Wheel Car buffs of a certain age will remember how the great motoring writer L. J. K Setright loved the Scirocco Mk I Storm. To those who loved engineering prowess, the Scirocco was something special. Even if the brakes were a bit shoddy. But the Scirocco Diesel here is a very different beast; this is a car for my friend Michael. …
Simon Rockman, 7 Dec 2014
GTA5

Furious GTA V gamers seek similar ban on violent, misogynistic title: the Holy Bible

Fuming gamers have hit back after Target and Kmart withdrew Grand Theft Auto V from sale in Australia. Last month campaigners started a petition on Change.org to get GTA5 banned by the big-box retail chains, claiming the game "encourages players to murder women for entertainment." The campaigners also claim the game trains …
Iain Thomson, 7 Dec 2014
Angry Birds for PC

Angry Birds to angry words: Rovio flings 14% of its staff out the door

Troubled Finnish gaming studio Rovio has sacked 110 staff, almost 14 per cent of its workforce, but is claiming success as it had planned to dump 130 people. "Rovio estimates that its workforce will be reduced by approximately 110 employees. As part of its reorganization, several positions have been opened for internal …
Iain Thomson, 5 Dec 2014
Rockstar Games – Grand Theft Auto V

Gaming's driving ambitions: The Crew and Grand Theft Auto V

Game Theory If only all of life's hiccups could be solved by driving really, really fast. Luckily for Alex Taylor, The Crew's rather wet-behind-the-ears lead, that would seem to be the case. Joining the race Murder, police corruption and gang warfare are as nothing, it would seem, in the presence of torque, horsepower and, presumably, new …
Mike Plant, 5 Dec 2014
Philips 48-inch Ambilight 48PFT5509 TV

Feast your eyes: 10 'fortysomething' smart TVs

Product round-up Sharply designed, technically advanced TVs seem 10 a penny these. Prices remain double-take keen as well. So where does an upgrader begin? Smart connectivity has been standard for a while now, but the usability of internet-delivered services is now immeasurably better than early forays. The seamless simplicity of LG’s webOS …
Steve May, 5 Dec 2014
1.2 GHz dual-core, MIPS32-based Ingenic JZ4780 SoC, 32kB L1 I- and D-cache, 512kB L2 cache

Violet, you're turning violet! Imagination unveils graphics-tastic hobbyist board

Imagination Technologies, the MIPS chipper firm behind PowerVR, has a new hobbyist board. For fifty quid you can do some techie tinkering. If you've called your company "Imagination", there is an irony in making some hardware where the declared aim is to have developers do the imagining, but that's by the by. The idea is to …
Simon Rockman, 4 Dec 2014
Yotaphone 2

Yotaphone 2: The two-faced pocket-stroker with '100 hours' batt life

Pics "Battery anxiety" is a mobile phone buzzphrase that has been bandied about for some time – highlighting the trade-off we've made with large touchscreens, multi-core processors and our obsession with using the darn things. Yotaphone 2 The Yotaphone 2: six-day battery life, anyone? Bigger form factors can slot in a bigger …
Bob Dormon, 4 Dec 2014
Daffy duck, shot (Wabbit season)

#Gamergate folk load flamethrower, roast own feet over GTA V 'ban'

Gamergate has flared anew, and perhaps less coherently, after discount department store chain Target Australia decided to take Grand Theft Auto V off its shelves in response to a successful petition on Change.org (after initially resisting the request). The new flareup's lack of coherence comes from the fact that plenty of …

Microsoft: So sorry for NOT paying Xbox indie game devs on time

Making computer games can be a hard slog for indie developers. Big studios have piles of R&D and marketing cash, and it's easy to see your pride and joy fall into unplayed obscurity. Microsoft sought to help indie developers with the Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) portal on its Live console marketplace, which was set up six years …
Iain Thomson, 4 Dec 2014
android tongue

Another lick of Lollipop: Google updates latest Android to 5.0.1

Google is pushing out version 5.0.1 of Lollipop, the first update to the latest version of Android. Users of Nexus 7 (2013 model), Nexus 9, and Nexus 10 devices can now download the update from Google. You can also find the source for the Android Open Source Project version here. There is no official list of changes, but users …
Tim Anderson, 3 Dec 2014

IDC revises mobe sales forecasts. New crystal ball, anyone?

Comment Analyst outfit IDC says that the rate of increase in smartphone sales is going to fall – but not as fast as it had previously predicted. The company, which in February this year predicted that global sales of smartphones would be 1.2 billion units, has taken note of that figure being much closer to 1.3bn, the company had …
Simon Rockman, 3 Dec 2014
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Speaking in Tech: Android 5.0 Lollipop is a TRAIN WRECK

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's an info-packed episode of El Reg's techcast today, with regular hosts Greg Knieriemen and Sarah Vela joined by ex-VMware bod special guest Dr John Troyer of TechReckoning.com. Ed Saipetch is away this week, but the week in tech still receives a thorough going-over... …
Team Register, 3 Dec 2014
bug on keyboard

Firmware update kills Lenovo Home Media Network HDDs. Here's how to resurrect them

A Lenovo firmware update “killed” the cloudy version of the Home Media Network Hard Drive, according to a bunch of customers that took to its support forum to vent their frustration. A firmware update to the catchily-titled version 3.2.8.30031 was recently released - so customers installed it and waited for the product to re- …
Paul Kunert, 3 Dec 2014

Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Product round-up Much to the dismay of many a sysadmin, Linux is no longer purely the domain of Captain Command-Line and his trusty side-kick Admiral APT. For those looking to make the most of their new-fangled graphics-capable hardware, here’s a selection of freeware to start with, in our case as installed on Ubuntu 14.04: BleachBit RH Numbers …
Shaun Dormon, 3 Dec 2014
Stephen Hawking, weightless and happy

Legendary Brit physicist Stephen Hawking gets full Intel comms refresh

Pioneering physicist Stephen Hawking has received a replacement communication system following a three-year project with Intel to overhaul his previous 20-year-old comms platform. The refit occurred following a rapid deterioration in Hawking's word-per-minute rate, which dropped from a 20wpm rate 10 years ago to just under 1wpm …
Kat Hall, 2 Dec 2014
 The Sinclair Spectrum Vega design.

Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

Comment The Spectrum fanbois at Retro Computers have enlisted the help of Sir Clive to launch a new crowd-funded Spectrum clone. The Sinclair Spectrum Vega is a console that plays games from the '80s – complete with piezo speaker-generated sound and attribute clash. The Vega is being marketed by Retro Computers Ltd, a Luton-based …
Simon Rockman, 2 Dec 2014
Planetoid crashes into primordial Earth

Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

Apple has filed a patent that could save iPhones from certain death when they crash to the ground. The patent is called "protective mechanism for an electronic device" and allows an iThing to rotate whilst in freefall. When it begins its journey to terminal velocity, the iPhone will be saved by a motor connected to an " …
Jasper Hamill, 2 Dec 2014
Apple Watch

No wristjob, please, we're Apple fans: Just 10% would buy the Apple Watch

Apple's new Watch device is going to sell itself on the basis of appealing to 10 per cent of the fanboi population, according to analysts. Research firm UBS claims that one in ten Apple iPhone owners would be willing to pony up for the fruity wristthing. According to the UBS report, some 10 per cent of iPhone owners were …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Dec 2014
Pebble Steel

Pebble: The brilliant stealth wearable Apple's Watch doesn't see coming

Interview The wearables bandwagon rolled into town this year – heralding the arrival of glossy and expensive new wearable timepieces. Android Wear and Apple’s Watch have grabbed most the headlines, but I suspect that come Christmas morning, more people will be unwrapping a Pebble than the glitzier rivals. We caught up with Pebble’s …

Never fear, Glassholes – Intel to the rescue! 'New CPU' for tech-specs

New models of the painfully nerdy Google Glass goggles will use Intel processors, rather than Texas Instrument chips, it's reported. Today, the expensive headgear is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 dual-core Cortex-A9 system-on-chip, which is clocked at 1.2GHz and runs 32-bit ARMv7 code. It also includes PowerVR 2D and …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Dec 2014
Broke - empty pockets

Huawei: 'Nobody made any money in Windows Phone'

Windows Phone has never paid off for Microsoft's hardware partners, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has claimed. "We didn't make any money in Windows Phone," Huawei head of international media affairs Joe Kelly told the Seattle Times in a recent interview. "Nobody made any money in Windows Phone." This isn't the first time …

Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

The FBI has made it no secret that it hates Apple and Google's efforts to encrypt files in your smartphones and tablets. Now court documents have emerged showing just how far the Feds are willing to go to decrypt citizens' data. The paperwork has shown two cases where federal prosecutors have cited the All Writs Act – which was …
Iain Thomson, 1 Dec 2014
iPad Videos app

LA schools math quiz: $500 Chromebooks or $700 iPads for students?

A technology-for-schools deal touted as a huge win for Apple will become a head-to-head competition with arch-rival Google. The web ad giant has won the rights to sell Chromebooks to schools as an alternative to iPads, The LA Times reports, citing the Los Angeles Unified School District. This will turn around what had been a …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Dec 2014

Dead Steve Jobs to give iPod MP3 evidence from beyond the grave

Steve Jobs will descend from the Genius Bar in the sky to appear as a witness in an antitrust case brought against Apple. The iPhone giant's late cofounder will star in a video deposition in a class-action case relating to the iTunes store. Proceedings will hinge around the fact early iPods only allowed fanbois and gurlz to …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Dec 2014
Happy child at Christmas with a tablet

Amazon DROPS next day delivery amid Cyber Monday MADNESS

Updated Amazon has suspended next day delivery in Blighty after reporting its busiest day on record. This decision could mean the families of last-minute present hunters will go without gifts on Christmas Day, said a Reg source, who says he was told express delivery would not begin until the New Year. Amazon denies this and claims the …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Dec 2014
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

APPLE set to Air PLUS-SIZED iPAD – claims mag

Apple is in the final stages of designing a 12-inch iPad as big as a dinner plate, it has been claimed. A Japanese magazine called MacOtakara has published blueprints for a device it called the "iPad Air Plus", which will be a bigger version of the world's most famous fondleslab. It will feature a 12.2-inch display and an A9 …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Dec 2014
Nuke blast

Ex-GCHQ boss: Hey, UK.gov, have you heard how crap iPhone biometrics are?

Comment If you're an ex-GCHQ spook, it seems the BBC will leap to attention when you've words of wisdom to impart about mobile security. Dear old Auntie Beeb has reported that former GCHQ boss Sir John Adye doesn’t trust the biometric security in the iPhone 6. As a story it’s got everything: top spy chief with a knighthood, mistrust of …
Simon Rockman, 1 Dec 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Bought an iPhone 6 Plus? Odds are you've binned the iPad

Apple fans are ditching their iPads after buying a new phab-ulous big screened iPhone 6 Plus, a survey has revealed. The mobile reader app Pocket has unveiled research that suggests people who buy mobile phones with large screens no longer spend as much time using their tablets. In a statement which might tickle British readers …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Dec 2014
The Antikythera Mechanism

By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

A new analysis of the Antikythera Mechanism, the intriguing meshed gears device hauled from the Aegean in 1900, suggests it may be of Babylonian origin. The Mechanism is engraved in Greek and is widely thought to have been able to track the cycle of the Moon and of both Solar and Lunar eclipses, among other natural phenomena. …
Fiat 500X covered in mud

Fiat 500X: A fun-loving Goldilocks who'll get down and dirty

Vulture at the Wheel The 1957 Fiat 500 was a macchinetta small car. It became a macchina car with the launch of the new 500 in 2007, and then with the 500L it became a macchinona; a big car. It has gone from 17hp and under 500kg to 120hp and 1.4 tonnes. The Fiat 500X The Fiat 500X: A Goldilocks car aimed at off-roading families. Well, not quite …
Simon Rockman, 29 Nov 2014