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Apple facial recognition patent application

Apple tries to patent facial recognition

Apple has asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to grant it the rights to produce facial-recognition features for iOS devices. Apple’s patent application, filed in 2014 and published Thursday, describes a system for selecting contacts via facial recognition and then tagging their faces in photos. This, Apple argues, will …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2015
HTC One M9 Android smartphone

HTC shedding 15 per cent of workforce in 'strategic realignment'

Former Taiwanese smartphone titan HTC is to trim 15 per cent of its workforce following a 20 per cent share price tumble this week. The gadget manufacturer's share price dipped so low its market value is now below cash on hand, which has provoked the worker restructuring. In fact, the tumbling price of HTC's shares has " …
ASUS Chair Jonney Shih Computex 2015 press conference

Smartphone sales looking rosy for Asus, despite PC meltdown

While the mobe power base is shifting from the traditional players to the new upstarts, with Samsung and HTC suffering at the hands of Huawei and Xiaomi, Asus is having a good time in the good old handset market. Sales were up from three million in the first quarter to five million in the second and the company is predicting …
Simon Rockman, 12 Aug 2015
Smartphones running Ubuntu

Ubuntu phone on sale to world+dog ... but will it work on your network?

Customers worldwide are now able to buy smartphones running the mobile version of Ubuntu Linux, even though many won't be able to get full value out of them. In a Tuesday blog post, Ubuntu maker Canonical said that BQ, its Spanish hardware partner, has opened a new online store where customers around the world can order the …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2015
Android hanging

Another day, another stunning security flaw in Android – this time hitting 55% of mobes

Video Fresh from sorting out the Stagefright flaw, Google has another serious security vulnerability in Android on its hands. A privilege escalation hole allows normal apps to gain superpowers to snoop on a device's owner, smuggle in malware, and wreak other havoc. Youtube Video The vulnerability, CVE-2015-3825, affects about 55 …
Iain Thomson, 10 Aug 2015
Indian mobile use

Google ready for another pop at India, with Android One in hand

Google is trying the good old switching-it-off-and-on-again ploy with its scheme to sell super-cheap Android phones in India. Android One has been a flop, with the Chocolate Factory failing to understand the Indian market. The dominant manufacturers – Micromax, Intex and Spice – felt that the OS was an American solution being …
Simon Rockman, 10 Aug 2015
EE Power Bar

Power Bar: EE was warned of safety risk BEFORE user was burned in explosion

Exclusive EE management was warned that its popular "Power Bar" phone charging devices had serious safety risks before they were given to customers, the Register has learned. A Power Bar subsequently exploded, injuring a young woman badly enough that she required hospital treatment, and some Power Bars have since been recalled. Last …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Aug 2015

Cher tells HTC: If I could turn back time ... if I could find a way (to not lose $250m in a quarter)

HTC has warned staff there will be mass layoffs after the biz lost more a quarter of a billion dollars in three months. For quarter ending June 30, HTC turned $NT33bn (US$1.04bn) in revenues (down 49 per cent year-on-year) into a NT$5.1bn (US$161.1m) loss, thanks to slow sales of its Android mobile devices. China in particular …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Aug 2015
Smartphones

Blighty a 'smartphone society' amid rise of 4G middle class

Ofcom has published its twelfth annual Communications Market report, featuring a modest analysis of how British society is accommodating technology by declaring that "the UK is now a smartphone society". Published today, Ofcom's 431-page Communications Market Report 2015 [PDF] has found that a third (33 per cent) of internet …
Motorola Moto G 3rd generation

Testing Motorola's Moto G third-gen mobe: Is it still king of the hill?

Review It's been relatively easy recommending a SIM-free phone for under £200 for the past couple of years. The decision tree looked like this: If you wanted those specific apps, you’d want to consider the Moto G. But if you didn’t, then the Lumia range gave you a better phone at any sub-£200 price point. Windows Phone was intended …
Eve in the Garden of Eden talking to a rather angry God on Snapchat

Hacking Team brewed potent iOS poison for non-jailbroken iThings

Hacking Team compromised non-jailbroken iOS devices using a variant of last year’s Masque Attack, in which Apple devices were infected via emails and text messages. That's according to a study of the 400GB of documents that were pilfered from the Italian snoop-ware maker's computers by hackers, and leaked online for all to see …
John Leyden, 6 Aug 2015
Adrian Ludwig

Biggest security update in history coming up: Google patches Android hijack bug Stagefright

Black Hat 2015 For those of you worried about the Stagefright flaw in Android, be reassured, a patch will be coming down the line in the next few days. "My guess is that this is the single largest software update the world has ever seen," said Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security at Google. "Hundreds of millions of devices are …
Iain Thomson, 5 Aug 2015
TG's phone for older Android users

Too much vino? LG brings Wine Smart oldster-mobe to Europe

The Wine Smart is a new 4G Android phone from LG, and it looks vastly different to anything else on the market: it’s a flip phone. Yep, it flips like it's 1999. Both LG and Samsung have been selling Android flip phones in their native land for a while. Doro tried a slider with the Doro 740, but European availability of an …
Simon Rockman, 5 Aug 2015
Sinclair ZX80 kit

Sinclair stretches to new major GSMA role

The GSMA has a new interim director general, with chief technology officer Alex Sinclair taking over the reins following the departure of the charismatic Anne Bouverot. Bouverot announced last March that she would be leaving at the end of July. No full-time replacement has yet been appointed – although it is believed that the …
Simon Rockman, 5 Aug 2015
Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android smartphone

Asian worries for Samsung and Apple as local brands chop up the market

Figures from research company Canalys indicate both Apple and Samsung are feeling the pinch in the world's two fastest growing mobile markets: China and India. In Q2 2015, one in three smartphones shipped in China came from Huawei or Xiaomi, with the latter being the best-selling smartphone in the Asian giant, with a 15.9 per …
Simon Rockman, 4 Aug 2015

OnePlus phone fanbois flock for a shiny phondle

Pics It looked just like the queues you get outside Apple stores. But we were in South Of The River – in deepest Southwark – where Apple doesn't set foot. What was going on? The answer was that OnePlus, a Shenzhen-based phone "startup" – read on for an explanation of the scare quotes – was offering fanbois a glimpse at its new …

Don't want pranksters 'bricking' your Android? Just stop using the internet, duh – Google

Video Trend Micro peeps say they have discovered a security bug that miscreants can exploit to seemingly murder millions of Android smartphones. A device will appear lifeless and unable to make calls, with a dead screen and no sound output, if an attack is successful, we're told. All a victim has to do is visit a dodgy webpage, or …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jul 2015

Moto fires BROADSIDE into the flagship phone's waterline with X Play and Style

Hands On The traditional flagship Android smartphone concept, as offered for instance by Samsung, may be feeling a little wobblier today after Motorola shelled it fore and aft with its new, actual-value X handsets. Apple is currently hoovering up 92 per cent of the profits to be made in the smartphone business, by some counts, and what …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Jul 2015
shutterstock_184661174

At last we know for sure. Blighty's 'best mobile network' is ...

The biannual survey of mobile networks conducted by RootMetrics has found that EE still leads the pack, and provides the best mobile phone coverage. RootMetrics' report said that “EE earned a clean sweep of all six UK RootScore awards including Overall Performance, Network Reliability, Network Speed, Mobile Internet, Call, and …
Simon Rockman, 28 Jul 2015
Bitcoin payphone

'Untraceable' VoIP caller ID-spoofing website accepts Bitcoin

A new VoIP service allows you to hide who you are by being web-based, having no registration checks, allowing you to spoof caller identity, and pay by Bitcoin. Bitphone calls itself the Bitcoin Payphone. As well as taking Bitcoin, the service accepts more than forty other altcoins. Users can pay with a Bitcoin transfer from a …
Simon Rockman, 28 Jul 2015
One Plus 2

OnePlus 2: The smartie that's trying to outsmart Google's Android

First look Back in April, applecart-punching OnePlus made their first entry into mobiles with a new phone and an invite-only system that was popular with 'Droid fanciers but received an upturned nose and frosty shoulder from the big boys in the space. Now the biz is back with its second handset, the OnePlus 2. It will be available from …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2015
Sad Android

Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Android smartphones can be secretly infected by malware smuggled in via video text messages, allowing criminals to sneak inside as many as 950 million devices. You just need to know a victim's cellphone number to silently inject malicious software in their vulnerable gizmo. Once infected, your mobe's camera and mic can be used …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2015
hard step by https://www.flickr.com/photos/shemsu_hor/  cc2.0 attribution no derivs https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

BlackBerry vows to make even fewer phones

It isn’t just Microsoft that’s going on a drastic phone diet. BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen today indicated that the Canadian enterprise vendor would cut its device portfolio from the four devices previously promised for 2015 to “two or one” a year. “We are reducing jobs, but it is not so much as reducing; we are shifting it, so …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2015
Bond tries to decipher is tailor

British spooks wave through Samsung S6 mobes for UK govt bods

Samsung's new handsets have been given the seal of approval from the information assurance arm of Britain's intelligence agency. The South Korean tech multinational reckoned that the certification was the first of its kind to be dished out to a mobile vendor in Blighty. Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 edge models were granted the …
Team Register, 20 Jul 2015
Marshall's London smartphone

Marshall wants to turn your phone UP TO ELEVEN

Fans of the Marshall look and sound can now carry it around in a smartphone. The iconic guitar amplifier outfit''s headphones division managed something that Apple hasn't: it's developed a smartphone without having it leaked to a fan-site. So the launch of the London smartphone managed to catch the world somewhat by surprise …
Sim card

Apple and Samsung are plotting to KILL OFF the SIM CARD - report

Smartphone goliaths Apple and Samsung are reportedly confabulating at a high level regarding plans for hardware which would replace SIM cards in mobile devices - this technology would be embedded in phones, tablets etc and would not be exchangeable to different devices. This is according to the Financial Times, which claims …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jul 2015
Nokia 2110

Nokia will indeed be back 'making' phones – and it's far from a foolish move

Analysis Yes, Nokia will probably make Nokia-brand phones again. And other people will make them for Nokia. The company has just re-reaffirmed the strategy it announced at its Capital Markets Day last November - when nobody seemed to be paying close attention. In fact Nokia said so again in April - as we reported here. Quite why it …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2015
Back of iPhone 5

Account at HSBC? BAD LUCK, no iPhone bonk-banking for you

British high street bank HSBC denies it has been frozen out of Apple Pay, after its customers were surprised to learn they could not join in the mass British bonk-banking bonanza earlier today. In a statement, HSBC told the Register it had always been the plan to launch at the end of July. The bank also insisted the two-week …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2015
Apple iPhone 6

Blighty's BONKERS BANKING BONKING BONANZA: Apple Pay arrives

Fanbois of Britain, flick your heads so your post-ironic full bottomed wigs no longer block your ears and listen! Apple Pay is launching in the UK! The bank-worrying NFC payment solution will allow fanboiyim to tap their iThings on terminals in high street shops in the UK to pay for items costing up to £20, in a manner …
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Swimming in smartmobe profit? Let us guess, you're Tim Cook?

Apple single-handedly accounted for nine-tenths of smartphone profits in the first months of 2015, beancounters claim. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity have told the Wall Street Journal that the Cupertino giant brought in 92 per cent of profits amongst the eight top smartphone vendors. Samsung claimed 15 per cent of profits for …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2015
windows 10 microsoft one windows

Microsoft giving up on phones? Naaahh ... Windows 10 Mobile lumbers toward release

Microsoft has released a new preview build of Windows 10 Mobile, the version of the new OS for phones, and it has the same build number as the current version for desktop PCs. That doesn't mean it's equally close to release, though. While Microsoft has committed to a July 29 release date for the PC version, it has made no …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2015

SatNad's purple haze could see Lumia 'killed'. Way to go, chief!

Microsoft's CEO has attempted to explain the future of its mobile platform in a latest public statement addressed to staff. But, this being Satya Nadella, such is the verbal haze that it's hard to make out what on Earth's going on. Nadella's language is becoming a real problem for Microsoft, creating uncertainty where clarity …
Eora 3D scanner prototype

Smartphones are ludicrously under-used, so steal their brains

It looked a lot like a tall drink can. Out of a lens at the top, a beam of green laser light shone onto a reusable takeaway coffee cup, slowing working its way across it, scanning. That light came from the Eora3D, a portable 3D scanner that got me asking a few questions. How accurate is it? The model will have features down …
Mark Pesce, 9 Jul 2015
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Apple: Factory minions, need another 90 million iPhones over here, stat

Apple is expecting to sell up to 90 million of the next iPhone, apparently. People whispering to the Wall Street Journal claim that the Cupertino giant expects to shift 80 to 90 million handsets when the new models go on sale later this year. Accordingly, the biz has told its factories to crank out enough handsets to meet that …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jul 2015

HTC in crisis: How did it get to this point? How did it get this bad?

Analysis HTC's financial figures for its second quarter of 2015 look horrific. HTC says it lost 24 cents (or pence) for every dollar (or pound) of revenue it received. After four quarters of slender profits, the business just fell off a cliff. The Taiwanese giant's share price has halved from £146.5 ($224.63) to £68.50 ($105.03). If …
NHM Giant Clam

Samsung to launch a Snapdragon 808-based clamshell smartphone

We don’t get clamshell smartphones in the West, but China's love of keypads means that Samsung sells them over there - and the first Sammy to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor is just such a phone. Samsung_SM_G9198_clamshell The Samsung SM-G9198 The SM-G9198 has just got approval from China’s telecoms regulator, …
Simon Rockman, 8 Jul 2015
shutterstock_225964027-pizz

The modest father of SMS, who had much to be modest about

Matti Makkonen died last week and was celebrated as the father of SMS. He’s been described as being too modest to acknowledge his involvement. It seems, however, that the story of how Short Messaging came to be is far more complicated than we originally thought, and the system has many fathers. In fact, not only did Makkonen …
Simon Rockman, 8 Jul 2015

BB10 AND Android? How BlackBerry can have its cake and eat it

Analysis New BlackBerry handsets are coming with unrecognized part numbers, which were spotted on an Indian import database. Three weeks ago, Reuters reported that new models from the company would run Android – raising question marks over BlackBerry's own proprietary BlackBerry OS 10 (BB10) platform. In the absence of a rapid …
milliways_the_restaurant_at_the_end_of_the_universe_648

Sony phone chief vows to keep losing money forever and ever

Sony's phone boss has vowed to stay in the mobile business until the heat death of the universe – despite losses that have dragged the rest of the Japanese giant down. Sony handsets lost almost ¥200bn ($1.63bn, £1bn) last year, while almost all of the rest of Sony made money. Nevertheless, Sony Mobile's latest president, …
Team Register, 7 Jul 2015
Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android smartphone

Chinese takeaway, hold the Google: Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android

Review When I reviewed the mid-range Samsung Galaxy A5, I reckoned that Samsung didn't have much to fear from Chinese OEMs who will sell you more phone for less money. Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android smartphone Xiaomi Mi4 Are the masses really going to be bothered to track down one of these ever so slightly grey Chinese imports, pay …
Alun Taylor, 7 Jul 2015
Panic button

Gartner mages have spoken: 'D' is for Device, Decline and DOOM

It is just as well that fewer people now rely on PC sales to put food on the table, or they’d be reaching for the nearest begging bowl. Amid declining revenue forecasts from component makers, a Euro market buried under a mountain of unsold stock, and a strong US dollar causing price hikes outside the States, Gartner has added …
Paul Kunert, 7 Jul 2015
iPhone pistol case

Oi, idiot fanbois. DON'T buy this gun-shaped iPhone case, mmkay?

US police have warned punters not to buy a new iPhone case that resembles a handgun. The Ocean County Prosecutor's office took to Facebook last week with a plea for punters to ignore the case. “Please folks – this cell phone case is not a cool product or a good idea,” the post says. “A police officers [sic] job is hard enough …