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Man and dog eat dog food. pic by shutterstock

Google may follow Apple, design mobile chips in-house

Comment The smartphone chip market it dominates is nevertheless an increasingly challenging one for Qualcomm. Slowing growth, litigation and rising Chinese competition are among its problems, but also the trend for the largest, richest handset makers to design their own chips. Apple has its own processors, and given its current legal …
Wireless Watch, 20 Jun 2017
surface laptop

Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue

It appears as if Microsoft has been following the Apple playbook in creating another laptop whose components you can never replace. DIY site iFixIt tried to take apart the new Microsoft Surface laptop – an ultra-thin and light unit which starts at £979 – and seemingly couldn’t do it without completely and utterly destroying it …
Andrew Silver, 19 Jun 2017

Insert coin: Atari retro console is coming back

Atari confirmed on Friday that the reborn biz will indeed produce its own games console, understood to be built out of PC tech. Earlier this month, a vague video emerged on Youtube showing what looks like the top of an old Atari console complete with wood paneling. That now appears to have been part of the company's ongoing …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jun 2017
Samsung's CHG90 gaming monitor

Samsung releases 49-inch desktop monitor with 32:9 aspect ratio

The Register doesn't spare a glance for news of monitors but we made an exception when we learned of Samsung's new CHG90. The reason? It's a bit outrageous. As the shot above (or here for m.reg readers) shows, the monitor is rather wide and curved. Samsung rates it at 49 inches. But the aspect ratio is where it gets weird: …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jun 2017

Oh, wow, Canada: No more carrier-locked phones for Canucks

Canada has ruled that cellphone networks may no longer charge fees for carrier-unlocking handsets nor sell new phones locked to their network. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said that as of December 1 of this year, phone sellers will be barred from selling handsets locked to a specific …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jun 2017
We'll get our coats.

Months late, unaudited: ZX Spectrum reboot firm files accounts

ZX Spectrum reboot firm Retro Computers Ltd has filed unaudited accounts at Companies House – and they offer few clues as to where the £513,000 of crowdfunded cash for its Vega+ product has gone. The abbreviated micro-entity accounts appear to show that the company had assets of £417,888 in the financial year to 30 March 2016 …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Jun 2017
Smart oven

Wi-Fi Dream Home Of The Future™ gets instructions for builders

Interoperability and certification outfit the Wi-Fi Alliance has taken on quite a challenge: getting the home-building industry to do WiFi right. The organisation on Wednesday published a Home Design standard it hopes will see builders create homes that are free of WiFi dead spots and ready for the expected increase in …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jun 2017

Europe-wide BitTorrent indexer blockade looms after Pirate Bay blow

Analysis Europe's highest court has ruled that notorious torrent search engine The Pirate Bay infringes copyright, opening the door for ISPs across the continent to be obliged to block access to it. The decision is just the latest in a seven-year legal battle between Dutch anti-piracy group Brein and ISPs Ziggo and XS4All, and provides …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2017

Brazilian whacks Intel over 'exploding' Atom smartphone chips

Intel is being sued by a Brazilian phone maker that claims Chipzilla's smartphone Atom processors caused handsets to explode. Specifically, Qbex says the Atom SoFIA system-on-chips used in its Android handhelds were defective and prone to overheating that, in some cases, would cause the devices to catch fire or explode. The …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2017

Currys PC World given a spanking for misleading laptop savings ads

Currys PC World was today placed on the naughty step by toothless watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority over the way it misleadingly promoted savings to push laptops sales. A disgruntled consumer contacted the ASA to question the retailer's £200 discount claim on a lappy that was initially priced £1,149.99 for just 21 …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jun 2017
In memoriam

PC, Ethernet and tablet computer pioneer 'Chuck' Thacker passes

Computer Science has lost a titan: Charles P. “Chuck” Thacker died on Monday, June 12th, aged 74. As the Association for Computing Machinery's In Memoriam records, Thacker's early career saw him join Xerox's famed Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where he worked on the Xerox Alto, the first personal computer to offer a …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2017
The Essential Phone

Essentially puzzling: Rubin's hype-phone ties up with… Sprint?

The much-anticipated Essential Phone has been inked into a deal with Sprint to be the sole endorsed carrier for the handset. The agreement means Sprint will be the only carrier to sell the Essential handset in its branded stores and offer discounted pricing. People using other carriers can still get an Essential phone, but …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jun 2017
happy_woman_at_desk

You know this net neutrality thing? Well, people really love it

It's a funny thing, but the ability to buy an internet connection and not have the company you buy it from control what you can see and at what speed you can see it is a popular thing in the Land of the FreeTM. According to a poll by Ipsos and commissioned by open source software developer Mozilla, no less than 76 per cent of …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jun 2017
High voltage power grid, in the sunset. Photo by SHutterstock

I fought Ohm's Law and the law won: Drone crash takes out power to Silicon Valley homes

A wayward quadcopter is being blamed for a power outage in Google's back yard this week. The city of Mountain View said that a large portion of the city, including city hall and the central library, were without power from 8:15 to 11:00 Thursday night, as part of an outage that knocked out service to around 1,600 customers. …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Jun 2017
Fat Tony

Intel to Qualcomm and Microsoft: Nice x86 emulation you've got there, shame if it got sued into oblivion

Intel used the 40th anniversary of its x86 architecture to warn chip rivals to mind their step when emulating its instruction set. The reigning desktop and data center server CPU king (AMD, you know it's true) said it would not hesitate to sic its lawyers on any competitor whose emulation tools got too close to copying the …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Jun 2017
Thanks, I suppose. Woman contemplates unwanted gift. Photo by Shutterstock

My unpopular career in writing computer reviews? It's a gift

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Nice t-shirt. Where did you get it? "Oh, it was just something they put in the box with the socks." You got a free t-shirt with some socks? "No, the socks and t-shirt came free with the bomber jacket." OK, so you bought a jacket and got a free t-shirt and socks... "The jacket was free as well. It all came with the laptop …
Alistair Dabbs, 09 Jun 2017
Arris SB6190

Uh-Koh! Apple-Samsung judge to oversee buggy Intel modem chip fight

A class-action lawsuit claiming Arris's gigabit Surfboard modems buckle under light pressure is gathering in size and pace – once again putting the spotlight on Intel's much-maligned Puma 6 chips. The legal battle, unfolding in a California district court, accuses Arris of breaking consumer protection laws in eight US states …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Jun 2017

State senator sacked by broadband biz Frontier after voting in favor of broadband competition

"I bet you that cost me my job," West Virginia Senate president, Republican Mitch Carmichael, jokingly told colleagues in April when he voted for a new measure that would expand broadband competition in his state. Just over a month later it turned out to be true, when he was fired from his job as a sales manager at Frontier …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jun 2017

When can real-world laws invade augmented reality fantasies? A trial in Milwaukee will decide

Analysis In the blue corner: Candy Lab, a maker of augmented reality games, which doesn't want people banned from playing its distractions in public places. In the red corner: attorneys representing Milwaukee county, which wants to protect its parks from being trashed by boozy, stampeding gamers. Candy Lab thinks free speech …
Thomas Claburn, 07 Jun 2017
robocall

Dish Network hit with $280 MEEELLION fine for relentless robocalling

An eight-year investigation into Dish Networks, a direct-broadcast satellite service provider, resulted Monday in the largest fine ever levied for privacy invasion, with Dish facing a $280m bill. The US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission brought the case after multiple complaints that people trying to sell …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2017
New Buzz Lightyear Apple Watch Face

Apple gives world ... umm ... not much new actually

WWDC When Microsoft revealed its Surface Studio last year , more than a few observers looked at its 28” touch screen and accompanying Dial touch wheel and wondered whether Apple could offer something similarly startling for workstation-class users. The answer to that query appears to be a solid “no” because Apple's new “iMac Pro” …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2017
Apple HomePod

Wowee, it's Samsung's next me-too AI gizmo: The Apple HomePod

WWDC Apple has joined Amazon, Google, and Microsoft in the race to plant microphones in people's homes. (Presumably, Samsung is only just around the corner with something similar, too.) At its annual developer conference in San Jose, California, on Monday, Apple promised its personal assistant software Siri a second home (or third …
Thomas Claburn, 05 Jun 2017

Bixby bailout: Samsungers bailing on lame-duck assistant

With its much-hyped Bixby Voice assistant still learning basic English, Samsung has to deal with a mass defection of its user base. The Android Store has become a haven for apps that allow end users to kill off the Samsung virtual assistant in favor of Google's in-house option. Samsung has been pitching Bixby Voice as its …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Jun 2017
couple glued to their smartphones. pic by shutterstock

Your emotionally absent pic-snapping partner's going to look you in the eye again

Memory monetisation has arrived in the UK today with the launch of Snap Spectacles. Snap is best known for enabling millennials to send silly self-deleting pics, but since its IPO it has been keen to reinvent itself as a camera company. The product was first announced in September and has been available in the US for several …
Kat Hall, 02 Jun 2017

Samsung's Bixby assistant fails English, gets held back a month

Samsung has confirmed that it will be delaying the release of its Bixby voice assistant in the US, after the software showed problems with processing English-language requests. The Korean consumer electronics giant on Thursday confirmed that Bixby's voice features will not be going live until around the end of June while it …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2017
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Qualcomm names its Windows 10 ARM PC partners

Qualcomm has named HP, Asus and Lenovo as its first partners to sell ARM-based Windows 10 PCs. The chipmaker says the three vendors will be making PCs that will sport its Snapdragon 835 SoC (system-on-chip) and its X16 LTE chipset for wireless broadband connectivity. Qualcomm says all of the models will be fanless and will …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2017

German court says 'Nein' on Facebook profile access request

A German appeals court has ruled that Facebook does not need to give the parents of a deceased teen access to the child's account. The Court of Appeals in Berlin on Wednesday overturned a regional court's decision to allow the parents of a 15-year-old girl who died in 2012 access to the teen's Facebook account to view her …
Shaun Nichols, 31 May 2017
Intel Core X logo

Intel gives the world a Core i9 desktop CPU to play with

Intel's Core range of CPUs now comes in a new "family" and has a new upper limit. Unveiled at the Computex trade show in Taiwan, the new family is dubbed the “Intel Core X-series processors family”. One member of the family is a the Core i9 Extreme Edition, which takes the Core range's upper limit from a “7” to a “9”. The …
Simon Sharwood, 31 May 2017
The Essential Phone

Much-hyped Ara Blackphone LeEco Essential handset introduced

Android founder Andy Rubin’s new hardware company Essential Products has unveiled the smartphone it hopes will discomfit the rest of the market. The former Google robotics exec on Tuesday showcased an Android handset that sports 13MP rear and 8MP front cameras, 128GB on-board storage, 4GB of memory, and a $699 price tag. The …
Shaun Nichols, 30 May 2017
Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego

Qualcomm kicks out mesh network, Wi-Fi and RubinPhone win

Chip designer Qualcomm has rolled out a trio of new products for wireless networking and mobile devices. The announcements, dropped in Taipei at the annual Computex conference, cover both Wi‑Fi and mobile broadband networks, as well as a new smartphone to feature the Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip (SoC). 802.11ad Wi-Fi gets …
Shaun Nichols, 30 May 2017
Nerd in shower photo via Shutterstock

Defend yourself against ISP tracking in an Trump-era free-for-all

ISPs in the US have regained to power to snoop on your internet browsing and sell the results to the highest bidder. Congress has passed news rules under President Donald Trump rolling back earlier restrictions on internet service providers - Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and so on - from selling or otherwise sharing your web browsing …
box

Andy Rubin teases next week's launch of Essential phone

Android creator Andy Rubin has been running in stealth mode with his forthcoming smartphone startup Essential, but has now released a teaser picture of his new handset. Next week the startup will unveil its first comms device, and judging from the silhouette image, it's going to look very odd indeed. The handset follows the …
Iain Thomson, 26 May 2017

El Reg straps on the Huawei Watch 2

Real World Test Back when Captain Scarlet was still fresh, in the 1970s, I wanted a watch that made phone calls. I think I might have drawn one on my arm with a Biro. This has been a sci-fi staple since Dick Tracy in the 1950s. Now I’ve got one, I wonder why I ever wanted it. After using Huawei’s Watch 2 every day for over three weeks, I …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 May 2017
Monty Python TV viewer

Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Mrs Dabbsy is getting cross. I know this because she has said "grrrr". People don't often say "grrrr" in everyday conversation so it's noticeable when they do. Either that or you are inadvertently chatting with Tony the Tiger over a bowl of over-sugared breakfast cereal. The target of The Glowing One's ire (this time) is the …
Alistair Dabbs, 26 May 2017
Windows 10

Windows 10 love to see PC market grow again. Future iPhone to be clear. Elvis to re-appear

Analyst outfit IDC thinks the PC market will grow again, although things are going to get worse before they get better. And the growth will come because people like Windows 10. The firm's new Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device (PCD) Tracker says “As a collective group of device categories, the PCD market is expected …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2017

Don't rely on fitness trackers to track number of calories burned

Your fitness tracker might measure a heart rate accurately, but not the amount of calories burned, according to a study published in the Journal of Personalised Medicine. “The heart rate measurements performed far better than we expected,” said Ashley, “but the energy expenditure measures were way off the mark. The magnitude …
Katyanna Quach, 26 May 2017
Doctor Who, Season 9 – Heaven Sent. Pic credit: BBC

Auntie sh!tcans BBC Store after 18 months

The Beeb is to shut its online paid-for streaming service BBC Store from November, just 18 months after it launched. The online facility failed to get off the ground against stiff competition from Netflix and Amazon. Its closure comes as Old Auntie is under increasing pressure to generate cash outside the Licence Fee. …
Kat Hall, 25 May 2017

EU pegs quota for 'homegrown' content on Netflix at 30 per cent

The European Parliament has set content quotas for OTT video services like Netflix and Amazon Prime even higher than the Commission originally wanted. 30 per cent of the services' catalog must be European works, Parliament has decreed. The Commission asked for a 20 per cent quota. Some member states already operate a quota, …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 May 2017

Nokia's retro revival 3310 goes on sale and disappears immediately

If you blinked, you missed it. Nokia's "new" 3310 went on sale on 24 May, 17 years after the original, and was promptly cleared out. The retro-styled 2G handset has created extraordinary demand, something Nokia is struggling to fulfil. "We have been working with our partners and can confirm the 3310 will be available again …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 May 2017

Intel pitches a Thunderbolt 3-for-all

Intel is pushing its Thunderbolt 3.0 USB port as the defacto input mode for future PCs. Chipzilla announced on Wednesday that it will be throwing its weight behind an effort to make the next-gen port standard the biggest thing since USB. Possible applications include solid-state hard drives and 4K video cameras. "Intel's …
Team Register, 24 May 2017
Huawei's Richard Yu shows off the MateBook X

Huawei missed memo that PC's dead – so here are three new notebooks

Hands On Huawei this week launched three Intel devices running Windows 10: a slim notebook, a Surface-a-like 2-in-1, and a conventional 15.6" laptop. “We want to bring a full range of products for your digital life including a smartphone, a smart tablet, smart watch, wearable devices, and also notebooks, the PC,” said Richard Yu, CEO …
Tim Anderson, 24 May 2017

It's just 'Pro' now, guys: Microsoft gives Surface a subtle resurfacing

Microsoft has revamped its Surface tablet, which at last includes a SIM card slot. The 2017 iteration of the boutique but highly profitable fondleslab loses the numbering – it's now just a "Surface Pro". Cosmetically there's little difference: the tablet retains the 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI) display and 786g weight (for the i5 and …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2017

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