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Chris Wylie gives evidence to MPs

Cambridge Analytica 'privatised colonising operation', not a 'legitimate business', says whistleblower

Working for Cambridge Analytica "felt very much like a privatised colonising operation," the former staffer at the centre of the scandal around Facebook data slurps and Vote Leave's alleged overspend has said. Speaking to MPs today, Chris Wylie, the pink-haired whistleblower with a knack for flamboyant and quotable phrases, …
Rebecca Hill, 28 Mar 2018
9.7in iPad with a Pencil

Apple turns hat around, sits backwards on chair, pitches iPad to schools

Apple is trying to reclaim its status as the cool kid in class with a fresh round of products aimed at the education market. The Cupertino music distributor chose a Chicago school as its venue on Tuesday when execs introduced a new iPad model along with a new iWork suite and a set of Apps aimed at classrooms. Pencil works its …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Mar 2018
Huawei p20 pro range

Yo Google, I'mma let you finish, but China, I mean, Huawei's P20 is the best

It has been a long while since I heard some whalesong at ear-splitting volume. It takes me back to Nokia's final years as the world's No. 1. Back then you couldn't tell whether it was trying to be a New Age NGO or a phone company. The whalesong was deafening. Huawei's product launches have never been exactly amateurish, but …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Mar 2018
P20 Pro triple camera

Huawei joins Android elite with pricey, nocturnal 40MP flagship

Hands On Over the years, very few phone makers other than Samsung have produced a phone that might tempt an iPhone stalwart to switch to Android, but Huawei may have just joined the elite. Huawei’s new flagship threatens to match or best any rival with its photography - particularly in low light. The Chinese giant took the wraps off …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Mar 2018

Meet the open sorcerers who have vowed to make Facebook history

Once upon a time the internet ran on open protocols, and anyone could host servers that ran these protocols. Your first dial-up internet connection probably came with a bundle of tools for groups and chat. If you weren't happy with the service from your ISP you'd point the client at another. The internet was open and federated, …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Mar 2018
Acer Chromebook Tab 10

First there were notebooks. Then tablets. And now ‘book tablets’

Google and Acer have given the world its first Chromebook Tablet. The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 takes Google’s OS, slices off its keyboard and runs it on a 9.7-inch tablet that has an utterly anodyne design. Under the hood you’ll find an OP1 CPU that bonds dual-core Cortex-A72 and quad-core Cortex-A53 silicon, plus 4GB of RAM …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Mar 2018
Pixellated Facebook thumb

You'll like this: Facebook probed by US watchdog amid privacy storm

The US Federal Trade Commission has confirmed it is probing Facebook over privacy concerns, sending the social network's share price into a downward spiral. The FTC said in a statement on Monday it has launched a non-public investigation into reports of Facebook's policies amid continued revelations about Cambridge Analytica's …
Rebecca Hill, 26 Mar 2018

UK watchdog finally gets search warrant for Cambridge Analytica's totally not empty offices

Cambridge Analytica’s London offices will finally be searched by the UK's Information Commissioner’s Office, following a marathon week of arguing inside and outside court. Woolwich Crown Court, sitting in the capital's Royal Courts of Justice for the occasion, granted the warrant after a five-hour hearing. The ICO, as the UK’s …
Gareth Corfield, 23 Mar 2018
Facebook Wow Sad Angry

Facebook's inflection point: Now everyone knows this greedy mass surveillance operation for what it is

Comment I've a special reason to remember Enron and the summers of 2000 and 2001. The mighty Enron was being lauded as a pioneer and an innovator. It was a Wall Street darling. IBM and AOL jumped into bed with Enron to create a new retail energy provider. The sun shone, and Californians had plenty of energy capacity. But behind the …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2018

Ex-ZX Spectrum reboot man threatens sueball over unpaid invoices

Yet more financial claims are piling up against failing ZX Spectrum Vega Plus firm Retro Computers Ltd, with the company's former web fixer threatening to sue over allegedly unpaid invoices. One-time contractor Lee Fogarty, who performed a range of roles including web dev and organiser of product testing, has told The Register …
Gareth Corfield, 23 Mar 2018
Oculus Go

Guns, audio and eye-tracking: VR nearly ready for prime time

GDC Virtual reality reemerged in the past couple of years as a hot tech topic. However, the unfortunate truth – fiercely ignored by its passionate advocates – is that it hasn't been ready for primetime. That situation has changed this week at the 2018 Games Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, USA. It's now looking as …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Mar 2018

Vodafone is UK's mobile ping king

Vodafone is the mobile network with the best ping rate, according to network performance sleuth Tutela. Tutela doesn't measure call reliability or SMS failures, unlike GWS or RootMetrics. But it does do something very useful for evaluating real world network performance: giving us the jitter, packet loss and ping rates for …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Mar 2018

We sent a vulture to find the relaunched Atari box – and all he got was this lousy baseball cap

GDC The Ataribox has been renamed the AtariVCS, and it is finally here! Where? Suite 7088 of the Marriott Marquis hotel in San Francisco, USA, directly opposite this year's Games Developers Conference (GDC). There's only one problem: it doesn't work. And by "not work" we don't mean it crashed or is having teething troubles, we …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Mar 2018
Zuckerberg photo Facebook

That long-awaited Mark Zuckerberg response: Everything's fine! Mostly fixed! Facebook's great! All good in the hoodie!

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has broken his silence about his data gathering and advertising firm's unforeseen role in data gathering and advertising. On Wednesday, Zuckerberg provided "an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation," a reference to the UK-based data analytics firm's alleged use of 50 million Facebook …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Mar 2018
Samsung DeX gives you a "Desktop experience" when docked to a full size screen

Samsung’s DeX dock clicks the second time around

First fondle When Samsung gave the world its DeX dock last year, we rated the device a solid, thoughtful job for its feat of allowing a smartphone to deliver a decent desktop experience. In case you missed it, DeX is the name for an app, a desktop environment and the dock that boasts HDMI and USB out, plus USB in for power. If you plugged …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2018
Minority report

US cops go all Minority Report: Google told to cough up info on anyone near a crime scene

Efforts to track down criminals in the US state of North Carolina have laid bare a dangerous gap in the law over the use of location data. Raleigh police went to court at least three times last year and got a warrant requiring Google to share the details of any users that were close to crime scenes during specific times and …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Mar 2018
Woman telling you to be quiet

Android Oreo mic drop fury: Google ups tempo for Pixel mobe audio fix

Google has escalated the priority and severity rating of a bug that has been silencing microphones on its Pixel smartphones running Android 8.1, aka Oreo. The Chocolate Factory on Wednesday raised the priority level and the severity level from 3 to 1, the highest possible level, signaling that it intends to expedite its …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Mar 2018
Vic and Bob as Noddy Holder and Dave Hill

Phone-free Microsoft patents Notch-free phone

"The Notch"* is either the curse of 2018 phone designs – or the only interesting thing about boring phone designs in 2018, depending on how you look at it. Now details of a Microsoft phone patent have emerged that could make future phones less Notchy. As a design feature The Notch came to prominence last summer in the first …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Mar 2018

Hello, Spotify? Are you on? Perils and pratfalls of own-brand hardware

Analysis As Spotify nears an IPO, it is edging towards making home music gear, with a voice-powered speaker the most likely debutant. The streaming music pioneer confirmed this week that, yes, it was testing native voice control for a few users of its iPhone app. Last month Music Ally discovered that Spotify was advertising for an …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Mar 2018
Wear OS logo

One in three Android Wear owners also uses ... an iPhone

LogoWatch LogoWatch Google’s re-branded Android Wear, the cut of Android for wearable devices, as “Wear OS by Google” and added the tag line "make every minute matter". The company’s brief announcement doesn’t really explain why Google’s made the change, other than to say it’s “a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Mar 2018

ProtonMail posts workaround for Turkish government block

Encrypted email provider ProtonMail says its service has been blocked in Turkey, but can still be accessed via a VPN, DNS, or Tor. The secure messaging provider said Thursday that it believes the government is behind the block that has left its services partially or fully unreachable in Turkey. "After investigating the issue …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Mar 2018

Chemical burns, explosive fires, they all come free with Amazon power packs

The US Consumer Product Safety Division has issued a recall notice for six types of lithium-ion battery packs sold by AmazonBasics. The batteries were sold by Bezos' bunch between December 2014 and July 2017 for prices ranging from $9 to $40 and range from larger 16,100 mAh power bricks with integrated USB cables down to …
Iain Thomson, 14 Mar 2018
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

It is Pi day (assuming you live in a country that insists on writing dates in the frankly barking mad MM/DD format) and after a quiet two years, the Raspberry Pi Foundation have pushed out a new version of the tiny computer. In news guaranteed to bring joy to hobbyists and nerds the world over, the $35 Model 3 B+ now features …
Richard Speed, 14 Mar 2018
Fitbit Ionic official

Look! Fitbit's made a watch that doesn't suck!

Fitbit has taken the wraps off its second (or fifth, depending on how you're counting) smartwatch, Versa, claiming the new model has inherited Pebble DNA. It's less weird and clunky than the much-vaunted Ionic, which was inspired by sci-fi movies. And cheaper than comparable devices - the Apple Watch or most Android Wear …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Mar 2018
Sharp knife slices at a salami as previously sliced pieces lay on the chopping board. Photo by Shutterstock

Your manhood is safe, judge tells ZX Spectrum reboot boss

Ailing ZX Spectrum reboot firm Retro Computers Ltd has had its appeal against a county court judgment in Luton, UK rejected, with the judge telling chairman Dr David Levy that his no-show in the dock over troll fears was unfounded. In a ruling last week, Senior Circuit Judge Melissa Clarke refused permission for Levy, acting …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Mar 2018
Macbook 2015 keyboard. Pic: Apple

Good news: Apple designs a notebook keyboard that doesn't suck

An Apple patent application has surfaced that should give hope to frustrated MacBook owners everywhere. The Cupertino-based speaker vendor appears as the applicant on a US patent application published this week for a new keyboard design that is said to be resistant to liquids, dust, and crumbs. Titled "Ingress Prevention for …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Mar 2018

The Ataribox lives, as a prototype, supposedly

The reboot of the classic Atari games console is back on, with prototypes to be displayed at the Games Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco later this month. The news follows three months of dead air in the wake of the company's decision to pull out of pre-order plans at the last minute. Last month, the Ataribox's …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Mar 2018
Apple Animoji Poo

A smartphone recession is coming and animated poo emojis can't stop it

"Smartphone sales are starting to decline at an accelerating rate," a market analyst has declared. In a pessimistic note, Jeff Johnston of Arthur Wood Research blames feature ennui. When sector design leader Apple devoted a significant portion of a flagship device launch event to an animated poo emoji, one detects an industry …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Mar 2018
Punkt MP 01 dumb but mindful

BlackBerry hopes phone flinger Punkt is feeling lucky to be new licensee

BlackBerry has found another licensee for its Dolby-like licensing initiative, "Secured by BlackBerry", and expanded the venture way beyond smartphones. From now on, licensees won't need to take BlackBerry's version of OS to earn a "Secured by BlackBerry" accreditation, and potential devices could include not just smartphones …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Mar 2018
Apple iPhone X poo

Shock poll finds £999 X too expensive for happy iPhone owners

"The iPhone X cost twice [as much as my old smartphone] but isn't twice as good. It's for the Rolex wearers," concluded Alistair Dabbs after a fortnight with Apple's flagship. And it seems many iPhone owners agree. 40 per cent haven't upgraded to the £999 X – and a third say it's because it's too expensive. Piper Jaffray …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Mar 2018

La, la, la, I can't hear you! Apple to challenge Bose's noise-proof cans

Bose's noise-jamming headphones are ubiquitous with business travellers and also popular among commuters, but the 11,000-strong company will face designer competition from Apple in a battle that pits two of the industry's most-respected engineering teams against each other. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has confirmed an analyst note …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Mar 2018
Sinclair Research ZX81

10 PRINT "ZX81 at 37" 20 GOTO 10

The ZX81 was launched 37 years ago this week as a £49.95 kit (£69.95 assembled) and introduced an entire generation to the joys of computing, fights over the family television and prodigious use of sticky tape. Intended as a successor to the ZX80 (£79.95 as a kit and £99.95 with all the soldering taken care of-ish), the ZX81 …
Richard Speed, 06 Mar 2018
HP Healthcare Edition HC270cr Clinical Review Display

'Repeatable sanitization' is a feature of PCs now

HP Inc has announced a trio of slightly-odd products intended for use in hospitals. The new HP EliteOne 800 G4 23.8 Healthcare Edition All-in-One PC and HP EliteBook 840 G5 Healthcare Edition Notebook are computers intended for use in the healthcare industry. The EliteBook will ship with software called "Easy Clean" that …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Mar 2018

British clockwork radio boffin Trevor Baylis terminally winds down

Obit Trevor Baylis, one of Britain's most well-loved inventors and the creator of the clockwork radio that was designed to save lives in the developing world, has died at the age of 80 after battling Crohn's disease. Baylis led an interesting life but became famous after inventing an ingenious wind-up radio that he was inspired to …
Iain Thomson, 05 Mar 2018
Samsung's CHG90 gaming monitor

Reg man wraps head in 49-inch curved monitor

Review In 2017 we learned that Samsung had given the world the CHG90, a curved, 49-inch, 3840 x 1080 monitor with a 32:9 aspect ratio. Rather a lot of Reg readers read and/or commented on the story about the screen and more than a few of you seemed intrigued by the ideas of having your heads just-about-surrounded by display. So we …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Mar 2018
Mobile World Congress 2018

Mobile World Congress: 5 buzzwords, an homage to Windows XP and a smartphone snorefest

MWC18 As Mobile World Congress draws to a close in relatively warm Barcelona (13°C - balmy), it's time to tally up on whether it delivered on the hype. The buzz ahead of MWC was that Samsung would launch the Galaxy S9 smartphone, that 5G connectivity would come closer to commercial reality, and that advances in AI and machine …
Tim Anderson, 02 Mar 2018

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