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Robocall
25

Hello, this is the FTC. You have been selected for a free lawsuit... Robocall pair sued

Amid a broad federal effort to be seen looking busy in the battle against robocalls, the US Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against two men and their respective companies for alleged involvement with billions of unlawful automated pitches. The complaint, filed on Thursday in the US District Court for Northern …
Thomas Claburn, 31 May 2018
Arm Cortex-A76
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Arm emits Cortex-A76 – its first 64-bit-only CPU core (in kernel mode)

Arm's latest top-end processor core design – the Cortex-A76 unveiled today – is its first CPU to only run kernel-level code that is 64-bit, according to its inventors. The processor will still support applications that use 32-bit A32 and T32 instruction sets, as well as 64-bit A64, meaning your apps and other programs will run …
Chris Williams, 31 May 2018
ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini Android smartphone
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ZTE can't buy chips from America – but can still get sued for patent infringement in the US

Chinese phone maker ZTE will have to face a patent infringement lawsuit in the US, despite its handsets being effectively barred from sale in America. On Wednesday a Northern Texas US District Court judge tossed the Chinese company's motion to dismiss a patent infringement case filed by a Texas-based mobile software developer …
Shaun Nichols, 31 May 2018
Photo by James Duncan Davidson
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Those internet trends? It's bad news if you're not Amazon, basically

American venture capitalist Mary Meeker's annual "bible" of internet and macroeconomic trends has been a fixture since the dotcom heyday, and as you would expect from a tech VC, it emphasises the good news. But it's not such good news if you're a high street retailer, rely on desktop users, or make smartphones. Out of 294 …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 May 2018
Football goes into the net/ photo by shutterstock
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Select few to watch World Cup in 4K high dynamic range colour on BBC iPlayer

Football fans will be able to watch England's World Cup disappointments in full 4K resolution and high dynamic range colour glory, thanks to a trial on the BBC's iPlayer. The only kicker is folk will need to have at least 40Mbps – something Auntie itself has admitted is accessible to a minority. All 29 of BBC One's World Cup …
Kat Hall, 31 May 2018
OnePlus 6 official in Midnight Black
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OnePlus 6: Perfect porridge? One has to make a smartphone that's juuuust right

Review Like a broken record, with every phone review we publish, some Reg readers insist that their ancient <insert brand here> is perfectly good and there's no need to buy a new one. But take a bow, dear curmudgeons, for you have been proved wise. A lot of people now think so too. The broken record is the hit of 2018. Take the …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 May 2018
An HP building in Santa Clara

HP Inc will be less Lesjak, Jack: CFO retires as PC'n'printer biz shifts more gear

HP Inc execs claimed on Tuesday they are staying ahead of the rest of the market with solid sales in both printers and PCs. The hardware giant revealed its financial figures for another healthy quarter, Q2 FY2018, although warned a small number of layoffs are coming amid its ongoing rejig of its workforce while confirming its …
Shaun Nichols, 29 May 2018
Facebook notifications
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Activists hate them! One weird trick Facebook uses to fool people into accepting GDPR terms

Facebook has been accused of purposefully misleading netizens into accepting its GDPR-friendly privacy policy – by tricking them with fake notifications. Folks are shown the social network's updated terms and conditions to agree to, with what appears to be pending notifications from friends in the top right corner – such as …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 May 2018
Screengrab of motorola modular phones
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Leaked pics: Motorola to add 'unpatriotic' 5G to 4G phones with magnets

Lenovo's Motorola may soon offer 5G through its Mod phone expansion system, which allows peripherals to clip to the back of Mod-compatible phones using a magnet, according to leaked imagery. The images, published at XDA developers, include a bulky 5G Mod. The Moto Mod bus supports USB 3.1 speeds: sufficient for the gigabit …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 May 2018
Facebook F8 2018
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Facebook's democracy salvage effort tilts scale in Mississippi primary

In its effort to prevent election meddling in America, Facebook has ended up meddling in an election in America. On Thursday, the social ad giant changed its rules for distributing political and issue ads through its platform, to increase transparency and accountability, the company said. For two Republicans challenging …
Thomas Claburn, 25 May 2018
Garmin Vivoactive3
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The great wearables myth busted: Apps never, ever mattered

Analysis Whoever predicted that fitness bling-flingers would struggle to survive should take note of the latest numbers on the wearable market from Canalys. Garmin eased itself into the No.2 spot as a smartwatch vendor in Q1 worldwide, successfully making the move upmarket into higher margin products. This wasn't supposed to happen, …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 May 2018
The Essential Phone
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Android daddy Andy Rubin's Essential axes handset, is 'actively shopping itself' – report

Andy Rubin's quixotic smartphone startup, Essential Products, has cancelled a handset and is looking for buyers, according to a Bloomberg report – just a month after opening its doors in the UK. "The company hasn't yet made a final decision on a sale," Mark Gurman writes, but has "canceled development of a new smartphone". …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 May 2018
red iphone
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Samsung loses (again) to Apple in patent battle (again). This time to the tune of a mere $539m

A US court has yet again ruled that Samsung copied Apple's smartphone design patents, and this time the Korean electronics giant is on the hook for $539m. A jury in a northern California US district court needed five days to decide that Samsung's phone division really did rip off Apple's patented designs. It's the latest twist …
Shaun Nichols, 24 May 2018
Facebook issue ad
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New Facebook political ad rules: Now you must prove your ID before undermining democracy

Facebook has rolled out its promised disclosure regime for political and issue advertising, heralding a new age of transparency and civic responsibility. Or so Facebook folks suggest. "We believe that increased transparency will lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time – not just for Facebook but …
Thomas Claburn, 24 May 2018
Someone using a copying machine
10

Servers crashed and burned. So, Qualcomm's back to Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V'ing Arm cores into phones

Following its Centriq server processor implosion, Qualcomm has dusted itself off, and today presented to the world another smartphone processor: the Snapdragon 710. And as for previous Snapdragons, Qualy has pretty much xeroxed off-the-shelf Arm Cortex CPU cores. Qualcomm shifted engineers from the Snapdragon team onto its …
Chris Williams, 24 May 2018
Donald trump tweeting
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President Trump broke US Constitution with Twitter bans – judge

Donald Trump has broken the United States Constitution, a New York district court ruled Wednesday, putting the US president in legal hot water. So what was it? His constant interference in the Russia investigation that is looking into collusion with foreign powers? Nope. The money he continues to take from foreign governments …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2018
Cookies
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Top UK court to rule whether 4.5m Brit iPhone fanbois can sue Google over cookies

A former director of consumer rights group Which is trying to extract “somewhere between £1bn and £3bn” from Google on behalf of 4.38 million Brits over the naughty placement of advertising cookies. The High Court in London, England, has heard legal arguments this week about whether Richard Lloyd's claim against Google should …
Gareth Corfield, 23 May 2018
54

'Clive, help us,' say empty-handed ZX Spectrum reboot buyers

Customers of Retro Computers ltd, the ZX Spectrum themed reboot firm, have now set up a website asking Sir Clive Sinclair to intervene in the non-delivery debacle. The petition asking the Spectrum daddy to get involved was set up by disgruntled RCL customer Graham Kenny at the web address CliveHelpUs.website, with text on its …
Gareth Corfield, 23 May 2018
htc U12+ PICS
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HTC U12+: Like a Pixel without the pratfalls, or eye-watering price tag

Hands on It may be news to you that HTC is still with us, but the fact it's here is good news for phone buyers. HTC's only flagship smartphone of 2018 – the U12+ – looks like a sensibly priced alternative to the Pixel and Galaxy, without the eccentricities and flaws of the Huawei P20 Pro. HTC is hanging on in the phone business by …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2018
Zuckerberg photo Facebook
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Zuckerberg gets a night off: Much-hyped Euro grilling was all smoke, absolutely no heat

Analysis The European stop on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook apology tour on Tuesday amounted to little more than a live read-out of Facebook’s well-rehearsed platitudes and tired PR lines. The format of the session at the European Parliament meant that the embattled boss of the data-slurping biz effectively got a night off, being allowed …
Rebecca Hill, 23 May 2018
arms
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GDPR for everyone, cries Microsoft: We'll extend Europe's privacy rights worldwide

Microsoft has said it will extend new privacy rights that become law in Europe this week to all its users worldwide. The promise was outlined in a blog post on Tuesday written by the Windows giant's new deputy general counsel, Julie Brill, who was until recently a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). "We've …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 May 2018
man dabs in front of DAB radio
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The future of radio may well be digital, but it won't survive on DAB

Radio in the UK passed a significant milestone on 17 May. For the first time, more than half of Brits now access radio digitally. According to Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR), the figures have risen from 49.9 per cent in the last quarter of 2017 to 50.9 in the first three months of 2018. Passing the 50 per cent digital …
Nigel Whitfield, 22 May 2018
Facebook Hello
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'Facebook takes data from my phone – but I don't have an account!'

Anyone who uses the Facebook phone app knows what a toll it can take both on your mobile data and free time to be plugged into the social network through your device. But what happens if you don't even have an account, you can't remove the app, and the social network won't leave you alone? That's a problem facing folks around …
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2018
iPhone 6S battery
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Good news: It's still legal for Apple to keep its MacBook, iPhone batteries from melting

Apple has had a lawsuit, filed by notorious patent holder Uniloc over safety electronics in notebook and phone batteries, thrown out. Judge William Alsup, sitting in a US district court in northern California, found that Unlioc's claim to US patent 6,661,203 was invalid, as the technology it described was neither new nor …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2018
Big bill
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Fella gets 2.5 years in the clink for coughing up cell numbers in $50m junk text message scam

A bloke armed with a fistful of cellphone numbers has been sent down for 30 months for his role in a scam that fleeced folks out of $50m in bogus monthly charges. Christopher Goff was sentenced by a US federal district court in Manhattan after being found guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He will also …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2018
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Xiaomi the way: Hyped Chinese giant begins its battle for Britain

Analysis Xiaomi's entry into Europe is as feared as it is anticipated. With its vow to keep profit margins on hardware below 5 per cent and make the rest up on services, er, somehow, the Chinese firm threatens a consumer electronics price war that goes way beyond phones. But it might be harder than pundits think. Xiaomi was described …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 May 2018
Altair 8800 -
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Now that's old-school cool: Microsoft techies slap Azure Sphere IoT chip in an Altair 8800

Hidden away among the interminably long keynote speeches at Microsoft's recent Build event was a project to delight the retro enthusiast. Observing that "Microsoft is all about backwards-compatibility", Mike Hall and the Azure Sphere bunch demonstrated how far they could take that theme by sticking one of Redmond's IoT …
Richard Speed, 21 May 2018
steampunk-looking robot smokes pipe. pic shutterstock
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Das blinkenlights are back thanks to RPi revival of the PDP-11

Always wanted a PDP-11, but don't have space for the iron? Good news: an obsolete computer enthusiast s offering beta tests of a kit designed to recreate the famous Digital Equipment Corporation box on a Raspberry Pi. As Obsolescence Guaranteed explained here earlier this month, “The PiDP-11 wants to bring back the experience …
Facebook
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Facebook Android app caught seeking 'superuser' clearance

Updated Social networking giant and market-leading data broker Facebook is once again taking heat for playing fast and loose with its access to personal information. This time, it's the Facebook Android app that is under the spotlight after folks noticed it requesting an extraordinary amount of access privileges – specifically, …
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2018
53

What's up with that ZX Spectrum reboot? Still no console

Flailing ZX Spectrum reboot firm Retro Computers Ltd has, once again, failed to meet yet another promised delivery deadline. In a series of updates published to its Indiegogo backers over the past couple of weeks, RCL promised to start shipping its Vega+ device between 8 and 12 May. So far nobody appears to have received …
Gareth Corfield, 18 May 2018
Honor 10
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Huawei Honor 10: At £399, plenty of bang for buck – it's a pity about the snaps

Review Huawei is often accused of slavishly copying Apple a lot of the time – but that’s not entirely fair. Huawei can slavishly copy Samsung too. The comparison is illuminating. In the hand, the £399 Honor 10 feels uncannily like the Samsung Galaxy S9. Huawei really excels at the art of maximising the display as a proportion of the …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 May 2018
Big number ten
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Intel’s first 10nm CPU is a twin-core i3 destined for a mid-range Lenovo

Intel’s revealed the existence of a real, actual, coming-to-a-PC-near-you-real-soon-now, CPU built with a ten-nanometre manufacturing process. The Core i3-8121U Processor popped up on Intel’s ARK database of its products in the last day or so. Intel’s years late delivering 10nm silicon, having foreshadowed its arrival years …
Simon Sharwood, 18 May 2018
(An allegedly) Bad dog's police mug shot...
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Super Cali goes ballistic: mugshot site atrocious

The state of California has brought felony charges against the group behind a site that collected mugshots and police records, then charged those featured to take down the pictures. Attorney General Xavier Beccara said the operators of Mugshots.com and Unpublisharrest.com committed extortion, money laundering, and identity …
Shaun Nichols, 17 May 2018
Steven Sinofsky at Surface launch event
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Microsoft returns to Valley of Death? Cheap Surface threatens the hardware show

Analysis According to industry watchers, below the surface of Microsoft's Surface business it's not a happy picture. Microsoft claimed to turn its first profit on Surface in 2014, after racking up $2bn of losses, and by 2016, it was almost out of the woods. Amid a collapsing tablet market, and just in time, Microsoft had redefined …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 May 2018
OnePlus 6 in midnight black
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OnePlus smartmobe brand modelled on 'a religion', founder admits

As Chinese phone-maker OnePlus launched its latest phone, co-founder Carl Pei confessed that the company was inspired by cults. Fanatics have smashed up their existing (non-OnePlus) phones to get one, and queued for hours in the scorching heat just to fondle one. The launch event is the product: OnePlus sells fans tickets to …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 May 2018
vaping
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Off with e's head: E-cig explosion causes first vaping death

A forensics report has reported the first known death from the use of electronic cigarettes after a Florida man was killed when his device exploded and drove itself into his cranium. Tallmadge D’Elia was vaping at home on May 5 when the vaping device, manufactured by Philippines-based Smok-E Mountain, exploded. An …
Iain Thomson, 16 May 2018

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