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A man holds his heart, looks honest
165

Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

On-Call Friday has come around once more, which means we at El Reg get to regale you, dear reader, with tech support tales of the great and good in our weekly On-Call column. This time, we travel back to the start of the decade with “Mike”, then a fresh-faced grad holding a keen belief in good manners, and a taste for the mischievous …
Rebecca Hill, 03 Aug 2018
Juggling apple image via Shutterstock
34

Apple laughing all the way to the bank – with profits of $5.3m per hour

Apple continues to display all the characteristics of a money-making machine, with record results for the third quarter of the year. This was the iGiant's strongest fiscal third-quarter results in its history, according to Apple, and its fourth straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth. In a conference call with analysts …
Iain Thomson, 01 Aug 2018
Qualcomm building
10

Qualcomm demands blueprints to Intel chips used in Apple iPhones

Qualcomm, as part of its patent battle against Apple, claims Intel went back on its word by failing to produce technical documents and code covering how its latest radio frequency components are being used in Apple's 2018 iPhones. And so, the San Diego, California-based chip designer has filed a motion in its home state to …
Thomas Claburn, 01 Aug 2018
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
59

Facebook deletes 17 accounts, dusts off hands, beams: We've saved the 2018 elections

Facebook has deleted dozens of pages and accounts that were apparently coordinating to push divisive messages to the American public in the lead-up to this year's US midterm elections. We're told 17 profiles and eight pages in all were chopped from Facebook along with seven Instagram profiles. The social media giant said the …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Jul 2018
A person breaking free of shackles

US trade ban hammers Chinese telco giant ZTE to the tune of $790m

Chinese phone and network maker ZTE has outlined the extent of the damage it suffered due to the early 2018 trade ban imposed by the US – a first quarter net loss of ¥5.4bn ($790m, £602m). ZTE now stands for 'zero tech exports' – US govt slaps 7-year ban on biz READ MORE The slide into loss was in spite of revenue that grew …
39

Make Facebook, Twitter, Google et al liable for daft garbage netizens post online – US Senator

US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) has a plan to save democracy from technology, including making social media platforms liable for what their users post. In a proposal provided to The Register, he suggests revising the safe harbor provision of the Communications Decency Act, known as Section 230. Section 230 immunizes service …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Jul 2018
Trump
42

Trump 'not normal' FCC commish reveals amid Sinclair-Tribune mega-media-merger meltdown

Controversy over a proposed $4bn merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media in the US has blown up again – after a commissioner on America's media watchdog, the FCC, blasted President Trump's public backing of the deal. "This is not normal," FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel told CNN on Sunday in response to Trump's …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jul 2018
people queueing
36

Mamma Mia! UK film fans forced to Q as Vue's website craps itself

Updated Cinema chain Vue's wobbly website frustrated customers for a second day today as would-be film-goers found themselves dumped into a queuing system in order to buy tickets. Problems began over the weekend when users reported long waits even to retrieve showtimes. Website is terrible, it was the same story yesterday, I had to …
Richard Speed, 30 Jul 2018
140

You want to know which is the best smartphone this season? Tbh, it's tricky to tell 'em apart

I call it the "Phone Season". It's the glut of new smartphones that begins with splashy launches at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and ends in late spring. Phone Season defines what phones look like each year. Apart from Apple (which introduces its new models in September) and Google (in October), and the odd mid-year …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jul 2018
The two flavours of Reg Classic T-shirt
261

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

Something for the Weekend, Sir? If I give you some money, would you take your clothes off? Now that's what I call premium service. This is just my personal fantasy, of course. I wouldn't really stop passers-by and ask them to remove their apparel. Not since the restraining order, anyway. As I wander along my local high street, advertisements glare at me …
Alistair Dabbs, 27 Jul 2018
Screenshot of BBC website returning HTTP 500
66

BBC websites down tools and head outside into the sun for a while

The entire BBC website (less iPlayer) went down briefly this morning. Auntie's online offerings, ranging from free online news to telly and radio listings, recipes and educational content for kids, were all briefly offline. All the BBC's sub-sites were throwing up HTTP 500 errors, complete with a nice little graphic of the …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Jul 2018
Two women hailing a ride
30

Prof claims Lyft did a hit-and-run on his ride-sharing tech patent

Lyft is the target of a lawsuit filed by a former Georgia Tech professor who alleges the dial-a-ride upstart ripped off his patented idea. Prof Stephen Dickerson and his company RideApp claim Lyft is infringing on US Patent 6,697,730: "Communications and computing based urban transit system." He filed the patent in 1999 and …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2018
Outlook.com Dark Mode
81

You can take off the shades, squinting Outlook.com users. It has gone dark. Very dark

Goths of the world rejoice! Outlook.com's Dark Mode is here, turning mailboxes into blacks and shades of grey such that Lego Batman would shed a tear of joy. If Lego Batman cried. Which he doesn't. Microsoft confirmed on Outlook's uservoice forum today that Outlook.com (the beta version of the webmail site at least) could be …
Richard Speed, 25 Jul 2018
50

From toothbrushes to coffee makers to computers: Europe fines Asus, Pioneer, Philips for rigging prices of kit

The European Commission has sent a slightly belated message to the consumer electronics industry that it frowns upon price fixing, this week fining four manufacturers a total of €111m (US$130m, £99m) for breaking European rules as long as seven years ago. The companies on the business end of the regulators are Asus, Denon & …
Must go faster must go faster
36

Core blimey! Apple macOS update lifts boot from MacBook Pro neck

If your 2018 MacBook Pro laptop is slowing down unexpectedly, then download and install today's macOS 10.13.6 Supplemental Update, and cross your fingers. This patch attempts to address frustrating slowdowns experienced by owners of Apple's latest top-end 13in and 15in notebooks that use eighth-generation quad and six-core …
Chris Williams, 24 Jul 2018
Logos of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter
18

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter make it easier to download your info and upload to, er, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter etc...

Allowing developers to siphon millions of netizens' personal information didn't work out so well for Facebook, given the Cambridge Analytica affair. Nonetheless, the misinformation and ads platform has decided to build a data takeout service for account holders, allowing people to download their information in a standardized …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Jul 2018
smashed windscreen
66

As Corning unveils its latest Gorilla Glass, we ask: What happened to sapphire mobe screens?

Four years ago at the height of smartwatch hype, it was the most desirable mineral in the world. The tech superpowers jostled to obtain supplies of the material, just as the superpowers jostled to secure their nitrate supplies* ahead of the First World War. Sapphire would become the main ingredient in smartphone displays – as …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jul 2018
Chap gasping for air
73

♫ The Core i9 clock cycles go up. Who cares where they come down?

Owners of laptops fitted with Intel's Core i9 high-performance processor, including computers made by Apple and Dell, are finding that the machines slow down compared to the pace of older models. Chipzilla describes the six-core Core i9 as a "no compromises" chip aimed at gaming, VR and "next-level content creation". Intel has …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jul 2018
HP X2 Workstations

Architects? Power-hungry GPU fiends? HP has something for you

Demonstrating that there is still life in the old dog, HP Inc has ripped the covers off a line-up of workstations aimed squarely at users seeking a lot more oomph from a smaller form-factor. Rocking austere cases not usually associated with machines boasting serious GPU credentials, the additions to HP's Z range are designed …
Richard Speed, 19 Jul 2018
Woman with crying with laughter emoji for a head
35

Brits whinging less? About ISPs, networks and TV? It's gotta be a glitch in the Matrix

The great British tradition of huffing, tutting and whinging is in grave peril. Regulator Ofcom has reported a decline in complaints across telecoms, mobile and TV services. TalkTalk and BT are the most moaned-about home broadband operators, with 29 and 23 complaints per 100,000 subscribers, respectively. Plusnet received 20, …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jul 2018
Samsung Galaxy S8 in black with infinity screen
132

Official: The shape of the smartphone is changing forever

The shape of the smartphone is changing as a fad turns into a long-term trend, a business analyst has noted. Analyst outfit IHS Markit said it expected wide aspect ratios – either 18:9 or 18+:9 – to make up two-thirds of new device sales in Q3 of this year. At the start of 2017, the "traditional" 16:9 ratio display was seen on …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jul 2018
141

Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes

Analysis Imagine if Intel had decided in the 1980s that all of its CPUs henceforth would have a vast parallel processing unit worthy of a Cray supercomputer, integrated into every chip. This would quadruple the price of an Intel microprocessor, but "future-proof" its PCs. And lo, Qualcomm hath declared that a new chip for wearables is …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jul 2018
Samsung DeX gives you a "Desktop experience" when docked to a full size screen
72

Samsung’s new phone-as-desktop is slick, fast and ready for splash-down ... somewhere

Hands-On I’m typing this story on a phone – a Galaxy S9+ to be precise, lodged in Samsung’s new “DeX Pad” not-a-dock that turns its high-end handsets into passable desktops when connected to a monitor or tellie over HDMI. Samsung introduced the Dex with 2017’s Galaxy S8 and then updated it this year with a smaller dock that puts the …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2018
It's black. It's boring. It's really, really fast: Samsung's LPDDR5
11

Samsung touts bonkers-fast 8 Gbit DRAM for phones, AIs

Samsung has shown off the first prototype of a somewhat-bonkers DRAM chip: at 8 Gbits, it's not news in terms of scale, but the LPDDR5 silicon pushes bits out the door at 6,400 megabits per second. Since it's a prototype, we can't say the memory is “coming to an iPhone near you”; rather, the company says, delivery will be “in …
LG G7 ThinkQ full range
52

LG G7 ThinkQ: Ropey AI, but a feast for sore eyes and ears

Review Samsung's giant rival for 50 years, LG, has gone toe-to-toe with the bigger chaebol throughout the smartphone era. Three years ago, LG was firing all cylinders. Its 2014 flagship had introduced the first QHD+ panel; and its successor offered great design (custom leatherbacks) while retaining the removable battery Samsung …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2018
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
51

Sub-Prime: Amazon's big day marred by server crashes, staff strikes

Amazon's 36-hour "Prime Day" marketing jamboree has kicked off with more than a few hiccups. Almost as soon as it started, Amazon customers eager to indulge in an orgy of consumption found their purchasing plans paralyzed – because Amazon's servers refused to accept payment details. Wannabe buyers grew increasingly frustrated …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2018
From Apple website - screenshot of macbook pro july release
25

Apple gives MacBook Pro keyboard rubber pants

Apple has applied a prophylactic to its butterfly MacBook Pro keyboard, teardown specialist iFixit discovered after taking apart a model from the refreshed line. Apple said that the new range, announced last week, would get "an improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing". The teardown of the new Macbook Pro models …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jul 2018
Woman talks into smartphone / cellphone with the device held flat
252

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I don't like to do it sideways. I won't do it at any fancy angle. Call me conventional but what can I say? I'm a straight-talking kind of guy. How hard does it have to be to get a firm grip on it… and hold it against the side of your face? Oh right. Put that yoga manual down, you might have misunderstood my meaning. I was …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 Jul 2018
Africa Studio http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-137002p1.html
59

PC shipments just rose, thanks to Windows 10

Sales of personal computers rose in 2018’s second quarter, making it the best time to be in the PC business since 2012. News of the sale rise came from analyst firms IDC and Gartner who’ve both hit F9 on their spreadsheets recording Q2 shipments and found a positive number. Gartner found 62.1 million PC shipments, up a 1.4 per …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2018
An American football player
14

Are you ready for some sueball?! NFL opens wallet, makes vid stream patent spat go away

The NFL, the home of America's favorite form of recreational brain trauma, will find itself a bit less wealthy, after it settled a lawsuit brought by a streaming video software developer. The football league on Thursday finalized a settlement with OpenTV, which had accused the NFL of ripping off parts of eight of its US …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2018
69

Mastercard goes TITSUP in US, UK: There are some things money can't buy – like uptime

Updated Register readers, and quite a few other people, have been left with dead credit cards after Mastercard's payment system took a dive on Thursday. "Mastercard went down this evening," one Reg reader, based in Britain, told us privately. "Couldn’t pay for petrol. It’s a disgrace you can’t trust cards to pay when you need them to …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jul 2018
From Apple website - screenshot of macbook pro july release
25

Crumbs. Apple has tweaked the MacBook Pro keyboard

Apple gave part of its MacBook Pro line of laptops a speed bump today. But all you'll want to know really is whether the machine can still be paralysed by a crumb, or a speck of dust. The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand READ MORE We can't say until the models show up in the channel, including …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2018
Microsoft Surface Go
27

One two three... Go: Long Pig Microsoft avoids cannibalising Surface

Microsoft has avoided cannibalising its boutique, premium Surface line by making one that's a lot less boutique and premium – at around half the price. Microsoft returns to Valley of Death? Cheap Surface threatens the hardware show READ MORE In May, when word of the initiative first leaked, we warned that it risked tarnishing …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2018
after-party mess

Intune makes an appearance at the Android Enterprise Zero Touch party

Microsoft’s Intune device and PC management suite has scored support for Android enterprise purpose-built device management, meaning admins can lock down biz devices before users get their sticky fingers near them. Intune, a cloud-based Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) platform, was …
Richard Speed, 11 Jul 2018
Hands with clenched fists breaking bonds or fetters
71

Dudes. Blockchain. In a phone. It's gonna smash the 'commoditization of humanity' or something

Strategy Boutique So it wasn't a joke. HTC today vowed to launch its "Blockchain Phone", which it calls an "agent of decentralization". HTC confirmed overnight that the Exodus smartphone will ship in its third quarter – meaning some time before the end of September – without releasing specifications. Or even what advantages it promises for the …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jul 2018
88

UK privacy watchdog to fine Facebook 18 mins of profit (£500,000) for Cambridge Analytica

Facebook faces a £500,000 ($665,000) fine from the UK’s data protection watchdog, the ICO, for failing to protect netizens' info nor tell them how their data would be harvested by apps. The looming penalty relates to the social media giant's role in the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal – in which the personal …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Jul 2018

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