devices

Mon
23
Jan
John Lister's picture

Report: Most Smart Devices Patched 2 Years, Max

Some "smart" home products could become unsupported in just two years according to a consumer group. That could mean premium features stop working and may even create security risks. The details come from "Which?," a British organization very ... similar to Consumer Reports in the US. It explored a big potential problem with smart tech: that the support for such features is often guaranteed for much less time than the expected useful lifespan of the product itself. The group researched smart features, meaning devices were linked to the Internet or a local network and allowing extra ... (view more)

Tue
27
Dec
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Samsung Tops Smartphone Eco Ratings

A program to rate the environmental impact of cell phones now covers 35 countries. But there's no sign yet of Eco Rating coming to North America. The program has run since May 2021 and involved eight mobile carrier companies. They then ask handset ... manufacturers to answer questions about their devices. So far, more than 20 manufacturers have done so, with a total of more than 300 devices rated. The rating aims to cover the environmental impact of every stage of a phone's life, starting with the raw materials and the manufacturing process. It also takes into account the distance and method of ... (view more)

Wed
19
Oct
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Study: Smart Assistants May Hamper Development

Two researchers say voice controlled "assistant" devices could harm children's development. The claims are more of a warning than proven results at this stage. The claims come from Ananya Arora and Anmol Arora, both of the School of Clinical ... Medicine at the University of Cambridge. They were writing in the publication Archives of Diseases in Childhood. (Source: bmj.com ) The pair say they have three main fears about the uses of devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, along with Apple's Siri. In all three cases, the researchers say it appears some parents may have mistaken ... (view more)

Wed
29
Jun
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Apple Faces USB-C Charger Challenge

Phones and tablets sold in Europe from 2024 may need to use USB-C charging ports in a blow to Apple. The rules could affect handsets around the world depending on how manufacturers respond. The rules would come through a European Union directive, ... which means all 27 EU countries would need to pass the measures into their national laws. Although the draft directive has been published, they won't take force until the European Parliament has voted to adopt them. The logic is that the rules would let users have a single charger for all small portable devices, including any new ones they buy. That' ... (view more)

Wed
09
Feb
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Microsoft: Don't Switch Off PC At Night

Microsoft has warned users may need to leave computers on overnight to be sure of getting all security updates. It raises questions about how efficiently the update process works. The warning comes in a company blog aimed at IT professionals, though ... the findings also apply to the general public. Whether to leave devices running is a particular issue in offices where it would make sense from a power use perspective to get staff to shut down their machines at the end of the working day, particularly if it's only used for around eight hours a day. Microsoft says it's been investigating what may ... (view more)

Thu
06
Jan
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Old-School BlackBerrys Bite The Dust

BlackBerry has announced its phones will finally stop working this week. It's a move six years in the making and in many ways it's insane that anyone is still using them. Specifically the company will be hitting the killswitch on services for ... BlackBerry 7.1 and earlier, the software for the BlackBerry 10 device, and BlackBerry PlayBook 2.1 (for its short-lived tablet range) and earlier. The move only affects devices running BlackBerry's own software. It doesn't affect its range of Android-based devices. Although the number of people affected is relatively low, BlackBerry is keen to get the ... (view more)

Wed
03
Nov
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Phone Makers Attacked for Frequent Releases

Using the average phone a year longer would have the same environmental impact as taking 636,000 cars off the road each year according to campaigners. It's a claim that's sparked calls to end the habit of manufacturers to produce a new model every ... year. The calls come in the run-up to a major climate change conference, but remains unclear what incentive gadget-makers have to respond. The 636,000 cars figure comes from the Public Interest Research Group, whose campaigns include giving consumers a right to repair devices. It told The Register that an average of 416,000 US cellphones are ditched ... (view more)

Tue
05
Oct
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USB-C Could Become Phone Charger Standard

New laws in Europe could mean all phones have to use the same charger plug. It's uncertain if they will take effect but they could force manufacturers to make changes worldwide. The proposal would mean most portable electronic devices sold in ... European Union countries would have to have a USB-C charging port. If manufacturers supplied a charger with a power plug, the connection to the phone could be USB-C or USB-A. The rules would apply to phones, tablets, cameras, portable speakers, headphones and portable game consoles. Specific exemptions would include ear buds, fitness trackers and smart ... (view more)

Mon
13
Sep
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Phones May Get Updates For Seven Years

Phone and tablet makers could be forced to update devices for at least seven years. The proposed law would only affect Europe but, if passed, could change policies around the world. At the moment, how long phones get security and feature updates is ... largely up to manufacturers. In many cases it can be as little as three years. Critics say that brings several problems, including unfairly pressuring owners to buy new devices even when their existing one works well. That also creates environmental problems with users struggling to find responsible ways to recycle old devices. Spare Parts Must Be ... (view more)

Tue
11
May
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Microsoft Ditches Windows 10X

Windows 10X, a variant designed originally for dual-screen machines, may never appear according to new reports. The system had also been tipped as an alternative to Google's Chrome OS. Microsoft officially announced it was working on Windows 10X in ... October 2019. At that time, the idea was to produce a separate Windows variant that was designed for dual-screen devices. Such devices, sometimes called clamshells, serve a variety of purposes. Some are designed to fold back completely so that users can switch between using it as a laptop and using it more like a tablet. Microsoft appeared to ... (view more)

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