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Smartphone shipments plummet in Q1 as users, er, lock down their spending

Coronavirus + entity lists + people not keen to upgrade = 13% dive Yeah, doesn’t look like those shipments are going to arrive… Early forecasts of the Q1 smartphone sector made for grim reading, with appetite expected to be severely suppressed thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequent analysis from Canalys shows those forecasts were bang-on, with worldwide shipments into the channel falling by 13 per cent year-on-year, to just…

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Browse mode: We’re not goofing off on the Sidebar of Shame and online shopping sites, says UK’s Ministry of Defence

Civil servants at the UK’s Ministry of Defence are spending a large part of their surfing time gazing at online shopping and news websites, the red-faced government department has admitted. In a recent Freedom of Information response, the MoD ‘fessed up that the top two most-visited web domains across its networks are those for the Daily Mail website and Amazon. For the years 2016 to 2019 inclusive, Mail Online…

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Xiaomi what you’re working with: Chinese mobe-flinger proffers two Redmi Note phablets for UK market

Chinese phone-maker Xiaomi’s onslaught into the UK market continues with two more phones: the MediaTek Helio G85-powered Redmi Note 9, and the more upmarket Redmi Note 9 Pro, which uses the Qualcomm 720G platform. Of the two, only the standard Redmi Note 9 is a new product, with the Pro version previously released in India, albeit with the hilariously convoluted name “Redmi 9 Note Pro Max”. It’s almost like…

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Brit magistrates’ courts turn to video conferencing to keep wheels of justice turning

Britain’s courts are moving to their own video-conferencing platform – for criminal trials rather than business meetings. The Kinly Cloud Video Platform (CVP) will be used to hear magistrate-level criminal cases, allowing defendants to dial in from the physical safety of their own homes instead of travelling to court buildings. It will be deployed in 60 magistrates’ courts and 48 Crown courts, though Crown court jury trials will not…

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Bezos to the Moon: Blue Origin joins SpaceX and Dynetics in a three-horse lunar lander race

With a scant few years remaining until the agency’s 2024 boots-on-the-Moon goal, NASA has named the three US companies that will be dealing with the tricky human landing bit of the mission. The combined contract award of a cool near-billion dollars over the 10-month base period will be split between Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX. Big News! The #Artemis generation is going to the Moon to stay….

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$31bn spent on cloudy infrastructure in Q1 on back of employees’ mass migration to home working

Cloud infrastructure providers are making bank following the mass migration of millions of workers from their offices to their homes, with spending on services leaping by 34.5 per cent in Q1 to $31bn. A surge in the use of online collaboration tools, e-commerce and consumer cloud services fuelled the hike, though another consequence of governments ordering to stay indoors was a slowdown in complex enterprise migrations as all but…

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Microsoft! Please, put down the rebrandogun. No one else needs to get hurt… But it’s too late for Visual Studio Online

Barely six months on from its grand unveiling, Microsoft is renaming its browser-based code botherer, Visual Studio Online and, more importantly, is trimming its prices. Now shedding ‘Online’ in favour of ‘Codespaces’ to reflect “the true value of the service”, the rent-your-own-dev-environment platform was originally revealed at last year’s Ignite event and built on lessons learned from Visual Studio Code Remote Development. Its purpose remains to provide on-demand development…

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Ride now, ride! Ride for ruin and the world’s ending! Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is here at last! Kind of

The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. This one has been intensely anticipated by myself and thousands of others for eight long years. We had abandoned all hope, but now it’s here and it’s not even finished yet. So without further ado… Conan the Barbarian was once famously asked, “What is best in life?” Paraphrasing Mongol warlord Genghis Khan, he…

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Three is the magic number, unless you’re Apple. That’s how many million iPad shipments it was down in Q1

Under the shadow of a pandemic that forced the shutdown of Apple’s production lines in parts of China, global sales of iPads are tumbling rapidly. Preliminary data collated by number-cruncher IDC for calendar Q1 show Apple’s unit shipments into distributors and direct to its stores dropped 30.4 per cent year-on-year to 6.9 million. This, in a market that was itself down 18.1 per cent to 24.6 million. Apple –…

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The ultimate 4-wheel-drive: How ESA’s keeping XMM-Newton alive after 20 years and beyond

Space Extenders Sure – that telescope can be serviced by Space Shuttle astronauts. But how do you keep one running for years past expiration without a prodding by spacewalkers? Behold ESA’s XMM-Newton. ESA’s X-ray Multi Mirror (XMM) telescope, named for English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, was launched on an Ariane 5 back on 10 December 1999. Funded for an initial two-year mission, with a ten-year design-life, the…

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