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Tag: Gadgets

If it ain’t broke: You share your oldest working gadgets

If it ain’t broke: You share your oldest working gadgets

Technology
These days, your shiny new gadget is likely to be rendered obsolete by software updates (or a lack of them) before it physically grinds to a halt.A recent report by the consumer campaign group Which? suggests the lifespan of a smart fridge could be just a few years if the brand behind it stops providing software support and updates.Meanwhile, Sonos has released new software for its internet-connected speakers that does not work on its own-branded older devices.And this prompted me to casually mention on Twitter that I have a 12-year-old TV. To make myself feel better, I also asked people to share their oldest working gadgets. And a floodgate opened.Made in the days before software updates, operating systems and security vulnerabilities were part of of the...
Millions of old gadgets ‘stockpiled in drawers’

Millions of old gadgets ‘stockpiled in drawers’

Science
"Ten phones, two laptops, digital cameras... all just sitting here. We're not dealing with it." Louise Lewis is surveying a collection of old gadgets that have piled up in her home. Her technological stash, experts say, is typical. But it could jeopardise our ability to manufacture new devices. A study has estimated that as many as 40 million unused gadgets are languishing in UK homes. Each device contains multiple valuable and increasingly endangered elements. Media playback is unsupported on your device The growing, unseen shortage of so-called "rare earth elements" was the impetus for the Royal Society of Chemistry's survey of just how much unused technology we are all stockpiling...
Gadgets can be hacked to produce ‘dangerous’ sounds, says researcher

Gadgets can be hacked to produce ‘dangerous’ sounds, says researcher

Technology
Many modern gadgets can be hacked to produce deafening and disorienting sounds, research has revealed.Security researcher Matt Wixey found a range of devices had little protection to stop themselves being turned into "offensive" low-grade, cyber-weapons.Mr Wixey tested laptops, mobile phones, headphones, a PA system and several types of speakers. The weaknesses could cause physical harm, harass individuals or disrupt larger organisations, he said. Annoying tonesMr Wixey, who is a head of research at PWC's cyber-security practice, said he conducted the experiments as part of PhD work into the ways that malware can directly cause physical harm.He sought to find out if the volume and speaker controls of the devices could be manipula...
Asus 'phone with a fan' among weird gadgets at Computex

Asus 'phone with a fan' among weird gadgets at Computex

Technology
A gaming phone with a removable fan, and a dual-screen laptop are among the new gadgets on show at the Computex conference in Taiwan.Computer giant Asus revealed a powerful handset designed for gamers that comes with a clip-on fan to keep it cool during "strenuous gaming sessions".It also showed off new laptops with dual screens, which it plans to sell in 2019.But rival Lenovo was criticised for over-hyping its "all screen" phone.One for gaming fansAsus's gaming phone is the first Android-powered smartphone to be produced under the Republic of Gamers brand.Its screen is capable of displaying 90 frames per second (fps) - more than regular phones - to make games play more smoothly.There is also a range of accessories, including cli...