Andrew Orlowski

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EU's YouTube filter plan was revised '37 times'

The European Union's plan to get YouTube clean up its act – the proposed updates to copyright for the Digital Single Market – went through 37 revisions before emerging earlier this month: and the movie chiefs were nervous. Wiggin’s partner and Brussels chief Ted Shapiro lifted the lid on the backroom wrangling that led to the …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Sep 2016

Invasion of the Brandsnatchers: How Nokia and BlackBerry inhabit the afterlife

Analysis Early next year you should able to buy Nokia phones and BlackBerry phones, two of the giant names of the Noughties. None of these phones will be made by Nokia or BlackBerry, and all of them will be Android phones. The famous brands will inhabit new bodies, with the licensees hoping to rekindle some nostalgia both giants once …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Sep 2016

FCC death vote looms for the Golden Age of American TV

Special report We’re living in a “Golden Age of TV”, and the United States makes the most envied popular TV drama in the world. Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and The Wire raised the bar for everyone in TV drama. More cash is invested in content: last year Netflix alone spent more on shows than either the BBC or HBO. It takes more risks and …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Sep 2016

‘Inflexion point’ BlackBerry washes hands of hardware biz

Here’s your chance to design your own BlackBerry. BlackBerry today ended its 17-year adventure as a phone-maker with CEO John Chen announcing “a new strategic direction focussed on licensing our secure device software and the BlackBerry brand.” There will still be BlackBerrys – a new one is imminent - but BlackBerry won’t make …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2016

Our Windows windows will be resizable, soooon, vows Microsoft

Ignite Microsoft this week promised to increase desktop users’ productivity by bringing resizeable overlapping windows to Windows™ – a feature notably missing today. A spokesman also expressed hope that Mr Gorbachev’s new policy of “perestroika” would continue, bringing real benefits to Soviet citizens. Wait, what? Actually, we made …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2016

Alleged German YouTube-to-MP3 ripper sued by labels

The music industry has opened fire on audio-stream rippers. A copyright-infringement lawsuit has been filed in California by a clutch of Warners labels and is targeted at YouTube-mp3.org and its alleged proprietor Philip Matesanz of Germany. The website offers to convert YouTube vids to MP3 files, for free, which allows people …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2016
Photo by Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock

Lily Cole: You'd hate me more if Impossible.com were a success

Millionaire supermodel Lily Luahana Cole says we should be pleased that her taxpayer-funded vanity website Impossible.com doesn’t make any money. We’d hate it even more if it her Impossible.com were financially successful, she has told the Daily Telegraph in an interview. “I actually think if we were making loads of money, we …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Sep 2016

Ofcom blesses Linux-powered, open source DIY radio ‘revolution’

Small scale DAB radio was (quite literally) conceived in an Ofcom engineer’s garden shed in Brighton, on a Raspberry Pi, running a full open source stack, in his spare time. Four years later, Ofcom has given the thumbs up to small scale DAB after concluding that trials in 10 UK cities were judged to be a hit. We gave you an …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Sep 2016
Lady eating a sandwich checking her mobile phone

OnePlus snags O2

OnePlus has snagged its first carrier win in the UK, with O2 stocking the value flagship, the OnePlus Three. The Three will be available from 29 September. Until this year, OnePlus rationed supplies via an invitation system. The phone is available on OnePlus' website for the post-Brexit price of £329. ® Lady eating a …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Sep 2016

Oh Snap! How intelligent people make themselves stupid for Snapchat

Comment Perv-magnet app Snapchat is no more. It has renamed itself Snap! as it wants to be a respectable media tech company. Specifically, it says “a camera company”. Here’s perhaps the only interesting thing about Snapchat. Nobody really understands what the point of it is, and maybe Snapchat doesn’t either. But it’s exploited this …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Sep 2016

Reclusive Mr Ren materialises to bless Huawei Leica tie-up

China’s shopping spree of premium Western brands continues and not just footballers. It’s snapping up technology brands, too - but with these brands some finesse is required. Huawei has just announced a deeper partnership with Leica. The pair announced a multi-year agreement at the start of the year, and it bore its first …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Sep 2016

Video service Binge On 'broke the internet' but 99pc of users love it

Analysis Do you remember the butthurt and angst heaped on T-Mobile US when it launched its Binge On service earlier this year? T-Mobile US offered a toll-free all-you-can-watch mobile video service, trading quality for quantity. The Binge On user would get video downsampled to 480 pixels, but none of it would count towards their data …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Sep 2016

Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

A survey of people using ad-blocking has mixed news for publishers. Thirty per cent of users deploying adblocking software were less inclined to visit websites that forced them to “whitelist” the site. On the other hand, in reality many do whitelist one or two favourites. 77 per cent of adblock software users have whitelisted …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Sep 2016

Not enough personality: Google Now becomes Google Not Anymore

Google is rebranding its screen-scraping data guzzler Now On Tap, as it buries the entire Now initiative under the onslaught of its multiplatform chatty “Assistant” project. Only two years ago, Now On Tap was heralded as “Android’s next killer feature” (CNet) and even “the future of Android” (ComputerWorld). But Now On Tap …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Sep 2016
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‘Penultimate’ BlackBerry seen on 'do not publish' page as fire sale begins

Could BlackBerry be any less involved in the phone business that it is today? A year ago it designed its own phones that ran its own, home-grown platform. Today it rebadges other people’s designs and the phones run Android. Actually, yes, it could – see below for details*. This week BlackBerry accidentally revealed details of …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Sep 2016
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EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

Result, guys. Result. A campaign by Digital Rights activists to preserve open Wi-Fi hotspots has resulted in Europe’s highest court deciding the exact opposite. The ECJ has advised that open Wi-Fi hotspots should probably be operated password-protected – and hotspot owners should require users to reveal their identities. The …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Sep 2016
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK

EU law: Brussels burps up aspirational copyright tweaks

Analysis Brussels’ widely leaked copyright reforms [PDF] have been formally published. The proposals are intended to “reduce the differences between national copyright regimes and allow for wider online access to works by users across the EU.” They will be tossed about and amended in European Parliament for many months. But with an …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Sep 2016
Music kid image via Shutterstock

Songsmiths sue US antitrust over Google-friendly rules ruling

Two independent women songwriters are suing the US antitrust department of the Department of Justice over its proposal to rip up songwriters' contracts to make them more Google-friendly. Crucially, in the remarks, the DoJ proposes that both ASCAP and BMI must accept 100 per cent licensing – so Spotify and other giant music …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Sep 2016

Google's become an obsessive stalker and you can't get a restraining order

Comment Google isn’t just interested in tracking you, or even very interested. Google tracks you with the defiant zeal of an obsessive stalker. What’s curious is that the American state seems almost as keen on the unfettered collection and use of location data as Google itself. Phones incorporated GPS silicon long before the iPhone …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Sep 2016

Daddy, what's 'P2P file sharing'?

So long peer-to-peers, and farewell dodgy file lockers: young music fans now steal their music straight from YouTube instead. Research from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the global body for the recording industry, finds that 49 per cent of 16-to-24s use streaming rippers, overtaking …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2016

VMware eases Windows Mobile 10's turn-your-phone-into-a-PC pain

Bleeding-edge early adopters of Windows Mobile 10 have some more balm for their Continuum pains. Microsoft's Continuum lets you connect monitors, keyboards and mice to Windows Mobile phones to convert them into PCs. It fits in with Microsoft's universal app concept: software should just work wherever you're using Windows 10, …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2016

Amazon pops up more shops

Amazon will be opening more brick-and-mortar stores in shopping malls in the US, apparently. The $100bn-a-year retail nemesis of High Street quietly opened its first pop-up stores in late 2014, currently operates around a dozen in stealth mode, and will have up to 100 by next year, according to Business Insider. But why would …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2016

Meet DDoSaaS: Distributed Denial of Service-as-a-Service

Analysis It’s not often an entirely new and thriving sector of the “digital economy” – one hitherto unmentioned by the popular press – floats to the surface of the lake in broad daylight, waving a tentacle at us. This is the DDoS-for-hire industry, and it’s fascinating for a few reasons. This shady marketplace has done everything a …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Sep 2016

Google-funded group mad that US Copyright Office hasn't abolished copyright yet

Comment Following extensive coverage of Google’s capture of government policy making and its agencies, a Google-funded group has responded with a surreal report into “regulatory capture” – allegedly by people Google wishes weren’t there. Unfortunately, the report from the activist groupuscule Public Knowledge (PK) – one of a number of …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Sep 2016
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Double-negative tweet could be Microsoft Surface Phone hint

Microsoft may have just confirmed a Surface Phone via a cryptic tweet. Laura Janet Baker appeared to confirm the long-rumoured flagship via a double negative. It could be the end of the silly season; judge for yourself. Rumours abound that Microsoft will kill off production of its current Lumia range by the end of the year. …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Sep 2016