Andrew Orlowski

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Amazon wants to be king of the nerd goggles

Something to quicken the pulses of middle-aged men in the shower, whose surname rhymes with "Noble"*. Amazon is reportedly working on a pair of smart specs, its first wearable. The eyewear will "look like a regular pair of spectacles so that it [can] be worn comfortably and unobtrusively", the FT reports. The paper doesn't …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Sep 2017

Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

Review After years of complacency – and falling sales – Apple has transformed the iPad into something it should have been from the start: a proper computer. iOS 11, which dropped Tuesday evening, only does a little bit for the iPhone, but a great deal for the iPad. It isn't too much of an exaggeration to say that a mature computer …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Sep 2017

More are paying to stream music, but YouTube still holds the value gap

With Google's user-generated content loophole firmly in lawmaker's sights, global music trade body IFPI has published new research looking at demand for music streaming. The research confirms YouTube's pre-eminence as the world's de facto jukebox. 46 per cent of on-demand music streaming is from Google's video website. 75 per …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Sep 2017

Google parks old pay-to-play auction in front of European Commission – reports

Google appears to have revived an "auction-based fix" to vertical search competition complaints, according to Reuters. Four years ago, Google proposed to "auction off" space on its search page, as a remedy to competition complaints that it favoured its own properties over rivals. The European Commission rejected it as …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Sep 2017

Apocalypse now: Ad biz cries foul over Apple's great AI cookie purge

Fear of the Adpocalypse has died down in recent months - but new platform Apple releases have revived it. Apple's imminent decision to throttle third-party cookies poses a mortal threat to behavioural advertising, says Madison Avenue, and therefore to Life On Earth as we know it. Apple is building "Intelligent Tracking …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Sep 2017

Essential's Rubin coy on mysterious Plan to Take Over the Universe

With Apple playing catchup to Samsung, the big phone story of the year belongs to Essential. And the big story with Essential isn't really the phone. It's a combination of starpower - founder Andy Rubin created Android and his Essential co-founders Matt Hershenson and Joe Britt created the Sidekick - and the huge investment he …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Sep 2017

Why the Apple Watch with LTE means a very Apple-y sort of freedom

While Apple was making the iPhone less dependent on a Mac or PC, this week, it was tying its Watch even closer to the iPhone - contrary to what Apple's marketing material wants you to think. If you didn't know anything about Apple Watch Series 3 other than that it "now has a 4G SIM", you'd be forgiven for thinking this is a …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Sep 2017

Spotify just can't wash those songwriters out of its hair

Spotify is embroiled in new legal objections over how it pays songwriters royalties... or doesn’t, as the songwriters insist. At issue is the mechanical copyright royalty – the amount owed to the composer or songwriter from the reproduction of the recording. Songwriters and composers argue that while Spotify negotiated …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Sep 2017

Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

Comment You may or may not know that the phrase "industrial revolution" was coined by a Frenchman. "La révolution industrielle se met en possession de l’Angleterre," wrote the economist Jérôme-Adolphe Blanqui. What irony, you may think. While Britain was inventing the modern world with its engineering, rich natural resources and …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2017
Apple iPhone 6s

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

Apple's new iPhone will be packed with new features you didn't know you needed. It almost certainly won't be getting features it absolutely does need. We made a list of what Apple needs to do, but won't. 1. Two-day battery life Apple’s obsession with making the iPhone as slim as possible means that when you buy an iPhone the …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Sep 2017

David Potter rejoins 'New New Psion' as Hon.Chairman

Psion founder David Potter has joined the company behind the Gemini project to re-create the classic Psion PDA. Potter will act as Planet Computing's Honorary Chairman, and plans to invest in efforts to get the product off the ground. Gemini uses new designs by Martin Riddiford of Therefore, the industrial designer for the …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Sep 2017
Monopoly photo via Shutterstock

Google will appeal €2.9bn EU fine

Alphabet will appeal the €2.9bn fine imposed by the European Commission in June for abusing its market dominance in search. It's no surprise, particularly after Intel's successful appeal last week bounced the Commissions case back down to the lower court. Google UK office logos WHAT did GOOGLE do SO WRONG to get a slapping …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Sep 2017
BlackBerry Priv. Press pic

BlackBerry admits: We could do better at patching

BlackBerry has confirmed that its first Android device, the Priv, will be stuck on Google's 2015 operating system forevermore, which Google itself will cease supporting next year. Having been promised "the most secure Android", BlackBerry loyalists have seen the promise of monthly security updates stutter recently, with …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Sep 2017

Massive iPhone X leak trashes Apple's 10th anniversary circus

Apple apparently deploys resources comparable to the security apparatus of a repressive Cold War Balkan state to try to prevent leaks. To very little effect. And with magnificent irony, it seems to have itself to blame for the biggest leak of all. On Friday, several news outlets received a drop of what appeared to be a late …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Sep 2017

The new, new Psion is getting near production. Here's what it looks like

World Exclusive Last week Gemini, the venture that re-invents the Psion 5 design for the 21st century, took delivery of pre-production units. Planet Computing invited us to see how the project is progressing. Since the final Psion pocket computer design (the Revo) appeared 18 years ago, the device category has died; there's nothing with a …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Sep 2017

Google to relieve HTC of its phones biz – report

Google is set to relieve HTC of its mobile phones unit, according to a report in Taiwan's Commercial Times, leaving the company to focus on its Vive VR helmet. Originally a Windows Mobile contract phone manufacturer, HTC currently produces Google's Pixel phones, a relationship which is expected to continue. However, since its …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Sep 2017
Statue of a girl. Pic: Quinn Dombrowski

Oracle throws weight behind draft US law to curtail web sexploitation

A looming battle over corporate social responsibility on the internet has taken an interesting turn. Oracle has backed a proposed US law that will penalize the operators of sex-trafficking websites. The California database giant says it will support the bipartisan Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, aka SESTA, arguing that it …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Sep 2017
Huawei P8

We don't need another hero: Huawei overtakes Apple – even without a big-hitter

Huawei surpassed Apple for two months running this summer to be the world’s no 2 phone brand by volume behind Samsung, according to box counters Counterpoint Research. No Huawei phone is in the firm’s Top 10 devices, however, indicating the breadth of its portfolio, and its preference to hedge its fortunes across "Lite" and " …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Sep 2017
cockroach is invited into hotel/motel

Facebook's music plans mean you'll never leave Facebook

Analysis A year ago, Facebook was denying that it was a media company. No way, not ever. Not us! Then it said it was "not a traditional media company". But quite soon, it could be the media company that you never leave. Yes, we've mocked the video dabblings before, but things have moved on apace since then, particularly in music. And …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Sep 2017
Phone landfill

Stealth, lightweight Android breaks cover

It's 16 months since Google declared Android One not dead, so it's time to declare it not dead all over again. First announced in 2014 by current Google CEO Pichai, Android One was intended to be Google's way of bringing order to the anarchic phone market on the Indian subcontinent. It looked promising; the continent was just …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Sep 2017

It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

The mania for "flat" user interfaces is costing publishers and ecommerce sites billions in lost revenue. A "flat" design removes the distinction between navigation controls and content. Historically, navigation controls such as buttons were shaded, or given 3D relief, to distinguish them from the application or web page's …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Sep 2017

Google, propaganda, and the new New Man

Comment Google has begun to infuse American TV and movies shows with propaganda – "good propaganda", the company insists. However, it's unlikely to please two groups who rarely agree on anything: those who think Google isn't diverse enough, and conservatives who fear its political and media power. So far, Google's "interventions" have …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Sep 2017
Retro ThinkPad

It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

The long-awaited "retro" Thinkpad will be based on the guts of a contemporary T470 laptop, Lenovo's business workhorse, according to a German certification site. Lenovo inherited IBM's notebook brand 12 years ago, and with it a design classic. However, in 2012 Lenovo saw fit to "modernise" the iconic keyboard, along with …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Sep 2017

Don’t buy that Surface, plead Surface cloners

IFA The mainstay of Microsoft's boutique Surface range faces tougher competition as rivals sharpen their act. Announced at IFA in Berlin with relatively little fanfare – just a line in Lenovo's official announcement – the refreshed IdeaPad Miix 520 is a Surface Pro clone that isn't cheap. But it does look like quality. In fact …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Sep 2017
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Memo to Microsoft: Keeping your promises is probably a good idea

Comment Back in the day, the old IBM was famous for never breaking a promise to customers. For example, when IBM bought Lotus it was to honour a commitment to provide customers with office group productivity software that its own teams of programmers couldn't keep. IBM kept Token Ring and OS/2 customers happy long after the products …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Sep 2017

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