Andrew Orlowski

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Microsoft's 3D Jedi phone explored

A never-released Microsoft phone has surfaced, providing a glimpse of how Redmond's designers proposed to evolve touch-based user interfaces. The "McLaren" phone, which was cancelled just months before its scheduled launch in 2014, responded to 3D "Jedi"-like gestures, which subsequently surfaced in the "Mix View" patent …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jul 2016

What keeps former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani awake at night?

Sketch So, what, if anything, keeps former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani awake at night? Actually, he told a BlackBerry event today, there is this one thing. “You gotta always worry about a nation with an insane leader,” he told startled attendees. Well, Rudy. It’s funny you should say that. Giuliani had flown overnight from …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jul 2016

BlackBerry chief: We don't have to make phones to make phones

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said his company has an internal project to bring Android security up to the level of its BlackBerry 10 platform, which should bear fruit after the release of Android N. He also hinted at a future based around brand and technology licensing. "We have a tremendous amount of technology. We can stay in …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jul 2016
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Cloud giants demand overhaul of America's privacy rules on overseas servers

Technology trade organizations have urged the US Congress to replace the country's antique privacy protection laws – after a New York court stopped American prosectors from seizing emails from servers offshore in Ireland. A Second Circuit Court in the so-called "Irish Warrant" case, brought by Microsoft against the US …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016

Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Comment ISPs should be banned from “speeding up” internet packets, says a former senior member of Obama’s White House crack tech team, the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Self-facilitating policy wonk Brian Forde (for it is he) earned derision on Twitter after he urged ISPs not to send packets any faster than they already …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
A plate of horderves

Ad viewability worsens

Ad viewability worsened in the UK according to the adtech industry's own trade body, the IAB. Viewability of display ads fell to 47 per cent in Q2 2016, the lowest for six quarters, and lower than the international average of 56 per cent, and European rivals. An ad must be viewable for a full second, according to IAB metrics …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
Lily Cole, Impossible.com

Lily Cole: Profit still looks almost Impossible.com

Impossible.com, the world-changing “sharing economy” website founded by millionaire supermodel and polymath Lily Cole lost even more money last year. Year end P&L accounts filed with Companies House revealed that I Am Possible Ltd - with Cole as director - was £257,889 in the red for year ended October 2015. That’s worse than …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016

Google quietly takes gag off Mississippi AG after wrecking ads probe

Google has, without fanfare, dropped its legal action that muzzled an investigation into the ad giant's conduct by the State of Mississippi. The state's elected attorney general, Democrat Jim Hood, has taken on Wall Street, the tobacco industry and the KKK, but even he must have been surprised by Google's 44-page restraining …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

Microsoft wins landmark Irish data slurp warrant case against the US

Updated Microsoft has won a landmark legal action against the US government over protecting the privacy of non-US citizens on non-US servers. The appeals court decision invalidates a key legal tool the US government uses to apply extraterritorially. The software company voluntarily put itself in contempt of court by challenging Uncle …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

EU eyes flaw in Google’s cash machine

Analysis The European Commission has opened an aggressive new front in its battle with Google, one that Google thought it had secured years ago. And this is one that starts to gnaw away at Google’s core cash generation business. As well as advancing its prosecution of Google over vertical search, the new third area where the Commission …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016
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Shocker: Computer science graduate wins a top UK political job

David Davis MP today becomes the highest-achieving computer science graduate in British politics. Strictly speaking, Davis graduate with a BSc in “Molecular Science/Computer Science” in 1971 from the University of Warwick. He is now the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU (or “SSEE-U”), a freshly-minted post. Davis later …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

Google on piracy: We really, really care

Comment Google has returned some punches in the PR war over YouTube, claiming it has handed over $3bn in royalties from artists using its Content ID system, or $1bn since 2014. But Content ID is actually one of musicians’ biggest beefs. Google’s implementation of Content ID, which "identifies user-uploaded [YouTube] videos to help …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jul 2016
Street musician busks for coins. Photo by Shutterstock

Spotify, YouTube pay musicians with ever-shrinking buttons

Digital music is a loss leader for tech giants, driving traffic to other parts of the plantation as they harvest personal data. But it’s creators who are carrying the loss. “Leaked” Spotify numbers suggest its maintaining an audience lead over Apple in the digital streaming business - but only by giving the music away for …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2016

Github licence checker

Libraries.io founder Andrew Nesbitt has launched a handy service to check code dependencies and licence compliance every time code is pushed into Github, lessening the pain of an annual review. Dependency CI will offer “much lower cost and faster than traditional CI systems, as it does a lot more work up front in the form of …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2016
Laptop leaning against a stack of news papers in front of a world map illustration

£1m for music royalty chief

The chief of the monopoly music royalties society PRS for Music earned almost £1m last year. Company house filings show that CEO Robert Ashcroft took home a salary of £989,000, up from £765,000. The remuneration package includes a deferred bonus of £257,000, according to Companies House filings. That means the chief has almost …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2016

LG’s modular gambit stalls

LG’s bold design move to include an expansion slot for bespoke removable modules in its flagship phone isn’t paying off. The company has reshuffled management and admitted that the "latest flagship G5 smartphone failed to generate sales”, but didn’t say by how much. Korean source Aju Business Daily suggests LG will lower its …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2016
Man with a vaper apparatus - face obscured by smoke/vapour. Photo by Shutterstock

Use Brexit to save smokers' lives and plug vaping, say peers

The government should take advantage of Brexit to save lives, the House of Lords heard last week. Conservative peer Baron (Martin) Callanan, who tabled the motion being debated to withdraw the EU’s latest vaping regulations, said smoking policy should no longer be driven by the interests of Big Pharma, and called on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jul 2016

Kotkin on who made Trump and Brexit: Look in the mirror, it's you

Interview Two American writers have attempted to grapple with the rise of “populism” exemplified by Donald Trump and Brexit, with both starting (if not finishing) from the Left. Both Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges and The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin both make uncomfortable reading for the complacent chatterati. Both …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jul 2016

The Great Brain Scan Scandal: It isn’t just boffins who should be ashamed

Special Report If the fMRI brain-scanning fad is well and truly over, then many fashionable intellectual ideas look like collateral damage, too. What might generously be called the “British intelligentsia” – our chattering classes – fell particularly hard for the promise that “new discoveries in brain science” had revealed a new …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jul 2016
 Putting text-reading robots to work. Arthur_Caranta, CC BY-SA

‘Peak Samsung’ isn't

Strong sales of its S7 flagships have boosted Samsung to its highest quarterly profit for two years, the company stated yesterday. The earnings guidance contradicts experts who predicted ages ago that we had reached “Peak Samsung”. The group’s overall profit should be around ₩8.1tn ($7bn), up 17.4 per cent from the same …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jul 2016

So. Farewell then, BlackBerry Classic. You were a classic ... of sorts

BlackBerry has confirmed it won’t make any more BlackBerry Classics, marking the end of an era. US Senate staff were told BlackBerry was ceasing production of all BB10 devices but BlackBerry denies this, and insists that only the Classic production line has halted for good. “It has been an incredible workhorse device for …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Jul 2016
Prison

UK.gov rolls out 10 years' chokey for industrial scale copyright pirates

Digital Economy Bill As it promised in the Queen’s Speech – and as first revealed here – legislation will extend the maximum penalty for industrial scale online copyright infringement from two to 10 years. This is in the hope that criminal copyright cases are actually brought under copyright law. Because the maximum sentence is currently only two …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Jul 2016

Wealthy youngsters more likely to be freetards than anyone else – study

The well-groomed throng of bourgeois protesters that shunned the weekly Waitrose shop and headed for London’s Parliament Square on Saturday had something in common other than a common desire to remain in the EU. The demographic that closely mirrors keen Remain voters is more likely to download content illegally than any other UK …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jul 2016

Obi Worldphone MV1: It's striking, it's solid. Aaaand... we've run out of nice things to say

Review Oh, Obi. With your striking Nordic vibe, and Cyanogen OS, we did so want to like you. San Francisco newcomer Obi has released its first Western phone into the UK, and it’s is an expression of what the startup is all about: making budget Androids that don’t look budget at all. Designed by Beats headphone and Apple industrial …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jul 2016
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Huawei promo photo goof

Huawei has removed a promotional image for its Leica-branded smartphones that was actually shot by a costly professional Canon SLR kit. The Google+ post boasted that, "We managed to catch a beautiful sunrise with Deliciously Ella. The #HuaweiP9’s dual Leica cameras makes taking photos in low light conditions like this a pleasure …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jul 2016