Andrew Orlowski

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Adblock Plus owners commandeer Pirate Bay man's tip jar Flattr

Eyeo, the German company behind Adblock Plus, has acquired Flattr, the online tip jar operation co-founded by Peter Sunde, of Pirate Bay infamy. The two companies already had a formal partnership. "Flattr makes micropayments automatic and effortless, thus it will be the most user-friendly payment solution on the internet. …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Apr 2017

Honor phone for paupers goes upmarket, assails flagships

Huawei launched its Honor brand to sell good value phones in the UK after experts at this sort of thing predicted Westerners would never be able to pronounce "Huawei". The experts at this sort of thing turned out to be wrong. Since its launch here in 2015 Honor has meant mid-market and budget, but things have got confusingly …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Apr 2017
trolls

Google opens patent pool for Android

Samsung, LG and Foxconn are among the founding members of a patent pool for Android phone makers under Google's benevolent eye. Google hopes the "community-driven clearinghouse" for IP sharing will fend off patent trolls. Google already operates a non-aggression alliance for Android phone makers called License on Transfer, …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Apr 2017

Teenagers think Doritos are cooler than Apple

A Google-sponsored study into how teenagers view brands has some bad news for tech companies desperately wanting to be cool. While YouTube takes the (dubious) prize by a considerable margin, Apple lags behind junk food favourites Doritos and Oreos, "the world's favourite cookie". Android emerges ahead of Beats by Dre, for …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Apr 2017

It's 30 years ago: IBM's final battle with reality

Special Report Thirty years ago this month, IBM declared war on reality – and lost. For the 30 years prior to that April day in 1987, nobody had dared to challenge IBM’s dominance of the computer industry. It would take almost a decade for the defeat to be complete, but when it came, it was emphatic. In April of '87, IBM announced both a new …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Apr 2017
Microsoft on Android

Microsoft's in-store Android looks desperate but can Google stop it?

Analysis To survive in an increasingly mobile-first world, Microsoft needs the kind of regulatory intervention it fought so hard to avoid in the 1990s and 2000s. Only this time, imposed on the dominant mobile OS, Google's Android. Microsoft imposed an iron look and feel on Windows, preventing PC builders from customising and branding …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Apr 2017
Hal

Robo-AI jobs doomsday may, er... not actually happen, say boffins

Special Report Today's technopanic about robots and AI, largely created by the media, may be overstated. New modelling published this week attempts to isolate the impact of industrial automation from other factors, and envisage what the economy might look like if the use of robots in industry increases, focusing on the impact on employment …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Mar 2017

Samsung Galaxy S8: Slimmer bezels, a desktop mode – and yet another me-too AI pal

Pics Samsung arguably made the best Android phone last year – but it lost any bragging rights by committing one of the biggest consumer electronics PR disasters in history. The South Korean giant has responded to that exploding battery crisis by doing something nobody expected. It's cramming even more new technology into its Galaxy …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Mar 2017
Cows walk on green field in front of silos

Windows 10 Creators Update: Clearing the mines with livestock (that's you by the way)

Microsoft's big Windows 10 Creators Update platform release is now available if you want it, but the long-promised UX makeover and People Experience feature will wait for a future update to Windows. Probably this year, but possibly not. The release schedule is complicated. The Creators Update build becomes the default Windows …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Mar 2017
drone

Google pulls Hezbollah YouTube channel after we told them about the drone ads

Until just minutes before we hit publish on this story, Google was using a YouTube channel run by a fan of Hezbollah to promote potentially lethal drones. Despite a backlash from advertisers, Amazon, Adobe and Google were among the tech titans advertising on the now-shuttered "Party of Allah"* YouTube channel – which we …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Mar 2017
"Bad dog": Owner wags finger at naughty bulldog

Ofcom wants automatic compensation for the people when ISPs fail

Ofcom has begun consulting on the UK government's desire to compensate consumers and SMEs when telco companies fail, as set out in the Digital Economy Bill, even though the Bill hasn't reached the Royal Assent stage yet. Ofcom interprets the crowd-pleasing gesture as involving automatic compensation for delayed services, …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Mar 2017
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As ad boycott picks up pace, Google knows it doesn't have to worry

Analysis Several US-based advertisers have now suspended their advertising with YouTube, following over 200 pull-outs in the UK and Europe. Google had run big brand advertising on hate videos including jihadist groups. Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, AT&T are the latest to hit pause, or withdraw ad budgets from YouTube altogether. AT&T is …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2017
Desk beer - pint at a keyboard. Photo by shutterstock

Good news, everyone! Two pints a day keep heart problems at bay

Moderate drinking is good for you, a BMJ-published study has found, directly contradicting the advice of the UK government's "Chief Medical Officer", who advised last year there was "no safe level" of drinking. A daily pint reduces risk of a heart attack and angina by a third, a big data study of Brit adults has found, while …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2017

'Clearance sale' shows Apple's iPad is over. It's done

Comment "The iPad is done," writes Europe's shrewdest hardware scribe Volker Weber in the aftermath of Apple's annual revamp of its tablet line. The revamped iPads contain no new features, just price cuts, making it a "clearance sale". "Apple is just refining the components, but there isn't much they can do these days to make yet …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2017
Skype Logo

With Skype, Microsoft's messaging strategy looks coherent at last (almost)

Analysis In 2015 we compared, after many years' experience, Microsoft strategy to "a heavily armed octopus trying to shoot itself in the head". But relatively speaking, there's one product category where its hard work is beginning to appear coherent – at least compared to the competition. After a year in beta and several false starts, …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Mar 2017
Three store maidenhead

Hutch's Three UK users ripping through over 6GB a month

Three UK's mobile users are ripping through well over 6GB of data a month, prompting questions on whether the increase is sustainable. The figure, for Three UK users over December, emerged from the ISP and mobile provider's annual financial results, announced today. Over Three’s many markets, its customers used an average of …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Mar 2017

$1m Popslate e-ink screen venture tanks, Indiegogo backers flame out

A popular Indiegogo venture to build a secondary e-ink display for the iPhone has shut down after raising over $1m – and donors will not get their money back. Yashar Behzadi and Greg Moon, the founders of Popslate, the eponymous company behind the popSLATE 2 secondary smart screen, explained that the company will be dissolved …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Mar 2017
Swamp alligators crowd near muddy water pool. Photo by Shutterstock

Google's stock rating downgraded as YouTube ad boycott contagion goes global

Google has responded to a contagious YouTube advertising boycott which yesterday prompted a downgrade on Wall Street. Pivotal Research Group downgraded Alphabet shares from "Buy" to "Hold" based on its response to the boycott, which now includes more than 200 big brands, as well as public sector ad spending. Marks & Spencer …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Mar 2017

Huawei's P10 breathing on Samsung's shoulder

Review Huawei began to make significant inroads into the premium phone business in the West last year with its heavily promoted P9 models, and the Chinese giant has got this year’s shot at the market in early: ahead of Samsung and HTC. The story of the P10 flagship is quite straightforward. Huawei has refined the P9, given it some …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Mar 2017
Gold Plate My BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry admits dying BB10 is in pain

BlackBerry has finally acknowledged problems with the much-delayed 10.3.3 update to BlackBerry 10 that users began to receive late last year. In September 2015, as it announced the company’s first Android device, BlackBerry CEO John Chen promised that its home grown BB10 platform wasn’t dead. It had last received an update …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2017
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Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Google has promised a review of its ad policy on YouTube after a backlash from blue-chip advertisers. It follows a series of reports by The Times demonstrating big brand ads running over content that breaches YouTube guidelines, such as jihadist videos and other inflammatory or racist material. French advertising giant Havas " …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2017
Chap in suit in slingshot

Big-in-Russia's Yandex launches itself at a Google world

First Look The Google-Facebook duopoly has created a Silicon Valley empire that stretches from sea to shining sea. With two exceptions: Russia and China. While we think of Russian and Chinese internet companies as exclusively focused on their home territories, this isn’t totally the case. NASDAQ-listed Yandex operates mainly in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Mar 2017
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Sources: Liberty Global, Vodafone take seats at negotiating table AGAIN

Exclusive A corporate tie up between Vodafone UK and Liberty Global is back on the negotiating table, multiple sources have told The Register. The fourth floor of Voda’s Newbury HQ has been sealed off with access only granted to execs from both firms, insiders claimed. Andrea Salvato, SVP and chief development officer at Liberty Global …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Mar 2017

Google deploys flamethrower on Android ad-fraud apps

Google has dumped a class of applications that employed a fraud botnet on its Android Play Store - the apps tapped malware that tried to game Google’s advertising network. Engineers at the search firm identified a spike in traffic to its ad servers and dubbed the concealed malware “Chamois”, it explained this week. Chamois …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Mar 2017
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UK to block Kodi pirates in real-time: Saturday kick-off

Analysis Last week in the High Court, Justice Arnold agreed to a request from the Football Association and the Premier League, and supported by the BBC, amongst others, that broke new ground, technically and legally. The order, which has the support of the major UK ISPs, is unusual in several ways. It permits the ISPs to block access …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Mar 2017

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