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Andrew Orlowski

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BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry slowly pulls out of power dive into toilet

BlackBerry, which began its comeback in earnest this week with a bizarre new square smartphone, posted narrower losses on slightly lower revenue in the quarter ending 30 August. Its hardware division was back in the black after five quarters of losses. To see how far and how fast BlackBerry fell, see our analysis from earlier in …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Sep 2014
Google UK office logos

Stanford Uni: Google cash leaves us entirely impartial and unbiased

A court document drafted by a recipient of Google's generosity appears to show that the latter comes with strings attached, prohibiting university researchers from investigating its controversial data slurping practices. The donation went to the Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, which drafted the filing. The part that …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Sep 2014

Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

Unveiled on Wednesday and already shipping, BlackBerry’s square-shaped Passport is a Marmite device – people will either love it or hate it. It’s quite uncompromisingly the most unusual smartphone in modern times. BlackBerry may as well have called it the “WTF”. Trackpad-cum-keyboard on square phone – you'll love it or you just …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Sep 2014

Huawei prez: A one-speed internet is bad for everyone

Western regulations like the mooted US changes enforcing “net neutrality” will hold back internet development for consumers, Huawei President and board member Ryan Ding told us today. Ding said it was absurd to have a put up with one-speed slow, dumb networks when different consumers and applications had different requirements …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Sep 2014
BlackBerry Passport

Man, its smartphones are SQUARE. But will BlackBerry make a comeback with them?

BlackBerry, which recently suffered one of the most sudden and catastrophic crashes of any technology company, begins its comeback on Wednesday. For John Chen's firm, it marks the end of almost 18 months in the wilderness and out of the public eye. But the Canadian mobile firm is still going, and just about breaking even – it's …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Sep 2014
ipod u2 edition

Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed

U2 singer Paul Hewson (aka Bono) has hinted that Apple is working on a new music format that will make buying music “irresistible” all over again. With Bono – who is a director of a VC fund with an interest in interactive media - it’s hard to tell to what extent he may be hyping his own interests, or how much he’s hyping Apple’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Sep 2014
HTC Anatomy of an Android Update

iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?

Today's long overdue update to Apple's iPhone line - which had been moribund for years - look set to squeeze some rival manufacturers to death. New iPhones at last means that Android, Google's smartphone middleware, will soon look attractive only for budget vendors selling into fast-growing emerging markets. The problem, in a …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Sep 2014
Disney's Beagle Boys

Copyright thieves' cyberlockers slurp MILLIONS from honest creators, study finds

An economic study of direct download locker sites has found most are used for copyright infringement – and calculates that they're highly profitable. The study looked at download sites like Mega, Rapidgator and Depositfiles, and streaming lockers like Movshare.net, Flashx.tv and Streamcloud.eu. The study, carried out by NetNames …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Sep 2014

Top Gear Tigers and Bingo Boilers: Farewell then, Phones4U

"Their marketing seemed to be aimed at the more erm ... chav infested end of the market", wrote one Reg reader on the demise of Phones4U, which went into administration on Sunday. But the drinking classes needs phones too, and why shouldn't they have them? Phones4U catered to this need very astutely, and with more care than any …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Sep 2014
Houses of Parliament in night-time

Give us a digi-Czar and more bureaucrats, begs UK tech-services biz

New policy proposals published by tech services trade group Tech UK (formerly Intellect) today seek to grapple with its members being marginalised by recent Government fads. Many of the proposals are familiar - ring-fencing the science budget, making the hiring of skilled foreign tech workers easier, and urging Government to …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Sep 2014
Smartphones

Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars

David Wood, one of the founder executives of Symbian - and the one who saw it through to the bitter end - has written a book. A very big book. Smartphones and beyond: Lessons from the remarkable rise and fall of Symbian tells the entire story from Symbian's conception, to world domination, to its rapid demise, and it must be one …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Sep 2014
Eve in the Garden of Eden talking to a rather angry God on Snapchat

Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

It isn't just Apple that looks a little less miraculous today – the entire consumer electronics industry is looking a bit tragic and battered. Ever since the iPod became a hit, the media has looked to Apple for divine miracles, for revolutionary market-making products that "restore a sense of childlike wonder", as Fake Steve …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Sep 2014
Doctor Who meme

BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

The Government's choice for BBC chairman defended the licence fee, criminal penalties for non-payers, and digital "education" initiatives before MPs today. BBC executives will have been delighted by what former Pearson director Rona Fairhead told the DCMS Select Committee (if you have Silverlight installed, you can have a look …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Sep 2014

Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd

Youtube Video I used to have wearable connected technology, back in the day, and it was actually very handy. You wore it around the neck on a lanyard. It would beep when there was an incoming message or phone call or diary appointment, and it could go two to three days or more between charges. You could also make calls by …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Sep 2014
Nokia Lumia 830, showing removable battery

New Lumia mobes nudge Microkia ever closer to biz customers

It was strange to see Lumia Windows Phones announced yesterday with Stephen Elop absent – the Canadian was nowhere to be found, for the first time. We spent a bit of time with Not-Nokia’s new Nokias, and the 2014 strategy for Microsoft’s huge new hardware division is a bit clearer. In all, Nokia launched eleven Windows Phone 8.0 …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Sep 2014
Microsoft LUMIA NOKIA 530

Nokia Lumia 530: A Windows Phone... for under £50

How much new smartphone will £50 buy you? Quite a bit, it turns out. The Lumia 530 is available this week from £39.95 for SIM-free upgrades (though it's £82.52 SIM-free) and will feature on the high street for just a little more, with no strings attached. Microsoft LUMIA NOKIA 530 As it turns out, the Lumia 530 is a very …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Sep 2014
Google UK office logos

Judge: Google class action 'usual suspects' cash-fling 'smells'

A Californian judge has rejected a proposed settlement to a class action privacy suit brought against Google. The deal would have seen the search giant funnel millions to cherry-picked law schools and Google-friendly pro privacy groups. The lawyers for Google and the lawyers for the plaintiffs agreed to settle the class action …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Sep 2014

Lenovorola TRIPLE-ola: New Moto G, Moto X and 360 wristputer UNZIPPED

Motorola hopes its Lazarus-like comeback*, backed by Lenovo’s wealth, continues with a new and much larger version of the Moto G smartphone, a new flagship X, its new 360 smartwatch, and the UK launch of its customisation service, Moto Maker. Moto G update The Moto G was well made and excellent value, and sparked Moto’s revival …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Sep 2014

Huawei 'beats' Apple to bag sapphire smartie bragging rights

Huawei claims it has the world’s first smartphone with a tough sapphire glass screen – beating Apple to the all-important vaporware space. There isn’t actually a new phone under the glass – it’s apparently a sapphire-hardened version of Huawei’s P7 flagship (reviewed here) and Huawei wouldn’t say how much it will cost. Back in …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Sep 2014
Nokia Lumia 830 group

Microsoft's SELFIE-TASTIC Nokia 830, 730: Complete with DOG SMILE WHITENER

In the latest instalment of this year's smartphone camera gimmicks, Microsoft’s ex-Nokia division, Microsoft Mobile Devices, showed off some of its own today at the IFA show in Berlin as it refreshed its year-old Lumia midrange and gave details of the next Windows Phone platform update. Two new Nokia-branded models were unveiled …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Sep 2014
Jade Goody and pals

The BNP can rip off your works for ‘parodies’ – but only if it's not racist

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled on who can use copyrighted work in a parody, and said it’s fair game – as long as it’s not, er, sexist or racist. Traditionally, authors have been able to use moral rights to disassociate their work from a derivative. But this latest interpretation of the EU’s parody exception …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Sep 2014

Jimbo tells Wikipedians: You CAN'T vote to disable 'key software features'

Wikipedia’s maximum leader Jimbo Wales has declared a new era at the online encyclopaedia. Rather than the unpaid volunteer community voting on what software it uses, it will have to use what the wealthy WMF Foundation tells it to use. The community responded with what one veteran contributor described as an “unprecedented” …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Sep 2014

Govt waves stick at pirate-friendly Google search

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has threatened to introduce legislation if Google doesn’t stop promoting pirate sites above legitimate sites in its organic search results. “Search engines also have to play their part. They must step up and show willing,” Sajid Javid told the BPI at their AGM yesterday. “That’s why Vince Cable and …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Sep 2014
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

Google has spaffed more cash on lobbying this year than Big Cable

Google has single-handedly outspent Big Cable in terms of lobbying dollars so far in 2014. The ad giant spent $9.3m compared to the $8.15m spent by the NCTA, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, according to the Open Secrets website, which keeps count. The NCTA represents Time Warner and Comcast and is run by …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Sep 2014
android tongue

Too slow with that iPhone refresh, Apple: Android is GOBBLING up US mobile market

Android made further inroads into the US market at the expense of Apple, according to latest market share snapshot from tech analyst Kantar. Meanwhile, Windows Phone has stalled in 2014. Neither finding is at all surprising. Android devices are available at prices Apple won’t compete with, and months of pre-publicity for the all …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Aug 2014
Taxi Driver

Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy

More allegations have emerged of dodgy tactics on the part of car ride app Uber and rival Lyft – this time relating to so-called "brand ambassadors". Glossy gadget blog The Verge obtained and published the handbook Uber contractors allegedly follow to woo Lyft drivers, under something called Operation SLOG. Whether this is legal …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Aug 2014

'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder

A founder of the volunteer technology education group Code Club has resigned, claiming she was warned not to criticise the group’s sponsors – which include Google. User interface designer Linda Sandvik claims she was told to shut up or quit. “On Monday the 25th of August the Code Club board gave me an ultimatum: either I have …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Aug 2014

Will It Blend? Maybe. BlackBerry’s secret comeback weapon

Former smartphone giant BlackBerry has another trick up its sleeve for its comeback, alongside the oddest looking phone in recent years. The Passport is expected to be unveiled next month, along with an intriguing bit of software, the as-yet-unannounced BlackBerry Blend. Part of the forthcoming 10.3 BB10 release, Blend “casts” …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Aug 2014

Cracking copyright law: How a simian selfie stunt could make a monkey out of Wikipedia

That so-called Macaca nigra monkey selfie isn’t in the public domain, no matter what Wikipedia wants you to think. In fact, the encyclopedia's stance on the matter could backfire and hit it in the pocket. A photo sold by British snapper David Slater since 2011 hit the headlines again this month when Wikipedia refused to …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Aug 2014

Wall Street's internet darlings require an endless supply of idiots

The following stories have one thing in common. Can you guess what it is around the dinner table this evening with your friends? Last week Samsung announced the acquisition of a crowd-funded startup called SmartThings for $200m. USA Today wrote that the deal “has also once again validated the power of crowdsourcing platform …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Aug 2014

Jarvis versus Jarvis: Don't DISRUPT the DISRUPTION GURU!

Thin-skinned media “guru” Professor Jeff Jarvis is furious about the acclaimed satirical Twitter account created by an English ex-pat techie in his name, which has built up a cult following. Jarvis claims his satirical alter-ego is damaging his reputation. The real Jarvis, author of the book What Would Google Do? describes …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Aug 2014
Nokia Asha 501

Microsoft ropes in Opera Mini as default Nokia dumbphone browser

Opera will provide the browser for Microsoft's last dumbphones, under a new agreement between the two companies. Nokia's low-cost Asha devices and its feature phones currently use a proxy-based browser, Nokia Xpress, using Nokia's own servers. This will continue to work, but new devices will ship with Opera Mini, which uses …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Aug 2014

Stand clear! Will HTC's One act as a defibrillator for Windows Phone?

HTC gave Microsoft a huge PR coup yesterday during the New York unveiling of the most stylish Windows Phone ever made. Redmond could certainly use some good news right now. Windows Phone shipments fell 9.4 per cent in Q2, as Microsoft's languid timetable, along with a less-than-clockwork rollout of Windows Phone 8.1, finally …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Aug 2014

Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again

Wikipedia's workers are in uproar again, this time about the cash-rich Wikimedia Foundation giving itself "superpowers" to override community decisions. As a consequence of the ruckus, the head of engineering at the Foundation has had his community admin account suspended for a month on the German Wikipedia. It's another …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Aug 2014
OnePlus One Android smartphone

Cut price Android on steroids: OnePlus One – should we look gift horse in the gob?

The idea behind the OnePlus One is very simple: source the best components you need for a top-spec Android phone, one that’s just as good as a branded Tier One Android flagship, and sell it direct at the fraction of the price. OnePlus One Android smartphone OnePlus One Android smartphone Chuck out the overhead of a multi- …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Aug 2014

Ad biz now has one less excuse to sponsor freetards and filth

Project Sunblock is a technology that might help make the internet less of a cesspit. It tells advertisers where their ads are appearing on the web, which would be unremarkable in any other medium: shouldn’t the ad spenders know exactly where their ads are appearing? But it’s not that simple. Web advertising can entail a …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Aug 2014

Defending your digital rights? Then you're a Nazi, says the Open Rights Group

Are you a dad whose photo of his children is being distributed by paedophiles? Or just a photographer or musician whose work is being shared by scammers for profit without your permission? Well, you’d better think twice about using your statutory rights – you might be called a Nazi. This week Britain’s Open Rights Group …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Aug 2014
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)

BlackBerry lands feature-light BBM on Windows Phone

The wait for BBM on Windows Phone is over. BlackBerry has brought its pioneering and much-imitated messaging app to Windows, following launches on Android and iOS last year, albeit with the "Beta" label. BBM for Windows looks a lot more like a native app than other BBM ports: it uses Windows Phone pivot views and includes …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Aug 2014

Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law

The dog-ends of the “Google Review” of copyright sailed through the Lords yesterday and will become law on 1 October – creating work for the courts and quite possible, legal headaches for the government. Having given itself the power, last year, to make sweeping changes to copyright by the back door – through secondary …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jul 2014

Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out

A pioneering American community ISP is telling customers that Netflix should spend more time improving its technology, more money on its network – and less energy on lobbying in Washington DC. BSD developer and author Brett Glass founded Lariat.net in Wyoming in 1992, making it one of the first ISPs in the world. He told The …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2014

Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold

The Ministry of Fun says it isn't going to put the Digital Economy Act's anti-piracy measures into use – and will instead leave it to the creative industry's newer, kinder and gentler awareness campaign, Creative Content UK, to school digital pirates. Creative Content UK (CCUK) works by emailing copyright-infringing downloaders …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2014
Comparison of BlackBerry Passport with rectangular phones

BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now

BlackBerry has given users another reason to throw out their BlackBerry servers – by putting BES10 into the cloud as a hosted service. It's a long-overdue move, allowing existing BlackBerry sites to set up and manage the first-rate MDM and secure communications services offered BlackBerry via the web, rather than maintaining in- …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2014

YouTube radio stream boss 'quits Google' amid outcry from indie labels

The manager for Google's controversial and yet-to-launch YouTube music streaming service is leaving, the Wall Street Journal claims. Chris LaRosa is the second boss to quit the streaming subscription project in a year, the paper suggests. Assuming the report is correct, he's joining a startup. YouTube sealed deals with major …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2014

Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov

The government's fourth IP minister* in less than two years took office at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills last week, but her predecessor has left a few undetonated hand grenades in her in-tray. One of them concerns using other people's copyrighted works for free – whether they like it or not. They're all …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2014

Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530

Microsoft's ex-Nokia phones unit has produced the successor to the Lumia 520, its best-selling Windows Phone by miles, topping the charts in the UK's Crimbo sales. The Lumia 530 is priced at €85 (£67) before taxes or subsidies, or an initial street price of €100, around £79. It's clearly designed to sit in the £70 sweet spot …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2014
Microsoft Nokia logo

Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months

When Microsoft swallowed half of Europe's biggest tech company, it was only a matter of time before it spat something out. And so it has, ending Nokia's thirty-year roller-coaster ride. However, the decision will make tens of million of its customers take a look at Android – surely the last thing Microsoft wanted to happen. …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jul 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

So whither Microsoft? If Nadella knows, he is keeping it well hidden

After Microsoft’s mega jobs bloodbath, we’re still not much wiser about what Microsoft will look like in five years' time. Steve Ballmer turned the focus from PCs to devices and services – manufacturing its own devices, and promoting its own services regardless of the platform. Satya Nadella was supposed to bring further clarity …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jul 2014
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition

Microsoft's Xbox TV studio OBLITERATED

Microsoft's Xbox chief Phil Spencer has confirmed his firm will shutter its ambitious Xbox TV studio, Xbox Entertainment Studios, after only two years. Among the casualties is a remake of the BBC's cardboard-prop classic, Blake's 7. However, two scripted live-action productions based on the Halo game, to be produced by Stephen …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jul 2014

Move up, Siri and Cortana: BlackBerry's new... 'Assistant' is here

BlackBerry has unveiled a voice-powered assistant due to appear on its BB10 devices later this year. Imaginatively named er, "BlackBerry Assistant", the speech software hooks into web searches, social media and basic phone functions, like Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Now. We tried Assistant on a very early leak …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014

X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

Microsoft's Android phones are the latest casualty of the company's axe. The X range was only launched in February this year, before the acquisition of Nokia's devices unit had been completed, but the mutant 'droids will soon be phased out, says CEO Satya Nadella. Microsoft is getting rid of up to 18,000 jobs as it digests the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014