Andrew Orlowski

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

NZ High Court rules US can extradite Kim Dotcom after all

The businessman otherwise known as Kim Schmitz, aka "Kimble", aka "Kim Dotcom", has lost his High Court appeal in New Zealand to be extradited to the USA. In January 2012, Schmitz's mansion and property were confiscated in raids relating to an investigation of his Megaupload.com website, a file-sharing site that is accused of …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017
Pirate ship in Croatia with a hole blown through it. For editorial use only. Photo by shutteretsock/s-mart

Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

UK government-hosted talks spanning two Parliaments have culminated in Google and Bing at last agreeing to tweak their search results in response to copyright-holders' concerns, thereby heading off threatened legislation on their conduct. The code means Google, Bing and other search engines will demote illegal sites from the …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017
US Federal Communications Commission Headquarters in Washington, DC. Pic: editorial use only/Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock

Why I had to sue the FCC – VoIP granddaddy Dan Berninger

Interview One of the grandaddies of VoIP is taking America's comms watchdog, the FCC, to the US Supreme Court over net neutrality – and he's told us why. It’s life or death, says Dan Berninger, whose startup works on high quality voice services, and could be killed by the regulator at a stroke. Berninger led the Bell Labs team that …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Feb 2017

Apple nabs smartphone top spot from Samsung, but for how long?

Christmas sales helped Apple steal top spot in global phone shipments from Samsung, but Gartner, who compiled the numbers, are confident that the chaebol will wrestle it back. Gartner estimated the gap between the two had narrowed to 256,000 units, with Apple a shade in front, by 77,0380,000 to 76,782,600 shipments in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Feb 2017

Cheer up, pal: UK mobe networks are now 8% less crap, tests show

Real-world mobile network performance monitor RootMetrics reckons the reliability of the UK’s mobile networks improved eight per cent in the last six months of 2016. RootMetrics tests network performance on roads and some 1,000 indoor locations, and the data is based on over 800,000 data samples. Vodafone was the most …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Feb 2017

Vinyl, filofaxes – why not us too, pleads Nokia

HMD, the custodian of the Nokia brand, is cranking up the nostalgia ahead of its return at MWC at the end of the month. Pre-publicity material is about heritage - although how much the new models have to do with the Nokia DNA is open to question. The goal of the pre-launch publicity material seems to be to remind everyone how …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Feb 2017

GoDaddy CEO says US is 'tech illiterate' (so, yeah, don't shut off that cheap H-1B supply)

American techies who discovered their Silicon Valley bosses were suppressing their wages illegally now have to suffer fresh insult to injury. GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving said this month that "with so much technical illiteracy in the US," it's no wonder companies use overseas workers on H-1B visas to fill science, tech and …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Feb 2017

Google to cough up $20m after Chrome rips off anti-malware patents

Google has been ordered to pay $20m damages after its Chrome browser sandbox technology was found to have infringed four anti-malware patents. The verdict [PDF] was handed down on Friday after a jury trial in Marshall, Texas. The patents – including this one – were awarded to former Lucent engineer Allen Rozman, who died aged …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Feb 2017

The Mail vs Wikipedia: They're more alike than they'd ever admit

Analysis When you live in a glass house, is it wise to start a rock-throwing competition? Wikipedians this week added greatly to the amusement of the internet after around 40 contributors loftily declared that the Daily Mail was not a reliable source for citations. Much public hilarity ensued – for the reason that The Mail and …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Feb 2017
gag

Judge green lights Microsoft vs Uncle Sam gag order case

Microsoft is clear to sue the US government for gagging the company from telling users when their data has been accessed by the State. The lawsuit, filed last April, jumped another legal hurdle this week – thanks to the Washington judge who also battered President Trump's executive order on travel. It's Microsoft's fourth …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Feb 2017
ISIS fighters

ISIS videos, adtech, and the 'smartest guys in the room' (Google)

Special Report Google's ad blacklists, intended to stop big brand advertisements running over YouTube terror videos, aren’t working. In 2014, Newsnight reported that the taxpayer was paying for ads to run alongside beheadings. Three years on, The Times notes that after promising advertisers their ads wouldn't run against certain content, …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Feb 2017
Friends look shocked watching TV. photo by Shutterstock

Prepare your popcorn: Wikipedia deems the Daily Mail unreliable

Welcome, Mr Dacre. Wikipedia editors have voted to put The Daily Mail in the sin bin – alongside The Register. After a small but decisive vote involving around 80 contributors, the Mail is now classified as a "potentially unreliable source" on its advice page. This doesn't mean its a "policy" or a "guideline", but editors are …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Feb 2017

Android Wear: The bloatware that turned into gloatware

Analysis After multiple delays, Google is finally launching Android Wear 2 today, nine months after revealing it to world+dog. This is Google's last chance to give Wear a purpose, in a market that's been savage to so many wearables. Otherwise, it's back to the drawing board. The Wear platform was rushed out to beat Apple to market, and …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Feb 2017

Biggest Kodi sweep: Brit cops nab five, bag some dodgy sticks

UK copyright cops made their biggest sweep yet in the crackdown on preloaded Kodi TV streaming kit. Five people were arrested today in Rhyl in Wales, and Bootle, Bolton, Manchester and Cheadle in England. Police did not release names. The five were quizzed by investigators and have all been released on bail. It is believed the …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Feb 2017

Vivaldi and me: Just browsing? Nah, I'm sold

Some time late last year, without most of us really noticing, the Vivaldi browser became genuinely, startingly useful. I’d met the Opera Software founder Jon von Tetzchner two years ago when he unveiled Vivaldi's technical preview. Jon has always one of the more thoughtful and engaging founders you meet. But what was he doing …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Feb 2017

Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

Pay TV and other copyright industries are pinning their hopes that new prosecutions of “Kodi USB stick” sellers will thwart what they call an “epidemic” of streaming piracy. Last year, a wave of arrests were made in Teesside and Birmingham in England, with Middlesbrough shopkeeper Brian Thompson of Cut Price Tomo’s TV likely …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Feb 2017
Man with a vaper apparatus - face obscured by smoke/vapour. Photo by Shutterstock

Vapists rejoice! E-cigs lower cancer risk (if you stop smoking, duh)

The first long-term, real-world study on carcinogens in e-cigarettes has found that they are significantly safer than smoking. The study by UCL's tobacco research group found that smokers who switched to e-cigarettes had significantly lower levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Feb 2017
Android TV updating

Google gets smooth early Android releases. OEMs are struggling

The rollout of Android 7.0 on some Samsung devices has smacked them right in the battery. Meanwhile in the background, further competition issues around the Google mobile OS are brewing. Testing by GSMArena reveals a dramatic loss of battery life on the Samsung S7 Edge (Exynos 8890 version) using the platform update. Battery …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Feb 2017

BlackBerry wraps up India

Tying up loose ends, BlackBerry has found a licensee to sell BlackBerry-branded devices in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. It now has deals in place covering the planet, the largest by far being with Chinese giant TCL. Publicly listed Optiemus Infracom will sell the devices in the Indian region. The company is a …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Feb 2017

BBC and Snap. But, why?

The BBC gave the controversial Silicon Valley tech IPO Snap a priceless publicity boost today, by bringing its Planet Earth II series “exclusively” to Snap’s app and nerd goggles before the show launches on terrestrial TV in North America. Planet Earth II made its UK TV debut in November. Six episodes, containing some unseen …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Feb 2017

New US Net Neutrality law coming 'within three months' – advisor

Interview US Congress could be discussing net neutrality legislation within three months, replacing controversial FCC-created regulations, according to an academic with the ear of the administration. And new FCC chief Ajit Pai could well favour the kind of neutrality protection Americans enjoyed in 2005 and 2010, before Obama pushed the …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Feb 2017

Chinese pirates are facing lifelong 'social credit' downgrade

Copyright infringement and use of counterfeit goods in China could downgrade a citizen's "social credit" with lifelong consequences as the country gears up to overhaul its IP laws and institutions. Following the evolution that the United States made in the late 19th century*, Chinese businesses are growing away from their …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Feb 2017

Microsoft's device masterplan shows it's still fighting Apple

In its advice to the manufacturing community, Microsoft has said it wants PC builders to focus on quality and features that differentiate PCs from Macs. It's also seeking to migrate high-end features, and AR, into cheaper kit. Redmond's Channel 9 blog recently posted the WinHEC presentation made in Shenzhen to dozens of local …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Feb 2017
Mickey Mouse

Disney shells out $100m in digital animator wage-fixing lawsuit

VFX workers who created animations for Pixar and Disney movies have won $100m in an out-of-court settlement of a wage-fixing lawsuit. The case not only closely parallels Silicon Valley's own wage-fixing cartel, in which Pixar and Apple founder Steve Jobs was described in court as a "ringleader", but the same judge also signed …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Feb 2017

Facebook's dabblings in TV suggest Zuck isn't actually a genius after all

Comment Mark Zuckerberg is the world's fifth-richest man on the basis that stock markets think he's pretty smart. That's not the entire reason for Zuck taking his place alongside Gulf oil sheikhs – but it's certainly a big factor in Facebook's astronomical evaluation. But this week's Facebook strategy insights make you wonder how smart …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Feb 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017