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Andrew Orlowski

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Ex-Sony, Pearson chiefs tipped to oversee BBC. So that's all good, then

Former Sony boss Sir Howard Stringer and Dame Marjorie Scardino, ex-CEO of publishing powerhouse Pearson, have been tipped to head the BBC Trust – the oversight org that performs the job of the old BBC Board of Governors. A report in the Sunday Times suggests Prime Minister David Cameron “wants a woman” to lead the trust, and …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 May 2014

WTF is NET NEUTRALITY, anyway? And how can we make everything better?

This weekend, earnest young men - several of whom appear to have beards - are camping out in Washington DC. They're protesting against "plans to allow a pay-for play internet". In fact, we think there genuinely are some serious competitive concerns about recent developments in the ever-changing business of carrying bits of data …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 May 2014

UK's pirate-nagging VCAP scheme WON'T have penalties – report

The much-anticipated voluntary UK scheme to reduce online copyright infringement, VCAP, has not yet been signed according to sources – but parties still hope it will be implemented this year. The Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP) is modelled on the US program of "graduated response" – a voluntary agreement between …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 May 2014
Candle in the dark

Britain'll look like rural Albania without fracking – House of Lords report

The UK needs to get a move on and exploit its rich shale gas resources to avoid losing its energy intensive industries, the House of Lords' economics committee has reported. So far only tentative exploratory work to research the quality of the shale formations has taken place in the UK – and commercial exploitation appears to be …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 May 2014

Copyright minister: Those missing TWO copyright exceptions? We're still on track

Just this morning it appeared that the government had quietly dropped two of the five changes it wants to make to UK copyright law - but copyright minister Viscount Younger has just released a statement saying it "remains firmly committed to implementing each of these important exceptions". All five SIs are still listed on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 May 2014

A first-world problem solved: Panoramic selfies, thanks to Huawei's Ascend P7

Huawei took the number-three spot in smartphones last year – pushing aside Sony, HTC and Nokia – but it’s still practically unheard of as a smartphone brand in the UK. But that may change quite rapidly with the launch of its latest flagship model, the Ascend P7, unveiled today in Paris. Photograph of the P7 Yup, it's a phone …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 May 2014

How Google's Android Silver could become 'Wintel for phones'

In the 1990s, Intel and Microsoft dominated the "open" PC standard – and it appears that Google now wants to do the same for its Android system, via its Silver programme. Silver has yet to be announced, but industry sources have confirmed the details to us. While the comparison between Google today and Wintel then isn’t …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 May 2014
BBC logo 2012

‘Scapegoated’ BBC tech boss calls foul, kicks off unfair sacking tribunal

The BBC’s former technology chief John Linwood claims he was made a scapegoat for the collapse of the Digital Media Initiative – the corporation’s £125m media sharing and archiving project that was axed a year ago with nothing to show for it. Linwood was placed on gardening leave (on full £287,000 pa pay) as the project was put …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 May 2014

Behold! World's smallest 3D-printer pen Lix artists into shape – literally

A London-based startup has unveiled the world's smallest 3D-printing pen – smaller than a posh fountain pen. A year ago we reported on 3Doodler, another British 3D pen that is now available in Maplin for £99.99. The newcomer unveiled yesterday, Lix, is actually pen-sized, weighs just 40g, and raised £100,000 on Kickstarter in 24 …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 May 2014

Google forges a Silver bullet for Android, aims it at Samsung's heart

The rumours are true: Google is working on a new brand called Silver to seize back control of the Android platform. Details of the thing have been corroborated by multiple sources – and it looks like a declaration of war on Samsung and wannabe top-tier gadget manufacturers. Along the same lines as its Nexus range, Google will …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Apr 2014

BBC hacks – tweet the crap out of the news, cries tech-dazzled Trust

BBC News reporters should tweet more and use bigger and shinier infographics to bridge the gulf between the corporation and its audience, a W1A-ish report from the BBC Trust recommends. The report, titled “Getting the best out of the BBC for licence fee payers: BBC Trust Review, BBC Network News and Current Affairs”, reveals a …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Apr 2014

Nokia, new CEO Rajeev Suri, and BEELLIONS of euros burning a hole in the bank

Nokia Oyj begins a new chapter in its 149-year history today with new CEO Rajeev Suri – and a massive pile of cash in the bank. Last week the venerable Finnish industrial combine finally cast off the mobile phones division that made Nokia a household name across the world. What's left at Nokia today is an oddball combination of …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2014

Windows Phone: Just as well Microsoft bought an Android maker, RIGHT?

If you believe those who are less than impressed by "Nokiadroid" offerings, Nokia's Android phones are an embarrassment for their new owner. Jokers have quipped that whenever Microsoft's Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore is asked about it, he reacts like a teenager whose divorced dad has been seen dating a young stripper. But …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2014

Spy back doors? That would be suicide, says Huawei

Chinese hardware manufacturer Huawei says allegations it provides backdoors for espionage in its kit remain unproven and would be “commercial suicide”. “The hypothetical - that our equipment could be used for espionage by the Chinese government - has never been proven,” spokesman Scott Sykes told press at the company’s annual …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Apr 2014
Rotten apple

Huawei exec: 'Word of mouth' will beat Apple and Samsung in Europe

Huawei insists its won’t splash the cash to compete with Samsung and Apple in Europe’s overcrowded consumer market. Late last year, Huawei became the world’s No 3 phone maker* from a standing start: it only began selling branded phones three years ago. Although Huawei itself is now gigantic with 150,000 employees – and a mind- …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Apr 2014

Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update

Microsoft's private viewing of Windows Phone 8.1 has been opened to all comers*, many of whom don't like what they see. Despite the modest increment, Windows Phone 8.1 is the biggest update in Windows Phone's history - and is possibly the most extensive update made to any smartphone platform. Features such as the Cortana voice …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Apr 2014

Whoever you vote for, Google gets in

Google's lobbying and influence-courting in Washington DC is more intense and extensive than even Google-watchers thought, a must-read Washington Post investigation has revealed. That's because much of it takes place off the books, where formal spending is not declared, according to the article. The search giant already ranks …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Apr 2014

Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM

Millionaire model Lily Luahana Cole has been promoting her British taxpayer-supported "wishing well" website on a coast-to-coast tour of the United States. We wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't update you on its progress. So how's it doing? The United Nations and Harvard's New Age think-tank the Berkman Center both rolled …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Apr 2014
Fawlty Towers

TripAdvisor for the disabled: Euan's Guide quietly launches

A social network with a difference launched last week. The website, Euan's Guide, is a kind of TripAdvisor for the disabled and was created by a motor neurone disease sufferer. It fills a gap in the market because information on disabled access is either poorly presented or not available at all, which means family and carers …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Apr 2014

Reg slips claws across Nokia's sexy sixties handsets, fondles flagship too

Nokia launched the most important Windows Phone of 2014 last week - along with an impressive new flagship. But both launches were rather eclipsed by the massive update to the Windows Phone OS itself - an overdue pregnancy if ever there was one - and the historic news Microsoft is scrapping royalties. Phones and smaller tablets …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Apr 2014

Windows Phone 8.1: Like WinPho 8, but BETTER

The biggest Windows Phone news this week was that it's now royalty free. This means it will cost manufacturers less to make a Windows Phone than an Android phone, all other things being equal. And, of course, it also received the much-anticipated update. Yes, it's taken what seems like an eternity to arrive, but Windows Phone 8. …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Apr 2014
Photo of Stephen Elop at Build 2014

In three hours, Microsoft gave the Windows-verse everything it needed

In a three-hour session at Build 2014, Microsoft pulled itself further clear of the wreckage created by the company's ex-Windows 8 chief Steve Sinofsky. Most keynotes ramble at least a little bit, but the sheer deluge of updates at Microsoft's annual developer conference yesterday seemed to leave the audience battered and …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Apr 2014

Italy has a clumsy new pirate-choker law. But can anyone do better?

New technology means anyone can now create and distribute their creative works, like photos or music, like never before – but, in turn, it also means that anyone can now rip off creators. And yesterday, a range of speakers – from Google to legal experts to enforcement teams – met at the London HQ of law firm Bristows for an …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Apr 2014

BT befriends Google's lonely TV dongle – and saves YouView

BT is to make Premier League football available on Google's Chromecast TV platform, in a huge filip for the platform. Google started selling Chromecast in the UK last month - here's our review. While Chromecast bundles the usual OTTs (Over The Top) services including Netflix and YouTube, the only UK broadcaster support so far …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Apr 2014
Huawei E586

Three daddy Hutch has no interest in O2

Three network owner Hutchison Whampoa has ruled out making a bid for O2 in the UK. Hutchison agreed to take O2 Ireland off Telefonica's hands last year. The €850m deal is currently pending a final session of horse-trading before approval at the EU level. In an interview with the Telegraph, Three UK's CEO Dave Dyson said "We don …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Apr 2014

BT Tower to be replaced by 3D printed BT Tower

Prime Minister David Cameron will announce a futuristic addition to London’s skyline today. The familiar shape of BT Tower, opened in 1965 by Harold Wilson, will give way to a 3D printed tower – believed to be the largest additive polymer construction in the world. The 21st century version is designed to be a replica of the …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Apr 2014

Newsnight goes sour on Tech City miracle

BBC's Newsnight decided to get a reality check on Britain's economic miracle of East London's "Tech City Cluster" on Friday, and asked me if I'd like to contribute. With a hangover and not much sleep the night before? Of course I would. Radio 4's Today and BBC2's Newsnight are invitations you don't turn down if you think you've …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Mar 2014
Blackberry_bold_9000_all_sides

BlackBerry revenue slips below $1bn as users shun BB10

BlackBerry's revenue slipped below a billion dollars in the fourth fiscal quarter for the first time since 2007, as its smartphone sales continued to slide, but its losses were slightly less than expected. The ailing Canadian firm reported a net loss of nearly $6bn for the year up to the start of March and a loss of $423m for …

No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

The government has bungled proposed changes to UK copyright law by claiming the format of eBooks can be legally changed - for example, from the Amazon kindle format to a PDF. The changes were published yesterday as the last debris of the Hargreaves Review to wash up on the statute book. (The rest has either been implemented or …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Mar 2014

Three's money man reveals UK mobe firms' DARK PRICING dealings

Mobile operator Three reckons that networks are giving punters such a crappy experience with hidden charges, it's no surprise they want to bail out at the end of a contract. Networks resort to “dark pricing” tactics to recoup for the subsidies for swanky smartphones, he said. The firm's chief financial officer, Richard Woodward …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Mar 2014
Photo by Thore Siebrands Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Improbable: YOU gave model Lily Cole £200k for her Impossible.com whimsy-site

Why is the UK taxpayer funding a millionaire supermodel and actress to build a website that replicates the "Help Needed" pages of Craigslist and Freecycle? Using information gleaned from Freedom of Information requests, we’ve attempted to find out. The model and actress Lily Luahana Cole, a Cambridge University art history …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Mar 2014
head and body picture of Michael Robertson, wearing navy jacket and blue shirt

Deceased music locker gets final knock

Michael Robertson has lost a long-running copyright infringement case against his unlicensed cloud music service MP3Tunes. The verdict by the Manhattan federal jury on Wednesday is the third headline-grabbing copyright settlement this week. Robertson's cloud-based music streamer first launched in the pre-Cambrian era, 2005, and …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2014
Sergey Brin Project Glass

Google wearables: A solution looking for a rich nerd

If you've spent any time looking at transport technology - how cars and trains got here - you've got a head start over most VCs and pundits in understanding wearable computing. I'll explain why. Google's Android Wear is the biggest deal in wearable computing since Microsoft's abortive SPOT 12 years ago. And Google hasn't waited …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2014
European Union Flag

So. Farewell then Steelie Neelie: You were WORSE than USELESS

Neelie Kroes' stint as the EU's “Commissioner for a Digital Agenda” ends when the Barroso II Commission closes up shop in the autumn. Perhaps the post should be abolished with her departure. The Dutch economist could have carved out a distinctly European approach, distinct from the Asian autocracies and American Wild West, but …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Mar 2014

Proper boffins make your company succeed, even if you're not very technical

Good news for British techies. A wide-ranging innovation study recommends that firms should hire more staff who can solve complex technical problems, even if they’re not tech companies or the techies aren’t employed in a narrowly technical function. So says a report on Innovation and Growth prepared for the Department of …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Mar 2014
Child labourers

Is the World Wide Web for luvvies and VCs – or for all of us?

The Web turns 25 years old today, and its inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has written yet another declaration of rights – a "Magna Carta" – to mark the occasion. These incessant anniversaries are proof that journalists and media luvvies love looking backwards rather than reporting what's in front of them - warts and all. But …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Mar 2014
Homer Simpson

Universal Music mulls 'all you can eat' buffet of song downloads

Universal Music Group (UMG) is developing an online service that offers unlimited music downloads for a monthly subscription. That news comes from The LA Times, which was treated to a PowerPoint presentation by the record giant's execs. The end result of that briefing was this profile of Universal Music's British boss Lucian …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Mar 2014
BBC iPlayer

Netflix needling you? BBC pimps up iPlayer ahead of BBC3 move

The BBC unveiled a much-needed front-end makeover for its sprawling iPlayer service today – while dodging the inevitable questions about subscriptions. The corporation has updated iPlayer to take on commercial subscription rivals like Netflix, with shows available for longer – 30 days, subject to Trust approval. The details of …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Mar 2014
Julie Larson-Green Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Windows Experience

Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 Update 1 – with pain relief for those suffering from “customer satisfaction issues” – is widely expected to be released in early April. It'll probably coincide with the Build developer conference starting on 2 April. This spring update has already gone to computer manufacturers to install on their new …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Mar 2014

PM Cameron leaps aboard Internet of Thingies

Prime Minister David Cameron thinks he has spotted the "Second Industrial Revolution" – and it’s the Internet of Things. Speaking at the start of the CeBIT show in Hannover, Cameron foresaw British software and services companies working up with German engineering and manufacturing companies to turn IoT from a “slogan to a fact …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Mar 2014

Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON

The "certainty" that underpins European and UK climate policy may be wildly misplaced, as the models that the climate science establishment presents to politicians as evidence run far too hot. That's according to a report released yesterday by UK think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation. And this is very good news, says …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Mar 2014

Getty offers 35 MILLION images for free – if you jump (em)bed with it

Photo giant Getty Images has announced it will allow 35 million of its images to be embedded on non-commercial sites such as blogs, message boards and social networks. It's via a new Embed tool, similar to Twitter or YouTube's iframe HTML, which allows the image to be pasted onto a web page, and allows Getty to track usage. …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Mar 2014

MWC: The good, the bad ... and the Galaxy S5

Well, we're back from Barcelona - in various states of disrepair. Here's my highlights of MWC 2014 ahead of our web chat later this week. 1. Innovation is alive and well. You only have to look beyond the shiny Youtube Video It's a shame that some pundits who declared MWC a low-"innovation" event couldn't see past the phones. …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Mar 2014
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)

WhatsApp no threat to BBM: Blackberry bod says pretender's buyout will HELP ailing firm

You could forgive BlackBerry for being grumpy after Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $16bn. After all, WhatsApp is a very obvious knock-off of BlackBerry's BBM. But for years BlackBerry kept BBM locked inside BlackBerry phones - and only last year opened it up as a real cross platform OTT messaging app. Did BlackBerry kick itself …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Feb 2014

Nokia to Devs: PLEASE DON'T make Nokiadroid apps look like WinPho

Nokia is telling developers not to make their Nokia Android apps look like Windows Phone apps. Nokia has been explaining how much work is needed to port Android apps to its new Nokia X range, which uses the AOSP Android open source base. The Finns reckons 75 per cent of apps need no modification at all, but 25 per cent will …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2014
BlackBerry logo

BlackBerry brings back call, end keys, touchpad to Q20 keyboard cutie

BlackBerry has admitted that its made its some of its traditional users who stayed loyal to the company very fed up when it dropped some of its best-loved features. At Mobile World Congress today, the company formerly known as RIM said it would bring back the classic trackpad as well as Call ("Send"), End and Menu keys to a …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2014

Say WHAT? Qualcomm, MediaTek scrap over who has best 'marketing gimmick' octocore

Qualcomm launched its first 8-core processors at Mobile World Congress this week, after last year describing octocore chips as "a marketing gimmick". “You can’t take eight lawnmower engines, put them together and now claim you have an eight-cylinder Ferrari," Qualcomm's senior VP Anand Chandrasekher said last year. "We don’t do …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2014

Samsung and Apple BEWARE: Huawei is coming to eat your lunch

Richard Yu, Huawei's consumer boss, was one of the highlights of the presentations at Mobile World Congress. This is not because he's easy to understand; like a French president travelling overseas, he makes no concessions to his pronunciation advisors. It's because he thinks everyone else is rubbish. Huawei's new range …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2014
Microsoft Nokia logo

Nokia launches Euro ANDROID invasion, quips: 'Microsoft knew what they were buying'

Microsoft was aware of Nokia's plans to release a range of Android phones, the man in charge of the new range told us today. And the new Nokiadroids - of which there are more than anyone predicted - will be coming to the UK - possibly sooner than anyone realises. Timo Toikkanen, Executive Vice President of Nokia Mobile Phones …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2014

Nokia launches Android range: X marks the growing low-cost spot

Three years after it announced a switch to Windows Phone, Nokia launched a family of Android-based phones today at Mobile World Congress 2014. Nokia's new X family of mobes... The first three devices revealed today at Mobile World Congress adopt the same strategy Amazon has with Android: use the open-source base and develop …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2014