Andrew Orlowski

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
man watches video on his desktop

Can the last person watching desktop video please turn out the light?

A little-noticed but quite remarkable factoid emerged from the world of digital advertising last week. Ad revenue from TV plug-in boxes has surpassed revenue from videos that play in a desktop or laptop’s web browser. The news may surprise you as so many mainstream sites play video whether you asked to see it or not. The auto- …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Aug 2017

Bixby, why is Samsung's heir apparent facing 12 years in the slammer?

The trial of Samsung's vice chairman Lee Jae-yong ended last week with calls by prosecution for a 12-year jail sentence. Mr Lee Jnr had effectively run the group since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014, until his arrest last autumn. The trial involves payments to foundations controlled by Choi Soon-sil, a long-time …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Aug 2017

Microsoft Surface laptop: Is this your MacBook Air replacement?

Review Student debt in the United States now stands at $1.2 trillion. In the UK outstanding student loans top £100 billion. Microsoft has made an fascinating contribution to the student debt crisis, by attempting to increase it. The machine I am typing on is a locked-down laptop aimed at "students" and "classrooms" that costs £1,549 …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Aug 2017

Steve Bannon wants Facebook, Google 'regulated like utilities'

Comment Steve Bannon, President Trump's chief policy strategist who has been dubbed "the Second Most Powerful Man in the World", wants a clampdown on Silicon Valley. Bannon reportedly wants "utility-style" regulation for the giant internet platforms, according to The Intercept. Facebook, Google and Amazon are named in the report. …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Jul 2017
Image of landscape with Facebook Reaction icons

Facebook's freebie for poor people under fire again

Two-thirds of the planet doesn't have internet access - but some aren't keen to see Facebook make a bridge across that digital divide. Not least of these will be arch-rival Google. Between them, the two scoop up 99 per cent of all new digital ad spending, but there's everything to play for in emerging markets. Facebook's free …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Jul 2017

Wawaweewa! Huawei shifted 73m handsets in first half of year

Huawei shipped 73 million phones in the first half of 2017, up 20.6 per cent year-on-year. The worker-owned, privately held company isn't obliged to report financials in the detail that a publicly listed company must, but instead offers selective highlights. The smartphone division contributed to consumer business group …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2017

Facebook may print money but thirsty Wall Street wants more

Analysis Anyone asking why there hasn't been a major new technology company to rival the likes of Facebook for a decade should take a good look at... Facebook. It's a reasonable question. If you exclude Uber as a technology company – it's really a casual labour arbitrage play that just happens to involve cars, other people's cars – …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2017

OnePlus cash equals 5: Rebel flagship joins upmarket Android crew

Review In a little over three years, the Chinese giant BBK Electronics has made a big impact on the market using OnePlus as a guerilla operation. By throttling supply via an invitation scheme, and offering terrific value for money, the OnePlus brand built up an authentic word of mouth reputation: help yourself to flagship specs at a …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2017
Audi TT

Sensor-rich traffic info shows how far Silly Valley has to drive

The German auto cartel has flexed its muscles as Silicon Valley tries to encroach on its turf. HERE – the map consortium owned by Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – is adding live sensor data to its Real-Time Traffic service, a first. Sensor-data such as brake information is fed into the HERE service. Ralf Herrtwich, senior VP …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2017

Google goes home to Cali to overturn Canada's worldwide search result ban

What should govern the behavior of huge multinationals like Google: the law Google makes for itself, or the laws that people make? The former view has been dubbed cyber-libertarianism. In 2015, Canadian judges delivered that particular school of thought a blow, in the case of Equustek Solutions, a network equipment …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2017

Creepy tech tycoons Zuck and Musk clash over AI doomsday

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has told Elon Musk off for scaring people about “AI”. Musk has responded by saying Zuckerberg's understanding is "limited". “I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don't understand it. It's really negative and in some ways I actually think it is …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2017

House fire, walk with me: Kodipocalypse now includes conflagration

Pirate TV boxes may not be safe, IP champions FACT and Westminster Council, in the south of the UK, have claimed. "The safety issues we have found so far are to do with the device's power supply. It is not double insulated nor does it have another grounding system (it only has a two-pin plug) meaning if a short were to occur …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2017

Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Hands-on No wonder Silicon Valley is excited about the Amazon Echo. Let's be honest. These voice-controlled assistants have been the only hit the Valley's had in years: the only successful new consumer electronics category. 3D telly, smartwatches, they all came and went, but always-on assistants are a smash. Well, Amazon’s Alexa has …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2017

Expect the Note 8 to break the bank (and your wallet)

Samsung’s Note 8, due to be unveiled in a month, will burst through the $1,000 (c. £920) price point, and may well become the first mass market phone in that price bracket in the UK. It’s also likely to be a monster, with a 6.3 inch diagonal display. Analysts have tipped Apple to reach this price point with the next iPhone; it …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2017

Volterman 'super wallet': The worst crowdsource video pitch of all time?

Do you need a "smart" wallet with a built in front-facing camera and GPS? Of course you don't. Not even with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot? Well, enough people do to make a success of an Indiegogo project promising just that. The Volterman "smart wallet" has smashed its target of a relatively meagre $45,000 by 1,145 per cent, …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jul 2017
A tortoise catches an orange frisbee. Photo by Shutterstock

This is why old Windows Phones won't run PC apps

Thanks to Qualcomm, x86 support is coming to Windows 10 ARM phones and tablets - but not to older Lumia devices. In a webcast, Joe Belfiore, these days the corporate VP in the OS Group at Microsoft, has explained why. Belfiore positioned the x86-on-ARM initiative as extending Windows 10 to hardware with a better battery life …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jul 2017

Feature snatcher Microsoft tweaks OneDrive

Neither Apple nor Microsoft has a great history with their cloud graveyards consumer cloud file systems, tripping up users with frequent strategy lurches and abandoning features over the years. Microsoft made small amends this week: by adding, rather than taking away, a feature from OneDrive. OneDrive is the cloud file system …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jul 2017
Robot on road photo via Shutterstock

House of Lords to probe AI data slurping

How technology giants own and use your data will be a focus for our noble and learned friends on the new House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence. The Parliamentary committee yesterday announced the UK's first public inquiry "to consider the economic, ethical and social implications of advances in artificial …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jul 2017

Reborn Nokia phones biz loses its head

The boss of HMD Global, the company reviving Nokia-branded phones, quit unexpectedly today. In a terse statement, the company said the departure of CEO Arto Nummela was “by mutual arrangement”. But it’s clear the Board didn’t have a replacement lined up: HMD President Florian Seiche takes over as acting CEO. Seiche is the …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jul 2017

Tapping the Bank of Mum and Dad: Why your Netflix subscription is poised to rise (again)

Analysis If Silicon Valley still does one thing better than anybody else, it's propping up profitless corporations, just like the Bank of Mum and Dad. Gulf states pour money into Premier League teams, but not on anything like the scale of Uber and Netflix, two examples of capital-swallowing money pits. On Monday, Netflix warned …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jul 2017
Man with bun sucks on vape. Photo by shutterstock

UK government's war on e-cigs is over

Comment The government has said that the persecution of the users of e-cigarette technology should stop. The Department of Health today outlined a Five Year Tobacco Control plan for England with the goal that the proportion of the population who smoke tobacco products should fall to 12 per cent by 2022, down from 15.5 per cent today. …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jul 2017

Android-ocalypse postponed: Jide withdraws Remix OS from consumer frontline

So Remix OS won’t be “eating the world” after all. Parent company Jide, founded by ex-Googlers, is repositioning itself as an enterprise vendor, and says its Android-for-PCs (which also runs on cheap ARM hardware) will no longer be sold to consumers any more. Jide is also scuppering its hardware fleet. Kickstarter investors …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jul 2017
Robot talks unto robot photo via Shutterstock

Brit neural net pioneer just revolutionised speech recognition all over again

Profile One of the pioneers of making what's called "machine learning" work in the real world is on the comeback trail. At Cambridge University's Computer Science department in the 1990s, Dr Tony Robinson taught a generation of students who subsequently turned the Fens into the world speech recognition centre. (Microsoft, Amazon and …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2017

Sleuths unearth 'Panic Mode' in Android, set off by mashing back button

The phone sleuths at XDA-Developers have unearthed a handy undocumented feature in the latest version of Android. Phones running Nougat 7.1.1 are able to invoke a "panic button" by pressing the back key four times. It's in the AOSP source code for the Android Window Manager. Panic mode returns the user to the home screen, …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jul 2017

Academics 'funded by Google' tend not to mention it in their work

A network of academics on Google's payroll just so happens to churn out "independent research" friendly to their sugar daddy's corporate goals. But two-thirds of the time you wouldn't know it, according to the Campaign for Accountability. An ongoing campaign by the non-profit, called the Google Transparency Project (GTP), …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jul 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017