Feeds

Andrew Orlowski

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed

Circling the RIM: BB10 becomes chamber of horrors for BlackBerry

Friday's writedown of almost $1bn of inventory confirms the launch of BlackBerry 10 mobile OS as one of the most catastrophic of modern times. Nobody, it seems, wants BB10 in 2013. BlackBerry has vastly over-estimated the demand for its shiny, modern new platform and announced a retreat from the consumer market. Gone are 4,500 …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Sep 2013
grab_that_cash

Launchpads, catapults... what a load of - WAIT, there's £15m for grabs?

Techies and investors with bright ideas for commercial video, imaging and games businesses can apply for a slice of £15m this month – if they can wade past the quango-ese jargon of "catapults" and "launchpads". It's all intended to commercialise good ideas. Created by Gordon Brown in 2007, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Sep 2013

Nokia Lumia 1020: It's an imaging BEAST... and it makes calls too

Nokia's marketing department is comparing its new imaging champ, the Lumia 1020 smartphone, to digital SLR cameras. That's just silly. But what the Lumia 1020 can lay claim to is that it takes the best photos of any current modern smartphone – by a clear head and shoulders. And Nokia has packaged it into a modern phone, rather …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Sep 2013

Nokia Lumia 625: Quality budget 4G phone ... but where's UK's budget 4G?

Nokia's latest Lumia, a budget 4G smartphone, alights on an odd perch in the marketplace, where it finds itself all alone. 4G voice contracts in the UK are currently a luxury good - with luxury price tags attached. For most Britons, LTE is only practically available at not-so-budget prices from one network, EE, with a 2GB …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Sep 2013

Everyone's waving their 5-inchers: BlackBerry outs new supersized Z30

Slumped phone giant BlackBerry has announced its fourth BlackBerry OS 10 mobe: the Z30, a five-inch OLED-touchscreen device. The display is not all that's big. The new mobe, pictured below right, sports a suitably supersized 2880mAh battery giving 25 hours of "mixed use", and similarly large internal mobile radio antenna, …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Sep 2013

Tightwad music spaffer Pandora opens box for Wall St to fill with cash

Controversial webcaster Pandora, under fire for running its music streaming business with the iron grip of a plantation owner, is returning to Wall Street for a cash injection. The company floated in 2011 and its popularity (it has 70 million listeners), revenues (up 55 per cent year on year) and share price (now almost $25) …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Sep 2013

Nokia quiz: Do you know what a phablet is?

Gadget blogs and tech specialists may know what "phablet" means, but Nokia isn’t whether civilians do. The phone-maker took the unusual step on Friday of gaining feedback on the word. Nokia was measuring familiarity with the word and how favourably it is received. The company has yet to launch its first "phablet" but is about to …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Sep 2013

Nokia's 41Mp Lumia 1020 'launches' in UK - but hoi polloi must wait

Nokia's impressive 41Mp Lumia 1020 flagship may have "launched" worldwide - with festivities including a glitzy Shoreditch gallery party featuring photographer David Bailey, actor Bill Nighy and cannibal entrepreneur Steve Bong - but UK punters won't get delivery until the end of the month. Some Blighty operators and retailers …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2013

One day we'll look back and say this was the end of the software platform

I was once told by an editor not to waste too much time following Apple and other companies that sold hardware and software together. He was reflecting the conventional wisdom in the late 1990s: any manufacturer that dared to "add value" by integrating its software into its hardware would be destroyed. Microsoft and Dell would …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2013

iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)

Apple's keynotes seem to command more mainstream front-page press attention than ever before – but each time, there's less and less to report. Is the modern smartphone era limping to a close? Apple's announcements on Tuesday about the iPhone 5S and 5C were wearily predictable. Cupertino just doesn't seem to be where the action …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Ofcom's head Ed may yet run the Beeb: UK gov 'mulls axing BBC Trust'

Is Ofcom boss Ed Richards' middle name "Lucky"? The UK watchdog's supremo could yet end up running the BBC without leaving his desk at Southwark Bridge. Last year, the former Labour policy wonk – who helped create Ofcom – applied to get the top job at the Beeb, only to lose out to George Entwistle. Now it's claimed the …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

BING! Microsoft plants Xbox Music flagpoles in Android and iOS

Xbox Music is one of Microsoft's best kept secrets - ubiquitous on Microsoft's own consoles but poorly promoted, even on Microsoft Windows Phone devices. But on the eve of the iTunes Radio rollout, Redmond has woken up and remembered that it exists. The streaming service formerly known as Zune Pass has finally sprouted native …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Don't tell the D-G! BBC-funded study says Beeb is 'too right wing'

A study funded by the BBC into editorial bias has concluded that it isn't Left Wing enough: it's too friendly to business, and far too hostile to the European Union. The "voice of the licence-fee payer", the BBC Trust, commissioned the study, and gave the job to academic Mike Berry of the Glasgow Media Group - the latter a Dave …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Finns, roamers, Nokia: So long, and thanks for all the phones

Finns are in mourning this week after Nokia has sold its mobile phones unit to Microsoft: a decision that weirdly seems both inevitable and shocking at the same time. But they should be proud, for Nokia had an incredible 15-year run at the top of an entirely new industry, making stalwarts like Motorola and neighbours Ericsson …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Sep 2013

Ministry of Sound sues Spotify over user playlists

Dance music empire the Ministry of Sound is suing music streaming service Spotify to protect the value of its compilation albums, in an unusual test case of European intellectual property law. The legendary clubbing empire launched proceedings in the UK High Court on Monday. It wants an injunction requiring Spotify to remove the …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Sep 2013
BBC logo 2012

'Silent' staff stood by as £100m BBC IT project tanked – DG

The BBC's new director general Tony Hall says staff should have spoken up about the catastrophic Digital Media Initiative (DMI). The utopian media storage project cost the BBC almost £100m since 2010 (and some £81m before then) before it was formally abandoned in May, with the corporation opting to use off-the-shelf software …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Aug 2013

Windows NT: Remember Microsoft's almost perfect 20-year-old?

If you want to be reminded that you're getting old, ask a youngster what Windows NT is. Chances are, there'll be blank looks all round. Windows What? Is it, like, a codename for a new version? You can't blame them. There hasn't actually been a proper "Windows NT" release since the late 1990s, so for almost anyone under 30 it's …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Aug 2013

Does the RSPCA have your gun licence or car registration? NOBODY knows

No checks are carried out on what the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) does with confidential records it receives from police databases, including information on people's vehicles and gun licences, the Register has learned. Precise details of the Information Sharing Agreements (ISAs) between the RSCPA …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Aug 2013
District 9

AREA 51 - THE TRUTH by the CIA: Official dossier blows lid off US secrets

A declassified CIA report made public this week includes copious references to the United States' mysterious Area 51 base. The Cold War-era dossier on the U-2 spy plane was published by the George Washington University's National Security Archive - and acknowledges the existence of the highly hush-hush patch of Nevada desert, a …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Aug 2013

Bureaucrats foil Nestlé's bid to TRADEMARK KitKat's chocolatey digits

British bureaucrats' refusal to protect the KitKat chocolate bar's distinctive four-finger design from copycats has been slammed by UK lawyers as "remarkable" - and they say the decision has ominous implications for businesses fighting off competitors. The UK Intellectual Property Office - an agency of the government's …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Aug 2013

BlackBerry: It's the end-to-endness, stupid

Going private still looks the most likely next step for BlackBerry, with Prem Watsa, the largest shareholder in the company, resigning from its board this week, apparently to put together a deal. Watsa still holds almost 10 per cent of BlackBerry stock. Yet even if BlackBerry goes private, its options remain brutal. Nobody …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Aug 2013
Evernote iPad app

Evernote hobbles third-party apps... but is it pulling a Twitter?

Mobile archiving service Evernote is throttling access to third-party applications which use its application programming interface (API) - and admits that apps that sync Evernote data will fall foul of the new rules. The restriction takes the form of a ceiling on the number of API calls an hour, rather than a bandwidth cap. It …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Aug 2013

BlackBerry hits 88MPH, goes back to the future with NEW old 9720 mobe

BlackBerry has announced a new phone for emerging markets: the BlackBerry 9720. It's not part of the shiny new BlackBerry OS 10 line-up of mobiles because it's powered by the ancient BlackBerry 7 OS, which last saw action in 2011. It's the consequence of a mismatch between BlackBerry's swanky modern QNX-based operating system …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Aug 2013

BlackBerry pie sliced up: Nuke-plant OS, BBM chat app, etc sale mulled

Troubled mobe-maker BlackBerry has confirmed it is "exploring strategic alternatives" to remaining as one enormous company - confirming wire reports last week of a potential breakup. The firm formerly known as RIM said a "special committee" has been formed to examine options that "could include, among others, possible joint …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Aug 2013

Netflix dares UK freetards: Watch new Breaking Bad NOW or torrent it?

Video-on-demand service Netflix will give viewers on both sides of the Atlantic near instant access to one of the most anticipated TV drama climaxes: the final episodes of Breaking Bad. Streaming the brand new, hotly awaited programmes to UK fans within hours of their premiere in America is seen as an industry first and a clear …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Aug 2013
Nokia Lumia 720 Windows Phone 8

Waiting for a Windows Phone update? Let's talk again next year

Windows Phone owners must wait until next spring for a major platform update, latest reports appear to confirm. The platform has shown strong growth in 2013, almost entirely thanks to a concerted campaign by Nokia and almost entirely at the expense of BlackBerry. But the upsurge in momentum hasn't obliged Microsoft to break a …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Aug 2013
Pigeon crapping on statue

Apple returns to courtroom once again to contest ebook shafting

Apple is back in court this Friday to contest the punishment it received in the US ebooks pricing trial. The government has tried to show how serious it is in several ways. Firstly, it ruled that Apple had to end its contracts with the five publishers and be prevented for five years from entering contracts that the Justice …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Aug 2013

Google lifts skirts, reveals Play All Access to UK market

Without much fanfare, Google Play's on-demand streaming service has launched in the UK. Google Play All Access is priced at £9.99 per month and offers mobile access … and only runs on web browsers and Android devices, for now. GPAA enters a crowded market with Spotify, Deezer, Xbox Music and Sony Unlimited offering very similar …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Aug 2013

Brits give thumbs-up to shale gas slurping in university-run poll

Public perception is tilting in favour of the UK exploiting its rich shale gas reserves, according to a survey conducted by the University of Nottingham. After asking thousands of Brits whether they backed shale gas in Blighty as a cheap source of energy, yes or no, and subtracting the negative percentage from the positive, the …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Aug 2013
European Union Flag

Steelie Neelie finds phone calls are cheaper in Latvia than in Luxembourg

Europe's top business eurocrat Neelie Kroes has expressed her shock that poor Romanians pay less for phone calls than wealthy Germans. Her office highlighted the disparity and used the figure to call for greater regulatory intervention by the European Commission (i.e. Neelie Kroes). The European Commission vice president …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Aug 2013

Flippin' tosser: Sun's magnetic field poised to SWIVEL on it - NASA

The solar magnetic field will completely "flip" within the next three or four months, according to NASA. The dramatic-sounding event happens every 11 years. The Sun's magnetic activity follows a cycle, and as it reaches a maximum the poles weaken, reversing polarity. In June last year, the Sun's northern polar field became more …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Sad shop-shelf-clinging BlackBerry Z10 AXED ... in price, contracts

Having failed to set the world on fire, BlackBerry's flagship Z10 smartphone is now being touted at knockdown prices. The touchscreen-driven Z10 was BlackBerry's comeback device when it was launched at the end of January. But it was priced alongside top-end devices from Apple and Samsung with premium tariffs - more than £30 per …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Paid-for stuff likely to triumph over free – shock report

Over-the-top (OTT) video services such as Netflix, LoveFilm and Sky's Now TV are likely to win out over free and ad-supported services, according to a recent report on streaming media. Pay TV broadcasters, meanwhile, are already feeling the pinch as viewers cut back on subscription packages. The report also notes that internet …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Steady as she goes at Three, no unseemly dash to be Four

Hutchison's Three network in the UK has seen a ten per cent increase in active users over the past year, it says, with a 14.4 per cent increase in contract punters. The six months to the end of June saw 3 with 9.2m users (7.5m active) of which 5.5m were on contract (5.37m active) - the rest being on prepay. The network lost 109, …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Aug 2013
Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales

Wikipedians say no to Jimmy's 'buggy' WYSIWYG editor

Wikipedia editors are rejecting the online encyclopaedia's much-anticipated and hyped Visual Editor en masse. The expensive software project, funded by donations to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), is a WYSIWYG editor intended to make the open-source resource more accessible. Traditionally, editing Wiki requires a knowledge of …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Aug 2013

Google SELLS OUT the INTERNET HIPPIES! AGAIN!

Google is fighting a legal battle to prevent its Google Fiber subscribers from running servers on their network - and "net neutrality" sympathisers are shocked and appalled. In the T&Cs for Google's 1GB fibre service, the T&Cs clearly state: Your Google Fiber account is for your use and the reasonable use of your guests. …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Ministry of Fun launches news quiz - and the BBC is in its sights

The Ministry of Fun* wants to know if you're getting the news you need: and the role of social media, Google and the BBC are all up for grabs. The Department of Media, Culture and Sport has launched a consultation (PDF) into media ownership and plurality, defining the latter as "having a diversity of viewpoints available and …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Aug 2013
Clapping children

So, who here LURVES Windows Phone? Put your hands up, Brits

Nokia's cheap Lumia handsets helped Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system to a nearly nine per cent share of the UK market - but for all the Finns' efforts, the Lumia is still a rounding error in the United States. The data comes from a Kantar Worldpanel poll of buyers globally in the second calendar quarter of 2013; the …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Jul 2013
jack russells racing with knitted 'jockeys' on their backs

Exposed: RSPCA drills into cops' databases, harvests private info

British animal welfare charity the RSPCA enjoys unique access to confidential information on the Police National Computer (PNC) - the extent of which has not been disclosed before. Civilians who claim to work for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals can access criminal records and carry out vehicle checks …

Typical! Google's wonder-dongle is a solution looking for a problem

From the reaction to Google's latest contribution to TV technology, you'd think the Chromecast dongle was as revolutionary as a new method of nuclear fusion. While the wee $35 USB stick is more practical than the last Google TV gadget - and hopefully less catastrophic to Google's supply chain partners - it's a typically Silicon …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jul 2013
Quatermass

Signing out of a broken Britain: The final Quatermass serial

Nigel Kneale was one of the best British writers of the past 50 years, but thanks to enduring British snobbishness about both TV and stories of the imagination, the name is met with blank looks today. Luvvies and critics have never taken to Kneale's Professor Quatermass character - and perhaps more people will recognise the name …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2013
Nokia Lumia 625

Nokia flops out its 4G, 4.7-inch WHOPPER: The Lumia 625

Nokia has announced its sixth phone of 2013, the Lumia 625, and this time it's a large but light budget 4G phone. Nokia says that with LTE carriers launching prepay deals and more affordable tarriffs, they're desperate to offer something cheaper. The 625 is aimed at the sub-£200 upfront prepay market and these lower tariffs. …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Spotify: If musicians don't give us their stuff they get pirated more

A study by economist (and occasional Reg contributor) Will Page sheds new light on the relationship between streaming services and piracy. Artists who withhold from Spotify may suffer from increased piracy, he finds. Since Page works for Spotify, the words of the great prophet M'andee-rice Davies spring to mind - but it's worth …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jul 2013
Legoland Windsor Knight's Kingdom

Nokia wrings Lumia bling fling, but feature-mobes ding stings

Fallen giant Nokia continued to claw its way back to relevance in the second quarter of 2013: it sold 7.4 million Lumia phones, up 32 per cent from the first three months of the year, but losses in its legacy feature-phone business put a slight dampener on the good news. Overall revenue is down 24 per cent, year on year, to €5. …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Spotify strikes back at Radiohead - but artists are still angry

Earlier this week Thom Yorke sparked widespread debate over the rates Spotify pays artists by pulling his music from the streaming service as a gesture of protest. Spotify has now replied to artists upset by its chickenfeed payouts. A spokesperson for the streaming service told trade mag Music Week that “we're still in the early …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Radiohead's Thom Yorke pulls his own music off Spotify

Thom Yorke of Radiohead has become the latest artist to withdraw from Spotify in protest at their paltry royalty payments. Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, a member of Yorke’s side project Atoms For Peace, announced the decision on Twitter, describing it as a “small meaningless rebellion.” Godrich explained that artists had …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2013

Pure boffinry: We peek inside Nokia's miracle cameraphone

These days, “tech” means anything except technology. The word has become so debased that a group of marketing people talking about their ideas for websites are a “tech scene”. And hosting meetings for marketing people to talk about websites in London in 2013 actually makes you a “tech entrepreneur”. The concerns of real …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2013

Nokia tears wrapper off Lumia 1020 monster imaging mobe

Nokia brought its unique home-brewed imaging technology to a modern smartphone today. By a comfortable distance, the new Lumia 1020, aka "EOS", has the most impressive camera and video recording on any mobile phone today. We also had a tool around with the prototype at the New York launch today, which confirmed that Nokia has …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jul 2013

BlackBerry's retro-look QWERTY Q5 mobe: Resentment by design

BlackBerry’s second QWERTY-sporting BB10 device is a real puzzler. BlackBerry has packed most of the horsepower of the first BB10 QWERTYphone, the Q10, in a cheaper package. And it performs almost as well, giving a slick experience with no judder or lag. It also offers enterprises that scoop up BlackBerrys by the thousands a …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jul 2013

Sleek Nokia Lumia details EXPOSED ahead of Thursday's disrobing

You can’t keep a product launch secret these days – and it doesn’t help when your platform partner is incontinent. Nokia’s second 41-megapixel phone, and its first running Windows Phone, will be unveiled to the press in New York on Thursday. But leaks have already disclosed its name, specifications and design. The Windows …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Jul 2013