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Andrew Orlowski

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Euro judges: Copyright has NOT changed, you WON'T get sued for browsing the web

The highest European Court today confirmed that the internet can carry on working just like it has for 20 years. In doing so, it was batting away a strange request for "clarification" on copyright from the UK's Supreme Court. For the internet to function, it was established very early on that certain devices - such as routers, …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jun 2014

Has Google gone too far? Indie labels say it's crunch time for The New Economy

Indie music labels say today's tech giants are behaving more badly than the old record industry at its worst. At a press conference in London yesterday, the labels' reps explained why they're seeking emergency action against Google from Europe's anti-competition authorities: Google is negotiating music-streaming royalties with …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jun 2014
Still from Miley Cyrus music video for Wrecking Ball

Indie record labels to haul YouTube before the European Commission

Indie record labels say they will lodge a formal competition complaint with the European Commission over Google-owned YouTube's alleged bully-boy tactics. The move comes as Google prepares to launch a Spotify-like streaming service using the YouTube brand. Last month, the indie labels' trade associations complained the …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Jun 2014

'Inaccurate' media misleads public on European Court's Google ruling

“Inaccurate reporting” of Google’s fight against privacy rights in Europe last month risks misleading the public, says the Information Commissioner's Office – which safeguards those rights in the UK. When a Spanish citizen demanded the removal of links in search results to news articles mentioning an old debt, Google claimed it …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Jun 2014

Entering the Dragon: A little data from Big China

Huawei - perhaps the name best known to Reg readers from the Chinese industrial explosion which has transformed the global economy - is one of the most unusual and interesting companies on the planet, growing from 3,000 employees at the start of the millennium to 150,000 today. So when the Asian colossus invited The Reg to its …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 May 2014

100% driverless Wonka-wagon toy cars? Oh Google, you're having a laugh

Google may have underestimated the difficulty of driving in Europe, and yesterday’s announcement about its driverless cars is evidence that it has. A photo of the new Google self-driving car But Mr Insurance man, the Google Noddy Car bumped me! Mountain View's Chocolate Factory unveiled a very Willy Wonka-esque two-seat …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 May 2014

A budget phablet, what a curious thing: Reg puts claws to the Lumia 1320

My bit of London is phablet city... or phondleslab city, if you prefer. But it isn't the media luvvies* or the bankers or the barristers who live here who carry the phablets, it's the people who work for them. The 4G-LTE-supported smartphone-cum-tablets are wielded by the nannies and cleaners, for whom it might be their only …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 May 2014
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

Carry On YouView Regardless, BBC Trust tells the BBC

The BBC can carry on investing in internet TV outfit YouView, the BBC Trust has ruled. The oversight panel "endorsed" the broadcaster's continued involvement in the video on-demand organisation and has published a report supporting its decision. YouView today is now largely sold through its two big ISP shareholders – BT and …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 May 2014

Microsoft Cortana EULA contains the Greatest Disclaimer of ALL TIME

Nobody ever reads click-through licences. Especially not on phones, where the legalese can run to hundreds of pages. But oh, what gems can be found in there. We found this by accident in the click-through licence to use the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview. It refers to the new "intelligent assistant", Cortana. We think you' …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 May 2014

Google tells indie labels to take its YouTube deal or face OBLIVION

Google has threatened to "censor" YouTube music videos from the world's independent labels if the indies don't agree to its terms for the forthcoming YouTube subscription music streaming service. Indie label association WIN says YouTube has threatened to remove the videos it already hosts. WIN called foul last night after the …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2014
Mike Hudack of Facebook

Facebook exec: I HATE the INTERNET and I REALLY hate journalism

Modern internet journalism is terrible and full of trivial clickbait designed for Facebook, says Mike Hudack, director of product management at, um, Facebook. Of course, he didn't quite phrase it like that. Writing on (where else?) Facebook, Hudack takes aim at a mainstream media which he says has become a "hollowed out" husk: …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2014
Nokia Lumia 630

Hello Moto... It's the Nokia Lumia 630

Nokia’s cheap-as-chips Windows Phone the Lumia 520 finally gave it a hit after years of decline, and the new 630 is itching to take the baton. The timing and the price of the Lumia 520 were spot on. BlackBerry had failed to update its BB7 phones for almost two years, and had nothing new to offer the budget segment of the market …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2014
Rebecca & Fiona - Bullets

Spotify boasts 10 million paying subscribers ... Um, is that all?

Spotify says it now has 10 million paying subscribers and 40 million active users. The last official user numbers were released in March last year, when it said it had five million active users. Spotify now operates in 56 countries around the world, up from 20 a year ago, CEO Daniel Ek said. The privately held company, whose …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 May 2014

China to become world's No 1 economy. And we still can't see why

China will become the world's biggest economy this year, overtaking the United States in GDP. As the FT drily notes, "Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019." So China powers on, at a greater pace than had been predicted by Western economic experts, who are supposed to know about these things. But our …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 May 2014
Angry woman on mobile

TV body seeks attractive mobile operators for mutual action replays

TV on mobiles? Yes, you’ve heard that one before. It’s been one of the most persistent flops of the past fifteen years. But then so were mobile app stores until somebody, Apple, put enough pieces in place to make them work. Without much fanfare, yesterday saw the launch of a new UK-based initiative, the Mobile Video Alliance ( …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 May 2014

Web firms, DON'T PANIC: The Euro Google 'right to be forgotten' isn't a problem

Are you an internet company? Beware of companies and organisations purporting to "help" European firms interpret the new Google privacy ruling. you may find yourself taking unnecessary mitigation measures - and fuelling the trolls. Last week, the ECJ ruled that Google was subject to European privacy and data protection laws, …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 May 2014

Microsoft’s 'FIRST NOKIA' arrives at £89

Microsoft’s first phone as the formal owner of the old Nokia phones business is released today. The Lumia 630 will hit UK stores next week priced at £89, hitting the channels on 29 May. Special deals might take it even lower. There’s a lot riding on the luridly coloured cheapie. The 630’s predecessor, the 520, kept Windows …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 May 2014

Europe's shock Google privacy ruling: The end of history? Don't be daft

Anyone familiar with The Day Today's "IT'S WAR" episode will know how much the media love to create an imaginary threat. Channel 4 had its own "It's War" moment yesterday, asking whether the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had signalled the "end of history" – by supposedly giving anyone the "right to erase their past". The line …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 May 2014

Moto E pops up with £89 price tag – alongside new LTE Moto G cuz

Motorola has followed up its hit Moto G comeback smartphone with a 4G version, and an even cheaper variant, the 3G Moto E, both revealed today. The Moto E The new Moto E We got a chance to have a brief play with the new pair. Last year, Nokia became king of the budget smartphones with its Lumia 520 Windows Phone – but …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 May 2014

NHS chiefs' claims exposed: GP-data-grab boss claimed fattest expenses of the lot

An evangelist for the state to extract and share private data made the largest claims of any NHS board member, according to information released under the Freedom of Information Act. "The highest individual bill was for Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information, who spent £46,000 during the year — including more …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 May 2014
india

Indian climate boffins: Himalayan glaciers are NOT MELTING

Top Indian physicists have concluded Himalayan glaciers show little sign of retreat – in one of the largest studies of its type ever carried out. I. M. Bahuguna et al, publishing in Current Science [PDF, issue index], studied changes to 2,000 glaciers in various Himalayan regions between 2001 to 2011. They conclude that 1,700 …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 May 2014

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