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Andrew Orlowski

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Google Chocolate Factory

Canada to Google: You can't have your borderless cake and eat it too

Google-watchers young and old will savour the latest twist in the corporation's attempts to avoid laws it doesn't like. It's a landmark judgment in Canada that's unusual in several ways - not least for the argument that Google advanced. The case – Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack, presided over by Justice Lauri-Ann Fenlon – was …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jun 2014

London Tech Week: All for the luvvies and the joke's on you, taxpayers

Yesterday morning I was on a stage listening to the Deputy Mayor of London and trying very hard not to look out of the window. I was the 39th floor of One Canada Square (you know, the building everyone always calls “Canary Wharf”), which had a great view over North London. If only I could sneak a peek, I was sure I'd be able to …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jun 2014

YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

Google will nuke its bridges with independent record labels and pull their music videos from YouTube, the advertising giant has told its favourite newspaper – the Financial Times. The dispute is over royalty terms for Google's forthcoming and as-yet unannounced music-streaming service, believed to be a Spotify clone. Two weeks …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jun 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

'Cortana-gate' ruins Satya Nadella's Microsoft honeymoon

It looks like Satya Nadella's honeymoon as Microsoft CEO is over, and it happened during what's already being called "Cortana-gate" by Redmond's own commentards. Smart and decisive, Nadella has enjoyed good press and huge support within Microsoft. But his instant response to the many strategic issues bedevilling Microsoft - …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jun 2014
Google_skull

Slippery Google greases up, aims to squirm out of EU privacy grasp

Google is wriggling desperately to escape new European privacy rules that could force it to take some responsibility for what information it republishes in response to a given search – in particular a search of someone's name. The European Parliament voted in favour of data protection reforms in March, which the EU's press …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jun 2014
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

YouView loses YourView trademark fight, may have to pick new name

The £100m BT and TalkTalk-backed set-top box venture YouView™ may be forced to change its name after losing a trademark scrap today against Cheltenham-based telecomms provider Total. The latter had registered the trademark Your View™ for its billing platform – which it advertises here – before BT and TalkTalk had registered the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jun 2014
Photo by Thore Siebrands Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Supermodel Lily Cole: 'I got a little bit upset by that Register article'

Millionaire supermodel Lily Cole has told a national newspaper how upset she was by The Register's coverage of her taxpayer-funded wishing well, Impossible.com. Youtube video of Cole talking about impossible.com Using Freedom of Information laws, we attempted to discover how the wealthy socialite and globetrotter was awarded £ …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2014
Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump waxwork. Pic: Shawn Perez

Tom Hanks NICKED my COPYRIGHTED PIC, claims Brit photog

Hollywood film actor Tom Hanks' WhoSay page is attributing copyright of a photograph to the millionaire rather than to the British photographer from Cornwall to whom it actually belongs - and the plucky Brit is now fighting for the recognition he deserves. The photo was taken by snapper Tim Martindale last year, and features his …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jun 2014

LEAKED: Redmond not allowed to sell 'Nokia' smartphones after 2015

Microsoft has 18 months left to use the Nokia brand name on its smartphones and mutant Androids, according to leaked notes prepared for internal marketing guidance. Microsoft bought Nokia's phones business in April. Ironically, Redmond can continue using the Nokia brand longest for the part of Nokia it bought but didn't really …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2014

Amazon Prime Music opens – but where's the streaming music?

Amazon has rolled out a new streaming music service in the US for its Prime club members, but there’s lots of music missing. The Prime Music service replaces the MP3 Store and Cloud Player apps. However, it doesn’t include any tracks newer than six months old, and there’s reportedly nothing from Universal Music Group, the world’ …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2014

Huawei Ascend P7: We review the PANORAMIC SELFIE smartphone

Last year Huawei crept into the No 3 spot for smartphone sales worldwide without anyone really noticing. At least not here, where Chinese giant is known (if it’s known for anything) for its networking equipment. But with the Ascend P7, it raises its game in two ways. It’s Huawei’s first 4G phone, and it's by far the most …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jun 2014

Debunking Jimbo: Slippery Google tries to evade European privacy

Google’s latest celebrity recruit, Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales, recently gave an extraordinary performance on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. We want to share with you what he said – verbatim – with expert commentary. It’s about the decision of a top European court that Google cannot be exempt from the Continent's privacy and …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jun 2014
warwick slate1

'CAPTAIN CYBORG': The wild-eyed prof behind 'machines have become human' claims

For 14 years, The Register has been chronicling the publicity stunts of Kevin Warwick, an attention-seeking academic with a sideline in self-mutilation*. In fact, Warwick has been making improbable claims to the press for much longer than that: over twenty years. But the world has continued to relay Warwick's stunts and …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jun 2014

UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on

The UK government will today set out Second World War-style measures to keep the lights on and avert power cuts as a "last resort". The price to Britons will be high. Factories will be asked to "voluntarily" shut down to save energy at peak times for homes, while others will be paid to provide their own backup power should they …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jun 2014

EU privacy A-Team tells Google: Get a grip and obey OUR laws

The EU's advisory panel on privacy and data protection has warned Google to comply with Europe's laws in an unusually strongly worded statement. The Article 29 Working Party vowed to investigate if Google refused to abide by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling – Google Spain v Gonzalez et al – that decreed Google was not …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Jun 2014

Freeview's rumoured '£100m YouView killer' is real – and it's yet another digital TV thing

A new UK TV platform dubbed Freeview Connect has been officially announced after many months of rumour within the industry. It will provide catch-up and other on-demand services for terrestrial UK broadcasters – much as YouView does today. The move leaves Freeview shareholder Sky, which has its own telly platform, out in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jun 2014

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