Andrew Orlowski

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Why Boston Dynamics' backflipping borg shouldn't scare you

It's alive, it's terrifying, and it does perfect backflips! Boston Dynamics' gymnastic research robot Atlas has caused a minor panic on social media. With skills like this, surely humans are doomed? Here it is. Youtube Video And here's Boston's Mini Spot. Youtube Video But hold on. What could this be? It's one of Boston's …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Nov 2017

OnePlus 5 x T + five short months = Some p*ssed off fanboys

BBK Electronics' OnePlus venture rolled out its second flagship of 2017 yesterday, the OnePlus 5T going on sale just five months after its predecessor, the OnePlus 5 in June. While posing as a plucky startup, the real picture is slightly more complicated. OnePlus is wholly owned by the biggest Chinese phone vendor, with around …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Nov 2017

US trade cops agree to investigate Apple's 'embrace and extend'

A patent lawsuit alleging that Apple froze out a third-party software developer has been given credence by America's International Trade Commission (USITC), which will investigate the complaint. Los Angeles-based Aqua Connect Inc claims to have created the market for a Citrix-like multiuser Mac desktop system, only to see …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Nov 2017

The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?

Interview The Mozilla Foundation has officially launched a radical rewrite of its browser, a major cross-platform effort to regain relevance in a world that seems to have forgotten Firefox. The much-rewritten browser claims to be twice as fast and uses 30 per cent less memory than Chrome, although this comes at the cost of compatibility, …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Nov 2017

Windows on ARM: It's nearly here (again)

It's a milestone in Windows history: the first benchmarks for a new generation of ARM-powered Windows hardware have been sighted in the wild. Geekbench has recorded an instance of a box running Windows 10 on the "Qualcomm CLS" platform. This entry describes an octocore processor, running 8GB of memory, and cites a Qualcomm …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Nov 2017
Apple Watch Series 3

Apple succeeds in failing wearables

An expensive and clunky-looking watch that can’t tell you the time* is once again clear winner in the failing smart wearables space. Overall the market for things-on-your-wrist-with-a-chip-in dipped 2 per cent, or 17.3 million units, in Q3, but Apple regained top spot, according to Canalys, thanks to the third generation Apple …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Nov 2017

BlackBerry Motion: The Phone That Won't Die

48-Hour Test The oddly named "Motion" – not an odd word, just an odd choice – is BlackBerry Mobile's second phone as a new venture, a quasi-startup housed within Chinese giant TCL. It's a hefty slab of durable, full-touch, midrange metal modelled after a Scandinavian industrial workshop. You may be wondering what's the point? A BlackBerry …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Nov 2017

Sean Parker: I helped destroy humanity with Facebook

The billionaire and former Facebook president Sean Parker now says he regrets helping turn the social network into a global phenomenon. The site grew by "exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology" with its greed for attention and the careful reward system it created to keep users addicted. "We need to sort of give you a …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Nov 2017

UK Home Sec thinks a Minority Report-style AI will prevent people posting bad things

Comment The Home Secretary believes artificial intelligence will soon be used to stop people posting on the internet pre-emptively with a kind of Minority Report-style "precrime" unit. Amber Rudd made the call at an event hosted by the US think tank the New America Foundation. The Home Secretary castigated the platforms for taking " …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Nov 2017
android logo

Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

Part One It was an anniversary that prompted much reflection. The Platform had completely triumphed and was now ubiquitous, relied on by people all over the world. You could find the Platform in almost every conceivable kind of device, from cars to TVs. Although Apple had once been the pioneer, it now had to settle for life in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Nov 2017

How do you like them Apples? Farewell sensible sized fones, forever

Some ominous news if you like your phones small and unobtrusive. Apple’s “Plus” model has outsold its regular iPhone sibling for the first time. Canalys estimates Apple shipped 5.4 million iPhone 8 units in Q3, but 6.3 million units of the larger iPhone 8 Plus. “This makes the iPhone 8 Plus the first iPhone Plus model to out- …

Tesla buys robot maker. Hang on, isn't that your sci-fi bogeyman, Elon?

Troubled Tesla Inc. has quietly acquired Perbix, which designs robot production lines. Perbix was already a Tesla contractor. "With the acquisition of Perbix, Tesla further advances its efforts to turn the factory itself into a product – to build the machine that makes the machine," the electric carmaker burbled on its website …

Facebook's send-us-your-nudes service is coming to UK, America

Facebook has begun conducting a pilot where it solicits intimate photographs of women – and it will soon offer the service in the United Kingdom as well as the US. Anxious exes who fear their former partner is set on revenge porn will be urged to upload photographs of themselves nude. A hash of the nude image is created and …

Logitech: We're gonna brick your Harmony Link gizmos next year

Updated One more reason to avoid cloud-reliant Internet of Things – as if you didn't have enough already. Owners of Logitech's universal remote controller have been told the product will stop working after March next year. Harmony Link is one of a range of home hub products offered by Logitech. Link owners have been offered a discount …

China-owned Opera touts big comeback

Opera released an overhaul of its browser today, and claims to have grown its market share substantially in the year since it was acquired by a Chinese private equity company a year ago. Monthly active users have increased 25 per cent in 2017, Opera says, with the UK 50 per cent up year-on-year. The browser received a makeover …
child watches tablet in the dark

Better filters won't cure this: YouTube's kids nightmare

Comment For the "smartest guys in the room", Google often seems to be the last to know what’s going on in its own front room. And something very strange indeed is going on over at YouTube. The artist James Bridle – who created the witty "self-driving car trap" (spoiler: it's a chalk circle) – has been investigating the outer reaches …
Android patch

Google's answer to the Pixel 2 XL CRT-style screen burn in: Lower the brightness

“Ask more of your phone,” is the Pixel 2's official marketing slogan. It's not a good sign when early adopters are asking Google for more support. And they got a little today, as Google has starting rolling out Android firmware updates to address hardware woes plaguing its new Pixel 2 and flagship Pixel 2 XL smartphones. You …
Vintage BBC experimental colour transmission testcard section

Give us a bloody PIN: MPs grill BBC bosses over subscriber access

Sketch With the TV landscape changing faster than some viewers change their socks, today's marathon grilling of BBC bosses at Westminster took on some urgency. Amazon and Netflix are already here in millions of UK households – and Apple is coming, reportedly making a multibillion-dollar investment in studios and material. So although …

Splitting off Google Shopping wouldn't fix the pay-to-play problem

As the European Commission mulls Google's own remedy to its anti-competitive behaviour on the web, the former startup behind the original complaint has warned of possible consequences. Foundem was destroyed by Google's promotion of its own Google Shopping – which doesn't offer customers the best deal, but is another pay-for- …
Apple iPhone X detail

Pixel-style display woes on your shiny new X? Perfectly normal, says Apple

Is the technology press operating double standards when it comes holding Apple to account? Owners of the £999 iPhone X are reporting issues with the OLED display similar to those experienced by Pixel owners. Only this time Apple is brazening it out. While Google promised fixes and software patches, Apple says you're going to …
The proposed badge on Martha lane Fox's doteveryone site. Jean jacket with a round lapel badge reading "fair"

Look out, Pepe: Martha Lane Fox has a plan

Competition Virtuous websites will be able to signal their goodness to the world under a new scheme proposed by digital quango queen Martha Lane Fox. The posh Lastminute.com founder and Twitter board member has floated the idea of a "fair trade"-style badge for websites that "respect user privacy and provide equal access for all". The …

$10,000-a-dram whisky 'wasn't even a malt'

A Swiss Hotel bar has apologised to a Chinese fantasy novelist who paid $10,000 (£7,649) for a shot of rare whisky – only to discover the single malt was a fake. The Devil's Place Whisky Bar at the Waldhaus Hotel in St Moritz boasts that it has the world's largest collection of malts, with 2,500 stocked in its bar and …
An angry woman looking at her phone

For fanbois only? Face ID is turning punters off picking up an iPhone X

As Apple bloggers anxiously try to be positive about Apple's Face ID, a poll suggests potential customers may actually be repelled by the face-scanning technology. 20 per cent of respondents in a poll of over 2,000 Britons said they were less likely to upgrade to an iPhone X because of concerns with Apple's new face …

Subsidy-guzzling Tesla's Model 3 volumes a huge problem – Wall St man

Stocks sleuth Toni Sacconaghi Jr. has shed some light on why the market reacted badly to Tesla Inc's financials this week. The protracted launch of the Model 3 sedan, unveiled 18 months ago, has already seen Tesla's stock repeatedly bashed. Founder Elon Musk boldly predicted that the company would sell 100,000 Model 3s this …

OK, we admit it. Under the hood, the iPhone X is a feat of engineering

The iPhone X's face recognition may be experiencing teething problems but the thousand-quid handset is a masterpiece of engineering. Apple is the first to market with new, dense circuit board design called Stacked SLP, often referred to misleadingly as a "stacked logic board". Today's phones use 10 layers of copper on the PCB …

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