Andrew Orlowski

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ed sheeran

Spotify wants to go public but can't find Ed Sheeran (to pay him)

Analysis Spotify has ended five years of speculation about an IPO, and has filed for a public share offering likely to make its founders – and large record labels – extremely rich indeed. But although that giant payday is built on the back of songwriters' "sweat and precog"*, Spotify still has trouble finding them to pay them. Even …
Crying baby in autumn. Photo by shutterstock

We need baby Googles, say search specialists… and one surprising VC

Google's vertical search tormentors in Europe have called for Alphabet's cash cow to be broken up, arguing that Google's solution hasn't improved competition. Google wrote its own remedy in response to the European Commission's ruling that it distorted competition, using penalties to demote rival niche search products such as …

Wearables are now a two-horse race and Google lost very badly

Analysis Did you notice anything else missing from Mobile World Congress this year? Apart from any interesting phones? Previous MWCs have been flooded by hopeful tech companies touting new wearables. The flood became a trickle, and last year Huawei and LG were the only two tech vendors left flying the flag for Android Wear smartwatches …
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Boring. The phone business has lost the plot and Google is making it worse

Comment No, dear reader. You didn't forget to set the alarm, and you haven't just slept through Mobile World Congress. If 2018 feels different, it may be because the phone industry's biggest annual get-together failed to produce any interesting new phones. It's a trend that's been apparent for some time. Apple and Google, the two most …

TVEyes blindsided: Fox News defeats search engine in copyright spat

A US appeals court has backed Fox News in the broadcaster's copyright-infringement battle against online telly streamer TVEyes. Essentially, TVEyes was showing clips of Fox News on its website alongside text transcripts of the reports. Fox News took the biz to a district court, alleging copyright infringement, however the site …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Feb 2018
Man with his head in the clouds

Vaping on the NHS? Don't hold your breath

Experts told Parliament that a post-Brexit Britain should think about axing the most draconian EU-wide e-cigarette regulations to encourage people to quit smoking tobacco. The Science and Technology Select Committee heard oral evidence yesterday that the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD2) ban on promoting e-cigs, and its …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Feb 2018
Data_image_via_Shutterstock

Did somebody say Brexit? Cambridge Analytica grilled: Brit MPs' Fake News probe

The daughter of Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt interned at controversial data company Cambridge Analytica, the company’s CEO confirmed today to the UK's Culture Media and Sport select committee. MPs at Westminster, London, were turning Cambridge Analytica boss Alexander Nix upside-down today in the hope that evidence of a …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Feb 2018
Not Hot Dog skit from Silicon Valley

Huawei's Not Hot Dog is possibly the Worst Tech Promo Ever

#F_AI_L Never base a promotional campaign around a satire of the thing you're trying to promote. You'd think that's an easy rule to follow, but Huawei seems to have forgotten. In what may be the most excruciating promotional stunt we've ever seen from a technology company in many years, Huawei based a promo for its AI on a satire of …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Feb 2018

Apple: Er, yes. Your iCloud stuff is now on Google's servers, too

If you chose the Apple ecosystem because you don't, for whatever reason, trust Google – bad news. Apple has confirmed for the first time that it now uses Google servers to store chunks of people's iCloud data. Apple has used Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure to host iCloud documents since 2011. Spreading chunks of …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Feb 2018
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The phone OS that muggers wouldn't touch is back from the dead

MWC18 Dead phone platforms are coming back to life at MWC in 2018 – like a zombie feature phone apocalypse. Firefox OS was the talk of Mobile World Congress five years ago as the wealthy Californian nonprofit announced an ambitious licensing initiative... and a $25 handset. I will admit I was scathing. "It's the sort of phone left …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Feb 2018

Nokia tribute band HMD revives another hit

MWC18 Nokia tribute act HMD has revived another of the band's classics – the slider phone made famous by The Matrix. HMD has retained the original name from 1996 – the Nokia 8110 – and it hopes to repeat the successful formula that attracted so much attention to the redesigned 3310 last year. The re-recorded 8110 (2018) slider …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Feb 2018

Huawei guns for Apple with Mac-alike Matebook X

Hands On Huawei won't unveil its new P20 flagship phone until the end of March, so it used MWC to showcase an envy-inducing laptop, the Matebook X. The Chinese giant is clearly gunning for Apple, which has irked its core customer base by adding gimmicks, removing ports and messing with the keyboard. So are Microsoft (Surface Laptop) …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2018

The Great Bulgarian Streaming Scam may well have been scummy, but Spotify got paid

An unknown Bulgarian has become the talk of the music industry after a sophisticated and apparently successful attempt to game Spotify. Thanks to a fascinating exposé by Tim Ingham at Music Business Worldwide we learn that the perpetrator may actually have been playing by the rules, bringing to light a little-noticed …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2018
nerd looking surprised at phone

Google gives mobile operators a reason to love it, and opens rich chat up for business

Google has opened up a major new communications channel for businesses – sending multimedia messages to mobiles using interoperable standards. Any business can now join Google's Jibe programme following a closed beta last year. As well as blast out simple text confirmations, organisations will be able to use Rich Communication …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2018

Why isn't digital fixing the productivity puzzle?

Analysis Oh dear. If all this new technology is so amazing, why isn’t it translating into productivity gains? The question has been bothering economists and policy-makers for almost a decade. Since the 2008 financial crisis, productivity in many major Western economies has been flat. A hefty new examination by McKinsey’s eponymous …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2018
decline

Worldwide smartphone shipments DOWN for first time ever

The global smartphone market is shrinking for the first time as choosey buyers in emerging markets hang on to their mobiles for longer. In Gartner’s Q4 sales stats, Samsung maintained a narrow lead in global volume shipments of smartphones – but every major (top five) vendor outside of those based in China saw unit shipments …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2018

RIP, Swype: Thanks for all the sor--speec--speedy texting

One of the best-loved mobile apps of the past decade, Swype, has been given the bullet. Parent company Nuance confirmed it will no longer develop the letter-tracing keyboard, which will disappear from the Apple and Google app stores. Swype was developed by one of the inventors of T9 predictive text, Cliff Kushner, and was …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2018
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Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you

“Android Pay” is no more, as Google attempts to unify its disparate transaction options under one brand. The redesigned, rebranded Google Pay app – which supersedes Android Pay – is already in the Google Play Store. Google has folded some of the functionality from its wallet app (creatively named, er, Google Wallet) into its …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2018

The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

Exclusive They've really gone and done it. They've made a modern Psion: a brand new computer that fits in your pocket – one you can touch-type on and everything. Planet Computing's Gemini is not just a PDA: it has been called "the only interesting phone in the market," which shouldn't sound so weird – the Gemini model with a SIM card …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2018

Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

Comment Perhaps more by accident or design, Microsoft managed to lower expectations for Windows on Arm last week – but not set them so low it kills off interest in the platform. In fact, the "redacted" advisory about limitations of Windows confirms what we already know – hairy hacks won't work, nor will various plugins that hook into …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2018

iPhone X 'slump' is real, whisper supply chain moles

Samsung has provided confirmation that iPhone X sales are way below Apple's estimates for the much-hyped, tenth anniversary special. The miscalculation could end up benefitting Android owners. News that public demand for the £999 phone was falling short of expectations came over the Christmas holidays, with Bloomberg reporting …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2018
Man on old phone, image via Shutterstock

Sorry, I can't hear you, the line's VoLTE

EE has improved the reliability of its voice calls after a bumpy transition to an all-IP mobile network, according to network sleuth RootMetrics. The introduction of VoLTE saw EE fall from the top spot in RootMetrics' network ratings for call reliability. Three and Vodafone beat EE in the first half of last year for the …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2018

When Samsung reveals the S9 at MWC, at least try to act surprised

There's rarely such a thing as a "genuine" phone leak in our experience – glimpses of unreleased models are carefully choreographed by professionals months in advance. Apple is the obvious exception. A stupendous data dump on the eve of the iPhone launch left presenters with nothing new at all to announce. Samsung's big night …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Feb 2018

*Wakes up in Chrome's post-adblockalyptic landscape* Wow, hardly anything's changed!

You read it here first: the much-feared Chrome adblockalypse is likely be a soaking wet squib – with many kinds of digital irritant permitted. As we noted back in December, you need to read the fine print of the industry trade group's standards to know this, though. The Coalition for Better Ads, which includes ad duopoly …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Feb 2018
Possibly zombie woman holds laptop as blood runs down face in post apocalyptic future...

Chrome adblockalypse will 'accelerate Google-Facebook duopoly'

Analysis Google's own ad-blocking initiative was introduced yesterday via its Chrome browser. Ad folk mag The Drum calls it a "hatchet" for publishers. Online media trade site Digiday agrees, finding publishers glumly resigned to the move. We found broad agreement that it's going to be web content producers, not the ad industry, that …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Feb 2018

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