Andrew Orlowski

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Schrems busts Privacy Shield wide open

Privacy activist and student Max Schrems has hailed an Irish Court decision today to refer cross-Atlantic data flows back to the European Court of Justice – all over again. Schrems sparked the original litigation which led to the Court throwing out the "Safe Harbor" legal framework that governed flows of European citizens’ …
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

The axeman strikes again: Microsoft has real commitment issues

Comment Ever since Satya Nadella took the helm at Microsoft in 2014, his PR people have been grooming him to be an Inspiration Thought Leader, preaching Transformation to the TED Talk classes. This took another step with the global launch of his book Hit Refresh, a "masterpiece" of how to scale up the "growth mindset”. [must-read] …
Chinese revolutionary panda

China cools on Apple's high-priced iBling

Readers and pundits like to compare Apple products to Veblen goods: the pricier they are, the stronger the demand. An iPhone is a status symbol and an aspirational good; it shows the world you have taste and money. When Apple tried a cut-price iPhone, it flopped. With the latest iPhone X topping £1,000 SIM free, that’s about …

BlackBerry reveals slim profits as Dolby-isation of brand marches on

Freed of making phones, BlackBerry continues to "Dolby-ise" its brand, and again recorded a slim profit for the most recent financial quarter. These days BlackBerry is a collection of business and industrial software units, plus a patent licensing division. The company booked a profit of $19m on revenue of $238m in Q2 FY 2018 …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2017

Nokia updates classic comeback mobe 3310

Only one phone from the "New Nokia" (aka HMD Global) has made any impact so far, and sadly for the startup's ambitions of returning the brand to market leadership, it's the remodelled classic, the 3310. The Nokia 3310 was reintroduced to the world at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona generating enviable amounts of nostalgic …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2017

'Alexa, play Charlie Bit My Finger.' I can't do that, Dave. No, really

Google's low-intensity rivalry with Amazon has just escalated. Amazon's Echo Show speaker has been barred from playing YouTube videos. Google's explanation is that Amazon violated YouTube's Terms of Services, "creating a broken user experience". The two have been in discussions for some time, said Google, but had been unable …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Sep 2017

Google's pay-to-play 'remedy' is warming Eurocrats' hearts

Regulators are warming to Google's preferred remedy to the European Commission's vertical search competition investigation, according to a briefing given to Bloomberg. Google wants to create panels that third-party sites can bid for, as a remedy to the vertical search judgement, which concluded that Google had abused its …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Sep 2017

My name is Bill Gates and I am an Android user

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has admitted to switching to an Android phone but he still won't entertain using the Jesus Mobe iPhone. With Windows 10 mobile orphaned into the slow lane (it no longer receives the latest Redstone 3 and 4 development in line with the desktop release) and Microsoft not selling own-brand handsets, …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Sep 2017
a hiker pauses on top of the sierra nevada mountains

So. Should I upgrade to macOS High Sierra?

Analysis Apple releases a systems nerd nirvana today, a new OS that’s packed with more profound and interesting under-the-hood technology features than Apple has released for years. But should you rush out and upgrade to macOS 10.13 High Sierra? Well, certainly not, if you want to maintain a set of working peripherals. And emphatically …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Sep 2017

HP denies rumours Elite x3 is for the axe, admits coveting neighbour's OS

HP Inc, the only phone vendor with a serious commitment to Windows 10 mobile, has refuted reports that it will kill off its HP Elite x3 enterprise phone this autumn. A German article on the Windows United blog claimed sales would cease from November 1. HP has said it will continue to sell the Elite x3 throughout 2018, and to …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Sep 2017

Why Uber isn't the poster child for capitalism you wanted

Comment Within minutes of Uber losing its licence to operate in London, Uber became a totemic icon of innovation and free enterprise market capitalism that was being crushed by vested interests in cahoots with bureaucrats. Boo to the corrupt, killjoy socialists! Hurrah for innovation! Sign the petition! But this is a simplistic, …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Sep 2017

iPhone 8: Apple has CPU cycles to burn

While the iPhone 8 retains the same unremarkable design for the fourth year running, the internals are a different story. Thanks to extraordinary improvements in semiconductor design, it has been able to shrink the capacity and size of its battery pack, while opening up a significant performance lead over Qualcomm and Samsung …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Sep 2017
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

AI in Medicine? It's back to the future, Dr Watson

Analysis "OK, the error rate is terrible, but it's Artificial Intelligence – so it can only improve!" Of course. AI is always "improving" – as much is implied by the cleverly anthropomorphic phrase, "machine learning". Learning systems don't get dumber. But what if they don't actually improve? The caveat accompanies almost any …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Sep 2017

If you need to replace anything other than your iPhone 8's battery or display, good luck

iFixit’s teardown of the new iPhone 8 confirms that the screen and battery remain relatively replaceable, despite the addition of Qi-compatible wireless charging coils in the unit. Overall the site gives the 8 6/10 for repairability… the same score as last year. The iPhone 3GS in 2009 was given a 7/10 and only needed three …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Sep 2017

How Apple is taming the ad biz. Just don't expect Google or Zuck to follow

Can the world's biggest tech company tame the Wild West of the digital ad industry as its data slurping becomes ever more intrusive? Since Facebook and Google are essentially colluding with behavioural data collection, and Microsoft has given up the fight for user privacy, few companies have Apple's means or incentive. But for …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Sep 2017

Google's Big Hardware Bet: Is this what a sane business would do?

Analysis Google is placing a "Big Bet" on consumer hardware, the company screams in a new blog post. Presumably this time it really means it. Two thousand staff from HTC's phone division will be heading off to the Chocolate Factory, their winning Golden Tickets in hand. Google didn't capitalise "Big Bet" but then it really didn't have …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Sep 2017

Falling apart at the seamless: Inside Apple's LTE Watch fiasco

Analysis Just as the Apple Watch was set to go mainstream, bugs and poor design choices have taken the shine off the latest version of the hardware. Apple Watch has been the only Apple product to get a price cut since Brexit, which saw some prices rise by over 20 per cent. The Series 2 42mm was £399 prior to the product launch last …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Sep 2017

Amazon wants to be king of the nerd goggles

Something to quicken the pulses of middle-aged men in the shower, whose surname rhymes with "Noble"*. Amazon is reportedly working on a pair of smart specs, its first wearable. The eyewear will "look like a regular pair of spectacles so that it [can] be worn comfortably and unobtrusively", the FT reports. The paper doesn't …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Sep 2017

Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

Review After years of complacency – and falling sales – Apple has transformed the iPad into something it should have been from the start: a proper computer. iOS 11, which dropped Tuesday evening, only does a little bit for the iPhone, but a great deal for the iPad. It isn't too much of an exaggeration to say that a mature computer …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Sep 2017

More are paying to stream music, but YouTube still holds the value gap

With Google's user-generated content loophole firmly in lawmaker's sights, global music trade body IFPI has published new research looking at demand for music streaming. The research confirms YouTube's pre-eminence as the world's de facto jukebox. 46 per cent of on-demand music streaming is from Google's video website. 75 per …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Sep 2017

Google parks old pay-to-play auction in front of European Commission – reports

Google appears to have revived an "auction-based fix" to vertical search competition complaints, according to Reuters. Four years ago, Google proposed to "auction off" space on its search page, as a remedy to competition complaints that it favoured its own properties over rivals. The European Commission rejected it as …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Sep 2017

Apocalypse now: Ad biz cries foul over Apple's great AI cookie purge

Fear of the Adpocalypse has died down in recent months - but new platform Apple releases have revived it. Apple's imminent decision to throttle third-party cookies poses a mortal threat to behavioural advertising, says Madison Avenue, and therefore to Life On Earth as we know it. Apple is building "Intelligent Tracking …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Sep 2017

Essential's Rubin coy on mysterious Plan to Take Over the Universe

With Apple playing catchup to Samsung, the big phone story of the year belongs to Essential. And the big story with Essential isn't really the phone. It's a combination of starpower - founder Andy Rubin created Android and his Essential co-founders Matt Hershenson and Joe Britt created the Sidekick - and the huge investment he …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Sep 2017

Why the Apple Watch with LTE means a very Apple-y sort of freedom

While Apple was making the iPhone less dependent on a Mac or PC, this week, it was tying its Watch even closer to the iPhone - contrary to what Apple's marketing material wants you to think. If you didn't know anything about Apple Watch Series 3 other than that it "now has a 4G SIM", you'd be forgiven for thinking this is a …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Sep 2017

Spotify just can't wash those songwriters out of its hair

Spotify is embroiled in new legal objections over how it pays songwriters royalties... or doesn’t, as the songwriters insist. At issue is the mechanical copyright royalty – the amount owed to the composer or songwriter from the reproduction of the recording. Songwriters and composers argue that while Spotify negotiated …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Sep 2017

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