Andrew Orlowski

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So, Nokia. What makes you think the world wants your phones?

Interview For over 20 years The Register has covered the rise and fall of Nokia phones. The story took a new turn this week with the arrival of a flagship, the first for three years, from the brand's custodians HMD. We spoke to the top executives behind the venture about their plans. Strictly speaking, this Nokia flagship comes from an …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Aug 2017

Virtual assistant backlash imminent so buy them anyway

Gartner has predicted a backlash against virtual assistants like Siri – but recommends that businesses deploy them anyway. This we learn from its "Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace 2017" report, which positions virtual assistants right at the top of the "Peak of Inflated Expectations", and about to embark on a dizzying ride …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2017

Russia's answer to Buckminster Fuller has a buttload of CGI and he's not afraid to use it

Earlier this week, Mashable, a clickbait site for millennials, showcased a novel urban transport system. It got very excited, calling it "dope" and the "future of transportation". The "gyroscopic" transport concept involves giant pods precariously balanced at treetop height that rumble along little-used median strips – the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2017

Celeb-backed music gambit rebrands as 'Roxi', prays for IPO

The company behind what was dubbed the "most ridiculous digital music launch in history" is rebranding its product and hoping to raise $100m by selling shares to the public. Electric Jukebox finally launched, following several delays, last November, a year after it was first unveiled. It positioned itself as the music service …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2017

Nokia's comeback is on: The flagship 8 emerges

Hands On To understand the appeal of the first "Nokia flagship" in three years, the Nokia 8, think of what Google was doing with the Nexus line until it caught "Pixelitis"*. Stock Android, monthly updates, decent imaging, and competitively priced. And really no other frills or gimmicks. The phone does have some Nokia DNA, as it was …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Aug 2017
Man with bun sucks on vape. Photo by shutterstock

Vaping ads flout EU rules, even if to promote healthier lifestyles

Comment The UK's advertising watchdog says that generic lifestyle campaigns urging people to improve their health by vaping instead of smoking may fall foul of EU law. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today upheld an anonymous complaint made about an advert for a e-cigarette shop Vape Station, in the magazine The Journal. …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Aug 2017

Commentard Quizwall experiment ends with more quizzing than commenting

Earlier this year Norway's government-owned broadcaster embarked on a stern Lutheran experiment with commentards. Before being able to post a comment on a story, they would need to pass a reading comprehension quiz, to prove they had read it all. (Much like Keith in Mike Leigh's Nuts In May who had chewed each piece of food 72 …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Aug 2017
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HP Inc vows: We're not walking away from Continuum

Analysis While Windows roadmaps purportedly leaked to a blog last week appear to have a big hole in them where mobile should be, HP Inc tells us it has been assured by Redmond there are no plans to drop Continuum. HP is the sole major mobile vendor committed to the Windows Mobile Edition of Windows 10 and bet big on Continuum, the …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Aug 2017

Surfacegate: Microsoft execs 'misled Nadella', claims report

Veteran Microsoft-watcher Paul Thurrott has made the sensational allegation that Microsoft's senior management "misled" their CEO about the cause of serious launch issues with its flagship Surface Pro 4 PC. Microsoft defended the reliability of the Surface range after Consumer Reports withdrew its Buy recommendation last week …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Aug 2017

Chinese stealth outfit reckons the smartwatch isn’t quite dead

With fitness gadgets fading fast, and the smartwatch category gathering flies, it’s strange to report a blazing success in wearables. Even stranger, it hasn’t come from an established consumer electronics brand or even a “wearable company”. And it has sold tens of millions with few people noticing. The latest pair of products …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Aug 2017

At last! Vivaldi lets you kill looping GIFs

The web browser for power users, Vivaldi, has gained a Reader mode and some accessibility features, but one new feature stands out. The reaction GIF may be one of the wonders of the 21st Century, but what if you don’t want your CPU cycles sucked dry by hilarious and ironic animated images? Turning off GIF animations can now be …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Aug 2017

Microsoft's Surface Pro 2017, unhinged: Luxury fondleslab that's good...

Review Microsoft waited almost two years to update its boutique computer, the Surface Pro. In the meantime the line expanded to include a detachable tablet (Surface Book), a desktop (Surface Studio) and a proper laptop (Surface, er, Laptop), while the cheaper, Atom-powered POS (Plain Old Surface) fell into the bin and wasn't rescued. …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Aug 2017

No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

Comment I feel the same way about my Apple Watch as I do about Twin Peaks – I love it, but I don’t go around recommending it. No, sir. One requires a big investment in time while the other costs a lot of money. For Twin Peaks, you really need to have seen the 30 original episodes (the significant ones more than once), and also the …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Aug 2017
man watches video on his desktop

Can the last person watching desktop video please turn out the light?

A little-noticed but quite remarkable factoid emerged from the world of digital advertising last week. Ad revenue from TV plug-in boxes has surpassed revenue from videos that play in a desktop or laptop’s web browser. The news may surprise you as so many mainstream sites play video whether you asked to see it or not. The auto- …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Aug 2017

Bixby, why is Samsung's heir apparent facing 12 years in the slammer?

The trial of Samsung's vice chairman Lee Jae-yong ended last week with calls by prosecution for a 12-year jail sentence. Mr Lee Jnr had effectively run the group since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014, until his arrest last autumn. The trial involves payments to foundations controlled by Choi Soon-sil, a long-time …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Aug 2017

Microsoft Surface laptop: Is this your MacBook Air replacement?

Review Student debt in the United States now stands at $1.2 trillion. In the UK outstanding student loans top £100 billion. Microsoft has made an fascinating contribution to the student debt crisis, by attempting to increase it. The machine I am typing on is a locked-down laptop aimed at "students" and "classrooms" that costs £1,549 …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Aug 2017

Steve Bannon wants Facebook, Google 'regulated like utilities'

Comment Steve Bannon, President Trump's chief policy strategist who has been dubbed "the Second Most Powerful Man in the World", wants a clampdown on Silicon Valley. Bannon reportedly wants "utility-style" regulation for the giant internet platforms, according to The Intercept. Facebook, Google and Amazon are named in the report. …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Jul 2017
Image of landscape with Facebook Reaction icons

Facebook's freebie for poor people under fire again

Two-thirds of the planet doesn't have internet access - but some aren't keen to see Facebook make a bridge across that digital divide. Not least of these will be arch-rival Google. Between them, the two scoop up 99 per cent of all new digital ad spending, but there's everything to play for in emerging markets. Facebook's free …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Jul 2017

Wawaweewa! Huawei shifted 73m handsets in first half of year

Huawei shipped 73 million phones in the first half of 2017, up 20.6 per cent year-on-year. The worker-owned, privately held company isn't obliged to report financials in the detail that a publicly listed company must, but instead offers selective highlights. The smartphone division contributed to consumer business group …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2017

Facebook may print money but thirsty Wall Street wants more

Analysis Anyone asking why there hasn't been a major new technology company to rival the likes of Facebook for a decade should take a good look at... Facebook. It's a reasonable question. If you exclude Uber as a technology company – it's really a casual labour arbitrage play that just happens to involve cars, other people's cars – …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2017

OnePlus cash equals 5: Rebel flagship joins upmarket Android crew

Review In a little over three years, the Chinese giant BBK Electronics has made a big impact on the market using OnePlus as a guerilla operation. By throttling supply via an invitation scheme, and offering terrific value for money, the OnePlus brand built up an authentic word of mouth reputation: help yourself to flagship specs at a …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2017
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Sensor-rich traffic info shows how far Silly Valley has to drive

The German auto cartel has flexed its muscles as Silicon Valley tries to encroach on its turf. HERE – the map consortium owned by Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – is adding live sensor data to its Real-Time Traffic service, a first. Sensor-data such as brake information is fed into the HERE service. Ralf Herrtwich, senior VP …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2017

Google goes home to Cali to overturn Canada's worldwide search result ban

What should govern the behavior of huge multinationals like Google: the law Google makes for itself, or the laws that people make? The former view has been dubbed cyber-libertarianism. In 2015, Canadian judges delivered that particular school of thought a blow, in the case of Equustek Solutions, a network equipment …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2017

Creepy tech tycoons Zuck and Musk clash over AI doomsday

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has told Elon Musk off for scaring people about “AI”. Musk has responded by saying Zuckerberg's understanding is "limited". “I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don't understand it. It's really negative and in some ways I actually think it is …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2017

House fire, walk with me: Kodipocalypse now includes conflagration

Pirate TV boxes may not be safe, IP champions FACT and Westminster Council, in the south of the UK, have claimed. "The safety issues we have found so far are to do with the device's power supply. It is not double insulated nor does it have another grounding system (it only has a two-pin plug) meaning if a short were to occur …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2017

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