Andrew Orlowski

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Doctors run to save patient. Photo by Shutterstock

Artificial intelligence 'will save wearables'!

When a technology hype flops, do you think the industry can use it as a learning experience? A time of self-examination? An opportunity to pause and reflect on making the next consumer or business tech hype a bit less stupid? Don't be silly. What it does is pile the next hype on to the last hype, and call it "Hype 2.0". " …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2017

Facebook scoffed at $500m damages. Now Oculus faces nerd goggles injunction

Sometimes it's wise not to boast that you're so rich, a $500m damages award against you is chump change. Earlier this month, Facebook CTO Sheryl Sandberg scoffed at the paltry $500m damages it was ordered to award Zenimax Media for IP theft regarding its Oculus Rift nerd goggles. Sandberg said that the bill was "not material …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2017

Omg, that is, like, sooo 2007... Retromania set to grip this year's MWC

Analysis Hold the front page! Nokia's launching a bunch of new phones this weekend, and everyone is very excited. So is BlackBerry. The founder of CrackBerry.com thinks it's the most exciting event in years. Perhaps you fell into a deep coma in 2007 and have just woken up. Was the last decade all just a horrible dream? No. It's just …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2017

Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

The adoption of prophylactics to protect users against advertising failed to rise in 2016, according to pollsters YouGov. The hopeful conclusion that the Internet Advertising Bureau trade group draws from this is that ad-blocking has hit a plateau as users mull the moral implications of blitzing ads from their PCs and phones …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2017
Vintage BBC experimental colour transmission testcard section

BBC admits iPlayer downloads are broken

Updated The BBC has acknowledged that problems with the latest iPlayer software for PCs and Macs have left users unable to download shows to watch offline. The problems have affected the current build for over a week. The BBC notes that shows requested for offline viewing stall after about 12MB have been downloaded. Others report …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2017

Ah, the Raspberry Pi 3. So much love. So much power ... So turn it into a Windows thin client

Using the Raspberry Pi 3 as a Windows thin client is not a new idea, but NComputing has wrapped it all up in a nice package for its target markets of schools and verticals. The NComputing RX300 is a $99 piece of kit that uses the Pi 3 board in two modes: running native Raspbian Linux, or as a Windows VDI thin-client. And …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017

Facebook scales back AI flagship after chatbots hit 70% f-AI-lure rate

So it begins. Facebook has scaled back its ambitions and refocused its application of "artificial intelligence" after its AI bots hit a 70 per cent failure rate. Facebook unveiled a bot API for its Messenger IM service at its developer conference last April. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had high hopes. TenCent's WeChat was …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017
Android strapped to rocket. Photo by shutterstock

Booming Android ad revenue shows it’s no longer the poor cousin

Advertising revenue flowing back to app developers from Android apps has exceeded the amount returned to developers by Apple for the first time. Despite its lowly market share, iOS has long boasted of good returns from its app ecosystem, in terms of both purchases and ad revenue. Owners of Apple bling spend more and are worth …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017

'Leaky' LG returns to sanity for 2017 flagship

So this is how consumer electronics marketing works in 2017. LG is stoking interest in this year's flagship smartphone, the G6, by releasing an interview with a man who has actually seen one. The phone is officially due to be launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday, but the modern marketing game involves …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017

Your next PC is… your 'Droid? Remix unveils Continuum-killer

Jide, the company founded by three ex-Googlers, has shown how a phone can act as a Continuum-style hub. When plugged into an external monitor, the Android device – with the new and as-yet unreleased cut of Jide's Remix OS – allows the user to work with "desktop-friendly" versions of the apps that are already installed on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017
European flag with sad face

EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

The EU’s top privacy body has been probing Windows 10, but isn’t satisfied, even after Microsoft agreed to tweak the consent settings. Microsoft unveiled new privacy controls as part of its forthcoming “Creators Update” to Windows 10 due this spring. However, Reuters reports that the Article 29 Working Party, which represents …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017
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NZ High Court rules US can extradite Kim Dotcom after all

The businessman otherwise known as Kim Schmitz, aka "Kimble", aka "Kim Dotcom", has lost his High Court appeal in New Zealand to be extradited to the USA. In January 2012, Schmitz's mansion and property were confiscated in raids relating to an investigation of his Megaupload.com website, a file-sharing site that is accused of …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017
Pirate ship in Croatia with a hole blown through it. For editorial use only. Photo by shutteretsock/s-mart

Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

UK government-hosted talks spanning two Parliaments have culminated in Google and Bing at last agreeing to tweak their search results in response to copyright-holders' concerns, thereby heading off threatened legislation on their conduct. The code means Google, Bing and other search engines will demote illegal sites from the …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017
US Federal Communications Commission Headquarters in Washington, DC. Pic: editorial use only/Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock

Why I had to sue the FCC – VoIP granddaddy Dan Berninger

Interview One of the grandaddies of VoIP is taking America's comms watchdog, the FCC, to the US Supreme Court over net neutrality – and he's told us why. It’s life or death, says Dan Berninger, whose startup works on high quality voice services, and could be killed by the regulator at a stroke. Berninger led the Bell Labs team that …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Feb 2017

Apple nabs smartphone top spot from Samsung, but for how long?

Christmas sales helped Apple steal top spot in global phone shipments from Samsung, but Gartner, who compiled the numbers, are confident that the chaebol will wrestle it back. Gartner estimated the gap between the two had narrowed to 256,000 units, with Apple a shade in front, by 77,0380,000 to 76,782,600 shipments in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Feb 2017

Cheer up, pal: UK mobe networks are now 8% less crap, tests show

Real-world mobile network performance monitor RootMetrics reckons the reliability of the UK’s mobile networks improved eight per cent in the last six months of 2016. RootMetrics tests network performance on roads and some 1,000 indoor locations, and the data is based on over 800,000 data samples. Vodafone was the most …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Feb 2017

Vinyl, filofaxes – why not us too, pleads Nokia

HMD, the custodian of the Nokia brand, is cranking up the nostalgia ahead of its return at MWC at the end of the month. Pre-publicity material is about heritage - although how much the new models have to do with the Nokia DNA is open to question. The goal of the pre-launch publicity material seems to be to remind everyone how …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Feb 2017

GoDaddy CEO says US is 'tech illiterate' (so, yeah, don't shut off that cheap H-1B supply)

American techies who discovered their Silicon Valley bosses were suppressing their wages illegally now have to suffer fresh insult to injury. GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving said this month that "with so much technical illiteracy in the US," it's no wonder companies use overseas workers on H-1B visas to fill science, tech and …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Feb 2017

Google to cough up $20m after Chrome rips off anti-malware patents

Google has been ordered to pay $20m damages after its Chrome browser sandbox technology was found to have infringed four anti-malware patents. The verdict [PDF] was handed down on Friday after a jury trial in Marshall, Texas. The patents – including this one – were awarded to former Lucent engineer Allen Rozman, who died aged …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Feb 2017

The Mail vs Wikipedia: They're more alike than they'd ever admit

Analysis When you live in a glass house, is it wise to start a rock-throwing competition? Wikipedians this week added greatly to the amusement of the internet after around 40 contributors loftily declared that the Daily Mail was not a reliable source for citations. Much public hilarity ensued – for the reason that The Mail and …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Feb 2017
gag

Judge green lights Microsoft vs Uncle Sam gag order case

Microsoft is clear to sue the US government for gagging the company from telling users when their data has been accessed by the State. The lawsuit, filed last April, jumped another legal hurdle this week – thanks to the Washington judge who also battered President Trump's executive order on travel. It's Microsoft's fourth …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Feb 2017
ISIS fighters

ISIS videos, adtech, and the 'smartest guys in the room' (Google)

Special Report Google's ad blacklists, intended to stop big brand advertisements running over YouTube terror videos, aren’t working. In 2014, Newsnight reported that the taxpayer was paying for ads to run alongside beheadings. Three years on, The Times notes that after promising advertisers their ads wouldn't run against certain content, …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Feb 2017
Friends look shocked watching TV. photo by Shutterstock

Prepare your popcorn: Wikipedia deems the Daily Mail unreliable

Welcome, Mr Dacre. Wikipedia editors have voted to put The Daily Mail in the sin bin – alongside The Register. After a small but decisive vote involving around 80 contributors, the Mail is now classified as a "potentially unreliable source" on its advice page. This doesn't mean its a "policy" or a "guideline", but editors are …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Feb 2017

Android Wear: The bloatware that turned into gloatware

Analysis After multiple delays, Google is finally launching Android Wear 2 today, nine months after revealing it to world+dog. This is Google's last chance to give Wear a purpose, in a market that's been savage to so many wearables. Otherwise, it's back to the drawing board. The Wear platform was rushed out to beat Apple to market, and …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Feb 2017

Biggest Kodi sweep: Brit cops nab five, bag some dodgy sticks

UK copyright cops made their biggest sweep yet in the crackdown on preloaded Kodi TV streaming kit. Five people were arrested today in Rhyl in Wales, and Bootle, Bolton, Manchester and Cheadle in England. Police did not release names. The five were quizzed by investigators and have all been released on bail. It is believed the …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Feb 2017