Andrew Orlowski

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As ad boycott picks up pace, Google knows it doesn't have to worry

Analysis Several US-based advertisers have now suspended their advertising with YouTube, following over 200 pull-outs in the UK and Europe. Google had run big brand advertising on hate videos including jihadist groups. Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, AT&T are the latest to hit pause, or withdraw ad budgets from YouTube altogether. AT&T is …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2017
Desk beer - pint at a keyboard. Photo by shutterstock

Good news, everyone! Two pints a day keep heart problems at bay

Moderate drinking is good for you, a BMJ-published study has found, directly contradicting the advice of the UK government's "Chief Medical Officer", who advised last year there was "no safe level" of drinking. A daily pint reduces risk of a heart attack and angina by a third, a big data study of Brit adults has found, while …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2017

'Clearance sale' shows Apple's iPad is over. It's done

Comment "The iPad is done," writes Europe's shrewdest hardware scribe Volker Weber in the aftermath of Apple's annual revamp of its tablet line. The revamped iPads contain no new features, just price cuts, making it a "clearance sale". "Apple is just refining the components, but there isn't much they can do these days to make yet …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2017
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With Skype, Microsoft's messaging strategy looks coherent at last (almost)

Analysis In 2015 we compared, after many years' experience, Microsoft strategy to "a heavily armed octopus trying to shoot itself in the head". But relatively speaking, there's one product category where its hard work is beginning to appear coherent – at least compared to the competition. After a year in beta and several false starts, …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Mar 2017
Three store maidenhead

Hutch's Three UK users ripping through over 6GB a month

Three UK's mobile users are ripping through well over 6GB of data a month, prompting questions on whether the increase is sustainable. The figure, for Three UK users over December, emerged from the ISP and mobile provider's annual financial results, announced today. Over Three’s many markets, its customers used an average of …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Mar 2017

$1m Popslate e-ink screen venture tanks, Indiegogo backers flame out

A popular Indiegogo venture to build a secondary e-ink display for the iPhone has shut down after raising over $1m – and donors will not get their money back. Yashar Behzadi and Greg Moon, the founders of Popslate, the eponymous company behind the popSLATE 2 secondary smart screen, explained that the company will be dissolved …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Mar 2017
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Google's stock rating downgraded as YouTube ad boycott contagion goes global

Google has responded to a contagious YouTube advertising boycott which yesterday prompted a downgrade on Wall Street. Pivotal Research Group downgraded Alphabet shares from "Buy" to "Hold" based on its response to the boycott, which now includes more than 200 big brands, as well as public sector ad spending. Marks & Spencer …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Mar 2017

Huawei's P10 breathing on Samsung's shoulder

Review Huawei began to make significant inroads into the premium phone business in the West last year with its heavily promoted P9 models, and the Chinese giant has got this year’s shot at the market in early: ahead of Samsung and HTC. The story of the P10 flagship is quite straightforward. Huawei has refined the P9, given it some …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Mar 2017
Gold Plate My BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry admits dying BB10 is in pain

BlackBerry has finally acknowledged problems with the much-delayed 10.3.3 update to BlackBerry 10 that users began to receive late last year. In September 2015, as it announced the company’s first Android device, BlackBerry CEO John Chen promised that its home grown BB10 platform wasn’t dead. It had last received an update …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2017
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Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Google has promised a review of its ad policy on YouTube after a backlash from blue-chip advertisers. It follows a series of reports by The Times demonstrating big brand ads running over content that breaches YouTube guidelines, such as jihadist videos and other inflammatory or racist material. French advertising giant Havas " …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2017
Chap in suit in slingshot

Big-in-Russia's Yandex launches itself at a Google world

First Look The Google-Facebook duopoly has created a Silicon Valley empire that stretches from sea to shining sea. With two exceptions: Russia and China. While we think of Russian and Chinese internet companies as exclusively focused on their home territories, this isn’t totally the case. NASDAQ-listed Yandex operates mainly in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Mar 2017
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Sources: Liberty Global, Vodafone take seats at negotiating table AGAIN

Exclusive A corporate tie up between Vodafone UK and Liberty Global is back on the negotiating table, multiple sources have told The Register. The fourth floor of Voda’s Newbury HQ has been sealed off with access only granted to execs from both firms, insiders claimed. Andrea Salvato, SVP and chief development officer at Liberty Global …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Mar 2017

Google deploys flamethrower on Android ad-fraud apps

Google has dumped a class of applications that employed a fraud botnet on its Android Play Store - the apps tapped malware that tried to game Google’s advertising network. Engineers at the search firm identified a spike in traffic to its ad servers and dubbed the concealed malware “Chamois”, it explained this week. Chamois …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Mar 2017
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UK to block Kodi pirates in real-time: Saturday kick-off

Analysis Last week in the High Court, Justice Arnold agreed to a request from the Football Association and the Premier League, and supported by the BBC, amongst others, that broke new ground, technically and legally. The order, which has the support of the major UK ISPs, is unusual in several ways. It permits the ISPs to block access …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Mar 2017
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Microsoft nicks one more Apple idea: An ad-supported OS

Microsoft's Department of Annoying The Users has been quiet since the end of the GWX scheme. The Department's Greatest Hit so far has been the "Get Windows 10" promotion, which involved a pervasive popup reminding Windows 8 and 7 users to upgrade. This co-opted a number of sophisticated malware techniques to get the message …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Mar 2017

Facebook to digital ad biz: OK, we'll allow you to mark our homework

After successive scandals in which Facebook was found to be diddling its ad numbers, the social network will let a third party vet its stats. Berlin, Germany-based Meetrics will become the first ad certification company Facebook has worked with in Europe, and will verify whether anyone has actually watched the costly video ads …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Mar 2017

If fast radio bursts really are revving up interstellar sailcraft, here's the maths

Astrophysicists think that mysterious short millisecond-long blip of radiation may be distant aliens powering up their sailcraft. Over 20 such FRBs (fast radio bursts) have been detected since 2007. Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics speculates that the mysterious bursts could be powering interstellar …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Mar 2017

Silicon Valley bites back via Europe’s copyright reform

Exclusive Silicon Valley has pushed back hard against Europe’s copyright reforms in the forthcoming response from the European Parliament’s rapporteur, a full draft of which has been seen by The Register. Politico published a partial draft of the European Parliament’s response to the Commission’s proposals – only the odd pages – earlier …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Mar 2017
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ZTE blow as UK.gov suspends Chinese telco's visa scheme

Exclusive The UK has suspended ZTE from the immigration scheme used by foreign companies to allow foreign nationals to work locally, The Register can exclusively reveal. The Home Office has suspended the Tier 2 visa sponsor license for the Chinese state-owned telecomms giant, the fourth largest supplier of telecommunications equipment …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Mar 2017

The good times are over, Peter Thiel tells Silicon Valley's oligarchs

Peter Thiel makes a perfect modern sinister panto villain. From investing in deep state spookware Palantir to supporting Donald S Trump, Thiel ticks all the boxes. Throw in an eccentric medical practice – like, say, a fondness for injecting himself with young people's blood – and all that's missing is an impregnable offshore …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Mar 2017

Kodi-pocalypse Now? Actually, it's not quite here yet

With some in the media industries predicting an imminent "Kodipocalypse", a survey of more than 2,000 UK internet users suggests that simply being nice to those users who download illegal content – on Kodi or otherwise – isn't effective. The poll found that 22 per cent thought the threat of disconnection or court action would …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Mar 2017
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Amazon relinquishes data from Echo that could have dropped eaves on a killing

We'll have to wait a little longer for a test case on the use of data collected by Amazon's eavesdropper Echo in criminal investigations. Authorities in Arkansas served a search warrant on Amazon to obtain the data from an Amazon Echo device in a murder that took place in the state in November 2015. Police believe the murder …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Mar 2017
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Huawei's just changed the way you'll use Android

One of the perils of launching a clever new feature at the zoo called Mobile World Congress is that clever new things get lost in the noise. With its P10, one of the three main flagships launched at the show, Huawei quietly introduced a new feature that few people even noticed. It's abolished the Navigation Bar by …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Mar 2017
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Fancy that – the sharing economy lobby doesn't speak for the sharers

Comment Perhaps it's time to retire the term "sharing economy" once and for all. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) this week swallowed up the "gig economy" trade group Sharing Economy UK. "Sharing economy" was initially used to describe individuals trading under-utilised private assets or labour informally, on a peer-to-peer …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Mar 2017
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Confirmed: Facebook shifts away from AI… and like a miracle, the bots start working

Facebook has revamped its Messenger bot platform that allows businesses to engage with the app's massive audience. The story is a lesson for anyone looking for practical applications of the AI and machine learning hype. If you believe the evangelists, "new advances in AI" will allow businesses to restructure their support and …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Mar 2017

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