Andrew Orlowski

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BlackBerry continues its gentle slide even as software sales embiggen

BlackBerry's Q1 FY19 revenues are down 9 per cent year-on-year, though nearly 90 per cent of that came from software and services sales. The latest quarter's software and services of $189m were up 18 per cent year-on-year, comparing to the one-time mobile behemoth's overall revenues of $213m. However, the company's net loss …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2018
young man in medieval peasant costume

Why the 'feudal' tech monopolies run rings around competition watchdogs

Interview Competition watchdogs need to move faster and consider the bigger picture to deal effectively with transnational tech behemoths like Google, says BT's former chief lawyer. For seven years, Tim Cowen was head of BT's competition and regulatory public policy group, dealing with government threats to the telco monopoly. He's now …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2018
Baby

Buttonless and port-free: Expect the next iPhone to be as smooth as a baby's bum

Apple prompted complaints when it removed the 3.5mm audio port from iPhones in 2016. Expect future models to be even more radical. The Cupertino giant mulled the idea of exterminating the Lightning port entirely when it was designing the iPhone X, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. "During the development of the iPhone X, …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2018

Have YOU had your breakfast pint? Boffins confirm cheeky daily tipple is good for you

A major study of Americans has punched another hole in the official British government medical advice that there's no "safe level" of drinking. The cohort study of around 100,000 individuals found that infrequent drinkers and teetotallers had an increased risk of mortality. "Combined risk of cancer or death was lowest in …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2018

BlackBerry CEO: We need help from the channel to grow

BlackBerry is focusing on luring in more channel partners and developers to maintain growth, CEO John Chen told shareholders at the company's AGM. Chen has stabilised the business and jettisoned the devices unit that gave the company its name. Margins now reflect those of an enterprise software company – in the 70 per cents, …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jun 2018
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JURI's out, Euro copyright votes in: Whoa, did the EU just 'break the internet'?

JURI, European Parliament's legal affairs committee, voted today to approve article 11 of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which allows news publishers to seek payment for reuse of snippets of articles, in a narrow 13:12 vote. It also voted to back a more controversial measure, article 13 of the same …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jun 2018
nerd looking surprised at phone

A pretty and helpful user interface? Nahhh. Is that really you, Samsung?

Samsung isn't the first name most people would associate with slick user interfaces – but its 2018 Android P overhaul could make rivals Apple and Google look shabby. Though Oreo brought few changes to Samsung's TouchWiz UI used on millions of phones, this year should see significant tweaks. Samsung uses an obscure, Korean- …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jun 2018
Shutterstock molten chocolate

Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets

Some optimists are betting on Google own-brand devices to save the smartwatch. Others are betting that new generations of Google-free Android-based hardware will do the same thing. And one of the latter is IDC. IDC has predicted the smartwatch category will return to growth in the next few years. How so? IDC points out that …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jun 2018
Google Pixel 2 Product

Google says Pixel 2's narcoleptic display is being fixed in June update

Some Pixel 2 owners are still waiting for a fix for dead screens six months after the issue was first reported. The display turns off during a phone call and – like Rip Van Winkle – can't be woken up. The bug began to manifest itself with the 8.1 Oreo update last last year – see here and here. Google support advised some …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jun 2018
Smartphone user photo via Shutterstock

Brit mobile phone users want the Moon on a stick but then stay on same networks for aeons

Chinese brands have been eyeing Western markets for some time, but in the UK customer inertia means many punters stick with what they know. RootMetrics' consumer survey of UK mobile shows just how much. More than half of the UK's big four mobile network customers have been with their carrier for two years or more. O2 …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jun 2018
William Shatner plays Captain James Tiberius Kirk on Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-69)

Shatner's solar-powered Bitcoin gambit wouldn't power a deflector shield

Here's a surprise. William Shatner wants cryptocurrency miners to use a solar energy company he represents. Solar Alliance is offering a 3MW solar array* in Murphysboro, Illinois to would-be miners. The retired Canadian actor, 87, has graciously put aside his well-documented disdain of cryptocurrencies to try and attract new …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jun 2018
eelo bliss launcher

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

Interview Open source had a moral purpose when it was fighting "The Borg", Microsoft, in the 1990s, but then it fell from view. You could say it has found its mojo again, only this time it is about loosening the grip of companies built on ever more intrusive personal data processing: Google and Facebook. One of the biggest but most …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jun 2018
Apple's Lightening cable

Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

Apple isn't backing down from a move to lock down the iPhone’s data port to increase security for users, even though it means thwarting some of the password-cracking tools used by forensics experts. In the latest beta versions of iOS, Apple includes a feature called USB Restricted Mode, which disables the data connection of …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jun 2018
Diplodocus-looking dinosaurs in a lake (illustration)

Dinosaurs permitted to mate: But what does AT&T Time merger mean for antitrust – and you?

Analysis Across political divides in the United States there's a common appetite for reining in the country's plutocratic corporate overlords. The country that reveres Mom 'n' Pop businesses is wary when giant businesses combine. But the landmark decision in a US District Court permitting two legacy businesses to merge indicates how hard …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jun 2018
Waiting

This HTC U12+ review page is left intentionally blank

Review This space is left intentionally blank. It's where our HTC U12+ flagship review would go. So why is it missing? Last year HTC won back mindshare with its flagship U11 phone, the elegance and appealing imaging and video of which made it an attractive alternative to big-spending rivals. An even stronger U11+ a few months later …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jun 2018
MS patent paperback

Budget Surface 'spotted' in Microsoft's crystal ball

Further evidence that Microsoft wants to broaden the appeal of its boutique Surface hardware has emerged. Almost a month ago, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicted budget Surface hardware was being planned, priced at "about $400... 20 per cent lighter than the high-end models, but [with] around four hours fewer of battery life". …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jun 2018

Low AI rollout caused by dumb, fashion-victim management – Gartner

Pointy-Haired Bosses* are splashing AI about their organisations without a clue about why they're doing it, says a senior Gartner analyst. "As head of customer experience, the logic is: we have to deploy AI because everyone else is doing it. In fact, there's not a huge number of companies that are actually deploying AI," …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2018

Every bloody gadget in the house is ringing. Thanks, EE

"Do not think your house is a hide-out, it is a telephone," complained Ted Hughes in his poem Do Not Pick Up The Telephone, and EE is helping bring that dystopian vision to life. The mobile giant today launched a virtualised number service called Smartnumber, which can transfer calls intended for your primary mobile number to …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jun 2018
Man feels someone else's pain

Xiaomi the money? OK, here's a one beeeeellion dollar loss ahead of IPO

Chinese tech darling Xiaomi made a loss of $1.2bn (¥7.7bn) on turnover of $5.4bn (¥34.4bn) in the first quarter of 2018. The firm disclosed the figures in a regulatory filing (Chinese, PDF) ahead of a share flotation. The IPO could raise $10bn and Xiaomi wants to use it to expand into the West. The bulk of Xiaomi's income is …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jun 2018
google earth day google: You're a giant squid! You can achieve anything to which you put your mind and/or your massive tentacles

Android users: Are you ready for the great unbundling?

It's June, so it must be the season to fine Alphabet billions of euros. According to Reuters' sources, a second big fine will be imposed on Google's parent company next week by the European Commission, this time for abusing its dominance of smartphone platforms. In addition to the fine, the newswire reported, the Commission …
Motorola Z3 Play

Motorola extends modular phone adventure for another year

Motorola has extended its modular phone adventure for another year, with new devices compatible with its Mods expansion spec. Reports of cutbacks raised fears the ambitious initiative would be snuffed out. The new Mod-compatible Z3 Play was launched in Brazil this week - Motorola is growing rapidly in Latin America - although …
Google salad emoji with and without egg

British egg producers saddened by Google salad emoji update

British egg producers have expressed disappointment at the removal of the oval-shaped favourite from Google's salad emoji. The UX manager for Google emoji Jennifer Daniel confirmed the change in a Tweet. The now egg-free salad is more vegan-friendly, and therefore more inclusive, Daniel explained. There's big talk about …
BlackBerry Key2 (official) photo - silver

BlackBerry Key2: Clickier, nippier, but how many people still want a QWERTY?

Hands On Warm reviews and good wishes didn't help the newly formed BlackBerry Mobile sell bucket loads of phones in its first year, but a strong second attempt might. The new Key2 lends weight to the idea that the TCL-owned brand – a wholly separate entity to the old Canadian BlackBerry – is in it for the long run. Although strongly …
Android robot sitting under an umbrella on its laptop in the dark

Google freezes Android P: Get your shoes on, tire-kicking devs

With Google freezing the Android P APIs yesterday, both major mobile platforms have shown their hand for 2018. The freeze comes as Google released "Beta 2", which is really the third Developer Preview release of Android P issued so far. The API freeze means developers can now compile and submit apps compatible with Android P …
Apple Watch Series 3

watchOS 5 hints at new Apple wearables and life beyond the Watch

Analysis Features introduced in the latest version of Apple's wearable OS suggest Apple wants to produce more sophisticated small computing devices and avoid getting embroiled a straight fight with fitness trackers. That's a reasonable strategy, for the killer features of the Apple Watch so far have turned out to be not apps, not …

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