Andrew Orlowski

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Memo to Mark Sedwill: Here's how to reboot government IT

Interview The new Cabinet secretary and head of the British civil service, Mark Sedwill, has a chance to rethink how the UK government does IT. And this means deciding what to do with GDS, the Government Digital Service. Although the kids-in-jeans-in-Whitehall era is now a distant memory, GDS remains, in name at least, the go-to expert …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Oct 2018
iPhone XR all colour group shot

iPhone XR guts reveal sizzle of the XS without the excessive price tag

After years in the doldrums, the iPhone XR could boost Apple's phone shipments. iFixit's teardown revealed that the trusted, conventional iPhone design now incorporates a modular (removable) SIM card reader and single-deck motherboard. Intel provided the LTE modem – not surprising given Apple's ongoing legal dispute with …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Oct 2018
OnePlus 6T

With the 6T, OnePlus hopes to shed 'cheeky upstart' tag and launch assault on flagships

Hands On "We're not the cheeky upstart anymore," OnePlus told us at previews of the 6T flagship, its seventh, launched today. After achieving notoriety through stunts and jaw-droppingly low pricing, the brand struggled to turn its value proposition into a mass-market deal. But finally, it has earned the trust of the tech channel and …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Oct 2018
Xiaomi Underpants

The Chinese are here: Xiaomi to bring phones to the UK next month

Xiaomi will officially launch in the UK with its first physical store in November – and retail support from Hutchison's Three UK. Xiaomi's Mi 5 Xiaomi the way: Hyped Chinese giant begins its battle for Britain READ MORE In May, Hutch vowed to wheel in its formidable retail clout to the support of the unconventional Chinese …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Oct 2018

China tells Trump to use a Huawei phone to avoid eavesdroppers

Cheeky Huawei has advised the President of the United States to use one of its own Chinese-designed phones to avoid eavesdropping. The New York Times reported this week that alongside his government-issued secure line, Donald Trump frequently made calls to associates using a regular old insecure consumer network and his …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Oct 2018
Mix 10GB

Xiaomi waggles Mi MIX 3, the first smartphone packing 10GB RAM

Ahead of the company's impending UK launch, Xiaomi has broken new ground with the first 10GB RAM smartphone in China. The Mi MIX 3 was unveiled yesterday and features the novel camera slider Xiaomi has used before, which reveals the front-facing camera, therefore doing away with the need for a cutout or "Notch". A magnetic …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Oct 2018
AI boss and human slaves should spend more on AI, bleat VCs and consultants. Oh? Why's that then?

Comment Unlike some of the people who invented it, the All Party Parliamentary Group on AI has "no doubts" that artificial intelligence will bring "tangible and practical deliverables" to the UK – if only the right sort of people use it. Caution about expecting too much from today's AI has been urged by neuroscientist Gary Marcus (PDF …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Oct 2018
technician holding a toolbox

Motorola: Oops, phone busted? Grab a spudger and go get 'em, champ

A 2014 Eurobarometer survey (PDF) found that 77 per cent of EU citizens would prefer to repair their electronics rather than buy new ones, but were put off by the cost quoted, and ended up replacing them anyway. While Apple clamps down on third-party repairs, Motorola has gone in the opposite direction and encouraged folk to …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Oct 2018
HP ZBook 15

HP says: Like, comment and subscribe to our beastly workstations

As the Microsoft Surface juggernaut rolls on, there's added urgency to flogging premium PCs this autumn, with Intel's chip shortage affecting the lower end of the market, making premium sales more hotly contested. After Surface, every PC rival now focuses on the mythical self-actualising entrepreneur or creative professional …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Oct 2018
Escape from crisis

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

Comment Windows isn't working – and Microsoft urgently needs to change how it develops the platform, and jettison three filthy practices it has acquired in recent years. In 2014 Microsoft decided it could do a better job if it discarded a lot of software testers. This bright new dawn was lauded at the time by Peter Bright at Ars …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Oct 2018
People walking through the desert

Can 'blockchain' mobe Exodus stem movement of HTC's Jah people?

"Exodus" may be a fair description of HTC's customer base in recent years – once the reviewers' darling, it has fallen a long way. Earnings for the first half of 2018 were almost half the same period last year (PDF). HTC Exodus 1 HTC Exodus 1 So perhaps Exodus isn't the wisest choice of name for its first "blockchain phone …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Oct 2018
Couple wearing sunglasses looking surprised by something

Samsung's graphene batteries promise to charge five times faster – without exploding

Samsung Mobile (or at least a fan blog) has claimed development of its graphene battery technology is, er, all wrapped up, raising hopes of finding them in products soon. SamsungMobile.News helpfully tweeted yesterday: Samsung has completed the developing of it's Graphene Batteries👌🏼 — SamsungMobile …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Oct 2018
woman thinks intently as she uses smartphone

Stealthy UK startup drops veil on next frontier of speech wizardry

If you've been amazed by Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana and Google Assistant, you might think continuous speech recognition is done and dusted – and that there are no mountains left to climb. However, a young British company has developed a radical new approach with spectacular results, based on low-level signal processing …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Oct 2018

So, about that Google tax on Android makers in the EU – report pegs it at up to $40 per phone

Google will charge Android smartphone makers wishing to include its Play Store as much as $40 in Europe, according to documents purportedly seen by The Verge. The fees are a response to the European Commission's request for a remedy after fining Google €4.34bn in July for "[using] Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Oct 2018
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

Apple to dump Intel CPUs from Macs for Arm – yup, the rumor that just won't die is back

Apple will abandon Intel processor chips for its Macs in favour of homegrown Arm-based chips, according to a securities analyst. Formerly at KGI, Ming-Chi Kuo of KeyBanc Capital Markets, has a strong record of reliable Apple predictions. Kuo issued the prediction in a research note, suggesting the switch would be made in 2020 …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Oct 2018
The Essential Phone

Android creator Andy Rubin's firm might think its phone is Essential, but 30% of staff are not

The phone startup founded by Andy Rubin – creator of WebTV, the Sidekick and Android – has reportedly laid off 30 per cent of its staff. Essential is still in the game, but only just. A spokesperson told Bloomberg that Essential had "a sharpened product focus" and promised a "truly game changing consumer product". So far it …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Oct 2018
Google man flips the bird

Stroppy Google runs rings round Brussels with Android remedy

Comment Google's artful but risky response to the European Commission highlights the weakness of Brussels' strategy dealing with big Silicon Valley companies. It's fully consistent with Google's previous response, which is to say it goes as close to the line of outright insubordination as it can without actually crossing it. As we …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Oct 2018
Huawei London 16/10/18

The new Huawei is going upmarket, but the old Huawei still threatens

Analysis For a company that just four years ago vowed not to "engage in significant advertising campaigns", Huawei now puts on vast displays of wealth and technological prowess. Yesterday's extravaganza drew over 5,000 to London's Excel centre to see four new phones and two wearables, ranging from €99 to €2,099. Each event is a no- …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Oct 2018
Huawei Watch GT

Huawei's Watch GT snubs Google for homegrown OS

Google's decision to shove Java everywhere it can may be as catastrophic as Microsoft's "Windows everywhere" from the 1990s. Huawei unveiled a smartwatch today. This isn't really news, but Huawei making a smartwatch based on its own open-source embedded OS very much is. The new Huawei Watch GT uses the open-source LiteOS with …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Oct 2018
Mate 20 Matrix imaging unit

Huawei Mate 20 series: China's best phone, but a pricey proposition

Hands On With its vast, formidable production machine roaring behind it, Huawei is giving itself two entries in the annual flagship race this year – the prize some other OEMs struggle to hit annually. Not content with hyping its spring P-series, Huawei has turned its autumn line into a highly desirable consumer flagship contender too. …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Oct 2018
HP Zbook 17 G5 3QR

HP dangles subscription hardware at power users

Microsoft's Surface has become a victim of its own success. This year’s iteration reuses the same case, maintaining compatibility with peripherals. Several PC rivals can boast better value in the premium professional segment with more interesting designs. HP Inc, for one, can boast striking designs and a comprehensive …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Oct 2018
New Palm 2018 Verizon

Finally. The palm-sized Palm phone is back. And it will, er, save you from your real smartphone

Video The Palm brand has returned with a bizarre concept: a tiny touchscreen "ghost" phone that mirrors the contents of your real smartphone – and won’t do much without one. The 3.3-inch full touchscreen promises the “full Android experience.” should you want it – or as much of the experience as you can get with a Qualcomm …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Oct 2018
Samsung Patent

Samsung’s flexible phone: Expect an expensive, half-bendy clamshell

Samsung has applied for a US patent (PDF) for a foldable mobile device, giving important clues as to how it’s approaching the market with the new technology. The Korean firm's display division already leads the market in several notable areas, and the chaebol has done little to quell speculation that a device with a flexible …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Oct 2018
Young hipster man wearing hat, suspenders, bow-tie and fake-looking tattoo-sleeve. Image via shutterstock

Cabinet Office: Forget about Verify – look at our 3,000 designers (and 56 meetups)

You may not have many functional digital government services to use here in the UK – but if you did, they would be the prettiest in the world. The Cabinet Office has defended the UK's recent record in digital government by pointing to thousands of new jobs for "user researchers and content designers" it has created. The …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Oct 2018
Map of Europe, with lock symbolizing GDPR

GDPR stands for Google Doing Positively, Regardless. Webpage trackers down in Europe – except Big G's

In a US Senate hearing that went little reported this month, America's antitrust chiefs warned that Europe's tough General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) had benefited the companies it was designed to tame. A study out this week tracking activity on the top 2,000 sites used by netizens in Europe confirms it: in one respect …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Oct 2018

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