* Posts by Andrew Orlowski

1391 posts • joined 6 Sep 2006

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El Reg was invited to the House of Lords to burst the AI-pocalypse bubble

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: "if this wasn't like a householder objecting to these newfangled aeroplanes flying over"

That's excellent. Everyone should use this if confronted with the analogy again.

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Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

@ScissorHands strikes again

Yes, but it was a UX on one single phone that you couldn't buy. Not sold in most countries. Not even marketed. No one gives a crap.

The timeline/hub was 18 months later came in BB10, a mass market platform. And that swipe to multitask stuff was in WebOS in 2009.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Ban the eSIM!

It would be easier and more consistent to *mandate portability* than *ban* software/virtual SIMs. That would mean an operator or Apple can't sell a device that can't switch networks at some point.

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Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

The same sort of school that blows £50,000 of its PTA's money on iPads, I would guess.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

You can revert. It saved my Air 1 from molasses.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: I do, but

"You want to take screenshots of a book? Highlight sections? Aren't you just supposed to read and enjoy?"

I hate to get technical but in the trade it's called "research".

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

I do, but

Having got one I never use it. Blinding bright light when you’re reading the dark. Doesn’t do screenshots and the highlighting is pants.

Something else to stick on eBay, along with the a bricked iPad.

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Why Uber isn't the poster child for capitalism you wanted

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

"The article suggests economy of scale is the only reason Uber should take a chunk of the market "

Not really.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)
Headmaster

The N word

You've defined liberalism. "Neoliberalism" can mean anything you want to mean. My friend the former Reg columnist who wrote a very big book on it has used it to include state expansion too.

"Neoliberalism" serves the same purpose as "New World Order" does for conspiracy theorists of the right. Fortunately, since only academics and other Dave Spart types ever use the N word, we can safely ignore it.

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

The original iPhone had a Maps app that was written by Apple but that used Google Maps data. No GPS, mind.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Me, I don't forget how awful WM, Symbian, the "web tablets" etc were at the time - I complained about them non stop. It's all here.

Only an outsider like Apple could have given the industry the kick up the bum it needed. (Sony couldn't). The idea of bundling a data plan together with the phone (gasp), so the punter didn't get bill shock, was also ground-breaking at the time.

But £1,149? For a thing that is stylistically and functionally equivalent to a £600 thing. Really? That isn't £1,000 leaving your wallet, it's £550 flying out of your wallet, then laughing at you as it sails off to that Heaven's Gate spaceship they're building out in Cupertino.

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Oracle throws weight behind draft US law to curtail web sexploitation

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

"Backpage aren't the bad guys"

I suggest you read the Doe vs Backpage case to see the lengths to which Backpage facilitated the underage prostitution. And also what constitutes red flag knowledge. It's remarkable how people can blind themselves to something they really don't want to see.

You're basically saying "the sky will fall" if anything at all happens to the CDA. However society needs a sensible legal framework for secondary liability, and this is no longer a credible position.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Aren't there already enough laws?

"Bored with Orlowski's hatred of the internet and ISPs yet? You should be."

Are you on drugs?

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: further proof

"further proof (as if any was needed) that Oracle is living in a parallel universe"

Um, really?

"Beginning at age 15, each of the appellants was trafficked through advertisements posted on Backpage. Jane Doe # 1 was advertised on Backpage during two periods in 2012 and 2013. She estimates that, as a result, she was raped over 1,000 times. Jane Doe # 2 was advertised on Backpage between 2010 and 2012. She estimates that, as a result, she was raped over 900 times. Jane Doe # 3 was advertised on Backpage from December of 2013 until some unspecified future date. As a result, she was raped on numerous occasions.3 All of the rapes occurred either in Massachusetts or Rhode Island. Sometimes the sex traffickers posted the advertisements directly and sometimes they forced the victims to post the advertisements.

"Typically, each posted advertisement included images of the particular appellant, usually taken by the traffickers (but advertisements for Doe # 3 included some pictures that she herself had taken). Many of the advertisements embodied challenged practices such as anonymous payment for postings, coded terminology meant to refer to underage girls, and altered telephone numbers."

[Backpage developed these codes and coached the advertisers how to evade safeguards]

US Criminal Code:

"(a) Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal."

The Act to amend S.230 reflects widespread disgust that criminals can use the shield law. This fixes it. So it looks very much like you are in the parallel universe.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Aren't there already enough laws?

"There are more than enough laws to nail someone."

Evidently the law is ineffective, as Backpage walked away from the John Doe case to even the Judge's disgust. Summary: our hands are tied, on the internet anything goes. Do RTFA next time.

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Google to relieve HTC of its phones biz – report

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: My G1

The problem with concepts like the Moto Mod is stability: the bulk of the mass is in the display, and yet when open, the device needs to be at a reasonable angle. The Mod approach reduces the amount of surface that can be used for a keyboard.

I have had a play with pre-production Gemini prototypes (story and pix imminent) and am only really starting to realise how clever the design is. The hinge increases the surface area, the keys are depressed when the case is closed, so the design remains slim and yet still has full travel keys. It helps that the mass is in the base, of course.

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Google, propaganda, and the new New Man

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Move along nothing to see here

To see what's new here you have to move past what's familiar.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Google and Diversity in the same sentence?

I think "crony capitalism" is a better description than "libertarian".

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Dismayed by woeful AI chatbots, boffins hired real people – and went back to square one

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

"this is the junk that's also running your magic-sensor car "

Not really, but then this is the tech industry's dirty little secret. Machine learning has its uses, but helping a self-driving car avoid hitting an old lady is not one of them. We should have a sweepstake on when the MSM will figure this out.

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Apple exits music player biz by killing iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

<keels over in amazement>

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House fire, walk with me: Kodipocalypse now includes conflagration

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: "Making the pirate experience less fun is part of the strategy."

"Piracy is a symptom of over-enthusiastic copyright enforcement."

Cart before horse there, I think.

Name an enforcement strategy you could live with.

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OnePlus cash equals 5: Rebel flagship joins upmarket Android crew

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Uhh, Andrew?

Fair point!

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Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: " Putting the AI in FAIL "

If you follow me on Twitter (it's free, just ask) you'll know that #F_AI_L is quite a popular thing.

Maybe even the next "Internet of Shit".

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AI guru Ng: Fearing a rise of killer robots is like worrying about overpopulation on Mars

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

"I have been voted down before, because I pointed out that this hysteria over AI taking over is not just overblown but over-hyped."

Ignore the downvotes, lots of readers know this, particular those working in robotics and machine learning. The hype didn't actually start with the technology people, for once. Look at "thinkfluencers", "opinion formers", policy wonks, PRs, journalists instead.

And see the Comments here, they are very good:

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2017/01/02/ai_was_the_fake_news_of_2016/

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The great phone squeeze wheeze: Getting squidgy with HTC's U11

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

BlackBerry KeyOne

Huawei Mate 9 (Huaweis have the best call quality, IME)

You're welcome!

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: "range"?

I totally sympathise but in this case it's the term that the industry uses and has for years.

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AI-powered dynamic pricing turns its gaze to the fuel pumps

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Also this is NOT AI

I expect you're one of these computing "experts" or "practitioners" who thinks words should mean what they mean.

Please turn yourself into the Marketing Department for reprogramming.

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Huawei Honor 8 Pro: Makes iPhone 7 Plus look a bit crap

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

I use both and disagree. Apple's is the most unreliable, Huawei's is reliable and fast.

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: "... some key MP3 patents have been allowed to expire ..."

MP3 isn't now "patent-free".

MP3 IP always had two parents: Thomson/Frauenhofer, and AT&T. Frauenhofer allowed its patents to lapse and mothballed the licensing program last month. Microsoft discovered the hard way a few years ago that Alcatel had a ton too. A few are still enforceable.

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HTC's 2017 flagship U11 woos audiophiles and bundles Alexa

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: another 85 seconds of my life googling

"virtually every other site doing a phone review lists a big old list of specifications at the end."

This isn't a review. That's coming.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

MicroSD cards are so standard on Android phones I'd mention it if there wasn't one.

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DeX Station: Samsung's Windows-killer is ready for prime time

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Windows-killer

Seoul is nearer North Korea.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Nice work

Charlie :-)

I thought the Galaxy S7 got almost everything right - there was no contest in that price category. If it was a boxing match the referee would have stopped the fight.

TouchWiz is not the problem with the S8, it's Blixby and all the other slurping. And the insane position of the fingerprint sensor. But I'll post the write-up soon...

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Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)
Trollface

Re: I use Thunderbird and I want to support it

Please give generously:

http://gawker.com/375910/mitchell-baker-earns-her-500000-a-year-salary

The CEO needs another Porsche.

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There be dragons? Why net neutrality groups won't go to Congress

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Congressional inaction was whole reason the FCC went the Title II route

"the "hybrid approach" was always a fantasy."

I don't understand this at all, Doug, it can't be sustained by the evidence base. The Courts had given the FCC a pretty strong roadmap for what would fly. This became the hybrid approach and many people at the FCC spent months working on it. Thune's draft bill indicated what Republicans thought was acceptable:

- no blocking lawful content and non-harmful devices

- no throttling

- no paid prioritization

- transparent network practices

So the argument that "we had no option but Title II" is not only unsupportable by the evidence (or only by discarding all the evidence like draft legislation, Court decisions, emails, etc), it's also self-serving. The Democrat netroots marched a lot of people up the hill, knowing full well they would all have to march down again. Maybe they owe those people an apology?

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Congressional inaction was whole reason the FCC went the Title II route

@DougS:

"Wheeler and Obama both tried to push congress to enact some sort of net neutrality policy, but they refused. So the FCC tried to go it alone with simple rulemaking, but that was shot down by the courts. The only card left to play was trying to pull ISPs under Title II"

This isn't what happened at all - it isn't even close. Wheeler's FCC had spent months working on a new internet order that everyone could live with (called "the hybrid approach"), but after the midterm elections, Obama pulled the rug from under him, and demanded Title II.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03/01/how_obama_captured_fcc/

more links:

https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/media/majority-media/chairman-johnson-releases-report-on-how-the-white-house-bowled-over-fcc-independence

http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/download/regulating-the-internet-how-the-white-house-bowled-over-fcc-independence (pdf)

That includes the email trail between the White House and the FCC. You'll find the timeline on p5 of the PDF.

Senate Report:

"From the timeline presented in this report, a reasonable person could conclude that the FCC would not have ultimately chosen a Title II reclassification but for the President’s support." Wheeler's "Damascus Road" moment was on December 5th.

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Don't listen to the doomsayers – DRM is headed for the historical dustbin, says Doctorow

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

"14 years" is the Godwin of copyright discussions.

The Law states that:

"As a discussion about copyright on a technology site expands, the probability of someone posting that '14 years should be enough' approaches 100 per cent".

We do office sweepstakes on it occasionally. You win today.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)
Happy

Re: This is interesting...

Indeed.

He has never forgiven me for comparing his prose to the Postscript programming language: "write-only".

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/14/blooker_prize/

And this, my favourite:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/30/quotes_of_the_year_2010/?page=5

(Second one down).

Occasionally in life you meet people who are so lacking in self awareness, that trolling them becomes redundant, and Cory Doctorow is one of them.

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Microsoft sparks new war with Google with, er, $999+ lappies for kids

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

https://pi-top.com

Like this?

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Google pulls Hezbollah YouTube channel after we told them about the drone ads

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: The commenter needs to do some thinking

I have no doubt that Hezbollah does not need palm-sized nanodrones. It's the people who get their thrills watching Hezbollah videos who you might need to worry about.

Then there's the small matter that funding Hezbollah gets you into some very serious shit with the authorities.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/12/world/middleeast/us-hits-hezbollah-with-new-sanctions.html

I asked Google how much it had handed over already. Strangely, they don't want to tell us.

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How Apple exploded Europe's crony capitalism

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Fake History

Are you trying to set the world record for building Straw Men?

# Straw Man 1:

>> "silicon moved at a stately pace" - really? I don't remember Moore's law stalling until Apple's iphone came riding to the rescue? <<<

Mobile microprocessors got better much more quickly after the iPhone.

# Straw Man 2:

>> maybe as 0laf says in cheap TV sets but in the early 80's William Gibson had already envisaged cyberspace as virtual reality <<

Envisaged it in a work of fiction. Fiction writers are good at this sort of thing. You might almost say writing fiction is what fiction writers do best.

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Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Fake News. So sad.

"Incidentally, GSM spun out of a European Union project"

No it didn't.

The EU didn't exist until a decade after work on GSM started. It happened anyway, without the huge bureaucrat overhead, through non-EU bodies like CEPT. And because of the multilateral agreement between four trade Ministers who endorsed the work. That's all you need to get the ball rolling.

GSM is a great example of how great things can happen without a massive bureaucrat superstate issuing top-down decrees, and generally getting in the way.

http://www.gsmhistory.com/who_created-gsm/

But I suppose that since it has so few successes of its own, the EU wants to take credit for other people's successes.

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Oracle refuses to let Java copyright battle die – another appeal filed in war against Google

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

If Google ultimately win with their "fair-use" argument (they have already conceded in court that they have broken Oracles copyright) then what other copyrights are vulnerable to the same treatment?

All of GPL licensed source code comes to mind."

Exactly, and this caused a few people to change their minds. is a lot of concern about this. GPL and Foss relies on strong copyright law and strong contracts. If you weaken copyright, you make the GPL much more vulnerable.

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Roses are red, violets are blue, HMRC confirms Verify can STFU

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Fixed headline

Except it isn't an HMRC SNAFU. Not even a little bit.

It's a very sensible step by HMRC to sidestep a huge pile of insecure and barely functional crap that was developed by the whizz kids at GDS ("redefining the relationship between citizen and state" (c) 2013) that being dumped on them by the Cabinet Office.

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Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: "Spoilt self-entitled brat"

That was very true ten years ago, and I used to read your comment everywhere ten years ago.

Since then, they've changed business model, by unbundling content from hardware, and doing OTT with cheap subscriptions.

But you're still clinging to the same comment.

Sad!

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Move over HoloLens, $30 homebrew cardboard AR is here

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Limited but not useless

It depends what you want to do. For outdoor stuff like geocaching and Pokemon Go-style games it's fine. You can do a lot with not much.

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Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Discombobulating grindstones

Straw man alert.

Larry has never defended strong individual property rights. They're an obstacle on the road to his frictionless utopian. Perhaps you need to put your own prejudices aside here?

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New UK copyright amendment used by Big Furniture to stifle competition

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Seems reasonable to me, Dan.

The law is doing what it should do, which is stimulating the creation of new designs, while remunerating successful designers. Design is a licensing business, and it's massively important to the UK. ACID pressed hard for stronger protection for designers - that's just one of many errors in this piece. (The Graun, so go figure).

Try throwing a few nuts and bolts and tyres together and selling them as a "Porsche", as see how far you get.

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Trump hires very best, greatest net neut haters to head FCC transition

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

SeeTed Dziuba 8 years ago, "Net neutrality" is an argument about capitalism masquerading as a civil rights issue:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/22/dziuba_net_neut/

Do have a read.

"Net Neutrality" (sic )has only ever been about one thing: who pays for infrastructure in the future. Common sense suggest that since both telcos and OTT services benefit, they should both pay for the capex, and can do so through private agreements, ie cost sharing. Silicon Valley wants to load the costs onto telcos. Telcos argue that since Google and friends capture the value, they should pay too.

So it's crony capitalism to take one side and handicap the other. Pipes need services and services need pipes. A regulatory regime that inhibits market experimentation (eg Binge On or low latency networks) or inhibits investment is probably not a good thing.

Net neutrality has one other happy consequence for Silicon Valley: they get to buy the referee. It weakens antitrust legislation. I don't think it's unreasonable if you have an oligopoly of ISPs in your area, that they should be exempt from competition law. Do you?

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And with one stroke, Trump killed the Era of Slacktivism

Andrew Orlowski
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: That rock and a hard place

Talk about setting your expectations low, Jason:

"He could have done more to convince Republicans but that wasn't practical"

We know the Republicans are deeply split. A politician who can't exploit the opposition's splits is letting his side (his voters) down. Maybe doing politics interrupted Obama's golf sessions. Aw.

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