* Posts by Andrew Orlowski

1456 posts • joined 6 Sep 2006

BIS, bash, bosh: El Reg solves BlackBerry 10 email bafflement

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)


I tried Blackberry-enabled SIMs and regular SIMs, and there's no difference. I thought it was a bug, rang Canada to check, but it's a feature.

You can make your own arrangement and buy a hosted Blackberry email account, or add Blackberry to a hosted Exchange account (it's a free addon from some mail providers).

The market is much healthier now than a few years ago, as most clients now support Exchange, and you can buy hosted Exchange for around £3/mth.

BlackBerry 10: Good news, there's still time to fix this disaster

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Wow!

It doesn't have the 'bedside mode' of BBOS, which means when you drop it in a cradle it can turn off the radios, and change all kinds of notification options. BB10 has a sleep profile with a nice clock. Not the same thing.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Mine is waiting at home for me

> Any word on voice recognition?

It's very good. Task driven (eg, "Email Jim") voice recognition is done on the device and works as well as anything I've tried. Other v.r. is done server-side by software licensed from Nuance.

Kim Dotcom's locker may be full, but the cupboard is bare

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Another vote for the "I just don't get your point" brigade.

" Nobody is suggesting that the item is flat priced."

Plenty of people are. And part of the storage locker assumption is that price is zero.

You post shows you haven't really thought this through.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: I don't get it

That's because Mega is creating a scarcity and then charging you for it. In effect, it's creating virtual property.

Some lockers do this, but many don't.

Frack me! UK shale gas bonanza 'bigger than North Sea oil'

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: When Journalist become flamers...

So you're not really disputing anything of substance, you just want "a more "wholistic energy policy".

I'm not sure what your idea of "a range of technologies" means, but whatever is in that range has to be cost effective. Presumably it doesn't include hamsters on treadmills.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Hippies?

"People worried about earthquakes and contaminated drinking water are hippies? Interesting."

Not quite.

"People worried about earthquakes and contaminated drinking water are largely irrational and poorly informed."

Fixed it for you.

OMG: RIM adds VoIP to its stealth social network

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Excellent Naughty by Nature reference

That was the sub, who is far younger and hipper than me.

Scoop! The inside story of the news website that saved the BBC

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: bonus tracks (tech speak alert)

Thanks Matt - we should link to this inline.

Nokia Lumia 820 WinPho 8 review

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: both new Lumias are a curate's egg

You're taking an idiom literally :-)

There's good bits and not so good bits. And you heard that from the mouth of my horse.

BlackBerry 10: AWESOME. If the hardware matches it, RIM jobs are safe

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: So, Andrew

I'm living off loans and antiques right now. WinPho for the last month...

This UI and the Lumia 920 would be a nice combo. I'd settle for that.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Split screen

I'm glad it does that. I'm just surprised more UIs don't do it too.

Point is: power users are poorly served by fondleslab and smartphone UIs. And overlaying two apps is considered a "power user" operation.

SECRET 28 'scientific experts' who Greened the BBC - Revealed!

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Impartiality and scientific theories

This was addressed in the Bridcut Report.

Since you're new I'll quote it for you:

"These dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC’s role to close down this debate. They cannot be simply dismissed as "Flat Earthers" or "deniers", who "should not be given a platform" by the BBC. Impartiality always requires a breadth of view: for as long as minority opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space. ‘Bias by elimination’ is even more offensive today than it was in 1926."

Here's the bit that the BBC forgot:

"The BBC has many public purposes of both ambition and merit – but joining campaigns to save the planet is not one of them."

Sounds reasonable to me.

UK's planned copyright landgrab will spark US litigation 'firestorm'

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: This could work, but it wont.

Software can do this now - I've seen demos of exactly what you describe, using PicScout.

1. Type in a search term

2. Loads of pics come up with clear licensing and payment options - from Getty to J.Random.Photographer to Creative Commons

3. Pay for the pic, or use a free one.

Simples. Orphan problem solved.

And we'll have working systems fairly shortly.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Wishful thinking pt94

You've really confused yourself here. While you can quibble over semantics all day Terry (and you probably will), the fact is: international treaties recognise IP as a property right. A pseudo-property right perhaps, but "stuff" with the qualities of property. One of those qualities is exclusive use: "get off my stuff", "stop using my stuff".

If you want your country to opt-out of this international system, you have to take the consequences on the chin. Economic retaliation, litigation etc. And redefining the meaning of words, in international treaties, don't butter no parsnips.

Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handset review

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Some questions for the author


These are really good questions, we need to a proper business/pro focussed roundup that gives them answers. It just didn't seem to be a priority for MS getting fixes into WP8.

Flagging an IMAP message isn't even a particularly 'pro' feature, its absence is a killer for me.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Those Photos

Fair enough.

That "division of labour" idea has a lot going for it!

Daily Telegraph punishes expats with paywall

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: As this is in the context of the Telegraph


The Big Debate: OK gloomsters, how can the music biz be FIXED?

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)


I agree with almost all of that Captain. DRM books

Computers are copying machines, yes indeed. I want my licensed P2P service where I can copy music to others in the club. We very nearly got that in the UK four years ago. I don't expect it to be free, just another paid option.

The removal DRM from music hasn't caused an absolute implosion, but it didn't give it much of an uplift either. Which suggest hardly anyone gives a crap about DRM, no?

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: I don't agree with Orlowski

" Are we willing to give up our privacy to make content creators happy? I don't think so."

You have no privacy if you can't assert permissions on "your stuff". Your stuff = your photos you post to Flickr, your data trail, your identity. It belongs to you. If you can't assert ownership and permissions, privacy ceases to exist.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Yes but...

You're confusing two copyrights. One has a fifty years term, the other is Life+70.

I have some sympathy with Life+70 being too long for songs - but it's not going to change without upsetting the authors, so it's not going to change.

The problem you describe isn't a problem though. You can hear new music made in the 1950 by buying - it is very cheap.

Study finds file sharers buy more music

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: We've seen these people before...

I hadn't seen that, thanks.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Conclusion


VCs snaffle £200m of UK taxpayer gold ... to bet on high-risk biz

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: For once not a government handout - orders of magnitude more please.

Everything you propose could be achieved by stimulating the wholesale capital market through (for example) cap gains tax changes, eg, persuading the superrich to have a flutter.

"£1 spent via VC will be rapidly injected into the economy via startup spending"

If the economy was comprised of Shoreditch bars serving mojitos to Nathan Barleys, you well be right. It doesn't, and money doesn't grow on trees. Budget choices must be made.

1) There is no shortage of VC funds for good ideas

2) There always are more bad ideas than capital available to fund them

3) Increasing the amount of capital increases the number of bad ideas that get funded

4) The taxpayer therefore subsidises bad ideas

So please tell me: when social services are being cut, should why should Nathan Barley get a subsidy?

Windows Phone 8 stands a chance as Apple, Android dither

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: challenge accepted





Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Counting to 12 on 2 hands?

"Two of Julian Assange's hands"

Nokia tears wraps off new Windows Phone Lumias on steroids

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: So WP7 is the new Kin?

"Totally incompatible"

With what?

Patent flame storm: Reg hack biteback in reader-pack sack attack

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Strawmen

Of course you support weaker IP. Your hobby is cloning someone else's. MRD therefore applies:


Special pleading apart, The Economist recommends taking justice away from juries (citizen peer review) and giving it to an elite (judges).

To understand patents you need to spend time outside the software world, and look at what other industries think. You'll get a very different picture.

Why the Apple-Samsung verdict is good for you, your kids and tech

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: No innovation without patents? Seriously?

"Against Intellectual Property" is exactly what I had in mind when I referred to the armchair warriors, who've never been in business, never invented anything, and live on tenure.

There's even a chapter called "The Devil In Disney"

I shit you not. It's beyond parody.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Think again

So you say that Dyson needs stronger support for his inventions, but he must be forced to give away his inventions for a fee to anyone who asks.

Removing the ability of a James Dyson to profit for a limited period from his invention would destroy the incentive to invest in innovation and result in fewer James Dysons.

This is fairly typical of the incoherent rhetoric patent debate.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Steve, you're your own worst enemy

SK: As I said in the article above, I think the iOS user interface has gotten unwieldy and is a general PITA to use.

If Apple wants to throw good money around protecting this, ahem "crown jewels" that it thinks it has - then why don't we let it? Rivals are forced to innovate, and Apple gets manacled to a simplistic UI. Both Apple and rivals will be forced to compete elsewhere in the value chain.

It's a win-win.

I think what you're saying (and it's a fair point) is that Apple's rivals haven't got any traction from doing it differently yet. That's certainly true for WP. I'd just one word to that: 'yet'.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

@ John104:

Or perhaps Samsung will clock the message that copying Apple is lame, but coming up with a much better user interface that (say) helps people communicate better, can unlock value and create profits.

A case in point: the current iPhone will probably be my last - and the clunky iOS UI has a lot to do with that decision. It's now years behind the competition in terms of convenience and ease of use. If Apple wants to guard this, then hell, let it.

Patents simply force rivals to innovate. That's the point. The system is working.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Bent but not broken

No, sir.

I can think of 50 things wrong with the patent system - maybe I should write about the first 20 improvements we need to make next. There is a lot that needs to be done - some of it quite urgent.

But the armchair "patent system is broken beyond repair" position doesn't stand up. You have to quantify the damage ("cost to society") and then demonstrate that this is greater than the innovation the IP system produces, and the value it unlocks. Will our kids be better off? How?

I am keen to hear alternatives that fulfill those criteria - but I'm sorry, but all I hear is whining.

Arctic ice panics sparked by half-baked sat data

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Cautious, Seymour?

A cautious scientist would be expected to go through the peer review process. You, by contrast, haven't even published this work yet. It is not available for scrutiny. Nevertheless, you are willing to appear on the national media making dramatic long-term claims, based on *new* data of less than two years observations.

You have been anything but cautious.

Your science may be well turn out be sound, but until it has been independently scrutinized, we just don't know. Your argument boils own to: "Trust me, I'm a scientist."

YouTube escapes Google's piracy site smackdown

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

1. Yes

2. You can cite me.

Greens wage war on clean low-carbon renewable energy

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Lets all cross our fingers....

If you don't like oil then a high oil price (I'm not sure why you need to put scare quotes around "large profits") is the best thing you can wish for.

Because investments are pouring into oil alternatives now. They didn't when oil was cheap.

As a green, you should be praying for large profits every night.

"Sorry people - whatever tech you believe in we will all HAVE to learn to use far less"

That argument was lost a long time ago.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: "Britain’s own geothermal investment are pretty puny"

That's using the OLD methods.

MacKay's book is very out of date now.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Water contamination and fracking

" but I understand that in order to get to the deep geothermal sources, you need to drill through the surface and through these pockets of methane?"

The methane in Gaslands is at the surface. So, no.

Methane is produced as part of the shale process, comparable to conventional gas extraction. See Howarth (2011) and Cathles (2012) for differing views on how much this might be.

Hooper's copyright hubs - could be a big British win with BBC backing

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: "significantly derivative"

It's Troll O'Clock

Solar, wind, landfill to make cheapest power by 2030

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)


I thought this was very interesting. From p54:

"Recent and future advances in fracturing technology offer the potential for step change reductions in per-well and therefore – due to the major capital cost of wells – electricity generation costs. Fracturing technologies stand to benefit from the major R&D expenditures in development of vast US and Canadian (and other worldwide) shale gas resources. Improvements in resource exploration and assessment methods will also reduce costs."

So gas will be the cheapest power. But that's the only mention there is. As Simon wrote, factoring in cheap gas wouldn't give the answer the politicians and bureaucrats are looking for. In other words, Aussie energy bureaucrats have done exactly what our energy bureaucrats have done in the UK. If you think your country should cut its carbon emissions, gas is the cheapest way to do it.

I can't help thinking how lucky Aussies are - Western Australia has some of the largest shale resources in the world, you'll be exporting gas, and you've got all that sun. That should be enough to get you through those freezing cold winters.

Why British TV drama is crap – and why this matters to tech firms

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: British TV drama is NOT crap

And the others are period dramas. Apparently we do those very well, but I wouldn't know.

The OP missed the "contemporary" in "contemporary drama".

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: I can't really comment.....

I had Luther in mind when writing that, actually.

I watched it, wished I hadn't bothered.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

One or the other or both

You're right.

Apparently. she comes back to life in the sequel to both, Blackout Duty. Exciting!

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: British TV drama is NOT crap

Red Dwarf?

Lowery: The blue-collar musician at the eye of the copyright storm

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Boilerplate freeculture arguments, I'm afraid

“So yes, I have very much so addressed the issues you raised”

No, you haven’t even begun to.

Copyright is much weaker today for various reasons, one of them being that it cannot be effectively enforced online. (You seem to agree in principle that it should be, but something stops you completing the argument to its conclusion). So it is ineffective, it doesn’t work. An entire new area of life has opened up that is copyright-free.

In light of this, the mantra of encroaching “maximalism” you repeat is a fiction, a paranoid fantasy that exists entirely between your ears. Much like the radical environmentalists, your politics requires a “crisis”. Encroaching maximalism, evoking a new Dark Age, this is the “crisis” you need. But it has no substance in reality. You tend to reject reality where it does not suit your argument, for example, by refusing to accept that © is enshired as an individual property right in international and national law.

Trevor you also do something freetards do either implicitly or explicitly. Creators rights are human rights, but you make these human rights conditional on a beauty contest, based on what you consider virtuous.

Robert Levine has a nice rebuttal to this, in Eamonn Ford’s Q Magazine feature “Who Are The Freetards?” from earlier this year.

"If you follow that to its logical conclusion, you get to this idea that your rights vary according to how nice you are - which ought to scare the living shit out of anyone."


Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: @Andrew (was: no objections)

You've just repeated your last comment "Maximalist! maximalist! maximalist! maximalist!" without addressing any of the points subsequently raised.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: @Andrew (was: Re: no objections)

I think self-esteem has a lot to do with it. Cults rely on low self-esteem, 'Free Culture' (sic) is no different to any other cult. If the individual's sense of self is strong, then they'll respect individuality themselves. They'll be correspondingly less inclined to think all ideas are borrowed, there's no such thing as originality, aka "we are robots, all we do is copy"

Also, techy people who've just discovered the "copyright cause" as a big personal crusade do go nuts for it. I wrote about it here:


"A sure sign of an obsessive is a 2,000-word comment that appears below a story. With copyright-related stories, one of these can be guaranteed to appear appear within minutes. They only ever come from one side."

That's true in this comment thread as many others at El Reg. The copyright camp makes short coherent points. The anti-copyright camp responds with massive essays, containing the Kitchen Sink.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: no objections

Copyright is being minimalised, not maximised. Online, it really doesn't exist.

You want proof? Here you go:

1) As a punter, I can download any film ever made, any song ever recorded, for free, to my hearts content. Nobody is going to cut me off. Nobody is going to fine me. Nobody is going to send me to prison.

(The only media giant that puts people in prison for non-payment is the BBC: 71 imprisoned in 5 years, 142,000 criminal cases last year).

2) As an indie filmmaker or photographer, I have no redress against pirates. I can write take down notices all day, but the legal system does not fulfill basic social justice. The incentives are aligned to encourage people profiting from piracy.

Situations 1) and 2) can not exist in a world where copyright is getting stronger, only in a world where copyright is getting weaker.

Pretending otherwise is a quite dogmatic, ideological denial of reality. Most people don't, except in academia and in the tech blogosphere echo-chamber.

(As for term extensions, they are only as good as their enforcement. Copyright terms may as well be 100,000 years for all the difference it makes. The "true" length of copyright is about five minutes - as long as it takes to get onto Rapidshare or the Torrents. But freetards love to feel victimsed - and you are adopting freetard arguments wholesale - because their politics requires a) victimhood and b) a crisis.

Copyright is also being minimalised in other ways. Quite explicitly by ideological bureaucrats, such as the IPO, for example. All these are assaults on the rights of the creator, and investment and economic opportunity are draining away from all the cultural sectors.

Soon we'll be back to charity and sponsorship - which never go away, because some plutocrat will want his mug painted, Coca need music for adverts, etc. Some victory against the 'maximalists', huh? Not one many people wish for kids.

UK's brazen copyright land grab sneaked into Enterprise Bill

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: And about bl***dy time ...

If the patient has flu, it doesn't necessarily follow that he must be hit over the head with a shovel until he is better.

I believe that better ways of to fixing the orphan works "problem" were covered in the article. They have been covered here before.

Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Isn't it more serious than just photos?


If you can't protect something reasonably, there's little point selling it in the UK.

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