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Andrew Orlowski

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Samsung Exynos 9

Samsung unveils next-generation 8nm Exynos silicon

Samsung has unveiled the next-gen chips that will power its smartphones and tablets (and crypto-miners). And it hopes others will use them too. The Exynos 9 has been built on Samsung's own 8nm fabrication processes, and the first two chips in the series are the 9810 and 9820. The latter has a 2x4 core, with two fast (Cortex A …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Nov 2018
vacuum sucking up data

Google swallows up DeepMind Health and abolishes 'independent board'

Google has placed itself at the heart of Britain’s National Health Service by absorbing its wholly owned DeepMind Health unit into the Chocolate Factory - data and all. It has also scrapped the unit’s “independent review panel”. Google acquired DeepMind, an attention-grabbing UK software company founded by former games …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Nov 2018
Cell tower, view from below. Image by

We definitely don't need more towers, says new Vodafone boss scraping around for €8bn savings

Vodafone's new group CEO has vowed to keep shareholders happy by continuing to pay out dividends in his first earnings conference, despite reporting a €7.8bn loss and falling revenue. Former bean-counter Nick Read, a certified chartered accountant, officially took over from Vittorio Colao on 1 October, and has pledged to take …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Nov 2018
cheese arranged in a spooky way (broomsticks/fingers) on a platter

Cheeky cheesemaker fails to copyright how things taste

The EU's highest court has rejected an attempt to use copyright law to protect the distinct taste of a food product. The court explained that taste is too subjective to allow a work to be uniquely identified, even using science, so it cannot be protected. The Court of Justice concurred with the expert opinion offered in July …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Nov 2018

Scam or stunt? It's looking like the latter... Xiaomi so sorry for £1 smartphone 'promo'

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi is in damage-control mode after an online promotion coinciding with its big UK launch somewhat backfired. The plan was to offer handsets for just a quid in Blighty, when a countdown on its UK website reached zero, with the impression being that if you clicked soon after the timer ran out, you'd be …
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), English Nurse and pioneer of modern medicine in the hospital at Uskudar (Scutare) during the Crimean War, 1854-1856

Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

Comment Although Microsoft officially supports Windows 10 Mobile, each update breaks new things – and it has reached comical proportions. Or tragic, if you're still using it. Man shooting himself in the foot overlaid with Windows Phone image That amazing Microsoft software quality, part 97: Windows Phone update kills Outlook, …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Nov 2018
Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei Mate 20 Pro: If you can stomach the nagware and price, it may be Droid of the Year

Review When, four years ago, I predicted Huawei was coming to eat Apple and Samsung's lunch, derision swiftly followed. Either it couldn't, or it would take a very long time. For years, Japanese and Korean cars were nasty little tin cans, jokes on wheels, remember? But smartphones aren't cars. The Chinese production miracle, and …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Nov 2018
Remote control

Google's secret to a healthy phone? Remote-controlling your apps

Google has claimed to have cut Android malware by half. Figures out of Mountain View this week suggest that the prevalence of PHAs (potentially harmful applications) found on Android 9 Pie devices is half the rate seen in its predecessor. Overall, this has fallen from 0.66 per cent in Lollipop to 0.06 per cent in Pie. The …
Samsung One UI

One UI to end gropes: Samsung facelift crowns your thumb the king

Samsung has embarked on a tasteful overhaul of how its phones look and work. Only three years ago Samsung's UI looked like a gaudy car boot sale, which felt out of place as Samsung's own futuristic AMOLED curved panels were rolling into mass production. The redesign modernised the notorious TouchWiz skin, but this makeover may …
Wolf in sheep's clothing

Berners-Lee takes flak for 'hippie manifesto' that only Google and Facebook could love

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is doing the dirty work of giant internet companies, according to critics who want to see governments lay down effective regulation – and not what they regard as a wishy-washy "Magna Carta". It isn't the first time Berners-Lee has endorsed a "Magna Carta" – he did one in 2014 and another again this week ( …
Mi 8 Pro

Xiaomi anarchy in the UK: Chinese tat-flinger wants to slip its cheapo flagships in Brit pockets

The most disruptive – if you pardon the cliché – newcomer to the UK phone market in years has finally launched. Xiaomi's first three devices will be sold by Argos, Currys, John Lewis, operator Three, Carphone and Amazon from tomorrow, the firm said. Should those buying options not wet one's whistle, Xiaomi is also opening a …
Foldable Thing - Samsung Infinity Flex display

Samsung 'reveals' what looks like a tablet that folds into a phone, but otherwise we're quite literally left in the dark

New products are traditionally developed in darkness – but rarely launched in darkness too. Samsung yesterday turned the auditorium lights way down before "revealing" its first Foldable Thing. This Foldable Thing was brandished in a Samsung executive's hand – some distance from spectators. And you couldn't get any nearer. That …
Boot opening door

4G slowcoach Three plans network and IT overhaul to get foot in the door with 5G

Hutchison's Three UK has detailed an ambitious network and IT overhaul as it paves the ground for 5G. After being a laggard with 4G, the UK operation sees 5G as a chance to grow by jumping the competition with efficiency gains from infrastructure updates. Three has virtualized both its IT operations and its RAN and core …
Diane Abbott, British Labour Party politician

If Shadow Home Sec Diane Abbott can be reeled in by phishers, truly no one is safe

While fraudsters traditionally prey on the gullible and feeble-minded, their wicked ways have ensnared British Labour MP Diane Abbott. The UK Shadow Home Secretary admitted to handing over control of her computer to a stranger after a random caller asked her to install Remote PC. It's a common scam. Once the miscreant has …
Digital Catapult Pony

'Blockchain SAVED my Quango'

Picture the scene. A father is returning home to his family, his face etched with anxiety, and darkened by shame. The family sits expectantly around an empty dinner table. “We’re so hungry,” the children cry out. “I’m… I’m so sorry,” the father replies. “My funding application to explore the potential of a distributed ledger …
Burning 5G against dark background

Mobile ops and Wi-Fi set to scrap for spectrum in the glorious 5G future

As the world's boffins prepare to carve up the airwaves again next year, the mobile industry has stepped up the lobbying war over spectrum, fearing a crushing 5G disappointment. Expectations for 5G are now stratospheric, with talk of it threatening the business case for fixed-line retail broadband and Wi-Fi. And maybe even …
Apple Watch Series 4

Apple replaces boot-loop watchOS edition with unconnected complications edition

It isn't just Microsoft that has QA issues – so does Apple. The Cupertino giant withdrew a watchOS update that bricked the Apple Watch 4 last week, and has now rushed out a replacement containing things that don't work yet which Apple probably didn't want you to see. 5.1.1 supersedes the catastrophic 5.1 update that sent …
Steel roller with fiber optic cables for the installation of data cables on a construction site.

British fixed broadband is cheap … and, er, fairly nasty – global survey

Brit consumers get a broadband bargain, but pay for it with poorer performance than other European countries. The UK ranks fifth best for price out of 29 European countries surveyed for price comparison site Cable – but it lags behind Romania, Portugal and Bulgaria for average download speed. Cable found the UK has fallen …
Planet Cosmo

Planet Computers straps proper phone to its next Psion scion, Cosmo

Planet Computers, creator of the Gemini PDA, has pulled the covers off its next-generation device – the Cosmo Communicator. Planet brought the clamshell QWERTY back to the market 17 years after Psion made its last PDA*, and will continue to sell it. But Cosmo is even more ambitious, intending to fully replace your phone. The …
crying business man washed up on beach talks into phone

Smartphone industry is in 'recession'! Could it be possible we have *gasp* reached 'peak tech'?

The smartphone biz is now in a slump, according to two number-crunching outfits. After estimating that year-on-year sales worldwide fell 8 per cent in Q3 this year, Strategy Analytics has declared that the handset segment is "effectively in a recession". Sales in Q3 were 360 million worldwide, the analyst said. UK economists …
thumbs up

Boom! Just like that the eSIM market emerges – and jolly useful it is too

Well, that didn't take long. Owners of new iPhones can now download an app and stick some data and minutes on the second SIM that Apple has thoughtfully included, allowing cheap calls and roaming data that your main SIM provider might not include. The UK's veteran virtual SIM pioneer Truphone was the first to break cover, …
Mechanic photo via Shutterstock

While everyone coos at the promise of 5G, UK network Three asks if it can tempt you with 4G+

Hutchison's UK network Three has upgraded 2,700 urban sites to support faster 4G data. The introduction of carrier aggregation technology on the network has enabled it to boost downloads by an average of 33 per cent, said Three UK. Users in cities, traditionally the most congested areas, will see the benefit, which manifests …
Kungstradgarden in stockholm sweden

Swedes grumbling about Apple Store in their park are lucky – in Toronto, Google eats all your data

Locals have objected to Apple building a store in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården (Kungsan) park. Protestors said the intrusion of a tasteful glass temple of overpriced consumer electronics encroaches into the public space, ruining the character of the park. The Swedish capital has owned the park since 1970. The opposition to …
Apple Watch Series 4

5.1 update sends Apple's Watch 4 bling spinning into an Infinite Loop of reboot cycles

Apple has withdrawn a faulty update that has left Apple Watch 4 owners with bricked bling. The watchOS update (5.1) to the new kit has resulted in an endless reboot cycle for some, rendering the device useless. Watch owners at MacRumours and Reddit flagged the issue as major. Users who did successfully perform the update …
Mac mini 2018 ports

Mourning Apple's war against sockets? The 2018 Mac mini should be your first port of call

Analysis The world's fourth biggest PC company sells three desktop PC lines, but it hadn't updated one of those three for four years. Maybe Apple had forgotten that the humble and unassuming Mac mini was there at all. But it fixed that this week. The Mac mini has been revived as a machine for grown-ups, professionals such as …

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