Articles about Competition

Is Qualcomm price gouging phone makers? Not everyone thinks so

Analysis America’s competition commissioners didn’t want to prosecute Google, which operates a monopoly in over a dozen markets, so why are they complaining about Qualcomm? Yesterday, the FTC filed a complaint against the San Diego chip giant following a South Korean indictment, and two EU probes into Qualcomm’s practices. Qualcomm …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jan 2017
Car on Monopoly board. PHOTO BY Kamira, editorial use ONLY VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

US watchdog sues Qualcomm for 'bribing' Apple to swallow chips

America's trade watchdog the FTC has sued Qualcomm, alleging the California-based biz trampled over US laws on fair competition. The three-count complaint [PDF] accuses the chip designer of strong-arming smartphone makers (cough, cough, Apple) into dodgy deals by abusing its war chest of patents. Qualcomm designs not only the …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jan 2017
The Batmobile

Veeam vaunts its va-va-voom as 2016 revenues unveiled

It's news but kind of expected: Veeam has seen almost 30 per cent year-on-year growth in its final 2016 quarter, and full-year revenues of $607.4m. That means the Veeammer has a $2.4bn run rate. The stats keep on coming: 230,000 customers worldwide: Veeam added close to 50,000 total paid customers in 2016, keeping pace with …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017
Zuckberg Facebook wow photo via Shutterstock

Facebook pimping for politicos despite fake news 'purge'

National elections in the UK and US, and Britain's 2016 referendum on membership of the EU demonstrated the growing power of social media to swing views and win votes. Twitter gets a lot of attention due to its use by journalists and politicians – not least president-elect Donald Trump – and its relative openness making it …
SA Mathieson, 17 Jan 2017
Judge with gun

Smart guns are a neat idea on paper. They'll never survive reality

Comment A bright-eyed MIT undergraduate implausibly branded "the Mark Zuckerberg of guns" has recycled an age-old solution looking for a problem – the smart gun. Kai Kloepfer, the undergrad lad in question, received a $50,000 grant from the American Smart Tech Challenges Foundation in 2014 to develop his idea of a Beretta pistol …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2017

Prepare for ReRAM speed! Crossbar samples SMIC chips

ReRAM startup Crossbar has sample embedded ReRAM chips from SMIC that are currently undergoing evaluation. SMIC is using a 40nm process and there are plans for a 28nm process in development but Crossbar envisages scaling at least to 16nm and 10nm but then lower. The chip design uses non-conductive amorphous silicon (a-SI) …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017

AI shoves all in: DeepStack, Libratus poker bots battle Texas Hold 'em pros heads up

DeepStack is the first AI computer programme to beat professional poker players in a game of hands-on no-limit Texas hold’em, a team of researchers claim in a research paper out this week. The use of games to train and test AI is prolific. Surpassing human-level performance in a game is considered an impressive feat, and a …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Jan 2017

Canada fines Amazon seven hours of profit for false advertising

Canada's Competition Bureau has administered what it thinks is a stinging fine for Amazon, but it's unlikely that CEO Jeff Bezos will be losing much sleep over it. The bureau ruled that Amazon was misleading Canucks by comparing its prices with a so-called list price to illustrate what savings could be had. But the list price …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jan 2017

Reg straps on goggles from upstart that wants to 'democratize' VR

A Silicon Valley startup is hoping to get ahead of the rapidly moving VR market with software that offers what companies have been chasing for the past few years: inside-out tracking. Eonite Perception has released what it claims is the most-accurate and lowest-latency solution for cameras attached to a VR device, with …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jan 2017

FCC slams Verizon, AT&T over zero rating, gives T-Mobile US a hug

US comms watchdog the FCC has issued new guidelines on the controversial practice of "zero rating" and whether it is illegal or not. The upshot is that it has given T‑Mobile US's Binge On service a green light, but comes down on AT&T's Sponsored Data service and Verizon's FreeBee Data 360 as illegal. We already knew from …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jan 2017

Qumulo goes to La La Land, speeds up dreamboat Ryan Gosling

Case study In file serving, the blue chip case studies are movie special effects. Fast file access is what the visual effects people – and by extension movie heartthrob and meme favourite Ryan Gosling, whose film they were working on – need. Scale-out filers are the thing to use, but seemingly are not always fast enough. So Avere jumped …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jan 2017

Fitbit throws fit, emits writ for outfit's non-hit, rather sh*t, 'Fitbit' kit

Fitbit has sued a company it accuses of deliberately selling shoddy units. In a complaint [PDF] filed to the Northern California District Court, the San Francisco-based wearables giant claims Laguna 2 (L2), a reseller in New Jersey, repackaged and sold Fitbit equipment it knew was defective. According to Fitbit's complaint, …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jan 2017
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Oz regulator trims broadband prices

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission yesterday suggested trimming the price of wholesale broadband connections. The ACCC issued two draft determinations yesterday: the “superfast broadband access service” (SBAS), and the “local bitstream access service” (LBAS) – wholesale services that run at 25 Mbps or better. …
Flying pig

NSW government drops a Catch: Bus Wi-Fi is a privacy nightmare

Privacy activists and the NSW Greens in Australia have come out against the NSW State Government's umpteenth Wi-Fi-on-buses trial. The reason: instead of trying to offer the Wi-Fi itself, as has happened in past attempted-but-abandoned rollouts, the Baird government is letting a company called Catch run the hotspots. Catch is …

CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers

Pics It's that time of year again, when over 100,000 people cram into the Las Vegas Convention Center to show off the latest in consumer electronics gizmos, make deals, and exchange interesting viruses to get the inevitable conference cough. This year's CE has been about par for the course – dull keynotes, some interesting gadgets …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jan 2017
A person holding a radio

FM now stands for 'fleeting mortality' in Norway

Norway has become the first country in the world to shut down FM radio. The Scandinavian nation has begun a gradual shutdown that will see FM broadcasts start to be phased out later this month, and concluding entirely by the end of the year. Nationwide broadcasts will instead be offered through digital radio channels. The …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Jan 2017
Faraday Future

Robo-supercar hype biz Faraday Future has invented something – a new word for 'disrupt'

CES 2017 While the crowds at CES in Las Vegas are all agog at the Faraday Future FF91 supercar, you can stop saving your pennies. Half Life 3 will be released before these allegedly self-driving vehicles roll out in volume. Faraday Future, based in Gardena, California, claims the FF91 is the fastest accelerating car in the world, with …
Iain Thomson, 04 Jan 2017
Soaring costs in San Fran. from www.shutterstock.com

San Francisco first US city to outlaw ISP lock-ins by landlords

San Francisco has become the first major US city to bar building owners from restricting their tenants to specific ISPs. A city law, set to take effect later this month, calls for the owners of commercial and multi-tenant (that's four units or more) buildings to allow any state-licensed internet provider to install lines to …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Jan 2017
trinity

Toshiba faces nuclear power goodwill cost meltdown

Toshiba is facing such horrific cost-overruns with its US nuclear power plant projects it may have to sell assets, such as its flash memory business, to cover them. Its US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, is building four AP1000 power-generating reactors in the United States and costs are getting out of hand, with multi-year …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jan 2017

Networks in 2016: A full fibre diet for UK.gov

Blighty’s post Brexit diet must include a "full-fibre" eating plan, or so says the UK’s new digital minister Matt Hancock. Amid all the political noise over the last 12 months, the volume for infrastructure investment was dialled up to 11. In the Autumn statement, chancellor Phillip Hammond announced a £400m "full fibre" …
Kat Hall, 03 Jan 2017
Qualcomm

Qualcomm faces $853m fine for alleged antitrust violation

US chip giant Qualcomm is to face a fine of $853m (£696m) for alleged antitrust violations by South Korea's top regulator. The Korea Fair Trade Commission today reached the decision after a three-year probe of Qualcomm, finding that some of the company’s business practices have violated Korean competition law. The fine is the …
Kat Hall, 28 Dec 2016
Lester poses with the Vulture 2

The Life and Times of Lester Haines

Obit "So what are going to say about him now that he’s gone? Are you going to say he was a good man? Will you be saying he was a happy man?...  Fuck no." Legendary Vulture Lester Haines Lester Haines: 1960-2016 Lester Haines was born in London in September 1960, and was the eldest of five: he had three brothers and a sister. …
John Oates, 27 Dec 2016

Smartphones crashed, Samsung burned: Mobile in 2016

End-of-Year Round Up The mobile landscape this year was dominated by an air war of far greater importance taking place over the players’ heads. Giant telcos went shopping for giant media companies, while Silicon Valley continued to work to destroy the value of both pipes and content, mostly by trying to queer the regulatory pitch. Down below, back …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Dec 2016

Mangstor discreetly appoints ex-pet supplies shipper as its CEO

+Comment Mangstor quietly changed its CEO and no one noticed. This NVMe-over-fabrics accessed, NVMe drive array startup is now run by president and CEO Craig Gilmore, who lists no previous professional involvement with storage array and server-storage access technology in his LinkedIn CV whatsoever. Get this – Mangstor’s announcement …
Chris Mellor, 20 Dec 2016

EU accuses Facebook of providing incorrect info on WhatsApp buy

Facebook has been accused of providing incorrect information regarding its $22bn (£17.8bn) acquisition of WhatsApp to the European Commission. The commission today sent a Statement of Objections to Facebook alleging the company provided incorrect or misleading information during its investigation into the 2014 merger. It …
Kat Hall, 20 Dec 2016

Screw EU! Apple to fight back over €13bn tax bill

Apple and the Irish government are to appeal a European Union ruling that it should pay up to €13bn (£11bn) in back taxes in Ireland – in a decision that will surprise no one. Back in August the European Commission ruled that tax arrangements between Ireland and Apple were in breach of the EU's state aid laws, and said that …
Kat Hall, 19 Dec 2016
Rupert Murdoch pictured in 2014. Pic: Shutterstock

Murdoch's 21st Century Fox agrees £18.5bn Sky takeover deal

British broadcaster and phone service provider Sky is to be bought by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for £18.5bn, according to reports. The price reflects a valuation of £10.75 per share, according to Reuters, who, along with the BBC, claimed that some investors were unhappy with the valuation but did not go into specifics …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Dec 2016
Monopoly photo via Shutterstock

WINNER! Crush your loved ones at Connect Four this Christmas

With Christmas Day within sight, it’s time to dust off your Monopoly set and concentrate on your Settler’s strategy. Or, maybe, consider some new board-game purchases. It’s not just me caught up in this wave of nostalgia – venerated institution the Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting a major board game retrospective. Of late, …
Lucy Orr, 15 Dec 2016
Telstra from Shutterstock

Telstra is filthy about being barred from spectrum auction

Australia's dominant carrier Telstra has expressed its displeasure with yesterday's decision to exclude it from an auction for some useful-for-4G spectrum in the 700MHz bands, in the name of enhancing competition. “We are disappointed with the decision to limit how much spectrum any party can hold in the 700 MHz band,” a Big T …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Telstra effectively barred from 700 MHz spectrum auction to boost rivals

Australia's communications minister Mitch Fifield has put a price on Australian Reg readers' heads: a lousy dollar and twenty five cents. That's the price would-be-bidders will need as table stakes in the forthcoming auction for Australia's 700 MHz spectrum, which has set that sum as the per-MHz, per-head price for the slice …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016
Batteries at various charges. Illustration by Shutterstsock

EU dings Sony, Panasonic over rechargeable battery cartel

The great battery scam has reached a milestone in Europe. The European Commission this week imposed a settlement fine of €166m on a trio of Japanese manufacturers for operating the price-fixing cartel. Sony, Panasonic and Sanyo used an increase in the price of cobalt as a pretext to collude to fix prices, Competition …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Dec 2016
A man with his hands chained up

Samsung revival hamstrung by 2014 Google deal – analyst

A provision in Samsung's 2014 patent-sharing settlement with Google could hurt the South Korean electronics giant's efforts to rebound from the Note 7 recall. Edison Investment Research analyst Richard Windsor says that efforts by Samsung to recover from the disastrous phablet release and subsequent removal from the market …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2016
Google bikes outside Google HQ. Photo by Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock - for editorial use only.

Look out, Brussels: Google's moving the goalposts, barks price comparison rival

Google’s leading European competition critics say its search results are a “significant leak in its money-making machines,” drawing regulators attentions to the ad giant’s conflicts of interests. The FairSearch founders, Adam and Shivaun Raff, accuse Google of moving the goalposts in the battle over price comparison engines, …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Dec 2016
Canada datacenter

My name's Jeff B and I'm here to say: Canada's getting an AWS region around the way

If you're looking for somewhere to run your computing instances outside the Land of the FreeTM, then Amazon Web Services has an option for the Americas with its first Canada cloud computing region. Amazon claims the region has a minimum 9ms network latency to Toronto and New York, 14ms to Ottawa, and 60ms to Vancouver. The …
Iain Thomson, 08 Dec 2016
Ajit Pai

Say bye-bye to net neutrality next year, gloats FCC commish Pai

In a speech to a right-wing think tank, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai explained how 2017 will be the year that net neutrality dies in the US, and that municipal networks can forget about existing as well. On Wednesday, Pai gave a speech at the Free State Foundation in which he lambasted the FCC for taking on more responsibility …
Iain Thomson, 08 Dec 2016
graveyard_648

Who killed Pebble? Easy: The vulture capitalists

Comment We just didn’t know it at the time, but Pebble’s fate was sealed in May 2013 when it surrendered control to outsiders who saddled it with debt. Yesterday Pebble’s new owner Fitbit lost no time in closing down the operation, not merely snuffing out any prospect of new products, but warning Pebble owners that they’re not going …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Dec 2016

Huawei Nova: A pleasant surprise in a 5-inch phone

Hands-on Last year, Huawei built a phone for Google called the Nexus 6P, and everyone who had one loved it. Huawei's "nova" (officially lowercase) resembles a slimline version of the Nexus 6P. But while it retains the quite beautiful design, the Nova is not a Nexus 6P at all. The five-inch Nova is the latest in a rapidly proliferating …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Dec 2016
Snake oil salesman

So. A new tech upstart wants 'feedback'. Um, maybe it actually does

Sysadmin Blog I have met the enemy, and he is me. I stand astride a line. On one side I am an "IT decision-maker", on the other an "evangelist" for some startups I truly believe in. This year, I have learned a lot more about how the data centre sausage is truly made. As the recipient of the unending stream of sales phone calls, surveys and …
Trevor Pott, 08 Dec 2016
Microsoft flagship store, New York

Qualcomm, Microsoft plot ARM Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs, tablets, phones

First, it fired shots at Intel's data center margins. Now Qualcomm is gunning for its rival's notebook processor cash cow. Qualcomm and Microsoft are hooking up to port full-fat Windows 10 to smartphones, tablets, PCs and virtual reality goggles powered by Qualcomm's 64-bit ARMv8-compatible Snapdragon system-on-chips. These …
Chris Williams, 08 Dec 2016

What can we use to hit Intel between the eyes, thinks Qualcomm – a 10nm ARM server chip

Qualcomm says it has started shipping to customers samples of the Centriq 2400, its 10nm 64-bit ARMv8-A general-purpose server-grade system-on-chip. The mobile chip designer, based in San Diego, California, has recruited engineers from AMD, Intel and Broadcom, as well as tapped its internal pool of techies, to work on the …
Chris Williams, 07 Dec 2016
bomb

So, who is the cluster bomb? Student results sliced, diced, analysed

HPC Blog It's time to close the books on another highly successful SC Student Cluster Competition. This year was special in a number of ways. First, it was the event's 10th anniversary. At 14 teams, it was also the largest SC competition ever – a far cry from the original five. SC16 was also noteworthy in terms of the performance …

Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again

Microsoft says buying LinkedIn will help to address the middle class discontent that saw Britain vote to leave the European Union and America vote to leave politics as we know it behind by electing Donald Trump. The company has expressed that sentiment in its post announcing the European Commission's approval of its …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Dec 2016

US Supreme Court slashes Samsung's patent payout to Apple

Update Samsung has claimed a Supreme Court victory that will see its $400m patent damages bill to Apple significantly reduced. The highest court in America ruled that the damages were incorrectly calculated and ordered a Californian district court to take another look at the case to calculate a smaller bill for the South Korean …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Dec 2016
Right Shears cutting wire mesh

We grill another storage startup that's meshing about with NVMe

Interview Storage startup Excelero is supportive of NVMe drives and of NVMe over fabrics-style networking. It has a unique way of using NVMe drives to create a virtual SAN accessed by RDMA. An upcoming NASA Ames case study will describe how its NVMesh technology works in more detail. We asked Excelero CTO Yaniv Romem some questions to …
Chris Mellor, 06 Dec 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Ofcom fleshes out plans to open up BT's ducts and poles

UK comms watchdog Ofcom has fleshed out its proposals to open up BT's ducts and poles - intended to encourage rivals to access Openreach's infrastructure and lay their own "full fibre" networks. Part of its plans, outlined in the once-in-a-decade Digital Communications Review earlier this year, include the promotion of large- …
Kat Hall, 06 Dec 2016
Apple Watch Sport

Apple Watch sales go over a cliff: Down 2.8 meellion per quarter in a year

Apple's Watch range sold 1.1m units in 2016's third quarter, a stunning 2.9m fewer than the same quarter in 2015. The dip means Apple's share of the wearables market dipped from 17.5 per cent to 4.9 per cent in a year, representing -71 per cent growth according to abacus-twirler IDC's new Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Dec 2016
apple_people_648

Apple again late to another market others pioneered. Or is it?

Apple's long-rumoured interest in autonomous vehicles appears to be real. The company seems to have written to United States' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to comment on its Federal Automated Vehicles Policy. A widely-circulated letter signed by “Apple's director of product integrity Steve Kenner”, …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Dec 2016
Donald Trump thumbs up photo via Shutterstock

VCs to Trump: You know what would really make America great? Tax breaks for VCs

A group of venture capitalists are asking US President-elect Donald Trump to implement a series of tax cuts and policies they say will bring more funding for startups. In a letter (PDF) to the real-estate mogul turned-politician, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) asks for tax breaks for ventural capital companies …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Dec 2016
Photo by Klean Denmark

Exclusive: Team Trump's net neutrality guru talks to El Reg

Interview The newest member of the Trump's Transition Team sounded bemused by the tech blog headlines when we caught up with her today. As the academic who has conducted more empirical work into net neutrality than anyone else, Dr Roslyn Layton finds herself in demand from telecoms regulators all over the world. This week she faced the …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Dec 2016
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Axel Springer boss defends Facebook in fake news controversy

One of Silicon Valley’s harshest and most powerful critics has leapt to its defence over the “fake news” controversy. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of the German giant publishing group Axel Springer, says Facebook must retain the liability privileges it enjoys as an internet platform - rather than be reclassified as a publisher. …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Dec 2016