Articles about Consumer

UK watchdog grills big biz: So HOW do you use their 'consumer data'?

The UK's main competition regulator is looking to build its knowledge of how consumer data is collected, used and traded by businesses. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has asked businesses, trade bodies and other stakeholders to provide it with information about the commercial use of UK consumer data (10-page/262KB …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Jan 2015

POODLE vuln dogs Australian consumer modems

The persistent awfulness of consumer broadband modems is once again in evidence, with the Poodle and Freak bugs present in a huge number of Australian households. The issue has hit Twitter, with some people reporting that ISPs are notifying them of possible malicious traffic – but without useful information on what to do. TPG …

BENDY iPhone 6, you say? Pah, warp claims are bent out of shape: Consumer Reports

Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus mobes do not bend out of shape quite as easily as was claimed by bloggers earlier this week, according - that is - to a more rigorous test carried out by Consumer Reports. The US product reviews outfit used its lab equipment to see if there were obvious design weaknesses in Apple's anodised …
Team Register, 28 Sep 2014

Bullish Vodafone barges back into UK consumer broadband market

Vodafone is plotting to re-enter the UK's competitive broadband market in 2015 – with a little help from arch enemy BT. The mobile operator said this morning that it would use the Cable & Wireless Worldwide network it bought in 2012 to tout its rival service at Brits. That acquisition gifted Voda with access to nearly 13,000 …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2014
Speaking Clock

BT's consumer mobe network suffers tech snags – but telco denies delay claims

BT's return to the consumer mobile market is reportedly being hampered by technical difficulties but the company has denied that the problems could force it to delay its plans. According to the Telegraph, which cited anonymous sources, BT is continuing to wrestle with carrying voice calls and data traffic over Wi-Fi networks. …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Oct 2014
Hangar One at Moffett Field, California - 1999

Consumer group SLAMS NASA for letting Google rent $1bn 'playground'

A consumer watchdog has slammed NASA for signing a whopping $1bn deal that will see a historic airbase turned into Google's space "playground". Mountain View has inked a deal with the space agency which will see it rent Moffett Federal Airfield for 60 years. The massive site is home to the Ames Research Center, where the Kepler …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Nov 2014

Windows 8 or nowt: Consumer Win 7 fans are OUT OF LUCK

It’s Windows 8.x or nothing for PC shoppers, says Microsoft, which has announced that it's no longer offering Windows 7. Friday 31 October was officially the last day when Microsoft made Windows 7 available for sale through retail outlets, meaning consumers can no longer buy discs of download versions of Windows 7 Home Basic, …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Nov 2014

Did you know Twitter has a 'consumer product division'? Ex-Google Maps boss now runs it

Profit-impaired Twitter has poached Google's Maps director Daniel Graf to head up the micro-blogging site's consumer product division. Graf – who is rarely seen Google+ing, facebooking or indeed tweeting – confirmed via his Twitter account on Tuesday that he was moving on. "Followed Maps to find that the flock was just around …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Apr 2014

Keep that consumer browser tat away from our software says Oracle

Oracle has announced that it has certified four versions of Firefox's Extended Support releases, but can't be bothered even trying to keep up with the open-source browser's consumer version. Mozilla describes Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) as “intended for groups who deploy and maintain the desktop environment in large …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Sep 2014
WD_Red_6TB_label

THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

In a move that will get well-heeled Drobo owners salivating WD has announced a 6TB Red drive costing just $299, setting the industry a new high water mark in the areal density stakes. This is a 5-platter drive, with 1.2TB/platter areal density, intended for NAS use, and coming in both 5TB and 6TB versions. It spins, we …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014
3D Systems ChefJet

Haters of lurid supershow CES: The consumer tech market is still SHRINKING

CES 2014 As the tech world revels in its orgy of big screens, baffling gadgets and marketing hype that is the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, analysts predict further decline in the, er, consumer electronics market. Market research firm IHS forecasts that worldwide manufacturing revenues in the consumer electronics ( …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Jan 2014
BT Openreach van outside Comedy Pub

BT consumer biz saves day: Grr, if it weren't for that meddling Ofcom

Former state-owned telco monopoly BT reported top line declines across the majority of operations for the opening three months of its new financial year with only the consumer biz - fuelled by broadband demand - bucking the trend. Sales for Q1 ended June were two per cent adrift of revenues in the same period a year ago at £638m …
Paul Kunert, 31 Jul 2014
hitahi t7k500 hard disk drive

Consumer disks trump enterprise platters in cloudy reliability study

The chaps at Backblaze have cracked open a spreadsheet and fed it some log files again, this time coming up with the assertion that contrary to expectations hard disks designated as destined for “enterprise” use don't always outlast cheaper kit directed towards everyday punters. A recap for those who aren't familiar with …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Dec 2013

Systemax CEO: Can't get consumer biz out of the crapper

It is a new calendar and financial year for shape-shifting box-shuffler Systemax but the same problem remains: it is hamstrung by a "weak" consumer division that is a burden on the relatively fit B2B operation. The New York-listed reseller last night reported Q1 results ended March with sales declining one per cent to $873.4m, …
Paul Kunert, 30 Apr 2014
Netgear ReadyNAS 314 (RN31400) 4-bay NAS box

Trevor contemplates Consumer Netgear gear. BUT does it pass the cat hair test?

Sysadmin blog Is consumer networking gear really crap? As technologists, we tend to have a chip on our shoulder about it because it can't do all the things the latest, greatest enterprise stuff can do, but does that really matter? The capabilities of consumer gear have been steadily increasing, and perhaps some of our ire is unwarranted. …
Trevor Pott, 30 Nov 2014

ISPs failing 13m Brits on broadband speed, claims consumer group

Fast and reliable broadband connections remain a distant dream for far too many Brits, researchers at a consumer group claimed on Friday. It's estimated by Which? that around 13 million households across Blighty are saddled with slow access to the country's networks. The issue was compounded by poor service, the outfit added. …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Mar 2014

Apple bests Dell for first time as preferred US consumer PC choice

Apple is now the preferred choice of US consumers shopping for desktop PCs, according to a nationwide survey of 2,500 "US broadband households" conducted by the research firm Parks Associates. "Apple topped the list of intended brands for desktop purchases for the first time this year," said Parks Associates' director of …
Rik Myslewski, 05 Dec 2013
channel_teaser_exit

HP UK channel man Bourguet to be crowned consumer veep

HP UK's local channel PC and printer bigwig Pascal Bourguet is set to move into a senior position in the firm's EMEA retail biz. Bourguet rocked up at HP in 2001 as a retail manager and went onto look after major accounts including CarreFour and Dixons in Europe, as well as overseeing consumer PC sales in Blighty. He was made …
Paul Kunert, 01 Aug 2013
Capitol By Matti Mattila licensed under Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

FTC calls for Congress to crack down on consumer data harvesting

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is calling for stricter regulations on companies that gather and sell personal information. The FTC said in a recent report (PDF) that it believes Congress should look to enact a new set of laws that will allow consumers to control when and how their personal information gets used for …
Shaun Nichols, 27 May 2014
Dom Joly

Save Ofcom! Telcos and consumer groups call for end to legal disputes

Consumer groups and two telcos have written to the government in support of Ofcom's attempts to revamp its appeals process and stop legal challenges from obstructing its rulings. Which?, Consumer Futures, Three and TalkTalk have all signed a letter to culture secretary Maria Miller and business secretary Vince Cable that says …
euros_channel_money

VAT's all folks: Telecoms and services tax to be set at consumer's homeland rate

VAT relating to cross-border business-to-consumer transactions will be charged at the rate in the country where the customer is based, rather than that of the supplier, under new EU rules to take effect in 2015. Explanatory notes on new VAT rules for telecoms, broadcasting and electronic services have been published by the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Apr 2014
iPad Mail app

Tab for Xmas, Mr Consumer? Yes please. And Mr Busin... NOPE

The slab revolution in UK consumer land continued over Chrimbo but many biz customers are still struggling to justify wider deployments and most of those that did steered well clear of Windows 8. Disties shipped a total of 1.5 million tabs in Q4, a hike of 53.1 per cent on a year ago. Some 16.4 per cent of these went via biz …
Paul Kunert, 26 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

Apple accounts for 20% of all US consumer electronics cash

The latest research data on US consumer electronics spending from analyst house NPD shows that Apple has a commanding market position, taking 19.9 per cent of all sales in 2012. The top five companies by spending last year were Apple, Samsung, HP, Sony, and Dell, but of those only Apple and Samsung actually saw their market …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2013
Disney's Beagle Boys

Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'

Several US states have launched an investigation into a subsidiary of credit reference bureau Experian after a fraudster allegedly bought millions of consumers' personal data from it. Vietnamese national Hieu Minh Ngo allegedly used information obtained through Experian subsidiary Court Ventures to run two identity fraud- …
John Leyden, 07 Apr 2014
Steam engine

Australia deflates Valve with Steam sueball

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has fired the sueball-gun at Valve, accusing the game-maker of trying to dodge Australian consumer law. The consumer watchdog has announced a filing in the Australian Federal Court, in response to terms and conditions it says violate Australian consumer laws. In its …
management regulation2

ACCC slaps iiNet over prices in ads

Second-tier telco and major ISP iiNet has forked over AU$204,000 to settle infringement notices from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The notices were issued as a result of iiNet's advertising for its Naked Broadband 250GB plan, which the consumer watchdog says didn't “prominently state the total minimum price …

Apple blacklisted by Chinese consumer watchdog

A Chinese consumer rights group has slammed Apple’s after-sales service as unfair and placed it on an “integrity blacklist” after numerous complaints about maintenance and support. The China Consumer Association in the southern province of Guangdong released a report into the tech giant’s support policies last week, citing …
Phil Muncaster, 30 Jul 2012
Toshiba Regza 47VL863 3D HD TV

Intel delays consumer TV box yet again – report

Intel is reportedly delaying the launch of a planned set-top box with pay-per-view content after a distinct lack of interest among partners. Bloomberg reports that the previously planned launch of the box in time for this year's holiday season has now been delayed until at least 2014. Attempts by Intel to find partners for the …
Iain Thomson, 28 Sep 2013
Lightning

The storage is alive? Flash lives longer than expected – report

StorageBod The Tech Report has been running an ‘SSD Endurance Experiment’ utilising consumer SSDs to see how long they last and what their "real world" endurance really is. It seem that pretty much all of the drives are very good and last longer than their manufacturers state. It's a fairly unusual state of affairs – something in IT that …
StorageBod, 19 Mar 2015
Cthulu springs from HP desktop printer

HP prosecuted by Australian consumer regulator

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the nation's guardian of consumer rights and regulator of competition and consumer law, has commenced legal action against HP over its warranty and repair practices. The ACCC is upset with HP for five reasons, namely: The remedies available for a faulty HP product were …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2012

Consumer Affairs Victoria says App Store contains malware

Consumer Affairs Victoria has claimed Apple's App Store houses "counterfeit or 'cloned' apps" that "look like real apps but don't have the same kind of security as those made by established software programmers" and "can expose personal data to malware or predatory, virus-like software which can be used to steal personal …
Huawei Campus Shenzhen Bantian

Huawei? Apple and Samsung's worst nightmare, pal

Huawei claims to have banked over $11bn in smartphone revenue in 2014 despite falling short of its volume prediction. Consumer chief Richard Yu says the Chinese giant shifted 75 million units in the year, a little short of the 80 million it had predicted - but still up 40 per cent from 2013, the WSJ reports. Three of the top …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Jan 2015
BlackBerry Classic QWERTY key smartphone

Have it all: BlackBerry to port crown jewels to iPhone, Android

MWC 2015 At Mobile World Congress, BlackBerry said it will port key client platform features – like its soft keyboard, Universal Search and Hub – to iPhone and Android, and also throw them into its enterprise software bundles. It marks a huge leap along BlackBerry’s transition to a software services company – but CEO John Chen denied the …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Mar 2015
The Register breaking news

RIM insists it is not exiting consumer market - just 'refocusing'

RIM has reassured shop-wrecking hoodies everywhere that it is not in fact planning to exit the consumer market - after a comment during the BlackBerry-maker's earnings call was misconstrued. Pundits were widely anticipating the sharp exit of the Canadian firm from consumer smartphones, withdrawing from its fight against Android …
netflix

Sacre vache! Netflix ne parle pas le Frenchy ... zat is against ze LAW

Netflix's seeming inability to parle Francais has landed the US video giant in trouble. The French national consumer protection association, CLCV, is suing the online goggle-box for breaking French consumer law. According to CLCV, Netflix imposes “malicious and illegal clauses” in its contracts with customers. Apparently …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Nov 2014

Consumer Affairs Victoria drops App Store malware claim

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) has taken down a page on which it alleged Apple's App Store contains "counterfeit or 'cloned' apps" that "look like real apps but don't have the same kind of security as those made by established software programmers" and "can expose personal data to malware or predatory, virus-like software.” The …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2012

Oracle snaps up Facebook data slurper Datalogix

Oracle has snapped up data slurping company Datalogix - an oufit best known for collecting info from retailers and sharing it with the likes of Facebook. Datalogix measures the offline purchasing data of more than $2tn (£1.3tn) in consumer spending against social media ad browsing. The company has 650 customers, including 82 of …
Kat Hall, 23 Dec 2014
The Register breaking news

Hard-up Kodak selling consumer film biz

Hard-up Kodak is selling its consumer film, scanner and photo kiosk businesses as part of a restructuring. Chief executive Antonio Perez announced the news on Thursday, saying Kodak was shedding its personalised imaging and document imaging units as part of restructuring to help the company exit US Chapter 11 bankruptcy …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Aug 2012
The Child Catcher

Google hatching YouTube Kiddie Vids – report

Google is about to enter the lucrative revenue stream of advertising to children, with the Chocolate Factory set to reportedly announce a YouTube app for kids. YouTube executive Malik Ducard will unveil YouTube Kids on Monday at the entertainment industry event Kidscreen Summit, according to The Wall Street Journal. A source …
Kat Hall, 20 Feb 2015
Obama

Obama administration ENDORSES Apple Pay during Tim Cook's White House LOVE-IN

U.S. President Barack Obama has backed Apple Pay – Cupertino's new payment system – after iThing chief Tim Cook was given a 15-minute-long ad spot at the White House on Friday. That endorsement means that the government will accept Apple Pay transactions for citzens who have federal-payment cards and are, for example, claiming …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Feb 2015
Rotten apple

FREE EBOOKS: Apple falls into line with EU refund laws

Apple has brought its latest terms and conditions in line with the EU's consumer laws, allowing customers to demand a refund for apps, ebooks and music within two weeks of purchase. Users of Apple's App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks in Germany, France, Spain, Poland, and the Netherlands (as well as non-EU Norway …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Jan 2015
Suitcase bulging with cash

Google spent record cash lobbying Congress in 2014 – report

Google poured a record amount of cash into lobbying the US Federal Government last year, outspending its tech rivals and even the major telecommunications companies, a nonprofit group has found. According to advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, Google spent US$16.83m on lobbying in 2014, a 20 per cent year-on-year increase and the …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jan 2015
OpenVPN download screen

Consumer group urges Aussies to spoof IP addresses

The official organ of the Australian Consumers Association (ACA), the nation's main consumer lobby group, has offered advice on how Australians can avoid geo-blocking regimes. It's more than a little controversial for the ACA to have done so, through this article in its publication CHOICE, inasmuch as the article itself admits “ …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Oct 2012
British Gas smart meter

What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

The timescale for the installation of 50m smart meters at a cost of £11bn is up for revision (again), junior minister and member of the House of Lords, Baroness Verma, has admitted. By 2020, the government wants everyone to have a smart meter fitted at a cost of £200 per household. However, the project has been dogged by delays …
Kat Hall, 04 Dec 2014
The Register breaking news

HP to take one more stab at consumer tablets

If you thought HP's decision to spin off its webOS division into a new subsidiary signaled the end of its adventures in the mobile market, think again. According to reports, the PC maker is reshuffling its Personal Systems Group to launch a new business unit aimed at getting HP back in the tablet race. According to a leaked memo …
Neil McAllister, 18 Aug 2012
Snake oil salesman

US trade bods: No, your iPhone can't detect CANCER

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled an investigation into a pair companies that claimed to have created mobile apps that could detect skin cancer. The commission found that the MelApp and Mole Detective apps had illegally advertised the ability to analyze an image of a mole and then calculate the probability that …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2015
Microsoft OneDrive

One Sync to rule them all: How Microsoft plans to fix OneDrive

Microsoft has revealed details of how it plans to fix the problematic file synchronisation between PCs and its online storage services. Windows Client VP Chris Jones notes that Windows currently has three sync engines and two online services – OneDrive consumer and OneDrive for Business – each based on different technology. The …
Tim Anderson, 09 Jan 2015
Starry_night_tech_bed_3

Sky sidles up to O2, whispers: 'Fancy a little FOUR-PLAY?'

As we predicted, Sky is to launch an MVNO and get competitive against the other networks' four-play offerings. What we got wrong in our prediction was that the deal would be with Vodafone; Sky has instead jumped into bed with O2. The deal will allow Sky to offer a Four-play service of TV, Broadband, fixed and mobile phones, the …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jan 2015
Microsoft campus

Microsoft brings SUNSHINE – but it's a CLOUDY DAY

Microsoft posted another quarter of respectable results on Monday, matching analysts' earnings estimates and slightly outperforming on revenue, but its strong showing couldn't disguise the continued shakiness in its core software business. The software giant reported total revenues of $26.47bn for the second quarter of its …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jan 2015
Red telephone boxes near royal opera house

BT gently returns to mobe biz with cheap SIM-only swoop

BT has tentatively returned to the mobile market it abandoned 13 years ago with a competitive SIM-only deal for its broadband customers. The one-time state monopoly – as expected – touted a 4G data, minutes and texts bundle this morning, with prices starting at £5 a month. BT's offer weds existing broadband subscribers to a 12- …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Mar 2015