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Articles about Consumer

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
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
3D Systems ChefJet

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

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
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

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
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 …
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
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
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

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
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
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 …
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 …

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
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
Samsungs_Mitchinson

Huawei's top UK mobile man walks out in shock resignation

Mark Mitchinson, executive veep of Huawei's UK and Ireland consumer devices division, will leave the Chinese firm at the end of the month. Mitchison headed the consumer devices division for three years, but trade magazine Mobile reports that he is to leave on 30 September. Mobile speculates that he will be returning to his alma …
Simon Rockman, 22 Sep 2014
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

£2k burning a hole in your pocket? Let this 'advanced' DRONE relieve you

The world's biggest consumer drone maker, China’s SZ DJI Technology Co, has released its "most advanced" drone to date. The manufacturer unveiled its Inspire 1 Drone, priced at $2,899- $3,399 (or from £2,380 in the UK store), which will go on sale this month. The kit includes a 360˚ rotating 4K camera, high-definition video …
Kat Hall, 13 Nov 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

Facebook's Oculus unveils 360-degree VR head tracking Crescent Bay prototype

Rift maker Oculus is touting a new feature prototype that it has dubbed Crescent Bay. The latest headset to be developed by the face-clamping, Facebook-owned gaming company comes, we're told, with new display technology, 360-degree head tracking, expanded positional tracking volume, better weight and ergonomics and beefed up …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Sep 2014
The Register breaking news

Troubled OCZ brings forth consumer SSDs with Vector

SSD supplier OCZ, hard hit by an erring CEO and now under new management, has launched its first consumer SSD using in-house controller technology, the Vector. OCZ's roller coaster ride story from start-up glory to sick ward candidate can be found here. New CEO Ralph Schmitt announced the product but it was mostly developed …
Chris Mellor, 28 Nov 2012
blackberry_curve_8520_SM

RIM to exit the consumer phone market

Having persuaded many a teenager to adopt the BlackBerry, RIM last night gave them the finger - metaphorically - and announced it was focusing on big businesses instead, an action spurred by its lousy quarterly results. Some say RIM did poorly in the consumer market, but it certainly built up a strong customer base among younger …
Tony Smith, 30 Mar 2012
iPhone that fell from 13,500 feet (source: CNN)

iPhone sales set to PLUMMET: Bleak times ahead for Apple

Tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted Apple will face a grim start to 2015 with iPhone sales plummeting by up to a third. Kuo, of analyst outfit KGI Securities, has predicted that iPhone sales will surge ahead of Christmas, reaching a height of a total of 71.5 million units for the fourth quarter. Yet after the Christmas …
Jasper Hamill, 24 Nov 2014

Broadcom pitches chips at G.fast OEMs

Broadcom has become the latest vendor to stake out its ground in the G.fast market, as the ITU's standardisation bods stretch their hands slowly towards the rubber stamp. At the Broadband World trade show in Amsterdam, the chip outfit's been showing off silicon for G.fast and G.vector kit designers at both provider head-end …
2001: A Space Odyssey

Can’t be TRUSTe-d? Online privacy firm coughs $200k to settle 'deception' charges

TRUSTe, which issues the privacy seals displayed on thousands of websites, has paid a settlement over charges it deceived consumers through its Privacy Seal Program. As part of an agreed settlement with US consumer watchdogs at the Federal Trade Commission, it also promised it would ensure all certified websites removed a …
John Leyden, 18 Nov 2014

Shoppers shun slabs to give Gartner's Q3 PC numbers a rosy glow

PC-shifters that hung tough in the hope the market would return to growth may have reasons to be cheerful – in certain parts of the world, anyway. Q3 shipment data from Gartner - or at least preliminary numbers that count sales into retailers and distributors, rather than to end-users - climbed 9.6 per cent in EMEA, jumped 4.2 …
Paul Kunert, 09 Oct 2014
The Register breaking news

Telco industry slapped with new consumer rules

The long-awaited telecommunications consumer protection (TCP) code, designed to push Australian telcos to clean up their terrible track record, has been adopted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The regulatory authority’s recent inquiry into telcos' customer service found that annual recurring costs …
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

Qualcomm joins Ericsson, Telstra in 450 Mbps LTE demo

Telstra has again demonstrated technology that will let lucky LTE users consume the entire 15 GB of its largest consumer post-paid broadband plan in less than 5 minutes. A repeat of the May 2014 demonstration of the same speed in conjunction with Ericsson, the latest demo brought Qualcomm into the fold. Qualcomm provided the …
The Register breaking news

Consumer VPN service could be popular as regional paywalls go up

Consumer VPN firm AnchorFree is touting mobile data cost saving through compression as well as Wi-Fi security as means to gain more users for its software: buts it's likely that many of its users will be more interested in getting around regional media paywalls - or even national government firewalls. David Gorodyansky, chief …
John Leyden, 05 Nov 2012
Suitcase bulging with cash

CloudFlare slurps CryptoSeal

CryptoSeal, which got itself out of the consumer VPN business last year to sidestep the fate of Lavabit, have been snapped up by CloudFlare. The Y Combinator-funded operation shuttered its consumer VPN service because it said complying with a government demand for an individual's data could only be met if it handed over the keys …
BT Openreach van

Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts

Blighty's broadband providers are once again at Ofcom to do something about the alleged monopoly they believe former national telco BT maintains in the business broadband sector. Sky, TalkTalk, EE, Virgin Media and Vodafone are all part of the UK Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA), which is pressuring Ofcom to …
flames_fire_destruction

Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables

HP has recalled more than six million power leads after the US Consumer Product Safety Commission warned the kit was starting fires. HP AC power cord recall Melty cords a danger to HP users "HP has received 29 reports of power cords overheating and melting or charring resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2014

Right To Be Forgotten in the US: Americans wanna be like EU-oo-oo, says watchdog

The US should be more like Europe – and introduce the controversial "right to be forgotten" ruling – says a top American consumer-defending organisation. In a letter to Google CEO Larry Page and exec chairman Eric Schmidt, Consumer Watchdog asked the search supremos to extend the EU's privacy ruling, dubbed the "right to be …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Oct 2014

Australia to 'relieve' telcos of need to disclose intercepts

The federal government's “red tape repeal” policy looks set to reduce the amount of information Australians receive about telecommunications interception requests. Deep in the bills designed to reduce telecommunications service providers' regulatory compliance costs is a proposal to repeal the record-keeping requirement that …
management regulation2

ACCC to target price comparison websites

Consumer affairs regulator the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says it's stepping up its consumer oversight in the telecommunications sector and on the Internet, while outlining its priorities for 2014. Of particular interest to Australian Internet users will be a continuing watch over misleading …