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Articles about Consumer

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
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

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

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
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

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 …
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
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 …
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 …
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
LG Ultra HD curved OLED TV

TV's goggle gaggle: EVERYBODY'S first with something at consumer tech feast

If you’re in Berlin and have a tech habit, then IFA, Europe’s biggest consumer electronics show, rages on for another couple of days. On display you'll find all manner of things upon which the consumer tech giants want us to focus our spending – even those that may well soon be redundant. As mobile content viewing explodes, it …
Bob Dormon, 10 Sep 2013
medical_doctor_health_channel

Brit PC market out of intensive care thanks to XP, falling prices

The PC market is gradually on the mend after the bloodiest period in its history when businesses sweated their assets, consumers bought tabs and costly excess stock swilled around the channel. Sales went up by mid-single digits in Q1 as UK shoppers in the commercial sectors began to spend on traditional systems again, said …
Paul Kunert, 05 Jun 2014
heart.australia

Turnover at the top in Oz telco-land as AAPT, Huawei, Optus, lose top brass

Two plush offices just became available in Australian telco-land, with the departure of C-level executives at AAPT, Optus and Huawei. The latter company has that current CEO Guo Fulin has been “promoted to a regional role within Huawei” in line with the company's “global practice of rotating senior executives through different …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2014

Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?

A programming blunder appears to have landed the cash-strapped Co-op Bank an unexpected bill for £110m. In its financial report [PDF] for 2013, which last week revealed a £1.3bn loss, the bank said it had to stump up nine-figure "costs relating to breaches of the Consumer Credit Act". Specifically, the scandal-hit bank noted: " …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Apr 2014
acer_slab_cool

Acer vows to lose its rep as cheap consumer tat-pusher

Acer UK has flushed away its previous channel programme after polishing off a shiny new scheme to underpin its pursuit of biz customers. The once high-flying consumer brand, best known for punting low-cost notebooks in huge volumes, is trying to spread its tendrils in the commercial markets and needs tools to more effectively …
Paul Kunert, 03 May 2012
The Register breaking news

RIM retracts denial on consumer devices: Pulls out, spins in circle

In an unprecedented retraction of a retraction, a RIM press officer has stated that their company is pulling out of the consumer market "once and for all." Acknowledging that they had denied this fact two days earlier, the RIMmer sighed and said that sometimes people in the press office just made crap up. It's time to tell the …
Team Register, 01 Apr 2012
homeless man with sign

UK shoppers spent £1bn less on consumer electronics in 2011

UK retail officially continues to be the worst market to operate as a reseller after spending on consumer electronics fell by £1bn in 2011, GFK Retail stats confirmed. The beancounter said the size of the sector had declined 4.5 per cent, but with spending down 7.5 per cent in January alone compared to the same month one year …
Paul Kunert, 06 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Ex-Microsoft man plans brand of consumer marijuana 'fine cigars'

An ex-Microsoft executive plans to establish a chain of retail outlets serving premium marijuana across the US, both to get rich and - apparently - to undermine drugs traffickers. James Shively is reported to buying up medical marijuana dispensaries in the states of Washington and Colorado and boasted the business will produce …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Jun 2013
Microsoft campus

Microsoft bags more BUCKS – but profit's flat as Nadella waves axe

Microsoft posted solid yet unspectacular results for both the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2014 and the full fiscal year, even as investors brace for new CEO Satya Nadella to lower the axe on as many as 18,000 staffers. Revenues for the quarter beat analysts' estimates slightly at $23.38bn, a 17.5 per cent gain over the same …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jul 2014
Huawei campus Shenzhen

Huawei rakes in £2 BEEELLION in profits

Chinese tech success story and NSA spy target Huawei has seen profits jump by a third over the past year to 21 billion yuan (£2bn) on the back of strong growth from its enterprise and consumer businesses. The Shenzhen-headquartered firm cemented its place as one of the Middle Kingdom’s most internationally successful technology …
Phil Muncaster, 01 Apr 2014
NEMA 5 plug socket

USB charger is prime suspect in death of Australian woman

An Australian woman has been found dead, possibly as the result of connecting a device to a USB charger that does not comply with safety standards. The Australian State of New South Wales' Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe has issued a statement warning local punters not to buy chargers that do not bear the usual panoply of …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jun 2014

Speaking in Tech: GitHub users did WHAT to AWS' backend?

speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, Eddie is still missing so Greg and Sarah are joined by Cisco's J Metz to dig into the new Cisco public cloud and to chew on the tech news of the week. This week we discuss… Sarah chugs vBeers (1:05) SXSW …
Team Register, 26 Mar 2014

Senate heavyweights forge bipartisan accord on phone unlocking

Two US senators – the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee – have announced a rare bit of bipartisanism in the fractious US government: they've agreed on a bill to allow consumers to unlock their smartphones once their carrier contracts expire. Democrat Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Republican Chuck Grassley …
Rik Myslewski, 23 Jun 2014
Rotten apple

Australia rebukes Apple for 'false or misleading representations'

Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has slapped Apple and extracted an “enforceable undertaking” from the company that will result in fines – or worse – if the company continues to ignore its own warranty and return polices. At issue are Apple's 12 month warranty and 14 day return policies, which weren't being …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Dec 2013

Botched SAP billing system helps Npower reach No 1 on gripes list

Failure to fix problems with an SAP-based customer billing system has seen UK energy giant Npower earn the most complaints for a power supplier during 2013. One in every 326 customers lodged a complaint against Npower, putting it top of a UK energy supplier league table released today by Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice …
Gavin Clarke, 13 May 2014
Angry old man

Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

The nationality tax levied on Brits by our American cousins that design and sell technology has been laid bare once again in a mini study, and it makes for a molar-grinding read … for people living on this side of the pond anyway. A range of hardware devices were compared but the biggest differential in UK and US consumer …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2014
Apple iOS 6 Maps

Apple: C'mon, flick on iBeacon. Let us track you. You'll get BADGES

Apple will show off its creepy iSpy fanboi-tracking system at the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Show. Attendees at CES will be able to use iBeacon to take part in a treasure hunt around the exhibition, with a prize for whoever manages to track down a complete set of "badges". The iSpy work out is organised by the Consumer …
Jasper Hamill, 06 Jan 2014
Screenshot of Google captcha that reads: "nodick"

Telstra to kill CAPTCHAs

Telstra has published its latest Disability Action Plan (PDF) and included a commitment to kill CAPTCHAs, aka Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Telstra seems to have heeded the call made by The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), Blind Citizens Australia, Media …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Dec 2013
Rotten apple

Huawei exec: 'Word of mouth' will beat Apple and Samsung in Europe

Huawei insists its won’t splash the cash to compete with Samsung and Apple in Europe’s overcrowded consumer market. Late last year, Huawei became the world’s No 3 phone maker* from a standing start: it only began selling branded phones three years ago. Although Huawei itself is now gigantic with 150,000 employees – and a mind- …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Apr 2014

BT slapped down by BSkyB over O2 broadband 'switch off' porkies

A BT direct mail advertising campaign spectacularly backfired on the telco after it claimed BSkyB would switch off O2 users' broadband. Sky bought the consumer broadband and fixed-line biz of Telefónica UK-owned O2 in March last year. The telecoms giant had claimed in a shouty flyer posted through Brits' letterboxes that BSkyB …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Consumer Watchdog lambasts Los Angeles over Google Apps

Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court has given Los Angeles city council members an impassioned speech about the failings of its Google Apps contract, even though the meeting to discuss the issue has been moved to next week. He claimed that schools in the Los Gatos Union School District, about an hour south of San Francisco, …
Iain Thomson, 27 Oct 2011