Articles about Consumer

Imation results drenched in red as exiting consumer biz cuts deep

+Comment Global data storage company Imation is on the accountant's operating table and diseased flesh is being slowly cut away. Its third quarter results are dominated by red ink, with a $152m loss, 148 per cent worse (yes, worse) than a year ago. Revenues for the quarter were $129.2m, 26.2 per cent less than the year-ago quarter’s $ …
Chris Mellor, 09 Nov 2015

Samsung’s consumer IoT vision – stupid, desperate, creepy

IFA Sketch While the business side of the Internet of Things looks in good nick, and isn’t actually anything new, the consumer prospects look remote. Samsung is one of the few global companies that’s able to project a vision of consumer IoT: it does technology as well as consumer electronics and white goods. And it tried to give us a “ …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Sep 2015

HP won't squeeze itself into 3D printer consumer market

Canalys Channels Forum HP is on track to launch into the 3D printing market next year, but don’t expect to be printing off your own plastic goodies anytime soon. HP Inc boss-to-be Dion Weisler told an audience at the Canalys Channels Forum today that development of its 3d printer offering was progressing apace. “We are broadly on track. We said we’ …
Joe Fay, 07 Oct 2015
The Taj Mahal

Google: We made India a consumer society and our work here is done

In 2012, Google decided it needed to kickstart India's e-commerce sector, and created "The Great Online Shopping Festival". Today, it's declared "mission accomplished" and decided the festival's no longer needed. The modestly-named Great Online Shopping Festival was unashamedly modelled on events like “Cyber Monday”, America's …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Nov 2015
A garden gnome depicted stretched out across picnic table... with a pipe in one hand while the other props him up. Has a confrontational look in his eye...

Pirate MEP: Microsoft's walled garden is no consumer pleasure park

Microsoft is trying to create its own “walled garden”, much to the detriment of consumers, Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda has told El Reg. Reda was referring to the new unified Microsoft services policy, which came into force at the beginning of this month and covers almost all of the tech goliath’s consumer services. In it, …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Aug 2015

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

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

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 …

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
Android icon desktop toys

Blurred lines, as consumer tech swallows delivery of BIG IT

A decade of “consumerisation” of IT has, according to Gartner, succeeded in shifting the balance of power within organisations — across departments and from hierarchies to individuals. For IT companies traditionally dominating the B2C market, the opportunities to target the enterprise space looms large. Already consumer tech …
Rachel Willcox, 24 Jun 2015
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

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

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
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

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
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
Happy business people celebrate. Photo by Shutterstock

UK concerned over EU law plans on trade of data for digital content

The UK government has warned that EU proposals to extend consumer protection rules to businesses that supply digital content for free in return for access to consumers' data could "unduly inhibit" that "very innovative business model". In December last year the European Commission published a new draft directive on contracts …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Feb 2016
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

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
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Blighty competition watchdog pokes pointy finger into cloud storage

Price hikes and last-minute service tweaks to cloud storage offerings have caught unwanted attention from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority. The regulator confirmed on Tuesday morning that it planned to carry out a review of the market, following concerns expressed by consumers. It will consider whether practices and …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Dec 2015

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
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Zuck slapped down for privacy breaches in Germany again

The long-running dispute between Facebook and Germany's consumer watchdogs is all over, bar the shouting. Reuters reports the decision by the Federal Court of Justice that the “friend finder” feature is unlawful, backed up decisions by two lower courts in 2012 and 2014. The Federation of German Consumer Organisations, the …

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
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
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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
Tom Wheeler, Chair of FCC. Image by DonkeyHotey

FCC won't track Do Not Track

America's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided it won't intervene against companies that don't honour user Do Not Track requests. The decision (PDF here) comes in response to a request by Consumer Watchdog, which in June asked the FCC to support users' Do Not Track browser settings. The request put the FCC in …
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American robocallers to be shamed in public lists

US phone watchdog the FCC will publish a weekly updated list of annoying robocalling companies. The regulator's Consumer Help Center will reveal the telephone numbers of all robocaller operations, and organizations that flout do-not-call rules. The tables can be used by phone filtering software to block cold callers. The FCC …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Oct 2015
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

Lawyers cast fishing nets in class-action Seagate seas

Hear that siren? It's an ambulance chaser. Seagate is facing a class-action lawsuit from lawyers representing one pissed-off Barracuda disk drive user – and they want more people to join in. Acting on behalf of one Christopher A. Nelson of South Dakota, the lawyers say the drives failed more often than they should have been …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2016

How many Surface power cords are a fire risk? 2.25 million in the US alone

Microsoft has yet to go public on the number of Surface Pro power cords it is recalling over fire concerns, but the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has: it’s more than two million Stateside alone. As revealed last month, Microsoft claimed it received reports that cords for the first, second and third generation of the …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2016
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 …

Hey Mac users, want to be unpaid guinea pigs for Microsoft? Sure you do

Microsoft is extending the Office Insider early build program to users running Office for Mac. The Redmond software giant said that under the Insider program, Office 2016 for Mac users with Office 365 consumer subscriptions will be able to opt in and receive automatic updates of the test builds of Office. Users running Insider …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jan 2016
1950s style illustration - Smiling woman talks into rotary phone

BT airs out new business structure as it digests EE

BT is to create a Frankenstein business unit on April Fools' Day worth £5bn out of old parts of BT Global Services focused on the UK, BT Business and EE's newly acquired business unit, it announced during "record" third quarter financial results. The major restructure plans come days after the outfit completed its £12.5bn …
Kat Hall, 01 Feb 2016

Show us the code! You should be able to peek inside the gadgets you buy – FTC commish

FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny supports the idea of giving people access to the source code to stuff to ensure better security and privacy in the era of the internet of things. The idea is that obvious bad bugs and poor security mechanisms can be quickly spotted and either fixed or the item stays on the store shelf. …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jan 2016
Unseasonal behaviour: Christmas in July

Xiaomi preps Linux laptops for the post Christmas sales rush

Pumped up by a (claimed) $1bn in profit in 2015, Chinese phone-maker Xiaomi will start selling Linux laptops early next year, according to a report. DigiTimes suggests that two models will be built by contract manufacturers, Inventec and Compal, and feature 12.5 inch and 13.3 inch displays. According to the trade paper, …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2015
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We're all really excited about new smartphones, laptops, tablets – said no one ever

We are all perfectly happy with our existing high-end technologies and aren't planning to upgrade any time soon. That's according to Accenture, which carried out a survey of 28,000 people across 28 countries, and found "sluggish demand" for the most popular consumer electronics. Not that we've stopped buying them: "just" 48 …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Jan 2016
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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

Google forked out a whopping $16m on govt lobbying last year

Google has once again proved it is Silicon Valley's biggest lobbying spender, splashing out more than $16m (£11.2m) for the second year running in its attempts to bend the ear of government. The data is from records for 2015 analysed by non-profit group Consumer Watch, which monitors the lobbying activities of Silicon Valley's …
Kat Hall, 22 Jan 2016
apple music

'Apple lures labels from free streams – and why is no one doing anything about it' shrieks group

A pressure group in America has urged US watchdog the FTC and Uncle Sam's Department of Justice to probe Apple Music for signs of antitrust violations. Consumer Watchdog has written a letter [PDF] to the five commissioners of the FTC as well as DoJ attorney general Loretta Lynch and assistant attorney general William Baer …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015
HiSense 4K TV

Ten years in, ultra-high-def gets a standard

The UHD Alliance has delivered its promised spec setting down minimum standards for what constitutes 4K. While 4K of some kind has been around for a decade, it was only in 2015 that the industry decided standards were needed. Its specification covers production, distribution and display characteristics, with a bunch of …
VMware nutella

VMware to chomp up Boxer, says chief techie

VMware has announced plans to acquire Boxer, "doubling down" to further integrate a broader range of easy-to-use applications within its secure data management platform. Boxer provided personal information management (PIM) and social networking solutions to enterprises. Its team is set to join VMware's AirWatch team, within …
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

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

Apple gobbles Brit AI outfit VocalIQ

Apple is reported to have snapped up UK artificial intelligence company VocalIQ, which had previously sneered at Cupertino's digital assistant Siri as being a mere "toy." The deal is the latest in a number of UK acquisitions this year, including media data startup Semetric in January and Camel Audio, a maker of virtual …
Kat Hall, 02 Oct 2015
The refreshed OneDrive for Business browser view

Microsoft previews less buggy OneDrive for Business client

Microsoft is previewing a new client for OneDrive for Business cloud storage, following many complaints about sync reliability in the existing client, which was based on Office Groove. OneDrive for Business is part of Office 365, where it is also known as SharePoint online. It uses different technology than the consumer …
Tim Anderson, 01 Oct 2015
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 Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0

Gartner: 20 billion things on the Internet by 2020

Gartner's predicting a four-fold increase in the number of Internet of Things devices in the world by 2020, from today's 4.9 billion to nearly 21 billion. If Gartner's mushroom-and-crystal-ball session got the numbers right, the industry's going to have to get to work reclassifying a whole lot of stuff as some-kind-of-thing, …
BT Openreach van

BT posts flat results following EE merger green light

Telecoms giant BT posted flat results for its second quarter earnings, just days after it was given the green light by Blighty's spending watchdog to snap up mobile operator EE for £12.5bn. For the three months to September, the one-time state monopoly posted flat revenue of £4.38bn for the second half of 2015, compared with …
Kat Hall, 29 Oct 2015