Articles about Consumer

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
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

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
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

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
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

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
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

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
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

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

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

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 …
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

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

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
A Lyft car

Who the hell is still using Lyft? And why put up with junk texts 'n' calls, huffs FCC

Dial-a-ride service Lyft has been rapped on the knuckles by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for making customers sign up for a telemarketing list before being able to access the service. The FCC cited Lyft for violating the US Telephone Consumer Protection Act and warned that further penalties could be imposed …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Sep 2015
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
Gorillas by Thomas Wildmann Flickr

Telstra helped scupper new competition laws: report

A change to competition laws that would have given small businesses a lever against the big end of town has been scuppered, with Australia's largest carrier among the successful lobbyists. The Harper Review had recommended a small-but-significant change to how the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission tests the use of …

Samsung, Oppo collared in smartphone bloatware probe

Smartphone makers Samsung and Oppo face legal action in China over handsets apparently stuffed with bloatware. Plenty of folk in the People's Republic have moaned to regulators about pre-installed software on their phones, prompting Shanghai's Consumer Council to act. The country's Consumers' Association said in a statement …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jul 2015

You shouldn't be paying for mobile ads (please buy our software)

Israeli ad-blocking company Shine has climbed on to the moral high ground, taking out an advertisement in the Financial Times calling on the mobile industry to block mobile ads. Roi Carthy, Shine’s chief marketing officer told El Reg: “Any rational person can agree that we should not be subsidising Google, Facebook and so on …
Simon Rockman, 07 Sep 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

Gremlins in the first six months? It's the seller's problem – EU court

A ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Thursday puts the onus on tech companies to prove that a product was not faulty at time of sale if it malfunctions in the first six months. In the words of the ECJ: “Any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within six months of the delivery of goods is, in principle, to be …
Jennifer Baker, 05 Jun 2015
VW Scirocco logo

Oz regulator warns VW: cheatware scandal could cost you millions

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is the latest regulator to put Volkswagen in the cross-hairs, announcing that it's launched an investigation into the beleaguered car-maker. The ACCC has pointed out that the company's “defeat device” cheatware breaches the country's design rules, making the cars unroadworthy …
Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Nokia on phone return mutterings: They LIIED. We won't be BAAACK

Nokia has dismissed claims that suggested the company was "currently" planning a big, splashy return to the smartphone business next year. As of the second half of 2016, the Finnish firm will no longer be saddled to a deal it inked with Microsoft – which bought Nokia's devices and services unit in 2014. However, Nokia attacked …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Apr 2015

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

How many pre-loaded Win 10 PCs did disties have 7 days after release?

No PCs pre-loaded with Windows 10 made their way into distributors’ warehouses in the week before launch of the OS – but by golly, they did in seven days after the 'big event'. Venerable number cruncher Context reckons a whopping 150 machines were in distribution a week after launch. The firm gets its data direct from European …
Paul Kunert, 14 Aug 2015
Samsung Gear VR headset needs a Samsung phone

Juniper sees 30m virtual reality headsets shifted by 2020, as China lifts ban

Crystal ball gazers at Juniper have looked far into the future and seen that by 2020 some 30 million virtual reality headsets will be shifted globally. Hardware retail revenue from VR headset sales will exceed $4bn (£3bn) by 2020, it said. According to the analyst house the "watershed year" for the virtual reality will be 2016 …
Kat Hall, 16 Sep 2015

Disney's light-bulb moment: build TCP into LEDs for IoT comms

Since lights are everywhere, and LED lamps are The Way of The FutureTM, it makes sense that they be used for communications. Now, boffins working for Disney Research have taken LED-based comms a step further, adding a Linux TCP/IP network stack to a consumer lamp. Their work, published here, pushes visible light communication …
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
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 recalls Beats speakers: Rap chap's crap batt rapped in zap mishap flap

Apple is recalling its Beats Pill XL speakers over claims the product overheats to the point of burning one particular fan's finger. The speaker, which was manufactured in China, sells for $325, and apparently poses a potential fire hazard due to a faulty battery. Cupertino has promised to refund any US and Canadian customers …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Jun 2015

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 …
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
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 …

Samsung's latest 2TB SSDs have big hats, but where's the cattle?

Comment Samsung’s 2TB SSDs have long warranties, but not much capacity for total lifetime data written. While being the largest consumer SSDs to date and having 5-year (EVO) and 7-year (PRO) warranties, the drives don’t actually have impressive numbers with regard to the total TB written over the life of the drives. The 2TB 850 EVO …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jul 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 …
Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

German watchdog rips off Facebook's thumbs after online fracas

Five German companies have removed Facebook’s “like” button from their websites following pressure from the niftily-named Consumer Advice Center of North Rhine-Westphalia (Verbraucherzentrale NRW). Two weeks ago, Belgium’s data protection authorities said the social network was breaking national and EU law by tracking users on …
Jennifer Baker, 26 May 2015

Win10 PCs still stuck on slow boat from China, warehouses empty

Windows 10 consumer PCs will not show up in big numbers at Brit retailers’ stores until the middle of next month, multiple sources have told us. The reason for the scarcity is that Microsoft didn’t allow the OS to be pre-loaded on to PCs until launch day on 27 July, and lead times including sea shipment were eight weeks from …
Paul Kunert, 27 Aug 2015