Articles about Personalised

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Loyalty card? Really? Why data-slurping store cards need a reboot

Loyalty cards – the little buggers are everywhere these days. When British supermarket chain Tesco launched its Clubcard back in 1995, it was a forward-looking idea, so much so that Lord Ian MacLaurin, then Tesco chairman, suggested that he knew more about his customers after three months than he did after 30 years in the retail …
Sooraj Shah, 28 Nov 2016
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Space crap: Flap, zap or strap? $30k from NASA for your pooper scooper

Time is ticking away if you want to enter NASA's competition for the public to suggest an astronaut ablution solution. While the PR team must be delighted with their title of "Space Poop Challenge" the more officious procurement language of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration is even sweeter: NASA seeks …
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Big Music goes mad for chat bots and AI

The BPI has embraced the post-human era, with a report of the use of AI in music by consultancy MusicAlly. “AI is enabling the creation of hyper-personalised playlists using contextual data and deep analysis of the relationship between songs, while artists and labels are now using chatbots to engage fan-bases in campaigns,” we …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Nov 2016
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HDS has HCI – but it's not hyper-converged infrastructure

HDS has announced Hitachi Content Intelligence, software which can search for and read content in multiple structured and unstructured data silos and analyse it. HCI can extract data from the silos and pump it into workflows to process it in various ways. Users of HCI can be authorised so that sensitive content is only viewed …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2016

What's not to love about IoT – you can spy on customers as they arrive

IPExpo Siloed databases will be the downfall of your Internet of Things venture, warned Avaya’s chief technologist Jean Turgeon on stage at IPExpo Europe today. Turgeon’s talk, titled IoT: Forget the hype, this is reality, didn’t really live up to the promise of its name, though he did make a few good points in amongst the subtle …
Gareth Corfield, 05 Oct 2016

NHS health apps project plan: Powered by your medical records

UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt plans for NHS-approved health apps to play a role in patient records and healthcare have already spawned a rash of privacy concerns. The NHS.UK site will have a new collection of NHS-approved health apps to guide patient choice. Data from health apps and wearable activity trackers such as …
John Leyden, 09 Sep 2016

FireEye warns 'massive' ransomware campaign hits US, Japan hospitals

The dangerous and as-yet-undefeated Locky ransomware is being hurled at hospitals across the United States and Japan in a 'massive' number of attacks, according to FireEye researcher Ronghwa Chong. Locky is a popular ransomware variant that will encrypt files in a way that forces users to pay ransoms or cut their losses and …
Darren Pauli, 18 Aug 2016
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HMRC: We've got £1.3bn for digital tax schemes. Tell us how to spend it

HMRC is casting around for ideas on how to splash £1.3bn in order to become the most "digitally advanced" tax administration in the world. Last year the body was awarded £1.3bn of digital investment over the next four years, which it said would yield £1bn in extra tax revenue after 2020 by ending "bureaucratic form-filling". …
Kat Hall, 15 Aug 2016
Cookie Monster

BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

Last week the BBC launched a mobile app, called BBC+, delivering “customisable content collections” to your phone or tablet. It’s a personalised service which requires an email address. Last year, when the corporation announced its plans for personalised services, it made several data protection promises. Specifically, Phil …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2016

IBM scraps loyal staffer gifts in favour of... a congratulatory social page

Petty managerial powers-that-be at IBM have thrust forward an exceptionally mean redesign of the company's loyal employee rewards scheme - gifts are to be scrapped for a “social congratulatory page”. Big Blue insiders told us the firm will now honour three, five, 10 and 50 years service in a new and special way, though the …
Value pack of two tins of Spam

Amazon slashes mobe prices to get more eyes on lockscreen ads

Amazon has slashed the cost of its mobile handsets in return for customers eyeballing more personalised spam – its latest attempt to foist more e-commerce tat on consumers. The deal is open to Amazon Prime members who will have to sign up to "personalized offers and ads displayed on the phone's lockscreen." Customers will be …
Kat Hall, 30 Jun 2016
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BBC post-Savile culture change means staff can 'speak truth to power'

In the post-Savile BBC era staff won't be punished for "speaking truth to power" – one of the main issues behind the canned £126m Digital Media Initiative, director general of the BBC Tony Hall told MPs. Appearing in front of a Parliamentary select committee on the BBC’s critical projects, Hall said: "One of the things that …
Kat Hall, 26 May 2016

Former Sun CEO Scott McNealy has data on 1/14th of humanity

Former Sun CEO Scott McNealy has data on one in 14 humans, wants to get that down to one in seven, but at heart what he really wants is the thin client that Oracle killed when it acquired Sun. McNealy gathered the data in his role as co-founder and executive chairman of Wayin, a software-as-a-service outfit that aims to give …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2016
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Firms that make 'questionable use' of your data will pay... with their reputations

There is a reputational risk to firms if they make "questionable use" of consumer data, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has warned. The regulator highlighted the risk in a new discussion paper on the innovative uses of consumer data by financial institutions (29-page/292KB PDF). "Financial institutions might use data in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 May 2016
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How Apple's early VR experiments accidentally led to RSS

Industry talk has it that Apple is working on "something" to do with virtual reality. Twenty years ago the company's first attempt in the field flopped, but ultimately and unintentionally spawned the RSS metadata format used by just about every website everywhere. This story starts in 1996, when the world was going through …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2016
Tom Cruise plays with impressive looking giant touchscreen in still from the movie Minority report (based on book by Phillip K DIck))

FreeStor turns admins to precogs with predictive analytics

FalconStor has added predictive analytics to its FreeStor storage software. This software-only storage, sold independently of hardware, provides storage services by abstracting underlying heterogeneous storage products. It operates in the data path, like IBM’s SAN Volume Controller (SVC), and virtualises the array hardware …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2016

Contactless payments come to in-flight entertainment units

Near field communications (NFC) readers can now be baked into in-flight entertainment devices, making it possible to offer contactless payments in the sky. Panasonic Avionics, a dominant provider of in-flight entertainment units and the back-endery required to make them fly has announced its NFC readers are ready to take off. …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Apr 2016
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Confused about relationships? Elasticsearch gets graphic

Graph-database-style relationship mapping has been added to an offspring of the Elasticsearch open-source search engine. Elasticsearch startup Elastic has added Graph capabilities to both the search engine and to the data visualisation plug-in Kibana. Founded in 2012 to make a business from Elasticsearch, Elastic reckoned …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Mar 2016
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1.5M Verizon Enterprise customer records selling on forum after breach

Some 1.5 million Verizon Enterprise customer records have been stolen and are being sold on a criminal hacking forum, according to reports. A trusted seller on a popular but shadowy unnamed criminal forum asked for US$100,000 for the database or US$10,000 for batches of 100,000 records, investigative blogger Brian Krebs …
Team Register, 29 Mar 2016
Adobe announced cross-device user tracking at its Summit event in Las Vegas

Adobe will track you across all your devices with new co-op project

Adobe has announced what it calls "cross-device co-operation" at its Summit digital marketing event under way in Las Vegas. The goal, said Adobe Target Director Kevin Lindsay, is to "provide the ability, through all our marketing solutions, for marketers to be able to market to their consumers as people rather than as separate …
Tim Anderson, 22 Mar 2016
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VMware finally gets all its end-user computing ideas together as one

VMware has taken the wraps off what looks like the culmination of several years building an end-user computing business. Workspace ONE is the name of the new product, an odd choice given that arch-rival Citrix offers Workspace Suite and Workspace Cloud. The similarity doesn't end there. Both companies now offer different …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Feb 2016

BT scoops £100m network provision deal from the BBC

Updated The BBC has picked BT to provide its internal network, in a £100m deal that will run for the next seven years. The broadcaster estimated the deal will save it tens of millions of pounds and will provide extra network capacity for major events. The deal will begin in April 2017, with the option of extending the contract for a …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2016
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Apparently we have to give customers the warm fuzzies ... How the heck do we do that?

Analysis “The customer is king” is up there with some of the most overused corporate mantras. But it has now been translated into a new buzzword – Customer Experience, or CX – and a whole industry is evolving on the back of it. The purveyors of enterprise software, cloud services and digital devices would have you believe you can …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Jan 2016
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Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us

Facebook started 2016 with the bold claim that it intends to eradicate phone numbers and replace web browsing, but the Social Network has a mountain to climb before Facebook Messenger becomes the centre of our online world. That’s the stated intention of the Zuckerberg empire – to replace all our myriad internet communication …
Bill Ray, 20 Jan 2016
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Use of big data can lead to 'harmful exclusion, discrimination' – FTC

Businesses should take steps to avoid causing "harmful exclusion or discrimination" when using aggregated consumer data that they have analysed, a US regulator has said. In a new report the Federal Trade Commission called on companies to check how representative their data sets are, whether their "data model" takes account of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jan 2016
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'Personalised BBC' can algorithmically pander to your prejudices

Comment Rejoice! The BBC boffins can customise their broadcasts to suit your prejudices. The “Visual Perceptive Media” project invites us to “imagine a world where the narrative, background music, colour grading and general feel of a drama is shaped in real time to suit your personality” – and will even tweak the output to “fit your …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Dec 2015
Terminator

UK gov sinks £25k into Pi-powered cyberdesk

A London furniture design outfit has trousered a £25k Innovate UK grant to prototype "the office desk of the future". "Open-making" champion Opendesk - which offers downloadable designs you can knock up yourself or hand to a local manufacturer* - is tasked with hewing a customisable cyberdesk from the living plywood. …
Lester Haines, 25 Nov 2015

Ofcom asks: Do kids believe anything they read on the internet?

Ofcom’s annual survey of digital literacy amongst children reveals strong support from parents for tools to limit or block net access - and some gullibility amongst children. While Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to make network filters compulsory – irritating compulsive onanists across the UK. But the evidence suggests …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Nov 2015
Tom Cruise plays with impressive looking giant touchscreen in still from the movie Minority report (based on book by Phillip K DIck))

Facebook brings creepy ’Minority Report’-style ads one step closer

Facebook will nudge the retail industry one step closer to Minority Report-style ads that know who you are, where you are, and blast you with personalized ads that only you can see. We’re still some way from the noir movie vision, but you don’t need to boil a lobster quickly. From Thursday, Facebook will make its users’ …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Nov 2015
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Let’s hear it for data scientists! Making our lives more and more frictionless

There’s a lot of hype around data scientists. You can blame big data and the cloud. Data scientists are lauded, hunted and positively desired by those wanting to squeeze the most from their information. In accordance with such demand come large salaries – the average is $123,000 in the US. Like the Yanks of WWII, data …
Stuart Burns, 24 Sep 2015
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the 2015 F8 conference

Facebook profiles? They're not 'personal data' Mr Putin

With less than a week until a new Russian data localisation law comes into effect, Facebook is making a last-ditch effort to avoid compliance. The rules forcing companies to keep Russians’ personal data on Russian soil becomes law on 1 September. It is not yet clear what sanctions, if any, will be handed out for non-compliance …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Aug 2015

Spotify now officially even worse than the NSA

New terms and conditions popping up on Spotify users screens give the music-streaming company sweeping new rights. The “What we collect” section of the new terms seems scary enough: By using or interacting with the Service, you are consenting to: the collection, use, sharing, and processing of information about your location …
Simon Rockman, 21 Aug 2015
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Feeling a physical present: Ten summer games and gadgets

Product Roundup Bored of summer yet? I'm guessing that you, just like everyone else, assumed that as a lecturer, I get the summer off. No chance. Yet on the days I do escape this hellhole of forthcoming teenage subjugation, I am keeping myself busy – during unpredictable lightning storms, or sweltering and unseasonable conditions – playing with …
Lucy Orr, 17 Aug 2015
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Borg blacklist assimilates Cryptolocker domain name generators

Cisco has developed a means to accurately identify the fleeting pop-up domains used by some of the world's worst malware. The platform builds a reputation score that is in part based on word sources including more than 60 dictionaries, Census data and Alexa top 1000 domains. Using multiple sources helps to identify the …
Darren Pauli, 10 Aug 2015
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Microsoft vacates moral high ground for the data slurpers' cesspit

Opinion A funny thing happened while I was reinstalling Windows 8 over Windows 10 yesterday morning. There in front of me, halfway through the installation process, were two full, clear pages of privacy toggles. Every toggle was set to not send private information to Microsoft, or anyone else. In addition, Windows 8 created a local …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Aug 2015
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UK.gov: Are we talking about Big Data enough? Should we plug it more?

The UK government's Science and Technology Committee has today opened an inquiry tasked with "examining the opportunities and risks of big data." The inquiry will look at whether the government is doing enough to promote the tech to Blighty's entrepreneurs, as well as issues around data protection and privacy. Nicola …
Kat Hall, 27 Jul 2015
What Facebook's Fort Worth DC will look like

Facebook vows to blow EVEN HARDER

It seems Facebook's experience with wind power has been good enough for the personalised ads giant to come back for more. The company's west region director of data centre operations Ken Patchett announced that Facebook's next data centre will land in Fort Worth, Texas, and will mimic its Iowa bit-barn by using 100 per cent …
BT Openreach at work

MILLIONS of broadband punters aren't getting it fast enough – Which?

More than 15 million households may not be getting their advertised broadband speeds, suggesting that providers are telling porky pies about how fast their services are. According to a survey of 2,000 punters from Which?, 74 per cent reckon they are paying for packages with advertised speeds they never receive – amounting to …
Kat Hall, 18 Jun 2015

Go fac' yourselves: US privacy bods walk out of visage recog talks

Talks to establish a code of conduct for the commercial use of facial recognition technology in the US have collapsed, following the withdrawal of privacy advocates who claimed industry representatives weren't cooperating. The talks, which began in February 2014, were organised by the National Telecommunication and Information …

Intel doubles down on Big Data for population health

Chipzilla reckons urban population health is ripe for the Big Data treatment, and is setting up a lab in France to prove it. Intel has announced it will work with Teratec Consortium in the project. The lab, located in a technology park home to 80 technology and industrial companies, will focus on initiatives including …

Cortana on Windows 10 is all talk, no apps shun, says Microsoft

Microsoft’s Cortana voice-controlled digital assistant is being opened up so apps can use it for processing spoken commands, according to a presentation at the US giant's WinHEC event in Shenzhen, China. Cortana has several party tricks. One is to understand your speech, using a voice-recognition engine built into Windows. …
Tim Anderson, 19 Mar 2015
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SugarCRM sews up sweet deal to buy out junior upstart Stitch

SugarCRM – producers of customer relationship management system Sugar – have acquired the intellectual property rights "and other assets" of mobile start-up Stitch. Stitch is a the sales automation outfit - or, as they would put it, a "personalised digital assistant" that offers integrated analysis of email, calendar and CRM …
Fruit and vegetables on display on the shelves of a supermarket

Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

As the Christmas trading figures emerged from the big-name supermarkets last month, the outcome of their price war was laid bare. Consumers benefited from falling food prices while limited-range discounters Aldi and Lidl enjoyed their fastest growth ever. However, this war has not been without its casualties. Morrisons …
Rachel Willcox, 05 Feb 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
One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types

Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish

Review Microsoft does not have long to fix Windows 10. The company plans to release it this year, and if that implies hardware on the shelves, the operating system will need to be completed in the summer – and most features will need to be near-finalised well before that. Can Microsoft gets its new Windows ready in time? Build 9926, …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jan 2015

'One day, YOU won't be able to SENSE the INTERNET,' vows Schmidt

Google exec chairman Eric Schmidt misled the world last week by claiming that – one day – the internet will vanish. However, Schmidt was simply following the now well-worn path of his kingpin contemporaries by bigging up the Internet of Things – a piece of marketing jargon that many tech firms hope will slip into our …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Jan 2015
Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP. Pic: Jennifer Jane Mills

It's LUNACY, you SWINE! Er, what, security? Moonpig DOT GONE

Quotw This was the week when London-based tacky, personalised card biz Moonpig exposed three million customers' personal records and partial credit card details for almost 18 months, after the security flaw in its system had been reported. The mega cockup was first spotted by developer Paul Price, who quietly flagged up the glitch …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jan 2015
"Image from the glassbrain project, neuroscapelab.com, UCSF

'Open' SIMs, brain chips and Google's Nest: What to expect in wireless in 2015

Analysis In mobile and wireless technologies, history will see 2014 as a year in which most of the dramas were about M&A rather than breakthrough technologies (although at least the industry was starting to move on from patent wars). However, it will also be seen as a year when the groundwork was laid for many trends that will shape the …
Wireless Watch, 06 Jan 2015
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Bong Ventures LLC: We've been cyberhacked

¡Bong! Recent press reports have appeared suggesting that Bong Ventures LLC suffered a serious sustained cyber-attack resulting in the release of petabytes of confidential data onto the internet. We can confirm reports are true. In order to maintain the confidence of investors and partners, BongVentures LLC has decided to disclose more …
Steve Bong, 12 Dec 2014
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Device fingerprinting tech: It's not a cookie, but 'cookie' rules apply

Website operators that turn to new "device fingerprinting" technologies to track internet users' behaviour in place of "cookies" have to obtain users' consent in accordance with the same EU legal standards that apply to the use of cookies, an EU privacy watchdog has said. In a new opinion it has issued, the Article 29 Working …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Dec 2014