Articles about Retail

What you need to know from re:Invent – FPGAs-as-a-service and more

AWS re:Invent At its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas today, Amazon Web Services tipped its hand to reveal its battle plan for invading new markets. The Jeff Bezos cash machine has kicked out a laundry list of new services and virtual machine instances for AI applications, databases, and software that requires specialized hardware …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Nov 2016
Bank vault

'Tesco Bank's major vulnerability is its ownership by Tesco,' claims ex-employee

A former techie at the UK's Tesco Bank reckons the recent high-profile breach may be down to security shortcomings at the bank's parent supermarket. Earlier this month Tesco Bank admitted that an estimated £2.5m had been stolen from 9,000 customer accounts in the biggest cyber-heist of its kind to affect a UK bank. The …
John Leyden, 30 Nov 2016
Boy with a backpack hides his eyes and cries. Pic by Shutterstock

Ofcom to force a legal separation of Openreach

The regulator Ofcom has decided to force a legal separation of Openreach from BT, after the former broadband monopoly failed to offer voluntary proposals that addressed its competition concerns. Ofcom fell short of recommending a full structural separation earlier this year, citing pensions and properties costs as the main …
Kat Hall, 29 Nov 2016

'Mirai bots' cyber-blitz 1m German broadband routers – and your ISP could be next

A widespread attack on the maintenance interfaces of broadband routers over the weekend has affected the telephony, television, and internet service of about 900,000 Deutsche Telekom customers in Germany. The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) issued a statement indicating that the cyber-assault, which was …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Nov 2016
Shopping cart photo, via Shutterstock

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

Here's the thing: We've pressed pause on my startup

Radbot Previously, you intimated that most of you would not relish a night out on the tiles with our team (boo). No pony for you So, it turns out that this is the real world, and even when the CEO wishes for a pony*, it doesn't always trot up. And that means, dear readers and commentards, that you get to hear when it doesn't go to …
Sharon White, new head of Ofcom, former Second Perm Sec at the Treasury

Surprise, surprise. BT the only Universal Service Obligation provider in town

BT is the only player to offer its services for universal coverage of 10Mbps by 2020, but has also placed a number of conditions on doing so, head of comms regulator Ofcom Sharon White has said. Speaking at the Culture, Media and Sports Committee hearing, White said BT has expressed interest in delivering the government's …
Kat Hall, 23 Nov 2016
NBN

NetComm kicked to the curb by nbn™ for fibre-not-quite-to-the-home

Nearly 20 years after it was a supplier to Optus' hybrid fibre coax build, Australian comms-kit-maker NetComm will help replace the network. The company yesterday announced it's won a contract to supply one-port and four-port nodes for the National Broadband Network's Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) services. In NetComm's …
scareware

Office Depot halts PC Health Checks amid bogus infection claims

Office Depot has suspended PC Health Check – its malware-scanning service – after it was accused of lying about infections to push antivirus software. Former Office Depot technician Shane Barnett told Seattle TV station KIRO 7 that the PC Health Check service would lie to customers that their otherwise-clean PCs were infected …
Iain Thomson, 22 Nov 2016
Woman chats on phone next to open hood after car breaks down. Photo by SHutterstock

Apple offers drained iPhone 6s users... a free battery

Apple is offering iPhone 6s customers free replacement batteries after it emerged phones had been mysteriously shutting down. The fruity firm said the fault had affected smartphones sold between September and October 2015 within a “limited serial number range”. “This is not a safety issue,” Apple said in a statement. Number- …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Nov 2016
Crying manager photo via Shutterstock

Put down the org chart, snowflake: Why largile's for management crybabies

There's a stink growing out there in agile land: a debate over how to scale up agile in large organisations. Should we put frameworks like SAFe or the most awesomely named DAD in place to scale it? How about LeSS? These "agile in the large" frameworks have been on the ascent in recent years. A 2015 Gartner survey found that …
Michael Coté, 21 Nov 2016

Going shopping for a BSOD? We've found 'em in store at M&S

Every time the BSOD flood seems to taper off, yet another bunch arrive in the Vulture South inbox, and for some reason the latest crop seems to have a retail theme. reader "Ozzard", for example, fired in the BSOD below, spotted in a Marks & Spencer, and since it's the right shape for the top spot, here it is. BSOD at Marks …
Apple iPhone 6 and 6s

Apple admits the iPhone 6 Plus has 'Touch Disease'

Apple has admitted that the iPhone 6 has “Touch Disease”, a glitch that leaves the handset's touch screen inoperable. The problem surfaced in August when repair site iFixit diagnosed a problem with controller chips that lost electrical contact with the phablet's motherboard. Apple, as is its wont, remained silent … until …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
shutterstock_mobile_theft_648

Three Mobile, two alleged hackers, one big customer database heist

UK carrier Three Mobile was the victim of a hacking scheme that has reportedly left the records of millions of customers exposed. According to multiple UK media reports citing both Three and the National Crime Agency (NCA), hackers gained access to a Three database containing the account details of possibly six million …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2016
Man jumps out of window of burning building. Pic by Shutterstock

British banks chuck smartphone apps out of Windows

The UK's largest retail bank, Lloyds, has withdrawn its app from the Windows Store, and the bank's web page now redirects to a 404. TSB's Windows mobile app has also disappeared. Although the Windows Store has mobile apps for Barclays and RBS's NatWest – both have around 18 per cent market share – Lloyds is far and away the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Nov 2016
Hadoop

Hadoop experiencing growing pains in lamestream businesses

Apache Big Data Fast, unbridled growth has hurt adoption of Hadoop, according to a leading advocate of the technology. John Mertic, director of program management at ODPi, said that work on Hadoop was often relegated to a "skunkworks" project in many mainstream organisations. "It's effectively stuck," he said during a keynote presentation at …
John Leyden, 16 Nov 2016

Analysts apply Occam's razor to Tesco Bank breach

Analysis Security analysts have narrowed down the range of possible explanations for the Tesco Bank breach. Earlier this month Tesco Bank admitted that an estimated £2.5m had been looted from 9,000 accounts. Initially it was feared that money had been taken from 20,000 accounts, but this figure was revised a few days after the breach …
John Leyden, 16 Nov 2016

Mac book, whoa! Apple unveils $300 design tome

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Apple has unveiled its latest method for separating fanbois from their hard-earned money. The Cupertino creator of Sherlock has released a hardcover printed book called Designed By Apple in California that showcases Apple hardware designs. Sir Jony Ive says the book is aimed not …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Nov 2016
shark

The sharks of AI will attack expensive and scarce workers faster than they eat drivers

Although sixty years old, artificial intelligence remained mostly a curiosity until half a decade ago, when IBM’s Watson trounced the world’s best Jeopardy! players in a televised match. At the time, you might have thought nothing of that - what does a game show matter in the scheme of things? It didn’t stop there. IBM sent …
Mark Pesce, 14 Nov 2016
Bank vault

What went wrong at Tesco Bank?

Tesco Bank has enlisted the help of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) following the most serious cyber-attack launched against a UK bank. The attack against the supermarket giant's banking arm involved the theft of £2.5m from 9,000 customers' accounts, funds that the bank quickly reimbursed. Initially theft against 20, …
John Leyden, 10 Nov 2016
The city of St Louis

Looking to hire IT staff in St Louis? The talent pool just got a lot bigger

Retail chain Lord & Taylor is closing down its US tech headquarters in St Louis, Missouri, and axing 77 IT jobs in the process. The luxury department store chain provided notice to the Missouri State government of the shutdown yesterday, just hours before the US election day was set to dominate the news cycles. The filing …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Nov 2016
microsoft nutella

Microsoft ends OEM sales of Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1

If you can get Dell, HP Inc, Lenovo or any other PC-maker to sell you a PC running Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1, please let us know how you did it because Microsoft no longer sells the operating system to OEMs. Redmond's Windows lifecycle webpage has long-since flagged October 31, 2016 as the date on which Windows 7 …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Nov 2016

A sorry Brexcuse! Systemax blames Brexit for car crash Q3 results

Sickly supplier Systemax has blamed Brexit for its latest car crash financials as losses in the UK mounted in the wake of the EU referendum. The once mighty reseller reported falling year-on-year sales at its European Technology Group (ETG) for Q3 ended September, down 6.3 per cent to $226.5m. Trading output across the region …
Paul Kunert, 01 Nov 2016
Thanks, I suppose. Woman contemplates unwanted gift. Photo by Shutterstock

Seagate has a flash early Xmas present for Xbox gamers

Seagate has produced an external 512GB flash drive for capacity-strapped Xbox One gamers. This Xbox-branded half TB is said to be enough for 15 titles and hooks up to the console with a USB 3.0 cable, meaning no separate power cord. It's claimed to load games and their contents faster than a similarly connected external disk …
Chris Mellor, 31 Oct 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Northamber almost strikes cheery note, warns profit a year off

Veteran distie Northamber almost introduced a note of cheeriness as it unveiled its full year results today. Almost. The firm still unveiled a slip in revenues, increasing losses compared to last year, and said profitability is probably at least a year away. In his statement, chairman David Phillips said that as it continued a …
Joe Fay, 28 Oct 2016
radbot -images copyright damon hart-davis

Marketing... or how I lost my soul to Lagos

Radbot Last time you said that a fair chunk of you have used crowdfunding to buy product. Allegedly, building a better mousetrap does not have the world beating a path to your door all by itself, maybe not even putting the design on Thingiverse. As our caped hero is finding out, you need to let your potential customers know that …

Surprise, surprise: AWS is making boatloads of money for Amazon

Amazon Web Services continue to contribute handsomely to the bottom line of its parent company, as the cloud compute outfit saw sales top $3.2bn. The AWS numbers helped to counter an otherwise disappointing quarter for the online retail giant. For Q3 2016, AWS logged: Revenues of $3.23bn were up 55 per cent from $2.09bn in …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Oct 2016
iPhone 7 Plus

Squeaky bum time for Apple: It hasn’t made enough iPhone 7 Pluses

Analysis Santa may have an empty sack this Christmas, crushing the dreams of fanbois (and fanfilles). Apple admitted yesterday it was unable to meet the demand for its iPhone 7. Six weeks after the launch, Apple’s own online store is still showing long delays for several configurations of the iPhone 7. These will continue into December …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Oct 2016
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK

Exit through the Gift Shop? US copyright chief was assigned to shop till, tweeting

The US’s top copyright expert since 2011 has been re-assigned to investigating new tills for the gift shop and brainstorming social media strategies on the orders of her new boss, US president Barack Obama appointee Carla Hayden, leaked memos reveal. The Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, who reported to new Librarian of …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Oct 2016
Robot as person illustration via Shutterstock

Bloody robots! 860k public sector jobs to be automated by 2030, say researchers

Once upon a time a public sector job was a golden ticket: little actual work, less accountability, and a job for life. Not any longer. According to research by Deloitte, building on its previous work with the University of Oxford about job automation, up to 861,000 public sector jobs could be automated by 2030. In just over a …

Asda server glitch leaves customers without online shopping

Asda customers were bereft of their weekend deliveries after a server glitch cancelled 15 per cent of online orders. The supermarket biz said the glitch was an "unforeseeable" incident which began on Saturday night affecting home deliveries and click-and-collect purchases. An Asda spokesperson said the issue has been resolved …
Kat Hall, 24 Oct 2016
ATM

Three million debit cards at risk after hackers raid Indian payment systems

A suspected security breach has led banks in India to warn 3.25 million customers to replace their debit cards or change the PINs. National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI), the umbrella organization for the nation's retail IT systems, said customers at 19 banks were affected. We're told 641 people have been defrauded – …
Iain Thomson, 20 Oct 2016
A broken phone

Openreach split could damage broadband investment, says BT's chief exec

BT's chief exec Gavin Patterson has claimed an Openreach split would make future UK broadband investments more challenging and increase the firm's already-ballooning pension deficit. Speaking at the Broadband World Forum event, he denied any conflict of interest between BT's retail business and wholesale business. Contrary to …
Kat Hall, 19 Oct 2016

More than half of Androids susceptible to ancient malware

One of the world's most prolific Android malware instances is still the most prevalent piece of malware more than two years after it first emerged. The capable trojan known as Ghost Push infects Android up to version five, aka Lollipop, still employed by about 57 per cent of all users. Ghost Push won't run on Android version …
Darren Pauli, 17 Oct 2016
gushing fire hydrant, photo via Shutterstock

$100 credit for Note 7 owners

Samsung America's giving US$100 to those who hand in their Galaxy Note 7 and buy another of its products. The company's new plea for Note 7 owners to hand over their inflammatory phablets says "As a sign of our appreciation for your patience and loyalty, we are offering up to a $100 bill credit from select carrier or retail …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2016
Image by LuckyN http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1795121p1.html

Carders bag stylish sack shop Vera Bradley

American retail chain Vera Bradley has been breached by hackers who stole a yet unknown number of credit cards. The breaches affect customers shopping at its 112 stores and 44 outlets between 25 July and 23 September this year, but not its website. Attackers of unknown origin broke into the fashionable gravity-defying pouch …
Darren Pauli, 13 Oct 2016
License plates

FYI: Amazon's corner stores scan your plates

Amazon is reportedly looking to launch a series of small convenience stores that will offer onsite pickups of merchandise ordered online, and will scan the license plates of approaching drivers. A report from The Wall Street Journal cites sources familiar in claiming that the online retail giant is not only planning to expand …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Oct 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

Hey, you know what Samsung is also burning after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco? $2.3bn

The extraordinary cost of the Galaxy Note 7 recall and withdrawal has been revealed in the latest financial figures from Samsung. On Wednesday, the company revealed its preliminary third-quarter earnings and slashed estimated operating profit from 7.8 trillion Korean won to 5.2 trillion won. The difference is US$2.3bn, almost …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Oct 2016
Hololens

Will Microsoft's nerd goggles soar like an Eagle, or flop like a turkey?

Analysis Stone the crows! Rather than copying the early market leaders - as it has traditionally done - the modern era Microsoft is showing signs of calling trends correctly well in advance. Only last week we were congratulating Microsoft on being the only platform provider to correctly call the wearables trend. That allowed it to …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Oct 2016
Wagyu Bull

FT journo roasts channel leaders for spouting bullshit

Canalys Channels Forum 2016 The great and the good of the channel were chastised and chided at Channels Forum this week, as Financial Times management columnist Lucy Kellaway called on them to lay off the bullshit and waffle for the sake of humanity. FT associate editor Kellaway told the closing session at the Canalys Channels Forum that the tide of …
Joe Fay, 07 Oct 2016

Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill

Comment This year’s “Google phones” – now rebranded as Pixel – are just the latest step in Google seizing control of Android – and the biggest so far. If this process is like cooking the proverbial frog, then Google just turned up the heat so quickly, the OEMs cannot help but notice. “There's more and more resemblance to Microsoft in …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Oct 2016

@WalmartLabs applies Electrode to get current with web dev

@WalmartLabs – which practices deviant punctuation and develops software for the retail giant that bears its name – on Monday released Electrode, an open-source platform for building universal React/Node.js applications. Walmart.com now runs on Electrode, at least in part. Since January, @WalmartLabs has been helping Walmart. …
Thomas Claburn, 04 Oct 2016
Crying baby in autumn. Photo by shutterstock

ACCC could spoil startups' exit strategy

The favourite exit strategy for Australian retail “disruptors”, get yourself acquired by Woolworths or Coles, is under threat – and startupville isn't happy. Last Thursday, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims pointed out the obvious: online retail startups only present a competitive challenge to …
bomb

Portsmouth bomb about to be detonated

Dredgers clearing Portsmouth harbour in the UK have found yet another unexploded Second World War bomb. The 500kg device meant Pompey’s retail and chain boozer park Gunwharf Quays was evacuated at 11pm last night as a precaution. The bomb is being towed out into the Solent where it will be destroyed by controlled explosion. …
John Oates, 30 Sep 2016
Argos Cannon Street Station, photo: Argos

Argos tech team updates iOS app with helpful info on 'eleventy-billion toilet seats'

Strange things are afoot among the developer team at Argos, it’s just not clear if an ill-judged lunchtime trip to the boozer, hijincks related to the recent £1.4bn takeover by Sainsbury’s or a rogue staffer are to blame. Argos screengrab from reader's phone.... Screengrab from the iPhone of a gentle Reg reader... The iOS …
Paul Kunert, 28 Sep 2016

Sinclair fans rejoice: ZX Spectrum Vega+ to launch October 20

Ageing fans of 1980s home computer games will soon be able to get their hands on Sir Clive Sinclair’s rebooted ZX Spectrum device, which is now set to be launched in October and available just in time for Christmas. The eagerly awaited Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+, which was bankrolled via crowdfunding site Indiegogo, is to get …
Dan Robinson, 27 Sep 2016
Facepalm, photo via Shutterstock

It's Pablo Pic-arsehole: Turner Prize wannabe hits rock bottom

A giant sculpture of a human arse, £20,000 in one-pence coins, and an off-the-shelf model train are some of the exhibits competing for this year's Turner Prize. The giant polystyrene posterior, by Anthea Hamilton, is based on a 1970s design for an entrance into a New York block of flats. Unveiling 2016 #TurnerPrize! @ …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Sep 2016
Man holds white flag while sitting alongside empty beer bottles next to a toilet bowl. Pic by Shutterstock

Shopkeeper installs forecourt khazi to counter mystery Dublin dung dumper

A desperate Dublin shopkeeper has placed a toilet and a pile of his very competitvely priced bog roll on the pavement outside his shop after a series of visits from a loose boweled night owl. Alan Buckley was forced to install the curb-side crapper outside his Clever Buys outlet in Finglas, because “someone keeps coming up and …
Clodagh Doyle, 23 Sep 2016

Sad reality: It's cheaper to get hacked than build strong IT defenses

Whenever mega-hacks like the Yahoo! fiasco hit the news, inevitably the question gets asked as to why the IT security systems weren't good enough. The answer could be that it's not in a company's financial interest to be secure. A study by the RAND Corporation, published in the Journal of Cybersecurity, looked at the frequency …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2016

Zombie Moore's Law shows hardware is eating software

After being pronounced dead this past February - in Nature, no less - Moore’s Law seems to be having a very weird afterlife. Within the space of the last thirty days we've seen: Intel announce some next-generation CPUs that aren’t very much faster than the last generation of CPUs; Intel delay, again, the release of some of …
Mark Pesce, 22 Sep 2016