Articles about Retail

Reese witherspoon as Elle Woods from the film Legally Blonde. Photo copyright MGM Studios

'Legally' separate: Ofcom tells Openreach to split from BT...

Ofcom has today said Openreach must become a legally separate company from BT – with its own independent board – under plans to reform the former state monopoly's infrastructure division. In February, Ofcom identified serious failings with BT's current ownership model of Openreach. However, it stopped short of recommending …
Kat Hall, 26 Jul 2016
The big split

Systemax flogs German sub to CANCOM

The break up of Systemax’s European operations may have just started after it brokered a “definitive agreement” to sell the Misco German subsidiary to CANCOM for an undisclosed sum. Under the terms of the deal, staff and customer lists will be transferred to the new owner. The deal is subject to closing conditions and is …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jul 2016
band_aid_648

What's big and red and squashes 276 bugs, 19 of them critical?

Oracle has emitted its quarterly patch payload, along the way claiming an unwanted record by squashing an all-time-high 276 problems across 84 products. That's Oracle's biggest bug list to date. Worse still, plenty of them with CVSS scores of 9.0 or above that indicate the problem is critical. Among those nasties are 19 9.8- …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jul 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Analysis All eyes were on Microsoft's cloud business today as it published its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Amid the numbers, Redmond boasted that its Azure revenues from the quarter were up 102 per cent year-on-year – we estimate the cloud service's revenue to be about $800m in total for the period. Meanwhile, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016

Big Blue's boxes: No IBM storage numbers, but it's a drop

+Comment The storage hardware portion of IBM's quarterly revenues continued its long-term decline, with a 13 per cent annual drop. It's a nice welcome for incoming storage boss Ed Walsh with the storage hardware decline glaringly obvious. We don't know the storage software numbers within IBM's systems segment, and nor do we know …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jul 2016
Robot touches screen with finger. Photo via Shutterstock

Did mock cop bot trot on fraught tot? Maybe not

The maker of the security guard robot that allegedly ran down a toddler in a Silicon Valley shopping mall last week has claimed its droid is innocent. Sixteen-month-old Harwin Cheng hit the headlines worldwide after his parents claimed he was knocked down and run over by a 300lb Knightscope K5 bot at the Stanford Shopping …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016
Upset man in suit and drinking liquor. Photo by Shutterstock

One in five consumers upgraded to Win10 for free instead of buying a PC

Microsoft’s free upgrade of Windows 10 hit PC makers where it hurt though the extent of this was apparently a surprise to the software giant, data druids at Gartner have claimed. According to a survey by the holders of the Magic Quadrant, one in five consumers that upgraded to the free version of the OS decided they didn’t …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jul 2016
shutterstock_238128856_phone_theft

Gaming apps, mugging and bad case of bruised Pokéballs

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Back in the 1970s, cockney actor Mike Reid’s catchphrase on children’s TV was “Runaround – GO!!!” For the benefit of American readers... oh look, it’s too difficult to explain. However I would love to hear him shout “Pokémon – GO!!!” if only to alleviate the relentless publicity over what counts as children’s entertainment …
Alistair Dabbs, 15 Jul 2016
CHILE -FEBRUARY 6: Moais in Rapa Nui National Park on the slopes of Rano Raruku volcano on Easter Island, Chile. Photo by Shutterstock

The History Boys: Object storage ... from the beginning

Backgrounder This is a terrific object storage history map from Silicon Valley object storage guy Philippe Nicolas*, who has put together a spreadsheet detailing the history of content-addressable storage (CAS**) – otherwise generally known as object storage. I have heard so many odd things about suppliers and technologies in this market …
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Photo by Shutterstock - must mark as editorial use only

EU operators’ 5G manifesto misses the point

Never before have events coincided so neatly to demonstrate the gap between mobile operators’ thinking about 5G, and how future networks will really be deployed for disruptive effect. While Europe’s leading MNOs were presenting a backwards-looking "5G Manifesto" to the European Commission, veiling pleas for net neutrality …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jul 2016
Partnership

IBM caps '20 years' of deep MS love with Surface deal

IBM has become the latest sometime hardware giant to agree to push software giant Microsoft’s client hardware - years after selling off its own client devices business. MS device marketing general manager Brian Hall said in a blog post that IBM had joined the Surface Enterprise Initiative along with consultancy and contracting …
Joe Fay, 12 Jul 2016

Keep up the pressure on the telcos, Canada

Sysadmin Blog Bell Canada has lost their second appeal of the July 2015 decision by the CRTC requiring the opening of fibre networks by Canada's major telcos for wholesale consumption by third party ISPs. The result solidifies Canada's presence amongst the nations embracing Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) and heralds a round of massive changes in …
Trevor Pott, 12 Jul 2016

Researcher pops locks on keylogger, finds admin's email inbox

Trustwave researcher Rodel Mendrez has gained access to the inbox of the criminal behind a commercial keylogger used to attack industries including finance, cloud services, logistics, foreign trade, and government. Mendrez's reverse engineering effort found credentials buried within the Hawkeye keylogger that lead through …
Darren Pauli, 05 Jul 2016
Detroit skyline

Detroit Rock(et Fiber) City: Startup brings 10Gb service to Motown

A project born out of finance house Quicken Loans is making a push to bring broadband to the city of Detroit. Rocket Fiber, which was launched by three former Quicken employees and still operates under its umbrella of companies, began feasibility studies in 2013, laying out cables a year later and finally launching as a …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Jul 2016

The future is complicated - can technology make it simple?

PROMO Does the world looks a little more complicated today than it did yesterday? You might not be able to stop change, but you can work harder at making it work for you. That’s why you’ll be pleased to know that HPE is bringing together academics, practitioners and industry experts at its Accelerating Simplicity event in Berlin to …
David Gordon, 04 Jul 2016
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
A bowl of Noodles

While you filled your face at Noodles and Co, malware was slurping your bank cards

American fast-food chain Noodles and Company says malware got into its sales registers, allowing it to slurp customers' payment card numbers. The biz admitted today that hundreds of restaurants in 28 US states were infected with card-stealing software nasties that harvested customer card names, numbers, expiration dates, and …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jun 2016
Files in manager's desk drawers: manila folder marked "Redundancies". Image via shutterstock

Lloyds Banking Group puts 640 techies and backroom bods on chopping block

Lloyds Banking Group is to chop 640 jobs in IT and back office functions as it forges ahead with plans to reduce its branch network's real estate. Workers impacted by the planned redundancies are understood to be based in locations across the UK in London, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh. A PR man at the company confirmed …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jun 2016
axon 7

ZTE flagship elbows aside Xiaomi

Xiaomi was expected to be the biggest arrival into the European phone market this year, but ZTE may have just grabbed the laurels. While Xiaomi is entangled with IP worries, delaying a European push, ZTE has steamed in with an attractive Android flagship, the Axon 7 - launched this week in Paris this week - one that you can …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jun 2016

Dixons, UK's fifth 'emergency service', brushes off Brexit scare stories

Dixon Carphone - which, god help us, wants to become the fifth emergency service in the UK - this morning played down the personal impact of market “volatility” that a post-Brexit vote will “inevitably” cause as it reported bumper profits for fiscal ’16. The retailer said like-for-like group sales edged up three per cent year- …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jun 2016

Grappling with the future? Sometimes the answer is simpler than you think

PROMO The future is complicated, with a myriad of platforms and solutions promising to help you deal with disruption in any industry you choose to name. Faced with that degree of complexity sometimes the best response is the simplest – sit still, listen, then think before acting. That’s why, to mark the launch of its Hyper Converged …
David Gordon, 23 Jun 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

The private equity profiteers behind Maplin Electronics have turned the screws on suppliers to hand over bigger rebates to help pay for physical and digital store improvements or risk having their kit sidelined. The geek fiddlers emporium was sold to Rutland Partners for £85m almost two years ago when the investor promised “ …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jun 2016
Microsoft Wallet

Microsoft hops onboard bonk-to-pay bandwagon

Microsoft has launched its entry into the near-field communications (NFC) mobile payments space. The Microsoft Wallet app will allow Windows Mobile users whose phones are equipped with NFC hardware to link their bank accounts and credit cards to their handsets for retail transactions. Currently, the Wallet app is limited to a …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2016
Messerschmitt micro-car

Cloudian clobbers car drivers with targeted ads

Cloudian object storage is being used to target Japanese drivers with focussed ads as they drive past a digital billboard. Dentsu, a Japanese advertising supplier, has set up an experimental system on a road in the Tokyo area where road gantry-located video cameras capture images of vehicles and drivers. It features deep …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016
Indian mobile use

India relaxes rules that kept Apple out of retail

Indian tech consumers might soon be able to savour the rich, human experience of making a Genius Bar booking to try and sort out a problem with an iThing, after that country relaxed the rules that have kept companies like Apple from opening their branded stores in that country. The roadblock has been a law that demanded …

New York decides not to tinker with vendor lock-down for now

Another US state has missed a legislative deadline to make third-party tech product repair legal. New York state was considering a law requiring companies to publish things like repair manuals, but it didn't make it to a vote in the current legislative session. The bill was sponsored by Republican Phil Boyle, and was similar …
Credit card theft

You Acer holes! PC maker leaks payment cards in e-store hack

Acer's insecure customer database spilled people's personal information – including full payment card numbers – into hackers' hands for more than a year. The PC maker has started writing to customers [PDF] warning that their personal records were siphoned off from its online store by crooks between May 12, 2015 and April 28, …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016
Punnets, photo by Graze

When DIY is not enough: Web-snack firm Graze has an offline awakening

“Graze is doing the reverse of most companies,” co-founder and chief technology officer Edd Read tells me. “We started online and we are going offline. We started with bespoke home-made technology and we are beginning to adopt the opposite.” Started in 2008, Graze has done everything considered “normal” in today’s startup …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jun 2016
recruitment_hired

Dabs founder Dave Atherton returns to techland

Dave Atherton, the founder, one-time CEO and owner at Dabs has returned to the IT industry as chairman of distributor Entatech, with a turnaround mission in mind. Atherton, who sold his online tat bazaar to BT for £24m a decade ago, has since worked on numerous projects including property development and more recently a site …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jun 2016
Hank Scorpio from The Simpsons

Microsoft splashes Virtual Reality-slinging 'Scorpio' Xbox

Microsoft has unveiled its entry into the VR gaming space with a souped-up Xbox One console dubbed "Project Scorpio." Set for release in late 2017, Redmond says that the VR-ready model will be on shelves in time for the holiday shopping season. Though Microsoft is not providing many details on the new Xbox, the company says …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2016
drinks cans

In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning

Soda drinks are under attack in the US and the UK, but the weapons employed on the two fronts are different. In the US, San Francisco enacted a law last year that requires advertisements for soda and sweetened drinks to alert consumers: “WARNING: drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth …
Apple Store SoHo NYC

Thief dresses as Apple Store drone, walks off with $16,000 in iGear

A thief in New York City was able lift more than $16,000 worth of Apple merchandise by dressing up as a store employee. The brazen bloke walked into the SoHo Apple Store location at around 5.30PM on June 1, and took 19 iPhones from the store without being detected. His clever disguise? A blue t-shirt that police said was " …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2016

FTC top techie's mobe fraud

Talk about picking on the wrong person. Lorrie Cranor, chief technologist at US consumer watchdog the FTC, said today she fell victim to a brazen identify thief. Cranor now wants to use her experience to alert citizens, helping them and phone carriers to take action to combat scammers. As she explained: A few weeks ago an …
Chris Williams, 07 Jun 2016
Virgin Media Tivo

Tivo's new owner ponders binning its own boxes

Tivo's new owner Rovi has hinted that it might get out of box retailing and focus on software and services. The source of the news is an SEC filing that records a presentation Rovi made to analyst firm Cowen and Company's Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. The document details Rovi chief financial officer Peter Halt's …

Farewell, Fadell: Nest CEO Tony quits IoT biz

The CEO of Nest, Tony Fadell, has quit. Announcing his decision in a blog post Friday, the head and cofounder of the smart home company now owned by Google parent Alphabet and most famous for its thermostat, said his decision was "bittersweet" but that now was the right time to leave. "While there is never a perfect time to …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Jun 2016

Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I’d like to try these in a size nine-and-a-half or size 10, please. “A size nine... and-a-half?” the shop assistant asks incredulously. Yes. Or a 10. “Which size do you want – the nine-and-a-half or the 10?” I’d like the size that fits my feet. “So... are your feet size nine-and-a-half or size 10?” Ah now, I can’t say for …
Alistair Dabbs, 03 Jun 2016
Super Mario Bros

Take that, Mom! Turns out Super Mario Bros was all about solving complex math problems

Completing a game of Super Mario Brothers is the mathematic equivalent of solving complex mathematical calculations, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The prestigious tech university said in a recent study [PDF] that navigating the world's most famous plumber through a single level can require the same …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2016
Micro:Bit photo

BBC's micro:bit retail shipments near

The long-awaited BBC micro:bit computer is now available for pre-order to retail and reseller customers, with single-unit orders starting at £12.50. Earlier this year, the beeb began shipping the little single-board computer to school-children. Farnell element14 is now taking pre-orders at resale scale, a minimum order …
Doctor Who, Season 9 – Heaven Sent. Pic credit: BBC

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
News room with blur motion effect

RIP Nexus Player – the truth

Google has told El Reg that its smart TV gizmo Nexus Player is not quite dead, despite rumors to the contrary, after it was removed from the Google Store. "Nexus Player is still available on some retail sites," a spokesperson said. "Android TV continues to be a living room favorite as one of the best smart TV experiences. We …
Iain Thomson, 26 May 2016
Image by gyn9037 http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-691846p1.html

You've patched that Flash hole, but have the users? Phone's ringing. It's for you

Security researchers are warning of a new wave of malvertising that harnesses the latest Flash exploit. The attack features tainted ads from websites including dailymotion.com, vodlocker.com, answers.com and legacy.com. Fraudulent advertisers are posing as legitimate retail or legal businesses in order distribute "conditional …
John Leyden, 25 May 2016
Dean Kamen on the iBot

Toyota not shybot about whybot it will trybot the iBot

Inventor Dean Kamen has inked a deal with Toyota to revive his iBot smart wheelchair, which has been out of production since 2009. The Segway creator's DEKA Research and Development Corp and the Japanese automaker said this weekend in a joint press conference at the Paralyzed Veterans of America Convention that they would be …
Shaun Nichols, 23 May 2016

ARM buys IoT's camera crew, Eyes of Things biz Apical

Chip-designer ARM has snapped up London-based imaging and embedded computer biz Apical for £242m, in a bid to further branch out from the slowing smartphone market. Apical's imaging products are used in more than 1.5 billion smartphones and approximately 300 million other consumer/industrial devices including IP cameras, …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2016
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Mega UK distributor DCC Tech: 2016 was our annus horribilis

The once seemingly unstoppable distribution juggernaut DCC Technology hit some unmovable barriers in fiscal ’16 caused by slumping tab and smartphone sales and the loss of a retail gig. The parent of UK trading arm Exertis admitted today it had endured a "very difficult year". The LSE listed firm still managed to bump up …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
BT Openreach at work

Comms providers call on Ofcom to get tough on Openreach

Communications providers Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone have called on Ofcom to dramatically reform BT's Openreach in a "10 point plan" published today. The action plan published by membership body the Federation of Communication Services (FCS) follows a decision by Ofcom not to recommend a structural separation of Openreach …
Kat Hall, 16 May 2016

Kobayashi Maru gets real: VR and AR in meatspace today

Three years ago few people other than hardcore gamers and those working in specialist industrial fields were still talking about VR. It was a gimmicky technology cursed by the “P” word (“potential”) and huge, ungainly headsets that generated a flurry of interest in the late 1990s that quickly evaporated. Today, it’s big news …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 May 2016
Giant burger

Burger-slinger Wendy’s admits: Cash-till data breach hit 1 in 20 outlets

Wendy’s confirmed on Wednesday that malicious software affected PoS (point-of-sale) devices in around 300 of the burger chain’s 5,500 franchised stores, or about five per cent of all its restaurants in North America. The update on Wednesday quantifies the extent of a previously announced breach and came as Wendy’s announced …
John Leyden, 12 May 2016

Walmart sues Visa for being too lax with protecting chip cards

Retail giant Walmart has filed suit against Visa over the ability to force chip and PIN authorization for card purchases. In a suit filed to the New York State Court (PDF), Walmart claims that Visa is forcing it to accept customer signatures as authorization for payments when it wishes to mandate the use of PIN codes instead …
Shaun Nichols, 11 May 2016
O2 XDA Argon

French maverick sniffs around O2

European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is expected to block Three UK owner CK Hutchison’s takeover of O2 this week, leaving BT as the dominant player in the UK’s mobile market. BT, lest you forgot, is also the monopoly wholesaler of broadband, and the single largest retail provider of broadband too, with a 31 per cent share …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 May 2016
Woman pays for something online with her credit card. Photo by Shutterstock

Experian Audience Engine knows almost as much about you as Google

We have grown so used to credit reference giants like Experian knowing almost as much about us as Google, but unlike Google, they put this information up for sale. This is perhaps why we have forgotten that Experian could form the basis of one of the most powerful personal intelligence systems in the world. And that it is a …
Faultline, 09 May 2016