Articles about Retail

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
Frustrated accountant puts head in hands. Photo by Shutterstock

Financial Conduct Authority: No need to look any closer at insurers’ use of Big Data

The Financial Conduct Authority has said there’s no need to launch a full market study into insurers’ use of big data, despite concerns that insurers' could be using to charge consumers more. Following a call for inputs last year on the use of data and analytics in home and motor insurance, which returned 27 written responses …

Wow, RIP hackers ... It's Cyber-Lord Blunkett to the rescue for UK big biz

A high-profile project has been launched with the aim of strengthening UK enterprises' IT security. The Cyber Highway was launched in London on Tuesday by Lord David Blunkett. The resource offers a “user-friendly online portal for large enterprises that want to strengthen the cyber defence of their supply chain.” Corporations …
John Leyden, 21 Sep 2016
Apple's hopefully-patented bag

Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Apple is trying to patent a paper bag. Patent application US 20160264304 A1* describes “a bag container formed of white solid bleached sulfate paper with at least 60% post-consumer content.” The application says Apple's sacred sack is “a bag, such as a retail shopping bag … may be formed entirely of paper, with the potential …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Sep 2016
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DDoSers do it more now, but they do it less fiercely*

The number of distributed denial of service attacks has doubled over the last 12 months. Akamai reports that Q2 saw a 129 per cent year-on-year increase in total DDoS attacks. During the second quarter, Akamai mitigated a total of 4,919 attacks, one of which (against a media company) reached an eye-watering 363n Gbps. Although …
John Leyden, 15 Sep 2016

Amazon pops up more shops

Amazon will be opening more brick-and-mortar stores in shopping malls in the US, apparently. The $100bn-a-year retail nemesis of High Street quietly opened its first pop-up stores in late 2014, currently operates around a dozen in stealth mode, and will have up to 100 by next year, according to Business Insider. But why would …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2016

Meet DDoSaaS: Distributed Denial of Service-as-a-Service

Analysis It’s not often an entirely new and thriving sector of the “digital economy” – one hitherto unmentioned by the popular press – floats to the surface of the lake in broad daylight, waving a tentacle at us. This is the DDoS-for-hire industry, and it’s fascinating for a few reasons. This shady marketplace has done everything a …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Sep 2016
UK pound crashes after Brexit

Brexit? We have heard of this, says Dixons Carphone CEO

The UK's vote to leave the European Union has not dampened UK shoppers’ gadget lust, according to Dixons Carphone, which has reported a four per cent year-on-year hike in Q1 sales for the 13 weeks ended 30 July. The consumer electronics and mobile tech borg, created in 2014, saw sales bounce across the entire group – led for …
Paul Kunert, 08 Sep 2016

EU will force telcos to offer 90 days of 'roam like home' contracts

The European Union has published draft plans to force telcos across the EU to offer customers free roaming for at least 90 days a year. Last year the EU decided to abolish roaming fees from June 2017, after years of negotiations with European telcos. But today the plans contain a "fair usage" concession which mean users can …
Kat Hall, 06 Sep 2016
Green light

Australian telecoms regulator watching over Telstra HFC/NBN deal

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has flagged Telstra's deal to build and maintain plenty of the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) parts of the National Broadband Network (NBN) as something it needs to watch. The concern is that Telstra's AU$1.6 billion deal to fix the copper and help nbnTM rollout HFC services …

Crashing PC sales don't stop HP Inc releasing two new ones

HP Inc has announced two new PC desktops: the miniscule and modular Elite Slice, as well as the new Toblerone of IT, Pavilion Wave, as a domestic entertainment machine. Elite Slice is HP’s smallest desktop. A 6.5" square, it stands only 1.38 inches tall, at least before you add the stackable modules, and is cooled by a 360- …

Corporates ARE sniffing around Windows 10, says Computacenter

Bulky corporate enterprise punters are starting to fall for the, ahem, charms of Windows 10, Computacenter's chief executive claimed today as he flashed his firm’s calendar first half-year trading figures. Mike Norris, boss of the London-listed services-based reseller, said the pending contract sign-off for managed services …
Paul Kunert, 26 Aug 2016
Frustation, image via Shutterstock

Vidahost hikes domain name fees by a third, blames Brexit

Domain name biz Vidahost has hiked up the cost of its pricing by 33 per cent, blaming Brexit-induced exchange rate woes. In an email sent to customers and seen by The Register, the biz said: "Prior to the referendum to leave the EU, we spent time working up rigorous plans for the Brexit scenario. "True to form we focused on …
Kat Hall, 24 Aug 2016
Apple Store SoHo NYC

Apple kills its Stores

The Apple Store is no more. The Cupertino consumer tech giant has quietly rebranded all of its US retail locations. They are now to be known simple as "Apple" rather than the old (and sensible) Apple Store moniker. Under the rebranding, shops that had previously been called "Apple Store" will now just be "Apple" followed by …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Aug 2016
Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift will reach UK in September – and will cost more than two PS4s

If you don't particularly enjoy reality then you can look forward to not particularly enjoying virtual reality when the Oculus Rift headset reaches UK retailers in September. While the headset may not quite be the miserable simulacra Jean Baudrillard wrote of, its expected retail price of around £549, as well as the necessity …
Telstra pit by https://www.flickr.com/photos/newtown_grafitti/ cc. 20 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Telstra CEO Andy Penn promises $3 BEEELLION to end The Big TITSUP

How much does it take to fix an ailing carrier network? Three billion is the latest guess, according to a just-issued results announcement by Australia's dominant telco Telstra. The carrier must almost yearn for a simpler time, when it could promise a mere AU$50 million to set things straight after 2016's first round of TITSUP …

Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that golden backdoor keys are a terrible idea

Updated Microsoft leaked the golden keys that unlock Windows-powered tablets, phones and other devices sealed by Secure Boot – and is now scrambling to undo the blunder. These skeleton keys can be used to install non-Redmond operating systems on locked-down computers. In other words, on devices that do not allow you to disable Secure …
Chris Williams, 10 Aug 2016
Mobile banking, image via Shutterstock

Funny story, this. UK.gov's 'open banking app revolution'. Security experts not a fan of it

Analysis UK banking industry regulators are pushing banks to offer customers access to their data through shared smartphone apps. The new rules from the Competition and Markets Authority are designed to promote transparency and clarity while providing an incentive for customers to switch providers. The model is taken from the UK's …
Cash register, photo via Shutterstock

Big Red alert: Oracle's MICROS payment terminal biz hacked

Hackers infected hundreds of computers within Oracle, infiltrated the support portal for its MICROS payment terminals division, and potentially accessed sales registers all over the world. The miscreants installed malware on the troubleshooting portal to capture customers' usernames and passwords as they logged in. These …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Aug 2016
stack of newspapers

Walmart buys Jet.com

Walmart, one of the largest retailers in the world, is buying e-commerce company Jet.com for approximately $3bn. The American multinational retail cooperation is hoping to expand its e-commerce profits with its Walmart app. ® stack of newspapers
Katyanna Quach, 08 Aug 2016

Samsung Note 7: Probably the best phone in the world. Yeah – you heard right

Hands On Samsung unveiled the world’s best Android phone yesterday and I doubt if it will be bettered by anyone this year. But Samsung didn't name a price, nor assure us that the Note 7 will actually be available in the UK. (Its predecessor the Note 5 wasn’t and isn’t a UK product, we got the Edge 6+ instead, which doesn’t have all the …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Aug 2016
Customer service motivation cube

What's Niu? No longer profitable, revenues down... but we're hiring!

Once-profitable managed services business Niu Solutions is now burning cash and CEO Shaun Ledgerwood reckons the company will take three years to get back in the black. Based in Surrey, Niu Solutions flogs services to the retail and financial sectors, collecting monthly fees on contracts ranging from one to five years. …
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Microsoft buries the bad Windows Phone news: Mobile sales collapse

Microsoft has revealed how badly its Windows phone business has crashed via paperwork filed with America's financial regulator, the SEC. Nokia was shipping 7.3 million Lumias per quarter when the deal to acquire its phone unit was announced in September 2013. Nokia was shipping over 90 per cent of Windows Phones sold. But in …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jul 2016

Argos changes 150 easily guessed drop-off system passwords

UK catalogue store chain Argos has changed shop passwords for its drop-off store facility after a Reg reader inadvertently discovered staff relied on weak in-store access credentials to service orders. The reader – who asked not to be named – came across the issue when she went to send two eBay parcels via the Argos drop-off …
John Leyden, 29 Jul 2016
Nvidia GeForce

Bought a GTX 970? Congrats, Nvidia owes you thirty bucks

Graphics goliath Nvidia has agreed to a settlement that will see it pay $30 to American gamers who purchased its GTX 970 graphics cards and can file a valid claim. The pay-out deal [PDF] settles a class-action claim accusing the company of misleading consumers on the specs of the gaming card's memory and processor capabilities …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2016
NBN truck on Mount Cotton

nbn™ switches on first Telstra HFC-powered broadband services

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has announced its first services delivered over the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) cables formerly owned by Australia's dominant carrier Telstra. Ocean Reef, a suburb of the Western Australian capital Perth is the lucky recipient of the new service …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Australian Banks ask permission to form anti-Apple cartel

You can't make it up: the last industry in Australia to enjoy the privileged status of “protected and guaranteed by government”, the banks, want the country's competition regulator to rubber-stamp it acting as a cartel against Apple. Apple won't let Australia's banks use iPhones for contactless payments without using Apple Pay …
Multi-level burger too big to eat. Photo by Shutterstock

Get yer gnashers round 64-layer 3D NAND, beam WDC and Toshiba

Western Digital, via its acquired firm SanDisk, along with Toshiba, has started pilot production of 64-layer 3D NAND. These third generation BiCS3 chips are being fabbed at the Yokkaichi, Japan facilities, operated in a joint venture between WDC and Toshiba. Currently Samsung is shipping 48-layer 3D V-NAND chips. 64 layers is …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jul 2016

Oz regulator eyes broadband marketing

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is setting its sights on broadband speed claims, again. It's almost a perennial: providers who used to routinely use 24 Mbps to spruik ADSL2+ services that mostly limp along at under 10 Mbps have been jumped on before. Now, as the ACCC's chairman Rod Sims says, “ …
Reese witherspoon as Elle Woods from the film Legally Blonde. Photo copyright MGM Studios

Openreach to split from BT... so they'll be 'Legally Separate'

UK comms regulator Ofcom has said today 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 ownership model of Openreach. However, it stopped short of …
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
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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