Articles about Small Business

Ross Bridge in Chattanooga TN

Chattanooga mayor credits muni broadband with aiding city's revival

The mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is crediting the city's recent economic surge to a decision to defy national ISPs and build its own broadband network. Speaking at an event in his city hosted by the Fiber to the Home Council, Mayor Andy Berke said that over the last three years, unemployment in Chattanooga has fallen from …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2016
German battleship sinking at Scapa Flow

Quantum is shutting down sync'n'share biz Symform in July

Storage firm Quantum bought the Symform cloud consumer/small business file sync and share business in August 2014 – and is going to close it down on July 31. It has gone from acquisition to closure in 23 months. Why? According to a Quantum FAQ: "Quantum is discontinuing the Symform service due to its strategic business focus …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2016

SOHOpeless Cisco wireless kit needs critical patch

A range of SOHO-targeted network kit from Cisco, pitched as “highly secure”, isn't. Switchzilla has just issued a critical patch for three devices in its RV range: the RV110W 802.11N VPN/firewall; and the RV130 and RV125 802.11n VPN routers. The bug lets a remote attacker send crafted HTTP requests and execute code as root. …
JC Boyle saluting device patent

Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Opinion In 2017, the EU is going to open the Unified Patent Court. This court will make it much easier for patent trolls and corporations in the US – armed with dodgy patent applications and IP attorneys – to reach into the UK and strangle your startup at birth. Think about it. Last week the Financial Times reported )that two-thirds …
Andrew Fentem, 15 Jun 2016
Oh no, photo via Shutterstock

You deleted the customer. What now? Human error - deal with it

Blog Everyone I speak to about system security seems to panic about malware, cloud failure system crashes and bad patches. But the biggest threat isn’t good or bad code, or systems that may or may not fail. It’s people. What we call Liveware errors range from the mundane to the catastrophic and they happen all the time at all levels …
Stuart Burns, 30 May 2016

Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

Hands-on In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Microsoft highlighted its increasingly popular Surface line as the growth leader in its More Personal Computing line of business. Surface led the category with 61 per cent growth in constant currency, a rise driven by the top products in the line, the Surface Pro 4 tablet and the …
Addison Snell, 27 May 2016
Bill_Halbert_Kcom

It's a Hull of a thing: Kcom takes a break from 8-year sales slide

Telecoms provider Kcom stemmed its declining revenue for the first time in eight years, reporting growth of 0.4 per cent to £349.2m for the full year 2015/16. However, operating profit fell to £6.3m from £50.9m mainly due to increased investments, compared with the previous year. That was mainly due to its fibre roll-out in …
Kat Hall, 27 May 2016
Man ties laces on running shoe pre-jog. Photo by Shutterstock

Nutanix slims down code, chases after small business

Nutanix is having a crack at the medium-sized business market with a product called Xpress. The new product is a hyperconverged hardware and software bundle that Nutanix says starts at US$25,000 for an entry-level three-node cluster capable of running from 10 to 400 or 500 virtual machines. Nutanix says the secret sauce is …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2016

What's holding up Canada's internet?

Sysadmin Blog Canadian internet providers are frequently bemoaned as terrible. Americans get lots of media play about getting the sharp end of the stick from their providers, but many Canadians look longingly at the internet packages south of the border and wonder: what's the holdup in Canada? While Canadians usually like to fool ourselves …
Trevor Pott, 19 May 2016

Cloud security 101: Get a little more intimate with your provider

You can get many different services in the cloud these days, and cyber security is among them. These days, cloud service providers will take care of everything from email scanning through to watching where your employees surf (and stopping them from going there, if necessary). Most of them claim to do a better job than the …
Danny Bradbury, 16 May 2016

The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole

Sysadmin blog Microsoft makes a number of truly fantastic technologies and it is legitimately at the cutting edge of a number of hybrid cloud technologies. By the same token, Microsoft is also an asshat, so any attempt to make decisions about it gets complicated and messy in a right hurry. Unfortunately, as refreshes near, making sense of …
Trevor Pott, 06 May 2016

FCC urged to pause its fight against America's $20bn cable-box rip-off

Sixty US congressman have sent a letter [PDF] to Tom Wheeler – chairman of America's internet mall cop, the FCC – urging him to "press pause" on plans to open the cable box market to competition. In it, the elected representatives argue that the proposal to force large telco companies to allow third parties to produce set-top …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 May 2016

Do you know where your trade secrets are?

Information security (infosec) is no longer a nice-to-have. It is a matter of corporate survival. Even the smallest company can be weakened by the simple loss of a customer list, ruined by the fallout from the loss of protected customer information. There's a lot more to infosec than merely hunkering down behind a firewall. As …
Trevor Pott, 03 May 2016
A broken cable box

Verizon is big on IoT 'cos its wireline biz is dying on the vine

Verizon says that it will focus on "developing new markets," as the telco giant was just able to keep revenues on the uptick. The US carrier said that it would be shifting a focus over towards the internet of things (IoT) and its content market in the coming months, as it looks to bolster sagging revenues in other parts of its …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Apr 2016
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

So you’d sod off to China to escape the EU, Google? Really?

Analysis Google structures its entire organisation to avoid privacy laws, minimise taxes and de-risk itself from competition oversight*. Today Google’s European supremo hinted that being in China might be less of a hassle, and that losing Google would serve us Europeans right for being so backward. Of course, it’s a sheer coincidence …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Apr 2016

It really is time to sort out your professional indemnity insurance

Promo Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Everything else, including lawsuits, happens to other people, right? Which is why you still haven't got around to sorting out professional indemnity insurance. We suspect that many other sole traders and small IT businesses are in that same mental boat. If you’re a freelance IT …
David Gordon, 14 Apr 2016
IRS

Carving up the IT contract behind £500bn of annual tax collection is a very risky move

Analysis The thankless nature of IT service provision is often demonstrated by the fact users only tend to notice it when it goes wrong: if there's no screaming, then it's working fine. In that respect, at least, HM Revenue and Customs' £10bn IT contract with Capgemini and Fujitsu has been a success. Particularly if one considers the …
Kat Hall, 04 Apr 2016

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

Absolutely no one can make sense of the United States' infatuation with firearms. But that dichotomy between both arguing for extraordinary rights to carry guns and worrying intensely about being attacked by guns has rarely been as stark as the news that someone has developed a gun that looks like a mobile phone. In a country …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Mar 2016

PC World's cloudy backup failed when exposed to ransomware

The shortcomings of consumer-grade backup services in protecting against the scourge of ransomware have been exposed by the experiences of a UK businesswoman. Amy W, who runs a small business in the Newbury, Berkshire area, was convinced that the KnowHow cloud was the only backup technology she'd ever need1 when she bought a …
John Leyden, 22 Mar 2016
Man with head in the cloud

GoDaddy goes boldly into cloudy servers

GoDaddy has decided to get into the cloudy server caper. The used-to-be-a-hosting-company is wisely dodging the likes of Amazon Web Services and Azure, instead choosing to offer web developers servers-in-seconds, packed with all the software goodies they're likely to deploy for a small business web site. Bitnami's aboard, with …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Mar 2016

US Supremes to hear Samsung's gripes about the patent system after Apple billed it $550m

It's a busy week for Apple, with the company showing off new products this morning and a court showdown with the FBI tomorrow. Now the US Supreme Court has just added more to the workload with Case 15‑77 [PDF]. In December, Samsung appealed to the Supremes in its long-running patent squabble with Apple over the design of its …
Iain Thomson, 21 Mar 2016
A Cisco ASIC

Cisco plans routers that are servers, or vice-versa, with KVM aboard

Cisco will shortly announce enhancements to its integrated service routers that will make it hard to know if they're a networking appliance or a server. Or a hybrid of both. Cisco already offers the UCS E-series servers, small form factor machines that can plug into devices like the 4000-series integrated service routers. …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Mar 2016

Beep, beep – it's our 2016 buzzword detector. We see you, 'complexity'

Sysadmin blog A new marketing push by legacy tech vendors that I expect will be particularly beloved by old school storage vendors is afoot: prepare for the "complexity" onslaught. The answer to lower total cost of ownership (TCO) claims made by the likes of public cloud or hyperconvergence vendors is going to be money funneled into endless …
Trevor Pott, 03 Mar 2016
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Dell-EMC Federation, stardate 11254.7: What about the storage?

Comment With SEC filings describing the top execs heading the intended Dell-EMC federation, the structure of the storage business becomes clearer. Basically – and surprisingly – there is no change yet. Looking at the roles of the level 2 execs reporting to Michael Dell, we now know: Michael Dell runs the whole show, Joe Tucci …
Chris Mellor, 03 Mar 2016
Dyson DC58 Animal

SMBs? Are you big enough to have a serious backup strategy?

One of the TLAs* we come across all the time in IT is CIA. It's not, in this context, a shady American intelligence force: as far as we're concerned it stands for Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability – the three strands you need to consider as part of your security and data management policies and processes. Most …
Dave Cartwright, 02 Mar 2016
Toaster

Toaster cooks network and burns 'expert' user's credibility to a crisp

ON-CALL Welcome to On-Call, our Friday frolic through readers' tales of being "used and abused to serve like hell", as Grandmaster Flash once said. This week, meet “CJ”, who back in the day “finally managed to convince the owners of real estate agency that their ageing 10B2 thin Ethernet network needed to be updated and made reliable …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Feb 2016

Yelp minimum wage row shines spotlight on … broke, fired employee

Comment Long before its customer service rep Talia Jane wrote a blog post about how her monthly wage wasn't enough to live on, Yelp has enjoyed a reputation for unethical behavior. The publicly listed ratings company is reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on average every two days, typically by small business owners who see …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2016
Office 365 as seen in the Edge browser

Microsoft Office 365: You don't need 27 floppies, but there is desktop friction

Microsoft would like us to think of Office 365, its hosted email and collaboration service, as “cloud”. And it is in many ways; you can even get all your email and OneDrive-stored documents direct from a web browser. The truth though is that Microsoft has been careful not to disrupt its desktop Office software too much. Most …
Tim Anderson, 17 Feb 2016

Streetmap's lawyer: Google High Court win will have 'chilling effect’ on UK digital biz

Google’s High Court victory against Streetmap on Friday will have a chilling effect on digital startups and British SMEs. The verdict in the Streetmap.eu v Google Inc competition case set a new hurdle for proving that a dominant player had caused harm – one that’s now far higher than it is in the rest of the EU. What happened …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Feb 2016

Google wins High Court fight with StreetMap over search results self-pluggery

Google has won a High Court case brought by StreetMap over anticompetitive business practices, one of several in the legal pipeline. Streetmap first sued Google in April 2013, arguing that Google’s search dominance favoured its own Google Maps product. In June 2007, the Californian multinational had begun promoting Google …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Feb 2016
Plate spinning routine by Henrik Bothe

Is tech monitoring software still worth talking about?

Sysadmin Blog It's 2016, and the number one complaint I hear from sysadmins is still about monitoring software. The complaints have evolved with time, and every organization seems to have its own challenges. Despite this, monitoring software seems to be one of the most universal frustrations in modern IT. In the small business world, simply …
Trevor Pott, 10 Feb 2016

HPE beefs up entry MSA with a bit of flash

HPE has added SSDs to its entry-level MSA array, re-priced some SSDs, and brought out a new, denser filer, all intended to help customers with limited budgets. It says its latest MSA Storage options "enable the most affordable dual-controller hybrid flash array from a major vendor."* The MSA 1040 can now have SSD media to …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2016
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

Microsoft showers Office 365 sellers with gold in Google snub

Microsoft is again rattling Google’s cage by throwing money at channel folk that convert small businesses into Office 365 believers. The Fast Track programme was launched in 2014 for customers with more than 150 seats to drive adoption of Microsoft’s online service, but the glare of Redmond is switching to those with 149 and …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2016
Seagate_10TBers

Seagate floats out 10TB HDD filled with lifting gas

Seagate has caught up with WDC’s HGST unit and built a 7-platter, 10TB disk drive filled with helium gas. Western Digital Corporation (WDC) introduced its own 10TB Ultrastar He10 drive in December last year. This was a standard PMR tech drive, unlike the Ultrastar Archive Ha10 announced in June 2015, which used shingled …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2016

Researcher criticises 'weak' crypto in Internet of Things alarm system

Security shortcomings in an internet-connected burglar alarm system from UK firm Texecom leave it open to hack attacks, an engineer turned security researcher warns. Luca Lo Castro said he had come across shortcomings in the encryption of communication after buying Texecom’s Premier Elite Control Panel and ComIP module and …
John Leyden, 31 Dec 2015
The Register Roundtable Room at The Soho Hotel

CIOs, what does your nightmare before Christmas look like?

CIO Manifesto We gathered 14 of the UK’s finest IT leaders in a secure bunker (elegant room in the Soho Hotel -Ed.) for the last Register Round Table of 2015 to hear their tales of when good IT goes bad. The short version is the thing they fear most is you, dear reader, your screw-ups, your documentation, your thefts, your dodgy code, your …
Joe Fay, 22 Dec 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Digital Transformation Office hits deadline for Gov.au prototype

EXCLUSIVE PIC Australia's Digital Transformation Office (DTO) says it has hit its self-imposed nine-week deadline for the creation of a prototype new gov.au website. The DTO set the deadline on October 14th and, in an as-yet-unpublished blog post supplied exclusively to Vulture South (for about 90 minutes before publication), said that it …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Dec 2015
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

New data porting rules mustn't overburden businesses with costs, says UK minister

Rules designed to enable consumers to move their data from one platform to another should not be so costly to comply with that they serve as a "barrier to entry" into markets, the UK's parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Department for Business, Innovation has said. Baroness Neville-Rolfe said that the planned new …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Dec 2015
Bookshelf in the British Library basement

Oxford Uni opens infosec ivory tower in Melbourne

The State of Victoria is cementing its place as Australia's security hub with the launch of an Oxford University national infosec risk centre in Melbourne. The Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre will perform "audits of national cyber security risks and capabilities" to help Australia plan investments and strategies. It …
Darren Pauli, 15 Dec 2015
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

HMRC aims for fully digital tax system by 2020. Yeah, whatever

HMRC has fleshed out its ambitions to make its tax system fully digital by 2020, which will include nothing short of the "end of the tax return for millions of taxpayers". The department has said that by 2016, every individual and small business will have access to their own secure digital tax account, similar to an online …
Kat Hall, 14 Dec 2015
Ethernet by https://www.flickr.com/photos/razor512/ CC2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The gear I use in my test lab: A look at three Trident+ switches

Sysadmin blog Buying new infrastructure does matter. Even small business need a basic set of features and equipment that meets industry standards, not just some proprietary vendor ones. But most businesses simply don't need the bleeding edge. Let's look at an upcoming switch replacement as an example. This customer is going to need to move …
Trevor Pott, 07 Dec 2015
Cash on scales. Pic: Images Money, Flickr

Iomart, Logicalis and VIRTUS buy data centre firms

The data centre sector witnessed a flurry of mergers and acquisitions activity today with three DC firms changing hands. Let’s start with Iomart, which is paying up to £11m for United Communications Ltd, a managed hosting firm based in Hemel Hempstead, with about 6500 mostly small business customers. Iomart is paying £7.5m in …
Drew Cullen, 01 Dec 2015
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KCOM: We're selling our national network assets...

Tech-integrator-cum-comms-provider KCOM Group has slapped a for sale sign on its national network infrastructure (except in Hull and East Yorkhire) as management continues to reshape the organisation. KCOM has, like the rest of the tech world, placed its bets on the cloud, and is making less money from the traditional carrier …
Paul Kunert, 30 Nov 2015
George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury

Spending Review: GDS gets £450m, Cabinet Office budget slashed

In a shock announcement, Chancellor George Osborne has today pledged £450m in extra funding to the Government Digital Service. The news follows the recent mass departure of GDS top brass, including Mike Bracken, amid rumours the body would be slashed. GDS's current annual budget is £58m per year. The £450m bonanza will be …
Kat Hall, 25 Nov 2015
eBay

Obama: Let me spam 600,000 of your customers with a TPP sales pitch. eBay: Sure thing, Barry!

President Obama is taking his case for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) online with a spammy pitch to eBay merchants on how the trade deal will benefit them. The US Commander In Chief sent a letter to 600,000 eBay sellers outlining the virtues of the controversial international trade deal that, according to Obama, will make …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Nov 2015
MileIQ: Microsoft's latest acquisition is not available on Windows Phone

MileIQ drives to Redmond: Microsoft swallows Mobile Data Labs

Microsoft has acquired Mobile Data Labs, developers of the popular mileage tracking app MileIQ. The MileIQ app, which is available for iOS and Android but not for Windows Phone, automatically logs miles driven and lets you categorise and record them, for example to claim business expenses. According to Microsoft, MileIQ " …
Tim Anderson, 06 Nov 2015
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HP Inc in indirect push for biggest UK and Ireland accounts

Hewlett Packard Inc is turning to partners to help drive business among the enterprise and small and mid-markets in the UK and Ireland. HP Inc Wednesday announced it would convert 300 of the region's largest, direct business accounts into indirect relationships to woo partners. The newly independent computer and printer-maker …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Nov 2015
Prison

Is Alphabet-Google 'too big to jail'? The Lords find out

Europe's examination of Big Tech's dominant platforms – like Alphabet-Google and Amazon – is only just beginning, but Parliament got a teaser of the battles ahead this week, as two antitrust professors sharply disagreed on the merits of the enquiry. Professors David Evans, of UCL, and Ariel Ezrachi, of Oxford University, at …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2015

Virty expert with a Cisco cert and hate money? Here's the job for you!

Unpaid internships are on the nose around the world as even entry-level workers rebel against exploitation, but a "job" ad spotted by Vulture South takes the practice to new depths. The unpaid IT Systems Engineer internship ad calls for someone capable of helping engineers run up Windows servers for Microsoft small business …
Hadrosaur

Dinosaur love hug: Dell's $64bn death pledge to EMC

EMC/Dell deal A trouble shared is a trouble doubled. Thus spake Frank Spencer, sales director of DataCenter, and thus goes the marriage of two legacy enterprise tech vendors. In a $67bn megadeal, EMC and Dell will combine; it's like HP-Compaq all over again, like two dinosaurs mating just before extinction hits. The markets involved are, …
Matt Asay, 13 Oct 2015