Business > More stories

fail_parking_meter_648

UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'

The closure of the UK government's Department of Energy & Climate Change should result in a major rethink of the organisation's shambolic and costly £11bn Smart Meter programme, campaigners have urged. Last week DECC was merged with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to form the newly anointed Department of …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016
Pokemon toys

Trump? Terror? Turkey? Whoa, there's a Tentacool in that Bush...

If terror attacks, coups and the prospect of a Trump presidency aren’t enough to convince the end of days might just be at hand, a brief review of the weekend’s Pokemon Go related news should tip the balance. As the augmented reality monster hunting smartphone game rolled out across the real world, players were shot at and …
Joe Fay, 18 Jul 2016
Three cows image via Shutterstock

Ed Vaizey booted to backbench, Hancock booted to DCMS

New UK Prime Minister Theresa May's reshuffle last week resulted in higher pile of bodies than a Game of Thrones wedding. Among a number of big hitters to be axed, including George Osborne, was digital and cultural minister Ed Vaizey. Vaizey had held that position since 2010 and is succeeded by former Cabinet Office minister …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016
Woman at gym lifts weights with arms. Photo by Shutterstock

Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Brit-tech success poster child ARM holdings is to be acquired by Japanese telecom multinational Softbank. ARM, whose chip designs drive the majority of the world’s smartphones, is under offer for a remarkable £24.3bn - a premium of 43 per cent over current stock price. Softbank, whose last yearly revenue totalled 19.5 …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Jul 2016
Artist's view of a binary black hole. Pic credit: NASA, ESA and G Bacon (STScI)

Brexit has left a regulatory black hole for digital, say MPs

Brexit has left the UK peering into a digital regulatory void, according to MPs. The government must provide greater clarity on digital regulation and ensure it stays on track in light of the EU referendum result, the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee finds in a report published today (PDF). Issues that …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016

Euro IP study finds 25 Tor-and-Bitcoin-loving pirate business models

Knock us over with a feather: a study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has found that those who infringe intellectual property for a living are quite fond of anonymity technologies that cover their tracks. The Office last week emitted a Deloitte-penned study titled Research on Online Business Models …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2016
The Mosque at the Taj Mahal, shot from within the Taj Mahal through the marble screens

India tweaks tech colleges to 'become real power in software'

India's decided its massive successes of the last 20 years aren't enough and will tweak its Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IITs) to create home-grown technology colossi. India's IITs are among the most sought-after educational institutions on Earth: about 1.1 million youngsters sit entrance exams to fight for 10, …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2016
Softbank_structure

Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

Updated British semiconductor designer ARM is about to be acquired by Japan's SoftBank. The New York Times reports the deal is imminent. The FT has put a value on the deal: US$32.4bn. That's a premium of about $10bn over ARM's market capitalisation. SoftBank is a sprawling company that operates a telco in its Japanese home but is …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2016

Coup-Tube: Turkey blocks social networks amid military takeover

Access to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter is blocked in Turkey tonight amid an ongoing attempted military coup in the NATO nation. The cyber-blockade has failed to prevent pictures from the unfolding uprising spilling onto the internet, though. An intervention by a faction of the country's armed forces is underway right now as …
Shaun Nichols, 15 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

FTC lets Nest off the hook over Revolv IoT hub bricking shame

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided not to move forward with an investigation into smart-home company Nest and its decision to end support for the Revolv hub. In a letter [PDF] to the Google stablemate, the regulator said it had "decided not to recommend enforcement action at this time," referencing "confidential …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jul 2016

McCain: Come to my encryption hearing. Tim Cook: No, I'm good. McCain: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you

US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has thrown a hissy fit over the refusal of Apple CEO Tim Cook to attend a Senate hearing on encryption. Opening the Committee on Armed Services' hearing on cybersecurity this morning, McCain went out of his way to note that Cook has declined the senator's invitation to give testimony alongside …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jul 2016
Privacy image

Cloud giants demand overhaul of America's privacy rules on overseas servers

Technology trade organizations have urged the US Congress to replace the country's antique privacy protection laws – after a New York court stopped American prosectors from seizing emails from servers offshore in Ireland. A Second Circuit Court in the so-called "Irish Warrant" case, brought by Microsoft against the US …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
Woman watches TV with cat, uses remote to change channel. Photo by Shutterstock

Ad blockers responsible for rise in upfront TV ad sales, claims report

The upfront market for broadcast and cable networks has taken an unexpected U-turn from last year’s dip, seeing an increase in advertising sales of $800m to $18.6bn in the most recent completion. According to research firm Media Dynamics, this 4.5 per cent increase in TV ad revenue is a blow to OTT video platforms on PCs and …
Faultline, 15 Jul 2016
Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2

Ronan Dunne jumps O2 ship

Head of O2 Ronan Dunne - he of "sending staff to Capita is better than redundancy" fame - has stepped down from the biz after eight years. Dunne will be replaced by chief financial officer Mark Evans, who has been CFO since 2012. Dunne will step down from the board on 31 July, but will continue to "support the business with …
Kat Hall, 15 Jul 2016
Lily Cole, Impossible.com

Lily Cole: Profit still looks almost Impossible.com

Impossible.com, the world-changing “sharing economy” website founded by millionaire supermodel and polymath Lily Cole lost even more money last year. Year end P&L accounts filed with Companies House revealed that I Am Possible Ltd - with Cole as director - was £257,889 in the red for year ended October 2015. That’s worse than …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
Defeated-looking young man puts his head against table in front of laptop and pile of papers in conference room. Pic via Shutterstock

IPO spews email addresses to hundreds of recipients. Twice

The department entrusted with the protection of corporate data is seemingly somewhat less bothered when it comes to guarding personal info. The Intellectual Property Office yesterday made the classic schoolboy error of sending out an email containing hundreds of recipients in the 'to' field. Realising its blunder minutes …
Kat Hall, 15 Jul 2016

Security gurus get behind wheel of driverless car debate

Security experts have already waded into the UK government's consultation into self-driving technologies. The two month session comes against a backdrop of increasing concerns about connected cars. Infosec vendors argue security needs to be considered alongside other issues such as changes to driving regulations (the Highway …
John Leyden, 15 Jul 2016

Successful fintech: UK has some, but it's not in Silicon Roundabout

Open up the business pages of any national newspaper and much of the coverage is focused on the latest fintech startup, the marvel that will transform the global financial system, backed – inevitably – by big name venture capital firms. But is this obsession with fintech deserved? A cool analysis of the phenomenon long term …
Marcus Gibson, 15 Jul 2016

If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday fumble through memories of jobs on which things didn't go as planned. Or sometimes went in ways it's not possible to plan. This week, meet “Jean” who in the early noughties scored a gig as “a fairly new-to-the-game support engineer for a shifter of overpriced household furniture.” Jean …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2016

Chinese hacker jailed for shipping aerospace secrets home

Chinese national Su Bin has been sentenced to 46 months jail after admitting his role in stealing information on the Lockheed F-22 and F-35 aircraft, along with Boeing's C-17 cargo plane. The aviation expert worked with two members of China's military to attack networks of Boeing and US and European defence contractors in …
Darren Pauli, 15 Jul 2016
NSW Department Of Justice's Pokemon warning

Pokemon Go Directly To Jail if you hunt here, says Oz Justice Dept

The Department of Justice in the Australian State of New South Wales has warned Pokemon hunters that if they hunt for digital critters inside courthouses they may find their next trip is to an actual jail. The Department took to Facebook to warn Pokemon Go addicts that “GOING TO COURT IS NOT A GAME: POKEMON GO TRAINERS SHOULD …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2016

It's not our fault we don't hire black people, says Facebook

Facebook has explained away another year of dreadful diversity figures by claiming that there simply aren't enough minorities available for it to hire. Despite having been at the receiving end of years of criticism for its overwhelmingly white male workforce, the social media giant's latest figures show that only 4 per cent of …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jul 2016

Ivory tower drops water bombs on dumpster fire

A veritable Who's Who of the tech industry have signed an open letter aggressively criticizing Donald Trump and his proposed presidential policies. "We are inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, investors, researchers, and business leaders working in the technology sector," the letter begins. "We are proud that American …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jul 2016

Server techies 'stiffed on overtime pay' banned from ganging up on HP

Hewlett-Packard has succeeded in breaking up a class-action lawsuit brought by its tech support workers who say the IT giant stiffed them on overtime pay. In an order [PDF] handed down yesterday, Judge Beth Labson Freeman said the enterprise field-support technicians can't band together against the Palo Alto goliath, and must …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2016

Google quietly takes gag off Mississippi AG after wrecking ads probe

Google has, without fanfare, dropped its legal action that muzzled an investigation into the ad giant's conduct by the State of Mississippi. The state's elected attorney general, Democrat Jim Hood, has taken on Wall Street, the tobacco industry and the KKK, but even he must have been surprised by Google's 44-page restraining …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

EU eyes flaw in Google’s cash machine

Analysis The European Commission has opened an aggressive new front in its battle with Google, one that Google thought it had secured years ago. And this is one that starts to gnaw away at Google’s core cash generation business. As well as advancing its prosecution of Google over vertical search, the new third area where the Commission …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016
tsa_gloves_648

EU waves antitrust claims in Google's face, snarls 'You want some?'

EU antitrust regulators have accused Google of preventing rivals from competing in online advertising and search, deepening its existing probe into anti-competition allegations against the ad-flinger. The antitrust charges are the latest effort to clamp down on the advertising biz, following existing investigations claiming …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2016
whitehall_648

Shocker: Computer science graduate wins a top UK political job

David Davis MP today becomes the highest-achieving computer science graduate in British politics. Strictly speaking, Davis graduate with a BSc in “Molecular Science/Computer Science” in 1971 from the University of Warwick. He is now the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU (or “SSEE-U”), a freshly-minted post. Davis later …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

IPBill During a committee stage debate in the UK's House of Lords yesterday, the government revealed that the Investigatory Powers Bill will provide any Secretary of State with the ability to force communication service providers (CSPs) to remove or disable end-to-end encryption. Earl Howe, a minister of state for defence and deputy …

Missile bods MBDA win Brit military laser cannon contract

A consortium led by French missile company MBDA has reportedly won the contract to build a laser cannon for the Ministry of Defence, according to unconfirmed reports. The project, awarded under the Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) demonstrator project announced last year, is for a prototype to demonstrate whether firing a …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Jul 2016
Confused/annoyed looking man looks irritated during outage. Photo via Shutterstock

Lloyds personal banking hit with 'intermittent' outage

Customers of Lloyds personal banking have been furiously hitting refresh this morning due to "intermittent" issues accessing their accounts. According to web-monitoring site Down Detector, the problem first began around 9am. Lloyds told customers on Twitter that it was aware of "an intermittent issue affecting some customers …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2016
NBN logo

nbnTM names six shops to re-build Telstra's HFC network

nbnTM , the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has named the six companies it has chosen to turn the hybrid fibre coax (HFC) network it acquired from Telstra into a white-hot broadband delivery beast. Lend Lease, Broadspectrum, Fulton Hogan, Downer, ISGM and BSA are the six firms to …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2016

In these troubling times, senators unite to end America's big divide – rural v urban broadband

The US Senate has formally formed its first informal committee to push for better broadband in America's countryside. The bi-partisan Senate Broadband Caucus will be made up of five senators who represent states with large rural populations and will push for laws that help to expand high-speed internet service into those …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2016
scrooge

Generous Fiat Chrysler offers $1,500 for car security bugs – or two minutes of annual profit

Fiat Chrysler has finally got around to offering a bounty on bugs found in its cars. But the scheme is unlikely to get any takers considering the pitiful amount of money on offer. Last year car-hacking artistes Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek took remote control of the engine, brakes, and minor systems of such Fiat Chrysler …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2016
A person hiding in a box

US govt bank insurer 'covered up China hack to protect top boss'

The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – a government agency tasked with safeguarding citizens' bank accounts – deliberately covered up a cyberattack by China to protect its incoming chairman. This is according to a damning report from Republican members of the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, who …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2016
Defeated-looking young man puts his head against table in front of laptop and pile of papers in conference room. Pic via Shutterstock

Software bug costs Citigroup $7m after legit transactions mistaken for test data for 15 years

A programming blunder in its reporting software has led to Citigroup being fined $7m (£5m). According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that error [PDF] resulted in the financial regulator being sent incomplete "blue sheet" information for a remarkable 15 years – from May 1999 to April 2014. The mistake was …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jul 2016
Ben Mezrich, Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs and the Greatest Wealth in History

Russian gang who exploited hacked bank accounts jailed

Five members of an international money-laundering gang based in London have been jailed after cops unravelled their malware-enabled conspiracy. The gang, composed exclusively of Russian nationals, was led by a pair of men who were both named Aslan. Aslan Abazov, 30, of Cromwell Road, London SW7,was sentenced to seven years …

Google on piracy: We really, really care

Comment Google has returned some punches in the PR war over YouTube, claiming it has handed over $3bn in royalties from artists using its Content ID system, or $1bn since 2014. But Content ID is actually one of musicians’ biggest beefs. Google’s implementation of Content ID, which "identifies user-uploaded [YouTube] videos to help …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jul 2016
Crocodile Dundee, 20th Century Fox.

Alleged Aussie plum plucker pleads guilty to motel tissue swipe

An Australian man has pleaded guilty to a string of charges after allegedly performing an "unauthorised" bollock-ectomy on a 52-year-old fellow Aussie in a New South Wales motel. According to reports, 57-year-old Allan George Matthews has copped to charges of “removing tissues from the body of another without consent or …
Joe Fay, 13 Jul 2016
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-206007979/stock-photo-female-student-using-mobile-phone-in-classroom.html?src=QwV6NI1PxgBasokGhlmPQA-1-27

Student Loans Company burns £50 million in IT project superfail

Exclusive The UK's Student Loans Company has wasted £50m on a canned IT transformation project, designed to provide a “digital by default” system to cope with a major increase in student numbers. The programme was launched in 2013 in conjunction with the Government Digital Service and was intended to be a "robust and agile customer- …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2016
DJ at mixing deck. Photo by Shutterstock

IBM puts Global Tech Services staff at risk in 'skills remix'

A second round of UK redundancy consultations are set to kick off for IBMers working in the Global Business Services (GBS) division, company insiders have told us. Big Blue initiated numerous job-cutting programmes this year as it reacted to fewer big ticket outsourcing deals and the rise of cloud computing by sending more …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jul 2016