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OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

Opinion One of the pains of running a business is billing and cash collection, especially if your customers are big. It really doesn’t matter what you put on the quote or the invoice, they pretty much pay you when they feel like it, and 60 days is usually the quickest if you’re lucky. In effect, SMBs act in aggregate as an unwilling …
Dale Vile, 16 Sep 2013
Suitcase bulging with cash

UK investor throws £14.8m at firm that makes UNFORGEABLE 2-cent labels

UK investment house Invesco has acquired 13 per cent of Norway's ThinFilm, just as the company prepares to launch its first printed product, which it tells us will cost almost two cents. The investment gives Invesco 56 million shares in ThinFilm, which amounts to 13.3 per cent of the company, but this should provide the …
Bill Ray, 7 Sep 2013

Sage 50 activation blackout: Shops sent back to paper age

New and existing retail customers of the Sage 50 online accounting service were left in the lurch following a “massive” server outage last week. Shops installing new versions of the Sage 50 accounts software or upgrading their existing accounts were unable to register their serial numbers or activation keys for the new systems …
Gavin Clarke, 2 Sep 2013
big red wheelie bin and pallet full of rubbish in London street

Amazon: OK, OK. We'll let traders flog tat more cheaply elsewhere

Amazon has agreed to stop forcing third-party traders to offer their cheapest prices on its online marketplace within the EU, Blighty's Office of Fair Trading has announced. The online bazaar had been banning traders from selling their products at a cheaper price elsewhere using threats of Amazon account suspension and payment- …
The Register breaking news

So fondleable Windows 8 didn't work out so well: Why not try it IN 3D?

Video A San Francisco-based startup has come up with a gadget it claims can turn any surface into a 3D interface for your PC or mobile device – and it wants $100,000 in funding to get the thing off the drawing board. Haptix Touch is a camera-based detection system. The point is to replace the mouse with fingers waved around within the …
Bill Ray, 16 Aug 2013
Downing Street road sign

We'll stop Johnny Foreigner gobbling our biznovation - UK gov

Westminster has admitted that foreign companies are poaching British start-ups and has promised to make sure cash raised from innovation stays in the country. The problem was first highlighted in a report called Bridging the valley of death: improving the commercialisation of research, which was published in March. The …
Jasper Hamill, 16 Jul 2013
Parliament in the clouds

Home Office launches £4m cyber security awareness scheme

The UK Home Office has launched a new £4m information security awareness campaign, designed to educate businesses and consumers about rising hacker threats. The first stage of the campaign is due to get underway in the autumn. The scheme will sit alongside other more established information security initiatives, such as Get Safe …
John Leyden, 24 Jun 2013
Google advert in progress

The only Waze is Google: Ad giant tipped to gobble map app 'for $1.3bn'

Crowd-sourced map app maker Waze has apparently accepted a billion-dollar buyout from Google - ending months of speculation about who was going to end up with the Israeli firm. Apple and Facebook have both been sniffing around Waze, which draws upon the movements of its 50 million users to generate live traffic information and …
Bill Ray, 10 Jun 2013

Cameron's Tech City: Desks? Yes. Cash? Yes. Coders? Nope

Lack of skilled staff is hampering the growth of almost half of all tech businesses based around East London's Silicon Roundabout, a survey has found. Research firm GfK asked top-ranking staff from than a hundred companies based within Shoreditch's Tech City cluster about the problems faced by their businesses. 77 per cent of …
Jasper Hamill, 20 May 2013

British biz walking around with 'Hack Me' sign taped to its back

Britain’s businesses are being left vulnerable to crippling cyber attacks due to a severe lack of security skills, according to a technology trade body. The Institute of Engineering and Technology found that barely one in ten small to medium enterprises (SMEs) had “sufficient skills and resources in place” to repel threats from …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Apr 2013

Judge of EU beauty contest for 'sexy' startups is VC backer of winner

Comment The European Commission has sponsored an award in which a VC was part of a panel that gave the top prize to one of his firm's investments. The first ever Europioneers Awards, presented by EC Vice-President Neelie Kroes, crowned the founders of two European startups, SwiftKey and SoundCloud, as "Young European Tech Entrepreneurs …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2013

White House backs US web sales tax - eBay hits panic alarm

The White House has backed a bill that would give US states the ability to demand sales tax from online retailers, while the Senate clears the law for formal voting. The senators voted 74 to 20, with six abstaining, to limit debate on the Marketplace Fairness Act and get on with final vote on the legislation. The MFA, proposed …

8 in 10 small UK firms hacked last year - at £65k a pop: Report

Infosec 2013 Over 80 per cent of small businesses in the UK suffered a computer security breach last year, according to new government research. And the proportion of large firms that reported attacks has reached a whopping 93 per cent. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' 2013 hacking survey found that 87 per cent of small …
John Leyden, 23 Apr 2013
Credit: Hans Hillewaert. Licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

You know how your energy bills are SO much worse than they were?

Analysis The government's Department of Energy and Climate Change, with the current minister as mouthpiece, has just pushed out a report claiming that its green policies are saving us money now and will save us even more in coming decades. Can it be true? We can save the planet - or anyway reduce carbon emissions - and it not only costs …
Lewis Page, 28 Mar 2013
The smart badge

Motorola minimum-wage sheriffs ride in to SAVE the HIGH STREET

Ready to save the high street comes a smart badge from Motorola, promising to turn physical shopping into a connected experience designed to lure back the Amazon generation. The SB1 Smart Badge isn't the only technology Motorola reckons can save physical shopping, but it’s a key component in the push to bring the convenience of …
Bill Ray, 28 Mar 2013
This chicken is under attack [Click to enlarge]

Printed electronics firm prints more money in quest for safer poultry

Printed electronics pioneer Thinfim successfully squeezed shareholders for another 26.8m Norwegian Kroner yesterday, following the announcement of a real customer for its printed memory circuits. The money was raised through a warrant issue to existing shareholders; despite its current size of around 20 people Thinfim is …
Bill Ray, 27 Mar 2013

Branson, Berners-Lee, Google, £2m: LET'S SAVE THE WORLD

Google is waving £2m in front of charities, promising to donate dollops of the dosh if the orgs develop tech that improves people's lives. The not-for-profit bodies are invited to apply and compete for the cash; four "data-driven" projects that successfully prove their worth will each get a £500,000 cheque from the advertising …
Team Register, 25 Mar 2013

Software glitch WIPES OUT listings of 10,000 eBay sellers

eBay has confessed to The Register that a software bug destroyed the listings of 10,000 merchants in Britain, the US, Germany and Australia. The online tat bazaar said it was restoring the listings, but it was unable to tell us if traders would be able to recover their sales histories - an important component for eBay sellers, …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Mar 2013

Speaking in Tech: Smash that Kickstarter piggy bank and MAKE IT RAIN

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's another recap of the week in tech at El Reg's coolest (and only) podcast. Join your your hosts, Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and - fresh from Austin nerdfest SXSW - Sarah Vela for everything you need to know about the business of tech. This week, the whole gang is …
Team Register, 20 Mar 2013
Not geeky at all

There's cling-ons on the starboard bow! Trekkies' wallets under attack

Pic Project fundraising websites - such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo - provide a wonderful array of dreams into which one can throw excess money. Between the desperate dance troupes and the technically optimistic, a few gems tread the fine line between genius and insanity. Begging for your money this week we have the brains behind a …
Bill Ray, 11 Mar 2013
Intel thinks it can accelerate big data-related Xeon sales by doing its own Hadoop

Intel beckons SMBs aboard Big Data bandwagon

Cutting edge Big Data projects might seem the sole preserve of big name multinationals and government organisations but the democratisation of these next gen analytics capabilities is coming soon to an SMB near you, according to Intel. Speaking at the APAC launch of the Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop, Chipzilla’s global …
Phil Muncaster, 28 Feb 2013

What's NFC? PayPal lobs Chip and PIN readers at UK small biz

Accepting credit cards just got even easier, with PayPal and iZettle both announcing Chip and PIN readers suitable for European markets where mag-stripes are considered passe. PayPal Here has been around in the US for a while, allowing merchants to take credit-card payments into their PayPal accounts, but like rival service …
Bill Ray, 22 Feb 2013
Samsung logo

Samsung puts Silicon Valley on a plate in $100m all-you-can-eat

South Korean leviathan Samsung has ring-fenced $100m to snap up early startups in IT security, mobile tech and remote computing. The globe-spanning chaebol has already set aside a billion dollars for its Samsung Ventures America Fund subsidiary, which will be run along with the $100m "Catalyst Fund" at the new Samsung Strategy …
Apple iPhone 4

Sympathetic Scots scoff-house offers hard-up Apple fanbois a discount

iPhone users feeling the strain from chucking wads of cash into the Apple's cavernous maw can now get a bit of relief in the form of money off potato scones and haggis spring rolls in Aberdeen. Musa, a restaurant in Exchange Street in Aberdeen, is offering a deal just for iPhone owners - giving them 20 per cent off the bill if …
Anna Leach, 25 Jan 2013
Axcient cloud

Backers: What's this, another cloud storage upstart? Here, have $20m

Another day, another cloud storage startup. This one's Axcient, which is in the cloud backup game and has just scored itself $20m in Series D funding. That seems surprising. It's already Axcient's fourth funding round and it's a lot of greenbacks. What's taking the company so long and why does it need so much money to get off …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jan 2013

Forget bonking, now mobes can buy stuff using pay-by-SQUEAK

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has launched a mobile wallet app with a more-than-passing resemblance to Apple's Passbook. It enables fandroids to pay each other over the air and squeaks every time it's used. The new wallet comes from Alipay, the financial arm of Alibaba, which already processes 8.5 million transactions a day …
Bill Ray, 21 Jan 2013
burning money

Stroppy investor to Xyratex: Pah... research! Who spends money on THAT?

So that's why Xyratex management erected a poison pill defence against hostile take-over attempts. The company's largest shareholder, activist investor Baker Street, which owns 23 per cent of the common stock, wants board changes to correct Xyratex's "flawed" HPC and Big Data array strategy. Xyratex makes disk drive drawers for …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2013
Dyson Heater

Sir James Dyson slams gov's 'obsession' with Silicon Roundabout

Inventor Sir James Dyson has criticised the UK government for putting "web fads and video gaming" ahead of more "tangible technology" that Britain can export. In an interview with the Radio Times magazine, the creator of the bagless vacuum cleaner said ministers needed to address a serious lack of engineering graduates in the …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Jan 2013
Yesterday's launch of the TerreStar 1 satellite. Pic: ESA

I tried to buy a satellite and all I got was this lousy $67,000

Back in 2010 a hugely optimistic plan to buy a satellite raised $67,000 in donations, way short of the needed $1.3bn, but as media interest faded the founder has kept himself busy spending the cash. The plan was to buy US comms satellite TerraStar-1, which bankrupted its owner TerreStar Corp after it tried to offer satellite …
Bill Ray, 2 Jan 2013

British biz gets one in five of its pounds from the INTERNET

Almost one in five pounds pulled in by UK business came through an online sale, the Office of National Statistics has found. Nineteen per cent of UK sales revenues came through ecommerce, states the ONS's report on E-commerce and ICT activity in 2011. That means that e-sales pulled in £483 billion to the British economy in 2011 …
Anna Leach, 3 Dec 2012
SNIA cloud storage diagram

Hold it! Don't back up to a cloud until you've eyed up these figures

Online data vaults are everywhere. On the small storage side, we have options such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Teamdrive. My Synology NAS, the upcoming 2012 Microsoft Server Suite and any number of virtual appliances can all back up bulk data to the cloud. The software side of things may be settled, but is this all truly …
Trevor Pott, 15 Nov 2012
O2 XDA Argon

O2 to save the British High Street ... with money-off vouchers

O2 is opening its free voucher scheme to every small retailer in the UK, even those which aren't O2 customers, as long as they're not franchised from a megacorp and have a high-street presence. The free scheme, which allows retailers to offer money-off vouchers to O2 customers, was launched in July, but was only available to …
Bill Ray, 18 Oct 2012

OFT writes volley of stern letters to naughty web retailers

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has warned well-known online retailers trading in Britain that some of them could face formal enforcement action from the watchdog if they failed to comply fully with consumer protection law. It said the regulator had, ahead of the busy Christmas shopping period, written letters to 62 leading …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Oct 2012

New British tax-cuts-for-patents scheme criticised

A new tax cut tied to the number of patents a business owns could lead to a wave of trivial patents being filed, favour big businesses over small businesses, and distort research priorities, speakers at the London Patent Summit warned today. Businesses have broadly welcomed the Patent Box tax scheme that will see them getting a …
Anna Leach, 9 Oct 2012
The Google Credit Card

Google launches credit card in UK

Businesses in the United Kingdom have become the first in the world to have the chance of obtaining a Google credit card. The Google AdWords Business Credit card” to give the plastic its formal name, is a tool the Chocolate Factory hopes small business will use to rack up big bills for online ads they don't have the cash to …
gavel_judgment_channel

eBay frets as right to resell comes under scrutiny

eBay has launched a “grass roots” campaign to defend America’s first sale doctrine, as a Supreme Court hearing approaches that could subject second-hand and resale trades to the approval of rights-holders. The online auctioneer is lobbying in defense of the first sale doctrine, and has launched “eBay Main Street” to mobilize its …
Wallendas on bikes

Social Bikes inks deal with AT&T to stalk pedal-pushers

Vid AT&T will be providing connectivity to push bikes from Social Bikes, enabling bike-share schemes to operate without dedicated big racks by tracking every mile peddled. Despite failing as a Kickstarter project, and only finishing the prototype bike four months ago, Social Bicycles (or SoBi as they prefer to be called, though try …
Bill Ray, 5 Oct 2012
Cloud security

Microsoft beefs up cloud login security in PhoneFactor gobble

Microsoft has bought PhoneFactor, the maker of software that allows punters to securely identify themselves to computer systems using their mobiles. Terms of the deal, announced yesterday, were undisclosed. The snapped-up biz offers phone-based authentication as an alternative to physical security tokens that can, for instance, …
John Leyden, 5 Oct 2012
Skype iPad

Skype touts FREE* Wi-Fi across the UK

For a tenner a month Skype will let a business share its Wi-Fi network with Skype customers, but the biz will get window stickers and porn filtering too, so what's not to love? Online voice-chat outfit Skype and partner Wicoms will provide a free Wi-Fi access point to plug into a broadband connection, and a website to monitor …
Bill Ray, 3 Oct 2012
Java logo

Larry couldn't, but we can: Upstart Waratek touts cloudy Java love

A startup has pledged to deliver for Java what the brains of Larry Ellison’s mighty Oracle and the entire Java community cannot: cloud scalability - now. It also hopes to spread the love to Java-hating sysadmins. Waratek is planning the general release of its Cloud VM for Java at JavaOne next week. The Cloud VM product is a …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Sep 2012
The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler

Winklevoss twins stuff $1m into social network for the FILTHY RICH

Wanna know what the world's been lacking? A social network for hedge-fund bods, of course. And who better to be at the helm of such a brave Web2.0 venture than square-jawed Olympic rowing twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss - who rose from the ashes of their legal spat with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to plunge some of their …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Sep 2012
channel_teaser_money_top

VCs snaffle £200m of UK taxpayer gold ... to bet on high-risk biz

The UK government has showered venture capitalists with £200m of taxpayers' money for high-risk investments, the science and universities minister David Willetts told MPs today. Willetts said £50m of this cash has already been set aside as an angel investment pot. “For the first time, we’ve said we’ll co-invest,” he said. …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2012