Kat Hall

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LLOYDS BANK BUILDING opposite royal courts of justice

Lloyds' Avios Reward credit cardholders report fraudulent activity

Thousands of Lloyds Avios Rewards American Express credit card customers have been targeted by fraudsters, the bank has admitted. Reports first emerged on air miles site Head for Points, where readers asked if the credit card had suffered a major data breach. One said: "About a week ago my wife's Lloyds Avios Amex card was …
Kat Hall, 17 Nov 2017

Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

The abolition of the paper tax disc is costing the UK government £107m due to an increase in car tax evasion. According to statistics from the the Department for Transport (DfT), 1.8 per cent of vehicles on UK roads in 2017 were unlicensed, compared to 1.4 per cent in 2015. This equates to around 755,000 vehicles and could …
Kat Hall, 17 Nov 2017
Watson Power7 cluster. Pic: IBM

Warren 'Mr Moneybags' Buffett offloads huge chunk of IBM investment

Legendary investor Warren Buffett appears to be cutting his losses on his IBM investment, slashing his shares by one-third in the last quarter. Going against his own received wisdom of not buying stakes in companies he doesn't understand, Buffett revealed in 2011 that he had amassed a 5.5 per cent share in IBM during that year …
Kat Hall, 16 Nov 2017
Woman wails in despair while clutching a tablet.

BT boss: Yeah, making a business case for 5G is hard

Chief exec of BT, Gavin Patterson, has admitted the British telco is struggling to make a business case for 5G investment, given the huge costs of getting the network off the ground. Speaking at the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London, Patterson said: “I talk to other CEOs around the world... and we’ve all been …
Kat Hall, 16 Nov 2017
Greggs_sausage_roll_manger

Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said

Budget Brit pastry purveyor Greggs has been forced to apologise after substituting a sausage roll for Baby Jesus in its limited-edition advent calendar. Each door behind the £24 promo features a traditional festive scene, such as kissing a Festive Bake under the mistletoe, a Christmas tree adorned with mini gingerbread tree …
Kat Hall, 15 Nov 2017
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TalkTalk sees red after chucking £75m on restructuring bonfire

Beleaguered Brit ISP TalkTalk's half-year results have plunged into the red, reporting pre-tax losses of £75m due to major restructuring costs. Sales fell 5 per cent to £856m from £902m the year before. The firm attributed a chunk of those losses to a £31m bill in associated costs for overhauling its mobile phone business …
Kat Hall, 15 Nov 2017

BT plots to slash pension benefits for 32,000 staff

BT has proposed closing its defined benefit pension scheme for 11,000 managers and slash contributions to 21,000 frontline staff in a bid to plug a looming £14bn pension deficit. The former UK state monopoly is set to begin a consultation with members of its two largest pension schemes tomorrow, The Reg has confirmed. The …
Kat Hall, 14 Nov 2017
The Wick Lane penstock gates controls the sewage flow through the pipes

Crap London broadband gets the sewer treatment

London's Victorian sewer network is to be made accessible to fibre cables under a deal between SSE Enterprise Telecoms and Thames Water. The agreement means SSE has managed to circumnavigate any reliance on BT's Openreach network, having said it has been frustrated by the slow progress made on opening up the former state …
Kat Hall, 14 Nov 2017
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

MPs slam HMRC's 'deeply worrying' lack of post-Brexit customs system

MPs have today warned of the "catastrophic" scenario of UK taxmen at HMRC failing to have a back-up system in place if its Customs Declaration Service (CDS) programme is not ready in time for Brexit. A failed customs system could lead to huge disruption for businesses, with delays potentially causing massive queues at Dover …
Kat Hall, 14 Nov 2017
staff in business suits thrash each other with ring binders

Productivity through tech, UK firms. More cyber, more cloud, more ERP!

Low take-up of readily available tech is fuelling Blighty's "deep-seated productivity problems", the club for supposed captains of industry the CBI has said. The government needs to build an ecosystem that will encourage greater investment and for British businesses to act and make the most of these opportunities, according to …
Kat Hall, 13 Nov 2017

Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger

Nothing quite says Christmas like greasy, calorific overindulgence, and this year budget sausage roll shop Greggs is ready to get you in the mood with its "treat-filled" limited-edition advent calendar. Each door reveals a tear-off token that can be taken into Greggs branches to be exchanged for a different treat every day …
Kat Hall, 13 Nov 2017
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Capita forced to pay out £66m to investors over Connaught fund farce

Capita's investment business has been forced to pay up to £66m to investors by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over its handling of the collapsed Connaught Income Fund. The Connaught Income Series 1 Fund opened in March 2008 and provided short-term bridging finance to commercial operators in the UK property market, and …
Kat Hall, 10 Nov 2017
An unhappy driver

Uber loses appeal against employment rights for workers

Taxi firm Uber has today lost its appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed. In October 2016, the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that two Uber drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, were Uber staff and entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum …
Kat Hall, 10 Nov 2017

Automatic for the people: Telcos forced to pay for giving you crap services

Purveyors of crap broadband services could have to shell out £142m in compensation, under an automatic redress scheme due to be brought in by regulator Ofcom. Anyone suffering from slow repairs, missed appointments, or delayed installations to their broadband or landline services will have their accounts credited without …
Kat Hall, 10 Nov 2017
Palace of Westminster

UK.gov: IT contracts should be no more than 7 years. (Not 18, Fujitsu)

The British government has once again told departments to break their addiction to big contracts, specifying that deals with suppliers should be no longer than a paltry seven years. The advice from the Cabinet Office, Exiting Major IT Contracts: Guidance for Departments (PDF), stated that in past years many government …
Kat Hall, 10 Nov 2017

Openreach boss says he'd take a burning effigy on the chin

Interview "Look, if you can't get decent broadband, it is a real pisser," said Openreach boss Clive Selley in response to a Devon village's decision to burn an effigy of one of its vans on bonfire night. The place in question, Templeton, struggles to get 1Mbps. But Selley reckons that is why BT's controversial voluntary offer to connect …
Kat Hall, 9 Nov 2017
Waymo self-driving minivan

Look, ma! No hands! Waymo to test true self-driving cars in US with Uber-style hailing app

Google stablemate Waymo has begun testing its self-driving cars on the mean streets of Phoenix, Arizona, without a single driver at the wheel. The organization ultimately wants people to request these fully autonomous vehicles on demand from an app, Uber-style. Chief exec John Krafcik today told the WebSummit conference in …
Kat Hall, 7 Nov 2017
Ephippiger terrestris cricket species front closeup menacing camera

Cisco's John Chambers: Robot farmers will feed bloated cricket thoraxes to our children

The outgoing executive chairman of Cisco, John Chambers, has made no secret about his desire to invest in drones in his life after the Borg. But now he has also revealed his passion for cricket farming. Speaking at the Techonomy conference for the last time before stepping down as chairman of Cisco next month, Chambers spoke …
Kat Hall, 7 Nov 2017
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

BT hikes prices for third time in 18 months

BT is once again hiking prices, with punters facing an extra £30 on their annual broadband bill in the new year. It seems standard (ADSL) and fibre (FTTC/P) broadband prices will now go up: you'll pay an extra £2 a month for BT Broadband copper and £2.50 per month more for Infinity from January next year. The price increase …
Kat Hall, 7 Nov 2017
"witch" Effigy burns..

Guy Glitchy: Villagers torch Openreach effigy

Bonfire night has come a long way since Guy Fawkes' failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords on 5 November 1605. Now, we prefer to burn more modern day villains. Such as Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump and, er, Openreach. The good people of Templeton, Devon, in England, erected the van in protest over slow broadband speeds …
Kat Hall, 6 Nov 2017
Astronaut

ViaSat hops into bed with European Space Agency in €68m deal

Satellite outfit ViaSat is forming a €68m (£60m) public-private partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), which among other things is intended to fund ground stations for home broadband speeds of 100Mbps. The programme will focus on developing fixed and mobile terminals to allow its ViaSat-3 satellites to provide a …
Kat Hall, 6 Nov 2017
Beautiful geometric lattices inside mobile mast/antenna

Phone mast maker Arqiva: Oh, the £6bn float? Yeah, about that...

British mast outfit Arqiva has pulled out of plans for a £6bn IPO, citing "market uncertainty" as the reason for a lack of investors. It comes just two weeks after the firm announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange this month. In a statement, the company said: "The Board and Shareholders have decided that …
Kat Hall, 3 Nov 2017

KFC turns Japanese bath tubs into party buckets

A campaign launched in Japan has meant anyone partial to diving into a tub of finger lickin' good chicken now has the chance to literally do just that, thanks to the arrival of the KFC Bath Bomb. The deep fryer of genetically engineered birds plump poulets has teamed up with Japanese novelty retailer Village Vanguard to give …
Kat Hall, 2 Nov 2017
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TalkTalk glitch causing mobiles and landlines to go off at the same time

Beleaguered TalkTalk customers are complaining that their landline and mobile phones ring at the same time, an issue that appears to be due to a glitch in the telco's Talk2Go app. According to the TalkTalk community forum, the problem first occurred earlier this week. However, customers were still reporting issues this morning …
Kat Hall, 2 Nov 2017

Virgin's Project Lightning's very, very frightening: ISP will not hit connection target

Virgin Media will fall significantly short of connecting 800,000 new customers to its ultrafast Project Lightning broadband in the UK this year – a target set prior to the firm's mis-selling scandal – according to its third-quarter preliminary results. In the three months to September, the cable operator added 147,000 …
Kat Hall, 2 Nov 2017

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