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The Register - Business

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Northamber's Phillips ponders non-exec role after nearly four decades

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:50:15 GMT

Profitability? Not just yet...

Northamber chairman David Phillip signalled his intention to take more of a backseat as he announced interim results that suggested profitability remains just tantalisingly out of reach for the veteran distie for now.…

UK digital minister Matt Hancock praises 'crucial role' of encryption

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:00:13 GMT

Rudd's message to Hancock must've been intercepted...

Digital minister Matt Hancock has praised the "crucial role" of encryption in today's society, just a day after Home Secretary Amber Rudd called for an encryption ban on applications such as WhatsApp.…

Activist investor buys Toshiba stock hoping for long-term price rise

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:44:12 GMT

We for one, welcome your advances – investors

A Singaporean activist investor has sunk its teeth into Toshiba, and the financial community appears to be seeing it as a vote of confidence instead of a disruptive force.… departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:02:41 GMT

Confusion reigns as some departments apply massive crackdown

Government departments have been accused of applying a blanket approach to tax changes under IR35, meaning the majority of contractors are being found within the scope of the legislation by default.…

Manufacturers reject ‘no deal’ Brexit approach

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:33:11 GMT

Access to both the single market and the customs union 'key', says EEF

The representative group for manufacturers is calling on the government to reject a "no deal is better than a bad deal" approach to Brexit, warning the UK’s manufacturing sector would bear the brunt.…

BT hit with £42m fine for Ethernet compensation delays to competitors

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:26:02 GMT

Will fork out estimated £300m to rivals who leased unfixed lines

Updated BT has been smacked with a £42m penalty for its failure via Openreach to compensate other telecoms providers for delays to fixing leased line "Ethernet" services, in a decision from Ofcom today.…

Toshiba's nuclear power plant business runs out of steam

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 02:58:06 GMT

Westinghouse Electric seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Toshiba has decided to press the big red button in its attempts to reorganise its nuclear power business, seeking Chapter 11 protection for troubled Westinghouse Electric.…

Cisco denies restraint of trade in Arista-spat, asks court to dismiss case

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 01:28:07 GMT

Under a trade ban, Arista can't sue in America, says Switchzilla

Under fire from Cisco and US trade regulators, Arista has fought back by accusing Switchzilla of anti-trust behaviours. So last week Cisco asked a Californian judge to dismiss the case.…

Sources: Misco SOLD to Hilco Capital, care home for the distressed

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 22:30:14 GMT

Failed tech reseller joins same stables as HMV, Jessops, Staples...

Exclusive Systemax has offloaded almost all of its Misco-branded European reseller operations to Hilco Capital, a buyer of distressed firms that will add the failing tech supplier to a basket that already contains HMV and Staples, multiple sources have told The Reg.…

UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 21:45:10 GMT

Plus: UK needs those with the right 'hashtags' to stop wrong uploads*

The UK government is once again suggesting encryption has no place in citizens' hands, in the wake of revelations that Westminster attacker Khalid Masood was using WhatsApp shortly before murdering pedestrians with his car, and stabbing a police officer to death.…

After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 22:14:50 GMT

PM's spokesman and foreign secretary wave warning finger

In the wake of a terror attack in the heart of London this week that left five dead, the UK government has turned its ire onto online companies – including Google and Facebook – for not doing enough to remove extremist webpages and other content from their services.…

Pure Silicon Valley: Medium asks $5 a month for absolutely nothing

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:46:14 GMT

Think of it as being your own mini-VC without shares

Analysis Silicon Valley prides itself on disrupting industries – but it has bitten off more than it can chew by trying to take on an already highly competitive market suffering from major money woes.…

Alternative vet Quartermaine exits Daisy, Daisy...

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:08:30 GMT

Bicycles into the sunset

Brit IT services giant Daisy Group has waved goodbye to former Alternative Networks CEO Mark Quartermaine – just months after it bought the comms and tech integrator, an internal document has confirmed.…

Lloyds Banking Group axing hundreds of jobs AGAIN

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:01:31 GMT

And that's even before all of those techies are farmed out to IBM

Lloyds Banking Group is throwing more UK techies overboard ahead of the big outsourcing deal with a “single strategic partner” that El Reg previously revealed was IBM.…

Google pulls Hezbollah YouTube channel after we told them about the drone ads

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:19:58 GMT

All the tools you need

Until just minutes before we hit publish on this story, Google was using a YouTube channel run by a fan of Hezbollah to promote potentially lethal drones.…

Profitless Twitter starts rumour of paid-for Tweetdeck option

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:40:42 GMT

Gotta do something to break even, right?

Twitter, the profitless microblogging website, has floated the idea of offering a paid-for version of its Tweetdeck product – and this is going down amongst the site’s users like a cup of lukewarm vomit.…

I've Been Moved: IBMers in same division slapped with 2nd redundo scheme in 2 months

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:05:12 GMT

Deathly Hallows Mark ii

IBM UK appears to have fired the starting gun on a 2.0 redundancy programme for the Infrastructure Services Delivery division – before the first one has even concluded.…

MPs slam 'dismal' cost savings of government procurement body

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:26:05 GMT

Crown Clown Commercial Service

The UK government body created to save cash buying common goods and services centrally has so far provided "dismal" savings for the taxpayer, the Committee of Public Accounts said in a report today.…

Gov may need to splash £245m per year on IT contractors – NAO

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:01:04 GMT

Please come back freelancers, forget IR35: all is forgiven

The government will need to splash £145m per year on 2,000 digital staff - or £244m using contractors - if it is to meet the serious shortfall in skills, according to the National Audit Office.…

Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 08:29:03 GMT

'Chittering' under raised floor was the sound of a disaster recovery lesson

On-Call Ooh! Friday is here! This means it's time for On-Call, in which El Reg acknowledges that misery loves company by sharing stories of jobs gone awry.…

First the Rise of the Machines, now this: UK military's Exercise Information Warrior

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:03:10 GMT

From drones to smart warships. Well, sort of

Comment Fresh from signing contracts to put artificial intelligence into its warships, the Royal Navy is now running an exercise to demonstrate robotic warfighting tech at work – Ex Information Warrior.…

Australia bins safe harbour, presses ahead with Minister-as-NetAdmin plan

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 01:18:22 GMT

A land where the minister runs the internet and the media runs a minister

Australia this week shelved planned safe harbour reforms to copyright and decided to proceed with laws that would make its attorney-general NetAdmin-in-chief.…

Amazon dodges $1.5bn US tax bill: It's OK to run sales through Europe out of IRS reach – court

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:34:41 GMT

If only we could all open a Luxembourg office, eh?

Champagne corks will be popping in Seattle after US taxmen lost their case against American web giant Amazon over the non-payment of taxes on overseas earnings.…

We're 90 per cent sure the FCC's robocall kill plan won't have the slightest impact

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:28:50 GMT

Dumb and dumber, or the lightest of light touches?

The number-one complaint to US comms watchdog the FCC right now is about robocalls – a remarkable 200,000 complaints from consumers last year alone.…

As ad boycott picks up pace, Google knows it doesn't have to worry

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:38:10 GMT

Why the agencies will come crawling back

Analysis Several US-based advertisers have now suspended their advertising with YouTube, following over 200 pull-outs in the UK and Europe. Google had run big brand advertising on hate videos including jihadist groups. Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, AT&T are the latest to hit pause, or withdraw ad budgets from YouTube altogether. AT&T is one of the top-five advertisers in the US, the New York Times notes. In 2015 it was the third biggest spender with $3.3bn across all media, according to AdAge.…

Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:27:08 GMT

95 people at risk so far

Call centre staff at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) are to be axed in the latest expenses purge, company insiders have told us.…

Three to lawyer up unless Ofcom intervenes in spectrum market

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:32:06 GMT

If we can't buy O2, they must give us MOAR SPECTRUM

Three has renewed calls on Ofcom to intervene in the UK's mobile spectrum market, warning it could lawyer up unless the regulator curbs the proportion of airwaves owned by Vodafone and BT's EE in the forthcoming auction.…

Strike that: 17,000 AT&T workers down tools in California, Nevada

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 23:48:05 GMT

I dreamed I called Joe Hill last night

More than 17,000 workers for AT&T belonging to the Communications Workers of America downed tools and went on strike in California and Nevada on Wednesday after restructuring talks broke down.…

Calling your redundancy programme Baccarat? Immense Bummer, Management

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:48:21 GMT

That's cold, IBM

Word reaches us of Project Baccarat*, IBM’s latest redundancy programme for staffers in the Infrastructure Services Delivery division.…

Hutch's Three UK users ripping through over 6GB a month

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:53:37 GMT

Looks 'forward to the next spectrum auction'. Yep, sounds about right

Three UK's mobile users are ripping through well over 6GB of data a month, prompting questions on whether the increase is sustainable.…

Plusnet slapped with £880k fine for billing ex customers

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:24:05 GMT

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave

Broadband provider Plusnet has been slapped with a £880,000 fine from UK comms watchdog Ofcom for continuing to bill former customers.…

London councils seek assurance over Capita's India offshoring plans

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:00:05 GMT

Half of system support engineers put at risk in one authority

London councils with Capita contracts have sought assurances from the outsourcing business that they will not be affected by its plans to offshore jobs to India.…

King Battistelli's swish penthouse office the Euro Patent Office doesn't want you to see

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 07:57:07 GMT

Architect proudly displays work for EPO president, gets told to take it down

Pics Very few people have seen the 10th floor of the European Patent Office's ISAR building in Munich since it's been renovated – and for good reason.…

Uber bans 'brilliant jerks', will train staff on Why Diversity Matters

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 07:33:08 GMT

Maybe we're stupid jerks: company reports record rider traffic in 2017

Throughout its recent sexism and scofflaw scandals, Uber hasn't denied that its culture has some invidious aspects.…

Startup offers $10,000 to Silicon Valley techies … who will leave Bay Area

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 21:21:16 GMT

High cost of peninsula leads to 'de-location' offer

A startup is offering workers a hefty sign-on bonus – if they move out of the San Francisco Bay Area.…

Wang, bang, thank you, mang: Acer exec off to sell PCs for Lenovo

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:02:12 GMT

Now, how to do that in a stagnant market?

The wonderfully named Marco Grieco Wang-Andresen, number two EMEA exec at Acer, is floating across to run rival PC maker Lenovo's ops in the same territory, El Reg can confirm.…

Sage loses 'trail-blazing' executive after less than six months

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:24:48 GMT

De Rojas to have 're-energised' regional business

British software giant Sage has lost a “trail-blazing” executive brought in to help oversee the transition to cloud from on-prem after less than six months.…

Info Commish marks own homework, says it didn't break law over Prince Charles request

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:00:11 GMT

So that's OK then, nothing to see here

The UK Information Commissioner has cleared the Information Commissioner of an alleged failure to apply Freedom of Information laws correctly, following an investigation into itself.…

Google's stock rating downgraded as YouTube ad boycott contagion goes global

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:34:13 GMT

Advertisers, please help us build a better swamp

Google has responded to a contagious YouTube advertising boycott which yesterday prompted a downgrade on Wall Street.…

ICO scolds UK councils: GDPR is coming. Are you ready? Pop quiz says you're not

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:44:14 GMT

Privacy impact assessments? Anyone? Bueller?

Councils in the UK have work to do ahead of the EU's General Data Protection Regulations, according to the Information Commissioner's Office's department for good practice.…

Plans to force ISPs to filter content branded 'disproportionate'

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:39:14 GMT

Industry bods not keen on Blighty's mandatory filtering

UK government proposals to force internet service providers into blocking content inappropriate for children with filters have been branded "disproportionate" by the industry's representative group.…

Home Office admits it's preparing to accept EU ruling on surveillance

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:58:05 GMT

Doesn't say it's going to, just that it is preparing to do so...

The UK Home Office has acknowledged that it is preparing to accept a landmark EU ruling from last year which restated that access to retained data must only be given in cases of serious crime, unlike the range of cases provided for under the new Investigatory Powers Act.…

Outgoing HPE workers stripped of gym cards and cushy remnants

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:35:04 GMT

If only there was some way to work out these frustrations...

HPE is ensuring that no unpleasant memories linger for Enterprise Services staff being booted to DXC Technology by informing them they are no longer entitled to membership to the employee discount scheme.…

New Zealand puts the bite on Apple over taxes

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 02:04:12 GMT

Australia, of all places, is a tax haven for Apple New Zealand

New Zealand has joined the international criticism of Apple's tax arrangements, with NZ$4.2 billion worth of sales over ten years yielding zero tax in the country.…

Safe, staffers? We'll let you know

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:53:05 GMT

Access Group exec: We'll be buddies if you survive the redundancy scheme

Staff at Safe Computing - Britain’s nearest equivalent to Workday - are feeling anything but secure about their livelihoods after reading a proposal by their new owner to axe some jobs.…

Cheap calls gateway operator has been on bail for 7 years

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:37:08 GMT

Kent man faces Wireless Telegraphy Act charges

A Kent man has been on bail for seven years over allegations he operated a GSM gateway which allowed consumers to get cheaper calls abroad.…

FCA straps on rubber gloves, eyes Redcentric's accounting mess

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:55:08 GMT

Second regulator to probe MSP

The Financial Conduct Authority is to probe the accounting screw-up at Redcentric that was made public last autumn when the firm admitted to overstating assets and understating net debts by millions of pounds.…

Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:00:09 GMT

Wow, who knew? Clients don't like to be associated with jihadis and racists

Google has promised a review of its ad policy on YouTube after a backlash from blue-chip advertisers. It follows a series of reports by The Times demonstrating big brand ads running over content that breaches YouTube guidelines, such as jihadist videos and other inflammatory or racist material.…

MI5 man to steer GCHQ as Trump wiretapping saga continues

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:56:19 GMT

Jeremy 'easy to work with' Fleming is incoming

Jeremy Fleming, the deputy director-general of MI5, is to helm GCHQ following the surprise resignation of Robert Hannigan this January.…

The world's leading privacy pros talk GDPR with El Reg

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 09:28:10 GMT

US law, EU law and post-Brexit what'll UK do law

Interview You know, we know, everyone knows… the EU's General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect May of next year for every member of the European Union, and that will include the United Kingdom.…