Kat Hall

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Royal Bank of Scotland culls 1 in 4 branches, blames the interwebz

Taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland Group is shutting 259 branches and slashing 680 jobs, blaming the shift to customers banking online. The closures involve 62 RBS and 197 NatWest branches. So next time the bank has an outage, customers living in areas where branches have shut will just have to resort to bartering. An RBS …
Kat Hall, 1 Dec 2017
Fibre

Ofcom proposes ways to stop BT undercutting broadband rivals

Ofcom wants to slap new measures on BT to prevent it from undercutting rivals investing in super and ultrafast broadband. The UK communications regulator today proposed a clause in its draft plans to address BT's "significant market power" aimed at preventing the former state monopoly from targeted discounting of its wholesale …
Kat Hall, 1 Dec 2017
A businessman in handcuffs

Ex-Autonomy exec agrees to be a witness for HP fraud case

A former Autonomy exec has entered into a deferred agreement with US prosecutors over charges that he and others deceived investors about the company's ill-fated $11bn (£9bn) acquisition by Hewlett-Packard. Christopher Egan, former CEO and head of sales for Autonomy in the US, agreed to become a cooperating witness in the …
Kat Hall, 1 Dec 2017

Digital Entrepreneur Awards help UK tech cop an eyeful of... WTF?

When it comes to women in tech, it's fair to say the sector has a bit of an image problem. Just this week, 89 of the country's largest employers of computer developers signed up to the Tech Talent Charter, which asks businesses to share recruitment and gender pay gap data. While that might be seen as another meaningless …
Kat Hall, 24 Nov 2017

Ed Vaizey is right, Matt Hancock hasn't improved broadband

Comment For all digital minister Matt Hancock's rhetoric about 'full-fibre' investment, Blighty's digital infrastructure still remains unchanged. In the budget yesterday, yet more announcements were made about 5G and full-fibre broadband. However, according to insiders the £400m for fibre funding, announced in the autumn statement …
Kat Hall, 23 Nov 2017
Harry Potter

Wizarding World of Harry Potter awaits Microsoft Office exam winners

Hey kids, fancy an all-inclusive break to the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida? Well, you're in luck. All students between the age of 13-22 are eligible for the once-in-a-lifetime trip. There is, however, just one catch. In order to get their hands on the top prize, they must first complete a series of soul- …
Kat Hall, 23 Nov 2017

Mythical broadband speeds to plummet in crackdown on ISP ads

Broadband providers will only be able to advertise "average" download speeds if at least 50 per cent of customers are able to receive them at peak times, under new rules announced today by the advertising regulator. This marks a change from the current position that advertised "up to" speeds if they were available to at least …
Kat Hall, 23 Nov 2017
Phiip Hammond, photo via Shutterstock

Budget 2017: How to make a downbeat forecast sound better. Say 'tech' a lot?

“The world is on the brink of a technological revolution,” UK chancellor Philip Hammond declared in Blighty's Autumn budget today. “We choose the future; we choose to run towards change, not away from it.” Indeed, lip service to tech featured prominently in the budget – including re-announcing funding for driverless cars ( …
Kat Hall, 22 Nov 2017

Digital minister: We're still talking to BT about sorting crap broadband

UK digital minister Matt Hancock has denied that talks with BT to improve poor internet speeds in 1.4 million rural areas have fallen through. The former British state monopoly has controversially volunteered to connect 98.5 per cent of premises to at least 10Mbps by 2020, as an alternative to the government's plans for a …
Kat Hall, 21 Nov 2017

National Cyber Security Centre boss: For the love of $DEITY, use 2FA on your emails, peeps

The chief exec of the National Cyber Security Centre – a branch of the UK's spy nerve-centre GCHQ – has called on everyone to enable two-factor authentication for their emails. This follows revelations that almost the entire population's details are available for sale on the dark web. Speaking at the Parliament and Internet …
Kat Hall, 21 Nov 2017

Liberty and MXC jump into bed, light up joint venture

Cable giant Liberty Global has inked a deal with MXC Capital, an AIM-listed tech investor, to create a buy-and-build IT services business that sells to UK SMEs. In a stock market announcement, MXC said: “The newly established joint venture company will initially seek to undertake a series of acquisitions in order to create an …
Kat Hall, 20 Nov 2017
Uber delivery person

MPs draft bill to close loopholes used by 'sharing economy' employers

A draft UK law bill intended to close loopholes in so-called "gig economy" employment practices has been published today by Parliament's Work and Pensions and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committees. The joint report and draft bill is intended to address the use bogus "self-employment" status as a route to …
Kat Hall, 20 Nov 2017
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

Biting the hand that feeds IT ? 1998–2017

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