PCR Five for Friday (30/06/2017)

Five for Friday is a weekly feature to give a brief roundup of our top five stories from the week that you might have missedThink we left anything out? Let us know your favourite stories of the week by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

Huge Intel processor flaw exposed

In a month of security exploits and exposed flaws, a new bug in Intel’s Skylake and Kaby Lake processors has been exposed and it’s a serious one. 

Contacting the Debian.org mailing list, Debian developer Henrique de Moraes Holschuh said that systems with hyperthreading enabled could "in some situations, dangerously misbehave". What this means is that "application and system misbehavior, data corruption, and data loss" are all real possibilities. 

Google slapped with record fine over online shopping service

Google has been fined a record €2.42 billion (£2.1 billion) after being caught abusing its power and promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results. This is the largest penalty of its kind against a company accused of distorting the market and orders that Google end the practice within 90 days or it could be forced to make payments of 5 per cent of parent company Alphabet’s average daily worldwide earnings.

The fine comes as a result of a probe by the Eurpean Commission that had been investigating Google Shopping since late 2010 and had been encouraged by rivals such as Microsoft, though such firms have declined to comment on the fine. 

However, speaking to the BBC, Richard Stables, chief executive of comparison site Kelkoo, said: "An entire industry has suffered because of Google’s unlawful, anticompetitive behaviour, and it has become a genuine struggle for survival for the likes of [us]. At the same time, Google’s abuse has raised costs for merchants, and it has meant higher prices for consumers and much more limited choice."

How Dixons Carphone made over half a billion pounds in profit

Dixons Carphone – owner of Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse – has seen its annual profits surpass £500 million for the first time. 

The company has referred to ‘good reults’, and say that its profits before tax for the 12 months to April 29th rose 10 per cent to £501 million. This compares with the 2015/16 profits of £457 million. 

Speaking on the results, group chief executive Seb James said that the leadership has made efforts to make the company "stronger, lower risk and more resilient".

In terms of what drove profit, the company said that computers and white goods saw ‘solid’ demand, which helped to offset a mobile market that had been plagued by controversy surrounding the likes of Samsung’s combustable Galaxy Note 7 and Apple’s ‘couragous’ removal of the headphone jack with the iPhone 7. The company rather diplomatically commented, saying that "the mobile market was more challenging due to product safety and supply issues, limited product innovation and delays in product launches".

Amazon announces Prime Day 2017

Amazon has announced that its annual Prime Day event will take place on July 11th.

The third annual event will see the online retailer slash prices on "hundreds of thousands" of products exclusively for Prime members. The company promises that the event will be bigger than ever – quite literally, as the event kicks off at 6pm on the night of July 10th, taking Prime Day to actually being 30 hours long. 

And to make sure that more shoppers can get in on the bounty of discounts on offer, Amazon has also cut the price of its popular Prime membership down to £59 (£20 off its usual £79 price tag) until July 3rd.

Ci Distribution expands portfolio with three new Channel partnerships

Ci Distribution has teamed up with three new Channel partners as it looks to add to its product portfolio. The Basingstoke-based IT distie has expanded its product range in a number of directions by tying up deals with ARCTIC, BullGuard and Silicon Power.

Swiss company ARCTIC specialises in quiet cooling systems for desktop PCs, while BullGuard provides IT security systems and Silicon Power manufactures memory and storage solutions.

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