Five for Friday (24/11/2017)

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

Nominations for PCR Awards 2018 are open

Nominations for the PCR Awards 2018 are open! With awards for retailers and resellers to distributors and vendors, the PCR Awards cover all areas of the Channel. In total there are 20 awards up for grabs, with a number of new award categories added to the lineup. In the Channel Services category two new gongs for a Marketing and PR Agency as well as Cloud Services have been created. Meanwhile, there are three new awards for vendors to fight for, with awards for Peripherals and Accessories Vendor, PC Vendor and Specialist PC Vendor up for grabs.

To read the full list of award categories and submit a nomination visit:

Big Interview: Garmin on the growing wearables market

Describing itself as an ‘active lifestyle brand’, Garmin is perfectly positioned in the wearables market. Jonathan
speaks to Garmin Europe senior product manager Theo Axford about what the company is doing to capitalise on the growing demand and its mission to help stop childhood obesity. 

Prospect of Black Friday bargains hits online sales growth in October

The impending Black Friday sales have put the brakes on online sales growth in the UK. With consumers set to spend record amounts this week, growth in the online retail market took a slight hit in October. The year-on-year growth rate over the last three months has been up between 14 and 15 per cent, however that figure fell to 12.6 per cent for the month of March.

On a more positive note, the average basket value for October was at a nine year high of £94, according to IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement, Capgemini: “October was a bleak month for retail. You would have expected ecommerce to benefit from a more price sensitive customer, yet the interest rate hike, the bad weather and anticipation of Black Friday did little to help the cause – covering up October’s truly underwhelming performance if anything. These coming three months, October through to December, will be important to view performance as a whole and be indicative of whether people are waiting longer before they spend on Christmas. Black Friday and the Autumn Budget are both important factors in this, so hopefully we will see Philip Hammond outlining some form of catalyst to boost consumer confidence this November.”

Uber hack cover-up is a timely reminder of the importance of GDPR

Uber’s attempts to cover-up a data hack that exposed 57 million customers and drivers is just the latest example of the importance of GDPR. Uber is not the first and will not be the last company to attempt to sweep a hack under the carpet. But that doesn’t make it right.

Sophos principal research scientist Chester Wisniewski points out that this type of cover-up is exactly why GDPR is coming into force. “Uber’s breach demonstrates once again how developers need to take security seriously and never embed or deploy access tokens and keys in source code repositories,” he said. “I would say it feels like I have watched this movie before, but usually organizations aren’t caught while actively involved in a cover-up. Putting the drama aside and the potential impacts from the upcoming GDPR enforcement, this is just another development team with poor security practices that has shared credentials. Sadly, this is common more often than not in agile development environments.”

A stop-start HomePod project prevented Apple from beating the Amazon Echo to market

Apple missed the opportunity to release its smart speaker before Amazon because it ‘dithered’ over the HomePod development. According to Bloomberg, Apple allegedly cancelled and restarted its smart speaker project numerous times. In fact, according to the report, Mac audio engineers had started work on the original version of the HomePod before Amazon began work on its Alexa-powered Echo range of speakers. 

The smartspeaker was originally a side project being worked on from engineers acquired from Bose and Harman Kardon, Bloomberg sources said. Prototypes ranged from a flat panel with a mesh screen to one measuring some three feet tall with dozens of speakers.

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