• Executive interview: Antony Roberts, Audi

    A recent paper from McKinsey suggests that car sales will become an omni-channel business. The idea of taking the time to look at shiny new vehicles on a forecourt, browse brochures, and touch and smell the cars in the showroom, before heading over to the salesperson’s desk to make a purchase, are perhaps a distant memory given the way the coronavirus has decimated the car industry.

    Selling cars has had to shift to a more virtual, online experience, but the connection between manufacturers’ websites and dealerships is far from seamless.

    Audi hopes to make things a little more seamless

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  • Cracking the message in a bottle

    Later this week on 28 January, the National Museum of Computing will host a virtual talk exploring the world of unsolvable encryption codes.

    The “uncrackable” encrypted messages found in a number of bottles washed ashore in Hamburg between 2016 and 2019 may be drug related, or they may be part of a hoax. But encryption has long been used to share classified information. In the Cold War, it was used by spies and in 2012, a message among the bones of a pigeon found in a chimney in Surrey have been linked to the D-Day landings.

    In their

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  • NEC announces 3x MIMO capacity gain for mmWave 5G CPE

    One of the key elements that will drive 5G mmWave adoption during 2021 will be the availability of appropriate customer premises equipment (CPE) and in what will be a boost to the market, NEC has unveiled distributed-MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology, which it says offers about three times the number of simultaneous connections and transmission capacity compared with other MIMO systems.

    NEC said the new technology demonstrated multiple highly stable simultaneous terminal connections and transmission capacity in a real office environment through distributed-MIMO – in which a large number of antennas are distributed rather than being placed in a

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  • MinIO stakes leadership claims in cloud object container storage

    It’s a bold supplier that says it is set to be the “undisputed leader” in an emerging and critical area of datacentre operations.

    But that’s one claim MinIO makes for its status as a provider of private cloud object storage for Kubernetes.

    “We out-innovate the competition across multiple dimensions,” said CMO Jonathan Symonds. “We are positioned to be disproportionate winners in the hybrid cloud storage market.”

    It’s a confident claim – made recently during the virtual edition of the IT Press Tour –and one we can’t adjudicate on. But this is how they back it up.

    MinIO’s confidence stems

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  • Google threatens to cut off Australia

    Google has made an unprecedented threat to shut down its Search operation in Australia as it tries to force the government to back away from new legislation that would force it to pay media organisations to carry their news content and conduct mediated negotiations with them if agreements cannot be reached.

    The law was proposed at the end of 2020 following an investigation into the dominance of both Google and Facebook in online news content. The Australian government believes this poses a threat to democracy in the country.

    This has drawn criticism from both organisations – Facebook is also threatening

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  • Sepa data leaks as agency resists ransom demands

    The Conti ransomware gang has published a number of files stolen from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) in an attack on Christmas Eve, as the agency continues to resist its demands to pay.

    The attack saw the theft of 1.2GB of data contained in about 4,000 files. The material in question includes business information including regulated site permits, authorisations, enforcement notices, corporate planning and change programmes; procurement information such as publicly available procurement awards; project information relating to Sepa’s commercial work; and personal information on its staff.

    The agency’s chief executive, Terry A’Hearn, said: “Supported by Scottish government,

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