HP partners with Brocade on Bladesystem servers -- and other news briefs

Short takes on last week's news

HP partners Brocade on Bladesystem servers

Hewlett-Packard has joined with Brocade to integrate Brocade's storage area network switching technology into HP Bladesystem servers to reduce the amount of fabric infrastructure needed in a datacentre. The servers are due to be released in Q2 2005.

IBM's Blue Gene/L could beat speed record

The US could overtake Japan in the supercomputer stakes with IBM's prototype Blue Gene/L. The machine is being assembled for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, a US Department of Energy lab. Test results have shown that Blue Gene/L has reached speeds of 70.72 teraflops. Japan has the world's current fastest computer, the NEC Earth Simulator, which clocks up 35.86 teraflops.

Kent firms to get first UK Wimax network

A UK firm has begun construction of the first commercial broadband wireless Wimax network in the UK. Networking company Telabria is building the Wimax backhaul, intended to support its Wi-Fi hotspots, based on the 802.16 standard. It will deliver high-speed wireless broadband to residential, business and enterprise customers in Kent.

Odeon updates speech recognition booking

The Odeon cinema chain has signed up speech recognition firm Telephonetics to supply a new booking line in a £16m deal. Telephonetics will provide the speech recognition technology for the revamped booking line, which will act as a "virtual call centre", taking bookings and giving out film information.

Jericho Forum to meet to set formal standards

Jericho Forum, a user group representing some of the world's largest users of IT, is meeting next week to begin the process of becoming a formal security standards body. Since it was established at the start of the year, the group's goal has been to develop a set of requirements to support network security.

Microsoft releases small business package

Microsoft has launched its small business package, which includes new versions of Microsoft Office and business contact manager and new web services. The package will sell alongside Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003.

IBM offers management support for SOAs

IBM Global Services has formed a service-oriented architecture management practice that will offer users guidance on web services and implementing SOAs, including support for a range of different products and services from independent software providers. The practice will offer management services including security, monitoring, performance, business process management and extensibility.

Critical flaw warning for Internet Explorer

IT security monitoring company Secunia has issued a warning about a critical hole in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 affecting the way the browser handles certain HTML tags. The company said the problem affects Internet Explorer 6.0 on Windows XP SP1 (fully patched) and Internet Explorer 6.0 on Windows 2000 (fully patched). Users running Windows XP with SP2 installed are not affected, according to Secunia.

Reward for shopping software pirates doubled

The Business Software Alliance, the organisation that polices software usage, has doubled its reward from £10,000 to £20,000 to anyone who reports illegal software use in an organisation. It said the offer would be available until the end of the year. According to the alliance, typically those who have reported illegal use in the past are current or former employees of a company's IT department.

Microsoft to give users notice of patches

Microsoft is to give users notice of its monthly security updates to help them prepare to install related software patches. In November it will publish a summary of planned security bulletins on its website, three days before they are released in full. It will include information on which products are affected by updates and severity ratings for security problems.

HP offers upgrade path to Netegrity users

Hewlett-Packard has introduced a programme called HP Select to offer an upgrade to users of Netegrity's security software concerned about Computer Associates' planned acquisition of Netegrity. Users who qualify are being offered a discount of up to 80% to upgrade to HP Openview Identity Management Solutions. Computer Associates announced it would be acquiring Netegrity last month.

Cable & Wireless police IT contract extended

The Police Information Technology Organisation has signed a two-year extension to its contract with Cable & Wireless for the Police National Network Framework Arrangement. Cable & Wireless will invest £1m in its infrastructure to connect up to 250,000 users across all 52 UK police forces. The firm already provides data communication and telephony services for UK police forces and other criminal justice organisations under the original deal signed in 1999.

IBM to run passenger terrorist watch scheme

The government has launched the first phase of Project Semaphore, a scheme to match details of passengers entering or leaving the UK against terrorist watch lists. IBM will run the project, which is the first stage of a broader e-borders programme, under a three-year contract.

US man faces nine-year sentence for spamming

A US man found guilty of sending out hundreds of thousands of spam e-mails could face up to nine years in prison if the recommendation of a Virginia jury is followed. Jeremy Jaynes was the first person charged by Virginia state prosecutors with violating anti-spamming laws.

For the record

In our 2 November SME Strategy Clinic we credited John Coulthard as "head of small business, IBM UK". Our apologies. He is, of course, head of small business, Microsoft UK.

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