The Electronic Offender Assessment System release date delayed -- and more news briefs

Short takes on this week's news

Offender system gets late release date
There has been a delay in the delivery of a common national IT system designed to make it easier for the prison and probation services to assess the risk that offenders pose to the public. The Electronic Offender Assessment System was originally due to be up and running last March, but the Home Office has said it will not be delivered until autumn 2005 at the earliest, following problems with the pilot project and the need to make changes to support sentencing guidelines.

Spam rises by 40% to make up 90% of e-mail
Spam traffic has risen by 40% over the last three months, an analysis by Email Systems has revealed. Spam accounts for just under 90% of e-mail traffic, the security supplier said. Forty per cent of spam e-mails offer medical products, and 20% are pornographic. The proportion of scam e-mails fell from 7.5% to 4% in January and spams offering financial services fell from 20% in December to 10% in January.

ITputs trust in XMLbut business remains cool
Nearly 60% of UK IT managers are using the XML data exchange standard, according to a Microsoft survey. In addition, 71% of the 126 IT directors questioned said they were using XML technology as part of web-based services. However, the survey also found that many managers in the general business are unaware of XML or are sceptical about its benefits.

HP puts the squeeze on business downtime
Hewlett-Packard has added three products to its Storageworks business continuity software line to improve the way its midrange storage systems react to system failures. The data replication and automatic failover features of HP's Metrocluster, Continentalcluster and Storageworks Cluster Extension EVA products will enable HP-UX and Windows users to reduce downtime, HP said.

Users get test centres for hybrid processors
Microsoft technology centres will now let users assess migrating applications to hybrid 32-bit and 64-bit systems through a tie-up with AMD and HP. Under the agreement, the technology centres will offer users a way to migrate, test and validate 64-bit applications using AMD Opteron-powered HP Proliant DL145 and DL585 servers.

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