Intermix sued by state of New York over planting spyware -- and more news briefs

Short takes from this week's news

New York sues activity tracking software firm

The state of New York is suing online advertising software specialist Intermix, accusing the company of smuggling spyware into internet media campaigns. State attorney-general Eliot Spitzer alleged that the company planted software on consumers’ computers without their knowledge, allowing the company to track their behaviour and deliver pop-up advertising.

HP and Steria to build EU border system

Hewlett-Packard and IT services firm Steria have signed a £37.5m contract with the European Commission to develop two central information systems, the second generation of the Schengen Information System (SIS II) and the Visa Information System. The SIS is the largest border control and police information system in the world and the development of SIS II is a pre-condition for the lifting of border controls between members of the Schengen area and the 10 member states that acceded to the European Union in May 2004.
Zeus boosts Virgin’s holiday booking systems
Virgin Holidays says it has improved its web booking infrastructure by using Zeus Extensible Traffic Manager to help meet increased online demand. The integrated software is optimised for 64-bit hardware and includes traffic management technology. It is being used to load balance Virgin Holidays’ web booking server infrastructure.

Apple’s Tiger will not support Cisco VPN
Apple’s forthcoming operating system Mac OS X version 10.4, also known as Tiger, will not come with support for Cisco's VPN client, according to Cisco.  Many businesses use Cisco’s VPN technology, which is used by remote workers who need to connect to their company's network while on the road. Cisco is advising users of its VPN client to delay upgrading to the new operating system until support is ready, some time in May.

Supercomputer boosts weather forecasts
The Met Office has reported improved forecasting, thanks to a new supercomputer. The NEC SX-6 supercomputer has boosted forecast accuracy by 11% since its introduction in March, the Met Office said. It previously used Cray supercomputers to collate data from satellite imagery and weather stations.

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