News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

May sees 380% rise in virus-carrying e-mails

The number of e-mail messages infected with viruses soared in May, with an increase of more than 380% on April, according to managed e-mail service provider Postini. It said it had intercepted nearly 184 million virus-ridden e-mails in May, with more than 75% of these carrying the Sober worm.

IT experts called in to help Catalist programme

The government is to sign up computer consultants for contracts with Whitehall departments and agencies, the police, NHS, local councils, education organisations and charities. The consultancy required will range from one-off knowledge-based advice to the delivery of extensive reports. The move is part of the Catalist programme, an online purchasing system designed to replace the government IT catalogues run by the Office of Government Commerce.

'Network storm' halts NY stock exchange

A "network storm" hit communications systems and forced the New York Stock Exchange to halt trading last week. The exchange blamed the shutdown last Wednesday, four minutes before the scheduled close of business, on "a communications problem". Trading did not resume until 9.30am the following day. New York Stock Exchange chief executive John Thain said an error message was created and then duplicated millions of times, overwhelming the network.

Intel unveils Yonah dual-core Pentium M chip

Intel last week revealed details of Yonah, its first dual-core version of the mobile Pentium M chip. The chip has twin processor cores that increase notebook performance and help preserve battery life by shutting down one core to cut power consumption. Yonah has a shared memory cache for quicker memory access. Called Smart Cache, it allows one processor core to access the chip's 2Mbyte Level 2 cache to boost performance.

Lawson spends 246m on Swedish firm Intentia

Lawson Software is to buy Swedish software firm Intentia International in a 264m deal. The merged company will provide business applications for the services, manufacturing, distribution and maintenance sectors to 4,000 users in 40 countries.

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