News in brief

Short takes from this week's news

Short takes from this week's news

Latest version of Linux kernel supports TPM

Linux creator Linus Torvalds has released version 2.6.12 of the Linux kernel, the backbone of the Linux operating system. The new kernel includes support for Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) to offer greater security, changes to drivers and other features. The latest version supports TPM chips like those found in some IBM laptops.

IBM signs beta users for data integration

IBM is starting a beta user programme for its new data integration products, which it said would allow users to consolidate enterprise applications. The products are based on software from IBM's acquisition of Ascential software along with its Websphere and Rational development tool. They will allow users to create and manage master repositories of critical business information, and search and access information on demand.

Asda gains staff working time management

Supermarket chain Asda has rolled out Kronos Workforce Central at all its UK distribution centres to manage employee time, attendance and leave, and to comply with the working time directive. The software, which interfaces with the company's HR system and payroll product, automatically records staff working time. Staff can access information such as hours worked, future schedules and holiday balances via the self-service data terminal.

Newham aims for efficiency target

The London Borough of Newham is implementing Geac MPC performance management software to help it meet the efficiency targets set out in the Gershon review. The £110,000 contract to NRJ Consulting is intended to improve constituent service delivery and enable cost-effective communication with citizens throughout the borough.

Partners adds SME software to stay ahead

City recruitment firm Partners Group has implemented SAP's Business One SME package to store operations data including financial, customer, human resources and sales information in one system. The project, implemented by Sapphire Systems, a SAP Business One reseller, reduces the time previously taken to consolidate data from various systems and spreadsheets.

Thames outsources to LogicaCMG for £22m

Thames Water has signed a £22m, seven-year IT outsourcing contract with LogicaCMG to run the billing and income services operation for its Welsh Water business. LogicaCMG will deliver IT services to Welsh Water from its outsourcing centre in Waterton, South Wales. The contract covers the delivery of applications management, development and support, hosting, data and voice network management services, including support for the call centre infrastructure.

Mainframe users say IT integration is a concern

IT integration is still a major concern for mainframe users, according to a study of 21 large companies by research company Market Clarity. The report, commissioned by mainframe integration specialist Neon, found that most users expected their IT priorities to involve greater integration with the mainframe. More than 66% of those asked said a standard approach to mainframe integration was important.

E-commerce declines over security concerns

Consumers are shunning e-commerce because of concerns about security, a survey by Entrust has found. Over the past 12 months, there has been a 12% decline in e-commerce and a 13% decline in online banking among the 1,500 consumers surveyed by the security firm. Nearly 80% said they believed that two-factor authentication would make services more secure.

Dyson puts in scheduling for its field engineers

Vacuum cleaner maker Dyson is deploying Sidewinder Serviceplatform to help schedule work for its 180 field engineers. The software, which is being piloted in September, will be deployed to provide real-time control over operations and web-based real-time appointment booking.

Integrated circuit pioneer dies at 81

Integrated circuit pioneer Jack Kilby has died aged 81. While working at Texas Instruments in 1958, Kilby built the first electronic circuit in which all the components were fabricated onto a single piece of material.  This was promoted as the world's first integrated circuit. The microchip was demonstrated later that year. Kilby's work won him a Nobel prize for physics in 2000.


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