News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

MasterCard upgrades authorisation platform

MasterCard has upgraded its global authorisation processing platform, designed to simplify the approval of credit card transactions. The upgrades - due to be in operation by late 2007, and fully rolled out by late 2009 - will allow banks around the world to process MasterCard authorisations through a single, common interface, making the process simpler and faster.

Intel to launch quad-core processors later this year

Intel is bringing forward the launch of its faster, quad-core server and desktop processors. They will come out in machines this winter, rather than the first half of next year. The quad-core chips consist of two dual-core chips joined together, but with each package plugging into a single processor socket. AMD is expected to launch its first quad-core chips in mid-2007, but its offering will see all the cores fixed onto a single slice of silicon, potentially improving performance.

Oracle patches 60 software vulnerabilities

Oracle has patched more than 60 security vulnerabilities in its software products as part of a quarterly patching cycle. About 30 of the bugs could be used by remote attackers to exploit a user's system, Oracle said. The company urged users to patch their systems as soon as possible.

Half of IT spend 'does not make money for business'

Eighty-five per cent of UK companies are investing more than half of their IT budgets in activities that fail to make money for the business, according to a study by Coleman Parkes Research, on behalf of Citrix. In addition, 6% of firms are investing up to 80% of their IT spend to meet compliance needs.

Microsoft fixes glitches in security patch

Microsoft has ironed out two glitches in one of the security patches it issued earlier this month, after users reported problems with it. Security bulletin MS06-034 was designed to prevent remote attackers from commandeering web servers. But after installing the patch, some users found they were being repeatedly asked to install it via Microsoft's update delivery tools.

LCH.Clearnet pulls plug on IT integration project

Clearing house LCH.Clearnet has abandoned its Generic Clearing Systems project to build a single integrated IT platform. It will write off £32m of development costs. The project began in 2004 after the merger of London Clearing House and Clearnet.

Novell launches SuSE Linux Enterprise 10

Novell has released its SuSE Linux Enterprise 10 operating system after a delay to sort out technical glitches. SuSE Linux Enterprise Server is designed to offer an open standards platform for server workloads, said Novell.

Man-in-the-middle scam targets bank customers

Fraudsters are using a new technique to beat two-factor authentication systems and break into online bank accounts, security firm Netcraft has warned. The "man-in-the-middle" technique - luring users into filling in an electronic form to intercept single-use passwords - had been used on Citibank customers, said Netcraft.

Cancer Research saves £2.5m with web auctions

Cancer Research UK, has saved more than £2.5m in a year through e-procurement using online auctions. Cancer Research made 30% savings with its first online auction, held to procure office supplies, then saved 20% on IT hardware and software purchases.

National Lottery operator names new IT director

Camelot Group has promoted director of IT services Neil Kellar to IT director. Kellar will replace Tim Newing, who is leaving to become easyJet's IT director on 1 August.

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