News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

Hospital trust first to use online marketplace

An NHS hospital trust in London has become the first organisation to use the Zanzibar online marketplace set up by government agency The Zanzibar e-procurement system was created as part of a range of initiatives designed to cut procurement costs across the public sector. St Mary's Trust is expecting to save £4m in procurement costs over the next five years.

Employers could be sued for technology addictions

Employers who push staff to carry handheld devices at all times could be sued for encouraging addictions among their staff, US academics have warned. Rutgers University's associate professor of management Gayle Porter argues in a forthcoming report that continual use of devices such as Blackberries can be addictive and could mean users lose the ability to forget about work and relax.

Youth pleads guilty to denial of service attack

An 18-year-old has been curfewed and tagged after a denial of service attack that crashed a server at his former employer. The youth flooded insurance group Domestic & General with five million e-mails. David Lennon of Bedworth, Warwickshire was charged with violating the Computer Misuse Act of 1990, which prohibits the unauthorised modification of a computer.

New chip supports faster speech recognition

Researchers at a US university have developed a chip architecture that can support speech recognition at speeds 10 times faster than current software-based systems. Demand for faster speech recognition technology is increasing as more voice and video digital media goes online because searching voice data for relevant material is slow and difficult.

Tesco wins two-thirds of online grocery orders

Tesco is winning two-thirds of all online grocery orders in the UK, research has revealed. The study of online grocery sales data by analyst firm comScore Networks found that Tesco's online service is handling 30,000 orders a day with a value of £2.5m.

Government plans data protection changes

The government is planning to alter data protection principles from September. Any such change would allow a diverse range of public agencies to freely share private information on individuals, rather than having to provide a legal justification each time data is shared.

Arcadia goes for the max with IBM Websphere

Clothing retailer Arcadia, which owns Topshop and Burton, has implemented IBM Websphere to allow it to sell its full product range online as well as in store. Arcadia has created a set of master data to guarantee online availability of all in-store stock. Arcadia's approach sets it apart from most clothing retailers that only make a subset of products available electronically.

Gartner warns of trouble ahead for BPO users

Half of all companies involved in business process outsourcing will be hit by cost overruns and unacceptable levels of service over the next three years, Gartner has warned. The analyst firm said companies that outsourced their business processes faced this grim outlook because many had failed to understand the outsourcing market and were taken in by hype.

Delta Air Lines outsources to IBM for restructuring

Delta Air Lines has signed a seven-year IT infrastructure management outsourcing deal with IBM - but the agreement must be ratified by the bankruptcy courts. The deal, for an unspecified amount, is aimed at meeting the airline's IT needs as it restructures its operations to help it get out of bankruptcy.

Vote for your IT greats

Who have been the most influential people in IT in the past 40 years? The greatest organisations? The best hardware and software technologies? As part of Computer Weekly’s 40th anniversary celebrations, we are asking our readers who and what has really made a difference?

Vote now at:

Read more on IT risk management