News in brief

Short takes from this week's news

Short takes from this week's news

Government postpones compulsory ID cards

The government has postponed plans to make ID cards compulsory. Amendments to the IDCards Bill published last week mean that a separate act of parliament will have to be introduced before ID cards can become mandatory. The government had originally planned to introduce the cards on a voluntary basis, and to make them compulsory at a later date, following a vote by MPs.

Two thousand Oracle staff lose their jobs

Oracle is laying off 2,000 employees following its £3.4bn acquisition of Siebel Systems. The company said the total workforce would be reduced to about 55,000 employees. Some of those losing their jobs are Oracle back-office staff, and others are involved in Oracle's E-Business Suite 11i and the Project Fusion initiative, which involved integrating Oracle and PeopleSoft products following the PeopleSoft acquisition.

Warning of Sony Ericsson vulnerability

Some Sony Ericsson mobile phones are vulnerable to remote attack from a "drive-by" hacking technique. The French Security Incident Response Team has reported the Bluetooth vulnerability in the phones, which fails to properly handle malformed L2Cap (Logical Link Control and Adaptation Layer Protocol) data sent by attackers using the short-range wireless Bluetooth platform.

Welsh Assembly automates invoicing

The finance division within the National Assembly for Wales has chosen document management specialist Image Integrators to automate the processing of up to 40,000 purchase invoices per year. The system, which is an integral part of the national assembly's Procure to Pay system, will automate invoice processing by integrating with Coda Financials.

DSG Retail signs five-year deal with BT

DSG Retail, which owns Dixons, Currys and PC World, has signed a five-year network services contract with BT. The contract for all of DSG's data services includes the head office wide area and local area network, stores branch network, and all telephony services, including inbound, outbound, intelligent call management, advanced speech recognition and private automatic branch exchange. 

Sun urges Java upgrade following security holes

Sun is urging users to upgrade their versions of Java following the discovery of security holes. The company warned of seven vulnerabilities that use "reflection" APIs in the Java Runtime Environment, which may allow an untrusted applet to elevate its privileges. Sun said hackers could create an applet which would be able to read and write local files or execute local applications.

Microsoft to release seven security patches

Microsoft is expected to release seven patches for several of its products today (14 February). The patches include one critical update for Microsoft Windows Media Player and four patches for Windows, with one of these deemed critical. There is also one security update rated as important for both Windows and Microsoft Office, with another update rated as important for the Office suite.

Colt Cars uses BI to cut warranty claim reports

Colt Cars, the UK importer of Mitsubishi cars, has selected Cognos to reduce the reporting of warranty claims. Cognos' business intelligence software sits on top of Colt Cars' datawarehouse to create customised reports on the status and value of warranty claims. Previously, Colt Cars was using a standard automotive industry database as a stand-alone system, but the database took up to five days to generate reports. The new system can produce reports in a mater of minutes.

JP Morgan deploys e-learning to staff

JP Morgan Chase & Cohas has deployed e-learning software from SumTotal Systems, a specialist in learning and business performance technologies and services. The software will be used to train 170,000 staff in 20 countries on job skills, as well as compliance and regulatory issues.

3G LTE promises big things for wireless

3G LTE, the next generation of mobile wireless technology, could dramatically enhance the capabilities of 3G networks from 2009, according to a report from Analysys. The fast wireless broadband technology will offer bandwidth of up to 100mbps and, according to the analyst firm, could also make cellular voice over IP commercially viable, allowing mobiles to integrate voice and multimedia services.

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