News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

Short takes on this week's news

Senior Whitehall CIOs demand 10% cost savings

The 12 most important CIOs in central government are demanding cost savings of more than 10% from their biggest IT suppliers, under a new initiative called the Strategic Supply Board. In return, the Whitehall CIOs will agree targets for being better customers.

BAE Systems signs £1.1bn outsourcing deal

Defence and aerospace company BAE Systems has signed a new £1.1bn outsourcing deal with CSC to manage IT operations for a number of units. CSC’s responsibilities will include management of the mainframe, servers and desktops, the provision of local and wide area networking, helpdesk support, application development and procurement services.

Small firms in London not prepared for emergency

Half of London’s small businesses have not put business continuity plans in place to respond to terrorist attacks or other emergencies. Retailers, restaurants and hotels are the least prepared sectors in London, with only 29% having a business plan, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry and KPMG reveals. According to the CBI, four out of five businesses severely affected by a major incident close within 18 months, and 90% of those that lose data shut down within two years.

HP designs new blade server fan for summer

Hewlett-Packard plans to release a more powerful and efficient fan design for its blade servers this summer, to address overheating problems. The Active Cool Fans design will appear in the next generation of Bladesystem blade servers. The design was inspired by devices used in some remote-controlled model aeroplanes.

Whitehall spends £5m on e-government campaign

Whitehall has committed £5m to a campaign to boost take-up of local e-government services, without setting any targets for councils.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will spend the money on an advertising campaign to encourage people to pay their council tax electronically, assess their entitlement to social care and use leisure facilities.

IBM addresses RFID privacy with tear-off tag

IBM has demonstrated a wireless identification tag to address consumer privacy concerns over RFID. The Clipped Tag has an antenna that consumers can tear off. This effectively disables the tag by reducing the readable range from 30 feet to two inches.

Java Enterprise Edition 5 gets community nod

The Java Community Process has approved the next version of Java – Enterprise Edition 5. Formerly known as Java 2 Enterprise Edition, the technology offers a programming platform for building Java-based web services.

Patch time for Microsoft Exchange and Windows

Microsoft is to release two critical security patches today (9 May) for its Exchange e-mail server and Windows OS. It is also expected to release a number of “high priority” updates that are not connected to security issues.

Audit Commission and Thus in networking deal

The Audit Commission has awarded telecoms provider Thus a £5m contract to connect 500 sites with a resilient wide area network. Thus will also centralise the commission’s business applications and support voice, data and video networking over IP.

Lloyds Pharmacy joins NHS prescription system

Lloyds Pharmacy has attained authorisation from Connecting for Health to connect its in-house pharmacy system to the NHS Electronic Prescription Service. This set up will eventually allow direct transfer of prescriptions between GP surgeries and pharmacies.



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