News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

Tesco moves to the next stage with RFID milk pilot

Tesco plans to pilot radio frequency identification technology to tag and track milk deliveries from supplier Robert Wiseman Dairies to distribution plants and two Tesco stores. With the move, Tesco is moving into the next phase of its RFID programme, which involves putting permanent tags on transportation items such as cages and trolleys.

New Exchange features will push the price up

The next version of the Microsoft Exchange e-mail server will cost businesses more to implement if they want to take advantage of new features. Exchange Server 2007 will be equipped with new unified messaging and anti-virus features, but these will all cost more to implement, Microsoft has confirmed. The company is aiming to release the product by early 2007.

Revenue overpays tax credits for second year

HM Revenue and Customs has overpaid tax credits for the second year running. The total overpayment for 2004/2005 was £1.8bn, with the number of families receiving overpayments rising to 1.96 million claims, against 1.88 million in 2003/2004. Ministers have blamed inflexible IT systems for some of the overpayments.

Symantec patches flaw in anti-virus software

Symantec has patched a publicly reported security flaw in its enterprise anti-virus software. The flaw, which affects recent versions of its Client Security and Antivirus Corporate Edition products, was discovered by rival security company eEye Digital Security last month. The flaw was said to allow hackers to run unauthorised software on users’ computers.

Court blocks US airline passenger data deal 

The European Court of Justice has blocked an agreement that forces airlines to hand over passenger data to the US authorities. The handover of data had been agreed between the European Union and the US, but the court has now ruled that the deal was not legal. The EU first ordered airlines to provide data on passengers flying to the US from Europe in May 2004.

IT savings key to global stock exchange plan

Euronext and the New York Stock Exchange have agreed a merger to create the world’s first global exchange, with expected technology synergies lying at the heart of the deal. Two-thirds of the projected annual savings of £200m will derive from rationalisation of the combined group’s IT systems and platforms, including three cash trading systems and three derivatives platforms being migrated to a single global cash and a single global derivatives platform.

US reaches limit for high-tech visas for 2007

The US government has reached the limit on how many high-tech worker visas it can issue for 2007, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services said last Thursday. US companies have called for the 65,000 annual cap on H-1B visas to be raised. The popular visa is used to bring engineers, computer programmers and IT professionals into the US.

VisitBritain plans global Citrix implementation

National tourism agency VisitBritain plans to implement Citrix Access Platform to enable its staff around the world to access central resources securely and to work remotely. The organisation has nearly 600 staff in 36 different countries, working in 19 languages.

Survey highlights staff snooping

Twenty two per cent of UK workers have admitted to illegally accessing sensitive data, and 54% said they would illegally gain access to private information if the opportunity presented itself, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Microsoft. HR and payroll information was the most popular target.

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