News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

Short takes on this week's news

Move to hybrid drives for Vista, laptop users urged

Microsoft has urged laptop users planning to run the Windows Vista operating system to switch to emerging hybrid hard drives, which combine spinning discs and flash memory. The company said that hybrid drives with a minimum 50Mbyte cache for Windows’ use would be required for optimum performance. Samsung and Seagate are currently developing hybrid drives.

Scotland signs public sector data sharing deal

Public sector bodies in Scotland will have a standard means of sharing data electronically after the Scottish Executive signed a deal with software supplier Anite. Nine Scottish local councils that use Anite as their social care IT provider and can now work towards a standardised means of sharing information.

Mexx deploys global merchandising system

Fashion retailer Mexx is deploying Torex Retail’s Lucas Planning global merchandising and assortment planning system. Mexx which has more than 400 stores in 15 countries, had used different systems in different geographical regions. The new system will be used to manage all planning and allocation activity across all stores.

PC builder goes into administration

PC manufacturer Elonex has gone into administration with debts of £7m. Three companies are believed to be bidding to buy Elonex’s assets, with IT service provider Centerprise confirming that it has lodged a bid. In January, the Housing Corporation terminated a controversial £17m contract with Elonex.

Getronics consolidates data with BI system

IT services firm Getronics aims to help staff manage customer contracts more efficiently by adopting business intelligence platform BusinessObjects XI Release 2. The business intelligence software will let the company consolidate business-critical information. More than 600 Getronics employees worldwide will use the platform to access information from Oracle Peoplesoft CRM 8.9 and other systems.

Siebel CRM to be heart of Oracle Fusion platform

Siebel CRM will be the foundation for the planned Oracle Fusion customer relationship management platform. Oracle is linking all the CRM systems that it has developed or acquired through takeovers into a web services-based platform.

Microsoft malware tool finds 16 million infections

Microsoft’s Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool has found 16 million instances of malware on 5.7 million devices over the past 15 months. The tool has been used about 2.7 billion times on at least 270 million devices, said Microsoft.

Capita awarded £11.7m motor registration deal

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has awarded a contract worth £11.7m over five and a half years to Capita IT Services for the development and management of a motor vehicle registration information system.

FBI’s VoIP tapping move ‘dangerous’, warn experts

The FBI’s move to give police the authority to tap VoIP calls has been criticised as “simply dangerous” by nine internet experts. The experts, who include Google’s Vint Cerf, warned that mechanisms to tap VoIP could be used by people other than law enforcement authorities.

US mandates track and trace on pharmaceuticals

The US Food and Drug Administration is forcing pharmaceuticals companies to track their products electronically. The move is likely to encourage more companies to use radio frequency identification technology to monitor products along the supply chain, said industry analysts.

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