News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

Vulnerability found in anti-virus software

Researchers have warned of flaws in security software from Sophos, Ethereal and ClamAV. The systems are vulnerable to buffer overflow attacks, according to researchers Alex Wheeler and Neel Mahted. Sophos said it had been working with the researchers and had already issued patches to most of its customers.

Expect first biometric passports in January

The first UK passports to hold biometric data will be issued from January next year. The Foreign Office has appointed 3M to build facial recognition and personal information into passports issued outside the UK. The web-based 3M Identity Document Issuance System will initially cover one in 10 of all passports issued.

Microsoft rejects Japan monopoly claims

Microsoft has rejected a ruling by the Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) that restrictive licensing terms for its Windows operating system have hampered PC manufacturers' businesses. The commission alleged that Microsoft was in breach of Japan's Antimonopoly Act. The firm said, "Microsoft looks forward to explaining its views and fostering understanding of its position at JFTC hearings."

Next signs £7m deal for offshore contact centre

High street retailer Next has awarded a £7m three-year contract to Cable & Wireless to provide a fully managed offshore contact centre in Pune, India, for its Ventura subsidiary. The centre will support Next's catalogue shopping arm alongside call centre services for UK blue chip, public sector and charitable organisations. 

Computer Associates to cut workforce by 5%

Computer Associates will cut 800 jobs - 5% of its total workforce - as part of attempts to recover from financial and accounting scandals during the dotcom boom.

Retailer installs stock tracking system

Clothing retailer Fenn Wright Manson is implementing a system to track stock along its supply chain. Epson's Intelligent Register and Esperus Systems' Genesis 2000 will manage stock as it moves from the retailer's warehouse to it 56 outlets in stores such as John Lewis.

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