News in brief

Brief takes on the week's news

Microsoft patch plugs Windows security hole

Microsoft was set to release a patch to fix a "critical" security flaw affecting the Windows operating system today (13 September). The company refused to give details of the flaw ahead of its monthly security bulletin, nor did it give any indication that other bugs discovered in its software by eEye Digital Security would be tackled. Earlier this month the security firm warned of flaws in the default installation processes for Internet Explorer and the Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail clients affecting systems running Windows XP, XP SP1 and Windows 2000.

Google appoints internet pioneer Vinton Cerf

Google has appointed Vinton Cerf, a "founding father" of the internet, as its chief internet evangelist. Cerf, who co-designed the TCP/IP protocols used to develop the internet's underlying architecture, will now help Google build network infrastructure, architectures, systems and standards.

CA releases 14 patents to open source users

Computer Associates has opened up 14 patents to allow the software they cover to be used for free by the open source development community. It has also signed a technology cross-licensing deal with IBM to make it easier for users to integrate the two firms' products. The patents cover application development, data analytics and systems management. IBM made 500 of its patents open source at the beginning of the year, and Nokia has since also handed over a number of its patents.

SCO's Linux lawsuits plunge it into the red

SCO's continued legal action against distributors of Linux has plunged it into the red for the third quarter to 31 July. Alongside falling sales - £5.1m from £6.1m for the same quarter last year - the software provider was saddled with a £1.6m legal bill for the quarter, which pushed it to a £1.3m loss.

Defra to manage farm subsidies online

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is introducing an online system to manage the administration of subsidies paid to farmers. The system, called the Whole Farm Approach, will replace many of the manual processes between farmers and the government department.

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