News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

Microsoft warns users of Activesync problems

Microsoft has issued an alert warning users of problems with its ActiveSync 4.0 synchronisation software for mobile devices, which affects desktop firewall software. It has scheduled an update for late November. Devices affected include the Orange SPV M5000, T-Mobile Vario and MDA Pro, O2 XDA Exec, XDA Mini S, and XDA Phone, Dell Axim X51 series, and HP PPC series.

Oracle update addresses security vulnerabilities

Oracle has released a quarterly patch update that fixes 23 security vulnerabilities in its databases, servers and business applications. Seven of the 23 patches fix flaws in the company's flagship Oracle 10g database. Patches are also included for the Oracle 9i and 8i database servers. Several PeopleSoft and JD Edwards products, acquired by Oracle earlier this year, also have fixes.

EMC buys Captiva Software in £155m deal

EMC has bought Captiva Software for £155m. Captiva makes software for digitally capturing documents. EMC already integrates Captiva's Inputaccell software with its own Documentum enterprise information management platform. Further integration could help businesses reduce the amount of paper they use by automatically capturing information digitally and integrating it with electronic business processing.

John Lewis deploys warehouse system

Retailer John Lewis is installing a warehouse management system from RedPrairie to improve the efficiency of its distribution centres. It will deploy the system before it expands its number of stores from 27 to 37. Employees at the distribution centres will be given headsets that receive order instructions from RedPrairie's DLX Warehouse system.

Public internet security campaign launched

The government and businesses are launching Get Safe Online, a campaign to help the public and small businesses protect themselves against malicious code, spam and online fraud. A website and a roadshow will offer advice. The campaign follows concerns that unprotected PCs in homes and small businesses are being used by hackers to launch spam and denial of service attacks against larger firms.

Mercer awards IBM procurement contract

Mercer Human Resource Consulting has awarded IBM a £32m, five-year contract to manage its IT procurement systems and desktop infrastructure. Under the deal, IBM will deploy its Ordernow procurement software to build an online catalogue that Mercer employees can use to order IT products. It will reduce the incidence of one-off orders. IBM will also offer round-the-clock assistance to Mercer's workforce.

Cheshire Police in £6m comms deal with Affiniti

Cheshire Police Authority has signed a five-year deal worth £6m with communications integrator Affiniti. Under the deal, Affiniti will handle the design, implementation, support, maintenance and service management of a converged voice, video and data platform to be used across Cheshire Constabulary. The new network infrastructure will combine an IP-enabled Siemens voice platform with an upgraded Cisco data network and will carry voice, video and data traffic.

Majority of consumers mistrust online finance

Most consumers mistrust online services from financial services companies. According to a survey of 2,500 people by BT, 37% of consumers trust their banks' online offerings. Only 17% trust insurance companies and about 15% trust government. The research was carried out for BT by the Henley Centre.

Google to rename Gmail after trademark dispute

Google has to change the name of its Gmail web e-mail service in the UK following a trademark dispute with a UK firm. Independent International Investment Research argued that the Gmail brand infringed the trademark of its own G-Mail service. Google said new e-mail users will be allocated accounts branded as Googlemail.

CPS sets up computer crime lawyers' network

The Crown Prosecution Service has created a network of 110 lawyers with skills in prosecuting computer crime. It aims to ensure prosecutors are trained in issues such as handling computer-based evidence and that CPS staff are made aware of the challenges surrounding high-tech crime. Policy director Philip Geering said, "Although technology provides tremendous benefits for society it also creates opportunities for criminals."



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