News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

Short takes on this week's news

EC portal to share open source in public sector

The European Commission is to open a web portal to facilitate the use of shared open source software across the public sector. The commission has selected a consortium led by Unisys Belgium to create and manage the Open Source Observatory and Repository.

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BT Openreach failing on quality, says watchdog

BT's Openreach broadband delivery division is failing on quality of service, according to the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator. Openreach was set up by BT to improve the service to rival suppliers wanting access to BT's exchanges to deliver their own "unbundled" broadband lines to customers.

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Coventry to upgrade revenues and benefits IT

Coventry City Council has awarded a £700,000, five-year contract to overhaul its revenues and benefits software. Capita Software Services will provide the software, which is due to go live early next year. Coventry said it chose Capita because its application could be integrated with future systems.

Computer seized in US contains stolen UK data

A computer seized by US authorities has been found to contain stolen files from 2,300 UK computers. E-mail addresses, passwords, credit card numbers and information relating to online transactions have been recovered. The Metropolitan Police Computer Crime Unit is investigating the data recovered.

MS anti-piracy plan could add to costs, says Gartner

Microsoft's planned new product activation policy to reduce piracy of its software will result in higher administration costs for IT directors, analyst firm Gartner has warned. "Organisations should lobby Microsoft for additional benefits to help them defray the cost of administering this programme," said Mike Silver, research vice-president at Gartner.

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BSI standard helps firms with business continuity

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has released a standard to help firms with business continuity. The Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 77:2006 standard explains the principles and recommended techniques for IT service continuity management.

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Microsoft patches hit networking snag

Microsoft has resolved a problem with the distribution of its latest security patches. The patches were released as part of its monthly update, but users found they were not being supplied via the firm's automatic update services, and had to be downloaded from Microsoft's website. Microsoft put the snag down to a networking issue rather than a problem with the patches.

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City banks begin bird flu contingency plan test

Banks in the City of London have begun a six-week test to discover whether they could continue to trade during a bird flu pandemic. Results from the test, which started on Friday last week, will be analysed by the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and the Treasury.

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PeopleSoft whistle blower receives £9.5m

A former PeopleSoft employee who blew the whistle on the company's false price negotiations with the US government has received a £9.5m bounty. His actions have led to PeopleSoft owner Oracle agreeing to pay the US government £53m.

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