News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

Short takes on this week's news

Welsh village is first to get 21st Century Network

The village of Wick, near Cardiff has become the first UK location to be served by BT's new IP-based 21st Century Network. The £10bn network is designed to deliver improved voice, data, and multimedia services to users, eventually offering 24mbps broadband links.

Step up war on spam, EC tells governments

The European Commission has told member states they must do more to fight the spread of spam. Despite legislation to outlaw spam across Europe, the region continues to suffer from illegal online activities from inside the EU and from other countries, the commission said. Although internet safety has been on the political agenda for some time, national authorities must step up their actions to prosecute illegal online activities, the EC urged.

Wordperfect to support ODF and Open XML docs

Corel's Wordperfect Office software is being updated to support both the Oasis-based Open Document Format and Microsoft's proprietary Office Open XML format. Beginning in mid-2007, Corel will provide open, view and edit support for OOXML and ODF documents, as a first step towards a comprehensive set of functionality features for both formats.

Symantec releases beta security tools for Vista

Symantec is distributing beta versions of Norton Internet Security 2007 and Norton Antivirus 2007 for the Windows Vista operating system. Test versions of the security tools for users of the new Microsoft operating system are available for public download.

Consumers will drive spread of Vista, says IDC

Consumer take-up of Windows Vista will far outstrip business adoption, analyst firm IDC has predicted. With 2007 deployments of Windows Vista projected at 90 million units, IDC believes Microsoft's latest operating system will quickly displace sales of older versions of Windows.

Suppliers offer cost cuts for speedier procurement

IT suppliers have offered to cut the cost of IT programmes by 20% over the next four years, in return for the government speeding up procurement times and agreeing to more standardisation. The deal has been brokered by a board of government CIOs. Signatories include Accenture, Atos Orgin and IBM the Financial Times reports.

Supply chain upgrades boost sales at Asda

Asda says improvements to its supply chain software have boosted sales of own-brand products by £6.8m in the past year by enabling it to bring products to market more quickly. The UK’s second-largest supermarket cut four weeks off the time taken to develop and bring to sale a new product.

Oracle products more vulnerable than SQL

A comparison of the vulnerabilities between Microsoft’s SQL Server database and Oracle’s relational database management products by Next Generation Security Software has suggested there are more vulnerabilities in Oracle’s products than Microsoft’s. Between December 2000 and November 2006, researchers discovered 233 vulnerabilities in Oracle’s products, compared with 59 in SQL Server.

Lloyds establishes new trading floor with VoIP

Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets has established a new trading floor using a VoIP infrastructure from IPC. The 250-position trading floor is fitted with a system that is designed to reduce possible points of failure and allow the speedy addition of trader voice circuits.

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