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March 10

End of the line
Faster wireless networking looks set to lay cables to rest - if regulators allow it. Peter Judge reports.

Get the message
Text messages are increasingly being used to conduct business, reports Mary Branscombe.

Shipping in the chips
Jack Schofield: It's official: the world will be moving to multi-core processors in the next couple of years.

Rank and file
UK e-government scored well in a recent survey, but the real challenge to put public services online still lies ahead. Michael Cross reports.

Public domain
Michael Cross: Once again, the government is turning to the global IT industry to dig it out of a policy hole.

IT news
Mobile sales up | Visual radio | Keep pressure on | E-gov speed trap | Citizen software | Broadband quality | Moving speech | Condemned cell

March 3

A race against time
New technology will finally deliver the mobile data speeds promised years ago. Peter Judge reports.

Under control
The fight against malicious internet hackers and viruses is being organised from a former nuclear shelter. Ken Young reports.

Reaching out
A Yorkshire council has a ground-breaking way for residents to connect to local authorities, writes Michael Cross.

Public domain
Michael Cross: Disturbing evidence is emerging that big IT contractors have a harmful influence.

From 'Baby Bells' to the big cheese
Jack Schofield: The joke in the US telecoms market is that the few surviving phone companies are going to merge and change their name to Ma Bell. Following three big takeovers in the past two months, we may not be that far away.

IT news
Porn plunges | Nokia goes RFID | Unified Mandarin | Sun blocker | Light dawns | Pressure group | Quick console

February 24

A breed apart
Robots could yet hit the big time, now that the Pentagon has set its sights on the four-legged variety. David Hambling reports.

All together now
Dorset councils may be the first to amalgamate their individual websites. Michael Cross reports.

Get down to work
Mobile phone manufacturers put business before pleasure in Cannes, write Mary Branscombe and Simon Bisson.

Public domain
Michael Cross: Over and over again, government IT schemes go wrong because time that should have been spent testing the software was needed to make last-minute modifications driven by policy changes.

Showdown
America's premier security conference triggered a lively battle of ideas with a 1920s prohibition theme. Eric Doyle reports.

Sun on the horizon
Sun Microsystems, one of the few surviving vertically-integrated companies, is now adopting a horizontal strategy. Whether this will work or not is anybody's guess, says Jack Schofield.

IT news
PC sales up | Fighting evil | Malware bruiser | Talking point | Son of San | Routed out | 64 bites

Febuary 17

Alert to fraud
You could soon receive information about possible fraudulent credit card transactions by text message. But who benefits the most? Ken Young reports.

Safety in numbers
Police forces must unite to implement much-needed IT system reforms, says Sarah Arnott.

Public domain
Michael Cross: It is an article of faith in much of government that there is a conspiracy among journalists to talk up failure and ignore success.

Fiorina packs her bags
Jack Schofield: Don't cry for Carly Fiorina. She may have lost her job running Hewlett-Packard, but she's leaving with a severance package worth at least $21m.

IT news
Token security | IT literacy lessons | Building blocks | Word of warning | By choice | Mobile Microsoft | Lower your voice

February 10

Speak up
Bad business presentations could be costing UK business 8bn a year - and the software tools designed to solve the problem are part of the cause. Danny Bradbury reports.

Nature's cue
Imagine a world where computing and science are inseparable. Tim Radford reports on the possibilities of a new research initiative.

Mark of success
It is just seven years since specifications were developed to allow XML data to be exchanged over the internet. Simon Bisson looks at the development of the lingua franca of the connected world.

The hard cell
Jack Schofield: You could be forgiven for thinking the Cell was already on the market, since it has already enjoyed two or three years of hype. Indeed, this is precisely why I am keeping my expectations low.

Hope for virtual profit
Councils in England should soon be saving more from their IT systems than they will spend on the technology. But there are some caveats. Michael Cross reports.
Michael Cross: Public domain

IT News
One-click shop | Intel multi-core | Less Latitude | Yellow carded | Chip harmony | Cyber sale | Linux move

February 3

Space setter
MSN's new blogging tool offers a simple but solid service built on what consumers want, writes Mary Branscombe.

Taking charge
As BT seeks to grow its online payments business, Ken Young asks if it can rival PayPal's success.

Serving time
Jack Schofield Although Microsoft is most visible on the desktop, the company's server software has been its most impressive success.

Point of no return
After the mixed success of online tax returns, e-government is finally becoming mass market. Michael Cross reports.

Public Domain
Michael Cross: Can the 2,300-year-old Hippocratic oath survive the age of the joined-up electronic medical record?

IT News
Snaring fraudsters | Forget them not | Record service | Zombie tracker | Spot a fake | Bright idea | Quantum leap

January 27

Phones to go
A phone that is both mobile and uses cheaper landline services at home is on the way. Peter Judge reports.

A problem shared
It has not been a happy new year for the NHS, reports Michael Cross.
Michael Cross: Public domain

DIY communication
Voice over Internet Protocol is not just for internal phone calls. Simon Bisson explains how it can help connect a business to branch offices and other sites, while saving money.

The Novell strategy
Jack Schofield: Today is a big day for Novell: the 26-year-old Utah-based software company is betting its future on the launch of its new Open Enterprise Server, which puts both Novell NetWare and SuSE Linux in one box.

IT News
Wireless choice | Broadband support | Supporting grid | Symbian virus | Power struggle | One-chip phone | Spam stoppers

January 20

The key positions
A new, easy-to-learn keyboard design could - in theory - save billions of dollars. Jack Schofield meets its inventor.

Office slowdown
Home networks could soon run significantly faster than some business broadband connections. Peter Judge reports.

Get it out of your system
Government technology failures are well known but Whitehall's new IT guru is adamant that 2005 will be the year of delivery. Michael Cross reports.

How compatible are we?
Most of the products that dominated last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas had no immediate relevance to the UK market, says Jack Schofield.

Public Domain
Michael Cross: Next month, government-funded researchers begin a two-year study on the management of identity in public services.

IT News
Top eCouncils | Tsunami email virus | Express yourself | Hard sell | What's in a name | Making a move | Virus creator arrest

January 13

Glowing reports
New office technology means your business info may soon come from unusual sources, says Danny Bradbury.

Caught on camera
Police forces across the UK are turning to scanning technology that reads number plates and identifies stolen cars in an effort to tackle terrorism and fight crime.Justin Hunt reports.

IT news
3Com is offering an access point that supports voice, data and wireless networking capabilities using Power Over Ethernet (PoE) to supply the voltage.

Public domain
This week, we celebrate the emergence of a new national joke. Anecdotes of bizarre travel itineraries that can be obtained from the government's new web portal Transport Direct publicly launched on New Year's Eve, are already circulating at dinner parties.

Protect your achilles heel
eBay's launch of a private email service to reduce the impact of fraudsters has had a mixed reception. Ken Young reports.

January 6

Touched by your absence
After using email to write a book with a stranger, Julian Baggini praises virtual relationships.

Ask a policeman...
Complying with the Freedom of Information Act will be a stiff challenge for most public bodies, but as Simon Bisson reports, the police are showing us how it's done in Suffolk.

Refresh your inbox
If your account is full after your return to work this week, follow Mary Branscombe's tips on how to stay on top of email overload.

Emergency services
As tsunami blogs fill the web, Bobbie Johnson considers the role of citizen journalism in a disaster.

Healthy interaction
A new government digital strategy aims to bring the NHS into the 21st century, reports Michael Cross.

Public Domain
The year 2005 portends momentous events as we enter the era of e-government.

December 16

Reading between the lines
The British Library is working fast to upgrade its research services in the midst of a worldwide debate over open source publishing.Ken Young reports.

Help! Now my PC's Chinese
IBM has sold its personal computer arm but there's no need to panic, says Jack Schofield. Though changes are likely later, the brand won't vanish overnight.

The future for PalmSource
Jack Schofield IBM isn't the only company doing business with China. Last week, PalmSource bought China MobileSoft and announced that it would be adding a Linux-based Palm OS to its line-up.

IT News
MS Desktop Search | Pic alert | Oracle prevails | E-gov gains | Change partners | Organic growth.

Reality hits home
Michael Cross asks what happens now that the prime minister's goal of 100% e-government has been abandoned.

Public Domain
Investing in e-government is a bit like lunchtime drinking, really, says Michael Cross.

December 9

Speechless
Automated support systems offer hope for companies trying to drive down costs, and may also give us something new to shout at, reports Danny Bradbury.

Hey, big spenders
Walsall is the latest local authority to sign a multimillion pound contract with an IT company to revitalise services. Michael Cross reports on councils' rush to get e-enabled.

Microsoft launch blogging software
Jack Schofield: Microsoft could soon be the biggest company in the blogosphere. Last week, it unveiled its first blogging software for the general public in beta test form.

Public domain
Eight minutes isn't long. But if you're felled by a heart attack, those 480 seconds are precious. Michael Cross looks at how mobile phones could help ambulance crews to save lives.

IT News
95% spam | Free Rexx | Course for concern | Clusters' last stand | Open assurance | Intel outside | Mail bonding | Staff reductions

December 2

You can take it with you
Instead of carting a whole computer around, you will soon be able to carry all you need on a USB drive that can plug into any PC. Eric Doyle reports.

Isle of Man moves over to Microsoft
The Isle of Man announced this week that, as part of its joined-up government strategy, it was moving everything to Microsoft Windows. Jack Schofield looks at the island's belated move into the mainstream.

Public domain
The Ministry of Defence is procuring the world's largest single IT contract to equip us for 21st-century warfare. Michael Cross reports on the two consortia squaring up to win the ?4 billion-pound prize.

Sore sites
The growing threat of cyber attacks on banner advertising is a concern for the online ad industry, reports Ken Young.

Wicked questions about electronic records
Michael Cross looks at the fearsome task facing the NHS in designing its electronic records.

IT News
Simpler Sempron | Common parlance | Generation gain | Workers unite | Free XP | Picture of health | Spam attack.

November 25

From an alt point of view
Although web access has improved for people with disabilities, too many sites are still unusable due to poor design. Bobbie Johnson reports.

Linux or Solaris?
Sun Microsystems announced last week it was going to offer its new Solaris 10 version of Unix free next year, and will also make it open source. These moves, says Sun, will make it directly comparable with Linux. It will also launch a Linux Application Environment (LAE), so you can still run your Linux programs on Solaris.

November 18

Fair and share
Don't fall into the trap of confusing free with freedom when using Linux's open source code, says Mary Branscombe.

Phishing phobia
As fraudsters get more sophisticated in their methods for fleecing customers, the banks are re-evaluating their security, reports Ken Young.

Palm springs
Jack Schofield: Palm made its name with electronic organisers, but if it is going to have much of a future, it's going to have to do it again in the smartphone business.

Public domain
E-government targets for next year could be missed unless public bodies find a way for people to prove who they are online. Michael Cross reports.

IT News
Solaris shines | Bofra rules | Contract expansion | Knock lock | Copy cats | On the fly | Return to spoofer

November 11

Bad habits on the wane
Reviews by the audit office are effective in ensuring that problems in IT projects are identified before it is too late, says a new report. Michael Cross investigates.

Shelf life
Using RFID tags to track library books could increase security and ease laborious stocktakes. Ken Young reports.

IT News
Novell's office | Small account | IBM tops | Open accounts | Quality RightNow | Securing software

Microsoft at hospital gates
For Microsoft, the NHS is a ticket to credibility in the last major area of the global economy to resist computerisation, says Michael Cross.

Stack attack
All the players racing to produce open source "stacks" need to make sure their systems are mutually compatible, says Jack Schofield.

November 4

Taken to extremes
Simon Bisson explores the world of extreme programming, which emphasises collaboration and flexibility over rigid processes.

Mind the gap
With computer crime growing, the government must act to increase IT security, says a new report. Michael Cross investigates.

Planet rising
The internet is now so vital, we must make sure it is up to the job. Mary Branscombe looks at a project to make the net smarter.

Low-cost computers for the poor countries
Chip manufacturer AMD has announced a plan to bring low-cost computers to hundreds of millions of people in poor countries, writes Jack Schofield.

IT News
Thats VAT | PIC of the net | No york | Laptop leaks | Extended service | NFC nearer | Yahoo scam

October 28

Ticket to ride
Simon Bisson explores the world of the Enterprise Service Bus.

Weakest link
Governments and companies are gearing up to deal with spyware but, writes Mary Branscombe, the biggest security problem is usually sitting at the keyboard.

Stuck in a moment
When Jef Raskin said last week that 'the Mac is now a mess', he meant the whole of computing suffers from a lack of innovative interfaces, says Jack Schofield.

Public Domain
Michael Cross: Thank heaven for Sainsbury's. Not for the stores but for last week's reminder that government is not alone in having IT disasters.

IT News
Return to Sender ID | PC threat | Network defences | Shape up | Wales consults | Women in IT | Space race

October 21

Space age
Vienna has opted for payment by mobile phone rather than install parking meters. Ken Young reports.

Political persuasion
Can IT really save us money? Politicians are anxious that we think so. SA Mathieson reports.

Quick recovery
There is more to ensuring your business survives a disaster than just backing up data. Simon Bisson reports.

Public domain
Like a Japanese soldier emerging from the jungle long after the end of the second world war, the Digital Inclusion Panel has stepped back into the light, reports Michael Cross.

The audio war
Apple's recent success with the iPod could be under threat from rivals who value compatability over control, says Jack Schofield.

IT news
Boardroom silence | Material gains

October 14

Local heroes
The winners of the annual prizes for IT innovations in local government show that e-nirvana is possible. Michael Cross reports.

Team Microsoft: World Police
Security is still the top priority at Microsoft, says Jack Schofield. But can it make it cheap enough?

Public domain
The NHS is favouring overseas-based multinationals rather than small innovating UK companies Michael Cross wonders why.

Room service
Large hotel chains are turning to reliable, high-speed internet access to lure the business traveller. Ken Young reports.

IT news
Security test | Extended support

Oct 7

Future trends
The long-term trends are clear, says Jack Schofield. We're heading rapidly towards a world of small intelligent wireless devices.

Public domain
Politicians and IT don't mix, says Michael Cross.

Call to arms
Now that the pay gap between the public and private sectors is narrowing for IT workers, managers have more of an opportunity to make a difference. Tim Phillips reports.

Hoping to become a favourite
How will the government get us to use its e-services? In his first interview since taking up the post of head of e-government, Ian Watmore tells Michael Cross about his strategy.

Live forever
Wireless connections are one thing, but most laptop users still end up tethered by a cable. Mary Branscombe looks forward to batteries that last at least a full day.

IT news
Scam busters | Fingering security | Tiger release | Fast encryption | Sound ideas

Sep 30

Can't buy me love
Richard Branson is the latest mogul to get into the online music business, but online profits might be harder to come by, argues Jack Schofield.

Public domain
Michael Cross is genuinely pleased to get a parking ticket. How better to put e-government to the test?

Fortune favours the brave
It may be one of Britain's most deprived areas now, but Lewisham council is hoping that a pilot Wi-Fi project will change that impression of the London borough. Justin Hunt reports.

Cutting edge
IBM is going to allow anyone to produce motherboards for its BladeCenter architecture - and so widen choice and lower prices for customers. Eric Doyle reports.

An office on the move
Smartphones have a host of applications that enable businesses to run more profitably. But you will have to keep an eye on battery life, advises Joia Shillingford.

IT news
New formula | Gone phishing | Mismanagement | Tax dodge | Popeye power

Sep 23

Fully charged
Every September, visionaries from the digital world descend on Linz for Ars Electronica. Sean Dodson attended the celebrations of the oldest and biggest festival of electronic culture.

Inside the ivory tower
Blogging is allowing academics to develop and share their ideas with an audience beyond the universities. But as Jim McClellan reports, not everyone is convinced.

Just who are the bad guys?
Despite an increase in record sales, the music industry in the UK is flexing its muscles and threatening court action over illegal downloads. Bobbie Johnson looks at the repercussions of such a move.

Public domain
This is a eulogy to an anonymous friend. Anonymous out of respect for the person concerned, who didn't want his name in the papers while he was alive, and certainly wouldn't now. For his family, of course, too.

Sep 16

A mouse that roars
Microsoft has launched a new "designer mouse" targeted at hig-end users. But what would it say about you, wonders Jack Schofield.

Getting to the core
Faster, cheaper computers should appear within the next few years when Intel delivers on the strategy it unveiled last week, reports Simon Bisson.

Harness the power
A recent demonstration of the world's largest grid computer gives hope for those seeking to deliver intensive commercial applications, reports Ken Young.

Public domain
Swansea has seen the future and it's out of order, says Michael Cross.

Road to nowhere?
Michael Cross reports on plans to put conveyancing online.

IT news
Wi-Fi to the Max

Sep 09

Mimicking fraudsters
If your card use has been queried, it's probably because more banks are now using artificial intelligence software to try to detect fraud. Ken Young reports.

New head on the block
He's inherited a target of e-enabling all government services by next year and is very keen on the idea of identity cards. Michael Cross listens as the new head of e-government sets out his agenda.

IT news
Double Act | Bluetooth pulled | Security tightened | Apache warcry | VoIP numbers | Grid Britain | Mobile Java





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