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Deep NHS IT cuts could hurt frontline healthcare,

posted: 07 Dec 2009

NHS IT projects could be in line for cutbacks following this week's pre-budget report.

Chancellor Alistair Darling told The Andrew Marr Show yesterday that the report, due to be published on Wednesday, will provide guidance on which areas of public spending were likely to be cut.

Apple buys music streaming site Lala

posted: 07 Dec 2009

Apple has bought streaming music service Lala for an undisclosed amount.

A spokesman for Apple confirmed the acquisition to silicon.com sister site CNET News.com on Sunday.

The Weekly Round-Up: 03.12.09

posted: 04 Dec 2009

Yes, it's almost here again. Christmas.

The time of year when you express your great love for your nearest and dearest through the gift of two-for-one bubble bath and novelty slippers.

Desktop virtualisation held back by industry hype

posted: 04 Dec 2009

Excessive industry hype has left CIOs reluctant to embrace desktop virtualisation.

According to a new survey, half of private sector CIOs believe the technology is promising more than it can deliver.

Happy Christmas for retailers as UK shoppers shell

posted: 04 Dec 2009

Monday is set to be the biggest-spending day of the year with UK consumers shelling out £350m.

According to retail association IMRG, UK shoppers will spend an expected £5bn this month - a year-on-year increase of 14 per cent.

Whitehall's G-Cloud gets clearer

posted: 04 Dec 2009

More details of the G-Cloud - the proposed government-wide cloud computing platform - have emerged.

The G-Cloud will feature the hinted-at app store, according to Martin Bellamy, the director of the office of chief information officer at the Cabinet Office, and will make use of both public and private datacentres.

Photos: 48 core chip that will help make machines

posted: 04 Dec 2009

Intel debuted and demonstrated its Single-chip Cloud Computer (SCC) processor on Wednesday.

The processor has 48 cores - 24 dualcore "tiles" - connected with a high-speed mesh network. Intel wants the experimental chip, at least 100 of which it'll distribute to researchers in 2010, to lead to new attempts to tackle multicore system and software design. Ultimately, Intel believes its aggressive multicore approach will be the way computers get enough power for tasks such as vision and speech comparable to what humans have.

Weekend Gadget Watch: Nokia N900

posted: 04 Dec 2009

Considering hitting the shops at the weekend? Looking for inspiration? Check out the latest in our series of gadget mini-reviews, courtesy of silicon.com's sister site CNET.co.uk, the home of technology reviews. For the full review and details, click on the link below.

What is it: Touchscreen smartphone with Qwerty keyboard

Photos: The top Christmas apps for the Apple iPhon

posted: 03 Dec 2009

Feeling festive? Then you need silicon.com's seasonal guide to the best Christmas apps for Apple's iPhone.

First up is the Solar System app, a cosmic take on the advent calendar that lets you journey to the earth's neighbouring planets.

IT gender pay gap getting worse

posted: 03 Dec 2009

The IT gender pay gap is getting worse, according to results from the 2009 silicon.com Skills Survey.

More than a third (35 per cent) of female IT workers responding to this year's survey said they were on the bottom rung of the tech pay ladder, earning less than £25k, compared to just under a third of women (32 per cent) last year. And only 14 per cent of male IT workers are in the lowest pay bracket this year, down from 20 per cent in 2008.

Green light for UK IT skills school to arrive next

posted: 03 Dec 2009

The opening of a National Skills Academy for IT in the UK has moved a step closer, after the government announced it has approved the business plan submitted by sector skills body e-skills UK.

In October 2008 the government gave the green light to a tech academy on account of IT's "critical" role in growing the national economy, and because of strong and growing demand for tech workers - more than 140,000 new IT recruits are required by the industry every year, according to e-skills UK.

Shared services - how to get it right in your busi

posted: 03 Dec 2009

With so many businesses looking to cut costs, shared services have become a popular option. Stuart Roberts offers advice on making them deliver.

I think everyone agrees that since mid-2008 the economic situation has been somewhat difficult, with all the cutting of costs and jobs.

Facebook, Google, eBay urge Mandelson to abandon c

posted: 03 Dec 2009

Web heavyweights have hit out against the Digital Economy Bill, claiming clauses in the legislation could put the UK's digital future at risk.

In an open letter to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Peter Mandelson, published yesterday, representatives of eBay, Facebook, Google and Yahoo! call on the government to abandon "measures which risk stifling innovation and damaging the government's vision for a Digital Britain".

SAP delays support price hike for customers

posted: 02 Dec 2009

SAP has delayed price rises for its customers following a slip in the timing of a user benchmarking scheme.

Earlier this year SAP users ordered the software company to meet a new set of key performance indicators in order to justify support price rises proposed last year.

ID cards: Seven years of missed deadlines and U-tu

posted: 02 Dec 2009

Picture the scene: the year is 2016 and ID cards have been embraced by the British public, with most UK citizens now carrying their very own card.

This increasingly unlikely scenario is how the government initially envisaged the ID card scheme would turn out way back in 2006.

Photos: A tour of Microsoft's new retail store

posted: 02 Dec 2009

Photo credit: Ina Fried/CNET

Plenty of life ahead for RFID and NFC

posted: 02 Dec 2009

Radio and tagging technologies have loads of promise - though the applications may not be quite what you were expecting, says Quocirca's Rob Bamforth.

RFID and its close cousin near field communications (NFC) have both been touted for great and sexy futuristic applications. These range from the tagging and tracking of all consumer goods to the conversion of mobile phones into all purpose 'super wallets' where simply waving the phone at the checkout would pay for your items.

Photos: A tour of Microsoft's new store

posted: 02 Dec 2009

Photo credit: Ina Fried/CNET

Android phones, Firefox history, Google Wave and d

posted: 01 Dec 2009

This month saw California's Hacker Dojo host the Random Hacks of Kindness event, which brought independent coders together with developers from Google, Microsoft, Nasa, Yahoo! and other organisations to work on projects to help with disaster relief.

See more photos from the hackathon here.

2010: The year your desktop goes virtual?

posted: 01 Dec 2009

Server virtualisation is rapidly becoming an accepted part of the corporate IT infrastructure - and now industry experts are predicting that it won't be long until corporate desktops follow suit.

Desktop virtualisation refers to the running of a PC's operating system within a central datacentre. Users have a screen and terminal (or thin client) on their desk, which connects to the operating system running on the server via the local network. To the user, the experience is similar to the operating system running on their physical machine but in reality the processes are run and the data is stored in a central location.

Outsourcing: UK carbon control plan needs a rethin

posted: 01 Dec 2009

Encouraging businesses to go green is good but the government must better incorporate outsourcing in its carbon control scheme, says the NOA's Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

Much is being said about the UK government's upcoming Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme but it remains unclear how much of this talk is translating into action and what impact the scheme will have on the outsourcing and offshoring industries.

Anti-ageism legislation isn't working, say IT pros

posted: 01 Dec 2009

Anti-ageism legislation isn't working and the IT industry continues to discriminate against older techies. That's the verdict of the exclusive 2009 silicon.com Skills Survey.

The majority (51 per cent) of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the IT industry discriminates against older workers, compared with less than a fifth (18 per cent) who held the opposite view.

Leaked report reveals billions in budget cuts for

posted: 30 Nov 2009

Shared services delivered through the cloud will help the public sector shave billions from its annual IT spend, according to a leaked Whitehall report.

The leaked draft document, Government ICT Strategy: New world, new challenges, new opportunities, sets out priorities for public sector IT chiefs through to 2020.

Your top HR tech priorities for next year revealed

posted: 30 Nov 2009

Working out your budgets and trying to figure out the tech priorities for your HR department in 2010? Nick Heath has a few suggestions for HR directors as to where to invest that cash on technology to get the most benefits for your team and the rest of the business.

Consider standardising your systemsTake a look at what you do in the HR department and the chances are a number of companies are doing exactly the same thing: processes like payroll and benefits administration or training and recruitment will need to be carried out at any large organisation. As a result, adopting standardised systems for common processes is worth considering for enterprises that are relying on expensive, bespoke IT systems.

Mini laptops, codebreaking, Wikipedia and why ther

posted: 30 Nov 2009

November's top stories on silicon.com tackled some big questions: does my business need an office? Can I work solely on a netbook? Will the UK ever create a Google, Microsoft or Oracle of its very own?

November also dealt with the perennial question of will the UK's ID cards programme ever run to plan?

Peter Cochrane's Blog: Can I become faster and sma

posted: 30 Nov 2009

Compiled on the M6 driving to Liverpool and dispatched to silicon.com a couple of weeks later via a free wi-fi connection in my hotel.

I just cannot work any faster or smarter - I seem to have exhausted every degree of freedom, every element of efficiency improvement I can muster.

Recession fuels fears of UK jobs being sent offsho

posted: 30 Nov 2009

With recession leading businesses to cut IT costs as much as they can, tech workers are increasingly feeling the impact of offshoring, results from the exclusive 2009 silicon.com Skills Survey show.

Almost half (47.5 per cent) of respondents said their organisation has probably offshored IT jobs - up from more than a third (36 per cent) who thought that was the case last year.

The Weekly Round-Up: 27.11.09

posted: 27 Nov 2009

We've all made embarrassing mobile phone blunders as part of our busy modern lives.

We've all done something with a mobile that has led to fingers pointed in mirth and mockery: a few years ago the Round-Up even had one of those Bluetooth headsets that make you look like a minicab driver (although the cash from all those unexpected fares came in handy at Christmas).

Bangalore blooming into innovation hothouse

posted: 27 Nov 2009

No longer just the domain of call centres, Bangalore has matured into the place for world-class research and development, says Saritha Rai.

Years ago, when the world pictured Bangalore they imagined an outsourcing hub full of call centre agents and paid-by-the-hour software workers. How that has changed.

Photos: When hackers get together to do the world

posted: 27 Nov 2009

The Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, California, is a community of hackers who have come together to work on projects, collaborate, and share expertise in technology and entrepreneurship.

The Dojo, which opened in July, offers classes and a place to share ideas. Earlier this month the Dojo hosted the Random Hacks of Kindness event, which brought together thinkers and coders to try to solve real-world problems related to disaster relief.

Zurich inks $2.9bn outsourcing megadeal with CSC

posted: 27 Nov 2009

Zurich Financial Services has announced an outsourcing megadeal.

The company said yesterday is has signed a 10 and a half year deal with CSC to supply datacentre and IT services.

eBay app lets users bid from a BlackBerry

posted: 27 Nov 2009

eBay has released an app for BlackBerry.

The application, co-developed by the auction site and RIM, lets users search, track and buy items using their smartphone.

Weekend Gadget Watch: Canon Pixma MP560

posted: 27 Nov 2009

Considering hitting the shops at the weekend? Looking for inspiration? Check out the latest in our series of gadget mini-reviews, courtesy of silicon.com's sister site CNET.co.uk, the home of technology reviews. For the full review and details, click on the link below.

What is it:Multi-function inkjet printer with wireless connectivity

Minority Report: Mac Mini - a real nowhere machine

posted: 26 Nov 2009

Apple's Mac Mini could really have become the "most important Mac", as Steve Jobs once called it. Seb Janacek explains what happened instead.

As a Mac user it's not often I gaze admiringly at the product pages on Dell's website but this week was a notable exception.

Photos: The new gadgets and tech services up Orang

posted: 26 Nov 2009

At Orange's biannual La Collection event in Paris, the mobile operator gives a sneak peek at the technology set for future release.

silicon.com went along to the 10th La Collection event last week to take a look at the gadgets and services set to make their way into consumers' hands in the coming months and years.

ID card database: 500 names added in first month

posted: 26 Nov 2009

The National Identity Register - the database behind the ID card scheme - contains more than 500 names after a month of operation.

The database went live on 20 October, and the identity commissioner Sir Joseph Pilling said it contains 538 names as of 19 November.

Women in IT: Tech has an image problem

posted: 26 Nov 2009

The lack of women in IT is bad news for the industry and while the tech world doesn't discriminate against them, it does have an image problem that is off-putting to females, according to silicon.com's exclusive 2009 Skills Survey.

The majority (51 per cent) of respondents agreed or strongly agreed the lack of women in IT is bad for the industry, slightly down on 2008 when 54 per cent held that view. The same proportion (51 per cent) believes the image of IT is off-putting to women, down one percentage point on last year.

Tesco Mobile to get a taste of Apple's iPhone

posted: 25 Nov 2009

Tesco Mobile has announced today it will stock Apple's iPhone 3G and 3GS.

Apple ended its two-year UK exclusive deal with O2 this month by launching the iPhone on the Orange network. Vodafone also announced an agreement with Apple in September, and will start offering the iPhone next year.

Users tell SAP: 'We need to talk more'

posted: 25 Nov 2009

SAP needs to better communicate with customers about the products in its portfolio as well as the technology it's developing.

That's according to customers attending the SAP UK and Ireland SAP user group conference in Manchester this week when asked what the business software company could improve on.

Beware the turf wars when merging comms

posted: 25 Nov 2009

Enterprise take-up of unified communications - the merging of IP telephony, conferencing and collaboration, messaging and communications tools - is on a "steeply rising curve", according to analysts.

Spending on UC among businesses worldwide is expected to rise from just $302m last year to $4.2bn in five years' time, according to industry watchers ABI Research.

Marketing chiefs: Are you spamming your customers?

posted: 25 Nov 2009

Marketing emails are at risk of being blocked as spam because businesses are not correctly managing the email communications they send out, a survey has found.

More than half of the 157 marketing managers surveyed by the DMA Email Marketing Council said their business did not restrict the number of messages that could be sent to an email account in a given period.

IT skills shortage squashed by recession?

posted: 25 Nov 2009

The icy winds of economic gloom have put paid to talk of a tech skills shortage - at least for now, the exclusive 2009 silicon.com Skills Survey can reveal.

While the proportion of respondents reporting empty IT seats dipped in 2008 after several years of rising steadily, this year's result shows a much steeper decline as the worldwide economic recession mothballs big tech projects and puts recruitment hopes on ice. With less positions for job hunters to choose from it seems employers are having less difficulty filling the few vacancies that do pop up.

Photos: Sony Ericsson debuts see-through Xperia ph

posted: 25 Nov 2009

Mobile maker Sony Ericsson has debuted another phone in its Xperia range - but with a twist.

The see-through display is a world first, according to Sony Ericsson, requiring battery, memory card and antenna to be miniaturised to fit inside the bottom portion of the device.

Why you must rein in your power users

posted: 25 Nov 2009

The privileged users that manage your IT systems must be monitored as closely - if not more - than standard users, says Bob Tarzey.

Within any organisation, a small group of employees have the ability to wreak havoc on its IT infrastructure: the privileged users that manage it. Granting privileges to such users is necessary for them to be able to do their job but when things go wrong the consequences can be serious.

How the cloud is swallowing your comms

posted: 24 Nov 2009

Unified communications is migrating to the cloud, new research has found.

According to a report by analysts In-Stat, tech vendors are now working closely with providers of hosted VoIP services, leading to several flavours of unified communications now emerging from the cloud.

Is losing a mobile device really such a big deal?

posted: 24 Nov 2009

Losing a mobile device is a common occurrence - but that's doesn't mean it's not serious. Jon Collins looks at what businesses can do to protect themselves from this vulnerability.

These days, it's no surprise to anybody that staff mobility - everything from home working to being able to pick up email when out and about - brings with it a business advantage.

Second iPhone worm: A botnet risk

posted: 24 Nov 2009

A second iPhone worm has been identified.

Like the first worm - unearthed last month - to attack iPhones, this latest exploit also affects jailbroken devices with SSH (secure shell) protocol-enabled and unchanged default passwords.

Recession hitting low paid IT jobs

posted: 24 Nov 2009

In the main IT industry wages look to be weathering the economic storm, according to this year's silicon.com Skills Survey, but there are signs that first-time tech workers are taking a hit.

The research shows that fewer tech workers are on the lowest rung of the pay ladder compared to last year, while the proportion taking home larger salaries is up on 2008.

Outsourcing: CIOs' tips on getting it right

posted: 24 Nov 2009

Outsourcing deals typically promise to deliver cost savings and increased efficiency - but all too often the promises fail to match the reality.

At the National Outsourcing Association's Sourcing Summit last week, two heads of IT shared their experiences of how to get the best out of outsourcing agreements and make sure they're delivering long-term value.

Video: How much is the CIO role about tech?

posted: 24 Nov 2009

The CIO role has always been about more than just technology but how much time do IT chiefs actually devote to it compared to business strategy? At this year's exclusive silicon.com CIO50 event, held in June this year, CIOs present revealed how they spend their time.