Saturday, July 25, 2009

Will Microsoft fix critical hole in IE?

In a rare move, Microsoft on Friday said it would be releasing security updates on Tuesday--outside of its monthly patch cycle--for a critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer and a moderate vulnerability in Visual Studio.

The two security bulletins will address one overall issue and are being released separately "to provide the broadest protections possible to customers," Microsoft said in a statement.

The vulnerabilities affect Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8, Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003, Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 and Visual C++ 2005 and 2008, according to the security bulletin advance notification.

"While we can't go into specifics about the issue prior to release, we can say that the Visual Studio bulletin will address an issue that can affect certain types of applications," the statement said. "The Internet Explorer bulletin will provide defense-in-depth changes to Internet Explorer to help provide additional protections for the issues addressed by the Visual Studio bulletin."

"The Internet Explorer update will also address vulnerabilities rated as critical that are unrelated to the Visual Studio bulletin that were privately and responsibly reported," Microsoft said.

Customers who are current with their security updates are protected from known attacks related to the updates, the company said. The updates will be released through the Microsoft Update, Windows Update, and Windows Server Update services.

A Webcast to address customer questions is scheduled for Tuesday from 1 p.m. PDT to 2 p.m. at this site.

Microsoft typically releases security patches on a monthly basis, the second Tuesday of every month, and did not say why it is making this rare, out-of-cycle release.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Will BT take back 2,000 Desi jobs to UK?

BT chief executive Ian Livingston has announced that the company will revert at least 2,000 call centre jobs from India back to Britain.

The company has a significant presence in India where the telecom major has a customer service staff of 11,000 employees.

At the group's annual meeting Livingston was asked by an investor, about the group's planning to close call centres in India. Livingston disclosed the plans to revert jobs in his response to the question.

However, BT said the move had nothing to do with the quality of service offered in India. A BT spokesperson said, “This is not about customer service as the service in our operations around the globe is of very similar standards. It is about the effective deployment of our resources.”

“We have opportunities to bring some activities, carried out by our partners, back from outside the UK to permanent BT employees in the UK who are skilled to do this work,” he said.

Solution for European mobile operators to save billions

Bobby Srinivasan founded Roamware, a provider of mobile roaming software and solutions, has unveiled its Voicemail Call Completion (VMCC) product that can help the European operators to save a potential annual bill of $2.1 billion for compliance with new European Union (EU) regulations on roaming voicemail.

The EU regulations, which will be introduced next year, are meant for ensuring that consumers are not being charged additional fees for receiving voice mail messages while roaming.

Though the new regulations will cut costs for consumers, other than any more changes made, Roamware estimates states that European operators will collectively incur an annual cost of between $1.8 billion and $2.1 billion for re-bounding international voicemail calls known in the telecoms industry as "tromboning".

"If you make a call to customer who is roaming but who cannot be reached because the signal is bad or they are already using the phone, two international calls are effectively made - one to try to reach the phone, and a rebound leg back to the home network voice mail box to leave the message. This is what is known as tromboning," explains John Jiang, CTO, Roamware.

Using the Voice Mail Call Completion (VMCC) service in the home network, the software recognizes the unavailable roaming mobile and deposits the call, complete with all the relevant information, straight to the home network mail box.

"We cut out the "trombone call" and ensure that roaming messages get left in exactly the same way as normal, helping operators meet their EU commitment and saving costs for both them and the consumers," said Jiang.

The company provides roaming software and services to more than 90 networks in the EU region. "We are seeing significant traction and interest from our existing customers and other operators both inside and outside the European region as operators realize the implication of the new EU regulations and the opportunities that exist to cut costs and improve service," said Abraham Punnoose, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, Roamware.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Will Hewlett-Packard buy Ibrix?

Hewlett-Packard announced that it will acquire Ibrix, a maker of enterprise-scale file serving software.

Large companies running huge data-heavy applications often bump into bottlenecks with both storage and performance. HP says that Ibrix's software is designed to help such customers manage and store massive amounts of data, scaling to tens of petabytes. (A petabyte is 1,000 terabytes.)

HP wants Ibrix to help strengthen its share of the burgeoning market for high-performance enterprise data storage, cloud storage, and file archiving. HP says this segment is growing 20 percent a year, faster than the markets for network-attached storage (NAS) and external storage.

"Customers need highly scalable storage solutions that efficiently and cost-effectively manage massive amounts of information," said Jeff Hausman, vice president of Unified Storage in HP's StorageWorks division. "This acquisition expands our portfolio to better support the needs of this market segment."

Started in 2000, Ibrix is a privately held company in Massachusetts with 53 employees and more than 175 enterprise customers.

"Joining forces with HP is a natural fit for our customers, resulting in an enhanced storage solution that scales to meet their data growth," said Milan Shetti, chief executive officer of Ibrix. "The unique combination of Ibrix's file-serving solutions with HP's portfolio of products and services enables customers to lower the cost of scale-out architectures while easing the process of storing, accessing and moving critical data."

HP expects the deal to be completed in the next 30 days, after which Ibrix will become part of the StorageWorks division in HP's Technology Solutions Group.

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