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Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Apple bobbing

Steve Jobs went on Safari this week, bigging up the Apple browser and even launching a Windows beta version. For some outside of the US, however, it proved a less than satisfactory experience; perhaps the lions, or whatever other animal it is you expect to see on safari were sleeping at the time. We think you can rule out dolphins, mind you.

In other Apple news, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled in the computer firm's favour over its claim that Macs are more secure than PCs.

At Apple's annual developer conference Jobs spoke about his decision to keep Apple's iPhone locked down to preserve its "security and reliability" by retaining the platform's closed nature.

Use it, don't abuse it

Company phone usage in the UK is wide open to abuse, however. If you give an employee a mobile, the likelihood is that he or she will use it to make personal calls and it's costing UK firms a hefty £400m a year, apparently.

IBM puts heart into a total eclipse

Freedom is on the lips of so many right now. So slip into those sunnies or expect your eyes to burn as a total Eclipse is coming in a few short weeks with the biggest synchronised release of open software to date, and it's getting all you developer types very excited. IBM has even thrown its Jazzy hat into the ring in a bid to be caring and sharing with the open source community. But isn't everyone at it these days?

The green green grass of home

Talking of bandwagons (or should we say energy efficient bicycles) to jump on, Google and Intel have each got their knickers in a twist over saving the planet, one power supply at a time. Who knows, perhaps both firms have been knocking on David Cameron's door for inspiration.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the UK security industry says it wants a closer relationship with government, short of suggesting a cosy candle-lit dinner date for two, security bods will settle for hankering down "inside the tent". Ooh la la.

Watch out

At the European Commission this week, trade commissioner Peter Mandelson kept himself busy with a Chinese delegation while ignoring Chinese whispers elsewhere. According to Comptia, the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) was under threat with European businesses being hit by tariff duties on goods that had been previously waived under the ITA.

The EC batted the claim into the stands, however, saying it didn't have the power to make such a change without the backing of the WTO's 150 member states, which of course includes the US, and its [cough] timeless president.

What goes up, must come down

So, to the almighty cock-up award of the week, which goes to Viagra maker Pfizer, after one of the firm's workers leaked data via a P2P package. Pfizer admitted that the security blunder, which exposed more than 17,000 current and former employees' confidential details, could lead to fraud, or at least an increase in Viagra spam.

Chipping away

The battle for server supremacy continues apace with Fujitsu Siemens' mini mainframe based on sparc64 processor technology hitting the market. While Supermicro launches Superblades that are, er, super apparently.

Chipmakers are not fizzing right now, though. Squeezed by a highly competitive market, sales growth looks set to tumble to below two per cent, compared to a much healthier original prediction of 10 per cent microchip sales growth for 2007. The Semiconductor Industry Association said that a "price attrition" had led to the current sorry state of sales.

Things are not looking too rosy for AMD either, which has seen its Windows workstation market share plummet with Intel gaining yet more ground over its arch-rivals. And now Intel has started talking up new chip off the block Kittson.

Waving goodbye, saying hello

In what was seen as a sad demise by the IT industry, much-loved Elcom fell by the wayside before being quickly snapped up by public sector reseller Kelway in an undisclosed deal. The firm says it's keen to be a mid-market consolidator.

And exclusively, er, exclusive sources tell Chris Williams that Tiscali is closing in on Pipex, with a deal expected in the next four to eight weeks.

Private dicks say Google privacy is dicky

The seemingly ubiquitous firm hit back at claims that it was at the bottom of the pile when it comes to privacy , but preliminary results from Privacy International (PI) suggested otherwise. Microsoft, AOL, Facebook and Apple didn't exactly come out shining, however, with each having questionable policies that offer a "substantial threat" to privacy.

Google seems to have lost its big, fat head though - if this is anything to go by. Zombies coming to a street near you, anyone?

Gee whizz, it's hot in here

Botnets, described by our own Dan Goodin as the swiss army knife of cyber crime, reached an interesting milestone this week, with the FBI identifying the millionth potential zombie victim.

And you all got in quite a tizz over Cornish separatists targeting two high-profile, money-loving British celebrity chefs this week. Both were sent hostile emails from the Cornwall National Liberation Army, which blamed the two cooks for pushing up house prices and alienating the locals.

It seems everyone just needs to chill out, and perhaps the Japanese have the perfect answer. Cool your boots and your butts until next week. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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