Articles about Computer Weekly

UK govt digi-chief confirms he is standing down after ... 9 months

Stephen Foreshew-Cain, the head of the UK's Government Digital Service, has stepped down from his position after just nine months in the role – amid rumours that GDS is for the chop. In a blog post Foreshew-Cain confirmed that he had handed in his notice to civil service head John Manzoni. "I’ve been fortunate to work with …
Kat Hall, 01 Aug 2016
Prince philip Thames barrier old control room photo Environment Agency

Landmark computer hacking archive deposited at TNMOC

An archive that tells the story of how the 1980s hack of Prince Philip’s mailbox led to UK anti-hacking legislation has been deposited at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC). Robert Schifreen, the "white hat" at the centre of the 1980s controversy, compiled the archive, which details Schifreen’s two-year-long legal …
John Leyden, 18 May 2016
Enterprise 64

Phantom Flan flinger: The story of the Elan Enterprise 128

Archaeologic Despite its name, Intelligent Software also had a nice little sideline designing hardware. Founded in 1981 by international chess champion David Levy and chess writer Kevin O’Connell, the company was best known for its chess programs, in particular Cyrus and SciSys Chess Champion. But it also developed chess computers for toy …
Tony Smith, 24 Oct 2013

Brace yourselves, IT suppliers: You'll be squeezed HARDER next year

IT law specialist Clare Murray of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, said that cost-cutting requirements and the changing needs of organisations are behind a rise in the number of IT outsourcing contract renegotiations. She said she expects the trend to continue. "Customers are under pressure to cut costs and are …
OUT-LAW.COM, 26 Oct 2012
Jupiter Ace

The Jupiter Ace is 30

Archaeologic The Basic programming language, although present in many different dialects, was the lingua franca of early 1980s home computers. One machine dared to be different: Jupiter Cantab's Jupiter Ace, a small unit that spoke Forth. It first went on sale 30 years tomorrow. Forth was conceived by Charles Moore, a computer scientist …
Tony Smith, 21 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

UK scraps Fibre Tax review

The coalition government has scrapped the promised review on the tax paid on fibre-optic connections, leaving BT and Virgin with enough tax advantages to maintain their duopoly. Confirmation that the review is to be dropped comes from Ed Vaizey, Minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries, which is where …
Bill Ray, 11 Aug 2010
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World's biggest app store starts stocking shelves

Vodafone's Joint Innovation Labs is open for business, promising to approve applications in ten days and eventually provide access to more than a billion customers. The 'Lab was set up a couple of years ago by Vodafone and China Mobile, with the intention of setting standard APIs for AJAX-style applications. Those APIs were …
Bill Ray, 09 Apr 2010
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BCS turns down e-signature petition

A petition to hold an emergency general meeting of the British Computing Society (BCS) has been turned down because the signatures were electronic. BCS, known by some wags as the Dad's Army of IT or, thanks to a recent rebrand, as the chartered institute of IT, declined to consider a motion from 50 members demanding a debate …
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2010
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Health records riddled with errors

The Summary Care Records scheme is not trusted by doctors because some records have serious errors. No patients have actually been harmed, but only because doctors do not trust the information contained in the database and so are double-checking information. Researchers from University College London found records which had …
John Oates, 19 Mar 2010

HP ordered to pay £200m in interim damages ruling

The High Court has ordered Hewlett-Packard to pay BSkyB £200 million in interim damages, according to press reports. The interim award follows a ruling last week over a contract tendering process. Computer Weekly reports that the damages must be paid within 14 days, by 17th February. "[HP] shall make an interim payment on …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Feb 2010
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Please shut up about the Mull of Kintyre Chinook crash

Analysis New information is said to have emerged in the case of the 1994 RAF Chinook helicopter crash on the Mull of Kintyre. Internal MoD documents, casting doubt on the safety of the engine-control software in the wrecked Chinook, have been leaked to the media. According to the BBC and venerable IT mag Computer Weekly - which has …
Lewis Page, 04 Jan 2010
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New e-crime units nabs nine banking Trojan suspects

Nine suspects in a banking Trojan case have been arrested by specialist cybercops from the UK's new Police Central E-Crime Unit (PCeU). The suspects - four women and five men - were arrested following police raids in south east London. Investigators reckon the group of UK-based eastern European nationals used malware planted on …
John Leyden, 09 Apr 2009
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Emotional arguments do not make Street View illegal

Opinion A privacy campaigner has vowed to bring a legal challenge over the launch of Google Street View in the UK. It is understandable that some people are uncomfortable with Google making an enormous photo album of 25 towns and cities, but that doesn't make it illegal. Privacy International's Simon Davies argues that Google should …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Mar 2009
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Cops wanted compulsory DNA cards

Civil servants considered including DNA or iris biometrics as well as digital photographs in the ID card scheme and the police wanted carrying the cards to be compulsory, just released documents reveal. The Office of Government Commerce has finally bowed to legal pressure from trade mag Computer Weekly and released the two …
John Oates, 20 Mar 2009
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Portsmouth seeks ISP - no net access required

We're sure that UK councils' equal opps policies do a great deal to ensure that absolutely everyone gets a fair crack of the whip when it comes to applying for jobs or tendering for those juicy service contracts, but there are surely occasions when it is entirely justifiable to discriminate against those who do not have the …
Lester Haines, 16 Oct 2008
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Hospital staff use paper to wipe up NHS IT mess

An internal report on the introduction of patient care records at the Royal Free Hampstead reveals serious problems with the project, and no current date for solving them. Hampstead was one of the first hospitals to switch on the new system, which is being rolled out across the country. But the Lessons Learnt from the Royal …
John Oates, 06 Oct 2008
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MoD defends £5bn IT system

The Ministry of Defence has moved to quash claims that its Defence Information Infrastructure programme is an 'unmitigated disaster'. It has told GC News that thousands of new IT terminals are being installed each month, and that changes in the programme have been made to respond to the demands created by the wars in Iraq and …
Kablenet, 19 Nov 2007
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Doctors slam Choose and Book

The British Medical Association said today the NHS's Choose and Book system is unfit for purpose and actually limits choice for patients. Doctors at the BMA's annual general meeting voted for an investigation into the impact Choose and Book was having on referrals. The system is part of the National Programme for IT and, in …
John Oates, 27 Jun 2007
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OGC shreds identity scheme documents

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has taken to treating its "Gateway" reviews of government IT projects like classified official documents as pressure mounts to have them opened to public scrutiny. The OGC, HM Treasury's procurement sheriff, has ordered civil servants to "securely destroy" all copies of Gateway reviews of …
Mark Ballard, 04 Jun 2007
The Register breaking news

NHS staff bemoan NPfIT problems

NHS staff believe that financial deficits and poor communication are hindering implementation of England's National Programme for IT (NPfIT), according to a new study. Led by King's College London and published in the the British Medical Journal, the study also says that continuing delays could constitute a growing risk to …
Kablenet, 17 May 2007
The Register breaking news

DoH's latest d'oh!

The Department of Health (DoH) has apologised for its latest IT blunder - publishing private details of applicants for junior doctor posts on an unsecured website. The Medical Training Applications Service (MTAS) is the computerised HR system for students and junior doctors. But applicants for the foundation course - the first …
John Oates, 26 Apr 2007

FSA lumps £81m appendage on Fujitsu

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has got rid of about a quarter of its IT department by outsourcing it to Fujitsu and Xansa. The firm will be giving 41 staff to Fujitsu and paying them £80.8m over 10 years to do infrastructure management. Xansa will be taking on 11 staff and getting £5.1m to do application development and …
Mark Ballard, 19 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

NPfIT condemned in MPs' scathing report

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has issued a damning report into the NHS's overdue and over budget National Programme for IT (NPfIT). The group of MPs conclude that the system is late, suppliers are struggling to deliver, medical staff are sceptical of the entire project, and there is still no clear idea of how much it will …
Lucy Sherriff, 17 Apr 2007
Fujitsu Siemens

Fujitsu Services drops IPO plan

Japanese technology giant Fujitsu Limited has told its UK-based subsidiary Fujitsu Services that it must drop its long-stated ambition to spin out on the stock exchange. The services arm will instead become the "pillar" of a global services business, the firm said this week. After the dotcom bust, Fujitsu Services retrenched …
Mark Ballard, 22 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

NPfIT delays plunge NHS trusts into the red

Delays in the implementation of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) have helped plunge some NHS trusts into the red, the public accounts committee report has revealed. The Financial Management in the NHS report says 14 trusts are still waiting for "contributions to costs incurred" as a result of delays to the programme from …
Kablenet, 20 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

Work permit fears doused

Work Permits UK (WPUK) has quelled industry fears that British IT workers are being undercut by immigrants employed on work permits on lower salaries. The ITCE Sector Advisory Panel, which guides WPUK in its administration of the work permits system, has long disagreed with the way the agency calculates the going market rate to …
Mark Ballard, 15 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

GPs unable to track phone services

Primary care trusts are not adequately monitoring out of hours telephone calls, according to a committee of MPs. Out of hours telephone services delivered by GP surgeries are not being monitored because of a lack of equipment, says a report from Parliament's Public Accounts Committee. The report, which examines the effects of …
Kablenet, 14 Mar 2007

NPfIT champion suspended after speaking out

A prime mover in the much maligned National Programme for IT has been suspended from his job at its lead supplier after speaking openly about its problems. Andrew Rollerson, healthcare head for Fujitsu, which has the lion's share of contracts to supply the £12.4bn NPfIT, was suspended on 13 February after Computer Weekly …
Mark Ballard, 08 Mar 2007

Fujitsu man condemns NPfIT as failure

The government's pet technology project, the multi-billion pound NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT), is in danger of failing, lacks the leadership required to stop it drifting off course, and is in danger of morphing into "a camel", according to a senior figure in one of the main contractors implementing the project. …
Lucy Sherriff, 13 Feb 2007
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Blog: Changing your bank details

Every so often, I bang on about compensating transactions - in essence, they’re the way that you clear up problems in automated systems without upsetting your customers. So, if you have badly designed computer systems which can't cope with real life, the simplest compensating transaction might be an exit to a real person, …
David Norfolk, 24 Jan 2007

IT volunteers rack up £2m in projects

IT professionals have donated £2m in time to the charity sector helping small organisations with a wide variety of technology projects. iT4Communities is celebrating reaching the £2m figure since its launch in November 2002. Volunteers have completed 340 IT projects and have another 148 still going on. John Davies, programme …
John Oates, 11 Jan 2007
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Treasury fights to keep Gateway closed

The government has hired legal experts in an effort to block publication of Gateway reviews of the National Identity Card programme. Legal representation will come from the Treasury's Solicitors department, which has had approval to bring in external legal experts and a Queen's Counsel to fight a decision by the information …
Kablenet, 20 Oct 2006
The Register breaking news

NAO to re-review NPfIT

The National Audit Office (NAO) has confirmed that it is to hold a new review of the NHS National Programme for IT. A spokesperson for the NAO confirmed to GC News that it was planning to produce a fresh report on the programme. "We have always indicated that we would look at it again," the spokesperson said, adding that "it …
Kablenet, 05 Sep 2006
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Passports and car tax go offline

The Passport Service's online application system has been suffering technical problems which have delayed 5,000 passports. The trial of the replacement EPA2 system ran into problems, and staff have had to go back to using the old system for processing applications. Of 18,000 applications made using the new system, some 5,000 …
John Oates, 11 Jul 2006
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CSA: The most broken system of all?

The equivalent of two thirds of the money collected by the Child Support Agency (CSA) from absent parents for the care of their children is wasted on administration because of a crap computer system and poor management. For every £1 collected from an absent parent in 04/05, it cost 70 pence to run the administration system, …
Mark Ballard, 30 Jun 2006
For Sale sign detail

NHS IT costs hospitals dear

More bad news for the UK government's NHS IT programme - cash-strapped health authorities are having to pay millions in compensation to Fujitsu and CSC . When contracts were first set up by central government, NHS trusts promised to provide staff to help work on the new systems. But according to reports, health authorities in …
John Oates, 06 Jun 2006
arrow pointing up

Pressure mounts on NHS IT

MPs are queueing up to have a go at the multi-billion pound NHS National Programme for IT, racked as it is with problems. The House of Commons Health Committee has suggested it might comply with the demands of a group of 23 leading academics and investigate the need for an independent audit of the technical feasibility of the …
Team Register, 30 May 2006
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Police database patch-up planned

The "aged" and "collapsing" Police National Computer (PNC) that provides intelligence to the flawed Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) will be patched up by the end of the year, according to the man leading police efforts to build a national intelligence system yesterday. Following stories of mistakes derived from the CRB database, …
Mark Ballard, 25 May 2006

Senior figures call for NHS IT audit

A group of IT academics have sent an open letter to the House of Commons Health Select Committee asking them to set up an independent audit of how the programme to modernise IT within the health service is going. The letter was sent to Computer Weekly and eventually put on its website here and here. The strongly worded letter …
John Oates, 11 Apr 2006
For Sale sign detail

Shared services become hard to swallow

Council IT bosses have raised concerns at being forced by government into consolidating services with neighbouring authorities, Computer Weekly reports. They say that while consolidation may seem a good idea from the dizzy heights of the Cabinet Office, it may not make sense from a local perspective. Government is attempting …
Mark Ballard, 09 Mar 2006
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Taxman wrongly fines 10,000 UK businesses

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is once again in the firing line after leaked documents revealed a computer error led to 10,000 UK companies being fined incorrectly. The fines of up to £400 were dished out during 2004/05 and concerned the completion of tax forms. But documents leaked to Computer Weekly revealed that a "basic flaw …
Tim Richardson, 17 Jan 2006

Housing Corp dumps Elonex

The Housing Corporation has dumped Elonex as a supplier after three difficult years. In a statement, dated 22 December 2005, the corporation confirmed it had terminated its contract with Elonex and said: "A new contract for the majority of services has been put in place with the previous ASP sub-contractor, Netstore. The …
John Oates, 17 Jan 2006
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Microsoft upgrades software assurance

Late last week Microsoft announced changes to Software Assurance - its licensing and maintenance scheme for larger customers. From March 2006 customers signing up to Software Assurance will get more benefits than just automatic upgrades and spread payments. Desktop Deployment Services will offer help, consultants and planning …
John Oates, 19 Sep 2005
For Sale sign detail

Leeds Council aims for IT integration nirvana

Leeds City Council has awarded Novell a six year contract to completely overhaul its internal and external IT services as it approaches the government's end-of-2005 deadline for making eGovernment services available online. The value of the contract was not disclosed. The council says the Novell contract is just one part of a …
Lucy Sherriff, 26 Jul 2005
The Register breaking news

GPs have no faith in £6bn NHS IT programme

A new poll of doctors has found falling levels of support among GPs and consultants for the NHS's £6.2bn National Programme for IT. Last year, a similar poll found that 56 per cent of GPs, and 75 per cent of consultants in England supported the NPfIT. In January, this dropped to 21 per cent and 51 per cent respectively. Both …
Lucy Sherriff, 08 Feb 2005
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Webpay system open to voucher fraud

Webpay International AG, the market leading payment system for digital content and services in Europe, doesn't offer a flawless micro payment service, at least in the Netherlands, according to Dutch consumer watchdog tv show Kassa and computer weekly Computer Idee. It is relatively easy to manipulate user data required for the …
Jan Libbenga, 17 Jan 2005 to hire IT project SWAT team

The government is to bring in a team of IT specialists to oversee big technology projects and prevent them from failing. Chief information officer Ian Watmore described the team as a "heavy hitter brigade" when he announced the scheme at a government CIO meeting last week. The team will be managed by the e-government unit, but …
Lucy Sherriff, 13 Jan 2005
Broken CD with wrench

Fujitsu in the frame for massive Lloyds TSB deal

Lloyds TSB, the retail bank, is set to award a multi-million pound IT systems contract to Fujitsu Services, according to Computer Weekly. The magazine reports that IBM was also bidding for the work. In December last year, IBM won a £500m contract to provide Lloyds TSB's network and VoIP services for the next seven years. The …
Lucy Sherriff, 06 Jan 2005
The Register breaking news

BMA tells doctors: avoid NPfIT's flagship project

The British Medical Association has warned doctors away from trialing electronic appointment booking over fears that the system could compromise patient confidentiality. The Choose and Book system is supposed to give patients more control over when and where they are treated. However, the BMA says the software behind it is …
Lucy Sherriff, 23 Nov 2004
The Register breaking news

IT contractors dream of fat futures

The UK IT contracting market is enjoying a boom last seen in the heady days of desperate Y2K projects. The finance market, with upgrades needed to ensure compliance with new regulations, has helped push up demand. The number of IT contractor posts jumped from 16,518 in Q1 04 to 29,898 in Q3, according to the Computer Weekly/SSL …
John Oates, 19 Oct 2004