Entries tagged with “GBP”.

WASHINGTON - APRIL 6:   U.S. President George ...
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PricewaterhouseCoopers and security vendor Finjan expect insider fraud and cybercrime to rise as IT jobs are lost. Desperate IT workers who have been laid off will go rogue in 2009, selling corporate data and using crimeware, reports have predicted. The credit crunch will drive some IT workers to use their skills to steal credit-card data using phishing attacks, and abuse their privileged corporate computer access to sell off valuable financial and intellectual information, forensic experts have warned.

Both PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and security vendor Finjan are forecasting that the recession will fuel a significant rise in insider fraud and cybercrime in 2009.

A PwC forensic expert claimed the financial-services sector is already investigating a rising number of staff frauds, while Finjan cited evidence of a trend in 2008 for unemployed IT staff in Eastern Europe and Asia to use crimeware toolkits to launch phishing attacks and seed malware to steal financial details.

Neil Ysart, senior manager of forensic services at PwC, said: “People from the financial sector are all saying the same thing: there is a rise in internal investigations as everyone has seen a rise in suspected fraudulent activity.”

“There are certain types of fraud where an understanding of technology would make it easier to circumvent controls and IT staff have the knowledge to do that — for example, the theft of data at telcos,” Ysart said.

“There was a range of very well-documented frauds that took place during the recession in the early 1990s and it does not take a great deal of insight to realize we will see an increase at a time like this,” he said.

Forensic specialists at PwC are advising businesses to mount extra checks on areas where staff will be most tempted to defraud the company, such as expenses, access to sensitive customer data or massaging performance figures to win a bonus. Of the use of crimeware, Finjan’s report states: “Having the large number of layoffs of IT professionals all around the world, especially in the USA, we expect a rising number of people willing to ‘give it a try’ and to get stolen credit-card numbers, online-banking accounts and corporate data that they can use to generate income.”

A recent report by security vendor McAfee also found there is a risk that cybercrime may further slow the speed of UK economic recovery, a sentiment echoed by the joint architect of the UK’s Police Central e-Crime Unit, Charlie McMurdie.

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Hewlett-Packard Company
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Top HP software execs say that, while the computing models represented by ‘the cloud’ are important, they don’t like the name or associated hype. Top HP software executives said on Tuesday that they believe in the ideas behind cloud computing, but don’t like the name of the approach or the “hype” surrounding it.

Talking at the HP Software Universe show and conference in Vienna, Tom Hogan, senior vice president for software at HP, said the company had taken time to weigh up the promise of cloud computing, which provides web-based access to remote enterprise applications and storage.

“Rather than jump in to the hype [around cloud computing] out of the gate — you can’t pick up a newspaper or a technology magazine today without reading about the cloud — we have been very deliberate over the past nine months, assessing where we think the cloud can help us”, Hogan said.

The result of that period of assessment, Hogan told ZDNet UK, was the conclusion that “just like a lot of things in technology, the cloud will not be a panacea”.

Several major technology companies have announced cloud-computing moves recently. These include Microsoft, which launched Azure, a cloud extension to its Windows franchise, Salesforce.com, Amazon and Google.

Hogan said that there will be a place for the cloud. Customers will be able to have a channel strategy for services, somewhat like the channel strategy they have for sales and marketing, he said.

According to Hogan, that means there will be three operations approaches open to enterprises: traditional in-house; outsourced; and in the cloud. “You have a host of applications that you will want to run on-premise in the traditional manner; there will be services for outsourcing (for which we have EDS); and there will be an emerging new paradigm that will aim to capitalize on the cloud,” he said.

Within that context, the cloud is important, and HP has the tools to exploit it, Hogan said. “We think that HP has more capability in fulfilling the promise for the enterprise cloud, which is a heritage strength for HP,” he said.

HP is especially well-equipped to do this, as its EDS business group can provide the processes needed for the cloud model, Hogan said. The company acquired EDS for $13.9bn (£9.37bn) in May, adding EDS’s computer-services expertise to its portfolio. Hogan’s skepticism about the hype was echoed by other executives at the conference. “A lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon of cloud, but I have not heard two people say the same thing about it,” said Andy Isherwood, HP’s vice president for software services in Europe. “There are multiple definitions out there of ‘the cloud’.”

According to Isherwood, HP prefers to talk about the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Isherwood told ZDNet UK: “Customers say: ‘We want solutions from you that we can buy and implement quickly. And we want to do that without investing a lot of our capital in people, equipment and software. We buy SaaS and, if it works: great. We will keep it.’”

HP has become the 10th largest company in the global SaaS market, according to Isherwood.

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Renault Twingo
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It’s silly, of course, to judge a car by its name. But perhaps not quite as silly as the name Twingo, which is supposedly a combination of Twist, Swing and Tango. Though fine for confectionery – “I’ll have a Twingo, please, two Mars bars and some liquorice allsorts” – it’s not a word many of us would feel comfortable placing at the end of the sentence “I drive a … ”

In aid of a little brand research, I spent a week telling people I met that “I came in a Twingo”. Suffice to say the response was not encouraging. A couple pretended they hadn’t heard me, a few flashed me indulgent expressions, and one asked me if everything was OK at work.

All this focus on what is, after all, just a name may seem beside the point, but there is a culture and history to motor cars that we’d be ill-advised to ignore. There is the romance of the road, and then there are the contents of the tuck shop: and the two don’t really mix. Can anyone, for example, imagine Bruce Springsteen penning a lyric in which he takes his Twingo for a ride?

That said, there is more to the Twingo than just sounding like a sweet. For a start, it also looks like a sweet: a squashed wine gum, possibly, or a half-consumed lozenge. Chunky but compact, there is something suspiciously reduced about the car, as if it started out as a people carrier and then had the people bit cut off.

This odd sense of identity crisis is hardly allayed by the discrepant relationship between the large sloping windscreen, which suggests a safe, family-friendly experience, and low-slung sporty seats, which bespeak something rougher and more raunchy. I felt either that the screen needed to be six inches lower, or the seat six inches higher (and maybe both). As it was, I felt a bit like one of those underage joyriders, without quite driving into any trees or jewellery shops.

The Twingo is what’s known as a “hot hatch” – that’s marketing speak for a small car with big ideas. The big idea with the Twingo Sport is that it’s secretly a sports car. Hence it has its rev counter positioned on top of the dashboard behind the steering wheel, just like in a formula one cockpit. Not since Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav wore an alarm clock around his neck has a measuring instrument seemed more conspicuously out of place.

Arguably the sportiest thing about the Twingo is the clutch pedal. If you want to work on developing your left-leg muscles, then just spend a few hours in a Twingo changing gear and Arnold Schwarzenegger will be looking at your calf with drooling envy.

A lot of expense has been spared by not bothering overly about comfort or ease. It makes for a stripped-down, almost old-fashioned drive – in twisting, swinging and tango terms, it’s John Sergeant rather than Rachel Stevens – which is in keeping with the new temper of the times. It’s practical, too. The back seats fold down to make generous boot space for a car of this size./ppThe Twingo is not for everyone. But if you’re looking just to zip around town, well, suck it and see.

Renault Twingo Sport 133

Price £11,550
Top speed 125mph
Acceleration 0-62 in 8.7 seconds
Average consumption 40.4mpg
C02 emissions 165g/km
Eco rating 7/10
At the wheel Violet Beauregarde
Bound for Salsa class
In a word Sweet

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Transparent version of :Image:Nintendo DS Lite...
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The Nintendo DS, with its quirky control set-up and small screens, is perfect for puzzle games, a genre into which Exit fits very neatly. In it you control professional escape artist Mr Esc and any people or dogs he manages to rescue from burning or crumbling buildings, a sinking cruise ship, a tidal wave inundation and various other scenes of lighthearted peril. Using the stylus to guide Mr Esc and his charges around the screen as you try to get everyone to safety, the secret to solving its progressively more complicated puzzles is discovering the right sequence in which to open doors, extinguish fires and slide down ropes. Hindered by agonising moments when the sheer flakiness of the control scheme causes unintended casualties – all too regularly forcing restarts right at the end of a level – as well as the infuriatingly pitched cries for help of your rescuees, Exit is as compelling as it was when originally released on PSP and Xbox Live.

Square Enix, £35

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27:  (L-R) Nick Foster,...
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The Prince is back, this time as a wisecracking American in the latest outing of Ubisoft’s tale, that’s about as Middle Eastern as mom’s apple pie and Starbucks. With a renewed emphasis on exploration, stringing together moves as you scuttle across walls and ceilings in search of your next handhold proves so easy it’s second nature. Princess Elika accompanies you – effectively rendering you death proof – catching you when you’re about to fall and popping up to revive you if you get carved up by an enemy. While this and your ease of movement conspire to keep things flowing magnificently, when combined with a lack of nuance or particular difficulty about getting where you’re going, over time it lets the game slide into an unrewarding repetitiveness. As an instantly gripping experience that avoids blockages, the Prince rocks, but his long game is very seriously questionable. nick gillett

Ubisoft, £29.99-£49.99

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