IT news in brief

Recent security patches

released by Microsoft may not completely protect users, according to a Danish security consultancy. The two alerts in question deal with the Windows operating system and Internet Explorer versions five and six, and are rated critical and important respectively. Danish security company Secunia said it has identified flaws with both patches.

Although Microsoft has admitted one may not be fully effective in certain circumstances, it has made no mention of problems with the other.

Return on investment should not be the key benchmark in deciding much of a company’s IT spending, according to Intel’s chief information officer Douglas Busch. IT infrastructure costs are simply part of the costs of doing business in an increasingly wired world, he said. ‘There’s a level of IT spending that isn’t concerned with ROI but with just being there as a publicly traded company,’ said Busch.

UK networks are drowning in a sea of spam as the amount of unsolicited email increases from one message in 200 to one in eight. Volumes of spam have rocketed over the last year, according to statistics issued by MessageLabs, an email security company. In January 2002 one in every 199 UK emails was spam, by June it was one in 36 and in November, stands at one in eight. MessageLabs has intercepted 45 spam emails every minute in 2002.

US workers are more productive and businesses bigger, thanks to the adoption of IT in the 1990s. From 1995 to 2000, US productivity grew at about 2% a year – twice the rate of the early 1990s. About one-third of the improvement in productivity growth was attributed to technology, according to a report from consultant McKinsey.

But it has been hard to understand technology’s economic impact more exactly. One problem is that some businesses have not measured how IT equipment benefits them.

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