News in brief

Notebook fingers security

Acer has added a notebook with a built-in biometric fingerprint reader to deter potential thieves and reduce the risks associated with mobile computing. The TravelMate 739TLV ensures only the authorised user can operate the notebook and removes the risk of forgotten passwords. According to the NSW Police Service, stolen notebook PCs cost businesses more than $1.5 million a year in hardware alone and this does not take into account the value of sensitive data. With pre-installed software, users record their fingerprint by pressing the sensor situated on the notebook's palm rest. Acer is also offering smart card technology as a standard feature with the TravelMate 350 series notebooks. Users can render their notebook inoperable simply by removing the smart card from its reader.

IT outsourcing benefits industry

Australia's local IT industry has been the big beneficiary in the federal government's outsourcing initiative, Minister for Finance and Administration John Fahey said. He said the IT outsourcing contract between the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and EDS has generated $77 million in projects to small to medium enterprises (SME).

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