News in brief

Aust Post and Telstra cosy up

Telstra Australia and Australia Post have joined forces to provide business services between the two organisations. Australia Post will provide a range of mail, bill payment and distribution services to Telstra in return for telecommunication services. The three-year contracts collectively are worth hundreds of millions of dollars and will provide significant opportunities and savings to each organisation, a joint statement said.

Laptop security is alarming

To address the increasing problem of stolen or misplaced laptop computers Targus Australia has added two products to its 'Protect It' range. The Defcon 3 notebook security device is connected to a remote control that can activate, program, arm, disarm and deactivate a 94 decibel alarm up to 12 metres away. To combat notebook theft the alarm can be used in crowded areas by attaching the unit to the computer carry case via the stainless steel cable to arm the system with the remote control. Any tampering with the cable, or movement of the laptop causes Defcon 3 to trigger the alarm and a visual deterrent. Targus has also announced the release of Defcon SCL (serialised cable lock) an individually assigned serial number and non-resettable four-digit combination lock that will fit most notebook computers and replaces keys. It is priced at $59 and the Defcon 3 is $104.

ComSec talks share trades

Commonwealth Securities Limited (ComSec) has extended its voice-enabled live securities trading. Known as VoiceBroker, the ComSec service is speech recognition technology developed by Australian company Syrinx Speech Systems. It incorporates share price-watch lists and details of executed orders, can process new buy and sell orders and allows ComSec clients to access live ASX quotes via telephone. VoiceBroker answers more than 40 per cent of all ComSec telephone calls since first introduced in October. ComSec managing director Paul Rickard said the company had expected to break even on its VoiceBroker investment within 12 to 18 months, but that the return will be closer to three months.

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