New Technology News in Brief

Management Services, January 1996 | Go to article overview

New Technology News in Brief


Amstrad's PCW is back

The first Amstrad word processor, PCW, became the best selling tool of its type in the UK. That was in 1985 and Amstrad have seen fit to introduce its successor by hanging on the same label -- PCW Plus. Plus what?

Well the most important plus is the ability to swap files with another PC, something the original lacked. There is also an auto-save function on internal memory or floppy disk. But while the word processing and associated software is held permanently in the machine's memory (so the keyboard's keys are inscribed with exactly what they do), it still relies on a single floppy disk drive for information storage. A hard disk version would have been useful but perhaps Amstrad see that as entering the realm of their personal computers proper.

The PCW Plus, however, enters this world anyway with bundled spreadsheet, address book, diary and alarm clock, calculator and file management system.

This machine is for those with a need for word processing and the usual associated office activities -- in short, secretary types. At L299 plus VAT its price reflects that.

Full details and a catalogue from Amstrad Direct on Freephone 0800 93 88 44.

Know that face?

A new identity recognition method invented by America's Technology Recognition Systems Inc, is being introduced here by Belgrave Group plc. It is based on the heat patterns emitted from the face. These patterns, thermograms, it has been found, constitute a unique facial signature, even between identical twins. With the help of an infra red camera and a computer the signatures can be captured and stored and used for future recognition.

It is a well known belief among security managers that the greater the degree of security, the longer the delay it causes at entrances. Belgrave Group claim this method delivers greater accuracy and faster speed than other forms of facial recognition and most other access control methods using bio-recognition of the keying of numbers. It is impervious to disguises and is light-independent. The technology is passive and identity can be verified without contact with the person or, say Belgrave Group, the need for the person to co-operate -- for example recognition can usually be verified with only partial camera view.

Belgrave are going for the access control market immediately but have long sights also on credit card control and bank cash machine usage.

Identify yourself to: Belgrave group plc, Airport House, Purley way, Croydon CRO OXZ. Telephone: 0181 781 6091.

DTI computer Security Guide

A new guide from the DTI is of more practical use than its civil service style title suggests. Computer Assurance Guidelines for the Commercial Sector (why just the commercial sector?) goes through organisational measures needed to provide adequate levels of assurance against theft or loss of information. It then shows how to perform a self-assessment of the risks and, using tables, defines actions required to redress shortcomings.

Deciding what levels of assurance of security are justified is covered along with guidance on how to provide those levels both internally and with regard to service providers and business trading partners.

A useful, practical, introduction to the whole complex data security question.

Copies come from Department of Trade & Industry, Information Security Policy Group, Telecommunications Division, 151 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9SS. Telephone: 0171 215 1206.

First in client server

The first and only integrated suite for client server computing sounds like an exagerrated claim even for those aware of the software world's tardiness in addressing client server principles. But that is the claim Cheyenne makes for its first CD-ROM product, ServerSuite for NetWare.

Cheyenne's ARCserve, InocuLAN and FAXserve can now all be found on a single CD-ROM with full integration. …

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