9/3/2005

Weekly Software Updates

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Popular software titles updated in the past week

Tech Jobs Up Again In August

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

U.S. techies may not have been feeling upbeat in August, but the industry kept creating new jobs.

The U.S. economy generated 1,900 manufacturing jobs in computer and electronic products last month, reaching a total of 1.34 million in that category, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday. In addition, 1,000 jobs were added in the area of computer systems design and related services, to 1.19 million. Each of these categories gained at least 1,700 jobs in July as well.

Source: News.com

MA Ditches Microsoft For Open Source

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The state of Massachusetts is set to follow in the footsteps of a number of European cities by ditching Microsoft in favour of open source software.

In a move that could have serious repercussions for the Redmond-based software giant, the state has proposed that all its employees should use open formats for electronic documents from the beginning of 2007. In a statement on the state of Massachusetts’ website, Peter Quinn, chief information officer for the state, said that it had had talks with a number of industry representatives and experts about its future direction.

Massachusetts’ decision to switch from Microsoft’s Office suite to an open source alternative could lead other states to consider dropping proprietary software. Not only would this prove embarrassing to a company which is already battling to stop European governmental organisations from ditching its products, but it could be costly too.

Source: The Register

Wal-Mart Helps Hurricane Victims Find Family Members

Filed under: — Galit

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Wal-Mart is using its vast information systems and in-store technology to help customers, associates and the general public access information and relief services in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Wal-Mart has activated an Online Emergency Contact Registry for customers and its associates to email, post and search for messages regarding family and loved ones. Associates and the public can come into any Wal-Mart store, SAM’S CLUB, or Neighborhood Market and use the hiring center kiosks, connection center kiosks, and gift registry computers to access the service. At home they can log onto http://www.walmart.com , http://www.samsclub.com , http://www.walmartstores.com , http://www.walmartfacts.com , and http://www.walmartfoundation.org to post and search messages.

Wal-Mart also will offer free check cashing in about 126 stores in the hurricane disaster area for an initial two-week period beginning today. This includes government, payroll and insurance checks and computer-generated checks. Proper identification will be required.

As a part of the emergency relief convoy to New Orleans today, Wal-Mart is sending nine trucks containing water. Company teams also are in the process of setting up mobile Mini Wal-Mart Stores to provide materials such as diapers, toothbrushes, baby wipes and other personal items free of charge in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Throughout the week, Wal-Mart has sent truckloads of water and other supplies requested by emergency relief agencies to staging and shelters in affected areas.

Yesterday, the company committed an additional $15 million in cash to the relief effort, bringing the total cash donations made this week by Wal-Mart to $17 million.

Katrina Support Network Website Launched

Filed under: — Galit

As millions of people around the world long for a way to help Hurricane Katrina victims, providing and receiving direct aid just got easier.

At http://www.KatrinaSupport.net , caring individuals will find an effective way to bring aid directly to victims. From living space, transportation and employment to communications and survivor locator services, KatrinaSupport.net is a way to offer or receive help now.

Developed by SYSTEN, L.L.C., the Katrina Support Network is a place for people across America and around the world to pledge their available resources to survivors on the Gulf Coast.

SYSTEN President Eric Matt said, “We’ve been watching the horrific scenesfor days and, like many Americans, felt helpless. We decided to use ourexpertise to help individuals offer and receive aid.

“Millions of Americans would like to reach through their televisions andhelp these refugees. They’ll find the next best thing at KatrinaSupport.net .”

At the site, people with extra bedrooms, vacant rental property or second homes may offer living space to refugees. Contributors may specify everything from the duration the space is available, the number of occupants, and whether smoking is OK. Jobs, bus fare, airfare and hotel rooms can also be made available to victims through the site.

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