Easy e-shopping on your BlackBerry

Free software for Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry builds an online store right into the device, expanding users’ shopping options while saving the trouble of roving the mobile Internet in search of the right product. Startup 30 Second Software Inc.’s Digby offers a selection of items from Amazon.com Inc., Godiva Chocolatier Inc., FTD.com and other vendors through an interface designed for quick shopping with few page downloads. The Austin, Tex., company is one of a growing number of companies, including mobile virtual network operators, that are trying to address the gaps in mobile operators’ content offerings. Digby takes advantage of personal information stored on the BlackBerry, such as addresses for the user and gift recipients, and can send reminders on special dates such as a wedding anniversary.

Availability: Available now

Pricing: Free download


Vista goes Radical

Montreal-based Radialpoint, a provider of managed Internet services to broadband providers, has released the next generation of its family of Security Value Added Services. In addition to full Windows Vista compatibility and enhancements to its Virus Protection, Spyware Protection, Fraud Protection, Parental Controls and Personal Firewall services, Radialpoint also introduced two new services — PC Optimizer and Backup & Restore — to address consumer concerns regarding computer slowdown and data loss.

Availability: Available now


Symantec tackles content management

Symantec Corp. has released a broad suite of software aimed at managing content ranging from e-mail to instant messages. The software suite, called Information Foundation 2007, wraps together several of Symantec’s existing products that help administrators set policies and security concerning information flowing across their networks. It includes licenses to use Symantec’s Enterprise Vault, Mail Security 8300 Series Appliance Software, IM Manager and Web Security for Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 software, among others. The software can scan e-mail content, archive instant messages and set retention policies for documents for compliance purposes, among many other features, the company said. It also include antivirus and antispam software.

Availability: Available now

Pricing: Starts at US$95 per user per year with volume discounts available


Tackling financial reporting’s “last mile”

Toronto’s Clarity Systems has launched Clarity Financial Statement Reporting, a tool for the creation of an organization’s external financial reporting processes. Clarity said the preparation of financial statutory filings has historically been a manual, time-consuming process, considered the “last mile” in the financial reporting process. With the tool, reports are dynamically driven from a central database, while leveraging the formatting capabilities of MS Word — allowing for the production of formatted reports with the appropriate commentary and supplementary notes. The tool gives users a collaborative and secure working environment while providing workflow and audit trails, with controls for corporate governance. Templates can also be reused for each reporting cycle to speed up the process. The new tool is a feature of Clarity 6, the company’s Web-based corporate performance management offering.

Availability: Available now


Apparent Networks enhances suite

Vancouver-based Apparent Networks has launched AppCritical 3.1, an update of its suite of tools for network diagnostics and analytics. The software upgrade aims to create speedier, easier-to-interpret network assessments and provide more advanced report customization options. The over 200 enhancements include automated expert test analysis capabilities to highlight the essential elements of a test result to focus on crucial information about the network’s performance, easing network assessment and troubleshooting. In addition to AppCritical’s real-time continuous monitoring, which evaluates a network’s ability to support enterprise business processes, the new version offers expanded platform support, improved search criteria, and enhanced test status messages.

Availability: Available now


SAP launches app for sales planning

Business software vendor SAP AG has added an offering to its growing suite of quickly deployable applications aimed at helping businesses manage specific tasks across diverse industries. SAP xApp Sales and Operations Planning (SAP xSOP) will enable finance, sales, purchasing and production departments to collect, analyze and track all sales and operations-planning data in a central location, thus helping the time office staff spends compiling and preparing information for directors to make decisions, SAP said. It’s the newest member in the SAP xApp family of composite applications, which run on the company’s NetWeaver integration middleware and tap reusable functions, or “services,” from existing IT systems, automating processes that improve collaboration among business units and business partners, according to SAP.

Availability: March 2007


Cisco boosts metro switches to 10Gbps

Cisco Systems has announced an upgrade of its Catalyst switching portfolio to include 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplink and extensive power over Ethernet (POE) capabilities. The full Class 3 15.4 watt power delivery capability through each port on the device is “an industry first,” Cisco said. The POE capability is backed by Cisco’s Redundant Power Systems as a recommended network product option. The 10 Gigabit Ethernet capability can be accessed by replacing the twin Gigabit Ethernet uplink module with a 10 Gigabit TwinGig Converter module to meet changed network service provision needs.

Availability: Available now


Toshiba preps 2GB NAND flash memory

Toshiba Corp. will begin selling NAND flash memory chips capable of holding up to 2GB of data in April. Availability of the chips should mean that higher capacity flash memory cards are on the horizon. That’s because the capacity of such cards, which are commonly used in digital cameras, music players and a myriad of other gadgets, are limited by the number of chips that can be physically crammed inside. Being able to store more data inside each individual chip allows for a jump in card capacity without any space concerns. The chips are the highest capacity yet available from any manufacturer, according to Toshiba, and are based on a new production process developed by the Japanese company and its partner Sandisk Corp.

Availability: April 2007