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Europe concerned about environmental risk of electronics

The safety of some chemicals used by the electronics industry should be reviewed, members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee say.
However, the committee has stopped short of ordering an outright ban on chemicals such as PVC, used as an insulator, and brominated flame retardants, also known as BFRs. Committee members are concerned that PVC, BFRs and other substances used in consumer electronics can pose health or environmental risks during products’ useful lives, or when they are recycled or disposed of.

SAP throws $10 million at software firm

SAP’s venture capital arm is leading a 10 million dollar investment round for DeviceVM. The company develops Splashtop, “instant-on” software platform that is already installed on many laptops. DeviceVM also wants to install its software on tablets, smartphones, TVs and other gadgets. Splashtop is based on Linux and runs separately from a device’s main OS. It includes a Web browser, a music player, a photo viewer and a Skype client. DeviceVM plans to use the SAP Ventures funding round to make new types of mobile devices easier for enterprise IT departments to manage.

Windows 2000 machines vulnerable to hackers

Online criminals are scanning the Internet and attacking Windows 2000 machines that haven’t had a recent Windows Media Service patch installed, according to Symantec. The attacks are the latest development in a troublesome patch for Microsoft. The company released an update on April 13, but was forced to reissue it two weeks later after discovering that the original patch didn’t fix the problem.

Chip makers want to improve Linux

A group of chip makers including IBM, Samsung Electronics and Texas Instruments have set up a new software-engineering foundation called Linaro. The foundation is dedicated to improving Linux distributions such as Android, MeeGo and Ubuntu used in consumer devices. There are around 20 engineers already working at Linaro, but the foundation will soon have over 100.

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