Product News: Barracuda firewall, In Search of Insight and TAS Books Version 6

22 Aug 2006

This week’s product round-up features a spam firewall from Barracuda (pictured), In Search of Insight business e-book and the latest release of TAS Books accounts software.

Barracuda spam firewall with OCR
What is it? Spam-blocking technology
How much? TBC

Spammers are constantly trying new techniques to try and get past security software and the latest trick is to embed text in an image in order to fool systems that tag emails based on content. Barracuda Networks has introduced new techniques to protect from this ‘image spam’, which is now said to account for up to 25pc of all unsolicited email. By using optical character-recognition (OCR) scanning technology the Barracuda Spam Firewall can ‘see’ text contained in an image, convert it and assign a score based on specific rules. The device can also profile components of new incoming emails against known spam fingerprints and automatically block, quarantine or tag messages based on a match.

In Search of Insight
What is it? e-book
How much? Free to download

In Search of Insight is a new e-book by Charles Nicholls, founder and CEO of SeeWhy Software, which discusses business’ evolving real-time information needs and the next generation of business intelligence technologies required to address those needs. According to Nicholls, many people interpret business intelligence as meaning ‘reports’, which arrive after the fact and are too late to be useful for the business. The e-book summarises the current state of business intelligence tools and how they are evolving to address real-time information needs of businesses, regardless of size or industry. Download it for free at

TAS Books Version 6
What is it? Accounts software
How much? TAS Books 1, €149; TAS Books 2, €495; TAS Books 3, €940 (Prices exclude Vat and delivery)

Version 6 of TAS Software, the accounts package for small to medium-sized enterprises, comes in three different formats designed to suit the needs of different businesses. TAS Books 1 is aimed at cash businesses such as shops or restaurants, where payment tends to be immediate. The software can handle payments received and can handle regular supplier invoices. TAS Books 2 is for a credit business and works where invoices are raised for goods or services using a simple product file for descriptions and prices. A feature in V6 lets users automatically allocate payments and receipts against the oldest outstanding invoices. For businesses where physical products are the main focus, TAS Books 3 can monitor stock levels, orders in progress and get detailed analysis of the complete buying and selling process at any stage.

By Gordon Smith