Richard Chirgwin

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The two lenses side-by-side

Microsoft says Oculus Rift distorts world, grinds corrective lenses

Someone at Microsoft Research is apparently unimpressed with Oculus Rift's perspective on the world, so has corrected it with lenses that give you Microsoft's view of things. Redmond's vision is expressed in this little CAD file that's popped up at Microsoft Research, offering you all you need to give your Occulus the Microsoft …
Visual Designer in Android Studio

Android's sun sets on Eclipse

Google has decided Android Studio is all you need to make apps, and by the end of the year will no longer support the venerable but popular Eclipse IDE. Android product manager Jamal Eason has blogged that in recent years “our team has focused on improving the development experience for building Android apps with Android Studio …
Selection of Australian banknotes

Turnbullnomics trashed as Oz regulator cuts telecoms prices

A bunch of Australian fixed telephony and broadband users are about to suffer under a regime of lower prices. In spite of communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's 2014 assertion that lower prices are against consumer's interests, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has told Telstra to cut its wholesale fixed …
Australian attorney general George Brandis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/cebitaus/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Australian government demands signoff on telco network designs

Australia's attorney-general has dropped some new telecommunications legislation designed to drag carrier networks into the orbit of the nation's top legal officer. The plans, announced last week, would give the government power to demand information about carriers' networks and order changes to networks, with a civil penalties …
Three Telstra vans restore one line

ACCC clears copper for the NBN

The ACCC has rubber-stamped the agreements needed to let nbnTM absorb Telstra's copper for fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) broadband. The approval of the deal means nbnTM can take ownership of Telstra’s copper and HFC networks for the government's multi-technology model broadband delivery. “Using existing infrastructure means we can …
Elephant

We forget NOTHING, the Beeb thunders at Europe

The BBC has decided that the EU's controversial “right to be forgotten” diktat won't succeed in making its news stories vanish from Google. To get around Google's Euro memory hole, which has resulted in the Chocolate Factory getting 270,000 requests to drop search search links, the UK national broadcaster has decided to list any …
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google creates cloud code cache

With an uncharacteristic lack of fanfare, Google has decided to hang around the kitchen at the code repository party. With Microsoft, AWS, and Atlassian and BitBucket already eyeing off the popularity of GitHub, it's probably no surprise that the Chocolate Factory would also like a piece of the action. Google has been quietly …
Apple location tracking patent application

Apple wants to patent iBeacon stalking

The fruit of Apple's 2013 acquisition of indoor mapper WiFiSlam seems to have fallen from the tree and landed at the patent office, with Cupertino filing for a find-my-friends feature. Back when the acquisition happened it was speculated that Apple wanted to get into the follow-my-footsteps business that mobe companies have …

G.fast is coming, so get ready, telcos tell ACCC

The Communications Alliance has told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission it wants deployment rules to leave room for G.fast in the future. In this submission (PDF) to the ACCC's Superfast Broadband Access Service (SBAS) declaration inquiry, the industry group notes that it's already working on VDSL2 deployment …
Monty Python dead parrot sketch

That shot you heard? SSLv3 is now DEAD

We really, really, really mean it this time: take SSL3 and bury it. That's the message from the home of all things Internet the Internet Engineering Task Force, which has issued the “take it behind the shed” edict in this RFC. It's actually only formalising what the IETF and industry already knew: SSLv3 is ancient and insecure …

MAC address privacy inches towards standardisation

The Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF's) decision last year to push back against surveillance is bearing fruit, with the 'net boffins and the IEEE proclaiming successful MAC address privacy tests. While MAC address randomisation has been a feature of various clients (including Linux, Windows, Apple OSs and Android) for …
Cisco security puff from its website

Cisco in single SSH key security stuff-up

A red-faced Cisco has pushed out a patch for a bunch of virtual security appliances that had hard-coded SSH keys. Since the keys are associated with the virty appliances' remote management interface, a successful login would let an attacker waltz through the devices. The Borg has announced that its Web Security Virtual …
Freescale Internet of Things overview

We need to know about the Internet of Things, say US Senators

As US lawmakers call on the Government Accountability Office to assess the world of the Internet of Things, Eugene Kaspersky has unloaded on the thingification of home appliances. A bipartisan group of US Senators (Brian Schatz and Cory Booker for the Democrats, Deb Fischer and Kelly Ayotte for the Republicans) released the …
Artist's impression of GJ 436b

OOH, it's so HOT in here! All my ATMOSPHERE is coming off

Thirty-three light years away from us – quite close by astronomical standards – Hubble has found a surprisingly large gas cloud near an exoplanet. What's got the Hubble Space Telescope crowd excited is that the gas cloud is huge – around 50 times the size of the parent star – and seems to be atmosphere evaporating away from the …
D-Wave chip

D-Wave promises chip that could SEARCH THE WHOLE UNIVERSE

The 1,000-qubit chip promised by D-Wave last year has landed. The 1,000-plus-qubit device was originally planned for the end of 2014. The doubling of qubits over its previous processor, the company says, gives it a 21000 search space – not only dwarfing the previous 2512 search space, but containing “far more possibilities than …
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

Australia leads Asia Pac in mobile broadband speeds

The most recent Akamai State of the Internet report has found Australia has the fastest mobile download speeds in the Asia Pacific region, peaking at an astonishing 149.3 Mbps. A pity that the peak, which probably happened because someone was standing next to a brand-new base station and was the only user handy, didn't reflect …
suicidal_clown_shutterstock_648

Oz politicians SUCK at drafting trade agreements

Opponents of the Trans Pacific Partnership have had a key defeat in America, with the Senate passing crucial “fast track” legislation that lets President Barack Obama push ahead with the deal. The vote is crucial to letting the White House get the stalled negotiations moving again. Meanwhile, one of Australia's most doctrinaire …
Threesome photo via Shutterstock

Juniper pals up with Ruckus Wireless, targets Cisco (again)

Juniper Networks is moving to fill out footprint in enterprise wireless access, signing a deal to integrate kit from Ruckus Wireless into its Ethernet switch range. The gin palace has long longed to compete with Cisco in the wireless market. It first tagged the segment as important back in 2003, while more recently dropped US$ …
Dunce's cap graffiti by https://www.flickr.com/photos/lord-jim/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Wind River VxWorks patches some TCP sequence spoofing bugs

Intel-owned embedded software outfit Wind River has been caught with an embarrassing bug in its VxWorks OS. According to the ICS-Cert advisory, the bug's only been identified in kit from Schneider Electric at this stage. It relates to how various VxWorks versions handle their TCP flows. Discovered by a bunch of researchers from …
Dell PowerEdge C6320

Dell lobs more irons into the hyperconverged market fire

Dell's fired its next hyperconverged gun, announcing the PowerEdge C6320 - which it says targets big data and heavy workload applications. Based on Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors, the C6320 offers up to 18 cores per socket – or 144 cores per 2 rack unit chassis. There's support for 512GB of DDR4 memory and as much as 72TB of …

Understanding the network energy efficiency challenge

At the end of last week, the GreenTouch telco energy-efficiency consortium told a presumably-glittering event in New York that its five-year project to design more energy-efficient telecommunications has been a success. In fact, the group said, it reckons that if adopted, its approaches could improve mobile network efficiency by …
New York's proposed wi-fi station

Google to take another shot at a free Wi-Fi business

Google side-project Sidewalk Labs is buying the companies running New York's LyncNYC project that offers public Wi-Fi from payphones, in the hope of one day achieving World DominationTM. It's not the Chocolate Factory's first free Wi-Fi in New York – that honour goes to the free zone around its Chelsea offices – but this time …
Sorry we're closed

Kiwis to farewell 'global mode' browsing

New Zealand ISPs' experiment with bundled VPN services is over: CallPlus has settled a lawsuit by agreeing to axe its Global Mode service on September 1. The on-again, off-again, on-again service let CallPlus customers get around geoblocks by giving them a US IP address, and the country's TV broadcasters were outraged and …
firing range - target in cross hairs

SEC joins hunt for FIN4 attackers

America's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has joined the hunt for the FIN4 hacking group. The bunch, revealed by FireEye in December 2014, used a phishing attack to get access to listed companies' computer systems. Their payoff was to get insider information to trade their targets' stocks. According to Reuters, the SEC …

Google presses 'send' on 'undo send' – AT LAST

Google has decreed that the “Undo Send” feature in Gmail, which it first unveiled in Gmail Labs in 2009, is ready to go mainstream. Gmail Labs' original Undo Send option gave hot-heads five seconds for the transition from fury to regret. That's been changed in the general availability version, which lets +Inbox users give …
Gavel

Nokia files for EU permission to buy Alcatel-Lucent

The European Commission has set 27 July as D-Day for its decision on the Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent takeover. The €15.6 billion deal, first announced in April, was waved through US approval by the Department of Justice last week. The European Commission's Website doesn't say much, but does at least give us the EC's anticipated …
Canonical's The Fan

Ubuntu scaling up VM addressability

Canonical is taking a shot at dealing with virtual machine address scaling problems, and reckons it can do so without resorting to software-defined network approaches. The company reckons its scheme, The Fan, gives “any cloud user 250x the number of addresses they would normally have access to in a cloud environment”. The …

Oi! 'Hands off America's Wi-Fi spectrum' yells, er, the cable lobby

America's cable broadband lobby has decided it doesn't like proposals for unlicensed LTE, claiming that LTE-U rollouts will interfere with citizens' WiFi kit. LTE-U is a hot topic among spectrum-hungry mobile carriers, since it would let a base station look around, and if it spots radio quiet in (for example) 3 GHz or 5 GHz …
Linux kernel development

Incoming! Linux 4.1 kernel lands

The 4.1 release of the Linux kernel has hit, after what Linus Torvalds says was a “very quiet week” since Release Candidate 8 dropped. Torvalds' brief announcement on the Linux Kernel mailing list also notes that “this obviously means that the merge window for 4.2 is open”. Since the last release candidate, Torvalds notes, the …
Facepalm

Australia gets its Internet filter after Senate vote

Australia is to get its not-an-Internet-filter, with the government and the opposition joining forces to pass the bill in the Senate. “This bill will make a contribution” to copyright remedies, Labor's Jacinta Collins told the Senate, calling it a “modest” proposal bill. Saying that deterrence is only a partial solution, …
Dunce

NIST issues 'don't be stupid' security guidelines for contractors

There's no irony here at all: America's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has finalised its advice to US Federal agencies about how sensitive data should be protected when it's handled by contractors and outsiders. The recommendations, if they'd existed and been followed, might have helped protect Americans …
Taylor Swift

Cupertino GIVES IN to Taylor Swift, will pay Apple Music royalties

Taylor Swift has beaten Cupertino: Apple has backed down in the royalty stoush with the chanteuse and agreed to pay, even during Apple Music customers' free trial period. The singer had boycotted Apple's platform over the issue, withholding her album 1989 and calling the prior policy “shocking, disappointing, and completely …
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

Mellanox wants to prise OEMs loose from Broadcom

Mellanox is putting itself forward at the heart of faster Ethernet data centre networks, with both chips and switches pitched at 25 Gbps, 50 Gbps and 100 Gbps deployments. Speaking to The Register ahead of the launch, the company's VP of marketing Gilad Shainer said the silicon provides “the only non-blocking 100 Gbps switch in …

SGI to flick switch on new Japanese super

Japan's Institute for Solid State Physics (ISSP) at the University of Tokyo is the latest win for SGI, which is to pull the big red switch on a 2.65 petaflop system on July 1. The system will be a hybrid of Intel Xeon processors and NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPUs, the company says in its canned statement. The SGI ICE XA will have 1,872 …

Thing users: you need national narrowband

A couple of Australian telco industry veterans reckon the Internet of Things needs an access network of its own, to meet the requirements of cheap, low-volume traffic. Industry newsletter Communications Day reports today that founder Rob Zagarella told a Communications Alliance workshop that the outfit wants to create an open …
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

ITU: we'll have 5G standards ready by 2020

Following a working party meeting in San Diego, the ITU has announced the timeline for 5G standardisation. The IMT-2020 process, outlined here, envisages completing standards for 5G during 2020. The standards body expects to complete its 5G vision statement to be completed this year, which will let it start serious work on 5G …
HI data collected by ASKAP

Fess up: which one of you Galaxies made all that gas?

It's not yet fully operational, but the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is already giving astro-boffins surprises. With one-sixth of its antennas operational, and only a quarter of the beam-aiming of the final facility, the Pathfinder has helped a group of astronomers to work out that there's a surprising …

US FINNISHes Nokia-AlcaLu acquisition waiting period

The huge Nokia-Alcatel Lucent acquimerger transaction has cleared one of its major hurdles, with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) clearing the merger for takeoff. Specifically, the two companies have announced – Nokia's post is here – that the DoJ has granted an early termination to the antitrust waiting period in the US. …
Incoming Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

Cisco to pour BEELIONS into China

Just days after emptying out some corner offices in China, Cisco says it's going to pour US$10 billion into developing business in the Middle Kingdom. The Borg has posted an announcement that it's signed a memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and with the Association …
Anonymous video screenshot

Canadian government websites hosed, Anonymous takes credit

Canada's government websites and email servers have been knocked offline in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. The assault was apparently a simple flood-the-pipes operation rather than an attempted data-heist. At 5pm local time, according to Bloomberg (presumably in Ottawa), sysadmins were working to get services …
Linus and a hexacopter

If I get hit by a bus, Linux will go on just fine says Linus Torvalds

Just a few days after asking the Linux community to let him take a break, Linus Torvalds has said the project he kicked off 1991 can now get along without him. He was, characteristically, blunt in his recent interview with Bloomberg, saying Linux would survive his death. What he told the newswire's passenger-door-smeared Ashlee …
An Amazon Prime Air drone

YOU ARE THE DRONE in Amazon's rumoured new parcel delivery plan

Amazon looks to be exploring a new way to cut costs by turning you - or anyone willing to deliver parcels - into its drones. In an idea that's most likely a stick with which to beat its delivery contractors, the retail Leviathan reportedly wants Americans to download an app, and if they see a parcel delivery that's convenient to …
Monty Python dead parrot sketch

Trans-Pacific Partnership stalled says Australian trade minister

The controversial Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), thought to include SOPA-style anti-piracy provisions, among other nasties - looks to be dead in the water: not only has the US Congress knocked back the “fast-track” mechanism that would have seen it signed off quickly, but Hillary Clinton has come down on the side of America's …

Bezos' bozos swing ban-hammer at media player

Efforts by the Kodi media player's maintainers to keep pirates from sullying its good name haven't been enough to satisfy the copyright cops at Amazon. The app formerly known as XBMC has been pulled from Amazon's app store, on the basis that it facilitates piracy. AFTVnews.com reports that Amazon flicked the kill-switch on the …
Hammer, spanner and screw

Vapourware no more: Let's Encrypt announces first cert dates

The Mozilla-backed Let's Encrypt effort is moving out of its vapourware phase, announcing general availability for September 2015 and an intention to issue its first certificate in the week of July 27. Launched last year by Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Cisco, Let's Encrypt's aim is to create no-charge …
(Another) One of These Things is Not Like the Other, JD Hancock, Flickr, CC-2.0

Samsung slings simoleans at Sigfox for things-on-cells standard

Samsung has become the latest backer of French company Sigfox, which is trying to pitch an IoT-over-cellular protocol for low-throughput communications. While the company bullishly says it offers “global cellular connectivity” for things that need cheap, low power communications, its current footprint is a handful of European …
Facebook down

Belgium privacy commish ambushes Facebook with lawsuit

Facebook won't quit stalking people who aren't its users, so after months of wrangling, Belgium's Privacy Commissioner is pressing ahead with a lawsuit against The Social NetworkTM. According to this report in Belgian news site De Morgen, the tracking is flagrant and sweeps up people who don't want to be tracked. The Commission …
Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

Hating on 'Like Farms': boffins trawl for Facebook fakes

An analysis of 1,400 Facebook accounts, more than 143,000 posts Liked, and more than a million pages could go some way to unmasking the techniques of “Like Farms” used to manipulate reputations on the content-with-ads network. The boffins, from Australia's (doomed) NICTA, University College, London, and the University of Iowa, …
"Nope in Manchester" - Erokism on Flickr - CC 2.0 license

Ericsson snaps shut wallet, damps down acquisition speculation

Ericsson has decided not to follow the example of Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia, telling Reuters it doesn't need a big acquisition. The company's chief strategy officer, Rima Qureshi told the wire service that the decision to continue going it alone followed a confab of 250 managers earlier this month. She said that “core …
Tesla powerwall

Elon Musk pours more Kool-Aid into Powerwall

Elon Musk has responded to criticism of the specs of its Powerwall home battery, and says when it start shipping the system's output power will be doubled, without changing the price. Vegan seat covers weren't the only hot button Elon wanted to clear up at the company's annual shareholder meeting. “We actually took some of the …