Richard Chirgwin

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Ethernet cable rises up like a snake (artist's impression). Image via shutterstock

Crusty Cat 5e/6 cables just magically sped up to 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps

The IEEE has approved the specification covering 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps Ethernet, 802.3bz. In particular, the approval signifies that the work item still incomplete at the end of 2015, the interface between the Media Access Control (MAC) and the physical (PHY) layers has been completed. Last December, NBase-T Alliance leader …
SHUT UP!

Cisco squeezes out massive patch dump

Cisco's issued 18 patch notices. Let's start with the OpenSSL fix, because it affects the largest number of devices. This implements both OpenSSL's September 22 patches, and the September 26 patch that patched bugs introduced in the first patch. Switchzilla's routing operating systems are going to present sysadmins with the …
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Optus' HFC problems were never a secret, so why did nbn™ need the network?

Someone check in on former senator Stephen Conroy, would they, and make sure he hasn't laughed himself to death? One of the reasons nbnTM set the Australian Federal Police (AFP) onto the pugilistic parliamentarian was that documents leaked to him suggested Optus' hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) network wasn't fit for purpose. That …
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D-Link DWR-932 B owner? Trash it, says security bug-hunter

If you've got a D-Link DWR-932 B LTE router, you might want to fire it into the sun – or hope that a firmware upgrade lands soon. Following the consumer broadband industry's consistently lackadaisical attitude to security, the device suffers from everything from backdoor accounts to default credentials, leaky credentials, …
NBN truck on Mount Cotton

Source: nbn™'s fibre-to-the-kerb will be VDSL at 100/40Mbps

The Register has learned that the fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp) technology to be used in Australia's national broadband network (NBN) will use VDSL and be capable of 100/40Mbps speeds. Sources familiar with nbn™ design decisions tell The Register that nbn™, the company building and operating Australian's NBN, decided …

South Australian mega-storm blacks out whole state

An “unprecedented” storm in South Australia blacked out the entire state yesterday, and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is warning another low pressure system will cross the state today. The attack by the Syrian Electronic Army's weather control unit – no, that's not right – the storm took down high-voltage power …
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Australia wants law to ban de-anonymisation of anonymous data

Yet again, the Australian government has announced a proposal that could outlaw academic research. In the wake of the privacy concerns that surrounded Australia's 2016 Census, attorney-general George Brandis has said the government will make it illegal to de-anonymise data sets that have been de-identified. In the lead-up to …
Type arms of an old typewriter

BIND bashes bugs

The folk who maintain the ubiquitous BIND DNS server have issued a patch for two bugs, one of them serious. Most of the time, organisations treat denial-of-service bugs as less serious than, for example, information disclosure or remote code execution bugs. BIND, however, is special: it's a fundamental part of the Internet …

Eric Raymond revisits his biggest mistake, updates 'Pilot' language after 20 years

Software luminary Eric Raymond has written an update to his Pilot computer aided instruction language … 20 years since he last bothered looking at it. What was Pilot? According to Wikipedia, it was a precursor to LOGO: a computer-aided instruction program (its full name was Programmed Instruction, Learning, or Teaching). Even …

City of Moscow to ditch 600k Exchange and Outlook licences

The city of Moscow has announced it's going to start ditching Microsoft, following a call by president Vladimir Putin for Russia to be more self-reliant, and is starting with an untried-at-scale e-mail system. The phase-out will start by replacing Microsoft Exchange servers and Outlook clients, on 6,000 of the city's computers …
WiFi Icon

Text input from thin air: boffins give Wi-Fi the finger with AI

Chinese boffins reckon they're the first capture text input to mobile devices using gestures sensed by commodity Wi-Fi devices. The researchers, from the University of Science and Technology in China, have dubbed the scheme WiFinger, and describe it here. At this stage, what the researchers achieved was to sense movement …
Cat and mouse

Oh, ALL RIGHT, says Facebook, we'll let Windows admins run osquery

Two years after it first arrives for Linux and OS X, Facebook's "osquery" developer kit is now available for Windows. Osquery is designed to let sysadmins check out system and process information by issuing SQL queries, rather than (for example) having to watch syslogs. An example (drawn from the GitHub repo) is the kind of …
Road Closed sign

Enterprise Yammer goes on end-of-life list for January 2017

Microsoft's rationalisation of enterprise messaging continues, with Redmond putting its Yammer Enterprise offering on the end-of-life list. The announcement is made in this blog post: “With Office 365 applications such as SharePoint and OneNote becoming an integral part of the Yammer experience, users will need an Office 365 …
Banned

Mozilla wants woeful WoSign certs off the list

Mozilla wants to kick Chinese certificate authority (CA) WoSign out of its trust program. As well as being worried about the certs issued by WoSign, Mozilla accuses the company of buying another CA, StartCom, without telling anyone. In this lengthy analysis posted to Google Docs, Mozilla says its certificate wonks have "... …
Hammer, spanner and screw

STUN hack could help admins choose between 'net links

A proposal at the Internet Engineering Task Force suggests network admins can use the venerable STUN protocol to help them pick the best path across IP networks. STUN – Session Traversal Utilities for NAT – is well-known as a handy tool for setting up things like voice-over-IP (VoIP) sessions between users hidden behind …
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US Labor Dept accuses CIA-backed Palantir of discriminating against Asian engineers

America's favourite Big Brother-backed unicorn, Palantir Technologies, is being sued by the US Department of Labor (DoL) for alleged discrimination against Asian job applicants. Announcing the lawsuit, the DoL says it wants to “end the company’s alleged discriminatory hiring policies and practices.” The department has the …
Facepalm, photo via Shutterstock

Fax machines' custom Linux allows dial-up hack

Party like it's 1999, phreakers: a bug in Epson multifunction printer firmware creates a vector to networks that don't have their own Internet connection. The exploit requirements are that an attacker can trick the victim into installing malicious firmware, and that the victim is using the device's fax line. The firmware is …
Manchester BSOD

Heathrow airport and stock exchange throw mystery BSODs

BSOD WATCH It's no surprise that public transport delivers up a huge number of BSODs, since transport needs to disseminate lots of information. So let's open this week's BSOD Watch with not one, but three BSODs readers spotted at London's aviation paradise, Heathrow Airport. Paul sent us a pair from 2012. Nice composition in the first, …
A donkey

The law is an ass: Mooning banned at arse end of the world

Buttnote Public service announcement: if you're going on a bender in the Australian city of Melbourne, do not indulge in the practice of “mooning”, because you could end up with your arse in jail (and the rest of you). The Victorian state government either believes people aren't deterred [Ed: bad pun, don't try it again] put off by …

Avaya explains its 'hyper-segmentation' approach to security

Interview It's way too easy to get past a firewall, map out an enterprise's network, and start tapping IP addresses looking for vulnerable machines – so why are we using Layer 3 addressing as the basis of the enterprise network? Avaya's new software-defined-networking-based architecture proposes to stop TCP/IP-based attack traffic at …
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#Vodafail is BACK, with seven hours of 'try again later'

Vodafone has moved to reassert its once-dominant position in the Australian network outage stakes, suffering a seven-hour TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance) on Sunday evening, 25 September. The company worked hard to put Vodafail behind it, after experiencing months of outages and SNAFUs in 2011 that cost it …
F-35

High rear end winds cause F-35A ground engine fire

The US Air Force says a strong tailwind is behind the flight line fire that has grounded yet another of its F-35 fighter aircraft. The F-35A caught fire while getting ready to fly an exercise from Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. It was one of seven at the base for surface-to-air training. The fire happened while the …
Paul Winchell and dummy

Turnbull's Transformers delete GitHub repo for federated ID project

What is going on at the Digital Transformation Office (DTO)? When The Register reported our concerns with the DTO's federated identity project, we asked the DTO's media office for responses and received none. The DTO isn't responding to the Australian Privacy Foundation's concerns with the project, the APF claims. It has, …
WiFi Icon

Wi-Fi Alliance publishes LTE/WiFi coexistence test plan

The Wi-Fi Alliance's long-awaited – and controversial – LTE-U Coexistence Test plan has landed. The reg-walled test plan is supposed to help work out if LTE-U – the mobile carriers' plan to use unlicensed spectrum if nobody else is talking – can coexist with Wi-Fi. Carriers, already under a spectrum squeeze, are hoping they …
NASA's PUMA machine

Obituary: Victor Scheinman, inventor of the 'Stanford Arm' factory robot

ROTM Victor Scheinman, whose 1960s work in robotics created the “robot factory” we see today, has died in California aged 73. News of Scheinman's death was first reported by the New York Times. Scheinman's university invention, known as the “Stanford arm”, achieved something never before achieved in the world of robotics: a self- …