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Facebook says vendor secrets forced it to homebrew switches

It's four months since Facebook first launched its Wedge switch and accompanying FBOSS operating system. Some forms of Wedge are in production and others are in testing, so El Reg decided to talk with Facebook's director of technical operations, Najam Ahmad, to see where The Social Network is at with its software-defined …
Laser ablation to speed rockets

Plasma-spaffing boffins plan spaceships driven by FRIKKIN' LASERS

Russian boffins reckon with the right configuration, lasers can help make rockets more efficient, and could even herald an era of Mach 10 aircraft. Laser-driven propulsion isn't just the domain of the sci-fi fan. The aim of any rocket propulsion system is to take some kind of mass, and heat it up to generate thrust. The amount …
cloud

Remember Internet2? It's now a software-defined metacloud

America's Internet2 research network is embracing the cloud, launching an SDN implementation designed to let academics create their own private clouds. The SDN rollout uses the FlowSpace Firewall to slice up segments of connected campuses' 100 Gbps Internet2 connections into discrete slices whose resources are protected from …
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Twitter, IBM, in deal to create brainy Big Blue Bird

IBM and Twitter have assembled their buzzwords, ranked them into a regiment, and jointly set them loose to march upon a waiting world, by announcing that the avian network will feed data galore to Big Blue's cloudy enterprise big data analytics offerings. Did El Reg add that the pair are promising to transform businesses and …
Screenshot of the Office 2013 installer for Office 365

Microsoft opens Office 365 to devs with APIs, SDKs

Microsoft is putting its Office 365 crown jewels on display, opening up APIs to the environment to attract third-party developers to the platform. The APIs are yours for the taking here, along with resources and guides for developers. Microsoft imagines applications such as integrating a reservation system with a user's calendar …

The NO-NAME vuln: wget mess patched without a fancy brand

Sysadmins: another venerable and nearly-ubiquitous *nix tool, wget, needs patching because of a bug first reported by HD Moore. As the Red Hat Bugzilla report describes, the bug was a beauty: a recursive directory fetch over FTP would let an attacker “create arbitrary files, directories or symbolic links” due to a symlink flaw …
Earth and moon from Chang'e 5t1

China lunar mission readies for return to Earth

China's Chang'e 5T1 mission has passed its half-way point, rounding the far side of the Moon and beginning its brief trip to Earth for its scheduled October 31 return. The mission is a test run for a 2017 trip that will drop a lander on the Moon and collect samples for return to Earth. The current mission is slated to touch down …
server room

Bangkok gets 'net exchange with help from ISOC

The Internet Society has nominated Alcatel-Lucent to supply kit for a new Internet exchange in Bangkok. BKNIX will use the company's 7750 Service Router. The exchange is being built with the help of ISOC's Interconnection and Traffic Exchange (ITE) program, and should be operational by December of 2014. With rapid traffic …
Picard Facepalm

Deloitte's dumb rules stop us from telling you about everyone else's dumb rules

Deloitte Access Economics in Australia is pitching the idea – quite possibly correct – that corporate bureaucracy is more costly than government regulation. It's an attractive enough idea, especially in a country where the government has trumpeted as “red tape reduction” the repeal of legislation covering the phase-out of the …
Telstra logo

Telstra (re)launches am app store (again)

Telstra has taken the defibrillator to the in-house app store idea, announcing the business-focussed Telstra Apps Marketplace. Launched with two apps – DocuSign (digital transactions) at AU$10 a month and Box (collaboration) at $6.60 a month – the marketplace is pitched as “a one-stop shop to find, buy, and use today’s best …
CSIRO's Workspace - workflow screen editor

Top research shop releases free boffinware for all

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), which lists the formative work behind WiFi among its successes, wants to boost researcher productivity, and has published a free-for-boffins scientific tool called "Workspace" to help. Workspace is designed be a generic environment for researchers …

Cisco and friends chase WiFi's searing speeds with new cable standard

Cisco is buddying up with three semiconductor companies to push Cat 5e and Cat 6 connections beyond the gigabit mark, to bring the Ethernet world into line with speeds on the table from future WiFi network standards. The Borg, along with Freescale, Xilinx and Aquantia, has looked at enterprise cabling and found it wanting: while …
Bored girl

Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box

The UK's Met Office has settled on Cray as the vendor for its next supercomputer, with a 16 petaflop XC40 machine* to be shared between the Met Office and Exeter Science Park. The £97m HPC box will give the Met Office 13 times more supercomputing muscle than it is currently able to flex. The weathermen want to improve the …
Bohr atomic model

NTT thinks it's defined the PERFECT AMPERE with a cunning trap

Researchers from NTT in Japan have demonstrated what they hope will be that company's contribution to the definition of a new ampere: single electron transfer in silicon, at relatively high speed in a charge-confining trap. The accurate transfer of electrons in one direction provides a high-accuracy measurement of current flow, …

Faster, Igor! Boffins stuff 255 Tbps down ONE fibre

The 2014 game of “leapfrog with fibre speed records” has a new and probably temporary leader, with boffins from China, the US and The Netherlands claiming a 255 Tbps record in a single fibre over 1 km. As always with such things, it pays to understand the conditions under which the boffins are claiming the record, and the …
Big Switch Networks logo

Got $100k to spare? Try this cloudy SDN starter kit

Big Switch is pitching a starter kit for the BCF bare-metal-plus-SDN combo it launched at the end of September. BCF – Big Cloud Fabric for those who aren't paying by the word – is a data-centre-targeted offering in which the brainpower is abstracted to a fabric controller operating either as a cluster of virtual machines, or as …

Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email

Yet another round of Shellshock attacks is emerging, according to the SANS Internet Storm Center – this time, botnets are tapping hosts over SMTP. At the moment, the report is sparse, with the ISC diary post stating merely that Shellshock exploit attempts are travelling over the mail protocol because “the sources so far have all …
BAE Systems Railgun

BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army

BAE Systems, which has been working with the US Navy on its futuristic railgun weapon project, has suggested the Mach 7 electromagnetic metal-slinger could be useful for the next generation of the US Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The Brit company made the comments at the Association of the US Army annual conference, according …
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

An 'embed' link isn't a new infringement, says EU Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice has decided that even an unauthorised video can be embedded by a third party without creating a new infringement. The case, reported by TorrentFreak, centres around a dispute by a water filtering company, BestWater International, and a couple of men who work as contractors for a competitor (their …
cloud

HP releases OpenStack cloud

HP has put its stamp on the world of OpenStack clouds, with its Helion OpenStack community edition code general availability, as of today. Helion OpenStack starts with a community edition available now, which the company says is suitable for proof-of-concept and pilot deployments, based on the Icehouse release. The company's …
opensuse 13 beta 1 screen shot

OpenSUSE tidies up disto model ahead of 13.4

OpenSUSE has rolled up its Factory and Tumbleweed into a single project that will carry the name Tumbleweed from November 4. The devs had created a measure of confusion among users by elevating Factory – once an indicator of the current unstable code-cut – to the same rolling-release status as Tumbleweed. As Linuxveda writer …
Hacked sarcasm

Pesky POS poison won't Backoff

Infections from the Backoff point-of-sale malware are still rising in America, according to security bods from Damballa. The company reckons it spotted a 57 per cent rise in Backoff detections in August and September 2014, and a 27 per cent rise in September alone. In August, the malware had already hit 1,000 US businesses, …
Jersey cow

Oz trade minister RUBBISHES TPP fears

Australia's trade minister has taken a swipe at critics of the Trans Pacific Partnership, accusing them of spreading “misinformation” about a trade treaty that's been kept as secret as possible since its inception. In response to criticism from consumer watchdog Choice about the deal, Robb told ABC Radio “Those who are opposed …

Boffins want to put Quanta in containers, after docking

Don't laugh: a group of Japanese and Australian boffins want to use container ships to carry around entangled quanta. Entanglement is hard to maintain over any great distance – a few tens of kilometres through optical fibre, a hundred or so through the atmosphere – because of noise. Repeaters are forbidden by the “no-cloning …
padlock

NIST to hypervisor admins: Pro-tip, secure your systems

US standards body the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has laid out the basics of hypervisor security in a draft publication released for comment on 20 October. The sysadmin guide presents 22 security recommendations, under the key headings of isolating VMs from each other and the host hypervisor; …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co reports fibre traction and Telstra action

NBN Co has made the slightly awkward announcement that it's more than tripled the number of premises connected to its fibre network in the past year, while maintaining its commitment to the multi-technology model for future rollouts. It's chalked up the connections surge in spite of a management bonfire, several reviews to …

Privacy complaints skyrocketed in 2013-14, says Pilgrim

Privacy breach complaints in Australia nearly tripled between 2013 and 2014, according to the soon-to-be-defunct Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). The OAIC, canned in the government's 2014 budget, has issued its last annual report, in which it says privacy complaints to Privacy Commissioner Tim Pilgrim …
The concrete blocks available for our rocket motor testing

Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit

Reports are emerging that chip-maker FTDI has declared war on chip counterfeiters with a driver update that bricks USB devices recognised as fakes. Hackaday reports that the issue has been noticed in various forums – EEVBlog and Arduino among them – and pins the issue down to drivers setting the USB product ID to 0 if a USB …

Australia to 'relieve' telcos of need to disclose intercepts

The federal government's “red tape repeal” policy looks set to reduce the amount of information Australians receive about telecommunications interception requests. Deep in the bills designed to reduce telecommunications service providers' regulatory compliance costs is a proposal to repeal the record-keeping requirement that …

HPC Wales stretches its reach to Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is to get what's touted as its first HPC service, courtesy of a deal between Fujitsu and HPC Wales. Extending a collaboration that's been in place since 2012, HPC Wales says the vendor will sling £1.1 million towards the service, and seek collaborations from Irish business and academic partners. HPC Wales has …

Freescale lassos Ethernet cables around car, calls it 'Internet of Things'

Freescale is showing off in-car Ethernet infotainment technology inexplicably pitched as an “Internet of Things” solution. SABRE for AI – Smart Application Blueprint for Rapid Engineering, for Auto Infotainment – is a combo hardware/software development environment using Ethernet to connect infotainment, instrument, cameras, …
Evil Android

NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code

Someone's found (yet) another nasty security flaw in Android, by crafting a way to pack malicious software to look like images. The good news is that disclosure was kept back until Google had put a fix in place; the bad news is, of course, the huge number of phone-owners who never update – either through choice, ignorance or …
Xerox PARC's world-changing Alto

PARC Alto source code released by computer history museum

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View has released another foundational piece of software to the world at large: some of the code that gave the world the Xerox Alto computer, which among other things helped inspire a couple of young garage developers, Steves Jobs and Wozniak. To the modern eye, the Alto looks odd – mostly …

Broadcom pitches chips at G.fast OEMs

Broadcom has become the latest vendor to stake out its ground in the G.fast market, as the ITU's standardisation bods stretch their hands slowly towards the rubber stamp. At the Broadband World trade show in Amsterdam, the chip outfit's been showing off silicon for G.fast and G.vector kit designers at both provider head-end …

Telstra ambit claim gets ACCC pushback

The stage is set for another drawn-out battle over wholesale telecommunication service pricing in Australia, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) indicating it's not going to rubber-stamp Telstra's request for a 7.2 per cent price hike. In a media statement published today, the regulator's chair Rod …

Quantum key security steps outside the box

US researchers have come a step closer to turning quantum key distribution (QKD) into a “black box” that can be made provably secure regardless of whose boxes sit at each end of a link. In creating a quantum crypto implementation, researchers rely on models of the systems they've created as proofs of their security. That means …
ESNet trans-Atlantic connection

ESNet's 100 Gbps Atlantic link almost ready to flow

The trans-Atlantic expansion of the ESNet academic network is nearing completion, with Fermilab announcing that testing and commissioning of the 100 Gbps-plus link is near. The decision to go ahead with 100 Gbps links was announced last year with Amsterdam nominated as the European destination. According to Fermilab's latest …

Vote for us: We're slinging cash at supercomputers!

The government of the Australian State of Victoria has slung AU$6.65 million in the direction of the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLCSI), deeming the investment a vote-winner in upcoming elections . The VLCSI, one of Australia's leading HPC facilities, is operated in collaboration with IBM and serves campuses …

Cisco battles POODLE with a listicle and some twaddle

Cisco has joined the growing list of vendors scrambling a response to the POODLE vulnerability, with a number of systems confirmed vulnerable and more under investigation. The Borg's current POODLE status only clears one system: the Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager. The company says its ongoing assessment of products for …

Voteware source code seeker found not to be vexatious

Michael Cordover, the Hobart lawyer who has been pressing the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to release the source code of its vote-counting software, has had a win courtesy of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). The AEC, irritated after three Freedom of Information (FOI) applications from …
eyeofSauron

Senators plot metadata pushback as requests keep expanding

On the heels of an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) report that Australia's carriers provided more than 582,000 items of information to law enforcement under Australia's telecommunications interception regime in 2014, cross-bench senators have announced they will hold a briefing on the issue at the end of …
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

AARnet cranks up SDN sandpit for researchers

Australia's research network AARnet says it will push the on-switch on a software defined networking (SDN) test bed by the end of 2014. AARnet serves Australian universities, research institutions, and science locations like the Murchison (remote Western Australia) home of Australia's chunk of the Square Kilometre Array …

'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail

The man that Australia's Federal Police once described as "a self-proclaimed leader of the group ‘Lulz Security’ (Lulzsec)" has been sentenced to 15 months of home detention, after a local magistrate decided he was just a very naughty boy. Flannery was sentenced last week in a case that has to date evaded law reports and media …
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is firing up an investigation into millimetre-wave frequency spectrum allocations, and Google has filed an application to fool around with the same band. The FCC “notice of inquiry” is intended to work out what the US's regulatory response will be to the use of frequencies beyond 24 …
ITU logo

ICT ministers mark out net-regulation patch ahead of ITU plenipot

The ITU has kicked off three weeks of wrangling over the future of the Internet – the 2014 Plenipotentiary – with a ministerial statement that's likely to spark concerns about the direction of the coming summit. The Busan Declaration, issued at the close of the Busan ICT ministerial meeting, is filled with high-minded language …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co adds 'burbs to copper map, claims 'speed up' rollout

NBN Co has re-designated 140 suburbs from fibre-to-the-premises to fibre-to-the-node, a move it says will deliver high-speed connections to the target locations earlier than would otherwise have been a case. In NSW, the deployment decision covers parts of the Central Coast, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions, while in …

Austrian telco trials G.fast as 'interim solution'

Telekom Austria is the latest outfit to trumpet the virtues of the yet-to-be-ratified G.fast standard, announcing that a deployment trial conducted with Alcatel-Lucent achieved speeds beyond 100 Mbps per household. The deployment trial covered multi-storey apartments covered by Telekom Austria subsidiary A1, with the carrier …
NASA Sunjammer concept image

No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer

Reports are emerging that NASA has decided not to go ahead with next year's Sunjammer mission, which was to demonstrate the use of “solar sail” propulsion. The project has attracted US$21 million of NASA cash under a contract awarded in 2011 to Californian company L'Garde. The agency's interest had been piqued by vacuum chamber …
RFID_snail_trio

Oz minister says Trans-Pacific partnership '90 per cent there'

Australia's trade minister remains one of the great optimists of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), telling local media he expects the deal to be sealed by the end of 2014. In a paywalled article, The Australian Financial Review reports trade minister Andrew Robb saying the deal is “90 per cent there”, adding that it could be …
DSolar's PV concentrator concept

Supercomputer water-cooling comes to solar power

Solar power outfit Airlight Energy has borrowed technology from the world of supercomputers to make its large-scale photovoltaic collectors more efficient, on the way heating water to get a second source of energy. As explained by the IEEE, the Swiss company has created a spin-off called Dsolar to develop its dish-style large- …