Richard Chirgwin

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Steeden NRL ball

National Rugby League boots 'metadata' right into Australia's face

Australian politicians and activists frustrated at their fellows' apparent indifference to the metadata data retention debate have cause to thank the National Rugby League (NRL). In its laudable battle against bad behaviour by the inadvertent role models who sign up to play in its competition. the NRL has announced new rules for …
Oracle frankenstein

Oracle finds a port in the SDN/NFV storm with two new ethernet switches

Who said Ethernet was dull? Oracle certainly doesn't: it's floated a couple of switches down the slipway and off into the oceans of the data centre. It's nearly refreshing to have something as vanilla as an Ethernet switch, sorry two Ethernet switches, announced among all the foam emitted by aspirant supplanters of the handful- …

Google's broadband-in-the-sky goes TITAN-ic

After a couple of years of selective reveals to favoured media, Google has made an uncharacteristic to-all-comers announcement about its broadband plans at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Chocolate Factory bought drone-maker Titan Aerospace in 2014, and has told the conference its solar-powered drones will be carrying …
Waves and particles (original resolution)

Is light a wave or a particle? Beaming boffins prove it's BOTH

The old conundrum is right: not only is light both a wave and a particle, but Swiss boffins have captured it behaving as both at the same time. And this is what it looks like (click for the bigger version): EPFL wave and particle image Upper image - light as wave Lower image - light as quanta Image: EPFL The researchers …
management regulation2

ACCC slaps iiNet over prices in ads

Second-tier telco and major ISP iiNet has forked over AU$204,000 to settle infringement notices from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The notices were issued as a result of iiNet's advertising for its Naked Broadband 250GB plan, which the consumer watchdog says didn't “prominently state the total minimum price …

Brocade's pen poised over cheque to buy Connectem

Brocade is putting its foot into the mobile infrastructure hokey-pokey dance, announcing that it wants to buy Connectem, a specialist in virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) software. The target had recently announced that it was one of the winners of a Telekom Austria project to run up a virtualised LTE core network for its …
Minority Report. Source: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Cisco offers carriers adware-as-a-service for fun and profit

MWC 2015 Cisco has clouded up a new way to snoop on mobile users “combine network, user, and business intelligence … to realise business outcomes.” Announced at Mobile World Congress, Mobility IQ is a SaaS offering that the company says provides real-time information on Wi-Fi, 3G and LTE networks, covering network performance and user …

US Navy satellite EXPLODES, scattering debris

In a story reminiscent of the movie Gravity, near-Earth orbits have a bunch of new space junk chunks to worry about after a satellite exploded. After an event was first noticed by orbital tracking company CelesTrak, the US Air Force has confirmed to Space News that the 20-year-old Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight …
Clouds in blue sky

Citrix targets carriers with NetScaler

MWC 2015 Citrix is taking a leap into carrier-grade network function virtualisation (NFV) with a new release of its NetScaler platform. Let's take the numbers first: the two rack unit NetScaler MPX 25000 series is a 160 gigabit-per-second appliance. Citrix says it lets operators crank up the data plane of their SGi-LAN to 3.5 Tbps. The …
Microsoft-themed Monopoly board

Microsoft Swarms all over Docker Machines

Microsoft has expanded its cloudy support for Docker, adding Docker Machine to Azure and Hyper-V, and supporting Docker Swarm. With the release of Docker Machine 1.0 Beta, Redmond has blogged that users can create a host under Windows using the lightweight Linux boot2docker. Docker Machine is designed for an easy install. As …
Cellular basestation antenna

Telstra takes lead in 5G, just like everybody else

Australia's dominant carrier, Telstra, has joined World+Dog in promising to take the lead in the 5G race, with a roadmap that reaches all the way to next year. The main thrust of the carrier's talk to Mobile World Congress and accompanying canned release is actually the immediate future of its 4G network. The carrier promises …
fire damaged hard disk drive

Seagate NAS owners: hide it behind a firewall. Fast.

An Australian security researcher says a bunch of Seagate NAS devices carry serious vulnerabilities and should be kept away from the Internet. OJ Reeves of Beyond Binary says the Seagate Business NAS line, up to version 2014.00319, carries old versions of PHP, CodeIgniter and Lighttpd. All of these, the post notes, have remotely …
Planet Labs' Doves in their coop

Satellite cannon starts shooting Doves, this time under control

The nano-sat launcher aboard the International Space Station has stopped malfunctioning and started spitting its payload into space as intended. The NanoRacks deployment was due last year, but was interrupted when it started launching its 6kg Planet Labs Doves satellites without instructions. The fault was traced to over- …
Huawei HQ

Check out our HOT AIR INTERFACE for 5G – Huawei

Jockeying for position in the yet-to-be-real 5G market continues, with Huawei announcing that it's going to demo a new air interface at Mobile World Congress in March. The Chinese giant will be showing off techniques it calls Sparse Code Multiple Access (SCMA) and Filtered-Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (F-OFDM). In …

Intel, Apple and Cisco crossed off Chinese Gov's kit list

Update: Cisco denies report China appears to have lopped Cisco and Apple from the list of vendors approved to sell to its government. A Reuters analysis of official data also says Intel, McAfee and Citrix were also lopped, and the total number of foreign tech suppliers on the list is down by one-third. Suppliers of imported security-related products have …
Puppet Labs Logo

Arista, Puppet Labs share the DevOps love

Puppet Labs has added support for Arista kit to its automation suite. The native Arista Extensible Operating System – EOS – module and Forge Module means Puppet Enterprise can now reach into data centres built on Arista's switches, the company says. It also means that changes to networking kit can happen automatically and …

US Army plots new petascale monster and 'tactical cloudlets'

The US Army Research Labs (ARL) has put forward a plan to outrun China in the supercomputer stakes, develop quantum computing, and create The Terminator.* In spite – or perhaps because – of a likely budget squeeze, the ARL says it needs to “harness the potential of computational sciences and emerging high-performance computers ( …
National Broadband Network by RubyGoes https://www.flickr.com/photos/rubygoes/sets/72157634039925152

NBN fibre: activations accelerated as footprint expanded

It's a matter of ups and down for the National Broadband Network: the fibre rollout (which will be replaced by hybrid fibre/coax (HFC) and node/basement fibre in future geographies) accelerated and the activation rate improved. At the same time, a host of factors (such as a construction focus on adding lead-ins to homes formerly …

HP sets net to snare Aruba: reports

HP looks like breaking its long embargo on large acquisitions by snaffling Aruba Networks, according to emerging reports. Bloomberg's report cites the usual “people with knowledge of the matter” as saying the two companies are in talks, adding that the deal is in such early stages that it could still fall through. The Wi-Fi …
Privacy image

WANTED: A plan to DESTROY metadata, not just retain it

Australia's data retention proposal suggests the nation's telcos and ISPs need to store data for two years. But agencies accessing the data can seemingly keep it forever and are not, to date, required to securely store or destroy data they retrieve from the nation's putative data trove of personal information, miscalled " …
Superluminous quasar J0100+2802

COSMIC FATTY from the DAWN of TIME simply can't exist – astroboffins

Researchers from Australia and China have turned up an unfeasibly large black hole that almost dates back to the beginning of time. At 12 billion times the Sun's mass, and in a quasar that was a million billion times as energetic as the Sun, it's not actually the largest black hole ever spotted. However, its redshift indicates …
International Space Station

Russia considers keeping its own half of the ISS alive after 2024

Russia has decided that if Europe ends its involvement in the International Space Station (ISS), it will undock and keep its half alive. A meeting of the Roscosmos science and technical council has recommended that the Russian space agency continue to support the ISS until 2024. After that, the Federal Space Agency statement …

Juniper okays Elliott Management's board nominees

Juniper Networks and activist investor Elliott Management are fluttering the “peace in our time” paper, with the network ironmonger agreeing to appoint two new Elliot-approved directors to its board. The deal will hopefully give the company some respite from a year of corporate turbulence that saw the appointment and axing of a …
Tails logo

Snowden's favourite Linux - Tails - rushes sec-fix version to market

Tails, the secure live-boot Linux made famous by Edward Snowden, has had a major revision release to Version 1.3. The new version, released after testing since February 12, combines various security fixes with new apps and simplified install, the developers say. The developers want to kill off the previous version, Tails 1.2.3 …
Clouds in blue sky

Cloud boffins build cheap content delivery network in the cloud

Take a bit of cloud, add a bit of money, and stir in a bit of boffinry, and you could build your very own content distribution network (CDN). That's the conclusion of a Canadian/Chinese/American research project, who've put together what they call a “generic framework” for crowd-sourced live-streaming using AWS and Microsoft …

Avaya joins SDN club with ONA-nism

Avaya is the latest of the big names to drink the software-defined networks (SDN) Kool-Aid, launching its Open SDN Fx architecture on a waiting world. Along the way, the company is giving various open projects a kick along. Its SDN Fx Fabric Orchestrator Ethernet controller appliance offers northbound and southbound interfaces, …
Flying pig

NBN Co numbers suggest FTTP build could be done for close to Labor's budget

The real cost of completing Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) in its originally-planned fibre-to-the-premises configuration may well have been close to the $AU43 billion first budgeted, according to data presented by NBN Co's CEO and CFO to a Senate Estimates hearing. Yesterday, CEO Bill Morrow and CFO Stephen Rue …
linkedin logo

LinkedIn values your privacy at ONE WHOLE LOUSY DOLLAR

LinkedIn, which leaked millions of passwords in 2012, has settled the class action that followed its egregious error. The original leak was made to a Russian doc-drop site, and it quickly emerged that the recruitment site social network for business wasn't salting the passwords it hashed before storing them in its database, …

Love rats show sex while drunk will sober you up, say boffins

Sydney University boffins reckon there just might be such a thing as a sobering drug – and that it's something the body makes naturally. In joint research with the University of Regensburg in Germany, the researchers found that in drunk rats, the so-called “cuddle hormone” oxytocin ameliorated alcohol's effect on the drunken …

Apcera goes hybrid

Platform-as-a-service outfit Apcera has announced its hybrid cloud solution is nearly ready to go, with demonstrations in March and general availability in Q3 of 2015. The company, in which Ericsson purchased a majority stake last year, is going to show off the offering at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in early March. …
MIT's picowatt radio chip

MIT demos picowatt radio for Internet of Things

MIT boffins working on low-power radio have given the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) an insight into how standby power can be cut in Internet of Things devices. It's a thorny problem: if, for example, a sensor is waiting to be polled so it can answer with a snippet of data, the radio has to be in a state …

A billion things are already on the IoT: Verizon

Verizon reckons the Internet of Things is no longer a “nascent” market, reporting that there are already more than a billion devices out there running business-to-business IoT operations. In its “state of the market” report (free with registration) covering the IoT in 2015, the company predicts that the B2B IoT space will pass 5 …
ipv6_illo

Cisco IPv6 processing bug can cause DoS attacks

Cisco has announced that NCS 6000 and Carrier Routing System (CRS-X) – heavy hunks of iron used in the service provider market – have an IPv6 software bug that needs patching. The bug impacts the ways Cisco IOS XR units parse IPv6 packets and an attack exploiting the problem could result in a forced restart of the line card that …
Cherry

NBN Co's HFC build will be DOCSIS 3.1 ready, but use 3.0 only

NBN Co has settled on its key partner for the HFC part of its network, with Arris nominated to provide cable termination and passive equipment. The deal, reported by Comms Day as being worth AU$400m, sees Arris, the company that acquired Motorola's HFC business, pip Cisco for the cable network business. Arris executives today …

Brocade's IP strategy stutters in flat first quarter

A recovery in storage area networking product revenues has offset sliding IP networking sales to give Brocade a first quarter 2015 revenue result of US$576m, up two per cent quarter-on-quarter and the same amount year-on-year. Although flat year-on-year at at US$353m, the SAN segment swelled nine per cent in Q1 2015, reversing a …

Greens want better metadata access oversight

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has warned of what he thinks is a likely ALP opposition “rollover” on data retention. Speaking to the IT Leaders Forum, a weekend conference for technology media. Ludlam said the opposition is likely to “send a few good, stout-hearted people out to make statements” before caving in. Ludlam …
HP

HP flicks white box switch: NOT a Facebook wannabe? Stuff our open kit in your cloud

Less than a week after Cisco's John Chambers dismissed the “white box” switch category, HP has entered that market with its own open architecture switches. The company wants to start with “web scale” cloud operators who don't want to imitate Facebook or Google and run up their own systems from scratch. However, according to CTO …

Juniper targets LTE deployments with carrier switches

Juniper has opened the gate to let a couple of carrier routers out of the cage, along with enhancements to its Junos Space network management system. The two devices – the ACX500 and ACX5000 – target mobile backbone networks. The ACX500 is designed for routing traffic from small scale base stations, with system throughput of 6 …
Photograph of the killer shrimp. Pic: Defra

Prawn cocktail offers hot new way to make solar cells

Wrap your laughing gear around this: researchers from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have discovered that materials from shrimp/prawns can replace expensive elements in solar cells. The boffins working on nano-structured solar cells found that chitin and chitosan can make the quantum dots that are coated onto structures …
Cellular basestation antenna

ZTE ups 5G investment

Chinese mobe-maker ZTE is ramping up its R&D by ¥400 million RMB*, and wants 800 new engineers in China, Europe and the US – all to help it keep pace with 5G development. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal the company's chief scientist, Dr Xiang Jiying said that the company sees the technology's touted 1,000-times 4G's capacity …

Cisco gives waiting world ConfD for low, low, price of $0

Cisco has offered up a sweetener to those worried that its 2014 acquisition of Tail-f would see the latter's products Borged into utter anonymity, offering up a free version of the ConfD NETCONF implementation. Tail-F accepted a cheque last June, a transaction Cisco initiated in order to get its hands on the Swedish company's …
ABS population density calculated on the national grid

Australian government may take leave of its census

Updated Australia's government is considering radically restructuring its national census. The exercise, which cost $AU440 million in 2011, is under the microscope as the government assembles its 2015 budget. Fairfax reports that the census could be delayed or replaced with a smaller survey. The Australian is less certain of the census …

Alca-Lu cooks up 400 Gbps router interconnect

Increasing data centre interconnect requirements have prompted Alcatel-Lucent to introduce 400 Gbps line cards for its high-end routers. Manish Gulyani, product marketing veep for the company's IP Business, told The Register there are multiple aims with the launch: it eliminates kit that would otherwise be needed to interconnect …
Google Chocolate Factory

Google's email-for-iOS app Sparrow is pining for the fjords

Two-and-a-half years after Google bought the French email client Sparrow, it has decided the client gets in the way of pushing Apple fans to its own Inbox service. Hence, apparently, to get iOS and OS X users to head for Inbox, the Chocolate Factory has pulled Sparrow from the App Store. Even the iPhone version, which was …
Yahoo! facial reconition

Yahoo! Boffins! Improve! Face! Search!

A research collaboration between Yahoo! Labs and Stanford University has yielded a fast and simple approach to facial recognition. If you're the kind of person that finds features like being tagged in images on Facebook unsettling, you might not see this as good news: not only do the researchers' Deep Dense Face Detector claim “ …
Implementing SDN - difficult choices

SK Tel, Cisco sign with ON.Labs

SK Telecom reckons software-defined networking (SDN) is going to be the Way of The FutureTM and has signed up as a member of the ON.Lab open source project. ON.Lab is an open source SDN platform that targets the carrier market, integrating a network operating system (Onos), network hypervisor (OVX), virtual network development …
Privacy image

Australia's PM says data retention laws think of the children

Australia's Federal Government, and its agencies, are working to drum up political support for the nation's controversial data retention legislation. Prime minister Tony Abbott offered favoured outlets early access to a speech to child protection charity Bravehearts, in which he said the data retention regime is needed to battle …
Mars

Boffins baffled by the glowing 'plumes' of MARS

A group of amateur astronomers has discovered a tricky conundrum for the professionals, documenting atmospheric plumes - or something that looks uncannily like them - above Mars... where they should not occur. The observations, made in March 2012 and written up for Nature here (PDF), found plumes in the Red Planet's atmosphere …

Juniper CEO axed after SALES FAIL: report

When former Juniper CEO Shaygan Kheradpir departed the company in November 2014, the company cited customer negotiations as the reason. Ostensibly voluntary, Kheradpir's departure looked from the outside as if he was pushed rather than jumping. Juniper's statement merely said the board and Kheradpir had “different perspectives” …
Intel president Renee James

Intel President Renée James says Chipzilla's diversity efforts are moving too slowly

Intel president Renée James has taken the company's diversity message to India, saying that women's challenges to reaching the C-level are the same on the subcontinent as they are in the USA. In an interview with The Economic Times' Corporate Dossier columnist, James said things hadn't changed in her 25-year career, and that …