Richard Chirgwin

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FASTER cable route

60Tbps internet cable from Asia to America will plug into Telx barn

US data center outfit Telx, target of a takeover bid by Digital Realty, has gone offshore for the first time, joining the Google-backed FASTER submarine cable consortium. Telx's Hillsboro server barn in Oregon, US, will be the termination point for an undersea cable that will link the Pacific Northwest to Asia. The fiber-optic …

Puppet draws back the curtain on devops magic with funky gfx and UI

“Less magic, more visibility” is what Puppet Labs reckons devops devotees need. Announcing the company's Puppet Enterprise 2015.2, the company's director of marketing communications Tim Zonca told The Register the rapid turnaround ideal of the devops world has a trust problem that the new code is trying to address. Someone …
NASA's Wi-Fi reflection chip

Wi-Fi 'reflector' hooks you up at 0.1 per cent of current power budget

By using absorption and reflection to indicate data states, NASA reckons it's created a Wi-Fi device for the wearable market that uses just 0.1 per cent of the power of ordinary transceivers. Working with Frank Chang at Caltech UCLA, the JPL boffin Adrian Tang is keen on ways to let devices with relatively low communications …
Honeywell Tuxedo Touch

SOHOpeless: Security stains on Honeywell's Tuxedo home automator

Honeywell has issued an urgent firmware update for its three-year-old Tuxedo Touch home automation controller to patch vulnerabilities that could, among other things, let an attacker unlock users' deadlocks. This CERT advisory explains that without the firmware upgrade, all users are vulnerable to authentication bypass and …
brontosaurus

Buy a Tesla for the good of Australia, say country's dino-burners

Australia's energy industry, overwhelmingly dominated by the burning of dinosaurs, has decided the country needs more electric vehicles (EVs). Facing something of a crisis in demand, with renewables (particularly solar power) severely denting the lavish margins wholesalers formerly expected during daytime peaks, the Energy …
Selection of Australian banknotes

Software spec slip denies Westpac chance at a MILLION A DAY

Some of Australia's major banks' databases don't distinguish between loans to housing investors and owner-occupiers, meaning they're missing out on the chance to charge differential interest rates. Along the way, they're providing an object lesson to businesses that depend on IT: if you don't ask for a capability, you won't …
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Gamers Steaming over dumb Valve password vuln

Over the weekend, game publisher Valve patched a vulnerability that let user accounts have their passwords reset without proper validation. UK gamer Elm Hoe demonstrated the simple attack in the YouTube video below. Youtube Video In case you don't have time to watch it, the coding error was simplicity in itself. After the …

AT&T: Sorry vendors, SDN is eating your lunch

In news that will chill purveyors of big networking iron, AT&T last week told its earnings call it reckons its software-defined network (SDN) rollout will cut its capital expenditure. While reports last week focussed on the company's revenue (US$33 billion for the second quarter), margins (36.3 per cent), and operating income …
White boxes

Software-defined what? Look at our glorious ASICs says Cisco

Cisco's taking up arms against a sea of white-box vendors, touting US$150 million worth of silicon in the form of an ASIC. What's interesting, however, is that the pitch – in this blog post – isn't about what's coming this year or next. The slab of silicon, which the Borg is calling the “Unified Access Dataplane” (UADP), …
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Australia to tax ALL international online purchases

Australia's treasurer Joe Hockey has hinted that the mooted changes to the way the country's Goods and Services Tax (GST) is collected may apply to anything purchased from overseas, regardless of value. After much lobbying from Australia's retail sector, the federal government last week reached agreement with the states that …
A Handful of Giant Weta by Mike Locke

Ubuntu defibrillates 14.10 for one LAST patch

Ubuntu has changed its mind on an end-of-life announcement, giving Version 14.10 one last kernel patch to cover off some big vulns. Usually, end-of-life means what it says: a version isn't going to get any more updates, and that was the status of Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” (guys, it's time to rethink your naming conventions …
Dunce's cap graffiti by https://www.flickr.com/photos/lord-jim/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Oz opposition spraying perfume on metadata dead cat

The Australian Labor Party, which first conceived what ultimately became Australia's telecommunications data retention legislation and then, from opposition, waved the laws through, is having second third forth thoughts a pang of regret. Not that the opposition wants to overturn anything – nor could it, unless and until it …
You can't shut me up, Jennifer Moo, Flickr, CC 2.0

Optus tells Department of Comms to sit down and shut up

The relationship between the Australian government and the telco sector continues to deteriorate, with more carriers pushing back against Canberra's micro-management of their operations, with both industry regulation and security reforms as ongoing battlegrounds. Optus is the latest to raise its voice against the Department of …
Exit sign. Pic:  Lukas Kästner

Cisco exits set-top box biz, sheds US$1.8bn of revenue

Cisco's Connected Devices Division, a purveyor of set top boxen for service providers, is off to Europe having been acquired for €550 million / US$600 million by Technicolor. The French company, formerly Thomson (as most of its customer premises equipment/set-top boxes are branded), will take on the division first created by …

Cloudy VMs leak ID details that could allow attacks, says researcher

Research published by a US masters student reaches the somewhat unsettling conclusion that current cloud technologies don't separate virtual machines (VMs) as well as they could. By spying on shared resources at a low level, the research suggests, an attacker's VM can retrieve data written by another (like crypto keys), and …
Customer RCSAndroid upgrade e-mail

Hacking Team had RATted on Android: Trend Micro

The next piece of weaponised malware to emerge out of the Hacking Team leak has arrived: a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) for Android. Trend Micro researchers trawling the 400 GB of leaked files apparently have the honour of first discovery: RCSAndroid, it says, is “one of the most professionally developed and sophisticated” …

Jeep hackers broke DMCA, says EFF, and that's stupid

It's pretty obvious really: the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has pointed out that the researchers responsible for the now-infamous “Jeep hack” broke America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Similarly obvious, they say, is that such research should be legal if Detroit wants to avoid creating the cyber-Pinto. …
Pair of pliers cutting wire

Regulator okays Optus exit from HFC network

The deal between nbnTM and Optus has taken another step towards regulatory approval, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issuing a draft decision to let the deal go ahead. The two carriers have been waiting since December 2014 for the rubber-stamp. The deal will progressively transfer elements of …
Sony drone

Sony eyes enterprise drone biz as next big little thing

Sony has found a bottle of Jeff Bezos' Kool-Aid lying around, drunk it, and signed a deal with Japanese UAV outfit ZMP. To be fair, the new venture isn't predicated on delivering books by drone. Rather, Sony wants to get some of its key technologies airborne. Under the joint venture, Sony will contribute “camera, sensing, …

Microsoft joins attack on 'non-consensual pornography'

Microsoft has joined the online drive against so-called "revenge porn" in which people's naked or otherwise embarrassing/erotic pictures are posted widely online. In June, The Chocolate Factory announced an initiative to let individuals report images and videos for removal. Microsoft's now done likewise, with chief online …
Halo 5 Guardians

Beaten blokes HATE the women who frag them in online games

Trick-cyclists from the University of NSW and Miami University have probably got themselves onto the “gamer-gate” hate list with a study that finds men who get fragged in online games really despise losing to a woman. The study, by UNSW's Michael Kasumovic and Miami uni's Jeffrey Kuznekoff, ploughed through recordings of 163 …
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

Yahoo! reverses! reversal! FLIPS! profit! into! loss!

Yahoo! has reported a $22m loss for its second quarter, as CEO Marissa Mayer tries to buy market share off Google and Facebook. For the same period last year, the ad business booked a $270m profit, so the quarter represents a slump of nearly $300m. The loss, which Reuters briefly described as a “lower-than-expected profit” …
Cat from Cisco TV ad

Cisco re-orgs marketing to hide the brand, EMPTY YOUR WALLET

Given a relatively flat few years, it's probably no surprise that Cisco has told the warm bodies in its marketing departments to become cold-blooded revenue-making machines. Along the way, get ready for The Borg to try to out-Google Google in its data collection. In a blog post, head of digital transformation and analytics …
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Microsoft open-sources Sora software-defined radio

Microsoft has decided to open-source its six-year-old Sora software radio project. As Redmond's Jane Ma explained at Technet, Sora has been designed to replicate the behaviour of specialised ASICs on a PC. Its focus is on the PHY and MAC layers. ASIC design is expensive and inflexible, so software platforms are attractive to …

Australian carriers try to head off government telco security bill

Australian attorney-general George Brandis' plans to turn his department into a national telco chief security officer are to be carpet-bombed by a coalition of industry groups opposing the proposed laws. In a submission leaked to the ABC and The Australian Financial Review and since sighted by The Register, a bunch of industry …
Facepalm by Ron Mander

Pirates also buy content legally, Australian gov study finds

As Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull releases a survey designed to help justify the government's Internet not-a- filter legislation, the nation's opposition is showing signs of morning-after regret for waving the laws through parliament. The law, passed in June, gives content owners a court process by which …
Driverless car

Whitehall maps out Blighty's driverless future

The UK's Department for Transport – with £20m of R&D taxpayer money on the table (the first tranche of a total £100m) – has published a code of conduct for driverless car testing. Whitehall hopes to push British motor makers ahead of the game in getting driverless cars on the road, the DfT said. The code follows on from a …

Bureau of Meteorology picks Cray-zy fast 1.6 petaflop supercomputer

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM's) plan to buy what will be, at least for a while, Australia's biggest iron has taken a big step forward, with Cray named as the lucky vendor. The BoM's tender originally went out in 2013, and in 2014 the federal government allocated around AU$50m to the project. Another $27m will …
axe_648

More mobile misery at Cisco: Intucell set for cuts?

A week after Channel Register heard of Cisco's woes in the small cell business, reports are emerging that another recent acquisition is also troubled. On the back of last week's report that half the staff of Ubiquisys's Swindon operation might be de-assimilated, Lightreading reckoned there were now nervous flutters in The Borg …
NRL's STM image of molecular transistor

Much more Moore's Law, as boffins assemble atom-level transistor

The end times for Moore's Law aren't quite at hand, but we now know what the silicon-killer might look like: single-molecule transistors that can switch at the single electron level. That's what a multinational team of boffins working with the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) say they've created. The transistor consists of …
eBay

eBay's new plan: sell the shirt off your back

Having spent much of 2015 shedding non-core businesses like PayPal, its Craigslist stake and its enterprise services unit, eBay has announced a back-to-the-roots acquisition of Twice. The San Francisco startup gives the company second-hand women's clothing sales, something that's sure to delight eBay sellers who specialise in …
Dunce's cap graffiti by https://www.flickr.com/photos/lord-jim/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

When is a market not a market? When it's SDN or NFV, says Gartner

Gartner is sick of being asked to craft magic quadrants for software-defined network (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV), and isn't going to do so, even if enthusiasts hold their breath and turn blue. The reason? According to distinguished analyst (our emphasis) Joe Skorupa, it's simple: SDN and NFV aren't markets …
Huawei HQ

Huawei claims 30 per cent growth for H1 2015/16

Huawei's core smartphone and network infrastructure units have driven the Chinese behemoth's revenue past $28bn for the first half of financial year 2015-2016. In a result that will chill the likes of Cisco, Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, the company's revenues hopped on an elevator to grow 30 per cent year-on-year, and …
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

BT's Openreach plots G.fast end-user trials

BT's Openreach has taken another step in the introduction of G.fast services, and late last week briefed Brit ISPs on how to join customer trials. The talks, held on Friday 17 July, were staged to get providers on board for what it has dubbed “NGA2” (Next Generation Access). The G.Fast trial will be run in conjunction with a …
Quenching Coma Galaxies

STARS SNUFFED in massive galactic whodunit

It's generally accepted by astronomers that dark matter makes up roughly 27 per cent of the known Universe – but in a galactic cluster 300 million light years away, that proportion is all skewiff. Simulations carried out by ICRAR (International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research) doctoral student Cameron Yozin using big iron …
Marshall's London smartphone

Marshall wants to turn your phone UP TO ELEVEN

Fans of the Marshall look and sound can now carry it around in a smartphone. The iconic guitar amplifier outfit''s headphones division managed something that Apple hasn't: it's developed a smartphone without having it leaked to a fan-site. So the launch of the London smartphone managed to catch the world somewhat by surprise …

America helps ease Ericsson's pain

Ericsson boss Hans Vestberg is breathing a sigh of relief, with America's demand for mobile broadband stabilising enough to help it beat forecasts for the second quarter. The company announced on Friday that the North American territory had finally stabilised after declining for three quarters, helping both sales and profit …
NBN Logo

Australian Government hopes to untangle NBN migration mess

Australia's government is looking for industry input into National Broadband Network (NBN) migration policy, and wants submissions by August 20. Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's statement says the new round of consultation seeks a migration framework that is both industry-led and focussed on the end user. The …

Hacking Team hackers questioned over Hacking Team hack

Reports have emerged that ex-staff of hacked spookware-spaffer Hacking Team have been questioned by police in Milan. According to Reuters, Italian police have questioned six ex-employees of the company, adding that the unnamed staff in question were already suspected of leaking the company's secrets. Spookeware boss David …

Your gadget batteries endanger planes, says Boeing

Boeing has decided that lithium-ion batteries, the engine-room of the tech gadget boom, are too dangerous to haul around in bulk on cargo planes. The company has warned operators of its aircraft not to carry bulk shipments of batteries until logistics companies design better transport packaging and shipping procedures. …
Australian attorney general George Brandis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/cebitaus/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

AARNet warns of 'draconian overreach' in telco regulation

As the deadline for submissions on the Australian government's telecom security legislation approaches, concerns are emerging at the potential for the laws to stifle innovation. The laws, introduced to Federal Parliament late in June, are designed to make sure that telecommunications carriers protect their infrastructure …
firing range - target in cross hairs

RC4 crypto: Get RID of it already, say boffins

Remember how many times the crypto world has shouted that the RC4 crypto algorithm needs to be wiped from the face of the Earth? It just got even worse, with researchers demonstrating an attack that can be executed in 52 hours. Belgian researchers preparing for August's Usenix Security Symposium in Washington, DC, reckon they …

CloudRouter inches closer to G/A with second beta

The open-source CloudRouter project is getting closer to general availability, with its second beta hitting the Internet today. CloudRouter first emerged in March under the aegis of peering company IIX. The Register asked project lead Jay Turner why, in a world where routers have well over 20 years' of development, the world …
A Handful of Giant Weta by Mike Locke

Cisco Videoscape bug could bring endless repeats to your tellie

Cisco is asking Web broadcasters using its Videoscape TV-over-IP streaming product to get patching, after a denial-of-service vulnerability was found in the software. The system, kicked off in 2011 and rolled into a bigger “Evolved Services Platform” in 2014, is a cloudy PVR with transcoder and video optimisation. The Borg's …

Wi-Fi Alliance ushers in new era of intrusive apps

A lack of connectivity options in devices like smartphones is clearly what stops location-based advertising from being the saviour of physical retailing. That, or something like it, seems to be behind the Wi-Fi Alliance's “Wi-Fi Aware” project, announced at CES in January and now launching its product certification program. …
Google Cast / Processor API demo

New Google APIs: Point your phone at a telly like a streaming hose of vid

Google has mashed the Processing graphics language into its Cast software, letting visual artists and others with a bent for graphics point their creations at the nearest big-screen TV. The project even seems to hint at a possible games angle: an Android device like a mobile phone can be used as a controller of the displayed …

Proxyham Wi-Fi relay SUPPRESSED. CONSPIRACY, yowl tinfoilers

Rhino Security has suddenly pulled the plug on its “ProxyHam” Wi-Fi relay project and withdrawn from the upcoming DefCon conference. The company's Bun Cuadill made the “announcement” in the way most likely to send conspiracists hyperventilating: a couple of Twitter messages that offered no explanation. Since the aim of …
Fibre Optic by Barta IV https://www.flickr.com/photos/98640399@N08/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Alca-Lu clocks 300 Gbps over 10,000 km submarine cable

Get ready for more confusion about optical fibre speed and distance records: Alcatel-Lucent has announced a 300 Gbps, 10,000 km transmission on a submarine cable test-bed. The announcement, here, touts the test of a 300 Gbps modulation technology over 10,000 km using “second-generation coherent submarine” fibre. What's being …
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Huawei: in the world of 5G, we're all Europeans now

Huawei has formalised its cooperation with Europe's 5G-PPP (public-private partnership), announcing the projects it will be working on under the project. The Chinese juggernaut's interest was signalled last year when it dominated sponsorship of the 5G@Europe summit in Munich. Earlier this year, Europe's digital commish …
New Horizons spacecraft approaching Pluto

Pluto revealed as KING of the Kuiper belt

As astroboffins prepare themselves for the arrival of data from New Horizons' nearest approach in its Pluto fly-by, the little probe has already revised opinion about how big/small the planet/dwarf planet really is. Pluto won't get to recover its lost status as a planet, but NASA's New Horizons team has confirmed that at 2,370 …