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Richard Chirgwin

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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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- …
SAMLabs Internet of things kit

IoT coding kit targets experimenters who can't code

London startup SAMLabs reckons the Internet of Things is just like LegoTM – and has put together a combo of hardware breadboard and software programming environment to prove it. The Kickstarter-supported project combines designers and engineers from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College, London, working in Microsoft …
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DARPA joins math-secured microkernel race

In a discussion that will sound familiar to Australian readers, US military development agency DARPA wants to create provably-secure software. According to Threatpost, DARPA director Arati Prabhakar told a Washington Post security conference that embedded systems are among the kinds of applications for which it's feasible to …
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Vendors join hands to foster open source NFV

The Linux Foundation has added another string to its virtualisation bow, with the launch of OPNFV, its project for an open-source network function virtualisation (NFV) platform. The project, here, comes with the obligatory roster of high-profile vendors backing it: AT&T, Brocade, Cisco, China Mobile, Huawei, IBM, Juniper and …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

Vertigan hands Turnbull a knife, Turnbull carves Vertigan report

It would be hard to find a more doctrinaire document than the final Vertigan panel's Markets and Regulatory Report that was handed down yesterday. The panel has managed to produce a report so far off realpolitik that the government had no choice but to damp it down immediately. The document takes to heart Tony Abbott's notorious …
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NBN Co to launch commercial FTTN in Q3 2015

The Federal Government's favoured “multi-technology model”, under which fibre-to-the-node would become the default build for NBN Co where the fibre build hasn't commenced, has finally got a landing date: 2015. NBN Co's latest product roadmap (PDF here) says commercial fibre-to-the-node services will launch in the third quarter …
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German data commish makes a Hamburger out of Google

In another likely-to-be-fruitless attempt to rein in the globalisation of privacy invasion, Hamburg is telling Google to seek punters' permission for a range of services that build user profiles. The news comes just a day after Brussels told Android OEMs they could either open the skirts on their contracts with Google, or face …
Huawei HQ

Huawei promises €1.5 BILLION French investment

China's telco juggernaut is taking its international charm offensive to France, promising investment, jobs and training after a confab with prime minister Manuel Valls. According to LesEchos (French original here), Huawei has promised €1.5 billion (just under US$2 billion) in investments, which it says will mostly centre on …

Nadella tells India: Microsoft data centres coming YOUR way

Microsoft is schmoozing like a pro in the Indian market, with boss Satya Nadella announcing new data centres for Azure and Office365 in the country during a brief visit to Hyderabad. Redmond says the local data centres will be running its cloud services in India by the end of 2015. As well as a response to concerns about data …

Dude, you're getting a Dell! Uni of Queensland adds AU$275,000 cluster

The University of Queensland is the latest contributor to Australia's academic high-performance computing boom, with a AU$275,000 ($238k) cluster going live late in September. Installed at the University's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), the new cluster has nine Dell PowerEdge R620s. Each runs …
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Google promises MORE CHOCOLATE to squish Chrome bugs

Google has announced an uptick to what it'll pay for Chrome bugs, under its bug bounty program. The Chocolate Factory's bumping up the top published payment under the bounty to US$15,000 (while noting that for particularly spectacular bugs it's been known to pay out as much as US$30,000 under the old rules). The starting price …
An abandoned Telstra facility on the Stuart Highway

Telstra announces another national WiFi rollout

Telstra has announced that its re-entry into the wireless hotspot business will go into live trial before the end of the year, using public phone boxes to host WiFi in “iconic” locations. The system is being rolled out in partnership with Fon. Eventually, the commercial service will be free to people with a BigPond account, with …

Bloke accused of making phone spyware StealthGenie is cuffed by feds

Allegedly building and selling spyware has landed a Pakistani man in trouble with the Feds: the g-men collared 31-year-old Hammad Akbar, of Lahore, on Monday for flogging StealthGenie, it's claimed. The US Department of Justice says Akbar was indicted in the Eastern District of Virginia for operating a company called InvoCode, …
Wobegong eats Bamboo Shark

Grooveshark caught in a net of its own making

Music streaming service Grooveshark has become the latest casualty of copyright law, courtesy of executives trying to boost its catalogue in its start-up days. In a summary ruling that decides a case launched in 2011, The New York Times reports, Manhattan federal district judge Thomas Griesa entered a filing of direct …

OpenDaylight floats 2.0 'Helium' release

The OpenDaylight foundation has opened the valve and let Helium escape into the software-defined networking (SDN) atmosphere. The combined SDN and network function virtualisation (NFV) platform implements the Apache Karaf container, and claims better integration with the OpenStack environment, and with the Open vSwitch database …
Canberra UAV team

Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge

CSIRO has, for the first time, dipped into its pocket and paid out to drone-makers who successfully completed its annual UAV challenge. For each of the past eight years, the science body has offered prizes up to $AU50,000 for anyone who can locate their “missing bushwalker” (dubbed “Outback Joe”) and drop water to the target. …
Dunce

Opposition: we passed Australia's 'spook's charter' on PURPOSE

Australia's opposition has defended its stance on Australia's new national security laws, which provide maximum ten-year jail sentence for nat-sec leakers, by leaking its leader's attitude to a national media outlet. The draconian laws also allow ASIO to apply for a warrant to invade a computer network – without any limit on the …
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Alca-Lu spinoff Nuage plugs into Oracle SDN

Alcatel-Lucent's Nuage software-defined networking (SDN) venture has announced that it's adding Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux integration to its stack. Nuage, which spun out of Alca-Lu in April 2013, with the aim of splitting its SDN and network function virtualisation (NFV) work from the tyranny of the installed base. Its …
Bug bounties

Apple finally patches Bash Shellshock vuln that WAS NOT A WORRY, OK?

Apple and F5 are the latest big-name vendors to post responses to the “Shellshock” vulnerability in Bash. Just days after saying “the vast majority of OS X users are not at risk”, Cupertino has posted Bash fixes for OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks. The fix is now available in OS X users' Software Update. It would, …
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

EFA looks to bust A-G copyright submission 'censorship'

Electronic Frontiers Australia wants individuals who made submissions to the Australian government's copyright review to hand on copies of their documents, in an attempt to break what it believes is censorship of the submissions. The Attorney-General consultation on proposed changes to Australia's copyright laws closed at the …
HP

ARMs head Moonshot bodies: HP pops Applied Micro, TI chips into carts

HP taking another shot at its Project Moonshot by today announcing two new ARM-powered servers, one 64-bit and the other 32-bit. The US giant hopes its two new ProLiant models will live up to the hype: for years now the ARM world has claimed the architecture will provide high-density, power efficient systems for data centers. …

Oracle plans German DCs to soothe NSA-ruffled nerves

Oracle has become the latest US IT giant to placate European businesses with extra local data centres. According to V3.co.uk, the company's Loïc le Guisquet, EMEA executive veep, told Oracle's OpenWorld conference on Sunday that there will be two new bit barns opened in Germany in the coming weeks. The Frankfurt and Munich …
ITU logo

US stakes out 'net battleground ahead of ITU meeting

America is once again steeling itself to defend the Internet from the gasp of the ITU. A White House blog post by State Department officials Daniel Sepulveda, Christopher Painter and Scott Busby says the US still believes there are countries and groups that hope to use ITU mandates over the Internet as a means to impose local …
u-blox SARA-U260 module

U-blox Internet of Things radio okayed by AT&T

The Intel-powered mini 3G radio module from u-blox has taken a step towards commercial Internet-of-things viability, with AT&T announcing it's certified the kit for use on its network. The certification means OEMs can start designing products using the SARA-U260 module, part of the SARA-U2 range announced in late August. …