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Richard Chirgwin

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Intel's XMM 6255

Chipzilla gives birth to a TINY comms chip

Intel has shrunk a 3G-plus-power amplifier combo with a 300 square millimetre footprint, which it's targeting at Internet of Things applications. Chipzilla's XMM 6255, described here, is the world's smallest so far, the company says. It's got 2G and 3G capabilities, and Intel says LTE is on the drawing board for the future. …
Termination point

NBN predicts a million premises next year

NBN users are data-hungry beasts, and while the move from early-adopter to mainstream is expanding the number of users on lower-speed plans, around two-thirds of the 210,000 connected customers are on speeds above 25 Mbps. Announcing its annual results today, NBN Co's presentation slides show that nearly 20 per cent of its …
Solar filament eruption of August 31, 2012

Neutrinos lay bare solar proton reactions

A key prediction of solar physics, that its nuclear reactions should emit neutrinos with a particular signature, has been confirmed according to scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Using the Borexino instrument in Italy’s Apennine Mountains, the research team detected electron-flavour neutrinos emitted by …
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU

You can't make this stuff up: one of the lead agencies involved in agitating for Australia to implement a data retention regime has fallen prey to not knowing how to properly redact information in PDFs. The Guardian Australia which broke the story, saying documents the AFP provided to parliament contained the sensitive …

Oz metadata proposal: no to IP addresses, yes to MAC address logging

Australia's federal government continues to say its proposed (but not yet drafted) metadata retention laws won't impose any new requirements on telecommunications carriers and ISPs. Following the leak of its confidential discussion paper to mainstream news outlets and the publication of the paper by Fairfax (here), Attorney- …
management regulation2

Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO

The Apple-Samsung lawsuit in the US continues its inch-wise progress, with Judge Lucy Koh deciding against giving Apple a permanent injunction to stop Samsung selling smartphones – even though by now they are mostly obsolete. Apple won a settlement worth nearly $120m in May, with a jury deciding that Samsung had infringed …
Tactical facepalm

Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, which in 2013 accidentally blocked innocent Websites in an attempt to disrupt financial fraud, has told a government inquiry it didn't actually know what it was doing. In using what are called “Section 313 notices” under the Act to shut down fraud sites, the financial …
Communication Chambers chart 1

Government report: average Oz user will want 15 Mbps by 2023

With the launch of the report, communications minister Malcolm Turnbull seems to have taken a more generous view of the predictability of the future. In April 2013, Turnbull scorned predictions five to ten years in the future were uncertain, adding that he was ““knowledgeable enough and modest enough to know that you can't …
Supercavitating submarines

China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE

China reportedly wants to enter the world of supersonic transport – under the water. Rather than working up its own successor-to-Concorde project, the South China Morning Post says scientists at Harbin Institute of Technology's Complex Flow and Heat Transfer Lab are working on developing a technique called supercavitation, first …

PhabletPhace: All the cool kids are doing it in Asia

Large smartphones, aka “phablets” have have captured a big (fondle)slab of the mobile phone market in Asia. That pronouncement comes from analyst outfit IDC's new Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which identifies folks willing to use a phablet – a tablet with built-in phone and at least a seven-inch screen – as a new …
EOS Facility at Mt Stromolo

EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz

EOS Space Systems and Lockheed have struck a deal to jointly develop a space junk tracking centre in Western Australia. Having a second tracking centre (in addition to its existing facility at Mount Stromlo in the ACT) will significantly improve EOS Space Systems' coverage, the company says, since its activities won't be subject …

Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare

CloudFlare has carried the fail-bucket to Australia and dumped it on incumbent Telstra's doorstep. The cloud provider has published benchmark peering price comparisons which it says show that Telstra is staggeringly expensive as an Internet transit provider: “we pay about as much every month for bandwidth to serve all of Europe …

Intel in Taiwanese IoT tie-tup

Intel has attracted another name to its SDN and Internet of Things strategies, this time in Asia. According to reports out of Taiwan, Chipzilla has signed an agreement with Chunghwa Telecom extending their existing cloud computing partnership with IoT and SDN work. As CTimes reports, the two have signed an MOU to accelerate …
Fast growth of NSA datasets

New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden suggest during the noughties, the NSA massively expanded the information it shared with its Five Eyes allies and other agencies. In slides given to The Intercept, the NSA boasts that its ICREACH program “increases NSA communications metadata sharing from 50 billion records to 850+ billion …
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Akamai warns: SMB security remains major risk

Security offerings for small businesses need to look more like those offered to enterprises, according to Akamai global security senior director Fran Trentley. Speaking to The Register while in Sydney for the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit, Trentley said SMBs are increasingly seen as attack targets, and that poses a …

Harvard boffins 'reverse-engineer' Chinese censorship

A group of researchers has stung China's censorship regime, building a “fake” social network to reverse-engineer the workings of the “great firewall”. The bulk of the work from the Harvard-led group was simpler – they used anonymous volunteers from inside China to create accounts on sanctioned social media sites, and compared …
Qantas A380 tail

In-flight slab-fondling and mobe-stroking in Australia at last

Australian gadget-owners rejoice, you can now keep your devices switched on from “gate to gate” on Qantas and Virgin Australia flights. Earlier this year, aviation regulator CASA announced it was relaxing the rules that demanded a power-down for mobes and fondleslabs, but that airlines required certification to put the rules …
eyeofSauron

Oz metadata retention won't include URLs: report

The Australian government has reportedly circulated a private brief outlining how it intends to define “metadata”, according to The Australian. There are some snippets of new information in the copy of the document seen by The Oz: while the government is apparently excluding “content” from the data retention scheme, it now seems …
Landing sites on Rosetta's comet

Euro space boffins narrow down lander sites on comet doing 135,000km/h toward Sun

The European Space Agency has identified five possible sites where its Rosetta spacecraft could probe comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Over the past twenty days, spent in the vicinity of the 3.5km by 4km rock, the craft has taken loads of photographs for the Rosetta team. The boffins have now picked the best places to drop the …
Tactical facepalm

Intelligence blunder: You wanna be Australia's spyboss? No problem, just walk right in

The Australian Security Intelligence Service, ASIS, has seemingly demonstrated a peculiar weakness in its access control systems. A fluke administrative stuff-up allowed its Director-General – its most senior and therefore most sensitive role – to turn up and function for five days while he wasn't actually employed by the …

Brookhaven boffins boggle at baryons

It's a long way from being a “discovery”, but it's getting physicists excited: the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Lab is accumulating evidence that could point to so-called “strange” Baryons. Predicted by theory but never observed in the wild, the particles we're talking about are so named because …
padlock

NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess

NIST has taken a look at how companies use Secure Shell (SSH), and doesn't much like what it sees. In spite of the depth of access generally handed SSH implementations for a host of different activities – “file transfers, back-ups, software/patch management, disaster recovery, provisioning and data base updates”, as SSH (the …
IBM Logo 2014

Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79

Former IBM CEO John Akers has died in Boston aged 79. Big Blue announced Akers' passing here, due to a stroke according to Bloomberg. After a stint as a US Navy pilot, the IBM obit states, Akers joined the company in 1960. His 33-year stint with IBM culminated in his appointment as its sixth CEO in 1985, following three years …

Leak: Intel readies next round of NUC

Slides of what's widely reported to be the next iteration of Intel's NUC have hit the Web courtesy of fan site Fanless Tech. The slides, here, indicate that as well as giving the fanless boxes more grunt across the board, the NUC 2.0 line will also get gamer versions. The details are straightforward enough: Core i3, i5 …
The chinese characters for China as used in the new .中国  domain

China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft

The world's about to get a new operating system, if reports out of China are correct: the Middle Kingdom hopes to kick off its own operating system in October 2014. According to Xinhua, Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told local trade magazine People's Post and Telecommunications News the OS will first hit on …

Big content seeks specialist court for copyright cases

Australia's music lobby has stepped up its calls for intervention against unauthorised copying, asking the government to establish a special court system devoted to copyright. Former Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) enforcer Michael Speck made the call speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, following the UK …
Liz Lowe with Golden Orb-Weaver

BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE

If you're a city-dweller who thinks spiders have gotten bigger over your lifetime, you might just be right, according to boffins from Sydney University. Looking at the harmless but impressive Oz arachnid Nephila plumipes – the Golden Orb-Weaver – they've found that urban specimens are fatter than their country cousins. The …
Plasma ball

TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company

Yet another set of astonishing claims is being made for yet another “low energy nuclear reactions” (LENR) technology. A Californian outfit called Solar Hydrogen Trends is claiming to have a highly efficient process using solar energy to produce hydrogen from water. Specifically, in this release the company claims to turn one …
Emiland De Cubber's alternative PRISM logo

Facebook needs to defend Austrian privacy violation case

Privacy activist Max Schrems, leader of the “Europe-versus-Facebook” movement, has had a procedural win in Austria that means Facebook Ireland has to prep its defence. According to Reuters, Schrems says his lawsuit in Austria's Vienna Regional Court has taken a step forward, passing its first review by the court. As a result, …

Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state

In a move that has garnered little notice beyond India, the Government of Karnataka state early in August passed laws allowing it to pre-emptively arrest copyright suspects. The change happened in the first week of August, when the state amended its Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-Offenders, Gamblers, …
Nvidia

ARM64 gets better GPU support in CUDA release

NVIDIA has launched the next upgrade to its parallel computing and programming platform, with CUDA 6.5 going live as a production release. The free download here puts 64-bit ARM platforms on a par with x86, by letting them take advantage of GPU acceleration. As NVIDIA claims in this blog, the combination of low-power ARM64 …
NASA Image - Ozone Hole

Carbon tetrachloride releases still too high, says NASA

Somewhere, a dry cleaner didn't get the memo: someone is putting an awful lot of carbon tetrachloride into the atmosphere, and NASA would like them to stop. Back in 1987, the compound was one of many ozone-depleting chemicals regulated under the Montreal Protocol. However, NASA said on Wednesday there's still too much of the …
Evil Android

Memory troubling you, Android? Surprise! Another data slurp vuln uncovered

Yet another Android vulnerability has been revealed by researchers presenting at the Usenix conference: the way apps use memory can be exploited to leak private information with a success rate “between 82 and 92 per cent of the time”. Announced by the University of California, Riverside here, the researchers' paper [PDF] gives a …
Tesla Model S

Tesla: YES – We'll build a network of free Superchargers in Oz

Tesla has confirmed to The Register that a network of its Supercharger stations is planned for Australia after its Model S arrives, later in 2014. The company has appointed consulting engineer and renewables specialist Evan Beaver to manage the Australian Supercharger program. Tesla would not provide details on the rollout, but …
padlock

Boffins propose security shim for Android

An international group of researchers believes Android needs more extensible security, and is offering up a framework they hope either Google or mobe-makers will take for a spin. The project is described in this paper slated for the Usenix Security Symposium on Friday in San Diego. The researchers from Germany's Technische …

Amazon flicks switch on CloudFront security features

Amazon has beefed up security on its CloudFront services, adding Perfect Forward Secrecy, OCSP stapling and session tickets to its SSL support. The company describes the new AWS features in full in this blog post. Session tickets are designed to improve performance, particularly in the case of an interrupted session between …
channel_partners_deal_handshake

Microsoft, Google link arms on browser vid chat

A standard proposal to get voice/video chats into standard browsers has brought Microsoft and Google onto the same side of the table. The “Object RTC (ORTC) API for WebRTC” (here) provides a framework to embed Skype-like voice and video over IP directly into browsers (instead of having them rely on mutually-incompatible third- …
Microsoft-themed Monopoly board

Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group

After a year of participating in the American Legislative Exchange Council, Microsoft has decided that even tangential alignment with a high-profile oil-funded lobby is not what it wants. ALEC has been criticised by groups such as Greenpeace for lobbying against state-level clean energy and climate policies in America. Redmond …
balaclava_thief_burglar

Did you swipe your card through one of these UPS Store tills? You may have been pwned

UPS has discovered an outbreak of debit and credit-card-reading malware in 51 of its branches in the US. Exactly which strain of malware was involved is not known; a spokesperson told The Register today: "We're still investigating the infection." It's hoped the identity of the malware will be revealed once that probe is complete …
Xennet process

Xennet wants YOUR machines for tradable supercomputer cloud

A group called Xennet wants to create a blockchain-managed market in which users rent out their spare processor cycles for a closed-shop crypto-currency. The idea is a combination of two streams of thought: SETI@home and Bitcoin. From SETI@home and other similar setups that have followed in its footsteps, Xennet wants to create …
Ruhr University's malware architecture

How to marry malware to software downloads in an undetectable way (Hint: Please use HTTPS)

Be thankful it's only a proof-of-concept of a hack: German researchers have shown that internet software distribution mechanisms can be turned into virus vectors, without modifying the original code. The Ruhr University boffins – Felix Gröbert, Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi and Marcel Winandy – have developed an on-the-fly mechanism for …
Haswell-E Motherboards

Intel's Haswell-E brain to emerge from the lab at end of August – reports

Intel has reportedly fixed a date to ship its octo-core Haswell-E processors and X99 Express chipset, with a Japanese outlet saying they will hit the shelves on August 29. Japan's Hermitage Akihabara says the high-end desktop silicon and associated motherboards have been brought forward a little from the expected September ship …
The ELMOFO electric racer

'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race

An Australian EV bearing the name ELMOFO has beaten petrol-powered competitors in an officially-sanctioned race – twice. Ahead of the FIA Formula E race in China in September, a battery-powered car managed three feats at a meet for the NSW SuperSports State Championship: it won two out of three heats against petrol-powered …
Terry Lovejoy's comet discovery

Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet

It's too early to be certain, but with confirmation of a new, possibly near-Earth comet slated for a pass in early January 2015, sky-watchers will be working hard to calculate just how close it's going to come. The new object, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), is the fifth discovered by Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy. As Universe Today …
Troll in cross hairs

Tech patent hoarder Intellectual Ventures to lose a fifth of its trolls

Notorious patent troll license enforcer Intellectual Ventures has fallen on hard times, it seems, with Bloomberg reporting mass layoffs at the company. According to this report, 20 per cent of the company's 700 staff will be looking for other non-practising entities to work for. That would mean between 130 and 140 of the …

Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN

Activists just got another reason to worry about what spooks might be able to learn about them, with boffins demonstrating that a decent traffic fingerprint can tell an attacker what's going on, even if an app is defended by encryption. The researchers from the Universities of Padua and Rome have found that for activities like …

Ad regulator pulls down Branson-backed magic undies

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided that Wireless Armour, which promises to protect your crown jewels from nasty WiFi signals, can't be advertised in Blighty. The underwear, which has sought funds on Indiegogo and later attracted the high-profile backing of Richard Branson, claimed that silver threads in …

EMC is shopping for Indian startups

EMC has revealed that it's set aside US$2.3 billion for acquisitions, and is tagging the startup sector in India as one target for its shopping expeditions. The company has told India's The Economic Times in India that it has a particular eye for startups in that country. Chirantan Desai, who heads up EMC's emerging technology …
Privacy image

Irish credit unions in privacy breach

Irish credit unions are in the midst of a privacy storm, with that country's privacy watchdog accusing some institutions of trafficking in illegally-obtained data. The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) says it's investigating whether some credit unions hired private investigators to obtain confidential data from …

Ericsson to roll Ciena kit into Telstra

Ericsson's February 2014 agreement with Ciena has paid off in Australia, with the two to work on a major optical network upgrade for incumbent Telstra. Beyond Ericsson's canned announcement, details of the upgrade are sketchy, but the carrier is keen to get its hands on Ciena's 100 Gbps packet-optical system which Ericsson …