Richard Chirgwin

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Cisco CEO John Chambers speaking at Cisco Live! 2014

Cisco CEO John Chambers' parting gift: a better-than-expected Q3

Outgoing Cisco boss John Chambers is smiling after delivering an April quarter that's 5.1 per cent up over the April 2014 quarter in turnover and 11.7 per cent up in profit. The result would have been even better, but for ongoing weakness in the service provider market (down 7 per cent). The enterprise, public sector and …
Tesla powerwall

Oz battery bossmen: Fingers will be burned in the Tesla goldrush

Interview If Elon Musk does spark a market shakeup in home power storage, one of the battlegrounds will be between mature and emerging technologies. With that in mind, The Register spoke to Stuart Smith, CEO of Redflow, and Bruce Ebzery, vice president of business development). Yes, Redflow is a battery company, which means it has its …
The Japanese pulsar-snooping balloon

Japanese astro-boffins race to recover pulsar-spotting balloon basket

For the second time this month, boffins will be scrambling towards the deserts in the middle of the Australian State of Queensland to recover the payload from a giant stratospheric balloon. This time, the arrival was deliberate: a team from Japan's Nagoya and Kobe universities launched the balloon to carry a payload of …

Big Switch adds NSX-v support to fabric controller

Big Switch Networks (BSN) is getting cosier with VMware by adding virtzilla's NSX virtualisation to its Big Cloud Fabric. NSX virtualises the network into a vSwitch-based SDN overlay, but sysadmins still have to deal with the underlying physical network, and that's where Big Switch reckons it can help. The new release of Big …
Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver's ministry of malware served slops AGAIN

Celebrity chef, food activist and supermarket promoter Jamie Oliver's website has been compromised for the third time this year. As with the previous two attacks, the WordPress site is serving up a password stealer, according to Malwarebytes, which hat-tipped Twitter account @hasherezade for the information. Malwarebytes says …
Gorillas by Thomas Wildmann Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Comcast joins the OpenDaylight software-defined networking party

Heavyweight US carrier Comcast has seen the light and wants its input into how software-defined networking (SDN) works. The company has become the OpenDaylight Foundation's first end-user member, although it has been a code contributor. As SDX Central notes, Comcast was involved in the CableLabs contribution, the PacketCable …
NBN logo

Australian government sun to set on NBN funding

BUDGET 2015 The 2015 Federal Budget has set the date at which the government will drive the national broadband network (NBN, not nbnTM) to a quiet country road, open the door, and drive off. In the firm belief that the multi-technology-mix-architected NBN will be ready by the 2016/17 budget year (and that the current government remains in …
Obama outlines NSA reforms

Trans Pacific Partnership 'fast-track' bill dumped

Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) optimists - including US President Barack Obama - are licking their wounds after Democrats in the US Senate dumped the "fast-track" legislation needed to wrap the trade deal up according to America's preferred timetable. The Senate Democrats have drawn a bead on the perceived risk the treaty might …
Stop Light by Horia Varlan, CC license from Flickr

Boffins brew 'Stop Light' that turns photons in fibre into memory

Sorry sci-fi fans, we're still not travelling even as far as Alpha Centauri. Rather, scientists at the Kastler Brossel Laboratory in Paris have pushed fibre-optic technology along by storing and re-emitting photons in a purely optical system. In other words, the mechanism the boffins have demonstrated constitutes an all-fibre …
International SDN demonstration network

OpenFlow busts out of the data centre with 15,000-route Pacific test

Last week, an international group of researchers and vendors demonstrated international carrier-scale software-defined networking (SDN), exchanging 15,000 routes across a trans-Pacific link. The partners – ESNet, switch vendor Corsa, the http://onosproject.org/ ONOS project, the Open Networking Foundation, AARnet and the CSIRO …
Skull image

Pop-up pest MacKeeper patches 0-day remote code execution vuln

A notorious piece of Mac maintenance software been found to have a critical remote code execution vulnerability. MacKeeper is infamous for its “clean up your Mac”-style popups, complete with designed-to-be-confusing "Leave Page/Stay on This Page” dialogues if you try to close the ad. News that the company behind the pestware …

Oz government to put dark fibre net on the auction block

The Australian government's dark fibre network, ICON, is one of the many assets slated for sale under tonight's federal budget announcements. ICON – the Intra Government Communications Network – has a total of 150,000 km of dark fibre linking 400 sites in Canberra, and is used by 88 agencies. The Department of Finance says the …
The Europa-exploring "robot eel"

NASA plans electrolysis-powered ROBOT EEL for Europa's oceans

Jupiter's moon Europa isn't the place for a Curiosity-style rover, since under its icy crust it may well have liquid oceans, so NASA's slung some money towards developing a robot eel concept. The robot, funded as one of a bunch of advanced concepts to get Phase 1 funding under NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program, which …
Zscaler's grab of the malicious login script

Small WordPress sites leaking like sieves

Wordpress admins hoping for some feet up time after last week's Twenty Fifteen XSS plugin vulnerability appear to have yet another vulnerability to handle. Researchers at Zcaler have identified a bunch of compromised sites that are all leaking user credentials to the same target domain – conyouse.com hosts the command and …

Tor kills cloud-bundling bridge software because nobody will maintain it

Lack of people willing to keep its code updated has led the Tor Project to kill off its Amazon Web EC2 instances and the Tor Cloud service they ran. While Tor Cloud was a neat idea – let users run up Tor bridges on Amazon and donate that bandwidth to Tor for other users – software has to be maintained, and nobody wants the job …
Parking meter FAIL from Ryan Stele's Flickr account  https://www.flickr.com/photos/tweek/139509551/in/photolist-dk2k6-8VcmSf-5w27pU-7RdimR-7RdiiK-7RdifK-7Rgz8f-7Rdiai-czUVBh-9Ls61i-5cY5jG-9bGK2Y-6VH3Xz-5YVGNT-abaRJ9-6PjTC5-6opqMB-jitAoe-5Yvee7-65tNZD-5xf3hB-a9Zegh-845DZg-ocfXQT-bfZB5z-aWWvax-bVe3vu-6yra6f-6yra4A-8nudtt-6WhDiL-6qNQyT-7YYReC-6yra5N-6yra3w-6yra2Y-6yn2HX-a6MPYs-6yn2Qx-6yn2Pv-6yra49-6yra2q-6yn2Hx-6yra57-6qT1yb-55rYVK-6yra75-6yr9ZQ-6odx71-68EVsF

Smart grid security WORSE than we thought

Don't try crypto at home, kids: the Open Smart Grid Protocol project rolled its own crypto and ended up with something horribly insecure. This paper at the International Association for Cryptologic Research explains big issues with the OSGP crypto protocol deployed in as many as four million smart meters and devices. The …
Selection of Australian banknotes

Oz gummint to empty another money-truck into e-health records

Having failed to attract Australians to e-health records in any significant numbers, the cash-strapped federal government is going to pour nearly half a billion into “rebooting” the strategy. Health minister Sussan Ley announced over the weekend that under this week's federal budget, Australia's Personally-Controlled Electronic …
NBN Co fixed wireless antenna

Turnbull moves on NBN subsidy arrangements

Australia's government has slapped the defibrillator on the Vertigan review of the National Broadband Network (NBN), and is asking for submissions about how subsidies for unprofitable services in remote areas should operate. Have your say on funding options for #nbn non-commercial services visit http://t.co/T3UkVduXvP # …
hand holdin retro telephone

1998 asks to speak to Turnbull about local calls

In its relentless search for regulations that impose unnecessary compliance costs on industry, the federal government is considering scrapping untimed local telephone calls in Australia, again. “Again”, because the last time retail price controls were raised was in 2014, when the Australian Communications and Media Authority ( …
Cloud

Net admins: the white box world HASN'T forgotten you

Pervasive security and deeper monitoring: that's what Big Switch Networks is pitching as the centrepiece of the next iteration of its Big Tap Monitoring Fabric, version 4.5. This system is designed to fit in the network packet broker (NPB) space – the out-of-band sniffer network that raises alerts admins if something's going …
Tesla powerwall

Tesla's battery put in the shade by current and cheaper kit

A couple more interesting details have emerged about Tesla's “game-changing” home battery, and it remains a moderately limp competitor that's done wonders for market awareness. Courtesy of Bloomberg, the world gets an idea of what the retail from-the-installer price of the battery might look like (rather than the wholesale price …
Super Pressure Balloon overhead in Victoria

FOUND: NASA's stray balloon located in the middle of nowhere

PICS The NASA super-balloon that landed in Australia in late April has been found on a cattle station in western Queensland. The Super Pressure Balloon, slated for a 100-day flight but terminated early, completed a near-circumnavigation of Antarctica, departing from New Zealand, heading east, and arriving in Australia before popping …
Skull image

Infusion pump is hackable … but rumours of death are exaggerated

It's the kind of vulnerability that's tailor-made for infosec publicity: a brand of infusion pumps used to deliver drugs to patients in hospital has an open, unauthenticated Telnet port that allows an attacker access to the dosage database. Yes, it's a serious vulnerability that presumably applies as much to the pump's WiFi port …

IETF updates TLS/SSL best practice guidance

Do: start rolling TLS 1.3, support TLS 1.2, and DTLS 1.2. Don't: negotiate sessions using TLS 1, TLS 1.1, SSL 2 or SSL 3. Those are the Internet Engineering Task Force's latest recommendations, set out in RFC 7525, Recommendations for Secure Use of Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS). The …
Selection of Australian banknotes

Australian Bureau of Statistics to get AU$250m tech boost

If the pre-budget briefings-to-journalists are correct, Big IT is going to be refreshing its tender boilerplates for a lot of work in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the troubled bureau – which was reportedly considering skipping the next census to save cash – is going to get AU …
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

FCC wants to know if carriers can grab some of YOUR WiFi signal

The United States' Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking over a key item on the telco industry's wish-list: spectrum sharing to try and cope with a capacity crunch. While its consultation paper, here, focuses on “LTE-U” (LTE-Unlicensed), current developments will probably also be relevant to the looming 5G business …
Pair of pliers cutting wire

Australian Labor Party toys with a return to fibre, sometime, somewhere

The Australian Labor Party is considering whether it might be able to revive some kind of fibre-to-the-premises policy to take to the 2016 election. It's put forward a proposed policy platform, which will have to get past its backroom policy-making sausage factory, that includes a “two-stage” national broadband network (NBN). …
Puppets by Jim McDougall License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

EMC dangles Puppet out of its Enterprise Hybrid Cloud

Puppet Enterprise is getting a boost in its global sales footprint, with EMC deciding its customers need a bit of devops love and adding the automation suite to its hybrid clouds. Puppet Enterprise is going to be available as part of EMC's Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution, the two companies will launch a DevOps …
A bad day for Prenda Law

POW: Smut-seeding copyright troll slammed as 'extortionate'

Video Prenda Law – the copyright troll whose exploits included seeding smut onto torrents, seeing who downloaded them, and threatening them with exposure if they didn't pay up as infringers – has been described as “crooked” and “extortionate” by a 91-year-old judge. The company wants the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn $237, …

Borg boosts future cable broadband biz with DOCSIS 3.1 boxen

Cisco's joined the DOCSIS 3.1 game, launching an access platform it says will scale from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps as what it calls a “hub in a box” environment. The refresh of the company's cable access platforms adds DOCSIS 3.1 to the existing version 3.0 support, increases the platform's subscriber density, and cuts down overall …
Cloud

ARM joins the NFV race with virtual set-top box spec

ARM has become the latest silicon vendor to pitch a major network function virtualisation (NFV) strategy, and has announced a partnerships with Applied Micro and Netzyn, and with Enea. Under the ARM-Applied Micro-Netzyn agreement (announced here), the three partners will create and demonstrate a virtual set-top box for pay TV …

Cisco's Chambers: white box is dead and WE KILLED IT

Cisco's now-outgoing CEO John Chambers has reiterated his belief that the Borg has already beaten off the white-box market. In an interview with CNBC – transcript here (with editing suggesting voice recognition rather than human transcription) – Chambers says that extending the company's lock-in strategy across platforms and …
Battery_Andy_Armstrong_CC_2_Flickr

AGL trumps Tesla with batteries-and-solar-cell package

You could almost pity Australian energy company AGL: while Elon Musk was displaying Tesla's Powerwall to a breathless, waiting world, it quietly entered the consumer battery storage market and nobody noticed. The utility, which has been sniffing around the renewable market for some time and recently decided it would “decarbonise …
Eavesdroppping Hound by Good Eye Might on Flickr under CC2

Analogue modems allow UNSTOPPABLE Android attack ... at 13bps

The better your Android smartphone's audio, the worse its security – the audio channel is the latest path for “low and slow” data leak attacks. A research group at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has demonstrated that you could create a covert data channel using a smartphone's voice channel. While it only runs at 13 …
Window to the world by https://www.flickr.com/photos/armydre2008/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Key ADSL contributor Joseph W Lechleider dies at 82

The man who put the “asymmetric” in front of DSL has died aged 82. As an engineer at Bellcore – Bell Communications Research, later Telecordia Technologies – Joseph Lechleider worked in a research team trying to solve the problems of digital telecommunications. In those days, analogue transmissions were limited by line …
Departing Cisco CEO John Chambers

Cisco CEO Chambers to step down, passes baton to Robbins

Analysis Cisco has finally made the long-anticipated decision about a replacement for long-time CEO John Chambers: 49-year-old Chuck Robbins. Robbins is no newcomer to Cisco, having been with the company since 1997. His most recent role was as senior veep for worldwide operations, and Cisco's announcement also credits Robbins with …
NRAO's artist impression of PSR J1930-1852

High school students' record-setting pulsar STUMPS BOFFINS

A bunch of high-school students has turned up a record-setter in the world of astro-boffinry: a pulsar with the biggest-ever orbit around a neutron star. That's exciting to astrophysicists, because the orbital oddity creates a new set of boundaries for such objects – and thus, a new line of investigation to help understand them …
NASA's SGI rackable SCUs

NASA on track to triple Discover super's grunt

The rolling upgrade at NASA's Centre for Climate Simulation (NCCS) is nearing completion, with the agency just about ready to flick the switch on the second of three new SGI systems. The upgrade project, which was won by SGI (canned announcement) in November 2014, will when it's complete replace the former IBM machine – with 35, …
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Kill all geoblocks says Internet Society of Australia

Geoblocking content should be banned under international trade treaties, according to the Internet Society of Australia. The radical proposal emerged in ISOC-AU's appearance at the Senate committee looking at the proposed site-blocking amendments to Australia's copyright act. With Hollywood hard-balling (all the way up to …
Tesla powerwall

Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

It's pretty and batteries are ugly – but Tesla's Powerwall is more like an incremental change than a radical disruption. Given that the hype over Elon Musk's Tesla Powerwall announcement has reached all the way from The Verge calling the colours “lickable” (no, not likeable) and tossing in a hypegasm over Musk's “best keynote …
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

Dropbox sets up PO box in Ireland to handle non-US services

Dropbox has joined the ranks of tech companies domiciling services in Ireland. All non-US users of paid Dropbox services will now have their service contract with Dropbox Ireland, the company says. The secure document storage outfit makes a hand-on-heart promise that the change “to better serve you and the growing number of …
Uni Geneva Quantum RNG

Geneva boffins make light work of random numbers

“How good is your random number generator?” is a pretty ticklish question in cryptography that a bunch of Swiss quantum bods have set out to answer. The history of crypto is littered with examples of buggy random number generators, so the group at the University of Geneva have set out to create a self-testing quantum RNG that …
Troll. Pic:  Anna Bialkowska

You can't keep a Secret and nor can anyone else: the app is closing

In an almost-unprecedented move, a silicon valley founder is exiting a company before it's burned all its money: anonymous chat app Secret is looking for a graceful exit. David Byttow says Secret's “significant amount of invested capital” (remaining from US$35 million of funding) will be returned to the investors, rather than …
Ethernet by https://www.flickr.com/photos/razor512/ CC2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Brocade adds more Ethernet to storage

Brocade's announced another chunk of its IP strategy, this time with an eye to drawing network-attached storage (NAS) devices into its warm embrace. The idea, A/NZ senior director Gary Denman told Vulture South, is to give IP-attached storage the kind of SLA support and manageability that Fibre Channel storage area network (SAN …
Verizon

Verizon tags majors to craft SDN future

Verizon has taken the leap into the world of software-defined networking, announcing a strategy and its initial partner list for a multi-year rollout. For now, the partner list for the giant's umpteenth network transformation strategy are Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Networks, Cisco, Ericsson and Juniper Networks. The company told …
Ouya

Android gaming platform Ouya is down to its last life

The low-cost Android gaming startup Ouya is on the brink of collapse and wants a buyer, fast. According to Fortune, the company tripped a debt covenant and hopes for expressions of interest by the end of April. Originally kick-started to the tune of US$8.6 million, the company caused buzz with its play-your-Android-games-on-TV …
Google Password Alert warning

Google polishes Chrome security with Password Alert

Google's seen way too much phishing, it seems, so the Chocolate Factory has pushed out a Chrome extension to catch attacks against accounts on Google domains. Mountain View reckons two per cent of Gmail messages are phishing attempts, and a well-constructed attack can have a 47 per cent success rate. Outlined here, the Password …
Malcolm Turnbull

Exclusive interview: Malcolm Turnbull quizzes Malcolm Turnbull

In what we believe to be a world first, The Register has secured the services Australia's shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, circa 2012, to interview himself as the nation's current government communications minister now, in 2015. Over to you, Malcolms ... Turnbull 2012: You've expressed “grave misgivings” over …

Brit boffins BLOW UP Li-On batteries and film the MELTING COPPER

Video UK boffins have taken a close-up of what happens with Li-ion batteries when they get hot under the collar, and it's not pretty. As Lenovo, Boeing, Tesla, Sony and others will attest, Li-ion battery fire-safety is worth researching. However, the University College London boffins say most analysis of battery fires has focussed on …
Hacker kitten

SOHOpeless Realtek driver vuln hits Wi-Fi routers

Twenty months of optimism has come to nought, so the Zero Day Initiative has gone public with a vulnerability in the Realtek SDK that's inherited by at least two broadband router vendors. The vulnerability that the HP-owned TippingPoint initiative discovered, here, is in the SDK's SOAP implementation. The minigd SOAP service …