Richard Chirgwin

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Cisco plays Victor Kiam to MaintenanceNet's Remington

Long-time Cisco US supplier MaintenanceNet has been assimilated, to help The Borg digitise its business processes. The acqui-hire's US$139 million price tag includes both cash and “retention incentives”, Cisco's Debbie Dunham says in the post announcing the transaction. Dunham, senior veep for Global Customer Success, writes …

KILL FLASH WITH FIRE until a patch comes: Hacking Team exploit is in the wild

So it's confirmed: the Adobe Flash vulnerability revealed in the Hacking Team hack is out in the wild being used, and there's no patch yet. Flash users beware! Two sources, Malwarebytes and Malware Don't Need Coffee, have documented updates to the Neutrino exploit kit and Angler exploit kit, respectively. Both kits, which are …
Ceres' bright spots  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Dawn falling late: NASA's other glitch of the week

While the world was distracted by New Horizons' brief woes, NASA also had to put its Dawn spacecraft into a holding pattern to work out a software glitch. Dawn, which is fascinating the world with its shots of Ceres – and exciting boffins and conspiracists alike with its shots of the dwarf planet's bright spots, is currently …
What Facebook's Fort Worth DC will look like

Facebook vows to blow EVEN HARDER

It seems Facebook's experience with wind power has been good enough for the personalised ads giant to come back for more. The company's west region director of data centre operations Ken Patchett announced that Facebook's next data centre will land in Fort Worth, Texas, and will mimic its Iowa bit-barn by using 100 per cent …
Google's DeepStereo

Google's new view of the world takes two pics to make 'DeepStereo' 3D

Video StreetView means Google owns one of the world's larger photo albums, so it's natural for Google to want to create a realistic 3D rendering of the world. That's the aim of a new bit of boffinry from the Chocolate Factory called DeepStereo. As the group led by Googler John Flynn explain in this Arxiv paper, they found existing …

Google yanks fake Android battery monitor

Zscaler has spoiled someone's app-spoofing sting, discovering a fake battery monitor app on Google Play. Worryingly, the spoof app seems to have gotten past Google's self-lauded Bouncer app vetting system. The company reckons the malicious version of the BatteryBot battery indicator app was probably trying to put together an …
Samsung Galaxy S6

The sad song Samsung's sung: SEVENTH quarterly fail in a row

Samsung has warned the market that it's going to miss its previous earnings guidance for the April-June quarter. It will be the Korean goliath's seventh successive quarter of decline in year-on-year terms. The original guidance of 7.2 trillion won (US$6.38 billion) has been downgraded to a forecast 6.9 terawon ($6.13 billion …
White boxes

Cisco slings simoleons at software-defined networking biz 6Wind

As the John Chambers and Chuck Robbins worldwide roadshow grinds on, Cisco has dipped another tentative toe in the dangerous waters of bare metal switching, with an investment in Parisian software vendor 6Wind. 6Wind's key offering, the 6WINDGate packet processing software, is pitched at the bare metal market. The company name …

TPP partners plot milder copyright takedown rules

A leaked copy of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating text from May seems to show the US trying to mollify the other countries finagling over the deal. The leak, obtained by Politico, isn't yet posted anywhere, but the Electronic Frontiers Foundation reckons the newly-revealed draft shows America is backing away from a …
DMC3 spacecraft under assembly

Look! Up in the sky! Five Brit satellites on one Indian rocket!

The UK is entrusting a bunch of earth observation satellites to India's burgeoning space program. Three DMC3 optical observation satellites, along with a couple of other payloads, will be hoisted on July 10 by India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). It's the thirtieth mission for the PSLV, and also the heaviest. The …
Memcomputer setup for a Fourier Transform

Boffins demo 'memcomputer', plot von Neumann's retirement

Shuffling stuff between memory and the CPU is one of the biggest wasters of time and electricity inside, so boffins from the University of California, San Diego, have demonstrated a prototype “memcomputer” that has memory and compute in the same place. The memcomputer concept has been around since the 1970s, as noted by …
padlock

US dominates net-security patents, China, Canada and Oz on the advance

The US, China, Canada and Australia are the world's major sources of security patents, according to analysis by LexInnova. The company issued a report on Friday looking at the market for security patent licensing. It'll come as no surprise that Cisco is the 800-pound gorilla of the security game with 6,442 patents (followed …

Argentina finds messenger to shoot after e-vote vuln allegations

Argentinian police have reportedly raided a programmer who went public with vulnerabilities in the electronic voting system used in Buenos Aires elections last June. Joaquín Sorianello has told La Nacion that police raided both his home and that of a friend, looking for computers and storage devices. Argentina's e-voting …
Australian attorney general George Brandis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/cebitaus/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Australian government mulls secret terror court proposals

The Australian government is taste-testing new anti-terrorism proposals to give police access to information gathered by its spook agencies. Dropped to the Murdoch press over the weekend, the idea is to create secret courts to look at information from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and other security …
The new Pirate Bay logo

US Feds investigating Prenda Law, say Pirate Bay co-founders

It looks like there's more trouble approaching for the notorious copyright trolls, formerly of Prenda Law. TorrentFreak says the FBI is taking a more active interest in the operation, saying that Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij were questioned about Prenda's notorious “honeypot” operation while they were in prison. …
NBN logo

iiNet warns NBN circuits too expensive in the Netflix era

iiNet reckons the runaway success of Netflix in Australia is going to put the National Broadband Network pricing model under pressure. The problem is that the prices retailers pay the network company nbnTM is heavily influenced by download volumes. Backhaul from nbnTM points of interconnect back to a retail service provider ( …
New Horizons spacecraft approaching Pluto

WHY did NASA probe go suddenly SILENT - JUST as it was about to send pics of remote ice-world?

NASA's New Horizons probe – due to soar past the remote, icy dwarf planet Pluto 10 days from now – gave its handlers a brief fright yesterday by going silent at an inopportune juncture. Fortunately, contact was re-established after around 80 minutes. NASA added that the spacecraft remained "healthy" despite the anomaly. NASA …
Hubble image compared to SMACK simulation

NASA invents super-SMACK, hallucinates WHOLE STAR SYSTEMS

video Beta Pictoris, a research favourite among astro-boffins since the discovery of its bright debris-and-dust disk in 1984, has yielded new wonders in a NASA supercomputer simulation. The debris disk, Goddard astrophysicist Marc Kuchner explains, has what looks to be a warp in long wavelengths, but looks like an X in shorter …
Troll. Pic:  Anna Bialkowska

With Hobbit and LoTR in the can, Trolls no longer welcome in New Zealand

New Zealand has become the latest country to think bad online manners are amenable to legislation. The country last night passed a controversial bill, the Harmful Digital Communications Bill, in the hope of stemming “cyber-bullying”. The bill creates a regime under which digital communications causing “serious emotional …
SMS inventor Matti Makkonen

Vale Matti Makkonen, SMS dreamer

Matti Makkonen, a figure widely held to have influenced the development of SMS, has died at the relatively young age of 63. According to BT, it took some years for Makkonen's pitch to Finland's Telecoms and Postal agency in 1984 to become a reality in 1992. It took even longer for SMS to really hit its straps, because carriers …
NBN Co fixed wireless antenna

While city slickers argue about the NBN, rural retailers are smiling

While debate continues in Australian cities about the technology employed to build Australia's national broadband network (NBN), a regional specialist reckons things are on the improve beyond the sandstone curtain. Tony Bundrock, CEO of NBN satellite and wireless retail service provider (RSP) Activ8me, told Vulture South the …
Archer cracks the ISIS mainframe's password

Small change to Medium takes large axe to passwords

Let's file this under “what could possibly go wrong?”: blogging platform Medium has decided to skip passwords in favour of a one-time-pad* single-use-token approach. If you're a cool kid who doesn't mind your credentials being shared, you can still sign in with Twitter or Facebook, but there still exist Luddites who want to use …
White House, by Tom Lohdan, Flickr, CC2.0

Former L0pht man 'Mudge' leaves Google for Washington

Mudge, a once-feared and now-respected member of the "L0pht" hacker collective, is headed to Washington to set up a software version of Underwriters' Laboratory. While it's not yet clear exactly how the once-famed L0pht member, real name Peiter Zatko, will approach the “CyberUL” (as he put it in the Tweet announcing the move), …

Wallet wafting into the Cloud? Amazon hears your pain

It's really cheap to spin up a single VM in a cloud like the one operated by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The burn comes when that VM goes live, starts to clock up some usage, spawns an extra CPU or four and starts to suck in and spew out data. At that point you'll also need a cloudy load balancer and firewall. And not long …
HUDs aren't a great idea

Hide the HUD, say boffins, they're bad for driver safety

It looks likes such an obvious idea: turn car windscreens into head-up displays (HUDs), so drivers don't have to look away from the road to see (for example) the speedometer. Except that it could be a bad idea, because it permanently divides a driver's attention between road and the popup information screens, say researchers …
e-QIP's offline notice

Audit finds new flaw at US Office of Personnel Management

A security review that followed the original hack at the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has turned up a new, but hopefully-unexploited, vulnerability. The “Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing” system, abbreviated to e-QIP, was found to be vulnerable under the review, and will be taken offline for as …
Terminator

Devs, welcome your EVIL ROBOT OVERLORDS from MIT

Computer science researchers at MIT might just be working on technologies to eliminate computer science practitioners. That's the truly evil outcome of work going on at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, which The Register hopes will be found next to the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics …

OpenDaylight's Hydrogen begets Helium begets Lithium

The OpenDaylight Foundation has announced what you could think of as its carrier-grade release, Lithium. Lithium follows (naturally enough) the Hydrogen and Helium releases, and covers security, automation, interoperability, scalability, and a bunch of new protocols. The new capabilities have a distinct telco flavour about them …
Censored Stamp

Australian opposition senators slam TPP treaty process

As US President Barack Obama signs off on his hard-won “fast track” powers that will allow speedier sign-off of trade treaties, an Australian senate committee has dumped a bucket on keeping trade negotiations secret from parliament. Keeping the secret from the rest of us, of course, is just fine, so long as parliamentarians can …
The two lenses side-by-side

Microsoft says Oculus Rift distorts world, grinds corrective lenses

Someone at Microsoft Research is apparently unimpressed with Oculus Rift's perspective on the world, so has corrected it with lenses that give you Microsoft's view of things. Redmond's vision is expressed in this little CAD file that's popped up at Microsoft Research, offering you all you need to give your Occulus the Microsoft …
Visual Designer in Android Studio

Android's sun sets on Eclipse

Google has decided Android Studio is all you need to make apps, and by the end of the year will no longer support the venerable but popular Eclipse IDE. Android product manager Jamal Eason has blogged that in recent years “our team has focused on improving the development experience for building Android apps with Android Studio …
Selection of Australian banknotes

Turnbullnomics trashed as Oz regulator cuts telecoms prices

A bunch of Australian fixed telephony and broadband users are about to suffer under a regime of lower prices. In spite of communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's 2014 assertion that lower prices are against consumer's interests, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has told Telstra to cut its wholesale fixed …
Australian attorney general George Brandis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/cebitaus/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Australian government demands signoff on telco network designs

Australia's attorney-general has dropped some new telecommunications legislation designed to drag carrier networks into the orbit of the nation's top legal officer. The plans, announced last week, would give the government power to demand information about carriers' networks and order changes to networks, with a civil penalties …
Three Telstra vans restore one line

ACCC clears copper for the NBN

The ACCC has rubber-stamped the agreements needed to let nbnTM absorb Telstra's copper for fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) broadband. The approval of the deal means nbnTM can take ownership of Telstra’s copper and HFC networks for the government's multi-technology model broadband delivery. “Using existing infrastructure means we can …
Elephant

We forget NOTHING, the Beeb thunders at Europe

The BBC has decided that the EU's controversial “right to be forgotten” diktat won't succeed in making its news stories vanish from Google. To get around Google's Euro memory hole, which has resulted in the Chocolate Factory getting 270,000 requests to drop search search links, the UK national broadcaster has decided to list any …
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google creates cloud code cache

With an uncharacteristic lack of fanfare, Google has decided to hang around the kitchen at the code repository party. With Microsoft, AWS, and Atlassian and BitBucket already eyeing off the popularity of GitHub, it's probably no surprise that the Chocolate Factory would also like a piece of the action. Google has been quietly …
Apple location tracking patent application

Apple wants to patent iBeacon stalking

The fruit of Apple's 2013 acquisition of indoor mapper WiFiSlam seems to have fallen from the tree and landed at the patent office, with Cupertino filing for a find-my-friends feature. Back when the acquisition happened it was speculated that Apple wanted to get into the follow-my-footsteps business that mobe companies have …

G.fast is coming, so get ready, telcos tell ACCC

The Communications Alliance has told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission it wants deployment rules to leave room for G.fast in the future. In this submission (PDF) to the ACCC's Superfast Broadband Access Service (SBAS) declaration inquiry, the industry group notes that it's already working on VDSL2 deployment …
Monty Python dead parrot sketch

That shot you heard? SSLv3 is now DEAD

We really, really, really mean it this time: take SSL3 and bury it. That's the message from the home of all things Internet the Internet Engineering Task Force, which has issued the “take it behind the shed” edict in this RFC. It's actually only formalising what the IETF and industry already knew: SSLv3 is ancient and insecure …

MAC address privacy inches towards standardisation

The Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF's) decision last year to push back against surveillance is bearing fruit, with the 'net boffins and the IEEE proclaiming successful MAC address privacy tests. While MAC address randomisation has been a feature of various clients (including Linux, Windows, Apple OSs and Android) for …
Cisco security puff from its website

Cisco in single SSH key security stuff-up

A red-faced Cisco has pushed out a patch for a bunch of virtual security appliances that had hard-coded SSH keys. Since the keys are associated with the virty appliances' remote management interface, a successful login would let an attacker waltz through the devices. The Borg has announced that its Web Security Virtual …
Freescale Internet of Things overview

We need to know about the Internet of Things, say US Senators

As US lawmakers call on the Government Accountability Office to assess the world of the Internet of Things, Eugene Kaspersky has unloaded on the thingification of home appliances. A bipartisan group of US Senators (Brian Schatz and Cory Booker for the Democrats, Deb Fischer and Kelly Ayotte for the Republicans) released the …
Artist's impression of GJ 436b

OOH, it's so HOT in here! All my ATMOSPHERE is coming off

Thirty-three light years away from us – quite close by astronomical standards – Hubble has found a surprisingly large gas cloud near an exoplanet. What's got the Hubble Space Telescope crowd excited is that the gas cloud is huge – around 50 times the size of the parent star – and seems to be atmosphere evaporating away from the …
D-Wave chip

D-Wave promises chip that could SEARCH THE WHOLE UNIVERSE

The 1,000-qubit chip promised by D-Wave last year has landed. The 1,000-plus-qubit device was originally planned for the end of 2014. The doubling of qubits over its previous processor, the company says, gives it a 21000 search space – not only dwarfing the previous 2512 search space, but containing “far more possibilities than …
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

Australia leads Asia Pac in mobile broadband speeds

The most recent Akamai State of the Internet report has found Australia has the fastest mobile download speeds in the Asia Pacific region, peaking at an astonishing 149.3 Mbps. A pity that the peak, which probably happened because someone was standing next to a brand-new base station and was the only user handy, didn't reflect …
suicidal_clown_shutterstock_648

Oz politicians SUCK at drafting trade agreements

Opponents of the Trans Pacific Partnership have had a key defeat in America, with the Senate passing crucial “fast track” legislation that lets President Barack Obama push ahead with the deal. The vote is crucial to letting the White House get the stalled negotiations moving again. Meanwhile, one of Australia's most doctrinaire …
Threesome photo via Shutterstock

Juniper pals up with Ruckus Wireless, targets Cisco (again)

Juniper Networks is moving to fill out footprint in enterprise wireless access, signing a deal to integrate kit from Ruckus Wireless into its Ethernet switch range. The gin palace has long longed to compete with Cisco in the wireless market. It first tagged the segment as important back in 2003, while more recently dropped US$ …
Dunce's cap graffiti by https://www.flickr.com/photos/lord-jim/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Wind River VxWorks patches some TCP sequence spoofing bugs

Intel-owned embedded software outfit Wind River has been caught with an embarrassing bug in its VxWorks OS. According to the ICS-Cert advisory, the bug's only been identified in kit from Schneider Electric at this stage. It relates to how various VxWorks versions handle their TCP flows. Discovered by a bunch of researchers from …
Dell PowerEdge C6320

Dell lobs more irons into the hyperconverged market fire

Dell's fired its next hyperconverged gun, announcing the PowerEdge C6320 - which it says targets big data and heavy workload applications. Based on Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors, the C6320 offers up to 18 cores per socket – or 144 cores per 2 rack unit chassis. There's support for 512GB of DDR4 memory and as much as 72TB of …

Understanding the network energy efficiency challenge

At the end of last week, the GreenTouch telco energy-efficiency consortium told a presumably-glittering event in New York that its five-year project to design more energy-efficient telecommunications has been a success. In fact, the group said, it reckons that if adopted, its approaches could improve mobile network efficiency by …