Richard Chirgwin

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Amazon listens to MORE of your private stuff

Having started capturing what you say in your home and sending it to the cloud in November, Amazon has decided that its Echo product needs to do more than just read the news. At launch, Amazon promised that Echo would be “always getting smarter”. It's now delivering on that threat promise. Agence France Presse says home …
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Dallas Buyers Club doubles down on Oz Torrenters

The law firm that secured an Australian Federal Court decision against iiNet and other ISPs says it's widening its field of fire to target a further 23,000 individuals. Marque Lawyers' boss Michael Bradley has told The West Australian that Australian internet service provider (ISP) iiNet was targeted by way of a test case. With …

Cisco security software needs security patch

Cisco's ASA FirePOWER services and ASA CX Services are vulnerable to a denial of service (DoS) bug in the virtualisation layer. The just-updated ASA FirePOWER threat-detection platform and ASA CX (which adds application and user ID awareness to the system) could be forced to reload by an attacker hosing their management …
slow_sign

Tasmania wants more backbone

The government of the Australian state of Tasmania has commissioned a feasibility study into a possible new optical fibre cable across the Bass Strait. Until this century, the island state's only connection to the Australian mainland was provided by Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, which has two fibre routes. That was …

Stop climate change by drinking Coca-Cola says Oz government

If you want to understand the quality of advice the Australian government wants in the climate change debate, you need only need one passage from page 56 of a new report into the energy sector. Discussing carbon capture and storage, which currently has “failed technology” status nearly the whole world around, the government's …
Elephant

What you think is big data isn't what the bloke next to you thinks is big

America's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has added another monster document to its big data frameworks, this time covering interoperability. The seven-volume, 340-plus-page tome is designed to set the direction for America's input into international standards, the NIST says in its canned announcement. …
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Carrier club's copyright code off to ACMA

A day after Dallas Buyers Club won the right to get names and addresses of putative pirates in Australia, the Communications Alliance has sent its proposed piracy code off to for regulatory approval. The code – full name the Copyright Notice Scheme Code 2015 – has been submitted to the Australian Communications and Media …
Collection of antique keys

Your home automation things are a security nightmare

It's not just home broadband routers that have hopeless security: according to security outfit Veracode, cloudy home automation outfits also need to hang their collective heads in shame. With nothing but standard by-the-manual configurations and network traffic capture – but with no attacks against the devices or the cloud …

Cisco pitches security for SMEs

Small and/or medium businesses and branch offices rejoice: Cisco has joined the ranks of vendors deciding you warrant security you can afford. As incidents like the Target “hack” demonstrated, a small contractor can easily provide a path into an enterprise network, so one of the key chunks of The Borg's latest announcement is to …
ONOS Logo

ONOS to SDN world: here's our numbers, show us yours

The ONOS (Open Network Operating System) software defined networks project has shipped the second iteration of its code, and with it hopes to encourage the SDN controller sector to start publishing detailed performance metrics. Prajakta Joshi, director of products at ON.Lab, told The Register that while SDN is seeing strong …
Brocade logo

Brocade targets SDN planners in campus switch range refresh

Brocade has announced a new bunch of campus switches, and with them support for new software defined network (SDN) features and a nifty ability to mix different switches in the stack as if they were all the same kind. While the press release tries to grab the eye with stuff like port density and speeds-and-feeds, the Switch Port …
management regulation2

THOUSANDS of alleged pirates' addresses to be handed to Dallas Buyers Club

A few thousand Australians will get a cease-and-desist of some kind from the owners of the film Dallas Buyers Club after local internet service provider (ISP) iiNet and its co-defendants lost a Federal Court case. As a result of the loss, Dallas Buyers Club LLC will be able to get the names and addresses of subscribers it …
Intel compute stick

Intel shows Google how to stick it real good

Intel has loosed its Chromebit-killer, the Compute Stick, on the market with pre-orders open at NewEgg, Amazon and other outlets. It's more expensive than the expected sub-$US100 price tag on Chromebit: a Linux Compute Stick is available at Newegg for $US109.99 and a Windows 8.1 version is $US149.99. Google seems to have done a …
Network Functions Virtualisation

OpenMANO: Telefonica's slice of NFV goes live

Another piece of ETSI's network function virtualisation (NFV) plans have emerged as code, with Telefonica putting its OpenMANO project up on Github. ETSI's MANO (Management and Organisation, with an extra “N” thrown in because otherwise the acronym would be MAO) is the orchestration component of the standards body's NFV …

Supposed spy-busting Anonabox insecure, says Cloak Project

Updated A developer at the Cloak Project is about to reignite the Anonabox controversy with an analysis of the device that finds it still runs unencrypted Wi-Fi and has a poorly-secured network-reachable admin interface. Anonabox has advised The Register that the issues did exist, but have been patched – update in detail at the end of …
Google UK office logos

Google hopes to add free roaming to its coming cellular service

Another detail has emerged about Google's plan to resell mobile services under its own brand: the Chocolate Factory hopes it will be able to offer free international roaming with its handsets. The UK's Daily Telegraph reports the Chocolate Factory is negotiating its first roaming deal with Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong giant …

Feds ponder jamming journo comms in Australian Parliament

Canberra's appetite for security theatre could soon see comms blackouts in Parliament House as a response to terrorist threats. The proposal emerged by way of a briefing with the president of the press gallery, David Speers, who told Fairfax Media it's part of a plan to ramp up parliamentary security. As well as armed …
RFID_snail

Boring fixed 'net users still dominate Oz market

By now it must be obvious that Australia's mobile data allowances are laughable: in the last quarter of 2014, year-on-year growth in fixed broadband downloads outpaced total mobile downloads by nearly 3:1. The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS') regular Internet Activity publication shows that fixed consumption went up by …
The UCLA supercapacitor demo

UCLA trumpets supercapacitor for wearables or implants

A hybrid supercapacitor out of UCLA has got the uni's boffins excited, since they claim they've achieved high energy density but in a thinner-than-paper package. In a paper published at PNAS (abstract), the researchers claim capacitance of more than 1,100 Farads per cubic centimetre – or around 1,145 Farads per gram, which is …

Juniper, VMWare see silver OpenDaylight through the cloud

Updated A couple of OpenDaylight's platinum members, VMWare and Juniper Networks, are scaling down their involvement with the Linux Foundation's SDN controller project. However, it doesn't look as if the project is going away any time soon, since there are still more supporters now than there were in December 2014, and since its initial …

Cisco buys back alumni: wants to acquire Embrane

The Borg has followed up on its 2014 $US14 million investment in virtualisation business Embrane by announcing it intends to buy the business. In an announcement that partner-competitors like Citrix and VMWare will probably wish was an April Fool's release, Cisco said the acquisition will give it a team that lets it “move more …

POODLE vuln dogs Australian consumer modems

The persistent awfulness of consumer broadband modems is once again in evidence, with the Poodle and Freak bugs present in a huge number of Australian households. The issue has hit Twitter, with some people reporting that ISPs are notifying them of possible malicious traffic – but without useful information on what to do. TPG …
The Ethernet Alliance's data centre roadmap

Ethernet Alliance plots 1.6 terabit-per-second future

Think 100 Gbps Ethernet is The Coming Thing? You ain't seen nothing yet: one of the venerable standard's custodians wants it going a hundred times faster by the end of another decade. No, this isn't El Reg April Foolery: that's what the Ethernet Alliance's 2015 roadmap expects to be able to deliver. Of course, the screaming …
A Guide to the Cockroaches of Australia

Harper review: break up ACCC, free up IP*, let freedom reign

Australia's federal government has conducted a review into competition policy and there's plenty in it to ponder for the country's tech sector. Following last September's release of its preliminary study, the Harper Review has now issued its final report. Aside from the recommendation that the rules governing ride-sharing be …
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

US still hoarding zero-day app vulnerabilities, say EFF campaigners

The Electronic Frontiers Foundation reckons America's spooks aren't living up to the Obama administration's 2014 statement that it would disclose more vulnerabilities than it hoarded. In April 2014, the administration told the world it would only keep vulnerabilities back where its spooks thought it was vital for intelligence …
Picard Facepalm

Thanks for the data retention, tech sector

While Australians wring their hands over data retention, let's also remember the tech sector's abject failure to influence politics in the seven years the debate's been running here. The sector, from start-ups to international giants, merely continued its long run of failing to get what it wanted from Australian politics – a …

Ding Dong, ALIENS CALLING

Sorry, sci-fi fans: pretty much anyone who's imagined what a near-light-speed spacecraft would look like has got it wrong, because they've forgotten its interaction with photons. Not only that, but according to a couple of scientists working for Raytheon, it doesn't matter whether Einstein's proposition that you'll never …
Periscope and Meerkat by Flickr user Anthony Quintano https://www.flickr.com/photos/quintanomedia/

Periscope smeared by streaming security SNAFU

Twitter's Meerkat-strangling live streaming app Periscope has had its first privacy SNAFU, leaking the titles (but not the content) of videos meant for private circulation only. Periscope allows users to stream live video into their Twitter feeds. The app debuted mere days after a very similar app, Meerkat, became the Bong! …
Inside the Google Lab where surgeons prepare the human/dog experiment

Google plans ROBOTS to SLICE YOU OPEN AND CUT YOU UP

Google has signed a deal to collaborate with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon to work on surgical robotics applications. The J&J statement says the two companies will “bring together capabilities, intellectual property and expertise” in building a robotic-assisted surgical platform, with the kind of supporting sentence that …

AMD opens kimono on chip futures a little more

The best way to protect corporate secrets is to announce them at a tech conference in Japan, which is why word is only just arriving of AMD's February reveal of a clustering roadmap. Consumer and commercial business lead Junji Hayashi told the PC Cluster Consortium workshop in Osaka that the 2016 release CPU cores (an ARMv8 and …
A hammer and bent screw

Cisco wipes its memory from susceptible-to-Row Hammer list

Cisco has worked through data centre and switch products that may have been vulnerable to the Row Hammer vulnerability, and decided there's nothing with the bridge brand on the front that's subject to the bug. Back at the beginning of the month, Google cheerily announced to the world that writing and re-writing memory in DRAMs …
ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) is one of six detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – image by Maximilien Brice CERN/Science photo library

Short circuit at Large Hadron Collider slows return to matter-mauling

The eager Igors of CERN are going to have to wait a little longer before they try to destroy the universe: it turns out that the upgraded Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has a short circuit in one of its dipole circuits. Mere days before the LHC's keenly-anticipated Earthproton-shattering return to operations, the main dipole …
MIT's entanglement machine

Atomic clocks' ticks tamed by 3,000 entangled atoms

MIT and University of Belgrade boffins have taken a big step in applying the quantum property of entanglement to macro systems: they're claiming to have roped together more than 2,900 rubidium atoms with a single photon. In what lead author Vladan Vuletić says is a “new class” of entangled states, in work that they believe will …
Clouds in blue sky

Accedian goes hybrid NFV in carrier QoS product

Rather than pull out all the stops on network function virtualisation (NFV), telcos would like to stage their implementations one piece at a time, according to Canadian vendor Accedian Networks. That's the rationale behind the approach the company announced late last week, in which it wants to offer an enterprise-to-data-centre …
Opportunity in clean room

Opportunity suffers another flash-memory 'amnesia' moment

A flash memory reformat left NASA's Mars rover Opportunity with a brief episode of what the agency calls “amnesia” – thankfully, without any loss of scientific data. NASA adds that Opportunity was also able to continue its normal activities, such as using its robotic arm to examine a rock target called Athens. It's one of a …
Puppet Labs Logo

Puppet Labs pulls strings on Docker, AWS and bare metal

Puppet Labs is adding code management and updates to its Node Manager in a big refresh in Puppet Enterprise 3.8. The company is particularly touting Docker container provisioning, as well as provisioning for bare metal and AWS infrastructure. Tim Zonca, director of product marketing at Puppet Labs, told Vulture South the …
Privacy image

Samsung forgets fingerprints, focuses its eye on YOURS

When Samsung shoved the Galaxy S5 out the door last year, one of the things it put front and centre was the new ability to log on with one's fingerprint. Fast forward twelve months and Sammy looks to be giving that idea a finger of a different sort, by signing a deal with the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) to put iris- …
NASA ARM rock-grabber

NASA: We're gonna rip up an ASTEROID and make it ORBIT the MOON

NASA has decided that putting a lump of rock from an asteroid into orbit around the Moon is better than trying to hook a whole asteroid. The ARM – Asteroid Redirection Mission – has settled on what the space agency called “Option B”, sending a spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid big enough to have boulders on the surface and …
Dark Souls II knighty knight

Chipzilla spawns 60-core, six-teraflop Xeon Phi MONSTER CHIP

Intel has set some rumours to rest, giving a media and analyst briefing outlining details of its coming 60-plus core Knights Landing Xeon Phi chip. Opening the bag to let the cat see a little bit of light, Intel has told journalists at a briefing at its Hillsboro, Oregon fab that the “honking big die” for the Knights Landing Phi …
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

Cisco patches IOS to stop automation exploitation

Cisco's turned up vulnerabilities in automation software that open the door to denial-of-service and limited access to devices. The company's Autonomic Network Infrastructure (ANI) feature in IOS provides self-management for various IPv6-supporting routers and Ethernet switches. One of the ANI features is to remove the need for …
Columbia University's full-duplex IC

Big barrier to 5G cracked by full-duplex chippery

Take a look at mobile standards like LTE and you'll notice that duplexing is difficult: it's either accomplished by separating uplink and downlink in time or frequency. Why? Because it's really hard to use closely-spaced frequencies for uplink and downlink in the small space of a smartphone: the two signals will inevitably …
Artist's conception of a watery asteroid being torn apart white dwarf GD 61

SCARESTEROID of the week to miss Earth on Friday

The UK press has noticed that NASA's Small Object Database Browser seems to show an asteroid passing close to Earth – and therefore we're all going to die on Friday. We won't: while object 2014-YB35 will pass within 2.8 million miles (4.48 million km) of Earth, which qualifies as a “near miss” in astronomical terms, it's not …
2001: A Space Odyssey

TOP500 Supers make boffins more prolific

A comparative analysis of supercomputer ownership by US universities seems to suggest that TOP500-class iron gives institutions a quantifiable edge in physics, chemistry, civil engineering and evolutionary biology. In the kind of rational decision-making that will upset HPC sales teams, the Clemson University research is …
Australian Government 2.0 taskforce logo

Boffins deflate digital economy bubble with hard economic data

Australians are getting their regular consultant-driven exhortation to ride the “digital economy” horse to wealth and prosperity, even though it turns out that for every digitally disruptive dollar that flows from the fingers of keyboard warriors, two dollars escapes the science lab into the economy. We're working with a few …
NBN Co by Dushan Hanuska https://www.flickr.com/photos/hanuska/

Melbourne fibre expert calls out 'fibre cost doubled' claim

The idea that the planned fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout of Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) may have ended up meeting its cost targets has received a high-profile endorsement from emeritus professor Rod Tucker of the University of Melbourne. Speaking to US conference, professor Tucker said the claim in the …
Picard Facepalm

Wind turbine blown away by control system vulnerability

It had to happen, we suppose: since even a utility-grade wind turbine might ship with a handy Webby control interface, someone was bound to do it badly. That's what's emerged in a new ICS-CERT advisory: CVE-2015-0985 details how turbines from US manufacturer XZERES allow the user name and password to be retrieved from the …
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

IBM in China: Big Blue sees red, hopes to grow Middle Kingdom's tech

IBM has stated explicitly what its recent strategy had already suggested implicitly: Big Blue has decided to get more strategic in China. Having confirmed it's throwing its Power chip blueprints at system manufacturers in the Middle Kingdom, IBM's CEO Virginia Rometty has told Reuters IBM needs to go beyond treating China as a …
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Metadata retention is no worse than STALKING: Turnbull

Metadata retention, which George Brandis has most frequently described as reading the front of an envelope, is also like standing outside a lawyer's office watching who goes in and out. That metaphor emerged perhaps accidentally from communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, in explaining why there's no need to exempt what many …
Tangle of cables attached to a telegraph pole

What horrors lurk in the future: Networks without sysadmins

Interview At Cisco Live Sydney, your humble hack at Vulture South got to spend time with distinguished engineer and CCIE number 1609 Alvaro Retana to talk about the future of routing, networks that can run themselves, and the internet at large. The Register: What are the problems we're trying to solve in the world of routing today … what …
Samsung Solid Immerse GT-B2710

Can your code survive crappy 2G? This open-source traffic controller will test it

A two-year project inside Facebook has culminated in the release of software to test how well applications and servers work under degraded network conditions – all the way down to rickety 2G. The idea behind Augmented Traffic Control, open-sourced on GitHub, is to improve the delivery of material on under-performing networks. …