Richard Chirgwin

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Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

ITU: we'll have 5G standards ready by 2020

Following a working party meeting in San Diego, the ITU has announced the timeline for 5G standardisation. The IMT-2020 process, outlined here, envisages completing standards for 5G during 2020. The standards body expects to complete its 5G vision statement to be completed this year, which will let it start serious work on 5G …
HI data collected by ASKAP

Fess up: which one of you Galaxies made all that gas?

It's not yet fully operational, but the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is already giving astro-boffins surprises. With one-sixth of its antennas operational, and only a quarter of the beam-aiming of the final facility, the Pathfinder has helped a group of astronomers to work out that there's a surprising …

US FINNISHes Nokia-AlcaLu acquisition waiting period

The huge Nokia-Alcatel Lucent acquimerger transaction has cleared one of its major hurdles, with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) clearing the merger for takeoff. Specifically, the two companies have announced – Nokia's post is here – that the DoJ has granted an early termination to the antitrust waiting period in the US. …
Incoming Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

Cisco to pour BEELIONS into China

Just days after emptying out some corner offices in China, Cisco says it's going to pour US$10 billion into developing business in the Middle Kingdom. The Borg has posted an announcement that it's signed a memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and with the Association …
Anonymous video screenshot

Canadian government websites hosed, Anonymous takes credit

Canada's government websites and email servers have been knocked offline in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. The assault was apparently a simple flood-the-pipes operation rather than an attempted data-heist. At 5pm local time, according to Bloomberg (presumably in Ottawa), sysadmins were working to get services …
Linus and a hexacopter

If I get hit by a bus, Linux will go on just fine says Linus Torvalds

Just a few days after asking the Linux community to let him take a break, Linus Torvalds has said the project he kicked off 1991 can now get along without him. He was, characteristically, blunt in his recent interview with Bloomberg, saying Linux would survive his death. What he told the newswire's passenger-door-smeared Ashlee …
An Amazon Prime Air drone

YOU ARE THE DRONE in Amazon's rumoured new parcel delivery plan

Amazon looks to be exploring a new way to cut costs by turning you - or anyone willing to deliver parcels - into its drones. In an idea that's most likely a stick with which to beat its delivery contractors, the retail Leviathan reportedly wants Americans to download an app, and if they see a parcel delivery that's convenient to …
Monty Python dead parrot sketch

Trans-Pacific Partnership stalled says Australian trade minister

The controversial Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), thought to include SOPA-style anti-piracy provisions, among other nasties - looks to be dead in the water: not only has the US Congress knocked back the “fast-track” mechanism that would have seen it signed off quickly, but Hillary Clinton has come down on the side of America's …

Bezos' bozos swing ban-hammer at media player

Efforts by the Kodi media player's maintainers to keep pirates from sullying its good name haven't been enough to satisfy the copyright cops at Amazon. The app formerly known as XBMC has been pulled from Amazon's app store, on the basis that it facilitates piracy. AFTVnews.com reports that Amazon flicked the kill-switch on the …
Hammer, spanner and screw

Vapourware no more: Let's Encrypt announces first cert dates

The Mozilla-backed Let's Encrypt effort is moving out of its vapourware phase, announcing general availability for September 2015 and an intention to issue its first certificate in the week of July 27. Launched last year by Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Cisco, Let's Encrypt's aim is to create no-charge …
(Another) One of These Things is Not Like the Other, JD Hancock, Flickr, CC-2.0

Samsung slings simoleans at Sigfox for things-on-cells standard

Samsung has become the latest backer of French company Sigfox, which is trying to pitch an IoT-over-cellular protocol for low-throughput communications. While the company bullishly says it offers “global cellular connectivity” for things that need cheap, low power communications, its current footprint is a handful of European …
Facebook down

Belgium privacy commish ambushes Facebook with lawsuit

Facebook won't quit stalking people who aren't its users, so after months of wrangling, Belgium's Privacy Commissioner is pressing ahead with a lawsuit against The Social NetworkTM. According to this report in Belgian news site De Morgen, the tracking is flagrant and sweeps up people who don't want to be tracked. The Commission …
Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

Hating on 'Like Farms': boffins trawl for Facebook fakes

An analysis of 1,400 Facebook accounts, more than 143,000 posts Liked, and more than a million pages could go some way to unmasking the techniques of “Like Farms” used to manipulate reputations on the content-with-ads network. The boffins, from Australia's (doomed) NICTA, University College, London, and the University of Iowa, …
"Nope in Manchester" - Erokism on Flickr - CC 2.0 license

Ericsson snaps shut wallet, damps down acquisition speculation

Ericsson has decided not to follow the example of Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia, telling Reuters it doesn't need a big acquisition. The company's chief strategy officer, Rima Qureshi told the wire service that the decision to continue going it alone followed a confab of 250 managers earlier this month. She said that “core …
Tesla powerwall

Elon Musk pours more Kool-Aid into Powerwall

Elon Musk has responded to criticism of the specs of its Powerwall home battery, and says when it start shipping the system's output power will be doubled, without changing the price. Vegan seat covers weren't the only hot button Elon wanted to clear up at the company's annual shareholder meeting. “We actually took some of the …
White Hat for Hackers by Zeevveez, Flickr under CC2.0

Australia needs MOAR L33T WHITE HATZ, says Federal Police

Australia needs a bunch more experts in disciplines you're barely allowed to discuss here, according to the Australian Federal Police. AFP cyber crime commander David McLean told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's TV program 730 that “this April alone there was over 3,500 reports from people around Australia in relation …
WASP-33b Atmosphere and Stratosphere (small)

Stratosphere protects WASP's hot body, say boffins

The venerable Hubble Space Telescope has helped identify an exoplanet's stratosphere for the first time. WASP-33b isn't a place any of us want to visit – it's a gas giant four times the size of Jupiter, and so close to its star that its atmospheric temperature is 10,000°F (more than 5,500°C). Since NASA's press release about …
CIE Oz Data Set

Australia's comms regs broken says Vodafone (as it would)

Telstra's continuing incumbency is an expensive luxury, according to the carrier's competitors, that sucks more than AU$3 billion into the carrier's maw each year. That's the conclusion of a study which reckons a fixed-line customer buying from Telstra is paying AU$20 too much each month, or $9 per month for mobile services. …
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

Taiwan incumbent adds G.fast to tech mix

Under pressure to accelerate Taiwan's broadband deployment, Chunghwa Telecom has announced it will start rolling out G.fast. According to Digitimes, the company plans to launch its first commercial services in September 2015. While sketchy, the report suggests the company would deploy the high-speed technology in multi-dwelling …
Ciscoblood

Chuck chucks Cisco's China C-suite

Incoming Borg boss Chuck Robbins has sliced a bunch of executives from Cisco's operations in China, in a response to the territory's ongoing weak performance. The move is also in line with Robbins' stated desire to flatten out the Borg's burgeoning bureaucracy. First Rob Lloyd and Gary Moore were given pink-slips, and later, Wim …
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

Chrome on Mac sucks (electrons), says Google, so we'll fix it

Mac users will soon be able to run Chrome without watching their battery status fall by the minute, with Google tweaking the code to cut down unnecessary system wake-ups. The Chocolate Factory's main aim is to stop Chrome being a “battery hog”, according to Peter Kasting. Kasting, a senior software engineer in the Chrome UI …
Facepalming statue

Australia gets its site filter at LAST

Australia is to try the same whack-a-mole strategy to piracy that's failed in other countries, and let the content sector ask for court orders to block allegedly-infringing sites. Because neither the federal government nor the opposition can muster half-a-yard of clue-by-four between them, the bill isn't going to be subject to …
scissors cut cable

Exit-tel customers can't even upgrade their plans to stay

More detail has come to Vulture South's attention about second-tier ISP Exetel dumping customers without any explanation whatsoever. After yesterday's report, other customers have come forward to complain that they're not even offered the option to shift their accounts to a higher-price plan. One customer that contacted Vulture …
Cellular basestation antenna

Nokia adds German uni to 5G research ecosystem

With World+Dog working to define their technologies into standards, build their 5G patent books ahead of the anticipated rush, and try and work out what 5G's use-case will be, Nokia has tapped Germany's University of Kaiserslautern to help its 5G research efforts along. The company says the university will be working on network …
CN72/73xx Block Diagram

Cavium adds 4/16 core SoCs

Cavium is filling out a scale gap in its Octeon III system-on-a-chip (SoC) range with he four-to-sixteen core CN72xx and CN73xx variants that are pin-compatible with the rest of the range. The MIPS64-based SoCs are low-power network processors pitched between the one-to-four core CN71xx and the 24-48 CN78xx range. The chips can …
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

NBN build contracts rejigged, without Telstra

The company building Australia's mixed-tech national broadband network has announced another rework to how it allocates contracting work, and to some surprise, the new round of build contracts don't include Telstra. nbnTM says its new contracts are performance-based, offering flexible volume commitments, competition between …

BT: G.fast is fast and we want it FASTER

BT has told a US broadband conference it's confident that G.fast will do what it says on the box – so long as ongoing standards work bears fruit. However, The Register notes with interest that the dependencies highlighted by BT Wholesale CTO Colin Bannon are many. As noted at LightReading, Bannon reckons G.fast is good for 300 …

Corporate cuddle: USTR linked arms with industry in TPP negotiations

Freedom of Information work from IP Watch has brought about the release of a pile of e-mails detailing relations between the US Trade Representative and various industry lobbies that have been wish-listing the Trans Pacific Partnership process. Although often heavily redacted, the e-mails let slip the occasional gems – such as …
paper cut-out men holding hands in linked semi-circle

NY, Connecticut investigate Apple for Music service violations

Although Apple has barely thrown back the covers on its Apple Music streaming service, it is already facing anti-trust investigations from two US states. According to the New York Times, attorneys general in New York and Connecticut are investigating whether Apple has pressured record labels – or colluded with them – to …
Google UK reception

Google shares optical layer SDN with its friends

Google's getting more cozy with the world of SDN, opening up some of its network configuration models to give things a kick along. LightReading reports that Chocolate Factory network architect Bikash Koley wants more SDN adoption at the transport layer. To that end, the company has shared its multivendor optical terminal …
Zuckerberg

Facebook decides space isn't its final frontier after all

Just days after it looked like the tech sector's love affair with satellite broadband was getting legs, Facebook has reportedly abandoned its spacefaring. Various reports indicate that the billion-dollar plan to distribute the Facebook Internet.org walled garden via satellite has been abandoned, because The Social NetworkTM …
Skull image

Industrial Wi-Fi kit has hard-coded credentials

The travelling side-show of industrial control kit insecurity continues, with an outfit called Red Lion being called out for hard-coded credentials on a wireless access point. ICS-CERT has issued an advisory noting that the company's N-Tron 702.-W industrial wireless access point has hard-coded private keys for SSH and HTTPS …
Boy slurps watermelon. Credit: Shutterstock

The great silicon slurp of 2015 continues: Atmel next on the shopping block

Another instalment in this year's consolidation in the silicon market appears to be on the cards, with reports emerging that microcontroller outfit Atmel is looking for a buyer. As Reuters reports, the company's CEO, Steve Laub, is due to retire at the end of August, something that may have sparked the decision to seek …

Cisco: Nice things you got there. Shame if anything should happen to them

If you doubted that the Internet of Things is a security problem, doubt no more, since Cisco kicked off its Cisco Live! US with John Chambers talking up the Borg's IoT security capabilities. There are announcements a-plenty, so The Register's networking desk is quite happy for Cisco's PR team to do its own talking. Instead, in …
Nikola Tesla's fake lightning, Recuerdos de Pandora on Flickr CC2.0 license

Power your temperature sensor with this BONKERS router hack

The Internet of Things world could power a lot of things with WiFi signals, if only access points broadcast all the time instead of when they've got something to say. There's a bucket of research into scavenging ambient signals to power junk stuff things, and WiFi is a popular energy source, but it's intermittent. As the …
NBN logo

The $60,000 logo: What it costs to change a website

Swapping logos on its Website cost nbnTM more than AU$60,000, it's emerged in a Senate Estimates hearing. It's also possible that the cost of swapping brand from NBN Co to the new theme could exceed a million dollars, well above the $700,000 originally reported. The higher cost came in answers given to Estimates by …
Skull image

Kaspersky says air-gap industrial systems: why not baby monitors, too?

I wasn't at AusCERT this year, but watching the Tweet-stream and chatting to fellow Vulture Darren Pauli kept me clued-in, and I was interested to hear that Eugene Kaspersky thinks air-gaps are a good way to protect SCADA systems. Because you won't convince the industrial sector to reverse the cost savings it got from connecting …
War of the Worlds

SpaceX asks to test broadband in SPAAACE

Elon Musk's SpaceX has filed its long-anticipated application to test a satellite-based broadband service with the Federal Communications Commission. The filing requests permission to beam signals down to “three broadband array test ground stations” on the US West Coast. Elon's satellites won't suffer the unbearable delays …
Artist Impression of Giant Magellan Telescope

Half a billion for BLOODY BIG telescope in Chile

The planned largest optical telescope in the world, the Giant Magellan Telescope looks to go ahead, with its consortium signing off on the US$500 million build cost. The telescope is ambitious engineering: seven mirrors spanning a total of 25 metres, which the project says will focus “six times” the amount of light collected by …
The Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0

LTE will catch up with 3G by 2020: Ericsson

Here comes 5G, except for one thing: most of the world will still be on pre-4G by 2020. That's the conclusion of research by Ericsson, which finds that today's 7.1 billion mobile subscriptions are dominated by GSM/Edge services. By 2020, the biggest slice of the world's 9.2 billion services will be the 3.8 billion WCDMA/GSM …

Piston to power Cisco Intercloud

Cisco is either dipping another tentative toe in the open cloud business, or about to Borg a potential competitor, announcing that it wants to buy cloud operating system company Piston Cloud Technologies. Piston's OpenStack expertise will now be wrapped into the warm embrace of Cisco's Cloud Services operation, the group charged …

Dotcom keeps assets, for now

The US has suffered a setback in the interminable case of Kim Dotcom, with a New Zealand court ruling against the seizure of his assets, for now. The FBI has been seeking assets from Dotcom and his Megaupload co-defendants in NZ, under an order obtained from US courts. New Zealand's deputy solicitor general had authorised the …

AFP officer abused data access to stalk ex

A former officer of the Australian Federal Police's counter-terrorism unit has entered guilty pleas to two charges of stalking using restricted databases. The officer, Roman Eiginson, stood trial for stalking an ex who had left him when he married a Russian woman. As the Canberra Times reports, 53-year-old Eiginson is a former …
Dunce's cap graffiti by https://www.flickr.com/photos/lord-jim/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Mass break-in: researchers catch 22 more routers for the SOHOpeless list

Yet another disclosure tips 22 SOHO routers in the security bin, with everything from privilege escalation and authentication bypass to hard-coded credential backdoors. That disclosure – more than 60 vulnerabilities from big-name vendors including D-Link, Belkin, Huawei, Linksys, Netgear, Zyxel and Sagem – was made by Spanish …
axe_648

Facebook farewells flaky SHA-1

Facebook has set the date: on September 30, the ancient and creaking SHA-1 hashing algorithm will make its tumbril trip and get the chop. SHA-1, designed by the NSA in 1995, is a one-way algorithm: a block of data is turned into a message digest. The digest can't be turned back into the original message, but serves as a digital …
ONOS Logo

ONOS Cardinal adds IPv6, MPLS

The Open Network Operating System (ONOS) has okayed its latest version, Cardinal, for general release. Top of the list in the latest release, the community says, are enhancements to its Application Intent Framework. This gets MPLS and tunnelling support, which Sheryl Zhang, ON.Labs' chief of strategy and partnerships, said were …
Costa WiFi 2

Computex: Broadcom and Qualcomm surf Wave 2

While the show floor gets headlines for consumer gadgets, Computex is also a venue for sand-slingers to try and get a handshake from Asian kit companies for their next round of chips. And with Wave 2 802.11ac on the manufacturing schedules, it's no surprise that Qualcomm and Broadcom are duking it out in the exhibition with …
A Plainfin Midshipman

Catch of the Day: off the hook

Retail coupon operator Catch-of-the-Day has escaped penalty over sitting on a data breach for three years. The 2011 data breach was notified to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in 2014. Catch of the Day put the delay down to deciding that the hashed passwords in the compromised systems "might" be at …
UNicorn

Japan, EU: we'll research 5G unicorns together

We don't know what 5G will look like yet, apart from fast and probably expensive, but Japan and the European Union have agreed to cooperate to research the coming-in-2020 mobile standards. Under the agreement announced Friday, the partners will work together on standards efforts, and to harmonise the radio spectrum to be used in …
Plasma tubes above the ionosphere

Electrons ride huge plasma tubes above Earth

The huge energies in the ionosphere get shifted around in plasma “tubes”, observed for the first time by a Sydney University physics graduate student. The work by graduate student Cleo Loi shows that the plasmasphere (the soup of electrons stripped away from atoms in the ionosphere) is strongly aligned with Earth's magnetic …