Richard Chirgwin

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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 …
Twitter for Mac New

Twitter's share price crashed 18% thanks to ONE LONE TWEET

Financial analysts have reacted with comical dismay following less-than-forecast results from microblabber-content advertising website Twitter. The outfit's monthly active users, at 302 million, were up 18 per cent year-on-year and 4.86 per cent quarter-on-quarter, prompting Landcolt Capital's Todd Schoenberger to tell Reuters “ …
Lego Godzilla

Intel's wristjob envy sparks reorg

Intel has signalled a refocussing of its R&D in an effort to really, truly make a difference in the wearables market. Chipzilla has told The Wall Street Journal that what was formerly its former New Devices Group will be remade as the “New Technology Group” and put under the leadership of senior veep Joshua Waldon. Walden …
Super Pressure Balloon overhead in Victoria

NASA 'UFO' pops a leak, lands in outback Australia

NASA has terminated the flight of its Super Pressure Balloon after one-third of its planned flight. While the aviation agency's Wallops Flight Facility is pleased that the balloon made a near-circumnavigation in its 32 days aloft, the mission was originally planned to last 100 days. “Controllers detected a leak developing in …
Cloud

Cumulus Networks gives network admins a little DevOps loving

Cumulus Networks has launched a management config of its Linux network distro to give white-box sysadmins the kind of capabilities they're used to in the world of proprietary switches. The Cumulus Rack Management Platform (RMP) OS is designed to provide a single “common interface and operational model” to users of white box …

Euroboffins want EU to achieve techno-independence

Bug bounties, disclosure rules, product certification, and support for open source software are all in a grab-bag of proposals put to the European Parliament to help fight mass surveillance. The calls are set out in the second of two studies prepared for the European Parliament, as part of a “strategy for more security and …
Clouds in blue sky

HP switch upgrade hopes to sneak SDN onto network, quietly

Interop HP has used Interop as the venue for its latest switch launch, putting software-defined networking (SDN) alongside speeds and feeds in the marketing pitch. The way HP sees it, mobility – not just the cellphone but also the proliferation of WiFi devices – is the big deal that demands SDN. The old-world attitude to the network, …
Doctor Nick Riviera

Surgery-bot can be hacked to HACK YOU TO PIECES

Surgical robot makers are just as good at security as the rest of the world - ie, hopeless - according to University of Washington infosec boffins. The researchers targeted a product of their own university's research, a telesurgery unit called the Raven II, and among other things found an exploitable safety mechanism in the …
Looks like DNA

Sweden releases human genome under Creative Commons licence

What used to take years now takes months: after buying a bunch of sequencers in 2014, Sweden's Uppsala University has published a human genome sequence under the Creative Commons license. The data has been posted at Sweden's Uppsala University's Website here for bioinformatics boffins to play with. The university's SciLifeLab …
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Let downloads roam free, says ACCC

Australia's consumer regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, is pushing back against calls to ban accessing offshore content with means such as VPNs, in a submission to an inquiry into copyright legislation. The competition regulator reckons parallel importation should be available in every market, …
Spy hides in dustbin, lifts lid to take photograph

Oz media belatedly realises 'spook's charter' is bad (for) news

Australia's media has finally realised that it was a bad idea to turn the Nelson eye to national security laws that passed in 2014. The laws in question, the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No.1) 2014, created new crimes of revealing “special intelligence operations” (SIOs), with penalties of five years in jail if …
Monty Python dead parrot sketch

Not so fast on FM switch-off: DAB not so hot say small broadcasters

Norway's plan to ditch FM radio broadcasting has come under fire from that country's smaller broadcasters. The Register reported last week that with digital reaching its audience targets, the government set a 2017 date for the death of analogue FM radio in that country - freeing up spectrum for "digital dividend"-style …

Debian ships new 'Jessie' release with systemd AND sysvinit

The Debian project is touting new ports for ARM and POWER architectures, a bunch of software updates, an upgraded Gnome desktop and better security in its just-unleashed Jessie release. However, El Reg fully expects that the switch to systemd as the default init system will divert at least some attention from the release. …
Sabeen Mahmud

Celebrated Pakistani female online activist Sabeen Mahmud dies in shooting

Unidentified gunmen have killed Pakistani women's activist Sabeen Mahmud in a targeted shooting that also left her mother in intensive care. News of the murder emerged over the weekend, with reports from Karachi that she died on the way to hospital after being shot four times. Pakistan's The Express Tribune reports the case is …
iiNet actor

M2 drops on knee, offers scrip ring for iiNet's hand

A second bidder has entered the competition to acquire Australia's second-largest fixed-line internet service provider iiNet, raising the possibility that initial predator TPG might not have things its own way. The Australian Financial Review reckons the bid was received by iiNet on Friday, and offers shares (but no cash) but …
Facepalming statue

App makers, you're STILL doing security wrong

Security expert Troy Hunt has taken a look at what mobile apps collect to send home to their owners, and isn't impressed: even PayPal is still addicted to invasive habits, he says. Looking at PayPal and two Australian apps – a small sample, admittedly, but we'll get to this shortly – the prominent Microsoft security researcher …
firing range - target in cross hairs

Grooveshark faces $750 MEELLION piracy payout

Copy-shop Grooveshark's prospects in the latest round of its lawsuit are looking bleak: remarks made by the judge hearing the case have opened up the possibility of damages close to three quarters of a billion dollars against the song-share site. Ahead of this week's hearing, the presiding judge told jurors that Grooveshark's …
sea_hp_sink

Atalla the hun(ter) leads HP cloud security invasion

HP has revealed a bunch of security analytics tools and services as part of an infosec portfolio launch. The company reckons the IT industry isn't keeping up with security threats, so it's pushing a focus on “the interactions between users, applications and data”. To that end, there's additions to ArcSight, a new cloud security …
Geckos playing with collar

Russian space geckos caught on film playing with jeweled collar

Video Not all “space gecko” experiments end in fiery doom: a group of thick-toed geckos sent into orbit have been filmed seem to have enjoyed playing with a collar floating around their capsule. That's interesting to the behavioural boffins in charge of the project, because “play” is a pretty advanced behaviour to be exhibited by a …
White boxes

Freescale preps white box switch for Interop launch

Freescale has looked at the software-defined network market and decided it likes what it sees: the company is launching into the white box market in partnership with Advantech. The coming network services switch, to be detailed at next week's Interop show in Las Vegas, will use Freescale's QorIQ T4240 silicon the company says. …
Cloud

Australia's favourite(ish) telco taking SDN to the world

Australia's dominant telco Telstra is about to try and make itself a global brand for those considering intercontinental software-defined networks (SDN). Telstra acquired Pacnet in 2014, partly to get its hands on the company's submarine cables and 16-point-of-presence Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN). The PEN is billed as Asia's …
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Game to go a round with a Spartan? Microsoft will pay if you bruise it

Redmond will expand its bug-bounty program ahead of the launch of Windows 10, including a two-month hunt for vulnerabilities in its Project Spartan browser. If you want to play Athens to Microsoft's Spartan, there's as much as US$15,000 up for grabs for remote code execution bugs, sandbox escapes, and “design-level security bugs …
The supervoid

Something's missing in our universe: Boffins look into the SUPERVOID

The biggest structure in the Universe has astro-boffins a-twitter because there's less stuff in it than there should be. If you pop over to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society you'll find the snappily-titled Detection of a supervoid aligned with the cold spot of the cosmic microwave background, which explains …
Data Centre

Pica8 pokes SDN traffic into labelled BGP paths

Getting SDN working across the WAN is becoming the hot topic of the month: white box SDN OS provider Pica8 is the latest to take a shot at the problem. The company has announced that it's adding support for labelled Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) in the 2.6 release of its PicOS operating system. It's hardly a new standard – RFC …

Broadcom tops US$2 billion in March quarter

Broadcom reckons its exit from the cellular baseband modem business was a win, with better cashflow and more money handy to invest in its core business. At the company's latest analyst session, chair and CTO Henry Samueli said that the exit had also given Broadcom the chance to enter “adjacent markets”. The company narrowly …
Cloud

IEEE chaps propose QoS for SDN across the public internet

Software-defined networking (SDN) is fine in the data centre, but rubbish across multi-domain WANs, something a group of IEEE engineers wants to solve. Their proposal, on Arxiv, is to copy the cloud notions of abstraction and orchestration into Internet connections. Sucking nourishment out of the academic prose, the IEEE …
Selection of Australian banknotes

Tech companies aren't 'misleading' us, Oz Tax Office tells Senate

The ongoing stoush between multinationals and the Australian Tax Office continues, with Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan telling a senate inquiry that big companies weren't misleading senators about their tax affairs. Truly, they're not: Jordan said so, noting that “mislead” is “a subjective term” (when under oath before a Senate …
Cloud

Switches complete Avaya SDN suite

Avaya* has pushed a bunch of switches out the door, and is taking aim at Cisco's ECI in its Fx – Fabric Anywhere – strategy. The switches themselves are fairly straightforward: the ESR 5900 line is a stackable series in 24 port (up to Gbps Ethernet) and 48 port (ditto) configurations. Avaya Australia's director, network …
Wobegong eats Bamboo Shark

CenturyLink boosts DaaS capital by acquiring Orchestrate

CenturyLink is playing the Victor Kiam card, liking the Orchestrate managed database service so much that it's bought the ten-person company. The acquisition adds database-as-a-service (DaaS, as in Kapital) capabilities to CenturyLink Cloud, and brings a bunch of NoSQL specialists into its product development organisation. …

Elon Musk wanted Google to buy Tesla, says ex-Vulture's book

The tech world's favourite car-maker, Tesla, came so close to the edge in 2013 that its boss Elon Musk nearly offloaded it to Google, according to a new book documenting the company's history. According to Bloomberg, the upcoming Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future fleshes out what in 2013 was only a …