Simon Sharwood

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
Lovely reject by Flickr user c0t0s0d0 CC 2.0 attribution

EMC mess sends New Zealand University TITSUP for two days

Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, experienced two days of Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) after failures in its EMC equipment. An email sent by senior IT staff at the University reports that “the storage systems that manages all our servers have experienced multiple failures over the past 2 …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2015
the amazing world of gumball

Cartoon brings proper tech-talk to telly

Technology on the telly is often made-up rubbish: every CCTV camera in the world is online, progress bars never pause, passwords can be brute-forced in moments and mobile phones never drop out unless faults enhance the dramatic effect. The language used to describe it is worse: the likes of CSI:Cyber routinely make stuff up. And …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2015
Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone

Mincing Nokia's factories made Microsoft a sausage factory

Microsoft's revealed that gutting Nokia has made a dent in its diversity data. Redmond's new Global Diversity & Inclusion update says “... primarily due to the restructuring of our phone hardware business – we experienced an overall decline in the percentage of women working at Microsoft worldwide, from 29 percent (Sept. 30, …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2015
Android 6 Marshmallow Logo

Google launches virtual plastic pal who's fun to be with

Google has launched a preview of version 2.0 of Android Studio, the Alphabet subsidiary's development tool for Android apps. Google's aims for this release were to create a faster, prettier-and-therefore-more-pleasant-to-use tool. The revised development tool's headline features therefore include something called “instant run …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2015

ESXi's been borking VM backup and there's no fix yet

VMware has reported a nasty bug that means virtual machine backups may not work. The problem hits virtual machine backups that use Changed Block Tracking (CBT)in ESXi. “The CBT API call QueryDiskChangedAreas() … can sometimes return incorrect changed sectors, which results in inconsistent incremental virtual machine backups,” …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2015
A blade server from the UV2 super

Amazon now renting physical servers you can cuddle and love

This is different from hosting how exactly? Amazon Web Services has flicked the switch on “EC2 Dedicated Hosts” - a new cloud service that offers “physical servers fully dedicated for your use.” The new service applies to over 30 variations of the instance types in the M4, C3, C4, G2, R3, D2, and I2 instance types and can run …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2015

Wikipedia's ON DRUGS again, complains Russia

Russia has again pointed out, pointedly, that Wikipedia contains content it doesn't want its citizens to see. Russia routinely tries to keep information on how to make illegal drugs away from its citizens, as part of an ongoing internal crackdown. That stance saw the nation take on Reddit over posts about magic mushrooms, ban …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2015

EMC CEO promises 'minimal disruption to existing product lines'

EMC Information Infrastructure CEO David Goulden has written to customers promising “minimal disruption to existing product lines” as EMC and Dell become one. In an email letter sent to El Reg's virtualisation desk, Goulden says Dell and EMC's “combined product and technology portfolios and sales approaches are complementary, …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2015
titanium rods in's spine cc 2.0 attribution sharealike

Telstra cloudwhacks storage vendors' sweet spot

Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, has waded into one of the storage industry's favourite markets, medical imaging, with a cloud service that may not make it a lot of friends. The overwhelming majority of medical imaging is now digital, so the field generates lots and lots of data. Much of that data needs to be retained for …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2015
Shounting man in suit image via Shutterstock

All Cisco certs add cloud, IoT, 'business transformation'

Cisco has announced a major refresh of its certification programs, all of which will henceforth include material on cloud, the internet of things, cloud, “network programmability” and “business transformation”. Cloud and IoT are self-explanatory while “network programmability” is software-defined networking by another name. …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2015
Intel-Hauptgebäude in Feldkirchen by cc 2.0 attribution sharealike

Intel hires Qualcomm's compute leader to lead new mobile push

File this one under "if you can't beat 'rm, hire 'em": Intel has hired Doctor Venkata “Murthy” Renduchintala. The new hire was until recently executive veep and president of Qualcomm's mobile and computing division, in other words Intel's nemesis as Chipzilla tried and failed to make a dent in mobile devices. For having pulled …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2015
OpenBSD 5.7 logo

OpenBSD's native hypervisor emerges

The native OpenBSD hypervisor promised in September has emerged. Kernel dev Mike Larking has posted news of the hypervisor, but hosed down expectations along the way. “An early rough cut of the vmm subsystem is now in the tree,” he wrote. “This includes both the kernel parts and userland parts.” “I'm not going to explain all …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2015
Dolphins can remember each other's signature whistles after 20 years

Clueless Anonymous asks the powerless to save dolphins

Persons using the name and iconography of online activist collective “Anonymous” (PUTNAIOOACA) are appealing to recently-dethroned world leaders to help them in a fight against Japan's dolphin slaughter program. PUTNAIOOACA operatives are currently running #opkillingbay, an effort to draw global attention to the annual dolphin …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2015
plane engine by cc 2.0 attribution generic

Y'know how airlines never explain delays? United's bug bounty works the same way

United Airlines' frequent flier points for bugs plan has come in for criticism from a researcher who says the airline didn't respond to news of a critical bug report for five months, and then only after he threatened to go public. Randy Westergren, whose assessment of Subway's impressively-secure app graced our pages last July …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2015
Zombie rising from the grave

Windows 8.1 exams kept alive six more months, Win 7 tests immortal

Microsoft may be hustling the world onto Windows 10 just as fast as it can, but it seems there's residual demand out there for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. We make that suggestion because Microsoft has extended the life of certifications for its last-but-one desktop OS and has no plans to can all Windows 7 education. On the …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2015
The Eiffel Tower lit in blue white red - Fluctuat nec Mergitur by cc 2l0 attribution sharealike

EU's Paris terror response includes 'virtual currencies' crimp

The European Commission's Justice and Home Affairs Council met last Friday to consider responses to the terrorist attack on Paris and among the actions the meeting decided are now necessary is a look at how to crimp virtual currencies. The Council's decided on 13 responses to the Paris attacks, including a call for member …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Nov 2015
Melted chocolate clock by Emily McCracken, CC2.0 license

World needs 252,288,000 seconds to decide fate of leap seconds

The International Telecommunications Union's (ITU's) debate on the future of leap seconds has decided a decision on the matter can wait for 252,288,000 seconds. The ITU's World Radiocommunication Conferences kicked off back on November 2nd and leap seconds were one item on the agenda because of international worries that the …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Nov 2015
Slot machine by cc 2.0 attribution sharealike

One-armed bandit steals four hours of engineer's busy day

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly look at readers' trials and tribulations when asked to go out and fix stuff for clients. This week, reader “SH” shared the story of his time working for an amusement machine operator as a service engineer. SH spent his days maintaining fruit machines*, pool tables, juke boxes and video …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Nov 2015
Windows Server

Windows Server and System Centre 2016 get fourth previews

Microsoft's popped out the fourth Technical Previews of Windows Server 2016 and System Centre 2016. The headline item in Windows Server is Hyper-V containers, Microsoft's “container-optimised” version of its Hyper-V hypervisor. Like others, Redmond's decided that there are occasions on which you'll want containers to run under …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Nov 2015
Drupal 8 logo

Shall we Drupal 8? Hint: it's not a verb, but the 8th version of Drupal

The 8th version of open source content management system (CMS) Drupal is upon us. This time around, Drupal folk are talking up tooling for “the post-browser era”, which apparently means lots of people now read stuff on devices Dries Buytaert, creator and project lead of Drupal and also CTO at Drupal-wrangling firm Acquia …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Nov 2015
Internet construction helmet

Don't flip your lid: The Internet of Helmets has arrived

Microsoft has shown off an internet helmet built by a customer. The hard-wired headwear is the brainchild of construction outfit Laing O’Rourke, which is rightly concerned with the welfare of workers it sends out to build stuff in the sweltering heat of places like Australia and the Middle East. Folks toiling in the hot sun …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Nov 2015
Splunk CEO Doug Merritt

Seven-year itch claims Splunk CEO

Splunk CEO and president Godfrey Sullivan has retired. Sullivan's successor is Doug Merritt, previously senior veep for field operations at Splunk and a former senior exec at Cisco and PeopleSoft. Sullivan will hang around as non-executive Board chair and "will continue to work closely with the Board and with Merritt to ensure …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Nov 2015

VMware cofounder and CEO Diane Greene to run Google's cloud

VMware cofounder and CEO Diane Greene is to head all of Google's cloud efforts. Alphabet's ads-and-cloud subsidiary announced Greene's new gig today, anointing her leader of “... a new team combining all our cloud businesses, including Google for Work, Cloud Platform, and Google Apps.” She's already on Google's Board, and has …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Nov 2015

Kids' tech skills go backwards thanks to tablets and smartmobes

The growing prevalence of smartphones and tablets in homes and schools may be retarding kids' development of IT skills, according to an Australian study. The research in question was conducted by Australia's National Assessment Program (NAP_, a body that undertakes research of students' skills. Every three years, NAP assesses …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Nov 2015

VMware warns of info leaks flowing from Apache-Adobe mess

VMware has warned users of its vCenter, vCloud Director and Horizon products that they need to patch a flaw in Flex BlazeDS. The flaw, CVE-2015-3269, means Apache Flex BlazeDS “allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via an AMF message containing an XML external entity declaration in conjunction with an entity …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Nov 2015
Google's custom cloud server configurator

Custom virtual machines come to Google's Compute Engine

Google's just done something interesting with its cloud by adding a configurator that lets you roll your own servers. The Alphabet subsidiary reckons that other clouds repeat some of IT's past sins by making you buy more server than you need. By offering an online configurator that lets you determine a server's core count and …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Nov 2015
Senses by cc 2.0 attribution sharealike

Obscure Chinese web servers at the end of your connections? It's legit, and growing

Netcraft has issued an update to its regular rating of the world's most-used web servers and found two Chinese nginx forks on the rise. The usual suspects top the charts: Apache's out in front with 86,528,264 active sites, a 49.99 per cent market share. nginx's 27,855,455 users give it 16.09 per cent share. Microsoft and …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Nov 2015
Jet boat on sydney harbour

Kick off the festive season, with Reg-style hijinks in Sydney

Christmas is nearly upon us, and Vulture South has a little party planned in concert with SimpliVity. Our plan is simple: spend half an hour on land learning about SimpliVity's approach to hyperconverged infrastructure, then hit the harbour for 30 minutes of mayhem aboard an OzJet speedboat. The action starts and finishes at …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2015
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch on flickr"

Lawyers use anti-piracy law to get website blocked over corporate ID brouhaha

Australian law firm Moray & Agnew has written to internet service providers (ISPs) in an attempt to have them block a site hosted in India, citing the new provisions of Australia's Copyright Act that target pirate websites as justifying the ban. The letter, a copy of which has been seen by The Register, alleges that a site is …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2015
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Dell and EMC customers happy about prospect of Dell/EMC merger

Dell and EMC customers like the idea of a Dell/EMC merger and largely plan to spend more with the combined companies, according to analyst outfit the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). The firm surveyed “202 senior IT decision makers at organizations that currently purchase from Dell and/or EMC Federation companies”. Of that …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2015

Nano-NAS market dives into the cloud

Small networked storage systems are in trouble: kit-tallyer IDC says sales declined in Q3 2015 and now sit at under 334,000 a quarter. That's our conclusion from the firm's latest Worldwide Personal and Entry-Level Storage Tracker, released Monday and suggesting sales of 16,680,000 units for the quarter. The tracker defines …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2015
real coffee by cc 2.0 attribution generic

Coffee fixes the damage booze did to your liver, study finds

If your liver's packing it in after a lifetime of boozing, changing your poison may yet keep you alive a little longer. So says Dr Alex Hodge, a consultant gastroenterologist and liver disease specialist at Monash Health, a unit of Australia's Monash University. Hodge and her colleagues studied 1,100 patients with either …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2015
symantec CEO mike brown

Symantec's salvation plan is more and better integration. No, really

Symantec divested Veritas because it never quite convinced anyone that an integrated security and data management company made sense, and its security business has struggled in part because it's not linked its protection products. But the company's new CEO Michael Brown nonetheless thinks that integrating the company's range is …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2015
USS reliant by cc 2.0 attribution generic

VMware open sources its Photon container control freak

VMware's pursuit of the container caper has taken another turn, with the open-sourcing of its Photon Controller. Back at VMworld in August, Virtzilla announced “Photon Platform”, a containerisation effort comprising a stripped back Linux called “Photon OS”, a lightweight version of the ESX hypervisor called “Photon Machine” …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2015
USA/ Etats-Unis sign by CC 2.0 attribution noderivs

US Presidential race becomes Wi-Fi password snark battle

The tragi-comedy that is the extended US presidential election campaign has taken two turns into technological territory. First, the trivial. As reported by The Hill, last week's debate among Republican candidates for the presidency offered the Wi-Fi password “StopHillary” to members of the press. The Democratic debate on …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2015
Qantas Boeing 737-838, VH-VZR

iPad data entry errors caused plane to strike runway during takeoff

On the 1st of August, 2014, cabin crew aboard a 737 operated by Australian airline QANTAS reported hearing a “squeak” during takeoff. The crew's ears were good: the sound they heard was the plane's tail scraping the ground – a “tailstrike” - during takeoff. That's the conclusion of an Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2015
I would vote republican but I crave brains by  cc 2.0 attribution generic

Your taxes at work: Three hours driving to turn on politician's PC

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, in which fellow Reg readers share their experiences of going out into user-land to fix stuff, often under trying circumstances. This week's tale comes from reader John, who wrote to share his reminiscences”working for a local authority in the north of England covering some 800 square miles of …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Nov 2015
Cambridge Punting by  cc.20 attribution generic

Reg mashup rates CompSci unis for books, booze and boogie

The Complete University Guide has released its annual ratings of the best UK universities for computer science studies. Cambridge, Imperial College London, Oxford, St Andrews and Bristol universities take the first five slots. The latter is the big mover among the elite, having shot up from eighth spot to fifth since the 2016 …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2015

Even with Turnbull's NBN, Australian ISPs are getting faster

Netflix's Australian ISP Speed Index has updated gain to reflect October performance and the good news is there's good news no matter which ISP you use. As the chart below shows (click here to embiggen), all the ISPs the video-streamer rates are doing better. Netflix Australia ISP Speed Index October 2015 The table below …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Nov 2015
Lego wedding by  cc 2.0 attribution generic

Cisco, Ericsson prefer shacking up to sloow marriage process

Cisco and Ericsson decided on their sweeping new partnership because other transactions would have slowed down a joint approach to market, the companies' CEOs said today on a call explaining the co-opetition pact announced earlier today. Ericsson CEO Hans Vesterberg described the deal as a “partnership of choice”. A joint …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Nov 2015
Voodoo doll by cc2.0 attribution generic

Stick a pin in a sales droid to avoid cable voodoo

On-Call In this week's edition of On-Call, our weekly wander through readers' reminiscences, we're indebted to reader Shannon who's shared a tale of his late 1990s experience working in “a small-ish computer sales and repair shop.” “This was when things were booming in the custom-built computer market,” Shannon explains. “Western …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2015

Startup founder taken hostage by laid-off workers

An Indian food delivery startup called TinyOwl this week conducted “a mass streamlining to unlock the organization’s operational efficiency by deploying scalable city level frameworks.” And in response, workers took one of the company's founders hostage. TinyOwl struck financial trouble but in late October found new funding, …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2015

Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

Celebrity programmer Eric S. Raymond has aired a theory that feminist activists are trying to find a way to lay false sexual assault claims against male leaders of the open source community. Raymond is best known for his seminal tract The Cathedral and the Bazaar, and remains active in the world of open source, which he has …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2015

How much do containers thrash VMs in power usage? Thiiiis much

Ericsson researcher Roberto Morabito has compared the power consumption requirements of virtual machines and containers, and found the latter more economical. Power Consumption of Virtualization Technologies: an Empirical Investigation put Xen, KVM, Docker and LXC through their paces on a series of tasks and measured how many …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2015

Nigerian government site popped, used for phishing scam

Malfeasants have embedded a phishing scam inside the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria's web site. The Council is legit: it's Nigeria's accounting standards and corporate governance oversight organisation. That role, says Netcraft, doesn't make it a wizard at information security, because someone's found their way in to …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2015
Young Panda in Chengdu Panda Base by cc 2.0 Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

How can it possibly be time to patch Xen again?

Hot on the heels of dumping a hot, steaming pile of patches on its users, the Xen project has squeezed out a maintenance release. Xen 4.5.2 hit the intertubes on Thursday, bringing with it 74 fixes and improvements, plus another five QEMU repairs. Xen folk say “We recommend that all users of the 4.5 stable series update to …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2015
Windows Store For Business

Signups start at 'Windows Store for Business'

Microsoft's wanted an enterprise app store for ages, but hasn't been able to get one going because one the many messes in Windows 8.x was “side-loading”, a strange Microsoft's method for allowing businesses to install Windows apps en masse to their PC fleets. Now it looks like Redmond's revving a replacement, as a new Windows …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2015
Asteroids screen shot

Europe's Asteroid prang probe plan calls for cubesats

The European Space Agency (ESA) has decided to include cubesats in the design of its planned Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM). Cubesats are 10cm3 modules that mostly use commercial-off-the-shelf electronics. Most don't include any propulsion, instead relying on being released into space to do their jobs. That approach makes the …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2015
Optus Logo

Optus to provide comms to Australia's offshore detention centres

Singtel's Australian arm, Optus, has won a three-year, AU$115-million deal to provide “end-to-end telecommunications and managed IT services” to Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection.” Upon receiving news of the contract win, Vulture South asked Optus if it Australia's offshore immigration detention centres …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2015
flag.South Korea

He's a Seoul Man: Jeff Bezos' Amazon AWS in Korea-defining move

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced it will create a (South) Korean region in 2016. AWS blogger-in-chief Jeff Barr says local customers have been asking for a local presence, so the company will oblige “in early 2016.” The company won't yet reveal which services and EC2 instance types it will bring to the new region, so …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2015