Simon Sharwood

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 Flexson VinylPlay turntable

Last year Nutanix revealed a hypervisor, this year...

Hyperconverged enfant terrible Nutanix's first siren song to tech buyers offered the impressive proposition of on-premises hardware that converged compute and storage while improving the experience of running vSphere. Next, at the company's first user conference in June 2015, came the ballsy move of releasing its own …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jun 2016
Nine inch iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard

Apple's 'lappable' iPad Pro concept is far from laughable

Road test “Lapable” is not a word I would ordinarily use, save for the fact that Apple’s applied it to the new iPad Pro nine-incher. The horrid word is an admission that the smaller iPad Pro is not a strong contender as a laptop replacement, but can do the job when required. And in my experience, a very decent job once you take the leap …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2016
Ultrasound

Telstra's 'future of medical diagnosis' needs just 5Mbps

A couple of weeks ago, Telstra breathlessly announced “the future of medical diagnosis”, namely “haptically-enabled robotics” that mean ultrasound examinations can be conducted remotely, complete with force-feedback so that a sonographer can guide their instrument over a distant body's lumps and bumps. I've often heard it …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2016
The Dell PowerEdge R530

Dell sockets it to 'em with Xeon server upgrades

You know the drill: Intel pops out a new Xeon ( in this case the E5-2600 v4 and over the following weeks all the major kit-makers find ways to put it to work. InDEll's case that means a new trio of PowerEdge servers for your consideration. The new model R530 is a 2U beast that Dell reckons is good for “common business …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
Ricky Gervais

Vid: New 'The Office' trailer

A new teaser trailer for forthcoming flick David Brent: Life on The Road has landed on YouTube. The trailer gives us a hint of the film's content: Brent's left management and office supplies behind to become a singer-songwriter. He has not, however, stopped being an irredeemable and scarcely-tolerated twit incapable of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
VMware Photon

VMware fires Photon missile

VMware has released version 1.0 of Photon OS, the lightweight Linux it cooked for containers running inside vSphere. Available here on GitHub, the OS has a 384MB memory footprint and requires 396MB of disk space in minimalist configuration. VMware says “kernel boot times are ~200ms”. VMware's announcement of the 1.0 release …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
Chinese Fen Shui good luck coins

Chinese numerologists are betting Dell/EMC deal will make them rich

The Register can reveal that Chinese numerology is playing a part in Dell's acquisition of EMC. Deep in the SEC filings about the deal is the factoid that a parcel of 18,181,818 shares of Class C Common Stock will end up in the hands of “Venezio Investments Pte. Ltd., an affiliate of Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited.” The …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
Off_shore_drilling_rig

Fly to Africa. Survive helicopter death flight to oil rig. Do no work for three weeks. Repeat

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our end-of-week wander through readers' reminiscences of being asked to do dumb things in nasty places and unsociable hours. This week, meet “Ashley”, who wrote to tell us of the time he was asked to install some kit on an oil rig off the coast of Africa. Ashley and his colleagues built and tested …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
IPv4

Crims set up fake companies to hoard and sell IPv4 addresses

IPv4 addresses are now so valuable that criminals are setting up shell companies so they can apply for addresses, then resell them to users desperate to grow their networks. Criminals are doing so because there are no more IPv4 addresses left: the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) ran out in September 2015. ARIN …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jun 2016
Antikythera Mechanism by https://www.flickr.com/photos/infanticida/  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ CC 2.0 Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Boffins decipher manual for 2,000-year-old Ancient Greek computer

Scientists have examined hitherto-obscure inscriptions on the Antikythera Mechanism, a first century BC apparatus comprised of interlocking gears, and now believe the device could predict eclipses and the motion of the planets. The Antikythera Mechanism is a scientific and archaeological marvel, because nothing else like it …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jun 2016
Facepalm from Shutterstock

Ironic vSphere client bug

VMware has blasted a bug in the web client for vSphere. Bug VMSA-2016-0009 means “The vSphere Web Client contains a reflected cross-site scripting vulnerability due to a lack of input sanitization.” If an attacker sends you a malicious link, bad things are possible. There's rich irony here, because vAdmins detest older …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jun 2016

VMware aims high with a little help from its friends

VMware's extensive ecosystem has been a massive part of its success, as demonstrated by the fact that even when server virtualisation looked like a reason to stop buying servers it created an opportunity for Intel to make virtualisation sing and arguably left Chipzilla making more coin from virtualisation than VMware itself. …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2016
Steampunk fan with goggles

Mozilla's guide to fun parties

The Mozilla Foundation is throwing an all hands meeting this week. Staff, contractors and volunteers are gathering in London for a week of product planning and relaxation, the latter culminating with a Friday night party. That event caught our eye because the event wiki explains how to have fun at the Steampunk-themed shindig …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2016
I would vote republican but I crave brains by https://www.flickr.com/photos/clarkmackey/  cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Buggy vote-counting software borks Australian election

The body overseeing elections in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has acknowledged researchers' claims of a bug in the software it uses to count votes. The NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) has corrected an error detected and described by researchers Andrew Conway and Vanessa Teague, and verified by computer …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2016

Australian CompSci boffins score Queen's Birthday gongs

Australian technologists have scored awards in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours. Professor Michael Ralph Fellows has been made a Companion In the General Division Of the Order of Australia (AC) for his numerous contributions to computer science but especially for co-founding the “new field of theoretical computer science …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jun 2016
Type arms of an old typewriter

VMware buys Arkin

VMware has acquired cloud management outfit Arkin. Virtzilla's made the buy to get its claws on Arkin's code that gathers performance data on the NSX network virtualisation product. Arkin takes that data, makes sense of it and offers sysadmins a more-or-less-natural language query tool that can be used to figure out what's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jun 2016
ALP NBN policy outline

Labor's broadband policy decides 39% fibre is healthy NBN diet

Australia's opposition Labor Party (ALP) has released its national broadband network (NBN) policy (PDF) the centrepiece of which is a pledge to replace as-yet-unbuilt fibre-to-the-node sites with fibre-to-the-node. Labor's policy does five things. Firstly it's an attack on the incumbent Libera/National coalition government's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jun 2016
Melted chocolate clock by Emily McCracken, CC2.0 license

Developer waits two years for management to define project

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday festival celebrating the many odd things Reg readers have been asked to do at work. This week, we're delving into the mailbag of tales generated by recent On-Calls about the reader paid £35k to do nothing for three months and another paid to do nothing for a year. Reader “Henry” reckons he …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016

Microsoft offers Surface-as-a-Service from its own stores

First Microsoft turned Office into software-as-a-service. It's currently transforming Windows into Windows-as-a-service. And now it's decided that its Surface Pro typoslab should become Surface-as-a-service, to help businesses buy more of the hybrid machines. Surface-as-a-Service, or "Surface Membership" to use its proper name …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016

TeslaCrypt tamed

Cisco's Talos security team says it's now possible to decrypt data maimed by any version of the TeslaCrypt ransomware. Security researchers and TeslaCrypt played cat and mouse across four versions. The authors of the net nasty have since thrown in the towel, and rival security vendor ESET released a decryption tool. Talos has …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
Seasonal Temperature Pattern Indicating Martian Dust Storms

Mars' dust storms follow seasonal patterns say NASA boffins

Mars boffins reckon they've found seasonal found patterns in Mars' dust storms. Detailed in a Geophysical Research Letters research letter titled Interannual similarity in the Martian atmosphere during the dust storm season, David Kass, who runs the Mars Climate Sounder, and co-authors identify: Type A storms, that start as …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
IBM Selectric Golfball

Facebook video and nausea

Facebook now supports video comments and 360-degree photos. Video comments mean you can choose to upload a video when you respond to friends' posts. Which will mean Facebook users likely consume more data and spend even more time on The Social NetworkTM, seeing as Facebook comments are not noted for offering lengthy or learned …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
Burglar sits in kitchen with stolen tablet. Photo by Shutterstock

EMC and VMware both suffer malicious user access messes

VMware and EMC have each revealed security nasties. EMC's problem is with Data Domain OS, the operating system for its disk backup boxen. AS EMC's notification explains, “Data Domain logs the session identifier of a user logged in via the GUI in a file that is accessible to all users.” All users? D'oh! That means “A …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
Slippery slope sign

PC market sinking even faster than first thought, thanks to Windows 10

The abacus-shufflers of analyst firm IDC have revised their 2016 PC sales forecasts downwards. The firm now says PC shipments “... are forecast to decline by 7.3% year over year”. That's “roughly two per cent below earlier projections as conditions have been weaker than expected.” The firm names “weak currencies, depressed …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
Microsoft Azure

Azure F's up instance sizes

Microsoft has announced new and larger “F-Series” Azure instances. The new instances also have a new naming scheme that means the F1 instance has one CPU core and the F16 instance has 16 cores. Geddit? This naming scheme will henceforth apply to all Azure instances. The new instances run 2.4 GHz Intel Xeon E5-2673 v3 (Haswell …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016