Simon Sharwood

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Indian DEITY plans 14 Exabyte cloud storage rig

India last week launched a national Digital locker/, a kind of Dropbox clone it hopes will simplify citizens' interactions with government. The service offers a Gigabyte for eligible citizens, which isn't a lot. Until you multiply it by India's 1.4 billion citizens and get to a potential for 14 Exabytes if the system ever …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jul 2015
iPhone pistol case

Oi, idiot fanbois. DON'T buy this gun-shaped iPhone case, mmkay?

US police have warned punters not to buy a new iPhone case that resembles a handgun. The Ocean County Prosecutor's office took to Facebook last week with a plea for punters to ignore the case. “Please folks – this cell phone case is not a cool product or a good idea,” the post says. “A police officers [sic] job is hard enough …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
Firefox logo

Firefox 39 bites four critical bugs

The Mozilla Foundation has released Firefox the 39th. The best reason to adopt the new version is its repairs for three critical bugs. Detailed here, the flaws include memory corruption and “exploitable crashes.” A further two “high” severity flaws, half a dozen rated “moderate” and a single “low” severity bug have also been …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
Progress 60 approaching the ISS

Soyuz source replenishes international space station

The Russian Soyuz craft launched last week to bring supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) has successfully docked, bringing welcome supplies to the crew. The last two ISS replenishment missions failed. In April another Soyuz spun out, then in late June a SpaceX Falcon 9 blew up before it reached orbit. The two …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
Sydney Harbour Bridge in the cloud

Microsoft to HIKE Azure prices as exchange rates shift

Update Over the last few years, Google, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft have all announced price cut after price cut, but Redmond is about to increase prices for its Azure cloud. A Microsoft spokesperson told us the company “... continues to evaluate the market conditions in the countries in which we operate. As a result, we will …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
Glorious future of China

China unveils Internet Plus plan for FIRST time (actually third time)

Back in March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced the “Internet Plus” plan, an effort to stimulate China's growth. In late June he did it again at a State Council Meeting. And over the weekend he did it again, announcing that an “action plan” is now in place to make Internet Plus a reality. The plan – reported in identical …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
This way to linux by https://www.flickr.com/photos/pfh/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

ONE MILLION new lines of code hit Linux Kernel

Linus Torvalds has loosed Linux 4.2-rc1 upon a waiting world, and rates it the biggest release candidate ever in terms of the volume of new code it contains. The Linux Lord writes that “if you count the size in pure number of lines changed, this really seems to be the biggest rc we've ever had, with over a million lines added …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
Hilary Clinton by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

China hacks 'everything that doesn't move' says Hilary Clinton

Former US secretary of state and now presidential candidate Hilary Clinton has accused China of aggressive, state-sponsored hacking aimed at stealing both state and trade secrets. In widely-reported remarks made at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Clinton said China is “ ... trying to hack into everything that doesn't move …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jul 2015
titanium rods in https://www.flickr.com/photos/warrenski/'s spine cc 2.0 attribution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

'The server broke and so did my back on the flight to fix it'

On-Call Reg readers are awesome and none more so than JT Smith, who sent us an epic tale of the time he was called out to solve a backup problem. It started with a chap called “Hubswitch”, who was in charge of technology at a remote site that JT oversaw. Hubswitch earned his name because he kept using the word to describe any piece …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jul 2015
qantas_route_tracker_648

Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

The Airbus A380 has a range of 15,200km, but the longest scheduled commercial flight using the aircraft is the 13,804km Dallas (USA) to Sydney (Australia) jaunt flown by Australia's Qantas. Heading from Oz to the USA, the trip takes just 15 hours and 35 minutes, which at only about an hour longer than a Sydney-Los Angeles flight …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Jul 2015
Cat 5 cable

North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) can no longer satisfy requests for new IPv4 addresses and has started a waitlist for those who want more. ARIN warned, in early June, that “It is very likely that we are already processing a request that we will be unable to fulfill [sic].” On Monday this week it escalated the …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jul 2015
Lego gandalf by https://www.flickr.com/photos/isherwoodchris/  CC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ attribution sharealike

Wanna go all Gandalf – YOU SHALL NOT PASS – on Windows 10?

From 29 July, as we've reported, Windows 10 downloads will start to become available. But of course you don't want that: what sysadmin in their right mind wants to pollute their carefully-tended standard operating environments? Or have users flood the network with OS updates? With the first-day release of an operating system? …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jul 2015
One Microsoft Way by https://www.flickr.com/photos/36182550@N08/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ cropped to 648-432

Azure Australia went TITSUP for about seven hours

Update Microsoft's Azure service is experiencing TITSUP - Total Inability To Support Usual Performance - for some Australian users. The company's status page says “Starting at approximately 01:03 UTC [11:03 AM, Sydney] on 3 July, 2015 customers with Azure services hosted in Australia East may experience inability to connect to their …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jul 2015
Example of tidy cabling

Cloud market spins up a cyclone of sales

Happy days, hardware-sellers, box-peering-abacus-wielder IDC says sales of cloudy kit surged by a whopping 25 per cent in 2015's first quarter. The analyst outfit's Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker found that sales of infrastructure-grade servers, storage and ethernet switches grew by 25.1% year over year to …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jul 2015
Intel compute stick

What's black, sticky, and has just 8GB of storage?

Intel's Compute Stick, the Atom-powered, plug-this-into-your-tellie-over-HDMI femto-PC, is now available with Ubuntu pre-installed. The Compute Stick emerged in April with a Windows 8.1 version selling for a recommended US$149. For that price you score an Atom Z3735F pushing four cores along at up to 1.83 GHz, 2 GB memory, 32 GB …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jul 2015
Paul Shetler, CEO, DTO Australia

Digital Transformation Office CEO's record reveals project wobbles

Australia's Department of Communications on Thursday announced the appointment of Paul Shetler as Chief Executive Officer for the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's effort to digitise government services. But an examination of his recent work suggests that one of the major projects he …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jul 2015
facebook_shock_648

Facebook unveils SECRET logo furtle – in a TWEET

Facebook has revealed its new logo - somewhat bizarrely, in a Tweet. The Social Network™'s product designer Christophe Tauziet popped out this missive eary on July 1st. Say hello to the new Facebook logo pic.twitter.com/ofoFm4JQmK — Christophe Tauziet (@ChrisTauziet) June 30, 2015 Under Consideration reports that the new logo …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jul 2015
Windows XP

Windows 7 and 8.1 market share surge, XP falls behind OS X

Here we are again in the early days of a month, so off we go to Netmarketshare and StatCounter to see what the world's computers are running. Both sites report that June saw a nice spike in Windows 7 use. StatCounter has it up 0.6 per cent to 53.71 per cent of the market, while Netmarketshare reckons it surged from 57.76 per …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jul 2015
CeBIT 2013 VIP Showfloor Tour - Senator Hon Scott Ludlam023 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/cebitaus/ cc2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

South Australia becomes the IaaS FlexPod state

The Aussie state of South Australia has signed up for cloud services offered by local internet service provider iiNet. South Australia adopted a cloud-first policy earlier this year, went to the market and chose iiNet's local arm for the gig of providing servers and software-as-a-service for a range of government agencies. A …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jul 2015
india

Ganges Web Services to launch in 2016

Indian tributary to come online in 2016, but the source of the headwaters Amazon Web Services (AWS) has TEXT signalled it will open a “region” in India some time in 2016. In AWS-speak, a “region” is a nation where it operates data centres. AWS already operates edge services in India, but is yet to deploy its core compute and …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jul 2015
Sydney Harbour Bridge in the cloud

Azure's already a AU$50 million business in Australia

Australia's financial year ended on Tuesday, and Vulture South understands that when the F9 key was pressed to do all the sums, the number in the cell marked “Azure revenue” came in at about AU$50m, plus or minus $5m (about US$38.2m, £24m). That sum was all Azure revenue – Office 365 isn't counted in the calculations. The Reg …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jul 2015
NBN logo

New nbnTM roadmap reveals HFC tests to start in Q4

nbnTM, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has released a new product roadmap. The new plan (PDF) reveals that retail service providers will be provided with a Network Sandpit for HFC” in 2015's fourth quarter. In Q2 of 2016, “HFC Business Readiness Testing” will commence. …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jul 2015
Macrostomum hystrix

SEX-starved worm can GIVE HEAD to ITSELF to reproduce

Bioboffins have found a species of flatworm, Macrostomum hystrix, that can reproduce by injecting its own head with its sperm. The spunky self-shagging slitherer is discussed in a paper titled Hypodermic self-insemination as a reproductive assurance strategy that's made it into the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The worms …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jul 2015
Microsoft Surface 3 Windows 8.1 tablet

Microsoft in Blighty reveals its 78 THOUSAND POUND Surface 3 slabloid

Microsoft's UK store is offering a £77,777.77 version of its Surface 3 tabletoid. That's about US$121,966 or AU$158,520 for those beyond Blighty's sceptred shores. And for those who haven't shopped for a hybrid laptop/tablet lately, its more than 100 times the usual price for such a device. What do you get for that hefty price …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jul 2015

OpenStack's DevStack inspires Xen to create new 'Raisin' d'être

The Xen Project has revealed “Project Raisin” a new offering it hopes will clarify the boundaries between the core of the project and third party components. As explained by Raisin's chief booster Stefano Stabellini, Xen recently received feedback to the effect that “there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for cloning and …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jul 2015
Powershell for Office 365

PowerShell for Office 365 powers on

Microsoft has powered on PowerShell for Office 365. Redmond promised the tool back at its Ignite conference, and on Tuesday decided all was ready to take it into production. Anyone familiar with PowerShell probably won't be in the slightest bit shocked by the tool, which offers a command line interface with which one can …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jul 2015
USA/ Etats-Unis sign by https://www.flickr.com/photos/us-mission/ CC 2.0 attribution noderivs https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Former VMware staffer blows whistle on government pricing plan

VMware and Carahsoft, a company that bills itself as “Your Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider”, will repay US$75.5 million to the US government for what the Department of Justice (DoJ) characterises as “misrepresenting their commercial pricing practices and overcharging the government on VMware software products and …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jul 2015
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

Australian Bureau of Statistics drops big data bubble-buster

Big Data, the shiny happy story goes, will let governments direct resources into programs that really do make a difference to the problems society faces, resulting in better services, less waste and grins on every face. But Australia's Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just published a Research Paper A Statistical Framework for …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jun 2015
The Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0

VMworld content catalog hints at VSAN upgrade

The content catalog for VMware's North American and European virtu-fests – aka VMworld – has landed, complete with a few hints about just what Virtzilla will announce at the show. The catalog isn't final, which is reasonable given the show is still eight weeks off. VMware has named the theme for this year's events - "Ready for …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jun 2015
Github octodex

Github's 'Atom' text editor hits version 1.0

Github's Atom text editor, which it announced back in February 2014, has reached version 1.0. Atom's inspiration was venerable text editor Emacs, but its backers hoped a new start would result in a tool suited to modern web programming. The result is a tool designed from the ground up for coding and customisable in all manner of …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jun 2015
Art of Fighting featured a story... of sorts

VMware, Microsoft in virtualised Exchange blog battle

Microsoft's Exchange Server has a reputation as being hard to virtualise under hypervisors other than Redmond's own Hyper-V, a state of affairs that has led to more than occasional suggestions that Microsoft might just like it that way. But of course Microsoft still tries to keep Exchange humming as best it can, so in late April …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jun 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

Cloud storage is a three-way race with no contenders

The cloud storage market is a three-way race with the trailing pack choosing to occupy niches rather than challenge the leaders, according to the market scryers of Gartner. The firm last week issued a new “Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Storage Services, Worldwide” that listed just seven providers: AWS, Google, Microsoft, IBM, …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jun 2015
Xen project hypervisor logo

Guest-host escape bug sees Xen project urge rapid upgrade

The Xen Project has released version 4.5.1 of its eponymous hypervisor and recommended that users upgrade, stat. The new release contains over 100 improvements, most bug fixes or improvements on version 4.5. There is, however, one bigg-ish new flaw in the form of XSA-135, a guest-host escape mess that means “A guest which has …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jun 2015
LG Hexagonal BAttery

LG's six-sided battery to take smart watches into new timezones

LG Chem, the chemicals arm of the giant LG conglomerate, has revealed a hexagonal battery for smart watches. The idea here is simple: smart watches are round-ish. Batteries today are usually rectangular. So by building a hexagonal battery (not a symmetrical hexagon, sadly) it becomes possible to pack extra power into a wearable …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jun 2015
Panasonic Virtual Make Up

VMware builds a magic mirror for containers and a desktop cloud

Developers like containers because they're lightweight, easy to make, fast to spawn and allow them to do the DevOps thing and improve code continuously. But developers think virtual machines are clunky. Operations people like virtual machines because they're secure, easy to manage and/or automate and are the way IT mostly gets …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jun 2015
Osborne Logo

20 years ago this week, Microsoft just about killed Australian PC manufacturing

In late June of 1995, Australia's top PC manufacturer Osborne went into voluntary administration, caused in part by tactics that made Microsoft the titan it is today – and shaped our industry in nasty ways. Osborne Australia started life as the local distributor of the famed Osborne One CP/M luggable made by US company Osborne …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jun 2015
management strategy1

Oracle confirms David Donatelli hired to head hardware unit

Oracle has confirmed its rumoured hire of former EMC and HP man David Donatelli, and given him the job of running its converged infrastructure business. The exec actually landed at Oracle at the end of March, though the company refused to acknowledge his presence back then - it’s always nicer to work out if the face fits before …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2015

Google endures wobbly Wednesday in the cloud

Google's endured a wobbly week in the cloud, suffering three brown-outs of varying severity. On Wednesday, the company's App Engine had trouble with its task queues that meant some users had trouble deploying applications. Later that day, the Big Query streaming API struck trouble. Next came trouble connecting to Cloud SQL. The …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2015
One onion, one tomato and three cloves of garlic

Heinz cockup sees Ketchup's QR codes spurt saucy sites

A chap named Daniel Korell got quite a surprise when, in late May, he scanned the QR code on a bottle of Heinz Hot Tomato Ketchup, as the bottle led him to pornography rather than information about the comdiment. Korrell's Facebook post on the matter depicts a bottle of sauce that bears a promotion for a site we think is …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2015

The world .sucks at a minute past midnight on Sunday

At a minute after midnight on Sunday, UTC time, .sucks domains will go on sale to anyone who wants one. The flick of the switch to general availability is expected to produce a feeding frenzy as brands and celebrities scramble to make defensive purchases – there's no way Coca Cola wants Coke.sucks in the wrong hands – and …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2015
WikiLeaks Sony document release logo

WikiLeaks slips out YET MORE Sony SECRETS

WikiLeaks has added more than 275,000 documents to its trove of data lifted from Sony Pictures Entertainment as a result of its infamous hack by “North Koreans”. The leaky boat first published Sony's stuff in April, when it released 30,000 docs. At the time, it argued its actions were justified because Sony was “at the centre of …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2015
Capita kebab shop in Waterloo

No, Australian Small business AREN'T flunking out online

The Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday released new data on “Business Use of Information Technology” and I expect that any moment now it will be seized upon as evidence the nation's businesses are technology laggards. That's not the best interpretation of the data. Let's explore why. The numbers that will most excite the …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jun 2015
Containers

ClusterHQ picks EMC as friend with benefits for Flocker release

ClusterHQ has inked an agreement that will see its Flocker container management code integrate with EMC's flashy fare. Flocker is container data management tool that aims to orchestrate containers so that several can be assembled into something that looks, feels and behaves pretty much like an application. Flocker also allows …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jun 2015
Jordan Raskopoulos as Trax, Alex Williams as Julian Assange and Callan Mcauliffe as Prime Suspect

AssangeTM says Sweden squibbed on promised interview

Extreme couch-surfing contender Julian Assange claims “Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny cancelled a prospective appointment to take my statement today.” In March Ny agreed to meet Assange in order to advance Sweden's inquiry into allegations Assange committed sexual offences in Sweden. Such a meeting would need to take place in …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jun 2015
One Microsoft Way by https://www.flickr.com/photos/36182550@N08/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ cropped to 648-432

Windows Server 2016 to inherit Azure's load balancer, data plane

Microsoft's drip … drip … drip of information about Windows Server 2016 has revealed a couple more droplets of detail, and one big splash of news about Redmond's approach to the new OS. The splash is that Azure is the wellspring of Microsoft's plans for your data centre. The whole cloud first thing is no mere mantra: Redmond is …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jun 2015
NBN Logo

Australia's Senate demands access to NBN business case that doesn't exist

Australia's Senate has voted on an "order for the production of documents" demanding access to "a complete and unredacted copy of the NBN Corporate Plan 2015-18," plus "a complete and unredacted copy" of the 2014-2017 plan and an unredacted copy of the NBN Co Strategic Review. The motion (PDF) seeking the order was moved by …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

VMware buddies with Bitnami to hybridise cloud app templates

One of public cloud's selling points is that vendors make it super-easy to spin up common applications: Amazon Web Services, Azure and Rackspace all operate a “marketplace” in which one can find ready-to-deploy virtual machines for just about whatever takes your fancy. Google calls its version “click-to-deploy”. VMware's vCloud …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2015
German Aerospace Center depiction of Philae on Comet 67/P

Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data

The European Space Agency (ESA) says the Philae lander, Earth's unofficial ambassador to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has sent a second burst of data back home. Philae contacted its hominid masters over the weekend, a much hoped-for event after the craft fell into a shady spot on the comet and depleted its batteries. The …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2015
Raspberry Pi Official Case

Raspberry Pi guys want you to go topless in the heat

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has revealed a new piece of hardware: the official Rasbperry Pi case. The main feature is the removable roof that to our mind either makes the Pi a convertible or lets it go topless, depending on your preferred level of innuendo. The Pi guys say they chose the design topping this tale after …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2015
Selection of Australian banknotes

Australian biz will have MERE DAYS to patch for FY15/16 tax changes

It looks like the conveyor belt's broken at the Australian Taxation Office, because vendors of accounting and HR software are releasing their new financial year compliance patches rather late. Oracle's just released its FY 15/16 compliance patch, which will ensure Australian users of Oracle's Payroll wares are up to date with …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2015