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Simon Sharwood

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Firefox OS RHS teaser

Cheapo Firefox OS mobes to debut in India – definitely not one for selfie-conscious users

The Mozilla Foundation's aim to create a Firefox OS for mobile devices was not to take a quixotic tilt at the top end of the smartphone market. Instead, it hoped to provide an alternative that would enable the delivery of low-cost, but still smart, devices to places where smartphones are still a significant purchase. That plan …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Aug 2014
Blackmail image

Stiffed by Synolocker ransomware crims? Try F-Secure's python tool

Security firm F-Secure has released a tool to decrypt data scrambled by the Synolocker malware – assuming you've obtained the decryption key from the crooks. Synolocker is ransomware that attacks NAS devices made by Synology. Those infected by the software find their data is encrypted, and receive an invitation to purchase a …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Aug 2014
The Black Knight

Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays

The storage industry knows that the market for physical arrays is in decline. Cheap cloud storage and virtual arrays have emerged as cheaper and often just-as-useful alternatives, making it harder to justify the cost of a dedicated array for many applications. Forrester knows this, too: one of its analysts, Henry Baltazar, just …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014
quasar map

YOU SHALL NOT PASS! Intel, HyTrust geo-fence wandering virty servers

Intel and HyTrust have teamed up to build software that can control where in the world your virtual machines are allowed to run. The core of the collaboration is Intel's Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) – special kit that attempts to validate a machine's BIOS, hypervisor and hardware state. That's a handy trick because some …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014

Citrix says reports of XenServer's death are greatly exaggerated

When the mages at Gartner gave the world their most recent view of the x86 virtualization market, the firm offered unkind words about Citrix's prospects in the market. “Citrix is no longer investing strictly to keep up with market leaders VMware and Microsoft for traditional server virtualization,' the crystal ball gazers …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014
heart.chile

Claim: Microsoft Alt-F4'd Chilean government open-source install bid

Microsoft successfully lobbied against a law that would have seen Chile's government adopt open-source software, says Elmostrador, a newspaper in the South American nation. The publication's report tells the tale of Vlado Mirosevic, a left-leaning politician who is the leader of the Chilean Liberal Party and its only …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014
cloud

SDN? More like $$$DN: Sales to soar from $1bn today to $8bn by 2018

Analyst outfit IDC has gazed into its crystal balls and decided software-defined networking (SDN) will bring US$8bn through the door in 2018, a fund-manager-gratifying increase over the $960m it will account for in 2014. The market-watcher says the $8bn will come as businesses buy more converged infrastructure, shift their …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014

AWS levels up in game of government security – and now one step below classified access

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has leveled up its US government security certification, winning the right to handle more sensitive work from the Department of Defense (DoD). The company has, of course, blogged the news that it has won provisional authorization to operate levels three to five of the DoD's cloud security model. Level …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
Bitcoins

Your Bitcoins aren't money – but it is barter, so we'll tax it, ta ... says Australia's taxman

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued its official assessment of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies – and decided it isn't money but can be taxed. The ATO's note says BTC is “neither money nor a foreign currency” and that “transacting with Bitcoins is akin to a barter arrangement”. Australia taxes formal barter …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
Source: Simply Smile Photography by Georgia Stephenson

Come up with some 'novel cloud' boffinry, grab $20m from US govt

The US government's National Science Foundation has handed out $20m in funding for two big new cloud computing research projects. The funding has been allocated because the foundation feels commercial clouds are built with a particular purpose in mind, leaving them rather good at particular jobs but not the best possible …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
NBN Co logo

NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial

NBN Co, the entity building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has revealed the data transfer speeds obtained by folks connected to its test fibre—to-the-node network in the New South Wales Central Coast suburb of Umina. A canned statement quotes local small business owner Martin McInnes as saying he was able to …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
VMwareJapan

VMware vaporises vCHS hybrid cloud service

A little secret: The Reg's stalwart team of sub-editors are no fans of VMware – because its practice of using two capitals for VMware but one capital for products like vSphere is the kind of thing that does their pedantic heads in. We're therefore not entirely sure how they'll react to news that VMware has changed the name of …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
cloud

VMware buys CloudVolumes to speed app installations

VMware has bought itself a pre-VMWorld snack, in the form of application delivery outfit CloudVolumes. Virtzilla isn't saying how much it paid for the company, but is saying why: CTO for all things end-user Kit Colber has blogged enthusiastically about the newly-acquired outfit's “layering” technique that he says is all about “ …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Citrix drizzles lightly and briefly on VMware's parade with Xen update

Citrix swears blind that the 7.6 release of XenApp and Xen Desktop it announced today had nuh-think at all to do with the fact VMware's VMworld colosso-conference kicks off on Sunday. “It is a release that has been planned for a while,” insists product marketing veep for desktop and apps Calvin Hsu. “This is our second half of …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Aug 2014
VMware logo

VMware shuffles the executive deckchairs

VMware has made a round of new executive appointments. President and chief operating officer Carl Eschenbach now also has corporate strategy and business development on his plate. Jonathan Chadwick will add chief operating officer duties to his current role as chief financial officer. He and Eschenbach will work together on “ …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Aug 2014
Azure icon

Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet

Microsoft's Service Deployment and Operations (SDO) team has detailed its scheme to modernise the company's own data centres and says that the result will be lots of – but not all – workloads in the cloud. The easy-to-understand graph below tells the story of Redmond's future plans. Microsoft's data centre strategy Microsoft's …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

NSW to build federated ID management rig for staff, punters

The Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) will build a federated identity system – or “Identity Hub” - for its many thousands of staff and also for the State's citizens. Oracle, NTT and consultancies Qubit and Dataweave and will work together on the project. The latter company will project manage and then support the system …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014

Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel

Game developer Dong Nguyen, the man behind Flappy Bird, has revealed the name and look of his next game. “Swing Copters” is the new time-waster's moniker and the gameplay, as recorded by toucharcade, looks an awful lot like Flappy Bird turned 90 degrees to the left. The one new element looks to be swinging hammers that mean the …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
Google UK office logos

Google to offer special accounts for kids: report

Google is reportedly investigating how it can offer accounts to children. The Information reports that The Chocolate Factory is considering a regime whereby parents can set up accounts for kids and control the Google services they are permitted to access. Kids under 13 are currently not permitted to sign up for Google+. As your …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
Rosetta

TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P

The European Space Agency (ESA) has revealed just how its Rosetta comet probe will close to within just 10km of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta arrived at the comet on August 6th and has since sent back lovely photos of the rock. The mission plan calls for even better photos to become possible by bringing Rosetta …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
Nokia Car Mode

Xen to practice art of motor vehicle embedded development

The Xen Project has launched an “Embedded and Automotive Initiative” to take its virtualisation project under the hood. The idea seems to be that virtualisation will make life easier for those packing computing power into cars. Today, developers and auto-makers alike bemoan the fact that cars often require different systems for …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
BlackBerry logo

BlackBerry slices off juiciest bits, bottles them in 'Tech Solutions'

BlackBerry has sliced off its juiciest bits and will preserve them in a new unit called “BlackBerry Technology Solutions” (BTS) that it hopes will deliver a jolt of growth. The new unit will be led by Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu and will gain stewardship of QNX , the IoT play Project Ion, the Certicom cryptography applications and …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014

Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

The German city of Munich, which famously adopted Linux and open source across its operations, may be about to reverse that decision. German newspaper Süddeutsche reports deputy mayor Josef Schmid as saying the city is considering the move because users often complain about the functionality available in open-source applications …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014

Symantec security chap signs for CSIRO's ICT In Schools

The Register's campaign to recruit 20 volunteers for CSIRO's ICT In Schools program is four-fifths of the way to its goal. In case you came in late, we're supporting the program because there are never enough skilled people to work in our industry, teachers aren't always in the best position to enthuse kids about technology. We …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2014
The die of Oracle's SPARC M7 CPU

Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7

Oracle has revealed details of its next-generation SPARC CPU, the M7. As John Fowler, Oracle's executive veep of systems predicted when chatting to The Reg last month, the company took the wraps off the M7 at last week's Hot Chips CPU-fest and filled it with goodies to make Oracle software go faster. Under the hood of the CPU, …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2014

Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has taken to Twitter and labelled Google worse than the NSA. Here's The Dirty Digger's missive: NSA privacy invasion bad, but nothing compared to Google. — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 17, 2014 Murdoch and Google have history, with the former accusing the latter of stealing his newspapers …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2014
Docker Red Hat

Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests

IBM Research has run done a side-by-side comparison of the KVM hypervisor and containerisation enfant terrible Docker and found the latter “ equals or exceeds KVM performance in every case we tested.” Big Blue tested the two using the linear-equation solving package Linpack, the STREAM benchmark of memory bandwidth, network …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2014
cloud

BizTalk-as-a-Service dog wags Microsoft's on-premises tail

Microsoft has signalled it will harmonise the feature set of the cloudy and on-premises versions of its BizTalk Server. Redmond's blogged announcement of the intention to have BizTalk Server and BizTalk Service may not look remarkable at first glance: hardly anyone jumps out of bed in the morning excited about their day working …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2014

Oracle claims knockout blow in IP lawsuit

Oracle says new findings by the judge hearing its case against third party software support outfit Rimini Street prove its IP has been pinched. Judge Larry R Hicks' orders aren't online yet, but Oracle has kindly let the world know about what it considers the best bits. Those include a quote to the effect that “Rimini had …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2014
VMware Monster VM

El Reg's virtualisation desk pulls out the VMworld crystal ball

VMworld 2014 kicks off in a little over a week. El Reg will be on the spot to report on the news, but our preparation for the show means that if we speculate about it next week there's a risk ninja lawyers will emerge and run us through. Today, therefore, is the day for speculation about the show and what we'll see there. The …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2014
Photo by Michael Conen

NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter probe has spotted a rolling stone on Mars. On 3 July, the craft captured the image below, which NASA published this week and says depicts “a path resembling a dotted line from the upper left to middle right of this image is the track left by an irregularly shaped, oblong boulder as it tumbled …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2014
android tongue

Google's ANDROID CRUSHING smartphone rivals underfoot

Google's Android mobile OS now runs on 84.7 per cent of the 301 million mobile phones the world created in the second quarter of 2014, according to market-watcher IDC. The Google spawn's market share is up a third compared to the same quarter in 2013. Every other mobile operating system is not even eating Android's dust – they' …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2014

Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'

Florida newspaper The Gainsville Sun reports that the accused in a murder case is alleged to have used his iPhone to search for ways to dispose of a body. Yet all is not what it seems. The Alachua County Criminal Justice Center is currently hearing a case involving the death of Christian Aguilar in September 2012. In testimony …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2014
Rosetta

Rosetta's comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is one FUGLY space rock

The European Space Agency's (ESA's) Rosetta probe reached its intended orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last week. Since then we've heard … well more or less nothing, actually. The ESA has said very little about what Rosetta is doing, or learning, way out there in the unfashionable parts of the solar system. But …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2014
Intel 'Haswell' 4th-Generation Core i7 Extreme Edition eight-core processor

Intel disables hot new TSX tech in early Broadwells and Haswells

One of Intel's new ways to make software go faster is called Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX), an innovation that gives developers fine control over how multi-threaded code uses a CPU's resources. TSX is a reasonably big deal, because as Intel never tires of pointing out it long-ago decided that grunt alone is not …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2014
balaclava_thief_burglar

Brit infosec firm lets hackers think they've stolen something

Security strategies generally concentrate on keeping the bad guys out, but British security outfit ClearSwift has stumbled upon another approach: if the bad guys get in, let them out with something. But scrub it clean on the way out the door. ClearSwift is the latest home for content-screening technologies first developed in the …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2014
Xbox in 3D

XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

Microsoft has announced that its XBOX One will soon gain the power to play media stored on USB devices and gadgets compatible with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard. Redmond isn't saying just when this will come about, offering only the promise that “A new app will be available soon”. USB support will be …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2014
Docker Red Hat

VMware hangs with the cool kids in the Containers gang

If 2014 has a hotter infrastructure software topic than containerisation, your correspondent is yet to find it. The excitement comes from the fact that containerisation has been proved to work at colossal scale and looks to represent a lightweight and easy-to-manage alternative to virtualisation. Much discussion of …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2014

AWS adds on-premises Radius MFA to Workspaces DaaS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has added multi-factor authentication to its Workspaces desktop-as-a-service service, but has done so using on-premises RADIUS servers. Workspaces offer the chance to run a desktop – actually re-skinned Windows Server – in a player app. As we've previously noted, AWS has never been afraid to launch a …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2014
NVIDIA's 64-bit ARM SoCs

NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids

NVIDIA has taken the wraps off “Denver”, its long-rumoured 64-bit ARMv8 architecture compatible, system-on-a-chip (SoC), and claims it delivers performance equivalent to some CPUs found in PCs. The company has blogged about the silicon, the successor to its current 32-bit Tegra K1 models. Denver will come in two versions, both …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2014
Pentax Q interchangeable-lens compact system camera

Japanese boffins invent 4.4 TREEELLION frames per second camera

Japanese boffins have invented a way to shoot video at 4.4 trillion frames per second. You read that right. 4.4 trillion. As in a million times a million, or 1012. The camera uses a technique called “Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography” that, as explained in Nature Photonics, uses “all-optical mapping of the …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2014
india

India, IT powerhouse, buys just $US56M of storage a quarter

Do re-adjust your antenna: India buys just $US56m of storage a quarter, according to market-watcher IDC. The firms's new Asia/Pacific Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker (excluding Japan), reports that Indian sales fell in 2014's first quarter, with just US$56.8 million of kit heading out the door. That's the smallest amount …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2014

How to promote CSIRO's ICT in Schools in your community

A couple of weeks ago, The Register launched a campaign in support of the CSIRO's ICT in Schools program, an effort to get IT pros sharing their experience with kids in schools around Australia. The good news is that at last count a dozen Reg readers had signed up as volunteers! That's a decent number and more than half way …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2014

Microsoft fixes all those shaky GoPro vids nobody wants to watch

Shaky GoPro videos are the new post-holiday family slide nights: just as seeing an Uncle's slides of their most recent journey is tedious, helmet-cam footage of your rellies hurtling down a hillside on a mountain bike is evocative for those who’ve done it, but contextless and dizzying for anyone else. Enter Microsoft, perhaps …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2014
The Yutu lunar rover

China to test recoverable moon orbiter

China is about to launch a lunar orbiter capable of returning home. The nation's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence announced over the weekend that the craft has been built and taken to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. When it launches later this year, the un-named craft is …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2014
android tongue

Multiple user accounts coming to Android phones 'n' slabs

It looks like user accounts are coming to Android. This thread in the Android developer preview mailing list includes a post in which a user asks (with spelling and punctuation anomalies) for something like this: Tablets are able to have multiple accounts for multiple users, allowing the users to install an app only for …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2014
Microsoft's digital TV tuner for European XBOX One

Digital dongle transforms European XBOXen into tellies

Microsoft has announced that European XBOX One owners will soon be able to acquire a digital TV tuner for their games consoles. The ₤24.99 or €29.99 device is pretty simple. Plug one end into a TV antenna. Plug the other into the XBOX. If you don't know which end belongs where, it won't take you long to figure it out. Once you …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2014
EMC federation logo

Pivotal puts all its eggs in one basket

EMC Federation member Pivotal has put all its eggs in one basket, by releasing the first version of its AppSuite. Pivotal's core belief is that big data, and cloud-era-and-cloud-scale applications delivered to a variety of devices, both need to be built on rather different foundations to those aimed at other architectures. To …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2014
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

Spooks, cops, say Oz metadata push is for consistency, not data grab

The director of Australia's Security and Intelligence Agency (ASIO David Irvine and the deputy commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Andrew Colvin have appeared at a joint press conference at which they explained the nation's new metadata retention regime is about consistency of and not a grab for new powers or to …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2014

Everyone's an IoT expert but now there's a certificate to prove it

Such is the current level of enthusiasm for the vision of a world wired with myriad sensors, it can sometimes seem that almost everyone is an expert on the Internet of Things. Cisco, however, has now created a way for you to prove your expertise in the form of a new Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist certification. The Borg …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2014