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Simon Sharwood

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AWS bins elastic compute units, adopts virtual CPUs

Gartner analyst Kyle Hilgendorf has spotted something very interesting: Amazon Web Services seems to have stopped rating cloud servers based on EC2 compute units (ECUs), its proprietary metric of computing power. ECUs were an odd metric, as they were based on “... the equivalent CPU capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron or 2007 …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2014

Oz winemaker/cloud says DEY buy cheaper than vendors' SDS

CloudCentral, the Australian cloud-cum-wine company that this week acquired the intellectual property of software-defined storage (SDS) startup DEY, says the transaction was a cheaper way to build its own SDS than buying it from a vendor. “We bought DEY because they have an impressive array of software-defined storage software …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2014
Block diagram of the NSX virtual networking stack from VMware

VMware starts invitation-only NSX training

If you visit VMware's certifications portal you may notice there's something missing: Virtzilla currently offers no courses for its NSX network virtualisation product. The only entry under NSX is for a forthcoming “Associate” level certification, the very lowest of VMware certifications that ask candidates to prove familiarity …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2014

Heartbleed mega-bug clean up shrinks Tor network by an eighth

Tor, the sometimes-controversial internet-traffic-anonymising service, is bleeding thanks to the Heartbleed flaw. Roger Dingledine – one of Tor's three original co-developers and now the project's leader – has posted to the Tor relays mailing lists with his assessment that “we'll lose about 12 per cent of the exit capacity and …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2014
Kindle Big Brother

Amazon wires up email-to-Kindle to its gigantic online hard drive

Amazon.com has just switched on an email-to-the-cloud service for owners of its Kindle gadgets. The cloud giant gives each Kindle an @kindle.com email address and firing files at one of those inboxes uploads the documents to the corresponding device: after a brief registration process to ensure a Kindle only accepts incoming " …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2014
BT splitter node

NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER

NBN Co, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has let world+dog know that one test of VDSL delivered over fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) worked. You can read the announcement here if you want: it explains that the test achieved “delivered raw download speeds of 105 megabits per …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2014

Zebra grazes Motorola Solutions' enterprise business for $US3.45bn

Motorola Solutions has offloaded its enterprise business to Zebra Technologies for $US3.45 billion in cash. Motorola’s enterprise business offers all manner of kit for asset tracking and communications inside warehouses, during field service engagements and in odd spots like oil rigs. Its product range also includes Wi-Fi kit. …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2014
Battery beer stein

Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich

The European Commission has decided Munich, not London, is Europe's top technology hub. The judgement is delivered in a new Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe released this week. The Atlas rates Europe's “ICT Poles of Excellence”using an “empirical framework” that considers over 40 factors to measure the following: R&D activities …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2014
parallels logo schematics

Parallels could whip VMware or Microsoft, happier as Robin Hood

Parallels is best known for two things: a fine desktop hypervisor and the Virtuozzo containerised server-wrangler that many service providers use to dish out virtual machines to their customers. Both businesses are doing well, but the company isn't leading with either. Instead, it is now keenest on Parallels Automation, the …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2014
Screenshot of the Office 2013 installer for Office 365

This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices

Microsoft has introduced a new subscription model for Office 365 and this time it's literally personal: the new “Office 365 Personal” makes the productivity suite available for just two devices – one PC or Mac and one tablet – for $US69.99 a year. That's a small discount on the $83.88 it would cost to pay the $6.99-a-month …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2014

Oracle working on at least 13 Heartbleed fixes

Oracle has emitted its formal advice about Heartbleed, revealing it has 13 products that need a patch and 14 more “which may be vulnerable”. Detailed here, Oracle points out that all its cloud services should be Heartbleed-proof, and that six of its products – including Oracle Linux 6 and Solaris 11.2 – were vulnerable but can …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2014
Cherry

NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers

NBN Co, the organisation charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has decided to prioritise areas targeted by “cherry-picking” telcos looking to install fibre-to-the-basement to apartment complexes and office buildings. Telco TPG has signalled its intention to install such connections in …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2014

Google Cloud Platform builds Ivy Bridge to new Asian region

Google has created a new “Asia” region and two new zones – “asia-east1-a” and “asia-east1-b” - for its cloudy Compute Engine service. The new region uses Ivy Bridge CPUs, which means it is built on more modern Intel kit and should offer superior performance compared to Google's Sandy-Bridge-using US and Europe regions. Google's …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2014

VMware reveals 27-patch Heartbleed fix plan

VMware has confirmed that 27 of its products need patches for the Heartbleed bug. The bad news is that Virtzilla says it “expects to have updated products and patches for all affected products … by April 19th.” The 19th is Saturday. Easter Saturday. The previous day is Good Friday, a public holiday in the UK, Canada, Australia …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2014
Peggy, a possible new Saturnian moon

New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING

Boffins peering at images sent home by NASA's Cassini spacecraft think they may have spotted the first throes of a new moon coming into being. Dubbed “Peggy”, the moonlet is probably a lump of ice. But astroboffin Carl Murray from Queen Mary University of London, lead author of a paper to be published in the journal Icarus, told …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2014
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades

Australia's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has issued no specific guidance on how NBN Co, the company charged with building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), should target broadband blackspots. In response to questions from The Register, the Department of Communications sent us the following statement it …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014
Uncov chronicles the failure of Web 2.0

Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL

An attempt by Australia's Commonwealth Bank to reassure customers that they would not be harmed by the Heartbleed vulnerability has backfired spectacularly after tech-savvy customers made mincemeat out of a badly worded blog post. A bank representative blogged: “I’m happy to report that our customers can rest assured we are …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014
Tardis

Brit boffins use TARDIS to re-route data flows through time and space

A gaggle of boffins from University College London have proposed a method to cut data carriage costs for internet service providers (ISPs) and have given their idea the name TARDIS, for “Traffic Assignment and Retiming Dynamics with Inherent Stability”. Described in this paper, the six authors explain that customers of consumer- …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014
money trap conceptual illustration

Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not

When Microsoft introduced ”universal apps” for all its platforms at the recent Build conference, one of the things it promised was alignment between the prices it is possible to charge for software in its app stores. It makes little sense, after all, for Irritated Avians to have different prices on different platforms when users …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report

The NSA's denial it knew about or exploited the Heartbleed bug raises an obvious question: does it exploit similar flaws? The answer, according to The New York Times, is yes. Quoting ”senior administration officials”, the paper says US President Obama considered what the NSA should do if it becomes aware of a vulnerability that …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014

Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released

As the Heartbleed fallout continues, the good news is that code to protect against similar such attacks has been released. The bad news is that exploit code is also available. Let's start with the latter, released by a chap who took up Cloudlare's challenge to coders in the hope someone, somewhere, would be able to use …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014
Windows 8 1 Update teaser

Microsoft Research adds interactivity to Windows 8 Live Tiles

Microsoft Research has revealed, and then hidden, a new design for Windows 8. The three videos were posted late last week on a Microsoft Research web site (404 here if you really want it) and were pulled within hours. But not before WindowsBlogItalia was able to hoover them up into YouTube. The first video, below, shows Live …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014

Gnome Foundation runs out of cash

The Gnome Foundation, overseer of the Gnome user interface, has run out of cash. The news isn't entirely bad: the Foundation says one of the programs it runs, the “Outreach Program for Women (OPW) … has proven to be extremely popular”. OPW engages interns who Gnome must pay on a regular schedule. But “incoming payments from …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2014
Samsung Galaxy Gear Neo

Smartwatch sales off to a very slow start

Singapore is home to just over five million people and market-watcher GfK says 94 per cent of whom bought a PC or accessories in the last two years and 95 per cent of whom acquired telecommunications technologies in the same period. But the first count of smartwatch sales in the island nation, conducted by market-watcher GfK, …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2014
Marvel Comics

Amazon buys Comixology for content crossover capers

Amazon.com has acquired Comixology, the planet's leading purveyor of digital comic books, and may just have set up a new battle between itself and Apple. Comixology's apps use a technology called “Guided View” that resizes each panel of a comic so it fills as much of a device's screen as possible and sensible. The experience …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2014

Top ten biz software vendors reveal Heartbleed exposure

The advent of the Heartbleed Open SSL vulnerability has enterprise software development teams scrambling to figure out if they have a problem, and the news is not always good. Vulture South has ploughed through the recently updated list of the world's top 10 software vendors. Here's how each fares. Microsoft is chilling out …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2014

Murdoch says Microsoft needs 'big clean out'

Rupert Murdoch has issued another in his occasional series of tweets about technology companies. This time the target is Microsoft. Here's the tweet: Microsoft moves and options for future fascinate. Need for big clean out of bureaucracy and focus on next big tech wave. Metadata? — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) April 10, …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2014

Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation

British colocation outfit Alphadex says British Gas is refusing to discuss what it believes are errors in its bills and says that dispute, rather than any financial weakness, is behind the energy company's petition to wind it up. Alphadex sent The Reg the following statement. "With regards to the winding up petition from …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2014
Azure icon

Microsoft builds teleporter weapon to send VMware into Azure

Microsoft has fired another shot in its campaign to win over VMware users, in the form of an updated Virtual Machine Converter that can move virtual machines from ESXi to Hyper-V. It's no secret Microsoft covets VMware users: in recent times it has created a certification helping VMware users to grok Hyper-V. Redmond also uses …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2014
Flinders map of Australia as published in 1814

Microsoft crows about 149k-seat Office 365 deal that costs it MILLIONS

The Australian State of Queensland does not observe daylight saving and an old joke about the state says that air travellers entering the region have in the past been advised to “turn your watch back one hour and 50 years.” How then, to consider the State's decision to head for the cloud with a 149,000-seat deal for Microsoft's …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2014
AWS Werner Vogels

AWS could 'consider' ARM CPUs, RISC-as-a-service

Amazon Web Services (AWS) chief technology officer Werner Vogels believes the cloudy colossus could, in the future consider using ARM CPUs, or even offering RISC-as-a-service to help those on legacy platforms enjoy cloud elasticity. Speaking to The Register in Sydney yesterday, Vogels said he feels “there is absolutely room for …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2014
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark

Australians without broadband are no closer to being able to understand when, or if, the nation's National Broadband Network (NBN) will make fast data connections available, after Australia's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a new Statement of Expectations document to NBN Co, the entity charged with building the …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Apr 2014
vmware

VMware gets Wanova Citrix with new Horizon Suite

VMware today announced the updated Horizon Suite 6, its great white hope end-user computing suite, and now offers the ability to deliver apps and manage virtual desktops from the same tool. Many of the new features in the suite appear to be derived from Wanova, the desktop management company it acquired in 2012. Wanova's better …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Apr 2014

British Gas applies to wind up UK colo outfit Alphadex

British Gas has filed a petition to wind up UK colocation outfit Alphadex. It's the second time Alphadex has found itself in trouble in recent weeks. In early March it experienced significant outages, drawing understandable ire from its users. The company has since explained the incident as having been caused by “unsecured …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Apr 2014
bees

Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE

A Cornell student has researched just how much pain bee stings create by putting the buzzing creatures down his pants and, um, holding them there. Michael Smith's work can be found in this PeerJ paper, which explains how his methodology as follows: “Bees were taken from the cage haphazardly with forceps. To apply the sting, …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Apr 2014
Chrome browser

Chrome makes new password grab in version 34

Google has announced that Chrome 34 is now stable enough to be promoted to the Stable Channel. In a few days it will therefore become the default version for millions of users. Most of the updates to the browser are anodyne: there are 30-odd security fixes, a new look on Windows 8 and what Google labels “Lots of under the hood …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Apr 2014
Windows XP boot screen

Citrix, Google kick XP's still-twitching corpse

Citrix and Google have announced a cut-price deal to pipe legacy apps into Chromebooks. The pair chose April 8th, Windows XP death day, to announce the deal. There's not a whole lot that's truly new in the announcement, which explains how the XenApp HTML 5 viewer can now pipe legacy Windows apps in to Chromebooks and that …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Apr 2014
Artist's concept of Curiosity

Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars

A Twitter member named @CoUdErMaNn has spotted a rock on Mars that is said to resemble Australia. If you ignore some of Australia's largest geographical features. Here's @CoUdErMaNn's tweet, which references this recently-released NASA image. Very strange rock formation took #Nasa @MarsCuriosity today in Mars> pic.twitter.com/ …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2014
Azure icon

Azure Australia data centre undergoing final testing

One of the two data centres Microsoft Australia will use to house antipodean Azure is undergoing final testing, The Reg understands. One recent visitor to a data centre in the Sydney suburb of North Ryde where Azure will operate has told The Reg certain areas of the facility are off-limits, because Microsoft doesn't want …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2014
Windows XP boot screen

Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed

Remember where you were once your patch Tuesday downloads end, because today is Windows XP death day. Users other than the well-heeled and well-organised won't receive so much as another byte of code to update the operating system as of today, bringing to an end an era that started with the operating system's release to …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2014

'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru

Email luminary John Levine has accused Yahoo! of sabotaging email lists for everyone, everywhere. In a post titled “Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World! Including! The! IETF's!'”, Levin explains “an emerging e-mail security scheme” called DMARC that “lets a domain owner make assertions about the From: address, in …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2014
Kim Dotcom

Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom is getting all outraged again and banging the freedom-of-something gong with his usual enthusiasm after six Hollywood studios slung a sueball his way. In a court filing you can see in PDF form here, twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros all take issue …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2014
Joe Tucci EMC

EMC II CEO David Goulden leaves VMware board

David Goulden, chief executive officer of of EMC Information Infrastructure and chief financial officer of EMC, has left VMware's board. Goulden will be replaced by Paul Sagan, a partner executive-in-residence at venture capital outfit General Catalyst Partners. Sagan is also on EMC's board and is a former CEO of Akamai. The …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2014
Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System footprint

India's GPS alternative launches second satellite

India has launched its second navigation satellite, the daintily-named IRNSS-1B. IRNSS is an acronym for “Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System” and the name is noteworthy because the planned seven-satellite constellation is intended to provide location services within India and in an “extended service area” around the …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2014
Larry Ellison, photo by Oracle Corporate Communications

SPARC and Solaris will live until at least 2019

Oracle has quietly published a roadmap for its legacy Sun SPARC and Solaris platforms. Big Red's not offered a whole lot of detail, confining itself to the single slide below. The slide is available here as a PDF or as an embiggened image here. Oracle's SPARC and Solaris roadmap Oracle's SPARC and Solaris roadmap. Bigger …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2014
Parrot Ar.Drone

Drone 'hacked' to take out triathlete

A competitor in an Australian triathlon apparently failed to complete an event over the weekend after being felled by an unmanned aerial vehicle. Everything Geraldton reports that Raija Ogden was approaching the finish line of the Endure Batavia Triathlon when a “ … remote-controlled copter struck her head and she fell to the …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2014
Colinux logo incorporating Tux penguin and Windows

Hyper-V telling fibs about Linux guest VMs

If Microsoft's Hyper-V was found to treat Linux guests as second-class citizens, the resulting storm of controversy would probably generate enough heat and light to make a dent in some climate change models. So there are probably a few brows being mopped down Redmond way this week over this knowledge base article titled “ …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2014
The Wirliyatjarrayi Store

Deep desert XP-ocalypse averted as Reg man returns

Yesterday was day three of my XP-ocalypse aversion mission to upgrade the PCs at the remote Wirliyatjarrayi Learning Centre. The day started with the dew on the ground and the desert sun struggling to penetrate a low, hazy, layer of cloud. The air was just a tad sticky and I wondered if it might rain. I hoped not: the road to …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Apr 2014
india

Tamil Nadu's XP migration plan: Go Linux like a BOSS

The Indian State of Tamil Nadu will solve its Windows XP problem by adopting Linux. Tamil Nadu is home to over 70 million people and its capital city is Chennai, a hub for India's business process outsourcing industry second only to Bangalore. The decision to move to Linux is outlined in this letter (PDF) from the State's …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Apr 2014

IEEE signs off on 400 Gb/s Ethernet development

As we foreshadowed last month, the The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has green-lighted development of 400 Gb/s Ethernet. Now known as IEEE P802.3bs, the nascent standard now has an official IEEE task force working to make it a reality and a goal, stated in this IEEE document (PDF) , to “Define Ethernet …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Apr 2014