Simon Sharwood

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WAKE UP, candy ass

Dwayne, "The Rock", Johnson, has released an alarm clock app. The Rock Clock features 25 wake-up calls recorded by Johnson. One exhorts you to "get your candy ass out of bed." The clock has no "Snooze" button, as apparently The Rock gets out of bed before the sun is up in order to have enough time maintain his muscles. ® …
Simon Sharwood, 03 May 2016
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Azure, la nube segura

Azure has won Spain's highest security certification. Microsoft says its cloud passed the requirements required for the Esquema Nacional de Seguridad. Scoring the certification requires applicants to prove security governance, information security, physical security and personnel security. The certification applies to all …
Simon Sharwood, 03 May 2016
Qantas Boeing 737-838, VH-VZR

Wi-Fi network named 'mobile detonation device' grounds plane

Australian airline QANTAS delayed a flight for two hours on Saturday after a passenger reported seeing a Wi-Fi network named “Mobile detonation device”. The passenger reported the network's name to crew, who in turn reported it to the captain of the 737, which was due to fly from Melbourne to Perth. The captain demanded that …
Simon Sharwood, 03 May 2016
Apple iPhone 6s

Web site admins: Brace for weekend traffic surges from iOS devices

If you run online services, concentrate your efforts on making sure they can handle iOS devices on weekends. The Register makes that recommendation after a wade through the United States government's data on which operating systems hit its empire of websites. The US makes that data available at analytics.usa.gov, where …
Simon Sharwood, 03 May 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Dell to change name to 'Dell Technologies'

Michael Dell has written to his staff to tell them that Dell will soon become known as “Dell Technologies”. Except for the bit of Dell that sells PCs, which will be called “Dell”, and the bit that sells to the enterprise, which will be called “Dell EMC”. Confused? Here's how Dell the man said it in his letter: “Dell …
Simon Sharwood, 03 May 2016
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'Charred Weasel' Linux

Linus Torvalds has honoured the LHC-frying weasel that died last week. The Linux lord paid his respects by naming this week's version of Linux, 4.6 rc6, "Charred Weasel" in this Git commit. Torvalds rates this week's effort, rc6 of Linux 4.6, as offering "nothing particularly scary". The only change he bothers to note in …
Simon Sharwood, 02 May 2016

US data suggests Windows 10 adoption in business is slowing

Windows 10's business push may be slowing, at least according to data gathered from visits to United States government web sites. Each month, The Register checks out StatCounter, Netmarketshare and the US government's analytics service to see how desktop operating systems are faring in the market. All count web traffic, the …
Simon Sharwood, 02 May 2016
Casio calculator

AWS outgrows its own resource numbering scheme

Amazon Web Services has extended its resource numbering scheme, after last year warning that without a new scheme it would “start to run low on IDs for certain EC2 and EBS resources within a year or so.” Every AWS resource gets a unique identifier. For most of the service's history those were eight characters in length. But …
Simon Sharwood, 02 May 2016
SpaceX's price list

SpaceX adds Mars haulage to its price list

Elon Musk's SpaceX has started offering cargo haulage to Mars. The company's ”capabilities” page now includes an option titled “Payload to Mars” that wasn't there last time the internet archive scanned the page back in early April 2016. For just US$62m SpaceX will send 4,020kg to Mars atop a Falcon 9. If you've rather more …
Simon Sharwood, 02 May 2016
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PowerShell for Docker

Contain yourselves, Windows admins. Microsoft's cooking up a Docker module for PowerShell. Redmond's Ben Armstrong describes the code you can get here as an "early phase." Just when production code will land is anyone's guess. ® Register Vulture logo - grey
Simon Sharwood, 02 May 2016
Windows 95 on Apple Watch

Chap runs Windows 95 on Apple Watch

A chap named Nick Lee has managed to run Windows 95 on his Apple Watch. We say “run”, and not installed, because he's had to emulate it. As Lee explains the Apple Watch packs a 520Mhz processor, 512MB of RAM and 8GB of storage, specs that put many a PC to shame when Windows 95 launched back in 1995. Of course Windows 95 just …
Simon Sharwood, 02 May 2016
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Telstra wants to become the Uber of Telstra

Telstra wants to become the Uber of Telstra. CEO Andrew Penn today said, at an investor day, that customer experience is a core concern for the company's future. The carrier's customers don't benchmark Telstra against other telcos, he said, but agains the likes of Uber and Airnbnb. Telstra's therefore going to use those …
Simon Sharwood, 01 May 2016
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Windows bug bounty

Microsoft is offering bug bounties for its new Windows Nano Server. Nano server is the new, trimmed-down-and-ready-for-containers version of Windows Server. A feature-complete version of Nano server debuted with Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 last week. The bouty period runs from April 29, 2016 to July 29, 2016 and …
Simon Sharwood, 01 May 2016

Switch survives three hours of beer spray, fails after twelve

On-Call If it's Friday it must be time for On-Call, our regular reader-written romp through fun times at work. This week, reader “Oswald” shared the story of the time he worked “for the IT company that looked after a well known football club.” Oswald's a Brit, so when he says “football” he means soccer. The club was his employer's …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016
Vintage printer heads

Quad-core coffee table trumped by dual-Mac garden furniture

Last week we brought you the story of the Mac Pro put out to pasture as a coffee table and asked readers to share similar stories. Which of course you did, you lovely people. A fellow reader named Mark pointed us in the direction of the works of German designer Klaus Geiger, who will sell you one of the benches below if you …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016
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Priceline CEO scandal

A relationship with an employee has seen off the CEO of Priceline. The Priceline Group owns several travel web sites [there's your IT angle - Ed] including Booking.com, Kayak.com and Priceline.com. Group CEO Darren Huston fell on his sword after "a personal relationship .... with an employee of the Company who was not under …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016
Lego gandalf by https://www.flickr.com/photos/isherwoodchris/  CC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ attribution sharealike

Linux greybeards release beta of systemd-free Debian fork

The effort to create a systemd-free Debian fork has borne fruit, with a beta of “Devuan Jessie” appearing in the wild. Devuan came into being after a rebellion by a self-described “Veteran Unix Admin collective” argued that Debian had betrayed its roots and was becoming too desktop-oriented. The item to which they objected …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016
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Microsoft joins the 1c/GB/month cloud storage caper

Microsoft's joined the market for cold storage at a cent a gigabyte a month, with something called “Azure Cool Blobs”. “Blob storage” is Redmond's special term for object storage and Azure's offered it for a while now. Now the bright blue cloud that Bill built has added a “cool” tier to the service that offers the US$0.01/GB/ …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016

Gumtree 'fesses up to breach and personal information leak

UPDATE eBay's even tattier tat bazaar Gumtree says it's suffered an attack during which users' personal data was encountered by parties unknown and unauthorised. The Register has seen multiple posts in which members of the site report receiving an email with the following text: “We are writing to let you know that some of your …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016
NBN Logo

NBN launches satellite broadband services

Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has turned on its 25Mbps satellite service. Communications minister Mitch Fifeld and regional communications minister Fiona Nash today pressed the go button for satellite services. The service isn't complete, because only one of two planned Sky Muster satellites is in orbit. That …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016
Symantec CEO Michael Brown

Symantec CEO Mike Brown ousted after nasty numbers

Symantec CEO Mike A. Brown will leave the company, after it today announced it will miss its projected Q4 2016 sales. Symantec has previously forecast sales of between US$885m and $915m. Advice released today suggested the actual result will be closer to $873m, a small but nasty miss. The company's tried to explain the miss ( …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016

Unisys releases its ClearPath MCP OS for VMs or x86

Unisys has announced that its ClearPath MCP “operating environment” can now be run without having to also buy Unisys hardware. The company also plans to do the same for its OS 2200 product. ClearPath MCP is the heir to the mainframe hardware and operating systems Unisys inherited from Burroughs. The OS had run on x86 for years …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2016
Xen project logo

Xen hypervisor to gain non-disruptive patching in June

The Xen Project will bring non-disruptive patching to its hypervisor, version 4.7 of which is set to debut onJune 3rd, 2016. That date may wobble a little, because the feature freeze scheduled for April 1st was put back a week in order to let contributors sort themselves out over Easter. But it's known that a sub-project …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2016
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Dyson hair dryer

Vacuum mogul James Dyson has launched a "Supersonic" hair dryer. The £299 creation measures air temperature 20 times a second to stop strands searing, just one of many features said to make locks look lustrous. Dyson trotted out its usual "this product category is broken so we re-invented everything to make air behave usefully …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2016
Windows Server

'Feature-complete' Windows Server 2016 preview 5 lands

Microsoft has delivered another preview of Windows Server 2016 and says this effort is “feature-complete”, meaning this is still not final code but there won't be any new surprises the final version of the software. Technical Preview 5, available here, adds the option to install in Nano mode. That's Microsoft's slimmed down, …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2016
NBN Logo

Sure, let's build the NBN with technology that's not proven at scale

Comment Internet Australia's new National Broadband Network (NBN) policy advocates using a technology yet to be proven to work at scale. The organisation last week decided to update its policy from one I surmise as “never compromise: only fibre-to-the-premises will do” to advocating fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FTTDP) rollout as …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2016
'Broken Copyright' StockMonkeys.com

Getty Images flings competition sueball at Google Image Search

Getty Images has announced it will file a competition law complaint against Google with the European Commission. The photo library's beef with Google is that in 2013 it changed its image search service so that it instead of displaying thumbnail images users were instead offered “high res large-format content.” That change, …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2016
Headshot of Trojan horse

Microsoft gifts free support to Azure big spenders

Whenever a big tech company offers something for free, you've got to ask what's in it for them. What, then, to make of Microsoft's announcement that some customers will be given a year of free support? To get the freebie you'll need to buy Azure Services under an Enterprise Agreement (EA), sometime between May 1, 2016, …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2016
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Stross' new Laundry list

Did you know that Bob Howard of The Laundry Files is named after the BOFH? SciFi Author Charles Stross has published a new chronology of his popular Laundry Files series, in which he details future books in the series. The Delirium Brief, due in June 2017, will open with protagonist Bob Howard “being grilled live on Newsnight …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2016

Google discovers you assume clouds just work

Google's proved to itself that when users take workloads to the cloud they just assume cloud operators will be takin' care of business. Last year, the cloud challenger announced it had introduced non-disruptive live migration of virtual machines, so that it could patch VMs without asking users to endure an interruption or …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2016
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'Droid Gmail on Exchange

Google's Gmail client for Android now supports Microsoft Exchange. Google says an update that will roll out over the next few days will "support users using dual delivery mail flow or calendars with Microsoft Exchange. Sysadmins can likely look forward to a BYOD barrage as Android users start to aim their devices at Exchange …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2016
US Dollars by https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictures-of-money/  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Microsoft to hike certification exam prices

Microsoft has warned it is about to increase the cost of exams for its certifications, but can't offer any guidance on just how high the rise will be be or when details of the hike will emerge. Microsoft says “There will be a price adjustment on Microsoft certification exams in July 2016” and reckons that by posting news of …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2016
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Linux 4.6 imminent

Linus Torvalds says Linux 4.6rc5 is so stable the usual rc7 may not happen. “rc5 is bigger than rc4 was, but rc4 really was tiny,” writes the Lord Of Linux. “ If things continue this way, this might be one of those rare releases that don't even get to rc7. At least that's how it feels now, although to be honest I suspect that …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2016

Sysadmin given Licence To Perve shows why you always get it in writing

On-call Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday fun in which readers send in their stories of being asked to do odd things around the office. This week, reader “Logan” who once worked for an outsourcer shared the story of a colleague tasked with checking a client's smut filter was in proper working order. “The job was to upgrade the …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2016

Edward Snowden sues Norway to prevent extradition

Super-leaker Edward Snowden is suing the government of Norway. What? Isn't Snowden in Russia? And isn't his beef with the United States? Yes, on both counts. But Snowden has just been awarded something called the Ossietzky Prize, an award named after German pacifist, journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Carl von Ossietzky …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2016
NBN Logo

iiNet founder Michael Malone takes nbn chair

nbn, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network, has announced a new board member. Michael Malone, the founder of internet service provider (ISP) iiNet, is the new board member. He replaces Simon Hackett, a founder of ISP Internode that iiNet acquired in 2011. Hacket resigned so he can dedicated …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2016
Apple G5 coffee table

Pro who killed Apple's Power Mac found... masquerading as a coffee table

The Register has been shooting some video of late, and on a recent visit to Key Studio came across a coffee table we think is worthy of some attention. Apple G5 coffee table Yes, we should have picked up that bag to tidy up this shot The table's pedestal is a Mac Pro, sucking the juice from two dual core Intel Xeon 5150 …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2016
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ESX 4 support ends soon

In one month, VMware will end all active support for ESX and ESXi 4. The software is currently beyond "General Support" and in a phase VMware calls "Technical Guidance". During that phase of support it is possible to log support calls and Virtzilla supports existing patches but doesn't issue new ones. Technical Guidance ends …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2016
Hard disk repair by William Warby https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Ceph previews next long-term stable release with v 10.2.0 Jewel

Software-defined object storage project Ceph has issued a new release its makers say is a “major release” that “will be the foundation for the next long-term stable release.” Ceph aims to provide storage that has no single point of failure, by spreading data across a cluster. The open-source project is of course free and …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2016
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Google cloud wobbles

Some Google Cloud VMs are disappearing. Google is currently tracking an incident that means "GCE instances created before mid-February in regions us-central1-b, europe-west1-c and asia-east1-b where instance restarts will render them unavailable." The incident's been under investigation for three hours at the time of writing …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2016
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Indian Capital Delhi bans Uber's surge pricing

India's capital city, Delhi, has banned Uber's surge pricing. Uber increases prices at times of high demand for its services – aka “surges” - citing the laws of supply and demand as justification. But Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, let the city know of the ruling in a pair of …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2016

Azure Australia turns on physical data import/export service

Microsoft's flicked the switch on its Azure physical data import service for Australia and Japan. The arrival of the service means that those using Azure's Australia East, Australia Southeast and Japan West locations can now ship 3.5 inch SATA drives to Microsoft, which will upload the contents to Azure storage. Redmond's …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2016
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Citrix's strong Q1

Citrix's turnaround plan looks like it is working. The company reported its first quarter results today, with revenue of US$826 million representing year-on-year growth of nine per cent. Profit was $83m. Both figures exceeded expectations. No wonder the company's shares jumped 5.7 per cent on the news. “The progress we made …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2016
ubuntu 16.04 beta GNOME software

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS arrives today complete with forbidden ZFS

Canonical will today (April 21st) launch version 16.04 of its Ubuntu Linux distribution, Xenial Xerus, the new long-term-support version of the project. As the name suggests, long-term support versions of Ubuntu get, er, long-term support, a guaranteed five years from today to be precise. The Xenial Xerus will therefore be …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2016
Quantum LTO-6 Ultrium tapes

Google teams with Iron Mountain for LTO-to-cloud migration

Google and Iron Mountain are trying to hasten the never-quite-imminent death of tape as a storage medium with an LTO-to-cloud migration collaboration. LTO – linear tape open for those among you not enamoured of rusty ribbons – is a standard tape format that counts IBM, HP and Quantum among its backers. A single seventh- …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2016

Chrome lives in dog years: It's seven years old but just turned 50

Google's Chrome browser has reached its 50th release. The browser debuted on September 1st, 2008, complete with a comic book to explain its then-novel approach of giving each Tab its own process. Isolating each Tab made the browser more resilient by allowing a poorly-coded Web app to take down just one process, rather than the …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2016
VMware Photon

VMware's Photon Machine 'microvisor' may not be so small

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger yesterday hinted that the company is close to revealing its complete cloud-native applications stack, but The Register's virtualisation desk today learned that the yet-to-be-revealed part - the “microvisor” dubbed “Photon Machine” - probably won't be all that micro. VMware's cloud-native applications …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2016
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AA battery-sized Arduino

File this under "why didn't someone think of this before?" Maker Johan Kanflo has cooked up an Arduino board that fits into a AA battery housing. The "AAduino" can also be powered by a single AA, but still packs a pair of temperature sensors and an LED. The image below tells the rest of this story. ® AAduino Register …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2016
suicidal_clown_shutterstock_648

Stop laughing: Azure can analyse your mood in a crowd

Microsoft has taken the wraps off Azure Media Face Detector, a cloud service that can recognise people and determine their moods. Redmond says the new clouds service “can be used for people counting, movement tracking, and even gauging audience participation and reaction via facial expressions.” Microsoft's happy that the …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2016
Crazy inventor, image via Shutterstock

How Apple's early VR experiments accidentally led to RSS

Industry talk has it that Apple is working on "something" to do with virtual reality. Twenty years ago the company's first attempt in the field flopped, but ultimately and unintentionally spawned the RSS metadata format used by just about every website everywhere. This story starts in 1996, when the world was going through …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2016