Simon Sharwood

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Photo of Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst at Red Hat Summit 2014

Beware Red Hat interviews: you'll pay for coffee, lunch and fuel

Want a job at Red Hat? If so, prepare to buy your interviewer coffee, lunch and maybe even the petrol needed to drive to the coffee shop. That's what happened to the company's CEO Jim Whitehurst when he was interviewed by his predecessor Matthew Szulik. In an extract from his imminent tome “The Open Organization”, Whitehurst …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 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

Redmond whips sheet off first SQL Server 2016 public preview

Microsoft's given itself a busy day, releasing the first technology preview of SQL Server 2016 and also letting us all know about updates to its StorSimple NAS boxen and Azure Media services. Here's what Microsoft says are the good bits of “Community Technology Preview (CTP2) for SQL Server 2016”: Encryption, all the time, …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2015
Optus Logo

Optus plans to skim the cream off the cloud

Margins in the cloud are rubbish: when you're selling servers for cents, there's precious little left for the bottom line. But Australia's second-largest telco Optus looks to be smart enough to have figured that out and devise a strategy that instead lets it go for the richest, most-monied parts of the cloud. The strategy was …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2015
Phones on test

Win Phone to outgrow smartmobe market for next four years

Abacus-wielder IDC has issued a new set of prognostications about the mobile phone market, predicting that 1.447 billion of them will ship this year. That's a lovely number, but its lower than the firm has previously predicted. The lower figure – and growth of 11.3 per cent instead of 11.8 per cent – can be attributed to China's …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2015
New Zealand: Karikari Beach by https://www.flickr.com/photos/elisfanclub/ CC 2.0 attribution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Finally! It's the year of Linux on the desktop TITSUP

Mandriva, a French purveyor of desktop Linux, is being wound up, after becoming totally incapable of supporting usual performance (TITSUP), financially at least. The liquidation notice suggests the company's 2013 was around €600,000 and that the company has between 10 and 19 staff. The company's wobbled for years and has …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2015
Whitehall road sign. Sgt Tom Robinson RLC/Crown copyright

UK.gov confirms it's binned extended Windows XP support

The UK government has decided, as foreshadowed by The Reg, that it can do without extended support for Windows XP. The nation signed up for Microsoft's super-special zombie OS support service – aka a Custom Support Agreement - last year, but a recent meeting of government Technology Leaders decided enough is enough. A post on …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2015
Linus and a hexacopter

Torvalds: decisions, decisions, top up sun tan or release Linux 4.1?

Work/life balance is important. But important enough to slow development of a tool on which a fair slab of the world relies every day? The tool we're talking about is the Linux kernel and we mention it because its benevolent overlord Linus Torvalds posted over the weekend that version 4.1-rc5 looks like it's well and truly on …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2015
Jonathan (Jony) Ive of Apple

Sir Jony Ive, chief Apple doodler, promoted – into job he already has

Apple's Sir Jony Ive has been promoted from design supremo to design chief. 9to5mac reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook has anointed him the company's first ever chief design officer. The outlet claims to have the text of a letter Cook sent to Apple staff in which the CEO says Ive “will remain responsible for all of our design, …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2015
Unisys Clearpath Dorado 8300 series

Unisys weans itself off homebrew chippery, finally slurps Intel gear

Unisys has unveiled a new range of all-Intel colosso-servers, effectively closing the chapter on Unisys's own proprietary CMOS chips. The new ClearPath Dorado 8380 and 8390 systems the company will put on sale this week pack high-end Xeons into a 42U chassis and run OS 2200, Unisys' bundle of OS and apps. Unisys has been …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2015
Graph of US dollar going up CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/ 401kcalculator.org.

Charter Comms to acquire Time Warner for US$55bn: lotsa reports

Comcast may have given up trying to acquire Time Warner Cable, but junior US telco Charter now looks set to swoop with a deal of its own. Comcast spent the better part of a year trying to spend the better part of US$45bn to acquire Time Warner, but the deal collapsed beneath the weight of regulator discomfort and industry …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015
Bitcoin punch cards

Chap mines Bitcoin with PUNCH CARDS and ancient mainframe

Vintage hardware enthusiast Ken Shirriff has shown that a model 1401 mainframe, which IBM announced in 1959, can mine Bitcoin. If, that is, your definition of mining includes “chugging away at the problem until pretty close to the heat-death of the universe.” Ken Shirriff used the Model 1401 housed at California's Computer …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015
China

Sniffing and sharing Wi-Fi passwords? There's an app for that!

China's internet services aren't stellar, which is why the nation's State Council recently decided to spend US$182bn on network construction in an effort to speed up local connections. While Chinese citizens wait for all that to happen, plenty are instead turning to an app called Wi-Fi Skeleton Key that collects credentials for …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015
Firefox logo

Mozilla finds a way to tunnel Firefox into iOS

The Mozilla Foundation reckons it has found a way to sneak its Firefox browser into Apple's walled garden. In a brief post the outfit acknowledges “we can’t bring the full Firefox experience and rendering engine to iOS due to the restrictions”. “The restrictions” probably means Apple's insistence that only browsers using the …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015
Life of Brian

Internet Society of Australia changes name to Internet Australia

The Internet Society of Australia has changed its name to Internet Australia, but kept the name Internet Society of Australia for official purposes. The body's president, George Fong, says the change of name “is designed to give the Society a more contemporary image in keeping with the board’s determination to take a higher …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2015

Vietnam-lovin' VoIP man's 50-nation tally couldn't hold him back

The eXpat Files In this instalment of The eXpat Files, we meet Joshua Puckett – a native of Maryland, USA – who, at 23, has managed to work in 50 countries, with extended stays in Switzerland and Hungary. How did this half-man-half-Boeing pull it off? Read on to learn about his very mobile lifestyle, the best bars in the world and how to blag a …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2015
William Davies, The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being

The Happiness Industry, Seveneves and Confessions of a Tinderella

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston is joined by Vulture South's own Simon Sharwood and Vulture Central's Nigel Whitfield to pore through the latest from the publishing world. William Davies examines the current political and corporate obsession with wellbeing. Neal Stephenson's latest sci-fi tome adds a satirical spin to saving the …
the EVO:RAIL value prop

VMware doubles node count for EVO:RAIL hyperconvergenceware

VMware has released a new version 1.2 of its EVO:RAIL software that turns servers from third parties into hyperconverged screamers. The headline change is a doubling in scale. Version 1.0 of EVO:RAIL could handle four appliances in a cluster and 16 nodes overall. That's now eight appliances in a cluster and 32 nodes overall. …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2015
Screen shots from The Hobbit re-made for the Spectrum 128K

ZX Spectrum 'Hobbit' revival sparks developer dispute

Sinclair appreciation site World Of Spectrum recently relaunched its forums, after they fell over last year and users were forced to endure a temporary replacement. To celebrate the relaunch, a member and developer using the handle Kayamon released something rather nice: a re-working of classic adventure game The Hobbit with new …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2015
HP Logo splitting in two

HP beats the street on earnings, misses on revenue in Q2

HP has announced its results for its second fiscal quarter, and the news is mixed. The market expected the company to post earnings of 85 cents on US$25.64 billion in revenue. The company trumped the earnings figure by announcing it delivered 87 cents per share, but missed on revenue with a figure of $25.45bn. That's down seven …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2015
VMware logo

VMware beta testing database-as-a-service based on SQL Server

VMware is beta testing a database-as-a-service offering running SQL Server 2008 R2 & 2012. VMware documents sighted by The Register suggest the new service will be called “vCloud Air SQL” and will initially target test and dev scenarios, but also offer a warm failover option for those seeking a disaster recovery option for their …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2015
New Zealand: Karikari Beach by https://www.flickr.com/photos/elisfanclub/ CC 2.0 attribution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

EXT4 filesystem can EAT ALL YOUR DATA

Flaws have been found in the EXT4 filesystem that can cause data loss when running Linux 4.0 and higher. Reports such as this Debian bug report suggest “massive filesystem corruption” is the result of the flaw. The problem appears to strike RAID0 users, on Arch Linux and Debian. Fixes are available, one explained by Lukas …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2015
Doug Bowser (left) and Bowser

NINTENDO assigns BOWSER to run North American sales. No, really

Nintendo has announced it has hired Bowser as its new veep of North American sales. Before Mario-playing readers wonder why the company has hired a fire-breathing mutant turtle to run sales, they should know that the Bowser in question is one Doug Bowser, former veep of Global Business Planning at Electronic Arts. Bowser also …
Simon Sharwood, 21 May 2015
NASA PhoneSat by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

NASA plots interplanetary cubesat swarms

NASA has revealed it is working on CubeSat Application for Planetary Entry Missions (CAPE), a plan to use small satellites to explore the solar system. As Lori Keesey of the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center details, cubesats are proving very useful around Earth. So useful that the 10cmx10cmx10cm craft could be used to …
Simon Sharwood, 21 May 2015
Container meltdown

Intel wants containers to be alone again, naturally

Intel's taken its turn trying to advance containerisation technology by announcing a new approach to container security. Chipzilla'ss new idea is called “Clear containers”, which rely on the VT-x extensions in its chippery to enhance security and scalability. VT-x adds virtualisation support to silicon, the better to let CPUs …
Simon Sharwood, 21 May 2015
Anthony Hopkins as Odin in Marvel's Thor

Odin (formerly Parallels) bets big on Docker and OpenStack

Junior virtualiser Parallels has split into two companies. One company retains the Parallels name and will continue to sell desktop hypervisors for the Mac. The other is called Odin, a reflection of CEO Berger Steen's Norwegian heritage but a brand he says was chosen because it represents wisdom and longevity. Odin gets the …
Simon Sharwood, 21 May 2015

Google DOG WHISTLING fails to send URLs across the room

Google has released an experimental plug-in for Chrome that does something odd: sending URLs around the room using sound. The Tone plugin puts a button in Google's browser that, when clicked, makes a sound that other Tone-using Chrome browsers within earshot will interpret as an instruction to open the URL in the Chrome tab you …
Simon Sharwood, 21 May 2015
India's ASTROSAT

India plans space telescope launch in second half of 2015

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) says it is ready to launch its first “mission aimed at studying distant celestial objects.” Dubbed “ASTROSAT”, the craft packs four X-ray instruments, an ultraviolet telescope and a charge particle monitor. ISRO says all payloads have been integrated into the satellite and that a …
Simon Sharwood, 21 May 2015

SimpliVity opens its doors to KVM, OpenStack

Hyper-converged infrastructure company SimpliVity has announced it now supports the KVM hypervisor and OpenStack. SimpliVity's schtick is that everything below the hypervisor – especially data compression and de-duplication for back-up, networking and cloud-tiering storage – should be handled by a hyper-converged appliance. It …
Simon Sharwood, 20 May 2015
KFC Tray Typer

KFC's new secret ingredient is a bluetooth keyboard on your tray

KFC Germany has salted its meal trays with a thin, flexible, Bluetooth keyboard. The “KFC Type Tray” has been used as a giveaway in new KFC stores. Punters can take 'em home and use the thin, rechargeable keyboards for whatever they fancy. The chicken chain's cunning plan, however, is that folks who wander into their …
Simon Sharwood, 20 May 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

VMware: Our DaaS is is so large it now covers Japan, Australia

VMware has announced that its Horizon Air desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) and application-delivery-as-a-service (AdaaS) offerings will shortly become available from its Japanese and Australian bit barns. Virtzilla reckons this expansion of its DaaS-print makes it “the most geographically distributed … provider in the industry.” …
Simon Sharwood, 20 May 2015
Uber launch party by https://www.flickr.com/photos/5chw4r7z/ CC2.0 sharelalike attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Australia forces UberX drivers to become tax collectors

Australia's Taxation Office has issued a guidance note titled “Providing taxi travel services through ride-sourcing and your tax obligations” that makes it clear Uber drivers need to register for, collect and pay the nation's goods and services tax (GST). The note coins the term “ride-sourcing” and defines it as “an ongoing …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2015
playing cards

Microsoft celebrates 25 years' SOLITARY SELF-PLEASURE with GROUP SESSION

May 18th marked the 25th anniversary of Microsoft giving the world its timewasting Solitaire app, so Redmond has come up with a fine way to celebrate – a card-clicking deathmatch for its staff. Redmond says “an internal competition among Microsoft employees kicks off today to determine who leads the leaderboards here”. That …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2015
Monty Python TV viewer

Apple threw its TV out the window after years of research: report

Apple spent ten years working on a television, but gave up last year after deciding it couldn't devise something that would crack the competitive market. So says The Wall Street Journal, which found folks familiar with the effort to explain that Cupertino tried to use tellies for video calls, to no avail. Does The Journal know …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2015
Stonehenge by https://www.flickr.com/photos/archeon/ cc 2.0 attribution no derivatives

Pundits ponder perilous placement of STANDING STONES on Comet 67P

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released images of what it's cautiously calling "an unusual formation of boulders in the Aker region on the large lobe of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko ... reminiscent of so-called 'balancing rocks' on Earth." The three stones, depicted below, appear to be have a rather small footprint. So …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 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/

iiNet claims victory in Dallas Buyers Club case it lost

Australian internet service provider (ISP) iiNet has proclaimed a victory of sorts in its legal stoush with Dallas Buyers Club LLC (DBC) and Voltage Pictures LLC (Voltage). iiNet and other small Australian ISPs found themselves in court after DBC and Voltage secured the IP addresses of alleged pirates and asked for personal …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2015
The Office

SDN to bring new round of internecine office wars to IT shops

Software-defined networking (SDN) will give IT teams a new reason for internecine conflict, as those looking to build automated, software-defined data centres come up against the hard-headed trust nobody pragmatism of security teams. So says Gartner's Eric Ahlm, a research director at the analyst firm, who today delivered a …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2015

Cisco tipped to buy 'dominant' STORAGE BADBOY Nutanix

+Comment Jared Rinderer, a senior research analyst at Equity Capital Research Group, has claimed Cisco is about to buy converged infrastructure enfant terrible Nutanix. Rinderer reckons Nutanix is the dominant player in the industry, so is therefore the most likely acquisition for Cisco as it looks to make sure the EMC Federation doesn't …
Simon Sharwood, 18 May 2015
OpenStack

OpenStack private clouds are SCIENCE PROJECTS says Gartner

OpenStack can run a fine private cloud, if you have lots of people to throw at the project and are willing to do lots of coding, according to Alan Waite, a research director at Gartner. Waite works at Gartner for technical professionals, the arm of the analyst aimed at hands-on IT pros rather than suits. His opinion is therefore …
Simon Sharwood, 18 May 2015
Invader by https://www.flickr.com/photos/derpoly/ cc 2.0 attrtibution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Open source power-up on the way for arcade game emulator MAME

MAME – the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator – is going open source. MAME is beloved of retro-gamers, who delight in its ability to run the ROMs of vintage cabinet and console games on Windows, MacOS and Linux. A single Tweet last week – see below – set the cat among the pigeons for fanciers of such fare. MAME is going open …
Simon Sharwood, 17 May 2015
1984 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/thepen/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Your metadata and the cost of collecting it belong on your phone and internet bill

When Australia's federal government legislated a carbon tax, some electricity companies tweaked their bills so that customers could see it as a line item. The motivation was purely political: companies that did so were owned by States of Australia whose governments were of a different political hue to the Federal government of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 May 2015
Panic button

Never trust a developer who says 'I can fix this in a few minutes'

On-call In this week's instalment of On-call, our weekend thing in which we share readers' tales of odd things that happen at odd hours, we bring you the adventures of “Foredeck” who once “worked for a small UK ISV ... as a Support Manager, which meant I had a lot of different hats to wear, including being on-call one week in three". “ …
Simon Sharwood, 17 May 2015
Candy Crush Saga

Windows 10 to MELT YOUR BRAIN and TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE

Microsoft has announced that Candy Crush Saga will be bundled with Windows 10. Redmond has revealed a deal with the game's developer, King, to bring the mega-hit to its new operating system. Other King games will also appear on the platform. That's good news for King, which is finding it hard to satisfy investors. It's bad …
Simon Sharwood, 15 May 2015

Blocking pirate sites doesn't weaken pirates say Euroboffins

In June 2011, authorities in Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands raided premises suspected of having something to do with kino.to, a site that offered links to a Megaupload-style file lockers containing unlicensed copies of movies, music and TV shows. Not long after the raids, the site shut up shop. Folks associated with …
Simon Sharwood, 15 May 2015
HTTP/2 flow diagram

HTTP/2 is now utterly officially official

HTTP/2 was signed off back in February, but the spec took its final step towards becoming a standard on Thursday US time with the publication of rfc7540. RFCs - request for comments - are counterintuitively named because as the Internet Engineering Task Force explains, “Once an RFC is published, it is never revised. If the …
Simon Sharwood, 15 May 2015
VMware Fusion by https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertnyman/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

VMware blasts bad backup bug in ESXi 6.0

VMware has issued a patch for a “severe” problem in ESXi 6.0. How severe? Plenty severe: VMs might not backup or power on if you “upgrade to or install ESXi 6.0.x. Other symptoms include an inability to expand the size of a virtual disk or to take “virtual machine quiesced snapshots.” To implement the patch you'll need to …
Simon Sharwood, 15 May 2015
Inside Google's Hyderabad office

Google to extend Hyderabad office into first non-US campus

Google looks to have signed a deal with the Indian State of Telangana that will see the company splash down a colossal campus in Hyderabad. Telangana's technology minister KT Rama Rao has been doing the rounds of Silicon Valley this week, Tweeting as he goes. At Google, he squeezed out these three missives: Excited to announce …
Simon Sharwood, 15 May 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australian opposition floats startups-and-STEM stimulus plan

Australia's opposition leader Bill Shorten has outlined a startups-and-STEM-fuelled plan for Australia. In his speech in reply to treasurer Joe Hockey's budget, Shorten said “I believe Australia can be the science, start-up and technology capital of our region: attracting the best minds, supporting great institutions and …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2015
Glorious future of China

China decrees local internet must go faster to stimulate growth

China's premier Li Keqiang has decided the nation's internet connections need to get faster and cheaper. “China has more cell phone users than any other country, but its Internet service speed ranks below 80th in the world due to underdeveloped information infrastructure,” the premier reportedly said. Li Keqiang sits atop China …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2015
1984 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/thepen/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

You have the right to be forgotten 41.3 per cent of the time says Google

Google has published some details of its efforts to comply with the Court of Justice of the European Union's “right to be forgotten” decision that compelled search engines to remove links if citizens ask them to do so. In a new transparency report published a year to the day after the ruling, Google reveals it's received 254,271 …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2015
Ultra High definition blu-ray logo

4K refresh sees Blu-ray climb to 100GB, again

The Blu-ray Disc Association has signed off the Ultra HD Blu-ray spec. For those of you who like your video entertainment crisp, the new standard means future disks will be able to handle 3840x2160 resolutions and deliver “significantly expanded color range … high dynamic range and high frame rate content [and] next-generation …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2015