Simon Sharwood

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OpenBSD 5.7 logo

Native hypervisor coming to OpenBSD

OpenBSD kernel developer Mike Larkin has let it be known he's working on a native hypervisor for the operating system, with the OpenBSD Foundation's support. Larkin's posted news of the effort, writing that it's needed because “choosing to port an existing vmm just didn't make a whole lot of sense.” “For example, I've been …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2015

Hypervisors are sooo 2005. For hip containers, you need a 'Microvisor'

VMworld 2015 VMware has created a new hypervisor and a new variant of its flagship vSphere product, both aimed at containerised computing and “cloud-native apps.” “Photon Machine” is the name for a new, stripped-back version of ESX that's being cast as a “microvisor”. The Machine is designed to host virtual machines running Photon OS, the …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Aug 2015
EVO SDDC Manager

VMware's got just one more thing you need to build a software-defined data center

VMworld 2015 For the last couple of years, VMware has been talking up the software-defined data center and saying it can deliver it with vSphere and flagship products like VSAN, NSX, and vRealize. This year it's saying there's one more thing needed: new software called the EVO SDDC Manager. EVO SDDC is a replacement of sorts for EVO:RACK …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Aug 2015
Internet email sign. Pic: @mattw1lson, Twitter

Ex top judge admits he's incapable of reading email, doesn't own a PC

A retired judge presiding over an Australian Royal Commission into corruption in the union movement has admitted he is incapable of sending email and does not own a computer. Dyson Heydon – once a judge of the High Court, Australia's ultimate jurisdiction – revealed his utter cluelessness in a ruling [PDF] on his own behaviour …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Aug 2015
NVIDIA GRID old kepler models

NVIDIA reveals GPUs for blade servers, Linux desktop support

VMworld 2015 NVIDIA has announced the second version of its Grid desktop virtualisation software, complete with a pair of GPUs for blade servers. NVIDIA is pitching GRID as a hardware offering tuned to the needs of graphically-demanding desktop virtualisation (VDI) workloads. If that sounds a bit exotic, consider environments like the …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2015
Roadside Advice in South Dakota by https://www.flickr.com/photos/plannerjohn365/ cc 2.0 attribution noderivs generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

In redneck heaven, internet outages are the American Way

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our regular reader-contributed tale in which we reveal the odd things you've been asked to do at all hours. This week, reader “Commander” brings us a tale from the American South. Where they don't just have bacon. They have machine gun bacon! And as one reader once told us, cars in Texas are big. So …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2015
Facebook M digital assistant logo

New low for humanity: ONE BEELLION lost souls log on to Facebook in one day

Humanity reached a new low point last Monday, 24 August: on that day a billion of your fellow homo sapiens logged on to Facebook, which subsequently decided humans can't be trusted to do their own shopping. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the free content ad network announced the landmark on Facebook, of course. Zuck wrote: “This …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2015
A cyclist on the road in London.

Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist

A cyclist riding a fixed-gear bike claims to have brought a Google robo-car to a standstill. The rider, one “Oxtox” took to the forums of Road Bike Review with a tale in which he spotted “a Google self-driving Lexus”. Oxtox says “near the end of my ride today... we both stopped at an intersection with 4-way stop signs.” The …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2015
detour

Rackspace looks to have bypassed vCloud Director upgrade

Rackspace has decided to manage its VMware cloud with software from upstart AirVM. The decision is great news for AirVM and almost certainly unwelcome for VMware, which has of late been beta testing a new version of vCloud Director, the code it offers service providers to manage and operate their VMware-based clouds. VMware …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2015
Graph of US dollar going up CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/ 401kcalculator.org.

The enterprise hardware market is growing. You read that right. Growing

The enterprise hardware market is growing. You read that right, growing. So says abacus-wielder IDC which this week emitted new Worldwide Quarterly Trackers for servers, ethernet switches and routers. The overall server market, the firm says, was up by 6.1 per cent for 2015's second quarter compared to the same period in 2014 …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2015
Indian mobile use

Indian State shuts off mobile internet to stop rumours fuelling riots

An activist's call for the Indian State of Guajarat to restrict access to WhatSapp and mobile internet has been heeded by local authorities, in the hope that restricting communications will quell violence. Authorities complied with that request. 22 year-old Hardik Patel is a member of the Patidar caste, a group that has been …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2015
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Rosetta probe spots Comet 67P being buzzed by boulder

The European Space Agency (ESA) has spotted a boulder buzzing Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The rock passed by on July 30th and as the .GIF below shows it headed off into space at decent speed. The images below were captured by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera, which only managed to get three frames of the event. The …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2015
Microbee Logo

Travel back to the 19-Z80s this weekend

The early 1980s gave the world its first taste of cheap, user-friendly micro-computers and saw the likes of the Sinclair Spectrum, Commodore 64 the Atari 400 and 800 and the TRS-80 find their way into homes around the world. In Australia, a company called Microbee also decided it wanted to give the world a micro-computer based …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Aug 2015
Fire Phone opened

Amazon mobile strategy pivots with swipes at in-app buys, own hardware

Amazon.com looks to be changing its hardware strategy in significant ways. Exhibit A is the new Underground app for Android. Underground walks users through the process required to install a non-Google-Play app on Android and once resident on a device offers an Amazon.com shopping app and access to Amazon's app store. Amazon …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Aug 2015

Google Cloud in nine-hour storage SNAFU

Google's suffered another cloud storage outage. The Alphabet subsidiary's cloud outfit recently suffered very slight data loss after four lightning strikes took out power flows to a Belgian data centre. This new incident is global and has impacted Google Cloud Storage XML API signed URLs. Google what? The Chocolate Factory …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Aug 2015
Ray O'Farrell VMWARE CTO and CDO

VMware appoints development chief as new CTO

Imagine for a moment that you're a top-tier enterprise vendor and a week before your big annual conference, the one at which you try to impress the pants off the world, your chief technology officer (CTO) departs. They guy had about a zillion meetings lined up, with all sorts of important folks you were counting on impressing …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Aug 2015
NBN SkyMuster satellite rocket

nbn™'s Sky Muster satellite lands in French Guiana

PICS nbnTM, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) is just 34 days away from putting its very own satellite into orbit, and the organisation's communications operatives are starting to reveal a little about the bird. Here, for example, is a picture of the satellite. NBN SkyMuster satellite …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015
Speed

Gone in 60 seconds – SimpliVity's new promise to the admins

Converged infrastructure "visionary" SimpliVity today released the third version of its modestly-named OmniStack Data Virtualisation Platform, the code that turns its collections of servers and disks into combined storage and compute rigs. This time around the emphasis is on ROBO. No, silly, not anthropogenic automata, but …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

Relax, System Center users, Microsoft won't herd you to Azure Stack

Hybrid clouds are the new black. So much so that Microsoft has three ways to manage them. System Center, the workhorse of the Windows-centric data center, is one. Azure Stack, the part of Azure for on-premises use revealed at Ignite back in May, is another. Then there's the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS). The …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015
GitHub DDOS

GitHub wobbles under DDOS attack

GitHub is under a distributed-denial-of-service attack being perpetrated by unknown actors. The service's status page reported “a brief capacity overload” early on Tuesday. The site's assessment of the incident was later upgraded to a a DDOS and at the time of writing the site is at code yellow. The graphic at the stop of …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015
VMware Fusion and Workstation

VMware refreshes its Fusion and Workstation desktop hypervisors

As predicted by El Reg, VMware will have new desktop hypervisors to show off at VMworld next week (although we did get our guess about new names wrong). The headline items in both Fusion 8 and Workstation 12 is support for Windows 10, DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3. Supporting the former is a no-brainer so VMware's gone and got it …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015
Xen project hypervisor logo

Xen urges another upgrade to get OpenStack humming

Xen 4.4.3 is upon us and the Xen Project recommends “that all users of the 4.4 stable series update to this latest maintenance release.” Users of the open source hypervisor could be excused for having upgrade fatigue of late, as the effort asked them to upgrade the 4.5 version of the code in late June and the project has also …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015

NetApp dissolves global centre of virtualisation excellence

NetApp has dissolved the “global centre of virtualisation excellence” it created in 2010 and ran from its Melbourne, Australia, office. The centre was established after the vendor won some colossal deals in Australia, believed to be at the nation's dominant telco Telstra and financial services outfit Suncorp. Both bet big on …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2015
Gavel

IBM tries to dodge $1bn sueball for deal won with 'ethical transgressions'

IBM is attempting to fend off a potentially colossal damages claim in the Australian State of Queensland. The dispute started in 2007 when IBM bid AU$6million for a payroll project at the State's Department of Health. The project blew out beyond the billion-dollar mark but didn't deliver: the Department's thousands of staff …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2015
management project2

If new NetApp CEO George Kurian has a plan it's under his hat

Newly-appointed NetApp CEO George Kurian today made his first appearance before the press outside the USA and hinted at the directions in which he plans to take the company. At a media lunch in Sydney, Kurian stuck closely to the script he's followed since hopping into the big chair: the rise of cloud means revenue falls are …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2015

VMware quietly sneaks out NSX 6.2 update and/or bug-blast

VMware has quietly let NSX 6.2 out the door, so those of you hoping for a big software-defined networking (SDN) announcement at VMworld next week can probably resign yourself to a dull keynote. The biggest change is that you'll need more memory and CPU cycles to get NSX working. VMware says you'll now need at least 16GB of …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2015

What's Russia smoking? Kremlin bans Wikipedia for dopey article

Updated Fresh from its victory over Reddit over posts about hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms, Russia is now taking on Wikipedia over articles about Marijuana. Russia's telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor is again the protagonist, acting in its role as the long arm of the nation's Federal Drug Control Service. The latter …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2015
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Apple recalling iPhone 6 Pluses to correct their iSight

Apple is asking owners of its iPhone 6 Plus phablet to check the device's serial number, because some batches of the device are producing blurry photos. Cupertino says the problem is attributable to “a component that may fail causing your photos to look blurry.” If that's the case, entering your serial number here will reveal if …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Aug 2015
Bang by Guian Bolisay

Windows 10 market share growth slows to just ten per cent

Windows 10 now has 5.95 per cent of the desktop operating systems market, according to the folks at StatCounter. There's good news and bad news in that result,. The good is that StatCounter has revised its figure for Windows 10 market share in the week of August 10 to 16. Last week, the outfit said Redmond's latest had won 4. …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Aug 2015

ShoreTel shooting for cloudy consistency with new suite

Back in 2012, unified communications outfit ShoreTel acquired a rival named M5 in order to get itself into the cloud. M5 had unified communications as a service (UcaaS) at the time and ShoreTel didn't. All of which was lovely, except for one wrinkle: the M5 UcaaS and ShoreTel's core products were rather different. Fast …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Aug 2015
Bill Morrow NBN CEO

NBN Co yet to make a single fibre to the node connection but is eyeing off G.fast

nbnTM, the company building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has released its results for FY 2015 and says it has met all of its targets. The company's CEO Bill Morrow today said “the number of premises that can order an NBN service more than doubled from 553,000 premises to 1.2 million”. Of those premises, 486, …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Aug 2015

EMC Federation's attack blogger Chuck Hollis departs for Oracle

Chuck Hollis, VMware's chief strategist for storage and availability, and former EMC global marketing chief technology officer, has announced he's leaving the EMC Federation for a gig as senior veep at Oracle. Hollis has, of course, blogged the move. And from his emc.com blog, no less. Hollis was comfortably the EMC …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Aug 2015
bang_648

Sysadmin ignores 25 THOUSAND patches, among other sins

On-call And that's one of the easier chores our reader found himself faced with in a new temp job. Most weekends, our On-Call feature looks at the odd situations readers find themselves in when called to do something on a client site or in the dead of night. This week we're making an exception for reader “Bill”, who rates himself as “ …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Aug 2015
Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones

Fancy a mile-high EARJOB? We've had five!

Review Yes, noise-cancelling headphones are useful in all manner of times and places, but they really shine during air travel by blocking some of the endless bass rumble that jet engines emit. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones Make your flights less hum-drum with some noise cancelling headphones …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australian online shoppers and Netflix to be fully taxed in 2017

Australia has decided to scrap a tax exemption for imported goods bought online. Australia levies a ten per cent “goods and services tax” (GST, think VAT, British readers and sales tax in North America) on wide range of goods, but currently exempts imported items valued at less than AUD$1,000 from the tax. The nation's now …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2015
Deflated balloon elephant by https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimpenfish/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Forget Big Data hype, says Gartner as it cans its hype cycle

Analyst outfit Gartner has decided that Big Data hype is so last year and canned its hype cycle for Big Data. In new research titled “The Demise of Big Data, Its Lessons and the State of Things to Come” the firm says “we did it to move the big data discussion past hype and into practice” and also because “Hype Cycles consider …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2015

Microsoft will explain only 'significant' Windows 10 updates

+Comment Microsoft has explained its policy about how much information it will offer on the content of Cumulative Updates to Windows 10. In a statement sent by a spokesperson to us, Microsoft said: “As we have done in the past, we post KB articles relevant to most updates which we’ll deliver with Windows as a service. Depending on the …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2015
The Infinity Modular Laptop

OLPC heir reveals modular laptop design

One Education, an Australian offshoot of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, has opened preview sales for an heir to the XO computer. The “Infinity” has a modular design so while the quad-core, 1.5GHz CPU is baked in, it's possible to replace the battery, camera and just about anything else thanks to the presence of three …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2015
Spritam 3D printed pills

NSW Police claim new online prowess after drug busts

Police in the Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) claim to have cuffed 21 people they allege were trading illicit substances “via classified advertising websites, social media platforms and the ‘dark web.’” The force aren't saying just which sites or services were used to deal methylamphetamine, cannabis, LSD, cocaine, …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2015
his low-angle self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the site from which it reached down to drill into a rock target called "Buckskin." The MAHLI camera on Curiosity's robotic arm took multiple images on Aug. 5, 2015, that were stitched together into this selfie. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity rolls over onto Martian WET PATCH, takes satisfied selfie

The Curiosity Rover has found the wettest patch of ground it's yet observed on Mars. The nuclear-powered laser-packing space tank has spent the last week or so in the "Marias Pass" region where it unleashed its drill to turn parts of a rock named “Buckskin” to powder. That powder's since been subjected to analysis by …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Aug 2015
Data storage everywhere - CD, DVD, DAT, DCC, HDD, MiniDisc, SSD, SD card, floppy, magnetic stripe, barcode

Microsoft turns on Windows 10 file backup to Azure

Microsoft has flicked the switch on its Azure Backup service for Windows 10 clients. Azure Backup is Microsoft's cloud backup service and is positioned as an alternative to tape, rather than a rapid recovery tool. Application data is the service's main target, if only because Azure Site Recovery already handles the chore of …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Aug 2015
Dolphins can remember each other's signature whistles after 20 years

Camera-carrying DOLPHIN SPY caught off Gaza

Palestinian news outlet Nadae Al Watan reports that a spy dolphin was captured in the Mediterranean Sea off Gaza. The publication says the creature was carrying a cameras and other surveillance equipment. It's alleged the Dolphin is a weaponised aquatic mammal used by Israel to observe Palestinian Islamic resistance movement …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Aug 2015
FRANK-PAUL NUUAUSALA by https://www.flickr.com/photos/naparazzi/  Cc 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/  attribution sharealike

Malcolm Turnbull punts football RIGHT INTO YOUR FACE

Australia's Communications minster Malcolm Turnbull yesterday introduced the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Primary Television Broadcasting Service) Bill 2015, an amendment to 1992's Broadcasting Services Act that will remove the regulation requiring Australian television stations to broadcast in standard definition on …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2015
Tianjin crater

China's Tianhe-1 supercomputer back online after Tianjin blast

The Tianhe-1 supercomputer in the Chinese city of Tianjin is back online. State organs China Youth Daily and People.com.cn are both reporting, with more than a little tinge of pride, that the supercomputer survived the blast thanks to the resilience of the data centre in which it was housed. The data centre is a couple of …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2015
B+ raspberry pi

Raspberry Pi gains new FreeBSD distribution

Raspberry Pi owners can dig out their SD-card formatting tools of choice again, because a new version of FreeBSD has emerged for the machines, RaspBSD will work on the Pi models B and B+ and promises to run on more “soon”. The “more” looks like including the BeagleBone Black and the Banana Pi. FreeBSD has been available on …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

One in eight mobile calls in India drops out __ ___ middle of your chat

India's department of telecommunications has hauled the nation's telcos in for a stern-talking to, because the nation's suffering an epidemic of dropped calls. A report issued last week ((PDF) by the nation's Telecoms Regulatory Authority found that one in eight calls on 2G networks drops out, while calls on other networks …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

Seagate scoops Dot Hill for US$694 million

Seagate has announced it will acquire storage outfit Dot Hill for US$694 million. The canned statement announcing the deal says “Dot Hill’s external storage array-based systems and software products will complement and expand Seagate’s storage systems offerings and be offered as part of Seagate’s Cloud Systems and Electronics …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2015
Lightning

Act of God damaged data on Google cloud disks

Google has admitted that some customers running Persistent Disks in its europe-west1-b region have been forced to recover data from snapshots after a combination of lightning and old storage kit was is to blame. The outage hit last Friday and left some users unable to connect Persistent Disks – a disk that exists independently …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2015
Rob Mee and Paul Maritz

Paul Maritz retires from Pivotal, says his time as a manager is over

Paul Maritz has stepped down as CEO of Pivotal. Maritz is a former VMware CEO and in a storied career can point to having started Microsoft's Windows NT, now Windows Server, business and having a big hand in getting Windows 95 out the door. He's spent the last 15 years in various senior roles at EMC, where he was seen as a …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2015
Drop bears: Australia's most deadly creature

Australia to capture biometrics at the border under new law

Australia's Parliament has passed a law that will make it possible to collect biometric data, from citizens and visitors alike, at the nation's borders. The Migration Amendment (Strengthening Biometrics Integrity) Bill 2015, an amendment to the Migration Act of 1958, is explained as an effort to “streamline seven existing …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2015