Simon Sharwood

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Pizza and beer - friends forever

User filed fake trouble tickets to take helpful sysadmin to lunches

On-Call Hey, hey, it's Friday! Which means frolicsome weekend fun is just a day away … if you can survive work and this week's instalment of On-Call, The Register's weekly column in which we recount readers stories of jobs gone weird. This week, meet “Wayne”, who has an unusual story because – unusually for On-Call - it ends very, …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2017
Exam hall full of desks

Microsoft finally allows hosted desktops on multi-tenant hardware

Microsoft's dispensed with a licensing oddity that saw it prohibit hosted virtual desktops running on multi-tenanted hardware. Redmond's allowed virtual Windows desktops hosted in the cloud or by service providers for ages, but only if they run on dedicated hardware for each client. The effect of that policy has been service …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2017
Bluetooth Mesh

Bluetooth makes a mesh of itself with new spec

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has released the spec for Bluetooth Mesh, a many-to-many extension of the technology. Readers are doubtless familiar with Bluetooth's point-to-point connectivity features that enable you to do things like pair a wireless keyboard with a computer. Bluetooth's second application is …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2017
ServiceNow visual task board

ServiceNow stops over in Jakarta on its journey to AI-land

ServiceNow's Jakarta release went live on Thursday, bringing with it plenty of new toys for IT departments and hints of artificially intelligent things to come. Among the big additions to Jakarta are a redesigned Cloud Management Portal that lets IT teams provision resources into multiple public clouds, with the workflow you'd …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2017
Recreation of a scene from Star Wars A New Hope: Droids R2-D2 and C-3PO escaping the Tantive IV while under Imperial attack. Figures are 6 inch Hasbro Black Series action figures

Disneyland to become wretched hive of scum and villainy

Disney has revealed plans to create a wretched hive of scum and villainy adjacent to one of its theme parks. If the “wretched …” phrase sounds familiar, it's probably because you remember it from Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope. The phrase was used by Obi-Wan Kenobi to describe Mos Eisley, a spaceport on the planet Tatooine …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2017
Google Transfer Appliance

Google Cloud plays GTA in Snowball fight with AWS

Google's started a Snowball fight with Amazon Web Services by announcing a “Transfer Appliance” to get data out of your data centre and into its cloud. AWS already has just such a machine: its Snowball is a ruggedised storage appliance with 80TB capacity that the cloud colossus sends to your premises so you can load it up full …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2017
The area recommended as a new search zone in the hunt for MH370

Australia releases MH370 sea floor data but search is still off

Geoscience Australia, the nation's agency for recording and sharing geographic and geological data, has released the first tranche of data captured during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. The search for MH370 saw 120,000km2 of the sea floor subjected to a bathymetric survey. Geoscience Australia (GA) …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2017
Oracle logo, image by GongTo via Shutterstock

Solaris, Java have vulns that let users run riot

Oracle's emitted its quarterly patch dump. As usual it's a whopper, with 308 security fixes to consider. Oracle uses the ten-point Common Vulnerability Scoring System Version 3.0, on which critical bugs score 9.0 or above. The Register counts 30 such bugs in this release. Not all can be laid at Oracle's door. For example, a …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2017

Nutanix CEO smacks down VMware exec over claim it's a new Enron

The ongoing spat between VMware and Nutanix has flared again, with the latter company's CEO Dheeeraj Pandey hitting Twitter to smack down Lee Caswell, Virtzilla's veep for Products, Storage and Availability. This round of the spat between the two appears to have started with a since-deleted Caswell Tweet pointing to this …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2017
Image: Serazetdinov http://www.shutterstock.com/fr/pic-114819721/stock-vector-illustration-of-a-strong-blast-of-brain.html

Vendors rush to call everything AI even if it isn't, or doesn't help

Many enterprise software vendors “are focused on the goal of simply building and marketing an AI-based product rather than identifying use cases and the business value to customers.” So says Gartner analyst Jim Hare in a July 6th piece of research titled “How Enterprise Software Providers Should (and Should Not) Exploit the AI …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2017
Knightscope K5

Security robot falls into pond after failing to spot stairs or water

A security robot tasked with patrolling an office building in Washington DC has instead driven itself into a water feature. The bot appears to have been a Knightscope K5, a surveillance bot designed to roll around “parking lots, corporate campuses and hospitals” so it can use its video cameras, anomaly detection, live video …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2017

Buzzword buzzkill: Cloud, AI, IoT and edge work in a real product

Artificial intelligence, the internet of things and edge computing are 2017's inescapable buzzwords, and cloud probably has that role for the entire decade. So imagine The Register's surprise when we learned all three are working together in a product you can put to work today. That product is SAP's Leonardo IoT Edge that, as …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2017
CSIRO

Dell and Intel see off IBM and POWER to win new Australian super

Dell has won the gig to build Australia's newest supercomputer. Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) issued a tender for the machine late last year and then amended the tender after The Register pointed out it nonsensically suggested it be able to run Windows Server on POWER CPUs, an …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2017

US laptops-on-planes ban now applies to just one airport, ends soon

The United States' ban on laptops being carried into airliner cabins is all-but-over, after the nation's Transport Security Administration reduced its list of dodgy airports to just one and signalled that destination awaits inspection before also disappearing from its list. The ban was imposed in March after the Administration …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2017
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Radiohead hides ZX Spectrum proggie in OK Computer re-release

Rock deities Radiohead have snuck a program for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum into a re-release of their seminal 1997 album “OK Computer”. Dubbed “OKNOTOK”, the re-release can be had as £100/US$130/€120 boxed edition that includes three vinyl records, books galore and “a C90 cassette mix tape compiled by us, taken from OK COMPUTER …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2017

Ashley Madison throws US$11.2m on the bed to mop up leak affair

Dating site for cheaters Ashley Madison has thrown US$11.2 million on the bed to make its 2015 data leak go away. The site, which used the slogan “Life is short, have an affair”, was infamously hacked in 2015, lost millions of users' records, prompting a denial from Conservative MP listed in the trove and prompting face-palms- …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2017
Penguins surround laptop. Pic by Shutterstock

Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

Linux 4.13 is under way. Linus Torvalds pulled one of his semi-surprises by announcing release candidate one on Saturday, rather than issuing his usual Sunday evening missive. The headline features of the next kernel include support for Intel's forthcoming 10nm Cannonlake CPUs, due later this year, and the 14nm Coffeelake that …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2017
Windows Server 2016

Microsoft reveals first Windows Server Insider Build

Microsoft's revealed the first fruits of its plan to deliver twice-yearly updates to Windows Server by revealing the first-ever Insider build of the OS. Available here for users who register with a corporate Active Directory credential, Windows Server Insider Preview Build 16237 adds plenty of features that emphasises …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2017
Man browses his tablet and ignores the beach. Photo by shutterstock

User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

On-call Last Friday your correspondent snorkeled on a tropical island, but this Friday it's time for another edition of On-Call, our weekly column in which we recount readers' tales of being forced to take on tricky jobs for tricky people. And this week reader “Mal” brings us a story with a tropical island element, as he told us that …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2017

ESA trying to 'bake, rattle and roll' gravity wave space probe

The European Space Agency is giving the LISA Pathfinder probe what it calls the “Bake, rattle and roll” treatment in the hope it teaches us how to make its successors even better. As the name suggests, LISA Pathfinder is a test mission for the planned three-vessel LISA space observatory, which will be positioned in a …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2017
Donald trump reading fake news

Fake Newspaper steals Reg design to spruik storage upstart

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but perhaps whoever designed the website for storage upstart Weka.io has gone a little too far: when Reg operatives decided to read beyond our story on the company, we found its website appears to have borrowed ours! The offending bit of Weka's site is its Fake Newspaper, “IT News …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2017
Nested Virtualization in Azure

Microsoft adds nested virtualization to Azure

Microsoft’s added a new instance type to Azure and the ability to run nested virtualization. The new Dv3 VM instances run on either the Broadwell E5-2673 v4 2.3GHz processor or a Haswell 2.4 GHz E5-2673 v3 and between eight and 64GB of RAM. Whatever the CPU you use, Windows Server 2016 is also under the hood along with Hyper-V …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2017
Backdoor key

UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

British signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) can crack end-to-end encrypted messages sent using WhatsApp and Signal, according to Australian attorney-general George Brandis. Brandis made the claim speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's AM program, on the occasion of Australia …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2017
Bomb on PC screen

PC sales still slumping, but more slowly than feared

Analyst firms IDC and Gartner have emitted their quarterly assessments of the personal computer market, with both recording further sales slowdowns but also suggesting things could be worse. Gartner reckons the world consumed 61.1 million machines, down 4.3 per cent from the same quarter in 2016. IDC says combined desktop, …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2017
crashing airplane

Flight Centre leaks fliers' passport details to 'potential suppliers'

Human error at travel company Flight Centre has resulted in a leak of personal information, including data of customers' passports. “Personal information relating to some leisure customers in Australia was accidentally made available to a small number of potential third party suppliers for a short period of time,” a …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2017

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