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VMware Monster VM

El Reg's virtualisation desk pulls out the VMworld crystal ball

VMworld 2014 kicks off in a little over a week. El Reg will be on the spot to report on the news, but our preparation for the show means that if we speculate about it next week there's a risk ninja lawyers will emerge and run us through. Today, therefore, is the day for speculation about the show and what we'll see there. The …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2014
Photo by Michael Conen

NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter probe has spotted a rolling stone on Mars. On 3 July, the craft captured the image below, which NASA published this week and says depicts “a path resembling a dotted line from the upper left to middle right of this image is the track left by an irregularly shaped, oblong boulder as it tumbled …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2014
android tongue

Google's ANDROID CRUSHING smartphone rivals underfoot

Google's Android mobile OS now runs on 84.7 per cent of the 301 million mobile phones the world created in the second quarter of 2014, according to market-watcher IDC. The Google spawn's market share is up a third compared to the same quarter in 2013. Every other mobile operating system is not even eating Android's dust – they' …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2014

Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'

Florida newspaper The Gainsville Sun reports that the accused in a murder case is alleged to have used his iPhone to search for ways to dispose of a body. Yet all is not what it seems. The Alachua County Criminal Justice Center is currently hearing a case involving the death of Christian Aguilar in September 2012. In testimony …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2014
Rosetta

Rosetta's comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is one FUGLY space rock

The European Space Agency's (ESA's) Rosetta probe reached its intended orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last week. Since then we've heard … well more or less nothing, actually. The ESA has said very little about what Rosetta is doing, or learning, way out there in the unfashionable parts of the solar system. But …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2014
Intel 'Haswell' 4th-Generation Core i7 Extreme Edition eight-core processor

Intel disables hot new TSX tech in early Broadwells and Haswells

One of Intel's new ways to make software go faster is called Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX), an innovation that gives developers fine control over how multi-threaded code uses a CPU's resources. TSX is a reasonably big deal, because as Intel never tires of pointing out it long-ago decided that grunt alone is not …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2014
balaclava_thief_burglar

Brit infosec firm lets hackers think they've stolen something

Security strategies generally concentrate on keeping the bad guys out, but British security outfit ClearSwift has stumbled upon another approach: if the bad guys get in, let them out with something. But scrub it clean on the way out the door. ClearSwift is the latest home for content-screening technologies first developed in the …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2014
Xbox in 3D

XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

Microsoft has announced that its XBOX One will soon gain the power to play media stored on USB devices and gadgets compatible with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard. Redmond isn't saying just when this will come about, offering only the promise that “A new app will be available soon”. USB support will be …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2014
Docker Red Hat

VMware hangs with the cool kids in the Containers gang

If 2014 has a hotter infrastructure software topic than containerisation, your correspondent is yet to find it. The excitement comes from the fact that containerisation has been proved to work at colossal scale and looks to represent a lightweight and easy-to-manage alternative to virtualisation. Much discussion of …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2014

AWS adds on-premises Radius MFA to Workspaces DaaS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has added multi-factor authentication to its Workspaces desktop-as-a-service service, but has done so using on-premises RADIUS servers. Workspaces offer the chance to run a desktop – actually re-skinned Windows Server – in a player app. As we've previously noted, AWS has never been afraid to launch a …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2014
NVIDIA's 64-bit ARM SoCs

NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids

NVIDIA has taken the wraps off “Denver”, its long-rumoured 64-bit ARMv8 architecture compatible, system-on-a-chip (SoC), and claims it delivers performance equivalent to some CPUs found in PCs. The company has blogged about the silicon, the successor to its current 32-bit Tegra K1 models. Denver will come in two versions, both …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2014
Pentax Q interchangeable-lens compact system camera

Japanese boffins invent 4.4 TREEELLION frames per second camera

Japanese boffins have invented a way to shoot video at 4.4 trillion frames per second. You read that right. 4.4 trillion. As in a million times a million, or 1012. The camera uses a technique called “Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography” that, as explained in Nature Photonics, uses “all-optical mapping of the …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2014
india

India, IT powerhouse, buys just $US56M of storage a quarter

Do re-adjust your antenna: India buys just $US56m of storage a quarter, according to market-watcher IDC. The firms's new Asia/Pacific Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker (excluding Japan), reports that Indian sales fell in 2014's first quarter, with just US$56.8 million of kit heading out the door. That's the smallest amount …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2014

How to promote CSIRO's ICT in Schools in your community

A couple of weeks ago, The Register launched a campaign in support of the CSIRO's ICT in Schools program, an effort to get IT pros sharing their experience with kids in schools around Australia. The good news is that at last count a dozen Reg readers had signed up as volunteers! That's a decent number and more than half way …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2014

Microsoft fixes all those shaky GoPro vids nobody wants to watch

Shaky GoPro videos are the new post-holiday family slide nights: just as seeing an Uncle's slides of their most recent journey is tedious, helmet-cam footage of your rellies hurtling down a hillside on a mountain bike is evocative for those who’ve done it, but contextless and dizzying for anyone else. Enter Microsoft, perhaps …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2014
The Yutu lunar rover

China to test recoverable moon orbiter

China is about to launch a lunar orbiter capable of returning home. The nation's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence announced over the weekend that the craft has been built and taken to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. When it launches later this year, the un-named craft is …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2014
android tongue

Multiple user accounts coming to Android phones 'n' slabs

It looks like user accounts are coming to Android. This thread in the Android developer preview mailing list includes a post in which a user asks (with spelling and punctuation anomalies) for something like this: Tablets are able to have multiple accounts for multiple users, allowing the users to install an app only for …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2014
Microsoft's digital TV tuner for European XBOX One

Digital dongle transforms European XBOXen into tellies

Microsoft has announced that European XBOX One owners will soon be able to acquire a digital TV tuner for their games consoles. The ₤24.99 or €29.99 device is pretty simple. Plug one end into a TV antenna. Plug the other into the XBOX. If you don't know which end belongs where, it won't take you long to figure it out. Once you …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2014
EMC federation logo

Pivotal puts all its eggs in one basket

EMC Federation member Pivotal has put all its eggs in one basket, by releasing the first version of its AppSuite. Pivotal's core belief is that big data, and cloud-era-and-cloud-scale applications delivered to a variety of devices, both need to be built on rather different foundations to those aimed at other architectures. To …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2014
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

Spooks, cops, say Oz metadata push is for consistency, not data grab

The director of Australia's Security and Intelligence Agency (ASIO David Irvine and the deputy commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Andrew Colvin have appeared at a joint press conference at which they explained the nation's new metadata retention regime is about consistency of and not a grab for new powers or to …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2014

Everyone's an IoT expert but now there's a certificate to prove it

Such is the current level of enthusiasm for the vision of a world wired with myriad sensors, it can sometimes seem that almost everyone is an expert on the Internet of Things. Cisco, however, has now created a way for you to prove your expertise in the form of a new Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist certification. The Borg …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2014
Gulf coast webcam image

Submarine cable operator says storms could hit Pacific traffic

Hawaii's a tropical paradise, right? Most of the time, yes. But right now Hurricane Iselle is heading for the island cluster. As the link back there explains, Iselle is packing serious winds, is expected to kick up serious waves and make life miserable. How miserable? Miserable enough that a submarine cable operator has issued …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Aug 2014
The chinese characters for China as used in the new .中国  domain

Russia, China could ban western tech if they want to live in the PAST

Russia and China have both, of late, threatened western IT companies with difficult trading conditions or banishment if they can't prove their products are secure. The reason for their ire is, of course, Edward Snowden's many revelations about US intelligence activities. The response to his leaks have been widespread and fierce …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Aug 2014
Marriage proposal over GPS

Love in the time of the GPS sees chap propose with Google Map

Bending at the knee and handing over a piece of ancient compressed crystalline carbon may be the traditional way to propose marriage, but the modern age offers us new and exciting ways to pop the question. As exercise-tracking app Endomondo has chronicled, one of its users hopped on a bike and cycled around, then uploaded the …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Aug 2014

Chinese 'linkfarms' propel Microsoft to web server crown

Netcraft has updated its analysis of web server market share and found that Microsoft is now the world's dominant provider of such software, albeit with plenty of caveats. The traffic-watching firm says Apache is the leader in terms of active sites, with 91 million compared to Microsoft's 21 million. But Microsoft is all over …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Aug 2014

Citrix reveals product design methodology, asks YOU to use it

Citrix has revealed the internal process it uses to define new products, and wants you to have a go at using it to suggest the next versions of XenDesktop and XenApp. Detailed here and here, the company explains it gives its developers a hypothetical budget for features in a forthcoming product, then suggests they Spend the $100 …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Aug 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Help Australia's PM and attorney-general to define metadata

Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott and attorney-general George Brandis on Tuesday announced that Australia will collect telecommunications metadata. Yesterday, they contradicted each other, and themselves, when attempting to define metadata and exactly what they propose to collect. Both failed to offer a consistent …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Aug 2014
Broke - empty pockets

IBM can't give away its chip business: report

IBM's attempt to offload its chipmaking business to GlobalFoundries saw it dangle a billion dollars in front of the putative purchaser, but that offer was rejected as inadequate. So says Bloomberg, quoting a “person familiar” with the failed deal. IBM's chippery chaps make fine product, but not so fine or in sufficient volumes …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Aug 2014

Target tosses US$148m onto data breach barbecue

Target's infamous 2013 data breach, which resulted in the company being relieved of 40 million credit card numbers, has cost the company another US$148m according to its latest quarterly finance report. The retailer dedicates a whole section of its quarterly statement to the breach, and says that “In second quarter 2014, the …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Aug 2014
Nanu VoiP over mobile data

Nanu nanu! Mork calling Orson on VoIP over 2G

A Singaporean outfit called Gentay Communications has launched “nanu”, an ad-funded VoIP-over-mobile-data service it says will succeed where others have failed. Ad-funded phone calls are an old idea, but have hardly ever met with success. Last March, for example, free mobile network operator Ovivo went titsup. Gentay's founder …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Aug 2014
management regulation1

Apple, Samsung call off all patent spats outside United States

Apple and Samsung have put a stop to their intellectual property disputes in the eight nations where they were paying lawyers, but will keep splashing the cash on legal eagles in the US of A. In a joint statement, the Korean chaebol and fruity chomp brand said: "Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Aug 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia to retain telecommunications metadata

Australia will enact laws that compel telecommunications providers to retain metadata about their customers' online activities for two years. Attorney-General George Brandis today indicated that the laws have been approved, conceptually, and that legislation will emerge later in 2014 and come into effect not long afterwards. …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Aug 2014

Yes, we know Active Directory cloud sync is a MESS, says Microsoft

Microsoft has made a confession: “integrating your on premises identities with Azure AD is harder than it should be” and requires “too many pages of documentation to read, too many different tools to download and configure, and far too much on premises hardware required.” It has also done something about it, in the form of a new …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Aug 2014
Zombie cloud

Shuffling Zombie Juror – aka Linux kernel 3.16 – wants to eat … ARMs?

The Linux kernel has been updated, again. On Sunday, Linux Lord Linus Torvalds announced version 3.16 of the kernel is now good to go. Torvalds says “3.16 looked a bit iffy for a while” but “things cleared up nicely, and there was no reason to do extra release candidates like I feared just a couple of weeks ago.” You'll be …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Aug 2014

NICTA man explains why he volunteers for CSIRO's ICT in Schools

Last week, Vulture South launched a campaign in support of the CSIRO's ICT in Schools program, an effort to get IT pros sharing their experience with kids in schools around Australia. CSIRO tells us our campaign is working: quite a few signed up in the week since we published our first story, but we're still short of our target …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2014
NBN Co logo

Turnbull says NBN 'most reckless commitment of Commonwealth funds in our history'

The Scales Review of NBN Mark II Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) has found the second version of the network's early planning process was chaotic and that NBN Co, the company created to build the network, was not built on foundations suitable to enable the project's success. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2014
GCHQ road sign

GCHQ names the Hogwarts for Hackers

The UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has certified six Masters of Cyber Security degrees. The certifications were issued under the UK's Cyber Security Strategy that, among other things, calls for the nation to “Strengthen postgraduate education to expand the pool of experts with in-depth knowledge of cyber.” …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2014
EMET

Microsoft hacks out new EMET, spits out Adobe Flash

Microsoft has emitted a new version of EMET – its Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit. Redmond often recommends deployment of EMET as a frontline defence against attacks, so the release of a new version is noteworthy. The big two enhancements that Microsoft is talking up the loudest are an improved Attack Surface Reduction ( …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2014
IBM Selectric MT/ST

Free 2004-spec AS/400 pops up in the cloud

German hosting company Rechenzentrum Kreuznach has popped an AS/400 into the cloud, and anyone can use it for free. Available here the machine is running V5R3 software that appears to have been released in 2004 and to have had support withdrawn in April 2009. Rechenzentrum Kreuznach asks would-be users to sign up for an account …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2014
chalk outline of  human body at crime scene

Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

Windows XP's demise is finally starting to accelerate, but Windows 7 and not 8 appears to be picking up the slack. Those are the conclusions we draw from Netmarketshare's latest monthly dump on desktop computer operating system market share. Here's the company's counts of what's what on the desktop, going back to October 2013 …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2014
Bill Gates talks tech

Microsoft Australia floats 'death to TechEd' thought bubble

Microsoft Australia has hinted that it may follow the lead of its US parent and make TechEd a part of a larger conference. The Microsoft Mothership last month decided to bundle TechEd and conferences dedicated to SharePoint, Lync, Exchange and Project into a “unified Microsoft commercial technology conference.” TechEd will …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Aug 2014
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Elite Systems promises to order ZX Spectrum revival in two weeks

Elite Systems, the company that last year launched a crowdfunding campaign to revive the ZX Spectrum as a Bluetooth keyboard, says it will place an order for the devices on August 14th. The campaign succeeded after punters pledged £63,194 to recreate the storied microcomputer. Those who paid £50 or more were promised delivery in …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Aug 2014

Wireless charging stretches the friendship by 45mm

The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has boosted the range of its Qi wireless charging standard, which can now deliver electricity to devices 35 millimetres away from a charger. Most of today's wireless chargers assume that devices will be placed quite carefully onto a charging station. Yet at Computex, your correspondent beheld …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Aug 2014
Dromana bottles

Linode open-sources its secret support sauce

Infrastructure-as-a-service and cloud concern Linode has open-sourced the support documentation it offers to users. The company has long operated a “Linode Library” containing tutorials and other documents that might conceivably be useful to its users, or just to the curious. The company has now put the lot on GitHub along with …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Aug 2014

EMC promises 'lots' of news about converged compute at VMworld

VMware's rumoured “MARVIN” converged infrastructure product has piqued the interest of the virtualisation community, because despite winning a trademark for “Computer hardware for virtualization” the company insists it is in the software business. Plenty of speculation has since suggested MARVIN is probably something a bit like …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Aug 2014
heart.australia

A modest proposal: Australian ISPs should JUMP at the chance to store metadata

Scarcely a day passes on which Vulture South is not told that an investment in Big Data software is the first step accruing undreamed-of riches. You know the argument: organisations that collect lots of data are sitting on a trove of un-articulated insights. A little Hadoopery and analytics will quickly reveal why customers …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2014
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull to Big Content: Let your movies RUN FREE ... for a fair price

Australia's communications minister has scolded Big Content for not making more efforts to make digital content easy to access. Turnbull last night delivered a speech to mark the release of the federal government's consultation paper on online piracy. In those remarks and an interview with ABC Radio he made more or less the same …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2014

Russia to SAP, Apple: Hand over source code to prove you're not spies

Russia has asked SAP and Apple to hand over their products' source code so it can be tested for spyware. The nation's Ministry of Communications and Mass Media announced the request on Wednesday. The shrinkwrapped statement sees Communications minister Nikolai Nikiforov citing the revelations from rogue NSA contractor Edward …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2014
Reebok Bacon

Sneaker-maker Reebok cooks up performance-enhancing BACON

Sports shoe maker Reebok is getting into the bacon business. The move into delicious salted pork parts isn't a diversification. Instead, the company is targeting devotees of the CrossFit cultfitness craze, who often adhere to a “paleo” diet that's heavy in protein and light on carbohydrates. Ad-slinging chronicle AdWeeksuggests …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2014
Apple Mac Mini 2012

VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis

VMware runs a cluster of 50 Mac Minis and puts it to work preparing the executables and binaries that customers receive when they acquire the company's products. We're standing on the shoulders of William Lam's Virtually Ghetto for this story, after he delved into production uses of Mac hardware in an VMware environment. He …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2014