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Simon Sharwood

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WordPress

WordPress 4.0 is here, complete with one-click upgrade process

WordPress 4.0 has landed, which is kind of a big deal seeing as the blogging/content management software runs around 60 million websites. As ever, users can upgrade with a single click should they choose to do so. Those who host their own WordPress installations will need to backup both the database and the content they've …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Sep 2014
Measuring up Apple

Sex is great in books, lousy in apps, says Apple

Apple has published a new set of guidelines for its App Store, and suggested that those who want to depict sex on iThings should write a book or song instead of an app. The guidelines offer plenty of rules capable of riling developers. Here's the opening salvo: “We view Apps different than books or songs, which we do not …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Sep 2014
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority - IANA - logo

APNIC receives recovered /12 from IANA

The Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) has received a /12 block of IPv4 addresses from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). The addresses come from those “recovered” by IANA. Recovery usually comes about when a user decides not to use a block of addresses, or a workable fragment of the IPv4 address space …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Sep 2014
Steve Ballmer

Ballmer PERSONALLY wrote Windows' Blue Screen of Death text

Microsoft has revealed that Steve Ballmer himself penned the text that appears when users give Windows the “three-fingered salute”* by pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL to invoke the infamous “blue screen of death”. Redmond's Old new thing blog offers the revelation that when Microsoft was hard at work on Windows 3.1 Ballmer was shown the …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Sep 2014
Via quad core logo

VIA looks to be counting down to launch of Atom competitor

It's easy to forget that Taiwanese outfit Via is the world's third maker of x86 CPUs, because the company only ever won a tiny slice of the market and hasn't released anything new for ages. But the company looks to be stirring. Back in July, rumours circulated of an update to the company's Isaiah CPUs after Via reportedly …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Sep 2014
Dovecot logo

Oracle's MySQL buy a 'fiasco' says Dovecot man Mikko Linnanmäki

A co-founder of the widely-used IMAP server Dovecot has outlined his three rules for open source success, in terms Larry Ellison may not enjoy. “The first rule is don't sell your company to Oracle if you want to keep your product alive,” he told World Hosting Day in Singapore yesterday. “The second rule is also don't sell sell …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Sep 2014

Compuware slurped by private equiteer for $2.5bn

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo will acquire software house Compuware for about US$2.5bn. Shareholders will be delivered about $10.92 per share, a 17 per cent premium on last week's closing price for Compuware stock - not bad for a company once known as "the elephants' graveyard". Compuware chair Gurminder S. Bedi's canned …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Sep 2014
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Telstra tells Big Content it won't become unpaid Copyright Cop

Australia's dominant telco and internet service provider Telstra has waded into the nation's copyright enforcement debate by rejecting Big Content's calls for it to assume liability for its users' copyright infringements. Thodey's missive on the matter offers the usual “TV shows cost a lot to make and stealing them is wrong” …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Sep 2014
Official Intel Atom Inside logo

NEC tilts at webscale servers with 46 Atom boards in 2U chassis

Japan's NEC has unleashed a new “micro modular server” it hopes will get it into the webscale computing caper. Released last month but shown for the first time outside Japan at World Hosting Day in Singapore yesterday, the server is a 2U beast that houses custom servers running Atom C2000-series processors on dainty little …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Sep 2014
parallels logo schematics

Parallels to line up with Linux containers

Parallels is working to bring its automation, security and management wares to the burgeoning world of Linux containerisation. The junior virtualiser finds itself in an interesting position vis a vis Linux containers and Docker, because it has long described its own Virtuozzo product as offering containers. But Virtuozzo is …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Sep 2014
Azure Index

Azure Australia is ALIVE, but not for the likes of you, just yet

Microsoft has announced that its two Australian Azure bit barns are up and running, in a “private preview”. Microsoft Australia managing director Pip Marlow writes that “a number of customers and partners are using the service today” but adds that “I still can’t give you the final date for general availability but I can share …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Sep 2014
Microsoft OneDrive

SHARE 'N' SINK: OneDrive corrupting Office 2013 files

OneDrive users are complaining that Microsoft's sync 'n' share service corrupts Office 2013 files when they attempt to open them. Answers.microsoft.com threads like this one explain that it is impossible to open some files stored in OneDrive – Excel files seem especially susceptible – from machines other than the one that …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Sep 2014
Robot wearing mortar board and brandishing certificates

Microsoft changes cert test providers, hints at fun new exams

Microsoft will part ways with Prometric, the outfit that currently provides exams for some of Redmond's certifications. Prometric is on the outer as of December 31st, 2014 and Pearson Vue has the gig as of September 4th. The good news is that if you hold an unexpired, prepaid Prometric exam voucher you can use it at either …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Sep 2014

Epiphany hits Raspberry Pi founders, users

The Raspberry Pi now has its very own web browser. The Pi foundation has been working on the app since December 2013, when it announced its intention to create a browser that offers “a good multi-tab experience,” ARMv6-optimized 2d rendering and accelerated image and HTML5 video decoding and bake it into future versions of …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Sep 2014
Docker Red Hat

Cisco climbs aboard containerisation cloudwagon, with security reservations

Cisco has climbed aboard the containerisation cloudwagon, hinting that it will make Docker and Linux containers a part of its emerging “Intercloud”. The Borg has slipped out a blog post in which it offers an unremarkable containers vs. virtual machines primer. But at the end is an interesting nugget, to wit: “Cisco Cloud …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Sep 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

Vertigan killed FTTP but the battle for scalable FTTN has not begun

At a conference early this year, I attended a talk by a major Australian industry association. The talk's only good feature was its possible use as a cure for insomnia. I fled the room as soon as it was possible and polite to do so. As I left, I surprised to feel a tap on the shoulder from a representative of the association who …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014
Windows XP

Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

Windows XP lost nearly one per cent of global market share during August, according to both Netmarketshare and StatCounter, but there's not been a corresponding bounce in the prevalence of other Microsoft operating systems. The Reg has been tracking the two OS-counters for 11 months now and during that time Netmarketshare has …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014
Oracle's Iron Man 2 ad

European Commission okays Oracle's MICROS gobble

Oracle's US$5bn purchase of integrated hardware-maker MICROS has been approved by the European Commission. News of the approval, which landed last Friday, doesn't mean the deal is over the line: Oracle is still reminding shareholders that its offer expires on Tuesday, September 2nd. If Oracle does gobble MICROS it will give the …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014

Broadcom reveals $20 'Pi in the sky' IoT development widget

Broadcom has released a US$20 Internet of Things thing it hopes will give developers a cut-price way to explore the sensor-tised kinds of applications a wired world enables. The “WICED Sense Bluetooth Smart Sensor Development Kit” packs a gyroscope, accelerometer eCompass, pressure sensor and humidity & temperature sensor into a …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014
Still from Miley Cyrus music video for Wrecking Ball

Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus

Offensively-and-dangerously-in-control of her sexuality popette Miley Cyrus has declared that social media is worse than drugs. In an interview with Australian news magazine program Sunday Night ahead of a tour down under, Cyrus was asked whether her use of marijuana has deleterious effects on her health. Her response was to …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014
Falcon 1 launches from Kwajalein

Server sales show signs of slight surge

Server sales continue to rise, according to IDC's new Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, which suggests the long-term outlook for servers might even be half-way decent. The market-watcher says “factory revenue in the worldwide server market increased 2.5% year over year to US$12.6 billion in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14 …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Aug 2014
Storage disks, photo: Gavin Clarke

Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes

If condoms were made in a range of different sizes, the old joke goes, the options would be “huge”, “gigantic” and “enormous”. We mention the joke in reference to The Linux Foundation's decision to create a new conference, called “Vault”, to “... bring together the world’s leading developers in filesystems and storage in the …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Aug 2014
Galileo

Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality

The European Space Agency's (ESA's) embarrassment at having two of its Galileo satnav birds land in the wrong orbit has been blamed on bad programming of the Soyuz craft that hauled the satellites aloft. Russia's Izviestia reports that an investigation of the incident found that the Soyuz's first stage did all that was asked of …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Aug 2014
Google's delivery by drone project wing

Google testing delivery-by-drone down under

Google has released a video describing “Project Wing”, a delivery-by-drone project it is conducting in Australia. Project Wing's craft appear to be a flying wing, an aircraft design often associated with the B-2 bomber. Such designs don't have a distinct fuselage, instead packing engines, cockpit and other system into same …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Aug 2014
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ad format

Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies

The Mozilla Foundation's controversial plan to bring ads into the Firefox browser has commenced, with new nightlies of the Firefox browser now including the Directory Tiles feature that users hated in its last implementation. Directory Tiles have now morphed into “Sponsored Tiles”, the distinction being that the former are …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Aug 2014
VMware logo

Suppose they gave a VMworld and vSphere didn't show up?

A hypothetical VMworld 2014 attendee utterly unfamiliar with VMware could conceivably have emerged from the event unaware that the company's flagship product is called vSphere. But if one poked one's head into the right places at the show it was possible to learn a little about the product's future. Our tip that version 6.0 of …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Aug 2014
Zocalo video

AWS Zocalo squares up to box Box, Dropbox, sync 'n' share flocks

Enterprise sync 'n' share appears an unlikely battleground for a rolling brawl between startups and enterprise titans, but that's what's happening out there today. We've already seen some action today in the form of Dropbox matching Google and Microsoft's storage prices. Not to be outdone, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has also …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2014

Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

Microsoft has turned 1,500 applications out of the Windows Store, the app bazaar for Windows 8 devices. In a post titled How we’re addressing misleading apps in Windows Store, Microsoft explains it has conducted a promised spring clean by changing the rules for admission to the store and will henceforth insist on the following …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2014
Cisco UCS B200 M3 blade server

Cisco teases UCS refresh with most of 2014's best buzzwords

September starts next week, and so does the season for flashy mega-launches by huge silicon valley concerns. Apple will get around to doing one in the second week of the month, but Cisco has decided to go first by letting it be known there'll be a new range of its UCS servers announced next week. The Borg has already dribbled …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2014
Woodchipper scene from Fargo

VMware puts VDI in the woodchipper

VMware has outlined a new way to do desktop virtualisation (VDI) that aims to greatly reduce the amount of storage required to deliver desktops from the data centre. Many current VDI arrangements require each virtual desktop to be stored as a discrete virtual disk. By the time organisations get to hundreds or thousands of such …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2014
NVIDIA's 64-bit ARM SoCs

Honey, I shrunk the workstation … into a Chromebook

VMware, Google and Nvidia have teamed up with a plan to bring the most demanding desktop apps to relatively piddly Chromebooks. VMware already has relationships with the other two companies mentioned above. The pact with Google sees it offer the BLAST client to pipe apps from Horizon View into Chromebooks. The Nvidia …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2014
Galileo

Galileo! Galileo. Galileo! Galileo frigged-LEO: Easy come, easy go. Little high, little low

The European Space Agency (ESA) says it is working “relentlessly” after an “injection anomaly” pushed its two new Galileo sat-nav satellites into the wrong low Earth orbit (LEO). The ESA today said “the satellites are safely under control” and pointing in the right direction at the Sun, at least. The agency is also prepared to “ …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2014
What Linus Torvalds thinks of NVIDIA

Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can

Linus Torvalds released issued Linux 3.17 rc-2 on Monday. Linux-loving readers will note that releasing on a Monday is not Torvalds' style. He usually releases on Sundays. The reason for the change is detailed on the Linux kernel mailing list as follows: “So I deviated from my normal Sunday schedule partly because there wasn' …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2014
Playmobil reconstruction of the Moderatrix whipping errant commentator

Docker's VMware tryst is about giving sysadmins the whip hand

Docker's often been cast as an enfant terrible so talented that it makes mature predecessors suddenly look a bit old, slow and irrelevant. What, then, to make of today's VMWorld news that it is now a VMware partner and will work with Virtzilla, Google and Pivotal to make Linux containers behave under vSphere and Cloud Foundry? …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2014
Vmware EVO Rail logo

EMC to toss Avamar and other code into its VMware's EVO boxen

EMC is designing a version of the EVO:RAIL hyper-converged appliance VMware announced today but isn't in a rush to get it to market but is looking forward to winning back the business the likes of Nutanix are currently taking from it. EVO is the artist formerly known as MARVIN and combines four servers, direct-attached storage, …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2014

VMware's MARVIN emerges as 'EVO' for branch offices and web-scale rigs

VMware has confirmed its long-suspected move into converged infrastructure hardware by announcing “EVO:RAIL”, a new “ hyper-converged infrastructure appliance” the company says “is the first solution in a family” of such offerings. EVO:RAIL will be a 2U, four-node, bundle of compute and storage hardware, plus vSphere, VSAN, …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2014
VMware logo

VMware to release own version of OpenStack

VMware has moved to defuse the threat OpenStack poses by developing its own distribution of the cloudy collation called VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIOS). OpenStack is often perceived as a threat to VMware because the two stacks have a fair amount of overlap. We can now see that VMware thinks OpenStack makes a lot of sense to …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2014
Screenshot of the Word 2013 startup screen, which doesn't show the year

Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

In August last year, one-time-sysadmin and now SciFi author Charles Stross declared Microsoft Word ”a tyrant of the imagination” and bemoaned its use in the publishing world. “Major publishers have been browbeaten into believing that Word is the sine qua non of document production systems,” he wrote. “And they expect me to …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Cheapo Firefox OS mobes to debut in India – definitely not one for selfie-conscious users

The Mozilla Foundation's aim to create a Firefox OS for mobile devices was not to take a quixotic tilt at the top end of the smartphone market. Instead, it hoped to provide an alternative that would enable the delivery of low-cost, but still smart, devices to places where smartphones are still a significant purchase. That plan …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Aug 2014
Blackmail image

Stiffed by Synolocker ransomware crims? Try F-Secure's python tool

Security firm F-Secure has released a tool to decrypt data scrambled by the Synolocker malware – assuming you've obtained the decryption key from the crooks. Synolocker is ransomware that attacks NAS devices made by Synology. Those infected by the software find their data is encrypted, and receive an invitation to purchase a …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Aug 2014
The Black Knight

Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays

The storage industry knows that the market for physical arrays is in decline. Cheap cloud storage and virtual arrays have emerged as cheaper and often just-as-useful alternatives, making it harder to justify the cost of a dedicated array for many applications. Forrester knows this, too: one of its analysts, Henry Baltazar, just …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014
quasar map

YOU SHALL NOT PASS! Intel, HyTrust geo-fence wandering virty servers

Intel and HyTrust have teamed up to build software that can control where in the world your virtual machines are allowed to run. The core of the collaboration is Intel's Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) – special kit that attempts to validate a machine's BIOS, hypervisor and hardware state. That's a handy trick because some …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014

Citrix says reports of XenServer's death are greatly exaggerated

When the mages at Gartner gave the world their most recent view of the x86 virtualization market, the firm offered unkind words about Citrix's prospects in the market. “Citrix is no longer investing strictly to keep up with market leaders VMware and Microsoft for traditional server virtualization,' the crystal ball gazers …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014
heart.chile

Claim: Microsoft Alt-F4'd Chilean government open-source install bid

Microsoft successfully lobbied against a law that would have seen Chile's government adopt open-source software, says Elmostrador, a newspaper in the South American nation. The publication's report tells the tale of Vlado Mirosevic, a left-leaning politician who is the leader of the Chilean Liberal Party and its only …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014
cloud

SDN? More like $$$DN: Sales to soar from $1bn today to $8bn by 2018

Analyst outfit IDC has gazed into its crystal balls and decided software-defined networking (SDN) will bring US$8bn through the door in 2018, a fund-manager-gratifying increase over the $960m it will account for in 2014. The market-watcher says the $8bn will come as businesses buy more converged infrastructure, shift their …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014

AWS levels up in game of government security – and now one step below classified access

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has leveled up its US government security certification, winning the right to handle more sensitive work from the Department of Defense (DoD). The company has, of course, blogged the news that it has won provisional authorization to operate levels three to five of the DoD's cloud security model. Level …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
Bitcoins

Your Bitcoins aren't money – but it is barter, so we'll tax it, ta ... says Australia's taxman

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued its official assessment of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies – and decided it isn't money but can be taxed. The ATO's note says BTC is “neither money nor a foreign currency” and that “transacting with Bitcoins is akin to a barter arrangement”. Australia taxes formal barter …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
Source: Simply Smile Photography by Georgia Stephenson

Come up with some 'novel cloud' boffinry, grab $20m from US govt

The US government's National Science Foundation has handed out $20m in funding for two big new cloud computing research projects. The funding has been allocated because the foundation feels commercial clouds are built with a particular purpose in mind, leaving them rather good at particular jobs but not the best possible …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
NBN Co logo

NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial

NBN Co, the entity building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has revealed the data transfer speeds obtained by folks connected to its test fibre—to-the-node network in the New South Wales Central Coast suburb of Umina. A canned statement quotes local small business owner Martin McInnes as saying he was able to …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
VMwareJapan

VMware vaporises vCHS hybrid cloud service

A little secret: The Reg's stalwart team of sub-editors are no fans of VMware – because its practice of using two capitals for VMware but one capital for products like vSphere is the kind of thing that does their pedantic heads in. We're therefore not entirely sure how they'll react to news that VMware has changed the name of …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014