Simon Sharwood

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Intel-sponsored 'DiaperPie' connected nappy

Intel imagines chips in nappies to create the Internet of sh*t things

Computex 2015 If you think the Internet of Things (IoT) is a steaming pile of you-know-what, Intel's kind-of confirmed your suspicions by backing a team that's imagined an internet-connected nappy (diaper for North American readers). Computex 2015 is full of folks spruiking the internet of stuff. On the show floor you can hardly move for …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2015
ASUS Chair Jonney Shih Computex 2015 press conference

ASUS reveals 'Zensational' style-over-substance kit

Computex 2015 Computex day zero kicked off in Taipei today, and after some pleasantries got down to business with an ASUS keynote that pitched style over substance as a good thing. Taipei is ASUS' home town and the company is arguably Taiwan's most famous export, so chairman Jonney Shih likes to put on a show before the rest of the vendors …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Kindle for Kids

Amazon reveals KiddieKindle and pocket money scheme

Amazon.com looks to have decided that its next big market is your kids. The company's unveiled a “Kindle for Kids Bundle” that takes a normal 6” Kindle, wraps it in a bit of coloured plastic and bundles a two-year warranty for the device. That warranty applies to “common accidents, including knocking it off a table, dropping it …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Cloud foundry login screen

Cloud Foundry takes first steps into Azure

Microsoft's promise to make Azure Cloud Foundry-friendly has become concrete. A bit. The company's announced a “public preview of open source Cloud Foundry for Microsoft Azure”. Cloud Foundry's availability on Azure is a medium-sized deal, as it means those who chose to develop on the newly open-sourced platform can now deploy …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Gigabyte H270-T70

Gigabyte and Cavium team on super-dense ARM servers

Computex 2015 Motherboard maestro Gigabyte has revealed new servers based on Cavium's ThunderX ARM chippery. The decision to do so is not entirely new: Gigabyte makes server motherboards, bare bones servers and even some ARM-powered servers based on the AppliedMicro X-Gene1 CPU. The move into Cavium-powered boxen takes things up a notch, …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Veeam CEO Ratmir Timashev

Veeam's plan: Ignore MBA marketers, don't covet magazine covers

Most CEOs give little away in interviews: they stick to the script and deliver information in easily-digestible chunks. Veeam's Ratmir Timashev does it differently: the founder, president and CEO of Veeam likes to tell stories. So when your correspondent asked him why Veeam is going well, Commvault is doing okay but Veritas, EMC …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Week #25 - Pet Peeves SMS by https://www.flickr.com/photos/rwdave/  cc 2.0 attribution noderivs https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Google to axe TXT reminders for Calendar events

Google has emailed users of its Calendar service to advise them that “Starting on June 27th, 2015, SMS notifications from Google Calendar will no longer be sent.” The Chocolate Factory's reasoning for the cessation of TXT reminders is that “SMS notifications launched before smartphones were available. Now, in a world with …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Aero transparency in the Start menu

Long, sticky summer ahead: Win 10 will be with OEMs by 31 August

UPDATE Microsoft's been saying Windows 10 will ship ”in summer”*. And now it looks like the company has chosen the last day of summer** to launch Windows 10. We're basing that assertion on this page at online retailer Newegg.com, which has listed Windows 10 as going on sale on August 31st. At the time of writing, and in this screen …
Simon Sharwood, 31 May 2015
The Sirius Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

What does it take to find the Antikythera Mechanism? Underwater robots, of course!

I worked on ... A few days from now, Christian Lees will be in the Greek islands, sunning himself on the deck of a colossal private yacht. Staff on the yacht will prepare his meals, even do his laundry. But those staff can't program or troubleshoot Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), which is why Lees will be aboard the yacht during its …
Simon Sharwood, 31 May 2015
Spiralling by https://www.flickr.com/photos/abstractartangel77/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Free Windows 10 upgrades from Microsoft will FLATTEN PC sales

Windows 10 won't give PC sales a fillip because punters don't think an OS upgrade is enough reason to buy a new computer. So says abacus-wielding firm IDC, whose new Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker emerged today and predicted “ PC shipments are expected to fall by -6.2% in 2015.” “Windows 10 should be a significant contributor …
Simon Sharwood, 29 May 2015
Dunce's cap graffiti by https://www.flickr.com/photos/lord-jim/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Australia to develop STEM education plan any month now

Australia's Education Council met today and decided the nation needs a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) plan. The Council's members are the nation's education ministers, one apiece from the federal government and the eight States and Territories. The Council had this to say about STEM in its communiqué ( …
Simon Sharwood, 29 May 2015
Libre Office for Android

Libre Office comes to Android

The Document Foundation has released a version of Libre Office for Android. The new app allows users to read and edit documents. The Document Foundation bills the app as a “Viewer” with “experimental ... basic editing capabilities, like modifying words in existing paragraphs and changing font styles such as bold and italic.” …
Simon Sharwood, 29 May 2015
The Mars InSight Lander

NASA sending five-metre THERMO-HAMMER to Mars

NASA has announced that its next Mars lander, the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight), has started its pre-flight tests to ensure it can survive launch and the long schlep to the Red Planet. InSight is due to launch and reach Mars next year. When it arrives, one of its chores …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2015
GIMP 2.8

SourceForge accused of shackling GIMP in kinky adware

The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) has accused SourceForge of violating its open-sourcery by wrapping the popular graphics program in adware. GIMP's Google+ page says “It appears that SourceForge took over the control of the 'GIMP for Windows' account and is now distributing an ads-enabled installer of GIMP. They also …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2015
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 revenue in 2013 was around €600,000 and that the biz 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