Simon Sharwood

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Add 'fattism' and hacker stereotyping to the list of Donald Trump's list of non-PC positions

United States presidential candidate Donald Trump has questioned whether the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Russia, advancing theories that China or “someone sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds” may have pulled off the hack that saw numerous campaign documents leaked to the world. Trump made the remarks …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Sep 2016
Mars

India releases Mars data

India has released all the data gathered by its Mars Orbiter Mission during its first year of operations. A reg-walled archive offers data the Mangalyaan probe collected between September 24th, 2014 and September 23rd, 2015. ISRO, India's space agency, says the archive offers “ spacecraft data and instrument data, as well as …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Sep 2016

Puppet names new CEO

Orchestration and automation darling Puppet has replaced its founder and CEO Luke Kanies with former VMware APAC leader, EMC CIO and Microsoft man Sanjay Mirchandani. Kanies will remain on the company's board, where Mirchandani will join him as a director. The change of leadership is billed as a “the new guy has more business …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Sep 2016
Oracle logo, image by GongTo via Shutterstock

Oracle's on-prem cloud plan is mostly Engineered Systems

When Larry Ellison promised on-premises cloud kit identical to Oracle's cloud, we wondered just what form those boxes would take. The answer? Pretty much more of the company's Engineered Systems. Today, Newman said, Oracle's Cloud Machine does everything Oracle's cloud can. But by December 2016 we'll see a new version of the …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Sep 2016
Toilet with smiling loo paper

Yahoo! joins! Adobe! Flash! flush! mob!

Yahoo! has joined the flood of companies flushing Adobe's Flash. Amit Jain, a senior developer at the p0wned purple portal, has penned a piece for Streaming Media in which he explains Yahoo!'s transition to HTML 5. Jain explains that Yahoo! sniffed the wind before streaming an American Football match in late 2015. The company …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Sep 2016
Baby penguins, image via Shutterstock

Linux 4.8 gets rc8

Chill, penguin-fanciers: Linux lord Linus Torvalds is sitting on the egg that is Linux 4.8 for another week. As Torvalds indicated last week, this version of the kernel still needs work and therefore earned itself an eighth release candidate. He's pretty sure 4.8 will hatch next week, writing that "I didn't get the feeling …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Sep 2016
Cloud desktop

Desktop virtualisation kit-calculator goes open source

Virtualisation identity Andre Leibovici has open-sourced his desktop virtualisation (VDI) infrastructure calculator. Leibovici works for Nutanix these days, but his calculator pre-dates that entanglement having first emerged in 2010. The Register's virtualisation desk is satisfied it's not a Nutanix-centric shill. The tool …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Sep 2016
Panasonic TH-103PZ600

Dutch bicycle company pretends to be television company

Dutch bicycle company VanMoof has found that disguising its products as televisions leads to lower rates of damage in transit. The company's creative director Bex Rad took to Medium to share the company's story, recounting that the company has “struggled to find shipping partners that give our bikes the same obsessive love and …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Sep 2016

NASA's Europa surprise

NASA will on Monday reveal “surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa.” Europa is one of Jupiter's many moons and is thought to have an icy crust floating above a liquid interior. The prospect of a liquid interior makes it a decent candidate for hosting life, so the …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Sep 2016

Australian border cops say they've cracked 'dark net' drug sales

Australian authorities say they can detect dark net transactions. We know this because the nation's Border Force (ABF), the black-shirt wearing guardians of Australia's frontiers, says as much in itstakedown notice of a “31-year-old man from Port Neill” in the State of South Australia. Said man fell foul of a joint ABF and …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Sep 2016

IBM botched geo-block designed to save Australia's census

Australia's Bureau of Statistics has heavily criticised IBM for the security it applied to the nation's failed online census, which was taken offline after a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that battered a curiously flimsy defensive shield. The Bureau also admits it could have done better in a submission (PDF) to a …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Sep 2016
Man in tie smashes printer with baseball bat in a field.

If we can't fix this printer tonight, the bank's core app will stop working

On-Call Thank Arioch it's Friday, because the working week is nearly over and we can ease you into it with another instalment of On-Call, our end-of-week trawl through readers' memories of awkward jobs. This week, meet “Jonny G”, resident of Canada who “Once upon a very long time ago, worked for a large IT vendor in a role as an on- …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Sep 2016
A Badger

Pretending to be a badger wins Oxford Don 10 TRILLION DOLLARS

The annual Ig Nobel Prizes were handed out on Thursday night, as always “honoring achievements that make people laugh, then think”. Among this year's winners were “Charles Foster, for living in the wild as, at different times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird.” Foster turned that research into a book, Being a …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Sep 2016
Electric spark jump between silver wire isolated

Digital Realty gets into the cloud interconnect caper

Bit barn baron Digital Realty has decided it needs to be a player in the cloud connection caper. The company's therefore cooked up something called “Service Exchange” that offers software-defined links between its data centres and those operated by the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, IBM SoftLayer and Microsoft's …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Sep 2016
Axe, image via Shutterstock

Ericsson axing 3,000: report

Ericsson is set to axe 3,000 staff, according to Swedish newspaper SvD Näringsliv. The paper's report claims internal documents call for the closure of manufacturing facilities in Swedish towns Boras and Kumla. Business networking products are thought to be affected by the closures. ® Axe, image via Shutterstock
Simon Sharwood, 23 Sep 2016
Blue Macaw parrot, aka a Norwegian Blue Pining for the Fjords

Norwegian Big Blue

Nordic cloud users need no longer pine for clouds amidst the fjords: Big Blue's flicked the switch on a cloudy bit barn in Oslo. IBM says its new facility offers its full smorgasbord of cloudy delights, with bare metal and virtual servers, storage, security services, and networking all there to be piled high. The Oslo address …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Sep 2016
microsoft nutella

Microsoft deletes Windows 10 nagware from Windows 7 and 8

Microsoft has quietly excised Windows 10 free upgrade offers from Windows 7 and 8, aka the GWX.exe . PCs running Windows 7 or 8.x and Windows Update will silently delete the nagware, thanks to a new update dubbed KB3184143. “This update removes the Get Windows 10 app and other software related to the Windows 10 free upgrade …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Sep 2016
Flag of India

'Strategic' submarine cable to connect islands where locals just emerged from stone age

India's government has decided to build a submarine cable between the city of Chennai and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The where? The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are about 1,300km east of India, way out in the Bay of Bengal. The Islands are home to about 380,000 people, among them the Jarawa people who lived a more-or-less …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Sep 2016
Intersecting above-ground highways (skyways) constructed in intricate pattern, shot from below at night. Photo by Shutterstock

Hyperconverged benchmark

VMware's cooked up a benchmark for hyperconverged infrastructure running vSphere. The tool is called HCIBench and billed as “an automation wrapper around the popular and proven VDbench open source benchmark tool that makes it easier to automate testing across a HCI cluster.” “The tool fully automates the end-to-end process of …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Sep 2016
Xen project logo

Xen 4.5 maintenance release

The Xen Project has released version 4.5.5. of its hypervisor, a maintenance release. It's a recommended upgrade for all users of version 4.5, because it fixes an information leak on AMD CPUs, just one of 104 fixes or minor improvements. There's 18 Qemu fixes, too. Don't be alarmed by this release: Xen's maintenance policy …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2016
USB sticks used in letterbox drops

Victoria Police warn of malware-laden USB sticks in letterboxes

Police in the Australian State of Victoria have warned citizens not to trust un-marked USB sticks that appear in their letterboxes. The warning, issued today, says “The USB drives are believed to be extremely harmful and members of the public are urged to avoid plugging them into their computers or other devices.” “Upon …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2016
Oracle Chair Larry Ellison on stage at OpenWorld 2016

Oracle's new cloud rated 'minimum viable product' ... for now

Oracle's gone in hard on cloud this week, promising a stellar, cheap cloud that has already erased Amazon Web Services' lead. But Gartner analyst Lydia Leong begs to differ. She's squeezed out a quick assessment of Big Red's latest cloud and says: “I would characterize this early offering as minimum viable product; it is the …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2016
VMware project goldilocks model

VMware's secret security plan revealed

VMware has shown off a working prototype of “Project Goldilocks”, its long-hinted-at plan to develop a new approach to security. The new idea is inspired by the NSX network virtualisation product's ability to create network “microsegments”, isolated virtual networks walled off from the rest of the network in a “least privilege …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2016
Koala on a rocket

Azure Sydney in eight-hour wobble thanks to 'networking issue'

Azure's Australia East region, located in Sydney, experienced nearly eight hours of degraded performance thanks to what Microsoft is calling “an ongoing Networking issue.” Microsoft's incident report says “Between 19:10 UTC on 20 Sep, 2016 and 02;45 UTC on 21 Sep, 2016, some Azure Services in Australia East region may have …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2016
Google Cloud logo

Google cloud, Asian wobble

Google's Cloud Platform has suffered a 3.5 hour wobble in its asia-east1-a region. The company reports that as of 12:23 Pacific Time on September 20th, Compute Engine was “taking multiple minutes to create new VMs, restart existing VMs that terminated, or attaching disks to running VMs”. The problem persisted for nearly three …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2016