Simon Sharwood

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The Oracle Netra X3-2

Oracle releases non-engineered x86 servers

Oracle may make a heap of noise about its engineered stacks-in-a-box, but appears to have decided there's still some cash to be wrung out of the standalone x86 server market … when they're designed to suit the needs of a particular industry. That industry is telecommunications, upon which Oracle last week lavished new Netra M3 …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2015
Linux kernel development

Linux 4.0 debuts with the usual no fanfare

Linux 4.0 is upon us. Linux Lord Linus Torvalds made it official with a typically brief post and slightly longer explanation to the Linux kernel mailing list. The new number isn't a sign of a major upgrade. As we've chronicled, Torvalds thinks that it looks a bit silly when version numbers go beyond x.19. He therefore decided …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Apr 2015

You’ll be the coolest guy in IT if you ain't got your ID

On-call Welcome again to On-call, our almost-regular look at readers' escapades on client sites at odd times of day or night. This week's contributor offers up a story “of personal stupidity more than anything” so we'll spare him the blushes that come with a name. Our hero's tale starts with a downed Terminal Access Controller Access …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Apr 2015
management regulation1

Cisco loses logo lawsuit against WiFi inventor boffinhaus

Cisco's suffered a legal reversal in Australia, where the nation's Trade Marks Office has ruled the logo of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is not an attempt to imitate or cash in on the Borg's bridge badge. CSIRO's logo is supposed to be a stylised map of Australia. Cisco's …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2015
LTO-2 tape cartridge

IBM claims new areal density record with 220TB tape tech

VIDEO IBM and FUJIFILM have demonstrated new technologies they say crams 123 billion bits into every square inch of tape, to deliver a 220 terabyte (probably LTO) tape cartridge. The two companies say they've pulled off this trick with something called NANOCUBIC technology that “decreases barium ferrite (BaFe) magnetic particle volume …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia finds $1 BEELLION to replace No-SQL DATABASE

That sound? The first drops of a cool billion Australian dollars (US$770m, £520m) that the nation's government has started pouring into a honeypot for the world's technology community. The sweet, sweet pot of dosh is there because Australia has decided it can't go on running Model 204, an eighties database, to run its welfare …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2015
No Sale

PC sales dip below 2009 levels, with Japanese sales off 44 per cent

68.5 million PCs trundled off the world's production lines in 2015's first quarter, the lowest number since 2009 according to box-watcher IDC. The news isn't all bad: the analyst firm had previously predicted a lower number. But it's still a 6.7 per cent dip on last year's first quarter. Newer PC designs are exciting punters, …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2015
firing range - target in cross hairs

Citrix warns it will miss Q1 earnings guidance

Citrix has announced that it will not deliver the financial results it promised the markets. “Revenue for the quarter is expected to be in the range of $755 million to $760 million, below the company's guidance of $780 million to $790 million,” says in its mea culpa preliminary Q1 results released today. “Net income for the …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2015
Lensman series

Microsoft, Getty settle image snatch 'suit

Microsoft and Getty Images have resolved a dispute by getting into bed together. The legal imbroglio between the two kicked off last September when Getty sued Microsoft for making it too easy to find its images with the Bing Image Search widget. Once it saw the sueball heading its way, Redmond shuttered the widget and the …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Apr 2015
Vmware cloud logo

VMware puffs up AirWatch to join the sync 'n' social crowd

VMware's tried for years, without much success, to sell productivity apps. Now it's having another go by getting out the twine to bind three of AirWatch's offerings into a “collaboration bundle”. The bundle includes the AirWatch Content Locker, essentially a private Dropbox clone that aggregates content and adds secured access …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Apr 2015
The Netflix smartwatch: fun in the urinal, or wherever you want a house of cards

Screw YOU, Apple – Netflix teases world+dog with its own 'coming soon' SMARTWATCH

Video Netflix says it has a smartwatch “coming soon.” Kind of. The streaming vid titan today released the video below to illustrate its concept for a smartwatch. Spoiler alert: the company may not be entirely serious, as the video features a wrist-mounted smartphone with what looks to be about a five-inch screen. The “watch” is used …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2015
The CX5055 WAN optimization appliance

We're hyperconverged too, says Riverbed as it issues SteelFusion 4

Hyperconverged infrastructure is the buzzphrase of the moment, and Riverbed's decided it wants some of that buzz by decreeing thath the fourth iteration of its SteelFusion appliances are, indeed, hyperconverged. SteelFusion is a server and WAN optimisation box in one package. The idea is to put the smaller versions of the box at …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2015

Google, Microsoft and Apple explain their tax tricks in Australia

Representatives of Google, Apple and Microsoft Australia today appeared before a hearing into Corporate Tax Avoidance convened by the nation's Economics Reference Committee, and all struggled to explain just where the money goes or whether what they do is fair. All three also admitted, after being told they were permitted to do …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2015
The MSN Santa (unconfirmed)

Google open-sources Santa Claus

Google has open-sourced Santa Claus. Or at least the code for its online Santa Tracker. For those of you who are more “bah humbug” than “pass the eggnog”, Santa Tracker offers an online method of tracking Santa's fictional progress through the logistical chore of stuffing soon-to-be-ignored amusing plastic tat down the chimneys …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2015

Trustwave's off to Singapore as Singtel slurps security company

Singapore's dominant telco and aspiring services player, Singtel, has acquired Trustwave for about US$810m. Trustwave offers managed security services and the SpiderLabs ethical hacking research outfit, plus a range of network, content and endpoint security products. The company operates in 26 nations and has 1,200 people on the …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2015
Interim logo for Digital Transformation Office

Turnbull's digital transformation office DOES SOMETHING

Earlier today, your correspondent bemoaned the fact that Australia's nascent Digital Transformation Office (DTO) was announced ten weeks ago but appears to have done little in that time other than advertise for a leader. Fast-forward to around 15:00 Australian time and the agency has revealed that it has, indeed, done something …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2015
Fight sticker

VMware and Nutanix in vSphere support spat

Nutanix and VMware are fighting an ugly online battle about over how to do hyperconvergence right. VMware threw the first punch, in this post by Chuck Hollis in which he says VCE invented the hyperconverged market and that got it right the first time with its “everything in this rack and running on this rack has been tested a …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2015
tumbling dice

Pure Storage preps for IPO: report

Pure Storage has appointed Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Plc to ready it for an initial public offering (IPO), says Reuters. Citing people familiar with the financial footling as its source, the newswire says the company thinks the markets will toss over US$3bn in its direction some time later this year. Pure …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2015
Screaming kid

Microsoft sounds 100-day DOOM KLAXON for Windows Server 2003

Microsoft's sounded the 100-day warning bell for Windows Server 2003, which exits supported status on July 14th. Redmond's rolling out the usual arguments for making the move to anything other than Server 2003: you're going to be insecure; you're missing out on the joy of virtualisation and automation, and the savings they …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2015
The improved management screen for VirtualBox 4.2

VirtualBox v. 5.0 beta 1 spins up for desktop virty lab chuckles

Snoracle has decided the time is right to upgrade its VirtualBox desktop hypervisor. VirtualBox is a favourite among home lab types, developers and virtualisation fanbois because it is very good at running guest operating systems and has a significant price advantage over rivals like VMware Workstation and Parallels Desktop …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2015
Windows OEM devices on stage at Computex

Pro-tip: Steal a TARDIS to survive Windows Server preview death

Microsoft's decision to deliver the next version of Windows Server in 2016 has created an odd problem: the current tech preview of the new OS will expire before it ships the next pre-beta build. This state of affairs has come about because Microsoft released the first tech preview way back in October 2014, with a six-month …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Apr 2015
Malcolm Turnbull from ITU pictures flickr feed https://www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/

Job ad appears for CEO of Turnbull's digital transformation office

Australia's Department of Communications has advertised for a chief executive officer of the nascent Digital Transformation Office (DTO). Applicants are expected to possess a “Strong track record of delivering transformational change in a customer-focussed, high volume and transactional environment using digital technology”, an …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Apr 2015
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

Liberal MP threatens journo with metadata probe

Mere weeks after Australia's government passed its metadata retention laws, a junior minister has - perhaps jokingly - threatened to use them against a journalist. The minister in question is Jamie Briggs, member for the South Australian seat of Mayo and assistant minister for infrastructure and regional development. Briggs …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Apr 2015
Scary Mary Haunted Mirror

Are you sure there are servers in this cold, dark basement?

On-call Welcome to On-call, our getting-a-bit-more-regular look at the odd things readers experience when called out to do things at night. This week, reader Pauly tells us that “a couple of Mondays ago I was asked to go and install some temperature-monitoring equipment at a prestigious hotel in Knightsbridge”. That's the posh bit of …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Apr 2015
Sad cloud

Snowden didn't scare many out of US clouds says Forrester

Analyst outfit Forrester has asked the question “Did PRISM Cause An Exodus From US Clouds?” and found the answer is yes. At least a bit. The firm asked “1,668 non-US technology and business decision-makers” whether “In the past year, has your company explicitly halted or reduced your spending with US-based companies for Internet …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Apr 2015

Is this what Windows XP's death throes look like?

It's the first of the month (US time), so off we go to Netmarketshare and Statcounter to see what operating systems are getting a run on the world's desktop computers. Our long series of stories on the two analysts' output has shown, time and again, that Windows XP is just-about-unkillable. Despite Microsoft ceasing support, the …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Apr 2015
South Korean flag. Pic: Republic of Korea

South Korea to NUKE Microsoft ActiveX

South Korea may have the world's best broadband, a vivid gaming culture and, in Samsung and LG, two very influential technology giants. But it also has one the world's weirdest online payment regimes because of its decision to mandate the obscure SEED cipher to secure online transactions. SEED doesn't play nice with SSL, but …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Apr 2015

VMware seeks patent for VD-eye-tracking tech

Delivering a virtual desktop to a mobile device is easy to do these days, but once it lands in a mobile device the experience can be horrid. Touch screens make poor substitutes for mice and the smaller screen of a fondleslab or smartphone makes user interfaces designed for monitors unpleasant. Citrix's answer to this problem is …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Apr 2015
Rosetta's view of Earth on March 5th, 2005

ESA reveals Rosetta's snaps of MARS and EARTH

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a trove of images captured by the Rosetta probe during its journey to Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta launched in 2004 but dipped into Earth's gravity well three times, and Mars' once, to conduct “gravity assist manoeuvres” designed to speed it on its way to 67P. During …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Apr 2015

Virgin Media goes TITSUP, RUINS Tuesday evening

Update UK internet service provider Virgin Media suffered a Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) event on Tuesday evening, leaving plenty of subscribers without broadband. The outage appears to have impacted customers across the United Kingdom and to have left the afflicted without terrestrial or wireless broadband …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Apr 2015
Clouds in blue sky

OpenDaylight and friends spin up 'CloudRouter Project'

Another day, another waft at the software-defined networking (SDN) and/or network function virtualisation (NFV) market, this time in the form of the new “CloudRouter Project” backed by CloudBees, Cloudius Systems, IIX, NGINX and OpenDaylight. The latter you probably know – it's the Linux Foundation's effort to create a standard …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Apr 2015
JVC HM-DH40000U D-VHS recorder

Netflix teams with AWS to launch VHS-as-a-service

Streaming video titan Netflix will shortly launch a variant of its service in which classic 1980s programs, and modern content, are streamed in a form that approximates the unbelievably bad video quality of the VHS video cassette. The Reg understands Netflix has worked with Amazon Web Services to tweak the cloud giant's Elastic …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Apr 2015

Firefox hits prime time as version 37 manifests

Version 37 of Firefox is upon us, for ye olde PCs and Android. It's not the Mozilla Foundation's most revolutionary release by a long shot, with the headline feature being the inclusion of a new “Heartbeat” user feedback feature that “provides real-time understanding of our existing Desktop user population” and “ties user …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Apr 2015
Cloud Hype Hoodie

AWS flops out massive D to vaporise big data rigs

Big data's a fine concept, but when it meets the real world of buying kit to run it on things can get nasty because the cost of the rigs required to crunch lots of data can be very considerable. Some big data vendors make a virtue of offering their own specialised servers for the job and the likes of VMware offer ways to create …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Apr 2015

Telco and IT courses merged in TAFE tech teaching refresh

IT training courses offered in Australia's technical and further education (TAFE) colleges and by private training outfits have been given a major overhaul. Until last week, TAFEs (the equivalent of UK Polytechnics or US Community Colleges) and private colleges used two training packages known as the ICA11 Information and …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2015
Suitcase bulging with cash

CSC tells execs to stay quiet on Australian bribery scandal

Senior executives at CSC have been told to say nothing substantive about the bribery scandal surrounding ServiceMesh, the source of CSC's “Agility” technology. Police in the Australian State of New South Wales recently charged a former employee of the Commonwealth Bank with receiving improper payments. Those payments are alleged …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2015

Big Blue to give car insurers IoT peeking powers

IBM has announced it will spend US$3 billion over four years on a new internet of things business unit. The company reckons the internet of things label now applies to all the the smart city stuff it did for water and traffic management applications in recent years. The idea seems to be to take that work, sprinkle on a little …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2015

Wearables market action is all in the wrist says market-scryer IDC

The wearables market will be dominated by wrist action, according to market-watcher IDC, and will remain smaller than the PC market. The firm today predicted that 2015 will see 45.7 million wearables shipped, up from 2014's 19.6 million units. By 2019, total shipment volumes are forecast to reach 126.1 million units. Devices …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2015
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

SoftLayer and Telstra in cloudy embrace

Australia's dominant telco Telstra, which also operates an AU$2bn a year IT services arn, has struck a deal to resell IBM's SoftLayer cloud down under and is chatting about taking the arrangement global. Telstra and IBM today announced a new relationship whereby the former's customers are offered access to the latter's cloud …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2015
Ganesha street art by Flickr user avlxyz https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/

Prostrate yourself before the GNU, commands Indian DEITY

The best-acronymed government department in the world – India's Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) – has laid out a new policy (PDF) commanding the nation's government to use only open source software. The policy statement is rather blunt: Government of India shall endeavour to adopt Open Source …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2015
Screenshot of the Office 2013 installer for Office 365

Office 365 and Dynamics go live in Australia

Office 365 files may load just a little faster in Australia today, after Microsoft announced it has flicked the switch for the local version of the service. Redmond's outpost has also decided the time is right to serve Dynamics CRM from its Australian bit barns in Sydney and Melbourne. Like the local version of Azure, the two …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015
NBN Co by Dushan Hanuska https://www.flickr.com/photos/hanuska/

NBN Co launches fibre-to-the-building product

+Comment NBN Co, the entity charged with building Australia's National Broadband Network, says it has launched its fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) product. In a statement sent to The Register at 6:00PM on Monday described today's events as a “commercial launch” and features chief customer officer John Simon saying pilots have seen “families …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015
David Cameron

David Cameron's Passport number emailed to footy-head

Last week, Australia passed mandatory metadata retention laws, over objections that personal data should only be accessible by a very small number of people under very secure circumstances because it is is bound to leak and cause embarrassment. Two business days later, the antipodean tentacle of the Grauniad revealed that …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015
Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Manager

Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains

FIRST LOOK Samsung's gone for beauty and brains with its new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but hasn't fallen into the trap of style over substance. Last year's S5 packed all sorts of features into a tired-looking package and while the phone was a technological marvel, it wasn't easy on the eye and didn't set the pulse racing. Both S6 models take …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015

EMC and Cloudera withdraw from Indiana big data event

The technology industry's objections to the US State of Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which permits businesses to decline to serve people on the basis of sexuality or other traits, have deepened after EMC and Cloudera cancelled their presence at a forthcoming conference. On Saturday, Cloudera veep of marketing …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015
Hitler as Fanboi

Apple is like HITLER says Chinese billionaire

One of the ways Chinese kids like to pass their time is watching video on a site called Leshi TV that's sufficiently popular the company's CEO Jia Yueting is ranked among the planet's billionaires. Jia is also an enthusiastic user of Weibo, China's Twitter equivalent. And late last week he used it to post the image above …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015
NASA 'Blue Marble' image of Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft

AWS flicks switch for cloud storage replication

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has done something rather useful to its simple storage service (S3), namely making it possible to replicate data across regions. For the uninitiated, S3 is a cloud storage service that allows users to stuff stuff into the cloud, and even pick a “region” where it will land. AWS operates nine S3 regions* …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Mar 2015
Dog using a satnav, Mark Robinson

Satnav launches are like buses: none for ages then three arrive at once

Satellite navigation satellites turn out to be a lot like buses: there's none for ages, then three come along all at once. The first of the three launched on Wednesday to join the US Global Posititioning System constellation. The new bird is a Boeing-built GPS IIF, the ninth of its type and one of 12 in a fleet of satellites …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Mar 2015

Turnbull's Digital Transformation Office to 'leave you quivering with excitement'

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed a little more about his Digital Transformation Office (DTO), the agency he's tasked with making it possible to perform all interactions with the federal government online. Turnbull's previously said the DTO has a goal of taking transactions online by 2017, but …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Mar 2015
arrow pointing up

VMware tells partners, punters, to pay higher prices (probably)

VMware has almost certainly increased the prices it charges to partners and customers. News of the increases is dribbling out after Virtzilla wrote to users and resellers over the last few days. In this Reddit thread VMware users report price hikes of between one and five per cent. Blogger and VMware-watcher Aidan Finn on …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Mar 2015