Simon Sharwood

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SoftLayer logo on Shutterstock cake

Ubuntu comes to SoftLayer

IBM's SoftLayer cloud now offers Ubuntu VMs. Big Blue's cloudy bit barns have gained Ubuntu Certified Public Cloud Partner status, so are permitted to offer cloudy concoctions based on Canonical's spawn. Punters can do so in the knowledge that OS updates will flow in a timely fashion. Importantly, Ubuntu runs on Power systems …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2016

Facebook in O365 PDA

Microsoft and Facebook have indulged in an awkward Public Display of Affection (PDA) by making it known The Social NetworkTM is an Office 365 user. The Social NetworkTM apparently wants all its tools to be web-based, and available on just about any platform and secure. In the judgement of Facebook CIO Tim Campos, Office 365 is …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2016
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock

Qualcomm's China JV licences ARMv8-A for server CPUs

Huaxintong Semiconductor Technology, the joint venture between Qualcomm and China's Guizhou Province, has advanced its ambition to build ARM-based server silicon by licensing the ARMv-8-A architecture. Guizhou province has set itself up as a centre of excellence for big data and internet infrastructure. Top-tier Chinese telcos …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2016

Google broke its own cloud again

Google has 'fessed up to breaking its own cloud. Again. The most recent mess occurred on June 28 when Google Compute Engine SSD Persistent Disks in us-central1-a “experienced elevated write latency and errors in one zone for a duration of 211 minutes.” The mess meant that disks probably stopped accepting writes and instances …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jul 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Dell nominates new directors

Dell has nominated the three new directors it wants to sit on its board after the merger with EMC is complete. Ellen J. Kullman, William D. Green and David W. Dorman are its preferred trio. Kullman served as CEO and Chair of DuPoint and oversaw its acquisition of Dow Chemical, so obviously has experience Dell can tap at this …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jul 2016
Pescara Beach, Italy

Please stop working and abuse your expense account at the beach

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's usually-on-a-Friday foray into readers' recollections of jobs gone wrong, gone weird or sometimes gone in places that defy even the most lurid imaginings. This week, On-Call has returned from a holiday find a mail bag full of emails from readers paid to do nothing. So in the interests …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016

Linus Torvalds in sweary rant about punctuation in kernel comments

Linus Torvalds has unleashed a sweary rant on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, labelling some members “brain-damaged” for their preferred method of punctuating comments. “Can we please get rid of the brain-damaged stupid networking comment syntax style, PLEASE?” the Linux Lord asked last Friday. “If the networking people cannot …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016

Pints on a plane!

Heineken and KLM have announced a plan to serve draft beer on some flights. The Dutch brewer has apparently figured out how to tap a keg in the sky, without requiring compressed CO2 cylinders (a no-no in flight) and without producing the foamy mess that happens when pouring a pint when air pressure is low. The fix turns out …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016
Newsroom

Linux 4.7 delayed

Linus Torvalds' travel plans mean version 4.7 of the Linux kernel will be delayed by a week. “We've had a nicely calm week, which is what I expected - the last rc really was bigger just due to random timing issues, and not some worrying pattern about this release cycle,” Torvalds wrote on Sunday.” “Anyway, there's a couple of …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016
Illustration of a "bitcoin" dissolving into numbers. Photo by SHutterstock

Kim Dotcom pregnant with Bitcoin's mutant offspring

Kim Dotcom running a breeding program to birth anything is not a happy thought, but the legally-contentious New Zealand resident has been doing just that in an attempt to create yet another online content locker. Dotcom has taken to his preferred medium, Twitter, to outline his plans as follows. I can tell you that Megaupload …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016
tintri_t500_front_648

Tintri 'consolidates' Australian office to Singapore

Storage vendor Tintri has “decided to consolidate APAC operations out of regional headquarters in Singapore”, effectively shuttering the Sydney office from which it served Australia and New Zealand. As archive.org records, Tintri had an office in Sydney as recently as May 7th, 2016. The company's Contact Us page now contains …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016
VirtualBox 5

VirtualBox 5.1 RC1 lands

Oracle has let it be known that the first release candidate has landed for VirtualBox 5.1. The popular desktop hypervisor scored a full version 5.0 release last July. A year later, the company is now on the cusp of emitting version 5.1. Since the release of version 5.0 Snoracle has released a steady stream of bug fixes. The …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016
 Flexson VinylPlay turntable

Last year Nutanix revealed a hypervisor, this year...

Hyperconverged enfant terrible Nutanix's first siren song to tech buyers offered the impressive proposition of on-premises hardware that converged compute and storage while improving the experience of running vSphere. Next, at the company's first user conference in June 2015, came the ballsy move of releasing its own …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jun 2016
Nine inch iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard

Apple's 'lappable' iPad Pro concept is far from laughable

Road test “Lapable” is not a word I would ordinarily use, save for the fact that Apple’s applied it to the new iPad Pro nine-incher. The horrid word is an admission that the smaller iPad Pro is not a strong contender as a laptop replacement, but can do the job when required. And in my experience, a very decent job once you take the leap …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2016
Ultrasound

Telstra's 'future of medical diagnosis' needs just 5Mbps

A couple of weeks ago, Telstra breathlessly announced “the future of medical diagnosis”, namely “haptically-enabled robotics” that mean ultrasound examinations can be conducted remotely, complete with force-feedback so that a sonographer can guide their instrument over a distant body's lumps and bumps. I've often heard it …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2016
The Dell PowerEdge R530

Dell sockets it to 'em with Xeon server upgrades

You know the drill: Intel pops out a new Xeon ( in this case the E5-2600 v4 and over the following weeks all the major kit-makers find ways to put it to work. InDEll's case that means a new trio of PowerEdge servers for your consideration. The new model R530 is a 2U beast that Dell reckons is good for “common business …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
Ricky Gervais

Vid: New 'The Office' trailer

A new teaser trailer for forthcoming flick David Brent: Life on The Road has landed on YouTube. The trailer gives us a hint of the film's content: Brent's left management and office supplies behind to become a singer-songwriter. He has not, however, stopped being an irredeemable and scarcely-tolerated twit incapable of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
VMware Photon

VMware fires Photon missile

VMware has released version 1.0 of Photon OS, the lightweight Linux it cooked for containers running inside vSphere. Available here on GitHub, the OS has a 384MB memory footprint and requires 396MB of disk space in minimalist configuration. VMware says “kernel boot times are ~200ms”. VMware's announcement of the 1.0 release …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
Chinese Fen Shui good luck coins

Chinese numerologists are betting Dell/EMC deal will make them rich

The Register can reveal that Chinese numerology is playing a part in Dell's acquisition of EMC. Deep in the SEC filings about the deal is the factoid that a parcel of 18,181,818 shares of Class C Common Stock will end up in the hands of “Venezio Investments Pte. Ltd., an affiliate of Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited.” The …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
Off_shore_drilling_rig

Fly to Africa. Survive helicopter death flight to oil rig. Do no work for three weeks. Repeat

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our end-of-week wander through readers' reminiscences of being asked to do dumb things in nasty places and unsociable hours. This week, meet “Ashley”, who wrote to tell us of the time he was asked to install some kit on an oil rig off the coast of Africa. Ashley and his colleagues built and tested …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
IPv4

Crims set up fake companies to hoard and sell IPv4 addresses

IPv4 addresses are now so valuable that criminals are setting up shell companies so they can apply for addresses, then resell them to users desperate to grow their networks. Criminals are doing so because there are no more IPv4 addresses left: the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) ran out in September 2015. ARIN …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jun 2016
Antikythera Mechanism by https://www.flickr.com/photos/infanticida/  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ CC 2.0 Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Boffins decipher manual for 2,000-year-old Ancient Greek computer

Scientists have examined hitherto-obscure inscriptions on the Antikythera Mechanism, a first century BC apparatus comprised of interlocking gears, and now believe the device could predict eclipses and the motion of the planets. The Antikythera Mechanism is a scientific and archaeological marvel, because nothing else like it …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jun 2016
Facepalm from Shutterstock

Ironic vSphere client bug

VMware has blasted a bug in the web client for vSphere. Bug VMSA-2016-0009 means “The vSphere Web Client contains a reflected cross-site scripting vulnerability due to a lack of input sanitization.” If an attacker sends you a malicious link, bad things are possible. There's rich irony here, because vAdmins detest older …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jun 2016

VMware aims high with a little help from its friends

VMware's extensive ecosystem has been a massive part of its success, as demonstrated by the fact that even when server virtualisation looked like a reason to stop buying servers it created an opportunity for Intel to make virtualisation sing and arguably left Chipzilla making more coin from virtualisation than VMware itself. …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2016
Steampunk fan with goggles

Mozilla's guide to fun parties

The Mozilla Foundation is throwing an all hands meeting this week. Staff, contractors and volunteers are gathering in London for a week of product planning and relaxation, the latter culminating with a Friday night party. That event caught our eye because the event wiki explains how to have fun at the Steampunk-themed shindig …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2016