Feeds

Simon Sharwood

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
EMC federation logo

EMC calls sudden event to reveal 'New business development'

EMC has given US media less than 24 hours notice of an event at which it will announce a “new business development”. The event will take place at 0930, Eastern Time, an hour after the company announces its Q3 earnings. Bloomberg reports the announcement will be Cisco's departure as an active participant in the VCE joint venture …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

Innovation agenda's code for kids plan still a work in progress

The ”Coding across the curriculum” plan included in Australia's “Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda” is yet to be developed, and is yet to be targeted at particular students or schools. The AU$3.5m plan was announced last week, just two days after a review of Australia's national curriculum recommended a recently- …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
the Dr Chau Chak Wing building at UTS

That's PROFESSOR Woz to you from now on, young whippersnapper

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has joined the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), as an adjunct professor. Woz will teach in the “Magic Lab” (Innovation and Enterprise Research Laboratory), School of Software and the Centre for Quantum Computation and Intelligent Systems at UTS' Faculty of Engineering and IT. Magic Lab …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
VMware Monster VM

VMware gives up on dual-persona smartphone concept

VMware has walked away from the idea of dual-persona smartphones, according to John Marshall, senior veep and general manager of the company's Airwatch division. Virtzilla had the idea of dual-persona phones back in about 2011, when it floated the notion of a Mobile Virtual Platform (MVP) hypervisor. The plan was for handset- …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014

UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan

A group of “Veteran Unix Admins” reckons too much input from GNOME devs is dumbing down Debian, and in response, is floating the idea of a fork. As the rebel greybeards put it, “... current leadership of the project is heavily influenced by GNOME developers and too much inclined to consider desktop needs as crucial to the …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
Apple Maiden data center Teradata

CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz

Microsoft has let slip one of its least-well-guarded secrets: two new Azure bit barns will go live in Australia next week, as predicted by Vulture South. The opening will coincide with TechEd Sydney, and was revealed in one of Redmond's “Cloud Day” announcements (spotted by Lifehacker AU). In that emission, Redmond promised “ …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
Australia.gov.au beta

Australia puts itself back into Beta

The Online Services Branch of Australia's Department of Finance, which oversees the nation's online efforts, has put the country in beta with the release of a new design for the national website at australia.gov.au. The new look is said to be the result of “user analysis and … benchmarking with other government agencies both …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014
IE8 patch

Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch

Another Patch Update Tuesday, another red face for Microsoft, which has again been forced to pull a patch to prevent nasty side-effects. Explained at TechNet, the patch that aimed to add “SHA-2 Hashing” to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 has instead raised some concerns among Redmond's customers. The company is therefore “ …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014
Malware

Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz

Analyst firm Gartner has departed from its usual areas of expertise to issue advice on how to combat the Ebola virus. The firm's advice, which it says it is offering for free because “issues of public safety deserve broad distribution in the public interest”. The advice is so earnest that it almost sounds comical. For example, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

WAITER! There's a Flappy Bird in my Lollipop!

Google's practice of leaving Easter Eggs in Android appears to have continued, with a chap spotting a Flappy Bird clone in the new version 5.0, aka Lollipop, release. Here's his video of how to invoke the game, and a look at its gameplay. That Flappy Bird aficionados among you will notice that the game scrolls from right to …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars

Comet Siding Spring has made a close pass by Mars, apparently without incident to the human-built machines in the neighbourhood. NASA says the “Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter … continues operating in good health after sheltering behind Mars during the half hour when high-velocity dust particles from comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014
Apple Mac Pro

vSphere meets iCylinder in new VMware update

VMware has emitted a small update to ESXi that, among other things, adds support for the Mac Pro. ESXi 5.5 patch 3 offers a collection of updates that address security and stability issues. VMware's not mentioning it on the download page, but staffer William Lam has helpfully let us know that the update also means ESXi can now …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2014
Concept of the Unimodal SkyTran system in use in Dubai.

'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'

eXpat Files Welcome once again to The eXpat files, our Vulture Weekend feature in which readers who've well and truly left the nest explain what it's like to ply their technological trade in another land. This week – we're going weekly by popular demand – meet D. Hayes Blanchard, who made the move from the US to Armenia, and then Dubai. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2014
What Linus Torvalds thinks of NVIDIA

Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'

Linux Lord Linus Torvalds has admitted that his tendency to use strong language has alienated other members of the Linux community. In a Q&A with Intel's chief Linux and open source chap Dirk Hohndel at LinuxCon Europe in Düsseldorf on Wednesday, Torvalds was asked what he'd do differently if given the chance. According to …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014

WikiLeaks reveals new draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership

+Comment WikiLeaks has revealed a new draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the controversial free trade treaty currently being negotiated by 12 nations in the Asia-Pacific region. The new leak comprises a version of the treaty's second chapter said to be the result of round of negotiations conducted in Vietnam during May 2014. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014
Cassette tape exposed

Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape

2015 will see the internet finally replace an answering machine that uses cassettes as its storage medium, or at least the answering machine used by alt.rock outfit They Might Be Giants' iconic Dial-A-Song service. They Might Be Giants created Dial-A-Song in 1983 when one member broke his wrist and the other's home was burgled. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014
OpenStack Juno logo

Juno what's just been released? OpenStack 10, that's what

The tenth version of OpenStack is upon us, and thanks to 1,419 contributors from 133 companies offers 342 new features and 3,219 bug fixes. Juno, as the new release is known, is the latest emission in the project's planned six-monthly release cycle. The headline feature this time around is a new automated service for …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014
HP Pre 3 WebOS smartphone

HP to shutter webOS cloud services

HP has announced it will shut down webOS cloud services on January 15th, 2015. The company says it's given the few owners of webOS devices three years of service since canning the software, but that “The user count has dwindled to the point where it is no longer viable to keep the services running.” Devices running webOS will …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

Australian spookhaus busted for warrantless tap of own phones

Australia's Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (AIGIS) has found that the nation's Australian Security and Intelligence Agency (ASIO) spied on itself in contravention of local laws. The Inspector-General's Annual Report [PDF] lists breaches of Australia's Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act (TIA). The …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014

Citrix: Wearables allow conference calls 'while rocking a baby to sleep'

Citrix has decided that owners of Android Wear devices will want to log on to conference calls, and has tweaked its GoToMeeting client so it runs on the wearable kit. The updated app can be found here. Citrix says the app is a good idea because you can “Take a jog while you’re taking a meeting.” Which sounds like it will work …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
Amazon Web Services Workspaces

AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC

Amazon Web Services has made a significant enhancement to its Workspaces desktop-as-a-service service, by allowing support for Teradici's PC-over-IP protocol and “zero clients” that run it. Workspaces is a US$35 a month service that offers Windows Server 2008 re-skinned with the Windows 7 UI. Until today, consuming the service …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014

Batman in the frame to take on Steve Jobs

Pub trivia fans take note: in the near future you might be asked to explain the link between President Josiah Bartlett, Batman, Steve Jobs, Trainspotting, Facebook and the London Olympics opening ceremony. Start your answer with actor Christian Bale, who played Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy. According to Variety, Bale's in …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
A splash screen added to Win-OS/2 by the Novell NetWare client.

NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden

Worries about US spying in China have sparked new interest in Novell's venerable NetWare product line. NetWare ruled the LANS of the early 1990s, providing file, print and directory services in the days of client/server. Like so many other companies of the era, Novell struck trouble once Microsoft arrived in its patch. Windows …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
The Virtual Compute Appliance

Oracle ♥s Fibre Channel in virty box refresh

Oracle has made a small-but-notable enhancement to its virtual compute appliance (VCA): support for external fibre channel storage. The VCA is Oracle's “engineered system” for virtualisation and is designed to offer everything one needs to run VMs, all packaged into a single convenient box. Oracle even recommends its own ZFS …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014

NO DEAL: HP/EMC merger talks are off

The improbable merger of industry behemoths HP and EMC will not happen, according to loquacious folk familiar with such things. The pair are no longer locked in discussions and have walked away from any prospective deal “after months of fruitless negotiations”. Discussions were still taking place until last week, according to …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types

ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10

Microsoft has revealed that a million people have signed up for the Windows Insider Program it is using to offer early access to Windows 10 for those willing to test the operating system's early iterations. Of those crash test dummies, Redmond says 36 per cent are running the OS in a virtual machine. That leaves about 650,000 …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2014
Screenshot from the Facebook video Q&A with U2

Bono apologises for iTunes album dump

Bono has apologised for sending U2's latest album into every iTunes library in the world. The singer's apology came, ironically, in a video to promote the album to those who didn't get it for free in iTunes. That video, posted to Facebook features a Q&A session in which a fan asked U2 never to release an auto-downloading album …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2014
Biggest black hole

HP hops aboard hyperconverged infrastructure bandwagon

HP has become the latest vendor to hop aboard the hyperconverged infrastructure bandwagon, announcing the attractively-named “ConvergedSystem 200-HC StoreVirtual” appliances as its entry to the field. The product will look familiar to anyone who's considered offerings from Nutanix, Simplivity, Scale Computing or VMware's EVO …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2014
Rosetta Selfie from 10 miles

This isn't a sci-fi movie: It's a human-made probe snapping a comet selfie

Pic The European Space Agency’s Rosetta comet-hunter craft has sent back its last selfie, taken from just 10 miles – 16 kilometres – from Comet 67P/C-G. The selfie was snapped by Philae, the lander that will descend to the comet on November 12. The lander used its CIVA instruments to take the snap. The CIVA-P part of the instrument …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2014
School of Rock

Australia throws coding for kids a lifeline in industry plan

Days after a review of Australia's national curriculum recommended against teaching digital technologies – including computational thinking – as a discrete subject in the nation's schools, a new “Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda” has proposed new funding to teach programming. The new Agenda [PDF] proposes to spend …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2014
Microsoft Surface bomb

VMware's new VDI play is self-destructing virtual desktops

VMware has announced a new end-user computing product at its VMworld Europe gabfest. Horizon Flex allows admins to define virtual machines (VMs) and deploy them to Macs or PCs, where they run in desktop hypervisors even when those devices are offline. VMware would prefer you use its own Player on PCs rather than desktop Hyper-V …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2014
Smashed Apple Store window

Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'

Russians hackers have exploited a zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Windows to hijack and snoop on PCs and servers used by NATO and the European Union, says security biz iSight. The software flaw is present in desktop and server flavors of the Redmond operating system, from Vista and Server 2008 to current versions. No patch …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2014

Stop ROBOT exploitation, cry striking Foxconn workers

Workers at Chinese manufacturer Foxconn have reportedly gone on strike to ask for longer working hours, because automated production processes mean there is less lucrative overtime to be worked. Reports from China suggest that Foxconn workers went on strike after HP cut orders at one of the manufacturer's plants. That's bad news …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2014
Welcome to Netscape

Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20

Netscape Navigator, the browser credited with taking the World Wide Web into the mainstream, was released twenty years ago yesterday, on October 13th 1994. Netscape, the company, was born after tech investor Jim Clark spotted the Mosaic browser developed in part by then-wunderkind Marc Andreessen. At the time of the company's …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2014

Salesforce and Microsoft to unleash integrations ... next year

SaaS superpower Salesforce has revealed the details of its cloudy collaboration with Microsoft, and the main detail is that the fruits of the relationship won't be delivered until deep into 2015. Redmond's corporate veep for Windows marketing Tony Prophe appeared alongside Salesforce supremo Marc Benioff at the latter company's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2014
DNS? It's a real bind

Something ate Google's 8.8.8.8 at about eight in Asia's evening

Those who worry about cloud resilience have another incident to point at and frown, after Google's public domain name system (DNS) servers at the attractive IP addresses of 8.8.8.8. and 8.8.4.4 went down for Asian users yesterday. Google offers its public DNS servers out of the goodness of its heart, and also because the touted …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Can do better: Tech industry report on Australia's tech curriculum

Industry has reacted unkindly to Australia's decision to walk away from previous plans to teach digital technologies – including computation thinking – to all students from kindergarten until the fourth year of high school. A review of Australia's national curriculum, released yesterday, recommended that the recently-created …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2014
Galileo

Hardened Hydrazine the source of Galileo satnav FAIL

A “shortcoming in the system thermal analysis performed during stage design” (for the Fregat launch vehicle’s fourth stage) was the reason two of Europe's Galileo satnav craft ended up in the wrong orbit following a launch earlier this year. As we reported back in August, two failure meant two Gallileo sats landed in the wrong …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2014
Ego-T e-cigarette

Philip Morris seeks pay-per-puff patent to help you STOP smoking

Philip Morris, one of the world's larger tobacco concerns, is attempting to patent a connected e-cigarette. The company's application outlines a device that appears very similar to the e-cigarettes available today. But the invention described takes the idea further by suggesting that its e-cig would include a puff-detecting …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Rupert Murdoch outs self as iPhone 6 fanboi

Rupert Murdoch has outed himself as an Apple fanboi. In one of the mogul's regular and oddly-contextless tweets, Murdoch admits to having recently acquired an iPhone 6 after first making some very anodyne comments on the fact that old spacecraft scarcely packed enough computing power to play a decent game of Tetris. Endeavour …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2014
Wifi grumpy cat

Samsung: Thought your PIPE was FAT? Check our 4.6 GIGABIT WiFi

Samsung has claimed a serious WiFi breakthrough, saying it has “successfully overcome the barriers to the commercialization of 60GHz millimeter-wave band Wi-Fi technology” and will soon deliver products capable of wireless data transmission at a stonking 4.6 gigabits per second. Samsung's canned statement says previous attempts …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2014

Rebellion sees Chromium reverse plans to dump EXT filesystem

The Chromium project decided that the EXT family of filesystems are surplus to requirements, but has bowed to pressure and signalled it is willing to reverse the decision. As detailed in this thread, the project's developers feel that as Chromium is intended for consumer devices, the ability to read external media formatted with …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2014

FACEPALM! HP cert used to sign malware

HP accidentally signed some malware, according to Krebs on Security. Krebs reports that the certificate was “used to cryptographically sign software components that ship with many of its older products”, mostly for PC software, but that back in 2010 it was also used to sign some malware. HP will therefore revoke the certificate …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Oct 2014
2jedi_linux_sideteaser

Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown

Netcraft's October survey of web servers will be welcomed by open source aficionados, as the firm has found Apache is once again the planet's most-used web server. The server-counter's previous surveys found that Microsoft's internet information server (IIS) had overtaken Apache, thanks largely to Chinese link farms preferring …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Oct 2014
Diver peers through sub window. credit: Alexander Rist  http://www.sxc.hu/profile/OwnMoment

'I went from a two-hour commute to a 10-min scooter ride by the sea'

eXpat Files Welcome to another instalment of The eXpat Files, in which we chat to Reg readers who've decided to make a go of it in a foreign land. This week, meet Eric Manfra, who's moved from the USA to balmy Bermuda. The Register: How old are you and where do you live in the USA, when you're there? Manfra: I'm 33 and hail from New …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Oct 2014
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

Australia bins standalone school computing curriculum

The review of Australia's national curriculum has found that “While there is a clear case for the introduction of the ICT capability itself to run right through the whole Australian Curriculum, we are not convinced that a separate subject of the kind that has been designed needs to be mandatory at any level.” The recommendation …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Oct 2014
bug on keyboard

Intel 'underestimates error bounds by 1.3 QUINTILLION'

Sharp-eyed and mathematically-savvy coder and blogger Bruce Dawson has spotted something interesting: the fsin instruction in x86/x64 chippery can produce a “worst-case error [of] 1.37 quintillion units in the last place”. That's not helpful because Intel's documentation suggests far smaller errors are the norm. And because a …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Oct 2014
via http://www.flickr.com/photos/nez/469824940/sizes/z/in/photostream/ licensed under creative commons attribution by andrew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

AWS 'won' Xen-mess-inspired cloud reboot says Rightscale

The Xen bug that forced AWS, Rackspace and SoftLayer, among others, to reboot many of their servers appears to have gone off without a hitch, although Amazon customers report less downtime than other cloud users. So says cloud groomer Rightscale, which asked 449 folks how the cloud reboot went for them. Here's the headline …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Oct 2014
money trap conceptual illustration

Veeam varies virty voyage with free endpoint backup tool

Veeam has set a new price for endpoint backup software: $0. That's £0, ¥0 and €0 for readers beyond the USA. That low, low, price applies to a new product called Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE that pretty much does what it says on the can: install the code on a Windows machine and you can instruct it to back up “files, volumes or …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Oct 2014
Tesla Model D

Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a MONSTER

Tesla Motors has revealed twin-engined, 691 HP, all-wheel-drive beast versions of its model S electric car. The new Model S 85D and 60D were launched at an evening event in Los Angeles on Thursday by CEO Elon Musk, who explained that the rumoured "D" stands for "dual" as the cars has two electric motors: one at the front and …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Oct 2014