Simon Sharwood

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Oi! Linux users! Want some really insecure closed-source software?

Back in August Adobe reversed its decision to stop offering an NPAPI Flash plugin for Linux and promised that version 23 would come Penguinistas' way real soon now. At the time the decision was greeted with surprise, because Adobe had not thought to update Flash for Linux since 2012's version 11.2. But the company decided that …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2016
5.25 in floppy disk

It's round and wobbles, but madam, it's a mouse pad, not a floppy disk

On-call Welcome to festive On-Call, in which we take our regular Friday tales of jobs gone wrong and run lots more of them because there's sod-all news to write in the week before Christmas. And also because we have lots of lovely submissions that deserve a run. Today: tales of floppy disks. Let's start with “Steve”, who once took a …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016
Chris Morris in Brass Eye. Channel 4

'Upset' Linus Torvalds gets sweary and gets results

Linus Torvalds has unleashed a little ripe language on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, and quickly got results for having done so. “This piece-of-shit branch has obviously never been even compile-tested”, Torvalds wrote after receiving a pull request for some fixes to the KVM hypervisor that it was hoped might make it into …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016
Infinity

… in a loop. Cisco warns Nexus 3000 upgrade could get you stuck ...

Cisco has popped out a curious Field Notice warning owners of Nexus 3000 devices to be careful when they upgrade the devices' operating software, lest they enter a boot loop. “Nexus 3000 Series platforms that run Release 6.0(2)U6(x) show an MD5 mismatch when you upgrade to Release 7.0x or later,” Cisco warns. “As a result, the …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016
A brick tunnel

Elon Musk wants to get into the boring business, literally

Elon Musk has fired off a series of Tweets suggesting he wants to get into the boring business. As in boring tunnels. The serial entrepreneur seems to have been stuck in traffic and decided the best way to get out of it, in the long term, is to do what he does best: start a company to dig into the problem from a different …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016

Twitter partly un-kills Vine, which will live again as Vine Camera

Twitter's decided not to completely kill its video-looping service Vine. Back in October things looked grim for Vine after Twitter announced it was discontinuing the mobile app. Now the company has explained that Vine, the service, will die but that Vine, the app, will continue. That means Vine will cease to function as a …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016
Bicep icon

ARM buys HPC software specialist Allinea to help devs code good

ARM has splashed an unspecified quantity of cash on Allinea Software, the maker of tools that developers can use to get the most out of high performance computing (HPC) rigs. Javier Orensanz, general manager of ARM's Development Solutions Group, says the company “will use its newly acquired capabilities to accelerate its …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016

Facebook's internet drone crash-landed after wing 'deformed' in flight

Facebook's plans to beam internet access from drones has crashed, literally, after the company revealed the first flight of its “Aquila” craft ended with a bang. The United States's National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) late last week published a report about the incident that says “On June 28, 2016, at 0743 mountain …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Dec 2016

LinkedIn's training arm resets 55,000 members' passwords, warns 9.5m

Lynda.com, the training arm of LinkedIn, on Saturday issued email notices to about 55,000 members whose data it says has been perused by an “unauthorized third party.” The letter sent to members, two of whom thoughtfully forwarded it to El Reg, reads as follows: We recently became aware that an unauthorized third party …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Dec 2016
Bookshelf in the British Library basement

Sysadmin 'fixed' PC by hiding it on a bookshelf for a few weeks

On-call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly column in which we recount readers' tales of jobs gone wrong, often at times or for reasons that are just plain wrong. This week, meet “Aaron”, who once worked for a construction company he says “didn't need in-house IT but had delusions of grandeur and so employed me.” The company had …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Dec 2016
Amazon Prime Video

Brace yourself, network admins, Amazon Video just hit 200 nations

Amazon's flicked the switch on the global rollout of its Prime Video service, making it available in 200 nations around the world.. The streaming service will cost nothing if you live in a nation where Amazon Prime is available and you have already signed up for that service. Elsewhere in the world it will cost either US$5.99 …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Dec 2016
LG Roboking Turbo+Homeview

Could a robot vacuum cleaner monitor your data centre?

Can you monitor a data centre with a vacuum cleaner? The Register decided that question had to be answered after learning about LG's Roboking Turbo+Homeview (model VR66803VMNP), a robot vacuum cleaner packing a webcam and WiFi so the images the camera captures can be viewed from afar. Robot vacuums now are well-known product …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Dec 2016
Photo by Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Facebook hires Hillary Clinton to lead assault on fake news*

Facebook's revealed its plans to tackle fake news. Days after the United States election Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pooh-poohed the theory that fake news spreading on his site influenced the United States Presidential election. But a handful of days later Facebook announced it would make it harder to turn a quid with …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Dec 2016

Wetware disruption transforms Microsoft Australia as MD bails

Microsoft's Australian tentacle has a new leader after managing director Pip Marlow left to take up the position of chief executive officer for Strategic Innovation at financial services outfit Suncorp. All involved are portraying the move as amicable and a little sad, as Marlow didn't put a foot notably wrong since taking up …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Dec 2016
Toilet with smiling loo paper

Microsoft's Edge to flush Adobe Flash in Windows 10 Creator’s Update

Microsoft's signalled it will join the crackdown on Adobe Flash in the forthcoming Windows 10 Creator’s Update, which won't even bother loading the pesky plug-in whenever possible. For sites that rely on Adobe's hellspawn, Edge will go all Clippy on users and ask if they really want to run it or would rather fire it into the …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2016
Amazon's new electricity-powered Prime Drone

Amazon's first live drone delivery flew last week in Cambridge, UK

Amazon.com has revealed that it's made its first delivery by autonomous aerial drone, to a chap named “Richard B” who lives somewhere in Cambridgeshire, England. Richard ordered a bag of popcorn and an Amazon Fire TV. Amazon's released a saccharine video to mark the occasion. If you'd rather not endure it embedded below, the …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2016
Facepalm from Shutterstock

Windows Server 2016's VM migration tools broken by a patch

Microsoft's had to hurry out a fix for a problem that breaks live VM migration. And it's a problem Redmond brought upon itself with an Update Rollup to System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager. Update Rollup 1 for that tool has the unintended side effect of making it impossible to migrate live VMs between different versions …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2016

Arista takes a round off Cisco in long-running legal battle

Arista's taken a round from Cisco, as the two companies continue their long-running legal wrestle. This time the jurisdiction was the Northern District of California and the matter under consideration was Arista's command line interface and whether it breached a Cisco patent, or Switchzilla's copyrights on syntax or a user …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

HPE storage meltdown at Australian Tax Office lost no taxpayer data

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has revealed that no taxpayer data was lost as a result of the weird crash of Hewlett Packard Enterprise 3Par storage kit. The ATO described the Monday outage as the result of a never-before-experienced problem that HPE was working to fix. The Register understands a 3Par storage rig was to …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2016
Telstra from Shutterstock

Telstra is filthy about being barred from spectrum auction

Australia's dominant carrier Telstra has expressed its displeasure with yesterday's decision to exclude it from an auction for some useful-for-4G spectrum in the 700MHz bands, in the name of enhancing competition. “We are disappointed with the decision to limit how much spectrum any party can hold in the 700 MHz band,” a Big T …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016

Rogue One: This is the Star Wars back story you've been looking for

SPOILERS Rogue One is a fine addition to the cinematic Star Wars canon, and almost perfectly tailored for Register readers to mock. For those who've avoided the hype, the film takes place between Episode III and Episode IV, and tells the tale of how Death Star plans were acquired by the Rebel Alliance. Your correspondent caught a …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016

Top CompSci boffins name the architectures we'll need in 2030

The International Symposium on Computing Architecture has revealed the five architectural challenges it thinks computer science needs to solve to meet the demands of the year 2030. Their recommendations, distilled from the Architecture 2030 Workshop at June's ISCA in Korea and available here, draws on the contributions of …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016
Woman with "crying with laughter" emoji for a head... photo by Shutterstock

'Emoji translator' sought by translations firm

London language translation firm Today Translations has advertised for an TEXT “Emoji translator/specialist.” The firm says it currently employs over 3,000 people fluent in more than 200 languages and offers you the chance to put their talent to work translating the world's tongues. Now, the ad says, the firm needs someone …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016
Boss leans back comfortably in desk. Pic via Shutterstock

Polycom CEO Peter Leav jumps to the same job at BMC

BMC Software has a new CEO: Peter Leav has won the role, and that of president, after leaving Polycom where he had the same two titles for the past three years. Leav's also done time at NCR and Motorola, the latter as corporate veep and GM of the company‘s enterprise business. Current CEO Bob Beauchamp will stay on as …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016
How the Veeam Linux backup agent does its funky thang

Riddle me this: What's green and freezes cloudy penguins?

Veeam has given the world a Linux Backup Agent. It's a backup tool so you know what it does, namely give you the ability to create copies of files, volumes or whole computers and put them in a safe place where you can get your hands on them should things go awry. The agent integrates with Veeam Backup & Replication, so you …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016