Simon Sharwood

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Daily Stormer binned by yet another registrar, due to business risks

Yet another domain name registrar has declined to give white supremacist web site The Daily Stormer an easy way back onto the web. easyDNS has refused to host the site, which has already been binned by GoDaddy after activists pointed out the site had a long history of publishing hate speech and took its rhetoric to new lows …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Sep 2017
Open window

User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

On-Call Welcome agin to On-Call, The Register's weekly column in which we share readers' stories of being asked to achieve the improbable, by people who are impossible. This week, meet “Richard”, who wrote to share a story from his time working at a healthcare provider at which he “received a call from someone who was demanding that …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Sep 2017
South Park

Vid game's easiest level makes players white, hardest level makes them black

Science fiction author John Scalzi once wrote that “In the role playing game known as The Real World, 'Straight White Male' is the lowest difficulty setting there is.” His words now appear to have influenced the developers of the latest video game based on TV show South Park. As the video below shows, during the game's …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Sep 2017
Focus mode in Atlassian Stride

Atlassian releases 'Stride', because HipChat isn't hip enough to whack Slack

Atlassian has decided HipChat is terminally un-hip and created a new product with which to take on Slack in the messaging-with-benefits market. Dubbed “Stride” and billed as a “recommended” upgrade for users of Atlassian's current chat application, the new application offers voice and video meetings out of the box. There's …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Sep 2017
Skull and Crossbones in the cloud

IBM's global load balancer and reverse DNS degraded by domain transfer mess

IBM's cloudy global load balancer and reverse DNS services have been impacted by a DNS mess inflicted on Big Blue by a domain name registrar. In an email to customers, IBM says that on September 6th “During a bulk transfer of domain names between two domain registrar services, two domains ( and global- …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Sep 2017
The Cross-Domain Desktop Compositor

Secure microkernel in a KVM switch offers spy-grade app virtualization

Researchers at Australian think tank Data61 and the nation's Defence Science and Technology Group have cooked up application publishing for the paranoid, by baking an ARM CPU and secure microkernel into a KVM switch. As explained to El Reg by Toby Murray, on behalf of his fellow researcher from Data61’s Trustworthy Systems …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Sep 2017
Pixellated Facebook thumb

Facebook ran $100k of deliberately divisive Russian ads ahead of 2016 US election

Facebook has 'fessed up to taking “approximately $100,000 in ad spending” from 470 fake accounts connected to Russia and which published spots “amplifying divisive social and political messages”. The your-life-rendered-as-ads company says it found the ad spend as it continued to probe whether it had been used as part of …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Sep 2017
Fox cub photo via Shutterstock

You are the one per cent if you read Firefox's privacy spiels

Fewer than one per cent of users installing the Firefox browser bother to read the fine print regarding privacy, so the browser's makers at the Mozilla Foundation are going to put it in your face. Firefox 56, due September 26th, will therefore display the browser's Privacy Notice as the second tab after new installs of the …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Sep 2017
surface laptop

Microsoft extends free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade offer

Microsoft has quietly extended a free upgrade offer that will allow some buyers of Windows 10 S to move to Windows 10 Pro, a move that suggests buyers aren't entirely happy with the cut-down version of Windows restriction on running apps sourced from beyond Microsoft's own Store. Windows 10 S is a cut-down version of Windows …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Sep 2017

Internet Australia chair, directors, won't seek re-election

+COMMENT Five directors of Internet Australia have indicated they will not seek re-election in order to let the organisation renew itself. Internet Australian (IA) is the Australian limb of the Internet Society, which bills itself as “the world's independent source of leadership for Internet policy, technology standards, and future …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Sep 2017
Whatsapp running on an iPhone

WhatsApp irons a shirt, dons a suit, prepares business services

WhatsApp thinks the time is right for a service that will formally connect its billion daily users to businesses. The company says that plenty of businesses use the service to interact with customers, but that it doesn't verify businesses accounts or let such users work with anything other than a single smartphone to handle …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Sep 2017
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

VMware wants security industry to shrink so its ambitions fit into market

VMWORLD 2017 VMware's entered the enterprise security market and called for it to become more concentrated. The somewhat arrogant analysis comes from the top-down: CEO Pat Gelsinger's opening day keynote featured a slide full of logos most often deployed when vendors show off all of their most recognisable customers. VMware put a twist on …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Sep 2017
Oracle acrobatics in the cloud

Solaris update plan is real, but future looks cloudy by design

Oracle looks like it's going to suggest Solaris users move to its SPARC-powered cloud. Ever since Oracle quietly announced it would not deliver any more point-zero upgrades to its Solaris operating system and instead move to continuous delivery, The Register has wondered exactly what Big Red plans to deliver, and when. Our …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Sep 2017
Multi-level burger too big to eat. Photo by Shutterstock

Networking vendors are good for free lunches, hopeless for networks

Fire your network administrators, hire developers instead, and stop expecting networking equipment vendors to provide anything more valuable than free lunches. That's the advice from games-maker Electronic Arts director of technical engagement Peyton Koran, who delivered a talk titled “The Impacts of Cloud Computing and Open …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Sep 2017
Cricket ball hitting stumps

Facebook fails in bid for streaming sports rights

Facebook has again suffered a setback in India, this time finding that around US$600m wasn't enough to secure five years worth of digital distribution rights for cricket matches. Cricket is India's national sport and television audiences exceed fifty million for many of the 60 matches in the annual Indian Premier League (IPL …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Sep 2017
Maurice Moss IT crowd

Google's Hollywood 'interventions' made on-screen coders cooler

Google operates a “Computer Science in Media Team” that stages “interventions” in Hollywood to steer film-makers towards realistic and accurate depictions of what it's like to work in IT. The company announced the team in 2015 and gave it the job of “making CS more appealing to a wider audience, by dispelling stereotypes and …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Sep 2017
Kidney stones and a ruler

Linus Torvalds passed a kidney stone and then squeezed out Linux 4.13

Linus Torvalds has released Linux 4.13 to a waiting world and in so doing detailed a tricky work week in which he endured “seven hours of pure agony due to a kidney stone”. “I'm all good, but it sure _felt_ a lot longer than seven hours,” he wrote on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, “and I don't even want to imagine what it is …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Sep 2017
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Oracle staff report big layoffs across Solaris, SPARC teams

Soon-to-be-former Oracle staff report that the company made hundreds of layoffs last Friday, as predicted by El Reg, with workers on teams covering the Solaris operating system, SPARC silicon, tape libraries and storage products shown the door. Oracle's media relations agency told The Register: “We decline comment.” However, …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Sep 2017

User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday frolic through readers' memories of jobs that turned into oddities. This week, meet “Colin”, a former IT manager who was once asked to visit his marketing veep to sort out a laptop deemed “too slow”. The veep noted that Colin arrived to do the job at lunchtime and was polite …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2017
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Dell/EMC year one has exceeded Michael Dell's expectations

VMWORLD 2017 Michael Dell has declared himself better-than-satisfied with the performance of Dell Technologies, a week out from the first anniversary of the acquisition of EMC. That deal closed on September 7th, 2016 and Dell, the man, says that in the almost-a-year since “the biggest surprise is that we have had no surprises.” “We …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Aug 2017

Google Cloud rolls back changes after 18-hour load balancer brownout

Google Cloud's load balancers have suffered a lengthy connectivity problem. First reported at 00:52 Pacific time on August 30th, the incident is still unresolved as of 19:18. Google's struggled with this one. At 06:00 the company said it had “determined the infrastructure component responsible for the issue and mitigation …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Aug 2017
Burglar sits in kitchen with stolen tablet. Photo by Shutterstock

VMworld security asked to probe theft of anti-Nutanix schwag

Scandal has struck VMworld 2017 this week: hyperconverged software vendor Maxta says someone stole marketing material in which it was less than kind to Nutanix. Chief marketing officer Barry Phillips told The Register that parties unknown entered the staff-only section of its VMworld stand and that after their visit, more than …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2017
Chinese computer keyboard

China to get its very own cut-price cut-down cut of vSphere

VMworld 2017 VMware's created a special cut of vSphere just for mainland China, and another for scale-out applications. The mainland-China-only* product is called “vSphere Basic” and offers just a hypervisor, vMotion and high availability features, all sold with a single CPU licence. Data protection, vShield endpoint security, fault …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2017
Kubernetes Logo

Google, VMware and Pivotal team for on-premises Kubernetes

VMworld 2017 Google, VMware and Pivotal have teamed to let you run Kubernetes in the safety of your own data centre. The joint effort has seen Pivotal create the new Pivotal Container Service (with the acronym PKS, for some reason), a commercial cut of the open source Project Kubo that Google and Pivotal developed together to manage the …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2017

MongoDB quits Solaris, wants to work on an OS people actually use

MongoDB has killed off its Solaris development efforts. The company's director of platform engineering Andrew Morrow calls the decision “bittersweet,” but says “lack of adoption among our user base” made the decision easy and necessary. “Of our commercial users, we knew of only a handful who had ever been running on Solaris, …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Aug 2017

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