Simon Sharwood

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

On-Call If it's Friday it must be time for me to file On-Call and then start drinking so you can start the last day of the week with one of our always-amusing tales of nasty jobs done at nasty times. This week, reader “Kevin” shared a story from his time working a hell desk late shift. With just a few minutes to go before quitting …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
Pluto

Pluto has massive underground oceans, say astro-boffins

Pluto may contain a colossal underground ocean, say New Horizons mission scientists. Two new Letters in Nature, Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia implies a subsurface ocean on Pluto and Reorientation and faulting of Pluto due to volatile loading within Sputnik Planitia considers the icy heart-shaped “lava lamp” found on the …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
Apple iPhone 6 and 6s

Apple admits the iPhone 6 Plus has 'Touch Disease'

Apple has admitted that the iPhone 6 has “Touch Disease”, a glitch that leaves the handset's touch screen inoperable. The problem surfaced in August when repair site iFixit diagnosed a problem with controller chips that lost electrical contact with the phablet's motherboard. Apple, as is its wont, remained silent … until …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
Close up of tangled tape

HPE tape library permits unauthorised remote access

HP Enterprise has warned that its StoreEver MSL6480 Tape Library is at risk of allowing “remote unauthorized disclosure of information.” As the MSL6480 can store up to 8.4 petabytes when all 560 of its slots are filled with LTO-7 tapes, that's rather a lot of data at risk. The problem isn't entirely HPE's fault: it derives …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
NBN CEO Bill Morrow

Australian government lends nbn™ AU$19.5bn to finish the job

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network, has secured a AU$19.5bn loan from Australia's government and will use it to complete project. “nbn™has been advised the government will loan the remaining $19.5 billion required for the total $49 billion base case peak funding forecast,” said CEO …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
Vmware cloud logo

vSphere 6.5 goes GA, gains surprise powers to predict the future

VMware's quietly revealed that vSphere 6.5 is now generally available and therefore on-sale to world+dog. VSphere 6.5's had a long gestation. The Register understands an early version of the upgrade was used to run infrastructure for VMworld Europe 2015. A beta commenced in February 2016 and the update was then formally …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016

LinkedIn officially KickedOut of Russia

UPDATE Russian telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor has made it official: LinkedIn is no longer welcome in Putin's formerly-socialist paradise. The regulator's brief statement confirms what we knew last week , namely that LinkedIn hasn't been able to satisfy Russia that it complies with laws requiring personal data to be stored on Russian …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

Fintech startup Revolut pulls out of several countries, promises swift return

Exclusive Payment service Revolut has contacted users in several countries to warn them that funds in their accounts will disappear if not transferred to a bank by November 21. Revolut offers its customers a MasterCard to which they can load their own funds. The company's schtick is automatic payment in foreign currencies, at excellent …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016
Man thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

Facebook 'fesses up to fudged ad metrics … again

Facebook has offered the advertising world an An Update on Metrics and Reporting that's needed because it's been counting things wrong, again. Sharp-minded Reg readers will probably recall that in September 2016 The Social Network™ sheepishly admitted that it had overstated average video viewing times by up to 80 per cent for …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016

'G' is for 'Google' and 'GPU' and 'gaining on other clouds'

Google's followed its cloudy rivals into the servers-plus-GPUs caper, announcing that “Early in 2017, Google Cloud Platform will offer GPUs worldwide for Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud Machine Learning users.” The Alphabet subsidiary will offer AMD's FirePro S9300 x2 to power remote workstations. If you wonder why we' …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016
Indian mobile use

Curb your enthusiasm, 'India's smartphones are changing the world' fans

India has just recorded its first-ever 30-million-smartphones-shipped quarter, according to abacus-shuffling firm IDC. Don't get too excited about that representing a breakthrough and serious momentum towards a wired India, because the firm says “channel preparation for the festive season, mega online sales and early import of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016
Asia Pacific Gateway submarine cable

Long-distance Asian internet hookups are now faster then ever

If you fancy a long-distance Asian internet hookups now available, we have good news: the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) submarine cable has been completed and brings 100Gbps of connectivity to the region. The cable lands in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam during the course of its …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016

Searching for 'Fatty Kim the Third' banned on Chinese social media

If you're in China today and feel like doing something futile, try searching for “Fatty Kim the Third” or the Chinese equivalent "Jin San Pang" - Google translate says that's "金圣庞" - on social media. The delightful epithet is a colloquial term for the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Jong Un. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016
 Donald Trump . Editorial use only. Editorial Credit: a katz / Shutterstock.com

'Post-truth' beats 'chatbot' to Word of the Year Crown

Oxford Dictionaries has declared “post-truth” is the Word of the Year for 2016. The word wizards say the adjective can be defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. “Post-truth” scored the prize because …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

Telecoms Ombudsman praises nbn™ for growing connections faster than complaints

Australia's Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has praised nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), for an increasing number of complaints about the network. That may sound counter-intuitive, but the Ombudsman says “It is positive that the rate of growth in the number of active …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016
HP Inc's Z2 G3 Mini Workstation

HP Ink shrinks workstations to puckish form factor

HP Ink has decided that workstations need to follow the business PC trend of shrinking into form factors resembling the Apple Mini or even the Apple TV. The new HP Z2 G3 Mini Workstation therefore packs fifth-generation Xeons, aka Skylake, into a box just 21.6cm c 21.6cm by 5.9cm (8.5 x 8.5 x 2.28 inches). Cunning Reg readers …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016

Firefox hits version 50

The Mozilla Foundation's Firefox web browser has hit version 50.0 on Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android. Firefox debuted in November 2004 and has sometimes pushed its market share above 30 per cent. These days it's the world's second-most popular browser, with its 13.29 per cent market share according to StatCounter. Version …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016

Adobe fined a whole million dollars for 2013 mega-breach

Fifteen of the United States of America have flogged Adobe with warm, wet, lettuce for its 2013 mega-breach that saw 38 million credentials leaked. North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper says his State, plus 14 others*, have agreed that Adobe should hand over one million US dollars to compensate the 552,000 punters whose …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella hits Sydney and channels Steve O'Ballmer from eight years ago

A little over eight years ago, then-Microsoft-CEO Steve Ballmer came to Australia, told developers that Microsoft loved them and predicted that within a decade average homes would have screens on just about every wall. Thanks to Microsoft and the earnest efforts of clever developers, he said, we'd always have information and …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016
cloud

Is that your television? Or a zero client running a virtual desktop?

Teradici's launched a new range of zero clients powered by silicon it did not design, a departure from its usual practice the company hopes will spread its PCoIP protocol far and wide. Teradici's meat and potatoes is virtual workspaces delivered as nothing but pixels: all the compute happens in the server and zero clients do …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016
Cavium ThunderX board

Packet.net strong-ARMs cloud for $0.005 per core per hour

Packet.net, a bare-metal cloud aimed at developers, has flicked the switch on cloud-running servers powered by a pair of Cavium's 48-core ARMv8-A ThunderX processors. CEO Zachary Smith told The Register that the company's cooked up the cloud for a few reasons. Price is one: Packet will offer ARM cores at a tenth of the price …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016
Cloud desktop

Amazon's cloudy 'WorkSpace' desktops-as-a-service gain a GPU

Amazon Web Services' (AWS') desktop-as-a-service “WorkSpaces” just grew up. And got all muscly, too: the cloud colossus has announced a new option to add 1,536 CUDA GPU cores with 4GB of graphics memory. The new “Graphics bundle” also offers eight virtual CPUs and 15GB of RAM, plus a 100GB virtual disk for users on top of the …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016

Microsoft reveals Neandercloud / Cloud Sapiens co-existence and cross-breeding plan

Microsoft's revealed that it will keep working on its first Azure-in-a-box product, Azure Pack, until 2022 and support it until 2027. Azure Pack offers a cloud-like experience thanks to its use of the first-generation Azure GUI, but under the hood is Windows Server and System Center. The Pack can run on just about any x86 and …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016
Snake oil salesman

Google and Facebook pledge to stop their ads reaching fake news websites

Google and Facebook have both announced they'll try to stop their ads making it onto fake news sites. Fake news has become a post-US-election flashpoint, with numerous commentators opining that deliberately lurid election-related stories created solely to attract eyeballs and ads* may have unwittingly been given vote-swaying …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Reg inquiry sees CSIRO clarify supercomputer tender

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has clarified its requirements for a new supercomputer, after an inquiry from The Register pointed out an inconsistency in its tender. As we reported yesterday, CSIRO's tender called for Windows compatibility and either Intel x86 or IBM Power CPUs …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016