Simon Sharwood

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HP and Shrek 2

Shrek-as-a-service: DreamWorks and Infosys team up

Here's an odd one: Indian outsourcer Infosys and Hollywood animation studio DreamWorks Animation have created a “strategic engineering partnership”. The deal looks to involve Infosys running its eye over the technology DreamWorks uses to make movies and figuring out how to commercialise it. The Indian company will “... deploy …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2014
Kindle Big Brother

Kindle, meet my partner. Darling, play nice with Kindle, please

Amazon.com has made a small-but-significant enhancement to its Kindle ebook ecosystem, as it now allows sharing ebooks among family members. The new Family Library feature allows one to access ebooks “from the Amazon account of a spouse or partner.” Amazon's allowed loans of ebooks, under limited conditions, for a while now. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2014

World leaders rubber-stamp tax recoup effort at G20 gabfest

The leaders meeting of the G20 group of nations has endorsed existing approaches to combating international legal-but-naughty tax avoidance schemes. Tax was on the agenda of the weekend gabfest because most G20 members are painfully aware that their balance sheets don't look great, in part because multinational companies have …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2014

Sarong it's right: Coining it in Thailand without a visa

The eXpat files In this week's eXpat files, we're speaking to … well, actually we're not going to use this person's real name, because they may work in Thailand without all the necessary paperwork. Our expat has therefore suggested we use the name “David Green”. So without any further ado, tells us what life's like over there, “David”. The …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2014

Bloated, slow and self-perpetuating: Cisco slams standards groups

Cisco's chief architect and CTO for engineering David Ward has blasted standards development organisations (SDOs), asking whether they are “relevant in a rapidly expanding environment of Open Source Software (OSS) projects.” Ward's post on the subject is pointedly timed: he's released it on the even of the Internet Engineering …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2014

No more tomorrows for TomorrowNow suit as Oracle and SAP settle

Oracle and SAP have settled their long-running dispute over third-party support outfit TomorrowNow. The case was fought over whether or not SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow was within its rights to download Oracle software to its own servers, by using Oracle customers' licence keys. TomorrowNow 'fessed up way back in 2008, when …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2014
David Cameron, UK prime minister

UK PM Cameron says Internet must not 'be an ungoverned space'

UK prime minister David Cameron has called for “extremist material” to be taken offline by governments, with help from network operators. Speaking in Australia's Parliament on a trip that will also see him attend the G20 leaders' summit, Cameron spoke of Australia and Britain's long shared history, common belief in freedom and …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2014
iPad Pages app

Apple expands mobile device management program beyond USA

Apple has extended the reach of its Device Enrollment Program (DEP) beyond the USA and beyond end-users. Apple says [PDF] the DEP “ simplifies initial setup by automating mobile device management (MDM) enrollment and supervision of devices during setup and enabling you to configure the devices without touching them.” “Upon …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2014

DEATH TO AMERICA! China has your data centre covered

In the wake of the Snowden revelations, China's encouraging local companies to buy from their brethren behind the great firewall. That exhortation won't hurt Chinese companies because the nation's domestic IT outfits are now very sophisticated. In some product categories Chinese kit is a no-brainer. Lenovo PCs, tablets and …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2014

PROFESSORS! PROFESSORS! PROFESSORS!

Former Microsoft CEO will donate around US$60m to Harvard in order to endow a dozen new Professorial appointments in computer science. Ballmer's told The Harvard Crimson his new PROFESSORS! PROFESSORS! PROFESSORS! mantra is inspired by a desire to keep helping Harvard, from which he graduated in 1977. The twelve new …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2014
Windows 2.0

Stop coding and clean up your UI, devs, it's World Usability Day

November 13th is World Usability Day, the annual event that urges all and sundry “to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use.” The day's raison d'être is promoting good design, so that products and services are easy to use, rather than useless. Physical objects are the …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Nov 2014
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

NBN 'working' on pay-for-fibre-to-your-premises product

NBN Co, the company building Australia's national broadband network, has released “broad principles” it says “will determine which access technology will be deployed to connect communities to the National Broadband Network (NBN).” For each service area NBN Co will consider whether: Existing infrastructure can be leveraged to …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Nov 2014
iPhone shop Shenzhen

ITU thought bubble ponders mass mobe-tracking to kill fake IT

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will next week meet to consider the issue of “counterfeit and substandard ICT products” and what can be done about them, but some of the proposals on the table look more than a little worrying. Notice of the meeting was posted in late September, when the ITU announced next week's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Nov 2014
An Amazon Prime Air drone

Amazon hiring drone flight ops engineer in Cambridge, UK

Amazon.com is hiring a flight operations engineer to work in Cambridge, UK, to test its delivery drones. The job ad, posted last week, comes with the following responsibilities: Performing as the Safety Observer during Prime Air flight tests, both outdoor and indoor Ensuring that all safety policies are followed during flight …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2014

US, China, ink tariff-free technology trade pact

The United States of America and the People's Republic of China have agreed to abolish tariffs on each other's technology products. Announced at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Beijing on Monday, the deal won't immediately mean unfettered access for US and Chinese companies, because the agreement was …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2014
Skype iPad

Microsoft's Lync becomes 'Skype for Business'

Microsoft Lync is dead, replaced by Skype for Business. Lync is/was Microsoft's unified communications product and offers voice, video, instant messaging and videoconferences, all delivered from a single client. Integration with Microsoft Office means lots of click-to-talk-or-chat action. As of next year, however, Lync will …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2014
Grumpy cat

We interrupt this cat video to say you're out of data

Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, has flicked the switch on real-time notifications of mobile data use. Vulture South has personal experience of Telstra's notifications arriving after users have consumed rather more than their monthly data download allowances. The company is kind to customers who quickly react by purchasing …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2014
iMessage

BEHOLD Apple's BENEVOLENCE! iMessage txt BLACK HOLE finally fixed

People ditching their iPhones until now faced a rather irritating problem: Apple's iMessage service assumes that all text messages to their phone numbers should use the company's over-the-top iMessage app. Thus, messages intended for an iPhone have failed to land when folks move to rival phones – as the SMSs disappeared into …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2014
The Raspberry Pi A+'s shapely rear

Raspberry Pi mini-puter TOO BIG and EXPENSIVE for you? Think AGAIN

Pics A new Raspberry Pi model has arrived, and it's even smaller and cheaper than the original, while being in most respects just as goof. However it does come down to just one USB port. The A+ was spotted in the wild over the weekend, only for a product page at Element14 describing the computer to disappear. RS Online's Australian …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2014
Oracle Wellness tool

Oracle gives HR tool to track your fitness

Oracle has announced a new tool for HR departments called “Employee Wellness” and seems to be suggesting that you might be willing to let your boss track how much you exercise. The tool's a new module for the company's “Human Capital Management” software and promises the chance to let you track your physical activity, set goals …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2014

Printing Bad: Meth found in laser printer cartridges

Australia's Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) has intercepted laser printer cartridges full of methamphetamine and charged a woman with importing a controlled drug. The cartridges were inspected at a Sydney air cargo facility where officers spotted a white powder. White toner cartridges being something of an oddity, …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Nov 2014
DDoS image

Japan: Land of cheap booze and slippers in the office

The eXpat files In this week's eXpat files, love is the motivator for British chap Stephen Chadfield to make a new start in Japan, where he endures daily workplace workouts and has the chance to drink cheap booze. Over to you, Stephen ... The Register: What kind of work do you do and with which technologies? Chadfield: My current job is …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Nov 2014
turbine

Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

In certain parts of the world, campaigners against wind farms argue that clusters of giant turbines make nearby residents ill. Australian researcher Professor Simon Chapman's work in the field asserts that “wind turbine sickness” is a “ psychogenic” disease that only occurs when people are told that wind farms might make them …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Nov 2014
EMC federation logo

EMC Federation working on rack scale converged architecture

EMC is working on a rack-scale converged infrastructure product. The company's head of global pre-sales Chad Sakac this week told the Canalys Chanels Forum in Shanghai that EMC feels the success of VCE – which has gone from zero to $2bn a year in revenue since launching in 2009 – shows that users hunger for converged …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Nov 2014
Google Docs

Google gives Microsoft office an awkward hug with new plugin

Google's given Microsoft Office an awkward hug by refreshing Drive so it plays nice with desktop applications. Drive is Google's share 'n' sync offering and integrates tightly with its apps: drop a document into Drive and you can read or edit it in the Docs in-browser word processor. That tool's not to everyone's tastes and …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2014
Azure Index

Microsoft releases free anti-malware for Azure VMs

Free anti-malware software is not hard to find: even reputable vendors offer product at the low, low, price of $0.00 for client devices/ Microsoft is now doing the same for servers – or at least for virtual machines in its Azure cloud with a new offering called (deep breath now) Microsoft Antimalware for Azure Cloud Services and …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2014
Fairphone logo

Not even 60,000 of you want an ethically-sourced smartphone

Fairphone, the social enterprise that makes an Android smartphone built of raw materials sourced from conflict-free mines and built in exploitation-free factories, plans to make an even fairer phone in 2015. But the outfit has also revealed it has not yet managed to sell all of the 60,000 phones it has built to date. Founder and …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2014

New Dell FX2 chassis mixes 'n' matches server innards

Dell is making its converged IT play with a new chassis that can blend compute, networking and storage kit in many configurations to allow the assembly of 2U machines tuned to different workloads. The new beast is called the PowerEdge FX2 Enclosure and Dell's building a range of modules with which you can fill it. Whatever you …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2014
By Frank Wouters, licensed under CC 2.0

HP's pet lizard is FERAL PERIL says wildlife group

HP's current mega global branding campaign involves a cute kid who loses his pet green iguana named Ralph. An HP laptop and printer later, he festoons his neighbourhood with posters of the plucky pet, resulting in a boy-and-his-iguana tear-jerker for the ages. So far, so cute. But not in Australia, which has a long history of …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2014
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

VMware announces vCloud Air for Australia

VMware has announced it will launch its vCloud Air hybrid offering in Australia in the first half of 2015. Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, scored the hosting gig and will stand up VMware's kit in a Melbourne bit barn. VMware's schtick for vCloud Air is that it is designed from the ground up to hook into its vSphere control …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Nov 2014
Web development graphic

Mozilla promises browser just for DEVELOPERS3

The Mozilla Foundation has promised that next week it will give developers a browser that meets their needs and their needs only, instead of catering to the whims and petty proclivities of users. “When building for the Web, developers tend to use a myriad of different tools which often don’t work well together,” the foundation …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Nov 2014

Watch out, cloud-happy business units, chargeback is back

When server virtualisation took off, one of the many benefits was said to be more granular reporting of just who uses servers, in order to enable internal charging schemes that made business units pay for what they used. Chargeback, as the practice became known, has faded from view a bit. But Israeli outfit Cloudyn is trying to …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Nov 2014
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

Australia's going to need a standalone metadata retention bureau

Australia's proposed mandatory metadata retention laws are being made to look dangerous, but that won't stop them passing the nation's Parliament. Recent voting patterns suggest that opposition parties will more or less wave them through. Community activists, so insular and febrile in support of national broadband network, …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Nov 2014

'Life in Mexico City is like a Simpsons episode, with worse trains'

The eXpat Files Tomorrow is Monday, which means another day in the office. Because we know some of you can't bear the thought of doing that again, each Sunday we bring you The eXpat Files, in which a Reg reader shares their experience of moving to another nation to pursue their career, and find interesting local snacks. This week's volunteer is …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Nov 2014
HP's Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer

Multi Jet Fusion: THAT's HP's promised 3D printer, not crazy 'leccy invention

A year and eight days ago, The Reg was in the room when HP CEO Meg Whitman promised the company would deliver a 3D printer that service providers could wield by the middle of 2014. On Wednesday the company made a lie of that claim by revealing the Multi Jet Fusion printer it says won't go on sale until 2016. “Multi Jet Fusion” …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Oct 2014
Intel Pentium 4

FIFTEEN whole dollars on offer for cranky Pentium 4 buyers

Intel will fork over fifteen whole American dollars to folks who feel that it and HP misrepresented the performance of Pentium 4 CPUs released way back in the year 2000. The reason for the payment is a class action that alleges Intel knew the Pentium 4 was a dog, worried AMD would eat its lunch, and therefore cooked up new …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Oct 2014

Microsoft gets storage QoS and software-defined storage religion

Microsoft is starting to make a lot of noise about software-defined storage and the need for storage quality of service. The company's Cambridge UK lab has just released Microsoft Research Storage Toolkit, a tool said to enable “effective and accessible research in Software Defined Storage by adding I/O classification functions …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Oct 2014

Desktop Linux users beware: the boss thinks you need to be managed

Desktop Linux users beware: IT has noticed you and decided it's time you were properly managed. So says VMware, which yesterday at its vForum event in China let it be know that it will deliver a desktop virtualisation (VDI) solution for Linux desktops. Virtzilla says it hasn't bothered doing so before now because so few people …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Oct 2014
Running girls

Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US

Microsoft has joined the wearables market with “band”, a fitness-monitor-cum-smartwatch, which is accompanied by a suite of online services dubbed “Microsoft Health”. There's more than a hint of raised middle finger directed at Cupertino in the dual announcements, as Band is on sale now for US$199 and is said to have enough …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2014
Columns of coins in the cloud

Amazon's hybrid cloud: EC2 wrangled by Microsoft's control freak

Hybrid clouds are the new black: world+dog has decided that some workloads just won't ever ascend into the elastosphere, but that running a private and public cloud from separate control freaks is a dumb idea. That's why vSphere can span your on-premises bit barn and vCloud Air, and Azure Pack does the same trick but with Azure …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2014
quasar map

Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android

Mozilla has released a new app, Stumbler, that “collects GPS data for our location service” by detecting WiFi access points and mobile phone cells towers, then “uses these wireless network locations to provide geolocation services for Firefox OS devices and other open source projects.” That sort of data collection has, of course …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2014

Australia's media regulator to oversee new data retention regime

Australia's government has tabled its data retention Bill and outlined a willingness to assist carriers and internet service providers (ISPs) pay for their retention rigs. The Bill also explains a little about how retention rigs will need to be constructed and anoints the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2014
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull: Coding skills 'will be almost as important as literacy and numeracy'

Australia's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has come out in favour of teaching kids of all ages to code. In a blogged transcript of a speech delivered last weekend, Turnbull notes that the review of the national curriculum recommended digital technologies not be taught as a discrete subject, and industry discomfort with …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2014
Breach

Australian E-Health records breached twice in the last year

Australia's Office of the Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released its Annual report of the Information Commissioner’s activities in relation to eHealth 2013–14, complete with a report on two data breaches in the systems used to store personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHRs). The first was notified in …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2014

Google may hook Kubernetes deep into own cloud

Google's Cloud Platform Live event in the USA next week may offer up some news on how The Chocolate Factory will allow developers to put Kubernetes to work in its own cloud. Kubernetes is a tool Google developed and used to make containerisation more useful by making it possible to manage containerised applications. As explained …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2014
Azure icon

Storage array giants can use Azure to evacuate their back ends

Azure is now helping SAN owners to move snapshots captured on devices provided by EMC, NetApp, HP and Hitachi Data Systems. Microsoft already offers share 'n' sync for virtual machines under the “Azure Site Recovery” (ASR) service. At TechEd in Barcelona this week, Microsoft revealed ASR will soon gain the ability to hook into …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2014
india

Indian DEITY reveals Internet of Things policy

The marvellously-named Indian Department of Electronics and Information technology - DEITY - has created a policy that calls for the nation to create an Internet of Things (IoT) industry worth US$15 billion by 2020. The policy [PDF] looks to leverage other national efforts, including the effort to create 100 “smart” cities …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2014

Devs: Imagine a lithe, lightly-clad, sweaty body and what you'd do with it

Google has released the software development kit (SDK) for its Google Fit service. Google Fit is yet another measure-your-activity-upload-it-socialise-it-track-progress-and-reward-you-for-achieving-goals service, but for Android. Google hopes the release of the SDK will spur device-makers to use Android on their gadgets, and …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2014
Social media buttons

Australia plans 'penalties' for social networks that don't think of the children

Australia has devised a small stick and big stick approach to cyber-bullying material stored on social networks. The nation's recently-installed government ran on a policy of Thinking Of The Children that proposed the creation of a new “Office of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner” with the power to compel social networks to …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2014
NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson

Sorry about that profit, says NetSuite, our costs should be higher

NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson has attributed last week's estimates-busting results are partly due to enthusiasm for cloudy software, but also partly due to difficulties finding people to hire. The company hauled in US$143.7 million for the quarter, a small matter of 34 per cent more than the corresponding quarter in 2013. But the …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Oct 2014