Simon Sharwood

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Virtual Machine Manager Update Rollup 6

Microsoft adds Azure VM controls to Virtual Machine Manager

Microsoft's about to issue a new Update Rollup for System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM). Update Rollups are badly-named these days, because Redmond now slips in small features to the products that get a rollup when the packages land on the last Tuesday of a calendar quarter's first month. This week, VMM users are slated …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2015
Man drinking through a straw CC2.0 attribution Bradley Gordon https://www.flickr.com/photos/icanchangethisright/

Riverbed retires RVBD from NASDAQ after private equity swoop

Riverbed is no longer a publicly-traded company, as the buyout of its stock by private equiteer Thoma Bravo and Teachers’ Private Capital concluded late last week. The deal was announced last December and appears to have been influenced by activist investor Elliot Management which reckons Riverbed could be doing better. All …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2015
NBN Logo

NBN Co loses the “Co” for AU$700,000

NBN Co, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has changed its name to NBN. Reports from Fairfax Media suggest the company spent some AU$700,000 on the re-branding exercise, which produced the logo at the top of this story and the variant at its foot. Both appear heavily- …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2015
https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/ by Found Animals Foundation CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/

Who was downloading smut in the office while eating ice cream?

On-call +NSFW Welcome back to On-call, our planned-to-be-fortnightly look at the things readers have been asked to do in the course of their employment, often at odd hours. This week, reader Guy* wrote to tell us about a gig he scored in the mid-nineties, where “my first task was to find out where all our bandwidth was going when the office …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2015
Judge Dredd

DRM is NOT THE LAW, I AM THE LAW, says JUDGE DREDD

Rebellion, the games developer that owns 2000AD - British comics' finest product – has banished digital rights management (DRM) from Mega-City One. The company's announced that once punters purchase tales of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog or Rogue Trooper online, they'll be able to access DRM-free downloadables of their purchases. …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015
the EVO:RAIL value prop

VMware makes vSphere licences portable to crimp EVO:RAIL costs

VMware has announced what it's calling a “vSphere Loyalty Program” that allows vSphere users to “apply their licenses to the purchase of VMware EVO:RAIL appliances from our nine Qualified EVO:RAIL Partners.” The program's pretty simple: if you have vSphere licences and buy an EVO:RAIL rig, VMware will let you move those licences …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015
Lenovo batteries with serial numbers starting with '42T4' are to be treated with suspicion

LenovOUCH expands bits-blistering bodgy battery boomerang

Lenovo has extended the recall for bodgy batteries it shipped with ThinkPad computers between 2010 and 2012. The company's once again alerted the world's governments, and their product safety agencies, that plenty of ThinkPads shipped with Lithium-ion batteries that “may overheat, posing a fire hazard” and therefore “pose the …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015
Surface 3 in red

Microsoft to offer special Surface 3 for schools

Microsoft has quietly let it be known it's developed a cheap cut of the Surface 3 for schools. A brag post announcing a ten per cent discount for schools that purchase the typoslab, and bragging about how the device is empowering kidlets the world over, also slips in this nuggetoid of information: “In addition, we are offering …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015
The Dell Z9100-ON  open networking switch

Dell expands open networking program with new switches

Dell has celebrated the first birthday of its open networking program by launching more products. The program is part of Dell's take on software-defined networking with its core idea being that punters might want to buy kit running an operating system other than that devised by its maker. This arrangement differs from white box …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015
Seagate Kinetics - the old vs. the new

Seagate close to open-sourcing Kinetics object storage platform

Seagate will hand over some of its Kinetic Storage platform to the world at the coming OpenStack summit in Vancouver, Canada, The Register has learned. Kinetic is the object storage platform Seagate has built to make it possible to so useful work with its Ethernet-equipped disk drives. Seagate's ambition is to cut arrays out of …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015

Citrix decides to share its WAN optimisation with the world

Citrix has sold WAN optimisation kit for ages, but hasn't pushed its HDX technology far beyond its base of application and desktop virtualisation users. Until today, when it shoved the newly-badged “CloudBridgeVirtual WAN” into the sunlight. Citrix's schtick is that branch offices don't (always) need expensive connectivity: …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015
Fukushima Warning Sign by Raneko https://www.flickr.com/photos/raneko/

Fukushima nuke plant owner told to upgrade from Windows XP

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy complex, has been told to migrate 48,000 internet-connected PCs off Windows XP sooner rather than later. TEPCO was recently probed by Japan's Board of Audit, an organisation that oversees the finances of Japan's government and …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Apr 2015
An Amazon.de parcel being delivered into an Audi thanks to keyless entry

JUNK in your TRUNK is Amazon Germany's new delivery plan

Amazon.com's German outpost, Amazon.de, is trialling delivery of goods direct into the trunks of buyers' cars. The trial will only work for Amazon Prime customers who drive an Audi, as the scheme relies on keyless entry to the vehicle. Enabling that access will require testers to add a gadget of undetermined nature to their cars …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Apr 2015
Marina Bay hotel singapore. By https://www.flickr.com/photos/leonid_yaitsky/

Singapore's PM personally programmed C++ Suduko-solver

Lots of politicians talk about the importance of wielding technology, but Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien Loong has just put his money where his mouth is by revealing he's upset that he doesn't have time to code stuff any more. The PM did so in a speech outlining the city-state's many and enviable innovation. Along the way …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Apr 2015
Vmware cloud logo

VMware's growth plans are ripening nicely

VMware's posted another set of good-looking numbers, with the company's first quarter results for 2015 exceeding expectations. The company hauled US$1.51bn through the door in the year's first three months and produced non-GAAP net income of $196m. The first number is an 11 per cent improvement on 2014's first quarter, but …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2015

Google vs. AWS race to the bottom detours into Super SSD Spring Sale

Over the last year or so, Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft's Azure have delighted in pointing out that they do just what the other guy does, only cheaper. So even while IOPs, CPU speeds, volume sizes and other metrics have gone up, the big cloud players have made a point of also taking their prices down. Until, …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2015

Good news! Your job's not going to the Philippines

Vietnam is now outsourcers' preferred host nation, but Bulgaria is making a tilt for the top spot, according to real estate outfit Cushman & Wakefield's annual “Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Shared Services Location Index”. The study (PDF) ranks nations by costs, risks and conditions, with a 50/20/30 weighting for each …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2015

Citrix likes OpenStack, puts a cheap ring on it

Citrix has signed up to OpenStack, as a Corporate Sponsor. Nand Mulchandani, the company's veep for product marketing in the Cloud Platforms Group, told The Reg that Citrix considers itself to have co-habited with OpenStack for years, thanks to NetScaler and Xen Server playing nice with the open source cloud stack. Signing up as …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2015
Cher pointing, Cher point, Sharepoint

SharePoint's next release delayed until deep into 2016

It's becoming apparent that Microsoft's “cloud first” mantra needs some balance, because by making software-as-a-service its priority Redmond is relegating on-premises software to second-class citizenship. Exhibit A for that assertion is last week's announcement that Exchange Server 2016 will be not much more than a rollup of …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2015
Ceres' bright spots  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Spotty dwarf Ceres BARES ALL in NASA's SHINY CLOSEUPS

The two bright patches on dwarf planet Ceres have been spotted again by NASA astroboffins. The patches baffled boffins who didn't expect the worldlet to shine so bright, or indeed shine much at all. Tinfoil-hatters quickly came up with all sorts of theories about the patches, especially after NASA had nothing to say about them …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2015
WikiLeaks Sony document release logo

AssangeTM ♥s dictator Kim Jong-un say Sony Pictures' lawyers

Sony Pictures Entertainment's legal representatives appear to again have written to media, entreating them not to write about the documents pinched from the company's servers last year. The letter, a purported copy of which can be found here (PDF) makes the argument that WikiLeaks' decision to publish the documents “rewards a …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2015
Microsoft store opening

Microsoft to open first flagship Store beyond North America

All the fun and excitement of Microsoft's wan clone of Apple Stores will soon be available beyond the United States for the first time, after the company announced it will open its first offshore store in Sydney, Australia. Microsoft's billing the store as a flagship not just for Australia but “a center piece of the Microsoft …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2015

VMware fires Photon torpedo – a homegrown Linux for microservices

VMware has created its very own Linux distribution, dubbed 'Project Photon', as part of an effort to create a stack for what it's calling “Cloud-Native applications”. The rest of us would probably call them “microservices”, the technique of spawning instances of an application to handle a small user population – maybe even an …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2015
Broken bottle by https://www.flickr.com/photos/veisto/ CC 2.0

iPhone vs. Galaxy fight hospitalises two after beer bottle stabbing

Tulsa, Oklahoma, TV station KTUL is reporting that two men were left with “cuts all over their bodies … covered with blood” after an argument over the merits of Android and iOS “escalated”. The station's report suggests the two were discussing the competing merits of the iPhone and Samsung's new offering – probably the Galaxy S6 …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2015
Graph of US dollar going up CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/ 401kcalculator.org.

30 per cent of servers, storage and switches now sold to clouds

Three in ten servers, storage arrays and ethernet switches are now being sold to clouds, either private or public, says abacus-wielder IDC. The company's Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker for 2014's fourth quarter found that “total cloud IT infrastructure spending grew by 14.4% year over year to $8.0 billion”, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2015
Loveley reject CC 2.0 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/c0t0s0d0/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/c0t0s0d0/2370428187/in/photolist-4Bt4Hv-7eeGqv-7wAzd-8xr8CW-8xr8C1-4RMiux-5odwYN-4Qz2RZ-4wFjCS-8ZvvPj-5jnMYH-9bpb4e-6BfLdn-5w9sqC-9oJNxq-qR8Y5-66s1RN-4qZS1e-5o9hv4-pwQMiy-bC7Too-5r82df-8Zvvw7-btvqq-bC7TbY-TkiES-ddpzid-kZYST-87hVga-345gVA-7eeMkv-7eeE1g-m11uV-m11kY-94Quj-m114z-kZZWB-kZZNQ-kZZBx-kZZqU-kZZib-38RAwA-bR2zpX-kZZa7-kZZ2f-kZYM1-7g7Smc-bR2znt-bC7Tdm-bR2wBe

Chrome 42 breaks vSphere web client thanks to ye olde NPAPI

One of the most-derided features of vSphere was its web client. We say “was”, because VMware made a point of improving it in vSphere 6.0. vAdmins are generally pretty pleased with those new arrangements, but now have cause to be a bit miffed if they use Google's Chrome browser because it breaks the vSphere Client Integration …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2015
Optus Logo

Optus fires up Azure clone for Australia

Australia's second-largest telco, Optus, has hopped aboard Microsoft's cloudwagon by flicking the switch on its own Azure service. The Optus Managed Cloud has been given the Azure Pack treatment, meaning Optus is now a member of the Microsoft Cloud OS Network of providers that can offer cloud based on Microsoft's platform. …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2015
NBN Co by Dushan Hanuska https://www.flickr.com/photos/hanuska/

NBN Co to trial faster fixed wireless services

NBN Co, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has announced a trial of 25-50Mbps downloads and 5-20Mbps uploads on its fixed wireless network. The trial is for wholesale speeds: retailers will have the choice of creating products at this speed, or ignoring it. The network- …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2015
Parking meter FAIL from Ryan Stele's Flickr account  https://www.flickr.com/photos/tweek/139509551/in/photolist-dk2k6-8VcmSf-5w27pU-7RdimR-7RdiiK-7RdifK-7Rgz8f-7Rdiai-czUVBh-9Ls61i-5cY5jG-9bGK2Y-6VH3Xz-5YVGNT-abaRJ9-6PjTC5-6opqMB-jitAoe-5Yvee7-65tNZD-5xf3hB-a9Zegh-845DZg-ocfXQT-bfZB5z-aWWvax-bVe3vu-6yra6f-6yra4A-8nudtt-6WhDiL-6qNQyT-7YYReC-6yra5N-6yra3w-6yra2Y-6yn2HX-a6MPYs-6yn2Qx-6yn2Pv-6yra49-6yra2q-6yn2Hx-6yra57-6qT1yb-55rYVK-6yra75-6yr9ZQ-6odx71-68EVsF

Google broke own security with April fool gag

On April 1st Google had a bit of fun by using the com.google domain to display all content backwards, but the folks at Netcraft think that jape backfired by introducing security vulnerabilities to the search engine. Netcraft's security folks say the joke “... inadvertently undermined an important security feature on Google's …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2015
Parcelcopter

Drones to bring DEBT FROM ABOVE in Switzerland

Swiss Post, the neutral nation's postal service, has confirmed it is testing delivery-by-drone. Staff at the outfit have confirmed a report in local media to Agence France Presse, detailing collaboration with US drone-maker Matternet and the freight division of Swiss International Air Lines. Tests of drone-delivered mail are …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2015

America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?

The eXpat files Welcome again to the eXpat files, our now-occasional visit with readers who've moved to a new land in search of adventure, sunshine and, in the case of this week's chap, bewildering and labyrinthine tax and credit regulations. The chap in question is David Hough, currently resident in Newark, California (not New Jersey). David's …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2015
USS independence then and now

RADIOACTIVE WWII aircraft carrier FOUND OFF CALIFORNIA

The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says it has found the final resting place of the USS Independence, a World War Two aircraft carrier. The Independence (CVL-22) was commissioned as cruiser, but adapted to become a light carrier as the demands of the Pacific war made mobile air power …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2015

Oz energy company AGL promises to decarbonise by 2050

Australian energy generator AGL has published a new Greenhouse Gas Policy (PDF) in which outlines “a pathway to decarbonisation of its electricity generation by 2050.” The policy means the generator will do the following: Continue to provide the market with safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy options Not build, …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2015
Ravello Systems logo

Ravello unravels mystery of ESXi on AWS, Google

Ravello Systems, a purveyor of cloud hypervisors, has created a way to run VMware's ESXi in clouds from Amazon Web Services or Google. Does that sound nutty given that VMware itself and plenty of other cloud/managed services providers will happily give you a Virtzilla environment? Yes and no. Yes, because it seems like rather a …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2015
WikiLeaks Sony document release logo

WikiLeaks reveals searchable trove of Sony Pictures documents

Wikileaks has decided Sony Pictures is worthy of its attention by releasing 30,000 documents it says were lifted from the company's servers during the infamous 2014 attack. Wikileaks' justification for publishing the new trove is that Sony “is a member of the [Motion Picture Association of America] MPAA and a strong lobbyist on …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2015
F-35

DRONE ALONE: US Navy secretary gives up on manned fighters

The secretary of the US Navy has said the F-35 Lightning II, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter program, “should be, and almost certainly will be, the last manned strike fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly.” Speaking at the Sea-Air-Space 2015 conference on Wednesday, secretary Ray Mabus said ( …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2015
Google handwriting recognition app

Google's new scribble-tab-ulous handwriting interface for Android

First Look Google has popped the lid off its Google Handwriting Input, new Android software that lets you input your text longhand in any 'droid app. The Chocolate Factory's research arm says handwriting recognition is needed because touchscreen keyboards remain modestly effective and while “Voice input is an option, but there are …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2015
Philae

Comet 67P found to be COMPLETELY UNATTRACTIVE

The Philae Lander should soon see enough sun to resume operations on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkoduring April or May, the European Space Agency's (ESA's) lander manager Stephan Ulamec told the European Geosciences Union General Assembly earlier this week. Philae hitched a ride to 67P aboard the Rosetta probe and descended to …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2015

Exchange Server 2016 will be mostly Cloud Exchange ported back on-premises

Microsoft has let it be known that it has a preview of Exchange Server 2016 ready to see the sun at its May Ignite conference. Along the way it's also said that the on-premises version of Exchange isn't getting much more than stuff it's already built for, and proved in, the cloud version of the server. Here's what the company …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2015

Target settles with MasterCard for US$19 million

US retailer Target's ongoing attempts to mop up after its colossal data breach have taken another step forward, after it settled with MasterCard. The deal will see the retailer toss US$19m into a pot that MasterCard will use to make “alternative recovery offers … to eligible MasterCard issuers worldwide that issued MasterCard- …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2015
Paper clips by Ross Elliott https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross_elliott/ CC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Boost your attachment size with this one weird trick

Microsoft has increased the maximum attachment size accessible to users of Outlook Web Access (OWA) under Office 365, with 150MB of digital baggage now able to hop aboard emails. Admins worried about blowing storage allowances and congested networks needn't worry: Microsoft makes it possible to dial permitted total attachment …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2015

VMware's vCloud Air to launch database DRaaS, pipe in more clouds

Exclusive VMware will add database-backup-as-a-service to its vCloud Air cloud in June, the company's veep and general manager of hybrid cloud Bill Fathers has told The Register. The service will be based on technology VMware acquired last year along with Continuent, a provider of clustering, replication and disaster recovery services for …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2015
Smartwatches

Health apps and wearables make you nervous, not fit, say boffins

The British Medical Journal has staged a debate on the topic “Can healthy people benefit from health apps?” The debate seems to your correspondent to be a draw. Iltifat Husain, editor, iMedicalApps.com, and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina, USA, argued the “Yes” case …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015
Cisco and Veeam's UCS backup scheme

Veeam lobs backup bombs, with Cisco lighting the fuse

Veeam's making waves again, with two new initiatives sure to get backup software rivals – and tin-makers – a little riled. Software rivals have to figure out how to contend with the new free endpoint backup tool the company flagged last October and released today. The tool's pitched at anyone who wants to back up a Windows PC, …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015

Talk is FINNISHed: Nokia to buy Alcatel Lucent for €15.6 billion

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have confirmed rumours about a possible merger by saying it will happen, as “The two companies have entered into a memorandum of understanding under which Nokia will make an offer for all of the equity securities issued by Alcatel-Lucent”. Each Alca-Lu share will be exchanged for 0.55 of a new Nokia …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015
Ceres

Dwarf planet Ceres has TEN bright spots, astroboffins say

Dwarf planet Ceres has ten bright spots, not just the two that the Dawn spacecraft saw as it approached the worldlet in February. The two bright patches sparked all manner of speculation about their origins. Some suggested they could be volcanoes or a frozen lake reflecting the Sun. As news, and new images, of the bright spots …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015

NASA to put the stars in your hands with coming-soon-now API portal

NASA has let it be known its working on an API portal so it can put more data into developers' hands. “Data is one of the most important assets at NASA,” writes Dan Hammer, a presidential innovation fellow at the agency. “”We have data on comets, measurements of mars, and real-time imagery of earth. But what good is data if you …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015

Yahoo! adopts! Ceph! to! underpin! Flickr!, plans! storage-as-a-service! service!

Strap yourself in, storage-buyers: those pushing a software-defined approach and/or object storage will soon be telling you that their wares are ready for anything because Yahoo!'s exascale photo storage service has re-platformed itself on Ceph. The Purple Palace also says it will soon have hundreds of petabytes under software- …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015

30 – count 'em – 30 orgs sign up for Cumulus on Dell networking kit

UPDATE January 2014, Dell announced it would make it possible to run Cumulus Networks' operating system on its networking gear. 15 months later, 30 organisations have done so. As in a three followed by a zero. Worldwide. So says John McCloskey, executive director for enterprise solutions at Dell Australia and New Zealand. McCloskey's …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015
Brando wooden cross Flash drive

Aussie priest BLESSES an APP – and the sacred iPad it runs on

The Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide has claimed a world first by blessing an app and the iPad it runs on. The app is no mere piece of code, but instead serves as a heavenly guide to the life of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia's first saint. The app guides users along a righteous path through Adelaide, retracing the …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2015