Simon Sharwood

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Google signs as OpenStack sponsor

Google and the OpenStack Foundation have announced that the former entity has signed as a Corporate Sponsor of the latter. Corporate Sponsor status is the Foundation's third tier of supporter, below Platinum and Gold. The likes of HP, Intel, IBM and Rackspace have been voted into the top tier, while Gold sponsors include Dell …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2015
Angry Birds 2 poster

Global productivity hole to open on 30 July as Angry Birds 2 debuts

The plucky indie games studio made good productivity-destroying and child-enslaving monsters at Rovio have announced that Angry Birds will fly again, the day after Windows 10 upgrades start to roll out around the world. Rovio's announced the second instalment of its clever re-invention of ballistics games will land on July …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2015
eBay

eBay about to put part of self on eBay

eBay is about to sell off its enterprise services unit, according to folks whispering in the ear of The Wall Street Journal. The journal names private-equity outfit Permira as the buyer and suggests the company's pen is poised over a cheque with US$900m written in the “amount” field. Ebay Enterprise, as the division is known …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2015
Gigabyte H270-T70

ARM servers look to have legs as OVH boots up Cavium cloud

Backers of ARM CPUs as a data centre disruptor capable of knocking Intel off its lucrative Xeon-powered perch have a new poster child in the form of hosting company OVH, which has announced it will stand up a cloud powered by Cavium's ThunderX chippery. The ThunderX is a serious bit of kit, as each can pack up to 48 cores each …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2015
 Ginni Rometty calling on the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, i

India reveals plan to fix poverty by doing ANYTHING-as-a-service

India's launched a new “National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship” that prime minister Shri Narendra Modi hopes will propel the country to become “the world's largest provider of skilled workforce for the world.” The thrust of the new policy is that India's universities delivered in the 1990s, as the rise of …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2015
Azure Stack

Microsoft to offer (very) limited support for Linux on Azure

Microsoft has announced it will offer “limited support for major Linux distributions, third party and Open source technologies on Azure.” “Limited” might be a bit too kind a term for Microsoft's willingness to support Penguinistas. At present, the company welcomes Linux virtual machines to Azure but if something goes awry will …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2015
Netflix

Telstra vid downloads getting SLOWER says new Netflix speed test

Netflix's latest ranking of Australian service providers again shows that Telstra is the nation's worst-performing network when it comes to downloading the streaming video company's content. Netflix speed rating data for australia Netflix speed rating for streaming video downloads in Australia, April-June 2015 In its May …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015
NBN Logo

nbnTM plans for future backhaul upgrade to FTTN cabinets

+comment nbn™ , the entity charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has argued it is better to re-configure its fibre-to-the-node network than to build it to handle high levels of traffic. In a new post by nbn™ chief architect Tony Cross, the network builder explains “getting the balance right …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015
Commodore PET smartphone

ZOMBIE Commodore PET lurches out of its 1970s grave – as a FONDLESLAB

Video The Commodore PET, a beloved micro-computer of the late 1970s, is coming back - as an Android phablet. A new website, Commodoresmart.com, has appeared to spruik the device which offers a 5.5 inch screen at 1920x1080, 8MP front and 13MP rear cameras, an eight-core CPU, 3GB of RAM, Android 5.0 and the chance to use two SIMs for …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015
Harvey Pincher from Little Britain

IBM to offer BREAST MILK delivery-as-a-service for staff

IBM will start a breast-milk-delivery-as-a-service offering for female employees and their kids. IBMers sometimes moan that the company's initial stand for “I've Been Moved”, such is the amount of travel or moves to new locales demanded of some employees. Big Blue's decided domestic travel can be a problem for female employees …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015
india

India ponders home-baked chips for defence and nuke plants

India is reportedly pondering a new policy that would see only home-baked silicon used in its military, space program and atomic energy industry. Sources have told the Times of India that government officials have raised the idea with representatives of the three industries mentioned above. Just why is open to speculation. …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015
Google Cloud logo

Google adds Windows Server to Cloud Platform

Google's Cloud Platform has offered any operating system you want, so long as it's Linux. But as of this week you can also run Windows Server in the company's cloud. The company's spinning the addition as a hybrid cloud play, writing that many of its customers “ deploy and operate diverse sets of technologies in mixed Linux …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015

Rackspace to resell and support Microsoft's Azure

Rackspace has announced it's now a reseller and support source for Microsoft's Azure cloud. In years past Rackpace argued vigorously that an open cloud is the best way to do cloud. That stance made the company a big influence on and contributor to OpenStack. These days it's all about managed cloud, with the company's pledged …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2015
 Artwork sent to the Air Ministry depicting UFO sighting experienced by a member of the public.

SaaS without an internet connection: what strange magic is this?

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has been spruiked as all about you, an internet connection, and software running in a super-secure bit barn somewhere. Serious SaaS providers let you integrate your on-site security somehow, but still rely on all the fun and variability of the public internet for some of the journey between your …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2015
DATA RETENTION Guidelines for Service Providers

Brandis' metadata retention recipe doesn't prohibit USB drives stored in a garden shed

Service providers caught up in Australia's data retention scheme will have to encrypt customer information, but that's about as much guidance as the Attorney-General's Department offers. The advice issued by the Department offers scanty information on what constitutes suitable storage infrastructure, and no advice at all on …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2015
Toilet roll printed with fake US $100 bills

Google makes new hires ONE pay offer. 'Negotiation'? What's that?

Fancy the idea of working for Google? If so, you also need to drop the idea of negotiating your salary package: that's according to former principal recruiter for Google Engineering, Bob See. See's taken to Quora, where he's responded to the question “What are the best tips for negotiating a compensation package at Google?” …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2015
Magnetic fields of sunspots interacting

Mathematician: SUNSPOT DROUGHT will mean mini ICE AGE from 2030

Astronomers working in the years 1645 to 1715 observed many fewer sunspots than they were accustomed to seeing. The lower-than-expected rate of sunspots has since come to be known as the “Maunder Minimum” and a new theory suggests we're about to get another one. So says Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University, …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2015
classroom_shutterstock_648

Microsoft again offers free certification exams to failures

Microsoft looks like it's made its “second shot” free certification exam offer just about permanent. “Second shots” are available to those who fail Microsoft certification exams, despite the tests sometimes succumbing to six-year-olds. If you flunk out the first time, Microsoft and its examination providers don't ask you to …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2015
Chasms, craters, and a dark north polar region are revealed in this image of Pluto’s largest moon Charon taken by New Horizons on July 11, 2015. The annotated version includes a diagram showing Charon’s north pole, equator, and central meridian, with the features highlighted. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

Mighty CHASMS, craters FOUND ON MOON of Pluto

The New Horizons mission has turned its attention to Charon, moon of mysterious dwarf ice-world Pluto, and has found it to be a lot more interesting than had been thought. The probe snapped the image at the top of this story (here for readers on mobile devices) on Saturday 11 July and NASA said it was excited because it …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2015

Surviving Hurricane Katrina: A sysadmin's epic DR (as in Didn't Realise) odyssey

On-Call Jim Thompson got in touch with The Register about the mother of all On-Call stories, recalling the time he received a message asking him to come back to New Orleans because a storm called “Hurricane Katrina” was on its way and looked bad. It's nearly 10 years since Katrina raged, so Jim kindly retrieved his jottings on the …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jul 2015
Lemmings for Windows box by https://www.flickr.com/photos/comedynose/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

PC sales go OFF A CLIFF to under 300 million a year

The PC market had a horror second quarter, according to new data from analyst outfits Gartner and IDC. Gartner's blaming Windows 10 for the slowdown: the firm reckons buyers are holding on to their cash before the OS drops, in order to buy machines with Microsoft's new baby pre-installed. Others are holding off because the US …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jul 2015
NBC suit worker image via Shutterstock

Microsoft tries to paint VMware azure with disaster recovery detour

Microsoft has just taken a swipe at VMware's young cloud business. VMware markets that effort, vCloud Air, as the perfect cloud for VMware users, because it just looks like an extension of vSphere. Spinning up servers in the cloud, or shunting workloads around between servers, works just like doing those chores in your own bit …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jul 2015
Android icon desktop toys

AWS opens gate to fondleslabs-as-a-service farm

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has opened a farm in which it hopes developer's will loose their code to graze on lush fields of myriad devices. Enough with the rural metaphor: the “Device Farm” is a smartphones-and-tablets-as-a-service offering. The idea is that developers today have to run emulators galore, or buy an awful lot of …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jul 2015
VirtualBox 5

Number 5 is alive! VirtualBox the fifth debuts

After a swift beta process, Oracle's VirtualBox desktop hypervisor has reached its fifth edition. VirtualBox's fourth iteration emerged in 2010, so in April Oracle decided it was due for some proper attention. That decision resulted in four betas and three release candidates emerging in short order, before Thursday saw the new …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jul 2015
Coconut face by https://www.flickr.com/photos/22327649@N03/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Host privilege escalation vuln bites VMware in the desktop

VMware's security SNAFU email list has delivered news of a new issue in VMware Workstation, Player and Horizon View Client. The missive says “VMware Workstation, Player and Horizon View Client for Windows do not set a discretionary access control list (DACL) for one of their processes. This may allow a local attacker to …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jul 2015
OpenStack

Mirantis climbs aboard converged infrastructure bandwagon

OpenStack vendor Mirantis has decided that the converged infrastructure caper looks like a decent idea, so has cooked up its own set of tightly-coupled, pre-configured boxen. Dubbed “Unlocked Appliances”, the rigs will look familiar to anyone who's contemplated kit from Nutanix, SimpliVity, VCE, a NetApp/Cisco Flexpod the IBM/ …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jul 2015
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Intel's tablet CPU share to DROP: analyst

Researchers at Taiwan's Digitimes have bad news for Intel: it just isn't going to sell many chips for mobile devices. Intel's thrown a lot of time, money and effort at mobile devices, but its efforts have resulted in red ink, a re-org to combine mobile and desktop products, and rumours of imminent layoffs. Digitimes now says …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jul 2015
Facepalm

It's 2015 and VMware tools break VMs if you open two browser tabs

VMware has revealed a couple of nasty bugs in its vRealize Automation products. One causes hard disks to disappear. Detailed here, the flaw impacts vRealize Automation 6.x and means “hard disks are removed unexpectedly when reconfiguring a virtual machine that has RDM disks.” That's obviously a bad idea seeing as hard disks …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jul 2015
Chromecast ethernet dongle

Chromecast gains wired Ethernet dongle

Google's released an odd accessory for its Chromecast TV dongle: an Ethernet dongle. Chromecasts plug into a telly's HDMI port and deliver video beamed over WiFi. That arrangement usually works well, but strikes problems when WiFi goes wonky. Enter the Ethernet adapter for Chromecast, which offers a power supply, USB cable …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jul 2015

Office 365 prices 'to rise by up to 13 per cent'

+Comment Microsoft looks to have increased the price it will charge for Office 365 in the Euro-zone, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and Canada. Nicole Sheridan, who works and blogs for Irish distributor MicroWarehouse, has posted a Microsoft missive on the price rises. She also quotes from a Microsoft communiqué that says the …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jul 2015
Excerpt from Russian safe selfies brochure

Russia campaigns to stop SUICIDALLY STUPID selfies

Russia's Interior Ministry has started an education campaign to convince the populace that high-flying, high-risk selfies can kill. Assistant Minister of Internal Affairs, Lieutenant Colonel of Police Elena Alekseeva, yesterday launched the “safety selfie” programme after several Russian citizens came to grisly ends whilst …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jul 2015
opportunity selfie

Mars rover Opportunity shuns dodgy flash chips, relies on RAM

NASA says its aging solar-powered Opportunity rover will from now on explore the Red Planet without using its flash memory whenever possible. Opportunity has been on Mars since 2004, and it was expected to work for three months. Glitches in the rover's flash memory, which first became apparent with an ”amnesia” incident in …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jul 2015
Linus Torvalds flips the bird

Evil NSA runs on saintly Linux, Apache, MySQL

The United States National Security Agency's (NSA's) XKEYSCORE spookware, revealed by Edward Snowden as capable of sniffing and analysing just about any data from anywhere, runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. So says Snowden amanuensis Glenn Greenwald, who last week wrote that XKEYSCORE “... is a piece of Linux software that is …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jul 2015
Netflix

Australians sign for 1.7 million new streaming video accounts

At the end of 2014, Australians collectively subscribed to about 315,000 streaming video on demand (SVOD) services. But in the six months since, that total's grown to over two million according to analyst outfit Telsyte. What's changed? Netflix came to Australia and was chased into the market by local player Stan. Those two …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jul 2015

EMC sells Syncplicity sync'n'share biz to Skyview Capital. Told ya!

EMC has divested its Syncplicity Dropbox clone enterprise file sync and share, which has been scooped up by private investment outfit Skyview Capital - confirming the rumours El Reg brought to you earlier today. EMC acquired Syncplicity in 2012, quickly binding it to the Atmos and Isilon products and imbuing it with enterprise …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jul 2015
Linux apps running inside citrix receiver

Linux on the desktop is so hot there's now a fight over it

Citrix has made good on its April promise to deliver virtual Linux desktops, today announcing it's ready to roll out penguin-powered pretend PCs. The company snuck the penguin-powered desktops into Feature Pack 2 for XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6. For now, Citrix says says you can choose from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jul 2015
ganesha_648

Indian DEITY plans 14 Exabyte cloud storage rig

India last week launched a national Digital locker, a kind of Dropbox clone it hopes will simplify citizens' interactions with government. The service offers a Gigabyte for eligible citizens, which isn't a lot. Until you multiply it by India's 1.4 billion citizens and get to a potential for 14 Exabytes if the system ever fills …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jul 2015
iPhone pistol case

Oi, idiot fanbois. DON'T buy this gun-shaped iPhone case, mmkay?

US police have warned punters not to buy a new iPhone case that resembles a handgun. The Ocean County Prosecutor's office took to Facebook last week with a plea for punters to ignore the case. “Please folks – this cell phone case is not a cool product or a good idea,” the post says. “A police officers [sic] job is hard enough …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
Firefox logo

Firefox 39 bites four critical bugs

The Mozilla Foundation has released Firefox the 39th. The best reason to adopt the new version is its repairs for three critical bugs. Detailed here, the flaws include memory corruption and “exploitable crashes.” A further two “high” severity flaws, half a dozen rated “moderate” and a single “low” severity bug have also been …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
Progress 60 approaching the ISS

Soyuz source replenishes international space station

The Russian Soyuz craft launched last week to bring supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) has successfully docked, bringing welcome supplies to the crew. The last two ISS replenishment missions failed. In April another Soyuz spun out, then in late June a SpaceX Falcon 9 blew up before it reached orbit. The two …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
Sydney Harbour Bridge in the cloud

Microsoft to HIKE Azure prices as exchange rates shift

Update Over the last few years, Google, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft have all announced price cut after price cut, but Redmond is about to increase prices for its Azure cloud. A Microsoft spokesperson told us the company “... continues to evaluate the market conditions in the countries in which we operate. As a result, we will …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
Glorious future of China

China unveils Internet Plus plan for FIRST time (actually third time)

Back in March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced the “Internet Plus” plan, an effort to stimulate China's growth. In late June he did it again at a State Council Meeting. And over the weekend he did it again, announcing that an “action plan” is now in place to make Internet Plus a reality. The plan – reported in identical …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
This way to linux by https://www.flickr.com/photos/pfh/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

ONE MILLION new lines of code hit Linux Kernel

Linus Torvalds has loosed Linux 4.2-rc1 upon a waiting world, and rates it the biggest release candidate ever in terms of the volume of new code it contains. The Linux Lord writes that “if you count the size in pure number of lines changed, this really seems to be the biggest rc we've ever had, with over a million lines added …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jul 2015
Hilary Clinton by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

China hacks 'everything that doesn't move' says Hilary Clinton

Former US secretary of state and now presidential candidate Hilary Clinton has accused China of aggressive, state-sponsored hacking aimed at stealing both state and trade secrets. In widely-reported remarks made at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Clinton said China is “ ... trying to hack into everything that doesn't move …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jul 2015
titanium rods in https://www.flickr.com/photos/warrenski/'s spine cc 2.0 attribution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

'The server broke and so did my back on the flight to fix it'

On-Call Reg readers are awesome and none more so than JT Smith, who sent us an epic tale of the time he was called out to solve a backup problem. It started with a chap called “Hubswitch”, who was in charge of technology at a remote site that JT oversaw. Hubswitch earned his name because he kept using the word to describe any piece …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jul 2015
qantas_route_tracker_648

Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

The Airbus A380 has a range of 15,200km, but the longest scheduled commercial flight using the aircraft is the 13,804km Dallas (USA) to Sydney (Australia) jaunt flown by Australia's Qantas. Heading from Oz to the USA, the trip takes just 15 hours and 35 minutes, which at only about an hour longer than a Sydney-Los Angeles flight …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Jul 2015
Cat 5 cable

North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) can no longer satisfy requests for new IPv4 addresses and has started a waitlist for those who want more. ARIN warned, in early June, that “It is very likely that we are already processing a request that we will be unable to fulfill [sic].” On Monday this week it escalated the …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jul 2015
Lego gandalf by https://www.flickr.com/photos/isherwoodchris/  CC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ attribution sharealike

Wanna go all Gandalf – YOU SHALL NOT PASS – on Windows 10?

From 29 July, as we've reported, Windows 10 downloads will start to become available. But of course you don't want that: what sysadmin in their right mind wants to pollute their carefully-tended standard operating environments? Or have users flood the network with OS updates? With the first-day release of an operating system? …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jul 2015
One Microsoft Way by https://www.flickr.com/photos/36182550@N08/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ cropped to 648-432

Azure Australia went TITSUP for about seven hours

Update Microsoft's Azure service is experiencing TITSUP - Total Inability To Support Usual Performance - for some Australian users. The company's status page says “Starting at approximately 01:03 UTC [11:03 AM, Sydney] on 3 July, 2015 customers with Azure services hosted in Australia East may experience inability to connect to their …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jul 2015
Example of tidy cabling

Cloud market spins up a cyclone of sales

Happy days, hardware-sellers, box-peering-abacus-wielder IDC says sales of cloudy kit surged by a whopping 25 per cent in 2015's first quarter. The analyst outfit's Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker found that sales of infrastructure-grade servers, storage and ethernet switches grew by 25.1% year over year to …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jul 2015