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Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Oz refugee data leak a SNAFU, says KPMG report

Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection needs to tighten up its publishing processes to prevent repeats of a January incident that saw personal details of 10,000 asylum seekers placed on the Web for all to see. Asylum seekers are a very controversial issue in Australia, especially those that arrive by boat. …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jun 2014
Sim card

Japan's DOCOMO suggests wearable SIM cards

Japanese mobile carrier DoCoMo has come up with an interesting idea: a wearable SIM card that authenticates all your devices on its network under a single account. The company says the portable SIM is currently a “pocketsize mini device” but that “further downsizing” will deliver “convenient wearable devices”. Those devices will …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jun 2014
Assassin's Creed: Revelations

Women are too expensive to draw and code – Ubisoft

Ubisoft's creative director Alex Amancio has stirred up another row over sexism in the gaming industry by saying the studio's new game, Assassin's Creed Unity, doesn't feature any female characters because it would have been too much of an effort to create them. Amancio's opinion emerged in this video interview posted by gaming …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jun 2014
A pair of pincers

Wintel pincers to squeeze iPads out of BYOD

Intel is about to muscle up, scale down, and take a serious shot at marginalising Apple's iPad among business buyers. The campaign started at Computex with the launch of the Core M just-for-typoslabs 14nm silicon. It is important to understand that Core-M is not just a new piece of “marketechture”. Instead it is a fully-fledged …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jun 2014
Tiger Woods 2011

Scott McNealy to caddie for 18-year-old son at US Golf Open

What did Scott McNealy do once Oracle slurped Sun? If one were to be unkind, one could say he became a bagman. And then note that the term has few pejorative connotations in the sport of golf, where it denotes the club-schlepping, advice-giving caddies who accompany top players around the course. 18-year-old Maverick McNealy is …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jun 2014
money_yen_dollar_pound

Ireland accused of giving Apple 'selective advantage'

The European Commission will investigate The Republic of Ireland's handling of Apple's tax affairs, after raising concerns that discretion available to the nation's tax authorities “... has been used in the case of Apple to grant a selective advantage to that company, reducing its tax burden below the level it should pay based …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jun 2014
Motorway surveillance control room

SLOW DOWN: Insecure-by-design software on road

If your commute to work today featured an electronic highway sign suggesting you do something odd, the presence of a default password in sign management software called Daktronics Vanguard may be to blame. ICS CERT points out that an early panic that the software possessed a hardwired password can be dismissed. But the …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jun 2014

Glacier's hot butt melts ice, boffins say

Underground sources of geothermal heat have been named as one reason Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier is melting. Thwaites Glacier is a big contributor to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is thought to be in danger of collapse in part because glaciers aren't sending it as much ice as has previously been the case. If the whole …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jun 2014

Microsoft poised to take Web server crown from Apache

Brace yourself for an almighty burst of self-congratulation from Microsoft, which is poised to take the crown for the world's most-used Web server. So says Netcraft's new monthly report on the state of the web, which offers the following data: Developer May 2014 Percent June 2014 Percent Change Apache 366,262,346 37.56% …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jun 2014
Phillip's bacon/soda bread combo

Apple's Irish tax lair to be probed by European Commission

Apple's tax arrangements in The Republic of Ireland are about to become the subject of an official European Commission investigation, according to a report by Irish public service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE). The report suggests competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia will take to the stage on or after June 11th …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jun 2014

Google's URL-hiding 'origin chip' is 'backburnered'

Google has “backburnered” a controversial feature that would have hidden full details of web addresses from Chrome users. The feature was called “origin chip” and, as we explained a few weeks back it removed all the characters beyond the top-level-domain from Chrome's Omnibox, as you can see below. The ad-slinger's rationale …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jun 2014

Dell Australia managing director steps down

Joe Kremer, Dell's veep and managing director for Australia and New Zealand, has called it a day. Kremer will leave the building in July, to be replaced by Angela Fox. Fox currently leads Dell's services outfit in the Asia Pacific and Japan, having previously served in senior roles in the company's enterprise solutions business …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2014

Russian Interior Ministry cuffs iPhone ransomware suspects

Russia's Interior Ministry has announced the arrest of two chaps suspected of conducting ransomware attacks on iPhones. The Ministry's statement on the arrests describes a modus operandi that sounds an awful lot like that employed by “Oleg Pliss”, an entity that last month remotely locked iThings in Australia. Apple later …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2014

Torvalds hits 'Go' button for Linux 3.15

Linus Torvalds has pressed the “Go” button on version 3.15 of the Linux kernel. The new release will be welcomed by gamers and laptop owners, as the operating system is now said to suspend and resume operations rather more quickly. There's also support for Sony's DualShock 4 controller and improved drivers for some graphics …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2014
Dunce

600 school sysadmins sacked in New South Wales

The Department of Education and Communities (DEC) in the Australian state of New South Wales has chosen not to continue funding a program that paid for sysadmins in many schools. Funding for the sysadmins was initially made available under the Federal “Digital Education Revolution” (DER) program initiated by the Rudd government …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jun 2014

The Strippers, Unicorn Computers and Martian Watches of Computex

I've been to plenty of technology shows around the world but never one as diverse as Computex, where you'll find single-board industrial computers side-by-side with strippers. Wire strippers at Computex What a tool All stripper jokes aside, to understand Computex you need to know that there are lots of scantily-clad young …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2014
George Bush in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones scribe George R R Martin will KILL YOU for US$20K

Game of Thrones author George R R Martin is running a crowdfunding campaign in which he promises to kill you for US$20,000. The writer has launched the campaign to support a wolf sanctuary near his home in Santa Fe. As is the case with most crowdfunding capers, this campaign offers rewards of increasing value for contributions …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2014
Google's project tango

TANGO DOWN! Google presents its 3D non-fondle slab to the world

Google has revealed a tablet for Project Tango – the web giant's plan to create devices capable of mapping the space around them in three dimensions. Tango was first floated as a smartphone, but Google was later suspected of instead deciding on a tablet as the best device for the job. The keyword-kings today confirmed the …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2014

Oracle sees more SDN light, joins OpenDaylight

Oracle has announced it is joining open source software-defined networking (SDN) effort OpenDaylight as a silver member. Big O will bake the software into Solaris 11.2 just as soon as it can and says doing so will mean its customers can “use a common and open SDN platform with OpenStack to manage Oracle Solaris-based clouds.” …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2014
The two types of plastiglomerate

Plastic is the new rock, say Geologists

Geologists have identified what they say is a new class of rock. 'Plastiglomerates', as the new rocks are called, form when plastic debris washes up on beaches, breaks down into small pieces, becomes mixed in sand or sticks to other rocks and solidifies into an agglomerate mixing all of the above. Such rocks, say US and Canadian …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2014
The M55 star cluster

Boffins publish SciFi story to announce exoplanet find

Boffins from the Queen Mary University of London have chosen an unusual way to announce a new exoplanet find, commissioning a short story describing the recently-revealed worlds. There's a paper about the find too, and a promise of more to come in a future issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The paper …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jun 2014
VM bigot badge

VMware kills control freak protector, says 'big plans' for HA afoot

VMware has announced it will stop selling vCenter Heartbeat, a product that offers added management and high availability features for its vSphere cloudy control freak. News that the product reached “end of availability” earlier in the week was unexpected but doesn't leave a worrying gap in VMware's offerings. That's because it …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jun 2014
Dyson Air Multiplier

'Fan docks' are about to become a thing

Yesterday at Computex, Intel announced the new Core M, a new CPU architecture based on a Broadwellian 14nm process, and said it is destined to appear in premium tablets and two-in-one typoslabs. Today, Chipzilla revealed a little more about the new product by showing off a reference design for a Core-M-equipped typoslab called …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Jun 2014
Lian Li's PC case desk

Please be seated at your FOUR-LEGGED PC

The show floor at Computex bears a zillion gadgets all trying to catch your eye, but one that really stands out by offering a new way to sit down is the computer case/desk from Taiwan's Lian Li. The desk itself is unremarkable: it has four legs and a glass top. The desk's drawer is where things get interesting, because it offers …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Jun 2014
IBM 'through-silicon via' stacked chips

Calxeda co-founder unleashs 48-core ARM SoC

ARM vendor Cavium has revealed 48-core silicon it reckons will pitch it into high-end data centre and server apps. Cavium has hired Larry Wikelius, co-founder of failed ARM server silicon vendor Calxeda, and his former colleague Gopal Hegde (who played a part in creating Cisco's UCS servers). Both are insistent that now is the …
Pixar's claw-worshipping Aliens

Pixar frees its production-grade RenderMan software

Pixar Animation Studios has decided to give away RenderMan, its flagship animation software used to create the likes of Toy Story, Wall-E and – less happily – Cars 2. The company decided on the freebie, which will apply only to non-commercial use, after last week releasing a new version of the software said to offer “ an …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Jun 2014
computex 2014 logo

Intel gives biz typoslabs their very own 14nm Core-M silicon

Intel President Renee James has used her Computex keynote to declare that Intel “can see our way clear to 10-nanometre” chips and to introduce a new Core-M CPU family aimed at two-in-one typoslabs and high-end fondleslabs. The Core M will be built using the Broadwell 14nm process and is said to be the most power-efficient core …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jun 2014

Samsung, Chipzilla in 4K monitor price cut pact

Intel and Samsung have created a “collaboration” to help the latter company slice the price of 4K monitors. In a pre-Computex briefing call Lisa Graff, Chipzilla's PC Client Group veep and general manager of the Desktop Client Platforms Group opined that PC buyers are aware of 4K but that monitor costs are so high they're …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jun 2014
Intel Pentium

VROOM! Intel revs Devil's Canyon monster 4x4 at 4GHz

Intel has take the wraps off its rumoured “Devil's Canyon” CPU and revealed it is a brutal four by four monster. Each of the CPU's four cores run at 4 GHz, for starters. Overclockers can push the CPU beyond that to 4.3 or 4.4 GHz. Either way, the CPU means Intel's gone back to emphasising grunt, after a decade or so of …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jun 2014
ASUS Transformer Book V

ASUS launches 5-in-1 Android Windows Phone laptop tablet (breathe)

ASUS has launched something entirely new – and odd – at Computex. The Transformer Book V is a Windows laptop that, should you choose to detach the keyboard, becomes a Windows tablet. There's something odd at the back of the tablet: a broad groove that houses a five inch Android phone. When the phone is in the slot the tablet …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2014

ARM to open CPU design centre in Taiwan

ARM is following the gravity of the hardware industry, saying it's going to open a CPU design centre in Taiwan – its first such presence in Asia and just its fourth anywhere in the world. Announced today at Computex in Taipei in the presence of Taiwan's minister of Science and Technology San-Cheng Chang and deputy minister for …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2014
Taiwan CWB map

LIVE BLOG: El Reg at the Computex 2014 opener

The Register's Simon Sharwood is in Taiwan to cover Computex 2014. Today is Day Zero of the conference, but the organisers still throw the press a bone in the form of a press conference at which local manufacturers reveal a few new products. Simon live-blogged the event, bringing news of a win for Brit speaker company GP …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2014

FORGET OUR PAST, 12,000 Europeans implore Google

A widely distributed report by Agence-France Presse quotes a Google official as saying 12,000 Europeans have asked the ad-slinging giant to omit some search results linked to their name. Of course, the web giant can simply ignore the requests, and send the complainants to information commissioners or the courts to deal with. …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2014
HP's Android-powered SlateBook

HP reveals Apple-powered Android 'SlateBook'

HP has created something called a “SlateBook” that uses Apple technology and runs Android. SlateBook is apparently HP talk for a touch-screen-equipped laptop. Just what else is in any way slate-like about the device is not immediately apparent. Apple's contribution is small – the machine offers Beats audio – but the presence of …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2014
Boar Sausage Taipei

Taipei's tech malls are less than sum of their parts

Taiwan has a thoroughly deserved reputation as one of the world's technology dragons, as shown by the fact its annual Computex show is probably behind only Las Vegas' CES in terms of significance to consumer technology. Computex is why I've come to town. Trying to get a feeling for host city Taipei is why I arrived two days …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2014
Concept art of a hypothetical HTC Facebook phone

Facebook wants MORE EXPLICIT SHARING

Facebook is asking developers who use its platform to indulge in a lot more explicit sharing. The House of Zuck isn't asking devs to code with their pants off. Instead, The Social NetworkTM wants developers to stop their apps spaffing news of every microscopic event into its users' new feeds. Explaining the change, Facebooker …
Simon Sharwood, 30 May 2014
Intel's pilot age-detecting vending machine

For your next privacy panic, look no further than vending machines

If you're looking for a future privacy panic, look no further than the coming wave of PC-powered pic-snapping age-guessing vending machines. The idea behind such machines is simple: if you can pop a PC inside a vending machine you get the ability to manage it more effectively and to measure which goods are selling well or poorly …
Simon Sharwood, 30 May 2014
Dell Humidor Inside Two

The cloud's between your ears, not in your data centre

Hyperscale data centres are wondrous. Gartner's Sydney IT Operations and Data Centre summit this week heard that the likes of Google and Facebook have a sysdamin:server ratio of around 1:24,000, compared to the 1:500 common in the most efficient and virtualised enterprise bit barns. Hyperscale data centres can run at a power …
Simon Sharwood, 29 May 2014

EMC twisting 'young minds' to appreciate clouds

EMC is currently running a series of educational days for its technical, customer-facing people (known as SEs in EMC cant) to help them explain how the company will move on from from exotically-engineered hardware to all manner of cloud enablement capers. The Reg was able to intercept EMC blogger, veep and occasional K-Pop …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2014

Australia iOS ransom gizmo-snatch OUTRAGE not our FAULT: Apple

Apple has denied that a breach of its iCloud service is the reason for an outbreak of ransomware infecting Australian iThing users. Australian Apple owners yesterday complained that their beloved hardware iStuff had been remotely locked by a chap identifying himself as Oleg Pliss and demanding a PayPal transfer of $AUD50 to …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2014
How Microsoft sees Skype

Skype to become 'Star Trek' style real-time translator, says Redmond

Microsoft has demonstrated real-time translation of conversations conducted over Skype. Redmond showed off the tool at a shindig called Code Conference in California, and released the video below to show it off. The video uses Redmond's usual oh-so-shiny optimistic style. If you want to see the translation in action, fast …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2014
The chinese characters for China as used in the new .中国  domain

That Snowden chap was SPOT ON says China

China is ramping up its war of words with the USA over online espionage, releasing a report by its Internet Media Research Center that – surprise! - concludes Uncle Sam does a lot of spying online. There's lots of pompous language in the report, such as this opening paragraph: “As a superpower, the United States takes advantage …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2014
Great Wall of China

China ponders ban on IBM servers

The dispute between China and the USA over backdoor-riddled information technology equipment has just heated up, with Bloomberg reporting Chinese authorities are wondering whether the time has come for local banks to ditch their IBM servers. The newswire's report mentions “high-end” servers and suggests Chinese authorities “are …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2014
Avast! Free Anti-virus utility

Antivirus firm Avast! takes down forums after breach

Antivirus firm Avast! has 'fessed up to a breach. The small upside is that the mess only impacts the company's forums. As the company's CEO Vincent Steckler has blogged “Less than 0.2% of our 200 million users were affected. No payment, license, or financial systems or other data was compromised.” Don't click away to another …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2014

Oz company builds VSANs on Open Compute kit

Facebook's hope that its open compute project (OCP) would bring hyperscale-style innovation to the world is bearing fruit, with an Australian company revealing a range of converged infrastructure and virtual SAN products using its server designs. The company in question, Infrx, is currently a tiny affair with just four staff. …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2014
Internet Engineering Task Force logo

Google's SPDY blamed for slowing HTTP 2.0 development

The HTTP 2.0 working group appears to be in crisis, with work on integrating Google's SPDY HTTP-boosting protocol blamed for taking the project off the rails. The accusation comes from prominent FreeBSD developer Poul-Henning Kamp, whose post to the working group's mailing list calls for work on the protocol to be abandoned. …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2014
Apple Mac OS X Server for Mountain Lion

Apple goes after BlackBerry's last stronghold

Apple has opened an office in Indonesia. Twitter member Fauzan Alfi, aka @fauzanalfi, spotted a new listing for Apple on the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia’s site. The address provided on that site matches that on Apple's own site. Apple has also started hiring staff in Indonesia, some in retail roles. Why does …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2014
india

IT industry to benefit from India's new government

New Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata political party will be good for Indian IT on two fronts, analysts say. Modi was elected two weeks ago after a marathon campaign and election at which over 800 million people were eligible to vote. The Bharatiya Janata political (BJP) secured over 171 million votes and …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2014
Bigpond Logo

Telstra 'issue' hid ADSL availability from rival carriers

The Competitive Carriers Coalition (CCC) has claimed Telstra “discriminate against consumers trying to buy broadband from competitors by incorrectly claiming their telephone lines were unable to provide a service.” The coalition says Telstra applies less stringent tests when its own retail arm seeks access. ““As a result, …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2014
Logo of Iceland's Pirate Party

Pirate Party runs aground in European Parliamentary elections

Voters have not been entirely kind to The Pirate Party in elections for the European Parliament. Sweden's two Pirate Party European Members of Parliament have not been re-elected, with the local authorities tally suggesting a collapse in the Party's vote to 2.2 per cent, down from 2009's 7.1 per cent. In Finland, where Pirate …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2014