Simon Sharwood

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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
Thumbs Up Desktop Phone

Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins

Microsoft is going to try to bake Skype into Internet Explorer. In a post issued yesterday, Redmond indicates it's going to use the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC (ORTC API for WebRTC) to ensure it becomes possible to “... simply open IE and make a Skype call”. The ORTC API is a W3C effort, as is WebRTC, so …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Oct 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

AWS scores same Oz gov sec creds as Azure

Microsoft yesterday pressed the ON button for Azure Australia, and one of the things the Redmondian outpost was keen to point out was that it was the only cloud in Australia to have earned the Australian federal government's Industry Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) certification. IRAP is run by Australia's sigint …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Oct 2014

HDS launches compute-as-a-service in Equinix bit barns everywhere

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has come up with a new way to keep selling hardware in the cloud age, by creating a compute-as-a-service service that will live in Equinix's 32-nation-strong bit barn network. HDS is most often characterised as a storage vendor and has offered storage-as-a-service for some years. The company also re- …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2014

Mozilla hopes to challenge Raspbian as RPi OS of choice

The Mozilla Foundation staged a Mozilla Festival in the UK over the weekend, and one of the projects developers delivered was a port of Firefox OS working to the Raspberry Pi. Mozilla has big ambitions for its OS on the Pi, stating the following four objectives for a future Pi-compatible release: Be at parity with Raspbian/RPi …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2014
iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

Fanboi-and-fanfare-free fondleslabs fail to fire imagination

First Fondle Here's something new from Apple: a product launch without a queue, excited fanbois or, indeed, much enthusiasm at all. The launch is question was that of the iPad Air 2 iPad Mini 3, both of which quietly slipped into Apple stores late last week. As is Vulture South's custom, we dropped into our friendly neighbourhood Apple store …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2014

ESXi is telling fibs to backup software

Redditor “tottenham12712” has pieced together a scary scenario for VMware users: ESXi might be feeding dud data to backup software. VMware knows it has a problem. Indeed, it has explained in this knowledge base article that when vAdmins expand a vmdk file past 128GB, and Change Block Tracking (CBT) is enabled, the …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2014
Azure icon

Azure Australia launches, complete with full-fibre diet

Microsoft has, as expected, pressed the Big Blue Button to enliven the Australian “geo” of its Azure cloud service. Scott Guthrie, veep of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group had one other snippet to announce, namely the availability of dedicated fibre links – dubbed ExpressRoute - from Equinix and Telstra to the two …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2014
Artist's concept of the Voyager spacecraft in space.

Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home

Something just a little bit remarkable happened last week. Launched on September 5th, 1977, Voyager 1 visited Jupiter in 1979 and Saturn 1980, sending back marvellous photos and data from both. The craft is not fitted with brakes and has been sailing out of the solar system since, most recently encountering a “roar” caused by a …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Oct 2014

‘For the love of Pete, America, learn about decent chocolate’

eXpat Files If it's Sunday it must be time for another instalment of The eXpat Files, our weekly chat with a fellow reader who decided to move to another country in search of adventure, career advancement, and something else to do on weekends. This week, meet Andre Ben Hamou, a Brit who moved to Los Angeles, and scored a gig at Riot Games. …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Oct 2014

Rackspace launches big red rack eater

Rackspace has flicked the switch on the third version of its RackConnect hybrid cloud-maker. RackConnect is the company's tool to marry dedicated hosting and the public cloud. The idea is that you might have some of your own kit in a data centre or dedicated boxen in a public cloud, plus some public cloud instances running in a …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Oct 2014
Comet Siding Spring from 8.5m kms out

MAVEN snaps eight-bit SPACE INVADER

Comet Siding springs is proving a tricky subject for photography. But surely humanity's robot observers can do better than the image below, snapped by the MAVEN orbiter at a distance of about 8.5 million kilometres and depicting the comet as a Space Invader. Comet Siding Spring from 8.5m kms out Comet Siding Spring seen from 8. …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Oct 2014
Job cuts jpeg

'Careful management of headcount' for Juniper after tepid quarter

Juniper Networks has reported a difficult third quarter that left CEO Shaygan Kheradpir “disappointed” by “lower-than-anticipated demand from service providers, particularly in the U.S.” Revenue was $1,126 million, down eight per cent from 2014's second quarter and five per cent compared to the same Q3 in 2013. Non-GAAP net …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Oct 2014

Samsung gets virtual with tiny S5 upgrade and goggle grab

A small upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S5 has popped up on Samsung's dutch web site? The phone is identical in all regards to the S5, save in the fact that it uses a Qualcomm CPU running at 2.5 Ghz. The original S5 runs at 2.7Ghz. Dutch Samsung bloggers spotted the change and word on the street is that the new model uses a …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Oct 2014
Glorious future of China

Facebook, IBM, court future Chinese elite

Beijing's Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management has signed up two tech titans to its advisory board: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty. Tsinghua University is among China's most prestigious, is ranked the world's 47th-best tertiary education institution and its School of …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Oct 2014

Xen says its security policies might be buggier than its software

The Xen project has asked for help to ensure future bugs aren't as disruptive as the XSA-108 flaw that saw major cloud operators reboot an awful lot of servers. XSA-108 emerged in late September and saw the likes of AWS, SoftLayer and Rackspace patch and reboot many servers. Such reboots are just the kind of thing that cloud …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Oct 2014
BMC Software logo

Newly-private BMC gets cloud/social/mainframe (!) religion

Newly-privatised BMC thinks it can re-invent - nay, disrupt - itself by cashing in on on all of 2014's biggest buzzwords: cloud, social, mobile and disruption. And mainframe, for good measure. The company's recently-appointed head of global sales Paul Appleby today told The Reg in Sydney today that one of the reasons he joined …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Oct 2014

SNIA's Australia/New Zealand chapter winds itself up

The Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA's) Australia and New Zealand chapter has decided to wind itself up. “I would say SNIA ANZ has achieved its goal over the years,” said chairman Sean Kopelke, before going on to explain that the Association's board felt the global SNIA charter – which focuses on standards and …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Oct 2014
Are you ready for your closeup, comet siding springs?

Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill

The first images of Comet Siding Spring, a celestial body deemed so menacing that humanity cocooned its very best robots, has turned out to be rather smaller than imagined. The first images of the comet, captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, suggest …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Oct 2014
putin topless

VMware's new enemy no. 1 isn't Hyper-V, it's Vladimir Putin

You can tell a lot about how a company is going by listening to financial analysts' questions at the end of an earnings conference call. When things are good – as they were in VMware's Q1 earnings call – analysts can almost gush. If there's a hint of weakness or illogic, analysts can find all sorts of things about which to ask …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Oct 2014
EMC federation logo

EMC calls sudden event to reveal 'New business development'

EMC has given US media less than 24 hours notice of an event at which it will announce a “new business development”. The event will take place at 0930, Eastern Time, an hour after the company announces its Q3 earnings. Bloomberg reports the announcement will be Cisco's departure as an active participant in the VCE joint venture …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

Innovation agenda's code for kids plan still a work in progress

The ”Coding across the curriculum” plan included in Australia's “Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda” is yet to be developed, and is yet to be targeted at particular students or schools. The AU$3.5m plan was announced last week, just two days after a review of Australia's national curriculum recommended a recently- …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
the Dr Chau Chak Wing building at UTS

That's PROFESSOR Woz to you from now on, young whippersnapper

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has joined the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), as an adjunct professor. Woz will teach in the “Magic Lab” (Innovation and Enterprise Research Laboratory), School of Software and the Centre for Quantum Computation and Intelligent Systems at UTS' Faculty of Engineering and IT. Magic Lab …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
VMware Monster VM

VMware gives up on dual-persona smartphone concept

VMware has walked away from the idea of dual-persona smartphones, according to John Marshall, senior veep and general manager of the company's Airwatch division. Virtzilla had the idea of dual-persona phones back in about 2011, when it floated the notion of a Mobile Virtual Platform (MVP) hypervisor. The plan was for handset- …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014

UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan

A group of “Veteran Unix Admins” reckons too much input from GNOME devs is dumbing down Debian, and in response, is floating the idea of a fork. As the rebel greybeards put it, “... current leadership of the project is heavily influenced by GNOME developers and too much inclined to consider desktop needs as crucial to the …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
Apple Maiden data center Teradata

CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz

Microsoft has let slip one of its least-well-guarded secrets: two new Azure bit barns will go live in Australia next week, as predicted by Vulture South. The opening will coincide with TechEd Sydney, and was revealed in one of Redmond's “Cloud Day” announcements (spotted by Lifehacker AU). In that emission, Redmond promised “ …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
Australia.gov.au beta

Australia puts itself back into Beta

The Online Services Branch of Australia's Department of Finance, which oversees the nation's online efforts, has put the country in beta with the release of a new design for the national website at australia.gov.au. The new look is said to be the result of “user analysis and … benchmarking with other government agencies both …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014
IE8 patch

Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch

Another Patch Update Tuesday, another red face for Microsoft, which has again been forced to pull a patch to prevent nasty side-effects. Explained at TechNet, the patch that aimed to add “SHA-2 Hashing” to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 has instead raised some concerns among Redmond's customers. The company is therefore “ …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014
Malware

Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz

Analyst firm Gartner has departed from its usual areas of expertise to issue advice on how to combat the Ebola virus. The firm's advice, which it says it is offering for free because “issues of public safety deserve broad distribution in the public interest”. The advice is so earnest that it almost sounds comical. For example, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

WAITER! There's a Flappy Bird in my Lollipop!

Google's practice of leaving Easter Eggs in Android appears to have continued, with a chap spotting a Flappy Bird clone in the new version 5.0, aka Lollipop, release. Here's his video of how to invoke the game, and a look at its gameplay. That Flappy Bird aficionados among you will notice that the game scrolls from right to …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars

Comet Siding Spring has made a close pass by Mars, apparently without incident to the human-built machines in the neighbourhood. NASA says the “Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter … continues operating in good health after sheltering behind Mars during the half hour when high-velocity dust particles from comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014
Apple Mac Pro

vSphere meets iCylinder in new VMware update

VMware has emitted a small update to ESXi that, among other things, adds support for the Mac Pro. ESXi 5.5 patch 3 offers a collection of updates that address security and stability issues. VMware's not mentioning it on the download page, but staffer William Lam has helpfully let us know that the update also means ESXi can now …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2014
Concept of the Unimodal SkyTran system in use in Dubai.

'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'

eXpat Files Welcome once again to The eXpat files, our Vulture Weekend feature in which readers who've well and truly left the nest explain what it's like to ply their technological trade in another land. This week – we're going weekly by popular demand – meet D. Hayes Blanchard, who made the move from the US to Armenia, and then Dubai. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2014
What Linus Torvalds thinks of NVIDIA

Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'

Linux Lord Linus Torvalds has admitted that his tendency to use strong language has alienated other members of the Linux community. In a Q&A with Intel's chief Linux and open source chap Dirk Hohndel at LinuxCon Europe in Düsseldorf on Wednesday, Torvalds was asked what he'd do differently if given the chance. According to …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014

WikiLeaks reveals new draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership

+Comment WikiLeaks has revealed a new draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the controversial free trade treaty currently being negotiated by 12 nations in the Asia-Pacific region. The new leak comprises a version of the treaty's second chapter said to be the result of round of negotiations conducted in Vietnam during May 2014. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014
Cassette tape exposed

Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape

2015 will see the internet finally replace an answering machine that uses cassettes as its storage medium, or at least the answering machine used by alt.rock outfit They Might Be Giants' iconic Dial-A-Song service. They Might Be Giants created Dial-A-Song in 1983 when one member broke his wrist and the other's home was burgled. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014
OpenStack Juno logo

Juno what's just been released? OpenStack 10, that's what

The tenth version of OpenStack is upon us, and thanks to 1,419 contributors from 133 companies offers 342 new features and 3,219 bug fixes. Juno, as the new release is known, is the latest emission in the project's planned six-monthly release cycle. The headline feature this time around is a new automated service for …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014
HP Pre 3 WebOS smartphone

HP to shutter webOS cloud services

HP has announced it will shut down webOS cloud services on January 15th, 2015. The company says it's given the few owners of webOS devices three years of service since canning the software, but that “The user count has dwindled to the point where it is no longer viable to keep the services running.” Devices running webOS will …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

Australian spookhaus busted for warrantless tap of own phones

Australia's Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (AIGIS) has found that the nation's Australian Security and Intelligence Agency (ASIO) spied on itself in contravention of local laws. The Inspector-General's Annual Report [PDF] lists breaches of Australia's Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act (TIA). The …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014

Citrix: Wearables allow conference calls 'while rocking a baby to sleep'

Citrix has decided that owners of Android Wear devices will want to log on to conference calls, and has tweaked its GoToMeeting client so it runs on the wearable kit. The updated app can be found here. Citrix says the app is a good idea because you can “Take a jog while you’re taking a meeting.” Which sounds like it will work …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
Amazon Web Services Workspaces

AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC

Amazon Web Services has made a significant enhancement to its Workspaces desktop-as-a-service service, by allowing support for Teradici's PC-over-IP protocol and “zero clients” that run it. Workspaces is a US$35 a month service that offers Windows Server 2008 re-skinned with the Windows 7 UI. Until today, consuming the service …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014

Batman in the frame to take on Steve Jobs

Pub trivia fans take note: in the near future you might be asked to explain the link between President Josiah Bartlett, Batman, Steve Jobs, Trainspotting, Facebook and the London Olympics opening ceremony. Start your answer with actor Christian Bale, who played Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy. According to Variety, Bale's in …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
A splash screen added to Win-OS/2 by the Novell NetWare client.

NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden

Worries about US spying in China have sparked new interest in Novell's venerable NetWare product line. NetWare ruled the LANS of the early 1990s, providing file, print and directory services in the days of client/server. Like so many other companies of the era, Novell struck trouble once Microsoft arrived in its patch. Windows …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
The Virtual Compute Appliance

Oracle ♥s Fibre Channel in virty box refresh

Oracle has made a small-but-notable enhancement to its virtual compute appliance (VCA): support for external fibre channel storage. The VCA is Oracle's “engineered system” for virtualisation and is designed to offer everything one needs to run VMs, all packaged into a single convenient box. Oracle even recommends its own ZFS …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014

NO DEAL: HP/EMC merger talks are off

The improbable merger of industry behemoths HP and EMC will not happen, according to loquacious folk familiar with such things. The pair are no longer locked in discussions and have walked away from any prospective deal “after months of fruitless negotiations”. Discussions were still taking place until last week, according to …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types

ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10

Microsoft has revealed that a million people have signed up for the Windows Insider Program it is using to offer early access to Windows 10 for those willing to test the operating system's early iterations. Of those crash test dummies, Redmond says 36 per cent are running the OS in a virtual machine. That leaves about 650,000 …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2014
Screenshot from the Facebook video Q&A with U2

Bono apologises for iTunes album dump

Bono has apologised for sending U2's latest album into every iTunes library in the world. The singer's apology came, ironically, in a video to promote the album to those who didn't get it for free in iTunes. That video, posted to Facebook features a Q&A session in which a fan asked U2 never to release an auto-downloading album …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2014
Biggest black hole

HP hops aboard hyperconverged infrastructure bandwagon

HP has become the latest vendor to hop aboard the hyperconverged infrastructure bandwagon, announcing the attractively-named “ConvergedSystem 200-HC StoreVirtual” appliances as its entry to the field. The product will look familiar to anyone who's considered offerings from Nutanix, Simplivity, Scale Computing or VMware's EVO …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2014
Rosetta Selfie from 10 miles

This isn't a sci-fi movie: It's a human-made probe snapping a comet selfie

Pic The European Space Agency’s Rosetta comet-hunter craft has sent back its last selfie, taken from just 10 miles – 16 kilometres – from Comet 67P/C-G. The selfie was snapped by Philae, the lander that will descend to the comet on November 12. The lander used its CIVA instruments to take the snap. The CIVA-P part of the instrument …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2014
School of Rock

Australia throws coding for kids a lifeline in industry plan

Days after a review of Australia's national curriculum recommended against teaching digital technologies – including computational thinking – as a discrete subject in the nation's schools, a new “Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda” has proposed new funding to teach programming. The new Agenda [PDF] proposes to spend …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2014