Simon Sharwood

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VMware hypervisor escape via serial port? VMware hypervisor escape via serial port.

VMware has advised of two security flaws that impact its desktop products. VMware's desktop hypervisors Workstation and Fusion, plus the Player app that runs pre-packaged virtual machines, all have “an input validation issue on an RPC command” that could allow a denial-of-service of the guest operating System (32-bit) or a …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jun 2015

Adobe to hire security auditor to prevent repeat of password SNAFU

Australia's privacy commissioner says basic mistakes at Adobe allowed hackers to ransack its customer database in 2013, and reveals that the company plans to appoint auditors to make sure it won't experience a repeat of the breach. Timothy Pilgrim, holder of the privacy commissioner's office, yesterday released a report [PDF] on …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jun 2015
Acropolis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/adeelanwer/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Nutanix did build 'Acropolis' hypervisor, wants you to bury it

As predicted by The Register, Nutanix has built a hypervisor called Acropolis, but is using it for more than scale-out compute and an assault on VMware. Instead, the company wants to abstract all the stuff that makes up modern applications and make managing infrastructure idiot-proof. We'll explain that in a moment. The …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jun 2015
Voyager mission logo

Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

Voyager 2, the venerable space probe launched in 1977, “stopped” last week. Don't dig up your cache of food or prepare to welcome our Oort Cloud Overlords: the pause is a result of celestial mechanics. As the Tweet below explains, Voyager 2 is heading on its merry way and Earth is swinging around Sol as usual. But last week the …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jun 2015
Internet of Cats feeder

The USB Lego, bluetooth coffee cups and connected cats of Computex 2015

Taiwan's technology industry likes to position the annual Computex expo as the week in which it shows off its ingenuity to the world. This year's show might just have shown that Taiwan - and the rest of us - are in a bit of a rut. Last year, I couldn't move at Computex without stumbling over a booth offering a zillion …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jun 2015
A crack on comet 67P

ESA shortlists three medium-sized missions for 2025 launch

The European Space Agency (ESA) has whittled down the list of projects it is considering for deployment in the year 2025 and is now considering three missions for liftoff in that year. The three projects are: Ariel, aka Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey, which would analyse the atmospheres of around 500 …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jun 2015
Chart

Windows 8.1 market share grows, Windows 7 slips, Windows 10 lurks

If it's the first week of the month (and it is) that makes it time to have a look at desktop OS market share as calculated by Netmarketshare and Statcounter. This month, both outfits recorded a small dip in Windows 7 usage. Netmarketshare has it dropping from 58.39 per cent to 57.76 per cent of observed traffic hitting the web …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jun 2015
Facebook Lite app

Facebook Lite: Website strips off to lure in another billion users

Facebook has built Facebook Lite for folks in bandwidth-challenged nations – a stripped down version of The Social NetworkTM that won't wipe out anyone's monthly download allowances. The Silicon Valley giant says the new app weighs in at under one megabyte, offers “core experiences like News Feed, status updates, photos, …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jun 2015
The Oracle X5-4 server

Oracle, Intel team on server with a dimmer switch

Oracle looks like it's committed to custom Xeons for the long haul. Big Red last year teamed with Chipzilla on the E7-8895 v2, a CPU that improved on the top-of-the-line E7-8890 by adding features that let the silicon switch cores on and off as required by Oracle's operating systems and software. The chips can also vary their …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Jun 2015

SourceForge sorry for adware, promises only opt-in in future

Software download service SourceForge has changed its adware-insertion policies after earning users' ire for wrapping popular FOSS image-wrangling app The GIMP in an adware-riddled downloader. The tale of how ads came to The GIMP is long and twisted, but the salient bits of the story are that the version of the program on …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jun 2015
The improved management screen for VirtualBox 4.2

VirtualBox 5.0 beta four graduates to become first release candidate

Snoracle's new version of desktop hypervisor VirtualBox has progressed sufficiently well that it's decided the revised tool is out of beta and into release candidate status. VirtualBox is a developer favourite because, unlike rival desktop hypervisors from VMware and Parallels, it is free. Oracle's kept the tool alive and well- …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jun 2015
Interim logo for Digital Transformation Office

Turnbull's Digital Transformers discover log files contain more than meets the eye

Hey government agencies, there's more than meets the eye in your data Malcolm Turnbull's legacy-hunting Digital Transformation Office (DTO) has discovered analytics. The Office's latest blogged emanation explains that “The DTO's mission is to create digital services that are easy to find and use. Service analytics will give us …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2015
Lightning

Intel adopts 40Gb per SECOND USB-C plug for Thunderbolt 3.0

Computex 2015 Intel's sort of given up on the Thunderbolt interface - but it's also found a way to help increase its relevance by making it a superset of USB 3.1. Thunderbolt has always been fast, and has the nifty trick of connecting peripherals, carrying data and bringing video to monitors over a single cable — but it never took off. …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2015

Chips of the world, Unite: Intel bakes Iris Pro gfx into new Xeon

Computex 2015 Intel has, for the first time, baked its Iris graphics chipper into its server-centric Xeon CPUs. Announced today at Computex 2015, the Xeon E3-1200v4 includes Iris pro graphics P6300. The result is a CPU tuned for video transcription. If a CPU designed for that workload sounds a bit obscure, consider the many video-on-demand …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2015
Intel-sponsored 'DiaperPie' connected nappy

Intel imagines chips in nappies to create the Internet of sh*t things

Computex 2015 If you think the Internet of Things (IoT) is a steaming pile of you-know-what, Intel's kind-of confirmed your suspicions by backing a team that's imagined an internet-connected nappy (diaper for North American readers). Computex 2015 is full of folks spruiking the internet of stuff. On the show floor you can hardly move for …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2015
ASUS Chair Jonney Shih Computex 2015 press conference

ASUS reveals 'Zensational' style-over-substance kit

Computex 2015 Computex day zero kicked off in Taipei today, and after some pleasantries got down to business with an ASUS keynote that pitched style over substance as a good thing. Taipei is ASUS' home town and the company is arguably Taiwan's most famous export, so chairman Jonney Shih likes to put on a show before the rest of the vendors …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Kindle for Kids

Amazon reveals KiddieKindle and pocket money scheme

Amazon.com looks to have decided that its next big market is your kids. The company's unveiled a “Kindle for Kids Bundle” that takes a normal 6” Kindle, wraps it in a bit of coloured plastic and bundles a two-year warranty for the device. That warranty applies to “common accidents, including knocking it off a table, dropping it …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Cloud foundry login screen

Cloud Foundry takes first steps into Azure

Microsoft's promise to make Azure Cloud Foundry-friendly has become concrete. A bit. The company's announced a “public preview of open source Cloud Foundry for Microsoft Azure”. Cloud Foundry's availability on Azure is a medium-sized deal, as it means those who chose to develop on the newly open-sourced platform can now deploy …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Gigabyte H270-T70

Gigabyte and Cavium team on super-dense ARM servers

Computex 2015 Motherboard maestro Gigabyte has revealed new servers based on Cavium's ThunderX ARM chippery. The decision to do so is not entirely new: Gigabyte makes server motherboards, bare bones servers and even some ARM-powered servers based on the AppliedMicro X-Gene1 CPU. The move into Cavium-powered boxen takes things up a notch, …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Veeam CEO Ratmir Timashev

Veeam's plan: Ignore MBA marketers, don't covet magazine covers

Most CEOs give little away in interviews: they stick to the script and deliver information in easily-digestible chunks. Veeam's Ratmir Timashev does it differently: the founder, president and CEO of Veeam likes to tell stories. So when your correspondent asked him why Veeam is going well, Commvault is doing okay but Veritas, EMC …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Week #25 - Pet Peeves SMS by https://www.flickr.com/photos/rwdave/  cc 2.0 attribution noderivs https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Google to axe TXT reminders for Calendar events

Google has emailed users of its Calendar service to advise them that “Starting on June 27th, 2015, SMS notifications from Google Calendar will no longer be sent.” The Chocolate Factory's reasoning for the cessation of TXT reminders is that “SMS notifications launched before smartphones were available. Now, in a world with …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Aero transparency in the Start menu

Long, sticky summer ahead: Win 10 will be with OEMs by 31 August

UPDATE Microsoft's been saying Windows 10 will ship ”in summer”*. And now it looks like the company has chosen the last day of summer** to launch Windows 10. We're basing that assertion on this page at online retailer Newegg.com, which has listed Windows 10 as going on sale on August 31st. At the time of writing, and in this screen …
Simon Sharwood, 31 May 2015
The Sirius Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

What does it take to find the Antikythera Mechanism? Underwater robots, of course!

I worked on ... A few days from now, Christian Lees will be in the Greek islands, sunning himself on the deck of a colossal private yacht. Staff on the yacht will prepare his meals, even do his laundry. But those staff can't program or troubleshoot Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), which is why Lees will be aboard the yacht during its …
Simon Sharwood, 31 May 2015
Spiralling by https://www.flickr.com/photos/abstractartangel77/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Free Windows 10 upgrades from Microsoft will FLATTEN PC sales

Windows 10 won't give PC sales a fillip because punters don't think an OS upgrade is enough reason to buy a new computer. So says abacus-wielding firm IDC, whose new Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker emerged today and predicted “ PC shipments are expected to fall by -6.2% in 2015.” “Windows 10 should be a significant contributor …
Simon Sharwood, 29 May 2015
Dunce's cap graffiti by https://www.flickr.com/photos/lord-jim/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Australia to develop STEM education plan any month now

Australia's Education Council met today and decided the nation needs a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) plan. The Council's members are the nation's education ministers, one apiece from the federal government and the eight States and Territories. The Council had this to say about STEM in its communiqué ( …
Simon Sharwood, 29 May 2015
Libre Office for Android

Libre Office comes to Android

The Document Foundation has released a version of Libre Office for Android. The new app allows users to read and edit documents. The Document Foundation bills the app as a “Viewer” with “experimental ... basic editing capabilities, like modifying words in existing paragraphs and changing font styles such as bold and italic.” …
Simon Sharwood, 29 May 2015
The Mars InSight Lander

NASA sending five-metre THERMO-HAMMER to Mars

NASA has announced that its next Mars lander, the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight), has started its pre-flight tests to ensure it can survive launch and the long schlep to the Red Planet. InSight is due to launch and reach Mars next year. When it arrives, one of its chores …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2015
GIMP 2.8

SourceForge accused of shackling GIMP in kinky adware

The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) has accused SourceForge of violating its open-sourcery by wrapping the popular graphics program in adware. GIMP's Google+ page says “It appears that SourceForge took over the control of the 'GIMP for Windows' account and is now distributing an ads-enabled installer of GIMP. They also …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2015
Photo of Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst at Red Hat Summit 2014

Beware Red Hat interviews: You'll pay for coffee, lunch and fuel

Want a job at Red Hat? If so, prepare to buy your interviewer coffee, lunch and maybe even the petrol needed to drive to the coffee shop. That's what happened to the company's CEO Jim Whitehurst when he was interviewed by his predecessor Matthew Szulik. In an extract from his imminent tome “The Open Organization”, Whitehurst …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 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

Redmond whips sheet off first SQL Server 2016 public preview

Microsoft's given itself a busy day, releasing the first technology preview of SQL Server 2016 and also letting us all know about updates to its StorSimple NAS boxen and Azure Media services. Here's what Microsoft says are the good bits of “Community Technology Preview (CTP2) for SQL Server 2016”: Encryption, all the time, …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2015
Optus Logo

Optus plans to skim the cream off the cloud

Margins in the cloud are rubbish: when you're selling servers for cents, there's precious little left for the bottom line. But Australia's second-largest telco Optus looks to be smart enough to have figured that out and devise a strategy that instead lets it go for the richest, most-monied parts of the cloud. The strategy was …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2015
Phones on test

Win Phone to outgrow smartmobe market for next four years

Abacus-wielder IDC has issued a new set of prognostications about the mobile phone market, predicting that 1.447 billion of them will ship this year. That's a lovely number, but its lower than the firm has previously predicted. The lower figure – and growth of 11.3 per cent instead of 11.8 per cent – can be attributed to China's …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2015
New Zealand: Karikari Beach by https://www.flickr.com/photos/elisfanclub/ CC 2.0 attribution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Finally! It's the year of Linux on the desktop TITSUP

Mandriva, a French purveyor of desktop Linux, is being wound up, after becoming totally incapable of supporting usual performance (TITSUP), financially at least. The liquidation notice suggests the company's revenue in 2013 was around €600,000 and that the biz has between 10 and 19 staff. The company's wobbled for years and has …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2015
Whitehall road sign. Sgt Tom Robinson RLC/Crown copyright

UK.gov confirms it's binned extended Windows XP support

The UK government has decided, as foreshadowed by The Reg, that it can do without extended support for Windows XP. The nation signed up for Microsoft's super-special zombie OS support service – aka a Custom Support Agreement - last year, but a recent meeting of government Technology Leaders decided enough is enough. A post on …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2015
Linus and a hexacopter

Torvalds: decisions, decisions, top up sun tan or release Linux 4.1?

Work/life balance is important. But important enough to slow development of a tool on which a fair slab of the world relies every day? The tool we're talking about is the Linux kernel and we mention it because its benevolent overlord Linus Torvalds posted over the weekend that version 4.1-rc5 looks like it's well and truly on …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2015
Jonathan (Jony) Ive of Apple

Sir Jony Ive, chief Apple doodler, promoted – into job he already has

Apple's Sir Jony Ive has been promoted from design supremo to design chief. 9to5mac reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook has anointed him the company's first ever chief design officer. The outlet claims to have the text of a letter Cook sent to Apple staff in which the CEO says Ive “will remain responsible for all of our design, …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2015
Unisys Clearpath Dorado 8300 series

Unisys weans itself off homebrew chippery, finally slurps Intel gear

Unisys has unveiled a new range of all-Intel colosso-servers, effectively closing the chapter on Unisys's own proprietary CMOS chips. The new ClearPath Dorado 8380 and 8390 systems the company will put on sale this week pack high-end Xeons into a 42U chassis and run OS 2200, Unisys' bundle of OS and apps. Unisys has been …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2015
Graph of US dollar going up CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/ 401kcalculator.org.

Charter Comms to acquire Time Warner for US$55bn: lotsa reports

Comcast may have given up trying to acquire Time Warner Cable, but junior US telco Charter now looks set to swoop with a deal of its own. Comcast spent the better part of a year trying to spend the better part of US$45bn to acquire Time Warner, but the deal collapsed beneath the weight of regulator discomfort and industry …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015
Bitcoin punch cards

Chap mines Bitcoin with PUNCH CARDS and ancient mainframe

Vintage hardware enthusiast Ken Shirriff has shown that a model 1401 mainframe, which IBM announced in 1959, can mine Bitcoin. If, that is, your definition of mining includes “chugging away at the problem until pretty close to the heat-death of the universe.” Ken Shirriff used the Model 1401 housed at California's Computer …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015
China

Sniffing and sharing Wi-Fi passwords? There's an app for that!

China's internet services aren't stellar, which is why the nation's State Council recently decided to spend US$182bn on network construction in an effort to speed up local connections. While Chinese citizens wait for all that to happen, plenty are instead turning to an app called Wi-Fi Skeleton Key that collects credentials for …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015
Firefox logo

Mozilla finds a way to tunnel Firefox into iOS

The Mozilla Foundation reckons it has found a way to sneak its Firefox browser into Apple's walled garden. In a brief post the outfit acknowledges “we can’t bring the full Firefox experience and rendering engine to iOS due to the restrictions”. “The restrictions” probably means Apple's insistence that only browsers using the …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015
Life of Brian

Internet Society of Australia changes name to Internet Australia

The Internet Society of Australia has changed its name to Internet Australia, but kept the name Internet Society of Australia for official purposes. The body's president, George Fong, says the change of name “is designed to give the Society a more contemporary image in keeping with the board’s determination to take a higher …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2015

Vietnam-lovin' VoIP man's 50-nation tally couldn't hold him back

The eXpat Files In this instalment of The eXpat Files, we meet Joshua Puckett – a native of Maryland, USA – who, at 23, has managed to work in 50 countries, with extended stays in Switzerland and Hungary. How did this half-man-half-Boeing pull it off? Read on to learn about his very mobile lifestyle, the best bars in the world and how to blag a …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2015
William Davies, The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being

The Happiness Industry, Seveneves and Confessions of a Tinderella

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston is joined by Vulture South's own Simon Sharwood and Vulture Central's Nigel Whitfield to pore through the latest from the publishing world. William Davies examines the current political and corporate obsession with wellbeing. Neal Stephenson's latest sci-fi tome adds a satirical spin to saving the …
the EVO:RAIL value prop

VMware doubles node count for EVO:RAIL hyperconvergenceware

VMware has released a new version 1.2 of its EVO:RAIL software that turns servers from third parties into hyperconverged screamers. The headline change is a doubling in scale. Version 1.0 of EVO:RAIL could handle four appliances in a cluster and 16 nodes overall. That's now eight appliances in a cluster and 32 nodes overall. …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2015
Screen shots from The Hobbit re-made for the Spectrum 128K

ZX Spectrum 'Hobbit' revival sparks developer dispute

Sinclair appreciation site World Of Spectrum recently relaunched its forums, after they fell over last year and users were forced to endure a temporary replacement. To celebrate the relaunch, a member and developer using the handle Kayamon released something rather nice: a re-working of classic adventure game The Hobbit with …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2015
HP Logo splitting in two

HP beats the street on earnings, misses on revenue in Q2

HP has announced its results for its second fiscal quarter, and the news is mixed. The market expected the company to post earnings of 85 cents on US$25.64 billion in revenue. The company trumped the earnings figure by announcing it delivered 87 cents per share, but missed on revenue with a figure of $25.45bn. That's down seven …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2015
VMware logo

VMware beta testing database-as-a-service based on SQL Server

VMware is beta testing a database-as-a-service offering running SQL Server 2008 R2 & 2012. VMware documents sighted by The Register suggest the new service will be called “vCloud Air SQL” and will initially target test and dev scenarios, but also offer a warm failover option for those seeking a disaster recovery option for their …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2015
New Zealand: Karikari Beach by https://www.flickr.com/photos/elisfanclub/ CC 2.0 attribution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

EXT4 filesystem can EAT ALL YOUR DATA

Flaws have been found in the EXT4 filesystem that can cause data loss when running Linux 4.0 and higher. Reports such as this Debian bug report suggest “massive filesystem corruption” is the result of the flaw. The problem appears to strike RAID0 users, on Arch Linux and Debian. Fixes are available, one explained by Lukas …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2015
Doug Bowser (left) and Bowser

NINTENDO assigns BOWSER to run North American sales. No, really

Nintendo has announced it has hired Bowser as its new veep of North American sales. Before Mario-playing readers wonder why the company has hired a fire-breathing mutant turtle to run sales, they should know that the Bowser in question is one Doug Bowser, former veep of Global Business Planning at Electronic Arts. Bowser also …
Simon Sharwood, 21 May 2015