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Simon Sharwood

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Qantas A380 tail

Qantas' biggest problems are … Apple, Samsung and Google?

Australia's flag carrier Qantas last week announced it will cut 5,000 jobs, ground planes, quit unprofitable routes, stop expansion of its budget offshoots and, in all likelihood try to replace its little sachets of peanuts with something cheaper. The airline blamed legislation, market conditions, foreign governments and just …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Mar 2014
Pat Gelsinger

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger's DARKEST FEARS revealed

The USA's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published VMware's Form 10-K, the warts-and-all document listed companies are required to file each year offering deep detail on the state of their business. Form 10-Ks are rather less polished than annual reports and therefore offer more penetrating insights into a company' …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2014
neelie kroes

Steelie Neelie eats crow, welcomes mere €1bn Euro broadband fund

A year after Neelie Kroes expressed severe displeasure at budget cuts that reduced funding for the Connecting Europe Facility project from €9.2bn to €1bn, the vice-president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda has welcomed formal allocation of the smaller sum. The Connecting Europe Facility hoped to spend the cash …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2014

Microsoft Research co-develops cloud data scrambler

Researchers from Microsoft, the University of California, Irvine and Brown University have proposed a technology that should make it harder to derive value from data stored in the cloud. In a paper titled The Melbourne Shuffle: Improving Oblivious Storage in the Cloud, authors Olga Ohrimenko, Michael T. Goodrich, Roberto …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2014
Parasitic wasp attacks aphid

Passenger jet grounded by two-hour insect attack

Wasps have been found to be the reason an Airbus A330 aborted a takeoff attempt and then made an emergency landing. The incident took place in the Australian city of Brisbane in November 2013. The Airbus arrived from Singapore without incident. An attempt to take off on the return leg was aborted after instruments reported it …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2014
management project5

Your CIO is now a venture capitalist and you work at their startup

Chief Information Officers are about to start behaving like venture capitalists, complete with an “I don't care if nine things I try fail so long as one goes really well” mentality. And what's more, their bosses will love it when they do so. That's one of the findings from consultancy Deloitte's 2014 Tech Trends report, released …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2014
Google Glass

Google Glass: Reg man tests tech specs

Ever since Google revealed its Glass tech specs, the more enthusiastic members of the technological commentariat declared that we are only weeks away from devices that not only calculate just how much of that Ben & Jerry's triple-cream treacle fudge delight you just ate, but can also figure out its impact on your cholesterol …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2014
Github octodex

Github brews text editor for developers

Github has released a beta of what it says is “ the text editor we've always wanted.” Atom, for that is the software's name, is billed as “modern, approachable, and hackable to the core” and also “welcoming to an elementary school student on their first day learning to code, but also a tool they won't outgrow as they develop …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2014

50,000 women knocked up by big data, wearable tech, crowds and cloud

Big Data, cloud, wearable computing and crowdsourcing boosters now have very, very tangible evidence of the technologies' power: 50,000 new humans. So claims an outfit called Ovuline, which offers an iOS and Android app dubbed Ovia Fertility that asks users to input details about their health and menstrual cycle, and can even …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2014
heart.australia

Turnover at the top in Oz telco-land as AAPT, Huawei, Optus, lose top brass

Two plush offices just became available in Australian telco-land, with the departure of C-level executives at AAPT, Optus and Huawei. The latter company has that current CEO Guo Fulin has been “promoted to a regional role within Huawei” in line with the company's “global practice of rotating senior executives through different …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2014
GoGet's autonomous research car Ethel the Yaris

Australian car-share biz GoGet working on autonomous vehicle

GoGet, a celebrated Australian car-share company, is attempting to build a self-driving car. GoGet rents cars by the hour to its members. Bookings are made online and a smart card provides entry to the company's fleet of 1,300-plus vehicles. The company offers conventional cars with petrol, hybrid or electric drivetrains, vans, …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Feb 2014
Dropbox IOS

Dropbox erects sueball shield with new T&C and privacy legalese

Grumpy with Dropbox? Forget sueing the company, which is trying to keep you from your lawyers with its new Terms of Service document effective as of March 24th, 2014. Dropbox has been progressively notifying its customers of its new rules over recent days. Your correspondent received an email yesterday, but legal blog Lawyerist …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Feb 2014
Intel Xeon E7 server chip

Software needs meaty cores, not thin, stringy ARMs, says Intel

Intel has offered another reason it doesn't think ARM processors pose an enormous threat to its high-end chip business: software isn't written to run across multiple CPUs. That's the opinion Gordon Graylish, Chipzilla's general manager for enterprise solution sales, shared with The Reg yesterday at the Australian launch of the …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Feb 2014
The Office

VMware flicks switch on Euro hybrid cloud

As foreshadowed in these very pages last week VMware has flicked the switch on its VMware Hybrid vCloud Service in Europe. Virtzilla's being a little bit odd in its announcement of the service's genera availability, which says the service will be delivered “... from a data center in Slough, UK. Complementing VMware's existing US …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Feb 2014
The Pirate Bay's temporary Research Bay logo

Pirate Bay becomes 'Research Bay' for three days

Notorious file-sharing site The Pirate Bay has found a way to clothe itself in a little respectability for a couple of days by teaming with Sweden's Lund University Internet Institute to research file sharing. The Institute operates a ”Cybernormer” effort that says “Understanding online norms and values is essential to …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Feb 2014
Higher Education and Further Education

NetApp to appear in Australian TAFE, Uni courses

NetApp stands upon the threshold of long-held ambition: having its view of storage taught in Australian tertiary institutions. The company expressed an interest in doing so in 2011, when your correspondent worked for another outlet and heard NetApp's-then-Australian-MD Peter O'Connor (late of Nimble Storage) express a desire to …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014

NBN Co tells iiNet: Use Broadcom chips in VDSL routers

iiNet, Australia's third-largest internet service provider in terms of subscriber numbers, has been told by NBNCo that it should consider only Broadcom chipsets for its future VDSL modems. Simon Watt, head of iiNet's labs, told The Register the advice was not prescriptive, but given the lead time required to develop customer …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014
Magellan eXplorist 710 GPS

Microsoft tries to re-invent GPS with cloudy offloads

Microsoft has released a tool that it hopes will make it possible to add location-sensing abilities to many more devices. The Microsoft Cloud-Offloaded GPS Experimental Kit is part of an effort to gather location data from GPS satellites without using much power. That's important because, as Microsoft explains, few applications …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014

Netflix coughs up to cruise on Comcast

Video streaming service Netflix and carrier Comcast have struck a deal to “Provide Customers With Excellent User Experience”. That quote comes from the near-identical canned statement issued by both parties to the deal, who both describe the deal as a “mutually beneficial interconnection agreement that will provide Comcast’s U.S …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014
Bloody Serial Killer Shower Curtain

Microsoft may slash price of Windows 8.1 on cheap 'slabs

Microsoft has reportedly slashed the price of Windows 8.1 for anyone willing to install the operating on a device that sells for fewer than $US250. Bloomberg cites “people familiar with the matter” as saying Microsoft usually sells Windows for $50 a pop, but is floating the idea of a $15 price tag for OEMs working on low-priced …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014
Artist's concept of Curiosity

Curiosity now going BACKWARDS

Putting a nuclear-powered, laser-armed space tank on Mars is one of humanity’s most remarkable achievements, and now we've even figured out how to make it go backwards! Curiosity, the space tank in question, last week shifted into “R” and travelled just over 100 metres in a single day. That's the longest distance the rover has …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Feb 2014
Scrooge McDuck

G20 gives Google, Microsoft, Apple et al tax deadline

The world's top 20 finance ministers have signalled once again that they're sick of their taxes disappearing offshore and have signalled a strong intention to get their cash back. The ministers in question are all members of the Group of Twenty (G20) and gathered in Sydney, Australia, over the weekend. The Communiqué (PDF) …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Feb 2014
SUSE Cloud logo

SUSE's new OpenStack is Havana good time with VMware and EMC

SUSE has emitted the third version of its OpenStack distribution, and has taken further strides towards making it a good fit for multi-hypervisor clouds by including full support for VMware's vSphere and EMC's VNX storage arrays. SUSE Cloud 3, to give the new release its full name, is based on the OpenStack Havana release and …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2014
LIghtning

Alliance for Wireless Power to pursue new 50W standard

The Alliance for Wireless Power has announced that Dell has joined the group, and also outlined a plan to revise its technology so it is capable of delivering 50w of power. That the two nuggets of news were announced in the same canned statement is notable, because the alliance lauds Dell as the “first major PC original …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2014
Throwboys' iCEO

Just like Elvis, dead Steve Jobs to appear all over America in 2015

A highly-sensitive leaked US government document reveals Steve Jobs will appear all over America in 2015. The memo comes from the perforation-happy Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, an agency “tasked with evaluating the merits of all stamp proposals.” The document, uncovered by the Washington Post, reveals that Jobs will be …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2014
juniper

Nokia may consider merging with Juniper: report

German outlet Manager Magazin Online has reported that Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), the bits of Nokia Microsoft didn't buy, is considering a transaction of some sort with Juniper Networks. NSN and Juniper already work together to provide broadband for wireless carriers, announcing a deepened relationship in November 2013 …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2014
Fixed broadband quality by service area

Turnbull waters down broadband black spot fix promise

Pre-election promises to prioritise broadband black spots appear to have gone onto the back burner after the release of the Broadband Availability and Quality Report (BAQR) (PDF) by Australia's Federal Department of Communications. The report was commissioned by Minister Malcolm Turnbull as one of several studies into the …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2014
REM's Shiny, Happy People

Microsoft claims x86 hypervisor market lead

With Windows 8 struggling to win fans and Windows Phone failing to set the world alight, Microsoft takes its wins where it can these days. Little wonder then that Redmond is keen to point out that it has become the number one hypervisor vendor on x86 … in Latin American during the third quarter of 2013. Redmond's source for …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2014
Apple Mac Pro

Mac Pro fanbois can rack 'em and stack 'em like real sysadmins

US company H-Squared is a little closer to releasing a shelf that will make it possible to rack and stack six of the the new Mac Pros into a 6U space. The Mac Pro can be equipped with Intel's Xeon E5-2697 v2, a 12-core, 2.7 Ghz CPU with a 30M cache. Six Mac pros equipped with that CPU in a 6U space would put 72 cores at your …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2014
Broke - empty pockets

Some first-wave big data projects 'written down' says Deloitte

Consultancy outfit Deloitte reckons early big data projects have had to be written down because they failed, thanks in part to a “buy it and the benefits will come” mentality. The source of failure was sometimes difficulty making open source software work and/or integrate with other systems, Deloitte Australia's technology …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2014
Birds Eye 'mashtag' snack

Birds Eye releases 'mashtags' social spud snacks

Frozen food outfit Birds Eye has released a new product called “mashtags”, processed potato snacks in the shape of characters often used online. The new product hasn't yet made it to Birds Eye's web site in the USA or UK, but we're willing to guess the new product is closely related to the Potato Waffles from the UK site. Those …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2014
School of Rock

Australia's digital technologies curriculum published after two-month delay

Australia's first-ever Digital Technologies curriculum has been released, after a two-month delay. The curriculum was scheduled to appear in December 2013, but the federal government's decision to review the national curriculum meant the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood decided not to approve it at its …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2014
Stonehenge from the north east

VMware embiggens VSAN to petabyte scale

VMware has started to dribble out details of a launch party for its virtual storage area network (SAN), and it looks like the product is going to be rather more capable than was first imagined. Virtzilla let the world get a glimpse of VSAN for the first time at VMworld 2013, when it revealed it as a “proper” SAN rather than the …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2014
The existing, human crewed Caterpillar 797B

Tired of arguing with suits? Get ready to argue with engineers!

Since time immemorial, IT professionals have been told they must serve their employers by delivering infrastructure that ensures both uninterrupted operations and delivers competitive advantage within moments of a new product or service being imagined. The reality is rather messier, leading to endless commentary to the effect …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Feb 2014

Flappy Bird crosses over into cryptocurrency, big data

The Flappy Bird phenomenon is showing little sign of hitting one last, fatal, pipe as the game has now spawned at least two Bitcoin clones and a big data analysis of gamers' performance. On the cryptocurrency front, Flappycoin Pool, and the still-to-launch Flappycoin.org are battling it out for supremacy, with the latter …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Feb 2014
Neanderthal display in museum

Without a smartphone your reptile brain gets a workout

A couple of weeks back, I ditched my Galaxy S4 and adopted a Nokia 110 as an experiment to see if modern life is possible without a smartphone. The premise for the test is that I'm worried I'm spending a bit too much time with my phone and could probably disconnect from the online world without. A couple of experiences …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2014

NBN to be built even if cost-benefit analysis shows no ROI

In opposition, the current parliamentary secretary for communications Paul Fletcher and his boss, minister for communications Malcolm Turnbull, made much of the fact Australia's national broadband network (NBN) had been commenced without a cost-benefit study that would show whether or not the network will deliver positive return …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2014

Facebook adds 50+ gender options: Stalking your 'Friends' just got more LGBT-friendly

Facebook has introduced more than 50 gender options its users can select when choosing how they wish to identify themselves. The Social Network revealed the new feature to The Associated Press, where a story features Brielle Harrison, a Facebook staffer who is "undergoing gender transformation, from male to female". It's also …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Feb 2014

Your personal data is worth a measly eight bucks a month

You've heard it a zillion times by now: if an online service is free, you are the product. A New York company called Datacoup is trying to turn that notion on its head a bit, by paying you if you let it monitor your online activities and also let it tap into a stream of information about your credit and/or debit card. In return …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Feb 2014
cloud

VMware cuts price of hybrid cloud management tool to $0

VMware has released version 2.6 of its vCloud Connector tool, and dropped its price to $0. At current exchange rates that's £0 and $AUD0, for UK and Australian readers. vCloud Connector does what it says on the can – connect clouds. It's assumed one of those clouds is your very own vSphere-powered private cloud and that the …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Feb 2014

Flappy Bird becomes massively multiplayer PHOENIX

This week's technology topic everyone knows something about, Flappy Bird, has risen like a Phoenix in a new, massively multiplayer version. Flapmmo.com has resurrected the game and also included multiplayer features that let you see not only your own Flappy Bird but also dozens of other players' efforts to navigate a badly-drawn …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Feb 2014
Plan 9 is... weird, and has almost no applications - but it shows a future direction for Unix-like OSes

Plan 9 moves out from Lucent licence space

Plan 9, a successor to Unix developed during the 1980s by Bell Labs, is now available under the GNU Public Licence. The operating system was never particularly popular or prevalent, but did generate enough of a following to spark a successor of its own known as Inferno. We also wrote it up last year, saying that “Compared to …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Feb 2014
South Park's Underpants Gnomes

Okay startup-land: this DATA shows you can stop your whining

It's holy writ for Australia's IT industry that if only we had more technology startups, everything would be better and the nation's economy would have a bright future once its to-all-intents limitless iron ore, coal and sunshine resources are depleted or become unfashionable. The reason Australia doesn't have more startups, the …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2014

10,000 km road trip proves Galileo satnav works, says ESA

Europe's alternative to the USA's global positioning system (GPS) may only have four satellites in orbit, but European Space Agency (ESA) officials are confident that constellation delivers a valid service. ESA boffins revealed this week that since March 2013 test vehicles around the world have run tests to determine the …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2014

Comcast to acquire Warner Cable – reports

The US broadband market looks set for a shake-up, with multiple reports tipping Comcast to acquire rival Warner Cable. CNBC claims it broke the story and The Wall Street Journal has since published a (paywalled) story reporting the same details: it's a $US45bn all-stock deal. Comcast and Warner are respectively the USA's number …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2014

VMware, Google, team up to target corporate Chrome OS adopters

VMware and Google have announced an “expanded relationship” targeting organisations using or considering Chrome OS. The deal boils down to the fact that VMware offers an HTML5 client, dubbed Blast, for its Horizon View desktop virtualisation (VDI) product. Horizon View can deliver virtualised apps and whole desktops to devices …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2014
Blu-ray Iron Man

Trials of 'Iron Man' military exoskeleton due in June

The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) project to create an Iron-Man-like exoskeleton has advanced to the point at which trials of a prototype are now expected in June. TALOS emerged last September, then took a big stride forward in October when it was revealed the US thinks it is such a good idea it was decided to …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2014

Bad luck, n00bs: Mozilla to splurge ADS inside empty Firefox tiles

The Mozilla Corporation has announced that it will soon offer the chance to run advertising in its browser. Ads will appear in what the foundation is calling “Directory Tiles” that appear when users summon a new Tab into existence. Explained as something “designed to improve the first-time-with-Firefox experience”, nine …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2014
John McAfee

John McAfee declares war on Android

John McAfee has reportedly decided on his next product, according to Silicon Angle, which says the colourful security entrepreneur has produced something called “Cognizant”. The Android app is a security tool of sorts, inasmuch as it reportedly takes a census of all the apps on your Android device and then reports on what they …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2014
Genie

Incantations used to summon Magic Quadrants revealed

Analyst firm Gartner has lifted its skirts and explained a little more about how it compiles its controversial Magic Quadrants. The explanation comes in the form of a post offering advice to those about to bid for a spot on the infrastructure-as-a-service and hosting quadrant. Here's how the research process unfolds: You get …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2014