Simon Sharwood

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Australian Feds cuff woman who used BTC to buy drugs on dark web

Australia’s Border Force (ABF) has warned that “people shouldn’t assume the dark web is invisible to Australian agencies” after cuffing a woman who bought illicit drugs using Bitcoin and had them shipped from the UK to Australia. The ABF chose Friday the 13th of April to announce that a woman had run out of luck after she “ …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2018
Taj Mahal with WiFi logo

India completes its GPS alternative, for the second time

India has successfully conducted the satellite launch needed to re-construct its Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C41 ascended on Thursday, April 12th. Atop the craft was a satellite designated IRNSS-1L, the last of seven …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
Mother tattoo

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register’s reader-contributed tales of tech support tension, terror and technical tragedy. This week meet “Calvin” who told us that “For many years our small family business had run on paperwork, but increasing amounts of government red tape meant we had to go digital.” “After sharpening my …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
Woman kicks off shoes, gets bottle of wine, collapses onto couch

What a time to be alive: LG and Italian furniture-maker build smart sofa

Korean electronics giant LG and Italian homewares concern Natuzzi have teamed up to create the internet of furniture. The pair will front Milano Design Week, which kicks off next Tuesday April 17th, with kit that means “a visitor can sit on a piece of Nattuzi furniture and tell it to turn on the TV. It will then activate the …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
jail cops to human trafficking, money laundering CEO Carl Ferrer has pled guilty to money laundering and the company he led has done likewise on charges of human trafficking. US authorities seized and shuttered the site last week, and a few days later the Department of Justice charged seven staff and investors with 93 counts including conspiracy, money …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
Batman SaaS

Cisco board adds SaaS-man to help it suss subscriptions

Cisco’s tapped one of the few software vendors that has made a thorough and successful transition to software-as-a-service by appointing Mark Garrett, a former Adobe executive veep and chief financial officer to its board of directors. The Register’s focuses on security and infrastructure mean we don’t often consider Adobe for …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
Bomb on PC screen

PCs were more and less expensive in Q1 as shipments stalled

PC shipments continue their slow slide, with analyst firms Gartner and IDC both releasing data for 2018’s first quarter showing further slippage. IDC counted 60.383 million PCs heading out of factory doors around the world, down just 14,000 from Q1 2017’s 60.397 million and an assessment of “flat” sales. Gartner’s count …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Apr 2018
Shrinking data icon

Was April 10th 'Add storage features to enterprise OSes day'?

May 5th is World Naked Gardening Day* and Wednesday April 10th might just have been “Add better storage features to enterprises OSes day” because Microsoft and Red Hat both did just that. Microsoft teased the storage stuff coming in Windows 2019, with the headline act being a new “Storage Migration Service (SMS)”. Microsoft …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Apr 2018

B-Ark passengers to control most IT spend from 2019 onwards

People outside the IT department will control more than half of IT budgets from 2019 onwards, according to analyst outfit IDC. Spending will split 50.5/49.5 between the IT department and line of business people (LOB) in 2018, the firm said. The rise and rise of SaaS means the latter groups’ budgets will account for 70 per cent …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Apr 2018

Cisco shrinks Tetration for ESX and SaaS

Just in case you doubt Cisco’s intention to become a software company, it’s now shrunk its Tetration analytics software and spawned a SaaS version. When Tetration appeared in 2017 the telemetry analytics tool needed 36 servers to go about its business. Cisco later cut the server count to six for Tetration-M and added a version …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2018
Thumbs down frownining emoticon

While Zuck squirmed, Reddit revealed it found and killed 944 Russian troll factory accounts

While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US Congress, Reddit confessed to its own Russian problem. A post by CEO Steve Huffman, aka “Spez”, reported that the site has identified 944 accounts it thinks were run by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Russian “troll factory” whose staff have been indicted for …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2018
A mockup of Airbus' beds-in-planes-cargo-holds concept

Airbus plans beds in passenger plane cargo holds

Poll Airbus has revealed a plan to put beds in passenger planes’ cargo holds. The company has teamed with an outfit named Zodiac Aerospace that already tucks crew rest quarters away in the bowels of planes. The two think they can deliver “lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths” and say airlines with which they’ve …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2018

Get the FTP outta here, says Firefox

Mozilla developers have decided to block requests for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) subresources inside web pages. A bug report and Intent to implement notice suggest the change will land in Firefox 61. The browser’s currently at version 59, with 61 due in May 2018. The change will permit access to FTP resources in hyperlinks …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2018

Death in paradise: 'Cyber attack' takes out national government's IT

Eeek! A nation’s entire government is staggering to its feet after being shut down for a week due to a "cyber attack". The nation in question is Sint Maarten, an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is otherwise known as the southern "Dutch bit" of the Caribbean island Saint Martin and has an area of a …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2018
IBM z14 ZR1 mainframe

IBM swings shrink ray from workforce to mainframes

IBM has shrunk its z-series mainframes to fit 19-inch racks, the size used by just about every other server in the world. The new z14 range includes the ZR1, a single-rack machine said to improve on the smallest Z13 by improving throughput by 10 per cent while doubling memory to eight terabytes. The ten-core CPU hits 5.2Ghz – …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2018

'Disappearing' data under ZFS on Linux sparks small swift tweak

Updated Maintainers of ZFS on Linux have hustled out a new version after the previous release caused created the impression of data loss. ZFS on Linux 0.7.7 only landed on March 21st, but as this GitHub thread titled “Unlistable and disappearing files”, users experienced “Data loss when copying a directory with large-ish number of …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2018

Application publishing gets the WebAssembly treatment

British outfit Droplet Computing thinks it’s found a new way to package and publish applications, by bundling them up to run using WebAssembly so they can run in a browser, online or offline. WebAssembly is a low-level safe binary format designed to allow C/C++ code to run in web browsers. Droplet’s eyed off WebAssembly since …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2018
Woman says oops after data breach... or spome other mistake, possibly. Illustration by Shutterstock/sergey sobin

Azure needs extra security controls before it's fit for government use, says Australia

UPDATE So this is awkward: last week Microsoft trumpeted its new Australian Azure regions for government clients. But three days later Australian authorities said the new regions Australian government organisations need extra security controls before they're sufficiently secure before using any Azure services. The “can do better” …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2018
Lenovo X1 Carbon 6th generation

2018's Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop is a lovely lappie

Hands-on review Lenovo has just-about nailed this year’s X1 Carbon laptop, which save for a couple of minor annoyances will impress. I say that having found the 2017 X1 a mixed bag that boasted exceptional battery life, but was glitchy, frustrating and just didn’t feel very robust. This year’s model repeats the battery experience: I was able …
Button image via Shutterstock

Sysadmin shut down the wrong server, and with it all European operations

Who, me? Welcome to Monday morning, dear readers. We’ll try to make it bearable for you by offering you a new instalment of “Who, me?”, The Register’s column in which readers share stories of having screwed things up. This week meet “Bruce” who told us that “Many years ago I was a junior sysadmin for a large battery manufacturer and I …
Black and white television with white noise

VMware vids revealing new vSphere vanish

VMware appears set to launch a new version of vSphere. Late last week Virtzilla-watchers like Marcel van den Berg spotted some social media posts referring to the new release. Other VMware-watchers spotted posts about “vSphere 6.7”, but they quickly disappeared. A little cache-digging turns up efforts like a since-withdrawn …
Wire cutters

Russian regulator asks courts to disconnect Telegram

Russian telecoms and mass communications regulator Roskomnadzor has filed a lawsuit it hopes will see secure messaging app Telegram turfed out of the country. Moscow’s been unhappy with Telegram for some time, dating back to a mid-2017 dispute over the company’s non-compliance with requests to register as a telecoms service …
Samsung SUHD 5K TVs

Samsung Electronics teases record Q1 profit

Samsung Electronics has posted strong earnings guidance for Q1 of FY 2018. The headline figures were sales of between 59 and 61 trillion Korean Won (US$57-59bn and operating profit around 15 trillion Won (US$14.5bn), a record for the quarter. Those numbers jumped from 50.55 trillion and 9.9 trillion in Q1 2017. Sales were down …
Peace Symbol CPU

My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

On-Call Everybody’s working for the weekend, the song goes, but here at On-Call, The Register works to bring you a weekly story of a fellow reader’s tech support trauma. This week, meet “Roger” who once took a call from a user “well known as being very sensitive to radio waves and who therefore did things like using a headset so that …
Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo

Virgin spaceplane makes maiden rocket-powered flight

Video Virgin Galactic’s space tourism operation conducted its first rocket-powered flight on Thursday, and appears to have recorded a roaring success. A craft named VSS Unity was hoisted to an altitude of 46,500 feet by designated schlep-plane WhiteKnightTwo, then released. “After a few seconds, Unity’s rocket motor was brought to …

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