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If the Internet of Things scares you now: Cisco's CEO is bent on hooking up robots, everything

On Monday, in his first major speech as new CEO of Cisco, Chuck Robbins was clear about one thing. He pretty much wants everything on Earth to be networked and connected together. Big shock, right? Network hardware and software giant wants to sell more network hardware and software. Cisco wants the Internet of Things to be …
A beautiful new Cisco vuln report

Cisco reforms its security disclosure process

Cisco has reformed the way it discloses vulnerabilities in its products. The company's adopted a new and – it says – “enhanced and simplified” view of vulnerabilities in its products, cooked up its own Security Impact Rating (SIR) scores to let you know just how deep you're in it when a vuln appears, adopted the CVE system and …
Cisco TiVo PVR

Cisco Australia bumps prices by 12.83 per cent, for second time this year

Cisco Australia is raising its prices by 12.83 per cent, making this the second such rise for the year after a March price increase of 12 per cent. The Register has seen emails from local resellers advising users to buy Cisco kit sooner rather than later, or pay more as of November 9th. Cisco Australia's confirmed the price …
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

Aspera high speed file transfer: Let the cloud protocol wars begin

There is a problem with cloud storage that affects almost all of us, yet is something of which most of us remain blissfully unaware. The problem isn't the object stores underpinning cloud storage; used properly, object storage is great. Look instead to the bit shuffling data between end users and the cloud. It's not the …
Trevor Pott, 1 Oct 2015

ONOS moves out of lab with Drake release

ONOS is pitching high availability and scale-out capabilities in the latest iteration of its SDN operating system. The Drake release, available for download now, comes at a time where ONOS participants are letting the architecture escape from laboratories and into their live networks, according to ONOS Labs' Ram Appalaraju. …

Internet Doomsday scenario: How the web could suddenly fall apart

Analysis Engineers have recommended a small but important change to the internet's underlying structure in order to avoid a possible doomsday scenario. A report [PDF] from the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) argues that a key parameter in the internet's address books – namely, how long the information should be stored – …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Sep 2015
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Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux

Sitting down? Nothing in your mouth? Microsoft has developed its own Linux distribution. And Azure runs it to do networking. Redmond's revealed that it's built something called Azure Cloud Switch (ACS), describing it as “a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux” and “our foray into …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Sep 2015
scissors cut cable

Wi-Gig signals are bouncing off the walls, can't settle on the sofa

“Millimetre-wave” wireless technologies (such as un 802.11ad) are seen by vendors as a key part of future in-home connectivity, but there's a lot of work to be done to actually make it work. That's the conclusion of a group of University of Buffalo boffins, who ran a series of tests on 60 GHz wireless systems to see how they …
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

Arista joins data centre 25/50/100 Gbps switch battle

Arista Networks has joined the race to get 25 Gbps Ethernet kit into hyperscale data centres. The company, a member of the cabal that last year kicked off the 25/50/100 Gbps effort along with Google, Microsoft, Broadcom, and Mellanox, has now lifted the cloth from a range of switches in leaf and spine form factors. Using the …
Facebook data centre_Lulea

IPv6 is great, says Facebook. For us. And for you a bit, too

Facebook has wandered down to Speakers' Corner and climbed onto a fruit-crate to spruik the benefits of the decades-old, much-needed and still-relatively-unused IPv6 protocol. With IPv4 addresses just-about-depleted worldwide, Facebook has penned a blog post telling websites to roll out the protocol, if they haven't already. …
Gorillas by Thomas Wildmann Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Intel, Nokia, Ericsson square off against Chinese IoT threat

US and European vendors have linked arms in an effort to set low-bandwidth mobile communications standards. Intel, Ericsson and Nokia have thrown their weight behind a standard proposal called Narrow-Band LTE (NB-LTE) to support the comms requirements of Internet of Things devices. If adopted – there's a vote on narrowband …

Disney's light-bulb moment: build TCP into LEDs for IoT comms

Since lights are everywhere, and LED lamps are The Way of The FutureTM, it makes sense that they be used for communications. Now, boffins working for Disney Research have taken LED-based comms a step further, adding a Linux TCP/IP network stack to a consumer lamp. Their work, published here, pushes visible light communication …
Hammer, spanner and screw

OpenWrt gets update in face of FCC's anti-flashing push

The open router Linux disto OpenWrt, 15.05 “Chaos Calmer”, has hit the intertubes. One highlight of the release is an update to Version 3.18 of the Linux kernel, and security has been upgraded with ed25519 package signing support, and support for jails and hardened builds. However, the big news – at least according to the …
Paul Winchell and dummy

NEW BAN sees Australia HIDE value of networking kit imports

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has quietly stopped revealing the value of communications and networking products imported to Australia. The nation's new such requests appear in August's Confidential Commodities List, released last week, adds an entry for “Machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Sep 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Cell-network content crunch needs new cache designs, say boffins

It's increasingly clear to the telecommunications industry that content distribution is going to need to push further out into networks, to try and relieve congestion on the moderately-constrained backhaul that connects cell towers. Content caching at base stations can help, but as an IEEE Fellow from Hong Kong University of …
Cat 5 cable

TCP is a wire-centric protocol being forced to cut the cord, painfully

The venerable Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is one of the foundation protocols of the Internet, but it's not so hot at mobile environments, says Juho Snellman of Swiss telco software concern Teclo. The Register took an interest in Teclo's work after spotting this presentation to a SIGCOMM workshop. In an interview with …
Facebook's 6-pack

Equinix edged around Wedge, fell back into proprietary embrace

Global data operator Equinix has sniffed around the white box networking scene, but found traditional suppliers are innovating more quickly and still have an edge. So says chief technology officer Ihab Tarazi as Chief Technology Officer, who this week told The Reg that the company has considered Facebook's Wedge switches. …
Cloudy sky

CloudRouter now live

The collaborative open-source CloudRouter project has come out of beta. The production release of the project is announced in this PDF. CloudRouter has two network operating system flavours – CentOS 7.1 with Java 1.8, or Fedora 22. It ships with ONOS 1.2 Cardinal and OpenDaylight Lithium, and supports Docker, CoreOS, Rkt, OSv …

Brocade virtualises flow monitoring to Fibre Channel

Brocade wants to give Fibre Channel storage infrastructure analytics and monitoring of traffic between servers and storage, to help benchmark application performance and diagnose application problems. As Brocade's Senior Director for Australia and New Zealand Gary Denman explained to Vulture South, it's particularly useful in …

Google reveals OnHub WiFi router, complete with GLOWING RING

Google will shortly release its first WiFi router and has made automatic updating a frontline feature. The new "OnHub" is designed to offer a rather more pleasant experience for home users, starting with a cute coffee cup form factor and extending to an app-driven user interface. Google's even banished blinking lights [Heresy …
Darren Pauli, 19 Aug 2015

Cisco network kit warning: Watch out for malware in the firmware

Cisco has warned users to watch out who's got admin access to kit, because it's seen malicious ROM images in the wild. The problem is that this isn't something the Borg can just issue a patch for. Admins – with appropriate credentials, naturally – need to be able to drop new ROM images on their kit as a matter of course. "The …

Cisco kicks off Robbins' reign by beating the street

Cisco's new CEO Chuck Robbins has had the pleasure of reporting ahead-of-expectation results for Q4 of 2014/15. In the quarter that saw Robbins take over the big office from the seemingly-eternal John Chambers, Cisco reported year-on-year growth for the quarter of 3.9 per cent (US$12.8 billion). Full-year 2015 revenue was …

Arista bullish for full year results after 47 per cent YoY growth in Q2

High-performance data centre switching upstart (and Cisco litigation target) Arista Networks has reported 47 per cent revenue growth year-on-year for the quarter ended June 30. The company's financial release says it recorded US$195.6 of revenue, and a GAAP net income of $24 million (up from $21.6 million for the corresponding …

White hat finds vulnerability in white box switches

Black Hat 2015 The Open Networking Install Environment (ONIE) provides a gateway for black hats to compromise software-defined network (SDN) environments, says a white hat presenter at this week's BlackHat USA 2015. The problem, according to Hellfire Security's Gregory Pickett, is that it's too easy for an attacker with root access to the …

SPUD – The IETF's anti-snooping protocol that will never be used

It's not often that someone crafts a protocol expecting to destroy it, but that's what Cisco distinguished engineer Joe Hildebrand and a bunch of other Internet architecture boffins are doing right now. When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden talked of a protocol called SPUD – Substrate Protocol for UDP Datagrams – it piqued the …
Arizona State U's white laser schematic

Boffins get the inside dope, craft white laser

Arizona State University researchers have crafted a white laser – a neat trick since “white” isn't a colour, but a mix of colours. To create a white LED lamp, for example, today's technologies need multiple colour LEDs blended together. Trying to fabricate a single light source that looks white is difficult, however, since …

Cisco IOS-XE update time: Squash that DoS bug

Bad error message handling has opened up Cisco's IOS-XE versions prior to 3.13S to a remote denial-of-service (DoS) attack. The company's threat advisory hints that the exploit was brought to Cisco's attention by an independent researcher, since it states that "functional exploit code exists; however, the code is not known to …
Gartner network hype cycle 2015

SDN hits rock bottom and FCoE is obsolete, say Gartner mages

Fibre channel over Ethernet is obsolete and software-defined networking is making users grumpy rather than delivering promised benefits, according to the new networking version of Gartner's Hype Cycle. The document reckons Wi-Fi's next variant, 802.11ac Wave 2, is just half-way up Gartner's famed hype curve, but Wave 1 and 802 …
Duke University's quantum 90GHz light emitter

Just a quickie, then: Boffins' 11 picosecond spontaneous emission

Boffins from Duke University reckon they've cracked one of the problems that holds back optical computing, with a tiny and very low-powered high-speed-switchable light source. Silicon photonics is making strides to replace copper for communications between chips – both Intel and IBM are on the bandwagon. However, within the …
FASTER cable route

60Tbps internet cable from Asia to America will plug into Telx barn

US data center outfit Telx, target of a takeover bid by Digital Realty, has gone offshore for the first time, joining the Google-backed FASTER submarine cable consortium. Telx's Hillsboro server barn in Oregon, US, will be the termination point for an undersea cable that will link the Pacific Northwest to Asia. The fiber-optic …
NASA's Wi-Fi reflection chip

Wi-Fi 'reflector' hooks you up at 0.1 per cent of current power budget

By using absorption and reflection to indicate data states, NASA reckons it's created a Wi-Fi device for the wearable market that uses just 0.1 per cent of the power of ordinary transceivers. Working with Frank Chang at Caltech UCLA, the JPL boffin Adrian Tang is keen on ways to let devices with relatively low communications …
White boxes

Software-defined what? Look at our glorious ASICs says Cisco

Cisco's taking up arms against a sea of white-box vendors, touting US$150 million worth of silicon in the form of an ASIC. What's interesting, however, is that the pitch – in this blog post – isn't about what's coming this year or next. The slab of silicon, which the Borg is calling the “Unified Access Dataplane” (UADP), …
Exit sign. Pic:  Lukas Kästner

Cisco exits set-top box biz, sheds US$1.8bn of revenue

Cisco's Connected Devices Division, a purveyor of set top boxen for service providers, is off to Europe having been acquired for €550 million / US$600 million by Technicolor. The French company, formerly Thomson (as most of its customer premises equipment/set-top boxes are branded), will take on the division first created by …
Cat from Cisco TV ad

Cisco re-orgs marketing to hide the brand, EMPTY YOUR WALLET

Given a relatively flat few years, it's probably no surprise that Cisco has told the warm bodies in its marketing departments to become cold-blooded revenue-making machines. Along the way, get ready for The Borg to try to out-Google Google in its data collection. In a blog post, head of digital transformation and analytics …

Australian carriers try to head off government telco security bill

Australian attorney-general George Brandis' plans to turn his department into a national telco chief security officer are to be carpet-bombed by a coalition of industry groups opposing the proposed laws. In a submission leaked to the ABC and The Australian Financial Review and since sighted by The Register, a bunch of industry …
axe_648

More mobile misery at Cisco: Intucell set for cuts?

A week after Channel Register heard of Cisco's woes in the small cell business, reports are emerging that another recent acquisition is also troubled. On the back of last week's report that half the staff of Ubiquisys's Swindon operation might be de-assimilated, Lightreading reckoned there were now nervous flutters in The Borg …
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When is a market not a market? When it's SDN or NFV, says Gartner

Gartner is sick of being asked to craft magic quadrants for software-defined network (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV), and isn't going to do so, even if enthusiasts hold their breath and turn blue. The reason? According to distinguished analyst (our emphasis) Joe Skorupa, it's simple: SDN and NFV aren't markets …

Snowden to the IETF: Please make an internet for users, not the spies

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has urged the world's leading group of internet engineers to design a future 'net that puts the user in the center, and so protects people's privacy. Speaking via webcast to a meeting in Prague of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the former spy talked about a range of possible …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jul 2015

America helps ease Ericsson's pain

Ericsson boss Hans Vestberg is breathing a sigh of relief, with America's demand for mobile broadband stabilising enough to help it beat forecasts for the second quarter. The company announced on Friday that the North American territory had finally stabilised after declining for three quarters, helping both sales and profit …

Microsoft to spoofed Skype users: Change your account passwords NOW

An unknown number of frustrated Skype customers have been pestered by spoof messages on the Microsoft service for weeks, but the company is yet to close what appears to be a gaping hole in its software. Instead, Redmond has advised Skype users to change their account passwords. But complaints are building up about the lack of …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jul 2015
A Handful of Giant Weta by Mike Locke

Cisco Videoscape bug could bring endless repeats to your tellie

Cisco is asking Web broadcasters using its Videoscape TV-over-IP streaming product to get patching, after a denial-of-service vulnerability was found in the software. The system, kicked off in 2011 and rolled into a bigger “Evolved Services Platform” in 2014, is a cloudy PVR with transcoder and video optimisation. The Borg's …

Wi-Fi Alliance ushers in new era of intrusive apps

A lack of connectivity options in devices like smartphones is clearly what stops location-based advertising from being the saviour of physical retailing. That, or something like it, seems to be behind the Wi-Fi Alliance's “Wi-Fi Aware” project, announced at CES in January and now launching its product certification program. …