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Swarm of Apple iRobots released to map interior of Cupertino HQ

An indoor mapping project at Apple has filled the halls of its Cupertino headquarters with autonomous cartographer droids. Sources tell 9to5Mac that "the company has let loose autonomous robots with iBeacon sensors, similar in size to iRobot’s Roomba vacuum cleaners, to collect data for its indoor mapping project." While …
The US White House. Pic: Roman Boed

White House forced to wade into Oracle vs Google Java bickerfest

Update The Obama administration is backing Oracle in its long-running legal battle against Google over the Chocolate Factory's alleged infringement of Java copyrights. Oracle brought the case against Google in 2012, claiming it had breached copyright in its Java software when creating its Android mobile operating system. Google …
Kat Hall, 27 May 2015
LLCD laser space broadband

Interplanetary Internet about as useful as flying pigs says Vint Cerf

Boffins that want to see Internet protocols extend to outer space – the so-called “Interplanetary Internet” – need to prove they're offering something useful, according to one of the father-figures of the Earth-bound Internet. Vint Cerf, who has taken an interest in beyond-Earth applications for the Internet protocol stack since …

HP to buy ConteXtream for SDN/NFV top-up

HP is looking to beef up its service provider software-defined networking (SDN) footprint, with the acquisition of Comcast and Verizon-backed ConteXtream. With SDN looking increasingly bedded down in the data centre, the carrier market is becoming the next battleground, with everyone from startups to big names looking for places …

AT&T, Verizon and pals eat own head in effort to kill off net neutrality

Lobbying group USTelecom – AT&T, Verizon etc – has filed a petition against itself in an effort to prevent new net neutrality rules from taking effect. Demonstrating that when it comes to net neutrality, the telco industry loves nothing more than some self-serving hypocrisy, the group wrote in its petition [PDF]: "Unlike all of …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2015

Let it go, let it go: How global DNS could survive in the frozen lands outside US control

The plan to move control of the top-level of the internet from the US government to California non-profit ICANN has received broad approval following a month-long public comment period. The group responsible for guiding the fate of the "names" aspect of the critical IANA contract – the bit that oversees the global DNS – has …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 May 2015
Moose

There's a Moose loose aboot this hoose: Linux worm hijacks Twitter feeds for spam slinging

ESET researchers Olivier Bilodeau and Thomas Dupuy have found malware capable of compromising routers and embedded devices, seizing control of social networking accounts, and booting out competitors. The duo report the Moose malware exploits weak login credentials in the networking gear, and does not require vulnerabilities to …
Darren Pauli, 26 May 2015
Monty Python foot UHDTV

Pavegen: The Company that can't make energy out of crowds tries to make money out of them

A company selling floor tiles which extract tiny, pointless amounts of energy from crowds walking across them is seeking fresh investment through the medium of crowdfunding. The company in question is Pavegen, which we've covered before. The firm is the brainchild of Laurence Kemball-Cook, who describes himself in a press …
Lewis Page, 26 May 2015
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

Web tracking puts lead in your saddlebags, finds Mozilla study

You already know that too many tracking cookies will slow Web page loading down to a crawl. Now, a study by Mozilla and Columbia University quantifies the problem. According to Columbia's Georgios Kontaxis and Mozilla's Monica Chew, spiking the excessive load of extraneous connections on the Alexa top 200 news sites can improve …
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
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
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

Google patents DEVIL TOY which will BRAINWASH KIDS

A Google patent uncovered by tech law firm SmartUp seems to describe a toy that will look at and talk to your kids, then update a remote media device, depending upon the child's feedback. The inventor of the evil robot is named as Richard Wayne DeVaul, whose job title is "director of rapid evaluation and mad science" at Google X …

What are cellphone networks blabbing about you to the Feds? A US senator wants to know

US Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) wants America's mobile networks to reveal the types of customer information they share with Uncle Sam. The carriers publish "transparency" reports detailing how many demands for sensitive information they receive from the governments, and how many they comply with – but this is not enough for …
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2015
Alberta_Prairie

Boring old Brocade just sits there making money. Damn them

Brocade's second quarter fiscal 2015 revenue was $547m, up two per cent year-on-year and down five per cent sequentially, as is Brocade's seasonal pattern. Net income was $77m, monstrously better than the $14m loss it announced a year ago. That loss was due, Brocade says, to a non-cash goodwill impairment charge from the …
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2015
Sean Connery in Dr. No

Big sales growth nothing to do with NSA fears - Huawei top brass

Chinese kit-maker Huawei isn't apportioning swelling sales outside the Middle Kingdom to NSA snooping fears, more that double digit growth in Europe is related to brand recognition a decade after it up shop there. According to 2014 numbers, the global Carrier operation climbed 16.4 to ¥192bn (£19.7bn), the Consumer division was …
Kat Hall, 22 May 2015

Andreessen tips spare change into sensor startup Samsara

The founders of Cisco-acquired Meraki have resurfaced with their next venture, an Internet of Things sensor outfit called Samsara. Accompanied by the usual rapturous applause from the financial press, the outfit, set up by Sanjit Biswas and John Bicket after they sent Meraki off to the Borg for US$1.2 billion, has funding from …
Cash on scales. Pic: Images Money, Flickr

HP looks set to ditch 3Com-spawn H3C Tech

H3C, a networking business that started life as a joint venture between 3Com and Huawei but is now owned by HP, is to become a majority-owned subsidiary of the state-controlled Tsinghua Unigroup. A remnant of what was once a titan of the networking business, H3C Tech was created in 2003. It was originally a badge-engineering …
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Extreme Networks restructures again, promises SDN pivot

The indifferent revenue growth and ongoing losses announced earlier this month are having the usual effect on vendor Extreme Networks: it's announced a restructure. On May 6 the sixth CEO to pass through Extreme's C-level rotating door in nine years, Ed Meyercord, called the latest quarter's results “disappointing”, a pretty …
Huawei HQ

Huawei announces tiny 10 KB IoT kernel

Huawei has offered up a good look at its Internet of Things strategy, using its Network Congress 2015 to show off a microkernel that will be the bedrock of its future efforts in the field. LiteOS certainly is “micro”: the kernel is 10 kilobytes but nonetheless able to support “zero configuration, auto-discovery, and auto- …
Game of Thrones

The Internet of Things becomes the Game of Thrones in standards war

There is an "internet of things" standards war coming and Z-Wave will emerge triumphant, at least according to two of its leading advocates. Despite a number of high-profile setbacks in recent weeks, interim chair of the Z-Wave Alliance Raoul Wijgergangs and Alliance Board member Avi Rosenthal are (as you'd expect) confident …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 May 2015
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

Alca-Lu pitches carrier SDN from Layer 3 to optical

There's still too many disparate systems for carriers to easily go down the software-defined network (SDN) path, Alcatel-Lucent reckons, and it's pitching a network services platform (NSP) to change that. The company's VP of product marketing for IP routing and transport, Manish Gulyani, spoke to The Register's networking desk …

SimpliVity opens its doors to KVM, OpenStack

Hyper-converged infrastructure company SimpliVity has announced it now supports the KVM hypervisor and OpenStack. SimpliVity's schtick is that everything below the hypervisor – especially data compression and de-duplication for back-up, networking and cloud-tiering storage – should be handled by a hyper-converged appliance. It …
Simon Sharwood, 20 May 2015
The Royal Opera House in Muscat by night. Credit: Shenmuelll Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0

Spy-tech firms Gamma and Trovicor target Shell Oil in Oman

Exclusive The Sultan of Oman's intelligence services are spying on the local operations of British oil company Shell with the aid of controversial European tech companies, the Register has learned. Documents seen by el Reg reveal that the internal phone systems at Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) - a joint venture between the Omani …
Alastair Sloan, 20 May 2015
Broom

QLogic escapes HBA flat trap with Ethernet and add-on services

QLogic, a storage networking adaptor vendor, is escaping the sagging Fibre Channel host bus adapter (HBA) revenue trap by focussing on fast Ethernet and adding in-line data reduction, availability and encryption services. Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD, Aaron Rakers, sees QLogic ramping up its 10GbitE products, with 25/50/ …
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2015

Arista revenue rises to US$179 million in March quarter

Arista Networks has reported continuing growth, taking its revenue to US$179 million, but at the cost of a slimming of its margins to 65.8 per cent (down from 69.4 per cent a year ago). The revenue growth was strong at nearly 53 per cent higher than a year ago, but it slowed at the end of the period and was only 3.2 per cent up …

The Internet of Things: a jumbled mess or a jumbled mess?

IoT World 2015 Everyone is excited about the "internet of things" – and by excited, we mean seemingly unable to focus on one thing, not thinking very clearly, and talking excitedly about the same topics over and over again. A panel discussion called "Delivering Smart Buildings in the Home" at the IoT World conference this week helped put some …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 May 2015
Nuage's VSAP architecture

Nuage Networks tacks SDN to underlay

Software defined network (SDN) visibility is the new black, it seems: Nuage Networks has become the second vendor this week to play connect-the-dots between the physical layer and the overlay. Like Big Switch Networks, which on Tuesday made its VMware NSX visibility play for Big Fabric Controller (BFC), Nuage reckons …
Skull image

Time to patch your Cisco TelePresence systems

Cisco TelePresence kit and software need patching after the company turned up vulnerabilities that open them up to remote command injection and denial of service attacks. TelePresence TC and TE software has two vulnerabilities: an authentication bypass that gives attackers root access to devices running the software, while the …

Back to the Future: the internet of things as imagined in 1985

IoT World 2015 There's a peculiar thing going on at the Internet of Things World 2015 conference this week. As the buzz around this nebulous concept has reached fever pitch, it seems that dozens of tinkering dads across the US have looked up from their newspaper, exclaimed "my time has come!" rushed down to the basement, and pulled out the box …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 May 2015
Cisco CEO John Chambers speaking at Cisco Live! 2014

Cisco CEO John Chambers' parting gift: a better-than-expected Q3

Outgoing Cisco boss John Chambers is smiling after delivering an April quarter that's 5.1 per cent up over the April 2014 quarter in turnover and 11.7 per cent up in profit. The result would have been even better, but for ongoing weakness in the service provider market (down 7 per cent). The enterprise, public sector and …

Big Switch adds NSX-v support to fabric controller

Big Switch Networks (BSN) is getting cosier with VMware by adding virtzilla's NSX virtualisation to its Big Cloud Fabric. NSX virtualises the network into a vSwitch-based SDN overlay, but sysadmins still have to deal with the underlying physical network, and that's where Big Switch reckons it can help. The new release of Big …
Gorillas by Thomas Wildmann Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Comcast joins the OpenDaylight software-defined networking party

Heavyweight US carrier Comcast has seen the light and wants its input into how software-defined networking (SDN) works. The company has become the OpenDaylight Foundation's first end-user member, although it has been a code contributor. As SDX Central notes, Comcast was involved in the CableLabs contribution, the PacketCable …
Old Trafford football stadium Photo PeeJay2K3

Don’t want a footie-field-size data centre? No problem (or is there?)

Open Compute has generally been a playground for super-large, cloud-scale service providers to play in. Unless you’ve got a data centre the size of a footy field, the general consensus has been that it isn’t for the likes of you. As it gradually gains traction among non-cloud service providers, though, there’s a question to …
Danny Bradbury, 12 May 2015
International SDN demonstration network

OpenFlow busts out of the data centre with 15,000-route Pacific test

Last week, an international group of researchers and vendors demonstrated international carrier-scale software-defined networking (SDN), exchanging 15,000 routes across a trans-Pacific link. The partners – ESNet, switch vendor Corsa, the http://onosproject.org/ ONOS project, the Open Networking Foundation, AARnet and the CSIRO …

Oz government to put dark fibre net on the auction block

The Australian government's dark fibre network, ICON, is one of the many assets slated for sale under tonight's federal budget announcements. ICON – the Intra Government Communications Network – has a total of 150,000 km of dark fibre linking 400 sites in Canberra, and is used by 88 agencies. The Department of Finance says the …

Microsoft springs for new undersea cables to link US, UK, Asia

Microsoft has invested in two new cables to connect its North American data centers with facilities in Ireland, and it says it will soon help build similar data networking links to Asia. "Over the past 9 months, Microsoft has been significantly investing in subsea and terrestrial dark fiber capacity by engaging in fiber …
Neil McAllister, 11 May 2015
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

Boffins set to reveal state of play on fully duplex comms - on the same FREQ

A conference at Bristol university is set to reveal the current state of the art on Full Duplex technology, which allows for transmitting and receiving signals on the same frequency at the same time. The idea that a radio can simultaneously shout and listen has been regarded as both old, established technology and a bonkers …
Simon Rockman, 11 May 2015

Tor kills cloud-bundling bridge software because nobody will maintain it

Lack of people willing to keep its code updated has led the Tor Project to kill off its Amazon Web EC2 instances and the Tor Cloud service they ran. While Tor Cloud was a neat idea – let users run up Tor bridges on Amazon and donate that bandwidth to Tor for other users – software has to be maintained, and nobody wants the job …
Telstra phone booth by Ed Dunens from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/blachswan/

Telstra builds trans-continental land bridge for data

If you want to bring data from Europe or Asia to Australia, routing it to the city of Perth on the nation's west coast is a good idea because the bits spend less time on a submarine cable. For traffic from the USA, routes to Sydney on the east coast are similarly sensible. Once you land that data you then have the chore of …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2015

Ding-dong, the cloud calling: The Ring Video Doorbell

Review If you have ever missed a FedEx delivery and had to drive over to the depot, if you have had someone break into your house, or if you are often a long way from your front door when someone knocks, then you should really consider the Ring doorbell. For $200, it packs a lot in: an HD camera, a high-quality intercom, a motion …
Angela Merkel. Pic: Christliches Medienmagazin

Red-faced Germans halt NSA cooperation after Euro spying revealed

Germany has reportedly pulled the plug on cooperation with the NSA following controversy over the role of its BND secret service assisting with US spying ops targeted at European politicians and firms, including Airbus.‬ BND's listening station in Bad Aibling has reportedly stopped passing on intelligence harvested from local …
John Leyden, 7 May 2015