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ICANN wants total control of DNS while breaking its own bylaws to block .africa probe

ICANN broke its own bylaws – and acted in a way "fundamentally inconsistent" with its role as the world's DNS overlord – while restricting efforts to make itself more accountable to netizens. That striking judgment [PDF] comes this month from an independent review team at the International Centre For Dispute Resolution (ICDR). …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Apr 2015

New antenna supports all three wireless charging standards

A new antenna design aims to solve the two major problems with wireless charging: the mess of standards and the limitations of transmitting power by radio. The antenna, built by Chicago company NuCurrent, can support the wireless charging standards of Qi, the Power Matters Association (PMA) and the Association for Wireless Power …
Simon Rockman, 28 Apr 2015
Clouds in blue sky

HP switch upgrade hopes to sneak SDN onto network, quietly

Interop HP has used Interop as the venue for its latest switch launch, putting software-defined networking (SDN) alongside speeds and feeds in the marketing pitch. The way HP sees it, mobility – not just the cellphone but also the proliferation of WiFi devices – is the big deal that demands SDN. The old-world attitude to the network, …
MIPS Creator CI20 development board

MIPS quietly bares its processor architecture to universities

The MIPS processor architecture behind many graphics cards and the PlayStation 2 is being laid bare by its licensee Imagination Technologies. While ARM and Intel dominate the chip market, the MIPS third option is still a significant player in the industry – but what goes on inside processors is a closely guarded secret. …
Simon Rockman, 27 Apr 2015
Man drinking through a straw CC2.0 attribution Bradley Gordon https://www.flickr.com/photos/icanchangethisright/

Riverbed retires RVBD from NASDAQ after private equity swoop

Riverbed is no longer a publicly-traded company, as the buyout of its stock by private equiteer Thoma Bravo and Teachers’ Private Capital concluded late last week. The deal was announced last December and appears to have been influenced by activist investor Elliot Management which reckons Riverbed could be doing better. All …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2015
https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/ by Found Animals Foundation CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/

Who was downloading smut in the office while eating ice cream?

On-call +NSFW Welcome back to On-call, our planned-to-be-fortnightly look at the things readers have been asked to do in the course of their employment, often at odd hours. This week, reader Guy* wrote to tell us about a gig he scored in the mid-nineties, where “my first task was to find out where all our bandwidth was going when the office …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2015

Internet kingmakers drop ego, devise future of DNS, IP addys etc

Five months after the release of a bloated, ego–driven mess of a plan to shift control of the top level of the internet from the US government to the internet community, a greatly improved version 2.0 has been offered for public comment. The 90–page Response to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group Request for …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Apr 2015
The Dell Z9100-ON  open networking switch

Dell expands open networking program with new switches

Dell has celebrated the first birthday of its open networking program by launching more products. The program is part of Dell's take on software-defined networking with its core idea being that punters might want to buy kit running an operating system other than that devised by its maker. This arrangement differs from white box …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015

Citrix decides to share its WAN optimisation with the world

Citrix has sold WAN optimisation kit for ages, but hasn't pushed its HDX technology far beyond its base of application and desktop virtualisation users. Until today, when it shoved the newly-badged “CloudBridgeVirtual WAN” into the sunlight. Citrix's schtick is that branch offices don't (always) need expensive connectivity: …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015
White boxes

Freescale preps white box switch for Interop launch

Freescale has looked at the software-defined network market and decided it likes what it sees: the company is launching into the white box market in partnership with Advantech. The coming network services switch, to be detailed at next week's Interop show in Las Vegas, will use Freescale's QorIQ T4240 silicon the company says. …
Cloud

Australia's favourite(ish) telco taking SDN to the world

Australia's dominant telco Telstra is about to try and make itself a global brand for those considering intercontinental software-defined networks (SDN). Telstra acquired Pacnet in 2014, partly to get its hands on the company's submarine cables and 16-point-of-presence Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN). The PEN is billed as Asia's …
Data Centre

Pica8 pokes SDN traffic into labelled BGP paths

Getting SDN working across the WAN is becoming the hot topic of the month: white box SDN OS provider Pica8 is the latest to take a shot at the problem. The company has announced that it's adding support for labelled Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) in the 2.6 release of its PicOS operating system. It's hardly a new standard – RFC …

Infosec bod's brag: Text editor pops Avaya phones FOREVER

RSA 2015 Dr Ang Cui says Avaya's Ethernet office phones can be permanently compromised using nothing more than a text editor (and a few lines of Python.) The Columbia University PhD and Red Ballon Security cofounder revealed to the RSA security conference in San Francisco a few more details about the vulnerabilities he found last year in …
Darren Pauli, 22 Apr 2015

Broadcom tops US$2 billion in March quarter

Broadcom reckons its exit from the cellular baseband modem business was a win, with better cashflow and more money handy to invest in its core business. At the company's latest analyst session, chair and CTO Henry Samueli said that the exit had also given Broadcom the chance to enter “adjacent markets”. The company narrowly …
Cloud

IEEE chaps propose QoS for SDN across the public internet

Software-defined networking (SDN) is fine in the data centre, but rubbish across multi-domain WANs, something a group of IEEE engineers wants to solve. Their proposal, on Arxiv, is to copy the cloud notions of abstraction and orchestration into Internet connections. Sucking nourishment out of the academic prose, the IEEE …

Evil Wi-Fi kills iPhones, iPods in range – 'No iOS Zone' SSL bug revealed

RSA 2015 A vulnerability in iOS 8 can be exploited by malicious wireless hotspots to repeatedly crash and reboot nearby Apple iPhones, iPads and iPods, security researchers claim. Skycure bods Adi Sharabani and Yair Amit say the attack, dubbed "No iOS Zone", will render vulnerable iOS things within range unstable – or even entirely …
Darren Pauli, 22 Apr 2015

ID yourself or get NOTHING (except Framework), snarls Metasploit

Metasploit Pro and Community users outside North America now need to prove who they are, thanks to changes introduced this week and a tightening of encryption export rules. The open source Metasploit Framework (a computer security project) is not affected by the new rules. "[This] is yet another reminder that governments have …
John Leyden, 21 Apr 2015

No, Optus: don't try US-style net neutrality arguments in Oz

Netflix has ignited the Internet neutrality debate in Australia, something that was previously not a major issue in the nation. The odd structure of Australia's Internet (compared to America's, at least) has long been criticised. Too few international links in too few hands makes connectivity to the US relatively expensive, and …
Facepalm by Ron Mander

D-Link: sorry we're SOHOpeless

D-Link's SOHOpeless HNAP vulnerability hasn't been fixed, but readers will be pleased to know that the company is very, very, very sorry that it exists. The company issued a patch on April 10 for its design-over-substance AC3200 series routers, but that "fix" blew a hole in the device's authentication routines. Tactical Network …

Australia mulls dumping the .com from .com.au – so you can bake URLs like chocolate.gate.au

Australia may ditch the .com in .com.au and offer citizens straight .au domain names following increased competition from the explosion of dot-word addresses. A discussion paper [PDF] published by the .AU Domain Administration (AuDA) puts forward the case for making the aforementioned change. It notes that while it has …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2015

Tale of 2 cyber-confabs: Govts, nerds on one side. Shock hotel room searches on the other

Analysis Last week, the fourth annual global conference on cybersecurity (GCCS) was held in The Hague in the Netherlands. The two-day conference is put on by a different government each year, starting with the first in London in 2011. It is billed as a place for "representatives from governments, private sector and civil society" to meet …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2015

That's right: FBI agents can't pretend to be ISP repairmen to search homes without a warrant

Evidence gathered by FBI agents who posed as broadband repairmen to enter a suspect's villa without a warrant has been thrown out by a US judge. The District Court of Nevada has decided [PDF] that the g-men violated the Fourth Amendment rights of poker ace Wei Seng Phua when they searched his Las Vegas bolthole while disguised …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Apr 2015
pipes

Web advertising giant (Google) to spew ads over web – using HTTPS

Google has vowed to serve ads over HTTPS from its massive advertising network. The move will make it easier for website owners to go fully SSL-protected, serving their webpages and ads over HTTPS rather than just the pages over HTTPS and mixing in ads over HTTP, which is insecure. It also means each ad and its link can't be …
Darren Pauli, 20 Apr 2015

NatWest and RBS' mobile banking apps go TITSUP

UPDATE RBS and NatWest customers have been left unable to access their accounts via the banks' mobile apps. In an identically-worded tweet both banks said this morning: "We're sorry if you're having trouble getting into Mobile Banking, we're working hard to resolve the issue. Thank you for your patience." NatWest and RBS are currently …
Kat Hall, 20 Apr 2015
Parking meter FAIL from Ryan Stele's Flickr account  https://www.flickr.com/photos/tweek/139509551/in/photolist-dk2k6-8VcmSf-5w27pU-7RdimR-7RdiiK-7RdifK-7Rgz8f-7Rdiai-czUVBh-9Ls61i-5cY5jG-9bGK2Y-6VH3Xz-5YVGNT-abaRJ9-6PjTC5-6opqMB-jitAoe-5Yvee7-65tNZD-5xf3hB-a9Zegh-845DZg-ocfXQT-bfZB5z-aWWvax-bVe3vu-6yra6f-6yra4A-8nudtt-6WhDiL-6qNQyT-7YYReC-6yra5N-6yra3w-6yra2Y-6yn2HX-a6MPYs-6yn2Qx-6yn2Pv-6yra49-6yra2q-6yn2Hx-6yra57-6qT1yb-55rYVK-6yra75-6yr9ZQ-6odx71-68EVsF

Google broke own security with April fool gag

On April 1st Google had a bit of fun by using the com.google domain to display all content backwards, but the folks at Netcraft think that jape backfired by introducing security vulnerabilities to the search engine. Netcraft's security folks say the joke “... inadvertently undermined an important security feature on Google's …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2015

Raytheon suspected of readying for Websense slurp

The biz-wires are abuzz with industry talk that enterprise net-filter outfit Websense will be slurped by Raytheon for a cool $US1.9 billion. Now an e-mail and Web security company with deployment options from the desktop to the cloud, Websense had long lived under the wing of private equity company Vista Equity Partners (VEP). …
Parcelcopter

Drones to bring DEBT FROM ABOVE in Switzerland

Swiss Post, the neutral nation's postal service, has confirmed it is testing delivery-by-drone. Staff at the outfit have confirmed a report in local media to Agence France Presse, detailing collaboration with US drone-maker Matternet and the freight division of Swiss International Air Lines. Tests of drone-delivered mail are …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2015
Grand Theft Auto Lindsay Lohan lookalike

BLAM! Valve slams brakes on Steam flimflam with $5 spam scram plan

Video-gaming kingpin Valve has promised to do a better job of protecting its subscribers from dollops of spam, by applying a $5 limit on user accounts before unlocking a number of key features. The company explained the new strategy in a post on its support forum. It said that features – including friend invites, group chat, …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Apr 2015
Zuck balloons

What's 'appening with WhatsApp? '800 MEEELLION LOSERS* actively use us', says boss

The CEO of Facebook-owned WhatsApp claimed on Friday that the mobile messaging service was now accessed by 800 million chumps worldwide each month. CEO Jan Koum said in a brief Facebook post that WhatsApp was "now serving 800,000,000 monthly active users." He added that "active and registered users are not the same thing". But …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Apr 2015
Falcon 9 crash landing. Image credit: SpaceX

KABOOM! Billionaire fingers dud valve in ROCKET WIBBLE PRANG BLAST

Billionaire biz baron Elon Musk has revealed some detail on why his firm SpaceX's scheme to bring back a first stage booster rocket in one piece just failed on the most recent attempt. The Register reported on the drama as it unfolded on Tuesday. Once again, Falcon 9 successfully launched the capsule payload to 'nauts on the …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Apr 2015
Ceres

DWARF PLANET Ceres beams back SUNNY north pole FROWN

In the build up to NASA's first science orbit of dwarf planet Ceres later this month, the agency's spacecraft Dawn has been capturing stunning images of the extraterrestrial body. Astroboffins have released an impressive animation of Ceres, after it was snapped from a distance of 21,000 (33,000 kilometres) on 10 April. NASA has …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Apr 2015

Who runs this world? Sony Pictures CEO jokes about getting UK culture minister fired

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton mulled pulling strings to get UK culture minister Ed Vaizey fired to replace him with the grandson of former prime minister Harold MacMillan. Vaizey, a democratically elected Tory moderniser, oversaw "digital industries" for Britain's Coalition government – from broadband to copyright …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Apr 2015

FCC hit with SEVENTH net neutrality lawsuit

CenturyLink has become the seventh organization to sue the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to dismantle its radical new net neutrality rules. The broadband provider filed a lawsuit against the US regulator in the Washington DC Court of Appeals, and used almost exactly the same language as the first lawsuit to land last …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015
Racecar

Google has tested its speedy QUIC internet protocol on YOU – and the early results are in

Google says its homegrown QUIC networking protocol can speed up web browsing – enough so that it's planning to propose it to the IETF standards body to make it part of the next-generation internet. The online advertising giant has been quietly working on QUIC since 2013, after successfully having its work on the SPDY protocol …
Neil McAllister, 17 Apr 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Budge up, Navy boys, I've got some broadband spectrum to flog – FCC

US watchdog the FCC hopes to offer more airwaves to telcos in hope they'll be used to grow mobile broadband coverage in America. The commission announced on Friday that it wants to add 100MHz to the 50MHz of spectrum in the 3550MHz to 3700MHz band already available for commercial use. The US Department of Defense operates a few …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Apr 2015
Drone strike simulation

US Navy's LOCUST DRONE CANNON is like death SWARMED up

Vid Drones are going to play a big part in future conflicts, and the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) knows it. The boffinry nerve-center has been showing off its latest idea – the Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) that will throw massive swarms of networked aircraft into the skies to search for the enemy. Youtube Video …
Iain Thomson, 17 Apr 2015

Hooray! China suspends ban on foreign tech in banking

EU tech firms are heaving several huge sighs of relief, as China lifts a ban on foreign tech in banking, although it may only be a stay of execution. Beijing officials notified authorities on Thursday that they would “suspend the implementation” of a controversial new law that effectively blocks any non-Chinese tech company …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Apr 2015

Bloomberg crash embarrasment delays £3 BEELLLION debt sale

A Debt Management Office auction of short-term Treasury bills, forming part of a bid to raise £3bn, has been postponed, after Bloomberg trading terminals went TITSUP on Friday morning. Just as the weekly tender of cheap debt was being flogged by Her Majesty's lackeys, the Bloomberg terminals crashed, affecting an estimated 300, …
Windows 10 Phone build 10051

Windows Phone 10: Less stuff that does more – plus IE-killer Project Spartan

Hands On Microsoft recently released its Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones, build 10051, as part of its Windows Insider series. This is by no means a stable build, especially on a low-end phone like our Lumia 635. The built-in apps crash from time to time and sometimes the entire OS freezes. Another common problem is chopped-off …
Tim Anderson, 17 Apr 2015
CLion logo

JetBrains releases CLion - new cross-platform IDE for C/C++ users

Developer tools company JetBrains has released CLion, a new cross-platform IDE for C and C++. JetBrains is a survivor in a product area dominated either by vendor-specific tools (such as Microsoft’s Visual Studio and Apple's Xcode) or free open source projects (Eclipse and NetBeans). The core JetBrains product, IntelliJ IDEA, …
Tim Anderson, 17 Apr 2015

ICANN banked $60m from dot-word auctions. Just what exactly is it going to spend it all on?

The chairman of ICANN has finally been pushed into revealing his plans for the $60m the domain-name overseer has banked from auctioning off the rights to dot-words. The $60m (£40m) – or $58,819,832 to be precise – was raised from organizations competing to set up registries for new generic top-level domains like .ping ($1.5m), . …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015

WW2 German Enigma machine auctioned for record-breaking price

A three-rotor Engima machine was sold for a record $269,000 at a Bonhams auction earlier this week. The machine is in complete working condition and was manufactured for the German military in Berlin in July 1944. The Enigma machines were, for their time, sophisticated encryption devices, and were used to encrypt Morse-coded …