Simon Sharwood

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A figure from Amazon's patent for de-composed disks

Amazon may be using disk drives with hot-swappable components

Amazon's won a patent for “Hard disk drive assembly with field-separable mechanical module and drive control”. In Amazon's world disk drives have two distinct systems. There's a “drive mechanical module” comprising a drive's arms, heads, spindle, motor and platters. And there's a “control module”, basically the drive's …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2017
Commonwealth Bank

Commonwealth Bank hyperconverges with VMWare and Dell

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has made a significant investment in VMware's hyperconverged stack. The Register understands that the bank has signed up for a lot of Virtual SAN, to run on Dell EMC servers, and that the combination will become an important part of its hybrid cloud. We understand that the deal goes beyond …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Apr 2017
NBN fixed wireless tower near Ballarat

nbn™ demos gigabit-speed fixed wireless services

nbn™, the organisation building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has demonstrated a 1.1Gbps downstream and 165Mbps upstream connection using its fixed wireless network. The demonstration was conducted in the regional Victorian city of Ballarat and required the aggregation of eleven “carriers” - …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Apr 2017
Angry Judge

Russian hacker arrested in Spain for bot-herding not election-fiddling

Last week ended badly for Russian hackers. The United States Department of Justice revealed that Peter Yuryevich Levashov was picked up in Barcelona a couple of weeks back for his association with the Kelihos botnet. Levashov said he'd been told the arrest was due to his creation of a virus in some way linked to the Russia's …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2017

PC sales are up across Europe. You read that right. PC sales are up

Sales of personal computers - boring old-school desktop and laptops – are up across Europe. So says market-watcher IDC in its new Personal Computing Device Tracker for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the first quarter of 2017. Notebook PC sales grew by 11.7 per cent to lead the surge to 17,400,000 overall sales, about …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2017
Huawei logo

Huawei to build global cloud with bit barns run by different operators

Huawei's going to stitch together a global cloud based on its cut of OpenStack. It will consist of a patchwork of Huawei-built clouds that the firm itself runs, and Huawei clouds that are run by telcos. The company announced its cloudy ambitions a couple of weeks ago when rotating CEO Eric Xu* told its annual analysts …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2017
Penguin road sign

Linux 4.11 delayed for a week by NVMe glitches and 'oops fixes'

The Register hasn't needed to spend much time covering Linux 4.11 because hiccups haven't happened and Linux daddy Linus Torvalds' comments have been sparse and measured, other than a slightly terse lesson on how to Pull properly. But today he's posted that this version of Linux has hit a speed bump in the form of “NVMe power …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2017
Qualcomm

Qualcomm's Windows-capable silicon will land later rather than sooner

Qualcomm's plan to kick Intel in the soft underbelly that is the PC market will come later rather than sooner. When the company announced its Snapdragon-for-Windows-10 plans in December 2016, the company said “The first devices running the full Windows 10 experience based on Snapdragon processors are expected to be …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2017
Devuan logo

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0

Devuan, the effort to build a systemd-free version of Debian, has released Devuan Jessie 1.0.0, a release candidate felt to be just about the finished article. In a mail sent to the project's followers the self-proclaimed “Veteran Unix Admins” behind Devuan say “This Devuan Jessie release candidate is as close as we can get to …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2017
Dog waits on a Welcome mat. photo by sHutterstock

Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday re-telling of readers unforgettable on-the-job experiences. This week, meet “Jim” who once had a manager show up in the IT department and ask for a discreet chat in the colleague's office. When Jim arrived the manager “pushed his laptop bag towards me, whilst giving the bag the kind of …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2017
Assange

Cuffing Assange a 'priority' for the USA says attorney-general

United States attorney-general Jeff Sessions says the Trump administration will make it “a priority” to arrest leakers, including Julian Assange. Sessions on Thursday toured the US/Mexico border and later gave a press conference in El Paso. Towards the end of that conference, at about the 15:40 mark of the video below, …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2017
New MH 370 flaperon drift modelling

New MH370 analysis again says we looked in the wrong places

Australian scientists have released a new analysis of debris from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 and again asserted that the search for the Boeing 777 was conducted in the wrong place. Scientists from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) penned the new report, The search for …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2017
Windows 10 logo

Microsoft promises twice-yearly Windows 10, O365 updates – with just 18 months' support

Updated Microsoft's explained how often it intends to offer “feature updates” to Windows 10: twice a year in March and September. That schedule will bring Windows 10 into line with the update schedule already used by Office 365 ProPlus. Knowing when updates will land is useful. But Microsoft's announcement says “Each Windows 10 …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2017
China's robot space truck Tianzhou-1 lifts off

China successfully launches its first robot space truck

China's ambition to launch a permanently-crewed space station is a little closer today after the nation successfully launched its first robot space truck. The Tianzhou-1 lifted off as planned on Thursday evening, carrying with it six tonnes of supplies for the Tiangong-2's crew of two. The six tonnes (6,000kg) of cargo it …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2017
Green data centre

You just sent an on-prem app to the cloud and your data centre has empty racks. What now?

On-premises data centres are expensive to build and operate, which is one reason public cloud is so attractive … albeit not so attractive that organisations will immediately evacuate on-premises data centres. Indeed, it's accepted that workloads will migrate over years and that hybrid clouds will become very common. But it's …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2017
Light bulb photo via Shutterstock

Ambient light sensors can steal data, says security researcher

Security researcher Lukasz Olejnik says it is possible to slurp sensitive data with the ambient light sensors installed in many smartphones and laptops. The sensors are there so that devices can automatically change the brightness of screens, a handy trick that save scrambles to change settings. But Olejnik says such sensors …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2017

Opportunity rover gets bored of spot it's explored since 2014

The thirteen year-old Opportunity rover is moving on from the region of Mars it's been exploring since 2014. Opportunity has spent the last 30 months at “Cape Tribulation”, a spot near the rim of the Endeavour Crater. The Cape's yielded all sorts of insights from finds like an outcrop of clay-like minerals and some interesting …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2017
1980 olympics weight-lifting champs. By RIA Novosti archive, image #484445 / Dmitryi Donskoy / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Computer games to become medal sport at Asian Games

Gold medals will be awarded to players of computer games at the 2022 Asian Games. The games are run under the auspices of the Olympic Council of Asia and, like the Olympics, offer a two-week orgy of sport. Most of the events at the Asian Games are familiar sports like track and field, aquatics, cycling and sailing, but the …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2017

Riverbed slurps Xirrus to take SD-WAN all the way to Wi-Fi

Riverbed has acquired Xirrus for an undisclosed sum and will now try to build a software-defined WAN that stretches all the way to Wi-Fi access points. Xirrus makes enterprise-grade Wi-Fi kit that packs multiple access points into a single chassis, then combines their traffic with an in-chassis switch. The many radios inside …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2017
Network scientists

nbn™ joins standards body CableLabs

Yet more evidence, as if we needed it, that nbn™ has little interest in more FTTP nbn™, the organisation building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has won membership of CableLabs, the global R&D body that develops technologies and standards that help cable operators deploy new services on existing …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017
Raised middle finger

Chap 'fixes' Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 update block on new CPUs

A developer using the handle “Zeffy” claims to have found a way around Microsoft's ban on updates for old versions of Windows on shiny new CPUs. Microsoft flagged its new policy early last year, telling world+dog that Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming 7th Gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017
Smart oven

Fixing your oven can cook your computer

Updated If your Hotpoint cooker or washer's on the blink, don't arrange a repair by visiting the manufacturer's website: the appliance vendor has been inadvertently foisting nastyware onto visitors. As spotted by Netcraft, fake Java update dialogs started appearing on Hotpoint's UK and Republic of Ireland sites this week. If you click …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017
Google cloud vision API errors once noise is added

Google's cloudy image recognition is easily blinded, say boffins

Google's Cloud Vision API is easily blinded by the addition of a little noise to the images it analyses, say a trio of researchers from the Network Security Lab at the University of Washington, Seattle. Authors Hossein Hosseini, Baicen Xiao and Radha Poovendran have hit arXiv with a pre-press paper titled Google’s Cloud Vision …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017
Xen project logo

Release the hounds! Xen 4.9's first RC is out and wants testing

The Xen Project's wheeled out the first release candidate of Xen 4.9 and reckons it will be ready to launch in the first week of June 2017. Release candidate 1 of the new version emerged last Thursday and the release schedule calls for successors to follow on April 21st, April 28th, May 5th and May 12th. Test days for each …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017
Parliament House Canberra

Australian Taxation Office successfully replaces SAN, web site then fails anyway

The Australian Taxation Office says its planned Easter outage to replace its infamously wobbly HPE storage area network went well. The Register prodded the ATO today because its website went down in the morning, as was the case after the SAN problems that took its site and services offline for several days in December 2016 and …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017

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