Simon Sharwood

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Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions

On-Call Welcome once more to On-Call, in which Register readers share their stories of silly tech support incidents. This week meet “Jay” who told us that “Long ago, in a career far away, I worked in Field Service for Wang Laboratories in the Philadelphia, PA, area.” Among the products that Jay tended was the model 702 plotter. Jay …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jul 2018
Samsung DeX gives you a "Desktop experience" when docked to a full size screen

Samsung’s new phone-as-desktop is slick, fast and ready for splash-down ... somewhere

Hands-On I’m typing this story on a phone – a Galaxy S9+ to be precise, lodged in Samsung’s new “DeX Pad” not-a-dock that turns its high-end handsets into passable desktops when connected to a monitor or tellie over HDMI. Samsung introduced the Dex with 2017’s Galaxy S8 and then updated it this year with a smaller dock that puts the …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2018
Bounty chocolate - Shuterstock

Microsoft to pay new bounties for identity services holes

Microsoft’s launched a new bug bounty program, this time for identity services. “Microsoft has invested heavily in the security and privacy of both our consumer (Microsoft Account) and enterprise (Azure Active Directory) identity solutions,” wrote principal security group manager Phillip Misner. But Redmond’s not just paying …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2018
Acer Chromebook 13

People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking

Google thinks the time has come for widespread adoption of PCs-as-a-service, so has offered up its own experience as an exemplar how to get it done. The company’s explained that it operates a “Grab and Go program” that sees it offer racks full of Chromebooks. If a worker’s machine breaks, they just grab a new one from those …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2018
Amazon Web Services <a href="">Gil C</a> / <a href=""></a>

AWS launches on-premises EC2 instances for reverse hybrid cloud

In a major departure from its usual cloud-only stance, Amazon Web Services has announced it’s now possible to run EC2 instances with on-premises hardware – but only its own Snowball Edge devices. The Snowball Edge is sold as a data transfer appliance that improves on the base Snowball by adding the ability to use it as local …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2018

Azure certifications are awful, Microsoft admits, so it has made new ones

Microsoft has admitted that the certifications it created for Azure admins aren’t very good. A post by Microsoft’s Liberty Munson* offers two reasons for this, the first of which is that “we have gotten consistent feedback that our current Azure exams are too broad, covering a range of skills that very few individuals, even …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2018
PDF and HTML icons

Gov.UK to make its lovely HTML exportable as parlous PDFs

The UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) has revealed it’s working on a tool that will export its web pages as PDFs. News of the effort comes at the end of a post that spends most of its time slagging off PDFs. “Compared with HTML content, information published in a PDF is harder to find, use and maintain,” wrote GDS …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2018
Maurice Moss IT crowd

‘Elders of the Internet’ apologise for social media, recommend Trump filters to fix it

A new Internet Engineering Task Force draft proposes to apologise for social media. Issued on Monday July 16th, the draft titled “Social Media (An Apology)” is signed by “The Elders of the Internet” and opens by noting “Recently, you may have noticed a dramatic increase in the amount of opprobrium, outrage, hate speech and …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2018

Intel and Micron downgrade 3D Xpoint relationship from friends with benefits to partners

Intel and Micron Technology will dissolve the partnership that gave the world 3D XPoint storage-class memory. Identically-worded statements from both companies said “The companies have agreed to complete joint development for the second generation of 3D XPoint technology, which is expected to occur in the first half of 2019. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2018
People forbidden from talking

Official probe into HPE’s Oz 3Par crashes would create 'further negative publicity' if revealed

The final report into the two major failures of HPE 3Par storage area networks at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) would likely lead to “further negative publicity” for the vendor – which is one reason the ATO has decided not to release the document. HPE's 3Par kit fell over in December 2016, and then again in February …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2018
person in chemical repelling suit with a suspicious bottle

Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

Who, me? Welcome once more to “Who, me?”, in which we help Reg readers to unburden themselves by telling anonymised stories of big, bad, mistakes. This week meet “Luke” who told us that about 20 years ago he was in charge of disaster recovery “for an insurance company in San Francisco” and had “a series of ‘oh shit’ days.” Lue’s …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2018

Notes/Domino is alive! Second beta of version 10 is imminent

IBM’s effort to make its Notes/Domino platform relevant for the future kicks up a gear this week, as the company prepares a second beta of a new version 10. Notes combined messaging and an application development environment, which set hearts a-fluttering in the early-to-mid 1990s. IBM laid out a then-record $3bn to acquire …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2018

AWS will make switches to go after Cisco – report

Updated Rumours emerged late last week that Amazon Web Services plans to make and sell white box switches for you to use on-premises. Citing a couple of folk familiar with the plan, The Information framed a story as AWS using white box switches to go after Cisco by undercutting it on price. Causation hasn’t been proven, but Cisco’s …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2018
QEMU Christmas Logo

QEMU Qicks out release Qandidate, new Qadence for version 3.0.0

The QEMU machine emulator and virtualizer has decided the time is right to give the world version 3.0 and seems also to have acted on a vow to qlean up its qode. QEMU maintainer Michael Roth last week took to the Qemu-devel list with news that release candidate zero of QEMU version 3.0.0 had arrived. “Why 3.0?” Roth asked. “ …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2018

ZTE sends 400 million hostages, gets back in business stateside

Chinese telco kit-maker ZTE is back in business in the USA after doing everything asked of it by the nation’s authorities. US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross late last week issued a statement that said his “Department lifted the denial order on ZTE pursuant to a June settlement agreement that included the harshest penalties …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2018

Tech support chap given no training or briefing before jobs, which is why he was arrested

On-Call Welcome once more to On-Call, the column The Register squeezes in before the weekend so you can revel in a fellow reader’s tales of tech support terror. This week meet “Zac” who told us the story of how “When I started as a computer engineer for a now defunct manufacturer everything was learned on the job (in the 'field …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2018
Cloud storage

NFSaaS becomes ‘Azure NetApp Files’ as ONTAP-on-Azure debuts

Microsoft’s Azure cloud has turned on a preview of “Azure NetApp Files”, which readers may recall was NetApp teased in October 2017. The service is a bit late: NetApp called for pilot users back in November 2017 and said it would “be available for public preview in early 2018”. We’re pretty sure July 12 doesn’t count as early …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2018
Thumbs down frownining emoticon

That went well – not! Broadcom’s value dives after CA biz gobble

Broadcom’s share price has dipped by nearly 14 per cent after it announced its plan to acquire CA Technologies. The $19bn deal, announced yesterday, was a bolt from the blue. It was also a major change from Broadcom’s most recent quarterly earnings statement in which executives discussed extending the company’s lead in silicon …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2018
Africa Studio

PC shipments just rose, thanks to Windows 10

Sales of personal computers rose in 2018’s second quarter, making it the best time to be in the PC business since 2012. News of the sale rise came from analyst firms IDC and Gartner who’ve both hit F9 on their spreadsheets recording Q2 shipments and found a positive number. Gartner found 62.1 million PC shipments, up a 1.4 per …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2018

Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

Guido van Rossum – who created the Python programming language in 1989, was jokingly styled as its “benevolent dictator for life”, and ushered it to global ubiquity – has stepped down, and won’t appoint a successor. In a mailing list post on Thursday titled, “Transfer of Power,” he wrote: “Now that PEP 572 is done, I don't …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2018
Cloud lock in

Microsoft adds subscriptions for SQL and Windows Servers

Microsoft’s revealed a new way to buy Windows Server and SQL Server – a subscription offer tied to Azure. The new offer is tied to Azure Reserved Instances plan that Redmond announced last year, under which you can pay up-front for one or three years of Azure servers. As of July 10th, Reserved Instances are alive and breathing …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jul 2018
Crash test dummy

Desktop hypervisor fiends. Both of you. VMware's testing a new cut of Workstation

VMware’s quietly slipped out a Tech Preview of an update to Workstation, its desktop hypervisor for Windows and Linux. The most notable new bit appears to be a REST API that matches the one added to the 2017 edition of Fusion, VMware’s desktop hypervisor for the Mac. Once it arrives in Workstation it’ll allow automated testing …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jul 2018

Salesforce ‘Einstein’ now smart enough for customer service

Salesforce has unleashed an upgrade to its Einstein AI that equips it to handle customer service chores. Einstein has hitherto been offered as an assistant capable of helping Salesforce users to make predictions based on the data they’ve collected on the SaaS platform, with one variant also capable of making suggestions to …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jul 2018
Full confession

Timehop admits to more data leakage, details GDPR danger

Nostalgia aggregator Timehop has revised its advice about the data breach it reported earlier this week. The news is bad in two dimensions, the first of which is that the company has found more data was accessed. Updates to its oops! post has now added “dates of birth, gender [and] country codes” to the list of lost …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jul 2018
Black Market

Infosec defenders' supply chain is inferior to black hats, says Carbon Black CEO

The security industry’s supply chain is currently inferior to that of its attackers, says Carbon Black CEO Patrick Morley, but he thinks the industry is finding ways to fight back. In conversation with The Register yesterday, Morley advanced a theory that exploit brokers, malware authors and other bad actors work together. …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2018

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