Simon Sharwood

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A fiber optic cable

CEO insisted his email was on server that had been offline for years

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register’s Friday column in which readers share tales of tricky tech support tasks. This week meet “Sam” who “used to work for one of those zombie web companies that limped along after the dotcom bubble burst because no-one had told it that it should be dead.” The company no longer had a proper …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2018
US/China conflict

ZTE to USA: Sure, ban us, but you cannot afford such victories

ZTE has hit back at the United States’ newly-imposed ban on American companies selling to the Chinese networking vendor. The US Department of Commerce issued the ban on April 16th, claiming that investigations by its Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) found ZTE has lied about its dealings with Iran and North Korea, rewarded …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2018
Oracle logo, image by GongTo via Shutterstock

Oracle pledges annual Solaris updates for you to install each summer

Oracle will deliver “update releases” of Solaris every northern Summer, under a new plan it revealed this week along with news of the Solaris 11.4 beta and a hurry-along for users of old Sun hardware. In a post detailing “minor changes” to its release schedule, Scott Lynn, director of product management for Oracle Linux and …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2018
Trying to catch money in a net

Will Dell eat VMware? Or will Carl Icahn snack on Dell? And where does Uber fit in? Yes, Uber!

The “what will Dell do to/with/for/about VMware” rumour mill has started spinning again. The force giving the mill the biggest push is a hint that activist investor Carl Icahn has acquired a chunk of VMware. Icahn’s shares are said to be enough to give him influence, but have not triggered thresholds requiring regulatory …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2018
IKEA rage

Machines learned to assemble IKEA’s semi-disposable furniture

Singaporean scientists have asked the question: “Can robots assemble an IKEA chair?” and come back with enough of a “Yes” that The Register feels it time to call for robots to take this job away from humans. Pleeeease, robots. Take this job away from us! The boffins behind this breakthrough, assistant professor Pham Quang …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2018

Facebook job ad hints at homebrew silicon plans

Poll Facebook’s hinted it will join the ranks of hyperscalers that roll their own silicon, with a job ad for an “ASIC & FPGA Design Engineer”. The ad says The Social Network™ wants “a silicon design engineer …. with expertise in architecting and designing semi-custom and fully custom ASICs. The role involves evaluating, developing …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2018
credit cards stacked up in a pile... with the one in the foreground in close-up

PCI Council releases vastly expanded cards-in-clouds guidance

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has issued a big update to its guidance on using payment cards with cloud computing services. A lot has happened in the cloud since 2013, when the last version was published. Which may explain why Wednesday’s version three hit 83 pages, 31 pages more than version …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2018
Reformordie.com.au

Australia’s .au admins told to reform or get rooted

The administrator of Australia’s top level .au domain, auDA, has been told to reform or be forcibly stripped of its role. That edict was delivered yesterday by Australia’s minister for communications Mitch Fifield, who ordered a review of auDA after the organisation’s board introduced a Code of Conduct that restricted members …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2018

Chrome 66: Get into the bin, auto-playing vids and Symantec certs!

Chrome the 66th is upon us and has added some features that Google previewed in months past. One is the September 2017 decision to stop trusting Symantec’s digital certificates, ending a long dispute over the way the security vendor managed its partners’ PKI activities before June 2016. Chrome 66 will warn visitors to sites …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2018
Holding hands at sunset

Cisco, Microsoft and 32 big vendor pals join ‘Accord’ to improve security by doing … security stuff

Analysis Thirty-four technology companies inked a "Cybersecurity Tech Accord" on Tuesday which they said represents "a public commitment … to protect and empower civilians online and to improve the security, stability and resilience of cyberspace". The 34 vendors include Cisco, SAP, both HPs, Microsoft, Oracle, Juniper, Dell, BT, …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2018
European flag with sad face

Europe wants cloud giants to cough up data from anywhere in 6hrs

The European Commission has outlined its desire for a new legal instrument that would require carriers, clouds, email service providers, and operators of messaging apps, to produce someone's data within six hours to assist investigations of “criminals or terrorists”. The proposed European Production Order will "allow a …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2018
two-fork person

Forking hell! VMware now has TWO current versions of vSphere

VMware has given vAdmins a new version of vSphere, numbered 6.7. As predicted and detected by The Register's virtualization desk, it's not a huge release. But it is both a slightly confusing and rather significant one. The significance first: this release is a signal of just how much VMware believes in hybrid clouds. Evidence …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2018

Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST

On September 8th, 2015, a pilot left Point Cook Airfield in the Australian State of Victoria for a solo navigational training flight. She didn’t make it back: the plane “impacted rising terrain” about two-thirds of the way into the journey and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau report on the accident, published today, …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2018

SAP okays Java EE being Eclipsed, six months after Oracle's announcement

SAP has revealed its attitude to Oracle’s decision to let go of Java EE and have it tended by the Eclipse Foundation. SAP’s position is simple: it’s cool with it. “The announcement of Oracle to handover stewardship of Java EE to the Eclipse foundation is a forward-looking process targeting future releases of the technology …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2018
Long March

If you guessed China’s heavy lifter failed due to a liquid hydrogen turbo engine fault, well done!

China’s National Space Administration has figured out why its Long March Y2 launch went awry in July 2017. The “unsuccessful” launch, as Chinese authorities put it at the time, was China’s second attempt at achieving heavy lift capability with its new Long March 5 vehicle. The first launch of the rocket, which boasts a …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2018
Five emperor penguins

Linus Torvalds schedules Linux Kernel 5.0, then maybe delays 'meaningless' release

Linus Torvalds has suggested that the next Linux kernel could earn the number “5.0”. Torvalds’ suggestion came in his announcement of the first release candidate for version 4.17, which he said “does not seem to be shaping up to be a particularly big release, and there seems to be nothing particularly special about it.” …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2018
Email. Pic: Shutterstock

'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'

Who, me? Welcome again to Who, me? In case you've missed previous editions of the column, it's a confessional in which readers share their stories of having broken stuff. Badly. This week, a fellow reader named "Bert" asked you to "Cast your mind back to the mid-90s when America Online (AOL) was the biggest online service and the …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2018
Samsung Galaxy  J2 Pro

New Galaxy un-smartphone can’t go online because Samsung's thought of the children

Samsung has announced a phone that can’t go online. The new machine is a cut of the Galaxy J2 Pro, a low-end handset that Samsung’s Korea-only announcement says "is a product that blocks mobile data such as 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi," and meets the "need to focus on learning and the needs of senior users who are sensitive to data …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2018

Australian Feds cuff woman who used BTC to buy drugs on dark web

Australia’s Border Force (ABF) has warned that “people shouldn’t assume the dark web is invisible to Australian agencies” after cuffing a woman who bought illicit drugs using Bitcoin and had them shipped from the UK to Australia. The ABF chose Friday the 13th of April to announce that a woman had run out of luck after she “ …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2018
Taj Mahal with WiFi logo

India completes its GPS alternative, for the second time

India has successfully conducted the satellite launch needed to re-construct its Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C41 ascended on Thursday, April 12th. Atop the craft was a satellite designated IRNSS-1L, the last of seven …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
Mother tattoo

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register’s reader-contributed tales of tech support tension, terror and technical tragedy. This week meet “Calvin” who told us that “For many years our small family business had run on paperwork, but increasing amounts of government red tape meant we had to go digital.” “After sharpening my …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
Woman kicks off shoes, gets bottle of wine, collapses onto couch

What a time to be alive: LG and Italian furniture-maker build smart sofa

Korean electronics giant LG and Italian homewares concern Natuzzi have teamed up to create the internet of furniture. The pair will front Milano Design Week, which kicks off next Tuesday April 17th, with kit that means “a visitor can sit on a piece of Nattuzi furniture and tell it to turn on the TV. It will then activate the …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
jail

Backpage.com cops to human trafficking, money laundering

Backpage.com CEO Carl Ferrer has pled guilty to money laundering and the company he led has done likewise on charges of human trafficking. US authorities seized and shuttered the site last week, and a few days later the Department of Justice charged seven staff and investors with 93 counts including conspiracy, money …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
Batman SaaS

Cisco board adds SaaS-man to help it suss subscriptions

Cisco’s tapped one of the few software vendors that has made a thorough and successful transition to software-as-a-service by appointing Mark Garrett, a former Adobe executive veep and chief financial officer to its board of directors. The Register’s focuses on security and infrastructure mean we don’t often consider Adobe for …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
Bomb on PC screen

PCs were more and less expensive in Q1 as shipments stalled

PC shipments continue their slow slide, with analyst firms Gartner and IDC both releasing data for 2018’s first quarter showing further slippage. IDC counted 60.383 million PCs heading out of factory doors around the world, down just 14,000 from Q1 2017’s 60.397 million and an assessment of “flat” sales. Gartner’s count …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Apr 2018

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