Simon Sharwood

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smashed windscreen

Airbus windscreen fell out at 32,000 feet

An Airbus A319 operated by China’s Sichuan Airlines lost one of its cockpit windshields at 32,000 feet on Monday, but was able to land safely. As reported by the Civil Aviation Administration of China’s south-west region, flight 3U 8633 from Chongqing to Lhasa took off as expected, reached its cruising altitude of 32,000 feet …
Simon Sharwood, 15 May 2018
Chinese revolutionary panda

Did I say Chinese jobs? I meant American jobs says new Trump Tweet

United States president Donald Trump appears to have tried to get back to making America great again, rather than saving jobs in China, with a new Tweet about Chinese network kit-maker ZTE. Trump yesterday Tweeted that the US Commerce Department’s recent imposition of penalties on ZTE meant “Too many jobs in China lost” and …
Simon Sharwood, 15 May 2018

nbn™ scoreboard: miracle needed to hit FY 18 construction targets

nbn™, the organisation building and operating Australia's national broadband network, last week released its third quarter results. And as is now our practice at Vulture South, we’ve shoved its numbers into our nbn™ scoreboard – the table we use to compare assumptions from the nbn™’s corporate plan (PDF) with its latest results …
Simon Sharwood, 15 May 2018
404 error

Engineer crashed mega-corp's electricity billing portal, was promoted

Who, me? Welcome again to “Who, me?”, The Register’s confessional column in which techies unburden their souls by revealing that they have broken stuff. This week meet “Matt” who told us he works for a company that makes “email tracking software for corporate communications.” Said software uses a web server “to detect message opens and …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2018

PGP and S/MIME decryptors can leak plaintext from emails, says infosec professor

Updated A professor of Computer Security at the Münster University of Applied Sciences‏ has warned that popular email encryption tool Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) might actually allow Pretty Grievous P0wnage thanks to bugs that can allow supposedly encrypted emails to be read as plaintext. Professor Sebastian Schinzel took to Twitter …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2018

Citrix snuffs Xen and NetScaler brands

Citrix has rebranded most of its stuff. As The Register foreshadowed in January 2018, the company’s swept aside some old brands, although not with the “Citrix Plus” scheme we reported at the time. Instead we’re getting “Citrix [ProductName].” XenServer, for example, will become “Citrix Hypervisor”. XenApp and XenDesktop will …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2018
"Complicated" in faux google logo style

Oracle tells tales about Google data slurps to Australian regulator

Oracle has “provided information … about Google services” to Australian regulators. News Limited organs in Australia on Monday reported that Oracle staffers travelled to Australia to present at the Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC’s) Digital platforms inquiry. That inquiry will “look at the effect that digital …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2018
NASA depiction of the helicopter to travel on the Mars 2020 mission

NASA will send tiny helicopter to Mars

NASA has announced that its Mars 2020 mission will include a small helicopter. The appeal of a ‘copter is obvious: it’ll be faster than a crawling robot, see further and should be less likely to be stuck in sand. While Bernoulli’s Principle holds on Mars, the red planet’s atmosphere is vastly thinner than Earth’s so a copter …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2018
Donald trump tweeting

Prez Donald Trump to save manufacturing jobs … in China, at ZTE

United States President Donald Trump has signalled an intervention to avoid job losses at Chinese networking-kit-and-smartmobe-maker ZTE. The US Department of Commerce recently imposed penalties on ZTE after finding it sold kit to Iran and North Korean in contravention of US sanctions and undertakings not to do so. Those …
Simon Sharwood, 13 May 2018

Virtue singing – Spotify to pull hateful songs and artists

R&B artist R. Kelly can no longer be found on playlists curated by streaming music giant Spotify after it introduced a new New Hate Content and Hateful Conduct Public Policy. The gist of the policy is that if a recording is hateful, Spotify may “remove it (in consultation with rights holders) or refrain from promoting or …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2018
Cartoon fire truck

Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

On-Call Welcome once again to On-Call, The Register’s continuing column recounting readers’ tech support traumas. This week, meet “Rob” who told us about “a late night visit to British Coal to replace a hot-roll fuser on a massive laser printer.’ And not just any massive laser printer but the IBM 3800 printer – one of the first laser …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2018

Symantec shares slump after revealing internal investigation

Symantec’s shares have slumped after the company revealed it “has commenced an internal investigation in connection with concerns raised by a former employee.” The company’s veep for investor relations Cynthia Hiponia told a Thursday May 10th earnings call “The investigation does not relate to any security concern or breach …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2018

Cisco cancels all YouTube ads, then conceals cancellation

Cisco has edited a blog post in which it said YouTube is an unsuitable place for its ads to appear. The post, dated May 9th, said “ Cisco has adopted the most rigorous industry standards to help ensure our online advertising does not accidentally end up in the wrong place, such as on a streaming video with sensitive content or …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2018
Australian cloud

Telstra warns cloud customers they’re at risk of malware or worse

UPDATE Telstra has advised users of its cloud who run self-managed resources that their “internet facing servers are potentially vulnerable to malware or other malicious activity.” The company says that it spotted a weakness in its service on May 4th and is now telling users to “delete or disable” the “TOPS or TIRC account on your …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2018
Telstra from Shutterstock

Collateral carnage as ZTE sanctions see Australia’s top telco dump mobe-maker

Australia’s largest and dominant telco, Telstra, has stopped selling the ZTE devices it sold under its own brand. Telstra blamed US sanctions recently imposed on ZTE that prevent the Chinese mobe-maker from acquiring parts made by US companies. ZTE halted its production lines as a result, saying that it just can’t build …
Simon Sharwood, 10 May 2018
Nice try

VMware to finally deliver full-function HTML5 vSphere client

VMware has finally set a date for delivery of a fully-functional HTML5 client for vSphere. Virtzilla revealed the client way back in March 2016. The company needed a new client for two reasons, the first of which was that its old web-based client used Flash. Adobe’s spawn is a byword for dodgy security so VMware owed its …
Simon Sharwood, 10 May 2018
The Citrix X1 Mouse

Citrix joins the ‘reinvent the future of work’ chorus with a workspace app and security stuff

Citrix has used its Synergy conference to pitch itself as a vendor capable of changing the way you and your users work. CEO David Henshall’s spiel is that organisation are using a multitude of on-prem, SaaS and cloud resources and users are therefore “having a hard time finding what they need” while “context switching” between …
Simon Sharwood, 10 May 2018
USB Ban symbol

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere

IBM has banned its staff from using removable storage devices. In an advisory to employees, IBM global chief information security officer Shamla Naidoo said the company “is expanding the practice of prohibiting data transfer to all removable portable storage devices (eg: USB, SD card, flash drive).” The advisory stated some …
Simon Sharwood, 10 May 2018
Devuan logo

Systemd-free Devuan Linux looses version 2.0 release candidate

Devuan Linux, the Debian fork that offers "init freedom" has announced the first release candidate for its second version. Dubbed "ASCII", Devuan 2.0 uses Debian Stretch as its base, doesn't use Systemd, and reached beta in February 2018. This week, the developers behind the distro announced ASCII's first release candidate, …
Simon Sharwood, 10 May 2018
Here we go again

Every major OS maker misread Intel's docs. Now their kernels can be hijacked or crashed

Updated Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, and some implementations of Xen have a design flaw that could allow attackers to, at best, crash Intel and AMD-powered computers. At worst, miscreants can, potentially, "gain access to sensitive memory information or control low-level operating system functions,” which is a fancy way of saying …
ServiceNow logo

ServiceNow goes for more Now, a bit less Service

LOGOWATCH ServiceNow’s ramped up its efforts to excite buyers and users beyond the IT department, with a new logo and a pledge to deliver consumer-style experiences in the workplace to change the very nature of the mucky business of exchanging your labour for currency. Speaking at the company’s Knowledge18 conference in Las Vegas, CEO …
Parliament House Canberra icon

Oz Budget 2018: Cash for 3cm GPS resolution, federated IDs, payments reform and blockchain

Australia’s government has tabled its proposed budget for financial year 2018/19 and as usual there’s lots of technology-related spending to contemplate. Welfare payments agency Centrelink gets AU$316.2m to spend over the next four years on the third tranche of its Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation project. The …
Apple iPhone X detail

Apple to devs: Give us notch support or … you don't wanna know

iOS developers have a busy two months ahead of them after Apple announced a July deadline to build with the iOS 11 SDK and support the Super Retina display of iPhone X. The rule applies to “all iOS app updates submitted to the App Store”. Apple has not said exactly when in July it will stop accepting app updates built with …
Aibo robot dog v 2.0

AI crisis: Sony reports shortage of cute robot puppies!

Here’s one for the “Robots taking over low-skilled jobs” file: Sony says it can’t handle demand for its second-generation robot dog. Launched in January 2018 at around US$1,800, plus about half that for a three-year cloud subscription fee, the “Aibo entertainment robot” was sold online after a lottery. Sony Japan on Monday …

Industry whispers: Qualcomm mulls Arm server processor exit

Analysis Servers powered by CPUs based on Arm Holdings IP sound like a good idea. They’re a good chance of being denser, more powerful and less costly to run than the Intel CPUs that handle the overwhelming majority of server workloads (and scoop most of the server CPU profits too). Because Arm dominates the mobile world, server CPUs …

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