Simon Sharwood

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
Location pin with warning

Foil snack food bags make a decent Faraday cage, judge finds

An Australian electrician has failed in an effort to regain his job after a judge ruled he hid a work-issued GPS-equipped PDA in a foil snack food bag to avoid being tracked. Mr Tom Colella claimed he was unfairly dismissed from his job as an electrician, after someone ratted him out to the boss for playing golf during working …
One and two keys

User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'

On-Call Why hello there, dear readers, and welcome once again to On-Call, The Register's Friday folly in which we recount readers' tales of being asked to undo the messes that users leave behind. This week, meet “Rick” who told us that in the 1990s he “worked in a security centre that had bespoke hardware and software for monitoring …
Child wearing a suit and using a computer

Citrix cracks Windows Store's monopoly on Windows 10 S apps

Citrix has released a version of its Receiver app for Windows 10 S, and in so doing made Microsoft's lightweight cut of Windows for schools a bit more interesting. Microsoft offered the world Windows 10 S in May 2017 and recommended it to schools on the basis that it can only install apps from the Windows Store. That plan was …

The sun rose, you woke up, and Qualcomm sued Apple three times

The dispute between Apple and Qualcomm has deepened, with the latter company firing off three new lawsuits claiming infringement of its patents. Qualcomm provided the three filings [1,2,3, all PDFs] to The Register and said they pertain to “a total of 16 additional patents that Apple is currently using in its iPhones.” “Five …
Money cloud

VMware crushes another quarter, with help from $100m DXC deal

VMware's again exceeded expectations, with its third quarter results revealing revenue of US$1.98bn, $20m more than expected, and earnings per share seven cents ahead at $1.34. Analysts on the company's earnings call gushed over the results for the three months ended 3 November, which represented an eleven per cent increase …
Phablets

Dawn of The Planet of the Phablets in 2019 will see off smartphones

Analyst outfit IDC has predicted the smartphone era will soon end, with 2019 to see the dawn of the phablet age. That prediction, made by the folks behind the firm's new Quarterly Mobile Device Tracker, relied on a definition of a smartphone as a device with screens up to 5.5 inches and a phablet as possessing a screen of 5.5 …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2017
A view of Microsoft's rebuilt Redmond Campus

Microsoft to rebuild Redmond campus, including cricket pitch

Poll Apple built a spaceship, Amazon's tendered for a town and now Microsoft's announced a “multi-year campus refresh project” that will see it splash US$150m to renovate 6.7 million square feet of its offices, add eight new buildings and lay a cricket pitch. The money will be poured into the company's Redmond campus, which will …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2017
Woman says oops after data breach... or spome other mistake, possibly. Illustration by Shutterstock/sergey sobin

IBM figures out it takes longer than a week to re-wire software

IBM has announced it will again try to wean its cloud off the known-to-be-insecure TLS 1.0 and 1.1, but will also keep them available for some services. Big Blue has to try again because its first attempt gave users just a week to prepare. Users quickly complained that was nowhere near enough time to set their houses in order …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Nov 2017

Amazon reveals 'Nitro'... Custom ASICs and boxes that do grunt work so EC2 hosts can just run instances

AWS re:Invent Amazon Web Services has revealed that it spent four years working on a new architecture that offloads networking, storage and management tasks from EC2 host servers to dedicated hardware. Speaking at the company's re:Invent conference, the company's veep for global infrastructure Peter Desantis, said the company first put the …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Nov 2017
Bitcoin punch cards

Elon Musk says he's not Satoshi Nakamoto and is pretty rubbish at Bitcoin

In fact he's kinda rubbish at cryptocurrency altogether Tesla, SpaceX, OpenAI and Boring Company boss Elon Musk has denied inventing the blockchain and bitcoin, or being Satoshi Nakamoto. Musk felt the need to do so after a Medium post by a former SpaceX staffer theorised that Musk's fondness for C++, known skill with …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Nov 2017
Cloud and rockets

VMware-on-AWS bulks up, fails in (good) new ways and even lets you reserve a table

VMware has added new services, and new features, to its bare metal service running in Amazon Web Services. The additions are perhaps less notable than the fact that VMware was able to deliver them in just three months since the service went live. On a recent visit to Sydney, Australia, the company's COO for products and cloud …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Nov 2017
CAT TELLS OWNER THEY'RE LATE. PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK

Microsoft postpones VMware-on-Azure details release by two weeks

Microsoft's delayed its big reveal of how it plans to run VMware on Azure by a fortnight, and won't say why. Redmond announced plans for a bare metal VMware service last week and later told The Register it plans to run vSphere, NSX, and VSAN in its cloud. Microsoft also told us that “Details of the licensing and transaction …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Nov 2017
Pokemon toys

Pokémon GO caused hundreds of deaths, increased crashes

Pokémon GO killed at least two people and spiked rates of car accidents and injuries, according to a study of the game's impact on just one United States city. “Death by Pokémon GO” (PDF), by a pair of researchers from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management, says the game caused “a disproportionate increase in …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Nov 2017

Yahoo! Groups! Go! TITSUP! for! Days!

Administrators of Yahoo! Groups have complained that the service has become unstable and unreliable. Members of the Yahoo! Groups manager's forum have reported groups going offline, posts that fail to appear, disappearing graphics and other TITSUP* incidents. “Okay, after four days, we're back up and running. No explanation …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Nov 2017
MOSCOW, RUSSIA, JANUARY 2017: Russian traditional toy - Matryoshka with a portrait of Putin and Trump. showcase souvenir kiosk Editorial credit: dimbar76 / Shutterstock, Inc.

Russian regulator says да to Uber/Yandex merger

The Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation has given its approval to the combination of Uber's services with those of local Google analog Yandex. The merger was floated in July 2017, with Uber saying the merger would be good for all parties. And well it may: Russian economic policy favours local – and …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Nov 2017
Epic Fail

nbn? pauses hybrid fibre-coax build and will fix current connections

+Comment nbn?, the company building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has announced that it will remediate parts of its hybrid fibre-coax and pause new rollouts The company's not said what needs remediation, offering only “wholesale connector replacements, signal amplification calibration, and lead-in work as …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Nov 2017
tesla truck

Tesla reveals a less-long-legged truck, but a bigger reservation price

Tesla's revealed more details about its forthcoming “Semi” electric truck, including a starting price of US$150,000. That sum will probably buy you a version of the vehicle with a range of 300 miles (480 km). Tesla founder Elon Musk did not mention that model at the Semi's launch, instead choosing to talk up the 500-mile ( …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Nov 2017
Spraying bugs with insecticide

Linus Torvalds on security: 'Do no harm, don't break users'

Linus Torvalds has offered a lengthy explanation of his thoughts on security, in which he explained a calmer and more detailed version of his expletive-laden thoughts on the topic earlier this week. Torvalds was angry that developers wanted to kill dangerous processes in Linux, a measure that would have removed potential …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2017
Woman looks in rear view mirror. Photo by SHutterstock

Fujitsu imagines adjusting your rear view mirror for better hearing

Fujitsu Ten, the Japanese giant's automotive outfit, has developed technology that turns sheets of glass into speakers and thinks it could be used to help drivers talk on the phone without disturbing passengers. The company recently built the glass into what it's called an “automative superdirective speaker” that it packed …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2017

Boss made dirt list of minions' mistakes, kept his own rampage off it

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday column in which we share readers' tech support morality tales. This week, meet “Omar”, who in the early 1990s worked as a developer for an engineering company powered by a pair of ageing Digital Equipment Corporation mainframes. The workplace had another odd feature: an IT …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2017
Microsoft SurfaceBook 2

SurfaceBook 2 battery drains even when plugged in

Microsoft's acknowledged an embarrassing issue with its SurfaceBook 2 laptop – its battery can drain even while plugged into its power pack. Microsoft's billed the laptop as offering “Powerhouse performance” thanks to the presence of NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs in most models. Redmond's also promoted the machines as offering …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2017
Data breach

Firefox to warn users who visit p0wned sites

Mozilla developer Nihanth Subramanya has revealed the organisation's Firefox browser will soon warn users if they visit sites that have experienced data breaches that led to user credential leaks. A recently-released GitHub repo titled “Breach Alerts Prototype” revealed “a vehicle for prototyping basic UI and interaction flow …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2017

VMware refuses to support its wares running in Azure

VMware has responded to Microsoft's plan to run its stack in Azure, by saying customers who choose that option will have to forego support. “This offering has been developed independent of VMware, and is neither certified nor supported by VMware,” wrote Virtzilla's senior veep for product development and cloud services Ajay …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2017
The rippled surface of the first Martian sand dune ever studied up close fills this Nov. 27, 2015, view of "High Dune" from the Mast Camera on NASA's Curiosity rover. This site is part of the "Bagnold Dunes" field of active dark dunes along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

'Water on Mars' re-classified as just 'sand on Mars'

Scientists have revisited a 2015 sighting of water on the surface of Mars and revised the theory to suggest what we saw was sand, and probably not even damp sand at that. In a new paper titled Granular flows at recurring slope lineae on Mars indicate a limited role for liquid water seven authors from United States Geological …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2017

To fix Intel's firmware fiasco, wait for Christmas Eve or 2018

The world's top PC-makers have started to ship fixes for the multiple flaws in Intel's CPUs, but plenty won't land until 2018. As Intel admitted on Monday, multiple flaws in its Management Engine, Server Platform Services, and Trusted Execution Engine make it possible to run code that operating systems – and therefore …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT ? 1998–2017

  • 8207870 2018-01-20
  • 59213869 2018-01-20
  • 814434868 2018-01-20
  • 663393867 2018-01-20
  • 255500866 2018-01-20
  • 736756865 2018-01-20
  • 57893864 2018-01-20
  • 378982863 2018-01-20
  • 463182862 2018-01-20
  • 983878861 2018-01-20
  • 226305860 2018-01-20
  • 194376859 2018-01-20
  • 17410858 2018-01-20
  • 148249857 2018-01-20
  • 619862856 2018-01-20
  • 715860855 2018-01-20
  • 99290854 2018-01-20
  • 508353853 2018-01-19
  • 966152852 2018-01-19
  • 997753851 2018-01-19