Tuesday May 30, 2017

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DFES Media Releases: Winter warning for home fire dangers

DFES Media Releases (posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 15:38 AWST)


​With the start of winter just days away, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is urging Western Australians to stay safe and understand their home fire risks.

Last year between June and August, four people were tragically killed and another 28 injured in house fires in Western Australia.

Fire crews battled 223 accidental house fires across the State during the same period, up nearly five per cent from the previous year.

DFES Fire Investigation and Analysis Unit District Officer Andy Duckworth said the risks associated with house fires were often underestimated and complacency could be deadly.

“Fire can engulf your home in a matter of minutes, putting you, your family and your pets in grave danger,” District Officer Duckworth said.

“Anyone who has had to deal with the devastating impact of house fire will tell you that they never thought it would happen to them. Sadly, the reality is that house fires can happen at any time.”

District Officer Duckworth said taking a proactive approach to home fire safety was the best way to protect lives and property.

“Most home fires can be prevented with a bit of common sense. Don’t leave cooking or candles unattended, always clean the lint filter in your dryer and make sure you keep all materials at least one metre away from heaters and wood fireplaces.

“It is important to clean and maintain your smoke alarm once a month, replace the batteries once a year and replace the device every 10 years - it could give you a few extra minutes to get out of your home safely if a fire starts,” he said.

District Officer Duckworth said it was also essential to have and practice a home fire escape plan with your family.

For more information and tips on how to keep your home and family safe this winter visit dfes.wa.gov.au/wintersafe/​

Publication Time: 30/05/2017 1:20 PM

DFES Media Releases: Updated Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas released tomorrow

DFES Media Releases (posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 15:37 AWST)


​The latest Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas will be released tomorrow, updating the areas of Western Australia where bushfire risk may need to be assessed as part of planning and building applications. 

For people developing or building properties, inclusion in the bushfire prone areas of the map may mean their property needs to meet higher standards, to limit the impact of bushfires and the potential loss of lives and homes.

Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM) A/Director Tim McNaught said those in affected areas were required, as a minimum, to have a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment prior to development, the outcome of which would determine the measures they need to put in place. 

“This will lead to the building of homes in bushfire prone areas that are better able to withstand bushfires, as well as encouraging better informed land use,” he said.

“The map was introduced to address key recommendations from the Keelty Report, which investigated the loss of 71 homes in Perth’s bushfire prone suburbs of Roleystone and Kelmscott in February 2011.”

The map is reviewed annually in partnership with local governments to identify any required updates, including:

where vegetation has been cleared, such as for new subdivisions or roadways;

where vegetation has re-grown, such as through site rehabilitation or landscaping works, or in commercial plantations; and

where vegetation management practices are in place or have changed.

“If you believe your property has been incorrectly identified in the map as bush fire prone, you should speak to your local government. They can work with us to ensure your property is accurately captured as part of the next review process.

“Your local government can also provide advice about what to do in the meanwhile until the map is updated.”

The map forms part of a suite of planning and building requirements for developments in bushfire prone areas, and was launched by the State Government through the Department of Planning in December 2015. 

Please refer to the Department of Planning and Building Commission websites planning.wa.gov.au/bushfire and commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission/building-bushfire-areas for further information about the requirements for properties in bush fire prone areas on the map.

The next edition of the map will be released in May 2018. 

The Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas 2017 will be available from approximately 3.30pm tomorrow, via: dfes.wa.gov.au/bushfireproneareas 

Fact file:

The Map shows areas that have been designated as bush fire prone by order of the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner under section 18P of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998. 

Whether an area is considered bush fire prone is determined by its proximity to bush fire prone vegetation, including a 100 metre buffer zone around it.

The 2017 edition will show both ‘new’ bushfire prone areas and those ‘continuing’ from the previous edition released in May 2016. 

Designated bush fire prone areas are coloured pink on the map. The newly designated areas are identified on the map by a blue cross-hatched overlay. 

The Building Regulations 2012 provides a four-month transition before the bush fire construction requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) are triggered for areas that are newly identified as being bush fire prone. 

This transition means that the bush fire construction requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) will not apply in ‘new’ designated bush fire prone areas until Sunday 1 October 2017. The four month transition is not available in ‘continuing’ bush fire prone areas.

Accredited bushfire risk assessors can be found through FPA Australia. Some regional local governments also offer to undertake assessments on behalf of residents.

Frequently Asked Questions and other resources are available on the DFES website at dfes.wa.gov.au/bushfireproneareas.

Publication Time: 30/05/2017 9:15 AM

Slashdot: Get Real, Microsoft: If the New Surface Pro Is a Laptop, Bundle It With a Type Cover

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 15:30 AWST)

An anonymous reader shares an article: If Microsoft sold cars like it's trying to sell its Surface Pro (2017), it would charge extra for wheels -- and would be laughed out of the market. But Microsoft's using this tactic to sell its new Windows tablet as a "laptop," and we're still trying to figure out why. Microsoft's Surface Pro is clearly a Windows tablet, just like its predecessor, the Surface Pro 4. Nevertheless, devices chief Panos Panay calls it a "laptop" no fewer than three times in his blog post, including the very first sentence. No "laptop" or notebook PC forgoes a keyboard, however, as the Surface Pro does. Long-time Surface fans may know that Microsoft charges $129 to $159 more for that accessory, but does the average buyer get it? That's where the confusion starts.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 14:37 AWST)

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Slashdot: China To Implement Cyber Security Law From Thursday

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 12:30 AWST)

China, battling increased threats from cyber-terrorism and hacking, will adopt from Thursday a controversial law that mandates strict data surveillance and storage for firms working in the country, the official Xinhua news agency said. From a report: The law, passed in November by the country's largely rubber-stamp parliament, bans online service providers from collecting and selling users' personal information, and gives users the right to have their information deleted, in cases of abuse. "Those who violate the provisions and infringe on personal information will face hefty fines," the news agency said on Monday, without elaborating.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 11:03 AWST)

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GNOME Look: 4K creative art work HD quality wall paper [Wallpaper Other]

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 10:21 AWST)

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Slashdot: Wikipedia's Switch To HTTPS Has Successfully Fought Government Censorship

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 09:30 AWST)

Determining how to prevent acts of censorship has long been a priority for the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, and thanks to new research from the Harvard Center for Internet and Society, the foundation seems to have found a solution: encryption. From a report: HTTPS prevents governments and others from seeing the specific page users are visiting. For example, a government could tell that a user is browsing Wikipedia, but couldn't tell that the user is specifically reading the page about Tiananmen Square. Up until 2015, Wikipedia offered its service using both HTTP and HTTPS, which meant that when countries like Pakistan or Iran blocked the certain articles on the HTTP version of Wikipedia, the full version would still be available using HTTPS. But in June 2015, Wikipedia decided to axe HTTP access and only offer access to its site with HTTPS. [...] The Harvard researchers began by deploying an algorithm which detected unusual changes in Wikipedia's global server traffic for a year beginning in May 2015. This data was then combined with a historical analysis of the daily request histories for some 1.7 million articles in 286 different languages from 2011 to 2016 in order to determine possible censorship events. [...] After a painstakingly long process of manual analysis of potential censorship events, the researchers found that, globally, Wikipedia's switch to HTTPS had a positive effect on the number censorship events by comparing server traffic from before and after the switch in June of 2015.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SC Magazine: ATO reveals cause of SAN failure

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 07:18 AWST)

Gets costs back in settlement with HPE.

SC Magazine: Victoria to explore blockchain across state economy

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 07:16 AWST)

Partners with Australian Digital Currency and Commerce Association.

SC Magazine: ARM releases new chip designs aimed at AI, machine learning

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 07:10 AWST)

Faster but more energy-efficient chips coming up.

Slashdot: India's Ethical Hackers Rewarded Abroad, Ignored at Home

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 07:00 AWST)

An anonymous reader shares an article: Kanishk Sajnani did not receive so much as a thank you from a major Indian airline when he contacted them with alarming news -- he had hacked their website and could book flights anywhere in the world for free. It was a familiar tale for India's army of "ethical hackers," who earn millions protecting foreign corporations and global tech giants from cyber attacks but are largely ignored at home, their skills and altruism misunderstood or distrusted. India produces more ethical hackers -- those who break into computer networks to expose, rather than exploit, weaknesses -- than anywhere else in the world. The latest data from BugCrowd, a global hacking network, showed Indians raked in the most "bug bounties" -- rewards for red-flagging security loopholes. Facebook, which has long tapped hacker talent, paid more to Indian researchers in the first half of 2016 than any other researchers. Indians outnumbered all other bug hunters on HackerOne, another registry of around 100,000 hackers. One anonymous Indian hacker -- "Geekboy" -- has found more than 700 vulnerabilities for companies like Yahoo, Uber and Rockstar Games. Most are young "techies" -- software engineers swelling the ranks of India's $154-billion IT outsourcing sector whose skill set makes them uniquely gifted at cracking cyber systems.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SC Magazine: Origin Energy CIO returns to Capgemini

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 06:17 AWST)

Takes on chief operating officer and EVP roles.

Slashdot: Startup Uses AI To Create Programs From Simple Screenshots

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 06:00 AWST)

An anonymous reader shares an article: A new neural network being built by a Danish startup called UIzard Technologies IVS has created an application that can transform raw designs of graphical user interfaces into actual source code that can be used to build them. Company founder Tony Beltramelli has just published a research paper that reveals how it has achieved that. It uses cutting-edge machine learning technologies to create a neural network that can generate code automatically when it's fed with screenshots of a GUI. The Pix2Code model actually outperforms many human coders because it can create code for three separate platforms, including Android, iOS and "web-based technologies," whereas many programmers are only able to do so for one platform. Pix2Code can create GUIs from screenshots with an accuracy of 77 percent, but that will improve as the algorithm learns more, the founder said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: Is China Outsmarting America in AI?

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 05:00 AWST)

An anonymous reader shares an NYTimes article: Beijing is backing its artificial intelligence push with vast sums of money. Having already spent billions on research programs, China is readying a new multibillion-dollar initiative to fund moonshot projects, start-ups and academic research (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternative source), all with the aim of growing China's A.I. capabilities, according to two professors who consulted with the government on the plan. China's private companies are pushing deeply into the field as well, though the line between government and private in China sometimes blurs. Baidu -- often called the Google of China and a pioneer in artificial-intelligence-related fields, like speech recognition -- this year opened a joint company-government laboratory partly run by academics who once worked on research into Chinese military robots. China is spending more just as the United States cuts back. This past week, the Trump administration released a proposed budget that would slash funding for a variety of government agencies that have traditionally backed artificial intelligence research.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SC Magazine: British Airways vows 'never again' after damaging IT collapse

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 04:48 AWST)

Denies outsourcing was to blame.

Slashdot: ARM's New Processors Are Designed To Power the Machine-Learning Machines

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 04:00 AWST)

An anonymous reader shares an article: Official today, the ARM Cortex-A75 is the new flagship-tier mobile processor design, with a claimed 22 percent improvement in performance over the incumbent A73. It's joined by the new Cortex-A55, which has the highest power efficiency of any mid-range CPU ARM's ever designed, and the Mali-G72 graphics processor, which also comes with a 25 percent improvement in efficiency relative to its predecessor G71. The efficiency improvements are evolutionary and predictable, but the revolutionary aspects of this new lineup relate to artificial intelligence: this is the first set of processing components designed specifically to tackle the challenges of onboard AI and machine learning. Plus, last year's updates to improve performance in the power-hugry tasks of augmented and virtual reality are being extended and elaborated. [...] ARM won't just be powering machine learning with its new chips, it'll benefit from ML too. The new designs benefit from an improved branch predictor that uses neural network algorithms to improve data prefetching and overall performance.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: India Tech Giant Warns Trump's 'Radical Shift' to Hurt Industry

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 03:00 AWST)

The vice chairman at Tech Mahindra, one of India's largest technology services companies warned that U.S. President Donald Trump's visa policies will damage the industry as his company reported weak earnings and his stock fell the most in almost two years. From a report: Tech Mahindra said net income was 5.9 billion rupees ($91 million) in the fourth quarter, compared with the average analyst estimate of 7.8 billion, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The U.S. is tightening the criteria for visa programs that Tech Mahindra and other outsourcing companies use to bring skilled foreign workers into the country. Trump and other politicians have criticized the programs for hurting American workers and allowing companies to use cheaper employees from abroad. Tech services companies, including Cognizant Technology Solutions, have been cutting positions in India. Some workers have blamed Trump for prompting the job losses and exacerbating problems in the industry.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: Apple Co-founder Thinks Apple Is Now Too Big a Company To Come Up With the Next Big Thing

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 02:00 AWST)

When it comes to the next great tech breakthroughs, Steve Wozniak isn't betting on the company he founded. Instead, he believes Tesla is at the forefront of anticipating the world to come. From a report: Interviewed by Bloomberg on what are likely to be the biggest tech breakthroughs in the coming years, and which companies are likely to make them, Woz didn't list Apple as a contender. He said, "look at the companies like Google and Facebook and Apple and Microsoft that changed the world -- and Tesla included. They usually came from young people. They didn't spring out of big businesses." Small businesses, he argued, take bigger risks -- and their founders create the products they really want, without the dilution that occurs with multiple decision-makers. "I think Tesla is on the best direction right now. They've put an awful lot of effort into very risky things. I'm going to bet on Tesla," he added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: UK Tech Visas Quadruple After Applications Soar

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 01:00 AWST)

James Timcomb, writing for The Telegraph: Technology industry demands for special measures to let companies hire foreign workers after Brexit have been boosted by a surge in demand for technology visas. Tech City UK, the government organisation that processes applications for the dedicated "Tier 1 Exceptional Talent" visa, said successful applications had more than quadrupled in the last 12 months, with 260 endorsed in the last fiscal year. It follows fears in the British tech community that access to skilled computer coders would be hit by restrictions to freedom of movement when the UK leaves the EU. David Cameron introduced the tech visa scheme in 2014 in a bid to make London the technology capital of Europe and rival Silicon Valley as a destination for start-ups, and amid fears of a shortage of skilled coders in the UK. The "Tech Nation" visa scheme allows Tech City UK to endorse applications from non-EU workers, and lets successful applicants stay in the country for five years, after which they can apply to settle. Just a handful of visas were granted in its first few months, due to what were seen as onerous requirements, and the rules were relaxed in 2015. Applications have soared since then, and rose again after the Brexit vote.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: Asus Goes Big On Slim Laptops at Computex

(posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 00:00 AWST)

At Computex, Asus announced a range of new laptops. From a report: The new ZenBook Pro takes center stage, featuring powerful hardware in a slim form factor -- an Intel Core i7-7700HQ as well as a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, while the world's thinnest convertible ZenBook Flip S lets you play around with its 4K display. But it's not all just flagship products, Asus also announced new VivoBooks meant for the mainstream market. The new VivoBook Pro packs Intel's seventh-generation processors and comes loaded with discrete graphics in the form of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050. The VivoBook S15 features more modest specs but still packs Nvidia GeForce GTX 940 discrete graphics. You can real the full-specifications of aforementioned laptops here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Monday May 29, 2017

Slashdot: British Airways CEO Won't Resign, Says Outsourcing Not To Blame For IT Failure

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 23:00 AWST)

British Airways CEO Alex Cruz insisted he would not resign on Monday as he sought to draw a line under three days of chaos at the UK flag carrier after IT problems left tens of thousands of passenger stranded. In an interview -- the first since a global computer outage all but shut the airline down -- Cruz said he doesn't think "it would make much of use for me to resign." Separately, he also denied an outsourcing deal was to blame for the IT problems that hit on Saturday, causing the airline to cancel almost all its services over the weekend. From a report: A leaked staff email revealed Mr Cruz had told staff not to comment on the system failure. When asked about the email he told the BBC the tone was clear: "Stop moaning and come and help us." The airline is now close to full operational capacity after the problems resulted in mass flight cancellations at Heathrow and Gatwick over the bank holiday weekend. Questions remain about how a power problem could have had such impact, said the BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. One theory was that returning systems were unusable as the data had become unsynchronised. [...] Cruz told the BBC a power surge, had "only lasted a few minutes," but the back-up system had not worked properly. He said the IT failure was not due to technical staff being outsourced from the UK to India.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: US Might Ban Laptops On All Flights Into And Out of the Country

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 22:00 AWST)

The United States might ban laptops from aircraft cabins on all flights into and out of the country as part of a ramped-up effort to protect against potential security threats, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Sunday. From a report:In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Kelly said the United States planned to "raise the bar" on airline security, including tightening screening of carry-on items. "That's the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it's a U.S. carrier, particularly if it's full of U.S. people." In March, the government imposed restrictions on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins on flights from 10 airports, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey. Kelly said the move would be part of a broader airline security effort to combat what he called "a real sophisticated threat." He said no decision had been made as to the timing of any ban. "We are still following the intelligence," he said, "and are in the process of defining this, but we're going to raise the bar generally speaking for aviation much higher than it is now."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: Are There More Developers Than We Think?

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 19:30 AWST)

JavaScript's npm package manager reports 4 million users, doubling every year, leading to an interesting question from tech industry analyst James Governor: Just how many developers are there out there? GitHub is very well placed to know, given it's where (so much) of that development happens today. It has telemetry-based numbers, with their own skew of course, but based on usage rather than surveys or estimates. According to GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath, "We see 20 million professional devs in the world as an estimate, from research companies. Well we have 21 million [active] users -- we can't have more users than the entire industry"... If Github has 21 million active users, Wanstrath is right that current estimates of the size of the developer population must be far too low... Are we under-counting China, for example, given its firewalls? India continues to crank out developers at an astonishing rate. Meanwhile Africa is set for crazy growth too... You certainly can't just count computer science graduates or software industry employees anymore. These days you can't even be an astronomer without learning code, and that's going to be true of all scientific disciplines. The analyst attributes the increasing number of developers to "the availability, accessibility and affordability of tools and learning," adding "It's pretty amazing to think that GitHub hit 5 million users in 2012, and is now at 20 million." As for the total number of all developers, he offers his own estimate at the end of the essay. "My wild assed guess would be more like 35 million."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: ESR Announces The Open Sourcing Of The World's First Text Adventure

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 15:30 AWST)

An anonymous reader writes: Open source guru Eric S. Raymond added something special to his GitHub page: an open source version of the world's first text adventure. "Colossal Cave Adventure" was first written in 1977, and Raymond remembers it as "the origin of many things; the text adventure game, the dungeon-crawling D&D (computer) game, the MOO, the roguelike genre. Computer gaming as we know it would not exist without ADVENT (as it was known in its original PDP-10 incarnation...because PDP-10 filenames were limited to six characters of uppercase)... "Though there's a C port of the original 1977 game in the BSD game package, and the original FORTRAN sources could be found if you knew where to dig, Crowther & Woods's final version -- Adventure 2.5 from 1995 -- has never been packaged for modern systems and distributed under an open-source license. Until now, that is. With the approval of its authors, I bring you Open Adventure." Calling it one of the great artifacts of hacker history, ESR writes about "what it means to be respectful of an important historical artifact when it happens to be software," ultimately concluding version control lets you preserve the original and continue improving it "as a living and functional artifact. We respect our history and the hackers of the past best by carrying on their work and their playfulness." "Despite all the energy Crowther and Woods had to spend fighting ancient constraints, ADVENT was a tremendous imaginative leap; there had been nothing like it before, and no text adventure that followed it would be innovative to quite the same degree."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SC Magazine: China to implement controversial cyber security law

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 15:25 AWST)

Foreign groups say new rules are damaging to business.

SC Magazine: The NSW govt wants to replace its core iVote software

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 13:54 AWST)

Scouring market for options.

SC Magazine: ATO promises Plutus IT contractors won't be penalised

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 12:58 AWST)

Payroll clients inadvertently caught up in tax scandal.

SC Magazine: Qld's 'new' analytics office is an expanded CITEC function

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 10:04 AWST)

Unit builds on existing capability.

SC Magazine: Intel Australia boss Kate Burleigh quits

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 10:00 AWST)

After five years as CEO, 20 years at chipmaker.

SC Magazine: Cathay Pacific sets go-live for global SAP overhaul

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 10:00 AWST)

Promises faster calculation of flight and route profitability.

Latest Kernel Versions: 4.12-rc3: mainline

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 08:20 AWST)

Version:4.12-rc3 (mainline)
Patch:full (incremental)

SC Magazine: ASG wants to buy SMS M&T out from DWS

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 08:19 AWST)

Jumps in after $124 million offer.

SC Magazine: Payment data stolen in Chipotle breach

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 04:43 AWST)

Most restaurants hit with PoS malware.

SC Magazine: How insourcing saved Immigration $1.9m in data storage costs

(posted on Monday May 29, 2017 at 04:38 AWST)

Lessons from changing tack.

Saturday May 27, 2017

SC Magazine: Global IT meltdown causes chaos for British Airways

(posted on Saturday May 27, 2017 at 21:18 AWST)

Denies cyber attack.

Friday May 26, 2017

SC Magazine: AirTrunk staffs up for Sydney, Melbourne hyperscale data centres

(posted on Friday May 26, 2017 at 12:50 AWST)

Critical infrastructure gets shipped in.

SC Magazine: ASIC looks to expand regtech initiatives

(posted on Friday May 26, 2017 at 09:45 AWST)

Wants new liaison group and more tech trials.

SC Magazine: IBM opens fourth Australian data centre

(posted on Friday May 26, 2017 at 08:50 AWST)

Increased demand for Watson and Bluemix.

SC Magazine: ACCC confirms broadband tax can be passed on to users

(posted on Friday May 26, 2017 at 08:11 AWST)

Sets new superfast broadband wholesale prices.

SC Magazine: Samba patches remotely exploitable security hole

(posted on Friday May 26, 2017 at 06:46 AWST)

All versions from 3.5.0 vulnerable.

Thursday May 25, 2017

Latest Kernel Versions: 4.11.3: stable

(posted on Thursday May 25, 2017 at 21:46 AWST)

Version:4.11.3 (stable)
PGP Signature:linux-4.11.3.tar.sign
Patch:full (incremental)

Netcraft: May 2017 Web Server Survey

(posted on Thursday May 25, 2017 at 19:06 AWST)

In the May 2017 survey we received responses from 1,814,996,345 sites and 6,404,290 web-facing computers. Although the total number of sites has fallen slightly, by 1.4 million since April, the number of computers has grown by 83,000.

Large shifts in site counts

Although it fared well in other metrics (see below), nginx suffered a massive 30% loss of hostnames this month. With a net loss of more than 100 million sites, its market share has fallen by 5.71 percentage points to 13.5%. The majority of the sites that disappeared were Chinese-language spam sites hosted at Amazon Web Services in the United States and Japan.

Meanwhile, Microsoft gained 79 million sites, which has taken its market share up to 49.1%. This is Microsoft's highest market share in the 22-year history of the Web Server Survey, and also reflects a significant change in fortunes over the past year: Last June, Apache had the largest market share of websites, but now Microsoft's share is more than twice as large as Apache's, which fell by a further 1.73 percentage points this month to 20.95%.

nginx leads active site growth

Despite the large loss of hostnames, nginx gained nearly a million active sites, which has taken its active sites share back above 20%. This suggests most of the 104 million hostnames it lost did not have distinct content, and therefore were of little interest to ordinary web users, despite the apparent size of the change.

Apache continues to lead the active sites market quite comfortably with a 45.6% share, although a loss of 1.4 million active sites has brought this down by 0.67 percentage points. nginx stays firmly in second place, with more than twice as many active sites as Microsoft.

nginx's computer growth continues unabated

nginx's consistent computer growth has continued, making it look ever more likely to overtake Microsoft later in 2017. Its gain of 48,500 computers – combined with Microsoft's loss of 6,000 – has reduced the difference in their market shares by nearly a whole percentage point.

nginx is now within 3.46 percentage points of Microsoft's share of 23.8%; but Apache also maintains a comfortable lead in this market – it increased its web-facing computer count by 28,800 this month, keeping Apache's share above 43%.

nginx pushing others out of the top million

nginx is also continuing to make strong progress amongst the top million websites, where it has been ahead of Microsoft for the past few years. It was the only major vendor to increase its presence this month, resulting in thousands of competing vendors' websites being pushed out of the top million. Apache suffered most, with 3,200 Apache-powered sites departing the top million, but it still leads this market with a 40.5% presence.

Apache has exhibited a slow and steady decline over the past several years. Coupled with nginx's consistent growth within the top million sites, the gap between the two is ever decreasing; however, it looks like it will be a good year or two until nginx seriously starts to threaten Apache's lead.

New nginx 1.13 mainline branch

nginx 1.13.0 was released on 25th April. This is the first release on the new, actively-developed 1.13.x mainline branch, adding bugfixes and new features to what was essentially the most recent stable version of nginx (1.12.0).

The most notable new feature in nginx 1.13.0 is its support for TLS 1.3, which aims to be the latest and most secure version of the Transport Layer Security protocol – although not many underlying crypto libraries actually offer TLS 1.3 yet. The TLS 1.3 specification has not yet been finalised, although the working draft has been sufficient for some servers and clients to implement it. For example, Mozilla's NSS cryptographic library – which is used by Firefox – enables TLS 1.3 support by default.

Microsoft IIS Administration API enters general availability

The Microsoft IIS Administration API that we mentioned in February is now Generally Available. The newest 1.1.0 release also facilitates management of the IIS Central Certificate Store, and includes an improved certificate API. These features are intended to make it easier to manage certificates across entire farms of web servers.

LiteSpeed enters the Amazon cloud

LiteSpeed Technologies is now a Technology Partner in the Amazon Web Services Partner Network (APN), coinciding with the release of the LiteSpeed Web Server AMI. This Amazon Machine Image is based on CentOS 7 with the LiteSpeed Web Server pre-installed. AWS users can now use this AMI to quickly deploy ready-to-use virtual machines that run the LiteSpeed Web Server in the cloud.

This month's Web Server Survey found 6.4 million websites running LiteSpeed, which encompasses 2.3 million active sites, more than 2 million unique domain names, and nearly 11,000 web-facing computers. One of the busiest sites currently using LiteSpeed is FanFiction.Net, which is an automated fan fiction archive.

Enter the Beaver

China saw a large number of new sites being served by the relatively unknown "Beaver" web server. Just over a million sites now exhibit the Beaver Server header, and these make use of more than 110,000 unique domain names – mostly under the .cn top-level domain. Most of the sites are hosted by Aliyun, which is China's largest cloud hosting provider, while the majority of the rest are hosted by other Chinese companies. Only a single Beaver site is hosted outside of China – this solitary instance is hosted in Japan, at Amazon's Tokyo AWS region.

The behaviour of these sites suggests that Beaver might not be an entirely new web server, but possibly an application based on Microsoft's HTTP Server API (HTTPAPI 2.0). This API lets C/C++ programmers receive HTTP requests and send responses without using Microsoft IIS. At least 38 million other websites also use HTTPAPI 2.0.

But most of the Beaver sites are currently inaccessible and display the following message: "According to the filing requirements of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the website is accessible only if the ICP information is accurate and the ICP license is filed". An ICP Filing ("Bei'an") is required by all content providers in China before they can use hosting and CDN products, but this only allows them to be used for informational purposes. A Commercial ICP Licence ("Zheng") is required for any website that sells goods or services that directly generate revenue online.

Pepyaka making the web more friendly

The little-known Pepyaka web server has also been quietly growing. This server is used predominantly by Wix, an Israeli company that provides a friendly website building platform to millions of users. Wix provides free website hosting under the *.wix.com domain, or customers can get a free custom domain name when upgrading to one of Wix's yearly premium plans.

This business model has led to a high ratio of domains to hostnames amongst the Pepyaka install base. Wix-hosted websites alone account for 1.4% of all unique domain names in use on the web, which is no mean feat. All of these sites are hosted within the Amazon Web Services cloud, using Pepyaka version 1.11.3. This version number, coupled with Wix's previous uses of nginx, suggests that it could be based on last year's mainline version of nginx.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

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Web server market share for active sites

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For more information see Active Sites

Web server market share for top million busiest sites

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Web server market share for computers

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