Intel Secure Guard for Application Systems

Intel has been working on security extensions to their processors to help in the overall security solution for systems. The overall concept looks promising. Fortunately, they’ve been heavily involved in building better support for this in Linux. You can follow highlights here:

Meanwhile, there are ways to conceptualize an application design that applies the extensions. Essentially abstract system primitives at the level of an application. In the process have the ability to expand or contract application boundaries. What would have been two applications are now one physical boundary. Managed runtimes do this all the time, but here you can refine the implementation in a more direct way.

In terms of the overall concepts expressed in Intel SGX, an application may be designed with features that improve resilience to compromise. The following is a rough blueprint I drafted in 2012 that is in alignment with the concepts in SGX:

Microsoft WSL and the Year of the Linux Desktop

The second major update to Windows 10 will incorporate the ability to run 64-bit Linux programs. Actual Linux programs. Build a program on Ubuntu, have the ability to run it directly on Windows. No need to put in so much effort to port it over. Heavy work in defining or setting up a translation for Linux programs may decline for broad classes of open source software. Code written on and for Linux now has fewer barriers to execute on Windows. Perhaps Microsoft actually brings us closer to the Year of the Linux Desktop.

The Big Profits in Silicon Valley 2016

The report that Apple has brings in about 40% of Silicon Valley’s profits is meaningful. As is the understanding that Google contributes about 57% to the pie. What it says is that the big deal is in hardware (that is #1), connectivity, and value added cloud services delivered via API or to the browser. Many lessons to learn. Do not become a proprietary distributor. Instead, find the right value add and support service behind an agreed standard. That seems to be one of the many lessons from the huge impact of those two firms.

Intel Leads the Pack in Linux Performance

Intel is reportedly having a huge impact on the design of Linux in the area of high performance Linux. Their Clear Linux distribution is apparently so well optimized that other organizations are taking notes to see how they can see greater gains. The great benefit of open source continues. Of course, with Intel’s Linux distribution, paired with their server chips, they may yet see greater gains among cloud computing organizations and high performance computing (HPC).

The combination of a widespread chip platform combined with extensive tuning of an operating system by the producer of that chip platform with the operating system distributed open source means huge impact where such operating systems and chips are used. That means a greater boost for Linux-based cloud platforms running on Intel technology as well as Intel based Android devices. At least potentially.

Make Your Own Router

Technology has reached a level now that you can build a very nice router. All it takes is printing out (or save to PDF) this page and following the step-by-step instructions. You have to get the hardware, but as the article shows, you have a couple of options. The step-by-step guide is a good intro to this process and would outfit you with good hands-on experience with routing technology. Understand, that the core information shared in this article does scale to business class scenarios. With few tweaks and more reading, you can expand the example to include building a cable modem and a WiFi router.

Intel Confirms Post-PC Era

A market will always exist for PCs, especially desktops, workstations, and laptops. They are the form factors best suited for the origination of certain core processes and analysis activities of a certain nature. Yet, the centralized, network computing model presaged by Mainframes, extolled by Sun Microsystems in their heyday, and now proven with the rise of substantial web companies to the cloud business pioneered by Amazon offers great possibilities. As Microsoft pushes in the cloud direction at full speed (latest quarterly revenue results show it is a booming business for them), the second leg of WinTel is now poised to recognize the shifting computing landscape.

Intel now recognizes the Post-PC era … with layoffs and a change in strategy. Their chip making R&D may focus more on servers and devices for the cloud and we may see a departure from current chip categories and descriptions. This will impact some in a major way, but in general, it may trigger a shift in computing that refocuses how computing systems are defined, produced, sustained, marketed, and sold. Open source (see either the Red Hat or Amazon EC2 business model) becomes relevant here because there will be an expansion in opportunity to offer value add with respect to these new hardware platforms to come.