Computer trends 2018

IT seems to be growing again. Gartner forecasts worldwide IT spending will increase 4.5% this year to $3.68 trillion, driven by artificial intelligence, big data analytics, blockchain technology, and the IoT.

Digital transformations are fashionable. You won’t find an enterprise that isn’t leveraging some combination of cloud, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to better serve customers or streamline operations. But here’s a hard truth about digital transformations: Many are failing outright or are in danger of failing. Typical reasons for failing are not understanding what is digital transformation (different people understand it differently), lack of CEO sponsorship, talent deficiency, resistance to change. Usually a technology-first approach to digital transformation is a recipe for disaster. Truing to just push trough technically unfeasible transformation idea is another way to fail.

The digital era requires businesses to move with speed, and that is causing IT organizations to rethink how they work. A lot of  IT is moving off premises to SaaS providers and the public cloud. Research outfit 451 standout finding was that 60 per cent of the surveyed enterprises say they will run the majority of their IT outside the confines of enterprise data centres by the end of 2019. From cost containment to hybrid strategies, CIOs are getting more creative in taking advantage of the latest offerings and the cloud’s economies of scale.

In 2018 there seems to be a growing Software Engineering Talent Shortage in both quantity and quality. For the past nine years, software engineers have been at the top of the hardest to fill jobs in the United States. And same applies to many other countries including Finland. Forrester projects that firms will pay 20% above market for quality engineering talent in 2018. Particularly in-demand skills  are data scientists, high-end software developers and information security analysts. There is real need for well-studied, experienced engineers with a formal and deep understanding of software engineering. Recruiting and retaining tech talent remains IT’s biggest challenge today. Most CIOs are migrating applications to public cloud services, offloading operations and maintenance of computing, storage and other capabilities so they can reallocate staff to focus on what’s strategic to their business.

The enterprise no longer is at the center of the IT universe. It seems that reports of the PC’s demise have been greatly exaggerated and the long and painful decline in PC sales of the last half-decade as tailed off, at least momentarily. As the sales of smartphones and tablets have risen, consumers had not stopped using PCs, but merely replaced them less often. FT reports that PC is set to stage a comeback in 2018, after the rise of smartphones sent sales of desktop and laptop computers into decline in recent years. If that does not happen, then PC market could return to growth in 2019. But the end result is that PC is no longer seen as the biggest growth driver for chip makers. An extreme economic shift has chipmakers focused on hyperscale clouds.

Microservices are talked about a lot. Software built using microservices is easier to deliver and maintain than the big and brittle architectures or old; these were difficult to scale and might take years to build and deliver. Microservices are small and self-contained, so therefore easy to wrap up in a virtual machine or a container (but don’t have to live in containers). Public cloud providers increasingly differentiate themselves through the features and services they provide. But it turns out that microservices are far from being one-size-fit-for-all silver bullet for IT challenges.

Containers will try to make break-trough again in 2018. Year 2017 was supposed to be the year of containers! It wasn’t? Oops. Maybe year 2018 is better. Immature tech still has a bunch of growing up to do. Linux Foundation’s Open Containers Initiative (OCI) finally dropped two specifications that standardise how containers operate at a low level. The needle in 2018 will move towards containers running separately from VMs, or entirely in place of VMs. Kubernates gains traction. It seems that the containers are still at the point where the enterprise is waiting to embrace them.

Serverless will be talked about. Serverless computing is a cloud computing execution model in which the cloud provider dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources. Serverless architectures refer to applications that significantly depend on third-party services (knows as Backend as a Service or “BaaS”) or on custom code that’s run in ephemeral containers (Function as a Service or “FaaS”), the best known vendor host of which currently is AWS Lambda.

Automation is what everybody with many computers wants. Infrastructure automation creates and destroys basic IT resources such as compute instances, storage, networking, DNS, and so forth. Security automation helps keeping systems secure. It bosses want to create self-driving private clouds. The journey to self-driving clouds needs to be gradual. The vision of the self-driving cloud makes sense, but the task of getting from here to there can seem daunting. DevOps automation with customer control: Automatic installation and configuration, Integration that brings together AWS and VMWare, workflows migration controlled by users, Self-service provisioning based on templates defined by users, Advanced machine learning to automate processes, and Automated upgrades.

Linux is center of many cloud operations: Google and Facebook started building their own gear and loading it with their own software. Google has it’s own Linux called gLinux.  Facebook networking uses Linux-based FBOSS operating system. Even Microsoft has developed its own Linux for cloud operations. Software-defined networking (SDN) is a very fine idea.

Memory business boomed in 2017 for both NAND and DRAM. The drivers for DRAM are smartphones and servers. Solid-state drives (SSDs) and smartphones are fueling the demand for NANDNAND Market Expected to Cool in Q1 from the crazy year 2017, but it is still growing well because there is increasing demand. Memory — particular DRAM — was largely considered a commodity business.

Lots of 3D NAND will go to solid state drives in 2018. IDC forecasts strong growth for the solid-state drive (SSD) industry as it transitions to 3D NAND.  SSD industry revenue is expected to reach $33.6 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 14.8%. Sizes of memory chips increase as number of  layer in 3D NAND are added. The traditional mechanical hard disk based on magnetic storage is in hard place in competition, as the speed of flash-based SSDs is so superior

There is search for faster memory because modern computers, especially data-center servers that skew heavily toward in-memory databases, data-intensive analytics, and increasingly toward machine-learning and deep-neural-network training functions, depend on large amounts of high-speed, high capacity memory to keep the wheels turning. The memory speed has not increased as fast as the capacity. The access bandwidth of DRAM-based computer memory has improved by a factor of 20x over the past two decades. Capacity increased 128x during the same period. For year 2018 DRAM remains a near-universal choice when performance is the priority. There is search going on for a viable replacement for DRAM. Whether it’s STT-RAM or phase-change memory or resistive RAM, none of them can match the speed or endurance of DRAM.



PCI Express 4.0 is ramping up. PCI-standards consortium PCI-SIG (Special Interest Group) has ratified and released specifications for PCIe 4.0 Specification Version 1. Doubling PCIe 3.0’s 8 GT/s (~1 GB/s) of bandwidth per lane, PCIe 4.0 offers a transfer rate of 16 GT/s. The newest version of PCI Express will start appearing on motherboards soon. PCI-SIG has targeted Q2 2019 for releasing the finalized PCIe 5.0 specification, so PCIe 4.0 won’t be quite as long-lived as PCIe 3.0 has been. So we’ll See PCIe 4.0 this year in use and PCIe 5.0 in 2019.

USB type C is on the way to becoming the most common PC and peripheral interface. The USB C connector has become faster more commonplace than any other earlier interface. USB C is very common on smartphones, but the interface is also widespread on laptops. Sure, it will take some time before it is the most common. In 2021, the C-type USB connector has almost five billion units, IHS estimates.

It seems that the after-shocks of Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities on processors will be haunting us for quite long time this year. It is now three weeks since The Register revealed the chip design flaws that Google later confirmed and the world still awaits certainty about what it will take to get over the silicon slip-ups. Last pieces of farce has been that Intel Halts Spectre, Meltdown CPU Patches Over Unstable Code and Linux creator Linus Torvalds criticises Intel’s ‘garbage’ patches. Computer security will not be the same after all this has been sorted out.

What’s Next With Computing? IBM discusses AI, neural nets and quantum computing. Many can agree that those technologies will be important. Public cloud providers increasingly provide sophisticated flavours of data analysis and increasingly Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Central Banks Are Using Big Data to Help Shape Policy. Over the past few years, machine learning (ML) has evolved from an interesting new approach that allows computers to beat champions at chess and Go, into one that is touted as a panacea for almost everything. 2018 will be the start of what could be a longstanding battle between chipmakers to determine who creates the hardware that artificial intelligence lives on.

ARM processor based PCs are coming. As Microsoft and Qualcomm jointly announced in early December that the first Windows 10 notebooks with ARM-based Snapdragon 835 processors will be officially launched in early 2018, there will be more and more PCs with ARM processor architecture hitting the market. Digitimes Research expects that ARM-based models may dominate lower-end PC market, but don’t hold your breath on this. It is rumoured that “wireless LTE connectivity” function will be incorporated into all the entry-level Window 10 notebooks with ARM processors, branded by Microsoft as the “always-connected devices.” HP and Asustek have released some ARM-based notebooks with Windows 10S.

Ohjelmistoalan osaajapula pahenee – kasvu jatkuu

PC market set to return to growth in 2018

PC market could return to growth in 2019

PC sales grow for the first time in five years

USBC yleistyy nopeasti

PCI-SIG Finalizes and Releases PCIe 4.0, Version 1 Specification: 2x PCIe Bandwidth and More

Hot Chips 2017: We’ll See PCIe 4.0 This Year, PCIe 5.0 In 2019

Serverless Architectures

Outsourcing remains strategic in the digital era

8 hot IT hiring trends — and 8 going cold

EDA Challenges Machine Learning

The Battle of AI Processors Begins in 2018

How to create self-driving private clouds

ZeroStack Lays Out Vision for Five-Step Journey to Self-Driving Cloud

2017 – the year of containers! It wasn’t? Oops. Maybe next year

Hyperscaling The Data Center

Electronics trends for 2018

2018′s Software Engineering Talent Shortage— It’s quality, not just quantity

Microservices 101

How Central Banks Are Using Big Data to Help Shape Policy

Digitimes Research: ARM-based models may dominate lower-end PC market

Intel Halts Spectre, Meltdown CPU Patches Over Unstable Code

Spectre and Meltdown: Linux creator Linus Torvalds criticises Intel’s ‘garbage’ patches

Meltdown/Spectre week three: World still knee-deep in something nasty

What’s Next With Computing? IBM discusses AI, neural nets and quantum computing.

The Week in Review: IoT

PCI Express 4.0 as Fast As Possible

Microsoft has developed its own Linux!

Microsoft Built Its Own Linux Because Everyone Else Did

Facebook has built its own switch. And it looks a lot like a server

Googlella on oma sisäinen linux

Is the writing on the wall for on-premises IT? This survey seems to say so

12 reasons why digital transformations fail

7 habits of highly effective digital transformations



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lloyds bank to cut 6,000 jobs to create 8,000 digital ones

    The bank says that 75% of staff will be expected to move into new IT-based roles

    Lloyds banking group is planning a major overhaul to its workforce by pushing its digital operations with 2,000 new IT-based positions.

    As part of the plan, 6,000 jobs will be cut in order to create 8,000 new digital roles and Lloyds said that 75% of the affected staff will be expected to move into these new positions.

    Some specialist roles will also be recruited externally, such as data scientists and software engineers.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tom Warren / The Verge:
    The Windows 10 October 2018 Update is finally re-released, after data loss bugs caused it to be pulled; Microsoft says it’s focusing on improving code quality — October update, or November update? — Microsoft is releasing its Windows 10 October 2018 Update again today, after bugs forced the company to pull it offline last month.

    Microsoft re-releases Windows 10 October 2018 Update today after pulling it offline
    October update, or November update?

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Windows-as-a-service fail: Microsoft keeps customers in the dark

    If Microsoft wants to treat Windows 10 as a service, it has a responsibility to its customers to provide accurate information about problems with that service. Over the last month, the company has failed miserably in that regard.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nasty Adobe Bug Deleted $250,000-Worth of Man’s Files, Lawsuit Claims

    A freelance videographer has filed a class action lawsuit against Adobe on behalf of mortified users that watched their files vanish due to a bug in video-editing software Premiere Pro.

    He alleges that an update to Premiere Pro came with a flaw in the way it handles file management that resulted in the deletion of 500 hours of video clips that he claims were worth around $250,000.

    Adobe has acknowledged the bug and issued an update

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Does CPU Clock Speed Actually Matter?

    Advertised clock speeds for CPUs usually don’t matter that much – but why?

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Steven Bertoni / Forbes:
    Airtable, which wants to make database management mainstream by using drag and drop, raises $100M at a $1.1B valuation — n the frenetic world of tech, where the ruling ethos is to move fast and break things, Howie Liu moves at a glacial pace. With Andrew Ofstad and Emmett Nicholas, he launched Airtable in 2013.

    Move Slow and Make Things: Airtable’s Howie Liu Built A $1B Software Giant Emphasizing Substance Over Speed

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    OOP Is Dead, Long Live Data-Oriented Design

    For decades C++ developers have built software around OOP concepts that ultimately failed us – we didn’t see the promises of code reuse, maintenance or simplicity fulfilled, and performance suffers significantly. Data-oriented design can be a better paradigm in fields where C++ is most important – game development, high-performance computing, and real-time systems.

    The talk will briefly introduce data-oriented design and focus on practical real-world examples of applying DoD where previously OOP constructs were widely employed.

    Examples will be shown from modern web browsers. They are overwhelmingly written in C++ with OOP – that’s why most of them are slow memory hogs. In the talk I’ll draw parallels between the design of systems in Chrome and their counterparts in the HTML renderer Hummingbird.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nvidia Hit by ‘Crypto Hangover’

    SAN FRANCISCO — The end of the cryptocurrency mining boom that boosted Nvidia’s revenue for more than a year hit the graphics chip vendor hard in the third quarter, dragging sales below Wall Street’s expectations.

    Nvidia also issued a fourth quarter forecast that came in below analysts’ targets, citing excess inventory of GPUs based on its Pascal architecture in the sales channel.

    Nvidia had warned after its second quarter results that its revenue boost from cryptocurrency mining had essentially dried up as cryptocurrency values declined. But Jensen Huang, Nvidia’s CEO, said in a conference call with analysts following the third quarter financial report Thursday that the magnitude of the inventory glut in the channel — caused by slower sales of the Pascal GPUs used for cryptocurrency mining — caught the company largely by surprise until near the end of the quarter.

    “We were as surprised by it as anybody else,” Huang said. “The crypto hangover lasted longer than we expected.”

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    AMD Beats Intel, Nvidia to 7 nm
    Epyc, Vega meet but don’t blow away Xeon, Volta

    Advanced Micro Devices launched its first 7-nm CPU and GPU at the lucrative target of the data center. It showed working chips that delivered comparable performance to Intel’s 14-nm Xeon and Nvidia’s 12-nm Volta.

    AMD has yet to reveal many details about the new chips and their performance. However, analysts are generally bullish that the company will be able to continue a significant comeback since it launched its first Zen-based chips on a 14-nm process in late 2016.

    She demonstrated a single 7-nm Epyc x86 processor narrowly beating a system with two Intel Skylake Xeons in a rendering job. Separately, AMD showed benchmarks that roughly put its 7-nm Vega GPU on par with an Nvidia V100 in inference tasks.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Intel Combines Optane Options with New Processor Class

    Only months after announcing it would slowly wind down its 3D Xpoint collaboration with Micron Technology, Intel Corp. has outlined where it sees the persistent memory delivering the most benefits.

    Its latest data center strategy includes two new members of its Xeon process family. The Xeon E-2100 processor is available immediately, while its Cascade Lake advanced performance processor will be released in the first half of next year.

    The E-2100 processor is aimed at small- and medium-size business and cloud service providers to support workloads on entry-level servers, as well as across all computing segments for sensitive workloads that need enhanced data protections. Cascade Lake, however, is a new class of scalable Xeon processor, said Lisa Spelman, vice president and general manager of Intel Xeon products and data center marketing.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nvidia Trying to Deal with Oversupply of Gaming Chips

    Nvidia reported revenues of $3.18 billion in the fiscal third quarter, growing from $2.64 billion over the last year, with gaming accounting for more than 55 percent. But the company forecast lackluster revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter because of excess inventory out in the market.

    “Our fourth quarter outlook is impacted by excess channel inventory of midrange Pascal parts,” said Collette Kress, Nvidia’s chief financial officer, in a statement. “We believe this is a near-term issue that will be corrected in one or two quarters, and remain confident in our competitive position and market opportunities.”

    The market for graphics chips based on Nvidia’s Pascal architecture and targeted at the gaming market started soaring last year, leading to severe shortages. The chips can be used to accelerate the computer code behind digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. But as the value of the currencies cratered, sales plummeted. The unsold inventory needs to be sold before Nvidia can resume selling its latest graphics cards.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Linux: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will be supported for a full decade

    Mark Shuttleworth has announced that Ubuntu 18.04 will be supported for ten years. Long Term Support releases of Ubuntu usually enjoy just five years of support, so this doubling is highly significant.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kevin Kelleher / Fortune:
    The stocks of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Netflix have all declined 20% or more in value in recent months, pushing them into bear market territory

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Survey: in the past year there’s been a 15% spike in the number of US adults who fear big tech won’t be regulated sufficiently with 55% now sharing this concern — Data: SurveyMonkey poll conducted Nov. 9 to 13 among 3,622 U.S. adults with a modeled error estimate of ±2.5 percent; Survey methodology.

    Exclusive poll: America sours on social media giants

    Silicon Valley has a big and growing problem: Americans have rising concerns with its most popular products and a growing majority wants big social media companies regulated, according to new poll conducted by Survey Monkey for “Axios on HBO.”

    Why it matters: The public is more aware than ever of some of the negative consequences of the technologies that have changed their lives, which makes Silicon Valley and social media ripe political and regulatory targets.
    Show less

    Between the lines: This is a rare topic uniting Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

    Republicans have been alleging that these companies — often founded and still led by idealistic, progressive executives — censor conservative viewpoints.
    Democrats have taken issue over the past year with ways social media technologies, like niche ad-targeting, can be abused by people to discriminate against minorities.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    BIZARRE Intel Core i7 from CHINA for $100!!

    Buy Core i7 4720HQ on Taobao:

    Man, what CANT the Chinese do…

    “Weird random chinese site”… is actually bigger than Amazon

    So in the end the price gets into Ryzen 2600 territory, which is twice as fast in Cinebench. Too bad Linus only uses Intel CPUs in his charts.

    So both of these are terrible value compared to the 150/160$ ryzen 5 2600

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DevOps is for everyone

    A non-engineer explains why you don’t need to be a developer or an operations person to fall for DevOps.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to future-proof your IT job in the age of AI
    Who’s afraid of robots? Here’s how to stay one step ahead of the competition

    Could a robot do your job? Could you help a robot do its job? If you are thinking about your career development and where you’d like to be a year from now, it’s time to ask yourself these questions. IDC estimates that 40 percent of digital transformation initiatives in 2019 will use AI services, and by 2021, 75 percent of enterprise applications will use AI. No matter your title – from entry level to CIO – it’s wise to think about how your role and responsibilities may shift as technologies like AI, automation, and robotics evolve and get smarter.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Windows 10 Quality approach for a complex ecosystem

    Today we are re-releasing the October 2018 Update after pausing to investigate a small but serious issue. This is the first time in Windows 10’s “Windows as a Service” history that we have taken such an action, and as such it has naturally led to questions about the work we do to test and validate Windows quality before we begin rolling it out broadly.

    While our measurements of quality show improving trends on aggregate for each successive Windows 10 release, if a single customer experiences an issue with any of our updates, we take it seriously. Today, I will share an overview of how we work to continuously improve the quality of Windows and our Windows as a Service approach. As part of our commitment to being more transparent about our approach to quality, this blog will be the first in a series of more in-depth explanations of the work we do to deliver quality in our Windows releases.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ​Talking with services – a new dawn of interaction
    Nov 8, 2018, 3:33 PM

    Voice assistive services are rapidly gaining popularity and becoming more advanced. In this write-up, Tommi goes through the pain points of this fast-moving domain. What are the first things to think about when creating these services?

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google, Mozilla working on letting web apps edit files despite warning it could be ‘abused in terrible ways’

    The firms, known for their Chrome and Firefox web browsers, are heading a group that is devising a way for users to save changes they make using web apps.

    A group led by Google and Mozilla is working to make it easy to edit files using browser-based web apps but wants advice on how to guard against the “major” security and privacy risks.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mark McGranaghan /
    An in-depth look at the latencies introduced at various points, from input devices to what is displayed on the screen, that make apps feel slow — You spend lots of time waiting on your computer. You pause while apps start and web pages load. Spinner icons are everywhere.

    Slow Software

    You spend lots of time waiting on your computer. You pause while apps start and web pages load. Spinner icons are everywhere. Hardware gets faster, but software still feels slow. What gives?

    If you use your computer to do important work, you deserve fast software. Too much of today’s software falls short. At the Ink & Switch research lab we’ve researched why that is, so that we can do better. This article shares we’ve learned.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Look Like A Movie Hacker

    After all, in the movies, hackers use exotic flashy user interfaces, right? Now thanks to eDEX-UI, you can look like a movie hacker if you use Windows, Linux, or the Mac.

    As you might expect, the program isn’t very efficient or practical, but it does actually do something. In addition to a load of system information about the CPU and network, there’s a shell, a file manager, and an onscreen keyboard, too. The app uses Electron and — on Linux — AppImage, but for a toy program like this, that may not be a problem.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Walmart Gaming PC: How to Do Everything Wrong | Overpowered DTW3

    We bought the Walmart Overpowered DTW3 gaming PC to tear it down and review it. Unfortunately, Walmart shipped us about half the computer we paid for.

    We’re answering the question of “is the Walmart gaming PC worth it?” with this video, but also, the answer is “no.” Especially because they sold us a different PC than the one we got, but maybe that’s just a logistical thing. Regardless, the internal components deserve analysis and discussion, as does the build quality and quality of assembly.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Server Boot Drive of Tomorrow

    Choosing the most appropriate server boot drive can save time, safeguard your data, and — ultimately — lower your total cost of ownership

    Every server needs to boot from a local drive. These drives come in a variety of form factors and with a diversity of interfaces and protocols. Each type of drive embodies different advantages (and disadvantages), so deciding which is best isn’t necessarily a clear-cut choice.

    The first thing that might come to mind is performance requirements. Time shaved off the boot sequence can be immensely valuable. As for challenges, power consumption and heat dispersal are constant threats to server performance. Minimizing the amount of power consumed is certainly in the best interest of any data center operator, not to mention the fact that high temperatures can exacerbate data retention issues in flash memory.

    So what are the choices to consider, and who are the upcoming players? Let’s dive into the current status of server boot drives and see what the future holds.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tim Cook: tech firms should prepare for ‘inevitable’ regulation

    Apple CEO predicts Congress will pass laws targeting big US technology firms

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tom Krazit / GeekWire:
    AWS introduces its own custom-designed Arm server processor, AWS Graviton Processor, claims 45% lower costs for some workloads — After years of waiting for someone to design an Arm server processor that could work at scale on the cloud, Amazon Web Services just went ahead and designed its own.

    Amazon Web Services introduces its own custom-designed Arm server processor, promises 45 percent lower costs for some workloads

    GeekWire is reporting this week from Amazon’s signature cloud technology conference in Las Vegas, as the public cloud giant announces new products, partnerships and technology initiatives.

    New – EC2 Instances (A1) Powered by Arm-Based AWS Graviton Processors

    Earlier this year I told you about the AWS Nitro System and promised you that it would allow us to “deliver new instance types more quickly than ever in the months to come.” Since I made that promise we have launched memory-intensive R5 and R5d instances, high frequency z1d instances, burstable T3 instances, high memory instances with up to 12 TiB of memory, and AMD-powered M5a and R5a instances. The purpose-built hardware and the lightweight hypervisor that comprise the AWS Nitro System allow us to innovate more quickly while devoting virtually all of the power of the host hardware to the instances.

    We acquired Annapurna Labs in 2015 after working with them on the first version of the AWS Nitro System. Since then we’ve worked with them to build and release two generations of ASICs (chips, not shoes) that now offload all EC2 system functions to Nitro, allowing 100% of the hardware to be devoted to customer instances. A few years ago the team started to think about building an Amazon-built custom CPU designed for cost-sensitive scale-out workloads.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Sub-$1000, Non-X86 Motherboard

    If you’re building a computer, your options are nearly limitless. You can get a motherboard with red LEDs, with blue LEDs, green LEDs, or if you’re feeling spendy, RGB LEDs. You can get custom-milled heat spreaders in any shape you want, as long as it’s angular and screams ‘gamer’. If you want a motherboard that doesn’t use x86 — either AMD or Intel — you’re kind of out of luck. Either it doesn’t exist, or it’s going to cost a small fortune.

    Raptor Engineering have just released a motherboard that isn’t x86 and doesn’t cost as much as a cheap car. The Blackbird mainboard is designed for an IBM Power9 CPU and it only costs $800. Add in a four-core CPU and the total cost comes out to about $1200. Add in some ECC RAM and you’re still under two grand. Building with a non-x86 CPU has never been cheaper.

    The only reason you would build a Power9-based computer is simply to get around the black box that has become Intel and AMD CPUs. No one is really sure what’s going on in the Intel Management Engine, AMD has similar black boxes littered around.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to future-proof your IT job in the age of AI

    Who’s afraid of robots? Here’s how to stay one step ahead of the competition

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central:
    Intel to start distributing drivers for its graphics chips as Universal Windows Drivers, a single driver package that can run on different device types

    Intel launches ‘modern’ graphics drivers for Windows 10

    Intel’s new drivers are aimed at providing broad support in one package across all Windows 10 editions.

    Universal Windows Drivers, as described by Microsoft, give developers a way to create one driver package that can run on “different device types, from embedded systems to tablets and desktop PCs.” The new driver packages will be able to run across all Windows 10 editions, including Windows 10 in S Mode.

    Going forward, Intel will only release updates as Universal Windows Drivers; previous driver releases are now considered to be legacy. Future graphics driver updates will be delivered via Windows Update.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5 data governance lessons from gardening

    Data governance challenges
    Tackling our data governance challenges required addressing how to:

    Identify undefined or unknown data
    Reduce risk by classifying and structuring data
    Manage data throughout its information lifecycle
    Enforce regulatory compliance
    Drive new business insights

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The great “DevOps engineer” title debate

    “DevOps engineer” is currently the most recruited engineering job. But what does this job title mean exactly – and do we need it at all?

    Gene Kim unveiled his latest definition of DevOps:

    The architecture, technical practices, and cultural norms that enable us to: increase our ability to deliver applications and services; quickly and safely, which enables rapid experimentation and innovation, and the fastest delivery of value to our customers; while ensuring world-class security, reliability and stability so that we can win in the marketplace.

    By this definition, it’s somewhat difficult to surmise what role a DevOps engineer would fill.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    3 best practices for continuous integration and deployment

    Learn about automating, using a Git repository, and parameterizing Jenkins pipelines.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software works for 248+ languages

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Steve Lohr / New York Times:
    Since Satya Nadella became CEO, Microsoft has almost tripled its market cap to $850B+, and on Friday it replaced Apple as the world’s most valuable company — Just a few years ago, Microsoft was seen as a lumbering has-been of the technology world. — It was big and still quite profitable …
    Microsoft Is Worth as Much as Apple. How Did That Happen?

    Just a few years ago, Microsoft was seen as a lumbering has-been of the technology world.

    It was big and still quite profitable, but the company had lost its luster, failing or trailing in the markets of the future like mobile, search, online advertising and cloud computing. Its stock price languished,

    It’s a very different story today. Microsoft is running neck and neck with Apple for the title of the world’s most valuable company, both worth about $850 billion, thanks to a stock price that has climbed 30 percent over the last 12 months. At the end of trading Friday, Microsoft was just ahead of its longtime rival.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Intel Killed their OWN Product Lineup

    With core counts ever increasing in desktop CPUs, the question has to be asked: Do you even NEED an HEDT CPU anymore?


    Intel DESTROYS their own product lineup with FACTS and LOGIC!

    AMD did really well.
    They might have saved the gaming community from being stuck for a decade in the Intel sandbox game.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NVMe Hits a Tipping Point

    You know you’ve made it when you get your own show. The fact that there’s a show dedicated to NVM Express (NVMe) next month solidifies an industry-wide sentiment that the host controller interface and storage protocol hit a tipping point in the last year.

    “This year was a big year for NVMe,” said Thomas Coughlin, founder of Coughlin Associates. “Going into next year, we’re going to see the majority of new products coming out with NVMe.”

    This includes products using the relatively young NVM Express Over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) specification and even some hard disk enclosures using NVMe, Coughlin said. “It looks to me like a universal architecture for storage,” he added.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nvidia released PhysX source code under BSD-3 license

    PhysX is an open source real-time physics engine SDK (software development kit). The PhysX engine and SDK are available free for:

    Sony PlayStation 2/3/4
    Xbox 360
    Xbox One

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ryan Smith / AnandTech:
    Nvidia announces a new $2,499 GPU called Titan RTX with 576 tensor cores, 24GB of GDDR6 memory, and the new Turing architecture, shipping later this month

    NVIDIA Unveils “Titan RTX” Video Card: $2500 Turing Tensor Terror Out Later This Month
    by Ryan Smith on December 3, 2018 8:00 AM EST

    By this point we’ve seen most of NVIDIA’s 2018 Turing GPU product stack. After kicking things off with the Quadro RTX series, NVIDIA released a trio of consumer GeForce RTX cards, and following that the first Turing Tesla, the T4.

    Last year around this time we saw the launch of the Titan V at the Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) conference. It seems like that went well for the company, as they’ve once again picked that venue for the launch of their latest Titan card, the aptly named Titan RTX.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Brad Sams / Petri:
    Sources: Microsoft is working on Windows Lite, a super lightweight, instant on, always connected OS that runs only PWAs and UWP apps, to challenge Chrome OS

    What is Windows Lite? It’s Microsoft’s Chrome OS Killer

    For more than a year, we have been hearing about Windows Core OS and how it is a modern version of Windows. As Microsoft continues to build out the platform, it’s time to take a look at what the secret project actually includes and how the company is positioning the platform.

    Microsoft is working on a new version of Windows that may not actually be Windows. It’s currently called Lite, based on documentation found in the latest build, and I can confirm that this version of the OS is targeting Chromebooks. In fact, there are markings all over the latest release of the insider builds and SDK that help us understand where this OS is headed.

    If you have heard this before, it should sound a lot like Windows 10 S and RT; Windows 10 Lite only runs PWAs and UWP apps and strips out everything else. This is finally a truly a lightweight version of Windows that isn’t only in the name. This is not a version of the OS that will run in the enterprise or even small business environments and I don’t think you will be able to ‘buy’ the OS either; OEM only may be the way forward.

    The goal of Windows Lite is to make it super lightweight, instant on, always connected, and can run on any type of CPU. Knowing that this week Qualcomm will announce a new generation of Snapdragon that can run Windows significantly better than the 835, fully expect to see this new chip powering many of the first devices running the new OS.

    With a new name and a different UI, uses WCOS, and is going to be Microsoft’s next ‘big bet’ in the Windows space.

    The good news here is that this also means that UWP still has a future. During the past 18 months or so, it looked like the company’s new app format was going to go the way of Silverlight but with Windows Lite, the future is alive and well.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Amazon Thinks ARM is Bigger than your Phone

    As far as computer architectures go, ARM doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of. Since nearly every mobile device on the planet is powered by some member of the reduced instruction set computer (RISC) family, there’s an excellent chance these words are currently making their way to your eyes courtesy of an ARM chip. A userbase of several billion is certainly nothing to sneeze at, and that’s before we even take into account the myriad of other devices which ARM processors find their way into: from kid’s toys to smart TVs.

    ARM is also the de facto architecture for the single-board computers which have dominated the hacking and making scene for the last several years. Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, ODROID, Tinker Board, etc. If it’s a small computer that runs Linux or Android, it will almost certainly be powered by some ARM variant; another market all but completely dominated.

    It would be a fair to say that small devices,

    At the re:Invent 2018 conference, Amazon announced the immediate availability of their own internally developed ARM servers for their Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers

    For many developers this will be the first time they’ve written code for a non-x86 processor, and while some growing pains are to be expected, the lower cost of the ARM instances compared to the standard x86 options seems likely to drive adoption.

    For developers who have been using Linux AWS instances (which the vast majority are), the ARM environment will not be significantly different from what they’re used to. In fact, if their software is written in an interpreted language like Python they should be able to move their existing code over to the ARM servers as-is. If it’s written in C or another compiled language it will need to rebuilt from source due to the architecture change, but in most cases will require little to no modification.

    Of course, from Amazon’s perspective getting more customers onto ARM servers means reduced energy consumption in their data centers.

    New – EC2 Instances (A1) Powered by Arm-Based AWS Graviton Processors

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss
    When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes into you. Or is that just Windows Hello?

    Microsoft could be preparing to ditch the EdgeHTML layout engine of its unloved Edge browser in Windows 10 in favour of Chromium, according to reports surfacing on the eve of the company’s developer event Connect();.

    The reports point to a mystery project, codenamed Anaheim, which will replace Edge as the default web browser in Windows, perhaps as soon as the next release of Windows 10, dubbed 19H1, likely due in April 2019.

    Microsoft is building a Chromium-powered web browser that will replace Edge on Windows 10

    Microsoft is throwing in the towel with Edge and is building a new web browser for Windows 10, this time powered by Chromium.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook employees are calling former colleagues to look for jobs outside the company and asking about the best way to leave

    Six former Facebook employees who left the company within the last two years told CNBC they’ve experienced a rise in contact from current company employees to inquire about opportunities or ask for job references.
    The shift in behavior comes as Facebook deals with scandal after scandal while seeing a nearly 40 percent drop in its stock price from a peak in July.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
    Microsoft open sources its most popular Windows UX frameworks and says the first preview of .NET Core 3.0 is now available — Microsoft is open sourcing WPF, Windows Forms and Win UI via GitHub and making available the first public preview of Visual Studio 2019.

    Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
    Microsoft open sources its most popular Windows UX frameworks and says the first preview of .NET Core 3.0 is now available — Microsoft is open sourcing WPF, Windows Forms and Win UI via GitHub and making available the first public preview of Visual Studio 2019.

    Microsoft open sources key Windows UX Frameworks, launches first Visual Studio 2019 preview

    Microsoft is open sourcing WPF, Windows Forms and Win UI via GitHub and making available the first public preview of Visual Studio 2019.

    Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
    Microsoft debuts public preview of Visual Studio 2019 for Windows and Mac, with a new window layout, more space for coding, a new search experience, and more — At its Microsoft Connect(); 2018 virtual event today, Microsoft announced the initial public preview of Visual Studio 2019 — you can download it now for Windows and Mac.

    Microsoft launches Visual Studio 2019 Preview 1 for Windows and Mac


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