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today's leftovers

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  • Wine-Staging 4.6 Brings Big Performance Improvement For Multi-Threaded Games / Apps

    Friday's release of Wine 4.6 was exciting in that it started merging the code for WineD3D Vulkan support, now supports a shared Wine-Mono, and other big ticket work. Wine-Staging 4.6 is now available as the latest experimental patches re-based atop the latest upstream Wine. This Wine-Staging update is quite exciting in its own right. 

  • GNU Hackers Meetings - News: Malfunction in ghm-planning (at) gnu.org

    Due to a problem in the alias configuration, mails sent to ghm-planning before Sun Apr 14 8:00 CEST have been silently dropped.

  • FOSSASIA OpenTech Summit’19

    Last month, I attended FOSSASIA’s annual conference which was held in Singapore. This conference was a collection of amazing, life-changing experiences. It was my first experience as a speaker and it taught me so much about the open-source culture. This summit took place from 14th March to 17th March in the beautiful city of Singapore. This was my second foreign trip as well. First one was to San Francisco as a part of the Student Startup Exposure Program.

    My flight was scheduled for 12th March from Jaipur and had a layover at Chennai for 5 hours. I reached the Changi Airport in the early morning of 13th. This airport was quite scenic and is also ranked as the top airport in the world.

  • OpenSUSE's Spectre Mitigation Approach Is One Of The Reasons For Its Slower Performance

    OpenSUSE defaults to IBRS for its Spectre Variant Two mitigations rather than the Retpolines approach and that is one of the reasons for the distribution's slower out-of-the-box performance compared to other Linux distributions. 

    A Phoronix reader pointed out this opensuse-factory mailing list thread citing a "huge single-core performance loss" on a Lenovo laptop when using openSUSE. There's a ~21% performance loss in single-threaded performance around the Spectre Variant Two mitigations, which itself isn't surprising as we've shown time and time again about the performance costs of the Spectre/Meltdown mitigations.

  • Are you missing the potential of dynamic SAP communication?

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Security Leftovers

  • Why Are Cryptographers Being Denied Entry into the US?

    Is there some cryptographer blacklist? Is something else going on? A lot of us would like to know.

  • Security Engineering: Third Edition

    Today I put online a chapter on Who is the Opponent, which draws together what we learned from Snowden and others about the capabilities of state actors, together with what we’ve learned about cybercrime actors as a result of running the Cambridge Cybercrime Centre. Isn’t it odd that almost six years after Snowden, nobody’s tried to pull together what we learned into a coherent summary?

    There’s also a chapter on Surveillance or Privacy which looks at policy. What’s the privacy landscape now, and what might we expect from the tussles over data retention, government backdoors and censorship more generally?

  • Google halts some business with China's Huawei: report

    Huawei will reportedly no longer be able to access Android updates, the Gmail app, the Google Play store and new versions of Google phones outside of China.

  • Google restricts Huawei's use of Android

    Existing Huawei smartphone users will be able to update apps and push through security fixes, as well as update Google Play services.

    But when Google launches the next version of Android later this year, it may not be available on Huawei devices.

    Future Huawei devices may no longer have apps such as YouTube and Maps.

  • Forget Huawei, The Internet Of Things Is The Real Security Threat
    We've noted for a while how a lot of the US protectionist security hysteria surrounding Huawei isn't supported by much in the way of hard data. And while it's certainly possible that Huawei helps the Chinese government spy, the reality is that Chinese (or any other) intelligence services don't really need to rely on Huawei to spy on the American public. Why? Because people around the world keep connecting millions of internet of broken things devices to their home and business networks that lack even the most rudimentary of security and privacy protections. Week after week we've documented how these devices are being built with both privacy and security as a distant afterthought, resulting in everything from your television to your refrigerator creating both new attack vectors and wonderful new surveillance opportunities for hackers and state actors.

today's howtos

Android Leftovers

A Look At The MDS Cost On Xeon, EPYC & Xeon Total Impact Of Affected CPU Vulnerabilities

This weekend I posted a number of benchmarks looking at the performance impact of the new MDS/Zombieload vulnerabilities that also included a look at the overall cost of Spectre/Meltdown/L1TF/MDS on Intel desktop CPUs and AMD CPUs (Spectre). In this article are similar benchmarks but turning the attention now to Intel Xeon hardware and also comparing those total mitigation costs against AMD EPYC with its Spectre mitigations. This article offers a look at the MDS/Zombieload mitigations on a 1st Gen Skylake Xeon Scalable server as well as a Kabylake Xeon E3 server for reference. Following that is a look at the total CPU vulnerability mitigation costs for 1st Gen Xeon Scalable, 2nd Gen Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake), and an AMD EPYC 2P server as well for its Spectre mitigations. As expected given Intel's guidance last week of their latest Xeon processors being mitigated for MDS, indeed, the dual Xeon Platinum 8280 Cascade Lake server reported it was not affected by the MDS mitigations and thus not enabled. So for the MDS tests up first it's just some reference results using a dual Xeon Gold 6138 Skylake server running Ubuntu 19.04 with the Linux 5.0 patched kernel and reference results side-by-side for a separate Xeon E3-1275 v6 server. Read more