Why hardware + software is cheaper than hardware alone

Thomas Dullien of Google’s Project Zero on why security suffers because it’s actually cheaper to build more complex things (i.e. ship some piece of hardware with a general purpose processor and define features in software instead of using a purpose-built chip).

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JavaScript History as Seen From 2035

Gary Bernhardt presents a thought-provoking history of JavaScript as seen from 2035.

His arguments are that

  • With asm.js JavaScript VMs ran code with 50% of native speed (even in 2013)
  • Anything that can be compiled can be compiled into asm.js
  • Asm.js has basically become the universal runtime

So by further moving the JavaScript VM into the kernel we save ourselves the overhead of hardware process isolation as the VM does this any way.

All this lead to interesting consequences

  • Nobody uses binaries any more, everything is asm.js
  • The windowing systems of old have been ported to the DOM
  • Deployments are as simple as a push
  • JavaScript (as a language) is effectively dead
  • Overall developer happiness has increased