Queue Video Portrait: Ang Cui

Ang Cui is a Ph.D. student at Columbia University in New York City. His research focuses on embedded devices such as routers, printers and VOIP phones. He is the inventor of a novel, host-based defense mechanism known as Symbiotes. Symbiotes are designed specifically to retrofit black-box, vulnerable, legacy embedded systems with sophisticated anti-exploitation mechanisms. In this video portrait, Ang describes how the extent of the embedded threat in real-world environments, discusses novel exploitation techniques for embedded systems–like enterprise networking equipment–and develops practical defenses for embedded systems that constitute our global communication substrate.

 

Ang Cui

 

Queue Portrait: Ang Cui

 

FPGA Programming for the Masses

The programmability of FPGAs must improve if they are to be part of mainstream computing.

DAVID F. BACON, RODRIC RABBAH, SUNIL SHUKLA, T.J. WATSON RESEARCH CENTER

When looking at how hardware influences computing performance, we have GPPs (general-purpose processors) on one end of the spectrum and ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) on the other. Processors are highly programmable but often inefficient in terms of power and performance. ASICs implement a dedicated and fixed function and provide the best power and performance characteristics, but any functional change requires a complete (and extremely expensive) re-spinning of the circuits.

Fortunately, several architectures exist between these two extremes. PLDs (programmable logic devices) are one such example, providing the best of both worlds. They are closer to the hardware and can be reprogrammed.

FPGA Programming for the Masses

 

Related:

Abstraction in Hardware System Design

Computing without Processors

Of Processors and Processing

The Evolution of Web Development for Mobile Devices

Building Web sites that perform well on mobile devices remains a challenge.

NICHOLAS C. ZAKAS

The biggest change in Web development over the past few years has been the remarkable rise of mobile computing. Mobile phones used to be extremely limited devices that were best used for making phone calls and sending short text messages. Today’s mobile phones are more powerful than the computers that took Apollo 11 to the moon, with the ability to send data to and from nearly anywhere. Combine that with 3G and 4G networks for data transfer, and now using the Internet while on the go is faster than my first Internet connection, which featured AOL and a 14.4-kbps dialup modem.

The Evolution of Web Development for Mobile Devices

 

Related:

Making the Mobile Web Faster

Mobile Media: Making It a Reality

Mobile Devices in the Enterprise: CTO Roundtable Overview

 

Join us in Lombard, IL, April 3-5, 2013, for NSDI ’13

Join us in Lombard, IL, April 3-5, 2013, for NSDI ’13.

The 10th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI ’13) focuses on the design principles, implementation, and practical evaluation of large-scale networked and distributed systems. The technical sessions will focus on hot topics such as pervasive computing, network integrity, data centers, performance, big data, security, privacy, and many others. NSDI ’13 also includes a poster and demo session, where presenters can showcase early research and discuss it with fellow attendees.

Register by March 13 and save. Additional discounts are available!
https://www.usenix.org/nsdi13/acmq

Swamped by Automation

Whenever someone asks you to trust them, don’t.

Dear KV,

As part of a recent push to automate everything from test builds to documentation updates, my group—at the request of one of our development groups—deployed a job-scheduling system. The idea behind the deployment is that anyone should be able to set up a periodic job to run in order to do some work that takes a long time, but that isn’t absolutely critical to the day-to-day work of the company. It’s a way of avoiding having people run cron jobs on their desktops and of providing a centralized set of background processing services.

Swamped by Automation

The Story of the Teapot in DHTML

Brian Beckman, Erik Meijer
It’s easy to do amazing things, such as rendering the classic teapot in HTML and CSS.

Before there was SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), WebGL (Web Graphics Library), Canvas, or much of anything for graphics in the browser, it was possible to do quite a lot more than was initially obvious. To demonstrate, we created a JavaScript program that renders polygonal 3D graphics using nothing more than HTML and CSS. Our proof-of-concept is fast enough to support physics-based small-game content, but we started with the iconic 3D “Utah teapot” because it tells the whole story in one picture. It’s feasible to render this classic object using just regular DIV elements, CSS styles, and a little bit of JavaScript code. This tiny graphics pipeline serves as a timeless demonstration of doing a lot with very little.

The Story of the Teapot in DHTML

Related:

A Conversation with Ray Ozzie

Mobile Application Development: Web vs. Native

Scripting Web Services Prototypes

Making the Mobile Web Faster

Mobile performance issues? Fix the back end, not just the client.

KATE MATSUDAIRA

Mobile clients have been on the rise and will only continue to grow. This means that if you are serving clients over the Internet, you cannot ignore the customer experience on a mobile device.

There are many informative articles on mobile performance, and just as many on general API design, but you’ll find few discussing the design considerations needed to optimize the back-end systems for mobile clients. Whether you have an app, mobile Web site, or both, it is likely that these clients are consuming APIs from your back-end systems.

Certainly, optimizing the on-mobile performance of the application is critical, but software engineers can do a lot to ensure that mobile clients are remotely served both data and application resources reliably and efficiently.

Making the Mobile Web Faster

 

Related:

Usablity Testing for the Web

Mobile Application Development: Web vs. Native

Streams and Standards: Delivering Mobile Video