Just under $5,000 for non-volume, just-produced workstation is actually a good price. The UNIX workstations use to be five digits. I hope they get the things produced. Anyway, I always love reading this bullshit:
“Rest assured knowing that only your authorized software and firmware are running via POWER9’s secure boot features. Don’t trust us? Look at the secure boot sources yourself — and modify them as you wish. That’s the power of Talos™ II.”
Yeah, get me the sources for OpenPOWER, a team large enough to review them, experts in analog/RF obfuscation to spot any implants, confirmation fab received same design doc, and proof I received the chip they made instead of an enhanced replacement. The same for any peripheral chips that might use firmware or silicon to monitor secrets on the host CPU to then leak. Then, we’ll talk about how we know what’s it’s running and who it answers to. For now, I assume it answers to a number of vendors or their governments if they choose.
To me, high-end desktops aren’t to be trusted with secrets since they’re already from an oligopoly of untrustworthy, chip vendors supported by chips from other scheming companies or even counterfeit sometimes. Something like Raptor is just a nice box for non-life-threating stuff whose contents might be less likely to get attacked due to less, low-hanging fruit. Maybe also a box for designing or verifying untrustworthy hardware with open tooling during the inevitable gap between introduction and nation-state subversion. Nothing more.
The most secure computer is the abacus.
Oh, that’s too good since I had this exchange with another Lobster after posting my subversion story:
“So, there’s everyone’s relaxation for the day. Personally, I’m typing this on a heavily-modified abacus.” (Me)
“I can’t believe you’re foolish enough to trust an abacus.” (Him)
“I carved it myself from a tree in the furthest woodlands. I got the rock I used out of an unpolular part of the Pacific. I wasn’t carrying electronics. Im hoping that did it.” (Me)
And, now, there’s yet another person “foolish enough to trust an [unmodified] abacus.” Look stsp, remember that if it sounds too secure to be true, it probably is. ;)
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A quick Google didn’t give me much details on POWER9. I did find a detailed comparison of POWER8 vs Xeon that might give us some hints about POWER9:
Specifically, POWER9 will probably run just fine for power users in both single and multithreaded performance. :)