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The New Stack

The New Stack covers the services and infrastructures that developers build.
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How Firecracker is going to set modern infrastructure on fire

One of the most exciting announcements from last week’s AWS re:Invent was Firecracker — an open source project that delivers the speed of containers with the security of VMs. Firecracker’s focus is transient and short-lived processes, so it differs from containers in that it’s optimized for startup speed. Why can’t we use containers? The answer is simple — slower cold start. While LXC and Docker are certainly faster and lighter than full-blown virtual machines, they still don’t match the speed expected by functions. There are also some security wins with how Firecracker is architected: Firecracker takes a radically different approach to isolation. It takes advantage of the acceleration from KVM, which is built into every Linux Kernel with version 4.14 or above. KVM, the Kernel Virtual Machine, is a type-1 hypervisor that works in tandem with the hardware virtualization capabilities exposed by Intel and AMD. There’s a lot to be intrigued by here. We should probably line up an episode on Firecracker. In the meantime, click through to go deeper on the topic.

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Estimating serverless consumption costs

One of the oft-toted virtues of serverless infrastructure is metered pricing. Like, super-metered pricing down to function invocations and memory use. That’s awesome, but also harder to predict than flat-rate (or at least flatter-rate) pricing. In this article, The New Stack goes deep into the weeds trying to estimate actual serverless costs across providers.

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The people pushing for a decentralized web

David Cassel has a great recap of the recent Decentralized Web Summit and what it was all about. It’s a follow-up to a similar event in 2016, though now “People are starting to show real working code and real projects. They’re building whole technology stacks that are more decentralized, in large part fueled by the excitement of the cryptocurrency systems. The altcoins and Bitcoins are proving that interesting and complicated systems are starting to work out there.” Click through for lots of quotes and takeaways. I think Changelog might have to get involved if they do this again next year…

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JavaScript breaks into IoT via JerryScript

Michelle Gienow: The recent release of the Fitbit Ionic marked Fitbit’s first true smartwatch. More significant to the JavaScript developer community, though, is the fact that the Ionic was produced and shipped using JerryScript, a lightweight JavaScript engine built to power the Internet of Things. I heard some hubbub about JerryScript last year at OSCON EU, but not much since. Fitbit using it in their first attempt at a production smart watch is a big vote of confidence for the project.

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The inspiring life of John Perry Barlow

David Cassel: It’s easy to list the achievements of John Perry Barlow — everything from co-founding the Electronic Frontier Foundation to writing lyrics for the Grateful Dead. But it’s harder to quantify the amount of inspiration he delivered to the internet in the early 1990s. In the truest spirit of the word pioneer, he created a vision that helped shape the world that was to come. This is a great compilation of stories, quotes, and personal remembrances of a man to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude. Whether we know it or not.

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