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Talos II / Imprecise EATX terminology considered harmful - SSI-EEB
« on: March 31, 2020, 04:53:13 pm »
I was initially quite confused at the number of standoff and case size issues I have heard regarding the Talos II mainboard. For examples, see the RCS Wiki’s Hardware Compatibility List for Talos II, which has an entire section for problematic cases:

However, Gamers Nexus recently published a lengthy article & video about the ambiguity inherent in the “EATX” marketing, which seems to be the explanation I was looking for:
Apparently, the real underlying specification for elongated ATX boards with dimensions of 305 mm × 330 mm (12” × 13”) mainboards is SSI-EEB, whereas EATX is a marketing term that encompasses a wide variety of board sizes whose front-to-back measurement is greater than 244 mm (9.6”) but less than or equal to 330 mm (13”).

I think it would be extremely helpful to customers to make it clear that Talos II is an SSI-EEB mainboard, with a footnote warning that while some case manufacturers may market EEB cases as EATX or E-ATX, cases incompatible with EEB may also be marketed as EATX/E-ATX.

For the curious, SSI documents appear to have been moved to the SNIA’s website:

I have been occasionally reading the Signal blog,
and now that they are once again bringing up SGX as a possible solution to confidential/trustworthy remote processing, I am curious if POWER9’s Ultravisor mode along with Flexver could act as a replacement for SGX.

To be honest, I do not fully understand the three (SGX, Flexver, or P9’s Ultravisor), but what Integricloud seems to be claiming to do with FlexVer in terms of allowing a user to verify code running remotely, seems awfully similar to how Signal is trying to use SGX to run code on the users behalf remotely without allowing the SGX server to see the inputs or outputs of the code being executed. From what I have read about Ultravisor state, IBM is certainly positioning it as an alternative to SGX and AMD’S Secure Processor memory encryption.

As Signal is pretty much the only messaging program I have significant trust in, part of my interest here is that I would like to see Signal using something other than a DRM mechanism to do private remote processing.

Though regardless, the promise of being able to perform confidential processing remotely is intriguing by itself, especially when done without placing absolute and irrevocable trust in the manufacturer.

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