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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Firefox

The Shumway Open SWF Runtime Project 99

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the now-there-are-four dept.
theweatherelectric writes "Mozilla is looking for contributors interested in working on Shumway. Mozilla's Jet Villegas writes, 'Shumway is an experimental web-native (Javascript) runtime implementation of the SWF file format. It is developed as a free and open source project sponsored by Mozilla Research. The project has two main goals: 1. Advance the open web platform to securely process rich media formats that were previously only available in closed and proprietary implementations. 2. Offer a runtime processor for SWF and other rich media formats on platforms for which runtime implementations are not available.'" See also: Gnash and Lightspark.
Microsoft

Microsoft Makes Direct X 11.1 a Windows 8 Exclusive 553

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the year-of-the-linux-desktop dept.
BluPhenix316 writes "Microsoft has made Direct X 11.1 a Windows 8 Exclusive. I think this is merely an update to make Direct X more integrated with Windows 8. Is this going to be the trend? To lock you into the OS updates so Windows 7 doesn't last as long as Windows XP has?" The update is pretty minor, but it does add Stereoscopic rendering, and there seemed to be an implication that no new DirectX updates after this will be made for Windows 7.
Programming

Emscripten Compiler Gets Optimizations, Now Self-Hosting 60

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the because-they-said-we-couldn't-do-it dept.
Emscripten is an LLVM-based compiler from dozens of languages to JavaScript (previously demoed as a repl and used to port Doom to the browser), and some recent changes have made it a bit faster, and allowed it to compile itself. Some highlights include a redundant variable eliminator, parallelization of the optimizier and compiler, and a new relooper. From the developer's weblog: "With all of the emscripten optimization passes now in JavaScript, I then worked on parallelizing that. ... The speedup can be close to linear in the number of cores. ... For the LLVM to JS compiler, I made the emscripten compiler parallel as well: It splits up the LLVM IR into 3 main parts: type data, function data, and globals. The function data part is unsurprisingly by far the largest in all cases I checked (95% or so), and it can in principle be parallelized - so I did that. Like in the optimizer, we use a Python process pool which feeds chunks of function data to multiple JavaScript compiler instances. There is some overhead due to chunking, and the type data and globals phases are not parallelized, but overall this can be a close to linear speedup. ... [On the new relooper] Note that this update makes Emscripten a 'self-hosting compiler' in a sense: one of the major optimization passes must be compiled to JS from C++, using Emscripten itself. Since this is an optimization pass, there is no chicken-and-egg problem: We bootstrap the relooper by first compiling it without optimizations, which works because we don't need to reloop there. We then use that unoptimized build of the relooper (which reloops properly, but slowly since it itself is unoptimized) in Emscripten to compile the relooper once more, generating the final fully-optimized version of the relooper, or 'relooped relooper' if you will."
Australia

$200,000 Judgement Against Google In Mokbel Shots Case 140

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the spoons-made-me-fat dept.
niftydude writes with news of damages awarded in a case over Google image search results "Should Google be held liable for images that appear in its search results? An Australian court has said yes. 'A Melbourne man who won a defamation case against search engine giant Google has been awarded $200,000 in damages. Milorad Trkulja, also known as Michael, sued the multinational over images of him alongside a well-known underworld figure that appeared in its search results. A six-person Supreme Court jury found last month that Mr Trkulja had been defamed by the images, which he first contacted Google about removing in 2009.'"
Be

BeOS Clone Haiku Releases R1 Alpha 4 117

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the unix-haters-handbook dept.
New submitter kallisti5 writes "The Haiku project released their 4th alpha release today. A year and four months have passed since the 3rd alpha release. Haiku R1A4 includes several enhancements such as a large number of bug fixes, early IPv6 support, better drivers, improved file system support, better localization, and a wide variety of new features and applications." Multimedia enhancements include support for modern Intel and Radeon HD cards.
Businesses

Amazon Donates 2,000 Kindles To Wounded Veterans 62

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-read dept.
destinyland writes "Amazon's just announced that they're donating 2,000 Kindles to a charity for wounded soldiers and their families. They're also promising to hire at least 1,200 more veterans within the next year at fulfillment centers around the country through Amazon's Military Talent Program."
Science

Supersymmetry Theory Dealt a Blow 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the state-of-things dept.
Dupple writes in with some news from the team at the Large Hadron Collider. "Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider have detected one of the rarest particle decays seen in Nature. The finding deals a significant blow to the theory of physics known as supersymmetry. Many researchers had hoped the LHC would have confirmed this by now. Supersymmetry, or SUSY, has gained popularity as a way to explain some of the inconsistencies in the traditional theory of subatomic physics known as the Standard Model. The new observation, reported at the Hadron Collider Physics conference in Kyoto, is not consistent with many of the most likely models of SUSY. Prof Chris Parke, who is the spokesperson for the UK Participation in the LHCb experiment, told BBC News: 'Supersymmetry may not be dead but these latest results have certainly put it into hospital.'"
Politics

Secession Petitions Flood White House Website 1163

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-leaving dept.
First time accepted submitter RNLockwood writes "Political.com reports that several petitions to secede from the Union have been created at the White House site, We The People, for many states; all since Obama's re-election. Texas and Louisiana lead the list with Texas needing only 7,000 more signatures to qualify for a White House response, probably less now as more Americans have become aware of the petitions. It would be interesting to see a comparison done of these petitions and the Post Election Racist Tweets Map."
Science

Artificial Self-Healing Skin Can Sense Touch 18

Posted by samzenpus
from the touchy-feely dept.
thomst writes "Tim Wogan reports that chemical engineer Zhenan Bao of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and her team have increased the conductivity of a self-healing polymer by incorporating nickel atoms. The polymer they have produced is sensitive to applied forces like pressure and torsion (twisting) because such forces alter the distance between the nickel atoms, changing the electrical resistance of the polymer. Their work is published online in the November 1 issue of Nature Nanotechnology (abstract here, full article paywalled). Now Bao and her team are working on making the polymer more flexible."
Crime

John McAfee Accused of Murder, Wanted By Belize Police 353

Posted by samzenpus
from the bad-stuff dept.
New submitter thn writes "John McAfee, who started the antivirus software giant named after him, has been accused of murder in Belize and is wanted. McAfee had taken to 'posting on a drug-focused Russian message board...about his attempts to purify the psychoactive compounds colloquially known as "bath salts,"' Gizmodo wrote. The scariest aspect of this story may be the fact that an entire lab was constructed for John McAfee's research purposes. Because of his efforts to extract chemicals from natural chemical plans McAfee was able to justify his experiments in a country that is largely unregulated."
Books

Book Review: Reverse Deception 43

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
benrothke writes "Advanced persistent threat (APT) is one of the most common information security terms used today and it is an undeniably real and dangerous menace. Wikipedia notes that APT's usually refer to a group, such as a foreign government, with both the capability and the intent to persistently and effectively target a specific entity. The term is commonly used to refer to cyber threats, in particular that of Internet-enabled espionage using a variety of intelligence gathering techniques to access sensitive information, but applies equally to other threats such as that of traditional espionage or attack. Every organization of size and scope is a target, and many of the world's largest firms and governments have been victims. In Reverse Deception: Organized Cyber Threat Counter-Exploitation, Dr. Max Kilger and his co-authors provide an effective counterintelligence approach in which to deal with APT. The good news is that the authors provide an effective framework. The bad news is that creating an effective defense is not an easy undertaking." Keep reading below for the rest of Ben's review.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Gabe Newell Confirms Source 2 Engine 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the coming-soon dept.
dotarray writes "Valve's Gabe Newell has confirmed that they are building the Source 2 engine, but haven't yet had the game to roll it out with. From the article: 'If you're not smiling yet, you'll definitely be doing so after you hear how the announcement was made. It was Gabe Newell's birthday on November 3rd, and 4Chan's /v/ (videogames) board decided to pay him a surprise visit. In addition to an enormous birthday card signed by many of /v/'s regulars, they also gave him an an actual Mann-Co crate, which he had to pay $2.50 to unlock in order to receive the gift of a combat helmet similar to the one worn by the Team Fortress 2 soldier. Irony at its best.'"
Supercomputing

Titan Tops Top500 Supercomputing List 52

Posted by samzenpus
from the top-of-the-heap dept.
miller60 writes "The new Top500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers is out, and the new champion is Titan, the new and improved system that previously ruled the Top500 as Jaguar. Oak Ridge Labs' Titan knocked Livermore Labs' Sequoia system out of the top spot, with a Linpack benchmark of more than 17 petaflops. Check out the full list, or an illustrated guide to the top 10."
Japan

World's First 3D Printing Photo Booth 60

Posted by samzenpus
from the me-and-a-little-me dept.
Zothecula writes "Ever wanted a life-like miniature of yourself or loved ones? Now's your chance, thanks to Omote 3D, which will soon be opening what's described as the world's first 3D printing photo booth in Harajuku, Japan. There, visitors will have their bodies scanned into a computer, a process which takes about 15 minutes. Then the company prints your statuette on their 3D color printer in one of three sizes."
Android

PSP Emulator For Android Released 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-play dept.
YokimaSun writes "This may be one of those projects that will get trounced on soon enough like the great Bleemcast Project, but a group of developers calling themselves the PPSSPP Project have released the first PSP Emulator for the Android OS, the emulator lets you play PSP Games with a touchscreen which was something PSP owners had wanted for years. At the moment games that are playable are Puzzle Bobble Deluxe, Puyo Pop Fever & Pinball Fantasies. The emulator has also been released for Windows and BlackBerry."

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