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+ - Mozilla Encoder improves JPEG-compression

Submitted by jlp2097
jlp2097 (223651) writes "As reported by Heise (german), Mozilla has introduced a new jpeg encoder called mozjpeg. Mozjpeg promises to be a "production-quality JPEG encoder that improves compression while maintaining compatibility with the vast majority of deployed decoders". The Mozilla Research blog states that Mozjpeg is based on libjpeg-turbo with functionality added from jpgcrush. They claim an average of 2-6% of additional compression for files encoded with libjpeg and 10% additional compression for a sample of 1500 jpegs from wikipedia — while maintaining the same image quality."
Math

Euler's Partition Function Theory Finished 117

Posted by Soulskill
from the that-was-quick dept.
universegeek writes "Mathematician Ken Ono, from Emory, has solved a 250-year-old problem: how to exactly and explicitly generate partition numbers. Ono and colleagues were able to finally do this by realizing that the pattern of partition numbers is fractal (PDF). This pattern allowed them to find a finite, algebraic formula, which is like striking oil in mathematics."
Firefox

Mozilla Flips Kill-Switch On Skype Toolbar 284

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-a-time-out-until-you-can-play-nice-with-the-other-kids dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Whenever Skype is installed or updated, it automatically installs the Skype Toolbar add-on for Firefox. Unfortunately, the add-on causes serious performance problems, slowing down some operations by a factor of 300 and is one of the top causes for Firefox crashes. As a result, Mozilla has decided to 'soft-block' the add-on, effectively killing it on all Firefox installs unless the user intentionally re-enables it. Given the extreme popularity of Skype, this has ramifications for millions of users."
Google

Google Fires Back About Search Engine Spam 270

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-not-me-it's-you dept.
coondoggie writes "The folks at Google are taking issue over spam and the quality of Google searches, which some claim has gone down in recent months. Today on Google's official blog, Principal Engineer Matt Cutts said, 'January brought a spate of stories about Google’s search quality. Reading through some of these recent articles, you might ask whether our search quality has gotten worse. The short answer is that according to the evaluation metrics that we’ve refined over more than a decade, Google’s search quality is better than it has ever been in terms of relevance, freshness and comprehensiveness. Today, English-language spam in Google’s results is less than half what it was five years ago, and spam in most other languages is even lower than in English.' Cutts also explained that the company has made a few significant changes to their method of indexing."
Medicine

Woman's Voice Restored After Larynx Transplant 246

Posted by Soulskill
from the wonder-if-she-sounds-like-herself dept.
mvar writes "A woman in the US is able to speak for the first time in 11 years after a pioneering voicebox transplant. Brenda Jensen said the operation, which took place in California, was a miracle which had restored her life. Thirteen days after the surgery she said her first words: 'Good morning, I want to go home.' It is the first time a larynx and windpipe have been transplanted at the same time (image) and only the second time a larynx has ever been transplanted. In October, surgeons at the University of California Davis Medical Center removed the larynx, thyroid gland and 6cm of the trachea from a donor body. In an 18-hour operation, this was transplanted into Ms. Jensen's throat and the team connected it to her blood supply and nerves. Thirteen days later, she was able to speak her first croaky words and is now able to talk easily for long periods of time."

Comment: Re:Sad news for the web (Score 2) 336

by jlp2097 (#34852236) Attached to: Opera Supports Google Decision To Drop H.264

Why would it "probably" be as patent encumbered as h.264?

Dark Shikari, a developer of x264, made an extensive analysis of WebM / VP8. Here is his summary regarding patents and VP8 (for details read the blog):

Finally, the problem of patents appears to be rearing its ugly head again. VP8 is simply way too similar to H.264: a pithy, if slightly inaccurate, description of VP8 would be “H.264 Baseline Profile with a better entropy coder”. Even VC-1 differed more from H.264 than VP8 does, and even VC-1 didn’t manage to escape the clutches of software patents. It’s quite possible that VP8 has no patent issues, but until we get some hard evidence that VP8 is safe, I would be cautious. Since Google is not indemnifying users of VP8 from patent lawsuits, this is even more of a potential problem. Most importantly, Google has not released any justifications for why the various parts of VP8 do not violate patents, as Sun did with their OMS standard: such information would certainly cut down on speculation and make it more clear what their position actually is.

KDE

KDE 4.5 Released 302

Posted by Soulskill
from the newer-and-shinier dept.
An anonymous reader writes "KDE 4.5.0 has been released to the world. See the release announcement for details. Highlights include a Webkit browser rendering option for Konqueror, a new caching mechanism for a faster experience and a re-worked notification system. Another new feature is Perl bindings, in addition to Python, Ruby and JavaScript support. The Phonon multimedia library now integrates with PulseAudio. See this interview with KDE developer and spokesperson Sebastian Kugler on how KDE can continue to be innovative in the KDE4 age. Packages should be available for most Linux distributions in the coming days. More than 16000 bug fixes were committed since 4.4."
Math

Claimed Proof That P != NP 457

Posted by kdawson
from the sufficiently-complex dept.
morsch writes "Researcher Vinay Deolalikar from HP Labs claims proof that P != NP. The 100-page paper has apparently not been peer-reviewed yet, so feel free to dig in and find some flaws. However, the attempt seems to be quite genuine, and Deolalikar has published papers in the same field in the past. So this may be the real thing. Given that $1M from the Millennium Prize is involved, it will certainly get enough scrutiny. Greg Baker broke the story on his blog, including the email Deolalikar sent around."
Hardware Hacking

Wipeout Recreated With an RC Car 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the eagerly-awaiting-his-xwing-project dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If you've owned any of Sony's PlayStation consoles then there's a good chance you've also played one of the Wipeout games. It's a high-speed racing game that helped make the PSOne popular, and it's now been recreated using a remote control car. The project is the idea of Malte Jehmlich. He decided to create a track out of cardboard reminiscent of the Wipeout tracks. He then hooked up a wireless camera to a remote control car, and modified the controller to be an arcade cabinet with a wheel and forward/reverse selector."
Image

Lego 'CubeDudes' By PIXAR Animator 34 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the toy-art dept.
An anonymous reader writes "PIXAR Animator Angus MacLane has created an incredible series of LEGO 'CubeDudes' modeled after beloved characters from sci-fi movies and comic books. From Star Wars heroes R2D2 and C-3PO to Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear and Jessie, the pixellated creations bear a remarkable likeness to their forebears. MacLane says, 'When I had a moment here and there I chip away at a few at a time. I'll have the body of one Dude and a head of another that I will be working on at the same time. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to make one CubeDude and I average about two a day.' The hardest part is the color palette — LEGO doesn't make purple bricks, so villains like Lex Luthor, The Joker, and Grimace are a challenge."
Biotech

Gamers Beat Algorithms At Finding Protein Structures 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the tetris-trained dept.
jamie writes "Researchers have turned the biochemical challenge of figuring out protein folding structures into a computer game. The best players can beat a computerized algorithm by rapidly recognizing problems that the computer can't fix. From the article: 'By tracing the actions of the best players, the authors were able to figure out how the humans' excellent pattern recognition abilities gave them an edge over the computer. For example, people were very good about detecting a hydrophobic amino acid when it stuck out from the protein's surface, instead of being buried internally, and they were willing to rearrange the structure's internals in order to tuck the offending amino acid back inside. Those sorts of extensive rearrangements were beyond Rosetta's abilities, since the energy changes involved in the transitions are so large.'"
Image

School District Drops 'D' Grades 617 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the pass-fail-education dept.
Students in one New Jersey school district will no longer be able to squeak by in class after the Morris County School Board approved dropping the D grade. Beginning in the fall students who don't get a C or higher will get an F on their report card. "I'm tired of kids coming to school and not learning and getting credit for it," said Superintendent Larrie Reynolds in a Daily Record report.

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