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Cerulean Studios Releases Trillian IM Protocol Specifications 95

Runefox writes "Cerulean Studios, the company behind the long-lived Trillian instant messaging client, has released preliminary specifications to their proprietary "Astra" protocol, now named IMPP (Instant Messaging and Presence Protocol), which provides continuous client functionality as well as mandatory TLS encryption for clients. According to their blog, Cerulean Studios' motivation for the release is to promote interoperability among the throngs of IM services and clients available by allowing others to also use the protocol. Future concepts include federation with XMPP. While the documentation is in an early state and the protocol is claimed to still be in development, it is hoped that it will help decentralize the very heavily fragmented messaging ecosystem. It's implied that, in turn, greater options for privacy may become available in the wake of the PRISM scandal via privately-run federated servers, unaffiliated with major networks, yet still able to communicate with them."

Microsoft Office Finally Gets iOS App 139

An anonymous reader writes "After years of rumors and months of bickering with Apple over revenue splits, Microsoft has finally released an official iOS app for Office 365 subscribers, allowing people to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint on their iPhones and iPads. According to a hands-on report with the software, the Office app has basic functionality, but is missing some key productivity features. 'These include: font options, text alignment, bulleted lists and, again, more color choices, all of which you can find in, say, the Google Drive app.' They say it's a fairly useful addition for current subscribers, but certainly not enough to make it worth the Office 365 subscription fee on its own. 'We can't tell if Microsoft deliberately handicapped Office Mobile for iPhone, or if it's simply saving some features for a later update. (A company rep declined to comment on what we can expect from future versions.) We're willing to believe Microsoft still has some unfinished items on its to-do list, but even so, it's a shame that iPhone users waited this long for an Office app, only to get something with such a minimal feature set. All told, Office Mobile represents a good enough start for Microsoft, and in some ways it's better than Google Drive, particularly where spreadsheets are concerned. Still, it's miles behind other office apps for iOS, including Apple iWork.'"

The Shumway Open SWF Runtime Project 99

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.

Emscripten Compiler Gets Optimizations, Now Self-Hosting 60

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."

BeOS Clone Haiku Releases R1 Alpha 4 117

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.

AMD Partners With BlueStacks To Bring Android Apps To PCs 143

eldavojohn writes "News outlets are reporting that AMD has partnered with BlueStacks to bring Android apps to AppZone Player, something that will apparently allow the more than 500,000 mobile apps to run on your PC. From their announcement: 'What's special about the player on AMD-based products? There are many challenges with running apps that were originally designed for phones or tablets on a PC that in most cases has a larger screen and higher resolution display. To solve this, BlueStacks has designed and optimized the player for AMD Radeon graphics and in particular, our OpenGL drivers found in our APUs and GPUs so you get a great 'big-screen' experience. Additionally, the apps are integrated into AppZone, our online showcase and one-stop-shop for apps accelerated by AMD technology.' Unfortunately this appears to only work on AMD-based PCs (although nowhere does it say that it won't work on Intel CPUs or non-Radeon GPUs). Also no word on how they overcame the difference between a mouse and touchscreen (think pinch to zoom)."

Ubuntu Unity Ported To Fedora Using OpenSUSE 128

sfcrazy writes "The general tendency within the open source community is to a whole new wheel to push your own cart. A majority of open source projects are suffering from duplication. Luckily, we just noticed a great example of such collaboration (or using resources by different competing projects) within the distro community. Ubuntu's popular Unity shell is being ported to Fedora (the distro which leads the development of Gnome shell and its also the breeding ground of many latest technologies which are used by the rest of the GNU/Linux world). Interestingly developers users openSUSE's build service to create this port. openSUSE leads the development of Gnome and KDE along with LibreOffice." Calling Unity "popular" seems like a stretch, but it's certainly where a lot of Ubuntu work has been lavished; the cooperation that open source code fosters at least lets whoever wants to use or develop it do so.

Scientists Work Towards Naturally Caffeine-Free Coffee 312

First time accepted submitter eternaldoctorwho writes "Research has been underway to produce a coffee bean plant that naturally has no or little caffeine content. Now, it looks like that might become a reality in the near future: Paulo Mazzafera of the University of Campinas in Brazil has come closer than ever with a strain containing 'only 2% of normal caffeine levels.' Coffee, anyone?"

Circuit City Returns Under Systemax 134

animeking503 was one of several readers to send word that after closing its doors earlier this year, is alive and kicking once again. Systemax Inc., the company that owns TigerDirect and CompUSA, purchased the Circuit City e-commerce brand name last month, and has now re-launched the website with promises of lower prices and better service. The Consumerist points out that the new site's return policies leave something to be desired.

Pi Recited to 100,000 Digits 335

DiAmOnDirc writes "Akira Haraguchi, 60, needed more than 16 hours to recite the number to 100,000 decimal places, breaking his personal best of 83,431 digits set in 1995, his office said Wednesday. He made the attempt at a public hall in Kisarazu, just east of Tokyo. Haraguchi, a psychiatric counselor and business consultant in nearby Mobara city, took a break of about 5 minutes every one to two hours, going to the rest room and eating rice balls during the attempt, said Naoki Fujii, spokesman of Haraguchi's office. Fujii said all of Haraguchi's activities during the attempt, including his bathroom breaks, were videotaped for evidence that will later be sent for verification by the Guinness Book of Records."

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.