• chevron_right

    Why Bidirectional Gateways Matter

    Stephen Paul Weber · Wednesday, 23 February - 04:30 · 3 minutes

A big part of the vision of Sopranica, and Cheogram in particular, is bidirectional gateways.  A bidirectional gateway is one that allows (at a minimum) any user of either protocol to contact any user of the other protocol without creating an account.  This is not possible with all protocols, but works well when both sides are federated.

Simple Example

Take for instance, which is a bidirectional gateway between XMPP and SIP.  Any federated Jabber ID can communicate with any federated SIP URI with no configuration at the gateway.  This is possible because every valid SIP URI is assigned a Jabber ID of the format xmpp:user\ and every Jabber ID is assigned a SIP URI of the format

Contrast this with, which is not a bidirectional gateway even though IRC is an open protocol, due to the non-federated nature of that protocol.  While every IRC channel and nick is given a Jabber ID, not every Jabber ID can be given a channel or nick on every IRC network out there, and even to do it on a single network would require creating many connections or a special peering arrangement.  Using the Jabber ID assigned to an IRC channel may require registering a nick with that IRC network and configuring the associated password at the gateway.  It works well enough, and is quite useful, but it’s not bidirectional.

User Experience

One of the big advantages of a bidirectional gateway is the seamless user experience for those who know the gateway exists.  Instead of asking “is this room bridged to protocol X” or “do you also have an address on protocol Y” the existance of the bridge is sufficient to know that, yes, with no extra setup by either party, communication will be possible.  One does not need to convince users to switch to the favored protocol, or bend by creating an identity with the other’s favored protocol, but simply to add the other party directly.  Users with Jabber IDs can advertise how they may be contacted via SIP, SMTP, Matrix, SMS, and more without the other party thinking anything more than “this address looks a bit long”.

Raising the Whole Network with Chaining

Because a high-quality bidirectional gateway effectively makes one network out of two networks, any service or gateway added to either network can be used from both sides.  Thus, Matrix, SMTP, or even SMS users can get phone numbers from JMP.  Even further than that, a Matrix user could advertise an SMTP or SIP contact address using the Cheogram gateways, all without any SMTP or SIP gateway needing to exist for Matrix at all.

Stable Addresses

If someone is going to give out an address that goes via a gateway, they need confidence that this address will not need to be changed.  So long as their main address on their preferred protocol remains the same, so should their address on other protocols.  This requires a stable DNS name with gateways that are open to anyone, free of charge.  That is the vision behind Cheogram, an infrastructure project inside of Sopranica to maintain stable addressing for bidirectional gateways.


Obviously there is still lots of work to do. Most of the gateways mentioned in this post are missing important features they could have in order to facilitate more seamless communication.  Clients of every protocol can gain features to make using a bidirectional gateway a more obvious choice for users.  Unique use cases need more testing to find where the rough edges are.  Cheogram infrastructure is supported in part by JMP, but can always use financialsupport.  Together we can help people connect to all their contacts.  Come join us.

  • chevron_right

    If you’re still on Windows 3.1, Windle is the best way to get in on the Wordle craze / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 22 February - 18:13 · 1 minute

.' src='' >

Enlarge / Windle is a clone of Wordle meant to fit in with old Windows games like Minesweeper and Chip's Challenge . (credit: )

If you thought that Wordle was old news, here’s something even older: has created and released Windle , a Wordle clone designed to run on Windows 3.1 and the early '90s PC hardware that would have been running Windows 3.1.

You could run Windows 3.1 and its apps on modern hardware within a virtual machine or DOSBox , but to maximize its authenticity, Windle was built and run on period-appropriate hardware with period-appropriate tools. The PC used was a Gateway 2000 4DX2-66V with a 66 MHz Intel 80486 DX2 CPU, Windows 3.11 for Workgroups, and the very first version of the Borland Delphi development environment . Running on the original hardware helped expose issues that may not have been evident in a virtualized copy of Windows 3.1—like a system hang that would occur as the entire dictionary was loaded into memory by a 66 MHz processor, for example.

Windle was designed to fit in with Microsoft Entertainment Pack games like Chip's Challenge , JezzBall , Minesweeper , and Rodent's Revenge , making its aesthetic instantly recognizable to anyone who grew up surrounded by the bulky beige PCs of the early '90s. Like those games, it also runs well in early 32-bit versions of Windows like Windows 95 and 98—I tested it using a Windows 98 Second Edition installation I set up in DosBox-X to run old games and other software.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • chevron_right

    How to use Jabber from SMS

    Stephen Paul Weber · Monday, 10 January - 08:30 · 1 minute

The project, and Cheogram in particular, is pretty big on bidirectional gateways.  The most popular Cheogram-hosted instance, so popular that it gets to own Jabber IDs on, is a bidirectional gateway to the telephone network.  How is it bidirectional?  Don’t you need a Jabber ID to use it?  Of course not!

Sending a Message

From any SMS-enabled device, add +12266669977, which is the gateway’s phone number.  Send the following SMS:

/msg someone@server.tld Hello!

The user with Jabber ID someone@server.tld should shortly receive your message.  If they reply, what you see will depend on their relationship to the gateway.  If they have a backend route set (such as JMP, Vonage, or Twilio) then you will get an SMS from their associated phone number.  If not, you will get a message from the gateway’s number like this:

<someone@server.tld says> Oh, fun!

Joining a Chatroom

An SMS user can also join exactly one chatroom at a time.  Send this to the gateway’s number:

/join someroom@conference.server.tld

You should receive a message with the current list of participants, after which you will start seeing messages sent to the room.  After this point, any SMS send to the gateway’s number that is not a valid command (such as /msg) will be sent to your joined room as a message.  You can send /help at any time to get a list of other commands for leaving, setting your nickname, etc.

Making a Voice Call

To call a Jabber ID, first enter it into this form then dial one of the access numbers and follow it up with the extension generated by the form.

The extensions are often very long, so the easiest way to dial them on Android is to create a contact with a phone number of the form:


If you have trouble with one access number, try another one.  If the Jabber ID you wish to call is very long some access numbers may time-out waiting for you to dial all the digits.

  • chevron_right

    SpaceX participera à la mise en place de la station spatiale lunaire / Numerama · Wednesday, 10 February, 2021 - 10:04


SpaceX aura pour mission de transporter les premiers éléments de la future station spatiale autour de la Lune. Un contrat a été signé avec la NASA. [Lire la suite]

Abonnez-vous à notre chaîne YouTube pour ne manquer aucune vidéo !

L'article SpaceX participera à la mise en place de la station spatiale lunaire est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

  • chevron_right

    La future station lunaire sera en partie construite en France / Numerama · Friday, 8 January, 2021 - 16:32

LOP-G Lunar Gateway

Plusieurs modules de la station lunaire seront conçus par les pays de l'Agence spatiale européenne. L'un d'eux est en cours de construction en France. [Lire la suite]

Abonnez-vous à notre chaîne YouTube pour ne manquer aucune vidéo !

L'article La future station lunaire sera en partie construite en France est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

  • chevron_right

    Artémis&#160;: l&#8217;Europe sécurise son ticket pour trois vols autour de la Lune / Numerama · Tuesday, 27 October, 2020 - 17:31

L'Agence spatiale européenne a conclu un accord avec la NASA pour avoir au moins trois vols autour de la Lune pour ses astronautes européens. [Lire la suite]

Voitures, vélos, scooters... : la mobilité de demain se lit sur Vroom !

L'article Artémis : l’Europe sécurise son ticket pour trois vols autour de la Lune est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

  • chevron_right

    Review: Walmart’s Core i5 Ice Lake laptop, back in stock at $500 / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 27 October, 2020 - 11:15 · 1 minute

A cow looks at us from the screen of a laptop.

Enlarge / It looks like the cow is judging me—but that's OK, I'm about to judge the cow right back. (credit: Jim Salter)

The Ice Lake-powered GWTN156-1BL we're reviewing today is one of an entire line of inexpensively manufactured, Gateway-branded laptops available exclusively at Walmart. We intended to review it last month, alongside its $350, Ryzen-powered little sibling the GWTN141-2 —but it sold out so quickly we weren't able to get our hands on one until Walmart refreshed its stock last week.

Although we're really only looking at the $500 Ice Lake version today, we'll include the specs for the $350 Ryzen-powered alternative as a refresher, since we expect a lot of people may hesitate between the two. Ultimately, both machines are at least reasonable purchases—but we think the cheaper GWTN141-2 is more compelling, despite being a wimpier machine overall.

At $350, there aren't many laptop options available, and the GWTN141-2—despite its warts—comes out thoroughly on top. But at the GWTN156-1BL's $500, the market opens up considerably. Major manufacturers such as Lenovo, ASUS, and Acer all offer pretty reasonable designs for $550 or less. The refurbished market, on the other hand, still isn't very competitive—the best deals at under $600 tend to feature sixth-generation i5 CPUs which look paltry next to the Gateway's low-end Ice Lake.

Read 28 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • chevron_right

    We found out who makes Walmart’s new Gateway laptops, and it’s bad news / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 16 September, 2020 - 21:28 · 1 minute

Fun colors—but we

Enlarge / Fun colors—but we're waiting to see what the innards look like. (credit: Gateway)

Back in 2007, Taiwan-based PC manufacturer Acer bought the once-iconic Gateway brand in order to stick a thumb in the eye of rival OEM Lenovo and increase its US market presence. In the 13 years since, the Gateway brand has languished largely unused, while Acer built up its own name in the United States directly. The cow is officially back now, though, with a new line of mostly-budget, Walmart-exclusive Gateway laptops.

The new line ranges from $180 to $1,000, and several models look interesting—but when we looked closer, we found a familiar and not particularly attractive name behind the brand. Gateway is also making two models of Android tablet—an 8" GWAT8-1 which doesn't appear to be available retail yet, and a 10" model available at Walmart for $67. Trying to find more detail on the GWAT8-1 led us to a surprising discovery—it's actually made (or imported) by EVOO .

In June of this year, we reviewed and absolutely despised a $140 EVOO laptop—powered by an AMD A4-9120e CPU, just like the cheapest model of Gateway laptop in the table above. The new GWTN116-1BL has twice the RAM and storage compared to the effectively uncooled, drastically underclocked, and absolutely blecherous EVOO EV-C-116-5—but when we went sleuthing, we discovered shipping records indicating that it, too, is an EVOO system.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments