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Jan. 15, 2009

Welcome to the latest issue of the Developer Shed newsletter! We hope you're enjoying the new year, now just two weeks old. If one of your New Year's resolutions involved being a better programmer, you might want to check out the article we're highlighting this week from eWeek. More than 30 major organizations put together a report on the 25 most dangerous programming errors. Check the article for the summary, and then click the link in the article for the report itself. It could save you and your company all kinds of trouble this year!

As seems inevitable these days, Dev Shed focused on online applications this week. Readers enjoyed the final part of our series on building a blog with the Code Igniter PHP framework, learned how to develop a short and simple online I.Q. Test, and continued exploring what can be done with the Google AJAX Libraries API. Meanwhile, for those more involved in working with Microsoft-related technologies, we ran an article on WCF data contract classes and kicked off two series: one on dates and times in VBScript, and one on building an in-text advertising system in ASP.Net.

Speaking of series, we continued three of them on Dev Articles this week: one on producing web page dialog boxes, one on creating DIV-based CSS tags, and one on using Schematron. That should keep the website developers and designers busy! Our hardware enthusiast readers, meanwhile, should appreciate the variety of reviews we ran this week on Dev Hardware.

The SEO professionals reading SEO Chat this week enjoyed the second part of our two-part review of Yasni, the Germany-based people search engine that just expanded its reach into the US. We also reported on an apparent leak at Google: the guidelines that the search engine's human quality raters use escaped to the web, and we discuss the implications for website owners in two parts (so check back next week for the second part). We wrap up the SEO week with a Blogspot SEO checklist. We know you all want more than just these articles, of course, so don't forget our other sites. Web Hosters took a long, hard look at cloud computing. Codewalkers reviewed several source code version control solutions. And Dev Mechanic gave you a little tour of what you can do with Google AdWords.

As always, thanks for reading. Until next week,
Developer Shed Staff

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It's edgy! It's irreverent! It's all about technology! It's News You Can't Use,
and you won't want to miss it! View this week's edition to learn the answers to these burning questions:

  • News of the Weird is more backer than ever!
  • Army holds mad scientist conference. Evil mad scientists seen rubbing hands together, laughing maniacally. No really. Dr. Strangelove seen nodding head in approval.
  • Jenny naked and baring it all. What? Emotionally I mean. Get your mind out of the gutter.

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Developing a Short and Simple IQ Test Online Using PHP
by Codex-M, 2009-01-14

If you are a school administrator wanting to have an IQ test online, then this tutorial is for you. It can be used not only in the field of academics, but in the instances where you need to draw user interest to your website. An IQ test is a popular feature to incorporate into your website, and will attract a large amount of web traffic over time.
Read the full article
.
Completing a Blogging Application with the Code Igniter PHP Framework
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-01-13


Welcome to the conclusion of a six-part series on building a MySQL-driven blogging application with the Code Igniter PHP framework. By using the framework, you will be taking advantage of the MVC pattern to separate the application logic from its visual presentation. This article will focus on the improving the appearance of the application and its final details: the section concerned with receiving and displaying comments.
Read the full article
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Using the jQuery Framework with Google`s Ajax Libraries API
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-01-12

In this second installment of a four-part series, you will learn how to develop an AJAX-driven application that makes use of the Google Ajax Libraries API to work with the jQuery library. Using the Google API means taking advantage of Google servers, which can be expected to react much more quickly than a single heavily-loaded server. Let us get started.
Read the full article
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Configuring and Optimizing Your I/O Scheduler
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-01-08

In this conclusion to a seven-part series on Linux I/O file system calls, you'll learn how to select, configure, and optimize your I/O scheduler. This article is excerpted from chapter four of the book Linux System Programming: Talking Directly to the Kernel and C Library , written by Robert Love (O'Reilly, 2007; ISBN: 0596009585). Copyright © 2007 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
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Designing WCF DataContract Classes Using the LINQ to SQL Designer
by Jagadish Chaterjee, 2009-01-14

This is my sixth article in a series focusing on Silverlight 2.0 development using Visual Studio 2008. In this article, we will leverage the power of the "LINQ to SQL Designer" by creating WCF-related "DataContract" classes visually. Finally, we will consume the same using a simple Silverlight 2.0 application.
Read the full article
.
Building an In-Text Advertising System Under ASP .NET 3.5
by Xianzhong Zhu, 2009-01-13

In this series of articles, Xianzhong Zhu will lead you through building a popular in-text advertising application under the ASP .NET 3.5 environment using the typical three-tiered architecture and AJAX-related technologies.
Read the full article.
Understanding Dates and Times in VBScript
by Nilpo, 2009-01-12


The idea of this article was originally to document all of VBScript functions for handling dates and times. However, as I began writing I quickly realized that there is much confusion surrounding how dates and times are handled in scripting. I decided instead to write an entire series dedicated to the topic. In the process, I will hopefully help you learn VBScript date and time functions while giving you a better understanding of the underlying technology.
Read the full article
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SharePoint Site Columns
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-01-08

In this second part of a four-part series on SharePoint lists, we discuss adding, customizing, and creating site columns. This article is excerpted from Essential SharePoint 2007, Second Edition, A Practical Guide for Users, Administrators and Developers , written by Jeff Webb (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596514077). Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
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Schematron Patterns and Validation
by Peyton McCullough, 2009-01-14

In the last article, we grouped assertions into rules. As you know, each rule has its own context that it acts upon. So, grouping assertions into a rule provides a way to organize assertions that apply to the same elements. In this article, we will start by explaining patterns, which takes organization to a new level.
Read the full article
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Styling Headers, Paragraphs and Main Columns of DIV-Based CSS Tables
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-01-13


If you are a web designer who uses a few divs to create the layouts of the pages that comprise your web sites, then this group of articles might be useful to you. You will be particularly interested if you want to keep up with the new trends of modern web development. In this article series, you will find an approachable guide to using CSS tables to build table-less web document layouts, without floating containers or negative margins.
Read the full article
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Opening Web Page Dialog Boxes with Other Dialog Boxes
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-01-12


It is possible for one dialog box to open another dialog box. In this way, you can have a chain of boxes where the box that opens is the Parent box, and the one opened is the Child box. The main window is the first parent. In this article, the third one in a five-part series, you will learn how to do this and more.
Read the full article
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Nonpersistent Client-Side Remote Shared Objects
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-01-08

If you haven't yet explored the possibilities of shared objects in applications, you're missing out on one of the more important ways to exploit the capabilities of the Internet. Keep reading to learn how you can use shared objects in your web applications. This article, the first of two parts, is excerpted from chapter four of Learning Flash Media Server 2, an O'Reilly PDF Book . Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available direct from O'Reilly Media.
Read the full article
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Asus R700t GPS
by wubayou, 2009-01-14

Asus has decided to take the plunge into the GPS market with the introduction of the R700t GPS. It is the first GPS from Asus, and while not perfect, the R700t is a worthy unit, especially when you consider that Asus is typically known for just making motherboards. In this review, we will see how it stacks up to the competition and how well it performs.
Read the full article
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Wii Copy Cats
by KC Morgan, 2009-01-13

For a gaming system that has been accused of being behind the times when it comes to graphics and other technology, the Nintendo Wii has certainly proven to be popular. It looks like it is going to stick around for a while. It can still be hard to find sometimes, however, and it is a little beyond the budget for some of us. What is a poor gamer to do? Keep reading; anything that is popular inspires copycats, and the Wii is no exception to the rule. We will see whether these copy cats are worth playing with.
Read the full article
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Top Five Music Phones of 2008
by Joe Eitel, 2009-01-12


2008 was a ground-breaking year for the music phone. One of the most popular trends in cell phone technology is the integration of a music player into the already technologically-advanced phone. It will not be long before MP3 players become obsolete like record players, tape players, and old-school gaming consoles.
Read the full article.
HP ProCurve Switch 2524 J4813A
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2009-01-08


For years the HP ProCurve series has done an awesome job of meeting the demands of mid-range enterprises by delivering high performance and cost-effective products. Their networking devices and solutions are widely known and appreciated for the promised world-class quality, reliability, and excellent professional tech support. Today, we are going to review the HP ProCurve Switch 2524.
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Blogspot SEO Checklist: The Practical Way to Improve Rankings
by Codex-M, 2009-01-14

So you started a blog on Blogspot, but you are not seeing the level of traffic for which you had hoped. Are you going to have to give up your dreams of blogging for a living, or at least making a nice side income from your writing? Maybe not. This article will show you a few ways to improve your visibility in the search engines, and hopefully your traffic.
Read the full article
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Google`s Quality Rater Guidelines Leaked
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-01-13

Someone at Google has leaked quality rater guidelines. The document is full of information that is highly desirable to anyone trying to rank a site high in Google result pages. This article will take a close look at the guidelines and cull the most important points for your use.
Read the full article
.
Yasni Puts the People in People Search
by Terri Wells, 2009-01-12

Last week I introduced you to Yasni, which bills itself as the most popular people search engine in the world. It offers some good figures to back up that claim. It is based in Germany; is it ready for a US audience? Is it worth registering to use? That is what we are about to find out.
Read the full article
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Look at Cloud Computing from Both Sides Now
by Bruce Coker, 2009-01-14

Everyone seems to be climbing on board the cloud computing bandwagon. Despite its benefits, using the cloud has its risks. It may not be very safe for your data, for example. In this article, we will examine cloud computing from both sides - the advantages and the risks - and see what we can do to maximize the former while minimizing the latter.
Read the full article
.
Power Line Communication
by Bruce Coker, 2009-01-07

It hardly seems a blink of an eye ago that Wi-Fi was being promoted as the Next Big Thing. It was supposed to be the simple and permanent answer to those strings of ugly cables that usually ended up spread all over the home of anybody who wanted one computer to accomplish the apparently simple task of talking to another. It has not been a panacea, but it looks like there will soon be an alternative: power line communication.
Read the full article
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The Top 10 Web Hosting Companies in the U.S. in Web Hosting Articles
by Joe Eitel, 2008-12-31

There are many, many web hosting companies, but they are fighting over small parts of the market. If you have been wondering who the big boys are in the United States, look no further. This article gives you the list. You may be surprised to see who made it - and who did not.
Read the full article
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Change Eye Color in Photoshop
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All About Adwords
by KC Morgan, 2009-01-14


You can attend seminars, read articles and study keywords until you turn blue, and you still might not master search engine optimization. There are many, many ways you can earn income from your site if you have a great deal of frequently-updated content to offer. But what if you do not? You are not left out of the advertising loop forever. It is time to learn all about AdWords.
Read the full article
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Get More Out of AdSense
by KC Morgan, 2009-01-07


Google AdSense is one of the most popular revenue-generating programs on the Internet. If you have a content-rich Web site or blog, you are probably familiar with Google AdSense. You may already know how to use this program, but do you know how to master it? Learn a few tips and tricks to get more out of AdSense, and get more money in the process.
Read the full article
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What Does Google Want?
by KC Morgan, 2008-12-31


It mocks you, it taunts you, it insults you. It ignores you. It is Google, the most popular (and therefore, most powerful) search engine on the internet. And no matter what you do you or how you change your site, you can not seem to make it to the top of the engine search results. Want to boost your ranking and get more traffic? It is time to answer that new-age question: what does Google want?
Read the full article
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Source Code Version Control Solutions
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2009-01-14

Version control systems are also known under other names such as revision control or, in the case of software development, source code management systems. What they basically do is track and manage the revisions of digital files during the development process. This improves team efficiency, productivity, and reliability. In this article we're going to briefly examine some of the most popular SCM/VCS solutions.
Read the full article
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OTRS: Open Source Ticket Request System
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2009-01-07

In this day and age every organization, company, and institution must facilitate the way support for customers, consumers, and even the internal community of employees is handled. Trouble Ticket Systems are designed for this purpose. There are lots of commercial suites, but today we are going to present and give a brief overview of the most popular open source issue tracking system software, called the OTRS or ((otrs)).
Read the full article
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Clonezilla: Free Mass Disk-Cloning Utility
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2008-12-31

From time to time you have probably run into situations when you have unfortunately lost your data or simply needed to set up copies of operating systems on various systems with additional software. While disk-cloning utilities should not really be considered as backup utilities, they undoubtedly can be used for that purpose too. But the real beauty and niche purpose of disk-cloning tools comes from the ease of mass disk-cloning. Today we will briefly review Clonezilla.
Read the full article
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Bacterial Enzyme Releases Hydrogen

Optimists who say we can quickly switch from a fossil fuel economy to a hydrogen-powered economy face an elephant in the room they'd rather not see: the huge cost of creating hydrogen gas. Now chemists at Oxford University in the UK think they have a solution. While researching enzymes that are used by organisms to convert hydrogen ions into hydrogen gas, they discovered one bacterial enzyme with properties that make it admirably suited to generating hydrogen from water.

The main problem with such enzymes, called hydrogenases, is that they do their best work in the absence of oxygen, and are also damaged to a greater or lesser extent by the hydrogen they produce. The enzyme utilized by chemists Erwin Reisner and Fraser Armstrong is rich in nickel, iron and selenium. It is hardly affected by hydrogen gas, and can function in air that contains one percent oxygen by volume ? which is quite an improvement over hydrogenases that normally can't handle even a few parts per million of oxygen.

Reisner and Armstrong note that the enzyme binds to titanium dioxide nanoparticles, and works in the presence of light. This results in a sort of light-powered, hydrogen-generating dust. So far, the process is slow; when one small sample spent eight hours under a lamp, the gas above it became 4.6 percent hydrogen by volume. Still, it produced much more hydrogen than the control experiment, and Armstrong felt it was ?promising for a first trial.? It could be one small step toward a hydrogen-based economy. The next steps would include improving the efficiency of the reaction and releasing the oxygen from the water as well as the hydrogen. Other researchers think they can use such hydrogenases in the design of an inexpensive catalyst that is unaffected by oxygen.

Read more about this

Imagine MRI With 100 Million Times the Resolution

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was a huge breakthrough and remains a vital medical test for diagnosing many ailments. But even this technology has its limits. Now IBM Research scientists, in collaboration with the Center for Probing the Nanoscale at Stanford University, have stretched those limits to an almost unimaginable degree. They have demonstrated MRI imaging that can resolve details 100 million times finer than conventional MRI.

The ability to see such fine details means that very tiny, complex three-dimensional structures that could not be examined directly before can now be seen. The scientists hope their research will lead to a microscope that can reveal the structure and interactions of individual proteins. Such a research tool could lead to the ability to create more targeted and individualized medicines.

To achieve this massive increase in imaging resolution, the scientists used a technique called magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM), which detects the tiniest magnetic forces. The technique has a number of advantages, not the least of which is that it does not damage biological materials. It's unlikely that we'll see this new MRI technique used on patients the way conventional MRI is, but "This technology stands to revolutionize the way we look at viruses, bacteria, proteins, and other biological elements," notes IBM Fellow Mark Dean, vice president of strategy and operations for IBM Research.

Read more about this

Internet Relatively Safe for Kids After All

Parents worry about millions of threatening things when it comes to their children, but a report newly released by a task force made up of 49 state attorneys general discovered that at least one of those threats was overblown. According to the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, the panel putting together the report, the Internet isn't as dangerous for children as depictions in the media make it out to be.

The task force focused on the extent of the threats that children face on MySpace, Facebook and other social networks. They were specifically concerned that adult sexual predators were using these networks to mislead and harm vulnerable children. But apparently the task force found very little of this activity. John Cardillo, CEO of a company that maintains a sexual offender database, and a member of the task force, noted that ?Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are comprised mostly of good people who are there for the right reasons.?

So does that mean that parents can breathe easy while their children spend time on MySpace? Not quite. The task force found that the biggest threat facing children, much worse than that of sexual predators, is the problem of online and offline bullying among children. Lest you think that this is a flip conclusion, you can examine the 278-page report for yourself; it was a year in the making, and came out of meetings between ?dozens of academics, experts in childhood safety and executives of 30 companies, including Yahoo, AOL, MySpace and Facebook,? according to the New York Times.

Read more about this

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