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Feb. 19, 2009

As regular as ever, here we are with the Developer Shed newsletter! We know how much you love useful content, so we're diving in right away with a helpful item from eWeek. If you're concerned about integer overflow attacks, it's no surprise; they're a security threat. But you can defend against them, with the help of this article. Check it out!

Due to the holiday on Monday President's Day we ran fewer articles on our sites this week, but we're quite certain you'll enjoy what you find. And if it seems like it isn't enough, be sure to check back on Friday this week, when you'll find new content on Dev Articles, Dev Hardware, and Dev Mechanic! But let's talk about what we've already published this week. On Dev Shed we continued a series on debugging with the Xdebug extension, and another on building an IP-to-country mapping application. ASP Free readers, meanwhile, read articles on regular expressions in VBScript, and improving MFC for Windows Vista.

Web site designers and developers reading Dev Articles benefited from two continuing series, one on building an image gallery and one on the Ext JS framework. As I mentioned, there's another article coming out on Thursday for Dev Articles, but it isn't live at the time I'm writing this, so I probably shouldn't tell you (oh heck, you twisted my arm...it's the beginning of a very cool series on building your own CSS framework). And the hardware enthusiasts reading Dev Hardware got their fill of reviews, from networking gear to flat panel TVs to mobile devices.

The SEO professionals reading SEO Chat pondered what makes question and answer sites so popular, and also boned up on some easy changes they could make to an existing web site to improve its standing on the search engine results pages. The security-minded should check out Web Hosters, where we review five of the best free antivirus programs. Those learning XML should likewise point their browsers to Codewalkers, where we showed you how to create a well-formed XML document. And finally, if you want to earn more money with your web site, Dev Mechanic shows you how you can make money with feeds. And oh yes, it gives you some more blog help on Friday...but you'll have to visit the site for that one (hey, we need to keep SOME surprises!).


Lastly, why not take advantage of a special offer from our friends at Mobile-Linux and sign-up for the Moblin Newsletter below!

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

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NEW! Download a free trial of IBM WebSphere Message Broker V6.1
Download a free trial version of WebSphere Message Broker V6.1, an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) built for universal connectivity and transformation in heterogeneous IT environments. WebSphere Message Broker distributes information and data generated by business events in real time to people, applications, and devices throughout your extended enterprise and beyond.
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Moblin v2: It's the UI, The Whole UI, and Nothing But the UI (Almost)

By Alan Zeichick
Developers are abuzz about the forthcoming update of the Moblin platform. Moblin v2, expected to appear later this year, is a huge step forward for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs).But what, exactly, will be in Moblin v2?
Read the full article >
Porting and Optimizing Adobe AIR Applications for Mobile Internet Devices: Part One

By Sean Christmann, Derek Jensen and Jon Lee
This article, the first in a two part series, provides a brief overview for developing cross-platform applications for Moblin-based Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) using the Adobe® Flash® and Adobe Air™ runtime environment.
Read the full article >


MIDs Webinar: The Moblin SDK
February 20th, 2009 | WEBSITE >
Find out about the latest software tools and techniques, platforms, and potential for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) in this timely webinar series. The application development SDK will be presented with key open source components.

MIDs Webinar: Build Confidence Using the Intel Software Development Tool
February 27th, 2009 | WEBSITE >
Debug methods using various feature sets will be described in depth, so developers can feel confident identifying hard to detect, low-level software issues with the hardware-assisted debugging solution from Intel.

OSIM USA (Open Source in Mobile)
March 11th-12th, 2009 | San Francisco, CA | WEBSITE >
The 2nd Annual OSiM USA will equip you with all the necessary knowledge to understand, act, and succeed in the North American Open Source industry.

 


Moblin Core V2 Alpha on
EeePC s101


Moblin Finds a Home
with the Samsung NC10
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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:

  • Jenny wants you to look deep into her eyes. Now that you are hypnotized, please send a check to Dev Shed care of James Payne.
  • Bobby is back. Shares of Kodiak chewing tobacco seen rising.
  • Juan Valdezburg graces up with his presence. Would also like women to know that there is no weight limit on his offer of free mustache rides.

Watch the video!

   
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Generating Web Pages in Multiple Languages with a PHP IP-to-Country Mapping Application
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-02-18

If you are a PHP developer interested in learning how to develop an IP-to-country application that can be integrated into any existing web site, then look no further. Welcome to the third part of a series on developing an IP-to-country mapping application with PHP. Made up of four approachable tutorials, this series teaches you how to create a program like this by using a single MySQL lookup table, and shows you how to use this program to enrich your own web sites with geo-location capabilities.
Read the full article
.
Working with the X-debug extension`s var_dump() function
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-02-17


If you are a PHP developer who is searching for an approachable guide to using the most relevant functions that come bundled with the X-debug extension, then look no further. Welcome to the third article of a series on debugging in PHP with the X-debug extension. Comprised of seven tutorials, this series teaches you how to utilize the features that come with the X-debug library to debug your own PHP applications.
Read the full article
.
Tomcat Performance Tuning
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-02-12

If you want a "pure Java" HTTP web server environment for Java code to run on, you may have already discovered Tomcat. This five-part article series shows you how to tune Tomcat's performance and increase its efficiency. It is excerpted from chapter four of Tomcat: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition, written by Jason Brittain and Ian F. Darwin (O'Reilly; ISBN: 0596101066). Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
Read the full article
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Improving MFC for Windows Vista
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-02-18

Before its release, many wondered if Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 (or Version 9.0), the latest version of one of the most popular IDE and compilers, would include enough updates to motivate corporations and developers to make the transition. This article will take a look at the differences between it and the previous version, with special attention paid to the Microsoft Foundation Class library.
Read the full article
.
Regular Expressions in VBScript
by Nilpo, 2009-02-17

At this point in your scripting you have certainly come across VBScript's InStr and Replace functions for searching and replacing within strings. While these string functions can come in pretty handy, they are also intrinsically limited. It is time to step up into the Big Leagues and learn how to search and replace based on patterns.
Read the full article.
Handling Audio with Windows Vista
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-02-12


In this third part of a five-part series on working with media with Windows Vista, you'll learn how to get Vista to listen to you, make your music sound better, and more. It is excerpted from chapter four of the book Windows Vista Annoyances: Tips, Secrets, and Hacks for the Cranky Consumer, written by David A. Karp (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596527624). Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
Read the full article
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Creating a Multi-Tabbed Online Form with the Ext JS Framework
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-02-18

If you know how much time and effort JavaScript libraries can save you when it comes to coding complex web forms, and are interested in the Ext JS library, then welcome to the fourth installment of a series that focuses on building dynamic web forms with the Ext JS framework. Made up of five approachable tutorials, this series shows you how to construct different kinds of interactive online forms by using the powerful JavaScript API provided by the popular Ext JS package.
Read the full article
.
Completing a 3D HTML Table Image Gallery
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-02-17


In the first two articles of this series, I showed you a number of steps involved in constructing a 3D HTML table and putting an image gallery in such a table. I discussed the capabilities we would want our gallery to have, and the three modes in which it would function. In this conclusion to the series, I will show you how to get those modes working and pull everything together.
Read the full article
.
The Resource-Oriented Architecture in Action
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-02-12


In this third part of a four-part article series on the resource-oriented architecture, you will learn how servers figure out which resource a client wants, the four basic things you can do to a resource online, and more. This article is excerpted from chapter four of the book RESTful Web Services, written by Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596529260). 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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Vizio VP422 Flat-panel TV/Monitor
by Joe Eitel, 2009-02-18

The new Vizio VP422 has received a great deal of interest from the massive consumer market. Of course, this 42” plasma TV/monitor is not exactly the greatest innovation in display technology we’ve ever seen. In fact, it is not even all that great of an implementation of old technology. Keep reading for why we think it's still worth a look.
Read the full article
.
NetGear WGR614 Wireless Router
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-02-17

Nowadays a lot of devices start to make their place in our homes, and establishing and coordinating the connections between them with just network cables is no longer enough. You need something more advanced—a network device that can also eliminate a few wires if possible, at least for your laptop, which has a wireless connection. Here’s an option for you: the NetGear WGR614 v7.
Read the full article
.
Fujifilm Finepix S1000fd
by Joe Eitel, 2009-02-13


If you travel and you want a good camera that will provide you with some high-end features without breaking the bank, you could do worse than the Fujifilm Finepix S1000fd. Though not the newest camera on the market, this "hybrid" model offers some DSLR features you wouldn't expect in something this inexpensive. Join our roving reporter on a trip to the big city to see what he thought of it.
Read the full article.
Pre-Paid Cell Phones
by KC Morgan, 2009-02-12

You don’t have to submit yourself to the humiliation of a credit check or stare at an extensive list of plans to enjoy the freedom of mobile communication. Pre-paid cell phones (and corresponding plans) are always available through the biggest and smallest mobile service providers. But does this mean pre-paid cell phones are the best choice for you?
Read the full article.
   
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Search Engine Optimization, Website Development and Search Engine Spiders
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-02-18

Do you have some experience with HTML and web site development, but haven't really gotten your feet wet with search engine optimization? Keep reading, because you're in luck. In this article we'll cover some of the more important aspects of SEO, focusing on the changes that you should find easiest to make to your web site. After you read this, you should know where to concentrate your efforts now and going forward.
Read the full article
.
What Makes Question and Answer Sites Popular?
by Terri Wells, 2009-02-17

Google shuttered its question and answer site, Google Answers, more than two years ago. Yet Yahoo Answers continues to thrive, and putting the phrase "question and answer sites" into Google yields more than a million hits. In this article, we'll look at some of the features you can find on question and answer sites, consider their continued popularity, and try to discover what makes such a site successful.
Read the full article
.
 
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Five of the Top Free Antivirus Programs
by Joe Eitel, 2009-02-18

If you're tired of spending a lot of money for an anti-virus program, or the only free anti-virus program you know of is AVG, start reading. In this article we review five - count'em, five - free anti-virus programs. Sure, AVG is here, but so are some other good options, and one of them is bound to suit your needs.
Read the full article
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Keep Tabs on Your Friends With PeopleBrowsr
by Joe Eitel, 2009-02-11

If you participate in several different social networks, you know how easy it can be to lose track of one or the other. A number of companies have tried to come up with a way to let users see all of their social networks and their activity in one place. Success has been mixed. PeopleBrowsr, however, may change all that. Keep reading to find out how well it rises to this modern challenge.
Read the full article
.
Microsoft Aims to Eliminate Piracy
by Joe Eitel, 2009-02-04

Despite being a powerful technology giant that earns billions in revenue and has millions of devoted users worldwide, Microsoft still struggles to keep knock-off software bearing its name away from popular public auctions sites such as eBay. This was the third consecutive holiday season that the Redmond, Washington-based company went after suspected sellers of counterfeit software both domestically and abroad. Is it a hopeless battle?
Read the full article
.
 

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Visit IBM developerWorks to download a free trial of the latest release of IBM Lotus Sametime Standard V8.0. Lotus Sametime Standard V8.0 is a platform for unified communications and collaboration that combines security features with an extensible, open solution including integrated Voice over IP, geographic location awareness, mobile clients, and a robust Business Partner community offering telephony and video integration.

 
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Tutorialized is dedicated to programming, designing, and many other
tech related tutorials.

Change Eye Color in Photoshop
In this video tutorial, you will learn how to change eye color using Photoshop CS3.
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Creating a Pong Game - Part 1
This tutorial will teach how to Create a Pong Game in Flash ActionScript.
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Basic Outlining and Coloring
Color your illustrations in just minutes using these simple techniques with Illustrator.
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Create a Simple Flash Movie
In this video tutorial, you will learn how to create a simple Flash movie.
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In this tutorial I will show you how to build a simple 3D photo album.
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XML parser designed to parse most valid news and blog feeds.
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Scripts is dedicated to developer and programming related scripts both commercial and free, and for all OS platforms.

Sitemile Freelancer Clone
This script will let you run a freelancer website hands-free. Written using PHP code.
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Zee Lyrics V3
Zee Lyrics lets you search lyrics by artists, song, albums/movies, and more.
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Random Rotator
Random web page rotators that cannot pick the same item twice in a row making these the best random rotators anywhere. Learn more.

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Can You Earn with Feeds?
by KC Morgan, 2009-02-18


Feeds are a great way to add content to your site, and they can be a very simple tool that keeps regular readers happy. But why let them take up space on your pages if they are not serving a greater good (namely, making you some money)? Can you earn with feeds?
Read the full article
.
Make Your Content More Reader-Friendly
by KC Morgan, 2009-02-11


Are you spending so much time thinking of SEO that you are discounting your readers completely? Do not forget to make your content more reader-friendly, even while you keep the search engines in mind. Keep reading to find out how.
Read the full article
.
A Guide to Using Chitika AdPro Service
by KC Morgan, 2009-02-04


Chitika AdPro service is quickly gaining attention on the Internet. It is often compared to Google AdSense, and is specifically made for sites featuring a lot of content. Chitika is very much designed with blogs and bloggers in mind. But does that mean it will be a success on your site? Learn more about earning income with Chitika.
Read the full article
.
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Creating a Well-Formed XML Document
by James Payne, 2009-02-18

This article will teach you how to create your first well-formed XML document. I will go through the various rules for creating a well-formed document, beginning with the XML declaration. By the end of the article you will have a firm grasp on how to create well-formed documents in XML.
Read the full article
.
Creating XML Taxonomies
by James Payne, 2009-02-11

Welcome to the third part of a five-part series that introduces you to extensible markup language, also known as XML. The first two parts of this series served as an introduction and an overview, to help you get to know some of the things you can do with it. In this article we will roll up our sleeves and actually start learning how to build things with the language, by getting a better understanding of how its structures work. That is right, you will actually learn how to handle data.
Read the full article
.
Getting to Know XML
by James Payne, 2009-02-04

In this second article in a series on beginning XML, I hope to familiarize you with some basic terminology used when discussing XML, as well as show you the basics of syntax, and furthermore, how to begin moving your data into an XML document.
Read the full article
.
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Recovery.gov: Change We Can Believe in

We knew of President Obama's technological and Internet prowess long before we elected him, so his latest move is not a surprise. Nevertheless, anyone in favor of greater government transparency will welcome the creation of Recovery.gov. The new web site has one major mission: tracking the government spending authorized when the president signed the $787 billion economic stimulus package.

President Obama lays out the site's purpose in an introductory video. Face it, $787 billion is a lot of money, and many industries and organizations will benefit; with this much at stake, the possibilities for waste and inefficiency increase and so does the necessity to fight it. This web site allows ordinary citizens to see where the money is going. It features charts to show how the money will be distributed. It's a dynamic site; as funds are given out by federal agencies, these distributions will be added to the site.

But wait, there's more. The site also features a map that indicates how many jobs the stimulus package is expected to create in each state. An about page summarizes the bill and for those with the stamina and determination, it even includes a link to the full text of the legislation. Finally, because no web site is complete these days without some user interaction, visitors can leave a comment about how they have been affected by the economy; they can also request e-mail updates.

Read more about this

Liquid Water on Mars?

We've already found ice on Mars, but according to everything we understand about biology, water needs to be able to exist as a liquid for active life to survive. And Mars is too cold for that today, right? Maybe not. Several scientists point to images taken by NASA's Phoenix lander as possible proof of the existence of liquid water on the red planet.

The controversial images include mysterious splotches of material attached to one of the lander's legs shortly after it touched down. The splotches grew in size over the next few weeks. Some scientists believe that the material consists of drops of salty water that grew in size by absorbing water vapor from the atmosphere. Indeed, 21 researchers put their name to a paper explaining this theory, to be presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas.

The problem is that Phoenix landed in the Martian arctic zone, where the temperature never rose above -20 C during the lander's entire mission. The scientists argue, however, that perchlorates, a kind of salt found on Mars, could have been mixed with the water and if the solution contained a heavy concentration of perchlorates, it could have remained liquid at temperatures as cold as -70 C. At that concentration, however, even the most salt-tolerant organism we know of on earth, a fungus, cannot survive. If we find life on Mars in such a solution, it will not be life as we know it.

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Are We Digital Yet?

February 17 was the original deadline for TV stations to stop broadcasting in analog and switch over to digital signals. Naturally, not everything went smoothly. Congress allowed a grace period; as a result, some stations chose to wait until June 12 to change their signals. That might have been the right move, since confusion reportedly reigned earlier this week.

The issue is that TV viewers who lack cable or satellite TV need converter boxes to see the new signal. These boxes were subsidized by coupons available from the government. But the funding for those coupons ran out before the original deadline, so Congress extended it in the hope that everyone would be ready by June. Since they were extending the deadline for viewers, Congress also offered TV stations the option to delay. About a third took Congress up on it at which point the FCC grumpily insisted on extra conditions for some of the procrastinating stations. It only became clear on appropriately enough Friday the 13th which stations would have to switch, and which ones could wait.

Just under 650 stations made the switch this week, affecting an unknown number of TV viewers. Meanwhile, most US homes are ready to receive the new signal; Nielsen Co. estimates less than six million homes were unprepared for the change. How many of these are in areas where the switch has already occurred, however, is anyone's guess. Adding to the confusion is that several stations interpreted the law differently. Some continued broadcasting in analog up until midnight on the 17th, while others changed much earlier in the day and still others simply went off the air entirely rather than continue broadcasting an analog signal or switching. It's likely that those will be back on the air with a digital signal before too long. Viewers having problems with the transition can contact the FCC's DTV call center (1-888-CALL-FCC); more than 4,000 operators are standing by.


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