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Feb. 26, 2009

Here it is, the latest issue of the Developer Shed newsletter! It seems like the year just began about a week or two ago, and here it is already the end of February. Time flies when you're having fun, and we hope you're enjoying our content as much as we enjoy bringing it to you. We know you also enjoy technology, or else you wouldn't be reading this, so if you drool over those new ultraportables as much as some of us do (we won't name names here), take a look at the article we're highlighting this week from eWeek. It's all about the latest Toshiba Portege; for some of you, I won't have to say anything more, but for the rest of you concerned with whether it's worth the price for the kind of computing you do, well, click on that link for our review.

This week we continued the gradual ramp-up that will see more original articles published on our web sites every week. We added one more Dev Mechanic article, bringing that site to three per week. But before we get there, let me tell you about our other sites. On Dev Shed, we continued two series, one on PHP debugging and one on building an IP-to-country mapping application. We also explained the basics of multi-threading with Java. For you users of Microsoft technology, ASP Free featured two excellent articles on Windows scripting, and one about Microsoft Foundation Library controls.

Dev Articles ran four original articles this week, an improvement over last week and you can look forward to seeing that increase to FIVE original articles next week. This week's articles covered HTML, C++, JavaScript, and more. Meanwhile, those hardcore enthusiasts reading Dev Hardware are already enjoying five articles every week. This week's batch included reviews of a large flat panel monitor, a hot RIM device, a cool digital camera, and more.

The SEO professionals reading SEO Chat enjoyed a diverse selection of articles covering various aspects of building web site traffic. One article focused on online tools; another dealt with link building; and a third covered the effective use of checklists before making a blog post. What do checklists have to do with increasing your traffic? Well, when you sound better than ninety percent of the bloggers out there, trust me, you'll see an increase in your traffic! If you're still exploring what you can build online, you'll also want to check Dev Mechanic's articles. We took a look at the BlogHer blogging site, gave you some advice on reversing community degradation, and coming up on Friday (be sure to come back for it!), we're going to explain how to get people to Digg you.

That's not all, of course. On Web Hosters, we discussed how to customize the first page you see when you get on the Internet so it has everything you need right at your fingertips. And on Codewalkers, we continued the awesome XML series we've been running, written by our editor-in-chief, James okay here's your five dollars for pushing me Payne. And I haven't even mentioned the great stuff you can find on Scripts and Tutorialized, highlights of which you'll also find below. So be sure to spend some time browsing this newsletter and our sites; we know you'll find something useful!

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 back once more. However, I am too tired, so write your own funny line here.
  • Enjoy this flashback to the distant year 2008. Or else!
  • Jenny's lips are moving and sounds are being made, but what is she really saying? And what is a Cart Oh Grapher anyway? Editing floor clip seen laughing at inside joke.

Watch the video!

   
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The Basics of Multiple Threads in Java
by Barzan "Tony" Antal, 2009-02-25

In this day and age programmers must implement multi-threading solutions into their code. Every somewhat modern programming language that respects itself offers opportunities to work with threads. Today we are going to learn how to do this in Java. This article requires at least a little knowledge of Java such as classes, objects, inheritance and interfaces. We will try to keep it simple.
Read the full article
.
Using Code Igniter to Build an IP-to-Country Mapping Application
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-02-24


Adding geo-location capabilities to a web site is not too hard; it is possible to develop an IP-to-country mapping program with PHP, which can be incorporated into a site in a few easy steps. If you are interested in learning how to build this application, then keep reading. This is the final installment of a four-part series that covers developing an IP-to-country mapping application with PHP.
Read the full article
.
Debugging Program Flow with the Xdebug Extension
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-02-23

The Xdebug PHP extension combines a set of powerful functions with an easy learning curve. This appealing mixture turns it into the choice of many PHP developers for debugging PHP applications with a great level of detail. If you want to learn how to get the most out of this debugging library without having to spend long hours reading its user manual, then keep reading. In this seven-part series of articles you will find an approachable guide to utilizing its most important functions. I will use numerous code samples to instruct you in the use of the Xdebug extension.
Read the full article
.
Benchmarking Tomcat Performance
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-02-19

In this second part of a five-part article series on Tomcat performance tuning, you will learn how to do benchmarks so you can see what effects your changes produced. 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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More Windows Scripting Workarounds from Nilpo
by Nilpo, 2009-02-25

Scripting, by nature, is a limited form of programming. As a result of these limitations it is sometimes necessary to employ workarounds in order to produce a desired effect. I showed you some of the workarounds that I commonly use in the first volume of this series. Today, I return with volume two to demonstrate more workarounds that you may find useful in your scripting endeavors.
Read the full article
.
Microsoft Foundation Library Controls
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-02-24

Microsoft has always been occupied with the development of libraries that make programmer lives much easier inside their own operating system. The Microsoft Foundation Library is just a prime example of this. As with each library, this also needed to provide a reliable and easy way to handle the objects of the Windows OS. The solution found by the company was the creation of controls.
Read the full article.
Overloading Methods and More in VBScript
by Nilpo, 2009-02-23


Many programming languages, such as Java or C, allow you to create overloaded methods and allow optional parameters for your methods. This ability has been removed from VB's Scripting Edition; however, today I am going to show you some coding techniques that will allow you to regain some of this functionality.
Read the full article
.
Mastering Vista and Images
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-02-19


In this fourth part to a five-part series on making better use of Vista's media resources, you'll learn how to fix music tags, handle photos, 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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Building an RTF-capable Form with the Ext JS Framework
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-02-25

If you're a web developer who's looking for a JavaScript framework that permits you to build dynamic, highly-interactive web forms in a quick and painless way, then look no further, because this group of articles might be what you really need. Welcome to the final part of a five-part series on building dynamic web forms with the Ext JS framework. This series shows you how to take advantage of the powerful JavaScript API provided by the Ext JS library to construct all sorts of professional-looking online forms, without having to deal with the usual complexities of working with large DHTML applications.
Read the full article
.
Bitwise Operators
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-02-24


Programming machines has always been a difficult task; newer techniques try to solve this by automating the tougher tasks, the low-level handling of the machines. However, some gates have been left open to the older methods, so whenever you wish to use them you are able to do so. At least this applies to C/C++. In this article you'll see how to use bitwise operators in C/C++, and learn why you may want to use them.
Read the full article
.
Building a Bulleted Menu Of Links: Display Method
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-02-23


Many web pages display their links in the form of a bulleted menu. You can make such menus a bit more interesting by adding functionality to expand and contract the menu, if it makes sense to divide the menu into levels. This two-part article will show you how to do it.
Read the full article
.
Safety, Idempotence, and the Resource-Oriented Architecture
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-02-20


In this conclusion to a four-part series on the resource-oriented architecture, you will learn (among other things) about safety and idempotence, and why they matter. 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.
Read the full article
.
Building a Simple CSS Framework
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-02-19


The ability to reuse blocks of code is a blessing and a time saver to programmers everywhere. Web sites are too distinctive to allow you to do very much of this, right? Wrong. You can build a CSS framework to give you the flexibility you need, and use the time you save for the parts of your project that matter most. This five-part series shows you how.
Read the full article
.
 
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Nikon Coolpix S210
by wubayou, 2009-02-25

If you believe that style is as important as substance, then you should be pleased with the introduction of the Coolpix S210 digital camera from Nikon. The S210 is a slim, compact and sexy digital camera that comes in a variety of seven colors to choose from depending on where you live. Today we'll be taking a look at it to see if it's long on style but short on substance.
Read the full article
.
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8320
by Joe Eitel, 2009-02-24

A lot has changed since 1997, when the Blackberry first made its appearance. Back then, the phone was clunky, plain and somewhat cumbersome to use. However, as smart phone technology improved, the Blackberry was able to get a makeover. An example of this can be seen in the most recent additions to the Blackberry line: the BlackBerry 8800 and the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8320.
Read the full article
.
Samsung 223 (216) BW
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-02-23


Nowadays everybody wants an LCD monitor, if they don't already have one. The age of the CRT has passed. Today, the only ones who use one are those who are working in a domain where color accuracy is a must, and those who can't afford to buy an LCD. Choosing one that has all of the traits that you will use can be fairly tough, as the market is crowded with endless possibilities. Today I am going to review the Samsung 223 (216) BW.
Read the full article.
The Next Generation of Gaming
by jkabaseball, 2009-02-20

Now that the craziness over the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii has ended, let us take a look at the next generation of consoles. It is highly likely that all of these companies are going to come out with a next gen console. In this article, we'll consider what lessons this generation has taught the market, and what we can expect to see in our gaming rooms (whether it's our living rooms or somewhere else) sometime in the not-too-distant future.
Read the full article.
Tonium Pacemaker Portable DJ MP3 Player and the DJ Mix Portal
by wubayou, 2009-02-19

Are you a person who loves music but wants to do more than just listen to it? Are you a club DJ or an aspiring music producer? Do you just like to experiment with mixing music for old time's sake? If any of the above describe you, then the Tonium Pacemaker Portable DJ MP3 Player is just the item for you. Keep reading for our review.
Read the full article.
 
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Online Tools That Will Help Your SEO Strategy
by Stephen Davies, 2009-02-25

If you've felt a little lost in the world of search engine optimization, take heart. This article will lay out the basic SEO principles, go over the ways that web design affects SEO (and vice versa), and give you a list of five online tools that will help you enormously with your SEO strategy. Keep reading to become enlightened; pretty soon, you'll be on your way to the top of the search engine results pages!
Read the full article
.
Link Building Tips From Experts
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-02-24

Getting links is one of the biggest challenges facing site owners and SEOs. However, who links to you, and how many links you have, are important parts of Google's algorithm. So you need those links to get seen by the people who are searching for what you have to offer. What can you do? Keep reading for some link building ideas.
Read the full article
.
Checklists: A Blogger`s Second Best Friend
by Terri Wells, 2009-02-23

I recently wrote an article about editorial calendars and how they can help bloggers build a backlog of topics. It's so wonderful not to run out of ideas that I called them a blogger's best friend. I'd like to introduce you to your second best friend: checklists. This hoary organization tool can keep you from looking foolish - or worse.
Read the full article
.
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The Ultimate in Home Page Customization
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-02-25

Browsers are probably the most used applications after operating systems. Day by day we hook up to the Internet (in fact in this very moment you are doing so) to acquire particular information or just relax a bit and recharge our batteries. The first thing which an average user will face whenever he starts up his browser is a start page, or as it is better known, a home page. What do you want to see when you first get on the Internet? That page could be a lot more helpful, and more specific to your needs, than just a search engine, as you'll learn if you keep reading.
Read the full article
.
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
.
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
.
 

Check out the amazing tutorials from IBM developerWorks and see what all the buzz is about!

Write REST services
This tutorial discusses the concepts of REST and the Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) and shows how they apply to services. It also shows how to use Java technology to implement REST/APP-based services.

Web development with Eclipse Europa, Part 1: The Java EE for Eclipse
It's a good time to be a Web developer. You've never had more choices in terms of technologies. There are so many great open source Web servers, databases, programming languages, and development frameworks. No matter what combination of technologies you prefer to work with, there is an integrated development environment (IDE) that can increase your productivity: Eclipse. In this tutorial, Part 1 of a three-part "Web development with Eclipse Europa" series on how to use Eclipse for Web development with Java technology, PHP, and Ruby, we'll see how the latest release of Eclipse -- Europa -- can be used to rapidly develop Java Web applications. We'll use Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 5 (Java EE) for Eclipse to build a Web application for tracking and calculating baseball statistics.

Web development with Eclipse Europa, Part 2: The Java EE for Eclipse
No matter what combination of technologies you prefer to work with as a Web developer, Eclipse is a single integrated development environment (IDE) that can increase your productivity. In Part 2, we'll see how easy it is to develop PHP applications using a different set of Eclipse plug-ins, collectively known as the PHP Development Toolkit (PDT.)

Web development with Eclipse Europa, Part 3: Ruby Development Toolkit and RadRails
It's a good time to be a Web developer. You've never had more choices in terms of technologies. There are so many great open source Web servers, databases, programming languages, and development frameworks. No matter what combination of technologies you prefer to work with, there is a single integrated development environment (IDE) that can increase your productivity: Eclipse. Here in Part 3, we introduce the RDT and RadRails Eclipse plug-ins and show you how to get these plug-ins and start using them. You will learn how to use RadRails to do many common Ruby on Rails development tasks.

Using the Eclipse SOA Tools Platform plug-in and Apache Tuscany
The Eclipse SOA Tools Platform (STP) plug-in and Apache Tuscany simplifies services development through the use of the popular Eclipse development environment. Apache Tuscany has also been integrated with the STP to provide a Service Component Architecture (SCA) Java run time for the services you create, allowing you to annotate your service using the SCA standard and Apache Tuscany annotations. In this tutorial, you will see STP and Apache Tuscany in action, through the creation of a Remote Method Invocation (RMI) service.

Using IBM Rational Tester for SOA Quality: Using IBM Rational Tester for SOA Quality with IBM WebSphere MQ Version 6.0
Learn how IBM Rational Tester for SOA Quality addresses IBM WebSphere MQ with Web services. You get hands-on experience in creating a test, handling the WebSphere MQ series protocol, configuring the test, and then replaying it.

Try the IBM SOA Sandbox for Process
Visit IBM developerWorks to try the IBM SOA Sandbox for process. The SOA Sandbox for process focuses on providing a trial environment with the necessary tooling and components required to gain a better understanding of business processes and how to best improve existing business processes to derive value quickly.

Try the IBM SOA Sandbox for Connectivity
Visit IBM developerWorks to try the IBM SOA Sandbox for connectivity. The SOA Sandbox for connectivity provides a trial environment with the tooling and components to help you explore how to effectively connect your infrastructure and integrate all of the people, processes and information in your company. Use the hosted sandbox to explore SOA techniques that streamline connecting existing IT assets together, as well as learn how to connect them to new business logic.

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

Animation in Photoshop Part 1
Part 1 of how to create animations inside of Photoshop CS3.
Read the tutorial.

How to Build a Poll System
So today, we will be building a Poll System using PHP and mySQL.
Read the tutorial.

Create Cool Neon Effects
Using Photoshop warping and layer masks for great effects.
Read the tutorial.

Check Username in Real-time
Use AJAX and PHP to tell the user if the username they desire exists. Read the tutorial.

Make A Shiny Button
How to make a button in Flash and add a shine to make it look 3D.
Read the tutorial.

Animation Grab & Move Object
Maya animation tutorial how to grab an object and move the object.
Read the tutorial.

 

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Scripts is dedicated to developer and programming related scripts both commercial and free, and for all OS platforms.

Rapid PHP Editor 2008
Rapid PHP editor is full-featured, very quick and sophisticated PHP editor with a debugger and utf-8 support. Easy to implement.
Learn more.

Rapid CSS Editor 2008
You can quickly create and edit style sheets of any size and complexity. Code manually or let the program do it for you. Learn more.

PHP Auction Software
AJ Auction pro is the best and the professional auction site on the Internet. Bundled with many scalable products in one turn-key package.
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Network USB Data Theft Tool
Alerts you by sound when any storage disk is connected and prevents unofficial or private data transfer from / to USB. Learn more.

Laptop FAT Partition Recovery
Notebook Vista FAT files recovery application retrieves photos, pictures, images, etc from corrupted hard drives and USB drives.
Learn more.

Build Web 2.0 Applications Without Hand-Coding
Create data entry and reporting .NET Web apps in minutes, straight from your database. Learn more.

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Reversing Community Degradation
by Katie Gatto, 2009-02-25


It can happen to any online community: conversations drift, people leave, spammers invade, what have you. What was once a vibrant community becomes a place where no sane person really wants to hang out. While the evolution of a community is natural, that does not mean you must resign yourself to seeing it deteriorate. There are things you can do to reverse the process, as this article details.
Read the full article
.
Exploring BlogHer
by KC Morgan, 2009-02-23


BlogHer began in 2005 with a blog and a California-based conference. Today, it is one of the most popular online communities on the Internet. For female bloggers, the BlogHer Web site (and corresponding annual conference) offers a world of possibility, tips, advice and words on every topic under the sun. If you are not familiar with this increasingly popular phenomenon, it is time to start exploring BlogHer.
Read the full article
.
Blogger Classic Vs New (Beta) Blogger Templates
by Codex-M, 2009-02-20


So you have a Blogger-based blog and you want to attract more traffic, perhaps even earn some more income with it. Well, you made a good choice, but you may not be getting the most out of your blog. Why? It could be that your template is unfriendly to visitors and search engine optimization. In this article we'll discuss Blogger's two available templates and compare them so that you can decide which one is best for you.
Read the full article
.
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Validation with Document Type Definitions (DTDs)
by James Payne, 2009-02-25

In this article you will learn to work with Document Type Definitions or DTDs. These allow you to validate your XML documents which are well-formed. XML document descriptions (which is what DTDs and Schemas are), are statements that decide how content can/must appear in your XML documents. The document descriptions are read by software and then your document is checked against this description to ensure that all of the rules are followed.
Read the full article
.
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
.
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Free to Good Home: Top-Secret Ships

A lot of technology created during the Cold War ended up in museums. Now, the US Navy is trying to give away two pieces of Cold War technology that are big enough to BE museums. One is the Sea Shadow, a ship designed to be undetectable on the open sea. The other is the Hughes Mining Barge, its dry dock, which is fully submersible to keep the Sea Shadow from being seen by spy satellites.

The barge actually came first; in the early 1980s, the Navy assembled the Sea Shadow within it. Costing $195 million to build and standing some 160 feet long and 70 feet wide, it was the Navy's first experimental stealth ship. Moving at night, in addition to its many stealth features, it was enormously stable; one former crew member recalls seeing a glass of soda on the bridge barely ripple in 12-foot waves. This grandfather of all stealth ships came out for daylight tests in 1993, inspiring a plastic model and a plot device in the 1997 James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. Its experimental life ended in 2006, and it's been waiting to be turned into a museum ever since.

Even the barge has a bit of a colorful history; 35 years ago, it was once used in an effort to raise a sunken nuclear-armed Soviet submarine. It's no surprise that at least one owner of a maritime museum would like to accept the gift but, as with anything that comes from the government, there are some strings attached. The Navy won't pay for rust scraping or curating, so keeping these ships afloat will depend on the museum drawing big crowds. Indeed, such museums have been described as a bloodthirsty, paperwork ridden, permit-infested, money-sucking hole... by the Historic Naval Ships Association, an organization that's certainly in a position to know. So sadly, this is one piece of tech history that could end up as so much scrap or sinking beneath the waves forever.

Read more about this

Competition to Create Moon Technology in China

You'd expect to see competitive bidding on government contracts in the US, but apparently it happens in China, too. And when it comes to space exploration, China may be doing the US one better. The government threw the door wide open to competitive bidding on building technology related its moon exploration effort. Indeed, now the country's universities, institutes, and other qualified institutions can compete.

The Guangming Daily reported China's goal to put an unmanned buggy on the moon by 2012, and stated that more than 90 elements of key technology would be needed. It quoted an unnamed administration official as saying that Our country's lunar exploration research and development project will be opened to all of society, bringing in a competitive mechanism."

The bidding will likely not be open to foreign entities. But more than 30 universities and colleges attended a meeting at which they discussed participating in the effort to explore the moon. In general, China has been making good progress on its goal; its first lunar probe completed its mission in October after successfully orbiting the moon thousands of times without landing. Will China land astronauts on the moon? That is a long-term goal for the country, but China has not announced a time table.

Read more about this

Yet Another Worry for Gamers

As if tough boss monsters weren't enough to worry about, PlayStation aficionados now have a new concern. Gripping the control too tightly while furiously pushing buttons can cause painful lumps on the palms, according to Swedish scientists. The new skin disorder has been dubbed PlayStation palmar hidradentitis.

One has to wonder if this is really a serious problem, however. A Sony spokesman noted that the study involved just one person. He added that his company has been making the PlayStation since 1995, and sold hundreds of millions of the consoles.

Even so, this is not the first physical illness to be connected to excessive playing of video games. Some researchers have noted that playing too much on the Nintendo Wii can lead to acute tendonitis. Others have argued that playing video games excessively should be classified as an addiction, and leads to other psychological problems. As to the new skin disorder, the patient's symptoms cleared up completely after 10 days away from the console. For those who want to avoid this problem altogether, the scientists advise giving your hands a break from time to time while playing, especially if they feel sore. Also, if you tend to get sweaty palms, it's a good idea to avoid playing excessively (several hours at a time) in the first place.

Read more about this

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