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March. 12, 2009

Welcome to another amazing edition of the Developer Shed newsletter! So what's amazing about it? Well, first, how about our excellent ties to great resources like eWeek? Speaking of which, if you create mobile applications, you'll definitely want to check out the article we're highlighting this week from eWeek. The software giant announced its strategy for empowering developers to create and monetize applications for the next generation of Windows phones and trust me, you want to get the lowdown here, as it could be QUITE lucrative for you. How lucrative? Click the link to find out.

And what else is amazing about the newsletter? How about its predictability? Every week, for more than five years, we've delivered technology information that helps you get your job done, year in and year out. That's not bad for something you get free just for signing up, especially in this economy!

So what do we have for you this week? I'm so glad you asked. Readers of Dev Shed learned how to benchmark their PHP applications with the Xdebug extension, update and delete database records with the active record pattern, and handle exceptions in Java. If you're more interested in Microsoft technologies, check out ASP Free. This week we covered SharePoint, the Phoenix Compiler Framework, and much more.

If you're a web site designer or developer, you definitely want to pay a visit to Dev Articles. We ran the second part of a six-part series on building a calculator for your web page. Would you like that calculator to slide smoothly out of the edge of your web page when a visitor's mouse hovers over the right spot? We have that covered, too, with a series on HTML magic edges. And you'll find much more of interest, with five articles published here every week. If you're a hardware enthusiast, you'll also enjoy five articles every week on Dev Hardware. So far this week we've reviewed two excellent cell phones and an MP3 player by the company that practically invented portable, personal music (and no, it wasn't Apple).

SEO professionals trying to get the word out about their web sites may want to take a look at the article on viral marketing we ran this week. We also covered the effects of coding on search engine optimization, and how to take advantage of the holidays to draw in seasonal traffic. Meanwhile, on Dev Mechanic we covered the tricky topic of how to rebrand a community that's outlived its usefulness to its members or otherwise gone moribund, and how to simplify the effort involved in building the web site of your dreams. Don't forget to check Dev Mechanic on Friday for another new, original article.

Not enough for you? Stop by Web Hosters for an article on password security utilities. And if you're technically inclined, don't forget to visit Codewalkers for our continuing series on UNIX. You'll also find helpful content on Scripts and Tutorialized; we've highlighted some of it below.

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

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See How To Build and Deploy a Web app
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How Modern Code Generation Works
More IT shops are facing tighter deadlines and stretched development teams. That pressure, as well as the emergence of widely accepted standards and new technologies make database applications development tools more viable today than ever before.
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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 explains why men don't notice women and their new-fangled haircuts. I got one word for you. Okay two words. Two giant, luscious words.
  • Juan Valdezburg just got back from the Learning Annex, where he learned absolutely nothing at all.
  • Jenny hosts a segment. And really, there is nothing else you need to know.

Watch the video!

   
   
We're giving you all the tools you need to develop the
coolest Moblin core, Linux based applications for
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Exception Handling Techniques in Java
by Barzan "Tony" Antal, 2009-03-11

Exception handling is one of those programming techniques that beginners often neglect to implement. However, when they end up working on a large project on which dozens of other colleagues are working, they find that you just can not afford to be superficial. Throughout this article we are going to cover exceptions, explain what they are, how to work with them, and why they are important - ultimately, how to handle them.
Read the full article
.
Updating and Deleting Database Records with the Active Record Pattern
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-03-10


Regardless of its rather intimidating name, the active record pattern is actually quite simple to implement with PHP when developing database-driven applications. Indeed, this pattern permits you to achieve a high level of abstraction when performing typical operations, such as insertions, updates and deletions of records, since all of these tasks are handled transparently by data mappers objects or a data access class.
Read the full article
.
Benchmarking with the Xdebug Extension
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-03-09

Welcome to the sixth installment of a series that covers debugging in PHP with the Xdebug extension. Comprised of seven approachable tutorials, this series gets you started using the set of functions provided by this helpful library, so you can begin debugging your own PHP applications with an excellent level of control.
Read the full article
.
Internal and External Performance Tuning with Tomcat
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-03-05

In this fourth part of a five-part series on performance tuning with Tomcat, you will learn how to tune both Tomcat and non-Tomcat components for performance. This article 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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Low-Level Code Optimization in Phoenix
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-03-11

Compiler writing has been reduced to the job of a few people in the past. The developer should stop worrying about the phase at which the code snippet he entered in becomes code that the machine can execute. The appearance of the Phoenix Compiler Framework may make things easier for those who wish to take advantage of it.
Read the full article
.
Item Selection in List Control under MFC
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-03-10

The MFC list control using the report view can be a very powerful implementation of a control, with many sub items separated by clearly visible grids that still do not ruin the overall picture. Making an application inherit this Excel lookalike style is easier than it sounds. The down side of this, however, is that it lacks some major features, such as clear sub item selection.
Read the full article.
Enterprise 2.0 Offerings that Integrate with SharePoint Technology
by Joe Eitel, 2009-03-09


It's hard to imagine staid corporations getting on the social networking bandwagon, until you realize the potential for this technology to help with collaboration and make employees more productive. Microsoft is no slouch when it comes to providing businesses with the software capabilities they need. In fact, many of these Enterprise 2.0 functions are already built into SharePoint.
Read the full article
.
LINQ to MySQL, Oracle and PostgreSQL Providers
by Barzan "Tony" Antal, 2009-03-05


LINQ is one of the latest Microsoft technologies released under the .NET Framework 3.5. It brought native data querying capabilities to Visual C# and Basic. It incorporates seamlessly into the syntax of .NET languages. The entire architecture was designed specifically for the Microsoft SQL Server. In this article we are going to cover providers of LINQ to other databases such as MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
Read the full article
.
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Coding a Web Page Calculator
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-03-11

Welcome to the second part of a six-part series on how to build a calculator for your web page. In the previous part, we got into the basics of setting up the calculator's layout and what functions we want it to have. In this part, we will begin to code the functions.
Read the full article
.
Division of Large Numbers
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-03-10


Working with large numbers (including extremely precise ones) is possible, although compilers don't acknowledge the existence of such a class/type. Writing such a type/class may seem to be a hard task; however, if we take it one step at a time, it turns out that there are many advanced techniques that make our lives easier. This situation is true with the procedure of division, on which we will focus in this article.
Read the full article
.
HTML Magic Edges
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-03-09


Imagine that you are reading a web page and you feel the need to use a calculator. You move your mouse pointer to the edge of the web page and a calculator appears from that edge. Imagine that you are reading a web page and you feel the need to put information in the message box (small form); you move your mouse pointer to the edge of the page and the message box appears. I like this scenario. If you do as well, keep reading and you'll learn how to make it a part of your web site.
Read the full article
.
Creating a Common Browser Menu
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-03-06


When coding web pages, one always has to keep in mind that not all browsers handle the same code in the same way. This can be painful to deal with when coding certain features, such as menus with multiple drop-downs. Wouldn't you like to add a menu that features drop-downs and can be handled cleanly by any browser to your web site? Keep reading; this ten-part series walks you through building a common browser menu.
Read the full article
.
Constructing Fixed Layouts with a Simple CSS Framework
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-03-05


If you're searching for a guide to creating an extensible CSS framework that lets you build different web page layouts, you've come to the right place. Welcome to the third installment of a four-part series on building a simple CSS framework. This series walks you through creating a basic CSS framework which will help you to construct both liquid and fixed web designs very quickly, without having to spend endless, annoying hours coding multiple style sheets.
Read the full article
.
 
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Nokia 5800 Xpress Music
by Bruce Coker, 2009-03-11

You wouldn't expect a cell phone nicknamed the Tube to be very promising, would you? Well, that's the name being affectionately applied to the Nokia 5800 Xpress Music cell phone. Expected to hit the streets early this year, it boasts a touch screen, which puts it in direct competition with the Apple iPhone. Let's see if it can give Jobs' pet a run for the money.
Read the full article
.
ATandT LG Incite Cell Phone
by Joe Eitel, 2009-03-10

Smart phones mean we no longer have to carry around two devices, one for making phone calls and one for mobile computing. The AT&T LG Incite lets you multitask without breaking your budget. But can a relatively inexpensive device really deliver the goods? Keep reading to find out.
Read the full article
.
Sony NWZ-S738F Walkman MP3 Player
by Joe Eitel, 2009-03-09


With the possible exception of the Apple iPod, all MP3 players are the same, right? Think again. Sony, who all but invented portable music in a personal form with their Walkman, isn't about to surrender the field. And if you're looking for something special, its new NWZ-S738F Walkman MP3 player deserves your attention.
Read the full article.
Intel Nehalem
by jkabaseball, 2009-03-06

Intel's Nehalem processor just might be the nail in the coffin for AMD. Released late last year, the architecture brings some tremendous changes to the microprocessor world. Keep reading to find out why it's a whole new game now.
Read the full article.
Motorola Renegade V950
by Barzan "Tony" Antal, 2009-03-05

Motorola's new Renegade V950 cell phone is the perfect illustration of what can happen when brawn meets beauty. Cell phones seem to be getting smaller, thinner and more compact, but Motorola's new model proves that a strong, rugged phone can be just as stylish. Keep reading to see how it measures up.
Read the full article.
 
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Using Calendar-Based Keywords
by KC Morgan, 2009-03-11

It's nice to own and maintain a site that gets a steady stream of traffic all year long, but haven't you ever wanted to take advantage of the potential spikes that content based on the holidays can bring? Keep reading for some ideas to lure visitors during those times of year when searchers suddenly start using an entirely different set of keywords.
Read the full article
.
Coding and Search Engine Optimization
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-03-10

I've previously written about some simple things you can do to your web site and its pages to optimize it for the search engines. It's time to dig deeper. In this article I will discuss code and its role in search engine optimization.
Read the full article
.
Important Elements of a Viral Marketing Campaign
by Terri Wells, 2009-03-09

It's every marketer's dream: deliver a message so compelling that everyone who sees it passes it along to their friends, increasing your brand recognition, sales, and bottom line. On the Internet, we call this viral marketing, though it is certainly used in other media as well. How do you make your marketing campaign go viral? In this article, I'll talk about some elements you should include.
Read the full article
.
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Best Password Utilities for the PC
by Katie Gatto, 2009-03-11

We all know about the basics of keeping our information safe; often, that starts with a good strong password. Now, I am not here to give you a long-winded lecture on how to make a hard-to-break password. That subject is broached all too often and has been covered by more security experts than we have time to list here. No, we're going to talk about how you can manage the multitude of passwords you already have.
Read the full article
.
Completing the Ultimate in Home Page Customization
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-03-04

Are you sick of your boring home page? Are you in search of a new way to color your daily life? Have you decided to find a way to collect in a single page all of your important news feeds? Alternatively, maybe you are simply looking for a way to give your home page a fancy look that you can share with your friends. In this second part of a two-part article on home page customization, you'll learn how to do all this and more, with Netvibes and iGoogle.
Read the full article
.
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
.
 

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

Hello World: WebSphere Service Registry and Repository
Manage, govern, and share services across your organization by using WebSphere Service Registry and Repository. Follow the hands-on exercises to learn how to navigate the Web interface to publish, find, reuse, and update services.

Building JavaScript applications with JSEclipse
Using JSEclipse, JavaScript programmers now have their own Eclipse plug-in that provides many important features to aid in the development of JavaScript applications. JSEclipse gives JavaScript developers the same ease of use that Eclipse has been providing in the Java language and others for years. Learn to use this tool, while creating a colony of evolving "creatures" on your page.

Learn how to install and use the Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client
In this tutorial, you can learn how to install and configure the IBM Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client, explore the different views in the Asset Management perspective, learn various search techniques, work with existing assets, and submit a new asset.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge, Part 1: Create a continuous build and integration
Learn how to implement a build management system that uses and extends your existing automation technologies. This tutorial shows, step-by-step, how to install and configure IBM Rational Build Forge to manage builds for Jakarta Tomcat from source code.

Build Web services with transport-level security using Rational Application Developer V7, Part 1: Build Web services and Web services clients
Build secure Web services with transport-level security using IBM Rational Application Developer V7 and IBM WebSphere Application Server V6.1. Follow this three-part series for step-by-step instructions about how to develop Web services and clients, configure HTTP basic authentication, and configure HTTP over SSL (HTTPS). This first part of the series walks you through building a Web service for a simple calculator application. You generate and test two different types of Web services clients: a Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) client and a stand-alone Java client. You also handle user-defined exceptions in Web services.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge,
Part 2: Automate builds for a real-world Tomcat project

Learn how Rational Build Forge can extend a simple compile and package build process by adding customization and deployment capability. Go from a manual method to automating: checking for code changes; getting the latest source; compiling and packaging; customizing; copying to and restarting a deployment server; and sending e-mail notification that a new version is available.

Application development for the OLPC laptop
The XO laptop (of the One-Laptop-Per-Child initiative) is an inexpensive laptop project intended to help educate children around the world. The XO laptop includes many innovations, such as a novel, inexpensive, and durable hardware design and the use of GNU/Linux as the underlying operating system. The XO also includes an application environment written in Python with a human interface called Sugar, accessible to everyone (including kids). Explore the Sugar APIs and learn how to develop and debug a graphical activity in Sugar using Python.

Test terminal-based applications with Rational Functional Tester
Regression testing -- in which code is thoroughly tested to ensure that changes have not produced unexpected results -- is an important part of any development process. But many testing environments neglect the terminal-based applications that still form the backbone of many industries. In this tutorial, you'll learn how the Rational Functional Tester Extension for Terminal-Based Applications works with other Rational Functional Tester to help test terminal-based applications quickly and easily.

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

Actionscript Mouse Events
Learn to respond to different mouse events like clicks and hovers.
Read the tutorial.

Fireworks
We are going to learn to use the brush tool to create fireworks.
Read the tutorial.

Simple Photo Flash Menu
See how to create simple Flash menu. Simplistic tutorial and fun to read. Read the tutorial.

Tips on PhpLib
The pHpLib template makes it very easy to create a website. It is based on a template. Read the tutorial.

Key controls
This Flash tutorial will teach you about the basic key controls.
Read the tutorial.

Replace a String in a TXT File
Replace strings in TXT files through PHP.
Read the tutorial.

 

Want to Earn Cash & Fame Writing
for ASP Free?

Developer Shed is actively seeking fresh, new writing talents for our Microsoft Windows technology site. We're looking for Windows programmers, system administrators, and more to provide our readers with the latest, up-to-date techniques and strategies.

Here's your chance to earn some cash, gain some exposure, and beef up your resume! If you would like to join our team, email your name, a description of your qualifications, and the topic areas you would like to cover to contact_editor@developershed.com.

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

EzUploads
EzUploads utilizes CGI upload methods to a PHP site back end. You are able to upload unlimited file sizes. Supports Ascii Captcha.
Learn more.

MultiUser Chat Software
Multi operator ASP script based chat messaging software contains full support of Ajax technology. Learn more.

DepthStats
The target audience for this script is anyone looking to stay away from stat services and stats provided by hosting companies.
Learn more.

.Net Ad Server Solutions
We provide a complete line of ad management, ad network, affiliate network and banner solutions.
Learn more.

PHP Stock Portfolio
System allows you to hide, show, or show masked values for each of eleven value fields. Script retrieves data from Yahoo! Finance.
Learn more.

MyFTPUploader
MyFTPUploader is a Java applet for uploading multiple files and directories to an FTP Server. Easy to use. Learn more.

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Shortcuts for Page Design
by KC Morgan, 2009-03-11


In your imagination, you are able to design the greatest Web site the world has ever known. You imagine attractive backgrounds, beautifully integrated navigation features, simple layouts and so many tools that traffic is sure to visit and explore your pages. But then you start the process of actually designing your online pages, and you wake up to the cold reality of how difficult a task you have really set for yourself. Learn to use shortcuts for page design, and save yourself a lot of effort and headaches.
Read the full article
.
Rebranding a Community
by Katie Gatto, 2009-03-09


Millions of them lie dormant and each year more join their ranks. They are the walking dead of the online world, and much like their zombie cousins of B-movie fame, everything is technically still running but no one is home. Sound familiar? Keep reading, and you'll learn a few ways to breathe some new, real life into an apparently-dead community by changing its focus.
Read the full article
.
Use C Navigation for Your Visitors
by Justin Pinkus, 2009-03-06


Imagine being a customer at a large department store. Unless there is a map right at the entry to help you locate the items that you are looking for, it is likely that you may actually leave the store without purchasing anything. An e-commerce web site is no different from this. The home page of a commercial site must provide a navigational map to the visitors so as to facilitate them in locating the items that they desire. One type of map is referred to as C navigation.
Read the full article
.
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The Terminal in UNIX
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-03-11

When we're talking with someone who does not speak our language, it's good to have a translator around to avoid any misunderstandings. If you don't have someone who can translate directly between both languages, having two translators (with an intermediate language they both share) may do the job. When we are communicating with computers, the situation is the same; only the terms change.
Read the full article
.
Operating Systems and UNIX
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-03-04

Have you ever wondered why we have operating systems at all, or if there's anything out there that's better than Windows? Boy have you come to the right place! This article will explain the purpose of an OS on your computer, and then take a close look at UNIX, an operating system with a long and respected history.
Read the full article
.
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
.
 

The Web Buyer's Guide is your best source for white papers on a wide range of
IT products and services. This Week's Featured Products:

30-day Trial of Ninja Email Security for Exchange - Trial Download by Sunbelt Software
Ninja integrates best-of-breed antispam, antivirus, disclaimers, & RBL and attachment filtering on your Exchange server. It also allows you to kill newer variants of existing image spam.

How to Trace Code Issues to the Source - White Paper by Borland Software
Find out how to trace performance bottlenecks down to the offending line of code. Quickly isolate what the problem is, then drill deeply to the specific code to fix it fast.

How to Digitally Sign Downloadable Code - White Paper by Verisign
Learn how to implement code signing digital certificates, which provide assurance to end users that the code really comes from the developer who signed it, and has not been altered or tampered with since it was signed.

 

 
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Musical Competition with a Twist

If your taste in musical instruments runs to the truly exotic, you'll be delighted to hear that Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology sponsored a competition to encourage innovation in instrument design. The first of its kind, the Guthman Musical Instrument competition encouraged entrants to submit new instruments, whether they were in physical or virtual form, played by robots, humans, or computers. All told, 30 inventors from seven countries strutted their stuff.

And the winners? First place went to Jaime Oliver for his Silent Drum Controller, a device that lets a user play the drums by pressing, rather than pounding, the head of a special drum; a video camera records changes in the shape of the drum head, and the information is sent to a computer, which analyzes the shapes and outputs the appropriate sounds. Second place went to Eric Singer for his robotic guitar, while David Wessel grabbed third place for SLABS, pressure-sensitive touch pads that treat gestures as continuous signals.

Prize winners took home more than bragging rights. Monetary prizes included $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second, $2,000 for third, and free copies of the game Rock Band for fourth through sixth place winners. Harmonix, the company that makes both Rock Band and Guitar Hero, co-sponsored the competition, which drew a diversity of competitors, including commercial firms, academics, and just creative young musicians, noted Frank Clark, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology.

Read more about this

Barbara Liskov Wins Computing Field's Highest Award

It's been described informally as the Nobel for computing, and the developments it recognizes often have a more direct effect on our day-to-day lives than the research that wins some of the real Nobel awards. That's certainly true of this year's A.M. Turing Award, given by the Association for Computing Machinery. The winner? Barbara Liskov, the first US woman to earn a PhD in computer science.

You may never have heard of her, but you use technologies that she made possible every day. Her work in the design of computer programming languages has helped make software more reliable, consistent and resistant to errors and hacking. In fact, her innovations in software design have underpinned every important programming language for the past 34 years, including Ada, C++, Java and C#. She made important contributions to the use of data abstraction and all but invented object-oriented programming.

Her most current research focuses on making systems more fault tolerant and resistant to errors and hacking. This line of research may lead to a safer, more reliable Internet. I believe that more and more users will store their information online, but the storage they use needs to be implemented so that they don't lose their information, their information is available when they need it, and they can be confident that their confidential information will not be leaked, she explained. Only the second woman to ever win a Turing Award, solving this monumental issue could lead to another Turing in the future for Liskov.

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New Name for Space Station Room Could Be Colbert

His fans have vandalized Wikipedia articles and petitioned unsuccessfully to get him on the ballot for the US presidential election. Now, comedian Stephen Colbert may win a larger prize: getting his name on the new room soon to be added to the International Space Station. NASA's online public vote offers four choices: Serenity, Legacy, Earthrise or Venture. But tens of thousands are writing in Colbert.

Is it enough to actually win? By mid-Tuesday, Colbert had earned about 115,000 votes, leaving the nearest alternative, Serenity, in the dust with 98,641. So far, more than 451,000 votes have been cast. The new room, currently called Node 3, will feature big windows and a machine that can recycle astronauts' urine into drinking water. Plans call for it to be added to the space station before the end of the year.

Voting for the room's name will continue until March 20. Will NASA actually use the name Colbert if it wins the most votes? Well, it doesn't really fit with the station's theme, as other rooms are named Unity, Harmony and Destiny. And the contest's rules say the results are not binding on NASA and NASA reserves the right to ultimately select a name. But even if the space agency chooses a different name, Colbert can rest easy in the knowledge that he already has an ice cream flavor, a Hungarian bridge and an eagle named after him.

Read more about this

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