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April 23, 2009

Welcome to the Earth Day edition of the Developer Shed newsletter! Okay, so when you get this it will probably be the day after Earth Day, but right now I'm enjoying Google's lovely logo in celebration of the day, and appreciating the progress we've made since the first Earth Day: cleaner air, cleaner water, more companies allowing their employees to telecommute (thus reducing the use of automobiles), and many other positive changes. Some think computers have been a mixed blessing in this regard, but not me; I use less paper and get more done.

Also, just think about how much free downloads save the environment; no CDs or DVDs to clutter things up! It's even better when the download can help you with security issues, as the article we're highlighting this week from eWeek explains. If you're at all familiar with BSAFE technology, I need say no more; if not, you'll still want to check out the article to learn about the RSA Share Project, the encryption technology, and the community that is springing up around it.

Now let me tell you about the articles we've published for you this week. Word of Oracle's purchase of Sun excited our writers here at the Shed; you'll find a short item covering the implications of this deal on Dev Shed, along with our usual roster of educational tutorials on PHP and JavaScript. On ASP Free, meanwhile, we took a close look at Silverlight, a Microsoft technology that's really making waves – and at least trying to give Adobe's Flash a run for its money.

We're all about the web on Dev Articles, with tutorials on building web page calendars, menus that work on all the major browsers, and more. Dev Hardware brought a number of great reviews to you hardware enthusiasts, covering digital cameras, a GPS, and a very nice Dell laptop (okay, I'm prejudiced; I own and love a Dell laptop myself).

If you're trying to climb to the top of Google, SEO Chat's articles can help. We explained what to look for when buying SEO services, and how to use an excellent tool to help you get a better handle on your links. We also reviewed a site that takes blogging in a slightly different – and quite interesting – direction. If you're just getting your website or blog online, you'll benefit from this week's articles on Dev Mechanic, which show you how to encourage discussion on your site, how to set a static main page, and more.

But wait, there's more. Codewalkers featured a great book review for those preparing for the grueling CISSP certification. Web Hosters discussed how much more affordable web hosting has become (and isn't that good news in this economy?) and what you should look for. Tutorialized and Scripts are chock-full of content to help you with your many digital tasks.

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 gets a guest appearance by Dev Shed Hulk. It is a smashing good time.
  • Juan Valdezburg is the most interesting lawyer alive. Here's hoping we do not get sued.
  • Reverend Bitwise returns with proof that Tech God exists and that gamer nerds are not the only ones that drink Code Red Mountain Dew.

Watch the video!

   
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Mouseover Events and Event Delegation in JavaScript
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-04-22

Expressed in simple terms, JavaScript event delegation is a smart approach that permits you to reduce the number of event handlers assigned to the elements of a web page by using the bubbling phase of a specific event. With this easy-to-learn technique you can significantly improve the performance of JavaScript applications. This is the second article in a four-part series.
Read the full article
.
Oracle's Turn to Play in the Sun
by James Payne and Terri Wells, 2009-04-21


Early Monday morning, tech giant Oracle Corp announced it will be purchasing Sun Microsystems inc. in an all cash deal to the tune of $7.4 billion. The news falls on the heels of IBM opting out of its bid to purchase the networking company.
Read the full article
.
Creating a TreeView JQuery Hierarchical Navigation System
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-04-20

Are you interested in adding animation effects to the drop-down menus on your web page, but afraid that it's going to take long hours of painful coding to pull it off? Keep reading. This series of articles will show you how to work some easy magic with the Treeview JQuery plug-in and a simple nested HTML list.
Read the full article
.
Moving Presentation Logic Out of Views with Code Igniter
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-04-16

Manipulating views with CodeIgniter is a straightforward process. In a typical situation, there is a model that fetches some rows from one or more database tables, and a view file that receives this data through a controller class, which is finally displayed on screen, generally in the form of an HTML page. However, CodeIgniter gives PHP programmers enough freedom to handle views in several useful ways, which can speed up the development of web applications. Therefore, if you are taking your first steps with CI and wish to learn some handy approaches that will help you work with views in a truly painless fashion, then start reading this tutorial now!
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Sothink Quicker for Microsoft Silverlight
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-22

Microsoft's Silverlight is quickly becoming the go-to program for graphics and animation. Many believe its creator's intention was to surpass Adobe Illustrator as the most widely-used graphics program. Silverlight 3.0 was just released in early March, and though it is quickly gaining popularity, it has a lot to learn from user-friendly Adobe. That being said, there are a number of already-existing add-ons that will make the animation/illustration features in Silverlight all the more easy to use and navigate.
Read the full article.
Building Business Focused Applications with Microsoft Silverlight
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-21

Are you looking for a platform on which to build your business applications? You might consider using a not-so-obvious choice: Silverlight. Yes, it has amazing graphics abilities, but there's a lot more to it than just a pretty face. In this article, we'll take a closer look at Silverlight's advantages, and why it deserves serious consideration from developers of business applications.
Read the full article.
Silverlight Pulse
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-20


If you use Microsoft Silverlight, and you also enjoy using Twitter, then you will probably love Silverlight Pulse. It helps you get up-to-the-minute information about Silverlight in one place. The brainchild of Ian Blackburn, we take a close look at this application so you can decide whether it's right for you.
Read the full article
.
Improving Your Visual Studio Workspace
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-04-16


Click. Click again. Start up your file browser. Search it. Drag it. Find a file inside the solution. Find the function with the name xyz. Do it again. When you are a developer working on larger projects, you wonder why you have to do this manually, the boring and repetitive way. There must be a few tools that can work seamlessly. Today we bring you the best modifications/add-ons for one of the most-used developer tools: Visual Studio from Microsoft.
Read the full article
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Completing Temporary Web Page Processing
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-04-22

This is the second and last part of my series on temporary web page processing. In this part of the series, I talk about the layout of the panel (Form). If the panel becomes large, with many elements, then you need to give its layout some consideration. Before I start that I will first talk about a second method of removing the Panel.
Read the full article
.
Serialize Your Class into Streams in C++
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-04-21


Writing code in C++ is not a trivial task, but quite manageable for anyone who gets into his or her head the desire to achieve success in the coding segment of life. To make the coding process more understandable, C++ offers the stream concept. This article will be all about how to make your class compatible with this technology.
Read the full article
.
Creating a Web Page Calendar
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-04-20


Welcome to the second part of an eight-part series on building a web page calendar. In this part of the series, I will explain the function that is used to create the current calendar. When the Show Current Month's Calendar button is clicked, it should call a function that will display the calendar of the current month. We need to modify it; the showCal() function we saw in the previous part has only one line. We will change this function and use it as the showCurrentMonth() function.
Read the full article
.
Producing Sub Menus for a Common Browser Menu
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-04-17


In this seventh part of a ten-part series on building a menu that works in all browsers, we shall continue with our in-depth analysis of the react() function. This is the longest function in this series. In this part we shall treat the details of the sixth code segment.
Read the full article
.
Using Auto Margins with Multiple Columns to Center DIVs with CSS
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-04-16


You may think that building centered web page layouts with CSS is an annoying experience, but guess what? This article series just might prove you wrong. It explains several CSS-based methods that you can use for constructing these kinds of designs very quickly, which should put a big smile in your face as soon as you start working with them. This article, the fifth one in the seven-part series, expands our use of the auto margin.
Read the full article
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Canon EOS 50D Digital SLR Camera
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-22

The wide availability of digital cameras has enabled consumers from all walks of life to become well acquainted with photography. Research has even revealed that once consumers become sick of their small, point and shoot cameras, they seek out more serious cameras capable of performing at a higher level to meet their new photography needs. Surely this information is to the great delight of camera companies such as Canon. Today we'll look at the EOS 50D SLR camera and see if it might satisfy serious shutterbugs.
Read the full article
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Garmin Nuvi 265WT
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-21

GPS devices are finally coming down in price. Does that mean you have to give up functionality? Not if the Garmin Nuvi 265WT is any indication. Keep reading for a closer look at this relatively low-priced device; you'll be surprised at how well it measures up against its more expensive cousins.
Read the full article
.
Dell Latitude E6400 Laptop
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-20


Are you a business professional looking for your next laptop? You won't be surprised to hear that there's a Dell Latitude that might be just what you're looking for. What might surprise you a little, however, is just how Dell has upgraded its whole Latitude line, and what the company has chosen to emphasize. Keep reading for a closer look at the Latitude E6400 to see what we mean.
Read the full article.
Canon Digital Rebel XS
by Bruce Coker, 2009-04-17

As the market leader when it comes to digital SLR cameras, Canon have shown their understanding of photographers' requirements again and again. It is well worth bearing this in mind when considering the Digital Rebel XS (marketed as the EOS 1000D in Europe), a camera that at first glance seems slightly confused over its position in the DSLR pantheon. Join us for a closer look.
Read the full article.
Lucid Hydra 100
by jkabaseball, 2009-04-16

The Lucid Hydra 100 seems to offer a solution for those who have felt locked into the kinds of motherboards and video cards they can use with their gaming. What exactly is it, and is it really the answer to a gamer's prayers? Keep reading to find out.
Read the full article.
 
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Using Xenu Link Sleuth to Spot and Improve External Links in a Domain
by Codex-M, 2009-04-22

Xenu Sleuth is one of the most important open source tools in web development and search engine optimization. Xenu Sleuth performs the task of crawling and checking links in a domain, just as other bots such as Googlebot and Yahoo! Slurp do. This article explains how to use Xenu Sleuth to improve the external or outgoing links on your web site.
Read the full article
.
Tokoni Takes Storytelling in New Direction
by Terri Wells, 2009-04-21

Tokoni came out of a year-long beta in October 2008, and favorably impressed a number of reviewers with its approach. An interesting hybrid of social networking, blogging, and community, the site has been compared to Gather and Associated Content. It's a place for telling stories, so what story does it have to tell?
Read the full article
.
Buying Search Engine Optimization Services
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-20

This article will help you buy search engine optimization services if you do not want to learn SEO on your own. It will explain what to look for in an SEO company, what you can expect to pay for good work, and what kinds of questions you should ask about their practices.
Read the full article
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Budget Web Hosting is More Affordable Than Ever
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-22

If you think that the hardest part of getting your web site online will be getting appropriate hosting services, think again. You can find web hosts now that fit every budget and need. Keep reading for a look at the current options.
Read the full article.
Linux Hosting vs. Windows Hosting
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-15

You are ready to put your business online. You have come up with your web design and content. There's just one more detail you have to take care of, even before choosing a hosting company. That's deciding what kind of hosting you want. There are a number of aspects to this, but there are two options that stand out in stark contrast: Linux and Windows.
Read the full article.
Should You Buy Domains Solely For Their PR?
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-08

If you are new to the field of web marketing, website design, or search engine optimization, you may have only briefly encountered the term "page rank." It is time that you become more familiar with the concept, because it is integral to just about any kind of money generation that you will find on the Internet.
Read the full article.
 

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Tutorialized is dedicated to programming, designing, and many other
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Change Eye Color in Photoshop
In this video tutorial, you will learn how to change eye color using Photoshop CS3.
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Encourage Discussions on Your Site
by KC Morgan, 2009-04-22


The Internet is a place for activity and exploration, knowledge and pleasure. The Internet is filled with distractions, games, even professional tools and helpful study guides. But the Internet is also a place for interaction, as the extreme popularity of dating and social networking sites has proved countless times and in many ways. Want more interaction among your users on your own pages? Encourage discussion on your site to make your space on the Internet a must-read. Never forget that to get them talking is to get them coming back for more.
Read the full article
.
Setting a Static Front or Main Page in Blogger
by Codex-M, 2009-04-20

Blogger (Blogspot) does not have a static front page feature, unlike WordPress. This means that it will change from time to time when there is a new post added to the blog. There are reasons to prefer a static front page, however. This article will explain, and show you how to set up such a page in Blogger.
Read the full article
.
Monetize your Website/Blog with Sponsored Blog Posts
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-10


Do you love to blog? Most bloggers love what they do so much that they're glad to do it for free. But wouldn't it be nice to get paid to do what you love? Keep reading; this article, the first part of a three-part series, will explain some of the ways you can arrange to get paid to blog.
Read the full article
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Book Review: CISSP in 21 Days
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2009-04-22

Out of hundreds of different certifications available on certain specific niche topics, CISSP is one of the most prestigious and internationally recognized certifications. It has very tough requirements, and the certification process is exhaustive. Today we are going to review a book that targets CISSP aspirants that have their exam around the corner. This book is a quick-revision guide, providing a strict 21-day plan to review your aptitude.
Read the full article
.
Variables Within the UNIX Shell
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-04-15

Variables. Sure, you can find a couple of them in your life every day. The fact that your girlfriend shows up at the correct time for the date you arranged last week or if the sun will shine like never before are variables that you know will occur only once you live that moment. However, today we will talk about variables that hold some specific data, and in particular, these variables exist inside the UNIX Shell.
Read the full article
.
The Shell and UNIX
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-04-08

It is dangerous to expose our most important possessions directly to every little effect coming from the world. Somebody may take advantage and just do damage to them. It is wise to put something in front of them. In the case of an operating system, the most important part is the kernel. Furthermore, we can take advantage of putting something in front of it, simplify working with the kernel, and make a couple of checks to ensure that nothing abusive happens. What we add before the kernel is the Shell.
Read the full article
.
 

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Instant-on Computers?

Computers usually take a few moments to boot up, some longer than others. That seems to be the nature of the beast, but scientists at Cornell University think they have an answer. They've added ferroelectric capability to silicon, which could lead to completely ferroelectric transistor. Darrell Schlom, lead researcher on the project, explained that ferroelectric transistors would be able to be turned on and off instantly, no waiting required.

If you've used smart cards, you've already used ferroelectric materials. They can be found in ATM cards, where their low-power, high-efficiency electronic memory make them ideal. Ferroelectric transistors might provide not only an instant-on capability, but also faster speed and lower power consumption. These features could make them competitive with flash technology.

The scientists' approach is unusual because it tries to deliver instant-on capability with hardware; most computer makers try to achieve it with software, making the operating system faster or more lightweight. Combining ferroelectric material with silicon is tricky; the team had to start with a non-ferroelectric variant of the ferroelectric material used in smart cards. The material became ferroelectric after it was deposited on the silicon. Researchers have been attempting to achieve this for decades. While a complete ferroelectric transistor is still a ways off, this is an important breakthrough.

Read more about this

Tweeting Via Brain Alone

The newest computer/human interface may be the most natural, and could help completely paralyzed patients communicate better. It involves sending a message simply by thinking about it. University of Wisconsin-Madison biomedical engineering doctorate student Adam Wilson demonstrated it by using an EEG to sent a “tweet,” a short message on Twitter, the popular microblogging site.

The message was only 23 characters long, and he had to think about each letter, but it's only the first step. Wilson hopes his work will help those whose brains are still functioning even though their bodies no longer work. These include those suffering from certain kinds of spinal cord injuries, brain-stem strokes, and amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The interface measures brain activity in response to flashing letters on a screen. Wilson notes that it is unfortunately a slow process, though practice can improve a user's speed. He says that he has seen speeds as fast as eight characters a minute. Paralyzed patients could use the interface to send tweets to family and friends, letting them know how they're doing; what's more, other followers of the patient need not even know that they're disabled, since Twitter encourages brevity. Tweets cannot exceed 140 characters.

Read more about this

Robots Change Everything, Even Billiards

Billiards is normally a slow, relaxed, thinking person's game that also requires a certain amount of dexterity and understanding of geometry, force, and related factors. You'd be amazed at how much this changes when you add robots to the mix. Carl Seguin came up with BilliardBots, remote-controlled mobile robots that take the place of the cue stick in this game; these simple-but-elegant machines promise to be more successful than his HockeyBots and soccer-playing robots. He even has a patent on them.

The three-inch by three-inch robots feature a bumper on one side and two short, stationary arms on the other. The robots can either hit the balls backward with the bumper or grab it between its arms and push it into pockets. Player's remotes (modified PlayStation controllers) control the bot's direction and speed, which of course affects the force of the hit.

Players decide who is colored and who is striped after the opening triangle is broken. After that, there's one more change in the rules: nobody takes turns. Both players try simultaneously to get all their balls in the pockets. Seguin notes that this makes the game very competitive and fast. Needless to say, it plays rather differently from the traditional game; players need the same kind of dexterity they'd use for playing a video game. Seguin thinks his bots could find a home in arcades, billiard rooms, amusement parks, and other venues such as private corporate events, fairs and festivals.

Read more about this

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