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May 21, 2009

Welcome to this week's Developer Shed newsletter. We know times are tough all over, and we want to help you get through them. If you're having problems with your IT budget, or expect things to get rough, take a look at the article we're highlighting this week from eWeek. If you're a CIO, you'll find a plan to help you fight for the budget you need despite the fact that IT is often thought of as a cost center rather than a revenue generator.

So, what can you learn from visiting our sites this week? Well, if you're a Perl programmer, you definitely want to stop by Dev Shed, as we gave that language its due with three great articles covering command line options and data manipulation. (Thursday's article covers PHP). Our ASP Free readers learned from looking at different options; one article compared Microsoft Silverlight with Adobe Flash, and another compared two different programming language paradigms, managed and native. We also continued an ongoing series that shows how to use graphs and algorithms to solve everyday problems.

Website designers and developers reading Dev Articles enjoyed our continuing multi-part projects, such as a web page calendar and a menu for all browsers. On Thursday and Friday we also showed you how to work with the Blueprint CSS framework and how to design with nested HTML lists. Dev Hardware, meanwhile, overflowed with practical advice this week, from turning DRM-protected files into MP3s to downloading movies to DVDs (both legally); we also took a look at inexpensive home projectors and some very interesting things you can do with flash drives.

SEO professionals trying to climb to the top of the search engine results pages could read about a diversity of topics on SEO Chat this week. We showed you how to use Google Analytics on your web site, employ public relations to increase your traffic, and pointed out the things that Microsoft's search engine finds relevant. If you're pondering some of the things you can do online as a site owner, Dev Mechanic showed you how to create a dating site and how to write SEO-perfect articles.

There's always more, as regular readers know. Web Hosters took a look at the most critical security threats for 2009. Codewalkers continued its ongoing focus on UNIX, covering the command required to do tests in the UNIX shell. And scripts and Tutorialized offered some excellent user-generated content.

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

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Navteq Maps itself to the Moblin Project Platform

By Tina Gasperson
Navteq, a Silicon Valley company launched in 1985 with a goal to provide digital map services for a range of markets around the world, announced it will become part of the flourishing Moblin project ecosystem.

Read the full article >

Re-Thinking Mobile Applications and User Experience: Part 3
Software Development and Device Considerations That Affect Success

By Lisa Morgan
aving a new product concept is always exciting but aligning the concept with market expectations can be more difficult. This third article in a series examines some software development and device factors that can influence the success of an application.
Read the full article >


Interop
May 19th-21st, 2009 | Las Vegas Convention Center | WEBSITE >
Attend the Interop Conference for a comprehensive, integrated view of technologies that will give your business a competitive edge. Learn how the recent surge of IT innovation can help you cut costs, get closer to your customers and increase revenue.

Computex, Taipei
June 2nd-6th, 2009 | Taipei World Trade Center | WEBSITE >
Computex is the second largest computer exhibition in the world, next to CeBIT in Germany. Each year, key global businesses launch their new products here.

O'Reilly OSCON
July 20-24, 2009 | San Jose Convention Center | WEBSITE >
Sustaining, Applying, and Expanding Open Source to Change the World O'Reilly Open Source Convention - OSCON - Open for Business for over a decade with a consistent vision towards the next generation of Open Source.

 


Intel Atom, MIDs, and Moblin


Steve “Chippy” Paine shows off the Clarion Mind MID
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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 wants your delicious ratings. And we will do anything to get them.
  • Is your cereal dull and bland? SEO Hulk can help you with that.
  • America invades Russia. You heard it here first.

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Basic Charting with Perl
by Peyton McCullough, 2009-05-20

In programming, data manipulation is an everyday task. Programmers must be able to take raw data and perform some operation, or a set of operations, on that data to modify it. However, presenting data is also very important, both in programming and in other tasks. This article will cover one of the ways you can present data in Perl.
Read the full article
.
Using Getopt::Long: More Command Line Options in Perl
by Peyton McCullough, 2009-05-19


In the last article, we took a look at command line options and how we could read them in Perl using the Getopt::Std module. For many simple applications, that article covers all that you need to make use of command line options. When you need more command line options, you can make use of the Getopt::Long module, which is the subject of this article.
Read the full article
.
Command Line Options in Perl: Using Getopt::Std
by Peyton McCullough, 2009-05-18

Unlike command line arguments, command line options can sometimes be a bit difficult to read; nevertheless, they can prove to be quite useful. This article explains what a command line option is, why you would use one, and how to process them in Perl. This article is the first of two parts.
Read the full article
.
Web Access with LWP
by Peyton McCullough, 2009-05-14

There are a number of ways you can retrieve information from the web. You can access it directly via a browser, or you can write a script that gets the information for you and delivers it in a form you can use. The LWP library for Perl can help you with the latter. Keep reading for a closer look.
Read the full article
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Programming Languages: Managed versus Native
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-05-20

If you're ready to learn how to code, you have a tough choice ahead of you: which programming language to learn first. While there are a plethora of languages to choose from, the vast majority approach coding from one of two opposed philosophies: managed or native. This article will help you decide between the two.
Read the full article.
Circles and Connectivity in Graphs
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-05-19

Search and you will find. At least this is what everybody says whenever you are lost and you do not know what to do. This is as true in life as it is in graph theory. Today we're going to search for some answers concerning strong connectivity and circles inside graphs. When all is said and done, we'll find another way to use graphs to solve some complex algorithm-related problems. This is the fifth part of a multi-part series.
Read the full article.
Silverlight vs. Adobe Flash
by Joe Eitel, 2009-05-18


Which multimedia plug-in offers the best experience for web developers looking to add animation and video to their web sites, Adobe's Flash or Microsoft's Silverlight? And which one offers the best experience for the end user? This article takes a look at the rivalry and considers the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Read the full article
.
Internet Explorer 8: A Hands-on View
by Terri Wells, 2009-05-14


Microsoft still leads the browser market, but stiff competition from FireFox, Opera, and others means the software giant can't rest on its laurels. This explains the release of Internet Explorer 8. How well does this feature-packed browser actually work? I decided to take it on a test run.
Read the full article
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Configuring Tables for a Menu for All Browsers
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-05-20

In this third part of the series, we continue with the style attributes of the tables of the menu. After that we shall talk about the IDs of the tables and the IDs of their cells. As I said in the previous part of the series, a lot of the design in this series lies in the configuration of the tables. We just have to carry on talking about the tables. We shall talk relatively little about the JavaScript code, later in the series.
Read the full article
.
Extending the Basic Streams in C++
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-05-19


The basic stream library (iostream) is designed to resolve most of the general problems you may run into during your programming endeavors. However, sometimes it simply isn't enough, and you need to extend it to suit your application—your special situation. This article will show you how to do that.
Read the full article
.
Showing a Full Year with a Web Page Calendar
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-05-18


Welcome to the sixth part of an eight-part article series that shows you how to build a web page calendar. Up to now we've mostly been dealing with calculating and displaying the months. In this part of the series I talk about the layout of the calendar, and I introduce a new function that will show an entire year at a time.
Read the full article
.
Designing with Nested HTML Lists
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-05-15


Nested HTML lists offer an abundance of uses; they're not just for navigation these days. If you want to learn how to get the most out of this common web site feature, keep reading; we'll explain how to use them in ways you might not have thought of yet.
Read the full article
.
Changing Grid Units in the Blueprint CSS Framework
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-05-14


Among the dozens of CSS frameworks available these days on the web, there’s one that stands out from the rest due to its impressive features and flat learning curve. In this particular case, I am speaking of Blueprint CSS, a robust CSS library created over the last year by Oval Frihagen Bjørkøy that permits you to build all sorts of clever web page layouts by using a clean, grid-based approach.
Read the full article
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Downloading to DVD
by KC Morgan, 2009-05-20

It is not the kind of thing a lot of people openly talk about, at least not in public forums, but lots of people like to download videos, even full-length movies, on the Internet. The trouble is, of course, in many cases it is actually illegal to download movies and then burn them to DVD (despite the relative ease of using DVD burners these days). If you have been longing for a day when downloading to DVD is not just easy but law-abiding as well, Qflix could be the answer for you.
Read the full article
.
Using Audio Recording to Convert DRM Protected WMA Files to MP3
by Bruce Coker, 2009-05-19

Part one of this two-part series on converting DRM-protected WMA files to alternate, unrestricted formats such as MP3 discussed burning the WMA files to CD and then ripping them as MP3 files. The CD conversion method is simple and reliable, but what should you do if your WMA license does not allow burning to CD? This is where you need a slightly more elaborate setup - and some patience - to accomplish the challenge.
Read the full article
.
Inexpensive Home Projectors
by Katie Gatto, 2009-05-18


Wouldn't it be cool to be able to watch movies on the side of your house, or play your video games beyond full screen on a full wall or even on your bedroom ceiling? You know that sounds like fun, and you know that you want to do it. That means that you, my cutting edge friend, are in need of a projector. In this article we'll list what you should look for in a quality projector, and hopefully find a few that won't force you to hock your video games to keep up with the payments.
Read the full article.
Logitech X-240 2.1 PC Speakers
by Joe Eitel, 2009-05-15

If you're tired of the speakers that came with your desktop PC, the Logitech X-240 2.1 PC speaker system is worth a look. With this system's specs, the price won't be the only thing that's music to your ears. Keep reading while we take a closer look.
Read the full article.
Flash Drive Booting Fundamentals
by Barzan "Tony" Antal, 2009-05-14

In this ever-changing world of technology, we are required to keep up with the pace of advancements. Sometimes this may be tough, other times it requires a bit of research, and adapting becomes child’s play. People carry flash drives everywhere, but when it comes to booting up a system with them, they prefer to do it "old-school?" with magnetic floppy disks. This article, the first in a four-part series on flash drives, will hopefully change this.
Read the full article.
 
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Using Analytics on Your Site
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-05-20

If you are investing time or money in SEO/PPC, you need to know what you are getting in return. The best measure is your bank account and ROI, but with careful analysis of your visitors and their behaviors, you can increase your bottom line, help redirect efforts to the most profitable website segments, and get more out of each landing page. In this article we discuss web analytics and its usage for your website.
Read the full article
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Public Relations and SEO
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-05-19

Before PR meant Page Rank, it was short for public relations. This century-old science not only has a place in the new field of SEO, but it plays a vital role if you want to get good buzz for your web site. Keep reading to learn how to get good PR for your company, and how to combine its effects with SEO.
Read the full article
.
SEO for Microsoft Live Search (MSN)
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-05-18

Microsoft is the latest major player in the search engine game. It came to the scene in 2004, and has since lost half of its market share to Google. Microsoft continues to treat search as a top priority, and as you've heard, attempted to buy Yahoo for $40+ billion. With an eight percent market share, Microsoft does not send many visitors, but you can benefit from relatively easy SEO techniques.
Read the full article
.
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Webmaster Security Threats for 2009
by Katie Gatto, 2009-05-20

When you deal with the world of the web, especially when you do so professionally, it is not at all easy to forget that that you will be facing a bevy of new security challenges. After all, the Internet is a place that was founded on the principle of innovation, and it is highly unlikely that its innovation will stop any time soon. For the most part, the changes that occur are apt to be good things that help to improve sites. Some, on the other hand, turn out to be bad things done to help those trying to engage in illegal, unethical and downright destructive actions against your site.
Read the full article.
The Evolution of Phishing
by Katie Gatto, 2009-05-13

When you run a website, whether it be an active blog or a large static site, keeping on top of everything can be more than a little bit of a challenge. There are a lot of aspects to be managed if you want your site to be successful. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there to make your job a little easier.
Read the full article.
The Evolution of Phishing
by Joe Eitel, 2009-05-06

According to Wikipedia, phishing “is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information.” If you are unfamiliar with the epidemic of phishing, it is high time that you educate yourself on the matter. Unfortunately, ignorance will not keep the danger of those who want your information at bay. Rather, if you are not educated about the dangers of phishing, you are even more vulnerable to it than most people.
Read the full article.
 

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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.
Read the tutorial.

Creating a Pong Game - Part 1
This tutorial will teach how to Create a Pong Game in Flash ActionScript.
Read the tutorial.

Basic Outlining and Coloring
Color your illustrations in just minutes using these simple techniques with Illustrator.
Read the tutorial.

Create a Simple Flash Movie
In this video tutorial, you will learn how to create a simple Flash movie.
Read the tutorial.

Building a 3D album with FIVe3D and TweenLite
In this tutorial I will show you how to build a simple 3D photo album.
Read the tutorial.

Simple XML/RSS Parser
XML parser designed to parse most valid news and blog feeds.
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.

Sitemile Freelancer Clone
This script will let you run a freelancer website hands-free. Written using PHP code.
Learn more.

Zee Lyrics V3
Zee Lyrics lets you search lyrics by artists, song, albums/movies, and more.
Learn more.

Fox Audio Recorder
Transfer tapes, LPs, live performances, TV and more to your hard drive with no loss of quality.
Learn more.

VideoIsland
VideoIsland allows you to create your own online professional video management system using your existing web site! Learn more.

Flash Analogue Clock
An all-vector, scalable Flash countdown clock movie. Counts down based on the computer clock.
Learn more.

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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Write SEO-Perfect Articles
by KC Morgan, 2009-05-20


The Internet is a place for the most cutting-edge technology, ideas and images, but it's also something of a confusing jumble of incorrect and misleading information, a deep morass where so much data is piled together it's hard to make sense of it all. In all this mire, is there a way to achieve the highest search engine esteem? Is it possible to write SEO-perfect articles which are sure to gain notice?
Read the full article
.
How to Create a Dating Site
by KC Morgan, 2009-05-18

It is no secret that matchmaking sites are successful on the Internet. The most well-known sites advertise through television, radio and every other entertainment medium; there is even been at least one movie about couples meeting through online dating sites. Many people are becoming rich off of those seeking companionship, so why can't you? Want to know how to create a dating site?
Read the full article
.
Add Games to Your Site
by KC Morgan, 2009-05-15


Forums. Discussion groups. Comments. Streaming video. Chat rooms. A search bar. When it comes to adding interactive features to your Web site, the list seems to go on and on, and there always seems to be more work waiting for you. After all, it is a new age for the Internet, and today, being online means being active. But aren't you still missing something in that huge list of on-site amenities? Shouldn't you give your users a little bit of fun, too? When you want to add yet one more element to your pages, can you add games to your site?
Read the full article
.
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The Test in the UNIX Shell
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-05-20

Tests occur on a daily basis in our life, from seeing if you can get up early enough to get to your job to seeing how good you are at passing tests. When you start to do shell programming, tests will be just as important. You want to test files, expressions, variables, strings and more for certain traits. To make this easier, a command was introduced, which we will learn how to use today.
Read the full article
.
Control Mechanisms of the UNIX Shell
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-05-13

You can consider most of the things happening around you to be a stream of data. Your girlfriend loves you; two cars crash in a corner; your mother calls you to wish you a happy birthday; etc. Everything is just a stream of data that your brain takes and processes. The quality of your life very much depends on how your brain interprets this stream, however this on its own depends on what streams arrive there. In UNIX, things are very much the same. The tools just interpret and filter the data. Nevertheless, how these streams get from one place to another can very much influence the result.
Read the full article
.
Control Mechanisms of the UNIX Shell
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-05-06

The power of an operating system is equal to the powers of the tools/programs it can provide. What you can do inside the operating system depends on the nature of the tools it offers you. However, you can have the most advanced and capable tools, yet suffer if you fail to put them to work in a correct and efficient way. This is where the control mechanism you have at your disposal enters the picture. Now then, what control mechanism will help us to exploit UNIX tools to their full capacities?
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:

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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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Google Puts Power Control in Your Hands

Wouldn't it be easier to conserve energy in your home, and save money, if you could get daily feedback about your energy usage from your home computer? That's the idea behind Google's new initiative. The search giant partnered with eight energy utilities to offer Google PowerMeter to their customers. PowerMeter is a Google gadget that relies on metering devices to give users accurate information about the amount of energy they're using. Users can access this information from their computers.

Google's diverse partners come from three different countries. They include both small and very large utilities, servicing rural and urban areas. Some are privately-held, while others are municipally run. While Google's new service is currently available only to a small group of customers, the company plans to expand it later this year. They also hope to sign up more utilities, and more companies that can help them implement their PowerMeter software.

Best of all, as with many services from Google, PowerMeter is free and requires that users opt in. While Google is not the first company to offer home energy monitoring in a relatively easy and convenient, it is well-positioned to encourage its spread. If they are successful, we could see a real impact, as one estimate suggests that simply getting information to consumers on energy usage trends can help them cut their consumption by five to 15 percent.

Read more about this

Energy Out of Thin Air

One major challenge when it comes to using batteries to power anything is how much energy they store. This is especially true for batteries used to power electric cars. Now researchers in the chemistry department at the University of St. Andrews say that an air-fueled battery they've designed shows immense promise, and could provide up to ten times the energy storage of currently-available batteries.

The new battery's design takes its cue from rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Where those batteries use a lithium cobalt oxide electrode, however, researchers at the university substitute a porous carbon electrode. The lithium ions and electrons in the cell then react with oxygen in the ambient air. The researchers believe their battery, dubbed STAIR (St. Andrews Air), could deliver a constant electrical output from renewable resources.

Researchers hope to see their battery eventually powering portable electronic devices and even electric cars. They're funded by the U.K.'s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The battery project is expected to continue for the next two years, but according to the lead researcher, the STAIR cell won't be commercially available for at least the next five years.

Read more about this

Robots Fall Without Getting Hurt

Whether you're a human or a robot, if you play an active sport such as soccer, you need to learn how to fall without hurting yourself or your environment. This is one of the potential stumbling blocks (pun not intended) for robots competing in the annual world RoboCup tournament. RoboCup's ultimate goal is to field a robot team in 40 years that can beat the best human team...but that's not going to happen unless soccer-playing robots can learn how to take a fall safely. Now two robot teams from Chile may have achieved this elusive goal.

Javier Ruiz-del-Solar of the University of Chile in Santiago and his human team are training the two soccer-playing robot teams. The bots fall in a controlled way, recover quickly, and can even fall deliberately. Ask any soccer goalie how important this is! Rather than letting his robots fall as a dead weight, which is the more typical approach, Ruiz-del-Solar quantified potential damage from a fall as a set of equations, which take into account such factors as the forces transmitted to its joints and the position of its cameras and other important parts when it falls.

Ruiz-del-Solar's team took these equations and plugged them into a computer simulation based on a robot with 22 simple joints. The simulations turned up a number of ways that robots can fall to minimize damage to themselves, such as by folding its legs underneath it (thus making it less likely for its head to hit the ground). The team then took the next step of testing the simulations in the real world, with a real robot. They confirmed that when the robot fell in the ways the simulation suggested would cause less damage, the robot in fact took less damage. Ruiz-del-Solar thinks the equations can be generalized to other humanoid robots with standard joints, thus letting more robots learn how to fall. He and his team still face the ultimate test of their research: this year's RoboCup, which will be held in Graz, Autria, in June and July. The research offers applications outside of soccer-playing robots, too; it could help someone wearing a cybersuit or robotic legs for walking assistance to fall gracefully without taking excess damage.

Read more about this

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