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July 30, 2009

Welcome to the latest edition of the Developer Shed newsletter! With smartphones in everyone's purse, briefcase, or pocket (to say nothing of all those on belt holsters), many developers are getting into smartphone application development for the first time. If you're one of those developers and would like to ask a few questions of others getting their feet wet in this field, you're in luck. Our Dev Shed forums feature an area specifically devoted to smartphone development. It focuses especially on the wildly popular BlackBerry. So if you're looking for some help, or can offer some help, be sure to stop by. We love to hear about your success stories, too, so feel free to brag.

It's almost embarrassing to say this, but one of the advantages of a down economy is all the bargains one can find - and that's even true in the high-tech field. The article we're highlighting this week from eWeek is a case in point. This is no ordinary bargain, however, and in fact it isn't due to some vendor wanting to get rid of outdated stock. This is Intel, and the discount is on their latest baby: the world's first 34-nanometer solid-state NAND flash drives for desktop and laptop computers. Drooling yet? That 60 percent discount sure looks appetizing. Check out the story for all the details.

We can't offer you a cheap solid state flash drive, but we can keep giving you some of the other tools you need to get your job done. Take Dev Shed, for instance. This week we covered the use of helpers and the filter extension in PHP 5, and examined the role of Java in smartphone application development. ASP Free readers, meanwhile, got a first glimpse at Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (in its first beta form), learned how to install an SSH server in Windows XP Home, and more.

Web site designers and developers reading Dev articles learned how to handle regular expressions in JavaScript, build a three-dimensional image gallery with Active Client Pages, and continued exploring the Ext JS library. The hardware enthusiasts reading Dev Hardware enjoyed some in-depth reviews; perhaps Palm is making a comeback after all.

SEO professionals find all sorts of uses for online surveys; this week, SEO Chat readers learned how to build one with Google Docs. If you've been wondering how you can improve conversions on your website, you'll also appreciate the article on testing your landing pages. You'll also appreciate Wednesday's feature on using advanced traffic analysis techniques with Google Analytics. If you're new to all this business of getting a site up and running online, Dev Mechanic is the place to turn for guidance. You'll learn how to get the most out of your WordPress blog, how to identify keywords, and more.

That's not all. Web Hosters concludes a three-part series on hosting your company's own web site this week. Codewalkers gets into the basics of what PHP is and why you'd want to use it. And Scripts and Tutorialized, as usual, offer the best user-generated content provided by our readers.

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. Watch it so we can feed our kids.
  • Jenny got game. Don't strain a nerd muscle.
  • Video of the Week is back. Easy now...

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Checking Boolean Values with Filters in PHP 5
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-07-29

Among the numerous libraries that come included by default with the PHP 5 distribution, there's one that has been overlooked by many developers. This is a shame, because it can be really useful for validating incoming data in a truly simple fashion. I'm talking about the filter extension, a powerful set of functions that let programmers apply several filters to multiple PHP variables to perform all sorts of clever validations, ranging from checking for integer and float numbers, to verifying email addresses and URLs.
Read the full article
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Advanced Java Programming for BlackBerry Smartphones
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-28


BlackBerry and Java have a long and storied history together. Since the launch of the BlackBerry 5810 in 2002, all BlackBerry smartphones have been Java-based. All core BlackBerry applications have been written in Java. As you can see, there are many benefits to being familiar with Java, especially as it pertains to being a BlackBerry developer.
Read the full article
.
PHP 5 Helpers: Calling Methods Out of Object Scope
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-07-27

Theoretically defining the role of helper classes in PHP 5 (and other popular server-side scripting languages) is a pretty approachable process. As their name suggests, helper classes provide developers with a set of logically-grouped methods that allow them to easily perform certain repetitive tasks that are common to different web applications. This is the second part of an eight-part article series that shows you how to build a variety of useful helper classes and expand on their functionality.
Read the full article
.
Learning Java Application Development
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-23

The Java platform is ideal for any developer who wants to create rich client apps, because it is capable of providing the most flexibility and power. The possibilities are literally endless because Java can be used to create a wide array of applications that feature a broad reach in terms of functionality. Whether you want to create games or corporate apps, it's all possible using Java.
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Run ASP .NET in Windows XP Home with Cassini Sample Web Server
by Codex-M, 2009-07-29

If you need to learn ASP .NET programming, then the first thing you need to install in your Windows XP Home PC is Cassini Sample Web Server. This article explains what you should have in place before you install the server, and explains how to download and configure it.
Read the full article.
Installing SSH Server in Windows XP Home
by Codex-M, 2009-07-28


If you're concerned about the security of your computing environment, and you're using Windows XP Home as your operating system, keep reading. Just because certain capabilities are not built into the system doesn't mean they can't be added.
Read the full article
.
Overview of the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-07-27

Many users didn't consider the most recent version of Microsoft Visual Studio to be a serious upgrade over the previous one. Sure, it held your attention if you were interested in the .Net framework, but otherwise, it seemed as if the only thing that changed was the number. Now we're getting up to 2010; is Microsoft doing the same thing, or is this version really new? Keep reading for a review of the first beta.
Read the full article.
Using Database Functions in Microsoft Excel
by Codex-M, 2009-07-23

Excel spreadsheets are useful, but did you know that by using database functions, you could get a lot more done with them in a relatively short period of time? Sure, it may seem difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it you'll wonder how you ever managed to get anything done before, and why it took you so long to stop doing things the old way. Keep reading to take a step or two out of your comfort zone.
Read the full article.
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Metacharacters, Flags and Regular Expressions in JavaScript
by Chrys Forcha, 2009-07-29

Welcome to the fourth part of a five-part series on regular expressions in JavaScript. In this part, you'll learn about metacharacters, combining matching features, and more.
Read the full article
.
A Multiple Page Image Gallery with Active Client Pages
by Chrys Forcha, 2009-07-28


You can have a web page which has pictures. This page may have links to other pages that have pictures. The linked pages may also have links to pages that have pictures, and so on. In this second part of a two-part series I show you how to make the pictures in all these pages display quickly at the browser, when the user clicks a button. Of course, we are going to use ACP techniques to solve the problem. Only the first picture of the first page may be displayed slowly.
Read the full article
.
EXT JS Passing Live Data
by Dan Wellman, 2009-07-27


Welcome to part two of the EXT-JS live data tutorial. In part one we created the underlying page and added the code to create the JsonStore, ColumnModel and GridPanel. Our GridPanel, however, currently has no data, so the first thing we're going to do in this part of the tutorial is add the PHP code that will pass this data back to the JsonStore.
Read the full article
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A Document Moving Store for Active Client Pages
by Crysanthus Forcha, 2009-07-24


Welcome to the fourth part of a twelve-part series that explains how to create Active Client Pages. In this part of the series, I explain the meaning of a moving store and how you come up with one.
Read the full article
.
A Two-Column Web Page Layout Based on the Rule of Thirds
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-07-23

If you're a self-taught web designer who wants to take your existing skills to the next level, then you should seriously consider learning some essential concepts of graphic design, such as the Golden Proportion and the Rule of Thirds, which surely will make your web sites look much more harmonious and aesthetically pleasant to visitors.
Read the full article
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Panasonic TC-P50V10
by wubayou, 2009-07-29

If you believe that you get what you pay for, you may appreciate the Panasonic TC-P50V10 plasma television. It certainly is not one of the cheapest 50-inch plasmas on the market, but for those for whom price is not an issue the Panasonic TC-P50V10 is well worth it. It delivers superior picture quality and color when compared to many of its competitors, especially in terms of the black levels it produces. Keep reading as we take a closer look in this two-part review.
Read the full article
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Palm Pre: The Sequel
by wubayou, 2009-07-28


Yesterday we began taking a close look at the long-anticipated Palm Pre from Sprint. As a smartphone, it invites comparison with Apple's iPhone. How does it measure up? In this conclusion to our two-part review, we look at just how capable a multitasker this workhorse of a mobile device really is.
Read the full article.

Palm Pre: Premiere
by wubayou, 2009-07-27


Although the iPhone seems to be the phone that garners the most attention these days, there is a newcomer that has generated its own fanfare and expectations in the form of the Palm Pre from Sprint. The Palm Pre’s debut at the CES 2009 show provided many cellular phone and gadget fans alike with a taste of its various features and the performance it could deliver. It's time to take a closer look. This is the first part of a two-part review.
Read the full article.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
by wubayou, 2009-07-24

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a new release this summer for the PS3 gaming console. There is no doubt that it is a highly anticipated release, thanks in part to the sequel in the Transformers movie series by director Michael Bay that has been a box office hit in terms of numbers so far this summer. But is it worth playing? More importantly, is it worth purchasing?
Read the full article
.
LG enV Touch
by wubayou, 2009-07-23

Are you in the market for a touch screen cellular phone that is loaded with features? If so, the LG enV Touch might be the right choice for you. Today we take a close look at what it has to offer and how it's different from the rest.
Read the full article
.
 
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Advanced Traffic Analysis Techniques with Google Analytics
by Codex-M, 2009-07-29

Google Analytics is free, highly reliable and provides a lot of information about your website traffic or website visitors' behavior. You probably know this already. Today we're going to show you some interesting ways to use that data that you may not have known.
Read the full article
.
Testing SEO Landing Pages and Improving Conversion
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-07-28

Testing has become a key online marketing discipline for increasing conversion rates and getting more out of search/pay per click traffic. There are several books on the topic, along with specialized software programs and companies that do nothing but help improve conversion rates through testing. If you think you need to start doing some tests yourself, you're probably right; keep reading.
Read the full article
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How to Build an Online Survey with Google Docs by Codex-M, 2009-07-27

Sure, you can build some simple online surveys, but if you want to do something really sophisticated, you need to know how to program, right? Wrong. Google Docs makes it easy to build some very elegant online surveys. Keep reading to learn how to create an online survey using this popular and versatile web-based application.
Read the full article
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Other Uses for Your Web Hosting Server
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-29

Welcome to the third article in a three-part series on hosting your own web sites. Now that you have installed your very own server, you have opened a whole new realm of possibilities for yourself and your business. Servers are very powerful computers that are capable of far more than just hosting one or two websites for your company. Relatively speaking, your websites should barely even scratch the surface of the capabilities of a typical server.
Read the full article.
Hosting Your Own Website: Reliability
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-22

One of the largest issues for anyone who is considering moving their website to their own server is the reliability of hosting your own website. When you are working with a professional web host, chances are that they have numerous technologies in place to prevent their websites from going down for any extended period of time. When you are working with your own server, you do not automatically have that kind of protection.
Read the full article.
Introduction to Hosting Websites
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-15

Have you considered hosting your own website? It's not unusual for a company to decide that this might be the way to go, but if you do, make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. This three-part article series shows you the ramifications of this decision and explains everything you must consider if and when you take the plunge.
Read the full article.
 

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

Straighten Crooked Photos
Learn how to easily straighten crooked photos in Photoshop.
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Basic Drag and Drop in Flash 8
How to create basic drag and drop with Flash 8.
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Learn blending techniques by using this layer mask. Read the tutorial.

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Identifying Keywords
by KC Morgan, 2009-07-29


Keywords! Search engines! If you try to create a Web page, your entire life suddenly revolves around these highly-important search terms. But what is a keyword? What keywords should you use? And how do you know what will work? Keep reading for the answers.
Read the full article
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Get More from WordPress
by KC Morgan, 2009-07-27

Anyone can get a free blog through WordPress and begin making their opinions known, but not everyone takes advantage of everything this site has to offer. A WordPress blog can actually be much more than a collection of words or even well-organized posts. Keep reading to learn how to get the most out of this free content platform.
Read the full article
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Should You Make Them Pay for Content?
by KC Morgan, 2009-07-24

There are a lot of reasons you might be spending money on your Web site. First, you have to pay for your domain name. You might even have to pay for a private server to store all your site's stuff. You might be paying for writers, so you can offer great content to all your traffic. Perhaps you pay for graphic designs, advertising for the site, features and extras that bring in the visitors. What do you use to make money to cover all these expenses - and is it enough? You offer a lot to your visitors that's free of charge to them, though it could be costly to you. Should you make them pay for content, instead?
Read the full article
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PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor: What is it?
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-29

The name "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor," commonly referred to as PHP, is a recursive acronym. In other words, PHP refers to itself within its name. This nomenclature is a bit of humor on the part of the Internet-age intellectuals that make up the leadership and development team of the online scripting language.
Read the full article
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Network Magic 5.0 Review
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-22

There seem to be countless gadgets and computer programs on the market intended to make our lives easier, but how many of these products are really worth their price? Cisco Systems's newly released Network Magic 5.0 is a mere $30 and allows users to easily set up, manage and secure their home or small office network effortlessly.
Read the full article
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Netfilter and Iptables Overview
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-15

We live in a world where being connected is the norm. If we were able to see the packets traveling around us, then we'd surely go insane. One of the main tasks of system administrators is implementing systems that work with these packets. Probably the most popular need is for a firewall. In this article we are going to overview the Netfilter framework, along with its Iptables user space in Linux.
Read the full article
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Cybersecurity: Grab'em Young

The US government and military are still recruiting at high schools and colleges, but the latest push is a little different. Instead of going for the jocks, they want the geeks. Specifically, they're interested in high school and college students who want to work in cybersecurity. And if you know someone who has what it takes, they'll have to prove it.

Proving it should be a lot more fun - and challenging - than boot camp, however. To choose these lucky recruits, the Center for Strategic and International Studies is sponsoring a U.S. Cyber Challenge aimed at finding 10,000 young Americans who dream of serving as “cyber guardians and cyber warriors,” according to the center's statement, and have the right stuff to guard our virtual borders. The challenge takes on increasing urgency in light of a series of denial of service attacks over the week of July 4th that temporarily forced commercial and government sites in the US and South Korea offline.

Participants in the U.S. Cyber Challenge will compete in at least one of three contests. High school students can try out the CyberPatriot network defense competition, conducted by the Air Force Association. The DC3 Defense Forensics Challenge, conducted by the US Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center, is open to all students, high school and above. NetWars, conducted by the SANS Institute, is a capture-the-flag competition designed to work like a game, and aimed at high school through graduate students (though anyone can play). Those completing the U.S. Cyber Challenge who display promising skills will get invitations to attend regional camps to polish those skills. The cream of the crop will be hired by the National Security Agency, the FBI, Defense Department, US-CERT, and the U.S. Department of Energy Laboratories.

Read more about this

Green Laser Could Mean Major Display Advances

Star Wars movies and apparently green laser pointers to the contrary, it has been nearly impossible to create a true green laser diode. Its construction would require the layering of particularly finicky materials in a specific order. Finally, researchers from Semiconductor Technologies R&D Laboratories at Sumitomo Electric Industries in Japan have reported success in tackling this problem.

Their new green laser diode is not very efficient yet. Operated in pulsed mode, it boasted only a 0.1 percent efficiency, as compared to 30 to 50 percent for blue and red laser diodes. But the researchers will probably fix these and other problems soon, now that they have a handle on the process.

Besides, there's a huge potential payoff in getting this working properly. Red, blue, and green are primary colors for light. Laser diodes in all three colors can be put into projection display systems, dramatically reducing both the cost and size of such displays. Ars Technica speculates that it could lead to hand-held projection display systems. How long will we have to wait? “[B]ased on past history, expect rapid progress from here and commercial laser diodes before the end of next year,” Ars Technica notes.

Read more about this

Healing Wounds With Diamonds

Scientists discovered a new medical application for nanotechnology: healing wounds more quickly. Those with serious wounds face the threat of bacterial infection. The body makes a number of infection fighters; one of these is the hormone insulin. But how do you get more insulin to the site of a wound?

That's where the nanotechnology comes in. Researchers at Northwestern University learned that insulin is attracted to nanodiamonds. Nanodiamond-insulin clusters can be placed at a wound, doing no harm to the patient. These clusters release their insulin gradually over a period of time thanks to conditions that naturally exist at the wound site: skin pH levels become basic in an area that is healing. The nanodiamonds require basic pH levels to release their insulin.

Researchers think the clusters could be used in gels, ointments, bandages and suture materials. The nanodiamonds can hold a substantial amount of insulin thanks to their high surface area. So far, they have only been tested in the lab, where they were shown to release their insulin only at pH levels found at the site of wounds, and not at the very different pH levels normally found on skin and in the body. The next step involves putting the nanodiamond-insulin clusters into a gel and doing preclinical trials. The treatment could speed up the healing process and reduce patients' risk of infection.

Read more about this

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