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Nov. 05, 2009

It's time for the latest issue of the Developer Shed newsletter and can you believe it's November already? Even now, plenty of employers are looking ahead to 2010 and their staffing requirements. If you're interested in the employment trends currently shaping up in IT, you need to check out the item we're highlighting this week in eWeek. You'll find some good news and a few surprises in this slide show.

You won't find any surprises on our sites this week just the same good, solid, helpful articles you've grown accustomed to. Dev Shed readers learned more about method chaining, and also enjoyed a useful primer on PHP encryption and decryption. Those focused on Microsoft-related technology found plenty to keep them busy at ASP Free, as we covered classes and object in C# and pondered which version of Windows 7 one should get assuming one is upgrading after all.

Website designers and developers reading Dev Articles learned more cool tricks they could employ using the jQuery Tooltip plug-in. Hardware enthusiasts, meanwhile, enjoyed reviews of several mobile devices at Dev Hardware, including one for a rather unusual camera (would you believe the return of instant pictures?). Don't forget that these two sites publish original content five times a week, so be sure to check back often.

SEO professionals reading SEO Chat got a handle on Google AdWords this week. They also learned some lessons about building a successful blog from a recent popular movie in a two-part article. Dev Mechanic offered tips on mobile marketing, and adding a secure payment feature to your website.

That's not all. If you want to run Windows applications under your Linux operating system, Codewalkers tells you all about Wine. Those concerned with network security need to visit Web Hosters, where they can learn about packet sniffing with Wireshark. And Scripts and Tutorialized feature great content contributed 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 brings you the finest comedy has to offer.
  • Yakov returns and brings a new friend. Introducing: Sad Chicken. Because there is nothing sadder, than a sad chicken.

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Building Dynamic Queries with Chainable Methods
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-11-04

Welcome to the fifth part of a 12-part series focused on method chaining in PHP 5. Through a set of comprehensive and easy-to-follow tutorials, this series of articles shows you how to create and use chainable methods within your own classes. It also teaches you how to implement this useful programming methodology for developing real-world web applications.
Read the full article
.
PHP Encryption and Decryption Methods
by Codex-M, 2009-11-03


PHP encryption is a method of obfuscating scripts in such a way that it offers additional protection and prevents unauthorized editing of the scripts. This article discusses both encryption and decryption.
Read the full article
.
Building a MySQL Abstraction Class with Method Chaining
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-11-02

In this fourth part of a 12-part series on method chaining, I start building a basic MySQL abstraction class that implements a few straightforward methods. Of course, the methods can be easily chained to each other, which permits us to build different parts of a SELECT statement through a truly compact and readable API.
Read the full article
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Demystifying SELinux on Kernel 2.6
by Tony Antal, 2009-10-29

If you're looking for a way to control or restrict access to your Linux-based applications, you might want to look at SELinux. This extension has been around since Linux kernel 2.6 and can help you with your access issues.
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Which Version of Windows 7 Should You Use?
by KC Morgan, 2009-11-04

Sometimes, it seems like Microsoft's sole purpose is to confuse computer users. This multi-billion dollar company continues to crank out new versions of Windows, leaving users scrambling to keep up with the latest trends and brand-new operating systems. It's not enough that Windows 7 has come out on the market for computer users to enjoy; Microsoft wants you to pick from among six different versions of the software, because one just wouldn't do. So, which one should you use, if you plan on using Windows 7 at all?
Read the full article.
Handling Methods and Functions
by O'Reilly, 2009-11-03


In this conclusion to a four-part series on classes and objects in C#, you'll learn how to overload methods and constructors, handle property class modifiers, and more. This article is excerpted from chapter four of the book Programming C# 3.0, fifth edition, written by Jesse Liberty and Donald Xie (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596527438). Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
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Destroying Objects in C#
O'Reilly, 2009-11-02

In this third part of a four-part series on classes and objects in C#, you'll learn how to invoke static methods, how to use destructors, and more. This article is excerpted from chapter four of the book Programming C# 3.0, fifth edition, written by Jesse Liberty and Donald Xie (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596527438). Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
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Creating Objects in C-Sharp
O'Reilly, 2009-10-29

In this second part of a four-part series on classes and objects in C#, you'll learn how to create objects, use static members, and much more. This article is excerpted from chapter four of the book Programming C# 3.0, fifth edition, written by Jesse Liberty and Donald Xie (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596527438). Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
Read the full article.
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More Uses for the jQuery Tooltip Plug-in`s bodyHandler Option
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-11-04

Welcome to the final installment of a series on the jQuery Tooltip plug-in. In seven approachable tutorials, this series shows you how to use this powerful JavaScript application to create all sorts of eye-popping tooltips for your web page links. This will make them much more accessible and usable to your potential visitors.
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Building Image-Based Tooltips with the jQuery Tooltip Plug-in
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-11-03


In this sixth part of a seven-part series on using the jQuery Tooltip plug-in, I demonstrate how the bodyHandler argument can be used to display image-based tooltips. I also show how to customize their behavior by adding and removing options within the "tooltip()" method.
Read the full article.
Using the jQuery Tooltip Plug-in`s bodyHandler Argument
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-11-02


In this fifth installment of a seven-part series on the jQuery Tooltip plug-in, I discuss the use of the "bodyHandler" argument. It can be really useful for injecting HTML code into tooltips, thus altering their default visual appearance and behavior.
Read the full article
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Using Rangelength, Min and Max with the Validator jQuery Plug-in
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-10-30

When it comes to validating web forms in the client, one of the most effective and elegant applications that can be used nowadays is the Validator jQuery plug-in. It's a compact and powerful piece of software written by Jörn Zaefferer that allows you to check data collected through online forms with ease in a truly unobtrusive way.
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Using Minlength and Maxlength with the Validator jQuery Plug-in
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-10-29

If you don't know how to make your web site check web forms in the client, it's time you learned about the Validator jQuery plug-in. It's a compact and powerful application based on the popular jQuery library that will let you perform all sorts of clever validations on online forms in a truly no-brainer fashion, without spending endless hours coding complex JavaScript checking functions to check user-supplied data. This is the second part of a seven-part series that examines this plug-in in detail.
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Garmin Nuvifone G60 GPS Smartphone
by Joe Eitel, 2009-11-04

There have been many unique pairings recently for the good of wireless technology, such as Google and Verizon's decision to team up and create a line of Android phones to be manufactured by Motorola. During the first week of October (2009), however, there was the unveiling of perhaps the most innovative (and inevitable) coupling ever: Garmin and AT&T's GPS cell phone, the Garmin Nuvifone G60 GPS smart phone. Keep reading for a closer look.
Read the full article
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Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S with Instant Photo Processing
by Joe Eitel, 2009-10-27

I recently had flashbacks of the old school Polaroid cameras we remember growing up – you take a photo and it prints instantly; cool idea but never really remained popular as photo quality became more important to photo enthusiasts. Fujifilm has enjoyed a bit of success in Asia and Europe over the past several years with similar cameras, but in September, 2009 released the first Instax line of "Polaroid-esque" cameras with instant photo printing capability in the US. Let's take a closer look.
Read the full article
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Dell`s First Smartphone: What Can You Expect from the Android?
by KC Morgan, 2009-11-02


For many years, Dell has been a well-known and highly-respected name in computers. For the last few years, cell phones and handheld mobile devices have been becoming more and more like mini-computers. So it makes sense that Dell would get into this market. Let's see what we can expect from the computer giant as it ventures into a new field.
Read the full article.
The Samsung SPH-M240 and the Samsung SPH-M330 Cellular Phones for Sprint
by wubayou, 2009-10-30

If you're looking for a basic cell phone that does a few simple tasks and won't break the bank, keep reading. Two options that might suit your needs are the Samsung SPH-M240 and the Samsung SPH-M330 cellular phones, which we're reviewing today.
Read the full article
.
Samsung Intensity SCH-U450 for Verizon Wireless
by wubayou, 2009-10-29

If you are in search of a messaging phone at an affordable price, then the Samsung Intensity SCH-U450 for Verizon Wireless might be what you are looking for. The Intensity has an attractive design that won’t weigh you down, as well as a full QWERTY keyboard perfect for messaging fanatics. It also has some nice extras. Priced at only $29.99 with a two-year service agreement from Verizon, the Intensity is also very affordable.
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More Blogging Tips: Cooking with Gas
by Terri Wells, 2009-11-04

Yesterday I covered four great lessons we can learn about blogging from watching the movie "Julie and Julia." I promised you a total of 11. So what can you do to make your blog memorable, besides being passionate about your subject, having a goal, being reliable and finding your niche? Keep reading.
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Blogging Tips from Julie and Julia
by Terri Wells, 2009-11-03

What can a movie tell us about blogging? When one of the central stories revolves around a blog, quite a bit. And when that movie happens to be "Julie and Julia," one can learn all sorts of positive lessons as the plot unfolds.
Read the full article.
Google Adwords Guide
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-11-02

Google AdWords is the biggest pay-per-click platform in the world. It made Google's founders billionaires. It has also made significant money for those who use it - or at least, those who have used it properly. This multi-part guide can help you make the most of AdWords.
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Packet Sniffing with Wireshark
by Tony Antal, 2009-11-04

Wireshark is akin to some superstar or diva in the land of networking and security. Simply put, it is the most popular, award-winning network protocol analyzer. It not only sniffs packets, it does much more. In this article we will first explain what packet sniffing is, how it works, and why you should sniff. After that, we will lead you on your first sniffing session done professionally with Wireshark!
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Connecting to a Server using SSH: the Fundamentals
by Codex-M, 2009-10-28

Are you trying to improve the security of your Internet connection? It's time you learned about SSH, the secure shell protocol. Never heard of it before? Keep reading.
Read the full article.
How to Expand a Simple Website
by Joe Eitel, 2009-10-21

Do you have a web site that you haven't done much with yet? Would you like to build a blog or other content-based site on that domain? Keep reading. This article will show you how to take your tiny site to the next level.
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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.
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Basic Outlining and Coloring
Color your illustrations in just minutes using these simple techniques with Illustrator.
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Create a Simple Flash Movie
In this video tutorial, you will learn how to create a simple Flash movie.
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Building a 3D album with FIVe3D and TweenLite
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Simple XML/RSS Parser
XML parser designed to parse most valid news and blog feeds.
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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
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VideoIsland allows you to create your own online professional video management system using your existing web site! Learn more.

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An all-vector, scalable Flash countdown clock movie. Counts down based on the computer clock.
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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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How to Add a Secure Payment Feature to Your Site
by KC Morgan, 2009-11-04


Are you offering products, services and great features on your Web site? Do you hope to earn through online buying, donations and other monetary transfers? If you can't give safety and security to your buyers, you can't hope to make much money from your efforts. Want them to spend? Make it safe for your traffic. Learn how to add a secure payment feature to your site, and learn how to bring in more money from your efforts.
Read the full article
.
Google and Mobile Marketing: How Can You Use Them?
by KC Morgan, 2009-11-02

Are you sure you're investigating all of the marketing avenues for your web site? If you're not looking into mobile marketing, you could be seriously missing out. Getting involved in this growing area could add quite a bit to your bottom line. Keep reading for an introduction.
Read the full article
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Professional Networking with Mycubi
by KC Morgan, 2009-10-30

Before we had networking sites, people used to network to find all sorts of things: friends, handymen, doctors, and even jobs. While social networking sites seem to outnumber their more serious business counterparts, these do exist. Mycubi aspires to fill the need for a networking site for professionals.
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Wine: Not Another Emulator
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-10-28

"Wine Is Not another Emulator." This is the recursive acronym hidden in the name of an application to which someone might direct you if you wanted to know how to run your Windows applications under a Linux distribution. However, what is hidden under the hood of this small kit you downloaded to make it happen? Keep reading and we shall find out.
Read the full article
.
Preventive Measures to Block SSH Attacks
by Tony Antal, 2009-10-28

It should not surprise anyone that over the past few years, SSH attacks have become stupendously frequent. It is not uncommon to see tens of thousands of login occurrences in the case of a mid-sized company. Throughout this article we will look into viable solutions and preventive measures that we recommend implementing to reduce the count of these attacks - often eliminating them entirely.
Read the full article
.
Using PHP to Stream MP3 Files and Prevent Illegal Downloading
by Codex-M, 2009-10-21

Are you looking for a way to sell your music online without your visitors ripping off your stuff for free? If you use streaming MP3s, that's a very real risk. Keep reading to learn how to sell your work online and prevent illegal downloading of your audible art.
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Mickey Mouse as You've Never Seen Him Before

Disney's most iconic character is Mickey Mouse, a happy-go-lucky, non-controversial figure. But Mickey wasn't always like that, as anyone who has seen the trouble he got into in Fantasia in the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence can attest. There was a time when Mickey was quite mischievous and behaved badly. Now Warren Spector of Deus Ex gaming company, collaborating with Disney, hopes to bring some of the dark side of Mickey back in a 2010 game release for the Wii called Epic Mickey.

Mickey Mouse will be a hero in this platform-RPG. The storyline will take him through a cartoon wasteland created by Yen Sid, the wizard from the Sorcerer's Apprentice (and also Disney spelled backwards). The wasteland features all of Disney's forgotten and abandoned creations, with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit foremost among them. Oswald has grown bitter at Mickey's success, and Mickey must deal with this character to achieve his goal and save the world.

One of the challenges Spector had to face in creating this new game was creating a 3D animated version of Mickey Mouse. With a couple of rare exceptions, Mickey's always been in 2D and the animators cheated all the time...In 3D you can't do that, so I looked at the few previous 3D Mickeys and I didn't feel anybody had gotten it right. We went through probably thousands of concepts trying to find the right look...Rendering it in 3D was tough and then getting it to move like a cartoon character was a huge challenge and tons of fun, Spector notes. Epic Mickey is expected to hit the market in the fall of next year.

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Anti-Counterfeiting Treaty Leaks to Internet

Sometimes it's necessary to cover something that is weird but NOT cool. Such is the case with the Internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. This is a copyright treaty whose text the US government cited national security concerns in refusing to disclose. Okay then, how bad can it be? In Cory Doctorow's words, It's bad. Very bad.

According to the terms of the treaty, ISPs would have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. That's in contrast to how it's handled today, where common carrier precedents do not hold ISPs liable for copyright-infringing material posted by users unless they've been informed of it and refuse to take it down. Think of the difficulties in running a service such as Flickr or YouTube or even Blogger if the ISP had to check each and every item posted to make sure it did not infringe someone's copyright!

Another example of the pain such a treaty could cause lies in its requirement that ISPs cut off the Internet access of anyone accused of copyright infringement or face liability. There are at least two problems with this. First, just because someone is accused of copyright infringement doesn't mean they've actually done it, so the rule could punish the innocent. Second, given that Internet access these days is arranged for an entire household at a time, a whole family could be denied access to the Internet if just one member is accused of copyright infringement, which DEFINITELY punishes the innocent. Note that these are just two of a number of problems with this chapter of the treaty.

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Try, Try Again: NASA's Elevator to Space Competition

In three years, NASA's Space Elevator Games have yet to produce a winner. But that doesn't stop teams from trying. This week, in the Mojave Desert, near NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, three teams were scheduled to compete in the fourth annual games, for $2 million in prizes. Teams must use laser beams to power a machine to climb a cable suspended from a helicopter hovering more than a half-mile high. To win, the machine must climb at a rate of 16.4 feet per second.

It may sound crazy, but it's simply a step in an attempt to make science fiction into science fact and travel into space a lot cheaper and safer than it currently is. The idea of riding an elevator into space was first conceived in the 1960s and popularized in 1979 by Arthur C. Clarke in his novel The Fountains of Paradise. In the book, electrically powered vehicles run up and down a cable anchored to earth and extending into space, thousands of miles up. The cable is anchored at the space end by a mass in geosynchronous orbit.

We certainly have satellites capable of such orbits communications satellites use them all the time but the space elevator idea faces other challenges. Is there any substance with all the properties needed for a cable that would be that long, and used under those conditions? Can a machine climb up the cable quickly enough to make space elevators viable? NASA hopes, with its challenge, to keep the science moving forward and maybe, this year, we'll have a winner.

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