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Jan. 29, 2009

It's time once again for the latest issue of the Developer Shed newsletter. We all know that President Obama is talking about economic stimulus packages, but until we start seeing effects, everyone is tightening their belts. In fact, have you heard the latest news from IBM? They're laying people off left and right despite having had an excellent quarter. What's going on? The article we're highlighting this week from eWeek has all the details.

As always, we published some excellent articles for your edification. On Dev Shed we wrapped up our series on Google's AJAX libraries API. We also showed you an easy way to install Ubuntu on your Windows PC, if you want to try the operating system out for a decent length of time before deciding if you should switch. Speaking of Windows, on ASP Free we got the goods for you on Windows 7. We also showed you how to build a calendar with VBScript date functions, and completed a three-part tutorial on building an in-text advertising system with ASP .NET.

We know the website designers and developers are always keen to learn, and if you're one, you won't be disappointed this week. Check out our tutorials on HTML, JavaScript, and C++; you'll find something to suit your latest projects. If you're into hardware and gaming, you'll definitely want to check out this week's reviews.

Those of you who focus on search engine optimization, either by inclination or necessity, should appreciate this week's articles in SEO Chat. We walk you through creating your domain name, pull back the curtain on some of Google's algorithms, and even try to search parts of the web that the wildly popular search engine can't reach when we review DeepDyve. If you're really into SEO, by the way, you might want to sign up for our SEO Chat newsletter. Going strong for three and a half years (and counting!), you will find SEO-related information that you won't find in this newsletter.

But hey, that shouldn't surprise you; you know how much we love giving you more of what you want. So if you want your title tags to be more relevant to your content in Blogger, check out this week's Dev Mechanic article. If you want more information on XML, laid out in an easy-to-understand format, visit Codewalkers for the first part of a five-part series by our very own editor-in-chief, James Scriptwriter Payne. If you're sick of getting more spam, and wonder where it's coming from, stop by Web Hosters for our piece on how this scourge that was once (briefly) on the wan is on the rise again.

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 and more useless than ever. Your unfinished work seen shaking its head in disapproval.
  • China versus Google: Who would win? Jkim and Keith would like to show you.
  • Jen bares all. Her emotions. Her delicious emotions.

Watch the video!

Using Prototip
by Dan Wellman, 2009-01-28

Prototype is a popular open source JavaScript framework that is favored by many for its extensive toolset that makes implementing advanced JavaScript functionality a breeze. Prototip is a plugin for Prototype that lets you quickly and easily add fantastic-looking tooltips to your pages with a minimum of code and effort.
Read the full article
Wubi: Windows-based Ubuntu Installer
by Barzan "Tony" Antal, 2009-01-27

Lately, Ubuntu has gained a lot of recognition. It has become the most popular Linux distribution. It is an up-to-date operating system that focuses on usability, flexibility, and most importantly, providing a seamless Linux environment for the average user. In this article we are going to present Wubi, a Windows-based Ubuntu installer that acts just like any other typical Windows application installer.
Read the full article
Using the google .load() Method with Google`s Ajax Libraries API
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-01-26

Google Ajax Libraries API is a programming interface that permits web developers to download popular JavaScript packages, such as Prototype, jQuery and Scriptaculous, directly from Google servers instead of using local copies of these libraries. In this fourth part of a four-part series on using the API, you will learn how to serve the jQuery framework without compression.
Read the full article
String and List Python Object Types
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-01-22

Last week, we introduced you to the different Python object types, starting with numbers. This week, we'll cover strings and begin our discussion of lists. This article, the second in a four-part series, is excerpted from chapter four of the book Learning Python, Third Edition, written by Mark Lutz (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596513984). 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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Completing an In-Text Advertising System under an ASP .NET 3.5 Environment
by Xianzhong Zhu, 2009-01-28

In the second installment of this series, you saw the core client-side script programming and related server-side code. Now, in this third (and last) part, we will look at the programming associated with the presentation tier, i.e. the website owner- and administrator-related code as well as all of the other web pages.
Read the full article
Windows 7 Pre-beta Preview
by Bruce Coker, 2009-01-27

Rumors have been circulating for months that after the debacle that was Windows Vista, Microsoft has been planning to move swiftly on to Windows 7 in much the same way that it dealt with the ME shambles by cutting its losses and rushing out XP. And now we can be certain of it. Join us as we take a look at some of the important changes and improvements you'll see in Windows 7.
Read the full article.
Building Calendars with VBScript Date Functions
by Nilpo, 2009-01-26

Every year the Microsoft Scripting Guys host a scripting challenge known as the Microsoft Scripting Games as a sort of Olympics for Windows scripters. This past year presented an interesting challenge that provided an excellent opportunity to use some of VBScript's Date functions that I've been covering in my last couple articles.
Read the full article
Controlling Lists in SharePoint
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-01-22

In this conclusion to a four-part article series on lists in SharePoint, you will learn how to control access to lists, edit list pages, and more. It is excerpted from Essential SharePoint 2007, Second Edition, A Practical Guide for Users, Administrators and Developers, written by Jeff Webb (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596514077). 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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Programming MSFlexGrid in MFC (VC++)
by A.P.Rajshekhar, 2009-01-28

Representation of data is one the central aspects of any application. Tabular representation of data is the most common method of representing given data. Each language/framework provides its own technique, in the form of controls, to present data in tabular format. MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes) is no exception. One of the controls that it provides is the MSFlexGrid control.
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Building Dynamic Web Forms with the Ext JS Framework
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-01-27

If you do any programming in JavaScript for the web, you have probably heard about a number of third-party libraries that can make your life a lot easier. This five-part series will introduce you to Ext JS, one of the more versatile frameworks. You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish with it.
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Finding Values and More with Web Page Dialog Boxes
by O'Reilly Media, 2009-01-26

In this conclusion to a five-part series, we will wrap up our discussion of what you can do with web page dialog boxes. Among other things, we include some tips you will need to keep in mind when you include web page dialog boxes in your commercial projects.
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More Schematron Features
by Peyton McCullough, 2009-01-22

In my last two articles, I covered the basics of Schematron - enough of it to create a basic schema with assertions, rules and patterns. However, there is more to Schematron than was covered in those articles, and some of its other features are very useful and worth mentioning. In this article, we will take a look at more of the Schematron features, delving deeper into the Schematron schema language.
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TomTom GO 930 GPS
by wubayou, 2009-01-28

Although the current trend for GPS devices in making them all-in-one entertainment centers may lessen their navigational abilities, this is not the case with TomTom. The TomTom GO 930 GPS continues to perpetuate the manufacturer philosophy that a GPS is a GPS first, and an entertainment device second. Although the 930 GPS does have multimedia capabilities, its navigational abilities and features are where it shines.
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Fallout 3 Review
by Brian Sutherland, 2009-01-27

Let me start by saying it is my recommendation that you should buy Fallout 3. I just loved it, all of it, and now it is definitely the best game in my collection. Keep reading to find out why.
Read the full article
BenQ V2400W LCD Monitor Review
by Joe Eitel, 2009-01-26

The BenQ V2400W has recently appeared on the upper-end LCD monitor market to a good deal of acclaim. So what is all the excitement about? And does the monitor live up to the hype? Keep reading; our review will spell it out for you.
Read the full article.
Hands Free Cell Phone Laws by State
by Barzan "Tony" Antal, 2009-01-22

Hang up and drive! You have seen the bumper sticker, maybe even been behind another driver who was clearly distracted while talking on a cell phone. Not only is it unsafe; in some states, it is actually illegal. Before you drive over the state line (or even answer that ringing cell phone in your car closer to home), take a look at the list we have collected for you that catalogs the laws by state, and even clues you in to other countries with hands-free legislation.
Read the full article.

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Taking a DeepDyve into the Deep Web
by Terri Wells, 2009-01-28

If the latest figures from Internet research companies can be believed, Google serves the needs of most web searchers most of the time. But serious researchers know that the web boasts nooks and crannies that even Google's spiders can not reach. DeepDyve thinks it can help solve this problem.
Read the full article
Google Algorithms
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-01-27

As SEOs, we spend much of our time trying to figure out how the Google indexing algorithms work. This article will take a look at the techniques used by the search engine. We will cover latent semantic indexing, local inter-connectivity, link analysis, and more. We will discuss the implications of these algorithms, and what you should do to give them what they want to see.
Read the full article
Creating Your Domain Name
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-01-26

With the Internet now a staple of our society, it seems as if everyone wants a web presence. If you dream of owning your own online business, you need to create a domain name. That is a lot more complicated now than it used to be, but you can still craft a winner if you keep a few points in mind.
Read the full article
Spam Increasing, and This Time it`s Personal
by Joe Eitel, 2009-01-28

As a new year is upon us, we have much to be thankful for and even more to look forward to, but according to many experts, anyone who owns and uses a computer has something unexpected coming their way: a major influx of personal spam. Since the advent of e-mail, spam has been an annoying part of everyday life. The problem, though, is that we are now inundated by spam in all of its various forms - from e-mail to texts - and it is becoming more personal, more dangerous and more legitimate-looking in terms of its appearance.
Read the full article
New Internet for Space, New Technologies to Test
by Brian Sutherland, 2009-01-21

We have an Internet here on Earth, but how will we communicate in space? NASA's old network is just that: old, with everything that implies. Fortunately, its replacement is already being tested, and it can do a few things our own earthbound and earth-orbiting Internet can not. Get ready for Disruption-Tolerant Networking (DTN), coming to a satellite near you!
Read the full article
Look at Cloud Computing from Both Sides Now
by Bruce Coker, 2009-01-14

Everyone seems to be climbing on board the cloud computing bandwagon. Despite its benefits, using the cloud has its risks. It may not be very safe for your data, for example. In this article, we will examine cloud computing from both sides - the advantages and the risks - and see what we can do to maximize the former while minimizing the latter.
Read the full article

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Change Eye Color in Photoshop
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Customizing Title Tags in Blogger Classic
by Codex-M, 2009-01-28

If you are thinking about getting into blogging online, and looking for a cheap and easy way to get started, you can do worse than to go with Blogger. It is a nice system, but it has a few problems when it comes to SEO. If you decide you want to use Blogger but still want to turn up well in the search engines, keep reading; help is at hand.
Read the full article
How to Make a (Good) MySpace Page
by KC Morgan, 2009-01-21

MySpace, that highly popular social networking site, is open to all and used by many. With MySpace, you can create an online profile and even a blog to talk about your interests and potentially meet like-minded individuals. It is social networking at its best, but is it more than that? You may already know how to create a MySpace page. Now, find out how to make a good MySpace page that helps promote your business interests.
Read the full article
All About Adwords
by KC Morgan, 2009-01-14

You can attend seminars, read articles and study keywords until you turn blue, and you still might not master search engine optimization. There are many, many ways you can earn income from your site if you have a great deal of frequently-updated content to offer. But what if you do not? You are not left out of the advertising loop forever. It is time to learn all about AdWords.
Read the full article
A Friendly Approach to XML
by James Payne, 2009-01-28

This tutorial covers the basic ideas and methodologies behind XML. It will attempt to teach you, the reader, how to get started using the language. In this first part we will uncover the history of XML and learn its basic syntax, as well as its advantages and disadvantages, in the hopes of learning if it is right for you.
Read the full article
Fedora 10 Released
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2009-01-21

Finally, Fedora 10 is now available to the public. So far, it has received good reviews. Fedora 10 is a Linux-based operating system that is built on the Linux kernel version 2 .6 .27. In this article, we will take a close look at this long-awaited open source challenger to the Microsoft desktop hegemony.
Read the full article
Source Code Version Control Solutions
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2009-01-14

Version control systems are also known under other names such as revision control or, in the case of software development, source code management systems. What they basically do is track and manage the revisions of digital files during the development process. This improves team efficiency, productivity, and reliability. In this article we're going to briefly examine some of the most popular SCM/VCS solutions.
Read the full article

Monty Python Makes Money from Free Content

The next time you hear about a lawsuit from the Motion Picture Association of America or the Recording Industry Association of America, or hear complaints from these organizations that users pirating their content is costing them a fortune, consider Monty Python. This well-loved British comedy troupe took a bold step recently: they released some of their best material on YouTube, to be viewed for free. Along with the material, they included links to buy their DVDs on Amazon, as part of YouTube's new Click-to-Buy program.

As Monty Python explained, We're letting you see absolutely everything for free. So there! But we want something in return. None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies and TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years. You'd never expect such an appeal to work, right? After all, YouTube is the land of pirates, where users only go to view items for free, and no one is ever interested in buying something they can get without paying for it, right?

Wrong. Monty Python's DVDs reportedly snagged the number two spot on Amazon's Movie and TV Bestseller list. How much of a jump is that? According to some sources, it's a rise of 23,000 percent. At least for Monty Python, giving away some of your best content for free is a winning tactic they can take to the bank. One only hopes the MPAA and RIAA are paying attention to these numbers, and figure out they can make more money this way than by pursuing lawsuits.

Read more about this

Why Japan Gets the Cool Tech First

Five years ago, consumers in Japan started using a handy cell phone technology that allowed them to pay for products by credit card simply by waving their phone over a reader. Users take advantage of the technology to purchase everything from train tickets to food to items out of vending machines. Everyone loves it. So why can't we use it here in the United States?

Would you believe that it's simply a matter of all the companies that would be involved in providing the technology not being able to get along? Specifically, they can't agree on how to split the revenue. In Japan, as it turns out, more than half of the cell phone users are with NTT DoCoMo, so where that company leads, others must follow. In the US, it isn't so simple; there isn't one big company with tremendous leverage, but lots of smaller ones, such as cell phone makers, carriers, financial institutions and retailers. The US also seems to lack a credible organization to act as a trusted intermediary to activate a cell phone's virtual credit cards. And while a customer is using a credit card to pay, they're using the cell phone to activate it, so the carriers want to get a cut of the action as well.

At the end of the day, the question is, Who pays whom and how much? explains Gerhard Romen, director for corporate business development at Nokia. The carriers and the banks need to get their act together on payment. There is no issue with the technology itself. Dubbed Near Field Communication, it's used over short ranges throughout the world for tons of applications, including those involving an exchange of money. Key Pousttch, head of the Wi-mobile research group at the University of Augsberg in Germany, expects to see NFC as a feature of most mobile phones by 2012, but describes the negotiation process between players as a 2,000-piece puzzle and wouldn't be surprised if nothing happens in mobile payments in the next five years.

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First Embryonic Stem Cell Trial Gets Go-Ahead

Eight years ago, then-president George W. Bush signed an executive order that drastically limited embryonic stem cell research, despite its tremendous potential to cure diseases such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, and others. In a moment of excellent timing (because President Obama had not yet lifted the order, but was expected to soon), the Food and Drug Administration approved the first human trial of embryonic stem cells in the same week as the inauguration of a new administration.

The clinical trial will be conducted by Geron Corp, a California biotechnology firm. The main focus will be on determining whether the treatment is safe. The trial, limited to eight to ten participants with crushed, but not severed, spinal cords, will try to use stem cells to stimulate the growth of nerve tissue. Geron CEO Dr. Thomas Okarma hailed the approval as marking the dawn of a new era in medical therapeutics.

The trial is expected to go forward with treatment for its first patient this summer. Dr. Okarma believes that, if proven safe and effective, such treatments could eventually become cheap and easy because embryonic stem cells could be grown in vats. Meanwhile, financial analysts noted that human embryonic stem cells could be as important to drug therapy as the discovery of penicillin. And other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies await approval on their plans for stem cell trials.

Read more about this

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