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April 16, 2009

It's big, it's bold, it's more fun than paying your's the Developer Shed newsletter! And let me apologize to the readers outside of the United States who didn't get that last reference; April 15 was the deadline here in the States for filing your federal income taxes, unless you requested an extension. If you did request an extension, please remember that it only applies to filing your taxes; you still have to PAY by April 15.

One thing you shouldn't be paying for is more storage. At least, that's what Symantec's new CEO, Enrique Salem, said recently. Why? You can find all the details in the article we're highlighting this week from eWeek. The truth is, you probably already have enough storage; you just need to make the most of what you have.

And if you want to make the most of your newsletter subscription, you'll want to visit our sites and check out our tutorials! So let me tell you about the articles we published for you this week. On Dev Shed, we took a look at the new YUI Carousel control, worth checking out if you like the Yahoo! User Interface library. We also kicked off a series on event delegation in JavaScript and wrapped one up on the active record pattern. For Microsoft technology fans, meanwhile, we reviewed Iron Speed Designer, took a look at the reactions to Internet Explorer 8, and considered what you can get out of Microsoft's mobile operating system.

We continued to post project-based articles for web site designers and developers on Dev Articles. This week's set covered constructing a web page calendar and handling temporary web page processing. Since we publish five original articles per week on this site, you'll want to visit on Thursday and Friday for our tutorials on building a versatile web site menu and centering DIVs with CSS. Dev Hardware, meanwhile, delighted hardware enthusiasts with reviews of digital cameras, a flat panel monitor, and a video card.

SEO Chat got into the spirit of reviews as well, as we took a look at Stumpedia, a people-powered search engine. We also discussed the benefits that non-profit organizations can derive from an Internet presence, and wrapped up our five-part series on factors for ranking well in the search engines. On Dev Mechanic we talked about ways to monetize your web site, how to add images responsibly to your site (without stealing someone else's copyrighted material), and how to maximize the crawlability of WordPress blogs and prevent duplicate content issues.

But wait, there's more. If you're not sure whether to use Linux- or Windows-based hosting for your web site, you'll want to visit Web Hosters, where we discuss that very topic this week. If you're learning UNIX, stop by Codewalkers, where our ongoing series covered variables inside the UNIX shell. And of course, Tutorialized and Scripts offer plenty of content to keep you exploring; you might find exactly the information or tool you need for your latest project there.

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 makes you look smart. And you need that.
  • Juan Valdezburg would like you to meet his cousin. Again.
  • The Russian is back with his view on the iPhone and a eulogy for Steve Jobs. Just kidding; he could care less about the iPhone.

Watch the video!

Event Delegation in JavaScript
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-04-15

Anyone who has spent a long time building JavaScript applications knows how important event handlers can be for processing certain common user actions, such as mouse clicks, windows and keyboard events, and so forth. However, while event handlers are a powerful feature for creating highly responsive JavaScript programs with relative ease, they have been overused way too frequently. This has implications for how quickly certain kinds of JavaScript programs run. Fortunately, JavaScript event delegation can help solve many of these problems. This four-part series explains how.
Read the full article
The mysqli Extension and the Active Record Pattern
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-04-14

The active record pattern allows you to access records in a database by means of a unified interface, generally composed of a few data mapper objects. However, as with other popular design patterns, there are several methodologies for implementing it within an object-oriented application, all of which can be used to obtain similar results. In this group of articles, I demonstrate how to progressively build a MySQL abstraction class that uses the active record approach for performing CRUD operations (Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete) on the records of a selected database table.
Read the full article
A Look at the New YUI Carousel Control
by Dan Wellman, 2009-04-13

The Yahoo! User Interface library continues to grow and expand with new components being added and existing components being continually patched and updated to ensure full x-browser support and cutting-edge functionality. Version 3 of the YUI is due for full release at some point this year, but version 2 (current release 2.6) is at this point still the stable and recommended release for general use.
Read the full article
Returning Strings from Views with Code Igniter
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-04-09

When it comes to generating both static and dynamic web pages, CodeIgniter gives PHP developers the liberty of working with different approaches that can be easily adapted to suit the requirements of a huge variety of web applications. Building web pages using CI demands that you always deal with one or multiple views, generally represented in the form of HTML files that contain embedded PHP variables. Therefore, if you are a CI user who want to learn to manipulate views in some clever ways, keep reading. In this series of articles, you will find a comprehensive guide to several methods you can implement within your own CI-based applications to handle view files in a truly efficient manner.
Read the full article
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A Look at Microsoft's Mobile Operating System
by KC Morgan, 2009-04-15

Windows has become ubiquitous among computer operating systems. With only one major rival, this OS reigns as one of the most popular in the world, and everyone is somewhat familiar with its functions and formats. This huge operating system comes with its own software and features, extras and applications, but Windows offers a much more streamlined and simple version in the mobile market. Do you need Windows Mobile to enjoy everything you want on your mobile device?
Read the full article.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8: Mixed Reactions
by Terri Wells, 2009-04-14

Amid a fair bit of anticipation, Microsoft released the latest incarnation of its Internet Explorer browser near the end of March. With Firefox and other browsers nibbling at the company's market share, IE 8 carries a lot of hope - and baggage - on its shoulders. So far, reactions have been mixed.
Read the full article.
Iron Speed Design v60 Review
by Les Cardwell, 2009-04-13

In today's economy, web developers everywhere are looking for a competitive edge. They need a way to produce high quality, customizable, .NET web applications fast. Iron Speed, Inc., has created a solution to this problem, the first comprehensive code generator for .NET, called Iron Speed Designer.
Read the full article
Introduction to the ADO .NET Entity Framework using ASP .NET
by Jagadish Chaterjee, 2009-04-09

This is an introductory article focusing on developing ASP .NET applications using the ADO .NET Entity Framework. In this article, we will make a detailed step-by-step examination of how to develop applications using the ADO .NET Entity Framework together with ASP .NET.
Read the full article
Temporary Web Page Processing
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-04-15

You might have a web page which is of interest to the user. You might have a button (or link) around the top of the page which would allow the user to do some temporary processing before coming back to the page. For example, clicking the button might require that the user gives details to let him sign in, or choose certain options that will enable the server to create a web page catering to his interests. This two-part article series will show you how to get it done.
Read the full article
Advanced File Handling with Streams in C++
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-04-14

In the previous article of this series, titled "File Handling and Streams in C++," you saw how to handle files in an easy and convenient way. Getting input data from a file or putting such data into a file should be familiar to you now. In this article, we'll take a look at some more advanced tasks and tricks so you can gain speed and efficiency in your work.
Read the full article
Designing a Web Page Calendar
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-04-13

Some web pages, such as news pages, require the user to look at a calendar in order to appreciate the timing of events. This series shows you how to design a calendar for a web page. This is the first part of an eight-part series.
Read the full article
More on the React Function for a Common Browser Menu
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-04-10

Welcome to the sixth part of a ten-part series on building a common browser menu. We continue in this part with the in-depth analysis of the react() function. As you may recall, in the last part we noted that the function was composed of five code segments, and began analyzing them. In this part, we shall complete the details of the react() function's fourth code segment and talk about the fifth code segment.
Read the full article
Using Auto Margins with a Liquid Layout to Center DIVs with CSS
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-04-09

Often, when building a web site, web designers must construct centric layouts with CSS. While accomplishing this task requires only familiarity with the basics of style sheets and (X)HTML, building layouts like these can be challenging, particularly for beginners. So, if you are interested in learning different CSS approaches that permit you to create fully-centered web page layouts without suffering premature hair loss, keep reading. This is the fourth part of a series of articles that shows you how to center DIVs with CSS.
Read the full article

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Nikon D700
by Bruce Coker, 2009-04-15

If you're looking for a serious DSLR camera, the Nikon D700 deserves your attention. This awesome camera is loaded with features that will help you take some of the best pictures you've ever seen.
Read the full article
Panasonic DMC-FX500 Camera
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-14

Are you looking for a camera that shoots the highest quality video? But you do not want to have to haul around all kinds of equipment or pack various accessories, right? Then consider getting the Panasonic DMC-FX500 camera. The Panasonic DMC-FX500 is the first Lumix-series digital camera that uses a touch-screen LCD display. This is an advantage because you do not have to use the external control buttons as much. It also gives you more space to view your image in the LCD panel.
Read the full article
Westinghouse VK-40F580D Television
by wubayou, 2009-04-13

There is not a plethora of large-screened flat panel televisions on the market that also house a DVD player. The Westinghouse VK-40F580D, however, is such an LCD. If you find the idea of combining two great things in one package intriguing, keep reading. We'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages, and see how this baby performs.
Read the full article.
Samsung LN46A750 Television
by wubayou, 2009-04-10

If you are in the market for a top-of-the-line LCD television and picture quality is not the only thing you look for, then the Samsung LN46A750 may be right up your alley. The 46 inch Samsung LN46A750 not only produces excellent picture quality; it is also loaded with many features that move it to the front of its HDTV class in that respect. Keep reading for a closer look.
Read the full article.
Panasonic Viera TH-50PZ850U Television
by wubayou, 2009-04-09

Panasonic released its flagship plasma television in the form of the Panasonic Viera TH-50PZ850U. The 50 inch Viera TH-50PZ850U is the manufacturer’s most expensive plasma in its lineup, but is it necessarily the best? Keep reading to find out.
Read the full article.
Stumpedia: Yet Another Human-Powered Search Engine
by Terri Wells, 2009-04-15

Google seems to hold a lock on the search space, but many of us still come up empty-handed from time to time when we search. It's enough to keep us looking for a better search engine, or at least one that goes about the whole business differently. Stumpedia offers a big difference: no bots, no spiders, no algorithms, just users entering links and voting them up or down.
Read the full article
Effective Keyword Use as an SEO Ranking Factor
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-04-14

This is the final part of the SEO ranking factors articles. Here we look at basic on-page SEO such as keywords in title, H1, body, domain, URL, H2, H3, Alt, image, bold and meta information, finishing with a list and discussion of the most crucial SEO factors.
Read the full article
Non-Profit Organizations and the Internet
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-13

Non-profit organizations have gained a surprisingly beneficial venue for creation through the rise of the Internet. Many people associate Internet organizations with small businesses, entrepreneurial websites, and individuals trying to make their voices heard. It is relatively rare for non-profit organizations to come to mind when we are thinking about the organizations that have benefited most from the wild success of the Internet.
Read the full article
Linux Hosting vs. Windows Hosting
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-15

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

If you are new to the field of web marketing, website design, or search engine optimization, you may have only briefly encountered the term "page rank." It is time that you become more familiar with the concept, because it is integral to just about any kind of money generation that you will find on the Internet.
Read the full article.
Designing Flash Websites: Pros and Cons
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-01

If you are considering using Flash on your web site, you will want to read this article first. Whether you want to go all out with a totally Flash-based site or use it in a more limited way, Flash comes with certain advantages and serious disadvantages. You will want to be aware of the pros and cons to using Flash before you employ it on your web site. Keep reading to learn whether Flash can work for you.
Read the full article.

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WebSphere Service Registry and Repository
Manage, govern, and share services across your organization by using WebSphere Service Registry and Repository. Follow the hands-on exercises to learn how to navigate the Web interface to publish, find, reuse, and update services.

Building JavaScript applications with JSEclipse
Using JSEclipse, JavaScript programmers now have their own Eclipse plug-in that provides many important features to aid in the development of JavaScript applications. JSEclipse gives JavaScript developers the same ease of use that Eclipse has been providing in the Java language and others for years. Learn to use this tool, while creating a colony of evolving "creatures" on your page.

Learn how to install and use the Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client
In this tutorial, you can learn how to install and configure the IBM Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client, explore the different views in the Asset Management perspective, learn various search techniques, work with existing assets, and submit a new asset.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge, Part 1: Create a continuous build and integration environment
Learn how to implement a build management system that uses and extends your existing automation technologies. This tutorial shows, step-by-step, how to install and configure IBM Rational Build Forge to manage builds for Jakarta Tomcat from source code.

Build Web services with transport-level security using Rational Application Developer V7, Part 1: Build Web services and Web services clients
Build secure Web services with transport-level security using IBM Rational Application Developer V7 and IBM WebSphere Application Server V6.1. Follow this three-part series for step-by-step instructions about how to develop Web services and clients, configure HTTP basic authentication, and configure HTTP over SSL (HTTPS). This first part of the series walks you through building a Web service for a simple calculator application. You generate and test two different types of Web services clients: a Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) client and a stand-alone Java client. You also handle user-defined exceptions in Web services.

Test terminal-based applications with Rational Functional Tester
Regression testing -- in which code is thoroughly tested to ensure that changes have not produced unexpected results -- is an important part of any development process. But many testing environments neglect the terminal-based applications that still form the backbone of many industries. In this tutorial, you'll learn how the Rational Functional Tester Extension for Terminal-Based Applications works with other Rational Functional Tester to help test terminal-based applications quickly and easily.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge,
Part 2: Automate builds for a real-world Tomcat project

Learn how Rational Build Forge can extend a simple compile and package build process by adding customization and deployment capability. Go from a manual method to automating: checking for code changes; getting the latest source; compiling and packaging; customizing; copying to and restarting a deployment server; and sending e-mail notification that a new version is available.

NEW! Application development for the OLPC laptop
The XO laptop (of the One-Laptop-Per-Child initiative) is an inexpensive laptop project intended to help educate children around the world. The XO laptop includes many innovations, such as a novel, inexpensive, and durable hardware design and the use of GNU/Linux as the underlying operating system. The XO also includes an application environment written in Python with a human interface called Sugar, accessible to everyone (including kids). Explore the Sugar APIs and learn how to develop and debug a graphical activity in Sugar using Python.


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

Straighten Crooked Photos
Learn how to easily straighten crooked photos in Photoshop.
Read the tutorial.

Basic Drag and Drop in Flash 8
How to create basic drag and drop with Flash 8.
Read the tutorial.

Blend Techniques With Layer Mask
Learn blending techniques by using this layer mask. Read the tutorial.

Grails Services and Google Maps
A guide to using them. Easy tutorial and simple to read. Read the tutorial.

Flash Zoom In and Zoom Out
A Flash zoom in and zoom out application with Actionscript 2.0.
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Google AdSense Split Testing
Guide to maximizing your revenue with a small PHP script.
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Scripts is dedicated to developer and programming related scripts both commercial and free, and for all OS platforms.

h2desk Help Desk Software
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PHP Store Pixel Ads
PHP Store Pixel Ads comes with advanced settings including the ability to use interlaced images, and much, much more. Learn more.

Framework for WEB Development
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Remote PC Monitoring Software
Network asset database administration freeware utility generates software auditing and management reports. Learn more.

Add Images Responsibly
by KC Morgan, 2009-04-15

Words may drive the search engines and dictate the ebb and flow of traffic, but the Internet is really a place for eye-catching graphics. Bold splashes of color, dancing pictures and other dazzling additions are added to every Web page for one reason: they work. These elements entice traffic, help pages stand out and illustrate otherwise boring, plain text. You probably already know, in fact, that you should add images to your Web site. But do you know how to add images responsibly?
Read the full article
Maximize Crawlability of WordPress Blogs and Prevent Duplicate Content
by Codex-M, 2009-04-13

WordPress blogs presenting substantially similar information across pages creates what is called a "duplicate content issue." Since WordPress is open source software, it is the most popular blogging publishing software with important blogging features. This means there are many bloggers using WordPress.
Read the full article
Create a Blogging Site
by KC Morgan, 2009-04-10

Personal blog pages can be fun, entertaining and interesting. When the blogger works very hard, these sites can even draw in a fair amount of traffic. Add more blogs, add more content, and won't you add that much more traffic? Multi-blogger sites work for many companies; just look at the popularity of WordPress. Do you know how to create a blogging site, too?
Read the full article
Variables Within the UNIX Shell
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-04-15

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

It is dangerous to expose our most important possessions directly to every little effect coming from the world. Somebody may take advantage and just do damage to them. It is wise to put something in front of them. In the case of an operating system, the most important part is the kernel. Furthermore, we can take advantage of putting something in front of it, simplify working with the kernel, and make a couple of checks to ensure that nothing abusive happens. What we add before the kernel is the Shell.
Read the full article
In Detail: UNIX File Systems
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-04-01

The dream of every designer is to make something that works perfectly, or at least almost perfectly. Achieving this goal requires an investment of countless hours and effort. Additionally, most of the time you will need to take care of many details. During our previous meeting, I presented the general concept of the file system in UNIX and the rights system that governs UNIX systems. Now we need to look into the details of the file system.
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:

30-day Trial of Ninja Email Security for Exchange - Trial Download by Sunbelt Software
Ninja integrates best-of-breed antispam, antivirus, disclaimers, & RBL and attachment filtering on your Exchange server. It also allows you to kill newer variants of existing image spam.

How to Trace Code Issues to the Source - White Paper by Borland Software
Find out how to trace performance bottlenecks down to the offending line of code. Quickly isolate what the problem is, then drill deeply to the specific code to fix it fast.

How to Digitally Sign Downloadable Code - White Paper by Verisign
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.



Phoning in Your Tax Return

If you've often wished for a less painful way to file your income taxes, you might want to cast an envious eye toward Sweden. For the last five years, Swedish taxpayers have been able to file their taxes simply by opening a text message on their cell phones and entering an identification number and a security code they received by mail. Pretty cool, eh?

Well, there is a down side that might make such an approach a little less popular in the US. That text message is, in a sense, a formality. Sweden's equivalent of the IRS knows everything about its citizens' income. A taxpayer can only file by text message if they accept the tax authority's calculations and they take no deductions. This isn't as unusual as you might think, since Sweden's rules on deductions are fairly restrictive, so relatively few taxpayers are eligible.

If a Swedish taxpayer does want to take a deduction, though, he has an easier time than his American counterpart. He can get an online form that already has all the information on it that a cell phone filer accepts, so all he needs to do is make the changes rather than start from scratch. Cell phone and online filing have saved the government in Sweden such an enormous amount of time and money that they were able to change the filing deadline.

Read more about this

Searching for the Moon's Origin

A major theory as to how the Earth's moon was formed may get a boost (or not) thanks to two NASA probes moving into a prime position to observe the possible aftermath of a 4.5 billion-year-old collision. The Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) program ordinarily keeps an eye on the sun, but the two probes involved will soon be passing through the Earth/Sun's L4 and L5 Lagrange points.

Lagrange points are spots where objects can be held in place due to orbital and gravitational forces; they come into existence any time a smaller body orbits a larger one. The Earth/Sun system's L4 and L5 points have not yet been visited, and scientists think they will find quite a bit of debris there. Specifically, they hope to find small asteroids that may have been left over from a Mars-sized planet that collided with Earth.

According to the theory, this hypothetical planet, dubbed Theia, smashed into Earth, and the moon coalesced from the outer layers of the rogue planet and Earth. If this theory turns out to be correct, it could explain certain aspects of the moon's geology, such as its very simple iron core. Thus, scientists working on this project hope to observe small asteroids in the L4 or L5 regions with STEREO's telescopes. NASA's Michael Kaiser notes that, if the asteroids turn out to have the same composition as the Earth and the moon, it will support the impact theory of the moon's development. If you would like to help with this project, NASA plans to put all of the images online as soon as they get them, so eagle-eyed amateurs can discover tiny objects that might be asteroids.

Read more about this

New Band Instrument: the iPhone

So what would you make of a band named MoPhO? It's not a new rap group; it's Stanford University's newest musical ensemble. The name is short for Mobile Phone Orchestra. The group brings a whole new level of geekiness to performing in a band, because their instrument of choice is the iPhone.

Their conductor, Ge Wang, is an experienced electronic musician, having performed previously with Princeton's Laptop Orchestra. Wang created the application that enables the group to perform. Playing an iPhone equipped with this app involves touching a button on its screen to choose a tone, and then tilting, twisting, or shaking the device to change pitch and timbre.

So what kind of music does an iPhone orchestra perform? MoPhO does a lot of improvisational numbers, but they're not afraid to tackle more complicated pieces, including chamber music and pop covers. For those performances, the group uses Ocarina, another Wang application (which you can get from iTunes) to effectively turn their iPhones into ocarinas. MoPhO has performed at MacWorld, playing "Stairway to Heaven" wearing fingerless gloves with speakers sewn into them. Perhaps future performances will include such classics as "Ricki Don't Lose that Number" and "Operator."

Read more about this

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