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June 18, 2009

Welcome to the latest issue of the Developer Shed newsletter. With the smart phone market heating up, if you haven't purchased one yet, you may be feeling left out. If you're agonizing over having to choose between an iPhone, a BlackBerry, or an Android, the item we're highlighting this week from eWeek will make your life even more difficult. Palm has come back from the dead, and the Pre smart phone heralds that resurrection in style. Ah, but does it perform? Check out the review to find out.

You'll be pleased to see we didn't phone anything in this week at the Shed, though if you build applications for BlackBerry phones, you'll want to check Dev Shed for some great information on debugging your mobile apps. While you are at it, you might want to check out Smartphone Developer forums. We also covered magic functions and building loader applications. ASP Free delivered an interesting mixed assortment of articles, showing you how to get the most of out MS Excel, introducing you to Microsoft's new search engine, and focusing on FireFox. What does the open source browser have to do with Microsoft technologies? Well, in one case, the software giant made a little mistake involving FireFox when it sent an update to some of its users; in another case, it pertains to Windows Mobile. Visit ASP Free for all the details.

Website designers and developers enjoyed the educational items on Dev Articles this week. You'll be enlightened by our coverage of polymorphism in C++, and delighted by the ease with which you can build a menu that works on all browsers. Don't forget to stop by on Thursday and Friday for items on the Blueprint CSS framework and creating Active Client Pages. Dev Hardware kept an eye on your budget this week, with items on flat panel TVs for under $500 and digital cameras and MP3 players for under $50 (yes, you can even get one from Apple at that price!). If you like to do things rather than just buy things, you'll enjoy the items that show you how to broadcast live video from your cell phone and create a Nokia cell phone theme. Remember, both of these sites now publish five original articles a week, so check back often.

SEO professionals reading SEO Chat this week learned how to structure their web sites to suit the four major personality types, and what to focus on when writing online copy. They also learned that there's a little more mileage left in the old strategy of submitting to directories...if you know which ones to use. Dev Mechanic readers learned how to make their web sites more secure and what they can gain from keeping up with at least some online trends.

You say you want more? For those with a need for speed, Codewalkers took a look at Squid, the caching proxy. If you use a lot of social networking sites, you positively shouldn't miss this week's Web Hosters article on social networking security. And of course, you'll find the usual excellent selection of reader content on Scripts and Tutorialized.

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

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The GENIVI Alliance Puts In-Vehicle Infotainment into High Gear

By Tina Gasperson
The GENIVI Alliance is a group of automakers, suppliers, and technology providers collaborating in a new ecosystem designed to support innovation and new development in In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) products and services.
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The Path to Monetization: Why Application Stores Will Further Fuel the Moblin Project Ecosystem

By Lisa Morgan
Despite the broad adoption of mobile devices, the true power and value of the Moblin project-based mobile ecosystem has yet to be realized because it is still in its infancy.
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September 22-24, 2009 | Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA |
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Moblin is Open
It's edgy! It's irreverent! It's all about technology! It's News You Can't Use,
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  • Jenny returns with more News of the Weird.
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Accelerate your development at no charge with 2009 JavaOne Online Technical Sessions and by blogging about it you may win $300. Learn more

Debugging Your BlackBerry Applications
by Joe Eitel, 2009-06-17

As a developer, you will find that creating applications for the BlackBerry smart phone device is not only fun and exciting, but relatively easy as well. That being said, sometimes the apps you create will not behave, or perform, the way you would like them to. Keep reading for the solution.
Read the full article
The Sleep and Wakeup Magic Functions in PHP 5
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-06-16

Magic functions are an important part of the numerous improvements and additions that were introduced originally in PHP 5. They can be extremely handy when it comes to simplifying the execution of complex tasks. This is the fourth part of a seven-part series that showcases some of the more useful magic functions and how to implement them.
Read the full article
Using the Clone Magic Function in PHP 5
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-06-15

If you are an eager PHP developer who wants to have at your disposal a quick guide that shows you how to work with the most relevant magic functions provided by PHP 5, then this series of articles might be what you are looking for. In this fifth part of a seven-part tutorial on magic functions, we'll briefly review the sleep and wakeup functions, and then tackle the clone function.
Read the full article
Learn These 10 Programming Languages
by DevShed, 2009-06-12

eWeek recently wrote an article that showed the top 10 programming languages developers should consider focusing on over the next few years. According to Deborah Rothberg, by learning these programming languages, you can not only keep but advance your career.
Read the full article
Including Files Recursively with Loader Applications in PHP
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-06-11

Welcome to the fourth chapter of the series that shows you how to build loader applications with PHP. Made up of seven parts, this series uses a variety of code samples to teach you how to create modular programs. These programs are capable of recursively including files required by a given application, without having to explicitly call any include()/include_once() or require()/require_once() PHP function.
Read the full article
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Microsoft`s Sneaky Firefox Add-On Installation
by Joe Eitel, 2009-06-17

Sometimes, even a routine update can go haywire. That's what happened with a recent Microsoft Windows update: it installed an extra add-on to computers that use FireFox. What happened next? Keep reading to find out.
Read the full article.
Microsoft's Answer to Google Search - Bing
by Joe Eitel, 2009-06-16

You've probably heard about Bing, Microsoft's latest search engine. Is it merely a rebranding of Microsoft Live, which used to be MSN? Or is it something truly innovative, that will help the software giant stand toe to toe with Google in the search arena? Keep reading for a closer look.
Read the full article.
Doing Statistical Analysis with MS Excel
by Codex-M, 2009-06-15

MS Excel can be used for doing statistical analysis. That much is common knowledge, yet few people seem to know how to do it. If the very thought of using MS Excel in this way seems challenging to you, keep reading. This article will walk you through performing two kinds of important statistical analysis tasks with this software.
Read the full article
Extracting Google-Indexed Web Site Pages Using MS Excel
by Codex-M, 2009-06-11

In the field of Internet marketing research or search engine optimization, it is very important to know which pages of your web site have been indexed in Google. Currently, by default there is no way to export indexed pages in Google to a convenient spreadsheet for further analysis. If you want to learn how to do this fairly easily, however, keep reading.
Read the full article
Background Images for a Menu for All Browsers
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-06-17

In this seventh part of a nine-part series on building a menu that works in all browsers, we complete the discussion of the JavaScript functions. We go on to see how we can use background images for menu items instead of background colors. We shall start winding up the series at the end of this part.
Read the full article
Polymorphism in C++
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-06-16

If you are new to the world of object-oriented programming, then your first thought after reading the title of this article is "what the heck could ever transform in code?" The answer is not so trivial that I can explain it in just a sentence, but join me throughout this article and you will get the idea.
Read the full article
Overview of Virtual Functions
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-06-15

The word virtual is strange enough on its own. It is defined philosophically as "that which is not real" but contains all of the properties of the real object. However, ultimately something virtual is "fake." Virtual functions are similar in concept, so follow along with me through this article to discover how to use them and when to do so in the C++ language.
Read the full article
Principles of Active Client Pages: the Script Approach
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-06-12

In this part of the series, I give the principles of the Script Approach to Active Client Pages. I am the one who came up with these principles to suit the advantages I mentioned in the previous part of the series. In order for you to understand the Script Approach, I will have to explain the simple example we saw previously. This article is the second part of a three-part series.
Read the full article
Pushing Web Page Columns with the Blueprint CSS Framework
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-06-11

If you're looking for an appealing CSS framework that lets you build web pages using a grid-based approach, keep reading. This article is part of a series that shows you how to use the Blueprint CSS framework. In this part, you'll learn how to use a function that lets you shift one or more columns of a web document.
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Digital Cameras Under $50
by Katie Gatto, 2009-06-17

Even today, you can end up spending a lot of money on a digital camera, depending on what features you want it to have and how picky you are about image quality. Fortunately, though, if you don't have a large budget and aren't a perfectionist, you can get one for a lot less money. Plus, they make great gifts, as you'll see. Keep reading for the full list, and what you need to consider if you're going to give it as a present.
Read the full article
Broadcast Live Video From Your Cell Phone Using Qik Software
by Joe Eitel, 2009-06-16

What if you could take the here-and-now aspect of live blogging an event and expand it to video? You might end up with something like Qik. This software has brought significant events from around the world onto the Internet as they've happened, with the help of cell phones acting as the broadcasting device. The possibilities are exciting.
Read the full article
Flat Panel TVs Under 500 Dollars
by Katie Gatto, 2009-06-15

Have you been looking at flat panel TVs, but don't have a couple of grand to spare? Who does in this economy? Thanks to technology working with the laws of supply and demand, flat panel TV prices have been dropping to something worth considering. In this article we'll give you a good-sized list of flat panel TVs that might leave you some money for popcorn. We'll also discuss what questions you should ask yourself as you consider your purchase.
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Best Free MMORPG
by Katie Gatto, 2009-06-12

Looking for a great gaming experience, but don't want to spend a lot of money? Love the idea of playing online with old and new friends, but don't love the ongoing expense of a subscription? Keep reading; we have a solution that won't bankrupt your budget or insult your gaming intelligence. We're going to hook you up with some of the best online games you can play, with new virtual worlds to explore, for free.
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Creating a Nokia Cell Phone Theme with Carbide.ui
by Bruce Coker, 2009-06-11

Welcome to the first part of a three-part series that takes a comprehensive look at the process of developing themes for Nokia cell phones using Carbide .ui Theme Edition. This powerful software lets the user set up nearly every aspect of their cell phone interface exactly the way they want it.
Read the full article.
Online Copywriting Advice
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-06-17

Human visitors read. Bots scan and rank, but bots do it for human visitors. It will be moms, dads, sisters and brothers who read the page, and it's those people who have the wallets with credit cards, and PayPal accounts. In this article we discuss core online copy writing techniques to help make your website more effective at selling and making money.
Read the full article
Submitting to Directories
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-06-16

Submission to online directories still works. Contrary to the widespread rant that directories are dead, they are not. Good directories can still help you rank in Google; you just have to watch for signs of quality. You can still make a website rank for relatively competitive three-keyword-long terms with directory submissions.
Read the full article
Formatting a Website with Personality Types in Mind
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-06-15

Welcome to the third part of a three-part series aimed at helping you improve your conversions by catering to the personality types that visit your web site. In the first article of this series we discussed four different personality types, their traits, habits and preferred methods of decision-making. In the second article we touched on copy writing and after sales service for each personality type. In this article we will discuss design elements and design combinations for each personality type.
Read the full article
Social Networking Security
by Bruce Coker, 2009-06-17

Developers and regular users alike learned all the key points necessary for online security back in the 1990s, when email first became dangerous, right? Well, maybe not. Recent attacks on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and others have left users exposed to having their accounts hacked into, or worse. Keep reading for an overview of the phenomenon, and some hints for protecting yourself.
Read the full article.
How to Choose a Budget Web Host
by Katie Gatto, 2009-06-10

Looking for a web host, but can't afford to spend a lot of money? You're not doomed to simply making do; there are many budget web hosts that offer affordable options. But which one is right for you? We're not going to make specific recommendations; we're going to do something better than that. In this article, we'll walk you through a five-step process that will show you how to choose the budget web host that is right for you.
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Fake Security is Big Business
by Bruce Coker, 2009-06-03

When you stop to think about it, there is something deeply ironic about the fact that one of the biggest sectors of the IT industry - an industry that is supposed to make our working lives so much simpler and faster - is dedicated to protecting it from itself. And with an ever-increasing number and variety of threats to our technology, it should be no surprise that some of those threats should arrive disguised as the very tools that are supposed to provide protection. Keep reading as we take a close look at the fake security industry.
Read the full article.

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Tutorialized is dedicated to programming, designing, and many other
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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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In this tutorial I will show you how to build a simple 3D photo album.
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Simple XML/RSS Parser
XML parser designed to parse most valid news and blog feeds.
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This script will let you run a freelancer website hands-free. Written using PHP code.
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Flash Analogue 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.

Keeping Up With the Googles
by KC Morgan, 2009-06-17

Talk to the average person about writing JavaScript and you probably won't get very far. Mention the word Google, however, and suddenly everyone has something to add to the conversation - even people who don't routinely use the Internet. This highly-popular site is more than a search engine, offering its users everything from e-mail to easy ways to make money. Want to learn more about keeping up with the Googles of the world, or is it already a lost cause?
Read the full article
Is Your Site Secure?
by KC Morgan, 2009-06-15

Your product pages look great, but no one is buying anything. Your payment methods are simple, convenient and easily clickable, but no one uses them. Your site is great, so why doesn't your traffic seem to think so? Your page problems might not be the result of uninterested shoppers, not enough SEO or poor design. Not getting the response or the income you expected? Ask yourself one question: is your site secure?
Read the full article
What`s So Special About Your Site?
by KC Morgan, 2009-06-12

Do you have a unique idea for a web site? So do thousands of others, and they may be just like yours. You need to find a way to stand out from the pack. Whether it's your content, your site's design, or something else, you need to give your visitors a reason to stop by your site rather than someone else's. Not sure where to start? Keep reading.
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Free White Papers

Squid, the Caching Proxy
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2009-06-17

Lately, being connected to the Internet with sky-high values of bandwidth has pretty much become the norm. Surely, the time of dial-up with 56k modems have passed; our website requests load almost instantaneously, but there is always room for improvement. Squid is a cross-platform, open source, feature-laden caching proxy. We will cover it briefly in this article.
Read the full article
Regular Expressions in the Unix Shell
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-06-10

Searching. Now there is a task I am sure you do on a daily basis. In Shell programming, searching is very important; fortunately, you have a reliable set of tools to help you out. These are the regular expressions. And this article is the thirteenth in a series focusing on various aspects of UNIX.
Read the full article
Shell Script Writing
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-06-03

Shell scripts are designed to automate tasks that you would otherwise need to do manually, one step after another. This allows you to build up a sequence and a structure of commands that will take these steps instead of you. For this, you can use the tools present in the repertoire of the UNIX shell and its control mechanism. Exactly how this will come together to make a complete system is the subject of today's article.
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Another Election, Another Twitter Story

You know that Twitter and other web-based social networking tools played an important role in organizing US president Barack Obama's campaign. But what you may not have known is that Twitter helps the US State Department stay abreast of contested elections in other countries. That's the conclusion one can draw from hearing that the micro-blogging site rescheduled some planned maintenance that would have made the site inaccessible to users during a period of political upheaval following elections in Iran.

This does not mean that the US is trying to get involved in the election. In fact, the US does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, which means that it has to find out what's going on over there through other channels and these apparently include social networking sites. Twitter users have been reporting information on election-related unrest with the hash tag #iranelection, thus providing anyone monitoring Twitter with raw, valuable news of what's been going on.

This isn't the only Iran-related political thread running through Twitter right now. Upon hearing rumors that Iranian authorities may be using Twitter to track down opposition activity, many Twitter users have changed the location data in their profile to Tehran. Since this city is the capital of Iran, it's thought that this change will confuse the authorities.

Read more about this

British Two-Seater Runs on Hydrogen

It may not be James Bond's Austin Martin, but a new futuristic-looking British automobile boasts sexy curves and an awesome secret: it runs on hydrogen. The prototype vehicle, named the Riversimple Urban Car (RUC) harbors a single 6kW fuel cell beneath its hood that powers the auto's four electric motors one for each of its wheels. Its regenerative braking system adds to its energy miser profile.

The car tips the scales at less than half a ton, and can travel at speeds up to 50 miles per hour. One 2.2 pound tank of hydrogen enables it to travel 240 miles. As if all that weren't environmentally friendly enough, the car's manufacturer stated that the vehicle is made entirely from recyclable composite materials.

Even the way one acquires the vehicle breaks new ground. Instead of selling it, Riversimple (the manufacturer) has said it will offer the car under a 20-year lease option for around $327 per month. Before you do the math and scream about the long-term cost, note that Riversimple throws in the hydrogen at that price. Whether that compares favorably with a car powered by an internal combustion engine depends on how much driving you do, what kind of gas mileage you get, how long you normally keep your car, and of course, the price of gas. For some people, knowing that they're contributing to saving the environment may make it worth any extra expense. Formal leasing may start as early as 2012 or 2013, depending on the results of road tests.

Read more about this

Using Technology to Track Your Food

If you feel a simple sticker telling you that your bananas came from Columbia isn't good enough, take heart. Thanks to the widespread use of barcodes and RFID chips, and cheap cell phones and Internet access, you may soon be able to check it yourself. Several projects are in the works to allow manufacturers to make their own tracking databases more available to consumers.

For example, one large palm oil supplier is working with FoodReg, a developer of food-tracking software. They plan to develop a system that will let customers find out for themselves that the supplier's crops are not grown on land that recently hosted a tropical rain forest. The system would involve farmers recording the time and place of their crop harvest on FoodReg's online database, using cheap cell phones if they don't have access to computers.

Such systems would also work well for those who want to limit their carbon footprint by letting them see how far their food traveled before it reached the store. Others could be used to determine whether the food in question obeys particular dietary restrictions. For instance, TraceTracker also makes online databases that allow food to be tracked, and is working with one of its partners to create a system to track halal, or fit to eat according to Muslim dietary practices. The system would track the full supply chain, from farmers to processing houses. Consumers would be able to determine for themselves, using their own smart phones, that the food they want to buy comes from a licensed halal source. Plans for other systems are in the works; some involved in such projects think this is only the beginning, and envision all of the food databases eventually linked together in a huge Internet for food.

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