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Monday, October 31, 2011

4G – A Brief Discussion Of Its Usefulness

The first question that comes to mind for a person with a completely nontechnical background is ‘what is 4G?’ There have been several levels of up-gradation you have seen in the mobile phones available in the market since it was launched. The variations have been available not only in the designs and looks of the phones but also in the engineering and technology with which they are made. This has initiated various changes in their features and functionalities.

The earliest mobile phones were black and white with no cameras and color options or even the same for ringtone and caller tune downloads. With time there were successive launches of newer phones that brought in newer features and uses of technology. In the sphere of telecommunications there are several standards that have been laid down; 4G refers to the fourth level of mobile phone technology standards.

Before the initiation of 4G there were phones that were based on the 2G and 3G standards of telecommunication technology. In each of the previous launches there have been a few aspects which were specialty areas of functions for the particular technology.  In this case it was declared that in many years after the initialization of mobile phone technology there would be freedom of usage; this means that you will not experience call drops and network related problems any more. There is a high speed access within these phones and which also means that you can say hello from a moving train and a fast moving car as well.

With a 4G system there is an all in one service available through your Smartphone devices. You can also look forward to IP based mobile  broadband service with wireless modems of laptop computers as well as other mobile computing and communication devices like tablets.  Typical features will include ultra-broadband through internet access, IP telephony, streaming of audio and video and gaming application services. 

A practical understanding of the features that you can enjoy with this standard of the technological advance is a high range of megapixel in cameras that will be available with these devices. There is a greater clarity and resolution of video shoots capacitated within the devices which also includes video calling features in the phones.

4G devices are also enabled with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capacity which makes internet access easier and faster. There is a lightning speed at which access is enabled along with faster downloads and software installations through online resources. Chief objectives of this technological approach have also been the capacity to fulfill personalization of the device to suit one’s needs. 

There is a greater adaptability with different software applications which are enabled through the device for various work related and entertainment objectives. It makes for easy access and multimedia support at cost-effective prices. A modern range of smartphones makes it easier to access the internet with features of scanning and email or fax from the devices.

With 4G network you are ensured with of quicker access to the internet that will support a wide range of your work even when you are on the move.

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6 Cool Video Streaming Apps for Your Android Device

Android Smart phones are increasingly popular because of their plethora of features and reasonable pricing. One of the best things about them is the variety and quality of the available apps, many of which are developed by the same folk who create apps for the Apple App Store. Video streaming apps are well-represented on Android, and have had a bit of a boom in recent months. 

The relatively large high-resolution screens and powerful processors used by many Android Smart phones make them excellent devices for video streaming on-the-go. It's likely that in the near future we'll see more and more apps and video streaming services especially for Android devices. Yet until then, check the following already existing apps.

One of the best live TV streaming websites on the web, TV.com lets you watch your favorite channels either through Wi-Fi or through your phone network. With TV.com you can watch many TV channels live on your Android device, including CBS news, Showtime, and CNET. The app is free.

One of the most important video streaming services on the web, providing tons of full-length movies as well as recent TV shows, Netflix features a free Android app. To enjoy video content with it you first need to subscribe to the service. Although a great app for streaming, Netflix gets thumbs down for being a big eater of resources. The streaming quality, however, is flawless.

The popular 'How to' website's DYI video guides are now available on your Android device. With eHow Mobile you can watch the best 'how to' videos on the website, read top rated articles, and play with a few extra features. The app is good to have for all of its features, but it's especially notable for streaming videos. The app gets a thumb up for working flawlessly with Android Smart phones.

An alternative to eHow, Howcast provides many how to videos, some of which are not only informative, but also downright hilarious. The app works well with Android, and it's quite fun to use, especially when you explore the available videos. Provided that you have a decent Internet connection, Howcast is well worth checking.

If memory space prevents you from carrying all your videos with you on the your Android phone all the time, then you'll appreciate TScinema. This free app enables you to view videos not stored in your phone's memory, after first uploading them online. Supporting many formats, and boasting a sleek user interface, TScinema is a must-check app.

The list ends with possible the best music video streaming app for Android currently available: Vevo. The splendid UI, which has been clearly optimized for the small screen of mobile devices, as well as the perfect streaming make the app a must-have. It runs best with the latest version of Android OS.

The list is by no means exhaustive, many other cool apps being available through the Android Marketplace. However, the apps listed here have all been tested on Android Smart phones and they provide a flawless or almost flawless video streaming on-the-go.

Calvin Scott   is smitten by gadgets and etches to buy one as soon as it’s introduced in the marketplace. He has one room dedicated to all the interesting and unique gadgets at his home. Visit his site for internet and mobiel internet.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

5 Reasons to Learn a Programming Language

At this point in time, there are many programming languages that you can learn and, doubtless, there will be many more such languages devised in the future.  There was a time when C was the only well structured and popular programming language around and it is still being extensively used.  In fact, many people regard it as the skeleton on which many modern programming languages have been designed.

The first major advantage of knowing a programming language is that you will be able to understand the mentality of a development team.  Programming is never an easy job and if you know something about it, you will get to make the optimum use of your development team.  They will stop regarding you as a pain in the neck and regard you as a useful resource in implementing their project objectives.

The second major advantage of learning a programming language is that you will find that a good problem-solving approach can be a great help in good programming.  A really good programmer takes a problem and divides it into a number of small pieces for each one of which he will try and find an elegant solution.  You do not need to be a great programmer but you can certainly understand what makes a good programmer tick.  Once you have understood the programming mindset, you can evolve some really great strategies for any project that you undertake.

In any project that involves Search Engine Optimisation, you will need to collect and tackle lots of numbers.  If you bothered to learn a little about scripting languages, you can access Application Programming Interfaces (API) by yourself and collect all your data from one conveniently accessible space.  You can then evolve any kind of marketing strategy that you choose.  For instance, you can make use of Google Spreadsheets and use their App Script.

Again, in the SEO business, you would probably be working closely with development teams that include software developers and Web designers.  These people will routinely try and give you a run around including a number of reasons for shooting down what you want.  If you know a little bit about programming, you'll be able to see through all this because you'll have a clear idea of what is possible and what is not possible with your Web site project.  

If you know what you are doing, you would be treated with respect instead of triggering defensive responses from your development team.  You may even be able to suggest a possible solution to the problems (couched in the most diplomatic terms of cause) and accept their estimates and schedules without ridiculing them.

You should note that for many people, HTML does not really count as a programming language and you might want to learn other more useful languages such as Python or SQL (Structured Query Language).  Learning SQL, for instance, can be a great deal of help whether you're handling simple search queries or complicated content management systems.  It doesn't help to argue with your project development team but it certainly can help if you demonstrate an understanding of their problems and contribute to possible solutions.

Many of us take the time to learn new skills, but do we take the time to learn about the people who surround us? Use background check services and surround yourself with good people.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Secure Boot and your choice for Linux

Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu together with Red Hat, have weighed into the controversy surrounding the so called Secure Boot setup that requires OEMs to lock down your BIOS allowing only "approved" software to boot from it. This is of course being pushed by Microsoft.

The two companies today issued a white paper that seeks to educate Linux users about what the Secure Boot is and what it means for them. The paper also makes recommendations as to how to implement the Secure Boot to achieve its original goal of prevent security breaches while maintaining user freedom at the same time.

Any new Windows 8 PC will have Secure Boot switched “ON” when it leaves the shop and will be able to boot Microsoft approved software only. However, you will most likely find that your new PC has no option for you to add your own list of approved software. So to install Linux (or any other operating system), you will need to turn Secure Boot “OFF”...This is why we recommend that systems manufacturers include a mechanism for configuring your own list of approved software. This will allow you to run Windows 8 and Linux at the same time in your PC with Secure Boot “ON”. This should also include you being able to try new software from a USB stick or DVD.

This goes without say about the real motive behind why Microsoft is actively pushing for the Secure Boot. With a lot of people happily conceding ownership of their devices to the very manufacturers they bought the device from, a lot of education needs to be undertaken by Free Software companies to create awareness about the danger of this move.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

[VIDEO] Nokia N900 portable brain scanner

Looks like the venerable Nokia N900 phone should not be written off just yet. It's now being used as  a portable brain scanner.

Arek Stopczynski from Technical University of Denmark talks us through this innovative breakthrough product that works by connecting a commercially available wireless 14-channel EEG headset to a Nokia N900 smartphone.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

5 Ways to Increase Productivity And Make Your Time In Front of Computer Much More Enjoyable

If your job keeps you behind a desk for most of the day, the way mine does, chances are it is giving you a pain in the neck. Shoulder tension and bad posture contribute a lot to the pains of sitting for long periods of time in front of a computer or doing paperwork all day.

Now, having two children keeps me popping up throughout the day, and I’m lucky that I have that enforced movement periodically. Many people are basically trapped behind their desks with little chance to get up and move about which creates fatigued muscles and pain.

As a full-time freelancer and full-time mom, I am often torn between spending time with the kids and sitting at my desk and getting my work done. During the summer months, I confess I am often drawn away from work to play with the kids, and while they’re still young I want to take advantage of that as much as possible. However, when school starts I have no distractions and tend to get involved in my work, forgetting to take breaks and move around. That’s when the pain starts.

Getting Your Move On

One way I’ve found to keep myself active, and avoid the fatigue that comes from tired muscles that never move and are over-stressed from bending over my keyboard is to keep a set of Bowtech SelectTech® dumbbells next to me. I use a small kitchen timer to remind myself to take regular breaks every hour and when it goes off, I push away from the desk, and pick up the dumbbells.

I don’t even have to get up to work out my stiff, tight muscles. I just dial the proper weight level and do several repetitions of arm exercises to loosen up the muscles in my arms, shoulders and neck. I can even do my exercises late at night when I’m trying to get my work in after the kids have gone to bed since the dumbbells are not metal; they don’t make a lot of noise like old-fashioned ones do.

I also try to plan a walk during the middle of the day. When the kids are home, this is a great family activity that helps all of us stay in shape. On the weekends, everyone is included; my husband Dave and even my parents who live next door. Walking is such a great way to loosen up sore muscles, and it is something anyone at any age can do which makes it great for our multi-generational family.

More Great Ways to Loosen Up Stiff Muscles

Along with walking and using the weights at my desk, I have come up with three more ways to help get rid of those stiff muscles that cause neck pain and I want to share them with you:
  • Make “me” time: a short warm bath, or just a little quiet time locked away with a book or to rest my eyes every day is not only great for my stiff muscles, it is rejuvenating and makes me ready for anything my family and life can throw at me.
  • Start a workout regimen: besides my hourly desk weights, I also do a workout several times a week to strengthen my muscles. That way they aren’t as easily fatigued. I found the right one by reading about the ones I was most interested in, and the reviews for P90X® sold me on it.
  • Drink lots of water: I was guilty of not drinking enough water. I was a coffeeholic, and still am, but I make sure I get in at least 8 big glasses of water every day. It helps to lubricate muscles and is just generally great for your body.
All of the above tips for getting rid of that nasty pain in the neck also help you lose weight-added bonus! That’s especially important for those of us that sit behind a desk all day. Those added pounds and the dreaded “secretary spread” that is a result of sitting on your backside all day will be a lot less of a problem with these 5 tips.

Melissa Cameron lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and their two children. Her parents live right next door creating the perfect extended multi-generational family unit. She is a successful freelance writer who spends a lot of time creating helpful ways for people with busy lives to deal with the stress and difficulties they face when working and making time for family and themselves.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10 Reasons Why Google Would Make an Ideal Boyfriend

All of us want to find the perfect partner with whom we can spend the rest of our lives. After several failed relationships and imperfect boyfriends, I've come to the conclusion that the only way to get perfection would be to date something non-human. I asked myself what inanimate object would make an ideal partner and I came up with a clear answer—Google! (My second choice would be Apple). Here's why Google and I would make such a perfect match:
  1. Google always has the solution to my problems. No matter what random or crazy question I have, Google will find all the solutions possible for me to consider.
  2. Google always wants to do what I want to do. There's never any arguing about what movie to watch on a Friday night or which restaurant to go to for dinner.
  3. My family already loves Google. And not only does my own family already love it, but Google doesn't have family, so I'll never have to deal with in-laws.
  4. Google and I will never fight. If we do see things differently, or misunderstand each other, Google can always be used as a conflict resolution for it's own problem. Email not working right? Google it! Can't figure out how to get your document to save correctly in Google Docs? Google it!
  5. Google earns billions of dollars a year. What girl doesn't want to marry a billionaire?
  6. Google knows how to listen. Literally, if I set up my computer or phone with voice command programs, I can tell Google exactly what I want by only speaking a word.
  7. Google responds instantly and never leaves me waiting. In fact, Google starts responding before I've even finished asking. It's almost as if he can read my mind because as I start typing, it predicts what I want to know and automatically fills it in. Sometimes he guesses slightly wrong at the beginning, but he always gets it right in the end.
  8. Google has almost infinite depth. Google has the capacity to store and remember every detail of every little thing that has ever happened. Most guys can't even remember an anniversary, while Google will not only remember it, but notify me when the big day is coming up.
  9. Google is at my beck and call, 24/7. Support at any time, anywhere. Can a real man do that?
  10. Google never complains. If I make a mistake, Google autocorrects it for me rather than giving me a frustrated look. Plus, Google never shouts or gets moody.
Now, if it looks like I can't seduce Google into marrying me, I already have another option simmering on the back burner—Apple! Here are just a few reasons why Apple is second in line, although many of the above points for Google can apply here as well:
  1. Apple may have it's problems, but its good looks make up for it. While their systems can sometimes have glitches, it's usually easily fixed and doesn't matter so much since it's physical features will always remain attractive. It's kind of like dating a model—sometimes it has brains and sometimes it doesn't—but either way, there will always be good looks.
  2. I have Apple wrapped around my little finger. Apple has so many great preference choices when it comes to individualizing their products, particularly laptops and touch screen devices.
  3. Apple is constantly improving. Every few months or so, updates and new products are released so that I will always have the best of the best and never get bored.
About the Author
Tiffani Azani is a freelance writer for My Colleges and Careers. MyCollegesandCareers.com assists students in the process of completing their education through an online college or university and then start working in one of the top careers in their industry.

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Why Adding Accordions, and Tabs Using JQuery is Great for Navigation

JavaScript is a language that is considered a "light-weight" programming language. As in, it can be a programming language, but not if you’re going to use it to create pop  up box's that show error messages (for example). That being said, it is a language that can give people a lot of trouble , and may perhaps take people a fair amount of time to learn whether they be learning the language by themselves or on their own.

The cool thing about this thing called JQuery is that it is actually a language built from another language, and all you have to do to access the language is link to it from your HTML page. JQuery is built from JavaScript. When writing it, you will usually find that it is usually what you want JavaScript to be doing in the first place (what you wish it was able to do) and it is able to do much more complicated things a lot more easily than what you would have to code up if you were just using JavaScript. Two things that are very popular in JQuery are accordions and tabs.

Now there are always a lot of different options when you are thinking about the navigation to your site. You can use drop down menus, side menu bars, top menu bars, images, images that display other images when you hover over them, and so on and so forth. There is obviously an infinite amount of things you can do when it comes to navigation bars on your web site because there is an infinite amount of things you can do when it comes to programming. That being said, accordions and tabs are always going to be some of your best options when it comes to navigation and displaying information.

Let's take a look at some of the main reason for this simple fact.

  • First of all, accordions and tabs just plain out make your site look like it's structured better as well as make it look a lot more professional. Your web site's style will have a lot to do with your conversion rate in terms of turning traffic into dollars, and navigation is a huge part of the style of your web site

  • Accordions and Tabs can also hold a lot of information without taking up a lot of space. That is because whenever you click on one of the panels, new content will be loaded via JQuery and the other panel that was once open closes. This is an awesome way to display a lot of information if you have limited space

  • Some of the most well-known web sites in the world use accordions and tabs to display their information. For example, if you look at the web site ESPN.com the biggest website on the planet for sports and sports news, you will find that their site is absolutely loaded with tabs and accordions

  • When using tabs, you can give a preview of the page that the navigation link leads to by providing an outline of links that are listed throughout that page within the tab. It is something that is getting more and more popular, and something that is also great for SEO (search engine optimization). And if you are familiar with SEO, then you know that onsite SEO is just as important as off-site SEO tactics like hiring for link building service

  • Not only do tabs and accordions look great on a web site, but they are extremely easy to integrate. You really don't have to know any coding at all. All you need to do is go to the website jqueryui.com, pick an accordion or tabs theme (or create a custom theme yourself), download the code, and then copy and paste it into your website. It's literally as simple as "123."

All that being said, the biggest reason you want to use accordions and tabs whenever it makes sense to do so is because it is something that is very simple for your visitors to use when it comes to navigating around on your web site. It provides a platform that is very easy on the eyes and also very easy to use. It doesn't confuse users, yet makes navigation easier and helps establish a nice solid flow on your website - which is what navigation is all about. I encourage you to give them a try.

This article was written by Philip Russell. Philip helps to run and maintain www.inetzeal.com - for which you can find free SEO pricing at any time. In his spare time, he enjoys writing articles that relate to search engine optimization and search engine marketing. He is also working on becoming a computer programmer and is in the process of developing his own string of web sites.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Building Forms with Functions- 5 Cool Tools to Create Online Web Forms

The internet may be a paperless world, but when it comes to doing business online, it’s a world filled with forms. The challenge is to make sure that your site offers the forms you need to effectively communicate with customers while obtaining the kind of information that can help grow your business. Although professional site builders already have form options built in, there are many free and easy options for the DIY entrepreneur. Here’s a look at 5 very reliable tools you can use to create online web forms.

1. Google Docs:  – Face it. Aside from being free, Google Docs “rocks” on many levels. And the “forms” function of Google Docs---which started out as a feature of the Spreadsheet app and has now become an app on its own---is no exception. What’s not to like about creating a form that’s automatically connected to a corresponding spreadsheet upon which all the incoming response data is collected? As far as form integration goes, once you’ve created your form ---in Google Docs---and saved it, you can access a designated link from the drop down menu that will give you a special URL to embed the form directly into your website or blog.  

2. JotForm: Another very user-friendly form creating tool is JotForm. Although originally designed for use by professional web builders, the program has evolved to the point that web-building skills are not a prerequisite. Requiring no downloads or sign-ups, JotForm facilitates form creation via a simple and straightforward drag and drop user interface. The free basic program---which is refreshingly free of annoying ads and distracting directions to the JotForm website---provides 100MB of storage and allows your account to receive 100 form submissions per month, which may be all you need if your business does not highly depend  upon form users. Another great feature of both the free and paid programs is the ability to create and display post response, thank you messages or send automated emails to users, acknowledging receipt and appreciation of their submissions.

3. FormSite: Starting with a limited “Free forever” plan which allows for the creation of 5 forms per month---with up to 50 items per form and 50MB of storage and a maximum of 10 submissions---FormSite offers another simple solution for creating and embedding forms into your website, blogsite or email. With very affordable pricing, you can take advantage of plan upgrades which give you the ability to integrate e-commerce tools such as PayPal and  Google checkout. With FormSite you can create web forms for any use, complete with images, graphs, logos etc. You can even create forms to reach users on mobile phone platforms.

4. Acrobat FormsCentral: Free to try and easy to use, Adobe Forms Central will help you design, customize and preview forms that can be accessed by any user on the platform of their choice, be it desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile. Much of FormsCentral’s appeal lies in the simplicity of creating forms using pre-made templates. Custom forms may also be created via a simple drag and drop editor. Other features include a very well designed text editor which makes it easy to add text, create single or multiple choice options, paragraphs and date and drop down options. Forms are also customizable as to images, logos and color schemes, a nice feature to keep your logo prominent and consistent throughout your site. Finally, for ease of analysis, the data collected from your form can be sorted, tabled, formatted and exported to formats such as XLS and CVS.

5. WuFoo: With a name that sounds more like a choice on a Chinese take-out menu than a form building program, WuFoo is another solid option that has managed to take the code writing credentials out of the form creating process. Starting with a free trial that gets you started with a maximum of 3 forms, one user account and a total of 100 responses per month, WuFoo offers plan upgrades that can be tailored to your needs, including the popular “Bona Fide” plan that allows for up to 5 user accounts and unlimited forms and reports. Once a form is created it can be incorporated into your website in a number of ways, such as downloading and integrating the HTML, embedding the form into the site as an iFrame, placement on the page via JavaScript, or simply providing a link to the form. To track form entries and activities, custom reports are also very easily created.

Derrick Lewis is a freelance writer for Acrobat.com.

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Going To School VS Teaching Yourself Programming

There is one huge problem with school these days (well actually there are a very-very high number of wrong things with school in today's world that includes cost, ROI, and all sorts of other different things, but that's a whole other story) and that is that it tries to teach people using solely one method: Reading books and then answering a few questions. And just because you read something, doesn’t mean you learn it and/or fully understand it.

Now, there are definitely some exceptions to the rule when it comes to this and how effective it can actually really be.

For example, in your chemistry classes you are constantly going to the chem lab and learning how do to do things through actually doing them. This is quite common in science classes and other upper tier classes (at least in math you have to figure things out with a pencil and paper) and is absolutely essential with computer programming.

Now this is also true in your computer programming classes - you will take some time out to get things done on your own and spend a good amount of time on the computer learning how to program simple things, but you will also waste a lot of time going to class and listening to extremely boring lectures that are completely obvious and pertain to most things in life - much like the first few steps of every single "self-help" program out there.

Here is another main difference between computer programming and virtually every single other profession out there.

In computer programming, you can virtually become a billionaire, by yourself, with only your computer, a place to rest your head, and a few programming tools on your computer. I mean, this can literally happen (think Mark Zucherberg and Facebook), and in today's world, with the Internet, nobody needs to know how to go to school to learn how to do this. One can learn programming by his or herself by simply having enough dedication to teaching yourself how to do it a few hours a day.

Side Note: People that are in the Internet marketing niche and are perhaps looking into computer programming (every "SEO" should at least learn the basics of computer programming as it will help you to understand the mindset of the programmers that work for you) should look at learning programming over a longer period of time. This goes for anybody that has a side job, as programming isn't something that you can learn overnight, even if your job requires working from home in the first place, like providing SEO or something like that.

There isn't another profession in this world like it. There is absolutely no need to go to school for it as you can find all the resources you will ever need within a few clicks.

That being said, there are still some very good reasons to go to school. Here are a few of them:

  • First of all, it is always a great idea to get a degree. There is no "one size fits all" approach to school, and as long as it works out for you (in terms of affordability and ROI (return on investment)) then you should definitely think about going. A degree is your ticket to an Interview – the rest is on you

  • If you are the type of person that needs structure and are unable to have the discipline to learn something without having something there to force you to do it (first of all you might not want to be in programming) then you definitely will want to go to school as it will force you to learn the trade

  • One huge advantage of college is the ability to network with all sorts of people that are choosing the exact same career as you. These types of relationships can benefit you down the road in all sorts of different ways and are absolutely priceless (once again think of Facebook - as in wouldn't that be nice to be Mark's roommate and be a billionaire because of it?)


School is very expensive, and if you can teach yourself how to program, you can begin making money before you ever go one dollar into debt due to student loans (which can be absolutely enormous these days). You can also get a job while you are learning how to program. One option is to go the SEO/computer programming route. It is good for all programmers to learn a little bit about SEO anyways, since there are so many job opportunities in that market, and since Internet marketing is the biggest thing to hit the market since sliced bread.

In the perfect world, both going to school and teaching yourself how to program would be ideal. Unfortunately for some of us, we don't want to have to dedicate 14-20 hours a day learning how to program. Well, I guess it isn't that unfortunate, otherwise we would literally be machines, but just so you know, that is the type of people you are up against in this world when you are learning how to program.

This article was written by Philip Russell. Philip helps to run an SEO comapny over at www.inetzeal.net. In his spare time he likes to write articles in the SEO field and well as about computer programming - pretty much about anything that has to  do with making money using your computer and a solid set of skills.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Meet Iris - A Siri alternative for Android

Users of Apple's iPhone 4s have touted the voice service Siri as a killer feature on the latest iteration of the phone. Though voice support on Android has been around for sometime, it has not quite enjoyed the kind of buzz that Siri is enjoying. That's what prompted the guys over at Dexetra to develop Iris, a Siri alternative for Android. 

It started out as a lazy Friday with half our team missing, the influx of tweets and posts on the "Awesome Siri" were flying everywhere. Suddenly, I got the urge to do something similar for Android. Since we have been working on NLP and Machine learning for over an year now, I had a crazy belief that I could pull this off. Somehow I managed to write a tiny engine that could answer your questions, digging the results from the web.

The result was Iris, or Siri in reverse. It took them 8 hours to hack together a functional, working Iris albeit currently in alpha mode. "Gone are the days when you "Google searched" for information. Just "ask" Iris. She will talk to you on any topic. Ranging from Philosophy, Culture, History, science to general conversation."

If you're an Android user and want to yet another voice service in addition what already comes with Android, Iris, this freely available alternative to the Siri on iPhone 4s is your answer. It's currently available on the Android Market. You'll need to have "Voice Search" and "TTS library" installed to use Iris, both of which are available on the Market.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Good To Know - A Consumer privacy guide from Google

The European Public Policy blog of Google yesterday announced Good to Know,  a consumer advertising campaign designed to give people practical guidance on staying safe online. The aim of this service is to educate and create awareness among online citizens with regard to their privacy and data.

According to Google, most people would like to stay safe online but aren't equipped to do so. The Good to Know site is the answer to the lack of an in-depth, easy to understand guide to privacy and security for the majority of internet users.

Today we’re also launching a new section of the Google website that makes learning about security and privacy easier for the average consumer. We know that in-depth resources like privacy policies and terms of service are often too long, complex and legalistic. In the past few years, we’ve tried to make it easier to learn about privacy by creating short videos and by working to reduce the length and complexity of our privacy policy. The new Good to Know website builds on this commitment to explaining things in simple language. The in-depth resources are still there, but we hope a more layered approach will make this information more accessible for everyone.

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Yes I want the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

With the debut of the latest iteration of the Android OS and the latest install of the Samsung Galaxy family of phones, there's only one word that comes to mind; astounding. From the screen display to the completely overhauled OS, there is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the one device to rule them all. Let's hear what Larry Page of Google has to say about the new release.

I've absolutely loved using my pre-release Galaxy Nexus phone running the new version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. It is truly beautiful hardware with incredible software. Today in Hong Kong, our partners from Samsung took the stage with Andy Rubin, and introduced the world to the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Both Google and Samsung spent a lot of time getting everything right, and it really shows! People are at the heart of Ice Cream Sandwich with an amazing new contact manager. We focused on re-inventing sharing on mobile devices. This is what I was talking about when I recently mentioned one way to think about Google+ is that over the last quarter we shipped the +, and now we’re going to ship the Google part. There are ton of other features from super fast camera with amazing panorama mode and 1080p video to Voice Typing which transcribes text nearly instantly as you speak. You can even unlock your phone with just a smile. The screen is unbelievably nice and has 720p resolution and is a gigantic 4.65". Now that Ice Cream Sandwich is unwrapped, the first Galaxy Nexus phones will ship worldwide starting in November. Sign up to get one, you'll love it just like I do!

Is there anyone out there who does not like the Galaxy Nexus, please let's see by hand!

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The Disadvantages of WordPress

Today's internet world is larger than ever, and it doesn't show any signs of stopping. Nowadays someone with limited experience in web-design, can seemingly have a great website up in just a few hours. This can be done with Wordpress. Wordpress accounts for over 61 million websites in the world, and they host about half of those themselves. Obviously Wordpress is doing something right. With Wordpress you get a CMS, which is just a short way of saying content management system. This allows you to easily input any content you want, and makes blogging extremely easy, even for people who are new to the internet. You can get a Wordpress theme for a very cheap price compared to hiring a web designer, and you can even get many themes for free. If this sounds a little bit to good to be true, then stay tuned.

If you are going to go with a Wordpress for your website be prepared to take into account the disadvantages. The first disadvantage you may encounter is that many other sites may hold the same theme. While themes are customizable to an extent, sharing themes with another site is alarming to potential customers, and can also hinder your particular brand. It's also a lot easier than you may think to spot a Wordpress. By simply checking the page source you can pick up clues that show "/wp-themes," or various other links to some sort of Wordpress reference. Since there are so many websites out on the internet today, it is important to have some creativity and a new feel to differentiate yourself. You may think your website is unique, and the content may be, but chances are the layout and overall theme of your website can very similar to a number of other websites.

This is not to say that you cannot be successful using a Wordpress. If you have great content, and promote it well, you can be sure to see a good amount of traffic. Depending on your niche, you can also find yourself ranking at the top of search engines, which is more important than ever for your website. If you don't come up near the top, it doesn't matter how unique your website is, because no one will ever see it. Wordpress will always be properly indexed by Google, and with some great SEO Services, SEO can be easier than a manually coded site.

A manually coded site done properly has some benefits of its own too. First, Wordpress sites are subject to spam comments more than any other site on the web. This is because they are easily crawled by "spiders" on the internet, and hackers know what they are looking for when they come across a Wordpress site. While Wordpress has good security and support, Wordpress sites are much more likely to be targeted because people are used to hacking into them. If you have your own layout, and security measures in place, then you can be sure no one has hacked into it.

Wordpress disadvantages don't stop at security. When you hire someone to build you a website, you have things like graphics, background gradients, and even logo design, that are all done for you. Although a Wordpress can be up and running quick, you may not know how to bring the site together to make it look professional. The overall feel and presentation of a website is very important. You may have to hire someone to do the graphics for your wordpress anyway, and at this point you might as well have some customization within your website.

Customizing your website on a Wordpress has its limitations. Each theme is different, so what may work on one, could be completely different for another. I had a wordpress theme named Works 01, which was a business themed website. It looked great in the demo, but when it came to customization, half of the widgets didn't work and the simple background change wouldn't work.  The support I got took over 2 weeks to figure out what the issue was. Now this is just an isolated case, but it is definitely something that can happen. Not to mention that was a theme that I had actually paid for.

Wordpress themes have a lot of benefits. The best feature that they have to offer is a CMS. It makes uploading content very simple, and organizing is a breeze. Not everyone needs this feature, and for your blog you can even have a custom theme built to match the feel of your website. With a Wordpress you must be prepared to understand that others may share the same theme, and without extensive customization, your sites can look almost identical. Wordpress is also subject to an immense amount of spam, and are more prone to hacker attacks. While the demos of these themes may look great, don't forget that custom graphics or logos, do not come with the theme. Wordpress does have some really good advantages. If you are looking to build a unique brand, then you may be better off hiring someone to build you a custom website. Do a little bit of research and find out what the best alternative is for you.

This article was written by Ben Anderson. Ben works as an SEO consultant providing Monthly SEO and is a freelance webdesigner. He has a lot of experience using Wordpress design, and knows the advantages and disadvantages first hand.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

What you can do with HTML 5 and Canvas

HTML 5 is becoming more and more popular. This stems from the controversy over the late Steve Jobs objecting to using Flash technology, explaining that it is outdated, and HTML 5 is the future. While this is still debatable, HTML 5 has some huge backing by some major companies. Companies like Google, Apple, and Mozilla. HTML 5 brings new tags along such as header, footer, article, video, and audio. 

This allows for proper segmentation and effective indexing with the search engines, as well as makes web design much easier to do. Maybe the most talked about and the least understood tag is the canvas tag. The canvas tag was originally introduced by Apple back in 2004, and has slowly gained popularity over the past 7 years. Now, all of the major browsers support the canvas tag, not to mention the immense amount of mobile users that are able to see the canvas tag on the go. Lets look at what the canvas tag can do.

The canvas tag is defined by an HTML tag, and is then given a specified height and width. Canvas as you might expect is then "drawn" on using JavaScript. By giving your canvas an ID, you can then call upon that in your js file by using "document.getElementByID". Then from there the possibilities are endless. You can create complex drawings, graphs, logos, and even interactive games. 

Everything is done in 2D, but everything is also a lot simpler than other types of interactive language development, for example Flash. Creating this with just a few lines of code really is a revolutionary idea. Now the average web designer can make interactive designs, without having to outsource certain things, or spend extended amounts of time on one particular item.

This has become very controversial. Another form of drawing graphics known as scalable vector graphics, is creating a buzz for a few reasons. First, many feel that this is what should be used to illustrate your webpages. This is because when SVG graphics are created they are automatically remembered in the document object model. 
Canvas for HTML 5 once something is drawn, the system forgets it is drawn, and if the position needs to be moved, it must be recreated from scratch. While this argument is a valid one, it was done that way for a purpose. This is so interactive games can be made, that can change on the fly, without constant updating depending on the users actions. This is only one of the controversies that have sprung up.

One of the most talked about HTML 5 wars is between HTML 5 and Flash. Flash has been said to be out dated, and no linger needed to be used. While some big names are saying this, it is currently not true, nor will it be in the foreseeable future. The problem is canvas, although easier to code, does not perform as well on all levels. Flash consistently outperforms canvas in speed, smoothness, and CPU usage. 

The one thing that the canvas has one Flash as of right now is the fact that it is by far easier to index what is going on when the web page is loaded. That and of course it is easier to code. HTML 5 and canvas is not supported by IE 8, and although there is another version of Internet Explorer out, many have not made the update. Fortunately there are some Mozilla plugins that can act in an equivalent manner. Flash and Canvas are often used together with a browser detection script, and then subsequently running appropriate code depending on your supporting browser.

Canvas and HTML 5 have an uncertain future at this point in time. While canvas is very popular, easy to do, and works great - it is not getting the highest satisfaction rate among computer nerds. Many people like SVG, and still many others like Flash. HTML 5 certainly has some great aspects, including canvas, and it has a great start to becoming web standard. However, there is a lot of room for improvement, and in the near future this needs to be done. 

The CPU usages for canvas are by far too high, and they need to be trimmed down dramitcally. On top of that, Flash can make graphic that look a lot nicer. Canvas can't quite compete with Flash, but trust me people are working on that every day. HTML 5's canvas has some key advantages. Ease of use, indexability, and they are backed by some major companies. The future of HTML 5 and canvas is unclear, but it sure is bright.

This article was written by Ben Anderson. Ben likes to blog about web design, HTML 5, and the future of the web. He has an interesting perspective because not only does he understand web design but also incorporates SEO tactics like White Hat link building services.

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What Are Open Source Ideals? Just "Giving Away"? Or Are Things More Complex?

Software and codes, mark-ups and language designs: the movement of open source has been claimed by virtuality. Everyone assumes it to be a reflection of technology. Everyone thinks it to be proof of copyleft mentalities. There can be no other meaning, it's believed. There can only be applications and the infusions of PHP. The truth, however, is far more complex.

An open source ideal is not to be branded mechanical. It's not to be deemed irrelevant to the world. Instead it's to be understood as any philosophy that employs collaborative thinking, evolving mantras and a refusal of traditional notions. It's a methodology of progress - and even religion can't escape it.

The concept of an open religion may baffle many (it conjures images of worshipping software, praying to the web gods for troubleshooting aid). The principles of it are quite simple, however, and can be understood by any who wish to learn. All devotees of this system support:

Individual Beliefs

The world is shaped by philosophies - the endless streams of thought and opinions. There is much to consider and much to confuse. Open source religion seeks to replace that confusion with ease, however. The purpose of this system is to allow followers to choose their own ideas, rather than just accepting established patterns. Hints of all religions can be supported, simply because they appeal to the individual. All beliefs are personal and carefully tailored.

Collaborative Creeds

The cornerstone of all open source methodology is participation. Individuals are meant to gather their thoughts together, pluck out the ones that offer the most rewards. And religion is now being defined to those same standards. The intention of this movement is to utilize the power of group behavior, forming creeds that benefit all. Efforts are made in unison, ensuring that all ideas are explored.

Origins Redefined

Science and faith are two disparate notions: this is accepted by most. The revelations proven by man cannot (it seems) exist with those created by God; and few try to bridge the differences. Open source religion seeks to make that transition, however. Spirituality is centered in logic - with concepts like evolution embraced fully. The desire is to prove the presence of miracles by explaining them through fact.

World Exposure

Proximity crafts all thoughts. Individuals will seek out what they know, what they have been exposed to. They won't desire change because they won't be aware of the possibility of it. This is the open source explanation - and they wish to offer a more developed sensibility.

Followers are meant to experience ideologies from all forms of belief systems, improving their faith by examining others. Use of the online world is therefore strongly encouraged. It's meant to provide alternatives to traditional venues and allow users to search for the answers they need.

Too often are open sources dismissed by the masses, thought to have no applications beyond technology. They can instead be offered to any facet of life, however, and this is never more proven than in spirituality.
Understand the purpose of this philosophy: explore its meanings; and determine if it's a reflection of who you are (and what you need).

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Code Academy- The Free JavaScript guide for absolute beginners

Code Academy is an interactive, highly addicting web service that teaches how to code in JavaScript through a simple, interactive dialog box. You don't need to have any experience to get started with the lessons.

Once you get onto the site, you're presented with a simple dialog box with a blinking cursor that has instructions on what to enter. It's highly addictive and fun to use. Beginners to programming will find it very helpful, without the usual code-speak that accompanies most programming books.

If you are a developer, you can also sign up for the Code Academy Teacher beta program where you can have the opportunity of writing lessons for the site.

JavaScript is currently the only programming language to taught there but there are plans to add other languages in the future. Signing up to the site is also super easy, requiring just one step.

If you're a beginner to the world of programming, you might want to start with the relatively easiest language out there, now with the easiest teaching service out there.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dennis Ritchie - A roundup of tributes to an unsung hero

Dennis Ritchie passed away over the weekend after battling an unspecified illness for a long time. He was 70. For those who knew him, or bothered to read about the history of modern technology, Dennis Ritchie, developer of the C programming language and one of the founding fathers of Unix was truly a remarkable man who deserves to be celebrated.

As part of showing our last and final respect to this incredibly humble man who contributed immensely to changing the world, we've combed the web for some of the best tributes to him and summed them up below. You can also grab a number of papers written by DMR from here.

DMR- standing. 1941-2011

The world of computing owes a great debt of gratitude to Dennis Ritchie, without whom there might have been no Unix as we know it today, and thus no Mac OS X or GNU/Linux. In fact the computing landscape might have been very different indeed, given that most of the world's software is written in C. For any man to make such a contribution is a magnificent achievement, but Richie was also a kind and humble man, worthy of praise purely by virtue of his character. It's difficult to imagine a man more radically different to Steve Jobs, for example, than Dennis Ritchie. Slated

Hope people will realize that without Dennis Ritchies work on Unix back in the 70′, there won’t be any iPhone today, nor iMac.

So this young upstart whippersnapper comes along and decides to try to specify a language that will let people write programs that are: (a) high-level, with structures and functions; (b) portable to just about any kind of hardware; and (c) efficient on that hardware so that they’re competitive with handcrafted nonportable custom assembler code on that hardware. A high-level, portable, efficient systems programming language.
Sutter's Mill

I am very fond of the C programming language. Despite all its flaws, I love the simplicity of C, and the raw power it gives me. And his book "The C Programming Language" (co-authored with Brian Kernighan) truly set a standard for excellence.

Linus Torvalds once said, in reference to the development of Linux, that he “had hoisted [himself] up on the shoulders of giants.” Among those giants, Dennis Ritchie (aka dmr) was likely the tallest. Ritchie, the creator of the C programming language and co-developer of the Unix operating system passed away on October 8 at the age of 70, leaving a legacy that casts a very long shadow.
Ars Technica

There are several billion people using many billions of devices every day. From the code in your microwave to massive computing clusters, virtually all of our software can trace its ancestry back to this man’s intellectual output. I’m eternally grateful for his life and contributions to humanity.
We here at Ghabuntu would like to say a big thank you to Dennis Ritchie for his remarkable contribution to technology. RIP DMR, we will never C the like of you again. 

Tag cloud image courtesy Tagxedo

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Happy 10th Anniversary to the Eclipse Project

With 3 projects back in 2001, the Eclipse Project has grown to become an awesome, can't-do-without IDE for developers of almost all programming languages. Currently, it has 273 projects, more than 50 million lines of code and committers from almost all continents and more than $800 million in R&D.

It's come a long way and we wish to say a big happy, glorious 10th birthday to this groundbreaking, open source project that has made life a lot easier for both novices and experts alike.

Cake image courtesy.

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And Microsoft came to the aid of disgruntled Blackberry users

The overly philanthropic and highly caring Microsoft corporation, having noticed the frustration of Research in Motion's Blackberry users, has extended a helping hand to them. According to Windows Phone evangelist Ben Rudolph, Microsoft has 25 Windows Phones to give away to Blackberry users.

#DearBlackberry users, Frustrated with your BB? Tell me why you want to upgrade to a #windowsphone - I've got 25 to give away.
 via BenthePCguy 

How do you qualify? Well Rudolph says just tell him why you'd want to upgrade to a Windows Phone. Yup. Simple as that. So if you're a frustrated Blackberry user, this might be your chance to jump ship...

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