It's Day Two at Google IO, Google's annual developer conference, and we're at Moscone Center ready to live-blog this morning's keynote.
Yesterday's keynote featured announcements about Android, Google Music, and Google movie-rentals, as well as news about extending the developer platform to include hardware via Google's Open Accessory API and Accessory Developer Kit.
What we didn't hear about was anything relating to Google's Chrome OS, and we're anticipating that will be the focus of today's keynote. Rumors are that Google will announce a $20/month Chrome notebook rental program aimed at students, but we're sure Google has more for us in store.
9:30 a.m.: Vic Gundotra takes the stage to welcome us to the second day of Google IO. He says that over 600,000 people tuned in yesterday to watch the keynote - "global enthusiasm."
9:32 a.m.: It's about the "open Web," says Gundotra as he introduces Sundar Pichai, Chrome's Senior VP
9:34 a.m.: There are now 160,000,000 active users - more than doubling since last year. Pichai chronicles what has happened over the last year with Chrome, adding a stable channel for Mac and Linux and rolling out releases every six weeks. This culminated this last week with the latest beta release of Chrome 12
9:36 a.m.: Pichai talks about the upcoming APIs in Chrome, and brings Ian Ellison-Taylor to the stage to talk about these new features:
9:43 a.m.: What's next? GPU acceleration for the canvas and WebGL. The demo utilizes the famous aquarium from Microsoft which now can be filled with hundreds of fish without losing frame-rates.
9:48 a.m.: Emphasis is on speed. But "writing these applications only matter if you can reach users." Hence the launch of the Chrome Web store. Users are spending more time in the apps - about a 2x increase. And game developers are also seeing about 2.5x increase in transactions.
9:49 a.m.: As of today, Chrome Web Store opens to all users, in 41 different languages. Although this will open up usage, the challenge of monetization still exists. Vikas Gupta from the Google Payments team now joins the stage to discuss in-app payments.
9:51 a.m.: Graphic.ly demoed as an example. Graphic.ly wanted users to be able to read a comic before they actually make a purchase - something that's now possible with the API. Gupta demonstrates that it only takes a single line of code to be able to add this.
9:53 a.m.: Gupta stresses keeping it simple for developers to monetize things. This new Payments platform is priced at a flat fee of 5% - that means 95% of what customers spend in an app stay with the developer.
9:55 a.m.: Gaming capabilities on the Web: Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka from talks about the challenges and now the ability to bring Angry Birds to the Web. Angry Birds will now be on "the biggest platform that's out there" - the Web. "It's a very smooth, very nice Angry Birds experience," says Vesterbacka, who says this version of the game is built using WebGL. The Web version will use local storage so that you can play the complete game offline. There will also be exclusive levels for Chrome users, as well as "The Mighty Eagle" that users will be able to buy to help them clear levels. "Let's pop some pigs!" - in other words, the game is available in the Chrome store now.
10:09 a.m.: People spend all their time on the Web, within a browser, "which was why we developed Chrome OS," says Pichai. "We wanted to rethink the entire experience and distill it down to nothing but the Web." Google says it's focusing on notebooks because that's where users are - Chromebooks.
10:10 a.m.: What's different about Chromebooks?
Instant onAlways connectedAll-day batteryAccess your stuff anywhereGets better over timeSecurity built in
10:13 a.m.: Cr-48 Pilot program has had over 1 million applicants. Pichai talks about the improvements on the devices: better support for Flash, for external devices. Kan Liu takes the stage to talk about Chrome OS's new file support functionalities - file attachments, music and video files, photos. New file extension APIs are built into the platform so that users will be able to have their files transferred easily to the cloud, no matter which apps they're using (such as Box.net)
10:23 a.m.: Addressing important use-cases for Chromebooks, such as using them offline. Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs will be available offline for users this summer.
10:24 a.m.: Showcasing various Chromebooks: from Samsung and Acer. There will be priced between $300-$500. They'll be available to order June 15 via a.m.azon and BestBuy in the U.S. Full jailbreaking capabilities.
10:27 a.m.: Businesses and schools: IT infrastructure complicated. Upgrades are costly. Emphasis on laptops, not desktops - which can bring security challenges when devices move in and out of firewall. But companies are moving to the cloud, says Pichai. Google has partnered with Citrix and VMware for virtualization. According to a Google survey, companies said that with the combination of virtualization and Web apps, they can move 75% of their users to Chromebooks.
10:32 a.m.: Working to develop a Web-based console from which IT administrators can manage users' apps and policies. Software and hardware packaged together - Chromebooks for Business that will be $28 per user per month. "Software and hardware as a service."
10:33 a.m.: School usage: "We want to make it possible for every student to have a computer." $20 per user per month for schools. These will be available, like consumers, starting June 15.
10:37 a.m.: Every Google IO attendee will get a Chromebook. (Do you hate me for live-blogging that? Sorry)
The Web is what you make of it
Google IO Live Blog: Chrome And Ch...
IT salaries are up after a two year decline, according to CIO.com. That's good news, considering the level of dissatisfaction IT professionals are experiencing.
Meanwhile, hiring is up as well. Dennis B. Moore has analyzed listings from Dice.com and found an overall increase of 6.1% in the past three months, and a 46.2% increase over the past year. Moore looked at four areas: database, applications, languages and platforms. Moore found some surprising results.
Here are some of the biggest surprises. Keep in mind that these are just the results for one job board and may not be representative of the industry overall:
Demand for Hadoop knowledge grew slower than other NoSQL related technologies. However, there were still more Hadoop jobs than there were jobs in every other NoSQL technology combined. Also, traditional RDBMS technologies are still the most popular, with the most jobs and strong growth.
Demand for Oracle eBusiness Suite skills dipped. Skills on Oracle's database, unsurprisingly, remained strong. SAP hiring experienced the most growth in the applications area in the past three months, followed by PeopleSoft.
Silverlight overtook Flash. Silverlight jobs experienced 12.6% growth in the past three months, while Flash experienced just 2.2%. Silverlight also surpassed Flash in total number of jobs, with 982 job listings for Silverlight and 646 for Flash.
Demand for iPad skills decreased by 3.5%. However, iOS demand increased by 24.9%. Moore didn't tracked Macintosh or OSX demand in the past so he couldn't make a comparison.
Android had 1,019 jobs, which beat iOS' 832 jobs. But iOS is growing faster, at a rate of 24.9% to Android's 19.8%.
There was an increased demand for skills in Facebook and Twitter.
Azure was the fastest growing platform, with 80.7% growth. But it still trailed Amazon in total number of jobs 1,019 to 103.
The five programming languages with the top growth in the past three months were:
SAP Sybase PowerBuilder (26.0%)
"There was such strong demand growth for all skills, that it is more useful in this category to speak about the area of weakest growth - Adobe Flash," Moore wrote.
The top languages, by total number of jobs, were:
Java (16,152 jobs)
HTML (9,736 jobs)
Microsoft professionals are doing well, with strong growth in C#, Silverlight and Azure.
Java is still sitting pretty, as expected.
SAP is rebounding.
Oracle database skills remain vital, but other Oracle applications are questionable.
Demand for CRM skills are in decline, with Siebel, Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics all taking hits in the past three months.
NoSQL is a small but growing niche.
Photo by Aldo Gonzalez
7 Surprising Trends That Show What ...
As promised, Google's upcoming version of its Android mobile operating system, code-named Ice Cream Sandwich, will merge the two different versions of Android in existence today. At present, Android-based smartphones run Gingerbread (Android 2.3) or older, while Android-based tablet computers run Honeycomb (Android 3.0). With Ice Cream Sandwich, due out later this year, that situation will begin to change.
Officially announced at Google I/O, the developer conference held this week in San Francisco, Ice Cream Sandwich will introduce some of the user interface concepts now found in Honeycomb. This includes, among other things, the "Action Bar," which puts contextual actions at the top of the screen, and which vary by application. Ice Cream Sandwich will also bring Honeycomb's "holographic user interface, more multitasking, the new launcher and richer widgets," says Google. How exactly these tablet-inspired features will be ported to the smaller screen, or in which cases they would be ported, is still somewhat unclear.
According to Google, Ice Cream Sandwich will intelligently adapt itself to the form factor it's running on and provide developers with APIs to modify other elements of the interface when needed. For example, developers will be able to change the size of the above-mentioned Action Bar, so it takes up more or less room on the screen.
A new Ice Cream Sandwich API was demonstrated on stage at the I/O event, however. It was a head-tracking API called Virtual Camera Operator which detects when a person is speaking, and then refocuses the device's front-facing camera on that person. When another person comes into frame and begins talking, the camera will then focus on that person instead.
The use cases for this in video conferencing are clearly apparent. With Microsoft's acquisition of Skype, and its promised integration into Xbox and Kinect, it won't be long before you'll video chat from your TV with others while Kinect's camera follows you around the room. With this Camera Operator API, that same tracking feature will be available on the mobile side as well. In other words, our devices are about to get a lot smarter, and soon. They're going to "see" us, on both small screens and big.
One OS, Everywhere
As Google describes Ice Cream Sandwich, which seems to have no version number attached at present, it will be the "one OS, everywhere." And by everywhere, Google really means everywhere. The company's vision for its Android operating system is one that sees the OS powering any number of consumer electronics devices, and even home devices and appliances. With the Android@Home framework, Google is helping to build the Internet of Things. (More on that program here.)
This begs the question, what of ChromeOS, then? What will become of Google's other operating system, especially when Google is saying Ice Cream Sandwich will power laptops, too?
We may find out more about that today. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, Google has released an incremental update to Honeycomb (version 3.1) packed with several new features for tablets. This includes the following, according to Google's Android Developers blog:
Open Accessory API. This new API provides a way for Android applications to integrate and interact with a wide range of accessories such as musical equipment, exercise equipment, robotics systems, and many others.
USB host API. On devices that support USB host mode, applications can now manage connected USB peripherals such as audio devices. input devices, communications devices, and more.
Input from mice, joysticks, and gamepads. Android 3.1 extends the input event system to support a variety of new input sources and motion events such as from mice, trackballs, joysticks, gamepads, and others.
Resizable Home screen widgets. Developers can now create Home screen widgets that are resizeable horizontally, vertically, or both.
Media Transfer Protocol (MTP). Applications can now receive notifications when external cameras are attached and removed, manage files and storage on those devices, and transfer files and metadata to and from them.
Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP). API for audio. Developers can directly manage on-demand or interactive data streaming to enable VOIP, push-to-talk, conferencing, and audio streaming.
Android 3.1 is available now, more details are here.
Image credit, virtual camera operator: Android Community
Ice Cream Sandwich Merges Phone And...
Application and content discovery on the iPad can be a daunting task, especially for new users. Users often get a feeling of "I know this is a cool piece of technology, but I don't know what to do with it." Sometimes it takes a tech geek friend to show you some of the cool apps to really feel like you have taken a step into the future.
App maker Cooliris has released three new discovery apps called Decks that can help consumers find new apps, movies and photos (on Flickr). Decks for Apps is the most useful of the bunch. It is integrated with the App Store to show off the top applications and make them easy to research and download. It is like perusing a shelf at a retail store from consumer days of yore, instead you are sitting on your couch.
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Decks for Apps produces flash card-like descriptions for the top 50 paid, free and grossing apps. It makes for an interesting way to peruse the App Store and see what your fellow digital denizens are using and playing with. Other app discovery tools include App Genius, Chorus, AppsFire, Yappler and Appolicious. The breadth of those services often beat out Decks but the user interface for Decks is a big draw.
At ReadWriteWeb we spend a lot of our time searching for the newest and most exciting apps and technologies. Sometimes that means though that pop-culture passes us by. Decks for Movies shows what is currently in theaters, coming soon to theaters and DVD and what are the top rentals in iTunes. Just like Decks for Apps, the movie version is attached to iTunes and has a "get movie" button that will bring you to the iTunes page where you can rent it or buy it.
Decks for Flickr is a slick way to peruse some of the coolest pictures on the Web. It is preloaded with an "interesting" deck of photos and also allows users to query Flickr. For instance, if you want to see some of the sites in Washington, D.C., a deck can be added to the stream that will surface 50 or so of the top current photos of the city.
Cooliris uses PageKit, a Web application framework, that allows them to render dynamic content at smaller download sizes. PageKit is simple and smart so it also allows Cooliris to develop applications like Decks fairly quickly. It first used the framework to create the original Decks, an application that assists with shopping from the tablet. Cooliris is the company that makes the Discover for iPad application which turns Wikipedia into an attractive magazine.
Cooliris' Decks Apps Makes App Dis...
Most design - be it architecture, interior design, industrial design or some other field - is inherently visual. It stands to reason that being able to provide stakeholders with visual references will give designers a competitive edge.
A recent survey on CGarchitect.com found that almost 90% of respondents were more likely to win a competitive bid using visualizations. More than 90% said community support was easier to win with visualizations. And 50% said they saved nearly $25,000 a year by creating visualizations in-house.
Fortunately, strides in 3D technology is making in-house visualization more accessible to companies both large and small. Some firms are taking advantage of tools used for 3D animation or video games to win clients or create better work. Others are taking advantage of new 3D modeling technologies available in traditional design tools.
This content series is brought to you by Autodesk - Accelerating Better Design
Ze Kun Chen, a 10-year-old in China, is using 3D modeling software to help his family's display framing business. By creating visual representations, Chen was able to help customers better understand the designs.
On the higher end, Dyer Architects won the contract for the OZ project, a new mall in Russia, through use of visualizations of the firm's ideas for the mall's lighting design. The visualizations allowed stakeholders to maintain the original intent as the project progressed.
Scott Wilson Group has taken another interesting approach to visualization. It uses software to model and demonstrate the ways that the sun's position can affect a driver's visibility. The firm then takes these insights and uses them in their infrastructure design work, and uses the visualizations to win community support for projects. Similarly, Parsons Brinckerhoff created a transportation simulator that let the public explore its designs for Doyle Drive in San Francisco years before construction was complete.
New visualization tools are are also changing the way design is taught. Yale School of Architecture, for example, is teaching students to work with the sorts of 3D design tools normally used in films and animation to create more interesting forms and textures. Mark Gage, an associate professor and assistant dean at Yale, has said that traditional modeling tools have lead architects' creations to be uniformly smooth and seamless. Newer technologies are enabling designers to create more textures.
These are all examples of how visualization technology is changing the way designers do their work, but these are just scratching the surface of what sorts of things could be done in the next few years with better augmented reality technology. One future trend to watch for is how improved efficiency in software, along with faster and cheaper hardware, change the design landscape. Earlier this year Steve Lohr wrote about how software progress is beating Moore's Law, meaning that more efficient software algorithms are enabling faster software.
What will it be possible for designs to do with commodity hardware in a few years?
Photo by svilen001
How Visualization Is Changing Desig...
Having long wooed the educational market with its Apps for Education suite of productivity tools, Google is now poised to bring to students and teachers the hardware necessary to take full advantage of these Web-based apps and of the Web itself. Google's Chromebooks for Education announcement at Google IO this morning could provide schools with a huge opportunity to equip their students with computers, at a $20 per student per month rate.
No doubt, many schools still operate with pretty woeful IT, in terms of hardware, software, and Internet access. Plenty of schools still have just one computer in a classroom - if they have computers at all. Some have computer labs, of course, where rows of desktops line the room and where students can come for one class or so a week to learn keyboarding, do research, or play games. As computers have become more affordable and more common, and as computing has become more mobile, many schools have experimented with one-to-one laptop initiatives, all in the service of putting a computer in the hand of every student.
Costs for One-to-One Computing Initiatives
But one-to-one computing is not cheap, and as many schools have been tempted to embrace the iPad as an alternative to laptops, the price tag to equip each student with a mobile computing device seems to be going up and is cost-prohibitive for most districts.
Of course, $20 per student per month still adds up quickly. A 1000-student school would be looking at a $180,000 annual investment (and a three-year contract) to take advantage of the Chromebooks for Education program. But $180 per student per nine-month school year isn't a bad price (and better, one might add than the $475 per iPad deal that the Auburn School District in Maine just cut with Apple to equip every kindergartener in the district with an iPad). And there's nothing that says schools can't ask parents to pay the rental fees and data plans, something that a recent survey indicated many parents would be more than willing to do.
As these devices are entirely Web-based via the Chrome OS (and will, for a lot of schools, tie in to the free Apps for Education offerings), there may well be fewer expenditures for the various applications students will need or want.
Although the potential cost savings may be appealing to many schools that are interested in one-to-one computing initiatives, there are still some other questions here that schools will have to consider before signing up for the program:
Schools, Student Safety, and the Open Web
The Chromebook doesn't just mean that a student will have her or his own laptop to use at home and at school. This is a device that is built around the Web, in terms of its operating system and in terms of its purpose. The devices that are available via the Chromebook for Education program will have 3G and wireless capabilities, which is important as many students may not have access to the Internet at home.
But equipping students with an Internet-ready device means students have access to the Web, and that's something that many schools are still reluctant to do. That reluctance may come from a variety of origins, but many schools will point to CIPA, the Children's Internet Protection Act, and its requirements that schools and libraries that receive federal e-rate funding have an Internet safety policy, monitor online activities, and filter any Web content that is obscene or harmful to minors as a reason to be cautious about letting students have access to the Web.
This will require many schools to make sure those Internet safety and acceptable use policies are up to date to reflect the new technologies. However administrators will have the ability to control students' access to certain apps, with granular controls that mean kindergarteners for example can view different things than high schoolers. The administrative control panel - a new feature since Google launched its Cr-48 pilot program - will be a boon to many IT directors who are normally responsible for administering hundreds of machines individually.
The ability to remotely provision new devices within minutes and simultaneously roll out updates across devices will surely appeal to many IT administrators, as will the elimination of any need to install virus protection (and repair infected computers).
Cr-48 Pilot Program in Action
Rachel Wente-Chaney, CIO of the High Desert Educational Service District spoke at a roundtabe discussion at Google IO today about her district's experiences with the Cr-48 Pilot Program. She said that when her school received their Chromebooks, she was able to hand out the devices - unboxed, but already provisioned - to classes of middle school students. Within one class period, students were able to unpack their boxes, install their Chromebook batteries, get logged in and onto the Web. If you've ever worked with students and technology, you know that that is a huge feat.
The students have loved the devices, Wente-Chaney says. While the notion of working solely in the cloud may cause adults to squirm, she notes that "students have been living the Web as a platform or browser as a platform for quite some time." She stressed the importance of the speed of these devices as well, noting that devices that take 5 or more minutes to boot up and then more time for students to log in are "a missed opportunity."
Google already boasts over 10 million students using its Apps for Education. By offering schools the Chromebooks rental program, the Google brand certainly will be strengthened in the education sector. That's good news for Google, to be sure, but there might be plenty of schools that are unwilling to hand over that much control - hardware, software, email, storage, to one company.
Nonetheless, in the long string of "one laptop per child" projects, the weight of Google behind this one may be good news for students - and that's what matters most.
Will Chromebooks For Education Be A...
When Twitter warned developers last March against building Twitter clients, it used one word repeatedly in its announcement: "consistent".
"We need to ensure that tweets, and tweet actions, are rendered in a consistent way so that people have the same experience with tweets no matter where they are," wrote Twitter platform lead Ryan Sarver.
Today, Twitter announced a "better app for your mobile browser" that it says will offer exactly that: "a high-quality and consistent Twitter experience on high-end touchscreen devices".
The new version of the mobile Twitter websites was built "from the ground up" for smartphones and tablets. Accordingly, Twitter says that it is optimized for these devices, which "have more advanced browsers that support the latest web technologies, including HTML5."
It's rich - it takes advantage of capabilities that high-end device browsers offer, such as touch gestures and a large screen. And it's simple - it's easy-to-use and has the features you'd expect from a Twitter application, including your timeline, @mentions, messages that you can read in conversation view, search, trending topics, lists, and more.
The app is making its way initially only to a small number of iPhone, iPod Touch and Android smartphones, with other devices being added in the coming weeks. In many ways, the new Twitter mobile app looks much like the #newtwitter that the company released last September, with embedded images and the like. Take a look:
I guess I have just a couple questions about "consistency." Is it synonymous with "boring" and is it appropriate for the mobile Web? Am I looking for the same thing from my mobile Twitter use as when I use the website? I'm not so sure.
Twitter Brings #NewTwitter To The M...
The Miami-Dade School District is a virtualization pioneer by any standard. But that was not the organization's goal when it first adopted virtualization technology five years ago.
The organization was simply just running out of room in its data centers and were seeking a way to consolidate.
In this white paper, learn how Miami-Dade, one of the United States largest school districts, uses virtualization to run business critical applications. It's a story about how one leading education institution now relies on virtualization for running much of its enterprise. That includes creating paychecks, producing grade books and teaching its students.
Download White Paper Now
Leading Florida School District Virtualizes Business-Critical Applications with VMwareView more documents from ReadWriteWeb.
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If you use Twitter a lot, sometimes it seems like your stream is feast or famine. During the day you tweet about what is happening, have conversations on various topics or report on your surroundings. Yet, during the evenings or weekends, you hardly tweet at all. Smart professionals, brands and media organizations schedule tweets throughout the day to maintain the façade of an "always on" Internet presence.
A new application has been launched by a couple of young men in England that tries to make scheduling tweets as painless as possible. Buffer App is a clean and simple freemium tool that allows users to load tweets into the "buffer" and have them sent out at pre-scheduled times, determined by the app.
It is not the most groundbreaking idea on the block or the only tweet-scheduling tool out there, but it certainly is interesting. Essentially, you pick tweets and tell Buffer to schedule them. The service will automatically figure out what time zone you are in and create a schedule. Time zone works in theory, but it thought I was on U.S. Central Time, when I am in the Eastern Time Zone. You can change it manually in the settings, though.
Power Twitter users tend to use services like TweetDeck and HootSuit, both of which allow for manual tweet scheduling. There are also tweet scheduling services from Twuffer, Later Bro, Twaitter, Future Tweets and Tweetsqueue.
As a bootstrapped operation, Buffer is freemium based on number of tweets you load into the buffer. Up to 10 tweets is free, 50 tweets is $5 a month (with three Twitter accounts and two team members per account) and unlimited is $30 a month (nine accounts, four members per account). You might ask why anyone would need an Buffer plan that supports multiple Twitter accounts but the option may be good for media organizations that have automated accounts and community engagement accounts and topic-based accounts (sports, business etc.).
What is nice about Buffer is that the service is neatly organized and intuitive. There is not a lot of clutter on the page and it can be used outside of the Buffer website. It offers extensions for Chrome and Safari as well as a bookmarklet.
Buffer App is the product of 20-year-old Leo Widrich and coding founder 24-year-old Joel Gascoigne of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Widrich is currently enrolled at Warwick Business School there and Gascoigne is a recent graduate who has also started a service called MyOnePage. They have been working on Buffer for about five months and have completely bootstrapped the operation on their own, according to Widrich. After his upcoming exams, Widrich plans on taking time off to work on Buffer and said the team may be moving to Palo Alto, Calif., this summer.
What is Buffer? from Joel Gascoigne on Vimeo.
Take The Hassle Out Of Tweet Schedu...
Continuing our series on iPad apps for work, today we'll look at presentation tools. Presentations seem like the killer use case for business travelers that need to give presentations but don't need a full-powered laptop.
Not every iPad app is capable of outputting to a projector, so even if you want to present just Web pages, you're probably going to need to download an app. Let's take a look at what's available.
Many of you won't want to look much further than Keynote, especially if you already use it on your Mac. The iPad version allows you to not only display Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint files, but to create and edit presentations. It features built-in templates, animated slide transitions and the ability to export in PDF format. It costs $9.99.
But what if you want to present something from the Web? Or if you want to do some live white boarding? Or you need to display something that's already in PDF format? Read on.
Power Presenter lets you display local PDFs, websites or draw on the screen for live white boarding. Through the Web, you can display not just HTML but PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, RTF files and iWork files. Of course, this requires an Internet connection, so if you'll want to use a local PDF if you're not sure about connectivity. It costs $1.99.
2Screens offers all the features of Power Presenter, plus a couple of extras: the ability to use an iPhone as a remote, and it can the ability to open local Keynote and PowerPoint files. It costs $4.99.
Quickoffice is a full mobile office suite, complete with a presentation app. It now also features the ability to present presentations using the VGA output, making it suitable for giving presentations and not just editing them. It costs $14.99.
Box is a file storage and collaboration Web and mobile application. In addition to storage space, Box lets you edit documents. The latest version of the iPad app added support for VGA out. One caveat: the presentation will need to be in PDF format to view it from the iPad version. Box is free, but storing more than 5GB will cost you.
SlideRocket HTML5 Player for the iPad
SlideRocket, the presentation Web application recently acquired by VMware, has an HTML5 player for the iPad. You'll want to combine it with Power Presenter, 2Screens or one of the applications listed below if you want to actually present it on an external device.
Other Web Presenters
There are a few other apps that display Web content via the VGA output:
Which One is Best?
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Following SendGrid's price adjustments yesterday, Tropo today announced that it's lowering its cost for sending SMS messages to 1 cent per message.
What do SendGrid, a mass e-mail sending service and Tropo, an API for telecommunications, have in common? Both are part of a growing software category called infrastructure apps.
Infrastructure apps are not to be confused with infrastructure-as-a-service. The term, coined by Gary Orenstein of GigaOM, refers to applications like SendGrid, Tropo, New Relic and Loggly that provide some sort of essential infrastructural service to other applications. Whether it's logging or security or geolocation, these apps can take a lot of pressure of a small development team. Infrastructure applications let your own application developers focus on their own strengths and creating the best product they can.
But are these sorts of services becoming commodized? Two events, both in separate subcategories of the infrastructure apps space, doesn't make a trend. But it does highlight an issue for developers of these services. Small development houses want cheap services, and cheap IaaSes make it possible for competitors to spring-up new infrastructure apps.
SendGrid is already facing steep competition in the e-mail space. Will infrastructure apps be the new hot cloud service sector?
Infrastructure Apps Price Wars: Tro...
Google rolled out two new updates to its Chrome Web Store to allow application developers to reach more people -- and make more money. Developers can enable simple in-app payments with one line of code, with Google taking only a 5-percent share of the revenue.
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Chrome now has 160 million users in 41 countries worldwide. That’s more than double the 70 million users reported at last year’s conference. In addition to new features in the Chrome API, Google also announced a special web version of Angry Birds for Chrome.
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If netbook sales are declining, why would Google announce, not one but two new Chromebook devices with Chrome OS? Google's web expertise has turned data synchronization into a core feature instead of a useful, but tricky add-on that traditional netbooks don't deliver out of the box.
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SunPower plans to discuss its first-quarter earnings tomorrow, and it's likely to repeat the same sentiment expressed by fellow manufactures over the past week: Policy change in Italy, its biggest market, caused a slow start for its sales in 2011.
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Sprint has quietly hiked its text messaging rates for businesses that send text alerts over its cellular network. But ESPN, The Weather Channel and MSNBC have all opted to cease sending free messages to Sprint users altogether rather than pay the new fee.
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Rocketship Education, a network of K-5 charter schools, announces today that it has received over $3 million so far this year in philanthropic investments from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The funds will be used to help further develop the technology that supports the Rocketship Hybrid School Model.
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Google will begin renting laptop computers for $20 per month, a senior Google executive told Forbes. The laptops will run Google's Chrome OS, a computer operating system that does away with local storage and applications in favor of a Web browser...and only a Web browser. The browser, of course, is Google Chrome. Initially, the $20/month laptop package will only be offered to students, the report states, but it is surely a precursor to Google's greater ambitions, in both educational institutions and the enterprise.
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At a hearing subtitled "Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again," lawmakers got their punches in on the proposed AT&T - T-Mobile merger. The core issue isn't just the merger of the companies. It's also about wireless spectrum allocation, competition and service to rural America.
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Facebook announced today that it is launching a feature where users can tag Pages in photos. That means users can now tag brands, businesses, musicians and personalities in their photo streams. Take a picture of your friend holding Pabst Blue Ribbon while dancing at the club? You can now tag your friend and the beer.
Facebook Adds Page Tagging To Photo...
An intriguing new project to measure cyber-security risks has launched. The Index of Cyber Security, run by Dan Geer and Mukul Pareek, seeks to deal with the quick change of specific security threats by establishing a consensus among security professionals, using what they call "sentiment-based" metrics.
Identifying Cyber Risk Through Cons...
Voice communications company Voxeo announced this evening that it will launch a developer platform for SMS, IM, and voice called SMSified at the end of the week. Developers can create the apps for free and will be charged 1 cent per text message sent, making the service cheaper than Clickatell and more versatile than Twilio. Voxeo CEO Jonathan Taylor said that a major mobile carrier is currently implementing the platform across its own network, although further details about the partnership are not being released at this time. The news comes more than a year after Voxeo began its buying spree, adding web conferencing startups and mobile web technology to its portfolio of acquisitions, along with the instant messaging API company IMified. With the launch of SMSified, it seems likely that Voxeo will continue its move away from the more traditional telephony operations that have been its bread and butter for the past decade. A Voxeo spokesman said in an email that the API developer space currently brings the company more than $50 million in annual revenue. More details are forthcoming and will be posted as we get additional information. Tags: sms, Tropo, Voxeo
Voxeo To Launch SMSified, Will Char...
Times have not been good for the Japanese-Swedish cell phone manufacturer Sony-Ericsson. The company has been stuck with disappointing figures and mediocre products. Now the company is focusing on Android smartphones and that’s paying off, says Jan Uddenfeldt, the Chief Technology Officer and head of Sony-Ericsson Silicon Valley. Uddenfeldt gave his speech at Sony Ericsson’s annual Business Innovations Forum at Stanford. He believes the company can triple its market share in the U.S. in the near future. Right the company is in the “Others” category in smartphone market share listings. Globally Sony-Ericsson’s market share in smartphone is approximately 5 percent. So there’s room to grow. The company has also been reforming to be a smartphone manufacturer. It’s been phasing out it’s feature phones and focusing it’s product development to Android operating system. Android and bunch of new Experia phones will be the key driver to growth, believes Uttenfeldt. The company has announced six Xperia smartphones that run the Android Gingerbread operating system. One thing the company is counting on is gaming. The Xperia Play is the first PlayStation Certified smartphone. It means the phone can run downloadable version of original PlayStation games and use the PlayStation logo. It even has a slide-out PlayStation controller. Both AT&T and Verizon will sell the phone when it’s released, but there’s still no official release date available. While Android is the main focus of the company, it will still have a door open for Windows Phone 7. But it won’t be making any products if the operating system doesn’t take off, Uddenfeldt said. (It did previously manufacture phones with Windows Mobile OS) Sony-Ericsson already announced in September that it will abandon Symbian operating system for good. We’ll be exploring the most disruptive mobile trends at our fourth annual MobileBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the rise of 4G and how it delivers the promise of true mobile computing. MobileBeat is co-located with our GamesBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at email@example.com. Tags: Android, PlayStation, Xperia Companies: AT&T, sony ericsson, Verizon People: Jan Uddenfeldt
Choosing Android Was A Brilliant Mo...
Blizzard’s flagship online game, World of Warcraft, shed around 600,000 players in the last quarter even though it released one of its most successful expansion packs yet. Most, if not all of that, likely came from the top end of the spectrum — players, like myself, that had high-level characters. Blizzard chief executive Mike Morhaime said players blitzed through the content faster than the developers expected. I’ll have to disagree on that one, Mike. Instead, I think Blizzard dropped the ball by trying to artificially extend the life of the expansion by making the game too hard for casual players. I got to the end of Cataclysm and started running heroic dungeons — suped up versions of the regular dungeons that are designed to be the next natural level of progression. They have better rewards that are more suited to their difficulty. And I was struck by just how hard those dungeons were. Like, really hard. Ridiculously hard. Enough to make me start yelling at my screen. It was enough to get me — a casual player — to get frustrated with random groups just about every time I attempted a new dungeon. Instead of getting excited about meeting new people I would furiously pore over their equipment to make sure they were up to par for the challenge and I would end up leaving after we died the first few times. There are always exceptions — some groups were golden and we would blaze through dozens of dungeons — but for the most part the end of the game was almost impossible to experience for a casual player. The new expansion featured nearly as many new areas and dungeons to explore, but it only took half as long to reach the top level and start plowing through end-game content because the maximum level went from 80 to 85. That means that even as I found myself finally catching up with better equipment I would end up being hampered by players that had just reached the level and were doing the dungeons for the first time. Playing with people you don’t know makes the whole experience even more difficult — which was more painful as a casual gamer because my friends were not always available when I was finally able to sneak in a few minutes of play time. I’m not shy about trying difficult content, either. Blizzard’s last expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, featured “hard modes” for bosses — and defeating all of them offered a speedy drake you could fly on and show off to everyone else. I blitzed through those levels with nine other friends around the same time the second raiding dungeon, Ulduar, was first released and we were able to take down even the hardest bosses in the game at the time — a ridiculous scientist that hits you with robots and bombs on you while the entire room is literally exploding beneath your feet. The problem, though, was that the next natural progression point — taking on even more challenging encounters with 10 to 25 people — was gated by this absurdly difficult stage. There was more than enough raiding content to look forward to — I was going to revisit Nefarion, and old nemesis from Blizzard’s first release that was a blast to take down. Not only that, but the boss battles have gotten better and better as the game has matured — to the point where you are jumping over spinning lasers or picking up powerful weapons and shields off the ground to fight one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Warcraft universe. Blizzard has since made a number of tweaks to make that stage of the game less painful. Groups assembled with the “looking for group” tool get bonuses to the amount of damage and healing they can do and the difficulty has been toned down significantly. But even that isn’t really enough to get rid of the bad taste in my mouth and get me to sign up for the game again. That’s pretty unfortunate, because I thought the latest expansion as a whole was stellar and served a very different purpose — bringing in new players, not propping up old ones. The company’s solution is to start releasing content more quickly, Morhaime said on Activision-Blizzard’s earnings call. But I really think Morhaime is operating on a bad thesis and that’s a snap judgment that will cost the company in the long run. Blizzard is known for holding onto games until they are certain they are ready for release — such as Diablo III, which probably won’t come out this year. Rushing more content out the door is going to end up alienating more players if it isn’t up to par with the rest of the game’s dungeons and raids. The smoke has cleared, Mike. Just relax and hold steady. Give me — and everyone else — a reason to come back to the game by making another stellar boss encounter or legendary quest that I will want to go out of my way to experience. Tags: massively multiplayer online RPGs, MMORPGS, World of Warcraft Companies: Activision Blizzard, Blizzard
Why I (and Probably 600,000 Others)...
Always wanted to add interactive and ‘sexy’ charts to your presentation? Well, Microsoft Powerpoint does provide the basic charting tools, but pushing the envelop is what defines startups and Kolkata based, Fusioncharts has launched of oomfo, an interactive charting tool. … Read More »
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Bring Interactive Charts To PowerPo...
Update: BookMyShow has declined to comment on the reason for the ban but confirmed that the ban is for all online players. Due to Statutory reasons (Govt. of AP), online ticketing for movies in Andhra Pradesh has been disallowed. Ticket … Read More »
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Online Movie Ticketing Banned In An...
, Google I/O is expected to focus on the most popular technologies that Google offers today , including its Android mobile OS and Chrome OS. Many rumors have been circulating the internet about the imminent launch of Google’s own music locker service. Here’s a look at what we can expect from one of the leading companies in the world when it comes to innovation. Read More »
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Google I/O Kicks Off Today : Heres ...
InMobi has launched SmartPay, a global mobile payment service that will enable app developers, game companies, and content providers in the mobile content and virtual goods space to expand their business and monetize their users quickly by providing a one-time, … Read More »
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InMobi Launches SmartPay, Global Mo...
You will get some awesome shots that you will admire for a few seconds after you hit them, but if you are consistent with your game, and still lose some points over good shorts, over the long term you still will win. Read More »
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Since I'm on an Erlang kick recently, I thought I'd share with you Zotonic, an open source content management system built with Erlang and PostgreSQL. It's not a new project, it's been around for a couple years now. It's up to release 0.6.0. Its admin UI looks a lot like WordPress, but it claims to be 10 times faster than PHP-based CMSes.
It features a templating system similar to Django, an MVC system and support for websockets and comet.
In an interview with Poking Around Erlang, Zotonic lead architect Marc Worrell explains his reasons for creating an Erlang-based CMS:
In the past years I was confronted with two developments: real-time Web with xmpp publish/subscribe and Comet-like connections on the one side and on the other a quick evolution of hardware into multicore CPUs. The technologies we were using did not match both developments.
When checking what could support both the software requirements and hardware developments I re-discovered Erlang.
The basic requirements we set were:
1. Support of Ajax and Comet (Websockets).
2. Can withstand a storm of requests for a small set of pages (known as the slashdot effect).
3. Integration of xmpp: publish/subscribe.
4. Easy templating system for front end designers.
5. Rich and flexible data model, extensible by editors.
6. Easy to maintain and extend by programmers.
7. Efficient enough to serve a fairly large and popular website from a single server.
8. Serve many sites from the same server.
He also notes that he's not worried about using an RDBMS. "For read performance there is not really a problem. We do have quite aggressive caching, keeping the data where it is needed instead where it is stored. So we mostly hit the database for queries, not for reads."
Zotonic uses code from the Nitrogen Web framework for Erlang and the HTTP libraries WebMachine and MochiWeb.
You can find another interview with Worrell here.
The Next Drupal? Zotonic: A Modern ...
While Netflix has been seen in the wild on Android devices, the last we've heard from Netflix itself was last November, when the company explained that digital rights management was holding back an Android version of the beloved streaming movie service.
If you're a Google fan, this has left you largely lacking in the streaming movie world...until today. This morning on stage at the Google I/O developer conference, Google announced a streaming movie service of its own.
Previously, mSpot offered streaming movies on Android, but that was about it. (Surely, let us know if there were others in the comments below.) Now, Google has begun offering movies via the Android Market that are available to stream on both the tablet, the phone and the home computer. The announcement is actually the continuation of yesterday's announcement that YouTube would begin offering 3,000 titles for rent.
According to the team at the Google press conference today, the movie rental feature available on the Android Market is powered by the same back-end as the YouTube rental service and offers the same listing of movies. As a matter of fact, if you rent a movie on YouTube, it is available on all of your Android and Honeycomb devices and vice versa.
Movie rentals start at $1.99 and, once rented, are available for 30 days. Once you have begun streaming a movie, you have 24 hours to complete your viewing. Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures and Universal Studios have all been rumored to be involved in the deal.
Move Over Netflix, Android Gets Goo...
At Google IO today, Google announced the availability of the Android Open Accessory Development Kit, a new way to extend the Android platform so that other devices can be controlled via phones or tablets. Similar to the SDK, the ADK will allow hardware developers to take advantage of Android so that the OS can control or monitor external devices.
Android Open Accessory will allow an external USB hardware accessory to interact with an Android-powered device. This means that when an Android phone or tablet is in accessory mode, that connected accessory can be controlled. There have been some other external USB devices that can connect to Android, but until now their capabilities have been limited.
On stage today, Google demoed an exercise bicycle that was connected to an Android app, so that pedal-speed and calorie-burn was monitored and gamified. There was also a giant labrynth game in which the tilt was controlled by an Android tablet's gyroscope. Those are just the beginning, Google hopes.
The ADK leverages the open-source electronics platform Arduino, and the ADK package download contains both hardware design files and the code that implements the accessory's firmware.
At the press conference following this morning's keynote, the Android team said that by opening up the ADK, they envision others will build the "killer applications" that utilize the new hardware and software capabilities. This is a huge opportunity for developers, they argued, to extend the Android platform into the home.
But to do that, particularly with some of the technologies hinted at on stage at Google IO today - namely Android@Home - Google says that it need to keep costs low for developers (and power and wireless costs low for the devices themselves). While details were still unclear about the Android@Home efforts, Google does say that this technology is set for release by the end of the year.
The Open Accessory Development Kit, however, is ready now and by utilizing the Arduino design, there are probably many tinkerers that are already set to build a number of apps and devices that can now be controlled by Android phones and tablets.
Android-Controlled Robots? Build T...
Twitter photo-sharing service TwitPic has updated its terms of service to clear up any misunderstanding of who owns the pictures uploaded to the service. There have been controversies in the past year about media organizations using photos posted on TwitPic and not giving proper attribution or compensation to the original photographer.
TwitPic's new terms of service should clear up that confusion. In it TwitPic explicitly states that content uploaded by a user is the copyright of the respective owner. It is not part of the public domain and is subject to how the user, not media organizations, chooses to have it disseminated.
Copyright law tells us that when ever somebody creates something, be it a short story, a piece of music or a photo essay, as soon as it is created the person who made it is the de facto copyright holder. That is unless the person has given explicit to a different party to be the copyright holder of anything that person creates.
"To clarify our ToS regarding ownership, you the user retain all copyrights to your photos and videos, it's your content," Noah Everett, founder of TwitPic, wrote on the company's blog. "Our terms state by uploading content to Twitpic you allow us to distribute that content on twitpic.com and our affiliated partners. This is standard among most user-generated content sites (including Twitter). If you delete a photo or video from Twitpic, that content is no longer viewable."
TwitPic users have fought back against the media. One photographer, Emily James of Just Do it, went so far as to invoice The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom £1,170 (British pounds, around $1,900 America dollars by today's exchange rate) for photos that it had used of a polling station during the British General Election.
New media copyright is a Wild West of usage and rules. Generally, copyright and Creative Commons are the rules for using photos taken off the Internet and social media. That does not stop thousands of blogs from using whatever photos they want and getting away with it. The difference between small blogs and big media, though, is that mainstream publications stand to make money off the photos they attach to their content.
The rule is simple. If you create it, you own the copyright. Media organizations have to give attribution and/or compensation to the producer if they use that content.
Your Content, Your Copyright: TwitP...
The U.S. Library of Congress, in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment, has launched a new website today, the National Jukebox. The site will stream some 10,000 sound recordings from several historic music collections. This includes music and other audio recordings from the Victor Records collection, one closely associated with the early Victrola hand-cranked record players.
The songs can all be listened to for free online, but they cannot be downloaded.
The National Jukebox launches with recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925 and contains a rich history of American music, including Fanny Brice singing the original "My Man" and Theodore Roosevelt giving a speech on "The Farmer and the Businessman.
Opera lovers will rejoice as the National Jukebox contains a huge trove of opera music sang by famous voices including Enrico Caruso. Indeed, the site will be of special interest to opera fans as it contains an interactive "Victrola Book of the Opera" that lets you follow the opera stories then click on your favorite arias which will then play from the collection.
More content will be added to the National Jukebox over time, says the Library of Congress, with additional Victor recordings and other music from Sony-owned labels. The new site today follows the Library's announcement last month unveiling a Music Consortium Treasures site that gave researchers access to various historical music manuscripts.
Library Of Congress Launches A Nati...
Mobile applications are not all just about games and news. There are tangible real world benefits that can be derived from apps. There are apps for banking and budgets, calendars and scheduling and keeping yourself healthy.
WebMD, one of the leading Internet health sites, has released a mobile application for Android. The app has been available on the iPhone since Oct., 2008 and the iPad since March, 2010 so it is about time that an Android version has finally come to the table. The app has a variety of features to keep users informed (and their health data safe) wherever they may be.
WebMD for Android is simple and intuitive. It has a symptom checker, condition look up, drugs and treatment search, first aid information and the ability to look up local health listings. There is a fun human body chart where you can tap the place that hurts and it will give you a list of possible ailments.
The mobile industry and the health industries are on a collision course. Healthcare in its various vertical integrations (big pharma, insurance, hospitals, physicians etc.) is the biggest single sector of the economy in the United States. Mobile is one of the fastest growing sectors and is a driver of innovation. Doctors are using mobile devices to help them understand data, perform new techniques and look up prescription information on the fly. Consumers benefit from the array of health data that has become available in the Internet Age, anywhere they go. In the middle of the tropics and think you may have Brazilian Trypanosomiasis? There is an app for that.
WebMD for Android joins its sister application, Medscape (also available for iOS), designed for professional drug research and information created by WebMD. Other Android health applications include iTriage Mobile Health and the Essential First Aid Guide, among many others. Do a search for "health" or "medicine" on the Android Market and take a look around.
The iOS versions of WebMD have been downloaded five million times. It is currently not available for BlackBerry or Windows Phone except through the mobile browser.
Doctor In Your Pocket, WebMD Comes ...
It's hard to keep track of all the database related terms you hear these days. What constitutes "big data"? What is NoSQL, and why are your developers so interested in it? And now "NewSQL"? Where do in-memory databases fit into all of this? In this series, we'll untangle the mess of terms and tell you what you need to know.
The first part covers data, big data, databases, relational databases and other foundational issues. In part two we'll talk about data warehouses, ACID compliance and more. In part three, we'll cover non-relational databases, NoSQL and related concepts.
The best definition of data I've been able to find so far is from Diffen:
Data are plain facts. When data are processed, organized, structured or presented in a given context so as to make them useful, they are called Information." On the subject of whether data is singular or plural:
It should be noted that data is plural (for datum), so the correct grammatical usage is "Data are misleading.". However, in practice people tend to use data as a singular form. e.g. "This data is misleading."
In short, big data simply means data sets that are large enough to be difficult to work with. Exactly how big is big is a matter of debate. Data sets that are multiple petabytes in size are generally considered big data (a petabye is 1,024 terabytes). But the debate over the term doesn't stop there.
There are other factors that can make data difficult to work with, such as the speed at which data is updated or the data's lack of structure. Clive Longbottom of Quocirca suggests the term "unbounded data" for data that is fast or unstructured:
Indeed, in some cases, this is far more of a "little data" issue than a "big data" one. For example, some information may be so esoteric that there are only a hundred or so references that can be trawled. Once these instances have been found, analysing them and reporting on them does not require much In the way of computer power; creating the right terms of reference to find them may well be the biggest issue.
Where might you run into big data or unbounded data? Social networks, where of users are adding status updates and comments at a high-speed. Or sensor networks with data about the surrounding environment is being stored at a fast pace. Or genomics, where huge amounts of genetic data is being processed.
A database is simply a way of storing and organizing data. According to Wikipedia Simple English: "The data can be stored in many ways. Before computers, card files, printed books and other methods were used. Now most data is kept on computer files." A non-electronic database could be a card catalog or a filing cabinet.
When the term "database" is used, it's usually to refer to a database management system (DBMS), which is a piece of software designed to create and manage electronic databases. A simple example might be an electronic address book.
Data store is an even more general term than database. It's a place where any type of data is kept. Databases are data stores, but a text file full of data could also be a data store. A text file with a list of names and addresses is a data store, but an address book application on your computer is a DBMS.
According to Wikipedia, a database system's schema is "its structure described in a formal language supported by the database management system (DBMS) and refers to the organization of data to create a blueprint of how a database will be constructed (divided into database tables)."
Relational Database or RDBMS
Here's where things get interesting. A relational database is a specific type of database in which data is stored in "relations." Relations are usually tables, with rows representing different "things" and columns representing different attributes of those things.
For example, let's look at a hypothetical database for an oversimplified blogging system. Each post has a set of attributes, such as title, author, category and the post content itself. Every post has these attributes, even if some are left blank. Here's a example:
The blogging system database might also have a table called "categories" that looks something like this:
The database's schema includes the facts that post content is stored in the posts table, that posts use the Category-Id attribute for categorization, that the names of categories are stored in the categories table, etc.
When we want to view - or "query" - a post, the software fetches each attribute from each column for the row of the post you want to look at and assembles it into a post.
If you want to query a list of categories that have been created but not used in posts, the software would cross-reference the categories table with the posts table, combine them into a new table and return a list of categories without posts. This cross-referencing and combining process is called "joining."
Here's a more traditional example:
Imagine this system extended out over a number of years. You could use queries to determine which of your customers hadn't placed an order in the past year and either call them or close their account.
This may seem straight forward, but the underlying mathematics is complex. It's based on the relational model, which was created by E.F. Codd in 1969.
RDBMS stands for relational database management system, which is the type of software used to create and manage relational databases. Examples include: Oracle RDBMS, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Access, MySQL, PostgreSQL and FileMaker.
SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It specifies the commands the blog software must give the database server in order to display a particular blog post or list of tags. It makes it easy for someone with experience in one RDBMS to use another RDBMS with minimal re-training.
Here's the query, written in SQL, that would join the categories table with the posts table and check for unused categories in the blog database example from above:
SELECT categories.Category-name, posts.Post-Id FROM categories JOIN LEFT posts ON categories.Category-Id = posts.Category-Id WHERE Post-Id IS null
Special thanks to Tyler Gillies for his help with this series
From Big Data To NoSQL: The ReadWri...
Today at the Google I/O developer conference one of the big topics is tablets. All attendees have been provided with new tablets and everywhere you look, there's another company demonstrating their new tablet app. One of those companies is Evernote, one of our favorite cloud-based note taking apps.
We caught up with Evernote on the trade show floor today and got a quick preview of the soon-to-arrive tablet version of Evernote that is set to hit the Android Market in the coming weeks.
As you'll see in the video below, the new version of Evernote for Android tablets is much of the same Evernote goodness you've come to enjoy, but formatted for the bigger screen. In addition to the larger format view, the Android tablet version comes with rich text formatting, including ordered and unordered lists, images, audio and even checkboxes to make to-do lists.
Take a look, as Alex Pachikov, VP of business development at Evernote, takes us through the new app:
The next version of Evernote will be available in the Android market in the next couple of weeks.
A Sneak Peek Of Evernote For Androi...
This morning at the Google I/O developer conference, Google announced a number of initiatives that look to increase the connection between its Android devices and the objects in the world around us. ReadWriteWeb's Audrey Watters took a look at how Google's Open Accessory initiative will bring Android-controlled robots to the world in the near future and allow developers to create apps that connect Android phones and tablets to the devices around them.
While the Accessory Development Kit has just hit the open Web today, some companies have already been hard at work connecting Android devices to the real world. Take a look inside at the treadmill that takes you into Google Maps.
Nordic Track was on hand today at Google I/O showing off its NordicTrack Elite 9500 Pro, which has an attached Android tablet and connects to a television for a larger view. Using the Google Maps API, the treadmill allows users to plot a route anywhere in the world.
The app takes into account the terrain on the map and will change the incline of the treadmill accordingly. All a user needs to do is draw a route on the embedded tablet and they can walk that route.
Don't get me started on a rant about going out in the world and breathing the fresh air yourself. I guess this lets you virtually explore the world around you from the comforts of your treadmill-laden home, yes?
Here's hoping that the Android-device integration goes far beyond Google Maps and treadmills and somehow promotes all you house-bound geeks to get out of your house and into the world.
Virtually Walk The World With An An...
Remember the Milk, a popular task management Web and mobile app, recently launched their long-awaited offering for the iPad.
Although the desktop Web version of Remember the Milk works fine on the iPad, the interface doesn't quite take advantage of the tablet form factor. Their new native iOS app fixes that problem with a fancy layout reminiscent of Twitter's iPad app.
The app's functionality isn't any more complicated than it needs to be. All of the basic to-do list management features of Remember the Milk are present: entering tasks, tagging and prioritizing them and marking them as complete. You can view tasks by list, tag, priority, due date or even location. Are you sitting in the kitchen at home or at your desk in the office? Depending on your location, you can display different to do lists.
Owners of the WiFi-only iPad will appreciate the fact that the app works offline and will sync with Remember the Milk's servers the next time you're connected.
The design itself is stripped down and simple, yet still maintains some personality, thanks to some hand-written-looking titles and labels. The larger form factor of the tablet seems to suit a to-do list management app quite well, as it's more akin to interacting with a physical paper-based list than a phone or desktop computer is.
The user interface is so intuitive and effective that we hate to nit-pick about the little things. It took us awhile to figure out that to mark an item as complete in a single list, you have to touch it with two fingers and swipe up to display a "Complete" button. It's a common enough convention in iOS interface design to be able to swipe sideways on a single item in a list to reveal a "Delete" or "Complete" button that we naturally expected that experience. Again, it's a very minor detail, but it's often the little things that add up to an exceptional user experience.
Overall, it's a solid app and one certainly worth downloading for existing Remember the Milk users. For those looking for a new task management tool that works across platforms, it's a viable alternative to products like Things (Mac only) and Producteev.
Remember the Milk accounts are free, but power users will need to upgrade to a pro account for $25 per year in order to get unlimited syncing between the iPad app and Web version.
Get Things Done On Your IPad With R...
Following a private beta, the platform-as-a-service (hosted on Amazon Web Services) PHP Fog is now generally available following a private beta. It has a free option offering 100MG of storage, a single domain name and 15GB of bandwidth. Paid plans start at $29 a month.
A few months ago, PHP PaaSes were rare. PHP Fog competed with Orchestra and few others. But in recent weeks VMware and Red Hat have announced new PaaS offerings that include PHP support. Still, given the popularity of PHP-based applications like Drupal, Joomla and WordPress, there could be room for several PHP platforms on the market.
One handy feature is PHP Fog's app store-like offering for deploying popular PHP applications like the ones mentioned, as well as PHP frameworks like CakePHP,CodeIgniter and Zend.
The private beta was not without its stumbling blocks - the service was hacked in March. But even Heroku has had security issues in the past and recovered. PHP Fog has explained the many steps it's taking to improve its security.
PHP Fog is based in Portland, OR and raised $1.8 million in venture capital from Madrona Venture Group,with participation from First Round Capital, Founders Co-Op, and a number of angel investors. in January.
PHP Fog - A Heroku For PHP Service ...
We've covered the difficulties in doing good technical interviews before. Recently, Jon Evans wrote a post at TechCrunch on how much the old Microsoft brain teaser interview questions suck. "The fundamental problem is that the skills required to pass today's industry-standard software interview are not the skills required to be a good software developer," Evans wrote.
We suggested asking questions that start with "Tell me about a time when..." and drilling down from there. Is that the best way to interview? How do you prefer to do it?
What's the Best Way to Do a Technical Interview?Market Research
Photo by Shereen M
Hacker Poll: What's The Best Way T...
Today at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, Google announced the opening up and general availability of the Google Places API.
The API, which has been in a closed beta testing and only available for a select number of companies for the past year, gives developers access to Google's database of restaurants, bars, hotels and various other points of interest.
Google announced the opening up of the API to the general public this morning at a session on connecting people with places, led by VP of location and local services Marisa Meyer. We got a chance to talk with Thor Mitchell, product manager of the Google Maps API and he explained that the Places API will give developers access to more than 50 million places and several new features. By comparison, when location data service SimpleGeo launched last December, it started with 13 million places and just recently announced that it was open sourcing more than 20 million.
The Places API was first introduced at Google I/O last year and has been in use by a number of companies, including location-based app SCVNGR. Over the past year, the company has tested the service and added a number of new features:
A globally consistent type scheme for Places, spanning more than 100 types such as bar, restaurant, and lodging
Name and type based query support
A significantly simpler key based authentication scheme
Global coverage across every country covered by Google Maps
Google APIs Console integration, which provides group ownership of projects, key management, and usage monitoring
Instant reflection of new Places submitted by an app in subsequent searches made by that app, with new Places shared with all apps after moderation
Real time reranking of search results based on current check-in activity, so that Places that are currently popular are automatically ranked higher in searches by your app
Also included in the newly released API is an autocomplete service, much as users have become used to seeing when searching on Google. The service predicts place results as a user types, meaning that if they are looking for a familiar bar and know the name, they may only need to type a few letters before seeing the result, which can be ultimately helpful on a mobile device.
We asked Mitchell if the API would quickly connect developers to other Google data, such as open hours or Street View imagery and he said that it isn't quite there yet, but it is certainly going in that direction.
For developers and interested parties attending Google I/O, there is a session - "Building Location Based apps using Google APIs" - at 3pm on Wednesday, in which Marcelo Camelo will provide more detail.
Google Opens Places API To The Publ...
Today, Healthline released the first three-dimensional, interactive, online search tool for the entire human body, BodyMaps.
Health BodyMaps is an exhaustive set of searchable body maps - think Gray's Anatomy meets CT scan. It comes with a library of medical and treatment knowledge, but the central focus of the tool are the colored, interactive maps of everything from the pancreas to the digestive system to the body as a whole.
BodyMaps, which runs Flash, does not require the download of any additional software. The interface is attractive and easy both to understand and navigate.
Choosing either a male or female body, the user can mouse over parts of the figure, then click to get information on body parts, which includes text but also a 360-degree animation of the part, say a shoulder or knee. Above the central frame, in a row of slides, different aspects of the figure or body part (muscular, skeletal, etc.) can be accessed by a click. Above the figure you can also navigate by search term.
In the right-hand column you can navigate to a symptom search engine, which leads you to possible causes, many of which have 3D graphics; to a doctor-finder; or to a treatment search.
One of the most compelling aspects, beside the graphic quality and workable 3D, is the ability of a user to share a body view, with email or by posting or sharing on social media. Unfortunately there is no news on apps for smart phones and tablets.
The project was a collaboration between Healthline, a consumer health information company, and GE Healthymagination, a Web platform for health-focused projects.
Other sources: Technology Review
1st Interactive 3D Human Body Searc...
Google is making a significant investment in the Internet of Things, with everything ranging from toy robots to programmable light bulbs. The news came at Google I/O today. Among other things, Google introduced Android@Home, which will turn Android devices into home controllers - to do everything from dimming the lights to managing an irrigation system.
Of particular note are the Android Open Accessory Development Kit and the Android Device Kit. Both are built on Arduino, a circuit board that can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors and other things in the home or elsewhere.
But now with Android@Home, developers can create a new degree of interactivity with toys, games, big machines - you name it.
On the third floor at Moscone West, Google dedicated a section of its floor space for companies that are integrating the Android technology.
Lighting Science Group is a maker of LED lighting instruments. It will use the Google technology to sell lighting, starting at the end of this year. it will feature a proprietary wireless data capability that will allow customers to use their Android tablets and smartphones to control lighting.
Hasbro is using the Android technology to create robotic toys that show a change in mood.
And a company called Willow Garage showed a robot that can be programmed to do various tasks.
Additionally, Google showed how a hub can be used to interact with things in the home. Google called these "tungstens," and showed how they can be used. For instance with its new Music Beta, to power any audio device in the home.
The IoT initiative has taken many, even people inside Google, by surprise. It's curious, too, as the wireless technology appears to be proprietary. Vint Cerf is a fierce proponent of open-source, so it is a puzzling why Google would be developing something proprietary here.
But overall it's a fascinating new frontier to explore and demonstrated how smart devices are serving as a bridge for us to further explore how we interact with our surroundings.
Toy Robots And Programmed Light Bul...
The National Security Agency is the geekiest of the spy shops. The NSA is responsible for gathering and parsing information from around the world, usually electronic data. At ReadWriteWeb, we're no strangers to big data, in fact we're fans. But sometimes you come face to face with facts and figures that bring home how big "big" is.
According to an article from the Baltimore Sun, in six hours, the NSA intercepts and stores as much information as you find in the whole of the Library of Congress.
Speaking of John Parachini, Director of the Intelligence Policy Center at The RAND Corporation the Sun wrote, "(He) said the rule of thumb has been that every six hours, NSA collects an amount of information equivalent to the store of knowledge housed at the Library of Congress."
That's in six hours. Every day they wind up with four times that amount. The information that is collected includes video from drone overflights, emails, conversations captured by electronic means, texts and intercepted mobile phone conversations, like the one that led to the location of Osama bin Laden.
Whether the NSA should do what it does, whether or not we gather too much and contextualize too little, how sharp the organization's code-breaking skills are or are not, whether their 30,000 employees and billion-dollar budget are worth it: all these are interesting and important issues.
But I just wanted to share an example of how much data we wrestle with as a society, an example that you can - just barely - get your head around. Every six hours one of our spy agencies gathers as much information as our most complete repository of literature contains. It is a mind-boggling amount of information, even in an age of big data.
Other sources: Popsci
NSA Gathers 4x The Amount Of Info T...
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