Software development techniques behind the magic user interface

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I wonder how many people, as I did, found themselves thrown into confusion by the death last week of Jean Ichbiah (pictured), inventor of Ada.  Learning that the inventor of a computer programming language is already old enough to have lived 66 years (Ichbiah was 66 when he succumbed to brain cancer) is a little like learning that your 11-year-old daughter has grown up and left home or that the first car you ever bought no longer is legal because it runs on gasoline in an age where all automobiles must run on water. How can something as novel, as new, as a computing language possibly already be so old-fangled that an early practitioner like Ichbiah can already no longer be with us? The thought was so disquieting that it took me immediately back to the last time I wrote about Ichbiah, and indeed about Ada Lovelace for whom his language was named. It was in the context ... (more)

Personal Branding Checklist

This is a checklist of items you need for an all-encompassing personal branding strategy. Personal branding is the process of marketing and selling yourself as a brand in order to gain success in business. Personal branding is a continual process just as knowing yourself is a continual process. As you grow, so does your brand. The need for personal branding arises from the fact that globalization has increased competition in the workplace. As the wheat is separated from the chaff, if you are left standing, you are left standing with others of good caliber. The playing field is now that much more challenging since your competition is as good as, or better, than you. To paraphrase David Samuel, the bloke who got me into personal branding after I saw him speak a few years ago; he spoke about of why you need personal branding. His audience was a group from a large teleco... (more)

Time to Build iPhone Applications Using Web 2.0 Technologies!

Kevin Hoffman's Blog I was sitting down the other night contemplating what I was going to do for a good sample iPhone application when I realized, I'm not just building an iPhone application anymore. That's right - I'm actually building applications that work on the iPod Touch as well. Seriously, let's run this down bullet-style: iPod touch comes with Wi-Fi access iPhone comes with Wi-Fi access and EDGEiPod touch comes with Safari iPhone comes with SafariiPod touch has multi-touch interface, which includes tapping, pinching and flicking iPhone has multi-touch interface So, for those of you who were on the fence about building iPhone applications using Web 2.0 technologies, think about this: Your potential list of application users is about to grow beyond users of the iPhone, and will include a crapload of people buying new iPods. If you think about the ubiquitous nat... (more)

Cloud Jackin, Hacking the Cloud

Often when those who say the cloud is too early or not ready for wide scale enterprise usage they point to "security" as being a key concern. Although they are quick to point out the security of a third party provider is an obvious point of weakness, they typically lack any specific examples of what these possible weak points actually are. So I thought I'd point out a few. When looking at the potential vulnerabilities that cloud computing introduces, I typically recommend looking at the low hanging fruit, the stuff that a novice user could exploit with little or no technical capabilities. Right now the simplest exploits involve something I call "cloud jacking" or "cloud hijacking". This is when a unscrupulous element takes either partial or complete control of your cloud infrastructure typically by using a simple automated exploit script (kiddie script). An example of... (more)

Nick Carr's Cloud-Network Disconnect

Virtualization and cloud computing are promising to change the way in which IT services are delivered and, in effect, transform computing as we know it today.  I think the promises are likely to come true, if and only if critical technology issues are addressed. Nicholas Carr told a recent audience at IDC Directions that "Cloud computing has become the center of investment and innovation."   While he is not a technologist, his sometimes shocking insight into the transformation of IT have been prescient, even if he doesn't sweat the details of how complex IT infrastructures can morph into the equivalent of today's public utilities. To his credit Carr has predicted the rise of the cloud computing press release, multiple cloud conferences and panels and even the SaaS repositioning exercise.  He also foresaw the rise in Amazon and Google cloud announcements, perhaps year... (more)

Adobe Extends AIR Applications Across Screens

Adobe on Monday announced Adobe AIR 2.5 software for televisions, tablets, smartphones and desktop operating systems. A key element of the Adobe Flash® Platform, AIR enables developers to leverage existing code to create and deliver standalone applications across devices and platforms. Adobe AIR now supports smartphones and tablets based on BlackBerry® Tablet OS, Android™, iOS, and desktops including Windows®, Macintosh and Linux® operating systems. In addition, Samsung will be the first television manufacturer to integrate support for Adobe AIR 2.5 in Samsung SmartTVs while Acer, HTC, Motorola, RIM, Samsung and others are expected to ship the runtime pre-installed on a variety of devices including tablets and smartphones later this year and early 2011. With Adobe AIR, developers are able to use familiar tools including Adobe Flash® Professional CS5, Adobe Flash Bu... (more)

How to install Nola, the free accounting package for Linux

(LinuxWorld) -- The Information Technology (IT) industry serves acronyms for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven da... (oops! I meant to write, "24/7 365"). I've searched diligently for the right Linux accounting solution since Q4 Y2K minus 2, and naturally enough, there's an acronym for the type of application we are evaluating together here. Nola (as we are deploying it) is a LAMP application, which merely means that it runs on Linux, it's Web enabled and served to the network with Apache, while data is handled by the MySQL database, and users see, and interact with dynamic Web pages generated by PHP. Disappointed? Well, don't be. It is an important factor in deciding whether Nola merits attention. As an application, Nola can be visualized as part of an interface, or front-end, to the MySQL database, and consists of a collection of .php scripts -- ASCII text file... (more)

Eclipse Special: Bill Dudney Looks at Eclipse M8 Close-Up

To view our full selection of recent Eclipse stories click here As a kick off for this new column I figured I'd go over some of the good, bad and ugly in the new Eclipse M8 drop. I have been using M8 for two weeks now and I've accumulated a lot of notes of what I like and don't like in this latest of the drops before we get 3.0 final. Over all I am really impressed with this release. I went through the release notes and tried to comment on each aspect of what was documented as well as a couple of nice things that I found that are not in the release notes. Eye-candy - in the form of new welcome stuff. I like the look of it and seems to be very useful for RCP based apps. Since I'm not writing any RCP apps I probably won't have to write anything to plugin into the new Welcome extensibility points it's nice to know it's there. Cheat Sheets - very cool and very useful for... (more)

Katrina Update: Cingular Wireless Reports Service Fully Restored in Many Areas

Cingular Wireless, a joint venture between SBC Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corporation,  reported on Monday that cell phone coverage continues to improve in those areas hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. Service in Mobile, Ala. and Jackson, Miss. is fully restored, and the majority of coverage capacity has been reestablished in and around Biloxi, Miss. Cingular crews are on the ground in New Orleans. Some calls are going through in the city and surrounding areas, including Hammond and Houma, La., but at reduced levels. New Orleans remains the company's top priority, and more than 800 network technicians are deployed across the Gulf States to support full service restoration as soon as possible. Cingular also is using microwave and satellite connections to restore service in parts of New Orleans, and is re-rerouting calls outside of New Orleans as needed. The compa... (more)

How to Develop a Web Service for the iPhone

The introduction of the iPhone was marked by huge publicity and the scrambling of all sorts of web services to roll out support for the unique features of the iPhone. The breakthrough browser in the iPhone provides the best mobile browsing experience to date. Not only does it support the multi-touch interface, but the full AJAX support in the Safari based browser provides the ability to create a mobile experience way beyond WAP. The challenge is that the iPhone provided no API, toolkits, or developer tools. So how do you make your normal web or WAP based application suitable for the iPhone. This session will explore the challenges in adapting to some of the compelling features of the iPhone including, · Super high resolution screen · Multi-touch interface o Slide and Pinch movements · Automatic orientation detection It will also explore some of the challenges in creat... (more)

iPhone with High-Speed G3 Support at Macworld

It is indeed that time of year again. It's the one day of the year when office workers living on the east coast set up a dedicated monitor for tracking key blogs and websites, waiting for the keynote to begin. Invariably, someone from one of the news sites is there with a camera in the audience and a laptop, and a wireless broadband connection...and they're blogging, twittering, flickering, and doing all kinds of unspeakable things to their computer... all in the name of satiating the unending thirst that people have for all things Jobsian. Who am I to break with the tradition of spinning wild flights of fancy in the spirit of Apple lovers everywhere and calling them predictions? Just about every site on the net that is even remotely related to technology is now fully caught up in the buzz and hype and has posted their predictions for what fantastically cool new ga... (more)