Java UI framework Vaadin releases version 8

After a long period of development, Vaadin Ltd has released version 8 of the Vaadin Java UI framework with a slew of new features.  The most notable changes can be found in the data binding API of the framework.

Based on Java 8, the latest Vaadin 8 release takes advantage of lambda expressions introduced in Java 8 to make data binding much much expressive and easy.

For instance, in the past, one needed a Container interface implementation to pass objects to the Grid component thus

List persons = Backend.getPersons();
BeanItemContainer container =
new BeanItemContainer(Person.class, persons);
Grid grid = new Grid();

now becomes

List persons = Backend.getPersons();
Grid grid = new Grid<>(Person.class);

I am personally very excited about this release because hitherto one had to rely on Matti Tahvonen’s Viritin addon to overcome the very verbose databinding Vaadin APIs.

Another awesome feature is that Vaadin 8 will now support the browser history API, meaning much more cleaner and search engine friendly URLs. Continue reading “Java UI framework Vaadin releases version 8”

Skype 4.0 for Linux available for download

After like forever, Skype version 4.0 code named Four Rooms for Improvement for Linux is available for now for download. This version comes with four main changes:

  • Conversations View for tracking chats in a unified window
  • Improved audio quality
  • New Call View
  • Improved video quality and support for more cameras

There are a host of other improvements and bug fixes in this new version of the ubiquitous voip app. 

Lenovo Sucks- Never buy this box

Being both a student and worker means having a lot to carry around. One of the things I did not have to let weigh me down is my laptop since I carry it around pretty much everywhere. Looking for a much lighter laptop with reasonable specs, I settled on this Lenovo Ideapad S205 netbook. 

It’s a nice notebook packed with reasonably powerful specs, but unless you want to run with Windows as your OS, avoid this box like the plague. It ships with a faulty bios that cannot boot any Linux distro that ships with GRUB2 as the default bootloader. I’ve read GRUB2 itself is not fully done yet, but so far every box I’ve tried installing a GRUB2 distro on has simply worked. Since virtually all the Linux distros out there ship with GRUB2, it effectively means running Linux on this notebook is nigh impossible.

I’ve seen tedious workarounds that involve chrooting and other long winded methods. Unless you’re a masochist or have enough time to spare, you’re better off shopping for another box than buying this. So far I’ve not seen any bios update from Lenovo to correct this anomaly even though their forums are flooded with similar complaints. 

This was my first Lenovo purchase and with this experience, they can sure count it as my last, not just purchase but will also not recommend it to anybody. Get a better brand that you can install 

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, lets you watch your favorite channels either through Wi-Fi or through your phone network. With 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.

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!

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.

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.

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).

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.

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