Facebook plans PHP changes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Facebook is expected to unveil changes to PHP, the language that helped make the social networking site a success - along with millions of other web sites.

SD Times has outed the planned change here. Facebook wouldn’t provide details when contacted by The Reg but said it would make more details available Tuesday morning, Pacific time.

The changes have been described as either a re-write of the PHP runtime or a compiler for PHP.

A change to PHP would be Facebook’s latest donation to the language, which has also had contributions from Microsoft and the former Sun Microsystems over the years.


Hacker brings multitouch to Google’s Nexus One • The Register

Filed under: — Aviran

A celebrated Android hacker has released software that greatly enhances Google’s Nexus One smartphone, endowing it for the first time with the same coveted multitouch features that grace Apple’s iPhone.

Operating under the moniker Cyanogen, the hacker released the updates on Wednesday. The hack came as Google formally made the Nexus One operating system, Android version 2.1, open source, paving the way for much more advanced modifications of the phone.

Introduced and trademarked by Apple, multitouch gives users the ability to use two or more fingers directly on a device screen to enlarge images and carry out similar actions. While it’s been on the iPhone since day one, certain aspects of the technology were noticeably absent from official releases of Android devices. Google axed the feature at the request of Apple, an unnamed person has told Venture Beat.


MySQL founder turns to China, Russia to stop Oracle

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Michael Widenius, the creator of the MySQL database, said he is turning his vocal campaign against Oracle’s planned takeover of Sun Microsystems to China and Russia because the European Commission appears set to clear the deal.

The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service last week continued its review of the $7 billion deal, asking for input from interested parties, and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has yet to approve the deal.

“They are powerful, self-confident and open-source-friendly countries and they have every right and opportunity to do a better job on this than the EU,” Widenius said in a statement.


Linux’s share of netbooks surging

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Reports that the Linux netbook is dead or dying are incorrect, at least globally, according to an analyst firm.

Nearly one-third of the 35 million netbooks on track to ship this year will come with some variant of the free, open-source operating system, ABI Research said. The exact split is 32% Linux versus 68% Windows, said Jeff Orr, an analyst at ABI, which works out to about 11 million Linux netbooks this year.

That number contradicts third-party market figures, trumpeted by Microsoft, that showed Linux shipping on as few as 4% of U.S. netbooks.

“Just because you live in the United States, don’t assume that everything is on Windows,” Orr said.

Orr said Ubuntu is a popular choice on netbooks, though he declined to confirm that with any hard statistics.


Patent Issued For Podcasting

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The EFF is reaching out for help after a company called Volomedia got the Patent Office to grant them exclusive rights to ‘a method for providing episodic media’ that could threaten the community of podcasters and millions of podcast listeners.

‘It’s a ridiculously broad patent, covering something that many folks have been doing for many years,’ writes Rebecca Jeschke. ‘Worse, it could create a whole new layer of ongoing costs for podcasters and their listeners.’ To bust this patent, EFF is looking for additional ‘prior art’ — evidence that the podcasting methods described in the patent were already in use (PDF) before November 19, 2003. ‘In particular, we’re looking for written descriptions of methods that allow a user to download pre-programmed episodic media like audio files or video files from a remote publisher, with the download occurring after the user subscribes to the episodes, and with the user continuing to automatically receive new episodes


Go, Google’s New Open Source Programming Language

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google has released a new programming language. named Go, as open source under a BSD license. The official Go site characterizes the language as simple, fast, safe, concurrent, and fun. A video illustrates just how fast compilation is: the entire language, 120K lines, compiles in under 10 sec. on a laptop. Ars Technica’s writeup lays the stress on how C-like Go is in its roots, though it has plenty of modern ideas mixed in: “For example, there is a shorthand syntax for variable assignment that supports simple type inference. It also has anonymous function syntax that lets you use real closures.

There are some Python-like features too, including array slices and a map type with constructor syntax that looks like Python’s dictionary concept. … One of the distinguishing characteristics of Go is its unusual type system. It eschews some typical object-oriented programming concepts such as inheritance. You can define struct types and then create methods for operating on them. You can also define interfaces, much like you can in Java. In Go, however, you don’t manually specify which interface a class implements. … Parallelism is emphasized in Go’s design. The language introduces the concept of ‘goroutines’ which are executed concurrently. … The language provides a ‘channel’ mechanism that can be used to safely pass data in and out of goroutines.”


Microsoft releases SDK for Facebook

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft on Monday released a software development kit for Facebook that allows developers to create Facebook applications for Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation. This should expand the reach of Facebook in third-party applications as well as make Silverlight and WPF more viable platforms for developers looking to build social applications.

The SDK comes complete with samples and tools to develop Facebook applications in ASP.NET, Silverlight, WPF, and WinForms. It also features the source code for the API, components, controls, and samples.

There are currently other libraries available that allow Facebook developers to develop with other technologies, such as JavaScript, PHP, ActionScript, and the iPhone. There are a variety of others as well, which can be seen here, but these are the ones that Facebook officially provides support for.


Slashdot Linux Story

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The latest version of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) has been released. Offering numerous enhancements for both desktop and server environments, this release includes notable features like Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud images, the Ubuntu One ‘personal cloud,’ and Linux kernel version 2.6.31


IntelliJ IDEA Goes Open-Sources

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

JetBrains, the maker of the popular IntelliJ IDEA Java integrated development environment, plans to deliver an open-source version of its tool set.

JetBrains, the maker of the popular IntelliJ IDEA Java integrated development environment, has decided to deliver an open-source version of its tool set.

JetBrains on Oct. 15 announced a public preview of the free Community Edition of IntelliJ IDEA.

Moreover, “Starting with the upcoming Version 9.0, IntelliJ IDEA will be offered in two editions: Community Edition, [which will be] free and open source, and Ultimate Edition, which until today has been referred to as simply IntelliJ IDEA,” JetBrains said in a news release. The release continued:

“The brand-new Community Edition is built on the IntelliJ platform and includes its sources. JetBrains has made it as easy as possible to access and use the source code of the Community Edition and the IntelliJ platform, by applying the democratic Apache 2.0 license to both of them.”

Sergey Dmitriev, CEO of JetBrains, said in the release, “We’ve always been open to the community—with our public Early Access Program (EAP), issue trackers, forums and so on. This made for a tight and direct feedback loop with our users, even at a time when this wasn’t a widely accepted practice in the industry. Since then, we’ve supported hundreds of open-source projects with free product licenses, contributed code to various open-source projects like Groovy and Scala, and developed several open-sourced IntelliJ IDEA plug-ins ourselves. So, you can see how offering the IntelliJ IDEA experience for free, through an open-source license, goes hand in hand with our focus on the community. Open source has become the mainstream, and we continue to embrace it as an exciting challenge. In brief, we’re not changing direction—we’re moving forward.”

The JetBrains release described the Community Edition of IntelliJ as a good choice for developers “working on pure Java/Groovy applications, or doing Swing development.” This edition contains IntelliJ IDEA features such as “various refactorings and code inspections, coding assistance, debugging, TestNG and JUnit testing; CVS, Subversion and Git support, as well as Ant and Maven build integration.” It continued, “To learn more and download the Community Edition Public Preview, please visit: http://www.jetbrains.com/idea/nextversion/free_java_ide.html.”

The Ultimate Edition will continue to be offered commercially as a “complete set of Web and enterprise development tools. … The new features of Version 9 include:

- Java EE 6, with JSF 2.0, JPA 2.0, Servlets 3.0, Bean validation, etc.

- Android, Google App Engine, GWT

- Adobe AIR, FlexUnit

- JavaScript refactorings and debugging

- Tapestry, OSGi

- PHP and more…”


Next Firefox can detect computer orientation

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The upcoming version 3.6 of Firefox will be able to tell if you’re listing to starboard–and pass that information along to applications running in the browser.

That’s because the browser will be able to detect the orientation of laptops and mobile devices equipped with accelerometers that can tell which way is down. The reason for the work: Web applications running in the browser will be able to use the information, useful for labyrinth-type games with virtual marbles rolling around boards, and any number of other gaming situations.


Red Hat Takes Software Patents To Supreme Court

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

On Thursday, Red Hat filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to reject software patents. In what will be an uphill battle for the Linux-based software developer, Red Hat sought to explain the practical problems software patents pose to developers.

The Red Hat brief is part of the Bilski v. Doll patent-law case, which involves the standard for patenting a process. The case concerns a business method patent, but involves many of the same issues as software patents.

In short, Red Hat’s brief asks the Supreme Court to adopt a lower court’s machine-or-transformation test and to make clear that it excludes software from patents.


IBM Throws Out Microsoft Office

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Quoting an inside source, the German economic newspaper, “Handelsblatt” reports that staff at IBM have been given ten days to change to Symphony, IBM’s in-house Lotus software. The use of Microsoft Office will in future require managerial approval. With immediate affect, the Open Document Format (ODF) will rule at IBM with the file ending .doc soon belonging to the past.

Lotus Symphony is an office software that incorporates huge chunks of customized Open Office without a databank module. The free software download provided by IBM is an attempt at luring customers away from Microsoft. IBM’s cooperation with Linux distributors like Red Hat, Canonical and Novell was designed to strengthen the software’s market chances.

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