Tools

Video Conferencing Has Potential for Mobile Developers

Video Chat
Look around your office and tell me how many people are using video conferencing on their smartphone. How about in the park or at the coffee shop down the street? I’d guess not that many. You’d have thought that by now — with all the hype from Skype, Google, Apple and Samsung about multi-mega pixel back and front cameras on smart phones — that we’d have abandoned the old “cell-phone to the ear” method of talking to someone in favor… continue…

Is VMware Horizon View Better Than XENDesktop?

VMWare-Horizon-View-Thumbnail
As I wrote in a previous post, Citrix is the first name that’s invoked when discussing the virtual desktop. By far, though, it’s not the only company the delivers a virtual desktop to users. Microsoft VDI with RemoteFX, Red Hat Vitalization for Desktops, Dell/Quest vWorkspace, Desktone and VMware Horizon View all provide reliable, robust desktops too, but with far different architectures. As synonymous as Citrix is to the virtual desktop, VMware is to the virtual server. Practically inventing an industry,… continue…

Software-Development Tools Belong in the Browser

Posted In Cloud
Software development tools will soon follow consumer applications into the cloud. continue…

Why Kali Linux Should Be In Your Security Toolkit

Kali-Linux-Thumbnail
Kali.org’s version of Linux is an advanced penetration testing tool that should be a part of every security professional’s toolbox. Penetration testing involves using a variety of tools and techniques to test the limits of security policies and procedures. What Kali has done is collect just about everything you’ll need in a single CD. It includes more than 300 different tools, all of which are open source and available on GitHub. It’s incredibly well done, especially considering that it’s completely… continue…

Why Game Engines Spell Trouble for Indie Developers

Game Engine Thumbnail
Seduction comes in many forms, including game engines. Virtually in a matter of weeks, people who’ve never crunched code can churn out a mobile game. It’s that ease of use, on top of a basic engine’s cheap cost, that’s prompting newbies to create games and game companies. But as with anything, cheap and easy can have its pitfalls. “As with any business development, individuals need to go into the creation of a new enterprise with their eyes open, realizing all… continue…

The Coming Renaissance of Social Network Analytics

Yelp, Pinterest, Google, and Facebook are all offering updated tools for measuring their advertising impact. continue…

6 Command Line Tools That Make Linux Easier

Posted In Linux, Working in Tech
Linux Command Line
One of the things that’s always attracted me to Linux is the simplicity and elegance of working on the command line. Even with all the GUIs, Web apps and touch-screen interfaces out there, it’s nice to type in a couple of commands and get the results  displayed on a terminal. No frills, no fuss, just  formatted information that I can use right away. Typically, I leave a terminal up on the XFCE desktop and switch over as I need to.… continue…

Romney’s ORCA: Ahab Couldn’t Have Done Better

Posted In Living in Tech
Sinking Ship
Since last week’s election, tech blogs have lit up with criticism of ORCA, Mitt Romney’s publicity-blitzed stealth app. It was touted as a high-tech game changer that supposedly would have allowed field staffers and volunteers to communicate in near-real time with Romney HQ. Through the magic of mobile, the brass would know if targeted voters in key precincts had or had not made it to the polls. If they hadn’t, the ground forces would be marshaled, hustling to get supporters… continue…

Think Carefully Before Upgrading to Python 3

Python Logo
Upgrading software in a timely matter is important (as I wrote here), but I don’t always follow my own advice. I have a client who uses Python, which is currently on version 3.3. The client is using Python 2.7, and I’ve recommended that they not upgrade. In other words: I think upgrading is a bad idea. Why? Python 3.3 was released on Oct. 1, 2012. As of that date, the most popular version of the programming language is… 2.7. Yes,… continue…

How to Use Match-Three Mechanics for Great Games

Puzzle Quest
Web games and smartphone apps have been using the match-three mechanic for a few years, but recent games have carried it beyond the obvious Bejeweled-style titles. The mechanism — where a player matches up three or more tiles to make them disappear — is quite extensible, with varying starting positions and possible outcomes. Most games use an 8 x 8 grid, but other sizes work. The beauty of the match-three mechanic is that a skillful and quick-thinking player can win against a more… continue…