Even as the economy picks up, it's a toucgh tech market out there, especially as company's look to trim staff and their IT budgets. What's a geek to do?
Learn Drupal. Drupal, as you're probably aware, is a free and open source content management system (CMS) that has been gaining traction in the last few years. According to CNET, Drupal has been downloaded more than 2 million times and is now found powering sites for some heavy hitters, including the White House, Warner Brothers, and right here at Maximum PC.
"I recently learned that there are more jobs available working with Drupal than there are employees to fill them," writes Dave Rosenberg, a regular CNET blogger and all around tech guru. "There's a clear need for bodies skilled in Drupal and other open-source software, including Linux."
For those looking to learn Drupal, the timing couldn't be better. Training at this year's DrupalCon conference will cost $150 to $350, way down from what it normally runs, which is $1,500.
It can be a real pain in the butt to go from browsing a Web page on your desktop or laptop to pulling up said page on your mobile phone. The process usually involves texting or emailing the URL to yourself or, if you're a real masochist, manually typing in the URL using your phone's built-in keyboard (or worse yet, T9-based keypad). Even converting the URL to a bit.ly or a goo.gl link still requires you to actually spend time fidgeting with your phone to get to the page. No matter what, this process just isn't very fun.
Not very fun, that is, until I stumbled across the Mobile Barcoder add-on for Firefox. With but the quick hit of a button, you can convert any Web page you're looking at into one of those neat cube QR codes. Depending on your phone, you can then use a built-in or downloaded application to scan said QR code directly from your monitor. Without a single press of a letter or number button, you'll have the page you were just looking at right in your phone's mobile browser.
Neat, eh? Click the jump to find out where to get this awesome add-on!
A couple of weeks after eBay agreed to sell 65% of Skype to a group of investors, the founders of Skype, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, contrived to gatecrash eBay’s party. Joltid, a company in which the two Skype founders are stakeholders, filed a copyright lawsuit on Wednesday against Skype. Skype's founders retained control over the peer-to-peer technology at the VoIP client’s core even after selling Skype to eBay for $2.6 billion. They had agreed to license the source code to eBay.
Joltid has accused eBay of unlawfully modifying and sharing the source code. An adverse decision could even force eBay to shut down Skype until it can come up with an alternative version. The San Jose-based internet company has said that it is making arrangements to face any such eventuality. However, the presence of a contingency plan should not be construed as a lack of confidence on its part. “We remain on track to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2009,” an eBay spokesperson said.
The nonprofit CodePlex Foundation is being set up with backing from Microsoft. The Redmond based software company has contributed $1 million, and provided numerous Microsoft employees to run the nonprofit’s board. Microsoft’s former senior director of platform strategy, Sam Ramji, will serve as the temporary head of CodePlex.
Before you go thinking this is totally out of the ordinary for Bill Gate’s baby, the CodePlex website clears a few things up. CodePlex says that commercial companies are under-represented in the open-source world. While this may seem like a natural situation, the new Microsoft backed venture intends to change that. The “about” page on the foundation’s site says that companies will be encouraged to contribute code, not patents.
With code still bound by patents, it is unlikely that the larger open-source community will care to get involved. There may be a certain logic to the CodePlex Foundation, though. Allowing a company to contribute code, without giving up their patents may bring new ideas to open-source in the long run. Even with these favorable conditions, will businesses cooperate with an open-source foundation?
Facebook announced today that they were open-sourcing the real-time technology from the recently acquired FriendFeed. The Python based code is now collectively known as Tornado. "Tornado is... designed to handle thousands of simultaneous connections, making it ideal for real-time Web services," said David Recordon of Facebook. The hope is that developers will quickly begin work on new services that take advantage of the Tornado real-time technology.
Tornado was originally developed by FriendFeed after finding existing Python frameworks did not perform adequately. Tornado is known as a “nonblocking” framework, as it is capable of many concurrent connections. FriendFeed co-founder, Bret Taylor, said that building their own framework resulted in throughput more than "four times higher than the other frameworks."
What about FriendFeed itself, you ask? Fear not, avid FriendFeed users, the service isn’t going anywhere. Facebook’s press release stated that, "Tornado is a core piece of infrastructure that powers FriendFeed's real-time functionality, which we plan to actively maintain."
Factor these (now) thirty-six tests against an average of ten test suite iterations--a minimum number of variances that Resig runs in a common jQuery testing environment. That's three hundred and sixty runs for every test you create, more if you're expanding to include OSX and Linux platforms. And did I mention that the best results tend to occur when actual human beings are behind the testing instead of some automated attempt at user interaction? Yeaaaah...
Even Microsoft recognized its latest move as "a break from the ordinary," which certainly describes the largely closed-source company coughing up 20,000 lines of device driver code to the Linux community. But settle down, Windows isn't going open-source.
Instead, the code includes three Linux device drivers, which have been submitted to the Linux kernel community for inclusion in the LInux tree. Microsoft says the driver code will enhance the performance of Linux when virtualized on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V.
"We are seeing Microsoft communities and open-source communities grow together, which is ultimately of benefit to our customers," said Sam Ramji, senior director of Platform Strategy of Microsoft's Open Source Technology Center (OSTC). "The Linux community, for example, has built a platform used by many customers. So our strategy is to enhance interoperability between the Windows platform and many open-source technologies, which includes Linux, to provide the choices our customers are asking for."
So we guess it's true - we can all just get along after all.