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+ - Is This Really The Future of Magazines iPad apps?->

Submitted by DesiVideoGamer
DesiVideoGamer (758299) writes "Interfacelab.com has an article about the new Wired Magazine iPad application. The article disects the app and found out the reason behind the 500+ MB size:

Each full page is a giant image — there are actually two images for each page: one for landscape and one for portrait mode. Yes, I'm laughing on the inside too. There is no text or HTML, just one gigantic image. The "interactive" pieces where you can slide your finger to animate it are just a series of JPG files. When you press play on the audio file and see the progress meter animate? A series of PNG files.

The article then speculates that it was originally written in Adobe Flash and this may be a bad sign of what may come to the iPad due to Section 3.1.3 of Apple's licensing terms."
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Linux Business

+ - Microsoft attacks Linux at the retail level 1

Submitted by DesiVideoGamer
DesiVideoGamer (758299) writes "Over at Overclock.net, a user has posted screen-shots from Microsoft's "ExpertZone" training course entitled "Linux vs. Windows 7". This course is available to BestBuy employees and will make them eligible for a $10 copy of Windows 7 upon completion. In this course, Microsoft presents a number of lies including lack of authorised support, there is no video chat, no support at all for the iPod, and that there is no "parental restrictions" on the Linux platform. I think I now know why when I enter BestBuy, the employees say the odd lies that they do."
Graphics

+ - No Linux port for id's Tech 5 graphics engine 2

Submitted by DesiVideoGamer
DesiVideoGamer (758299) writes "John Carmack, the creator of id's Tech 5 graphics engine, does not plan on making a Linux port of his new engine. From his e-mail:

It isn't out of the question, but I don't think we will be able to justify the work.

. One of the reasons for not making a Linux port was due to the fact that the new engine "pushes a lot of paths that are not usually optimized" and that the Linux port would have to use the binary blob graphics driver in order to work. However, the MacOS port has not been cancelled yet."

Databases

+ - The Manga Guide to Databases

Submitted by DesiVideoGamer
DesiVideoGamer (758299) writes "In the same spirit as The Manga Guide to Statistics, "The Manga Guide to Databases" can give you some basic pointers on how to design, create and manage a database. Due to its nature of being a dumbed down introductory book, its requires the reader to do additional reading in order to set something up in practice. However, for anime/manga lovers, or for people who want a brief overview of the otherwise boring field of databases, this book can be both fun and helpful.

First, I would like to say that I am by no means a database expert. Most of my programming knowledge and experience is front-end work. I like having some humor in my technical books. As a matter of fact, I got into programming after reading the humorous book C For Dummies. With a future project that my require me to know a few things about databases, I thought I should pick up "The Manga Guide to Databases". This manga is part of the "The Manga Guide to ..." series being published in English by No Starch Press with many more along the way.

The story takes place in a Magical Kingdom of Kod where Princess Ruruna was left to take care of the kingdom's fruit selling business while her parents are away. Princess Ruruna instantly realizes that the business was being handled inefficiently and wishes for a more effective way to handle her work. Enter Tico: the "Database Fairy". She teaches Princess Ruruna and her dependable assistant Cain the basics of creating and managing a database. The story is interleaved with the technical explanations throughout the book with a summary and quiz at the end of each chapter.

The first chapter, entitled "What is a Database?" explains why you would want to store your data inside a database. The chapter explains why the reader Princess Ruruna would want to use a database rather than sharing a single file between various people or entities. The second chapter justifies using a relational database as opposed to "Hierarchical" or "Network data" based database. They didn't seem to address situations where you wouldn't want to use a database or where a relational database would be an overkill. I guess that's for a more in-depth book to cover.

The third chapter goes into the design of the database. They talk about how to create an ER Model and how to create a database that is in 3rd normal form. The fourth chapter gets into the actual SQL syntax along with many examples (which is extremely useful for reasons I will explain later). These two chapters are very dense in information (compared to all the other chapters) and felt very odd to read. Sadly, I am so used to not having to "think" while reading a manga so this chapter actually took much longer to read than expected.

The last two chapters go over basic management of a database like security, disaster recovery, how to distribute the load to other servers and some more high level tips along with some examples. I will not spoil the ending of the story but it will at least bring you a smile in your face after reading it.

The biggest strength of this book, which is also its biggest weakness is that the authors tried to be very generic when they explained everything from networking to the SQL syntax. Hence, they didn't really go over how to install a database on your computer or how to bring up the SQL console. However, this allowed the manga to not waste time with vendor specific features and gotchas or risk being outdated in just a year. Personally, I am more of a hands-on person that would like to try out commands here and there with an actual database. Therefore, it was hard to understand some of the topics without me replicating the examples into a database of my own. However, the examples that are provided are nice and clean-cut (compared to the one had I had to read in college) and the quizzes help out in making sure I actually understood the material.

After reading this book, the reader will be expected to read up on the manuals for whatever vendor they choose. This also became a problem when they were talking about creating logs for the database and triggers or stored procedures. As mentioned before, this is also a good thing since I wouldn't have wasted my time learning how to do a function for only one kind of database.

So, who should read this book? People who are into anime/manga and want to learn the basics will definitely enjoy this book. The rather cliche manga/anime parts didn't really bother me since the story is not epic or complex. Even if you are not into anime or manga and just want a brief overview, this book is fairly good as it explain things without being bogged down with any specific vendor. Anybody that wants to get something done quickly will find this book useless as it will not even explain the first step of where to download and install a database on to your computer. Overall, I felt that the book brough a little bit of fun in a previously too boring world of databases."
Businesses

+ - Psystar antitrust claim against Apple dismissed->

Submitted by DesiVideoGamer
DesiVideoGamer (758299) writes "Psystar, the company that sell computers that can run Mac OS X, lost a key argument today. Judge Alsup ruled that "The pleadings...fail to allege facts plausibly supporting the counterintuitive claim that Apple's operating system is so unique that it suffers no actual or potential competitors". The (PDF) ruling is a major setback because if Psystar fails to come with with a better argument, they may loose Apple's copyright/trademark lawsuit."
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The Internet

+ - NBC Shuns Linux and PPC Macs from Olympic Website->

Submitted by DesiVideoGamer
DesiVideoGamer (758299) writes "Good News: NBC decided to put up many videos from the olympics for free on their website. Bad News: They require silverlight; more or less blocking out PowerPC based Macs and all Linux PCs. Microsoft and NBC defended their use by calming that they were trying to provide "the richest online viewing experience based on technologies broadly available today." The LATimes article points out that many people are now resorting to piracy in order to view the highlights of the olympics online."
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