Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cool tool to analyze other sites

Here's a cool tool for web developers to see what other web sites use to make their sites go. The tool I'm talking about is Sitonomy.com. You can type in a site URL and then find information about that site, such as what server software, site stat tracking software, programming languages, ad networks they use for the site, and more.

Sitonomy is a free service that allows developers and designers to find out which technologies are used in a specific blog/site. Together with the provided statistic information of popular technologies, this service makes it easier to decide what technologies are suitable to your own site. List of top alternatives are provided for the following categories: affiliate networks, advertising networks, analytical tools and more.
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New city simulation game looks good

There's a new city simulation game coming out this year called Cities XL and it looks really good if you're into the city building type of games like Sim City. Below is a basic summary of the game and below that is a video showing some of the nice ideas and graphics in the game.

To catch you up, here's a quick recap: Cities XL will basically offer an offline experience right out of the box and a continuing online experience should you want to pursue the dream of being the world's most successful architect. Like in many other city-building games, such as the SimCity series, the out-of-box, offline game in Cities XL will let you use editing tools to build up the virtual city of your dreams, using powerful tools that will include some 500 different buildings, so you can click, drag, copy-paste, and brush-paint tiny individual houses or sprawling roadway networks, then maintain your population's happiness and income while using your funds to build a bigger, better, happier city.
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Alan Wake game

I just watched two trailers to a video game called "Alan Wake" and it looks interesting and looks good. It seems to be about a horror writer, who writes about his dreams and then they start happening. Looking at some of the comments for the trailer, it seems this game has been in-the-making for some time and still hasn't been released. Watch the trailers below.



Max Payne 3 coming later this year

One of my favorite game series, Max Payne, will be having a third part come out. In an article on March 23rd on GameSpy:

Rockstar Vancouver has today announced that it will release the third title in the well-received action franchise, entitled Max Payne 3 later this winter. Set to land on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Rockstar has stated that the story will see Payne embroiled in a world of corruption, turmoil and intense violence.


I'm hoping they make this new game just as good and better than the second part which I enjoyed playing. Wow it's been a while since I've played those games.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

G.I. Joe movie trailer

Another cartoon I use to watch all the time and loved as a kid was G.I. Joe, and the movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is coming out in theaters in August. Watch the short trailer below, it looks good.



Update on 3/29 @ 4:00 PM
Here's an old post on a site with pictures of some of the characters in the G.I. Joe movie.

Transformers 2 movie

Seeing movies being made from cartoons I use to watch as a youngster is cool. This isn't new news but Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen should be coming out in June this year. The trailer looks cool, watch it below.



You can find lots of the Transformers cartoon episodes on YouTube. Wow those bring back memories. You can follow more about the new Transformers movie on Transformers.MovieChronicles.com. If you scroll to the bottom of that site, you'll find links to other interesting upcoming movies.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Changes coming to Internet Explorer?

I found another interesting blog post on SitePoint.com posted last Thursday, named "Microsoft to drop Internet Explorer? No chance!" The blog post mentions that some rumors have been circulating that Microsoft would be giving up on Microsoft Internet Explorer. Of course it probably is false but I wouldn't be surprised if changes come to Internet Explorer, especially after hearig that in Windows 7, users have the option to not have IE8 installed. Read the SitePoint.com post and let me know your thoughts on the rumors.

Testing web sites with Microsoft SuperPreview

I found the blog post "Microsoft SuperPreview: a New Way to Test Websites" on SitePoint.com, and thought the tool sounded interesting.

Microsoft Expression Web SuperPreview allows developers to compare how a page is rendered in different browsers at the same time. The tool is a similar concept to Adobe Meermeer (reviewed by Josh Catone in December 2008), but SuperPreview can be used as a standalone application and a free version is available.


From the Microsoft Expression Web SuperPreview for Windows Internet Explorer page:

Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer is a stand-alone visual debugging tool that makes it faster and easier to migrate your sites from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 7 or 8. With Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer, you can ensure that your Web sites work correctly in Internet Explorer 8 while also maintaining compatibility with earlier versions of Internet Explorer.

Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer shows your web pages rendered in Internet Explorer 6 and either Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8, depending on which version you have installed on your machine. You can view the pages side by side or as an onion-skin overlay and use rulers, guides and zoom/pan tools to precisely identify differences in layout. You can even compare your page comp to how the targeted browsers render the page.


So it seems this is a way to test how your web site looks in IE6 if you have IE7 or IE8 installed on your PC. The SitePoint article says that it lets you compare how pages render in different browsers whereas the Microsoft page says it lets you compare how pages render in IE6 to whatever version of IE you have installed on your PC, so I'm assuming you can't test how the site would look in Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, etc and compare to IE6. I haven't downloaded and tried this tool yet, but may in the near future. Has anyone downloaded this and tried it out? If so let us know if you can test non-Microsoft browsers.

New undo feature for Gmail

It's Friday and I have some things I wanted to blog about, since I haven't blogged much recently, I thought today was a good opportunity to blog about some findings I found interesting.

I use Gmail as a secondary email to Yahoo, but I read on the Gmail blog that there is a new feature for Gmail, the undo send. If you use Microsoft Outlook, then you probably know about recalling a message, well this is basically the same just for Gmail, but you'll only have five seconds to click the "Undo" link after you send an email to undo sending it, or it will be sent.

Turn on Undo Send in Gmail Labs under Settings, and you’ll see a new "Undo" link on every sent mail confirmation. Click "Undo," and we'll grab the message before it’s sent and take you right back to compose.

This feature can't pull back an email that's already gone; it just holds your message for five seconds so you have a chance to hit the panic button. And don't worry – if you close Gmail or your browser crashes in those few seconds, we'll still send your message.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 8

Today Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 and also claiming that it is more secure against malware than the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers.

According to the report Microsoft released Thursday, based on research conducted by NSS Labs, IE8's Release Candidate 1 was 69 percent effective at catching malware before it did damage to a user's system. Mozilla Firefox 3.07 came in second with a 30 percent effectiveness rate, with Apple Safari's 3 in third place with a 24-percent rate and Google's Chrome 1.0.154 in fourth place with 16 percent effectiveness rate

NSS Labs said in the report that the data was collected from tests conducted in just over 12 days from Feb. 26 through March 10 in its labs in Austin, Texas. During the course of the test, the company said it monitored connectivity to ensure the browsers could access the live malware sites being tested, and performed 141 discrete tests. The margin of error of the tests was 3.76 percent, according to NSS Labs.
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I have downloaded IE8 and I already like it over IE7. I will still use Mozilla Firefox as my main method of browsing the web, checking email, and doing my regular web based tasks. But being a web developer, I have to look into almost every web browser that is released.

If you have downloaded IE8 and used it, let me know your thoughts about it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged game trailer

I just watched the trailer for the new video game coming out X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged, which is based on the new movie coming out. I included the trailer below for you to watch. The graphics look good in the video and it looks like a fun action packed game. Hopefully it turns out good as some "movie games" don't turn out good.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Be careful on social networking sites

Next time going on a social networking site such as Facebook or MySpace be careful what you click on. There is a new variant of the Koobface worm and it is running wild on Facebook, installing malware on the computers of victims who click on a link to a fake YouTube video. Below is a part of this article on Yahoo Tech News.

The Koobface worm is dangerous. It can be dropped by other malware and downloaded unknowingly by a user when visiting malicious Web sites, Trend Micro reports. When attackers execute the malware, it searches for cookies created by online social networks. The latest variant is targeting Facebook, but earlier variants have also plagued MySpace.

Once Koobface finds the social-networking cookies, it makes a DNS query to check IP addresses that correspond to remote domains. Trend Micro explains that those servers can send and receive information about the affected machine. Once connected, the malicious user can remotely perform commands on the victim's machine.

"Once cookies related to the monitored social-networking Web sites are located, it connects to these Web sites using the user log-in session stored in the cookies. It then navigates through pages to search for the user's friends. If a friend has been located, it sends an HTTP POST request to the server," Trend Micro reports.

Ultimately, the worm's agenda is to transform the victim's computer into a zombie and form botnets for malicious purposes. Koobface attempts to do this by composing a message and sending it to the user's friends. The message contains a link to a Web site where a copy of the worm can be downloaded by unsuspecting friends. And the cycle repeats itself.
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Microsoft Web Platform

I've heard about this recently and thought I would share on here in case others didn't know about it. Microsoft released a platform for Windows users to design, develop, and deliver web based applications named Microsoft Web Platform.

The Web Platform Installer (Web PI) is a simple tool that installs Microsoft's entire Web Platform, including IIS, Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition, SQL Server 2008 Express Edition and the .NET Framework. Using the Web Platform Installer’s user interface, you can choose to install either specific products or the entire Microsoft Web Platform onto your computer. The Web PI also helps keep your products up to date by always offering the latest additions to the Web Platform.

New Sims 3 trailer video

Here's a new video trailer of Sims 3 showing how now they are going to give Sims different personalities. Looks interesting as it will add more ways to customize your Sim. A part from an article on GameSpy:

Rodiek assures me, though, that Sims 3 isn't about monitoring your Sims' status. Just like in real life, the key to the Sims 3 is more about maintaining a level of overall fulfillment with your life than it is about having a place where you could reliably urinate. I believe him. The "needs" bars are still there, but they're buried under the game's (quite granular) interface. And while your Sims can still languish or even die if you don't attend to their needs, Rodiek insists that it's generally easier to ensure they'll thrive.

It's all about "moodlets," evidently. Think of them as temporary "buffs" that are triggered when you perform certain actions or inhabit specific spaces. When you brush your teeth, you'll get "Minty Breath," which is wholly positive; conversely, if you behave inappropriately toward another Sim in conversation, you might trigger "Creeped Out". Each moodlet corresponds to a specific need, and from what I gleaned watching the demo, their effects persist for a few hours.