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February 23 2011

16:45

Over 300+ free textures from 10 Ravens

Hello,

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December 16 2010

22:18

Is Apple Ping a Resounding Flop?

Several months after the launch of Ping, Apple has to deal with the contrasting feelings of the users of its music-based social network. Despite the efforts made by Cupertino, Ping looks like anything but a true social network. It looks more like a simple rating service aimed at voting and recommending music to those who decide to follow our activity in the iTunes Music Store, which is limited to posting a few comments and little to nothing more.
The social functions available are in fact very limited, using this service is not as immediate as it is for Twitter and Facebook, and it’s not as socially engaging. Indeed, when compared to Zukerberg’s social network, it reminds me of his anonymous music application, whose most exciting feature is to request a “like” to a track.

For Apple, however, each “like” that is expressed has an important weight: it’s like when someone expresses a preference for recommending a product to other potential buyers on e-commerce sites such as Amazon. It is basically a lure to attract more potential customers. And at the end of the day, Ping’s phylosophy, behind its unlikely social-something facade it’s just a functional branch of the iTunes Music Store, useful, more than anything else, to increase sales of songs already purchased by other users through word of mouth.

Just to make things clear, there’s nothing wrong with that, apart from the disappointment of having to do with a service far below the expectations that Apple got us used to: a service you can’t set up even remotely like a substitute for a real “social network for music”.

Tags: Apple new
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20:51

December 15 2010

22:59

Apple Ping è un clamoroso flop?

Ad alcuni mesi di distanza dal lancio di Ping, Apple deve fare i conti con gli umori contrastanti degli utenti del suo social network musicale lanciato in grande stile appena quattro mesi fa.

Nonostante gli sforzi di Cupertino, Ping assomiglia a tutto tranne che ad un vero social network. Sembra più un banale servizio di rating per votare e consigliare musica a chi decide di seguire la nostra attività sull’iTunes Music Store che è limitata all’inserimento di qualche commento e poco più.

Le funzioni sociali a disposizione sono infatti estremamente limitate e l’utilizzo del servizio non è immediato come Twitter e non è socialmente coinvolgente come Facebook. Anzi, se paragonato al social network di Zukerberg, ricorda al massimo una sua anonima applicazione musicale, con la quale, la funzionalità più esaltante consentita è quella di esprimere un “like” ad un brano.

Può sembrare una banalità ma per Apple, ogni “like” ha lo stesso significato di quando qualcuno esprime una preferenza per raccomandare un prodotto ad altri potenziali acquirenti su siti di e-commerce come ad esempio Amazon. È in pratica un richiamo per attirare potenziali clienti. E in fondo, la filosofia di Ping, dietro alla sua improbabile facciata di social network è proprio quella di essere una costola funzionale all’iTunes Music Store, utile, più che altro, a incrementare gli acquisti di brani già acquistati da altri utenti attraverso il passaparola.

Intendiamoci, non c’è nulla di male in tutto ciò, a parte la delusione nell’avere a che fare con un servizio molto al di sotto delle aspettative a cui Apple ci ha abituato e che, soprattutto, non si riesce a configurare neanche lontanamente come un surrogato di un social network musicale.

22:06

Google: Competition or Abuse of Dominant Position?

“This donʼt be evil mantra: itʼs bullshit”. Steve Jobs’ words. That’s how, according to what an anonymous source inside Apple said to Wired, Jobs referred to the famous Google motto at the beginning of 2010, commenting the launch of the offensive against the iPhone led by the Mountain View company with Android and the operating system Chrome OS. Believe it or not, the words allegedly attributed to Apple’s Chief Executive revived an issue often raised by other commentators, which repeatedly questioned the historical claim of good faith by Google.

Google is a company that bases its survival on the profit generated by being the undisputed leader in the search engine market, thanks to which, within a few years, it managed to establish itself as a de facto monopoly in the sector by forcing the competition to a marginal role.

And on this point at the end of November 2010 the European Commission initiated a procedure to verify any violations and abuses of dominant position by the best search engine on the Internet. According to the accusation, Google would have favored, in its search result pages, a better positioning for its own services than for those offered by its competitors which also would be further penalized by unfair ranking, lower than the real rate.

If the Antitrust determined the truth of these allegations, the Mountain View giant could be sentenced a fine similar to the one already suffered by Microsoft for the same type of violation. In 2004 the Redmond company was in fact forced by the European Commission to shell out 497 million euros and four years later, 899 more million for failing to meet the obligation to disclose the necessary interface documentation to ensure the competing systems had full interoperability with Windows.

The question is how these violations will be assessed considering the total secrecy that surrounds the ranking and ad positioning algorithm of the search engine pages. In any case, though, given the enormous economic interests involved in this issue, the question is more than legitimate: is “don’t be evil” still worth anything?

08:03

Google: concorrenza o abuso di posizione dominante?

“This don’t be evil mantra: it’s bullshit”. Parola (forse) di Steve Jobs. È così che all’inizio del 2010, stando a quanto riferito a Wired da un’anonima fonte interna alla Apple, Jobs avrebbe definito lo storico motto di Google, commentando il lancio dell’offensiva contro l’iPhone guidata dell’azienda di Mountain View con Android e il sistema operativo Chrome OS. Vere o no, le presunte parole attribuite al boss della Apple rispolverano un interrogativo spesso sollevato da altri commentatori e che ha più volte messo in dubbio la storica esternazione di buona fede da parte di Google. Google è un’azienda che basa la propria sopravvivenza sul profitto generato dalla leadership indiscussa raggiunta nel mercato dei motori di ricerca grazie alla quale, nel giro di pochi anni, è riuscito ad imporsi di fatto come monopolista nel settore riducendo ad un ruolo del tutto marginale la concorrenza.

E proprio su questo punto, a fine novembre 2010 la Commissione Europea ha aperto una procedura per verificare eventuali violazioni delle norme sull’abuso di posizione dominante da parte del motore di ricerca più utilizzato su internet. Secondo l’accusa, Google avrebbe favorito, nei risultati delle sue ricerche, un posizionamento migliore ai propri servizi rispetto a quelli alternativi offerti dai concorrenti i quali, inoltre, sarebbero stati penalizzati ulteriormente con l’attribuzione sleale di un rank più basso rispetto a quello effettivo.

Se l’Antitrust verificasse la fondatezza di tali accuse, al colosso di Mountain View potrebbe essere inflitta una pena simile a quella già toccata a Microsoft per lo stesso tipo di violazione. Nel 2004 l’azienda di Redmond fu infatti costretta a sborsare dalla Commissione Europea ben 497 milioni di euro e quattro anni più tardi ulteriori 899 milioni per non aver rispettato l’obbligo di divulgare la necessaria documentazione d’interfaccia per assicurare ai sistemi concorrenti la piena interoperabilità con Windows.

Resta da chiedersi come eventuali violazioni potranno essere accertate vista l’assoluta segretezza che circonda l’algoritmo di ranking e di posizionamento degli annunci sulle pagine del motore di ricerca ma ad ogni modo, considerati gli enormi interessi economi in gioco che ruotano intorno a questo aspetto, la domanda è più che lecita: quanto vale ancora il don’t be evil?

December 13 2010

23:01

Telecom lancia Biblet ed entra nel mercato degli eBook

Ad alcuni mesi di distanza dall’annuncio ufficiale, Telecom Italia ha appena aperto il suo nuovo Biblet store, un’imponente libreria digitale ricca di titoli editi dalle principali case editrici italiane, dove è possibile acquistare i propri ebook preferiti in formato ePub o PDF. Per poter visualizzare sul proprio computer (PC o Mac) gli eBook, che sono protetti da DRM, è necessario però scaricare il software gratuito Adobe Digital Edition che non è attualmente supportato dall’iPad pertanto, al momento, non è possibile accedere ai libri che vengono scaricati sul device della Apple.
Questa è una forte limitazione in quanto leggere un ebook sullo schermo di un classico PC, netbook o notebook, attraverso il software Adobe, è frustrante e non è minimamente paragonabile al piacere di sfogliare un libro cartaceo. Questo gap si riduce invece utilizzando un tablet com l’iPad o il Samsung Galaxy Tab sui quali invece la lettura è molto più piacevole e coinvolgente. Tuttavia sul sito è presente una nota in cui l’azienda annuncia l’imminente introduzione di un’apposita App per iPad che consentirà agli utenti la lettura dei libri direttamente sul tablet.
I prezzi dei singoli eBook variano sensibilmente (tanto per fare un esempio si parte dai 4,99 euro dei singoli volumi della saga di Steig Larson fino ai 15,99 euro dell’ultimo capolavoro di Ken Follett) e sono comunque in linea con quelli offerti da altri ebook store (come BOL.it). Purtroppo, in molti casi, la differenza di prezzo con le corrispettive edizioni cartacee è minima e disincentiva l’acquisto della versione elettronica a favore del classico libro rilegato. Ad ogni modo, per i possessori di iPad, viste le premesse, poiché in Italia non é ancora accessibile l’intero catalogo presente sull’iTunes Book Store, Biblet si configura come la migliore alternativa allo store Apple. Sempre se, l’app per iPad arrivi prima dell’apertura dell’Tunes Book Store in Italia.

22:03

The Fascinating Effect of Unusual Layouts in Web Design

The widespread use of Content Management Systems allows web designers to save a considerable amount of time in developing websites. Templates provided by these tools help you achieve quickly good results but, sometimes, at the expense of the creativity. That’s why sometimes, to design attractive websites, you should start completely from scratch and dare unusual layouts. In this gallery you will find 15 fascinating examples of websites with an unusual and eye-catching layout, made in HTML and Flash.

Sisan

UFC

Tim Tadder

Treme

Uli Heckmann

Pete Philly

Cyril Masson | Photographer

Ryan Scherf

Storming Juno

Snask

Rainy Pixels

I Surf Because

Creative Spaces

Story Hotel

Wishbone Design

Tags: Web Design new

December 12 2010

16:30

Il tag Canvas dell’HTML5 non è il killer di Adobe Flash

Canvas è uno dei nuovi tag dell’HTML5 sui quali si sono maggiormente concentrati, fin dalla sua introduzione, l’interesse e l’attenzione degli sviluppatori.

La sua caratteristica peculiare di essere una piattaforma di rendering di immagini 2D integrata nei browser, programmabile via HTML e JavaScript, e indipendente da plug-in esterni, rende questo tag molto attraente verso quella che è la tendenza all’adozione degli standard nell’ambito della programmazione per il web. Spesso il tag canvas viene messo in contrapposizione ad Adobe Flash. Molti sviluppatori ne parlano come di una possibile alternativa killer di Flash. In linea puramente di principio è un’affermazione condivisibile ma all’alto pratico non è per niente così.

In rete circolano diversi esperimenti che utilizzano il canvas. Sono in prevalenza animazioni o giochi di varia complessità (ad esempio google ha effettuato un porting di Quake 2 per canvas), che restano però confinati a semplici esempi didascalici su quelle che sono le potenzialità del tag. Il più grande ostacolo all’adozione del canvas, al momento, risiede nella totale mancanza di un robusto e dedicato ambiente di sviluppo che supporti gli sviluppatori. Realizzare anche semplici animazioni utilizzando esclusivamente JavaScript può risultare molto complicato e frustrante.

Per chi ha un minimo di confidenza nell’utilizzo di Adobe Flash, la struttura della sua timeline, la possibilità di creare gli oggetti e definire visivamente la profondità dei livelli dei filmati, il linguaggio di ActionScript integrato con gli oggetti e, più in generale, tutte quelle caratteristiche che rendono Flash un prodotto di eccellenza nello sviluppo di prodotti multimediali per il web ad alto impatto grafico, costituiscono, forse più di molto altro, gli elementi cruciali alla base del suo successo e della sua larghissima diffusione. Dal punto di vista degli sviluppatori, l’adozione di una tecnologia piuttosto che un’altra è una pura questione di convenienza. È l’accettazione di un compromesso tra difficoltà di realizzazione e qualità dell’output. Nel caso del canvas, a causa proprio della mancanza di un efficace tool di sviluppo, la difficoltà è alta e l’output non esaltante.

Perciò definire il tag canvas come il killer di Adobe Flash è quantomai prematuro. Almeno per il momento.*

13:28

The HTML5 Canvas Tag is not the Adobe Flash Killer

Canvas is one of the new HTML5 tags on which are focused, since its introduction, the interest and attention of web developers.

Canvas is a 2D graphics rendering “platform” integrated into the browsers, is programmable with HTML and JavaScript, and is independent of external plug-ins. For these features, the actual trend towards the adoption of standard in web programming makes the introduction of this tag very attractive. Often the canvas tag is put in contrast with Adobe Flash. Many developers talk about it as a possible Flash killer. As a general principle it’s acceptable but in practice it is not so.

On the web there are many experiments that use canvas: they are mostly animations or games of varying complexity (for example, Google ported Quake 2 for canvas) but remain confined to simple “didactic” examples on what are the potentials of the tag. The biggest obstacle to the mass adoption of the canvas tag is the lack of a strong and dedicated development environment that supports developers. Making even a simple animation using only pure JavaScript code can be very complicated and frustrating.

If you know the Flash environment, the structure of its timeline, the simplicity to create graphic objects and visually define the depth levels of each movie, the ActionScript language integrated with objects, are all features which makes the Adobe software a product of excellence for developing high-impact multimedia websites and are crucial elements of its success and its wide diffusion. From the perspective of developers, the adoption of a technology over another is purely a matter of convenience. It consists in accepting a compromise between the difficulty of implementation and the quality of the output. In the case of the canvas tag, due to the lack of an effective development tool, the difficulty remains high and the output is not exciting.

So defining the canvas tag as the killer of Adobe Flash is quite premature. At least for now.

December 11 2010

18:38

Why the iPad Will Not Save the Publishing Industry

The commercial success of the iPad and the Apps business model on the iTunes Store have opened unexpected horizons of economic opportunities for many developers.

The publishing industry, in particular, has been involved from the outset in evaluating the potential of Apple’s tablet groped to find an alternative option to the distribution of contents to cope with the severe crisis of the sales of printed paper. I frequently buy and read magazines for the iPad including Time, Wired, Popular Science and recently I really appreciated the first release of Project, the Virgin’s innovative digital magazine designed specifically for the Apple device.

Leaving aside the purely technical considerations (in some cases the final result is better than in others), the general quality of those magazines is without doubt extremely high and the integration between classic and multimedia content makes their reading experience very pleasant and engaging. But there is a basic limitation that could play a significant role in preventing their widespread diffusion, thereby making them uncompetitive in terms of economic return. The problem, as some might think in the first instance, doesn’t concern the limited number of iPad in circulation, but the difficult — or the inability — to download single issues of a certain magazine on your device because of their excessive size, which averages around 400 MB.

For what is my experience, each download may take a period ranging from twenty to seventy minutes if you are connected to a wi-fi hotspots. Instead, if you use a 3G connection, the download is inhibited and a message warns you that, due to the excessive size of the file, you must be connected to a wi-fi to continue to the download. Apart from the frustration generated by the excessive waiting for the completion of the download (especially if you consider that there are an infinite number of alternative information available in a few seconds, for free, just surfing the web), it can happen that often, when the user not have access to a wi-fi network, he quit the purchase.

This limit, which negatively affects sales volumes and profitability of editorial projects aimed at iPad users, will bring developers to rethink radically the structure of such contents and limit their size otherwise, a significant proportion of those users who have once experienced the frustration of the download will not want to repeat the purchase a second time. Then perhaps, the iPad will not be enough to revive the fortunes of publishing industry.

Tags: Technology new
15:54

Perché l’iPad non salverà l’editoria

Il successo commerciale dell’iPad e del modello di business delle Apps disponibili sull’iTunes Store ha spalancato un orizzonte di opportunità economiche inaspettate per moltissimi sviluppatori.

L’editoria in particolare è stata interessata fin da subito nel valutare le potenzialità del tablet della Apple per tentare di trovare un’opzione alternativa alla distribuzione dei contenuti e far fronte alla forte crisi delle vendite della carta stampata. Acquisto e leggo con una certa frequenza alcune riviste per iPad tra cui Time, Wired, Popular Science e di recente ho molto apprezzato la prima uscita di Project, l’innovativo magazine digitale della Virgin redatto solo per il device della Apple. Tralasciando l’implementazione puramente tecnica, in alcuni casi migliore che in altri, la qualità di questi magazine è senza dubbio di altissimo livello e l’integrazione tra contenuti classici sul modello della carta stampata unita ai contenuti multimediali rendono la loro l’esperienza di lettura assai piacevole e coinvolgente.

C’è però un limite di fondo che potrebbe giocare un ruolo non marginale a sfavore della diffusione su larga scala di questo tipo di riviste, rendendole di conseguenza poco competitive dal punto di vista del loro ritorno economico. Il problema, come qualcuno potrebbe pensare, non riguarda in prima battuta il numero limitato di iPad in circolazione, quanto più la difficoltà — in alcune situazioni, addirittura l’impossibilità — di scaricare le singole uscite di un certo magazine sul proprio device a causa della loro eccessiva dimensione che si aggira in media intorno ai 400 MB.

Per quella che è la mia esperienza, il download può richiedere un tempo che varia dai venti ai settanta minuti se si è connessi ad un hot-spot wi-fi. Se in alternativa si utilizza una connessione 3G, il download è inibito e un messaggio avverte l’utente che a causa delle eccessive dimensioni del file è necessario essere connessi ad una rete wi-fi per procedere allo scaricamento.

A parte la frustrazione generata dall’eccessiva attesa per il completamento del download (specialmente se si considera che esistono un’infinità di informazioni alternative disponibili nel giro di pochi secondi navigando col browser sul web), può capitare che molto spesso, quando l’utente non ha a disposizione una rete wi-fi alla quale agganciarsi, rinuncia all’acquisto poiché materialmente impossibilitato ad ottenere quello che desidera nell’immediato.

Questo evidente limite, che impatta negativamente sui volumi delle vendite e sulla redditività dei progetti editoriali rivolti all’iPad, dovrà portare tutti coloro che sviluppano tali contenuti a ripensarne in maniera radicale la struttura. Se questo non accadrà, una fetta non marginale degli utenti che avranno sperimentato per una volta la frustrazione di un acquisto, non vorranno ripeterla una seconda. Allora forse, non basterà l’iPad per risollevare le sorti dell’editoria.

December 10 2010

10:58

The Most Infamous Abuse: Online Pedophilia Report

It’s the most infamous abuse against children. Online pedophilia reached huge proportions and it’s a growing phenomenon hard to fight.

Within a few years Internet has become the preferred means by those criminal organizations, which manage the business of child pornography, for the exchange and dissemination of content.

The anonymity provided by the Web and the reckless tolerance of some Internet Service Providers have significantly contributed to the growth of demand and, consequently, of supply of child pornography on line.

According to the annual report presented by Telefono Arcobaleno, an organization that fights against on line child abuse and sexual exploitation, on line pedophilia is growing on the internet at alarmingly rate.

With 49,393 pedopornographic websites reported in 2009 the dimension of online child pornography has increased of 14% from the previous year (7,000 reports more than 2008). It’s estimated that 135 new sites and 3 new groups with pedopornographic content appear every day on the Internet and social networks.

Most of these sites are hosted in Europe, United States and Russia. Germany is the country with the highest concentration of hosted pedopornographic websites (19,488) followed by Netherlands (10,277), United States (8,411) and Russian Federation (7,118).

Europe and USA are leaders in diffusion and consumption of pedopornographic materials. Internet pedophiles are mainly European (approximately 60% of total on global basis) and this sad primate is dominated by Germany (17.6%), United Kingdom (6.5%), Italy (5%), France (4.8%) and Spain (2.3%).

For more information about this topic take a look at the full report or visit the official website of Telefono Arcobaleno.

© 2010 Woork Up

Tags: World cover new

December 09 2010

12:15

Alternative Way To Use WordPress Tags

WordPress tags, as you know, are usually used for adding specific labels to posts.

This basic usage is useful in some cases for example when you want to generate a navigation section for your blog based on a tag cloud. In my opinion, this kind of use of tags as simple descriptive labels is now obsolete: tag clouds are almost dead and there is no reason to continue to use them. So you can image to use WordPress tags in a different way to implement WordPress themes with complex behaviors based on tags. An interesting example is to use WordPress tags to provide a multi-language version of your posts. The only thing you have to do is to create a new post that contains a translated version of an article already published in your main language and add a tag describing the language of the translated post (in the following example I used “italian”).

Now, in the original post, add a custom field to create a link to the translated post (in this example I called the field “italian”). Than add this code (for example in single.php) to display the link to the translated post on your template:

<?php if (get_post_meta($post->ID, 'italian', true)){?>
<a href="<?php echo get_post_meta($post->ID, 'italian', true) ?>">Italian Version</a>
<?php } ?>

You can exclude all posts that aren’t in your main language from index.php, category.php, tag.php, search.php and so on, simply changing the basic WordPress Loop with the following code:

<?php
$paged = (get_query_var("paged")) ? get_query_var("paged") : 1;
$args =array(
"tag__not_in" => array('ID_TAG'),
"paged"=>$paged,
);
query_posts($args);
if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post();?>

where ''ID_TAG" contained into "tag__not_in" => array('ID_TAG'), represent the ID of the tag you want to exclude from the loop.

If you have other ideas, share your suggestions with a comment.

Tags: Web Design new

December 08 2010

17:32

December 06 2010

21:24

Il più grande sbaglio di Julian Assange

Ad alcuni giorni di distanza dalla pubblicazione degli oltre 250.000 documenti classificati del Dipartimento di Stato americano su Wikileaks, la tempesta di polemiche che si è abbattuta sulla controversa figura del suo fondatore, Julian Assange, non si è ancora placata.

Sono in molti a scagliarsi contro l’irresponsabilità di Assange e sono in molti, invece, a difenderlo. Ma c’è qualcosa che nella sua missione di trasparenza e verità non torna. Assange ha tradotto univocamente il contenuto dei documenti di cui è venuto in possesso, come un’ambiguità di fondo del comportamento del governo degli Stati Uniti nei rapporti con le altre potenze mondiali.

A una lettura superficiale, può sembrare una tesi corretta e accettabile, se però si ignora del tutto che l’essenza della diplomazia è di garantire gli interessi del proprio paese mantenendo determinati equilibri politici ed economici sul piano delle relazioni internazionali con gli altri Stati. Non è un esercizio a base di etica o di morale. È un gioco di mediazioni, compromessi, richieste e concessioni, fatto di trattative che si basano su informazioni tutt’altro che trasparenti per chi siede dall’altra parte del tavolo dei negoziati.

Stupirsi del fatto che i rappresentanti di stato americani dislocati nelle varie ambasciate sparse nel mondo inviino a Washington informative riservate con contenuti di forte critica nei confronti degli altri paesi è puro infantilismo. Accade la stessa cosa per tutte le delegazioni estere di qualsiasi altro stato nei confronti dei paesi che li ospitano. È un’attività di monitoraggio e informazione largamente diffusa e ben nota negli ambienti dell’intelligence.

Ritenere che tutto ciò sia una prerogativa eticamente condannabile ed esclusivamente confinabile alla politica estera americana è un errore grossolano basato su un palese pregiudizio di fondo, fatto di antiamericanismo mascherato da amore per la trasparenza e la verità. È questo il più grande sbaglio di Assange. È la sua accusa a senso unico nei confronti degli Stati Uniti che mina la difendibilità e la credibilità della sua missione.

Tags: World italian new
20:55

The Biggest Mistake of Julian Assange

A few days after the publication of over 250,000 classified cables of the U.S. State Department on Wikileaks, the storm of controversy that struck the figure of its founder, Julian Assange, has not yet subsided.

Many people rail against the irresponsibility of Assange while many others, at the same time, defend him. But there is something wrong in his quest for transparency and truth.

Assange has translated the contents of the cables uniquely as an ambiguity underlying the behavior of the U.S. government in its relations with the rest of the world.

At a casual glance, this assumption may seem correct and acceptable, but only if you completely ignore that the very essence of diplomacy is to safeguard the interests of a country, while maintaining a certain balance of political and economic terms in international relations with other countries.

It’s not a proof of ethics or morals. It is a game of mediation, compromises, concessions and demands made of negotiations that are based on anything but transparent information for those sitting across the negotiating table.

Being surprised by the American government representatives located in various embassies around the world, sending confidential information to Washington that’s filled with strong criticism for other countries, is pure childishness.

The same thing happens to all the foreign delegations of any other state against countries hosting them. It is a consolidated monitoring and reporting activity well-known among the intelligence services.

Believing that this prerogative is ethically reprehensible and exclusively confined to American foreign policy is a gross mistake, based on blatant prejudice that’s made of anti-Americanism dressed up as love for transparency and truth.

This is Assange’s biggest mistake. His one-sided accusation against the United States itself undermines the credibility and defensibility of his mission.

Tags: World cover new

October 05 2010

18:49

The Internet Is Still Not For Everyone

By Antonio Lupetti @woork
It radically changed the way we all interact and it has become the main medium of mass communication of our (if not all) time. Nevertheless it is used by just a few. How and why the Internet is still a technology available to less than 29% of the global population.

Since the early days of the Internet, the number of users who have access to the network has been growing with a highly exponential trend. Within a decade in fact, it has gone from 360 million users of year 2000 to the current 2 billion users: an increase of 444% worldwide.

However, although the data show a substantial increase in the ten years we considered (2000-2010), a strong gap is still obvious if we consider the ratio between the global population and those who actually have access to the network of all networks.

According to figures from the first half of 2010 and published on Internet World Stats the rate of penetration of the Internet on the entire global population does not exceed 29%.

Africa, with over one billion inhabitants, is the continent with the lowest penetration rate with a figure which is around 10% of the population. The bloody civil wars that have plagued many African countries for decades, the instability of governments and the consequent lack of investment in infrastructure planning, have been the main causes of this disparity.

In countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Burundi, the percentage of population connected is around 0.5%. Mozambique with its 22 million inhabitants barely reaches 2.8%.

In Asia the situation is no better. Out of a total of 3.8 billion people, slightly more than 21% of them have access to the Internet. The reasons are manifold and lie in part in the geography of the area, characterized by open rural areas with average population density, in which the diffusion of the Internet is almost absent, in part in the boost of some repressive governments which imposed, through censorship, a substantial degree of control and access blocking.

In China the number of users connected to the network is around 420 million on an estimated population of about 1.3 billion people (approximately 31%). For other countries in the Far East such as Bangladesh, the rate of Internet penetration is around 0.4% for 158 million people, while it reaches only 0.2% for Myanmar (one of the countries with the highest degrees of on-line censorship) that has 53 million inhabitants.

Far more encouraging are the data coming from Europe and North America where the percentages of users connected to the network, respectively, are around 58% and 77% of the population. In these areas, in macroscopic terms, the best economic conditions combined with higher levels of education and the widespread dissemination of the network are the key factors behind the reduced gap compared to other countries.

For Europe, in absolute terms, Germany is the country with the highest number of users connected to the Internet, over 65 million, or 79% of the population, while the regions at the bottom of the list are located in the Eastern Europe, especially Bosnia-Herzegovina (31 %) and Kosovo (20.8%) which are still paying the heavy legacy of being struck by the Balkans war, during the first half of 1990.

In Russia, just under 43% of the population uses the Internet while in the U.S. and Canada the figure is over 77%.
Lastly, in Latin America and the Caribbean the number of users of the network stops at 34% of the total population. Even in these areas, the lack of infrastructure in a spread throughout the territory and it is one of the main reasons for the limited diffusion.

Argentina is the country with the highest rate of users connected to the network with about 64%. Brazil and Mexico, respectively 201 million and 112 million inhabitants, reached only 38% and 27%. Last places for Bolivia (11%), Cuba (% 14) and Nicaragua (10%).

September 24 2010

20:22

Auto Refreshing News System With Built-In HTML Search

Have you ever developed a web Project that needed an auto refreshing data all the time?


If not you will probably have to soon.

By Luiz Eduardo – Nowadays many companies are going web. I particularly work at a company developing a big web-based system which needs this kind of data all the time. It’s really important to give the right information at the right time.
I will show you now how the basic code works, and then we will create an simple auto refreshing news system with built-in HTML search. This is just an example to you understand how it works then use your imagination and see the endless possibilities with this script.
The following image illustrates how this script works:
HTML Code – All you have to create in your HTML is a simple div to receive the data.

JavaScript Code – We will create a function that’s called repeatedly in a 20000ms (20 sec) interval right after his execution.

PHP Code – The PHP code really doesn’t matter. It actually may be almost anything: another HTML, a Class, function or any script you may want to run.

Still quite simple, isn’t it? One more time I’m showing you just one example that came to my mind but don’t forget to just allow your imagination to do the job!

Tags: Web Design new

September 22 2010

21:32

E-Waste: The Dark Side of Technology

GUIYU, China – The wastes arrive here by sea transport, mainly from North America, Japan and South Korea.
They sail across the Pacific Ocean in huge colorful containers and reach Hong Kong where they are moved into the storage areas of the largest commercial harbor in China, waiting before proceeding with their journey toward the Chinese hinterland.
During the day, along the terminal area leading to the dock, there is a constant coming and going of trucks commuting between the city and the rural areas of the Guangdong province.

That’s the place where dozens of millions of tons of electronic junk (e-waste) from all over the world are taken: computers, phones, televisions, printers, refrigerators and an infinite row of other obsolete devices destined to disposal or recovery of the precious metals inside their circuits.

Guiyu is a small town situated a few hours from Hong Kong. As soon as you leave the main road that cuts through the countryside and arrive in town, you can find yourself in a post-apocalyptic scenario where the only signs of civilization that remain are huge mountains of rubble made of tubes, plastic and silicon.

Guiyu is the largest electronic garbage collector in the world. Each year about 100,000 workers, including many children, are involved in the disposal operations and recovery of over 1.5 million tons of materials coming from the consumer technology industry, a quantity that is around 80% of the e-waste produced in a year by the entire China.

The processing of materials is performed using techniques that are not adequate and that over two decades have transformed this small plot of land located in the heart of China in one of the most polluted and unlivable areas of the planet.

In Guiyu the air you breathe leaves the taste of acid fumes in your mouth, resulting from uncontrolled combustion of plastics and metals. The water is not drinkable. The level of poisoning of groundwater has forced the authorities to prohibit even agricultural use. The incidence on the population of serious blood disorders and cancer is among the highest in the whole world.

Guiyu is just the most notorious example, but similar sites, according to a recent Greenpeace report, are located, in a more or less official way, in many other developing areas such as Pakistan, India and Nigeria. These are the landfills of the world, the places where every technologically obsolete device ends its life, and where all means are legitimate.

For the more developed countries they represent nothing more than an investment with a very low cost, a mere matter of economic convenience that also lowers internal environmental impact. The sum of shipping costs and the entire process of disposal is by far less than what it would take to deal with the same materials in their places of origin.

For the countries that do import such wastes, e-waste is merely a business opportunity that feeds a gloomy total market value estimated at millions of dollars every year and causing untold damage to the environment and the quality of life of the people involved.

Some years ago PlanetFunk shot the video of their popular song “Stop Me” in Guiyu. With this data in our hands, maybe it’s time to say “Please, stop”.

Author: Antonio Lupetti @woork
© 2010 Woork Up

September 13 2010

19:41

How-To Create Your Own Instant Search

Google recenlty launched a new way to search the web called Google Instant, which can save several seconds per search.
Google instant involves a lot of high technology, including a new and smarter predicting system.
This technology is not avaiable for every webmaster in your own page yet, however, we can get really good results with php and jQuery, allowing everyone to create your own version of instant search.
We are going to create now the simplest code, in order to learn how it works.
This way anyone may learn easily and recreate it, fitting it perfectly with your own project.
The following image illustrates how the instant search works.
Create a link to jQuery in the head tag of the page. Than create a simple search field using a form with an input field in a HTML page. Below the form add a layer which will contain search results.
Search results will appear immediately into the result’s container while you write a string to search into the input field using a combination of PHP and JavaScript code.
The HTML code is really simple: just a form with a layer which contains search results.
<html>
    <head>
        <title>Instant Search</title>
        <script type=”text/javascript” src=”../jquery.js”></script>
</head>
    <body>

       //Form
        <form method=”get” action=”">
            <input type=”text” id=”q” name=”q” />
            <input type=”submit” value=”Search” />
        </form>

        //Result’s Container
       <div id=”results”></div>

    </body>
</html>

Here is the JavaScript code:
<script type="text/javascript">
    var runningRequest = false;
    var request;

   //Identify the typing action
    $('input#q').keyup(function(e){
        e.preventDefault();
        var $q = $(this);

        if($q.val() == ''){
            $('div#results').html('');
            return false;
        }

        //Abort opened requests to speed it up
        if(runningRequest){
            request.abort();
        }

        runningRequest=true;
        request = $.getJSON('search.php',{
            q:$q.val()
        },function(data){           
            showResults(data,$q.val());
            runningRequest=false;
        });

//Create HTML structure for the results and insert it on the result div
function showResults(data, highlight){
           var resultHtml = '';
            $.each(data, function(i,item){
                resultHtml+='<div class="result">';
                resultHtml+='<h2><a href="#">'+item.title+'</a></h2>';
                resultHtml+='<p>'+item.post.replace(highlight, '<span class="highlight">'+highlight+'</span>')+'</p>';
                resultHtml+='<a href="#" class="readMore">Read more..</a>'
                resultHtml+='</div>';
            });

            $('div#results').html(resultHtml);
        }

        $('form').submit(function(e){
            e.preventDefault();
        });
    });
</script>

Here is the PHP code:
<?php
if(!empty($_GET['q'])) {
    search();
}

function search() {
    $con = mysql_connect('localhost','root', '');
    mysql_select_db('mydb', $con);

    $q = htmlspecialchars($_GET['q'],ENT_QUOTES);

    $sql = mysql_query("
        SELECT
            p.title, SUBSTR(p.post,1,300) as post
        FROM Posts p
        WHERE p.title LIKE '%{$q}%' OR p.post LIKE '%{$q}%'
        ");

    //Create an array with the results
    $results=array();
    while($v = mysql_fetch_object($sql)){
        $results[] = array(
          'title'=>$v->title,
          'post'=>$v->post
        );
    }

    //using JSON to encode the array
    echo json_encode($results);
}

Here is an example for the CSS code:
form{
      margin:15px;
      padding:5px;
      border-bottom:1px solid #ddd;
    }

      form input[type=submit]{display:none;}

      div#results{
        padding:10px 0px 0px 15px;
       }

      div#results div.result{
           padding:10px 0px;
           margin:10px 0px 10px;
       }

      div#results div.result a.readMore{color:green;}

      div#results div.result h2{
       font-size:19px;
       margin:0px 0px 5px;
       padding:0px;
       color:#1111CC;
       font-weight:normal;
       }

      div#results div.result h2 a{
        text-decoration:none;
       border-bottom:1px solid #1111cc;
      }

      div#results div.result p{
       margin:0;
      padding:0;
}

      span.highlight{
       background:#FCFFA3;
       padding:3px;
       font-weight:bold;
}

And this is all you have to do. Note: Your project doesn’t need to have an specific page to this search. You may use CSS to hide and set absolute position to the results div. This way the instant search will work in every section!
Tags: Web Design new
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