Archive for February 17, 2009

Creative Contemporary Art by SUMO Paint – A Free Online tool

SUMO Paint the free online image editing software that gives you an opportunity to create, edit and comment images online. It is a powerful tool with layers support. It provides online image editing, that comes handy for people on the move and would like to process their images. One can open any image from SUMO Paint App just by dragging and dropping in the SUMO Paint image.

It is the easiest, fastest and most creative paint application available on the internet so far. It has a beautiful range of filters to create variety of background

Sumo_paint_Filters

SUMO Paint is a Flash based tool that provides easy to use interface and the following powerful tools for creating and editing art.

1. Layers with blending modes

2. Layer Effects:

Sumo_paint_Layer_Effect

3. Shape Tools

4.Brush Tool

Sumo_Paint_Dry_Brush

5. Ink Tool, 6. Text Tool, 7. Clone Stamp, 8. Eraser Tool, 9. Filters 10. Gradient Tool 11. Gravity 12. Custom Shape Tools 13. Shape Trials 14. Symmetry Tool 15. Transform Tool 16. Magi Wand Tool 17. Lasso Tool 18. Smudge Tool 19. Blur Tool 20. Line Tool 21. Curve Tool 22. Zoom Tool 23. Selection Modify Tool 24. Color Picker 25. Swatches 26. Saving Images with Multiple layers 27. Select Pixels

It took exactly one minute and just two tools – Filter and Smudge tool to create the image below. Just spend a hour with SUMO Paint, I’m sure you would come out with creative contemporary art!

Art

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Easy code review tools

We had covered Top 5+ Open Source UML Tools, Code Coverage tools for C/C++, Static Code Analysis Tools, Code Profilers for C/C++. Code review is another tool which has been a difficult task for developers for a long time. This is basically due to the lack of quality tools available forcing developers to perform code reviews via emails. There are open source code review tools available to assist the developers to perform code review process effectively.

Here are the top 5 open source code review tools that assist the author; reviewer and the company to efficiently manage the code review process.

1. Review board:
Review board is a web based tool designed using django and python. Review board helps project and companies to kep track of pending code changes and makes the code-review process much effortless and concise. Though Review board was primarily developed for use in VMware, it is designed to be generic enough to be used for any project. Currently it supports source code repositories like – SVN, CVS, Perforce, Git, Bazaar, and Mercurial. Read more here

Yahoo is one of the users of review-board.
Review board has changed the way we review code changes, enforce high quality coding standards and styles, and generally mentor new developers. Every time you visit search.yahoo.com you use code that has been reviewed on Review board. We’re great fans of your work!
– Yahoo! Web Search

2. Codestriker:
Codestriker is a web application designed using GCI-Perl script supporting online code reviews. Codestriker has integration points for CVS, Subversion, ClearCase, Perforce and Visual SourceSafe. There are plug-in in the architecture to provide support to other source code management and bug tracking systems. It also supports few metrics for project management purpose.

David Sitsky is the original author and an active member of Codestriker. Jason Remillard is the other active developer who has done significant contributions to the project.. Numerous authors submit changes to the Codestriker project and they are detailed via changelog file. Read more here

3. Groogle:
Groogle is another web based peer code review tool aimed at easing the code review process. Groogle supports integration with Subversion source code repository. It provides various other features like:

  • Highlighting Syntax for a wide variety of languages.
  • Supports comparison of entire repository tree for identify added/removed and modified files in subdirectories
  • Like other tools it supports diff for individual files with a graphicial representation
  • Sends email notifications to notify review participants when the review status changes
  • Provides optional integration against a wide range of existing authentication mechanisms.
  • Groogle is released in both RPM and tarball format and can be easily deployed on any Linux system. Read more here

4. Rietveld:
Rietveld is a new tool from Guido van Rossum (Python’s Benevolent Dictator For Life). It’s based on the Mondrian tool he wrote for Google and is somewhat similar to Review board . It is a web app and is hosted on the Google App Engine. It uses the popular web framework django with App Engine and supports projects using Subversion repository. Currently, any project hosted on Google Code can use Rietveld and used the python Subversion server. It is yet to provide support for other Subversion servers. Read more here.

5. JCR
JCR or jcodereview is a web application that is primarily designed to review Java code and provide some special smarts for reviewing Java code. It can be used for any other source code review as well other than Java.

JCR is intended to assist:

  • Reviewers. All changes to code are highlighted, and syntax highlighting works for most languages. Code extracts are shown for context when adding comments. If reviewing Java code, references to other classes within the file are clickable, so that you can drill into the detail if required. After review comments have been made, those comments can themselves be reviewed, and the required actions decided on and tracked
  • Project owners. Review projects are easy to create and configure, and don’t require any integration with your source code management (SCM) system
  • Process bigots. Details of all comments are held in the database, along with any actions required, and whether they’ve been completed. Status reports can be viewed at any time, and also show how much review activity took place on each file (to make sure they were all reviewed)
  • Architects and developers. As well as viewing the comments made for a project, it’s possible to see details of all review projects and comments for a specified file – good for finding code that would benefit from refactoring.

JCR is targeted for large-scale and more formal reviews unlike all the tools described above (Review board, Rietveld and Codestriker). Read more here

Jupiter: Lastly, Jupiter is another code review tool you may want to consider. Jupiter is a code review plug-in tool for the Eclipse IDE which is under active development. Read more here

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Media phones hit the consumer market

Though the word Media Phone would not appeared on most people’s radar screen, it is soon going to be the fourth screen at your home as per In-Depth Analysis by In-Stat. The media phone entry in the business market is far behind, but the present service providers around the world will roll out media phones in consumer markets in early 2009.

What are Media Phones?

The media phone represents a new category of broadband multimedia device that has the potential to become the 4th screen in the home, complementing the PC, TV, and mobile handset. It combines the power of an Internet-connected PC with the functionality of a home telephone. The media phone has a large (6-10 inch) color touch screen display which high quality speaker. It provides direct always-on access to Internet-based media content (e.g., YouTube videos and movie trailers), information services (e.g., news updates, weather forecasts, stock quotes, and directory searches), along with access to innovative new communication services (e.g., integrated fixed/mobile calling features, visual voice mail, and unified messaging). In short, the media phone combines the power of a PC with the always-on functionality of the home telephone.

Three companies that design media phone:

Currently, there are three commercial media phone designed by Samsung, OpenPeak and LG-Nortel. All three companies have initially designed media phones with co-operation with service providers.

AT&T HomeManager

HomeManager2

Source AT&T

AT&Tin introduced the AT&T HomeManager in September 2008 and is being marketed in association with AT&T U-verse service bundles. The HomeManager is a new media phone, designed by Samsung to AT&T specifications. Initially, the device is available in nine US metro area markets. The unit is priced at $299 and requires a two-year AT&T high-speed Internet term contract, or sign-up for U-verse high-speed Internet and voice services. The AT&T HomeManager combines a cordless DECT 6.0 handset with a 7″ (800×480 pixels) portable touchscreen frame. The basestation supports up to 4 cordless handsets and 2 frames. The frame connects to the basestation using DECT for voice calls, and via a private Wi-Fi connection for viewing broadband content. The HomeManager is also compatible with U-verse VoIP services.

HomeManager1

Some of the nice features of AT&T HomeManager are:

  • Fully portable seven-inch color touch screen — use the provided “pen” stylus or your finger to navigate
  • Cordless handset with crisp two-inch color screen and speakerphone
  • Call log to view missed, dialed and received calls — just touch the number to place a call, and easily save names and numbers to your address book.
  • Your choice of either standard or visual voicemail. Visual voicemail conveniently displays a list of your voice messages so you can touch them and listen in the order you choose.
  • Up to five separate address books for storing and synching all your contact information with your wireless phone from AT&T. Assign a photograph to each entry, and the photo will appear when that person calls.
  • Display your favorite photos on the touch screen — it can act as a digital picture frame!
  • Easy access to Web-based information like: (1)Weather (2)News (3)Movies (4)Sports scores (5)Yellow Pages (6)Email (7)Recipes (8)Lottery numbers

Verizon Hub and OpenPeak OpenFrame

OpenFrame

Source OpenPeak

Verizon started selling its consumer media phone on February 1, 2009. Branded the Verizon Hub, it is an IP media phone, designed by Verizon and manufactured by OpenPeak. Other yet to be announced telecom operators will be launching the IP media phone supplied by OpenFrame in early 2009 product launch. Verizon has announced that the Hub will be sold through all Verizon retail outlets and is priced at $199 with a 2-year VoIP service contract. This pricing includes a $50 rebate on the device. Verizon’s virtual VoIP service can be used in conjunction with a broadband connection from any service provider and is priced at $35 per month.

Here are some of the cool features of OpenFrame:High resolution touch screen interface

OpenFrame1

  • Large variety of powerful applications
  • Fun and easy intuitive interface offers an engaging, interactive experience
  • VoIP phone allows you to make calls from the touchscreen or handset
  • Rich media content includes photos, music and full-motion video
  • Fast application development and simple deployment process
  • Web-based device management enables centralized monitoring and administration
  • OpenFrame applications like: (1) News (2)Stocks (3)Horoscopes (4)Weather (5)Movie Show times (5) Directory Services (6) Recipes (7) TV Programs (8) Alarm

LG-Nortel IP3870 IMS Phone

LG-Nortel

Source LG-Nortel

LG-Nortel, a joint venture partnership between Korean LG Electronics and Nortel, established in 2005, is a global supplier of business/consumer telephones and handsets. In October 2008, LG-Nortel introduced the IP3870 IMS phone. The term IMS refers to IP Multimedia Subsystem, a 3GPP industry standard for next-generation network call control, predominantly based on the session initiation protocol (SIP).The IP3870 is a broadband media phone designed to support multimedia services. The device provides dedicated access to Internet applications, such as video clips and movies, news and weather information services, home banking services, and digital music. Compatibility with IMS enables a host of next-generation communication services that can include video calls, interactive video sessions, presence, user profile-based call management, and SIP-based VoIP calling.

Its features include:

  • 2 LAN [10/100 BASE T] & WiFi network interface
  • Stereo speaker with Wide band codec
  • 4.3 inch Wide TFT color LCD (256K) > Navigation cluster
  • Built-in camera with 25 fps video quality [QCIF]
  • USB interface [v 1.1]
  • SD/MMC Card up to 1 GB memory

Will the MediaPhone technology live up to their hype?

Well, In-Stat research over the past two years say that consumers demand convenience and ease-of-use Consumers love the idea of integrating fixed and mobile services, thereby eliminating multiple address books and voicemail boxes. They love it so much, that they will actually pay extra to get it! In addition, there needs to be a Supplier Push to make these technologies a success.As media phone may support integrated network and web services, Cable operators, mobile operators, and over-the-top Internet application providers are all expected to link media phones with new broadband-based services. To achieve broad adoption, some operators plan to subsidize a major portion of media phone costs.

In-Sat Forecast

  • According to In-Stat, Nearly 31 Million Business IP Phones Will Ship in 2012, While the Consumer IP Phone Market Diverges Towards Media Phones.
  • Consumer media phones will generate between $4–$8 billion in annual revenue, worldwide, by 2013.
  • Business media phones will generate $3.3 billion in annual revenue, worldwide, in 2013.
  • The US market will open up in 2009, with Europe coming on line in 2010.

Source: In-Stat

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Open Source in Enterprise and its benifits

Open Source is attractive because of its characteristics – Low cost, easy access, expansive license terms. All of these given for free gives open source a compelling value proposition. The time has gone when enterprises used to wait for a software that comes wrapped with the sales and a typical support structure. Many enterprises have successfully applied open source within their infrastructures. Open source serves as the foundation for successful Web 2.0 companies like Facebook and YouTube.

openent

Why should Enterprise move to Open Source?

  • Enterprise IT organizations are experiencing significant pressure on the cost. Many Enterprise IT organizations face pressure from their customers to reduce the overall billing rate by 3 – 5%. Many parent companies have mandated to cut the IT spending by 3 – 5%. Combining the billing and expenditure reduction with inflation means in real terms, Enterprise IT is living with 7 – 8% reduction budget each year.
  • Though many companies are taking measures like keeping a tab on head count, reducing operation cost, and freeze on salary hikes etc, it is hard to stay alive in the prevailing market condition unless it reduces the cost of software licensing and as a result reduce IT budgets.
  • Software licensing costs is a significant portion of IT budgets and is rising driven by consolidation in the segment. The acquiring software vendors are raising support fees in order to pay off their acquisition costs. The cost is indirectly passed on to the Enterprise IT.

Six benefits if Enterprises implement open source?

  1. Agility and Scale: Enterprises IT Organizations will be able to quickly develop and modify software systems to respond to rapidly changing business conditions
  2. Breaking Vendor Lock-in: Adopting to open source will reduce proprietary vendor dependence that is controlling enterprise IT architectures
  3. Quality and Security: Open Source will improve the operations of enterprise infrastructure by leveraging open source characteristics of transparency and rapid improvement
  4. Cost: Open Source will reduce overall IT operational costs by implementing free or low-cost open source software
  5. Autonomy: Enterprise will not depend on US-based software companies for their local economic developments and will become more independent
  6. Innovative solutions: benefit by creating new business offerings by tying various open source pieces or creating open source products to reduce operational costs and make new offerings at less cost to bring to market

The number of actual job postings from large enterprises on open source skill set is a direct indication to open source adoption in organization. Open source recruitment is between 5 and 15 percent of total IT staff recruitment, indicating that open source is playing a significant role in today’s large IT organizations. This means that many IT organizations recognize the benefit of open source and they are using open source today. But, very soon they must move from ad hoc use to a more formal approach.

Six most relevant open source characteristics for enterprise IT organizations:

Open source and proprietary software are similar in one respect-they are both copyrighted intellectual property licensed under certain conditions to users.
However they differ with each other in many aspects that make them useful and appealing to IT organizations.

  1. Expansive licensing: Proprietary software licenses are usually quite restrictive in terms of use-limits on number of users, type or number of machines the software may be installed on, and there is usually a fee associated with obtaining a license. By contrast, open source has very expansive license conditions that encourage widespread use. Open source licenses impose no limitations on number of users or type or number of machines that may have the software installed. There are no license fees associated with open source software. Commercial entities may offer for-fee services, but these are not required in order to access the software itself, and are not a licensing condition.
  2. Development transparency: Open source development is carried out in the open. In most cases, product decisions are discussed extensively on mailing lists or in forums. All code may be examined. Reported bugs are listed and available for inspection. The development process itself is carried out in public, with all code check-ins also available for inspection. All releases and intermediate builds available for inspection. It is easy for a software user to ascertain the current state and history of an open source product. Users can easily communicate with product developers to understand their product decisions and offer opinions about the product’s functionality or direction.
  3. Ability to inspect source code: It is often extremely helpful to review the source code of a product to enable better integration with another product or merely to better understand how the product operates so as to ease use in production. Because open source licenses mandate source code availability, it is easy to study the product’s code and learn from it.
  4. Ability to modify source code: Not only is open source code available for inspection, the licenses also allow users to modify the source code. Anyone can add new functionality that better meets user needs. Furthermore, the code can be “contributed” back to the mainstream code base, which means that code modifications are automatically carried forward in subsequent releases, thereby reducing downstream maintenance efforts.
  5. Community: One of the most important characteristics of open source, and the foundation for successful open source projects, is community. Community is the combined pool of product developers and users; in essence, everyone concerned with a product. Free and honest communication is typical of community, with many peer user interactions typical of a vibrant community. Users can easily share their thoughts about the product with developers, leading to improved functionality and ease of use. The community also enables “corner case” use cases (i.e., unusual product applications that only a subset of users confront) to be exercised, with feedback about product capability in corner-case conditions directly fed back to developers. Finally, community allows peers to help one another solve problems, offering quick support and knowledge sharing. Community is often an unfamiliar (and uncomfortable) concept for new open source users from the business world, but, once experienced, is viewed as one of the defining strengths of open source software
  6. Redistribution rights: Open source licenses allow users (recipients of open source products) to distribute open source products to third-parties as part of the license conditions, without requiring permission from the original product distributor; this is referred to as redistribution. Redistribution can be of the original form of the product, or a modified form that contains code modified by the original code recipient. Redistribution enables community growth and also allows product users to create innovative business
    offerings without having to signal intention to product creators via a redistribution request.

Each of these characteristics is a valuable part of the overall open source license conditions. If an enterprise is using open source to pursue a particular business goal, it will find one or more of the characteristics particularly important, indicating what it should emphasize in its open source efforts.

It is important for IT organizations to understand these characteristics, as they will assist (or limit) the organization’s ability to best take advantage of open source software.

Reference: Open Source in the Enterprise, An O’Reilly Radar Report

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Top 15+ Free Screencasting Tools That Could Enhance Podcasting And Desktop Recording

Screencasting (or Screen Recording) is nothing but recording the output of your computer screen often with voice narration. Screencasts are useful for demonstrating and teaching software features.

Recommended Reading:

    Advantages of Screencasting are many and you can do the following efficiently,

       

  • Create demonstration videos for any software program, or create video tutorials.

  • Record a recurring problem with your computer or software so you can show technical support people.

  • Create video-based information products you can sell or share with your audience via blogs (Podcasting).

       

    There are many Free Screen Recording (Screencasting) tools that are available on the internet. Some of them are Open and some of them are free but not open. Here is a comprehensive list of such tools.

       

  1. CamStudio – CamStudio is an Open Source and free Screen Recording tool written in C++ on win32 platform. CamStudio can record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create AVI video files. Its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs) which are ideal to host on a web site. CamStudio is highly recommended for ScreenCasting purposes and a drawback is it is available only on Windows platform. Download CamStudio here.

  2. ScreenToaster – ScreenToaster is not open but absolutely FREE. One of the best online Screen Casting tool available. Register for free & use it anywhere anytime. You can make screencasts / tutorials / demos etc. You can record your screen in one click, No download needed. Share videos on the Internet in Flash, Embed them on blogs/webpages or send them by email. ScreenToaster is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

  3. Capture Fox – Capture Fox is a FREE (not open) Firefox add-on and a handy tool to create tutorials about a software, a web site or anything that can be displayed on your computer. It records your screen frame by frame. You can also record your voice. Supported features, Capture screen, record your sound and get an AVI (movie) file. Adjustable video quality and easy to use. With just few clicks, you can start capturing your screen and record your sound. Capture Fox can be used on any OS platform as it is a browser based tool. Download Capture Fox here.

  4. Jing – Jing is a hosted Screen Capturing and Recording tool. It was completely FREE until early Jan, 2009. Now, there is a Jing Pro version now with some goodies like compact high quality videos etc. But, Jing basic is pretty good, you can use it for free. It requires a download but the videos can be shared online via ScreenCast (a basic free version is available, for more check out their pricing information). Jing is supported on Windows and Mac. Download Jing Free here.

  5. Screenr – Another completely Free Screencasting online tool for Twitter! Plays anywhere on the web.

  6. RecordMyDesktop – Desktop session recorder for GNU/Linux.

  7. Istanbul – Istanbul is a desktop session recorder for the Free Desktop Linux. It records your session into an Ogg Theora video file

  8. VidShot – VidShot Capturer created for quick screen capturing. You can use VidShot Capturer for capturing anything you see on your PC desktop and record them to video.

  9. Screencast-o-magic – Screencast-O-Matic is the original free and easy way to make a video recording of your screen (Screencast) and upload it for free hosting all from your browser with no install!

  10. Screen2EXE – Record screen activities on desktop.

Some more FREE ScreenCasting Tools

  • FFmpeg – FFmpeg is a complete open source solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. It includes libavcodec, the leading audio/video codec library. FFmpeg is developed under Linux, but it can be compiled under most operating systems, including Windows. It is good but recommended for advanced users.

  • Windows Media Encoder – Windows Media Encoder is a powerful tool for content producers who want to capture audio and video content using the many innovations in Windows Media, including high-quality multichannel sound, high-definition video quality, and support for mixed-mode voice and music content. Again, it is for advanced users. For Windows users only. Not open but FREE.

  • AVI Screen Capture – AVI Screen Capture program allows you to capture your desktop or certain windows within your desktop to AVI video files. For Windows users only and it is not open.

  • Wink – Wink is an open source, Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots, add explanations boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users. Wink is available on Linux and Windows.

  • vTute – vTute can create your own tutorial videos by running vTute Recorder tool. You can then upload the created files using the form listed on their site for free. vTute is available on Windows for FREE (not open).

  • ScreenCastle – Record a Screencast directly from you browser.

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